The Democrats, brimming with rage, threaten to investigate Russian activity if they win a chamber of Congress this November. And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. Then Trump captured the nomination and his value increased exponentially. It exerts different gradations of leverage over different kinds of people, and uses a basic tool kit of blackmail that involves the exploitation of greed, stupidity, ego, and sexual appetite. That Republican leaders would either gossip or joke about Rohrabacher and Trump in the same breath indicated a deep concern about the man who — as none of them expected at the time — would go on to win the presidency. Isikoff and Corn do not establish what kind of performance was on display the night Trump visited. One possible explanation is that Trump published The Art of the Deal, which sped up his transformation from an aggressive, publicity-seeking New York developer to a national symbol of capitalism.
It might indicate something more. Another useful model can be found in Ukraine, where a Russian oligarch backed the political campaign of the pro-Russian apparatchik Viktor Yanukovych. As Mueller has plunged deeper into his murky dealings with Russia, the president has increasingly abandoned the patina of innocence. After a series of financial reversals and his brazen abuse of bankruptcy laws, Trump found it impossible to borrow from American banks and grew heavily reliant on unconventional sources of capital. It was the precise danger Israel had been cautioned about. Therefore, the agency advised the Israelis to consider the possibility that Trump might pass their secrets on to Russia. His campaign exploited ethnic divisions and portrayed his opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, as corrupt and the election as rigged. Meanwhile, the White House has eliminated its top cybersecurity position. Even the accusations in the dossier that have purportedly been refuted have gained support from law enforcement. Not only did Russia use social media to covertly promote Brexit, but Russian officials also met secretly several times with Arron Banks, the millionaire British businessman who supported the Brexit campaign, with the largest political donation in British history. Very little of the information we have about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia was voluntarily disclosed. This requirement is not lost on Deripaska. Suppose we are currently making the same mistake we made at the outset of this drama — suppose the dark crevices of the Russia scandal run not just a little deeper but a lot deeper. The other denials have gained no credence in the media. It likely got it from somebody connected to Trump and quite possibly used the server to transmit directly with Trump Tower. The timing strongly implied Alfa Bank was communicating with Trump. Of course, at that point, if Trump had legal diplomatic business to discuss with Russia, the president-elect could have held a normal meeting. Isikoff and Corn do not establish what kind of performance was on display the night Trump visited. At a rally in North Dakota last month, he echoed this language: This was not the only allegation Trump forcefully and implausibly denied in his early meetings with Comey. The analysts noted that the traffic between the two servers occurred during office hours in New York and Moscow and spiked in correspondence with major campaign events, suggesting it entailed human communication rather than bots. Then Trump captured the nomination and his value increased exponentially. He is raising suspicions among the public, and among probably some hawkish Republican senators, whose support he very much needs against Mueller. He left the campaign in August, when some of his ties to Deripaska were exposed and the campaign was floundering. The practice continues to this day. In congressional testimony on Russian election interference last year, Brennan hinted that some Americans might have betrayed their country. But the timing for this account does not line up perfectly — the book came out on November 1, and Trump had begun opining loudly on trade and international politics two months earlier.
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Wikileaks Reveals Top Democrats Tested Cocaine Attacks on Obama
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