The Credibility Gap

During the Vietnam War, there was a lot of public skepticism regarding statements that came from the LBJ administration.  Ultimately that led to Nixon’s election because he promised that he had a secret plan to end the war.  He lied too and instead expanded the war.  There were a lot of leaks including the Pentagon Papers.  Those internal defense department documents confirmed that both the Johnson and Nixon administrations had lied, not only to the public but also to Congress.  Daniel Ellsberg leaked those papers.  Nixon hired G. Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt to break into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office to plant bugs to acquire information that the Nixon administration used to discredit Ellsberg.  That same group went on to commit the Watergate burglaries.

The reason for this digression is that when Nixon eventually resigned, 24% of Republicans still supported him.

We are faced with a similar situation today.

Trump supporters are distrustful of any media that disagrees with them.  They are distrustful of any politicians that disagree with them.   In an April poll, 81% of self-described Republicans thought Trump was honest and trustworthy.  Only 38% of American’s share that view.  For those who attribute that 38% to some political bias, only 34% of those who self-describe as independents felt that Trump was honest and trustworthy.

Both of these things can’t be true.  Either he is honest and trustworthy or he isn’t.

It may be possible that Republicans have a different definition of honesty, but the accepted definition is that an honest person tells the truth.  By ALL objective measures, Trump lies on a regular basis.  Here’s a current running list of the 623 lies that he has told since his inauguration.  You may be able to dispute some of these, but it is difficult to suggest that they are all the result of media or political bias.

Republicans may believe that ALL politicians lie and Trump in particular is just a BS’er.  His lies are part of his method of negotiation.  But ultimately, they trust his motives and as a result excuse his tactics.  But that in itself is dishonest.  You can’t tell lies and be called honest.

But let’s give partisans a little bit of a break. They like Trump’s politics and suggest that all politicians lie because the media or the opposition won’t let them tell the truth, or else distort their statements to turn them into lies when in fact they were completely innocent.  But this a President who began his administration disputing the undeniable facts about the size of his inauguration crowd.  No, this President is different.

That brings us to the second topic of trustworthiness.  That is someone who does what he says he is going to do.  Someone who keeps their promises.

Trump fails this measure too.  He promised to release his tax returns.  He promised to put Hillary Clinton in jail.  He promised to pass a healthcare bill that would provide cheaper coverage to more people at a lower cost than Obamacare.  He promised to wipe out ISIS.  He even promised that he would never tell a lie.  I could go on, but I think the point is clear.  He doesn’t keep his promises either.  Worse, he doesn’t even acknowledge that he has failed to keep a promise.  Yet somehow Republicans feel he is still trustworthy.

Where does this come from?

From what I can see so far it is simple tribalism.  It doesn’t matter what Republican is in office, as long as there is an “R” next to their name, they are going to get the support of a large percentage of Republicans.  When the overall approval rating of Bush II fell into the 20’s in October, 2008 as the world-wide financial system began to collapse over 60% of Republicans still approved his job performance.

Another telling statistic that supports this view is what happened during the most recent primary season.

Just before Trump claimed victory, 46% of Republicans felt he was honest and trustworthy.  After the Republican convention, that number jumped to 69%.  Now it is at 81%.  Did Trump become a different person after the convention or after his surprising victory?  I don’t think so.

Here’s another example.  Only 22% of Republicans supported a missile strike on Syria during the Obama administration.  86% of Republicans supported Trump doing exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons earlier this year.

So that brings us to Comey.

Will his testimony, that has been widely regarded a damaging to Trump and his administration, affect his support among his base?

Early indications are no.

Comey called Trump a liar.  Trump called Comey a liar, suggested there might be tapes to prove his case, and offered to testify in Congress under oath.  What he didn’t do is explain why he cleared the room before his conversation with Comey.

We recently learned that he had similar conversations with Preet Bharara before firing him.

Comey connected the dots between the FBI’s investigation of Flynn, to Trump’s request that the FBI drop those investigations, to his firing, to Trump’s statements that the firing was because Comey did not do what Trump asked him to do.  Trump’s defenders claimed it was just the fumbling of an inexperienced politician.  No harm was intended.  Why would an inexperienced politician make sure that all his conversations with Comey were private?  If nothing else, the reaction of Jeff Sessions, the “experienced” politician in the bunch speaks volumes.  He did not act to protect Comey.  Instead he quickly moved to dismiss him even though it may result in his prosecution because of conflict of interest.

Here’s why all this matters.

Trump is digging a deep hole that he may not be able to get out of.  He has not been vindicated.  The investigations are continuing.  Comey laid out the obstruction of justice case for Mueller to follow.  Mueller just hired a bunch of very high power lawyers who likely would not have signed on if there wasn’t the prospect of building a case against very high ranking members of the Trump administration.

We are long way from the Democratic House majority and the smoking gun that could result in a bill of impeachment.  But fivethirtyeight.com gives Democrats a 10% point lead over Republicans if the house election were held today.

What we do have is a widening credibility gap between a president, his supporters, and the rest of the electorate.  Every week, Trump’s actions and statements confirm the majority view of his credibility.  Those statements and actions also require his supporters to sacrifice their credibility in defense of Trump and out of allegiance to the Republican tribe.

This is not a healthy or balanced situation.  Eventually Trump will be held accountable for his actions and those supporters that remain will also be held accountable for enabling those actions.

Or else this will become the new normal and our country will continue to fracture in to warring camps where tribalism finally breaks democracy.

46 Responses to “The Credibility Gap”

  1. Keith says:

    Hi Jeff

    YS)This is not a healthy or balanced situation. Eventually Trump will be held accountable for his actions and those supporters that remain will also be held accountable for enabling those actions.

    MR)trump is President. As long as he does things like name conservatives to the Supreme Court, go after M-13 (or whatever the gang s name is) push for infrastructure spending ,etc, etc, etc, I feel no “being held accountable for.” You went after him for collusion and so far presented nothing. Now obstruction which isn’t likely to be there in action but his tweets and over speaking may have tripped him.

    YS) Or else this will become the new normal and our country will continue to fracture in to warring camps where tribalism finally breaks democracy.

    MR) you’re kidding right? We’ve been there for a while.
    Example. The “resistance is never going to help Trump and was talking impeachment before he even got in office. Had Hillary won the exact same thing would have occurred. Trade “collusion” for “Clinton foundation and emails” How many votes did the most recent Supreme Court nominee get from the Dems? How many votes did Obama get from republicans on the ACA?

    What needs to change is the retoric. I’m not “filled with hate” because I oppose same sex marriage. I’m. It racist because I didn’t support the ACA or because I think our imagartion laws should be enforced or changed.

  2. Keith says:

    Read Pagilia’s comments. I agree with her analysis of the Dems and mainstream media. Did you heard or read Trumps speech on infrastructure? She has a great point.

    “Dems are too busy with identity politics and victimization.”

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jun16

    Here’s one going the other way….

    Rasmussen is included in the RealClear Politics and FiveThirtyEight averages. Those averages both remain below 40%. In terms of accuracy and qualify of polls, Fivethirtyeight.com gives Rasmussen a c+. The reason why is that they have a simple average error of 5.3%, have called less than 80% of recent races correctly, and have a 2 point Republican bias.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/camille-paglia-on-trump-democrats-transgenderism-and-islamist-terror/article/2008464

    Fascinating that you in particular and the right in general (like the weekly standard) fawn over a lesbian, transgender, atheist, libertarian because she is willing to criticize liberals.

    I’m not particularly impressed with her because she ultimately is a self-promoter like so many of her ilk.

  5. Keith says:

    I only copy her link for you because it isn’t partisan per sea her

    Her points are well taken. How often in what you would say is the real media do you read what Trump HAS accomplished?

  6. Jeff Beamsley says:

    MR)trump is President. As long as he does things like name conservatives to the Supreme Court, go after M-13 (or whatever the gang s name is) push for infrastructure spending ,etc, etc, etc, I feel no “being held accountable for.” You went after him for collusion and so far presented nothing. Now obstruction which isn’t likely to be there in action but his tweets and over speaking may have tripped him.

    You’ve embellished the list of accomplishments that you’ve provided, he’s actually accomplished only one and Republicans had to burn the filibuster in order to be able to do it. It may be an accomplishment, but it will also have an asterisk next to it. Obama had already begun a nationwide crackdown on the M-13 gang. Happy to see it continue. His has talked about infrastructure spending. Let’s not give it to him until he actually accomplishes something. The question remains whether you will hold him accountable for a Muslim travel ban that was poorly conceived and implemented even worse? You going to hold him accountable for a healthcare bill that removes coverage from 23M people, doesn’t save any money, takes protections away from those with pre-existing conditions, and punishes the old and sick in order to benefit the healthy and the wealthy?

    He said that no one in his campaign had any conversation with any Russians. That was a lie.

    During the campaign, he challenged intelligence claims that the Russians were interfering in the election. That was a lie too.

    Now we know that members of his campaign DID have contacts with the Russians. If “going after him” means demanding an investigation, then you’re right. The american people deserve an investigation to find out what happened. If it turns out to be nothing, that would be great.

    Obstruction of justice is the result of HIS OWN WORDS AND ACTIONS. He brought this investigation on himself. I didn’t tell him to fire Comey. I didn’t tell him to announce that he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation. Even if he had been an angel up to that point. Even it if were Clinton and not Trump. It could have been JFK or FDR or even Jesus Christ. You can’t fire the head of the FBI during an active investigation and then say that the cause was because they were conducting an investigation that you didn’t like and not expect to be investigated for obstruction of justice. The fact that you are willing to give him a pass on this is remarkable and the reason why I’m concerned about democracy.

    We have to hold our elected officials accountable for their acts.

    The Constitution was setup to ENCOURAGE each branch to be distrustful of the others. Each branch has the ability to check the activities of the other. That’s the only way that we can entrust ENORMOUS power in the hands of a President. We have ways to remove him from office if he abuses the power that we have entrusted in him.

    On the other hand, if our voters are more committed to their party than they are to fundamental rule of law on which our government is based, democracy breaks down and those with the power and support of the majority can define their own laws.

    I heard some commentary the other day on conspiracy theories. I’ll try to find it so I can reference it in a future post. The bottom line is it is very difficult to convince someone that a conspiracy theory isn’t true. When they are confronted with facts, they double down on their delusion by doing many of the things that you do. They question the quality of the data. They claim bias on the part of those who are questioning the theory. They simply reject the possibility that they could be wrong. The only way to break the spell, at least for some, is if someone of their own tribe – someone who previously was a believer is willing to stand up and say that they no longer believe. Impeaching Nixon required Republicans to stand up and say that Nixon was guilty. Without those patriots who were willing to put country over party, he might never have been impeached. In Jonestown, every one of Jim Jones followers drank the Kool-Aide because no one was strong enough to stand up to Jones. We are facing a similar moment with Trump. My concern is that we don’t appear to have men and women of similar character in the Republican Party today. We’ll see. But Trump’s actions are what caused this investigation to begin. As the TRUTH comes out and it implicates Trump, it will be interesting to see who stands up and supports the inevitable conclusion.

    That is why I continue to monitor the approval ratings. The lower they go, the more “courage” some Republicans will have.

    It will also be interesting to see how long Trump will tolerate Mueller’s activity. If Trump fires a bunch of people in an effort to fire Mueller, it will be interesting to see how Republicans in the House and Senate respond.

    I’m also interested in your response. If Trump directs the Deputy AG to fire Mueller and he refuses, and get’s fired, and then there is a whole cascade of firings until Trump finds someone willing to fire Mueller – does that change your opinion?

  7. Keith says:

    YS)Fascinating that you in particular and the right in general (like the weekly standard) fawn over a lesbian, transgender, atheist, libertarian because she is willing to criticize liberal

    MR) I could say “because we don’t have a litmus test for whom we can refer too.” It’s called individualism… you don’t have to “be on the team or in the club” for me to agree with you.

    See the left will call me a racist, Van Jones on election night, because I supported Trump. I’m homophobic because I didn’t vote for Hillary. See the difference.

    I can appreciate and agree with Ms Paglia even though we have little in common…… See Jeff you EXCLUDE everyone, and provide supporting evidence, of those whom aren’t “on the team.” Maybe open up a bit sir.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Here’s the bottom line and it is really pretty simple.

    When Clinton was investigated to determine if she had misused her private email server, I agreed and was willing to live with the consequences. I had strong suspicions that she would be exonerated because of the way she handled the investigation. You on the other hand had convicted her before the investigation was over and have since been unwilling to admit that she was not guilty of any crime.

    Now the tables are turned. We have a evidence that several members of Trump’s campaign lied about their interactions with Russians during the campaign. Whether or not that reaches all the way to Trump isn’t clear. What is clear is that he lied when he said nobody in his campaign had talked to any Russians.

    That issue should be investigated to determine whether any crimes have been committed, just like with Clinton’s email. Are you prepared to accept the conclusions of this investigation? I certainly am. And contrary to you, I believe that Trump is innocent until proven guilty.

    Then we have a promise from Trump to release his tax returns on which he reneged. And we have a President who has refused to divest himself from his business holdings. As part of the above investigation, they are also investigating financial ties between Russia and Trump. Trump has said there are none. Are you prepared to accept the conclusions of that investigation? I am. I also believe that Trump is innocent until proven guilty.

    Finally, Trump fired the head of an active investigation because that head refused to stop the investigation that he was conducting. That is obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is very hard to prove because it includes intent, but Trump himself said the reason was because he was unhappy about the FBI’s Russian investigation.

    This last one is a little different. I am willing to accept the outcome of the investigation, but that outcome could be complicated because of the uncertain nature of charging a sitting President with the crime of obstruction of justice. Instead the House is the one who may be compelled to act. In either case, I’m willing to accept the outcome of the investigation but appreciate that this will be a political decision on the part of the House rather than a case that will go to court.

    Just curious if you are also willing to accept the outcomes of these various investigations?

  9. Keith says:

    Yes.

    Hillary set up an email server in which she did business and emailed clasifoddd data. She is guilty. Facts are facts. Comey said he couldn’t prove intent. I get that. Last time I will ever say this, hopefully. Hillary is a lawyer and has a history a mile long of being minipulitive. She blonde what she was doing and INTENDED to do it. She’s guilty. Having said that Comey had the ball in his court and said he wasn’t going to take the time to try and prove intent. I accept that!!!! No problem here.

    So far there is ZERO evidence trump colluded with the Russians and it’s generally excepted he didn’t. Jeff everyone’s been on this if he did I suspect we’d know by now.

    The president can fire who ever he wants. The FBI can still i vista he him. That act doesn’t mean he obstructed justice.

    You paint with far to broad a brush when you attribute to me what you think I think of these things.

    If trump is guilty then he’s guilty. I’m pulling for tax reform, infrastructure spending, a positive outcome on the 232’s for the steel industry, justice Ginsberg to step down, be replaced by Trump, or Pence, and for her to live the happiest 20 20 of her life in retirement

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Hillary set up an email server in which she did business and emailed clasifoddd data. She is guilty. Facts are facts. Comey said he couldn’t prove intent. I get that. Last time I will ever say this, hopefully. Hillary is a lawyer and has a history a mile long of being minipulitive. She blonde what she was doing and INTENDED to do it. She’s guilty. Having said that Comey had the ball in his court and said he wasn’t going to take the time to try and prove intent. I accept that!!!! No problem here.

    So far there is ZERO evidence trump colluded with the Russians and it’s generally excepted he didn’t. Jeff everyone’s been on this if he did I suspect we’d know by now.

    Just curious if you are oblivious to the irony in these two statements.

    Until the IG found some potentially classified emails, there was ZERO evidence that Clinton had done anything wrong too. But you had already convicted her. Her private email server was discovered in March, 2015. In July, 2015 the IG started to investigate. in May, 2016 the IG issued a report indicating that they had found classified email. In July, 2016 Comey issued his report on his findings.

    You are correct that there is zero evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians, but Trump is responsible, not only for his own actions, but also the actions of those who report to him including his campaign and his administraton. We are only months into an investigation that has already implicated Flynn, Sessions, and Kushner for not disclosing meetings with the Russians in their security clearance interviews and in the case of Sessions his confirmation hearings. Why didn’t they reveal those meetings? We also know that Obama warned Trump about Flynn in November, 2016. Yates told the White House Jan 26th that Flynn was a blackmail risk. Trump didn’t fire Flynn until February 13th. Why the delay? These are the sorts of questions the investigation will try to answer.

    Your comment that it is generally accepted is also interesting. Generally accepted by whom? 61% of the people polled a couple of days ago by AP think that Trump obstructed justice. Around 40% believe he actually colluded with the Russians. The Russians tried to hack our election. Whether they succeeded or not isn’t the issue. The issue is that a foreign power was engaged in hacking our election. The american people need to know what actually happened, what Trump and his campaign knew about these activities, and when they knew it.

    It took the IG almost a year to find classified data in the Clinton emails and that was a pretty simple case. Don’t you think that we should give these investigations a chance to run their course before suggesting that nothing is going to come of them? BTW I can almost guarantee at this point that there will be indictments/plea bargains. So your claim that nothing is going to come of this is just wrong.

    The president can fire who ever he wants. The FBI can still i vista he him. That act doesn’t mean he obstructed justice.

    The president CAN fire whomever he wants. When Trump fires someone in the middle of an investigation into HIS administration’s potential connections to the Russians, and then SAYS that’s the reason why he fired him, and then also tells the Russians that this firing should reduce the pressure – that’s why we have a special counselor. Obstruction of justice still has to be proved, but you CAN’T fire someone like that and expect that there isn’t going to be a public outcry. BTW Trump is the ONLY President to fire a sitting FBI director during an investigation. Only one other FBI director was ever fired, and that was William Sessions who was fired by the newly elected President Clinton. Clinton fired him because he refused to resign even though he was asked by the new AG, criticized by the outgoing BushI, and despised by the FBI rank and file.

    It is just remarkable that you continue to argue that an investigation isn’t warranted.

    If trump is guilty then he’s guilty. I’m pulling for tax reform, infrastructure spending, a positive outcome on the 232’s for the steel industry, justice Ginsberg to step down, be replaced by Trump, or Pence, and for her to live the happiest 20 20 of her life in retirement

    This statement is also remarkable. Nothing is going to get done while these investigations continue. If the Dems win control of the house is 2018, you can figure that NOTHING in the Trump agenda will get passed. If they also gain control of the Senate, NO SCOTUS appointment will pass either. As far as Justice Ginsberg, she is going to do her best to outlive Trump and give Democrat that is elected to clean up Trump’s mess a chance to replace her. Which the Dems will be able to do with a simple majority vote because of McConnell’s cowardly act. You can bet it will not be a centrist like Garland.

  11. Keith says:

    “I’m being investigated for firing the FBI director by the guy who told me to fire the FBI director.”
    DJ Trump

    Jeff surely you see the humor in this?

  12. Keith says:

    Jeff, are you really this partisan that you can’t read what I’m saying. I haven’t said don’t investigate…. I’ve only said there is no evidence DJT coluded with the Russians.

    Separate issue. If the Russians did do something g then let’s find out. By all means.

    You’re also missing my point regarding Hillary. Her setting up the private server is as far as you need to go. Guilt. Further, though not necessary, she deleted emails, guilty again. Bottom line Comey didn’t go forward. End of subject.

    Jeff be a little less partisan when reading my comments.

  13. Keith says:

    McConnals cowardly act?

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    “I’m being investigated for firing the FBI director by the guy who told me to fire the FBI director.”
    DJ Trump

    Jeff surely you see the humor in this?

    Not really. He is trying to discredit Rosenstien so he can either justify firing him when he refuses to fire Mueller OR he is attempting to pressure Rosenstien to recuse himself or resign so that Trump isn’t going to be forced to fire him when he refuses to fire Mueller. Rosenstien suggested that Comey be removed because of his conduct in the Clinton case. Trump fired Comey because of his refusal to stop the Russian investigation. What is sad, rather than funny, is that low-information Trump partisans will think that there IS irony here. But there isn’t. Obstruction of justice isn’t funny. Firing Comey because of the Clinton investigations WOULD have been ironic only because of Trump’s position that she was a crook. What it wouldn’t have been is obstruction of justice, because there was no ongoing investigation. Trump could have removed Comey a no special counsel would have been appointed. But Trump couldn’t even manage that. He was so vengeful that he had to make sure that everyone knew that he was firing Comey because Comey refused to obey Trump and stop investigating Flynn. That IS obstruction of justice.

  15. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Jeff, are you really this partisan that you can’t read what I’m saying. I haven’t said don’t investigate…. I’ve only said there is no evidence DJT coluded with the Russians.

    It is NOT a separate issue.

    Trump is responsible not only for his own behavior but also the behavior of those that report to him. If someone who reports to him like Flynn, Kushner, Sessions, Page, or Manafort (to name just a few) who ALL had dealings with the Russians during the campaign were aware of Russian activities or even worse helped the Russians – THEN we HAVE to know who else in the Trump organization including Trump knew and when did they know. Trump is also responsible for his own public claims that denied Russian involvement in the elections and denied that ANYONE in his campaign had ANY contact with Russians. Both of those claims turned out to be lies.

    This is where your Clinton hypocrisy comes in. You are willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt regarding what he knew and when he knew it. You are NOT willing to do the same thing for Clinton.

    Her setting up the private server is as far as you need to go. Guilt.

    Setting up your own personal email server is not against the law. She also SAID when she set it up that she THOUGHT that it was something that she was allowed to do because among other things Collin Powell had done something similar. The IG later reported that it was NOT allowed by rules that had changed since Powell was SOS. The only difference here between Clinton’s claim and Trump’s claim is that you believe Trump and you were unwilling to believe Clinton.

    Further, though not necessary, she deleted emails, guilty again.

    She instructed her lawyers to delete personal emails. She has every right to do that, just like Trump has every right to fire someone who reports to him. The lawyers were the ones that did the deletions at her direction. You are willing to hold Clinton accountable for her lawyers actions (which is fine). You are unwilling to hold Trump accountable for the actions of people who report to him (hypocritical). She turned over all of the non-personal emails the state department. Nothing illegal here. Some emails were deleted during her use of the email server. It wasn’t clear whether this was normal automatic purging of old emails or deletion on her part. The FBI found three of those deleted emails had confidential markings. Deleting emails in order to cover up mishandling of confidential information is a crime. Comey found no evidence that Clinton deleted emails in order to avoid prosecution for mishandling confidential information. Because of the lack of intent, there is no crime. You are current arguing that Trump can’t be held accountable for obstruction of justice because there was no intent. But you are unwilling to accept Comey’s finding that there was no intent that he could prove in Clinton’s actions.

    You are willing to accept the outcome of the investigations into Trump. You are unwilling to accept the outcome of the investigations into Clinton.

    You also haven’t answered my question regarding Mueller. Trump also has the power to fire him. If he does, how does your opinion of his INTENT change?

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    McConnals cowardly act?

    McConnell used the filibuster more than any other minority leader in the history of the Senate. He used it as a weapon to slow the Obama administrations attempts to implement their agenda and fill vacancies in the lower courts. He RAILED against Reid’s rule change to eliminate filibusters for nominees other than the Supreme Court after the Republicans had blocked 36 of them. Then when faced with having to deal with a filibuster on a SCOTUS appointment, he collapsed like a house or cards.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW – Trump’s lawyer’s claim that Trump IS NOT the subject of investigation is based on Trump’s lawyer’s claim that no one has called Trump to tell him that he is personally under investigation.

    That lawyer attempted to make the case that because Trump could fire Mueller, that Mueller has an obligation to call Trump and notify him if the investigation is specifically targeting him. Under close questioning by Chris Cuomo, however, he admitted that Mueller is under no legal requirement to call Trump.

    Then the lawyer (Sekulow) said, “But you know how it works in Washington,” Sekulow continued. “If you were a target, if you were being investigated, you would be told really quickly into the investigation.”

    Essentially because Washington is a leaky place, someone would have called Trump to leak the information that he was being investigated. But someone DID call the Washington Post and leak the information that Trump was being investigated. To which Sekulow responded, “The only reason we’re talking about this is because of what? Because of a leak from The Washington Post.”

    So you tell me. Why is a leak to the Washington Post unreliable and a claim from Trump’s lawyer that no one has called Trump reliable?

    If this is the best that Trump and his team have to offer, it is really weak.

  18. Keith says:

    YS)You are willing to accept the outcome of the investigations into Trump. You are unwilling to accept the outcome of the investigations into Clinton.

    MR) I think you need to reread my thoughts.

  19. Keith says:

    YS)She instructed her lawyers to delete personal emails. She has every right to do that, just like Trump has every right to fire someone who reports to him. The lawyers were the ones that did the deletions at her direction.

    MR)she choose to use her own server. She DOESNT get to choose what to delete. Meaning she doesn’t get to decide what’s classified.

    On the same subject Miss Lynch is foing to find out what it’s like to be part of the “Clintons.” Tell me again about the ‘matter’, pun intended, of her and Bills planes being on the runway at the same time?

  20. Keith says:

    YS) You also haven’t answered my question regarding Mueller. Trump also has the power to fire him. If he does, how does your opinion of his INTENT change?

    MR) not illegal nor does it prove obstruction. However it would look terrible. Please read Alan Dershowitz comments regarding that AND collision with the Russians.

  21. Keith says:

    Oh, and President Obama knew about Russia during the race.

  22. Jeff Beamsley says:

    MR) I think you need to reread my thoughts.

    I HAVE reread your thoughts. That’s why I’ve asked the questions.

  23. Jeff Beamsley says:

    MR)she choose to use her own server.

    Choosing to use her own server was stupid, but not illegal.

    She DOESNT get to choose what to delete. Meaning she doesn’t get to decide what’s classified.

    She DIDN’T choose what to delete. Her lawyers did. NONE OF THEM WERE INDICTED BY COMEY FOR MAKING BAD DECISIONS. Comey recovered all of the emails. If she was going to be found guilty of anything, it was MISHANDLING classified information, NOT DELETING IT. What Comey decided is that she was reckless and careless, but not criminal. As Trump goes through similar situations, I’ll continue to remind you of your hypocrisy on this particular matter.

    That hypocrisy, by the way, is that you would be willing to accept this EXACT same behavior from Trump without any call for a criminal indictment because you happen to like his politics. Doesn’t that suggest just a little bit of bias when you continue to insist that someone whose politics you detest is guilty of crime that no court will ever indict her for?

  24. Jeff Beamsley says:

    On the same subject Miss Lynch is foing to find out what it’s like to be part of the “Clintons.” Tell me again about the ‘matter’, pun intended, of her and Bills planes being on the runway at the same time?

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    In fact I think it is pretty smart for a Democrat to support it. Let’s get this investigation going so that we can set a standard in how we look into private meetings and then use public actions to determine what impact private meetings might have had. I can think of a few other private meetings that let to some fairly public actions that would benefit from a little closer investigation. I say Bring It ON!

  25. Jeff Beamsley says:

    not illegal nor does it prove obstruction. However it would look terrible. Please read Alan Dershowitz comments regarding that AND collision with the Russians.

    I’m just asking HOW you are going to respond when Trump fires Mueller.

    I’ve already commented on Dershowitz twice. I would not encourage you to put your faith in him. That’s because these issues are NOT going to be decided by the Supreme Court. They are going to be decided in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

    If Trump fires Mueller, there is going to be wholesale revolt in the Justice Department. It will be Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre all over again. The Saturday Night Massacre happened on October 20, 1973. Nixon resigned almost a year later. What the Saturday Night Massacre did, among other things, is convince Alexander Butterfield that Nixon was not worth defending. It was Butterfield’s testimony that ultimately brought Nixon down. I wonder who will end up playing the Alexander Butterfield role in the Trump White House.

  26. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Oh, and President Obama knew about Russia during the race

    We are not going to rerun the 2016 election.

    What matters is when Candidate Trump knew about the Russians.

    How would your opinion of Trump change if you found out that he know about the Russian attempts to undermine the election during the period of time he was denying that they were involved?

  27. Keith says:

    YS)She DIDN’T choose what to delete. Her lawyers did. NONE OF THEM WERE INDICTED BY COMEY FOR MAKING BAD DECISIONS. Comey recovered all of the emails.

    MR) Jeff. You are much smarter then that. She choose, it doesn’t matter who did it, to have emails deleted. Stop right there Jeff. She choose. NONE should have been deleted. End of my point. Go no farther.

  28. Keith says:

    By the way Allen Dershowitz says exactly what you’ve said. If Trump asked the Russians to help him it would have been stupid but not collusion. He fired Comey and if he fires Mullar it’s a poor decision not obstruction of justice.

    Again Comey let Hillary go. I let that stand.

  29. Keith says:

    Did you read the Wash Post article o. The whole Russian thing?

    Fact, so far, no collusion…..so Trumps “witch hunt” still stands. The farther along we go the more he’s right. Who knows maybe he’ll be proven wrong. By now you’d think he would have been.

    Also have you seen the NY Post article regarding where and whom created the Trump dossier that started all this?

  30. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Jeff. You are much smarter then that. She choose, it doesn’t matter who did it, to have emails deleted. Stop right there Jeff. She choose. NONE should have been deleted. End of my point. Go no farther.

    Thanks for the compliment. But don’t want to be right wing “smart”.

    It does raise an question though.

    You are saying that because Clinton gave her lawyers a set of instructions on how to separate her personal emails, which she had every right to delete, from her business emails – that she is somehow guilty of deleting emails that shouldn’t have been deleted. This even though Comey found no problems with emails being deleted.

    So now let’s say that we discover that Trump instructed some in his campaign to figure out some dirty tricks that they could use to discredit Clinton. He didn’t suggest that they talk with the Russians, but he did say that he didn’t care what they did. This group reaches out to the Russians and coordinates the hacks that ultimately get released by Wikileaks. By your logic, Trump is guilty because there never should have been a hack to begin with and since these people were working under his direction, he is guilty for whatever they do. See there is more than one way to be smart. 🙂

  31. Jeff Beamsley says:

    By the way Allen Dershowitz says exactly what you’ve said. If Trump asked the Russians to help him it would have been stupid but not collusion. He fired Comey and if he fires Mullar it’s a poor decision not obstruction of justice.

    I know what Dershowitz has said. He is talking about his view of the law. The only way that we’ll find out whether his view of the law is correct is if Mueller attempts to litigate whatever he finds through the courts and it ends up in Supreme Court. But it will never get that far. If there is any substance to what Mueller or any of the othe investigations turn up, it will end up in the House, not the courts.

    At that point, it really won’t matter what Dershowitz says. It will only matter how many votes the Dems have in the House.

    Again Comey let Hillary go. I let that stand.

    Progress!!! Innocent until proven guilty. Trump deserves the same respect.

  32. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Did you read the Wash Post article o. The whole Russian thing?

    If you want to reference an article, please post a link.

    Fact, so far, no collusion…..so Trumps “witch hunt” still stands. The farther along we go the more he’s right. Who knows maybe he’ll be proven wrong. By now you’d think he would have been.

    See here is that hypocrisy again. The investigations are still going. The IMPORTANT issue is NOT whether Trump or some in his campaign worked with the Russians. The important issue is did he take deliberate steps in an effort to stop the investigation. You are willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but were unwilling to do the same thing to Clinton. We just don’t know yet. I think it is fair to say that Trump should be considered innocent until proven guilty. That said, this is not a “witch hunt”. He has control of Congress and the judicial branch. They would not investigate if there weren’t legitimate questions. Those questions are the result of his direct reports withholding evidence during their various confirmation and security clearance meetings. It is also the result of Trump claiming that no one on his campaign had any contact with any Russians. Can we all agree that this was a lie? His OWN PARTY had no choice but to investigate BECAUSE of what Trump said after firing Comey. This is not a witch hunt. This is the logical reaction to Trump’s actions by his own party.

    Also have you seen the NY Post article regarding where and whom created the Trump dossier that started all this?

    See above regarding posted articles. In generally don’t pay much attention to the NY Post. Not a very good paper.

    What started this whole thing was Russians hacking the election AND Trump’s ongoing “truther” claims that the Russians were not involved. If that were all there was, it may have had an opportunity to just fade into the background. But a bunch of his direct reports lied about their involvement with Russians. THEN Trump fired Comey and admitted that it was BECAUSE of the Russian investigation. You can try to pick this apart, but it always comes back to Trump and his firing of Comey. That’s when this turned into a serious problem for the Trump administration. If there was nothing to this, why would Trump put himself at such risk? You still haven’t answered the question of why Trump cleared the room before talking to Comey. When you have a reasonable answer to that question, then we can try to answer the question of why Trump would put himself and his administration at risk by firing a guy for conducting an investigation that, according to him, should completely vindicate him.

    The American people deserve some straight answers and they aren’t getting them from Trump.

    BTW – talking about straight answers, I’m curious how you feel about the NYT printing a full page article about Trump’s HISTORIC number of LIES since he became President?

    This is an opinion piece, not news. But it documents that this is NOT normal.

    There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?_r=1

  33. Keith says:

    Your comparios itnt valade.

    Hillary DID delete emails and she decided what was professional and personal (I’m not even quite sure she gets to delete personal bit let’s set that aside )

    You are suggesting Trump did something wrong, he DIDN’T. If he does something unlawful then I’ll jump on him for that.

  34. Keith says:

    So what do we know so far?

    The Russians hacked the DNC and others.

    Obama knew and did nothing

    Trumps, as of today didn’t collude with the Russians

    The hacking the Russians did do resulted in evidence the DNC worked against Bernie and for Hillary and many many embarrassing things for Democrats.

    CNN is a prime time entertainment show that is spinning, by their own admission, the Trump/Russian narrative even though they admit there is nothing there and is agreeing with Trump it appears to be a Witch hunt.

    Trump keeps tweeting and I wish he would mostly stop.

  35. Keith says:

    If one is to impartial one say in response is Trump, you and the opposition media are not using the same terms. When Trump refers to hacking the election he is disagreeing they had anything to do “with the voting election.” You and the media however are referring to the Russians hacking the DNC, etc in an effort to influence the election. My humble opinion.

    The media defines the words Trump uses and that just isn’t correct.

  36. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Hillary DID delete emails and she decided what was professional and personal (I’m not even quite sure she gets to delete personal bit let’s set that aside )

    The emails were a mix of personal and business (about half and half). She instructed her lawyers to delete the personal ones and turn over the business ones. That’s what they did. None of that was illegal. The use of a private email server broke State Department rules, but did not break any laws.

    Here’s what Politifact said about the rest.

    Of the tens of thousands of emails investigators reviewed, 113 contained classified information, and three of those had classification markers. FBI Director James Comey has said Clinton should have known that some of the 113 were classified, but others she might have understandably missed.

    Comey said the Justice Department shouldn’t prosecute Clinton because there isn’t enough evidence that she intentionally mishandled classified information. FBI investigators didn’t find vast quantities of exposed classified material, and they also did not turn up evidence that Clinton intended to be disloyal to the United States or that she intended to obstruct justice.

    That last point regarding obstruction of justice is the result of an investigation.

    You are suggesting Trump did something wrong, he DIDN’T. If he does something unlawful then I’ll jump on him for that.

    Just to be precise, Trump has done a lot of things wrong. I think what you mean is that he hasn’t done anything illegal. But it’s that failure to make a distinction where your hypocrisy lies.

    Clinton certainly did something wrong (politically stupid) too. She should not have used a private server for state department business. But after investigation, it turned out not be illegal because the law required intent to obstruct justice. In her case, it was the claim that she was using her private email server in order to hide emails that would have been valuable to the Benghazi investigation that could have proven a claim of obstruction of justice. They couldn’t prove that claim because she turned over all of the emails relating to the Benghazi investigation and there was no intent to mishandle any classified information either.

    The same is true regarding Trump. What Trump did was not illegal, but it was was wrong (politically stupid). That’s because it INVITES an investigation into obstruction of justice. It also wasn’t illegal to clear the room before talking with Comey, but that act was also wrong (politically stupid) because it eliminates that excuse that his inexperience is at the root of his political stupidity.

    But here is the significant and fundamental difference.

    Clinton was not guilty, but in the court of public opinion, she lost enough votes because of her political stupidity to cost her the White House.

    Trump will likely never be convicted or even indicted for obstruction of justice, but he could very well be impeached for political stupidity.

  37. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So what do we know so far?

    The Russians hacked the DNC and others.

    By others, I think you mean other countries. They also attempted to hack voting machines. That hack failed. They also had an army of people pumping fake news into the facebook accounts of targeted voters.

    Obama knew and did nothing

    Please don’t try to peddle that Trump crap here. I’m really surprised that you would even try. Trump is trying to pick a fight with Obama in order to draw attention away from his own failures on the same subject.

    Newsweek has a pretty good summary of Obama’s actions. You on the other hand have only Trump’s tweets and remarks by Adam Schiff who is up for re-election in 2018.

    Did Obama do nothing? Did he dismiss it as fake news and throw a tantrum? No, he behaved like a president and ordered further investigation on what Russia may or may not have done. The Russians were warned to back off. Video feed to the Situation Room was cut off to minimize the chances of leaks.

    Trumps, as of today didn’t collude with the Russians

    What we know is that there are at least five separate investigations trying to figure that out. How can that happen when Republicans control all branches of government? It can happen because of the actions of Trump and his administration REQUIRED his OWN PARTY to investigate the President that they just elected. Those actions include Trump’s denials of Russian investigations during the campaign, the lies that those in his office told regarding their Russian connections, and last but not least his firing of Comey.

    Please answer my question about why Trump cleared the room before he spoke with Comey. Until you answer that question, your claims that Trump is an innocent victim of a political witch hunt come off as political bias.

    The hacking the Russians did do resulted in evidence the DNC worked against Bernie and for Hillary and many many embarrassing things for Democrats.

    That’s true. Please tell me why they didn’t hack the Republicans? I’m sure that there are plenty of potentially embarrassing things that they could have revealed about them too.

    CNN is a prime time entertainment show that is spinning, by their own admission, the Trump/Russian narrative even though they admit there is nothing there and is agreeing with Trump it appears to be a Witch hunt.

    All broadcast news is corrupt. I won’t defend any of them. I think it is MUCH more interesting to see how much viewership Fox has lost lately and how they seem to be responding (trying to become more respectable). CNN is not better or worse than all the rest.

    Trump keeps tweeting and I wish he would mostly stop.

    If you really believe that, then stop taking his tweets seriously.

  38. Jeff Beamsley says:

    If one is to impartial one say in response is Trump, you and the opposition media are not using the same terms. When Trump refers to hacking the election he is disagreeing they had anything to do “with the voting election.” You and the media however are referring to the Russians hacking the DNC, etc in an effort to influence the election. My humble opinion.

    The media defines the words Trump uses and that just isn’t correct.

    The media are not putting words into Trump’s mouth. You are.

    This is really a silly splitting hairs discussion when Trump still denies that the Russians were even involved.

    He claims that the current investigations into his actions are all the result of Democrats being unhappy about losing the election. But the reality is that the Democrats DID lose the election. Trump and the Republicans control EVERYTHING. So why are there still 5 investigations going on? It’s because HIS OWN PARTY has initiated them. The special counselor was hired by a guy that Trump appointed.

    Suggesting that the media are the ones leading a “witch hunt” doesn’t hold water either. The media were all over the House Health Care bill. Only 17% of the american people supported it. That didn’t stop the House from passing it.

    If there is a witch hunt, it is being led by his own party and the people that he appointed. Which leads us to the final and obvious point. The reason there are investigations is because there is SOMETHING TO INVESTIGATE. President and his administration created this problem and FORCED his own party to react.

  39. Keith says:

    YS)Please don’t try to peddle that Trump crap here. I’m really surprised that you would even try. Trump is trying to pick a fight with Obama in order to draw attention away from his own failures on the same subject.

    MR)Trump crap? It’s the Washington Post article. Surely by now you’ve seen it.

  40. Keith says:

    I don’t get Trumps Tweets. I don’t have a twitter account and I don’t see any. Sorry.

    I don’t know why Trump cleared the room. I would only be guessing. I’d also only be guessing as to why Comey stayed.

    The answer I can imagine go in all directions. He wanted to talk alone, as has been pointed out before Comey had the first private chat. Or, Trump wanted it to be a he said she said. Or, trump has always done business by speaking g with business associates one on one. Choose your motive. As for me, and you, we don’t have a clue.

    Let me give a piece of advice. Republicans spent years going after the Clintons. Some still want too. They e gotten very little. I would suggest the Dems are doing the same thing with Ttump.

  41. Jeff Beamsley says:

    MR)Trump crap? It’s the Washington Post article. Surely by now you’ve seen it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?utm_term=.891c947088f6

    Thanks for posting the link. I hadn’t seen this particular article. It is very interesting and a good example of ethical journalism.

    The “trump crap” is his claim, that you echoed, that Obama did nothing. The whole article documents what he did. There are some who felt Obama should have done more, but clearly Trump suggestion that he sat passively by while the Russians did whatever they wanted is just another Big Lie.

  42. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I don’t get Trumps Tweets. I don’t have a twitter account and I don’t see any. Sorry.

    You don’t have to be a subscriber to his twitter feed to respond. If you don’t like his tweets and want him to stop, my suggestion is that you stop repeated the substance of those tweets that you pick up through your other reading. – e.g. Obama did nothing.

    I don’t know why Trump cleared the room. I would only be guessing. I’d also only be guessing as to why Comey stayed.

    Please provide your best guess. It hasn’t stopped you before on speculating on the motivations of people like Clinton.

    As far a Comey’s reason, we have that answer because he was asked about it. He said that he should have responded more forcefully to Trump when asked to do things that he knew were improper and he regrets that. His defense was that Trump is his boss and as a result, he feels obligated to comply when asked to do something. At the same time, he did reach out to Sessions and ask him to make sure he was never left alone with Trump again.

    The answer I can imagine go in all directions. He wanted to talk alone, as has been pointed out before Comey had the first private chat. Or, Trump wanted it to be a he said she said. Or, trump has always done business by speaking g with business associates one on one. Choose your motive. As for me, and you, we don’t have a clue.

    I think you do know and just don’t want to admit it. But it doesn’t matter. There isn’t any indication from Trump’s past behavior that he conducts business in private. So you can drop that one. He generally wants to show off to others when he is talking with someone important. For goodness sake, he took a high security call in the Mara Lago dining room while having dinner with the Japanese prime minister. He deliberately wanted to be alone because he wanted it to be a he said she said, and then later admitted that he wanted to threaten Comey with the possibility that the conversation was taped when there were never any tapes. His actions were deliberate and that’s one of the reasons why there is an independent counselor.

    Let me give a piece of advice. Republicans spent years going after the Clintons. Some still want too. They e gotten very little. I would suggest the Dems are doing the same thing with Ttump.

    This is a fascinating comment since you are one of the people who has supported that Republican efforts to connect the Clinton’s with something illegal. Are you now saying that those investigations were politically motivated rather than based on substance?

    Of course the Democratic calls for investigation have a political motive.

    What you have failed to admit is that the Democrats have NO POWER to start any investigation. So why are there five investigations that we know of?

    If it were purely politics, there wouldn’t be any because the Republicans control everything.

    So please answer this question. Why do we have at least five investigations into Trump’s behavior when Republicans control everything?

  43. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Obama knew and did nothing

    Just another thought on this subject.

    By trolling Obama on Russian actions, Trump raises a more important question. As more information about Russian involvement comes out, and also the actions that the Obama administration teed up for the Trump administration to take – what has Trump done?

    wait for it…….

    NOTHING!

    He reversed some of the sanctions that the Obama administration did take, and has refused to institute any new sanctions.

    Worse yet, he continues to argue on a regular basis that this is all a democratic scam rather than a deliberate attempt by the Russians to destabilize our election.

    So please tell me why we shouldn’t also hold Trump accountable for his failure to any action.

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