Reaction in Trump Camp
Part 7: Reaction in Trump Camp
This is the seventh part of a point-by-point review of the Russian dossier compiled by former MI6 agent, Cristopher Steele, which documents the change in leadership thinking on operational way forward, having being spooked by the growing backlash of hacking and leaking Democratic entities.
The report details a conversation on August 9th, 2016, of a Russian associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump, discussing the reaction inside his camp, and the revised tactics therein resulting from recent negative publicity concerning Moscow’s clandestine involvement in the campaign becoming public.
The bad news is, everyone involved in the Trump campaign was forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, so it’s possible nothing detailed in this report will ever be confirmed.
This report was filed by Steele on August 10, 2016.
You can read the previous report here.
The aim of leaking the DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks during the Democratic Convention had been to swing supporters of Bernie Sanders away from Hillary Clinton and across to Trump
The Dossier explains the belief in the Republican campaign was Trump could win some Sanders voters over, having positioned himself as a anti-establishment candidate like Bernie, as well as exploit a common dislike of Hillary Clinton.
The problem is, we knew Trump was actively courting Bernie Sanders voters since April 2016, once declaring “For all of those Bernie Sanders voters who will be left out in the cold by a rigged system of superdelegates, we welcome you with open arms.” So this information from Steele’s source months later in August isn’t exactly what anyone would call news.
Sad to watch Bernie Sanders abandon his revolution. We welcome all voters who want to fix our rigged system and bring back our jobs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2016
In the end, Trump was able to peel of 1 in 10 Bernie Sanders voters with his plea.
This objective had been conceived and promoted, inter alia, by Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page who had discussed it directly with the ethnic Russian associate.
The Dossier alleges that Trump’s foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, who already had several known interactions with the Kremlin, was the one who came up with and promoted the idea to attract Bernie Sanders voters.
While it is entirely possible Carter Page was the one who came up with this master stroke, it is just as possible Page was just bragging to the source, or that this never happened.
The Trump campaign had underestimated the strength of the negative reaction from liberals and especially the conservative elite
The Dossier explains that the Trump campaign was caught completely off guard at the reaction from the left and the right when it became news that Russia was actively attempting to undermine our democracy.
This was forcing the Trump campaign to rethink and a likely change their tactics, with the main objective in the short term was to check Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s successful exploitation of the Russian interference story to tarnish Trump and bolster her own patriotic credentials.
We did see evidence of this with Trump’s ridiculous Pee Wee Herman-style defense of “I know you are but what am I?” during the debates.
While it’s clear to see on the outside Trump and Republicans were unable to intelligently respond to Clinton’s attack, we don’t know what happened internally on the team. With everyone involved in the campaign forced to sign non-disclosure agreements, we may never know.
There was a fair amount of anger and resentment within the Republican candidate’s team
The Dossier claims Trump’s team understood that, while they were personally benefiting from Russia’s assistance, they could also see Putin was attempting to undermine the United States’ democracy.
While we don’t know if this internal discussion took place, we do know from the Intelligence Community’s assessment this was the stated goal of Vladimir Putin:
“Vladamir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”
While it may be possible to infer a conclusion, especially from Trump’s daily meltdowns on Twitter, there just isn’t enough evidence yet to make a definitive judgement.
Read part 8 here.