The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

If the White House were actively trying to undermine its own communications operations, it’s hard to imagine that it could do much better than its abysmal performance this week.

After dealing with the fallout of President Donald Trump’s botched and disastrous summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, and several transparent attempts to clean up the president’s mess, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Thursday that the authoritarian leader had been invited to visit the White House in the fall.

At almost the exact same time of Sanders’ announcement, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — a Trump appointee — said at the Aspen Security Forum that Russia is continuing to launch cyberattacks and propaganda warfare against the United States.

When Coats was informed of the upcoming meeting live on stage, he looked shocked: “Say that again?” Then he burst into stunned laughter. “Okay… that’s going to be special.”

Earlier in the talk, he had warned about the danger Putin poses.

“We are under attack,” Coats told MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. Russia, he said, was the most aggressive of American foes.

So even as the country is posing a serious threat to American security, its authoritarian president will be honored with a White House visit.

Coats also leveled measured criticism against the president himself. After Trump had defended Putin on Monday against the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Coats had issued a statement reiterating the findings.

“I believed I needed to correct the record,” he told Mitchell. “Obviously, I wished he had made a different statement.”

He added that he is constantly afraid of a “cyber 9/11.”

“In Helsinki,@POTUS agreed to ongoing working-level dialogue between the two security council staffs,” Sanders said in a tweet as Coats was speaking. “President Trump asked@AmbJohnBolton to invite President Putin to Washington in the fall and those discussions are already underway.”

Watch Coats’ interview below (Coats learns of the Putin meeting at 45:08):

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Ivanka Trump told the House Select Committee investigating the violent January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that she accepted former Attorney General William P. Barr’s assertions that her father’s stolen election claims are “bullshit.”

But the New York Times revealed on Tuesday that for more than a month after the election, Trump’s fruitless legal crusade to overturn the 2020 election results had his eldest daughter’s complete and total backing. Per the Times, Ivanka told a documentary film crew in mid-December 2020 that she wanted Trump to “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted” because “a lot of Americans” were supposedly questioning “the sanctity of our elections.”

Keep reading... Show less

Wandrea "Shaye" Moss

YouTube Screenshot

Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss was collateral damage in Fox News’ campaign to prop up Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud following the 2020 presidential election.

In December 2020, the network’s prime-time hosts and “straight news” personnel alike baselessly suggested that Moss and her mother and fellow election worker, Ruby Freeman, had participated in a fraud scheme. The Fox personalities don’t seem to regret their actions: After Moss described the impact those conspiracy theories had on her life to the January 6 House select committee on Tuesday, the network devoted all of 14 seconds to her testimony.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}