May 20, 2017


Trump Officials: 'He Looks More and More Like a Complete Moron' : In the wake of yet another Russia-related bombshell, Trump aides despaired because they know President Trump only has himself to blame. (LACHLAN MARKAY, ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, NOAH SHACHTMAN, 05.19.17, Daily Beast)

"I'm glad I'm not on the plane so I could be here to answer your Russia questions," a senior Trump administration official said, sarcastically, before abruptly hanging up. [...]

"If Donald Trump gets impeached, he will have one person to blame: Donald Trump," one of those administration officials said.

The official noted a pattern among leaks that have dominated headlines this week: In virtually every case--the president's request that Comey pledge fealty to him, a subsequent ask that Comey ease an investigation into his former top national security aide, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and revelations that he hopes to rehire Flynn when the FBI wraps up its probe--leaked Trump statements have revealed flippance or hostility toward a federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in 2016's presidential election. [...]

Those complaints echo weeks of griping from administration and White House officials who say that Trump, through unscripted tweets and statements to the press, has undermined a White House communications operation that is trying to dig him out of a very deep public relations hole--not to mention the legal bind the president may find himself in.

Trump's repeated media missteps have frustrated even longtime supporters. "Every day he looks more and more like a complete moron," said one senior administration official who also worked on Trump's campaign. "I can't see Trump resigning or even being impeached, but at this point I wish he'd grow a brain and be the man that he sold himself as on the campaign." [...]

Asked whether those comments could be construed as intent to interfere in the FBI's investigation, a Justice Department official told The Daily Beast, "absolutely."

"Individual acts/comments may not constitute obstruction [of justice], but the whole pattern--starting with the requested loyalty oath, ending with the firing--does look like obstruction," the official said in an email. "And then the question is, is he obstructing because he knows he is guilty himself, or is he obstructing because he doesn't know the full extent of [former Trump campaign chief Paul] Manafort, Flynn, and others' shenanigans, and is terrified of finding out. Both are plausible; we know where I would place my bet."

David C. Gomez, a former FBI assistant special agent in charge, said Trump's comments demonstrated a profound inability to grasp the potential consequences of his words.

"In terms of potential criminal activity, it's amateur night at the White House," Gomez told The Daily Beast. "These guys--and Trump especially--don't know how to not implicate themselves.

"On a big case like this, the ideal thing would be a wiretap on your number one subject," Gomez added. "But in this case, you don't need a wiretap. He just comes right out and says it."

...instead of in the meadow is it not bestiality?  That is the novel legal theory Donald is testing.

Russian officials 'boasted of their ability to influence Trump through Flynn (TIMES OF ISRAEL AND AP May 20, 2017)

Russian conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign indicated that Moscow saw Donald Trump associate Michael Flynn as an ally who could help influence the Republican nominee, CNN reported Saturday.

Sources told the news network that Russian officials were heard boasting of the close relationship they had developed with Flynn, who would eventually be chosen by Trump to serve as his national security adviser -- but who was fired from the post only weeks into the new administration's term.

An Obama administration official told CNN "This was a five-alarm fire from early on, the way the Russians were talking about him."

It was recently reported that Barack Obama personally warned Trump against naming Flynn as national security adviser, just two days after the November 8 election.

On May 8 former acting attorney general Sally Yates testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the White House was warned in January that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

Posted by at May 20, 2017 7:15 AM