UPDATE: A few more details have come to light since our post last night regarding the vague new Russia allegations reported on by The New York Times. I’ll be quoting from Rolling Stone’s award winning journalist Matt Taibbi and CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Jake Tapper was probably the lone mainstream journalist to actually add some nuance to the utterly vague NYT piece.
A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment. “What’s been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn’t say that,” the official says.
“The problem is Shelby Pierson, the elections threats executive in the intelligence community, said they developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it’s a step short of that. It’s more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders…or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby at the House Intel briefing last week. “And by the way,” the official says, “both Democrats and Republicans were challenging this at the briefing.”
Then there’s the matter of the tense meeting between President Trump and erstwhile Acting Director of National Intelligence Admiral Maguire. “The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process.” None of this disputes that Trump desires to replace those who have Intel expertise with partisan loyalists, or dismisses the larger issues and concerns about Russia and how the president seeks help from abroad. Just that there seems to be more to this particular story.
Matt Taibbi noted, “Interesting to see Tapper actually report this, but this is exactly the point – unless we really know what the agencies are looking at, we cant know if it’s someone’s interpretation that the Russians are trying to help Trump, or if there’s something more concrete.”
The intelligence community has a long history of manipulating "conclusions" to fit political aims. Whether it's WMD or "sonic weapons" or Russiagate, I need to see the underlying evidence before I buy any story they're selling. https://t.co/5xJMimeIeS
Here we go again. #RussiaCollusion is trending on Twitter and a newly recycled batch of McCarthyism is being trumpeted by the legacy media. On the same day, Gallop is reporting that, “43% of independents (49% overall) approve of President Trump…the highest rating for him among the group to date.” So, you’re telling me three years of “Russia is attacking our Democracy,” hasn’t helped to defeat Drumpf?
Sorry this is an old remix. We will, doubtless, have a new one soon!
Before we get into it, can I just ask dumb question? “Do Russians have a right to have opinions about U.S policies or even elections?” I have the odd memory of President Obama standing in the UK and speaking out against BREXIT before that vote. Was that an “attack on Democracy?”
Here’s the NYT link with the story that seems to be launching RUSSIA 2.0 with commentary from Aaron Maté, who is no rightwinger, by the way.
Keep in mind:
-this article doesn't specify how Russia is allegedly aiding Trump -- seems important
-Mueller claimed Russia's interference was "sweeping & systematic" -- but then acknowledged he had no evidence tying the troll farm to the Russian gov't -- also seems important https://t.co/T0K0ZaYgar
Russia is "interfering" to help Trump win the 2020 election how, exactly? More semi-coherent Twitter trolls and cartoon Facebook memes? The reason the word "interfere" has been used so constantly since 2016 is because it's deliberately vague and could mean virtually anything
MSNBC's Chris Wallace on the NYT story: "The Russians are coming again." Corporate media has learned absolutely nothing from their humiliating Russiagate debacle. I'm hoping at least that this round there will be more skepticism & humility from the progressive/adversarial media.
Get ready for another round of Trump trying to prove how "tough" he is on Russia to counteract a dubious intelligence community assessment that Russia is supporting him. Dems will ignore these "tough" (read: dangerous) actions and the GOP will cheer them. Rinse, recycle, repeat