Putin: Hackers are Free Spirits Like Artists Who Wake Up in a Good Mood
Putin is just trolling us now.
Watch – even as Putin acknowledges election meddling, some blind partisans will continue to claim it didn't happen. https://t.co/JedORSaxDR
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) June 1, 2017
“Shifting from his previous blanket denials, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia suggested on Thursday that “patriotically minded” private Russian hackers could have been involved in cyberattacks last year that meddled in the United States presidential election.”
“While Mr. Putin continued to deny any state role in the hacking, his comments, made to reporters in St. Petersburg, Russia, departed from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Donald J. Trump’s victory, the United States had become the victim of anti-Russia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.”
“Asked about suspicions that Russia might try to interfere in the coming elections in Germany, Mr. Putin raised the possibility of attacks on foreign votes by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots. Hackers, he said, “are like artists” who choose their targets depending how they feel “when they wake up in the morning.” Any such attacks, he added, could not alter the result of elections in Europe, America or elsewhere.”
“Artists, he said, paint if they wake up feeling in good spirits while hackers respond if “they wake up and read that something is going on in interstate relations” that prompts them to take action. “If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” Mr. Putin added, apparently referring to Hillary Clinton.”
As Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out last night, you have to put these blithe comments in context of Russia being a place where if one of these hackers who wake up in a good mood chose to hack Russian intelligence or political documents to the world, they’d never be heard from again.
But it’s notable that Putin is not ruling out that some private Russians could have done some of the hacking.
“Perhaps worried that, as the investigations make headway, evidence will come to light that the Russian state or at least Russians were clearly involved in the hacking, Mr. Putin appeared to be setting up a pre-emptive line of defense, as the Kremlin did when it became difficult to simply deny initially secret Russian deployments to Ukraine in 2014, and to Syria in late 2015.”
“Swamped by evidence of Russian military involvement in Ukraine and then Syria, the Kremlin retreated from categorical denials to claims that Russians fighting in eastern Ukraine were Russian “vacationers” and that burly Russians who appeared in Syria were humanitarian aid workers. It later acknowledged that the supposed aid workers were Russian soldiers.”
“Anyway, Putin can afford to smile after what Trump did yesterday. Getting out of the Paris Accord both abdicated US leadership and potentially hurts US growth. What’s not to like?”
“Other countries will also now be able to scoop up all the money the U.S. is leaving behind by not taking clean energy seriously. Estimates show that there is going to soon be a $1 trillion-a-year market for clean energy and clean energy efficiency, Keohane said. “That’s an enormous prize for the countries that are smart enough to seize the opportunity,” he said.
“In his speech announcing the U.S. withdrawal, Trump said that leaving the agreement will be better for the economy. Experts seem to disagree.”
“Withdrawing from the Paris agreement is hardly going to create jobs in the U.S.,” Cary Coglianese, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told CBS. “While specific environmental regulations can sometimes lead to job losses, they also can and do lead to job gains — with the result being roughly a wash.”
“A February study on the economic impact of clean energy also found that every $1 million spent on fossil fuels supports 2.65 jobs. Spending the same amount on renewables creates 7.49 jobs on average. “Thus each $1 million shifted from brown to green energy will create a net increase of five jobs,” the study concluded.”
Now we learn that from day one, Trump was trying to get rid of the Russian sanctions-though he was thwarted by Obama folks and career State bureaucrats.
In the early weeks of the Trump administration, former Obama administration officials and State Department staffers fought an intense, behind-the-scenes battle to head off efforts by incoming officials to normalize relations with Russia, according to multiple sources familiar with the events.
Unknown to the public at the time, top Trump administration officials, almost as soon as they took office, tasked State Department staffers with developing proposals for the lifting of economic sanctions, the return of diplomatic compounds and other steps to relieve tensions with Moscow.
These efforts to relax or remove punitive measures imposed by President Obama in retaliation for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and meddling in the 2016 election alarmed some State Department officials, who immediately began lobbying congressional leaders to quickly pass legislation to block the move, the sources said.
“There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions,” said Dan Fried, a veteran State Department official who served as chief U.S. coordinator for sanctions policy until he retired in late February. He said in the first few weeks of the administration, he received several “panicky” calls from U.S. government officials who told him they had been directed to develop a sanctions-lifting package and imploring him, “Please, my God, can’t you stop this?”
“Fried said he grew so concerned that he contacted Capitol Hill allies — including Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., the ranking minority member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — to urge them to move quickly to pass legislation that would “codify” the sanctions in place, making it difficult for President Trump to remove them.”
“The previously unreported efforts by Fried and others to check the Trump administration’s policy moves cast new light on the unseen tensions over Russia policy during the early days of the new administration.”
“It also potentially takes on new significance for congressional and Justice Department investigators in light of reports that before the administration took office Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his chief foreign policy adviser, Michael Flynn, discussed setting up a private channel of communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — talks that appear to have laid the groundwork for the proposals that began circulating right after the inauguration.”
So Putin has a lot to smile about:
1. Trump made every effort to release the sanctions for interfering in the election
2. Putins’ favorite American, Rex Tillerson is dismantling the State Department root and branch
3. Trump is scaling back our leadership with our allies and now on climate change.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.