Donald Trump lied about contents of his national security briefings at last night’s presidential debate debate. American intelligence – and President Obama himself – publicly, and definitively blames Russia and its senior political leaders (Putin) for the recent political hacking incidents that seek to influence this year’s American presidential election. NBC News reports:
During Sunday’s debate, Donald Trump once again said he doesn’t know whether Russia is trying to hack the U.S. election, despite Friday’s statement by the U.S. intelligence community pointing the finger at Putin — and despite the fact that Trump was personally briefed on Russia’s role in the hacks by U.S. officials.
A senior U.S. intelligence official assured NBC News that cybersecurity and the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election have been briefed to, and discussed extensively with, both parties’ candidates, surrogates and leadership, since mid-August. “To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation,” said the official. “The intelligence community has walked a very thin line in not taking sides, but both candidates have all the information they need to be crystal clear.”
Then today, Trump told his Pennsylvania rally about a report so fake, even the DC-based Russian owned news outlet, Sputnik International, quickly yanked the story — for which it was the exclusive source (see video below).
Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald watched, then busted the Republican nominee for making the very same claims found in that Sputnik ‘news’ article, which turned out to actually be a Clinton advisor emailing his own 10,000 word report entitled: Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages to Democratic campaign manager John Podesta. If the allegations were actually true, then Trump would have found an actual, factual bombshell revelation about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Instead, the propaganda story forced Newsweek to bust Trump’s reliance on Russian misinformation, stolen information leaks and his public denial of American confidential intelligence briefings. Eichenwald’s reporting shows that Trump is actually participating in coldly calculated propaganda campaign by the Kremlin.
The fact that Trump would trust Sputnik and shun intelligence briefings reveals the close ties between his campaign and the Russian dictator. While observers hoped that Putin’s influence over Donald Trump might diminish after the August firing of oligarch and former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, that clearly hasn’t been the case.
The truth is that Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal emailed a copy of the article to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta complete with formatting, and the “journalists” at Sputnik’s Washington DC headquarters didn’t realize the error until publishing – and quickly deleted it once they did. We found a copy of the deleted Sputnik International article in Google’s WebCache and preserved it in PDF format for those who’d like to read the lies themselves.
This new Trump affair begs one big question that Kurt Eichenwald asked in his story, “So, how did Donald Trump end up advancing the same falsehood put out by Putin’s mouthpiece?”
There’s really no explanation nor excuse for it.
Eichenwald’s comprehensive Benghazi story actually has a vastly different conclusion than the one Republicans would like people to believe. Newsweek published this about Benghazi:
“The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment—has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president.
Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army…The consequences, however, are worse than the manipulation of the electoral process. By using Benghazi for political advantage, the Republicans have communicated to global militants that, through even limited attacks involving relatively few casualties, they can potentially influence the direction of American elections.”
Last night the Republican party’s failed presidential nominee went out of his way to validate Vladimir Putin’s pro-Assad, pro-genocide policies in Syria while slamming his running mate whom he admitted he hasn’t even discussed Russian policy with.
It’s clear why Trump won’t talk with Mike Pence about his Russia policy. Trump has decided to be Putin’s shill in America – a truly Manchurian candidate if there ever was one – and if told Mike Pence the truth, the VP nominee would probably become the latest Republican to dump the short-fingered vulgarian.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition