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Sun Dec 3, 2017, 10:49 PM

TPM - Marshall "Taking Stock, Pt. 1: The Race for Russia" (long, important read)

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/taking-stock-pt-1-the-race-for-russia

By JOSH MARSHALL Published DECEMBER 3, 2017 9:55 PM

As we sift through the details of the Flynn court documents we inevitably see them through a distorted prism because we know 2017 as it happened rather than as the Trump team intended it to unfold. This is particularly important for the roughly three months between candidate Trumpís election victory on November 8th, 2016 and Mike Flynnís ouster on February 13th, 2017.

We see Flynnís covert communications with Ambassador Kislyak; we see the escalation of the FBIís scrutiny of Flynn; we know other top Trump officials, like Jared Kushner, were meeting with Kislyak and others and also possibly trying to execute financial transactions with Russian government officials. Itís all sort of a jumble. But the logic of events only really comes into focus when we realize that there was a sort of race taking place between the Trump teamís effort to arrange a rapid rapprochement with Russia in the first weeks of January and February and a mix of the intelligence community, the national security apparatus and the press piecing together what had happened during the 2016 election. Imagine it as a starting pistol firing off on the morning of November 9th, with both teams racing to get more of their critical work done by the end of January.

Since this rapid settling of accounts with Russia is no longer the focus or at least at the forefront of coverage, we need to refresh our memories of exactly what was intended. The Trump transition planned to move rapidly in its first days and weeks in office to engineer a dramatic reshuffling of policy toward Russia, in essence a grand bargain which would start with lifting the December 2016 sanctions as well as those imposed in March 2014 for the annexation of Crimea. But it wouldnít end there. It was also to include a basic reorientation of policy in the Middle East (a policy of close collaboration with Russia in Syria and Iraq/ISIS) and at least some shift in US policy toward Europe and the EU.

As Mike Isikoff reported back in June, pretty much from day one in office, Trump administration officials began tasking State Department officials with drawing up plans for the kind of rapprochement I described above. This touched off a panicked effort by career officials and Obama administration hold overs to slow down these efforts and warn key leaders on Capitol Hill of what was happening and what was being planned. But the preparation for this effort began immediately after the election, way back on November 9th.


snip - much much more to read at the above link

6 replies, 1428 views

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Reply TPM - Marshall "Taking Stock, Pt. 1: The Race for Russia" (long, important read) (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Dec 3 OP
dalton99a Dec 3 #1
kentuck Dec 3 #2
burrowowl Monday #3
WyLoochka Monday #4
L. Coyote Monday #5
malthaussen Tuesday #6

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 10:53 PM

1. "McFarland knew that Russia had intervened in the election... Pence almost certainly knew..."

Great recap and analysis

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 10:56 PM

2. And it was of utmost importance to keep everything hid from the American people.

Nobody had a right to know what they were doing in our name.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 01:27 AM

3. K&R!!!!!!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 09:08 AM

4. Josh Marshall is one of the best

Highly recommended daily reading for those who appreciate details, knowledge, analysis and great writing - from the liberal point of view!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Dec 4, 2017, 10:45 AM

5. So, the Trump campaign worried about a report that "catches Russians red handed"

This is like Watergate now, the daily drip, drip, drip, but instead of a burglary, an adversary altered the election result and the illegitimate President in the White House colluded.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Dec 5, 2017, 10:22 AM

6. Good article...

... sounds like the outline for a great potboiler.

-- Mal

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