Wednesday Open Thread | Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats

Former FBI Director James Comey called on Americans to vote for Democrats in the midterm elections.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Comey – a longtime Republican who distanced himself from the party in April – slammed the GOP for not standing up to President Trump.

“This Republican Congress has proven incapable of fulfilling the Founders’ design that ‘Ambition must … counteract ambition,’” he tweeted. “All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall.”

“Policy differences don’t matter right now,” he added. “History has its eyes on us.”

Comey’s comments come the day after Trump’s joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he refused to denounce Russia for interference in the 2016 election, and criticized his own intelligence agencies.

Trump walked back the comments Tuesday, reading a prepared statement in which he claimed that he misspoke when he said that he did not see any reason why Russia would have interfered in the 2016 election.

“I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” Trump said Tuesday. “It should have been obvious. So you can put that in and I think that probably clarifies things.”

Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, said in April that he was leaving the Republican Party because of the president.

“The Republican Party has left me and many others,” he said. “I just think they’ve lost their way and I can’t be associated with it.”

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113 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats

  1. Trump is a national security threat! He met in secrecy with Putin KNOWING he ordered the attack on our democracy b/c he was told Putin ordered the attack in January 2017. Everyday you are putting Americans at risk by allowing him to stay in office. He MUST resign or be impeached!

  2. And he stood there in Helsinki and lied to the American people that Putin’s denial was strong and powerful. Get this THUG out of our sacred Oval Office. My God! How much longer must the country endure this fraud? And y’all know he IS a FRAUD.

  3. rikyrah says:

    LarryO tonight:
    Dolt45 knew, with proof, that Russia attacked our election.
    Two weeks before the Inauguration.
    Actual, physical proof.

  4. rikyrah says:

    NSA, Cyber Command to counter Russian meddling without White House guidance

    Paul Nakasone, who heads both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, has directed both security branches to coordinate actions to counter future Russian interference in this year’s midterm elections, the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reports.

    Why it matters: U.S. security agencies are taking action on Russian meddling without guidance from the White House — which now stands in the crosshairs of U.S. intelligence assessments on whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. elections. President Trump’s stance was highlighted Monday when he was unable to stand behind U.S. intelligence and condemn Russian meddling during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Paul Krugman

    The real story is that NOT ONE major figure in the GOP is willing to do more than, at most, weakly say that it’s regrettable — and many are supporting the Putinization of the White House. This is a whole party willing to betray its country 2/

    This is a sickness much deeper than Trump: a powerful political party, in fact one that holds all the levers of power, that’s OK with foreign subversion of US democracy as long as it helps them cut taxes on the rich and deny health care to the poor 3/

  6. rikyrah says:


    JUST IN: Judge denies alleged Russian agent Butina’s motion to appear in civilian clothes at detention hearing set to begin in a few minutes— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) July 18, 2018

  7. rikyrah says:

    John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) Tweeted:
    WH press sec Sanders acknowledged that Putin talked to Trump about his interest in prosecuting financier Bill Browder and former US ambassador Michael McFaul. she declined to rule out US cooperation in that effort, saying Trump would consult his national security team

  8. rikyrah says:

    NEW: @realdonaldtrump’s biz missed deadlines to pay property tax in 5 states, incurring $61K penalties/extra costs.— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) July 18, 2018

  9. rikyrah says:

    12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 have plenty of Florida connections
    July 13, 2018 03:59 PM

    The Department of Justice’s indictment on Friday that accused 12 Russian military officials of directly meddling in the 2016 election has myriad connections to South Florida, where stolen emails eventually brought down Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stolen internal documents aired unflattering details about a Democratic primary race and a Florida-based provocateur with connections to President Donald Trump was in contact with the hackers.

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 12 Russian military officials with engaging in cyber operations that involved releases of stolen documents from the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The indictment, announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, claims the Russian agents were trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, and tried to hide their connections to the Russian government by creating false identities and using cryptocurrency to pay for the operation.


    A 2017 report by the Wall Street Journal highlighted that Florida GOP operative Aaron Nevins was in contact with the Guccifer hackers, and that a campaign consultant for Republican congressional candidate Brian Mast adjusted voter targets based on the stolen information. Mast’s campaign manager said to TCPalm on Friday that the campaign did not use stolen data. Curbelo’s campaign also said it did not use stolen data.

    “Congressman Curbelo has and continues to condemn any and all foreign interventions in the American democratic process, and neither he nor anyone on his campaign has ever contacted any foreign agent to request illegally obtained documents or information,” Curbelo campaign spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said. “He welcomes today’s indictments and strongly encourages the Department of Justice to reveal the identity of the candidate for Congress who allegedly engaged a Russian agent.”

    Rep. Ron DeSantis, a North Florida Republican who has called for Mueller to end his investigation and who is now running for governor, said he never contacted or received any contact from the Guccifer hackers. The 2016 document release included a file on Democrat George Pappas, who finished fourth in the Democratic primary for DeSantis’ seat.

    “Congressman Ron DeSantis has never contacted or been contacted by Guccifer 2.0,” spokesperson David Vasquez said in an email.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The truth about Trump and Russia that Republicans cannot say out loud


    The Republican evasion on this is not just a political dodge to avoid offending Trump voters. It’s also substantively important. The big unknown right now is why Trump refuses to take Russian sabotage of our democracy seriously, at a time when our own intelligence officials say it will happen again. The easy answer that has been pushed by Republicans and some Trump loyalists is that the president doesn’t want to diminish the appearance of his victory’s legitimacy. It’s just a matter of ego and temperament. It’s just crazy Trump being crazy Trump. [FYI: Jonah Goldberg was pushing that theory in his LA Times column today.]

    But as this Brian Beutler thread demonstrates, that explanation cracks up against the known facts. We all had good reason to suspect in real time that Russia was interfering, and Trump relished it, and even encouraged it, as it happened. Now that Mueller’s indictments have started fleshing out the fuller dimensions of this sabotage and its now-confirmed goal of electing Trump, this can no longer be about guarding appearances of legitimacy, because his current conduct makes that more suspect. The only conceivable explanation is that he was both perfectly happy to benefit from Russian interference and wants to obstruct/or and delegitimize the ferreting out of the truth.

    Republicans are trying to lock away the reason for Russian interference, and separate it from the debate over Trump’s current conduct. Engaging with that reason would force uncomfortable questions about that conduct to the fore. It would make it harder to continue standing idly by in the face of Trump’s efforts to keep the truth buried — by refusing to protect the Mueller probe, or by actively continuing to abet those efforts, as House Republicans are still doing to this day. As David Frum notes, Trump’s deference to Putin shows that getting the president’s tax returns is now urgent, to get to the bottom of why Trump is doing all of this, and to put to rest the worst interpretations — and thus, the failure to do this reveals serious GOP dereliction.

  11. rikyrah says:


    “Meddling” is what happens in Scooby Doo. We should stop calling Russian attacks on American democracy “meddling” and start calling it by its name: “information warfare.” My latest:— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 17, 2018

  12. rikyrah says:

    Congratulations! #medicaid expansion will be on the #idaho ballot in November! Regular Idahoans put in countless hours of work talking to their friends and neighbors to make this happen, gathering so many signatures we blew state req.s out of the water!

    — Idahoans for Healthcare (@ID4Healthcare) July 17, 2018

  13. Impeach this thug. He’s working for Russia and NOT America. How more does he have to do before Congress acts?

  14. rikyrah says:

    Murphy: The good news is we’re only four months from an election

    Senator Chris Murphy talks with Rachel Maddow about the obstacle congressional Republicans pose to Congress doing anything to adequately deal with the national emergency of Donald Trump’s compromised posture toward Russia.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Caroline O.

    NEW: Trump’s SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh said in 2016 that he would overturn a 3-decade-old SCOTUS ruling upholding the constitutionality of an independent counsel.

    Ind. counsel isn’t the same as special counsel … but this is definitely a red flag.

    7:27 AM – Jul 18, 2018

  16. rikyrah says:

    Mueller looks to give immunity to five witnesses in Manafort case

    Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney, explains to Rachel Maddow what it means that Robert Mueller wants to give “use immunity” to five witnesses in the prosecution of former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Congress begins to shape plan for protecting US from Trump crisis

    Rachel Maddow points out the necessity of Congress to step up to help the United States through the national security crisis that is Donald Trump if American democracy is to be preserved.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Butina previously testified privately to Senate Intel Committee

    Rachel Maddow reads excerpts of the transcript of Mariia Butina’s court hearing on Monday, in which it was revealed for the first time that Butina had testified in a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

  19. rikyrah says:

    These grimy muthaphuckas here!

    Samantha Markle says father’s death will be on Meghan; Thomas Markle says he won’t stay quiet
    By Morgan M. Evans

    Samantha Markle, Meghan’s half-sister, has once again lashed out at her royal sibling for her “cold” behavior toward their father, Thomas, and said that it is on her if he dies.

    On Tuesday, Markle went off on her duchess half-sister on Twitter calling her out for spending the day paying tribute to Nelson Mandela and his family but not taking the time to talk to her own.

    “How about you pay tribute to your own father?!” Markle wrote in one tweet. “Enough is enough. Act like a humanitarian, act like a woman. If our father dies, it’s on you Meg!”

    Tagging Kensington Palace in her series of tweets, the 53-year-old continued, “Glad you have so much time to gallivant around paying tribute to others while ignoring your own father! How cold can you be and look in the mirror? Harry? I guess I was right.”

  20. rikyrah says:

    When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity
    “Each person comes into our group thinking they are a freak.”

    JUL 17, 2018

    It was AncestryDNA’s customer-service rep who had to break the news to Catherine St Clair.

    For her part, St Clair thought she was inquiring about a technical glitch. Her brother—the brother who along with three other siblings had gifted her the DNA test for her birthday—wasn’t showing up right in her family tree. It was not a glitch, the woman on the line had to explain gently, if this news can ever land gently: The man St Clair thought of as her brother only shared enough DNA with her to be a half-sibling. In fact, she didn’t match any family members on her father’s side. Her biological father must be someone else.

    “I looked into a mirror and started crying,” says St Clair, now 56. “I’ve taken for granted my whole life that what I was looking at in the mirror was part my mother and part my dad. And now that half of that person I was looking at in the mirror, I didn’t know who that was.”

    St Clair thought she was alone with her loss, and what an odd sort of loss it was. She had grown up in a tight-knit, religious family in Arkansas, never suspecting a thing. Her four older siblings loved her no less as a half-sister. One brother didn’t think it was a big deal at all. “He says he wouldn’t have been this upset if it happened to him,” she told me. “I don’t discuss this topic with him much anymore.” St Clair eventually found her biological father by tracing other matches on Ancestry’s website. He was a stranger her mother knew more than half a century ago. The DNA test didn’t erase her happy childhood memories, but it recast her entire life up to now.

    The first time St Clair met someone who understood this—in the same bone-deep way she did—was online. She saw that Delilah, the popular radio host, had asked on her Facebook page if anyone had learned anything interesting from DNA tests. Well, sure, St Clair thought. She replied that she had just found out her dad was not her biological father. An hour later, a woman who saw the comment messaged her saying, “Oh my god I thought I was the only one.” For the next three hours, they feverishly sent messages back and forth. They cried. They shared their fears and anxieties. They realized they weren’t crazy for feeling those fears and anxieties. “By the time we finished talking, we were both emotionally drained,” St Clair said. “Nothing’s really changed for either of us but we feel better just because we had somebody to talk to.”

    St Clair went looking for more people to talk to. She looked for support groups. She found none. So, being the type to take things in her own hands, St Clair started a group on Facebook called DNA NPE Friends, where NPE refers to “not parent expected.” (NPE comes from the genetic genealogy term “nonpaternity event,” which St Clair and others have refashioned to include both parents; another increasingly common term is “misattributed parentage.”)

  21. rikyrah says:

    ‘THERE WAS NO COLUSION’ And Other Edits Trump Scrawled On His Statement
    By Kate Riga
    July 18, 2018 7:30 am

    In his preferred black marker, President Donald Trump made handwritten edits to the public statement meant to mitigate his disastrous joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, according to a Tuesday Washington Post report.

    Sharp-eyed photographers got shots of the four-page document. In all caps and a misspelling, Trump reminded himself on the first page that “THERE WAS NO COLUSION.”

    The President wrote in sharpie “THERE WAS NO COLUSION” during a meeting with congressional members.

    — Tom Brenner (@tombrennerphoto) July 17, 2018

    He also struck a sentence concerning “anyone involved in that meddling to justice.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    The Democratic National Committee has been trying and failing for months to force documents into White House adviser Jared Kushner’s hands to let him know that he is being served with a lawsuit, according to a Tuesday Bloomberg report.

    The DNC sued Kushner back in April for alleged collusion with the Russians to alter the 2016 election. Since then, they have come up against a ridiculous multitude of obstacles in trying to officially deliver the notice to him.

    After being rejected from his Manhattan apartment three times and from his Washington residence by the Secret Service, they finally tried to just send the documents in the mail. No dice. No one would sign for them and they got returned.

    The committee reportedly asked a judge Tuesday for permission to simply mail the summons and complaint to Kushner in ordinary first class, so the package does not require a signature.

    Per Bloomberg, the DNC sued Kushner alongside Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks for interference in the 2016 election.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Montenegro begins trial of alleged pro-Russian coup plotters
    Reuters Staff

    PODGORICA (Reuters) – The trial of 14 people in Montenegro accused of an election day plot to kill the prime minister and bring a pro-Russian party to power began on Wednesday, with defense lawyers demanding the state prosecutor be removed from the case.

    Montenegro says a group of Serb and Russian nationalists had a plan to attack state institutions on the day of an election last year and kill then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who held the post for a total of 21 years.

    The Kremlin has dismissed the accusation as absurd. Montenegro’s opposition accuses the government of fabricating the plot in order to keep Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists in power, which it did by a narrow win.

  24. What security deal? Remove this treasonous thug from office………….

  25. rikyrah says:

    Are White House transcripts getting politically motivated touch-ups?
    07/18/18 10:00 AM
    By Steve Benen

    But Uri Friedman had an interesting piece in The Atlantic yesterday, noting that the official White House transcript presented the exchange in a way that paints a misleading picture.

    [I]f 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. […]

    The discrepancies in the accounts of what was said also underscore the extent to which the Trump presidency has challenged a common understanding of reality. Even if the omission was accidental, it appears suspicious at a moment marked by the president’s repeated claims that legitimate news reports are “fake.”

    To appreciate the nuances to this, take a look at the full piece in The Atlantic, which goes into detail. The way the White House transcript reads, when Putin said, “Yes, I did,” he seemed to be adding thoughts to an answer from moments earlier about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. But he wasn’t – the Russian president’s answer was about him favoring Trump in the 2016 race.


    As regular readers may recall, in January, during a White House discussion on immigration policy in January, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Trump if he’d support a “clean” bill on DACA, extending protections to Dreamers, with a commitment to then begin negotiations on comprehensive immigration reform. The president said he had “no problem” with that.

    “We’re going to do DACA and then we can start immediately on the phase two, which would be comprehensive,” Trump added. “Yeah, I would like to do that. I think a lot of people would like to see that, but I think we have to do DACA first.”

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quickly interjected, reminding the president of what the Republican position is supposed to be, but just as important, if you relied on the White House transcript to learn what was said, you missed a key detail: the president’s “Yeah, I would like to do it” line was missing from the official White House transcript.

    Several months earlier, during Anthony Scaramucci’s not-quite-two-week stint as White House communications director, he appeared in the press briefing room to gush about how impressed he was with Trump’s limitless abilities, and marveled at the president’s ability to sink “three-foot putts” while playing golf.

    The official White House transcript was edited to say “30-foot putts.”

    Now, it’s possible this too was a clerical error. But it’s also possible someone in Trump World believes touching up official transcripts is an acceptable practice.

    Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum had a good piece a while back, explaining, “Transcripts are not supposed to be ‘revised’ after the fact. Official White House transcripts record exactly what the person said, regardless of ‘what they meant to say.’”

  26. rikyrah says:

    Trump questions value of the NATO alliance’s core principle
    07/18/18 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen


    Thirteen months later, Trump has repeatedly raised doubts about his commitment to NATO, though he was even less subtle than usual during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, which aired last night after being recorded on Monday, immediately after the president’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “Membership in NATO obligates the members to defend any other member that’s attacked,” Carlson said. “So let’s say Montenegro, which joined last year, is attacked. Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?”

    Trump answered: “I understand what you’re saying. I’ve asked the same question. Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people … They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III.”

    In the next breath, the president added, “I understand that, but that’s the way [NATO] was set up. Don’t forget, I just got here a little more than a year and a half ago.”

    In other words, Trump doesn’t much like the structure of the NATO alliance, and he doesn’t want to be blamed for the most successful security alliance in the history of the world.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s future daughter may be first to inherit royal title
    Sabrina Barr

    An antiquated law that states that only sons can inherit hereditary peerages is being challenged in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    This could have significant implications for the future children of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, should they have any daughters.

    The law currently dictates that only a son can inherit a dukedom, meaning that if Prince Harry and Meghan had a daughter, she would not be bestowed with the title.

    However, a case being put forward to the ECHR is arguing that this ruling should be changed.

    “Under the current system, any child of the Duke and Duchess won’t automatically have a royal title,” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams explained to The Independent.

    “The peerage, unlike the succession to the crown, favours males and if they have only daughters, the title of Sussex could die out as it did before.”

    The challenge to the ECHR is focusing predominantly on the case of five women, all of whom are daughters of peers and yet don’t have the right to sit in the House of Lords.

  28. rikyrah says:

    But 44 didn’t name anyone….hmmm
    She is telling on herself

  29. rikyrah says:

    Republicans are now asking what they should do with Trump. Here’s an idea: what would you have done if it were Obama? Do that.

    — Rev. Dr. Barber (@RevDrBarber) July 17, 2018

  30. rikyrah says:

    I smell RICO.

    The grand jury has formally returned the indictment against Mariia Butina and added a charge — accusing her of acting as a Russian government agent while developing ties with American citizens and infiltrating political groups.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 18, 2018

  31. rikyrah says:

    UH HUH
    UH HUH

    In the case of troll farm tied to the man known as “Putin’s chef,” the company’s attorneys begin their motion to dismiss with a pull-quote from this opinion by none other than Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    “I believe that a Justice Kavanaugh could well vote with a new SCOTUS majority to hold that laws effectively limiting foreign influence in our elections violate the First Amendment,” Rick Hasen told the outlet.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Ya know…at first I wanted a female President. Then I thought another black President would be good, but now I just want an American President.

    — Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) July 17, 2018

  33. rikyrah says:

    Norm cracks me up, because he used to be such unassuming milquetoast.

    Disgraceful. Steve Mnuchin, lawless corrupt miscreant

    — Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) July 18, 2018

  34. rikyrah says:

    uh huh
    uh huh

    Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States
    Remote-access software and modems on election equipment ‘is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.’

    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.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Google is to be fined a record 4.3 billion euros ($5bn; £3.8bn) over its Android operating system, the BBC has learned.

    The European Commission’s action followed a three year probe into claims the firm’s mobile device strategy had unfairly strengthened its dominance of search.

    The penalty is set to be confirmed at a press conference in Brussels later.

    It will be the largest fine imposed by the regulator against a single firm.

    However, Google may challenge the ruling.

  36. Ametia says:

    Word of the Day : July 18, 2018

    noun SAL-voh

    1 a : a simultaneous discharge of two or more guns in military action or as a salute
    b : the release all at one time of a rack of bombs or rockets (as from an airplane)
    c : a series of shots by an artillery battery with each gun firing one round in turn after a prescribed interval
    d : the bombs or projectiles released in a salvo
    2 a : a sudden burst
    b : a spirited attack

  37. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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