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Norman Bernstein
05-27-2017, 08:11 PM
The most sensible article I've read since Trump was elected.


With blockbuster reports dropping daily over the FBI investigation into the Trump campaignís contacts with Russian officials, itís easy to lose sight of the focus of the story.

The idea that Trump officials were colluding with Russia to rig the presidential campaign always seemed a bit far fetched. The investigation may turn up incidents of possible coordination, but itís unlikely there was some grand scheme to throw the election to Trump. The Trump campaign, as everyone will recall, was not exactly a well-managed organization with a coherent strategy.

Itís more likely that Russia was meddling in the election with the primary goal of undermining its legitimacy. And itís more likely the Trump teamís contacts with Russia were all about money.

A Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-fbi-kushner-exclusive-idUSKBN18N018) story from late last night buried this important detail:


FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump, said the current U.S. law enforcement official.

The head of Russian state-owned Vnesheconombank, Sergei Nikolaevich Gorkov, a trained intelligence officer whom Putin appointed, met Kushner at Trump Tower in December. The bank is under U.S. sanctions and was implicated in a 2015 espionage case in which one of its New York executives pleaded guilty to spying and was jailed.

The bank said in a statement in March that it had met with Kushner along with other representatives of U.S. banks and business as part of preparing a new corporate strategy.


Before their father even ran for president, President Trumpís oldest sons told reporters the Trump Organization got much of its financing from Russia. And while Trump himself has claimed he has ďno business interests in RussiaĒ that obviously leaves open the possibility that Russians have financed his projects outside of Russia.

Trumpís unwillingness to release his tax returns has made it hard to verify specific details, but I have confirmed with multiple people who have worked with Trump over the years that he used Russian financing for many of his real estate deals.

To what extent Russian financiers ó and through them, Russian President Vladimir Putin ó hold power over the U.S. president is virtually impossible to determine. But that seems to be the most important focus of this investigation.

CWSmith
05-27-2017, 08:16 PM
If true, and I think this makes a lot of sense, a charge of treason or "high crimes..." will require a quid-pro-quo response from Trump. I'm not sure there has been one. All I have really seen is massive incompetence and childish behavior.

LeeG
05-27-2017, 08:17 PM
I think it's a matter of pride, he doesn't want to acknowledge his wealth came from others.

johnw
05-27-2017, 08:22 PM
If true, and I think this makes a lot of sense, a charge of treason or "high crimes..." will require a quid-pro-quo response from Trump. I'm not sure there has been one. All I have really seen is massive incompetence and childish behavior.

Well, there's also his inexplicable desire to undermine NATO.

CWSmith
05-27-2017, 08:41 PM
Well, there's also his inexplicable desire to undermine NATO.

I'll go along with that. Could he be a mastermind who only pretends to be incompetent?

johnw
05-27-2017, 08:45 PM
I'll go along with that. Could he be a mastermind who only pretends to be incompetent?

More likely he's an incompetent who can understand and carry out commands.

Chip-skiff
05-27-2017, 08:53 PM
I'll go along with that. Could he be a mastermind who only pretends to be incompetent?

In a word, no.

Putin is too shrewd to think of Trump as a powerful ally and supporter of Russian interests. Trump's election was sought by the Russians as a means to cripple a longtime adversary and saddle the US with an incompetent, corrupt, and foolish leader.

As George Bush the Younger said: Mission Accomplished.

mdh
05-27-2017, 09:10 PM
I been tellin ya: http://nypost.com/2017/05/26/how-team-obama-tried-to-hack-the-election/

CWSmith
05-27-2017, 09:24 PM
Putin is too shrewd to think of Trump as a powerful ally and supporter of Russian interests. Trump's election was sought by the Russians as a means to cripple a longtime adversary and saddle the US with an incompetent, corrupt, and foolish leader.

I think this is increasingly evident. Putin wants chaos and a reduction of American prestige in the world. The question has been what did Trump want and I think we now see it was money. He was played.