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Spies Spying On White House?

The Wall Street Journal reports that intelligence agencies do not trust the President of the United States: [1]

U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.

The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government [2], as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information [3] to undermine him.

In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.

More:

“This is not about who won the election. This is about concerns about institutional integrity,” said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior intelligence official.

“It’s probably unprecedented to have this difficult a relationship between a president and the intelligence agencies,” Mr. Lowenthal said. “I can’t recall ever seeing this level of friction. And it’s just not good for the country.”

This is absolutely extraordinary, any way you look at it. On one hand, you could say that the spy agencies are being patriotic, defending the country’s best interests over that of its president, who they considered compromised by Russia (or at least some in his inner circle may be compromised). Think about what that means.

On the other hand, you could say that the spy agencies are attempting to undermine a democratically elected president, thereby carrying out a soft coup. That is Damon Linker’s view. [4] Excerpt:

The United States is much better off without Michael Flynn serving as national security adviser. But no one should be cheering the way he was brought down.

The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America’s democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn’s ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

Either way, this is bad. This is really bad.

Meanwhile, there’s a country to govern, right? What about getting things done? The New York Times reports: [5]

Congressional Republicans, who craved unified control of the government to secure their aggressive conservative agenda, have instead found themselves on a legislative elliptical trainer, gliding toward nowhere.

After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the health care law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Mr. Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a very general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago — which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border — has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle and checking Twitter.

At this point in Barack Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled Washington, Congress had passed a stimulus bill totaling nearly $1 trillion to address the financial crisis, approved a measure preventing pay discrimination, expanded a children’s health insurance program, and begun laying the groundwork for major health care and financial regulation bills. President George W. Bush came into office with a congressional blueprint for his signature education act, No Child Left Behind.

Trump can’t govern. That’s not surprising, because he can’t govern himself. The question going forward is going to be the extent to which the Congressional Republicans get tied up by his foolishness, his constant, unnecessary drama, or manage to get things done and sent to his desk on their own. Right now, the GOP and its president are laying the groundwork for a powerful resurgence by Democrats, and President Elizabeth Warren.

This morning, the Tweeter-in-Chief continues his war on his own intel agencies:

I don’t think this is going to work out for him. Or for the country.

UPDATE: John Podhoretz says that everybody needs to watch their mouths. [7] Excerpt:

I am myself unnerved by the evidence of high-level lawlessness in the Flynn matter, but a “coup d’etat” refers specifically to a military ouster of a leader, not a leak-driven campaign using the press to nail someone. This is sure to persist, though, if the Flynn-Russia matter accelerates—and if the reluctant House and Senate do begin investigating the matter in earnest. If the language surrounding the investigation remains florid and purple, if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon, the Trumpians will respond in kind by stirring the pot through their media and their argumentation.

The result might well be violence. Not rhetorical violence. Actual violence. Actual political violence. Actual conflicts between anti-Trumpers and Trumpers. At demonstrations. In the streets. Of our cities. Political violence of a sort we haven’t seen in 50 years, and maybe haven’t really seen in this country in the modern era. Those who believe Trump is a unique menace whose threat to our democratic way of life will be met with those who believe the elites are using illicit means to oust the legitimately elected president of the United States.

This is not a fantasy. This is one possible future. And every rational person who cares about the future of the country should be mindful of it, and should work to forestall it.

UPDATE.2: Commenter Carlo says:

Actually this looks more and more like Berlusconi’s trajectory, and his problem was not that he could not govern himself.

He came to power with a sweeping program of reforms, and he spent most of his time battling unelected establishmentarian opposition (in his case, judges), and thus ended up getting very little done.

So, Trump’s personality may make things worse, but the real problem is sociological. Certain elites hold so much administrative or cultural power that they can block anything that does not fit with their hegemony. At the same time, they are radically detached from huge segments of the population (what David Lebedoff calls the “Left Behinds”), and hated by them. It looks like a recipe for disaster.

139 Comments (Open | Close)

139 Comments To "Spies Spying On White House?"

#1 Comment By EngineerScotty On February 16, 2017 @ 2:29 pm

If the CIA or FBI had credible evidence that a candidate for POTUS was compromised we need to be finding out why we’re just learning this now.

Possibilities:

1) Said elements want Pence, and wanted neither Trump nor Hillary (nor Kaine)–and the only way to get Pence, of course, is to take out Hillary, let Trump be elected, and then take him out second? That seems to be what is going on.

2) Assuming some good faith, and excluding a few rogue elements of the FBI–they didn’t want to interfere in the election, but see no harm in investigating the President outside the political season?

#2 Comment By Bob Loblaw On February 16, 2017 @ 2:29 pm

The inability for the Republican controlled Congress and Senate to pass any legislation has very little to do with the disaster that is Trump, and very much to do with the fact that their long-held chestnuts (repeal and replace the ACA, tax reform weighted towards the affluent, etc) have no basis in reality, and the results of such would be highly unpopular even among their most ardent supporters.

#3 Comment By Glanton On February 16, 2017 @ 2:34 pm

A word for the indiscipline and rashness that Trump provokes in his opponents. We now have grown-up, responsible, principled conservatives boasting on twitter about the deep state. The people who were warning us what a danger Trump posed to the sacred democratic norms of the republic are now openly praying for an American KGB to play kingmaker in US politics.

Trump is only one man, we’re seeing just what a black hole of cynicism the entire establishment actually is.

#4 Comment By steveb On February 16, 2017 @ 2:47 pm

I seem to recall Trump being quite thrilled with leaks during the campaign, he even encouraged the Russians to step up their hacking efforts and applauded Wiki Leaks for publishing them. Seems like he has provided the leadership the intelligence agencies needed.

#5 Comment By The Autist Formerly Known as “KD” On February 16, 2017 @ 2:48 pm

Come now, if a “good health care” fix was in the offing, don’t you think it would have offed by now?

Of course Trump wants no action on healthcare. What the GOP wants will alienate the people who voted for Trump.

What is good public policy will alienate the laissez-faire crowd, big pharma, the AMA, the hospital lobby, and medical device makers. You can’t fix the system unless the pigs at the trough get a haircut, and the pigs at the trough own the Congress.

Obama was classic when he said he hopes Trump replaces Obamacare with something better. He knows the jig in DC.

Between the Deep State and the special interests, our system has become ungovernable, it is almost impossible to do anything in the public interest.

We knew this before the election. The question is what will be next.

#6 Comment By Mary Ann On February 16, 2017 @ 2:55 pm

What Kevin S said. The President is literally unhinged, as in de-coupled from reality. I hope the intelligence world is sharing no sensitive information with him.
Maria

#7 Comment By Art Deco On February 16, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

You do realize that a substantial number of Americans, left and right, have believed that the CIA and its cohorts have been the real, unassailable government of the United States since they assassinated President Kennedy?

A ‘substantial number’ of people subscribe to tripe. What of it?

#8 Comment By jamie On February 16, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

k-

the ones who blindly loved [Trump] as the only hope against another Clinton are continuing to claim his popularity and success, wisdom and brilliance in everything he’s doing.

I don’t see many people taking this position, do you? I suppose some people might pretend there are a lot of passionate Trump supporters, because they want to stake out their grudging difference to Trump as a moderate position. But I don’t see many people defending Trump on the merits, the most people can spit out is that he’s “within his rights.”

Captain P-

Trump is fairly dysfunctional, but he is the head of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. It’s Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s job to get legislation passed, not to sit around and wait until the President gives them a proposal.

Ryan, but McConnell moreso, don’t have legislative majorities to repeal Obamacare, and that’s the only major legislative goal on the agenda. Ryan specifically has the House Freedom Caucus, which recently voted to reject any bill that replaced Obamacare with anything, and McConnell has at least 6 senators who won’t vote for repeal without some form of replacement; it’s not even clear the House and Senate could come together on an ACA defunding through budget reconciliation.

And Trump has said that he wants a bill with a replacement regime that covers more people with better than the ACA. Republicans in the senate are on the record that repeal won’t happen this year, and next year are the midterms, when candidates won’t be able to duck town halls and constituent meetings. In the midst of all of this, Trump is daring every Republican senator who hates his guts to investigate him, virtually guaranteeing the calendar will contain no legislation.

Both majorities in the houses are completely satisfied to allow Trump rule by decree in the meantime, it’s the only thing they agree on.

They didn’t pass any of them because they would have been immediately vetoed.

Rather, they proposed them knowing they’d be immediately vetoed. It was a no-cost gambit.

Mark-

Are we reliving McCarthyism but now perpetuated by the left?

Alger Hiss was probably a soviet agent and he certainly perjured himself in front of Congress. If that’s how you want to frame the Flynn affair, go right ahead.

Remember here we’re not accusing people of being “communists,” or being members of some pro-Russian nationalist group 20 years ago. The question is wether advisors to the President were corresponding with agents of the Russian government last year. Carter Page and Roger Stone have already admitted as much, both claiming by different legerdemains that they didn’t know who they were talking to.

You should check out Glenn Greenwald on Democracy Now today. He pointed out how dangerous it is to empower the democratically unaccountable deep state in order to take down Trump, who for all his faults, is still democratically accountable.

Trump chose to live by the sword, he was giddy to take advantage of leaks against Hillary Clinton, and celebrated the FBIs intervention in the last week of the election (I would add that all of these leaks amounted to no criminal or even ethical wrongdoing). I would not consider the 2016 election an example of a democratically accountable institution at work.

It’s remarkable that Glenn Greenwald has suddenly discovered in the last few weeks that leaks can actually be manipulated by the powerful to serve their own ends.

JCM-

The sainted Deep Throat turned out to be a disgruntled bureaucrat angry that he was passed over for FBI Director when J. Edgar died.

This is absolutely true. It is also true that Nixon ran a gang of criminals from the White House to conduct sundry felonies against his political enemies, and this was proven not by Deep Throat but by a Senate Select Committee. The “Deep State” is not our judge and jury.

#9 Comment By grumpy realist On February 16, 2017 @ 3:02 pm

It looks like Trump wants to do nothing but obsess about his “winning” and his victory over Hillary Clinton. The fact that he is now not trusted by a huge chunk of the intelligence community is something he couldn’t care less about.

I suggest that one of the rooms of the White House be lined with a lot of mirrors with gold-leaf frames and someone get sewing up a replica of Napoleon’s coronation regalia. Then we can carefully lead Mr. Trump into said room and lock him in. As long as piped applause is continually fed in and he can continue admiring himself in the mirror as Emperor Trump, he’ll be happy. Then the rest of the U.S. can get on with actually keeping the country going.

#10 Comment By Floridan On February 16, 2017 @ 3:02 pm

Trump is fairly dysfunctional, but he is the head of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. It’s Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s job to get legislation passed, not to sit around and wait until the President gives them a proposal.

And yet, I believe it was only yesterday that McConnell said something to the effect that it was the president’s responsibility to send a health care reform bill to Congress. The implication being that Congress would not take the initiative on this issue.

#11 Comment By EngineerScotty On February 16, 2017 @ 3:07 pm

If Trump gave today’s press conference in a tavern, he’d not only be cut off by the barkeep, but thrown out by the bouncer.

#12 Comment By ADC Wonk On February 16, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

will be holding his first rally of the 2020 election at a Florida airport this weekend

This is, btw, literally, true. The event is being put on by his 2020 reelection campaign.

Sorry — that’s crazy to me.

But, I guess since we’re in the middle of a campaign, we shouldn’t be confirming any Supreme Court justices, right?

[NFR: Did you see that he’s going to be selling Trump swag at this thing? The man truly has no shame. — RD]

#13 Comment By VikingLS On February 16, 2017 @ 3:19 pm

“Assuming some good faith, and excluding a few rogue elements of the FBI–they didn’t want to interfere in the election, but see no harm in investigating the President outside the political season?”

After he’d been elected? If they knew this, and more importantly if Obama knew this, there’s no way they could NOT let the American people know it in good faith.

#14 Comment By Michelle On February 16, 2017 @ 3:24 pm

45’s latest unhinged performance at this afternoon’s press conference should give anybody pause about his stability and suitability for the position he now inhabits. He came perilously close to foaming at the mouth when he once again bragged about his yuuge electoral college victory and went on a rant about being the least anti-Semitic person in the history of the world after a reporter, who clearly stated that he did not think 45 was anti-Semitic, asked him how he’d respond to the rise of anti-Semitic incidents since he was elected.

I guess 45’s wild flights of rage and fancy are a feature rather than a bug for many of his supporters, but they make the rest of us (also known as the majority) extremely nervous.

#15 Comment By M_Young On February 16, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

“I think Noah172 and Steve Sailer would be toasting these raids in California, but a lot of our restaurants are closed today with the Immigrant walkout.”

LOL. Was listening to the local NPR station and the whole show was about how not only did nobody honor the strike…no one knew about it.

#16 Comment By VikingLS On February 16, 2017 @ 4:35 pm

Well this section was before you get to the paywall on the Podhoretz piece

“That Trump might somehow be deus-ex-machina-ed out of public life has been a consistent feature of the past 20 months. He won’t run gave way to He’s only in it for the publicity to He only wants to show Obama he’s not to be trifled with but he doesn’t want to be president so he’ll drop out to We’ll deny him a first-ballot victory at the convention and then the party pooh-bahs can take over and find a new candidate to His poll numbers are so bad he’ll quit and let Mike Pence run against Hillary to The Access Hollywood tape will finally do him in…and then he won.”

This is important to remember. All these scandals that were supposed to take him down, didn’t. The longer the predictions of his imminent demise continue, the less credibility the person making them has to anyone who actually doesn’t already believe this.

Trump might be impeached eventually, but congress is going to have to hope and pray that if it does happen it’s for something that will turn his own base against him. That didn’t happen with Clinton (despite him engaging in practices they usually find abhorrent) and that seems unlikely to happen with Trump. They’d also have to hope that if they did vote to impeach him it would be over a crime that separated him from his resources. Particularly for Republican congressmen this outs them in a scary situation as they’d have invoked the wrath of a vindictive billionaire that their own base loves.

While I’m on the “not going to happens” if Trump can’t deliver on his promises, his base isn’t going to blame him. They’ll blame congress for being obstructionist, same as Obama’s base does now, and pretty much every president as long as I can remember.

The best chance Trump’s opponent have is to find a candidate who has the same broad of appeal as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, or to run a conservative Democrat like Jim Webb. It won’t be running Liz Warren or someone like here. I believe, however, that the Democrats will end up running someone like Warren anyway. Why? An irrational response to a threat is to hit back as hard as you can rather than to hit back as effectively as you can.

Trump’s MO is to provoke the opponent and break through their rational mind and get them to do or say something that undermines their own credibility or to make rash decisions. He’s been fortunate in that one of the irrational responses he’s provoked in the intelligentsia is an angry refusal to step back from their chosen narrative about Trump, that he’s wild and erratic, and to look at what the long-term outcomes have been thus far.

No, we’re told, he’s just erratic and stupid, and soon he’ll finally do whatever he’s going to do that’s going to make him go away.

Well I watched a guy like that come to power in Turkey 9 years ago, and he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Don’t hold your breath.

#17 Comment By VikingLS On February 16, 2017 @ 4:42 pm

Oh, I don’t know what happened. I am able to read the whole thing now. Podohertz said the same thing about impeachment. He’s right.

#18 Comment By AG On February 16, 2017 @ 4:55 pm

In case anyone has forgotten, there’s no better case to be made that the IC’s actions are non partisan than their actions to tip the election away from Clinton- perhaps that’s reassuring.
It’s hard to argue that the White House, in its current incarnation, is watertight enough to contain the most sensitive intelligence information- and given that the President has expressed little interest in it, it’s easy for me to forgive the IC’s position.

#19 Comment By Art Deco On February 16, 2017 @ 5:42 pm

This is absolutely true. It is also true that Nixon ran a gang of criminals from the White House to conduct sundry felonies against his political enemies, and this was proven not by Deep Throat but by a Senate Select Committee. The “Deep State” is not our judge and jury.

The Senate Watergate Committee uncovered some original material, but the U.S. Attorneys office already had a boatload of information before the committee held any hearings. They’d secured convictions of a clutch of people and John Dean had begun singing to them in early 1973.

Nixon wasn’t ‘running’ them at all. There wasn’t one of these characters who was a direct report to him and most of them he couldn’t have picked out of a police line-up. For the most part, they were employees or contractors of the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

The ‘sundry’ felonies consisted of burglaries and unlawful surveillance. The targets were Morton Halperin, Daniel Ellsberg, Lawrence O’Brien, and Lewis Fielding. Halperin and Ellsberg were government employees who had misapporpriated state secrets. Only Fielding was Joe Blow.

#20 Comment By MrsDK On February 16, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

Please keep in mind that intelligence analysts are patriotic everyday Americans who give their lives to serving the nation. They are not wealthy deep state contractors, they are simply middle class Americans who are hired from all over “flyover country”. Some of them voted for Trump because of the Supreme Court or abortion — others reluctantly voted for Clinton — others wrote in Kasich or voted third party or skipped the whole thing in despair and disgust. Please get real. These fellow Americans are not a threat to you. But the Tweeter in Chief may be.

#21 Comment By Lllurker On February 16, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

Still amazed at the lack of interest in whether or not we actually have Russian traitors in the White House…

Anyway here is an opinion regarding the leaks that seemed germane. Not quite as sexy as “deep state” intrigues, but, well … maybe that’s the point:

Lawfare: “Heated public rhetoric regarding leaking is common from both sides of the aisle, and it masks an ecosystem that is, in its own way, rather permissive about leaks. Still, Trump’s accusation raises a number of concerns. First, the President makes these accusations despite not knowing the actual source of these leaks. At least some of the information seems to be coming from his own White House. And nothing that has come to light is the kind of material that only the FBI or NSA would be aware of. Indeed, there is no particular reason to assume that any of these leaks are intelligence community leaks, rather than leaks by current and former White House officials with the knives out for Flynn.”

“Second, these tweets suggest that the President is more interested in hunting down leakers than in getting to the bottom of extremely serious allegations against his own administration. Whether Trump’s comments represent an intentional deflection or merely reflect misaligned priorities, most people can agree without defending leaking that the leaks are probably not the ‘real scandal’ here.”

“Finally, and perhaps most worryingly, the President’s statement seems to signal an intention to use the pretense of leak investigations to engage in political retaliation.”

#22 Comment By Connor On February 16, 2017 @ 7:04 pm

I supported Trump because of SCOTUS, although I’m not fan of him personally. The problems you see as the result of Trump’s “inability to govern” may in fact be caused primarily by the recalcitrance of the entrenched elite. If your entire campaign is run on the slogan “drain the swamp”, should anyone be surprised that the inhabitants of the swamp are fighting back? Taking on a corrupt and entrenched elite is no easy task. Perhaps it will just take some time for Trump to get his agenda moving. Or perhaps, “draining the swamp” is impossible.

#23 Comment By VikingLS On February 16, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

“Still amazed at the lack of interest in whether or not we actually have Russian traitors in the White House…”

Yeah, meanwhile today Trump did this.

[8]

But sure, let’s talk about possible Russian spies and mean tweets.

#24 Comment By Anne On February 16, 2017 @ 9:14 pm

@VikngLS,

Hey, I agree that there are A LOT of issues to rake Trump over the coals about (pun intended), including allowing coal companies to dump their wastes in neighboring rivers and streams, but the Russia connection is too important to ignore. I mean, ye gads, if Obama had had a similar, very public mutual admiration thing going with a powerful dictator who’d poisoned his political opposition, bullied neighboring states, interfered in the domestic politics of our allies, armed forces we oppose in the Middle East and interfered in his own recent election (!), would you really suggest Americans get their minds on something else, especially if Obama’s only response to a question about why he admired this “killer” was to ask, “What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”

#25 Comment By M_Young On February 16, 2017 @ 10:58 pm

“Please keep in mind that intelligence analysts are patriotic everyday Americans who give their lives to serving the nation. ”

Most of the folks ‘sitting posses (positions)’ are, their overlords aren’t. They are deep staters — look at how Maryland voted.

#26 Comment By M_Young On February 16, 2017 @ 11:00 pm

Anne, despite what your Leftie circles might work themselves up about, we are not at war with Russia. Not even in the Middle East. In fact, we are in a sort of tacit cooperation with them there.

#27 Comment By M_Young On February 16, 2017 @ 11:05 pm

LLurker

Quoting ‘Lawfare’ (the name sez it all, don’t it), an arm of the Deep State Brooking Institution doesn’t add anything. Quite the contrary, it strengthens Trumps argument that this is the deep state’s work.

Besides they are wrong. The only agency originally to have this material would be the NSA.

#28 Comment By M_Young On February 16, 2017 @ 11:06 pm

“He came perilously close to foaming at the mouth ”

Okay, now I know you guys are so filled with hate you have left reality behind. Whatever the content of Trump’s words, he was clearly calm and quiet in demeanor throughout the presser.

#29 Comment By VikingLS On February 17, 2017 @ 12:15 am

@Anne

Obama maintained excellent relations with many unsavory governments, including one he helped install in Ukraine, (and provided support to the House of Saud, who make Russia look like Holland.) but no I would not.

And to be blunt, if you are going to complain about foreign interference in our internal politics, you should have said something while Obama was doing it to other countries.

So no Anne, not interested in your selective outrage.

#30 Comment By VikingLS On February 17, 2017 @ 12:22 am

@M_Young

It’s amazing how jingoistic liberals have become lately, isn’t it?

#31 Comment By VikingLS On February 17, 2017 @ 1:34 am

@Anne, sorry that should have been but yes I would have been okay with that. Like I said, Obama had good relations with plenty of nasty characters. It’s part of the job.

#32 Comment By Richard Parker On February 17, 2017 @ 6:08 am

I missed the declaration of war on Russia.

#33 Comment By Anne On February 17, 2017 @ 9:39 am

Not being directly “at war” with Putin isn’t pertinent. We’re not “at war’ with any of the other autocrats who maintain power by persecuting, jailing and murdering their opponents, unless you count Asaad, since we’ve armed some of his opponents. But then Putin armed Asaad, enabling a continuation of his kind of warfare (cf Aleppo) and sending even more displaced people fleeing to the West. Having a common enemy (ISIS) doesn’t make such men our “friends,” much less those to defend enthusiastically as Trump does Putin. In any case, Putin, the only world leader armed with a nuclear potential equal to our own, has been interfering in the domestic politics of not just the US, but several of our allies, hoping to weaken NATO and the West in general. It’s his MO. Imagine the guy’s delight in coming across such a willing accomplice (conscious or stupid) in, of all places, the United States.

#34 Comment By Anne On February 17, 2017 @ 10:18 am

“…Putin has been interfering in the domestic politics of not just the US, but several of our allies, hoping to weaken NATO and the West in general…”

He would undoubtedly also like to see leaders in place who share his general ideology — hard-right autocrats not unduly committed to democracy and human rights. I find it disheartening that certain types of Christians, esp. the traditionalist type (Catholic and Orthodox), have been among those most willing to throw in with this cause.

#35 Comment By EngineerScotty On February 17, 2017 @ 11:41 am

Ahhh, the irony of M_Young complaining that someone is filled with hate.

#36 Comment By Viking LS On February 17, 2017 @ 11:48 am

No Anne, if it’s okay for the USA to interfere in the internal politics of other countries, and we do, including on Russia’s border, you have accepted that this is permissible behavior for all countries, and that includes our enemies.

You fail to denounce Obama for his willingness to act as accomplice for the Saudis, a country whose nationals have taken more American lives than the Russians have. SO obviously being the accomplice to a murderous repressive regime (far more oppressive than Russia, and far more active in promoting its philosophy) is okay with you too.

Again, very selective outrage.

Let’s be blunt Anne, if Putin had hacked Trump, Clinton had won, and was talking about being less aggressive towards Russia now, liberals would think that was wise and realistic. Many conservatives would be saying what you’re saying now. I would still think that that was wise and realistic regardless of what was motivating her.

Can you say the same?

#37 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 17, 2017 @ 2:59 pm

Still amazed at the lack of interest in whether or not we actually have Russian traitors in the White House…

Well, if you compare WW II and the early Cold War days to this, as Karl Marx write, “first time as tragedy, second time as farce.”

#38 Comment By M_Young On February 18, 2017 @ 2:27 am

“Ahhh, the irony of M_Young complaining that someone is filled with hate.”

Love of one’s own is not ‘hate’ of the ‘other’, EngineerScotty.

#39 Comment By Mike Schilling On February 18, 2017 @ 12:09 pm

if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon

Then it’ll be exactly like the Obama years. Motes, beams, etc.