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Old 18-03-2017, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Trump Russian Ties investigation

Since the hearings start on Monday, rather than have this important topic cluttering up the Trump thread, I think it merits its own.

Starting with the fact that the Senate asked Comey to tell them by Wednesday if the FBI were actually investigating the Trump Campaign's ties to Russia.

It seems he has given them their answer, although it is not as yet being revealed.

Quote:
After closed door meetings with FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday, top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee looked grim and rattled and refused to divulge the contents of the meeting to reporters.

At around 5 p.m. E.T. on Wednesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) faced reporters but revealed little about their meetings with Comey.

“This briefing was all on sensitive matters,” Feinstein said, “and highly classified and it’s really not anything we can answer any questions about.”

Comey has been at the center of multiple controversies lately, from his decision to make a later-discredited announcement about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server in the days before the 2016 election, to whether or not his agency is currently investigating Donald Trump’s campaign for allegedly colluding with the Russian government.

Comey was asked by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to state by Wednesday whether his agency is actively investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Key Senators Grim-Faced and Quiet After Closed Briefings with FBI's Comey on Trump's Russia Ties | Alternet
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Old 18-03-2017, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A quick recap:

Quote:
What We Know About the Investigations Into Trump’s Russia Scandal
By Margaret Hartmann

In December, President Obama ordered a review of Russia’s alleged effort to hack the U.S. election. A month later, the FBI, CIA, and NSA said they had concluded with “high confidence” that “Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” — with the goal of helping Donald Trump.

Months later, we still don’t have many answers about Russia’s operation, or regarding the explosive allegations about the Trump campaign. That’s not due to lack of trying; U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly been investigating for more than a year, and at least four congressional committees have discussed conducting their own probes. But each step of the process has been complicated by leaks and political accusations — and to make matters worse, the president keep blasting out dubious allegations on Twitter.

Here’s what we know about the efforts to get to the bottom of Russia’s efforts to influence the U.S. election — and why many say they aren’t going far enough.

The FBI


The FBI doesn’t usually comment on the existence or nonexistence of investigations (though we’ve seen some notable exceptions in the last year). Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, FBI director James Comey angered senators by refusing to comment on whether the bureau was investigating Trump’s ties to Russia, or even on his criteria for acknowledging an investigation.

Thanks to a number of leaks, however, we have an idea of what the Russia probe entails. According to McClatchy, last spring the FBI, CIA, Justice Department, NSA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Treasury Department began investigating Russian attempts to influence the election, and the possibility that Kremlin money had secretly made its way to the Trump campaign.

The BBC reported that this coordinated investigation, which is being led by the FBI, was launched after the director of the CIA saw a recording about Russia’s attempt to influence the U.S. election:

Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was — allegedly — a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the U.S. presidential campaign.

It was passed to the U.S. by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counterintelligence taskforce was created.

The current scope and status of the investigations are unclear. In February, Reuters reported that the FBI was pursuing at least three separate probes. The FBI’s Pittsburgh office, which often handles cybersecurity investigations, is working to identify who was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems. The San Francisco office is trying to identify “Guccifer 2,” the person or group who hacked Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. FBI counterintelligence agents in D.C. are looking into leads from informants and foreign communication intercepts, including financial transactions by Russians believed to have links to Trump associates.

The New York Times reported in January that the counterintelligence agencies are looking at intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of its investigation into possible ties between Russian officials and Trump associates. The FBI was said to be examining former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as former Trump advisers Carter Page and Roger Stone.

Last month, the Times said phone records and calls intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies show that Trump campaign officials and associates had repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The Trump camp denies this.

The Senate Intelligence Committee


The most robust congressional investigation is taking place in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — though, like all of the congressional probes, it relies on information collected by the intelligence community.

The committee announced it would conduct an “independent review” after the intelligence agencies said in January that they believed Russia had tried to influence the election on behalf of Trump — though the senators stressed that they had “no reason to doubt the findings.” Chairman Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner said this would include “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

FBI director Comey briefed the committee behind closed doors on February 17. “I have a high level of confidence that we’ll get what we need,” Senator Warner said after the meeting.

The committee is still gathering information. Last month it sent letters to more than a dozen “organizations, agencies, and officials,” asking them to preserve records related to the investigation. White House staffers were ordered to comply.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “highly likely” that the committee will look at former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador, and Warner said he wants Flynn to testify.

Initially Burr told reporters that the probe wouldn’t look into the Trump campaign, but Politico reported that he backtracked after Democrats threatened to boycott the investigation.

For a few weeks the committee appeared united, but in late February, reports emerged that the White House had asked Burr to help knock down stories about Trump associates communicating with Russians during the campaign. Burr was one of Trump’s staunchest supporters in the Senate and served as a national security adviser to the campaign.

Burr acknowledged that he talked with the White House, then disputed the Russia report in conversations with reporters. “I felt I had something to share that didn’t breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Burr had been put “on notice,” and Warner said he had “grave concerns” about the independence of the investigation. Democratic operatives told Politico that they’re pleased with the progress of the investigation so far, so they’re holding back on airing their issues with Burr.

The House Intelligence Committee


There’s yet more tension between the two representatives leading the corresponding investigation in the House. Intelligence chair Devin Nunes was an early Trump supporter and a member of his transition team. Like Burr, the White House asked Nunes to help knock down reports that there were repeated contacts between Trump officials and Russian operatives.

“As of right now, I don’t have any evidence of any phone calls. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist … What I’ve been told by many folks is that there’s nothing there,” Nunes told the Washington Post last week. Echoing the president, he said the real problem is the frequent leaks about the Russia investigation, not their content.

Representative Adam Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, said it was too early to rule out ties between Trump aides and Russian officials.

“We don’t know whether there were U.S. persons involved, but it is our responsibility to find out,” Schiff said on MSNBC. “And I don’t think anyone on the committee, or our chairs in the House or Senate, ought to be stating a conclusion or deeming it their responsibility to push back on unfavorable press stories.”

Last week, Nunes and Schiff said they had approved a six-page classified document laying out the scope of their investigation. It includes possible contacts between the Trump team and Moscow, as well as possible leaks of classified information from the intelligence community.

But the two committee leaders have continued to clash. After President Trump accused President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, Nunes said the House Intelligence Committee would “make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates.” Schiff called Trump’s claim “as destructive as it was baseless.”

Another issue: The House Intelligence Committee is underfunded and understaffed, according to the Daily Beast. Schiff said he suggested to the Senate Intelligence Committee that they could work together, but they weren’t interested.

“I would have to imagine one of the concerns — and I’m just speculating here — that the Senate may have is if they feel that their investigation is proceeding very much in a bipartisan fashion, and their concern may be that the House isn’t, they may have concerns about combining the two,” Schiff said.

The House Oversight Committee


Committee chair Jason Chaffetz has been resistant to calls to investigate the Trump administration, and he’s taken little action on the Russia matter.

Following Flynn’s resignation, Chaffetz said the House Oversight Commitee wouldn’t be looking into the issue because it’s “working itself out.” Instead, he and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte wrote a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general, demanding an investigation into whether officials “mishandled” classified information when they leaked about Flynn’s communications to the press.

Chaffetz did eventually join a Democratic effort to look into whether Russian officials paid Flynn for his appearances in Moscow in 2015, which may have violated the Constitutions’s Emoluments Clause. Chaffetz and Representative Elijah Cummings, the senior Democrat on the committee, sent a letter to the company that handled Flynn’s speaking engagements, requesting more information.

The Senate Judiciary Committee


The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee —Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, respectively — asked the Justice Department and the FBI to brief them on the circumstances of Flynn’s resignation, and to share transcripts of Flynn’s intercepted calls to the Russian ambassador.

In February, Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, who lead the panel’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, announced they were launching their own investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

“Our goal is simple — to the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy,” the senators said. “Our efforts will be guided by the belief that we have an obligation to follow the facts wherever they may lead.”

Graham said this week that they would also look into Trump’s wiretapping claims. “It would be earth-shattering if the former administration illegally wiretapped a campaign,” he said. “If the FISA court issued a warrant that would be pretty stunning too, because they’d have to have probable cause,” he said.

The fact that Trump supporters helm the key congressional probes didn’t inspire much confidence, even before it was revealed that they were commenting on the Russia scandal at the behest of the White House. Democrats and even some Republicans have called for a more rigorous investigation, either by a special congressional committee or a special prosecutor.

However, while those options may be perceived as more independent, they do have their drawbacks. As the Washington Post notes, it can take years for a special congressional probe to complete its investigation. And, like with the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Republicans and Democrats may not be able to agree on their conclusions.

Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, Senator Schumer is demanding that Deputy Attorney General nominee Rod Rosenstein commit to appointing a special prosecutor during his confirmation hearing this week. A recent CNN/ORC poll found that about two-thirds of Americans agree that a special prosecutor, not Congress, should oversee Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

But Peter Zeidenberg, who served as an assistant special counsel in the prosecution of Scooter Libby, argued that, in this case, appointing a special prosecutor “would likely be a mistake.” That person’s mission would be to determine if a crime was committed, not to make information public:

If, after a full criminal investigation, it was determined that a crime occurred but the critical evidence was not obtainable — say, for purposes of argument, that this evidence was in Russia, unobtainable by subpoena — then it would be improper to seek an indictment. Critically, the entire investigation would then remain secret. It would be a violation of law for a prosecutor to make public the results of a grand jury investigation that did not result in an indictment.

When the allegations involve the undermining of U.S. institutions, there’s only so much the government can do to restore public confidence.

PBS
What We Know About the Probes Into Trump?s Russia Scandal
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Old 18-03-2017, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
AlterNet is a progressive activist news service and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute.
Quote:
AlterNet publishes original content and also makes use of "alternative media", sourcing columns from Salon, The Guardian, Truthdig, Truthout, TomDispatch, The Washington Spectator, Al Jazeera English, Center for Public Integrity, Democracy Now!, Waging Nonviolence, Asia Times, New America Media and Mother Jones. The editorial staff is headed by founder and executive editor Don Hazen, a former publisher of Mother Jones.[8]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlterNet

This is an appropriate new source?
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Old 18-03-2017, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick View Post
Quote:
AlterNet is a progressive activist news service and a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute.
Quote:
AlterNet publishes original content and also makes use of "alternative media", sourcing columns from Salon, The Guardian, Truthdig, Truthout, TomDispatch, The Washington Spectator, Al Jazeera English, Center for Public Integrity, Democracy Now!, Waging Nonviolence, Asia Times, New America Media and Mother Jones. The editorial staff is headed by founder and executive editor Don Hazen, a former publisher of Mother Jones.[8]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlterNet

This is an appropriate new source?
I assume you mean "news".

See those three big letters at the end of the article?

P..... B..... S.....



This isn't a news forum anyway, you fucking idiot.

Last edited by harrybarracuda : 18-03-2017 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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there seems to be some kind of harassment on Trump over his ties with Russia,

highly suspicious, and the signature of special services MO
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick
Im challenging your fuckin source right now
Are you disputing that the briefing between Comey and the Senate Intel Committee took place?
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrybarracuda
rather than have this important topic cluttering up the Trump thread, I think it merits its own.
Heh, you really just want to piss Slick off.
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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knowing Trump, he is going to fire everyone at the FBI and CIA eventually

and close down the whole shop !!!

Vive le Trump
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Maanaam
Heh, you really just want to piss Slick off.
Probably, but ill take that as a win.

Hes thinking about me
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Seems like a pretty concise synopsis of what has and is taking place. These investigations will be going on for a long time. Meanwhile it looks more and more like the Trump presidency is a failure limping along and it's only a matter of time before he resigns or is impeached.
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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it's like the Lewinsky affair, completely pointless and nothing to show at the end

what does the Russian ties proves ? absolutely nothing, and that's why it's so funny to see all the snowflakes getting all excited over it

what it does prove is how belligerent the US has become with the world, and why US special services are a danger to world security by manipulating politicians and the American public with "fake news" and pointless investigations.
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Old 18-03-2017, 04:56 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maanaam
Heh, you really just want to piss Slick off.
Probably, but ill take that as a win.

Hes thinking about me
Very Trumpian attitude.
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Old 18-03-2017, 05:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
what does the Russian ties proves ? absolutely nothing, and that's why it's so funny to see all the snowflakes getting all excited over it
Russia is a current "bogeyman", which featured heavily in the US presidential election race.
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Old 18-03-2017, 05:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
it's like the Lewinsky affair, completely pointless and nothing to show at the end

what does the Russian ties proves ? absolutely nothing, and that's why it's so funny to see all the snowflakes getting all excited over it

what it does prove is how belligerent the US has become with the world, and why US special services are a danger to world security by manipulating politicians and the American public with "fake news" and pointless investigations.
You need to clarify that it is only the Democrat snowflakes getting upset. They just can't face the fact that they lost the election. A bunch of cry babies.
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Old 18-03-2017, 05:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rickschoppers
You need to clarify that it is only the Democrat snowflakes getting upset. They just can't face the fact that they lost the election. A bunch of cry babies.
You just can't tolerate opposition and criticism Rick. You seem to think that since Trump won people who disagree with him on policy, point out his outrageous lies and call out his regal pretentions should just shut up. It's not a fascist state yet Rick as much as you would like it to be.
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Old 18-03-2017, 05:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
it's like the Lewinsky affair, completely pointless and nothing to show at the end

what does the Russian ties proves ?
It proves what a bunch of liars this administration are.
Oh, and while we're here, have you wondered WHY they would lie about the Russian connections if there's nothing there?
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Old 18-03-2017, 05:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think that all the resistance toward Trump, mainly by disgruntled Democrats, should be toned down a bit. Too much time is being spent on embellishing fake news that could be spent on more important things. Nothing to do with competition, everything to do with BS news like CNN, who is clearly biased. I have many friends in the US who try to jump on the band wagon because their feelings are hurt after losing the election.

You lot seem to lump all Americans in with the Democratic snowflakes, but like I explained to Snub, Americans are not all the same. Try to wrap your head around that relatively simple concept, if you can.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
I think that all the resistance toward Trump should be toned down a bit.
. Really? Why?
You realise that there's a reason for all this resistance right?
That he's a totally unsuitable character to be president of the most powerful nation in the world. (for the time being).
If you want to remain the most powerful nation you need to get rid of that orange shitgibbon as soon as possible.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The guy can fabricate lie after outrageous lie and his followers just shrug it all off. It's very revealing of the lack of character on the part of a large segment of the American public. Truly, the country has fallen to a low that no one could have ever forseen. So many seem oblivious and even rejoice in this dangerous false prophet.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
I think that all the resistance toward Trump, mainly by disgruntled Democrats, should be toned down a bit. Too much time is being spent on embellishing fake news that could be spent on more important things.
I think the Trump administration should stop embellishing fake news (i.e. the GCHQ lie - and what now appears to be the Trump Tower wiretapping lie).
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Only unsuitable according to the Democrats Cujo and a few confused Republicans. Trump was elected on mostly his platform promises like most past presidents. From where I sit, he is tryng to reform health care, which was a disaster, increase US jobs, make trade deals that are more in our favor, tackle the immigration issue along with other items past presidents only talked about.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are only sitting around pissing and moaning along with trying to distract the president and his administration from doing their jobs. It is an age old tactic and if you don't recognize it Cujo, you are blind.

Living in Thailand, I do not have a big dog in this hunt, but when I see others falling for that obvious tactic, I have to speak up. Am I 100% correct? Probably not, but it gets old seeing Americans and others whining so much. The news needs to dial things down a bit along with all the fake news, but that just wont happen. Outrageous sells, as we have all learned here on TD.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
I think that all the resistance toward Trump, mainly by disgruntled Democrats, should be toned down a bit. Too much time is being spent on embellishing fake news that could be spent on more important things.
I think the Trump administration should stop embellishing fake news (i.e. the GCHQ lie - and what now appears to be the Trump Tower wiretapping lie).
Agree, but I also think you have to respond or everyone interprets silence as guilt. A Catch 22 really. Alleged is still the operative word, and yes it needs to be dropped by all until some difinitive evidence surfaces. All the speculation is a waste of time, my original point.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:44 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbert
The guy can fabricate lie after outrageous lie and his followers just shrug it all off.
That's the core of the problem. Not a president Trump, bad as it is. The environment that made his election possible, won't go away even if he is impeached and removed from office.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
I think that all the resistance toward Trump, mainly by disgruntled Democrats, should be toned down a bit. Too much time is being spent on embellishing fake news that could be spent on more important things.
I think the Trump administration should stop embellishing fake news (i.e. the GCHQ lie - and what now appears to be the Trump Tower wiretapping lie).
Agree, but I also think you have to respond or everyone interprets silence as guilt. A Catch 22 really. Alleged is still the operative word, and yes it needs to be dropped by all until some difinitive evidence surfaces. All the speculation is a waste of time, my original point.
Trump shouldn't be giving it credence in the first place. He's making himself, the White House and the USA look foolish by doing so. It's him who keeps prattling on about fake news yet he still peddles it.
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbert
The guy can fabricate lie after outrageous lie and his followers just shrug it all off.
That's the core of the problem. Not a president Trump, bad as it is. The environment that made his election possible, won't go away even if he is impeached and removed from office.
Finally, someone with some political sense.
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