Patterico's Pontifications


O-Kayyyy . . . Thousands Of Apparently Unemployed People Will Gather To Literally Clap For Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 am

I have never appreciated the 22nd Amendment as much as I do today.

To say a final ‘Thanks Obama,’ thousands of Americans to applaud together on his last day

. . . .

Davis, a 29-year-old attorney in New York City, would mention her plans casually to friends. She persuaded a few to join her in Washington on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration, to stand outside the president’s home and clap. After Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in July, Davis decided to make a formal event page on Facebook. She figured a dozen or so like-minded friends might sign up.

She went to bed that night and when she woke up less than eight hours later, 500 people had clicked that they planned to attend and another 700 marked that they were interested. In the coming days and weeks, the number grew incrementally, easily getting into the thousands. Then, when Trump won, interest spiked. By the Friday after Election Day, another 60,000 people said they were either going or wanted to.

What will they be applauding, I wonder? The doubling of the national debt, perhaps? The anemic recovery and the collapse of the labor force participation rate? Skyrocketing health insurance premiums? The explosion of entitlements such as SSI and food stamps?

Actually, that last one could be it . . .

Here’s an idea. If you didn’t like Obama, gather together a force of people to boo him. Spread the word on Facebook. Plan to gather outside the White House on January 19th and boo. BOOOOOO!!!

And if you don’t do that? If you let this group applaud without response? Well, then, you know what that will mean. It will prove that people actually loved Obama!!!

Or . . . maybe it will prove that you have a job and don’t have time for nonsense like that.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Head of Ethics Agency Says Trump’s Plan Won’t Address Conflicts of Interest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:55 pm

He’s criticizing Trump. Swarm him.

P.S. He says Rex Tillerson is doing a good job.

More Evidence CNN Was Right: Multiple Outlets Confirm Comey Personally Briefed Trump On Dossier

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:04 pm

First DNI James Clapper issued a statement that tended to support the CNN report that the intelligence community had briefed Donald Trump about allegations that the Russians had gathered compromising information about Trump. Then Joe Biden confirmed that he and Obama had been briefed on the material.

Tonight, multiple outlets are reporting that James Comey briefed Trump on the material personally. The Hill:

FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Donald Trump on a two-page summary of an unverified dossier claiming Russia had compromising information on the real estate mogul, CNN reported Thursday.

That contradicts claims by members of Trump’s transition team and other news outlets that intelligence officials never briefed Trump on the two-page addendum to a classified report given to President Obama and leaders in Congress about Russian efforts to interfere with the presidential election.

Well, well. Looks like CNN may have gotten it right after all.

“Other news outlets” specifically refers to NBC, which had issued a report that claimed Trump had never been briefed on the information. Even NBC is now confirming the story about the briefing by Comey.

As Jay Caruso said after the Biden confirmation of the briefing:

Will all the of the Trump people were screaming at Jake Tapper now call out NBC for reporting “fake news?” They shouldn’t. NBC merely got the story wrong. CNN got the story right. That sometimes happens in journalism. Don’t be so quick to accuse reporters of bad faith.

Sometimes, they just get it wrong.


[Cross-posted at RedState.]

New Analysis: Monica Crowley’s PhD Dissertation Plagiarized THOUSANDS of Words

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

Monica Crowley has been chosen by Donald Trump for a major communications role in national security. On January 7, we learned that Crowley’s 2012 book had plagiarized sections of other people’s work — including RedState. A couple of days ago, it was reported that her PhD dissertation also contained plagiarized material. Today, a new analysis shows just how substantial that plagiarism was, with dozens of examples amounting to thousands of words:

On Monday, Politico reported that it found more than a dozen examples of plagiarism in Crowley’s Ph.D. dissertation. CNN’s KFile has found nearly 40 lengthy instances of Crowley lifting paragraphs from numerous sources, including several scholarly texts, the Associated Press, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The revelation comes on the heels of another CNN KFile investigation, which found more than 50 instances of plagiarism in Crowley’s 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened.” On Tuesday, the book’s publisher, HarperCollins, announced that it would stop selling the book until “the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material.”

Here is just one example from the new analysis:


But one example really doesn’t cover it. You have to click through to the link and scroll down. And keep scrolling. And keep scrolling.

And, in case you missed it, here is an example of plagiarism from her book:


After her book plagiarism was reported, I assigned readers to minimize the allegations in a partisan manner, and that assignment has gained new urgency with the latest revelations. Here are my suggestions for how to go about this project:

Your job, should you wish to accept it, is to minimize Crowley’s plagiarism in the comments below, so as to serve Trump’s partisan interests. Suggested angles of attack include:

  • 1. There are more important things going on in the world. This one is good because there are always more important things than plagiarism going on in the world. It’s a classic line of attack for scandals where someone is caught red-handed.
  • 2. It’s not really plagiarism. This is a tough one, but channel Trump. He can lie bald-facedly about anything. You can too. Give it a try!
  • 3. It’s CNN. Ignore the facts in front of your nose and attack the source.
  • 4. What aboutism. I call this “You mean like?”ism but that’s not as catchy. Find examples from the other side of people doing the same or worse. Cite them without explaining why it matters.
  • 5. Attack the blog post. A variant of other maneuvers, in particular #1, this tactic distinguishes itself primarily by the addition of vitriol towards the author of the post that brought this to your attention. Bonus points for using the phrase “Trump Derangement Syndrome” (TDS will do), declaring that the site is no longer worth reading, or other similar cheap personal shots.
  • 6. It’s old news. Best used in conjunction with #3 and/or other techniques.

Me, I think she’ll fit right in with the new administration. Dishonesty and a lack of ethics are the hallmark of Donald Trump. Why should his communications people be any different?

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Book Review: “Winter Is Coming” By Garry Kasparov — And Its Relevance To Rex Tillerson’s Confirmation Hearings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:00 am

Garry Kasparov, the Russian human rights activist and former chess champion, recently published a book titled Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped. With the confirmation of Rex Tillerson in the news, Kasparov’s book is as timely as ever. The central message of Kasparov’s book is a stark warning to America: Vladimir Putin is not your friend. He is a dictator who intends to rule Russia for the rest of his life, and to murder anyone who gets in his way. “Engagement” with him is not the answer. Opposing him is — while still befriending the Russian people, and standing up for dissidents, freedom, and democracy.

Marco Rubio made very similar points stirringly in yesterday’s confirmation hearings for Rex Tillerson: friend of Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump’s candidate for Secretary of State. In this book review I want to use some excerpts from Senator Rubio’s questioning of Tillerson (as well as a couple of other video clips) to illustrate some of Kasparov’s themes. (This is a long post, but I promise you that it’s worth your time. If you’re short on time, I ask you to bookmark it, and come back to it over the next day or two, while these hearings are still in the news.)

Let’s start with a 45-second clip from Rubio on “moral clarity” in foreign policy:

Kasparov makes his points, at all times, with perfect moral clarity. No matter what you think you know about Vladimir Putin, you’re bound to learn new things from Kasparov’s book — and if you have a heart, it cannot fail to be touched. Some of the stories I had never heard about. Others I had heard about — but I knew only part of the story.

“How come I am still alive? When I really think about it, it’s a miracle.”

These are the words of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, as quoted by Kasparov. He describes her as a fearless journalist who exposed Putin’s atrocities in Chechnya, and who had relentlessly criticized Putin and the FSB (the successor to the KGB). In 2004, on the way to help negotiate with the Chechen terrorists holding children and others hostage in Beslan, she was poisoned but did not die. (Yet.)

Here is a video of Politkovskaya talking about how Russia under Putin has become a Neo-Soviet state in which there is no freedom of speech.

How could someone like Politkovskaya say something like that and be allowed to live? you might ask. The answer is: she couldn’t. She was murdered in a contract killing at her apartment building on October 7, 2006.

Here is former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko (more about him in a moment) saying that Vladimir Putin was responsible for Politkovskaya’s death:

Litvinenko says he had been a friend of Politkovskaya’s, and that she had told him that she had been threatened by Putin and had wondered whether Putin and his confederates could actually kill her. Litvinenko told her they could, and advised Politkovskaya to leave the country. He says he had evidence that the Kremlin had her killed, but that it was seized by police. He says Politkovskaya could not have been killed without Putin having ordered it.

Alexander Litvinenko

Most Americans who read the news have heard something about Alexander Litvinenko — even if they don’t recognize the name — because of the colorful way he himself was murdered, like something out of a spy novel. In 2006, Litvinenko was poisoned by what the New York Times called “a highly toxic and rare isotope, polonium 210.” Kasparov calls it the first known case of nuclear terrorism. After a lengthy inquiry, a final report issued by a retired High Court judge in Britain in January 2016 concluded that it was probable Putin had ordered the murder. As the New York Times reported:

The polonium that was used to poison Mr. Litvinenko, the judge said, had probably come from a Russian reactor, and he said there were “powerful motives for organizations and individuals within the Russian state to take action” against the former K.G.B. officer.

There are many possible reasons that Vladimir Putin wanted Litvinenko killed — and Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, elaborated on many of them in a long article in the Daily Mail written after he had been poisoned, and published shortly after his death. But Kasparov focuses on one possible motivation that I find particularly interesting: Litvinenko’s role in helping to expose the possible involvement of Putin in terrorist bombings of his own countrymen.

In 1999, when Putin was Yeltsin’s prime minister, a series of bombings in Russia had been attributed to Chechen separatists. In the town of Ryazan, a resident of an apartment building saw men carrying large sugar bags filled with white powder into the apartment basement. The resident called the police, who found the bags connected to a detonator. Chemical tests at the scene revealed the presence of the same type of explosive used in the previous bombings thought to be carried about by the Chechens. Putin praised the police and the alert citizen.

But then something weird happened. The director of the FSB announced that the planting of the bags was simply a training exercise by the FSB to test the public’s vigilance. There had been no explosives in the bags, he claimed, just sugar. Why announce this, after Putin himself had treated the discovery as a foiled terror plot? Because local police had already developed evidence tying the planting of the bags to FSB agents. Left unexplained: why the initial tests of mere sugar had revealed explosives. Suspicions increased with reports of soldiers having previously discovered sugar bags at a nearby military base with a “strange substance” that turned to be the explosive in question.

The bottom line is that there is evidence that Putin and the FSB were actually behind some of the bombings that were attributed to the Chechens — and Litvinenko helped make the case. Kasparov writes (with a droll conclusion — wait for it):

A deep investigation and analysis of the case were turned into a devastating book by former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, Blowing Up Russia. The same Litvinenko, who had become a fierce Putin critic, was assassinated in London in 2006 with the rare radioactive substance polonium-210. An independent FSB invetsigator of the case, Mikhail Trepashkin, was arrested a week before hearings began and jailed for four years. In 2000, the Duma twice rejected calls for a parliamentary investigation of what happened in Ryazan. All evidence and internal documents related to Ryazan were then sealed on the grounds of secrecy for seventy-five years. While I admit to developing the healthy paranoia developed by most people born in totalitarian states, this all seems like an overreaction over three bags of sugar.

In an interesting twist, the possible false-flag operation was referred to by Senator Rubio in his questioning of Rex Tillerson yesterday. After discussing the bombings across Russia attributed to Chechen terrorists, Rubio said:

By the way, there’s a credible body of reporting, open source and other, that this was all, all those bombings were part of a black flag operation on the part of the FSB.

In Litvinenko’s final statement he clearly pointed the finger at Putin, in dramatic and unforgettable fashion, as the man responsible for his death:

[A]s I lie here I can distinctly hear the beating of wings of the angel of death.

I may be able to give him the slip but I have to say my legs do not run as fast as I would like.

I think, therefore, that this may be the time to say one or two things to the person responsible for my present condition.

You may succeed in silencing me but that silence comes at a price. You have shown yourself to be as barbaric and ruthless as your most hostile critics have claimed.

You have shown yourself to have no respect for life, liberty or any civilised value.

You have shown yourself to be unworthy of your office, to be unworthy of the trust of civilised men and women.

You may succeed in silencing one man but the howl of protest from around the world will reverberate, Mr Putin, in your ears for the rest of your life.

By the way, Litvinenko, in his piece about why Putin wanted him dead, says:

Shortly afterwards, I myself became the centre of a scandal when my unit was ordered to plan the assassination of Boris Berezovsky, the entrepreneur-turned-politician who was close to President Yeltsin.

Berezovsky is cited by Kasparov in several places in the book as an example of an oligarch who, because he did not pay total allegiance to Putin, had his company stolen by Putin. The Putin tactic is this: if you oppose him and you run a company, Putin will charge you with made-up crimes. Then he will seize your company and distribute it to his cronies. This is what Putin ultimately did to Berezovsky. The same sort of tactics allowed Putin to seize control of media outlets, and terrorize others into reporting only favorable information about him.

Phony charges are used against all dissenters. Even Kasparov was brought up on his own false charges of resisting arrest, until social media-derived photos and videos proved that the injuries he was accused of having inflicted upon an officer were already visible on the officer’s body before the officer came into contact with Kasparov.

One more thing I had been unaware of before reading Kasparov’s book: remember that awful hostage situation in Beslan? I alluded to it above while discussing how Anna Politkovskaya was poisoned on the way to trying to defuse it. Chechen terrorists took hundreds of schoolchildren and others hostage at a school in Beslan. Several hostages were killed right away. Then, on the third day, two explosions rocked the gymnasium where the hostages were being held. The usual story is that the terrorists caused the explosions because they were trying to kill everyone. This forced Russian troops to storm the gymnasium to save the rest, the story goes. Unfortunately, they couldn’t save everyone, and 186 children died along with an even greater number of adults.

But Kasparov notes that an expert on combustion physics produced a report showing that, in fact, the explosions had been caused by Russian troops. The first was a shot from a flame thrower, and the second “was caused by a high explosive fragmentation grenade.” These explosions together caused a huge fire and resulted in the collapse of the roof, killing the majority of the hostages. The government quickly cleaned up the crime scene and told several provable lies regarding what had happened. Putin used the incident to justify further weakening democratic reforms.

So Vladimir Putin’s thuggish tactics likely cost the lives of 186 schoolchildren.

And let’s not forget that Vladimir Putin armed the separatists in Eastern Ukraine who, on July 17, 2014, blew Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky, killing all 298 civilians on board. Kasparov writes:

Blaming Putin for these 298 deaths is as correct and pointless as blaming the man who pressed the button that launched the missile. Everyone had known for months that Russia arms and supports the separatists in Ukraine. Everyone had known for years that a mouse does not squeak in the Russian government without first getting Putin’s permission. So yes, Putin is responsible for those 298 deaths, more than anyone else.

Why is the blame pointless, then? Because, Kasparov explains, Putin is like the scorpion in the famous fable of the scorpion and the frog. Rather than trying to change the scorpion’s nature, we should focus on “how the civilized world can contain the dangerous creature before more innocents die.”

There are many, many more stories than I have told here, all discussed by Kasparov, of opponents of Putin who have been killed, brought up on spurious charges, or otherwise terrorized. And yet, despite as Marco Rubio so effectively revealed, Rex Tillerson is unwilling to state that Vladimir Putin “and his cronies” are responsible for the murder of “countless dissidents, journalists, and political opponents.” Watch this short minute-long clip:

Kasparov’s solution is not to boycott Russia, but simply to be honest about what they are doing, and not provide Putin with legitimacy. Do not treat Vladimir Putin as just another well-intentioned leader, Kasparov advises. Keep human rights at the forefront of American policy.

If they [Western leaders] truly wish to honor my fearless friend [Boris Nemtsov, yet another Putin critic who was murdered in the middle of Moscow in 2015], they should declare in the strongest terms that Russia will be treated like the criminal rogue regime it is for as long as Putin is in power. Call off the sham negotiations. Sell weapons to Ukraine that will put an unbearable political price on Putin’s aggression. Tell every Russian oligarch that there is no place their money will be safe in the West as long as they serve Putin.

I may not agree with every one of Kasparov’s aggressive prescriptions, but his entreaty to focus on human rights and to support the dissidents is passionate and well stated — and it is echoed in the peroration of Senator Rubio’s comments yesterday. I leave you with this impassioned clip of Rubio arguing that we cannot abandon dissidents in repressive regimes across the world. This 90-second clip is one of the most inspiring and compelling statements I have ever heard from Marco Rubio — and I know Kasparov agrees with Senator Rubio’s message here.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]


Trump’s Ethics Plan Is Unethical

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:44 pm

Allahpundit explains why. But nobody cares, so I am just noting it for the record. Commenters’ predictable defenses have all been aired already, and I see no reason to re-hash it, so I’m closing comments on this one.

UPDATE: Dana has asked me to open comments, and I am doing so at her request.

Even If the BuzzFeed Story Is Junk, CNN’s Story on Trump, the IC, and the Russians Is a Responsible Story

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:30 am

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the Internet and the news are abuzz (yes, I meant to do that, thanks for noticing!) with stories about a salacious BuzzFeed-published document alleging (among other things) that Trump paid prostitutes to pee on a bed that Obama had slept in . . .and that the FSB had recordings of this, and used that to blackmail Trump into taking a more Russia-friendly position during the campaign.

But here’s the thing. Jake Tapper and others at CNN yesterday reported that the intelligence community had briefed Trump and Obama on allegations that the Russians have dirt on Trump:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

Jay Caruso mentioned this morning that Jake Tapper had clarified that the 35-page BuzzFeed-published memo is not the two-page synopsis referred to in the CNN report:

I think this deserves its own post, especially since Tapper has since made it very clear since that the two are not the same:

That is not to say that the two are unrelated. They are not. According to the CNN report:

CNN has reviewed a 35-page compilation of the memos, from which the two-page synopsis was drawn. The memos have since been published by Buzzfeed. The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats. At this point, CNN is not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. But, in preparing this story, CNN has spoken to multiple high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos.

Some of the memos were circulating as far back as last summer. What has changed since then is that US intelligence agencies have now checked out the former British intelligence operative and his vast network throughout Europe and find him and his sources to be credible enough to include some of the information in the presentations to the President and President-elect a few days ago.

Meanwhile, people who are very upset about BuzzFeed publishing an unverified report are circulating their own unverified report that the BuzzFeed document was put out by 4Chan.

There may or may not be something to the allegations presented by the intelligence community — but no matter how you slice it, the fact that the intelligence community chose to brief Trump and Obama on these issues is a legitimate story. And the fact that BuzzFeed decided to publish a bunch of unverified allegations does not mean the CNN story is garbage.

I am reminded of the Weiner controversy back in 2011. There, as here, there were several shadowy sources and crazed partisans screaming on both sides. There was a set of alleged contacts between Weiner and some underage girls that seemed suspicious from the beginning, and proved to be a hoax. But the fact that those contacts proved to be a hoax did not automatically mean that Weiner was not inappropriately contacting underage girls (and, as we later learned, he was). But the fact that a story similar to the truth was shown to be dubious and ultimately a hoax made it easier for pro-Weiner partisans to defend him — and to attack those who were trying to report the actual facts in a responsible way. I always wondered, in fact, whether the hoax was perpetrated by pro-Weiner forces seeking to inoculate him from similar allegations that had some facts behind them.

In other words, even if aspects of the memos published by BuzzFeed are wrong, that does not mean that the allegations of the intelligence community are necessarily wrong. (It doesn’t mean they are right, either.)

Partisans are gonna partisan, though, and for many on the Internet, the chances that their views on these stories line up with their partisan views Trump will approach 100%.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

UPDATE: On the other hand, this NBC report, if true, totally undercuts the CNN story. NBC claims that Trump was not actually briefed on the two-page report, although the briefers had it available. Worse, NBC suggests that the intelligence community saw the allegations as disinformation: “According to the official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted ‘disinformation.'”

There is a real conflict here between the CNN and NBC reports. I hope CNN addresses the NBC article.


Liberal Writer Disgraces Himself With Racist Tweet About A Sweet Baby Girl Who Happens To Be The Granddaughter Of Sen. Jeff Sessions

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

What did she do to him? Not a goddamn thing.

Senate confirmation hearings began today for Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions. As is standard practice, Sen. Sessions’ family accompanied him to the Russell Building’s Kennedy Caucus Room before being introduced by Sens. Richard Shelby and Susan Collins. Seated on the senator’s lap was one of his adorable granddaughters. Unfortunately, as the liberal side of the aisle has disgracefully demonstrated again and again and again and again, there is no inherent understanding or compelling decency that prevents them from using the children of Republican politicians as punchlines to advance a political point of view. It’s like they would actually have to work at not doing so. Today, using a familiar accusation, this boorish behavior was once again evidenced by MTV “culture writer” Ira Madison III in a racist tweet objectifying Sessions’ granddaughter:


This was followed by the kind of word vomit at which the Left excels:



Madison was deservedly excoriated on social media for his tweet. He put up this tweet before protecting his account:

“I often tell jokes, but seeing as bringing up Sessions’ history of racial hatred of Asians is seen as an attack on his grandchild, I deleted[.]”

Anyway, it’s unfortunate that Madison apparently missed John Kerry’s target-rich confirmation hearings:



Trump, Russia And A Barrel Of Media Monkeys

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Because the madness that was 2016 wasn’t enough:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

These senior intelligence officials also included the synopsis to demonstrate that Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, but only released information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Democrats. This synopsis was not an official part of the report from the intelligence community case about Russian hacks, but some officials said it augmented the evidence that Moscow intended to harm Clinton’s candidacy and help Trump’s, several officials with knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.

Important note:

CNN has reviewed a 35-page compilation of the memos, from which the two-page synopsis was drawn. The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats. At this point, CNN is not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. But, in preparing this story, CNN has spoken to multiple high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos.

Allahpundit, whose full analysis you should read, reminds readers about a report in Mother Jones last October which included claims that they had heard that there “was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”

“Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

Caution: While CNN, and other major media outlets opted not to publish the full report because it hasn’t been verified and substantiated, BuzzFeed News, always a paragon of accurate and reliable reporting, decided to run the whole enchilada anyway. It should also be noted, and amusingly so, that BuzzFeed News acknowledges that the allegations made in the report they published have not been confirmed and that the report contains errors. Professional Journalism 2017: Always maintaining high standards!

To which Trump responded:


And, coincidentally:


2017 is going to be a very long year indeed.

P.S. Individuals named in the report are already vehemently pushing back.


FLASHBACK: Just Last Year, Cory Booker Loved Jeff Sessions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:00 am

As Andrea Ruth noted earlier this morning, Sen. Cory Booker is planning to testify against Jeff Sessions tomorrow:

“I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague,” Booker said. “But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience.”

Yeah, just one thing about that. Booker was singing a very different tune about Jeff Sessions less than a year ago:

And so this is truly one of my life’s greatest moments. I am humbled to be able to participate here in paying tribute to some of the extraordinary Americans whose footsteps paved the way for me and my generation. I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions in being the Senate sponsors of this important award.

He didn’t seem so down on Jeff Sessions then.

Booker is not the only one who is set to testify against Sessions despite having buddied up with him in the past. CNN’s report contains this passage:

Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, is also expected to testify against Sessions during his confirmation hearings. Lewis and Sessions were pictured holding hands during a march in Selma, Alabama, in 2015.

Follow the link for the photos, which show Lewis holding Sessions’s hand on the Pettus Bridge — a famous location in civil rights lore, where police attacked demonstrators marching to Montgomery. The photos were taken on the 50th anniversary of that “Bloody Sunday.”

Why was John Lewis holding hands with someone he is going to tell us is an awful racist?

The Booker video and the Lewis photos will, I assume, be shown during these hearings. If they’re not, the GOP is even less competent than I thought.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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