The top national security officials in the U.S. held a briefing on Thursday where they “described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing, showcasing their efforts to combat a threat President Trump has repeatedly dismissed and played down,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“Mr. Trump didn’t attend the news conference and, later Thursday, didn’t mention his administration’s plans to combat Russian interference during an 80-minute campaign rally in Pennsylvania.
“Instead, he again criticized the probe. “We are being hindered by the Russian hoax. It’s a hoax, OK?” Mr. Trump said to cheers from the crowd.”
A bit of snark from the Journal, including a note about the lunatic fringe attending Trump’s rallies.
At this point, a few months from the mid-term elections, and ever since the Helsinki summit, Trump just seems to be overtly acting as a Russian intelligence asset and openly obstructing justice in the Mueller probe.
Of course, Trump is not alone as the GOP is full of people taking mind boggling measures to support him. The latest comes from Sen. Rand Paul who, apparently upset he missed the Fourth of July Moscow visit with other Republican senators, is headed to Russia next week.
In the meantime, we are getting a pretty good glimpse of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s ties to Russian oligarchs from his trial, focused on his dealings in Ukraine. We are also hearing more about alleged Russian operative Maria Butina, and her boasts to classmates of being a liaison between Russian intelligence and the Trump campaign.
It certainly seems that the vast majority of the Republican Party, and GOP-leaning groups (looking at you NRA) were in bed with the Russians, figuratively and/or literally.
The drink today is the Eastern Promises cocktail. I came across the drink on Kindred Cocktails while looking for a way to use my Cocchi Americano Rosa. Eastern Promises is:
1 oz gin
1 oz framboise (raspberry eau-de-vie, not liqueur)
1 oz Cocchi Americano Rosa
.25 oz orange liqueur (calls for Mathilde XO, I used Grand Marnier)
1 dash orange bitters
orange twist garnish
Stir, strain onto a big rock, garnish
A quick word on the ingredients. While I was able to use my Cocchi Rosa, which was nice as it is tasty stuff, the framboise delayed this cocktail for a bit. My first thought was to use Chambord, until I looked closer. The framboise did complicate things a bit (life is pretty complicated these days anyway) as raspberry eau-de-vie is harder to find, being one of the harder fruit brandies to make. I probably would have dropped it, but I have been a sucker for all things raspberry going back to those bright blue Mr. Misty floats from Dairy Queen when I was growing up.
The drink comes off as a slightly bitter orange-raspberry martini.