How long has Ben Rhodes known about the now infamous Donald Jr. emails, before he released them, or spoke of their contents, directly or through an intermediary, with the NY Times?

Ok, that question involves a couple of assumptions, it’s true. First, Ben Rhodes is probably who has been coordinating leaks of damaging information over the last 6 or so months, with the collusion of former or current Intel, State and DOJ officials. He sets the schedule, if you will, releasing the information at what he feels – and he’s very very very good at this – will be the optimal moment to do maximum damage to Trump’s presidency.

Second, Rhodes may very well have been the one who was given and thus had access to these emails. How? Well, the NSA might be a good place to start. Or as Tom Rogan in The Washington Examiner suggests, the British equivalent: the GCHQ, who were surely monitoring British go-between Rob Goldstone. Who knows? But it is reasonable to suspect this. Unfortunately, with the Trump administration it’s sometimes hard to know if the leaks are from #The Resistance, or internal.

If any of the various investigations, especially Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, find sufficient evidence to lay charges – and they very well might as a result of these emails – this raises another interesting question:

Are Bob Mueller and his top-notch legal team dependent, at least in part, on Ben Rhodes to gather crucial bits of evidence in the ongoing Russia probes? If so, that means that Ben Rhodes is even more powerful politically out of office than he was in office as Deputy National Security Advisor during Obama’s presidency. And is so at a crucial time in America’s political history. Which leads to the following question:

When the heck will Ben Rhodes be asked to testify at one or more of the investigations into the Russia connection? Are people that scared of him? Or is he seen as a very useful behind-the-scenes player? Which is what he always has been. In other words, keep Ben where he can do the most damage: on his cellphone talking to the right people with the right dirt. At the right time.

So, kudos to the GOP’s Rob DeSantis for actually saying the words: “Ben Rhodes.”

Another unusual twist on Putin’s possible interference in America comes from The Daily Signal, who report on a letter from GOP congressmen Lamar Smith and Randy Weber to Secretary Mnuchin, in which they make the following claim:

Putin is funding hard-left environmental groups in order to disrupt fracking in America, and therefore boost the value of Russian oil and gas deposits. And to therefore ensure the Europe remains beholden to Russia’s energy supplies, with all the concomitant geopolitical implications. This according to Smith and Weber.

Is this possible? Is the “keep it in the ground” movement funded, in part at least, with money funneled from the Kremlin? It has been known for some time that Soviet activity was far more involved in America’s radical movements in the 60’s and 70’s, than generally had been supposed. Despite such claims of Soviet involvement being laughed off at the time by those on the left. So it is not impossible for Putin to have added some muscle to an environmental movement which would have engaged in some form of protest regardless, but may have been given more resources to do so.

If Russia’s dirty tricks are everywhere in America, then they may be behind some of the anti-fossil fuel protests as well. This does not excuse Donald Trump Jr’s idiocy. It makes it even less excusable, to be perfectly clear. As Nixon might have said.