So, did “Russia ‘hack’ the 2016 U.S. presidential election” …?
Here is where and when this hearing should have ended…
So damned relieved the FBI finally tracked down and found Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey. Maybe now Directer Comey and the FBI will have the free time to track down and bust the federal employees who unmasked Gen. Flynn and has been leaking to the MSM?
Sen. Trey Gowdy would like to know too…
As for Russia ‘hacking’ and collusion here are some items that are not being brought up and addressed in these contrived hearings on the subject:
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 21, 2017
Red flag: NSA Director careful to discuss only who can unmask USP identities in reporting, not who can access collection involving USPs.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 20, 2017
How many communications in which at least one participant is American are held by the NSA? The question not answered in Congress today. https://t.co/kp1VrAfP0R
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 20, 2017
I am convinced the Obama/Clinton operatives had an ‘informal’ surveillance of communications of Donald Trump and his family/staff/supporters. So illegal was this covert operation that it makes Watergate look like kids shoplifting bubblegum. I believe POTUS Trump would never have made such a public allegation if he didn’t have proof.
— Daniel John Sobieski (@gerfingerpoken) March 21, 2017
I don’t believe so because there is no real evidence that he did. However, as I suggested yesterday, if one applies the same sort of conspiracy thinking being used to claim that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, one can make out a case that Barack Obama colluded in 2012.
Rep. Peter King made that point during today’s Intelligence Committee hearing. King pointed first to President Obama’s statement to the Russian president, picked up by a live mic, that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with Russia on contentious issues after the U.S. presidential election.
Next, King pointed to Obama’s ridicule of Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia poses a major geopolitical threat to the U.S. When Romney said this during a debate, Obama responded derisively that the 1980s want their foreign policy back.
Obama’s claim that concern over Russia should be a thing of the past was more pro-Russian than anything I can recall Trump saying on the subject. Surely, it’s more useful than Trump’s assertion of the obvious fact that Putin is a strong leader….
Rush Limbaugh: Comey on Hillary vs. Comey on Trump
In terms of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Comey confirmed this is under investigation by the FBI. He went on to say the Russian officials meant to hurt democracy and Hillary Clinton, all the while helping Donald Trump. Comey also confirmed that FBI officials are investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
So far, there is no publicly available evidence to support the claim. In my view, Russian interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign had nothing to do with the Democrat’s defeat; Hillary Clinton lost because she had the wrong message, failed to compete in key battleground states and spiked the football in the third quarter.
RICHARD FERNANDEZ @ PJM: Putin Is Bust, So Who Won The Pot?
If Putin is the world’s puppet master he’s not doing very well. Russia’s economy has been in crisis since 2014, with no end in sight. The Kremlin has been in the doldrums for two reasons: the continued decline in oil prices and economic sanctions imposed on Moscow for its incursions into Ukraine.
Trends have worsened rather than gotten better. Initial hopes the Trump administration would cut Russia some slack were dashed. “Enormous amounts of money have flowed in and out of Russia over the past several months as oil prices and U.S. policies turned from favorable to seemingly unfavorable”. . . .
Russia is facing a tough Nikki Haley in the UN, something that has left the New York Times baffled. ” In recent weeks, Ms. Haley has condemned what she called Russia’s “aggressive actions” in eastern Ukraine, vowed to maintain sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and, in her Senate confirmation hearing, went as far as saying that Russia was guilty of war crimes in Syria.” . . .
But the rhetoric is matched by actions on the ground. US troops arrived in Syria to support the impending assault on Raqqa. After an extended retreat before the Kremlin in the Middle East America is re-asserting itself again.
Worse the administration has been exhorting its European allies to spend more money on NATO. Though Trump’s urgings were mocked by politicians who point out the Euros spend on “UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism” it nevertheless amounts to a call to arm against Russia.
It is reasonable to suppose that puppetmaster Putin would prefer 1) less US oil production; 2) lower American defense spending; 3) a free hand in Syria; 4) lifting of sanctions but there is precious little evidence he is getting any of it. On the contrary Putin is doomed if current trends continue.
If Putin robbed the bank where’s the money? The problem with the Russian hacking stories now roiling Washington is demonstrating how any of it worked to the Kremlin’s advantage. A proper conspiracy theory involving a foreign power in the last election should at least consider China, not just Russia, as a suspect. The Chinese at least would have benefited from cheap oil. Yet even here there are problems.
Glenn Reynolds @ Instapundit: “But without conspiracy theories, Democrats would have to face reality, and that’s still too painful. Alternatively (or additionally) it may be that all this Russia-talk is there to distract from actual foreign-government influence in DC…”
ROGER KIMBALL: The Nothing Burger Gets Flipped.
It wasn’t quite “Are you now or have you ever been . . .” but it was close. You don’t have to have that good a memory to have found the whole exercise amusing: Democratic politicians abandoning the “1980s asking for its foreign policy back” in order, suddenly, to castigate Russia as a threat to US national security and even (if you can believe it) wrapping themselves in the flag of patriotism (yes, really) to denounce Donald Trump.
My own feeling is that the Dems must be very, very worried to go down that street. And what did it all add up to? Nada. Which is to say, rien. Nichts. Zilch. Nothing.