A mystery has been solved. One of the questions that has vexed investigators is how Donald Trump has been receiving his instructions from his Russian handlers. Now, some have speculated that Vladimir Putin has been directly handling Donald Trump as his asset during private one-on-one meetings, which undoubtedly has merit, but how does he receive his instructions between these sessions?

It turns out that there are a set of signals that have been worked out with other agents, and it takes place out in the open. Whenever Comrade Trump wavers or is at a loss as to what action to take, he is provided instructions through his other handlers at Fox News (and certain other "conservative" outlets). The conservative label is the cover, and it has worked beautifully.

Consider this: prior to the advent of Trump, conservatives have been adamantly anti-Russian. Many (who are not part of this conspiracy) still are. But there are a core of particular players who have tilted the playing field to favor Russia. Is it coincidence that Sean Hannity and Donald Trump use the same lawyers? (the Atlantic: Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers, Apr 17, 2018) I think not. Why does the president seek advice from particular pundits? Why has Hannity started showing up at Trump events (because Vladimir is nervous his useful idiot might stray?).

Like Maria Butina, Russian influence operations have been infiltrating another element of the conservative landscape. This time, however, it is conservative "influencers". They all have humongous weaknesses that can be exploited. Drug addiction, debt, affairs - the conservative pundit class is full of useful idiots. These cells have recently been activated to create as much disruption as possible. How else to explain Ann coulter, Jay Sekulow, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson suddenly singing the same pro-Putin tune? Their desperation to prevent Democrats exploring these linkages led directly to the shutdown. Mitch McConnell might also be compromised.

Conservatives and former communists have long been fellow travelers. The parallels are staggering. It has just never been so out in the open before. Study: Sean Hannity spent one year laying groundwork for authoritarian response to Russia probe (Salon). Is it, perhaps, because their goals have been met? Now is the time to strike! Team Trump has Blown Its Cover (the Observer). Now they can take over the government, disrupt all our security operations, and bring the nation to its knees. Putin's puppets have been operating in plain sight, and we just didn't realize it - until now!
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Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich