2016 Election

What Happened? A Horrible Candidate Lost

Featured image So far, I have refrained from weighing in on Hillary Clinton’s post-mortem, What Happened, even though, as one of the few pundits who predicted that Donald Trump would win the presidential election, I perhaps can claim at least some insight into what happened. Why did I foresee that Trump would win? Not because I anticipated or understood what became the Trump phenomenon. Rather, because I thought that Hillary was such »

Trump’s “Obama had my ‘wires tapped'” claim still not vindicated

Featured image Do reports (if true) that the government wiretapped Paul Manafort, including during times when he worked for candidate Trump, vindicate President Trump’s claims about the Obama administration wiring tapping his campaign? I don’t think so. To see whether Trump has been vindicated, we need to consider what he actually said about wiretapping. The tweet that generated the controversy said this: Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” »

On blaming the media for “what happened”

Featured image Hillary Clinton’s attempt to explain “what happened” in the 2016 election has been greeted with derision from many on the right and on the left. However, the folks at FiveThirtyEight defend both the effort and the product. In doing so, they give voice to an emerging complaint that the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets helped elect Donald Trump. I find it difficult to take this complaint seriously. »

Want to See a Real Nightmare?

Featured image Paul brings our attention below to the NY Post account of Hillary’s atrocious book debut in New York yesterday, and at this point in life I simply can’t be bothered to follow the rollout and howlers of Hillary’s latest apologia (her third in 15 years, I think?). I’ve already linked here before to my 2003 review of Hillary’s Living History, which apparently required six ghostwriters. I’ll just repair once more »

“What happened” in a nutshell

Featured image Hillary Clinton’s book about her 2016 defeat is called What Happened. Her answer, apparently, is that Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Barack Obama, the Russians, Joe Biden, James Comey, Anthony Weiner, the Electoral College, apathetic voters, and assorted misogynists behaved badly and/or let her down. A better answer can be gleaned from this account by Maureen Callahan of a book signing event in New York City. Callahan writes: Among the enduring »

Is the GOP establishment trying to nullify the 2016 election?

Featured image In an interview that will air tomorrow, Steve Bannon tells Charlie Rose that the Republican establishment is trying to “nullify” the 2016 election. There’s a lot I respect about Bannon, but this claim strikes me as false. The obvious problem with it is that every Republican member of the House was elected in 2016 or later. Indeed, since it’s impossible to win a House seat with fewer votes than one’s »

Was it a hack or a leak? (4)

Featured image We have followed the argument presented by Patrick Lawrence in the Nation asserting that the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email was rather an inside job. Lawrence explored the findings of the analysis supporting the thesis Democratic National Committee was not hacked by the Russians in July 2016, but rather suffered an insider leak. Lawrence’s article is here; the most recent report with the analysis summarized by Lawrence is »

CIA keeping a watchful eye on. . .its director!

Featured image This Washington Post story is called “At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally.” It sounds like the CIA is spying on its own director. If there is such a thing as the “deep state,” I think we have sighted it. According to Post reporter Greg Miller, “Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into »

It Takes A Distillery—or Three

Featured image Scott has mentioned the breathless anticipation for Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book What Happened, and my own anticipation sent me back to the review I wrote of Hillary’s 2003 memoir, Living History in the CRB, which began thus: Years ago I developed a standardized measurement for the agony involved in reading and reviewing tendentious books. I call it the “Donaldson Scale,” after Sam Donaldson of ABC News, whose book I once »

Speaking of drones

Featured image The tension mounts as we approach the official September 12 publication date of Madam Hillary’s forthcoming campaign memoir, What Happened?. Clinton released what is billed as an exclusive excerpt or two to her friends at MSNBC, where commentators’ eyes were moist with tears of rage on election night. Reading the excerpts, Clinton reveals that she was unnerved by Trump’s proximity to her during their October 9 debate at Washington University. »

Was it a hack or a leak? (3) [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Salon has a good column summarizing the argument presented by Patrick Lawrence in the Nation asserting that the alleged Russian hack of the DNC email was rather an inside job. It nicely complements our previous installments in this series. Author Danielle Ryan quotes the official DNC response to Lawrence’s Nation article provided to the Nation after publication and now appended to the article: U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Russian »

Collusion gone missing

Featured image The latest Washington Post collusion story is different from the others. The story is “Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings.” Last night Paul Mirengoff summarized and and deconstructed the story here. If you’ve been following the collusion hysteria, you won’t want to miss this story. The story comes in the accustomed form — under the byline of numerous Post heavy hitters (Tom Hamburger, Carol »

Was it a hack or a leak? (2)

Featured image Last week I noted Patrick Lawrence’s article on the the purported hack of the DNC email by the Russians in the run-up to last year’s election. Lawrence reported on the analysis presented by former intelligence officials who assert it was something else entirely. Lawrence’s article was posted under the heading “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.” Lawrence’s article includes relevant links. The analysis has been »

Trump campaign repeatedly rejected efforts to set up Russia meetings

Featured image The Washington Post reports that in 2016, a new member of the Trump foreign policy advisory committee sent emails to the Trump campaign urging that the candidate meet with top Russian leaders including Putin, but that the campaign repeatedly rejected this suggestion. The Post’s report is based on emails that it says were “read to The Post by a person with access to them.” The foreign policy adviser in question »

Was it a hack or a leak?

Featured image Yesterday the Nation posted Patrick Lawrence’s article on the the purported hack of the DNC email by the Russians in the run-up to last year’s election. Lawrence reports the analysis by former intelligence officials who assert it was something else entirely. Lawrence’s article was posted under the heading “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack.” The “report” comes in form of open letters to the president »

Today in collusion [with comment by Paul]

Featured image President Trump thinks he can talk his way out of any situation or tight spot. He is not unique in thinking truth no obstacle. He seems to have thought he could help Donald Trump, Jr. talk his way out of the embarrassing New York Times story on the June 16 meeting of Trump Jr. et al. last year with Natalia V. et al. in search of incriminating information on Hillary »

Epstein’s assessment

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is the author of several books on Soviet/Russian intelligence-related matters including Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald, Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA, Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer and, most recently, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft. In the July 1974 Commentary essay “Did the press uncover Watergate?” Ed correctly deduced the identity »