White House Staffer Leaks That Trump Ignored Written Warning “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Putin On His Reelection

440px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Donald_Trump225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitPresident Donald Trump is under intense fire for congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election — an election widely denounced as a sham.  Putting aside the propriety of an American President congratulating an authoritarian figure (who is accused of interfering with his own election), the most notable element in the story was a leak that said Trump’s national security staff not only warned him not congratulate Putin but included in his briefing materials in all-capital letters the warning “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” The speed of the leak is astonishing even by the measure of the Trump Administration. It appears that the leaks may have occurred within minutes of the call.   Chief of Staff Kelly is reportedly irate with the leak and for good reason.

This leak is only the latest example of the work of staff close to Trump to get damaging information out into the press.  The lethality of these leaks is also unprecedented. These leaks are clearly designed to seriously undermine Trump and some seem intended to push Trump toward impeachment or indictment.  This means that Trump is working closely and daily with people who are actively seeking his demise. I can not recall a president in a similar position.

This leak seemed to be virtually immediate.  It was fast, lethal, and calculated.  It triggered various members, including Republicans, to denounce Trump’s decision and also led to a truly painful press conference with Sarah Sanders.

Like his decision to invite Russians into the Oval Office after the Comey firing (with Russian but not American photographers), Trump’s decision to congratulate Putin is baffling. He must have realized that it would fuel speculation over his relationship with the Russians and seeming reluctance to confront Putin.

I share the negative view of Trump’s decision to congratulate Putin. However, I do not see how this White House can function with this level of leaking from his close advisers.  This is not the usual type of leaks that we have seen from the White House and it is not “deep state” actors.  These are likely his appointees who are secretly working for his demise even at the risk of a criminal charge.  The motivation is not clear but multiple people appear to have taken on a mission of either alerting the public of problematic conduct or hastening the end of this presidency.  Since these are people who were affirmatively selected by the President or his closest aides, it is a remarkable role to take on after only a year of governance.

Trump himself is calling for an investigation, noting that only a small group was privy to the information.

335 thoughts on “White House Staffer Leaks That Trump Ignored Written Warning “DO NOT CONGRATULATE” Putin On His Reelection”

  1. Darren,
    Is the “Notify me of new comments via email” function operative? I ask because despite having routinely checked that box, I haven’t been notified by email lately that several people had responded to my comments here.
    Thanks in advance for your response.
    Ken R.

  2. I find it repulsive that there are people acting this brazenly from within the White House.

    While I’m not sure about the provenance of the leaker, it might also be possible that someone within the National Security Agency is recording President Trump’s calls and feeding to his/her favorite person at the Washington Post any details that the person feels are wrong. I don’t know for certain if this is something that can be done, but if it’s possible, it would be an alternate explanation of how the details are getting out.

    If it’s someone within the White House West Wing, then the circle should be rather small of potential suspects. I hope the person is found out quickly, so that this gamesmanship can stop.

  3. OT but this bugs me. Why is Obama flying around the world still meeting with world leaders? He’s currently on yet another trip without Michelle, this time touring Singapore, NZ, Australia, and Japan.

    Obama met with the Prime Minister in Singapore. In New Zealand he is meeting with both the current and the former PMs. Then Obama will visit Sydney, Australia for another event and plans to meet with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Then he’s off to Tokyo, Japan. Will he meet with PM Abe as well?

    What’s he doing? What happened to the post-presidential decorum of keeping a low profile and giving the current president the courtesy of staying off the world stage? What an ignorant narcissist he is.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12018129

        1. TBob – Obama can expect to control some of the Deep State from his shadow government. He is likely to have his own email problems once Hillary’s are opened up. He was sending official email from a fake account. Not sure if it was registered or not because Huma did not recognize it. It was in the email on her computer with the pictures of Weiner’s wiener.

        2. Why doesn’t the Logan Act apply? Also, Obama shouldn’t be able to hide any of his public records behind the Presidential Records Act if he is going to use his influence as a former president to gain access to the leaders of former governments. If he wants to remain in that domain then all of his public records should be subject to FOIA scrutiny and not squirreled away in his library.

          1. Good question. And Obama’s “library”….what a joke, right?

            Obama Advisor Susan Rice’s Unmasking Material is at the Obama Library

            “Judicial Watch performed a massive public service this week. We exposed how key Obama spying scandal documents, including the infamous Susan Rice unmasking records, were moved to the Obama Presidential Library…

            The agency also informed us that it would not turn over communications with any intelligence community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials. Specifically, the NSC told us:

            Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.”

            https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/weekly-updates/weekly-update-obama-advisor-susan-rices-unmasking-material-obama-library/

      1. During Trump’s first year in office, former president Obama has already met with world leaders from Italy, Britain, Germany, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, India….and probably more countries that I don’t have listed. And not a word of criticism from his pals in the media. Outrageous.

        1. YNOT – Obama was kind enough to tell us that that was exactly what he was going to do. This is one of the reasons he decided to buy the house in the DC area (walled of course). All you have to do is actually read the news, not listen to the sound bites on tv, to learn what is going on.

          I have a Google alert set to Obama so I get daily news on him since I do not trust him. He is trying to bring down the Republic. This picks up all the articles of the day that mention him. Very handy and informative.

          1. Check your messages from Altair 5. Also, there’s a sale on tinfoil down to the piggly wiggly this weekend.

            this is to “I think the mailman is watching my neighbor’s house” paulie – georgie

            1. Marky Mark Mark – we don’t have The Pig where I live and tinfoil is impossible to buy anymore. BTW, I have a group mailbox so I do not have to worry about the mailman spying on my neighbor’s house. You cannot see my house from my mailbox. No date again tonight, Marky Mark Mark?

    1. Other meetings Obama has had with foreign leaders since Trump took office: Last year Obama met with the former Prime Ministers of both Italy and Britain. He met with Germany’s Angela Merkel in May, just hours before her meeting with President Trump. Then Obama had dinner with Canada’s Justin Trudeau. He also met with South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-In only three days after President Trump met with the Korean leader at the White House.

      What is Obama doing? Why don’t we hear a word of criticism about Obama’s gross and outrageous lack of post-presidential decorum from any of the MSM news commentators? Oh that’s right.

      1. Obama can calm these world leaders down. Da orange porn King is try start nuke and trade wars. He has wars going with da women. Da playboy bunny has the best case.

        1. Remember after the 2016 election when Obama told Trump, ‘There’s only one president at a time’?

          Obama is completely wrong in what he is doing, but the media sickophants continue to let him get away with it.

    1. T rump fired so many of his chosen staff that there should be no leakers left. . Melanie hates him and wants the nightmare over so she can divorce so maybe she knows.

  4. Elmore James has written a great blues song specifically for Donald Trump. Here’s the classic Allman Brothers version of it called “[I must have] Done somebody wrong.”

    1. I don’t even watch. Russians do not have much to laugh about Their economy sucks and da smartest people leave. We stay and fight t rump’s kleptocracy. They have given up.

  5. Every sane person needs to leave this site. Years ago when Turley started this blog, it was really good with good comments. But now it’s just a cuckoo’s nest of Trump insanity. Why feed it? Bye

    1. Or course if Hillary had Robert Mueller investigating her documented collussian with the Russians, (GPS Fussion, DNC and Clinton financially sponsored Trump dossier, FISA court orders, ad nauseum ad infinitum), you and her cult followers would declare, “what difference does it make?!!!!!!”

      So enjoy your cult, and give Hillary our warm regards

      https://m.imgur.com/t/memes/pKYcszu

    2. Don’t try to change crazy, cause crazy gonna do crazy. Just poke at crazy through the bars of crazy’s cage. It’s fun for the entire family.

      this is to “I have too much common sense for bedlam” mo

  6. It appears another Vast Right Wing Extremist has paid off The Hill to peddle yet another attack on the DOJ, FBI and Robert Mueller.

    Me thinks Jonathan Turley and Alan Derschowitz are going to win against the forces of evil in the Beltway

    “Trump is right: The special counsel should never have been appointed”
    BY ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 03/21/18 07:00 AM EDT

    http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/379372-trump-is-right-the-special-counsel-should-never-have-been-appointed

    “The public has lost faith in the leadership of the Justice Department and the FBI. They don’t trust congressional investigative committees. They don’t know whom to believe when they hear conflicting accounts. There are leaks galore followed by denials of leaks. It’s a total mess. And what do we have to show for it? Just a handful of low-level indictments based largely on alleged crimes that are either unrelated or only marginally related to Russia’s attempt to influence our presidential election in 2016.

    It’s not too late to try to repair some of the damage done. Let Congress now appoint a nonpartisan commission to conduct a transparent investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence our elections. Let the special counsel suspend his investigation until the nonpartisan commission issues its report. If the report identifies crimes and criminals, there will be time enough to indict and prosecute. Right now, we need the nonpartisan truth, because we aren’t getting it from the special counsel.”

    1. There’s NO need for an independent commission at this time. We have a Justice Department, and if it can’t get itself back to working condition, then the USA is really screwed.
      You can’t keep taking investigations away from the department of government whose function is to conduct investigations. Rather, it’s about time that subsequent administrations prosecute the crimes of the previous administration when that previous administration refuses to investigate or prosecute itself.

    2. “Let Congress now appoint a nonpartisan commission to conduct a transparent investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence our elections. ”

      No need to do that. There is no evidence. Take your ball and go home. By the way, what is there was meddling (the kind the US does routinely), how do you plan to retaliate against a country who has first strike strategic superiority? Stick your mean Democrat tongue out? You thin-skinned narcissistic charlatans never cease to amaze me.

      Since all your ilk can do is to continue to hold your heads and cry, and we, the public who watches it everyday; what do you have to offer if you would somehow regain some kind of majority? More short-sighted government oversight, that will backfire on you just like the election? Pocahontas can’t seem to learn:

      https://reason.com/archives/2018/03/21/under-trump-elizabeth-warren-suddenly-di?utm_medium=email

      1. We are not cryin. We live to fight da porn King T rump. Da Torturin Saudi Prince, crooked Jared and Putin on a daily basis. RESIST

        1. I have no doubt you can resist many things but the one thing you cannot seem to resist is anything sexual regarding Trump. Your attention-seeking comments reflect that of a frustrated teenager who’s mom took his Playboys and love sock away. I don’t know if you and Linda suffer from the same type of man-crush, but at least Linda’s Koch obsession seems to be financial and not sexual.

        2. Yeah, whatever Ken. I’ll try to find some russian hooker stories for you soon. Hills probably has some too. Not to mention Bill. Not Gore though. I’m sure Tipper kept a skillet in hand, husband being a politician and all. There’s always the squanky blue dress story… That’s a good one, don’t you think?

  7. @William Bayer, March 21, 2018 at 2:35 PM
    “I could be wrong, but this situation has all the earmarks of a canary trap — a common intelligence tool for trapping leakers.”

    @Autumn, March 21, 2018 at 2:47 PM
    “WB – the last thing needed is the FBI investigating it. Until Mueller, Strok, Ohr, etc. are fired and the organization is cleaned up.
    “But I do hope you are right that it is a trap.”

    At the risk of belaboring the obvious, while recognizing the antipathy to Trump of many Deep State actors and their sympathizers, let’s not lose sight of the important role played by “leakers” in governments shrouding themselves in secrecy in order to evade accountability for their self-aggrandizing behavior at the expense of the governed and others around the world.

    “Sessions’s DOJ still has to play catch-up to reach the number of leak investigations from Obama’s time. DOJ prosecutors under the Obama administration pursued nine leak cases, and in May 2013 it was disclosed that federal investigators had surreptitiously seized two months’ worth of phones records from Associated Press reporters and editors, including home phones and cellphones, The New York Times reported.”

    “One of those cases involved New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, who in 2005 revealed the National Security Agency’s domestic and clandestine surveillance program. Risen also wrote about a CIA operation to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program in a book published in 2006. Under Obama, the DOJ and Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to force Risen to testify and reveal his source of the classified information.

    “In December, Risen penned an op-ed for The Times, and its closing paragraph now seems almost prophetic: ‘Press freedom advocates already fear that under Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s choice to be attorney general, the Justice Department will pursue journalists and their sources at least as aggressively as Mr. Obama did.’ ”

    http://www.newsweek.com/obama-leaks-trump-sessions-646734

    1. (1) If you’re gonna direct a comment @ me, why didn’t you do it in a REPLY, instead of hiding it among the comments where I’d possibly not notice it? That’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer.

      (2) Point to a single instance where Sessions has taken ANY action directed at the media. You can’t.

      (3) You’re using Obama’s criminal conduct to make accusations against Sessions.

      (4) Newsweek is a disreputable RAG.

      1. WB – that’s how these trolls roll. Post and hide. Must be a farm somewhere they all live and Soros feeds ’em.

        1. @Autumn, March 21, 2018 at 6:36 PM
          “WB – that’s how these trolls roll. Post and hide. Must be a farm somewhere they all live and Soros feeds ’em.”

          What’s your definition of a “troll”? Is it analogous to Risen’s definition of “treason,” i.e., something that’s seriously politically incorrect? 🙂

      2. @William Bayer, March 21, 2018 at 5:54 PM

        “(1) If you’re gonna direct a comment @ me, why didn’t you do it in a REPLY, instead of hiding it among the comments where I’d possibly not notice it? That’s a rhetorical question. I know the answer.

        KR: No, you pretty obviously don’tknow the answer. I routinely try to respond to others’ comments as closely as possible temporally to their comments in the thread, for the sake of continuity, for everyone reading those comments, including for the benefit of the original commenter. I also routinely check the box “Notify me of new comments via email.” You apparently don’t, but I had no way of knowing that. Now that I do know that, I’ve used the “Reply” function for this post, per your request.

        “(2) Point to a single instance where Sessions has taken ANY action directed at the media. You can’t.

        What about his press conference re the DOJ’s crackdown on leaks and whistleblowing?

        Freedom of the Press Foundation
        “Statement on Jeff Sessions’ disturbing press conference announcing a crackdown on leaks and journalism
        “Peter Sterne
        “Senior Reporter
        “August 4, 2017

        “At a Friday press conference, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department will escalate its crackdown on leakers and whistleblowers. He indicated leak investigations have tripled in recent months and will seek to throw sources of journalists in jail.

        “In addition, Sessions’ comments about ‘reviewing policies affecting media subpoenas’ represent a dangerous escalation of the administration’s war against the press. The Department of Justice is explicitly threatening to haul journalists before grand juries and force them to testify about their confidential sources or face jail time. [Emphasis added]

        “Sessions’ suggestion that journalism is a threat to national security is particularly concerning. Journalists play a crucial role in our democracy, informing the public about the government’s activities.

        “Sessions’ comments seem intended to have a chilling effect on journalism, by making reporters and their sources think twice before publishing information that the government does not like. [Emphasis added] That will leave all Americans less informed about what the Trump administration is doing behind closed doors.”

        https://freedom.press/news/statement-jeff-sessions-disturbing-press-conference-announcing-crackdown-leaks-and-journalism/

        “(3) You’re using Obama’s criminal conduct to make accusations against Sessions.”

        KR: I didn’t accuse anybody of anything__ I cited an NYT op-ed comment by a prominent, government-persecuted journalist, James Risen, as quoted in a Newsweek article. I admittedly am, however, opposed to authoritarian behavior on the parts of any government officials, regardless of the political flag they happen to be flying. Are you able to say the same? I ask because you’ve come across here as being more defensively partisan than objectively critical.

        “(4) Newsweek is a disreputable RAG.”

        KR: Are you suggesting that Newsweek materially misrepresented the facts it references or that it misquoted Risen? Unless you can show that it did, the magazine’s general quality/credibility is really quite irrelevant to our particular discussion, isn’t it?

        https://freedom.press/news/statement-jeff-sessions-disturbing-press-conference-announcing-crackdown-leaks-and-journalism/

    2. JR – ha ha. Newsweek is a most unreliable source. And James Risen? He did some great work and stood up for his principles but something went awry. Talking about the “Russian collusion” as if it was a fact. Sad. You should watch his debate with Glenn Greenwald – very illuminating.

      1. @Autumn, March 21, 2018 at 6:39 PM

        “JR – ha ha. Newsweek is a most unreliable source. And James Risen? He did some great work and stood up for his principles but something went awry. Talking about the ‘Russian collusion’ as if it was a fact. Sad. You should watch his debate with Glenn Greenwald – very illuminating.”

        Thanks for linking to this debate between Greenwald and Risen. I agree that it’s very illuminating, as Risen comes across as being surprisingly obtuse, with Greenwald’s patiently explaining to him repeatedly, in various ways, that his (Greenwald’s) skepticism regarding the Russia-Trump-Collusion accusation is based on nothing more nor less than the lack of credible evidence to support it.

        Moreover, Greenwald simply owned Risen regarding the definition of “treason,” which Risen seems content to employ in the “popular sense” of the word, i.e., apparently, not subscribing wholeheartedly enough to the notion of American Exceptionalism in planetary relations.

        Greenwald is an excellent debater who, in this case, clearly had the facts and logic on his side and who was able to marshal both in a way that would have embarrassed Risen if he weren’t so studiously obtuse on the issue.

        It by no means follows, however, that Risen’s expressed concern (cited in my previous post) is unfounded regarding the posture of Trump and Sessions vis a vis the press.

  8. Move over Mueller.

    Mark Zuckerberg violated all Facebook users and provided Barack Obama 2012 Election Campaign everything they needed in order to rig the election. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was an amateur. The Russians didnt have a chance with Barry Hussein having Mark Z in his back pocket.

    If only Hillary had had this information: breach FB users private data and campaign to them and their contacts to steal the election.

    Wow!!!!

    “Carol Davidsen, former director of integration and media analytics for Obama for America, said the Obama campaign was able to “ingest the entire social network” in the United States.

    “I’m a Democrat, so maybe I could argue that’s a great thing, but really it’s not in the overall process,” Davidsen said. “That wasn’t thought all the way through and now there’s a disadvantage of information that, to me, seems unfair. But I’m not Facebook.”

    “They came to office in the days following election recruiting & were very candid that they allowed us to do things they wouldn’t have allowed someone else to do because they were on our side,” Davidsen tweeted.

    https://ijr.com/2018/03/1077208-former-obama-campaign-facebook-data/

    1. re “If only Hillary had had this information: breach FB users private data and campaign to them and their contacts to steal the election.”

      EVEN with this info she still would have lost. She already had the Legacy Media, the FBI head honchos, “alternative” press like TYT, Mother Jones, Democracy Now, Salon as well as Snopes to fight “conspiracy theories”

      Go figure the Dims would run a corrupt woman who was even more feared and despised than DJT!!

      I hope they run Biden again – he can lose thrice.

      1. It seems even Gravity is piling it onto Hillary….it keeps taking her down..Beoken wrists. Walking Pneumonia. Epileptic seizures. Sheesh

        https://m.imgur.com/gallery/VC4E9BH

        “What is it with Hillary and stairs? Clinton slips twice during trip to India – five months after she broke her toe in a London hotel”

        Hillary Clinton again slipped on stairs during a visit to India on Monday
        She is there promoting her book explaining her 2016 presidential loss

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5493679/Hillary-Clinton-slips-twice-stairs-trip-India.html

  9. What nonsense. The Russia collusion story is fake. Bowing to stupid pressure would be stupid. Obama congratulated Putin and then caved to him on policy after policy!

  10. Hey, Leftist Ultrasubcretins: FACT: Both Presidents Obama (in 2012) and Trump (in 2018) congratulated Vladimir Putin on an electoral “win” despite international and domestic objections about the integrity of Russia’s elections.

    The difference, of course: Lefties LOVE Obama and HATE Trump.

    But please don’t let facts like these get in the way of your classicly phony narrative. You never have before.

    1. What year did Obama congratulate Putin? Had Russia meddled in our elections that year? Had Russia invaded Crimea yet? Had Russia threatened Ukraine yet? Had Russia committed any poison attacks in England the week before?

      I believe the answer to all those questions is ‘no’. So why then are you bringing it up?

      1. Had Victoria Nuland neo lib neo con whore interfered in Ukraine yet? Did Crimea want to be reunited with Russia? Is the current Ukraine administration filled with neo Nazis? Is there proof that Russia was behind the poison attacks? Is May trying to use this incident to deflect and boost support?

        1. Only Russians in Crimea wanted to be reunited. That was not a majority sentiment. And British intelligence officials are fairly certain that Russia was behind those attacks. The poison used is a highly sophisticated agent that can’t be bought through normal channels. But Autumn, it sounds like you’re siding with Russia against Great Britain, our most loyal ally. And this is the bizarre thing about Trumpers. They invariably side against allies in their acrobatics to support Trump (and Russia).

          1. Peter, I’m not a Trumper. I love the UK but it has lost its way and is turning into a police state. Remember what they did to The Guardian’s harddrive with the Snowden files? Look at Julian Assange – trapped in an embassy for five years. It is not our ally rather a vassal state.

            I am not in favor of the demonizing of Russia and will speak up against it.

            1. Assange can leave that embassy any time. But he’s afraid the U.K. will hand him over to the U.S. And even Trump hasn’t had those warrants quashed. Most Republicans wouldn’t mind prosecuting Assange. Those Snowden leaks threatened the lives of many CIA contacts.

              1. Assange is now a citizen of Ecuador and a diplomat. He should enjoy his rights and be able to safely depart. And Snowden did not endanger any CIA assets that I am aware of. Perhaps you can post some evidence.

                1. You think Snowden’s leak was a student prank..?? Guess again..! Snowden leaked countless documents that named intelligence contacts throughout Europe and the Middle East. And when Snowden fled the United States he ran to China before settling in Russia, of all places. If Snowden’s leak was totally harmless the issue would have died long ago.

                  With regards to Assange, it would seem the U.K. is not recognizing his ‘diplomatic status’. Perhaps there is none. Assange, for the record, is no friend of the U.S. He has a long paper trail of writings expressing his desire to see the U.S. power muzzled. Only deluded Trumpers (and Bernie Bros) could think Assange is a hero.

          2. “But Autumn, it sounds like you’re siding with Russia against Great Britain, our most loyal ally. ”

            Holy crap! Were you born yesterday? And stop starching your collar and think for yourself, man! Where’s the motive?? Like all the false flags, they make zero sense for the accused.

            By the way, I have the same offer for you, a killer deal on rusty gold coins, just have to take the time to clean them up a bit and you can cash in big! Oh, cash on the barrel head, please.

            1. Also, if the UK would decide to, perhaps, conduct policy not complicit with Washington requirements, you can bet Victoria Nuland would be in London handing out cookies to get people in front of her snipers. Merkel complained a little bit after the line-tapping, but she shut up real quick. I assume she was told a color revolution was on the way to Berlin if she didn’t like things. And gaddafi gave up his WMDs–Oooops. Didn’t seem to last long without them. But you can pretend the Democrats are the party of the Lone Ranger if it makes you feel good. Johnny McCain probably wears that hat when he’s a home. Or, when he’s not getting campaign donations from the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, and then wanted to put US servicemen in front of Russian tanks.

              Here’s how he ended up. Pat needs someone to hook his WP template back up, but the text is still there:

              https://buchanan.org/blog/nutball-neocons-wanted-nato-128144

              Maybe one of these days you’ll discover the world isn’t just white hats and black hats.

      2. Did Trump whisper into the Russian President’s ear that he would have “more flexibility to negotiations” on use of Russia’s missile weaponry after the election? Did Obama do anything about the KNOWN Russian meddling during his Administration, which he kept silent from the American public? Have Russian protestors taken to the streets in 2018 like they did in 2012 during Obama’s Administration? Did Putin expel the U.S. Agency for International Development, whose work — advising private groups on democracy, as it has done since the 1990s, in 2018 like he did in 2012 under the Obama Administration? Did Putin cancel the longstanding Nunn-Lugar program of cooperation on destroying and securing old Soviet weapons of mass destruction in 2018 like he did in 2012 under the Obama Administration?

        The answer to all of the above is “no.”

        Bottom Line: Obama had been a total Putinpanderer throughout his Administration, while Trump has stood tall.

        Alternative Bottom Line: Leftist like you are not right twice a day like a broken clock is.

        1. Obama called a White House summit in the summer of 2016 to discuss Russian meddling with top congressional leaders. Obama was hoping they could release a bipartisan statement informing the public of Russian meddling. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) refused to endorse any such statement. McConnell felt that such a statement could possibly hurt Trump and wanted nothing to do with it.

            1. TPP was better than a Chinese-led trade block which appeared to be what we might face; ‘Asia moving on without us’. That could still happen yet. Stay tuned.

  11. As Professor Turley notes, ‘Deep State’ is right there at the White House and it involves Trump’s own appointees. No loyalty whatsoever! If Trump’s own appointees think he’s a treasonous buffoon, one can hardly expect rank and file bureaucrats to feel any differently.

    And why on earth was Trump congratulating Putin..??! All last week world news was focused on alleged Russian poison attacks in England. Did Trump miss those stories?? No, he didn’t. It’s widely suspected that Trump fired Tillerson for acknowledging those attacks ‘prematurely’.

    Right wing media, and Trump supporters, are engaged in constant acrobatics to spin every Trump outrage. But said acrobatics have become a cliched rut. “What about the Clintons?”, has become their default response to almost every outrage Trump commits. The logic seems to be that the Clintons were just so bad that Trump gets a blanket pass for life.

    1. And what about the Clintons is always the correct response. All DEMs should shut-up as they had no criticism for the ridiculous Obama and Clinton Presidencies to say nothing of the absurd Hilary campaign!

      1. We are resisting porn King T rump crooked Jared and his pal Saudi Prince and Putin, we will never shut until these crooks are in jail.

    2. re: “It’s widely suspected that Trump fired Tillerson for acknowledging those attacks ‘prematurely’.”

      Peter, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this video!

  12. I wonder how many Trump supporters would drink kool-aid laced with cyanide if their dear leader instructed them to. I don’t think the answer is 0.

        1. What is to forgive? His personal life? Who cares and we don’t even know what is true. We care about the economy which has been doing well for all including the minorities.

          1. Who cares if he sells da country out to Putin and da Saudi Princr. As long as he ain’t sued by more than a hundred woman he ain’t no security risk.

  13. You know, I recall the press hammering on Trump for his preference for having old friends and family in his administration.

    After some time has passed, one can see why he would feel that urge. Our government has become politicized all the way up to the top. There are people in positions of power who will do anything to get a lawfully elected President out of office. There seem to be little repercussions, either. I was disappointed that McCabe was simply fired instead of facing the same consequences that Gen. Flynn did.

    This is also why I could never be in politics. I would not want to congratulate Putin, or take meetings with him, because he is authoritarian, abuses human rights, and is a major polluter. However, do we want diplomatic relations with Russia, or not? Trump may believe that he wants to keep those semi-cordial channels still open as a means to diplomacy.

    My problem with Russia isn’t the spying. The US spies not only on Russia, but also on our closest allies. The people in the business of information get all the information they can, because sometimes what can be shared publicly is not all there is to it. My issue is that they planted false information, which Hillary Clinton bought and used, and would likely have offered the same to Trump. Thankfully, he neither bought nor used such information, and his staff declined the offer. Russia works in its own best interests, and we meddle in elections and foreign affairs to look out for our own. I believe that Russia not only enjoys, but benefits from the damaged reputation to the US. However, did they do much damage? No. They did not cause the deep divide between Left and Right, they just took advantage of it. They did not cost Hillary the election, as the actual false information used was by Hillary Clinton. Along with the rest of the world, Russia did not expect Trump to win. Helping Hillary with that fake dossier, however, would have permanently cast a shadow on her anticipated Presidential term. It would have undermined her authority. Realistically, with her as POTUS, we never would have investigated Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, or any of her other allegedly illegal activities. (Remind me again why she is not under investigation or already in jail, as any of us would have been?)

    “If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/sunday-review/russia-isnt-the-only-one-meddling-in-elections-we-do-it-too.html

    This is why I have not understood this Polyannaish response to Russian interference. We interfere, too. So do our allies. The lesson should have been that we are vulnerable, so we need to increase cyber security and other counter measures. It’s like releasing a “bombshell” that China hackers wreck havoc on intellectual property and business, and everyone pretends to be shocked at what we’ve known for years, instead of just fixing the holes.

    1. I would like to add that the linked article concludes that there is no moral equivalency between our interference and supporting violent dictators and Russia’s actions, because we ostensibly strive for democracy and they strive against it.

      We each act in our own best interests. Why would an autocratic nation use our same methods to help democracy? This is the multidimensional chessboard of geopolitics.

      Some of our own efforts have my wholehearted support. For example, I would really like to meddle in North Korean politics, and leaflet the nation with photos of what life in a republic is like, compared with their own parasite-infested pitiful food supply.

      1. “…we ostensibly drive for Democracy…”

        Seriously?

        Hey Hillary, did you catch that? You lost because of good ol’ Americans striving for Democracy.
        Go kick your husband (he is with the new bimbo) and ask what you should say next

  14. Professor Turley, isn’t it time to call for a second special counsel?
    _____

    “Nearly two-dozen Republicans are calling on the Trump Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the raft of 2016 campaign controversies involving Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, warning these questions cannot “be allowed to die on the vine” amid the Russia probe firestorm.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and GOP committee colleagues made the request in a letter Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    “The American public has a right to know the facts – all of them – surrounding the election and its aftermath,” they wrote. “We urge you to appoint a second special counsel to ensure these troubling, unanswered questions are not relegated to the dustbin of history.”

    – Judson Berger

    1. Trump congratulates an authoritarian leader for winning a sham election. And Trump made that call against the advice of his top aides. But your only response is “What about the Clintons?”. Will there ever come a point when that response gets old?

      1. No, Peter. We are not going to forget about HRC – kind of hard not to when she’s forever running her mouth about why she lost. WE want justice — indictments, a trial and hopefully an orange jumpsuit for her and her ilk who thought they were above the law and sowed destruction globally.

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