Some Dare Call It Treason: When a former CIA Director starts referring to your actions as “treasonous,” I think you might have a problem

Well, today was the big day. Following almost immediately on the heels of last week’s big announcement about the grand jury indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for committing acts of cyber warfare against the U.S. during the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump had more than ample opportunity to cancel this morning’s private one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin, the man we now know, for a certainty, orchestrated the hacking of Democratic campaign servers in order to aid the Trump 2016 team. Instead of heeding the advice of the U.S. intelligence community, however, Donald Trump continued on with his plans, meeting with the ruthless dictator behind closed doors for over two hours, with no other Americans present. And, sadly, that wasn’t the worst of it.

When the private meeting had concluded, as thinking people everywhere were busy speculating how it was that Putin came to have such a hold over our President, Donald Trump stood up in front a room of reporters next to a smirking Putin and said that, despite the indictments, and the mountains of evidence that had been shown to him, he still saw no reason for concern. In fact, he said, he still wasn’t convinced that it had even happened.

Asked point blank if he believed his own intelligence agencies, and their conclusion that Russia had meddle in our election, Donald Trump said, “My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me, some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Our Republican President then went on to say, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Watch for yourselves.

So, now the nation holds its breath and waits to see what our Republican Congress will do, as they hold every lever of power, and have been satisfied to look the other way just as long as Donald Trump agreed to appoint their judges, and cut their taxes. Now, though, according to the Atlantic, it’s “the moment of truth,” where Republicans have to decide whether or not they really care about the country at all, or only the wealth and power that come with control. And people like Democratic Congressmen Adam Schiff are appealing to their last vestiges of decency, urging them to do the right thing before they “become enablers” of something truly horrific, as though that hasn’t been their position from the time the Access Hollywood “pussy grabbing” audio first surfaced, to just recently, when we learned about the toddler prisons on the border. The truth is, they’re now so far down the slippery slope, I doubt they could stop even if they’d wanted to. The momentum, I fear, just won’t let them.

And so we wait, as, one by one, the Republican members of Congress weigh in with their statements.

So far, it’s not looking good. While John McCain came out and pronounced it to be “disgraceful,” most wouldn’t allow themselves to go so far. Bob Corker, for instance, just said he was “saddened” and “disappointed.” That, however, was still better than Rand Paul, who praised the “renewing open lines of conversation” between the U.S. and Russia. [McCain went on to say, “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”]

But some seem to be searching for a way off the sinking ship. Newt Gingrich, for instance, took to Twitter and demanded an explanation. “President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin,” he said. “It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—-immediately.”

But Fox, you can be sure, isn’t going to just sit around and wait for the pressure to build against the President. They’ve already begun spinning, with Sean Hannity going on the offensive this evening, pushing a conspiracy theory in line with their always popular “Obama was worse” narrative. According to Hannity, whatever Putin may have done, Obama did worse when he “interfered in Israel’s election.” This, of course, is a claim that has already been debunked, but what does that matter, right? We, after all, have a war against immigrants to fight here, and Donald Trump is our great white champion, no mater what kind of leverage Vladimir Putin may have over him.

And, as you might expect, Donald Trump has gone back to blaming Hillary Clinton’s server for getting itself hacked, like a rapist arguing that his victim was “asking for it” because of the way that she was dressed.

So if you care at all about this country, I’d encourage you to call your elected officials and demand that they speak out. We cannot just allow this to pass the same way that we’ve allowed everything else to pass. And I’m afraid we need to start pressuring the people who support Donald Trump, and not just the man himself. As vile as he may be, and as corrosive as he may be to our democratic institutions, the truth is that he couldn’t have made it in office for one week without a complicit Congress that was willing to look the other way in exchange for wealth and power. And we need to go after those people. And, maybe, just maybe, now that the t-word is being uttered in polite D.C. society, they’ll be forced to re-triangulate and do the right thing.

Speaking of the t-word, the one good thing about Trump’s absolutely jaw-dropping performance in Helsinki today is that people have now started to say it more freely. Here, to give you and example, is something written earlier this afternoon by former CIA Director John Brennan.

[note: If something is “nothing short of treasonous,” it’s treasonous.]

So, yeah, when you call your elected officials, be sure to tell them that what we just saw in Helsinki is treason, and that it’ll be the lucky ones who are just driven from office and banished to the wilderness.

The penalty for treason, after all, is death.

There’s more that I could say… I wanted to tell you, for instance, about how Trump actually suggested at some point in the joint news conference that Robert Mueller make information and sources available to the Russians so that they might help investigate, but, in hopes of preserving a bit of my sanity for the street fights to come, I’ve decided to take it easy this evening.

Goodspeed, patriots.

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45 Comments

  1. another mark
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    For what its worth, I’m not totally convinced of treason, yet. I want to believe, but it fits too perfectly with how much I hate trump. I suspect that the Trump campaign was lead down the garden path to treason by Russia, but turns out that is still treason.

    Regardless, just to illustrate how low the bar has dropped, I see 2 possible interpretations here:
    1) Trump committed treason
    2) Trump is a fanboy of a murderous dictator who is seeking to destabilize our closest allies and prop up criminal regimes elsewhere. Trump recently tried to impress his bff by insulting said allies in public and increase taxes on Americans who buy their products.

    The press event was so ridiculous, Trump came up just short of blowing Putin on live tv (is there a tape of the private meeting?).

  2. CNN
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    GOP Rep. Darrell Issa: “I think for the President to cast doubt is appropriate” on the validity of some things in the US intelligence community

  3. wobblie
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    https://www.juancole.com/2018/07/shocked-bromance-netanyahu.html

  4. wobblie
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Just so we remember–we are responsible for these deaths
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44837612

  5. CNN’s Kaitlan Collins
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    CNN has now reached out to the ODNI, CIA, FBI, NSA, Defense Secretary Mattis, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on whether they stand by their past statements on Russian meddling.

  6. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    As strange as it sounds, I think we might want to be gentle with our fellow countrymen in breaking the news to them that the things they’re doing constitute treason. They have a very vengeful nature. They respond badly to forced self-examination.

    It might help to think of it as being locked up in an enormous prison for the criminally insane. Because that’s essentially the situation in the US now.

  7. John Brown
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    The only thing these treasonous trump cult respect is the barrel of a gun. Get yours now before a state of emergency is declared and the gross imbalance in the civilian threat of force becomes permanent. Nothing less than NATO 5.56. Under no circumstances do we shoot first. Protest, march, vote. But when they predictably fabricate a scenario to justify violence and repression we must be ready.

  8. Iron Lung
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    What shocks me is how eager people are to protect this President. I think that a Presidents core supporters should be the people expected to be the most skeptical of his or her actions.

    Certainly, Obama got ripped apart even by the people who voted for him. That is the way it should be in a democracy.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Kimmel did a good job with it last night. Hopefully the message gets through to middle America.

    https://twitter.com/jimmykimmel/status/1019192610500382720

  10. CNN
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    “Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!”: President Trump thanks Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for the defense of the President’s highly controversial remarks Monday at the Putin press conference https://cnn.it/2zLeX43

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Brennan is the traitor I guarantee. How the fuck does a communist become CIA Director in the first place? For me it’s completely shocking to see people buy into the CIA line. That’s the side you choose to be on…okayyy…

  12. M
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: “What was [Trump] supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?” https://ift.tt/2NXElqC

    Yes, because those are clearly the only two choices. Shoot him, or take his side against the U.S. intelligence community. There is no third way. It would have been impossible to just stay away from Helsinki. The pull was too strong.

  13. M
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    “Meet the Press” had a whole panel discussion on whether or not this constitutes treason yesterday. This is significant.

    https://twitter.com/MeetThePress/status/1019215864690769920

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Wow, total CIA fuckin’ drones. I can’t believe this shit. You never paid attention in your whole life. If you did once you forgot a long time ago.

  15. Kat
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    He did it right on Fifth Avenue.

    https://imgur.com/a/y1IzdaX

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    What does the CIA have to do with the constitutional USA? Nothing besides destroying it. I can’t believe people who think of themselves as progressive love the Clowns In America. It’s a real life nightmare and you are the mindless zombies in it.

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Do you have any idea how powerful a 17th level Illusionist is? Not talkin’ David Copperfield/Chriss Angel fake shit. Trump has something up his sleeve to fuck your shit UP. This is going to be good. All the real traitors are showing their stripes as planned.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    https://imgflip.com/i/2cr91q

  19. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard the term “17th level Illusionist.” What does it mean?

    I think we’ll all be very interested in what Trump might have up his sleeve, as you put it, HW. You have to admit, the way Trump avoids criticizing Putin is highly unusual.

  20. John Brown
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    HW, you’re making total sense. Keep em coming.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    http://pandaria.rpgworlds.info/cant/rules/adnd_spells.htm

    Avoid criticizing for what? Phony CIA allegations? I’m telling you Trump has the DNC server and it is going to prove the DNC hack is a lie.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    It does make sense to reject an extra-constitutional rogue agency that does inestimable damage to not just the USA but the whole world, yes.

  23. site admin
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I am saving this one for later. Can’t wait to use it as a caption when Trump is taken into custody.

    “Do you have any idea how powerful a 17th level Illusionist is? Not talkin’ David Copperfield/Chriss Angel fake shit. Trump has something up his sleeve to fuck your shit UP. This is going to be good. All the real traitors are showing their stripes as planned.”

    As the kids would say, LMAO.

  24. Rat
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    One Republican resigns as a local party chair while another leaves the party after Trump’s disastrous presser with Putin http://bit.ly/2mm4ySZ

  25. Scott McMan
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Trump was never my choice for president, but the alternative is socialism, which seems to be steaming along despite him.

    When we see the USA Today running gun banning stories reminiscent of late 30’s Gernam “news” articles, it scares me far more than Trump ever could.

    Liberalism > Socialism/communism > Totalatarianism/North Korea.

  26. Jcp2
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I have a feeling that Putin might be at least level 18.

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah definitely save it for later. You are going to have to eat it along with everything else you have said. Trump is going to bust out some wizard shit on you I guarantee. Prismatic spray on your bitch ass! Light up the world with truth, Mr. President and watch them scurry. Too late – they are stunned into submission. “Where is the DNC server?”

  28. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Rosenstein summoned to White House this morning. Trump to meet with members of Congress this afternoon. Nothing is up I’m sure.

  29. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Republicans have “no idea what more they should be doing,” Politico reports.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Remember, they also told us trade wars were easy to win, and their tax cuts for the wealthy would pay for themselves.

    Spoiler alert.

    They didn’t.

    “White House budget projects $1 trillion deficit in 2019” hill.cm/s8vJxTG

  31. C.H.
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    According to this, Michigan has no state law for treason, so you can rest a little easier tonight, HW.

  32. LewisC
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    The DNC server isn’t missing.
    The DNC portal server run by the “mystery Pakistani ” (Imran Awan) isn’t missing either.
    The DNC server was imaged (and analyzed) by the 3rd party cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and copies of those images were provided to the FBI, who in part used the IPlogs to help confirm the sources of the attackers. The server itself is in fact on display at DNC HQ.
    The portal server was handed over to the FBI at the time.

    Trump lies.
    Every day.

  33. Peter Alexander of NBC News
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Trump, reading from typed remarks, says what he meant to say in Helsinki is that he saw no reason why it would not be Russia that interfered in US election.

  34. Lynne
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    This is the best thing I have seen about the Trump-Putin meeting. At least it gave me a little chuckle and helped me distance myself for a few seconds from the horror show unfolding where his supporters seem to have divorced themselves from any facts or reality, even that right in front of their eyes.

    Eric Nicolas
    Yesterday at 11:38 AM
    Watching Putin & Trump is like watching a trained KGB agent and cold-blooded killer meet a 3rd-rate real estate developer turned reality-TV host, if that’s not too strained an analogy.

  35. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Not just propaganda, CrowdStrike quality propaganda!

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/23/cybersecurity-firm-that-attributed-dnc-hacks-to-russia-may-have-fabricated-russia-hacking-in-ukraine/

    “The cyber security firm outsourced by the Democratic National Committee, CrowdStrike, reportedly misread data, falsely attributing a hacking in Ukraine to the Russians in December 2016. Voice of America, a US Government funded media outlet, reported, “the CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists. But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report.”

  36. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Huh! Wonder what’s up. FBI cannot see it but CrowdStrike can and they accept CrowdStrike’s findings.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/05/09/the_fbi_is_harder_to_trust_on_the_dnc_hack_because_it_relied_on_crowdstrike.html

    “Why wouldn’t the Democratic National Committee allow the FBI to check their servers during the investigation of the DNC breaches during the 2016 election? …The DNC maintains there’s a simple answer to this question: According to the group, the FBI never asked to see their servers. But FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee back in January that the FBI did, in fact, issue “multiple requests at different levels” to the DNC to gain direct access to their computer systems and conduct their own forensic analysis.”

  37. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Why would Comey say that but DNC says no? Someone’s lying.

  38. iRobert
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    So “17th level illusionist” was a Dungeons & Dragons reference? Wow. Okay.

  39. Eel
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    We are all inside the simulation. Just enjoy yourself.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    “Rosenstein summoned to White House this morning. Trump to meet with members of Congress this afternoon. Nothing is up I’m sure.” Yep. That explains the walk back this afternoon. Or was that 20th level?
    Is Brennan one of the lizard people? Rosenstein?

  41. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    NATIONAL SECURITY DEMOCRATIC SENATE LEADERS PEN LETTER TO TRUMP DEMANDING DETAILS ON PUTIN SUMMIT

    “WE AS A NATION MUST NOW WONDER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DISCUSSED AND MAY HAVE PROMISED TO PRESIDENT PUTIN”

    WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s meeting and press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, where he accepted Putin’s election meddling denial, top Senate Democrats tonight sent a letter to President Trump listing a series of questions to clarify if and what commitments he made to Putin during their secretive and lengthy meeting.

    The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Democratic Whip; Mark Warner (D-Va.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee; and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking.

    “American citizens and the whole world watched the leader of the free world align with an authoritarian leader who orchestrated an attack on our own democracy. President Putin and his government are wasting no time capitalizing on yesterday’s meeting and using it to advance their national interests. We cannot afford to be blindsided or outmaneuvered,” wrote the Senators before listing 13 questions to be answered by the President. “Your cursory description of what was discussed at a two-and-a-half-hour meeting does little to assuage these concerns. To adequately protect America’s interests, we need to know what commitments you may have made to President Putin.”

    The Senators also called on the Trump Administration to allow the U.S. Ambassador to Russia and the Secretary of Defense to testify before Congress about the repercussions of the Helsinki summit. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is already scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday July 25th.

    A copy of the Senator’s letter can be found HERE and below:

    Mr. President:

    Yesterday was a stunning day for American democracy. American citizens and the whole world watched the leader of the free world align with an authoritarian leader who orchestrated an attack on our own democracy. In doing so, you turned your back on our own intelligence community, which unanimously agrees that the Russian government carried out attacks intended to disrupt and interfere with our elections and influence public opinion.

    We as a nation must now wonder exactly what you discussed and may have promised to President Putin. Congress and the American public have a right to know. President Putin and his government are wasting no time capitalizing on yesterday’s meeting and using it to advance their national interests. We cannot afford to be blindsided or outmaneuvered. Just today the Russian Ministry of Defense publicly stated that it is prepared to start implementing an agreement you apparently struck in Helsinki with President Putin, an agreement that neither Congress nor the American people have been informed about.

    Your cursory description of what was discussed at a two-and-a-half-hour meeting does little to assuage these concerns. To adequately protect America’s interests, we need to know what commitments you may have made to President Putin. Specifically:

    1. What is the full list of topics you discussed?

    2. What were the “suggestions” President Putin made to you?

    3. Did you discuss any changes to international security agreements?

    4. Did you advocate for the removal to the U.S. of the 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted last Friday?

    5. Did you make any commitments regarding the future of the U.S. military presence in Syria?

    6. Did you call upon President Putin to uphold Russia’s commitments, agreed to at the Presidential level last year in Da Nang, Vietnam, with respect to the de-escalation zone in southwest Syria, especially the presence of Iran and Iranian-aligned forces?

    7. Did you press Russia to return to compliance with the INF treaty and halt its nuclear threats against Europe?

    8. Did you discuss relaxing U.S. sanctions on Russia, including CAATSA sanctions? If so, what was said, and what concessions, if any, were made by you and/or President Putin?

    9. Did you call upon President Putin to withdraw from Crimea and eastern Ukraine so that both areas are returned to Ukrainian Government control?

    10. Did you discuss NATO military exercises scheduled for this fall? Did you agree to roll back or change the nature of those exercises?

    11. Did you discuss U.S. security assistance to Ukraine or make any concessions regarding its continuation?

    12. Did you raise the issue of political prisoners with President Putin, including that of Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian filmmaker who has been detained for 4 years and is on hunger strike?

    13. What, if anything, did you commit to?

    Mr. President, the answers to these questions are of critical importance to U.S. national security. Answering them in full, without hesitation, will demonstrate that you do still hold America’s interests first. Some of us will press Secretary Pompeo on these issues next week. In addition, we urge you to immediately send the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, an appropriately high-ranking Intelligence Community official, and the Secretary of Defense to testify before Congress and explain how they will continue to advance America’s interests in light of yesterday’s summit.

    We look forward to your response.

  42. Adam Schiff‏
    Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Adam Schiff

    Verified account

    @RepAdamSchiff

    BREAKING: @RepSwalwell and I just made a motion in House Intel Committee to subpoena the American interpreter during the summit — the only witness to Trump’s meeting with Putin. This is an extraordinary remedy, but Trump’s actions necessitate it.

    Republicans voted it down.

  43. EOS
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Hope you all realize that talking to the Russian President is not treason, but trying to overthrow the duly-elected U.S. President is indeed treason. Be careful.

  44. iRobert
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the warning, EOS. That was a close one.

  45. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted October 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    You thought I must be joking but look: DJT HAS A MAGIC WAND!!! Obama sez so so I know you believe it. 4.2, bitch! Bingity Bongity Boo hahahaha!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMQqgbOMxpE

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] been a few days now since Donald Trump had his private one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin, and we’ve still heard next to nothing from the administration as to what was discussed, let […]

  2. […] of Russian influence since last week’s joint Trump-Putin press conference, during which our President sided with the Kremlin over his own intelligence agencies. So, I’m not going to speculate any further on what kind of leverage Putin may have over […]

  3. […] Donald Trump’s Helsinki debacle fresh in everyone’s mind, Paul Manafort’s trial set to begin in about a week, the […]

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