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America's “presidential” EMPEROR who “is wearing no clothes”…

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Having fun in the hills!

« on: February 19, 2018, 11:43:38 pm »

from The Washington Post....

Trump lashes out over Russia probe in angry and error-laden tweetstorm

The defiant president attacks FBI and McMaster, blames Russian interference on Democrats and claims exoneration.

By JOSH DAWSEY and PHILIP RUCKER | 11:52PM EST — Sunday, February 18, 2018

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a meeting with lawmakers about trade policy in the Cabinet Room at the White House on February 13th, 2018. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump speaks during a meeting with lawmakers about trade policy in the Cabinet Room at the White House on February 13th, 2018.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA — President Trump lashed out with fresh anger about the intensifying Russia probe over the weekend, accusing Democrats of enabling a foreign adversary to interfere in the 2016 election and attacking the FBI as well as his own national security adviser.

In a defiant and error-laden tweetstorm that was remarkable even by his own combative standards, Trump stewed aloud about the latest indictments brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III against Russians for their elaborate campaign to denigrate the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, and push voters toward Trump.

The president seized on Mueller's evidence of the expansive scope of the Russian influence efforts to claim that the indictments exonerated him and proved there was “no collusion.” But the special counsel's investigation of possible complicity between Russia and the Trump campaign is continuing, as is the examination of whether Trump has sought to obstruct justice.

In a string of 10 Twitter messages — which began after 11 p.m. on Saturday and ended around noon on Sunday, and which included profanity and mis-spellings — Trump opened a window into his state of mind, even as Trump's representatives at a global security conference in Germany advised jittery allies to generally ignore the president's tweets.

Trump's latest attacks built on remarks last week in which he mis-represented the evidence revealed by Mueller. He tweeted falsely, “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election.” He blamed President Barack Obama's administration for doing “nothing” to stop the intrusion. Trump rebuked national security adviser H.R. McMaster for publicly saying the evidence of Russian interference was “incontrovertible.”

And he held the FBI responsible for last week’s devastating shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead. Trump tweeted that the bureau was committing so many resources to the Russia probe that it missed “all of the many signals” about the shooter.

One topic Trump avoided in his missives was punishment of Russia. The president did not spell out how his administration might seek to retaliate against the Russians or how it may try to protect the U.S. electoral system from continued attacks, which the nation's intelligence chiefs warned last week should be expected.

“What is it we're going to do about the threat posed by the Russians?” James R. Clapper Jr., who was director of national intelligence during the 2016 election, said on CNN. “He never talks about that. It's all about himself.”

In fact, Trump blamed the various domestic investigations into Russia’s intrusions — as opposed to the interference itself — for sowing discord in America.

The president tweeted on Sunday, “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”

Trump sent the messages from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he was ensconced for two days. He spent much of the time watching cable news, venting to friends about the Russia investigation and complaining that it has been driving so much press coverage, according to people who have spoken to him. The president also surveyed Mar-a-Lago Club members about whether he ought to champion gun control measures in the wake of last week's school massacre in nearby Parkland, telling them that he was closely monitoring the media appearances by some of the surviving students, according to people who spoke with him there.

Trump's tweets came at a precarious time for the president, who is grappling with a number of scandals, both professional and personal.

The White House is under siege for its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, which in turn has drawn unwelcome attention to its security clearance process and the tenuous status of senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. Two of Trump's Cabinet secretaries — David Shulkin at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency — are under scrutiny over taxpayer reimbursement for their luxury travel.

President Trump waves as he exits Marine One and boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base on February 16th, 2018, en route to Palm Beach, Florida. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
President Trump waves as he exits Marine One and boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base on February 16th, 2018, en route to Palm Beach, Florida.
 — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.

Meanwhile, salacious new accounts of Trump's alleged extramarital affairs have created headlines. The New Yorker on Friday detailed a former Playboy centerfold's claim of a relationship with Trump and reported that the publisher of the National Enquirer had paid the model $150,000 to buy the rights to her story. Also last week, Trump's long-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, said that shortly before the 2016 election he had used his personal funds to “facilitate” a $130,000 payment to a porn star who goes by the name Stormy Daniels and had alleged a sexual relationship with Trump.

Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist based in Florida and a Trump critic, said the president's tweets read to him like “a cry for help.”

“He must be feeling a lot of different pressures building on him right now — personal and political and legal,” Wilson said. “He must feel like he has to sweep all the pieces off the chess board and try to restart. But these problems can't be papered over by tweets.”

After visiting victims of the Parkland shooting and first responders at an area hospital on Friday evening, Trump did not leave Mar-a-Lago until Sunday evening, skipping his usual rounds of golf at his nearby course in what aides described as a decision to show respect for the 17 people killed in the school massacre.

Instead, Trump spent his time watching television, talking with friends and tweeting, aides said, breaking up that routine during Sunday for a meeting with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Republican-Wisconsin). On Saturday night, Trump dined with talk-show host Geraldo Rivera and the president's two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. First lady Melania Trump, also in Florida for the weekend, did not join her husband in the dining room, according to two attendees.

The president then retired to his private quarters and sent two controversial tweets before midnight.

The first blamed the FBI for the shooting. He wrote after 11 p.m. on Saturday, “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

Trump's tweet seemed to echo the opening statement delivered at 9 p.m. on Fox News Channel by Jeanine Pirro, whose show the president watches regularly. She said the killings in Florida were “at the hands of the FBI” and “could have been prevented had they bothered to lift a finger.” Pirro went on to describe the bureau as “stained and politicized by Mr. Holier Than Thou Jim Comey, but the seeds were sowed by former FBI director Bob Mueller.”

The FBI has acknowledged that it failed to properly investigate a January tip about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But officials said the resources devoted to the independently run Russia investigation had no effect on the FBI's response in Florida.

Trump's comment linking the school massacre with the Russia probe drew a wave of criticism, including from some of the teenagers who survived the shooting. Ohio Governor John Kasich (Republican) said on CNN on Sunday that it was “an absurd statement.” Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general whom Trump fired last year after she raised concerns about then-national security adviser Michael Flynn, tweeted that it was “shameful.” And former New Jersey governor Chris Christie (Republican), a Trump ally, said on ABC News, “The president should be staying out of law enforcement business.”

Trump sparked more controversy with his reaction to McMaster's speech at the Munich security conference, where the national security adviser said evidence of Russian interference was now “incontrovertible.”

The president tweeted, “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

Trump was referring to a series of accusations against Clinton, whom he calls “Crooked H,” and a set of memorandums compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele that includes information and claims about Trump's dealings in Russia.

From left to right, White House director of social media Dan Scavino, chief of staff John Kelly, counselor John DeStefano and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg follow President Trump across the South Lawn of the White House to board Marine One on February 16th, 2018. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
From left to right, White House director of social media Dan Scavino, chief of staff John Kelly, counselor John DeStefano and National Security Council
chief of staff Keith Kellogg follow President Trump across the South Lawn of the White House to board Marine One on February 16th, 2018.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.

A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal debates, said Trump was frustrated by McMaster's speech because he thinks conceding that the Russians interfered takes away from the validity of his victory. This official said Trump is uninterested in evaluating the merits of the Russia case — and speculated that even if he was convinced that the Russians did interfere, he would be loath to state so publicly.

“Never give in,” this official said, “and don't surprise him.”

In Trump's view, this official said, McMaster did both.

Trump has long avoided calling out Russia for its actions and has only rarely acknowledged the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that it had interfered. He has at times speculated that other actors, such as China, may have been responsible for hacking Democratic emails, and last November he said he had accepted the denial made to him personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the Sunday morning tweet claiming he had never denied Russian interference, Trump also insisted that his use of the phrase “Russian hoax” had only been in reference to possible collusion with his campaign.

Christie had a different interpretation of Mueller's indictments than Trump's reading. He said it painted “a real picture” into the scope of an operation “that was obviously meant to disparage and damage Hillary Clinton.”

“I think everyone's going to have to come around to the idea that that's at least part of what the Russians were attempting to do in the election,” Christie told anchor Martha Raddatz on ABC's “This Week”. “But I'd caution everybody to not believe that this is yet over, because there's lots of other places where director Mueller to look regarding potential Russian involvement in all this.”

One target of Trump's wrath was Representative Adam B. Schiff (California), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who frequently appears on cable news programs to discuss his panel's Russia investigation.

“Finally, Liddle' Adam B. Schiff, the leakin' monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election,” Trump tweeted at 7:22 a.m. Sunday. “He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!”

Trump jabbed at Schiff in another tweet 21 minutes later and added: “The Democrats, lead by their fearless leader, Crooked Hillary Clinton, lost the 2016 election. But wasn't I a great candidate?”

Late on Sunday night, Trump shifted his focus to Oprah Winfrey, whose speech at the Golden Globes stirred talk of a potential 2020 Democratic presidential run. At 11:28 p.m., he tweeted:

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!”

Winfrey has said she does not “have the DNA” to be president.


Philip Rucker reported from Washington D.C.

• Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico; and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.

• Philip Rucker is the White House bureau chief for The Washington Post. He previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House, and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He joined The Post in 2005 as a local news reporter.


Related to this topic:

 • Fact Checker: A guide to Trump's error-filled tweetstorm about the Russia investigation

 • Top U.S. officials tell the world to ignore Trump's tweets

 • Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11

 • Trump criticizes FBI for failure to probe tip on Florida shooter, says ‘too much time’ spent on Russia probe

 • Salacious new claims surface about a Trump affair and alleged coverup

 • Trump's Russia ‘hoax’ turns out to be real

 • GRAPHIC: Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked

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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2018, 11:23:35 am »

Thousands — Including MICHAEL MOORE — Duped Into Attending Russia-Organized Anti-Trump March
Activists fell for a Russian attempt at creating discord among Americans.

ByEMILY ZANOTTI November 1, 2017

Thousands of anti-Trump activists attended an anti-Trump march in New York City last November — including, it seems, far-left documentary filmmaker Michael Moore — organized by Russian operatives looking to influence American politics using social media.

The Russian group planned the protest on Facebook, organizing thousands of disenfranchised Americans, unhappy with the outcome of the presidential election, into a November 12 march from Union Square to Trump Tower. Using the name "BlackMattersUS," the operatives managed to share the event with around 60,000 Facebook users, and got nearly 10,000 RSVPs.

Between 5,000 and 10,000 people showed up at the event.

The Facebook event page, which is still available, reads "Join us in the streets! Stop Trump and his bigoted agenda!" and “Divided is the reason we just fell. We must unite despite our differences to stop HATE from ruling the land.”

The rally was the fourth such rally to take place in New York following Election Day, and one of many across the country. But, according to The Hill, the Russian operatives organized the rally deliberately, to fan the flames of dischord that emerged following President Trump's election, apparently in the hopes that such unrest might throw the United States into a tailspin.

But while the rally didn't manage to destroy the very foundations of American democracy, it did attract some famous faces — notably, it seems, Michael Moore, who "headlined" the march, and filmed the event for his forthcoming anti-Trump documentary, Michael Moore in Trumpland.

It's probably safe to say Moore didn't know he was being used as an unwitting puppet by the Russians, but it's interesting nonetheless, particularly given that Moore has, in recent days, been giddy with excitement over revelations that low-level members of the Trump campaign may have also been unwittingly influenced by Russian operatives.

Investigators who uncovered the BlackMattersUS activity say that, most likely, anti-Trump activists interpreted the group as being affiliated with Black Lives Matter, but in reality, the group is connected to Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian "troll farm" with ties to the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin himself.

According to The Hill, Facebook identified IRA as one of several Russian groups operating 470 dummy accounts and buying thousands of Facebook ads in an effort to sway the election. BlackMattersUS appears, so far, to be one of only a handful of Russian accounts still active after the election, and the only group to be facilitating ensuing unrest.

Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr have been working around the clock to remove these dummy accounts from their platform (oddly enough, a Tumblr account that appears to be connected to BlackMatterUS seems to have a quite the love affair with Michael Moore).

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