02 December 2016

A History of Donald Trump's Bromance With Vladimir Putin 5OKT16

A mural of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump outside a bar in Vilnius, Lithuania, in May.
drumpf's/trump's fascination with the authoritarian regime in Russia was a concern during the 2016 presidential election and is still a concern. It is disturbing that the American president elect expresses admiration for the brutal dictatorial governing style of putin and the level of control putin and the Russian oligarchy has of the politics, society and economy of the country. Russia is not a democracy and the U.S. president elect, if he is committed too democracy, should not be expressing admiration of and support for a dictatorship. With the election of drumpf/trump-pence, their desire to impose American authoritarianism on our Republic, the threat to our constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties and human rights is real and we, the people, must remain vigilant and prepared to defend them. From +Mother Jones ....

A History of Donald Trump's Bromance With Vladimir Putin

OCT. 5, 2016 5:00 AM

To Russia with love—and lots of tweets.

Sen. Tim Kaine dropped Vladimir Putin's name more than 20 times in last night's vice-presidential debate, suggesting that Gov. Mike Pence and his running mate, Donald Trump, shared an unseemly admiration for the Russian president. "You guys love Russia… You both have said Vladimir Putin is a better leader than the president," Kaine said, referring to recent statements by both Republicans that contrasted Putin's supposed strength with President Barack Obama's weakness. Pence pushed back, calling Putin "small and bullying," and saying that a Trump administration would respond to Russian provocation "with strong, broad-shouldered American leadership."
The larger context for Kaine's not-so-subtle attacks is Trump's very public, largely one-sided relationship with Putin, which has often blurred the line between holding up Putin as Obama's foil and starry-eyed fanboydom. Here's a timeline of the ups and downs of the Trump-Putin bromance, which blossomed over the past few years as American-Russian relations frayed.
October 2007: Five months after Russia is accused of unleashing a cyberwar on the small Baltic country of Estonia, Trump tells Larry King that Putin is doing a great job: "Look at Putin—what he's doing with Russia—I mean, you know, what's going on over there. I mean this guy has done—whether you like him or don't like him—he's doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period."
"I have no relationship with [Putin] other than he called me a genius."
2008: Donald Trump Jr. tells a real estate conference, "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.…We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
December 2011: In his book Time to Get Tough, Trump praises Putin while deriding Obama's inability to contain him: "Putin has big plans for Russia. He wants to edge out its neighbors so that Russia can dominate oil supplies to all of Europe. Putin has also announced his grand vision: the creation of a 'Eurasian Union' made up of former Soviet nations that can dominate the region. I respect Putin and the Russians but cannot believe our leader allows them to get away with so much...Hats off to the Russians...Obama's plan to have Russia stand up to Iran was a horrible failure that turned America into a laughingstock."
June 2012: As President Obama meets with Putin, Trump tweets, "Putin has no respect for our President --- really bad body language."
June 2013: Shortly after Russia passes anti-gay laws banning gay "propaganda," Trump tweets: "Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow—if so, will he become my new best friend?"
March 2014: At the Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump boasts, "I was in Moscow a couple of months ago, I own the Miss Universe Pageant and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present." Just after Russia annexes Crimea from Ukraine, Trump tweets, "I believe Putin will continue to re-build the Russian Empire. He has zero respect for Obama or the U.S.!" Also: "Putin has become a big hero in Russia with an all time high popularity. Obama, on the other hand, has fallen to his lowest ever numbers. SAD"
April 2014: Doubling down on his earlier tweet, Trump casts Obama as a weakling compared to Putin: "America is at a great disadvantage. Putin is ex-KGB, Obama is a community organizer. Unfair." NATO had just condemned Russia's "illegal intervention" in Ukraine.
May 2014: Speaking at the National Press Club, Trump says he's kinda sorta spoken with Putin: "I was in Russia, I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer, and we had a tremendous success."
July 2015: Now the Republican presidential front-runner, Trump says he'd "get along very well" with the Russian president during an interview with reporters in Scotland. "I just think so. People say, 'What do you mean?' I think I would get along well with him." He adds: "He hates Obama, Obama hates him. We have unbelievably bad relationships. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. She was the worst secretary of state in the history of our country. The world blew apart during her reign. Now she wants to be president."
October 2015: On CBS' Face the Nation, Trump talks about sharing air time with Putin on a 60 Minutes episode: "I think the biggest thing we have is that we were on 60 Minutes together and we had fantastic ratings. One of your best-rated shows in a long time. So that was good, right? So we were stablemates." (Trump and Putin were on different continents, were interviewed separately, and according Time, the ratings weren't all that great.) Less than two weeks earlier, Russia had launched its first airstrikes in Syria in support of the Assad regime.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Trump insists that there isn't enough proof to point to pro-Russian separatists for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine in the summer of 2014. "They say it wasn't them," he says. "It may have been their weapon, but they didn't use it, they didn't fire it, they even said the other side fired it to blame them. I mean to be honest with you, you'll probably never know for sure."
November 2015: During a Republican debate, Trump gets back in the barn with Putin: "I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night."
December 17, 2015: In a rare moment of recognition, Putin praises Trump, saying that he is "a very lively man, talented without doubt," adding that Trump is the "absolute leader in the presidential race." Before the day ends, Trump returns the favor. "It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond," he says of Putin.
"I got to know [Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes…and we did very well that night."
December 18, 2015: On Morning Joe, Trump defends Putin from allegations that he's murdered journalists and political opponents. "He's running his country, and at least he's a leader. Unlike what we have in this country." He adds, "I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe."
February 17, 2016: At a rally in South Carolina, Trump inserts a little distance between himself and Putin. "I have no relationship with him other than he called me a genius. He said Donald Trump is a genius and he is going to be the leader of the party and he's going to be the leader of the world or something." (The word "genius" was Trump's, not Putin's.)
April 28, 2016: After Bill O'Reilly asks whether he and Putin would get along well, Trump responds, "Maybe we will, maybe we won't. If we can make a great deal for our country and get along with Russia, that would be a tremendous thing. I would love to try it."
June 17, 2016: Once again, Putin compliments Trump, calling him a "bright" person. On the same day, Russia bombs American-backed rebels in Syria.
July 25, 2016: After Democratic National Committee emails are leaked by WikiLeaks, Trump takes to Twitter to suggest the Russians were behind the hack because Putin "likes" him.
July 27, 2016: Still gleeful over the DNC hack, Trump calls on Moscow to hack Hillary Clinton's email. "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," he says during a news conference. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." He then declares, "I never met Putin. I don't know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I'm a genius. I said, 'Thank you very much' to the newspaper, and that was the end of it. I never met Putin." Trump says he'd be firm with Putin, but also refuses to tell him to stay out of the presidential election: "I'm not going to tell Putin what to do. Why should I tell Putin what to do?"
"I was in Moscow a couple of months ago…Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present."
August 1, 2016: In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Trump claims that Russia isn't going to take military action in Ukraine—despite having already done so. "He's not going into Ukraine, okay, just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want."
September 8, 2016: At a national security forum hosted by Matt Lauer, Trump saysthe Russian president "has been a leader far more than our president has been."
September 14, 2016: Perhaps forgetting his August statement that Russia wouldn't go into Ukraine, Trump tweets about Russia's annexation of Crimea: "Russia took Crimea during the so-called Obama years. Who wouldn't know this and why does Obama get a free pass?"
September 19, 2016: Russia allegedly bombs a United Nations aid convoy outside besieged Syrian city of Aleppo, dashing hopes of reestablishing a US-Russia brokered ceasefire.
October 4, 2016: During the vice presidential debate, Trump tweets a link to a campaign press release titled, "Clinton's Close Ties To Putin Deserve Scrutiny."

Trump Abandons Promise to Lock Up Hillary Clinton & The Kremlin Would Be Proud of Trump’s Propaganda Playbook 22&21NOV16

Image result for meme smoke and mirrors
THE right wing fanatics, the voluntarily ignorant, those mislead and deceived by the drumpf/trump-pence campaign, are finding out so much of what they ran on was just propaganda, first telling the masses what they should want and believe, then promising them they would deliver. It is becoming obvious their campaign was all smoke and mirrors. drumpf has decided he is not going prosecute Hillary Clinton for her use of a private e mail server as an act of national healing after a very bitter 2016 presidential election. The real reason is there is no reason to prosecute her, the fbi made that clear while conducting their investigation even though fbi director james comey used his office to reinforce the drumpf/trump-pence campaign's lies and deception about Hillary Clinton. This from +Mother Jones .....

Trump Abandons Promise to Lock Up Hillary Clinton

NOV. 22, 2016 1:17 PM
During the 2016 election, the chant of "Lock her up" followed Donald Trump everywhere he went. And he reveled in it. He promised on national TV to do exactly that, and during the final days of the campaign—after James Comey released his calamitous letter—he practically spoke about nothing else. Hillary Clinton was the most corrupt person ever in history, and when he became president he'd make sure she spent the rest of her natural days behind bars.
His fans loved it. But apparently they're going to be disappointed:
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump essentially said: "never mind," signaling that he does not intend to pursue investigations into his rival's use of a private email server or the financial operations at the Clinton family's global foundation.
In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, Kellyanne Conway, the former Trump campaign manager and a senior adviser to his transition, said the president-elect wanted to "move beyond the issues of the campaign" and confirmed that Mr. Trump did not want his promised Clinton investigations to take place.
"If Donald Trump can help her heal, then perhaps that's a good thing," Ms. Conway said.
Isn't that sweet? Trump is going to help Hillary Clinton "heal." What a guy.
Of course, he's also signaling that he won't undertake the most corrupt use of the Justice Department since Watergate. So that's a positive, I guess.
Anyway, the bottom line here is that shipping Hillary off to Sing Sing was never something Trump planned to do in the first place. It just sounded good and made his crowds happy. Once the election was over, he didn't care anymore. I wonder how many more of Trump's promises fall into that category? His supporters are about to find out just how far the Trump con goes.

Kevin is a political blogger for Mother Jones. Email Kevin For more of his stories, click here or follow him on Facebook.

The Kremlin Would Be Proud of Trump’s Propaganda Playbook

The Donald is a master of these four techniques of misinformation.

Donald Trump masks 
On April 16, 2015, one month after Russian soldiers entered eastern Ukraine and joined Moscow-backed separatists in the slaughter of more than 130 Ukrainian troops in a town called Debaltseve, Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to perpetuate a claim that was growing increasingly ludicrous. "I can tell you outright and unequivocally that there are no Russian troops in Ukraine," he declared in a broadcast to the Russian people.
The denial was a classic propaganda move. "The first Russian approach to negative reporting or comment is to dismiss it, either by denying the allegations on the ground, or denigrating the one who makes them," writes Ben Nimmo, a British-based analyst of Russian information warfare and strategy. Specifically, this approach is an example of dismissal, one of four distinct ways the Putin government tries to spin facts and misinform the public, as identified by Nimmo. He calls it the 4D Approach: dismiss, distract, distort, and dismay. 
Though Putin has put these tactics to good use, he did not invent them. Nor is he the only image-conscious, scrutiny-averse world leader to employ them. Over the past months, President-elect Donald Trump has also proved adept at using the propaganda techniques Nimmo describes. "The fact that the Trump campaign is doing the same kind of thing does not necessarily mean that they got it from Russia. These techniques are pretty universal; it's just there's a commonality of approach," Nimmo says.
Some examples of The Donald's mastery of the four Ds of propaganda:
Dismiss: Dismissing uncomfortable allegations or facts is second nature to most politicians. When nine women accused Trump of groping or kissing them without their consent, he first accused Hillary Clinton's campaign of orchestrating the allegations. A day later, during the third presidential debate, he claimed, falsely, "Those stories have been largely debunked."
"The point is to get people so emotional and so confused that they give up on the debate."
Throughout his campaign, Trump repeatedly dismissed the press as "scum," "horrible people," and "dishonest." In the week since winning the election, he has taken to Twitter on six occasions to excoriate the New York Times and its coverage, casting it as "very poor" and "highly inaccurate." Unsurprisingly, as Philip Bump of the Washington Post points out, Trump's complaints about the New York Times are most commonly about stories that have proved true. But, dismissal plays well with Trump's supporters, who are already inclined to distrust the mainstream media. "Why would you listen to your critic if he is intrinsically not worth listening to?" notes Nimmo.
Distract: Another way propagandists dodge facts is to throw out distracting stories or counterclaims. For example, when Western countries condemned Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2015, the Kremlin shot back by claiming that NATO did the same thing with Kosovo during the late 1990s. That wasn't accurate, but, as Nimmo explains, "The point is not to convince anyone, the point is to put you on the back foot."
Trump's standout moment of distraction came when he was asked about the Access Hollywood video during the second presidential debate. Rather than addressing his taped boasts of grabbing women "by the pussy", he went afterBill Clinton. "There's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women," he said. Then he pivoted to Hillary Clinton, accusing her of attacking her husband's accusers "viciously" and claimed that as a lawyer, she once laughed at a 12-year-old rape victim. Clinton responded by quoting Michelle Obama: "When they go low, we go high." This was a smart response to Trump's distraction techniques. "A reasonable person's response is going to be, 'No I didn't,'" Nimmo says. "As soon as you've done that, the distraction technique has worked because the conversation has shifted from what they did to what you did."
Distort: If you don't like the facts, invent your own. Long after it was shown that a Russian missile shot a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine in 2014, Russia presented doctored satellite imagery to claim that a Ukrainian aircraft shot down the civilian jet.
As has been well documented, Trump is shameless about distorting his (and other people's) record. (Trump has earned three full pages of Pants on Fire ratings from Politifact.) Let's look at his claims about his yearslong crusade to prove that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. In September, Trump said he believed the president was born in the United States and tried to pin the ugly birther episode on Clinton. "Her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy," Trump claimed. "I finished it."
Dismay: The final tool in the propagandists tool kit is the least subtle. "If you don't like what somebody is planning politically, scare them off," Nimmo explains. For example, in October, Norway agreed to host 330 US Marines for a training deployment. Russia responded by threatening to add Norway to its nuclear strike list. (So far, Norway hasn't backed down.)
Trump's use of this tactic could be heard in the mantralike "Lock her up!"chants at his campaign rallies. At the second debate, he openly threatened Clinton, warning her that, "If I win I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation." When she responded that it was "awfully good" that someone with Trump's temperament was not in charge of the law in the country, he interjected, "Because you'd be in jail."
Even as Trump slings propaganda like a pro, he's also susceptible to it. During the first presidential debate, Trump said Google "was suppressing the bad news about Hillary Clinton." He didn't cite a source for that information, but the claim had been kicking around in conservative media outlets, including BreitbartInfoWars, and Fox. They attributed it back to Sputnik News, a Russian government-controlled news agency, which two weeks before the debate had published a report written by the psychologist Robert Epstein that claimed Google's search suggestions were biased in Clinton's favor.
"Create enough doubt for everything so that when the proof comes it is washed in the same disdain for all alleged truth."
The Sputnik report was prompted by a viral video released in June that claimed Google was actively altering search recommendations to benefit Clinton. (Search engine optimization experts quickly debunked the video.) Interestingly, that video credited a 2015 Wired article about research conducted by the same author of the Sputnik report—Epstein. Nimmo dug into the story and found that a full six months before Sputnik ran the report, both Sputnik and its sister television outlet, Russia Today, started reporting on Epstein's controversial claims as if they were already proven, interviewing him five times before Sputnik released its big report in English and seven other languages.
The ultimate purpose of all this—the 4Ds, the phony news stories, and the trollsand bots that amplify them—isn't so much to prove a particular set of facts, but rather to distort information so that no one knows what to believe. This uncertainty benefits the propaganda pusher, whether it is Trump or the Kremlin. "The point is to get people so emotional and so confused that they give up on the debate. And once you've done that, you've silenced the voice of a potential critic," says Nimmo. "If they can do it long enough and if people generally switch off from the mainstream media, it gets so much easier to spread the lies."
What's more, this approach works even when the lies are debunked. "The issue, which is seriously real, is literally tailor-made to be dismissed as conspiracy theory and therefore ignored," says Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who now works at the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm. "That's that whole point of the Russian effort. Create enough doubt for everything so that when the proof comes it is washed in the same disdain for all alleged truth."
"Sometimes when fake news is debunked, among certain circles it actually gives it more legitimacy," says Aric Toler, an analyst at Bellingcat, an open-source investigative outlet. "It's the, 'This is what they don't want you to know,' argument." To effectively combat it, each fake story has to be turned inside out and transparently debunked at every step. News stories that quote experts won't convince skeptics, says Toler. His advice for the news media: "Assume you have no credibility." Perhaps Obama said it best in a post-election interview with The New Yorker: Our new information landscape "means everything is true and nothing is true."
Bryan Schatz is a reporter at Mother Jones. Reach him at


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