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Russian spy at meeting with Trump Jr. not formally trained as a spy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian-American lobbyist says he attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump’s son, marking another shift in the account of a discussion that was billed as part of a Russian government effort to help the Republican’s White House campaign.

Rinat Akhmetshin confirmed his participation to The Associated Press on Friday. Akhmetshin has been reported to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies, a characterization he dismisses as a “smear campaign.” He told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but was never formally trained as a spy.

Okey dokey Boris.

Also:

During the meeting, Akhmetshin said Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee. Veselnitskaya presented the contents of the documents to the Trump associates and suggested that making the information public could help the Trump campaign, he said.

“This could be a good issue to expose how the DNC is accepting bad money,” Akhmetshin recalled her saying.

THEY LITERALLY BROUGHT HACKED DNC EMAILS TO THE MEETING

This plot line could have spewed forth from the MacBook of the laziest Hollywood hack.

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  • ChrisS

    For a group of people who have “zero connection with anything Russian” … there sure are a lot of connections to Russia.

    • Eric K

      Now it is:

      “Ok so we met with the Russians and they gave us info on Hillary, but it’s not like we did anything for them in return. Firing the US attorney who was prosecuting the money launderer, then settling the case with a sweetheart deal for the defense, lifting sanctions on Russia, siding with them on virtually everything? all that is just a coincidence”

      • randykhan

        “I mean, we haven’t fixed the adoption thing, which is what they really wanted.”

    • the actual Bajmahal

      Any THING, not anyone.

  • weirdnoise

    Veselnitskaya brought with her a plastic folder with printed-out documents that detailed what she believed was the flow of illicit funds to the Democratic National Committee

    Now might be a good time to recall all the solicitations of foreign donors “mistakenly” made by the Trump campaign…

    • Downpup E

      If a 2nd hand story about imaginary DNC misconduct doesn’t finally wake up Trey Gowdy, it’s time to check for a pulse.

  • remember, in the long long ago, yesterday, when they said they didn’t get anything useful from the meeting?

    • postmodulator

      This is like how cheating spouses confess.

      There was someone else, but we just talked online. Well, we mostly talked online, but we did meet. Well, we met a few times, but all we did was kiss once. Well…

      • Paul Campos

        How well does this work when the Other Woman is a pair of 16-year-old Russian hookers?

        Asking for my friend Jim.

        • postmodulator

          It doesn’t work very well at all regardless of circumstances.

          I heard from my friend John Miller.

        • Cheap Wino

          Depends, was there a cup involved?

        • ASV

          Gonna have to find out whether watersports counts as cheating first.

      • Denverite

        Plus, someone mentioned on the other thread, but this buys time for Team Red to wrap its head around the ultimate result — “yeah, we worked with the Russians to beat Hillary, what are you going to do about it, go fuck yourself.”

        • BiloSagdiyev

          The part of values, virtue, character, and GAWD-uh keeps revealing itself to be people who think, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game”, is just a sermon for children at children’s sports games.

          They’re all about power.

          • Linnaeus

            But Ross Douthat tells me that it’s liberals’ fault for not going to church as much anymore.

            • wjts

              I thought it was because we really want to be ruled by a queen, like on that The Game of the Thrones show the godless kids love so much.

              • Pete

                Please leave my sex life out of this.

            • woodrowfan

              if I thought it’d get rid of this whole administration and the republicans in Congress I’d go every damn night…

            • sigaba

              Dont forget, we also invented soppressata in a conspiracy to humiliate and exclude Real Americans from civic life.

              • Norrin Radd

                Is that similar to kompromat?

                • Dennis Schlacter Von Staggers

                  It tastes like polonium pierogies.

                • More like covfefe, but with a lot more garlic.

              • Soppressata? Why, I could listen to it all day, it just relaxes me so!

            • Numbertwopencil

              That and not watching enough Japanese porn. Bad liberal, bad.

              • Norrin Radd

                Do they still pixelate all the best parts?

          • Rob in CT

            The Conservative will to power is an amazing thing.

        • Manju

          “Team Red”

          Nice!!

          • gocart mozart

            Red Hats are the new Brown Shirts.

      • N__B

        “Grandma is on the roof…”

    • Rob in CT

      In the beforetime…

  • randykhan

    I have been imagining the meeting being conducted by Boris and Natasha since I first heard about it. I have been trying not to hear any audio of Ms. Veselnitskaya so as not to damage that fantasy.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      Bullwinkle: “Hey Rocky! Look at me pull a TRAITOR out of my hat!”

      “Nothing up my sleeves, PRESTO!”

      Hey, don’t touch the hair, it cost me a bunch, and also YOU’RE FIRED

    • Mark Jamison

      Code name for Junior and Kushner: “Moose and Squirrel”

  • Brownian

    Well, this will for sure satisfy the Trumpanzees. After all, one cannot do a job unless one has been formally trained at that job. Fortunately for the president, Trump University offers top notch training in being president, sitting in a chair for your dad while he’s being president elsewhere, and small engine repair.

    • gocart mozart

      For a degree in POTUSology at Trump University you will be instructed by our top notch staff in the following course areas:
      1. Advanced Twitter
      2. Introduction to Emoluments
      3. Gaslighting & Deflection (seminar)
      4. Power Handshaking
      5. How to compliment a sexy Head of State or First Lady with a hot bod.
      6. Golf

      • joel_hanes

        7. Crucial cabinet choices: vetting your hairdresser and cosmetologist.
        8. The secret message conveyed by an eight-foot necktie.

        • Solar System Wolf

          8a. An eight-foot necktie with a piece of scotch tape on the back.

  • bassopotamus

    It’s raining shoes at this point

    • Norrin Radd

      Should please the centipedes.

  • the actual Bajmahal

    …and yet this “damaging info” wasn’t used by the Trump campaign… ‘cuz, you know, they’re gentlemen.

    • Hogan

      “The DNC is taking illicit contributions!”

      “Wait . . . that’s a bad thing?”

  • janitor_of_lunacy

    Counterintelligence and HUMINT (Human Intelligence) share a lot of methodologies in common. The main differences from a technical level are who you apply it to.

    • sigaba

      Methinks any ops run against the Trumps should be called “human management” or “human operations.” “Human intelligence” doesn’t seem descriptive.

      • Hogan

        Humanipulation.

      • janitor_of_lunacy

        I was referring to the that run by the Russians. FWIW, Putin was both 2nd and 1st Directorate (CI and HUMINT) in his KGB career.

        • firefall

          was?

    • FlipYrWhig

      OH, now that makes sense! All this time I’ve been thinking it applied exclusively to information gathered on Huma Abedin.

  • drdick52

    This is starting to resemble really bad fanfic.

    • Sly

      A few weeks ago I was convinced that all this would lead to was the public revelation that the Trump Organization had become little more than a money laundering operation for Russian oligarchs and mafia bosses.

      Now I would be completely unsurprised if the Pee Pee Tape got uploaded to YouTube, and the Washington Post found out that Eric Trump did it by accident.

      • Kubricks_Rube

        Barry Zuckerkorn: Those are the pictures?

        Wayne Jarvis: They’re all over the news.

        Barry Zuckerkorn: Those are balls.

        Wayne Jarvis: What?

        Narrator: Barry was right. Tobias had inadvertently photographed himself while learning how to use his new camera phone.

    • N__B

      Or my favorite Bulwer-Lytton winner: “His eyes slid down the front of her dress.”

  • gocart mozart

    For some reason this song keeps running through my head

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=-1BxGded604

    The Ballad of Donnie Jr.

    Went home with a waitress the way I always do
    How was I to know she was with the Russians, too.
    I was gambling in Havana, I took a little risk
    Send lawyers, guns, and money
    Dad, get me out of this!

    An innocent bystander
    Somehow I got stuck between a rock and a hard place
    And I’m down on my luck
    Yes, I’m down on my luck
    Well, I’m down on my luck

    I’m hiding in Honduras, I’m a desperate man
    Send lawyers, guns, and money
    The shit has hit the fan
    Send lawyers, guns, and money
    Send lawyers, guns, and money
    Send lawyers, guns, and money, hiyah!

  • Cash & Cable

    What does the lobbyist gain from openly admitting this fact to the press? I have a hard time believing he’s as dumb as Junior . . . what’s the motivation here?

    • randykhan

      His job is to disrupt the government by throwing its legitimacy into question. He’s doing his job.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Exactly — Putin wins whether Trump is his willing servant or not, as long as America’s political system is in chaos and a wedge is driven between the US and Europe.

      • Pat

        Wonder if Putin has plans to invade anywhere anytime soon…

        • Norrin Radd

          Poland is beautiful time of year.

      • Morbo

        This also seems like a pretty good reminder to certain people who might hypothetically be blackmail targets.

    • Pete

      Some are suggesting Putin is unhappy with Trump and the US.

      • postmodulator

        Sure. No matter how shameless Trump is, his hands are tied a little. Every item he grants Putin from now until forever will raise more eyebrows, and the Senate hawks might actually grow a spine and obstruct what they can.

        Luckily, if the whole thing comes out in the open, it’s still a victory condition for Putin. Consider this: it becomes widely accepted that Trump colluded, Washington is in chaos during the resulting investigation, and then Putin rolls armor into Ukraine. What happens? A US government thrashing around like a snake with a broken back is as useful, for Putin’s purposes, as one subtly in his thrall. The government openly in his thrall is less useful.

        • efgoldman

          Putin rolls armor into Ukraine.

          As a practical matter, there’s nothing we/NATO would do, or would have done, to stop it militarily if Uncle Vladdie wants to do it.

          Unfortunately, regardless of who is in the WH or running congress.

          • Manny Kant

            But lots of economic steps we could take, no? I think the real question is what happens if Putin gins up a crisis in Estonia.

      • JMP

        Trump still hasn’t lifted those sanctions like he promised; Vladimir should have looked a little more closely at Donald’s history of refusing to pay contractors.

    • If people think this might be a Trump cover to distract us from healthcare, can you imagine what activities Putin is doing in the background with this as his cover?

    • VMink

      It would be easier from an operational standpoint to ‘sow chaos’ rather than ‘suborn.’ Putin (probably correctly) took note that the US is not remotely a monoculture, and that between the federalist system and the left-right divide, the United States are united only in name and foreign policy. To suborn the US government would require ensuring that the states fall into line, and good luck getting California to march in lockstep with Alabama.

      Instead, the game plan was to cripple the effectiveness if the Clinton presidency, by attacking her legitimacy and qualifications and all the masses of VINCEWATER EMAILYNCH GHAZIDESTA! bullshyte. But just on the outside chance Idiot Amin got elected, the left will be angry and upset because Trump is a walking dumpster fire, so even if the B-team is working on Trump, all the revelations will just erode even more trust in the federal government and faith in the Trump Administration. The agents involved don’t even have to be perfect; in fact them being perfect is perfect. Notice that the Russian Ambassador has already been replaced. And now the Russians can do whatever they want, and the US is going to flail about what to do while the wailing man-child in the White House tries to prove he’s really the president, and most of us are focussed on dragging him out of there while some of us are focussed on keeping him in there.

      If this hypothesis is correct, expect more ‘leaks’ from the Russians involved in this as to their dealings with Trump that further implicate the belief in collusion, and further sow chaos. Might even see some actual stuff on some Dems if things slow down and the cries for blood fade a bit.

      • Asteroid_Strike_Brexit

        I read an article in I think the New Yorker that Russia wants to maximise the forces trying to pull the US apart – literally, in the case of secessionist movements in multiple states.

        Trump shook hands with the devil when he worked with the Russians and they are going to toy with him. He and his stupid clan had no idea that would happen. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are some leaks of info to Wikileaks detailing unseemly things Russia knows about him if he doesn’t play ball.

      • Manny Kant

        What on earth do you mean that he needs to ensure “that the states fall into line”? Putin cares about US foreign policy. What do state governments have to do with that?

  • Lost Left Coaster

    He didn’t go to spy school, ergo, not a spy. There is no scandal here. This is just a distraction from the Democrat party’s failure to adopt my twitter feed as it’s platform. — Glenn Greenwald, probably.

    • wjts

      He wasn’t wearing a rumpled trenchcoat. Q.E.D.

      ETA: OK, the photo of the meeting posted on Instagram by Trump Jr. does show Akhmetsin wearing a rumpled trenchcoat. But there is no evidence that his Aston Martin is equipped with an ejector seat. Q.E.D.

      ETA: OK, the Aston Martin repair invoice posted on Facebook by Trump Jr. does show that Akhmetsin’s Aston Martin is equipped with an ejector seat. But the invoice clearly shows that the ejector seat was broken at the time of the meeting.

      • Norrin Radd

        In any event can’t use shoe as a walkie talkie so none this matters.

    • majeff

      Was just gonna ask if Greenwald had pedantgasmed yet.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        He was on Democracy Now! yesterday but thankfully I missed the episode…

        • Hogan

          So you didn’t get the first look at Kellyanne Conway’s new talking point.

          To me, it seems as though the people who are moving the goalposts are the Democrats.

          https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/13/glenn_greenwald_donald_trump_jrs_emails

          • Lost Left Coaster

            Man Greenwald really should fill in for Sean Hannity on his vacations.

            • DN Nation

              He’s chummy with Tucker Carlson, so…yeah?

    • gocart mozart

      If he’s a spy, how come no secret gadgets: no bullet shooting umbrella, tear gas fountain pen, not even a Maxwell Smart Shoe/Phone. Not buying it.

    • firefall

      no, no, he ‘was never formally trained as a spy’

      Presumably they ran out of tuxedos for the essential Casino/Bond classes

  • Ah, but remember these important principles before jumping to conclusions :

    1) It is wrong to accuse anyone of a crime before guilt has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. This is why no one is ever brought to trial. But in principle, there should be a thorough investigation, even though we all know it would be a diversion from the real issues.

    2) Just because people have been frantically covering something up doesn’t mean we should assume they did something wrong. Think of it as something like a surprise birthday party.

    3) It is a form of neo-McCarthyism to talk as though there’s anything suspicious about clandestine meetings with Russians. Surely the Russians are our friends, or would be if we weren’t so suspicious of them.

    • gocart mozart

      If Democrat

      1) All Democrats are presumed guilty unless innocence of a crime or a appearance of impropriety has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and maybe not even then.

      • joel_hanes

        Corollary : Therefore, because of the well-known difficulty of proving a negative assertion, and because absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence, all Dems everywhere ARE guilty. Of something. Definitely. Can you prove they’re not? Well then. QED and it would be irresponsible not to speculate, or even just make shit up.

    • JMP

      Also, if you have any problems with Russian interference in our election, with the invasion of Ukraine or assistance of Assad in Syria, or with Putin’s repeated murders of journalists and political dissidents, then you must want war with Russia and are a horrible war-monger unlike that peace-loving Donald Trump.

  • Dr. Waffle

    Can you imagine how “skeptics” like Greenwald and Tracey would react if Hillary Clinton was under investigation for ties to, say, the Israeli government? They would probably be calling for her execution.

    • FlipYrWhig

      They were calling for her execution when they found out she had ties to a publicist.

    • The Great God Pan

      Greenwald’s latest contribution on Twitter was to retweet Michael Tracey quoting Glenn Loury saying that this is just like the Obama birth certificate nonsense and Mueller had better indict somebody right now or go home.

      I can’t believe you think these Serious and Intellectually Honest Thinkers wouldn’t feel the same way about Clinton colluding with Israel to get elected.

      • “Of course I support an investigation in principle, but if they haven’t proved their case beyond a shadow of a doubt after a couple of months they should stop the investigation so we can all get on with our lives and focus on the REAL ISSUES”

  • Damon Poeter

    Faced with increasing evidence that the June 9 face-to-face was a negotiation of a quid pro quo arrangement with the Russian government, Don Jr. countered that nobody ordered calamari during the meeting.

    • Hogan

      OK, we did order calamari, but it wasn’t the breaded kind I like so I didn’t have any.

      • majeff

        And that weird cold purplish “sauce.”

      • Denverite

        Fine, they had the fried stuff and I had some but it wasn’t very good.

        • Cheap Wino

          Okay, I ate it all. But that was only because they didn’t give me any ketchup for my steak.

          • Yixing’s Fluffer

            Okay, there was ketchup and I devoured that steak, too. But I didn’t have any chocolate cake because it wasn’t my cheat day.

            • Denverite

              You know what? I did have the cake to go with a double order of fried calamari and steak with extra ketchup. What are you going to do about? Go fuck yourself.

              • Yixing’s Fluffer

                Trump 2020: Ебать себя!

      • Damon Poeter

        Ok so the grown ups had calamari but I had a nothingburger from the kid’s menu and Jared had the chickenshit fingers and Paul wouldn’t let us finish coloring in our menus anyway!

  • Terok Nor

    This is getting to feel like “Yeah, we’re guilty as hell. I dare you to do something about it.”

    • joel_hanes

      This is beginning to feel like waiting for Fitzmas.

      • +1 sad face

      • royko

        Well, I’m pretty confident that this crew will manage to bumble their way into traceable illegality on a pretty much daily basis from here on out, so I think at the very least, we’re in for a long string of “Can you believe they did that?” stories even after the current one.

        On the other hand, Trump controls the Justice department and has unlimited pardon powers, and the only check on him is Congressional Republicans, so it’s hard to see any of this leading to actual indictments or prosecutions.

        • efgoldman

          Trump controls the Justice department and has unlimited pardon powers

          Unlimited federal pardon powers. I still expect state indictments in NY of practically everybody, for state RICO or financial violations having little or nothing directly to do with the election.
          Also, majority or not, these things don’t happen in a political vacuum. Anybody he pardons is going to be family, or obviously guilty, or both. His 25-30% true faith base will always be with him, just as they were with Dicksie on the day he left, but the country as a whole will be outraged and take it out on the RWNJs.

          • alabasterjones

            It wouldn’t surprise me if Mueller starts looking into Trump’s business dealings in general – and that is going to get into money laundering just due to NYC luxury real estate being a destination of choice for illicit money. That would leave Trump et al exposed to NY State prosecution even if he pardons himself and all his family/friends.

  • And that is exactly what a formally-trained spy would say!

    • mds

      The first rule of Spy Club is: Never talk about Spy Club.

  • Uhhhh, did I forget to mention the Russian spy that attended?

    • Hogan

      One meets so many Russian spies it’s hard to keep track of them all.

      • Lost Left Coaster

        Well, I mean, c’mon, Donald Jr. is a good kid, he’s new to all of this politicking stuff, how was he supposed to know that you shouldn’t invite Russian spies to campaign meetings? Now he knows, and he won’t let it happen again, probably.

        • LosGatosCA

          He’s a slow learner, so no more than two more times, three tops. He just requires a little patience. He’s not dyslexic or anything. Just stupid. But his heart is in the right place. Trying to do the right thing for Putin and the Russian Mob. Good kid, really. Just don’t give him the bag with the money and it will all work out in the end.

      • SatanicPanic

        Who wouldn’t take a meeting with a Russian spy?

    • SomeTreasonBrewing

      Look, we’ve all been there. Late afternoon meeting, promise of damaging intel from a foreign adversary, bad coffee, former Russian intelligence officer, no set dinner reservation yet, offer of documents from an illegal international theft.

      What’s a young executive to do?

      • Isn’t that the plot to “American Psycho?”

        Who here wants to bet that Junior hasn’t wondered if Ivanka’s skin would make great business cards?

  • alabasterjones

    Is there anything specific that suggests the documents in question were hacked emails? Not playing devil’s advocate, I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around the sheer idiocy of all of this.

    • Paul Campos

      We know for a fact that the DNC hack included detailed donor information that was later released by Wikileaks. So yeah, the “documents” might have been something else, but . . .

      • Boots Day

        Don Jr.’s earlier statement on the meeting said specifically: “The women stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton… No details or supporting information was provided or even offered.” Even though that last little bit was totally unnecessary, it was a complete lie. They brought a whole frickin’ dossier.

  • markefield

    Heh. CNN now says that there were at least 8 people in the meeting.

    • sigaba

      Grumpy, Sneezy, Lazy, Dopey…

      • FMguru

        Canonically they would be Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy, and Remorseful.

        • sigaba

          Surly only looks out for one guy: Surly.

        • N__B

          You only have seven there. I think it’s Horny who’s missing.

    • Leisure Suit Lawyer

      Maybe one of them was that 400 pound guy Trump mentioned at the debate?

    • Domino

      I can’t tell you how much I wish 1 of them was Assange. I know, there’s no way he can leave the embassy. But can you imagine? It would be the perfect person to be added to this story (that already feels like a fanfic).

      • and behind door # 8 is . . . (drumroll) . . . Dr. Jill Stein ladies and gentleman

    • Mellano

      Time to start questioning anyone in the White House who keeps humming “All Along the Watchtower”.

  • Damon Poeter

    Shorter Trump apologists: I would gladly pay you Tuesday for Monday’s nothing burger today

  • John F

    Years ago I represented a company that was owed a lot of money by some guy. At some point this guy had owned a lot of doughnut shops, he sold them and bought “interests” in some hotels. (He had “interests” in some entities” that had “invested in and had interests” in some hotels. That kind of deal) Finding assets was proving to be tad tough, but one day we got a call from a quasi-celebrity PI (guy who had been on a few reality TV shows…), telling us he had information on our guy….

    Figuring what the hell, we’ll talk with this guy, we arrange a meeting…. Welp, as it turns out after a lot of bluffing the sleaze-bag almost a celebrity PI had nothing*. Oh he claimed he had stuff or could get stuff, but wanted some retainer (retainer? so you could bill us while you search? I thought you already had something) or contingency fee agreement in writing first so he could get a% if we ever recovered anything.

    Trump Jr’s meeting was not like that for a very simple reason- as cartoonish as this all looks, the Russians actually had “helpful” stuff and the means to get more.

    Trump Jr’s meeting was like ours in a very important way though- our guy the sleaze-bag almost a celebrity PI wanted something from us- he wanted money. The Ruskies wanted something from the Trumps- that’s what has to be hammered away at, The Ruskies wanted something from the Trumps, WHAT WAS IT? Make the Trumpistas answer that

    *Well nothing we didn’t already know, nothing an intern couldn’t pull off Google.

    • markefield

      According to NBC, Junior told the Russians that if they “came to power”, they’d get back to the Russians on the sanctions issue.

      • NonyNony

        JFC. It’s going to turn out that someone taped the whole thing, isn’t it?

        Probably Jr. himself.

        Right now there’s a decent chance that the only reason we haven’t seen him dump the recordings out onto the Internet is because he can’t figure out how to get them off of his phone.

        • John F

          Oh, I think it’s a certainty the Russians taped it.

          I think a problem the Russians may actually be having with Trump is they have leverage, but political leverage (as opposed to physical leverage) requires that the target recognize that you have leverage.

          Trump, “I don’t know, why should I do that”
          Russians, “because we have proof your campaign with us to coordinate the Wikileaks DNC reveal”
          Trump, stares blankly, “and what?”
          Russians, “we have proof you security adviser took money from us and from Turkey, and lied to your Congress about it”
          Trump, stare goes from blank t vaguely curious, “… I’ve gotten a ton of money from you guys, I have a tax accountant I can hook him up with”
          Russians, “look we have emails showing your son and son-in law met with us during your campaign”
          Trump, baffled, “Tell me something I don’t know”

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            the thing that no doubt surprises/amuses the Russians is how little the congressional republicans care about any of this

        • Given that, from my understanding, Russians in Trump Tower were already under federal surveillance, there’s a nonzero chance Mueller already has the tapes somehow.

  • quakerinabasement

    “He told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence”

    I see. Not a spy, a spy-catcher.

    • wjts

      Literally the opposite of a spy, if you think about it. So if anything, he made the meeting even more innocuous.

  • Joe Paulson

    Clearly the only solution is to find moose and squirrel.

    Does Sen. Franken have any contacts in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota?

  • John F

    I wandered over to Greenwald’s twitter… he;’s been reposting others Russophile tweets, including one long winded one about how similar the Russia witch-hunt is to the Obama birther thing.

    I honestly am at a loss as to that kind of reasoning, I mean I could see comparing it to Whitewater or Monicagate on some level… But with the birther thing? The birther thing was the doing of delusional racists, forget fire, there wasn’t even any smoke, hell there wasn’t even a dust cloud you could mistake for smoke. There was literally NOTHING there ever, at all, nothing you could infer from.

    Guys like Greenwald simply refuse to address the evidence, refuses to acknowledge anything, he’s got hid eyes shut, shaking his head while muttering, “I can’t hear you.” Hell at least the Trumpistas everynow and then trot out some ludicrous explanation or another, but not Greenwald. His pal Assange has all but admitted he’s a Trump supporter, but not Greenwald, claims he supports guys like Corbyn…

    • DN Nation

      Yes, Russophobia is a terrible thing, as are people who assist in perpetuating it.

      https://twitter.com/Wilson__Valdez/status/883399779216011265

      • JMP

        Nice false equivalence there! Being against the actual actions of the Russian government is not at all the same as being bigoted against Russian people, and to conflate the two is completely idiotic and rather obviously not arguing in good faith.

    • alabasterjones

      What I don’t understand about Greenwald is that he isn’t just some idiot with a Twitter account, he’s an editor for an investigative news outlet that is focused on National Security issues. If the Russia Hacking thing is, indeed, baseless, shouldn’t he, you now, report that out?

      • The Great God Pan

        Glenn says he isn’t an editor there despite holding the title of Founding Editor. He claims (or has claimed, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has taken multiple approaches to this) that he and Scahill demoted themselves to mere writers immediately after founding the publication.

        • Michael

          Ken Silverstein’s reporting explicitly contradicts this. Now Greenwald used the line he isn’t responsible for what The Intercept publishes and rarely edits. But he also claims The Intercept offers its writers full editorial freedom which means…what does Betsy Reed, EiC, actually do?

      • SamR

        When Reality Winner gave them documents, they did write a story. Of course, the redacting in the story was so poor her identity was immediately exposed and she was arrested. Strange, since this had never happened to them with any other story.

        At any rate, either they’re so incompetent that they burned a source with great info so badly that she’ll probably go to prison, or they’re engaged in an active effort to stamp out claims of Russian collusion that includes torching their own sources.

    • Greenwald is a professional troll.

    • Hogan

      one long winded one about how similar the Russia witch-hunt is to the Obama birther thing

      That was our old friend, the egregious Michael Tracey.

  • Professor Fate

    “He told the AP he served in the Soviet military in a unit that was part of counterintelligence but was never formally trained as a spy.”
    He just took some on line classes nothing formal at all.
    And just what were you doing in counter intelligence? Getting the Coffee? Indeed one does think that to be in counter intelligence once would have to at least have some knowledge of what spies do and the skills to deal with that yes?

    • Lurker

      I believe that Russia has its own counterpart of the FBI academy and the CIA “farm”. So, stating that the person in question has never undergone a degree course in such an august institution may be technically true. However, it is also meaningless. Any person who has served in Russian reconnaissance, intelligence or counter-intelligence troops in whatsoever capacity is for all intents and purposes a GRU agent. If they are not active now, they can be recalled to duty at will.

  • John F

    What I find really funny* about the self -proclaimed lefties who are so frantically urging the Dems to drop the Russia matter or be condemned to electoral irrelevance for a generation, (for failing to address the real/structural reasons for Trump’s rise- the struggle of the working class**)- what we’ve learned from the RWNJs is that you should NEVER EVER DROP ANYTHING EVER. Bangng away endlessly at EMAILZ! and BENGHAZI!! really harmed the GOP didn’t it?

    * “funny” as in those leftovers smell funny after awhile

    ** You never ever see anyone who frantically wants to “accommodate” the white working class acknowledge that Trump lost the popular vote, got only 46% and won due to an EC fluke where he won 4 states by 1%. At least the Trumpistas address that, they claim millions illegally voted for HRC or that he won the vote among real ‘muricans.. But these pseudo lefties seem to live in a bizarre alternate reality where Trump won 60% of the vote and currently has approval ratings to match..

    • Boots Day

      Banging away at the long-form Birth Certificate, even though it ended up amounting to less then nothing, also ended up in its prime mover becoming president.

    • PressSecretaryCaptainHowdy

      Left retrograde nativist populists have to frame Drumpf as having been the real winner because they have to validate retrograde nativist populism.

    • catbirdman

      I’m all for fighting for every scrap, especially on issues like Russia, but when you bring up the examples of “EMAILZ! and BENGHAZI!” you’re not allowing for the fact that the R’s have (a) a MUCH higher percentage of people ready to believe anything, and (b) lots of ultra-rich people who are also ultra-motivated to hoard their cash by subverting our democracy in any way they can think of. Basically, R’s have the ultra-rich, the evangelicals, the racists, the militarists, and the (mostly white) folks who aren’t very interested in politics and think their taxes are too high. And their politicians have decided, en mass, to pull out all the stops to pretend that science isn’t real (does not include gerrymandering, which is just about the only form of science they pursue), that they’re okay with Trump in the White House, etc.

      There’s just no way that Democrats, appealing mostly to rational people who have rational beliefs, and at least a modicum of morality and capacity for shame, should even think about getting “down and dirty” and copying Republican tactics. All we’ll do is turn off the rational people that form our base (as they say, why vote for a fake Republican when you can vote for a real one?). Our politicians simply *can’t* waste time voting for fake bills that have no chance of passing, as the R’s did with Obamacare for the past several years. We can’t spend our time on phony investigations, as R’s did with Benghazi or the birth certificate. We can’t deny the legitimacy of science or statesmanship or religious freedom or LGBT rights or anything else that R’s distort for the purpose of riling up their idiotic base and keeping their plutocrat overlords from primarying them.

      Fortunately, the R’s offer enough legitimate targets for attack, like the Russia matter and the stupid healthcare bill, that D’s should have no problem fighting from the moral and ethical high ground. But let’s put to rest the idea that banging away at fake issues is the road to anything other than a country where no rational person would have any reason to give a crap about national politics.

  • Karen

    Badly off-topic, but we need to celebrate things like this.. State lege races are as important for the next two years as any national race.

  • SamR

    Yeah all his spy training was informal, suck it libtards.

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