Me: Congress has pulled three all-nighters in a row and Trump is off to Florida for the weekend. I can take a break!
Trump staff: Hold my beer.
But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.
The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said.
“Someone opened up a laptop, and at the table . . . a group of Japanese people stood around the prime minister and Donald, and they were all looking at the laptop,” said Jay Weitzman, a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and founder of the Pennsylvania-based parking management company Park America. He was sitting three tables away from Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday evening.
“Whoa,” Weitzman remembered thinking. “What’s going on?”
“Turns out, it was a missile launch,” he said Monday.
“Donald Trump for the longest time has been using a insecure Android phone that by all reports is so easy to compromise, it would not meet the security requirements of a teenager,” Weaver told NPR, and while he couldn’t say for sure, “we must assume that his phone has actively been compromised for a while, and an actively compromised phone is literally a listening device.”
That’s just one of the phones that may have been at the table for the conversation.
Mar-a-Lago member who pays Trump hundreds of thousands of dollars posts pics of – and identifies – US official carrying nuclear football. pic.twitter.com/oyAfY0E9Fj
— Samuel Oakford (@samueloakford) February 13, 2017
A serving general is openly criticizing Trump. That’s extraordinary.
Gen. Tony Thomas, head of the military’s Special Operations Command, expressed concern about upheaval inside the White House.
“Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon because we’re a nation at war,” he said at a military conference on Tuesday. Asked about his comments later, General Thomas said in a brief interview, “As a commander, I’m concerned our government be as stable as possible.”
Cabinet & Federal Appointees
Mike Flynn & the National Security Council
Mike Flynn flamed out spectacularly over the weekend and resigned on Monday.
- Did Mike Pence get burned by Michael Flynn?
- Michael Flynn’s debacle “This reminds me of the run-up to Iran- Contra.”
- National security adviser Michael Flynn resigns
- Sally Yates warned Trump that Flynn had been compromised
McFarland brought some of Trump’s energy to national security council meetings, the Times reported Sunday. The paper reported that many “apolitical” members of the council were uncomfortable with her displays of partisanship, including at one recent meeting when she urged them to “make America great again.”
You know, I was watching The Hunt for Red October again over the weekend, and the presence of political officers on the Soviet submarines reminded me how very bizarre the Trump team’s political incursion into national security affairs would seem if we hadn’t been observing it in slow motion.
Why Flynn’s Resignation Matters. “A senior American official was compromised by his relationship with a foreign government. Who else has ties to the Russian state?”
Donald Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller appeared on the political talk shows and made a series of disturbingly despotic statements about the administration’s view of executive power, including the appalling declaration that “…our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial, and will not be questioned.”
The consistency of Miller’s statements across his appearances on various shows makes it extremely clear this message came from the administration itself and was not a one-off instance of overreach by a staff member.
The idea of the president having supreme power that cannot be questioned was so absurd that even Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski called it out as autocratic.
Conway denies retweeting white nationalist. She says someone else used her phone to do it. That’s somehow better?!
Pressed on that point, all Conway could do was respond that Flynn had been in on national security briefings and deliberations as late as yesterday, and then added that, “as time wore on, obviously the situation had become unsustainable.” But that’s an implicit concession that Flynn had been kept in this highly sensitive role despite the fact that his situation had become “unsustainable.”
Pence did not learn that Flynn misled him on Russia until last week. He’s throwing Trump under the bus.
Chaffetz says the House Oversight Committee won’t investigate Flynn. He also thinks the protesters at his town hall last week were paid and came from outside Utah. I don’t think there is a single person in Congress who is accurately reading the mood of the usually-complacent moderate voter right now. Maybe we should all send them postcards with Libba Bray’s fabulous poem.
The chairman of the powerful panel — the main investigative committee in the House — sent a letter to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demanding to know why, in an attempt to raise awareness of the Zika virus, “CDC appears poised to make a sole source award to the Jim Henson Company for $806,000 to feature Sid the Science Kid in an educational program about the virus.”
Republican senators call for investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia and want Flynn to testify, finally. Maybe they can goad Chaffetz into doing his job where his constituents’ screams failed.
Military veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force. “We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”
Russia Deploys Missile, Violating Treaty. But we have the greatest respect for and confidence in comrade Putin!