Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is out with a book that answers the question about Russian influence in the 2016 election.
“Of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.”
Was there active collusion between the Trump campaign — or the candidate himself — and Russian proxies or agents? Clapper does not go that far because he doesn’t have proof. But what he calls Trump’s “aggressive indifference” to the intelligence community’s detailed presentation of Russian activities is, in his view, damning enough. “Allegations of collusion and the results of the election were secondary to the profound threat Russia posed — and poses — to our system,” Clapper writes, and he does a fair job explaining why.
It’s understandable why Trump would display “aggressive indifference” to the Russian activities: it was his magnificent gloriousness and broad appeal to the masses that won the election, see. Anything else calls into question his legitimacy, and worse, it would be an admission that he was just a pawn in Putin’s attempt to get back at the U.S. for all their meddling in Russia and their proxies during the Cold War. Putin didn’t want Trump to necessarily win; he just wanted us to lose.
The way things were going for the North Korea summit before Trump sent his petulant I-don’t-wanna-play-in-your-yard letter to Kim, it was lining up to be a disaster on the scale of the Hindenburg meets New Coke. We’d already gotten China and Japan nervous, and then sent out Bolton and Pence to basically threaten North Korea with comparisons to the regime change in Libya. Trump would have come out of Singapore looking more like the blundering vulgarian that we already know he is, except this time he’s done it on a global scale with real lives — several million in one blow — at stake.
And the Swedish Academy can breathe a sigh knowing that they won’t have to worry about pussy-grabbing in Oslo in December.
The North Korea summit is off.
“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” President Trump wrote to Kim in a letter released by the White House.
The summit had been planned for June 12 in Singapore.
Gee, what a shock. Trump and the gang have done everything to provoke a nasty response from Kim Jong-un, and now he — Trump — is blaming it all on him for reacting.
Don’t start rehearsing that Nobel Peace Prize speech yet, Trump.
North Korea threw President Trump’s planned summit meeting with its leader, Kim Jong-un, into doubt on Wednesday, threatening to call off the landmark encounter if the United States insisted on “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”
The statement, made by the North’s disarmament negotiator, came hours after state media warned that the summit meeting might be canceled to protest a joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea that began this week.
The warnings caught Trump administration officials off guard and set off an internal debate over whether Mr. Kim was merely posturing in advance of the meeting in Singapore next month or was erecting a serious new hurdle.
In a statement Wednesday, Kim Kye-kwan, a vice foreign minister, rejected the administration’s demand that it quickly dismantle its nuclear program as Libya did 15 years ago, singling out John Bolton, Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser, for condemnation.
“If the United States is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the D.P.R.K.-U.S. summit,” the statement said, using the abbreviation for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Mr. Kim said his country would never follow the path of Libya and Iraq, which he said met a “miserable fate” at the hands of “big powers.”
He said North Korea had “shed light on the quality of Bolton” in the past, “and we do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him.”
This could be just them posturing and jockeying for position, but it could also be that North Korea saw them coming a mile away and Trump and Bolton got played big time.
It will now be up to Trump et al to come up with a cogent response that assures the world that no one really meant to suggest that North Korea would have to get rid of all of their nukes, which is exactly what Trump has been saying they promised to do all along.
In other words, the Trump folks were talking results and crowing about polishing up their plans for Stockholm next winter without bothering to go to all the trouble of having a successful summit in the first place.
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Never mind: Trump considering rejoining TPP.
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Woman accuses Missouri governor of abuse.
Thunderstorm destroys Taj Mahal minarets.
Trump says “missiles will be coming.”
Plane crash kills hundreds in Algeria.
Zuckerberg says his private data was harvested.
FBI raid on Cohen’s office sought information on “Access Hollywood” tape.
Tolkien’s first Middle Earth story to be published this summer.
Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook is in an arms race with Russia.
Twenty dead in Brazil prison break attempt.
Trump cancels trip to Latin America summit.
Suspects in beating of gay couple on South Beach under arrest.
Politicians are not invited to the royal wedding.
FBI executes search warrants on Michael Cohen’s office and hotel.
Trump says “major decision” on Syria coming soon.
Facebook alerts users after data scandal.
Flint braces as Michigan cuts off free bottled water.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth becomes a mom.
Trump blames Syria for chemical weapons attack.
Hungary re-elects far-right prime minister.
High teacher turnover adds fuel to marches on statehouses.
Mattis okays up to 4,000 National Guard troops to border.
Van crashing into crowd in Germany killed two.
Oklahoma teachers continue their march to the state capital.
Pruitt under pressure: EPA chief’s problems keep growing.
Yeah right: Trump says he was unaware of payment to Stormy Daniels.
Cyclist fired for flipping off Trump sues her former employer.
New Russia sanctions go after oligarchs.
87 million: That’s the number of Facebook users who got swept by Cambridge Analytics.
Trump backs off immediate Syrian withdrawal.
National Guard at the border will not touch immigrants.
No kidding: Rubio says federal funds needed to help the Keys recover from hurricane damage.
There are dozens of black holes at the center of the Milky Way.
One dead, three injured in shooting at Youtube headquarters.
Trump to send military troops to Mexican border.
Dutch lawyer jailed in in Trump-Russia inquiry.
Source of nerve agent not found.
Prince Philip admitted to a hospital.
Public schools in two states close as teachers protest low pay.
Stock markets tumble as trade and tariff wars heat up.
Medical marijuana may reduce opioid use.
Israel cancels plans to deport thousands of migrants to Africa.
R.I.P. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South Africa anti-apartheid leader.
McMaster out, Bolton in.
Trump’s chief lawyer quits.
China hit with $60 billion in tariffs.
Stocks tumble on news of China tariffs.
Toys R Us founder dies days after chain announces its closing.
Birds of a feather: Trump congratulates Putin on election.
Yet another school shooting, this time in Maryland.
Canada moves to tighten gun laws.
FTC probes Facebook.
It’s Sir Ringo now.
Putin re-elected in Russia.
Kurds ousted from heart of Syrian city.
McCabe kept memos on meetings with Trump; Mueller has them.
National Geographic acknowledges past racism.
Moment of silence to be held for bridge collapse victims.
US finally imposes sanctions on Russia for election meddling.
Thousands flee Syrian rebel enclave.
Death toll at four in FIU pedestrian bridge collapse.
Saudi Arabia warns it could go nuclear.
Finland is the world’s happiest place.
UK to expel 23 Russian diplomats in retaliation for poison attack.
Students walk out: “We’re voting in 2020.”
TV pundit Lawrence Kudlow to be Trump’s economic adviser.
Oklahoma to use nitrogen gas for executions.
Tributes paid to Stephen Hawking.
British PM says Russia was behind poison attack on ex-spy.
Deadly bombings in Austin linked.
No word yet from North Korea on summit.
Qataris clam up on Kushner’s secret meetings.
Here comes another Nor’easter.
FARC falls short in Colombia election.
Helicopter crashes in New York City; five killed.
Teachers learn from West Virginia strike.
South Koreans skeptical about Trump-Kim meeting.
Florida legislature approves $89 billion budget.