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On the Trump Intelligence Memo

[ 252 ] January 10, 2017 |

brockmangolden

I assume our foreign policy team will be weighing in at some point, but in the meantime this seems sensible.  Of course, this doesn’t mean don’t make jokes about Trump.

In isolation, it’s appropriate that this unverified and prejudicial information didn’t leak during the election. But…

The EMAILS! apparently weren’t even new, but you know, heckuva job.

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  1. The Temporary Name says:

    There’s nothing as good as a leak.

  2. McAllen says:

    A few people having been saying this already, but on the golden showers thing, it’s not the pee fetish in-and-of itself that’s gross. It’s that he allegedly did it to revenge himself on the Obamas.

    • q-tip says:

      I’m prepared to acknowledge that a pee fetish is HARMLESS, but I reserve the right to find it gross. (If the fundies took that tack on BUTTSECKS etc, we’d be living in a better world.)

      Edit: I missed the revenge on Obama bit. You’re right, if that’s true, it’s childish and gross.

    • Lasker says:

      If this is made up, the person who came up with that part is a genius.

      • Jean-Michel says:

        A true black-comic masterstroke. The author (assuming it was made up) would’ve had a hard time topping the part about Trump gathering Russian prostitutes to watch anime porn with him, but they really outdid themselves.

    • jamesjhare says:

      The whole thing doesn’t make sense. How are you hurting the Obamas by having hookers piss on a bed he’ll never use again? The most you’re really doing is making a mess for hotel housekeeping to clean up and no other guest to know about.

      No matter what this story has cost Marriott one mattress in Moscow. The guests that would stay in that room would not be pleased to sleep in the pee bed.

      • ForkyMcSpoon says:

        Or they’d be thrilled to touch a part of history.

        Anyway, why do it? Because Trump is a Satanist and it was part of a Satanic piss ritual to hex Obama #soulpissing

        (Makes as much sense as “soul cooking”)

      • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

        The whole thing doesn’t make sense.

        I’m pretty sure that the fact it makes no sense, yet some people are actually discussing it as if it might somehow make sense, is the whole point of the troll.

      • Jean-Michel says:

        The chance that Trump is genuinely insane is not trivial. This goes regardless of whether the mattress story is true. I really do fear America elected Martin Sheen in The Dead Zone, just minus the Biblical fervor.

  3. jim, some guy in iowa says:

    I look at from LBJ’s point of view: make the sonofabitch deny it

  4. nemdam says:

    Given that James Comey knew all of this during the campaign, is it possible that he has been compromised? I don’t know what motivated him, but I can’t think of a more plausible explanation. Gross incompetence or extreme partisanship don’t seem sufficient. Maybe a personal grudge against Hillary such as he knew she was going to fire him? I’m searching for any other plausible explanation.

    • I guess that’s possible, but the simpler explanation is just that Comey is a partisan Republican hack who shared the NY field office’s opinion that Clinton was unacceptable and needed to be stopped at all costs.

      • Nobdy says:

        If he installed a Russian agent over a normal politician he did not like he is a traitor.

        I wish I found saying that more convincing as proof he didn’t do it…

        • smott999 says:

          I thought that Coney’s NY office had leaked the Clinton laptop stuff (likely to Chaffetz), who would then leak to the press, making Comey look like he was protecting Clinton.
          So he got out ahead of it to save his worthless hack ass.

          Now he sits in front of Congress and swears he’d never do such a thing.

      • Gee Suss says:

        He investigated the Clintons for Whitewater and Marc Rich. He is a Clinton-hater through and through.

        • Gizmo says:

          How is that this didn’t disqualify him from an Obama nominations? The mind boggles.

          • ΧΤΠΔ says:

            Because…um…maybe, because Chuck Hagel didn’t completely suck?… and, that like, meant an avowed enemy of his Secretary of State…um…seriously, wtf?……

            Yeah I got nothing, so I’m just going to go with “alien possession.”

          • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

            Because, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

            We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

            There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

            We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

            Or something,

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

      Given that James Comey knew all of this during the campaign… I’m searching for any other plausible explanation.

      He has a pee fetish?

  5. ΧΤΠΔ says:

    Assuming that this is false and the intel agencies/McCain/et al. know it to be so, what are the odds Donald stays in office by December 31?

    I’d say 4.83%, as it’d indicate that a) a Congressional impeachment effort has actual legs, or b) the CIA’s painted a giant bullseye on Donald’s back.

  6. Steve LaBonne says:

    My favorite of several Andy Borowitz gems since this story broke:

    Dear Jim Comey,
    Thanks for keeping the dossiers about the Russians blackmailing Trump a secret before the election. You’re an amazing public servant and It’s so unfair that you will burn in Hell for eternity.
    Fuck you,
    Millions of Americans

  7. Alex.S says:

    I posted this in the Comey thread

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

    The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.

    As others have pointed out… WOW!, Fisa rejected a warrant!

  8. CrunchyFrog says:

    Reaction 1: Even with this, I can’t believe that the GOP would actually impeach him.

    Reaction 2: But, OTOH, I can’t believe that they’d risk the country and let him take office.

    Going to be an interesting 10 days. Keep in mind, getting rid of Trump is a massive win for the mainstream GOP elite and their billionaire backers:
    1) They put in Pence, whose one of them
    2) They get to replace the crazier Trump appointees with ones to their liking
    3) They get to implement their full agenda, but without Trump distractions
    4) The rest of the country breathes a huge sigh of relief and as a result there is a 9/11-like Honeymoon in which the GOP gets carte blanche
    5) Forever when accused of hyper-partisanship they point to the Trump impeachment and conviction as proof they go after a Republican
    6) They tell the populist shits who voted for Trump to piss off – after the vote suppression is fully implemented they won’t need their votes anyway

    • Nobdy says:

      Reaction 2: But, OTOH, I can’t believe that they’d risk the country and let him take office.

      Disagree. There is no depth to which they won’t sink. Treason doesn’t even raise Yertle’s pulse.

      I think you also underestimate the risk in depriving the deplorables of their God king. They do not like Pence. He is just another establishment repug.

      And they are steeped in conspiracy theories and will directly attribute this to the elites pushing out their golden (shower) champion.

      You’re still living in a sane responsible America, both gubbermentally and in terms of repub voters. I don’t see it that way.

      There have been reports of this since last year.

      I mean does any of this actually surprise anyone even if it is all true?

    • Steve LaBonne says:

      I’m having uneasy feelings about this scenario myself. I console myself with the thought that they’re not that smart. I hope.

    • wengler says:

      If they kill Trump they get all of this without the terrible divide of the party and new enabling laws to boot.

    • spocko says:

      This is what I’m specifically depressed about. One of the things that we know is that the business community doesn’t want “uncertainty” and Trump is that. He is going to be bad for stability and that can’t happen. So if the intel stuff doesn’t bring him down, they will start talking about how he will be bad for business (not the sexual perversion stuff) And those are the people who know how to get their way.

    • vic rattlehead says:

      But as awful as Pence is (and slimy, and smoother than I thought from watching the VP debate) I would just be so much less angry about him. Not less angry about the radical right wing policy agenda, of course, but that it wouldn’t be THAT FUCKING YAM.

    • vic rattlehead says:

      What Trump distractions? Trump distractions seem like a win for the GOP. Anytime the conversation about Trump gets mildly substantive there’s always something like “Meryl Streep criticizes Trump at golden globes!” to shift the focus.

    • Gizmo says:

      He’s going to impeachable on day one – conflict of interest laws, emoluments, nepotism, and so on. The republican leadership will probable enjoy having the leverage, to our detriment.

  9. Orphos says:

    In Putin’s Russia, leaks get information? leaks get YOU? You get leaks?

    …got nothin’. All I can say is, don’t fuck with the CIA publicly maybe? Or possibly with John McCain?

    (and obviously it’s all very serious and unconfirmed, unverified things that are basically treason if true. But… Twitter was made for these moments.)

    • CrunchyFrog says:

      Read the linked article. This is not an intel leak. This document is a) not classified and b) has been known by members of Congress for over a month.

      But I do suspect that is was not random but was timed to be a part of a campaign to unseat Trump by fellow GOPers.

  10. Lasker says:

    I was going to ask when was the last time we had a president for whom “hired prostitutes to despoil the bed where his enemies had slept” was a plausible accusation.

    But actually ranking past presidents in order of likelihood is a pretty entertaining parlor game. Had this question been posed prior to today, I’m don’t even know that I would have put Trump at #1.

  11. Nobdy says:

    Cynical view:

    If Trump had a pee fetish we would have heard about it. He would have burst in on women in the bathroom and put cameras in the little girl’s rooms for his pageants. He is not one to restrict his appetites. Ivana probably would have revealed it in her book when she was enraged at him.

    I just don’t think given everything we heard that this propensity would have been a secret.

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      But the (alleged and likely false!) fetish being alleged here wasn’t Trump liking to watch women pee, it was Trump getting off on watching women pee on a bed used by the Obamas.

      • Nobdy says:

        That is a very specific scenario but I live my life by one simple creed:

        If a fella likes to watch gals pee in one scenario he likes to watch gals pee in other situations too.

        I have hewed to that motto my whole life and it has never once steered me wrong.

        Guarantee that if you see a fella looking at a gal’s stream with prurient thoughts and he ain’t a wee sprig of a man then this ain’t his first rodeo.

        He’s got skeletons in his closet and they’re wearing Depends undergarments so the closet floor don’t get wet.

        • vic rattlehead says:

          Apparently he’s gonna hold a press conference? My god. I thought it was disgraceful that a sitting president actually felt compelled to say “I am not a crook.” And now this guy is gonna say, what? “I do not have a piss fetish. Yucky.”

        • dsidhe says:

          Remember that this fella in particular seems to be utterly horrified at the notion that women pee at all. That doesn’t say “golden shower fetish” to me, it says “What is the most disgusting thing I can think of to act out my unhinged grudge against Obama”. I could see it being a one-off.

      • DamnYankees says:

        That does seem like the kind of thing that has to be fake. I mean, it’s just too absurd.

      • Captain Oblivious says:

        If y’all are finding this hard to believe (and I’m not saying it’s true), it’s because you haven’t spent enough time with sex workers.

        • SV says:

          Am escort, can confirm.

          He doesn’t like the idea that women use the toilet, he seems to have a paranoia of germs, I don’t think that this story implies he has a golden shower fetish (if it’s true). He would be getting off on the idea of what happened to the bed, not necessarily in the sexual sense of the phrase ‘getting off’.

          But pettily ‘defiling’ (after the fact) the bed that POTUS and FLOTUS slept in and thinking that benefits him somehow… is totally plausible. Think about his general pettiness and obsession with dominance (of various kinds).

          Now I’m thinking about how dogs piss to mark their territory… except he’s too much of a germaphobe or whatever to do it himself (again, if true).

        • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

          you haven’t spent enough time with sex workers

          You have?

          • Nobdy says:

            Hey. Let’s not attack sex workers or their friends or associates here. I have personally never known anybody who I knew was a sex worker (I am led to understand there are plenty of sex workers who don’t advertise their gig to non-professional acquaintances)but I hate how they’re mistreated and looked down upon in our society. No need to perpetuate that in a fun thread making fun of Donald Trump.

            • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

              I hate how they’re mistreated and looked down upon in our society

              If you truly meant this

              I have personally never known anybody who I knew was a sex worker

              Then why the need for this disclaimer?

              My “You have?” comment was just a joke, and to the extent it “looked down upon” anyone, it was looking down on the OP, not the sex workers he’s spent time with.

              • SV says:

                I must be missing the joke, can you explain please? Just curious.

                • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

                  I must be missing the joke, can you explain please? Just curious.

                  I missed this

                  Nobdy says:

                  I believe Captain Oblivious identifies as female (based on calling herself a gal lower down in this thread) and I interpreted her comment as knowing sex workers as friends or acquaintances rather than patronizing them (though obviously women can and do hire sex workers.)

                  Not much of joke to explain, given this.

                • SV says:

                  You said “You have?” in reply to the Captain, and said after that it was just a joke. Sorry to be oblivious but I was wondering what was funny about the idea that CO had spent time with sex workers.

                  I hate to miss a joke! Please humour me?

                • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

                  Double post? They have an edit option.

                • Jordan says:

                  The problem is with you SV, not bobbobwhatever. You see, based on your spelling, you are clearly not American.

              • Nobdy says:

                I believe Captain Oblivious identifies as female (based on calling herself a gal lower down in this thread) and I interpreted her comment as knowing sex workers as friends or acquaintances rather than patronizing them (though obviously women can and do hire sex workers.)

                As for my comment…I wanted to be truthful, but also I will admit that I would be uncomfortable if people though I patronized sex workers. While I think sex work is fine, a lot of sex workers are trafficked or coerced in other ways into the business, so I think patronizing sex workers is pretty icky unless you are absolutely 100% sure that they are doing the work of their own free will.

                A lot of (but not all) guys who are open about patronizing sex workers are pretty icky, and I don’t want to be associated with them.

                I’m also admitting to being a square, since anyone who is cool or hep is going to know a few sex workers just by osmosis.

                Anyway I’ve admitted on this forum to being something pretty debased and disgusting…a piece of shit corporate lawyer! So I have nothing to hide.

                • bender says:

                  It’s one of the rare fields in which women are paid more for their time than men are. Not all sex workers are physically intimate with clients. The term also applies to strippers, phone sex actors, dominatrices, etc. Some kinds of sex work can be lucrative part time gigs. A person may be or have been a sex worker, and you wouldn’t know it unless they choose to disclose it to you.

                • SV says:

                  Bender, there are a whole lot of different aspects and workplaces in the industry, and I haven’t had a whole lot of exposure to the male-worker side of it, but for the male-worker equivalent of my sector of the industry, it’s my understanding that male workers can charge more, or at least as much, as women.

                  And you are right about it being more common than people think. If someone has known thirty women in their life, they’ve probably known a sex worker. If you have fifteen female relatives, there’s a good chance that one of them has worked. Yep, even mum or aunty or grandmother.

          • Moondog von Superman says:

            Our President just told us to get out of our various bubbles and engage people in real life. So get to it!

          • dsidhe says:

            I have. I was a street hooker for a while starting at fifteen. And I’ll admit *I* look down on people who patronize sex workers, but that’s because the ones I knew knew they weren’t getting an adult who was doing it on an entirely voluntary basis. It’s probably different for SV and escorts in general.

            • SV says:

              Nah, I look down on a lot of the clients, but not for the same reason as you. Which seems entirely reasonable. In fact, ‘looking down on’ those clients seems far more than what they deserve. Uck.

          • rhino says:

            I have known several sex workers well enough hang out with them and hear the stories they tell each other, and believe me, this scenario wouldn’t even make the grade as a ‘that dude was so wierd’ story. This kind of thing is *basic*.

            People really have no idea just how weird and unpleasant (to most people) sexual fetishes can get even among decent and nice people. For an evil piece of shit like Trump, it could be anything.

    • Captain Oblivious says:

      It doesn’t have to be a fetish.

  12. postmodulator says:

    Okay, this is not completely fake. Looking back, this jibes with the bits and pieces that have been leaking out(I wish I said something else) since June.

  13. Todd says:

    Any truth to any of these allegations and/or truth to the FBI’s being involved in investigating the Trump team last year would make Trump’s early and loud “I don’t trust American government intelligence assessments” screeds easier to understand (but no less problematic).

  14. DamnYankees says:

    My thoughts:

    Here’s my two thoughts

    * Obama is still President. If McCain knows it, Obama knows it. If something was actually this serious, would Obama not say something? Do something? Would he be that blase about handing over the Presidency to someone he believes is compromised or being blackmailed without doing something?\

    * If this is true (very big if), the question is who knew this before the election. Who among the GOP leadership or the intelligence services knew this. If anyone knew this, but didn’t say it because they wanted the GOP to win, that person should be publicly lambasted and have their reputation ruined. The sad truth is we can’t undo the election – even if this is 100% true and Trump is impeached or resigns or whatever, the GOP will still control the government. There’s no getting around that. But you can try to have some accountability for individuals who knew.

    These are genuine questions, by the way, I’m not trying to imply much of anything beyond the questions themselves.

    Lastly – I do kind of hope this is true. It’d be a staggering failure of our political system and our intelligence system, and would be a complete constitutional crisis. Best case scenario, we end up with President Pence or Ryan. So So on that level, you’d want this to be false, just because it’s kind of terrifying to imagine that we actually elected a foreign asset, or at the least someone who could be blackmailed. That would be a terrifying idea.

    Still seems like a better option than 4 years of Trump, though.

    • Nobdy says:

      Could this whole thing be a false flag to discredit future claims about Trump and Russia.

      I know I sound like a right wing conspiracy theorists but I do not know what to believe. Goddamnit.

      • wengler says:

        Nah. The Ham Rove technique was to leak compromising information to specific people that he could then ruin. Leak Bush’s drug use to a biographer that’s been convicted of attempted murder. Leak Bush’s National Guard story by creating false documents and then give them to a CBS news producer. This doesn’t have the hallmarks of that.

        If these went to his Republican primary opponents first, the veracity is likely determined by how much they paid for it.

      • The Great God Pan says:

        That was my first thought. Alt-Lefters are claiming there are obvious errors in the report, including geographical errors. This is starting to remind me of Rathergate: real info made to look false.

    • Jeremy W says:

      * Obama is still President. If McCain knows it, Obama knows it. If something was actually this serious, would Obama not say something? Do something? Would he be that blase about handing over the Presidency to someone he believes is compromised or being blackmailed without doing something?\

      It’s time for some game theory…

    • vic rattlehead says:

      I feel like McCain would say something. He always struck me as a genuine hawk and has no love lost for Russia like an old school cold warrior. I mean, I’m sure he’s all about what’s good for numero uno but if he could do something and think of himself as a hero who had the balls to stand up and do what’s right when that punkass kid Obama who beat him in 2008 didn’t…

      • CrunchyFrog says:

        McCain just won what is almost certainly his last re-election. He’s not fond of Trump and frankly pretty grumpy about a lot of things. If there is something that will be done look to him and Graham, however, they may be working with contacts behind the scenes.

      • Captain Oblivious says:

        Yeah, I can see McCain wanting to go out the hero who saved the Republic.

        Trump’s comments about him not being a real hero because he got captured no doubt burn.

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial says:

      If McCain knows it, Obama knows it.

      If any Republican had known about this prior to the May 3rd Indiana primary, they would have leaked it (and maybe any time up until the actual convention). If any Democrat had known about this prior to the November 8th election, they would have leaked it. It’s almost certainly fake news. And the fact that we are actually debating it on this blog is almost certainly the point of why it was put out on the internet.

      • Amadan says:

        Agreed. I have no doubt that The One Stooges plays a leading role in a thrilling work of Slavic Erotic Realism in someone’s private archive, but this ain’t it.

        This is the lancing of the boil: once the story falls off the front page, there will be no way to give serious traction to the Russian connection again.

  15. Dr. Ronnie James, DO says:

    Dikileaks.

    G’night.

  16. Woodrowfan says:

    as someone noted on Balloon Juice, He really is a Goldwater republican!

  17. vic rattlehead says:

    OT: damn guys, I’m tearing the hell up-Obama farewell speech. Eight years already…

    • q-tip says:

      My policy is: don’t watch any Barack/Michelle speeches post-election. Downside: mired in bitterness. Upside: clean, dry tear ducts and nostrils.

      • Joe_JP says:

        so no watching Malia crying while her dad speaks?

      • vic rattlehead says:

        I cried just thinking about it today. It’s been one of those days. I started a new job so my stress level has been through the roof and this orange Mussolini crap is not helping.

      • jamesjhare says:

        With you on that. I don’t need to be reminded of what we’re losing this soon. Maybe next month while I’m on vacation I’ll enjoy the dignity and class of our current president but right now I just can’t. In 10 days Trump and his coterie will invade my hometown.

  18. Captain Oblivious says:

    I’m a where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire kind of gal, and while nobody has yet located the ignition source, everyone needs to remember that

    (a) Trump has not released his tax returns or financial records;

    (b) Team Trump is trying to rush through confirmations without proper vetting;

    (c) Trump is appointing a bunch of shady far-right Putin-lovin’ shitheels to non-confirmed positions;

    (d) Paul Manafort;

    (e) Trump has an established history of sexual perversion and voyeurism;

    (f) As Kasparov says, Trump has attacked nearly everyone except Putin.

    That’s several trillion cubic meters of smoke, people.

  19. jim, some guy in iowa says:

    does this mean Andres Serrano will be making Donnie’s official Presidential portrait?

  20. veleda_k says:

    It doesn’t seem likely that any of this is true, but I intend to enjoy it all the same.

    • Warren Terra says:

      This is my inclination, except that I fear unsubstantiated or even false allegations will be used to deprecate the well-proven terrible things about Trump; this claim is nonsense, so those must be, too. The Chewbacca defense, more or less.

    • Richard Gadsden says:

      It’s like Cameron putting his dick in a dead pig’s head in that respect.

  21. kg says:

    R. Kelly will be performing at the inauguration.

  22. N__B says:

    I’m going to quote this song for the second time in a month…

    Golden Helmet of Mambrino
    There can be no hat like thee.
    Thou and I now, ere I die now,
    Will make golden history!

  23. Tristan says:

    I disappeared after registration was implemented because I’m lazy but this is important: we need to popularize the use of ‘pisspig’ the way the right now uses ‘cuck’, thank you.

    • jim, some guy in iowa says:

      that reminded me of Larry Flynt- turns out he’s been making the same offer since last fall. I don’t think anyone ever collected the money Garry Trudeau offered to the first person who could prove W Bush actually showed up for the Texas National Guard either

  24. Nick056 says:

    I’m surprised that people think this changes anything about the inauguration or believe that impeachment is a remote possibility.

    The same dynamic from 2015 through the primaries still obtains. The GOP cannot excise Trump. It’s like trying to cut off your own head. You can do it, but you die.

    Their base is Trump’s base. There’s no difference. Never Trump is not a real thing electorally or congressionally.

    Their entire response to this will be that a) it’s untrue and b) Bill Clinton had sexual liasions with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, lied about it to the American people, and remained beloved by scurrilous and hypocritical Democrats.

    As to the quid pro quo nature of the allegation, they will simply say there is no proof, and that it is an outrage to darken the inauguration of a new President by intimating that he is a foreign agent or anything but a loyal American.

    Done. Over. Out.

  25. Warren Terra says:

    Tonight’s revelation mean that in just over a week’s time we’ll be going from Moderate to Micturate in more ways than we previously knew.

  26. AMK says:

    The most implausible part of the report is the idea that information was….flowing in both directions, with Trump giving Putin some kind of valuable intel on Russians’ activities here.

    • I dunno. The King in Yellow probably houses a lot of Russian oligarchs, their mistresses, and their worthless children in his various garish hellholes. He would actually be pretty well-positioned to discreetly report on their activity.

      • AMK says:

        Putin would want to know if the oligarchs were using their Western hidey-holes and business interests as fronts to conspire against him or bankroll critics of the regime–which would be a task for a Russian agent who knows these people, their language, culture, the Moscow political dynamics etc. Even if Trump has substantial business dealings with them (which the report denies) he wouldn’t know this stuff. There are lots of Americans involved with Russian oligarchs who would do a better job without the risk of indecent exposure.

  27. random says:

    It really is unfair of us to keep publicly speculating on whether Donald J Trump appears in a pee fetish video.

  28. AdamPShort says:

    As far as I can tell the original dossier is basically (like most intelligence dossiers) just some random person who is dishing gossip on Trump, reheating various rumors that have been swirling around for a long time.

    Now I don’t have any trouble believing a lot of what is in the report, but there doesn’t seem to be any proof (or even any reason to believe) that the main source, Source E, actually has personal knowledge of any of this stuff.

    The real question is why this is bubbling up again. At the time this stuff first started swirling around the main question was whether anyone could prove these meetings between Trump’s people and Russian intelligence actually happened. I’m guessing someone actually has come up with something along those lines, although it could be something much stupider and less substantive.

    My guess is that this is all basically bullshit. Fun bullshit, but bullshit.

  29. randy khan says:

    It’s occurred to me that the sex/pee story is fascinating in a sick kind of way, but really the more important point is whether the Russians have financial leverage. That’s actually something that could give them power over him.

    • Ken says:

      On the other hand, if a sex video exists it becomes the target for every foreign intelligence service. US ones too – think of how useful it would be, come budget time.

      But maybe I’m overthinking this. If such a video exists, you don’t need to have it for leverage. You just have to persuade Trump that you have it. I don’t see him as a “publish and be damned” sort of guy.

      • MDrew says:

        Why, exactly, would it give so much leverage? As a result of today, everyone is pretty much prepared for the notion that there’s a video. Say it exists. It gets shown. It doesn’t get shown. Does Trump honestly strike you as the kind of dude who would do anything to make sure it’s the former?

        Honestly, in that situation, I don’t know that *I’d* really care that much. But I guess who knows.

        • econoclast says:

          This neglects rule #1 of human nature: people are morons. A couple of years ago an NFL player was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in an elevator. It didn’t become a major scandal until video became public of the incident.

        • AdamPShort says:

          Also if you read the report it’s implied that the Russians already got what they wanted out of the hooker pee video and have destroyed or at least deemphasized it.

          There is no video of Trump paying Russian hookers to pee on Obama’s bed. Accept this now.

          The parts of the report to pay attention to are the allegations of meetings between Trumps people and Russian intelligence. Those meetings either happened or they didn’t, and if they did it could provide a rubric for Trumps opponents to investigate and eventually impeach him.

    • MDrew says:

      Financial – or whatever of real significance. The point being that this? If this is all there is? This is just sideshow bullshit.

      I mean, seriously. A pee fetish? A sex tape? Come on.

  30. rhino says:

    So, just what is going to have to come out to invalidate the election.

    Is it even possible to invalidate an election?

    Because I’m seriously starting to wonder if that’s the only appropriate thing to do here. Make Obama serve another year, and have another election.

    Obviously there needs to be proof, but if the intelligence services have this proof, is there anything that could be done? How would it work?

    • random says:

      Only remedy gives you President Mike Pence.

    • Redwood Rhiadra says:

      No, it is not possible under the Constitution to invalidate a Presidential election. Once the electors votes have been counted, that’s it.

      The President can be impeached after he takes office, but overturning the election simply IS. NOT. POSSIBLE.

      • rhino says:

        It’s kind of surprising. You would think the founders understood that something like this could happen. I guess they really did think the electoral college was enough.

      • Yes, I’m so tired of people asking this middle school civics class question. The Constitution is uncharacteristically clear on this issue, and later amendments closed off most of the gaps. If anything, the remaining questions are whether any of the actual restrictions (like the natural born citizen clause) are enforceable. That would be a constitutional crisis, but this isn’t.

  31. MDrew says:

    Now that this (but of course this isn’t necessarily everything) is out, does it not imply that Putin no longer holds this over Trump? I guess he is still supposed to hold the videos? But, I mean, if you’re Trump, do you give a shit? Wouldn’t you just find it hilarious (doing some rough accounting for Trumpian psychology, not correctly)? Now that this is out and Trump is surviving it (and he will), for Putin to still have blackmail-level shit on him, would require something on yet another level beyond this, that Trump truly couldn’t survive (psychologically, politically, whatever). Do we think that’s the situation? And what could that thing be?

    This thing is out, and if this were to be all there is, then in theory if this is what was dictating Trump’s stance toward Russia/Putin, then he’d be freed. So, if he’s still being blackmailed, there must be more. ~Or~ he wasn’t being blackmailed, there’s just some other basis for the Trump-Putin relationship/behavior.

    I guess any of that’s possible. But if the theory is that Trump’s behavior was being dictated by Putin via blackmail, and this is the material? I mean, isn’t it kind of…

    Pfffffffffff… ?

    • SNF says:

      Seems to me that if Putin wanted to compromise Trump, the best strategy would be tricking Trump into thinking an underage girl is 18 and getting video of Trump having sex with her.

      • mds says:

        And then what? Threaten to go public? Because that would lead to impeachment by Democrats, Lindsey Graham, and, I dunno, one GOP House member from an upstate NY district that voted Clinton? Because it woudl knock his support from evangelicals down from 81 percent to 80 percent? Because turn the internet and the news shows into even more of a sewage tank by swamping them with Republicans defending statutory rape as no big deal, and besides Monica Lewinsky?

        That’s the problem with any Russian leverage based on blackmail, rather than financial ties or willing service. Donald Trump told us he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone, and he wouldn’t lose voters … and too many didn’t realize how literally true that was.

  32. kped says:

    I saw this first on CNN, and the host said, without a trace of irony, that “this is unverified, so we won’t discuss or speculate on it”, and then move on. It was amazing. On one hand…YES! This is how you treat a story you have literally no information on!

    …on the other hand, FUCK YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE TV AND NEWS MEDIA! Where was this caution the last week of the election? Why aren’t they convening a partisan 6 person panel to “debate” this story for the next 7 days? Really, what changed?

  33. shawn k says:

    Someone peed on your rug, Dude?

  34. benjoya says:

    sorry, can’t hold this in: Make America Urinate Again

  35. […] have little substantive to add to Scott’s post, beyond affirming his recommendation of Lawfare’s treatment. Josh Marshall also outlines […]

  36. mamculuna says:

    So I’m reading elsewhere that this was actually a put-on posted by 4chan or something similar (TsPrudence at /pol/), who then took it to the IC who believed that it was real and took it to McCain. I’m having trouble believing this, but I’m extremely unknowledgeable and naive. Any thoughts?

  37. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    I find myself wondering not if the report is true or not, but what Trump will do to get revenge on it.

  38. Robespierre says:

    Personal bet: you are all still at denial/anger/bargaining.

    Trump will be sworn in as president of the United States, will serve his four years, which will be awful but will not bring about the apocalypse, and will then run again in 2020, when he will most likely lose, if recession is timed right.

    But he is here, and here to stay.

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