Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, December 15, 2017

In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded -- that Russia's interference in the 2016 election was real. Holding impromptu interventions in Trump's 26th-floor corner office at Trump Tower, advisers -- including Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and designated chief of staff, Reince Priebus -- prodded the president-elect to accept the findings that the nation's spy chiefs had personally presented to him on Jan. 6. They sought to convince Trump that he could affirm the validity of the intelligence without diminishing his electoral win, according to three officials involved in the sessions. More important, they said that doing so was the only way to put the matter behind him politically and free him to pursue his goal of closer ties with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

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"This was part of the normalization process," one participant said. "There was a big effort to get him to be a standard president."

But as aides persisted, Trump became agitated. He railed that the intelligence couldn't be trusted and scoffed at the suggestion that his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than his own strategy, message and charisma.

Told that members of his incoming Cabinet had already publicly backed the intelligence report on Russia, Trump shot back, "So what?" Admitting that the Kremlin had hacked Democratic Party emails, he said, was a "trap."

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This is our president, a raging, narcissistic snowflake, who can't handle the truth and must be coddled and placated:

U.S. officials declined to discuss whether the stream of recent intelligence on Russia has been shared with Trump. Current and former officials said that his daily intelligence update -- known as the president's daily brief, or PDB -- is often structured to avoid upsetting him.

Russia-related intelligence that might draw Trump's ire is in some cases included only in the written assessment and not raised orally, said a former senior intelligence official familiar with the matter. In other cases, Trump's main briefer -- a veteran CIA analyst -- adjusts the order of his presentation and text, aiming to soften the impact.
"If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference -- that takes the PDB off the rails," said a second former senior U.S. intelligence official.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 12:39 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

GAL

Trump can't afford to acknowledge (or be reminded in PDF's) of Russia's interference because he's part of it.

#2 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-12-15 05:17 AM | Reply

Trumps ego will not allow him to understand that his victory was not solely the result of his cult of personality.

#3 | Posted by 726 at 2017-12-15 06:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Trump is owned by Putin, everyone knows it. He should be removed from office.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-15 07:15 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

DANNI

" He should be removed from office."

That will depend on the outcome of the mid-terms. We all know that no GOP controlled congress is going to take that leap.

Also, Trump and Putin are still negotiating the terms of their collation to make a preemptive attack on North Korea. Once that ball gets rolling (timing is everything) it would be near impossible to distract any congress of any party with an impeachment process.

#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-12-15 08:44 AM | Reply

"Doubting intelligence, Trump ignores Russian election threat"

"Doubting intelligence, Trump eagerly embraces Russian election threat".

FTFY

#6 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-12-15 10:47 AM | Reply

At what point do we start accusing Trump of treason? Personally, I think we're there.

#7 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-15 10:50 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

"Trump is owned by Putin, everyone knows it. He should be removed from office."

We are a long way from that. The GOP and conservative media want to remove Mueller before they are confronted with incontrovertible evidence against Trump:

Evan McMullin‏ @Evan_McMullin

Friends, the president and his far-right supporters in Congress are laying the groundwork to fire Mueller, especially as his investigation encircles the Trump family. This is not a drill. Please call your reps in Congress today and urge them to protect Mueller with legislation.
10:39 AM - 14 Dec 2017

Eric Holder‏ @EricHolder

Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, Republicans in Congress be forewarned: any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated. These are BS attacks on him/his staff that are blatantly political-designed to hide the real wrongdoing. Country not party
6:34 AM - 14 Dec 2017

#8 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 11:14 AM | Reply

Adam Schiff‏ @RepAdamSchiff

I'm increasingly worried Republicans will shut down the House Intelligence Committee investigation at the end of the month.

Here's why:

Since March, our investigation has made important progress. We've interviewed numerous key witnesses behind closed doors, held public hearings, reviewed thousands of documents, identified new leads -- all to understand and expose Russia's meddling and protect our democracy.

Yet, Republicans have scheduled no witnesses after next Friday and none in 2017. We have dozens of outstanding witnesses on key aspects of our investigation that they refuse to contact and many document requests they continue to sit on.

It appears Republicans want to conduct just enough interviews to give the impression of a serious investigation.

Next week, they scheduled critical witness interviews out of state, when we are voting on the tax bill and vital government funding bills and no Members will be able to ask questions, in an effort to squeeze them in before end of year.

These witnesses are willing to come to DC.

Despite our repeated urging, Majority has declined to issue subpoenas in numerous avenues of the investigation, where there's simply no other way to get the information. Some refusals we've made public, like witnesses hiding behind nonexistent privileges, many others we haven't.

The responsibility to conduct a thorough investigation, or to prevent one, ultimately falls on @SpeakerRyan. I'm concerned he's heeding the calls of Bannon and @POTUS to "DO SOMETHING" by closing down the Russia investigation & opening up another investigation of Hilary Clinton.

Beyond our investigation, here's what has me really concerned: The attacks on Mueller, DOJ and FBI this week make it clear they plan to go after Mueller's investigation.

Aggressively and soon.

By shutting down the congressional investigations when they continue to discover new and important evidence, the White House can exert tremendous pressure to end or curtail Mueller's investigation or cast doubt on it. We cannot let that happen.
10:43 AM - 15 Dec 2017

#9 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 01:54 PM | Reply

No trump chumps willing to step up and explain why trump allowing putin to hack our elections is the right thing to do?

#10 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-15 03:10 PM | Reply

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I wouldn't mind knowing what the "insurance policy that Strzok and McCabe had in place--

That text was revealed on Tuesday night when the Justice Department released hundreds of messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were romantically involved and at one point worked on Robert Mueller's Russia probe.

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk," Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

Some lawmakers surmise "Andy" is a reference to Andrew McCabe, and now want to know about his communications with Page and Strzok.

#11 | Posted by homerj at 2017-12-15 05:00 PM | Reply

I wouldn't mind knowing what the "insurance policy that Strzok and McCabe had in place--

#11 | Posted by homerj

Sure. Dummies nationwide are more concerned about fake stories about a corrupt FBI than real stories about a corrupt president.

#12 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-15 05:45 PM | Reply

RE #11 | Posted by homerj

I love the smell of desperation in the morning. It smells like IMPEACHMENT.

This whole line of reasoning has no merit and is illogical and has nothing to do with Trump denying that Russia attacked our democratic institutions using cyber warfare and propaganda techniques. It has nothing to do with Trump's sworn duty to protect America and the Constitution from all enemies foreign or domestic. When will he admit it and take decisive action to put an end to it (it is still ongoing) and hold Russia accountable?

Everyone has a personal bias. So what? In fact, if you are investigating someone you would want someone who really really wants to find something because they will turn over every stone and if they can't find something there is probably nothing to find. True... he should have kept his opinion to himself. Which is, of course, why he was reassigned just as he should have been because it does not look professional and it gives ammo to the loonies. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's not against any agency rules to have or express a political opinion.

You know that just before the election many in the FBI were showing a clear bias AGAINST Hillary up until the very last minute when Comey testified that seh was not criminally negligent. Many investigating her were biased. You were ecstatic then I bet. Until things turned against what you believed should happen. And also, many investigating Trump have actually contributed thousands of dollars to Republicans. Should anyone who has contribute money to either party be removed from the investigation too?

And here is a good question for you to ponder. Let's say Mueller's team actually clears Trump of charges. Should we throw out that conclusion and start over because someone had an opinion?

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-15 06:06 PM | Reply

13 -- blah blah..What you do you think the "insurance policy" is Don? Why did it take the DOJIG to find this? What else is he going to find?

#14 | Posted by homerj at 2017-12-15 07:07 PM | Reply

What you do you think the "insurance policy" is ... ?

Lots of folks on the right are suggesting that "insurance policy" is some opaque and sinister Deep State code for black ops in the event of a Trump victory. A few exemplary headlines:
...
Give me a break. Read the text again.

Strzok was reacting to the argument that there was no point getting worked up because Trump was bound to lose. He argued in response that the odds against a Trump victory offered no reason to be complacent and gave an example: The odds are also very much against you dying before the age of 40, but you probably bought insurance at that age because dying with a young family would be such a disaster; the expense is reasonable even if the event is unlikely. For the same reason, in Strzok's view, horror at the prospect of a Trump presidency is reasonable even though the prospect is remote.

Could he have written it more gracefully to avoid ambiguity? Sure. But if that is what you want to argue, I hope you'll publish all the 2 a.m. texts you've sent to your lovers so we have a model of the clarity that's possible. www.lawfareblog.com

#15 | Posted by et_al at 2017-12-15 08:06 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The GOP is going after McCabe as a prelude for going after Mueller:

Susan Hennessey‏ @Susan_Hennessey

Susan Hennessey Retweeted Billy House
It's not unusual for an FBI Director to select own Deputy, but Wray has expressed no issues with McCabe who is popular at the Bureau and probably important to Wray's credibility with staff. Hill Rs have been gunning for him for months.

Billy House‏ @HouseInSession

FBI Deputy Director McCabe sscheduled to testify Tuesday to House Intelligence -- but will he? "If McCabe is still there," says one panel Republican. And another, Gowdy, tells FoxNews he'd "be a little bit surprised if he is still an employee of the FBI this time next week."

twitter.com

#16 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 09:03 PM | Reply

13 -- blah blah..What you do you think the "insurance policy" is Don? Why did it take the DOJIG to find this? What else is he going to find?

#14 | POSTED BY HOMER

Blah blah blah I don't care. No laws were broken. He was removed from the case. He is allowed to have an opinion and he is allowed to tell his girlfriend he hates Trump. Smart chicks get all --- when you tell them you hate Trump. So it was a form of foreplay. And this was before the election. So he wasn't even President then. He was just another vile wealthy ----- grabbing pedophile.

#17 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-15 09:20 PM | Reply

Gowdy, tells FoxNews he'd "be a little bit surprised if he is still an employee of the FBI this time next week."
twitter.com

#16 | POSTED BY GAL_TUESDAY

Gowdy Dooty is an idiot. The agent is a civil servant. Civil servants have rights. And since he has NOT broken any laws it will take a lot longer than a week to fire him. In fact, if he is not protected from Trump he may have a case for him being slandered and creating a hostile work environment.

#18 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-12-15 09:26 PM | Reply

Dotard is in a quandry. He has the power to fire Mueller or anyone else in the Executive Branch but the FBI has the dosier which could completely destroy Trump and he knows it. He is going to play this out as long as he can because he knows that the release of the dosier would totally destroy his presidency, destroy his reputation, subject him to humiliating ridicule. My guess is that "a leak" will out the information in the dosier before he fires anyone and then he will be powerless to defend himself, could be impeached, could be just ignored for the next 3 years. I'd prefer impeached. the "dossier" is and has been the most powerful piece of evidence to destroy him and that is why he is now trying to discredit the FBI.

#19 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-15 09:36 PM | Reply

#18 This is where the GOP is heading with this:

Some lawmakers surmise "Andy" is a reference to Andrew McCabe, and now want to know about his communications with Page and Strzok.
#11 | Posted by homerj

They will want to see McCabe's private messages now as well. Important to note McCabe's wife ran for Virginia State Senate as a Democrat in 2015:

heavy.com

So, McCabe is seen as being too much of a Democrat to be trustworthy. Never mind that Comey and Mueller are Republicans; they aren't trustworthy either. Basically, anyone who won't swear a loyalty oath to Trump and promise not to dig up any dirt on him is not to be trusted to run the investigation against him.

#20 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 09:43 PM | Reply

What if the reason so many in the GOP want to shut down the Mueller investigation isn't to protect Trump but to protect themselves?

Here's the short version:

Dallas Morning News‏ @dallasnews

@UofDallas researcher Ruth May is an expert in all things corporate in Russia and has worked to make connections in the trail of money flowing from Russian oligarchs to the GOP. This thread is her latest 1/12

twitter.com

Here's the long version:

How Putin's proxies helped funnel millions into GOP campaigns

www.dallasnews.com

#21 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 10:49 PM | Reply

#21 should be its own thread.

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-15 11:04 PM | Reply

Israel meddles in our elections constantly. Netanyahu, is easily as apt a target for demonization as Putin. But, Congress and the MSM are in its thrall.

#23 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-16 07:07 AM | Reply

#21, gal's post makes the point that ALL private political contributions invite corruption of the worst kind. ALL campaigns should be publicly financed using public airways to keep costs reasonable. The current US system is highway robbery by the networks followed by highway robbery by the 1%.

#24 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-16 07:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Eric Holder‏ @EricHolder

Speaking on behalf of the vast majority of the American people, Republicans in Congress be forewarned: any attempt to remove Bob Mueller will not be tolerated. These are BS attacks on him/his staff that are blatantly political-designed to hide the real wrongdoing. Country not party
6:34 AM - 14 Dec 2017
#8 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-15 11:14 AM

I love the response to that tweet:

Senator JohnCornyn‏Verified account
@JohnCornyn

You don't

#25 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-12-16 09:20 AM | Reply

#25 Did you read the responses to Cornyn? I love a lot of those.

#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-16 10:45 AM | Reply

Richard W. Painter‏ @RWPUSA

We do need a second special counsel -- to investigate why Members of Congress are trying to impede the Russia investigation. Do they have a Putin issue too? If not, why are they doing this?
3:44 PM - 13 Dec 2017

#27 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-16 10:56 AM | Reply

@#26 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday
Yeah. Lots of strong feelings on all sides. I just love a snappy retort.

#28 | Posted by Avigdore at 2017-12-16 11:20 AM | Reply

Regardless of all this Russian election blather, it should be obvious to anyone with common sense it's falling apart with all this crap with Strzok, McCabe, the dossier and all the rest of the scandals coming to light. I think our democrat "progessives" may have jumped the shark in this one.

#29 | Posted by jestgettinalong at 2017-12-16 03:31 PM | Reply

Nah, the investigation is taking its time because progressives believe in evidence and want a fair trial before Trump goes to prison.
Trump is a lying, draft dodging rapist and fraudster that is a worldwide embarrassment.
Trump and his ---- holsters have no credibility to criticize Mueller and his team.

#30 | Posted by bored at 2017-12-16 10:30 PM | Reply

Mueller can indict and prosecute ordinary citizens, but not the President. All Mueller can do to Trump is deliver a report to Congress. What do you think those @$$h.!es are going to do?

#31 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-17 08:01 AM | Reply

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