Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Fire Next Time

Trump's response to this news story:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs -- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.
No, we don't have the information the intelligence agencies have; but if those four gentlemen are convinced enough to brief the POTUS and the PEOTUS on the issue, I think it's safe to assume the evidence is at least strong.

And as for the "political witch hunt":  against whom?  Putin?  Russian intelligence?

It gets worse;  Buzzfeed published documents it said it could not verify, and noted errors in them, but "so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government" they released them anyway.  Which, of course, Trump had to respond to:

Maybe the documents are fake; that's why the intelligence agencies are investigating them.  At this point, however, they are merely unverified; they are hardly unverifiable.  And the problem is not the documents, but what the documents allegedly contain:

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over Mr. Trump.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.
I'm not saying any of that is true; I'm just saying Trump really knows how to throw kerosene on a fire.

And that Russia, and several other countries, are taking notes as fast as they can scribble.

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