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Member since: Mon Nov 29, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 9,462

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Former Bush official baffled by Trump team Russia amnesia:most forgetful team in history or..."

Former Bush official baffled by Trump team amnesia: 'They're either the most forgetful team in political history or the most intimate with Russia'

When asked to explain how so many of President Trump's aides could have conveniently forgotten about meeting with Russia, Republican strategist Nicole Wallace came up empty-handed. "It's inexplicable now why so many people had so many meetings with so many Russians that they forgot about," said Wallace, the communications director under former President George W. Bush, during an appearance Friday morning on NBC's Today.

This week, it was revealed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who also served as a Trump campaign surrogate, spoke twice with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the election, as did former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and two of Trump's former national security advisers, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon.

Today host Chuck Todd pressed Wallace for an explanation, asking again if there could possibly be "one simple, great answer as to why all of this would be happening." "There is none," Wallace replied. "So many people having so many contacts and not remembering? It doesn't make sense. They're either the most forgetful team in political history or the most intimate with Russia."

Watch Wallace discuss the Trump team's "inexplicable" memory lapse below:


Rachel: FBI not cooperating w. House on Trump/Russia investigation- Interview Schiff of House Intel

The Rachel Maddow Show 3/2/17
FBI not cooperating with House on Trump Russia investigation

Congressman Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about the difficultly his committee is having getting answers out of FBI Director James Comey about the investigation into the Donald Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Duration: 6:02

Link to video:

This is very informative and explains how intel committees get classified info. They may have to subpoena FBI to get the info they need. He explains what the FBI is after (developing the facts to prosecute) and how that can conflict with what the intel committees are after - protection of national security interests - and this has to take priority over the FBI developing a case for prosecution.

Bush Reveals on Jimmy Kimmel if Comedic Impressions Ever Annoyed Him

Video Interview

President Donald Trump may famously hate Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live.” But former President George W. Bush revealed to Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday that he was never bothered by comedians mimicking him.

He even had a favorite impersonator.

Bush recounted fighting with “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels over who came up with some of Will Ferrell’s catchphrases when he played the former commander-in-chief. Bush also described his first visit to the White House, which was for a date with President Richard Nixon’s daughter in 1969.


Ellen interviews Bush: "George W. Bush Warns That Putin Wont Stop Unless Someone Stands Up To Him"

Includes video but wouldn't let me paste video URL. Worth watching.

Former President George W. Bush warns that Russian leader Vladimir Putin will “push and push and push until someone stands up to him.”

Bush made the comments on “Ellen,” in response to President Donald Trump’s suggestions that the U.S. could pursue warmer relations with Russia. Last year, intelligence officials concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of helping Trump get elected. Many in Washington, D.C., have pushed for a probe into Trump administration’s ties to Russia.

Bush warned that it’s dangerous to appease the Russian president.

“I had a contentious relationship with him and I think whoever the president is, is going to find out that Putin will push and push and push until someone stands up to him,” Bush told Ellen DeGeneres on the show broadcast Thursday.


In the wake of Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, Bush also spoke of the traditional ties that a president has with the media, calling it a “symbiotic relationship.”

“Here is what I believed when I was president, post-president – the nation needs a free and independent press. And the reason why is, is that power can be very corrupting and we need a press court to hold politicians to account, including me,” he said. “ I didn’t like it sometimes when people said things, you know, about me but you know that’s the job. I’m going to drop a big word on you – symbiotic relationship.” Being powerful, Bush said, doesn’t make anyone immune to criticism or to a corruption investigation.



September Russian cyberattack campaign on state electoral systems intensified alarm at Obama W.H

"But what was going on in the meetings was unclear to the officials, and the intercepted communications did little to clarify matters — the Russians, it appeared, were arguing about how far to go in interfering in the presidential election. What intensified the alarm at the Obama White House was a campaign of cyberattacks on state electoral systems in September, which led the administration to deliver a public accusation against the Russians in October."

So does anyone really think the Russians didn't go so far as to manipulate the vote count if they attacked state election systems?


5 Trump Cabinet Members Who've Made False Statements to Congress

As most of the world knows by now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not tell the truth when he was asked during his confirmation hearings about contacts with Russian officials.

But Sessions isn’t the only one. At least four other cabinet members made statements during their nomination hearings that are contradicted by actual facts: EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

The statements were all made under oath, except those of DeVos. It is a crime to “knowingly” lie in testimony to Congress, but it’s rarely prosecuted.


Deputy AG Boente to take over campaign-related investigations, new Trump nominee confirm hearing 3-7

So what do we know about Rod Rosenstein? Does he also have hidden Russia connections?

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on Thursday from any Justice Department investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, as well as any inquiries into ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign for president of the United States,” Sessions said at a press conference at the DOJ. “This announcement should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation or suggestive of the scope of any such investigation.”

Going forward, Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente will handle all campaign-related investigations. Trump’s permanent nominee for the post, Rod Rosenstein, has a confirmation hearing on March 7."



Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Networked Propaganda and Counter-Propaganda

Jonathan Stray
Computer scientist and investigative journalist. Teaching at Columbia.

In honor of MisinfoCon this weekend, it’s time for a brain dump on propaganda — that is, getting large numbers of people to believe something for political gain. Many of my journalist and technologist colleagues have started to think about propaganda in the wake of the US election, and related issues like “fake news” and organized trolling. My goal here is to connect this new wave of enthusiasm to history and research.

This post is about persuasion. I’m not going to spend much time on the ethics of these techniques, and even less on the question of who is actually right on any particular point. That’s for another conversation. Instead, I want to talk about what works. All of these methods are just tools, and some are more just than others. Think of this as Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Let’s start with the nation states. Modern intelligence services have been involved in propaganda for a very long time and they have many names for it: information warfare, political influence operations, disinformation, psyops. Whatever you want to call it, it pays to study the masters.


But for me, the most surprising conclusion of this work is that a source can still be credible even if it repeatedly and blatantly contradicts itself:

Potential losses in credibility due to inconsistency are potentially offset by synergies with other characteristics of contemporary propaganda. As noted earlier in the discussion of multiple channels, the presentation of multiple arguments by multiple sources is more persuasive than either the presentation of multiple arguments by one source or the presentation of one argument by multiple sources. These losses can also be offset by peripheral cues that enforce perceptions of credibility, trustworthiness, or legitimacy. Even if a channel or individual propagandist changes accounts of events from one day to the next, viewers are likely to evaluate the credibility of the new account without giving too much weight to the prior, “mistaken” account, provided that there are peripheral cues suggesting the source is credible.


"There was no mention of Russia meddling": Shep Smith breaks with Fox News praise of Trumps speech

Shep Smith responded to President Donald Trump’s Tuesday night address in his segment on Wednesday, pointing out that there was no mention of Russia whatsoever, including “its meddling in our election or his team’s communications with Russian officials.”

Shep added that the speech came on the same day that “House Republicans killed a Democratic measure that would have pressured the Justice Department to turn over documents related to the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. There are currently multiple investigations into this issue.”

He noted that there are transcripts available of the conversations between former Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador he spoke with that could answer some of the questions that the president won’t answer, such as whether there was Russian interference in the election.

“Democrats want them published, now Republicans have blocked the first attempt to make them public.” He also noted the confusion on Russia’s side as President Vladimir Putin is reportedly “waiting for Trump to make clear the official Russian policy,” Shep said. “That’s the word from Putin’s own spokesperson after a lack of Russian mention at last night’s address to Congress.”

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Check out video. He even interviews a Politico reporter!


Watch Live: Resistance outside WH right now with Rosie O'Donnell - link

Watch here:


Sponsored by Food and Water Watch

Before Donald Trump's first address to Congress this evening, Food & Water Watch is co-hosting A Resistance Address right now outside the White House to show that resistance is STRONG and that Trump's agenda does not represent American values.

WATCH LIVE: A Resistance Address outside the White House with Rosie O'Donnell!

Trump's first month in office has been a disaster. His discriminatory agenda is putting people across the country directly in harm’s way, undermining equality for all and putting our planet in danger.

Here at Food & Water Watch, we believe that everyone deserves access to safe food and clean drinking water. When Trump tries to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and the enforcement of our critical laws to protect our food and water all Americans will be impacted, and low-income communities will be hit the hardest. We simply can't ensure protections for our food and water without equality for all.

But if history tells us anything, it's that we can prevent the worst by uniting people, building people power in our communities and organizing against these attacks.

 Together, we can resist Trump's attacks, protect our most vulnerable and rebuild a future we can all believe in.

That's why we're LIVE from outside the White House with speakers from diverse organizations and groups of people who have been impacted and harmed by the Trump administration’s policies, including women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, environmental and immigrants’ rights groups. And, the rally will be headlined by actor and advocate Rosie O'Donnell.

These diverse voices make it clear that the Trump administration does not represent the values of most Americans.

While not everyone can be with us in D.C., we want to make sure YOU have a chance to be part of the action:

Click here to watch a livestream of the Resistance Address on our Facebook page.
You don't need to have Facebook to watch.

OR you can follow the #ResistanceAddress on Twitter to get live updates and photos.
You don't need to have Twitter to follow along.

While Trump has gone to great lengths to try to divide us, we will come together to protect the rights of everyone to live and thrive.

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