Actual lol I feel like Trump is in a room somewhere just yelling “faster and with more intensity!”
Out before he was in.
More Questionable Behavior from Trump, T Admin, DOJ, and R's vs Dems, Press, Justice
Excellent! He’s pledged to stay in the Georgia Senate race and mess that up for Republicans.
Exclusive: Trump’s “Deep State” hit list
The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.
Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he’d gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.
- While Trump’s distrust has only intensified since his impeachment and acquittal, he has long been on the hunt for “bad people” inside the White House and U.S. government, and fresh “pro-Trump” options. Outside advisers have been happy to oblige.
In reporting this story, I have been briefed on, or reviewed, memos and lists the president received since 2018 suggesting whom he should hire and fire. Most of these details have never been published.
- A well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials is quietly helping develop these “Never Trump”/pro-Trump lists, and some sent memos to Trump to shape his views, per sources with direct knowledge.
- Members of this network include Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Republican Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.
The big picture: Since Trump’s Senate acquittal, aides say the president has crossed a psychological line regarding what he calls the “Deep State.” He feels his government — from Justice to State to Defense to Homeland Security — is filled with “snakes.” He wants them fired and replaced ASAP.
- "I think it’s a very positive development," said Rich Higgins, who served on Trump’s National Security Council in 2017. H.R. McMaster removed Higgins after he wrote a memo speculating that Trump’s presidency faced threats from Marxists, the “Deep State,” so-called globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans. (This was long before the full scope of the FBI’s Russia investigation was known to Trump and his aides.)
- Higgins told me on Sunday he stands by everything he wrote in his memo, but “I would probably remove ‘bankers’ if I had to do it over and I would play up the intel community role — which I neglected.”
Let’s get to the memos.
1. The Jessie Liu memo: Shortly before withdrawing the nomination of the former D.C. U.S. attorney for a top Treasury role, the president reviewed a memo on Liu’s alleged misdeeds, according to a source with direct knowledge.
- Ledeen wrote the memo, and its findings left a striking impression on Trump, per sources with direct knowledge. Ledeen declined to comment.
- A source with direct knowledge of the memo’s contents said it contained 14 sections building a case for why Liu was unfit for the job for which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin selected her, including:
- Not acting on criminal referrals of some of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers.
- Signing “the sentencing filing asking for jail time” for Gen. Michael Flynn (a friend of Ledeen’s).
- Holding a leadership role in a women’s lawyers networking group that Ledeen criticized as “pro-choice and anti-Alito.”
- Not indicting former deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe.
- Dismissing charges against “violent inauguration protesters who plotted to disrupt the inauguration.”
- Neither Liu nor the White House responded to requests for comment.
Between the lines: The Liu memo is not the first such memo to reach the president’s desk — and there’s a common thread in Groundswell, a conservative activist network that’s headed by Thomas and whose members include Ledeen.
- Sources leaked me details of two other memos from people associated with the Groundswell network that also caused a stir inside the White House over the past year.
Thomas has spent a significant amount of time and energy urging Trump administration officials to change the personnel inside his government. This came to a head early last year.
- Members of Groundswell, whose members earlier led the successful campaign to remove McMaster as national security adviser, meet on Wednesdays in the D.C. offices of Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group that has led the fight against the Mueller probe.
- Judicial Watch’s president is Tom Fitton. He’s a regular on Fox News, and Trump regularly retweets his commentary on the “Deep State.”
- Conservative activists who attend Groundswell meetings funneled names to Thomas, and she compiled those recommendations and passed them along to the president, according to a source close to her.
- She handed a memo of names directly to the president in early 2019. (The New York Times reported on her group’s meeting with Trump at the time.)
2. The Groundswell memo: The presidential personnel office reviewed Thomas’ memo and determined that some names she passed along for jobs were not appropriate candidates. Trump may revisit some given his current mood.
Potential hires she offered to Trump, per sources with direct knowledge:
- Sheriff David Clarke for a senior Homeland Security role.
- Fox News regular and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino for a Homeland Security or counterterrorism adviser role.
- Devin Nunes aide Derek Harvey for the National Security Council (where he served before McMaster pushed him out).
- Radio talk show host Chris Plante for press secretary.
- Federalist contributor Ben Weingarten for the National Security Council.
What we’re hearing: These memos created tension inside the White House, as people close to the president constantly told him his own staff, especially those running personnel, were undermining him — and White House staff countered they were being smeared.
3. The State Department memo: In one extraordinary incident last year, President Trump passed along another action memo to his then-head of presidential personnel, Sean Doocey (since pushed to State and replaced with former body man John McEntee). People familiar with the January 2019 memo say it came from conservatives associated with Groundswell. Though nobody I’ve spoken to has claimed credit for it.
- According to sources briefed on the incident, the memo was, in large part, an attack against Doocey. The memo accused him and a colleague in the State Department of obstructionism and named several State Department officials who needed to be fired.
- This list named former deputy secretary John Sullivan, deputy undersecretary for management Bill Todd, and undersecretary for political affairs David Hale, who later testified in the impeachment hearings. (Todd and Hale are career foreign service officers, serving in positions typically reserved for career officials.) Sullivan is now the U.S. Ambassador to Russia.
- The memo ended with an allegation that Doocey had sneakily changed the name of an appointment Trump had already agreed on, swapping out Mira Ricardel for Sean Cairncross to run the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
- Sources briefed on the matter say this particular charge was false on its face because Cairncross was nominated in January 2018, months before Ricardel was briefly discussed as an alternative, per sources with direct knowledge.
The bottom line: As the New York Times’ Peter Baker wrote on Saturday, “in some of the most critical corners of the Trump administration, officials show up for work now never entirely sure who will be there by the end of the evening — themselves included.”
- Groundswell is an influential driver of that uncertainty. Its members have been working toward this moment for three years. They have lists. They have memos. And they have the president’s ear.
Note that timeline: 18 months.
The Trump revenge tour is just this accelerated.
Let’s not forget to include chief of staff Viraj Mirani…who was also ex-DNI’s chief of staff to Dan Coats.
chief of staff, Viraj Mirani, and DNI principal executive Andrew Hallman,
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.
Trump has named his DNI nominee, and of course it’s another of his most rabidly fervent supporters during the impeachment process, Rep. John Ratcliffe. Like so many of his nominees, he is a political appointee and utterly unfit for the position.
Trump tried to push Ratcliffe through once before, announcing on July 28, 2019, that he intended to nominate Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Ratcliffe withdrew his name five days after some senators raised concerns, former intelligence officials said he might politicize intelligence, and media reports criticized his prosecutorial experience in terrorism and immigration cases
Jeez, that took a while…
The deputy White House communications director is leaving his post. Adam Kennedy is resigning his position to go work in the private sector.
Thx WTFJHT early bird editions - Is Joe in the house??
Trump Names Mark Meadows Chief of Staff, Ousting Mick Mulvaney
President Trump said Friday that Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina and a stalwart conservative ally, will become White House chief of staff, replacing Mick Mulvaney, who has served as the acting chief for more than a year.
Mr. Trump announced the change on Twitter. He said that Mr. Mulvaney, a former Republican lawmaker, will become the United States special envoy for Northern Ireland, shaking up his battle-weary team as he leaves impeachment behind him and faces a high-octane election campaign that will test whether he can defy the odds once again to win a second term.
The head of the United States Agency for International Development will step down next month from the nation’s premier arm for humanitarian aid in the midst of a snowballing pandemic.
Mark Green said that his resignation, submitted to President Trump in a letter Sunday, does not stem from any dissatisfaction with the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Green is expected to be replaced, at least temporarily, by Bonnie Glick, the deputy administrator. But his departure leaves the administration with one less experienced hand to help coordinate a worldwide response to what is the most serious crisis to confront the Trump White House. That could have broader implications if the hot spot shifts from Europe, where USAID is less active, to regions where it is more entrenched, such as Africa and Southeast Asia.
Early this month, USAID announced a $37 million donation to help groups like the World Health Organization cope with the outbreak. In its latest budget request, the Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for global health programs by more than $3 billion. But Congress is unlikely to go along, given broad bipartisan support for foreign aid meted out by USAID and the State Department.
Is this the White House or a Frat House?
Elect a clown, get a circus – or maybe something more like Animal House…
Dale Cabaniss, the director of the government’s Office of Personnel Management, resigned abruptly on Tuesday, effective immediately.
Cabaniss stepped down because of, what two people familiar with the matter said, was poor treatment from the 29-year-old head of the Presidential Personnel Office, John McEntee, and a powerful appointee at OPM, Paul Dans, the new White House liaison and senior adviser to the director of OPM.
OPM Deputy Director Michael Rigas is now acting director of OPM, according to an OPM spokesperson.
Cabaniss had been at the agency only since September.
The departure casts a cloud of uncertainty over the federal workforce as it struggles to decide how to handle the coronavirus outbreak, with growing questions about the Trump administration’s decision to keep most government offices open and how it is handling remote work.
OPM is the human resources management policy shop for the federal government’s civil service, and it deals with health benefits and retirement, among other issues. Cabaniss is a former Republican staff director of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on financial services and general government and was chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority in the Bush administration. Cabaniss didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
McEntee’s return to the White House has roiled the administration with some officials criticizing the former Trump campaign staffer for what they see as an effort to stock the administration with his friends, including at least three college seniors. …
Within the past week, Jonathan Blyth is also no longer chief of staff at OPM and has moved back to OPM’s congressional affairs shop, which he now heads, according to two people familiar with his move, one of which said it reflects McEntee’s growing clout within the administration.
Adding to the tension: The White House has hired a third college senior to be an administration official in a sensitive post, according to four people familiar with the matter.
As some prominent Democrats call for the military to help out more with the response to the coronavirus crisis, John Troup Hemenway has been hired on a 30-day detail to help the deputy director of the Presidential Personnel Office, Michael Burley, with paperwork for Defense Department political appointees, according to one of the people. Hemenway is expected to graduate from the University of Virginia in December.
Hemenway, who is in his 20s and started last week, is the third college senior to be hired in short order by the White House. One administration official praised him by saying he’s “really good at what he does.”
James Bacon, 23 and a senior at George Washington University, was hired to be one of McEntee’s righthand men as he tries to fill the Trump administration with loyalists and fire anyone who they suspect of disloyalty.
Anthony Labruna, who is expected to graduate from Iowa State University in May but was dismissed from the Trump campaign in February, was also recently named deputy White House liaison at the Department of Commerce.
Hemenway, who worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, got his start in the Trump administration when he was on the “beachhead” transition team at the Department of Defense and then worked in Department of Defense’s White House liaison’s office, according to an administration official. At various points during his time at the Defense Department, Hemenway was working to finish his degree, according to two administration officials. …
Things have gotten so chaotic in this administration, it’s hard to even sort out what’s going on. And, as if this isn’t bad enough, Politico didn’t even mention McEntee’s shady background – covered here by Business Insider in February:
Trump just put a 29-year-old fired over allegations of financial crimes in charge of all personnel decisions
So who is Trump’s Chief of Staff? Did Meadows actually get the job? I feel like I missed that storyline when I was out.
I believe he did
Some of those guys were doing some quarantining…at the time. Mulvaney was out. Meadows had to quarantine…
It happened during CPAC…where someone from the administration was positive. Wonder who that was?
Looks like Meadows is transitioning in…
Meet Mark Meadows, The Incoming White House Chief Of Staff : NPR
The coronavirus crisis was gaining steam when President Trump announced via tweet on a Friday night that he was replacing his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, with North Carolina congressman and frequent confidante Mark Meadows.
Nearly three weeks later, Meadows is still transitioning into his new job and hasn’t yet resigned from Congress.
He may have been inside the room at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday for White House negotiations with senators on the $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package — but he still had one foot back in his old job.
Ah-ha. The latest on meadows becoming chief of staff, he finally resigned from Congress. Best of luck on the first day.
Trump fires intelligence community inspector general who defied him on Ukraine
President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence community’s chief watchdog, Michael Atkinson, who was the first to sound the alarm to Congress last September about an “urgent” complaint he’d received from an intelligence official involving Trump’s communications with Ukraine’s president.
Interesting and predictably awful insight on Atkinson’s firing:
Note that this is from John Solomon, the asshole who created the false Ukraine meddling story. Just the News is his new venture, and you can bet it’s 100% propaganda.
Hmmmm Very convenient to have a lapdog lawyer as your watchdog. Michael Cohen ring any bells?