Saturday, August 18, 2018

This week by the numbers - none of them good for Trump

  • 70+ intelligence officers and leaders denounce Trump’s revoking clearances
  • 100 Senators resolve that the press is not “the enemy of the people”
  • 200+ tapes claimed to have been secretly recorded by former WH staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman
  • 350+ newspapers denounce Trump for his calling the press “the enemy of the people”


Over 70 former intel officers and leaders denounce Trump’s threat to revoke clearances reports

In the 48 hours since President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, over 70 former intelligence officers and leaders have come forward denouncing the president’s decision to revoke or threaten to take away security clearances from former government officials, including a list of 60 former CIA officers who signed a statement today, obtained by Axios.

“All of us believe it is critical to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure. But we believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so.”
— Statement From 60 Former CIA Officials

Among the additional 60 CIA officers named are:

Jeremy Bash, former CIA and DoD chief of staff
Bob Flores, former CIA chief technology officer
Kent Harrington, former national intelligence officer for East Asia and CIA director of public affairs
George Little, former chief spokesman, CIA and DoD
Phillip Mudd, former CIA analyst
John Nixon, former CIA analyst
Greg Vogel, former CIA deputy director for operations

Their statement goes on to explain, “Our signatures below do not necessarily mean that we concur with the opinions expressed by former Director Brennan or the way in which he expressed them. What they do represent, however, is our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

Go to the article for the full list of former CIA officers signing that statement.

Two additional former officials, Admiral Denny Blair, former DNI, and VADM Bert Calland, former Deputy CIA Director also asked that their names be added to the list of former intelligence officials who signed a letter criticizing Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance.

The list of former intelligence leaders includes:
DNI - Clapper, Blair
DCI - Webster,Gates, Tenet, Goss
DCIA - Hayden, Panetta, Petraeus


Senate adopts resolution backing free press after Trump attacks.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution affirming support for a free press and declaring that “the press is not the enemy of the people.”

You can read the full text of the Senate resolution here.

The non-binding resolution approved by voice vote was a rebuke to President Donald Trump who for more than 18 months has frequently called reporters “the enemy of the people.”

The resolution “reaffirms the vital and indispensable role that the free press serves to inform the electorate, uncover the truth, act as a check on the inherent power of the government, further national discourse and debate, and otherwise advance the most basic and cherished democratic norms and freedoms of the United States.”

The vote comes after more than 300 hundred U.S. newspapers on Thursday launched a coordinated defense of press freedom and a rebuke of President Donald Trump for denouncing some media organizations as enemies of the American people.

“A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press,” said the editorial by the Boston Globe, which coordinated publication among more than 350 newspapers.

Trump has frequently criticized journalists and described news reports that contradict his opinion or policy positions as fake news.

He lashed out again on Thursday, tweeting “THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY. It is very bad for our Great Country….BUT WE ARE WINNING!”

At a Senate hearing, Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai again said he did not agree that the press was “the enemy of the people” but declined to offer a view of Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.

“We swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, including the First Amendment,” said Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat and an author of the resolution. “Today, every senator upheld that oath by sending a message that we support the First Amendment, and we support the freedom of the press in the face of these attacks.”

The White House did not immediately comment on the Senate action.


And then there are the Omarosa tapes: Omarosa Might Have ‘As Many As 200’ Tapes, NY Times Reports reports the Huffington Post. The former aide to President Trump has released several audio recordings while promoting her new book.

Omarosa Manigault Newman may have an archive of up to 200 secretly recorded audio files from her time working in the White House, The New York Times reported Thursday.

The former aide to President Donald Trump has released several such recordings over the past week, which have reportedly left officials in the administration “rattled,” according to the Times. Manigault Newman on Thursday released the latest tape, which she said included a discussion in which the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, offered her a $15,000-a-month job with the 2020 Trump re-election campaign.

The clip was played on MSNBC, and Manigault Newman later suggested that the offer came after she was fired in December as an effort to buy her silence.

"It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out,” Lara Trump says in the recording. “Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have, we got to…” She later says that things would need to stay “positive.”

Manigault Newman, in the midst of a press tour to promote her book, Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House, says she did not accept the offer, which included a provision that she sign a nondisclosure agreement.

Other tapes released in recent days include audio of her being fired by White House chief of staff John Kelly and one of the president speaking to her after her dismissal. The Trump campaign has taken legal action against Manigault Newman over her release of the clips.

But it’s in his jeans (or genes): Trump sues people almost as often as he lies about them.

The president has lobbed several attacks at his former aide during her media tour, including a widely criticized Twitter message in which he calling her “that dog.”

Lara Trump said in a statement Thursday that she was “shocked and saddened” by what she called a “betrayal.”

“I hope it’s all worth it for you, Omarosa, because some things you just can’t put a price on,” she wrote.

Things like “that dog” perhaps? Priceless.


These are the newspapers telling Trump that journalists are not the enemy reports

About 350 newspapers in the United States had editorials Thursday decrying President Donald Trump’s description of the media as the “enemy of the people.”

Here are some of the newspapers blasting Trump’s anti-press rhetoric.

For example,
The Arizona Daily Star
The free press is not the ‘enemy of the people’
The Arizona Republic
Journalists, don’t let Trump’s attacks on media keep us from doing our job

Like I said, this has not been a good week for Trump.

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