Sunday, June 25, 2017

Got the Hacking Goods on Putin-Russia: Now the GOP Blames Obama — WTF

“Election hacking; Where; Who?” I only see some 400-lb guy or Witch

Denial, Mr. Trump, is more than the name of a river in Egypt

This major update just in and related directly to the following posted earlier. It
addresses the Trump-GOP blame game shift and deflect everything away from Trump and point blank to Mr. Obama. That is why I call this a WTF moment… This update is here from USA TODAY… the highlights follow in this WTF moment, and it is truly amazing in scope, context, and from the President of the United States stated this way:

WASHINGTON — President Trump appeared to acknowledge that Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election, but only so he could blame former president Barack Obama. Trump tweeted on Friday, June 23 re: the Washington Post article: Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?

And, on his fav show, FOX and FRIENDS, Trump reinforced his tweet by telling FOX this on the show:The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election. The question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it.”

This is a rare instance where the president has acknowledged what the intelligence community and bipartisan members of Congress already have, which is that Russia attempted to interfere with the presidential election. And until now, Trump has remained vague about whether he believes the Russians meddled. Earlier this week the president said on Twitter that conversations regarding the alleged meddling were “all a big Dem HOAX and excuse for losing the election!

And, right on cue from Trump administration and the party line: “I have not sat down and talked with him about that specific thing,” W/H Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters after being asked if Trump believed the Russian government interfered.
Now and following that explosive Washington Post article, Trump seems to have changed his approach and tune (but not his tweeting tune).

I conclude that Trump and the GOP cannot fathom or grasp this critical part: While Obama did authorize a cyber operation that would make it possible to retaliate against Russia, it was still in the early stages when Trump took office. And caution was the operative word 100%.  Plus, that decision was probably the hardest decision for Mr. Obama since he ordered the raid that nailed bin-Laden.

THE ORIGINAL POST STARTS HERE: From the very beginning of this story, Donald J. Trump, et al did not and many still do not believe our own intelligence agencies about Russian hacking to turn the election to Trump’s favor, cause chaos, disruption, other dis- or misinformation information to cause great harm to our entire electoral system.

Quick Headlines and short Introduction: The Washington Post via here dropped a “bombshell” Russian hacking story that leads with this (with my emphasis): 

Early last August (2016), President Obama was handed an “Eyes Only” memo from the CIA that described how evidence clearly showed Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally and directly involved in a cyber campaign to not only disrupt the U.S. presidential race, but to help throw the victory to Donald Trump. Defeat or at least damage the Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump,” Putin had told his operatives.

(I insert: This massive story in the original format is below (my emphasis is added therein but does not change the original article in substance).

WASHINGTON – Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, “a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government” that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in “a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.”
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives – “defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.”
At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. “Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year.” In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates.
And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks. But at the highest levels of government, among those responsible for managing the crisis, the first moment of true foreboding about Russia’s intentions arrived with that CIA intelligence.
The material was so sensitive that CIA Director John Brennan kept it out of the President’s Daily Brief, concerned that even that restricted report’s distribution was too broad.”
The CIA package came with instructions that it be returned immediately after it was read. To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the Situation Room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin-Laden raid.
It took time for other parts of the intelligence community to endorse the CIA’s view.
Only in the administration’s final weeks in office did it tell the public, in a declassified report, what officials had learned from Brennan in August and which Putin was working to elect Trump.

Over that five-month interval, the Obama administration secretly debated dozens of options for deterring or punishing Russia, including cyber-attacks on Russian infrastructure, the release of CIA-gathered material that might embarrass Putin, and sanctions that officials said could “crater” the Russian economy.
I insert: this lag and for the reasons stated above (e.g., It took time for other parts of the intelligence community to endorse the CIA’s view) is what is pushing the GOP and their rightwing outlets to blast Obama and take the heat off of Trump right now. Will it work? Only time will tell … what everyone needs are the facts, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as most honestly believe is our core values.
And, yes, “We the People” do have a compelling need to know the whole truth – painful and unvarnished truth – and that which IS NOT any political spin from any side, and certainly not the current on-going farce trying to pass as a show when in fact I estimate it to have one goal right now: To deflect, deceive, dodge, duck, and deny anything factual and honest.

This excellent exposé is broken into 11 chapters and includes time lines, charts, and other interactive graphics that lay out the story’s astonishing details. You should read it, but it will take you a while – but worth the journey. 

Here are the six key points:

1.  Calling Russia’s interference in the election “the crime of the century,” the report says that despite U.S. officials knowing a year ago what was going on, the Russians to this day have yet to face any consequences “because of the ways President Barack Obama and President Trump handled it.

2.  Through interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials, The Post’s Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima, and Adam Entous tell the inside story of how the Obama administration handled the Kremlin’s meddling in the election;

3.  U.S. intelligence agencies had “sourcing deep inside the Russian government capturing Putin’s direct instructions in the operation;”

4.  Before he left office, Obama launched a covert operation to deploy “implants” in Russian networks, which the authors describe as “digital bombs that could be triggered in a retaliatory cyber-strike in the event of Moscow aggression.” And as if handing off the cars keys to his successor, Obama left it up to incoming-President Trump to decide to use the bomb or not;

5.  CIA Director John Brennan first alerts the White House in early August that Putin was personally involved in the election-hacking operation; but because the material was so sensitive, Brennan kept it out of the President’s Daily Brief and included instructions with the package that it be returned immediately after it was read;

6.  In subsequent meetings, Obama and his intelligence team met under top-secret conditions in the Situation Room, following the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin-Laden raid. 

I conclude and note that point #3 is the most-critical point. It most surely had a bearing on the timing of the Obama public statement, i.e., he and the IC did not want to reveal or uncover or give away the source or method inside the Putin camp. That point is always paramount in these highly sensitive and top secret cases.

Source and methods must always be protected, and especially human sources (called HUMINT: human intelligence which is always considered the best and most reliable in the sum of all data collected). Their lives are always in danger and they must be protected at all costs from exposure.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

GOP Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA): Real Name “Bitter Cruel Rotten Affront”

Whacky Trio, Three-ring Circus, U.S. Troika, Awful Threesome in Office 

Not the faces of pride, joy, happiness, or satisfaction
(Red State Senators and Red-faced Embarrassments)

Key parts to the Senate bill – much more to follow. This analysis is from Vox:

• The bill asks low- and middle-income Americans to spend significantly more for less coverage.
• The bill would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program, which currently covers millions of low-income Americans, and include additional cuts to Medicaid.
• It would rework the individual market so that enrollees get less financial help to purchase less generous health insurance with higher deductibles.

Here is how the Senate bill works (must be agreed upon in the House) (my emphasis added):

  • The Senate bill begins to phase out the Medicaid expansion in 2021 — and cuts the rest of the program’s budget too. The Senate bill would end the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans. This program has provided coverage to more Americans than the private marketplaces.
  • It would also cut the rest of the public insurance program. Better Care would also limit government spending on the rest of the Medicaid program, giving states a set amount to spend per person rather than the insurance program’s currently open-ended funding commitment.
  • The Senate bill provides smaller subsidies for less generous health insurance plans with higher deductibles. The Affordable Care Act provides government help to anyone who earns less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line ($47,550 for an individual or $97,200 for a family of four). The people who earn the least get the most help. The Senate bill would make those subsidies much smaller for many people, and only provide the money to those earning less than 350 percent of the poverty line ($41,580 for individuals and $85,050 for a family of four). The Senate bill will tether the size of its tax credits to what it takes to purchase a skimpier health insurance plan than the type of plans Affordable Care Act subsidies were meant to buy. Essentially, these tax credits buy less health insurance.
  • The Senate bill seems to allow states to opt out of Obamacare’s marketplaces and essential health benefits requirement. A new waiver process would allow states to overhaul their insurance markets, including ending the essential health benefit requirement and specific subsidies that benefit low income Americans, so long as those changes do not increase the deficit. (I note: For the GOP it’s always the deficit, except for excessive spending on their “selective” programs, um).
  • The Senate bill repeals the individual mandate — and replaces it with nothing. The bill gets rid of the Affordable Care Act’s unpopular requirement that nearly all Americans carry health coverage or pay a fine. This could cause significant disruption in the individual market because it takes away a key incentive healthy people have to buy coverage, meaning only sick people may sign up.
  • The bill would cut taxes for the wealthy. Obamacare included tax increases that hit wealthy Americans hardest in order to pay for its coverage expansion. The AHCA would get rid of those taxes. Obamacare was one of the biggest redistributions of wealth from the rich to the poor; the AHCA would reverse that.
  • The Senate bill defunds Planned Parenthood for one year. This would mean Medicaid patients could no longer seek treatment at Planned Parenthood clinics. Experts expect this would result in low-income Americans getting less medical care and having more unintended pregnancies, as access to contraceptives would decline.
  • All in all, the replacement plan benefits people who are healthy and high-income, and disadvantages those who are sicker and lower-income. The replacement plan would make several changes to what health insurers can charge enrollees who purchase insurance on the individual market, as well as changing what benefits their plans must cover.

In aggregate, these changes could be advantageous to younger and healthier enrollees who want skimpier (and cheaper) benefit packages. But they could be costly for older and sicker Obamacare enrollees who rely on the law’s current requirements, and would be asked to pay more for less generous coverage.

The Senate bill will end Medicaid expansion in 2021 — and cut the rest of the program too:

One of the main ways Obamacare increased insurance coverage was by expanding the Medicaid program to cover millions more low-income Americans. Prior to the health law, the entitlement was restricted to specific groups of low-income Americans (pregnant women, for example, and the blind and disabled).

Obamacare opened up the program to anyone below 138 percent of the poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual) in the 31 states (plus DC) that opted to participate.

How to best summarize this GOP plan: The “AHCA: Awful, Harsh, Cruel, Affront.” 

At least from my reading … hopefully it will fail... but then watch Trump and company pull out all the stops. Ready, Fire, Aim is more apropos.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GOP, Rightwing, TEA Party, and Alt-Right Zealots: Bigtime Hypocrites

Stone, Jones, Savage, Hannity, FOX, RW Talk Radio, most of GOP  
(In tune Trump minions and mouthpieces one time or another)

The following is taken from Media Matters here:

The entire GOP rightwing world as we see the extracts below always sing in tune as they blame DEMS, the LEFT, and everyone in government that is except themselves for evil now and to come.

All the while they spew the exact same thing they blames others for and with a straight face – albeit two-faced right on cue and in sync.

Below are links to statements in their words NOT mine. It’s very educational depending on your education level that is – (smile):

Alex Jones: “The first shots of the second American civil war have already been fired,” and it will be “unstoppable until they’re burning down all the cities.” In a June 14 video posted to Infowars, Alex Jones said that the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) meant “the first shots of the second American civil war have already been fired.” Jones blamed “all these betas” in the mainstream media for advocating violence against Republicans “over and over again.” Jones noted that he has “studied history” and found that “war is actually run by betas” seeking government benefits; this “curse of the betas,” Jones said, is “unstoppable until they’re burning down all the cities and killing each other.” [Infowars, 6/14/17]

Roger Stone: Robert Mueller’s investigation will “spark a civil war in this country.” Appearing on the June 15 edition of The Alex Jones Show, Trump adviser Roger Stone assailed the “climate of hate egged on by the mainstream media” for resulting in both Scalise’s shooting and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate the president. When Alex Jones asked about “this beta death dance, where they want a civil war but are going to lose,” Stone replied that “we’re going to spiral into anarchy” and “have a cycle of violence like the country has never seen.” Stone also predicted that Mueller “is going to indict our president despite the facts, and he’s going to spark a civil war in this country.” [Genesis Communications Networks, The Alex Jones Show, 6/15/17]

Newt Gingrich: “We are in a clear-cut cultural civil war.” After Sean Hannity asked if anti-Trump sentiment was “a clear and present danger for the country,” former House speaker and current Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich said that “we are in a clear-cut cultural civil war,” and that “Republicans who don’t get it” should “look at the lesson” from Attorney General Jeff Sessions in being “prepared to go nose-to-nose with liberals every time they smeared him.” [Fox News, Hannity, 6/13/17]

Pro-Trump conspiracy site WND ran three articles about a new “civil war” in three days. On June 14, WND posted a brief article asking that the “Washington inbreds” in Congress start “lowering taxes, ending illegal immigration, repealing Obamacare and hunting down terrorists” instead of “inciting a civil war with a witch hunt that’s an avowed nothing burger.” On June 16, WND ran two more articles about “the inevitable question: Are we already in a civil war,” and how “blame” for the coming civil war “squarely lies with the leftist media, epitomized by the granddaddy of these hateful and dishonest cable networks, CNN,” as well as several print and online outlets. [WND, 6/14/17, 6/16/17, 6/16/17

Pat Buchanan: The US is “approaching something of a civil war,” and it’s time for Trump to “burn down the Bastille.” Pat Buchanan warned that the U.S. is “approaching something of a civil war where the capital city seeks the overthrow of the sovereign and its own restoration.” Buchanan claimed the “deep state-media coup” to destroy Trump features “the appointment of a special prosecutor” and “street clashes between pro- and anti-Trump forces.” Buchanan wrote that Trump “should campaign against the real enemies of America First by promising to purge the deep state and flog its media collaborators,” concluding that it’s “time to burn down the Bastille.” [, 6/13/17

Fake News Purveyor BeforeItsNews: “The left is going for the kill -- literally” in “the coming civil war.” BeforeItsNews, a hyper-partisan fake news purveyor, wrote that “Trump is our proxy” in “the coming civil war” against “the left’s warmongering and treason.” The site quoted Ayn Rand on “civil disobedience [being] appropriate only as a prelude to civil war” to claim that “the left is going for the kill -- literally,” and “for the moment, the mutineers have the momentum.” [BeforeItsNews, 6/17/17]

Trump radio ally Michael Savage: “There’s going to be a civil war.” On the June 13 edition of Westwood One’s The Savage Nation, host Michael Savage asserted that “there’s going to be a civil war” because of “what this left-wing is becoming in this country.” When Rep. Scalise was shot the following day, Savage said that he “know[s] what’s coming, and it’s going to get worse.” Savage also said of the shooting that “this blood is on Democrat hands.” [Westwood One, The Savage Nation, 6/13/17, 6/14/17 via WND]

Thanks for stopping by – as usual, come again.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Is Trump Turning His Back on America — Or Vice Versa — As Reality Sets In

The Sooner the Better (In my opinion)
(Can't face the music, must not like the tune)

If I do resign, this is how I'll tell you
(Not from some “Fake News” or committee “Witch Hunt” leak)

From re: Presidential Executive Privilege:

Historical Background: In United States v. Nixon, the most high-profile executive privilege case ever decided by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Warren Burger (writing for a unanimous Court) concluded that there is a “presumptive privilege for Presidential communications” that is “fundamental to the operation of Government and inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the Constitution.”

Note: The Nixon ruling was extremely clear that not all subpoenas and inquiries can be quashed due to executive privilege. While separation of powers concerns give the president a presumptive right to privacy in his communications, this presumption can be overridden in certain cases.

With that in mind, Burger wrote: “This presumptive privilege must be considered in light of our historic commitment to the rule of law [and, while presidential secrecy has a constitutional basis in the separation of powers] that right to the production of all evidence at a criminal trial similarly has constitutional dimensions, [thus or so the court] “must weigh the importance of the general privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in performance of the President's responsibilities against the inroads of such a privilege on the fair administration of criminal justice,” Burger further wrote.

The Court judged that “the fair administration of criminal justice” outweighed the president’s right to confidentiality in communications, at least in the case of the criminal inquiry into Richard Nixon.

How does this apply to the Trump-Russia investigation? 

First and paramount, “presidential communications privilege cannot be invoked by Sessions, as attorney general,” Yale Law School's Asha Rangappa says: “Sessions cannot 'preemptively invoke that privilege on the president's behalf.

The question of whether Trump himself can obstruct subpoenas or decline to answer Congress's questions by invoking executive privilege — or if, by invoking executive privilege, he can bar people like Sessions from testifying about their conversations with him — is more complicated. He, like all presidents, enjoys a presumption of confidentiality.

However, the Washington Post’s revelation that Trump himself is under investigation for obstruction of justice suggests a very similar situation to the one Nixon found himself in.

If Trump were to fail to obey subpoenas from special counsel Robert Mueller, then it’s likely that courts would obey the Nixon precedent and require him to comply, on the grounds that rule has preference over his executive privilege.

The possibility of Trump not complying with a congressional investigation raises further questions. Failure to comply with congressional subpoenas further implicates “Congress’s constitutional power of inquiry through investigatory bodies” and courts could decide that Congress’s constitutional obligation overrides Trump’s presumptive right to confidentiality.

In fact, one district court has already ruled that Congress’s investigatory powers trump executive privilege in cases like this. Cite: Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, wherein the George W. Bush administration was using executive privilege to try to block a subpoena by House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-MI) for testimony by former White House counsel Harriet Miers and Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten

Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for DC (himself a Bush appointee) “rejected the Executive claim of absolute immunity for senior presidential aides.” 

He ordered the White House to comply with the subpoena, saying in the ruling in part: “Congress’s power of inquiry is as broad as its power to legislate and lies at the very heart of Congress constitutional role. Presidential autonomy, such as it is, cannot mean that the Executive’s actions are totally insulated from scrutiny by Congress. That would eviscerate the Congress’s oversight functions.”

Closely related topics from here, here, and more importantly here So, will Trump resign or simply “ride it out” and take his chances? A critical question to say he least.

Thanks for stopping by and come again.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fresh Bone for S/C Mueller: Obstruction, Abuse of Power, Quip Pro Quo, or What

Updated (Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 1 pm) from Newsweek: The White House is worried that forcing the president to go through congress to make changes to the sanctions will hamper his ability to improve U.S.-Russia relations.

Trump has promised to improve the relationship between the two countries but his ability to make concessions is complicated by ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and whether associates or members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to sway the election.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the new sanctions will damage ties between the two countries, adding in state-run TASS: “It will of course complicate the Russian-American relationship. Putin further said that his government does not have an immediate response to the bill but, last month, Russia threatened a tit-for-tat response if its diplomatic properties were not returned.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John McCain (R-AZ) praised the new sanctions bill when it passed the Senate, and Democrats expressed concern about President Trump’s potential attempt to influence the bill in the House (as noted in this blog next items below).

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Politico: “I’m concerned about it, but I don’t really have the ability to dictate what the White House says to the House. I can’t imagine the House would want to be apologists for Russian behavior after the combined weight of the intelligence communities all weighing in saying: Look, they attacked the United States.”

I note clearly as I can: The Trump team will do anything to brush aside and ignore and deny anything about the 2016 election and Russian hanky-panky by Putin and tons of Russian hackers. This latest stunt to stop or slow down sanctions proves the point. I have no doubt that S/C Mueller is looking at that closely, or at least he should be.

Finally, shame on Donald J. Trump and his minions who keep sucking up to Putin with the miles and miles of denial ... that in and of itself is very alarming to say the least.


Original post starts here: Pretty startling story and if this is not obstruction of justice, or abuse of presidential power, or even quid pro quo for old Rex, then what the hell do we call it?

And, please don’t anyone say:It’s politics as usual” or “It’s the President’s right” or even some other silly-ass crap like that – it is not routine – nothing like changing a bill to get what you want (which we all understand its “politics as usual,” this is not, plain and simple). In my view it’s probably a little bit of all those things I just mentioned.

The story:  With the Senate passing tougher sanctions on Russia, the White House is reportedly hoping to pump the brakes.

Politico reports that President Trump and his staff are acting quickly and working with House Republicans “to make the bill more favorable to Russia.”

This part can only be described anther Trump WTF moment in a long strong string of other WTF moments since January 20, 2017…

For example, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told Politico that “Trump wants to weaken the bill or stop it all together,” then he added that heard the Trump administration is reaching out to House members “to slow it, block it.”

If that is true and especially under this dark cloud of Russian election interference, then I suggest that no Republican should ever be elected to any public office whether it’s the local Dog Catcher, or a member of Congress, or even President – never, ever again.

As I said up front: What do we call this? I suspect shortly we will find out –and it’s not going to be pretty, either.

Wait and see and thanks for stopping by. Come again.

Friday, June 16, 2017

THE HEAT IS ON” – Big Dog With Big Bone Making Fresh New Moves

Special Counsel Robert Mueller: More focused and closing in rapidly 

Mueller's targets as it were and perhaps more to follow

Several major updates on the “Trump Saga” below:

Update 1: From ABC News via Reuters this pretty startling headlines:

Rosenstein may need to recuse himself from Russia probe

Update 2: From The AP — President Donald Trump confirms (two tweets, naturally) that he was under investigation and appeared to take aim at a senior Justice Department official – the tweets seem to encapsulate his frustration with the ongoing focus on Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.

Trump Tweet #1: “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt.”

Image result for tweet logo 

Trump Tweet #2:  “After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion with the Russians,' nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!”

Update 3: From the NY TIMES

Memo orders Trump transition team to save Russia files



The Special Counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election (former FBI Director, Robert Mueller) is now interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of the widening probe that includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice (officials said).

This move by Mueller to investigate Trump’s own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates (officials said).

My view: Trump associates and money links, I believe strongly is the key. We shall see. “Follow the Money” (famous line from the movie “All the President’s Men”) may be as valid today as it was during Watergate – time will tell.

Continue at the link (Washington Post) … amazing stuff.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MAJOR UPDATE: Russian Hacking Lest We Forget the Background, Events and Facts

The Line Between the Two is Seldom Black and White 

I don't see any Russian hackers
(I only see Crooked Hillary and Loser DEMS)

First this short reminder – as way of introduction - our President, um?


Это номера результатов выборов в ША 2016 года
(These are the U.S. 2016 Election Result Numbers)
(Our guy won bigly)


1st Update: Russian Hackers Breached Voting Systems in 39 States

That report is here. 

Highlights: Russian hacking more widespread than previously know or reported.

2nd Update: Then this story also from Raw Story, in part (with my emphasis)

USA Today’s six-month-long investigation rifled through every property owned by Trump and his various companies, and in turn documented each buyer during that time period. The investigation also found that “Trump’s companies owned more than 430 individual properties worth well over $250 million.”
Since he was elected, the report continues, Trump and his companies have sold 28 American properties for a total of $33 million, and the rest of his companies’ properties are valued at more than a quarter-billion dollars.
Although Trump’s sons operate the trust where the profits from those sales go, the report noted that “the president is the sole beneficiary of the trust and can withdraw cash any time.”
Finally, these two key points (slick presidential lawyers, um?):  

1.  Trump is not legally required to disclose the real estate trust from these sales.
2.  The clear post-nomination shift since last year to more shell-company purchases is unique to sales by Trump’s companies, even in his own towers and neighborhoods.
Original posts starts from here.


Background: Trump repeatedly said he did not believe US intelligence and law enforcement conclusions about Russia's responsibility for the hacking the election, saying during the 1st presidential debate: “I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. Hillary’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, but it could also be lots of other people, it also could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?”

Further from the Guardian in the UK: According to US intelligence officials, Russian hackers made repeated attempts before this year’s election to get into major US institutions, including the White House and the state department. The tactics were simple: send out volleys of phishing emails and hope that someone clicked.
One of those who did was John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. A New York Times investigation revealed that a Podesta aide spotted the dodgy email and forwarded it to a technician. By mistake, however, the aide wrote that the message was OK. This allowed Moscow to access about 60,000 of Podesta’s emails. The hackers also breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Facts about that discovery and no action – not much reported and not much public interest it seems:

WASHINGTON (NY TIMES) — When FBI Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk. Agent Hawkins’ message was brief, if alarming. He said at least one computer system belonging to the DNC had been compromised by hackers code-named the Dukes (cyber espionage team linked to the Russian government).
The FBI knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.
Yared Tamene was a tech-support contractor at DNC who got the call. He was no expert in cyber attacks. His first move was to check Google for “the Dukes” reference. Also, his cursory search of the DNC computer system logs showed no hint of such a cyber-intrusion. Ironically, Tamene did not look too hard it seems.
That was even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks. Tamene said in part that was because he wasn’t certain if the caller was a real FBI agent or an impostor
Also reported but not else: Intelligence agencies also said that Russians also hacked the RNC computer systems, but they didn’t release anything.
The hacked emails were passed to the WikiLeaks, which published them before the 2016 election, then the furor was dominating the news bulletins and damaged Clinton’s campaign without any doubt.
Facts: Security experts believe two Kremlin-connected groups were behind the hacks. One was from the FSB spy agency, the other from Russian military intelligence. Amazingly, they appear to have operated independently.
THEN THE BOMBSHELL (proof of the hacking hit): In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence community assessment (17 agencies) expressed “high confidence” that Russia favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign to denigrate and harm Clinton's electoral chances and potential presidency.” That report concluded that Russia used (1) disinformation, (2) data thefts, and (3) various leaks to give an advantage to Trump over Clinton.

(I Note: These conclusions were reaffirmed by the lead intelligence officials in the Trump administration in May 2017)

Further, American and our intelligence agency allies in Europe found communications between suspected Russian agents and the Trump campaign as early as 2015.

On October 7, 2016, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the DHS jointly stated that Russia hacked the DNC computer servers and email account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta – and then they leaked the documents to WikiLeaks.

Several reputable cyber security firms have further stated and documented that the cyber attacks were committed by Russian intelligence groups known as “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear.”

In October 2016, former President Obama used the red phone line to directly contact Putin and issue a warning to him regarding the cyber attacks. 

Russian officials have repeatedly denied involvement in any DNC hacks or leaks.

In early January 2017, the DNI, James Clapper testified before a Senate committee that Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign went beyond hacking, and that it included disinformation and the dissemination of so-called “fake news” that was often promoted via social media.

Six Federal agencies have also been investigating possible links and financial ties between the Kremlin and Trump's associates, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and advisers Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone.

In short the Russian propaganda strategy is like the subject of a 3-D movie that casts: “Doubt, Disruption, and Distrust” and sequel: “Deception, Dismantle, and ultimately Destroy” (if all else fails).

All this is related and sort of the final conclusion, um – several points:

1.  You know what they say about payback: “Putin most likely wanted to discredit Hillary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her ever since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime for his reelection and Ukraine mess. Also, because Putin held a grudge for her comments that he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.”

2.  So, if it wasn’t about getting Trump elected what was it about: “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in our democratic processes, denigrate Hillary Clinton along the way, and do great harm to her electability and potential presidency.”

3.  Okay, but all that didn’t stop the NY Times from misrepresenting the initial reports to make Donald Trump look bad

(I Note: I still can’t stop laughing about #3 – the last comment. Whew boy. So, what was the overall Russian strategy and object of a final goal: (1) To get Donald Trump into office as Putin’s pal and ally, or (2) To disrupt and destroy our entire way of life?)

So, the bottom line as they is really this - there was serious Russian hacking - no doubt that, yet we are left with this hanging over us, or so it seems:

The hardest and perhaps worst part about seeing and hearing all this again is that Trump always denies anything he said or has done that we have seen and heard him say or do that has been captured on video or in print.

He always denies those things after the fact with a strong defense by blaming someone or something else (e.g., the biased media, a broken or lousy microphone, background noise, and now “a rigged election”) or something else just as pathetic and wild to dismiss his original quote or act we all saw and heard. Yet, he expects people to believe the denial despite our own eyes and ears simply because he says so. It is hard to comprehend a man like that – except to perhaps define him this way:

Donald J. Trump is a chronic liar; a serial liar; a pathologically compulsive liar without exception, who is a rude and crude, yet very clever and slick con artist like a flim-flam man who flies into town, says crazy stuff while playing to an audience all too hungry for what he says, accepting it as the gospel, and not realizing he is doing it for ratings and his own elevation and enjoyment and not much else.

In short, his supporters are played for his enjoyment thoroughly like a violin that he enjoys.