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OMB Director Mulvaney: This is a Hard Power Budget, Not a Big Bird Budget | Main | NBC News Pissed at MSNBC For Keeping Tax "Scoop" Secret from Parent Network, and Then Totally Clownf***ing Themselves on Live TV
March 16, 2017

Clinton Ally and CIA Benghazi Talking Points Massage Therapist Mike Morrell: There's Smoke But "No Fire, At All" In Claims of Russia-Trump Collusion

That should be the end of the matter, but then, Clapper's statement that there was absolutely no evidence of such a deal also should have been the end of the matter, but wasn't.

As some wag -- maybe a commenter here -- hinted, the media is going to go through and endless cyle:

Pound the Russia drum.

When that fails, pound the tax drum.

When that fails, pound the Russia drum.

Occasionally mix in a Pussy March and then repeat.

On Trump's counter-suit (feels like a counter-lawsuit, anyway) that Obama wiretapped him:

Ryan and the Senate Intel committee say there's no evidence of surveillance at Trump Tower.

But that's Trump Tower. Trump's accusation was broad and sloppy, but I notice these denials are very specific and very precise.

For his part, Trump doubles down and promises that "evidence" will be coming soon, maybe in the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Judge Napolitano claimed on FoxNews that three sources had told him that people in the Obama Administration had asked Britain's NSA, the GCHQ, to do the spying.

That's a routine and plausible practice -- it's well known that the US cannot spy on its own citizens, so it occasionally (and illegally) asks the British to do it for them, who are not barred from spying on US citizens. And the US performs the same favor in return for them.

Whether that happened here, who knows. But the general practice of "you spy on the ones we're not allowed to, and we'll spy on the ones you're not allowed to" isn't a well-kept secret. (See section titled "Concerns."

I have no idea on these claims. I do know, without a doubt, that Obama changed the rules regarding "minimization" (blacking out) of the names of US citizens "incidentally" caught in surveillance captures, and then disseminated this information all around the government. I also know that that information was subsequently leaked -- which I surmise was the plan all along.

The strident belief held by some that this didn't happen seems to rely chiefly on a belief that Obama wouldn't do something like that -- an opinion I don't share in -- and the claims of Obama's top ranking spymasters who say they wouldn't do something like that.

A claim I also don't put much stock in.

I'm increasingly baffled by what the rules on concerning propagating suspicions for which there is "no evidence" -- apparently one is officially a member of the Smart Set for propagating evidence-free suspicions about Trump collusion with Russian intelligence, but one is an unhinged conspiracy monger lunatic for entertaining evidence-free suspicions about Obama collusion with British intelligence.

Help me out, fellas -- what is the basis for this distinction, other than some of you seem to like Obama a lot more than Trump?

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posted by Ace at 05:42 PM

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