The Trump Insider

Why is nobody asking “is this Russian disinformation?”

Because that would be the proverbial multi-dimensional chess-playing: give your target a phantom to chase and get everyone stabbing eachother in the back. Pass out the ice-picks, it’s battle royale!


  1. says

    PS – the Golitsyn affair was (apparently) exactly that sort of disinformation operation, run by the KGB against the CIA and it did tremendous damage to their counterintelligence operations. If you are ever interested in the spookiest spook de spook eu de spook, read “A Wilderness of Mirrors” – it’s one of the great unresolved mysteries in spookland.

  2. Knabb says

    The question probably isn’t being asked because the NYT says they know who their source is, and faking being a particular source to the NYT or managing to get published there through some sort of long term infiltration are both fairly unlikely.

    Meanwhile this being the NYT inadvertently carrying water for Republican politicians because they’re too stupid to know better is entirely plausible.

  3. says

    You think it’d be hard to fool the NYT?

    I think a nation state’s spy service could pretty easily arrange a fall guy in the white house – get compromising pictures of them and say “send this to NYT” or maybe one of those “Mission Impossible” silicone masks.. “No comrade! This time you must wear the Steve Bannon mask!” “Arrrgh!” I bet it’s Sessions, though. They had to find a little lizard-person to wear the Sessions suit.

  4. says

    Hmmm, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything about the era, so presumably new details have come out versus the older books I read, but I hadn’t thought of the idea of Golitsyn being a bogus defector. I just assumed he was some sort of crank, and conveniently found a willing partner in James Angleton. Of course the thing about defectors is that their stories often get more “interesting” as time goes on. Vladimir Rezun, best known under his pen name Victor Suvorov, would be an example.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    I don’t think it’s Russian disinformation for one simple reason: all the evidence suggests that the Russians apparently want Trump in the White House, and this nonsense seems calculated to drive him to ever greater heights of paranoia to the point that he might do something that’ll get him impeached, removed or possibly shot. Going to all the trouble they did to get him elected only to then troll him this hard seems – perverse.

    I’d consider Russian disinformation if a compromising video emerged of Pence.

  6. Knabb says

    In the specific context of pretending to be a particular known public figure to the point where the NYT is fooled, or somehow submitting an article without them noticing? Yeah, I’d consider it hard to fool the NYT. Convincing them that information is credible when it isn’t is a wholly different strategy, and the NYT’s long history of failures there doesn’t mean they’d be susceptible to an attack that obvious.

    This is particularly true when the other scenario is a known authority they’re prone to be deferential to using that known authority to convince them that information is credible when it isn’t, and leveraging that into a guest article.

  7. julezyme says

    Or the source themself is a Russian asset!
    I don’t really think this, but it’d be a Homeland-worthy twist.

  8. Curt Sampson says

    I don’t think it’d be a huge twist: one might already consider Trump to be, at least to some degree, a Russian asset and Manafort even more so. Remember, assets need not be conscious that they are such.

    To me, the most convincing reason that this isn’t Russian disinformation is that, as described by Adam Serwer, “the Times op-ed is not resistance; it is public relations” for Trump’s staff in the White House. They need an argument that they shouldn’t, as his enablers, be kicked out with Trump when he goes.They get what they want from him for the moment and, when he’s done, they skip out on culpability for what they’ve done.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Suppose “Anonymous” is what “Anonymous” claims, one of several sincere Republican-ideologue apparatchiks manipulating Trump™ as “the adults in the room”.

    By releasing this screed, they’ve apparently made life, and their self-assigned (?) task, significantly harder. The obvious question, “Why?”, rapidly turns into, “Why now?”

    So far the only answer I can see involves water in the bilges reaching a level that alarms the rats enough to get them preparing to abandon ship. In sorting out signal from abundant noise, I’ve probably missed some things, but it seems the last big shoe to drop was the granting of immunity to Pecker & Weisselberg, or maybe the bruited NY state investigation into the Trump Foundation (read: Ivanka®, Don Jr, Eric).

    (Of course, this must look different from inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: maybe the pressure increase from the recent & forthcoming Trump™ exposé books triggers their flight reflexes more than it does mine. If the dotard seems about to explode anyhow…)

    Or maybe they really do have info the rest of us don’t.

  10. says

    I hadn’t thought of the idea of Golitsyn being a bogus defector.

    There are some people in the CIA who truly believed that – that Golitsyn was a mind-bomb aimed at Angleton.