How to “connect the dots” between trump and Russia

Nicholas Kristof (Nicholas Kristof) wrote a very valuable article entitled “the tramp and Russia: connecting the dots”, where he listed 10 “key points”, which can indicate that the representatives of the nearest environment of the trump in some way contributed to Moscow’s intervention in the presidential election in the United States.

I agree with most of what Christophe writes, however, there are several significant exceptions. I also agree with its key conclusion: “it is Now imperative to conduct an independent investigation on the model of the 9/11 Commission”.

Because I support the call Christophe to a sober and cold-blooded analysis, I would like to carefully consider some points on both sides of the dividing line.

I. the Points associated with the rehabilitation of trump

1. Kristof writes that trump “appointed officials friendly towards Moscow.” It concerns the Secretary of state Rex Tillerson (Rex Tillerson) and former White house adviser on national security issues Mike Flynn (Mike Flynn). The same probably can be said about Steve Bannon (Steve Bannon), because his interests coincide in many respects with the interests of Vladimir Putin (from the maintenance of tension in the ranks of right-wing alternative to the destabilization of the European Union).

However, the same cannot be said about many other candidates trump, appointed to key positions in government, including Vice-President Mike Pence (Mike Pence), Minister of defense James Mattis (James Mattis), Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo (Mike Pompeo), Deputy Advisor for national security K. T. Mcfarland (McFarland T. K.), and the Director of National intelligence Dan Coates (Dan Coats) and a potential senior Director for Affairs of Russia and Europe Fiona hill (Fiona Hill).

These points are not too well connected with the rest and require at least a much more serious analysis.

2. Kristof rightly warns the Democrats that they should not “slide into conspiracy thinking” (although I don’t really understand why he only warns them, because leading Republicans, including Senator Lindsey Graham (Lindsey Graha) Senator John McCain (John McCain) and Evan McMullin (Evan McMullin), is also deeply concerned about trump’s ties with Russia).

It is very important to warn against this error, and news media. For example, David Korn (David Corn) who has written some brilliant articles about the scandal around Russia, also published an article about the relations of the trade Minister of Wilbur Ross (Wilbur Ross) with Russia: “Here’s another candidate trump with close financial ties with Russia: Wilbur Ross has teamed up with Russian oligarch and former KGB official to manage a troubled Bank in Cyprus.”

This article now you need to seriously reconsider, as The New York Times has published a new article entitled “a New Minister of Commerce was not friends with the Russians in Cyprus” (New Commerce Secretary Was No Friend to the Russians at Cyprus Bank).

This does not mean that reporters need to stop trying to figure out what role was played by Wilbur Ross in various areas of the financial activities of trump and his ties with Russia. But it does mean that you can’t ignore the information if it does not fit into a particular version.

3. We must recognize that former and current U.S. officials said that is not (at least not yet) evidence of the collusion of members of the inner circle trump and Russia.

Former Director of National intelligence James Clapper in an interview with Meet the Press said that by the time he left office, his Agency was not “evidence of such conspiracy.” In a well-known New York Times article published in mid-February and have also been regular contacts between the representatives of the election headquarters of the trump agents of Russian intelligence, also contains this important note:

Intelligence Agency then tried to find out had joined the representatives of the electoral headquarters of the trump in collusion with the Russians in the framework of the campaign of hacking or other attempts to influence the outcome of elections. Officials who gave interviews in recent weeks, said that currently they have no evidence of such cooperation.

II. The points associated with the exposure trump

1. With all due respect, I disagree with the point of view of Christophe about intersecting interests trump and Putin during the election campaign. He simply underestimates.


Kristof writes that erupted an incredible scandal, “if trump was secretly made contacts with the Russians and exchanged information with them — in this case in a circle trump could know in advance about Russia’s attempts to corrupt the American political process”. In this I agree with Christophe.

But Kristof writes that, from his point of view, “clear agreements on assistance in unfair victory in the elections between trump and Putin were not… perhaps Putin just wanted to attack Clinton to win trump didn’t count”. I think it’s fundamentally wrong.

In his published report on the intervention of Russia, our intelligence community wrote that “with high confidence” it can be argued that “Putin and the Russian government gave obvious preference to the President-elect Trump” and that one of the goals of Russia was attacks on Clinton for a considerable period in her campaign.

2. Much more controversial — but, in my opinion, is also true — is that trump and Putin, by coincidence, had one common goal, which is the intelligence community also wrote in his report: undermining faith in the electoral process as a whole. Earlier, I wrote:

The second goal of Putin [to sow doubt in the electoral process, such as it is] fully consistent with the repeated statements of trump about “falsifications” of the results of the elections and its refusal to accept the results of the vote in that case, if you win with Clinton. There was a stage when trump thought he could win, and there were periods during which he seemed determined to undermine public confidence in the election results.

3. One of the reasons that we might no longer be data — or “key points” — in order to tie trump and Russia, is that the DOJ and the FBI, according to rumors, decided to slow down the investigation of this matter until the announcement of the election results.

It is easy to guess that many of the strings are outdated or broken, and other leads were lost as a result of the decision “not to issue subpoenas and to take other steps” during those critical months. To obtain an exhaustive analysis of this case, read the material written by me and Richard Paynter (Richard Painter) called “Real Questions Include FBI Inaction and Action on Russia: Only Independent Investigations Can Resolve” (“the issues boil down to the actions and inaction of the FBI in Russia: only an independent investigation will help to find out the truth”).

The following is an excerpt from the article:

The DOJ and the FBI might have decided to do the opposite of what I wanted [Senator Harry] Reid (Harry Reid) and they decide to stall. An excerpt from an article published by Reuters November 3, 2016, in retrospect, seems especially important: “the FBI conducted a preliminary inspection of the activities of the Clinton Foundation, and the alleged contacts between associates of trump and Russia, as reported by sources in the agencies of law enforcement. However, the rate of these checks slowed down a few weeks ago because the FBI did not want to influence the outcome of elections”.

This Reuters report is consistent with the information contained in the New York Times article about what the justice Department and the FBI made a conscious decision to slow down the investigation of the activities of the Clinton Foundation, and financial ties Paul Manafort (Paul Manafort) with Ukraine.

Another important point is that people like Clapper may not have seen evidence of cooperation until the moment they leave their posts due to the controlled pace of the FBI investigation.

4. Finally, it is necessary to include other points. Ten is a great round number, but…

First, it is necessary to remind that, despite all the denials of the members of the team trump, Russian officials have already admitted that they met several times with representatives of the electoral headquarters of the trump.

Secondly, as for the mutually beneficial exchange, one of the most important and noticeable piece of the puzzle is that the campaign headquarters trump has made changes to the platform of the national Committee of the Republican party on one issue, namely the question of providing weapons to Ukraine, so she could fight against Pro-Russian forces. Kate Brannen (Brannen Kate) from Just Security have tracked how and when trump and members of his team denied his involvement despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

5. I agree with many others, including Julian Sanchez (Julian Sanchez), who argues that we don’t need to find a specific Smoking gun, and that a mutually beneficial agreement between the associates and trump Russia was “open”. They knew what he wanted and what can reach the other side, and tried each other to help.

Christoph may not agree with this point of view, however, we must not lose sight of it because the congressional investigation and the media continue to focus on all available to us points.