TrumpWatch, Day 52: McCain on Trump-Russia Links — “A Lot More Shoes to Drop”


Senator indicates US agencies holding more unrevealed information about Trump connections with Russia

Developments on Day 52 of the Trump Administration:

McCain: More Info to Come on Trump-Russia

Senator John McCain says there are “a lot more shoes to drop” about the contacts between Donald Trump’s associates and Russian officials.

McCain was asked about last week’s revelations that Michael Flynn worked as a registered foreign agent for the Turkish Government while he was in the Trump transition at National Security Advisor-designate. He responded, “There’s a lot of things in our relations with Russia that trouble me a lot,” including the removal of a provision in the Republican platform calling for defensive arms to Ukraine — reportedly after pressure from Trump advisor J.D. Gordon, who was in contact with Russian officials.

Saying much more over relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin needs “scrutiny”, McCain summarized, “I think there are a lot more shoes to drop from this centipede.”

McCain also called on Donald Trump to either retract or substantiate his claim that President Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

The Arizona Senator said he had “no reason to believe” Trump’s allegation, set out in four tweets on March 8 after the President saw claims by a conservative radio talk show host, recycled by Breitbart.

The House Intelligence Committee has set a Monday deadline for the White House to produce evidence.

Kremlin Defends Trump: “Our Officials Met With Hillary”

The Kremlin has tried to defend Donald Trump over the investigation of Trump-Russia links, saying Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak also met with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s staff in 2016.

Spokesman Dmitri Peskov told CNN on Sunday:

Well, if you look at some people connected with Hillary Clinton during her campaign, you would probably see that he had lots of meetings of that kind. There are lots of specialists in politology, people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary.

The spokesman did not explain whether, as with the Trump meetings, the discussions were private and withheld from scrutiny until they were uncovered.

Peskov insisted that, with regard to Trump’s associates, “There were no meetings about elections — electoral process … So if you look at it with intention to demonize Russia, you would probably say that, yes, he was trying to interfere in Hillary’s activities. But it would be nonsense, because this is not true.”

Health Secretary: “No One Worse Off Financially” Under ObamaCare Replacement

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price leaves a hostage to fortune by declaring that “nobody will be worse off financially” under the Republican replacement for ObamaCare.

Price told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday:

I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through. They’ll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not the government forces them to buy.

There’s cost that needs to come down, and we believe we’re going to be able to do that through this system. There’s coverage that’s going to go up.

Price’s belief defies the assessment of many economists and health service providers that some Americans will face a rise in cost or be unable to afford coverage under the GOP plan. Meanwhile, a study last week assessed that the wealthiest in the US will reap $157 billion over 10 years from tax cuts in the new system.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius responded to Price on Meet the Press:

There is no estimate looking at this bill that with less money going to subsidies, with older Americans being able to be charged five times what younger Americans are being charged, and with no variation based on income that more people will have coverage.

Trump Officials Try to Discredit Budget Agency Ahead of Health Care Report

Ahead of a Congressional Budget Office assessment of the Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the White House casts doubt on the agency’s credibility.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week, Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney argued that the CBO cannot assess a large piece of legislation:

If the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there’d be 8 million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are.

So, I love the folks at the CBO, they work really hard. They do. Sometimes we ask them to do stuff that they’re not capable of doing.

Last Wednesday, Press Spokesman Sean Spicer asserted, “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place.”

A fact-check of Mulvaney’s derogation of the CBO indicates that it is off the mark. While the agency overestimated the number of those enrolled of ObamaCare, “the differences between CBO’s estimates and actual experience are well within the range that I would expect given the scope of the change CBO was being asked to analyze,” according to Matthew Fiedler, a fellow with the Center for Health Policy in Brookings’ Economic Studies Program.

Fiedler said the “big picture” assessment was on point, including the estimate that ObamaCare would leave the uninsured rate at a historic low.

The CBO also could not anticipate the Supreme Court decision about Medicaid expansion allowing each state to decide participation. Nineteen states have refused to widen eligibility.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the driving force behind the GOP bill, also fired a shot on Sunday:

CBO will say that, gosh, not as many people will get coverage. You know why? Because this is not a Government mandate.

But asked how many will lose coverage under the GOP’s plan, he said, “I can’t answer that question. It’s up to people….You get it if you want it. That’s freedom.”

GOP Senator Cotton: House Healthcare Bill Won’t Pass Without Major Changes

GOP Senator Tom Cotton warns House Republicans that their plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare will not pass the upper chamber without major changes.

“The bill probably can be fixed, but it’s going to take a lot of carpentry on that framework,” Cotton said on ABC’s This Week. He added that the current version would have “adverse consequences for millions of Americans.”

The Arkansas Senator advised House colleagues to “pause”:

Do not walk the plank and vote for a bill that cannot pass the Senate and then have to face the consequences of that vote….

I’m afraid that if [you] vote for this bill, [you’re] going to put the House majority at risk next year.

Four GOP Senators besides Cotton have already said they will not support the current bill, wiping out the Republicans’ 52-48 majority in the Senate for any vote.

EPA Head Deluged With Calls After He Questions Climate Change

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is swamped with calls after he questions the link between human activity and climate change.

The demand on Pruitt’s main line was so high by Friday that EPA officials created an impromptu call center, with interns answering phones or calls going straight to voicemail.

The EPA head — who, as Oklahoma Attorney General, supported dozens of lawsuits against the agency — said in a televised interview:

we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis” over climate change….

I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that it is “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century”, a position still posted on the EPA website.

On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose at a record pace for the second straight year, reaching 401.5 parts per million. The surge has no precedent in the 59 years in which the agency has been tracking CO2.

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  1. Reality check on Trump´s purported “anti-imperialism”:

    US ambassador to Israel: ‘Great advantage to Netanyahu’

    “Friedman has vehemently opposed a Palestinian state, breaking with long-standing US official policy. He boasted recently, Arafeh noted, that he had helped to erase any reference to the two-state solution from the Republican election platform. He has also backed the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank by Israel. Such statements put him to the right of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu”


  2. Trump made clear today, via Sean Spicer, that by “wiretapping”he meant that he was “surveilled by the Obama administration”.
    Obama tweeted that the WH didn’t “order” surveillance. Such a statement leaves open the possibility that the Obama administration, not the WH, did surveil Trump.

    • Vladik, ti che, s uma s shel shtoli ?
      The way these russian trolls carry on, reminds me once I saw a program about the Soviet reaction to the watergate scandal of Nixon. Some old communist desushka was saying “we couldn’t believe it. We could not imagine that the president of the USA could be removed from power for such a simple thing (the bugging and false testimony). There had to be another reason, which we tried to discover and we had many theories but didnt know for sure”.
      Which sums up the top leadership of the Societ Union and because these things are entrenched there, the current Russian leadership.
      Yup, they are complete bunch of idiots. They’re regretting supporting Trump now already, he’s going to do them no good at all. He can’t, and no Russian politico has the brains to understand why.

  3. date,
    I am 100% proud American. Born and raised. Under surveillance by my own government for supporting both Putin and Trump. I am one of the reasons/excuses used by the IC that the Russians were involved with the election.
    Obama’s policy in Syria killed thousands of innocents, including Christians. Putin’s policy in Syria saved thousands of innocents, including Christians.
    Obama’s policies created ISIS. Putin and Trump are out to defeat ISIS.

    • Here we go again, tea drinking Mike with the goofy Putin avatar still trying to convince everyone that he is an American born and raised.

      • No no he rappresents well the average US ignorant red neck who gets a hard on with trump/putin equation and buys their crap for free. An empty nutt shell has more IQ.

      • Born and raised. Played football in college. Graduated from Rutgers U.
        Smart enough to not trust the govt. and media. Obama admitted he screwed up in Libya. He’ll eventually admit he screwed up in Syria and Ukraine.
        Obama allowed ISIS to expand throughout Iraq, Syria and Libya. That is a fact. His most historic blunder……. the Kiev Coup, allowed Crimea to join the Russian Federation, and then there’s the loss of eastern Ukraine.
        The most wrongful award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

    • I know you’re American; at least, not Russian, because you don’t know the first thing about Russia. That much is very clear.
      Secondly, the warped mind that can can call bombing civilians “saving lives” shows you exist outside of the natural values that humanity shares; you have issues that would cause even those people who you claim to ally with to recoil from you if they knew what’s inside your mind, and that’s taking into account that humanity isn’t big on the agenda of those you cheer for.
      Thirdly, it’s na zdorovia, at least try to get that right.

  4. Reality check.

    Former DNI Head Clapper: No Evidence of Ties Between Russia, Trump
    CHUCK TODD: I understand that. But does it exist?

    JAMES CLAPPER: Not to my knowledge.

    CHUCK TODD: If it existed, it would have been in this report?

    JAMES CLAPPER: This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government.

    CHUCK TODD: At some–

    JAMES CLAPPER: But at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion.

  5. As I suspected, there is not smoking gun to be found in terms of Trump Russia links or they would have been leaked by now.

    Buzzfeed is reporting that officials on the Senate Intelligence Committee are getting nervous about the hotly politicized nature of their investigation into the possibility of ties between the Trump administration and the Russian government, because they don’t expect they’ll find what these rabid McCarthyists are hoping they’ll find.

    Buzzfeed spoke with more than half a dozen members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, nearly all of whom don’t expect to find anything that could threaten Trump’s presidency. The officials report a “tangible frustration” over “wildly inflated” expectations of what the panel will likely find.

    According to Buzzfeed, “Even some Democrats on the Intelligence Committee now quietly admit, after several briefings and preliminary inquiries, they don’t expect to find evidence of active, informed collusion between the Trump campaign and known Russian intelligence operatives.”

    “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations,” one official said.

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