Daily Check-In 07/30/2018

Monday, July 30th.  The night before Paul Manafort’s trial begins.

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

“The idea was that the attitudes and behavior of WL [Wikileaks] behind closed doors is relevant, especially their coordination of PR, propaganda and troll ops through assets that are public supporters but not publicly known to take cues from WL,” Emma Best, the freedom of information activist, told Motherboard in a Twitter direct message.

The DMs concern a particular group chat between the official Wikileaks account and several supporters. In the chat—dubbed “Wikileaks +10” due to number of participants—Wikileaks would coordinate smear campaigns against the group’s rivals, including journalists, according to the DMs. The official Wikileaks account, widely believed to be controlled by Assange, also pushed antisemitic and transphobic messages, according to the messages.

Various outlets have reported on leaks from this group chat before, including The Intercept and The Daily Beast. But now anyone can scroll through the lightly redacted messages themselves. In an accompanying post, Best says the redactions were made to protect the privacy and personal information of “innocent, third parties.”

 

COHEN

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

Why is Trump so uninterested in — and Republicans so passive about — the threat to election security? We have a couple of theories.

One theory is that Trump simply hates the topic of Russian interference (so his Republican allies hate it, too). Time and again, he has sided with Putin in denying that interference occurred, only to be forced to retreat (usually via a spokesperson). Rightly or not, Trump thinks that the involvement of Russia in the 2016 election on his behalf, if widely accepted, would undercut his victory in 2016 and delegitimize his presidency. If he takes the problem seriously now, the public will be more and more convinced of Russia’s role. This is the “Trump cannot bring himself to believe” theory.

The other possibility is that Trump actively wants the help from the Kremlin. He likes the bot farms, the disinformation in social media (which he and his aides have been known to pick up and echo) and, most of all, WikiLeaks. Why would he try to shut any of that down, or expose his BFF Putin’s election interference operation? (Goodness knows what he and Putin actually discussed in Helsinki on this topic.) He might not be publicly calling for Russia to find and release Hillary Clinton’s emails, as he did the day Russian hacking of the DNC began (according to the indictment of Russian hackers in the special counsel’s investigation), but in essence, he has agreed to remain asleep at the wheel.

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

IMMIGRATION

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

TRADE WAR

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

THE OTHER COHEN

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

SCOTUS

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ELECTION 2018

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Monday.  Tuesday, Manafort’s trial begins.  This is the first court trial from the Special Counselor’s investigation.  I look forward to reading the transcripts.

Never in my adult life before Trump came to power did I ever say “Gee, I look forward to reading the transcripts of a court case about money laundering.  This is how I want to spend my Tuesday night”  The things we do to protect this county.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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