One thing confuses me - seems apparent Trump was told to run for office as early as 2013 Miss Universe or earlier, so why did Manafort talk his way onto campaign in the middle. Why wasn't Putin already directing it? My theory is Trump wasn't Putin's only GOP candidate....
Russia plays a long game & was cultivating Trump as early as late '80s under Soviets, but they'd be foolish to put all eggs in 1 basket. Seems likely they'd have cultivated others. GOP field was large & perhaps Manafort gets sent to Trump when he emerges as most likely contender.
I find is striking how many GOP - both those who ran as candidates in 2016 & those who didn't - have Russian connections. Remember the video where Roy Moore of Alabama spoke fluent Russian? He can barely speak fluent English, but he's got Russian down pat.
You have all those senators summoned to kiss Putin's ass on July 4 (you know he made them come on Independence Day to make a statement). You got Rand Paul & Mitch McConnell of Kentucky spouting the Putin line. Lindsay Graham. Devin Nunes. Dana Rohrabacher. I mean they ALL do.
GOP pretended for decades to be anti-Russia, but all the while they're secretly forging connections, accepting rubles from oligarchs, making investments. This isn't Putin's first rodeo. He's installed multiple puppet presidents. He had one in Ukraine (with Manafort's help).
He has one in Hungary now. He tried to put one in France. He had one in Georgia (the country, but now that I think of it, probably also the state). Putin has always done it the same way - by going in years before the election he plans to steal & compromising a party.
He buys the politicians or compromises them in other ways. He gets the party FIRST so they're in place to later protect his puppet. This is why it's not surprising GOP defend Trump fiercely. Media like to say they're worried about losing Trump's base, but this is bullshit.
If it's all about the base, then why did so many GOP protect Trump who weren't even running again? It's not about votes. It's certainly not because they like Trump. Most of them hate him. Trump, you may have noticed, is a huge asshole with no friends.
Putin stole the party before he stole the election. It's entirely possible he had more than one GOP candidate, as well as more than one fake candidate (aka Jill Stein). We all focus on the presidential election, but I guarantee you Putin stole Congressional seats as well.
Putin not only cultivated a party to protect his puppet, he cultivated Trump's base. We know that Putin infiltrated the NRA & far-right Christian groups (Butina) & far-right nationalist groups. Putin has been cozying up to nationalist groups all over Europe, not just here.
It's also quite interesting how many far-right media sources - like InfoWars, Breitbart & Fox - have been pushing Russian disinformation & propaganda. We won't ever separate GOP from Trump & we won't ever separate his hard-core base from him, either. Putin made sure of that.
Media often report on the Russia story as if Putin decided during 2016 campaign to stir things up or back Trump. Nonsense. Planning for this takeover of America began many years before campaign even began. As I said, Russia plays a very long game.
What worries me is knowing how much time & rubles Putin invested in this coup, I wonder how easily he'll let it go. I fear he & Trump/GOP aren't done yet.
As proof of Russia's patience, I remind you of spies sent to live as American families for more than a decade so they MIGHT obtain low-level intelligence. They raised kids who had no idea parents were spies. Russia plays long-ass game, patient as a cat.…
I'll remind you, too, that Peter Strzok, the FBI agent from Mueller's team that Trump/GOP attacked mercilessly so he had to resign was the SAME agent that helped to bring down that spy ring.
We were told during 2016 Russia couldn't hack vote because it was so decentralized. We were told voting machines couldn't be hacked because they weren't connected to Internet. Not only is that false, but we never considered then GOP might be working WITH Russia. We know it now.
We saw in midterms how GOP cheated. Running their own elections, purging voters, suppressing votes, lying about policy positions, sending out false info to certain groups about voting locations & times, even collecting absentee ballots in outright fraud.
We had machines flipping votes in Texas from Beto to Cruz & Texas officials merely shrugged & said "old machines have glitches." MORE INTERESTINGLY, WI & MI - 2 of the 3 surprise swing states that went to Trump in 2016 - went all out after losing midterms to destroy democracy.
Both WI & MI, as well as NC, lost governorships to DEMS & then passed bills in lame-duck sessions to strip power away from the incoming DEM governor. If they're willing to do that now, what did they do in 2016?
They gerrymandered the fuck out of this country so that even though DEMs won popular vote in state after state, we only took a small portion of the seats we should have won. We flipped 40 seats in House & that's IN SPITE of the gerrymandering.
My point is this - GOP are desperate to retain power & know their conservative values are less popular each year as country grows younger & more diverse. They can ONLY win by cheating & we've been blithely unaware of it. GOP have decided democracy doesn't work for them any longer
GOP chose another direction - toward an authoritarian state, a pretend democracy like Russia has. They're even using Putin's tactics. Here's a story that received very little media attention, but should have received more:…
In Russia, where elections are fake, it's common to run fake candidates to draw votes away from the opposition. Jill Stein was a fake candidate. In Montana, GOP were running a fake Green Party candidate of their own. He was on the GOP payroll.
That's not the only Putin tactic GOP have adopted. They're also running disinformation campaigns, spreading propaganda via Fox, attacking media, changing rules & norms, ignoring the law, refusing to provide oversight, engaging in blatant corruption, running fake investigations.
They're basically burning democracy to the ground. It simply doesn't work for them anymore. GOP pretend to be patriots, but they're traitors. They've been traitors for years & we were too naive to see it. Trump's election opened our eyes.
If I had to guess which other 2016 GOP candidates might be owned by Putin, 1st choice would be Cruz. He also used Cambridge Analytica & after he dropped out, his people (Kellyanne Conway, Bannon, Koch Brothers) shifted over to Trump. He later bowed down to Trump despite abuse.
I'm also suspicious of his midterm re-election as senator. Voting machines in TX were recorded flipping votes from straight-ticket DEM/Beto voters over to Cruz. Astonishingly, TX acknowledged the flips, blamed it on "glitches" on old machines & media barely covered the story.
Also the Mercers shifted from Cruz to Trump. Betsy DeVos is in that group also. Basically, all those belonging to the super-scary extremist Council for National Policy, a group that wants theocracy instead of democracy, went over to Trump.
And that's weird, right, that these extremists Christians would suddenly leave extremist Christian Cruz & head over to support adulterous, lying, non-religious Trump. It's weird unless they were all part of it & knew he was now backed by their new ally, Putin. Also explains Pence
Manafort chose Pence. Which means Putin chose Pence. Putin must have known he needed to keep those religious nuts onboard the Trump train. Putin assembled Trump's base just as much as he assembled Trump's campaign & cabinet.
Does it disturb anyone Russia could infiltrate GOP, NRA, far-right Christian extremist groups, far-right nationalist groups for years before 2016 election? I mean how did this get by us? How the hell did we allow a Russian asset & his team of traitors to take over our government?
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