Opinion: Trump’s fingerprints found on Ukraine policy

Pro-Russian militia members train in the streets of Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP)

Pro-Russian militia members train in the streets of Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP)

After news broke of his two undisclosed meetings with the Russian ambassador during the course of the 2016 presidential campaign, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reluctantly announced Thursday that he would recuse himself from any investigation of Russian meddling in the campaign on Trump’s behalf.

For the moment at least, that’s a fair resolution of the situation. We have no evidence that anything illegal or improper happened in those conversations; all we know for certain is that they should have been disclosed but for some reason weren’t.  Absent such evidence, it’s hard to argue that Sessions ought to resign, as some Democrats continue to demand. Session’s recusal does what was needed: It bolsters hope that investigations can continue unimpeded by politics so that we can all find out what the hell has been going on.

However, another part of the Russia/Trump mystery just got considerably deeper.

Back in July, you may recall, Trump campaign operatives were accused of intervening with the drafting of the Republican platform, blocking adoption of a plank that called for supplying Ukraine with lethal weapons to defend itself against Russian incursions. That intervention was odd for a number of reasons, including the fact that with the exception of the Ukraine plank, the Trump campaign had paid very little attention to the platform process. The change also directly contradicted longstanding GOP policy on Ukraine and Russia.

At the time, J.D. Gordon managed the Trump campaign’s National Security Advisory Committee, led by Sessions. Gordon was also identified by GOP delegates as the person who had intervened to force the platform change, a charge that he denied at the time.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager and a man who had worked extensively with pro-Russian elements in Ukraine, strongly and emphatically denied that the campaign played any role at all in the change.

“It absolutely did not come from the campaign. I don’t know who everybody is, but I guarantee you it was nobody that was on the platform committee,” Manafort said on “Meet the Press.” Asked again if anyone from the campaign was involved, he replied “No one, zero.”

That blunt denial was also echoed by the man himself, Donald Trump, who stressed repeatedly to ABC News that “I was not involved with that” and had no knowledge of it:

Quite the mystery, right? Somebody had forced the change, because GOP delegates who got overruled on their own platform had become pretty upset about it. But who? And why? And who ordered it?

It turns out that Mr. Gordon, who apparently is no longer connected to Trump, is now willing to admit his own involvement in the change and also point the finger at the man who ordered it:

“This is the language that Donald Trump himself wanted and advocated for back in March,” Gordon told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Thursday.

 

Reader Comments 0

2148 comments
YouLibs
YouLibs

I was talking to a friend this morning, a friend who is very reliable, and he seems to have proof that Trump was born in Russia. I've sent a team of investigators to New York and you won't believe the things they're finding.

skydog12
skydog12

Telling a 4 year old child that a rabbit drug a 6 pound basket filled with chocolate up to your front door is chid abuse.


My kids had a shyte fit one night when my wife told us we were having rabbit.


YouLibs
YouLibs

@honested @skydog12


There's a restaurant under the Huey Long bridge in New Orleans called Copeland's. It's owned by the guy who owns the Popeye's chain.


If you're ever there, try the rabbit in mustard sauce.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Mary

Just go with your feelings.

-

I prefer going armed with a Marxist, scientific understanding of the laws of the capitalist economy, thanks.

Mary
Mary

I do not need a permit to carry a book about rockets!

Mary
Mary

I go along with the "armed" part. Can't subscribe to the rest

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Mary 

For example, the hypothetical political subject you describe below who goes on mere feeling and changes stances - or maybe, gender orientation - from day to day is actually a pretty good description of the subject under capitalism.
 Contemporary capitalism at least, if not Max Weber's capitalism.

honested
honested

@rimsky @Mary 

Well that blows mary out of the water.

It seems the 'ideas' are not part of the package.

skydog12
skydog12

@Mary


"armed" is a relative term. Just because you own a book on rockets, doesn`t make you a rocket surgeon.. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

from this:


http://www.lambdalegal.org/sites/default/files/transgender_booklet_-_anti-trans_violence.pdf


Q: What is being done about anti-TGNC bullying in schools? 

A: Unfortunately, even TGNC young people are the targets of harassment. Bullying is an especially widespread problem: Seventy-eight percent of NTDS respondents who had expressed a transgender identity or gender-nonconformity while in grades K-12 reported being harassed; 35% attacked; and 12% sexually assaulted. Forty-nine states now require that schools have policies against discrimination and bullying, although only a third of those explicitly mention gender identity and/or expression. In October 2010, the Department of Education issued a guidance that explained educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment, including gender and sexual harassment of LGBT individuals. Additionally, in April 2012, the Obama Administration voiced its support for the proposed Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), which would put some federal muscle into the fight against bullying. 


But see, Congress wouldn't pass such a common-sense measure, which prompted the EO you seem to hate so much. 

Which Donald Trump rescinded, because he is a ball-less piece of garbage.

Mary
Mary

Bullying is not unique to transgender people. Bullying happens to fat people, people who wear glasses, short people, handicapped people and on and on and on. How do you write EO's for every group. I progs are an inclusive bunch right? Even cons get bullied. Can I get an EO to give me a safe space?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Mary

Really can't look outside that little bubble world of yours for even a minute, can you?

Mary
Mary

Asking questions is great. It's the insane response that Comes from the left that blows my mind.

Mary
Mary

It's not a bubble. It's my safe space you progs got for me.

omark
omark

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/02/13/abramovitch-putin-keystone-xl-steel

The steel for the keystone pipeline was supposed to be American made. At least that’s what Donald promised. Maybe next time. This time, the steel’s already there.

40 percent of the steel created so far was manufactured in Canada by a subsidiaryof Evraz, a company 31-percent ownedby Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a close ally of Putin and a Trump family friend. Evraz has also actively lobbied against provisions which would mandate that Keystone XL's steel be made in the U.S.

You’re forgiven if you never heard of Roman Abramovich. One of Russia’s instant billionaires, he once gave Putin a 35 million dollar yacht. Pretty generous guy. No telling what he’s given Donald. Cars, planes, elections?

honested
honested

@omark 

When the truth gets in the way of PR, why bother with the truth?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

So how do you properly troll when you really do wish a pox on both of their houses?


Asking for a friend.

Mary
Mary

That's how obama's EO is written. The person can make up their mind on what gender they identify with.... I did not make that up.

Mary
Mary

Thanks for catching my grammar error. Nah, I do not dislike folks for their choices, I just dislike those that use their choice to make political points.

Mary
Mary

None that I no of.

Mary
Mary

So you an atheist on top of being a left wing worshipper?

Mary
Mary

Just go with your feelings. You know kind of like Obama and his bathroom EO. If you feel like you are a female one day then you can be that. Next day, if you feel like a male, well you can be a male that day. Tell your friend to try that logic.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Mary

None that I no of.

Ever think you should get to "no" something about such folks before you go posting something as ridiculous as what you just posted?

Do you really think gender identity is something as flighty as you're claiming, just something you wake up and decide one day?

Mary
Mary

You seem to be searching for something to worship. You one of those atheists that wants to stop using Merry Christmas in department stores?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Mary

This "political point" you're on about is a simple matter of safety. There's zero evidence to suggest that transgender people pose some kind of threat to the public by using a bathroom that they feel comfortable using.

Conversely, trangender people sometimes face considerable risk using the "other" facility.

Why this is even an issue in 2017 is mind-boggling to me.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Mary

The person can make up their mind on what gender they identify with

And you're interpreting that to mean that gender identity is some flighty thing. Which indicates utter ignorance of the issue at hand.

honested
honested

@Mary 

Apparently, your powers of observation lack the astuteness you believe.

honested
honested

@Mary 

I am an atheist.

I worship nothing.

Judging from your posts, whatever it is you worship just gets in your way.

Mary
Mary

Just asking that's all. You being an atheist and all. Just wanted to know if you want Christmas trees to be called holiday trees and department store greeters not to say Mary Christmas. That all. Don't get your feelings hurt.

honested
honested

@Mary 

Why should I worry about what department stores do?

However people want to 'celebrate' their idiotic superstitions is protected by the Constitution.

As long as we don't enforce it (like Iran or Italy in the middle ages) I don't care what they do.

honested
honested

@omark @Mary 

Does that mean that "Ladies Dressing Rooms" will suddenly be overrun with obese, late middle aged, white guys?

Mary
Mary

That's a great question. Why just old white guys? You a racist and an atheist?

omark
omark

@Mary perhaps someday you'll get to meet your hero. i'm sure he'll congratulate you for your nice firm crotch.

Mary
Mary

At least he is not marching in the streets burning buildings and breaking windows.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

@Mary Yet... 

Of coarse he was preparing you, his minions, to do just that if he lost. And march, burn and break windows you and your ilks would've.

Mary
Mary

So, since you lost, you are marching, breaking windows and burning buildings.

TBS
TBS

As the POTUS doesnt Trump have the authority to reveal if the FBI, NSA or whomever wiretapped his home and offices?

I'm sure this is not yet another I really won the popular vote if not for the 3 millions illegal votes and #last-night-in-Sweden type bs.

Either way I'm sure the investigation will get to the bottom of this.

honested
honested

@TBS 

When 'wikileaks' releases the Tax Returns in exchange for julian's new home, it will be over.

skydog12
skydog12

Obama`s response to wire tapping Trump Tower will be interesting.


Maybe this is best.


Just waste time for 4 years and they can`t blow anything up.


rimsky
rimsky

@skydog12 IMO Obama is not interested in mud wrestling with pigs in mud.

honested
honested

@skydog12 @honested @rimsky 

I hope this affair will put to rest once and for all the notion of "businessman as president" (snake-oil salesman as leader) and "running the country as a business" (there are more important things at stake than this quarter's profit and loss).

Mary
Mary

Typical left response. Waste four years.

rimsky
rimsky

@skydog12 @rimsky After the birther issue it took Obama couple of years to show the long form.  That was before the election.  He is not running for anything and to the majority he will be deemed a hero if he did wire tap Trump (highly unlikely).  We have 17 intel agencies any number of them could have done it and trickle the information to the media.

After all Trump is the intel agency's least favorite boss.  

Mary
Mary

You left out putting to rest having an activist as a president. That did not work to well either.

honested
honested

@rimsky @skydog12 

True.

I guess if a certain so-called president didn't want to be caught engaging in anti-American activities they probably should have steered clear of anti-American activities to start with.

honested
honested

@skydog12 

It's amazing how fast the go-to for any problem has become "It's Obama's Fault".

Mary
Mary

Majority of who? Not America, maybe your small band of profs will make him a hero.

rimsky
rimsky

@honested @skydog12 @rimsky IMO a business man with proper experience can run a government.

Trump is a lousy business man and he is running the government like he ran his business.  Horrible.

rimsky
rimsky

@Mary See Mary your conclusion are faulty because you don't look at reality.  Hillary and Democrats have majority of the votes.  So draw your conclusion from that.

Mary
Mary

I did, California and New York.

honested
honested

@rimsky @honested @skydog12 

Let's not besmirch lousy businessmen, chump is and always has been a gangster always stepping up to the line of what he can get away with without going to jail.

Yet many of the deplorables voted for him because they saw him (thanks to teevee) as a 'businessman'.

Meanwhile, the poor guy has to stop the leaks or everyone will find out what was really going on there in the 'golden tower'.

skydog12
skydog12

@honested @skydog12 @rimsky


I`m not sure professional politicians are much better than businessmen or astronauts as President?


For sure, someone in the group has to understand the policies and procedures, but it boils down to character.


You is or you ain`t.

honested
honested

@skydog12 @rimsky 

Hope the response is something along the lines of  "It is the responsibility of the United States to monitor questionable communications with adversary states" and leave it there.

Then let chump tweet his fingers raw while he attempts to explain.

Mary
Mary

Pretty much. Hard to watch so called media types offering their personal slanted opinions when they should be doing news straight down the line.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@skydog12 @honested @rimsky

I`m not sure professional politicians are much better than businessmen or astronauts as President?

I think the key here is that you need to have had at least SOME public service experience before you step into the world's biggest public-service office. Trump has has literally zero such experience, and that's the biggest reason he's been flailing around like a fish on a boardwalk ever since the election.

Mary
Mary

I did not vote for him because he was a businessman. I voted against Hillary and her extreme views I disagree with.

honested
honested

@Visual_Cortex @skydog12 @honested @rimsky 

The party structure used to prepare people for that.

Since the conserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvative takeover of the other party, all that was necessary was to parrot some memes about cutting taxes, executing people for abortions and putting religion in charge.

Now we have a cabal in place with the objective of squeezing as much out of the Taxpayers as possible in 4 years with no idea how to keep the ship floating.

rimsky
rimsky

@Visual_Cortex @skydog12 @honested @rimsky And the worse part he is unwilling to learn.  He had 2.5 months of home work to cram for but I guess he was like a 16 year old bragging about how big his d i c k is,

Mary
Mary

Maker of loons. I read where California is working on legislation that will allow them to remove themselves from the US. I hope Jerry Brown and all those "makers" accomplish that.

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

@Mary The two biggest maker states in the union... as opposed to all the taker states that voted for prezzy baby-man

honested
honested

@Mary 

Here's a little economic history for you since I'm sure you missed it.

2000-2010 California was stuck in the warped religion of tax cuts and inadequate revenue to fund necessary services. It became difficult to keep the tanks of school buses full.

2011 - A new governor and a new Senate are elected and break free from the 'low tax madness'. Economic activity booms, roads are paved, health care is improved, Civilization returns. Californians are much better off today than they were in say 2005..

Now compare and contrast that with Kansas in the same period.

Mary
Mary

The "necessary services" list you refer to include using tax dollars to harbor illegal aliens? Does that list of services include paying for abortions and renovations to public bathrooms? I would love to see that list of "necessary services" no, I take that back. I would prefer not to see the list. BTW, California forces its vendors to include language in theiR contracts that says " any products you buy will not have conflict minerals as a part of the product. Do you know what that is?