Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

US Media Accurately Reports Effect of New Dark Money Rules

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Kevin Drum has a good post:

Over at National Review, Charles Cooke is annoyed at our nation’s media. You see, under new IRS rules certain nonprofit groups will no longer have to report the names of donors over $5,000—groups like the NRA, the Koch Brothers, various chambers of commerce, and so forth. But wait:

The change applies to every single 501(c)(4) in America. CNN could just as easily — and just as misleadingly — have placed the story under the headline, “NAACP will no longer need to identify their donors to the IRS.” Or it could have mentioned, say, Planned Parenthood. Or SEIU. Or Everytown for Gun Safety. Or the Sierra Club. Or . . .

Hmmm. That seems like a good point. Let’s see how the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal reported the story. They’ll give it to us without a bunch of liberal bias:

Some of the largest groups affected include an arm of the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Americans for Prosperity, a group tied to billionaires Charles and David Koch….For the past few years, Republicans have been examining the Schedule B requirements, questioning how useful the information is to the IRS and arguing that donors could face harassment if the information is inadvertently released.

In 2016, the House passed a bill to eliminate the requirement, but the Obama administration opposed it and it didn’t become law….“The IRS’s decision is a move in the right direction to end activist regulators’ culture of intimidation to silence political speech,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) “More and more states were using these documents to chill political discourse, rather than encourage it.”

Democrats blasted the decision and warned that the IRS would have one less tool to figure out whether groups are complying with the law. Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) said he will vote against President Donald Trump’s pick to run the IRS unless he promises to reverse the move. “President Trump’s late-night giveaway to shady donors and interest groups makes dark money even darker,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) “The NRA and other special interest groups can now fully operate in the shadows and push their corrupt agendas without any transparency or accountability.” Democrats have warned that changing the disclosure requirement could allow foreign money into U.S. politics without notice.

So it appears that (a) the biggest beneficiaries are conservative groups, (b) Republicans tried to repeal the reporting requirement in 2016, (c) Obama opposed it, (d) Mitch McConnell is in favor of repeal, and (e) Nancy Pelosi is against it. Reading between the lines, conservatives are all in favor of repeal and liberals are all opposed to repeal because it’s conservative groups that don’t want anyone to know who their big donors are. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 7:37 pm

A big “uh-oh”: Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

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Kim Zetter reports in Motherboard about how the top voting-machine vendor put out a little electronic “Welcome” mat for Russia:

The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, raising questions about the security of those systems and the integrity of elections that were conducted with them.

In a letter sent to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in April and obtained recently by Motherboard, Election Systems and Software acknowledged that it had “provided pcAnywhere remote connection software … to a small number of customers between 2000 and 2006,” which was installed on the election-management system ES&S sold them.

The statement contradicts what the company told me and fact checkers for a story I wrote for the New York Times in February. At that time, a spokesperson said ES&S had never installed pcAnywhere on any election system it sold. “None of the employees, … including long-tenured employees, has any knowledge that our voting systems have ever been sold with remote-access software,” the spokesperson said.

ES&S did not respond on Monday to questions from Motherboard, and it’s not clear why the company changed its response between February and April. Lawmakers, however, have subpoena powers that can compel a company to hand over documents or provide sworn testimony on a matter lawmakers are investigating, and a statement made to lawmakers that is later proven false can have greater consequence for a company than one made to reporters.

ES&S is the top voting machine maker in the country, a position it held in the years 2000-2006 when it was installing pcAnywhere on its systems. The company’s machines were used statewide in a number of states, and at least 60 percent of ballots cast in the US in 2006 were tabulated on ES&S election-management systems. It’s not clear why ES&S would have only installed the software on the systems of “a small number of customers” and not all customers, unless other customers objected or had state laws preventing this.

The company told Wyden it stopped installing pcAnywhere on systems in December 2007, after the Election Assistance Commission, which oversees the federal testing and certification of election systems used in the US, released new voting system standards. Those standards required that any election system submitted for federal testing and certification thereafter could contain only software essential for voting and tabulation. Although the standards only went into effect in 2007, they were created in 2005 in a very public process during which the security of voting machines was being discussed frequently in newspapers and on Capitol Hill.

Election-management systems are not the voting terminals that voters use to cast their ballots, but are just as critical: they sit in county election offices and contain software that in some counties is used to program all the voting machines used in the county; the systems also tabulate final results aggregated from voting machines.

Software like pcAnywhere is used by system administrators to access and control systems from a remote location to conduct maintenance or upgrade or alter software. But election-management systems and voting machines are supposed to be air-gapped for security reasons—that is, disconnected from the internet and from any other systems that are connected to the internet. ES&S customers who had pcAnywhere installed also had modems on their election-management systems so ES&S technicians could dial into the systems and use the software to troubleshoot, thereby creating a potential port of entry for hackers as well.

In May 2006 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, ES&S technicians used the pcAnywhere software installed on that county’s election-management system for hours trying to reconcile vote discrepancies in a local election, according to a report filed at the time. And in a contract with Michigan, which covered 2006 to 2009, ES&S discussed its use of pcAnywhere and modems for this purpose.

“In some cases, the Technical Support representative accesses the customer’s system through PCAnywhere—off-the-shelf software which allows immediate access to the customer’s data and network system from a remote location—to gain insight into the issue and offer precise solutions,” ES&S wrote in a June 2007 addendum to the contract. “ES&S technicians can use PCAnywhere to view a client computer, assess the exact situation that caused a software issue and to view data files.”

Motherboard asked a Michigan spokesman if any officials in his state ever installed the pcAnywhere software that ES&S recommended they install, but got no response.

The presence of such software makes a system more vulnerable to attack from hackers, especially if  . . .

Continue reading. There’s more.

Later in the article:

In 2006, the same period when ES&S says it was still installing pcAnywhere on election systems, hackers stole the source code for the pcAnyhere software, though the public didn’t learn of this until years later in 2012 when a hacker posted some of the source code online, forcing Symantec, the distributor of pcAnywhere, to admit that it had been stolen years earlier. Source code is invaluable to hackers because it allows them to examine the code to find security flaws they can exploit. When Symantec admitted to the theft in 2012, it took the unprecedented step of warning users to disable or uninstall the software until it could make sure that any security flaws in the software had been patched.

Around this same time, security researchers discovered a critical vulnerability in pcAnywhere that would allow an attacker to seize control of a system that had the software installed on it, without needing to authenticate themselves to the system with a password. And other researchers with the security firm Rapid7 scanned the internet for any computers that were online and had pcAnywhere installed on them and found nearly 150,000 were configured in a way that would allow direct access to them.

It’s not clear if election officials who had pcAnywhere installed on their systems, ever patched this and other security flaws that were in the software.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 1:25 pm

Interesting point about drawbacks of chia seed—and a change in my diet

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I have been routinely taking 2 tablespoons of chia seed in a glass of water each morning, for the omega-3 and the dietary fiber and other micronutrients.

But then I happened across this post by Loren Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet):

In the following table we list the fatty acid content of most commercially available seeds. You can use these tables to help you make an informed decision in choosing a seed based upon its fatty acid composition. If you are unfamiliar with fatty acid nomenclature and how the different types of fatty acids impact your health please refer to our fatty acid primer.

Flaxseed is an excellent source of the omega 3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA). I can no longer recommend chia seeds for the following reasons.

I would imagine that many of you have never even heard of chia seeds much less eaten them. Chia seeds are small, oval shaped; either black or white colored and resemble sesame seeds.  They are native to southern Mexico and northern Guatemala and were cultivated as a food crop for thousands of years in this region by the Aztecs and other native cultures.  Chia seeds can be consumed in a variety of ways including roasting and grinding the seeds into a flour known as Chianpinolli which can then be made into tortillas, tamales, and beverages.  The roasted ground seeds are traditionally consumed as gruel called Pinole.

In the past 20 years chia seeds have become an increasingly popular item in co-ops and health food stores primarily because of their high content of the healthful omega 3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA).  Chia seeds have also been fed to domestic livestock and chickens to enrich their meat and eggs with omega 3 fats.  I can endorse feeding chia seeds to animals, but have serious reservations when it comes to humans eating these seeds as staple foods.  The table below shows the entire nutrient profile for a 100 gram serving of chia seeds. . .

At least on paper, it would appear that chia seeds are a nutritious food that is not only high in ALA, but also is a good source of protein, fiber, certain B vitamins, calcium, iron, manganese and zinc.

Unfortunately, in the game of human nutrition, the devil is almost always in the details.  As is the case with many other plant seeds (e.g., cereal grains, legumes) chia seeds contain numerous antinutrients which reduce their nutritional value.  If you look at the table above, notice the high phosphorous concentrations found in chia seeds.  This revealing marker tells us that chia seeds are concentrated sources of phytate, an antinutrient that binds many minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and copper) thereby making them unavailable for absorption.  So, in our bodies, chia seeds actually become inferior sources of all these minerals.   Similarly, the table suggests that chia seeds are good sources of vitamin B6.  Unfortunately, in our bodies the utilization this vitamin from plant foods such as chia seeds is quite low, whereas bioavailability of B6 from animal products is quite high approaching 100%.

One of the unusual characteristics of chia seed Pinole or food products comes from a clear mucilaginous gel that surrounds the seeds.  This sticky gel forms a barrier which impairs digestion, fat absorption and causes a low protein digestibility.  Based upon animal and human studies, it is likely that other antinutrients together with this gel may promote a leaky gut, chronic systemic inflammation and food allergies.

Dr. Nieman and co-workers recently completed a study in humans who consumed 50 grams of chia seeds per day for 12 weeks.  At the experiment’s end both men and women experienced increases in a blood inflammatory marker called interleukin 6 (IL-6).  After 12 weeks the men’s blood levels of IL-6 increased 10.2 %, and the women’s increased 10.1%.  Additionally, another inflammatory marker called monocyte chemotactic protein increased 6.9 % in the men and 6.1 % in the women.  In support of the notion that chia seed consumption may adversely affect the immune system and promote inflammation is a rat study showing that after only one month high chia seed diets increased blood levels of IgE by 112.8 %.  Because IgE is a marker for allergenic food proteins that are processed through the gut, chia seeds likely cause a leaky gut and food allergies.  As you can see, the nutritional problems with chia seeds involve similar issues as with cereals grains – they simply are second-rate foods compared to meats, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. . .

Continue reading.

Well, okay. I’m switching to flaxseed, which (as the table at the link shows) has more ALA (the essential omega-3 fat) than chia seed. Moreover, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed has 5.95g carbs, of which 5.6g is dietary fiber, so only 0.35g of net carbs, which is what I try to minimize in my diet.

Whole flaxseed, however, cannot be digested—the idea of a seed is to pass unharmed through the digestive track of an animal and survive to sprout—so you must grind the flaxseed (or take flaxseed oil, which loses the dietary fiber). However, ground flaxseed (like flaxseed oil) must be refrigerated because it oxidizes readily and quickly. My plan is to buy whole flaxseed and each morning grind the seed I consume (2-4 tablespoons). I’ll mix it with water and see how that works.

I’ve updated my current diet advice to reflect this revision.

Update: I found this post of interest as well.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 1:03 pm

Keep an Eye on the Magnitsky Act

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Kevin Drum points out something important:

Back in 2016, when Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya met at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, the alleged topic of conversation was the Magnitsky Act.

Now bear with me here. The Magnitsky Act is named after Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who discovered a $230 million fraud among Russian tax officials back in 2009. Naturally Magnitsky himself was arrested, since the powers-that-be in Russia don’t abide these kinds of accusations, and he was eventually beaten to death while he was in prison. His friend Bill Browder was outraged and publicized what had happened, which led to Congress passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in 2012 by a vote of 92-4. Russia, as expected, was infuriated, because it targeted the country’s most powerful oligarchs in the only way that really hurts them: by freezing their money and their travel overseas. Julia Ioffe explains:

The first decade of Putin’s rule was a bonanza for state security structures. Using tactics similar to those used in the Browder-Magnitsky case, government officials, especially those in Putin’s native FSB, enriched themselves….They pillaged and nearly wiped out small and medium-sized businesses in Russia, jailing many of their owners in the process. Government programs and projects were dreamt up not to be built or actualized, but to allow their proponents to pocket parts of the state budget.

….Back then, a Russian businessman told me it felt like “the day before Pompeii,” with everyone stealing as much as they could as quickly as possible—and then whisking it out of the country….The families of the Russian elite often don’t live in Russia. They live in Paris, in London, Geneva, New York, Los Angeles. That’s where their money lives, too, and where their children go to school and where their families seek medical treatment—which is one of the reasons the Russian education and medical systems are falling apart, robbed by corruption of what little resources they had.

….What made Russian officialdom so mad about the Magnitsky Act is that it was the first time that there was some kind of roadblock to getting stolen money to safety. In Russia, after all, officers and bureaucrats could steal it again, the same way they had stolen it in the first place: a raid, an extortion racket, a crooked court case with forged documents—the possibilities are endless. Protecting the money meant getting it out of Russia. But what happens if you get it out of Russia and it’s frozen by Western authorities? What’s the point of stealing all that money if you can’t enjoy the Miami condo it bought you? What’s the point if you can’t use it to travel to the Côte d’Azur in luxury?

So far, 49 of Russia’s richest and most powerful oligarchs, all of them friends of Putin, have been targeted by the Magnitsky Act:

  1. DROGANOV, Aleksey O.
  2. KARPOV, Pavel
  3. KOMNOV, Dmitriy
  4. KHIMINA, Yelena
  5. KRIVORUCHKO, Aleksey
  6. KUZNETSOV, Artem
  7. LOGUNOV, Oleg
  8. PECHEGIN, Andrey I.
  9. PODOPRIGOROV, Sergei G.
  10. PROKOPENKO, Ivan Pavlovitch
  11. SILCHENKO, Oleg F.
  12. STASHINA, Yelena
  13. STEPANOVA, Olga G.
  14. TOLCHINSKIY, Dmitri M.
  15. UKHNALYOVA, Svetlana
  16. VINOGRADOVA, Natalya V.
  17. BOGATIROV, Letscha
  18. DUKUZOV, Kazbek
  19. LITVINOVA, Larisa Anatolievna
  20. KRATOV, Dmitry Borisovich
  21. GAUS, Alexandra Viktorovna
  22. TAGIYEV, Fikret
  23. ALISOV, Igor Borisovich
  24. MARKELOV, Viktor Aleksandrovich
  25. KLYUEV, Dmitry Vladislavovich
  26. STEPANOV, Vladlen Yurievich
  27. KHLEBNIKOV, Vyacheslav Georgievich
  28. AKHAYEV, Musa
  29. SUGAIPOV, Umar
  30. KRECHETOV, Andrei Alexandrovich
  31. DAUDOV, Magomed Khozhakhmedovich
  32. ALAUDINOV, Apti Kharonovich
  33. GRIN, Victor Yakovlevich
  34. STRIZHOV, Andrei Alexandrovich
  35. ANICHIN, Aleksey Vasilyevich
  36. KIBIS, Boris Borisovich
  37. URZHUMTSEV, Oleg Vyacheslavovich
  38. LAPSHOV, Pavel Vladimirovich
  39. ANTONOV, Yevgeni Yuvenalievich
  40. PLAKSIN, Gennady Nikolaevich
  41. LUGOVOI, Andrei Konstantinovich
  42. KOVTUN, Dmitri
  43. BASTRYKIN, Alexander Ivanovich
  44. GORDIEVSKY, Stanislav Evgenievich
  45. MAYOROVA, Yulia
  46. KATAEV, Ayub Vakhaevich
  47. PAVLOV, Andrei
  48. SHESHENYA, Alexei Nikolaevich
  49. KADYROV, Ramzan Akhmatovich

So what’s the point of all this detail? Just this: Britain passed its own version of the Magnitsky Act earlier this year. Ditto for the Netherlands. Estonia too (“we won’t leave such unfriendly steps without a due response,” Russia threatened). There’s even a move afoot to pass an EU-wide Magnitsky Act, which would truly be a disaster for Russia’s elite. So perhaps it’s no surprise that at the Helsinki summit Putin specifically called out Bill Browder, the man who’s probably more responsible than anyone for getting the original Magnitsky Act passed. Here’s what Putin said:

Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amount of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Well, that’s the personal case. It might have been legal, the contribution itself, but the way the money was earned was illegal.

This is not the kind of personal shout out we usually get from Putin at these events. But he’s desperate. So with all this out of the way, let’s go back in time to the Trump Tower meeting and ask again: what was that all about? Well, it was about the Magnitsky Act, which the Russians urgently want repealed. But it was also about delivering dirt on Hillary Clinton. And this is the dirt: $400 million in sketchy campaign contributions from Bill Browder and his cronies. That didn’t work out—largely because it wasn’t true—but not for lack of trying. No matter where you turn, the Magnitsky Act is staring you in the face. If there’s any single thing that Vladimir Putin is pissed off about, this is it.

So what did Putin and Trump talk about in their secret 2-hour meeting with no aides present? If I had to take a guess, I’d say it was the Magnitsky Act. Keep an eye on this over the next few months.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 11:14 am

Fish oil supplements for a healthy heart ‘nonsense’

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BBC News reports:

Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements is often touted as a simple way to protect your heart – but experts say the evidence that it does any good is flimsy at best.

Cochrane researchers looked at trials in over 100,000 people and found little proof that it prevented heart disease.

They say the chance of getting any meaningful benefit from taking omega-3 is one in 1,000.

Eating oily fish, however, can still be recommended as part of a healthy diet.

The review mainly looked at supplements rather than omega-3 from eating fish. Experts still believe the latter is good for the heart as well as general health.

The NHS says people should try to eat two portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily fish, such as salmon, fresh tuna or mackerel, to get enough “good” fats.

Omega-3

Omega-3 is a family of fats that includes:

  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – which the body can’t make for itself but is found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) – which the body can make from ALA but are also present in oily fish and fish oils, including cod liver oil

Some brands of milk, yoghurt, bread and spreads have extra omega-3 (usually ALA) added to them.

But when it comes to fish oil supplements, Cochrane lead author, Dr Lee Hooper, from the University of East Anglia, said: “We can be confident in the findings of this review which go against the popular belief that long-chain omega-3 supplements protect the heart.

“This large systematic review included information from many thousands of people over long periods.

“Despite all this information, we don’t see protective effects.

“The review provides good evidence that taking long-chain omega-3 [fish oil, EPA or DHA] supplements does not benefit heart health or reduce our risk of stroke or death from any cause.

“The most trustworthy studies consistently showed little or no effect of long-chain omega-3 fats on cardiovascular health.”

Some fish contain small amounts of chemicals that may be harmful if eaten in large amounts.

Shark, marlin and swordfish may contain small amounts of mercury and should be avoided by women who are pregnant or planning a baby and by all children under 16.

Other groups should eat no more than one portion of these fish each week.

Prof Tom Sanders, a nutrition expert at King’s College London and honorary director of Heart UK, said: “Current dietary guidelines to prevent cardiovascular disease encourage fish consumption, rather than taking supplements.

“This study provides no evidence to suggest that this dietary advice should change.”

Buy vegetables

Prof Tim Chico, a cardiologist from Sheffield University, said: “There was a period where people who had suffered a heart attack were prescribed these on the NHS. This stopped some years ago.

“Such supplements come with a significant cost, so my advice to anyone buying them in the hope that they reduce the risk of heart disease, I’d advise them to spend their money on vegetables instead.”

Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service, said early studies of omega-3 fats had found a protective benefit for the heart, but it wasn’t always easy to pick up the modest effects of dietary change, particularly in older people on medication. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 10:48 am

A spicy shave: Pumpkin tart for soap, Barrister & Mann Reserve Spice for aftershave, with the Edwin Jagger

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A really great shave this morning. This Seifenglatt soap has a wonderful fragrance and the lather is good as well, thanks in part to the Rooney Super Silvertip Style 1 Size 1.

I’ve noted before (a) how I like this Edwin Jagger razor with the fluted rubber handle and (b) what a fine razor head Edwin Jagger makes. Three passes, very comfortable, totally smooth result, no nicks.

A good splash of Reserve Spice, and the day starts on a fine note. Immediately after shaving, I got dressed and went for a 3-mile walk with my Nordic walking poles. Life is good.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 July 2018 at 10:14 am

Posted in Shaving

The White House Transcript Is Missing the Most Explosive Part of the Trump–Putin Press Conference

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Uri Friedman reports in the Atlantic:

It was perhaps the most explosive exchange in an incendiary press conference: Russian President Vladimir Putin appearing to frankly admit to a motive for, and maybe even to the act of, meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, despite repeatedly denying Russian interference in American politics during the rest of his appearance with Donald Trump in Finland on Monday.But the exchange doesn’t appear in full in the White House’s live-stream or transcript of the press conference, and it’s missing entirely from the Kremlin’s transcript of the event. The White House did not immediately provide an explanation for the discrepancy.

Understanding what Putin said depends on what you watch or where you look. If you watch the video of the news conference provided by the Russian government, or by news outlets such as PBS and the Associated Press, you will hear the Reuters reporter Jeff Mason ask a bombshell of a question: “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?”

Putin then responds with a bombshell of an answer, according to the English translation of his remarks that was broadcast during the press conference: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”

But recordings of the exchange were muddled for two reasons. First, the English translation of Putin’s previous response was concluding as Mason began to speak. Second, the microphone seemed to pick up Mason’s question halfway through—making the latter half of it easier to hear. (Mason told me that he had held on to the microphone even though an official had tried to pull it away so that he could ask Putin a follow-up question. “I don’t know if they turned the sound off during the time when each of the presidents were speaking, or if it got flipped on and off. I certainly didn’t touch anything.”)Technical difficulties aside, there’s further ambiguity. It’s unclear whether Putin said “Yes, I did” in reference to the question of whether he wanted Trump to win the 2016 presidential race, or in response to the question about whether he directed Russian officials to help Trump win. “You could interpret that to mean he’s answering ‘yes’ to both,” Mason told me, but “looking at it critically, he spent a good chunk of that press conference, just like President Trump did, denying any collusion. So I think it’s likely that when he said ‘Yes, I did,’ that he was just responding to the first part of my question and perhaps didn’t hear the second part.”

But if you watch the White House live-stream of the press conference or look at the transcript published by the White House, the first half of Mason’s question is not there. Without it, the meaning of the exchange is substantially different.

Compare this transcript, of what actually happened, to the White House’s version. Here is the record of what took place, starting with the last part of Putin’s comments before Mason’s questions. Putin is describing his willingness to assist with Robert Mueller’s probe (bolding is mine):

Vladimir Putin: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Jeff Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

And here’s the key section from the White House transcript, which makes it seem as though Putin is still talking about the Mueller probe:

PRESIDENT PUTIN: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Q: And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

PRESIDENT PUTIN:  Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

Another strange wrinkle comes from the Russian government’s English-language transcript of the press conference. In contrast to its footage of the press conference, which features what really happened, the transcript does not include any piece of that key exchange.

Transcripts published by the Federal News Service and Bloomberg Government mirror the White House transcript, while NPR’s contains the full exchange. Confusing matters further, C-span’s footage contains Mason’s full question but only the second half of Putin’s answer.The varying accounts of the same remarks highlight the profound confusion that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have generated in the past 24 hours. The discrepancies in the accounts of what was said also underscore the extent to which the Trump presidency has . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 July 2018 at 6:05 pm

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