Connect with us

News

More Comey: I know the moment Trump turned on me

Published

on

Another answer that seems suspiciously self-serving. There are various moments between them that are already public record thanks to Comey that might more reasonably explain Trump’s hostility to him than what he claims here. There was Comey resisting his repeated pleading to say publicly that the president wasn’t under investigation in Russiagate. There was also the moment a few weeks before Trump was sworn in when Comey pulled him aside at Trump Tower to let him know that the FBI had information that, ah, the president might be into water sports.

Instead Comey thinks he lost Trump by interjecting at a meeting to let him know that the U.S. government is not, in fact, a thugocracy like Putin’s government is. Go figure that our super-patriot former FBI chief supposedly earned Trump’s hate by challenging him about the importance of democratic norms, precisely the thesis of his new book. Here he is talking about a meeting he had with Trump and others after the Super Bowl last year at which Trump brought up an answer he’d given in his pre-game interview with Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly asked about detente with Russia and noted that Putin’s a killer, to which Trump replied with his stock MAGA response: “But we’re killers, too. You think our country’s so innocent.” He was proud of the supposed cleverness of that, noted Comey:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So the president wants you to say this was a good answer.

JAMES COMEY: Yeah. In fact, he was telling me it was a good answer and then said– gave me an opening by saying, “You think it was a great answer. You think it was a good answer.” And then he was starting to move on. And I jumped in and I said, “Mr. President, the first part of the answer was fine, not the second part. We’re not the kind of killers that Putin is.”

And when I said that, the weather changed in the room. And like a shadow crossed his face and his eyes got this strange, kinda hard look. And I thought in that moment, “I’ve just done something unusual maybe.” And then (SNAP) it passed and the meeting was over. And, “Thanks for coming in,” and– and Priebus walked me out. It was like–

If only he had said “Yep, America sucks too,” he might still be FBI director today.

Comey doesn’t say when exactly he turned on Trump — presumably when he got fired, given his public silence before that — but the following is a possibility. He’s describing the pre-inauguration briefing here at which James Clapper told Trump and his team that they had high confidence that Russia had interfered in the campaign but had no judgment as to whether that affected the election. According to Comey, the only thing Trump, Pence, etc, were interested in upon learning that was how to spin the information to minimize the impact of it on public perceptions of Trump’s legitimacy:

And then the conversation, to my surprise, moved into a PR conversation about how the Trump team would position this and what they could say about this. They actually started talking about drafting a press release with us still sitting there. And the reason that was so striking to me is that– that’s just not done…

No one, to my recollection, asked, “So what– what’s coming next from the Russians?” You’re about to lead a country that has an adversary attacking it and I don’t remember any questions about, “So what are they going to do next, how might we stop it? What’s the future look like? Because we’ll be custodians of the security of this country.” There was none of that. It was all, “What can we say about what they did and how it affects the election that we just had.”…

I felt this effort to make us all– and maybe this wasn’t their intention, but it’s the way it felt to me, to make us all “amica nostra.” We’re all part of the messaging, we’re all part of the effort. The boss is at the head of the table and we’re going to figure out together how to do this.

The reflexive response to ominous news of foreign meddling by a narcissist who got famous on television was to wonder what it might do to his image? You don’t say.

Coincidentally, WaPo has a worthwhile piece out today about Trump’s tortured relationship with Russia over the first 15 months of his presidency and how he’s increasingly given ground to the many hawks in the West Wing, however reluctantly. He cursed his aides for pushing so hard to have the U.S. take the lead on expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal poisoning — but he went along. He complained that the U.S. has no business in Ukraine but approved sales of antitank missiles on the theory that that might bring the war there to a quicker end. He bombed Syria three days ago despite Putin’s obvious opposition. Whatever his personal feelings about the hostile measures his administration has taken (“The United States essentially has three Russia policies: the president’s, the executive branch’s and Congress’s,” said one analyst), the fact remains that he’s allowed them to be taken. But even his aides, reportedly, try to steer clear of discussing Russian campaign activities with him knowing that he views that as tantamount to echoing the Democratic line that he didn’t win fair and square. Under the circumstances in January 2017, with liberals chattering about mounting an electoral-college revolt against him because of Russia’s activities and the media trumpeting the fact that he’d lost the popular vote, is it really that strange that Trump’s first reaction to Clapper’s report would have been to worry about his own legitimacy as an incoming president?

Here’s Comey talking about his exchange with Trump about the “killers” in the U.S. and Russia government. He was glad in hindsight that he challenged him, he said, since the hostility from Trump put the DOJ at arm’s-length from the president, which is where it’s supposed to be.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

You won’t have Maggie Haberman to kick around anymore (on Twitter, anyway)

Published

on

By

Another voice on Twitter is falling silent (at least mostly) but it has nothing to do with the recent Great Twitter Purge. New York Times columnist Maggie Haberman is throwing in the towel for the time being, while allowing the possibility that she may return after a break. The first indication of her imminent departure came, ironically enough, on Twitter.

I’m not sure how “no reason or prompt” fits into the explanation, but Haberman expanded on her decision in a column yesterday.

I woke up last Sunday morning feeling anxiety in my chest as I checked the Twitter app on my phone, scrolling down to refresh, refresh, refresh. There was a comment I started to engage with — I opened a new post, tapped out some words, then thought better of it and deleted the tweet. The same thing happened repeatedly for the next two hours.

The evening before, I had complained to a close friend that I hated being on Twitter. It was distorting discourse, I said. I couldn’t turn off the noise. She asked what was the worst that could happen if I stepped away from it.

There was nothing I could think of. And so just after 6 p.m. last Sunday, I did.

After nearly nine years and 187,000 tweets, I have used Twitter enough to know that it no longer works well for me. I will re-engage eventually, but in a different way.

Haberman goes into greater detail than simply saying it “wasn’t working for her” anymore. She describes at length the, “viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism” she regularly encounters. In a sweeping bit of generalization, she describes the platform has having become, “an anger video game for many users.”

Having been a user of the system for eight years now, and not wanting to come off as too much of a jerk, all I could really think to say is, “welcome to Twitter.”

People leave Twitter all the time, some permanently and others just for a break. And yes, if you allow it to absorb your life it can definitely be an overwhelming experience. But as I said, that’s only if you let it. The fact is that Twitter is what you make of it, particularly in terms of how much time you’re willing to invest and to what purpose. Many of us (including yours truly) went through a period during their early days on the internet where our entire evening could boil away because… Oh My God… Somebody Is Wrong On The Internet.

I can remember some of my first online community interactions on the web. For a time I enjoyed participating in some USENET newsgroups. Since we’ve always kept pets I spent a brief period participating in the alt.cats community. What could go wrong in a group that enjoys talking about cats, right? Let me enlighten you. I ran into some Brit who was virulently opposed to keeping cats as indoor pets and thought they should all live outdoors. And yes, I spent weeks in a flamewar with him on that subject which sometimes kept me up until the wee hours of the morning because of the time difference between us. To this day I’m not sure which one of us came off looking more like the troll.

The point is that I eventually learned that I didn’t have to do that. Twitter is no different. If you’re getting so much hate and trolling that you’re losing your mind you can always simply shut down (or ignore) your mentions. It’s easy enough to set up groups of people you actually want to hear from. If you’re a relatively famous blue checkmark person (and Haberman definitely qualifies) you can also tone down the noise by filtering your mentions to only show verified accounts. Mute is also a wonderful feature if those other filters don’t do the trick.

But mostly it’s just a question of how compelled you feel to engage or how much weight you assign to some anonymous user who wants to call you names, impugn your reputation or otherwise haunt you. Personally, I find that my eyes are the best filter of all. After enough time walking through the maelstrom of the various social networks, you can quickly skim past the comments that aren’t going to add to the experience and simply engage with the ones who are either positive or at least offering constructive criticism.

I’m sure Maggie Haberman and I don’t see eye to eye on much but I’ve been following her on Twitter for some time. She frequently highlights and links to articles which I at least find worth my time to read and possibly even respond to here. I hope she comes back.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Rep. Mark Meadows Calls For Carter Page FISA Docs to be Declassified, Unredacted

Published

on

By

On Saturday, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton announced documents related to the FISA warrants on Trump’s former campaign advisor, Carter Page were released by the FBI — and arrived at JW headquarters.

Fitton said Saturday evening Judicial Watch received the requested documents and even though they are heavily redacted, they confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts.

Obama’s Deep State DOJ and FBI withheld information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC being behind the information used to obtain the FISA warrant.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) called for the FISA docs to be declassified so “Americans can know the truth.”

Meadows tweeted: Potentially groundbreaking development here. The Carter Page FISA docs should be declassified and further unredacted (protecting only sources and methods) so Americans can know the truth.


If the previous admin was funneling campaign research toward surveillance, we need to know.

Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe and Sally Yates all signed the FISA applications even though Hillary’s fraudulent Russia dossier was used as a pretext to obtain the warrants.

Obama’s Deep State FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page in October of 2016 and three subsequent renewals in order to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition team.

By law, the FBI must present to the FISC new, compelling information gathered from current monitoring in order to get a FISA warrant renewed every 90 days…

However, the applications filed to renew the Carter Page FISA warrants simply recycle old Christopher Steele/Yahoo information [Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo article on Carter Page] from the original application, reported Paul Sperry.

The newly released docs also reveal Peter Strzok did indeed provide information which was used to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page, directly contradicting his sworn claims to GOP lawmakers.

And President Trump isn’t allowed to question our intel agencies after all of this corruption??

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Nikki Haley: For peace, we need to tell the truth about Hamas

Published

on

By

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, along with presidential adviser Jared Kushner, ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and assistant to the president Jason Greenblatt, published a piece today at CNN arguing that peace in Gaza will require telling the truth about Hamas. Haley recounts a recent vote in the UN when it seemed, for the first time, a majority of other nations might actually agree:

On the surface, everything about the General Assembly session on June 13 appeared to be business as usual. Algeria offered a grossly one-sided resolution blaming Israel — and Israel alone — for the recent violence in Gaza. The resolution blatantly ignored the facts.

Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza, has been inciting the violence at the Israeli boundary fence for months, using Palestinian civilians as human shields. And Hamas and other terror groups have fired more than 100 rockets and sent untold numbers of flaming kites, some displaying swastikas, into Israel in the past month, hoping to kill as many Israeli civilians and destroy as much property as possible. And yet the Algerian resolution not only failed to hold Hamas terrorists accountable for their role in the violence, it failed to mention Hamas at all.

In response, the United States proposed a simple amendment to the resolution that called out Hamas for its role in the skirmishes. A minimum fealty to the truth demanded that the United Nations condemn Hamas by name for firing rockets into Israel and for allowing other terror groups to do the same…

When the amendment came to a vote, a miracle by UN standards happened. Although the measure ultimately failed for technical reasons, more nations voted for holding Hamas accountable with the US amendment than against it.

For the first time in the United Nations, more nations than not acknowledged that peace between Israel and the Palestinian people must be built on a foundation of truth regarding Hamas.

Haley goes on to say that this kind of realism will be part of any U.S. sponsored peace proposal. If you haven’t been keeping up with what is going on in Gaza, Israel unleashed a string of attacks on Hamas outposts after an Israeli soldier was killed by a sniper:

On Friday, a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along the border — the first casualty it has sustained in four years — and Israel unleashed an offensive it says destroyed more than 60 Hamas targets, including three battalion headquarters. Four Palestinians were killed, of which three were Hamas militants.

“The attack delivered a severe blow to the Hamas’s training array, command and control abilities, weaponry, aerial defense and logistic capabilities along with additional military infrastructure,” the Israeli military said in a statement, adding that the strikes “will intensify as necessary.”…

In a brief statement early Saturday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the movement accepted the cease-fire brokered by Egyptian and United Nations officials and that calm had been restored. Later, the Israeli military announced a return to civilian routine along the volatile border.

So, further escalation of the conflict has been avoided for now but there’s no telling how long it will last. While Hamas lacks the military strength to make significant strikes on Israel, its leaders continue to talk in terms of ethnic cleansing. It’s difficult to imagine making peace so long as these people are in control:

Leave a comment

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Close