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Video: Sen. Mark Warner – “I have never seen so much smoke and so many possible threats” on Russia/Trump


Sen. Mark Warner on Fareed Zakaria GPS this morning (see video below; bolding added by me for emphasis): “First of all, let’s take a step back and really go through what we know are facts. One, that Russia intervened in our election in a way where they both stole emails, released those emails to try to help Mr. Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton. Second, in a way that was unprecedented, they had a massive use of fake news and false information…that was harmful to Hillary Clinton…[The social media sites] were totally unprepared for this kind of activity in the American election. And third, we’ve seen that Russia has attacked 21 states’ electoral systems…We know all of those facts…The one individual in Washington who does not accept those facts is Donald Trump, and the question is why…His job is to make sure we protect our country, and he’s not doing that…I thought we would be further along in this investigation by July 4, but I also never anticipated the fact that the president would fire the FBI Director…his Attorney General have to recuse himself…We have been in the information gathering phase…We are now at the stage of starting to talk to some of the individuals who were affiliated with the Trump campaign media that, at least in the press, have been mentioned that they might have had contacts with the Russians…I would not expect us to have those answers because we’ve not talked to any of those Trump affiliates and Trump associates. Ask me that same question in a couple of months, and I think we’ll have much more clarity….In terms of contacts and collusion, I have never seen so much smoke and so many possible threats…We have acceptance from Senators on both sides of the aisle…I want to get this done because the American public deserves to know the truth…With the value of hindsight, yes [the Obama administration choked]…but noone really put all the pieces together until after the election…”

Also check out Sen. Warner’s comments on American capitalism, the changing nature of work, how Democrats can win elections (“we have to say there needs to be a new social contract”; “the Democratic Party has always been at its best when we’ve been leaning into the future”), etc.

  • Quizzical

    Common sense tells me that as long as the House and Senate are controlled by the Republicans, all the Congressional investigations are going to be slow-walked and hampered. So far, it sure looks like that is the case. Maybe Sen. Warner can accomplish something – we’ll see. So it is really up to Muellar.

    • I tend to agree; am VERY skeptical that in the end, with Republicans in control, this will lead to much of anything. I hope I’m pleasantly surprised for once, but…

  • RNAR

    I also tend to skepticism, but our Senator seems pretty determined. More power to him.

  • Edward N Virginia

    The most important codicil to the long interview Mr Zakaria did with Senator Warner is the piece Zakaria did on recent data on why it is that Trump won and what Democrats need to do to win. See the full essay here: https://fareedzakaria.com/2017/06/30/the-democrats-problem-is-not-the-economy-stupid/

    Here is a concluding section that makes major point, very aptly:

    The party’s defense of minorities and celebration of diversity are genuine and praiseworthy, but they have created great distance between itself and a wide swath of Middle America. This is a cultural gulf that cannot be bridged by advocating smarter policies on tax credits, retraining and early-childhood education. The Democrats need to talk about America’s national identity in a way that stresses the common elements that bind, not the particular ones that divide. Policies in these areas do matter. The party should take a position on immigration that is less absolutist and recognizes both the cultural and economic costs of large-scale immigration. On some of the issues surrounding sexual orientation, it can and should affirm its principles without compromise. But perhaps it is possible to show greater understanding for parts of the country that disagree. California recently enacted a travel ban that now prohibits state-funded travel to eight states with laws that — in California’s view — discriminate against LGBT people. Meanwhile, California has no problem paying for employees to travel to such havens of tolerance as China, Qatar and Russia.
    The more I study this subject, the more I am convinced that people cast their vote mostly based on an emotional bond with a candidate, a sense that they get each other. Democrats have to recognize this. They should always stay true to their ideals, of course, but yet convey to a broad section of Americans — rural, less-educated, older, whiter — that they understand and respect their lives, their values and their worth. It’s a much harder balancing act than one more push to raise the minimum wage. But this cultural realm is the crossroads of politics today.

    Here are few more of my own observation of OBVIOUS disjunctions between elitist ‘progressive’ blah blah blah and the world we live in:
    1. elitist progressives blah blah blah about implicit bias – about race – but show no insight and impetus to investigate and interrogate their implicit bias against ‘rednecks’, ‘hillbillies’, ‘White trash’, ‘trailer parks’, ‘Appalachia’, etc
    2. elitist progressives blah blah blah blah about the sustainability but STILL gladly dump, ship, pump their FILTHY NASTY WASTE into rural places, to pollute the places where rural and/or poor people live, etc. After all: WHERE is the landfill in Alexandria, in Charlottesville, in Richmond?
    3. elitist progressives blah blah blah are this or that sort of reparations for slavery going to people who were never slaves but despite the FACT that urban places and suburban places were built and prosper from centuries of EXTRACTING cheap energy and EXTRACTING cheap natural resources from rural places – laying waste to rural places – they never talk about reparations to rural people who are actually ALIVE today and suffering through devastated landscapes, polluted earth and water, abandoned and bereft communities that the cities prospered/prosper off and never properly paid
    4. etc