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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Republicans need reminding "Russia if you're listening"

Donald Trump's Untruths (aka "lies") about Russia are piling up - reported in The Atlantic

Congress must figure out why Trump and his team keep misleading the public about Russia. This urgency grows more by the day, because by every analysis, the Russians are positioned for a repeat of their intelligence success achieved in the 2016 US election.
Image result for graphic for lies
Republicans are acting too slow in what's becoming rhetoric about "getting to the bottom" of Russia-Trump intelligence espionage

Republicans continue to make noise about "getting to the bottom" of the Trump administration's "Russiagate" investigations. Nevertheless, even with the preponderance of evidence pointing to multiple suspicious communications and lies to cover them up, the intentions seem obvious that they hope the story will somehow fall from prime time viewing.

The Atlantic published a series of investigative articles to support the consistently suspicious dialogues between Russia and the Trump administration: A comprehensive guide to reported encounters between the president’s aides and Putin’s government by Matt Ford, was published on March 9, 2017.

Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, seems to be good at meeting people who were high up in the Trump campaign and transition. Moscow’s longtime representative in Washington is now at the center of an American political firestorm for his meetings with top Trump campaign officials during the course of the 2016 presidential election. It’s not unusual for foreign diplomats to mix with American officials and political operatives—in fact, it’s among their chief responsibilities. But these encounters came amid what the intelligence community has described as an unprecedented Russian cyberwarfare campaign to undermine both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the American electoral system. Kislyak’s meetings have already had profound political consequences for the nascent Trump administration. President Trump fired Michael Flynn, (LtGenFlynn) his national security adviser, last month for misleading the White House about his contacts with the Russian diplomat during the transition. Two weeks later, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference after reports of his meetings with Kislyak surfaced—meetings that Sessions had not informed the Senate Judiciary Committee about during his confirmation.

On March 20, 2017, The Atlantic published:

It's Official: The FBI Is Investigating Trump's Links to Russia
By Russell Berman

FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the 2016 probe includes possible contacts between the campaign and the Kremlin.With just two sentences on Monday, FBI Director James Comey cast a long, dark shadow over the presidency of Donald Trump and the campaign that resulted in his election.

“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. “That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Director Comey’s declaration was not a surprise; reports about a federal probe involving Trump have been swirling for months. 

But his decision to publicly confirm that the sitting president’s campaign is under investigation for possibly colluding with a foreign power to undermine an election was a stunning revelation, and one whose significance both Democrats and Republicans immediately recognized.

“By your announcement today, there is now a cloud that undermines our system,” Representative Michael Turner, an Ohio Republican, pointedly told the FBI director. Under questioning, Comey said that the FBI began the investigation in late July. That disclosure will likely inflame Democratic criticism that Comey chose to publicly discuss the bureau’s inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the closing days of the 2016 election but did not reveal it was also investigating the Trump campaign and Russian meddling.

Comey’s confirmation of an ongoing investigation was just one of several statements that amounted to an extraordinary rebuke of a president who has the power to remove him from office. (MaineWriter- which is precisely, in my opinion, why Donald Trump in fact sent a "Tweet" to Congressmen sitting on the investigating committee, while Comey was testifying- witness tampering, in my opinion.) He directly refuted Trump’s repeated claims that former President Barack Obama “wiretapped” him at Trump Tower, a charge that the White House has been unable to provide evidence for.

Let's be clear, writes Conor Friedersdore in The Atlantic, the major obstacle (to the Congressional investigation) is Trump’s untrustworthiness.  In fact, he is a frequently mendacious (willingly deceitful) man, and many of his associates possess the same deficiency in character. Friedersdore says he doesn't know if the many untruths Trump and his team have uttered on this subject are making them appear guiltier than they are, or obscuring a shocking reality.

But the contradictions cannot be ignored.

"Russia if you're listening." The litany of communications indicates the summons made by Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign was, obviously, a two way dialogue consisting of clandestine information between Russia and Trump surrogates, all documented- and who knows how many more were not on the record. What's clear is there were too many communications to be ignored any longer by Republicans, willing to accept the espionage for the sake of retaining political power. 

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