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Putin, Trump & Clinton

Posted August 1st, 2016 at 5:20 pm (UTC-4)
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Television interviews of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over the weekend created more controversy for both candidates on issues that have dogged them so far this campaign season.

Coffee mugs for sale with the images of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sit side by side on a shelf of a souvenir stand in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP)

Coffee mugs for sale with the images of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sit side by side on a shelf of a souvenir stand in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016. (AP)

In an interview with FOX News, Clinton said the FBI Director backed up her claims that she did not send any classified information over her private email server. The Washington Post’s fact-checker begs to disagree with the Democratic nominee.

Meantime Trump doubled down on an feud with the parents of an American war hero. Capt. Humayun Khan was killed in 2004 by a suicide car bomb in Iraq. He was awarded the Bronze Star for saving his unit and Iraqi civilians.

And Trump’s responses to questions about Russia and Ukraine just added to last week’s controversy about his suggestion that Russia try to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email to find the 33,000 emails that she deleted from her private server.

Add to the intrigue a new report detailing the connections between the Clinton Foundation and a U.S.-Russia cooperative effort to create an Silicon Valley-like “innovation city” in Russia while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

And there are just 99 days to go before Election Day.

The Trump Campaign Denies Its Own Ukraine Policy

Josh Rogin – The Washington Post

Why is Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denying that his staff worked to keep the Republican platform from supporting U.S. weapons deliveries to Ukraine?…

The Trump campaign’s work to weaken the GOP platform language on Ukraine fits into a policy that Trump has espoused repeatedly on the campaign trail; he doesn’t believe that it’s the United States’ responsibility to defend Ukraine militarily from Russian aggression….

Manafort has faced increased criticism for his years of work as a lobbyist for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. And Trump’s sympathetic attitude toward Putin looks less politically viable as more evidence emerges about the Russian government’s involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other U.S. political institutions.

Donald Trump interview on ABC “This Week” regarding Gold Star father Khizr Khan

The Clinton Foundation, State and Kremlin Connections

Peter Schweizer – The Wall Street Journal

Following his 2009 visit to Moscow, President Obama announced the creation of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission….The stated goal at the time: “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.”

The Kremlin committed $5 billion over three years to fund Skolkovo. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department worked aggressively to attract U.S. investment partners and helped the Russian State Investment Fund, Rusnano, identify American tech companies worthy of Russian investment….

By 2012 the vice president of the Skolkovo Foundation, Conor Lenihan—who had previously partnered with the Clinton Foundation—recorded that Skolkovo had assembled 28 Russian, American and European “Key Partners.” Of the 28 “partners,” 17, or 60%, have made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation, totaling tens of millions of dollars, or sponsored speeches by Bill Clinton.

Trump’s Pivot to Normality Isn’t Coming

The Weekly Standard – Stephen F. Hayes

As the 2016 Republican National Convention began, GOP chairman Reince Priebus spoke with confidence about the coming transformation of presumptive nominee Donald Trump. “He knows the pivot is important…”

Instead, Trump has been more volatile, more bizarre, more mendacious, and more reckless. In the time since he accepted the nomination Trump has, among other things: revived a crackpot theory on Ted Cruz’s father and the JFK assassination; suggested his adopted party is filled with people who don’t want to help others; invited Russia to influence the U.S. presidential election; smeared the parents of a fallen U.S. Army captain; trashed a retired four-star general; and appeared not to know that Russia had annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

Some of this is merely aggravating. Some of it is outlandish. Some of it is insulting. And some of it is frightening.

Why Can’t Hillary Clinton Stop Lying?

Ron Fournier – The Atlantic

This is a note to Clinton Democrats—a desperate plea, actually. Your candidate staged a winning convention in Philadelphia: big stars, tight messaging, and a compelling case against her rival, Donald Trump.

The Republican nominee followed up by smearing a war hero’s family, revealing his ignorance about Russia’s incursions into Ukraine, denying a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he had previously claimed, and failing to quell suspicions that his team changed the GOP platform to protect Putin’s interests.

Yet I’m not angry at Trump; I expect him to be repugnant. I am angry at Clinton, because she followed up her convention with another unnecessary lie; another excuse for people to distrust her…

We Do Not Get to Blame Putin for This American Election

Emily Tamkin – New America

We do not know for certain that Putin wants Trump to win. We can suspect so…but to say so affirmatively is simply to speculate.

But what we do know is that Putin perceives Americans as having long “meddled” in the electoral affairs of Russia and its surrounding countries. We know this because he has said so time and again. We know that, in Ukraine, America financially supports efforts for and by the government of Petro Poroshenko, put in place after pro-Russian, corrupt, but democratically elected Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown (a move Putin blamed on the West).

Which brings us to the second thing we know for certain: Vladimir Putin cannot elect Donald Trump. That is, he is not responsible for this election, just as Americans are not responsible for Yanukovych’s corruption, or Georgia’s Western aspirations, or protesters on the streets of Moscow.

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