Opinion Opinions | Giuliani just confessed to the crime. He also revealed something bigger.

17:50  06 december  2019
17:50  06 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump distances himself from Giuliani's Ukraine efforts

  Trump distances himself from Giuliani's Ukraine efforts The president was asked by Bill O'Reilly about Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine on Mr. Trump's behalf. He replied, "I don't even know.""Well, you have to ask that to Rudy, but Rudy, I don't, I don't even know," said Mr. Trump. "I know he was going to go to Ukraine, and I think he canceled a trip," the president continued. "But, you know, Rudy has other clients, other than me. I'm one person.

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Rudy Giuliani wearing a suit and tie: (Reuters/Amr Alfiky)© Amr Alfiky/REUTERS (Reuters/Amr Alfiky)

Rudolph W. Giuliani just confessed to the crime in broad daylight -- or, more precisely, in broad cyber-daylight. Yet he did so defiantly, with a middle finger unfurled in our faces, without the slightest concern that it would harm him or his “client,” as he describes President Trump.

How is this possible? Because of the power of disinformation, which has the capacity to convert the most flagrantly corrupt misconduct into virtue.

Giuliani: Lawyers are telling me to sue Fox News host for libel

  Giuliani: Lawyers are telling me to sue Fox News host for libel Rudy Giuliani said that his lawyers brought up the idea of suing Fox News anchor Steve Hilton after he called on the President Trump to sever ties with his personal attorney. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.Hilton, the host of The Next Revolution, attacked the former New York City mayor after reports surfaced that he pursued personal business deals in Ukraine while he was there trying to start foreign investigations into targets that Trump wanted investigated. Hilton also referred to Giuliani as "an unmitigated and ...

We don’t talk enough about how central disinformation is to the Ukraine scandal. The extortion of Ukraine was at bottom an effort to enlist a foreign power’s help in waging disinformation warfare in the 2020 election, to Trump’s benefit. Disinformation was central to the 2016 Russian attack on our political system, which Trump eagerly embraced. Now disinformation is being employed to escape accountability for all of it.

Two new developments attest to this point: A remarkable pair of revelatory tweets from Giuliani, and a tour de force of reporting in The Post, which reveals that Trump routinely communicated throughout the whole saga with Giuliani on unsecured devices, which may have been vulnerable to monitoring by Russia.

Fox News Analyst: ‘Somebody Else’ May Have Used Nunes’ Phone to Call Parnas and Giuliani

  Fox News Analyst: ‘Somebody Else’ May Have Used Nunes’ Phone to Call Parnas and Giuliani Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett spun an interesting theory on Wednesday morning, claiming that it is possible that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) didn’t speak to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani henchman Lev Parnas this past spring because “somebody else” may have used his phone. Call logs included in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report revealed that Nunes, the ranking member of the committee, was involved in extensive communications with Giuliani, Parnas, conservative columnist John Solomon, and the White House in April. The phone calls took place during Giuliani’s Ukraine dirt-digging mission and campaign to discredit then-U.S.

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Giuliani’s tweets are revealing, and not in a good way

“The conversation about corruption in Ukraine was based on compelling evidence of criminal conduct by then VP Biden,” Giuliani tweeted, referring to Joe Biden, the intended target of “investigations” Trump and Giuliani pressured Ukraine to announce.

To empirically-grounded observers, this will blow up a key Trump defense: That in conditioning official acts on getting Ukraine to announce the investigations he wanted, he was correctly concerned with cleaning up corruption there.

After all, Giuliani just confirmed that in pressuring Ukraine, “investigate corruption” actually meant, “smear Trump’s political rival.” We already knew this -- Giuliani and Trump have said it publicly for months -- but that’s an unusually stark way to admit it.

'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture

  'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's top allies, said the recent trip by the president's attorney to Ukraine was "weird" and "odd."However, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told ABC's "This Week" it was promising to hear that Trump said Giuliani wants to speak to Congress about his latest trip to Ukraine.

Yet Giuliani doesn’t view this as an admission at all. Why not? Because he also stated that Biden was, in fact, guilty of unstated “criminal conduct,” that Biden and other Democrats had conspired with Ukrainian corruption, and that Giuliani would produce proof.

The Biden corruption narrative Giuliani has worked to validate has been thoroughly debunked. But Giuliani can make it true by saying it, and by producing fake “evidence” backing it up.

This amounts to more than conventional political lying. You see this in Giuliani’s crucial next step: The creation of a disinformational narrative hermetically sealed off from outside facts can magically transform even a demand for investigations into Biden from a corrupt demand that a foreign power help rig our election by smearing a political opponent into a virtuous demand for investigations into “corruption.”

This scandal is all about disinformation

Making this narrative “true,” via the triumph of disinformation, is at the core of this entire scandal. It is why the White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid were conditioned on getting Ukraine to release statements validating that narrative with disinformation, along with another fictional narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in 2016, in collusion with Democrats.

Giulianis Settle Ugly Divorce Case, Avoiding a Public Trial

  Giulianis Settle Ugly Divorce Case, Avoiding a Public Trial The acrimonious divorce case of Rudolph W. Giuliani and his estranged wife, Judith, a battle that had played out in court and across tabloid headlines for more than a year and a half, came to an abrupt — and harmonious — end on Tuesday evening, according to her lawyer. The couple have resolved all their differences and financial squabbles, according to an emailed statement from Bernard E. Clair, Mrs. Giuliani’s lawyer, and they “intend to remain friends in the years to come.” The Giulianis, who had been married since 2003, were to begin their divorce trial in Manhattan early next year. The details of the settlement will remain confidential, Mr. Clair added.

Meanwhile, Giuliani is literally producing a fake “documentary” that will “prove” these theories. Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, is traveling the world to try to validate parts of the Ukraine-2016 lie, and he’s even preparing to dispute the Justice Department inspector general’s conclusion that it’s nonsense.

You cannot watch House Republicans, or Sean Hannity, rant about this bundle of theories without concluding we’re witnessing something very different from routine political lying here.

Our own intelligence services have confirmed that the 2016-Ukraine lie has been a mainstay of Russian disinformation for years. This is the through line back to 2016: The Russian attack on our political system was in large part disinformation warfare, to sow social discord and undermine liberal democracy.

Even the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has elaborated on this disinformation warfare in great detail. Perversely, the current disinformation effort is about making that 2016 disinformation warfare disappear, because Trump benefited from and participated in that effort.

Trump’s unsecured connection

The Post documents in extraordinary detail that unsecured communications between Trump and Giuliani were vulnerable to Russian evesdropping throughout their efforts to extort Ukraine. As experts note, this likely means Russia knew of them in real time -- possibly before the whistleblower first exposed them.

'This is a coup attempt': Giuliani says he believes in 'deep state'

  'This is a coup attempt': Giuliani says he believes in 'deep state' President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that he believes there is an internal effort in the State Department to have Trump removed from office. © Provided by Washington ExaminerIn a Thursday interview with Sinclair’s Eric Bolling, the 75-year-old former New York City mayor was asked if he believes in the existence of a “deep state” conspiracy. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

All this meant Moscow could “exploit” this knowledge:

Insight into Giuliani’s discussions with Trump could enable Moscow to adapt or amplify its propaganda promoting the baseless claim that Ukraine, rather than Russia, hacked the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 U.S. election. That claim is now widely embraced by Trump’s Republican allies. Russia is already using its disinformation capabilities to target U.S. citizens, officials said, and could enlist its own operatives in Ukraine to feed false information to Giuliani.

In other words, Trump’s unsecured conversations left us further vulnerable to Russian disinformation.

None of this is to endorse in any way the “Trump is a Russian asset” narrative, and no one should assume Trump has deliberately left us vulnerable to Russian disinformation. Indeed, it’s often hard to say where Trump’s own disinformation ends and where Russia’s begins.

But what we can say is that the disinformation employed by Giuliani, Trump and his GOP defenders in many ways overlaps with Russian disinformation. They share tropes and narratives, and some common goals.

And it’s evident that Trump may not care if we’re more vulnerable to Russian disinformation, since he benefited from it so extensively last time, and is now heavily trafficking in its offshoots himself. As Giuliani’s latest confession shows, their commitment to employing and benefiting from it is only escalating.

Nadler: Giuliani trip to Ukraine shows 'crime in progress' is being committed against American democracy .
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said reports of President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani's recent trip to Ukraine show a "crime in progress" is happening and reiterate the need for lawmakers to follow through with the impeachment process. "This is a crime in progress against the constitution and against the American democracy," Nadler said on ABC's "This Week." "We cannot take the risk that the next election will be corrupted through foreign interference solicited by the president, which he is clearly trying to do. It goes to the heart of our democracy.

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