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USA Watch Thread

America USA Politics Military Wars Science Information News Economy Geopolitics

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#41
BarkEater93

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http://www.pbs.org/n...r-warning-iran/

 

 

Trump’s speech turned on three main themes. The beginning of the speech focused on extremism and terrorism as a threat to all. “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Trump said, pointedly turning away from his past assessments of Islam as a religion of hatred. Trump’s shift in tone is widely seen as an attempt at to reset relations with the Muslim World.

 
The second point, in keeping with his “America First” platform, is the imperative on Middle Eastern nations to take the lead in stamping out this threat. President Trump raised his voice as he delivered the emotional climax of the speech: “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this Earth.”

 

We are seeing hints of the American strategy in the Middle East going forward. The Americans ultimately want to leave the region. Putting the burden on native countries to deal with jihadists will be something the U.S. will eventually be doing.

 

The Middle East is like a testing ground for the strategy the U.S. will be using in its foreign policy around the world in the coming decades. The U.S. is learning that in the wars it has waged in the Middle East, it has over-extended its ability to project power. It may be the world's superpower, but it has its limitations, like any other country. It's virtually impossible for a country on the other side of the world, even with a hundred thousand troops, to liberate a country like Iraq which has tens of millions of people.

 

The U.S. is learning the tactic used by the British and Roman empires: keep a balance of powers and then sit back and let them sort it out themselves. Direct military intervention would be used as a last resort if the balance breaks down.

 

So the U.S. wants a counter-balance to Iran. At the moment it appears to be Saudi Arabia, and more broadly a coalition of Sunni Arab states. The U.S. was a close ally with the Saudis in the Cold War and there's reluctance to break that up. But Saudi Arabia is a country on the verge with its high dependence on oil. The country's religious culture has a close semblance with the jihadists, which would make military intervention difficult. Israel has a strong military but is a small country dealing with the Palestinians.

 

We are still early in the evolution of this strategy, so the U.S. right now is more of feeling it out. The fact that Trump is visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey on this visit shows that any of these three countries are potentially important to the future of the region. 

 

Turkey on the other hand is particularly interesting because it has the largest military in the region. It acts both as a secular and Islamist country. Just a little over a century ago its ancestor, the Ottoman Empire, ruled over and maintained relative stability over the areas that are now torn by conflict. It's also a NATO country. And it's getting antsy by the violence spilling into its borders...



#42
BarkEater93

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So the U.S. can't disengage itself from the Middle East. It also can't continue having its military there in the fight indefinitely. The U.S. military will eventually be leaving, and so the U.S. will be learning to support a balance of native powers. 



#43
Alislaws

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So the U.S. can't disengage itself from the Middle East. It also can't continue having its military there in the fight indefinitely. The U.S. military will eventually be leaving, and so the U.S. will be learning to support a balance of native powers. 

Surely they would have been able to figure this stuff out without all the deaths, trillions spent and years of fighting. I'm pretty sure they always knew this stuff wouldn't work out for the countries they were invading.

 

It has worked well to create a world where there's a big threat to western nations, that they can use as an excuse to crack down on people's freedoms. But the threat is not actually capable of causing any large scale damage* that might actually affect the people running things. 

 

*(When compared to the soviet union during the Cuban missile crisis. for example)

 

Ideally if they can just sell weapons to other people who are fighting endless wars they get the same cash, but without losing soldiers, which is unpopular and causes unrest at home. 



#44
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Quitting Paris climate deal would threaten US security, UN chief warns

 

 

António Guterres says exiting landmark accord would threaten US economy and society: ‘If someone leaves a void, I guarantee someone will fill it

 
His remarks at New York University came as the world waits for Donald Trump to announce whether the country will continue to uphold the Paris deal, which nearly 200 countries signed as a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
 
In a question-and-answer session after the speech, a student asked how the US can address climate change when its president has threatened to back out of the Paris accord.
 
“If someone leaves a void, I guarantee someone will fill it,” said Guterres, who went on to explain what consequences such an exit could have for the US. “Today, the economy and social aspects are linked to the environmental aspects, but they are also linked to the security aspects, they are linked to the risks of conflict.”
 
He continued: “if you leave a void to others to occupy, you might be creating a problem to your own internal security.”

 

Huh, they didn't mention the big Red elephant in the room; China. If the US government is hellbent on dismantling its leadership role in the world, countries will turn to a new leader. Trump's already fucking stupid enough to try and start a trade war with US allies, create doubt about NATO's Article V, and engage in a diplomatic row with Germany. I get it, many Americans might be tired of being the "world police". To those Americans that support Trump in dismantling the post-WWII liberal order that has allowed the West to flourish, I have this to say; let the jungle grow wild, and eventually, some fucking leopard is gonna bite your head off. 


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If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. -Peter Ustinov
 

#45
caltrek

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If you like conspiracy theories, here is just the story for you.

 

DNC Staffer’s Murder Inspires Open-Records Suit

 

http://www.courthous...n-records-suit/

 

 

 

WASHINGTON (CN) – Describing a shroud of secrecy over the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, a Virginia-based group brought an open-records complaint against D.C.’s mayor and attorney general.

 

Noting that the investigation of Rich’s unsolved July 2016 murder dried up months ago, the Profiling Project says there is no reason for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to keep a lid on surveillance footage from the area, or the medical examiner’s and forensic ballistic reports.

 

“MPD essentially terminated their efforts in late October 2016,” the complaint states, filed on May 30 in D.C. Superior Court. “The case is now clearly a cold case. As such, the release of the desired information would not and would not harm MPD’s efforts in any way, as there is no continuing effort.”

 

After Rich was shot twice in the back on July 12, 2016, a block from his apartment in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, police suggested that the 27-year-old might have been the victim of an attempted robbery.

 

At the height of the presidential election season, a conspiracy theory emerged that Rich was connected to the dissemination of  DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and killed because of it. WikiLeaks offered a reward for information about Rich’s death, but it has never confirmed that Rich was a source.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#46
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Our Revolution Statement on Virginia's Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

 

 

https://ourrevolutio...torial-primary/

 

 

 

WASHINGTON-- Our Revolution released the following statement in response to the results of Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

 

“Tom Perriello ran a campaign that inspired Virginians to stand up for the issues we are fighting for every day--an economy that works for all of us, a future free of fossil fuels, and quality public education for all our children,” said Jeff Weaver, Our Revolution President. 

 

“Thank you to all the Our Revolution members who donated, made tens of thousands of calls, sent thousands of texts, and knocked on doors in support of Tom’s message. This campaign may be over but our path to elect candidates offering solutions to the problems facing working families continues.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#47
caltrek

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Young people are often the quickest to understand issues like global warming and to adapt to new technologies.  So that obvious thing to do?

 

Stop them from voting, obviously.

 

Republican Wants to Limit Arizona Students’ Right to Vote

 

Introduction:

 

PHOENIX (CN) — An Arizona Republican lawmaker wants to prohibit college students from voting where they attend school, claiming they “dilute the votes” of year-round residents.

 

State Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, is chairman of the Arizona House Government and Higher Education Committee.

 

He said in a statement: “These students do not influence the elections within their home communities, where their families and neighbors live, but instead they dilute the votes of the local full-time residents within the college communities.”

 

Thorpe said he has not yet written the legislation, but will develop it with “stakeholders.”

 

Thorpe, a self-identified Tea Party member, calls “unethical voter recruitment efforts” a “serious problem” in Arizona.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#48
caltrek

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Speaking of Arizona...

 

Joe Arpaio on Trial Over Immigration Actions

 

http://www.msn.com/e...ID=ansmsnnews11

 

Extract:

 

Now, Arpaio is going on trial on a criminal charge stemming from those immigration enforcement actions.

 

His eight-day trial that begins Monday in federal court in Phoenix will determine whether the 85-year-old retired lawman is guilty of misdemeanor contempt of court for disobeying a judge's order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. The judge later found his officers racially profiling Latinos.

 

The trial starts as the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected former Sheriff Joe Arpaio's request to let a jury instead of a judge decide whether he is guilty.

 

Arpaio's legal troubles played a major role in voters turning him out of office in November after a campaign in which he appeared alongside Trump at several rallies in Arizona.

The former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix has acknowledged defying the judge's 2011 order in a racial profiling lawsuit by prolonging the patrols for months. But he insists it was not intentional. To win a conviction, prosecutors must prove he violated the order on purpose.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#49
Sciencerocks

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Young people are often the quickest to understand issues like global warming and to adapt to new technologies.  So that obvious thing to do?

 

Stop them from voting, obviously.

 

Republican Wants to Limit Arizona Students’ Right to Vote

 

Introduction:

 

PHOENIX (CN) — An Arizona Republican lawmaker wants to prohibit college students from voting where they attend school, claiming they “dilute the votes” of year-round residents.

 

State Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, is chairman of the Arizona House Government and Higher Education Committee.

 

He said in a statement: “These students do not influence the elections within their home communities, where their families and neighbors live, but instead they dilute the votes of the local full-time residents within the college communities.”

 

Thorpe said he has not yet written the legislation, but will develop it with “stakeholders.”

 

Thorpe, a self-identified Tea Party member, calls “unethical voter recruitment efforts” a “serious problem” in Arizona.

 

 

This would be unconstitutional and wrong. Republicans can't win without brainwashing and dirty tricks...The fact that they have to limit people is a clear sign that they don't give a damn about our democracy. FUCK EM!

 

Also college students are going to make more money in order to pay more taxes to the fucking government one day. How fucking dare these republicans.


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#50
Alislaws

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Young people are often the quickest to understand issues like global warming and to adapt to new technologies.  So that obvious thing to do?

 

Stop them from voting, obviously.

 

Republican Wants to Limit Arizona Students’ Right to Vote

 

Introduction:

 

PHOENIX (CN) — An Arizona Republican lawmaker wants to prohibit college students from voting where they attend school, claiming they “dilute the votes” of year-round residents.

 

State Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, is chairman of the Arizona House Government and Higher Education Committee.

 

He said in a statement: “These students do not influence the elections within their home communities, where their families and neighbors live, but instead they dilute the votes of the local full-time residents within the college communities.”

 

Thorpe said he has not yet written the legislation, but will develop it with “stakeholders.”

 

Thorpe, a self-identified Tea Party member, calls “unethical voter recruitment efforts” a “serious problem” in Arizona.

 

 

This would be unconstitutional and wrong. Republicans can't win without brainwashing and dirty tricks...The fact that they have to limit people is a clear sign that they don't give a damn about our democracy. FUCK EM!

 

Also college students are going to make more money in order to pay more taxes to the fucking government one day. How fucking dare these republicans.

 

 

They have gone to a lot of effort to gerrymander all the districts to ensure republican victory, if people end up voting where they go to college then all their work can be ruined!



#51
caltrek

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Prosecutors Say Arpaio Bragged About His Contempt of Court

 

http://www.courthous...contempt-court/

 

Introuction:

 

PHOENIX (CN) — Joe Arpaio bragged to news media about enforcing federal immigration law while he was Maricopa County sheriff, even after a federal judge ordered him to stop, prosecutors said Monday as Arpaio’s trial began for criminal contempt of court. 

 

The Department of Justice charged Arpaio with refusing to abide by a federal judge’s order in a racial profiling class action. The federal courtroom was packed Monday for opening statements from federal prosecutors and Arpaio’s attorneys.

 

Arpaio, 85, a Republican, served as Maricopa County sheriff for 24 years until he was voted out of office in November. He called himself America’s toughest sheriff.

 

Victor Salgado, an attorney with the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section, said evidence will show that though Arpaio was warned about complying with court orders, “He wore his defiance.

 

“The court issued a clear and definite order, the defendant knew of the order, and the defendant willfully violated the order,” Salgado said.

Arpaio.jpg

 

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#52
caltrek

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Governor Chris Christie Orders New Jersey Government Shutdown Amid Budget Fight

 

 

http://www.cbsnews.c...budget-impasse/

 

Introduction:

 

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the Democrat-led Legislature are set to return to work to try to resolve the state's first government shutdown since 2006 and the first under Christie. 

 

The Republican governor and the Democrat-led Legislature failed to reach an agreement on a new budget by the deadline at midnight Friday. Christie blamed Democratic State Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto for failing to reach a deal, CBS New York reports

 

Christie ordered nonessential services, including state parks and the motor vehicle commission to close beginning Saturday. He and lawmakers are in a stalemate over whether to include legislation affecting the state's largest health insurer into the state budget. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#53
caltrek

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Here is more on the New Jersey government shutdown.

 

http://www.politico....shutdown-240162

 

 

Christie has staked his legacy – the national ambitions some think he still harbors - on battling the opioid epidemic. So in February he sought control over the reserve fund of the non-profit Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s largest health insurer that was created by the state, to pay for drug addiction programs, and in recent weeks he’s insisted that his plan be tied to a final budget, a demand bolstered by his line item veto powers.

 

The Senate has moved in his direction, on Thursday passing a bill acceptable to Christie that would give the state government more control over the insurer. Christie has also demanded the Legislature send him a bill to transfer the state lottery into the woefully underfunded public worker pension system to lessen its unfunded liability. The Legislature has reluctantly agreed to send him that bill.

 

But Democratic Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto is holding fast against the Horizon bill, refusing to put it up for a vote. Christie has vowed that if he’s not sent the bill, he’ll line-item veto from the budget $325 million in Democratic spending priorities, including school funding and social welfare programs.

 

“I'm not happy about this,” Christie said in a press conference just eight hours before the shutdown deadline. "This is completely avoidable."

Such a fiscal debacle had been avoided since 2006, when New Jersey Democrats shut down the government in an argument over raising the state sales tax despite controlling the governorship and both chambers of the Legislature.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#54
caltrek

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Here is yet another take on the New Jersey situation:

 

Raiding Nonprofits for Their Reserves? A New Jersey Showdown

 

https://nonprofitqua...ersey-showdown/

 

Introduction:

 

Excessive reserves at nonprofit health insurers are a longstanding irritant to consumer groups and to states, especially when rates go up and the organization’s overdeveloped liquidity is combined with high executive compensation. But when the state demands a portion of those reserves for uses it designates, it 1) creates a slippery slope of the impounding of nonprofit reserves by the state, and 2) essentially amounts to a tax on already overburdened consumers.

 

Control over how New Jersey’s largest insurer allocates its surplus money is at the center of the state’s ongoing budget debate. Senate Bill No. 4, introduced on June 22nd, aims to clarify the “charitable role of heath service corporations” and is directed at the nonprofit insurer Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. The new law would give the state’s Banking and Insurance Commissioner control over how much money the insurance company keeps in its reserves in addition to altering the organization’s board structure and requiring the insurer to regularly publish financial information.

 

The dispute over the bill comes as New Jersey lawmakers work to either finalize a state budget today or else face a government shutdown that would shutter state-run parks, beaches, and courts; stop road construction; and furlough thousands of state workers. Governor Chris Christie, the force behind the bill, argued for more accountability and transparency from the insurer and alluded to the need to pass the bill in order to sign off on Democratic spending priorities.

 

The focus on Horizon began in February when Christie requested a $300 million donation from the organization to help fund addiction treatment programs. The insurer …(argued)…that tapping into reserves could destabilize the organization and, in turn, drive up premiums. Christie’s interest in New Jersey having a strong state program may be tied to his being tapped in March to head President Trump’s task force on opioid addiction.

 

In a press conference …Christie lambasted Horizon, saying it had “brazenly failed its members.” According to the governor, Horizon had mishandled claims and misreported financial information, resulting in a $15.5 million fine from the Department of Human Services. The organization also failed to properly manage a recently introduced Medicaid payment system, resulting in the withholding of $8 million from medical and other healthcare providers.

chris-christie.jpg

 

Chris Christie

by Gage Skidmore


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#55
caltrek

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Here is a follow-up on the Arpaio story (see post #48 and #51 above).

 

Arpaio’s Defense Rests, Blaming His Former Attorney

 

 

Introduction:

 

PHOENIX (CN) — Joe Arpaio’s defense team rested Thursday afternoon after a retired sheriff’s lieutenant testified that Arpaio’s former counsel did not advise the office to stop detaining undocumented immigrants, after a federal judge ordered it.

 

Arpaio, who was Maricopa County sheriff for 24 years, faces one count of misdemeanor criminal contempt for continuing to conduct immigration patrols for nearly 18 months after he was ordered to stop in 2011 by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow.

 

Snow’s order came in a 2007 racial profiling class action that accused Arpaio’s deputies of racially profiling during traffic stops.

 

Arpaio was held in civil contempt of court on three counts last year. He has acknowledged his contempt, but denies it was on purpose.

 

Retired Lt. Joe Sousa testified that he found out about the order through an email from Arpaio’s former attorney, Tim Casey, shortly after it was issued. Soon after, he called Casey to discuss the order.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#56
Maximus

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The Senate sent back to the House of Representatives an aggressive sanctions package targeting Russia, setting the stage for a clash between House Republican leaders and the White House ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin next month.
 
The Senate approved a technical fix to the sanctions measures on Thursday afternoon, after it had been stalled in the House. The Senate first passed the bill by an 98 to 2 margin earlier this month, but House Republicans delayed the bill with a procedural tactic. The bill now heads back to the House, but it’s unclear when exactly it will be taken up.
 
The sanctions bill could significantly ratchet up American economic pressure on Moscow by expanding restrictions on the Russian energy sector, levying new sanctions on purchasers of Russian arms, and writing into law sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration through executive actions, which can be reversed at the stroke of a pen. If passed, the bill would require congressional approval in order for the White House to lift sanctions on Russia.
 
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) expressed support for the measure last week, but it’s opposed by the White House, which would like to maintain flexibility in dealing with Moscow.

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done. -Peter Ustinov
 

#57
caltrek

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Christie Signs $34.7 Billion Budget, Ends New Jersey State Government Shutdown

 

https://www.msn.com/...ID=ansmsnnews11

 

Introduction:

 

 

 A budget impasse that shuttered government and state parks and beaches for three days ended on the Fourth of July when Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a deal he and the Democratic Legislature crafted.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#58
Sciencerocks

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Expert: Today’s Lack of Funding for Basic Research Could Prove Devastating in the Future

by Karla Lant
 


Expert Robbert Dijkgraaf points out that investment into basic curiosity-driven research is just as critical "infrastructure" as bridges and roads. Without investment into basic research we risk our national prosperity and future

 

https://futurism.com...-in-the-future/


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#59
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After Years of Growth, Automakers Are Cutting U.S. Jobs
Source: MSN/NY Times
 

DETROIT — After a prolonged recovery that culminated in two years of record sales, the American auto industry is slowing down, with fewer buyers in dealer showrooms and fewer workers on the factory floor.

Automakers said this week that sales dropped in June for a sixth consecutive month, falling by 3 percent from a year ago, a trend that analysts do not see letting up anytime soon. And as demand falls, there is less work in the nation’s auto-assembly plants — primarily those that build traditional passenger cars. Last year, those plants hit a peak of 211,000 workers, a 55 percent increase since the depths of the recession in 2009. That figure has dropped by more than 2 percent so far this year, to 206,000 workers in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and could shrink further as sales continue to fall.

“There’s been a consistent reduction in plant output in the last six months, and what is ahead in the next six months could be pretty startling,” said Ron Harbour, an auto manufacturing expert at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

The decline signals at least a pause in Detroit’s resurgence from the dark days of the financial crisis, which General Motors and Chrysler survived only through bankruptcy and bailouts. It’s happening despite President Trump’s promises to pressure automakers to save and create good-paying American factory jobs.

 

Read more: http://www.msn.com/e...ocid=spartanntp


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#60
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Trump’s disturbing exchange with Putin on election interference
Putin says Trump accepted his denials about election interference. Trump’s story isn’t much different.
 

 

President Trump accepted Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russian officials didn’t interfere in last year’s presidential election during their meeting at the G20 Summit on Friday, according to remarks Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made to reporters after it concluded.

If Lavrov’s claims are true, President Trump is accepting the word of a Russian autocrat over the consensus conclusion of the US intelligence community. Trump’s campaign is current the subject of a web of investigations for possible collusion with Russia.

Tillerson also alluded to the bilateral commission to discuss election interference.

“The two leaders also acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats and interference in the democratic processes of the United States and other countries,” he said. “And agreed to explore creating a framework around which the two countries can work together to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats. Both in terms of how these tools are used to interfere with the internal affairs of our countries, but also how these tools are used to threaten infrastructure, how these tools are used from a terrorism standpoint, as well.”

https://thinkprogres...nce-4cbc772b430

 

We're becoming like Russia..A very fascist state because of this asshole.


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