‘Deep State’ wins… Trump is being tamed to toe the line

Thursday, January 12, 2017
By Paul Martin

Finian Cunningham
12 Jan, 2017

Donald Trump “finally concedes” Russia hacked the election, crowed the US media following his first news conference this week. That seeming turnaround by Trump signals ‘the Donald’ is being tamed to toe the “official” Washington line.

That line centers on the US pushing a belligerent policy toward Russia.

Notably, too, on the same day, Trump’s pick for the next Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, adopted a remarkably antagonistic view of Russia under pressure from hostile senators during his Congressional confirmation grilling.

Tillerson, who holds a Russian Order of Friendship award bestowed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013, responded to relentless goading from senators by saying that the US should maintain sanctions on “resurgent Russia,” adding that “the taking of Crimea” was against the law.

Together, the shift by Trump and his incoming cabinet toward a more frosty stance on Russia signals that a coercive taming process is underway by the Washington establishment, with sinister implications for supposed US democracy.

It’s a truism that US presidential winners are, in reality, determined by elite corporate power, the ‘Deep State’ military-intelligence apparatus, and their controlled news media conglomerates. In Donald Trump’s case, the outcome appeared to be an exception to the rule. So, post-election, ‘the Donald’ is being ‘processed’ to produce the desired ‘result.’

President-elect Trump’s first and much-anticipated news conference this week was a boisterous media scrum with the billionaire property magnate shouting down CNN and other outlets as “fake news.” On the surface, it looked like Trump was being his unreconstructed feisty self, dictating the rules of the game and overturning established protocol.

Not only was he scathing of ‘fake news’ media organizations, but he also slammed US intelligence for “disgraceful” leaks about unsubstantiated claims concerning sordid links with Russia.

But amid all the seeming bravado, Trump signaled a willingness to toe the establishment line. “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he told reporters who asked for his view on US intelligence claims that Moscow had interfered in the presidential election.

Up to that moment, the incoming president had been dismissive of the claims against Russia. Earlier, Trump even poured scorn on US intelligence as being “ridiculous” for alleging that Russian leader Vladimir Putin had ordered an “influence campaign” to sway the November election.

This week, however, Trump was acknowledging his concurrence with claims of a Russian cyberattack and that Putin had masterminded the campaign. “Putin will stop it,” added Trump enigmatically.

Admittedly, Trump did not use an aggressive tone toward Russia and he equivocated about the gravity of the alleged Russian interference, noting that “others including China are hacking us.” He also seemed to be maintaining his previously stated objective of normalizing relations with Russia. “I consider being liked by Putin not to be a liability but an asset” for future bipartisan relations.

But the point is that the president-elect unmistakably shifted significantly from his earlier position of dismissing US intelligence claims against Russia to one of acquiescence. This is in spite of many sources insisting the US intelligence assessment is flawed, including categorical rejections by the Russian government that it had anything to do with alleged cyber attacks, as well as repudiations by whistleblower site WikiLeaks that it had nothing to do with Russia, and in spite of several former US intelligence employees publicly denouncing the claims against Russia as spurious.

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