Three Russian propaganda techniques being used by the Trump administration—and how to fight them

Recent events in Charlottesville and the stream of deflections and false moral equivalences from the White House accentuate the fact that we are now dealing with a president who only cares about power. 

Many of the Trump tactics we are seeing and saw during the presidential election are cribbed from Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime, and are quite advanced. 

The three tactics we’re seeing the most are toxic cynicism, whataboutism, and attempts at owning all of the narratives across the political spectrum. Here’s what they look like, and some thoughts on how to combat these imported propaganda techniques. 

Trump campaign emails show Russia cast ‘wide net’ to gain access to team Trump

Newly revealed emails of a low-level adviser to the Trump campaign show the aide was eager to make connections between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But experts on Russia say the emails also demonstrate that Russian officials were seeking multiple access points to team Trump. The Washington Post writes:

Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.

Top Trump aides reportedly weren’t as eager to make that connection as one might think given how many

Continue reading “Trump campaign emails show Russia cast ‘wide net’ to gain access to team Trump”

Trump campaign emails show Russia cast ‘wide net’ to gain access to team Trump

Newly revealed emails of a low-level adviser to the Trump campaign show the aide was eager to make connections between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. But experts on Russia say the emails also demonstrate that Russian officials were seeking multiple access points to team Trump. The Washington Post writes:

Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”

The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.

Top Trump aides reportedly weren’t as eager to make that connection as one might think given how many

Continue reading “Trump campaign emails show Russia cast ‘wide net’ to gain access to team Trump”

Donald Trump thanks Putin for American diplomatic expulsions: ‘Now we have a smaller payroll’

From a pool report, Donald Trump’s response to a reporter question about Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s order that the United States cut the number of its diplomatic staff members by over 750, one of the most dramatic such moves against diplomatic personnel since the fall of the Soviet Union.

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.”

The most charitable explanation is that the man is insane.

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As probes of Trump and Russia roll on, Trump’s new CIA director may soon have decisions to make

This New York Times mini-profile of Trump’s new CIA director, the hard-hard-right former House Republican Mike Pompeo, mostly dodges the question of whether or not Pompeo might use his new powerful position as political shield for the man who appointed him.

In the midst of an investigation into Russian intelligence operations aimed at electing Trump that has already found its way into Trump Tower and Trump’s own family, that’s the big question everyone’s been asking.

Yet the attributes that have endeared Mr. Pompeo to the president — his hawkish politics and eagerness to speak his mind — have been met with a more mixed reception at the C.I.A. The agency sees its role as delivering hard truths that are unvarnished by political preferences, and there are concerns in the intelligence community that Mr. Pompeo’s partisan instincts color his views of contentious issues, such as Russia’s interference in the

Continue reading “As probes of Trump and Russia roll on, Trump’s new CIA director may soon have decisions to make”