Guys, the New York Times has published an incredible long read analyzing the Trump-Russia situation in its entirety, based on everything we know now ... and everybody has died of shock, because the NYT really sucks at that stuff usually!

Haha, we jest (sort of).

All jokes aside, it's a long read worth your time, so since it's Thursday and you ain't got nothin' better to do, open a tab and get readin', as this is a far cry from "Slate and Mother Jones scooped us and now we're pissed so NO RUSSIA, NO RUSSIA, YOU ARE THE RUSSIA: A Story by the New York Times," published just days before the election. It's also a far cry from "Sure, Trump is a balls-out criminal, we hate Hillary more, so let's talk about her emails and how the Clinton Foundation is raping puppies: Also a story by the New York Times," published every single day of the 2016 campaign.

The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come. Acting on the personal animus of Mr. Putin, public and private instruments of Russian power moved with daring and skill to harness the currents of American politics. Well-connected Russians worked aggressively to recruit or influence people inside the Trump campaign.

The NYT even says the truth, without saying it with 100% certainty, which is that Putin's intervention probably handed the election to Donald Trump. We're used to politicians and pundits saying there's NO EVIDENCE THAT ONE VOTE WAS CHANGED, as if you have to be literally tinkering around inside voting systems (and Russia is and has been) to steal an election. The truth is that Russia's social media campaigns, its theft of Democrats' private emails, and its WikiLeaks campaign to release those emails obviously changed people's votes. That was kind of the entire fucking point, and we're fairly certain Robert Mueller has evidence that the Trump campaign was in on it.

But it's so much more than that, and the operation has been running for a long damn time. Why? Because, as NYT puts it, "Putin was seething" over what he saw as America's long record of fucking with his dreams of turning Russia into a superpower again. And why did he fall head over heels in love for Trump?

Mr. Putin, said Yuval Weber, a Russia scholar, "found for the first time since the collapse of the U.S.S.R. that he has a prospective president of the United States who fundamentally views international issues from the Russian point of view."

That he does.

Vladimir Putin's strongest personal animus, as we well know, was for Hillary Clinton, because she dared repeatedly to call Putin what he is, and to call his sham elections what they are. But it's so much bigger than that, and Clinton knows it. In her interview on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday night, Clinton and Maddow talked about just how far back Putin's meddling goes as it pertains to her specifically. Hell, when Clinton was secretary of State, Maddow noted, Paul Manafort was working a political operation for pro-Russia assholes in Ukraine that sought to label Clinton as anti-Semitic. The Russians really, really fucking hate her.

But Clinton sees herself as not THE story, because unlike a certain person in the Oval Office, she knows it's not all about her:

HILLARY CLINTON: The Russians are still interfering with our democracy. It's not as though they said whew, Hillary Clinton is gone, oh, she is not going to be president, we're all going home. No! They are trying to influence how we look at one another, how we treat each other. They're certainly, as Trump's own intelligence officials have stated, in our election systems. So what is the next chapter? You see, I think I was an obstacle to their plans to undermine and disrupt our democracy.

I think I was an obstacle to their efforts to try to impose greater authoritarian control in Russia, go after people who were opponents of Putin's, whether they were in the LGBTQ community or the press, and I think that they wanted to get me out of the way.

And the question I think is worth asking: Why did they want to get me out of the way? What is it they are trying to accomplish now? [...]

I think I am a small part of the puzzle. I do believe that we're finding out more about how they viewed me and what they wanted to do to get me out of the way, but to get me out of the way to do what, Rachel? Yes, try to elect the president which apparently they succeeded at, but it was more than that. I think they play a long game.

How refreshing! Interesting questions and thoughts from an intelligent adult who gives a shit! Hit this link for video if you like stuff like that.

But anyway, back to the NYT piece, which lays out a timeline in excruciating detail of precisely what-all Russia and its chosen presidential campaign were up to before and during the 2016 campaign, and just how many tentacles were working in concert with each other to hurt Hillary Clinton and elect Russia's intelligence asset Donald Trump president. For example, it asks us to consider 10 days in March of 2016.

Consider 10 days in March.

Told you.

On March 15 of that year, Mr. Trump won five primaries, closing in on his party's nomination, and crowed that he had become "the biggest political story anywhere in the world." That same day in Moscow, a veteran hacker named Ivan Yermakov, a Russian military intelligence officer working for a secret outfit called Unit 26165, began probing the computer network of the Democratic National Committee. In St. Petersburg, shift workers posted on Facebook and Twitter at a feverish pace, posing as Americans and following instructions to attack Mrs. Clinton.

On March 21 in Washington, Mr. Trump announced his foreign policy team, a group of fringe figures whose advocacy of warmer relations with Russia ran counter to Republican orthodoxy. Meanwhile, Unit 26165 was poring over the bounty from a separate attack it had just carried out: 50,000 emails stolen from the Clinton campaign's chairman.

On March 24, one of the members of the Trump foreign policy team, George Papadopoulos, sat in the cafe of an upscale London hotel with a Russian woman who introduced herself as Mr. Putin's niece and offered to help set up a meeting between the Russian president and Mr. Trump. The woman and the adviser exchanged frequent messages in the weeks that followed. Today, Mr. Padadopoulos is unsure that those messages came from the person he met in the cafe.

There was so much going on, because Russia was working this war on many fronts. As we now know from Robert Mueller's indictments, the hackers were stealing the emails, and the trolls were inciting division among the American electorate. Meanwhile, Russian spies and oligarchs close to Putin were taking advantage of every opportunity they could to snake up the asses of Trump people, both directly and indirectly, through organizations like the NRA. And a hell of a lot of the people they targeted, the NYT points out, were ready and willing, and nobody called the FBI.

They probably directly pushed Paul Manafort, boy wonder associate of "Putin's oligarch" Oleg Deripaska, into his position as the unpaid chair of Trump's campaign.

There was Michael Flynn, who was already moving in the Russians' direction when Barack Obama fired his ass from the DIA, who somehow magically showed up in December of 2015 at Putin's side (with Jill Stein too!) at a gala for RT in Moscow. (One of our most favorite lies of the entire Trump-Russia scandal is that nobody at that dinner table talked to each other.) And then he joined the Trump team. Wonder what HE was really up to!

There was Carter Page, the idiot Russian intelligence asset who somehow got hired to work on Trump's campaign foreign policy team, who then got invited as a "famous American economist" to give the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow. As the NYT notes, the last "famous American" to do that was Barack Obama, so Carter Page was a natural next choice.

Oh yeah, and there was the famous Trump Tower treason meeting of June 2016, where Russian spies who really did have Donald Trump Jr.'s number offered to conspire to help Daddy win an election, by delivering delicious Hillary Clinton dirt.

And so much more!

Before you knew it, Trump was winning (so much winning we got sick of winning) and he had hijacked the Republican party and turned it into a foreign policy arm of the Kremlin, saying NATO was obsolete and that really, all those sanctions on Russia are pretty mean and that if Russia wants to steal Crimea from Ukraine, who is America to stop them? Honestly, that was Putin's question all along.

NYT quotes Khrushchev's great-granddaughter, Nina Khrushcheva, on what exactly Putin pulled off in 2016:

"This operation was to show the Americans — that you bastards are just as screwed up as the rest of us," Professor Khrushcheva said. "Putin fulfilled the dream of every Soviet leader — to stick it to the United States. I think this will be studied by the K.G.B.'s successors for a very long time."

Damn. Just damn.

Would you believe we haven't even scratched the surface of this New York Times piece? No, you wouldn't, because according to this chart, Wonkette is a big liar. But this time we're truthin' you!

The piece comes with this fun interactive timeline of Russia's various acts of war against the United States in the last several years (yes, we said a FUN timeline!), which is a handy companion to this other one from Just Security, of all the NO COLLUSION Trump and his people have been doing with Russia since he was barely "elected."

Anyway, READ THE WHOLE THING, as they say on this here internet dot com, because this post is over now. Good job, NYT! May you continue to suck less than you usually do!

[New York Times / Real Clear Politics]

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Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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