Not long after I wrote this post on Trump and Putin over the weekend I saw a twitter conversation suggesting I'd overstated various facts or included mainly speculation. That exchange included Jeffrey Carr who said he would and did write a point by point "fact-checking" of the piece. This seems to have been done basically in good faith and various people have referenced it. So I wanted to take a moment - honestly, a fairly long moment - to respond in detail.
I'm rushing between ten different Trump/Russia posts. But I need to take a quick moment for a reminder. We're focused like a laser on building our subscriber base. It's important. And if you feel like you need us, then we definitely need you. Take a moment, click here and become part of what we do. Thank you.
I wanted to flag Daniel Drezner's look at a series of articles (including mine) reporting on or speculating on connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. By and large I think he is appropriately cautious and sometimes skeptical. Most things, I would say we agree on. I have similar skepticism that we know to some certainty that Russia was behind the DNC hack or their subsequent disclosure - a point I'll return to in a subsequent post.
Ed. Note: My weekend post on Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Trump – and the worrisome list of financial, policy and personnel connections between them – has been one of if not the most read pieces I’ve ever written for TPM. And there seems to be significant media and reader interest. So I’m republishing it here in toto. I’ll be addressing some critiques, questions and adding some further reporting as the day goes on.
Over the last year there has been a recurrent refrain about the seeming bromance between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More seriously, but relatedly, many believe Trump is an admirer and would-be emulator of Putin's increasingly autocratic and illiberal rule. But there's quite a bit more to the story. At a minimum, Trump appears to have a deep financial dependence on Russian money from persons close to Putin. And this is matched to a conspicuous solicitousness to Russian foreign policy interests where they come into conflict with US policies which go back decades through administrations of both parties. There is also something between a non-trivial and a substantial amount of evidence suggesting Putin-backed financial support for Trump or a non-tacit alliance between the two men.
Still smarting from his Wednesday night humiliation at the hands of Ted Cruz, Donald Trump is now insisting that had he not come into the arena just before the end of Cruz's speech, intensified unified Republican delegates would have dragged Cruz from the podium. "I walked in and the arena went crazy. Because there's great unity in the Republican Party, and people don't know it. Had I not walked in, I think that audience would have ripped him off the stage. I think I did him a big favor."
This is where I say, "Appreciate the congrats", right? In all seriousness, we're focused like a laser on building our subscriber base. It's important. And if you feel like you need us, then we definitely need you. Take a moment, click here and become part of what we do. Thank you.