The Room Where It Happened, a review

***I will not refer to the title of the book and shall limit excerpts and quotes***

“I am not a nation builder. I do not believe what is, after all, an essentially Marxist analysis that a better economic way of life will divert people from terrorism.” -Bolton from his book.

This book is not merely a recounting of Bolton’s time in the Trump Administration that highlights the utter chaos and dysfunction that the administration represents. Bolton does draw a clear picture of the dumpster-fire through what must have been copious note taking. This is polished, in decent editing, into a passive, often noncommittal “I’m merely an observer here” voice. The book is divided in chapter by topic, not chronologically, which was a wise decision.

Stitching all of his observations together, is the subtext of what this book is really about, aside from money. It’s an apology tour explaining his innocence in the Trump administration. His actions were well reasoned and his motivations were pure. Moreover, and more importantly, it’s a last-ditch effort to recommit to, and reclaim, “traditional” conservative ideals which are interspersed throughout the book as examples of what should be and divorced from what currently is not. Values which he must realize by now, don’t exist in the GOP and never wholly did. Values which mean nothing to either the Trump cult of true-believers or those in government that bow to Trump. In this respect, his efforts in writing this book are in vain.

Saddled to his overtures of re-establishing a nonexistent conservative GOP is his perpetual attacks at his perceived adversaries: Obama-bad. Liberals-bad. Progressives-bad. Bureaucrats, diplomats, career government officials-all bad. Negative media reporting-always inaccurate and bad. Anything that gets in the way of conflicts leading to war is pretty much bad bad bad.

Bolton’s descriptions of Trump’s ineptitude vacillates between a thin, “He has no idea what he’s doing,” and a reflection on Trump’s inscrutability; as if there is some type of mysterious process to Trump’s thoughts that cannot be understood at that time. This despite the fact that it is crystal clear how Trump formulates his “policy” ideas: from Fox News soundbites/ similar sources, and Trump’s fixation on his own image. This is not a mystery. The easily understood nature of it is recounted in the book over and over. This is super simple stuff. There isn’t any thought process behind the vacuous soundbites.

Bolton often cites inaccuracies of press reporting, as second and third hand reporting by those whom do not have the best interests of the administration in mind. At the same time, Bolton repeatedly admits the administration perpetually changes course on policy, multiple times a week, if not the same day due to Trump’s scatterbrain inability to stay on point or articulate anything coherent. More often than not, those who do not have the “best interests of the administration in mind,” are sources from within the administration, not press spin, which is contrary to Bolton’s over-arching opinion, even though at multiple points in his book he is wondering which admin person was responsible for story X, and in some points tracks down that responsible party.

Overall the book is edited well from the notes, but the facts described are not consistent with Bolton’s ideology and preconceived notions which he holds onto as dearly as any cult member.

He mocks the concept of the “Axis of Adults,” to corral Trump’s worst tendencies, but simultaneously points out Trump’s inability to give direct orders, his incoherence, and his ignorance of the facts. Most blow-by-blow details of Trump/Bolton interactions are the very stuff of Bolton attempting to act as the adult to Trump’s child. Steering, sidetracking, undermining, and coddling from page to page.

In Bolton’s world, the only one aware of what’s going on and reacting properly, is Bolton…or anyone that agrees with him. I must restate, much of Donny’s incoherence is perched atop his reliance on Fox News soundbites, and many of these soundbite ideas originated with Bolton himself.

Although Bolton passes many opportunities to state clear judgement on Trump’s incompetence, he has no such difficulty with various other characters he dislikes (Haley, Mattis, Mnuchin, and finally Mulvaney), and ascribing nefarious intent to their actions. Bolton recounts Trump blunder after blunder, but finds himself incapable of putting a name to the obvious. From Trump’s shitting on a G7 joint statement because he felt Trudeau had personally slighted him, to Trump’s inane “negotiations” with S. Korea focused around the belief he would receive a Nobel Prize and spectacular photo-ops highlighting his skills in deal-making, deals in which Trump gave concession after concession to N. Korea and received nothing.

Bolton describes the ceaseless back-biting and palace intrigue of the Trump administration, as if he is merely a reactionary pragmatist in an unsavory environment. The fact is, his score-keeping and revealed plans to better position himself, indicates he is well suited to that environment.

Bolton’s worldview, shaped in fear of “globalism,” reduces every international challenge to the most barbaric end result: war. War solves everything that starving a nation to death can’t. No matter the initial tact, all roads lead to war.

Common cause only threatens national sovereignty. Narrow self-determination trumps foresight, thereby, Brexit can only be correct. Pesky diplomats and bureaucrats, with their plodding thoughtfulness, interfere with the smash-bang, gauntleted hand of taking that which is rightfully ours.

Nothing need be done regarding the largest concerns of our times in a forward looking, international fashion. There are only short-term, colliding interests and long term enmities. Why proactively create multilateral or global responses to global issues by design, when we can react after the fact out of compulsion and necessity?

Bolton will cite historical reference when it suits his needs, but steers clear of historical reference which would shed light on the fact that much of the international issues he had dealt with in the Trump administration were due to the United State’s lack of foresight in which he, himself had previously played a part.

This book is Bolton’s nosediving phoenix; his death-spiral swansong. John Bolton is a relic old man with dreadfully myopic, old-world, imperialist beliefs. He is destined to only failures; his mind is bankrupt, and I hope this book is the train-wreck ending to his appearances in public life.

Topics:

Helsinki, Trump’s private, 2 hour meeting with Putin. Bolton very much glosses over the fact that the interpreter was instructed not to take notes and could only brief others from memory. Bolton mentions in an offhand way, Putin’s willingness to allow Mueller to investigate within Russia in exchange for extradition of Bill Browder (The Magnitsky Act), so he could exact revenge on him and this very much excited Trump because Putin added that Browder had financed Hillary Clinton’s campaign with $400 million dollars he had stolen from Russia.

Trump’s deference to Russia/Putin. Time and again, Bolton illuminates Trump’s deference to Putin. Trump’s very public statements in defense of Putin, and all of the private statements and actions in deference to Russia that have been reported before: not wanting to enact sanctions, slow-walking implementing sanctions, threatening to rescind sanctions, and generally being a Putin apologist at every opportunity. This only serves to highlight what has been glaringly obvious from before the time Trump was inaugurated until to this day. At the very least, Trump refuses to speak badly of Russia because he is afraid it diminishes the 2016 election and his ability to have personally beneficial relationships with foreign leaders. The constant Trump admin line that, “No one is tougher on Russia than Trump,” is no more true today than it was in 2017. The machinery of the US government, in its bureaucrats working through existing procedures and treaties, continues to attempt to call Putin to justice despite Donald Trump.

Trump/Erdogan. Trump promises to end SDNY prosecution of Turkish business Halkbank to Turkey’s PM Erdogan as a personal favor, and to front the notion to Erdogan, that Trump had as much unbridled power in dictatorship as the Turkish leader. Likewise, Trump promised to remove US forces from northern Syria because Erdogan asked him to. No thought as to what this would mean to the Kurds whom Erdogan would immediately seek to eliminate, until well after the withdraw was contemplated. Any afterthoughts had zero impact on impending reality when Trump did unilaterally decide to remove US forces shortly after Bolton’s departure.

Saudis murder Khashoggi. Bolton makes it clear, Trump immediately decided he would have the Saudi’s backs no matter what. Before any facts were in; it did not matter. They’re buying a bunch of military hardware from the US, that is all that matters. Bolton agrees with trump’s approach and says, the press is going unreasonably frothy-mouthed and everyone should know the administration is taking it seriously because Pompeo made a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela/Maduro debacle. Top to bottom a Trump admin clusterfuck. Trump fixated on Military options, while the “adults in the room,” of which Bolton is one, try to organize concerted government influence to a regime change and fail spectacularly. The history of US failures in regime change in the Americas is mostly avoided by Bolton, except to somehow blame his current predicament on Obama.

Citing the withdraw of embassy staff as a giant gaff and pivotal to the Trump Administration’s ineffectiveness, while in the same paragraph, praising State Sec Pompeo for criticizing the Obama admin’s handling of Benghazi and simultaneously removing staff so as to avoid another Benghazi, when in hindsight it had exactly zero similarities with Benghazi. Truly breath-takingly, idiotic mental gymnastics.

State Dept and Treasury Dept both could not align themselves with the rest of the government. Bolton blames this on Mnuchin and Obama, when clearly the problem is the Trump administration as a whole. While Trump dreams of toy soldiers and reminds the man the Trump admin attempts to put in power, Guaidó, (according to Bolton)- “Trump then assured Guaidó he’d pull off Maduro’s overthrow, and offered as an aside that he was sure Guaidó would remember in the future what had happened,” which Bolton explains as US interest in Oil, and the rest of us explain as the set-up for a little personal payback to Donny.

Guaidó’s Wife, Fabiana Rosales, visits the White House for a meeting in which she describes the situation in Venezuela. According to Bolton, Trump’s take on the meeting: She looked very young and didn’t wear a wedding ring.

Body language tells the entire story in this photo.

President Donald Trump, right, listens during a meeting with Fabiana Rosales, left, a Venezuelan activist who is the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, as she speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump/China. Trump, spur-of-the-moment, crafts international policy over the phone, as a favor in exchange for a future favor. Bolton refers to this as “stunning” because it was unreciprocated. Clearly, he didn’t understand the nature of Trump in this exchange.

In regards to severe financial penalties against Chinese Company ZTE.

Trump begging Xi to help him win re-election:

Bolton notes, with the situation deteriorating in Hong Kong, Trump directs all staff to not talk about it, it’s an internal Chinese problem. Xi is very grateful for that. Likewise Trump doesn’t want any mention of anniversary of Tiananmen Square, because it could upset his trade talks, “That was 15 years ago, no one cares, I’m trying to make a deal.”

In regards to Chinese repression of ethnic minority, largely Muslim, Uighurs, Trump bemoans, “why are we thinking about sanctions for that?” Later, Xi explained to Trump the concentration camps being built for the Uighurs, and Trump replied that Xi should go ahead and build those camps because that is exactly the right thing to do.

Bolton points out Trump could not care less about Taiwan, because of it’s diminutive size. Trump wants a big deal with China. Bolton speculates that after Trump abandoned the Kurds, whom would he likely abandon next? Taiwan.

Covid-19. According to Bolton, YES Trump messed up a lot. Initially Trump tried to smooth things over for China because the only thing he cared about was the trade deal. It wasn’t until some time later, when the markets started reacting to reality, that Trump took it somewhat seriously.

From here, Bolton spends a great deal of words defending his personal fuck-up in this situation, using typical “conservative” goobledy-gook phraseology for removing oversight and career people with expertise (this exact same type of phrasing appears in the White House’s proposed budgeting repeatedly):

“To reduce duplication and overlap, and enhance coordination and efficiency.”

Through these words, it made “good sense” to move the directorate overseeing Global Health into those dealing with weapons of mass destruction. Yeah, global health should be under the auspices of war. Which would of course require shuffling/removing staff and expertise that didn’t quite fit into that department. That this staff had previously been organized the way they had, according to Bolton, was only a sign of political bias by the Obama administration.

North Korean Denuclearization. There is little that can be said to further illuminate our understanding of this subject which is well reported. Bolton digs into it in detail. Donald Trump personally sought to negotiate a subject in which he had very little understanding. He did not understand the scope of the issue, the terms of the issue, or the vested interests of parties in the issue. It is clear he would do anything to have any type of deal he could declare a “win”. Efforts were made to coach him up. Those were short-lived in efficacy and proved totally useless in combating Trump’s supreme ignorance and stupidity.

Iran. In his own words, Bolton seeks escalation at every opportunity. There should never be proportional reactions, but instead an endless series of one-upmanship. In other situations Bolton bemoans the linking of disparate issues, but has zero issue with sponsored terrorism being linked to the nuclear agreement. He sees the EU’s interests as contrary to the US, and to be ignored. He sees all diplomatic intervention as a ridiculous waste of time. There is only one answer, it is escalating actions of war which Bolton states could led to all-out war, a risk he is willing to take.

“Without US concessions, in Macron’s view, Iran would never come to the table, which was just fine with me.”

Yet again Bolton undermines his own take, stating the press inaccurately portrayed a divide in the White House between Trump and himself on whether Iran should be responded to with disproportionate military force, directly after he played the adult in the room and ratcheted up the easily manipulated Trump, “How far are you willing to go? How much risk can you take? Think of this as a series of steps, not just one action but the actions after that.” To which Trump took the bait, because he was a real risk taker, only for this to happen days later:

Bolton argues against checking our facts before reacting with force. Fact-checking is bureaucratic mumble jumble. He argues against projected casualties from a strike as total speculation that should not halt a show of force.

Bolton’s meeting with Barr. As the Ukraine scandal was just beginning to unfold for Bolton, he had his first meeting with the then new AG Bill Barr. In this meeting he outlined some troublesome details for Barr concerning Trump which he wondered might not create some very large issues, particularly his “penchant for giving personal favors to dictators.”

1. Trump’s interference in the criminal cases of Halkbank, ZTE,and Huawei.

2. Lifting US sanctions against Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

3. Trump’s personal legal issues.

Bolton wonders allowed to Barr if there might be more, as of yet unknown, issues below the surface. He says to Barr that obstruction of justice looks like a way of life for Trump. How ironic is it, that the person Bolton chooses to finally come clean to about Trump, is Trump’s most ardent supporter, co-conspirator in obstruction of justice and subversion of the rule of law.

Ukraine. Bolton confirms Giuliani’s orchestrated steamrolling of Ambassador Yavonovitch, but indicates she probably voted for Clinton like 90% of the foreign service.

Bolton speculates it was Mulvaney who raised the issue of Ukrainian defense funding as possible leverage over Ukraine in response to a series of bizarre conspiracy stories that Giuliani was feeding Trump about Hunter Biden, the server, Hillary Clinton, and who knows what else, because Bolton found the whole thing ludicrous.

Yes, as was obvious, everything the totally believable, and honestly super-awesome, Fiona Hill testified to at the impeachment hearings, was correct.

Bolton recounts the infamous Zelensky-Trump phone call in this way. The transcript is not necessarily word for word. They did not keep recordings as was customary at that time. The Quid Pro Quo did not come as a surprise, because it was already known. It didn’t surprise Bolton because, as he said, “The linkage of the military assistance with the Giuliani fantasies was already baked in.”

There is not much worth saying here except that Bolton recounts exactly what we know from the hearings, but from his vantage point at the time. there is no discrepancy, which leaves the GOP exactly where they ostensibly are, which is, “We don’t care.”

There is nothing further illuminated, except this wound down into his resignation, not because of Ukraine, but that was the last straw. He had a final argument with Trump, in which Trump told him, “A lot of people” say they don’t like Bolton and that he is a leaker and not a team player. Bolton responds in the book, not to Trump apparently, that he believes the leakers were Pompeo and Mulvaney (so much for the 2nd and 3rd hand, evil liberal media spin Bolton previous writes in this book).

There follows Bolton’s hyper-partisan account of the Democrats hyper-partisan investigation. He suggests it should have ground on through all legal channels and been broad to open investigation into all of Trump’s deeds.

My thoughts:

Bolton is correct, widening the scope of the investigation into all of Trump’s similar actions would have resulted in his being removed from office, but only in a world in which that investigation was compressed into what time was left before election. No such world exists. Had the scope been widened and the Democrats worked through the courts to make it happen, the Trump admin would have used the courts to slow-play the Democrats into the election and beyond.

The Democrats were correct to push the impeachment into the GOP’s court in the Senate. In the end, the message was clear. How far is the GOP willing to tow the line? Because Trump will do this again and again. In fact, he has been using the government and his position in it, for his own personal interests the whole time, as we see in Bolton’s book.

Now, had Bolton testified in the Senate in the narrow scope of the impeachment, the results would have been nearly the same. The only difference would be that the GOP rebuttal of, “this doesn’t really prove an impeachable offense,” would have been replaced with the already muted and more exact response of, “Well yeah he did it, but that’s totally fine.”

Analyzing Politico’s Sloppy as Hell Ukraine Sabotage Story

I’ve kept putting this off, not because I’m not interested in it, I am. I’ve been putting it off because the Jan. 2017, Politico story outlining Ukrainian election interference, is such a fucking mess. It’s really not good investigative journalism. The first time I read it, I just rubbed my face a couple times with both hands and said, “schwooo.” The story has also made me wonder about the times I have referred to Politico stories as reference points, and wondered if I was linking to similarly stitched together narratives. I don’t know.

Here it is if you want to wade through it. This story is perhaps the largest component of the GOP narrative that Ukraine sought to undermine the 2016 election. It certainly is the most fleshed-out component.

With the title: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire,”of course it would be the most vital part of this latest GOP conspiracy theory.

Let me start by saying, yes, the Ukrainians clearly didn’t want candidate Trump to be elected. I wouldn’t be surprised if every single Ukrainian didn’t want him to be elected. You’d probably feel the same way if the position of president of the United States, which largely controlled the future of your nation, would potentially be occupied by a dude that repeatedly signaled over many months that he didn’t care that your country was invaded and under attack, that those that did the invading probably shouldn’t be penalized for it, and he didn’t much support the joint European organization of NATO which you wished to join to save your very existence.

It’s also worth pointing out that dislike, disapproval, and outright hate of the candidate Trump, wasn’t exclusive to Ukrainian officials and wasn’t publicly voiced by only Ukraine.

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Here is the premise, from paragraph 1:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

The biggest issue with this opening statement, is that it is presented as an implied unified narrative, as if there were an organized conspiracy and these are it’s main components. This is not true in the least and I am certain Politico was aware of it when they edited and published this story, because there is no attempt to connect these disparate events within the story. None. It’s not in the story. There wasn’t a conspiracy, there wasn’t a coordinated movement as represented by these three points.

On each point- there is no evidence presented in this story that supports- “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton…,” and the “They also disseminated documents implicating a top trump aide…,” is not accurate. This should state: “One Ukrainian government official disseminated a particularly important document.” That Trump aide was Paul Mannafort, and everything alleged about his shady dealing did in fact prove to be correct, worthy of investigating, and entirely criminal. Even though the Ukrainian side of what would have been their own investigations and cooperation with Mueller, were ultimately shut down in appeasement to President Donald Trump’s desires, whether those desires were actually stated directly to Ukrainian officials or not.

“And they helped Clinton’s allies research…” is a very clouded statement to make within the confines of Politico’s own reporting. That their US embassy somewhat worked as a clearing house for multiple sources, including Chalupa(more on her later), who is, in a fashion, connected to the Clinton campaign as well as other benefactors, is probably true and that’s probably true for most every embassy. Although the nature of that endeavor is never decisively reported in this story:

“While the embassy declined that request, officials there became “helpful” in Chalupa’s efforts, she said, explaining that she traded information and leads with them. “If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with.” But she stressed, “There were no documents given, nothing like that.”

“Chalupa said the embassy also worked directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions. She added, though, “they were being very protective and not speaking to the press as much as they should have. I think they were being careful because their situation was that they had to be very, very careful because they could not pick sides. It’s a political issue, and they didn’t want to get involved politically because they couldn’t.”

Shulyar vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining “we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs.

This is the kind of mess this story is. I guess politico saw this as honesty or “balanced.” what it shows is the story’s thesis statement is not supported by the information in the body. Worse, it is obscured.

That the Ukrainian Embassy disseminated information, I have no doubt. That’s what embassies do. To imply this was part of some larger scheme, is not supported in any way, neither within a consistent description of the embassy’s actions nor as part of any later successfully described latticework of organized activity. The Embassy’s activities simply aren’t mentioned in conjunction with anything else.

” The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation…” is a dreadful statement to make in the third paragraph. It was the efforts of the America news media and their investigations that brought the story to light, not Ukraine, and it wouldn’t even be fair to state it was Chalupa. In Isikoff’s piece, one of several which forced Mannafort to resign the Trump campaign, Chalupa is referenced as “one of 16 people” he gathered information from regarding Manafort.

“There’s little evidence of such a top-down effort by Ukraine.” The start of chapter 5 is incorrect. There’s no evidence, not “little”.

Now, Alexandra Chalupa. The Ukrainian American who clearly saw herself as both Ukrainian and American, was often employed by various Democratic organizations, as well as a free-lance investigative journalist who worked on assignment or contract.

In that opening statement Chalupa would be “Clinton ally(ies)”. I’m going to try to find every position Chalupa holds or has attributed to her, at various points in this story as well as from which position she passed information on to any other person/organization:

“veteran Democratic operative”

“consultant, for Democratic National Committee”

“The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016”

“she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.”

” in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort

“While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities

“She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign”

“A former DNC staffer described the exchange as an “informal conversation,” saying “‘briefing’ makes it sound way too formal,”

adding, “We were not directing or driving her work on this.”

“Chalupa told a senior DNC official”

“Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community

“she shared her concern with Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly”

“She quickly found herself in high demand.”

“she briefed the DNC’s communications staff”

“invitation to the Library of Congress forum to veteran Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff.”

“she intended to share “offline” with Miranda and DNC research director Lauren Dillon”

“A DNC official stressed that Chalupa was a consultant paid to do outreach for the party’s political department, not a researcher.”

“She undertook her investigations into Trump, Manafort and Russia on her own

“the party did not incorporate her findings in its dossiers on the subjects, the official said, stressing that the DNC had been building robust research books on Trump and his ties to Russia long before Chalupa began sounding alarms.”

“Chalupa left the DNC after the Democratic convention in late July to focus fulltime on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia.

“She said she provided off-the-record information and guidance to “a lot of journalists”

Look, I’m not trying to muddy up this story, this story is mud. It’s never clear who she was working for when or for what reason and this should have been cleaned up by the reporters. I don’t know who she was working for at key points in the story. No idea.

So how was she the Clinton Ally in this vast conspiracy? I know she worked for Clinton at various times…or her campaign. She worked for the DNC as an employee and as a contract employee at various times for various reasons. She freelanced a lot, and for good reason, she was getting hot as hell. She also worked as a contract employee for at least 2 different unmentioned parties during the relevant timeframe(s) reported in this story.

She’s definitely a Democrat, definitely a Ukrainian and definitely a US citizen. She was a highly motivated actor on the scene who was digging up some real good info regardless of wherever the money was coming from, and disseminating that to many different parties because she was concerned, because it was probably worth good money, and because it would widen her network…and I’ll leave it at that, because this summation is the only for sure thing, until her actual bio timeline with all overlapping employs and contacts is charted out by a goddamn excel wizard.

Ultimately, she played a part as a source of information for what would become Isakoff’s and others reporting regarding Paul Manafort. She was one of many, but doubtlessly had some of the best info. She wasn’t directed by anyone in particular. She wasn’t part of some nefarious conspiracy seeking to undermine the election.

An interesting sidelight, I feel really needs to be pointed out, but totally unrelated to my topic, is the concerted effort to scare Chalupa during the time she was investigating Manafort and his Russia links. She had her emails repeatedly hacked by “state-sponsored actors,” and had her car ransacked and an attempted house break-in (but nothing was ever stolen, just moved around) as a scare tactic in the US. Inside of the United States.

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“They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption…”

The easiest explanation of the Ukrainian ledger of “black accounts,” is this- The ledger was uncovered by random people during a the chaotic Ukrainian revolution of 2014, It somehow made it’s way to the Ukrainian anti-corruption unit. It was a large document mentioning prominent Ukrainian politicians and private citizens and it appeared to indicated many payments between these people from a large, unaccounted for governmental slush fund. The anti-corruption unit opened up a ‘pre-investigation’ into the allegations this ledger of black accounts seemed to indicate. One of the many people mentioned in the ledger was Paul Manafort.

In Ukraine, the ledger wasn’t about just Paul Manafort, it was about corruption they wanted to investigate. Paul Manafort was a small part of that. The anti-corruption unit could only investigate, not bring charges. They would refer matters to the Ukrainian courts. It is true that one member of the unit, Sergey Leshchenko released for US consumption a list of the Paul Manafort entries in the ledger, with the statement:

“The whole basis of this so-called ‘book’ of money is corruption. This cash was without any taxation and this cash was taken from Ukrainian state entities,” Leshchenko told ABC News. “I believe Mr. Manafort also needs to be under investigation at least in the United States as a guy who didn’t pay taxes.”

Which is, eventually, exactly what happened and his suppositions proved to be 100% accurate.

The GOP implication of impropriety in this case, notwithstanding that the act itself is something we would presume the “law and order party” would prefer to have occurred, turns on it’s head what the GOP pretends to have happened in the case of Trump’s “long standing position” on investigating corruption. Do you want it or don’t you? Is the impropriety that, in this case, since it was a member of the Trump campaign, it counts as election interference and not corruption?

“For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world,” Leshchenko told the Financial Times about two weeks after his news conference.

If an investigation of the pretend Biden/Burisma conspiracy could have an effect on the election, how is it any different or more acceptable?

Now the Politico story fails to mention all of this, because there was no reason, no context, and it’s historically impossible. However, Politico casts this as a part of a larger conspiracy against the Trump campaign. It simply isn’t. Where the Politico story fails, is in implying the ledger was only about Manafort to the Ukrainians, it wasn’t by a long shot, he was one of many bullet-points in a larger corruption probe. Where the Politico story fails of its own accord, is casting this as an undertaking of the Ukrainian government in the opening paragraph (when it was only Leshchenko), then later, offering an “opposing viewpoint” well into the body.

“…the spokesman said, adding, “it was about him personally who pushed [the anti-corruption bureau] to proceed with investigation on Manafort.”

Politico fails to mention in Leshchenko’s first public announcement and declared interest in the ledger in May 2016, he did not mention Manafort, because the 22 page excerpt he had of the ledger, did not contain Manafort. Leshchenko did not know about Manafort until 3 months later.

It is suggested that probably others knew about Leshchenko’s very public announcement and approved. That may well be. I would again offer there was valid reason for every single person in the country to not want Trump elected, and also that any of their viewpoints and public statements to that effect were in no way unique, out of the ordinary, or without precedence and to cast them as such, is shitty reporting of the first order.

As far as questions, at the time of reporting, as to whether the ledger was real or a forgery, the transfers mentioned in the ledger, appear to be accurate. So I am, as usual, indifferent to GOP conspiracy theories.

I have just found this recent statement from Leshchenko, and it summarizes my take of the entire affair- my take based on facts and logical interpretation of what I knew.

One of the misconceptions of American politicians is that Manafort is the main thing in this black ledger. But the black ledger is not about American politics. It is about transnational corruption and how political influence in Ukraine was being purchased. Therefore, when trying to cast a shadow on the story of Manafort’s activities in Ukraine, some American politicians unwittingly undermine the entire array of documents that are a testimony to how Ukrainians were robbed. By doing so, American politicians indirectly justify the multi-billion dollar crimes of the exiled Kremlin-backed Yanukovych. And this is one of the worst treatments of Ukraine one could expect.

This is the chronology of events as it was.

My only mistake in this story I consider my caustic comments about Manafort in 2016, which were caused by my emotional hostility towards Manafort as the chief engineer of the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine.

The same mistake was made by many Ukrainian politicians, such as former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and current Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. However, all these comments were made publicly on social media, and there was no web of intrigue and collusion, as some American politicians are trying to paint it.”

Politico could not know this. Neither could they know what was to happen later.

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To Politico’s mish-mash of individual statements by Ukrainian officials in this piece, in regards to the Trump candidacy , I submit, their statements were not unusual for the time and Politco should have made an effort to report that, instead of merely combining the statements as some proof of an accumulating conspiracy.

Politico’s competing statements of what transpired in the Ukrainian Embassy, are again offered as what I presume must be “balanced reporting” in this case. They do not serve to illuminate anything, except that no unity of purpose existed. Facts are supplied to suggest the Ukrainian embassy both disapproved of Donald Trump and reached out to the campaign.

What transpired after the election as represented by characterizations like this: “Poroshenko’s allies are scrambling to figure out how to build a relationship with Trump, who is known for harboring and prosecuting grudges for years,” are not entirely accurate. Yes, Trump would go on to hold a grudge against what ill statements were made, but this completely misses the point, Trump had already been dismissive of Ukraine long before any public statement were made by Ukrainians. He already had shown tremendous preference to the nation that would destroy Ukraine- Russia, long before anyone said jackshit about Trump out of Ukraine. Therefore Poroshenko’s government had a keen interest in developing any positive relationship with Trump. This also should have been reported in the Politico piece instead of casting it as merely reactionary to some Ukrainian’s public dislike of Trump.

What Politico’s piece did help to create was:

..and THE RETRIBUTION

UPDATE: Publication of Manafort payments violated law, interfered in US election, Kyiv court rules

Strange how the court’s findings that it was illegal to release private information also somehow came to the curious non-legal conclusion, that the court just has to publicize, that it constituted “US election interference”.

“In reviewing an administrative case filed by lawmaker Boryslav Rozenblat, the court concluded that Artem Sytnyk, director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, and parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko acted illegally when they revealed that Manafort’s surname and signature were found in the so-called “black ledger” of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.”

Also, odd isn’t it, that any investigation into Manafort would be shut down so that good relations with the US could continue, so they could, you know, still get those javelin missiles that were promised…the first time.

Ukrainian Ambassador Chaly fired.

The Senate Should Subpoena All Biden/Burisma Witnesses, but they shouldn’t

Party A allegedly attempted to use undue influence to affect Party B’s ability to obtain a position of power.

Some time later, Party B allegedly attempted to use his position of power to compel Party A to undertake an action.

There is no universe in which both of these statements could not be true. There is no universe in which either one of these statements being true, negates the possibility of the other also being true. Either of these statements can be true without the existence of the other. Neither statement relies on the others existence, to exist as a possibility itself.

Ukraine allegedly attempted to use undue influence to affect Donald Trump’s ability to become President of the United States.

After obtaining his position, Donald Trump allegedly attempted to use that position of power to have Ukraine do something for his personal interest.

Neither of these statements are reliant on the other. To propose that the first statement provides justification for the impossibility of second is silly. It’s neither proof of causality or logically formed, and honestly it’s nonsensical.

I go through this exercise to highlight the fallacy of the argument. It’s a red herring. It’s not only irrelevant, it doesn’t make any damn sense.

For this reason, the Senate should not present this as a defense for Trump’s actions. Further, the Senate should not present this as a defense, when considering that some Ukrainians not only had full justification for voicing their alarm and disapproval of candidate Trump’s stated positions on their country, but that their voicing of their opinions was in no way unique to just Ukrainians.

Now:

Burisma allegedly hired Hunter Biden and paid him well, in order to curry favor with Joe Biden so that the senior Biden would pressure Ukraine to fire the prosecutor whom was ostensibly investigating Burisma.

and

After obtaining his position, Donald Trump allegedly attempted to use his position of power to have Ukraine do something for his personal interest.

-have a much more complicated relationship. A relationship that can only be solved with documentation and presentation of facts to prove that the first statement’s truth negates the possibility that the second statement is true. Because, in this case, it is also possible that both statements can be true. One statement’s truth does not negate the possibility of the other truth, it’s just not reasonable to assume this as a strong probability.

That leaves us here: The Senate should call all of the people involved -and subpoena all documents related to support the first statement’s possibility of truth in order to build the strongest case to negate the possibility of truth for the second statement.

This totally makes sense in a vacuum. But we aren’t operating in a vacuum and neither are we acting in a court of law. This act will take place in the Senate with its constructed narratives and in the court of public opinion. Constructing a narrative to support a nefarious Biden/Burisma connection would be a hot mess.

The first and most important problem is: No one in the GOP has even firmly voiced the first statement of exactly what the Bidens are alleged to have done. It’s not clear. It’s a nebulous, throw-your-hands-up-in-the-air, the Bidens did something and we need to get to the bottom of that something!

We now have two documents stating the defense of Trump’s actions, because of: Ukrainian election interference and “something the Bidens did” and neither of them state exactly whatever the hell that is. We are supposed to surmise what the charge is, and that is what I have done above, by reading all of the Biden related statements in both documents.

That’s a problem.

The second problem is: facts. To cast Joe Biden’s act as self interest, appears as weak as the claim the Hillary enacted the Uranium One deal in self interest. It’s stitched together around contrary facts.

Third problem: The White House has already refused to submit a single document in defense or support of their nebulous claims. Most likely because there are no supporting documents.

Fourth: This problem is a Donald Trump problem, not an administration problem. Donald Trump was acting outside of any official statements or positions we had regarding Ukraine. We need documentation generated by his actions/commands that describe his official, if previously unknown, position on investigating corruption in Ukraine. Particularly any official statement from Donny of his overarching concern on Ukrainian corruption that needs to be cleaned up before aid is released, not “investigate Bidens,” that isn’t a stated concern about Ukraine’s corruption, it’s a desire to have particulars investigated.

Fifth: There is no precedence to support the likelihood Donald Trump was in fact ever interested in investigating Ukrainian corruption until Joe Biden entered the race. There’s tons of evidence to contradict that Donald Trump has ever been a champion of actually investigating any corruption anywhere at any time previous to Joe Biden entering the race for the Democratic nomination. Namely in the corruption of his administration, his own recent court cases which show his predilection for fraudulent activity, and his constant apologetic stance on any dictators acts of corruption, illegality, or murder.

For these reasons the Senate should not, and will not entertain the Biden conspiracy theory that belongs on Fox News and not on the Senate floor. Even if it has some value as the distraction that is desired, it would make the GOP look clownish and do nothing to disprove that:

After obtaining his position, Donald Trump allegedly attempted to use that position of power to have Ukraine do something for his personal interest.

Ukraine Wasn’t the Only Nation to Disapprove of Candidate Trump

The GOP assertion that some Ukrainian officials, in voicing their fear and disapproval of candidate Trump, had crossed the Rubicon into territory that had never been attempted before, to ” intervene, however indirectly, in a US election,” is not only factually incorrect as a rule, it’s disprovable by count after endless count of all of the global politicians and world leaders that spoke out about candidate Trump, and no different historically, than any other comment made from external elements in regards to American politics.

Some criticized Trump discreetly, in a more politically correct fashion. Hate the policy, not the man. Others had attacked candidate Trump very directly and in no uncertain terms. Should we open investigation into all of the countries of the world, in which their leaders and elected representative have said mean things about Donny Trump?

Here is the true issue, insofar as Trump’s feigned skepticism and critical analysis of the relative corruption of any other nation in the world: Trump’s view of the nation’s politics, are his personal politics. He is the country. If someone has done harm to his fragile ego, it’s a matter of national politics to seek retribution. Retribution.

If any of a country’s representatives are critical of Donald Trump, that country’s motivations are now in question.

From Key points of evidence from the Democrats’ closed-door “impeachment inquiry” as created by Republican Staff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence :

“President Trump’s skepticism about Ukraine was compounded by statements made by senior Ukrainian government officials in 2016 that were critical of then-candidate Trump and supportive of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

This is the real issue, isn’t it. They were critical of Donald Trump. Why should people in Ukraine care if candidate Trump’s stated positions would lead to the destruction of their country? He didn’t say anything bad about any one person in Ukraine, he just said he didn’t give a fuck what happened to them. Why are they picking on him? Why. why.

Following are comments from other world leaders and various politicians whom voiced their opinions of candidate Trump. Some are presented more discreetly, some are way, way more explicit than anything said by anyone from Ukraine. I paid particular attention to people who would later become unnecessarily created adversaries of Trump. This is how his political opinion of his “adversaries” was borne in each case. This is how our national policies are dictated by Trump’s fragile ego.

May 16, 2016: Trump on newly elected Mayor of London

“He doesn’t know me, never met me, doesn’t know what I am all about. I think they are very rude statements. Frankly, tell him I will remember those statements. They are very nasty statements,” Trump told Piers Morgan. “It is ignorant for him to say that.”

Because of earlier statements:

After Sadiq Khan won the election for Mayor of London in May of 2016, he opined he would not be able to travel to NY to meet with other mayors to exchange ideas if Donald Trump were to be president due to Trump’s planned Muslim ban. “If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas,” Khan said.

“There will always be exceptions,” the Times quoted the real estate billionaire and presumptive Republican nominee as saying when asked how his controversial proposal would apply to Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver and a seamstress, who was sworn in as London’s mayor on Saturday.

May 10, 2016. Khan responded with: “Donald Trump’s ignorant view of Islam could make both our countries less safe — it risks alienating mainstream Muslims around the world and plays into the hands of the extremists,” Khan said.

He rejected Trump’s suggestion that he could be an exception to the proposed Muslim travel ban, saying: “This isn’t just about me — it’s about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world.”

Sept. 15, 2016: London’s Muslim mayor backs Clinton for U.S. president.

London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, voiced support for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday, warning that anti-Muslim views like those espoused by Republican Donald Trump “plays into the hands” of Islamic State.

During a stop in Chicago on his first visit to the United States, Khan said he was “a big fan” of Clinton and hoped she would win the presidential election in November.

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Feb. 27, 2016: Mexico’s top diplomat calls Trump’s policies dumb and racist.

March 7, 2016: Mexican President compares candidate Trump to Hitler and Mussolini.

Peña Nieto told Mexico City newspaper Excelsior that Trump’s “strident expressions” put forth “very simple solutions.” That kind of rhetoric, he said, has led to “very fateful scenes in the history of humanity.”

“That’s the way Mussolini arrived and the way Hitler arrived,” said Peña Nieto, who accused the accused the brash billionaire of damaging U.S.-Mexico relations in a separate interview with El Universal.

******************************

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rarely took direct swipes at candidate Trump, but he often mentioned his disdain for Trump’s policies of fear and division.

Sept. 21, 2016: an oversight of the divide by Steve Forbes-

Trudeau told the UN General Assembly in New York to reject politicians who exploit people’s fears and anxieties.

While never mentioning Trump by name, Trudeau has often criticized the Republican Party’s candidate for president since he became prime minister last year. The Canadian prime minister has also said he “wouldn’t support” Trump and compared him to the late Toronto mayor, Rob Ford.

“The bombastic candidate probably won’t forget the things Trudeau has said, however,” Forbes continued, saying Trump “won’t hesitate to take verbal whacks when necessary.”

*******************

Dec.9, 2015: Angela Merkel beats out Trump for Time’s “Person of the Year”.

Jan. 12, 2016: Trump says Germans will riot and overthrow Merkel for allowing refugees into Germany.

March 6, 2016: German Minister calls Trump a threat to the world. Merkel praises Clinton.

The comments by Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats, are the clearest sign yet that ruling politicians in Europe are increasingly worried about the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections.

“Whether Donald Trump, Marine le Pen or Geert Wilders – all these right-wing populists are not only a threat to peace and social cohesion, but also to economic development,” Gabriel told Welt am Sonntag newspaper in an interview published on Sunday.

Merkel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview she did not know Trump personally. When asked about his attacks against her refugee policy, the chancellor said: “I don’t see any reason why I should reply to him.”

At the same time, Merkel said of Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton: “I value her long political experience, her commitment for women’s rights, family issues and health care.

Others of note:

Member of the Saudi royal family, Alwaleed bin Talal Alsaud :

This started a lot of bullshit. Donny replied with a photoshoped image of Talal with Megyn Kelly. Talal responded with a comment about financially bailing out Donny twice and whether he was looking for a third time. Hilarious.

When asked for a response by the Daily Mail, Trump reportedly denied having been bailed out by him. Then he added, “Never liked him. Never met him.”

Pope Francis said of candidate Trump:

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said. Trump responded the very same day.

Guess how Trump responded…

“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” he said, then warned that ISIS was eager to attack the Vatican. “If and when the Vatican is attacked, the Pope would only wish and have prayed that Donald Trump would have been elected president,” the candidate said.

Theresa May would only describe Trump’s policies as “divisive and wrong” But her chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill (not that Fiona Hill) went quite a bit further.

How Ukraine Came to Mistrust Candidate Trump

This post, although fine to read by itself, is a reference point for my complete deconstruction of the GOP narrative (in progress. including this and this.) about Ukraine interference in the 2016 US election.

Listed here are the public statements of candidate Donald Trump that would lead some Ukrainian leaders to disapprove of a Trump presidency. This is how Ukraine came to mistrust Donald Trump. Their opinions weren’t created in a vacuum. They did not conspire with the Clinton campaign, they didn’t even conspire with each other. Individuals voiced their dislike of Donald Trump, in the same fashion people did the world over, including, most vehemently, in the US.

These quotes and references begin from his early candidacy up to the GOP convention when he was the GOP nominee. I have inserted some opinion pieces that Ukrainians may have read to form their opinions. Be aware, as the months went by, a groundswell of disapproval for Trump becomes more and more apparent. With a consensus that Trump would be a dreadful president in general, awful for Ukraine, and excellent for Russia in particular.

Taking these points in totality, it is clear, Donald Trump had little to no interest in Ukraine at best. At worst, he signaled Russia should not be held to account for invading Ukraine, the US should not be in the business of protecting Ukraine, and Russia had a strong, greatly admired leader that never did anything wrong.

July 13, 2015: Maria Butina. Trump would get along great with Putin, and the sanctions resulting from the invasion of Ukraine aren’t necessary.

July 31, 2015: Ukraine is Europe’s problem.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. should only step in on Crimea if European countries ask for help and, until then, it remains “Europe’s problem.””Let me explain first of all — this is Europe’s problem much more than ours, OK?” Trump told CNN during a trip to Scotland.

Aug. 16, 2015: Trump doesn’t care if Ukraine joins NATO…or not.

In the same “Meet the Press” interview with Todd, Trump expressed ambivalence about allowing Ukraine into NATO.

“I would not care that much to be honest with you. Whether it goes in or doesn’t go in, I wouldn’t care. If it goes in, great. If it doesn’t go in, great. Look, I would support NATO,” Trump said. “Why isn’t Germany, Chuck, leading this charge? Why is the United States? I mean, we’re like the policemen of the world. And why are we leading the charge in Ukraine?”

Many might agree with Trump’s general point, but it very much matters whether Ukraine is a member of NATO: One of the organization’s founding principles, codified in Article 5 of the treaty, specifies that member countries must take “such action as it deems necessary,” as “an armed attack on one … shall be considered an armed attack on all.” Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and subsequent meddling in eastern Ukraine could have obligated the United States to come to Ukraine’s defense, were the country a NATO member.

Sept. 9, 2015: CLINTON takes opposite views of Russia/Ukraine

Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. secretary of state who is now a leading contender to be the next president, has called for a stronger response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria, saying Moscow’s objectives were “to stymie, to confront, and to undermine American power whenever and wherever.”

In thinly veiled criticism of President Barack Obama’s administration and its current approach to Russia, Clinton said that Washington should be doing more in response to Russia’s interference in Ukraine.

“I have been, I remain convinced that we need a concerted effort to really up the costs on Russia and in particular on Putin. I think we have not done enough,” she said following a speech on September 9 at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

“I am in the category of people who wanted us to do more in response to the annexation of Crimea and the continuing destabilization of Ukraine.”

Sept. 20, 2015: Trump would love meeting with Putin.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump could meet with Vladimir Putin next week — and if it was arranged, Trump says he’d “enjoy doing it.”

“Well, I had heard that he wanted to meet with me,” Trump told NBC News on Saturday. “And certainly I am open to it. I would love to do that if he wants to do that.”

Sept. 30, 2015: Trump says Putin gets an “A” for leadership.

The GOP contender gave the Russian leader a high grade on his skill as a leader, contrasting it to what he considers President Obama’s poor performance.

“I will tell you in terms of leadership he is getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well,” Trump said. “They did not look good together.”

Oct. 8, 2015: “Russia Today”, the Kremlin’s media arm reports- Russian placed mayor in Yalta, invites Trump to come to the new Russian Crimea, because Trump is an extraordinary person.

We are following the elections process in your country with great interest,” Yalta Mayor Andrey Rostenko wrote in an open letter to Trump published on the city’s website. “We like your election program and we like you as an extraordinary person.”

The mayor added: “After your victory in the election you plan to establish friendly relations with President Putin – and this is an excellent decision.”

Oct.13, 2015: Trump wonders why the US has to deal with the Ukrainian situation

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump believes European countries like Germany – an “economic behemoth” that is selling the United States “a Mercedes Benz a second” – should lead the pushback against Russian aggression in Ukraine. “I think Ukraine’s a wonderful place. I’ve been there and I think it’s great,” Trump told “Face the Nation” in a recent interview. “But Germany and all these countries should be doing something. Why is it always us? What do we have to do with Ukraine? It’s wonderful. We have NATO, we’re going to work with them.”

Oct. 15, 2015: Trump says he doesn’t believe there’s any proof Russia shot down airliner over Ukraine

Donald Trump doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to blame pro-Russian separatists for last year’s downing of a commercial airliner over Ukraine — despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence community believes “with confidence” that pro-Russian separatists shot it down.”That’s a horrible thing that happened,” he said. “It’s disgusting and disgraceful but Putin and Russia say they didn’t do it, the other side said they did, no one really knows who did it, probably Putin knows who did it. Possibly it was Russia but they are totally denying it.”

Oct, 17, 2015: Kremlin states preference for Trump presidency

Kremlin mouthpiece Konstantin Rykov said Wednesday in a Twitter post that Trump won the first Democratic presidential debate, held Tuesday in Las Vegas. In that tweet, Rykov linked to a Russian language, pro-Trump website with a Russian domain, www.Trump2016.ru, that he is likely behind. Until a few weeks ago, Rykov’s Twitter home page featured Trump and his 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

November 11, 2015: GOP candidate debate. Question to Trump: Russia has invaded Ukraine, what will you do when you’re president. Answer: avoid answering, Yay for Russia!

Q: Now, Russia has invaded Ukraine, and has put troops in Syria. You have said you will have a good relationship with Mr. Putin. So, what does President Trump do in response to Russia’s aggression?

TRUMP:

Well, first of all, it’s not only Russia. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that’s one of the worst deals ever made…. yada yada yada. Word salad…

But, as far as the Ukraine is concerned, and you could Syria — as far as Syria, I like — if Putin wants to go in, and I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.

But, you know that.

But, if Putin wants to go and knocked the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it…

Read this part of his word-salad answer, he turns concern for the airliner downed over Ukraine by Russia, into a Russian plane shot down by Ukraine-

TRUMP:

…They blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He’s going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany — tremendous economic behemoth — why are we always doing the work?

We are — I’m all for protecting Ukraine and working — but, we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren’t doing anything. They say, “Keep going, keep going, you dummies, keep going. Protect us…”

Dec.18, 2015: “The Federalist” reports (When the Federalist used to admit what Trump is) that Putin has in effect, endorsed Trump.

Vladimir Putin just weighed in on the U.S. election and basically endorsed Trump, calling him “a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt.” But what is really disturbing is that Trump endorsed Putin right back: “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” And Trump went way beyond endorsing Putin. He continued: “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other towards defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

Dec. 18, 2015: MSNBC, Trump’s response to the fact that Putin invaded Ukraine and kills journalists- “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

Dec. 22, 2015: “National Review” report of Trump-Putin bromance, and Trump’s statement- no proof Putin had any journalists killed.

When it comes to Russian politics, Donald Trump is a useful idiot.

There is powerful evidence that Vladimir Putin is guilty of the murder of journalists, but it is impossible to “prove” his guilt because there is no police force in Russia that will investigate him and no court where he can be held to account.

Under these circumstances, Donald Trump’s statement (to critics who took exception to the mutual praise between the two men) that there is no proof that Putin is guilty of murder is an absurdity. Proof presumes the existence of a state based on law.

Jan. 26, 2016: Trump defends Putin yet again, against charges he had someone assassinated, former KGB agent this time.

“Have they found him guilty? I don’t think they’ve found him guilty,” Trump said in a Tuesday interview with Fox Business Network anchor Maria Bartiromo. “They say a lot of things about me that are untrue, too.

“If he did it, fine. But I don’t know that he did it,” Trump said. “You know, people are saying they think it was him, it might have been him, it could have been him. But Maria, in all fairness to Putin — and I’m not saying this because he says, ‘Trump is brilliant and leading everybody’ — the fact is that he hasn’t been convicted of anything.”

“Some people say he absolutely didn’t do it,” Trump added. “First of all, he says he didn’t do it. But many people say it wasn’t him. So who knows who did it?”

Feb 12, 2016: The European Council on Foreign Relations report on what a Trump presidency would mean. Entire document is prophetic and 100% accurate.

March 21,2016: Trump says, the US spends too much money on NATO, and Ukraine is more of a EU issue than a US issue.

March 24, 2016: “Russia Today” tags bizarre US conspiracies against Trump, while promoting him for President.

Although it is a delicious sight watching America’s movers and shakers tremble at the mere mention of Trump’s name, it nevertheless speaks volumes about the condition of US democracy that Americans had to wait for a rich, charismatic real estate developer to come along and save them from the cold-hearted wretchedness of the dual-party, borderline-fascist system.

March 27, 2016: Trump says, NATO is obsolete, terrorism is the real problem, not Russia.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” Donald Trump says that the Cold War-era alliance headquartered in Brussels has been revealed as “obsolete” following devastating terrorist attacks in that city this week.

“NATO doesn’t discuss terrorism,” Trump said. “NATO’s not meant for terrorism. NATO doesn’t have the right countries in it for terrorism. NATO was done at a time you had the Soviet Union, which was obviously larger — much larger than Russia is today. I’m not saying Russia is not a threat,” Trump explained. “But we have other threats. We have the threat of terrorism.”

April 6,2016: Europe to US, Ignore Trump, we need NATO

The idea that Europe is free-loading “is a mis-categorization,” Stavridis, who is now dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said. He said Trump’s comments were “nonsensical,” and Obama’s criticism comes from a position of knowledge.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Trump’s views are akin to “turning our alliance into a protection racket, [and] would reverse decades of bipartisan American leadership.”

April 16, 2016: Why Everyone Should Fear Trump’s Foreign Policy

Trump focuses on the economic costs of the U.S.’s role as the world’s only remaining superpower, with little regard to the benefits of the country’s willingness to assume international leadership (not to be confused with being the world’s policeman), or the potential costs of the U.S. retreating from that role. This narrow-minded economic perspective is particularly evident in his recent statements on NATO. He questions whether NATO serves a useful purpose in a post-Cold War world and suggests that the U.S. is spending too much money stationing American troops in Europe while propping up European countries, who should bear a greater share of the military costs of their own defense.

While the U.S. should pressure the Europeans to spend more for their own defense, to question the utility of NATO when Russian imperialism is on the rise and Vladimir Putin has taken over the Crimea, effectively seized other parts of Ukraine, and established a military base in Syria, demonstrates a stunning lack of political awareness.

April 19, 2016: New York Book Review- With the insertion of Carter Page as foreign policy advisor, a Trump presidency’s EU interests will be guided with Russia in mind.

More extraordinary still, Trump has indicated, in his selection last month of Carter Page as a foreign policy adviser, that American policy to Europe will be guided by Russian interests. Page, heretofore known as an adviser to Russia’s state gas company, has been among the prominent Americans spreading Russian propaganda about Ukraine’s revolution in 2014 and the Russian invasion that followed. In his writings he has questioned Ukraine’s status as an independent state, which is precisely the line that Moscow took to justify its invasion. He maintains—preposterously—that Ukraine is like Quebec inside a Russia that is like Canada. Quebec is a province and Ukraine is a country. He has referred to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, a signal violation of international law, as the “so-called annexation.”

Finally, and most importantly:

July 21, 2016: GOP nominee Trump removes the inclusion of US providing “lethal defense weapons” to Ukraine from the GOP platform.