The Manchurian Senator? Sen. Whitehouse Suggests Sessions Could Have Been “Message Boy” For Russians

Just a day after Sen. Al Franken publicly accused Attorney General Jeff Sessions of perjury, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) went public on CBS with a theory that appears to have been bothering him:  “You can imagine a set of circumstances in which the Trump campaign gave him talking points [and] he was a message boy for them.”  The purpose, Whitehouse suggested, was for Sessions to convey “Mission accomplished” after meeting with his Russian handlers. It is a curious notion that Sessions was a Manchurian senator but the Russian ambassador still met with him in the presence of staffers on the Hill or in public at the Republican National Convention.  If this is a sequel to the Manchurian Candidate, I may have to pass.

Whitehouse dismissed Sessions explanation and noted “You can imagine a set of circumstances in which the Trump campaign gave him talking points [and] he was a message boy for them . . . There was a content related to the relations between U.S.A. and Russia, favorable to Russia that would have encouraged them to support the Trump campaign. And then he returned back to the Trump campaign and said, ‘Done it, you know, mission accomplished here.'”

Notably, unlike Franken, Whitehouse (correctly) said that it was premature to accuse Sessions of perjury even though he found it “really, really hard to believe that he didn’t remember that.”  Yet, he was interested in whether Sessions was the “message boy” for Russian masters.

In fairness to Whitehouse, there is a valid basis for investigation over the Russian interference in the election.   I have objected to the level of moral outrage being expressed by politicians.  Moral outrage by politicians is something of a performance art in Washington.

The question is how Whitehouse would uncover the Manchurian Candidate if the two staffers support his account of the brief meeting in his Senate office.  There is also the truly moronic use of one of the most visible members of the Trump team as your “message boy.”

Time will tell but this sequel may need some plot work.

 

133 thoughts on “The Manchurian Senator? Sen. Whitehouse Suggests Sessions Could Have Been “Message Boy” For Russians

  1. Too bad Whitehouse did not remember obama’s comment on that hot mic to the russian diplomat about the new flexability obama would show Russia when he was elected for his 2nd term. Wasn’t obama passing a message then? Selective memory..gotta give these jerks credit. When they follow orders ..they follow orders

  2. Enough with the leftist lunacy and their urgent cries that “the Russians are coming; the Russians are coming!”

    The leftists have the wrong movie. They should be pointing to the movie “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” rather than “The Manchurian Candidate.” The latter movie (and novel by Richard Condon) involved an ANTI-SOVIET senator named John Iselin (played brilliantly by James Gregory in the superior original, who acted along with such greats as Frank Sinatra, Lawrence Harvey, and Angela Lansbury), and yet who was a TOOL of the Soviets, set to become president through an elaborate scheme of mind-control.

    Trump has never represented that he’s anti-Russian. Just the opposite. In Trump’s case, Trump is far more interested in improving the US economy and eliminating terrorism than into vamping-up another Cold War or worse that the Democrats crave. If Americans wanted a crumbling economy, the mass import of terrorists, and a new era of the Cold War, they would have elected Clinton instead of Trump.

    There was a time when the liberals of Hollywood were instead urging an end to the Cold War with the Soviets. The movie “The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming” exemplified that. Ironically, in the trailer to the movie, you’ll note that Carl Reiner is involved in the movie. This is ironic because now, his son, Rob Reiner, now a big Hollywood player, is a hate-Trumper and considers the Russians (formerly the Soviets) our mortal enemy. In short, the Democrats are exactly the sort of fanatical maniacal lunatics that they used to attack in the 1960s!

    So, let’s step back in time to that era:

    • Ralph,…
      –James Gregory was one of the best actors around.
      Especially good in Barney Miller.
      My alltime favorite James Gregory role was when played Don Knott’s defense lawyer in THE LOVE GOD.
      Hilarious…..I think that movie, or large segments of the movie, are on youtube.

  3. I was a Democrat. Cant stand em now. The party is filled with idiots these days.

    The Democrat party and the Neo-Cons showed the danger of having a Big Govt.

  4. The one thing the professional political class does not want anyone to discuss is WHAT should the federal government be doing in the first place. This way they encourage us to support (and fight along side) over HOW they do it. This isn’t self-government. This is unlicensed dog-fighting and very few people are aware it’s not licensed nor are they appalled by it. There is no reasoning with people that have invested so much in their dog.

  5. It seems like some of these politicians seek only information that is fed to them within their collective echo chambers and as a result the ridiculousness is becoming further concentrated and narrow.

    We have to wonder if they are becoming less inclined toward independent thinking.

    • Then counter what he said. You have to understand that Senators hear and see things they CANNOT repeat. All we as the public have is a sense of their credibility. On the face of it (barring independent confirmation) I believe 90% of Dems and 10% of Republicans. That’s they way it is.

      PS: From what I have seen recently that 10% looks shaky.

  6. there is a valid basis for investigation over the Russian interference in the election.

    I would love to hear supporting evidence, any credible supporting evidence, of any credible sort , other than mere allegations or mere repetition of the assertion as the usual technique for getting people to swallow it as true, for the assertion of Russian interference in anything related to the election (specifically the email revelations about the DNC corruptly excluding Sanders from any possibility of getting the nomination).

    I would even accept, somewhat grudgingly, a statement that professor Turley knows something the public does not. Other people whose careers take them close to the establishment are also saying the same thing. But Glen Greenwald, Julian Assange, and others who rub up against the intelligence agencies, continue to claim there is no credible evidence to date, for any such assertion at all.

    From Greenwald’s latest peice on a book by Masha Gessen who is, of all things, a Russian critic of Putin. The quote is from her article in the New York Review of Books – entitled “Russia: the Conspiracy Trap”:

    The backbone of the rapidly yet endlessly developing Trump-Putin story is leaks from intelligence agencies, and this is its most troublesome aspect. Virtually none of the information can be independently corroborated. The context, sequence, and timing of the leaks is determined by people unknown to the public, which is expected to accept anonymous stories on faith; nor have we yet been given any hard evidence of active collusion by Trump officials. . . .

    The dream fueling the Russia frenzy is that it will eventually create a dark enough cloud of suspicion around Trump that Congress will find the will and the grounds to impeach him. If that happens, it will have resulted largely from a media campaign orchestrated by members of the intelligence community—setting a dangerous political precedent that will have corrupted the public sphere and promoted paranoia. And that is the best-case outcome. . . . More likely, the Russia allegations will not bring down Trump.

    https://theintercept.com/2017/03/07/leading-putin-critic-warns-of-xenophobic-conspiracy-theories-drowning-u-s-discourse-and-helping-trump/

    Neither Greenwald, nor Gessen are alone. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, also finds no credible proof of Russian involvement. Nor does, Moon of Alabama, or any of the articles on Washington’s Blog. To name but a few.

    Many conservative sites remain schizophrenic on the issue with part of their heads exploding. The part that wants Putin and anything Russian to remain the biggest bogyman in history is having a really really hard time what that part of the same head that insists what ever Trump wants is G-E-E-E-R-R-E-A-T. Fortunately for them it looks like President Trump has no problem shifting his position a little, a scant180 degrees, such as is the case with his bringing on board a known Russian phobiac, Jon Huntsman – formerly of the Obama admin, as his diplomat to Russia.

    The neoconservatives may have already won this battle and President Trump may start behaving himself on the subject of doing everything in his power to keep tensions with Russian on a razor edge. The DNC’s parallel effort to have President Trump impeached for proximity to a mythological Russian conspiracy to tamper with US elections won’t fare so well, once he does an about face on rapprochement, and will almost certainly (and most deservedly) leave egg all over the Democrat party.

    • Good wrap up BB, once again, you show how morally bankrupt the Democrats are. Willing to risk to the last hair the war that could end everything. All just to regain control of the deep state. I can see this issue falling apart, but I can also see it spiraling downward, which appears to be the case after hearing today’s news.

      • Thanks, Slohrss29, I’m an equal opportunity critic now. Between the two parties grabbing everything for private enterprise that isn’t nailed down, and both sanctifying every form of economic torture know to man, I suspect we are in for one massive train wreck…

    • The neoconservatives may have already won this battle and President Trump may start behaving himself on the subject of doing everything in his power to keep tensions with Russian on a razor edge.

      Sidney Hook is dead, Irving Kristol is dead, and Norman Podhoretz is pushing 90 and retired more than 20 years ago.

      • Neoconservatism, like Capitalism, no longer signifies exactly what those who coined the terms meant by them.

        Despite it’s origins, “among conservative-leaning Democrats who became disenchanted with the party’s foreign policy” in the 1960’s, the term, neoconservatism, has undergone an ideological journey,

        […] from the anti-Stalinist Left to the camp of American conservatism. Neoconservatives [today] typically advocate the promotion of democracy and American national interest in international affairs, including by means of military force and are known for espousing disdain for communism and for political radicalism.

        [snip]

        Many of its adherents became politically famous during the Republican presidential administrations of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Neoconservatives peaked in influence during the administration of George W. Bush, when they played a major role in promoting and planning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[1] Prominent neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration included Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle and Paul Bremer. Senior officials Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, while not identifying as neoconservatives, listened closely to neoconservative advisers [my emphasis] regarding foreign policy, especially the defense of Israel and the promotion of democracy in the Middle East.

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

        I would differ from what I consider an implicit theme of this article only in that neoconservatism remains totally bipartisan in it’s “American Exceptionalism,” (the idea that no matter how much harm we do, it’s all good because we are the original Democracy love’n good guys – and hippies suck). The bstardization that neoconservatism means all war all of the time in the name of Democracy (in parallel to the reality of economic dominance) is not so far from the mark as to be useless.

        President Trump is clearly a neoconservative in the sense of American Exceptionalism if only by his picks for cabinet members. He is not scaling back on wars in the Middle East even granting he did not start them.

    • Anyone remotely tied to Trump’s treasonous activities with Russia seems to mysteriously die … quite odd. Maybe that’s why critics seem to shy away from this completely.

      A lot of the speculation is because they believe Trump is beholden to Russian money. He has the power to dispels this IMMEDIATELY by disclosing his taxes. Since he chooses NOT to then we can assume there is fire behind the smoke.

      Marquis of Queensbury rules are over, the Republican/Fux News whores have nailed that coffin shut. Allegations are TRUE unless disproved. Republicans a a cancer on our Republic, may Satan take them ALL.

  7. “Message Boy”

    Some journalist with no fear of death should identify the puppet masters who control McCain and Lindsey. As everyone in the world knows, these guys are so reflexively and predictably pro-war it’s comical in a dark sort of way.

      • You’re right. Republicans utterly loath any of the kind of truths about corruption of power being exposed that brought about our revolution of independence, and in that effort, they are only to be equaled by the Democrats. So you, along with your mirror image on the right, are right half of the time: It’s the other guy. Indeed, to rephrase a quote from John Kennith Galbraith (his was about Capitalists and Communists), “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that for Republicans, man exploits man, whereas for Democrats it’s the other way around.”

        I can’t understand why you don’t step back a little and notice that both of these parties are dancing to the same tune – in this case a neoconservative one.

        You are clearly aware of what’s going on. Why the heavy duty tribalism?

          • I differ. Like Obama’s health care fiasco, the Trump lump is just somewhat less effective in providing health care to people and only somewhat more effective in funneling money to private insuarnce companies and the industrial medical complex. But the overwhelming similarity is that they both suck and they both coerce the American public into the waiting arms of profligate insurance giants that would go bankrupt with out such mandates.

            There is no valid “lessor of evil” here. Just a little more Crisco on one of the slides.

            • And btw, you can be sure the mandate will survive and flourish (grow) one way or another since without it, the insurance companies will cut off campaign contributions, not to mention revolving doors, to Republicans faster than you can say, “just die”.

            • Totally disagree….If you were trans,woman,Mexican or Muslim you might have a different view. Hope you enjoy the wall.

              • Identity politics. Yes, these things are important, but everyone, including trans, woman, Mexican or Muslim, need to eat, need water, need the basics, and should enjoy the same civil liberties and the same system of justice for the rich and the poor. Those are bottom line issues and Republicans (who also have gays, etc.) are often happy to let the identity issues pass in return for lock step neoliberal agreement on the bottom line (which they get).

                You can live with wanton killing in Libia (Clinton) and Iraq (Clinton) with hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians being killed, but you can’t abide a gay not being able to get married. Democrats love you and so, for that matter, do Republicans.

            • Trumpcare eliminates payment for addiction and psychological services. With the growing opiate addiction problem, that is again cruel but particularly so for WV, OH, and KY.

              • Obama, and his Vichy liberalism (otherwise known as raw neoliberalism) brought this current health care mirage on all of us. In 2008 he had the Banking System and Wall Street on their knees and he had a majority in both houses!!!! He could have gotten universal health care or something very very close with private options for the wealthy so they could grab all the p*ssy or family jewels they wanted and would not feel left out. Instead, he came up with an incredibly complex sop to behemoth private insurance companies that was unworkable for large segments of the population and whose real intention was to prevent any serious effort towards universal health care for at least another generation.

    • Is this Vladimir? Hey man, how goes it! Hey … can you do me a BIG favor? I’d like copies of an SVR employee’s time cards … code name Urine King. Also if you could put some of his ‘water sports’ videos on Youtube, that would be AWESOME!!!

  8. Obviously these Democrats have been forced to draft the more amateur among them to share in the round robin smear campaign as demonstrated by this dolt. Senator Coons, also needs more training. The trick it to lay down the innuendo and lead the public by the nose to the “obvious” conclusion. Donuts Schumer needs to up his game if he wants this to look like a riot of spontaneous thinking on the part of these actors and not a plotted strategy. In any case, it’s become a tortured performance, their strings are showing. Schumer must be laughing in his sleeve that he was able to get a second investigation on Trump “Collusion” after the Intelligence Community had come back with a clean bill of health. It’s rather like going forward with a trial after a Grand Jury fails to indict.

  9. The Dem-CIA McCarthyism-on-steroids campaign of Russophobia has crippled whatever anti-interventionist impulses Trump has. He didn’t even dare talk about Russia in his address to Congress. The Dems are truly vile. They destroy Libya and launch a CIA jihadist proxy war against secular Syria that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and follow up with an insane campaign of anti-Russian hysteria.

    • I’ve made jokes for some months that, clearly, deep down, the Democrats had serious sexual hots for Joe McCarthy… and just as clearly, deep down, wanted to pull that lever on Ethel and Julius.

      We are in a very strange place these days. The various cohorts trumpeting this idiocy from Mc Cain and Lindsay Graham to Bill and Hillary… well…….. then just about all Democrats from Shumer onward. Or downward…

      • Trump is the one that cavorted with McCarthy’s legislative assistant until he found out he had aids and dumped him.

    • Too much manure here to shovel in one post.

      Money to the Clinton foundation went to a CHARITY. Not a phony charity (see Bush/Trump charities) but a REAL one.

      Does anyone believe Russia needs our help to build a nuclear bomb, douchebag?

      What bad acts did the Russians expose on the Dem side? You mean the Pizza-gate nonsense … you are disgusting filth.

      Why did the Russians expose Dem emails and not Republican emails … they had both?

      You are a degenerate Republican apologist (read that WHORE) who wastes no time defending the indefensible. We have a Russian spy in the White House and you filth DO NOT CARE as long as your subhuman agenda is furthered. Satan take whatever rump soul you have.

  10. anon,

    Too late. US is already a kleptocracy.

    WIB,

    Trump just appointed a guy who wants war with Russia. Jeesh, what is your issue with him? He’s on your side. You’ll get that war. People will die. As you know, they are still dying in Yemen. Obama killed lots of civilians there. Trump hasn’t dropped the ball. He’s killing civilians also. O.K. Hillary might have had us in a war with Iran by now, but give Trump time. He’ll catch up to her. Maybe he’ll even surpass Obama’s kill rate.

  11. Oh, Oh, Oh, The cult does not like to spend time and money investigating republicans, but they will drag anything and everything into Hillary or Obama. Folks there is to much smoke into the Russians. Facts will come out, then what?

    • Same as now. Nothing. Smoke and Mirrors does not = facts and truths. It only equals balanced budget fairy tails.

    • They are so very angry that Russia revealed that the Dems were cheating, and engaging in other bad acts.

      Rather than being shamed at being caught doing wrong, and pledging to do better, they are still enraged that they were caught.

      Whenever one of these damning Wikileaks, or other hacks comes out, I respond as follows. I’m upset about the wrongdoing uncovered, and want there to be fair consequences. I’m glad I found out but unhappy about the method (the destruction of privacy.) Then there are calls for more cyber security, and everyone moves on.

      It would be like if an American company was revealed to have severely defrauded its customers. Those customers would sue the heck out of them to get recourse, and the company would improve its cybersecurity. Also, any executive whose password of “password” easily allowed the hack would be fired, and possibly sued by the company. Those customers would focus their ire on that company, but the Democrats are focusing it exclusively on the hackers, with apparently zero on the actual bad actors.

      Honestly, what leg to we have to stand on to be angry about Russian spying when we spy on them ourselves? If you don’t want to be hacked, then choose a better password than “password.”

      Cybersecurity is the next great frontier, and I believe that it would have a very robust job market.

      Now, about these allegations about collusion between Trump and the Russians…it seems to be a natural progression of the narrative to shift the blame from the Democratic Party, who actually did the bad acts that turned voters off, and to those who revealed that truthful information. And on the way, they discovered an easy way to delegitimize the Trump Presidency.

      We have diplomatic relations with Russia. Many people in Congress and other positions routinely deal with that ambassador. We are not at war with Russia, so it is not a crime to speak with the Russian ambassador. In fact, it is part of many peoples’ jobs. And when Obama blamed Russia for the loss of the election, rather than Hillary herself for actually doing the things revealed, and kicked Russian diplomats out of the country and sanctioned Russia, wouldn’t it be strange if the Russian ambassador, whose job is to improve relations, didn’t call everyone from the Obama Administration, to the candidate expected to win, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to the Trump campaign, with concerns on the future of our relations?

      If you actually review what General Flynn spoke to the ambassador about (which was revealed because we spied on Russia, illegally reviewed Flynn’s transcript without a warrant, and then illegally leaked the information to the press, kind of similar to what Russia did), in the middle of a conversation about a plane crash, he diplomatically urged the ambassador to wait on retaliating against the US until he gave Trump a chance first. Let him take office. There was never any accusation from our intelligence community of collusion between Flynn and Russia; in fact it has been explicitly stated that Flynn did nothing illegal. His comment cannot be taken as illegal by anyone. It’s not twisting facts. It’s not illegal what he said. His problem came when he was adamant that sanctions hadn’t been mentioned at all, so Pence repeated that statement. He was wrong, ether deliberately or he just forgot it was mentioned, but it created a trust issue. So he had a consequence of resigning. Action – consequence, even when it wasn’t illegal. How refreshing. However, this incident really touched off the meme that Trump’s campaign went from benefiting, to actively working with, the Russians.

      Investigate away. But I see the weaponization of government agencies against conservatives, an utter lack of consequences for the most egregious misconduct on the part of Democrats, and a very low bar for the prosecution of Republicans. One way for thee, another for me.

      You are to recall that Hillary Clinton received money from the Russians, via Bill, and his Foundation received $144 million, from the Russians, while she signed off on giving a nuclear power who may well become our adversary again, 1/5 of all of our Uranium. But there is no there, there, as far as the Democrats are concerned. But, by God, Kellyanne Conway should be disbarred for commenting on Ivanka’s clothing line when she was bullied for political reasons, and she put her bare feet on the couch. Double standard. If you won’t prosecute Hillary for effectively selling a component to make nuclear bombs to Russia, then stop claiming that a comment to hold off on retaliating and give the new President a chance is treason.

      Any investigation should be fair and unbiased, and Democrats and Republicans should have the same consequences.

  12. Oh for God’s sake, the Democrats are acting insane.

    Russia has always spied and hacked on us, and we have always spied and hacked on them. (Exhibit A is our wiretapping of the Russian Ambassador’s conversation with General Flynn, where they admitted that they routine less wiretap ALL ambassadors. And then that information was leaked to the public.) That was why Hillary Clinton was in such terrible trouble for her cavalier handling of classified information, uploading it to the Cloud, etc.

    The Russians did not hack the election. No voting machines or votes were tampered with by the Russian. The Russians are accused of releasing factual information that embarrassed the Democrats. And that information was basically left outside on the front lawn, being protected with a password that was literally “password.”

    I find it curious that there is no outrage or screams of “The Russians!” when Hillary Clinton received all that money from the Russians, and then signed off on them getting 1/5 of all of our Uranium. My God, can you imagine if Trump did that? The double standard leaves me gobsmacked.

    Whitehouse is not basing his accusations on any facts at all. He is just imaging scenarios in which Sessions, whose job was to meet with foreign ambassadors, including the Russian ambassador, could have done so for nefarious purposes. A great many Senators meet with ambassadors, and until we are at war with Russia, they will meet with its ambassador, too.

    If the Democrats keep up with this, they will scorch and burn our relations with Russia over an act that we do, as well, spying, Then we will be right back at the Cold War with a nuclear country, who now has our Uranium with which to threaten us.

    There is no evidence of collusion. Investigate it all they want, but this is a desperate attempt to blame anyone else for their loss in the election, when it was their own fault. Hillary Clinton had unfavorables similar to Trump, and she ignored the plight of the working middle class. Remember all that righteous indignation over the very possibility that Trump might think the election was rigged, that he might not accept the democratic will of the people? What have we seen the Democrats do? Riot, burn, loot, beat up Trump voters and a handicapped kid, and blame the Russians for exposing what they actually did do. They are not the party of tolerance, obviously, but the party of hate, and a want to be dictatorship. They didn’t win so many of them are openly bragging about trying to bring down Trump’s government. They do what Richard Spencer has never dared to. He just says evil words. They have done violent deeds.

    • and no law was broken. There is no law in Russia against hacking computers or systems in other countries. So even if they did. So What? Especially those systems with their legs spread wide open.

      I see the left wing is dragging out it’s junior varisity substitutes with what? Nothing. Still not facts. Except one. They sound even more stupid than their first string who….were rejected in the playoffs.

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