Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"Crooked As Hell"? You Be The Judge

Earlier today President Trump told an assemblage of journalists that they were "as crooked as hell." Harsh? Maybe not.

Consider this tweet regarding the call transcript of the conversation between President Trump and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Focus on the ellipsis in the third paragraph that's highlighted in blue. That ellipsis represents a gap of 526 words.

Now, I didn't take Alex Griswold's word for it. I followed the link to the article. The passage is slightly different--now. It could have been edited. I didn't bother checking because the effect is the same. Here is the passage as it now appears:

"I would like you to do us a favor," Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to the official account released on Wednesday. 
Later in the conversation, according to the memo, Trump said: 
"I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine .... There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... it sounds horrible to me."

The only change is to the second paragraph, and it appears to reflect an awareness on the part of the author, a Ryan Lucas, that he was caught redhanded. If that's the way dishonest journalists are caught. He changes "Continued Trump" to "Later in the conversation." Everything else in the passage remains the same. If the reader doesn't actually refer to the transcript itself, they'll be left with the same false impression. In other words, rather than coming clean, Lucas simply attempts to finesse his deception.

The definite impression given by Lucas is that the "favor" Trump requested--what Trump thought "this whole situation in Ukraine" was about--was Biden and his son. In actual fact, the "favor" Trump requested had to do with the alleged Russian hack of the DNC server and the DoJ's ongoing investigation into the Russia Hoax--as is apparent from the reference to "the Attorney General." Here's how the passage of the conversation actually goes. I've highlighted in red the portions that Lucas omitted from this paragraph, but the omitted portion stretches on--and on across several paragraphs--for 526 words to finally connect up with Biden:

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine [insert ellipsis] they say Crowdstrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible. 

You can get the full relevant content of the transcript here: Woops! Dems Score Own Goal. The point is that Lucas gives his readers the very definite impression that the whole point of the conversation was The Bidens, Father and Son. If you don't believe me, follow the link to the full article. You'll see that Lucas continues presuming that impression that he has deviously foisted on his readers.

Crooked as hell? I'd say, Yes, absolutely.


  1. I think that the American people are beginning to catch on. We have a great communicator in the White House.

    1. I do hope that this episode will give Barr a greater--or, and even greater--sense of the urgency of his task. I don't doubt that he feels it, but perhaps a sense of what cornered rats will stoop to.

    2. Maybe I meant greater anger, white hot anger.

  2. Right now I am feeling very encouraged. It's like Trump is taking an axe to the very stump of the Deep State.

    But then I remember that a stump can sprout again.

    Yesterday I used a judo analogy. I believe that in judo, a man uses the energy of the opponent against himself. I think that this is spot on.

    I just continue to gain more and more respect for this man.

  3. It is becoming clear that the whistleblower must be unmasked. None who pulled what he pulled gets to be anonymous.

    He or she has crafted a clever letter, highlighting all the right points--the white house tried to 'lock down' the phone call conversation, a verbatim transcript exists, but has been hidden away password protected, which is claimed to be another abuse.

    I can't believe that Trump, speaking into a phone on which there were dozens of listeners, would have done something as incautious (or stupid) as what the WB alleges, which is that Trump tried to enlist the aid of a foreign power to dismantle his most likely 2020 opponent. This also strikes me, paradoxically, as Collusion 2.0.

    Dems always work from the same playbook.

    But Trump has a big mouth. So maybe he did. We all know he is imprecise in his use of the English language.

    Trump and his people need to come out with the big guns. This impeachment thing is getting out of hand. DJT can't count on Sasse, Collins, or that fool Romney.

    Initially, I thought Trump had foxed them. And maybe he has. But now is the time to get some of those intelligence documents out into the public.

    Or am I all wet? Sorry if this is wrong thread for this comment.

    1. Please always put "whistleblow" inside quotation marks, because whoever this is--and I suspect we'll eventually learn--is officially NOT a whistleblower.

      I disagree that this is a clever document. Rather it reads as if Glenn Simpson or Chris Steele wrote it. When you read for example that Trump named Giuliani and Barr as his "personal representatives" to Zelenskyy ...

      Sorry, Bill Barr is NOBODY'S personal representative. He's Attorney General of the United States and head of the Department of Justice. To suggest otherwise is pure BS, and any attempt to follow up on such nonsense will backfire badly.

      I think you need to calm down. The reason Dems are freaking out is because the transcript reveals that Barr is indeed on the trail of the Deep State.

      The WSJ writes today that DoJ says Barr never contacted Zelenskyy "so nothing came of the call." Wrongo!

      Of course Barr didn't contact Zelenskyy--Barr isn't going to step on Pompeo's toes like that. But what the transcript confirms, and what DoJ confirmed yesterday, is that John Durham's team IS investigating the Ukraine Connection. Count on it, the call produced tangible results. Durham and/or "his people" have been in touch with Zelenskyy's people.

    2. Thank you for the cogent reply. I will shut down the afterburners.

      I've also reread the 'Whistleblower' letter. His attempt in I think the first paragraph to smear AG Barr perhaps tells the careful reader all he needs to know about the true nature of this document.

      Keep up the good work!!

    3. I think you hit the main point--re Barr. I'll update my new post to reflect that.

  4. Here's my greatest fear. As long as the corrupt media has such a huge reach, they have the advantage.
    It doesn't really matter that around only 30% of the public now trust the media. I have friends who I discuss these events with, but they don't spend the time researching like I do, and whenever they see some headlines, they feel nervous and worried, even though they know the media is corrupt. It still hits them at an emotional level, and forces them to think "how could that happen, could it be true, what if it's true... etc" until I explain the background and details. If I wasn't there to calm them down, who knows where they'd end up?

    And that's probably the same for many others in our position.

    It's difficult for people to believe that the media actually lies so blatantly.

    1. If they had the advantage how do you explain 2016? Or how do you explain Trump personally campaigning for senators and adding three seats to the Senate majority in an off year election--utterly unprecedented, like so much else in this presidency?

    2. My point is that the MSM simply doesn't have the influence that people of my generation reflexively assume. Trump understands that.

  5. I used to say, when some "newsworthy" event occurs (terrorism, Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, et al.), to wait 24 hours because initial reports are often wrong or misleading. Now we see reporting on Trump falls in the same category of often wrong AND misleading. If you wait 24 hours with Trump, it turns out to be a nothingburger, though a nothingburger that exposes media and Deep State malfeasance.

    1. And in that latter sense ... not a nothingburger. Because it will doubtless enrage Trump's base but also fairminded people generally.

    2. This may not simply go away. Trump referred to the gossipblower as "almost a spy." He was right, and that's a serious matter.