This isn’t going to end well

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

Just not well at all. Because we can see the beginnings at least of a plot here by he permanent state against the duly elected President.

The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Ukraine. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.

Manafort was quite obviously working for Putin (indirectly maybe) in Ukraine. OK, but that doesn’t mean that the campaign was, it means that someone in the campaign had done so.

And tg show the difference, I worked for Ukip, I have had contacts with Russian intelligence. No one working over there for any length of time has not. I’ve had contact with the US and UK guys with three letters after their job title too. Not to any great end but as someone who once had a uranium import/export licence that’s just to be expected. My mate and business partner is an arms dealer–of course there are intelligence contacts.

None of which means that Ukip nor any campaign by it had anything to do with Russian intelligence.

But read those American claims a little more closely. People in the Trump campaign had contacts with people in Russian intelligence…..which means just about anyone senior in either government or business over there. Fine, OK, that’s the nature of the state there. B ut it is a leap, and it’s a leap which is being made, to move from such contacts to they’re cooperating on the campaign.

And do note that proof offered, that the Russians hacked the DNC. We’re note sure that’s true rather than it being a Bernie Bro pissed off and leaking.

And all of those qualifications come much later in the article. Meaning that most people won’t ever read them.

Of course, It’s entirely possible that Putin thought that Trump would be easier to deal with than Hillary (no, stop giggling at the back there) and that he did intervene. But can’t say that I’m in the slightest convinced about this “contacts from the campaign” talk.

24 comments on “This isn’t going to end well

  1. Much hysteria about this. See streetwise professor for the rules, the “deep state” etc. Seems overblown to me, by both sides.

  2. I think Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation because he breached some internal disciplinary code, not because of the baying mob outside. For all the talk of “blood in the water” I think Trump’s opponents are deluding themselves if they think they can pressure one of his team into resigning without having first pissed off the Donald himself.

  3. The only logical way the DNC hack could blow back on the Trump campaign is if a campaigner actually gave the Russians a way in, a password or similar. If a Rep campaigner could have done that, it would have been easier for a neutral agent to get it, and sell it.

    Seems like a weak argument to me, but I guess I’m not the target audience.

  4. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

    No, they spoke on condition of anonymity because their intercepts were illegal.

  5. I think the Russian stuff is a bit of a weak branch to flog Trump with. Tim Newman deconstructed the latest on his blog yesterday, and left me agreeing with him that this is simply the latest in a long line of attempts to smear Trump, and they are using this one because all the others have failed. This one hasn’t, yet, and one resignation (from someone who mislead his bosses) isn’t sufficient to keep the flames burning.

    Interestingly, they had an ex ambassador in R4 this morning saying that (irrespective of Trumps personal qualities) his path with Russia is probably the right one- extend the hand of friendship, get them out of the corner and find mutual grounds for cooperation. The Beeb seemed horrified that anyone should say such a thing, but it was manifestly sensible.

    All of this, of course, is because we’ve forgotten that a good leader doesn’t need to be likeable, just good at his job. As time goes by, people will get used to Trump, remember that you have to be an asshole to run anything of any size, and all this will look very silly in retrospect.

  6. “And do note that proof offered, that the Russians hacked the DNC. We’re note sure that’s true rather than it being a Bernie Bro pissed off and leaking.”

    The “Bernie Bro” is simply the most likely cause, especially with the timing of the leak. Someone who really wanted Bernie to win inside the DNC took one last shot at keeping him in the running, hoping that some delegates would change their vote.

    And it would be crazy for the Russians to have leaked when they did. It’s like the Ultra situation in WW2 where information wasn’t used (I think over the invasion of Crete) because to do so would reveal that they were cracking Enigma. Why would Russian secret service expose their hack over something so trivial? Why not wait for Clinton to be president and then use the DNC pipeline?

  7. Trump needs to unleash the investigations on Hillary, the Clinton Foundation, Huma Abedin and the rest of the political establishment. Also dig up Obama’s carefully buried past.
    Counter attack!

  8. Please do tell us more about the dealings with the intelligence services you have by reason of working for the Kippers. Do people working for the other parties have them too?

  9. That’s not what I said, is it?

    Rather, as a result of my business work in Russia I have obviously had contact with the intelligence people. And that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what I’ve done with Ukip nor Ukip itself in any manner.

    You can read, can you?

  10. The estimable Mr Worstall has in the past provided technical information on the design and manufacture of weaponry to members of British military intelligence.

    Or so you could word it, anyway – I was curious (in my own time) as to why Smith & Wesson made some of their revolver frames out of a scandium alloy. Tim was the first person I thought of who might have the ability and willingness to answer (and he helpfully did).

    But a little bit of truth and a lot of spin, and you too can try to make mountains out of molehills…

  11. To be fair to AndrewWS, I had to read those two sentences again. It’s fairly obvious what OGH meant, but it’s not quite what he wrote. I blame the comma splice.

    That aside tho’, I’d imagine that any decent intelligence service would be keeping an eye on pretty much any political grouping in their own country, plus their allies, neutrals and hostiles. So chances are that anyone just working for UKIP, in a reasonably senior role, let alone standing for them, would have come into contact with some form of the alphabet soup from SIS, DGSE, BND, SVR, you name it. Though these days I’d imagine it’s a quick gander at Facebook or a blog, rather than a couple of chaps or chapesses in overcoats and homburgs at the other end of the bar.

  12. I also second Ljh. Probably the best thing about all of this is that it looks like the left is totally overplaying their hand. Not a game you want to play with Trump. They seem blissfully unaware of how they are coming across to the man on the street. I’m about 50/50 on Trump but the more the left push the more I like him. This is probably not a good thing but there you have it. I hope it doesn’t all end in tears.

    To be fair, it is a good thing that the left is finding a new respect for the balance of powers – sadly I suspect it would take them about 2 second flat to forget all about this again when they next take the presidency (2024 seems a good guess.)

  13. The Left have clearly gone totally insane over Trump – I opened the ‘Indy’ website this morning and could have been forgiven for believing myself to be in New York.

    It hardly seemed to contain any English news at all.

  14. This whole thing, implosion, tantrum, whatever you want to call it, just keeps on reminding me of the period after the 1983 election when that Welsh fella who couldn’t stand up on Brighton beach became Labour leader, and it just seemed that The Only True Labour Voters were vegans, members of CND, Greenpeace etc etc. Seemed to take a good seven years to die out.

  15. I’ve also noticed that the UK (and the Irish) media have become obsessed with US politics recently.

    I think this is good for the progress of Brexit.

  16. “And it would be crazy for the Russians to have leaked when they did. It’s like the Ultra situation in WW2 where information wasn’t used (I think over the invasion of Crete) because to do so would reveal that they were cracking Enigma. ”

    It was originally said of Coventry but that’s urban myth.

    I recommend a day out* at Bletchley Park, they’ve done a great job and explain at great length how they hid the fact that they decoded the Engima messages.

    *You need at least 2 to do it justice but fortunately a ticket is valid for as many entries as you want in a year.

  17. I just hope the antiTrumpers in the various departments realise the scale of the shit storm that will come their way unless they stop acting unconstitutionally

  18. I do hope so. People need to be jailed, but really entire levels of bureaucracy need to be sacked. First order of business is to remove the Carter-era barriers to firing civil servants.

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