WTF Community

Day 593

1/ Bob Woodward's book describes the Trump as an "emotionally overwrought, mercurial and unpredictable leader," his presidency as "an administrative coup d'etat," and the executive branch as having a "nervous breakdown" where senior aides hide official papers from Trump's desk so he wouldn't sign them in order "to protect the country." In one instance, Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, "stole a letter off Trump's desk" that the president wanted to sign that would have withdrawn the U.S. from a trade agreement with South Korea. In another, Trump ordered Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to assassinate Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, saying: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them." Mattis told Trump he would, but immediately told an aide, "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured." Wooward also reports that John Kelly once called Trump an "idiot," and told colleagues that the president was "unhinged," that "He’s gone off the rails. We're in Crazytown. I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had." Fear: Trump in the White House will be released on September 11th. (Washington Post / CNN)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Sounds like the Trump we see every day…sheesh how the pitchfork and tar & feathers mob has not broken through - at least on media is beyond me.


CNN Politics Kavanaugh Hearing - Day 1

In addition, Capitol Police said they made 70 arrests Tuesday for protests during the hearing and in other parts of Capitol Hill.

After seven hours of political sparring mostly aimed by senators at their constituencies outside the hearing room, Kavanaugh finally got the chance to speak, and delivered emotional tributes to members his family and his friends – but resolved none of the issues that Democrats say should derail his nomination.

In a comment that seemed to fly in the face of a day of political estrangement, he warned that the Supreme Court “must never be viewed as a partisan institution” and argued that "a good judge must be an umpire – a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no litigant or policy."

Democrats angrily accused the White House and Republicans of hiding key details about Kavanaugh’s time as a Bush-era White House lawyer by refusing to publicly release tens of thousands of documents. They also decried a dump of 42,000 documents on Monday night, hours before the hearing.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, put the issue directly to Kavanaugh: “For the sake of this nation, for the sanctity of the Constitution that we both honor, step up, ask this meeting, this gathering to suspend until all the documents of your public career are there for the American people to see.”


Boom :boom: YES!

Written answers are ok for Mueller. Special Counsel is moving on this Prez. The understanding is that Mueller will actually know all the answers.

Questions will not have to do with obstruction of justice but on election interference.

Timing of this is curious. Perhaps there is more damning evidence about T in Woodward’s book.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, will accept written answers from President Trump on questions about whether his campaign conspired with Russia’s election interference, Mr. Mueller’s office told Mr. Trump’s lawyers in a letter, two people briefed on it said on Tuesday.

But on another significant aspect of the investigation — whether the president tried to obstruct the inquiry itself — Mr. Mueller and his investigators understood that issues of executive privilege could complicate their pursuit of a presidential interview and did not ask for written responses on that matter, according to the letter, which was sent on Friday.

Mr. Mueller did not say that he was giving up on an interview altogether, including on questions of obstruction of justice. But the tone of the letter and the fact that the special counsel did not ask for written responses on obstruction prompted some Trump allies to conclude that if an interview takes place, its scope will be more limited than Mr. Trump’s legal team initially believed, the people said.

The letter was the latest in lengthy negotiations that the two sides have engaged in about whether Mr. Trump will be formally interviewed in the investigation. “We continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the office of the special counsel,” Mr. Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said, adding that it was the legal team’s policy to not discuss its communications with the special counsel’s office.




Mueller’s investigators told Randy Credico that he can bring a dog to his grand jury appearance

Randy Credico, a comedian and left-wing political activist, has an appointment on Sept. 7. With Robert S. Mueller III. Before a grand jury. Under oath.

And he is planning to do impressions, because that’s what he does.

“It’s like, ask me if I’m going to breathe? Of course I’m going to do impressions,” Mr. Credico, 64, said. “I’m taking the grand jury very seriously but doing impressions is part of the package just to calm my nerves,” he said, adding, “You got to give that grand jury some comic relief.”

Mr. Mueller is interested in Mr. Credico’s odd friendship with Roger J. Stone Jr., the self-proclaimed political dirty trickster, Republican consultant and President Trump’s longtime political adviser.

Mr. Credico is seen in New York political circles as a dedicated if madcap activist. But he acknowledges that he also took part over the years in some of Mr. Stone’s acts of political deception.



Former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn seemed to believe Trump that actually lacks object permanence.


Wow! If you haven’t heard the recording that Bob Woodward made with President Trump, you have to stop right now and listen to it. I read the transcript because they frown on playing audio at work where people are trying to concentrate, but I just heard it a few minutes ago. Trump was ASKED if it would be ok to record the interview and he said “yes” so there’s nothing surreptitious about it, but it is fascinating. Trump sounds like Homer Simpson, so focused on his “shiny objects” that he doesn’t even realize the severity of his remarks and the obvious confession that he has no control over what happens in the White House. He hadn’t had the opportunity to hear the outtakes that we have enjoyed today, yet he was already implicating himself because this very subject of the president not being in control, or being unable to understand complex situations, was going to be the very heart and soul of Fear. Mr. Woodward’s composure when faced with what he knew would likely turn out to be a very hostile call, is remarkable. It’s extraordinary in every sense of the word and it made me hopeful that this ongoing onslaught of evidence that the president is completely “off the rails” or “incompetent” or simply unfit to lead the U.S.A. as its Commander in Chief, will become apparent to everyone and that even though impeachment may be frightening to some, it’s the only reasonable solution at this point. I am just dumbstruck at how this slow motion train wreck is suddenly picking up momentum.

At this point, I wonder what the other Bob is going to do? He technically has until Friday and still be outside the coveted 60 days before the elections, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I almost feel like he’ll wait until after the elections and hope that the American public wakes up and votes for Democrats so that his report can be acted on swiftly and decisively.


CBS Live Coverage Kavanagh Hearing 9.5.18

Off to a semi -smooth start with Grassley giving opening remarks and quoting the “Ginsburg Rule”

At the heart of this dispute is the so-called Ginsburg Rule, a term used in confirmation hearings to argue that when answering questions from the senators, nominees must avoid offering “hints,” “forecasts” or “previews” — as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put it in her confirmation hearing — into how they might rule on …

And Sen Feinstein (CA-D) starts in on firearms, semi-automatic (K answered these are handguns) and he would followed SC precedent (naming Scalia’s decisions).
She asks about abortion rights (K answers that he’d follow settled law.)
Feinstein asks about presidential rights K answers that he pondered what presidents can or can not do- K talked about 9-11, and what he thought the president should be able to do…but considered what a president’s rights should be in time of war. K talked about giving courts holding (US v Nixon K calls that holding is “one of the 4 greatest cases in history”,)- should a criminal subpoena be given to a president to a special counsel’s regulation, for information, but K would not answer on it in today’s circumstances.

Listen up.

Best quote Sen Feinstein “You are very good. You are learning to filibust…”


Sen Leahy (D-VT) is getting into whether Kavanaugh received information (private Dem confidential emails) from an R aide (Miranda - who stole emails D’s say) and had they met outside of the judicial offices. K is having trouble pinpointing whether it was bad, or not above board.

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Brett Kavanaugh won’t answer whether the president has the absolute power to pardon himself.

Kavanaugh won’t answer whether the president has the power to pardon someone in exchange for a promise that that person will not testify against the president, calling it a hypothetical.
8:55 AM - 5 Sep 2018

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Sen Dianne Feinstein Retweeted NowThis

Brett Kavanaugh is one the nation’s most extreme judges on guns. Five circuit courts, including his own, have upheld assault-weapons bans, but he would have struck down D.C.’s ban. #WhatsAtStake

Here’s an article describing the paperwork that Leahy (D-VT) was questioning Kavanaugh about. THere were Dem files on judicial nominees that were infiltrated by a R assistant and something that Kavanaugh had been briefed on.

Infiltration of files seen as extensive
Senate panel’s GOP staff pried on Democrats

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | January 22, 2004

WASHINGTON – Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media, Senate officials told The Globe.

From the spring of 2002 until at least April 2003, members of the GOP committee staff exploited a computer glitch that allowed them to access restricted Democratic communications without a password. Trolling through hundreds of memos, they were able to read talking points and accounts of private meetings discussing which judicial nominees Democrats would fight – and with what tactics.

The office of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has already launched an investigation into how excerpts from 15 Democratic memos showed up in the pages of the conservative-leaning newspapers and were posted to a website last November.

With the help of forensic computer experts from General Dynamics and the US Secret Service, his office has interviewed about 120 people to date and seized more than half a dozen computers – including four Judiciary servers, one server from the office of Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, and several desktop hard drives.

But the scope of both the intrusions and the likely disclosures is now known to have been far more extensive than the November incident, staffers and others familiar with the investigation say.

The revelation comes as the battle of judicial nominees is reaching a new level of intensity. Last week, President Bush used his recess power to appoint Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, bypassing a Democratic filibuster that blocked a vote on his nomination for a year because of concerns over his civil rights record.

Democrats now claim their private memos formed the basis for a February 2003 column by conservative pundit Robert Novak that revealed plans pushed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, to filibuster certain judicial nominees. Novak is also at the center of an investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA agent whose husband contradicted a Bush administration claim about Iraqi nuclear programs.

Citing “internal Senate sources,” Novak’s column described closed-door Democratic meetings about how to handle nominees.
Its details and direct quotes from Democrats – characterizing former nominee Miguel Estrada as a “stealth right-wing zealot” and describing the GOP agenda as an “assembly line” for right-wing nominees – are contained in talking points and meeting accounts from the Democratic files now known to have been compromised.

Novak declined to confirm or deny whether his column was based on these files.

“They’re welcome to think anything they want,” he said. “As has been demonstrated, I don’t reveal my sources.”

As the extent to which Democratic communications were monitored came into sharper focus, Republicans yesterday offered a new defense. They said that in the summer of 2002, their computer technician informed his Democratic counterpart of the glitch, but Democrats did nothing to fix the problem.

Other staffers, however, denied that the Democrats were told anything about it before November 2003.

The emerging scope of the GOP surveillance of confidential Democratic files represents a major escalation in partisan warfare over judicial appointments. The bitter fight traces back to 1987, when Democrats torpedoed Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. In the 1990s, Republicans blocked many of President Clinton’s nominees. Since President Bush took office, those roles have been reversed.

Against that backdrop, both sides have something to gain and lose from the investigation into the computer files. For Democrats, the scandal highlights GOP dirty tricks that could result in ethics complaints to the Senate and the Washington Bar – or even criminal charges under computer intrusion laws.
“They had an obligation to tell each of the people whose files they were intruding upon – assuming it was an accident – that that was going on so those people could protect themselves,” said one Senate staffer. “To keep on getting these files is just beyond the pale.”

But for Republicans, the scandal also keeps attention on the memo contents, which demonstrate the influence of liberal interest groups in choosing which nominees Democratic senators would filibuster. Other revelations from the memos include Democrats’ race-based characterization of Estrada as “especially dangerous, because . . . he is Latino,” which they feared would make him difficult to block from a later promotion to the Supreme Court.

And, at the request of the NAACP, the Democrats delayed any hearings for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals until after it heard a landmark affirmative action case – though a memo noted that staffers “are a little concerned about the propriety of scheduling hearings based on the resolution of a particular case.”

After the contents of those memos were made public in The Wall Street Journal editorial pages and The Washington Times, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, made a preliminary inquiry and described himself as “mortified that this improper, unethical and simply unacceptable breach of confidential files may have occurred on my watch.”

Hatch also confirmed that “at least one current member of the Judiciary Committee staff had improperly accessed at least some of the documents referenced in media reports.” He did not name the staffer, who he said was being placed on leave and who sources said has since resigned, although he had apparently already announced plans to return to school later this year.

Officials familiar with the investigation identified that person as a legislative staff assistant whose name was removed from a list of Judiciary Committee staff in the most recent update of a Capitol Hill directory. The staff member’s home number has been disconnected and he could not be reached for comment.

Hatch also said that a “former member of the Judiciary staff may have been involved.” Many news reports have subsequently identified that person as Manuel Miranda, who formerly worked in the Judiciary Committee office and now is the chief judicial nominee adviser in the Senate majority leader’s office. His computer hard drive name was stamped on an e-mail from the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League that was posted along with the Democratic Senate staff communications.
Reached at home, Miranda said he is on paternity leave; Frist’s office said he is on leave “pending the results of the investigation” – he denied that any of the handwritten comments on the memos were by his hand and said he did not distribute the memos to the media. He also argued that the only wrongdoing was on the part of the Democrats – both for the content of their memos, and for their negligence in placing them where they could be seen.

“There appears to have been no hacking, no stealing, and no violation of any Senate rule,” Miranda said. “Stealing assumes a property right and there is no property right to a government document. . . . These documents are not covered under the Senate disclosure rule because they are not official business and, to the extent they were disclosed, they were disclosed inadvertently by negligent [Democratic] staff.”

Whether the memos are ultimately deemed to be official business will be a central issue in any criminal case that could result. Unauthorized access of such material could be punishable by up to a year in prison – or, at the least, sanction under a Senate non-disclosure rule.

The computer glitch dates to 2001, when Democrats took control of the Senate after the defection from the GOP of Senator Jim Jeffords, Independent of Vermont.

A technician hired by the new judiciary chairman, Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, apparently made a mistake that allowed anyone to access newly created accounts on a Judiciary Committee server shared by both parties – even though the accounts were supposed to restrict access only to those with the right password.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.

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More on Leahy’s assertion that Kavanaugh had lied about knowing whether Dem materials had been dispersed prior to his previous nominating meetings.

READ THRU THIS :point_down: twitter -

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For anyone who hasn’t yet read the transcript, you can read it here: