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DJT palling around w/Putin

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:03 am
by Marie
The Clinton campaign urged the replacement of Debbie Wasserman Schultz last fall, but the president thought it would just create a hassle. Turns out waiting created an even bigger one.....

Inside the scramble to oust Debbie Wasserman Schultz
By Glenn Thrush, Gabriel Debenedetti and Edward-Isaac Dovere

HILLARY CLINTON and her team aren’t thrilled that the head of the Democratic National Committee was forced out on the eve of the nominee’s coronation -- but they aren’t exactly distraught to see Debbie Wasserman Schultz booted from the tent. Several senior Democratic officials with ties to Hillary and Bill Clinton told POLITICO that campaign higher-ups have been trying to replace the oft-off-message Florida congresswoman from the start of Clinton’s campaign late last year.

John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman –- and a former top adviser to Barack Obama -– broached the idea of replacing Wasserman Schultz as early as last fall, only to be rebuffed by the president’s team, according to two people with direct knowledge of the conversation.

“It came down to the fact that the president didn’t want the hassle of getting rid of Debbie,” said a former top Obama adviser. “It’s been a huge problem for the Clintons, but the president just didn’t want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him… It was a huge pain in the ass.”

The Obama team -– especially 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina –- long viewed Wasserman Schultz as a major campaign liability, questioning her fundraising prowess and her tendency to appoint personal aides to positions of authority, prioritizing loyalty over competence and effectiveness as a spokesperson for Democrats. At the time, senior campaign officials leaked details of an internal survey conducted by pollster David Binder, showing Wasserman Schultz was the least-liked Obama surrogate; she later dismissed the report as “National Enquirer” dross.

After Obama’s 2012 victory, Messina and longtime political adviser Patrick Gaspard, who worked under Wasserman Schultz at the DNC, pressed the president to push her out, advising he tap former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak as her replacement. Obama –- who cared little for the party machinations -– figured the move would be more trouble than it was worth and told his aides that he was OK having Wasserman Schultz serve as chairwoman until he left office.

“It’s embarrassing that Obama left the problem for Hillary,” one former West Wing adviser told POLITICO.

Yet the aggregated animosity toward Wasserman Schultz led to a swift and brutal conclusion to her five-plus year tenure at the helm of the president’s party; she resigned less than 24 hours after WikiLeaks posted dozens of emails showing her staff working to undermine the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders to aid a Clinton organization they often derided as inept and timid.

“I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future,” Wasserman Schultz said today in a statement issued after a day of back-and-forth with top Democratic officials urging her to step down for the sake of party unity ahead of Clinton's big week. “I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory...

"Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as party chair at the end of this convention.”

The move had to happen on Sunday, said a senior Democrat: Sanders-supporting delegates -- without the buy-in of his campaign -- had been organizing an effort over the last day to have state delegations vote to demand her resignation at the Monday morning caucus breakfasts. Given how many delegations are made up of a majority of Sanders supporters, the movement was likely to have spread, overtaking any other news on the convention's opening day.

Clinton campaign officials declined numerous attempts by phone, email and text to respond to this story. But the Clinton campaign was very much involved in the DNC chair’s defenestration. [ :lol: Did they really throw her out the window, lol? -M.] Earlier in the day Sunday, Sanders had again suggested that Wasserman Schultz should resign, and DNC officials announced she would be replaced as convention chair by Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, an influential member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

By sundown, after intense negotiations with senior Clinton campaign officials, the committee tapped longtime Clinton aide, TV surrogate and party vice-chair Donna Brazile as interim chairwoman.

To senior Democrats, it represented a clean-up operation that brought Clinton and Sanders –- who has demanded her ouster for months -- into closer alignment a day before the Vermont senator was due to deliver his opening night endorsement of an opponent he long accused of rigging the election with the help of the D.C.-based party establishment.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party," Sanders said in a don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out statement Sunday afternoon. "While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race."

People around Wasserman Schultz didn't know it was coming until this morning in Philadelphia, when she finally had a meeting with senior Clinton campaign officials. In fact, no one saw it coming: she had introduced Clinton and Kaine at their first joint rally in Miami roughly than 24 hours earlier, and even that was just after she'd spent a week as Democrats' most prominent surrogate at the Republican convention, popping up at event after event in Cleveland. But the writing was on the wall ever since the WikiLeaks email dump, the source of the only disruption at Clinton and Kaine's entire rally, when a protester carrying a #DNCLEAKS banner heckled the presumptive nominee the second she thanked Wasserman Schultz.

All weekend, senior Clinton staffers and members of the Sanders brain trust were huddling in Philadelphia. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver and strategist Mark Longabaugh were in touch with Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Charlie Baker, and lawyer Marc Elias on Friday night and Saturday during the rules committee proceedings.

The WikiLeaks emails kept being raised as a topic of conversation; and while the Sanders aides didn't demand Wasserman Schultz's ouster, they made their preference -- that she exit as soon as possible -- known.

Wasserman Schultz, meanwhile, was largely stating out of sight except for her Clinton/Kaine appearance. Her public events kept coming off her calendar through the weekend, including a scheduled appearance on Fox News Sunday. And when Baker didn't show up to a credentials committee meeting on Sunday morning, staffers immediately suspected something was coming.

It was a striking and telling shift to the DNC staffers monitoring her movements: They had just been laughing about how overexposed she'd been last week, showing up everywhere in Cleveland. But they knew for sure that something was up with the chairwoman -- who they had, for months, been sure was going to get showered in Ted Cruz-like boos at the convention -- when their 2:00 p.m. senior staff meeting in Philadelphia on Sunday was abruptly cancelled.

"This was the right move. She doesn't deserve every attack that's been thrown at her but her faults have become too big a distraction and she hasn't deftly managed the internal politics involved in managing a national committee," said a DNC staffer. "The DNC should be playing a consequential role in the general election and that hasn't been possible as long as she's been in charge."

All the while, state party chairs had been emailing each other in semi-panic, receiving no response from national committee staff as speculation about a move heated up throughout the weekend. The same held true for party fundraisers -- even those at a DNC retreat in town on Sunday, who were blindsided by the party’s split-second reorganization. Team Sanders got no warning either, but they were immediately cheered by the installation of Brazile. They had instructed Clinton aides in May -- the last time speculation swirled about Wasserman Schultz's exit -- that Brazile was preferable, and they regarded her as better than Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's option at the time.

Inside the White House, aides and lawyers have been poring through the Wikileaks dump all weekend. There's a lot of flagging of potential problems, but also a lot of eye-rolling and disbelief about what Wasserman Schultz and her staff were thinking, and that they were putting it in emails.

Still, Obama hadn't gotten involved at all as Wasserman Schultz was at the brink. Whenever the topic of replacing her had come up, despite the fact that Obama lost patience with her years ago and generally avoided having to talk to her, he'd always felt that it wasn't worth the trouble that would come of forcing her out. As the election got underway, he felt the leadership questions should be left to Clinton. And this weekend, as conversations between Brooklyn and Wasserman Schultz intensified, neither the president nor his staff was involved.

Once the decision was made, Wasserman Schultz called White House political director David Simas to tell him, and Simas then told the president. Obama decided to call to thank her for her work. The conversation was full of platitudes, a source familiar with the discussion said. He didn't go out of his way to say he was sorry to see her go, and certainly didn't twist her arm to get her to reconsider. Shortly before 4:00 p.m. ET, as word of the impending shakeup began leaking out, the DNC press shop put out its official announcement: Wasserman Schultz would step down. Obama’s statement, thanking her and describing her as a “dear friend,” landed around 20 minutes later, as did Clinton’s naming her the honorary chair of her campaign’s “50-state program.”

"We all knew this was coming yesterday after the WikiLeaks news; it felt like it had to happen. It was just a question of the timing, to be honest," said one state party chair.

"A lot of us thought this was going to happen a month ago. That would've been a more opportune time to do it. ... You won't find a lot of fans of hers among state chairs, but this is shitty timing."

Edward Isaac Dovere and Annie Karni contributed to this report. ... dnc-226100


Trumpists OK w/Russia manipulating our election

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:48 am
by Marie
They'd even welcome Saudi intrusion as long as it harmed Dems, not Drumpf. :x


Open message to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.....

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:53 am
by Marie
Open message to DWS: Please, Debbie -- take one for the team. If you really care about the outcome of this election, don't show your face at the convention. Dems will appreciate your sacrifice & you could still save your rep (sort of).


DWS fumed over unfair treatment by cable news outlets

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:27 pm
by Marie
Debbie Wasserman Schultz was fixated on what she saw as 'outrageous' treatment by cable news. (For the record, I saw it, too.)

Michael M. Grynbaum, of the NYTimes, this morning writes:
THE COLLECTION OF committee emails released last week by the guerrilla journalism group WikiLeaks seemed intended to hurt Democratic unity on the eve of the party’s convention, revealing concerted efforts to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign. (On Sunday, Ms. Wasserman Schultz said she would resign.)

But the documents also offered an unusual and evocative glimpse at the simmering feuds, attempts at ingratiation and clashes of ego that are regular occurrences between media organizations and Democratic power brokers, an elbows-out reality of Washington life that is usually hidden from public view.

Emails show that Ms. Wasserman Schultz stewed for weeks over what she perceived as unfair coverage by MSNBC, arranging meetings with executives there to improve relations and privately lamenting her lack of on-air appearances on the network.

She was particularly displeased by Mika Brzezinski, a co-host of “Morning Joe,” who had questioned Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s impartiality during the Democratic primary battle between the presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, and Mr. Sanders.

“This is the LAST straw,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz wrote on May 18 to Luis Miranda, her communications director, after learning that Ms. Brzezinski had called for her resignation during that day’s broadcast. “This is outrageous. She needs to apologize.”

Ms. Wasserman Schultz instructed Mr. Miranda to complain directly to MSNBC’s president, Phil Griffin. Minutes later, she emailed Mr. Todd directly. “Chuck,” she wrote in the subject line, “this must stop.” Representatives for Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Ms. Brzezinski and NBC News declined to comment on Sunday. Mr. Todd did not respond to an emailed inquiry.

Skirmishes are inevitable between journalists and their subjects, and Ms. Wasserman Schultz and her Democratic aides are by no means the only high-powered figures who engage in brinkmanship and back-channeling with the news outlets that report on them. The emails show that Ms. Wasserman Schultz sought private meetings with prominent journalists from several leading news outlets, including The New York Times.

Still, those seeking insight into journalistic and political sausage-making could do worse than perusing the emails, which feature the sort of snarky and un-selfconscious exchanges that are common between reporters and politicos in their day-to-day discussions. WikiLeaks has not revealed a source for the nearly 20,000 emails, but they are believed to have been obtained by hackers.

Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor, on Friday addressed a leaked email from one of his producers, who was organizing an on-air appearance by Mr. Miranda. “Any particular points he’ll want to make?” the CNN producer asked a Democratic aide, after thanking the aide for being patient “through a melee of G.O.P. nonsense.”

Some critics, wary of media bias, suggested that the language betrayed a coziness between Mr. Tapper’s team and the Democratic committee. “I think the staffer was just being collegial,” Mr. Tapper replied on his Tumblr, adding, “Some days we have G.O.P. nonsense/booking issues, some days we have Democratic nonsense/booking issues.”

COMPLETE ARTICLE @ ... p=cur&_r=0


FBI investigating DNC computer hacking

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:40 pm
by Marie

FBI investigating DNC computer hacking

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:50 pm
by Marie
A STATEMENT from the FBI confirmed: "The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the FBI said, according to Politico. “A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”

Democratic Party officials learned in late April that their systems had been attacked, after they discovered malicious software on their computers.

A cybersecurity firm they employed found traces of at least two sophisticated hacking groups on the Democrats’ network – both of which have ties to the Russian government
. Those hackers took at least one year’s worth of detailed chats, emails and research on Donald Trump, according to a person knowledgeable of the breach . . .

COMPLETE ARTICLE @ ... r-hacking/


Re: Open message to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.....

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:22 pm
by Marie
Marie wrote:Open message to DWS: Please, Debbie -- take one for the team. If you really care about the outcome of this election, don't show your face at the convention. Dems will appreciate your sacrifice & you could still save your rep (sort of).


UPDATE: Thank you, Debbie, for heeding my plea (mine, and so many others'!). Someday people will thank you, but right now you just need to lay low.

Wasserman Schultz will remove herself completely from convention proceedings ... t-gavel-in


Re: Trumpists OK w/Russia manipulating our election

Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:37 pm
by Marie
Btw --
If you really want to get down in the technical cyber-weeds, this is your article.
[E]xfiltrating documents from political organizations is a legitimate form of intelligence work. The US and European countries do it as well. But digitally exfiltrating and then publishing possibly manipulated documents disguised as freewheeling hacktivism is crossing a big red line and setting a dangerous precedent: an authoritarian country directly yet covertly trying to sabotage an American election.

READ ARTICLE here (and remember, we're not the site's audience; it's written for other cyber tech mavens): ... e-dnc-hack


Re: DNC/DWS/Putin brouhaha

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:38 am
by Marie


Re: DNC/DWS/Putin brouhaha

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:22 am
by dejapig
Eeeeew and :lol:

Re: DNC/DWS/Putin brouhaha

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:52 pm
by Marie
Drumpf refuses even to tell Putin -- personally or rhetorically -- to stay the hell out of American politics. He even invited PootyPoot to snoop in Clinton's emails.

To my way of thinking, that doesn't sound like the behavior of someone who supports this country or who wants to "make America safe."


Re: DJT palling around w/Putin

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:08 pm
by Marie
Bunch of lawyers on Twitter, citing US codes re inciting illegal activities.

They seem to agree that Drumpf would never be convicted -- but heck, look at the amount of time the FBI was tied up investigating HRC for an allegation everybody knew would never result in an indictment in an attempt to distract her and make her life miserable.

Investigation of Drumpf's alleged relationship w/Putin on the strength of DJT's own bragging about how they know each other, and later suggestions that maybe Putin should probe Clinton's electronic communications, could doubtless be justified under any number of U.S. codes.

Drumpf's irresponsible mouth is a danger to the country. I say, go for it -- whether pursuant to a specif crime or not. Who knows what they might find?

Editor of US News & World Report (which is not a liberal publication) voices concerns:
Trump's Political Patron
Donald Trump is openly encouraging Russia to commit espionage against the U.S. How else might he allow Vladimir Putin to sway this election? ... us-clinton

And from Mary Louse Kelly, NPR National Security Correspondent & former presidential briefer:
I wonder if we reach a point where we say, this is crazy. We’re not briefing this guy.


Re: DJT palling around w/Putin

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:27 pm
by Marie
Two years ago, DJT was soliciting hackers to violate Obama's email. Apparently, nobody saw anything ominous in this.

Sept. 6, 2014:
Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama's college records
(destroyed?) and check "place of birth." ... 5270062080

If Anonymous hacked the IRS and published Drumpf's TAX RETURNS, would he be good with that?



Re: DJT palling around w/Putin

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:15 pm
by Marie

Re: DJT palling around w/Putin

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:52 pm
by Marie