Luke Harding on Trump, Russia, and 'Collusion'


Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win  

(There is a vigorous debate in the mainstream media about the memo prepared by David Nunez and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.   In the post below, we recommend that readers look past the memos debate to understand the important issues -- what happened between the Russians and the Trump empire and then the Trump campaign.  Readers will have an improved understanding of the important issues in context by reading the views of skilled journalists who know Russian society and government well rather than sound bites from the talking heads on cable T.V.  – Editor)

There may not be a smoking gun, but there’s a mountain of evidence tying Trump to the Kremlin.

By Joshua Holland in the Nation.

Skeptics of the widely accepted view that Russia conducted a multi-faceted propaganda and cyber-warfare campaign to influence last year’s elections often argue that there’s no evidence to support the claims. The fallacy they’re deploying here is straightforward: They’re conflating “evidence” with “proof.”

Many criminal convictions are obtained without video or DNA evidence, or some other slam-dunk proof. Prosecutors offer a theory of the case, and then support it with multiple pieces of evidence that would not themselves prove a defendant’s guilt when viewed in isolation. Individual pieces of evidence may speak to motive, means, or opportunity, or may be used to undermine the defense. They’re often the bricks with which prosecutors build a larger structure.

It’s true that we don’t yet have, and may never discover, a smoking gun that proves definitively that Russia ran a multi-pronged “active measures” campaign to help Trump get elected, or that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian operatives in doing so. Espionage operations are covert, often conducted through cutouts, and specifically designed to provide plausible deniability. Similarly, our own counter-intelligence agencies may never reveal everything they know because doing so would compromise classified sources and methods of obtaining information. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a mountain of evidence suggesting that the Kremlin expended significant resources to influence the outcome of last year’s elections, that Trump’s people were communicating with Russian agents during the campaign, and that those involved have since worked very hard to cover their trail.

Read the entire review at

Or, better yet, read the entire book  Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win by Luke Harding (2017).


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