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Mon Mar 20, 2017, 09:52 PM

TPM - Josh's summary of the day - "What Did We Learn Today?"

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/what-did-we-learn-today

By JOSH MARSHALL Published MARCH 20, 2017, 5:48 PM EDT

Judged by time, today's House Intelligence Committee hearing was mainly an exercise in hypotheticals and 'no comments'. For those who hadn't gotten the full treatment until now, it was also an exposure to what we might term James Comey's militant earnestness.

What did we learn?

Let's start with the least mysterious: we learned today about as definitively as we are likely to learn that President Trump's claim that President Obama wiretapped him in Trump Tower is false. Seeing this stated so clearly is significant. But mainly we knew this.

The big revelation is that there is an on-going investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and potential "coordination" between the Trump campaign and those Russian efforts.

This revelation is consequential enough to quote Comey verbatim: "I've been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts."

Comey said this investigation is on-going and that it began in "late July."

To draw the very direct conclusion: the investigation continues and one of its key components is whether there was coordination between the Trump entourage and the Russian hacking effort. Ergo, it is false to suggest that that question has been settled in the negative. We have also heard from a number of people who are either disinterested or clearly unsympathetic to Trump that there is as yet no clear evidence of collusion or coordination. So that question remains open, at least as far as we know.

Let's now look at the reference to the investigation starting in "late July." This is highly significant since it appears to have well predated much of the public discussion of the Trump/Russia issue. Indeed, it came only weeks after Comey's extraordinary public statement on the end of the probe of Hillary Clinton's emails.

Back on July 23, I published a lengthy post on Trump and Russia ("Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing", my first on the subject as far as I can remember. No, you can relax. I'm not going to claim my post triggered anything. What I do believe is that there were a series of developments coming together at right around that time which built up to a critical mass of intriguing and suspicious evidence that something was afoot. Things that had seemed a bit odd or weird began to seem like something more tangible and requiring of explanation. There were public developments I and others were reacting to. There were also others we did not know about at the time.

While my post was on July 23, I actually researched and wrote it in the few days preceding. The initial WikiLeaks leak of DNC emails was on July 22. In other words, this happened in the midst of the two or three days I was working on the post. The whole thing struck me as bizarre and improbable - too far-fetched to include in a discussion of what I considered quite tangible and probative information. So I didn't include the emails because it wasn't clear at the time, at least not to me, that there was any connection between that and Russian hacking, let alone Trump.

But consider what else had happened in July.

On July 7, Carter Page gave a speech in Moscow which was generally hostile to US policy vis a vis Russia. He may have had other meetings - there are various unproven claims. But the speech is a public fact. The visit was approved by Corey Lewandowski, Trump's soon to be fired campaign manager, after being rejected by J.D. Gordon, Page's supervisor on the campaign's National Security Advisory Committee.

On July 11 and 12, there was the fiddling with the platform language dealing with Ukraine at the GOP convention. Gordon played into that, too, as the person who muted the language about "lethal aide" at the behest of the now-President.

On July 22, Wikileaks released the first batch of DNC emails allegedly purloined by Russian intelligence agents.

On July 27, now-President Trump made his infamous pronouncement asking Russia to do more hacking of Hillary Clinton. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can find the 33,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

SNIP - lots more to read at the above link

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Reply TPM - Josh's summary of the day - "What Did We Learn Today?" (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Mar 2017 OP
regnaD kciN Mar 2017 #1
emulatorloo Mar 2017 #2
Mc Mike Mar 2017 #3

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 10:19 PM

1. Uh, Josh, you better hold off drinking until after work...

Gordon played into that, too, as the person who muted the language about "lethal aide" at the behest of the now-President.

The term is "mooted," not "muted." And it should be "lethal aid," not "lethal aide."

I'm serious -- Josh's posts are usually impeccable in spelling and grammar. Making two such obvious errors in the same sentence suggests that he was under a degree of stress while writing that -- or under the influence of something to relieve that stress. Finding out that the U.S. government is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia might be enough to do that…or the likelihood that such a revelation will probably change nothing.

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Response to regnaD kciN (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 20, 2017, 10:43 PM

2. muted the language as in toned down the language

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/muted

Definition of muted
1
a : being mute : silent
b : toned down : low-key, subdued
2
: provided with or produced or modified by the use of a mute



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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Mar 21, 2017, 10:29 AM

3. Mr. Marshall is always worth reading.

There may be a discrepancy about who o.k.ed the 7/7 Page trip to Russia. It possibly was J.D. Gordon, not Lewandowski.

This might be correct, because when you read 4 paras later into Josh's summation, he says Manafort took over from Lewandowski on 6/21, when Corey was fired.

Lewandowski never really stopped working for dRumpf, I realize, but it seems hard to believe that he was making a decision 2 weeks later to send Page, instead of the alternative, that Gordon approved the Page trip.

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