Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Ugly American: Trump Lies, Protocol Breaches and Possible Treason

Trump barging in front of Elizabeth II

Years ago when I traveled abroad regularly for business, one of things that often made me cringe were American tourists, a certain percentage of which seem to always display rudeness, boorishness, and a basic contempt for their foreign hosts.  The epitome was when I was in the line to enter the Louvre in Paris and a group of decidedly overweight Mid-Westerners were loudly and continually bitching that the the menu at the McDonald's on the Champs Elysee wasn't just like the one in the backwater they came from.  I made an effort to hide my nationality, hoping I might pass as English, Canadian or even French with luck.  Now, we have Donald Trump, the boor-in-chief proving a nonstop embarrassment to Americans as he engages in constantly lies, snubs Queen Elizabeth - the Brits are faulting her for even meeting with Trump - and trashes the Western order in general.  Deliciously, as Trump's was being greeted by huge protests in London, Robert Mueller drop 12 more indictments of Russian nationals linking Putin's intelligence service to the hacks of the DNC and Clinton email servers.  While no Americans were among those indicted - not yet, anyway - the evidence is building that collusion with a foreign enemy regime did occur.  Trump true to form continues to scream the entire Mueller investigation is a "witch hunt" - a witch hunt that is catching more and more witches. A piece in New York Magazine looks at this bombshell.  Here are highlights: 
On July 27, 2016, Donald Trump denied Russia was the likely culprit in the email hacks, but also announced, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think that you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press.”
In what is possibly an astonishing coincidence, but probably not, that very night, according to the new indictments from the Department of Justice, Russian hackers “attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or about the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign.” Trump asked Russia to hack his opponent, and Russia did “[f]or the first time,” as the indictment says.
Today’s latest, and almost certainly not last, indictments in the Russia scandal concern 12 Russian intelligence figures. . . . The danger for Trump is the implication of collusion scattered throughout the indictments.
The indictment charges that the conspirators “received a request for stolen materials from a candidate for the U.S. Congress,” and “sent the candidate stolen documents.” The Wall Street Journal reported a year ago that “Guccifer 2.0,” one of the Russian hackers, communicated with Florida-based Republican operative Aaron Nevins. Nevins is not named in this indictment, but the revelation that a candidate also communicated with Russian hackers indicates yet another point of contact in a conspiracy that went beyond Trump’s campaign.
The most direct path to the Trump campaign indicated in this indictment runs through Roger Stone. The Republican dirty trickster officially left the Trump campaign in 2015, but remained in regular contact with Trump throughout the campaign.
Stone admittedly engaged in direct communication with one of the indicted Russian agents. The indictment cites Stone’s contact with Guccifer 2.0:

That certainly looks like acting as an accessory to a crime. Stone promises he will “never roll on Trump,” unlike John Dean, who fingered President Nixon for crimes during Watergate. The promise and the analogy both suggest that Stone has evidence of culpability between Trump and Russia.
[The prosecution is building its case step by step, and the absence of formal charges against an individual in any one indictment hardly indicates they are in the clear. President
Little wonder Trump wants to meet with Putin totally alone: he wants no witnesses as he asks his handler what to do as the noose slowly but steadily tightens around him.

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