Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, January 11, 2019

Special counsel Robert Mueller sought information directly last year from one of Donald Trump's campaign pollsters who is also a former business associate of Paul Manafort's. Mueller's team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort's attorneys revealed Tuesday that Mueller's team is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague.

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Mueller is so far ahead in what he knows about Trump/Russia I don't think most can comprehend. With Manafort's attorney's screw up this week the previously unremarkable bit of knowledge that Mueller interviewed Trump's pollster, a business associate of Manfort's before his work on the campaign, took on a whole new meaning.

For those of us who've tried to keep track of all the strange pieces of evidence tied to Russian influence that started to emerge in the summer of '16, it's just some of these pieces falling together pretty much where they appeared to fit before the picture became more fleshed out. The polling data the Russians were interested in was the negative polling, ie. what means, messages, and methods were turning voters off from supporting Hillary Clinton and focusing their targeting where they believed it would do the most good. Regardless, there is no need to mock or deride, the truth is coming out very soon I believe.

Mueller's been ready for some time. He's just been waiting for the Democrats to gain enough power in Congress to keep Trump from trying to railroad the findings while a sackless GOP sits there and lets the country get torn apart instead of doing the right thing like they did with Nixon. It's only a short matter of time I feel.

Thank God.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 02:31 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

This line of investigation is going to prove something known almost from the first day after Trumps win, that he and/or his capos collaborated with the Russians in sabotaging the vote in a directed way.

#2 | Posted by Zed at 2019-01-11 08:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

#2

Not because investigators had it out for Trump from the get-go, but because every single shred in the mountains of known facts and evidence pointed to this most logical conclusion that whatever Russia was doing was being done to benefit their interests not ours. Your enemies do not clandestinely work to help you, they work to undermine you.

Such a simple logical progression didn't have a chance in the hyperpartisan environment of a heated presidential election campaign, but there is no excuse for ignoring the obvious any longer. It is and was what the evidence proves that it is and was by both purpose and connection.

#3 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 08:45 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Steve Schmidt @SteveSchmidtSES

I think the word "polling" is likely imprecise with regard to the Manafort revelations. It reads to me like they turned over the RNC voter file to Russian Intelligence which used

The data to target US voters in a highly sophisticated disinformation campaign which was aimed into Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio. There is no way the Russians could utilize the voter file without fairly consistent contact and guidance from the campaign. It is starting

To smell to me that the investigators have Trumps' campaign and possibly (probably) Trump dead to rights on a conspiracy with Russian intelligence to affect the outcome of a US selection. It's not a poll that was delivered but the data models. What do you all think ?

#4 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-11 09:42 AM | Reply

If Schmidt is right, then the Russians had both the RNC voter file and the DNC voter file, which they stole through the hacks.

We've been told no vote totals were changed on election day, but do we know if state voter registrations were tampered with in such a way that voters were turned away at the polls or had their mail in ballots tossed out due to discrepancies in their registration info (misspelled names, wrong addresses or birthdates, etc.)?

Also, we still don't know what information was being transmitted between the Alpha Bank, Trump Tower and Spectrum Health servers.

#5 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-11 09:52 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Bill Palmer sees a more direct line between the campaign, Russians and voter files mentioned by Gal above:

Immediately after Donald Trump was named the winner of the 2016 election, it was widely reported that Paul Manafort had told Trump to go campaign in Michigan and Wisconsin in the final days of the campaign. At the time, it was already known that Manafort owed millions of dollars to a Russian oligarch.

If Manafort was telling Trump to make a strange last minute move like campaigning in "unwinnable" states like Michigan and Wisconsin, it had to have been because the Kremlin told Manafort to have Trump do it. (It's conceivable) the only reason for the Kremlin to do this would be that its hackers had already rigged those two states in Trump's favor, and it wanted him visible there, so people would be less shocked when he "won" those two states.

Earlier this year the Senate Intelligence Committee quietly released a bipartisan report confirming that Russian hackers penetrated the voter registration databases in key swing states, (potentially) allowing them to delete voter registrations. This was (one possible way) how Russia "rigged" the vote total: before election day, it took away the ability of a number of people to vote in districts and precincts that heavily favored Hillary Clinton. When these people showed up to vote, they were simply turned away. Most of them would have simply left. Some surely cast provisional ballots, but those don't end up counting if your registration is missing from the system.

Now we have confirmation that Robert Mueller was already onto this scheme a year ago, and was (probably) tracking it down. In other words, he's got the Trump-Russia vote rigging scheme nailed. It's a reminder that Mueller is very far ahead of the public on a large number of aspects of the Trump-Russia criminal scandal, and we're getting closer than ever to the whole truth coming out.

Don't agree? This is simply one way the current tea leaves can be read and only time will prove if it's correct in any form at all. But it is based on known facts and the logical placement of them into a narrative that ends with Trump winning the EC when no one thought it was possible.

#6 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 03:58 PM | Reply


So let me see if I have all this correctly...

Early on the FBI informed the Trump campaign that the FBI suspected Russia would try to infiltrate and influence the presidential campaign, and that if the Trump campaign sees the Russians trying to do so, the campaign should notify the FBI.

Then the Russians appear to have reached out to the Trump campaign and, instead of informing the FBI, the Trump campaign seems to have gone into a bromance with Russia, with the NRA as the flower girl.

Is that what seems to be happening, based upon what we have seen wo far?

#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-01-11 04:12 PM | Reply

(It's conceivable)...(potentially)... (one possible way)... (probably) #6 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

This type of partisan fan fiction type of ramblings are as bad for you as QAnon.

#8 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 04:16 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Is that what seems to be happening, based upon what we have seen wo far?

Pretty much. And GoNoles, I'm the one who added the qualifiers, not Palmer. Until the entirety of evidence is revealed (if it ever is) the language should be one of possibilities based on logical inference, not conclusions, imo. It's akin to diagnosing an illness or disease based on symptoms (facts and circumstances, but not YET conclusive ones) before actual tests (conclusive evidence/testimony) are returned to put such guessing to rest.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't. And again, it's not fiction, it's simply the placement of FACT into a likely narrative based on why the actions happened in the first place. The Russians didn't activate a counterintelligence operation against the US for schitts and giggles, they had a goal in mind. Just what do YOU think they were trying to accomplish and how do you think they went about doing it based on what's already known?

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 04:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#9 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

The article definitely needed some wiggle room. A lot of authoritative language for what is very speculative at this moment.

#10 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 04:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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#10

But it's not as speculative as you think. There are literally hundreds of parts that are known and have been known for a very long time. As each piece became publicly known, voices such as yours continued to say each piece alone wasn't proof of much just like I perceive you're doing now. Everything was done for a reason, and considering the goals of the actors gives one a pretty insightful understanding of what those goals were. The US IC told both parties and campaigns in late summer 2016 that Russians were taking active measures to interject themselves into the presidential election with the expressed goal of fomenting distrust of our government and institutions. Would you like to argue their goals in this department were achieved to an A+ degree? Why didn't any Trumper EVER reach out to the FBI to tell them of contacts with Russians and their cutouts unless they were determined to keep such illicit contacts secret (or so they thought)? Why attack the US IC and DOJ while dismissing the notion that Russia attacked our electoral process even after hundreds have been indicted for doing so?

These aren't speculations, they are fact as far as most outside of Trump loyalists are concerned. Why was the Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention hobnobbing with GOP elites? Why were dual citizenship oligarchs funneling campaign cash through the NRA to benefit only Republican candidates and mainly Trump himself? And it goes on and on. The Democrats weren't discussing Ukraine peace plans and figuring out ways to lift sanctions, so why was this a priority of the Republicans? Why were there multiple attempts to create secret back channel communications with Russia by those in and around the Trump campaign? These are not speculations, they're numerous facts comprising a yet-to-be-fully understood narrative. Putting puzzle pieces together is not "speculation." It's an attempt to complete the puzzle so what it shows becomes clear.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 04:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The article definitely needed some wiggle room. A lot of authoritative language for what is very speculative at this moment.

#10 | Posted by GOnoles92

Your time would be better spent coming up with the excuses you'll need once mueller reveals his report. Pretending it's possible that nothing happened is a total waste of time now.

#12 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-11 05:09 PM | Reply

I am afraid the report will not come out without HEAVY redaction. That will just feed the tRumpburglar conspiracy theorists narrative that he wasn't involved.

There are so many pieces to this an unredacted report should make everyone's head explode. This isn't a simple story - Mueller has run down a lot of intertwined stories. This thing is like a real life Game of Thrones...

#13 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-01-11 06:10 PM | Reply

Putting puzzle pieces together is not "speculation." It's an attempt to complete the puzzle so what it shows becomes clear.
#11 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

Palmer's blog post goes way further than your comment, including speculation that voter records were deleted (unproven) and the reason why Trump campaigned in battleground states (not because HRC was ignoring them/ they were battleground states, but because of Putin, lol).

#14 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 06:29 PM | Reply

"speculation that voter records were deleted (unproven)"

Unproven?

CrossCheck?

#15 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 06:32 PM | Reply

Your time would be better spent coming up with the excuses you'll need once mueller reveals his report. Pretending it's possible that nothing happened is a total waste of time now.
#12 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY Flag: remedial reading comprehension needed.

My comment wasn't that nothing happened, it is obvious that something was afoot because the investigation has changed some lives and people are in jail or otherwise being prosecuted right now. Nevertheless, Palmer's wild speculations are entertainment, or if taken seriously, are QAnon-level musings.

#16 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 06:33 PM | Reply

CrossCheck? #15 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

CrossCheck is Russian hackers? (Citation needed)

#17 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 06:33 PM | Reply

CrossCheck purged voter registrations.
Russia knows that, why don't you?

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 06:48 PM | Reply

Nevertheless, Palmer's wild speculations are entertainment, or if taken seriously, are QAnon-level musings.

#16 | Posted by GOnoles92

Thus far, a betting man would have made far more money assuming the worst about trump/russia than giving trump the benefit of the doubt.

Right after the election, any links between trump and putin at all were described as wild speculation and entertainment. As time goes by, the inconceivable has become highly plausible over and over again.

#19 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-11 06:59 PM | Reply

"Nevertheless, Palmer's wild speculations are entertainment, or if taken seriously, are QAnon-level musings.
#16 | Posted by GOnoles92"

Isn't that what you said about the Steele Dossier?

#20 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 07:01 PM | Reply

#18 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

CrossCheck occurred during Obama's administration. So CrossCheck = Russian hackers = Obama approved. Got it...

#21 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 07:15 PM | Reply

Isn't that what you said about the Steele Dossier?
#20 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Link?

#22 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 07:16 PM | Reply

Drink!

#23 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 07:17 PM | Reply

As time goes by, the inconceivable has become highly plausible over and over again. #19 | POSTED BY SPEAKSOFTLY

This is QAnon type logic: throw stuff at the wall, the crazier the better, and run with it. There is plenty of actual dirt that it is unnecessary to go all wild eyed on this investigation topic. When you make spectacular claims without evidence, then the actual real information and results become lost or diminished.

#24 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 07:19 PM | Reply

"Obama approved."

Obama doesn't approve state-run elections, or what a state's Secretary of State does.

Your side however did gut Title V of the
Voting Rights Act. Apparently people had too many voting rights or something.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 07:22 PM | Reply

"This is QAnon type logic: throw stuff at the wall, the crazier the better, and run with it."

You're really having trouble acknowledging how the "crazy" stuff in the Steeele Dossier has turned out to be true.

You know, Trumper type logic.

#26 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-01-11 07:24 PM | Reply

Palmer's blog post is equal to the Steele Dossier, allegedly.

#27 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2019-01-11 07:29 PM | Reply

The same Ukrainian oligarch that Manafort allegedly gave the polling data to happened to attend Trump's inauguration and ball. With a group numbering around a dozen. Trying to peddle Ukrainian peace plans, natch.

As each day passes less and less speculation remains as more and more facts emerge. Palmer's narrative is full of "facts" but some of them are connected by speculation at this point. But when you look at the totality of what's known and the reasons behind what the actors are known to have done and what they were trying to accomplish, it becomes a more and more likely theory of events.

#28 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 07:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

When you make spectacular claims without evidence, then the actual real information and results become lost or diminished.

#24 | Posted by GOnoles92

"Making spectacular claims without evidence" is going to be written on trump's tombstone.

We know, one side needs to be as accurate as a lawyer. The other one can be nuttier than alex jones and not lose any supporters.

#29 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-01-11 07:34 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 3

Tell us GoNoles, why did Russia steal DNC voter roles and hack into state voter databases? What purpose would they have for that type of information? Why would Paul Manafort want to give Trump polling data to Ukrainians? Why would he deal with a known Russian agent? Why would a broke and indebted Manafort offer his services to Trump for free?

How do you read the evidence, ie. what narrative do you see at present looking at the evidence?

#30 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-01-11 07:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The idea that Russian intelligence services would steal the DNC voter roles and hack into state voter databases for no purpose other than their own entertainment is silly. Even if they had started out doing those things just to prove they could, once they were successful, it stands to reason they would have tried to make use of the info in some way. What they did with the info after they had it is the part we don't know yet.

#31 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-01-12 11:02 AM | Reply

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