Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 3:31 AM

Treasonous Trump Releasing Fake Memo to Frame FBI and Hide Russian Ties

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Much is being made in Washington today about a classified Republican memo. It reportedly delineates all kinds of trumped-up allegations of FBI misconduct and bias – all aimed at discrediting congressional and special investigations into how (and why) Russia helped Donald Trump get elected president of the United States.

However, with all due respect to that memo and those investigations, nothing is more incriminating than the way Trump allows Russian President Vladimir Putin to continually disrespect him with impunity. This, after all, is the self-proclaimed master counterpuncher.

More to the point, Trump showed what little it takes for him to strike (back) when he targeted the Khans, “Gold Star” parents of a dead American soldier, because of a perceived slight. He insisted doing so was a matter of public principle and personal pride. Of course, his counterpunches against North Korean President Kim Jong-un are most infamous and perhaps most relevant.

With Putin, though, Trump continually turns the other cheek. This clearly compels one to question why.

As it happens, the latest episode of Putin disrespecting Trump played out earlier this week:

The US on Tuesday released dramatic video of a Russian fighter jet buzzing a Navy spy plane in the Black Sea Monday, the first unsafe incident of its kind since a close encounter nearby in November.

(Fox News, January 30, 2018)

The American media made much of these menacing flybys. But you should bear three things in mind:

  1. They happen often;
  2. American fighter jets do the same to Russian planes; and
  3. They are unlikely to lead to a dogfight (notwithstanding that Russian pilots could exercise a little more professional care).

That said, commentators failed to mention the only newsworthy aspect of these encounters of the Russian kind. That, of course, is the disrespect they showed for this American president and his vaunted military might.

The reason this was so newsworthy is that Trump spent most of the Obama presidency tweeting that Russia was menacing US planes only because Putin has no respect for Obama.

I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire. He has zero respect for Obama or the U.S.!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2014

On top of the disrespect shown by Russia, don’t forget they still have Snowden, who has given them (& everyone) massive US secrets.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2014

By the way, last I checked, “they still have Snowden.”

And, lest you think Putin had a momentary relapse this week and thought he was still messing with “weak” Obama, consider this from “Russians Dupe ‘Stupid’ Trump and White House Staff,” May 12, 2017:

I am constrained to note that Trump also spent much of his campaign ridiculing Obama as a weak and feckless president who commanded no respect on the world stage. To support his contention, he often cited the way Russian fighter jets continually menaced US warships, as well as the way North Korea kept testing ballistic missiles and throwing American citizens in prison.

Except that Russian fighter jets are still menacing US warships, and North Korea is still testing ballistic missiles and throwing American citizens in prison (adding a fourth just this week). Which must make Trump an equally weak and feckless president who commands no respect on the world stage, no?

But the focus of this commentary was not those disrespectful flybys. Instead, it was the way Trump’s consciousness of guilt about his Russian ties caused him to ban US photographers from his meeting in the White House with the Russian ambassador and his delegation.

Apropos of this, the “dupe” in my title refers to Putin making him an international laughingstock. Because he not only promptly released photos the Russians took but also revealed the humiliating assurance Trump provided, namely, that firing FBI director James Comey – as he had just done – would cause the Russia investigations to go away.

Again, such episodes should compel you to question why this self-proclaimed, counterpunching strongman is allowing Putin to disrespect him in ways he vowed would never happen if he were president. Here is the explanation I offered over a year ago:

It would be enough if Putin were simply stroking his infantile ego. But what really explains Trump’s antic infatuation is the same Russians who hacked the DNC warning him that they have compromising, if not incriminating, information on him and/or his family.

(“The Issue Is Not Whether Russia Affected Outcome of US Election,” The iPINIONS Journal, December 12, 2016)

Sure enough, no less a news authority than CNN soon affirmed my take:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

(January 10, 2017)

And only such compromising information explains this:

The Trump administration has announced it will not impose additional sanctions on Russia, despite Congress passing a law [419-3 in the House and 98-2 in the Senate requiring] the President to do so.

(London Independent, January 30, 2018)

And this:

Long-simmering tensions between the President Trump-led Republican Party and federal law enforcement erupted into open battle Wednesday, with the FBI issuing an extraordinary public rebuke of a controversial memo that House Republicans and the White House are preparing to make public.

In a statement sent to reporters, the FBI says it has ‘grave concerns’ about the memo, suggesting that it omits key facts and is thus inaccurate.

(Washington Post, January 31, 2018)

If that were not damning enough, Trump’s handpicked Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein joined his handpicked FBI Director Christopher A. Wray in warning not just House Republicans but Trump himself. Yet they seem intent on persisting.

Meanwhile, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is to Trump what Kryptonite is to Superman. But even Trump understands that firing Mueller, the way he fired Comey, would be tantamount to political suicide.

This is why he is trying to so hard to undermine Mueller’s criminal investigation, hoping to mislead a critical mass of Americans to dismiss its institutionally objective findings as just another partisan hit job (i.e., much like the Republican “intelligence” memo causing so much hullabaloo today).

You’ve probably heard that Republican Representative Devin Nunes is using this fake memo in his witch hunt for corrupt FBI agents. This is eerily reminiscent of Republican Senator Joe McCarthy’s infamous 1950s witch hunt for communist sympathizers.

In “Republicans Exploiting FBI Texts the Way Trump Exploited DNC E-Mails,” December 15, 2017, I denounced Nunes and other Republican flunkies for conjuring up this poisoned chalice of a memo.


House Republicans are exploiting the private text messages of agents at the FBI to undermine special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the role Russia played in helping Trump get elected. They are making prurient fodder of these messages in the name of government oversight. …

They are part of an open conspiracy among Republicans to undermine Mueller’s investigation. Which is just the latest example of them sacrificing what little principles they had at the altar of Trump’s presidency.

Even worse, these erstwhile chest-thumping, law-and-order patriots seem deliriously unconcerned that they are helping Trump not only propagate a false equivalence between the FBI and the (old Russian) KGB, but also erode public confidence in the integrity of all democratic institutions.


Which brings me back to Trump and Putin, his Russian puppet master. Forget The Manchurian Candidate! Trump is behaving like a Manchurian president. No doubt because Putin is every bit as manipulative as the fictional Mrs. Iselin.

But just imagine Trump’s tweets about treason if Obama had taken the word of any foreign leader over the unanimous word of the directors of US intelligence agencies.

Trump said he took Putin at his word that Russia did not seek to interfere in the US presidential election last year, despite a finding from US intelligence agencies that it did.

(CNN, November 11, 2017)

Enough? Except that I urge you to consider which is more troubling: a) the unwillingness of Trump to criticize the cyberattacking, murderous Putin, or b) the unwillingness of Republicans to criticize the manic, mendacious Trump.

And let me hasten to clarify the specious claim Trump and his enablers are making about Russia’s cyberattacks not actually changing any votes. Because this is like a teenage boy acknowledging that he impregnated his teenage girlfriend but insisting that doing so did not cause her to have the child. In other words, having meddled to influence how so many Americans voted, the die was cast: Russia had no need to change the results.

Philanthropist Tom Steyer released his latest impeach-Trump ad on Tuesday to coincide with the State of the Union Address. In it, he imagines all the destruction this president could cause in just 30 seconds, citing everything from firing an FBI director to launching a nuclear war.

Ending the ad, he asks this existential question:

How bad does it have to get before Congress does something?

Steyer’s question could not be more timely. After all, as noted above, Trump just flouted (in open and notorious fashion) his constitutional duty to “take care that the [law imposing sanctions against Russia is] faithfully executed.”

His refusal to do so, coupled with the complicit acquiescence of the Republican-controlled Congress, makes a mockery of the checks and balances that form the foundation of American democracy. Not to mention the clear and present danger refusing to punish Russia portends for free and fair elections and national security – in democracies everywhere.

Trump seems possessed of a paranoid determination to undermine the very foundations of American democracy. And his egocentrism is so unhinged that no democratic institution seems too sacred to destroy just to save his own face … and behind.

Still, there’s no denying the reasonable suspicion that Putin has cast a spell on him. Specifically, that fear of Putin releasing compromising information has something to do with his antic presidential behavior.

Whatever the case, the more Trump undermines America’s democratic institutions (and sows discord among its democratic allies), the more Putin licks his chops: a Manchurian president indeed.

Related commentaries:
Snowden in Russia
Russians dupe stupid
Whether Russia affected election
Special counsel Mueller

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