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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #51 

Sources say Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier in classified Russia report

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Fox News is reporting that FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January's final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election, Fox News was told.

Sources would not speak on the record, citing the sensitivity of the matter and its current relevance to upcoming testimony on the unmasking of American citizens as part of the FBI probe into alleged contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Moscow. 

Asked for a response to the claims, the FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said they could not comment on a classified document. 

It was reported last month that the unverified dossier was part of the evidence the FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant for Carter Page, a peripheral figure in the Trump campaign. In an interview with Fox News, Page denied the dossier's central allegations that he was the Trump campaign's point person for Moscow.

The dossier also contained salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump. The classified version of the intelligence report issued at the end of the Obama administration included a summary of the document, as an attachment. Both Barack Obama and President-elect Trump were presented with the findings. 

In a remarkable exchange Wednesday between Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Comey during a Senate hearing, more questions were raised about the bureau's relationship with the former British officer who wrote the dossier, Christopher Steele, and his British company Orbis -- and its relationship to Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS. 

Comey said that "I know the name" and "I can't say" when Graham pressed if Fusion GPS is part of the Russian intelligence apparatus. 

And when Graham asked if he agreed it "would be interfering in our election by the Russians" if Fusion were involved in preparing the anti-Trump dossier, Comey replied, "I don't want to say."

Inside the packed hearing room, the committee's chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was visibly irritated at the lack of response by the director of the FBI. For months, Grassley has highlighted the bureau's failure to meet deadlines and respond to his questions, calling it in a recent letter a "pattern of obstruction" on matters related to Steele. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee who also sits on the intelligence committee, told CNN on Wednesday that she does not "at this time" have evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign. 

letter of complaint against Fusion GPS was filed with the Justice Department, alleging the company -- and founder former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson -- violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. 

Asked for comment on the complaint's allegation that Fusion GPS acted as an unregistered agent for Russian interests, attorney Joshua A. Levy told Fox News' senior executive producer Pamela Brownevia email that, "Fusion GPS has complied with the law and was not required to register under FARA. Nor has Fusion GPS ever been a Russian agent. Allegations to the contrary are not true."

Levy went on to deny Fusion GPS lobbied against the Magnitsky Act. "Not true," Levy stated.

He said: "Fusion GPS' only factual connection to anything in the complaint is the litigation support Fusion GPS provided to Baker Hostetler, a law firm mentioned in the complaint. Fusion GPS did no lobbying work for that law firm or its clients."

The Magnitsky Act, a 2012 bipartisan bill passed by Congress and signed by Barack Obama, was named after Russian lawyer-turned-whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009. The law imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials linked to the 37-year-old lawyer's death.

Grassley stressed his concerns that "the FBI has relied on the document to justify [Comey's] current investigation. There have been reports that the FBI agreed to pay the author of the dossier, who paid his sources, who also paid their sub sources. Where did the money come from and what motivated the people writing the checks?"

During the heated hearing, Grassley also chided the FBI for giving him "materially inconsistent" information and specifically referenced Steele, noting "The man who wrote the dossier admitted in court that it has unverified claims. Does that sound like a reliable basis for law enforcement or intelligence actions?"

Fox News also spoke to Steele's solicitor Nicola Cain in London, who had no comment citing ongoing litigation. 

A British court document, first reported by The Guardian and signed by Steele, offers a glimpse into his company's work for Fusion GPS. The document describes "unsolicited intelligence" and "raw intelligence" that "needed to be anlaysed and further investigated/verified."

Fox News has filed a formal request for copies of court documents with the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court in London.



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #52 

Feinstein says there's no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia

The FireAndreaMitchell blog is reporting that there's more bad news for the crazy Democrats and media pushing the Russia-Trump collusion bullshit.

Far left crank Senator Diane Feinstein, a California moonbat told a dejected Wolf Blitzer that there is no evidence of collusion, no matter how much Wolf Blitzer or the other hacks at CNN wish there were.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that there is so far no evidence showing collusion between Donald Trump's campaign aides and Russian officials.

Blitzer mentioned that Feinstein and other colleagues from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had visited CIA headquarters on Tuesday to be briefed on the investigation. He then asked Feinstein whether she had evidence, without disclosing any classified information, that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

"Not at this time," Feinstein said.

"Well, that's a pretty precise answer," Blitzer said.

Feinstein's direct answer contrasts with that of other Democrats who have claimed there is evidence showing collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russia.

The Director of the CIA, the Director of the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence have all said the same thing.

Will the Democrats finally drop this nonsense?

Not hardly!


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #53 
From Russia with crud

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Scott Johnson (Powerline) says that when the Trump campaign (allegedly) conspired with Putin to engineer the unlikely defeat of Hillary Clinton, did Putin get anything in return? Apparently not. The story line refuses to cohere. In the world according to the Democrats, however, if the facts don't fit you must not acquit. You must recommit.

Two months ago the sober Hudson Institute Distinguished Fellow and foreign policy historian Walter Russell Mead impolitely noted that "Trump isn't sounding like a Russian mole." Trump had remarked "effusively" to Reuters on the importance of expanding the American nuclear arsenal. Mead commented: "What the press has largely ignored about Trump's latest pronouncement is an obvious truth that undermines its own narrative: someone who was safely in Vladimir Putin's pocket wouldn't run around saying things like this."

Mead must have wanted to provoke the Democrats' idiotic media adjunct. He enlarged to telling effect on this point. Like the little boy who declined to praise the magnificence of the emperor's invisible finery, Mead blurted out:

If Trump were the Manchurian candidate that people keep wanting to believe that he is, here are some of the things he'd be doing:

• Limiting fracking as much as he possibly could
• Blocking oil and gas pipelines
• Opening negotiations for major nuclear arms reductions
• Cutting U.S. military spending
• Trying to tamp down tensions with Russia's ally Iran

That Trump is planning to do precisely the opposite of these things may or may not be good policy for the United States, but anybody who thinks this is a Russia appeasement policy has been drinking way too much joy juice.

Mead wasn't done yet. He contrasted Trump's announced policies with Obama's actual policies:

Obama actually did all of these things, and none of the liberal media now up in arms about Trump ever called Obama a Russian puppet; instead, they preferred to see a brave, farsighted and courageous statesman. Trump does none of these things and has embarked on a course that will inexorably weaken Russia's position in the world, and the media, suddenly flushing eight years of Russia dovishness down the memory hole, now sounds the warning that Trump's Russia policy is treasonously soft.

This foolishness is best understood as an unreasoning panic attack. The liberal media hate Trump more than they have hated any American politician in a generation, and they do not understand his supporters or the sources of his appeal. They are frantically picking up every available stick to beat him, in the hopes that something, somehow, will Miloize him.

Only last week we had Secretary Tillerson's press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov (text here). Fulfilling Obama's mocking gibe to Mitt Romney, the 1980's seemed to have gotten their foreign policy back.

Yesterday Politico reported the Trump administration has announced that it would not grant a waiver from Russian sanctions to Exxon Mobil or any other energy companies. Ben Lefebvre explains: "The Treasury Department announcement follows reports that Exxon had been seeking such a waiver to drill in the Black Sea."

The concise statement by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is calculated to rub it in: "In consultation with President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions."

Has anyone among the Democrats’ idiotic media adjunct paused to note that the Russians aren't getting their (alleged) money's worth?



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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #54 

House Intelligence Committee calls Comey, Clapper, Brennan and Yates to testify on Russia hoax

Cristina Laila (GatewayPundit) is reporting that the House Intel Committee continues to beat a dead horse in their attempt to keep the Trump-Russia hoax alive. They are now asking for testimony from Comey, Rogers, Brennan, Clapper and Yates as part of their investigation into Russia.

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Via The Hill:

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday asked several senior Obama administration officials, including former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify publicly in the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

The committee has also invited FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers to return before the committee to testify in a closed setting.

The Yates hearing would be scheduled after Comey and Rogers appear, slated for May 2. Former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have also been invited to testify with Yates.

The week before Yates had been scheduled to testify, Comey confirmed the existence of the FBI’s investigation into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russia in an open hearing.

What about the investigation into the criminal Obama administration for unmasking Trump and his private associates during the 2016 election?

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Beckwith

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Turns out Obama was the real Russian stooge

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Nickarama (YoungConservatives) says Rich Lowry has written a great piece at National Review (previous item).

He lays out the evidence for who is the true "Russian Stooge" as he titles his article.

From National Review:

The circumstantial evidence is mounting that the Kremlin succeeded in infiltrating the U.S. government at the highest levels. How else to explain a newly elected president looking the other way after an act of Russian aggression? Agreeing to a farcically one-sided nuclear deal? Mercilessly mocking the idea that Russia represents our foremost geopolitical foe? Accommodating the illicit nuclear ambitions of a Russian ally? Welcoming a Russian foothold in the Middle East? Refusing to provide arms to a sovereign country invaded by Russia? Diminishing our defenses and pursuing a Moscow-friendly policy of hostility to fossil fuels?

As Lowry points out, it isn't Donald Trump who fits the description.

It's Barack Obama.

He reset with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic. The president then went on to forge an agreement with Russia's ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine "lethal" weapons to defend itself from Russian attack. Finally, Obama cut U.S. defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels, a policy that Russia welcomed since its economy is dependent on high oil prices. 

Lowry lays it off on naivete or weakness. While I would agree that Obama was in many ways weak in foreign policy stances, I wouldn't necessarily forgive his actions that easily. I don't regard the "I can be more flexible after the election" comment to Dimitri Medvedev as being meaningless.

The left has been in bed with the Soviet Union/Russia for decades, even as recently as Occupy and Trayvon Martin, RT was working to push both causes and activists were using RT as a vehicle to push their propaganda. All promoting chaos and how America was ridden with racial divide.

One can look beyond the points laid out by Lowry to ask why didn't Obama check Putin's moves in the Arctic? Or his moves in the Baltics and South America? Or ask who benefits if American natural energy resources and pipelines are canceled and discouraged?

When Obama failed to enforce his red line in Syria, the deal to allegedly get rid of the chemical weapons brokered by Russia was the fig leaf to save Obama's face in retreat.

Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population -- exploiting a grievous loophole -- and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.

Now, Obama officials have admitted they "knew all the time" that Assad hadn't gotten rid of chemical weapons. Yet, Obama, Susan Rice and John Kerry all said we got rid of the chemical weapons, Kerry even using the term, "100%" in his comments.

As Lowry notes, the Russians lied because Assad was their client.

What reason did the Obama administration have for lying?

And unfortunately I have no doubt at all, that we will be asking this same question in the future about Iran and the nuclear deal, also "guaranteed" by Russia for another client state.

Obama supporters painting Trump with the tag of "Putin accommodator" is terribly ironic, as there has been no one more accommodating to the growth and unchecked avarice of Putin for power than Barack Obama, the person who should have been responsible for checking his advances.

One doesn't have to assume or believe in some deep conspiracy, all one has to do is look at the facts.


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Beckwith

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Turns out Obama was the real Russian stooge

Rich Lowry (NYPost) says the circumstantial evidence is mounting that the Kremlin succeeded in infiltrating the US government at the highest levels.

How else to explain a newly elected president looking the other way after an act of Russian aggression? Agreeing to a farcically one-sided nuclear deal? Mercilessly mocking the idea that Russia represents our foremost geo-political foe?

Accommodating the illicit nuclear ambitions of a Russian ally? Welcoming a Russian foothold in the Middle East? Refusing to provide arms to a sovereign country invaded by Russia? Diminishing our defenses and pursuing a Moscow-friendly policy of hostility to fossil fuels?

All of these items, of course, refer to things said or done by Barack Obama.

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To take them in order: He re-set with Russia shortly after its clash with Georgia in 2008. He concluded the New START agreement with Moscow that reduced our nuclear forces but not theirs. When candidate Mitt Romney warned about Russia in the 2012 campaign, Obama rejected him as a Cold War relic.

Obama then went on to forge an agreement with Russia's ally Iran to allow it to preserve its nuclear program. During the red-line fiasco, he eagerly grasped a lifeline from Russia at the price of accepting its intervention in Syria. He never budged on giving Ukraine "lethal" weapons to defend itself from Russian attack.

Finally, Obama cut US defense spending and cracked down on fossil fuels — a policy that Russia welcomes, since its economy is dependent on high oil prices.

Put all of this together, and it's impossible to conclude anything other than that Obama was a Russian stooge — and not out of any nefarious dealings, but out of his own naïveté and weakness.

Obama didn't expect any rewards when he asked then-Russian President Dimitri Medvedev during a hot mic moment at an international meeting to relay to Vladimir Putin his ability to be more "flexible" after the 2012 election; he was, to put it in terms of the current Russian election controversy, "colluding" with the Russians in the belief it was a good strategy. His "kompromat" was his own foolishness.

The cost of Obama's orientation toward Russia became clearer over the last two weeks. When he pulled up short from enforcing his red line, an agreement with the Russians to remove Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons became the fig leaf to cover his retreat.

This deal was obviously deficient, but Obama officials used clever language to give the impression that it had removed all chemical weapons from Syria. Never mind that Assad still used chlorine gas to attack his population -- exploiting a grievous loophole -- and that evidence piled up that Assad was cheating more broadly.

The Russians eagerly covered for Assad because he's their client. What was the Obama administration's excuse? It effectively made itself a liar for the Russians. At the same time Moscow bolstered the Assad regime, we said had to go, smashed the moderate opposition we were trying to create, and sent a destabilizing refugee flow into Europe. This was a moral and strategic disaster.

To be sure, Donald Trump's statements about Russia over the last year-and-a-half have often been stupid and shameful. But there was always a good chance that Russia's blatant hostility to our values and interests would make any attempted Trump detente unsustainable. With his secretary of state and UN ambassador hitting Russia hard over the Assad gas attack and Trump's strike challenging Russia's position, the administration looks to be adopting a hard-headed attitude without bothering with a doomed re-set first.

Even if Obama eventually got tougher on Russia -- imposing sanctions after the Ukraine invasion and sending contingents of US troops to countries near Russia -- he never entirely shed his reflex toward accommodation.

No matter what conspiracy theorists might say, there's nothing to suggest anything untoward about Obama's relationship with Russia. But based on the record alone, you might have suspicions.


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Reply with quote  #57 

Russia controversy is a "pure invention" to destroy Trump

Freedom Center founder David Horowitz recently sat down with Newsmax for an in-depth interview on the Left's all-out war on Donald Trump and his new best-selling book, "Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America."

In the interview, Horowitz analyzes what's really motivating the Democratic Party's baseless campaign to link the Trump administration with the Russian government.


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Fresh evidence the Russia "scandal" is a Team Obama operation

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Do you suspect that the noise over Trump campaign contacts with the Russians is just a political hit arranged by Obama insiders before they left?

NYPost is reporting that you got fresh evidence of that Monday, with news that then-national security adviser Susan Rice was behind the "unmasking" of Trumpites in transcripts of calls with Russian officials.

Again, nothing on the public record so far shows that anyone on Team Trump said anything improper on those calls.

It's no surprise that US spooks intercept foreign officials' calls. But intelligence community reports don't disclose the names of US citizens on the other end. To get that info, a high official must (but rarely does) push to "unmask" the Americans' names.

Bloomberg's Eli Lake now reports that Rice started doing just that last year.

That was perfectly legal. But we also know that the Obama administration later changed the classification of the "unmasked" transcripts, and other similar material, in order to spread the information as widely as possible within the government.

The motive for that was (supposedly) to prevent Team Trump from burying it all once it took over. But the result was that it made it relatively safe for someone (or someones) to leak the info to the press.

Which made it likely somebody would leak. So Team Obama's "spread the info" initiative certainly broke the spirit of the laws.

Those leaks have produced a nagging political sore for the new administration -- leading to the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn, helping to drive down President Trump's approval ratings and making it harder for him to push his program through.

Rice certainly wasn't politically naive about the political uses of intelligence information. She was, after all, the Obama official who famously made the rounds spouting the false "Our intel says it was about the video" line on the Benghazi attack back during the 2012 campaign.

All of this puts the actions of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in clearer perspective. After viewing the Rice requests at the White House, he disclosed that Trump officials had been caught up in incidental surveillance.

All of which is a reminder that two issues are in play here: Russian meddling in the election, about which the nation already knows plenty -- and the Obama team's efforts to sabotage Team Trump.


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Here's why the whole Russiagate scenario set out in the "Trump Dossier" is totally absurd

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Alexander Mercouris (TheDuran) says the Trump Dossier upon which the whole Russiagate scandal rests describes a process of decision making within the Russian government that bears no relation to reality, thereby proving itself a fake.

It has become increasingly clear over the last two weeks that the amateur sleuths who are driving Russiagate are taking the Trump Dossier prepared by the British ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele as their starting point.

This is despite the fact that the Trump Dossier is still "uncorroborated", and has been trashed by seasoned intelligence professionals like former CIA Acting Assistant Director Michael Morell.

Right from the first moment the Trump Dossier was first published I speculated that it might be the original source of the 'Russiagate' story.  Here is what I wrote about it on 11th January 2017, immediately after it was published

The big question is not whether the facts in this dossier are true or not; it is the extent to which the paranoid claims made in the dossier have shaped and might even have been the origin for the whole Russian hacking scandal.

I say this because media reports confirm that the dossier or extracts from it have circulated amongst US politicians (including Hillary Clinton and John McCain), US intelligence agencies, and within the media for weeks if not months.  The earliest reports in the dossier are dated to July, which suggests that some of its claims -- which include circumstantial details of who supposedly within the Russian government was behind the Clinton leaks -- were already circulating early in the summer.  That is a very early point in the Russian hacking story, making it at least possible that the dossier at least influenced the thinking of some of the people in the US intelligence community and in the media who have been pushing the Russian hacking scandal most aggressively.

Many have remarked on the absence of evidence in the ONDI report which was published last Friday.  Even Masha Gessen -- one of President Putin's most relentless critics -- has pointed this out.

Publication of this dossier looks like an attempt to provide "evidence" which the ODNI report failed to do.  If so then that at least gives rise to the possibility that the dossier is the "evidence" -- or more correctly a part of the evidence -- that formed the background to the ONDI report but which the ODNI report omitted.

Whatever the truth of this, the fact that an obviously concocted dossier like this has circulated for weeks if not months with its source apparently still considered "unimpeachable" and "reliable" by the West's intelligence agencies shows how wildly paranoid and ignorant about Russia the West's intelligence agencies and its politicians and journalists have become.

Fantasy has replaced truth, and it seems that a clever fabricator out to make money has successfully cashed in on it, quite possibly doing serious harm along the way.

The US investigative reporter Robert Parry is now saying the same thing: that the Trump Dossier is the document which provides the frame narrative for the whole Russiagate story, and this was also confirmed by the BBC article I discussed yesterday, which says the following

The roadmap for the investigation, publicly acknowledged now for the first time, comes from Christopher Steele, once of Britain's secret intelligence service MI6.

As it happens I am far from sure that the actual investigation being carried out into the Russiagate claims by the FBI is using the Trump Dossier as its 'roadmap'.  Contrary to what the BBC says I have never seen this "publicly acknowledged" anywhere.  However what is now indisputable is that the Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees are doing so, and that much of the media is following them.

This is extraordinary because even a cursory knowledge of how the Russian government operates ought to make it obvious that the scenario described in the Trump Dossier makes no sense, and is completely fantastic.

Briefly, the Trump Dossier's story is that a furious Putin, who supposedly hates Hillary Clinton, was persuaded by his press secretary Dmitry Peskov and his Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov to order an elaborate campaign to interfere in the US election in order to swing the election to Donald Trump over whom the Russians supposedly possess various forms of leverage, including blackmail film of his cavorting with prostitutes.

The Russian intelligence officials supposedly carrying out Putin's orders are then supposed to have closely coordinated their actions with Trump's campaign.  They are also supposed to have discussed it with each other and with all sorts of other people who passed on information about these conversations to the Trump Dossier's compiler, Christopher Steele.

If one is to believe the Trump Dossier, the campaign to meddle in the election was also the subject of furious argument and recrimination within the Kremlin itself, with people like Ivanov, Peskov, Medvedev and Rosneft CEO Sechin complaining about it to each other and to various intimates, so that word of their arguments also found its way to Christopher Steele.

The Trump Dossier provides a phantasmagoric description of cloak and dagger meetings between Russian intelligence officials and Trump campaign associates in Moscow, Prague and other places, and of discussions of senior Russian officials with each other and of the recriminations which supposedly passed between them as the extent of Russian meddling in the US election supposedly became public.

There is so much wrong with this whole scenario that it is difficult know where to start, but a good point might be to question the whole starting thesis that President Putin "hates" Hillary Clinton.

There is virtually no evidence of this.  The origins of this claim appear to be a comment of Putin's made at the time of the election protests in Russia in December 2011.  Putin as reported by Reuters said the following

She (Hillary Clinton -- AM) set the tone for some opposition activists, gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work

What a politician says during an election is not usually taken too seriously, and this comment scarcely seems to confirm the thesis that Putin "hates" Hillary Clinton.  By the standards of what Western leaders regularly say about Putin it comes across as rather temperate.  Compare it for example with Hillary Clinton's comparison in March 2014 of Putin with Hitler.

The claim that Putin "hates" Hillary Clinton is anyway at odds with a far more recent and much more thought through comment Putin made about her at the SPIEF conference in St. Petersburg last June, which because it hardly supports the claim Putin "hates" Hillary Clinton has gone almost completely unreported

I worked with Bill Clinton, although for a very short time, and we had a very good relationship. I can even say that I am grateful to him for certain moments as I was entering the big stage in politics. On several occasions, he showed signs of attention, respect for me personally, as well as for Russia. I remember this and I am grateful to him.

About Ms Clinton. Perhaps she has her own view on the development of Russian-US relations. You know, there is something I would like to draw [your] attention to, which has nothing to do with Russian-US relations or with national politics. It is related, rather, to personnel policy.

In my experience, I have often seen what happens with people before they take on a certain job and afterward. Often, you cannot recognise them, because once they reach a new level of responsibility they begin to talk and think differently, they even look different. We act on the assumption that the sense of responsibility of the US head of state, the head of the country on which a great deal in the world depends today, that this sense of responsibility will encourage the newly elected president to cooperate with Russia and, I would like to repeat, build a more secure world.

These remarks do not suggest any hatred for Hillary Clinton.  Spoken at a time when the universal assumption was that Hillary Clinton would win the US Presidential election, they suggest on the contrary a willingness to work with her, a readiness to disregard her harsh anti-Russian election rhetoric, and a hope that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, would exercise a restraining influence over her.

Putting aside the fact that there is no real evidence that Putin "hates" Hillary Clinton, Putin at the time of the US election had been continuously at the top of the Russian power structure for 17 years, ever since Boris Yeltsin appointed him Russia's Prime Minister on 9th August 1999.  Over that long period Putin has gained immense experience and knowledge of politics, including of US politics.  No one moreover seriously doubts that Putin is also highly intelligent and well-informed, and is able to put this experience and knowledge to good use.

It beggars belief that such an experienced and knowledgeable person as Putin was in 2016 would seriously believe that Russia could influence a US Presidential election so as to effect its outcome.  That by the way is something which no outside power has ever previously managed to do.  Putin would surely know such a thing was impossible, and that it would be completely counter-productive and extremely dangerous to try it.

Let us assume however that Putin acted completely contrary to what we know of his background and character, and nonetheless ordered Russia's intelligence agencies to meddle in the US election in order to act out some feud he has against Hillary Clinton.

It beggars belief that Russia's intelligence agencies would agree.  Their chiefs -- Patrushev, Ivanov, Fradkov and Bortnikov, all experienced intelligence professionals and like Putin all members of Russia's Security Council, together with General Shoigu, who is not only a member of Russia's Security Council but who as Russia's Defence Minister has overall charge of the Russian military's main intelligence agency the GRU -- would undoubtedly have told Putin it couldn't be done, and that it would be extremely dangerous to try.

Let us nonetheless go on to assume -- ever more farfetched though these assumptions become -- that Putin acted even further against his known background and character, and decided to ignore their advice, and ordered them to conduct the operation regardless.

it beggars belief that they would not in that case have insisted on having his order formally debated by Russia's Security Council, Russia's most important policy making body, which significantly finds no mention in the Trump Dossier at all.  They would have been bound to do this if only to safeguard their positions when the operation went wrong -- as it was bound to do -- by putting it on formal record during the Security Council meeting that they opposed the order.

The Security Council is in theory an advisory body, and Putin could in theory have refused to convene it and have his order debated there.  However that would almost certainly have provoked a crisis at the heart of the Russian government, and there is no evidence that ever happened.  In practice it is inconceivable that an order of such magnitude would not have been discussed by the Security Council.

At that point Putin would have encountered the collective opposition of the entire Security Council, which includes people like Prime Minister Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov who speak English and who know the US well, and who would also have told him what he wanted couldn't be done, and that it would be extremely dangerous to try

Putin has been Russia's leader for as long as he has precisely because he heeds the advice and warnings of his experts, and is careful to ensure the prior backing of the rest of Russia's political leadership for his decisions.  It is precisely because Putin acts in this way that he has a loyal and disciplined government behind him.

Conceivably Putin could have cast all this aside and in a fit of madness struck out on his own, ignoring what would almost certainly have been the collective opposition of the country's entire political and national security leadership in order to carry out a quixotic quest to stop Hillary Clinton from being elected.  However had he done such a thing he would have risked a government crisis and furious recriminations when it all went wrong, which would almost certainly have spilled over into public argument as does occasionally happen in Russia.  That there is no evidence of anything like this happening is the surest sign it didn't happen at all.

As it happens this focus on Putin is anyway completely misplaced.  If the the Russians did carry out hacks of the computers of the DNC and of John Podesta then the whole Trump Dossier/Russiagate story becomes even more surreal, since there is actually no need to introduce Putin to explain the hacks.

Russian intelligence would not have needed an order from Putin to hack John Podesta or the DNC.  At a time of extreme tension in US-Russian relations, with the militaries of the two countries cranking up towards a potentially disastrous face-off in Syria, the entirety of Russia's mighty foreign policy and intelligence establishment would have been working overtime trying to find out what the policies of the US after the election would be.  Ambassador Kislyak together with the diplomats and spies in his embassy would have been trying hard to build as many contacts with both the Hillary Clinton and the Donald Trump camps as they could, and Russian intelligence would have been pulling out all the stops to gather all the intelligence on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and their associates that it could.

Quite possibly this would have included reading the DNC's and John Podesta's emails.  Since both had obvious relevance to an information gathering effort intended to ascertain the future policies of a Hillary Clinton administration, it is easy to see why Russian intelligence might have wanted to read them, and it would not have needed an order from Putin for it to try to do so.

Conceivably the evidence of hacking by Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear discovered by CrowdStrike is evidence of this, though the crude way in which those hacks were done suggests they may actually have been the work of someone else.  Russian intelligence would hardly have been the only intelligence service trying to find out as much information about Hillary Clinton (and Donald Trump) as possible, and besides there is reason to think the Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear hacks were the work of private individuals.

In saying all this I wish to make it clear that I do not know for a fact that Russian intelligence did obtain the DNC's and John Podesta's emails.  My point is that they would not have needed an order from Putin to try to do so, since trying to obtain those emails would have been a normal part of their work, and there is no reason to introduce an angry and vengeful Putin to explain them doing it.

As for the question of whether Russian intelligence might have leaked the emails, the only possible scenario where they might have done so would have been if they had found in the emails -- obtained as a result of an entirely conventional intelligence gathering operation almost certainly not ordered by Putin himself -- things that were so damaging to Hillary Clinton that their effect on the election if they were published could be absolutely guaranteed.

At that point Russian intelligence might conceivably have reported this finding to Putin and Russia's Security Council, and have asked for permission to publish the emails.  However given Russia's longstanding policy of not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, and the extremely high political risks for Russia of publishing the emails, it would still even in those circumstances have been highly unlikely that Putin or the Security Council would have granted Russian intelligence permission to publish the emails.

Which in turn brings us to the contents of the emails themselves.  The actual content of the DNC and Podesta emails hardly fits the criteria of something so damaging that it would be guaranteed to effect the outcome of the election if it were published.  Putin himself made this very point in an interview he gave to Bloomberg on 5th September 2016

I could never even imagine that such information would be of interest to the American public or that the campaign headquarters of one of the candidates -- in this case, Mrs. Clinton -- apparently worked for her, rather than for all the Democratic Party candidates in an equal manner. I could never assume that anybody would find it interesting. Thus, in view of what I have said, we could not officially hack it. You know, it would require certain intuition and knowledge of the U.S. domestic policy peculiarities. I am not sure that even our experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have such intuition.

Putin is absolutely right.  Not only would it have required profound knowledge of US politics -- knowledge which the Russians almost certainly don't have -- to see why the contents of the DNC and Podesta emails might be damaging to Hillary Clinton, but it is actually doubtful that the contents of the emails were in fact especially damaging to Hillary Clinton.  Certainly no polling evidence I have seen has proved conclusively that they were.

Given this uncertainty, it is very difficult to believe that the Russians would have taken on themselves the immense risk of meddling in the election by publishing the emails, and of course the people who actually did publish the emails -- Julian Assange and Wikileaks, together with ambassador Craig Murray -- categorically deny that they did.

The BBC article I discussed yesterday reports former Obama administration officials complaining that the FBI is "fumbling" its inquiry because "The FBI doesn't know about Russia" and cannot "see, let alone understand, the bigger picture".

On the contrary it is the "bigger picture" the Trump Dossier gets hopelessly wrong, and which immediately exposes it as a fake.

The Trump Dossier's baroque picture of the Russian decision making process bears some resemblance to the chaotic way the Russian government operated back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when sinister figures like the oligarch Boris Berezovsky and Boris Yeltsin's bodyguard General Korzhakov wielded vast power outside Russia's formal state structures.  That of course was the period when Christopher Steele, the Trump Dossier's compiler, was working in Moscow for MI6, and when he formed his ideas about Russia.

However the Trump Dossier bears no resemblance to the way Russia's government operates today.  Anyone who follows Russian affairs at all closely and whose opinions are not blinded by prejudice can see that immediately.  Unfortunately it seems that such people in the West are in short supply.

So, who's the bad guy in all of this?

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The Russian farce

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Scott Johnson (PowerLine) says that in his weekly NRO column Andy McCarthy demonstrates with great precision how the Democrat/Media Complex persists in "A dangerous fraud" regarding the Russian effect on the 2016 election. In his March 28 NRO column Victor Davis Hanson captured "The Russian farce" that belies the story line that is shoved down our throats with the force of a jackhammer. Referring to Barack Obama's famous hot-mic moment with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, kindly asked by Obama to convey an important message to his friend "Vladimir," Hanson recalls:

Barack Obama naturally wanted to continue a fourth year of his reset and outreach to Vladimir Putin, the same way that he was reaching out to other former American enemies such as the Iranians and the Cubans. Yet Obama was uneasy that his opponent, Mitt Romney, might attack him during his reelection campaign as an appeaser of Putin. Thus, to preempt any such attack, Obama might be forced to appear less flexible (offer less "space") toward Putin than he otherwise would be in a non-election year. In other words, he couldn't publicly assure Putin that he would be "flexible" about implementing missile defense in Eastern Europe ("all these issues") until after he was reelected.

An apprehensive Obama, in his hot-mic moment, was signaling that after his anticipated victory, he would revert to his earlier reset with Putin. And most significantly, Obama wished Putin to appreciate in advance the motives for Obama's campaign-year behavior. Or he at least hoped that Putin would not embarrass him by making international moves that would reflect poorly on Obama's reset policy.

Furthermore, Obama did not want his implicit quid pro quo proposal to become part of the public record. Had it been public, it might have been interpreted as a message to Putin that he should empathize with Obama's plight -- and that he should interfere with the American election by behaving in a way that would empower Obama's candidacy rather than detract from it.

In the present hysterical climate, substitute the name Trump for Obama, and we would be hearing Democratic demands for impeachment on grounds that Trump was caught secretly whispering to the Russians about compromising vital national-security issues in a quid pro quo meant to affect the outcome of the 2012 election.

I've wondered why Obama hazarded to ask Medvedev in public to convey his message to Putin. Was there no opportunity to do so in private? No secure channel? The audacity of a dope? Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes explained it all at the time (per page A14 of the New York Times), but that particular mystery abides.


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Russia threatens to leak things Obama asked Moscow to "keep secret"

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Joshua Caplan (GatewayPundit) is reporting that the Western media missed an oh-so juicy nugget out Russia recently that should have set off alarm bells in Washington.

Asked about the current state of U.S.-Russia relations, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave a long winded answer that can be read below. In her answer, Zakharova suggested Russia may "publish leaks" about "secrets" the Obama administration asked the Russian government to keep private. The shocking statement can be found in the second to last paragraph of Zakharova's answer highlighted in both bold and italic.

You could just imagine the headlines this would have made if this was about a Trump administration official.

But because it is about Barack Obama, arguably one of the worst presidents in US history, the liberal mainstream media ignores this completely.

Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow

As per mid.ru:

Question: How do you see the future of Russian-US diplomatic relations in the context of the current atmosphere in Washington? Can you confirm that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will come to Moscow in April?

Maria Zakharova: Apparently, many volumes have been written about the development of Russian-US relations. I announced the release of the Foreign Ministry's yearend Diplomatic Bulletin and even showed it at the previous briefing. I believe that about 20 per cent of that bulletin was devoted to Russian-US relations, the way we see them, how we want them to develop, what we expect from Washington, what we are willing to do with the United States, the priority areas of cooperation, areas where our cooperation should be revived without delay and the areas where this can wait, at least for a limited time. This issue has been covered in interviews by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, comments by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and in numerous statements made at all levels by representatives from various Russian agencies, political analysts and politicians, as well as officials from the legislative and executive authorities. We can talk about bilateral relations with a different degree of mastery, but we would like to start implementing our relationship at long last.

We provided our views on bilateral relations and the reasons for blocking them under President Obama. We said that we were willing to work with the new US administration, under President Trump. I don't think we need to invent anything in this respect, because so much has been said before. Simply, we should start concrete practical work. We are ready for this.

You know that we always invite our American colleagues and diplomats to join bilateral or multilateral dialogues on issues in which the United States has traditionally played a big and active role, such as Syria, the consultations in Astana and many others. We expect Washington to formulate its foreign policy approaches in the form of a concept. We are ready for pragmatic and specific work on the principles that we have described many times.

As for the visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the information about it, this is what I can say. It's not a secret that preparations for any visit include the coordination of the time when it can be announced. Visits by foreign ministers are public events that are never kept secret. At least, I don't know about any secret visits by foreign ministers in Russia or the United States. Preparations for such a visit also include the coordination of the format, agenda and the date it can be announced to the public. It is a matter of propriety and respect for each other's interests. One side proposes a date, and the other side is expected to accept it. This date should be acceptable to both sides, because the foreign ministers have packed schedules. The issue also concerns the coordination of the agenda by experts. One side informs the other side of the issues it plans to discuss, and the other side needs to respond that the agenda is acceptable. In other words, the sides need to reach agreements on many issues, after which they can announce an upcoming visit. This is how we work with our colleagues.

To tell the truth, over the past few years we've seen many strange things happen in Washington in connection with preparations for visits or talks by our foreign ministers. The US Department of State has more than once asked us not to announce planned visits until the last minute. This is not our tradition. We have been operating openly for years, but we have respected the requests we have received from our colleagues in Washington in the past few years. But what happened after that? First, the US Department of State asked us to keep the planned visit quiet and not to announce it until the last possible minute, until we coordinated the date. We did as they asked. But a day or two later the information was leaked by the US State Department and sometimes by the US administration. Frankly, this put Russia and the media in a strange situation, because they didn't know who to believe -- the official agencies or the many leaks.

It is difficult to say if this diplomatic communication is a US tradition or the latest technique. But it definitely doesn't correspond to our traditions. We believe that everything we coordinate should be made available to the media in accordance with diplomatic procedure. When we coordinate a visit and the date for announcing it, the information should be made public calmly and as agreed. This is what we do in relations with our colleagues from other countries.

As I said, such cases in our relations with the US Department of State have become a bad tradition over the past few years. So, I can say in response to your question that we will make the date and format of contacts between the Russian and US foreign ministers public after we coordinate them. We won't keep them quiet. At this point, I don't have any information I can share with you. I can say that this visit and such contacts are possible in principle, but it would be premature to talk about timeframes.

Also, I would like to say that if the practice of leaking information that concerns not just the United States but also Russia, which has become a tradition in Washington in the past few years, continues, there will come a day when the media will publish leaks about the things that Washington asked us to keep secret, for example, things that happened during President Obama's terms in office. Believe me, this could be very interesting information.

Our American colleagues must decide if they respect the diplomatic procedure, if they keep their word on the arrangements made between us, primarily arrangements made at their own request, or we create a few very nice surprises for each other.

We can only assume that if Obama loyalists still hiding in the White House continue to leak intel, it's inevitable that Russia will drop a bomb about Obama.

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Rush Limbaugh addresses the political assassination of Michael Flynn

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Everybody just calm down, just calm down. All of this was predicted to you, every bit of this was predicted to you. I mean the media behavior. To show you just how lame the media is and how little they've got, they're already asking what did Trump know and when did he know it, and that's not the question. The question is, what did Barack Obama know and when did he know it and what has he engineered here?

This all happened with Flynn back in December. Trump had not even been inaugurated yet. And it's still mysterious to me what really happened. Even if, even if Flynn, as the incoming national security director, had called the Russian ambassador to talk, so what? That's not hard to imagine. That's not a big deal. It really isn't a big deal.

Now, if he lied to Mike Pence and said, "No, no, no, I didn't talk to the guy. I didn't talk to the guy about sanctions. I didn't talk about maybe lifting the sanctions. No, no, no, I didn't." And, if he did do that, if he lied to Pence, then, okay, there's a reason for Flynn to be in trouble and maybe to resign, get out of the way. But for the media to say what did Trump know and when did he know it? Get a grip here, folks.

I realize that a lot of people do not pay a whole lot of attention to this, which is good, but for those of you who are, I can imagine the impact on you, and you're asking, "Well, when's he gonna stop? I mean, how much more of this can anybody take? How much more of this kind of assault and attacking nature can any administration handle. And then the other question, how long can the Republicans in Congress handle it. How long are they gonna stay bucked up and stiff-spined about it, and time will tell on that.

I'm gonna tell you, Trump's not stopping. There will be more ICE raids this afternoon to make people forget about this. The media's gonna try as hard as they can not to let go of this, because now they've got their scalp. They think they have blood in the water, they've got a scalp and they think they can get another and then another and then another and then another until finally they get Trump.

They have become the full-fledged resistance to Trump and they have decided that that's going to be their modus operandi for the next four years. They're not gonna do news. They have now mobilized and made it official, they're even talking about it, some of them are, on cable networks that -- I mean, they disguise the words they use, but the impact is clear that they are going to do everything they can to get Trump out of Washington and out of the White House and out of office.

So what we have here, we have a political assassination that's taken place here, a political assassination, Mike Flynn, who, do you know he worked for Obama four different times? You didn't know that? Let me find the details. In September 2011, Mike Flynn was promoted to lieutenant general assigned to the office of the Director of National Intelligence by Barack Obama. On April 17th, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Michael Flynn to be the 18th director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The defense department has its own intel operation and he ran it, as opposed to the Central Intelligence Agency. It's called the DIA, and it's big, and it's relevant, and it's important, and it does great work, and Flynn ran it after having been promoted to lead it by Obama in 2012. He took command of the DIA in July of 2012. He is a member of the Democrat Party, according to Wikipedia. Michael Flynn is a member of the Democrat Party.

Aside from all of this, he has a reputation as a great man. He's also a hawk. And that's something the left just can't abide. Hawks like Michael Flynn, they may as well be Dr. Strangelove. They want to run around, they want to start nuclear war, they want to destroy the planet, they're deranged, they're unhinged, they love blood and guts, and they love the sound of gunfire and napalm in the morning, and they just love it, and this is totally unacceptable.

So we have a resignation over a phone call, a freaking phone call. The Democrats don't resign when they're caught red-handed with their hand in the till or in bed with an intern or whatever else transgression the Democrats engage in. There are no resignations and there are no demands for resignations. And if you want to compare the Trump administration to the Obama administration, you just need to ask yourself one question: Why did you vote for Trump?

Eight years of the Obama administration, it may not have appeared to be chaotic and it may not have appeared to be amateur hour and it may not have appeared to be out of control, but it was in terms of its agenda. The Obama administration was trying to dismantle the United States of America. That's why everybody voted for Trump! And the people that supported Obama and were trying to dismantle the United States of America are still out trying to do it and now doing so via taking aim at Trump and his administration.

Flynn I guess didn't want to be a distraction, especially given how worked up the Drive-Bys are. ‘Cause the Drive-Bys are seeing a Russian under every bed. The Drive-Bys are seeing a Russian at every computer keyboard. You know, they walk in their own offices, see a keyboard, they see a computer, and they think the Russians are there.

Now, the media is saying that Flynn's conversation with the Russian ambassador back in December could have left him open to blackmail. Are we serious about this? Flynn was open to blackmail? Who was it that the Drive-Bys wanted to see as president in? That would be Hillary Rodham Clinton, who could have been blackmailed six ways from Sunday by the Russians and who the heck else we know.

We don't know who has those 34,000 emails that she deleted. We don't know who has Tom Brady's jersey. (laughing) We're trying to find both. We don't know what top national security secrets were revealed in those 34,000 emails. This is a woman whose home brew server was hacked by world powers, the ChiComs, the Russians. This is a woman who, with her famous Russian reset, embarrassed the United States of America.

Blackmail?

Here's Hillary Clinton who had collected campaign contributions supposed in advance that were nothing more than advance payments for policy considerations. She was selling access to the Oval Office via the Clinton administration. You want to talk about blackmail? You are vworried about blackmail and Michael Flynn and Donald Trump when you were going to have Hillary Clinton in the White House if you had your way?

But if you watched yesterday's press conference, if you read about the fallout from it this morning, the Drive-Bys now smell blood, and they're pig-biting mad they weren't able to ask Trump the Flynn question yesterday 'cause Trump is calling on conservative media now in these press conferences, and it's really ripping the Drive-Bys a new one. They just can't abide it. But, folks, I really… I don't want to sound like I'm delivering admonitions or warnings. Just a reassuring sense here that all of this was predicted.

It was going to happen, just like the protests that magically and immediately sprang up after Trump announced his executive order. This is who the left is. This is what you voted against. This is what you wanted no more of, this behavior. Not by Trump, not by Flynn. What you voted against -- the reason you voted for Trump -- is exactly what you're seeing day to day now from the left and from the Democrat Party and from the media. Now, I've had this story laying about. I've addressed this story once, and I've kept it laying around.

There have been little additions to this story. This a Paul Sperry piece from the New York Post back on late Saturday night, Sunday: "How Obama Is Scheming to Sabotage Trump's Presidency." Now, this also should not be news. Two years before Obama's term of office ended, I made repeated predictions that Obama would set a presidential precedent, that he would be the first president to not go away after he leaves office, and I figured this out when I first heard that Obama was going to stay in Washington.

I predicted, correctly so, that Obama was going to do whatever necessary to make sure that any unraveling of his agenda by Trump would be stopped, that an effort would be made to stop it. Now, one thing I predicted that hasn't come true: I predicted that Obama would call the network friends of his and go on TV and rip Trump. That has yet to happen. It's more clandestine than that. There is actually a behind-the-scenes effort to sabotage Trump's administration. And I can give you a name, one person who's actively engaged in it, twice now: Sally Yates.

She was the acting attorney general because the Democrats in the Senate delayed confirmation of Trump's cabinet appointees, including Jeff Sessions to be the attorney general. And it turns out… You know, Sally Yates was the one who refused to defend Trump's executive order banning travel from those six countries and Syria. She also, it turns out, supposedly advised the Trump administration that Flynn was talking to the Russians on a phone call back in December. Now, the question arises: How did anybody know?

There is a huge problem. You want to be concerned about a problem? I'll give you a problem to be concerned about, and that's the leaks that are coming from the Trump administration. Except I don't think they're coming from the Trump administration. I think it's part of Obama scheming to sabotage Trump's presidency. ‘Cause we've discussed this. The bureaucracy is filled with embedded leftists who've not been elected. They've been appointed. Some of them are in there for their lifetimes. They're in there as career appointees, not political appointees, which means they say no matter who the president is.

The left has been stocking, so to speak, the bureaucracy with its own people just like they've been stocking the judiciary with their own judges. There's all kinds of leaking going on, and even the details of this phone call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador. Somebody knows about it and somebody leaked it. Sally Yates is out saying (paraphrased), "I tried to warn the Trump people! I tried to warn the Trump people! But the Trump people weren't listening. Maybe the Trump… I don't know what the Trump people do but they weren't listening."

She's trying to say that she tried to save 'em. There really isn't any precedent for this. No president has ever formed a shadow government to sabotage the next president. Yet that is what Paul Sperry alleges in his piece in the New York Post over the weekend. Obama, according to this piece, has organized 32,000 well-trained "agitators" (i.e., community organizers) and these are the people who are going into Republican town halls, into Republican districts and overwhelming the meetings. Jason Chaffetz finally called it out the other day.

Somebody was asking him (sniveling reporter), "So, Congressman, what about your town halls? It looks like your constituents are just so opposed to what you're doing," and he shot back, "These are not my constituents! These are bought and paid for leftist protesters, and they're being paid to be here." He's exactly right. That's exactly who they are. They are being paid by Democrat donors. At the top of that list is George Soros. Some of the people that donated to Hillary Clinton's campaign, some of the people that donated to Barack Obama's campaigns are paying for all this.

The media is not impartial. The media's not sitting back, biding its time, twiddling its thumbs and then seeing what's happening here and reporting the outrage. The media is creating the outrage. The media is the blood in the water. The media is the assassination squad. The media is the Democrat Party. The media is the resistance. And you have to openly admit this and be aware of it if you're going to partake of what the Drive-By Media broadcasts, prints, and reports each and every day. A pull quote from the Paul Sperry piece:

Obama is "doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action." That is a new subdivision of Obama's protest group, if you will, that he formed after he was inaugurated called Organize for America. It was Organizing for America that, I think, gave birth to Occupy Wall Street, sort of a subhead. Now it's called Organizing for Action. Sperry writes, "Normally you'd expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama's [Organizing for Action].

"Rather, it's gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country." (interruption) Sally Yates. (interruption) What did I say, Sally Quinn? Well, could have been Sally Yates. You know, she's a Drive-By journalist out of Los Angeles. Sally Yates. It's a Sally. "Bring Sally up. Bring Sally down." Moby [Flower]! B-Side: "Bring Sally up. Bring Sally down." Anyway, 250 Organizing for America offices under the auspices of Barack Hussein O have opened around the country since Obama has left office, and they are gearing up for battle.

They have a growing war chest and more than, as I say, 250 offices around the country. Now, I don't want to get bogged down. What usually happens here is the left goes out on the attack -- they've claimed a scalp here -- and in the past I have seen it as my duty to spend some time defending against the assault that has taken place. At times, it's been necessary. But I'm not gonna take the bait, folks. I'm just not gonna accept the premise and defend things on the basis that they're right and that Trump's wrong and that Trump's bad, and that Trump's incompetent, and his administration shouldn't be…

I'm not even gonna go there. It's a waste of time, and it pushes forward a premise of theirs that I do not want to credit or acknowledge or give any credence to.

Grab me sound bite 21. We just got this. Marie Harf is guesting on a Fox program right now. It's the all-babes show with one guy in the middle, and it's called One Lucky Guy. No, the show is called Outnumbered. They got one guy in there with four women and he's got act PC. Anyway, they put her in there, and she's from the Obama State Department, and… (interruption) What? Yes, I know. "Sally Yates." (interruption) Yes, yes, yes. I just needed a couple of minutes in the last segment which is the only reason I spent any.

We didn't have time to get any substance or whatever. (interruption) No. No, no. Okay. Here's what I think. I don't think Flynn resigned; I think he was cut loose. He probably had no problem going because he doesn't want to be a distraction, but the guy has a distinguished record; he's hawk; the Democrats hate people like this. But I don't think Trump should have caved, if that's what happened, if Trump asked for his resignation, 'cause I think that's what happened here. I mean, I know they're gonna portray it as Flynn resigning.

This is the way these things are done. But I think this is a tactical mistake, folks, giving them a scalp like this. This is only gonna intensify this. Once you let the media and the Democrats know that they can force you to get rid of people you've put in your administration, they're not gonna stop. Who's the media gonna want next? I'll give you a name: Kellyanne Conway. They're not gonna stop until they get rid of Kellyanne Conway. And next it's gonna be Spicer. When did Saturday Night Live become news, by the way?

Saturday Night Live -- a failing comedy show before Trump came along -- does their skits on Saturday night, and it's the lead news item the next day on Sunday and into Monday, just like it was when what's-her-name, Tina Fey, was impersonating Sarah Palin. I remember one year when Barbara Walters was still working at ABC News. It was the last… I've made this list two or three times, the top ten not most famous, but most fascinating people of the year. And I was on that list three times. And the last time I was on that list, you know who else was?
 Tina Fey, for her impersonation of Sarah Palin.

Well, if you're gonna have somebody impersonating Palin as one of the most fascinating people of the year, why don't you just go for the real thing and put Palin on the list? But everybody's going around, "Melissa McCarthy? Oh, my God! This is the greatest ever. Did you see the way she makes fun of Sean Spicer and then Alec Baldwin and Trump?" When did what happens on Saturday night become news? They report this as hard news. "Saturday Night Live once again skewered the Trump administration!"

What, are you people in the Drive-Bys unable to do it well enough so now you've got a credit a comedy show late-night on Saturday for this? So Kellyanne Conway. That's who they're gonna go for next. Anybody disagree with me on this? And then they're gonna go for Spicer. And who knows where they're gonna stop? But they're not gonna stop. That's the point. I would have just smiled and kept going. Flynn… It's not even clear, because we're dealing with leaks here, and Flynn has said that he's not certain.

He told Pence that he didn't speak about sanctions to the Russians and then thought that he might have and so forth. It's not even clear that he lied, but I don't want to split hairs on that. That's getting too much in the weeds. This is right out in front of us. There's obviously somebody or numerous people in the Trump administration who thought they could end this by giving the Drive-Bys Flynn, but it's not gonna end anything; it never does. It's just going to intensify -- and once they've secured a scalp, they're gonna keep going for more.

And you're either gonna keep giving them scalps or you're gonna put your foot down and move on and tell 'em to go pound sand. I mean, this man had worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was a patriot. He'd worked for both administrations, a pro-life Democrat. His only sin was that he was in the Trump administration. And I'll tell you what this is. You know what this is really all about? I'll tell you what this is. This is what the Democrats are so irritated, and this is why I know that Obama's post-presidential sabotage program is here.

What is this about? This is about Flynn, the incoming national security adviser, calling the Russians to talk about sanctions. Well, what sanctions? Well, it just so happens these are the sanctions that Obama slapped on the Russians for their supposed hacking of our election. I'm sorry, folks, but that's a bogus premise to begin with. The Russians had nothing to do with whoever won our election. That, they could not have done. Did they try? Who knows? Do they always try? Probably.

Are they alone in trying to screw up the way things work in this country? No. Was it the first time the Russians had tried to hack a party server or network? No. They just happened to succeed this time, and all of the data that they released through WikiLeaks happened to be very damning to John Podesta and the Democrats. So Obama puts sanctions on Russia, and I'll tell you what I think about this. I think Obama knew this is all just for show, like he knew this is all bogus. He had to do this.

He's got this rabid base out there that has to be fed its diet of hate every day and every week. Obama's leaving office, and the Democrats can never lose an election because of their ideas. Whenever the Democrats lose an election, it's either voter fraud -- which, of course, does not exist when Republicans allege it. They either lose because of voter fraud or somebody cheated or somebody lied or something else went wrong. Their messaging was bad. It's never their ideas. Never! Including in this one.

So this was one the lame excuse for why Hillary lost -- even though she has a record of losing elections like this -- the Russians. And it goes further. Not just that the Russians sabotaged the Democrats. The Russians love Trump. The Russians are in bed with Trump. And we are supposed to hate the Russians. Well, the Democrats used to be in bed with the Soviet Union. The Democrats loved Soviet leaders. They loved Mikhail Gorbachev. They loved Brezhnev. They loved Yuri Andropov. They loved them all.

They hated Ronald Reagan. They counseled the Soviet Union how to get along and get by with Reagan until they, the Democrats, could get back in power. That was our old buddy Ted Kennedy that did that. So now here come the Democrats, all of a sudden outraged that there might be a relationship between Trump and Russia when the Democrats have lived off of a practical love affair with the Soviet Union for all those years. The hypocrisy here, the stench is so bad I can barely inhale.

So they have to come up with a trumped-up excuse of why they lost that can't have anything to do with their ideas. So it's the Russians! The Russians tampered. The Russians hacked the election. The Russians interfered. And they keep browbeating, 'cause Obama had said in months prior to the election -- Obama official statements from the government -- that Russian hacking had nothing to do with it. Obama claimed it wasn't successful.

Obama went out numerous times and claimed is that the Russians' attempts to hack Hillary's server and all this had never worked because it was in Obama's best interests to portray a picture where the Russians were incompetent, where they were not invasive, where they didn't succeed, and he went out and made this point two or three times, despite the fact that their president, Barack Obama himself, was telling everybody the Russian hack didn't happen, and this is months before the election. And then he did it again when they demanded that he say something about it. He made it clear.

But then after the election Trump wins and they have just discombobulated, can't figure it out, they went back to it, the Russians are to blame, the Russians did it, and then Trump's in bed with 'em. All because Trump wouldn't criticize Putin. All because Trump seemed to be flattered when Putin complimented him. Russians getting scared to death. Trump getting the Democrats to get scared to death. The Democrats, "Oh, my God, this guy's in bed with the Russians and the Russians killed us, the Russians destroyed our chance at the election."

So they got Russia on their mind. Next thing that happened, Flynn, the incoming national security director, is talking to the Russian ambassador and it is supposedly a private phone conversation, we don't know how it leaked, probably from Sally Yates. Sally Yates somehow got access to the details of the phone call, leaks it out. Now we know Flynn's talking to the Russians. What does this all add up to? I will tell you.

The Democrats and their allies are convinced that Flynn was assuring the Russians that Obama's little sanctions were gonna be yanked away as soon as Trump got into office. That's what they think was going on. That is the elephant in the room. Nobody want to speculate on the details of the conversation. Flynn can't assure anybody he had the conversation, but I'll tell you, you put a Democrat on TV and I'll tell you what's in their mind.

They are offended, they are outraged because they have got themselves believing that Flynn was telling the Russian ambassador in advance, "Don't worry about Obama's sanctions. Obama's history, he's gone. Our boy Trump is gonna pull 'em out, he's gonna yank 'em, he's gonna remove the sanctions not long after he's inaugurated." That's what they think went on. Do you doubt me, Mr. Snerdley?

That is what they think went on, and they think that would be outrageous because Obama was a legitimate president when he slapped those sanctions on and those sanctions should stay on Russia because Russia stole the election from Hillary. And they think Flynn was assuring -- maybe others have speculated this, I haven't heard, but I know this is what everybody's underwear's in a wad over when they think about Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador.

Let's not forget that it was Obama a month before the 2012 elections who told Dmitry Medvedev -- a little short guy, about 5'4, he's one of Putin's number one aides. It was a hot mic, Obama didn't know the mic was still on and Obama is telling Medvedev (paraphrasing), "Tell Vlad to relax, that I'll have a lot more flexibility after I win the election." He was talking about getting rid of American nuclear weapons. Putin wasn't satisfied with the speed with which Obama was denuking us, and he wanted Medvedev to tell Putin, "Don't sweat it. I got it handled. I'll have much more flexibility, 'cause nobody can do anything to me then. After I win the election, can't run again, they can't do anything to me."

So here come the Democrats and here's Obama, we actually have evidence of him colluding with Putin. And now these guys are all upset because they are convinced that Flynn was telling the Russians, "Don't sweat it, we're gonna yank Obama's sanctions off and it's gonna be fine and dandy once Trump gets into office." That's what they're desperately trying to find out. That's what they want to know. Dollar to a doughnut, I'm just giving you my wild guest assessment here.

This is not gonna end well if this keeps up, if these kinds of Democrats demand Flynn go, people demand Flynn go when this is hardly a fireable or resignable offense, unless the lie to Pence was just provable and blatant. But do you think the Democrats are concerned that Flynn lied to Pence and for that reason Flynn has to go? It has nothing to do with it as far as the Democrats are concerned. They couldn't care less about that. I got the Harf sound bite here. I'll play that when we get back.

So the Democrats have their press conference going: What did President Trump know and when. And they're all saying it doesn't end with this. This affair doesn't -- what affair? What really happened here? If you want a little history about the Democrats and Flynn, I'll tell you. This phone call leak, Flynn and his conversation with the Russian ambassador in December, it's just the latest excuse for the media to go after Flynn.

Before they heard about that phone call, the Drive-Bys were demanding that Flynn resign because once upon a time he participated in a forum that was sponsored by Russia Today. Russia Today had a forum, he shows up, they wanted him to resign over that. Back in February of 2017, February 1st, a couple of weeks, six House Democrats sent a letter to the secretary of defense James "Mad Dog" Mattis requesting an investigation into Flynn's connection to Russia Today, which happened back in 2015.

The Democrats claim that Flynn violated the anti-bribery foreign emoluments clause by accepting money from Russia Today to appear in their forum. Are you kidding me? All these same people who had no problem with Bill and Hillary's paid speeches from whoever, from ChiCom leaders, ChiCom business leaders, anybody around the world were paying the Clintons 350, $275,000 to come make speeches, and she's running for president, and they not once expressed any concern whatsoever about bribery, blackmail, or any of the other things that they're now alleging that Flynn was guilty of because of a one-time appearance at something called Russia Today back in 2015. That is it.

Flynn was a patriot, is a patriot, he had Trump's back, he loved Donald Trump. He was one of the early possibilities for secretary of defense. I remember him at Trump rallies. He even appeared in a debate-like thing. He didn't do well in this debate, but there was no question he was totally behind Trump because he really believed this country is a great nation at risk in a dangerous world and that our threats are both external and internal, and he wanted to to root 'em out. And the Democrats know all this.

So now they want to portray this guy as some insane general that wants to start wars that's taking money from Rand is in violation of all kinds of -- Then he's out there with that phone call to the Russian ambassador, and I guarantee you that they think that Flynn was promising the Russians to lift Obama's sanctions, which would be like canceling the Ten Commandments as far as they're concerned.

Here's Marie Harf. She was the State Department spokesman for a time during the Obama administration talking about all this on Fox moments ago:

HARF: Look, Flynn had to go. But broader than that I think is the question of this administration's relationship with Russia.

RUSH: See?

HARF: The content of that call does matter, I think. Either Flynn made this call going rogue or is part of a strategy that the incoming administration had to be closer with Russia. I think that's concerning. I think that matters, and so going forward Flynn is out, that was right, but I do think we need to take a hard look at where this administration is going with Russia. Just look at the news today about the ship off the coast of Delaware. This is serious shift.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, there's a ship, there's a Russian trawler off the coast of Delaware, you know why? So that Flynn could have a secret network to speak with the Russian ambassador even though he has resigned. What do they think? The Russians are allies of Trump? These people are the ones that are insane. Marie Harf has just demonstrated that she is irrational and her feet are not on the ground about any of this. These are the dangerous people when it comes to protecting this country.

RUSH: Susan Rice lies five times, five different Sunday morning TV shows, on what happened in Benghazi, the video being behind it. Marie Harf, no care, no problem. This is way out of proportion here, folks, way, way, way gone.

Rush Limbaugh


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The national defense strategy is predicated on Obama's momentary pique

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Obama has a hissy fit and back in go the troops.

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Related:  Hundreds of U.S. Marines land in Norway, irking Russia



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Russian ambassador invited Trump administration to Syria peace talks

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ABC.COM is reporting that Russia's ambassador to the U.S. invited the Trump administration to Syrian peace talks during a phone call in December -- on the same day the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its hacking during the U.S. election -- a Trump spokesperson said Friday.

Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak extended the invitation to the talks, which are scheduled for later this month, during a phone call with President-elect Donald Trump's incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on December 29th, the day the U.S. issued sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country.

The Obama administration was unsuccessful in securing a seat in Syria peace negotiations during talks with Russia and other regional powers and has been excluded from the most recent rounds. The next talks about Syria are scheduled for January 23rd in Astana, Kazakhstan, three days after Trump takes office.

Spicer initially told reporters the conversation between Flynn and Kislyak only focused on arranging a phone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump after the Inauguration.

"They exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call," Spicer said. "That was it. Plain and simple."

But Spicer later told ABC News the phone call included an invitation from the Russian ambassador to the Syrian peace talks. He emphasized that the topic of U.S. sanctions against Russia did not come up during the conversation.

Spicer said that Flynn and Kislyak exchanged text messages greetings on Christmas day. On December 29th, the same day the Obama administration announced its response to Russia's election-related hacking, Kislyak sent Flynn a text message asking if they could speak by phone. Flynn accepted the invitation, Spicer said. Spicer initially told reporters they spoke on the phone on December 28th, but later told ABC News he misspoke and clarified the call occurred on December 29th.

The Russian embassy declined to comment specifically on the call, but confirmed the ambassador will attend Trump's inauguration.

"The Embassy does not comment on multiple contacts, which are carried out on a daily basis with local interlocutors," a spokesperson for the Russian embassy told ABC News. "According to the practice and protocol rules, foreign ambassadors are invited to the U.S. president's inauguration. The invitation to the event addressed to Russia's ambassador Sergey Kislyak was received from the State Department. The ambassador will participate in the event."

The Washington Post previously reported Flynn spoke with Kislyak multiple times on December 29th, the same day the Obama administration formally announced sanctions and kicked 35 Russian diplomats out of the country.

The State Department and the White House both agreed today that there's nothing wrong with the incoming administration making contact with diplomats, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he could neither raise an objection to this specific call nor deem it appropriate without knowing exactly what was said.

"As a general matter, you know on principle, you can imagine why these kinds of interactions may have taken place, why the incoming national security advisor may have the need to contact the representative of a foreign government based here in Washington D.C.," Earnest told reporters at the White House briefing today. "It depends on what they discussed. It depends on what he said, in terms of whether or not we would have significant objections about those conversations."



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Russian Foreign Ministry says Obama has destroyed US-Russia relations. We're tired of his lies

Jim Hoft (GatewayPundit) is reporting that Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova released a response, yesterday, to the Obama administration's latest actions.

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Zakharova blamed Obama for destroying US-Russia relations and blasted the lame duck president for the continued lies about Russian hackers affecting the November election:

The outgoing US administration has not given up on its hope of dealing one last blow to relations with Russia, which it has already destroyed. Using obviously inspired leaks in the US media, it is trying to threaten us again with expansion of anti-Russian sanctions, "diplomatic" measures and even subversion of our computer systems. Moreover, this final New Year's "greeting" from Barack Obama's team, which is already preparing to leave the White House, is being cynically presented as a response to some cyber-attacks from Moscow.

Frankly speaking, we are tired of lies about Russian hackers that continue to be spread in the United States from the very top. The Obama administration launched this misinformation half a year ago in a bid to play up to the required nominee at the November presidential election and, having failed to achieve the desired effect, has been trying to justify its failure by taking it out with a vengeance on Russian-US relations.

However, the truth about the White House-orchestrated provocation is bound to surface sooner or later. In fact, this is already happening. On December 8, US media quoted Georgia's Secretary of State Brian Kemp as saying that the local authorities tracked down the origin of a hacker attack on his voter registration database after the election. The attack was traced to an IP address of the Department of Homeland Security. This was followed by an attempt to quickly cover up this information by a flood of new anti-Russian accusations that did not contain a single piece of evidence.

We can only add that if Washington takes new hostile steps, it will receive an answer. This applies to any actions against Russian diplomatic missions in the United States, which will immediately backfire at US diplomats in Russia. The Obama administration probably does not care at all about the future of bilateral relations, but history will hardly forgive it for this après-nous-le-deluge attitude.

I found it interesting that in the Zakharova statement, she didn't use Obama's title when referring to him by name -- a clear diplomatic slight and a show of disrespect.



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Rushing roulette

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Stilton Jarlsberg (HopeNChange) says after repeatedly having his ass handed to him by Vladimir Putin for the past 8 years, Barack Obama decided yesterday that it was "now or never" to finally take strong action against Russia... whether Russia had done anything wrong or not.

Which is why, in reaction to the so-called "election hacking," Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats (described by the White House as "intelligence agents") out of the country, closed a couple of domestic Russian facilities (described by the White House as "intelligence agencies"), and promised to unleash a cyber counterattack (described by the computer literate as "fat chance").

Unfortunately, despite requests from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Barry has failed to produce any compelling evidence that Russia was behind the Wikileaks document releases which revealed to American voters that the Democratic party, from Hillary on down, is populated by sleazy, bribe-mongering crooks, lunatics, and sex addicts. In fact, it's highly questionable whether any final intelligence analysis will even hit Obama's desk before he leaves office -- making the timing of his saber-rattling highly suspect if not downright dangerous.

Mind you, Hope n' Change isn't suggesting that Russia didn't hack into the email servers of Hillary, Leon Panetta, and the DNC. Of course they did. The cyber-porch lights were left on, the cyber-front door was wide open, and there was a big cyber-sign on the porch saying "please don't steal anything while we're not home."

The secret keepers were, in the laughable words of James Comey, "extremely careless." Meaning neither Russia nor anyone else had to be extremely clever to steal documents.

But all of that being said, no evidence has been presented that it was Russia who gave damning but 100% truthful documents to Wikileaks. It could have been a mischievous high school kid or, our personal belief and that of Julian Assamge, a Democratic insider who wanted to save our nation from Hillary.

Which is why it's disconcerting that Obama, while still vacationing in Hawaii, has prematurely chosen retaliatory action against the only suspect who has a huge nuclear arsenal and pretty much no sense of humor.

Perhaps, before the big ball drops in Times Square on New Year's Eve, he just wants everyone (especially Historians) to think that after 8 simpering years in office his own balls have finally dropped.

Obama presents his evidence against the Russian hacking:

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Obama plans to sanction Russia prior to leaving office

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Sundance (Conservativetreehouse) is reporting that the White House is preparing to announce retaliatory measures against Russia for its role in directing cyber attacks in the United States, two senior officials confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday.

In October, the United States formally blamed Russia for political hacking attacks, saying they were intended to interfere with American elections. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax that the accusations are “nonsense.”

The new actions, which would be an update of a 2015 executive order, could be announced as early Thursday or Friday, the officials said. They would also likely include economic sanctions coordinated by the Treasury department.

The unannounced measures will be covert and include cyber options, NBC News reported. (read more)

No one has ever produced any evidence that the Russians "hacked" the election. No one!

It is impossible to "direct cyber attacks" against electronic voting machines that are NOT on a network.

Julian Assange has repeatedly said that the email files were hand delivered to WikiLeaks.

Real Fake news?



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Russia mocks the USA for refusing to fight terrorism

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Joe Scudder (Constitution.com) says I wouldn't normally go to Sputnik news, but Drudge directed me to this story about how Russia mocks the U.S. government for its inaction (at best) in Syria.

The Russian Defense Ministry commented on the US State Department's calls not to help tankers shipping fuel to the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria. If Washington cannot or does not want to fight terrorists, it should not get in the way, the ministry's spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

US State Department's spokesman Mark Toner urged other countries not to provide support for Russian tankers shipping fuel to the Russian aviation group in Syria.

"Such statements, unfortunately, only confirm our earlier estimates that fighting terrorism in Syria has never been on the outgoing administration's agenda," Konashenkov said.

Washington had impeded negotiations, did not separate terrorists and opposition and now openly called on other countries to hamper Moscow's anti-terrorism fight in Syria "to somehow downplay the failures of US policies in the country since 2014", the spokesman said. Konashenkov said that the US-led coalition can only dream of a success comparable to the one Russia has achieved for a year: over 2,000 settlements have joined ceasefire, 86 armed groups have stopped fighting and hundreds of thousands of Syrians have returned to peaceful life to rebuild the country.

I don't know how accurate these claims are, but the basic thrust of the message is all too credible. The administration lies about Russia, while it risks World War III in defense of terrorists.

So, what does the U.S. media do?

This L. A. Times story is typical.

Over the last year, Russia's Defense Ministry has released dozens of videos showing how its bombers and fighter jets hit targets in Syria or supported President Bashar Assad's ground troops with gunfire and missiles.

[…]

The videos have served as effective promotional tools for Russian aircraft; air defense missile systems and missiles; "smart" bombs guided by lasers or satellites; diesel submarines; jamming communication systems; tanks; sniper rifles and modified AK-47s, analysts and other observers say.

Russia's arms exports this year are expected to total at least $14 billion, and next year's figure is expected to be higher, officials say.

From 2011 to 2015, Russia was responsible for a quarter of global arms exports, second to the United States' 33%, and ahead of third place China's 5.9%, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a security monitor.

Thus, the entire effort of Russia to fight al Qaeda is diminished to an attempt to sell arms. Yet the story admits that Russia is second to the United States in selling arms. So why isn't the story about the U.S.? By this logic, all U.S. military efforts should be interpreted as an attempt to export arms to buyers all over the world.

It seems to me that, now that Russia has rejected communism, the liberals are extracting revenge by reinventing the Red Scare against the Kremlin.

Hopefully, Donald Trump will stop this policy.

The bottom line here is that Russia is supporting al-Assad, the lawful leader of Syria, while Obama is supporting the Islamists.

Obama's strategy in the Middle East -- the "Arab Spring" -- was to overthrow secular leaders -- Mubarack in Egypt; Ghaddafi in Libya; al-Maliki in Iraq and al-Assad in Syria and replace them with members of the Muslim Brotherhood..

The result of Obama's policy is a total disaster -- hundreds of thousand dead and millions displaced.


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"Stand up" comedian

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Stilton Jarlsberg (HopeNChange) says: We can't help but laugh (and it's that shrill, scary laugh) when we hear Barack Obama telling Donald Trump to "stand up to Russia where they are deviating from our values and our international norms."

You know, sort of like Barry has stood up to Russia regarding Ukraine, Syria, the build up and redeployment of nuclear missiles, cyber attacks, and the increasing games of "chicken" Russia is playing with its warcraft and the borders of our allies.

Seriously, it's time for someone to stage an intervention for this Lame Douche -- er, Duck. He's out of touch with reality, and he should really look into getting mental help while it's still covered on his executive healthcare plan instead of ObamaCare.

Obama, stammering as he tried to get the words out of his mouth, really urged Trump to follow his "blueprint" for Russia.

Why would anybody do that? Russia (Putin) has pushed Obama around at will.

Obama is beginning to realize that he is going to be a footnote in history.



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Trump and Putin vow to tackle ISIS together

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The Mirror is reporting that President-elect Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin have vowed to tackle ISIS together after holding breakthrough talks on the telephone.

Less than a week after the billionaire’s election, the Kremlin said Putin called Trump yesterday to begin negotiations over how best to tackle to terrorism.

The Russian is reported to have said he is ready for dialogue with the US "on the basis of mutual respect, non-intervention into each other’s internal affairs."

According to the news agency Kremlin, Putin and Trump have agreed to "work to channel bilateral relationships into constructive cooperation, to combine efforts to tackle international terrorism and extremism, and to continue contact by telephone and to work towards meeting in person."

"The importance of creating a solid basis for bilateral ties was underscored, in particularly by developing the trade-economic component," the Kremlin said in its statement.

It added that the countries should "return to pragmatic, mutually beneficial cooperation, which would address the interests of both countries as well as stability and safety the world over."

The call is a marked shift in relations between the two countries who have been at loggerheads under the Obama administration.

Trump will take office on January 20, replacing Obama, whose relations with Putin have become tense over various issues including Syria and Ukraine.

The thawing of tensions could have implications for American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has been in exile in Moscow since stealing US spy details and publishing them online.

In a statement, Trump's office said: "President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia."

It added that Putin called the billionaire to offer his congratulations on his election.

It comes as top ISIS commander Abu Omar Khorasani has said Trump is a "complete maniac" who will aid the terror group's cause.

Khorasani, based in Afghanistan, said the president-elect's shock victory over Hillary Clinton will help ISIS recruit new fighters, especially youth in the West.

At one point during his lengthy presidential campaign, the Republican candidate and business mogul called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

Khorasani told Reuters: "This guy is a complete maniac. His utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands."

Trump has promised to wipe out radical groups like ISIS during his presidency, although he has offered few details on how he plans to accomplish that.


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Putin threatens war -- will shoot down American planes

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Martin Walsh (ConservativeDailyPost) is reporting that Russia and the United States have never been allies. One easily remembers how tense and long-lasting the Cold War was, and it left Russia very angry that they suffered such a demoralizing defeat as a world power.

While the United States should not become Vladimir Putin’s best friend, we also have to realize that Russia is a super power in this world and we must take them seriously.

Hillary and Obama dislike Putin because he only answers to strength and toughness, which is exactly why it is evident he likes Donald Trump.

As a way to project strength, Obama and Hillary continue to call Putin every name in the book while blaming him for cyber attacks and WikiLeaks.

On Friday, October 21, Putin issued a global message that if Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama continue to slander Russia, he was going to shoot down U.S. jets in the Middle East and begin to prepare for World War III.

But now, As of Sunday, October 23, Putin has ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to begin training and managing all local authorities, law enforcement, and state security as they are preparing for a nuclear war with the United States.

And with the United States at the eve of war, Hillary Clinton has spent the last two days blaming Putin and Russia for WikiLeaks and continues to call him a "thug puppet."

Moscow is sending a blunt message to Obama and Hillary by deploying a dozens ships, including an aircraft carrier, to conduct operations in Syria. On top of that, Putin is set to deploy more Russian spy ships to survey underwater internet cables in the region, as well.

Reuters cited a diplomat on condition of anonymity who said Russia is deploying all of the Northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War.

This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia's strategy to declare victory there, the diplomat said.

This move originally began as the U.S. and Russia continued to disagree over Syria, but now it has become the first step towards World War III.

Putin has told Obama that if he does not begin to cooperate and allow Russia to help, he will begin to shoot down American jets as well as aim his missiles towards the United States.

This has nothing to do with whether or not Russia could defeat the United States. This is a result of Obama and Hillary risking war with Russia just because they want to blame Putin for WikiLeaks rather than take blame for their leaked emails.

As we all recall, Hillary Clinton sold Russia 20 percent of our uranium a few years ago in exchange for $145,000,000 to the Clinton Foundation. So if Russia did not possess enough uranium to bolster their nuclear arsenal then, they have been sufficiently equipped thanks to Hillary Clinton.

No, Russia cannot defeat the United States, but why not attempt to make the relationship better? Donald Trump has openly stated he will work with Russia to eliminate ISIS from the Middle East. According to Hillary and Democrats, that is a terrible idea.

Vladimir Putin will continue to take precautions for nuclear war with the United States because they know if Hillary Clinton wins this election, she will engage in warlike conflicts. As Secretary of State, she created wars in Libya, Syria, and Iran while also creating ISIS.

Who can blame Russia for taking precautions? If a President Clinton scares Russia so badly that they are preparing their entire country for nuclear war, imagine how scared we should be as Americans.


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Russia taunts Obama with the biggest military offensive since the Cold War

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Ben Farmer (Telegraph) is reporting that Russia has begun its biggest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War as it aims to effectively end the war in Syria on the eve of the US election, NATO officials warned last night.

The Kremlin is sending the full might of its Northern Fleet and part of the Baltic Fleet to reinforce a final assault on the city of Aleppo in a fortnight, according to Western intelligence.

The final bombardment is designed to shore up the Assad regime by wiping out rebels – paving the way for a Russian exit from the civil war.

The assault on the city will also serve to highlight US inaction in the run-up to election day and may aid Donald Trump.

Yesterday, ahead of this morning’s debate with Hillary Clinton, his presidential campaign released a letter from defense experts backing plans to increase the size of the US military.

Royal Navy warships are due to escort a group of eight Russian warships, including the country’s only aircraft carrier, as they sail past the UK on their way to the Mediterranean.

Senior Royal Navy officers expect the task force to sail past the UK as early as Thursday in a show of strength dismissed as “posturing” by defense sources.

But a senior Nato diplomat said the deployment from the Northern Fleet’s base near Murmansk would herald a renewed attack in Aleppo.

“They are deploying all of the Northern Fleet and much of the Baltic Fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War,” the diplomat said.

“This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there.”

The additional military firepower is designed to drive out or destroy the 8,000 rebels in Aleppo, the only large city still in opposition hands, and to allow Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to start a withdrawal.

An intensified air campaign in eastern Aleppo, where 275,000 people are trapped, would further worsen ties between Moscow and the West, which says the Kremlin may be responsible for war crimes.

Mr Trump has consistently praised Mr Putin as a strong leader and has promised a closer relationship with Russia if he wins the Nov 8 US election. He has suggested that, if elected, he would meet the Russian president before the inauguration in January.

Mr Putin has returned the compliment, calling the Republican nominee “outstanding and talented” – one of his closest political allies, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, urged Americans to vote for Mr Trump, calling him a “gift to humanity”.

Barack Obama said earlier this week that Mr Trump’s admiration of Mr Putin was “unprecedented in American politics”. 

Mr Obama said: “Mr Trump’s continued flattery of Mr Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr Putin ... is out of step with not just what Democrats think but out of step with what up until the last few months, almost every Republican thought.” 

The Royal Navy has deployed two warships to meet the Northern Fleet group, led by the carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

The frigate HMS Richmond is already escorting the group off the coast of Norway, while the destroyer HMS Duncan was last night on its way.

HMS Dragon is due to sail to meet two Russian corvettes travelling towards the UK from the direction of Portugal. Photographs of the vessels, taken on Monday, were released by the Norwegian military.

A Norwegian newspaper quoted the head of the Norwegian military intelligence service saying the ships involved “will probably play a role in the deciding battle for Aleppo”.



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Why is Obama threatening Russia with World War III right before the election?

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Michael Snyder (EconomicCollapse) says it sure seems like an odd time to be provoking a war with Russia.  As I write this, we stand just a little bit more than three weeks away from one of the most pivotal elections in U.S. history, and Barack Obama has chosen this moment to strongly threaten the Russians.  As I wrote about on Friday, Reuters is reporting that Obama is contemplating "direct U.S. military action" against Syrian military targets, and the Russians have already indicated that any assault on Syrian forces would be considered an attack on themselves.  The rapidly deteriorating crisis in Syria has already caused tensions with Russia to rise to the highest level since the end of the Cold War, but now Obama is adding fuel to the fire by publicly considering "an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia."  Apparently Obama believes that Russian hackers are interfering in the election and so he wants payback.  The following comes from an NBC News article entitled "CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Strike Against Russia"…

The Obama administration is contemplating an unprecedented cyber covert action against Russia in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Current and former officials with direct knowledge of the situation say the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging "clandestine" cyber operation designed to harass and "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership.

The sources did not elaborate on the exact measures the CIA was considering, but said the agency had already begun opening cyber doors, selecting targets and making other preparations for an operation.

Somebody should tell Obama that he is not playing a video game.  A cyber attack is considered to be an act of war, and the Russians would inevitably retaliate.  And considering how exceedingly vulnerable our cyber infrastructure is, I don't know if that is something that we want to invite.

At the end of last week, Vice President Joe Biden also publicly threatened the Russians

On Friday, Vice President Joe Biden met "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd for an interview that has raised serious concern in Russia.

Without bothering to question the authenticity of the claims, Todd took the allegations of Russian hacking at face value, opening his interview with a loaded question: "Why haven't we sent a message yet to Putin?"

After a moment of stunned silence, Biden responded, "We're sending a message. We have the capacity to do it and it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact."

When Todd asked if the public will know a message was sent, Biden replied, "Hope not."

The Russians firmly deny that they had any involvement in the hacking, and so far the Obama administration has not publicly produced any firm evidence that the Russians were behind it.

Perhaps the Obama administration privately has some evidence, but at this point they have not shown that evidence to the American public.

So for Joe Biden to be making these sorts of threats is a very dangerous thing.  The Russians are taking these threats very seriously, and they are preparing to protect their interests

"The threats directed against Moscow and our state's leadership are unprecedented because they are voiced at the level of the US vice president.

"To the backdrop of this aggressive, unpredictable line, we must take measures to protect (our) interests, to hedge risks,' a Kremlin spokesman said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.

Here in the United States, most people don't even realize that we could be on the verge of a major conflict with Russia.

But over in Russia things are completely different.  Talk of war is everywhere, and the potential for war is the number one topic in the Russian media right now.  Just check out some of the recent Russian media headlines about the conflict between our two nations…

-"Bad News for Washington: Syrian Conflict Revealing New World Order"

-"US anti-Russia rhetoric goes nuclear with threats of covert cyber-attacks"

-"Who can win World War Three if it can be won at all?"

-"In Contrast to Clinton, Trump Has No Appetite for War With Russia"

And one Russian television network recently instructed their viewers to locate the nearest bomb shelter in case a nuclear war between the United States and Russia suddenly erupts…

A terrifying Russian television broadcast explicitly told civilians to find out where their nearest bomb shelter is and repeatedly asked viewers if they were ready for nuclear war.

One apocalyptic broadcast told viewers on Moscow's state-owned TV channel NTV: "If it should one day happen, every one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is. It's best to find out now."

I don't believe that the Russians are crazy to be thinking that a war might be coming.

To me, it almost seems as though Obama wants one.

Could it be possible that a conflict with Russia will be used to alter, change or influence the upcoming election in November?

The truth is that it isn't going to take much for the shooting to begin.  If Obama orders airstrikes against Syrian forces, the Russians have said that they will shoot back

Ash Carter has threatened Russia with "consequences". After blowing up the ceasefire, the Pentagon -- supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff — now is peddling "potential strikes" on Syria's air force to "punish the regime" for what the Pentagon actually did; blow up the ceasefire. One can't make this stuff up.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman, sent a swift message to "our colleagues in Washington"; think twice if you believe you can get away with launching a "shadow" hot war against Russia. Russia will target any stealth/unidentified aircraft attacking Syrian government targets -- and they will be shot down.

The only serious question then is whether an out of control Pentagon will force the Russian Air Force -- false flag and otherwise — to knock out US Air Force fighter jets, and whether Moscow has the fire power to take out each and every one of them.

But without a doubt the crisis in Syria is not going to be resolved any time soon because it is one giant mess.  Most people don't realize that the Syrian civil war has essentially been a proxy war between Sunni Islam and Shia Islam from the very beginning.  Jihadist rebels that are being armed and funded by Saudi Arabia and Turkey are fighting Hezbollah troops that are being armed and funded by Iran.  And now Turkish forces have invaded northern Syria, and this threatens to cause a full-blown war to erupt between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.  Of course ISIS is right in the middle of everything causing havoc, blowing stuff up and beheading anyone that doesn't believe in their radical version of Sunni Islam.

It is absolutely insane that the United States and Russia could potentially go to war because of this conflict.  Both sides are determined to show the other how tough they are, and one false move could set off a spiral of events from which they may be no recovery.

The American people very foolishly elected Barack Obama twice, but up until now the consequences have not been quite as dire as many had been projecting.

However, right here at the end of his second term Obama is facing a moment of truth.  If he ends up dragging us into a war with Russia, the American people will ultimately bitterly regret putting him into the White House.


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Reply with quote  #74 

Gorbachev warns of "dangerous point" as US-Russia ties sour

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French Press (AFP) is reporting that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned on Monday that the world has reached a "dangerous point" as tensions between Russia and the United States spike over the Syria conflict.

Relations between Moscow and Washington -- already at their lowest since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict -- have soured further in recent days as the United States pulled the plug on Syria talks and accused Russia of hacking attacks.

The Kremlin has suspended a series of nuclear pacts, including a symbolic cooperation deal to cut stocks of weapons-grade plutonium.

"I think the world has reached a dangerous point," Gorbachev, 85, told state news agency RIA Novosti.

"I don't want to give any concrete prescriptions but I do want to say that this needs to stop. We need to renew dialogue. Stopping it was the biggest mistake."

As the last leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev oversaw an easing of decades of tensions with the West that helped to end the Cold War.

He signed several landmark nuclear disarmament deals with Washington aimed at defusing the standoff between the two superpowers.

"It is necessary to return to the main priorities. These are nuclear disarmament, the fight against terrorism, the prevention of an environmental disaster," he said.

"Compared to these challenges, all the rest slips into the background."



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Obama is leading America closer to war with Russia

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Pamela Adams (Constitution.com) is reporting that the fight against the Syrian government and ISIS is nothing more than a game of Risk being played by Russia and America. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton funded and armed ISIS (Benghazi 2012) to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Russia is backing the Syrian government. The Syrians and ISIS are pawns in a war about to explode.

Last week U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby laid down the gauntlet. He threatened attacks on Russian cities if they continued their fight against ISIS. To poke the bear even harder, he insinuated Russian aircraft would be shot down if they interfered.

"Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft," Kirby told reporters at Wednesday's press briefing, adding that if the war in Syria continues "more Russian lives will be lost, more Russian aircraft will be shot down."

Washington has since been openly entertaining the idea of strikes against Syria. Russian defense ministry spokesman, Major-General Igor Konashenkov stated in a briefing Thursday that any aircraft attacking the Syrian government forces would encounter resistance.

"I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to thoroughly consider the possible consequences of the realization of such plans."

Mainstream media outlets ignored Kirby's initial threat, deliberately not reporting on it. When covering Russia's response, they continued to protect Obama by failing to mention it again.

Vladimir Putin is backing up his warnings. Russia conducted evacuation drills with 40 million of its people this past week.

"'Federal agencies, heads of regions, local authorities and other organizations will take part in the massive exercise, which runs from October 4-7. The simulation will include 200,000 "professional rescue units" and 50,000 pieces of equipment,' reports Interfax." 

Russia is telling their people they are preparing for a war with the United States. Obama is telling us ISIS is just upset because Global Warming has taken all their food and jobs.

We are witnessing a pissing contest between a man who hunts shirtless and a man who wears mommy jeans. This will not end well.

In the third 2012 Presidential debate, Obama snidely quipped about a statement Gov. Mitt Romney made regarding America's biggest geopolitical threat.

"Gov. Romney, I'm glad you recognize al-Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia -- not al-Qaeda. And the 1980's are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back."

Obama demeaned Romney but Romney has proven to be 100% correct. I, on the other hand, would have said Obama is our biggest threat. Mr. Obama, 2008 called and America wants the last 8 years back. Furthermore, 2009 called and wants its Peace Prize back.

Once again, Obama has put America on the wrong side of history. This time, we may pay dearly for it.

But that's just my 2 cents.

Related:  Hillary Clinton is our weak link against Russia


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