There is so much to The Mueller Report that I've decided to start out by simply quoting it (with commentary, where appropriate) and I'll divide the quotes and any other info I type up into parts. The following quotes are from Volume I, which I think of as the "Russian Interference" portion of the report. It describes the specific organizations (directly related to the Russian government, and therefore authorized by Putin) that interfered in our American elections. These were selected to show a little of what American intelligence agencies know about the Russian interference in our 2016 election, which Putin has publicly admitted to, although never in the presence of our current president, when he gleefully says he didn't interfere and seems to get a tremendous kick out of Trump's acceptance of his word.
I don't know whether to think Trump knows and is pretending not to believe our intelligence agencies or he truly doesn't believe the intelligence, but it is astounding what the intelligence community knows, down to the people who paid for the interference, the buildings and rooms trolls worked in, how they created rallies with props like "Hillary for Prison" floats from afar, and how crypto currency was used to pay for much of what was done. In truth, Americans should be livid about the extent to which many of us were fooled by a hostile foreign government. I, for one, thought the "Hillary for Prison" campaign was something that my fellow Americans came up with. It was not.
By February 2016, internal IRA documents referred to support for the Trump Campaign and opposition to candidate Clinton. For example [...] "Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump - we support them).
Note from the Internet on the IRA, as referenced above:
The Internet Research Agency (IRA; Russian: Агентство интернет-исследований, also known as Glavset and known in Russian Internet slang as the Trolls from Olgino) is a Russian company, based in Saint Petersburg, engaged in online influence operations on behalf of Russian business and political interests.
The investigation identified two different forms of connections between the IRA and members of the Trump Campaign. (The investigation identified no similar connections between the IRA and the Clinton Campaign.) First, on multiple occasions, members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign promoted — typically by linking, retweeting, or similar methods of reposting — pro-Trump or anti-Clinton content published by the IRA through IRA-controlled social media accounts. Additionally, in a few instances, IRA employees represented themselves as U.S. persons to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign in an effort to seek assistance and coordination on IRA-organized political rallies inside the United States.
Two military units of the GRU carried out the computer intrusions into the Clinton Campaign, DNC and DCCC: Military Units 26165 and 74455. Military Unit 26165 is a GRU cyber unit dedicated to targeting military, political, governmental, and non-governmental organizations outside of Russia, including in the United States. The unit was sub-divided into departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed specialized malicious software ("malware), while another department conducted large-scale spearfishing campaigns.
Officers from Unit 74455 separately hacked computers belonging to state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U. S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U. S. elections.
~pp. 94 - 95
The GRU's operations extended beyond stealing materials, and included releasing documents stolen from the Clinton Campaign and its supporters. The GRU carried out the anonymous release through two fictitious online personas that it created — DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 — and later Wikileaks.
On November 3, 2015, the day after the Trump Organization transmitted the LOI (Letter of Intent), Sater emailed Cohen suggesting that the Trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate Trump's chances at being elected, writing:
Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins [sic] team to buy in on this, I will manage this process . . .
[...] However, Cohen recalled conversations with Trump in which the candidate suggested that his campaign would be a significant "informercial" for Trump-branded properties.
I include the following because the disinformation campaign by our current president and those surrounding him has successfully convinced many of his voters that there was no genuine basis for the investigation into coordination between the Trump Campaign and Russia or that it was based on entirely different sources or reasoning:
On May 6, 2016, 10 days after that meeting with Mifsud, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton.
***from a footnote to this sentence:
The foreign government conveyed this information to the U.S. government on July 26, 2016, a few days after WikiLeaks' release of Clinton-related emails. The FBI opened its investigation of potential coordination between Russia and the Trump Campaign a few days later based on the information.
The following is a theme that is repeated throughout The Mueller Report. Each time the press managed to get wind of the connections between the Trump Campaign and Russia and reported on a particular interaction (as with George Papadopoulos), they immediately distanced themselves from the person receiving the negative press and removed him from the campaign. While I cannot possibly quote all of the information connecting the dots, it's substantial, often shocking, and the report indicates that direct coordination can't be proven partly because so much of what was requested by the Special Counsel's office (phone, text, and other documents) was destroyed:
In July 2016, after returning from Russia [Carter] Page traveled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. While there, Page met Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak [...]. Page emailed Campaign officials with feedback he said he received from ambassadors he had met at the Convention, and he wrote that Ambassador Kislyak was very worried about candidate Clinton's world views. [redacted]
Following the Convention, Page's trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russia foreign policy drew the media's attention and began to generate substantial press coverage. The Campaign responded by distancing itself from Page, describing him as an "informal foreign policy advisor" who did "not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign."
The last sentence of this portion gave me chills:
Soon after midnight on election night, [Kirill] Dmitriev messaged [redacted] who was traveling to New York to attend the 2016 World Chess championship. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian Federation's press secretary [...] was also attending the World Chess Championship.
At approximately 2:40 a.m. on November 9, 2016, news reports stated that candidate Clinton had called President-Elect Trump to concede. At [redacted] wrote to Dmitriev, "Putin has won."
I have to stop here because the storms have arrived and today is predicted to be dangerously floody. There are 500 more pages, so I'm going to have to limit myself as to how much I quote but there is a tremendous amount of detail about the interference by Russia — and the Trump Campaign's willingness to accept it — known and published in The Mueller Report. Unfortunately, we're expecting storms all day, so I'm going to unplug the desktop to prevent potential damage from lightning. If I'm unable to get a post written in time to publish tomorrow, I should have one up by Thursday.
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