Trump’s White House is run like Game of Thrones for Morons

Way too honest to last with Trump

❝ National security adviser H.R. McMaster has become the latest target of the leaks and infighting that have dogged the Trump administration’s early days.

❝ President Trump has tried to put an end to White House staffers placing palace intrigue stories, which peaked last month with a war of words between chief strategist Stephen Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner that played out in the press.

Now, McMaster, a favorite of Washington’s GOP and foreign policy establishment, finds himself in the crosshairs of anonymous White House officials as the administration mulls ramping up the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.
Those close to the White House describe the latest scuffle as another power struggle between rival spheres of influence. Foreign policy experts see the leaks as a reflection of a broader internal dispute over the appropriate level of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

❝ Once again, Bannon is rumored to be at the center of it.

❝ …Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake reported that Trump was boiling over with rage at McMaster and had berated him in front of White House staff…The story said that Trump at one point “screamed” at McMaster on a phone call for assuring South Korean officials that the U.S. would foot the bill for a missile defense system, contradicting the president.

RTFA for all the plot lines, mis-characterization of characters, myths and legends counter to any rational evidence-based history. It makes for comic opera. It also describes a swamp filled with competing bigots and fools sucking up to the ignoranus-in-chief.

255 thoughts on “Trump’s White House is run like Game of Thrones for Morons

  1. Miss American Pie says:

    In this photo, inadvertently provided by the Russian Foreign Ministry after U.S. media was barred, Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak at the White House. Official White House photos posted Thursday of President Trump’s Oval Office meetings the previous day leave out Ambassador Kislyak, who is at the center of the controversy over the collusion between Trump’s associates and Russia.

  2. The Mad King says:

    “And then Henry Kissinger walks in…: 24 hours in the Donald Trump circus” (CNN)
    “A theory: Trump fired Comey because he’s taller” (Washington Post)
    Footnote: “President Nixon has been routinely taping all his conversations and meetings in the Oval Office and cabinet room of the White House, in his Executive Office Building office and on four of his personal telephones, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield told the Senate select Watergate committee yesterday.” (Washington Post July 17, 1973)

  3. I kid you not says:

    The Trump administration is now accepting applications for its first round of interns, who will start on Sept. 6 and work until Dec. 6. The full-time positions are open to college students, college graduates, or military veterans age 18 or over, as long as they are willing to work from 9am until 6pm Monday until Friday. The positions historically have been unpaid, despite pressure in recent years to provide a salary. See application form @
    “Please answer the following questions briefly and candidly. Answers to these questions are limited to 1,000 characters per question.” [examples]:
    ☐ Why are you committed to supporting President Donald J. Trump’s Administration?
    ☐ Which Trump Administration Cabinet Secretary do you most admire, and why?
    ☐ What do you view as the most significant achievement of the Trump Administration thus far?

  4. Heads up says:

    (June 8, 2017) White House on Lockdown After Television Is Hurled Out Window “A group of fourth-grade students from Bethesda, Maryland, was on a White House tour when the incident involving the television occurred.
    “I heard someone screaming lots of swear words and then, like, this big crash,” Zach Dorrinson, a student on the tour, said. “It was messed up.”

  5. Maelström says:

    “‘Category 5 hurricane’: White House under siege by Trump Jr.’s Russia revelations” (Washington Post)
    “Rancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn” (NYT)
    “Donald Trump Jr.’s full emails about meeting a ‘Russian government attorney,’ annotated” (WAPO)

    • Sad Sack says:

      “It’s something that you don’t like talking about, but again we are the most powerful country in the world, and we are getting more and more powerful because I’m a big military person. As an example, if Hillary had won, our military would be decimated. Our energy would be much more expensive. That’s what Putin doesn’t like about me. And that’s why I say, Why would he want me? Because from Day One I wanted a strong military; he doesn’t want to see that. And from Day One I want fracking and everything else to get energy prices low and to create tremendous energy. We’re going to be self-supporting — we just about are now. We’re going to be exporting energy. He doesn’t want that. He would like Hillary where she wants to have windmills. He would much rather have that because energy prices would go up and Russia, as you know, relies very much on energy. So there are many things that I do that are the exact opposite of what he would want. So what I keep hearing about that he would have rather had Trump, I think probably not because when I want a strong military — you know she wouldn’t have spent the money on military, when I want a strong military, when I want tremendous energy, we’re opening up coal, we’re opening up natural gas, we’re opening up fracking — all the things that he would hate, but nobody ever mentions that.” President Trump In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Pat Robertson, July 12, 2017

    • Kuzma's mother says:

      “A former Soviet counter-intelligence officer was in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer in June 2016, in which Trump Jr. was promised damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a report from NBC News.
      NBC said some U.S. officials suspect the former intelligence officer, who was identified as a Russian-American lobbyist, has ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.
      NBC did not name the individual, but it said he denies having any current ties to the Kremlin.
      President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort were also present for the meeting.”

  6. Beat Goes On says:

    ● “Watching the Downfall of a Presidency in Real Time” By Frank Rich
    ● “Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting sure sounds like a Russian intelligence operation” By Rolf Mowatt-Larssen (director of the Intelligence and Defense Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center, former director of intelligence and counterintelligence at the Department of Energy and a 23 year veteran CIA intelligence officer in domestic and international posts)
    ● “The latest evidence of Trump’s unfitness may be the most revolting”

  7. The Black Spot says:

    ● “With Reince Out, Trump’s Plan for Survival Is Clear: Simply hire more thugs.” (Esquire)
    “It all ended for obvious anagram Reince Priebus with him left alone aboard an SUV in the rain. He had just returned from a trip to Long Island where he’d watched the president* put the presidential* imprimatur on the kind of police violence that killed, among others, Freddie Gray. When Air Force One landed at Andrews, everybody except the president* got out of the SUV. Priebus was invited in. Within minutes, he was no longer the White House chief-of-staff, the president* was long gone, and obvious anagram Reince Priebus was alone in the rain as Friday evening fell. Poor bastard. I’ll bet they even took the cannoli.”
    ● “Everything Trump Does Must Be Viewed Through This Single Lens” By Frank Rich
    “At this juncture the priorities of Donald Trump have winnowed down to a single agenda item: saving himself and his family from legal culpability for their campaign interactions with the Russians and their efforts to cover up those transactions ever since. Almost everything this president does must be viewed through this single lens. If you do so, you’ll find his actions usually make sense.
    This overriding motive explains both this week’s orchestrated staff turmoil in the White House and the simultaneous assaults on the civil rights of transgender American troops and all LBGTQ employees in the private workplace. The primary purpose of all of it is to distract from investigations into potential Trump-family criminality and to galvanize a base that Trump believes will protect him against the rule of law. If you have already forgotten Jared Kushner’s loophole-strewn profession of innocence from Monday, that’s the point.”

  8. Aug 13, 2017 says:

    ⚠️ “Trump suspects Bannon of leaking, putting job in jeopardy”
    ⚠️ “Kelly considers further shuffling of West Wing staff, officials say : Steve Bannon’s role is said to be under particular scrutiny in a review of communication and efficiency.”
    ⚠️ “McMaster dodges question about whether he can work with Bannon”
    (Note: Trump will briefly return to Washington tomorrow for what he describes as a “very important meeting” and a “pretty big” press conference).
    ⚠️ “How Trump’s paranoid White House sees ‘deep state’ enemies on all sides : Internal document shows the ‘alt-right’ Steve Bannon wing of the administration’s fervent belief that America is at risk from ‘the Opposition’ – a cabal of bankers, globalists, the media and even Republican leaders”

  9. Another One Bites the Dust says:

    “Trump Staffer Responsible For Finding Positive News Stories Resigns”
    Just before Andy Hemming resigned from his position as the White House communications team’s director of rapid response on Monday he was profiled by Annie Karni ( ) as the staffer the White House pays “$89,000 a year to spot and distribute positive stories from the mainstream media.” Reportedly the 31-year-old former Republican National Committee staffer’s goal was to ultimately create more mainstream coverage about positive moments for the Trump administration on the very networks the president routinely bashes and refers to as “fake news.”

  10. Cassandra says:

    August 26th: “Trump Cybersecurity Advisors Resign, Citing His ‘Insufficient Attention’ to Threats” (Fortune magazine) In a report issued just after the mass resignations, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council issued a report saying that dramatic steps were required to prevent a possible “9/11-level cyberattack.”

  11. Proverbs 28:13 says:

    “Trump and Manafort get big reminder that pardon power does not extend to state crimes” The news that New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman is now working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in the probe of financial transactions involving Paul Manafort sends an important message to President Trump: his pardon power does not extend to state crimes. In the event Manafort or anyone else is charged under New York law, or threatened with indictment, there will be nothing Trump can do about it. His “power to grant reprieves and pardons” only covers “offenses against the United States,” according to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.

  12. Lefty Lucy says:

    “During a summer of crisis, Trump chafes against criticism and new controls” (Wapo 8/31/17) “…Trump appears to pine for the days when the Oval Office was a bustling hub of visitors and gossip, over which he presided as impresario. He fumes that he does not get the credit he thinks he deserves from the media or the allegiance from fellow Republican leaders he says he is owed. He boasts about his presidency in superlatives, but confidants privately fret about his suddenly dark moods. And some of Trump’s friends fear that the short-tempered president is on an inevitable collision course with White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.
    “He’s having a very hard time,” one friend who spoke with Trump this week said of the president. “He doesn’t like the way the media’s handling him. He doesn’t like how Kelly’s handling him. He’s turning on people that are very close to him.”
    Meanwhile, according to ‘alt-right social media personality Mike Cernovich’: “REPORT: White House Coup Under Way, Trump Basically Under House Arrest” ( 8/31/17)

  13. Clown car says:

    “David Clarke, the controversial outgoing sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, is expected to take a job in the Trump administration, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
    Clarke resigned as sheriff on Thursday. A regular presence on Fox News, Clarke has become a well-known figure in conservative circles in recent years. He is also an avowed supporter of President Donald Trump, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year. …It’s unclear what job Clarke will take in the administration, but one of the sources said he’s expected to join the White House. Clarke likely won’t be offered a Senate-confirmed role because his nomination would face opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
    Clarke had been under consideration for a job at the Department of Homeland Security, and he even publicly announced his plans to join the administration in May. But he ultimately never landed the DHS job.” (Politico 8/31/17)

    • David W. Maurer says:

      “Ex-Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke to work for Trump PAC – Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, took a similar job with the super PAC last month.”
      Meanwhile the “Draft Sheriff David Clarke for Senate PAC” is continuing to use Clarke’s recent resignation to fundraise for the Senate run that isn’t happening.— even after Clarke denounced the group as a “scam PAC” and advised his supporters to “hang onto your money.” FEC filings show the PAC took in $1.97 million between January 1 and June 30, and spent $1.89 million during that same time period — $1.87 million of which went towards “operating expenditures.” The PAC has spent exactly zero dollars on “independent expenditures” — defined as money spent advocating for or against a candidate in an election — as of its most recent FEC filings.”

  14. Cat's Cradle says:

    GOP campaigns took $7.35 million from oligarch linked to Russia – who also donated $1 million to Trump’s Inaugural Committee. During the 2016 election cycle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who wasn’t up for reelection) used his Super PAC to accept $2.5 million dollars from that source in order to help fund the election and reelection of any number of Republicans in Congress, which appears to have contributed to his maintaining his role as the Republican leader in the Senate.
    On December 9, 2016 the Washington Post reported that when the intelligence community first presented congress with evidence of Russian election interference, “McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”
    After the election, Trump duly nominated Elaine Chao, McConnell’s wife, to become secretary of transportation.

  15. Update says:

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has approached the White House about interviewing staffers who were aboard Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower was crafted, three sources familiar with the conversations said. Mueller’s questions could go to the issue of intent and possible efforts to conceal information during an obstruction of justice investigation. The answers to Mueller’s questions also could illuminate the level of anxiety surrounding the meeting and the decision-making that followed.

  16. Flat spin says:

    “In Donald Trump’s White House, there are few tales about power more instructive than the story of Jeff Sessions’ two former top aides.”
    Meanwhile, according to an investigation by Foreign Policy into changes in the intelligence community under President Donald Trump, the CIA has set aside plans to diversify and has become more white and more Christian under new director Mike Pompeo. Noting that Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, is a self-professed evangelical, the report states that the new director once claimed, Islamist terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.” Insiders — many of whom are afraid to come forward — say Pompeo’s religious beliefs are becoming part of CIA dogma to the dismay of longtime employees.”

  17. BAMCIS says:

    “New White House Chief of Staff Has an Enforcer” (NYT 9/8/17) …the first step in taming 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Kelly believes, is installing a No. 2 who is willing to be hated. Consequently, Kirstjen Nielsen, a longtime aide of Mr. Kelly’s and a homeland security official in George W. Bush’s administration, has joined the White House as principal deputy and assistant to the president. Among other things Ms. Nielsen sends out the emails announcing internal policy and planning meetings that now contain a clipped addendum — “principals only” — with a stern warning that any subordinates who wander in will be immediately ejected. She is also responsible for keeping Mr. Kelly’s no-fly list of aides he deems to be unfit to attend serious meetings, the most prominent of whom is Omarosa Manigault, the former “Apprentice” star with an ill-defined job and a penchant for dropping into meetings where she was not invited.
    …Slowly and methodically, Mr. Kelly is replacing the bomb-throwing reality-TV types Mr. Trump feels most comfortable around with competent professionals capable of stabilizing the West Wing. So far, it has been addition by subtraction.
    [Scroll down to see the survivors – and what’s happened to Gary D. Cohn, the chairman of the National Economic Council, since he went public with his disgust at the president’s response to the deadly violence last month in Charlottesville, Va.]

  18. Noobs says:

    “Trump’s Nasa nominee Jim Bridenstine is a climate denier who wants to end the agency’s climate research”
    “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Hope Hicks, Trump’s Latest White House Communications Director”

  19. Latest Installment says:

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders set aside some time during the daily press briefing Wednesday to declare that former FBI director James B. Comey should face criminal punishment for allowing negative information about the president to be leaked to the New York Times, and that ESPN reporter Jemele Hill should be fired for her comments about Trump and race.

  20. Next in line says:

    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao,, wife of Mitch McConnell, has a continuing financial relationship to Vulcan Materials, a transportation construction company. Chao will benefit from her compensation as a director there for nearly two years — $300,000 in deferred stock awards — if she helps push an infrastructure bill through Congress.

  21. YIKES says:

    “Rex Tillerson reportedly called Trump a ‘moron’ — and wanted to resign this summer” The White House declined to comment to NBC, and a State Department spokesman told the network Tillerson did not consider quitting in July and did not call the president a moron.
    “Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning shortly after NBC published its report. It was not clear what stories Trump was disputing.
    “Tillerson’s Fury at Trump Required an Intervention From Pence” (NBC News Oct 4) See also followup discussion with NBC News’ Carol Lee on MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’.

  22. Day 262 says:

    ● Trump proposes ‘IQ tests’ face-off with Tillerson after secretary of state calls him a ‘moron’
    ● Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.”
    ● Bannon on 2018: ‘Nobody’s Safe – We Are Coming After All of Them and We Are Going to Win’
    ● Establishment gears up for Steve Bannon’s war on the GOP leadership
    ● The President of the United States of America has made 1,318 ‘false or misleading claims’ over the last 263 days
    ● Physicists find we’re not living in a computer simulation

  23. FAKE NEWS™ says:

    “I Hate Everyone in the White House!”: Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President Is “Unraveling” : “In recent days, I’ve spoken with a half dozen prominent Republicans and Trump advisers, and they all describe a White House in crisis as advisers struggle to contain a president that seems to be increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.” Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair Oct 11, 2017.
    Useful template:

  24. Day 265 says:

    In a highly unusual move White House chief of staff Kelly took the podium on Thursday to conduct the daily White House press briefing himself
    “I’m not quitting today,” he said. “I don’t believe, and I just talked to the president, I don’t think I’m being fired today. …I was not sent in, I was not brought in, to control anything but the flow of information to the president so he can make the best decisions,” he said. “I was not sent in to or brought in to control him. you should not measure my effectiveness as chief of staff by what you think I should be doing.”
    Official White House transcript

  25. 4theRecord says:

    “…It is no longer possible to safely ignore the leaked cries for help coming from within the administration. They reveal a president raging against enemies, obsessed by slights, deeply uninformed and incurious, unable to focus, and subject to destructive whims. A main task of the chief of staff seems to be to shield him from dinner guests and telephone calls that might set him off on a foolish or dangerous tangent. Much of the White House senior staff seems bound, not by loyalty to the president, but by a duty to protect the nation from the president. Trump, in turn, is reported to have said: “I hate everyone in the White House.” And also, presumably, in the State Department, headed by a secretary of state who apparently regards his boss as a “moron.” Michael Gerson, senior policy adviser to George W. Bush (10/12/17)
    See also “Sinister figures lurk around our careless president.” George F. Will (October 13 at 8:10 PM)

  26. Ketchup says:

    ● Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the powerful chairman of the House financial services committee, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Hensarling, a conservative and former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is also a key conduit between the GOP caucus and the White House through his close relationship with Vice President Mike Pence. He is at least the 21st Republican member of the House of Representatives to pass on a re-election bid since President Donald Trump has taken office.
    ● “Trump’s ouster of U.S. Attorney Dana Boente matters” it was Dana Boente’s office from which we saw the subpoenas related to Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn. It was Dana Boente’s office that has been handling the investigation into WikiLeaks – and potentially charges associated with WikiLeaks. And it was through Dana Boente’s office where Special Counsel Robert Mueller first started using a grand jury. Dana Boente, in other words, has been at the center of a legal/political hurricane, and from what we know, he did not want to leave his post. Trump ousted him anyway. This is the same president who’s taken the unprecedented step of meeting privately with prospective federal prosecutors before nominating them to posts where Trump may personally face legal jeopardy.
    ● Meanwhile, Stephen Bannon is worried President Trump would not survive an impeachment vote, according to a report published Wednesday in Vanity Fair. Bannon and Trump ally Roger Stone both believe establishment Republicans are waiting for a chance to impeach Trump, the magazine reported.

  27. Runtime Error says:

    “Ex-Trump security chief testifies he rejected 2013 Russian offer of women for Trump in Moscow” (CNN)
    “How Donald Trump Rules America’s Garden of Dicks and Sparked the #MeToo Movement” (Newsweek)
    “Carrier corporation continues with planned staff cuts at plant Donald Trump promised to save : More than 200 Carrier employees will lose their jobs in January”

  28. Kafayı üşüttü says:

    “Flynn probed in alleged plot to kidnap Turkish cleric for $15M” “…The FBI has been looking into claims made by former CIA Director James Woolsey that Flynn and Turkish officials discussed a plot to kick Gulen out of the United States. According to a recent Reuters report, Woolsey pitched a $10 million contract to two Turkish businessmen to help discredit Gulen while Woolsey was an adviser to Trump’s election campaign. Woolsey was a member of Flynn’s firm, the Flynn Intel Group, according to a Justice Department filing by the firm and an archive of the company’s website.”

  29. Cut & run says:

    “Mounting GOP retirements threaten House majority”
    “A retirement wave has hit House Republicans, emboldening Democrats who have become increasingly bullish about their prospects of winning back a majority in 2018.
    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) on Thursday became the latest Republican to announce he would not seek another term.
    The 13-term Virginian followed Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), both of whom announced Tuesday — hours before Republicans suffered sweeping losses at the polls — that they’d retire from Congress.
    All told, 29 Republicans will not seek reelection to their House seats, compared to only 11 for Democrats. Fifteen Republicans are retiring outright, rather than seeking other political offices or positions. Only two Democrats are doing the same.”

  30. Laugh Riot says:

    Trump Nominee who has never tried a case and who was unanimously deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association has been approved for a lifetime federal district judgeship by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The lawyer, Brett Talley, is the fourth judicial nominee under President Trump to receive a “not qualified” rating from the bar association and the second to receive the rating unanimously. Since 1989, the association has unanimously rated only two other judicial nominees as not qualified. Mr. Talley’s nomination is just one of the latest examples of Mr. Trump’s efforts to reshape the nation’s courts, packing them with young, deeply conservative judges.

  31. runtime-error says:

    National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster mocked President Trump’s intelligence at a private dinner with a powerful tech CEO, according to five sources with knowledge of the conversation. Over a July dinner with Oracle CEO Safra Catz — who has been mentioned as a candidate for several potential administration jobs — McMaster bluntly trashed his boss, said the sources, four of whom told BuzzFeed News they heard about the exchange directly from Catz. The top national security official dismissed the president variously as an “idiot” and a “dope” with the intelligence of a “kindergartner,” the sources said.

  32. Re-up says:

    Trump lawyer claims the “President cannot obstruct justice”
    Plea agreement includes clause showing Flynn consented to participate in ‘covert law enforcement activities” (IE: wear a wire) if required
    ““You come at the king, you best not miss.” Omar Little (Michael K. Williams), HBO’s “The Wire”, 2002~2008.

  33. Day 326 says:

    Omarosa Manigault, the former reality TV star turned political aide to President Trump, has resigned from her administration position, the White House announced Wednesday.
    Manigault resigned on Tuesday “to pursue other opportunities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Her resignation will not be effective until Jan. 20, 2018 — exactly one year since Trump took office. “We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service,” Sanders said. Manigault’s official title was director of communications for the White House Public Liaison Office, but in reality she had a more undefined portfolio that caused some consternation among her colleagues. She was widely reported to wander into meetings to which she was not invited, or derail briefings with off-topic discussions. In April, she also showed up at the White House with her bridal party for a surprise photo shoot, Politico reported, but was banned from posting the pictures publicly due to “security and ethical concerns.”

  34. Spud says:

    “The World According to H.R. McMaster”
    “Why Trump’s national security adviser thinks it might soon be time to bomb North Korea”
    “HR McMaster, Don McGahn mentioned in report on White House aides who may leave soon”

  35. Sleazeballs says:

    ☻”Vice President Pence told reporters in Japan on Thursday that he only recently learned of the allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, and declined to answer a question about why he often seemed “out of the loop” when it came to major events at the White House.” (The Hill 2/8/18) ☻”White House says background check for Rob Porter was never completed” (USA TODAY 2/8/18) ☻”Former Wives of Top White House Aide Rob Porter Both Told FBI He Abused Them” (The Intercept 2/7/18) ☻”White House says it ‘could have done better’ regarding Porter allegations” (CNN 2/8/18) ☻”The Trump White House has been plagued by rumors of illicit romances — and now Hope Hicks is at the center” (Business Insider 2/8/18) (includes a roundup of the rumored relationships in Trump’s campaign and White House). ☻’The Best People’ : The White House bungled the Rob Porter abuse scandal from start to finish and beyond.” (US News 2/8/18) ☻”Rob Porter, White House Aide, Resigns After Accusations of Abuse” (New York Times 2/7/18)

  36. Do-si-do says:

    White House musical chairs: Trump to nominate drug czar in reshuffling of top jobs President Trump will nominate a top White House aide as the nation’s drug czar, the White House said Friday as it announced a list of 31 nominations and appointments in the Executive Office of the President. …The drug czar’s post has been without a permanent incumbent since Gil Kerlikowske left to become the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection in 2014. There have been three acting directors since then. Trump’s first nominee for the job, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., withdrew his nomination in October after a Washington Post report revealed his involvement in crafting a bill to neuter the ability of drug agents to crack down on black market shipments of opioids.
    The ONDCP’s chief of staff was fired in December, and presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway has been running opioid policy out of her office in the West Wing.

  37. Unraveling says:

    “…Ms. Nielsen has since left the White House to become secretary of Homeland Security. Her absence and Mr. Kelly’s reluctance to trust and promote people he does not know well have also been cited in some of the chaos surrounding Mr. Porter. Ms. Nielsen frequently blocked and tackled for the chief of staff, making herself the main line of approach to him. Without her, officials often approach Mr. Kelly freely now, and he sometimes does not remember what he has said to different people, two officials said.” [New York Times Feb 11, 2018 “Abuse Case Exposes Fissures in a White House in Turmoil”)

  38. Augean Stables says:

    → “Who Needs a Controversy Over the Inauguration?: Reince Priebus Opens Up About His Six Months of Magical Thinking” → “Stormy Daniels, the porn star whom Donald Trump’s attorney acknowledges paying $130,000 just before Election Day, believes she is now free to discuss an alleged sexual encounter with the man who is now president, her manager told The Associated Press Wednesday. At the same time, developments in the bizarre case are fueling questions about whether such a payment could violate federal campaign finance laws.” → VA chief Shulkin, under fire for Europe trip, acknowledges ‘the optics of this are not good’ → “Sarah Huckabee Sanders is at a loss for words on Rob Porter. I am here for her.” (Dana Milbank, Washington Post 2/14/18) “As a public service, I used the time waiting in vain for Wednesday’s briefing to compile the following executive summary of l’affaire Porter, in Trump administration officials’ own words:”

    • Mike says:

      “The national security adviser to President Trump said Saturday that the new FBI indictments show indisputably that Russians meddled in U.S. elections.
      During the Munich Security Conference in Germany, H.R. McMaster said “with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now incontrovertible” that Moscow meddled in the 2016 campaign.” (Fox News 2/17/18) “McMaster’s remarks follow the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies by a federal grand jury for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential elections. The case brought by Robert Mueller, special counsel for the Justice Department, details a sophisticated plot to wage “information warfare” against the U.S.” The Russian nationals are accused of setting a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election,” according to the indictment.”
      See Case 1:18-cr-00032-DLF Document 1 Filed 02/16/18. INDICTMENT: The Grand Jury for the District of Columbia charges: (.pdf)

  39. Rachel's list says:

    Fox News: “A growing number of people have left the Trump administration in just over a year – a group that includes former press secretary Sean Spicer, FBI director James Comey and chief strategist Steve Bannon. …Read on for a look at some of the staffers who have left since Trump took office.”

  40. Red Wedding says:

    “Rex Tillerson: Secretary of state fired by Trump in Russia warning” (BBC) “…a statement released by Under Secretary Steve Goldstein implied that Mr Tillerson was first made aware of his firing by President Trump’s tweet.
    “The secretary did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason,” he said. After this statement was released Mr Goldstein himself was fired by the White House.”
    There are also accounts that suggest Tillerson was fired after joining the UK in criticizing the Russian poison agent attack.
    “Russia Falsely Denies Connection to the ‘Deadliest’ Poison Ever Made”
    “Putin enemy found dead in London eight days after Skripal poisoning, as counter-terror police launch investigation” The UK will expel 23 Russian diplomats after Moscow refused to explain how a Russian-made nerve agent was used on a former spy in Salisbury, the PM says. Theresa May said the diplomats, who have a week to leave, were identified as “undeclared intelligence officers”. She also revoked an invitation to Russia’s foreign minister, and said the Royal Family would not attend the Fifa World Cup later this year.
    NATO Article 5

  41. 4theRecord says:

    “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday fired Andrew McCabe, the No. 2 official at the FBI and a longtime target of President Trump. McCabe’s ouster comes just days before he was scheduled to retire on Sunday, after more than 20 years at the bureau.”
    Former Attorney General Eric Holder (D): “Analyze McCabe firing on two levels: the substance and the timing. We don’t know enough about the substance yet. The timing appears cruel and a cave that compromised DOJ independence to please an increasingly erratic President who should’ve played no role here. This is dangerous”
    Donald J. Trump (10:08 PM – Mar 16, 2018) “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”
    Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe (3/16/18 11:57 EDT): “I walked into FBI every day as acting head expecting to be removed”

  42. bacio della morte says:

    Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin Says He Was Fired After Opposing Privatization of VA Healthcare. A White House official said Shulkin was informed of his dismissal by chief of staff John Kelly Wednesday afternoon before the president announced the move on Twitter. Shulkin’s name was scrubbed from the Department of Veterans Affairs website soon after. Trump has nominated his White House physician to replace Shulkin. “Hours before he was ousted, former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin discussed his progress in his position with President Donald Trump — who gave him no indication that he would later fire him.”

  43. Grand-Guignol says:

    “Behind the chaos: Office that vets Trump appointees plagued by inexperience” (Washington Post March 30, 2018)
    “GOP strategist Steve Schmidt weighs in on the report detailing questionable hires & activity within the White House & it’s personnel office” (MSNBC 3/30/18)
    “Anthony Scaramucci says White House’s turnover rate is typical of a startup : ‘The president is an entrepreneur,’ says the onetime White House communications director”
    “Donald Trump Spent $27k In Taxpayer Money Tracking Media Stories After Stormy Daniels Sued Him” …It’s not the first time Trump’s Office has used the service, but it’s by far the most they’ve ever spent … the last being $9,504 in February of 2017, right around the time Trump’s then Chief of Staff, Reince Preibus, allegedly tried to interfere with the FBI’s Russia probe.

  44. Yawn says:

    “John Kelly blew up at Trump in Oval Office meeting, threatened to quit “(March 28th)
    P”resident Trump started his Sunday morning with a tweet calling The Washington Post “made up garbage” in response to a story the Post published on Saturday describing Chief of Staff John Kelly’s frustrations in the West Wing.” (see also “What is the Donald Trump v Jeff Bezos feud really about?” }
    “President Trump and truth: Another difficult week”

  45. Loopy says:

    “Trump Jr.: Dad’s ambassador to the fringe : In promoting a YouTube conspiracy, the president’s son again stirs the passions of the far right.” According to University of Miami Professor Joseph Uscinski, co-author of “American Conspiracy Theories,” there is a method to Trump Jr’s madness which has an impact on the national narrative “under the guise of just innocently sharing and spreading stories. If something happens and they don’t like the narrative, they use a conspiracy theory to change the narrative,” explained Uscinski. “This is what was done with Parkland.” Also: “Trump Jr.’s interaction with fringe figures from the right-wing social media universe sends a strong message of validation to those communities and gives mainstream oxygen to segments of conservative politics that are largely unmoored from reality,” according to Jared Holt, a researcher for the website Right Wing Watch.
    Also, “Don Jr. Gave an Interview in 2007 Where He Talked About Trump’s Penis Size : We now know more about the Trump family’s genitals than we ever wanted to.”

  46. Day 445 says:

    “White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert was pushed out of his position by the newly installed national security adviser John Bolton, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed his departure in a statement, saying President Donald Trump “is grateful for Tom’s commitment to the safety and security of our great country.”
    Meanwhile: “Less than 24 hours removed from Donald Trump musing that “many people” have told him he should fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Sarah Sanders made clear that that the White House has researched such a move and believes Trump has the ability to do it.”
    “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Trump”
    “It’s Mueller, Not Trump, Who Is Draining the Swamp” (NYT OpEd by Quinta Jurecic, deputy managing editor of Lawfare)

  47. 4theRecord says:

    ● Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 6:00 AM – 11 Apr 2018 “Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!”
    ● “Trump’s flimsy case for firing Rod Rosenstein”
    ● “If Trump Fires Rosenstein, This Man Could End Up With Power Over the Russia Investigation : He has virtually no criminal law experience but has worked for a bank with ties to Vladimir Putin.”
    ● “Dana Boente, former top Justice Department official now at FBI, has been interviewed by Mueller and turned over notes” “…The people familiar with the matter said Boente also gave to Mueller notes he had made memorializing his own conversation with Comey. The notes, which were first shown on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show and confirmed as authentic to The Washington Post by a person familiar with the matter, seem to confirm that what Comey told Boente in the spring of 2017 was consistent with what Comey would later tell Congress about his interactions with Trump.”

  48. proverbial box of chocolates says:

    “The Michael Cohen legal sideshow: Gasps, pratfalls and paparazzi”
    “Sean Hannity unmasked as Trump lawyer’s mystery client”
    “Inside the career of Fox News host Sean Hannity, who was once fired from a college radio station and now advises Trump”
    “Now we know what Sean Hannity was omitting”

  49. Day 458 says:

    “Whenever we make the mistake of rhetorically asking if this whole Donald Trump thing can get any worse, we’re always provided with a definitive answer we weren’t seeking. There’s almost no way to classify what we’re now seeing play out, as Trump gets more frazzled and desperate, and the antics of him and his allies get further exposed. Some of these latest developments don’t even seem like real life. I mean, of course no one was shocked to learn yesterday that Donald Trump has been caught lying to the FBI about the details of his “Pee Pee Tape” trip. But that was the least cartoonish story of the day. Michael Flynn’s son decided to incriminate Mike Pence in the Trump-Russia scandal, apparently just for the heck of it. We knew Pence would get his eventually, but no one would have predicted it would come from a meddling kid.
    Then there are these bizarre allegations about Donald Trump’s military doctor supposedly getting drunk on the job and improperly handing out drugs. In a surreal twist, this comes just days after Trump began ranting about an unnamed “drunk/drugged up loser” on Twitter, although we’re pretty sure Trump was referring to a different one of his associates. Things have gotten so cartoonish over the past few days that Trump’s pal Sean Hannity just got caught up in a real estate scheme involving Trump’s HUD department, and the story is barely registering.
    A week ago, Hannity’s role in the Michael Cohen scandal was front page news. Now things have gotten so much weirder, Hannity’s new scandal can’t even get attention anymore. Shania Twain is now apologizing for Donald Trump, because that’s not weird. Trump is suddenly talking about pardoning a guy who’s been dead for seventy years, and shockingly, it’s not Wilbur Ross. This is all a hot circle of garbage, and it’s still only Tuesday.” Bill Palmer 4/24/18 (see links)

  50. Day 469 says:

    The White House physician assigned to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Pena, has resigned. This comes after CNN reported Tuesday that Pence’s doctor privately raised alarms within the White House last fall that President Donald Trump’s doctor Ronny Jackson may have violated federal privacy protections for a key patient — Pence’s wife, Karen — and intimidated the vice president’s doctor during angry confrontations over the episode.
    Two FBI officials who have faced scrutiny in recent months also resigned from the bureau on Friday.

  51. Flopsy says:

    Two of the most visible members of the Trump administration are planning their departures, the latest sign of upheaval in a White House marked by turmoil.
    Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are both heading for the exits, according to sources inside the White House and close to the administration. Sanders, who has become a confidante of President Trump since the departure of former communications director Hope Hicks, has told friends that she plans to leave the administration at the end of the year.

  52. Update says:

    Joe Hagin, a top aide to President Donald Trump, will be leaving the White House next month, an announcement that comes a day after BuzzFeed News reported he had previously worked with key backers of an alleged “sex cult.” The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Hagin was eyeing the vacant position of deputy director of the CIA but he’s now planning to end his career in federal government and return to the private sector.
    The very long list of high-profile White House departures : A guide to the resignations, ousters, and firings of the Trump administration. (Vox Jun 19, 2018)
    White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Trump are said to be “barely tolerating one another.” Politico reported on Monday that Kelly, who was once seen as the person who would get a chaotic West Wing under control “has largely yielded his role as the enforcer…as his relationship with Trump has soured.” The media outlet also states that, according to four people familiar with the chief of staff, Kelly “has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.”

  53. Loopty Lou says:

    President Donald Trump has reportedly soured on Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and is now increasingly making US military policy on his own.
    Trump withdrew from the Iran deal, stopped US military exercises in South Korea, and aired plans to create the first new military branch in 70 years all in snap, shock decisions that saw Mattis scrambling to keep up, according to a new report from NBC.
    Mattis is out of the loop and Trump doesn’t listen to him, say officials. On Iran, North Korea and other major issues, the defense secretary has been out of the loop.

  54. Ice & Fire says:

    “ICE chief Thomas Homan is retiring tomorrow, but he’s not going out quietly” (Washington Examiner 6/28/18)
    The Washington Examiner is owned by MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz, reportedly the 38th richest person in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $12.5 billion as of March 2017.

  55. Dum D Dum says:

    ☑︎ The U.S. ambassador to Estonia has resigned from his post over frustrations with President Donald Trump’s recent comments about the European Union and the treatment of European allies. James D. Melville wrote in a private Facebook message on that he decided it was time to step down from his post after Trump’s comments on how the EU was “set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank” and that “NATO is as bad as NAFTA.”
    ☑︎ President Donald Trump appears to be trying to break up the European Union, as reports emerge that he told his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, that his country should leave the bloc. According to a column published in The Washington Post, Trump said the U.S. would offer France a bilateral trade deal if Macron was to lead one of the EU’s founding members out of the union.
    ☑︎ Manafort Reported $10 Million Loan From Russian Oligarch in 2010 Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska accused Manafort and his longtime deputy Rick Gates in a lawsuit earlier this year of “vanishing” $26 million he gave them a decade ago. It’s not clear whether the $10 million loan mentioned in the warrant this week was part of the transfers Deripaska named in the lawsuit, though The Associated Press reported last year that Manafort had a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska that began in 2006 and ran for a few years.

  56. Day 539 says:

    Former informal Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone acknowledged Friday night that he “probably” is the unnamed person referred to in special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest indictment against Russian intelligence officers.
    Stone, who earlier Friday said that he did not believe he was the unnamed person mentioned in the indictment, said on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that he now thinks he is the person in the filing released earlier Friday.
    The document makes reference to an unnamed individual “who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump” and exchanged Twitter direct messages with Guccifer 2.0, an online persona allegedly used by the Russian officers.
    “White House: Trump-Putin summit ‘is on’ after hacking indictment” (BBC)
    At a Florida press event on 27 July 2016, candidate Trump issued a now famous request. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
    The 27 July date makes an appearance in Mr Mueller’s most recent indictment document, as well. “On or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office,” the court filing reads. “At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign.”

  57. Yezhovshchina says:

    Retired Adm. William “Bill” McRaven resigned from the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board last month, just days after issuing a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday. The Defense Innovation Board serves as an independent advisory committee to the Pentagon specializing in issues related to technology and innovation. McRaven’s picture has been removed from the board’s website.
    While his departure was first reported by Defense News on Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that McRaven, the former head of Special Operations Command, officially resigned last month, just four days after he authored a blistering op-ed in The Washington Post slamming Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance. See also “Architect of bin Laden raid issues stunning rebuke of Trump”

    • no comment says:

      Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump at 6:54 AM – 12 Oct 2018: “So nice, everyone wants Ivanka Trump to be the new United Nations Ambassador. She would be incredible, but I can already hear the chants of Nepotism! We have great people that want the job.”

  58. Hollywood Liberal says:

    President Donald Trump has reportedly asked Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman and one of the US’s highest-ranking diplomats, to replace Nikki Haley as the US’s ambassador to the UN. Nauert, 48, did not have experience in foreign policy, government, or politics when she left her job as a Fox News host to join the Trump administration last year. There has never before been a State Department spokesperson who has simultaneously served as undersecretary for public affairs and public diplomacy, a top-ranking post that directs strategic messaging, promotes cross-cultural exchanges, and oversees the Global Engagement Center, which fights foreign propaganda.
    Nauert has also been rumored to top the president’s list of potential replacements for the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

  59. Ovsiankina effect says:

    “Donald Trump Trash Talks Michelle Obama, Jim Acosta, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Claims Not To Know Acting AG Whitaker”
    “Trump says he doesn’t know acting AG, despite reports of Oval Office meetings”
    “A group of Senate Democrats on Friday demanded information concerning what they said was a possible breach of federal ethics laws by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, asking the department’s top ethics official to provide details on meetings Ross participated in with officials in whose companies he had investments.”
    “Trump is telling people he wants to replace Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross by the end of the year : favoring former wrestling executive Linda McMahon to become Commerce secretary, sources say.”
    “When President Trump first launched his campaign in 2015, National Enquirer publisher David Pecker reportedly offered Trump a unique gift: He’d pay off women who alleged they’d had affairs with Trump. And contrary to what he’s claimed before, Trump personally orchestrated and took advantage of that promise, The Wall Street Journal reports.”

  60. Red queen says:

    “First lady Melania Trump demanded the ouster of National Security Adviser John Bolton’s top deputy, Mira Ricardel, on Tuesday as reports swirled about an imminent shakeup of President Donald Trump’s administration.” “Ricardel, Bolton’s top deputy, clashed with the first lady’s staff after threatening to withhold National Security Council resources during Melania Trump’s trip to Africa last month unless Ricardel or another NSC official was included in her entourage, one person familiar with the matter said.
    A White House official disputed a Wall Street Journal report that Ricardel had been fired soon after Melania Trump’s statement. A second official said Ricardel was still in the building as of about 4:00 p.m. in Washington.
    Meanwhile “…the Washington Post first reported late Wednesday that Trump was preparing to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whom he has repeatedly blamed for what he calls an immigration “crisis” on the southern U.S. border. Nielsen is a close ally of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who preceded her at the Department of Homeland Security. It’s possible her departure may lead to his, though he has said he will serve through Trump’s re-election contest in 2020.”

    • consumed by maggots says:

      “White House chief of staff John Kelly could soon be departing from the Trump administration following conflicts with first lady Melania Trump and other officials, NBC News reported Tuesday.
      Kelly and Trump have reportedly clashed over the first lady’s staffing requests and her travel arrangements. Citing two White House officials, NBC News reported that the first lady voiced concerns to President Trump earlier this year after Kelly denied multiple requests from her to promote her aides. NBC News noted that Kelly has also clashed with national security adviser John Bolton. The two were reported to have engaged in a profanity-laced verbal disagreement outside the Oval Office last month.”

      • Déjà Vu says:

        “CNN is reporting that White House chief of staff John Kelly will resign in the coming days.” “White House sources told CNN on Friday that Kelly’s relationship with the president, often reported as tumultuous, is no longer seen as “sustainable” and will likely lead to Kelly’s ouster in the near future.
        Nick Ayers, a longtime aide to Vice President Pence currently serving as Pence’s chief of staff, is being mentioned as a potential replacement, according to CNN.
        Rumors of Kelly’s departure have been frequent, yet he has held on to his position.”

        • Frakhas valad! says:

          Nick Ayers, currently chief of staff for United States Vice President Mike Pence, has declined an offer by President Donald Trump to become his chief of staff.
          The refusal on Sunday comes days after Trump said his current chief of staff, John Kelly, would leave the office in January.
          Ayers had allegedly been in talks for months to take the job, but was unable to agree on terms with Trump, according to Reuters news agency.
          Instead, Ayers announced on Twitter he would be leaving the White House soon, apparently to return to his home state of Georgia where he would work “to advance the cause”.

          • Bogus Potus says:

            Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 5:30 AM – 11 Dec 2018:
            “Fake News has it purposely wrong. Many, over ten, are vying for and wanting the White House Chief of Staff position. Why wouldn’t someone want one of the truly great and meaningful jobs in Washington. Please report news correctly. Thank you!”

  61. Fox & Friends says:

    President Trump is expected to announce Friday that he has chosen Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman and a former Fox News host, to become the next ambassador to the U.N., according to a senior administration official. She’s been a strong defender of Trump’s at the podium, something he has clearly noticed.
    “She’s excellent, she’s been with us a long time, she’s been a supporter for a long time,” Trump told reporters on Nov. 1.
    Before joining the Trump administration, she had no government or foreign policy experience, though she did work on some overseas assignments for ABC.
    The State Department used to hold daily briefings. That has been scaled back to two a week, at most.

  62. Trochaic tetrameter says:

    “Hawkish Republican lawmakers, still reeling from President Trump’s decision on Wednesday to yank American forces from Syria, found fresh cause for alarm on Thursday, after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in protest and reports circulated that the president was preparing to pull thousands of troops out of Afghanistan.
    Coming on the same day that Mr. Trump balked at an agreement to avert an imminent government shutdown, the rapid-fire developments prompted rare warnings from within Mr. Trump’s own party that his foreign policy could be leading toward dangerous instability on the global stage.”
    James Mattis’ resignation letter in full (BBC News)
    Donald Trump threatened “a shutdown that will last for a very long time” if he doesn’t get money for his border wall Friday as the federal government braced for a partial shutdown that could begin at midnight.

  63. Daily double says:

    “Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, a war monitor and Turkish media said Sunday. The buildup comes even though Turkey said it would delay a promised offensive in eastern Syria in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops earlier this week.
    The Trump decision surprised his allies and own experts, sparking the resignation of two of his top aides.”
    “Brett McGurk, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, resigned on Friday because he reportedly disagreed with Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, which Trump claimed he was doing because the U.S. had defeated ISIS in that region.
    McGurk had reportedly planned to leave the position in February but decided to resign early. His resignation came a day after Defense Secretary James Mattis also resigned.
    Trump in a tweet on Saturday suggested McGurk was being a “grandstander” and wrote that he doesn’t know him. “Brett McGurk, who I do not know, was appointed by President Obama in 2015. Was supposed to leave in February but he just resigned prior to leaving. Grandstander? The Fake News is making such a big deal about this nothing event!” the president tweeted.”
    Meanwhile: “Government shutdown 2018: All sides anticipating impasse will continue into January”

    • Puzzling Evidence says:

      Turkey says the US just agreed to more of its demands as Ankara sees expanded power in Syria (CNBC 12.25.18) Turkey’s foreign minister said Tuesday the U.S. had agreed to complete its previously established “roadmap” to remove all Kurdish militia fighters from the Northern Syrian town of Manbij before U.S. forces clear out. Last week, Turkish President Recep Erdogan threatened to attack Manbij to “cleanse” it of the Kurds, whom he called terrorists — a move the Pentagon has called “unacceptable.” U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced last week that he would be recalling all U.S. forces from Syria.
      Meanwhile: Wesley Clark, the former commander of NATO’s forces, on Monday questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blackmailed President Trump into his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
      “There doesn’t seem to be any strategic rationale for the decision. And if there’s no strategic rationale for the decision then you have to ask, why was the decision made?” the retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander said on CNN’s “New Day.”
      “People around the world are asking this and some of our friends and our allies in the Middle East are asking, did Erdoğan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff or something? Why would a guy make a decision like this? Because all the recommendations were against it,” he added.

  64. Yikes says:

    A week after James Mattis left his post as Secretary of Defense following Donald Trump’s unilateral decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and just 24 hours after Trump announced he can declare national emergency and direct the Department of Defense to construct his wall without Congressional approval, Pentagon chief of staff Kevin Sweeney became the third senior defense official to quit.
    A knowledgeable source told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the White House forced Sweeney out. The source did not provide further information about the reason.
    List of Trump administration dismissals and resignations

  65. Gujarati says:

    Raj Shah, a Top White House Spokesman, Leaves Trump Administration [to work for a Democratic lobbying firm] (NYT 1/14/19) Mr. Shah, a former researcher at the Republican National Committee, had been in the administration since Mr. Trump took office. His portfolio recently included helping prepare Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh for his Senate confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court. His departure comes as the White House press and communications teams have been depleted. Several aides have moved on to roles at government agencies or have left the Trump administration entirely.
    …He will work with Jamie Rubin, a Democrat who was a spokesman for Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, the [NYT] report said, quoting the officials.
    “I’m excited to join Brian, Jamie and the top-notch team to launch Ballard Media Group. Our team, with years of proven results, will provide the strategic communications clients need to navigate these challenges and successfully deliver their message to the right audience,” Shah said in his statement.

  66. Weed of crime says:

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday declined to say whether President Donald Trump directed a senior campaign official to instruct longtime confidant Roger Stone to contact WikiLeaks, after Stone was arrested early Friday.
    “A senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign,” the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation reads, referring to Stone’s 2016 contact with WikiLeaks, which later leaked a trove of emails from the campaign of Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.
    Asked about the indictment and Stone’s arrest on CNN, Sanders would not say whether Trump directed the official, who is likely Steve Bannon. “I haven’t read this document. I’m not an attorney. I’m not going to be able to get into the weeds on the specifics,” she said, before claiming: “That has nothing to do with the president.”
    Stone’s indictment at
    CNBC reports “Steve Bannon is the ‘high-ranking’ Trump official in Roger Stone indictment who asked about future WikiLeaks releases in October 2016” Includes link to email evidence NYT reported 11/1/18

  67. Bad Penny says:

    “US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela : Elliott Abrams, who was linked to failed coup against Chávez, to join Pompeo to urge security council to recognize Guaidó as head.” (Guardian UK 1/26/19) “…Abrams is widely remembered in Central America, but particularly from his time in the Reagan administration, when he tried to whitewash a massacre of a thousand men, women and children by US-funded death squads in El Salvador, when he was assistant secretary of state for human rights.
    He shrugged off the reports as communist propaganda, and insisted: “The administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”
    Abrams also helped organise the covert financing of Contra rebels in Nicaragua behind the back of Congress, which had cut off funding. He then lied to Congress about his role, twice. He pleaded guilty to both counts in 1991 but was pardoned by George HW Bush.”
    Iran-Contra Affair see also indictments @

  68. My New Shin says:

    “Democrats Want to Know What Russia Has on Steve Mnuchin : A top lawmaker wants answers on a $25 million deal the Treasury secretary struck with an oligarch linked to Oleg Deripaska.” (Vanity Fair Jan 29, 2019)
    “Democrats in Congress raised ethical concerns on Tuesday about connections between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and a billionaire Republican donor who stands to benefit financially from the Trump administration’s decision to lift sanctions on the Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska’s companies.” (NYT 1/29/19)

  69. Stranger than Fiction says:

    Right-wing author and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sued his former associate Roger Stone for defamation on Thursday.
    The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Corsi who is seeking $25 million in damages, alleges Stone lied as both men tried to distance themselves from allegations they had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks email dumps that were damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Notably, the lawsuit by Corsi, 72, claims Stone’s “intentional infliction of emotional distress and coercion and threats are intended to try even cause Plaintiff Corsi to have heart attacks and strokes, in order that Plaintiff will be unable to testify at Stone’s criminal trial.” Corsi also claimed Stone’s conduct caused him “conscious pain, suffering, severe emotional distress and the fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death, and other mental and physical injuries, and Plaintiff was severely harmed and damaged thereby.”
    Stone did not immediately return a request for comment.
    …Included in the indictment, Stone was accused of threatening the dog of radio host Randy Credico, an intermediary with WikiLeaks, as he pressured the host to back up the false testimony he gave to Congress.

  70. Preditor$ says:

    On Thursday, a federal judge in Florida ruled that President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta, broke the law when, as a U.S. attorney, he brokered a secret non-prosecution deal with Jeffrey Epstein, a highly-connected wealth manager accused of molesting and trafficking dozens of underage girls over a period of decades.
    The ruling is explosive, for a number of reasons — and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow broke down its meaning and implications in a lengthy Twitter thread:

  71. Tercio de Banderillas says:

    “Intrigue in the House of Trump” (NYT March 1, 2019) This is the first part of an editorial series on nepotism in the White House. Read more on Jared Kushner’s role in part 2 and on Ivanka Trump’s role in part 3

  72. Twofer says:

    White House deputy chief of staff and de facto communications director Bill Shine has stepped down to join the Trump campaign, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced in a statement Friday. Shine, a former Fox News executive, joined the White House in July 2018, the sixth person to fill or be tapped for the top communications role. Jason Miller, Sean Spicer, Mike Dubke, Anthony Scaramucci and Hope Hicks all came before him. Reportedly Shine will be joining the 2020 re-election campaign as a senior adviser.
    Also: The Air Force secretary, Heather A. Wilson, said on Friday that she would resign after two years of reining in Trump administration plans for a widely criticized Space Force and overseeing a branch of the military that is involved in lengthy air campaigns over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

  73. Season 8: Win or Die says:

    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigning after clashes with Trump on immigration (CBS News April 7, 2019 / 6:30 PM) “Nielsen’s imminent departure is a part of a massive DHS overhaul engineered and directed by top Trump adviser Stephen Miller, according to a senior U.S. official. It’s unclear whether Nielsen is deciding to leave voluntarily, or whether she has been pressured to resign.”
    Meanwhile, according to CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, Miller—the president’s white nationalist policy advisor—had been personally lobbying Trump to withdraw Ronald Vitiello’s nomination to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Among Miller’s complaints was the fact that he said Vitiello wasn’t fully in favor of the president’s threat to fully close the border between the United States and Mexico. …If Miller is indeed behind Vitiello’s ouster, it’d be very much in keeping with the 33-year-old’s fascistic anti-immigrant crusade. According to former White House advisor Cliff Sims, Miller once stated that “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil.”

    • Matthew 3:12 says:

      Trump is removing US Secret Service director Secret Service officials have been caught by surprise with the news and are only finding out through CNN, according to the source. The Secret Service director reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned on Sunday amid growing pressure from the President. The director oversees the Secret Service’s work on both protection and investigations.
      “There is a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency,” one senior administration official says. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services director Francis Cissna and Office of the General Counsel’s John Mitnick are expected to be gone soon, and the White House is eyeing others to be removed. The President in recent weeks empowered Stephen Miller to lead the administration’s border policies “and he’s executing his plan” with what amounts to a wholesale decapitation of the Department of Homeland Security leadership, the official says.
      Stephen Miller:

    • Here We Stand says:

      The acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security has been forced to resign amid a staff shakeup spurred by President Donald Trump’s growing frustration over the number of Central American migrants crossing the southern border.
      Claire Grady resigned Tuesday. She was technically the next in line to replace Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned Sunday. But Trump chose Kevin McAleenan, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as acting secretary. That meant Grady had to resign or be fired. (TIME 4/10/19)

  74. Alice Kingsley says:

    “President Donald Trump on Wednesday blasted the investigation into Russian election interference and obstruction of justice as “an attempted coup” against his presidency.
    In comments to reporters on the White House South Lawn — some of his harshest to date since special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe ended — Trump said the probe was “started illegally” and that “every single thing about it” was “crooked.”
    “There were dirty cops, these were bad people,” he said, listing former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
    “And this was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president. And we beat them, we beat them,” Trump said. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. And you know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was, it was a scam.”
    “What they did was treason, what they did was terrible, what they did was against our Constitution,” Trump said. (NBC News April 10, 2019, 8:15 AM MDT)
    See also: “Conspiracy Without the Theory” (The Atlantic 4/8/19)

  75. Ma Barker says:

    President Trump’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings. The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

  76. Not a crook™️ says:

    “Long before becoming president, Donald Trump called for the jailing of his adversaries. Aided by Attorney General William Barr, he may now actually be training the full force of federal law enforcement against his enemies, real or perceived. Unlike Richard Nixon, who acted in secret, Trump is corrupting the justice system openly and publicly.
    The seriousness of such a presidential abuse of power, and its potential for undermining the constitutional order, could well surpass any of the crimes detailed in the Mueller Report. Indeed, the Congress long ago recognized that such misconduct can merit impeachment.
    Trump’s desire to investigate the investigators who uncovered the Russian plot to elect him president has taken on a special urgency since the release of the Mueller Report, with Trump repeatedly accusing government officials of “treason,” and the White House declaring: “This whole thing was a TAKEDOWN ATTEMPT at the President of the United States.” (see links)

  77. Meanwhile says:

    Trump’s top economic adviser is leaving his post Hassett, who chairs the Council of Economic Advisers and helped craft Trump’s signature tax overhaul in 2017, departs as Trump grapples with mounting trade wars with China and Mexico.
    Conservative economist Hassett has normally pushed free trade policies but has recently had to defend Trump’s use of tariffs to pressure US economic rivals.
    Still, he denied Trump’s policies had anything to do with his departure.
    (NYT 6/1/19): For several weeks, Mr. Trump’s top economic advisers have been urging the president not to use tariffs to punish Mexico for failing to stop the flow of migrants into the United States. Mr. Kushner, along with Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s top trade negotiator, has warned the move would imperil the president’s other priorities, like passage of a revised North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.
    …The idea of punishing Mexico with tariffs had several key proponents, including Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser and an immigration hard-liner. Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Peter Navarro, a trade adviser, had also argued that emergency powers gave the president broad authority to impose the tariffs.

  78. Rabbit hole says:

    “The sweepstakes to replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders is already in full swing just one day after the White House press secretary announced plans to step down.”
    “President Trump on Friday said he will not fire White House counselor Kellyanne Conway after a federal watchdog recommended that she be removed for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act by engaging in partisan political activity on behalf of her boss.”
    “Trump Finally Told the Truth: He Needs Russia to Win” See also “Trump Admits He’s A Criminal”
    “…but when the President does it, that means it is not illegal…”

  79. The Big Knockover says:

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 7:44 AM – Jun 15, 2019: “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go….However, if anyone but me takes over in 2020 (I know the competition very well), there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before! KEEP AMERICA GREAT”

  80. So it goes says:

    Acting secretary of defense Patrick Shanahan departs, and another yes-man bites the dust On Tuesday afternoon, President Trump abruptly announced that Shanahan “has decided not to go forward with his confirmation process so that he can devote more time to his family.” It is hard to know whether this banal cliche was repeated mindlessly or cruelly. For it soon emerged that Shanahan’s family was the reason he is not only pulling out of consideration to become secretary of defense but leaving the Defense Department altogether.
    “Trump Admin Hid Shanahan’s Dark Past, Senators Say : Nominees to the highest federal offices are supposed to be thoroughly vetted by the FBI, with the results turned over to the U.S. Senate. That didn’t happen with Patrick Shanahan.

  81. Smörgåsbord says:

    “Trump taps Melania Trump’s spokeswoman as next White House press secretary”
    “John Sanders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s acting commissioner, will step down in early July as the government’s primary border enforcement executive, a federal official said Tuesday, a development that comes as the agency faces continuing public fury over the treatment of detained migrant children.”
    “White House Directs Kellyanne Conway Not to Testify Before House Panel”
    “White House placed on lockdown for second time in a week due to suspicious package”
    “Kim Kardashian gets backlash over White House photos: ‘Classy on the table just like Trump likes it'”

  82. MJ-12 says:

    “President Donald Trump on Friday extended the mystery of why Vice President Mike Pence abruptly canceled a trip to New Hampshire on Tuesday.” (USA TODAY 7/5/19) “There was a very interesting problem that they had in New Hampshire,” Trump told reporters, without saying what the problem was.
    Trump said the reason will become known “in about a week or two.”
    “I can’t tell you about it. But it had nothing to do with the White House,” Trump said. “There was a problem up there.”
    Pence had been scheduled to visit a drug addiction treatment center in Salem, New Hampshire, and talk about the opioid crisis Tuesday.

  83. Loop de loop says:

    “Trump news – live: Unprecedented impeachment call issued as president renews attack on Mueller and invents imaginary word : Follow the latest updates from Washington” (Independent UK 7/25/19)
    Trump criticizes French wine despite claiming he doesn’t drink in attack on ‘foolish’ Macron
    Trump launches attack on Apple
    Trump hitting out at the World Trade Organization
    Trump says Google may be a ‘national security concern
    Trump has given the US attorney general permission to share classified information about the Russia investigation with Devin Nunes, the Republican House Intelligence Committee ranking member who has called for Justice Department and FBI officials to be jailed over the probe.
    US Border Patrol chief Carla Provost, who was a member of a secret racist group that demonized the migrants that her staff work with, says that she did not realize the racist groups were actually racist.
    The White House has said it had no idea that the bizarre, altered seal was being displayed behind Donald Trump at a right-wing rally. Spokesman Judd Deere says officials “never saw the seal” before it was projected on a screen behind the president.

  84. Kuzma's mother says:

    “Dan Coats will step down as the director of national intelligence on August 15, President Donald Trump announced Sunday in a tweet, a departure that marks the most recent chapter in Trump’s tense and puzzling relationship with the US intelligence community.
    Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, who aggressively questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller last week during Congressional hearings involving his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, will be nominated by the President to replace Coats.”

  85. "Only the best people"™ says:

    “The top Homeland Security spokesman, brought in to serve last month by acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, is a former Border Patrol agent whom U.S. Customs and Border Protection once attempted to fire for faking a crime against himself, according to three CBP officials with first-hand knowledge of the incident and a fourth who is also aware of it.
    DHS acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Media Operations Jose “Lu” Maheda was terminated by Border Patrol a year into his service during the 1990s. Since then, as one official put it, he has “failed up,” getting his job back and eventually becoming a regional Border Patrol spokesman. And now he is the top spokesman for the 240,000-person department because of his connection to McAleenan.”

  86. 4theRecord says:

    > “Scaramucci fires back at Trump: He will turn ‘on everyone’ and then ‘entire country.”
    > “How Trump’s paranoia and conspiracy theories become US policy.”
    > “Trump’s intelligence chief resigned after the White House repeatedly suppressed his warnings about Russian interference, New York Times reports”
    > “Trump says he may name Sue Gordon acting director of national intelligence”
    > “Outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats disrupted a meeting his deputy, Sue Gordon, was holding on election security to urge her to resign from her post. The abrupt interruption on Thursday, reported by CNN, happened shortly before Gordon submitted her letter of resignation later that day. Coats and Gordon are both slated to resign on Thursday.
    Trump chose Rep. John Ratcliffe to be his nominee to replace Coats, but he announced last week he was dropping Ratcliffe as his pick amid scrutiny over the Texas Republican’s credentials.”
    >”Trump’s ‘excellent’ acting intel chief may not be loyalist he wants”

  87. Smörgåsbord says:

    “How Kellyanne Conway saved her White House job”
    “Trump Has Been Sending Creepy Handwritten Notes to Justin Trudeau : The president has been using his Zodiac Killer–inspired method of communicating to conduct matters of U.S. diplomacy.”
    “President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days”
    “Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture Tells Joke About Whining Farmers to Room Full of Farmers, Gets Boo’d” [two days after China declared it would no longer buy any American agricultural products to hit back at Trump for imposing an additional 10 percent tariff on Chinese goods]
    “The reelection campaigns of President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday unveiled a new T-shirt touting the duo as “Back-to-Back Supreme Court Champs,” in a reference to the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.”

  88. Faceplant says:

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday dismissed the biofuel industry’s argument that waivers granted to small oil refineries were destroying demand and that were damaging for the ethanol producers. “There is zero evidence that EPA’s congressionally mandated small refinery exemption program…has had any negative impact on domestic corn ethanol producers,” a spokesman for the EPA said in emailed comments.
    President Donald Trump ordered cabinet members Monday to alleviate discontent in Farm Belt states over his administration’s decision to give 31 small refineries exemptions from US biofuel laws, according to Reuters. The exemptions, granted on August 9, allow the refiners to use a smaller amount of ethanol when mixing their gasoline. Trump’s administration has handed out a record number of such exemptions. Refiners are required to blend biofuels such as ethanol into their gasoline or help fund peers that do so. Ethanol producers and corn harvesters lobbied to cut the number of exemptions, according to Reuters.
    Iowa, the nation’s largest producer of corn and ethanol, is a swing state won by Democrat Barack Obama in consecutive elections before Trump rode to victory in 2016 in part by promising to support ethanol.

  89. Wocka Wocka says:

    A day in the beclowning of the Trump White House (Washington Post 8/21/19)
    Also: (25 min ago) White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney warns Republican donors of a possible ‘moderate and short’ recession and President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was “thinking about” cutting payroll taxes, less than a day after the White House denied that a payroll tax cut was under consideration (8/20/19)

  90. Day 952 says:

    President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, who’s been with him since the start of his administration, has abruptly left the White House after sharing intimate details about the President’s family with reporters, multiple people tell CNN. Her ouster marks yet another departure from an administration beset by a series of exits by high-ranking officials [ July 12], and it underlines the President’s battle against the extensive leaks out of the White House and his greater campaign against the press.

    The Man Who Couldn’t Take It Anymore : “I had no choice but to leave,” General James Mattis says of his decision to resign as President Trump’s secretary of defense. (The Atlantic October 2019 issue)

    List of Trump’s stands to date on policies regarding culture, immigration, economy, national security, etc.

  91. GACK says:

    “Maybe Trump’s Real Estate Lawyer Wasn’t the Right Guy to Bring Peace to the Middle East”
    Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Middle East peace, tasked with working on the “ultimate deal” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is to leave the post, it has been announced.
    Greenblatt may stay in the role until the publication of the long-delayed plan, which is now due to come out some time after Israeli elections on 17 September. However, if those elections bring about the fall of Donald Trump’s close ally, Benjamin Netanyahu, the plan could be shelved indefinitely.
    It was reported on Thursday that a 30 year-old Kushner aid, Avi Berkowitz – who graduated from law school in 2016 and has no Middle East experience, would take over some of Greenblatt’s role, while the state department’s special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, would broaden his responsibilities to include Israel and the Palestinian territories.
    During Greenblatt’s time in office, the US severed its diplomatic links with the Palestinians, closed down its consulate in Jerusalem, and ordered the Palestinian mission in Washington to shut down. Earlier this year, the US cut all aid to the Palestinian territories.

  92. Curiouser and curiouser says:

    At 8:58 this morning President Trump tweeted he had fired John R. Bolton, his third national security adviser. Twelve minutes later Bolton tweeted “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” Bolton’s dismissal came barely an hour after the White House announced a briefing for 2:30 p.m. where Bolton was supposed to appear alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
    Trump later said he would appoint someone to replace Bolton “next week”.
    Meanwhile Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross claims he never threatened to fire employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — the federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service — after the NWS’ Birmingham office disputed President Trump’s claim in tweet that Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama.

  93. Tartuffe says:

    “Trump denies triggering whistleblower report” (Politico, updated 09/19/2019 12:01 PM EDT)
    “5 key questions about the DNI whistleblower mystery” (CNN Updated 12:18 PM ET, Thu September 19, 2019)
    “What is the Trump whistleblower complaint about? Here’s a timeline of what we know.” (Washington Post September 19, 2019 at 9:02 a.m. MDT)

  94. Mumblety-peg says:

    “The White House Counteroffensive Is Going Swimmingly : Trump’s people emailed their talking points on the Ukraine memo to House Democrats. They were promptly leaked to reporters.”
    The White House Accidentally Sent Democrats Its Ukraine Call Talking Points : It would also like to ask those Democrats to PLEASE ignore the previous email, thank you. The ineptitude and humiliation of accidentally sending your internal messaging document to your opponents aside, it’s probably fortunate for the White House that the public has access to the original set of talking points, since Republicans already appear to be screwing them up.
    Also: Following the release of a memorandum detailing parts of President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine, Fox News’ response was nearly identical to talking points provided by the White House.
    In other news from the Trump’s political masterminds: A whistleblower’s complaint about President Trump’s conduct towards Ukraine prompted a criminal referral to the Justice Department, a DOJ spokesperson revealed on Wednesday. However, the Department decided not to act on the referral, which was sent to the DOJ by the director of national intelligence and the inspector general for the intelligence community according to the New York Times.

  95. Tweety pie says:

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 6:11 PM – 29 Sep 2019: “….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress, @FoxNews”

    The president’s tweet was immediately met with backlash, and Harvard Law professor John Coates argued that the social media post itself is an “independent basis” for lawmakers to remove him from the White House.
    “This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment – a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power,” Coates wrote on Twitter on Monday.

    Historian Kevin Kruse also slammed Trump for suggesting in his “Civil War” tweet that only Democrats are responsible for impeachment. Kruse, a Princeton University professor, noted that in order to successfully remove the president there needs to be a significant amount of Republicans backing impeachment.
    “Trump can only be removed through impeachment if two-thirds of the Senate votes to remove him. To do that, 20 Republicans would need to join the 45 Democrats and 2 Independents,” Kruse wrote. “Removal would be bipartisan. Framing it as some kind of civil war isn’t just dangerous. It’s dumb.”

  96. Decrescendo says:

    ⇥ The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine whose abrupt ouster in May has become a focus of House impeachment investigators said Friday in remarks before Congress that her departure came as a direct result of pressure President Trump placed on the State Department to remove her. The account by Marie Yovanovitch depicts a career Foreign Service officer caught in a storm of unsubstantiated allegations pushed by the president’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani and a cast of former Ukrainian officials who viewed her as a threat to their financial and political interests.
    ⇥ President Donald Trump sought Friday to distance himself from attorney Rudy Giuliani, even casting doubts about whether the former New York mayor is still his lawyer.
    Asked whether Giuliani remained his personal attorney, Trump said: “I don’t know.”
    “I haven’t spoken to Rudy,” Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for a political rally in Louisiana. “I spoke to him yesterday, briefly. He’s a very good attorney and he has been my attorney, yeah sure.”
    Giuliani told USA TODAY shortly afterward that he’s still Trump’s lawyer. “He hasn’t told me otherwise,” he said.
    ⇥ A senior career foreign service officer who served as a top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resigned after a nearly four-decade career as a diplomat.
    ⇥ Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security since April and the fourth person to serve in that post since the Trump presidency began, submitted his resignation to the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump announced Friday.
    ⇥ The Turnover at the Top of the Trump Administration (as of Oct 4, 2019)

  97. Gangly says:

    Last week Trump’s Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney leaked to the media that if Trump tries to scapegoat him in the scandal, he’ll quit – and presumably cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry in an effort to protect himself.
    Today’s New York Times details the story of the Trump regime’s failed attempt at hiring Trey Gowdy as outside counsel, which not only went nowhere and left the Trump regime publicly humiliated, it also cost Gowdy his Fox News gig. [see ]
    The Times article goes out of its way to pin the blame on Mick Mulvaney and based on the manner in which it’s framed, it sounds like the source is White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who supposedly tried to heroically stop Mick Mulvaney from pursuing the Trey Gowdy hire. If so, it means Cipollone – with or without Trump’s blessing – is trying to scapegoat Mulvaney for screwing up Trump’s impeachment defense.
    In any case, the Times article concludes:
    “Without Mr. Gowdy, who lost his paid contributorship at Fox News after the announcement, and with another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Rudolph W. Giuliani, sidelined from appearing on television for the moment as he is drawn increasingly into the Ukraine matter at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, the president’s team remains outgunned in the fight for public opinion.
    Even Mr. Trump — who for the most part has been operating as a one-man war room, setting the tone of grievance from the top — appears confused about which of his staff members is in charge.
    The president, at one point, asked Mr. Mulvaney who was leading the effort. Mr. Mulvaney, who often invokes Mr. Kushner’s name around Mr. Trump to show that he has a good relationship with the family, passed the buck to Mr. Kushner.
    Mr. Kushner, who aides said had been spending many hours on impeachment as part of his broader portfolio of defending the president, has told some people he is running the inquiry response and played down that idea with others.”

  98. Half-assed says:

    ● Ambassador breaks with Trump, testifying the President directed diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine
    ● Rick Perry says Trump directed him to Giuliani about allege Ukraine corruption
    ● 4th Defendant Arrested In Alleged Campaign Contribution Scheme Linked To Giuliani
    ● A federal grand jury in New York has issued a subpoena to former Texas congressman Pete Sessions seeking records and other information on his interactions with President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and two Giuliani associates charged last week with a scheme to funnel foreign money to U.S. politicians
    ● Federal investigation of Rudy Giuliani includes counterintelligence probe Federal investigators looking into Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s foreign financial entanglements are also looking into counterintelligence issues that may have grown out of those business ventures
    ● Former White House foreign-policy adviser Fiona Hill told House impeachment investigators on Monday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was a potential “security risk” because he came so unprepared to the job, according to the New York Times.
    ● Giuliani denies he illegally lobbied for Turkey after pressing Trump to hand over Muslim cleric : He repeatedly urged U.S. to extradite Islamic scholar wanted by Turkey
    ● Erdogan threw Trump’s ‘don’t be a fool’ letter in the trash, sources claim
    ● Inside the Derailed White House Meeting: “I hate ISIS more than you do,” President Trump said. “You don’t know that,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi replied. Here’s the rest of their exchange.
    ● Trump makes at least 12 false claims to reporters during an Oval Office meeting and subsequent joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
    ● What it means for American bases in Syria to be occupied by Syrian and Russian forces

  99. Smörgåsbord says:

    ☐ (Oct. 31, 2019 at 9:34 a.m. MDT): A deeply divided House on Thursday passed a resolution defining the parameters of the next phase of the impeachment inquiry as lawmakers heard from another key witness in the Ukraine controversy. Meanwhile, Timothy Morrison, a deputy to John Bolton when he served as President Trump’s national security adviser, is expected to testify in a closed-door deposition this morning. (live updates)
    ☐ Morrison, the top Russia official on President Trump’s National Security Council, resigned on the eve of his testimony in the House’s impeachment probe. A senior administration official said Morrison “has decided to pursue other opportunities.”
    ☐ Testimony: Nunes acolyte misrepresented himself to Trump as Ukraine expert. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman also testified on Tuesday that the National Security Council staffer, Kash Patel, fed the president disinformation about Ukraine.
    ☐ Three House committees investigating the President invited former national security adviser John Bolton to testify next week. Bolton’s attorney says Bolton would not appear voluntarily and would need to be subpoenaed.
    ☐ Two diplomats who worked on Ukraine policy testified during depositions Wednesday
    Christopher Anderson, a career Foreign Service officer, also told lawmakers that the White House blocked efforts by the State Department to condemn actions by Russia, including an attack by Russian forces on Ukrainian military vessels in the Sea of Azov in 2018.
    “While my colleagues at the State Department quickly prepared a statement condemning Russia for its escalation, senior officials in the White House blocked it from being issued,” Anderson testified.
    ☐ Catherine Croft, a career diplomat who worked at both the White House and the State Department, said that Republican lobbyist Robert Livingston — a former House member and a previously unknown player in the Ukraine drama — called her several times to say that then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch should be fired. “He characterized Ambassador Yovanovitch as an ‘Obama holdover’ and associated with George Soros,” Croft said in her opening remarks, referring to the liberal billionaire donor often demonized on the right.
    ☐ Also on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, implicitly broke with Trump when he said during his confirmation hearing that a president using his office to solicit investigations into his political opponents would not be “in accord with our values.”
    ☐ On Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s “OutFront,” historian and former Richard Nixon Presidential Library director Tim Naftali suggested that President Donald Trump — in releasing an incredibly damning partial transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — fell into the same self-laid trap as Nixon himself.

  100. Winter IS coming says:

    Trump suggested firing impeachment witnesses–3Zs
    President Donald Trump’s aides have explored moving some impeachment witnesses on loan to the White House from other agencies, such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, back to their home departments ahead of schedule, according to people familiar with the conversations.
    As public hearings bring the officials’ allegations to his television screen, Trump is asking anew how witnesses such as Vindman and Ambassador Bill Taylor came to work for him, people familiar with the matter said. He has suggested again they be dismissed, even as advisers warn him firing them could be viewed as retaliation.
    The possible move of officials out of the White House could still be viewed by some as evidence of retribution for their testimony.
    Trump’s frustration at his own officials comes as he attacks witnesses on Twitter, including during Friday’s public hearing with the ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

  101. 'Only the best people' says:

    “Trump official who suggested dropping nuclear bombs on Afghanistan now responsible for arms control issues”
    Frank Wuco, a senior adviser at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, came under scrutiny last year when his past comments involving the promotion of far-right conspiracy theories surfaced.
    Some of those included debunked claims that former president Barack Obama was not born in the United States, former CIA director John Brennan converted to Islam, former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. had been a member of the Black Panthers and former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. See

  102. Scorekeeper says:

    The administration of President Donald Trump has established a record for turnover among cabinet secretaries and senior advisers during a president’s first term, according to a Brookings Institution study. Here’s an updated guide to who’s in and who’s out.
    Brookings Institution “Tracking turnover in the Trump administration”

  103. Fade away says:

    “Latest Tell-All, By Former National Security Adviser McMaster, Is Not All About Trump”
    “President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said U.S.-backed peace talks in Afghanistan are doomed to end in “failure” and warned the risk of another 9/11-style attack on America is “very high.”
    The U.S. is “in many ways more at risk today than we were on Sept. 10, 2001,” McMaster told USA TODAY in the first print interview for his new book, “Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.”
    “HR McMaster was ‘surprised and disappointed’ at Trump claim Putin didn’t interfere in election : Former national security adviser said he and others told Trump he was denying Russian meddling in 2016 ‘when we know it’s incontrovertible’”

  104. Stooge says:

    Footnote: In the administration of Donald Trump, the current Chief of Staff is Mark Meadows, who succeeded Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who succeeded John F. Kelly, who succeeded Richard “Reince” Priebus.

    “Mark Meadows’ FEC filings raise questions of unlawful spending, campaign coordination”
    “Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks on Trump’s reported bank account in China” [Trump’s secret Chinese bank account isn’t unusual because lots of regular Americans supposedly operate out of secret Chinese bank accounts?]
    “White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told a federal court that President Trump didn’t mean it when he tweeted that he was ordering the declassification of all Russia-probe documents – Trump was just referring to his delegation of declassification authority to AG Barr”
    “White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows disputed CNN’s account that President Trump abruptly cut off last night’s 60 Minutes interview set to air Sunday, but did say host Lesley Stahl came across as more of an “opinion journalist” than a “real” reporter. “Well, he didn’t walk out,” Meadows told Fox Business.

  105. A plague of stupidity says:

    “At least three more people in President Donald Trump’s orbit — including White House political director Brian Jack — have tested positive for coronavirus, widening the latest outbreak to ravage the West Wing.

    “White House Outbreaks Persist, as Cases Now Span Three Months : Three more White House staffers have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the latest outbreak among President Trump’s aides and advisers to 12 people.
    They join at least 20 members of Mr. Trump’s administration, campaign and inner circle who have contracted the virus since late September, after an earlier outbreak among White House residence staff. (see interactive list).
    The waves of cases have touched members of Mr. Trump’s family, campaign, administration and staff, some of whom have not isolated for recommended periods after infection and have continued to flout basic coronavirus rules [see links]”.

  106. Update says:

    “Questions swirl at Pentagon after wave of departures”
    One think tank expert told The Hill that those left at the Pentagon are laying low until Trump is out of office. They pointed to a number of recently canceled events where senior defense officials were expected to speak.
    “Every senior official in the Department of Defense is scared to death that they’re going to say something in public that the president will see and take vengeance for,” they said. “It’s not just one service or one group. Everybody has decided they’re not going to say anything, they’re not going to do public appearances … maybe even up until the inauguration. You’re going to see more people leave and a lot of caution by the people who stay.”
    Despite the shakeup, Miller on Friday sought to portray a sense of tranquility at the Pentagon.

  107. До свидания says:

    “The Department of Homeland Security’s cyber chief, who presided over an elaborate election security effort guarding against foreign interference and fraud, was ousted by President Donald Trump on Tuesday as part of a continuing post-election purge of top national security officials.
    Trump announced the dismissal in two tweets Tuesday night. Twitter flagged both tweets with labels saying, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
    The dismissal of Christopher Krebs, director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, follows the agency’s declaration that the general election was the most secure in U.S. history.
    The statement served as a pointed rebuke to a president who continues to make unsubstantiated allegations of voting fraud while Trump’s legal team pursues multiple legal challenges in battleground states.”

  108. Winter is coming says:

    “As U.S. Reaches 250,000 Deaths From COVID-19, A Long Winter Is Coming”
    “12 Million To Lose Jobless Benefits The Day After Christmas Unless Congress Acts”
    “CDC moratorium on evictions expires on Dec. 31, 2020.”

  109. Piazzale Loreto says:

    “President Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation, a source familiar with the President’s thinking told CNN on Thursday.
    The President’s refusal to concede, as CNN has previously reported, stems in part from his perceived grievance that Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama undermined his own presidency by saying Russia interfered in the 2016 election and could have impacted the outcome, people around him have said.”
    “The most important thing we need to keep in mind is that Donald is in a unique position for him,” said Mary Trump, the President’s niece who wrote a damning account of his family life. “He’s never in his life been in a situation that he can’t get out of either through using somebody else’s money, using connections, using power. And not only is he in a unique position, he’s in a position of being a loser, which in my family, certainly, as far as my grandfather was concerned, was the worst possible thing you could be.”

  110. Get while the gettin's good says:

    Alyssa Farah has resigned from her role as the White House communications director.
    In a statement, Farah said she will be “leaving the White House to pursue new opportunities.”
    “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the Trump administration over the last three and a half years,” the statement said.
    Farah rejoined the White House communications team in April, around the time Mark Meadows, her former boss, was brought on to be chief of staff.
    During her time in the communications director role, Farah was at the helm of the White House coronavirus task force’s public messaging.

  111. Baby Huey's death march (continued) says:

    “White House staffers at all levels are plotting their departures as a growing number of aides to President Donald Trump are abandoning his quest to overturn the 2020 election results — some in frustration with the building they are leaving behind.
    A separate senior administration official described a “toxic” work environment among the dwindling number of West Wing staffers. While the Trump White House was never the model of a functional workplace, the lack of direction and sense of defeat during Trump’s lame duck period has sharpened divides among staffers facing the prospect of potential unemployment.
    “I think people are moving on because they have families or livelihoods to support,” the official said.
    “That, and the place is becoming more toxic by the day … people turning on each other, trying to settle scores while they can,” the official added.
    The White House did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.”
    Meanwhile: “during a Friday interview, MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell said that President Donald Trump would continue to be president for “the next four years,” even as Trump’s former counselor Kellyanne Conway said that it looks as if President-elect Joe Biden “will prevail” in being seated as the next president in January 2021.
    “I want the word to get out that Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years,” Lindell said during a Friday Fox News interview, adding that he was 100 percent sure of it. He made his comments while demonstrating with “March for Trump” protesters demanding that Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp help overturn the state’s election results in Trump’s favor.”

  112. White House Souce says:

    President Trump’s lawyer Jenna Ellis has informed associates she tested positive for the coronavirus, multiple sources tell Axios, stirring West Wing fears after she attended a senior staff Christmas party on Friday.
    There are concerns about the potential for another White House superspreader event, though it was unclear whether Ellis posed a risk when she attended. Ellis declined to confirm the diagnosis to Axios.
    “People brought their families,” said one senior White House official who attended the party and has since been informed of Ellis’ diagnosis.
    The revelation follows Sunday’s news that Ellis’ legal sidekick Rudy Giuliani was hospitalized after testing positive.
    Ellis showed up to the White House senior staff party in the East Wing on Friday as the guest of Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro and was not seen wearing a mask, according to sources who attended the indoor event.
    “She had the nerve to show up at the senior staff Christmas party knowing everyone was furious with her for constantly stirring Trump up with nonsense,” said a senior administration official.

  113. ...just one more thing says:

    President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would appoint former White House aide Kellyanne Conway to the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
    The president also announced the nominations of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao [U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife] and Lynn Friess, the wife of Republican megadonor Foster Friess, as members of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, would be named to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, Trump said.
    The news came in a list provided by the White House of more than two dozen intended appointments to “key administration posts” — consisting mostly of seats on panels including the National Cancer Advisory Board, Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board, the Community Development Advisory Board, and others.

  114. America held hostage: Day 1,458 says:

    The acting secretary of defense is trying to install a Trump loyalist as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency, according to three sources familiar.
    Christopher Miller, who just two days earlier said he couldn’t wait to leave his job, ordered the head of the NSA to install Michael Ellis as general counsel by 6 p.m., Saturday, but NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone did not act by the given deadline, leaving it unclear what Miller or the White House would do.
    Ellis’s naming, made under pressure from the White House, drew criticism from national security legal experts. It “appears to be an attempt to improperly politicize an important career position,” wrote Susan Hennessey, a former lawyer in the NSA Office of General Counsel, on Lawfare, where she is the executive editor. [See “How Did a Trump Loyalist Come to Be Named NSA General Counsel—And What Should Biden Do About It?” ]
    The move is troubling, coming as it does four days before President Trump leaves office and the Biden administration takes over, former U.S. officials said. The move makes it more difficult for the Biden administration to immediately replace him, the former officials said.

  115. Curiouser and curiouser says:

    The Justice Department’s top national security official is resigning from his position after revelations that the department secretly seized records from Democrats and members of the media.
    John Demers will leave his position by the end of next week, a Justice Department official told The Associated Press on Monday. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity.
    Demers was sworn in a few weeks after the subpoena for the Democrats’ records. He is one of the few Trump appointees who has remained in the Biden administration.
    Top Justice Department officials Sessions, Barr and Rosenstein all deny knowledge of secret subpoenas targeting Democratic lawmakers

    • Ben Ghazi says:

      Republicans move to block inquiry into Trump DoJ’s secret data seizure
      Democrats are pushing for investigations into Trump’s justice department for data seizures from Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff
      In fiery remarks, the Republican Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, criticized the rapidly expanding congressional inquiries as unnecessary and accused Democrats of embarking on “politically motivated investigations”.
      “I am confident that the existing inquiry will uncover the truth,” said McConnell. “There is no need for a partisan circus here in Congress.”
      Republicans are certain to lock arms to block subpoenas against Trump justice department officials, including former attorneys general Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions. Democrats need at least one Republican member for subpoenas because of the even split between Democrats and Republicans on the panel.

  116. Croupier says:

    The House Oversight Committee has released a cache of more than 200 pages of newly released emails from Justice Department officials and White House staff.
    The documents show, among other allegations, that Trump in December pressed the Justice Department to file a Supreme Court lawsuit to nullify the election, the committee said.
    The dump of new materials came hours before the Oversight Committee was set to hold its second hearing on the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol invasion.
    U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and Reform: Selected Documents, President Trump Pressure Campaign on Department of Justice

  117. Bit by bit says:

    Thomas Barrack, a private equity investor, was arrested with two other men on charges related to illegally lobbying his close friend former President Donald Trump for the United Arab Emirates while Trump was running for and serving as president.
    Barrack was chairman of Trump’s 2017 inaugural fund.
    (2018): Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors
    Probe looking into whether committee misspent funds and top donors gave money in exchange for access to the administration
    (6/27/21): D.C. Prosecutors Set Their Targets on Don Jr.’s Posse
    (6/28/21) Ivanka may have lied in D.C. attorney general’s probe of Trump inauguration
    Emails contradict Ivanka’s claims in lawsuit over alleged misuse of inauguration funds to “enrich Trump family”
    (7/14/21) Allen Weisselberg Escapes Questioning in Inauguration Scandal Case—for Now
    A legal fight over the deposition of Trump’s CFO has been placed on hold.

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