Trump Tweet practically admits to Collusion….Before getting to that important Trump tweet, first here briefly is our mission here at TheVORACS.  We’ve dedicated ourselves as a public service to stay on top of the latest political updates, particularly the most pertinent reports on Trump & the Russian scandal, by revealing & giving perspective to what’s really happening at this critical time in our nation’s history.  In always summing up the key points of the most important headlines from the past few days, we can help keep our readers informed who don’t have the time to closely follow the details & nuances within the latest news.  Generally, part 1 is about Russia, part 2 on the conservative echo-chamber, & part 3 on the economy.  Especially here in the Trump era, the impact & amount of chaos we’re constantly seeing in this overflow of news reports are unprecedented, so it’s never been more important for Americans to gain a clear understanding of what we’re going through together & how to react to it.

The Trump news over this past weekend could have monumental implications.  Trump in a tweet trying to claim their crimes were legal, has publicly acknowledged the legal hot water him & his son are in.  Take a look at a snippet of what Trump wrote about the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting on Sunday morning: This was a meeting to get information on an opponent.  Please do see the details in trump-privately-apos-fearful.  Our fearless leader is even signaling a willingness to throw his own son under the bus if it means saving himself, making the highly improbable claim he didn’t know about that meeting ahead of time.  And his story sure does keep shifting as more information keeps coming out about that meeting.  Trump no longer has much of a legal leg to stand on, so he’s attempting to turn it into a political argument, which only works with his hardcore base.

This paragraph sums up where we’re at.  Ponder the fact in a tweet, the president has now finally admitted the purpose of that Trump Tower meeting was to get dirt on their opponent from the Russians!  Don’t look now, but Trump has just admitted to an impeachable crime!  It shows intent of collusion which can translate into conspiracy with a foreign power against the United States.  Yes Trumpeters, that is very serious.  Our election laws clearly spell out a political campaign cannot accept anything of value from a foreign entity.  There’s now a confession of wanting something of value from the Russians!  We already had proof Russia did interfere in the 2016 election, & now we know the Trump campaign was a party to that, so it looks like my prediction is coming true.  I’ve been saying for a year & a half this Russian scandal would become the biggest political scandal in our nation’s history!  Combined with what we already know about numerous instances of obstruction by Trump & what we don’t know yet about what Mueller knows, the preponderance of evidence is piling up that our president has committed criminal offenses that will require him being removed from office.  Sorry Trumpeters, but we’d have no other choice, it’s all about the rule of law & adhering to our Constitution.

Mueller’s team doesn’t leak & is good at keeping secrets, so once all the evidence is compiled, expect some huge surprises.  Those surprises will come in the form of reports &/or indictments.  Particularly for Trumpeters & the echo-crowd who stay immersed in their far-right bubble of fake news, there’ll be shocked & probably stay in denial over the crimes likely soon revealed that were committed by the president & his men.  For such loyalists, no amount of denials, justifications or alibis, or displays of idolatry, cheerleading or worshipping their king, can change the basic facts.  I’ve projected the report on just obstruction may come out in this next month, but Mueller has been known to spring surprises, so it’s anybody’s guess what bombshells may come out soon.  Based on the rumblings being heard through the grapevine & Trump’s increasingly unhinged attacks on the investigation & media which smack of desperation, I have a sense something big is about to hit.  So stay tuned & let’s brace ourselves!

Repercussions from the Trump Tweet

From such a major headline story with huge ramifications, it’s always wise to get Rubin’s perspective, which here at we do often.  So we’ve posted her entire op-ed from Sunday after the Trump tweet as seen inside trump-tweeted-what/?:

President Trump is a lawyer’s client from hell. He lacks self-control, cannot tell the truth and will not absorb legal advice he doesn’t like. Most clients don’t incriminate themselves in public. Again and again. Trump does, however. (The Sunday morning tweet) is worse than acknowledging to NBC’s Lester Holt that he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he fired then-FBI Director James B. Comey. It’s worse than his nonstop attempts to obstruct the prosecutors — who are investigating an obstruction-of-justice case. (You cannot make this stuff up.) The tweet was awful for Trump and a gift to prosecutors in several respects. Most important, Trump confirmed that the meeting with Russians was designed to obtain something valuable — previously undisclosed dirt on Hillary Clinton. That arguably would violate federal law prohibiting a candidate from asking for or receiving something of value from a foreign national. Put it this way: The most powerful evidence that Donald Trump Jr. violated campaign law comes from Donald Trump Jr.’s own email (“I love it” in anticipation of the Trump Tower dirt-finding meeting) and his own father’s tweet. Like father, like son.

Trump Sr.’s insistence that he did not know about the meeting in advance might, to an outside observer, suggest he knows it would be a problem if he did. But then again, he knew about the meeting after the fact and drafted a false statement, so it’s not as though prior knowledge is essential to the prosecutors’ obstruction case. (In any event, his promise at a campaign event at the time that he’d have a speech on Clinton’s nefarious conduct suggests he certainly knew what the Russians had promised.) Trump fails to understand that the very meeting he is acknowledging is collusion — or conspiracy, if you will — to break campaign-finance laws. Insisting that it is legal to get dirt from a foreign national is politically and morally offensive (Trump was picked by the Kremlin) and contradicts his claim the Russians didn’t want him to win (another lie in the coverup). He knows they did — they had a meeting to help his campaign. The email also suggests that Trump Jr. (allegedly with drafting help from his father) tried to conceal the true purpose of the meeting with a false cover story (it was all about adoption, you see.) According to news reports, Trump Jr. may also have  lied to Congress by suggesting his father was not intimately involved in drafting the false written statement.

Trump’s insistence that the meeting was perfectly legal and perfectly normal is wrong on both counts. No presidential campaign has gone to a hostile foreign power for help in winning an election. It’s a invitation for a foreign power to help pick our elected leaders, a constitutional abomination and a repudiation of the very concept of democracy (i.e., we pick our own leaders). The political implications of Trump’s latest confession are quite stunning. Will the rest of the GOP go along with the position that it was perfectly fine for Russia to help Trump? That would sure be a change from “No collusion” (to “Collusion, so what?!”). I don’t know how a major political party can maintain the view that hostile powers have carte blanche to influence our elections. Every Republican in elected office or on the ballot should be asked his or her view on the matter. The notion that collusion with a hostile power is no big deal is so preposterous and unpalatable, you would think Republicans would not dare try to defend Trump on this point. But this crowd? They might just try it.

Other good articles about the Trump tweet providing a stunning admission are seen inside no-collusion-no-collusion-well & also adoptions-becomes-admission & also the-day-trump-told-us-there-was-attempted-collusion-with-russia & also trump-tweets-watergate-mueller-investigation & also trumps-tweet-about-donald-jr-and-the-russians-is-a-gift-to-mueller & also why-this-weekends-trump-tower-tweet-matters.  WaPo was all over this huge story, so as we try to limit the number of outbound links coming from our blog, I’ll give you some headlines of informative articles you can look up.  Admittedly, you may need to subscribe once you’ve hit your monthly limit, but in my humble opinion it’s well worth it.  Look up the following headlines:

Washington Post articles….

*Trump just made 2 problematic admissions about the Trump Tower meeting

*Trump may have just given a big boost to Mueller’s case against him

*Don’t all campaigns try to work with hostile states and porn stars? No. They. Don’t.

*Trump is trying to argue collusion isn’t illegal.  But he’s admitted it is – on multiple occasions.

*Only one other president has ever acted this desperate

*Trump is the president the Founding Fathers feared

*How Donald Trump is normal and abnormal

*Maybe Trump is listening too carefully to his lawyers

*Facts develop: The Trump team’s new alternative facts-esque ways to explain its falsehoods

Follow the Money

Nixon was brought down during Watergate largely from the investigation following the money.  We’re likely to see that in spades with Russiagate, as explained in these excerpts patched together from follow-the-russian-money-and-tighten-your-seatbelt:

What should special counsel Robert S. Mueller III do if his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election uncovers crimes dealing with or motivated by money? Is he supposed to look the other way? Not if Mueller holds true to his assigned mandate. Unfolding right now is a legal saga I envisioned in a column 16 months ago: “If, during the investigation of links between Russians and Trump campaign associates, the feds come across financial transactions aimed at evading taxes on illegal income by concealing the source and amount of profit, those associated with such activities should be prepared to hear the words: ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury . . .’ ” Thus far, Mueller has produced multiple indictments and guilty pleas, and at this stage, we probably don’t know the half of what his team of experienced prosecutors and investigators has uncovered, possibly including other federal criminal violations.

Calls to shut down the investigation are simply the frantic response of Trump cultists who fear — if they have not already concluded — that there is more to come. Mueller is likely following the Russian money with the same vigor his team used in pursuit of Russian hackers and intelligence operatives. This is a pattern we have seen before. Remember, the Watergate scandal more than four decades ago involved more than a break-in and coverup. That special prosecutor’s probe found tax violations, primarily involving the 1972 presidential campaign. Among its results were 18 corporate officials and 17 corporations pleading guilty to violations of campaign contribution laws. Today, again, it’s about the money.

It’s important to stop and note that there’s nothing necessarily illegal about any of these real estate transactions. But Trump’s nonstop, manic attacks on Mueller’s investigation — and the media — look to me like the behavior of the guilty hearing footsteps and finding no place to hide. Trump’s only alternative is to discredit and whip up a body of hate against those who would expose him for what he is: an amoral liar and self-centered, money-grubbing fraud, with a loyal following that would make any other cult leader jealous. But Mueller, too, has no alternative but to follow the Russian connections and the money and see where they lead. Folks, tighten your seat belts, there’s a bumpy road ahead.

Manafort Trial

Rick Gates said Monday in court Manafort & him did commit bank & tax fraud: gates-testifies-he-committed-crimes-while-working-with-manafort & also rick-gates-paul-manafort-trial & also paul-manaforts-longtime-partner-rick-gates-testifies-in-federal-court.  As seen in this conclusion posted from the-manafort-trial-has-president-trump-very-worried, the Manafort trial & its bigger implications do indeed have the prez very worried, as well he should be:

But Trump’s real fear is not so much that a Manafort conviction on charges like tax fraud will reflect specifically on him, but that it will go a long way in the public’s mind to validate the Mueller investigation. You could argue that it’s already more than validated, given that Mueller has gotten guilty pleas from multiple Trump aides (Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos) and indicted dozens of people on charges related to Russian meddling. But a conviction of Trump’s campaign chairman, even if it’s on charges related to what he was doing before he joined the campaign, will make it even harder than it is now to claim that the investigation should never have begun in the first place and should be shut down immediately. Or as he said Thursday, “Now we’re being hindered by the Russian hoax. It’s a hoax, okay? I’ll tell you what, Russia’s very unhappy that Trump won, that I can tell you.” And that — the investigation completing its work and putting everything it has learned before the public, both in the courtroom and in some kind of report that winds up getting released publicly — is what has Trump so worried. It’s almost as though he doesn’t want the public to know everything he and the people who worked for him did.

The Hillary Diversion & Trump Being Compromised

Trump & his echo have been playing the Hillary card for so long, they just can’t help themselves, from which their conspiracy theories keep getting more absurd & irrelevant:  Plus consider the Russians did help Trump while attacking Hillary during the campaign.  Putin just admitted he favored Trump.  Outside the phony echo-world, it’s no longer in dispute that Russia did interfere in a big way during the 2016 campaigns, & they’re still coming after us.  That Trump hedges on the facts & provides no leadership to stop them is inexcusable (unless he’s compromised by Putin).  That topic is covered in excerpts from a-mountain-of-evidence-points-in-one-direction-russia-sought-to-sway-the-2016-us-election:

For two years, cybersecurity researchers, spies and federal prosecutors have laid out a stunningly thorough chain of evidence to support one simple conclusion: The Russian government sought to sway the 2016 presidential election. Federal agents have traced data and currency trails across continents, revealed inside knowledge of Russian spies’ computer network, and quoted the private emails of employees at a Russian internet firm working to influence voters. Cybersecurity researchers analyzed malware and followed clues buried in the details of stolen emails. Those disclosures have left an unusually detailed public view of Russians’ wide-ranging campaign to persuade and divide voters in the months before the presidential election. While the government sometimes shares its conclusions about national security threats, rarely does it take the risk of revealing so much of its evidence to the world.

“It’s unprecedented, both the activity that’s outlined and the fact that we’re privy to so much information,” said John Carlin, a former chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. And it remains widely disbelieved. As recently as July, about a quarter of voters said they thought there was “no Russian interference in the 2016 election,” according to an NPR/Marist poll. President Donald Trump has long equivocated on the question. Last month, standing beside Vladimir Putin, he said the Russian president had been “extremely strong and powerful” in his denial of election interference and cast doubt on the work of U.S. intelligence agencies. Days later, Trump clarified his remarks and said he believed the government’s conclusions, but then suggested after that on Twitter that the notion of Russian interference “is all a big hoax.”

Meanwhile, warning signs are pouring in that Russians might similarly target this year’s midterm elections. Facebook said in July it had detected a sophisticated and secretive political influence operation. And Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said Russian hackers had unsuccessfully targeted her campaign’s computers. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned Thursday that spy agencies “continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign by Russia to try to weaken and divide the United States.” The most detailed disclosures about Russia’s intervention in 2016 were a product of Mueller’s investigation. His office has so far brought criminal charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers and 13 other Russian nationals (plus three private businesses) over what he alleged were illegal attempts to involve themselves in the presidential election.

That central conclusion — that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 election — has become a rare point of agreement among political factions in Washington who seem to agree on little else. The FBI, CIA and National Security Agency concluded in a rare public assessment in early 2017 that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” and that he did so in part to help elect Trump. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee unanimously backed that conclusion this year. Their Republican House counterparts also backed the conclusion that Russia conducted a “malign influence campaign” before the election, though it disputed Moscow’s motives.

More About Russian Interference

Trump is likely already compromised, but he also can’t handle the thought of not having won the election legitimately.  Despite unanimous consensus from his Intel Chiefs, he still won’t speak out about the continuing Russian interference, as seen in this post from trump-sees-russias-attacks-on-our-democracy-as-a-public-relations-problem:

The fact that Trump views the documented Russian attack on our democracy in 2016 as a “hoax” — and that he evidently refuses to acknowledge that Russia is still targeting the United States — renders hollow the assurances of his intelligence and security chieftains that they are protecting the country. National security adviser John Bolton made an unintentionally revealing statement when he said “the president has made it very clear, I think, what his priority is.” Yes, he has, and it’s not defending America. It’s defending himself from charges — buttressed by a growing body of evidence — that his campaign was guilty of colluding with Russia to win the election, and that he then obstructed the lawful investigation of Russian subversion. Trump is worried not about the Russian attacks on the United States but about the public relations damage he may suffer from ignoring them. That’s why, after more than 18 months in office and fewer than 100 days before the midterm election, he finally convened a short, pro-forma National Security Council meeting to address the topic on July 27 and then asked his intelligence chiefs to brief the White House press corps. But while all of the individual agencies are doing their level-best, they are lacking what they most need: high-level direction and support. The very fact that there were so many officials on that stage — representing the FBI, the NSA, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security — shows how important it is to have central coordination. 

Little is likely to happen without presidential leadership, which for mysterious — and suspect — reasons is absent. There isn’t even a coordinator for cyberthreats at the National Security Council since Bolton pushed out the well-regarded NSA veteran who used to hold that portfolio. Tom Bossert, who stepped down in April as the domestic security adviser, complained to Yahoo News: “On cyber, there is no clear person and or clear driver, and there is no clear muscle memory.… The concern would be who’s minding the store in the coordination and development … of new and creative cyber policies and strategies.” It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that Trump is perfectly happy that no one is minding the store. Much as he may claim, preposterously, that the Kremlin favors the Democrats, he knows that the Russian intervention helped him to win in 2016. He may well be hoping for similar help in the future.

More on that same topic come from excerpts inside russian-election-interference-we-cant-protect-ourselves-if-the-president-wont-even-admit-its-happening, where our democracy is still under attack & our Commander-in-Chief is still AWOL:

It was a startling move for the top U.S. national security officials to appear at a White House news conference, as they did on Thursday to affirm what their boss, the president, has repeatedly denied: that the Russians hacked into our electoral system, that they could do so again with the flick of a switch, and that efforts have been stepped up to stop them. So what are those efforts? What are these officials—the directors of national intelligence and the FBI, the secretary of homeland security, and the commander of U.S. Cyber Command (who is also director of the National Security Agency)—doing to ward off the next assault? And will those efforts block wily hackers from intruding through some back door? The short answers: The officials, or some of them, are doing more than they were—but not enough to secure our elections. Part of the problem is that certain gears in the voting machinery are inherently vulnerable. Part of the problem is that a coordinated strategy requires someone to coordinate it, and the only person who can do that—President Donald Trump—has gone AWOL. A coordinated strategy requires someone to coordinate it. The house of American democracy is under attack, and the man who’s sworn to protect it doesn’t care. 

Foreign Dangers

These next links describe some of the most dangerous international threats: un-north-korea-has-not-stopped-its-nuclear-program & also u-s-north-korean-top-diplomats-trade-barbs-over-pace-denuclearization & also pakistans-future-most-dangerous-country-in-the-world.  Our greatest vulnerability & immediate threat may well involve the very real dangers of crippling cyberattacks, which we are ill-prepared for & are not doing nearly enough to build up our defenses.  These excerpts are seen in americas-greatest-threat-hurricane-force-cyberattack:

For the past month, Axios has been interviewing people trusted with the nation’s most sensitive secrets. We wanted to know, in this time of acute geopolitical stress, which global threat worried them most, and which threats they thought weren’t getting the attention they deserved. When we asked America’s foremost intelligence experts what keeps them up at night, one response came up over and over again: the risk of a crippling cyberattack. The big picture: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said this week that the U.S. is in “crisis mode,” comparing the danger of a massive attack to a Category 5 hurricane looming on the horizon. Intelligence chiefs from the last three administrations agree, and told Axios there is no graver threat to the United States.

A well-executed cyberattack could knock out the electrical grid and shut off power to a huge swath of the country, or compromise vital government or financial data and leave us unsure what is real.

  • The sheer number of internet-connected devices, from cars to pacemakers, means the risks are growing by the day.
  • Gen. David Petraeus, former CIA director: “What worries me most is a cyber equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction falling into the hands of extremists who would, needless to say, be very difficult to deter, given their willingness to blow themselves up on the battlefield to take us with them.”
  • Former CIA Director Leon Panetta says the biggest threat is “a cyberattack that could paralyze the nation,” while former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says “cyberattacks on critical infrastructure from state or state-sponsored actors are the biggest threat right now.”

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are the top U.S. adversaries in the cyber realm, but the threat extends to non-state actors and criminal groups.

  • “The steady drumbeat of breaches in the headlines — each more fantastic than the next — may have numbed people, but everyone should care about the cyber threat,” explains Lisa Monaco, homeland security adviser to Barack Obama. “First, we are all vulnerable. Second, it won’t take a cyber 9/11 to make this very real.”

“There will be tremendous media coverage and assigning of blame after there is a catastrophic attack on U.S. critical infrastructure that results in the loss of American lives,” says Frances Townsend, homeland security adviser to George W. Bush, “but we need to spend more time now covering what is at stake and the magnitude of the growing risk.”

  • “Companies in the energy, financial, and other key economic sectors need to develop the capacity to share threat information in real time, and give the government the visibility and information to take action when necessary to defend us,” says Matt Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

The bottom line: The fact that so many intelligence experts have reached the same conclusion — and feel so strongly about it — shows how much the dangers to the United States have changed since 9/11.