WTF Community

Day 874

1/ Trump asserted executive privilege over subpoenaed documents about the administration's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The move, on the advice of the Justice Department, was meant to undercut a vote later in the day by the House Oversight Committee to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to turn over the materials. Hours later the committee voted 24-15 to advance the contempt measures against Barr and Ross. The full House will need to hold a floor vote in order to to file a lawsuit to enforce the committee's subpoenas. (Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / New York Times / Axios / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this ego.

Trump: Some say I gave ‘the best speech ever made by a president in Europe’

And for completion’s sake, I refer you to Trumpspeak lesson 3:

Strict US anti-abortion laws forced a woman to give birth to a baby without a skull


:eyes: Must Watch!! :point_down:

President Donald Trump may not alert the FBI if foreign governments offered damaging information against his 2020 rivals during the upcoming presidential race, he said, despite the deluge of investigations stemming from his campaign’s interactions with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners – such as China or Russia – or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, "I think maybe you do both."


Glad to see this is a bipartisan bill. Are the Republicans finally waking up to the fact that this autocratic and highly suspicious move to deliver billions in weapons to a heinous murderer is just the tip of the iceberg? I won’t be holding my breath, but at least this gives me a ray of hope.

Also glad to see that Kushner’s name was dragged into this hearing – as well it should be. It’s well known that the Crown Prince is Kushner’s BFF and this deal stinks of quid pro quo between the two.

On the other hand, I was a little disappointed that the article did not mention the fact that in the same time frame as this arms deal was unfolding, Kushner’s company received $90 million in foreign dark money. Two sources say at least some of it was from Saudi Arabia – the rest could also be from Saudi Arabia; we have no way of knowing since it was funneled to Kushner via shell companies.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced new legislation Wednesday that would halt the Trump administration’s push to circumvent Congress and expedite $8.1 billion in arms sales to Gulf countries by declaring an emergency.

The bill was announced shortly after a contentious hearing on Capitol Hill during which House lawmakers grilled a top State Department official over the Trump administration’s policy on selling weapons to countries like Saudi Arabia without congressional approval.

Proposed by California Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, the joint resolution “would reject all 22 sales the Administration is attempting to ram through under a phony emergency declaration,” according to a statement released by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat.

In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally told lawmakers of the administration’s plan to use a pre-existing rule that would allow it to expedite arms sales to allies in the Middle East.

The move drew bipartisan condemnation, with lawmakers decrying the precedent it sets, questioning the administration’s claims of an emergency and raising the issue of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

House lawmakers reasserted that view Wednesday.

"The emergency declaration is nothing more than an egregious abuse of power by an Administration that doesn’t like being told, ‘No.’ There is no emergency, but there is a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians with US-made weapons and a Congress that is tired of being complicit," Lieu said in a statement. …

In addition to voicing their opposition to the emergency declaration itself, House lawmakers sought to extract answers related to the administration’s decision making process leading up to May’s announcement and the involvement of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.

But Cooper, repeatedly declined to answer questions from Democratic Rep. Bill Keating about whether Kushner played any role in discussions with the Saudis about arms sales.

WTF? At the time, we were blasted by headlines declaring that Kushner set up this deal – he owns it lock, stock, and barrel. Here’s just one example of the press coverage: “Trump signs Kushner-negotiated $100B Saudi arms deal,” CNN, May 17, 2017. There was plenty of opportunity for Kushner to deny involvement, instead he and his father-in-law were more than happy for him to take credit for it. Was it payback for that $90 million in foreign dark money? – we demand to know!


Agriculture Secretary Perdue denies meeting Brazilian crook at center of Trump bailout scandal — a press release says otherwise


CIA has been notified that the Justice Dept is going to check their sources during the 2016 period. This is Atty Gen Barr’s task to determine what kinds of information CIA was passing along to the FBI…and part of Barr’s special deep dive into “Investigate the Investigators” and particularly searching the counterintelligence leads.

This search could be tailor-made to shape the facts as Barr would like to have them be seen.

Mr. Barr wants to know more about the C.I.A. sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign, an official has said. He also wants to better understand the intelligence that flowed from the C.I.A. to the F.B.I. in the summer of 2016.

During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the intelligence community released a declassified assessment that concluded that Mr. Putin ordered an influence campaign that “aspired to help” Mr. Trump’s electoral chances by damaging Mrs. Clinton’s. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported they had high confidence in the conclusion. The National Security Agency, which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence.

Last month, President Trump granted Mr. Barr broad powers to declassify intelligence as part of his examination. Critics of the administration say the review is simply an attempt to discredit the Russia inquiry that was taken over by Mr. Mueller and could threaten to reveal closely guarded secrets. They have pointed to Mr. Barr’s adoption of “spying,” a term invoked by critics of the Russia inquiry, to describe investigative activities.

Supporters of Mr. Barr say the review is merited and the attorney general can be trusted to focus it on investigators who overreached their mandate or how improper conclusions were made.

The review is unlikely to be confined only to the activities of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. It could also look into the work of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies. The people whom Mr. Durham intends to interview offer some hints about what he is interested in learning.

One of the C.I.A. officers he wants to question works at the agency’s counterintelligence mission center that would have been one conduit for the C.I.A. to pass intelligence to the F.B.I. about Russian attempts to reach out to the Trump campaign, or information that the agency uncovered about Moscow’s interference campaign. C.I.A. officers at the center work closely with the F.B.I. on complex cases like hunting down traitors and helping validate the agency’s informants.

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House to investigate Secretary Elaine Chao corruption allegations

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the House Marine Transportation Subcommittee, tells Rachel Maddow that he has been given the green light to investigate corruption allegations against Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for using her position to benefit her family’s company and her husband, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Buckle up, folks. Donnie has been on a twittertantrum for an hour. Meanwhile, two tankers have been attacked on the Gulf of Oman, one sunk, US Navy is on the scene, rescues have been made, and Trump hasn’t said word one.

‘Oil tankers are targeted with explosions’ in the Gulf of Oman via @MailOnline

One of the ships, the MT Front Altair, caught fire after a suspected torpedo attack and Iran says it has sunk



A theory is building that Michael Flynn may be ready to play ball with Trump and angle for a pardon…

Michael Flynn hires fierce FBI critic as new lawyer

‘My Peter’: Rising influence of controversial Trump trade adviser Navarro concerns his critics

Trump is re-modeling Air Force One… in his private jet colors.

House Intel panel subpoenas Gates, Flynn


The Office of Special Counsel [OSC] has recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work.

The report submitted to President Trump found that Conway violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”

The counsel said Conway was a repeat offender and recommended that she be removed from federal office.

The Office of Special Counsel is charged with enforcing the Hatch Act and is not to be confused with now-former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. The office is run by Henry Kerner, whom Trump nominated to the post.


Trump has released a video in which Mike Pompeo insists that Iran itself is responsible for all of these attacks. This could be a swiftly-growing story. I very much worry.

At present they’re urging diplomacy and sanctions, so that’s something, but it’s still developing, and they outright stated Iran itself was behind some of the attacks, and had rebuffed diplomacy from PM Shinzo Abe.

It’s hard to know what is truth and fiction here, given who we are dealing with on both sides. I think we all need to be ready and watchful.

Mike Pompeo has been among the biggest warhawks and most willing to spin for Trump. He personally delivered a plan for Saudi Arabia to avoid the worst of the Khashoggi fallout. It’s hard to take anything he says at face value.

Ethics expert on Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao: “We are now a full-fledged banana republic”

Federal watchdog agency recommends removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act

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The first is what you get when you do deals with Saudi Princes who privately fund your real estate. The second falls into the category of ahem “draining the swamp”, and the third -is well just Kellyanne doing what she does best.
Such a “more principled” administration is hard to imagine. /sarc


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