I really hate to be angry.

Anger is such an overrated, unhealthy and wasted emotion. Just Google the word anger and you will find getting angry causes your blood pressure and breathing to increase, your heart to beat faster and your pupils to dilate.

So, when a very real indictment against Russian internet trolls was announced by the U.S. Deputy Attorney General for manipulating Americans with social media lies, I said, “Thank you, Jesus!” Now I can finally stop being angry at my online friends when I read their sometimes stupid posts and reposts of just plain crazy stuff.

The Russians made them do it!

This indictment was actually great news to me. I have yet to unfollow anyone on Facebook — but I have come very close. What stops me is that I know these folks to all be good people. When I ask them for help, they are ready to assist; when we socialize, we have great fun; and we pray together. So ultimately, I am putting the value of personal relationships above judging a friend for being duped by Russian internet trolls.

I believe in surrounding myself with positive-thinking people who also have great, compassionate hearts. I assess their credibility on their one-on-one interactions with me. Social media has made it so convenient for us to press a paste and post button of some unverified article because it reinforced our negative stereotype of people, or extreme ideology without thinking of the impact it might have on our real life friends.

I sometimes wish we still had a Pony Express to get news. At least then I could catch my breath and reflect. The reality is we are being bombarded second-by-second by negative news sucking us of our positive energy and challenging our faith in friends.

This news is overwhelming, and in this social media era, I am ill-equipped to determine what is real or not. At least the indictment warns me that there are people seeking to turn us against each other at a time when we need to turn to each other.

Evan Osnos of The New Yorker wrote “the indictment ... offers a classic playbook for manipulating American democracy using a mix of classic espionage, private sector social media tools and partisan ideology.”

So, the tactics of the Russians to weaken us have not really changed since the Cold War days — they have only improved.

I recall our Cold War era nuclear bomb drills when the alarm would sound, and we all would immediately hide under our desks as if that would somehow save us from a nuclear bomb.

Today, I will start a different drill in this era of unverified social media news. I will only post positive messages, a daily meditation and probably cooking recipes.

I don’t think the Russian trolls are posting food tips yet. They just want to poison our faith in each other.

Joe Compian lives in La Marque.

Locations

(113) comments

David Smith

It calming to know what some have known all along.. Trump didnt have a thing to do with it... meanwhile.. millions of dollars ( and 18 months)have been wasted on the Salem witch trials of the 21st century ... all because the Americans voted to keep the lunatic out of office..Trump won by default..at some point the investigation should be annulled

Emile Pope

Actually that has not been proven. One thing for sure is that trump's son met with Russian operatives and his campaign manager kept close ties with Moscow. Saying that there was no conspiring with Russia before the investigation has concluded is irresponsible. And why is trump trying to hard to halt the investigation when the other investigations involving Democrats were allowed to drag on for years? If he has nothing to hide then let the investigation continue. And how can it be a "witch hunt" when there have been indictments, arrests, and guilty pleas?

Carlos Ponce

Indictments:
Alex van der Zwaan, a process crime, not for anything done during the campaign.
Michael Flynn - another process crime indictment.
George Papadopoulos - another process crime indictment.
Paul Manafort and Richard Gates indicted for tax evasion not involving Trump. And the case dates back to 2005.
IS THAT ALL THEY HAVE???? Sounds like a WITCH HUNT!

Jim Forsythe

With a new indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers filed , special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has either indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies .

That group is composed of four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty.

All in a little over a year. More to come. .

1) George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.

2) Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI.

3) Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted in October in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements — all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts. Then, in February, Mueller filed a new case against him in Virginia, with tax, financial, and bank fraud charges.

4) Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.

5-20) 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies were indicted on conspiracy charges, with some also being accused of identity theft. The charges related to a Russian propaganda effort designed to interfere with the 2016 campaign. The companies involved are the Internet Research Agency, often described as a “Russian troll farm,” and two other companies that helped finance it. The Russian nationals indicted include 12 of the agency’s employees and its alleged financier, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

21) Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

22) Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine.

23) Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case this year.

24-35) 12 Russian GRU officers: These officers of Russia’s military intelligence service were charged with crimes related to the hacking and leaking of leading Democrats’ emails in 2016.

Emile Pope

32 indictments and 5 guilty pleas???!!! Apparently your definition of a witch hunt conflicts with reality...

Carlos Ponce

"making false statements to the FBI.' PROCESS CRIME!!!!!!
Here's the way it works out.
FBI: Jim, Where were you on Monday April 4, 1965?
Jim: I was in school.
FBI: You're LYING to the FBI!!!!! April 4, 1965 was a SUNDAY!
Jim: But you said...
FBI: Doesn't matter what we said. What matters is what YOU'VE said.
Process Crime. They interrogate you over and over and over again. Deviate one IOTA from the original answer and they can file felony charges against you!

Carlos Ponce

Jim, some of the indictments against the Russians are for Russian companies that DID NOT EXIST AT THE TIME.
"Special Counsel Robert Mueller was fact-checked by a federal judge over an egregious mistake in federal count when it was revealed one of the Russian companies he accused of meddling in the 2016 election did not exist during the time period he alleged it did. It was one three Russian companies Mueller went after."

Carlos Ponce

Emile posts:"32 indictments and 5 guilty pleas???!!! Apparently your definition of a witch hunt conflicts with reality..."
The indictments are against Russians, even a Russian company which did not exist at the time. The Americans plead guilty to process crimes and tax evasion from 13 years prior. This is a WITCH HUNT!!!!!!!!!!

George Croix

Jim, which of those items on your laundry list has anything to do with Trump 2016b Campiagn 'collusion' with the Russians, that little thingy that the Mueller investigation was formed for?
You can count the number on no fingers.....
Of course, it makes for good sound bites for anyone not paying attention.....

Jim Forsythe


If you are ok with someone making false statements to the FBI , so be it. But that not all they have plead guilty to.
George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI.
Charged with conspiracy, money laundering tax, financial, and bank fraud charges. We will find out after his trials.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, was indicted in October in Washington, DC on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and false statements — all related to his work for Ukrainian politicians before he joined the Trump campaign. He’s pleaded not guilty on all counts. Then, in February, Mueller filed a new case against him in Virginia, with tax, financial, and bank fraud charges.
Pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.
Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.
Pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge .
Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.
Pleaded guilty.
Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine.
Konstantin Kilimnik: This longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates, who’s currently based in Russia, was charged alongside Manafort with attempting to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses in Manafort’s pending case this year.
The group is composed of four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty.


Jim Forsythe

Above is answer to Carlos.

Jim Forsythe

George, the investigation is not over yet. It was formed to" investigate the Russian government′s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including investigation of any possible links or/and coordination between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, "and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." This could include Hillary. If no link is found to someone , they have nothing to worry about.

Carlos Ponce

Jim::"If you are ok with someone making false statements to the FBI , so be it. "
Apparently the concept of a PROCESS CRIME is beyond your comprehension.

Jim Forsythe


PROCESS CRIMEs, is not all they are charged with.

Are you OK with someone making false statements to the FBI? You can call it anything you want, but it is still lying!
If you are OK with that, so be it! A process crime is not something to be proud of. You can go to prison, and it is still a crime, in this case against the USA. " Paul Manafort faces up to 80 YEARS in jail after pleading not guilty to $75m money-laundering charges" .
Apparently the concept of right and wrong, is beyond your comprehension.

"Informally, in criminal procedure, process crime is an offense charged by a prosecutor alleging criminal conduct related to an investigation of a crime, but not to the crime itself"


Emile Pope

You'd figure that with all of the talk and investigations about trump conspiring with Russia that trump would avoid them like the plague, but he keeps embracing and flattering him, taking the word of a KGB operative over the word and proof of American investigators. He even takes Putin over our allies. What a way to show that all the conspiring talk was just false...

George Croix

Awwww....c'mooonnnnn......
That's the same kind of deflection that the forum trolls do....don't be like them....
I call BS Jim. You KNOW dam_ good and well I'm not OK with anyone lying to the FBI.
You ALSO know dam_ good and well that NONE of the 'indictments' or 'charges' have been for Trump 2016 Campaign 'collusion'. Which is what the 'probe' was started for.

If YOU are being investigated for tax evasion and in the course of that the IRS determines that your boss was not deducting your taxes properly, and then he lied to the IRS about that, are YOU the one at fault???
Is an indictment against that boss 'proof' that you are involved because the findings and lying by him were during a probe of you?
No.
Same principle with Mueller.
You KNOW that.
The people who committed a crime SHOULD be charged.
The way the legal system is supposed to work, though, is there is evidence of a crime, and an invetsigation is started to find who did it. NOT that it's decided to hold an investigation of someone then try to find criminal activity to support that.
AND only the biggets liars on the planet could deny that right now, and for the last 2 years KNOWN evidence of crimes by one former candidate are being ignored while zero evidence of any are played up daily for the other.
OK with lying to the FBI, you asked?

Carlos Ponce

Jim posts: "Are you OK with someone making false statements to the FBI? You can call it anything you want, but it is still lying!"
FBI agents say some of those indicted were not deliberately lying.
"Wait–The FBI Agents Who Interviewed Michael Flynn Didn't Think He Lied To Them?"
https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2018/02/13/waitthe-fbi-agents-who-interviewed-michael-flynn-didnt-think-he-lied-n2448344
"FBI Memos: Journalists Colluded with Andrew Weissmann on Paul Manafort Investigation"
https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/11/fbi-memos-journalists-colluded-weissmann-manafort-investigation/
"Paul Manafort accuses Mueller team member of leaking to reporters"
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/21/politics/manafort-leaks-andrew-weissman/index.html

Emile Pope

Siding with Russia over our allies and taking the word of the KGB over the FBI? Someone apparently didn't read Orwell's "Animal Farm"...

Carlos Ponce

Emile: "Siding with Russia over our allies" No he didn't. He criticized both. He praised both. He pulled no punches.
"and taking the word of the KGB over the FBI?" Not the rank and file of the FBI. They're lining up read to testify against the upper echelons of the FBI. FBI v FBI !
"Someone apparently didn't read Orwell's 'Animal Farm'.."
"Animal Farm" is designed to show the fallacies if Stalinism. George Orwell considered himself a democratic socialist. The animals start out with a socialist agenda which quickly becomes communist showing the fallacies of each. Socialism became the slippery slope towards totalitarianism in the book.
Emile's post is a take on "1984" where facts are changed and distorted to fit the Party's false narrative.

Jim Forsythe

Pleading guilty, means they agree that they lied, and are guilty. If they were not guilty, they should not have agreed to this . Making up reasons after pleading, does not change the fact that they are guilty. They had there time before the court.
Unless making false statements to the FBI is OK with you, they are guilty . If it is OK with you, so be .
George Papadopoulos, former Trump ,campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty in December to making false statements to the FBI.
Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign aide and Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, was indicted on similar charges to Manafort. But in February he agreed to a plea deal with Mueller’s team, pleading guilty to just one false statements charge and one conspiracy charge.
Alex van der Zwaan: This London lawyer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Rick Gates and another unnamed person based in Ukraine

Pleading guilty to identity theft charge makes him a good guy, and is OK with you?
Richard Pinedo: This California man pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge in connection with the Russian indictments, and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

Emile Pope

Sad to watch the president taking the side of Russia against his own intelligence community. Apparently the tape is real...

Jim Forsythe

"I call BS Jim. You KNOW dam_ good and well I'm not OK with anyone lying to the FBI."
As I was talking to Carlos , i did say that to him. I was not directing it to you. If your impression is that I did say that you, I apologize. I know that you do not agree with anyone lying.
"You ALSO know dam_ good and well that NONE of the 'indictments' or 'charges' have been for Trump 2016 Campaign 'collusion'. Which is what the 'probe' was started for."
The 'indictments' or 'charges' fall under(ii) "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation and (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
The authorization by Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein to Mueller read:
(a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice.
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including: (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.

"for the last 2 years KNOWN evidence of crimes by one former candidate are being ignored" Who can ask for a investigation into Hillary, for anything to do with the Federal government? The people that can, have not done so.
The President, is one that make that happen. Why has he not done so? Is he waiting for the Democrats to do it?

Carlos Ponce

"Pleading guilty, means they agree that they lied, and are guilty. If they were not guilty, they should not have agreed to this."
Let's say Jim is 71 years old but under extended questioning you slip and say you are 70. Have you lied? Technically, yes. Such is the nature of a process crime.
What did Michael Flynn LIE about?
He told the agents that he “did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution,” and that the ambassador didn’t tell Flynn about Russia’s response to the request. The Washington Post reported in February that Flynn denied discussing sanctions against Russia with the ambassador.
The federal prosecutors also said that Flynn lied about a second conversation with the ambassador, which took place on December 29, 2016. He told the agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” He also told them he did not recall the ambassador’s then agreeing “to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.”
https://www.newsweek.com/michael-flynn-charged-special-counsel-russia-investigation-728304
Do any of these actions violate the law? No. After hours of questioning it is easy to get confused. Who did I talk to, what did I say and on what date? Add to this threats to go after his son. It wears heavy on ANYONE.
“But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right. My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the special counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and our country. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Dan Freeman

As usual Mr. Ponce has invented a crime. Lying to the FBI is a felony, to which Mr. Van Zwann, General Flynn, Mr. Gates and Mr. Papadopoulos have confessed.

Mr. Pinedo has confessed to identity theft.

Mr. Manafort was the Trump campaign manager and has been indicted for tax evasion and being an unregistered foreign lobbyist.

Twenty five Russian nationals including 12 members of the GRU have been indicted for interfering with the 2016 election.

At Mr. Putin's bidding, Mr. Trump continues to deny the Russian involvement in the election. What will it take to convince you he does not have our best interests?

Gary Miller

Emile? Arrests, and guilty pleas? In cities across America hundreds of thousands each day having nothing to do with Trump, Russians or the election. Most of Mullers results rank lower than a local cops arrest of a parking violator. The manufactured charges are even less.

Carlos Ponce

Let's see what happens with those "felonies".[beam]
So 12 Russians have been indicted. They're what's called PR Indictments. Indictments that Mueller thought would never have to be prosecuted. But one of he companies showed up asking for the Evidence. "UH, UH, UH, UH. UH...." And another company did not even exist at the time. More "UH, UH, UH, UH. UH...." And now Putin has invited Mueller to go to Moscow and investigate those indictments. More "UH, UH, UH, UH. UH...."

Gary Scoggin

I think there is no doubt that the Russian government attempted, in a very sophisticated way, to impact the 2016 election in favor of Mr. Trump. Some of Mr. Trumps aids (including his son) nay have taken some really stupid meetings involving Russia but I don’t think their activities rise to the level of collusion. Like the old saying says, “Never attribute to evil that which can be explained by stupidity.”

Jim Forsythe

WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday ordered accused Russian agent Maria Butina jailed until her trial after U.S. prosecutors argued she has ties to Russian intelligence and poses a serious flight risk.

George Croix

The only really newsworthy thing to come out of the entire Mueller investigation to date is that millions of Americans slept through Junior High history classes and missed that Russia has been doing all they can to destablize EVERY country they are at odds with since the 1917 revolution. Same MO, just better tech now.
If you're dumb enough to be suckered that easily, then maybe you need to be investigated yourself....

[whistling][rolleyes]

Gary Scoggin

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t investigate to understand how Russia attacked us, how we can defend against it, and how we can hold those responsible accountable.

George Croix

Ok, Gary. I'm all for that. Question is, how??
How do you defend against stupidity?
When you've got millions of all stripes who eagerly slobber up anything they see posted on social media or the internet, or give their passwords to unverified entities,how do you defend that?
How do you hold anyone responsible when they are not here to be held??
It's like saying we should try to find how to have world peace.
Can't hurt to try, but based on human nature, what is the certain outcome?
Look at the carefully timed latest 'indictments'....ALL show.....just another effort by the Justice Dept. via Rosenstein (or Mueller) to blow things up, as there is ZERO chance that ANY of the indictees will ever be extradited to stand trial, and as such they are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, are they not....and on top of it all not a single indictment so far of anybody has anything to do with the original subject of the Mueller investigation, where we changed the rules and decided first to investigate a person and then look for a crime he may have committed......
Each day it looks ever more like just an ongoing effort not to actually accomplish the investigation's initial goal, that having proven fruitless, but to gin up any justification for Hilalry losing besides what a terrible candidate she was....and will be again in 2020......
If we want to do something to hold responsible the people who are directly taking advantage of the United States we should slap trade tarrifs on our 'allies' and enemies who are screwing us to death with the imbalances and hacking our technology daily......oh, wait, the President we hate has done that, and we hate him for that, too......

Ray Taft

All those folks recently indicted are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty under our justice system.

But in the justice system of establishment elites, Democrats and NeverTrump RINOs, they are all already guilty and so is Trump because that is the way they want it to be.

The Muller investigation is a politically motivated witch-hunt perpetrated by insiders to overturn the election of Trump to the White House. It is an obvious attempt at a coup by a group of corrupt officials. May God deal with them and their cronies severely.

Gary Miller

Trump or Hillary? Which deserves the longest sentence? Trump gets eight years of attacks by enraged progressives. Hillary earns "life until dead" in Levenworth.

Dan Freeman

Ms Clinton has not been and will not be indicted because there is no probable cause of any crime. Many of Mr Trump's gang of thieves and Russians will go to jail for confessed crimes. There is still no such thing as a process crime.

George Croix

Ask the Navy sailor who spent a year in the pokey for violating the Espionage Act, WITHOUT any intent to do so, about probable cause. He served a year of three(?) before his pardon, for a couple of accidental background pictures of a submarine. He didn't even have top secret info swirling around the internet on unsecured devices and servers.
Intent is not required, except when the fix is in....thank goodness for that accidental tarmac meeting 'fix' after only a half hour wait for the accident....[beam][beam][beam]

Carlos Ponce

"Ms Clinton has not been and will not be indicted ..."
Just wait and see. [beam]

Jarvis Buckley

There is not one person that has written damning words about our president in this comment section that is not better off now that Pres. Trump is our President . Sad.

George Croix

Hey, Jim...this string of replies is so long I got lost...MY apologies to you.....
That's my third mistake this year, and it's only July.........[beam][beam][beam][beam]

Gary Scoggin

So how do you guys rate President Trump’s lack of pushing Putin about Russian interference and his subsequent comments? A, B, C, F? High points? Low points?

Steve Fouga

I've long felt (since about July, 2016) that President Trump and his campaign cohorts colluded with the Russians to secure the presidency, and his performance alongside Putin today did nothing to change my mind.

The high point for me was Putin's reaction when a reporter asked if he had compromising material on Trump.

George Croix

Then you really loved the 'more flexibility' exchange with Putin's Ambassador...
[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

Emile Pope

F-minus. Pandering to Russia, attacking our allies, and taking the word of a KGB agent over the US intelligence operatives is despicable and traitorous. The Siberian Candidate...

George Croix

I think Pres. Trump gets a D- for bungling his answer.....badly.....
But, i also think what he SHOULD have done, imo, is just stared at the 'reporter' who asked him the 'have you stopped beating your wife yet' type question right in front of a foreign leader and asked him if his Momma ever taught him any manners. But, I expect nothing better than 'gotchas' from what passes for 'reporting' these days.
Makes one miss the old days when 'reporters' asked our ex-Pres, such probing questions as 'what's your favorite color'....
When you consider that not just the Russians tried to direct 2016 election opinion but our own FBI and Justice Dept. were actively involved in doing the same at the highest levels it's no great stretch to have no faith in either at the top levels right now.
What IS worth an A+ is how Chuck Schumer managed to have a 5 minute prepared speech and a news conference to publicize it all ready to go within minutes of The Bungle....almost like it was already set up.....
Set up?
Naaahhhh......that would be collusion with the press.......[beam]
Well, we didn't elect a politician, which is one reason we've seen a huge economic improvement over the last one we did elect.....
I only wish the same outrage, the 'treason', had been expressed when our President was on foreign soil blaming America for the world's ills. Seems to me like expressing disdain for and no faith in your entire country is worse than having the same for rogue agents....
But, that's just me.
We'll see what happens in the next 6 1/2 years.....
If Pres. Trump doesn't get any smoother, he can expect to be constantly hammered from all sides.....same as already....

Jim Forsythe

This sum's it up .
"Trump sided with his Russian counterpart by openly questioning his own intelligence agencies' findings that Moscow was behind the 2016 U.S. elections.
"President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be," said the U.S. president.".

I think by focusing on Mueller and not focusing on the US and Russia that Trump came off looking weak.
Very few in Congress are saying anything positive, and even one of his strongest supporters did not like it.
Newt Gingrich
President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.

Mike Zeller

"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???" John Brennan. Sounds about right !!!

Carlos Ponce

John Brennan is a nutter who has voted Communist. A political hack who should never have become CIA director.
"John Brennan Misses Communist Russia - He calls Trump a dupe, but Brennan actually was one for the Soviets."
https://spectator.org/john-brennan-misses-communist-russia/

Gary Scoggin

Your source is an unsourced article from the Spectator? What’s the matter,you couldn’t find a link from Infowars?

Carlos Ponce

It's something that FAKE NEWS refuses to cover. Check the facts, Gary. Plenty more out there.

Gary Scoggin

“Fake News” = “News Sources that say things I don’t like”

Carlos Ponce

That may be your definition but not the one accepted by most:
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media.
Fake news is a piece of news which has been distributed by a news organisation which contains some form of dishonesty, typically to promote a political agenda.
"Fake News" is nothing new appearing in publications dating back to the 1890s.

Carlos Ponce

"John Brennan is the epitome of the Swamp." - Judge Jeanine Pirro
John Brennan included claims from thefake dossier into President Barack Obama's Presidential Daily Brief.
John Brennan claims the fake dossier had nothing to do with the investigation.
National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA (Intelligence Community Assessment).
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a CNN interview that the assessment was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.”
John Brennan aka SWAMP CREATURE.

Gary Scoggin

I saw Pirro on TV a few minutes ago. She didn’t have any sources either. Of course she was plugging a book.

Carlos Ponce

Yes, she is plugging her book,"Liars, Leakers, Liberals". She is more credible than that political hack John Brennan.

Emile Pope

Piero is still mad because Hillary Clinton trounced her in an election. She has no credibility and her husband is an ex-convict...

Carlos Ponce

"Carlos, what is your answer to Gary's question? 'So how do you guys rate President Trump’s lack of pushing Putin about Russian interference and his subsequent comments?"
The way they both spoke of it during the news conference it is apparent the subject was brought up with Putin denying it. Trump expected that. Tha'ts why he stated previously there would NOT be a Perry Mason moment". He clarified his remarks today. He left out the word "not". I'll take his word for it.

Carlos Ponce

"Piero is still mad because Hillary Clinton trounced her in an election. She has no credibility and her husband is an ex-convict..."
Not on this planet, Emile. Jeanine Pirro never went head to head with Hillary. She started running for Senator from New York but changed her mind to running for New York State Attorney General almost a year before the 2006 election. Hillary went up against Republican John Spencer for the Senate seat, not Jeanine Pirro. As usual, your presentation is in error.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos, what is your answer to Gary's question? "So how do you guys rate President Trump’s lack of pushing Putin about Russian interference and his subsequent comments? A, B, C, F? High points? Low points?"
Carlos, was his performance positive for the USA, or a set back. Please explain your answer

A overwhelming number of members of Congress have came out against what the President said. These are a few examples.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) says he sides with US intelligence agencies and that President Trump was wrong "in a major way" in siding with Russian Vladimir Putin at their joint press conference.
" "This is bizarre and flat-out wrong. The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression," Sasse said in the statement. "When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs."
And as Trump called Putin a "good competitor" and blamed his own political opponents for past Russian transgressions, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton -- the president's close confidant and defender -- called Putin a "committed adversary" of the United States and sought to remind the public that Russia is solely responsible for sour relations with the U.S.
"In the last few years alone, Russia meddled in our presidential campaign, violated arms-control treaties with the United States, invaded Ukraine, assassinated political opponents in the United Kingdom, made common cause with Iran in propping up Bashar al-Assad's outlaw regime in Syria, and cheated not only in the Olympics, but even in the Paralympics," Cotton said in a statement that did not mention Trump or the White House. "Strength is the one language for which Vladimir Putin needs no interpreter."

Gary Scoggin

Putin hates the press, hates gays, hates people of different ethicities, is a strong nationalist, lies without hesitation, and believes the end justifies the means. What's not to like?

George Croix

Sounds like Jesse Jackson.......[beam][beam][beam]

Carlos Ponce

Wasn't it the Liberal New York Times which put out a homophobic cartoon? Why yes.
" New York Times' Trump-Putin cartoon criticized as 'homophobic' "
https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/new-york-times-trump-putin-cartoon-criticized-homophobic-n891811
Does that make Liberal NYT anti-gay?

Mike Zeller

Carlos Ponce are you one of the Republican Patriots ?

Carlos Ponce

Mike Zeller, I'm not a Republican. I'm a Conservative Christian and vote for people with similar values.

Mike Zeller

Good choice, I wouldn't be a Republican either.

George Croix

Despite the political blundering by our a non-politician President, summing all this hair on fire up, it's better to be openly hostile to and sabotage any meetings with the guy who is the only other person on the planet who can with the push of a few buttons end most of human life on Earth. And do so because our own citizens were stupid enough to let others think for them and assign them their opinions, while giving a pass to the ex-Pres. who KNEW the Rooskies were hacking, and did nothing about it because he thought his chosen successor would win anyway.....
We are a funny bunch of 'resistors'.....

Steve Fouga

Do any of the Trump supporters on this forum see a danger IF Trump is in some way beholden to Russia? Or if Russia DOES have compromat on Putin?

Do any of you believe this might be the case? If not, please list a few reasons why not.

George Croix

That's a fair question.
I am a supporter of the positive results to date of the Trump Presidency, not himself as a person, but, OK, YES IF Trump is beholden to Russia, certainly there's a danger. IF he can be compromised, there's a danger.
Same as compromise by/with any other foreign power, except this one is mega nuclear.
We KNOW the other 2016 candidate was Rooskie compromised by a half million bucks for a speech by her hubby and 145 million bucks to her slush fund/foundation for uranium, so good thing she's out - again...and that Putin hated her with a vengeance for her efforts as Sec. of State to push Putin out in 2011, so of course he wanted her to lose, and since we now KNOW that her secret server and unsecured devices WERE hacked by 'foreign entities', it's a safe bet the Russians have USA secrets they could have hammered HER with - or the rest of us....
We can only wonder what 'flexibility' Obama exhibited with the Russians after his 2012 election, as he promised Putin via the Russian Ambassador, on video and hot mic. Was the failure to back his 'red line' in Russian-supported Syria in play with that? The hapless response to the 2014 Crimea invasion by the Russians, was that due to a compromise with Putin? No way to know now, but certainly possible after trying to hide 'flexibility'.
TO DATE those are more evidence of being in someone's pocket than words on a TV stage, or Twitter, BUT they certainly do NOT excuse any current shenanigans IF there are any.
To date, NOBODY has found any evidence of it, despite millions spent looking.
THAT doesn't mean there is none, just it hasn't been found if it exists.
IF there is dirt, Pres. Trump is certainly making it easy to theorize or suspect by his detractors or undecideds, and one wonders WHY it would be any advantage to do so.
He's certainly more prone to political blunder than a polished insider, so that should would tend to make it easier to find actual corruption, or easier to suspect when there is none.
I cannot argue, though, with saying that he''d rather sacrifice politics for peace than sacrifice peace for politics when dealing with nukes.....
By now, those same words spoken by his predecessor would already have the Nobel folks polishing up another prize.....[wink][whistling]

Carlos Ponce

"IF Trump is in some way beholden to Russia?"
As Trump put it, if Russia had something on him, it would already be revealed long before:
the killing of Russian soldiers by American air attacks,
the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Britain,
applied sanctions (which still continue) for interference with 2016 US election,
(Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act),
ordered Russia to close three of its diplomatic facilities in the US, including its consulate in San Francisco, and two annexes in Washington, DC, and New York City,
sold arms to the Ukraine,
asking Germany to switch to American LPG instead of Russian fuel suggesting it would devastate the Russian economy.
"Beholden to Russia"???? WHAT A CROCK!!!!!!!!

Steve Fouga

"As Trump put it, if Russia had something on him, it would already be revealed long before"

You're a real card, Carlos, trying to match wits with the KGB. If Putin revealed it, he would lose the power of holding it over Trump's head. Surely you see that, right? I mean, that's how blackmail works. Putin doesn't want to damage Trump; he's too valuable an asset!

Carlos exclaims: "Beholden to Russia"???? WHAT A CROCK!!!!!!!!"

Well, if I hadn't already said in another thread that Galveston utilities are taxing my finances, I'd ask if you'd like to make a little wager.

George Croix

Steve, it's certainly possible that you are right.

So, tell us how Pres. Trump can prove to you, me, or anyone else that he is NOT beholden to Russia?
How does one prove he hasn't done something?

Steve Fouga

I would consider acquittal in federal court to be the same as proof.

George, I understand that he's technically innocent; I believe in innocence until proof of guilt just like you do. But in my gut, I believe he is in some way beholden to Russia. I also know that if he acts beholden, it doesn't matter if he's not. The result is much the same.

George Croix

Doesn't there have to be evidence of a person committing a crime to lead to an investigation then to an indictment of that person to lead to federal court?
I mean, before the Mueller circus started...when we decided someone must be guilty, so empowered an investigation to try and find some evidence of it...so far, zip.....?
My advice to Pres. Trump, if he wanted it, would be to do whatever he wants and ignore all criticism from all points, because no matter whether he's right or wrong, guilty or innocent, good or bad, he's treated the same.....the effect is the same.
He should go on national TV and tell us all that if we like our umbrage, we can keep our umbrage - at least with this guy he'd mean it....
Fair treatment, these days, is political Party defined....we KNOW some are guilty and yet give them a pass while daily excoriating others for what we only suspect so far....
The largely, if not mostly, corrupt and ideologically driven media is that way because they can sell it to a large audience...the 'resistance'......a FAR greater threat to American democracy than the Russians or any other outside entity ever will be...
Hillary even said so......[whistling]

Steve Fouga

Plenty of evidence has already been shared publicly, but you have to be willing to accept its existence. Maybe you're not paying close enough attention. Lots of indictments from the Mueller circus, and more to come. Guilt by association? Maybe, or maybe just plain guilt.

Now it looks like Russia may have funneled money to the NRA to aid in Republican campaigns, including the President's. Good grief, where will it end?

I guess "We'll see what happens."

George Croix

Steve, lying to the FBI about unrelated-to-collusion actions, some that occurred years ago and totally unrelatred to the 2016 elections, IS a crime but is NOT 'plenty of evidence'. I know that because I AM paying attention.
More should.....

And we will for sure see what happens....

Steve Fouga

George, Mueller is investigating the Trump campaign's collusion with Russia to influence the election. He has obtained guilty pleas from Trump associates in exchange for their cooperation in his investigation into SOMETHING. What do you think that something is, if not collusion or covering it up?

George Croix

What I think it is, Steve, is a lot of smoke and mirrors by Mueller, et al, iuntil after the mid-terms, which is what this investigation is all about in the first place.
Is it not odd that Hillary's top aids were given immunity about Clinton e-mail scandal related events before they testified before the FBI, such as it was, when immunity is not given unless there is something needing to be immune from? Yet the people interviewed by Mueller have seen themselves indicted for lying about something totally unrelated to the investigation and before, if not way before, there even was a Trump candidacy.
I find that....thought provoking.....
But, who knows - maybe we'll find out Trump got a half million bucks from the Russians for a 1 hour speech, and his business got 145 million bucks from their agents and associates.....otherwise known as...collusion.....which, by any other name, is no more of a cime for Trump than it was for Hilary.
The one SURE thing, is that NOT A SINGLE WORD OF ANY OF THIS would ever have been heard, not a single word about 'collusion', and no hysteria about Russians in the woodpile and closets had Trump lost the election.
Yet, people like Brennan, and Clapper, and Obama bray about 'treason', knowing their like-minded 'resistance' is too dishonest to care that it was Brennan, Clapper, and Obama themselves who KNEW about, and did nothing about, Russian interference in 2016. It was THEIR JOB, not Donald J. Trumps, to attend to it.....
One, me, wonders why THEY are not under investigation for THAT obvious 'collusion'.....
Three guesses, and they all 3 are the same.......

Paul Hyatt

Isn't it funny that all of the Trump haters had nothing to say when all of the dirty dealings of the Obama administration was going on.... What is really sad is that those same Trump haters would be applauding the Hildabeast if she had actually won and had kept going down the same path of destruction for this nation that Obama had us on for 8 years.... Of course the left wing media is as much to blame as the progressives are....

Carlos Ponce

Remember when the president said, "After my election I have more flexibility." Medvedev responded: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
That was President Obama.

Steve Fouga

Shocked to hear a president telling the truth?

Carlos Ponce

When Obama sought to normalize relations with Russia and Putin Liberals considered it WONDERFUL. When Trump seeks the same goal however......
What's shocking is that Liberals can't figure out their hypocrisy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this double standard. Can't fix stupid.

Steve Fouga

Not hypocrisy at all.

"Normalization" from a position of strength is a completely different animal from normalization from a position of weakness.

By the way, I hated the idea during the Obama presidency too. Friendship with Russia is a BAD idea, period. Russia is a great enemy, but a lousy friend.

Carlos Ponce

So normalization from a position of strength (TRUMP) is bad but normalization from a position of weakness (OBAMA) is good. Doesn't make any sense but if that's what Steve believes in .....[huh]

Steve Fouga

Hahaha! You're being deliberately silly, Carlos!

It's the other way around. Obama wasn't in hock up to his eyeballs to Russian oligarchs. The Russians didn't help with Obama's election. Obama didn't have the opportunity to place his and his family's businesses in Russia. Obama owed Russia nuthin'.

Carlos Ponce

"It's the other way around. Obama wasn't in hock up to his eyeballs to Russian oligarchs."
Do you HONESTLY believe that??????????
Take an HONEST approach to the subject. You are just repeating Liberal talking points with no basis in fact. Your claim of non-partisanship in previous posts is pure BS (Barack Stuff).

Steve Fouga

Carlos, I honestly believe that Trump has outstanding debts to Russian oligarchs or the Russian government, or is in some other way compromised. Why do I think that? Because he acts like it.

As for no basis "in fact," that puts my posts in the same category as yours. You don't know what evidence Mueller has. You don't have a back-channel comms link to Putin and Trump. You're just stating your opinion. Mine makes a lot more sense. Otherwise, Trump is selling us and our allies down the river to Russia for NO reason.

George Croix

Gonna take some getting used to anybody clarifying when all we had for 8 years was doubling down .....[whistling]

George Croix

An excellent example of a hopelessly corrupt media occurred today. Asked if the Russians are still meddling in our election, Pres. Trump said 'No', which would be correct since we are not having elections tight now, and the media went into absolute hyperbolic insanity up to and including rage by everybody who could grab a mic.
If he'd have said 'Yes, they're meddling anythime we have an election", which would ALSO be true and WILL be true now and forever no matter how much anyone doesn't like it, until we can block them on the internet or get rid of our own dumb human nature, they'd ALSO have gone ape manure nuts.
Ergo, he should ignore them all.
When you're damned if you do AND if you don't, then do what you want, and to heck with everybody else....
Having failed to find a good excuse for why Trump won and Hillary lost, the 'resistance' can only try to deligitimize the Pres. daily by showing how godawful unfair or just plain deranged they are. THAT is the 'direct threat to our democracy', far more so than the Russinas. The Russians can kill us all outright, while the 'resistnace ' will just rot us away from the inside.

imo

Jim Forsythe

Texas Republican Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke must think a election is going on. Almost $47 million has been amassed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic rival Beto O’Rourke,because a campaign does not start in November. If I was in charge of meddling, I would have already have it in place and using it.
Other issues.
"The president's position that Russia is not currently targeting the U.S. contradicts the position of his own director of national intelligence Dan Coats, who said last week that Russia's actions are "persistent" and "pervasive."
"Russian actors and others are exploring vulnerabilities in our critical infrastructure as well. DHS and FBI, in coordination with international partners, have detected Russian government actors targeting government and businesses in the energy, nuclear, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors," Coats said.
"The warning signs are there. The system is blinking. And it why I believe we are at a critical point.""


Carlos Ponce

"Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), seeking to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and land one of the year’s biggest midterm upsets, is back in Los Angeles on Monday to raise campaign cash.
He’ll be at the home of actress Nancy Stephens and director-producer Rick Rosenthal for an evening reception, with ticket prices starting at $250 per person. Those who contribute $2,700 per person or raise at least $5,000 earn a spot on the host committee." July 9, 2018
https://variety.com/2018/politics/news/beto-o-rourke-hollywood-ted-cruz-1202869032/
Last I heard, Los Angeles was NOT in Texas begging the question, if he's going out of state to raise funds, who is he really representing?

Steve Fouga

If he's running against Ted Cruz, he's representing me.

Carlos Ponce

Sp Steve identifies with the Hollywood elites who are funding O'Rourke's campaign.

Gary Scoggin

I’ll bet Cruz never raised a dime from out of state.

Steve Fouga

Nah, Carlos, I just don't like Cruz. I don't identify with any clique. That's why I'm an independent voter.

Carlos Ponce

In his run for president I'm sure Ted Cruz received out of state money since the presidency covers all 50 states + DC + territories. But since Hollywood elites are dominated by Leftists it is doubtful he received any money from them.

Jim Forsythe

Ted Cruz' 2016 donations

Carlos , you bring up a good question, "who is he really representing"? By taking large money from groups, is it possible that they want a return on the money. These are just a few donations, from a New York hedge fund, and others from out of state . There are other donations from Texas people, and LLC's. This is from the 2016 elections.
Jan 25, 2016
The $36 million committed last year by the benefactors from the New York hedge fund that billionaire Robert Mercer, Texas natural gas billionaires Farris and Dan Wilks, and private-equity partner Toby Neugebauer .
: Mercer gave $11 million, Neugebauer gave $10 million, and the Wilks brothers and their wives together gave $15 million.

$4 million Stand for Truth, Inc.,

identical donations in equal increments of $50,000 came from five different LLCs -- "LL Baltimore, LLC"; "LL Fort Wayne, LLC"; "LL Peoria, LLC"; ""LL West Allis, LLC' and "PF Fort Myers LLC."

Carlos Ponce

2016 contributions. That was his presidential run.
LLC = Limited Liability Company. LLCs contribute to both sides. O'Rourke's contribution page specifies that "We respectfully request that Partners of Partnerships and Members of LLC's contribute individually, instead of through their respective business entity." It wouldn't look good to blast your opponent for taking LLC money while accepting them yourself. [beam]
So Cruz accepted contributions from Texas natural gas billionaires Farris and Dan Wilks. Anything wrong for someone running for a Texas Senate seat accepting money from fellow Texans?????
Mercer contributed to Cruz's PRESIDENTIAL run, not Senate campaign.
Have you seen Cruz running to California to get Hollywood elitist money? No.

Jim Forsythe

Carlos Ponce Jul 19, 2018 7:32am
"Have you seen Cruz running to California to get Hollywood elitist money? No."
Unless, some in Hollywood are OK ,if Ted Cruz takes money from, Ted Cruz has taken money from Hollywood, just as others have.
Ted Cruz, Hollywood supporter from Hollywood.
February 24, 2016
Ted Cruz Hollywood supporters., James Woods, Phil Robertson,Steven Bauer , Adam Carolla , Clint Howard , Michael Tait, David Mamet, Glenn Beck, Tony Perkins

Jim Forsythe

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) told a Texas newspaper that he would turn down funding from California billionaire Tom Steyer, who openly discussed contributing to O’Rourke’s campaign against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
O’Rourke has vowed to not accept PAC donations. “One of the reasons that I don’t take PAC money is I never want you to have to wonder who it is that I’m voting for or writing legislation for,” he said. “
Roughly 70 percent of O'Rourke's funds came from Texas donors at last check.
Republicans tweaked him for making the trek to Hollywood, although Cruz has likewise courted donors in California and around the country.
O’Rourke has touted his refusal to accept any political action committee money.
While Cruz, thanks to his 2016 presidential campaign, has built an impressive national grass-roots donor base, PAC money has been an important part of his mix.

Carlos Ponce

Jim's research comes from February 24, 2016
2016, 2016, 2016.
Ted Cruz was running for PRESIDENT, not Senator from Texas. Big difference. You can even call it HUGE.

Carlos Ponce

From Liberal Politifact:
"The comparable entry for O’Rourke doesn’t show a zero for his PAC donations. It indicates instead $297,969 in PAC contributions to O’Rourke campaigns....
A senior adviser, David Wysong, said by phone that O’Rourke accepted such donations through his first couple of House elections but stopped doing so before seeking his third term in 2016."
Since he only received 5% from PACs he decided to concentrate on other forms of contributions which were more lucrative to his campaign.
From O’Rourke’s letter: "Starting with this election cycle, I plan to no longer accept PAC contributions. I've made this decision in an effort to focus more of my campaign efforts on bringing new, smaller and local donors into the campaign." Local = HOLLYWOOD!
http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2017/jul/27/beto-orourke/beto-orourke-claims-near-uniqueness-not-taking-cor/

Jim Forsythe

Which is it? The Senate race 2018, or all elections? Ted Cruz taking money from the bad Hollywood types is OK, because it was not for the Senate race in 2018. But David O’Rourke is bad because he received PAC money in earlier races.

Jim Forsythe

Which is it? The Senate race 2018, or all elections? Ted Cruz taking money from the bad Hollywood types is OK, because it was not for the Senate race in 2018. But David O’Rourke is bad because he received PAC money in earlier races.

Carlos Ponce

Read my posts, Jim. Going HOLLYWOOD for funding for a campaign for a Senate seat in Texas does not sit well with most Texans. Presidential race is an entire different ball game. DUH!

Jim Forsythe

Have you seen Cruz running to California to get Hollywood elitist money? Yes he has!
You think that it makes a difference in what race Cruz takes the money, you consider bad from the Hollywood ?
If it wrong, it's wrong unless it not a moral decision, but one where he will take money even if he thinks it wrong or even when it is offered with strings.. It can not be right in one race and OK in another.

Donald Trump has 22 acting credits in television... He collects $120,000 a year in his Screen Actors Guild pension fund. Uhh? He is a "Hollywood elitist.”

Steve Bannon, he made a lot of money off of Seinfeld. He’s "elitist Hollywood".

Carlos Ponce

Neither Donald Trump nor Steve Bannon is running for Senator from the state of Texas.

George Croix


Jim, or anyone else....as a practical matter, exactly how do you or anyone else propose that the Russians or any other country with an internet connection be prevented...not punished, prevented....from meddling in an election, or in anything else, as per your noted issue above?
Is there some particular reason why, after decades of them all doing the exact same thing, we are now apoplectic about it, but only about 'Russians', when the darn Chinese are actually the biggest internet attackers?
Yes. there is.....

Jim Forsythe

George, if we spend enough time and money, we can stop it, or slow it way down. Remember the conversation we had about cyber security.
Heightened attention to foreign influence campaigns, sparked by Russia's election meddling, accelerated Congress' recent actions into other country's political meddling.
What is congress going to do about it? Unless they provide the money, it is just talk.
This is what they are trying now. I'm hoping they are doing more than this. My guess is the IT guys are working on it.
Congress turns up the heat on China's political meddling amid Russia investigation
As the U.S. continues to investigate Russian meddling in its 2016 election, Congress is turning up the heat on China, seeking to tamp down foreign influence from that nation.
A bill was introduced in the house on Tuesday that would require an unclassified interagency report on Chinese political influence operations.
Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce companion legislation in the Senate, his communications director confirmed.
"It spun out of the Russia stuff," a congressional aide told CNBC, "in that people are more aware of the political influence operations of authoritarian countries."

George Croix

Jim, I remember that Pres. Obama told his chief of cyber security to 'stand down' and he himself telling the Russians to 'cut it out' as his lead-from-behind response to 'election meddling'. Not a word of 'treason' or even annoyance expressed by anybody at him or the CIA chief Brennan or the national Security chief Clapper or anybody else....
Until Hillary lost.
Then, the very people whose job it was to prevent 'meddling' then, those guys already mentioned, are now the harshest critics of this Pres., which serves well to divert blame from them, where it belongs, easily done because they simply fire up an already deranged 'resistance', the REAL threat to our democracy.
Suddenly, after decades of every foreign power in the world "meddling' in our business or taking advantage of us as much as they could get away with, something anybody except members of the van Winkle family should readily be aware of, Donald Trump gets elected, and suddenly, all hair is on fire about 'meddling'.
Not a single thing is different with 'meddling' today, 7/19/18 than it was 7/19/16, or 7/19/08, or pick a date......
Even the twelve Mueller 'indictments' are utterly useless, even if not ginned up and announced just before to wreck the summit meeting, because NO WAY will Russia or any other country EVER extradite one of their spies to the US to stand trial. Same as we would never do the same with OUR spies.
It's a circus.
The US Congress has too many members being paid off by the arms makers and salesmen who NEED international tensions and threats of war to make business for them, just like they get paid off by business needing cheap labor so we can save a quarter on a head of lettuce. Attempting to get our most powerful enemy to be less threatening is a threat to them, and to the people using the Russians as failed election excuses, and such is not to be tolerated by those folks.....
I wonder what would happen if Pres. Trump set a 'red line' for Russia, then ignored it?
Simple.
All hair would be on fire if he wimped out on that, same as it is when he tries to engage them.
Do or don't = damned.
Can't fix that.

Steve Fouga

George, part of the reason for foreign indictments is to "out" the players. "Secret agents" rely on invisibility to conduct their business. Once they are exposed, it's exponentially more difficult for them to commit the same act in the future. For a cyberwarrior, once their "signature" is revealed, as I understand it, they are forced to revamp their operation, or discontinue it.

Also, the very detailed indictments Mueller has produced show the Russians, the American people, and world, "We're onto you." If we had any other president, or any other congress, they would result in the stiffest sanctions possible, short of a shooting war.

George Croix

Valid points, on paper, but the practical effect is as long as the actors are in whatever country they are in, and as long as we have a free and open internet and people happy to believe anything on it, then doodly squat is the practical effect of foreign indictments for internet actvity/meddling.
I do wonder where were the stiff sanctions and near shooting war in the summer, and before, of 2016? What we got was DELIBERATE avoidance. Seems to me that KNOWING it's going on and deliberately looking the other way is exactly what Pres. Trump is being accused of.
MEGA double standard.
I'd feel a lot better that the intent now WAS to actually out spies and end cyber attacks if Brennan, Clappper, and Obama were 'called out' for their collusion by omission in election meddling, and thus show the Rooskies, the Chinese, or whomever, that the USA won't stand for ANYONE doing it or aiding it, but what we have now is a one trick pony circus...and those foreign guys know that very well......

Jim Forsythe

George, it will not be indictments that will stop it, it will be when the USA solves the problem by using cyber security. We have black hat, red Hat and white hat hacker working on it. The cyber units working on it are very good at what they do
It will not be over night, but they will stop most of what is going on now. Who knows what will be the next generation of risk will be. All the cyber "meddling" is finally getting the action that is required. Pre 2016 we were not giving the resources need.

We may have gone past this,"The Department of Homeland Security is enhancing Federal cybersecurity by expanding the EINSTEIN and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation programs."
"The Federal Government is accelerating adoption of strong multi-factor authentication and identity proofing for citizen-facing Federal Government digital services"

One of the things that happening now is a push to get more people trained, as we need over 500,000 people now in cyber security.
Some of the things they are doing.
The Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is increasing funding for cybersecurity-related activities by more than 23 percent to improve their capabilities to identify, disrupt, and apprehend malicious cyber actors.
U.S. Cyber Command is building a Cyber Mission Force of 133 teams assembled from 6,200 military, civilian, and contractor support personnel from across the military departments and defense components.
The Cyber Mission Force, which will be fully operational in 2018, is already employing capabilities in support of U.S. Government objectives across the spectrum of cyber operations.
2017 Budget allocates more than $19 billion for cybersecurity – a more than 35 percent increase over the 2016 enacted level. These resources will enable agencies to raise their level of cybersecurity, help private sector organizations and individuals better protect themselves, disrupt and deter adversary activity, and respond more effectively to incidents.

George Croix

Yes, Jim....that's the difference between this Administration telling folks to stand up, and the last one telling them to stand down.....

Jim Forsythe

George, we had problems long before Obama.
Cyber intrusions were not a big deal when we first started noticing them. Our laws were outdated as far as cyberespionage was concerned. Also the ones that controlled the budgets did not have a good grasp on the problem. I do not think that the Presidents or Congress, since we first started having this problem, were able to grasp what needed to be done.We have started to increase our resources to fight cyberespionage , but are still falling short with the number of people we are training. Chinese hacking is starting to be controlled, but Russia is still a problem , as they have high quality people doing this.With the increase in money and effort, we are starting to be up to the task requirements.
Chinese hackers were among the first to come together in defense of their country. Their first operation against the U.S. occurred in 1999 during the Kosovo conflict.
By 2003, China’s interest in cyberespionage was apparent: A series of cyber intrusions that U.S. investigators code-named “Titan Rain” was traced back to computers in southern China.

(FireEye offers a single platform that blends innovative security technologies, nation-state grade threat intelligence, and world-renowned Mandiant consulting.)
In June 2016, FireEye reported that since 2014 there had been a dramatic drop in cyberespionage from 72 suspected China-based groups. FireEye attributed the reduction to several “factors including President Xi’s military and political initiatives, the widespread exposure of Chinese cyberoperations, and mounting pressure from the U.S. Government.” The ICIT believes China may also be asserting greater control over its operatives and focusing on unspecified high-priority targets.


The U.S.-China agreement also calls for the two countries to cooperate in fighting cybercrime. Just weeks after the deal was signed, China announced it had arrested hackers connected with the 2015 intrusions into the Office of Personnel Management’s database. Those had exposed highly sensitive personal and financial data of about 22 million federal employees seeking security clearances. the arrests could “mark the first measure of accountability for what has been characterized as one of the most devastating breaches of U.S. government data in history.”

Steve Fouga

"Ergo, he should ignore them all."

This is definitely good advice! In general, that's what most presidents do. They bitch a little, then give it up. But Trump, being a narcissist, can't do it. It's not in his DNA, literally.

If he had ignored the press, from the beginning, his presidency would have been much more peaceful.

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