A Complete Breakdown Of Donald Trump’s 54th Obstructive Week As POTUS
We are witnessing a Russian nesting doll of obstruction. With every attempt to undermine the rule of law and the investigation into Russia’s interference in our democracy, President Trump’s efforts grow increasingly more misleading, desperate, and futile. All the while, the Republicans complicit in the President’s authoritarian witch hunt of U.S. law enforcement are seeing their stature shrink as they shed their remaining credibility, morality, and patriotism.
There is no other way to cover this: The President of the United States, along with his sycophants in the Republican Party and right-wing media, are executing on a coordinated effort to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation. And as a result, they are subverting the rule of law, actively undermining Americans’ trust in their own institutions, and by extension enthusiastically accomplishing the goals of Vladimir Putin — a foreign adversary.
We are witnessing the Breitbartization of the GOP, as they engage in an unsubstantiated probe into the FBI and DOJ, mindlessly seeking the “Deep State.” In spite of the GOP’s complicity, there are serious wrongdoings that we need to get to the bottom of: money laundering, collusion, and countless attempts to obstruction of justice.
By the end of the week, even members of their own party would be calling them out:
“The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s… Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.” — Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
This administration didn’t stop with the memo. President Trump selectively refused to implement Congress’ veto-proof sanctions on Russian Oligarchs, didn’t even mention Russia’s interference in the State of the Union, and continues to do nothing to defend our voting processes from Russia’s ongoing operation which will only escalate as we approach the midterms.
As more evidence of obstruction of justice surfaced, this time involving Hope Hicks, many continued to wonder what would happen if Republicans refuse to hold the President accountable for his actions.
To put it bluntly, we’d be facing a constitutional crisis that would place us on the brink of authoritarianism. That doesn’t sound like fun, but it’s the reality of the situation.
Fortunately, the American people are vigilant. They are watching, organizing, and fired up. They won’t forget this at every special election this year and in November.
If Republican members of Congress won’t hold the President accountable, you can be damn sure the American people will.
Here’s a complete breakdown of Donald Trump’s 54th week as POTUS:
“He’s So Misinformed”
We ended last week with yet another revelation related Trump’s efforts to undermine the Trump-Russia investigation. Foreign Policy reported that Trump targeted 3 FBI officials to discredit after learning that they could be witnesses against him in the Mueller probe. The officials were former acting-FBI Director and subsequently Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe; Jim Rybicki — James Comey’s and Christopher Wray’s chief of staff, and James Baker — formerly FBI’s general counsel.
Rybicki just resigned as Wray’s Chief of Staff. Baker was just replaced by Boente. And by the following Monday, McCabe would be gone. With the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign in full swing, with the help of Russian bots, the intent to undermine Mueller’s investigation reached new heights. As we headed into this week, obstruction of justice hovered over the State of the Union…and I’m not just referring to Trump’s speech.
Democrats are not interested in Border Safety & Security or in the funding and rebuilding of our Military. They are only interested in Obstruction!
- As the world recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day, news of more inhumane ICE raids broke.
We had one night when 35 dads were taken in one night from Avenel, New Jersey, from the same apartment complex. I had 60 kids become orphans that night or become fatherless." This is inhumane. This is not America. This must stop. https://t.co/ycdPFZxmy9
- Rap and business mogul Jay-Z made waves with his appearance on Van Jones’ new show.
Everyone feels anger, but after the anger it's really hurtful. … he's looking down on a whole population of people, and he's so misinformed," JAY-Z slams Trump's "shithole" comment. Van Jones kicks off his new show at 7pm ET with the hip hop star. https://t.co/ri68FSfaup https://t.co/icLx1ZYvch
The President took notice.
Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!
Stop @realDonaldTrump 1) Black unemployment began to fall under Obama 2) Tweeting about it doesn't change the fact you called neo-Nazis "very fine people," protesting black athletes a "son of a bitch," or Africa a shithole. Also, Central Park five & housing discrimination suits https://t.co/DPl2JKiQrf
But of course, only after his daily briefers over at Fox & Friends reported on it.
Eminem has been criticizing Trump for months, Trump has never responded. Interesting to see Trump respond to Jay-Z in less than 24-hours. https://t.co/8wLUY9maWM
- The Grammy’s got political.
Black is beautiful. Hate is ugly. Women are as precious as they are stronger than any man I've ever met… To all the beautiful countries filled with culture, diversity, and thousands of years of history: You are not shitholes." @Logic301 gives powerful speech at the #GRAMMYs https://t.co/RIUaIMUZkd
Trump world wasn’t happy. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley had the most shared take.
I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don't ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.
Art has always been political. Music has always been political. Movies have always been political. Books have always been political. Keep your "Keep your politics out of my BLANK" bs outta my face.
54th Week (January 29–February 2)
Monday, January 29
On Monday, Republicans voted to release the dubious memo written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes — who didn’t read the underlying intelligence that the memo is summarizing. I also want to point out up front the fact that Devin Nunes was on the Trump transition team, which is a subject of the Trump-Russia investigation. So…any move taken by Nunes to undermine this investigation is arguably an attempt to undermine an investigation into his own actions. Now that we have that established let’s dive in.
Rep. Adam Schiff says it is a "sad day" in the history of this committee after House intel Republicans vote to release their memo on the FBI but not the Democratic memo https://t.co/geJebXfyHE https://t.co/Y0ZwczEvLK
The DOJ said releasing the memo would be “extraordinarily reckless,” citing concerns over the classified nature of the content and how it could reveal sources and methods. As of this day, all we knew about the incoming memo was that it was an attempt to discredit Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by claiming his involvement in the approval of a renewal of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, was obtained under pretenses. It tries to cast doubt on the FISA process while at the same time alluding to their “Deep State” conspiracy. Just to establish how bad of an idea it is put all their chips on Carter Page, here’s quick background on the grown-up Caillou:
Carter Page was a former adviser to candidate Trump until the Trump campaign distanced themselves from him after his Russia ties were reported on. Page is the founder of Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York, where he partnered with Sergei Yatsenk. Yatsenk is a former Gazprom executive, a Kremlin-owned energy company Page did business with during the time he lived in Russia from 2004–2007.
It’s believed Carter Page became a subject of the Trump-Russia probe due to his campaign-approved trip to Moscow in July of 2016 to meet with Igor Sechin, the chairman of the Russia State-owned oil company Rosneft, and may have discussed the prospect of lifting sanctions on Russia. And that’s not all: Page met with Russian spy Victor Podobnyy in 2013, Russians have reportedly attempted to cultivate Page as a way to infiltrate the Trump campaign, and Page has admitted to communications with Russians during the campaign.
Page has been a subject of FBI FISA surveillance since 2014, has undergone repeated FBI questioning, and over 10 hours of questioning by congressional investigators last year. The important point about his FISA surveillance is that the FBI obtained the warrant because they believed Carter Page is “an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow.”
And that’s just what’s publicly known about Carter Page. Imagine what the FBI knows. You tell me if his surveillance was warranted. This was not the hill the GOP should’ve chosen to die on. But they did. More on that later.
The memo also serves as a method to try and cast the largely Republican FBI and DOJ as corrupted and politically biased against President Trump. As we see later in the week, the memo has multiple omissions of fact, and some admissions that reflect negatively on the Trump administration, that render it a misleading nothingburger
One of the main revelations this day wasn’t the vote to release the memo…it was the fact that the House Intelligence Committee made it clear they are officially investigating the FBI and DOJ.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to #ReleaseTheMemo and have opened an investigation into the FBI & the DOJ @RepAdamSchiff:"Today this committee voted to put the President's personal interest, perhaps their own political interest above the national interest" https://t.co/sNGbRfdbQO
It is hard for me to comprehend what is happening in Washington now. That an American president and his political party has chosen to overlook a direct attack on American democracy, reward the attackers and attack the law enforcement agencies doing their duty is mind-boggling.
Remember, Russia's goal is to undermine the US-led democratic order and faith in American institutions. The @GOP-led House Intelligence Committee is investigating the DOJ and FBI in a corrupt effort to protect Trump from the Russia Probe. Party > Country https://t.co/Llb2VWDpvQ
By the memo’s Friday release, Senator John McCain would agree with the above sentiment.
- The deadline to implement the veto-proof sanctions had arrived…and the Trump administration continued their eerie capitulation to Vladimir Putin.
The Trump admin has announced they are selectively not implementing the veto-proof sanctions on Russian Oligarchs (passed Senate with 98-2 & House with 419 to 3) Trump can't speak negatively of Putin. Trump can't sanction Putin's buddies. We must ask: Is the POTUS compromised? https://t.co/cT1W5FOeeM
The Trump administration did submit to Congress a list of Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies to target, on time. They will not face sanctions, but might be shamed if the list were made public. Asked a source about the likelihood of that happening: "Not great from what I hear.
Russia said that the sanctions that were implemented were in an effort to meddle in their elections…this is the 1,000th time irony died this year.
- FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was forced into an early retirement on Monday. The decision was made by FBI Director Christopher Wray.
BREAKING: Andrew McCabe has stepped down effective today as FBI deputy director, multiple sources familiar with the matter tell @ NBC News https://t.co/kLrhDjzq7B
Let's look at FBI Deputy Director McCabe's removal in context: This comes after POTUS repeatedly attacked Andrew McCabe after questioning his vote All while conservative media & @GOP officials wage a disinformation campaign to undermine DOJ, FBI, & Mueller's Trump-Russia probe
We also found out that Trump’s attacks on McCabe went beyond just tweets.
NEW: Trump was so enraged by Comey boarding an FBI plane after his firing that he called Andrew McCabe to say the FBI should have stranded Comey in LA rather than flying him back. Then Trump told McCabe to ask his own wife what it's like to be a "loser."
- Republicans decided to not advance a bill that would protect Robert Mueller.
- The Daily Beast reported that when reached out to by a fake Sean Hannity Twitter account (while Hannity’s real account was down), Julian Assange was receptive — as if he was feeding information to the real Hannity.
Julian Assange thought he was messaging Sean Hannity when he offered up "news" on Senate Intel Dem Mark Warner. Assange told the account to seek "other channels" for info on Warner, but the account was actually owned by a Texas woman, Daily Beast reports. https://t.co/RFU7vWSrso
- Republican New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen will not seek re-election.
- CNN reported that “A Russian Su-27 jet performed an unsafe intercept of a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea…The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within 5 feet of the US plane.”
- A 20-week abortion ban bill was voted down in the Senate, and a bill to protect young athletes was passed in the House.
BREAKING: By a vote of 406-3, the House just passed our bill to protect young athletes from abuse. Passage of our bill wouldn't have been possible without the courage of women who came forward to share their deeply painful experiences. Today is their day. #TimesUp
- A report revealed that Melania Trump was “blindsided” and “furious” about the news of her husband’s payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels.
- It was quite the day…
Just today: Trump admin declined to impose new Russia sanctions, a top FBI official probing Trump&Russia was forced out, and House Intel R's voted to release a classified memo that purports to undermine Russia probe. Also, DOJ/FBI are officially under investigation by HPSCI R's.
One thing’s for sure: In the days to come, the media must responsibly be on their toes.
Dear @CNN @MSNBC @nytimes @washingtonpost @CBSNews @ABC, etc Do not cover @GOP attacks on the rule of law as a normal both-sides, partisan squabbling game Most reporters are doing well but some are equivocating As this moves closer to Mueller, media can't beat around the truth
Tuesday, January 30
What Is The State Of Our Union?
President Trump’s State of the Union address was a drawn-out regurgitation of what he feels are his accomplishments, peppered with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants. In one of the worst moments of the speech, Trump tried to conflate unaccompanied minors who travel across the border to MS-13.
Trump ran through his usual touting of the Black and Hispanic unemployment rates, as well as the economy as a whole.
Trump is still taking credit for jobs gained *before* he was inaugurated "Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone" In fact, starting in Jan 2017, 2,055,000 jobs have been created
Indeed, 2017 was the weakest year of job creation since 2010: 2010: 88.4K per month 2011: 174K 2012: 178K 2013: 192K 2014: 250K 2015: 226K 2016: 187K 2017: 171K Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics https://t.co/S5o44lhz2c
President Trump repeatedly takes credit for the benefits of the economy his predecessor left behind…the same predecessor who he's repeatedly claimed wasn't born here. #SOTU #StateOfOurUnion
In what is usually a thankless job, Rep. Joe Kennedy III gave a strong response to the State of the Union.
In his Democratic response to Trump's #SOTU speech, Rep. Joe Kennedy III mentions transgender youth, hits Trump for offering false choices between worthy and unworthy groups of Americans. https://t.co/RClVghmqqw
While this was occurring, Americans gave their own rebuttals on the #StateOfTheDream hashtag.
My #StateOfTheDream 👇 Those that resist the campaign of hate waged by the Trump administration will build the future. A diverse coalition based on principles of equality and hope rather than fear and divisiveness.
For my #StateOfTheDream , I let my son speak. After all, the future of this country belongs to him. His worries are for friends with families that are tormented by constant deportation threats. His hopes? Anyone can change for the better. Even DonaldTrump. #StateofOURUnion https://t.co/f9IRMEm9OK
Trump’s speech garnered some of the usual “Trump is presidential now” takes we’ve grown used to. And they were especially bad from the right.
Preemptive hot take disclaimer: Reading words semi-coherently from a teleprompter does not make someone momentarily presidential. #SOTU #StateOfOurUnion
This speech represents the presidential performance that Trump observers have been waiting for – brilliant mix of numbers and stories, humility and aggressiveness, traditional conservatism and political populism. Only one word qualifies: Wow. #SOTU
Our take was…the opposite.
This speech represents the unpresidential performance that Trump observers have come to expect – a disjointed mix of cherry-picked numbers and people being exploited as props, dishonesty and demagoguery, Trumpism and white nationalism. Only one word qualifies: Sad. #SOTU https://t.co/ZIAavKgzIm
- A stunning NBC News report revealed a banana republic style contemplation on the part of President Trump.
- News of a DOJ Inspector General probe into Andrew McCabe that led to his resignation was reported.
The scandalous implication of this story is that Andrew McCabe may have sought to follow DOJ protocol governing the conduct of investigations in the days before an election. https://t.co/Opg3H83Nr0
- The FBI is assessing a second dossier that was created by former journalist Cody Shearer. The dossier reportedly independently corroborates some of the allegations made in the Christopher Steele dossier.
- After approving of the release of the Nunes memo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) hops on the Breitbart-wing of the GOP’s coattails and says that the FBI needs a “cleanse.”
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he doesn’t see a need to bring forward legislation to protect Robert Mueller.
- CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned after it was revealed that she traded tobacco stock while leading anti-smoking efforts.
- While the Republican Party and the President wage a campaign to discredit the U.S. law enforcement apparatus, Trump-appointed CIA Director Mike Pompeo says that he expects Russia to target the U.S. again during the midterm elections.
- Speaking of Pompeo, he met with Russia’s top spies — some of which may have been under U.S. sanctions. CNN reports:
CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met with his Russian counterparts when they traveled to the US, according to US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.
Russian media is reporting those who met with Pompeo may have included the country’s sanctioned spy chief, Sergey Naryshkin.
Wednesday, January 31
The Audacity Of Hope
We all know about the infamous June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting. The one where Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. And we all remember the flurry of misleading statements that were released last July, the month that the meetings were revealed. We learned a few months later that the initial misleading statement was personally dictated by President Trump aboard Air Force One on the way back from G-20 summit. We also learned that other White House officials were involved, including now-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has taken great interest in this misleading statement as part of his obstruction of justice probe.
Former Trump Attorney Mark Corallo spontaneously resigned that month. And now we have confirmation as to why…
Oh man. Mark Corallo plans to tell Mueller that Hope Hicks said during a conference call with Trump that Don Jr.'s emails about the Trump Tower meeting would "never get out." https://t.co/dUli4MtapG
Hicks has already had an interview with Mueller…if she lied about the circumstances surrounding this, then she may be susceptible to perjury charges.
Needless to say, this won’t be the last time we see Hope Hicks’ name in the news.
- FBI Director Christopher Wray said he has “grave concerns” about the memo’s release.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has told the White House he opposes release of the GOP memo because it contains inaccurate information and paints a false narrative, per @cstrohm @HouseInSession. https://t.co/1IFgZ3ZTan
- Devin Nunes sent a memo to the White House with changes that weren’t reviewed by the committee.
BREAKING: Discovered late tonight that Chairman Nunes made material changes to the memo he sent to White House – changes not approved by the Committee. White House therefore reviewing a document the Committee has not approved for release.
- It’s revealed that in December, Trump asked Rod Rosenstein if he was “on his team.” Yet another loyalty inquiry.
Every line of this story is evidence of a President abusing his power to obstruct a criminal investigation into himself, his campaign, and his family https://t.co/BiQ8piY7bq
- It’s discovered that the FBI agent, whose texts the GOP has used as evidence of anti-Trump bias in the FBI, literally wrote the first draft of the Comey letter that swung the election to Trump in the final days of the election. You can’t make this up.
EXCLUSIVE: Controversial FBI agent Peter Strzok played a key role in the decision for James Comey to send a letter to Congress about the bureau's investigation of newly discovered Hillary Clinton emails days before the election, CNN has learned https://t.co/G8ew0sML1h
More @CNN breaking: Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who sent the texts mocking Trump and others and was ousted from Mueller's team, actually co-wrote the draft letter reopening the Clinton email probe.
- Trump signed an EO keeping Guantanamo Bay open.
- Representative Trey Gowdy, member of the House Intelligence Committee and infamous for his Benghazi probe, announced that he would be retiring from Congress. This comes after over the weekend, he was one of the few GOP voices in the House who said he has “100% confidence” in Mueller and that he should be able to run his investigation unperturbed. If only the members of the House who plan to remain in office had the balls to say the same.
BREAKING: Gowdy announces retirement from Congress https://t.co/QIWEB9kxLX
Thursday, February 1
“Discredit The Russia Investigation”
A CNN and The New York Times further confirmed the obvious. Donald Trump’s backing of the release of the Nunes memo is a clear attempt to discredit Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein with the intention of firing him.
Trump continues to tell his associates he believed the highly controversial Republican memo…could help discredit the Russia investigation" Translation: "Trump continues to tell his associates the Republican memo is his latest attempt to obstruct justice"https://t.co/ttzegqWglF
Trump suggested to aides and confidants that the memo might give him the justification to fire Rosenstein – something about which Trump has privately mused – or make other changes at the [DOJ], which he had complained was not sufficiently loyal to him." https://t.co/3YTWEqOoMa
This memo would actually be damning for Trump in a sane reality Rosenstein (Trump appointee) thought Carter Page (Trump campaign official) was so sketchy that he had to renew FISA surveillance on him (which was first placed in 2014 because the FBI thought he was a Russian agent) https://t.co/7zypp4kO4N
I've read both memos. What's clear to me is that the sole intent of the #NunesMemo is to give the Trump administration cover to fire Rosenstein.
This is part of a pattern.
Trump: -Asked Comey for loyalty, to back off Flynn, & tried to discredit him-then fires him -Asked McCabe who he voted for & later publicly attacks him-he's forced out -Asked Rosenstein if he's on his team & now supports the release of a dubious memo to try & discredit him…
A reminder of what happens to law enforcement officials who don't pledge undying loyalty to Trump. 1. Loyalty inquiry 2. Attempts to discredit 3. Subsequent removal from position We're at the "attempts to discredit" phase with Rosenstein now… https://t.co/orpj8w6q3v
Rosenstein has the ability to fire Mueller or limit the scope of his investigation (perhaps say that Trump’s personal finances are off limits). Also important to note, any impeachment referral that Mueller makes would have to first go through Rosenstein. So the idea of creating cause to fire Rosenstein is how they could undermine the investigation without necessarily calling for Mueller to be fired. As you can see, there are various ways that Rosenstein’s replacement could limit Mueller.
The crux of the memo is an attempt to discredit Rosenstein. But as I’ll soon explain, that is a claim that holds no merit.
- Rick Gates, who was deputy to Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and charged with a 12-count indictment that included money laundering, might be negotiating with Mueller. This could provide added pressure on Manafort or Gates could provide testimony that would go for an even bigger fish…
Three lawyers representing Trump associate Rick Gates in money-laundering case against him have asked to be dropped from the case. Meanwhile, Tom Green, a lawyer known for hammering out plea deals, stays on as counsel for Gates.
Builds on this from the week before.
@matthewamiller With this news that Rick Gates' lawyers are leaving & last week's news that he may be negotiating w/ Mueller, a reminder: A December report stated Gates could face a superseding indictment with tax charges Mueller may have leveraged this in negotiations https://t.co/sULOK6m3YH
- As news broke that the White House would approve the release of the memo, backlash mounted.
The Nunes memo is a hoax. Don't take our word for it. Take theirs… Sessions-led DOJ: It'd be "extraordinarily reckless" to release the memo Trump-appointee FBI Director Wray: Has "grave concerns" about the accuracy of the memo GOP Senator Thune: Says Senate should review memo https://t.co/YRxhXNoxXq
- Size is one of Trump’s favorite things to lie about. This time, it’s about the size of his State of the Union audience.
Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!
Trump: "Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history." Reality: Trump's First State of the Union Fails to Match Obama in Viewership https://t.co/cosMZLP0XR #ThursdayThoughts
Fewer viewers than the first SOTU's for Obama in 2010, Bush in 2002, Clinton in 1994. "Which means Trump's initial SOTU, the third longest in history, is now also the least watched address in nearly a quarter of a century." https://t.co/rZUpNhzJF0 https://t.co/VUPGtj6Z5i
- Trump Jr. confirms that McCabe was forced out.
It was good enough to fire McCabe, no one argues its factually inaccurate, but now days later they want to protect the names of those involved in a scandal that was big enough to fire a senior official a month before retirement? They don't deserve a pass on that!
- Trump tweeted as if he actually wants a deal on DACA. In reality, it’s an attempt to blame the Democrats if a deal falls through.
March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Democrats are doing nothing about DACA. They Resist, Blame, Complain and Obstruct – and do nothing. Start pushing Nancy Pelosi and the Dems to work out a DACA fix, NOW!
The Democrats just aren't calling about DACA. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have to get moving fast, or they'll disappoint you again. We have a great chance to make a deal or, blame the Dems! March 5th is coming up fast.
- The Washington Post reported, “The Trump administration has stripped enforcement powers from a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unit responsible for pursuing discrimination cases, part of a broader effort to reshape an agency it criticized as acting too aggressively.”
- The Washington Post reported that “The Trump administration is poised to ask Congress for deep budget cuts to the Energy Department’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, slashing them by 72 percent overall in fiscal 2019.”
- A note of hope from President Obama’s foreign policy adviser and speechwriter.
All the people enabling the Trump-Ryan-Nunes debasement of the rule of law and respect for American institutions are making a bet that history will validate Trump. That's a bet they'll lose.
Friday, February 2
There was a term for those who unwittingly did the bidding of the Soviet Union: useful idiots. These were people who were successfully gaslit by Soviet propaganda and/or Russian spies. The U.S. Intelligence Community concluded that Russia’s longstanding objective has been to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order and our faith in democratic institutions. For decades, Russian propaganda has aimed to stir racial divisions, attack the credibility of the U.S. government, and try to weaken western influence. Modern Russia has their useful idiots in the Breitbart-wing of the Republican Party and in President Donald Trump. And I’m being generous when calling some of them unwitting.
The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!
Trump started the morning of the release of the Nunes memo attacking the FBI and the Justice Department. Of course, conservative news outlets got the first view of the memo.
So the Washington Examiner and Fox News got an early look at a memo which was declassified this morning.
Not a good look by the House GOP to release cherry picked excerpts through friendly media outlets in order to build a narrative. Only reinforces the partisan look to all this. A truly nonpartisan act would have been a complete release without cherry picks
Before the memo was released, Trump gave an ominous response to a question about Rosenstein.
In Oval Office just now, Trump is asked by reporters: Does it make you more likely to fire Rosenstein? Do you still have confidence in him? "You figure that one out," Trump responded
John McCain released his statement.
The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party's, no president's, only Putin's. https://t.co/6dsbcBIla6
The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests - no party's, no president's, only Putin's."-@SenJohnMcCain Putin's goal is to undermine faith in U.S. institutions. @realDonaldTrump & @HouseGOP…you are useful idiots. https://t.co/Llb2VWDpvQ
By noon, the un-redacted memo was released.
We read the memo. It is a misleading nothingburger. It omits: -The 2014 date of Carter Page's initial FISA warrant (which was placed because the FBI thought he was a Russian agent) -The fact the Washington Free Beacon (conservative group) first funded the dossier. #MemoDay
The major new piece of information was that Carter Page’s FISA warrant was renewed 3 times. To clarify, it wasn’t just Rosenstein who approved the renewal. Former acting-Attorney General Sally Yates, current FBI General Counsel Dana Boente, Andrew McCabe, James Comey, and 4 judges approved of it.
Not only that, it had multiple omissions of fact and it debunked one of the GOP’s main talking points which centered around their false notion that the dossier triggered the FBI’s investigation, rather than George Papadopolous drunkenly bragging about the fact Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton to an Australian diplomat. It also mentions the fact that some of the Steele dossier has been corroborated.
So Team Nunes is admitting that Papadopoulos triggered the FBI's Russia investigation — not the Steele dossier?
In leveling its central charge dossier was entire basis of #CarterPage warrant, #NunesMemo twice inadvertently undermines the argument: 1, it says Papadopoulos info, not dossier, triggered opening of the FBI probe, and, 2, it notes FBI corroborated some of Steele dossier.
Even Trey Gowdy shot down the idea that this discredited the Russia investigation.
As I have said repeatedly, I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not – in any way – discredit his investigation.
Former FBI Director Comey chimed in.
That's it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.
Democrats fired back.
Top Senate and House Dems have written to Trump, warning him against using the Nunes memo as a justification for firing Rosenstein or Mueller, saying they'd view it as attempted obstruction and that it'd cause a constitutional crisis not seen since the Saturday Night Massacre.
The President's decision to publicly release a misleading memo attacking DOJ & FBI is a transparent attempt to discredit these institutions and undermine Mueller's probe. We'll fight to release our classified response. Until then here's a glimpse at what's wrong with their memo:
New: Two Democratic members of House Intel tell me McCabe did not say dossier was basis of FISA warrant, disputing central claim of #NunesMemo
NEW: The FBI was a lot more forthcoming about Steele than the Nunes memo says, per the Dem memo https://t.co/EmYyFcHQ0T
Reports later surfaced that the White House had no immediate plans to fire Rosenstein. John Kelly had previously stated that this memo wasn’t enough. He was right.
Despite the fact that this was a complete dud, Devin Nunes is moving onto his next target: The State Department.
Devin Nunes: "This is just the first memo. There will be another one dealing specifically with the State Department's role in all of this.
Over the weekend the President’s cried vindication.
This memo totally vindicates "Trump" in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!
Quite the opposite, Mr. President. The most important fact disclosed in this otherwise shoddy memo was that FBI investigation began July 2016 with your advisor, Papadopoulos, who was secretly discussing stolen Clinton emails with the Russians. https://t.co/2rGOE1jGg2
As each bogus claim of this Nunes memo gets dismantled, all this mess tells me is that there is a big indictment coming and Trump is panicking. Only explanation for such a desperate, sloppy, rushed attempt to discredit the Russia probe. #MemoDay
- Sessions tried to express confidence in Rosenstein.
Interesting. Hours before the Nunes memo was released (which Trump has reportedly considered using to fire Rod Rosenstein), Jeff Sessions praised Rosenstein and Rachel Brand, saying "they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the Department." https://t.co/O9B3YfqqR2
- Politico reported:
While many legal experts contend that Mueller lacks the standing to bring criminal charges against Trump, at least two attorneys working with clients swept up in the Russia probe told POLITICO they consider it possible that Mueller could indict the president for obstruction of justice.
- Over the weekend, news of a 2013 Carter Page letter gave us even more reason to believe his FISA warrants were justified.
- A Wall Street Journal report completely dismantled the GOP’s previous attempt to undermine the Russia investigation.
- The White House continued to push for more military options with North Korea.
- And just like that, Trump’s Black unemployment rate talking point was out the window.
And in the blink of an eye, black unemployment rises to 7.7% in one of the largest increases in years. #JobsReport https://t.co/ApeCuVU2uj
- K.T. McFarland, who is a subject of the Trump-Russia probe for her role in directing Michael Flynn’s calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, withdrew her nomination for ambassador of Singapore.
- It appears some of these tactics are working.
Look at this poll. Look at the damage Trump is doing to the perception of the FBI. The GOP branded themselves with "law and order" and "respect our law enforcement," but the minute their leader begins to bash them, they turn on them. No principles. Via @SurveyMonkey @axios
This drop in confidence is being exacerbated by conservative media who has been parroting the President’s unpatriotic attacks on our institutions. Luckily, Rep. Eric Swalwell told Fox News’ what we’ve all been dying to tell him for far too long.
Watch @RepSwalwell school @TuckerCarlson SWALWELL: "You're peddling a narrative that undermines the rule of law…if you're on the same side as Wikileaks & Putin you should take a step back and wonder whose bidding are you really doing." CARLSON: "I don't even know what to say." https://t.co/zvplkEmcVO
Bravo congressman. Bravo.