The smoking gun bursts into flames

Gosh, it’s almost as if Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with the Russians. Now, remind me. Who hired Paul Manafort to run the campaign? Big guy … orange hair … give me a moment, OK?

12 thoughts on “The smoking gun bursts into flames

  1. StephenB

    Dan, as much as I’d like this to be true, I wouldn’t put much stock in just one biased source, the Treasury Department’s, until it’s backed up by other independent sources.

    1. Steve Ross

      The gun has been smoking a long time though. Your comment would be fine at the START of the factoid releases. At this stage, this latest dribble seems in line with and partially confirmed by, previous revelations.

      Another example: Lots of the liberal Canon (HRC being arrogant for believing her polls in Wisconsin, HRC being against single payor because the banks were — although her CHIP insures 13 million kids in single payor Medicaid, and a third of Obamacare enrollees are through Medicaid) has been traced to 2700 Russian Twitter accounts killed off in summer 2017.

      Same with all gas pipelines are bad, fossil fuel companies should stop investing in new fields (they have, but government-owned oil companies have not).

      1. StephenB

        Steve, I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m still curbing my enthusiasm. The smoking gun has so far been a vape pipe, and the investigation, as opposed to hints and allegations, has always been stalled at the starting point. I’ll wait until charges have been filed, arrests made, and penalties executed before I rejoice in justice being done.

  2. I do wonder what this “new source” is. Perhaps it’s Manafort himself, now that he’s received a presidential pardon and no longer needs the 5th amendment to protect himself from self-incrimination?

    1. Steve Ross

      Interesting thought. If Manafort is the source, not sure that would be concealed, though. I certainly would not publish that without revealing him as source.

      I keep thinking about the original key justification for PACs… ok as long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign itself.

      Absurd non-restriction in the age of social media. So what really constitutes collusion these days? Russians overpaying for condos in Trump Tower or funneling money through Deutsche Bank?

    1. MagellanNH

      I think it’s a stretch to call that a racist tirade. She voiced the (apparently uninformed) opinion that “maybe these other works just aren’t as good as Burns’ work.”

      What exactly is racist about someone saying that?

  3. Dan Kennedy

    I’m sure you all remember the Trump Tower meeting at which campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., sat down with Russian operatives in order to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Then there was the time that Trump himself publicly called on Russia to release Clinton’s emails. The collusion was established long ago. We’re just trying to fill in the details.

  4. Steve Ross

    Interesting thought. If Manafort is the source, not sure that would be concealed, though. I certainly would not publish that without revealing him as source.

    I keep thinking about the original key justification for PACs… ok as long as they don’t coordinate with the campaign itself.

    Absurd non-restriction in the age of social media. So what really constitutes collusion these days? Russians overpaying for condos in Trump Tower or funneling money through Deutsche Bank?

  5. MagellanNH

    I’d would love for the smoking gun to finally turn to flames, but we’ve been watching the press get played repeatedly by government officials feeding them biased and unreliable “scoops” about Russia. Unless a story includes an indictment by a grand jury, I’m not taking the bait.

    Here’s G. Greenwald with some pushback on this latest report:
    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/journalists-learning-they-spread

    “Is it true that Kilimnik passed this polling data to the Kremlin? Maybe. But there is no way for a rational person — let alone someone calling themselves a “journalist” — to conclude that it is true. Why? Because, like the CIA tale about Russian bounties — a claim they learned yesterday had no evidence — this is nothing more than a U.S. Government assertion that lacks any evidence.”

    Personally, I have no idea what the truth is.

    1. Steve Ross

      Yet Greenwald knows all oil companies are evil (unless maybe they are state-owned), all fracking is bad, methane from natural gas production is bad, from biodegradables in landfills is good (methane is bad, period, but 10 to 13x more comes from landfills), plastics are always bad.

      It clouds the great reporting he has done… just as CIA lies cloud the useful work it has done.

      Rejection or belief based only on pedigree or past mistakes/tricks is unwise.

      1. MagellanNH

        >> Rejection or belief based only on pedigree or past mistakes/tricks is unwise.

        Sure, but “based only on” is doing a lot of work there. Nearly all major media outlets have been repeatedly used to propagate misinformation and outright lies and surely this is relevant in weighing the likely veracity of their reporting.

        Matt Taibbi has done a decent job of documenting the many missteps on this subject:
        https://taibbi.substack.com/p/aaugh-a-brief-list-of-official-russia

        Of course, mistakes happen and I’m not looking for journalistic perfection. But a little reflection when they get things so badly wrong and perhaps a bit more skepticism when reporting on this stuff would be appreciated.

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