Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, April 21, 2019

Asha Rangappa: On Nov. 9, 2016, according to the Mueller report, some redacted figure wrote to a Russian regime crony, "Putin has won." Based on the assessment of the intelligence community and the findings of Robert Mueller, President Vladimir Putin of Russia did indeed succeed in his efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump. But Mr. Putin's ultimate victory may have come on Thursday morning, during Attorney General Bill Barr's news conference.

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MFA:

The assumptions that culminated in Mr. Barr's conclusions began almost two years ago, when the White House, Trump supporters and the media characterized the focus of the special counsel's investigation as "collusion." The word "collusion" does not appear anywhere in Mr. Mueller's appointment letter: His mandate was to investigate any "links and/or coordination" between the Trump campaign and Russia. There is a good reason for this: "Collusion" is the legal equivalent of Jell-O. Outside of specific factual contexts -- such as price fixing in antitrust law -- the word "collusion" has no legal meaning or significance. In fact, in his report, Mr. Mueller explicitly stated that his conclusions were not about collusion, "which is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States code."

The Trump administration seized on this legal ambiguity early on, with the refrain that "collusion is not a crime." The standard set here is that anything falling below criminally chargeable behavior is acceptable. When it comes to the presidency, this is not true. The Constitution lays out the procedure for removing an unfit president from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Nevertheless, we took the bait: Collusion may not be a crime, lawyers and pundits responded, but conspiracy is. This "reflexive" response adopted criminality as the bar to be met.

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-19 08:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

So basically the alt-right (R)tarded hilljacks have low enough IQ's to believe the propaganda. Fox News has been radicalizing troglodytes that are dumber than a bag of hammers for over 2 decades.

#2 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2019-04-19 11:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Look at it any way you want, he needs to be impeached and we need to arrest everyone complicit in his crimes. We need to make sure no wannabe dictator ever tries this again. Trump needs to serve time for the good of the nation. That George W. Bush still walks freely enabled this crook, we can't just look the other way any more, Republican crooks need to pay for their very real crimes.

#3 | Posted by danni at 2019-04-22 07:13 AM | Reply

#2 | Posted by aborted_monson

When it is all you hear day in and day out and you are already inclined to agree with them you buy into the rhetoric. Collusion was a problem from the media terminology.

#4 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2019-04-22 10:51 AM | Reply

So basically the alt-right (R)tarded hilljacks have low enough IQ's to believe the propaganda. Fox News has been radicalizing troglodytes that are dumber than a bag of hammers for over 2 decades.

#2 | Posted by aborted_monson

And that's the essential problem that is destroying america - fox news. Trump would never have been elected without fox news making americans into gullible morons for the past 20 years.

#5 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 11:20 AM | Reply

"And that's the essential problem that is destroying america - fox news. Trump would never have been elected without fox news making americans into gullible morons for the past 20 years."

*face palm*

Liberals still trying to find everything they possibly can to place blame on everyone else instead of looking in the mirror. Trump became President because Liberals had no one better. Doesn't matter what one media outlet does or does not get people to believe. What matters is that the other side couldn't produce anyone that the masses would actually believe! Objective and non-hypocritical people actually understand the very easy fact that there exist many media outlets who spread much propaganda and that the gullibility of Americans has equal representation on both sides. This is so easy to understand, in fact, that one could arguably make the statement that what is destroying America are the non-objective, hypocritical people who blame all of the problems on one side or the other...and be more accurate.

#6 | Posted by humtake at 2019-04-22 11:55 AM | Reply

Liberals still trying to find everything they possibly can to place blame on everyone else instead of looking in the mirror. Trump became President because Liberals had no one better.

#6 | Posted by humtake

As bad as she was, Hillary was better clearly better than trump in every way.
Trump became president because fox news had spent 20 years making the morons think hillary is satan.

And it worked.

Don't deny what fox news is. Roger Ailes created it when he saw how nixon went down. He realized he if his buddy nixon had his own news network that could argue nixon's side, then he could have remained president. So ailes created that.

Fox news creates a world of delusion which ignores america's real problems and scares americans about small problems in order to get them to vote for the puppets of billionaires.

#7 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 01:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2


@#6 ... What matters is that the other side couldn't produce anyone that the masses would actually believe! ...

You mention "the masses."

I'll note that Pres trump lost the popular vote, i.e., the vote of "the masses."

But, along the point you appear to be trying to make, "the masses" believed candidate Trump and that is why he won.

Yet, as we have been finding out over the past year or so, a lot (most?) of what Pres Trump said during his campaign and at his campaign rallies was lies and fabrications.

So, using your logic, Pres Trump won because his supporters believed the lies he told.

#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 01:18 PM | Reply


@#6 ...Liberals had no one better ...

fmr Sec of State was a flawed candidate. During the campaign, I often commented on the amount of baggage she was carrying.

Candidate Trump was equally, if not more, flawed. I also tried to bring up the flaws during the campaign but, apparently, the supporters of candidate Trump preferred to believe his lies.

#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 01:20 PM | Reply

Thank god it's finally impeachment week, eh comrades?

#10 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2019-04-22 01:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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#10 - spamming every thread with your crap again, Dix.

#11 | Posted by YAV at 2019-04-22 01:58 PM | Reply

Maybe Putin wanted Trump because he had been compromised:

Michael McFaul @McFaul

Russian government/intel is perfectly capable of helping a target & compromising the target at the same time. Happens all the time. Why don't Trump supporters at least entertain the hypothesis that Putin wanted Trump to win AND to be compromised, deemed illegitimate, weak.

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 02:08 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Why is it spam to ask if it's finally time for impeachment now that the Mueller Report is out?

Lose much?

*yes*

#13 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2019-04-22 03:10 PM | Reply

#13 | Posted by DixvilleNotch

You ran away last week without answering the question dix:

Trump said russia didn't influence the election. The mueller report says they did.

Is the report a fraud or is trump a liar?

#14 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 03:17 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2


@#13 ... Why is it spam to ask if it's finally time for impeachment now that the Mueller Report is out? ...

I don't think it is time for impeachment at this point. I understand Mr Mueller will be testifying before Congress. I'd like to hear what he has to say.

Even then, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. So whether or not impeachment should occur has to be decided in a political environment.

The 2020 elections have turned our current political environment upside down.

#15 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 03:17 PM | Reply

Now that's spam, Speak. 20th time posting your navel gazing question?

Mueller's whole investigation is a fraud.

Get used to it.

#16 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2019-04-22 03:19 PM | Reply

More Trumpian logic:

The Mueller investigation that totally exonerated me is a fraud!

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 03:20 PM | Reply | Funny: 2 | Newsworthy 1

Now that's spam, Speak. 20th time posting your navel gazing question?

Mueller's whole investigation is a fraud.

Get used to it.

#16 | Posted by DixvilleNotch

You can insult the question but you can't answer it?

It's one of two things: Trump is lying when he said russia didn't help him in the election
or
The Mueller report somehow concluded russia helped trump when that didn't happen.

So which is it?

And why does this question terrify you so much?

#18 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 03:29 PM | Reply

"Russian government/intel is perfectly capable of helping a target & compromising the target at the same time. Happens all the time. Why don't Trump supporters at least entertain the hypothesis that Putin wanted Trump to win AND to be compromised, deemed illegitimate, weak."

According to the Mueller report, Trump was worried about compromising tapes months before he learned of the Steele dossier:

1. Those tapes: Footnote 112 (Volume II pg 27-28) describes conversations between Trump associates about rumored video recordings of the candidate in a Russian hotel room with prostitutes:

Two weeks before the election, the report says Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen received a text from a Georgian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, "Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there's anything else. Just so you know ..."

According to the Mueller report, the businessman said the "tapes" referred to "compromising tapes of Trump rumored to be held by persons associated with the Russian real estate conglomerate Crocus Group, which had helped host the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Russia.

The report and footnote do not give information on Trump's response to Cohen's alleged briefing on the matter, nor does it explain why Rtskhiladze wouldn't have told Cohen the tapes were fake.


abcnews.go.com

#19 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 03:33 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The Mueller investigation that totally exonerated me is a fraud!

#17 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday

Yeah, Gal. Started under knowingly false and misleading pretenses.

That's how you ended up two years later sweaty, panting, with nothing.

#20 | Posted by DixvilleNotch at 2019-04-22 03:41 PM | Reply

#19 IOW, Trump himself had heard about the possibility of compromising tapes and was worried about them coming out before the election. In terms of the Russians having kompromat on him, it didn't really matter if the tapes were real. What mattered is that Trump believed they could be.

#21 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 03:43 PM | Reply

How "Collusion" Appears in the Mueller Report

Because it has been my hobby for the last 2 years, let me remind you that what law enforcement authorities have been investigating -- with regards to the efforts of Donald Trump and his associates to optimize Russia's efforts to help Trump get elected -- has been conspiracy, not collusion. To show that Mueller's report does not comment on whether Trump "colluded" with Russia, I'm going to show how the word "collusion" appears in it.

Mueller was so determined to make this point clear he dedicated an entire section to saying he did not investigate "collusion."

www.emptywheel.net

#22 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 03:47 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


@#20 ... Started under knowingly false and misleading pretenses. ...

Even if that were correct ...

Does it cause to be incorrect all of the under-oath testimony and document-based evidence that was gathered, documented and reported?

#23 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 03:54 PM | Reply

Yeah, Gal. Started under knowingly false and misleading pretenses.

That's how you ended up two years later sweaty, panting, with nothing.

#20 | Posted by DixvilleNotch

Why is your cult always whining about how the investigation started? The FBI noticed contacts between the russians and trump, which is their job to notice. Why are you more upset that this was discovered than you are that it was happening?

And why do you keep dodging this question? I'm going to keep following you around with it until you answer it. Not because it's a big deal either way, but because your refusal to answer it now fascinates me:

Trump said russia didn't influence the election. The mueller report says they did.
Is the report a fraud or is trump a liar?

#24 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 04:01 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

-The mueller report says they did.

link?

#25 | Posted by eberly at 2019-04-22 04:04 PM | Reply

time.com

While the document chronicles the sweep of Russia's interference in the election and provides specific examples of the Trump team's sometimes-artless interactions with Russian officials, it is silent on a key unanswered question: did those Russian efforts actually swing the outcome of the 2016 contest?

It is perhaps no surprise that Mueller's report does not attempt to answer this politically charged issue. Quantifying the impact of Russia's influence operation is extremely difficult, as well as outside the core of the special counsel's mandate. While the facts marshaled by Mueller's investigators illustrate the scope of Russia's influence operation -- which included a social-media campaign and the hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails -- none of the new revelations threaten the validity of Trump's election victory.

#26 | Posted by eberly at 2019-04-22 04:14 PM | Reply


@#25 ... link? ...

Here ya go...
www.justice.gov

#27 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 04:15 PM | Reply

"Mueller's whole investigation is a fraud."

Oh I see.

In that case, Mueller fraudulently concluded "No Collusion!"

#28 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-04-22 04:18 PM | Reply

The NYT was running articles on collusion in mid-2017.

www.nytimes.com

#29 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2019-04-22 04:20 PM | Reply


@#29 ...The NYT was running articles on collusion in mid-2017. ...

Opinion editorials are not news articles.

#30 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 04:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If I were a democrat, I'd launch another investigation.

#31 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-04-22 04:29 PM | Reply

Opinion editorials are not news articles.
#30 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

Here, they're considered as undisputed facts.

#32 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2019-04-22 04:30 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"The NYT was running articles on collusion in mid-2017."

Yes, most outlets used the term, because as the article points out: "Nevertheless, we took the bait." Just as people started out saying Russia "meddled" in the election only to replace that over time with Russia "interfered" with the election, so, too, should people shift from using "no collusion" to "no (illegal) conspiracy" in light of the MR.

#33 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 04:32 PM | Reply

--If I were a democrat, I'd launch another investigation.

If I was a DR russiagate truther, I'd post another 4 threads. Keep hope alive!

#34 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-04-22 04:36 PM | Reply


@#26 ... Quantifying the impact of Russia's influence operation is extremely difficult, as well as outside the core of the special counsel's mandate. ... none of the new revelations threaten the validity of Trump's election victory. ...

The Time article excerpt you cite seems to note two things:

1) it was not in Mr Mueller's purview to quantify the impact of Russia's influence efforts

2) there is a difference between Russia trying to influence a campaign (which the article says they did), and that influence having an impact of the outcome of the campaign (the article says the influence did not affect the validity of Pres Trump's election victory)

#35 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 04:49 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

35

both fair points. completely agree.

I only posted to challenge this claim.....

"Trump said russia didn't influence the election. The mueller report says they did."

As you said....there is a difference. A difference speaksoftly hopes nobody recognizes...

#36 | Posted by eberly at 2019-04-22 04:52 PM | Reply

"1) it was not in Mr Mueller's purview to quantify the impact of Russia's influence efforts"

It's also important to note that Mueller's findings are not definitive, because there where key questions he couldn't/didn't answer:

Mueller never understood why Paul Manafort shared polling data with Russian intelligence asset Konstantin Kilimnik. If you're only going to read one section of the Russia-focused Volume 1, tune into pages 129 through 144. That's where Mueller lays out the still-puzzling actions of campaign chair Paul Manafort, and makes clear that Mueller might not have ever gotten to the bottom of the core question of a Trump-Russia conspiracy.

The final report is the first time that Mueller has ever addressed the incident, which only came to light because Manafort's lawyers are bad at technology. Mueller adds detail and breaks new ground by saying that the data-sharing "continued for some period of time," but comes up empty on the most important questions. "The Office could not reliably determine Manafort's purpose in sharing internal polling data with Kilimnik during the campaign period," Mueller writes, adding also that "the Office could not assess what Kilimnik (or others he may have given it to) did with it." Given that the polling data has always been one of the most suspicious actions during the campaign -- did Russia's Internet Research Agency use it to aid in their own targeting of American voters? -- that leaves a glaring hole in the center of the conspiracy investigation.

It's indicative of a point Mueller makes throughout the report. He remains puzzled, he writes, about the sheer volume of seemingly unnecessary lies that emanated from Trump world, and notes that his investigation was stymied by lying witnesses, deleted evidence, and the sheer complexity of investigating shadowy entities and people beyond the reach of US law enforcement. As Mueller phrased it, "While this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report."


www.wired.com

#37 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-04-22 04:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

If I were a democrat, I'd launch another investigation.

#31 | Posted by SheepleSchism

They already are. Volumes will be written about all trump's crimes.

Meanwhile you're whining about the people trying to shine light on corruption, instead of whining about corruption.

#38 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 05:02 PM | Reply


@#37 ... Mueller never understood why Paul Manafort shared polling data with Russian intelligence asset Konstantin Kilimnik. ...

I had been commenting all along that I was hoping that Mr Mueller's report would answer for me the big question on my mind... why did so many around candidate and Pres Trump lie so often and so extensively whenever the topic of Russia came up.

Mr Mueller's report (the parts I've been able to read so far, still lots to read) provides some insight into my question, but not the full explanation.

One supporter of Pres Trump here acknowledged at one point that one should not listen to Pres Trump's words, but watch his actions. The actions I saw were a Pres Trump trying to obstruct an investigation into his possible interactions with Russia.

So, instead of answering the question above, that I've been asking for months, now another question has been added --- why did Pres Trump risk so much in his attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation?

#39 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 05:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

why did Pres Trump risk so much in his attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation?

Two options (possibly both):

(1) He saw it as a stain on his presidency, and as an egomaniac he could not allow it to proceed;

(2) He and those around him engaged in criminal and/or questionable dealings with Russia that were worth covering up.

#40 | Posted by JOE at 2019-04-22 05:18 PM | Reply

#40 | Posted by JOE

Both of which mean he is unfit for office and would be impeached if republicans had any ethics or patriotism.

#41 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 05:23 PM | Reply

--why did Pres Trump risk so much in his attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation?

serious question.....what really was Trump risking?

#42 | Posted by eberly at 2019-04-22 05:58 PM | Reply

serious question.....what really was Trump risking?

#42 | Posted by eberly

Well obstruction of justice is a crime. So he's risking jail once he loses his "presidents are above the law" protection.

#43 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2019-04-22 06:02 PM | Reply


@#42 .... what really was Trump risking? ...

Legally? Obstruction of Justice is a crime, and Mr Mueller has laid out a rather strong evidence-based case in Volume II. My understanding is that there's a five year statute of limitations involved. So if he does not win reelection, he could face indictment. If he loses reelection, he could resign during the lame duck period, and the then Pres Pence could pardon him.

Politically? Too soon to tell.

#44 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-04-22 06:18 PM | Reply

There was collusion. But, collusion doesn't matter because its not a legal term except for price fixing in anti-trust law. Conspiracy with the Russian government to influence the election is a crime which requires proof of intent.

Trump won the election, but only because we have rampant Republican gerrymandering in swing States AND the ridiculous electoral college.

Putin was clearly happy with the 2016 outcome, primarily because it held the promise of lifting sanctions. Is this really Putin's triumph or too many people hungry for change in a system deliberately designed to thwart popular will?

Why do Trump's enemies want to give Putin so much credit? The Barr-Trump conflation of collusion and conspiracy may have have parallels in Russian history, but its hardly unique. The American post WWII propaganda machine has been the most successful at making the Russians look like villains and Americans look like good guys, when they both harbor Imperialist ambitions. Those machines are working in overdrive during Presidential campaigns.

Obama did not change the system and the public, conservatives and liberals, all understand the system is broken and requires change, even though they do not agree on the type of change that will deliver sustainable prosperity. Even Friedman and Marx agree that capitalism has inescapable highs and lows. That is not Obama's fault, but the public just wants results. That is a more powerful voter influence than anything Putin can do.

Russian interference is unacceptable and its impact is greatly exaggerated. Obama was correct to impose sanctions. The orange sloth has suspect allegiances and his rise is our greatest American tragedy, displacing BushII who held the previous title.

#45 | Posted by bayviking at 2019-04-22 07:36 PM | Reply

What a disservice you leftists have done to yourselves. Instead of being low-time-preference idiots, you could've been criticizing Trump's support of endless wars, unconditional support for the aggressive genocider Netanyahu, etc., yet you choose to focus on the fever-dream of impeaching him. 2020 is an election for the democrats to lose, yet you may well clench defeat from the jaws of victory. In any case I'll be supporting Tulsi Gabbard since she makes the most sense among the declared candidates. Aloha!

#46 | Posted by berserkone at 2019-04-22 11:36 PM | Reply

"Trump became president because fox news had spent 20 years making the morons think hillary is satan.

And it worked.

Like a charm. The Russians are still giddy with glee at the success of their operations.

Has Trumpy even publicly admitted that the Russians have hacked our systems and is still hacking away and that we need to take countermeasures? Now?

No??

By continually lying and denying that the Russians attacked our elections is COLLUSION by means of TACIT cooperation and outright APPROVAL ( and even coordination) of what the Russians did and what they are still doing.

#47 | Posted by donnerboy at 2019-04-23 09:55 AM | Reply

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