Donald Trump and Russia: a timeline

, updated

I kept reading about Trump’s many ties to Russia, but none of the news outlets ever presented a timeline, so I decided to assemble one myself with links to the source articles. I started in 2016, but I’ve been updating it every day or two as events unfold. When the award-winning history book gets written, not every event in this timeline will turn out to have be relevant. Some things mentioned below are doubtless meaningless coincidences.

New broom

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I gave it a good try, but the whole thing of 2-3 posts a day just didn’t work out. People are too attached to their walled garden social networks. With a very few exceptions, I didn’t get comments. So, this site’s going back to being a place for things I’ve written. For the time being, I’m not going to bother with a comments system either.

“Government Accountability Institute”

Donald Trump’s chief White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon accepted $376,000 in pay over four years for working 30 hours a week at a tiny tax-exempt charity in Tallahassee while also serving as the hands-on executive chairman of Breitbart News Network. During the same four-year period, the charity paid about $1.3 million in salaries to two other journalists who said they put in 40 hours a week there while also working for the politically conservative news outlet, according to publicly available documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

White guy calls for the end of identity politics

In the New York Times, Mark Lilla identifies Hillary Clinton’s outreach to people of color as triggering the backlash that caused Donald Trump to be elected: But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake.

On criticizing the President

The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right.

So, what now? Part 3: Thinking longer term

In part 1 I covered quick and easy things to do (albeit mostly requiring money). In part 2 I covered privacy and protection against authoritarian government. Now for the part where it gets dark: thinking about how to protect yourself in the longer term, through and past the Trump regime and its effects. Don’t panic and leave I’ve seen people say they’ll move to another state, or another country. I believe that’s a bad move, for two reasons.

The secret Trump voter

Reveal podcast recently ran a show on the secret Trump voter. One of the Trump voters they talked to was Richard Spencer, white nationalist. Spencer invented the term “alt right” for his political movement, which calls for a racially pure post-American nation state. He talks in his interview of the importance of white identity — which, along with a belief that whites are treated unfairly, is a powerful predictor of Trump support.

Long term strategy

“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.” — Donald Trump, Fox News, February 2014. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.

So, what now? Part 2: Information security

In part 1, I looked at quick easy activism involving donations to political organizations and charities. In this article I’ll look at something totally different — protecting your privacy. As you might have noticed recently, senior FBI officials seem to have a pretty chummy relationship with Donald Trump. I’m betting that the FBI and NSA will do whatever mass surveillance Trump asks them to. For his part, Trump has a history of surveillance — he used to listen in on private phone calls at his own resort.

So, what now? Part 1: Quick, easy stuff

So, the nightmare scenario which the polls said couldn’t happen, has happened. Not only that, Hillary Clinton left voters disinterested in even turning up to vote, so Republicans now control the Senate and the House of Representatives as well as the Presidency. I’m not going to go into any further analysis of how this happened. Plenty of other people will be attempting that. Instead, I’m going to be posting a series of articles about positive things you can do if you’re unhappy about the result.