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Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow. These 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) prove it.

Scott Gilmore: When you consider the large body of evidence that is growing by the day, how can you come to any other conclusion?


 

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Russian scandal is one of the most confusing political stories in recent history. This is not because the facts of the case are especially convoluted. But rather because we are drowning in information, and can barely keep our head above the rising tide of revelations.

Every day there are new reports of obstruction of justice, violations of elections laws, charges of tax evasion, guilty pleas for perjury, and even accusations of plotting to kidnap a Turkish dissident. There is so much going on, it is easy to forget the question at the heart of the scandal: did the Trump campaign collude with a foreign power to influence the election? When you consider these seven facts (all footnoted), a clear answer emerges.

1. Moscow offered to help the Trump campaign multiple times. Campaign advisor George Papadopoulos has testified that high-level Russian officials offered him “dirt on Clinton”.[1] Someone who Donald Trump Jr. believed was a “Crown Prosecutor of Russia” offered him “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary”.[2] Later, Trump Jr. met with three Russians claiming to have these documents (including Natalia Veselnitskaya, who described herself as a “Russian government attorney” and was a former intelligence officer).[3]

2. The Trump campaign responded positively to these offers. Trump Jr. reacted to one with the message: “If it’s what you say I love it”.[4] Senior campaign advisor Sam Clovis told Papadopoulos “Great work” and supported his request to travel to Russia for more “off the record meetings”.[5] Donald Trump even openly encouraged the Kremlin to hack into Clinton’s emails during a rally speech.[6]

3. The Kremlin then delivered as promised and interfered in the election to help Trump, a fact agreed upon by the CIA, the FBI and the NSA.[7] They stole emails from the Clinton campaign, and then leaked them online.[8] Moscow used fake social media accounts and paid advertising to stir up unrest and to boost Trump’s popularity.[9] According to the Department of Homeland Security, Russia may have even attempted to hack into voting systems in up to 21 states.[10]

4. The Trump campaign knew the Kremlin was helping them. In addition to all the media reports during the election, the U.S. government formally and publicly accused Russia of interference in October.[11] Senior Republican lawmakers were given full intelligence briefings detailing Moscow’s efforts to help Trump.[12] In response, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately put party before country—if the White House made public the full extent of Russia’s partisan interference in the election, McConnell threatened to accuse Obama of…partisan interference in the election.[13]

5. The Trump campaign has repeatedly attempted to hide its Russian connections. Flynn and Papadopoulos have admitted they lied to the FBI about their meetings.[14] Campaign officials denied any meeting with Russians[15], and when the Trump Tower meeting was exposed, Trump and his son lied about the nature of the conversation.[16] Donald Trump and Vice-President Michael Pence repeatedly claimed there were absolutely no contacts with Russia.[17] So far, 30 separate meetings and dozens if not hundreds of emails and phone calls have been documented.[18]

6. The Trump team has continually tried to undermine American efforts to punish Russia for this interference. Flynn, during the transition, asked the Russian ambassador not to overreact to the new Obama sanctions[19], and told others these would be “ripped up” once they were in office.[20] After Trump was sworn in, he tried, unsuccessfully, to unilaterally rescind the sanctions.[21] Incredibly, his administration continues to delay the implementation, even in the face of increasing congressional pressure to take action.[22]

7. Trump has tried to obstruct all investigations into the allegations of collusion. He let Flynn lie to the FBI.[23] He asked the FBI director, James Comey, to “let it go.”[24] The president then fired Comey because he refused to do so.[25] Trump also pressured senior Senate Republicans to end their inquiries.[26] Meanwhile, the president continues to undermine the investigation by publicly deriding the investigators, the FBI, and even his own attorney-general (for not stopping it).[27]

These seven facts give us much needed solid ground to stand on. And when we do, is it possible to conclude the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Moscow? The evidence of guilt, when considered together, is overwhelming. Ironically, all this evidence, dripping out day after day after day, is also inuring us to the enormity of what happened: The president of the United States conspired with the Kremlin to win the White House.

RELATED: 

[1] US v. George Papadopoulos – Statement of the Offense

[2] Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said, New York Times, July 11, 2017

[3] Donald Trump Jr. asked Russian lawyer for info on Clinton Foundation, NBC News, Dec 6, 2017

[4] Donald Trump Jr. was told campaign meeting would be with ‘Russian government attorney,’ according to emails, Washington Post, July 11, 2017

[5] George Papadopoulos emailed powerful Trump campaign figures about Russian contacts, ABC News, October 31, 2017

[6] Trump asks Russia to hack Hillary’s emails, YouTube, July 27, 2016

[7]Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”, Director of National Intelligence, 6 January 2017

[8] Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House, Washington Post, December 9 2016

[9] House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads, New York Times, November 1 2017

[10] DHS alerts states targeted by election-hacking attempts, CNN, September 22, 2017

[11] Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security, Dept of Homeland Security, October 7, 2016

[12] C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed, New York Times, April 6 2017

[13] Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault, Washington Post, June 23, 2017

[14] US vs Michael Flynn – Statement of Offence, November 30 2017, and US vs George Papadopoulos – Statement of Offence, October 5 2017

[15] Face the Nation Transcript, CBS News, December 18, 2016

[16] Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer, Washington Post, July 31 2017

[17] 12 times Trump, aides denied Russian collusion, CNN, July 11 2017

[18] All the known times the Trump campaign met with Russians, Washington Post, November 13 2017

[19] US vs Michael Flynn – Statement of Offence, November 30 2017

[20] Flynn Said Russian Sanctions Would Be ‘Ripped Up,’ Whistle-Blower Says, New York Times, December 6 2017

[21] How the Trump administration’s secret efforts to ease Russia sanctions fell short, Yahoo News, June 1 2017

[22] Congress Braces for Russia Sanctions Face-Off With White House as New Deadline Looms, The Daily Beast, November 24 2017

[23] WH lawyer told Trump that Flynn misled FBI and Pence, CNN, December 4 2017

[24] Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence James B. Comey, June 8 2017

[25] Trump Interview With Lester Holt: President Asked Comey If He Was Under Investigation, NBC News, May 11 2017

[26] Trump Pressed Top Republicans to End Senate Russia Inquiry, New York Times, November 30, 2017

[27] How Trump has disparaged the Russia investigation, CNN, December 1 2017


 

Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow. These 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) prove it.

  1. 1. No “dirt” was ever received or acted on, therefore no collusion
    2. Responding positively to receiving “dirt” is not illegal, see number one for details.

    3. Podesta using soft passwords allowing an infant to hack the DNC is on them. Their failure to provide the FBI with their email server raises questions as to why?

    4. What another country does to interfere in an election does not mean the beneficiary had anything to do with it. AKA Putin has a hate on for HRC. Again no collusion

    5. The FBI tripping up people with standard interrogation techniques surprises only amateurs. Both charges are minor and shed no light on collusion.

    6. Who knew a new incoming administration would have different policy objectives. Just look at the failure of Obama’s foreign policy. Again where is the collusion?

    7. Three separate investigations, including one with subpoena power via a special counsel and Trump is obstructing. Hint Scott, no one has ever been charged for obstruction for uttering the words “I hope you can let it go”.

    The footnotes contain as much innuendo as the seven point plan and love how they mostly quote the pillars of media ABC (lied about Flynn), CNN (can you pass these questions to HRC), NYT, and NBC.

    Let’s wait until the investigation is completed or there is an actual charge that even closely resembles conspiracy (collusion isn’t a crime). Cobbling innuendo together is rather Sad!

    • Gilmore, take a friggin’ heart pill. Go practice some real journalism for once. Try doing an article on Lois Lerner, or maybe the Clinton/Lynch runway meeting, or maybe one on the painfully obfuscatory slow release of emails that have been retrieved and linked to Hillary’s illegal server. This is just showing you to be an unhinged nutbar.

      • Please John and Bill Don’t wake Komarade Gilmore up from his Wet Dream…

    • John,
      Great analyses but I’d like to add one comment. During the Russian election when Clinton was Secretary of State, she poured $110 million into anti-Putin groups in Russia. She doesn’t deny this but claims she was merely supporting pro-democracy organizations in Russia. So, she stuck a big stick in the bears eye and got back what she deserved for her Russian election meddling. Putin doesn’t have a big love affair with Trump rather, he detests Clinton.

      • This is an opinion piece. It is terrible analysis due to its bias. And I lothe trump!

        I’ve read three articles in Macleans. All well written.

        “Russia’s coming attack on Canada” was a factually incorrect piece of garbage that appears to have been supplied either by the DNC or some right wing MIC nut job, but I digress.

        Using a bunch of sources, some of which are questionable (CNN, really?) to then state conclusions as evident undeniable truths is not analysis.

        It would be like presenting minuscule Russian efforts to sway opinion or agitate online as a crisis that threw an election.

  2. Hell, why isn’t everyone thanking Russia for exposing Clinton’s corruption?

    • So you think there was collusion and you are glad about it. Apparently Hilary represents more of a threat to the US than Russia does. Can see how a Republican would think colluding with the Russians is quite ok. Thanks for making that clear.

      • I think colluding to catch crooks is a good thing.

        It’s great when nations work together to eliminate crime.

        Are you so myopically partisan that you want to spin that as a bad thing?

        • Russians were not sharing intel with the FBI or the CIA or any other US Security Service to apprehend Hilary. The US Security services do agree though that Russia tried to affect the US election. It is amusing to me that you don’t mind admitting that Trump colluded with the Russians to get elected. Basically, the article says this is a big deal and you and your like-minded sorts here say, “so what”, or “how about that crook Hilary”? You guys crack me up.

          • Who were they going to share it with, Obama?

            When Comey did release some information, he was criticized.

            Trumps organization was the only one that could be counted on to make it public.

            I don’t like Trump and I don’t like Clinton, I don’t like Trudeau and I didn’t like Harper. They’re all liars, doing more harm than good.

            The ONLY thing I like about elections is them taking shots at each other.

          • As I said, if they wanted to share it they should have given it to the FBI or the CIA. As far as I can tell, they didn’t have anything useful on Hilary. Trump Jr was disappointed in what he got from the Russians, as I understand it.

            Rob, you say you don’t like any of them and that’s fine. I am just noting that when someone writes an article about Trump colluding with Russia, your reaction is to put the focus on Hilary.

          • What is news supposed to be anymore?

            Is it supposed to represent balance, or a biased lobby group perspective?

            Where do we get the whole picture in this 24 hour news cycle?

            It’s dangerous to assume that everyone has the time to research that journalists do.

            The result is that people get conflicting biased perspectives that is good for media profit, but not so good for democratic society.

            That’s why I mentioned Clinton. Because she did it also. They all do.

            What would it take for the author to mention that? Impartiality?

            That’s where I’m coming from.

      • There is no “thinking” about corruption (collusion?) in the DNC. It is well documented by their own party. Bernie got shafted. Serves him right. I don’t think he is even sincere about healthcare but he is their only hope. Another Obama.

    • Wait… They didn’t get Bernie’s email? I’ll look into it.

  3. We all have seen the Steele dossier which is a direct result of the Clinton campaign colluding with Russia with the full knowledge and cooperation of some members of the FBI.

    Not to mention the collusion of the Clinton campaign with the new government of Ukraine to bring down Paul Manafort (in this case, perhaps legitimately) for stuff he did in the past.

    • Then we have the pertinent question posed by Trey Gowdy this week, regarding Mueller’s team of investigators. How is it that, from literally thousands of investigators to choose from, Mueller could not find any that had not donated to the Clinton campaign for his team?
      That’s a very good question, in fact.
      He also recited a pretty long list of questions regarding procedure in the Clinton case, and then directly linked those questions and problems to the Trump situation.
      But, hey, that’s none of Gilmore’s business. (Cue Kermit drinking tea.)

    • Gilmore is not relying on that dossier for his argument. This is you trying to change the subject Why.

      • Freddy,
        You missed WHYSHOULD’s point. Of course Gilmore wouldn’t mention the Steele dossier-it was provided as an example of true collusion by Clinton where she broke the law by paying a foreign agent for (negative and fabricated) information.

        • Yes, apparently Hilary paid for some dossier on Trump compiled by an ex British Intelligence type. Although I thought the original dossier was commissioned by Republicans out to get dirt on Trump before he became their leader. I am not aware of any Russia collusion in the writing of that dossier and I had not heard that what was done was illegal.
          Anyway I totally get that Hilary paid for a bunch of junk. That has nothing whatever to do with the point of the article, which is about Trump-Russia collusion. And I don’t see how Hilary- Russia is any more real than the story Scott covered.

          • Your right in both regards.

            The Brit in turn paid some Russian. It’s a common enough practice.

  4. How impartial is the Mueller investigation?

    Strzok, the former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, was taken off his job this summer after it was discovered that he and another of Mueller’s team had exchanged emails demonizing Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Strzok was also a key figure in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server, which somehow ended with no charges being laid.

    • The FBI does not segregate their staff along party lines nor suppress their free speech (much.) They are more of a bipartisan evil. They avoid these political traps by assigning numerous agents to these cases. Supposedly.

  5. The Washington Post confirmed that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS, through the law firm Perkins Coie, to gather opposition research on Trump, thereby indirectly bankrolling Steele’s research.
    Add those elements together, and you have the beginnings of a conspiracy that, according to former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, puts the Clintons on par with the Rosenbergs.

  6. Fusion GPS is a political consulting firm run by two former Wall Street Journal reporters. They were paid by the Hilary Clinton Campaign and the DNC to compile the fake news Trump Dossier that BuzzFeed published.

    The dossier was compiled by former British spy, Christopher Steele, who used unverified Kremlin sources.

    • I thought you couldn’t believe anything the Washington Post says?

  7. This shows that Trump and team are unprincipled amateurs. How is this America First?
    The whole collusion thing will ring hollow in the end because tens of millions of Americans knowingly voted for Trump. Russia’s influence was probably felt more by their social media campaigns and fake news stories than the hacks of the DNC. The Russian influence is small compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars that PACs pour into elections.

    • A lone naive voice speaks from the wilderness. :D

      • Good heavens David – you have been compared to John The Baptist! Beware dancing veiled Maidens.

  8. Of course, Trump will be in character and will not go quietly, but I foresee
    him gone at the end of 2018, after the mid-term elections in November
    when the GOP lose their majorities in both Congress and the Senate.

    • It’s also worth noting that Debbie Wassermann-Schulz is still mired in a legal battle over a laptop computer. Why would the former DNC chair be fighting tooth and nail to get back a computer that ended up in police hands as part of a criminal investigation? There can be little doubt that it contains material that the DNC does not want the police to see. Why? Why spend tens of thousands of dollars keeping that thing sealed, even if that act potentially derails a parallel criminal investigation into the Awan brothers?
      Again, Gilmore, if you’re going to try and make the case that the 2016 US election was tainted by criminality, you cannot do so without giving equal mention to the Democrats. Real journalism. Try it sometime. That, or get a job where the toughest question ya gotta ask is: You want fries with that?
      That’s how low you’ve sunk.

      • That assertion is not even remotely true. It is perfectly fine to look at the Trump-Russia investigation without having to look at everything else under the sun. Gilmore is not saying that the Dems don’t have similar baggage – his article is just focused on what we know about the Trump-Russia issue. Geez, man. Nobody would be ever able to write anything about anything until they had spent a life-time weighing all the changing facts. And anyway, this isn’t journalism it is analysis and opinion. There is nothing original in what Gilmore wrote here. It is all based on what real journalists have dug up and reported on.

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