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It’s official: Vladimir Putin stole the US election. Now what do we do?

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I guess some congratulations are in order for one Vladimir Putin, the Russian kleptocrat who used strategic leaks of hacked information to win the election (or at least the electoral college) for Donald Trump, a thin-skinned narcissist and easily manipulable geopolitical naif.

I mean, we knew that before. But now it’s pretty much official.

The Washington Post reports:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”

Yep, that’s right. The outcome of our election was essentially determined by a hostile foreign power — with the active encouragement of Donald Trump, the candidate who benefited from Russia’s interference.

It’s also now clear just how selective Russia’s use of hacked information was. The New York Times reports that the Russians also successfully hacked the Republican National Committee’s email servers, but chose not to release any of these emails.

No wonder Trump is skipping most of his intelligence briefings.

Some people are comparing these revelations to Watergate. I don’t think that’s fair. This is ten times more significant than Watergate. It calls the whole election into question.

Trump is not our President. And he should not be sworn into office unless and until we have a full public reckoning of how exactly he “won” this election.

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Rafael
4 years ago

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
4 years ago

This reads like a really hacky Cold War spy thriller.

And yet, this is the real life. The Republican president-elect is literally a Russian agent.

…there is not enough booze in the world for this.

Karalora
Karalora
4 years ago

What do we do? We indict Trump for treason. That’s what this is.

The Last Unicorn
The Last Unicorn
4 years ago

…Holy shit.

magnesium
magnesium
4 years ago

The number of republicans happy to hand their country over to a hostile foreign dictatorship in exchange for a few scraps of power is pretty impressive, I have to say.

Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
4 years ago

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

For that matter, so has Russia. Bit ironic, in an ugly kind of way.

I don’t think we need, or deserve, sympathy, but we do need to figure out how to handle this situation.

Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
4 years ago

I don’t know a lot about the law that might be involved here, and I imagine it makes at least some difference who knew what when. I think at this point the other branches of government need to get involved, and we need hearings on what the hell actually happened.

Can someone be impeached before assuming office?

My fear is that nothing happens.

personalpest
personalpest
4 years ago

You know what makes this even more surreal? During the Cold War, the Republicans and the far right were terrified that something like this would happen and we’d have Russian tanks on Main Street USA. (Remember Red Dawn and Amerika?) But now that it’s happened (albeit in a subtler, Manchurian Candidate fashion), they’re okay with it because the traitor is on their side.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@Rafael

I get your point. As a foreigner, it’s easy for me to say that them dumb muricans had it comin’ and they only get the bastard they deserve after inflicting that sort of shit on the rest of us. And fuck if I don’t feel the urge to.

But I have to disagree. Americans don’t have the luxury to think like that right now. The rest of the world doesn’t either. You and I, no matter where we live or what we think of America, don’t get to think like that.

If only because Trump is certainly not the end to America’s days of propping up assholes the world over. Just look at the new White House – Trump will do the same with international politics. He won’t be subtle about it and it will be blatant, obvious and scandalous… but it’ll happen nonetheless. Besides, Trump has acted as a catalyst for far-right assholes in every democratic country – and it seems Putin’s lending a hell of a hand in that effort. I’m currently watching in horror as France is gradually becoming the country I’ve always hoped it would never be again.

You don’t have to feel sorry for America. But you have to feel sorry that the past assholery is going to be repeated and magnified.

I’m trying to not make this sound too confrontational, but I’m a bit cranky because lack of sleep, please forgive that.

tim gueguen
4 years ago

@KindaSortaHarmless, I’ve seen a couple of claims over the years that some intelligence agencies have had analysts read spy novels to find useful ideas for actual intelligence operations.

@Karalora, US law has a very specific definition of treason. The US Constitution states:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

So it would be virtually impossible to charge Trump with treason, let alone convict him.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

Clinton is ahead by over 2 percentage points in the popular vote. Comey’s shenanigans I saw estimated at cutting 1 point from her overall lead. How much from Putin’s shenanigans?

And there’s the vote suppression machine.

Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
4 years ago

A treason charge won’t stick. I’m not even sure this mess invalidates the election. Sure, Russia played us, but unless someone on Trump’s team was actively colluding with them in some way, I’m not sure that means anything legally.

Wondering why the RNC denied having been hacked, though.

personalpest
personalpest
4 years ago

@ Tim Gueguen:

So it would be virtually impossible to charge Trump with treason, let alone convict him.

So he hasn’t done anything illegal in this situation? If I’m wrong, please correct.

Dr. Spleen
Dr. Spleen
4 years ago

While we have proof that Russia was supportive of Trump’s election, unless we have proof that Trump knew and had hand in this do we have any grounds to have him removed from office, let alone charge him for treason?

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@tim gueguen

Bear with me while I ramble on about what you said. I’m no law expert, so I might just be spouting nonsense.

So you’re saying that Trump can’t be legally accused of treason because the Constitution defines treason in a very specific way. I’m pretty sure I got that part right. Right ?

I don’t suppose there’s anything in the legal texts preventing foreign powers from influencing elections or legislation ?

And if not, then is that not exactly what democracy was meant for ? To allow the people to consider by themselves events which do not match any legal definition but are still blatantly fucking wrong (I’d call it structural failures in the system, is that right ?) and vote against it ?

… ’cause if so, then the system itself is now preventing democracy from doing exactly what it was meant to do when the system fucks up.

Hashtag_Ravenclaw
Hashtag_Ravenclaw
4 years ago

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

I’m not American, and I’m very critical of U.S. interventionism, but I feel a great deal of sympathy for non-white people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people and women who’ll suffer under a Trump presidency as a result of Russian interference. All those who’ll be or have been targeted by hate crimes in Trump’s name after the election. All those who’ll spend the next 4 years (hopefully not 8) in a state of constant anxiety about their place in America. All those who’ll have human rights taken away from them, to the cheers of a significant part of the population.

They never asked for this. Most of them voted Democrat. Now they pay for the inaction of the Republicans. And people play the world’s tiniest violin at them as a result of past policies they (the underprivileged) had little or no part in.

Ellesar
Ellesar
4 years ago

The irony of this is extraordinary, considering previous attitudes and the Cold War.

I guess it just shows that Capitalism can make the strangest of bedfellows.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@Podkayne Lives

Wondering why the RNC denied having been hacked, though.

I think I may have an explanation for that. Their whole shtick when the hacks happened was to either blame it on the DNC for failing to protect themselves, or outright accusing them of lying about having been hacked to play victim, right ?

… I think that’s all there is to it.

Related : what’s the odds of the hacked RNC shit going live as soon as Trump pisses off Putin ? It’s probably being used as leverage against him right now. If there’s one thing I know about Putin, it’s that he has very few real allies. He doesn’t want allies. He wants to stick the pointy end of the knife where it hurts so that people will do what he tells them to.

Hey, whaddya expect from an ex-KGB strongman anyway.

JSun
JSun
4 years ago

I mean putin wasn’t the only one responsible by a long shot. white people in america share the responsibility with him.

Also anyone who sincerely didn’t at least suspect this needs to be taught that water is wet and that the sun shines. I’m not saying it was completely obvious, but it was a possibility since before the wikileaks emails went up.

I’d also be willing to bet that the RNC hack has some info in it that could actually remove trump from office if it goes public.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

Sinkable John:

(a) Crimes committed by others than help you aren’t crimes committed by you. Example: a mafioso throws a molotov cocktail in the restaurant two doors down from yours, so now your restaurant has more patrons because the other one is shut down for a bit. You aren’t guilty of arson for that. So sure, Trump benefited, but that’s not a crime.

(b) Treason is defined as what Congress defines as treason, and the guidelines use military terms: war and enemies. Good luck convincing a GOP congress elected thanks to help from a country we’re not at war with that receiving electoral help from a country we’re not at war with is treason.

Specific crimes could stick much more easily if they’re targeted at particular individuals: Manafort, for instance, or Trump himself (I don’t get the sense that Trump is particularly popular among the GOP, whereas Pence is).

JSun:

I’d also be willing to bet that the RNC hack has some info in it that could actually remove trump from office if it goes public.

Sure, but Trump’s twitter feed has info in it that could actually remove trump from office if it goes public.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

While Trump isn’t one of the conspirators in this, there are people directly in his campaign staff who are – people who were and are in contact with him daily. Not perfect evidence of his being directly connected, but it’s enough for the trial to start (In my unprofessional, not-a-lawyer opinion)

Hippodameia
Hippodameia
4 years ago

I don’t think this will change a damn thing. It makes me sick, but it won’t.

Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
4 years ago

Sure, but Trump’s twitter feed has info in it that could actually remove trump from office if it goes public.

Please, take this Internet.

JSun
JSun
4 years ago

Sure, but Trump’s twitter feed has info in it that could actually remove trump from office if it goes public.

Fair point. One internet cookie for you.
@numerobis

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@numerobis

Well (a) was pretty much my point, sorry that was unclear (lack of sleep makes me cranky for maybe three hours and I’ve been awake for longer, but it makes me unintelligible for the whole day – a very long day).

I’m not talking about treason though. Even if you could prove that Trump actually asked Russia to intervene (okay, he actually did, in his usual dog-whistling ways) it still wouldn’t count as treason.

But it’s pretty clear that there are serious shortcomings in the law, if a foreign power can do that with impunity for both themselves and “their” candidate. That’s what I meant when I said that democracy is supposed to prevent that.

Gonna put it in terms I’m more comfortable with, might make it clearer. See the law and Constitution (what I referred to as system) as a program – the people are supposed to be the programmer. Democracy is the interface. And right now there’s a hell of a bug and it’s making the whole thing malfunction. You might even say it’s a security breach, since the program has been hacked (this time figuratively) by an exterior agent. So the people, as a programmer, are supposed to either correct the bug at best, or at the very least bypass it (say, by rebooting). ‘cept the program and its interface don’t actually let the programmer do that, at least not before the next update, in four years.

See what I mean ? There’s something seriously wrong with american democracy – actually, democracy the world over.

Wondering
Wondering
4 years ago

McCain and Graham are taking a stand about this, so that’s at least two Republicans, which would take away the GOP’s majority vote if it comes down to that at all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/12/08/republicans-ready-to-launch-wide-ranging-probe-of-russia-despite-trumps-stance/?utm_term=.f8ea9d12460b

sympathy for non-white people, immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people and women who’ll suffer under a Trump presidency as a result of Russian interference.

Let’s not forget sick and/or disabled people, as well, who haven’t been specifically named targets but will be the victims of repealing current healthcare laws nonetheless.

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

There is something we can all do though. People are calling into question the possibility of requesting a re-vote. That seems the fairest solution, if we are going to pretend Trump is still a viable candidate. Call your local government officials, share the message with others, find local protests going on (there are many peaceful ones occurring, including some scheduled for this weekend!), and spread this all to news sources. We the people should not be silent on this. WE CAN’T BE.

Furthermore, there are other efforts we can make to keep Trump out of office, especially now with this horrifying confirmation about Russia’s involvement. Support groups like the HAMILTON ELECTORS and the makers of the ELECTORAL COLLEGE PETITION. These people and the movements they’ve created are more important than ever, now that the Electoral College is the last fail-safe before Trump is inaugurated. They will vote December 19, so please support these groups’ messages and share! (LINKS FOR ALL BELOW)

Hamilton Electors Social Media:
Facebook: Here

Twitter: Here

Website: Here

Electoral College Petition Social Media:

Facebook: Here

Twitter: Here

Website: Here

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

Does this mean that we need to stop calling Trump “Führer” and start calling him “Tsar”?

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Let’s not forget sick and/or disabled people, as well, who haven’t been specifically named targets but will be the victims of repealing current healthcare laws nonetheless.

Mitch McConnell recently said that repealing the ACA is the first thing scheduled for the new year’s session. He also said that they wouldn’t be working on a replacement until at least 3 years from now (no doubt so that the new health care system they come up with will be launching around the next election).

So, yes, there will be victims of this. Millions will lose coverage, and thousands upon thousands will die because of it. Those that don’t die will be economically destroyed in paying for their health care.

Re-election sounds like the best path forward. I really hope that happens.

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

Legal note: treason is not the only crime America has that’s related to interactions with foreign powers. Espionage seems more likely to come up than treason.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Can somebody refresh my memory please?

Wasn’t there something during the election where Trump either invited the Russians to hack or said something along the lines that he wouldn’t mind if they did? Or am I just imagining that?

If that is the case then the Clinton legal team will no doubt be Googling ‘aiding, abetting, counseling or procuring

(That’s the English terminology but US law has the same thing. See also ‘incitement’)

BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
BoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoinkBoink
4 years ago

@Hippodameia

I don’t think this will change a damn thing. It makes me sick, but it won’t.

I agree with you. Cognitive dissonance got him elected, there’s no reason for anyone to set it aside now.

All you’ll hear is a thousand, thousand “But Hillary…!” replies.

History Nerd
History Nerd
4 years ago

NATO was getting ready for a potential showdown with Russia, so the Kremlin backed someone who would embarrass the United States internationally and weaken foreign alliances. Now the Republicans need to avoid stepping out of line if they want to stay in power.

Trump also won partly because he echoed many of the popular conspiracy theories promoted in pro-Russian propaganda. The Obama administration didn’t enforce federal laws that require networks like Al-Jazeera and RT to register as agents of a foreign power, so they were free to discreetly recruit Internet pundits to bolster their narratives. Since pro-Russian propaganda is popular, all that made it appear that Trump was standing up for ordinary people against a powerful and corrupt elite.

tim gueguen
4 years ago

Whatever someone might try to charge Trump with the real question is whether they can find evidence of his or his campaign’s deliberate involvement. And if he is charged with something, or even just a smoking gun is found that convinces most Americans his Presidency is now illegitimate, the result may simply be Pence becoming President, which really isn’t much better. It would be just like if the Birther nonsense was true, Joe Biden would have replaced Obama, not Romney like some Birthers seemed to think.

Stephen Lawt
Stephen Lawt
4 years ago

Apparently, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr are planning on working with Democratic members of Congress on the matter of Russia influencing U.S elections.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/12/09/the-cia-concluded-russia-worked-to-elect-trump-republicans-now-face-an-impossible-choice/?tid=pm_world_pop&utm_term=.1da03dc78e39

It’s amazing Trump has managed to antagonize members of his own party to the point that they’re willing to work with members of their opposition and potentially loose huge amounts of political capital.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko, Regicidal Beast-of-Burden
4 years ago

@Alan

He did, but that was a dog-whistle in the form of a joke. (it’s also what I was referring to in the previous post)

Kind of like his suggestion to “second amendment folks”.

I’m not sure just how much water this can hold in court, especially since “SATIRE !!1!1” is becoming pretty much the norm in American society at large. Are there precedents for a case like this ?

Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
Podkayne Lives (Soulless Golem)
4 years ago

Wasn’t there something during the election where Trump either invited the Russians to hack or said something along the lines that he wouldn’t mind if they did? Or am I just imagining that?

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html

DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that he hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish whatever they may have stolen, essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

@Podkayne

Good find! Will be sharing on social media! (And share it with Hillary’s accounts, too!)

By the way, some of us have been talking on Twitter about this whole thing…Is there really no way the American people can band together and as a collective unit sue Trump (and/or the GOP)? I’m pretty sure a lot of people would get behind such a motion.

LeFluff
LeFluff
4 years ago

I hope that Trump can be prevented from actually getting into office, but at this point I expect the Republicans (and many Democrats) to avoid doing anything productive. And even if they do, I think the well is thoroughly poisoned. The Trumpists have let all the stops out. America’s inhibitions are gone. Grinning sadists have taken over.

My long-term hope is now for something better than the United States. A country with feminism and equality written explicitly into its constitution. To paraphrase Laurie Penny, “Democracy without feminism is no democracy worth having.”

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

Okay but the people doing the foisting of dictators are not going to be the ones harmed by a Trump presidency. It’s going to be the most vulnerable and marginalized people inside the US who have never asked to have this shit done in their names and it’s likely to harm people outside of the US too. Trump is bad for the whole planet. I’m glad you got the chance to feel superior though. That’s the important thing here.

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
4 years ago

I hope whatever desperate and legal measure works because the alternative is death and destitution for many vulnerable demographics.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

History Nerd:

The Obama administration didn’t enforce federal laws that require networks like Al-Jazeera and RT to register as agents of a foreign power,

http://www.cfr.org/nonstate-actors-and-nongovernmental-organizations/foreign-agents-registration-act-fara/p33431

“The term ”agent of a foreign principal” does not include any news or press service”

I think that’s how BBC, CBC, RA1, TV5, etc etc don’t register, which under your analysis they should. Though indeed the clause goes on and on and seems to end up with the concept that news organizations should register if they aren’t US-owned, news orgs currently don’t.

Makroth - Agent of the Great Degeneracy
Makroth - Agent of the Great Degeneracy
4 years ago

Trump supporters on Twitter keep saying these articles present no proof. And yet they expect us to believe that ”spirit cooking” and Pizzagate are credible.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
4 years ago

If anybody else has been following the Palmer Report, basically an ongoing record of any electoral fraud that’s surfaced during the recount so far (spoiler alert: All of it. All of the electoral fraud. Just flat-out tossing away D votes and pulling R votes out of their asses)… Yeah, this wasn’t an election, it was a dictatorial coup.

C.S.Strowbridge
C.S.Strowbridge
4 years ago

There is something we can all do though.

Absolutely. If you are an American, call EC voters and tell them they don’t have to vote for Trump. In fact, they are there to make sure someone like Trump isn’t elected.

Organize before it is too late.

Frank
Frank
4 years ago

THIS is hilarious.

So Hillary says during her campaign that if Trump wins, Russia will go to war with us.

Now, Hillbots and the deeply compromised CIA are shrieking that Russian WANTED Trump to win. So that they could go to war with us?

Meanwhile Putin has gone on the record publicly to state that a Trump win means Russia WILL NOT go to war, whereas a Hillary win would have meant certain war.

What to believe, what to believe…

And you guys think WE are the conspiracy theorists?!?

ramen
ramen
4 years ago

This article is on the front page of the Washington Post, above the fold. Also on the front page, above the fold, is an article that says all the generals Trump is hiring agree that our country’s greatest threat is radical Islam. Also maybe Iran.

No, we’re not going to do shit about Russia.

PS In related news, yesterday I turned on NPR just in time to hear a lovely interview of some Trump-supporters-on-the-street, who said that all the Trump haters out there need to get over it. Brilliant work, NPR, I’m sure they’ll start being nice to you any day now.

Ian
Ian
4 years ago

Putin (Trump)won, the Saudis(Clinton) lost.

hyacinth
hyacinth
4 years ago

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

this seems overly hostile to the marginalized and vulnerable innocent people within the us

it sort of sounds like a suggestion that we deserve what happens to us because of our nation of origin

hyacinth
hyacinth
4 years ago

The thing is, the U.S has been doing this for decades and foisting dictators on the most vulnerable populations in the world.

So it is hard for me to feel any sympathy right now.

this seems overly hostile to the marginalized and vulnerable innocent people within the us

it sort of sounds like a suggestion that we deserve what happens to us because of our nation of origin

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