back to article We've read the Mueller report. Here's what you need to know: ██ ██ ███ ███████ █████ ███ ██ █████ ████████ █████

It's 448 pages of which roughly 50 have been blacked out. It demonstrates conclusively that the Russia government went to great lengths to try to sway or interfere with the 2016 US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, or at least sow seeds of confusion, muddy the waters, and disrupt American political discourse. …

  1. EVP

    █████ ███ ████████

    If not only ███ ███ ████████ ██ ███, right? ███ █████ I ███ ████████ ████████ This ███ ████ ██████ █ ███████ ████ just too much. █████ sucks █████ ███ ████████.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: █████ ███ ████████

      Simple answer: put the entire blame onto Julian As[remainder deleted]

    2. m0rt Silver badge

      Re: █████ ███ ████████

      Just ███ the lot of them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: █████ ███ ████████

        Well ███ me !

  2. cyclical

    I still hope that one day the piss tapes will be released because my very, very niche fetish is US politicians being urinated on and my collection only has 5-6 specimens, none of which are presidents. One day...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It probably will be unless someone high up does what was done to the Warren Commission report. Locked that sucker away for decades, they did.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Coat

      That text presented a golden opportunity for Mueller...

      I see what you did there!

    3. elgarak1

      From what some people have hinted, I am fairly certain the problematic aspect (for Donnie-boy) is not that there's pee on those tapes.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Trump isn't afraid of a pee tape. He'd release it himself, probably with his own commentary, if that's what it was about.

        No, he's encouraged belief in the tapes to provide cover for why he's really buddying up to Putin. Which I'm guessing is a reason measured in dollars, not VHS footage.

        1. joeW

          Agreed. The only thing he'd be afraid of, and be unable to "own" in a way that impresses his support base, would be a video showing him fail to... rise to a challenge.

        2. Cederic Bronze badge

          Except that he isn't buddying up to Putin.

          At least, nobody's found any evidence that he is, and his foreign policy approach suggests the opposite. I mean, there's just been a two year investigation that's found.. nothing.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But of course there's no "Piss Tape" to find. Haven't you dorks yet understood that the entire Steele Dossier was a complete fabrication ? None of it is true except where it says "Carter Page went to Moscow" - which shows that for all his faults Chris Steele can at least read a newspaper.

      At best the Dossier was Russian FSB misinformation - something by the way better informed and more sensible people have realized for over 18 months.

      So the Russian intention was, not quite as the very biased el Reg wants it to be, was to undermine American's faith in their electoral system and to sow discord. In that they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams thanks to the active collusion of the Democrats and almost the entire new media. Just as athough, as the Dossier was ostensibly sourced from Russia (Chris Steele claims it is though it is equally likely a simple complete fabrication laundered through him) and it most definitely undermines Trump, in what way can one understand that the Russians were all out for Trump and yet released all this negative (and false) information about him ?

      There's, in general, so much disinformation in this article that it deserves a full article to rebut. But then one never expects a reasoned reading from the turds at the Reg.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Wow, who pissed in your coffee?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CKluekless

      Oh FFS The P*SS tapes were a 4-chan op you dimtweet!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: CKluekless

        Not that it needed to be said, but thank you! I'm still astounded how many people don't do enough simple research to realize that this was just another 4Chan troll, but that could be said for almost all of the trolls in recent years that people took seriously (looking at you, Kekistan, milk, the "OK" sign, and countless others).

        I'm even more amazed at how many "respectable" media outlets keep falling for these time and time again., when even surface-level skepticism and research would debunk them. People just believe what they want, I suppose.

  3. Mike Lewis

    How was it redacted?

    If it's a PDF file, it might be possible to find out what's under the black boxes.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: How was it redacted?

      The only PDF that's been vulnerable to the cut-n-paste "oops not redacted" attack was one done by one of the defendant's lawyers (I think maybe Manafort's?) everything coming from the DoJ has been redacted correctly. I imagine they have an exact process that has to be followed, and a process for double checking it was done right, given the number of redacted documents they produce on a daily basis.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Character spacing?

        Train the AI on the unmasked portion. Train it against a competing tested/trained AI on known/unknown masked articles/writing.

        If the character spacing is preserved, then theoretically the two AIs can come to a consensus (fitness fight for the accuracy of each) on what goes in the blanks. It's statistical analyses after all. ;)

        If the character spacing is not preserved, then it's close to impossible.

        1. ATeal

          Re: Character spacing?

          I can imagine you going around with Google Translate thinking "these X-ards speak shit X" when actually they have the hang of it.

          Just for a laugh I did "Greetings simple peasant folk" into one language and then that to English (so one hop, English -> X -> Y -> English would be 2) and I got:

          "Simple country farmers greetings"

          Do you know how many words of various lengths their are? Fucking loads. When the redactions (of this document) start coming out as "investigative techniques of how Bush did 9/11", "the ongoing aftermath of Bush's doing of 9/11", "had a meeting to discuss how Bush did 9/11" - it'd so be accused of bias :P

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Character spacing?

          Linear GAN can't do this with available computing power today. I'll leave it as an exercise for the student which direction to take from there.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Character spacing?

          Acquainted with a person that does giv redactions (not DOJ) as a matter of course. Software used is from one of the alphabet agencies, a bit clunky apparently, but does it’s job very well and covers (ha ha) all the bases.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: How was it redacted?

        The version of the report I saw was redacted, printed and then scanned in. No way to "un-redact" that.

        1. ATeal

          Re: How was it redacted?

          Yeah I'd noticed how careful they were, not sure if shitty jpeg or 2nd gen either.

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: How was it redacted?

      Nope.

      Not a text PDF. Images.

  4. james_smith

    Nail. Head. Hit.

    Trump and his pet Attorney General can spin this all they like, but even with the redactions this looks like it would have sunk any other president.

    1. el kabong

      Now things are different, this is new america

      In the old one all would be different, very very different, definitely!

      But things are not the same anymore, this is a much changed america this is trump's america, trump can do whatever it wants: pussy-grabbing, golden showers, ostensible lying, the list goes on and on. You name it and trump can do it if trump wants.

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Now things are different, this is new america

        PS (or mabe PiSs) you don't really still believe that the Hillary funde piss dossier is real, ddo you? Its about as real as pizzagate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Let’s get this straight

          The golden showers fun adventure in Moscow tape was cited in a “dossier”. The dossier (as it eventually was compiled) originated as a dirt collection project by one (or more) of Trump’s Republican rivals in the primaries who initiated and tpaid for it somehow. Cruz? Rubio? Bush? Romney? The Clinton campaign would have been the LAST to know anything about it. When it came to the point when it became clear that the big dorito would be the candidate, the folio was peddled (not pedaled or peddeld) through some murky channel or another to persons connected to the Clinton campaign. At that point, the campaign followed up on it and took ownership of it. Considering what it allegedly revealed about one of two presidential candidates facing a looming national election, it would have been derelict for the Clinton campaign to have turned its nose up at the “dossier” with its disturbing allegations that could well have huge impact.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Let’s get this straight

            No, lets get it really straight because too much BS is being written here.

            The initial engagement of Fusion GPS was done on behalf of a rival GOP candidate. However once Trump got the nod, they dropped it. This was all done prior to the Dossier.

            Clinton Campaign and DNC funneled money thru a law firm to Fusion GPS who paid Steele for the Dossier which contains information which he purchased from Russian sources.

            This has actually been confirmed and proven.

            The final result is that the Muller report puts the last nail in to the dossier's coffin. Its fake, unproven, which now leads to the issue of its use for getting the FISA warrants to spy on Trump.

            There's more, but I think you just got hit with enough verifiable truth that you need to digest along with some Crow.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let’s get this straight

            This comment is typical of the complete lies that all the opposition to Trump is mired in. Fusion GPS was employed by a republican group during the primaries. That was dropped and Fusion shopped their services to the Clinton campaign, and then brought Steele on board while being paid by the Clinton's. Steele and the Dossier did not exist prior to the Clinton funding.

            There's no "murky channels", it's Fusion GPS all the way. And just for interest, at the same time Fusion is also representing various Russian interests (and unregistered as such) with an aim to undo the Magnitsky Act sanctions. That's where the infamous Trump Tower meeting comes in - the Russians involved (who BTW met with Glenn Simpson of FGPS both before and after that meeting) mentioned "Clinton Dirt" as a lure but actually wanted to talk about lifting the Magnitsky sanctions. Good old Simpson, getting a 2 for 1 deal for his own interests.

            Your ignorance on these matter shows that you have simply swallowed the propaganda outright and are incapable of independent thinking.

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Boffin

              @AC Re: Let’s get this straight

              Sorry mate, but you seem to be the one drinking the cool aide.

              Too bad you just can't see it.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now things are different, this is new america

          Love the Trump Derangement peeps in here...

          Keep on repeating debunked stories and 4C ops to fool the foolish.

          Trump predicted he was 'fucked' - Because he was told that an independent council would stop and stall anything he tried to do, not because he had skeletons to hide. But you only read the parts of the report you were shown by CNN.. mid-quotes and fabrications... We're supposed to be above al this in IT and be in the Know...all I see are comments from my peers that couldn't design a Network strategy to save their lives...

      2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Now things are different, this is new america

        What's new? One recent president used a cigar as a toy on an intern. Another bombed the bejesus out of innocent Muslims and plunged whole countries into turmoil, deported a million illegals. And got the Nobel Peace Prize! And a senior politicial figure killed someone whilst driving drunk and then tried to cover it up, yet had a long career on a taxpayer funded salary. But one funny haired man calims to have the power to grab pussy, but no victims have come forward. Clown times, my friends.

        1. Robert 22

          Re: Now things are different, this is new america

          They have come forward. The trouble is that there are so many that their stories are no longer shocking and hardly anybody pays attention.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now things are different, this is new america

            No they haven't, just a few gold diggers like Stormy Daniels. And how did that work out for her - ordered to pay Trump's legal costs. LOL

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now things are different, this is new america

          True but those things happened, the p*ss thing, not so much....

        3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Clunking Fist ... Re: Now things are different, this is new america

          You must not know the sordid history of US Presidents. ;-)

          You can go a long way back and find out some amusing stories.

          I remember on a 8th grade field trip we went to DC. As we toured the WH, the tour guide pointed to a room and talked about JFK and a certain blond ... ;-) In terms of recent Presidents... Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush(s) were pretty straight laced. Not sure about Obama...

          As to Trump... he always paid the ladies off w NDAs and his 'p grabbing' wasn't necessarily him, but that he could like any other filthy rich bastids could fondle women and get away with it. Unlike Bill Clinton and Brodderick where she alleged he raped her among other women....

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Not that it matters

      Congress has subpoenaed the unredacted version.

      It WILL come out eventually. The only question is how long it takes for it to come out.

      Don't forget that for all the huff-n-puff, Mueller is a republican.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Not that it matters

        First there's a law that protects Grand Jury testimony. So the whole demand for the entire 'unredacted' document is a political bluff only fooling the Democratic base. Former Democrats who now consider themselves independent along with independents and Republicans are not fooled by this.

        The only way to get to release the GJ testimony is via a court order. And that has a snowball's chance in hell. And Nadler knows this.

        So it won't come out. In fact, Barr didn't have to release it. Gowdy went on national TV saying its release was a bad idea because it won't change anyone's mind. I happen to agree with him on this.

        And here's the kicker.

        Barr already has invited members of the Gang of 8 and other key Congress critters to come to the DoJ and review the doc within a secure area. Pelosi and other Democrats who have the right to see it. Refused. Think about that for a second. Its already been reported that one Republican has already reviewed the less redacted doc. (Its all unredacted except the GJ testimony that has to be redacted by law. ) [Note If memory serves me... rule 6c???]

        So naw, the truth is already out. Just don't expect any Democrat to actually read it because it destroys their past 2+ years of beating on Trump with nothing to show.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not that it matters

          Also, if an unredacted document is released to the Democrats they will, with absolute certainty, leak it to a compliant media.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bullshit, the redactions are those required by law or those concerning ongoing investigations.

      Both Mueller and Rosenstein, heroes of "the resistance" (at least until the report dropped) assisted with the redactions. If they mask important conclusions then one would expect Mueller to respond to that (as he did to the fake Buzzfeed story) - and he hasn't.

      Face it, there was no collusion (or a conspiracy to collude) by any US citizen - which I reckon is odd because it is perfectly clear from publicly available evidence that the Clinton campaign and other parts of the Democrat machine actively conspired with Russians. What is the Steele Dossier if it isn't collusion - paying Russian intelligence officers for so called kompromat on an opponent - a textbook definition even.

      And there's no obstruction either.

      Must suck to be you.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Mueller's own words said he could not clear Trump.

        Tell us again about that "sucking" part.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          He can't clear Trump, not for the reason you think, but because that's not his roll or the purpose of the investigation. The investigation can only prove guilt, and it hasn't.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            You have no clue how any of this works.

            The words are very simple: he could not clear Trump.

      2. BluesDealer

        People also conveniently ignore the FBI's published list of Russian disinformation sites, which included both far right AND far left pages. They would then try to get members of these pages in the same spaces to create conflict.

        The Russian political machine's goal was not motivated by some inexplicable love for Trump, but by the desire to sow conflict and divide American society, as well as Western society. I'd say they accomplished that mission. And the partisan Western media has blindly obliged.

    4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @James Smith ... not even close.

      Look, Trump is Trump. I get that... but put his personality aside.

      In 2013, Obama's WH w the CIA and FBI loosened the restrictions on who can unmask identities and conversations. Add to this the ability to look at any foreign individual's communications w US Citizens.

      (Easy to get through FISC request since it is on a foreigner and not a US citizen.)

      US Citizen is caught up in the net. Now you request a FISA warrant to detail said citizen based on communication with foreign individual. Now you can listen in to said individual and any conversation.

      Seems far fetched, the US Government using the FISC to back door surveillance of a US Citizen, am I right? Only it did happen. Not just to Trump but to a reporter from Fox News a few years before Trump.

      Just think about it for a second. Spying on the opposing party's presidential candidate is far worse than Watergate. Much worse. There's more but you first need to understand what happened and wrap your minds around it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    █████████████ Trump.

    With a spinning metal porcupine & a bag of rusty razorblades.

    Right up the ███.

    Repeatedly.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. georgezilla

    Sorry, but I think we can already agree that the President of the United States in a ████████ .

    It's been 2+ years now that we've been watching him. And I think that is enough time to have figured it out.

    So yes, the President of the United States in a ████████ !!!

    1. Roq D. Kasba

      I'd have gone with ████.

    2. don't you hate it when you lose your account

      I think when you said █████████ you probably meant ███████████████

  8. Hardrada

    "It demonstrates conclusively that the Russia government went to great lengths to try to sway or interfere with the 2016 US presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, or at least sow seeds of confusion, muddy the waters, and disrupt American political discourse."

    And I have absolutely no doubt that I'm going to run a marathon today, or at least walk around the block.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Last time I knocked one out, my smart watch congratulated me for taking a walk round the block. Shows how 'smart' it is - I was on the bus!

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Almost every answer begins with one of two phrases. Either "I do not recall" or "I have no independent recollection." Which, whether you like it or not, and whether you believe █████████ or not, is the exact template that crooks use so they cannot be accused of outright lying

    Which is the same response between officers of a certain acquired company are giving in a sueball by a certain large US company about inflated value. Must be part of the C-suite training course.

    1. Paul Johnson 1
      Holmes

      Yes it is part of the training course.

      Particularly in the USA any false statement to any federal official is a felony punishable with up to 5 years in prison. So when you talk to any federal official you need to watch your words with great care to make sure that you don't inadvertently commit a serious crime by mistake. This particularly applies when talking to federal law enforcement because they can and do use this to create crimes. Any corporate lawyer who knows that the FBI are going to come and talk to an employee will give them the same briefing and teach them the same weasel words.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Paul ... Re: Yes it is part of the training course.

        The issue is that you can be charged, however they must show intent.

        That's the thing. Even if you're innocent... you're going to be broke from hiring the lawyers you need to defend you, even when you're telling the truth.

    2. cat_mara

      I'm reminded of an expression I came across in a history book that was supposedly popular in medieval Italy to describe husbands whose wives the Pope had taken a shine to: "blind in one eye, and knows when to wink the other". Back then it was a simple matter of self-preservation, as any fellow objecting to His Holiness getting his hole was likely to end up in the Tiber; nowadays it's the self-serving act of the rich and well-connected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pope Chute?

        Dominus probiscus

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      the exact template that lawyers use - FTFY

      Case in point : a certain WH lawyer on camera stating "I have no direct knowledge.." of a certain defalcation by an earlier POTUS. Which just means - "DIRECT knowledge", note - he was not standing in the corridor observing Party A giving Party B a BJ. But he knew. Everybody did.

    4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @Mark 85

      Funny, but while Hillary Clinton's staff were all given immunity she did the same thing in her interview with the FBI on an investigation that they tanked in her behalf.

      Don't feign disgust.

      Especially when they charged Flynn even though the FBI agents who interviewed him wrote in their 302s that they thought he was telling the truth.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm, like Comey replying, what was it, 137 times in his Congressional testimony that he didn't remember. It was a wonder that he could find his way home each day after work with that memory issue.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

    Anyone that thinks differently is simply a rabid Clinton supporter. Thirteen of the fourteen lawyers on Mueller's team were Democrats, one of whom even worked for the Clintons previously and yet after two years they still couldn't find that smoking gun.

    My advice to the Democrats would be to stop flogging this dead horse or suffer the consequences at the hands of voters in 2020.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Yes, I tend to agree with you. He's a cert for 2020. Even the orange-One's "I'm fuçked" quote is being used out of context. The original context was NOT that this russia-stuff would be discovered, as implied nearly everywhere; it's context was that it would simply make being a pres very hard for all the years of the investigation.

      Anyway, now he's (ok, the Bolton side of Trumpy) is attacking poor Cuba, arrest 'em all! I'm glad i live in a quiet country with predictable politicians who haven't invaded anyone that recently.

    2. Hawkeye Pierce

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Oh for goodness sake.

      First off, there were were more 14 lawyers on the team so stop selectively referring just to the 14 whose political registrations are known. Secondly being a registered Democrat alone does not make you a "rabid Clinton supporter". Thirdly, going with your 14, I note you "forget" to mention who the non-"rabid Clinton supporter" is known to be... the registered Republican... I'll give you a clue... Mu*ll*r.

      But most importantly, so bloody what? Way to go as an example of "if you don't like the message, shoot the messenger"! There is plenty of stuff in the report that is extremely alarming even if it doesn't pass a determination of criminal activity. Or would you like to try and justify every one of the acts in the report?

      Or are you saying that the investigators were biased? In which case perhaps you'd like to share with us the bits in the report that are false? Or exaggerated? Or what evidence was overlooked?

      No, you can't actually do any of that, can you? So you just parrot the "it's all fake", "it's all a conspiracy" statements as loud as you can to try and drown out what you don't like hearing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Thing is if it's not illegal nobody will give a shit who matters. Journalists can moan all they want, it'll just get labelled as "fake news" and there's so much ammunition out there now about democrats that most will keep their mouths shut or at least temper themselves.

        I'm not convinced Trump will even stand for re-election although if he thinks there's a chance of him being prosecuted if he doesn't them clearly he will.. and having see the democratic candidates so far, he'll likely win as the far left continues to eat itself alive and most centrists feel they have no option other than to go with Trump - which is why he was elected in the first place.

        The far left does itself no favours, some are even calling Bernie right wing! I mean WTF?!

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          "Thing is if it's not illegal nobody will give a shit who matters."

          Even the redacted report makes it plain that Trump obstructed justice. He does not make a determination because it wasn't in his remit to fully investigate and make a determination on it. Trump wasn't (despite his lying to the contrary) exonerated by the report at all.

        2. JimBob01

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          "The far left does itself no favours, some are even calling Bernie right wing! I mean WTF?!”

          Given that the US political spectrum goes from “far right” to “centre right” (what the UK manage to contain in a single party), I would say that calling Bernie right wing isn’t that far from the truth. What the UK would term “liberal” would likely map to “communist” in the US.

        3. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          "The far left does itself no favours, some are even calling Bernie right wing! I mean WTF?!"

          Sanders should be described as a centrist. He believes that certain public goods should be paid for by government, such as healthcare and education. However, as far as I know he does not believe, or at least does not publicly state, that the state should own stakes in companies like manufacturers, which would be more left-wing, or further, that the state should own the means of production entirely, which is extreme left. For balance, extreme right (from an economic point of view) is that the state should not regulate any freely consented transaction, so no minimum wage, for example, and selling organs should be allowed.

          Right-wing and left-wing only exist in each dimension, and right/left on economic issues bears little resemblance to right/left on social issues. Two-party systems narrow people's ideas to a continuum, where a belief in free markets seems to be coupled with not liking gay marriage. The two are totally separate.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Boffin

            DavCravRe: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

            Sanders should be described as a centrist.

            Son put down that crack pipe.

            You have no clue about American politics. Bernie is as far left as you can get without being a Communist.

            The only thing you can say about Bernie is that he actually believes in what he's saying.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: DavCravThe Mueller report was one big nothingburger

              "Son put down that crack pipe. You have no clue about American politics."

              I am well aware of US politics. Sanders is a centrist by most standards. In the narrow viewpoint of US politics, which ranges from lunatic right to right-wing by UK standards, and from lunatic right to extreme right by most European countries' standards, he is extreme left. But that Overton window is moving in the US once again, having been shifted massively right by the evangelicals/neoconservatives over the last few decades.

              1. Jaybus

                Re: DavCravThe Mueller report was one big nothingburger

                "Sanders is a centrist by most standards."

                Right. He doesn't advocate social ownership of the means of production, only social ownership of the profits of production and that those producers should continue to produce so that they don't run out of other people's money.

        4. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          "the far left continues to eat itself alive "

          This statement is one of the things that worries me.

          About the left-most the Democrats get is centrist. Even Bernie is only slightly left of that.

          The fact that the USA has become so rightwing/authoritarian that they see centrists as "left wing extremist" is worrying. Thankfully they're following a well trodden path of militaristic societies spending so much on war-mongering and "defence" that their infrastructure collapses and things fall apart internally.

          Hint: The _real_ USA percentage of GDP being spent on military-related and military-contractor-welfare programs - not the published one, but the one you get when you look into where all the money is going is well in excess of what took out the USSR. The continuing breakdown of infrastructure, education and healthcare across the USA should be a heads-up, but the Dead Kennedys had it right with their songs on the issue 40 years ago:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33pA31c2cfs and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlxuezfW3M8

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Hawkeye ... Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        You must not be a yank. Nor have been following the news on this.

        The lawyers (14 lawyers plus staff) were working on the case.

        All had given to the Democratic party. Several attended Clinton's 'victory party' the night of the election which she lost. One was in fact a lawyer for Clinton.

        It was the most biased witch hunt against Trump. This is a fact that no one can deny. One lawyer should have been disbarred for his work on Enron. I kid you not.

        Which means when the Mueller report says not one single shred of evidence tying Trump to Russia in terms of collusion, you can believe it.

        In terms of obstruction... You can blame Trump for Mueller adding the now famous line that the report doesn't exonerate him.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Of course they were biased, every single lawyer on Mueller's team who donated politically did to the Democrats. Every. Single.One.

        The entire section 2 on obstruction is based on a strange piece of legal reasoning from Weissman - a lawyer so crooked that he can't even screw on his trousers as the thread is so worn. Remember what he did with Arthur Anderson over Enron, deliberately took the "302" interview forms from participants and cut and pasted them to look incriminating; and also outright threatened witnesses no to testify for the defense. Oh yes, he'd be someone I'd be so "proud" to have on my team. So the entire Obstruction section is illegal puffery and simply an attempt to politicize the matter further.

        As for repeating talking points to drown out the truth, I really, really, think that you should look in a mirror.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Except for any other president, these level of findings would be enough to force someone to resign.

      Compare to the Bush/Gore election, when someone leaked Bush's debate rehearsal tape to the Gore campaign. The Gore campaign reported it to the FBI, and the only aide on the campaign to have seen a few seconds of it removed themselves from the rest of the campaign. Whereas when the Trump campaign was offered leaked emails from Clinton by a Russian, little Trump Jr leaped at the chance, invited them in, then lied about having done it to Mueller. The only reason Mueller didn't prosecute him was because he thought he'd have trouble proving he had a “culpable mental state”. Hardly a point to celebrate.

      Not to mention the 11 points of obstruction of justice that Mueller suggests Congress would want to pursue.

      Ultimately though, I tend to agree, they need to drop it. But only because Trump has changed the very face of politics to the point that scandal just doesn't exist, because he doesn't care. He's manage to make this sort of thing unimportant to voters and politicians alike.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Whereas when the Trump campaign was offered leaked emails from Clinton by a Russian, little Trump Jr leaped at the chance, invited them in, then lied about having done it to Mueller. The only reason Mueller didn't prosecute him was because he thought he'd have trouble proving he had a “culpable mental state”. Hardly a point to celebrate

        Alternatively, the Russian lawyer had met with Fusion GPS the day before, who were working with Russians on Magnitsky Act(s) issues. And of course the purveyors of the Democrat's dodgy Steele dossier. So making that an issue then raises questions about whether Fusion was an unregistered foreign agent, or if the meeting was just a setup as part of the very murky opposition research carried out during the campaign.

        Which is the risk the Democrats face, ie evidence from the Mueller report being used to attack them. Neither side of that election campaign come out smelling of roses. The other interesting part is the role of Ukraine, and charges made or pending against people lobbying for Ukraine.. Which for obvious reasons is rather anti-Russia.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Ultimately though, I tend to agree, they need to drop it. But only because Trump has changed the very face of politics to the point that scandal just doesn't exist, because he doesn't care. He's manage to make this sort of thing unimportant to voters and politicians alike.

        That's the point. Everyone knows and has known for decades the Trump is a sketchy character. This is the guy that was taped saying you just grab women by the pussy and yet he still won the election! Attacking his moral character WILL NOT WORK. It's a failed strategy and this was proven in 2016. Instead Democrats need to move on and find some vision for the country that the majority can get behind. Personally I think it's too late for 2020 because not one credible leader has emerged on the blue side.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          "It's a failed strategy and this was proven in 2016."

          But let's not forget that Trump lost the popular vote.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @AC Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          Instead Democrats need to move on and find some vision for the country that the majority can get behind. Personally I think it's too late for 2020 because not one credible leader has emerged on the blue side.

          Bingo.

          All the Dems have done is 'resist'. While they 'resisted' Trump has improved the economy, addressed illegal immigration, trade, and even prison reform.

          Now think about what he could have accomplished with the Dems actually doing their job?

          DACA would have been fixed. So much more.

          The sad thing... most of Trump's successes was removing most of Obama's follies that have hurt the US.

          I didn't vote for Trump, (or Clinton) but as an independent, he's done a lot of good for the country that many with TDS have ignored.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: @AC The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

            "Now think about what he could have accomplished with the Dems actually doing their job?"

            Wait, it's only the last few months that the Republicans didn't have control of every lever of government. If you are seeking to blame the Democrats for anything, that shouldn't wash. The White House, both houses of Congress, and the Supreme Court, were firmly in the control of the Red Team. Everything that failed in those years is 100% a Rep fail. Democrats were blameless.

            1. ecofeco Silver badge

              Re: @AC The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

              Lying is a core GOP value.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        "Ultimately though, I tend to agree, they need to drop it. But only because Trump has changed the very face of politics to the point that scandal just doesn't exist, because he doesn't care. He's manage to make this sort of thing unimportant to voters and politicians alike."

        One word. Berlusconi

        But even he went too far and got caught eventually.

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        "Except for any other president, these level of findings would be enough to force someone to resign."

        Yes, but every other president in my lifetime (including the ones that I vehemently disagreed with), actually had the best interests of the nation (as they saw it) as one of their primary motivations. I don't think this president shares that particular motivation. Trump cares only about his own wealth and power.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          Best interests of the nation, Obama, F***ing really !??!!?

          Can I have some of what you're smoking, it must be damn good shit.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

            Yes, really. You clearly disagree (and it's interesting that your sticking point was Obama rather than, say, Nixon), but I have never seen any actual evidence that indicates otherwise. Note that I'm not an Obama fan. I think he was a corporatist and a mixed bag in terms of policy, but he never gave me any reason to believe that he wasn't motivated in large part by what he viewed as being in the nation's best interest.

            Your comment also supplied no actual argument otherwise.

      5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @AC Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        You do realize that Hillary Clinton's emails are a matter of national security and the fact that the Russians, Chinese and other governments are most likely in possession of them.

        In fact the ICIG reported to Strzok (FBI) that they found evidence of a Chinese hack on her server.

        (It was ignored by Strzok).

        Had this not been Clinton, it would have meant 20 years for a violation of the Espionage Act under Gross Negligence. (And before any commentard tries to say there's a lack of intent, read the statute as well as tell me how you can intend to be grossly negligent. )

        There's more, but I'll let you wrap your head around that for a bit.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      I'm not on your continent, so I couldn't care less. And yes, I agree with the comments here that we value ElReg for the tech. Politics shouldn't be here. But since it's Friday, and beers are looming, let's comment anyway.

      Can't suppress the feeling there might be an interesting, revealing observational study here, clarifying the political involvement, intelligence, and involvement of the US electorate.

      It looks like all parties, on both sides of the US political spectrum, agree with the unearthed technical data that the RSA wanted a certain, specific person would become POTUS. So it will be very, very interesting to see during the above mentioned 2020 US elections, whether US citizens think the RSA is going through all this effort because they want the best for the US. And whether that concern was guided by the abilities/ suitability of the candidate they support(ed).

      1. The First Dave Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        What does the Republic of South Africa have to do with it??

      2. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Like it or not, tech has been politicised. Even the most lowly, recovered and peripheral of us need to understand this shit if for no other reason than "asbestos underpants."

      3. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        I'm not on your continent, so I couldn't care less. And yes, I agree with the comments here that we value ElReg for the tech. Politics shouldn't be here. But since it's Friday, and beers are looming, let's comment anyway.

        Perhaps you should. I'm not on that continent either, but his decisions (some of them at least) do have worldwide impact, so I do care.

      4. Glen 1 Bronze badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        "value ElReg for the tech. Politics shouldn't be here."

        We value ElReg for biting the hand that feeds IT.

        Calling out bullshit is why we are here. The healthy dose of cynicism is what makes the Register not just ███ ████████.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

          Well, in this case it is "el Reg" that is spreading the manure deep and thick. Far from calling out the bullshit, you're revelling in it.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        Politics shouldn't be here.

        FCC Pai. IT and politics going head to head.

    5. Paul Johnson 1
      Facepalm

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Only if you are happy to have one of Putin's "useful idiots" as your president.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

        But we don't anymore, Obama is gone !

        If you really wanted to pander to the Russians, you would

        1. Restrict Fracking as much as possible (Oil & Gas is the cornerstone of the Russian economy)

        2. Prevent pipelines being built

        3. Encourage Europe to become dependent on Russian Gas

        4. Avoid sending actual weapons to Ukraine

        5. Encourage Iran as a Russian Proxy

        6. Turn a blind eye to Russian "cheating" on nuclear missiles

        All Obama policies overturned by Trump. And of course Donald didn't say "tell Vladimir that I'll have more flexibility after the election" did he.

        So tell me again who you think is/was Putin's "Cockholster" to coin an MSM phrase ?

    6. matthewdjb
      Mushroom

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Thanks for your comments, Ivan.

    7. Cyril

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      So you read the whole report yourself?

      Somehow I doubt it.

      What you are doing is speaking authoritatively about something you have no knowledge of. That makes you no better than those who lie about the report's content.

    8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      Didn't you forget the mandatory

      "Jail Hillary"

      From your comment.

      That's what El "Mexico will pay for the wall" Trumpo wants isn't it?

    9. veti Silver badge

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      And the Democrats should listen to your advice because... You have a long and consistent record of supporting their causes and offering sound advice that has guided their candidates to victory?

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tech or nothingburger (Mueller)

      Is ElReg off the rails this morning? (ET US) as some pine for the good ol’ Days—no it’s naturally, or even organically, curated takes on the politics around Mueller report and what it says to the tech chatter community, many of whom take themselves seriously. Throw in just enough perceived ignorance of one sort or another and squeezed out are enough fightin’ words here and there to keep blood at a nice simmer. But just as there are those who swear by speedos and those who will die for baggy surf trunks (dude), as a whole no one here talks about stuff like immigration, NATO, China, or even Golf to my immense relief. I’d say the conversation is utterly ElReggish.

    11. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: The Mueller report was one big nothingburger

      "Anyone that thinks differently is simply a rabid Clinton supporter. "

      Oh? I'm not a Democrat, and I am absolutely not a Clinton supporter (let alone a "rabid" one). But the Mueller report was clearly damning of Trump, and includes copious amounts of actual evidence.

  11. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    I'm just wondering why

    The Trump administration is allowing so much Red Action in this congressional report. I mean, he is a devout capitalist, and Them Red Commies want to Destroy capitalism don't they?

    (yeah, its a reach but @$#% it, I have a four day weekend here, its time to fut my peet up and lerax!)

    1. holmegm

      Re: I'm just wondering why

      Er ... whatever side you might on in various things, when the Russians really *were* Reds, that's when the Democrats loved them.

      Democrats are about 30 years late in becoming anti-Russian.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please just give it a break

    I’m sure I’ll get downvoted to oblivion for this, but I have to get it out...

    El Reg has been my sanctuary for years. When everything started going crazy a couple of years ago, I could come here to escape the politics (mostly) and read about tech. Sure, there’s some tech-related political things so you can’t completely escape, but that’s a given.

    Yet lately, there seems to be more and more non-tech political stories here. If I wanted to read about politics, just about every single “news” site out there is packed full of it non-stop 24/7. Pull up even Google News and all it has is Trump, Trump, Barr, Barr, Meuller, Trump, Barr.

    Don’t ruin my safe space!!!

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Please just give it a break

      This wasn't politics only, because it was strongly tied with e-propaganda using social platforms (and their huge trove of per personal data and microtargetig capabilities) , hacking and leaks, etc. Which El Reg can't ignore.

      1. holmegm

        Re: Please just give it a break

        Well, re those tech platforms, if you actually live in the country in question, you *know* that the Russian "meddling" thereon didn't change anything.

        If you disliked Hilary and business as usual, you didn't *need* a few ludicrous posts on Facebook to vote against her. The idea that the tiny Russian activity, in a sea of *real* issues and *real* domestic discussion, made the decisive difference is just laughable.

        (If you really believe it though, find and hire those Russians; most amazing marketers *ever*.)

        No, it's a gigantic tantrum, a gigantic fit of sour grapes. Alarmingly, the full weight of federal law enforcement was used for this tantrum.

        It's embarrassing, sure, but not to whom you think or for the reasons you think,.

      2. skunksbutt

        Re: Please just give it a break

        Superpacs spend tens of billions and reach way more people. It’s insane to even contemplate the possibility that a 100k at most in social media made a difference. The US electoral system is broken and it’s wholly captured by special interests.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please just give it a break

          I see from the consistent down-voting that such comments get that probably a significant majority of the commenters have utterly bought into the propaganda and lies, They really DO think that $100K in ad spend on Google and Facebook (of which >50% was AFTER the election - at least according to a Google executive) outweighs a spend of over $1B by the Clinton campaign itself to say nothing of the PACs and other spend.

          That's literally magic thinking. It also means that for 2020 the Dems only need to get the Russians on side and they can win the election for a fraction of the cost it would otherwise require. And of course the Russians being such absolute experts is why they left large and obvious fingerprints all over the phished documents so Mueller and the FBI could firmly trace it to them just as they wanted. Vault 7 tools for misdirection are obviously completely unknown to the Russians despite Snowden's best efforts - sad.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please just give it a break

      No one reads all the articles. Skip the political ones if they're just too much for you.

      Some of us enjoy a little political analysis.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Please just give it a break

        "Some of us enjoy a little political analysis."

        Some of us skip some of the articles "of lesser interest" and just head straight to the comments.

    3. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Please just give it a break

      This is The Reg. Its like that, OK?

    4. Qarumba

      Re: Please just give it a break

      I agree with you entirely, especially when there is no real analysis and it is simply ranting about something that did not produce the result the 'journalist' wanted. The only tech angle is whether or not the Russians messed around with FB, Tw, etc, to try and sway those who live their life through internet forums and not in the real world.

    5. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Please just give it a break

      Sadly, politics is everywhere:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zruGBWLk9s8

      Although we try to keep it to a minimum and just to tech.

      C.

      1. sed gawk Bronze badge

        Politics is everywhere and El Reg's slant is what I wish all political reporting resembled.

        Tech is interesting but Political reporting is essential and well informed people often have better insight into the relevant stories of the day.

        While I understand you'd prefer a purely tech related site, do you genuinely think it possible to divorce the technical world from the political one?

        I'm unsure that it is possible, I welcome your thoughts.

    6. veti Silver badge

      Re: Please just give it a break

      Oh please. The troll legions reduced this whole site to a smoking crater in mid 2016, like most unmoderated spaces, as you must remember if you were here then.

    7. Hardrada

      I didn't think of it as a safe space...

      ...but the slant that Lewis Page brought to El Reg was novel enough to be interesting.

      I'll take his articles about nuclear reactors and airships over ArsTechnica's veiled advertisements for the latest eco-startup any day. Equally flattering is the comparison to the non-technical, economically-orthodox and -abstract rebuttals from Reagan Republicans.

  13. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Facepalm

    facepalm

    seriously

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: facepalm

      Seriously, that's all it takes to stop bob ranting??

      Awesome!!

      1. defiler Silver badge

        Re: facepalm

        That's not Bob. There are no capitals.

        Or maybe he's lost both shift keys and his caps lock - always a possibility, I suppose.

      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: facepalm

        bob, ARE YOU OK?

        Closest to medical doctor icon ------->

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't argue with █████████

    The fact is that █████████████████████ and that's the truth.

    Unfortunately for ███████████, we now know that ███████████ did ███████████.

    Unfortunately, the article fails to mention that ███████████ ███ █ ████ █████ which is a very important piece of information, which is critical to fully understand the situation. I'm afraid that without knowing this, you simply don't understand the scope of the situation. And believe me that it's ███████████. █ really feel ███ for ███ if ███ █████ know what ████ means.

    █████ █ ██ ████████ ████. ████ ██ ████ ███.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Can't argue with █████████

      Ah, but don't forget the █████████ ███████ which was found in the █████████████ after █████████. That means that ██████ probably knew all about the ███████ █ ███████ all the time.

  15. Yes Me Silver badge
    Megaphone

    We need a ██████ icon

    Because ██████

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do any of the redactions specify...

    ...how many cases of vodka the Clinton campaign bought for the FSB Christmas party via Steele, Christopher Steele (the man with a license to train)?

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Do any of the redactions specify...

      I am getting sick of this whataboutism shit!

      Any time something negative comes out about Trump, there is an immediate, no-though, knee-jerk "But Hillary..." reaction. She LOST! She is no longer in politics, the Democrat party has shunned her(for being the only person on the planet that could have lost to Trump), IT IS OVER!

      Yes, she was shady as hell. But, if you are going to "But Hillary..." bear in mind she was subject to multiple investigations for years and there were zero* indictments. One investigation into Trump had what, about half-a-dozen indictments for minor players?

      *I'm not saying that there shouldn't have been, but she was either exactly on the right side of the law, or ruthless/criminal enough to make sure the evidence (and witnesses) were no available in this reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do any of the redactions specify...

        "Whataboutism"? Did you just make that up? Do you mean "precedent"? Because that's an actual word.

        My point is this:

        If RussianCollusion! Is seriously the most important thing in the universe, it sure looks like that election went the right way.

        The campaign that took an ACTIVE role, writing checks to shady people for compromising information about the opponent, lost to one that, uh, took one meeting that nothing came of.

        And guess what, those shady people who got paid for "information" probably had vested interest in stirring shit up on our side. That whole "fomenting discord" thing? The last two years have been pretty discordant, and you've done you're own small part to help.

        Great Job!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. JimBob01

          Re: Do any of the redactions specify...

          ""Whataboutism"? Did you just make that up? Do you mean "precedent”?”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

          “…first appearance…1970s"

          Keep up with the times ;-)

  17. redpawn Silver badge

    These transcripts will prove your president is not a Crook

    Take Barr's word for it. Trump is vindicated. Just ask him. No need to read any part of the vindication as it is a vindication, and vindications are dull as they show no exciting criminality.

  18. OffBeatMammal

    No way to disable █████████

    I was hoping for an easter egg (appropriate at this time of year) to bypass the redaction :)

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: No way to disable █████████

      Yeah, me too. Naturally the first thing I did was test █████████ for ROT13.

  19. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Motive?

    Why would Russia be so keen to see Trump in the White House. It's looking like he's a Manchurian Vladivostok Candidate for sure. But why?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Motive?

      He's easily manipulated, completely incompetent and incredibly divisive.

      That means Russia can pretty much do whatever they want for the duration of his presidency, and nobody is going to stop them because the USA and much of the rest of the world are too busy trying to stop Trump doing something incredibly stupid.

      Never misunderestimate the importance of a good distraction.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: Motive?

        Quote(with addition)

        That means Russia can pretty much do whatever they want for the duration of his presidency, and nobody is going to stop them because <his own white house staff>, the USA and much of the rest of the world are too busy trying to stop Trump doing something incredibly stupid.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "incredibly divisive"

        Russian plan is the old "divide et impera" - and Trump is a perfect instrument for such plan.

        Trump "MAGA" is not built on tackling US issues, most of them wholly internal to US itself - it's built on attacking and bullying allies trying to assert US issues have only external causes (which ironically, it's the same assertion Putin does to hinder the fact his rule in unable to improve Russians' lives - just make oligarchs richer). The real end result will be a smaller, weaker, uglier America.

        Weakening alliances and seeding discord ("useful idiots" like Bannon & C. are the icing on the cake) is essential for Russian plans, especially the need to weaken the European Union - which became a too attractive option for European countries right down to Russia boundaries.

      3. Truckle The Uncivil

        Re: Motive?

        But not just Russia. China is off the leash too

      4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: Motive?

        That means Russia can pretty much do whatever they want for the duration of his presidency, and nobody is going to stop them because the USA and much of the rest of the world are too busy trying to stop Trump doing something incredibly stupid.

        And that would have been different from Hilary Clinton how? (don't get me wrong, didn't vote for either slimeball)

    2. redpawn Silver badge

      Re: Motive?

      Simple, it looks like proof that western democracy is no better than authoritarian Putin. The poor response of the supposed checks and balances appears to prove Putin right sadly. By the way it would also have been ok to have Trump lose by a narrow margin, be shielded by the tradition of not prosecuting losers and be free to attack Clinton in near fact free perpetuity.

    3. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Motive?

      You only need to see the photo of Obama and Putin's stare down to work that one out.

      Trump publicly says he believes Putin not the FBI. Name one other American president that stupid.

      Oh, i wonder why Russia wanted trump in the white House??

      1. elip

        Re: Motive?

        I can name at least one US President stupid enough to trust FBI/Mueller. Here's a clip:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsKHBIB-Jn0

        Look at his body language...he willfully lies to Congress...where's the prosecution?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Motive?

        Or better, change the name Trump for Obama, and the name Russia to any Muslim country. You would see a bunch of rednecks having to remove 'sugar coated fried butter' off their diets after the instant heart attacks.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Motive?

        Can't believe you think that Obama didn't just lie down and roll over for Putin in everything he did. Redline in Syria, more flexibility after the election, come on, come up with an example where Obama did do something against Russia, at least something like expelling the diplomats AFTER the election in order to leave a landmine for Trump to sort out.

        And there's a good reason that Trump didn't trust the CIA and others - and that's because they were lying to him and actively engaging in a conspiracy to undermine him. That would, to me, kind of colour my views on someone.

        And keep believing that Trump is "stupid", helps you with the TDS I'm sure. Won 't help when the indictments for sedition start coming down the line, for Brennan, Clapper, Yates, McCabe, and others. But "stupid" sure, completely clueless, that's how Trump won the election because he was stupid.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Motive?

      You make an accidental point there.

      Vladivostok (which literally means "Ruler of the East) is the Russian gateway to China. It is expanding rapidly. So is St. Peterburg, which is the Russian "window on Europe". That should tell you where Russia sees its future, profiting from business with both. The US has been written off except for one thing - its attempts to disrupt trade between Russia and Europe.

      Trump's cack-handed trying to deal with China is driving Russia and China closer together. His attempts to stop the EU trading with Russia are resulting in pushback from Germany and the countries that get cheap Russian gas (like Turkey). If he tries hard enough, Turkey may even leave NATO.

      So one explanation, which is almost certainly over-thinking it, is that they foresaw that Trump would unite a lot of the world against the US.

      A much more probable one is that many Russians blame the Clintons for supporting Yeltsin in 1996. As a result there was financial collapse in 1998 and many Russians, including the babushki who are the nucleus of Putin's support, lost all their savings. It wasn't pro-Trump. It was anti-Clinton. Sanders was supported till the Convention, then support went to Trump.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Motive?

        At least one thing is clear: interfering with the election was the most effective operation Moscow ever launched against the U.S. It does not even matter if it actually affected the election outcome or not. The resulting ruckus has helped paralyse Washington and increase internal divisions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Motive?

          Yep, particularly effective as it was supported by the majority of the Washington DC establishment including many career bureaucrats - and all because they didn't like the result of the 2016 election.

          There's the collusion, right there, under your noses.

      2. Any other name

        Vladivostok

        : Vladivostok (which literally means "Ruler of the East) ...

        That's the etymology given in the English version of the Wikipedia's article on Vladivostok (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladivostok). In addition to being a not-quite-correct translation, it misses on a fascinating bit of Russian history.

        The name "Владивосток" (Vladivostok) is a pastiche of "Владикавказ" (Vladikavkaz) - the name name given in 1784 by General Pavel Potemkine, a distant relative of the notorious favorite of Catherine the Great, to a key fortification controlling access to Caucasus. The word itself was constructed as a portmanteau of "Владей Кавказом", literally the imperative "Own the Caucasus!". Given how often Vladikavkaz pops up in Russian history from that time on, that was a pretty accurate assessment of its strategic importance.

        When the Russian Empire was going through another expansion phase nearly a century later, in 1859, "Владивосток", standing for "Владей Востоком" ("Own the East!") probably felt like an appropriate name for a perfect naval harbour - which later became the name of a military outpost and then a city. Similar to Vladikavkaz, Vladivostok turned out to be the key to much of Russian history later on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Vladivostok

          I apologise for my not quite correct top of the head translation. I hadn't consulted Wikipedia. When I did, just now I found "Название «Владивосток» образовано от слов «владеть» и «Восток», по аналогии с Владикавказом", and Vladikavkaz was so named by Potyomkin himself, so who am I to argue?

          In looking I noted that the founder of the original Vladivostok outpost arrived on a corvette named Amerika - unlikely to happen today - and that he got a memorial only in 2012, suggesting a renewed interest in its importance.

          1. Solo Owl

            Re: Vladivostok

            "on a corvette named Amerika"

            Well, at that time the easternmost outpost of the Russian Empire was indeed in America, in what is now called Bodaga Bay, California, a few miles north of what is now San Francisco; it was a few miles from Mexico's northernmost settlements.

    5. holmegm

      Re: Motive?

      Er, because Putin didn't want the 'reset button" and "sure, you can have all the uranium" lady? Because that makes so much sense?

      Yeah, I do see why you are puzzled. Perhaps your premises have a problem somewhere ...

      1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

        Re: Motive?

        Part of Clinton's campaign included a call for a "no fly zone" over Syria - ie, direct war with a Russian ally. Part of Trump's campaign was to evacuate Syria and leave the business in Crimea and Ukraine to the parties involved(which was received well enough by his base). It's not hard to see why any inclination to meddle would fall on the side of supporting Trump.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Motive?

          But a Clinton administration would restrict fracking and oppose pipelines. That would deliver a huge economic boost to Russia and that's something they really need.

          As for Syria, do you really advocate supporting jihadi's and ISIS in Syria just because it is thought to undermine Assad ? Because that's what the US has been doing.

    6. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Motive?

      @Zog_but_not_the_first

      Its has to be Russia because why else would Trump be elected? The Democrat version of Trump- Bernie (an outsider to the party and not the 'mainstream') had no chance as the Democrats dictated their winner at the start. The Democrat choice being of course someone pretty unpopular and alienated voters by insulting them. The Republicans having what was described as a 'clown car' (aka choice) of candidates who competed and lost because they were more of the same (Rand Paul being the exception).

      So out of more of the same or the Democrats (ha) chosen one why would they choose the option that said 'we want actual change'? It makes no sense, it must be the pesky Russians or reds under the bed. The alternative would mean people have choice and it isnt always the one a snowflake would choose.

    7. ITS Retired

      Re: Motive?

      "Why would Russia be so keen to see Trump in the White House. It's looking like he's a Manchurian Vladivostok Candidate for sure. But why?"

      Because Russia did not want to to engage in a senseless war with the United States. Hillary Clinton, among others, is on record as thinking war with Russia is a good idea. If Russia did indeed meddle in the US elections, we may have dodged a bullet, so to speak.

      Luckily not everybody thinks like us Americans, where arms and ammunition are at the top of the list for solving problems.

  20. binaryhermit

    I'm not sure it matters. Trump's approval rating's been about 40-42% for 18 months now. People who approve are gonna see https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1118876219381026818 and people who don't are gonna see https://twitter.com/DogginTrump/status/1119022663689596928

    No minds will change. The only thing I'm surprised about is that they let incriminating details through. Leading up to the release, it looked like they were trying to hide wrongdoing. If this release is hiding wrongdoing, Trump's really fucked.

  21. MatsSvensson

    Could be worse

    Worse that Hitler?

    Oh I don't know...

    I mean, they both ████ dogs.

    And is that really so bad?

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: Could be worse

      He is just warming up. Not that I sympathise with Godwins law being broken......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could be worse

      The good thing about dogs is they love their owners.

      One downside is they love their owners even if they are near-demented thin skinned paranoids on drugs.*

      And many people resemble dogs in this respect.

      *Hitler. Who did you think I meant?

  22. steviebuk Silver badge

    They should just look into..

    ..possible abuse of power to help line the pockets of his empire. As that looks more likely than anything else. Is there any evidence of it? I suspect there will be somewhere. But I could be wrong.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: They should just look into..

      So that should take care of most of the ex presidents as well, probably excluding Obama but I don't know enough about him outside of politics.

      The rest back to at least Pappy Bush were certainly empire builders both in and out of politics.

    3. holmegm

      Re: They should just look into..

      Do you listen to yourself?

      Perhaps we should just use law enforcement to investigate our political opponents, as we just *know* they are evil ... surely they'll find something ... if nothing else maybe they'll find something embarrassing and leak it.

      And you think that's a *good* idea??

    4. Swarthy Silver badge
      Go

      Re: They should just look into..

      I mean... one simple case would be that it is illegal for a sitting president to use his office to endorse a private business, product, or service.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/media/398685-trump-endorses-jeanine-pirros-new-book-in-oval-office

      Literally, using his Office to promote someone's book. It would be a bit like convicting Capone for tax evasion.

  23. Paul Johnson 1
    Holmes

    Honest people use careful wording too

    "'I don't recall' [...] the exact template that crooks use so they cannot be accused of outright lying."

    Honest people (at least, honest ones who have spent a few minutes talking to a lawyer first) also use it to make sure that an innocent failure of memory doesn't become a crime. In America the presumption of innocence only applies in the court room. The rest of the system just assumes that you are guilty.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Honest people use careful wording too

      "In America the presumption of innocence only applies in the court room."

      Oh, do they still do that? How quaint.

  24. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Either "I do not recall" or "I have no independent recollection."

    I'd have thought that that level of memory loss would indicate a degree of dementia that should lead to the removal of a US president on medical grounds.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      According to Trump, he has the greatest memory of all time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So removing Comey was justified on that basis as well ? He used that same phrase over 130 times in his Congressional testimony. And Hillary Clinton used the same formulation throughout her (not under oath) interview with the FBI.

      Given the importance and draconian nature of "process crimes" like lying to the investigators. It is no surprise that most participants prefer to profess a poor memory than to make a guess that is, if incorrect even accidentally, a crime punishable by many years inside. Papdopoulos would not have been indicted if he had said he couldn't recall what date he first met Italian Intelligence asset Mifsud rather than get it wrong by a week.

      I suggest it is a foolish stretch to suggest that the poor memory syndrome is anything other than a perfectly understandable defense mechanism.

  25. Draco
    Windows

    Guilty whether there is proof or not ...

    "... he remained confident that his way of doing business was going to make it very hard for anyone to prove a conspiracy – in which he was proven right"

    This has the clear fingerprints of the Illuminati who, as is well known, are the undisputed masters of conspiracies without proof.

  26. hayzoos

    Very suspicious...

    I searched on multiple search engines on multiple ███████ ████ terms... In every result there was a site ending in .ru. There's your evidence.

  27. dbtx Bronze badge
    IT Angle

    who cares

    Even when it's "working", US democracy is just a turf war between 2 massive botnets.

  28. Claverhouse Bronze badge
    FAIL

    Good Clean Fun

    Owd Bob had to blame someone for something after doodling away for 2 years on this crap; so he blames the Russians for sort-of influencing American elections and Assange for being Assange.

    The Clinton whiners and the Never Trumpers of the GOP can self-congratulate themselves [ as per usual ] and be able to avoid a messy divorce;

    Trumpo and the Trumpistas can claim nothing wrong was ever done --- untrue --- and that the MSM were trying to coup the result of the Will of the Peeple --- true;

    The American state can go back to invading, droning a la Obama, and interfering in the elections of, other sovereign nations;

    Assange [ now 'American Property' for 'enhanced interrogation' ] and Manning can rot in jail for decades for having revealed American Evil.

  29. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    No ███ s███hit ███ Sherlock.

  30. Palf

    Yanks are crazy. You have a provable traitor sitting in the WH and yet you do nothing.

    1. dbtx Bronze badge
      Mushroom

      Feel free to suggest something. All the obvious, rapidly effective things are basically illegal. All I can think of is taking personal responsibility for believing true things and only true things, and then finding out more of those things, and sometimes repeating them in front of others (and not on FoobCake, not even once). Here's Orwell again: speaking truth during times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No no no, you forget, Obama left over 2 years ago. Or alternatively, the Traitors are still there, Schiff, Waters, Nadler, or are still free, Brennan, Clapper, Yates, Ohr, McCabe, Comey, Obama. Those are the "provavble traitors".

      Of course your delusions about "provable traitor" are harmless because you are powerless, but it is a sick mind all the same. After a 2 year investigation run by a cabal of his enemies and they couldn't come up with a crime they could convincingly charge Trump with ? What did he do to you, turn you into a newt or something ?

  31. skunksbutt
    Facepalm

    oh please!

    I’m a refugee from Ars Technica. That place is ruined for me. Don’t ruin here too! When a Soyuz failed delivering crew to the ISS, the comments section was overflowing with trolls denigrating russian engineering with cheap commentary. The astronaut and cosmonaut survived unscathed. When Boeing lost two new planes with all souls on board, there were fewer trolls but they still focused on the ‘wogs’ and their inferior training. Is it possible to censor fact-free political commentary or block comments from these hot potato articles? It’s easier to ignore then.

    There is a bigger scandal in the billions US ‘allies’, corporations and private 0.1% interests throw at Superpacs. What about the collusion between Superpacs and candidates’ election campaign offices? What about the manipulation of the Democrats’ Primary? Bernie Sanders would have trounced Trump, because most Americans are sick and tired of growing inequality, collapsing infrastructure and an ever-growing ‘defence’ budget that has never been properly audited. Trump got elected with an absolute minority of voters because the US democracy is blessed with an electoral college. Maduro of Venezuela got elected fairly as each vote counted equally … and yet the ‘free’ west calls Maduro a dictator and wants to force yet another regime change in favour of the old kleptocracy.

    /rant over

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: oh please!

      The "Sanders would have won" line is a comfort myth for the US left, but it's not based on any kind of evidence. If it's true, then basically any D candidate should trounce Trump in 2020, and I don't think that's at all a sure thing.

      Venezuela's election failed the most basic test of democracy, which is to persuade the losers to accept the result. For all its problems, the US isn't currently experiencing widespread rebellion.

    2. Hardrada

      Re: oh please!

      I agree with you about Ars, but why is the electoral college unacceptable in a federal system? The presidency of the EU isn't decided by popular vote. Instead (and like the US) it gives disproportionate power to smaller states.

      Also, the military budget isn't the worst boondoggle in the US. If you judge a program by the money spent on it and whether its methods are rational, education is worse: It costs twice as much, is based on tradition more than science, and is run by people who are resistant to collecting data that could be used to make the process more scientific.

      There have been decades-long controlled experiments in other fields that provide a good model for how to measure the lifetime benefits of education, but nobody in academia wants to do it. That should tell you something.

      1. NerryTutkins

        Re: oh please!

        The presidency of the EU, to be fair, has far less power. It's more like a chairman role than an executive role.

        There are some major problems with the electoral college system, especially the way it's implemented in the US.

        1. They don't have an Electoral Commission, an independent body to draw up boundaries. Instead, the states do this. Gerrymandering is legal, and state governments are quite open about the fact that they do this.

        2. You can have a president win an election with fewer votes than the candidate they beat, and it's not a rare occurrence - Trump polled 3 million fewer votes than Hillary. It's clear (1) above is largely responsible.

        3. Votes in some states are effectively worth more than others. Not all votes are equal.

        4. Elections are determined by the distribution of very few votes in the most marginal areas and therefore fraud and illegal activity become far more practical. In the most recent US presidential election, a few tens of thousands of votes in 3 marginal states were the difference between it being a Clinton or Trump victory. To shift the public vote, you'd have to forge or illegally obtain some 3,000,000+ votes.

        5. There seems little purpose in having an electoral college when the end result is a single winner. Why elect proxies to elect the president? Better to have a first round and then a run-off of the top two candidates, this also eliminates the possibility of spoiler candidates splitting the vote.

        One argument for the electoral college is that it gives smaller states more power, but that doesn't really stand up. The states each have two senators, so the smallest state has the same representation in the senate as California or NY. And there is a similar bias for congress too. There seems little reason not to treat all American votes with the same weight for a president, who should be above state interests, and represent all Americans.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: oh please!

          "The presidency of the EU, to be fair, has far less power. It's more like a chairman role than an executive role."

          That's closer to the way it's supposed to be (but isn't) in the US, as well. The division of power is such that the job of the president boils down to three main things: the president is in charge of implementing the laws that Congress passes, and is in charge of the military during wartime, and is in charge of representing the US internationally. That's it. The executive isn't supposed to have the power to decide whether or not we go to war, to set the national budget, to make law, to make or break treaties, and so forth.

          A big part of the problem is that the power of the executive branch has grown so much past that, largely because Congress has been ceding its power to the executive, bit by bit, over a long time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: oh please!

          How can you, with a staright face, blame gerrymandering for the Presidential vote result ? Tallies are (with two exceptions, Maine and one other) taken on a whole state basis. You can't gerrymander a state as the boundaries are fixed !

          Total crap.

          Gerrymandering certainly happens at a Congressional district level and both parties actively engage in it - I don't think it is easy to say it helps one party more than the other. But finding extra votes - how about Vote Harvesting - in California in the 2018 mid-terms the Dems flipped 5 long-term Republican seats in a largely conservative area. All R candidates were ahead on election night, but as harvested votes rolled in for many days, these majorities were whittled away until narrow victories for the D candidates. There's a lot of opportunity for voting fraud in that. And when you then add to the fact that in California, one area has been forced by the Courts to purge over 1.5M non-existent voters from the electoral rolls and you can see how voter fraud certainly could have influenced the results.

          A proper investigation would encompass both a review of gerrymandering (and set rules to minimize the impact) and closely investigate the accuracy of the voter rolls.

      2. Any other name

        Re: oh please!

        : Also, the military budget isn't the worst boondoggle in the US.

        : If you judge a program by the money spent on it and whether

        : its methods are rational, education is worse:

        : It costs twice as much ...

        Sources, please.

        For all its faults, the US government is very efficient at holding on to all bits of data involving money. Looking at the page

        58 of:

        https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BUDGET-2019-TAB/pdf/BUDGET-2019-TAB.pdf

        we can see that in 2017 (the latest year where the data is final), the US government spent $598 billion on national defence, plus another $176 billion on veterans services (which is just a form of deferred military spending after all). In the same year, the US federal government spent $144 billion on education, training, employment, and social services _combined_.

        Now you might want to argue that the _total_, country-wide spending on education is mu h higher than the federal part. Indeed, the nagional Center for Educational statistics estimates the total for elementary and secondary schools the FY 2014/2015 at $668 billion (https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66) - just about the combined federal defence+veterans budget. Doubtless including the university-level spending would push the total higher.

        If you wish to go this route, however, you shouldn't just count the federal military spending either: it would be appropriate to also include all spending on all military and paramilitary forces (police, national guard, security services of all kinds) as well. I can't be bothered to waste an evening on digging out the data, but it appears to be well in excess of $180 billion pef year (https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/08/07/how-much-do-u-s-cities-spend-every-year-on-policing-infographic/#725ecf5ae7b7).

        The bottom line is that at the federal level, the US spends a lot more on state-sponsored violence than on education. It is not as clear-cut once all sources of spending are included - but the amounts are at least similar.

        1. Hardrada

          Re: oh please!

          >> Sources, please.

          https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/education_chart_20.html

          Their estimate for FY 2016 (the most recent data they had) was $1.043 trillion.

          Their figures for defense spending are similar to those in your source.

          "Now you might want to argue that the _total_, country-wide spending on education is much higher than the federal part."

          That's what the word "costs" means in this context. State level spending accounts for about 90% of the total and is largely federally mandated.

          "the US government spent $598 billion on national defence, plus another $176 billion on veterans services (which is just a form of deferred military spending after all)."

          In that case you'd need to include state contributions to education workers' pensions, and also some portion of the federal healthcare funding they receive. (VA healthcare spending is partially in lieu of Medicare, since veterans have to choose which system to use whenever they go to a clinic.)

          "If you wish to go this route, however, you shouldn't just count the federal military spending either: it would be appropriate to also include all spending on all military and paramilitary forces (police, national guard, security services of all kinds) as well. I can't be bothered to waste an evening on digging out the data, but it appears to be well in excess of $180 billion pef year."

          The National Guard is federally funded, and public defense is a small part of local police budgets (which spend more time acting as paramedics, regulating petty deportment and investigating non-violent crimes). If it belongs in the military tally, then wouldn't the domestic emergency-management portion of the Coast Gurad and National Guard budgets be properly categorized as a civilian expense?

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Mad████

    Maybe we should turn the report into a very big game of MadLibs?

  34. Turbo Beholder
    Alien

    But you forgot…

    You always forget: Russia controls Trump, but - Mars controls Russia!

    > ██████ ████████ in San Francisco

    I'll skip faking a surprise, okay?

  35. Turbo Beholder
    Devil

    And now this article baited half of the world population of Trigglypuffs to frolic here. Great job!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Electing Jokers

    R.I.P. Democracy

    Circa 507 BC - circa 2019

  37. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Does anybody understand what "Critical Thinking" is?

    There are no "Piss tapes". They don't exist. It was a made up thing. It's amazing how people just repeat what left wing media presents to people.

    The Mueller report basically confirms how the DNC and media was lying to everyone for 2 years. There was never any evidence against Trump. If anything, it shows the DNC colluded with Ukraine.

    It also confirms Trump is a huge ass; however, I wonder how many of us would become a huge ass if we were falsely accused of committing crimes.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Democrat double standards

    If these alleged tapes were real, the only person(s) at fault are those who filmed a private situation without permission and then threatened to publish them. If all involved were consenting adults, what crime was committed?

    The issue in contention is one of privacy: at one extreme there are WikiLeakers who believe in absolute transparancy / no secrets / no privacy, the opposite extreme can result in evil / criminality being concealed. Between the two you must discriminate between what should be public and what should be private. Does the public have a right to know about the sexual proclivities of their elected representatives? If it's not relevant to their conduct at their job, why raise the issue?

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Democrat double standards

      Does the public have a right to know about the sexual proclivities of their elected representatives? If it's not relevant to their conduct at their job, why raise the issue?

      Ah, but it makes good stand-up (no pun intended) comedy material. And the pr0n film makers can use it for "plot" in their next film.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Democrat double standards

      Does the public have a right to know about the sexual proclivities of their elected representatives? If it's not relevant to their conduct at their job, why raise the issue?

      My thought, back in the days of Bill Clinton & Monica Lewinsky, was the more time he spent screwing her meant the lest time he was spending screwing the rest of us.

  39. huberddp

    Lying is the technique used by Putin. It works for him and it works for Trump.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The word for liar in Russian

    Is pronounced trump

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the russians are smart enough to know that they'd have better chances of getting trump elected *without* the help of trump himself.

  42. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    I bet you they won't play this song on the radio

    I bet you they won't play this new ██████ing song.

    It's not that it's ██████ or ██████ controversial,

    It's just that the ██████ words are awfully strong.

    You can't say ██████ on the radio, or ██████, or ██████, or ██████.

    You can't even say I'd like to ██████ you some day,

    Unless you're a doctor with a very large ██████.

    So I bet you they won't play this song on the radio,

    I bet you they won't ██████ing well programme it.

    I bet you the ██████ing old programme directors

    will think it's a load of horse██████.

    (with apologies to the surviving members of Monty Python)

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