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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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epitome of incomprehensibility

Huh. It’s no secret Putin preferred Trump, but this came as a surprise to me. As others said, it’s a bit strange in light of the not-too-distant US past with Russia. I expect many older/more experienced Republicans won’t be happy (maybe not for the right reasons, but anyway) if Trump is found to be collaborating in some way.

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.

Okay, I guess they’re not happy already (and yes, McCain was one of the ones I was thinking of).

@Imaginary Petal – Ugh, that sounds awful. And I feel bad for any people that guy meets who are Muslims, or look like they could be.

I don’t have any solutions, but I think you were right in telling him to get lost. Sometimes people need to be told bluntly that they’re being racist and what they’re saying is bullshit.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
4 years ago

Not offering this as proof of anything, obviously, but shortly after the US election, Putin’s ‘political guru’, Aleksandr Dugin, celebrated on his FB page, writing “Washington is ours” & claiming similar Russian victories in Bulgaria & Moldova. Among the comments was this one:

Richard Wolstencroft Indeed – Bannon from the Alt Right Trump’s Chief advisor and consigliere – all good. There should be an Alt Right Conference or Think Tank in Russia, now is the time to consolidate – set one up, happy to help and invite a few interesting speakers – building bridges of Russian and Western Alliance – Alt Right Axis . I’d love to come and speak.
Like · 6 · 14 November at 08:29

Again, this is not presented as evidence of corruption or crime. I found the alliances fascinating – some members of the alt-right clearly see their interests, Trump’s, and Putin’s, as intertwined.

btw, Richard Wolstencroft, I am ashamed to report, is Australian. He runs the Melbourne Underground Film Festival despite some controversy over his political leanings.

ramen
ramen
4 years ago

@Orion

And there’s Laurie Penny: if hope’s not doing the job, there’s always spite.

Or words to that effect.

hottotrotsky
hottotrotsky
4 years ago

The only hopeful thing in all this, and as an American socialist it makes me feel super gross to say it, is that Trump appears to have pissed off the CIA.

Not answeing their phone calls immediately after the election, not taking daily intelligence briefings, generally treating the spooks like so much wet garbage is probably not the smartest idea he’s ever had in a long line of stupid ideas.

It’s not like they don’t know how to topple governments, and it usually starts with this kind of report. Of course, their government toppling coming home to roost isn’t good news for us either. The best case scenerio would be a complete re-do of the election, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack
Handsome "Punkle Stan" Jack
4 years ago

It’s not like they don’t know how to topple governments, and it usually starts with this kind of report. Of course, their government toppling coming home to roost isn’t good news for us either. The best case scenerio would be a complete re-do of the election, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

What do you think would happen otherwise?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
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.

Going right back to the first page here, but I’m seeing this heiling point all over the ‘net from I’m-not-an-alt-rightist-buts, so whatever:

TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT, YOU TREASONOUS BLITHERING VACUUM-HEADED COCKWARTS, YOU FASCISTURBATING PRINCE ALBERT PUS EXPLOSIONS, YOU OMNICIDAL WASTES OF PERFECTLY GOOD COLONIC BACTERIA.

CAPSLOCK.

=__=#

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ podkayne & sinkable john

“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.”

Ah, thanks for digging that out for me. Yeah that’s the thing I was thinking of.

Theoretically you could cobble a criminal case together based on those comments. They’re actually quite explicit but interestingly common law jurisdictions have always recognised the concept of dog whistles even before the term came into common usage. As one of the key cases puts it:

“You can enter into a conspiracy with a nod and a wink”

The necessary elements for counselling and procuring an offence under federal law are merely that you intentionally offer encouragement knowing (or ‘should have known’, it’s an objective test) that the relevant person may carry out the offence.

Intention isn’t synonymous with ‘wanting’. You can intend something, even if it’s not something you want to happen, if the outcome is a logical consequence of your deliberately chosen action.

It’s also not a defence that the person would have carried out the offence regardless of your encouragement.

Having said all that, for both practical and legal reasons, it doesn’t seem likely that the authorities would try to prosecute/impeach in the circumstances. There are a number of legal and factual hurdles to overcome. For example, you can only encourage someone before the fact. Expressing approval for an action already carried out doesn’t count as counselling or procuring, so we’d need to check the timing.

All in all it’s an interesting legal question, might even be worth an article, but probably not something to pin any hopes on.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

Except the hacking predates the comment.

I have trouble believing you can legally nail Trump for his public pronouncements, under US law. We don’t know what happened in private. There’s decent odds we’ll learn, but we don’t presently know.

EJ (The Orphic Lizard)

@IP:
Ugh, that sounds awful. What an asshole.

(If he left South Africa in 1995, then he’s a very particular sort of asshole, too. Apartheid was declared ended in 1992 and the first free elections were in 1994, which concluded with a Black person becoming President. If he left in 1995 then he would have left in response to that. There’s a whole lot of White South Africans who left then because they didn’t want to live in a free country, and good riddance to the hateful pieces of shit. My apologies to the rest of the world that we inflicted them on you.)

Richardbillericay
Richardbillericay
4 years ago

Yeah, the prospect of a Trump-Putin axis (complete with a NATO dominated by a US that wants to stop anything happening) coupled with an increasingly divided and nationalist Europe is my recurring nightmare. Europization will be the new Finlandization for 2017. For the first time since WW2, one power bloc will have nuclear supremacy and like Regan, Trump would rather be friends with right wing tyranny than left leaning democracy. You gotta wonder about the Republicans: wanted to invade Iraq to keep WMD out of the hands of a reckless dictator, did everything they could to stop the Iran nuclear deal because “unstable mullahs with nukes” might happen, voted to put giant arsenal of WMD into the hands of an unstable and reckless autocrat. Go figure

Richardbillericay
Richardbillericay
4 years ago

Oh, the irony of birtherism’s loudest mouth using a law designed to keep foreign influence out of the Whitehouse to try and unseat the Prez on a technicality. Here he comes with foreign business interests all over the world, riding in the pocket of hostile power, to claim the presidency for himself. I want to see his birth certificate to prove it doesn’t say “born if a jackal” under ‘Mother’

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Rafael

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.

Who’s asking for sympathy?!

But if you live anywhere near planet Earth, you should be very, very concerned.

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

Hello again!

I’ve only just started posting here on-and-off in the last couple of months, but it’s a site I’ve enjoyed reading for much, much longer.

Now I want to share something going on with a Democrat Congressman, and what he recommends happen with the Electors come December 19th.

Quote from the article: “Cicilline appears to be the first member of Congress and the highest-ranking elected official in the country to endorse the notion that electors aren’t simply rubber stamps for their states’ popular vote.

ARTICLE HERE

We need to get more Congressmen supporting this. We really need to. I also think, as I mentioned previously in this comment thread, that a REVOTE is essential to have faith in our election process. Even former CIA member Robert Baer has said the same thing now on CNN:

VIDEO HERE

People really are talking about this everywhere. I just think we have to fight however we can, and with every ounce of passion we have left to us. It’s just too big to give up or to feel hopeless this time – too many lives at stake, and I think with the news of Russian interference, that number has only gone up.

itsabeast
itsabeast
4 years ago

Russia influenced how people voted by selectively revealing information, but ultimately the voters made the decision themselves. It’s underhanded and took advantage of the easily influenced, but it doesn’t actually delegitimize the election. It’s not like messing with the vote count or something.

Alex
Alex
4 years ago

@itsabeast

Yes, true, but that leaves out any discussion of voter disenfranchisement, or whole ballots that were totally discarded or never counted. The recount in Wisconsin from Jill Stein’s efforts, as far as I heard, also revealed that Republicans had been padding the votes for Trump there in some counties.

There’s just too much wrong with this election. Trump winning the presidency by a margin of people so small “they would fit in a college football stadium.” Clinton being 2.8million+ votes ahead of Trump overall. CIA confirming Russia intervened to influence this election.

We now have all this knowledge – we should be doing something with it.

At the very least, the recount effort should be completely and thoroughly performed (not dismissed as it has been now in Michigan). At best, a total re-vote is really warranted and was also recommended by former CIA member Baer.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

@hottotrotsky : if the CIA depose Trump (or if Trump mysteriously die along with all the russian-influenced advisors), that may very well spark a civil war. Not to mention that the martyrisation of Trump will make the far right even stronger.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

So this happened. . . .

Donald Trump’s Harassment of a Teenage Girl on Twitter Led to Death [Threats] and Rape Threats

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/12/trumps-harassment-of-an-18-year-old-girl-on-twitter-led-to-death-threats.html

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
4 years ago

@ Kat: that’s appalling. Shame the First Lady Elect seems to have abandoned Twitter – this sort of thing apparently used to deeply concern her.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Croquembouche
She’s busy raising Barron.

And giving a pussy-bow blouse to the maid to wash by hand. (I wonder if all her outfits while she’s First Lady will have a pussy bow?)

Croquembouche of patriarchy
Croquembouche of patriarchy
4 years ago

@ Kat, I’ve always found the public expectations of the First Lady to be a gracious public figure creepy, but I find the current invisibility of Melania even creepier. If it’s because she doesn’t want to be a public figurehead, it may be the most feminist thing she’s ever done. Even though Hillary rose to the challenge, and even Bill would have given it his best shot.

If it’s because she’s being erased for PR reasons, it’s yet another whole new level of yuk.

Kat
Kat
4 years ago

@Croquembouche
I’ve got many feminist reasons for disliking the fact that the president’s wife is expected to be First Lady.

But I should be careful what I wish for, because now Melania Trump (who apparently agrees with me) is (sorta, kinda) First Lady.

Valentine
Valentine
4 years ago

http://exiledonline.com/how-the-west-helped-invent-russias-election-fraud-osce-whistleblower-exposes-1996-whitewash/

I didn’t know that i shiuld post this link but i just feel conflicted regarding this information, looking from this side and the history experienced in eastern Europe.

I dont mean to undermine either. The article on this link is interesting and also maybe will give some clue of worst case scenario.

I hope this is not ofensive.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

Valentine: what’s offensive about that link? There’s little in it that’s news to me: I thought it was common knowledge that Russian democracy in the 90s was weak but promising, and fell over in the 2000s, so that now nobody really believes Russia is democratic.

The article sensationalizes the reporting. I recall the overall gist through the 1990s was that it was imperfect but improving. I recall worries when Putin took power, but there was a feeling of wait and see. Pretty quickly, Putin started tearing down the apparatus of freedom.

The headlines couldn’t go into details — that’s what a headline specifically doesn’t do –, but the articles did.

Valentine
Valentine
4 years ago

@nurembosis

I was concerned it would be considered part of that arguement, us influenced foreign elections too and so we shouldn’t care this might be true in the US now. My concern is the anti-Russian panic really. But to be honsest many people Yeltsin was a funny joke, but not for russians. And i can see many similarity between a incompetent drunk in russia (helped by american government) and an incompetent fool in us (alleged helped by russian government).

And it’s not just 1990s russian government being week I thought might be a problem, but the point that US government got Yeltsin incharge. Or helped.

I have very bad internet at the moment so i can’t see the news and videos, but it seems there is not much evidence or that CIA has not released the evidence. So i was just putting the article up to say that US and Russia have long been doing this to eachother. But what concerns me is the reaction and ‘red scare’ thoughts i have seen.

numerobis
numerobis
4 years ago

It seems incoherent to argue both that US and Russia have been interfering in each other’s politics AND that the claim of Russian interference is a mere “red scare”.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

<3 IP,

There will be no final victory of love over hate, not until people lose the capacity to hate, and I don't think that's possible. That's the down side. The up side is that love will never lose, either, not until people lose the capacity to love, and that's just as unlikely.

Love wins, because love encourages generosity, and a will to struggle for the sake of someone else. Love is cooperative and giving. It is coordinated, and humans are social animals who do better in groups.

Hate loses, because hate encourages duplicity, and discourages helping others. Hate is fractious and selfish. Because of this, it can't coordinate in the way that love can. Hate builds lonely bastions, love builds communities.

Hate's going to lose in the long run – not entirely, but definitively. It's been losing for a long time now. There's currently a bit of a swell in the tide, but overall the waters have always been receding.

Take care of yourself and lovely Otter. Don't sweat the racists and jerks.

(also, unrelated, I often feel like a goldfish brain trapped in a human body :o)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ valentine

That was an interesting piece; thanks for the link. My memory though is similar to Numberobis. In the UK press the commentary was essentially that the elections certainly weren’t 100% kosher but that was a common feature in the birth of democracies. So whilst Yeltsin might be playing a bit fast and loose, fundamentally he was heading in the right direction so we might raise an eyebrow and a wry smile but we’d cough and look the other way. Remember, we were just emerging from the cold war so the attitude was anything has to be better than the old system. The last thing the western powers wanted to do was to undermine the new vanguard and provide material for the old regime to exploit.

A little bit of voting anomalies versus returning to decades more of nuclear standoff was deemed a price worth paying.

Even Putin got favourable early reviews. He was seen as someone who could wield enough power to ensure the collapse of the Soviet Union didn’t end up as a total uncontrolled fragmentation and Yugoslavia writ large. It wasn’t until it became apparent that his way of dealing with the growing organised criminal elements in Russia was basically to be the biggest gangster on the block (and hopes of ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ became ‘poacher buys out or eliminates all gamekeepers’) that people started getting concerned.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
4 years ago

Anyone else see this?

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-intelligence-briefings-smart-person-82553641164c#.q6rc4yk8z

As they say in the classics … What could possibly go wrong?

LindsayIrene
4 years ago

The position of First Lady isn’t always filled by the POTUS’s wife. If Trump is smart, he’ll pick Ivanka to be his First Lady, since she has the charisma that both he and his wife lack.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

@midlymagnificient : I tried to count, but I had to stop before I could enumerate all things that could go wrong. The numbers were so high and remote from mundane reality that they turned out being eldritch abominations from behind space and time.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

Yeah, numbers do that when they get big.

Well, that’s not really right, the term “big” sort of loses meaning after you’re up there for a while.

Numbers do that when they get more number’y

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ mildlymagnificent

There was a Duffel Blog story the other day:

“Intelligence chiefs told to limit presidential briefings to 140 characters”

(I’d link to it but WordPress won’t cooperate)

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

@Alan : the link worked.

That’s, litteraly, unbelievable. The military have to have made that one up.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ ohlmann

Duffel Blog is like the military equivalent of The Onion.

Although it’s a sign of the times how often both of them have spoof ideas that then crop up in real life.

kupo
kupo
4 years ago

@Ohlmann
Your post reminded me of this site:

http://literallyunbelievable.org/

😀

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

Well, I guess my sarcasm detector isn’t entirely broken. But I might have to check it.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
4 years ago

I literally can’t believe it!

Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
4 years ago

@Croquembouche
I’ve got many feminist reasons for disliking the fact that the president’s wife is expected to be First Lady.

But I should be careful what I wish for, because now Melania Trump (who apparently agrees with me) is (sorta, kinda) First Lady.

If they said briskly that Melania has a life, and will not be playing White House hostess and having her charity projects photographed, I would accept that. But they’re just leaving it vague, and I’m quite certain that she will pop up to do anything that is glamorous, or costs the taxpayers money. No feminist points.

I do wonder what’s gonna happen with that marriage. She’s past forty-five, and I would expect him to ditch her and find a new wife soon. But he’s in the White House. So…no idea.

Karalora
Karalora
4 years ago

@Scildfreja

Love wins, because love encourages generosity, and a will to struggle for the sake of someone else. Love is cooperative and giving. It is coordinated, and humans are social animals who do better in groups.

Hate loses, because hate encourages duplicity, and discourages helping others. Hate is fractious and selfish. Because of this, it can’t coordinate in the way that love can. Hate builds lonely bastions, love builds communities.

I’ve seen sentiments like this one around in the past month, and I’m just not sure I can believe it anymore. Hate is working like gangbusters for the haters. I’m sick of playing nice with conservatives and appealing to their better angels, because they’ve made it abundantly obvious that they don’t have any. I feel like we’ll never be free unless we manage to turn their own vicious tactics against them, HATE them as much as they HATE us, and show no mercy.

If the only way for us to win is to become as evil as they are, at least it will be our evil, and not theirs, that wins. And I hate feeling this way. But I don’t know what else to think anymore.

Ouroboros13
4 years ago

According to Encyclopedia Dramatica.

But the postman delivering your mail wanted it. [Trump elected]
Your barber down the street wanted it.
Your local plumber fixing your pipes wanted it.
The hardworking coalminer who worked 20 hours a day to put his 2 kids through college wanted it.
The man driving you on the bus wanted it.

The people wanted it.

I can’t tell if ED is mocking ignorant Trump voters or if ED actually supports this idea. Either way, it’s always been clear since the election that the people did not want Trump. First, Hillary won the popular vote, now Putin rigged the election. The people sure wanted it.

Thomas Beckett
Thomas Beckett
4 years ago

I, for one, totally disagree with Islamaphobia. My Muslim buddy and I like to picket abortion clinicks together. I love dividing the leftist “oppressed victims” coalition!

Thomas Beckett
Thomas Beckett
4 years ago

Hey, why am I not banned yet? The Lord hath rejoiced greatly in the greatness of the children of Israel! And he hath mocked the pathetic opponents of the Third Rome, Moscow!

Laugher at Bigots, Mincing Betaboy

Now is the autumn of our diſcontent
Made winter by the Beckett trolles return;
He wotteth nought but thinketh he knows all,
And ceaſeth neuer to aſſert the ſame.
Awaie, o foole, and trample Legoes ſhoeleſſe!

Valentine
Valentine
4 years ago

@nurembiosis

I feel that since it is still only a claim by CIA that they have evidence rather then evidence itself i am only concerned that this may be overreaction. Obviously i am bias, and this may come off like arrogant but propaganda isn’t just the tool of ‘the enemy’. I feel there is much to gain for some people in US to say Russia hacked to get Trump elected. There is also something to gain by making anti-russian thoughts popular again, maybe.

@Alan
Yeltsin was 100% an embarassment. He did no good destroyed the russian economy and resigned and gave us Putin. His leadership was not voting anomalies either, i believe at least, US has something to answer for. It says something abnormal that your leader should be more popular with a historic enemy than with his own people. The only reason Putin got favorable reveiw at first i believe is because of Chechnya. It made him look feirce and strong. But really putin is just the face for the machine. He was a good follower of orders before, he knows the system in and out and thats why it is not really about him, not the way it is with trump. Putin does not lead the government, the government leads through putin, all he is is the face on it. Not to say he is a puppit. Not like that, more that the machine needs a face and putin is the perfect candidate because it is his natural environment.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
4 years ago

@Valentine,

I think I see what you’re saying, and that was an interesting link (and a timely reminder). In Australia we don’t have quite such an intense history with Russia, compared to the US.

I’ve certainly seen a degree of knee-jerk anti-Russian commentary, during the US election campaign, and more so in recent days as the hacking/interfering stuff has gained momentum. Some people even sound like they’re still in the middle of the Cold War – “well of course the Russians hacked the election!” And then from another direction, there are people shouting down the whole hacking issue with “you’re just anti-Russian!!”.

It’s all the more important to be clear about the evidence and one’s own stance, given this difficult backdrop and the historical legacy.

I appreciated your thoughts. Apologies if I’ve misunderstood what you were getting at 🙂

Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
4 years ago

But the postman delivering your mail wanted it. [Trump elected]
Your barber down the street wanted it.
Your local plumber fixing your pipes wanted it.
The hardworking coalminer who worked 20 hours a day to put his 2 kids through college wanted it.
The man driving you on the bus wanted it.

They let you work 20 hours a day in coal mines these days? I’m not sure I would want someone operating on four hours of sleep–assuming you just sleep in the mine where you drop–working a coal face next to me, just saying.

And the lady who drives my bus is black and from Richmond, CA, so I’m reasonably goddamn sure she did not vote for Donald Trump.

Thomas Beckett
Thomas Beckett
4 years ago

I have three female Muslim friends who agree with me that Mozart predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and the election of Donald Trump through secret messages in the Magic Flute. Why are you questioning the right of marginalized women to make their own choices?

Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
Podkayne Lives (Effortless Chicken)
4 years ago

I have three female Muslim friends who agree with me that Mozart predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union and the election of Donald Trump through secret messages in the Magic Flute. Why are you questioning the right of marginalized women to make their own choices?

I have FOUR female Muslim friends, and they say it was The Marriage of Figaro, so I win.

Ouroboros13
4 years ago

They let you work 20 hours a day in coal mines these days? I’m not sure I would want someone operating on four hours of sleep–assuming you just sleep in the mine where you drop–working a coal face next to me, just saying.

And the lady who drives my bus is black and from Richmond, CA, so I’m reasonably goddamn sure she did not vote for Donald Trump.

Satire is satire. But then again Poe’s Law.