Connect with us

Politics

Trump’s Plan to Save His Presidency: Take a Hatchet to Adam Schiff

Published

on

trump’

On Wednesday, a visibly enraged Donald Trump made clear that he’s not just interested in trashing the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint helped trigger the biggest existential crisis of his presidency. He’s also itching to ruin the life of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who has led the investigation into the complaint and who finds himself, once more, as the bête noire of the Trump presidency.

During a press conference that was notable, even by Trump standards, for the pique in the president’s tone, Trump claimed—without any evidence—that Schiff had helped write the whistleblower’s complaint that included details about Trump’s now infamous July 25 phone conversation with the Ukrainian leader. He called the congressman a “fraud” after previously accusing him of treason and demanding that he resign.

Elsewhere, Rudy Giuliani—Trump’s personal attorney who is at the center of the president’s scandalous quest to enlist the Ukrainian government into investigating the Biden family—teased the scenario of the president suing the Democratic lawmaker. Giuliani later told The Daily Beast that he and Trump have privately discussed and are “considering a lawsuit against a number of people but [Schiff is] one of the worst in terms of provable false statements”—a threat that seems, at least for now, unlikely to go far.

The decision to focus so heavily on Schiff marked a classic roll of the dice for the president and his team. Faced with an investigation into the unseemly inner workings of his administration, Trump has chosen to villainize his investigator. It was a tactic he applied with some success to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose probe revealed a sustained attempt to obstruct Mueller’s own investigation. But unlike Mueller–who operated in almost complete silence for two years—Schiff has chosen to engage the vitriol directly.
“I think Americans have to be worried about the stability of our president given the enormously erratic and dangerous swings we have seen him take in the last few days,” the congressman told The Daily Beast during a brief interview on Wednesday. “It is alarming.”

Whether Trump can turn questions about the propriety of his attempts to dig up dirt on Biden into a discussion about the merits of the investigation into those attempts could very well determine the future of his presidency. He certainly seems keen on trying to make it work. On Wednesday, he swiftly decried reports that an emissary of the whistleblower had reached out to Schiff’s Intelligence Committee staff, who then advised him to go through the formal channels of filing a complaint.

Schiff had previously denied that his staff had contact with the whistleblower before the complaint was flagged for them by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General. On Wednesday, he said that he did not know definitively at the time if the complaint had been authored by the same whistleblower who had approached his staff. But he acknowledged that he “should have been much more clear.”

“We try not to confirm when people have come in. I was really thinking along the lines of wanting to get him to come in to testify,” Schiff told The Daily Beast. “I regret that I wasn’t much more clear.”

Such nuance is unlikely to win converts inside the White House where anger among senior staff seems to be firmly directed at the congressman and driven by a belief that his inaccuracies are covered more sympathetically than the president’s. One senior aide even proclaimed that Trump was “far more focused” on Schiff than he was on the identity of the whistleblower himself.

But others in the administration say that the president remains consumed by the source of the written complaint now threatening to derail his presidency.

Since late last week, Trump has asked officials and advisers what the legal options are if the currently anonymous whistleblower is ever unmasked or named in news reports, according to two people who’ve heard the president discuss this. Trump, one of these sources said, has also privately voiced his belief that it is only a matter of time until the whistleblower goes on the record, or the identity becomes public or gets printed.

The president’s fascination with this person’s name has not gone unnoticed by the whistleblower’s legal team. Andrew Bakaj, the whistleblower’s lead attorney, has said that Trump’s public comments have “heightened our concerns that our client’s identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm’s way.” (The whistleblower currently enjoys anonymity under long-established federal legal protections in such cases.)
Still, there is a rapidly growing appetite in Trumpworld for this whistleblower to show himself, and take all the abuse and consequence that would invariably come with it.

“If the president wants to… talk to foreign official, and it’s sensitive and it doesn’t meet the approval of some anonymous deep-stater, then tough bananas,” said former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), now a Trump surrogate. “If this guy is so self-righteous, why doesn’t he come out like a man and… go on the record, and charge up the hill and sound the alarm?”

Source: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-is-going-to-burn-down-everything-and-everyone-and-republicans-that-means-you?ref=scroll

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Politics

Internal emails reveal de Blasio had City Hall staff help with re-election bid

Published

on

By

mayor de blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio regularly used his City Hall staff to boost his 2017 re-election bid while state and federal authorities were investigating his campaign fundraising practices, according to internal emails released Thursday.

City rules prevent public employees from using their official time for political purposes. Yet over 205 pages of emails between the mayor and his two sets of staff, obtained through a Freedom of Information request and first reported by the Daily News, show that they routinely flouted those rules.

In the most glaring example happened in December 2016 when the mayor asked his campaign and City Hall staff to coordinate a meeting with a deep-pocketed donor — and then tried to rope a deputy mayor into the fundraising effort.

“Steve Mostyn is in town from Dallas,” the mayor wrote to his City Hall scheduler and the deputy finance director for his campaign on Dec. 5, 2016.

“Very important I see him. Pls set up,” de Blasio wrote. His campaign finance director, Elana Leopold, followed up on her boss’s email.

“Mayor wants an hour w him and wants Herminia to stop by to say hi at the front of [sic] back end,” Leopold wrote, referring to then Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Hermania Palacio.

De Blasio’s official scheduler, Prisca Salazar-Rodriguez, suggested having the meeting at City Hall before his Leopold said, “I don’t think it’s allowed to be at City Hall.”

Members of Mostyn’s family later donated nearly $10,000 to the mayor’s reelection campaign.

A mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said “the mayor wanted to Deputy Mayor Palacio to attend because they had a personal connection and he thought they’d enjoy meeting. She wasn’t able to attend, however, and the meeting did not occur at City Hall.”

“City Hall and the campaign followed all rules and regulations. There is nothing prohibiting the teams from coordinating on scheduling,” Goldstein said.

But Alex Camarda, with the good government group Reinvent Albany, said the emails showed the mayor needs a state versus church divide to keep his political and official activities separate.

“The mayor’s campaign and City Hall should establish procedures that create clearer boundaries in setting up meetings and communications to separate campaign work from government work,” Camarda said.

 

Source nypost.com

Continue Reading

Politics

“We’re Confident…”: Trump Appears To Confirm US Nukes Are In Turkey

Published

on

By

trump

US government officials have long avoided disclosing or even confirming widely believed locations of US nuclear weapons.

 

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has often said things he perhaps shouldn’t have and repeatedly has disclosed sensitive information as president. On Wednesday, he did it again, appearing to confirm that the United States has nuclear weapons in Turkey.

At the White House, Trump was asked about those weapons’ security, now that Turkey has gone against U.S. wishes by invading northern Syria after the Trump-ordered U.S. withdrawal from the region. He didn’t explicitly confirm that the weapons were there, but he went along with the premise, saying that “we’re confident” they’ll be safe “and we have a great air base there – a very powerful air base.”

U.S. government officials have long avoided disclosing or even confirming widely believed locations of U.S. nuclear weapons.

“As a matter of policy, the Defense Department does not comment on the presence of nuclear weapons in Turkey or anywhere else in Europe,” said Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association.

“U.S. and NATO officials do not, as a matter of policy, confirm the existence, locations or numbers of tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Europe,” said Jessica Varnum, deputy director at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

The existence of the weapons in Turkey isn’t exactly a secret, though. Reif noted that “the Air Force, in its fiscal year 2015 budget request, noted the presence of ‘special weapons’ at ‘storage sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.”‘ Other experts noted that it’s not easy to hide such weapons.

Last July a document published by a NATO-affiliated body, which later was deleted, appeared to confirm that nuclear weapons were being housed in those same five countries. The document from a Canadian senator for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly said the U.S. nukes were in Incirlik in Turkey.

Vipin Narang, a nuclear proliferation expert at M.I.T., highlighted another issue with Trump saying that “we have a great air base there.”

“Incirlik is Turkey’s air base, not ours,” Narang said. “And that is essentially the problem. We store these nuclear weapons in secure vaults on a Turkish air base, where we either have to secure them under the present circumstances, or bring transport aircraft to the base, move them on a Turkish air base and then fly them out of Turkish airspace if we wanted to extract them.

“Under the present circumstances, that is not a simple logistical or security feat.”

The security of those weapons has been a growing concern this week. The New York Times reported that State and Energy Department officials were looking at how to evacuate the weapons from Turkey if the situation in the region deteriorates.

As an Air Force Times report this week showed, though, officials would still avoid confirming the locations, even if they seemed plainly obvious:

“In an interview this summer with Air Force Times on the future of Incirlik amid rising tensions with Turkey, former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James would not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons there. But, hypothetically speaking, she said that if nuclear weapons did have to be removed from that base, it would be a complicated operation. It would require negotiations with the nation that would become the weapons’ new host, James said. And it would require a great deal of logistical and security work.

“If the Air Force found a new nation willing to host the nukes, James said, it would have to take ‘the greatest of care’ in their removal and transport. If the receiving base did not have the facilities or security necessary, James said, it would require a significant construction effort. And NATO would likely be involved.”

Trump in May 2017 shared highly classified information with top Russian officials in the Oval Office – information that U.S. officials worried could jeopardize a valuable intelligence source. He also reportedly told the Philippines’ president in April 2017 that the United States had two nuclear submarines off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to the New York Times. And two months ago, Trump tweeted what appeared to be an image from a classified satellite or drone in Iran.

3 COMMENTS
Presidents have broad authority to declassify whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean the disclosures are necessarily beneficial for the U.S. government.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by TansportationVoice staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Continue Reading

Politics

Elijah Cummings, senior Democrat involved in Trump impeachment probe, dies aged 68

Published

on

By

Elijah Cummings
  • Cummings died aged 68 from ‘complications of longstanding health challenges’
  • Comes two years after he had an operation to repair his aortic valve, and a month after he went to hospital saying that he would be back at work in a week
  • 13-term representative from Maryland was chair of the Oversight Committee, and spearheaded several investigations into Trump
  • He famously rowed with Trump after President called Baltimore ‘rat-infested’

 

Elijah E Cummings, a senior Democrat who was a key player in the Trump impeachment inquiry, has died aged 68.

Cummings, who chaired the House Oversight and Reform Committee, passed away at Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital at 2.45am on Thursday, his office said.

The Maryland representative, who has been in office since 1996, died of ‘complications concerning longstanding health challenges’.

His death comes two years after he had surgery to repair his aortic valve, and a month after he was admitted to hospital for further treatment.

He leaves behind wife Maya Rockeymoore – who he married in 2008 – and his three children, including daughters Jennifer and Adia

She said: ‘Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility.

‘He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.’

When he was admitted in early September, Cummings predicted that he would be back in Washington within a week.

A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a U.S. House committee that spearheaded investigations into President Donald Trump.

He was also a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his district that encompassed a large portion of Baltimore.

As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led multiple investigations into Trump’s governmental dealings.

The investigations angered the president, who criticized the congressman’s district in 2019 as a ‘rodent-infested mess’ where ‘no human being would want to live.’

Cummings responded that government officials must stop making ‘hateful, incendiary comments’ that only serve to divide and distract the nation from its real problems.

‘Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior,’ Cummings said in a speech at the National Press Club.

The Oversight Committee – as the main investigative committee of the House – was one of six involved in the impeachment inquiry into Trump and was spearheading efforts to gather evidence, alongside the Intelligence Committee.

Cummings’ long career spanned decades in Maryland politics. He rose through the ranks of the Maryland House of Delegates before winning his congressional seat in a special election in 1996 to replace former Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who left the seat to lead the NAACP.

Cummings was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential bid in 2008. And by 2016, Cummings was the senior Democrat on the House Benghazi Committee, which he said was ‘nothing more than a taxpayer-funded effort to bring harm to Hillary Clinton’s campaign’ for president.

Throughout his career, Cummings used his fiery voice to highlight the struggles and needs of inner-city residents. He was a firm believer in some much-debated approaches to help the poor and addicted, such as needle exchange programs as a way to reduce the spread of AIDS.

His constituents began mourning shortly after his death at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday. The Baltimore archdiocese tweeted that Cummings ‘generously shared his God-given gifts and talents w/the people of his beloved city, state and nation for so many years. We give thanks for his dedicated service and pray for the repose of his soul.’

Cummings was born on Jan. 18, 1951. In grade school, a counselor told Cummings he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly, and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer.

‘I was devastated,’ Cummings told The Associated Press in 1996, shortly before he won his seat in Congress. ‘My whole life changed. I became very determined.’

It steeled Cummings to prove that counselor wrong. He became not only a lawyer, but one of the most powerful orators in the statehouse, where he entered office in 1983.

He rose to become the first black House speaker pro tem. He would begin his comments slowly, developing his theme and raising the emotional heat until it became like a sermon from the pulpit.

Cummings was quick to note the differences between Congress and the Maryland General Assembly, which has long been controlled by Democrats.

‘After coming from the state where, basically, you had a lot of people working together, it’s clear that the lines are drawn here,’ Cummings said about a month after entering office in Washington in 1996.

Cummings chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from 2003 to 2004, employing a hard-charging, explore-every-option style to put the group in the national spotlight.

He cruised to big victories in the overwhelmingly Democratic district, which had given Maryland its first black congressman in 1970 when Parren Mitchell was elected.

 

Source dailymail.co.uk

By ASSOCIATED PRESS and CHRIS PLEASANCE

Continue Reading

Trending

TransportationVoice