Spats between the White House and intelligence agencies are hardly new, though in decades past these feuds tended to be on policy grounds. Trump’s, however, is more personal. Now, the question is not whether he continues to wage war with the intelligence establishment—it is how far he is willing to go.
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, appointed by Trump on Monday, is known for being strongly driven by integrity —a quality that critics felt Mike Flynn lacked. How to approach Russia is likely to be one of the crucial areas where McMaster and Flynn differ.
Call it what you will: Flynnghazi. Russiagate. The Crackpot Dome scandal. No matter the sobriquet attached to the inappropriate discussions between the Russian ambassador and Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, the growing cancer from this case is not going away.
Consider what one is tempted to call President Trump’s downright “Clintonian” non-denial denial during his recent press conference: “I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia, I don’t have any deals in Russia.” The president denying this well-documented fact is the rough equivalent of Bill Clinton denying he’d ever met Monica Lewinsky.
U.S. investigators are examining whether this river of pension benefits intended for Russian military veterans is somehow mixed up in efforts to undermine last fall’s U.S. election and put Donald Trump in the White House.
Only two weeks into the new season of This Week Tonight, and Oliver has already brilliantly trolled President Trump — first with educational ads about the nuclear triad and the Geneva Convention, and now with an inerasable earworm that immediately gets stuck in your head like a Carly Rae Jepsen song. You can only hope that it also gets stuck in Trump’s head.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus flatly denied Sunday that the two camps colluded during the 2016 presidential campaign. Priebus also insisted that ousted national security advisor Mike Flynn had done nothing illegal in discussing sanctions against Russia with the country’s ambassador to Washington prior to Trump’s inauguration, and batted aside questions about disorder and disarray in the White House.
One of Rex Tillerson’s first directives as U.S. secretary of state was an order to senior staff that his briefing materials not exceed two pages. It was a reflection of Tillerson’s management style honed at the helm of Exxon Mobil, and one reason his closest aides at the State Department refer to him as “the CEO” rather than “the Secretary.”
From the preening “mavericks” to the proud white supremacists, the GOP is entirely complicit in the horrors of the Trump administration. Every unconstitutional executive order, every denigration of the country’s citizenry and press comes with the party’s seal of approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not like what the president is saying, but he likes what he’s doing.
Over the last week Trump and his team, unwittingly or not, have dragged Russia back into conversation, even if that conversation is about disillusionment in Moscow. While Trump has remained loyal to a familiar and vague idea of getting along with Russia, it is his cardinals who are making headlines in Russia now and curbing the enthusiasm for the presidency in Moscow.
Until recently, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tolerated Trump’s turbulent debut because they agreed with the direction the White House was heading — or were confident they could nudge it in the desired one. But the newfound partnership is showing signs of serious strain.
I heard your voice like a firebell in the middle of the night — from that beautiful phone — but you know, I can’t be at your beck and call. Here I am on an island in the blue, taking time out from writing timeless prose from the chamber of my mind. The world is waiting for another memoir. Michelle’s here, but she does not send her regards. My wife has serious issues with you, and says Melania does, too.
Donald Trump’s first solo press conference as president had all the trappings of a perfect late night comedy sketch: bizarre rants about Michael Flynn and Russia, the usual lies about his “huge” electoral victory, and plenty of unhinged moments involving what Trump called “real leaks, fake news, and the dishonest media.”
Andrew Puzder’s replacement, Alexander Acosta, hails from an immigrant background (his parents came from Cuba), and he is a former U.S. attorney. But there is no reason to expect him to have any great compassion or concern for the little guy. Trump’s white working-class supporters are in for nothing but disappointment.
As part of intelligence operations being conducted against the United States for the last seven months, at least one Western European ally intercepted a series of communications before the inauguration between advisers associated with President Trump and Russian government officials, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Trump doesn’t seem to fear failure — after all, he’s filed for bankruptcy four times — so much as he fears not being seen as successful. Appearances are paramount in the Trump universe, and frankly, things are not looking so good these days.
Two sources familiar with the decision said Admiral Harward turned down the job in part because he wanted to bring in his own team at the National Security Council.
That put him at odds with Trump, who had told former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, that she could stay.
Presidents from both parties have always enjoyed partisan cheerleaders in the press who will defend an administration from attacks and enthusiastically support its agenda. But what the Trump team is trying to assemble is something else entirely. It’s trying to build its own self-sustaining, hermetically sealed information bubble so that Trump, his aides, and his supporters don’t have to acknowledge everyday facts.
President Trump dismissed a growing controversy about ties between his aides and Russia on Thursday as a “ruse” and “scam” perpetrated by a hostile news media, and denied that any of his associates had contacts with Moscow before last year’s election.
When dealing with high-level Russian business associates, you are bound to encounter intelligence officials. The question is: If Russian intelligence officers approached other members of team Trump, who may have also conducted business in Russia, or with Russian associates, would they have known who they were really be dealing with?
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday that there had been no pre-election contact between the Trump campaign team and Russian officials. But given the uproar over Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador, questions about ties between the Kremlin and the new U.S. administration are likely to linger for some time.
You’re no longer an emperor, Mr. So-Called President. You’re now what is called a “public servant” — in effect, an employee with 324 million bosses. And let me tell you something about those bosses. They’re unruly and loud, long accustomed to speaking their minds without fear or fetter. And they believe power must always answer to the people.
Republican Trump critics including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham voiced fresh consternation, but comments by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who has been a Trump supporter, increased the pressure on the White House.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The intercepts alarmed U.S. intelligence because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Trump was speaking glowingly about Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Press secretary Sean Spicer, the M.C. Escher of bullshit, claims Flynn’s resignation “isn’t a legal issue, it’s a trust issue.” But the Stephen Colbert wonders if what Flynn did was so darn legal, then why did Trump ask for his resignation? Colbert explains,“It’s funny ‘cause it’s treason.”