Jefferson Sessions vs. Sergey Kislyak: Whom to Believe?

According to the Washington Post:

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

The source of information is current and former U.S. officials. Did Donald Trump order this leaked as payback for Sessions' recusal or Sessions' statement this week he won't step down? If so, the only person I can think of who fights dirtier is Senor de los Cielos. [More...]

(And on last night's show, Aurelio ordered his computer hacker to steal millions from his elegant and successful daughter Rutila's 's bank accounts, which held her lawfully earned, non-laundered money. He's also trying to get her to have her artist-boyfriend forge certificates of authenticity for the paintings in his over-the-top art collection, bought under the table with his drug money, which he needs to sell because his Venezuelan money-launderer, who is also his jilted lover, just sold him out to the DEA, which then seized all his bank accounts and assets worth billions in exchange for immunity and a new identity and life in Boulder, CO. Watch out Ivanka, as I've written before, if Pops gets angry at Jared, there could be a replay of what happened to Dictator Benito Mussolini's son-in-law, Count Ciano. Daughter Edda never recovered from it. You wouldn't want your assets to get caught in the cross-fire. We all know how history has a tendency to repeat itself. Just saying.

This post is certainly not to support Sessions. His new forfeiture policy announced this week is awful. We're going back to "First the Punishment, then the Verdict." Even conservatives hate it. Maybe after he steps down (which could happen if that's what Donald Trump wants and he continues his mud-slinging ways), the feds will seize his assets while he's under investigation, despite no charges being brought against him.

I think Rod Rosenstein may go first, unless he decides to bond with Mueller and get Trump back that way for his comments this week implying he's a nobody from Baltimore. If Sessions and Rosenstein both leave, we're on our way to a Saturday Night Massacre. Who cares if Trump pardons himself? I just want him stripped of his desk in the oval office.

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    i agree (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:15:00 PM EST
    about wanting him gone.  im past hoping for jail time i just want the whole cartel gone.

    one of the reasons i think things could start happening sooner than most people expect is im sure Mueller sees this coming too.  

    if he brings some charges it seems like it might go a long way toward protecting the whole enterprise.

    i think he might be under estimating Sessions.  he seems like a dirty little alabama junk yard dog.  Trump might regret backing him into a corner.

    I'm for getting him gone (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:46:43 PM EST
    and letting the legal system and a jury of his peers do the rest. I still think it is going to be months before something is done.

    Who knows with Sessions? He's such a weasel. He could turn but then again he's dirty and would be implicating himself. What kind of lawyer voluntarily lies? I wonder about this guy. I think he's been in Alabama and protected too long by the politics there to even see what might be coming his way.


    If Sessions was in with Russia (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:24:17 PM EST
    There are several people in the West Wing that he brought on board during the campaign. How can they not be involved also? Sorry, just like it was impossible for me to believe that Sessions wasn't in on Russian assistance, it's also impossible for me to believe that anyone he brought in with him on the Trump campaign trail wasn't in on it too. This is going to be NUTS, all the way around.

    And, I would not be surprised (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:36:00 PM EST
    to learn the Trump campaign gave micro targeting data to the Russians for Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan to drive the vote for Trump.

    Sorry, I Can't Fathom What You Are Talking About (none / 0) (#8)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 08:13:53 PM EST
    You are saying that the Trump campaign had certain voter groups picked out for a specific appeal and then asked some Russians to send the appropriate emails to each group??  They couldn't do it themselves?

    ill make it really easy (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 08:19:03 PM EST
    and give you a search line.  i just tried it.  it will tell you everything you want to know -

    russians target specific groups and areas for hacking and disinformation

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 09:12:52 PM EST
    working overtime?

    I Read the First Few that Came Up (none / 0) (#14)
    by RickyJim on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 09:33:56 PM EST
    and I didn't see anything convincing about a Trump/Russia plot to spread disinformation.  Why can't Americans phish, spam and spread fake news as well as the Russians?  If telling people lies to get elected is a crime lots and lots of the country's leaders would be in jail.

    I have no doubt (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 11:44:13 AM EST
    you will never find anything that convinces you.

    no (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 01:14:46 PM EST
    that was not even the actual goal.  just that he cant say again he "cant "fathom" what you are talking about"

    i just wanted to cover the "fathoming" part.


    So it appears (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by MKS on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 01:40:00 PM EST
    We have gone from no contact with Russians, to no collusion, to collusion is awesome.

    sometimes its fun (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 03:54:19 PM EST
    to just try to imagine what kind of hysterics republicans would be having if any democrat did in  just one of the unbelievable things Trump does 10 times a day.

    its hard to decide,  laugh or cry.


    Telling lies isn't illegal (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 08:18:02 AM EST
    He//, ... with Trump and Republicans it's expected and accepted by the base.  The illegal part comes with coordinating with foreign agents to spread stolen/hacked information, accepting such information from foreign contributors and obstructing justice to cover it up.

    But you already knew that.


    You may want to familiarize yourself with (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 09:29:54 PM EST
    something called "micro-targeting" and consider the possible role of Jared Kushner:

    From McClatchy:

    Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign's digital operation - overseen by Jared Kushner - helped guide Russia's sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump's campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states - areas where Trump's digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

    jesus (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 08:16:13 PM EST
    do you have a tv?

    clearly you have a computer of some sort.  are famliar with this thing called google?

    it is our friend.  try it.


    Yeah, well (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 08:25:45 PM EST
    that That many people were up in the air about whether to vote for Trump or not, tells me this country is already in deep deep trouble.

    But as Frank Z liked to say, stupidity is this country's most abundant natural resource.


    Mueller needs to turn someone (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:37:24 PM EST
    I'm wondering if the pardon talk is (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 04:11:29 PM EST
    meant to be a signal to these people that there is relief for those who remain loyal and don't give in to the pressure to flip: he'll pardon them.

    Unfortunately, the loyalty Trump (none / 0) (#24)
    by Anne on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 05:14:56 PM EST
    demands from those who work for him is not something his history suggests he feels particularly bound by himself; with the exception of his children, I don't know that anyone currently feeling like they are in the crosshairs has any reason to trust that the president will "take care" of them.

    He might (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:43:55 PM EST
    have already and we don't know about it. If somebody has turned they got the best deal already. I'm thinking probably Flynn because they had him on tape and went after him first. He seems to be a big link in the ties to Russia.

    im pretty sure that (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 22, 2017 at 07:44:06 PM EST
    already happened.  maybe Manafort.  maybe Flynn.  Maybe both and others.

    With a little help from ...? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Nemi on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 06:07:46 AM EST
    Andrew Weissmann. A veteran federal prosecutor recruited onto special counsel Robert Mueller's team is known for a skill that may come in handy in the investigation of potential ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team: persuading witnesses to turn on friends, colleagues and superiors.

    Yes, moving (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 08:45:42 AM EST
    forward into the criminal justice system with deserving indictments will inure, in great measure, against a presidential kibosh on the Trump/Russia investigation.  Flynn has already asked for immunity, but the timing and, probably other factors, resulted in his request being ignored.  Perhaps, the Flynn investigation is ripe for action at this point...and go from there.

    could be Kushner (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 10:01:22 AM EST
    god knows he is ripe

    So many contenders. (none / 0) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 10:22:54 AM EST
    where to start?

    So Kislyak (none / 0) (#25)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 07:52:23 PM EST

    So Kislyak told Moscow things that made So Kislyak look dood and well connected.  Quite a surprise that.

    That (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by FlJoe on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 08:09:31 PM EST
    is a foolish, desperate argument. Kislyak was a seasoned pro, with years of being on top of the diplomatic/espionage game, the idea that he would have the need to make  stuff up to please his bosses is ludicrous. Do you really think Putin would  abide by his top man in Washington lying to him?

    Apologists using an ignorant, illogical argument. Quite a surprise that.


    Kislyak (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 09:12:19 PM EST
    Is probably the man of the hour.  He did quite a job on us.

    Hardly needs to exaggerate.


    Yup! (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 10:32:28 PM EST
    Not an arguement (none / 0) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 10:38:35 PM EST
    Just an observation.

    If that's an observation, ... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 12:54:41 AM EST
    ... then you need your eyes examined. In the Kremlin's food chain, Sergei Kislyak doesn't need to kiss a$$. Rather, other people kiss HIS a$$. He's likely withdrawn from Washington to avoid being subpoenaed by Robert Mueller, which could happen were he to remain in this country. Given his diplomatic immunity, he wouldn't have to comply, but the optics of Russia's ambassador to the U.S. being subpoenaed as a witness in a criminal conspiracy case would obviously be less than desirable from Moscow's standpoint.

    Turning (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 07:32:39 AM EST
    a silly, illogical, RW talking point based on mere speculation into an empirical fact is quite the trick.

    Sure he did that (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 04:02:56 AM EST
    since Polonium tea is his favorite drink.

    The lengths you guys will go to apologize for Trump is amazing. Never in my life have I seen a more craven and cowardly bunch.


    Some people would rather have (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 10:20:22 AM EST
    a root canal without anaesthesia rather than admit error.

    We're dealing with people many of whom still try to argue that the Confederacy was in the right in the 1860s. Are they going to own up that supporting Trump for president was insane?


    That would be another possibility (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jul 23, 2017 at 10:32:11 PM EST
    Something that could happen to you when you spar with Russian spies, have bilateral meetings without records...duh.

    There is no win for the Trump administration in playing games with Russia. What a pack of fools they all are! Getting played by KGB retirees like they are all fiddles on any and all days.


    Shorter (none / 0) (#35)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 09:49:31 AM EST
    Kushner, "that silly kid Junior set me up with an embarrassing blind date."
    When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting. Reviewing emails recently confirmed my memory that the meeting was a waste of our time and that, in looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work, I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote "Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting."

    There's probably (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 10:48:26 AM EST
    some truth in that since Jr. is the one that seems to have set the whole thing up though I'm sure Kushner knew that it was not about adoption but once he found out the Russians had nothing probably did have someone call him on his cell to get him out of the meeting.

    I (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by FlJoe on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 11:31:42 AM EST
    am buying none of it, it's almost inconceivable that some one at that level would take a meeting with zero idea of the who, what and why of it. Even if he was just doing it to accommodate Junior it's really hard to see why he didn't take 30 seconds to scan the e-mails just to have a clue what it was about.

    It's funny how he wasn't polite enough to be on time or ask to be introduced to people he had never met, but felt compelled to create a ruse to get out. In any case arranging a phone call as an excuse in so old school, a simple "just got an e-mail" would seemingly be enough in this case.


    Me too. not buying. (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 02:02:18 PM EST
    It sounded like a dish served up by Ed Meese-- corruption masquerading as incompetence, updated with a side of forgetfulness (and we thought it was Dad-in-law who was 71 years old).

     Of course, that d*ck move of having the assistant call to get him out of the meeting was convincing (no need to pay for Hillary dirt, when the base will buy anything they just make up).

    Jared's assistants seem to have matching competence.  Not only do they not have names, but the one assigned to do the security form was afflicted with premature submission.  And, no one noticed those email subjects, that were, essentially, "Vlad Putin Determined to Attack Election."  Everything Jared did was "proper" just as if he was an alumnus of Miss Porter's Finishing School.

    In fairness, it may be difficult to discern between espionage meetings and real estate business deals, which would be his best defense.


    The biggest problem these people (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 02:29:40 PM EST
    are having is that their credibility is shot, to the point where even if they are telling the truth, it's getting to be a harder and harder sell.  Their supporters just want something - anything - they can hang their hats on - pretty sure the takeaway from them will be a version of "see, we told you this was a big nothingburger, now enough already with the investigations!"

    True to rich-people form, though, it looks like Jared just thinks mansplaining to Congress is going to make it all go away; still trying to figure out how someone who reportedly was taking on all the jobs somehow had the time to just show up for a meeting he professes not to have known anything about other than the time it was set for.

    I don't know, I'm not rich, but I can't say that I've ever not read the subject of an e-mail or checked to see who else got it.  I don't believe for one nanosecond that Kushner was oblivious to any of it.  

    Meanwhile, the only really good thing is that the GOP is so fractured that if someone put them all in a giant paper bag and sealed it up, they wouldn't be able to agree on how to escape from it.  and I guess being stuck inside a paper bag means they can't possibly find anything remotely resembling principle, either.

    What a sad and sorry state of affairs.


    Exactly, Anne. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 04:17:27 PM EST
    Anne: "I don't know, I'm not rich, but I can't say that I've ever not read the subject of an e-mail or checked to see who else got it.  I don't believe for one nanosecond that Kushner was oblivious to any of it."

    Much of my own consulting work deals with a contracting organization's / agency's confidential proprietary information, and when I write federal and state grant proposals, I'm required to provide the applicant's federal tax ID number and disclose relevant financials including audits.

    Suffice to say that it's not the sort of stuff with which you can be casual to the point of careless in my line of work, and still hope to remain professionally reputable.

    The very first thing I double-check before replying to an email is who else is on the thread. I don't ever hit "Reply All" as a matter of personal habit. I'm privy to information that some of the contracting agency's staff or board are not. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

    If Kushner doesn't look at either an email's subject lines or who's been cc'ed, then he's being manifestly irresponsible as a businessman, campaign aide and government official.



    Well, I hope they (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 03:00:34 PM EST
    are fractured, too fractured to do anything about healthcare because I called my senator today and said as a cancer survivor I'm sick of being yanked around. Y'all have been at this garbage for 6 months now and I'm sick of it.

    Jared (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 02:42:36 PM EST
    "I had no improper contacts"

    weeeell, that one with the Russian Mafia bank that was under sanctions from the US government might have been iffy.


    Which contacts were improper? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 03:27:17 PM EST
    all of them, Katie.

    the funny thing about this approach (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 04:22:31 PM EST
    is on one hand you have this guy who seems to just wander around from room to room with no knowledge of who he is meeting or why and on the other hand this same guy is in charge of making peace in the middle east.  and pretty much everything else.  

    He sure (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 12:33:38 PM EST
    looked like he was faking it coming out of his testimony today. Like he was following exactly what his lawyers told him to say and smiling just like his lawyers told him to do. Apparently he has enough sense to listen to his lawyers unlike his father in law.

    Regardless of what he said Mueller is going to be looking at the money I would think.


    Given that but eight short months ago, ... (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 03:58:36 PM EST
    ... Trump's people were publicly denying even a scintilla of incidental contact with wandering Russian tourists in New York, never mind meeting with prominent diplomatic officials and FSB / GRU security operatives, I find it very difficult if not outright impossible to take at face value anything Kushner, et al., have to say in that regard.

    All the denials (none / 0) (#48)
    by Lora on Mon Jul 24, 2017 at 09:19:17 PM EST
    A nice chronological list of all those denials might be useful in an attempt to turn any Trump supporters who still possess a sense of right and wrong.

    CNN (none / 0) (#52)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 03:54:07 PM EST
    did a nice montage of the lot of them denying it repeatedly.

    i said Trump (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 03:06:34 PM EST
    should watch out for Sessions.

    IMO Sessions will not quit.  Trump just trashed him again in that news conference.

    there is a backlash building on the far right.  heard a Rush clip this morning.  Sessions is loved by the far right.  

    its also being pointed out that of all the people in Trumps government Sessions is making the most "hay".  we may hate that hay but he is undeniably making it.

    as i was typing that they are playing that Rush clip again on MSNBC.

    this is going to get interesting.

    now being said (none / 0) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 03:08:15 PM EST
    one of the reasons Sessions is digging in is the backlash on the right.

    He (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 03:52:58 PM EST
    does have a lot of powerful friends, 20 years in the Senate a partisan champion makes one a pretty powerful swamp creature.

    For all his bluster, tRump is often such wuss when dealing with people with actual power. Unfortunately he shoots off his mouth about Sessions (hoping he would resign?) without thinking anything through.

    Instead of quietly trying to ease him out (possibly unsuccessfully) he had to go all WWE turncoat on Sessions, and like an ignoramus blamed it all on the Russian investigation...again.

    Sessions, probably has enough to go to his Senator buddies and convince them to finally pull the plug on tRump and receive full forgiveness ...again, and everybody knows it.

    Interesting standoff we have here and Sessions seems to be holding the high hand at least for now.  Of course Sessions has his own problems but he is a mean, stubborn and typically craven Republican. He is willing to trade his honor(and apparently his country) for even a few more months to deconstruct the Justice system.  


    Trump (none / 0) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 11:17:18 PM EST
    never learned to watch out for evil vindictive elves.

    Those Keebler's will put the hurt on you :) (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jul 26, 2017 at 10:18:10 PM EST