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Old 05-21-2018, 08:04 PM
MaxTheVool MaxTheVool is offline
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Can someone summarize this Trump campaign/deep state/informant kerfuffle?

My immediately assumption is that it's just a Breitbart/Fox/Trump Administration talking point with no substance at all. They're trying to present legitimate FBI investigations into the Trump campaign and its links with Russia, based on actual information, as something done for partisan campaign advantage.

Is there any evidence that suggests I'm wrong?
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:12 PM
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I think it's an attempt to "both sides do it" away Trump ties to the KGB. Because, you know, KGB, FBI, they're both equally bad, right?
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:25 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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With any other administration, we could assume there was a master plan behind this all.

But with Trump? Despite all the lying he does, he's really bad at it. He just tells whatever lie has passed through his head within the last hour without thought to how it matches up with the lies he told yesterday. And he has no plan for what lies he will tell tomorrow.

He's like a four year old trying to tell you he didn't break the lamp.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:30 PM
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There's probably a guy who joined the campaign out of a legitimate belief that trump was a viable candidate who would make a good president. Said guy started seeing a bunch of freaky shit that not only made him question his original judgement but was sufficient to induce him to inform TPTB about what he saw. Said guy is now being portrayed has having been an FBI plant from the beginning.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:38 PM
Merneith Merneith is online now
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
My immediately assumption is that it's just a Breitbart/Fox/Trump Administration talking point with no substance at all. They're trying to present legitimate FBI investigations into the Trump campaign and its links with Russia, based on actual information, as something done for partisan campaign advantage.

Is there any evidence that suggests I'm wrong?
No, which is why Rosenstein immediately agreed to let the Inspector General investigate it. The FBI was not trying to help Hillary. It is to laugh. The FBI has nothing to fear from this, assuming that they trust the IG, which they do.

So, sure, Donald - let's get a second investigation looking into events around in your campaign. No way that can backfire on you, can it?
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:53 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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IG?
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:02 AM
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As a general rule, anytime there's a White House scandal, just assume the administration is guilty. You'll be right nearly every time. I've barely bothered to follow the Trump scandals because in his case, I'm 99% sure he's guilty of everything he's accused of. And plenty of things we don't know about.

I have no problem with a policy of "guilty until proven innocent" when it comes to politicians. They serve us and we entrust them with great power. They must demonstrate to us that they have integrity, the burden isn't on us to prove they don't.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:26 AM
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IG?
Inspector General, I imagine
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:43 AM
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I find that reading the HQ of Never Trumpism, National Review, gives you the most unbiased look at Trump:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...stice-scandal/

Quote:
1. The FBI investigation into the Trump campaign began on flimsy foundations, and quite possibly improper ones, and was at least at first carried out by some people who openly expressed disdain for Donald Trump.
2. The answer to the original question driving the investigation—was there criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?—is pretty much “no.”
3. The investigation has been undermined, impeded, and obstructed by Trump and those around him, including through demands by the president for personal loyalty from law-enforcement officials and firing or causing the dismissal of a director and deputy director of the FBI.
4. This has led the investigation to increasingly focus on the question of obstruction itself, and therefore to become an investigation about itself. The investigation seems likely to arrive at the conclusion that it has been obstructed.
5. At the same time, the investigation has also expanded to consider other compelling evidence of wrongdoing by people associated with Trump and his 2016 campaign revealed in the course of the narrower investigation and its extension into the obstruction question.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:55 AM
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I find that reading the HQ of Never Trumpism, National Review, gives you the most unbiased look at Trump:

https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...stice-scandal/
1 is complete bullshit. 2 is TBD, but we know that the Trump campaign asked Russian spies to illegally help them, and then the spies did, and then the Trump campaign attempted to change policy to help Russia. So if that's a pretty much 'no'" then I don't know what to say. 3 is accurate. 4 is accurate. 5 is accurate.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:01 AM
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I disagree with 1, but I think 2 is accurate because as Lindsey Graham said, "trump couldn't even collude with his own campaign". But I also agree that the Trump-Russia narrative is "truthy" in the sense that Trump is very pro-Putin and there were contacts between members of his campaign and Russia. But none of it was probably illegal. Just scandalous. It's more of a political question than a legal question. Is it right for campaigns to work with foreign governments, and under what circumstances is it wrong? Because foreign interference in our elections is not new nor is it unusual for us to interfere in foreign elections(including a Russian election).
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:22 AM
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In some ways, the Republicans may have already won. If Rosenstein is repeatedly bending to political pressure to reveal what the government has in an investigation of the party's chief, then the Republicans have, to some degree, already succeeded in politicizing the justice department and casting doubt on its ability to function independently and objectively.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:43 AM
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With any other administration, we could assume there was a master plan behind this all.

But with Trump? Despite all the lying he does, he's really bad at it. He just tells whatever lie has passed through his head within the last hour without thought to how it matches up with the lies he told yesterday. And he has no plan for what lies he will tell tomorrow.

He's like a four year old trying to tell you he didn't break the lamp.
More like a guy who grew up in New York/New Jersey real estate where corruption is endemic. He's used to not being held to account because everyone around him was also on the take. The rules are different in Washington - at a minimum the scrutiny is magnitudes higher - and he's not be able to adapt to his new conditions.

In truth, he's not the first person to go through something like this. That bullshit the Clinton's pulled with the White House Travel Office right at the beginning was some bush league nonsense you could pull off in Little Rock. In Washington things went sideways on them. But they learned pretty quickly.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:07 AM
LAZombie LAZombie is offline
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Obama implanted FBI informants into the Trump campaign to destroy his political opponent. He used similar third world tactics when he had Lois Lerner and IRS attack Tea Party groups. I hope this helps you understand this current matter.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:12 AM
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Obama implanted FBI informants into the Trump campaign to destroy his political opponent.
They were not FBI informants, they were Lizard People who sought to control the precious bodily fluids of the healthiest man ever elected to the Presidency. Get your conspiracy theories right.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:43 AM
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Obama implanted FBI informants into the Trump campaign to destroy his political opponent. He used similar third world tactics when he had Lois Lerner and IRS attack Tea Party groups. I hope this helps you understand this current matter.
Now that is a dead argument that is resurrected many times.. and it is still dead.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...f-the-gop.html
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The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reviewed a decade of IRS handling of political organizations. It found that scores of liberal groups were subject to the same heavy scrutiny that conservative groups faced. This merely certified what had been perfectly clear all along. Within months of the “targeting scandal” breaking, evidence was already available to show that the IRS was giving political activists on the left the same treatment as those on the right. (The New York Times reported on this as early as June 2013.) Subsequent hearings turned up no evidence Obama had ordered the IRS to target conservatives because the IRS did not in fact target conservatives. The fact some conservatives had a hard time dealing with the IRS did not prove the IRS is targeting conservatives any more than some conservatives having a hard time renewing their driver’s licenses would prove the DMV is targeting conservatives.

And yet the scandal has lived on and on in the conservative mind. House Republicans have demanded the impeachment of the IRS commissioner; The House Republicans’ website continues to insist “The American people deserve answers”; last month, Republicans expressed outrage that the Department of Justice declined to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner, whose name has become a right-wing trigger-phrase akin to “Benghazi.”

Nobody has ever told the Republican base there is no IRS scandal. Pro-Trump and Never Trump Republicans are united in their fixed belief in this unicorn.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:53 AM
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I disagree with 1, but I think 2 is accurate because as Lindsey Graham said, "trump couldn't even collude with his own campaign"
If TRUMP did not personally conspire with Russians or other foreign adversaries, that doesn't mean people in the Trump campaign didn't.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:09 AM
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Obama implanted FBI informants into the Trump campaign to destroy his political opponent.
I totally believe you! It makes perfect sense that Obama, who wasn't running for office and was, in fact, about to exit public service, would consider Trump his "political opponent". Now, where's your evidence of this, so we can show the world?
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:17 AM
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As a general rule, anytime there's a White House scandal, just assume the administration is guilty. You'll be right nearly every time. I've barely bothered to follow the Trump scandals because in his case, I'm 99% sure he's guilty of everything he's accused of. And plenty of things we don't know about.

I have no problem with a policy of "guilty until proven innocent" when it comes to politicians. They serve us and we entrust them with great power. They must demonstrate to us that they have integrity, the burden isn't on us to prove they don't.
I'm not agreeing with the "all politicians do this so it doesn't matter who you vote for" line. I've noticed that Republican politicians commit a significantly larger share of political crimes.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:32 AM
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Lovely discussion, but I don't think anyone has actually bothered to answer the OP's question yet.

Here goes:

During the campaign, the FBI became aware of Russian interference in the election, and the large number of Russian contacts that seemed to be part of the Trump campaign. As part of investigating this they had an English professor who was occasionally used by the FBI as an undercover informant talk to three members of the Trump campaign about possible ties to Russia.

Trump morphed this story to say that the Obama had ordered (false) the FBI to plant a spy in their campaign (also false) to leak campaign secrets to the Clintons (yet again false) and so this is bigger than Watergate (guess what, false).

Now he has asked the Justice department to publicly reveal the identity of the "spy" (presumably to make his life hell because Trump is a vindictive ass) and launch a full investigation (because Trump is desperate for anything to distract the Mueller investigation). Rosenstein went through the motions, but shoving it off to the Inspector General where it will get the cursory examination which is more than it deserves and come back with a verdict of "nothing to see here". This probably won't satisfy Trump and may be used as an excuse to launch a Saturday Night Massacre.

The obvious proof that this wasn't political is that if Obama had really wanted to derail the Trump campaign he would have made all the allegations about Russian Interference public before Novemeber. Instead he got criticized for remaining silent precisely because he wanted to avoid interfering.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 05-22-2018 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:54 AM
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Here goes:

During the campaign, the FBI became aware of Russian interference in the election, and the large number of Russian contacts that seemed to be part of the Trump campaign. As part of investigating this they had an English professor who was occasionally used by the FBI as an undercover informant talk to three members of the Trump campaign about possible ties to Russia.
However, we are learning today that one of the campaign advisers, Sam Clovis, that this professor talked with, discussed his conversations with the media today. Clovis maintains that the conversations were basically high-level and of no particular consequence.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/21/polit...rce/index.html

Which leads to several obvious questions: shouldn't Clovis be portraying this "mole" as having more of a point in the conversation? According to Clovis, Russia didn't even come up. If anything, I take Clovis' statement to affirm that this idea that the FBI was infiltrating the Trump campaign to be even more of a bogus issue. Like, not just 100% bogus, but like 125% bogus.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:57 AM
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What I'd like to know is how the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that set out to destroy Bill Clinton and got George W. Bush and puppet-master Dick Cheney elected, then turned its support to Obama (rather than, let's say, John McCain!) over Hillary. and then, as far as I can tell, decided that NEITHER Hillary nor Trump was acceptable for their deep state ambitions and went to work on ruining both candidates.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:14 PM
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If TRUMP did not personally conspire with Russians or other foreign adversaries, that doesn't mean people in the Trump campaign didn't.
Indeed, I think this is the best way of looking at things. Mr. Trump is a results-oriented boss. He gives broad directives to his upper-level operatives and then they live or die by how well they execute. So one can easily see him giving a broad, general directive to his top peeps (mostly his sons) to see what they can do to destabilize the Clinton campaign, and they proceed to do the dirty work without informing him exactly what's happening, so his hands stay clean.

Of course, there ARE the phone calls to the blocked numbers just prior to and just after the meeting with the Russian who promised dirt on Clinton...
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:17 PM
Procrustus Procrustus is offline
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Of course, there ARE the phone calls to the blocked numbers just prior to and just after the meeting with the Russian who promised dirt on Clinton...
He also started threatening the release of serious dirt on Clinton around the same time as the meeting was set up.

The is no doubt he was aware of the meeting.
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:54 PM
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The obvious proof that this wasn't political is that if Obama had really wanted to derail the Trump campaign he would have made all the allegations about Russian Interference public before Novemeber. Instead he got criticized for remaining silent precisely because he wanted to avoid interfering.
QFT -
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:14 PM
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Well, all the points I was hoping to make have already been made:
1) The FBI had good reason to be investigating the Trump campaign; it was full of Russian moles at the same time that the FBI had evidence that Russian was meddling in the election!

2) The idea that this FBI investigation was underhanded political spying is ridiculous grasping at straws, as evidenced by the fact that the investigation didn't come to light during the campaign (at a time when another investigation, of Clinton, was all front and center)

3) Trump's people are grasping at this straw because it's all they have. Remember when the whole investigation was ridiculous because it started with a Dossier that was just a political hatchet job funded by the opposition? Well, when it turned out that the Steele Dossier wasn't the "start" of anything, that was dropped in favor of, "the whole investigation is ridiculous because it started with spying on the campaign for political purposes". When it comes out that the FBI has been suspicious of Trump's Russian money laundering since the 90's, it will probably morph into "This whole thing is ridiculous because Bill Clinton was President when it all started."

4) Trump abso-fuckin-lutely knew about Russian coordination. The phone calls by Jr, before and after his meeting with Russian operatives, coupled with Trump's gleeful public references shortly thereafter, is pretty damning circumstantial evidence.
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Old 05-22-2018, 01:24 PM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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4) Trump abso-fuckin-lutely knew about Russian coordination. The phone calls by Jr, before and after his meeting with Russian operatives, coupled with Trump's gleeful public references shortly thereafter, is pretty damning circumstantial evidence.
I believe the phone calls to/from Don Jrs.' phone were to/from a blocked number. I assume that the FBI can figure out who that blocked number was. If it's Don Sr., then I'd say they have him dead to rights.

Last edited by BobLibDem; 05-22-2018 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:05 PM
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Lovely discussion, but I don't think anyone has actually bothered to answer the OP's question yet.

Here goes:

During the campaign, the FBI became aware of Russian interference in the election....

....The obvious proof that this wasn't political is that if Obama had really wanted to derail the Trump campaign he would have made all the allegations about Russian Interference public before Novemeber. Instead he got criticized for remaining silent precisely because he wanted to avoid interfering.
(post shortened)

And we the voters are left with the fact that Obama was well aware that Russians were interfering with U.S. elections and he chose not to inform the American voters. Obama may not have wanted to interfere with U.S. elections but he allowed some Russians to do so.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:07 PM
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I believe the phone calls to/from Don Jrs.' phone were to/from a blocked number. I assume that the FBI can figure out who that blocked number was. If it's Don Sr., then I'd say they have him dead to rights.
It's not a matter of ability. Adam Schiff complained that the Republican led House Intelligence Committee simply refused to subpoena the phone records. We can hope that Mueller was not so lackadaisical in his investigation.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:15 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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(post shortened)

And we the voters are left with the fact that Obama was well aware that Russians were interfering with U.S. elections and he chose not to inform the American voters. Obama may not have wanted to interfere with U.S. elections but he allowed some Russians to do so.
(post exactly the same length)

And as a conscientious voter, no doubt you would have sung Obama's praises like a giddy choirboy if he had announced that Russia was attempting to tip the election in favor of Donald Trump.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:24 PM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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And we the voters are left with the fact that Obama was well aware that Russians were interfering with U.S. elections and he chose not to inform the American voters. Obama may not have wanted to interfere with U.S. elections but he allowed some Russians to do so.
I'm sure the Right Wing Snowflake Alert System would have been blazing away had Obama chose to reveal that the FBI was investigating Russian ties to Hillary's opponent. I think Obama's reasoning was that doing so would be seen as trying to grease the skids for Hillary and that could de-legitimize her presidency.


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It's not a matter of ability. Adam Schiff complained that the Republican led House Intelligence Committee simply refused to subpoena the phone records. We can hope that Mueller was not so lackadaisical in his investigation.
I was questioning the technical ability to capture those numbers. By no means can we dignify the Nunes activity as "investigation", there is only one legitimate investigation and I hope that Mueller has the ability to capture that information.
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Old 05-22-2018, 02:35 PM
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I'm sure the Right Wing Snowflake Alert System would have been blazing away had Obama chose to reveal that the FBI was investigating Russian ties to Hillary's opponent. I think Obama's reasoning was that doing so would be seen as trying to grease the skids for Hillary and that could de-legitimize her presidency.
That had to be it. He had finally outgrown his frustrating naivete about the opposition party's motives, and by no means would have let all that just pass by out of indolence or disinterest.

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By no means can we dignify the Nunes activity as "investigation"
It was never intended to be, of course - just a way to be able to depict any nonpartisan effort as partisan, so the voluntarily low-information voters could have a way to say "Oh, it's just the parties bickering again, who knows who's right. Let's watch 'Dancing with the Stars'". Even the Senate committee, Republican-led as it was and half-hearted as it was, bluntly contradicted Nunes' whitewash.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:15 PM
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I'm not agreeing with the "all politicians do this so it doesn't matter who you vote for" line. I've noticed that Republican politicians commit a significantly larger share of political crimes.
Not saying that. Joe Biden and John McCain have sterling records, and their one scandal each in the 80s they were straightforward in copping to. There are good ones out there. But some have some major stank attached to them and I don't believe for a minute that any politician is hounded unfairly.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:24 PM
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Not saying that. Joe Biden and John McCain have sterling records, and their one scandal each in the 80s they were straightforward in copping to. There are good ones out there. But some have some major stank attached to them and I don't believe for a minute that any politician is hounded unfairly.
Then you ignore the multiple Benghazi investigations. Hillary may not be perfectly clean, but she was not guilty of that one.

And receiving any material support from a foreign national is illegal, so there are legalities involved. Collusion with other governments is illegal because such things must be declared, and they weren't.

Plus Trump sure doesn't act like someone not guilty of any crime. Remember, he fired an investigator. That alone is enough in any sane world to realize that he's guilty of something.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:37 PM
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Then you ignore the multiple Benghazi investigations. Hillary may not be perfectly clean, but she was not guilty of that one.
I do recognize that scandals can be overblown and the stories dragged out in the press for much longer than justified. I do agree that this happened to the Clintons several times. They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.


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Plus Trump sure doesn't act like someone not guilty of any crime. Remember, he fired an investigator. That alone is enough in any sane world to realize that he's guilty of something.
I'm sure he's guilty of many things that would come out of a transparent investigation. Just perhaps not the central allegation being investigated.
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:30 AM
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I do recognize that scandals can be overblown and the stories dragged out in the press for much longer than justified. I do agree that this happened to the Clintons several times. They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.
Because of all the investigations, right? And, I mean, come on, isn't it just a little bit suspicious that all those investigations found nothing?



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Old 05-23-2018, 02:11 AM
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Obama really didn't have any good choices. Probably figured that if Hillary carried the day, then the pressure would be off, and any investigation could proceed. If not calmly, more so. And even if he had "good intelligence", did he have the sort of evidence he could make public?

"My intelligence people tell me that the Russians want to elect Trump, but that's all I can tell you because its secret."

In all the Wal Marts, Home Depots, and Targets in America, there wouldn't be a single Tiki torch left to buy.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:09 AM
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They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.
This has nothing to do with a progressive First Lady ( a WOMAN!! OMG!) who wants to make healthcare affordable. If her role was protecting endangered daisies first planted by Jackie O. somewhere on the White House grounds, I don't even think the word Lewinski would've been ever mentioned.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:13 AM
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I do recognize that scandals can be overblown and the stories dragged out in the press for much longer than justified. I do agree that this happened to the Clintons several times. They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history
They were certainly the most shat upon by Republicans. And still the only thing that they could make stick was hanky panky in the Oval Office (as if that's a unique thing).


Quote:
I'm sure he's guilty of many things that would come out of a transparent investigation. Just perhaps not the central allegation being investigated.
I don't believe that for a second. There are far too many points of perfect timing for him not to have known, not to mention the multitude of things he's done that indicate a quid pro quo, or the mysteriously large number of Russians surrounding him, his family, and his cronies. He's guilty alright, the issues are whether a) they can prove it and b) he can be made to pay.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 05-23-2018 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I do recognize that scandals can be overblown and the stories dragged out in the press for much longer than justified. I do agree that this happened to the Clintons several times. They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.
Don't tell me- the NEXT Benghazi investigation is going to find something to hang on her where the previous 19 didn't. Care to point to something they actually did?
  #41  
Old 05-23-2018, 08:52 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I do recognize that scandals can be overblown and the stories dragged out in the press for much longer than justified. I do agree that this happened to the Clintons several times. They still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.
Based upon what evidence? Surely nothing that any of those investigations actually turned up, because, as you know, they didn't.
  #42  
Old 05-23-2018, 08:57 AM
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A humorous take on the story from the New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/boro...rmant-might-be
  #43  
Old 05-23-2018, 09:42 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Originally Posted by MaxTheVool View Post
My immediately assumption is that it's just a Breitbart/Fox/Trump Administration talking point with no substance at all. They're trying to present legitimate FBI investigations into the Trump campaign and its links with Russia, based on actual information, as something done for partisan campaign advantage.

Is there any evidence that suggests I'm wrong?
It's very hard to know what the investigation was based on, because no one with any authority has addressed this in a comprehensive manner. The original media spin (IIRC) was that it was the dossier, then it was Papadopoulus blabbing to a Australian diplomat, now it seems that the earliest interest (in the form of this informant) predated the diplomat.

What adds to the suspicion is that both the dossier and the Australian diplomat have connections to Clinton/DNC.

In the particular case of the latest incident, much of the detail is very unclear as it's an emerging story. But one thing that struck some people as odd is the fierce resistance on the part of the FBI and DOJ to releasing his identity on security grounds, when that person turns out to have been pretty well known as a long time intelligence-connected guy. This suggests that the FBI/DOJ were covering for something, and deepens suspicion of what that might be.

Of note: I don't know if anyone is claiming that the FBI investigation was done "for partisan campaign advantage", but even if people are claiming that, that's not the sole relevant claim. The more reasonable claim, ISTM, is that it was undertaken by deep state people who were fiercely opposed to Trump and therefore predisposed on that basiss to find grounds for investigation even if that would not have spurred an investigation by unbiased people.

All that said, it's also true that Trump gave investigators a lot to hang him with. I'm not sure how much, though. I suspect that if you investigated any campaign - and associates of the campaign, and their various business dealings - with the thoroughness that Trump is being investigated, that you could probably find a lot of wrongdoing their as well. Trump is probably worse than most, though (in part because of his businessman background) and certainly his instincts in dealing with the investigation are rather like those of Brer Rabbit in dealing with the tar baby.

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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
More like a guy who grew up in New York/New Jersey real estate where corruption is endemic. He's used to not being held to account because everyone around him was also on the take. The rules are different in Washington - at a minimum the scrutiny is magnitudes higher - and he's not be able to adapt to his new conditions.

In truth, he's not the first person to go through something like this. That bullshit the Clinton's pulled with the White House Travel Office right at the beginning was some bush league nonsense you could pull off in Little Rock. In Washington things went sideways on them. But they learned pretty quickly.
There's a guy around the corner from me who used to invest a lot in Atlantic City real estate. I heard this story from his next-door-neighbor.

One time he got word that Trump was planning on buying land near his casino and putting up a big residential housing development (feeling that he had a built-in market). So he figured out the only location that made sense for this, and bought up the land himself. Then he hired an architect and lawyers, and had plans approved for a 520 unit development. Then he turned around and tried to sell it to Trump for $30M.

Now he appreciated that this was a very high offer (and he would have been OK with settling for $5M). But he assumed that Trump would turn around and make him a lowball counter-offer, and they would commence to negotiate. Instead, Trump blew him off entirely. And next thing he knew, he was informed by the zoning board that his variance had been revoked.
  #44  
Old 05-23-2018, 11:39 AM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
It's very hard to know what the investigation was based on, because no one with any authority has addressed this in a comprehensive manner. The original media spin (IIRC) was that it was the dossier, then it was Papadopoulus blabbing to a Australian diplomat, now it seems that the earliest interest (in the form of this informant) predated the diplomat.

What adds to the suspicion is that both the dossier and the Australian diplomat have connections to Clinton/DNC.
Right, because his involvement in a humanitarian effort with the Clintons must mean that there was a conspiracy to plant a story involving Trump, a man who, at the very least, has been under investigation by the IRS since Dubya was President (and probably even before that).

Quote:
In the particular case of the latest incident, much of the detail is very unclear as it's an emerging story. But one thing that struck some people as odd is the fierce resistance on the part of the FBI and DOJ to releasing his identity on security grounds, when that person turns out to have been pretty well known as a long time intelligence-connected guy. This suggests that the FBI/DOJ were covering for something, and deepens suspicion of what that might be.
Because the FBI is always forthcoming about the identities of its confidential informants, especially those with intelligence ties, even to Congress?

Quote:
Of note: I don't know if anyone is claiming that the FBI investigation was done "for partisan campaign advantage", but even if people are claiming that, that's not the sole relevant claim. The more reasonable claim, ISTM, is that it was undertaken by deep state people who were fiercely opposed to Trump and therefore predisposed on that basiss to find grounds for investigation even if that would not have spurred an investigation by unbiased people.
The second you mention 'deep state' seriously you get relegated to the dustbin of tin foil hats, birtherism, and little green men from Mars.

Quote:
All that said, it's also true that Trump gave investigators a lot to hang him with. I'm not sure how much, though. I suspect that if you investigated any campaign - and associates of the campaign, and their various business dealings - with the thoroughness that Trump is being investigated, that you could probably find a lot of wrongdoing their as well. Trump is probably worse than most, though (in part because of his businessman background) and certainly his instincts in dealing with the investigation are rather like those of Brer Rabbit in dealing with the tar baby.
In other words, it's perfectly credible that his being investigated had nothing whatsoever to do with Bubba dropping a word in the ear of the diplomat, or some campaign associate with a high-level FBI agent. But then it'll get stretched to how the $25M was a slush-fund payment to the diplomat for, what, planting a story about a low-level Trump campaign staffer?

I find this quote instructive, from that article (bolding mine):

Quote:
The Clintons’ tentacles go everywhere. So, that’s why it’s important,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) chairman of a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee that has been taking an increasingly visible role defending the Trump administration in the Russia probe. “We continue to get new information every week it seems that sort of underscores the fact that the FBI hasn’t been square with us.”
No, no bias there. Not 'fingers,' but 'tentacles.' Yet another straw to grasp at to perpetuate the myth of "they (the They they) must be out to get him for political reasons" to attack the credibility of the very organization that is investigating him. Not that he's a sleaze who's left his trail of slime pretty much wherever he's gone.

Remember when Republicans were the party of law and order? Now they're the party of attacking law and order.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 05-23-2018 at 11:40 AM.
  #45  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Adaher
They [the Clintons] still remain the shadiest political couple in modern history.
Let's see, there's Bob and Liddy Dole. Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao. Who else is there?

The thing the Trump apologists seem to be banking on is that everybody involved in investigating Russian interference in the election is, by virtue of working for the government, either affiliated with a political party or was appointed/hired by somebody affiliated with a political party. Once you've cast that wide a net, everybody involved is somehow "biased" and not credible.

But the truth is that these people are not biased against Trump; they are used to working with and for politicians of lots of different stripes, only some of whom they liked and agreed with.

But they are biased against disloyalty to America. Cooperating, even casually, with Russian interference with the election is showing utter contempt for this country.
  #46  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:24 PM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
What adds to the suspicion is that both the dossier and the Australian diplomat have connections to Clinton/DNC.
Are those allegations coming from the same people who say that say that Trump's connections to agents of the Russian government were totally innocent?

Quote:
Of note: I don't know if anyone is claiming that the FBI investigation was done "for partisan campaign advantage", but even if people are claiming that, that's not the sole relevant claim. The more reasonable claim, ISTM, is that it was undertaken by deep state people who were fiercely opposed to Trump and therefore predisposed on that basiss to find grounds for investigation even if that would not have spurred an investigation by unbiased people.
Not done for partisan advantage, but done by people who were opposed to Trump. What's the difference?
  #47  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:30 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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Not done for partisan advantage, but done by people who were opposed to Trump. What's the difference?
The first means that there was a specific intention to use the investigation as a means of harming Trump and/or his campaign.

The second means that there was no conscious thought of harming Trump specifically and a genuine concern about potential harm to the country, but that the attitude in the relevant agencies was so suspicious of and antipathetic to Trump that there was an overreaction.
  #48  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:34 PM
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Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Of note: I don't know if anyone is claiming that the FBI investigation was done "for partisan campaign advantage", but even if people are claiming that, that's not the sole relevant claim.
Hold the phone.

You don't know if anyone is claiming that the investigation was done "for partisan campaign advantage"?



Are you serious here?
  #49  
Old 05-23-2018, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
The more reasonable claim, ISTM, is that it was undertaken by deep state people who were fiercely opposed to Trump and therefore predisposed on that basiss to find grounds for investigation even if that would not have spurred an investigation by unbiased people.
And this club of biased, deep state people include:

1. The Republican-appointed head of the FBI
2. Several FISA judges, appointed both by Republicans and Democrats
3. The Australian Ambassador to the UK
4. A former MI-6 secret agent
5. A former Nixon adviser turned academic
6. Two FBI agents having an affair who seemed to dislike all politicians
7. The Republican Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
8. And presumably many, many more.

So what we have here is a deep state with ties throughout all branches of government, as well as our closest allies, all engaged in some kind of common effort to frame Trump for things his campaign never did....

Or there's a legitimate question that Trump's campaign was crooked.

I think the latter explanation is about ten million times more plausible than the first.
  #50  
Old 05-23-2018, 04:58 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by doorhinge View Post
(post shortened)

And we the voters are left with the fact that Obama was well aware that Russians were interfering with U.S. elections and he chose not to inform the American voters. Obama may not have wanted to interfere with U.S. elections but he allowed some Russians to do so.
Of course, this spin on the events ignores the widely reported point that McConnell explicitly told Obama that if Obama mentioned it in public, Mcconnell would blow it up as a campaign ploy. Then, when the Obama Administration encouraged Congress to look into any (not naming Russia or Putin) outside efforts to mess with the election, McConnell sat on the request, only posting a watered down description of what was known more than three weeks after it was discussed in Congressional/POTUS meetings.
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