DonaldAs noted in a thread below, Donald Trump involved himself in only one aspect of the GOP platform, and that was to scrub all wording in support of Ukrainian sovereignty.  Two weeks ago in an interview he stated that he might not defend NATO allies who are invaded by Russia.  He has bragged about his conversations with Putin, but is now downplaying them, claiming in contradiction to prior claims that he’s never met Putin.  So was he lying before, or is he lying now?

And this is chilling., as quoted in a Wapo op piece.

QUESTION: I would like to know if you became president, would you recognize (inaudible) Crimea as Russian territory? And also if the U.S. would lift sanctions that are (inaudible)?

TRUMP: We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking.

What’s there to be looking at?  It’s sovereign territory currently held by ethnic Russians will all kinds of evidence of direct Russian involvement.

And then we have the hacking job re the DNC emails, for which some officials claim there is evidence of Russian hacking.  What the emails revealed about DNC insular culture and possible involvement in the primaries are the issues, so we shouldn’t get distracted about the claims of Russian hacking.  I don’t care if they were hacked by David Duke.  The emails themselves are the problem for Democrats.  But if they were hacked to assist Trump in winning the election, that’s a separate issue altogether.

So today Trump was begging Russia to hack and produce Clinton’s deleted emails.  His words:  “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”  And he’s been in damage control all day.  Whether or not he’s an “agent,” a suggestion some Democrats have thrown around, he’s clearly a fan.

Paul Ryan is in hiding, but issued the following statement which reveals a bit:  “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Now Trump’s dodging questions about business relationships with Russia.

Trump’s allies are trying to clean it up for him, alternately claiming that he was joking or saying that what he really meant was that Russia should dutifully turn the emails over to the FBI.

Now, Leon Panetta is a Democrat.  I know this because I used to vote for his representation in Congress when I lived in Santa Cruz.  So take it with a partisan grain of salt, but he’s questioning whether Trump should be receiving intel briefings in light of the situation.  In other words, they’re saying he’s a potentially traitorous Moscow ally!  Harry Reid’s all over it this afternoon.

It’s really weird for Democrats to be attacking the Republican candidate for ties to Russia.  It’s hard to explain to millennials how bizarre it is in light of US political history.  But the Cold War is something you only read about.  To those of us who lived it, this story is borderline nuts.

The mural is in Lithuania, one of the Baltic states Trump said he would ditch in the event of a Russian invasion.

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