[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.

polypusher wrote:

It's a database, so they can compare the contents of the current data against backups fairly easily. If you wanted to directly affect a future election by modifying a database I guess you'd delete or corrupt certain records to prevent voting by people you don't want to vote. Within the database itself I can't think of anything else you'd do.

Assuming that they were smart enough to setup regular backup points.

The stakes in this are high enough that I think they have an obligation when saying that no votes were altered to include some information on how that determination was made, even if that's as simple as "based on careful examination of the database and its backups, we can say with confidence that no votes were altered".

polypusher wrote:

It's a database, so they can compare the contents of the current data against backups fairly easily. If you wanted to directly affect a future election by modifying a database I guess you'd delete or corrupt certain records to prevent voting by people you don't want to vote. Within the database itself I can't think of anything else you'd do.

Russian hackers gained access to voter databases in two Florida counties ahead of the 2016 presidential election

Backups would have been compromised the moment data was entered into them.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

The stakes in this are high enough that I think they have an obligation when saying that no votes were altered to include some information on how that determination was made, even if that's as simple as "based on careful examination of the database and its backups, we can say with confidence that no votes were altered".

If they found votes to have been changed, I don't think that information would ever be revealed unless they were overturning results of an election. I don't think know the truth helps solve the issue, and it runs a a risk of longterm public skepticism of our government.

All I want is a mandatory return to paper ballots in all states for all elections. computer ballots was always a terrible idea. Worse, I think it was spearheaded in order to allow votes to be manipulated, otherwise every single digital voting machine would print a paper ballot that the voter can check,, which remains with the board of elections for recounts.

The one I used had a roll of paper that it printed your votes on, where you could lift a cover and see that it matched your votes, but remained in the machine. You can't let receipts go with voters, because it would drive vote selling. You can't provide a way for a third party to verify how you voted. This is why it is usually illegal to take photos of your ballot.

But, let's just go back to paper ballots.

I'd argue that if votes have been changed they have a moral obligation to release that information. Democracy only works when the government is legitimately elected. Both from a practical standpoint (disenfranchising voters skews the results away from actually popular priorities) and a moral one. If votes were altered before, they can most likely happen again and we the people deserve to know that ahead of time.

Assuming they didn't, say, delete the backups themselves and became the governor of Georgia.

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected. Admitting we had Trump for the last two years because of vote manipulation creates a new normal.

How do Trump supporters react after a Dem win in 2020 right after admitting the 2016 election wasn’t just meddled in, but tampered with? How would Dems react to another Trump win after that?

Moral or not, confirming vote manipulation will cause more problems than the truth can solve.

Jayhawker wrote:

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected.

Moral or not, confirming vote manipulation will cause more problems than the truth can solve.

I think not confirming would be worse if discovered later.

We would, rightly, never trust a vote again.

farley3k wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected.

Moral or not, confirming vote manipulation will cause more problems than the truth can solve.

I think not confirming would be worse if discovered later.

We would, rightly, never trust a vote again.

That pretty much sums up my opinion: telling the public would be bad, but it gets worse the longer you wait. Wait too long and you'll break democracy and spark something far worse. Of course, I don't know how long too-long is.

Regardless, the point is moot unless votes were changed--which we have no evidence for.

Jayhawker wrote:

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected. Admitting we had Trump for the last two years because of vote manipulation creates a new normal.

How do Trump supporters react after a Dem win in 2020 right after admitting the 2016 election wasn’t just meddled in, but tampered with? How would Dems react to another Trump win after that?

Moral or not, confirming vote manipulation will cause more problems than the truth can solve.

So just so I'm clear: if there were evidence that, say, Florida's entire vote count had been altered to flip the state from Clinton to Trump, you would be opposed to that information becoming public? You wouldn't want voters to know about it, for the causes to be investigated and revealed, and for voters to be able to know about and influence how the vulnerabilities that allowed it to happen are mitigated in the future? You would support that all being kept secret?

Secret? Yes. I would still expect our intelligence services to investigate, learn, and then try to avoid a repeat.

I’m just saying, once the cat is out of the bag, that elections are easily stolen, you’ve increased the chances of violent transfer of power significantly for the foreseeable future.

If that information is discovered soon enough that we can seat the correct winning candidate, then I can see it. More than two years later? You are asking for riots in the streets and an explosion of domestic terrorism like we’ve never seen.

So, I understand why they might choose to hide it.

farley3k wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected.

We would, rightly, never trust a vote again.

This, by the way, is *precisely* Putin's goal. He doesn't need to beat the US -- he just needs modern democracy to tear itself apart.

Gremlin wrote:
farley3k wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

More accurately, democracy not works if the voters believe the government has been legitimately elected.

Moral or not, confirming vote manipulation will cause more problems than the truth can solve.

I think not confirming would be worse if discovered later.

We would, rightly, never trust a vote again.

That pretty much sums up my opinion: telling the public would be bad, but it gets worse the longer you wait. Wait too long and you'll break democracy and spark something far worse. Of course, I don't know how long too-long is.

Regardless, the point is moot unless votes were changed--which we have no evidence for.

After two years of Trump, you are telling me that you would trust a vote again? I guarantee you Deplorables would rage over every election going forward.

There is no way disclosing that makes us safer, so I would expect the intelligence agencies to make that call. It’s not great. But this is not a movie where we get to see the good ending. It could easily be the end of the Republic, for better or worse. Not just an uncomfortable period, but a permanent fascist state could be the result.

The problem was moving forward with digital voting machines. That’s the corrective measure. There will be bad actors trying to manipulate elections forever.

So you're saying that to keep the public trust it is necessary to lie to them. Because that always ends well.

Please don't feel piled on. I agree with you that it would be ugly. But this isn't a slippery slope argument. I don't think the answer is jumping right to the bottom of the slope.

I think Gremlin makes a good point. It's important to try to avoid a violent public reaction, but a betrayal by our government is far worse than a betrayal by a hostile foreign power. More so because there seems to be a straightforward solution: lose the voting machines. That approach positions our government as heroes rather than villains.

I’ve Already resigned myself that even by some miracle Trump loses in 2020 he will claim the election was rigged and figure out a way to stay in power.

The "marriage" between the contentious halves of the United States has always been tenuous, but here comes Russia trying to be the paramour that causes the divorce.

Covering up evidence of vote tampering is just a horrible idea. It's too big to remain secret forever, eventually someone would leak it or enough people would be able to piece things together that it would become public knowledge, and that would do far more to undermine the public trust than just releasing the evidence in the first place.

Rat Boy wrote:

The "marriage" between the contentious halves of the United States has always been tenuous, but here comes Russia trying to be the paramour that causes the divorce.

I welcome the breakup of this country.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...

The legislation bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison. It includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest — a subject of fierce debate among lawmakers in recent days.

I'm not saying there's any love lost between the two Americas or that this marriage was ever going to last, it's just that of all the paramours either of the two Americas could have been sleeping around with, it's Vladimir Putin's Russia that's the one of record.

DSGamer wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

The "marriage" between the contentious halves of the United States has always been tenuous, but here comes Russia trying to be the paramour that causes the divorce.

I welcome the breakup of this country.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...

The legislation bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison. It includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest — a subject of fierce debate among lawmakers in recent days.

If the country breaks up then tens of millions of people will end up in a country that actually successfully does that, rather than a country that throws out those laws time and time again.

IMAGE(https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/800/1*_hqs_SKOp2ispNGSEloROQ.png)
relative voter turnout as opacity and partisan tilt by saturation

The problem with "two Americas" is that, due to gerrymandering and the way the Senate works, most states are both. Even famously conservative states like Texas have Austin and liberal states like California have the central valley and northern California. For the last civil war, the slave-owning aristocracy was geographically concentrated in the South, with cotton-plantation-supporting farmland centered on what is today called the Black Belt.

For that matter, between gerrymandering, incarceration, and voter suppression the southern states have done their damnedest to maintain an effective 3/5ths compromise, with black bodies supplying representation in Congress and the state legislatures but with reduced voting power.

Memos reveal more information about Michael Flynn's cooperation with Mueller

Washington (CNN)Convicted former national security adviser Michael Flynn proved to be valuable in the Russia investigation because he informed the special counsel that people connected to the Trump administration OR CONGRESS had contacted him, discussing his cooperation and potentially attempting to obstruct the investigation, newly unsealed court records show.

Emphasis is mine because, while not surprising in the least, HOLY sh*t YOU ALL REALLY ARE BEYOND DIRTY

Buttery Males

I mean... of course.

IN A BID TO JETTISON FLYNN, TRUMP SUGGESTS HOPE HICKS AND STEVE BANNON LIED TO THE FBI

IMAGE(https://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Screen-Shot-2019-05-17-at-10.55.12-AM.png)

Of course he knew. Obama warned Trump against hiring Flynn on November 10, 2016. And it’s no longer just three former Obama officials who say that. According to the Mueller Report, both Hope Hicks and Steve Bannon not only corroborate that Obama warned Trump, but their FBI testimony makes it clear that Trump was really bugged about Obama’s warning.

Mueller wrote:

Several witnesses said that the President was unhappy with Flynn for other reasons at this time. Bannon said that Flynn’s standing with the President was not good by December 2016. Bannon 2/12/18 302, at 12. The President-Elect had concerns because President Obama had warned him about Flynn shortly after the election. Bannon 2/12/18 302, at 4-5; Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 7 (President Obama’s comment sat with President-Elect Trump more than Hicks expected). Priebus said that the President had become unhappy with Flynn even before the story of his calls with Kislyak broke and had become so upset with Flynn that he would not look at him during intelligence briefings. Priebus 1/18/18 302, at 8. Hicks said that the President thought Flynn had bad judgment and was angered by tweets sent by Flynn and his son, and she described Flynn as “being on thin ice” by early February 2017. Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 7, 10.

No lesser Trump supporter than Bannon says that at the time Mike Flynn called up the Russian Ambassador and undermined the policy the President of the United States had just implemented, Trump was already concerned about the warnings that Obama gave him.

As I have noted, the evidence in the Mueller Report — as well as the silences about most earlier things Flynn did that raised counterintelligence concerns — suggest that Mueller has to believe that Flynn did what he did with Trump’s blessing. Otherwise Mueller would have had abundant evidence that Flynn, while freelancing, hiding that he was freelancing, and lying about it to the FBI, did things that directly benefitted the Russian state and undermined US policy.

oilypenguin wrote:

I mean... of course.

Neither work for him any longer so... sure. Right under the bus. But the simplest answer is just that Trump's lying to the american public. Which SHOULD be a crime but is not.

Flynn is probably the lunch pin to ending Trump’s presidency. What he did, and Trump’s attempts to protect him are going to get real ugly for Trump when Flynn testifies.

Jayhawker wrote:

Flynn is probably the lunch pin to ending Trump’s presidency.

But what a delicious way to go.

Rat Boy wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Flynn is probably the lunch pin to ending Trump’s presidency.

But what a delicious way to go.

I was probably misspelling it anyway.

Jayhawker wrote:

IMAGE(https://www.emptywheel.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Screen-Shot-2019-05-17-at-10.55.12-AM.png)

wHy DIdn'T sOMeONe eLSe VeT tHE peOPLe i HIreD?

While all of Trump’s tweets are usually incomprehensible this one is extra special. This guy has an excuse for everything. I continue to wait For proof of how he is applying his “biggest and best brain.”