Chicago Tribune: Trump's refusal to accept intelligence briefing on Russia stuns experts: Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Trump's repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.
The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia's role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were “confident” that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks. “It defies logic,” retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, said.
Reuters: Americans should vote for Donald Trump as president next month or risk being dragged into a nuclear war, according to a Russian ultra-nationalist ally of President Vladimir Putin who likes to compare himself to the U.S. Republican candidate. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker known for his fiery rhetoric, told Reuters in an interview that Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington.
By contrast, Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton could spark World War Three, said Zhirinovsky, who received a top state award from Putin after his pro-Kremlin Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came third in Russia's parliamentary election last month.
Many Russians regard Zhirinovsky as a clownish figure who makes outspoken statements to grab attention but he is also widely viewed as a faithful servant of Kremlin policy, sometimes used to float radical opinions to test public reaction.
“Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realise that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”
Zhirinovsky combative style, reminiscent of Trump's, ensures him plenty of television air time and millions of votes in Russian elections, often from the kind of blue-collar workers who are the bedrock of the U.S. Republican candidate's support.
Check out these bizarre and completely coincidental similarities:
Zhirinovsky once proposed blocking off mostly Muslim southern Russia with a barbed wire fence, echoing Trump's call for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. In typically chauvinistic remarks, Zhirinovsky said Clinton's gender should also bar her from the presidency. “Most Americans should choose Trump because men have been leading for millions of year. You can't take the risk of having one of the richest, most powerful countries led by a woman president,” he said.
Zhirinovsky, who said he met Trump in New York in 2002, revels in his similarities – they are the same age, favour coarse, sometimes misogynistic language and boast about putting their own country first. Zhirinovsky has even said he wants a DNA test to see if he is related to Trump.
Putin has also praised Trump as “very talented”, while the Republican candidate has said the Kremlin boss is a better leader than U.S. President Barack Obama.
A former liberal radio talk host who likes to ask the “follow-up question” at Democurmudgeon.blogspot.com