Moon of Alabama — Dec 1, 2017
The anti-Trump “resistance” campaign alleges that the Russian government tried to “influence” the U.S. election. It insinuates that Trump “colluded” with the Russians in these alleged attempts. It has no evidence for any of its claims. The intent of this campaign is to handicap the Trump administration as much as possible and to prevent better U.S. relations with Russia.
A witch hunt was launched in which the Mueller investigation in the alleged election manipulation, as well as Congressional hearings, are used to throw as much dirt as possible into the direction of the Trump administration to then see what might stick.
While retired army-general Michael Flynn worked for the Trump campaign he was also a lobbyist for a rich person near to the Turkish government. He made $600,000 off that gig. The Trump campaign did not know about this. Flynn also attended an anniversary celebration for Russia Today in Moscow. He had been hired as a paid speaker for the occasion and his speaker agency charged $40,000 for it.
Flynn was fired from the job as National Security Advisor 24 days after Trump#s inauguration. He had been stupid enough to announce that he wanted to reform the CIA and the other intelligence agencies. Those agencies made sure that such would not happen.
Flynn was questioned by the FBI in connection with the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian influence on the 2016 election campaign. He lied to the FBI about some diplomatic contacts he had made on request of the then incoming Trump administration. The FBI managed to prove that he had lied. In the U.S. lying to the FBI is a serious crime. (I am not aware of other countries that has such a stupid rule.) Flynn was offered a plea deal. He is supposed to tell Mueller what Mueller wants to hear in exchange for a lower penalty for his “crime” of lying to the FBI.
But look what the real issues were Flynn lied about:
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and authorities indicated in court he was acting under instructions from senior Trump transition officials in his dealings with the diplomat.
Flynn contacted the senior Russian diplomat in Washington DC. He was surely aware that the NSA and CIA notice and listen in to all such contacts. Flynn had no reason to believe that such contacts were out of the norm because they ain’t. Incoming administrations need such contacts to prepare their policies.
There are two different issues about which Flynn contacted the Russian ambassador:
In one of the conversations described in court documents, the men discussed an upcoming United Nations Security Council vote on whether to condemn Israel’s building of settlements. At the time, the Obama administration was preparing to allow a Security Council vote on the matter.
Mr Mueller’s investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel, according to two people briefed on the inquiry. Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, took the lead in those efforts. Mr Mueller’s team has emails that show Mr Flynn saying he would work to kill the vote, the people briefed on the matter said.
The Security Council vote was on December 23, 2016. The Israeli government lobbied the incoming administration to influence that vote in the Israeli government’s interest. The Trump administration in-waiting could not influence the Obama administration which had decided to abstain. It contacted the Russian ambassador to influence the Russians to block the vote in the UNSC. The Russian’s did not do such.
The “collusion” here is between the Israeli government and the Trump campaign. The “influence” is two part. A successful Israeli attempt to influence the incoming Trump administration and an unsuccessful attempt by Trump people to influence the Russian UNSC vote. The issue has absolutely zero to do with the U.S. election.
Now onto the second issue:
In the other discussion, according to court documents, Mr. Flynn asked Mr. Kislyak that Moscow refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions announced by the Obama administration that day against Russia over its interference in the presidential election. And Mr. Kislyak told Mr. Flynn that Russia “had chosen to moderate its response,” the documents said.
The following day, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said Moscow would not retaliate against the United States in response to the sanctions.
Mr Trump praised the Russian leader in a Twitter post.
“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!” Mr Trump wrote.
Throughout his election campaign, Trump had loudly argued for better relations with Russia. He said it would be easier to solve global problems if the U.S. and Russia cooperate.
The Obama administration had a generally hostile attitude towards Russia. It walked the relations towards a new cold war. Clinton’s loss of the election which she blamed, without evidence, on Russia amplified his moves. According to the book ‘Shattered’, which describes the Clinton campaign, the decision to blame Russia for her loss was made a day after Trump’s victory:
That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.
At the end of 2016, Obama sanctioned Russian officials over allegedly influencing the U.S. campaign. No evidence was ever presented that such “influencing” was attempted or happened. Obama just willfully tried to worsen the relations with Russia.
The incoming administration tried to prevent more damage in the relations between the U.S. and Russia by contacting the Russian ambassador. It was a smart and well-reasoned measure. There was no “collusion” in this. The “influence” was again from the Trump campaign into the direction of the Russian government, not the other way around. It had nothing to do with the election.
The Clinton fan-boys and girls seem happy with Flynn’s plea deal and are fretting about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. But how this is supposed to show that something nefarious was going on is not discernible. How the issues Flynn lied about (for whatever stupid reason) are supposed to prove “Russian influence” on the election or “collusion” with Trump during the election campaign is beyond me.