Sigh. Patterico is still nuts.

PattericoThe Russians had a campaign to disrupt the 2016 elections and to help Donald Trump win the election. The Trump campaign was aware of parts of this campaign, for example through Roger Stone. The campaign was approached by Russian operatives and in at least one case took them up on a meeting, with relatives of the President and his Krelim-connected campaign chairman meeting with someone representing the Kremlin. Afterwards, Donald Trump helped draft a statement lying about the nature of the meeting. Kremlin officials greenlighted a possible Trump-related real estate project in Moscow. The president’s lawyer later lied about the extent of these contacts to Congress, almost certainly with Trump’s knowledge and after consulting with lawyers connected to Trump. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign did a major favor for Russia by tipping them off that Trump was willing to go softer on sanctions that are very damaging to the corrupt and kleptocratic Putin regime.

Who set up that meeting? Fusion GPS. Who in that meeting represented Russia? No one. (Some people were Russians, or allegedly Russians). What deals were made in that meeting? None. The Trump side has denied any deals and the Russian side has denied any deals. In fact the Trump side left in disgust after a few minutes. While you might say that of course the Russians would deny any deals, the Russian side are heavily linked to Fusion GPS and indeed met with Glenn Simpson both before and after that meeting. Fusion GPS would be claiming a deal was made if in fact any deal was made.

PattericoHowever, no prosecutable case can found of the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia on any of these fronts. There is no indication that they helped to hack any computers. The lightening up on sanctions is a policy that Trump likely favored regardless of whether he got help from the Russian government, given that Trump is a huge personal fan of the murderous autocrat Putin, as evidenced by his sycophantic statements at Helsinki and elsewhere. As repellent as those statements are, and as counterproductive to human rights as the lifting of sanctions might be, all of this is more the product of Trump’s admiration for murderers and strongmen than the product of blackmail or (as the Steele dossier alleged) a quid pro quo for the help Russia gave Trump in electing him.

The Steele "dossier" is discredited BS and basing any evaluation of the situation on it is insane at this point.

Whether Trump actually lifted sanctions on Russia is significantly debateable. He has taken many policy positions significantly tougher on Russia than Obama did; including, in particular, selling weapons to Ukraine to defend itself against the Russian invasion. Sanctions were imposed on Russia by Barack Obama in part for their alleged interference in our election, which remains unproven. (That they tried to interfere ineffectually is not in doubt; the claim that they were behind the DNC hack and colluded with Trump is effectively disproven following the lack of charges against Assange). Trump has actually signed sanctions legislation against Russia, so claiming he weakened sanctions should be a non-starter.

Further -- diplomatic negotiations with foreign nations are part of what the President is elected to do.

PattericoAs often happens, allegations that would sink another person will roll off Trump’s back because what would be inexplicable for a normal human being can be explained as the result of the President being highly erratic and morally compromised in general, as well as being a giant asshole.

Absolutely nothing Trump has done as President is outside the bounds of normal human behavior, and more specifically, normal conservative politics. Much of what he has done, or tried to do, is outside the bounds of "normal deep state" politics. Trump has tried to restrict illegal immigration, renegotiated trade deals, lowered taxes, sought to improve the lot of the domestic manufacturing industries, and tried to extract American troops from foreign wars. These things are generally anathema to the Deep State and misrepresented by the media.

Once upon a time, Patterico was a media skeptic, but his ability to extract the real story behind the biased reporting seems to be on the blink when he is wearing Trump blinders.

The only way to see clearly is to take off the media blinders.

But first, you have to want to take them off.

This entry was published Mon Apr 15 06:47:18 CDT 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-04-14 11:42:53.0. [Tweet]

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