Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire – and There is a Lot of Smoke

My Father is now in his 80s, and has lived through only 2 more US presidencies than I have – FDR and Truman. This upcoming election has me in a quandary. I don’t and never did like Donald Trump, but don’t know enough about Joseph Biden to make a sound decision on my vote next month! All I know is, I’ve lived through a dozen changes of the guard and have never been this uncertain about the direction this country is heading!

And I quote, not from the Washington Post, nor FOX News, but the NEW YORK TIMES:

C.I.A. Reasserts Putin Is Likely Directing Election Influence Efforts to Aid Trump The assessment, which the agency has moderate confidence in, buttresses earlier findings that the Russian president supports President Trump’s re-election.

Russia has become an authoritarian country under President Vladimir V. Putin, and little in its foreign policy occurs without his knowledge or blessing, national security officials have repeatedly said. Russia has become an authoritarian country under President Vladimir V. Putin, and little in its foreign policy occurs without his knowledge or blessing, national security officials have repeatedly said.

Putin
Credit…Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev
Julian E. BarnesDavid E. Sanger
By Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger
Published Sept. 22, 2020
Updated Sept. 25, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is most likely continuing to approve and direct interference operations aimed at raising President Trump’s re-election chances, a recent C.I.A. analysis concluded, a signal that intelligence agencies continue to back their assessment of Russian activities despite the president’s attacks.

The assessment was disseminated in support of sanctions imposed this month on Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russian Ukrainian lawmaker who has spread information critical of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. It is consistent with intelligence officials’ warning to lawmakers in January that Russia was interfering on Mr. Trump’s behalf, a briefing that outraged Republicans and eventually helped oust Joseph Maguire from his post as acting director of national intelligence.

The C.I.A. has moderate confidence in its analysis, a lower degree of certainty than its 2016 assessment of Mr. Putin’s preferences, in part because the intelligence community appears to lack intercepted communications or other direct evidence confirming his direction of Mr. Derkach’s efforts. Mr. Putin, a former intelligence agent, is careful not to use electronic devices.

According to people familiar with the matter, the new analysis was published ahead of the sanctions in the C.I.A. Worldwide Intelligence Review, a classified document that circulates to members of Congress and the Trump administration. The Washington Post earlier reported the assessment.

~ The New York Times

Remember Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal?” Well, this is a BIG DEAL!

In closing: I’ve been a Republican (by tradition) all of my life, but now the party is in deep “canine stool!”