President Donald Trump brought up Russian interference in the 2016 campaign with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their much-anticipated meeting on Friday at the G20 meeting in Germany, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. After Putin denied that Russia ran a covert operation to subvert the US election, Trump agreed to “move forward” and even to collaborate on cybersecurity, said Tillerson, who had been in the room. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who also attended the meeting, claimed that Trump accepted Putin’s assertion that Russia didn’t meddle in the election.
US intelligence agencies agree that Putin oversaw a concerted Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election in order to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Russian-backed hackers broke into email accounts of Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign officials and then used Wikileaks to release emails designed to damage Clinton, the agencies concluded. Russians also created fake social media accounts to support Trump’s messaging and probed local election systems in at least 21 states, US officials say.
Trump has waffled on whether he accepts these conclusions, even as he faults former President Barack Obama for failing to do more to prevent Russian hacking.
Trump Raises Russian Interference With Putin
But Says It’s Time to Move On
Now the spin’s in and Putin denies
interference… wow, what a surprise!
With the POTUS on board
and in perfect accord,
he rejects his own intel for lies.
© 2017 Susan Eckenrode
Some tax-law experts questioned key parts of the letter, including how the lawyers defined “Russian” sources and lenders. Major companies in Russia frequently use subsidiaries in other jurisdictions, like Cyprus, the Netherlands or the British Virgin Islands, to conduct overseas business. Moreover, it was unclear what the lawyers meant by asserting that the tax returns did not “reflect” any income from Russian sources.
The letter also restricts itself to income on Mr. Trump’s returns, with no exploration of underlying transactions of other entities that file their own returns, such as partnerships.
Trump Lawyers Say He Had No Russian Income or Debt, With Some Exceptions
The New York Tiimes
So his lawyers are giddily gushin’
to report that no income from Russian
for over ten years
(except for exceptions they’re hushin’)
Lily Beth Baker, 5/13/17
Trump dubbed ‘Commander-in-distraction’ after dropping gigantic bomb on Afghanistan
A source told the newspaper [The Guardian] the official [US] investigation was now making progress and had “specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion … between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia
The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. “They are trained not to do this,” the source stressed.
“It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep,” the source added. “They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.’
“The message was: ‘Watch out. There’s something not right here.’”
Graphic by Rafael Barker
Yes, Russiagate keeps getting bigger,
And Donny’s responding with vigor:
He means to conceal
What the probes may reveal
By incessantly pulling the trigger.
© 2017 Colleen Anderson
“It is not Putin who is desperate for a deal but Trump. His administration has run up hard against the realities of the US Constitution. No matter how much swagger and bombast you have, you must abide by the law, otherwise the courts block you. And you can’t pass legislation without Congress.”
Trump needs Putin more than Putin needs Trump
Edward Lucas, Opinion, CNN
Is the Donald beholden to Putin?
Well intelligence agents are rootin’
for proof of connection
from before the election
to those Russians that Putin keeps shootin’.
© 2017 Lily Beth Baker
“The first open hearing into Donald Trump’s alleged Russia connections on Monday ensured that the US president will operate under a cloud of suspicion until either the various inquiries deliver credible public conclusions or Trump leaves office, whichever comes first.”
Donald Trump is under investigation for ties to Russia. What happens now?
As calls for a probe reach an outcry,
He tweets like a maniac magpie.
The probable reason is
That he’s been treasonous,
And fears he will soon be the fall guy.
© 2017 Colleen Anderson
Trump has now added his voice to the calls for a proper public investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election. The only way for Congress to properly assess the truth of Trump’s claim about Obama would be to call on Comey and other senior officials to provide a full accounting of the interagency investigation into alleged contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. Is that really what the White House wants?
Why Trump’s Latest Obama Accusation Could Backfire
John Cassidy, The New Yorker
So Duh Chief says Obama conspired
Way last fall to have Trump Tower wired:
Thus Fake President Trump
Shows himself as a chump
And how much he is in Russia mired.
© Gary Zmolek, 2017
President Trump, and his presidential campaign, have issued at least 20 denials of campaign officials’ communications with and connections with Russian officials. Here’s a listing of their denials beginning over the summer:
Trump team issued at least 20 denials of contacts with Russia
The Donald so friendly with Putin
A connection he keeps on disputin’
Just show us the taxes
Cos hiding these facts is
Convincing the country you lootin’!
© Sandra Melville, 2017
The new Wikileaks release of sensitive CIA documents about its cyber capabilities is many things, but perhaps most importantly it is a reminder that the campaign Russia is waging against the West and the United States is an ongoing effort, not something that happened in the past.
Why the Return of WikiLeaks Is a Problem for Trump
U.S. News & World Report
While the Russian connection still looms
and the smoke is arising in plumes,
here comes a new load
of news to implode
as the Wikileaks leaking resumes.
© Susan E. Eckenrode, 2017