Carter Page

#NoPuppetNoPuppet | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Composite — Donald Trump: Detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc; Carter Page: AP Photo; Puti-Toots: Artist unknown.

This is Carter Page. Honestly, it is pretty much what it looks like. The headlines can tell you quite a bit, and either read along or don’t; there is a lot there, and the tale really is as clumsy and ridiculous as it seems.

• Milder, Zachary. “Trump’s New Russia Adviser Has Deep Ties to Kremlin’s Gazprom”. Bloomberg. 30 March 2016.

• Ioffe, Julia. “The Mystery of Trump’s Man in Moscow”. Politico. 23 September 2016.

• Nechepurenko, Ivan. “Carter Page, Ex-Trump Adviser With Russian Ties, Visits Moscow”. The New York Times. 8 December 2016.

• Schwarz, Jon. “Carter Page, at Center of Trump Russian Investigation, Writes Bizarre Letter to DOJ Blaming Hillary Clinton”. The Intercept. 15 February 2017.

• Woodruff, Judy. “Former Trump adviser says he had no Russian meetings in the last year”. News Hour. 15 February 2017.

• Reilly, Steve. “Two other Trump advisers also spoke with Russian envoy during GOP convention”. USA Today. 2 March 2017.

• Helsel, Phil. “Carter Page, Adviser Once Linked to Trump Campaign, Met With Russian Ambassador”. NBC News. 3 March 2017.

• Herridge, Catherine, Pamela K. Browne, and Christopher Wallace. “Ex-Trump adviser Carter Page rips ‘false narrative’ on Russia collusion”. FOX News. 30 March 2017.

• Ross, Brian and Matthew Mosk. “Trump campaign adviser Carter Page targeted for recruitment by Russian spies”. ABC News. 4 April 2017.

• Groll, Elias. “Russian Spy Met Trump Adviser Carter Page and Thought He Was an ‘Idiot'”. Foreign Policy. 4 April 2017.

• Kaczynski, Andrew. “Former Trump adviser Carter Page says he didn’t disclose Russian spy contacts to campaign”. CNN. 5 April 2017.

And perhaps there is a lesson here about the idea that, yes, they really are doing the simplistic, insanely idiotic whatever it is we cannot believe they are doing because, Nobody is really that stupid, right? except when they are, and we are going to be seeing variations on the theme.

Try it this way: Did Donald Trump ever say explicitly that he absolutely would not hit Syria with missiles in response to an atrocity? No? Then he did not flip-flop, change his position, or evolve.

As to what Carter Page, or Roger Stone, or any number of Trump associates flirting with measures of culpability and innocence, are after, but it seems worth wondering if at some point, we might hear that the late March pushback, for instance, wasn’t really lying, even in the wake of February and early March acknowledgements, because pitching to the FOX News crowd doesn’t really count. And while that is hardly any sort of test, it does mark at least some manner of threshold, perhaps according to the question how silly we can get. But if we attend closely, these characters are playing a pretty straightforward game of perpetual hair splitting. To wit, there was the point at which no, Donald Trump didn’t know what NSA Flynn had been up to before being installed, but probably would have approved, anyway. And therein we pretty much have the scope of what we’re looking at: Everyone just happened to accidentally do and be just what a foreign interest wanted except for the president, who is doing and being pretty much what the foreign interest wants, and no, he didn’t know but he probably would have been okay with it, anyway, because of course they did these things but nobody actually did anything wrong.

And, yes, that is as silly as we need to get, because otherwise it’s pretty much clear what is happening, and, y’know, because God blesses America, or something like that, this really, really can’t be what it looks like.

____________________

Note: Originally posted to #trumpswindle 10 April 2017.

Image note: Composite ― Donald Trump: Detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc; Carter Page: AP Photo; Puti-Toots: Artist unknown.

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