Call me politically naive, ignorant, whatever…but maybe my attitude reflects something outside of Washington, which might make it useful to note. From what I’ve seen, there are some really huge elephants in the room, which I’ll point out below:
1) I don’t understand how anybody who supports Trump would have a problem with his son (and other members of the campaign) following up when somebody claims they have proof of Hillary Clinton’s criminal dealings with Russia.
I mean, this was huge. Remember the “lock her up” chanting? We despise the blatant stench of hypocrisy that permeates Washington, DC.
Just to recap here…Clinton is part of the group of people who publicly blamed the Benghazi attack on the American embassy on a youtube video! She’s the person (Secretary of State at the time) who was in a key position to repeatedly refuse the now *dead* American ambassador’s requests for much needed protection for months ahead of that attack, in order to maintain a political fiction that things were going great in that part of the world. That hurts; it hurts to realize what a completely selfish political hack we had in control of military decisions for our soldiers. So, yes, that’s just one thing, but it’s *huge*. Then you find out she was the person in charge when we signed 20% of our uranium over to a company in Russia, and that after that deal, the Clinton Foundation received over one hundred million dollars in donations from a Russian company. Um…what? Just, read that and let it sink in. First, where the heck did that uranium go to? How was it used? Did the Russians, by chance, sell any to, say, North Korea? This is *not* making our world safer or better. It’s the worst sort of politics, the worst sort of bribery and cheating, at the highest levels. It’s disgusting, and criminal, and yeah, she should be prosecuted for this. Uranium to the Russians, who are *not* historically trustworthy, and the result is hundreds of millions of dollars, straight into the Clintons’ private organization, and nobody follows up on this?
So yes, *good* for Don Trump Jr for following this lead to see if he could get dirt on Hillary Clinton. We *want* her held accountable! He was trying to find a way to bring her down- woohoo! Yes. I’m clapping. Good.
2) I don’t understand why a foreign government or foreign official endorsing a particular political group or politician is a bad thing?
I mean, a politician can’t control who endorses them, anyway. Was the Trump campaign supposed to be like “no, darn you, you are not allowed to support me! You may have damning, albeit truthful information on my political foe, but I shall turn my nose up at it! Begone!”
Sheesh. Trump Jr wasn’t even taking money here (which is also not illegal up to a point, so long as you disclose it). He was just taking a meeting, to check things out. Why is this wrong, again? I don’t get it.
For some perspective, I do think there are some instances where we, the USA, has overstepped in regard to active interference in an election. (For the record, a country endorsing a candidate in my book doesn’t constitute “active interference”.)
Here’s an example:
President Obama sent *tax payer* money (hundreds of thousands of dollars of it) to actively influence the last election cycle for the Prime Minister of Israel. I mean, that’s way beyond endorsing somebody; he actively funded an effort to oust Netanyahu. That’s a pretty freaking huge elephant, guys.
And just to recap what I said in my last blog post…If I were Trump Jr and saw that email, first up I would look into it further, but wouldn’t take it *seriously* up front, and his generic answer “I love it”, tells me he didn’t. I mean, who would, given the source? (No offense to British PR guys). On that note, check this interview out, which hilariously puts this in perspective: “My Chat About Russia with Tucker Carlson”: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/162905057201/my-chat-about-russia-with-tucker-carlson
I just don’t get the crazy reaction from all these talking heads; I mean, so they say the Russian government was supposedly preferring Trump over Clinton (although anything stated so blatantly I’d doubt coming from them)….but so what? What does that have to do with Trump Jr taking this meeting, especially all the way back in June of 2016?
People take information from all kinds of sources all the time. At the end of the day, the media themselves didn’t hesitate to run with the information produced by Wikileaks. Wikileaks is a questionable group of people consisting of hackers, spies, etc who have taken information from individuals the USA has declared to be traitors to our nation. That doesn’t make the information they leaked about Hillary Clinton any less true or unuseable by the media, by the CIA, the FBI…or by the Trump campaign. At the end of the day, they still shed a light on the criminal acts of the Clintons and the shenanigans at the DNC.
3) Trump Jr keeps “Changing his story”. Come again?
It’s nuts to me, when I stand back and look at it. I mean, the Trump administration’s “public image” taking a hit, his “lack of transparency” etc…that’s all bogus. Trump Jr hasn’t lied about any of this, as far as I can see so far. He’s not “changing his story”, as people keep claiming. As far as I see it, he’s doing what your average person who thinks it’s a non-story would do: you give a few brief comments, and move on with your life. He’s had thousands of meetings with people. This Russian lady had a translator; he didn’t mention that. She had some Russian acquaintance there, too. Okay; so what? Is it possible that Trump Jr didn’t remember who was there clearly? (Speaking of which, have you ever started telling someone about a movie you saw, only to have them remind you they were *with* you at the theater? *raises hand*)
Even if he did remember them, and didn’t leap to mention it immediately, does that automatically point to something nefarious? No. It could mean he didn’t think the meeting constituted some kind of national security concern (which, bombshell: it didn’t), and so he didn’t think it would be scrutinized, because he didn’t see anything there worth scrutinizing. When it became a bigger story, within a few days, he dug through his email history and released his email interactions, then took an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, and answered every question the commentator could think to ask.
I know I’m repeating myself, but again…*why* is any of this suspicious? I guess I’m the only person on the planet who still gives people the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t see anything that matches up with the “changing story” narrative. He hasn’t changed anything, he’s just given more information over time as this “nothing burger” meeting turned into a media feeding frenzy (nom nom nom nother burger). If he did anything “wrong” here, it was not realizing that some people would *make* this into a story, come Hell or high water. (And this entire episode illustrates why I will *never* get into politics, because I’d be accused of treason in no time, simply for having a poor memory for exactly these kinds of details. :/)
4) One of the biggest elephants in the room: I don’t get the assertion people have been making (and by people, I mean four nameless analysts who work desk jobs at unnamed USA intelligence agencies) that the Kremlin backed the Trump campaign.
Why the heck would anybody buy that the Russians wholeheartedly got behind Trump? It’s nuts, and I don’t care how many times public figures who supposedly know better than me tell me so. What it boils down to is my common sense, based on all the publicly available information, versus the supposed statements of four unnamed people who may have been told by superiors (or might be politically motivated on their own), who work in intelligence.
I mean, we know the CIA and other agencies have NEVER tried to influence public opinion before -__-;) but none the less…am I obliged to take their word, based on no intelligence shared (aka, I don’t get to make my own analysis)? For all I know, their analysis is partially based on that fake Russian “dossier”, for goodness sake.
Let’s state the obvious: If you were Putin, Hillary Clinton would be the obvious candidate to support. Putin *knows* she can be bribed. We all do, thanks to the Uranium deal. Let me rephrase that: she has *bonafide* dirt in her history, and prior dealings at a very high level with the Russian government. Plus, she’s totally predictable. Why? Because she has a *lot* of political history behind her. Most people, sitting down and looking at her history, could probably accurately predict her positions on most topics.
My guess is that the Russians assumed she’d win, and they did try to cultivate favor with her, at least on a minimal level (I mean, they already have a clear relationship established). At the same time, I imagine they also tried to cultivate a relationship with Trump, as a back-up plan. (As a government watching our presidential election, wouldn’t you?) It makes sense that the Kremlin was reaching out to both campaigns, in various forms, by various proxies. This meeting with Trump Jr *might* be one of those attempts, maybe? (If so, whoever orchestrated it has probably been fired for incompetence.).
I figure plenty of other governments also researched and tried to plan ahead, in various ways, since the USA is a huge world power and our policy and leadership decisions impact other governments around the world. One thing we do know, as an example of this, is that a DNC staffer traveled to the Ukrainian embassy, and worked with officials there to gather dirt on Paul Manafort. This was a paid DNC worker, who shared that information directly with the Clinton campaign. In other words, the Ukrainians were actively trying to help Hillary win, and thus actively influence our Presidential election. No big deal there, I guess, though, since it’s not getting any coverage lately? (Source: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire” http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446 )
What’s clear to me is that, when you take all the information we know about the presidential campaigns of 2016, there are many examples of destructive information sharing on both sides of the isle, aimed at both candidates.
And on a side note, does anybody doubt that, when Putin loudly proclaims *anything* about Trump these days, he isn’t fully aware of the fact that many people will assume he’s lying? Putin understands that perfectly well, and what he states in public is calculated with that knowledge. Just something to chew on, in regard to the ongoing propaganda war.