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  #101  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
Here's a post of mine from the thread mentioned earlier that touched on Trump money laundering.
I'm glad you posted this, in no small part because it reminded me of the New Republic, a great magazine that I had kind of forgotten about over the years.

The article is very even-handed, and lays out the highly profitable ways Trump and family have benefited from Russian connections over the decades. It strikes me as all the evidence one might need to conclude that Trump kowtows to Putin the way he does because, unexpectedly finding himself president, and not wanting to upset the person who could most fuck up future Trump business deals, he wants to keep him happy until he returns to private life. Not to suggest that Trump isn't acting out of blackmail due to illegal activity on Trump's part, but this sort of thing seems more plausible to me.
  #102  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:05 PM
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I'm glad you posted this, in no small part because it reminded me of the New Republic, a great magazine that I had kind of forgotten about over the years.

The article is very even-handed, and lays out the highly profitable ways Trump and family have benefited from Russian connections over the decades. It strikes me as all the evidence one might need to conclude that Trump kowtows to Putin the way he does because, unexpectedly finding himself president, and not wanting to upset the person who could most fuck up future Trump business deals, he wants to keep him happy until he returns to private life. Not to suggest that Trump isn't acting out of blackmail due to illegal activity on Trump's part, but this sort of thing seems more plausible to me.
Putin is a trained KGB agent. Donald has gone past the place where he is currying busines favors. He is not going back to private life. He is going to have to use his resources to try and stay out of jail. If he needs putins help to stay out of jail that is the definition of blackmail.
  #103  
Old 10-10-2019, 01:46 PM
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Putin is a trained KGB agent. Donald has gone past the place where he is currying busines favors. He is not going back to private life. He is going to have to use his resources to try and stay out of jail. If he needs putins help to stay out of jail that is the definition of blackmail.
If as suspected and as of now most likely event that he doesn't lose a trial in the Senate, hopefully he will be brought up on charges later. But I doubt even that will happen. Most likely if a Dem wins, he or she will pull a Gerald Ford and pardon him for the so-called "good of the country". Assuming he is indicted, sure, if he needs Putin's help that would suggest Putin having the "goods" on him. You can probably guess IMO I don't think that will happen.
  #104  
Old 10-10-2019, 05:47 PM
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If as suspected and as of now most likely event that he doesn't lose a trial in the Senate, hopefully he will be brought up on charges later. But I doubt even that will happen. Most likely if a Dem wins, he or she will pull a Gerald Ford and pardon him for the so-called "good of the country". Assuming he is indicted, sure, if he needs Putin's help that would suggest Putin having the "goods" on him. You can probably guess IMO I don't think that will happen.
Pardoning trump for the good of the country will be a controversial move for sure. I don't see the reason for it. He's not Nixon and this isn't 1975. Nixons problems were confined to certain subjects and were domestic. tirnps problems are just about worldwide and do not have any boundaries that we can discern at the moment. Also it is significant that trumps problems are not just affecting the american people whom such a pardon would be "good for" but other nations and foreign entities who have been betrayed, insulted or just confused about the US. Is pardoning him good for these people? Whether or not this is true the US must begin repairing these relationships as soon as possible. A pardon for the trumpster fire is not going to sound good in the global community. There is an example we have to set.
  #105  
Old 10-10-2019, 06:14 PM
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Pardoning trump for the good of the country will be a controversial move for sure. I don't see the reason for it. He's not Nixon and this isn't 1975. Nixons problems were confined to certain subjects and were domestic. tirnps problems are just about worldwide and do not have any boundaries that we can discern at the moment. Also it is significant that trumps problems are not just affecting the american people whom such a pardon would be "good for" but other nations and foreign entities who have been betrayed, insulted or just confused about the US. Is pardoning him good for these people? Whether or not this is true the US must begin repairing these relationships as soon as possible. A pardon for the trumpster fire is not going to sound good in the global community. There is an example we have to set.
I agree with all this. Our country and globe face enormous challenges, but I feel like we have no hope of acting without a functioning government, and we can't have a functioning government until we prosecute every participant in the Trump Crime Empire.
  #106  
Old 10-11-2019, 11:21 AM
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Pardoning trump for the good of the country will be a controversial move for sure. I don't see the reason for it. He's not Nixon and this isn't 1975. Nixons problems were confined to certain subjects and were domestic. tirnps problems are just about worldwide and do not have any boundaries that we can discern at the moment. Also it is significant that trumps problems are not just affecting the american people whom such a pardon would be "good for" but other nations and foreign entities who have been betrayed, insulted or just confused about the US. Is pardoning him good for these people? Whether or not this is true the US must begin repairing these relationships as soon as possible. A pardon for the trumpster fire is not going to sound good in the global community. There is an example we have to set.
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I agree with all this. Our country and globe face enormous challenges, but I feel like we have no hope of acting without a functioning government, and we can't have a functioning government until we prosecute every participant in the Trump Crime Empire.
And I agree with both of you. To be clear, in no way do I think it will be for "the good of the country" to just let Trump off the hook.
  #107  
Old 10-12-2019, 05:13 AM
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According to some, the implication/assertion goes that Trump has done plenty of grievous things in his life and that evidence of these things has fallen into the hands of Vladimir Putin*, and further that Putin is using these things to blackmail the president. In another thread in Elections, it was suggested that I "do my own homework" after making an off-hand comment that "Trump isn't being controlled by foreign powers, I don't think". The reason I did not go off and do that in depth was, I've been following politics fairly closely for decades, and certainly during the Trump years, and I haven't seen anything that would make me think that Trump is most likely being blackmailed. I've have done Google searches, currently watch all the cable news shows, including FOX, and haven't found anything particularly convincing there. This is not to say that I discount the possiblity that Trump is in fact acting at the behest of Putin. Certainly it's possible, and I am open to the idea.

In the other thread, someone made the rather ridiculuous assertion that I would need a video of Trump fellating Putin, or a personal letter from the Russian before I would be satisfied. I alluded to the possiblity that it will most likely be very difficult to find "high-quality" evidence of blackmail, some sort of direct connection, but this is not on me. One cannot reduce the standard of proof in this instance, just to make it easier to "prove" something. Since it will be difficult, it's very likely this thread will die a quick death. But here goes:

I would start off the debate with a few questions as suggestions only. Feel free to start wherever you like.

1. What "goods" does Putin have on Trump?
2. What evidence is there that he has communicated to Trump blackmail demands, and what are they?
3. What has Trump done that suggests he is being blackmailed, that is, something he would not have done unless that is in fact the case.

*Putin is the one I see usually being accused of being a potential blackmailer. Feel free to talk about others as you see fit.
I just watched this, and I think it's very germane to the question in the sense of why there has been so much noise being made about Trump and Russia, short answer: deflection by projection.
  #108  
Old 10-12-2019, 07:54 AM
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Well, we all elected Trump suspecting he had hookers & blow on speed dial. That did not seem to upset people. Anyone involved in New York real estate is sort of corrupt as a given. Being corrupt makes a person liable to blackmail. Blackmailers are good at what they do, they practice. Their victims are unpracticed.


The idea that President is being blackmailed cannot be discounted. In the long run, it will all come out one way or the other.
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  #109  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:13 PM
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I just watched this, and I think it's very germane to the question in the sense of why there has been so much noise being made about Trump and Russia, short answer: deflection by projection.
What is the original crime and how does the projection work to deflect it?
  #110  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:10 PM
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Reining in mouthy allies that are figuratively writing checks they expect the U.S. to cash is beneficial to the U.S. These sort of mutual defense treaties with dramatically-weaker countries who are facing off against significant global powers almost always involve some degree of triangulation. We don't want the insignificant country to feel so emboldened that they drag us into a nuclear exchange with China or Russia, but we also don't want China or Russia feeling free to run roughshod over their weaker neighbors. It's a bit of a balancing act, and has been for many decades before President Trump ever came on the scene.
Things were not so heavy-handed before the present incumbent came on the scene. And while Dubya could say some real stoopid things, Trump, well trumps him.

As for Russian action in the 2016 election, it's quite possible, but should be seen in the context of attempts to manipulate the social media by other parties with a viewing to skewing the results. In other words,which of the manipulators achieived the greatest effect, and how much was nullified by the others?
  #111  
Old 10-13-2019, 03:16 PM
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Doing the laundry


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There is strong evidence that Trump laundered dirty Rubles via his Atlantic City casino.
Oh yes? Gambling is a classical way of laundering money.
  #112  
Old 10-14-2019, 08:57 AM
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I just watched this, and I think it's very germane to the question in the sense of why there has been so much noise being made about Trump and Russia, short answer: deflection by projection.
Jimmy Dore is a conspiracy theorist and a whack job. He is also known to have spread pro-Assad conspiracy theories while taking money from a pro-Assad organization.

Jimmy Dore is not a reliable source of information.
  #113  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:11 PM
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I just watched this, and I think it's very germane to the question in the sense of why there has been so much noise being made about Trump and Russia, short answer: deflection by projection.
AKA: The "no u" defense.

Trump: "No, you the puppet! YOU THE PUPPET!!!"

Last edited by Euphonious Polemic; 10-14-2019 at 01:11 PM.
  #114  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:29 AM
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Jimmy Dore is a conspiracy theorist and a whack job. He is also known to have spread pro-Assad conspiracy theories while taking money from a pro-Assad organization.

Jimmy Dore is not a reliable source of information.
Your answer to someone who doesn't believe Trump is an asset from a foreign power is to accuse the person saying that of being a foreign agent too.

If people get past your gatekeeping efforts they'll see he cites multiple sources.
I will add, "Trump is a Russian agent" is a conspiracy theory, saying "there is no evidence to say Trump is a Russian agent" is not.

In any case that video is less about Trump and more about the extensive, seemingly corrupt, dealings of Democrat politicians with Russia and Ukraine which have a striking resemblance with the accusations levied at Trump, hence why at the begging Dore points out that one of the tools of propaganda is to accuse your opponent of the same thing you are doing.

I'd like to add that I never bother with this Elections section, since I'm not a US citizen, but I keep seeing, or rather not seeing, the elephant in the room when it relates to this whole "election meddling" discussions. There's an entire side to the story missing from what I've seen in the SDMB and I think that's a gross epistemic failure of the board.

I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict, the "Trump is a Russian asset" meme has worked fantastically well in that regard.
  #115  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:22 AM
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Your answer to someone who doesn't believe Trump is an asset from a foreign power is to accuse the person saying that of being a foreign agent too.

If people get past your gatekeeping efforts they'll see he cites multiple sources.
I will add, "Trump is a Russian agent" is a conspiracy theory, saying "there is no evidence to say Trump is a Russian agent" is not.

In any case that video is less about Trump and more about the extensive, seemingly corrupt, dealings of Democrat politicians with Russia and Ukraine which have a striking resemblance with the accusations levied at Trump, hence why at the begging Dore points out that one of the tools of propaganda is to accuse your opponent of the same thing you are doing.

I'd like to add that I never bother with this Elections section, since I'm not a US citizen, but I keep seeing, or rather not seeing, the elephant in the room when it relates to this whole "election meddling" discussions. There's an entire side to the story missing from what I've seen in the SDMB and I think that's a gross epistemic failure of the board.

I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict, the "Trump is a Russian asset" meme has worked fantastically well in that regard.
The meme has worked well in regard to Putins attempts to weaken the US?

So Putin is attempting to weaken the US?

How is he doing it? By getting liberals to go off the deep end in protesting the president? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to just exercise some control over one person, like maybe a certain king of debt who has trouble getting loans from ordinary banks?

You actually think we need to stop curbing trump when he is admitting to dirt every day on TV and in writing? Are we down to devils advocate stuff?
  #116  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:42 AM
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Your answer to someone who doesn't believe Trump is an asset from a foreign power is to accuse the person saying that of being a foreign agent too.
It's a fact.

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Among those winners is Jimmy Dore, a comedian turned political commentator who was employed by The Young Turks, a progressive video outlet, until April 2019. According to an IRS filing, however, Dore actually began receiving money from the association behind the Serena Shim Award in 2017, receiving $2,500 for what the latter described as “human rights media.”

That same year, Dore would argue that a chemical weapons attack on the opposition-held town of Khan Sheikhun was likely a “false flag,” the bodies of dead children having been planted, perhaps, by extremists (the United Nations has confirmed that the Syrian government, the only party to the conflict known to possess the Sarin and an air force, was responsible).
He was literally promoting a pro-Assad conspiracy theory while getting money from a pro-Assad organization.
  #117  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:02 AM
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I will add, "Trump is a Russian agent" is a conspiracy theory, saying "there is no evidence to say Trump is a Russian agent" is not.

I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict, the "Trump is a Russian asset" meme has worked fantastically well in that regard.
The Jimmy Dore clip is blocked here at work, so no comment on that until I see it. But as the starter of this thread let me say that the conspiracy theory is a good way of putting it. I hadn't thought about characterizing it that way. CTs can be proven true, but this one hasn't been, not by a long shot.
  #118  
Old 10-15-2019, 12:31 PM
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The Jimmy Dore clip is blocked here at work, so no comment on that until I see it. But as the starter of this thread let me say that the conspiracy theory is a good way of putting it. I hadn't thought about characterizing it that way. CTs can be proven true, but this one hasn't been, not by a long shot.
That is true. A conspiracy theory can't be said to be false, or true, without some real world investigation.

But the quote above, that you were responding to is circular, and incoherent.

It literally says that there is a conspiracy by Putin to destabilize the US, but the problem is the US citizens who are pushing for investigation. Those US citizens are "destabilizing" the country because they are finding reasonable cause in this matter. You are pushing a moscow/gop line that is a little strange IMO.

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  #119  
Old 10-15-2019, 01:21 PM
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But it doesn't literally say that. To elaborate:

Conspiracy theory from Wiki: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations seem more probable.

I had never read this particular definition, but this is what I think of when I say conspiracy theory. And as I've mentioned in this thread, I think there are more plausible reasons that Trump does what he does rather than having to have "sinister and powerful actors" in the mix. But I'm not ruling out the possibility, however slight it is as I see it. That's all I said there.
  #120  
Old 10-15-2019, 02:06 PM
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But it doesn't literally say that. To elaborate:

Conspiracy theory from Wiki: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations seem more probable.

I had never read this particular definition, but this is what I think of when I say conspiracy theory. And as I've mentioned in this thread, I think there are more plausible reasons that Trump does what he does rather than having to have "sinister and powerful actors" in the mix. But I'm not ruling out the possibility, however slight it is as I see it. That's all I said there.
"I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict"

How does this lead, in your reasoning, to division in the US being attributed to leftists trying to investigate it?
  #121  
Old 10-15-2019, 02:19 PM
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"I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict"

How does this lead, in your reasoning, to division in the US being attributed to leftists trying to investigate it?
I guess it's like "Crime statistics would be much better if the police would just stop investigating stuff."
  #122  
Old 10-15-2019, 03:29 PM
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"I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict"

How does this lead, in your reasoning, to division in the US being attributed to leftists trying to investigate it?
Ah, I see what happened. You think I am agreeing with Ale's particular theory. I wasn't clear. I am saying in general if one believes that Putin/foreign powers are controlling Trump, that fits the definition of a conspiracy theory.
  #123  
Old 10-15-2019, 03:47 PM
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I guess it's like "Crime statistics would be much better if the police would just stop investigating stuff."
Fair enough that you might think this given my not being clear. But I assure you, I don't make that type of illogical leap.

This reminds me of a classic in a gun control thread a few months ago. Someone wanted to argue that the death rate because of guns wasn't all that high in the US compared to Australia or somewhere. He said something like, well, if you remove all the gun deaths from the ten cities with the highest rates, then the US rate is comparable to other nations. Well, yeah, dumbass, I thought, but you can't just manipulate statistics like that.
  #124  
Old 10-15-2019, 03:54 PM
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Ah, I see what happened. You think I am agreeing with Ale's particular theory. I wasn't clear. I am saying in general if one believes that Putin/foreign powers are controlling Trump, that fits the definition of a conspiracy theory.
Believing trump is not being influenced by foreign powers is a conspiracy theory the way i understand the term. It's reaching and stretching and avoiding the truths in front of one to avoid an unwanted reality.

"Conspiracy theory from Wiki: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations seem more probable."

The most probable explanation is that he is being controlled. It would be a conspiracy theory to say otherwise. So occams razor and wikipedia don't help.

You need to have a more probable reason for dts behavior to be able to call that a CT.
  #125  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:02 PM
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Believing trump is not being influenced by foreign powers is a conspiracy theory the way i understand the term. It's reaching and stretching and avoiding the truths in front of one to avoid an unwanted reality.

"Conspiracy theory from Wiki: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations seem more probable."

The most probable explanation is that he is being controlled. It would be a conspiracy theory to say otherwise. So occams razor and wikipedia don't help.

You need to have a more probable reason for dts behavior to be able to call that a CT.
Then we believe the exact opposite. As I started the thread and have made statements as to why I believe what I do, maybe you would like to back up your argument. Btw, perhaps you have in this thread, I'd have to go back and check.
  #126  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:13 PM
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But here is an Occam's razor argument. I just came up with it quickly. Show me where I am wrong though.

Occam's razor says the argument with the least assumptions is usually best. My Occam's razor argument, as briefly as possible, involving myriad crimes Trump is supposed to have committed:

Trump has committed illegal acts. He believes Putin has information on these acts. He acts in favor of Putin so Putin won't expose him.

OR

Trump has committed illegal acts. Putin has information on these acts. Putin communicates to Trump to act in his favor, that is, he is actively blackmailing him. Trump acts the way he does so Putin won't expose him.

The first case is therefore the most plausible. ETA: Now, mind you, this is just an example based on other "stuff" people have mentioned, namely that Trump has committed crimes. To be clear, I don't necessarily believe he has.

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  #127  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:30 PM
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There's another possibility: Trump acts the way he does so "Ivan" doesn't show up to break his legs.
  #128  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:44 PM
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But here is an Occam's razor argument. I just came up with it quickly. Show me where I am wrong though.

Occam's razor says the argument with the least assumptions is usually best. My Occam's razor argument, as briefly as possible, involving myriad crimes Trump is supposed to have committed:

Trump has committed illegal acts. He believes Putin has information on these acts. He acts in favor of Putin so Putin won't expose him.

OR

Trump has committed illegal acts. Putin has information on these acts. Putin communicates to Trump to act in his favor, that is, he is actively blackmailing him. Trump acts the way he does so Putin won't expose him.

The first case is therefore the most plausible. ETA: Now, mind you, this is just an example based on other "stuff" people have mentioned, namely that Trump has committed crimes. To be clear, I don't necessarily believe he has.
Both are equally valid using the Occam's Razor argument as there have been multiple well-documented instances where the President of the United States met alone with Putin and his representatives with not a single American present, including once in the White House. So the complicating question of "how would Trump, if compromised, even receive these instructions" is, as it turns out, not that complicating at all.
  #129  
Old 10-15-2019, 04:52 PM
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Both are equally valid using the Occam's Razor argument as there have been multiple well-documented instances where the President of the United States met alone with Putin and his representatives with not a single American present, including once in the White House. So the complicating question of "how would Trump, if compromised, even receive these instructions" is, as it turns out, not that complicating at all.
Putin would still have to have information on Trump, which is an assumption unless you have evidence he actually does. In the first case, only Trump has to actually know crimes were committed. Assuming Putin has it, sure, it could have been communicated then. But there is still that first assumption.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 10-15-2019 at 04:53 PM.
  #130  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:21 PM
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Well, in fact it would be enough if Trump believed that Putin had information on him.

However, Trump does not seem to have a well-developed sense of what actually legal and illegal. Personally, given Trumps lack of care for legality in his dealings, his many connections with Russia, and the stuff they told us about the Soviet Unions surveillance back during security training way back when (its all bugged. Everywhere you stay as a westerner will be bugged as a matter of course) I consider it far more probablte that he is compromised than not.
  #131  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:28 PM
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Putin would still have to have information on Trump, which is an assumption unless you have evidence he actually does.
Point of order here - blackmail only works as long as it's a secret. When evidence becomes public, then it isn't blackmail anymore. It's not much of an argument to challenge people for evidence of something that is, by definition, secret.

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In the first case, only Trump has to actually know crimes were committed. Assuming Putin has it, sure, it could have been communicated then. But there is still that first assumption.
Blackmail leverage doesn't necessarily need to be a crime; it could merely be something embarrassing. For example - Trump widely wants everyone to believe he's a billionaire, he's a successful ladies man, and that he made his money on profitable deals. Evidence suggests this is very likely untrue to an embarrassing degree.

It's not a crime to be less than a billionaire, or to make bad business deals, or to be sexually undesirable. For most of us it's not even embarrassing, it happens. But Trump seems to see this as a highly sensitive secret to be protected with lawsuits, NDAs, and physical threats. Potentially everyone he's done business with has some form of this non-criminal blackmail, and none bigger than Putin.

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  #132  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:32 PM
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Is this related to that secret subpoena to a state owned company from few months back?

"Turkish Bank Charged In Manhattan Federal Court For Its Participation In A Multibillion-Dollar Iranian Sanctions Evasion Scheme".
  #133  
Old 10-15-2019, 05:51 PM
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But here is an Occam's razor argument. I just came up with it quickly. Show me where I am wrong though.

Occam's razor says the argument with the least assumptions is usually best. My Occam's razor argument, as briefly as possible, involving myriad crimes Trump is supposed to have committed:

Trump has committed illegal acts. He believes Putin has information on these acts. He acts in favor of Putin so Putin won't expose him.

OR

Trump has committed illegal acts. Putin has information on these acts. Putin communicates to Trump to act in his favor, that is, he is actively blackmailing him. Trump acts the way he does so Putin won't expose him.

The first case is therefore the most plausible. ETA: Now, mind you, this is just an example based on other "stuff" people have mentioned, namely that Trump has committed crimes. To be clear, I don't necessarily believe he has.
What trunp "believes" is based on private conversations wth Putin with no other officials present. So are you saying that Putin doesn't mention it in the convos, but trump feels compromised by just being in his presence?

Occams razor in that situation would say that vlad let him know by some means.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trum...m-putin-2018-3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o90Yp54oxkc

Occams razor for donald is a little different. We have a lot of data and we don't need to start with a blank slate.
  #134  
Old 10-15-2019, 06:59 PM
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There's another possibility: Trump acts the way he does so "Ivan" doesn't show up to break his legs.
He's got the Secret Service to handle situations where someone might want to "show up to break his legs." It is practically impossible to exert influence over the POTUS by threatening him with physical harm. He is among the best-protected people on the planet.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 10-15-2019 at 07:01 PM.
  #135  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:47 PM
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He's got the Secret Service to handle situations where someone might want to "show up to break his legs." It is practically impossible to exert influence over the POTUS by threatening him with physical harm. He is among the best-protected people on the planet.

Physical harm is nothing. Trump has at least 3 or 4 other sources of harm to him that are much more treacherous. Legal, financial, psychological. They are coming on so fast he will not be able to tell the difference between them and actual physical pain. They're going to meld.

Last edited by drad dog; 10-15-2019 at 07:47 PM.
  #136  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:53 PM
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Blackmail leverage doesn't necessarily need to be a crime; it could merely be something embarrassing. For example - Trump widely wants everyone to believe he's a billionaire, he's a successful ladies man, and that he made his money on profitable deals. Evidence suggests this is very likely untrue to an embarrassing degree.

It's not a crime to be less than a billionaire, or to make bad business deals, or to be sexually undesirable. For most of us it's not even embarrassing, it happens. But Trump seems to see this as a highly sensitive secret to be protected with lawsuits, NDAs, and physical threats. Potentially everyone he's done business with has some form of this non-criminal blackmail, and none bigger than Putin.
Agreed, it does not have to be illegal, and in fact I think if Trump's tax returns are ever made public, it won't reveal crimes, but embarrassing details such as him being nowhere near as rich as he has said.

As for Occam's razor, the main thing I wanted to get across with that post was to suggest that it is not unequivocally the case that it supports blackmail. I think Occam's razor could go either way depending on how one sets up the argument. I could even go back to where I said "[Trump] believes Putin has information on these acts", and say there are actually two assumptions there, the other being we have to assume Trump knows who Putin is anymore, and refute my own argument. That is a silly example perhaps, but I'm merely saying that what counts as an assumption is suggestive. All of this is to say, I probably shouldn't have brought it up because it doesn't really add anything to the discussion.
  #137  
Old 10-15-2019, 07:54 PM
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So are you saying that Putin doesn't mention it in the convos, but trump feels compromised by just being in his presence?
Well, no. That was just an example off the top of my head. I have no idea what either one actually thinks.
  #138  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:17 PM
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But here is an Occam's razor argument. I just came up with it quickly. Show me where I am wrong though.

Occam's razor says the argument with the least assumptions is usually best. My Occam's razor argument, as briefly as possible, involving myriad crimes Trump is supposed to have committed:

Trump has committed illegal acts. He believes Putin has information on these acts. He acts in favor of Putin so Putin won't expose him.

OR

Trump has committed illegal acts. Putin has information on these acts. Putin communicates to Trump to act in his favor, that is, he is actively blackmailing him. Trump acts the way he does so Putin won't expose him.

The first case is therefore the most plausible. ETA: Now, mind you, this is just an example based on other "stuff" people have mentioned, namely that Trump has committed crimes. To be clear, I don't necessarily believe he has.
Occams razor does not allow two results. It may reveal insufficient facts but not two answers.

Here you come down on that donald is more likely innocent than guilty of direct control. This is a big thing. It's not just a notion wafting by. It is the position of the OP, who is you. Why deny it? The example should stand until you replace it. I think it was a good example.

You are asuming dts innocence way beyond where occam left off.
  #139  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:20 PM
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Well, no. That was just an example off the top of my head. I have no idea what either one actually thinks.
No offense but you are denying the whole meaning of your own thread.

Any response on this must be informed by the personalities of the principals. Trying to apply Occams razor to this is foolish without that aspect.
  #140  
Old 10-15-2019, 08:47 PM
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He's got the Secret Service to handle situations where someone might want to "show up to break his legs." It is practically impossible to exert influence over the POTUS by threatening him with physical harm. He is among the best-protected people on the planet.
Protection doesn't mean shit if Putin has one of his goon friends along during one of those private meetings.

Hell, a high-ranking member of the Obama Administration was able to smuggle Anthrax into the Oval Office as a test of security.
  #141  
Old 10-15-2019, 10:56 PM
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Protection doesn't mean shit if Putin has one of his goon friends along during one of those private meetings.

Hell, a high-ranking member of the Obama Administration was able to smuggle Anthrax into the Oval Office as a test of security.
I saw him in the oval office with the russian officials. When donald starts to refuse publically to meet anyone who might be sent from putin, that's when this will get good.
  #142  
Old 10-16-2019, 12:24 AM
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Trump is an asset of a variety of other foreign powers.

I would bet good money that Saudi Arabia helped to finance at least part of Trump's campaign and/or inauguration. This was arranged between George Nader, Steve Bannon, and Eric Prince (and, probably, Elliott Broidy) using, somehow, Alfa Bank. That both puts him in debt to them and provides them with blackmail material.

Elliott Broidy has some form of defense spending scheme going on in Romania that, plausibly, Trump had some hand in approving.

While it's unlikely that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, it's very likely that they have some form of compromising material on him. Trump is actively trying to get Russia added to the G7 - a group which he hates and thinks should be disbanded; he put (and/or considered putting) tariffs on Chinese, Canadian, Mexican, and European aluminium but dropped the sanctions on Rusal; he went on TV and denounced the American intelligence services while standing next to Vladimir Putin; both he and Giuliani are working to determine how CrowdStrike was able to identify Russian hacking attacks and which attacks they spotted; and Trump first announced his decision to leave Syria (before Christmas of last year) a day after Russia, Iran, and Turkey held a summit together to decide for to split Syria between themselves.

Though, based on the new moves in Syria, that last one could be because Trump is also answerable to Erdogan in some way. I don't know that that is, though I do know that Trump's old business partner Tevfik Arif was previously arrested in Turkey for sex trafficking in minors who had been flown in from Russia.

Likely, Trump's greatest sin is sex trafficking in minors. That could be on the personal side: A business partner or someone sent him some girls who were underage but developed enough for Trump to not turn them away (he used to sneak in on the girls at Miss Teen USA - so his tastes run at least into the 15-16 range), and that was videotaped. Or, it could be on the more involved side and, like Arif, Trump has a history of procuring girls for business partners from Eastern Europe - getting them at whatever age the person he was doing business with asked for.

We know that he procured girls (of unknown ages) for Epstein once, when he was looking to convince Epstein to invest. We also know that Epstein was jealous of Trump Model Management and wanted to set up a similar business for himself.

I think there's a reason why there's almost no information about Trump Model Management on the Internet. The FBI has told a whole lot of people that they are not allowed to talk to the press while investigations are pending.

If Trump was getting girls from Russia or ever stayed in a Russian hotel and had girls sent to his room - both of which are relatively likely - then Russia will have stuff on him that's completely beyond anything that you can get around with spin and misdirection. It's safe to assume that they do have that.

My guess would be that the Turks somehow got their hands on something related. Maybe they had wiretaps on some people that Trump did business with back when he was working on Trump Towers Istanbul. Tevfik Arif was caught and arrested at just around the same time that the towers were opening, and we can likely assume that he was running in related circles in Turkey as Trump was.
  #143  
Old 10-16-2019, 12:53 AM
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That is true. A conspiracy theory can't be said to be false, or true, without some real world investigation.

But the quote above, that you were responding to is circular, and incoherent.

It literally says that there is a conspiracy by Putin to destabilize the US, but the problem is the US citizens who are pushing for investigation. Those US citizens are "destabilizing" the country because they are finding reasonable cause in this matter. You are pushing a moscow/gop line that is a little strange IMO.
Saying that Trump is in thrall to Putin is not the same as saying Russia has a strategy to weaken the US by inciting internal conflict in the US. The first one is a (or should be but isn't because moral panic) fringe conspiracy theory, the later is politics as usual.

"You are pushing a moscow/gop line that is a little strange IMO." what are you implying there?
  #144  
Old 10-16-2019, 01:07 AM
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Trump is an asset of a variety of other foreign powers.

I would bet good money that Saudi Arabia helped to finance at least part of Trump's campaign and/or inauguration. This was arranged between George Nader, Steve Bannon, and Eric Prince (and, probably, Elliott Broidy) using, somehow, Alfa Bank. That both puts him in debt to them and provides them with blackmail material.

Elliott Broidy has some form of defense spending scheme going on in Romania that, plausibly, Trump had some hand in approving.

While it's unlikely that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, it's very likely that they have some form of compromising material on him. Trump is actively trying to get Russia added to the G7 - a group which he hates and thinks should be disbanded; he put (and/or considered putting) tariffs on Chinese, Canadian, Mexican, and European aluminium but dropped the sanctions on Rusal; he went on TV and denounced the American intelligence services while standing next to Vladimir Putin; both he and Giuliani are working to determine how CrowdStrike was able to identify Russian hacking attacks and which attacks they spotted; and Trump first announced his decision to leave Syria (before Christmas of last year) a day after Russia, Iran, and Turkey held a summit together to decide for to split Syria between themselves.

Though, based on the new moves in Syria, that last one could be because Trump is also answerable to Erdogan in some way. I don't know that that is, though I do know that Trump's old business partner Tevfik Arif was previously arrested in Turkey for sex trafficking in minors who had been flown in from Russia.

Likely, Trump's greatest sin is sex trafficking in minors. That could be on the personal side: A business partner or someone sent him some girls who were underage but developed enough for Trump to not turn them away (he used to sneak in on the girls at Miss Teen USA - so his tastes run at least into the 15-16 range), and that was videotaped. Or, it could be on the more involved side and, like Arif, Trump has a history of procuring girls for business partners from Eastern Europe - getting them at whatever age the person he was doing business with asked for.

We know that he procured girls (of unknown ages) for Epstein once, when he was looking to convince Epstein to invest. We also know that Epstein was jealous of Trump Model Management and wanted to set up a similar business for himself.

I think there's a reason why there's almost no information about Trump Model Management on the Internet. The FBI has told a whole lot of people that they are not allowed to talk to the press while investigations are pending.

If Trump was getting girls from Russia or ever stayed in a Russian hotel and had girls sent to his room - both of which are relatively likely - then Russia will have stuff on him that's completely beyond anything that you can get around with spin and misdirection. It's safe to assume that they do have that.

My guess would be that the Turks somehow got their hands on something related. Maybe they had wiretaps on some people that Trump did business with back when he was working on Trump Towers Istanbul. Tevfik Arif was caught and arrested at just around the same time that the towers were opening, and we can likely assume that he was running in related circles in Turkey as Trump was.
I'm sorry to say, but that's the bread and butter of conspiracy theories, fitting facts to theories, quoting Sherlock Holmes:

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

The reality is that following the 2016 election there was a concerted, and documented (i.e. the Steele Dossier), effort to push the idea that Trump under Putin's control and for the past years people have been busily fitting the facts around that narrative.
  #145  
Old 10-16-2019, 01:28 AM
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"I would also add that, AFAIK, the intent of Russia was to weaken the US by inciting internal division and conflict"

How does this lead, in your reasoning, to division in the US being attributed to leftists trying to investigate it?
Obama was a secret Muslim and had no US citizenship, do you think that (false, obviously) meme, "investigated" with the fervour of the "Trump is a puppet of Putin" meme would not have caused political division? ISTM that it caused enough trouble as it was.

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Believing trump is not being influenced by foreign powers is a conspiracy theory the way i understand the term. It's reaching and stretching and avoiding the truths in front of one to avoid an unwanted reality.

"Conspiracy theory from Wiki: A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations seem more probable."

The most probable explanation is that he is being controlled. It would be a conspiracy theory to say otherwise. So occams razor and wikipedia don't help.

You need to have a more probable reason for dts behavior to be able to call that a CT.
Your understanding of the term is seriously flawed.
  #146  
Old 10-16-2019, 01:42 AM
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Putin would still have to have information on Trump, which is an assumption unless you have evidence he actually does. In the first case, only Trump has to actually know crimes were committed. Assuming Putin has it, sure, it could have been communicated then. But there is still that first assumption.
It's circular logic at work, first assume Putin has, what was the word in vogue not long ago?, compromat?, Trump meets in private with Putin, why would he? Well, let's, from all possible explanations, pick the one that fits the theory (because fitting things to the theory is the objective) and assume it is to discuss the compromat, well, golly, the second assumption supports the first one.
In reality it doesn't, but multiply that by a myriad memetic evolutionary steps and you end up with people absolutely convinced that, somewhere along the line, assumptions turned into facts that prove a theory.

The problem with all this is that the patterns of behaviour surrounding this CT are extraordinarily dangerous, people can die (and had, by the millions) as a result of such games.
  #147  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:45 AM
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To the extent that it suits Russia's strategic interests for the USA to face a loss of confidence and respect internationally, and for the internal political atmosphere to be poisoned with similar doubts and lack of confidence, then Putin doesn't really need to be able to blackmail Trump for a specific policy objective. He just has to wind him up and let him go.
  #148  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:53 AM
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I'm sorry to say, but that's the bread and butter of conspiracy theories, fitting facts to theories, quoting Sherlock Holmes:

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

The reality is that following the 2016 election there was a concerted, and documented (i.e. the Steele Dossier), effort to push the idea that Trump under Putin's control and for the past years people have been busily fitting the facts around that narrative.
No, Trump aggressively pushed the narrative away from "blackmail" to "collusion" and everyone forgot about what the whole ruckus that Steele started was actually about.

Trump's activities as regards Russia make no sense in terms of US policy nor Trump policy. There is zero reason for Trump to try and get Russia into G7 when his recommendation to everyone and their mother would be to forget the thing and let it die. There's no reason for a man who needs to preserve his 40% voter base, who campaigned on protectionism for factory workers in the steel and aluminum industries, to drop sanctions on the one county that we were already "tariffing" and that everyone who advises him would agree that it's all win on both the economic, strategic, and legal defense side of things (he was still under investigation for collusion when he did that).

We can all vote that Trump simply does things for no reason beyond throwing dice at a wall. I don't believe that to be the case and if you support Trump enough to think that it's wrong to suspect him of grave crimes, then it is unlikely that you believe that he does things out of pure, unreasoning, chaos.

Which means that these things have some logic behind them. If you have a theory that explains why Trump wants Russia in the G7 and why he cares about CrowdStrike, and so on, your are free to make it. But if you have none, then don't be telling me that I'm off base. I have genuinely tried to envision some demented, off-the-wall, or even mildly plausible reason for them that would allow me to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. In the case of his denouncement of the US intelligence services, for example, we might say that he was simply sucking up to Putin as a component of negotiations. Trump likes to squeeze people quietly while being just as sweet and effusive about their greatness as he can publicly, when he's negotiating with them.

But, there's nothing for most of it. If you can think of something, by all means suggest it and you may sell me. But either the man is crazy or he's doing stuff for a reason. If you think there's a reason, than you can't just handwave away that you can't think of something. Because I do have something and it explains everything that we see and is based on things we know about the man, his connections, and his MO.

So far as what Trump is guilty of, that others might hold over him, I am certainly merely speculating.

But Trump has closely associated with 4 men who have trafficked in children, Epstein, Arif, Nader, and John Casablancas. Having 4 different, unrelated child sex traffickers among your business partners is statistically zero - it's not something that happens by random happenstance. Republican women who modeled as tweens have testified that Trump snuck into their changing room. The man had two wives from Eastern Europe. We are reasonably confident that he has arranged women for his business partners and we know that those in his circles do that. Robert Mueller has Michael Cohen's sworn testimony that some form of blackmail materials existed somewhere, on tape, according to a person that he knew in Eastern Europe.

It's possible that Trump isn't guilty of this particular crime. But if you think that the odds of it are low enough for you to sleep comfortable, you should remember that everything in the previous paragraph is true. Is it really unbelievable that a man whose legal defense against campaign finance spending violations is literally "My lawyer is on permanent retainer to fix issues with women who I used the casting couch on" would be a slimeball? Let's also not forget that he repurposed money that was given to his charity for US veterans to buy a painting of himself and that he appointed a guy who was literally convicted for bribing politicians to serve on his finance committee, all while running on a campaign message of "Drain the Swamp".

A default assumption that Trump is guilty is not unreasonable. Yes, it's guess work to figure out which specific things he's guilty of and in which countries, but I did predict that Turkey had turned to Russia something like two years ago. The media is only just today starting to report that. I didn't start from "Trump diddled the kiddies". I started at money laundering - because that's what Steve Bannon's investigation firm landed on at the same time as Steele - and revised as more information came in and that theory looked insufficient for the levels to which he has gone to work to Russia's advantage on the world stage and as I learned more about how he operated and who all he did business with.

There's no evidence to directly support the conclusion, I don't mean to lead anywhere to believe otherwise, but if you're sleeping comfortable, you're ignoring a whole lot of reality. He might not have done this thing. But there's lots of evidence that he's the sort of man who would. He's done something unforgivable and you'd be foolish to trust your future to the belief that no one on Earth has evidence of it.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 10-16-2019 at 02:56 AM.
  #149  
Old 10-16-2019, 04:01 AM
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I'm sorry to say, but that's the bread and butter of conspiracy theories, fitting facts to theories, quoting Sherlock Holmes:

It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

The reality is that following the 2016 election there was a concerted, and documented (i.e. the Steele Dossier), effort to push the idea that Trump under Putin's control and for the past years people have been busily fitting the facts around that narrative.
Sounds to me like you are just trying to insinuate that theories about why Trump acts as he does are conspiracy theories.

its actually normal to look at the evidence in question and advance theories to fit those facts, like people do here. If you do not think they are a good fit, bring your own explanations that fit the facts better. Just calling them facts fitted to theories isn't enough. It just looks like you're trying to obfuscate something.
  #150  
Old 10-16-2019, 04:10 AM
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No, Trump aggressively pushed the narrative away from "blackmail" to "collusion" and everyone forgot about what the whole ruckus that Steele started was actually about.

Trump's activities as regards Russia make no sense in terms of US policy nor Trump policy. There is zero reason for Trump to try and get Russia into G7 when his recommendation to everyone and their mother would be to forget the thing and let it die. There's no reason for a man who needs to preserve his 40% voter base, who campaigned on protectionism for factory workers in the steel and aluminum industries, to drop sanctions on the one county that we were already "tariffing" and that everyone who advises him would agree that it's all win on both the economic, strategic, and legal defense side of things (he was still under investigation for collusion when he did that).

We can all vote that Trump simply does things for no reason beyond throwing dice at a wall. I don't believe that to be the case and if you support Trump enough to think that it's wrong to suspect him of grave crimes, then it is unlikely that you believe that he does things out of pure, unreasoning, chaos.

Which means that these things have some logic behind them. If you have a theory that explains why Trump wants Russia in the G7 and why he cares about CrowdStrike, and so on, your are free to make it. But if you have none, then don't be telling me that I'm off base. I have genuinely tried to envision some demented, off-the-wall, or even mildly plausible reason for them that would allow me to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. In the case of his denouncement of the US intelligence services, for example, we might say that he was simply sucking up to Putin as a component of negotiations. Trump likes to squeeze people quietly while being just as sweet and effusive about their greatness as he can publicly, when he's negotiating with them.

But, there's nothing for most of it. If you can think of something, by all means suggest it and you may sell me. But either the man is crazy or he's doing stuff for a reason. If you think there's a reason, than you can't just handwave away that you can't think of something. Because I do have something and it explains everything that we see and is based on things we know about the man, his connections, and his MO.

So far as what Trump is guilty of, that others might hold over him, I am certainly merely speculating.

But Trump has closely associated with 4 men who have trafficked in children, Epstein, Arif, Nader, and John Casablancas. Having 4 different, unrelated child sex traffickers among your business partners is statistically zero - it's not something that happens by random happenstance. Republican women who modeled as tweens have testified that Trump snuck into their changing room. The man had two wives from Eastern Europe. We are reasonably confident that he has arranged women for his business partners and we know that those in his circles do that. Robert Mueller has Michael Cohen's sworn testimony that some form of blackmail materials existed somewhere, on tape, according to a person that he knew in Eastern Europe.

It's possible that Trump isn't guilty of this particular crime. But if you think that the odds of it are low enough for you to sleep comfortable, you should remember that everything in the previous paragraph is true. Is it really unbelievable that a man whose legal defense against campaign finance spending violations is literally "My lawyer is on permanent retainer to fix issues with women who I used the casting couch on" would be a slimeball? Let's also not forget that he repurposed money that was given to his charity for US veterans to buy a painting of himself and that he appointed a guy who was literally convicted for bribing politicians to serve on his finance committee, all while running on a campaign message of "Drain the Swamp".

A default assumption that Trump is guilty is not unreasonable. Yes, it's guess work to figure out which specific things he's guilty of and in which countries, but I did predict that Turkey had turned to Russia something like two years ago. The media is only just today starting to report that. I didn't start from "Trump diddled the kiddies". I started at money laundering - because that's what Steve Bannon's investigation firm landed on at the same time as Steele - and revised as more information came in and that theory looked insufficient for the levels to which he has gone to work to Russia's advantage on the world stage and as I learned more about how he operated and who all he did business with.

There's no evidence to directly support the conclusion, I don't mean to lead anywhere to believe otherwise, but if you're sleeping comfortable, you're ignoring a whole lot of reality. He might not have done this thing. But there's lots of evidence that he's the sort of man who would. He's done something unforgivable and you'd be foolish to trust your future to the belief that no one on Earth has evidence of it.
The US political situation is in a tailspin and what you have to justify it is, paraphrasing your last paragraph, we don't know what he may have done, but he's the kind of person who would have done it; you (general you) are tearing your country apart based on that, literally.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and claims like "Donald J Trump is not a president, he is a puppet put in power by Vladimir Putin" and the damage they cause and the risks they entail need to have more than Trump's (or associates) poor character or as a rationale.
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