Russia

Russian bots were a non-factor in 2016

Featured image Michael Moore’s appearance at an anti-Trump rally organized by Russian meddlers illustrates how inconsequential Russian meddling, at least in the form discussed in the recent Mueller indictment, was. Sure, Moore would not have attended this particular rally absent Russian meddling because, absent such meddling, the rally apparently would not have occurred. But did Russia influence Moore’s view of Trump? Of course not. Did Russia influence Moore’s willingness to express his »

Once upon a time in America, Part Two

Featured image The Washington Post takes up the same theme raised by Charles Lane on Fox News — President Trump’s tendency to compare himself favorably to Barack Obama. Post reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker cite the same statement Lane did — Trump’s claim that “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.” Like Lane, Rucker and Parker choose their words carefully when they contend that »

Trump’s right, he has been tougher on Russia than Obama was

Featured image Today, President Trump tweeted: “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.” Trump’s enemies may not like to read this, but the statement is true. Jonah Goldberg, neither a friend nor an enemy of Trump, thinks so too. Having looked at the facts, he writes: Barack Obama sold out our Eastern European allies on missile defense. He slow-walked aid to Ukraine and did little »

CNN and MSNBC Promoted Russian Anti-Trump Rally

Featured image Who can keep up with the news these days? Not me. This story is a day old, but too entertaining to pass up: CNN and MSNBC promoted Russia’s anti-Trump rally in New York on November 12, 2016, just after the election. Scott has already noted that Michael Moore was a prominent figure at the Russia-sponsored rally outside Trump Tower. But Moore wasn’t the only one to fall in enthusiastically with »

New York Times: Russian meddling was drop in an ocean

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote that Russia’s efforts during the 2016 election season to sow discord in the electorate and to libel certain candidates were surely inconsequential, given the amount of garbage with which Americans themselves contaminate our politics. Suggesting that Russia’s efforts affected the outcome or even, appreciably, the tenor of this election “is like saying that dropping a bucket of water into the sea affected the tide,” I concluded. This »

What Were the Russians Up To?

Featured image John has offered his take on the Mueller news just below. Here’s my first pass at it: The indictment of 13 Russians handed down today by special prosecutor Robert Mueller is going to dominate the news cycle at least through the weekend and likely beyond. This is a “Groundhog Day” event, assuring at least six more weeks (if not months) of the Trump-Russia story line. The indictment provides details of »

Feel Good Headline of the Day

Featured image The New York Times has this headline up at the moment: From the story: MOSCOW — Four Russian nationals, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in fighting between pro-government forces in eastern Syria and members of the United States-led coalition fighting the Islamic State, according to Russian and Syrian officials. A Syrian military officer said that about 100 Syrian soldiers had been killed in the fighting on Feb. 7 and »

The coming Israel-Iran clash in Syria, the Russia angle

Featured image Herb Keinon, writing in the Jerusalem Post, argues that Russia could be a big loser if, as seems increasingly likely, Israel is drawn into a fight with Iran in Syria. He explains: Russia moved forces into Syria in 2015 with one purpose in mind: Save Syrian President Bashar Assad. And since then, Moscow has spent billions of rubles and spilled Russian blood to do just that: Help the Assad regain »

A bad penny turns up again

Featured image Sid Blumenthal, widely known as Sid Vicious, is the bad penny of American political life. He keeps turning up in major scandals — e.g., the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair and the Libya fiasco. In addition, as Eli Lake has pointed out, we learned of Hillary Clinton’s private email server because Blumenthal’s own e-mail was breached by Marcel Lehel Lazar, a Romanian hacker who goes by the moniker Guccifer. Therefore, we »

Mueller subpoenas Bannon [UPDATED]

Featured image The New York Times reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify before a grand jury as part of the free-wheeling investigation of many things Trump. The Times speculates that Mueller would be willing to forgo the grand jury appearance if Bannon agrees to be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting. It’s also possible that Mueller thinks Bannon would prefer to testify pursuant to »

Making sense of the Steele criminal referral

Featured image Yesterday, Scott discussed the referral of Christopher Steele to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. The referral was made by Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham. The crimes Steele may (or may not) have committed are violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, based on “false statements investigators have reason to believe Steele made to them about the distribution of claims contained in the [anti-Trump Russia] dossier.” Note that Sens. Grassley »

Papadopoulos or the dossier?

Featured image The New York Times reports that the impetus for the FBI’s investigation of suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was not the anti-Trump dossier, but rather statements made by George Papadopoulos. He was the young Trump campaign staffer who later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. According to the Times, after a heavy night of drinking, Papadopoulos told Australia’s top diplomat in Britain that Russia had political »

Trump “colludes” with Ukraine against Russia

Featured image On Wednesday, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has for the first time approved the commercial sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. The Obama administration had refused to issue export licenses for lethal weapons. Initial reports, including the Post’s, were that the sales to Ukraine would not encompass heavier weaponry such »

On DNC/FBI/Russia Collusion, the CIA and NSA Played a Part Too

Featured image As Scott noted earlier today, Andy McCarthy has written a definitive summary of what we know now about the collusion among the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, Fusion GPS, Steele and the Putin regime to 1) prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidential election, and 2) undermine his administration post-election. I can’t urge you strongly enough to read Andy’s NRO article. I want to add this footnote: the politicized leaders »

Another errant anti-Trump hit piece from the Washington Post

Featured image Fresh off of its triumph in the Alabama Senate race, the Washington Post returns to its primary mission — taking down the President of the United States. It does so in a piece called (in the paper edition) “How Trump’s pursuit of Putin has left the U.S. vulnerable to the Russia threat.” The hit piece, by Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, and Phillip Rucker, takes up five pages in the front »

Strzok on prospect of a Trump presidency: “We can’t take that risk”

Featured image Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller reports on what might prove to be the most revealing text message exchange between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both of the FBI. On August 25, 2016, Strzok texted Page: I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an »

“Democracy dies in artificial sunlight”

Featured image That’s the subtitle of an article in PJ Media by Michael Walsh, a play on the Washington Post’s pretentious slogan. The title is “The end of media history and the last honest man,” a play on Francis Fukayama’s famous book. I don’t know whether our democracy will die in the artificial sunlight emitted by the mainstream media — the fake news media, as many now call it — but MSM »