Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Donald doth protest too much, methinks.

Trump continues his feud with the intelligence agencies, repeats his complaints about his media coverage, and stands by his defense of Russia. The NY Times reports on their interview in which he “criticized the intense focus on Russia”: Trump Says Focus on Russian Hacking Is a ‘Political Witch Hunt’

President-elect Donald J. Trump said in an interview Friday morning that the storm surrounding Russian hacking during the presidential campaign is a political witch hunt being carried out by his adversaries, who he said were embarrassed by their loss to him in the election last year.

Trump has come to that judgment well before his Friday briefing by intelligence and law enforcement officials.

Mr. Trump spoke to The New York Times by telephone three hours before he was set to be briefed by the nation’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials about the Russian hacking of American political institutions. In the conversation, he repeatedly criticized the intense focus on Russia.

Well, you don’t want to speak ill of your BFF. But you’d think Trump would be wiley enough to soft-pedal his affection for Vlad.

The Times also reports Dan Coats, the ‘Mister Rogers’ Senator Poised to Be Intelligence Chief.

I was prepared to visit upon Mr. Coats my X-antiX formula for describing Trump’s cabinet picks. Coats does not seem to fit that formula. Here are snippets.

Known for a self-effacing style, Mr. Coats was popular among his colleagues. “I always thought he should wear a red cardigan,” said Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado. “He was the closest thing to Mister Rogers we could come up with.”

While fiscally conservative, Mr. Coats, an Indiana Republican who completed his second Senate stint this month, often found common cause with Democrats, who described him as thoughtful on intelligence and national security issues, with a sharp intellect and disarming humor.

“I have always been impressed with his demeanor,” said Senator Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and who served on the Intelligence Committee with Mr. Coats and traveled with him in Eastern Europe. “He’s not a fierce partisan and knows the intelligence community. He’s very amiable and easy to work with.”

Mr. Coats enjoys visiting restaurants both in Indianapolis and in small hamlets that serve farm-to-table food, and featured several interesting restaurants and food purveyors when it was his turn to host lunch for his Republican colleagues.

How can you not like a foodie?

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