WTF Community

Day 1016


(Matt Kiser) #1

1/ A senior White House lawyer instructed the national security official who heard Trump's July 25 conversation with the Ukraine president to keep his concerns secret. Following the call, in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a "favor" to investigate the Bidens, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman went to John Eisenberg to register his concerns about the call, who recorded Vindman's complaints in notes on a yellow legal pad. Eisenberg also restricted access to the rough transcript of the call by moving it into the NSC's top-secret codeword system. Eisenberg then directed Vindman to not discuss his concerns with anyone after the White House learned on July 29 that a CIA employee had anonymously filed a whistleblower complaint about the call. Vindman also testified that he conferred with his deputy Michael Ellis at the time about how to handle the conversation because it was clearly "sensitive."(Washington Post / Politico)


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/2019/11/01/day-1016/

Impeachment Inquiry into Trump 2019
#2

My personal take on this is that Trump has never had any intention to actually follow through with this stunt. He’s just putting it out there so his base and some folks on the fence we’ll say to themselves, “the call can’t be that bad if he’s willing to read it to the nation.” Some pundits are also saying he’s an idiot when he keeps tweeting “READ THE TRANSCRIPT.” In Trumpworld, that’s actually a great strategy. Again, his base thinks, “Yeah, see, it can’t be that bad.” It truly is that bad, but that doesn’t matter because the vast majority of his base will never actually read it; they’ll just take Trump’s word for it. Or even if they do read it, they’ll do so with such a strong bias that they’ll gloss over the extortion – Trump, as per usual, dishes out his threats “mobster style” with just enough obfuscation to allow the willfully ignorant to convince themselves he’s done nothing wrong.

This strategy is very similar to his promise during his campaign that he would release his taxes after the election. I believe that many people voted for him based on that promise, telling themselves, “His taxes must not have anything bad in them if he is going to release them soon.”


#3

Anyone notice a pattern here?

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is withholding $105 million in security aid for Lebanon, two U.S. officials said on Thursday, two days after the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

The State Department told Congress on Thursday that the White House budget office and National Security Council had decided to withhold the foreign military assistance, the two officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The officials did not say why the aid was blocked. One of the sources said the State Department did not give Congress a reason for the decision.

The State Department declined to comment.

The administration had sought approval for the assistance starting in May, arguing that it was crucial for Lebanon, an important U.S. partner in the volatile Middle East, to be able to protect its borders. The aid included night vision goggles and weapons used in border security.

Following Hariri’s resignation on Tuesday amid huge protests against the ruling elite, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Lebanon’s political leaders to help form a new government responsive to the needs of its people and called for an end to endemic corruption.

One U.S. official told Reuters he believed the security assistance was necessary for Lebanon, as it struggles with instability not just within its own government but in a turbulent region and houses thousands of refugees from war in neighboring Syria.

The official said it was especially important to strengthen Lebanon’s military, which he deemed one of the most capable institutions in the country now, largely because of support from Washington.

The official said drawing aid away from Lebanon could pave the way for Russia to move in. Russia has expanded its influence in Syria since Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. forces from the northeastern part of the country.


#4

It’s like nothing we have come across before’: UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration’s requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry

As impeachment inquiries heat up, president’s people are busy pursuing a counter offensive aimed at discrediting Mueller’s findings that Russia interfered in 2016 election.

‘It’s like nothing we have come across before’: UK intelligence officials shaken by Trump administration’s requests for help with counter-impeachment inquiry

As impeachment inquiries heat up, president’s people are busy pursuing a counter offensive aimed at discrediting Mueller’s findings that Russia interfered in 2016

As the impeachment hearings get more and more alarming for Donald Trump, with damning new evidence emerging every day, there appears to be increasing urgency in the parallel counteroffensives under way by the president’s team in an attempt to defend him.

There are attacks against the witnesses giving testimony by Trump and his supporters, including attempts to smear Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, Ukraine expert at the National Security Council who this week provided crucial testimony about Trump’s telephone call to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. And there have been the extraordinary scenes of congress Republicans breaking into the proceedings and disrupting them.


#5

This article has struck a chord with wtfjht’ers. @Windthin posted it at about the same time you did.

Cross-posting my response:


#6

Yes, thanks @Keaton_James and @Windthin - It is flabbergasting to think what Barr is doing…and as we all see, it diminishes our relations with other nations. I do not know what ‘kool-aid’ any of then are drinking…but Putin has the last laugh.
And we just pawns in their power-mad hands.


(David Bythewood) #7

The UK, Japan, Canada, so many allies betrayed, so many alliances shattered. I wonder if we can ever reclaim that trust. It’s bad enough what he’s done here, but he visits his greed and hatred upon the world, putting decent people into impossible positions while conspiring with the ruthless and the wicked.