Temple Chima UbochiMonday, July 17, 2017
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Bonn, Germany


Continued from Part 3

Why is it lie after lie after lie? (Shepard Smith, Fox News host)

If you see a turtle on a fence post, it didn't get there by accident (President Bill Clinton)

I can't '100 percent' say Trump campaign didn't collude with Russia (Rep. Leonard Lance, A GOP member representing New Jersey in the House of Reps.)

We've seen this movie before. It's reaching Watergate size and scale. This is not good for the country. Every couple of days, there's a new aspect of this really unhappy situation. Every time we turn around, another shoe drops from this centipede (Senator John McCain)

I think the primary goal, in my mind, was to sow discord, and to try to delegitimize our free and fair election process. I also think another of their goals, which the entire United States intelligence community stands behind, was to denigrate Secretary Clinton and to try to help then - current President Trump (Bill Priestap, FBI's assistant director of its counterintelligence division, told the Senate Intelligence Committee)

he Trumps are shady, and are up to something. The Reuters tells us that Donald Trump's campaign paid $50,000 to the law office now representing Donald Trump Jr. a little more than a week before news surfaced of an unreported meeting with a Russian attorney that has prompted new accusations of collusion.

Russia remains the thick cloud hanging over Trump's White House. Paraphrasing the BBC: Throughout the confusion of Donald Trump's campaign and the chaotic events of his days in the White House, one controversy has clung to the Trump team like glue: Russia.

US intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow tried to sway the presidential election in favour of Mr. Trump. It is alleged that Russian hackers stole information linked to the campaign of his rival, Hillary Clinton, and passed it to WikiLeaks so it could be released to undermine her.

Congressional committees were set up to investigate the matter and, in March, then-FBI director, James Comey, confirmed the bureau had its own inquiry. President Trump sacked Mr. Comey on 9th May, citing his reason as "this Russia thing", in a move that shocked Washington and fuelled claims of a cover up.

However, it did not halt the investigation. On 18th May, the department of justice appointed ex-FBI director, Robert Mueller, as special counsel to look into the matter. Mr. Mueller has not given any details of his investigation, but US media have reported he is investigating Mr. Trump for possible obstruction of justice, both in the firing of Mr. Comey and whether Mr. Trump tried to end an inquiry into sacked national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Mr. Flynn resigned in February after failing to reveal the extent of his contacts with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington. President Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, calling the allegations a "witch hunt".

The point is that Trump's Russia problems gets a whole lot worse, and no matter what he seems to do, or how angry he seems to get, the Russia investigation just won't go away.

His campaign's alleged collusion with Russia is preventing President Trump from focusing on his other agendas. He's not concentrating on how the Senate would handle health care or tax cuts or any other issue. At the end, it seems the GOP will never repeal and replace Obamacare that is getting more popular than ever (the votes might not be there for the senate to pass the health care bill). Despite the fact that Robert Mueller, an independent counsel, is investigating contacts between Trump campaign aides and Russia, another bombshell story has emerged, and it's about a meeting between Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who promised him damaging information on Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump Jr. received an email on June 3, 2016, promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. The information was described as being part of Russia's support for his father's presidential bid. His reply was "I love it."

There's nothing wrong with doing research on your opponent, but what's wrong is getting a help from a foreign government. The NYT tells us that Moscow has, however, tried to meddle in previous American elections. The historian, Michael R. Beschloss, recounts in "The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963" an account of the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Kennedy presidency, that the Soviet ambassador in Washington secretly reached out to both John F. Kennedy and Adlai Stevenson, another Democratic presidential hopeful, during the 1960 campaign. The ambassador was rebuffed by both candidates.

Let's hold it here for the meantime!

Unfortunately, Trump still doesn't know that the cold war is not over. Even though the Soviet Union collapsed and broke into about 15 "sovereign" entities, didn't bring the cold war to a closure. Putin of Russia started the cold war all over again, and it's unfortunate that America allowed Russia to meddle in its election. So, how can the Trumps see Russia as a friend then?

It's a wonder why Trump, his sons and associates have been cozying up to Russia despite its belligerent or divisive stance against the United States. Imagine that Trump, as the president, who is supposed to lead the efforts to unmask Russia's role during the 2016 presidential election, is the one saying that Russia didn't interfere in the election, when the FBI, CIA, and other American intelligence agencies said it did. Even when there's a mountain of evidence to the contrary, Trump still believes that Russia didn't influence the 2016 election in his favor.

What has happened to America we once knew? From my childhood to my university years until this Trump era, Americans have been very careful when dealing with Russia. If it were those days, Trump and his family would have been called spies for mingling so intimately with the Russians. Where's the patriotism when the Trumps see the Russians as American bed mates now? The Trumps are, at their best, traitors.

To buttress this point, the vox wrote that President Donald Trump still isn't convinced Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election and tilt the scales in his favor, deriding it as an excuse perpetuated by Democrats for losing in November. Trump doubted the intelligence community's assessment that Russia tried to influence the election. (Trump also asked the directors of two intelligence outfits to state publicly that there was no Trump-Russia connection, which they declined to do.) Denying the Russian influence campaign is a common Trump refrain, despite evidence to the contrary. Back in January, the CIA, NSA, and FBI released a report saying Russia had tried to impact the election's outcome.

Trump should have known that Russia is still an "enemy", before sharing an Israeli intelligence with its foreign minister and its Ambassador to the United States. Trump should have known that the cold war is not over yet, before castigating James Comey, the FBI Director , he fired the day before he met the Russian duo at the White House, saying that he did a nut job, and that firing him relieved a lot of pressure from him; Trump should have known that Putin is all out to displace America from the world leadership position, before telling the Russian foreign minister and its Ambassador to The United States that he was thinking about "the Russia thing" when he was firing the FBI Director.

No matter what Trump says or does, his firing of Comey seems to be the beginning of his down fall. Let me make it clear that without Russia's interference and Comey's last minute role against Clinton, Trump wouldn't have been the president. The vox noted that Clinton made mistakes. All candidates do. But the question in elections is ... compared to what? Take the criticisms made of Clinton and turn them around. Trump surely did not run a smoother campaign than Clinton. His team featured more infighting, leaking, and churn. He made more obvious mistakes in a week than she made in a year. His finances were far shadier than Clinton's, his foundation far less ethical, his behavior far more erratic. He walked into the debates unprepared, ran a bizarre and ineffective convention, and appears to have been saved from defeat by Russia and Comey.

There's no doubt that Russia mounted a sophisticated effort to undermine public confidence in the election, and to specifically hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump, and that was the highlight of what Bill Priestap, FBI's assistant director of its counterintelligence division, told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Methinks that Russia influenced the 2016 presidential more than we know so far. Infact, it might be that the voting results of that election were influenced as well. The WP reports that people connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states, a Department of Homeland Security official testified during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on June 21 at the Capitol (Reuters). The Daily Telegraph reports that investigators have revealed that Russian tampering with US voting systems ahead of the presidential election, last November, was more widespread than initially thought, with almost double the number of states affected. Investigators told Bloomberg that hackers linked to Russia breached the voting systems of as many as 39 states ahead of the election in which Donald Trump became president. Cyber attackers accessed voter databases and software used by poll workers, according to Bloomberg. Campaign finance details were accessed in at least one state. And in Illinois the hackers attempted to edit or delete voter information, investigators found.

The latest revelation has added to the intense scrutiny over the president's ties to the Russian government. There must be something going on between Trump and the Russians. According to Business Insider, a British music publicist with ties to President Trump offered to arrange a meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump Jr. is promised incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, and the publicist makes clear the information is "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, also attended the meeting at Trump Tower. Trump Jr. insists that no dirt on Clinton was ever delivered.

Senator John McCain sharply criticized Donald Trump Jr. for taking that meeting with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, during the 2016 campaign, claiming such an interaction would have been unacceptable when he was the Presidential nominee in 2008, adding that his sons would have been court-martialed if they did that.

The evidence here is overwhelming: Trump's son in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to set up a back channel with Russia before Trump was even elected. Trump's eldest son, Trump Jr., dealt with a Russian attorney to seek damaging information on Hilary Clinton. Trump himself even called on Russia to hack the DNC during his 2016 election campaign. When Trump met Putin, during the G-20 summit in Germany, on 7th July, they agreed on setting up a cyber security unit, but for me, that would be like a hawk and a chick forming an alliance. In all and all, there's no official policy from Trump on Russian vote attacks, as government cybersecurity and intelligence officials say they haven't received directions from Trump about stopping Russian meddling in future elections, and that Russia targeted 21 election systems in 2016, according to Yahoo View

I agree with McCain that more revelations, about Trump ties to Russia, are underway, and what we have heard already might only be a tip of a giant iceberg.

When confronted with his son's meeting with a Russian attorney to get damaging information about his opponent, Hillary Clinton, president Trump said that he didn't know about it. Who's he trying to deceive? Trump takes Americans as stupid people, because, as someone pointed out, no body with a brain cares what Trump says anymore. Trump should tell Americans why the Russians were discussing about him one year before he announced his candidacy? How can Trump think that Americans will believe that his son didn't tell him anything about his meeting with a Russian operative; that Manafort or Jared, his son in-law, never said a word about the meeting to him?

Thereafter, the Trumps told us that nothing tangible came out the meeting Trump Jr. had with the Russian lawyer , seeking information to bury Hillary Clinton, and as such, he's innocent. Trump Jr. insisted he did nothing wrong and did not leave the meeting with any incriminating information about Clinton. What a defense? As someone phrased it: "Don Jr. tried to rob a bank, didn't find the money so it's all okay"! Not succeeding in a crime doesn't make a criminal innocent!

Matt Bai summed it: I wasn't right about a lot of things during last year's campaign, but I was dead right when I warned that Trump would run the government the way he had run his business - as a family enterprise, the plaything of his children. To me, this is the single greatest threat his presidency poses.

They strike me as careless people. They know as much about consequence as I do about handbags.

Which leads me, finally, to the topic of the day in Washington: this business of Donald Jr. and the Russians. Any experienced adviser to a nominee would have flinched at an email promising opposition research from a foreign government, and at the very least would have diverted it to someone outside the campaign (or reported it to the authorities).

But read the emails Trump Junior exchanged with an emissary about the Russian government offering to help sink his father's opponent, and you get the idea that he'd watched a bunch of "House of Cards" episodes and figured he knew how all of this worked. He was winging it, as Sub-Masters of the Universe do.

Then, when the news of that meeting started to break in the New York Times, he lied about it, saying the meeting was just about policy. When more details emerged, he revised the lie, saying he was told this Russian lawyer might have some useful information but had no idea who she was.

Then, when that also proved untrue, he said maybe he did know exactly who she was, but he figured that whatever she had come halfway across the world to tell him was publicly available information, anyway.

This is what he learned from watching his more dynamic father - that you can lie with impunity. That the rules don't apply. That the system can always be gamed.

Except that none of this has anything to do with how business gets conducted in the cosseted confines of Trump Tower. It's no longer about politics or public opinion.

There is only one man whose view on any of this ultimately matters now, and that man's name is Robert Mueller.

Just as Lynn puts it, I never thought I would live to see the day when the USA was governed by a crime syndicate and the Russians. Trump, as president, trusts the Russian president than his own Intel officers. While the American Intelligence Agencies say that Russia meddled in the 2016 election; Putin denied such, when Trump asked him about it in Germany, during the G-20 summit. Trump then came out to say to he believed Putin, meaning that his Intel officers are the liars.

This latest scandal of Trump Jr. might consume Trump's presidency, and that was a point made by Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia law professor, when he predicts, according to The Independent, that Donald Trump will probably resign over a constitutional crisis caused by his son-in-law and son. The professor describes the President's resignation as a consequence of his family members being prosecuted as "the likeliest possibility." He says resignation would be the best way out of the "mess" created by allegations of collusion with Russia over interference in the US Presidential election. In his words: "Resignation, as remote as it seems right now, might well be a choice the President would make to save his children from prison, and himself from future prosecution."

In the article, Professor Bobbitt also suggests that if Trump were to be impeached rather than resigning of his own accord, this would happen not on the basis of the President receiving a bribe but of him having offered one. In his words: "By determining that the head of the FBI, James Comey, wished to continue in his post, the President came perilously close to violating the constitution when he then stated that he would "think about it", and raised the subject of Comey terminating the Russia investigation. Indeed, the offering of such a bribe formed one of the counts in Richard Nixon's impeachment, when it was alleged he offered a judicial promotion to a judge for favorable treatment in court."

How did we get here, nobody knows, but one thing for sure is that, as Nick Benevento and others pointed out, there has been a phenomenal growth of the children of the one percent in America. A social class that permanently lives in a bubble of wealth that disconnects them from the majority of people in this country! They have their private gated communities, penthouses and are protected from the outside world by traveling in their limousines, private clubs, private jets and private security guards. They have the power to shape the US into a country to suit their needs and have little regard for the impact on the majority of society. In the US we have had our own class of Oligarchs, no wonder the Trump children are attracted to the Oligarchs in Russia, they have more in common with them than most of the people in their own country. They are comfortable looking out of the window of their exclusive hotel room in a country that is controlled with violence such as Russia, because they see a beautiful skyline and not the blood that's been shed by the murder of the people who have had the courage to oppose Putin.

People have tweeted, and I agreed with them, that lying comes just as naturally to Trump's family as breathing does. The public is catching on, though slowly, as president Trump's job approval rating is mired at a pitiful average rating of 39.3%. Impeachment calls are getting louder!

As someone noted, the Trumps see everything against them as "fake news", until evidence is released. Then, it's "not their fault" and it's "not illegal". Blame Obama and Clinton. What a poor strategy for leading a nation. But, the other big problem in Washington DC is the GOP controlled congress, as it has chosen to look the other way while the Trumps are selling America. When Obama was the President, the GOP congress had the time to keep investigating Clinton over and over for nothing, and then used that tactic to shift the election somehow. She didn't do anything compared to Trump and his cohorts, but it was pathetic how undiscerning Americans fell for this. As someone with a name, Hawk, tweeted: It's very scary to think that the American people could be getting used to all this chicanery and deceit and write it off as business as usual! These are very dangerous times.

Trump followers and poor-working class Republican voters will go down in history not only for being the most uneducated and ignorant people on earth, but for selecting the most corrupt president in American history who bowed before the Russian president whom he serves and honors.

One thing for sure is that the FBI is America's best hope to unravel the mystery between Trump and Russia, a point also noted by the vox when it wrote that if anything within Donald Trump's government brings him down, it's going to be the FBI. Trump's firing of FBI Director, James Comey, sparked not only a revolt within the organization (and a resulting cascade of leaks about the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia); it appears to have placed the president himself under investigation for obstruction of justice. That investigation is being led by the former FBI Director, Robert Mueller. Trump's spoiling for a fight, and the good news is that it appears, at least, one government agency is willing to give it to him. FBI is coming after Trump; just the way Ben Wittes, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution puts it, that "The FBI is a tribal organization. You screw with the FBI, you screw with the institution of the FBI, and ... a lot of people are gonna be angry".







Continued from Part 3