Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Expect a Coverup –There’s a lot here the Democrats will want to hide

June 28, 2017

Russia may have indeed affected the election, through the farcical Mr. Comey.

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June 27, 2017 7:00 p.m. ET

In the Sunday Washington Post’s 7,000-word account of what President Obama knew about Russian election meddling and what he did about it, one absence is notable. Nowhere in the Post’s lengthy tick-tock is Mr. Obama presented with evidence of, or described as worried about, Trump collusion with Russia.

Moscow intervened in the election eight ways from Sunday, but it’s clearer than ever that what’s occupied Americans for the past six months are baseless accusations about the Trump campaign.

Among the evidence on Mr. Obama’s desk was proof that Vladimir Putin was personally directing the Russian espionage effort. For a variety of sensible reasons, though, the White House and U.S. intelligence also concluded that Russia’s meddling was “unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election.”

President Obama made at least one inevitably political calculation: Hillary Clinton was going to win, so he would keep relatively mum on Russian interference to avoid provoking “escalation from Putin” or “potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph,” in the Post’s words.

Strangely missing from the Post account, however, is one Russian intervention, revealed by the paper’s own earlier reporting, that may really have, in farcical fashion, elected Donald Trump.

This was FBI Director James Comey’s ill-fated decision to clear Hillary Clinton publicly on intelligence-mishandling charges. His choice, it now appears, was partly shaped by a false intelligence document referring to a nonexistent Democratic email purporting to confirm that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had vowed to quash any Hillary charges.

On April 23, the New York Times first alluded to the document’s existence in an 8,000-word story about Mr. Comey’s intervention.

On May 24, the Post provided a detailed description of the document and revealed that many in the FBI considered it “bad intelligence,” possibly a Russian plant.

On May 26, CNN adumbrated that Mr. Comey “knew that a critical piece of information relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email was fake—created by Russian intelligence—but he feared that if it became public it would undermine the probe and the Justice Department itself.”

“In at least one classified session [before Congress],” CNN added, “Comey cited that intelligence as the primary reason he took the unusual step of publicly announcing the end of the Clinton email probe. . . . Comey did not even mention the other reason he gave in public testimony for acting independently of the Justice Department—that Lynch was compromised because Bill Clinton boarded her plane and spoke to her during the investigation.”

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Loretta Lynch on the tarmac

Why has this apparently well-documented, and eminently documentable, episode fallen down the memory hole, in favor of a theory for which there is no evidence, of collusion by the outsider Mr. Trump?

The alternative history is incalculable, but consider: If Mr. Comey had followed established practice, the Hillary investigation would have been closed without an announcement, or the conflicted Ms. Lynch or an underling would have cleared Mrs. Clinton. How would this have played with voters and the media? Would the investigation’s reopening in the race’s final days, with discovery of the Weiner laptop, have taken place? Would the reopening have become public knowledge?

James Clapper talking to a group of people
James Clapper

The noisy, obnoxious ways Russia meddled amounted to nothing. The public was able to discount them. It was only through a bumptious act of our own law-enforcement community, in a way the public didn’t know at the time may have been influenced by planted Russian intelligence, that the Kremlin conceivably really may have affected an extraordinarily close race in the Electoral College.

What also emerges from the Post’s tick-tock, as well as from public testimony by U.S. intelligence chiefs, is that Russia did not seek to hide its meddling. The Russian goal was to sow confusion and bring disrepute on the U.S. leadership class. If so, any investigation of Russian meddling that fails to focus on the Comey actions will amount to a coverup.

Expect a coverup: The truth is absolutely unacceptable to the establishment that Special Counsel Robert Mueller represents. There is no appetite for the truth among Democrats: They cling to Mr. Comey’s legal exoneration of Mrs. Clinton in the server matter.

Image result for Hillary Clinton, Photos

There is no appetite among Republicans: Messrs. Comey and Mueller are Republicans, promoted in their careers by Republican presidents. There is no appetite in the Trump White House, which doesn’t want its win tainted in history by a Russian dirty trick.

There is no appetite in the Kremlin: Mr. Putin knows that relations with the American superpower are slipping toward an all-out hostility that he can’t afford.

In the U.S., to acknowledge the truth would be to complete the task Russia set itself in discrediting the U.S. leadership class.

A coverup is the only way to go.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/expect-a-coverup-1498604425

Related:

President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York

President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 in New York Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Just What Russia Wanted: U.S. global image down in Trump era — Relentless media onslaught leads the way — The destruction of American influence? — Campaign of hatred

June 27, 2017

Reuters and France 24

© Justin Sullivan, Getty Images, AFP | A Donald Trump supporters adjusts a cut out of the US president on February 27, 2017 in California.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-06-27

The image of the US has deteriorated sharply across the globe under President Donald Trump and an overwhelming majority of people in other countries have no confidence in his ability to lead, a survey from the Pew Research Center showed.

Five months into Trump‘s presidency, the survey spanning 37 nations showed U.S. favourability ratings in the rest of the world slumping to 49 percent from 64 percent at the end of Barack Obama‘s eight years in the White House.

But the falls were far steeper in some of America‘s closest allies, including U.S. neighbours Mexico and Canada, and European partners like Germany and Spain.

Trump took office in January pledging to put “America First”. Since then he has pressed ahead with plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, announced he will pull out of the Paris climate accord, and accused countries including Canada, Germany and China of unfair trade practices.

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MAPS: How global confidence in Donald Trump compares with that of Barack Obama and George W. Bush http://pewrsr.ch/2sb1nmE 

On his first foreign trip as president in early June, Trump received warm welcomes in Saudi Arabia and Israel, but a cool reception from European partners, with whom he clashed over NATO spending, climate and trade.

Just 30 percent of Mexicans now say they have a favourable view of the United States, down from 66 percent at the end of the Obama era. In Canada and Germany, favourability ratings slid by 22 points, to 43 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

In many European countries, the ratings were comparable to those seen at the end of the presidency of George W. Bush, whose 2003 invasion of Iraq was deeply unpopular.

“The drop in favourability ratings for the United States is widespread,” the Pew report said. “The share of the public with a positive view of the U.S. has plummeted in a diverse set of countries from Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia and Africa”.

Below Putin and Xi

The survey, based on the responses of 40,447 people and conducted between Feb. 16 and May 8 this year, showed even deeper mistrust of Trump himself, with only 22 percent of those surveyed saying they had confidence he would do the right thing in world affairs, compared to 64 percent who trusted Obama.

Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, with confidence ratings of 27 percent and 28 percent respectively, scored higher than Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with a confidence rating of 42 percent, scored highest among the four leaders in the survey.

The countries with the lowest confidence in Trump were Mexico, at 5 percent and Spain at 7 percent. The only two countries where ratings improved compared to Obama were Russia, where confidence in the U.S. president surged to 53 percent from
11 percent, and Israel, where it rose 7 points to 56 percent.

Globally, 75 percent of respondents described Trump as “arrogant”, 65 percent as “intolerant” and 62 percent as “dangerous”. A majority of 55 percent also described him as a “strong leader”.

The survey showed widespread disapproval of Trump’s signature policy proposals, with 76 percent unhappy with his plan to build the wall on the border with Mexico, 72 percent against his withdrawal from major trade agreements and 62 percent opposed to his plans to restrict travel to the U.S. from some majority-Muslim countries.

On the positive side, the survey showed that 58 percent of respondents had a positive view of Americans in general. And in many regions of the world, a majority or plurality of respondents said they expected relations with the United States to stay roughly the same in spite of Trump.

http://www.france24.com/en/20170627-usa-trump-survey-global-opinion-america-first-allies

(REUTERS)

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Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said the national media is thoroughly biased against President Trump because news executives and producers have determined that it is more profitable to actively oppose him than attempt to cover him objectively.In an op-ed published Thursday night, Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter, said the news and entertainment industries are all making the same gamble in the age of Trump.

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“Dislike of Mr. Trump within the mainstream media is unalterable,” she wrote. “It permeates every network, from intern to executive producer and CEO. Here is a theory on what they’re thinking: They’re thinking attempts at fairness and balance in this charged atmosphere get them nowhere. They’re attacked by both sides. And anyway they think Mr. Trump is insane. They live on ratings, which determine advertising rates. Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Mr. Trump, so the anti-Trump audience is larger.”

The entertainment and news industries have fallen under scrutiny in recent weeks, mostly from conservatives and Republicans who have accused celebrities and reporters of being out of touch with Trump’s supporters.

Comedian Kathy Griffin apologized in late May for posing in a photo shoot with a fake severed Trump head.

That same month, CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert called Trump a “cockholster” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, a comment he later said was “cruder” than it needed to be.

And just before the election in November, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times had his contract terminated after he wrote on Twitter that he would “rather see Donald Trump’s life end.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/peggy-noonan-anti-trump-media-bias-is-unalterable/article/2626902

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Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan used to write for CBS News, including the radio commentaries of Dan Rather, so she can speculate from an insider perspective. Her latest column insists “Dislike of Mr. Trump within the mainstream media is unalterable. It permeates every network, from intern to executive producer and CEO.”

Like many on the right, Noonan has not been a big Trump fan, but she can see how dramatically the media is arrayed against the president. She has a unique theory — the liberal media think their bias isn’t only striking a blow for justice, but a smart business strategy:

Here is a theory on what they’re thinking: They’re thinking attempts at fairness and balance in this charged atmosphere get them nowhere. They’re attacked by both sides. And anyway they think Mr. Trump is insane.

They live on ratings, which determine advertising rates. Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Mr. Trump, so the anti-Trump audience is larger. Moreover, people who oppose Mr. Trump tend to be more affluent, more educated, more urban. They’re more liberal, of course, and they’re younger. They’re a desirable demographic. The pro-Trump audience is more rural, more working- and middle-class, older. A particularly heartless media professional might sum them up this way: “Their next big lifestyle choice will be death.”

So, if you are a person who programs or sets the tone of network fare and you want to take a side—you shouldn’t, but you want to!—you throw your lot with the anti-Trump demo, serving them the kind of journalistic approaches and showbiz attitudes they’re likely to enjoy.

Mr. Trump, you are certain, won’t last: He’ll bring himself down or be brought down. You want to be with the winning side. So play to those who hate him, exclude others, call it integrity and reap the profits.

Journalists aren’t going to admit that they have a divide-and-conquer strategy, but it’s not a crazy guess when you take in a few hours of “objective” broadcast or cable news.

This contributes to public division—to the great estrangement we see in America. I talk to media folk a lot, being one, and haven’t found anyone who’s said, “Why yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing, deepening our national divisions for profit!” Although I shared my theory this week with a senior manager of a news organization who quickly mentioned another major news organization and said: “I think that’s what they’re doing.”

But I do think it’s part of what is going on. I add only that it’s not only cynical and destructive, as a business strategy it’s stupid. Bias is boring. It’s predictable, rote, is an audience-limiter. What has value at a time like this is playing it straight and presenting the facts. That’s what they ought to do instead of taking a side.

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tim-graham/2017/06/23/peggy-noonan-fierce-anti-trump-media-bias-unalterable-and-financial

Trump slams Obama, demands ‘apology’ over Russia probe

June 26, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | US President Donald Trump  has hit out in a string of tweets and a televised interview following the publication of a Washington Post account of Barack Obama’s response to intelligence on Russia election meddling

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Donald Trump on Monday demanded an apology over the Russia investigation rocking his presidency, as he kept up a days-long attack on Barack Obama for his handling of intelligence about election meddling by Moscow.In a storm of morning tweets, Trump charged that his predecessor “colluded and obstructed” by failing to act after the CIA informed him Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an operation to help defeat Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the November vote.

“The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling,” Trump wrote. “With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero ‘tapes’ of T [Trump] people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”

“The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win, and did not want to ‘rock the boat.'”

“He didn’t ‘choke,’ he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good,” Trump tweeted, alluding to a Washington Post article that laid out the timeline of Obama’s response to the Russian threat.

Trump hit out in a flurry of weekend tweets and a televised interview following the Friday publication of the behind-the-scenes account by the Post.

The paper reported that the previous administration issued four warnings to Moscow — including one Obama delivered directly to Putin — causing Moscow to pull back on possible plans to sabotage US voting operations.

But it said Obama opted to leave countermeasures for later, for fear of being seen as interfering in an election he was confident Clinton would win.

After Trump’s shock victory in November, some Obama administration officials expressed regret at the lack of tougher action.

Some Democrats saw abundant irony in Trump blaming Obama for indecisiveness against a Russian operation he himself has long seemed to play down — including when he fired FBI chief James Comey in May over his handling of allegations of meddling, and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign.

But others have joined in the criticism, including Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said at the weekend that Obama’s administration had made a “serious mistake.”

Related:

Ten Years of Russian Cyber Attacks on Other Nations

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hacking-in-america/timeline-ten-years-russian-cyber-attacks-other-nations-n697111

Donald Trump blames Barack Obama for inaction over Russia’s alleged meddling in 2016 election — “Breach of U.S. National Defense”

June 25, 2017

How could the U.S. have not known of the Russian hacking efforts that hand been going on for years in as many as 40 other countries? How could Obama, after he was warned by CIA, ignore the facts?

Trump’s comments came after a June 23 Washington Post article revealed that Obama had been aware of President Vladimir Putin’s ‘direct involvement’ in the matter.

United States President Donald Trump on Saturday questioned why former President Barack Obama’s administration did not do more to stop the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Trump claimed Obama had known about the accusations well before the November 8 polls and had done nothing.

“Since the Obama administration was told way before the 2016 election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T,” the president wrote on Twitter. “[An] Obama administration official said they ‘choked’ when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”

Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!

I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!

The president’s comments came after a June 23 article in The Washington Post, which revealed that Obama had learned last August of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “direct involvement” in Mosow’s interference in the election. The article said sources deep within the Russian government had told Obama early last August that Putin was “directly involved in a cyber campaign to disrupt the election, injure Hillary Clinton and aid a Trump victory”.

Obama debated dozens of options to punish Russia but ultimately settled on expelling 35 Russian diplomatic officials and closing two of its compounds, the WaPo article read.

Trump is being investigated for his alleged role in Russian meddling into the US election in November 2016. He has dismissed claims that his campaign associates had colluded with Moscow. Even Russia has repeatedly denied the allegation of orchestrating cyber attacks during the polls.

Earlier, former FBI Director James Comey had stated before the US Senate Intelligence Committee that he was certain he was fired because of the president’s concerns about the Russia investigation.

https://scroll.in/latest/841677/donald-trump-blames-barack-obama-of-inaction-over-russias-alleged-meddling-in-2016-election

See also:

Donald Trump accuses Barack Obama of inaction over Russian involvement in 2016 election

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/25/donald-trump-accuses-barack-obama-inaction-russian-involvement/

Related:

Ten Years of Russian Cyber Attacks on Other Nations

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hacking-in-america/timeline-ten-years-russian-cyber-attacks-other-nations-n697111

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John Emerson, Washington's man in Berlin, to meet with Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, over claims Angela Merkel's phone was tapped by US

Chancellor Merkel called President Obama demanding answers after reports emerged that the US may have been monitoring her phone Photo: YVES HERMAN/REUTERS
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks at the Center for American Progress’ 2014 Making Progress Policy Conference in Washington November 19, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama at a joint news conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 25.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama at a joint news conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 25. Photo: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News
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Obama official says they didn’t do enough about Russian election hacking: ‘We choked’ — Putin Decided Obama Was Weak and the Time Was Right for Russia To Get Involved in U.S. Election

June 24, 2017

The administration was concerned that stronger actions would have been perceived as an attempt to influence the election

By Clark Mindock New York

The Independent

A former White House official has said that they think the Obama administration mishandled its response to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend”, the official from Barack Obama’s White House told the Washington Post of his role in determining how the White House should handle their knowledge that the Kremlin was trying to undermine the integrity of the US electoral process. “I feel like we sort of choked”.

The Obama White House was notified about Moscow’s campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election was on orders from Vladimir Putin in August, but was hesitant to make that knowledge public, according to that investigation by the Washington Post.

This file photo taken on September 5, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou. (Photo by AFP)

This file photo taken on September 5, 2016 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou. (Photo by AFP)

That’s at least in part because Donald Trump, then a Republican nominee whom many thought had almost no chance of beating Democrat Hillary Clinton, had repeatedly said that the election was being rigged. With those allegations repeatedly airing on cable news covering the Trump campaign, Mr Obama was hesitant to divulge the Russian influence for fear of giving the appearance that the US government was also interfering.

But the slow response was also a result of confidence in Ms Clinton’s campaign winning the election. Throughout the fall, as November crept closer, Democrats saw many signs that their candidate would ultimately win: She had three strong debate performances against Mr Trump, polls showed her with an impressive lead most of the time, and Mr Trump appeared to have an incredible capacity for inflicting harm on his campaign just by making controversial remarks on stage.

The Obama administration considered retaliatory measures against Moscow after they learned about the extent of the meddling, including potentially compiling a personal dossier on Vladimir Putin that could be released to embarrass him. They also considered planting “cyber weapons” in Russian infrastructure that could harm those services. They ultimately landed on modest sanctions, and expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country in December.

The cyber weapons plan was given a green light, but those efforts hadn’t come to fruition by the time Mr Obama left office, and Mr Trump took over responsibility for those efforts.

Those measures have been criticised as being weak compared to what the Kremlin did.

“The punishment did not fit the crime”, Michael McFaul, Mr Obama’s ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, told the Washington Post. “And US policymakers now — both in the White House and Congress — should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions”.

Image result for Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia, photos

Michael McFaul

Mr Obama’s former aides say that the threat was taken very seriously by that White House, and note that the President himself brought the issue up during a meeting with Mr Putin. The Russian president denied the allegations, and said that the US didn’t have proof that his government was directly involved.

Mr Trump’s campaign has been under investigation for potential collusion with Russia in the effort, but the President has adamantly denied any wrongdoing on his part.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/obama-russia-election-hacking-comments-regrets-putin-trump-a7805746.html

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Vladimir Putin sees Barack Obama’s coolness as weakness – and it is hurting America

Russia’s bombing of American allies in Syria underlines how much more powerful and provocative Putin is than he was before Obama took office

President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York

President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Russian warplanes began bombing American-backed Syrian opposition strongholds on Wednesday, a move that can be viewed as the latest example of American humiliation abroad.

As was the case when Russians invaded Ukraine, the Russians cloaked their activity in lies.

In the former example, Russian soldiers didn’t wear uniforms, a thinly-veiled move meant to create the impression the fighters were merely Ukrainian “separatists.”

Likewise, Wednesday’s bombings ostensibly targeted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil); in fact, the strikes were aimed at moderate rebels and civilians – part of a plan to take out any opposition to their client, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

President Bashar al-Assad claimed the British Government is "determined to militarise the problem" in SyriaSyrian President Bashir al-Assad  Photo: REUTERS

This all comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s drawing of a “red line” regarding the use of chemical weapons, only to back down when the Assad regime – by most accounts – used them.

This past week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest strained credulity when he said Mr Obama doesn’t regret drawing that red line.

Weakness invites provocation, and – never one to miss an opportunity to outmanoeuvre Mr Obama – Mr Putin provided a self-serving opportunity that would also allow the president to save face: Moscow would push Syria to put their chemical weapons under international control.

It’s also important to note that in the wake of the red line being trampled, Russia invaded Crimea. President Obama’s legacy may be mixed, but one thing is for sure: Vladimir Putin is much more powerful and provocative than he was before Mr Obama took office, and Russia has only expanded its sphere of influence.

The Syria bombings also come almost immediately after Mr Putin met with Mr Obama at the UN where they agreed to “deconflict” military operations – a very Obama-esque line that Mr Putin immediately crossed.

Smoke rises after airstrikes in Kafr Nabel of the Idlib province, western Syria. Russian jets carried out a second day of airstrikes in Syria Thursday, but there were conflicting claims about whether they were targeting Islamic State and al-Qaeda militants or trying to shore up the defenses of President Bashar Assad. Russian bombs exploding outside Idlib  Photo: Hadi Al-Abdallah via AP

And prior to bombing our friends in Syria, the Russians also had the audacity to issue a “démarche” for the US to clear air space over northern Syria. As if that weren’t enough, this came just as reports that the Russians attempted to hack Hillary Clinton’s email server.

For those paying attention, Mr Obama’s foreign policy world-view has failed.

The suggestion that America could leave a vacuum that wouldn’t be filled by our adversaries – the idea that the “international community” (whatever that means) would respect us more if we were to retreat from the world – was always a farce.

At some level, high-stakes diplomacy is still a game of chicken – where machismo matters.

Even domestically, there are still traces of this left in our more civilised politics.

We recently witnessed an example of Jeb Bush standing on his toes during a photo-op, attempting to appear taller than Donald Trump. This is childish and petty, and yet serious people play these power games.

But nobody plays them better than Mr Putin, the former KGB officer who likes to ride horses while shirtless.

It’s nice to live in a postmodern country, but we shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing the rest of the world is impressed by our sophistication.

In the vast majority of the world, power (or the perception of power) is what matters. In America, President Obama’s brand of metrosexual coolness works well.

Vladimir PutinVladimir Putin  Photo: Getty Images

He mocked Mitt Romney, for example, as a Neanderthal stuck in the 1980s for suggesting in 2012 that Russia was still our main geopolitical foe.

Mr Obama’s mix of cool insouciance and biting sarcasm plays much better with the latte-sipping crowd than it does with former KGB operatives, where his style and rhetoric suggests weakness, softness, and a lack of commitment and moral clarity.

Today, it looks like he’s allowing Russia to push America around, and dictate the terms of our being pushed around.

One can only imagine that this might impact the 2016 presidential race. My theory is that it helps Donald Trump. He’s perceived as a “winner” who could stand up to Mr Putin.

It’s reasonable to conclude that what we need is a Mr Putin of our own. They’ve got a strongman – maybe we need a strongman? Mr Trump might be a sonofabitch, Americans might conclude, but he’s our sonofabitch!

In the world of high-stakes diplomacy with a man like Mr Putin, politics is closer to the law of the jungle than anything civilised.

He’s not terribly concerned about being on “the wrong side of history” — a line Mr Obama bandies about as if its intimidating to anyone outside American cities.

It has been said that when you watch a political debate, you should turn down the sound and predict the winner, via body language.

When you look at Mr Putin and his ministers, and then compare them to Mr Obama and their Russian counterparts, one gets the sense that the Russians would easily win every fist fight.

Unfortunately, it’s the United States of America that is left with a black eye.

Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor at The Daily Caller website in Washington, DC

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Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:17PM
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Former US President Barack Obama was informed by the CIA last August that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyber campaign to help Donald Trump win the 2016 US presidential race, a report says.

The CIA’s top-level intelligence also showed that Putin ordered the operation to damage the electoral chances of Trump’s main rival Hillary Clinton, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking during a fundraiser at the Capitol Hill Hyatt hotel on October 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

 

The envelope, containing the information, was delivered by a courier to the White House and it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be seen by just four people: Obama and three senior aides.

Obama and his team struggled to figure out how to react as they were concerned that they would be seen as attempting to tip the scales in the presidential race, the Post reported.

The White House viewed the information as a deep national security threat once they received it, the report added.

Thus, a secret intelligence task force was created to firm up the information and come up with possible responses.

The administration left countermeasures until after the vote, but delivered stiff warnings to Moscow not to go farther, the report said.

At least four direct warnings were issued by Obama to Putin and the American spy chief to his Russian counterpart via top diplomatic channels.

They apparently had an impact, officials told the Post, adding they believe that Moscow withdrew from any possible plans to sabotage US voting operations.

“We made the judgment that we had ample time after the election, regardless of outcome, for punitive measures,” a former senior official told the Post.

According to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Obama’s failure to respond to Putin amounted to “choking.”

“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend. I feel like we sort of choked,” the official told the newspaper.

After Trump’s shock victory, some of the Obama administration officials strongly regretted shying from tough action.


This file photo taken on October 19, 2016 shows US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the final presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by AFP)

“From national security people there was a sense of immediate introspection, of, ‘Wow, did we mishandle this,” one official told the paper.

The options they had on the table included more sanctions on the Russian economy, leaking intelligence that would embarrass Putin diplomatically, and launching cyberattacks on Russian infrastructure.

Obama, however, took modest measures at the end of December, expelling 35 Russians and adding to existing sanctions.

He also authorized a plan to place cyberattack implants in the systems of critical Russian infrastructure, according to the Post.

It is not clear whether Trump has followed through with that, the Post added.

Since he started running for president, candidate Trump was a staunch supporter of improving relations with the US’ former Cold War foe.

On May 9, Trump fired FBI Director James Comey right in the middle of an investigation into Russia’s meddling of the US presidential elections, an allegation Moscow has repeatedly denied.

http://217.218.67.231/Detail/2017/06/23/526303/US-Russia-FBI-Donald-Trump-Barack-Obama-Putin

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

As a result of being unable to “help” Hillary Clinton by backing down Mr. Putin, Barack Obama’s help to Hillary is summed up in this photo. There was no real help that mattered….

See also:

Ten Years of Russian Cyber Attacks on Other Nations

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/hacking-in-america/timeline-ten-years-russian-cyber-attacks-other-nations-n697111

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John Emerson, Washington's man in Berlin, to meet with Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, over claims Angela Merkel's phone was tapped by US

Chancellor Merkel called President Obama demanding answers after reports emerged that the US may have been monitoring her phone Photo: YVES HERMAN/REUTERS
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James Clapper talking to a group of people
James Clapper
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks at the Center for American Progress’ 2014 Making Progress Policy Conference in Washington November 19, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama at a joint news conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 25.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama at a joint news conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 25. Photo: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg News
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State Officials to Testify on Possible Russian Involvement in 2016 Election

June 18, 2017

State election directors, federal officials to testify on alleged security breaches, possible voting-machine tampering

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington. On Wednesday, the Senate and House intelligence committees are scheduled to hold open hearings on possible Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections.

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington. On Wednesday, the Senate and House intelligence committees are scheduled to hold open hearings on possible Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections. PHOTO: AARON P. BERNSTEIN/REUTERS

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June 18, 2017 8:00 a.m. ET

The Senate and House intelligence committees are set on Wednesday to hold two open hearings examining  efforts during the 2016 election, featuring testimony from current and former Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials as well as state election directors.

Steve Sandvoss, the executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, is expected to walk the Senate committee through a cyberattack last July that allowed hackers to breach a database of up to 200,000 personal voter records.

Following the breach, the board informed the state attorney general’s office of the cyberattack. The board was subsequently contacted by the FBI, but the agency hasn’t informed the board who was responsible for the attack, according to Ken Menzel, the board’s general counsel.

An information-technology report to the board in August said the FBI was “highly confident” that no voter data had been altered.

The Senate committee will also hear testimony from J. Alex Halderman, a Michigan computer scientist who helped lead a push last year for an examination of paper ballots and electronic voting machines in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan to conclusively prove that hackers hadn’t manipulated the results. A series of legal rulings ultimately halted some of the recount efforts, while others were completed and found no widespread irregularities.

The hearings represent the most robust effort to date to elicit public testimony from state election officials concerning what federal officials have described as an aggressive and sustained effort by Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is also investigating whether campaign advisers to President Donald Trump had ties to the Russian activities, a probe that has expanded to include whether the president obstructed justice by trying to influence its outcome, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

States are also examining their own systems. A survey by The Wall Street Journal of election officials in nearly 50 states found many continue to participate in a Department of Homeland Security program of periodic checks of their election systems for any vulnerabilities and many had been in touch with the FBI before the election, when the bureau had provided states with a list of suspicious IP addresses.

A woman placed her ballot in a tabulation machine after voting at a high school in Detroit on Nov. 8, 2016. Computer scientist J. Alex Halderman, who led a push to examine voting results from Michigan and other states last year, is set to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

A woman placed her ballot in a tabulation machine after voting at a high school in Detroit on Nov. 8, 2016. Computer scientist J. Alex Halderman, who led a push to examine voting results from Michigan and other states last year, is set to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. PHOTO: JEFF KOWALSKY/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
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The North Carolina State Board of Elections’ investigations unit, led by a former FBI agent, is investigating the reported attempts to compromise VR Systems Inc., a Tallahassee, Fla., firm whose electronic poll book software was used on Election Day in 21 of the state’s 100 counties.

The software deals with checking voters in, not with counting their votes. But on Election Day last year, that system failed in Durham County, which holds the state’s most reliable Democratic voters. That forced the county to issue ballots by hand, meaning longer lines and delays—factors that can often depress turnout. The county voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton by 77.7%, while Mr. Trump won the state with 49.8% of the vote, according to the state’s board of elections.

“The Republicans were claiming that this was Democratic voter fraud, but maybe the other explanation, the simplest answer, is most likely to be the correct one. Look at the Russians,” said Gerry Cohen, former special counsel to the North Carolina legislature and an expert on state election law. “If you were trying to hurt Democrats in North Carolina, shutting down Durham’s Election Day voter check-in would be your quickest and most effective method.”

The aim of the Senate hearing, according to an email sent by a committee aide to those testifying, is to “give the public an unclassified look at Russian activity in the 2016 U.S. election, as well as a look at what we are facing from an election security standpoint in 2018 and 2020.”

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, meanwhile, will testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday to discuss “Russian active measures” during the 2016 election.

Scary Ways Hackers Could Impact the U.S. Election (From Sept. 8, 2016)

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-officials-to-testify-on-possible-russian-involvement-in-2016-election-1497787201?mod=e2tw
Scary Ways Hackers Could Impact the U.S. Election
America’s democratic election process appeared to be the target of Russian hackers in 2016, according to some top government officials. So how could foreign actors have hacked the U.S. election and what could they do with voter information? WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains the worst case scenarios. Photo: iStock
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Department of Homeland Security officials have said at least 20 states were targeted during the 2016 election. Last August, the FBI issued a warning to state governments that cited the Illinois breach and a hacking attempt in Arizona. Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee last September, then-FBI Director James Comey said the agency’s counterintelligence investigators were “doing an awful lot of work…to understand just what mischief is Russia up to in connection with our election.”

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment on the agency’s investigation.

In early June, the website the Intercept published a top-secret National Security Agency document that said Russian military intelligence had executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier in August 2016.

The document also said Russian operatives had sent “spear-phishing” emails to more than 100 email addresses linked to local government organizations—potentially including local election officials—in the days preceding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The NSA report, however, didn’t draw conclusions about whether such activity had any effect on the outcome of the election.

At least five counties in Florida have reported receiving the phishing emails described in the Intercept article that appeared to come from VR Systems. But none appear to have resulted in a breach of their voting systems.

Earlier this month, VR Systems said it had no indication that any customers had been compromised by the phishing emails and said it has “policies and procedures in effect to protect our customers and our company.”

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified before a Senate committee in Washington on June 6. Mr. Kelly said at the hearing that he doesn’t support rolling back a federal designation of voting apparatus as ‘critical infrastructure.’

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified before a Senate committee in Washington on June 6. Mr. Kelly said at the hearing that he doesn’t support rolling back a federal designation of voting apparatus as ‘critical infrastructure.’ PHOTO: SUSAN WALSH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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As states undertake their own investigations of the 2016 election, the Department of Homeland Security is weighing whether to maintain the designation of voting apparatus as “critical infrastructure,” which gives the federal government additional authority to protect the systems, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in testimony to the Senate Homeland Security Committee earlier this month.

That decision was made by Mr. Kelly’s predecessor, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Kelly testified that he has had a “large amount of pushback” on the determination from states and members of Congress.

Many states have expressed concern about additional federal authority over their election systems and have said the Constitution provides states the right to run their own elections.

In his testimony earlier this month, Mr. Kelly said he doesn’t support rolling back the designation and hopes to persuade states that they allow the federal government to be helpful on such issues. When asked about the review of the designation, a Department of Homeland Security official defended it, emphasizing that it allows the department to “prioritize our cybersecurity assistance to election officials, for those who request it.”

“A designation makes it easier for the federal government to have full and frank discussions with key stakeholders regarding sensitive vulnerability information,” the Homeland Security official said. The official also noted that the designation creates no new regulations for states.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com, Erica Orden at erica.orden@wsj.com and Valerie Bauerlein at valerie.bauerlein@wsj.com

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Sessions says Comey firing was due to his ‘stunning’ handling of the Clinton email scandal

June 14, 2017

Sessions: Comey firing due to 'stunning' Clinton case

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said fired FBI director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal was even more ‘egregious’ than he realized when he was advising her opponent, candidate Donald Trump. Sessions wrote a letter to President Trump buttressing the case for Comey’s firing that focused on his handling of the email scandal. He praised Comey’s decisions related to the email investigation at the time they occurred. Hillary Clinton has said Comey’s conduct contributed to her loss to Trump.

  • Attorney Jeff Sessions was questioned about the firing of former FBI director James Comey
  • He wrote a letter to President Trump buttressing the case for Comey’s firing that focused on his handling of the email scandal
  • Comey infuriated Democrats during the campaign with a press conference where he labeled Clinton as extremely careless but declined to recommend prosecution
  • Then, days before the election, he told Congress the investigation was starting up again, only to announce new key discoveries had been found 
  •  Sessions said Tuesday Comey’s conduct was more ‘egregious’ than he realized at the time

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said fired FBI director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal was even more ‘egregious’ than he realized when he was advising her opponent, candidate Donald Trump.

‘In retrospect in looking at it I think it was more egregious than I may have even understood at the time,’ Sessions said Tuesday.

In saying so, Sessions was joining the legions of Democrats who have complained about how Comey handled the investigation into Clinton’s email server.

Clinton herself has said Comey’s conduct contributed to her loss to Trump, and Trump as a candidate inveighed against Clinton’s handling of her emails repeatedly.

In a turnaround that Democrats don’t find credible or persuasive, the president cited Comey’s handling of the Clinton case as the initial explanation for firing him.

'In retrospect in looking at it I think it was more egregious than I may have even understood at the time,' attorney general Jeff Sessions said of fired FBI Director James Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal

‘In retrospect in looking at it I think it was more egregious than I may have even understood at the time,’ attorney general Jeff Sessions said of fired FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal

Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein wrote the president a letter bashing Comey’s conduct, and Sessions called for new leadership at the bureau the day before Trump fired Comey, who was heading up the FBI’s Russia probe.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election during a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election during a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 13, 2017

At a Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Sessions testified that he found Comey’s conduct ‘stunning,’ despite his past statements of respect for Comey – and even as he angered Democrats on the committee for refusing to discuss whether he spoke about the Russia investigation to President Trump.

Under friendly questioning from Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, Sessions agreed that Comey exceeded the role of the FBI director during a July 5th press conference, where he called out Clinton for her carelessness, without consulting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

‘In fact it appears he did it without her approval totally that is a pretty stunning thing,’ he said.

‘It is a stunning thing and it violates fundamental powers,’ Sessions added.

President Donald Trump gives a speech on healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 13, 2017. He railed against Clinton's email scandal during the campaign, then cited James Comey's handling of the affair as the reason for his firing

President Donald Trump gives a speech on healthcare in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 13, 2017. He railed against Clinton’s email scandal during the campaign, then cited James Comey’s handling of the affair as the reason for his firing

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. Her campaign was rocked by an FBI investigation into her emails

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. Her campaign was rocked by an FBI investigation into her emails

Then he partly recounted the story of how Comey essentially reopened a closed investigation after additional Clinton emails were discovered on the laptop of disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner, who is married to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

‘The director’s thinking was not clear,’ Sessions said, saying it would have been better had the investigation ‘never been discussed publicly.’

Democratic Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island noted that many Democrats at the time were ‘unhappy’ with how Comey conducted himself.

Reed brought up Sessions’ appearances at the time on Fox News, where he called Comey a ‘skilled prosecutor’ and said ‘essentially that “it’s not his problem. It’s Hillary Clinton’s problem.”‘

‘Then in November, on November 6th, after Mr. Comey again made news in late October by reopening, if you will, the investigation, you said, again, on Fox News, “you know, FBI Director Comey did the right thing when he found new evidence,’ Reed continued.

‘So in July and November, Director Comey was doing exactly the right thing. You had no criticism of him. You felt that in fact, he was a skilled professional prosecutor. You felt that his last statement in October was fully justified so how can you go from those statements to agreeing with Mr. Rosenstein and then asking the president or recommending he be fired?’ Reed asked, referencing letters by Sessions and the deputy attorney general that preceded Comey’s firing by Trump.

Hillary Clinton has cited the email investigation, Comey, and Russia as reasons behind her defeat

Hillary Clinton has cited the email investigation, Comey, and Russia as reasons behind her defeat

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 13, 2017

Sessions answered that, ‘When he found new evidence that came up I think he probably was required to tell Congress it wasn’t over, that new evidence had been developed.’

‘It probably would have been better and would have been consistent with the rules of the Department of Justice to never have talked about the investigation to begin with,’ he added. ‘Once you get down that road, that’s the kind of thing that you get into,’ he concluded.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4601566/Sessions-Comey-firing-stunning-Clinton-case.html#ixzz4jxtM3EDi
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More “Fake News”? — Putin tells NBC’s Megyn Kelly that hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign during last year’s election may have been CIA-run false flag operation designed to incriminate Russia

June 3, 2017

Image result for Putin, Megyn Kelly, photos

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin denies he ordered hacking of Democrats
  • Putin suggested hacking may have been false flag operation by US spy agencies
  • Russian leader made remarks in exclusive interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly
  • Earlier Friday, Putin said Trump won presidency because he ran better campaign
  • Trump has denied claims he colluded with Russia during 2016 election 

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested on Friday that the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the election may have been a CIA-engineered false flag operation designed to implicate his country.

‘Hackers can be anywhere,’ the Russian leader told NBC News’ Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly.

‘They can be in Russia, in Asia… even in America, Latin America. They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia.

‘Can you imagine something like that? In the midst of a political battle. By some calculations it was convenient for them to release this information, so they released it, citing Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (above) suggested on Friday that the hacking of Hillary Clinton's campaign during the election may have been a CIA-engineered false flag operation designed to implicate his country

Russian President Vladimir Putin (above) suggested on Friday that the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the election may have been a CIA-engineered false flag operation designed to implicate his country

'Hackers can be anywhere,' the Russian leader told NBC News' Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly (above). 'They can be in Russia, in Asia...even in America, Latin America. They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia'

‘Hackers can be anywhere,’ the Russian leader told NBC News’ Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly (above). ‘They can be in Russia, in Asia…even in America, Latin America. They can even be hackers, by the way, in the United States, who very skillfully and professionally, shifted the blame, as we say, on to Russia’

‘Could you imagine something like that? I can.’

Putin was asked about the assessment shared by the US intelligence community that his government had orchestrated the hacking of senior Democratic Party officials as part of a concerted effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Earlier on Friday, Putin said that Trump had run a better presidential campaign than Clinton and that US intelligence agencies could have easily faked what he said was false evidence that Russia had hacked the Democratic Party.

The alleged hacking by Russia has deepened a political scandal which has focused on whether Trump had improper ties with Moscow, something he flatly denies.

Vladimir Putin

Donald Trump

Earlier on Friday, Putin said that Donald Trump (right) had run a better presidential campaign than Clinton and that US intelligence agencies could have easily faked what he said was false evidence that Russia had hacked the Democratic Party

Putin, addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, said on Friday that the hacking accusations were nothing more than ‘harmful gossip’ which he complained was damaging international relations and the global economy.

He said he had personally reviewed the US intelligence reports which made the hacking allegations against Russia, and that they contained no meaningful evidence.

‘I have read these reports,’ said Putin. ‘Even in these reports there is nothing specific but only assumptions and conclusions based on assumptions.’

The idea that the hacking had reportedly been carried out from Russian IP addresses which constituted meaningful evidence of anything was absurd, he said.

‘Where are the finger prints? IP addresses can be faked. Do you know how many specialists there are who can make it look as if your children sent something from your home IP address? They can fake anything and then accuse anyone. It’s not evidence.’

Putin, who is keen to repair battered US-Russia relations and is expected to meet Trump for the first time at the G20 in Hamburg in July, said Trump had simply run a better campaign and better connected with voters than Clinton.

He said her supporters were now trying to blame Russia for their failure.

Clinton on Wednesday launched an all-out assault on Trump, claiming he must have 'guided' Russian efforts to keep her out of the White House. She is seen above speaking at the BookExpo 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City on Thursday

Clinton on Wednesday launched an all-out assault on Trump, claiming he must have ‘guided’ Russian efforts to keep her out of the White House. She is seen above speaking at the BookExpo 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City on Thursday

‘But the problem is not with us, the problem is inside American politics,’ said Putin.

‘The other (Clinton) team miscalculated. They don’t want to admit their mistake. It’s easier for them to say that they are not guilty, that the Russians are the guilty ones for interfering in our election. It reminds me of anti-Semitism.’

Visibly irritated by having to discuss the matter, Putin was equally forthright about denying separate accusations that there had been some kind of secret deal between Moscow and the Trump team before his inauguration.

‘There was nothing concrete, zero. It’s just hysteria. Should I give you a pill?’ Putin said to a moderator who asked him about the matter.

Clinton on Wednesday launched an all-out assault on Trump, claiming he must have ‘guided’ Russian efforts to keep her out of the White House.

She spelled out a detailed theory that her campaign had been hit by the Russian hacking and that it used its agents to spread ‘fake news’.

But she added: ‘The Russians in my opinion – and based on intelligence and counterintelligence people I have spoken to – could not have known best how to weaponize that information unless they had been guided by a specific group of people. By Americans.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4568194/Putin-says-hacking-Democrats-false-flag.html#ixzz4iwFbLk4b
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Hillary Lacks the Remorse of Conscience

June 2, 2017

Oddly, she seems completely sincere, as if she believes the alternative facts she’s peddling.

June 1, 2017 7:23 p.m. ET

I don’t want to beat up on Hillary Clinton. She thought she’d win and she lost, embarrassingly, to a man she considered deeply unworthy. At the same time she won the popular vote by 2.9 million. It would take anyone time to absorb these things emotionally and psychologically.

But wow. Her public statements since defeat have been malignant little masterpieces of victimhood-claiming, blame-shifting and unhelpful accusation. They deserve censure.

Last weekend she was the commencement speaker at her alma mater, Wellesley, where she insulted the man who beat her. This Wednesday she was at the 2017 Code Conference, hosted by the Recode website, where she was interviewed by friendly journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. She eagerly offered a comprehensive list of the reasons she lost the 2016 presidential election.

 Clinton: I take responsibility for every decision I made

She lost because America is a hopelessly reactionary country in which dark forces fight a constant “rearguard action” to “turn back the clock.” She lost because Republicans are both technologically advanced and underhanded. Democrats, for instance, use data and analytics to target and rouse voters—“better messaging.” Republicans, on the other hand, use “content farms” and make “an enormous investment in falsehoods, fake news, call it what you will.” Democrats “did not engage in false content.” She lost because of the Russians: “Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with?”

She lost because of “voter suppression” and “unaccountable money flowing in against me.” She lost because the Democratic National Committee didn’t help her. “I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. I mean it was bankrupt. . . . Its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it.”

She lost because FBI Director James Comey told Congress the investigation regarding her email server had been reopened. “So for whatever reason . . . and I can’t look inside the guy’s mind, you know, he dumps that on me on Oct. 28, and I immediately start falling.”

She lost because she was “swimming against a historic tide. It’s very difficult historically to succeed a two-term president of your own party.” She lost because she was “the victim of a very broad assumption that I was going to win.” She lost because the news media ignored her policy positions.

And then there was sexism. “It sort of bleeds into misogyny. And let’s just be honest, you know, people who have . . . a set of expectations about who should be president and what a president looks like, you know, they’re going to be much more skeptical and critical of somebody who doesn’t look like and talk like and sound like everybody else who’s been president. Any you know, President Obama broke that racial barrier, but you know, he’s a very attractive, good-looking man.”

Oh my goodness, how she thinks.

Oddly, she seemed completely sincere, as if she believes her own story. It tells you something about our own power to hypnotize ourselves, to invent reasons that avoid the real reasons. It is a tribute to the power of human denial. And at first you think: I hope it was cathartic. Maybe these are just stories she tells herself to feel better.

But none of this, in truth, is without point. It is purposeful. It is not mere narrative-spinning. It is insisting on alternative facts so that journalists and historians will have to take them into account. It is a monotonous repetition of a certain version of events, which will be amplified, picked up and repeated into the future.

And it’s not true.

The truth is Bernie Sanders destroyed Mrs. Clinton’s chance of winning by almost knocking her off, and in the process revealing her party’s base had changed. Her plodding, charmless, insincere style of campaigning defeated her. Bad decisions in her campaign approach to the battleground states did it; a long history of personal scandals did it; fat Wall Street speeches did it; the Clinton Foundation’s bloat and chicanery did it—and most of all the sense that she ultimately stands for nothing but Hillary did it.

In the campaign book “Shattered,” journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes report they were surprised “when Clintonworld sources started telling us in 2015 that Hillary was still struggling to articulate her motivation for seeking the presidency.” Her campaign was “an unholy mess, fraught with tangled lines of authority . . . distorted priorities, and no sense of greater purpose.” “Hillary didn’t have a vision to articulate. And no one else could give one to her.” “Hillary had been running for president for almost a decade and still didn’t really have a rationale.”

What is true is that throughout her career Mrs. Clinton has shown herself to be largely incapable of honest self-reflection, of pointing the finger, for even a moment, at herself. She is not capable of what in Middle English was called “agenbite of inwit”—remorse of conscience, the self-indictment and implicit growth, that come of taking a serious personal inventory. People are always doing bad things to her, she never does bad things to them. They operate in bad faith, she only in good. They lie and exaggerate, she doesn’t. They are low and partisan, not her. There’s no vast left-wing conspiracy only a right-wing one.

People can see this. It’s part of why she lost.

It is one thing to say, “I take responsibility,” and follow that up with a list of things you believe you got wrong. It’s another thing to say, “I take responsibility,” and then immediately pivot to arguments as to why other people are to blame. “I take responsibility for everything I got wrong, but that’s not why I lost,” is literally what she said Wednesday.

Walt Mossberg asked her about her misjudgments. What about Goldman Sachs ? You were running for president, he said, why did you do those high priced speeches?

“Why do you have Goldman Sachs [at this conference]?” Mrs. Clinton countered.

Mr. Mossberg: “Because they pay us.”

Mrs. Clinton: “They paid me.”

Mr. Mossberg noted they paid her a lot. Hillary replied she speaks to many groups, she had been elected in New York, which includes Wall Street. Then: “Men got paid for the speeches they made. I got paid for the speeches I made.”

The worst part is that she insulted her own country by both stating and implying that America is full of knuckle-dragging, deplorable oafs who are averse to powerful women and would never elect one president. Has she not learned anything? Does she never think Britain had Margaret Thatcher in 1979 and Theresa May now, that Germany has had as its leader Angela Merkel since 2005? Is America really more backward, narrow and hate-filled toward women than those countries? Or was Mrs. Clinton simply the wrong woman, and the wrong candidate?

It would have been helpful if she’d spoken at least of those who’d voted for her and supported her and donated to her campaign precisely because she was a woman.

You should never slander a country that rejected you. Maybe it had its reasons. Maybe her most constructive act now would be to quietly reflect on what they might be.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-lacks-the-remorse-of-conscience-1496359405

Democrats Have Gridlocked Legislation; But Trump Still Odds-On Favorite for Second Term — Hillary Clinton: “I’m not going anywhere”

June 1, 2017

By JACQUELINE THOMSEN
The Hill

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks there’s a “55 percent chance” President Trump will be reelected in 2020.

Bloomberg, who politically identifies as independent, told New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that he thought Democrats didn’t have an effective message to win the 2016 election and could repeat that mistake in 2020.

“Hillary said, ‘Vote for me because I’m a woman and the other guy’s bad,’” Bloomberg said about 2016.

He said Democrats are still looking for issues and messages. And he worries that too many Democrats are eager to jump into the 2020 race.

“They’ll step on each other and re-elect Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg endorsed Hillary Clintonin 2016 and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, calling Trump a “dangerous demagogue.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/335844-bloomberg-55-percent-chance-trump-will-win-reelection

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Image result for hillary clinton, Code Conference, photos

Hillary Clinton: ‘I take responsibility for every decision I made, but that’s not why I lost’

  • Hillary Clinton spoke from the annual Code Conference in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.
  • Clinton has been worrying about alleged Russian hackings and Wikileaks, according to a profile in New York magazine.
Clinton: I take responsibility for every decision I made

Clinton: I take responsibility for every decision I made  11 Hours Ago | 03:35
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/hillary-clinton-speaks-at-code-conference-on-the-information-war.html

“Weaponized information” was one of the key factors that swung the U.S. election, former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

Clinton spoke from the annual Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

The former first lady, who also served in the U.S. Senate, has been exploring her role as a citizen since losing November’s election to Donald Trump. Clinton has also been concerned about tech threats, like alleged Russian hackings and WikiLeaks, according to a profile in New York magazine published last week.

“The overriding issue that affected the election that I had any control over — because I had no control over the Russians — was the way the use of my email account was turned into the greatest scandal since Lord knows when,” Clinton said. “This was the biggest ‘nothing burger’ ever.”

Clinton: Facebook has to curate more effectively

Clinton: Facebook has to curate more effectively  10 Hours Ago | 03:58

On Wednesday, Clinton said it was important to recognize the “real lesson” from the election, surrounding the “war” on information.

“I take responsibility for every decision I made, but that’s not why I lost,” Clinton said.

Clinton’s campaign was a target for email leaks, particularly Wikileaks, which leaked her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. Clinton pointed out on Wednesday that many men have also been paid for their speeches.

“At some point it bleeds into misogyny,” Clinton said.

Clinton also said that the majority of content surrounding the election was “fake news,” originated in Russia. She also alluded to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which has said it helped Donald Trump’s campaign.

Clinton: Majority of news items posted on Facebook were fake

Clinton: Majority of news items posted on Facebook were fake  11 Hours Ago | 06:19

“We did not engage in false content,” Clinton said. “We weren’t in the same category as the other side.” (There have been false stories from both political stances, according to analysis from BuzzFeed News.)

Clinton said that she did not inherit a strong data foundation from the Democratic party, which was “bankrupt” and near “insolvent.”

Trump tweeted about Clinton’s campaign on Wednesday night.

Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.

Clinton responded to the president on Twitter by referencing Trump’s much-discussed “covfefe” tweet.

It’s important for people in tech and business to understand the marriage of the “domestic fake news operations,” the sophisticated Russian cyber units and the Republicans’ more flush data repository, Clinton said.

“Putin wants to bring us down,” Clinton said. “It’s way beyond me. …. I believe that what was happening to me was unprecedented. Over the summer we went and told anyone we could find that the Russians were messing with the election and we were basically shooed away. …. We couldn’t get the press to cover it.”

Clinton: Russians influenced voters in the election

Clinton: Russians influenced voters in the election  11 Hours Ago | 05:10

Clinton said platforms like Facebook have got to get better at curating news. But she also said that her supporters put off taking more action on fake news because she was thought to be in the lead.

“I don’t know enough about what they could have done in real time,” Clinton said. “I also think I was the victim of the very broad assumption I was going to win. I never believed it, I always thought it would be a close election.”

Clinton also pointed to the flow of money into the Democrats’ “horrible” data deficiency. She pointed to the popularity of conservative documentaries on Netflix, and the “unaccountable” money related to the decision of Citizens United v. FEC.

“Democrats give money to candidates — they want a personal connection,” Clinton said. “Republicans build institutions.”

Clinton: Local TV is still incredibly powerful

Clinton: Local TV still powerful; and Bezos saved the Post  10 Hours Ago | 04:11

Clinton hinted that more tech billionaires should buy media companies, the way Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post.

“I think Jeff Bezos saved the Washington Post,” Clinton said. “But newspapers, like the Post, the Times, others — still drive news … It was a very good use of his financial resources. Because now we have a very good newspaper again operating in Washington.”

As technology like artificial intelligence threatens to change the workforce, stabilizing the economy is a key theme for Democrats going forward, Clinton said. She also pointed to the market opportunity surrounding clean energy.

“I’m not going anywhere — I have a big stake in what’s happening to this country,” Clinton said. On the election, she added: “I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode’s parent Vox Media. Recode and NBC have a content-sharing arrangement.

Watch: Clinton says she’s not going anywhere

Former Secretary of State and Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Clinton: I’m not going anywhere  10 Hours Ago | 00:37
 http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/31/hillary-clinton-speaks-at-code-conference-on-the-information-war.html