Archive for the ‘Washington Post’ category

Hillary Clinton’s disingenuous dossier outrage

October 25, 2017

Hillary Clinton’s disingenuous dossier outrage, Washington PostCallum Borchers, October 25, 2017

(Please see also, The Hunt for Red November, about the Washington Post and possibly other leftist media outlets going “rogue” on Hillary Clinton. — DM)

 

The Washington Post’s Adam Entous looks at the role that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee played in funding the research that led to a dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s links to Russia. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde, Patrick Martin/Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

 

When BuzzFeed published that now-infamous dossier of unproven claims about Donald Trump and Russia, in January, former Hillary Clinton campaign aides expressed outrage that news outlets that had obtained the dossier before Election Day did not make its contents public in time to influence voters, and Clinton later aired the same grievance in her book about the presidential race.

It turns out that the reaction of the Democratic presidential nominee and her team was disingenuous. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence officer, through a law firm hired to conduct opposition research.

The Clinton camp left out its own role in the dossier’s creation, as it ripped the media for sitting on information that journalists had been unable to verify. What Clinton and her advisers presented as their judgment that the media had made the wrong call was, in fact, their frustration at having failed to plant negative news reports before ballots were cast.

Recall that BuzzFeed published the dossier in full on Jan. 10, after CNN reported that the FBI had briefed President Barack Obama and then-President-elect Trump on its contents. Many journalists criticized BuzzFeed’s decision, arguing that news outlets should not spread claims they can’t corroborate, even if the FBI considers the claims significant enough to share with the president and his soon-to-be successor.

But Clinton press aides Brian Fallon and Nick Merrill contended, on Twitter, that the real journalistic malpractice was not publishing information contained in the dossier earlier.

This was long rumored during the campaign, and many reporters know at least some of what Russia was alleged to have https://twitter.com/jeneps/status/818943951185055744 

Today has brought a gush of reporting that outlets knew about and sat on prior to November 8
cc: @GlenCaplin1https://twitter.com/PaulBlu/status/818985935450894337 

I repeat: certain media outlets were told this prior to November 8.https://twitter.com/politicalwire/status/818987542527741952 

In fact, if we want to get specific, one outlet, a very very prominent outlet, threw cold water on this when Slate beat them to the punch. https://twitter.com/brianefallon/status/818987726133399552 

Merrill was referring to the New York Times, which reported on Oct. 31, 2016, that the FBI had “chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.” Journalist Franklin Foer had reported on the possible secret channel in Slate earlier that day.

Also that day, Mother Jones magazine reported that a “former senior intelligence officer for a Western country” had “provided the [FBI] with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump — and that the FBI requested more information from him.” The memos comprised the dossier that BuzzFeed later published.

Consistent with the Mother Jones report, the Times reported that “intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate.”

“Still,” the Times added, throwing the “cold water” Merrill spoke of, “they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.”

Clinton complained about the Times report in her post-election book, “What Happened”:

In the summer of 2016, according to The Washington Post, the FBI convinced a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there was probably cause to believe that Trump adviser Carter Page was acting as a Russian agent, and the received a warrant to monitor his communications. The FBI also began investigating a dossier prepared by a well-respected former British spy that contained explosive and salacious allegations about compromising information the Russians had on Trump. The intelligence community took the dossier seriously enough that it briefed both President Obama and President-elect Trump on its contents before the inauguration.

. . .

Sources within the FBI also convinced the New York Times to run a story saying they saw “no clear link to Russia,” countering Franklin Foer’s scoop in Slate about unusual computer traffic between Trump Tower and a Russian bank.

Note that Clinton described the dossier only as having been “prepared by a well-respected former British spy” — as if the spy, Christopher Steele, had acted on his own. Clinton certainly gave no indication that her campaign helped finance his work.

There is a fundamental contradiction here: Clinton wanted the dossier to be viewed as credible yet she did not want to be connected to it. She hoped the media, before Election Day, would publish claims about Trump to which she was unwilling to attach her own name.

Update: Appearing on CNN Wednesday morning, Fallon said he personally did not know that the Clinton campaign helped fund the dossier and said he was unsure whether Clinton did.

“How could you not know that the Clinton team was paying for it?” CNN’s John Berman asked. “And didn’t someone in the Clinton campaign know this?” 

“I’m sure that there’s a small group of folks that were aware,” Fallon replied, “but it was kept, for reasons that I can understand, to a very select group.”

According to Fallon, Clinton “may have known, but the degree of exactly what she knew is beyond my knowledge.”

Fallon might be right, but ignorance is a pretty weak excuse here. At minimum, some people within the campaign were aware of funding the dossier, yet the campaign allowed spokesmen and the candidate herself to make public statements that were misleading by omission.

The Hunt for Red November

October 25, 2017

The Hunt for Red November, American ThinkerDavid Prentice, October 25, 2017

The dam has broken.   The waters are unleashed, and there’s no stopping them.  Truth is winning.  Even the Washington Post is reporting this story.  The New York Times and the rest will have to follow.  The evidence is too compelling, and the story is out there.  Much like the Weinstein scandal, there is simply too much evidence to deflect it.  The reporting of John Solomon and Sara Carter has been devastating.  They have been doing the work that the leftist American media won’t do.  Which is to report on the real Russian meddling in America’s politics:   Uranium One.  And the Trump dossier.

This is huge.  This will not go away.  Unlike the leftist media narrative of Trump/Russia collusion, there is actual evidence to show we have been compromised, and it’s not Trump who has compromised or colluded.  It’s the group of people the leftist media has vowed to protect.  The Obama/Clinton/Democratic party complex.

The evidence is overwhelming.

The Obama/Clinton administration colluded with Russia in the Uranium One deal.  They knew what the Russians wanted.  They knew the Russians were bribing people.  They knew the Clinton family foundations were getting over a hundred million dollars, that Bill Clinton received half a million dollars for an hour speech from the Russian bank involved with Uranium One.

As for the Clinton/Obama/Democratic Party alliance.  They are in trouble.  Having projected a narrative that was not only untrue about Trump, but was actually true about their own party will be devastating to their base, and the American public will likely not forget.

The leftist media.  The Democratic Party.  The Obama/Clinton families.  Their corruption reaches to the heavens.  They have knowingly deceived America in the worst of ways.  Let’s hope their stature never recovers.

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The Democratic Party has put forth several narratives since their loss in 2016.  They have stuck with those narratives no matter how absurd they have been:  Trump was elected because Russia colluded with him.  Trump is unstable and unfit.  Everything Trump does is wrong, he is a tainted President.

So says the party of Hillary Clinton and Hollywood, the moral arbiters of America.  And the leftist mainstream media has followed in the most scurrilous of ways.   They have reported only what the Democratic Party narrative says they should report.

Until now.

Follow me here.  How long has this search for Trump/Russia collusion been going on?  How long has the leftist media been claiming Trump does everything wrong?

Since he was elected last November.   They have been hunting him since he won.

But the ground has shifted.  It’s been clear for a long time that the Trump/Russia collusion narrative has been just that.  It’s been a fable repeated over and over again, the Democratic Party and its media shills hoping that something would stick, helping them regain power through mindless repetition of an empty narrative.

Until now.

Unfortunately for the left, there is not the tiniest bit of evidence to bolster their narrative.  There is not a scintilla of truth that shows Donald Tramp colluded with Russia to win.  $100,000 of Facebook ads, half of them after November 8, 2016?  That’s proof?  Lord help us.  That is the dumbest idea of proof offered since Piltdown Man.  Donald Trump Jr had a meeting with a with someone claiming to have dirt on Hillary and left the meeting early because he saw nothing?  Wow.   Indict him, and impeach his father.

And that’s all there is?

Yep.  That’s all there is.

But now we have an explosion of information about Russian influence on….. *drum roll*…….the Uranium One deal.  Perhaps the worst political scandal since Teapot Dome.  And then there’s the so-called Trump dossier.  Which apparently was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party.

The Uranium One deal has been a powder keg since Peter Schweizer wrote about the scandal in the book Clinton Cash.  It’s everything a scandal should be.  Corruption, illicit bribes, Russians influencing a deal to control stockpiles of Uranium for their own use.

Tucker Carlson reports there is an extremely credible witness that will testify how the Russians did collude with an American President.  Unfortunately for the left, it’s the Obama Presidency they colluded with, Hillary Clinton being the chief conspirator.   This witness is said to have absolute proof of this collusion.

And the leftist mainstream American media is virtually silent.

But that’s because they aren’t interested in news, or reporting.  They’re only interested in the narratives pushed by the Obama/Clinton/Democratic media complex.

Until now.

The dam has broken.   The waters are unleashed, and there’s no stopping them.  Truth is winning.  Even the Washington Post is reporting this story.  The New York Times and the rest will have to follow.  The evidence is too compelling, and the story is out there.  Much like the Weinstein scandal, there is simply too much evidence to deflect it.  The reporting of John Solomon and Sara Carter has been devastating.  They have been doing the work that the leftist American media won’t do.  Which is to report on the real Russian meddling in America’s politics:   Uranium One.  And the Trump dossier.

This is huge.  This will not go away.  Unlike the leftist media narrative of Trump/Russia collusion, there is actual evidence to show we have been compromised, and it’s not Trump who has compromised or colluded.  It’s the group of people the leftist media has vowed to protect.  The Obama/Clinton/Democratic party complex.

The evidence is overwhelming.

The Obama/Clinton administration colluded with Russia in the Uranium One deal.  They knew what the Russians wanted.  They knew the Russians were bribing people.  They knew the Clinton family foundations were getting over a hundred million dollars, that Bill Clinton received half a million dollars for an hour speech from the Russian bank involved with Uranium One.

Quid pro quo.  As clear as it can be.

They sold out American interests for thirty pieces of silver.

It’s hard to say which is the bigger disgrace.  The Obama Justice Department, the FBI, Obama himself, the Clintons, or our despicably partisan media.  Let’s not mince words, they’re all culpable, all guilty of selling out America.

It’s difficult to say enough negative about all of them.

The Trump Dossier.

The one that the Clinton campaign, and John McCain, tried to pass off on the FBI as truth.  The one that apparently was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the Democratic Party, and perhaps a Republican donor.

The dossier is so embarrassingly bad, so embarrassingly transparent as a political ruse, there aren’t’ enough words to describe its stupidity and disgraceful place in history.

This dossier became the child of the left, and the child of one James Comey.  He pushed it forward with no shame.  This dossier is what informed him of why Trump was unfit?  Good grief, James, were you that obtuse?

I guess so.   You were the one who wanted the Mueller investigation to start.  Purposefully.  Based on your belief in the (Russian) Trump dossier?   Rod Rosenstein appointed your man, Mueller.

And now it’s boomeranging.  Just ask the Podesta family.

Trump clearly did nothing wrong, but now it’s going to be revealed just how incompetent and conniving Mr. Comey, Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller were and are.

The wrong people have been blamed.  And the truth is coming out.

The dam has broken.

The left’s narratives have been reduced to a pile of ashes.

Blaming Trump for colluding with the Russians for almost a year has been a failure.  It’s simple, the narrative was never true.  It was bound to be shown as false.  But the unintended consequence of playing this narrative for the last year has been that a lot of people have come to believe Russia interfered with our political system.

Most of those believers are on the left.  The disciples of Rachel Maddow, CNN, Democratic politicians, and the leftist partisan media masquerading as journalists.

The cognitive dissonance has just begun for all of them.  The proof is clear, they were all wrong.  Extraordinarily wrong.  The collusion and sell out was from the very people they put forth as heroes.  The Obama/Clinton Democratic Party has been caught with their hands in the cookie jar.  Thirty pieces of silver wasn’t enough.  It was millions of dollars and the opportunity to hold power in America that proved to be their downfall.  Colluding with the Russians was what they were willing to do in this power play.

The unwinding of this scandal will take time.  But the implication is clear.   The Trump administration will be fully exonerated.  They did nothing wrong.  Oh yes, the left won’t admit it, they will be furious (aren’t they always?), but this narrative is over except in the minds of total leftist partisans. Just like the man who threw the Russian flags at Trump. He was aiming for the wrong people.

He just didn’t know it yet.  Likewise, the leftist base doesn’t either.

As for the Clinton/Obama/Democratic Party alliance.  They are in trouble.  Having projected a narrative that was not only untrue about Trump, but was actually true about their own party will be devastating to their base, and the American public will likely not forget.

The leftist media.  The Democratic Party.  The Obama/Clinton families.  Their corruption reaches to the heavens.  They have knowingly deceived America in the worst of ways.  Let’s hope their stature never recovers.

No good deed goes unpunished for Israel

September 27, 2017

No good deed goes unpunished for Israel, American Thinker, Michael Berenhaus, September 27, 2017

Even the Syrians who were treated by Israel understand the situation better than the Post.  The article ended with this: “‘At first I was afraid, but then I saw that the treatment was superb,’ the 36-year-old woman said.  ‘We were told they are the enemy, but in reality, they are friends.'”

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Israel courts Syrians with humanitarian aid on border” (9/12/17) is yet another Washington Post article that tells a true, touching story yet spins it 180 degrees because of the paper’s antipathy toward Israel.  Israel takes in its neighbor’s war casualties and is vilified for the deed.  Talk about no good deed going unpunished! 

The article admits that “[m]ore than 600 Syrian children have been bused to Israeli hospitals for treatment in the past year.”  And “Israel has now treated more than 3,000 wounded Syrians, military officials say, though a Syrian medic on the other side of the border said the number traveling for care appeared to be higher.” 

But then there are the digs.  “Israeli officials stress the humanitarian aspect of the program, but it has another aim: to create a friendly zone just inside Syria as a bulwark against Israel’s arch enemy.”  The Washington Post provides no evidence to support this. 

The headline of the second page of the article on A13 reads, “Israeli aid to Syrians is humanitarian and strategic.”  But even according to the Post’s own reporting, “[i]t was in 2013, Israeli military officials say, when the first Syrians approached the Israeli fence on the Golan Heights.”  The Post provides no evidence that contradicts Israel’s official report.  The Post then adds its own spin by saying Israel’s motive for helping the wounded was “strategic.”  In a court of law, such conjecture would be deemed inadmissible.  Further, if the Syrians initiated the plea for help, what does that say about the motivations of the Israeli people?

According to the Post, “Israel has transferred 360 tons of food, nearly 120,000 gallons of gasoline, 90 pallets of drugs and 50 tons of clothing as well as generators, water piping and building material, the IDF says.”  Israel also has given supplies and medical care in areas ranging from as far away as Haiti and most recently Florida (See here.)  Was this also strategic?

 Moreover, is this reporting of Israel consistent with how The Washington Post reports on other countries providing humanitarian aid or disaster assistance?  Or does The Washington Post single out Israel when it comes to this sort of critique?  Without a doubt, the latter!

The Washington Post can’t help but be negative on Israel.  The Post states, “Israel has been in a state of war with its northern neighbor [Syria] for nearly 70 years.”  Hardly!  The truth: Syria and most surrounding Arab or Muslim nations have been at war with Israel for nearly 70 years.

Israel can’t get a break at The Washington Post.  Israel is less than 1% of the Middle East, and the moment it declared independence in 1948, five Arab armies and the local Arabs, now known as Palestinians, attacked the nascent Jewish state with the goal of genocide.  And they didn’t hide that goal!  They bragged about the impending genocide.  Fortunately, the Jewish state won.  Had it not, it would have meant back-to-back Holocausts for the Jewish people.

The Post described a seven-year old girl whose mother said a Syrian “local commander told them to go to Israel” for treatment.  Does this sound like a plot hatched by Israel for disingenuous reasons?

Even the Syrians who were treated by Israel understand the situation better than the Post.  The article ended with this: “‘At first I was afraid, but then I saw that the treatment was superb,’ the 36-year-old woman said.  ‘We were told they are the enemy, but in reality, they are friends.'”

 

CIA Keeping a Watchful Eye on. . .its Director!

August 27, 2017

CIA Keeping a Watchful Eye on. . .its Director! Power Line, Paul Mirengoff, August 26, 2017

Pompeo works closely with President Trump, as one should want a CIA to do. But does this mean he is going to compromise the investigation into the 2016 election in order to help Trump politically?

There is no reason to think so. The anti-Trump, anti-Pompeo leakers at the CIA acknowledge that Pompeo has not impeded the investigation. However, they express concern “about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump and Pompeo were forced to choose between protecting the agency or the president.” The fear, as one of them put it, is “that if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”

The fear is absurd. If the Trump’s enemies in the CIA, the FBI, or the Mueller dream team ever come up with anything damaging to Trump, the president will read about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times before anyone has time to “go to the White House with it.”

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This Washington Post story is called “At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally.” It sounds like the CIA is spying on its own director. If there is such a thing as the “deep state,” I think we have sighted it.

According to Post reporter Greg Miller, “Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, requiring the Counterintelligence Mission Center to report directly to him.” That’s one way of putting it. A more honest way would be to acknowledge that the investigation in question is actually a broad counterintelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The media and its Democratic allies would have us believe that Russian interference in that election is the greatest, most ominous intelligence caper of all time. Even if it falls somewhat short of that billing, as it almost certainly does, why shouldn’t the head of the CIA take a “special interest” in the matter?

The Post and the Democrats can’t have it both ways. Russian interference in the 2016 election can’t be both an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a hostile foreign power’s intelligence operatives and a matter as to which the CIA director should take little interest.

I’m sure the Post, as well as Trump’s enemies in the CIA, would like Pompeo to recuse himself from the investigation, as Jeff Sessions recused himself at the Justice Department. But there’s no reason why he should.

Sessions recused himself because of testimony he gave regarding the Russian ambassador and, perhaps, because he was part of the Trump campaign team. Pompeo has given no problematic testimony about Russia and was not part of the Trump campaign.

Unlike Sessions, he did not even provide Trump an early endorsement. Even when Trump became the presumptive nominee, Pompeo would say only that he would “support the nominee of the Republican Party because Hillary Clinton cannot be president of the United States.”

That was then. Now, Pompeo works closely with President Trump, as one should want a CIA to do. But does this mean he is going to compromise the investigation into the 2016 election in order to help Trump politically?

There is no reason to think so. The anti-Trump, anti-Pompeo leakers at the CIA acknowledge that Pompeo has not impeded the investigation. However, they express concern “about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump and Pompeo were forced to choose between protecting the agency or the president.” The fear, as one of them put it, is “that if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”

The fear is absurd. If the Trump’s enemies in the CIA, the FBI, or the Mueller dream team ever come up with anything damaging to Trump, the president will read about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times before anyone has time to “go to the White House with it.”

Moreover, executive-order guidelines prohibit the CIA from passing information to the White House “for the purpose of affecting the political process in the United States.” Neither the Post nor its sources offers any reason to believe that Pompeo would violate this order. In lieu of such evidence or analysis, the Post’s Miller ends up whining about Pompeo’s social conservatism, as if it is somehow relevant.

Miller’s piece contains this bit of unintended irony: In addition to the importance of the Russia investigation, the other reason the CIA has given for Pompeo’s active participation in the matter is concern about leaks. The fact that CIA officials are smearing the director in the pages of the Washington Post, going so far as to say he can’t be trusted to follow executive-order guidelines, strongly suggests that Pompeo’s concern about leaks is well-founded.

If CIA employees are going to keep a “watchful eye” on their director, they shouldn’t object if their director keeps a watchful eye on them.

Trump Campaign Repeatedly Rejected Efforts to Set Up Russia Meetings

August 15, 2017

Trump Campaign Repeatedly Rejected Efforts to Set Up Russia Meetings, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, August 14, 2017

What about Paul Manafort, supposedly a key player in the alleged collusion? The Post says he expressed concern about meetings with Russian officials and, as campaign chairman, rejected a May 2016 proposal that such a meeting take place.

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The Washington Post reports that in 2016, a new member of the Trump foreign policy advisory committee sent emails to the Trump campaign urging that the candidate meet with top Russian leaders including Putin, but that the campaign repeatedly rejected this suggestion. The Post’s report is based on emails that it says were “read to The Post by a person with access to them.”

The foreign policy adviser in question is George Papadopoulos, described by the Post as “a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience.” According to the Post, between March and September of 2016, he sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump or members of his team to meet with Russian officials.

The campaign’s response is bad news for those who claim that Trump colluded with Russia. According to the Post:

Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

What about Paul Manafort, supposedly a key player in the alleged collusion? The Post says he expressed concern about meetings with Russian officials and, as campaign chairman, rejected a May 2016 proposal that such a meeting take place.

The Post argues that “the internal resistance to Papadopoulos’s requests is at odds with other overtures Trump allies were making toward Russia at the time, mostly at a more senior level of the campaign.” Not really. Reading the two sets of emails I believe the Post has in mind — the ones involving Papadopoulos and the ones involving Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer — the logical conclusion is that Team Trump was not interested in making overtures to, or negotiating with, the Kremlin, but was willing to check out information harmful to Hillary Clinton provided by Russian sources, including ones with possible ties to the Kremlin.

The first position is exactly what one would hope for and expect. The second should not shock anyone’s conscience.

It seems to me that if the Trump campaign wanted to collude with Russia, as opposed to simply reviewing “dirt” on Clinton provided by Russians, it would have been eager to meet with top Russian officials including Putin. The emails reportedly show a decided lack of interest in such meetings by top campaign officials.

It’s possible that the candidate himself was interested in overtures, negotiations, or some other form of collusion with the Russians. It’s even possible that he did these things through back channels. But there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support this speculation. And the fact his campaign managers appear not to have believed Trump had any interest in such endeavors cuts against claims of collusion.

Thus, the Post’s story, which it bills with the headline “Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings,” seems like a significant setback for the Russia collusion story.

The Washington Post Swings and Misses at Jeff Sessions

July 22, 2017

The Washington Post Swings and Misses at Jeff Sessions, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, July 21, 2017

The Post’s sources clearly are out to get Sessions. It’s anyone’s guess whether they are accurately characterizing what the ambassador told his government and the reliability of what he told it.

In any event, the Post and its sources have failed to identify any contradiction between Sessions’s statements about his interaction with the ambassador and what the ambassador supposedly told the Russians about the interaction.

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The Washington Post claims that Attorney General Sessions’ statements about what he discussed with the Russian ambassador are at odds with reports by the ambassador to his government about what he and Sessions discussed. The Post relies on, you guessed it, “current and former U.S. officials.”

But the Post fails to describe a contradiction between what Sessions has said and what the Russian ambassador supposedly reported. Here are the only statements by Sessions cited by the Post and its sources as problematic:

I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.

I don’t recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way.

I never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States.

Here is the Post’s description of what the Russian ambassador told the government:

A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Maybe. But even someone with average skill in reading and logic would understand that this description is not inconsistent with Sessions’ denial that he did not discuss the campaign with the ambassador.

It stands to reason that Sessions might discuss Russia-related issues with the Russian ambassador. And Russia-related issues are also campaign-related issues in the sense that Russia was an issue in the campaign.

But what Sessions denied was that he discussed the campaign and any interference by Russia with it. The denial was important because, at the time Sessions made it, the issue Washington fixated on was whether Team Trump sought or knew about Russian help for the candidate, or coordinated with Russia regarding the campaign.

The Post’s piece, by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller, is dishonest. It finds a contradiction where none exists by glossing over the distinction between discussing a “campaign-related issue” — which is any substantive issue raised by any candidate during the campaign season — and discussing the campaign.

Discussing hacking or “opposition research” research with the Russian ambassador would constitute discussing the campaign. Telling the ambassador how the campaign is going or what its strategy is would constituted discussing the campaign. Telling the ambassador — as President Obama told the Russian president — that the candidate would be more flexible with Russia after the campaign would probably be a borderline case.

Simply discussing Russia policy — past, present, or future — is not discussing the campaign.

There is also the question of whether the Russian ambassador was telling his government the truth. The Post admits that “the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions” with Sessions. It notes: “Russian and other foreign diplomats in Washington and elsewhere have been known, at times, to report false or misleading information to bolster their standing with their superiors or to confuse U.S. intelligence agencies.”

The Post adds, however, that the Russian ambassador “has a reputation for accurately relaying details about his interactions with officials in Washington.” Maybe. But I’m not inclined to take the word of the “deep state” on this. I suspect there are “current and former officials” who would grant the Russian ambassador sainthood if it meant embarrassing the Trump administration.

The Post’s sources clearly are out to get Sessions. It’s anyone’s guess whether they are accurately characterizing what the ambassador told his government and the reliability of what he told it.

In any event, the Post and its sources have failed to identify any contradiction between Sessions’s statements about his interaction with the ambassador and what the ambassador supposedly told the Russians about the interaction.

President Trump in Poland

July 6, 2017

President Trump in Poland, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, July 6, 2017

President Trump’s visit to Poland — a great U.S. ally and a nation with strong personal links to ours — has become the latest pretext for Trump bashing by the U.S. media. The Washington Post (paper edition) tells us, darkly, that Trump “shares ideological affinities” with Poland’s right-wing ruling party. In particular, he shares its aversion to immigration by Muslims and its combative relationship with the press.

The Post also suggests that the visit is a slap in the face of European allies, especially Germany, who are estranged to some degree from the current Polish government. In addition, it tells us that Trump picked Poland because the ruling party will be able to bus in cheering crowds from rural areas. The folks in Warsaw are too sophisticated to like Trump, the Post assures its readers.

Thus, Trump’s visit to Poland serves as a perfect confluence of anti-Trump talking points. He’s a right-winger; he’s anti-Muslim; he’s anti-free press, he’s against the European alliance; he depends on rubes for support; he’s an egomaniac in search of adoring crowds.

But one key anti-Trump talking point cannot be enlisted — the bogus Trump-Putin collaboration theme. As the Post gets around to acknowledging, grudgingly, very late in its story:

Poland also remains a strategically critical European nation that is particularly sensitive to the threat of rising Russian power. Despite Trump’s efforts to pursue warmer relations with Putin, the Polish government expressed optimism that Trump remains committed to the security of Central and Eastern Europe.

“It’s important that the president will be there and he will hopefully confirm again the U.S. commitment to NATO and to our cooperation,” said Piotr Wilczek, Poland’s ambassador to the United States. “For us, his visit to Poland before meeting with President Putin sends a very strong message.”. . .

“Poles were really afraid that it would be President Trump having a very successful summit with President Putin and sitting at the table together with Putin and making divisions or [establishing] a new order for this part of the world — that was a real threat here,” said Michal Kobosko, director of the Atlantic Council’s Warsaw office. “This has not materialized yet, so Poles are looking with some optimism toward Trump.

(Emphasis added)

Actually, the opposite seems to be materializing. In the speech President Trump delivered today in Poland, he reaffirmed the bond between the United States and its European allies, calling their pact as “strong as ever.”

In fact, he expressly affirmed his commitment to Article 5, the collective security provision of the NATO treaty. Trump stated: “The United States has demonstrated not merely with words, but with its actions, that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment.”

These are the magic words, the absence from which in some Trump speeches has given the mainstream media fits. Yet, its presence in this speech doesn’t get a mention until the back half of the Post’s story.

In addition, Trump rebuked Russia:

We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in the Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes, including Syria and Iran, and instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and defense of civilization itself.

This too isn’t mentioned until relatively late in the Post’s report. By then, the Post has complained about the speech’s “dark nationalism,” the supposed Trump rift with Germany, and even his unwillingness to say with certainty that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

The “darkness” of Trump’s speech is actually its virtue. Trump stated:

The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?

If Trump’s critics were serious about countering Russia and defending Europe, they would be asking the same questions (with the possible exception of the one about immigration, at least as applied to the U.S.). The left can’t have it both ways. It can’t be the case both that no one is out to subvert or destroy our civilization and that we must maintain our commitment to defending Europe, while obsessing over the Russian threat.

And after the Poland visit, it can’t be the case that Trump is under the sway of Putin. It’s still early in his presidency, but so far Trump is, I think, the hardest-line U.S. president on Russia/the Soviet Union since Ronald Reagan.

President Obama was the least hard-line.