Trump denies his ever deepening Russian connections


Melania? :rofl:



Shirtless and on a horse or go home.


Sorry about my lack of clarity. I mean dressing Trump up in Soviet regalia is just resurrecting Cold War hysterics about the left, rather than making any real point about Trump’s ties to a right wing nationalist such as Putin.


Expensive watches and owning property all over the world?


I think it’s an intentionally kitschy illustration of just how far the Republican party has drifted from its own stated positions. During the Cold War the American Conservative movement cast the Soviet Union as evil incarnate, a boogeyman the likes of which the world had never seen.

Today that same party, including many of the same party leaders, happily embraces a President who is blatantly and transparently doing the bidding of a former KGB officer who embodies all the worst elements of the Soviet era.


Except Russia isn’t the Soviet Union anymore, so Cold War anti communists liking the right wing capitalist that replaced the USSR is entirely consistent with their stated positions. Also it’s ridiculous to suggest Trump is doing the bidding of Putin. Trump is doing the bidding the same people who command the loyalties of nearly every previous president, Wall Street.


Putin is an old-school KGB spook who very much wants to run his country in a manner similar to the way things were done in the Soviet Union. Soviet style symbolism is apropos for the situation, especially considering this is clearly being presented as “humorous caricature” rather than “realistic depiction of what Trump would look like if he dressed as a Russian person.”

The world’s top intelligence agencies disagree.

The real question isn’t if Trump is doing Putin’s bidding, it’s a question of whether he’s doing so due to incompetence or malice.


He’s doing exactly what Putin wants, every day. Can you point to anything Trump has done that tangibly goes against Putin’s interest?

I can rattle off 6 major things in 30 seconds that he’s done to help Putin:
-Destabilizing NATO
-Alienating the entire EU
-Suporting Brexit
-Pulling US troops out of Syria
-Trade war with China
-Legitimizing North Korea

Whether it’s as a formal Russian asset or just a clueless dupe doing quid-pro-quo favors for a perceived personal ally (equally illegal), Trump is doing the bidding of Putin.


I think this is missing the possibility that Trump is just a small-minded nationalist authoritarian, so his goals align nearly perfectly with Putin’s. Personally that’s what I would have guess a while ago. These days it just feels like the Russian connections are too many and too strong to deny that it’s likely there is direct influence. That thing where he confiscated translator notes is crazy - might as well just put up a big sign that says, “Nothing to see here” with an arrow pointing at them.


If there hadn’t been any interaction between Trump&Co and Putin, LLC, then I’d buy that. But almost every person involved with the Trump Campaign has had prolonged exposure to Russians or Russian-allied Ukrainians. We can rule out that they are coincidentally, but independently, working toward the same global goals.


Lmao, that half your suggestions are that it’s progressive for America to wage endless wars against the Middle East or North Korea. Plus China is an ally of Russia, why would Putin encourage the US to harm them? Trump is the culmination of everything that sucks ass about America. No Russians needed.


This is absurd. Putin may be ex KGB, but current Russia isn’t run anything like the USSR. They’re economically vastly different for one.

Wouldn’t it make more sense that Trump passed a massive tax cut for the rich not at Putin’s bidding, but at the bidding of the Americans who would materially benefit from that give away? At best, Putin benefits from paralysis in the US executive, but its all the US wealthy doing class war on the rest of America who actually get their pockets lined.


Don’t hurt yourself.

One out of six. You don’t count so well, do you?

FTFY. Are you really that geopolitically naive? Or is it just useful to pretend?

And yet they seemed to find it necessary to spend a significant investment of resources to help get him elected. They risked important assets in order to place him in the presidency. Was that just for shit and giggles?


I fail to see how Trump keeping the content of his one-on-one meetings with Putin secret from his own cabinet is somehow “doing the bidding of rich Americans.”


These two things seem to be at odds. I would think more wars in the middle east would be part of the culmination of everything that sucks about America, not fewer wars.

It’s not “progressive” for America to continue a war in Syria, but it’s certainly in Russia’s interest that America doesn’t.


Do authoritarians really care tho?


Bingo. The economic structures only differ if you get hung up on the names given to them. Structurally, this is what the former USSR looked like, economically:

With the powerful on top and the workers on the bottom. Contrast that with the current oligarchic structure of Russia:


With Putin and his buddies on top and the workers on the bottom. Fussing about the color of the triangle doesn’t change it’s shape.


As a progressive, it’s possible to be against our existing foreign policy in the Middle East while also finding Trump’s erratic, impulsive, and deferential behavior wildly dangerous and idiotic. The same goes for North Korea.

Between the US and China, why do you think China is the country being hurt most by Trump’s moronic trade war? Besides, if Russia and China are on such friendly terms, why wouldn’t Putin want the US to kick off a trade war that harms our relationship with China, so that Russia reaps the benefits of improved trade relations in the region by not waging a stupid and self-destructive trade war against them?

Nobody is saying that everything Trump does is at Russia’s behest. That would be stupid and wrong; Republicans have long had plenty of shitty domestic policies that they want passed, and this is their opportunity to do so. We’re saying that nothing Trump does is against Russia’s interests. Until Trump rolled around, Russia was not our good buddy who could never do anything wrong (name one time Trump has ever criticized them). Republicans openly chastised Obama for his 2012 debate comments about the Cold War being over, and assailed him for not taking Russia seriously as a threat. None of that exists now. Annexing Crimea? Meh. Propping up Assad in Syria? It’s fine. There’s not even any will in their party to investigate Russia’s interference in the election that put Trump—who even if not a plant or a dupe, is openly more friendly toward them than Hillary was—into the oval office.

To be sure, Trump has a soft spot for brutal dictators, and he seems to hate the idea of rich people (which brutal dictators often are) being mad at him. His response to Saudi Arabia’s murder of Jamal Kashoggi is ample proof of that. So there’s a lot to be said for the argument that he’s not a willing plant; he just wants to make the wrong people happy (which is idiotic and dangerous enough as it is). But the breadth and scope of Trump’s actions in ways that benefit Russia specifically, while weakening the US’s standing, is too consistent to be mere coincidence.

There’s also the fact that whenever something to do with Russia comes up, Trump’s behavior makes him look guilty as fuck. Consider:

  • High-ranking members of Trump’s campaign met with Russian operatives in Trump Tower to get damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Trump himself even touted that he would be giving a major speech about Clinton the week after the meeting was set to take place. They didn’t get what they wanted from the meeting, and Trump’s big speech never took place.
  • The person that Trump’s campaign met with (Marina Butina) has since been charged by the FBI with operating as an unregistered foreign agent, and is connected with Russia’s attempts to infiltrate the NRA. She’s pled guilty and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
  • The NRA, incidentally, spent over $30 million in 2016 to get Trump elected, almost 3 times more than it spent on Romney in 2012. A substantial portion of that money came from donors who the NRA is not legally required to identify.
  • Trump’s first campaign manager (Paul Manafort) was in debt up to his eyeballs to a Russia-linked Ukrainian oligarch when he volunteered to run Trump’s campaign for free, and there are now allegations that Manafort provided Trump campaign polling data to a different Russia-linked Ukrainian oligarch during the election.
  • Trump’s second campaign manager pushed to remove language condemning Russia for their invasion of Crimea from the Republican Party’s 2016 platform.
  • Close associates of Trump have been accused of coordinating with Wikileaks to publish information that was damaging to Hillary Clinton and obtained by Russian hackers at key points in the campaign to shift attention away from damaging Trump stories. (Remember when Podesta’s emails landed just hours after the pussy tape came out?)
  • Throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly sowed doubt about the intelligence community’s assertions that Russia was attempting to interfere with the election, even after he began to receive classified intelligence briefings about it.
  • As a candidate, Trump openly invited Russia to execute a cyber-espionage attack on our country on national television (“Russia, if you’re listening…”).
  • As a candidate, Trump and his associates repeatedly lied about Trump’s ongoing business connections with Russia and a number of Putin-aligned oligarchs (as if there are any other kind in Russia), up to and including offering a $50 million penthouse suite to Putin himself as part of getting a Trump Tower built in Moscow. While he was running for president.
  • For several weeks during the campaign, there were frequent, still-unexplained communications between a server at the Trump Organization and a server at the Russian state-owned Alfa Bank, which peaked at key points in the campaign narrative. When someone at the New York Times asked Alfa Bank about these communications, and before the Times could reach someone in the Trump Organization about them, the Trump server was shut down almost immediately.
  • Incidentally, the person that Trump nominated to be the head of the FBI’s criminal division once represented Alfa Bank, which came under FBI scrutiny for those communications, and which commissioned a whitewashed report to exonerate them.
  • Within days of taking office, Trump’s National Security Advisor was fired for lying to the FBI about back-channel communications he’d had with Russia’s ambassador during the transition, encouraging Russia not to retaliate against the outgoing Obama administration’s last round of sanctions, in possible violation of the Logan Act. (Though at the time of his firing, the excuse was that he’d lied to Mike Pence, who was running the transition.)
  • Trump fired the FBI Director after repeatedly imploring him to “go easy” on Mike Flynn, and publicly stated that he had the Russia investigation on his mind when he did so. This statement was not in keeping with the line being pushed by the White house Press Secretary at the same time, that Comey was fired for his handling of the Clinton email investigation.
  • In the early months of his presidency, Trump met with a number of Russian diplomats in the oval office without any American officials or media present, never mentioned it publicly (we learned about it from the Kremlin), and during the meeting revealed highly sensitive SIGINT to them that was provided under strict confidentiality by Israeli intelligence.
  • The written content of Trump’s speech at the NATO summit contained a re-affirmation of the importance of the treaty, which Russia despises. Trump skipped it when he gave the speech.
  • At the G20, Trump had two one-on-one meetings with Putin. At the first, only the leaders and their translators were present, and we now know that Trump personally seized his translator’s notes afterward. At the second, which he never told anyone about (again, we learned about it from the Kremlin), it was only Trump, Putin, and Putin’s translator. While Trump has done this on a couple of other occasions with other leaders, he’s done it consistently with Putin, and it’s both extremely irregular and dangerous from a diplomacy standpoint.
  • These G20 meetings were, incidentally, just a day or two before Trump drafted a false statement regarding the purpose of the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting on Air Force 1. When asked for an explanation of what he and Putin talked about at the G20, he said the same thing he did in that statement: they were talking about Russian adoptions under the Magnitsky Act.
  • Since becoming president, Trump has repeatedly pushed to relax Russian sanctions, to the point that a veto-proof vote of Congress was at one point required to force his hand. His Treasury secretary is still trying to remove sanctions from people in that country.
  • Trump and Republicans in Congress have led an ongoing campaign to discredit and drive out any of the people at the FBI that James Comey told contemporaneously about his troubling conversations with Trump regarding the Russia investigation. Trump has also repeatedly fired people for not doing what he felt was enough to bring the investigation to a halt. Trump’s new appointees and nominees are consistently opposed to Mueller completing his investigation. Trump’s allies in Congress have also repeatedly pressured the Justice Department to provide them with information that may compromise the investigation’s confidentiality.
  • Rudy Giuliani has bragged on television that Paul Manafort was providing Trump’s legal defense team in the Russia investigation with information following Manafort’s plea agreement with Mueller’s team.

This is all just what I can remember off the top of my head.

(Side note: I torrent Rachel Maddow’s show because we don’t get MSNBC on our cable package, and we’ve been a few months behind on actually watching it thanks to the holidays. It is bonkers to play catch-up and watch this whole thing unfold at a faster-than-real-time pace. Getting it day by day, it’s so much easier to forget just how much bullshit there is.)

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