Make the US Politics Thread Great Again


#9093

I am working in an office in San Francisco that is full of very bright young things.

None of them give a rats about US Politics or Trump or just about anyone except themselves. Nice enough, friendly people, but more self-centred than Jason Akermanis.

Most of the stuff that rates mentions on here is of no interest at all. Venture Capital, Accelerators, Founders, Elevator Pitches and money is all they think about.


#9094

A Democrat I am interested in seeing run: Amy Klobuchar.


#9095

Hunter S had a good point then, and it’s still a good point now


#9096

Ah yes, the MEllennials.


#9097

’He’s doing the enemy’s job for them’: Current and former officials compare Trump to a toddler and say his attacks on the intel community create a goldmine for foreign governments

President Donald Trump’s most recent public campaign against the US intelligence community has stunned current and former intelligence officials.

“He’s doing the enemy’s job for them,” one FBI agent told INSIDER.

Another agent compared Trump’s unwillingness to accept intelligence assessments that contradict his beliefs to the behaviour of a toddler.

“It’s like when my son threw temper tantrums when I told him he couldn’t do something or if I said something he didn’t like. Of course, my son was three years old at the time and wasn’t sitting in the Oval Office with the nuclear button,” the second agent told INSIDER.

As a result of Trump’s actions, intelligence officers are “more vulnerable to approaches by foreign intelligence services - and more vulnerable to accepting those approaches - than any other time in US history,” Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative, told INSIDER.

“For decades, the Soviet Union and, more recently, Russia, have denigrated the CIA and our intelligence professionals, attempting to delegitimize US intelligence in the process,” another intelligence veteran, Ned Price, said. “Now our adversaries have a helper who sits in the Oval Office.”

President Donald Trump’s public insults against his top intelligence chiefs and apparent unwillingness to accept assessments that contradict his own beliefs pose a dire threat to US national security and create a goldmine for foreign intelligence services to exploit, current and former intelligence officials told INSIDER.

Trump’s latest attacks came after US intelligence leaders, including FBI director Chris Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee at an annual hearing on Tuesday regarding the top global security threats facing the country.

Trump grew enraged when, among other things, the officials testified that while Iran is still a global threat, it is complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international deal the Obama administration spearheaded that’s designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The assertion directly contradicted the president’s claims that Iran is violating the deal and poses an imminent nuclear threat to the US. The officials also offered intelligence assessments on other hot-button issues, like the Islamic State and North Korea, that went against Trump’s foreign policy claims.

Read more: Roger Stone says he’d be open to talking about his conversations with Trump, and that could be a game changer for Mueller

In a typical reaction, Trump took to Twitter to lash out after the hearing.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran,” the president tweeted. “They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and beyond. Since ending the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal, they are MUCH different, but … a source of potential danger and conflict.”

He added: “They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran. Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

Asked to weigh in on Trump’s public attacks on his intelligence chiefs, one current FBI agent put it bluntly.

“He’s doing the enemy’s job for them,” the agent, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press, told INSIDER.

A goldmine for foreign intelligence

Trump’s apparently short attention span during intelligence briefings is well established. Several media reports over the last two years said officials try to keep the president focused by using visual aids and photographs and by condensing the material. They also reportedly use his name and title as often as possible to get him to pay more attention.

But according to TIME, officials are most alarmed by Trump’s angry reactions when they brief him on information that contradicts his beliefs. Two intelligence officers told TIME that they had been warned not to give the president intelligence assessments that contradict his public stances.

A current FBI agent who works in intelligence-gathering reacted wryly to the report by comparing Trump to a toddler.

“This isn’t unusual,” the agent told INSIDER. “It’s like when my son threw temper tantrums when I told him he couldn’t do something or if I said something he didn’t like.”

The agent added: “Of course, my son was three years old at the time and wasn’t sitting in the Oval Office with the nuclear button.”

Read more: DOJ veterans say Trump and Giuliani’s recent attacks against Cohen could rise to the level of criminal conduct

Glenn Carle, a former CIA covert operative who spent his career recruiting foreign spies as double agents for the US, offered a more sobering assessment.

Trump’s repeated unwillingness to accept the findings of his own intelligence community “makes Americans in the national security establishment more vulnerable to approaches by foreign intelligence services - and more vulnerable to accepting those approaches - than any other time in US history,” Carle told INSIDER.

“Here’s the dilemma: how do you serve an executive who might be a foreign asset and who undermines the functioning of the national security establishment?” Carle said. “If you serve him, you might be betraying your oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. If you don’t, then you’re betraying your oath to serve the executive and your commander.”

He added: “CIA officers spend our careers preying upon exactly this dilemma.”

‘There’s never been a man in the Oval Office who has zero regard for the truth’

Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community are not a new phenomenon. He began casting doubt on the CIA’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election as early as December 2016. In the months before and after, he repeatedly refused to publicly condemn the Russian government for meddling in the race and said it could also have been China or independent hackers.

Last year, the president stunned observers when he said during a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that he trusted Putin’s word that Russia did not interfere over the US intelligence community’s findings. Following swift public backlash, Trump walked back his statements and said he had confidence in US intelligence.

After intelligence officials testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, Trump met with them in the Oval Office.

Before the meeting, reporters asked Trump whether he had confidence that Haspel and Coats would give him sound advice.

“No, I disagree with certain things they said,” the president replied. “I think I’m right, but time will prove that. Time will prove me right, probably.”

On Thursday, after their meeting in the Oval Office, Trump claimed the intelligence chiefs told him their testimony had been “misquoted,” “mischaracterized,” and “distorted” by the media.

“They said it was fake news, which frankly didn’t surprise me,” Trump said.

The hearing was public and was broadcast on multiple news networks in real time. Coats, who spoke on behalf of the five intelligence officials who appeared before the panel, also submitted 42 pages of written testimony, and video of the hearing was posted to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s website.

Read more: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker says he thinks the Mueller probe is ‘close to being completed’

Ned Price, the former Senior Director of the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, outlined the myriad national security risks that stem from the divide between Trump and the US intelligence community.

“First, there’s the risk that senior intelligence officials begin to pull their punches, watering down their assessments in order not to offend the President and his advisors,” Price told INSIDER. “Doing so could well leave our top national security officials blind, or at the very least, more susceptible to threats facing us.”

The attacks could also “continue to fuel a sense of demoralization within our intelligence community,” Price added.

One recently retired FBI agent echoed Price’s assessment, telling INSIDER that morale within the bureau “has already been down - especially in the rank and file - because of the president’s public attacks on the work they do.”

The agent added, “On top of that, FBI agents went without pay during the longest government shutdown in US history. In some way, the president’s latest actions are just adding another straw to the pile. But that doesn’t make it sting any less. How can you effectively work for someone who publicly insults everything you stand for and demonstrates so little confidence in your product?”

Carle agreed, highlighting that Trump’s personality traits add another layer of complexity.

“The US intelligence community’s job is to speak truth to power,” Carle said. “It’s not to tell the executive what he wants to hear and what supports his positions. But there’s never been a man in the Oval Office who has zero regard for the truth. He is only interested in his own self-aggrandizement. There is nothing else. Nothing.”

Perhaps the most chilling effect of Trump’s actions, national security experts said, is the goldmine it produces for foreign intelligence services.

“For decades, the Soviet Union and, more recently, Russia, have denigrated the CIA and our intelligence professionals, attempting to delegitimize US intelligence in the process,” Price said. “Now our adversaries have a helper who sits in the Oval Office.”


#9098

Loved this.

Governor is accused of being racist as photos from his yearbook page show someone in Klan gear and black face.

Goes onto say that it’s not him, but he has done blackface as Michael JACKSON in a dance contest, which he won.

Reporter asks him to do a moonwalk. He appears to size up the area to show off his moonwalk skills before his wife leans over and tells him it wouldn’t be appropriate…what a dumbass


#9099

I am more interested in whether the East Virginia School will be sanctioned for publishing this material in their Year Book ?


#9100

Ever seen Judy Garland in blackface?
It looks freakin’ weird.


#9101

Wasn’t it 30 yrs ago?


#9102

Something like that.

Yaco gon’ yaco.


#9103

I stand by my comment that the Dems would rather lose to Trump or any Republican than have a progressive leading the party. Look at what they did to Bernie in 2016, look at all the smears on Tulsi Gabbard. Look at the ridiculous PAYGO rules Pelosi enacted as the first order of business in the Democratic controlled Congress. That rule is specifically to kneecap progressive agendas. Look at all the ridiculous regime change wars the Democrats cheer lead for when they should be the party for peace. The centrist Democratic establishment are bought and paid for by the donor class and they’ll do everything they can to ensure the current enrichment of the status quo.


#9104

The mid ‘80s

I think KKK has been highly offensive since well before then, not sure about black face.


#9105

Okay


#9106

Time magazine has an article in a similar vein to ‘Boot’s.

Talking about the President’s Daily Brief and the despair amongst security agencies about it. He is considered basically unbriefable by the people charged with the job. Doesn’t read the materials if it is anything more than a one-sheet kind of thing, and in order to try and keep his attention briefers haved resorted to a failing series of gimmicks or tricks. He reacts angrily to information that doesn’t align with views he holds or has expressed publicly.


#9107

Yes, I believe the school is being pressured to step down as Governor.

I’m more interested in the camera used to take the photo. Has it taken other photos since? Sorry, that’s a little unfair but your comment about being “more” interested in that tickled me, yaco.


#9108

#9109

Well Universities are supposedly institutions of society so its a worry if they are printing this material in their year book, albeit it was 35 years ago. I tend to look behind the original story.


#9110

I’m happy that Trump spends two thirds of a day doing nothing, it’s a lot safer than the other third


#9111

A one page written brief with a 5-10 line summary and background explanatory notes ( mainly for the advisors) would be standard. The fundamental problem is the quality of his advisors and who has his ear. I suspect he only listens to the likes of Bolton and Lightizer, who are Neanderthals and who consider themselves the world’s greeatest experts on everything.
Trump failed to grasp the importance of the transition period and of assembling a team of people versed in government practice and policy to deal with the complexities of using his Presidential powers ( as well as its limits) at the domestic and international level for the common good.


#9112

“for the common good”… what makes you think he is at all interested in that?