Where does this malignant conspiracy theory come from in the first place? Maybe Paul Manafort. Probably 4chan. Regardless, it has since stuck in the president’s brain like a Ceti eel placed by a wrathful Khan, burrowing deeper until it consumes whatever remains of rational thought. The story, as Trump recently posited on a marathon call-in to Fox and Friends, goes something like this:
“A lot of it had to do, they say, with Ukraine,” Trump said. “It’s very interesting. They have the server, right? From the DNC, Democratic National Committee. The FBI went in, and they told them, ‘Get out of here, we’re not giving it to you.’ They gave the server to CrowdStrike, or whatever it’s called, which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian, and I still want to see that server. You know, the FBI has never gotten that server. That’s a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?”The conspiracy appears to have metastasized.
A light edit for coherence: Trump believes—and by all indications this is true belief, not posturing—that after the Democratic National Committee was hacked in 2016, the DNC gave a physical server to Ukrainian cybersecurity company CrowdStrike and refused to let the FBI see the evidence. Trump further argues that the server in question now physically resides in Ukraine. Inside that server, Trump suggests, one would find evidence, gleaming like a Pulp Fiction briefcase, that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the DNC in 2016….
Almost every aspect of this is demonstrably wrong. CrowdStrike is not a Ukrainian company. Its cofounder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, was born in Russia and has lived in the US since his teenage years. The company is based in Sunnyvale, California, and went public this summer. As is standard in this sort of incident response, CrowdStrike never took physical possession of any DNC server. Its analysts instead captured an “image” of the hard drives and memories of affected machines, exact replicas that it could examine for signs of malfeasance. It handed all of that forensic evidence over to the FBI, which Department of Justice deputy assistant attorney general Adam Hickey confirmed just last month. And if the logical contortions required to view CrowdStrike as somehow partisan in all of this aren’t already enough, know that the company counts the Republican National Congressional Committee among its clients.
So: Not Ukrainian. No physical server. Not only was the FBI directly involved, but the DOJ indicted the Russian hackers responsible and laid out in exquisite detail how they did it—and how CrowdStrike fought them off. You can read the indictment for yourself here. Start on page 10; CrowdStrike is Company 1.
But it doesn’t matter what the truth is anymore. Trump’s idiotic propaganda is working.
Trump is going to give another “speech” at the White House soon, so he can gloat about his “great victory” over the Democrats and threaten retaliation against anyone who dares to cross him.
Watch more of Pelosi’s press conference on C-Span’s Twitter feed.
From The Washington Post: ‘I feel very liberated,’ Pelosi says.
At her weekly news conference, Pelosi defended her decision to rip up Trump’s State of the Union address and told reporters she feels “liberated” in the wake of the speech.
“I feel very liberated,” Pelosi said. “I feel that I have extended every possible courtesy. I’ve shown every level of respect. I say to my members all the time, there is no such thing as an eternal animosity.”
She described her decision to tear up the speech as “a dignified act” and took aim at Trump on a personal level, noting that the president “looked to me like he was a little sedated” during the speech.
And she questioned Trump’s decision to grant the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
“When he started talking about someone with cancer, we thought he was going to talk about John Lewis, a hero in our country,” Pelosi said, referring to the Georgia congressman and civil rights icon, who revealed in December that he has been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.
Pelosi also criticized Trump’s choice of venue for granting the medal to Limbaugh. “Do it in your own office! We don’t come in your office and do congressional business,” she said.
Of Trump’s National Prayer Breakfast remarks, Pelosi added that the president is “talking about things that he knows little about — faith and prayer.”
“I don’t know if the president understands about prayer or people who do pray. … I pray hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values, our country,” she said.
Concluding her news conference, she added: “He has shredded the truth in his speech. He’s shredding the Constitution in his conduct. I shredded his ‘state of his mind’ address.”
Trump is speaking now. I feel sick. I know this isn’t much of a post, but it’s all I can muster today. I’m grateful for this blog and for all you Sky Dancers. I don’t know how I would manage without you.