Image from wikimedia commons – Gage Skidmore.
Action #1: Ask GOP legislators (or ask friends & family to ask theirs) why they are supporting an anti-democratic dictatorship over a pro-western democracy.
We are entering a Twilight Zone version of the McCarthy era. This time, GOP apologists of a foreign and malign dictatorship are actively attacking American values and democracy to keep possibly the most corrupt president in history from sinking their own political careers. Kremlin-inspired propaganda is aimed at making Ukraine less sympathetic to the American public and to make Trump’s fictitious “concerns” about Ukrainian corruption more believable. It’s no accident that they are pushing this story line. According to a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, American concerns about corruption cut across party lines equally.
The GOP is using the Kremlin-supplied innuendo of corruption to perpetrate actual corruption. Time to make each legislator publicly show where they stand.
On 11/26, we asked you to get friends and relatives with GOP legislators to call and ask them if they swore an oath to the Constitution or to a man. Today, we want them to ask what country they work for.
It’s a simple question…
Minimal script for GOP legislators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to ask [Rep/Sen.] to answer one question. Is [Rep.__/Sen.__] working as an agent of a foreign intelligence force to spread Kremlin-backed myths against Ukraine to protect President Trump from impeachment?
Last week’s script:
Minimal script for GOP legislators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to ask [Rep/Sen.] to answer one question. Does [Rep.__/Sen.__] affirm allegiance to American democracy as is required in his/her oath of office or to a president carrying out Russian actions for personal gain? The truth is now clear that it can only be one or the other.
Contact for all legislators:
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com
Action #2: Why is this disinformationist still on TV? Call Fox and his commercial sponsors.
(PBS)(arstechnica) “Robert Mueller actually warned that Russian interference is still happening “as we sit here.” State election officials are anxious and underfunded, some running systems with outdated software and scrounging for replacement parts off e-Bay.
And on Thursday a report from the Senate Intelligence committee concluded all 50 states were targeted in 2016 and ahead of the 2018 election “top election vulnerabilities remained.”
(US House of Reps. Permanent Select Committe on Intelligence) ” On February 16, 2018 Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian organizations for engaging in operations to interfere with U.S. political and electoral processes, including the 2016 presidential election. This was a significant step forward in exposing a surreptitious social media campaign and holding accountable those responsible for this attack. The indictment spells out in exhaustive detail the breadth and systematic nature of this conspiracy, dating back to 2014, as well as the multiple ways in which Russian actors misused online platforms to carry out their clandestine operations.”
Tucker Carlson put out a “Look over there, SQUIRREL!” monologue that twists all the facts above, and then had a follow-up discussion with Rep. Jim Jordan, a man described by columnist Michael Gershon as having “mastered the art of talking utter rubbish in tones of utter conviction.” Rubbish more completely described here.
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Here’s a list of sponsors from Think Progress. Pick one or two companies that you may do business with and ask them why they continue to support this anti-American program.
Ukraine is a pro-American, pro-European democracy. Yes, there were corrupt people involved in their government, but, with all the industrial shills and grifters installed by the Trump administration, who are we to throw stones? Russia is an anti-democratic dictatorship and kleptocracy, that aggressively attacked a neighboring country and has actively targeted our election systems as well as those in other countries. Russian-back leaders of Ukraine’s occupied territory of Donbas have permitted no functioning legislators, block Ukrainian news sites, replaced Ukrainian building names with Russian ones and school textbooks with Russian ones declaring that Ukraine is an enemy of Russia and have “profess(ed) disgust for democracy and explain they will never allow it again in Donbas.”
Before the 2016 election, Trump openly admired Putin (“a terrific person“) despite his habit of killing journalists and invading other countries. But Trump’s ties to Russia go on far longer. The Washington Post reported that for three decades “at least 13 people with known or alleged links to the Russian Mafia held the deeds to, lived in or ran criminal operations out of Trump Tower in New York or other Trump properties.” Since becoming president, Trump has praised Putin, publicly championed Putin’s innocence in election tampering against his own intelligence agencies, is actively trying to bring Russia back to the Group of Seven; and has concealed the details of his meetings with Putin. His actions, against advice of his military advisors, have allowed the Russians to take possession of U.S. bases in Syria; and propagates Russian propaganda blaming Ukraine for 2016 election interference. Trump is joined in spreading Russian disinformation by his secretary of state and other supporters, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), even though the U.S. intelligence community has exposed claims of Ukrainian election interference as a “fictional narrative.”
Ukraine: Many of us have forgotten exactly what happened there in 2014. Here’s a refresher.
This quick 2014 video talks about Putins’ initial actions in taking over parts of Ukraine. At the end, you realize that he needed a partnership to keep his ill-gotten gains and a Clinton presidency would have been a disaster for him.
The “perfect” call wasn’t the first act – it was the third: According to a report in the Intelligencer, the current Ukraine issue is not the first time Trump has negotiated for personal political needs with a desperate ally being victimized by Russian aggression. In Trump’s “perfect” call, Trump asks Zelensky to locate a server was handed by Democrats over to Ukrainians and that would prove Russia had been framed – a theory straight out of the Kremlin. But that narrative was planted in Trump’s mind in 2017, when Manafort passed on the theory from his partner at the time, Konstantin Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence operative.
The first deal: Then, to protect Trump from the Mueller investigation, Giuliani started trading diplomatic favors with Ukraine. The first apparent trade involved a meeting between Trump and Ukraine’s then-president Petro Poroshenko in return for a Ukrainian investigationthat would exonerate Manafort, then a prime target of Mueller’s.
The second deal – why Ukraine finally got Javelin missiles: The next apparent quid pro quo took place the 2018. The U.S. finally sold the Javelin missiles Ukraine needed that year, and the New York Times reported at the time that Ukraine suspended cooperation with the Mueller investigation. “In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials,” one Ukrainian lawmaker and close ally of President Poroshenko explained to the Times.”
Russia has not been a benign force in Crimea: Below is a 2018 video (put out by an Turkish source) that explains the connections between the Ukraine, Europe and Russia more completely. Though it seems sympathetic to Russia, it does note that 10,000 people have been killed by Russian separatists since 2014, but omits details on what Moscow has called a “civil war” , which is actually funded, outfitted and supplied with Russian troups.
Moscow claimed that 97 percent of Crimean voters chose to be incorporated into the Russian Federation rather than maintain the peninsula’s autonomous status within Ukraine, a claim which Trump repeats. What Crimeans actually wanted during a 2014 illegitimate referendum held at gunpoint is not clear. Since the takeover, Kremlin has restricted access to the peninsula and has targeted independent media outlets and imprisoned at least 110 local journalists and activists for their work while others have been kidnapped, disappeared or killed. (Washington Post) “A 2019 report from the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights found that Russia carries out “pervasive human rights violations such as restrictions on freedoms of religion, opinion and expression and association, as well as the intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders, disproportionately affecting Crimean Tatars.” Many residents have fled the peninsula since the annexation, contributing to the more than 1.4 million internally displaced people in Ukraine . In short, the Kremlin’s argument that Crimeans “want to be part of Russia” rests on an illegal sham election and the systematic oppression of dissent.”
Hey, we know how this movie ends: The video ends with a description of a Russian pipeline being relocated away from Ukraine and towards the country of another Trump autocratic friend, Erdogan of Turkey, where our president has a significant business deal. The first leg of this pipeline was completed in October, this year.
- Donald Trump: xenophobe in public, international mobster in private (guardian)
- The real lesson of Ukraine-gate (theAmericanProspect)
- The Republicans have become the party of Russia. This makes me sick. (washingtonpost)
- Stop calling Trump a “Russian dupe”. The truth is much worse. (wapo)
- Trump extorted Ukraine in 2017 and 2018 before getting caught this year. (intelligencer)
- AP fact check: Trump, GOP claims on Ukraine corruption. (AP)
- GOP Senators, defending Trump, embrace debunked Ukraine theory (NYTimes)
- “Financial Times” Editor: “Can’t find” what article GOP Sen. John Kennedy is citing about Ukraine Election interference (RealClearPolitics)
- Sen. Kennedy takes back Sunday comment on alleged Ukrainian intervention in 2016 (Politico)
- Democratic leaders need to stop sending all-is-forgiven-messages to Putin (wapo)
- Vladimir Putin’s Russia is rehabilitating Stalin. We must not let it happen. (guardian)