Vladimir Putin

And now, the Putin factor

Featured image Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports that Tucker Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Vladimir Putin shortly before Tucker accused the National Security Agency of monitoring his electronic communications for nefarious purposes — according to “sources familiar with the conversations.” Draw your own conclusions from this: The NSA’s public statement didn’t directly deny that any Carlson communications had been swept up by the agency. • »

Washington Post confesses error on the Russia collusion story

Featured image It’s not an explicit confession of error, of course, but consider this line that appears well into a report about Joe Biden’s meeting with Vladimir Putin: “Putin’s high hopes for Trump delivered little for Moscow.” How can that be? The Post, the Democrats, and more than a few Never Trumpers told us that Trump colluded with Putin. Had that been true, Trump would have delivered for Moscow or else been »

Those 16 sectors

Featured image Whatever President Biden had to say at his press conference after his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva yesterday, it wasn’t worth the price. The price, that is, of giving Putin a stage on which to disparage the United States with a variety of left-wing talking points. Moreover, if Biden said to Putin what he said he said — the White House has posted the text of Biden’s comments here »

Navalny speaks

Featured image I wrote about Vladimir Putin’s poisoning of Alex Navalny in “Inside Putin’s underpants op.” It’s an incredible story. For background I recommend Leonid Bershidsky’s January 18 Bloomberg column “Navalny vs. Putin is an epic existential battle.” Perhaps even more incredible is Navalny’s subsequent return to Russia. Bershidsky’s column on Navalny’s return is here. Having returned to Russia, Navalny has now been sentenced to prison for three and a half years. »

Inside Putin’s underpants op

Featured image I don’t recall reading anything like Paul Roderick Gregory’s Hill column — “The Kremlin, FSB, and the ‘Berlin patient’s’ underpants” — and related news stories. The Coen Brothers could turn it to good use in a film like Burn After Reading. Gregory tells how Vladimir Putin’s would-be assassination victim Aleksei Navalny extracted an account of the operation from the failed FSB assassin Konstantin Kudryavtsev himself. In a four-hour December 17 »

Notice this (2)

Featured image It is simply false to assert that we rely on Bill Browder’s word for the facts related to the torture and murder of Sergei Magnitsky. We have Magnitsky’s own account preserved in diary and court records, among other things and we have the witnesses who can be heard in Justice for Sergei, the documentary film I have embedded below. Several versions of the film can be viewed free of charge »

Trump’s incredible take on Putin’s “incredible offer”

Featured image I’ve commented on two appalling aspects of Trump’s Helsinki news conference — his placing equal blame on the United States for the problematic state of Russian–American relations and his refusal to side with his own intelligence appointees on the matter of Russia’s cyberespionage. Andy McCarthy finds it even more mind-boggling that Trump touted Putin’s “incredible offer” to have Robert Mueller’s team come to Russia to work with Russian investigators regarding »

What Putin was up to

Featured image In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Mukasey questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on the eve of the Helsinki summit. I discussed the matter here. In the same op-ed, Mukasey made another important point, one that has influenced my thinking on Russian interference since January 2017, when an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably »

Putin does Fox News

Featured image Vladimir Putin sat down for a 30-minute interview with Chris Wallace for broadcast on FOX News yesterday. Putin is of course an extraordinarily cold-blooded liar and murderer. See, for example, David Satter’s The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep. I thought that Putin’s qualities of character emerged with some clarity in the course of the interview. Putin’s treatment of responsibility for Russian interference in the 2016 election is of »

Are you sure Frank done it this way?

Featured image First Vladimir Putin and then President Trump gave statements following their meeting in Helsinki yesterday. I have posted the video below (about 47 minutes); the White House has posted a transcript of the entire event. Angelo Codevilla makes a contrarian case for Trump’s performance in a column for American Greatness, but I thought it was a low point in the Trump presidency. In the questions and answers, President Trump name-checked »

For Trump, the Political Is Personal

Featured image As so often happens, President Trump’s critics are so crazy that one feels compelled to take his side. Thus, former Communist and CIA Director John Brennan tweeted earlier today: This is simply insane. Other Democrats, not going as far as Brennan, say that Trump “gave away the store,” or made inappropriate concessions to President Putin. But there is no evidence that Trump gave anything away in his meeting with Putin, »

Trump plays the useful idiot in Helsinki

Featured image I agree with Steve’s characterization of President Trump’s performance in Helsinki as “extraordinarily dismal.” “Disgusting” might be an even better description. The performance was disgusting in at least two ways. First, Trump blamed the poor state of U.S. relations on the U.S. He tweeted: Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt! Trump is right »

Trump in Helsinki

Featured image I have been wanting for at least a couple of months to start a thread/series involving the whole Power Line team on “Ten [or 15, or 20] Ways to Think About Trump,” as this maddening, erratic, seemingly undisciplined, cantankerous, disruptive, sometimes brilliant, often embarrassing, and always unpredictable man rampages on the world stage, much of the time to good effect—at least so far. Too soon to tell, for example, whether »

Trump previews Syrian strike

Featured image In his his fourth tweet this morning President Trump provides a striking (no pun intended) preview of coming attractions in Syria. The theme of “collusion” grows more absurd every day. Trump advises his supposed buddy Putin: “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Speaking of the Putin-Assad partnership, this brings us to the first of “Five catastrophic decisions” logged by Victor »

On Putin’s case

Featured image In its September 2009 number GQ carried an interesting article by Scott Anderson on the September 1999 apartment bombings in Russia that left hundreds dead and led to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. The piece profiled former Russian FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin and collected evidence suggesting that the bombings were perpetrated by the FSB rather than by Chechen terrorists. It was the kind of intriguing investigative piece that most publications »

Are you sure Alger done it this way?

Featured image The Mueller project continues on its inevitable path, yet every day the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal appears more absurd. It appears more absurd every day not only because of the absence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, but also because of the actions undertaken by the administration adverse to Russian national interests. The Frankenstein monster nevertheless lumbers on. Yesterday the Trump administration designated five Russian entities and 19 Russian individuals under »

What is to be done?

Featured image Russia’s attempted murder of former Russian spy Serge Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil is an act of war, isn’t it? Austin Bay takes up the question here. I take it that if it’s not, it may be close enough for government work. Someone remind me. What did President Obama do about Iran’s attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Whatever it »