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Tag: john bolton

John Bolton Says Trump Discussed Evading Scrutiny With ‘Burner’ Phones

On Tuesday, March 29, Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported that there was a seven-hour gap in the record of Donald Trump’s phone calls on January 6, 2021. Woodward and Costa’s reporting has sparked a great deal of discussion on whether or not Trump and his allies used “burner phones” that day; Trump has said he was unfamiliar with the term “burner phone,” but former National Security Adviser John Bolton, during a March 29 interview with CBS News, said that he remembered hearing Trump use that term.

A “burner phone” is a disposable cell phone, and minutes are paid for in advance. There is no recurring monthly billing with a burner phone.

Trump said, “I have no idea what a burner phone is. To the best of my knowledge, I have never even heard the term.” But Costa, in an article published by CBS News’ website on March 29, reports that “Bolton said he and Trump have spoken about how people have used ‘burner phones’ to avoid having their calls scrutinized.”


Costa reports, “White House records obtained by CBS News and The Washington Post show Trump did not use his phone for over seven hours on January 6, 2021, during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the House select committee investigating the attack is looking into whether he used a ‘burner phone,’ or a personal disposable phone whose contacts could not be traced…. The White House documents show no calls placed to or by Trump for seven hours and 37 minutes — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — on the day when thousands of his supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol, battled police, and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety.”

Costa adds, “The 11 pages of records — which consist of the president's official daily diary and the White House switchboard call log — were turned over by the National Archives earlier this year to the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack. The records show that Trump was active on the phone for part of the day, documenting conversations that he had with at least eight people in the morning and 11 people that evening. The gap also stands in stark contrast to the extensive public reporting about phone conversations he had with allies during the period when the attack was underway.”

Bolton, a neoconservative known for his ultra-hawkish views on foreign policy, served as national security adviser in the Trump Administration from April 2018 to September 2019 — when Trump fired him. He was long gone from the White House by January 6, 2021; so, it would have been in 2018 and/or 2019 that Bolton heard Trump using the term “burner phone.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

VIDEO: Watch Angy Mike Pompeo Flip And Flop On Taliban

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With the Taliban now in control of Afghanistan, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is vehemently criticizing President Joe Biden for withdrawing U.S. troops from that country — neglecting to mention that Biden was essentially following the plan that Pompeo and former President Donald Trump came up with in 2020. MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan, in response, has posted a video showing how badly Pompeo is now contradicting what he had to say about Afghanistan and the Taliban last year.

Some right-wing Republicans have at least been consistent in their views on Afghanistan. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and former National Security John Bolton have been slamming the Trump/Pompeo plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as badly flawed and saying that Biden and his advisers were wrong to go along with it. But Pompeo, as Hasan's video demonstrates, is now contradicting much of what he had to say in 2020.

The video shows Pompeo, in 2020, praising "the senior Taliban leadership" for "working diligently to reduce violence," followed by the Pompeo of 2021 saying of the Taliban, "These are butchers…. These are evil people" and telling Fox News' Chris Wallace, "We never trusted the Taliban."

Pompeo is seen in 2020 saying with confidence, "There are a series of commitments the Taliban have made. We have every expectation they will follow through on them." And Pompeo, in 2020, expressed confidence that the Taliban would "break" their "relationship" with al-Qaeda and "work alongside" the United States "to destroy, deny resources to and have al-Qaeda depart from that place." But in a 2021 clip included in Hasan's video, Pompeo complains, "We have allowed al-Qaeda to run free and wild all around Afghanistan."

The video ends on a mocking note with a clip of Pompeo angrily saying, "No, I'm not defensive at all."

Here are some responses to Hasan's video:

Pompeo’s Hometown Paper Roasts His Afghan Hypocrisy

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With Afghanistan having been taken over by the Taliban, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is slamming President Joe Biden for withdrawing U.S. troops from the country — neglecting to mention that Biden was essentially following the Pompeo/Donald Trump plan for withdrawal, although at a slower pace. The Kansas City Star's editorial board, in a scathing editorial published on August 18, slams Pompeo's total hypocrisy.

"That other Republicans are criticizing Biden's implementation of Trump's deal is one thing," the Star's editorial board explains. "But Pompeo personally oversaw the Trump Administration's Afghanistan withdrawal discussions with Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar, whom the CIA had arrested in 2010. He'd been in a Pakistani prison until Trump got him out two years ago. So, it's a little bit stunning to watch Pompeo accuse Biden of 'leading with weakness' by finishing the troop withdrawal that Trump planned to accomplish even more quickly."

The "other Republicans" that the Star is referring to in its editorial could include Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, although the Star doesn't actually mention either of them by name. Cheney and Kinzinger have both been vehemently critical of the Biden Administration in the days following the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan, but they have also been vehemently critical of Trump and Pompeo — arguing that the Trump/Pompeo plan for withdrawal was horribly flawed and that Biden was wrong to go along with it. For that matter, some Democrats and Biden allies have made the same argument.

Pompeo, however, is blaming Biden for embracing a Trump-era policy that he aggressively promoted — which, as the Star points out, is exactly the type of gall, arrogance and "brass" one expects from Pompeo.

The Star notes, "Trump undermined the success of his own team's efforts by bringing more and more U.S. troops home without any concessions from the Taliban. The Taliban was supposed to negotiate a peace agreement with the Afghan government, and when that didn't happen, the withdrawal continued anyway…. Pompeo's gloating that this withdrawal would have gone very differently under the previous administration is unsupported by what did happen when Trump was president."

By slamming Pompeo, the Star's editorial board isn't saying that Biden is blameless in the Afghanistan debacle. But Pompeo, according to the Star, is the last person who should be pointing the finger at Biden over the Taliban's victory in Afghanistan.

The editorial board stresses, "Trump, you remember, even invited the Taliban to Camp David…. Pompeo pushed hard for this plan, which put him at odds with then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, who the New York Times reported at the time 'argued that Mr. Trump could keep his campaign pledge to draw down forces without getting in bed with killers bathed in American blood.' Yet in Wichita, we heard the chief proponent of this deal argue that Biden is weak for failing to stand up to the same Taliban that just a minute ago, Pompeo was talking up as our trusted partner in counterterrorism — and the same Taliban that both Trump and Biden failed to hold accountable."

"The execution of this long overdue withdrawal has been ugly," the Star's editorial continues. "How Trump could have somehow done the same thing both faster and more gently is unknowable at this point. A less disingenuous partisan would have acknowledged that, and would maybe even have shown some humility, given his role in what's playing out in Afghanistan."

Bolton Heeded Warning Against Giuliani’s Ties To Kremlin Agents

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When former National Security Adviser John Bolton received a warning about President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani due to his suspected ties to Russian operatives, he wasted no time heeding the warning and urged his staff to steer clear of having any involvement or interactions with

The Daily Beast compiled a report based on what the publication described as "interviews with 11 knowledgeable sources" detailing Bolton's repeated attempts to maintain distance between his department and Giuliani.

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Trump Blows Up Justice Department Brief Against Bolton Book

By claiming John Bolton's upcoming book is all false, Donald Trump has undermined his legal argument against its publication.

The Department of Justice is suing to block publication of the book by Trump's former national security adviser, "The Room Where It Happened," claiming it contains classified information the release of which would harm national security. But on Thursday, Trump suggested that the unflattering book is completely untrue.

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What Bolton’s Memoir Really Tells Us About Trump -- And Him

What can we learn from John Bolton's new memoir? History will not absolve him, his execrable ex-boss Donald Trump or the Republican political apparatus that has enabled the toxic Trump regime.

Well before Bolton's book arrived, we already knew the single most important fact about the Trump presidency and Trump himself: He and the Republicans who surround him are willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives if their deaths might somehow promote his reelection.

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#EndorseThis: Seth Meyers Finds Bolton -- And Trump -- Despicable

Seth Meyers has a point: By now, we all know who and what Trump is, and the answer isn't complicated. As Seth says, "There's just one layer -- a thick epidermis of Botox-infused pancake skin wrapped around a dark, howling void where a soul should be."

Which should mean that tell-all books about this president and his evil banality are redundant. But John Bolton's new book may be different. Bolton is implicated in the worst foreign policy decisions of the past two decades, right up to Trump's decision to disband the global pandemic unit in the National Security Council. And yes, he's just as morally reprehensible as Trump.

But the details of Trump's subservient pleadings to the Chinese dictator and his idiotic entreaties to the North Korean dictator are still revealing, horrifying – and darkly amusing. Seth imagines Trump and Bolton ending up as cellmates in the Hague.

Now that would be a great buddy movie!

Just click.

John Bolton’s Explosive New Book Blowing Up On Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Though the Trump administration is making a show of trying to stop it, former National Security Adviser John Bolton's book is already making waves.

The New York Times, which received an advance copy of the book before its official publication next week, published a report laying out some of its key revelations.

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