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Obama Dismisses Russia in Final Press Conference, China Seizes U.S. Drone and More You Missed In Politics Today

by Countable | 12.16.16

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. "Obama dismisses Russia as a ‘weaker country’"

"As tensions build between the U.S. and the Kremlin over election-related hacking, President Barack Obama on Friday dismissed Russia as a “smaller," “weaker country” that does not “produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms,” but warned that it could pose a serious threat if Americans “abandon” democratic values.”

"Responding to intelligence reports that Russia sought to disrupt the presidential election through cyberattacks, Obama was harsh in his assessment of the Kremlin: “The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us," he said at his end-of-year press conference on Friday. “They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don't innovate.””

Read more at Politico.

2. "U.S. Demands Return of Survey Drone Taken by Chinese in South China Sea"

"The U.S. on Friday demanded the return of an underwater survey drone the Pentagon said was snatched by a Chinese navy vessel shadowing a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey ship in the South China Sea."

"“It’s ours, it was clearly marked, we want it back, and we don’t want this to happen again," said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.”

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

3. "FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election"

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to U.S. officials.

Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion — and officials say that he never changed his position — suggests that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.

Read more at The Washington Post.

4. "Trump picks a supporter of West Bank settlements for ambassador to Israel"

"President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will nominate New York bankruptcy lawyer David M. Friedman as his ambassador to Israel, saying in a statement issued by his transition office that Friedman’s “strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission."”

"Friedman said in the statement that he would work “tirelessly to strengthen the unbreakable bond between our two countries . . . and look forward to doing this from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem."”

Read more at The Washington Post.

You can tell your Senators whether to support or oppose his nomination using the "Take Action" button.

5. "Clinton Says ‘Personal Beef’ by Putin Led to Hacking Attacks"

"Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the hacking attacks carried out by Russia against her campaign and the Democratic National Committee were intended “to undermine our democracy" and were ordered by Vladimir V. Putin “because he has a personal beef against me.”

"Speaking to a group of donors in Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton said that Mr. Putin, the Russian president, had never forgiven her for the accusation she made in 2011, when she was secretary of state, that parliamentary elections his country held that year were rigged."

Read more at The New York Times.

— Eric Revell

Countable

Written by Countable

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(20)
  • Bncutt
    12/16/2016
    ···

    We need someone with foreign policy experience to be ambassador to a country that frequently undermines U.S interests and violates human rights. David Friedman is completely unqualified for this position lacking both foreign policy experience and a human conscience.

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  • Israel
    12/17/2016
    ···

    For anyone to say that the involvement of an opposing foreign government in an American election in no way swayed the results is absurd. For the President Elect to ignore these findings is even more troubling. We are now past the concern of partisan politics. This is precipice of disaster. The electoral college starting now need to briefed and until all the facts of this situation are determined they should not be allowed to vote.

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  • James
    12/17/2016
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    With the FBI and CIA in agreement about the Russian meddling in our election, this is more reason that the electoral college should receive some type of briefing or that the vote should be postponed. Respectfully, James Penfold Kittery Maine.

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  • David
    12/17/2016
    ···

    All this stuff reported by the news is a diversion from the real issues in this country. We need to be focusing on how to better prepare and help the working class taxpayer so they can be on equal footing to experience the American dream. Policies that are put in place towards this purpose need to be clearly and concisely stated and monitor to determine impact. Politicians need to examine what they are doing or not doing that may undermine this country's inability to support their own citizens.

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  • Robert
    12/18/2016
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    I oppose 100% the appointment of Friedman for Ambassador to Israel. He wants to play with fire by changing policies going back to 1967. He has made outrageous false comments about Hillary Clinton.

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  • Brandon
    12/17/2016
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    No one wants another Cold War, nor does anyone want a war with Russia or China. Russian hackers or affiliated contractors may have very well hacked into election-related systems, but this is more or less general (and at least presumably relatively common) espionage work. I still support improving relations with China and Russia and to cooperate with them as much as possible on global issues. On a final note, I do not believe that the election was compromised, however, if the electoral college votes in favor of Secretary Clinton instead of Mr.Trump, I don't think I'll be complaining.

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  • Michael
    12/18/2016
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    These unfounded accusations are extremely irresponsible. If the Russians did Hack Hillary's server its more likely they were looking for information they could use, because they expected her to win.

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  • Debbie
    12/17/2016
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    So now we live as Putin Puppets?

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    mr final president please do not make russia upsets you will not like the sudden impact. peter.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    mr. president you can not live in that kind of climate . by the way i like them send me over there and they will do everything i want. peter.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    that just add fire to the fuel mr trump is in big trouble already with russia and their allies well where are our allies that is not nice to go out of office. trust me i know about human nature peter.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    you mean all this time it is just foreplay that's it peter.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    trump picks google android not apple ios

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    you guys think it is trump trick or treat it is ok peter.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    listen you do not represent the nation of israel like that what potus did is not a class act. peter.

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  • Kyle
    12/20/2016
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    Oh, so Clinton can undermine democracy for her own gain but the minute someone undermines democracy to take the lead away from her, then and only then it's not right?

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    look russia is not isis and usa enemies they are our ally . please say you are so sorry for stating that in your final press conference of all things. peter.

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  • Jason
    12/20/2016
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    I'm wondering now that Trump cinched the electoral election, what are we the people doing about foreign interference of the election results? According to the constitution, the election is not valid if foreign interference occurred. We want to know why this has not been brought to light yet?

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    oh hillary how could you they are weaker mind you they are not like our founding fathers when it comes to democracy we 13 colonies act as one not so them ok. peter. your health comes first.

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  • Peter
    12/17/2016
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    now mr obama you forgot about sputnik russia is very powerful country you forgot the ice breaker peter.

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