Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The White House Just Colluded with Russia to Kill the Truth

 This is not what I planned to be doing this week…

I had intended to take a week or more off and unplug from social media, a much needed “digital detox” where I would turn off and tune out the noise the news, and the nonsense.

Well, so much for that.

Writer Uri Friedman at the Atlantic Magazine was the first to notice something odd about the official White House transcript from last week’s press conference with Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The official White House version both in printed transcript and in posted video, edited out what was the biggest moment of the entire event.

That moment was when Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked Putin directly if he had wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and did he direct any one to help make that happen. Whereupon Putin answered just as directly that he had in fact wanted Trump to win and went on to give his reasons why.  

In the White House’s new “alternative reality version” of that exchange, things are remarkably different.

From The Atlantic:
If you watch the White House live-stream of the press conference or look at the transcript published by the White House, the first half of Mason’s question is not there. Without it, the meaning of the exchange is substantially different.

Compare this transcript, of what actually happened, to the White House’s version. Here is the record of what took place, starting with the last part of Putin’s comments before Jeff Mason’s questions. Putin is describing his willingness to assist with Robert Mueller’s probe (bolding is mine):

Vladimir Putin: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Jeff Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

And here’s the key section from the White House transcript, which makes it seem as though Putin is still talking about the Mueller probe: 

PRESIDENT PUTIN: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Q: And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

PRESIDENT PUTIN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

Another strange wrinkle comes from the Russian government’s English-language transcript of the press conference. In contrast to its footage of the press conference, which features what really happened, the transcript does not include any piece of that key exchange.

Transcripts published by the Federal News Service and Bloomberg Government mirror the White House transcript, while NPR’s contains the full exchange. Confusing matters further, C-SPAN’s footage contains Mason’s full question but only the second half of Putin’s answer.
Now this could be chalked up to the White House just trying to get their spin on something out front and center, and many reporters , now somewhat numb to the Trump Administration’s complete disregard for facts and truth that they don’t like, let this pass. Then on this past Sunday in the middle of an epic meltdown on Twitter, Donald Trump tweeted this;
So Trump is actively trying to erase evidence that Vladimir Putin was supporting him in 2016, while at the same time tweeting out that Russia (in Trump Reality) is supporting Democrats.

 It's hard to follow the  dumpster fire that is the Trump Administration.  But  some journalists will see two seemingly unrelated burning bits  and connect the dots.  Rachel  Maddow breaks it down.

So just to be clear.  BOTH the White House and the Kremlin edited the transcript  of the Helsinki press conference to try to delete the moment where Vladimir Putin admits he was actively supporting Donald Trump to win the election in 2016. 

You just saw the White House actively collude with the Kremlin to wage a disinformation campaign against the American People.  Which raises a few key questions  for three specific groups of people.

1) The White House Press Corps. -  If  Journalists (and this includes  FOX News) do not raise bloody hell  and actively fight against  the White House hacking and  re-editing their reporting to fit Trump's "Alternative Facts"  then the free press in the United States is truly dead and  our democracy is in lethal peril.

 Sadly some journalists are scared to stand up and fight for a free press.    Over at the Washington Post, Phillip Bump assures us this was all just an innocent mistake and "No, the White House didn’t intentionally edit a question to Putin out of a video.   Sorry Phil, yes they did.    Anyone watching the live feeds from CNN, MSNBC, BBC  and listening on NPR  all clearly  saw and or heard Mason's FULL question. 

Yet  the White  House video  just happens to miss the first half of the question but not the 2nd?  Making it look like Mason was asking a follow up to  the previous question about the Mueller probe and NOT about who Putin wanted to win in 2016?

Oh yeah... and the omission was brought to the attention of the White House shortly after the transcript was posted and remains uncorrected.   So Really Phil? I know you folks at the Post are feeling under siege from this President, but your op-ed tries so hard to carry water for the White House that it's just embarrassing.

2) Congressional Republicans -  Are you patriotic Americans?   Or are you Kremlin sedated sheep who will accept a President who is Putin's stooge, and who is actively working for Russia's interests against  the United States?  Will you continue to  accept anything this White House tells you because it is less painful than admitting you sold your souls for tax cuts?  Are you really that willing to destroy our nation rather than admit a mistake?

I, like many Americans am not thrilled by idea of President Pence, or Vice President Ryan,  but it's  time for President Pence.   Or is your  fear of upsetting the "Trump Base" more important than the good of the Nation?   So "Country First"  really was just a catchy slogan, and wasn't something  you  actually meant?

3)Trump Voters - You are supporting a known Traitor.  That makes you a participant  in that Treason.  If you  really love America as much you claim to,  It's time  to stop supporting  Trump and his Party.  If you believe in such a thing as TRUTH,  if you believe the President of the United States should be a BETTER AMERICAN  than the President of  Russia, then it's time to STOP feeding this dumpster fire of a Presidency. 

If you can't  do that  then you are the mindless sheep that George Orwell  tried to warn us all not to become.

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