What did Russia Get In Exchange For Hacking Our Electorate?

The Daily Kos
By Frank Vyan Walton 
March 12, 2017

Last week I wrote a detailed overview of what is publicly known about contacts between Donald Trump, his associates, and members of Russian government, intelligence agencies, and even mobsters.
Despite their repeated claims that they didn’t meet or talk with any Russians before the election, we now know that Donald Trump himself met with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at the Republican National Convention, as did his surrogate Jeff Sessions and advisors J.D. Morton and Carter Page—which just about all of them lied about. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn met with Kislyak before the election, then again during the transition along with Jared Kushner in Trump Tower—in addition to discussing U.S. sanctions with him over the phone and lying about it.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Kislyak’s chief deputy Konstantine Kilimnik, who is Russian-born. Kilimnik has a professed background in Russian intelligence and has along with Manafort worked in support of Putin-backed former Ukrainian dictator Viktor Yanukovych. Later reports by the New York Times of “intercepted Russian communications” in all likelihood involve attempts by the FBI and NSA to confirm whether Kilimnik is a current FSB operative
But it’s not just the fact that all these contacts and communications took place, even though the Trump camp lied about it all for months. The smoking gun in this entire scandal may be what the Russians very likely received potentially in exchange for their DNC hack and election interference in opposition to the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, and in favor of Trump.
This week Rachel Maddow may have cracked that code.

In addition to all the above there’s also this, which I wrote about earlier in the week:
Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen setting up a secret peace deal between Ukraine and Russia to end the sanctions. Rex Tillerson’s $500 Billion ties to Putin. Wilbur Ross’s ties to Putin. Manafort’s ties to Yanakovych, and therefore Putin as well as a former Russian intelligence officer. Trump’s shady business deals with Felix Sater and Bayrock, his links to Russian mobsters, selling a $95 Million mansion at a $60 Million profit to a Russian Oligarch and helping to launder money to Russia’s ally the Iranian Guard with a giant dead Hotel in Azerbaijan.

Lying about meeting Russians is one thing. But the really strange lie is the one about how and why the RNC platform plank regarding our support for providing weapons to the Ukraine in opposition to pro-Russian violence was suddenly and mysteriously dropped. Initially, Donald Trump and Paul Manafort flatly denied that their campaign had anything to do with it.  
Manafort said on NBC’s Meet the Press this past weekend that the change in language on Ukraine “absolutely did not come from the Trump campaign.”
Eric Brakey, a Maine delegate who identifies as a non-interventionist, said he supported the change, which was pushed in part by the Trump campaign.
“Some staff from the Trump campaign came in and… came back with some language that softened the platform,” Brakey told The Daily Beast. “They didn’t intervene in the platform in most cases. But in that case they had some wisdom to say that maybe we don’t want to be calling… for very, very clear aggressive acts of war against Russia.”
“They substantively changed it,” added Washington, D.C., delegate Rachel Hoff, who was present during the meeting. “It absolutely was my understanding that it was Trump staff.”
According to two Republican delegates, the Trump campaign’s efforts were led in part by J.D. Gordon, a Trump campaign official and a former spokesman at the Pentagon.
So they did change the platform in a way that very specifically benefited Russia. And the person who personally implemented the change was J.D. Gordon, one of the three Trump associates, along with Trump himself, who had met personally with Kislyak at the convention.
And who had decided to make this change? According to what we know now, Trump did. And all of them lied about it.
In January, Gordon told Business Insider that he "never left" his "assigned side table" nor spoke publicly at the GOP national security subcommittee meeting, where the amendment — which originally called for "providing lethal defense weapons" to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian-backed separatists — was read aloud, debated, and ultimately watered down to "providing appropriate assistance" to Ukraine.
According to CNN's Jim Acosta, however, Gordon said that at the RNC he and others "advocated for the GOP platform to include language against arming Ukrainians against pro-Russian rebels" because "this was in line with Trump's views, expressed at a March national security meeting at the unfinished Trump hotel" in Washington, DC.
Is it possible this is all merely circumstantial? Is it just a coincidence that Manafort’s favorite Russian made a specific trip to the U.S. to meet with him and advocate for this change in the RNC platform?  Is this something that Trump wanted anyway on his own, without being lobbied by Kilimnik or Manafort?
If so, then exactly why did they all lie about it so profusely?
The answer to that may link back to something that was claimed in the so-called Steele dossier, which has been gradually proven more and more credible. The dossier alleged that this change in the platform was arranged as payback for Russia helping the Trump campaign.

Segment from Steele Dossier on Russia and Trump
“Other issues where the Kremlin was looking to shift the US policy consensus were Ukraine and Syria. “
Ukraine was a priority for the Kremlin. Then somehow during the RNC, after meeting with Ambassador Kislyak, it suddenly became a priority for Trump. And then they lied about for it months. 
There is a thing in law enforcement known as “consciousness of guilt.” It’s the way that people behave when they have something to hide, when they know something they don’t want you to know because if you knew that thing, you would realize that they’ve done something bad. Really bad.
Perhaps they’ve sold our country out to the Kremlin.
And as Rachel Maddow described in her “B Block,” they may not have stopped yet. The Trump administration appears to be hollowing out the State Department with a giant purge of their institutional knowledge.

The Trump White House carried out an abrupt purge of the state department’s senior leadership last week, removing key officials from posts that are essential to the day-to-day running of the department and US missions abroad.
The motives behind the sudden wave of sackings are unclear. Some of the outgoing diplomats saw it as one more sign of chaos from a new administration that is desperately short of experience. Others saw it as a wrecking operation, aimed at debilitating the state department at a time of upheaval: while the White House planned its ban on entry for people from a list of Muslim countries, and while Trump frames a new foreign policy before Tillerson arrives in his post.
Cutting the State Department budget by 35 percent. Purging it of all of its most experienced and knowledgeable top diplomats. Could that be a great big boxed and ribbon-covered gift to the Kremlin and Putin? 
Could our government now be an active arm of the Kremlin itself? 
The more time goes on, the more this seems to be the case. And exactly what, if anything, can or will be done about it? The FBI appears to be compromised by packs of rabid Trump fans in their midst. Trump’s hand-picked deputy at the Department of Justice—who with Jeff Sessions’ recusal will have the primary task of investigating all this or assigning an independent counsel—is now going through confirmation hearings, with little indication that he may be blocked. Both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are led by former Trump campaign and transition members who—along with CIA Director Mike Pompeo—have already shown they’re more than willing to shill for the administration to the press.
So who—or what—is going to get to the bottom of this?


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