WTF Community

More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice


(David Bythewood) #57

Let the gaslighting begin:

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#58

Great news! As @Windthin posted here, Doug Collins has turned down the DNI job. The Republicans tried their darndest to extract him for the Georgia senate race by offering him the position. Instead, he’s digging in and has pledged to stay in the race. Most excellent! He’s playing out Republicans’ biggest fears by splitting votes with their party’s other major contender, Kelly Loeffler. I posted an explainer over in the 2020 Primary thread.


(David Bythewood) #59

Don’t mince words. Trump is abetting an attack on our country.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/dont-mince-words-trump-is-abetting-an-attack-on-our-country/ar-BB10f5Gb?ocid=sf2


#60

Yes…and this paragraph stood out too - T is being aided and abetted by his R loyalists…no question. :exploding_head:

Trump and the ‘regime party’

The larger context here, spelled out by Adam Serwer, is the entrenchment of Trump’s GOP as a “regime party” committed to holding power through maximal manipulation of government. Trump’s Ukraine shakedown and his subsequent cover-up are the most recent conspicuous example – and his acquittal is hastening this process.


#61

Some briefings for Congress…after Super Tuesday.

The administration is gearing up to brief lawmakers on election security as the country wades deeper into the 2020 primaries.

Both the House and Senate will be briefed, separately, on March 10, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a Senate aide.

The briefings will come a week after Super Tuesday, when primary voters in more than a dozen states will head to the polls. On March 10, voters in six more states will cast ballots.

The announcement of the briefings come as President Trump’s shake up of top intelligence community positions has sparked fierce criticism from Democrats and some national security professionals, and after reports that intelligence leaders have told lawmakers that Russia is again seeking to aid Trump’s campaign efforts.

American voters should decide American elections - not Vladimir Putin. All Members of Congress should condemn the President’s reported efforts to dismiss threats to the integrity of our democracy to politicize our intel community," Pelosi said in a tweet on Thursday.


#62

Trump’s New Spy Chief Used to Work for a Foreign Politician the U.S. Accused of Corruption

Richard Grenell did not disclose payments for advocacy work on behalf of a Moldovan politician whom the U.S. later accused of corruption. His own office’s policy says that could leave him vulnerable to blackmail.

Grenell has no intelligence background. His only real qualification, from Trump’s point of view, appears to be his willingness to shut down investigations into election interference by the Russians – perhaps best evidenced by his appointment of a fierce Russian interference denier as his top adviser.

Grenell has barely warmed up his seat as the nation’s top intelligence officer and he’s already being accused of FARA violations and not being qualified for a security clearance.

President Donald Trump’s new acting intelligence director, Richard Grenell, used to do consulting work on behalf of an Eastern European oligarch who is now a fugitive and was recently barred from entering the U.S. under anti-corruption sanctions imposed last month by the State Department.

In 2016, Grenell wrote several articles defending the oligarch, a Moldovan politician named Vladimir Plahotniuc, but did not disclose that he was being paid, according to records and interviews. Grenell also did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which generally requires people to disclose work in the U.S. on behalf of foreign politicians.

FARA is the same law that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates were convicted of violating. (Manafort went to trial. Gates pleaded guilty.)

“There is real reason to believe that Mr. Grenell should have registered here,” Sanderson said after ProPublica described the circumstances to him. “This is exactly the type of circumstances I’d expect the Department of Justice to investigate further.”

Craig Engle, an attorney with the law firm Arent Fox, said he was responding to ProPublica’s questions on Grenell’s behalf. Engle declined to say what Grenell’s paid consulting work involved but said he did not have to register under FARA “because he was not working at the direction of a foreign power.”

Undisclosed work for a foreign politician would ordinarily pose a problem for anyone applying for a security clearance or a job in a U.S. intelligence agency because it could make the person susceptible to foreign influence or blackmail, according to the official policy from the office that Trump tapped Grenell to lead.

The policy specifies that among the “conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying” are:

  • “Failure to report or fully disclose, when required, association with a foreign person, group, government or country.”
  • “Substantial business, financial, or property interests in a foreign country … that could subject the individual to a heightened risk of foreign influence or exploitation or personal conflict of interest.”
  • “Acting to serve the interest of a foreign person, group, organization or government in any way that conflicts with U.S. national security interests.”

“That’s really easy, he should not have a clearance,” said Kel McClanahan, a Washington-area lawyer specializing in security clearances. “If he were one of my clients and just a normal [federal employee], he would almost assuredly not have a clearance.”

McClanahan said it’s unclear how Grenell could have already gotten a clearance as an ambassador. The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether the Trump administration has overruled career officials in granting security clearances to political appointees.

As Trump’s pick for acting director of national intelligence, Grenell will have access to the country’s most sensitive secrets. Grenell isn’t subject to Senate confirmation because Trump appointed him on a temporary basis.


#63

" Because whatever Russia’s real intentions towards Trump, this is still an attack on our democracy . "

Plus, we should care that any foreign country is trying to interfere and pollute our elections.

I’m starting to hate all social media, especially Facebook.


#64

Not far from anyone’s mind.


#65

And don’t forget our intelligence agencies – looks like he’s annexed them as well.


(David Bythewood) #66

Trump Is Lobotomizing Our Government

Trump’s national security adviser has made clear that he sees his job as serving as a kind of human cocktail of drugs for the erratic president—part palliative, part sedative.


#67

We know this is happening…the WH continues down the path of Russians are determined only to help Bernie Sanders. With more deceptive tactics on social media and potential voting machines, the optics have never been good on this nor is the guarantee that Americans can withstand a disinformation campaign.

The more recent public reports emerging from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I., and classified reports generated by the C.I.A. and others suggest that while the Russian objectives have remained the same, the techniques have shifted.

“The Russians aren’t going to use the old playbook — we know that,” said Christopher C. Krebs, who runs the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

His organization, along with the National Security Agency and British intelligence, has been steadily documenting how Russian operatives are becoming stealthier, learning from the mistakes they made in 2016.

As they focus on evading more vigilant government agencies and technology companies trying to identify and counter malicious online activity, the Russians are boring into Iranian cyberoffense units, apparently so that they can initiate attacks that look as if they originate in Iran — which itself has shown interest in messing with the American electoral process. Russians are putting more of their attack operations on computer servers in the United States, where the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies — but not the F.B.I. and homeland security — are prohibited from operating.

And, in one of the most effective twists, they are feeding disinformation to unsuspecting Americans on Facebook and other social media. By seeding conspiracy theories and baseless claims on the platforms, Russians hope everyday Americans will retransmit those falsehoods from their own accounts. That is an attempt to elude Facebook’s efforts to remove disinformation, which it can do more easily when it flags “inauthentic activity,” like Russians posing as Americans. It is much harder to ban the words of real Americans, who may be parroting a Russian story line, even unintentionally.

Now American intelligence agencies face a new question: How do they run such operations, and warn Congress and Americans, at a moment when the president is declaring that the intelligence on Russian election meddling is “another misinformation campaign” that is “launched by Democrats in Congress”?

The intelligence agencies are loath to cross Mr. Trump. The acting director of national intelligence at the time, Joseph Maguire, had resisted appearing in public to provide the “Worldwide Threat Assessment,” which is usually given to Congress before the president’s State of the Union address. (He was dismissed this week before he had to testify.) Because Mr. Trump was so angered by how the testimony of Mr. Maguire’s predecessor contradicted his own statements last year — particularly on Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State — Mr. Maguire was in no hurry to repeat the experience.

Mr. Maguire’s successor, Richard Grenell, the current American ambassador to Germany, is known for his political allegiance to Mr. Trump, not for his knowledge of the American intelligence agencies. He is widely viewed by career officials as more interested in making sure public intelligence reports do not embarrass Mr. Trump than sounding the clarion call that the Russians are coming — again.

Did watch Fox’s Sunday show and Chris Wallace did tear into Pence’s Chief of Staff, Marc Short use of the R;s talking points…and there quite a few on his panel afterwards who shredded the Administration - Barr in particular.


(David Bythewood) #68

What Would Happen if Trump Refused to Leave Office?

A peaceful transfer of power is necessary for American democracy to survive.


(David Bythewood) #69

D.C. Prosecutors’ Tensions With Justice Dept. Began Long Before Stone Sentencing

Months of strain date back to the investigation into the former F.B.I. official Andrew McCabe and growing fears of political interference.


#70

Comments from Joe Cirincione - Teaches @Georgetown, President- Ploughshares President - assesses nuclear threats

Yes, create back channels…that’s what Grennell is good for.

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#71

T has not wanted to talk too much about the Coronavirus as it is apt to shake the markets. And today the markets reacted - Bigly.

U.S., global markets plunge as coronavirus cases spike outside China

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq are in steep decline as the deadly outbreak expands in South Korea, Italy and Iran

Financial markets sounded the alarm Monday about the relentless spread and widening economic impact of the coronavirus, which after ravaging China now threatens havoc on a global scale.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank by more than 1,000 points or 3.5 percent, to close at 27,961.01 as Wall Street interpreted disease clusters in South Korea, Italy and Iran as a sign that the respiratory illness has outraced confinement efforts in China. The technology-heavy Nasdaq index sank by more than 3.7 percent.

President Trump has lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his handling of the growing coronavirus outbreak — a posture some in his administration are growing increasingly uncomfortable with as his advisers remain concerned about China’s lack of transparency and handling of the epidemic.

Worries about rattled financial markets and their effect on the economy as well as the delicate negotiations with China over a trade deal — a key to Trump’s reelection — have played a large role in influencing the president’s friendly posture toward China over the deadly coronavirus, according to several senior White House and administration officials. Trump has heralded Xi’s leadership and “discipline” in responding to the outbreak.


#72

Our Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli, everybody. Why doesn’t he get his data from the CDC? The fuck?

Source

:woman_shrugging:t2:


(David Bythewood) #73

Did you see the story I have up in the weekend section about the Miami man who got himself tested to be safe… and wound up being charged thousands due to a bad health plan of the sort Trump pushed?



https://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article240476806.html

Basically, guy came back from a trip to China, had flu-like symptoms, did his due diligence and got tested to be safe. They wanted to run expensive tests, he said “let’s do the blood test first”, turned out to be just the flu. Then he got hit with a bill for thousands AND his insurance carrier insisted on a 3-year history of documents to prove that his having the flu was not related to past pre-existing conditions, because he has one of those junk insurance policies Trump has approved. So double-whammy that could discourage others from being tested.


(M A Croft) #74

A useful link on the Coronavirus is here - updated regularly.


#75

Maybe we should share it with the Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli because he seems lost on this one!


(David Bythewood) #76