WTF Community

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

(M A Croft) #80

Good Grief! I hope he is removed from whatever platform he is on. This is not only very stupid and ignorant, it is highly dangerous. Yes the early symptoms are similar to the common cold, because the virus attacks the upper respiratory system, but that is where the similarity ends.


The new Acting Director of National Intelligence has violated FARA just like Paul Manafort did

ProPublica recently reported on allegations that Richard Grenell violated FARA laws and that experts in the field of security clearances maintain he should never have been vetted to work as the number one keeper of our nation’s secrets.

Now the Washington Post has picked up on the story and added significant new evidence that points to Grenell’s dubious overseas connections. While reading this, I was struck by a feeling of déjà vu – this guy sounds like a Paul Manafort clone.

It’s just astounding – I mean truly astounding – that a person with such a murky past is now head of all our intelligence agencies. Wow. And Congress doesn’t even have an opportunity to weigh in since Trump’s using his trademarked end run by just making Grenell the “acting” head – Trump has granted him all of the power, and all of the access to our country’s precious intel with none of the accountability.

And now that the DOJ is in Trump’s pocket, it appears that they are turning a blind eye.

Two years before President Trump nominated him to become ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell wrote an op-ed about Nigeria’s highly charged 2015 presidential race, a move that drew notice from Nigerian media. A year later, Grenell defended the government of Moldova against corruption allegations from a whistleblower who, Grenell argued, was a Russian operative bent on destabilizing an Eastern European country trying to move toward the West.

And Grenell’s public relations firm was paid to do work for a U.S. nonprofit funded almost entirely by the Hungarian government led by far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Grenell’s public relations consulting and foreign policy commentary, as well as his reputation as a vocal loyalist of Trump’s, are part of an unusual résumé for a leader of the U.S. intelligence community, a job Grenell assumed last week when Trump named him acting director of national intelligence. Individuals who have served in that position typically have been nonpartisan national security professionals whose experience has included leading intelligence agencies or service in the military.

Now that promotion is drawing fresh scrutiny to Grenell’s past, including his foreign affairs commentary and consulting work after he served as U.S. spokesman at the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration. His work for the Hungarian-funded nonprofit is the type of activity that, in other cases, has drawn the attention of Justice Department investigators tasked with enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), according to two lawyers who specialize in that law. There is no indication that the Justice Department is looking into Grenell’s activities.

The law requires people who advocate in the United States on behalf of a foreign power to register and disclose their activities. Grenell did not register, records show. Craig Engle, who said he has been Grenell’s lawyer for several years, said he was not required to. …

As to his lawyer’s remark that Grenell wasn’t required to register: in light of the facts detailed in the article, that sounds like B.S. – and BTW it’s the same thing that Paul Manafort claimed.

(David Bythewood) #82

Supreme Court justice’s wife leading effort to purge officials ‘disloyal’ to Trump

Network of conservative activists alleged to have prepared memos for president

(David Bythewood) #83


More circling of the wagons to protect T…and how information has been either held back, unspoken in front of T. True facts are just altered to fit the situation. We’ve heard already time over time about why Acting DNI Maguire was let go…and more and more facts back up the fact he did not tow the party line and make T look good.

We also learned that two of Maguire’s staffers were let go in addition to Maguire.

Maguire’s chief of staff, Viraj Mirani, and DNI principal executive Andrew Hallman, were also both told to leave their positions immediately

Maguire and several of his deputies were reportedly fired because an official in his office, election security expert Shelby Pierson, briefed Congress without Trump’s knowledge on Russia’s ongoing election interference, though the White House is disputing that version of events. The NSA, CIA, and Pentagon have been urged by the White House not to share information about Russia and Ukraine with lawmakers, while the “Gang of Eight” senior members of Congress were bypassed leading up to at least one major intelligence operation. And intelligence community leaders have backed out of the public portion of the annual worldwide threats hearing, fearing Trump’s wrath if their assessments don’t align with his.

“We have an enemy of the United States that is conducting information warfare against us and our executive leadership doesn’t want to hear it, doesn’t want the Congress to hear it, and doesn’t want the people to hear it,” said former acting DNI David Gompert, who said he was “aghast” at the hiring of Grenell. “We now have a situation where the principal objective, evidently, of this acting DNI is to ensure that information about Russian interference and Russian preference for this particular president does not get out.”

The purge of the nation’s chief intelligence overseer was swift, and emblematic of Trump’s determination to hastily quash any hint of disloyalty: Maguire had been telling staff just days before his ouster that he believed he could be nominated to serve as permanent director, according to a former senior intelligence official. He then learned about his firing from reporters reaching out for comment before publication, and had to call national security adviser Robert O’Brien to confirm that he’d been replaced by Grenell.

O’Brien denied on Sunday that Maguire’s firing was tied to the briefing. “Admiral Maguire’s time as the acting DNI was up in a week or two,” O’Brien told ABC. “We were looking for someone who was Senate-confirmed under the Vacancy Act. We needed a Senate-confirmed official to come in and replace him. And so we went with a highly qualified person, Ambassador Grenell.“

Maguire’s chief of staff, Viraj Mirani, and DNI principal executive Andrew Hallman, were also both told to leave their positions immediately on orders from the White House, said two former intelligence officials, despite offering to stay on board and help with Grenell’s transition. Mirani, who was chief of staff for Dan Coats when he was DNI and in his Senate office, has stayed at the agency and is considering his career options.

Hallman, who was at DNI in a temporary capacity, has returned to the CIA, according to an intelligence official, who also said that it’s “business as usual” at Langley and the agency is looking forward to working with Grenell.

Who The Fuck Has Left The Trump Administration
(David Bythewood) #85

Yet another attack for Trump, this time against the New York Times.

Libel suits for things he knows are true but doesn’t like are classic Trump tactic.

Trump Campaign Sues New York Times Over 2019 Opinion Article

Despite this being an opinion piece, the Trump regime is attempting a libel suit to punish the author for an opinion it doesn’t like.

Trump campaign files libel lawsuit against The New York Times over 2019 opinion piece on Russia


Always stirring up the pot, during his special news conference on preparing for Coronavirus.

And when asked about the lawsuit today against the NYT…which @Windthin posted about today.

And more insults for Sen Schumer

(David Bythewood) #87

Trump tightens his grip on intelligence

After railing for years against the “Deep State” and the “Russia Hoax,” the president is on his way to getting the docile intelligence community he’s always wanted.


More of the same…all horrendous

(David Bythewood) #89

AG William Barr Addresses Religious Broadcasters In Nashville

Attorney General William Barr delivered a highly ideological speech to religion broadcasters on Wednesday — characterizing progressivism as “totalitarian democracy.”


Our petty, vengeful President. In my book, McCusker is a courageous hero.

The White House is withdrawing the nomination of Elaine McCusker to be the Pentagon’s comptroller, according to a White House official.

McCusker was the Pentagon’s acting comptroller who raised concerns about the legality of Ukraine military aid being held by the Trump administration

Politico was first to report on McCusker’s nomination being pulled.

McCusker’s name – and qualms about the aid – have appeared in correspondence between government officials… CNN previously reported that on September 5, McCusker mentioned the “increasing risk of execution,” a nod to concerns at the Pentagon that continuing the hold could prevent all the money from being spent.

Finally, on the evening of September 11, Michael Duffey, associate director of national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, alerted McCusker that he was releasing the money for Ukraine.

McCusker is not the first White House nominee to have her offer rescinded. Earlier this month, Trump abruptly withdrew a Treasury Department nomination for Jessie Liu, the former US attorney who headed the office that oversaw Roger Stone’s prosecution – a decision that was directly tied to her former job, CNN learned. Liu resigned shortly after.


Putative measures against the FBI agents who slipped up on their FISA submissions…oh, they are in the penalty box for sure.

While Judge Boasberg also ordered the F.B.I. to report back about its progress on the changes, the move essentially brought to a close the court’s intervention after the report. His predecessor as chief judge in December had ordered the F.B.I. to explain what it would do to regain the confidence of the judges who review wiretap requests.

The order comes as Attorney General William P. Barr has discussed administratively imposing even greater — but as yet unspecified — restrictions on F.B.I. spying conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, and lawmakers are debating legislation that would add more safeguards as federal law.

By contrast, the authority of the FISA court is limited: The court can grant or deny applications but lacks jurisdiction to micromanage how the F.B.I. and the Justice Department organize themselves to put together FISA requests as part of counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations.

(David Bythewood) #92

Chief Justice Roberts let the mask slip today and told everybody where his allegiance lies in a feat of hypocrisy so stunning you couldn’t miss it from space.


Yes…it does feel out-of-bounds to dress down Schumer.

Here’s what Sen. Schumer’s Spokesperson/office is saying in response to the CJ Roberts comments.

and this -


How T’s familiy are raking it in via their WinRed campaign entity…There are doing a deep dive with all the R’s data bases, and Brad Parscale (Pascale Strategy) are targeting their constituency.

More questions about WTF the family getting paid for every appearance…and paid to be there for campaign-related events.

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s campaign manager and a circle of allies have seized control of the Republican Party’s voter data and fund-raising apparatus, using a network of private businesses whose operations and ownership are cloaked in secrecy, largely exempt from federal disclosure.

Working under the aegis of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, with the cooperation of Trump appointees at the Republican National Committee, the operatives have consolidated power — and made money — in a way not possible in an earlier, more transparent analog era. Since 2017, businesses associated with the group have billed roughly $75 million to the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and a range of other Republican clients.

The takeover of the Republican Party’s under-the-hood political machinery parallels the president’s domination of a party that once shunned him, reflected in his speedy impeachment trial and summary acquittal. Elected Republicans have learned the political peril of insufficient fealty. Now, by commanding the party’s repository of voter data and creating a powerful pipeline for small donations, the Trump campaign and key party officials have made it increasingly difficult for Republicans to mount modern, digital campaigns without the president’s support.

The process has not been exactly frictionless, shot through with accusations of empire-building and profiteering by the campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and his allies. Mr. Parscale’s flagship firm, Parscale Strategy, has billed nearly $35 million to the Trump campaign, the R.N.C. and related entities since 2017 — the vast bulk of it, he says, passed along to advertising and digital firms.

What’s more, the move to consolidate voter data came at the expense of a competing data vehicle developed by the conservative activist Koch brothers, provoking resentment from Koch allies, especially in the Senate. And a fierce pressure campaign to centralize fund-raising on the new platform, a for-profit company that Mr. Trump branded WinRed, brought dissent from candidates initially reluctant to sign on, as well as competitors who believed they were being pushed aside without a fair hearing.


T trying to place Leonard Chanin in the the new director position is Consumer FInance Business Bureau, something that Elizabeth Warren helped launch.

Here is Elizabeth Warren’s view of it.

Senator Elizabeth Warren questions Leonard Chanin (2016)

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Q&A of Leonard Chanin at an April 5, 2016 Senate Banking Committee hearing titled, “Assessing the Effects of Consumer Finance Regulations.”


The portion of this bill with regard to having the AG of the DOJ, Barr needs to sign off on any surveillance of federal employees etc. is problematic. But the article is suggesting that each side is getting something…

“As with any negotiation, no one side is getting everything they want, but we believe it’s important to enhance transparency and privacy safeguards wherever possible,” Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff, the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, respectively, said in a statement Tuesday.

The bill aimed to address concerns raised by members of both parties. It mandates that the attorney general must approve in writing of an investigation if the target of electronic surveillance or a physical search is an elected federal official or a candidate. That provision is in line with a policy Attorney General William Barr has instituted in the Justice Department.

It also tasks an oversight board with scrutinizing the impact of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorities and powers on First Amendment activities and the extent to which decisions are made on the basis of race, religion and ethnicity.

In addition, the bill is meant to shore up the accuracy of the applications that the Justice Department submits to the secretive FISA court when it wants to eavesdrop on American soil on people it believes it are agents of a foreign power.

It would require the FBI and other agencies that submit applications to the FISA court to appoint officers to ensure that the law is being complied with, and it would mandate that anyone responsible for FISA applications certify that the Justice Department has been provided with any and all information that could undercut the premise of the application or raise doubts about its accuracy.

That was an issue in the FBI’s investigation into ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, when the FBI omitted key information from its applications to eavesdrop on a former campaign adviser, according to a harshly critical Justice Department inspector general report.

Trump has long been skeptical of the nation’s intelligence community, particularly over its assessment that Russia interfered in the last presidential election with the goal of getting him elected. Trump, citing surveillance errors from the Russia probe, told Republicans last week that he wouldn’t sign a bill unless it incorporated reforms.

Lawmakers labored to incorporate the proposed reforms into legislation that would renew three expiring provisions, including one that permits the FBI to obtain court orders to collect business records on subjects in national security investigations.

Barr had urged Congress to quickly renew the provisions, which are used by the Justice Department to fight terrorism and espionage, with or without immediate changes. McConnell and Pelosi have both been supportive of Barr’s request, but some members of their caucuses slowed the process as they made it clear they wouldn’t support an extension without changes.

The FBI calls the provisions vital in the fight against terrorism and stresses that none is tied to surveillance problems identified by the Justice Department watchdog during its investigation into the Russia probe. The inspector general said the FBI made serious mistakes and omissions during four applications to eavesdrop on the former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, including omitting information that did not support their suspicions that Page was an asset of a foreign government.

(David Bythewood) #97

This is, yet again, the Supreme Court’s 5 conservatives putting their thumb on the scale and allowing Trump to continue abominable policies while they’re being litigated.

Supreme Court Revives ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy for Asylum Seekers

(David Bythewood) #98

This is the official twitter feed of the Russian embassy here. What it means I wish I knew:

What these arrangements reached with Trump are nobody knows, since there is no record of that meeting.

(David Bythewood) #99

Intelligence Officials Temper Russia Warnings, Prompting Accusations of Political Influence

Democrats said that the administration was trying to minimize Russian interference, but intelligence officials insisted that their assessments were based on facts.