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aubiefifty

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Everything posted by aubiefifty

  1. aubiefifty

    the right and church....

    i have noticed a ton of righties, a couple whom are friends, seem to want to change christianity AND the bible. i asked him what was wrong with with helping those in need. i told him jesus would feed the poor and hungry and he told me i was taking the bible out of context. there were other things he said were taken out of context as well concerning immigrants. and yet i see bible verses that seem to claim otherwise. anyone care to comment? i am not looking for an argument as much as why some or most on the right feel this way. as a struggling christian i see so much hate coming out of churches that i refuse to attend church. so i do my praying at home. back before i started getting light headed my favorite place to pray was riding down the oad on my sportster marveling at the beauty of gods world. anyone care to help me out?
  2. Biden: McConnell stopped Obama from calling out Russians By Jack Shafer 5-7 minutes Biden: McConnell stopped Obama from calling out Russians Joe Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation. That moment, the former Democratic vice president said, made him think “the die had been cast ... this was all about the political play.” Story Continued Below He expressed regret, in hindsight, given the intelligence he says came in after Election Day. "Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more,” Biden, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said. Biden was speaking at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, a block from his old office at the Old Executive Office Building, to discuss his new article in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, “How to Stand Up to the Kremlin.” Biden said he and former President Barack Obama worried that without a united front of bipartisanship, speaking out before the election would undermine the legitimacy of the election and American institutions in a way that would play into the Russians’ larger ambitions. “Can you imagine if the president called a press conference in October, with this fella, Bannon, and company, and said, ‘Tell you what: Russians are trying to interfere in our elections and we have to do something about it,’” Biden said. “What do you think would have happened? Would things have gotten better, or would it further look like we were trying to delegitimize the electoral process, because of our opponent?” McConnell’s office disputed this account, pointing to a letter signed by all four congressional leaders in September 2016 and sent to the president of the National Association of State Election Directors, urging cybersecurity precautions in light of reports of attempted hacking. That missive, however, did not address Russia specifically, or the larger topic of influence beyond voting systems. “The Obama administration requested that the Congressional leaders send this letter and they all did. It’s publicly available on the Internet for all to see,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell. Story Continued Below But a former Obama White House official on Tuesday afternoon echoed Biden's frustration with the Senate majority leader, pointing to the way Obama's White House chief of staff Denis McDonough described the dispute in an op-ed last summer. “Our administration's interest in making sure the response was bipartisan wasn't for the sake of being bipartisan. It was necessary because we needed the buy-in from state and local election administrators (many of whom were Republican partisans and/or skeptical of federal government),” the official argued in an email. “Unfortunately, as is well documented, Senator McConnell was unwilling to help — only making matters worse.” Biden told Tuesday's gathering that there was a “constant tightrope,” with the Obama administration unable to decide what would count as saying too little or too much. “The president and I would sit there literally after the [presidential daily briefing], after everyone had left the room, and say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’” Biden recalled. The Trump administration, Biden said, isn’t doing much to counter Russian interference in elections and other disruptive activity around the world. He accused the current administration of "abdicating" its responsibility in that regard and squandering its power as a result. Biden told Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass that he wouldn’t call the current conflict with Russia a second Cold War, because it’s not a great ideological battle. Rather, Biden said, it's “just basically about a kleptocracy protecting itself.” Figuring out how to make that case, he added, had led to an internal debate within the Obama administration about whether to make public their estimate of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s self-worth, which Biden suggested would make clear he’d benefited massively from corruption. He said he’d been pushing to do so. Confused and frustrated foreign leaders around the world have continued to turn to him over the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, Biden said, and he continues to take the calls. “The questions across the board range from, ‘What the hell’s going on, Joe?’” he said, “to ‘What advice do you have for me?’” Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning — in your inbox.
  3. aubiefifty

    the right and church....

    thanx for caring proud but i have it made in so many ways. i do what i want to when i want to. i feel i am blessed in many ways. now that time i was sick and could not get out of bed for five days was scary because i could not get to the phone and no one checked on me. that part is kind of a downer but i have to expect it being mostly the loner i am. but since then i have reconnected with a couple of friends that check up on me if they do not hear from me every day. so all is well..........
  4. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    i do not eat big bullsh*t and toast. i just told you the end results.
  5. aubiefifty

    Why American Spies Worry When Trump Meets Putin

    sorry but a very different time. gorby was scared sh*tless of ronnie. as far as i cam concerned some of you are traitors to your country over partisan politics. the russians helped trump because they feel they can further their agenda with him as pres . and trump is way over his head in regards to putin and you guys know it. what is worse is he is instructed by his staff on what to do and then wings it. thus the ol i believe putin over our intelligenc agencies. and all you guys got is ALL the intelligence agencies people are liars and not to be trusted. give me a break.
  6. aubiefifty

    the right and church....

    i am doing what i need to change it. i am sitting at home in protest. there are churches in anniston basically throwing shade on libs often without hiding their disdain. we are terrorists, commies, and godless. i have friends {ex friends} tell me to my face. same cat told me i was taking jesus out of context because i said he would feed the poor. also i tried to google it but when obama was first running for president some kids from a local church went out vandalizing cars with obama stickers. that is a fact but please check for yourself. now i am not saying it was sanctioned by the church but from what i remember they they did it right after attending some function they had. anyway i am checking out John Pavlovitz whom some call the devil. i have only listened to a small portion of one of his lectures so i am not sure i will agree with everything he says. but so far he pushes love for everyone and for us all to be more jesus like and i do like that. thanx for your caring. i guess i am saying too many folks mix their politics and religion together and i just do not trust that. shrugs. for the record i was baptized and a friend that is a preacher for the vineyard said because of that i will always be saved. if i was to go to church his would be it. they have couches, lots of music, preach nothing but love, and best of all they allow folks to bring their dogs with them.
  7. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    that big nothing burger? kinda funny since the senate intelligence committee, which is led by repubs, would differ with you. and that is not an opinion piece that is fact. but keep trying.................
  8. aubiefifty

    Remember This Pic?

    but beside the photoshop that is a powerful picture. the rest is real and if you can read ANY kind of body language it is very telling. shocking in fact. an american president does not conduct himself like a weinie. maybe we can paint putin black or brown and he might get fired up?
  9. aubiefifty

    Remember This Pic?

    i doubt proud likes it but i could be wrong.
  10. aubiefifty

    Socialists Pushing Dems Further Left

    maybe i should have said corporate welfare but since the left is often called out as commie i decided to use the word. i agree 64 it gives me a sad face too.
  11. aubiefifty

    Socialists Pushing Dems Further Left

    pretty sure commies have everything given to them right? bad right? but give the same thing to corps and that is not the same thing? how do they deserve that when they turn billions in profit and pay no taxes? is it not fair to call that corporate communism? or maybe those kickbacks tend to discourage those in power to do the right thing. i am still waiting on bone spurs to do something. did he?
  12. aubiefifty

    Remember This Pic?

    believe what ya want proud i am pretty sue you were called out about it by others as well.did you edit it after the fact? you seem to do that a lot. but no the fact captain bone spurs is a ***** with putin and obama stood his ground with him tells me your mindset. see? i can be miss cleo as well. and i am pretty sure you dislike obama just by the way you give trump a pass on most things even when given proof that refutes your claim..but believe what ya what proud it is a free country until trump gives it all to the russians. wink
  13. aubiefifty

    Remember This Pic?

    thank you salty but i am pretty sure i did not forget. come give me a big hug you lug.
  14. aubiefifty

    Remember This Pic?

    good for you salty. none of you guys pay much attention to the truth anyway,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
  15. aubiefifty

    Socialists Pushing Dems Further Left

    big corporations pay no taxes and yet get billions in corporate welfare from the government. for what? giving those screwing the country seems to be ok with the right while taking care of the truly needy is a dirty commie plot. i guess jesus was a commie as well then huh? i cannot wait until ALL the facts come out so some of you can enjoy your crow as karma takes it's course.
  16. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    well boys and girls now you know why several repukes are dragging their feet or doing nothing about russian interference. hell they took blood money and putting party first and the hell with america as long as they get their cut. you dummies keep believing russia did not influence the election and help get trump elected.
  17. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    washingtonpress.com New Report Reveals McConnell And Ryan Took Millions From Russian Oligarch Tied To Putin Download our new app FREE 7-9 minutes A series of top Republican elected officials have just been exposed for accepting outsized donations from one of the world’s richest men, Leonid “Len” Blavatnik. Blavatnik is a Ukrainian-born businessman whose fortune comes from owning a company purchased by Putin’s Rosneft, the state-run Russian oil company cited in the infamous Russian “pee tape” dossier. Americans have asked why Congressional Republicans continued to defend President Trump’s secret relationship with Putin and their collision in last year’s elections, and these massive Super PAC donations could help explain why. Facebook's new algorithm changes have decimated the reach and the ad revenue of independent news sources like ours. Please become a patron of our news website and help us pay our writers by making a small contribution: View our Patreon page > The Dallas News just issued a stunning report based on public records recently uncovered by the Democratic Coalition, that the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority leader McConnell have taken a Putin-connected billionaire Blavatnik’s cash: Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank. During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonid “Len” Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik’s donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik’s holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org. Len Blavatnik now owns Warner Group Music and has become a pillar of the Republican Party’s donor class, but many of his billions come from windfall profits on a Russian oil deal personally orchestrated by Vladimir Putin. These days, Blavatnik is so close to the Trump administration that he recently announced a partnership deal with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to finance Hollywood films! Republicans have reaped a major benefit from Russian oil money for twenty years, since the dark days of Jack Abramoff, whose lobbying scandal led to multiple felony corruption convictions and the GOP losing the House of Representatives. In the last election, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) received over $8 million dollars from McConnell’s Super PAC in last year’s election. He later became part of Trump’s transition team and is now heading the Senate’s investigation into Russian election interference. Who can forget that Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Super PAC also benefitted from targeted opposition research hacked by Russians from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee? Republican mega donor Len Blavatnik moved to America for a time in the mid-1970s to obtain American citizenship and education before expatriating to become a Russian oil billionaire. Blavatnik’s appropriately named Access Industries Inc. scored a $7 billion dollar windfall a few years ago in partnership with Alfa Bank, the Kremlin-linked bank caught communicating with Trump’s campaign using a secretive email server, and Putin’s best friend, an ex-KGB agent who happens to be Russia’s richest man. His Access Industries partnered to win a privatization auction of a state-run oil company in 2003 with Alfa Bank’s Mikhail Fridman and Victor Vekselberg, who is coincidentally the largest shareholder in Bank of Cyprus which Trump Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross built into a rogue’s gallery. The three men formed AAR partners, got an insider’s deal based on their access to Putin to buy an oil company called TNK and partner with BP. Privatization deals in Russia like these are considered a form of public corruption since they deliver great state-owned wealth to a connected few, and sometimes only take small loans back in exchange for gushers of money from oil companies. After the Russian oil money flowed, rich dividends piled up for an entire decade until Putin ordered Blavatnik and AAR to sell their shares to Rosneft when oil was at a high price, $92 dollars a barrel 2013. Luckily for Blavatnik and company, they sold out to Putin at the very top of the market, but the results for both Rosneft and Russia since then have been disastrous: Sechin and Putin’s mega-energy merger may have seemed like a “good” strategic deal for Russia, but for Fridman, Vekselberg, Blavatnik and Khan, whose combined net worth now hovers around $55 billion, cashing out of Russia’s most oil-dependent company in the spring of 2013, with West Texas Crude selling at $92 per barrel and Western banks pumping loans into Russia, may go down as the most brilliantly timed profit-taking of the decade. It also may have set off a chain of events in global financial markets that has contributed to the collapse of Russia’s currency, which plummeted 40% against the dollar in 2014. Putin’s state has been thrown into recession. Putin was ecstatic. “This is a good big deal, which is important not only for Russia’s energy sector but for the entire Russian economy,” he said as the deal was being announced. Rosneft’s $55 billion TNK-BP purchase transformed it into the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company and cemented Sechin’s position as a global energy czar, with Putin presumably pulling the strings. It’s important to understand that many Russian oil billionaires aren’t allowed to cash out so gracefully, and instead put on trial for bogus charges, stripped of their wealth and imprisoned like Yukos Oil’s former owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Only pro-Putin oligarchs are allowed to cash out their Russian oil fortunes and legally take the money to a foreign country. Following the money to Republican donors is showing exactly how Vladimir Putin has used Russian oil money to edge his way past Jesus in the GOP’s hierarchy of personalities. The ties between the GOP and Putin have grown so extremely close today, that one Congressional Republican flew to Moscow last year just to take orders from Putin’s cronies, and nobody in his caucus is doing a thing about it. If you have any doubt whatsoever that Len Blavatnik’s money comes from Russian oil, here is a copy of the wire transfer from the Putin-controlled Rosneft Oil Company. If you have any doubt whatsoever that Len Blavatnik’s money comes from Russian oil, here is a copy of the wire transfer from the Putin-controlled Rosneft Oil Company.
  18. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    dallasnews.com GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia | Commentary 7-9 minutes Editor's note: Ruth May wrote this column in August 2017. Click here for an extensive update. Party loyalty is often cited as the reason that GOP leaders have not been more outspoken in their criticism of President Donald Trump and his refusal to condemn Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. Yet there may be another reason that top Republicans have not been more vocal in their condemnation. Perhaps it's because they have their own links to the Russian oligarchy that they would prefer go unnoticed. Donald Trump and the political action committees for Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich and John McCain accepted $7.35 million in contributions from a Ukrainian-born oligarch who is the business partner of two of Russian president Vladimir Putin's favorite oligarchs and a Russian government bank. During the 2015-2016 election season, Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard "Len" Blavatnik contributed $6.35 million to leading Republican candidates and incumbent senators. Mitch McConnell was the top recipient of Blavatnik's donations, collecting $2.5 million for his GOP Senate Leadership Fund under the names of two of Blavatnik's holding companies, Access Industries and AI Altep Holdings, according to Federal Election Commission documents and OpenSecrets.org. Marco Rubio's Conservative Solutions PAC and his Florida First Project received $1.5 million through Blavatnik's two holding companies. Other high dollar recipients of funding from Blavatnik were PACS representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at $1.1 million, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham at $800,000, Ohio Governor John Kasich at $250,000 and Arizona Senator John McCain at $200,000. In January, Quartz reported that Blavatnik donated another $1 million to Trump's Inaugural Committee. Ironically, the shared address of Blavatnik's companies is directly across the street from Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in New York. Len Blavatnik, considered to be one of the richest men in Great Britain, holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and the U.K. He is known for his business savvy and generous philanthropy, but not without controversy. In 2010, Oxford University drew intense criticism for accepting a donation of 75 million pounds from Blavatnik for a new school of government bearing his name. Faculty, alumni and international human rights activists claimed the university was selling its reputation and prestige to Putin's associates. Blavatnik's relationships with Russian oligarchs close to Putin, particularly Oleg Deripaska, should be worrisome for Trump and the six GOP leaders who took Blavatnik's money during the 2016 presidential campaign. Lucky for them no one has noticed. Yet. Oleg Deripaska is the founder and majority owner of RUSAL, the world's second largest aluminum company, based in Russia. Len Blavatnik owns a significant stake in RUSAL and served on its Board until November 10, 2016, two days after Donald Trump was elected. Deripaska controls RUSAL with a 48 percent majority stake through his holding company, EN+ Group, and the Russian government owns 4.35 percent stake of EN+ Group through its second-largest state owned bank, VTB. VTB was exposed in the Panama papers in 2016for facilitating the flow of billions of dollars to offshore companies linked to Vladimir Putin and is under sanctions by the U.S. government. Deripaska has been closely connected to the Kremlin since he married into Boris Yeltsin's family in 2001, which literally includes him in the Russian clan known as "The Family."According to the Associated Press, starting in 2006, Deripaska made annual payments of $10 million to Paul Manafort through the Bank of Cyprus to advance Putin's global agenda. Len Blavatnik's co-owner in RUSAL is his long-time business partner, Viktor Vekselberg, another Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. Blavatnik and Vekselberg hold their 15.8 percent joint stake in RUSAL in the name of Sual Partners, their offshore company in the Bahamas. Vekselberg also happens to be the largest shareholder in the Bank of Cyprus. Another oligarch with close ties to Putin, Dmitry Rybolovlev, owns a 3.3 percent stake in the Bank of Cyprus. Rybolovlev is known as "Russia's Fertilizer King" and has been in the spotlight for several months as the purchaser of Trump's 60,000 square-foot mansion in Palm Beach. Rybolovlev bought the estate for $54 million more than Trump paid for the property at the bottom of the crash in the U.S. real estate market. The convoluted web that links Putin's oligarchs to Trump's political associates and top Republicans is difficult to take in. Trump and Putin have a common approach to governance. They rely heavily on long-term relationships and family ties. While there have been tensions between Putin and Deripaska over the years, the Kremlin came to Deripaska's rescue in 2009 when he was on the verge of bankruptcy by providing a $4.5 billion emergency loan through state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), where Putin is chair of the advisory board. VEB, known as President Putin's "pet bank," is now in crisis after sanctions applied by Europe and U.S. in 2014 have isolated it from the international banks that were the sources of its nearly $4 billion in hard currency loans that, according to Bloomberg, mature this year and in 2018. Russia's international currency reserves are near a 10-year low, which has put further pressure on the president of VEB, Sergey Gorkov, to find sources of international rescue capital. Notably, it was Gorkov who met secretly with Jared Kushner in December at Trump Tower. Kushner's failure to report the meeting with Gorkov has drawn the attention of the Senate intelligence committee that now wants to question Kushner about the meeting. Ruth May is a business professor at the University of Dallas and an expert on the economies of Russia and Ukraine. She wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News. Twitter: @ruthcmay
  19. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    washingtonpost.com Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=729171040 11-13 minutes The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter. Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances. “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.” The Post's Ellen Nakashima goes over the events and discusses the hacker groups responsible. (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post) [FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks] The Obama administration has been debating for months how to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions, with White House officials concerned about escalating tensions with Moscow and being accused of trying to boost Clinton’s campaign. In September, during a secret briefing for congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced doubts about the veracity of the intelligence, according to officials present. The Trump transition team dismissed the findings in a short statement issued Friday evening. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again,’ ” the statement read. Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russian hacking. “I don’t believe they interfered” in the election, he told Time magazine this week. The hacking, he said, “could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.” [Trump, CIA on collision course over Russia’s role in U.S. election] The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Agency briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. The CIA presentation to senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior U.S. official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions remain unanswered. For example, intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees. Moscow has in the past used middlemen to participate in sensitive intelligence operations so it has plausible deniability. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said in a television interview that the “Russian government is not the source.” The White House and CIA officials declined to comment. On Friday, the White House said President Obama had ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign, as pressure from Congress has grown for greater public understanding of exactly what Moscow did to influence the electoral process. “We may have crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned,” Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Obama wants the report before he leaves office Jan. 20, Monaco said. The review will be led by James Clapper, the outgoing director of national intelligence, officials said. During her remarks, Monaco didn’t address the latest CIA assessment, which hasn’t been previously disclosed. Seven Democratic senators last week asked Obama to declassify details about the intrusions and why officials believe that the Kremlin was behind the operation. Officials said Friday that the senators specifically were asking the White House to release portions of the CIA’s presentation. This week, top Democratic lawmakers in the House also sent a letter to Obama, asking for briefings on Russian interference in the election. U.S. intelligence agencies have been cautious for months in characterizing Russia’s motivations, reflecting the United States’ long-standing struggle to collect reliable intelligence on President Vladi­mir Putin and those closest to him. In previous assessments, the CIA and other intelligence agencies told the White House and congressional leaders that they believed Moscow’s aim was to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system. The assessments stopped short of saying the goal was to help elect Trump. On Oct. 7, the intelligence community officially accused Moscow of seeking to interfere in the election through the hacking of “political organizations.” Though the statement never specified which party, it was clear that officials were referring to cyber-intrusions into the computers of the DNC and other Democratic groups and individuals. Some key Republican lawmakers have continued to question the quality of evidence supporting Russian involvement. “I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.” [U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt elections] Though Russia has long conducted cyberspying on U.S. agencies, companies and organizations, this presidential campaign marks the first time Moscow has attempted through cyber-means to interfere in, if not actively influence, the outcome of an election, the officials said. The reluctance of the Obama White House to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions before Election Day upset Democrats on the Hill as well as members of the Clinton campaign. Within the administration, top officials from different agencies sparred over whether and how to respond. White House officials were concerned that covert retaliatory measures might risk an escalation in which Russia, with sophisticated cyber-capabilities, might have less to lose than the United States, with its vast and vulnerable digital infrastructure. The White House’s reluctance to take that risk left Washington weighing more-limited measures, including the “naming and shaming” approach of publicly blaming Moscow. By mid-September, White House officials had decided it was time to take that step, but they worried that doing so unilaterally and without bipartisan congressional backing just weeks before the election would make Obama vulnerable to charges that he was using intelligence for political purposes. Instead, officials devised a plan to seek bipartisan support from top lawmakers and set up a secret meeting with the Gang of 12 — a group that includes House and Senate leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security. Obama dispatched Monaco, FBI Director James B. Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to make the pitch for a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” against Russian interference in the election, according to a senior administration official. Specifically, the White House wanted congressional leaders to sign off on a bipartisan statement urging state and local officials to take federal help in protecting their voting-registration and balloting machines from Russian cyber-intrusions. Though U.S. intelligence agencies were skeptical that hackers would be able to manipulate the election results in a systematic way, the White House feared that Russia would attempt to do so, sowing doubt about the fundamental mechanisms of democracy and potentially forcing a more dangerous confrontation between Washington and Moscow. [Putin denies that Russia hacked the DNC but says it was for the public good] In a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information, administration officials broadly laid out the evidence U.S. spy agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions in at least two states and in hacking the emails of the Democratic organizations and individuals. And they made a case for a united, bipartisan front in response to what one official described as “the threat posed by unprecedented meddling by a foreign power in our election process.” The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests. According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics. Some of the Republicans in the briefing also seemed opposed to the idea of going public with such explosive allegations in the final stages of an election, a move that they argued would only rattle public confidence and play into Moscow’s hands. McConnell’s office did not respond to a request for comment. After the election, Trump chose McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as his nominee for transportation secretary. Some Clinton supporters saw the White House’s reluctance to act without bipartisan support as further evidence of an excessive caution in facing adversaries. “The lack of an administration response on the Russian hacking cannot be attributed to Congress,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who was at the September meeting. “The administration has all the tools it needs to respond. They have the ability to impose sanctions. They have the ability to take clandestine means. The administration has decided not to utilize them in a way that would deter the Russians, and I think that’s a problem.” Philip Rucker contributed to this report.
  20. aubiefifty

    mitch mcconnel part of the problem as well.

    nytimes.com C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed 10-13 minutes John O. Brennan in July when he was the C.I.A. director. Mr. Brennan was said to be so concerned about increasing evidence of Russia’s election meddling that in late August he began a series of individual briefings for eight top members of Congress.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times WASHINGTON — The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Donald J. Trump president, a finding that did not emerge publicly until after Mr. Trump’s victory months later, former government officials say. The briefings indicate that intelligence officials had evidence of Russia’s intentions to help Mr. Trump much earlier in the presidential campaign than previously thought. The briefings also reveal a critical split last summer between the C.I.A. and counterparts at the F.B.I., where a number of senior officials continued to believe through last fall that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed primarily at disrupting America’s political system, and not at getting Mr. Trump elected, according to interviews. The former officials said that in late August — 10 weeks before the election — John O. Brennan, then the C.I.A. director, was so concerned about increasing evidence of Russia’s election meddling that he began a series of urgent, individual briefings for eight top members of Congress, some of them on secure phone lines while they were on their summer break. It is unclear what new intelligence might have prompted the classified briefings. But with concerns growing both internally and publicly at the time about a significant Russian breach of the Democratic National Committee, the C.I.A. began seeing signs of possible connections to the Trump campaign, the officials said. By the campaign’s final weeks, Congress and the intelligence agencies were racing to understand the scope of the Russia threat. In an Aug. 25 briefing for Harry Reid, then the top Democrat in the Senate, Mr. Brennan indicated that Russia’s hackings appeared aimed at helping Mr. Trump win the November election, according to two former officials with knowledge of the briefing. The officials said Mr. Brennan also indicated that unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election. The F.B.I. and two congressional committees are now investigating that claim, focusing on possible communications and financial dealings between Russian affiliates and a handful of former advisers to Mr. Trump. So far, no proof of collusion has emerged publicly. Mr. Trump has rejected any suggestion of a Russian connection as “ridiculous” and “fake news.” The White House has also sought to redirect the focus from the investigation and toward what Mr. Trump has said, with no evidence, was President Barack Obama’s wiretapping of phones in Trump Tower during the presidential campaign. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. declined to comment for this article, as did Mr. Brennan and senior lawmakers who were part of the summer briefings. In the August briefing for Mr. Reid, the two former officials said, Mr. Brennan indicated that the C.I.A., focused on foreign intelligence, was limited in its legal ability to investigate possible connections to Mr. Trump. The officials said Mr. Brennan told Mr. Reid that the F.B.I., in charge of domestic intelligence, would have to lead the way. Days later, Mr. Reid wrote to James B. Comey, director of the F.B.I. Without mentioning the C.I.A. briefing, Mr. Reid told Mr. Comey that he had “recently become concerned” that Russia’s interference was “more extensive than widely known.” Image In August, Harry Reid, then the Senate minority leader, told James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, that he had “become concerned” that Russia’s interference was “more extensive than widely known.”CreditAl Drago/The New York Times In his letter, the senator cited what he called mounting evidence “of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign” and said it was crucial for the F.B.I. to “use every resource available” to investigate. Unknown to Mr. Reid, the F.B.I. had already opened a counterintelligence inquiry a month before, in late July, to examine possible links between Russia and people tied to the Trump campaign. But its existence was kept secret even from members of Congress. Well into the fall, law enforcement officials said that the F.B.I. — including the bureau’s intelligence analysts — had not found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government, as The New York Times reported on Oct. 31. But as the election approached and new batches of hacked Democratic emails poured out, some F.B.I. officials began to change their view about Russia’s intentions and eventually came to believe, as the C.I.A. had months earlier, that Moscow was trying to help get Mr. Trump elected, officials said. It was not until early December, a month after the election, that it became publicly known in news reports that the C.I.A. had concluded that Moscow’s motivation was to get Mr. Trump elected. In January, intelligence officials publicly released a declassified version of their findings, concluding that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had “aspired to help” Mr. Trump to win the election and harm Hillary Clinton, a longtime adversary. By then, both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. said they had “high confidence” that Russia was trying to help Mr. Trump by hacking into the internal emails of the Democratic National Committee and of some Clinton aides. (The National Security Agency expressed only “moderate confidence” that the Russians were trying to help him.) Last month, Mr. Comey publicly acknowledged the continuing investigation for the first time at a House hearing on Russia’s influence on the election and said the F.B.I. was examining possible links between Trump associates and Russia for evidence of collusion. One factor in the C.I.A. analysis last summer was that American intelligence agencies learned that Russia’s cyberattacks had breached Republican targets as well as Democrats. But virtually none of the hacked Republican material came out publicly, while the Russians, working through WikiLeaks and other public outlets, dumped substantial amounts of Democratic material damaging to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. Some intelligence officials were wary of pushing too aggressively before the election with questions about possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign because of concerns it might be seen as an improper political attempt to help Mrs. Clinton. But after her loss, a number of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters have said that Mr. Comey and other government officials should have revealed more to the public during the campaign season about what they knew of Russia’s motivations and possible connections to the Trump campaign. The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber — show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling. In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said. Although the breached systems were not involved in actual vote-tallying operations, Obama administration officials proposed that the eight senior lawmakers write a letter to state election officials warning them of the possible threat posed by Russian hacking, officials said. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, resisted, questioning the underpinnings of the intelligence, according to officials with knowledge of the discussions. Mr. McConnell ultimately agreed to a softer version of the letter, which did not mention the Russians but warned of unnamed “malefactors” who might seek to disrupt the elections through online intrusion. The letter, dated Sept. 28, was signed by Mr. McConnell, Mr. Reid, Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democrat. On Sept. 22, two other members of the Gang of Eight — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Adam B. Schiff, both of California and the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees — released their own statement about the Russian interference that did not mention Mr. Trump or his campaign by name. But they did say that “based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election.” “At the least, this effort is intended to sow doubt about the security of our election and may well be intended to influence the outcomes of the election,” they added. The F.B.I., the N.S.A. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also held a classified briefing on Sept. 6 for congressional staff members about the wave of Russian hacks and “the current and ongoing threat facing U.S. political organizations during this national political season,” according to a government official. These new details show Congress and the intelligence agencies racing in the campaign’s final weeks to understand the scope of the Russian threat. But Democrats and Republicans who were privy to the classified briefings often saw the intelligence through a political prism, sparring over whether it could be construed as showing that the Russians were helping Mr. Trump. The briefings left Mr. Reid frustrated with the F.B.I.’s handling of Russia’s election intrusion, especially after the agency said in late October — 11 days before the election — that it was re-examining Mrs. Clinton’s emails. Mr. Reid fired off another letter on Oct. 30, accusing Mr. Comey of a “double standard” in reviving the Clinton investigation while sitting on “explosive information” about possible ties between Russia and Mr. Trump. “The public,” Mr. Reid wrote, “has a right to know this information.”
  21. aubiefifty

    the right and church....

    proud i do plenty at home. i also live alone. my family is gone. i got two nieces up north and i seldom hear from them. so yes i spend most of my time reading,putering, watching movies and college football. i just want to be clear my opinions never come from hate. i fight hard and sometimes my temper comes into play but i hate no one on here. granted there are a couple here i do not care for when the truth is often turned into a joke. hell it might surprise you but i do not hate trump. but i sure do not like him. i just wanted to be clear about that.
  22. aubiefifty

    When there's a Will there's a way

    thanx for posting! he is my favorite player and i hope one day to get his autograph.
  23. aubiefifty

    the right and church....

    so now i am full of hate proud? do not confuse anger at stupid responses for hate. ever. you are bearing false witness here so to speak. and by your standards which you try to smear me with i can say i have seen you say some pretty bad things as well.
  24. well gosh i hope you get over that. when treason or the defination is being discussed you are telling me examples are not allowed?