William Manchester’s The Arms of Krupp describes how Hitler’s rise in Nazi Germany was enabled by his alliance with Germany’s “military-industrial complex” (the Krupps) and Germany’s conservative Junker class. Each party perceived it could use the other two to further its goals. Arguably Hitler came out on top, but the alliance was necessary to get him there.
Similar dynamics have been at work in Trump’s rise to power. See my blog at The Tripartite Coalition. To get elected, Trump, Manafort, Stone, and Flynn – the shady dealers – allied (1) with Steve Bannon and the Robert Mercer forces, and (2) with the Republican establishment, which is enthralled to the conservative corporate and military industrial complex and led by Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Trump, Manafort, Stone, and Flynn brought long-standing contacts with Putin and the Russian oligarchy to the party. The Russians were key because of their access to resources to hack Democratic emails and disseminate misinformation. The evidence of collusion, given the timeline of contacts, is self-evident. See Hannah Levintova’s Mother Jones timeline. Ryan and McConnell provided the legitimacy and political base and ideological support necessary to run. So what did Bannon and Mercer supply?
Jane Mayer in her New Yorker article “The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency” exposes Robert Mercer as the force behind Bannon and Breitbart. Her article also describes how Mercer made his millions as an innovative computer programmer who figured out how to use computer algorithms to game the stock market. In essence, he figured out that, for short-term trades, he could use computers to crunch massive amounts of data to understand where the market would go next – getting a significant advantage over other market investors. Just like the casino house in a gambling operation, he used his computers to create a “house” edge by being able to predict future behavior. Mercer understood that what worked in the stock market could also be used to analyse behavior in politics. He brought that expertise to at least one company, Cambridge Analytics, for use in advancing his right-wing political goals.
From all appearances, the Mercer analytics were used to maximize the benefit of the Russian and Breitbart disinformation campaign. In an election determined by approximately 70,000 votes in three key states, that alliance almost certainly tipped the election in Trump’s favor. See this article by Bill Palmer, “FBI now investigating Breitbart and InfoWars as part of its probe into Donald Trump and Russia.” Here’s Palmer, “Just hours after FBI Director James Comey confirmed on live national television today that his agency is actively investigating Russia and the Donald Trump campaign for their roles in rigging the 2016 election, it turns out the probe is even wider than acknowledged. McClatchy is now confirming that the FBI is also investigating the actions of two far right news outlets with direct ties to the Trump administration, as part of its Trump-Russia probe.
Part of the Russian government’s strategy for rigging the election involved using automated internet bots to spread pro-Trump news stories from sites like Breitbart and InfoWars in rapid fashion, helping those stories artificially go viral on social media, and giving Donald Trump a boost in the process.”
As has been well established, Breitbart was funded by Robert Mercer and led by Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Finally, we have the further circumstantial evidence that Trump, himself, personally amplified the effect of the misinformation campaign by publicly asserting, repeating, and insisting on the truth of various allegations. See this article by Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: “Former FBI agent details how Trump and Russia team up to weaponize fake news“.
As Rupar notes: “During the first public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about Russia’s meddling in the presidential election on Thursday, former FBI special agent Clint Watts explained how Russia and the Trump campaign team up to weaponize fake news.
Asked by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) about why Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to make more of an effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election than in years past, Watts, who is now a a fellow at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, said, ‘the answer is very simple and it’s what nobody is really saying in this room.’
‘Which is, part of the reason active measures have worked in this U.S. election is because the Commander-in-Chief [Trump] has used Russian active measures at times, against his opponents,’ Watts continued.” Watts goes on to detail two specific circumstances.
It has been evident for some time that Trump successfully used a campaign of innuendo, smears, and misinformation to steal the 2016 election. The degree to which his election was further enabled by the perfect storm of Russian collusion and the computer expertise of Robert Mercer to leverage the disinformation campaign is now coming into focus. Given that the collusion was illegal and covert, it is reasonable to anticipate that substantially more activity will come to light as law enforcement investigates and as those who are culpable face subpoenas and are required to testify under oath. This reddit link “magicsonar comments” contains some of the anonymous research and speculation that deserves mainstream attention.
In summary, Trump’s election was illegitimate. He should be investigated and removed from office and the election nullified.