Monday, December 11, 2017

Summarizing the Russian story

The NY Times keeps reminding us about the silly Russian story that is supposedly going to be used to impeach Trump.
Confused by all the news about Russia and the 2016 presidential election? We are here to help.

What Is the ‘Russia Story’?
It is all a big nothing burger, but read it yourself.
Russia’s use of cyberattacks to interfere in the 2016 presidential election

In late 2016, top United States intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government directed a massive cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and putting Donald J. Trump in the White House.
Not exactly. Two agencies said that the Russians were probably trying to help Trump. One agency thought that the Russians were trying to undermine the coming Clinton presidency, and did not expect Trump to win. They all very explicitly said that they were not certain about those conclusions.

The "massive cyberattack" consisted mainly of broadcasts on RT television that decried American capitalism in general, and Clinton in particular.

None of the agencies said that the Russian interfered with the election. The reports have no allegations that any votes were changed or influenced as a result of Russian activities.
This broad campaign included hacking and leaking Democratic emails, pushing false information on Russian media outlets, ...
Wikileaks published hacked emails, but there is no proof that the Russian govt had anything to do with it. The DNC refused to let the agencies inspect their servers for evidence. Podesta apparently got phished by someone in Eastern Europe, but there is no known link to the Russian govt. The DNC president and many others believe that the DNC leak was an inside job by Seth Rich, and not related to the Russians.

The "pushing false information" refers to opinion broadcasts on RT TV. There is a lot of legitimate news on RT. Sure, there is some bias, but I am not sure that there is any more bias than there is for Hillary Clinton on MSNBC and CNN.
It was also recently revealed that Donald Trump Jr. exchanged private messages on Twitter with WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy group that published Democratic emails stolen by Russian hackers.
So? Is there something wrong with that? I am sure the NY Times and a lot of others had private communications with WikiLeaks. Even if Donald Jr. asked WikiLeaks to publish info embarrassing to Clinton, I don't see anything wrong with that.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is known to hate Hillary Clinton for reasons that have nothing to do with Trump. Apparently Clinton once suggested having Assange killed. Assange denies that he got the leaks from the Russians, and denies that he was trying to elect Trump.
Here are some of the ways Mr. Trump may have interfered in the continuing criminal and congressional investigations, according to ethics and legal experts.

• Mr. Trump admitted that he had been thinking about the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination by Trump campaign associates when he fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.
Are you kidding? Trump probably thought about all the things that Comey was involved in. It is Trump's constitutional responsibility to consider everything that makes Comey fit or not fit for the job.

The accusation here is that Trump was worried that Comey would screw up the Russian investigation in the same way that everyone agrees that he screwed up the Clinton email investigation.

The President's main job is to make sure that competent men are running the federal agencies. It was Trump's duty to consider what Comey might do, and to fire him if there are sufficient doubts about the job he will do.

The NY Times hates Trump, and presents this story in a way to make him look as bad as possible.

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