November 12, 2020

NICE THREADS, EMPEROR (profanity alert):

Trump's National Security Adviser Tells Staff: Don't Even Mention Biden's Name (Erin Banco, Spencer Ackerman, Asawin Suebsaeng, Noah Shachtman, Nov. 12, 2020, Daily Beast)

Other officials familiar with the matter noted that O'Brien has also pushed national security officials to publicly embrace the absurd Trump message that the election has not been certified and that there are still legal battles playing out across the country that could turn in the president's favor.

"If you even mention Biden's name... that's a no-go, you'd be fired," one national security official said. "Everyone is scared of even talking about the chance of working with the [Biden] transition."

Asked if officials in the White House feel comfortable saying Biden's name in the West Wing, one senior White House official said, half-jokingly, "Sure, you can say his name. If you're talking about who lost the election to the president."

Behind closed doors, one official claimed, O'Brien has been much more forthcoming about Trump's loss and the need to prepare for a transition. The problem, the other officials said, is that O'Brien hasn't made that known to the commander in chief.

O'Brien, who stepped into his current position as national security adviser in September of 2019, has deep ties to the Republican Party and was viewed by national security officials upon his arrival in the White House as someone who would be able to keep Trump in check. Since stepping into the position, however, officials who have worked with him say O'Brien has supported the president at every turn. One former senior national security official said he is known among his staff as a yes-man. "He does whatever Trump says," one current national security official said. [...]

"It's like dealing with a lunatic on the subway. Everyone just kind of sits and stares ahead, pretends they can't hear him, and waits for him to eventually get off," a GOP source close to the administration told The Daily Beast.

Posted by at November 12, 2020 12:00 AM