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

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic candidate for president, received an endorsement on Friday from a high-profile ex-member of a current administration: Richard V. Spencer, who served as U.S. Navy secretary under President Donald Trump.

In November 2019, Spencer was fired for his handling of the Eddie Gallagher case; Gallagher was a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes, and when Trump interfered in the case, Spencer objected. In an op-ed published in the Washington Post on November 27, 2019 — after he had been fired — Spencer discussed Gallagher’s case.

According to Spencer, Trump “has very little understanding” of how the U.S. military works.

Spencer has gone from being part of a Republican administration to endorsing a Democratic campaign, and NBC News is reporting that Spencer — explaining his decision to endorse Bloomberg — asserted, “This decision here is for the good of the country. Loyalty is to the country, not to a person.”

Under Trump’s presidency, Spencer asserted, the U.S. has suffered from a foreign policy standpoint — and its alliances have been hurt by “chaos” and “political static.” Spencer asserted that when “military was talking to military” and he was communicating with military leaders in countries that are U.S. allies, they expressed frustration with Trump.

“It was fraying, it was confusing, it was exhausting,” Spencer recalled. “The message one way, the message the next way — it was untenable.”

Gallagher, in 2019, was acquitted of murder in a military court. On November 21, 2019, Trump asserted in a tweet that Gallagher should not be deprived of his Navy SEAL trident insignia. Spencer, however, objected to Trump’s interference and believed that he needed to leave military matters to the U.S. military. That month, Mark Esper (secretary of the U.S. Defense Department) demanded Spencer’s resignation.

Although Bloomberg’s presidential campaign commercials have been airing on MSNBC and other outlets, he has not participated in any of the Democratic presidential debates — and he did not take part in the Iowa Caucuses. Bloomberg’s game plan is to make his mark at Super Tuesday in March.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)