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

DO NOT CONGRATULATE

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

Yeah. Trump is going rogue and it is dangerous: President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call. Trump also chose not to heed talking points … Read More

Trump Administration (Finally) Imposes Sanctions On Russia

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

… although the President himself remains mute. The Trump administration announced today it is enacting new sanctions on Russia, including individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller, in a sweeping new effort to punish Moscow for its attempts to interfere in the 2016 US election. The measures come a month-and-a-half after the administration missed a congressionally mandated deadline to … Read More

Trump To Send Missiles to Ukraine

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Russia, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

The news services are reporting that the United States plans to arm Ukraine with Javelin armor-piercing missiles and other lethal military equipment to help Kiev battle Russian-backed separatists in the east. The Trump administration wants to approve a $47 million military aid package to Ukraine, including 210 anti-tank missiles and 35 Javelin launchers. Russia has warned that the plan, a departure from the previous … Read More

Is The NRA In Bed With Russia?

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

Earlier this month, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued a pair of letters demanding information on any financial links between the NRA and Moscow, or between the NRA and Russian nationals. The questions came after McClatchy reported: January 18, 2018 05:00 AM  WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle … Read More

National Threat Assessment

Ken AshfordCybersecurity, Foreign Affairs, Russia, Trump & Administration, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

It may not be in the news much today, but there is an important open hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, where the directors of the all the intelligence agencies testify: Director Daniel R. Coats – Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Director Michael Pompeo – Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Admiral Michael Rogers – Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Director Lieutenant General Robert Ashley – Director of … Read More

Lot Of Hypocrisy About Leaks

Ken AshfordL'Affaire Russe, Political Scandals, Russia, Trump & Administration, White House Secrecy, Wiretapping & SurveillanceLeave a Comment

The Pentagon Papers was a leak from Daniel Ellsberg. It helped de-legitimize the Vietnam War. Deep Throat was Mark Felt, a top FBI official. He gave Woodward and Bernstein the deep background on the Watergate scandal. Edward Snowden leaked information about US government surveillance programs. Chelsea Manning leaked documents and video relating to Iraqi air strikes, diplomatic cables, and Gitmo, … Read More

The Bombshell Report That Russia Can Blackmail Trump, Explained

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

There’s an enormous amount we don’t yet know about CNN’s bombshell report that US intelligence agencies believe Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” on President-elect Donald Trump and that his campaign was in direct contact with with Russian intermediaries before the election. We don’t know who CNN’s sources are or if those people’s information is accurate. We don’t know … Read More