What’s Up With The Russian Explosions?

Ken AshfordDisasters, RussiaLeave a Comment

There have been two notable explosions in Russia this past week. First, an arms storage depot exploded at Achinsk, near Krasnoyarsk, in Siberia. Every summer, a couple of arms storage depots explode in Russia. They have a lot of them, and their safety measures leave something to be desired. Explosions have continued for a week. Once they start, it’s dangerous … Read More

Coats Replaced As National Intel Director And Replaced With Trump Toadie

Ken AshfordElection 2020, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Coats out as national intel director, clashed with Trump: WASHINGTON (AP) — Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, will leave his job next month, President Trump announced Sunday, after a turbulent two years in which Coats and the president were often at odds over Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump announced Coats’ departure as Aug. 15 in a tweet … Read More

Breaking: Russian Gun Rights Activist Maria Butina Sentenced To 18 Months After Conspiring To Infiltrate The NRA

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Crime, Gun Control, L'Affaire Russe, RussiaLeave a Comment

Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina was sentenced to an 18-month prison term Friday in Washington after failing to register as a foreign agent for conspiring to infiltrate conservative U.S. political circles for the Kremlin. Butina, 30, pleaded guilty in December to conspiring with a senior Russian official to access the National Rifle Association among other groups from 2015 until she was … Read More

Exhausting Futility Continues

Ken AshfordGubmint Shutdown, Immigration and Xenophobia, L'Affaire Russe, Polls, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Shutdown Day Number 23 and there is no sign of movement. Trump apparently has little to do but tweet all day — childish attacks on Elizabeth Warren (racist attacks there) and on Jeff Bezo’s personal life. But that is kind of the point that Trump wants to make — he’s ready to work on a deal and Dems are off … Read More

Trump’s Ignorance Of Afghanistan Is Scary And Curious

Ken AshfordAfghanistan, Military Issues, Russia, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

At a press briefing at the end of a cabinet meeting Wednesday, Trump took questions from the press, and went on for 90 minutes in a rambling monologue festooned from end to end with falsehoods on a variety of subjects. But one particular statement he made has stood out: But then Trump went right off the deep end with a disquisition on … Read More

Trump Undermines Military Intelligence — This Time On Syria

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

On Monday, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement publicly pledged that the U.S. commitment to Syria would not waiver. The very next day, Trump reportedly decided to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops there.  Today he tweeted this: Trump appears to be discarding his entire Syria and Iran strategy at a single stroke, giving up any and all U.S. influence in the … Read More

Update On The OTHER Russia Scandal

Ken AshfordGun Control, L'Affaire Russe, Political Scandals, RussiaLeave a Comment

In a week of political scandals, it is important that this one doesn’t get lost because, although it doesn’t implicate Trump, it implicates the Republican Party as well as the Republicans’ source of campaign income, the NRA. I’m talking of course about Marina Butina.  I’ve talked about her here and here. Butina was arrested in July after the FBI raided … Read More

It’s Not Just Trump Anymore

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Republicans, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Michelle Goldberg asks “Are Republicans Covering for Trump, or for Themselves?” Of all the interlocking mysteries of the Trump-Russia scandal, one that I’ve found particularly perplexing is the utter servility of congressional Republicans before a president many of them hate and believe to be compromised by a foreign power. Yes, I know they’re thrilled about tax cuts and judges. Given … Read More

More Cleanup On Aisle Trump

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Yesterday, the day after Trump’s unconvincing walkback of believing Putin over the US intelligence community, this happened at a press pool spray: The exact exchange that just occurred in the White House 👇 REPORTER: Is Russia still targeting the US, Mr. President? TRUMP: Thank you very much. No. (Shakes head) REPORTER: No? You don’t believe that to be the case? … Read More

Treason Summit Fallout

Ken AshfordElection 2016, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

It’s been compared to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. These comparisons, to me, aren’t apt.  For one thing, people died.  More importantly, those tragedies weren’t self-inflicted. But the gravity of what Trump did has even surpassed his “both sides” comment of Charlottesville. Virtually every politician and pundit has condemned the disastrous press conference.  “Treason” and “traitor” are on many lips, while … Read More

Treason Summit

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

On the heels of the NATO summit, where President Trump dissed our strongest allies, Trump is now visiting Vladimir Putin in Russia. Just moments ago, he and Putin ended their special two-hours-and-10-minutes one-on-one meeting with no advisers and no witnesses and no note-takers. One official, according to CNN, said it was because he doesn’t want his aides interrupting or undercutting … Read More

Trump Goes Soft On Russia Again

Ken AshfordRussia, Syria, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Monday (left)Tuesday (right)Wednesday TBD pic.twitter.com/sxkWhRYJRv — Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) April 17, 2018 Trump rejected, for now at least, a fresh round of sanctions set to be imposed against Russia yesterday, a course change that underscored the schism between the president and his national security team. Why did he do it?  Here’s what a cynic might say… Sunday morning: Haley announces … Read More

Trump Sanctions Russian Oligarchs

Ken AshfordElection 2016, L'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

Is say “Trump”, but I have a feeling Trump is not gung-ho about this: The United States imposed new economic sanctions on senior Russian politicians, companies and business leaders Friday, citing a list of complaints including Moscow’s attempts to undermine Western democracies, support of separatists in Ukraine and its backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The sanctions — the Trump … Read More

Is There ANYTHING That Trump Says Here That Is Objectively True?

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday afternoon that he has been incredibly tough on Russia and that everybody knows it. “Nobody’s been tougher on Russia than I have,” he said at a press conference with three heads of state from Baltic nations when asked how he views his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Everyone agrees when they think about … Read More