How Russia will disrupt the midterm elections

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The objective of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election was never to elect Donald Trump — it was to create chaos. So let’s game it out. You are the head of Russian intelligence. You’re out to build on your success in 2016 and make America as impotent and divided as possible. What would you do? … Continued

How Donald Trump Jr. is linked to Russia, and why “linked to” is a weasel word

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Yesterday’s explosive New York Times headline read “Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign.” But what exactly does “linked to” mean, here or in any other news story? Set your weasel detectors on this word, because it’s usually the weakest link in any news story. Here’s what the Times is reporting: Trump … Continued

The loopholes in Trump lawyers’ tax letter about financial ties in Russia

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Lawyers may be verbose, but they’re precise; what they write is supposed to be unambiguous. When reading a document from a lawyer, the ambiguity typically comes, not from what’s written, but from what’s left out. For example, let’s take a look at the letter that President Trump’s lawyers wrote suggesting that he’s got no financial ties … Continued

Did Russia hack the election? Intelligence report is active and persuasive.

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When you think of government reports, do you expect clarity or doubletalk and jargon? The report on Russia and its influence in our elections, from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, is brief, direct, and unequivocal. It’s a great study in how to use clear language to persuade. This document is a joint production … Continued