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Wilson writes: "This White House has refused to even recognize Putin's global special warfare operations against us exist, much less to take a stand against them."

Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)
Donald Trump. (photo: Getty Images)

The Walls Are Closing In on Trump

By Rick Wilson, The Daily Beast

13 March 18

Nunes’ ‘investigation’ has shown Washington at its worst. It’s been a pure exercise in protecting Trump, and a low point for the GOP’s reputation as the party of national security.

he Fox and Trump media enterprise today launched into a spasm of complete ecstasy as the House Intelligence Committee declared their investigation of Russian interference in our elections and their contacts with and collaboration with the Trump campaign over, done, solved. In their alternate reality, they’re declaring the CASE CLOSED.

They might not want to get too far over their skis on this one because both the Senate and Bob Mueller are still taking this question seriously, as opposed to the clownish covering of Donald Trump’s ample ass by the Republicans on the House Intel Committee. Its chairman Devin Nunes and the committee itself are both hopelessly compromised. Nunes has done everything in his power to cover for the President, his staff, and their Russian contacts, and to elide Vladimir Putin’s stated intent and obvious actions.

When secret agent man Devin Nunes raced to the White House to break a phony story of illegal and inappropriate surveillance from a mysterious “whistleblower,” it turned out the super-secret intel he set his ass on fire to reveal came from… wait for it… the White House itself.  Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, both employees of the White House, provided Nunes with top secret material outside the approved channels to push one of many of the White House’s endless variations on the “no collusion—no puppet, you’re the puppet” defense.

Nunes released a memo last month that tried and failed to bring the grown-ups’ investigations to a halt, and to change the facts of why Carter Page and Trump campaign officials came under the baleful glare of the FISA Court. Spoiler: it wasn’t the intelligence community helping Hillary Clinton. It was Trump’s allies and family ass-deep in contacts, connections, communications, and coordination with Vladimir Putin’s information warfare operation.  

To imagine for even one moment that every intelligence agency in this nation is wrong and that Devin Nunes, super-staffer Derek Harvey and the other partisans are right about Putin and Trump is beyond ludicrous. Harvey, a refugee from the Trump national security council purge executed by H.R. McMaster and John Kelly, is now the lead agent in the coverup by Republican members of the House. Nunes, while claiming to have recused himself, has remained deeply involved at all time in the coverup.

House Intelligence is now officially an oxymoron. Nunes’ “investigation” has been an example of Washington at its worst, a pure exercise in protecting Donald Trump, and a low point for the Republican Party’s reputation as the party of national security. The committee refused to interview key players in the drama, failed to seek campaign, government, intelligence community and corporate records that would have led to places that Team Trump doesn’t want them to go.  

In fact, this White House has refused to even recognize Putin’s global special warfare operations against us exist, much less to take a stand against them. Trump continues to behave toward Putin like a preacher caught in a whorehouse; cowed, compliant, and terrified of his prospective blackmailer. Putin’s ongoing attempts to divide and influence the American political system aren’t speculation, imagination, or some Soros-driven conspiracy. His anti-American propaganda campaign is still in full swing, and the only upside is he’s not murdering people here quite yet, though if I were Paul Manafort I’d cut the deal and get into witness protection now.

That Members of Congress who have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect this nation have engaged in a sham investigation about to produce a sham report to protect a sham President is an insult to the oath they swore and itself a clear and present danger to the security of our nation. Nunes, the Fredo of L’Affaire Russe, will have a sharply defined role in the history of this sad moment: the clownish and weak man who exposed his nation to danger and disruption by a hostile enemy nation merely for partisan benefit.

The reality is that Mueller has built a case slowly, carefully, and methodically as Trump continues to set his case on fire with obvious obstruction and manic tweets. The Senate inquiry, too, is serious, bipartisan, and delving into the places, people, and issues the House Intel Committee ignores.

As Fox, talk radio, and Trump-centric clickservative media chant “case closed” Trump is already tweeting IN CRAZY GRANDPA ALL CAPS his amplification of House Intel’s “report” to convince his credulous base that the story is over and to call for the dismissal of Mueller and the end of the Senate probe.

His audience will believe it. Bob Mueller, the Senate, and the intelligence community have other ideas. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+48 # BetaTheta 2018-03-13 09:29
These frogs live in such a deep political well that they see only a patch of reality's sky and none of its landscape.
+12 # Robbee 2018-03-13 16:25
Quoting BetaTheta:
These frogs live in such a deep political well that they see only a patch of reality's sky and none of its landscape.

- please choose a more apt derogative than the gentle, beloved frog, thanks! - i respectfully propose "dickhead"?
+7 # BetaTheta 2018-03-13 22:11
Sorry, froggies.
-63 # PABLO DIABLO 2018-03-13 10:33
I'm still waiting for "evidence" of collusion. All I see is corruption (been going on since George Washington). Too say Putin is responsible for 13 Russians on Facebook would be like saying Nixon was responsible for Charles Manson. Let's see some evidence that $100,000 dollars spent on emails changed the course of a $6 Billion dollar election. That's ridiculous.
+25 # Jim Rocket 2018-03-13 11:16
I think it's more like saying Richard Nixon was responsible for the death of Fred Hampton. Don't you think it's odd that Trump won't do anything to improve election security? Isn't it a bit odd that he won't implement the sanctions on Russia passed by Congress? We'll just have to wait till the real investigation is done.
+21 # RMF 2018-03-13 11:41

C'mon now...use some logic, get real and try to connect some dots:

Doing so produces an irrefutable conclusion that the 13 INDICTED RUSSIAN GROUPS ARE AN ANALOGUE TO THE GOP PLUMBERS, and Nixon was responsible for them, same as TRUMP/GOP are responsible for, associated with, and conspired with the 13 indicted Russian groups.

If you can't see that, can't connect those dots, you either suffer form a mental infirmity or are simply a Putin shill (I say Putin, not Russian, because Russian people are victims same as US.)

So which is it -- Putin shill or mental incapacity?
-10 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-14 06:43
rmf -- "13 INDICTED RUSSIAN GROUPS ARE AN ANALOGUE TO THE GOP PLUMBERS, and Nixon was responsible for them, same as TRUMP/GOP are responsible for, associated with, and conspired with the 13 indicted Russian groups."

Might have set a record for non-sequiturs. First of all, you don't know what Nixon's "Plumbers" were and were not. They were originally convened by Nixon to stop leaks (i.e., plumbers) out of the white house and other branches. But the group was actually a CIA cabal inside Nixon's administration that increased the leaks and undermined Nixon. It is legitimate for anyone to take measures to stop leaks. But the Plumbers took off on their own and did things to damage Nixon. They were CIA.

There is NO connection between the Russian government and the Petersburg 13. People post crap on the web totally on their own. They don't need government authorization.
+2 # RMF 2018-03-15 12:46
RR: are saying Nixon was as pure as the driven snow!

What in the world kind of political philosophy does that conclusion entail -- even most RWNJ voters accept the evidence showing Nixon's culpability. (And advancing a crazy conspiracy theory about a CIA plot to remove Nixon from office speaks volumes about the lack of credibility your other comments deserve.)

Moreover, your reply above shows you may be confused about the meaning of the term "non sequitur." [Pablo said Charlie Manson; I said no, more like the Plumbers --- so pray tell how is that a non sequitur -- only way I can see that is if you think Nixon really did conspire with Charlie Manson! Of course such an absurd construct could only exist in your own conspiracy-lade n fantasy land. But really, is that what you think?]
+18 # Lgfoot 2018-03-13 12:48
Stay tuned. The traitors will be exposed.
+15 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-03-13 13:46
#Pablo Diablo, you're correct. The Nixon/Manson corollary is apt, except Manson's crime was much more serious and did more harm. The Russian company did break our law... by not registering as a foreign agent. That is the root cause of action in Mr. Mueller's indictment. What they did was click-baiting.. .a way of routing us to advertisers. Everyone who voted you down should READ THE INDICTMENT. Bungling, laughable UNREGISTERED foreign agents with zero effect on the election.

Election meddling? (1) Corporate media (eg, Trump received $6Bn in free air time from our TV media). (2) Voters' access restricted. (3) Gerrymandering. (4) Corporate friendly campaign finance laws. (5) Two corporate parties more alike than different collaborating in a giant ruse.

So many good people have been herded into this Russia hysteria. Real problems? The US military budget is more than 20 times larger than Russia's and more than 10 times that of China. America's general welfare is downgrading rapidly as current & future debt skyrockets. As we can tell from all tax cuts in the past 40 years, working people will be making up the difference.

Our greatest shame should be that we have forces actively killing civilians in 12-17 countries,killi ng thousands every week, causing tens of millions to flee their homes. And the only discernible purpose is PROFIT--via Offense spending and natural resource theft--for the same mega-companies that own our media corporations.
-10 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-03-13 13:47
#Pablo Diablo, If I could give you enough thumbs up to overcome the poorly informed and easily herded, I would do so.
+1 # Moxa 2018-03-13 21:35
Another vote for you Pablo. I have made similar points and gotten thumbs down as well. I suppose people think that to criticize the Russia investigation means you are pro-Trump or pro-Russia. What we need to discover is how Trump came to be president. Trump is a SYMPTOM of a very deep sickness in the country. That sickness has a lot to do with corporate control of our politicians and our media. It has very little to do with Russia.
+6 # Jim Young 2018-03-14 00:18
...Too say Putin is responsible for 13 Russians on Facebook would be like saying Nixon was responsible for Charles Manson...

More like Nixon being responsible for trying to cover up the Watergate break ins (willing to find $1 million to pay for unofficial, illegal, "Non-Disclosure Agreements"). I believe 69 people were charged, 49 convicted or pleading guilty, and one President resigning, accepting a pardon that Gerald Ford reminded people was an admission of guilt.
-30 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-03-13 11:42
Actually, I think Nunes did a good job. He got to the heart of the matter and that was interference in the election by a group of rogue officials at the FBI, CIA, and DOJ. Many of them are now out of office (fired, resigned, transferred). It took a lot of guts for him to push the investigation right at the people making the charges. He did discover some real hard evidence and pointed to the sources of a lot more. I think the FBI and DOJ should be very happy that the congressional investigation is shutting down. It would only have gotten worse for them.

This author is part of the democratic party sour grapes crusade. Calling this investigation a "sham" is just sour grapes. He did not get what he wanted. Boo-hoo!

He does not have the slightest idea what case Mueller has made or has not made against Trump. There are a shitload of leaks coming out from Mueller but none of them tell what Mueller really has or does not have.
+11 # librarian1984 2018-03-13 21:20
I agree with you on many things but 'Nunes doing a good job' isn't one of them. He always seems to be hair-on-fire in-over-his-hea d godawful at whatever dirty work he's engaged in.
+1 # CAMUS1111 2018-03-14 06:45
Hey Cliff Notes: "Rick Wilson is a national Republican political strategist and media consultant based in Florida who has produced television for governors, U.S. Senate candidates, super PACS, and corporations. He’s on Twitter at @therickwilson. "
-1 # 2018-03-13 11:52
Blind squirrel will not be able to find the acorn. Que lastima America.
0 # candida 2018-03-14 00:33
Blind squirrel will not be able to find the acorn. Que lastima America.

Who is the blind squirrel in your fable, here, tr4302? Mueller? Nunes? America?
+11 # Roger Kotila 2018-03-13 12:08
What bothers me about this article is the underlying assumption that Russia is the "bad guy" and out to get US. Whether or not Trump colluded with the Russians is of secondary importance to the war- mongers trying at all costs to stop Putin and Trump from meeting for a Global Peace Summit.

Frankly, I don't think Russia is really our "enemy". I think that notion is pure propaganda -- a complete hoax, part of the Pentagon's "perception management" program.

I think Russia recognized that it is being encircled by NATO -- that's a fact. Like Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran, Russia must therefore worry that it is targeted by the US for "regime change."

Frankly, any move toward peaceful coexistence with Russia will cause widespread panic -- no need for NATO, less need for the military/indust rial complex.

Just watch the hysteria if Trump announces that he plans to meet with Putin for a Global Peace Summit. The possibility of peace and friendship with Russia is currently taboo.
+12 # Dale 2018-03-13 13:51
As in the case of North korea, it is the U.S., not Russia that is the aggressor. Any sensible country, which does not include the U.S., will defend itself. In the case of Russia, the U.S. has supplied NATO with nuclear arms in all the Eastern countries surrounding Russia. In addition the U.S. effectily staged a neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine to shift the Ukraine alliance away from Russia, then accused Russia of border skirmishes where there are large numbers of Russian inhabitants. I just wish that the media, even the alternative media like RSN would take history and perspective into account. In the case of N. Korea it is perfectly understandable that they want nuclear arms to deter aggression. During the Korean War the U.S. destroyed every city and the Armistice left tens of thousands of troops, heavy armaments, and war games since 1953.
+11 # HenryS1 2018-03-13 15:03
I think the question here is whether those charged with protecting us are ignoring the evidence. And whether it is OK for the President to obstruct investigation into the evidence.

It is a standard troll tactic to create "straw men". Take a small piece of what one disagrees with, wildly exaggerate the significance of it to your opponents' arguments, convince other that the words you put in other people's mouths are their own, and then ridicule them for saying what you falsely claim they said.

Thanks, "PABLO", for giving us a textbook example of that sidetracking tactic. I hope I have not give you more attention, and hence served your aims. But I don't do this for pay, or for a living. So perhaps I took your "bait".

For my part, I think that evidence or wrongdoing in the pursuit of justice is worth examining. The Russian $100,000 is one extremely small piece of that evidence, and the vast money spent to corrupt our election process, but quite telling when added to all of the others.
-1 # librarian1984 2018-03-13 21:28

baa baa
+5 # candida 2018-03-14 00:31
Quoting HenryS1:
I think the question here is whether those charged with protecting us are ignoring the evidence. And whether it is OK for the President to obstruct investigation into the evidence.

Exactly, and the rest well said, too! I meant to hit thumbs up and accidentally hit thumbs down. Sorry 'bout that!
0 # Robbee 2018-03-13 17:11
Quoting PABLO DIABLO 2018-03-13 10:33:
To say Putin is responsible for 13 Russians on Facebook would be like saying Nixon was responsible for Charles Manson. Let's see some evidence yada yada

- i've been dying for putin to use this very argument here on rsn. thanks comrade pablo!

who could ever imagine that the head of the kgb would know how to run an intelligence agency? - would have the organizational ability to headquarter and run dozens of english speakers in petersburg to disinform foreigners? - would care who gets elected anywhere? - would bother to troll little ol' rsn?

simply preposterous! pravda? comrade?

tell ya what? pablo? robbee finds importance and strange comfort knowing that the great putin spends $$$ running putinbots here on little ol' rsn! - its dear bucks and it shows, in putin's expert estimation, and putin doesn't throw money away, that my fellow lefty americans are not beyond hope? - this certainty keeps me here, disputing crap putin puts out!

now that you've outed yourself, pablo, please finger any others "still waiting for "evidence" of collusion", okay? - robbee just loves to see putinbots anxious! - as robbee always says - "fuck putin if he can't take a joke!"

**note to non-putinbots, only** - "Next time, we must resolve to MAKE OUR VOTE COUNT!" - (caps in original) - bernie
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-03-14 10:52
tell ya what? comrade? putin must love you. your work has been so effective in demoralizing progressives and sowing discord -- exactly what your dear leader wants. congrats?
+5 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-03-14 19:01
What's really sad is Putin might get a better deal for Russia from progressive people who want peace and understand what the USA's role has been is supporting Fascist regimes for the sake of their corporate Oligarch rulers. Oh well, carry on with the Hunger Games/ Purge scenario. It's all been downhill for quite a while. Who remembers Eisenhower's desire for a 'Crusade For Peace' (bad choice of words but it was the late 50's) with Khrushchev that was demolished by the over-flight and subsequent shoot-down of Gary Power's U2?It's been 100 years since the USA and UK sent troops to fight the 1917 Revolution in Russia. This war is not going to end anytime soon and your schools, highways, cities, waterways, air, rivers, land are all being sacrificed to continue supporting defense contractors and industrialists who are stripping you and your children of everything you have including your future. o country is paradise, but all are inhabited by humans. We must build on common ground or we will all die together.
+3 # librarian1984 2018-03-15 06:52
Beautifully said, kkk. My sorrow comes from comparing, in my mind, what we could have been versus what we are.

If we had made different choices. If we had had different leaders. If some had been more brave or more principled.

I still believe in the American people. But we have been badly let down by our leaders and especially those silent powerful few who decide on the bigger, longer term picture. They could have chosen to be benevolent dictators but decided to go another way.

Our oligarchs are more stupid, more brutal, more base than other countries' oligarchs, and so our country is more stupid, more brutal and, particularly with Trump at the helm, more base.

Thank you for your insightful, if melancholy, comment.
+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2018-03-14 09:48
& thye USA never meddled in anyone else's elections. No, never...of course...uh.... .
+5 # librarian1984 2018-03-15 07:14
I think the count is in the area of 89 times (per WaPo?) but don't know if that includes assassinations and coups, or just election meddling.

Yet recently McMaster sat before Congress explaining why we should consider using 'low-yield' nukes on Russian soil in retaliation for 13 Russian operatives punking American citizens. (Low yield means no secondary blast, 'just' Hiroshima scale.)

And we've just heard Putin escalate hardware wars, saying he has a weapon American defenses can't stop .. which presumably means we should skip the middle steps and degradation and just close all public schools so we can fund the new nuclear race -- trillions to be flushed down the Pentagon's toilet while Hillary's minions re-enact the Salem witch hunt, trying to convince US war is the new imperative because Russia did what the CIA does all the time.

What we're NOT hearing about is Russian mercenaries recently killed by American forces in Syria. The details vary wildly on the number killed and circumstances.

Also an Israeli plane was shot down when it crossed the Syrian border to destroy an instalation last month.

These seem relevant, important developments -- so where is the coverage?

We need to get rid of the CIA and the neoliberals infesting the Democrats' party, and if mainstream media won't do its job we need to empower alternative media, not let creeps like Hamilton 68 shut them down.

There is lots of spring cleaning to do in America.
-2 # Trumpistheswamp 2018-03-14 16:19
Those of us who are squeamish about hearing about Trump's golden showers will be appalled when news of the "chocolate mudslides" becomes widespread.
+8 # krazykwiltkatt 2018-03-14 18:53
Russia exists, Russia has good reasons to be paranoid. The only way we can end this is to negotiate in good faith on various areas of common interest: expansion of NATO, turmoil in Middle East, arms control. This is not to excuse Putin, he is, after all, ex-KGB. But then the CIA are not exactly sweet kitties either. So we can either find some mature way out of this, or we can enjoy the new spy novels that can be generated out of these deadly events, before we are either all blown up in nuclear war or fried or starved or drowned or frozen by the chaos of Global Warming , which judging by the efforts NOT being made, is quite likely for your children. So enjoy the Reality spy novel while you can.

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