We should know by now, two weeks in, what the new administration’s tactic is. Like a shell game con artist, they employ a certain sleight of hand. They throw a fireball out that dazzles, enrages, and engages attention. While we are attending to this distraction, even more serious shady doings are going on somewhere else that we somehow miss. An example.
Yesterday, Trump’s meandering, inept introduction of Black History Month so astonished (and, frankly, amused to the point of Twitter parodies) that while we were all attending to 199-year-0ld Frederick Douglass “who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people,” the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson for secretary of state while Congress removed an anti-graft section of Dodd-Frank that will permit petroleum companies (among others) to conceal payments to foreign governments. Actually, according to one source, all of these things happened.
Today, at the National Prayer Breakfast, there was this:
“And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings” Trump says after boasting Apprentice “went down the tubes” once he left”
The media and the social nets went nuts! Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
The US Treasury just amended Obama’s sanctions order to ‘authorize certain transactions’ with Russia’s FSB
Who’s going to notice this after Trump prayed for Arnold’s pitiful ratings?
Of course back on September 24, Hillary Clinton’s campaign issued this statement.
September 24, 2016
Friday, HFA senior national spokesperson Glen Caplin released the following statement in response to the new bombshell report that Trump’s foreign policy adviser is being probed for suspected meetings with senior Russian officials:
“It’s chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle while in Moscow. You have to ask why he would meet with Igor Diveykin, who is believed by U.S. officials ‘to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.’ This comes as Russian hackers continue their attempts to influence the outcome of our elections, something Trump openly invited. This is serious business and voters deserve the facts before election day.
During the October 19 presidential debate, this.
WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue, because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank, for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks, that you said this, and I want to quote. “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” So that’s the question…
TRUMP: Thank you.
WALLACE: That’s the question. Please quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders? CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.
But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet.
This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.
So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is, finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.
TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?
WALLACE: Hold on — hold on, wait. Hold on, folks. Because we — this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet so — for the candidates and for the American people.
TRUMP: So just to finish on the borders…
TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from.
And you see, we are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So I just want to tell you, she wants open borders.
Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good.
He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin…
WALLACE: Wait, but…
TRUMP: … from everything I see, has no respect for this person.
CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.
CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…
TRUMP: You’re the puppet!
CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…
TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.
CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.
So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.
WALLACE: Secretary Clinton…
CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand…
TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.
CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.
TRUMP: She has no idea.
CLINTON: I am quoting 17…
TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.
CLINTON: … 17 intelligence — do you doubt 17 military and civilian…
TRUMP: And our country has no idea.
CLINTON: … agencies.
TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.
CLINTON: Well, he’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely…
We were warned by Hillary even though no government agency stepped up to clarify the situation. Some of what we heard back then appears, more specifically, in what have come to be known as the Christopher Steele Memos.
There we learned, not only of Kremlin quid pro quos for the lifting of sanctions, as cited below, but also of potential ‘kompromat’ on Trump. (see p.9) Unfortunately, the media focused heavily on the ‘kompromat’ which involved some hanky-panky with prostitutes rather than on the bigger picture which included influencing U.S. voting blocs in order to get Trump elected so that sanctions could be lifted. The implication of that ‘kompromat’ is, of course, that Trump can be blackmailed to do anything the Kremlin wants.
While it remains true that these memos have not been verified, it is awfully spooky that these sanctions are being lifted. Can we expect the Ukraine sanctions to fall next?
Oh, and by the way, subsequent to all of that there was this in October! No one knows who bought those shares.
Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.
The next time the ‘central committee’ sends up a flare, look in the other direction. That is where the damage will be occurring – in the shadows. Watch this space!