Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stephen Cohen on Trump and Russia

Russia expert Stephen Cohen appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to offer his assessment of the Trump/Russia connection. I have quoted Cohen on other occasions, not only because he is an authority in the field, but because he writes for the The Nation. Thus, we do not expect him to be spinning for the Trump administration.


Ares Olympus said...

Its interesting and perhaps good when the "progressive" left and the "new" right can get together on common interests.

I note that Stephen Cohen @2:53 says
"President Obama worked out deal with president Putin for military cooperation in Syria. He said he's going to share intelligence about Syria, just like Trump and the Russians were going to do the other day. Our department of defense said it wouldn't share intelligence. And a few days later they killed Syrian soldiers, violating the agreement and that was the end of that." And he followed up on the question of intelligence agencies as the unelected "4th branch" of government.

And perhaps Trump has bought that point of view, and it explains his willingness to fire Comey, and his great joy in telling the Russians personally that he had just fire the head of the FBI, calling him a "nut job".
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

And it does seem not unlikely that Clinton would have fired Comey much sooner, had she been elected, due to his imprudent last minute announcements of "new emails" days before the election.

But no one would imagine Clinton calling Comey "nut job" in front of rivals, or lying about her reason originally, and letting her staff sell one story, and later admitting it was entirely because she thought the Russia interference questions are "fake news".

Comey will be giving a public testamony on Russia and his firing in a few weeks, and will likely share his memos on Trump's request for loyalty, and no one is going to distrust Comey's word, while our president has no credibility at all. That'll be the real test I think. We have a prequel for that from Benjamin Wittes.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Yep. Trump-Russia: the big nothing burger that lives on because Lefties keep talking about it. Kind of like Climate Change and Black Lives Matter.