Category: Hillary Clinton
Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?
One of the Kremlin towers in Moscow.

Russia ‘Collusion’ Smoking Gun?

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Finian Cunningham

Political opponents and US media are calling the uncovered past meeting between Donald Trump’s son and a Russian lawyer a “smoking gun”.

This is the proof, we are told, that the Trump election team did indeed collude with the Russian government in order to win the US election at the end of last year.

Since the New York Times broke the story last weekend of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr and the Russian lawyer there has been a frenzy among the anti-Trump political camp that the so-called “Russia-gate” affair has reached a critical moment.

Demands for impeachment have grown because, it is asserted, a member of the Trump campaign team met with a “Kremlin-connected lawyer who had information to damage Clinton”.If you read the story in this way then perhaps the “smoking gun” conclusion might be made: Trump’s son, Donald Jr, responds “I love it” when told in an email that a Russian lawyer working for the Kremlin wants to give him information that would politically damage Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential contender against his father.

Trump Jr did indeed respond enthusiastically to the offer and the meeting did take place at Trump Tower in New York City on June 9 last year, two weeks after his father won the Republican party’s nomination for president. Donald Jr earlier this week released a batch of private emails confirming those details.

Political opponents of President Trump, mainly Democrats but also Republicans, as well as prominent news media outlets, like The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, are now saying that the meeting between Trump’s son and the Russian lawyer is the “first hard evidence” of the alleged Russia collusion to interfere in US democracy.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany in this still image taken from video, July 7, 2017
© REUTERS/ Steffen Kugler/Courtesy of Bundesregierung

However, this version of the story has a crucial fatal flaw. All the claims made to Trump Jr about the “Kremlin-connected lawyer” and the “Russian government wanting to help Trump get elected” are deeply suspect. The grandiose claims were made by a former British tabloid journalist named Rob Goldstone who appears to be acquainted with Trump Jr.Goldstone, who works as a publicist and an entertainments manager, wrote to Trump Jr to set up a meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lawyer was acting for the family of Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

It turns out that the Russian lawyer wanted to meet the Trump campaign to make legitimate representations about US legislation known as the Magnitsky Act (2010), which has sanctioned several Russian individuals and business people over alleged human rights abuses.

Natalia Veselnitskaya, the attorney, has this week told US media that this was the sole subject of the meeting with the Trump campaign, and that she was not acting on behalf of the Russian government, but rather in a private professional capacity. She also said that she never had any intention to discuss Hillary Clinton with Trump Jr. As far as she was concerned, the meeting was only about issues related to the Magnitsky Act.

The Kremlin has confirmed that Veselnitskaya does not work for the Russian government. In fact, the Kremlin said it was not even aware of her legal practice.Trump Jr also confirmed in subsequent media interviews that his meeting with Veselnitskaya was an anti-climax. He says he heard “nothing” about Clinton from the Russian lawyer, whom he said wanted to talk about Magnitsky issues. “I realized that this was the real purpose for the meeting,” said Trump Jr.

That means that Trump Jr was misled by the music publicist Rob Goldstone. For whatever reason, Goldstone embellished the nature of the forthcoming meeting with the lawyer as being about juicy political gossip to help the Trump election campaign.

In other words, the former tabloid hack was putting his own spin on the matter by claiming that the lawyer was “Kremlin-connected” and was conveying “information from the Russian government to damage Clinton in order to help Trump’s election”.

The lawyer for the family of Emin Agalarov, the Russian singer who asked Goldstone to set up the meeting between Trump Jr and Veselnitskaya, has now come out to rubbish the claims made by Goldstone.

“The vast majority of what Rob Goldstone said in email exchange with Donald Trump Jr is not accurate,” Agalarov’s family attorney, Scott Balber, told RT. “The only thing that’s true is that Emin asked the meeting to be arranged. The rest of it is not true, it’s false.”

So there you have it. It appears that the US media frenzy this week about obtaining a “smoking gun” implicating Trump in collusion with the Russian government to subvert the American presidential election is yet another over-the-top sensation with little factual basis.

Simply put, the Russian government was not involved in US election interference, as the Kremlin has maintained all along.

What the US media are basing their latest collusion allegations on are merely claims made by a former British tabloid hack and pop star publicist who would have had self-serving reasons to ham up the “goods” in order to sell Trump Jr a scoop.This would not be the first time that the Russia-gate affair has relied on dodgy information from a dubious British source. Recall that the “dirty dossier” was authored by former British MI6 spy Christopher Steele, who made outlandish claims that the Kremlin had “Kompromat” on Donald Trump Sr from hotel orgies with Russian prostitutes.

Granted, one could censure Donald Trump Jr for being willing to receive information from what he believed to be Russian government sources to take down Clinton. But, hey come on, that’s politics and the dirty business of “opposition research” which all parties engage in. It’s impossibly naive and self-righteous to pummel Trump Jr over it.

Anyway, the salient fact remains that there was no such transfer of information from the Russian government to the Trump campaign. The US media are once again going off on a tangent, chasing their tails and tilting at windmills.

To make a grandstanding big deal about Trump Jr’s conduct is the height of hypocrisy, especially in light of Hillary Clinton’s campaign having commissioned the British ex-spy Christopher Steele to dig dirt on Trump Sr, as reported by award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry.

The whole “Russia-gate” affair is a wild fiction dreamt up by powerful American elements who frankly refuse to abide by democracy. To make things worse, Russia is embroiled as a villain in the piece, which ensures US-Russia bilateral relations deteriorate to dangerous levels of hostility, where even the breakout of war has become a real possibility.Washington and the US media have been in thrall to this fantasy for the past seven months, and yet still no evidence has been unearthed to justify the squandering of taxpayer money and paralysis of American government. It’s not Russia that is undermining US democracy. It is Americans themselves.

The so-called “smoking gun” of Trump Jr meeting a Russian lawyer for 20 minutes last year is another dud in a heap of duds. This is no smoking gun. More like a joke water pistol.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Clinton: ‘Scandalous, Boring and Incapable of Recognizing Her Own Mistakes’
Democratic US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Lake Worth, Florida, US October 26, 2016.

Clinton: ‘Scandalous, Boring and Incapable of Recognizing Her Own Mistakes’

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Former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton remains in denial that she destroyed her campaign with her own hands, political scientist Gevorg Mirzayan wrote for RIA Novosti, commenting on Clinton’s claim that it was FBI Director Jim Comey, WikiLeaks, and Russia behind her defeat.

While Hillary Clinton is pinning the blame for her defeat in the US 2016 presidential elections on FBI Director James Comey, WikiLeaks and elusive “Russian hackers,” it appears that she destroyed her own campaign, Gevorg Mirzayan, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Sciences of Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation, wrote in his op-ed for RIA Novosti.Speaking to CNN host Christiane Amanpour at the recent Women for Women International event in New York, Clinton claimed that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me [her] and got scared off.”

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she said.

However, according to Mirzayan, Clinton’s claim is nothing but wishful thinking.

Perhaps, James Comey behaved inconsistently, announcing the second round of the investigation into Clinton’s email on October 28 and then, on November 6, saying that the inquiry “hadn’t turned up anything,” the political scientist noted. However, it was Clinton who used a private email server for official communications during her tenure as Secretary of State.

And still, Clinton went unpunished.

Citing one of Donald Trump’s tweets, Mirzayan said that Comey was indeed “the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton.”

“As for ‘Russian hackers’,” the political scientist continued, “they, according to Hillary, broke into the mailbox of the chief of her staff, John Podesta, and found many interesting things there. For example, they threw light on unfair competition in the democratic primaries, when the party supported Hillary against Bernie Sanders.”

It wasn’t “Russian hackers” who sunk Bernie Sanders, who, in contrast to Hillary, had a good rating.Gallup consulting company reported back in July 2016 that “as the Democratic National Convention gets underway in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton’s image is at its lowest point in the 24 years of her national career, with 38% of Americans viewing her favorably and 57% unfavorably.”

“As political scientists correctly said, Trump could be beaten by any decent Democratic candidate with a good rating and a decent reputation,” Mirzayan highlighted.

“Scandalous, boring and incapable of recognizing her own mistakes, Hillary lost the elections, because even part of the ‘loyal’ democratic electorate did not vote for her,” he said.

Only 43 percent of white highly-educated women voted for Clinton, while, for comparison’s sake, 53 percent of them cast their ballots for “sexist” Trump, the political scientist recalled.Clinton lost because she failed to win the hearts and minds those in the Rust Belt, in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

As David Axelrod, who served as former president Barack Obama’s adviser, recently remarked, “Jim Comey didn’t tell [Clinton] not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention,” and “Jim Comey didn’t say ‘don’t put any resources into Michigan until the final week of the campaign.'”

“Finally, Hillary lost due to the fact that the Democratic Party has ceased to be democratic,” Mirzayan wrote, “According to a joint poll by The Washington Post and ABC, 67% of respondents believe that the Democratic Party is out of touch with the concerns of their voters (62% of respondents think the same about the Republicans).”

According to the political scientist, if the Democrats want to regain the positions they need new competitive candidates.

However, it appears that the former Democratic presidential nominee is going to return to politics in her own way.

Politico reported Friday that Clinton is building a new political group to throw sand in the gears of Trump and the Republicans.

“The former secretary of state is building a new political group to fund organizations working on the resistance to President Donald Trump’s agenda, spending recent weeks in Washington, New York City, and Chappaqua, N.Y., meeting with donors and potential groups to invest in, and recruiting individuals for the group’s board of directors,” the media outlet said.

Only time will tell whether Clinton’s new strategy will work.

On the Warpath: Clinton ‘Building New Political Group’ to Counter Trump’s Agenda
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, US October 29, 2016.

On the Warpath: Clinton ‘Building New Political Group’ to Counter Trump’s Agenda

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Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is reportedly busy creating a new group specifically aimed at funding organizations which will throw sand in the gears of Donald Trump and his Republican fellowmen.

It appears that former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is serious about returning to politics.

According to Politico, Clinton is building “a new political group” to counter her political rival, Donald Trump.

“The former secretary of state is building a new political group to fund organizations working on the resistance to President Donald Trump’s agenda, spending recent weeks in Washington, New York City, and Chappaqua, N.Y., meeting with donors and potential groups to invest in, and recruiting individuals for the group’s board of directors,” Politico wrote Friday citing multiple sources with the knowledge of the matter.

It is expected that she will launch the new group called Onward Together as early as next week, the media outlet noted, adding that Clinton’s spokesman refused to comment on the issue.The rumors of Clinton’s political comeback have been circulating in mainstream media since the beginning of the year.

“I’m certain Trump will screw up enough that by the fall of ’18, Hillary’s numbers will be way up again,” former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chair Ed Rendell told Politico just a few days after Trump’s inauguration.

Curiously enough, in mid-March WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, Julian Assange tweeted that the former Democratic presidential nominee is harboring plans to oust Trump from the Oval Office by replacing him with US Vice President Mike Pence.

​”Clinton stated privately this month that she is quietly pushing for a Pence takeover. She stated that Pence is predictable hence defeatable,” Assange tweeted.

Speaking to Sputnik in March, Charles Ortel, an investigative journalist and Wall Street analyst, threw the potential scenario into doubt, adding, however, that Trump’s political opponents are likely to continue to attack the US President.

“I would like to think that the ‘House of Cards’ scenario suggested by Assange and others is far from viable, though I have no doubt that many establishment players in Democrat and Republican parties, in the media, in academia, and in government bureaucracies would be delighted to oust President Trump, one way or another,” Ortel told Sputnik.

Ortel’s prediction has proved right: as Russian journalist Viktor Marakhovsky noted in his recent op-ed for RIA Novosti, a covert “cold civil war” is currently raging on between the Trump administration and the US political and media establishment.In addition, during her latest interview with CNN host, Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York Hillary Clinton reiterated that it was FBI Director James Comey and the much-discussed “Russian hackers” who deprived her of her victory. According to Clinton, Trump’s win was merely incidental.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton insisted.

Commenting on the reported creation of the Onward Together group, Cheryl K. Chumley of The Washington Times suggested that it resembles nothing so much as the Clinton Foundation 2.0.

“Hillary Clinton, after a six-month break from public life, is emerging to head up a resistance group, ‘Onward Together,’ aimed entirely at taking out President Donald Trump’s policies and bringing down the Republican agenda. It smells like a watchdogger’s dream. Can you say ‘Clinton Foundation, deja vu?’,” Chumley wrote.

According to the journalist, Clinton is calling her new initiative a “political fundraising outlet.”

“The Clinton Foundation was a fundraising operation as well — supposedly, to fund programs that ‘improve people’s lives around the world,’ as the site states. But as oftentimes happens when Clintons meet money, good intentions ran awry,” Chumley remarked, adding ironically that watchdoggers should “start their engines” now.

Why Hillary Clinton Still Can’t Stop ‘Whining’ About Her Defeat
US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton talks about climate change at a rally at Miami Dade College with former Vice President Al Gore in Miami, Florida, U.S. October 11, 2016.

Why Hillary Clinton Still Can’t Stop ‘Whining’ About Her Defeat

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Hillary Clinton continues to push ahead with the story that Donald Trump’s victory was purely incidental. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Russian political analyst Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak explained what really lies at the root of Clinton’s narrative.

It appears that former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton still cannot reconcile herself to the shocking defeat in the November elections.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” Clinton told CNN host Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York.

“I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off — and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive,” she added.Indeed, following Clinton’s electoral defeat some observers speculated that the FBI stepping in on October 28, 2016, with its renewed investigation of Clinton’s emails had dealt a heavy blow to her campaign.

Even though FBI Director James Comey had announced on November 6 that the second round of the investigation “hadn’t turned up anything,” the damage was already done.

However, US President Donald Trump does not share Clinton’s views on what had happened to her campaign.

“FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony… Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” the US president tweeted in response.

Commenting on the issue, Russian political analyst and expert in American studies Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak told Radio Sputnik that one shouldn’t be surprised of Clinton’s unceasing attempt to justify herself.

“Everyone wants to justify one’s actions,” Sinelnikov-Orishak noted.

According to the political analyst, Hillary Clinton has clung to her “Russian hacking” narrative and is unlikely to give it up.

“She might have persuaded herself [that it is true]… and she will continue to talk about it, she is going to write a book about it,” he said.

However, Sinelnikov-Orishak expressed confidence that Clinton would not have won even if the elections had been held on October 27, 2016.

“As for the reasons [behind Clinton’s defeat], I think there are two of them,” the political analyst pointed out. “The first reason is that the tendency towards the victory of the Republicans had been increasing since the days of [Barack] Obama. And the second reason is the unfavorable rating. They [Americans] liked neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton, but Clinton’s ‘anti-rating’ turned out to be higher. And even now they [Americans] would not have voted for her: an unfavorable rating is such a thing that can’t fade away soon. And then [during the November elections], despite her belief, Clinton did not have many chances to win,” Sinelnikov-Orishak told Radio Sputnik.

According to the political analyst, Clinton “will continue to work on the next election.””Therefore she needs to demonstrate that the victory won by the Republicans was purely incidental. Of course, no one will miss a chance to exploit the ‘Russian hackers’ issue; this topic will be further circulated,” Sinelnikov-Orishak assumed.

“Usually, the winners do not talk much about their victory, but the losers are constantly whining,” he added.

The issue of Russia’s “meddling” in US elections has become the centerpiece of the US establishment’s anti-Trump campaign. However, the US intelligence community has not yet presented any credible evidence to back their claims.

Meanwhile, WikiLeak’s disclosure of the CIA’s hacking techniques has yet again thrown the “Russian hacking” story into doubt.

During the recent press conference dedicated to the summit between the Russian and German leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored that Russia “has never interfered in other countries’ political processes.”

“These are unsubstantiated rumors used in the internal political struggle,” Putin stressed.

The 2016 US presidential elections were followed by allegations from the Obama administration that Russia may have meddled in the elections. In January 2017 the US Intelligence Community issued a report suggesting that such interference took place, but failed to provide any credible proof.

Moscow has repeatedly denounced the allegations.

Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) hammered FBI Director James Comey for talking about the Clinton email investigation during the campaign, but never publicly mentioning the Trump/Russia investigation. It was clear that Leahy was pointing out that Comey’s biased behavior influenced the election for Trump.

Democratic Senator Rips James Comey For Stealing The Election For Trump

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) hammered FBI Director James Comey for talking about the Clinton email investigation during the campaign, but never publicly mentioning the Trump/Russia investigation. It was clear that Leahy was pointing out that Comey’s biased behavior influenced the election for Trump.

Sen. Leahy asked Comey, “Americans across the country have been confused and disappointed by your judgment in handling the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails. On a number of occasions, you chose to comment directly and extensively on that investigation. You even released internal FBI memos and interview notes. I may have missed this, but in my 42 years here, I’ve never seen anything like that, but you said absolutely nothing regarding the investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia’s illegal efforts to help elect Donald Trump. Was it appropriate for you to comment on one investigation repeatedly, and no say anything about the other.”

Comey answered, “I think I treated both investigations fairly under the same principles….In October in 2015, we confirmed it existed and then said not another word, not a peep about it until we were finished.”

Leahy set the record straight, “No. At the most critical time possible, A couple of weeks before the election, and I think there are other things involved in that election, I’ll grant that, but there is no question that that had a great effect.”

The FBI Director was trying to rewrite history to minimize the impact that his letter had on the outcome of the 2016 election.

 Nate Silver has concluded that Comey’s letter cost Clinton three points in the polls. Donald Trump is only president because he carried Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania by 78,000 votes.

It is laughable that Comey would try to dismiss the impact of his letter. The FBI Director’s claim that he treated both investigations the same way is also not true. If Comey were giving the Trump/Russia investigation the same treatment that he was giving Clinton’s emails, he would have mentioned the Trump investigation a couple of weeks before voters went to the polls.

Sen. Leahy was asking the right questions, and Director Comey’s answers suggested that he is fully aware that he tipped the election to Donald Trump.

EMERGENCY! Act Now to Prevent a Trump Attack on Syria! Phone the White House and Congress Now!
US PEACE COUNCIL Member of the World Peace Council P. O. Box 3105, New Haven, Connecticut 06515 Telephone: 203-387-0370; Fax: 203-397-2539; Email:

April 6, 2017EMERGENCY! Act Now to Prevent a Trump Attack on Syria! Phone the White House and Congress Now!

Yesterday President Trump — who during the campaign expressed a desire for a new, more restrained approach to the war in Syria — publicly accepted the claim that the Syrian government is using chemical weapons against its own people, including children. He declared: “Lines have been crossed.” He threatened to take some sort of action. The photos are horrific. The media has for several days gone into full hysteria mode, repeating unproven allegations, attributing blame, and relying on biased sources. Is this another Gulf of Tonkin?   This is more than a dangerous moment. It is a full-blown war crisis. It is no secret that President Trump is an impulsive and often ill-informed individual. His Administration in its first months has been buffeted by missteps, defeats, and embarrassments. He may think he “needs a win.” We must make sure his Administration does not think an attack on Syria would be “a win.” We have hours, at most a few days to do so.   We have been down this road before. Sophisticated observers have already noted this alleged attack has all the earmarks of a false flag operation. The Syrian government has absolutely no motive for mounting such an attack. (see: Gerry Condon; Patrick Henningsen; and Phyllis Bennis)   As a leader of Veterans for Peace, Gerry Condon, has wisely observed, the sources for the gas attack reports are the rebel forces themselves, their own media, and the “White Helmets” and other Western-funded NGOs who are notorious for creating “regime change” propaganda against the Assad government. Famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has documented that the last large Sarin attack blamed on the Syrian government was carried out by terrorist groups with the support of Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Hersh also documented that chemical weapons were transported from Libya to U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria by the CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.    Yet the mainstream media do not mention any of this. They ask no tough questions. They entertain no doubts. They repeat previous lies that have already been debunked. They unashamedly interview sources which have long been cheerleaders for military intervention in Syria.   We can stop an attack. In 2013, an immense surge of phone calls to the White House and Congress stayed the hand of President Obama under similar pressure to “do something.” We successfully prevented Obama from attacking Syria in 2013.
We can do it again. Pick up that phone! 

  • Call the White House at 202-456-1414;
  • Call your Congress members House and Senate at 202- 224-3121

Yours in peace,
Alfred L. Marder, President U.S. Peace Council

Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

The Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything besides its donors

gettyimages 633374738 1 Bernie Sanders Rightfully Refers to Democratic Party as a Sinking Ship

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In a New York Times Magazine article about the future of the Democratic Party, Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked what he thinks the party stands for. “You’re asking a good question, and I can’t give you a definitive answer. Certainly there are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats,” Sanders said.

Sanders is right that the Democratic Party is a sinking ship. It seems that the Democratic leadership would prefer to destroy the party in its entirety rather than concede political power to progressives in order to start recouping their losses. Since Hillary Clinton lost the presidency, every push for reform has been ignored by the Democratic establishment. Wall Street puppet Sen. Chuck Schumer was elected as Senate minority leader over more popular progressive options. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has presided over the Democrats losing over 60 seats in the house, was re-elected easily. The establishment selected their own DNC chair candidate, former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who sabotaged Sanders’ candidacy. The DCCC and DSCC leadership has been virtually unchanged. The DNC has doubled down on the establishment’s failed politics by hiring staffers from Clinton’s poorly run presidential campaign, and it has granted Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and Clinton propaganda hit man David Brock even more influence over the Democratic Party.

The focus of the Democratic Party’s resistance to President Donald Trump and the Republican Party has primarily revolved around Russian election interference allegations and sensationalizing any links between Trump officials and Russian diplomats. The narrative has served as a useful marketing and fundraising tool to rally its loyal supporter base without taking meaningful actions on policy.

The Democratic Party doesn’t stand for anything, and—as long as fundraising from wealthy and corporate donors remains the party’s focus—this won’t ever change. Exit poll data reveals that, despite the American population becoming more diverse, Democrats have been losing voters in every voter demographic since 2008. Favorability polling data shows that the Democratic Party’s ratings and those of its leaders—including Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer—are even lower than Trump’s and the Republican Party’s ratings. Every opportunity that the Democratic Party has had to rebuild itself has been abandoned in favor of preserving the status quo.

Sanders’ criticisms of the Democratic Party have been few since being named the party’s outreach chair, but his opinions of the Democratic Party and its leadership have remained relatively unchanged since the Democratic primaries. Democrats ingratiating themselves with Sanders’ popularity will only carry the party so far, especially as establishment partisans maintain a bitter attitude toward Sanders and his supporters, who they perceive as “not real Democrats.” The Democratic leadership made the principles of the party clear when they rigged the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.

The Democratic Party stands for its wealthy donors, their preferred candidates and centrist policies. It consistently fails to adopt bold, meaningful reforms to address the worsening issues facing individuals and communities across the country like lack of healthcare, poverty, increasing wealth inequality, stagnant wages, aging infrastructure and a disappearing middle class. This has been demonstrated by the Democratic Party’s refusal to take a stand against Wall Street, instead opting to court Wall Street bankers as donors and lobbyists. When issues have demanded action, the Democratic Party has refused to take a stand. For example, the party says it champions environmental issues, but it failed to fight construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL, and other pipelines constructed across the U.S. The Democratic Party has resisted fully supporting a $15 minimum wage, providing universal healthcare through a single payer system, holding the big banks accountable, and taking a stance on the TPP while defending NAFTA. The Democratic Party sits on the sidelines of the fights led by grassroots movements to not upset the billionaires and millionaires that have taken over the Democratic Party and have turned it into a shell of its former self.