'national security'

I’m trying to close all my tabs on my browser before going to bed, and I had this NPR article open on the Trump-Russia investigation. This bit was particularly interesting, I thought:

All These Lawyers Are Getting Expensive

President Trump and several administration officials have retained their own lawyers in the Russia matter, and all that advice is not cheap. So donors are covering the costs: The Republican National Committee has directed more than $427,000 to attorneys representing Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Matea Gold reported in the Washington Post.

Separately, family members of former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn announced on Monday that they have set up a legal defense fund to help Flynn continue to pay the lawyers helping him in the Russia matter. Joe Flynn and Barbara Redgate, Flynn’s brother and sister, made a case based on Flynn’s record of service.

“Mike devoted 33 years of his life to our country serving in the United States Army, spending years away from his family while he fought this nation’s battles overseas, including the war on terror,” they wrote.

[The Russia Investigations: Bad Week For Manafort, Social Networks In The Hot Seat – NPR]

So basically, the Republicans are literally crowdfunding their legal defense for the Russia investigation, aka “begging” for money. Meanwhile, they’re out here cutting back on welfare and healthcare, which affects literally the most vulnerable people in the country, all without a single shred of irony. All while their supporters continue to lap up this shit.

I followed up with the Washington Post article referred to in this blurb, and it had this to say:

The Republican National Committee is using a pool of money stockpiled for election recounts and other legal matters to pay for President Trump’s ballooning lawyer fees related to the multiple Russia investigations, directing more than $427,000 so far to lawyers representing him and his eldest son, party officials confirmed Tuesday. […]

RNC officials concluded that it is permissible for the party to pay for the president’s legal fees, according to a person familiar with the conversations. Separately, party and administration officials are working to determine whether executive branch staff members, who must comply with gift rules, could have their legal fees defrayed by the RNC or private legal defense funds. […]

Trump’s reelection committee — which is largely financed by small donors — has also directed to money to lawyers dealing with the Russia investigations. Such payments are permitted under federal law, as long as the legal expenses resulted from campaign activity. […]

It remains unknown whether Trump, who has said he is worth billions, is personally paying any of his legal expenses. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not respond to a question about whether the president is helping defray the costs.

[RNC taps legal account to help pay for lawyers for President Trump and son Donald Jr. in Russia probes – Washington Post]

TL;DR: Trump et al.’s legal defense for the Russia investigation is literally being crowdfunded by private donors and the RNC/campaign donations. Even though these people can absolutely afford their legal fees.

But yeah, sure, people asking for money on Tumblr are the only people who are lazy and expecting handouts.

8

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s furious tweetstorm on Michael Flynn

Top Republican investigators on Capitol Hill say they don’t have plans to investigate Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, or his conversations with President Donald Trump — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is furious, previewing an attack line Democrats are likely to deploy frequently in the days to come.

“Congress must pull its head out of the sand and launch a real, bipartisan, transparent inquiry into Russia. Our natl security is at stake,” Warren wrote Tuesday in a series of condemning tweets aimed at Trump’s administration after Flynn resigned from his post as national security adviser late Monday night.

Flynn stepped down after a series of leaks revealed he had lied to top White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the extent of his conversations with a Russian envoy prior to Trump’s inauguration.

Warren raised the concerns many in Washington have long had about Flynn’s role in the White House and his alleged close ties to Russian officials.

2

Donald Trump may have disclosed highly sensitive information on the most secretive part of the US’s nuclear arsenal to the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, in a phone call last month.

“We have a lot of firepower over there,” Trump said of the Korean Peninsula, according to a transcript of the call obtained by the New York Times and verified by White House officials.

“We have two submarines - the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all.”

The incident appears to mirror previous allegations that Trump divulged the most highly classified sort of intelligence to Russian officials, but it’s not as clear.

While the locations of the US’s nuclear-armed submarines have to remain a secret to even the highest commanders of the US military, the US also has nuclear-powered submarines. It’s unclear which type of “nuclear submarine” Trump was referring to.

(continue reading)

bzfd.it
Live Updates: Speaker Of The House Dodges Question About A Mike Flynn Investigation
National Security Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn resigned Monday evening after it was revealed he lied to the vice president about communicating with Russia before Trump became president.
By BuzzFeed News

Here’s What’s Going On:

  • Gen. Mike Flynn resigned as President Trump’s National Security Advisor on Monday evening after it was revealed he communicated with a Russian official about sanctions before Trump took office — which could have been illegal — then misled Vice President Mike Pence about it.
  • It was also first reported by the Washington Post on Monday evening that former-acting Attorney General Sally Yates in late January briefed Trump that Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
  • But, in early February, when asked about Flynn’s communication with the Russians, Trump told reporters he had to “look into” it, adding, “I don’t know about that.”
  • Trump on Tuesday morning seemed to blame the media, tweeting, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?”
  • There was a lot of confusion in the lead-up to Flynn’s resignation — and that’s continuing into Tuesday. Earlier Monday evening, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway insisted Flynn had the president’s full confidence. Later, Spokesman Sean Spicer walked that back. Shortly after, Flynn resigned. But then, on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation.
  • Democrats are calling for a congressional investigation — but leading Republicans are not.
  • The whole episode offered proof that Pence does have some power to spur change in the White House.
  • And here are the military men who could replace Flynn.
  • Flynn’s son — who has peddled conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton — said on Twitter Tuesday that his father was the victim of a “disinformation campaign.”
bzfd.it
This Mar-A-Lago Member Had A Great Time Photographing Trump Handle A National Security Crisis
This Trump supporter says he was at the "center of the action" as Trump dealt with the news that North Korea had just fired a missile in the direction of Japan.
By Mike Hayes

While President Trump handled a national security crisis right in front of dozens of patrons at his Mar-a-Lago hotel in Florida on Saturday, one resort member posted a flurry of photos to Facebook showing Trump reviewing sensitive documents, conferring with top aides, and talking on the phone.

The images also raised questions about the level of access Mar-a-Lago members have to the Trump administration — a seeming blend of government and personal business for the president.

Richard DeAgazio, a Massachusetts businessman and Trump supporter, shared the photos that show he had a front-row seat as Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe handled the response to North Korea’s firing a missile in the direction of Japan.

“HOLY MOLY !!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan,” DeAgazio posted. “The Prime Minister Abe of Japan huddles with his staff and the President is on the phone with Washington DC. the two world leaders then conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference. Wow…..the center of the action!!!”

In an interview with the Washington Post, DeAgazio described the situation unfolding before him at dinner on Saturday night before the two left to hold a joint press conference.

“There wasn’t any panicked look. Most of the people [on the terrace] didn’t even realize what was happening,” DeAgazio said. “I thought he handled it very calmly, and very presidentially.”

This episode is not the only time the DeAgazio, a former president at Boston Capital, whose Twitter profile describes him as a “Consultant ,SAG Actor, entrepreneur, network marketer,” claimed to witness over the weekend.

In another post, DeAgazio claimed to be photographed alongside “Rick” who “carries the “football” — a briefcase that contains all the details necessary to launch a nuclear attack.

Continue reading.