[News] Trump, Russia, and the 2016 Election

All news related to Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia and to the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. New details should be cited to reputable sources.

I'm torn on that:
It is good that she is actually serving time.
But 18 months sounds light for the damage she's done...

Tanglebones wrote:

Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison on conspiracy charge

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/26/polit...

Isn't she no longer "alleged" at this point? She pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.

I think technically since it was conspiracy and not espionage she was convicted of, shes still only alleged to be a russian agent.?

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Alleged Russian agent Maria Butina sentenced to 18 months in prison on conspiracy charge

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/26/polit...

Isn't she no longer "alleged" at this point? She pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.

I was recycling the CNN headline, but I'm like 99% sure that alleged is weasel words at this point.

Yes major news networks seem to go in acrobatic contortions to not say specific things that might alienate part of their audience. Got to keep that cash flowing.

Like a headline now on CNN "The 45 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's rambling interview with Sean Hannity" They are not outrageous lines - they are lies. The are falsehoods said specifically to muddy an issue and make it appear less clear cut.

Knowing Trump, I expect him to contradict himself at some point and say that kids should get their shots but that they shouldn't get vaccinated, not understanding what those shots are.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Knowing Trump, I expect him to contradict himself at some point and say that kids should get their shots but that they shouldn't get vaccinated, not understanding what those shots are.

I imagine him saying "Measles are bad but so are vaccines". Bad things everywhere.

Chaz wrote:

If Dems push on hearings and further investigations (which they absolutely should), the point above is right that it'll be more about driving down GOP voter turnout. The question for me is how much those voters buy into the Fox News noise machine. No matter what the hearings and investigations turn up, Fox, Trump, and everyone who parrots them will continue denying that things are coming out, that the things that are coming out are actually lies, that the whole thing is partisan stunt by The Left and those people that you hate, and you can't trust anything they or the non-Fox media says anyway.

In a world where there's one reality, then a continual drumbeat of facts and testimony coming out could start to sway opinion. But we live in a world where there's reality, and there's Fox News Reality. Those two things are completely opposite, and there's data that says a worryingly large portion of the country only believes in what exists in Fox News Reality.

It's a fantastic question.

According to the US Census there are about 155 million registered voters. According to Pew Research about 26% of them consider themselves Republicans (40.3 million) and, overall, 42% of them lean Republican/conservative (65.1 million).

But the GOP and conservatives aren't monolithic. There's Republicans who prefer a smaller, less intrusive government and Republicans who prefer a white, Christian ethnostate. Again, Pew Research did the heavy lifting with a series of political typology surveys that sorted people into conservative (and liberal) subgroups.

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Core Conservatives unsurprisingly hold conservative attitudes across a wide range of issues, especially in their support for smaller government. They are deeply skeptical of the social safety net and favor lower taxes, are relatively upbeat about national conditions, and think America "stands above" all other nations. They are split on whether immigrants strengthen or weaken the country, but have far more positive views of immigrants than Country First Conservatives. They are overwhelmingly Republicans, two-thirds are men, 85% are non-Hispanic white, and while a third of them have a college degree, 80% of them think universities have a negative impact on the country.

Country First Conservatives are, well, the deplorables. They think immigrants are a burden to the country and that too much openness (read "non-whiteness") threatens the American identity. The hold conservative views on social issues and are the only typology group in which a majority says homosexuality should be discouraged by society. They are also the "America, f*ck yeah!" group who think America should act in its own self interest even when our foreign allies disagree. Like Core Conservatives, most think the government is wasteful and inefficient and should provide fewer services. They are the oldest typology group (71% are over 50), mostly white and mostly male and strongly prefer rural living. Nearly half like shooting and hunting.

Market Skeptics are critical of many major institutions and the government. They mostly identify with, or lean, Republican, but stand out from other Republican groups in their negative news of an economic system that "unfairly favors powerful interests." They think businesses make too much profit and a majority favors raising taxes on corporations. They are less politically engaged and think their side has been losing on the political issues that matter to them. And while they don't like Democrats, a third of them are also critical of the GOP. A majority are younger than 50, make less than $75,000 (and are unhappy about their finances), are more likely to smoke and know someone close who's addicted to drugs.

New Era Enterprisers are relatively young (a majority under 50 and a quarter under 30) and economically conservative. They are the most diverse conservative group with two-thirds being non-Hispanic whites (still five points above the national average). They think that immigrants strengthen the country, but a majority (like all conservative groups) reject the idea that racial discrimination is the main reason black people are unable to get ahead. They are progressive for a conservative group, with two-thirds thinking that being gay is OK.

So how do they feel about Trump? Core Conservatives and County Firsters absolutely love him while Market Skeptics and New Era Enterprisers support him, but less passionately and with reservations.

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Crudely mapped onto lean Republican/Conservative registered voters this means that about 22% of registered voters (34 million people) overwhelmingly support Trump and believe in his policies. Significant portions have mixed feelings or don't like Trump himself. They make up the majority (57%) of politically engaged conservatives, defined as people who follow politics and say they always or almost always vote.

About 23% of registered voters (35.5 million) also support Trump, but that support is significantly weaker than other conservative groups. This group also has serious policy disagreements with Trump, with between 40% and 53% saying they agree with Trump only on a few or almost no issues. Less than a quarter actually like Trump, while significantly more actively dislike him, and most have mixed feeling about him.

There's almost a quarter of the electorate that could possibly be influenced by continued investigations against Trump and impeachment proceedings. While they do support Trump, their support is significantly weaker than other conservative groups and they have significant policy and personal issues with him. The only downside is this group is less politically engaged, so they're less inclined to follow the news or vote.

So how does this all come back to the Fox News Reality? Well, let's look at Fox's #1 political personality: Sean Hannity. His nightly show pulls a little over three million viewers. That's less than half of a percent of the conservatives/Republicans who support Trump. Only about 500,000 of those viewer are under 54, meaning most of them probably fall firmly in the Country First Conservative group.

In general, the people who watch Fox News are likely to be Core Conservatives or Country First Conservatives who aren't going to be changing their minds even if Trump would shoot someone on 5th Avenue.

Again, Pew has the deets. They found that people who expressed consistently conservative beliefs mostly got their news from Fox News, which was the primary source of news for about half of them. Those people distrusted all mainstream media and only trusted "news" sources that were highly partisan and highly conservative such as Fox News, Hannity, Limbaugh, Breitbart, The Blaze, etc.

They were also more likely to live in a conservative bubble online with about half saying they always or mostly always see posts on Facebook that are in line with their political beliefs.

People who expressed mostly conservative beliefs also skewed pretty hard towards conservative media when it came to consumption and trust, but they did trust more mainstream media than the consistently conservative group. They were also less likely to live in a conservative bubble on-line with only 28% saying they always or mostly always see posts on Facebook that are in line with their political beliefs.

That means there's at least a chance for less conservative voters to hear about additional investigations of Trump from non-conservative news sources that they either trust or don't actively distrust or online.

So it doesn't seem like it would be impossible to sway a percentage of those less conservative voters away from Trump. They already dislike him and don't agree with his policies. Having additional investigations dig up other questionable or outright illegal Trump activities (and trigger more unhinged and fascist behavior by him) could cause their personal dislike of him to temporarily overwhelm their conservative political beliefs.

Either way, we really just need to get a few percent of those less conservative voters to either turn on Trump or simply leave that vote blank in 2020.

It's unlikely that additional investigations or impeachment proceedings would cause higher turnouts in the Core Conservatives and Country First Conservatives groups because they're already highly politically engaged. Additionally, the Country First Conservatives are old af and old people already have the highest voter turnout in every election.

OG_slinger wrote:

So it doesn't seem like it would be impossible to sway a percentage of those less conservative voters away from Trump. They already dislike him and don't agree with his policies. Having additional investigations dig up other questionable or outright illegal Trump activities (and trigger more unhinged and fascist behavior by him) could cause their personal dislike of him to temporarily overwhelm their conservative political beliefs.

I think for that group a large factor will be who he is running against. If it is against someone they have been hating for years (like Hillary) then they would still vote trump but if it is someone they don't have a strong feeling about they may be willing to vote for them or at least not vote for trump (which is the same thing really)

farley3k wrote:

Yes major news networks seem to go in acrobatic contortions to not say specific things that might alienate part of their audience. Got to keep that cash flowing.

Like a headline now on CNN "The 45 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's rambling interview with Sean Hannity" They are not outrageous lines - they are lies. The are falsehoods said specifically to muddy an issue and make it appear less clear cut.

I believe it is related to avoiding law suits for defamation.

EDIT at least the alleged (insert crime here) stuff prior to a on the books conviction for said crime.

Garrcia wrote:

I believe it is related to avoiding law suits for defamation.

EDIT at least the alleged (insert crime here) stuff prior to a on the books conviction for said crime.

I kind of wish he would sue people for calling him a liar, because it would presumably open him up to discovery.

And it's often pathetically easy to prove that he is lying---one reason he gets away with it so often is that he doesn't really care if what he says is true or not. And then the press picks up on it and goes into contortions to make sense out of an offhand misspelled tweet. Or believes Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she says she knows what he meant. (Spicer was a less convincing liar because he cared a little bit about having some kind of fact, however far fetched.)

Gremlin wrote:
Garrcia wrote:

I believe it is related to avoiding law suits for defamation.

EDIT at least the alleged (insert crime here) stuff prior to a on the books conviction for said crime.

I kind of wish he would sue people for calling him a liar, because it would presumably open him up to discovery.

And it's often pathetically easy to prove that he is lying---one reason he gets away with it so often is that he doesn't really care if what he says is true or not. And then the press picks up on it and goes into contortions to make sense out of an offhand misspelled tweet. Or believes Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she says she knows what he meant. (Spicer was a less convincing liar because he cared a little bit about having some kind of fact, however far fetched.)

I agree. I think it’s partially Aldo’s due to the fact that they don’t want to look ‘slanted;’ but quite frankly, it simply needs to be reported as is. He can level all the Lawsuits he wants but his written record and his public persona have given all the ammo needed for these cases to be considered frivolous lawsuits.

Gremlin wrote:
Garrcia wrote:

I believe it is related to avoiding law suits for defamation.

EDIT at least the alleged (insert crime here) stuff prior to a on the books conviction for said crime.

I kind of wish he would sue people for calling him a liar, because it would presumably open him up to discovery.

And it's often pathetically easy to prove that he is lying---one reason he gets away with it so often is that he doesn't really care if what he says is true or not. And then the press picks up on it and goes into contortions to make sense out of an offhand misspelled tweet. Or believes Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she says she knows what he meant. (Spicer was a less convincing liar because he cared a little bit about having some kind of fact, however far fetched.)

Spicer was never really cut out to be a Goebbels the way SHS is, he always looked uncomfortable lying out in the open. If he was putting a little polish on something technically true he was fine, but when it got to stuff like "the largest inaugural in history" he just projected unease.

WaPo: Mueller told the attorney general that the depiction of his findings failed to capture ‘context, nature, and substance’ of probe:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III expressed his concerns in a letter to William P. Barr after the attorney general publicized Mueller’s principal conclusions. The letter was followed by a phone call during which Mueller pressed Barr to release executive summaries of his report.
This is a developing story. It will be updated.

I believe this is the polite and adult way of telling the AG, "Dude, what the f*ck?!"

There goes that friendship...

Mueller needs to testify. Period.

I wonder if Mueller genuinely thought Barr would be honest, or if Barr was putting pressure on to wrap things up.

Gremlin wrote:

I wonder if Mueller genuinely thought Barr would be honest, or if Barr was putting pressure on to wrap things up.

He was probably getting pressure and gave him the chance to either do the right thing (not really expecting it) or force him into showing everyone he's complicit in Trump's obstruction.

The Barr hearing in the senate is starting now. Should be rather contentious, and will probably be an important step in this process.

Looks like everyone woke up this morning to the revelation that Mueller sent Barr this letter way back on the 27th.

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Graham is such a f*cking hack. He’s opening the hearing with Clinton email crap, I sh*t you not.

Wow, they either really can't let it go, or they're trying so hard to deflect from the actual investigation and report.

Ahh, the old "but her emails" defense. I should have anticipated this. Well played, Graham. You win this round.

Where did this "The Steele Dossier is a Russian disinformation campaign" talking point come from? they are really hammering it hard.

Barr seems to be having trouble remembering what is in the report, even when Leahy gave him the exact page number.

thrawn82 wrote:

Where did this "The Steele Dossier is a Russian disinformation campaign" talking point come from? they are really hammering it hard.

It's been around a while.

Note that they don't mention the strong possibility that the disinformation came from Deripaska, who was, of course, coordinating with Trump's campaign manager.

Even his nominal allies are making him do obvious verbal contortions to avoid outright lying under oath.

Senator Hirono is straight up accusing Barr of lying to congress.

We need Uzmann every time a Trumpanzee is forced to testify.

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