America’s Laziest President: Trump Admits to Delegating His Job to the Media That He Hates

The first two and a half years of Donald Trump’s presidency has been marked by his spectacularly underdeveloped work ethic. The only things he has demonstrated an interest in are his devotion to golf, tweeting, holding cult rallies, and watching Fox News. He has done virtually nothing else. Consequently, he has racked up a record of unparalleled failure, unable to achieve the vast majority of his campaign promises.

Donald Trump

[UPDATE: The sloth-like behavior of Trump is horrifically magnified on days like this when it’s being reported that as many as twenty people were slaughtered in an El Paso, Texas mall. The gunman is being described as a Trump-supporting, 21 year old white male, who has posted virulently hateful screeds against immigrants on social media.

Trump took three hours to react with a typically useless offering of “thoughts and prayers.” Then only twelve minutes later he was tweeting about a UFC fighter who idolizes Trump. That was followed by three posts about a MAGA-loving black “pastor.” And true to form, nothing was said about any potential solution to this epidemic of gun violence. Meanwhile, Fox News was baselessly speculating about an ISIS connection to the shooter.]

Among the presidential duties that Trump has neglected are the appointments to key White House positions. His nominees comprise an assembly of dimwits, donors, and utterly unqualified bootlickers. That played out in an epic disintegration of Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe. From the start there was bipartisan recognition that Ratcliffe was a political plant with no relevant experience for the job that Trump wanted him to fill. The only reason he got the nod was because Trump had just seen him on TV smearing special counsel Robert Mueller.

In less than a week Trump threw Ratcliffe overboard, but not without making some of the most asinine and transparently false excuses for another embarrassing misstep by a president known for being unable to walk a straight line. During a segment of Trump’s Reality TV show, “Lying on the White House Lawn,” Trump replied to a reporter’s question about the state of his vetting process saying that “I like when you vet.” He continued (video below):

“I think the White House has a great vetting process. You vet for me. When I give a name, I give it out to the press, and you vet for me. A lot of times you do a very good job. Not always. I mean if you take a look at it, the vetting process for the White House is very good.

But you’re part of the vetting process, you know. I give out a name to the press and they vet for me. We save a lot of money that way. But in the case of John, I really believe that he was being treated very harshly and very unfairly.”

This is totally deranged on so many levels. First of all, it isn’t the job of the media to vet critical national security personnel. They can analyze a president’s nominee and do background checks, but the commander-in-chief should be making these decisions. The fact that Trump is comfortable letting others vet for him is baltant dereliction of duty. It can hardly be called a “great vetting process.” Where else is Trump abdicating his responsibilities, and to whom?

What’s more, Trump is delegating this profoundly vital task to the media that he often maligns as “the enemy of the people.” But for some reason he now regards them as competent to evaluate one of the most pivotal positions in the U.S. government. What sane leader would assign such a task to people that he routinely disparages as being dishonest, corrupt, and even treasonous?

Then, after handing off the vetting process to the media that he hates, Trump accuses them of harshly mistreating his nominee. Never mind that he doesn’t offer any examples of that alleged mistreatment. Trump just wants you to take his word for it that the press was out to get him. But even after condemning the media’s vetting of Ratcliffe, Trump still takes their advice and nixes the nomination.

Finally, Trump fails to mention during any of this rant that the real reason Ratcliffe went down was because Republican senators told Trump that the nomination of this unqualified hack would likely not be confirmed. So while Trump sought to blame the media for doing what he says he asked them to do, he is really just covering up for the senate GOP and his own incompetence. And sadly, Trump is even incompetent at that.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Stuperbowl Interview: Dotard Trump Talking About ‘Intelligence’ is Downright Frightening

It’s Superbowl Sunday and the annual tradition of having the president give an interview to the network broadcasting the game is one of the few that Trump isn’t scrapping. Never mind that he recently told his press secretary “not to bother” with holding daily press briefings anymore. Trump agreed to sit down with Margaret Brennan of CBS News for a few minutes of lying and casting insults.

Donald Trump, Padded Cell

Among the atrocious outbursts in this interview were Trump’s remarks about what he had learned from negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. His unresponsive reply was that she “doesn’t mind human trafficking,” and that “people [are] dying all over the country because of” her. Apparently he learned nothing as he stuck to his routinely hostile behavior of slandering his perceived enemies. But his childish acting out is evidence that he learned what he feels like to get beat to a pulp by a smarter, more experienced political opponent.

Trump also made some ludicrous assertions like claiming that the report by special counsel Robert Mueller exonerated him (Mueller has not published any report). And he admitted that stories about Secretary of State Pompeo talking to Mitch McConnell about running the Senate were true just seconds after calling them “fake news.” Then he characterized the fact that much of his cabinet consists of people serving in an “acting” capacity as a good thing because it gives him more flexibility. It also gives the nation a bunch of hacks who have never been vetted or confirmed by the Senate as the law requires. And he said that his indicted pal Roger Stone never worked for his campaign except for the time that he did.

There were a great many more examples of Trump’s deranged take on a variety of subjects. But perhaps the most disconcerting were those related to national security and his relationship with his own Intelligence team. When asked if reads the reports they prepare for him, Trump said that he did. But his responses revealed that that wasn’t true. Brennan asked him what he found wrong with those reports, and Trump gave this disjointed word salad of a reply: “I think- let me just say it wasn’t so much a report. It was the questions and answers as the report was submitted and they were asked questions and answers.”

HUH? They were asked questions AND answers in this report that wasn’t a report? He went on to provide provably false information about the presence of ISIS in Syria, saying they were ninety-nine percent gone. When Brennan pointed out that Republicans in Congress had just voted to repudiate his positions on abruptly withdrawing from Syria, Trump’s answer reached back to the GOP primary in 2016, where he bragged about beating the Republicans who ran against him. That, of course, had nothing to do with the question.

Shortly thereafter Brennan asked Trump if he is “going to trust the intelligence that you receive?” He gave a qualified “yes,” adding that “if they said in fact that Iran is a wonderful kindergarten, I disagree with them 100 percent.” No one ever said anything remotely like that. And in a direct rebuke of his Intelligence team, Trump said that:

“I have intel people, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree. President Bush had intel people that said Saddam Hussein in Iraq had nuclear weapons – had all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? Those intel people didn’t know what the hell they were doing.”

Bush’s intel people told Bush exactly what he told them to say. They didn’t get it wrong. They lied at Bush’s direction. However, Trump is correct that he doesn’t have to agree with this Intel staff. But you have to wonder what the basis is for his disagreement. If he isn’t getting advice from them, from whom is he getting it? All we know is what he said next: “When my intelligence people tell me how wonderful Iran is – if you don’t mind, I’m going to just go by my own counsel.” So far as anyone can tell, Trump’s counsel is either Vladimir Putin or Fox News – or both.

Finally, Trump also dismissed the advice of his Intel team when they told him that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is unlikely to give up his nuclear capabilities. Trump disagreed on the basis of their personal relationship:

“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry. We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic. And we’ll see what happens.”

Seriously? Kim is a brutal dictator who murders his foes – even family members – and oppresses his people. But Trump gleefully brags about having “fantastic chemistry” with this tyrant? And this opinion comes long after their summit wherein Kim totally played Trump and has failed to deliver on anything they discussed at the time. In fact, Kim has actually expanded his nuclear facilities and arsenal.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The one thing that Kim has that Trump truly envies is the blind adulation of his people. And on that Trump openly expressed his desire for the same sort of cult worship from the American people. He isn’t going to get that. At the moment he is the most unpopular president of all time. And judging from recent events like his government shutdown and the arrest and indictment of his closest associates, that isn’t going to show much improvement any time soon.

Trump Has ‘No Confidence’ in the Intelligence Chiefs He Appointed, But Relies Heavily on Fox News

The United States is undergoing a unique adventure in surreal governance. Its president has assembled a team of advisors and cabinet department heads that he is publicly assailing as ignorant and lacking the knowledge and abilities to perform the jobs to which he appointed them. Donald Trump is literally calling his own Intelligence chiefs incompetent.

Donald Trump

This is the sort of breakdown that would be laughably unbelievable in political fiction. If Trump has such little respect for the people he appointed, why does he keep them in their jobs? Wouldn’t a sane president remove people who he thought were getting everything wrong so that they wouldn’t continue to put the country at risk? Would a mentally stable leader tweet that his “Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive,” and then follow that up with another tweet saying that they “should go back to school,” and then allow them to keep their highly sensitive jobs in national security?

Trump was long ago proven to be a malignant narcissist who regards himself as the most brilliant expert at whatever he happens to be talking about at the moment. Despite having evaded military service with five phony deferments, he said that he knows more about military affairs than “his” generals. And on Thursday morning when he was asked a question about his Intelligence team, it resulted in this bizarre exchange (video below):

Reporter: Do you have confidence with [CIA Director] Gina Haspel and [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats to give you good advice?
Trump: No, I disagree with certain things that they said. I think I’m right, but time will prove that. Time will prove me right, probably.

So Trump has no confidence in his CIA director or his director of National Intelligence. And he followed that up with a rambling array of nonsense regarding Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea. Literally none of it had any resemblance to reality. Trump has cloaked himself in a shroud of fantastical fiction that he either has convinced himself is true, or is deliberately lying about in order to advance some perverse narrative that is contrary to the interests of the nation. When John Brennan, a former CIA director who had the confidence of his boss, heard about Trump’s remarks, he tweeted that it “shows the extent of [his] intellectual bankruptcy” and that “All Americans, especially members of Congress, need to understand the danger [Trump] poses to our national security.”

So if Trump isn’t getting his advice on these critical issues from the experts he appointed, where is he getting it? Is it coming from his pal Vladimir Putin, with whom he’s been meeting in secret without any other Americans present to record their conversation or refer it to professionals for analysis? Or is he getting it from his shadow cabinet at Fox News: Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, etc.? Could there be a more pathetic batch of know-nothings in such positions of power?

Thursday afternoon Trump returned to his Twittering to announce that he had a meeting and that everything was now copacetic with his intelligence team. He said that the media “mischaracterized” what they said during the Senate hearing on Wednesday. But it was Trump who said that he had “no confidence” in his team, not the press. And he’s been saying it for quite a while. These tweets are obviously an attempt to repair the damage his big mouth got him into. But anyone who’s buying it is terminally naive.

In the end, it’s America that is losing out by Trump’s reliance on foreign adversaries and propaganda shills at State TV (aka Fox News). Trump is selling out the nation for reasons that are not fully known yet, but probably have something to do with his indebtedness to Russian oligarchs, his clandestine conspiracy with Kremlin operatives to steal the election, or some other means by which he has been compromised and forced to serve as a puppet to our foes. And at this point, the only reason that the Intelligence community hasn’t resigned en masse is that they feel a patriotic duty to shield the country from the potential harm that Trump represents as its most virulent national security threat.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Latest Tweet Threatens The Media (And Press Freedom) For Doing Their Job

Friday morning Donald Trump took another step toward the totalitarian dystopia he yearns to rule. He’s spent months disparaging the intelligence community on which he must rely. At the same time he has defended Russia from charges of hacking that has now been proven beyond question.

Trump Baby

And now he is proposing concrete actions to punish the free press that he so blatantly abhors. This is what he tweeted this morning while waiting to be briefed on the Russian hacking report:

The frightening aspects of that cannot be be understated. Trump is proposing an investigation of a news organization that did precisely what is expected of it. NBC utilized its sources to acquire government information that is relevant to all citizens. And contrary to Trump’s frantic accusation, there is no indication that any of it was top secret. The government was going to release a public version of the report anyway. NBC just scooped them.

What is apparent is that Trump is more concerned about NBC getting info that’s about to be released anyway, than he is about Russians hacking American citizens and political organizations. He is distracting from the far more significant news that Russia had helped him achieve his tainted victory. They even celebrated and congratulated themselves for their successful effort.

It’s important to note the distinction between what Trump’s allies in Russia did and what NBC did. The hackers stole private information from individuals and organizations. That data was not public property. Russia, WikiLeaks, et al, were not revealing government secrets that the people had a right to know. NBC, on the other hand did just that. The Intelligence reports they previewed were paid for by taxpayers for their benefit. So NBC was performing a public service, while Russia/WikiLeaks was invading privacy. But only the privacy of Democrats so as to assist their favored candidate, Donald Trump.

Trump doesn’t care about Russians hacking an American election. He has defended them, and his BFF Vladimir Putin, from the start. Even worse, he has maligned the dangerous work of American patriots serving their country. Under the circumstances, one has to wonder why any intelligence operative would risk their life for Trump during his administration.

Trump has also been a constant foe of the free press. He has called reporters “sleazy” and “dummies” and “liars” and worse. Respected journalists had their credentials revoked to prevent them from covering his rallies. Organizations that represent the interests of journalists have condemned him as a “threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

That condemnation is playing out bigly today with this new attack on the press. And Trump has still never called for a congressional investigation of the Russian hacking. His whining about NBC sharing intelligence before he has seen it rings hollow. After all, it’s easy to get intelligence before Trump sees it when he doesn’t even bother to take intelligence briefings.

UPDATE: As it turns out, about six hours before Trump’s tweet WikiLeaks posted a tweet that is eerily similar:

That tweet also falsely states that the information NBC reported was “Top Secret.” And it makes the point that NBC received the info before Trump. Considering the similarities it is likely that Trump simply copied the contents of the WikiLeaks tweet for his own. And that’s just more proof that they are working together.

It’s also astonishing that WikiLeaks is complaining about “leaks” to the media. That’s their whole friggin’ reason for existing. But those dishonest hypocrites go nuts when someone else disseminates information acquired through legitimate journalistic means (as opposed to hacking and theft) if it is adverse to their partisan agenda.

Russians Congratulated THEMSELVES For Trump’s ‘Victory’ – Wonder Why?

The heads of several Intelligence agencies testified before Congress today to deliver their report on election hacking. The full report has not yet been made public. Nor has Donald Trump received a briefing on its contents (which should occur Friday). But that didn’t stop him from posting preemptive tweets aimed at belittling the intelligence community.

Putin Voted

Surprisingly, what he seems most upset about is not the conclusions that Russia was deliberately interfering with the American election. His tweet assailed the fact that NBC obtained information which they subsequently reported:

So Trump is complaining that a news organization is doing its job. Acquiring information from trusted sources and informing the public is a suspicious activity in Trump’s mind. That is, unless it’s Julian Assange who is doing it. But it’s not surprising that Trump would want this information to be suppressed. The consensus conclusion from the Intel agencies is that Russia was positively involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee and other targets. Their aim was to interfere with the U.S. electoral process generally, and to help Trump specifically. Among the evidence cited was the interception of revealing communications:

“Senior Russian officials celebrated Donald Trump’s election victory as a geopolitical win for Moscow, the Washington Post reported on Thursday, citing U.S. officials who said intercepted communications showed the Russians congratulating themselves on the outcome.

“The ebullient reaction among high-ranking Russian officials – including some who U.S. officials believe had knowledge of the country’s cyber campaign to interfere in the U.S. election – contributed to the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow’s efforts were aimed at least in part at helping Trump win the White House, the Post reported.”

The fact that the Russians were patting themselves on the back for a job well done is pretty damning evidence of intention. But Trump’s response ignored that entirely. He was more interested in raising doubts about the reliability of the intelligence. So he tweeted:

What’s going on is that Trump’s assertions were predictably off-base. The DNC addressed these issues and told BuzzFeed that they dispute these claims and that they fully cooperated. They assert that the FBI did not ask for access to the servers. The DNC provided the FBI with all the information they had from the cyber security firm that examined their systems. That firm, CrowdStrike, has a stellar reputation and was was considered a reliable source by the FBI.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So once again, Trump goes off the rails to rant about things unrelated to the primary news. And then he even gets the facts about that wrong. Eventually, Trump is going to have to face the truth and address what he knows about the hacking. He cannot continue to divert attention to irrelevant side issues forever.

Donald Trump Plans To Kneecap The Intelligence Community – Playing Into Putin’s Hands

For several months Donald Trump has bitterly criticized the United States intelligence agencies. He has accused them of politicizing intelligence data and making critical errors in analysis and reporting. His public statements give more credence to Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin, and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, than to the agencies on which he must rely as president. That has raised questions as to his loyalties from politicians and pundits across the political spectrum.

Trump/Putin

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal published a story detailing Trump’s plans to revamp the CIA and other intel ops. The article relied on sources close to the Trump transition team who revealed Trump’s desire to “restructure and pare back” these agencies. One of the insiders quoted said that:

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized. They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Among those who would eagerly support slimmed down intelligence bureaus is Trump’s BFF, Vladimir Putin. Along with every other nation hostile to American interests. By weakening our intelligence capabilities, our adversaries would gain the upper hand in clandestine activities and diplomacy. However, Trump’s motivation isn’t as simple as siding with our enemies. He is hypersensitive to allegations that his electoral victory was illegitimate. Consequently, any assertion that Russia’s involvement benefited him grates against his ego and must be suppressed. According to the Journal, that’s a view shared by Trump’s team:

“Among those helping lead Mr. Trump’s plan to revamp the intelligence agencies is his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn [and] Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), whom Mr. Trump selected as CIA director. […] Gen. Flynn and Mr. Pompeo share Mr. Trump’s view that the intelligence community’s position – that Russia tried to help his campaign – is an attempt to undermine his victory or say he didn’t win, the official close to the transition said.”

The Journal also quoted Paul Pillar, a 28-year veteran of the CIA, who said that he finds it “disturbing that the president should come in with this negative view of the agencies.” Another former CIA operative, Evan McMullin, expressed similar concerns. He tweeted that “Trump’s overhaul of CIA is a reprisal for its alerting Americans of Russian interference in the election and its valid concerns about Trump.” And that “In addition to attacking the press, there is no more typical authoritarian tactic than consolidating power in the intel & armed services.” That observation should send shivers down the spine of every American. Remember that Putin himself was a KGB operative prior to becoming Russia’s dictator.

As for Trump, he had his own Twitter statement on the subject early Thursday morning:

Typically, Trump is misrepresenting reality. He actually did praise Assange on several occasions. And quoting him without any critical objection is tantamount to agreement. What’s more, he is outright lying about being a “big fan” of intelligence. He’s done nothing but disparage it and refused to even take the daily briefings on national security.

Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, told reporters on Thursday that the Journal story is false. However, his statement didn’t specify how it was wrong, and left the interpretation wide open. He said that “All transition activities are for information-gathering purposes and all discussions are tentative.” That doesn’t mean that the story was false or that the plans under discussion won’t be adopted. It’s a old-school dodge that the media seems far too willing to accept.

Everything that has come out of the Trump camp in this regard has affirmed the conclusion that he has a deeply held grudge against America’s intelligence professionals. And no matter what the motivation, that can only serve to strengthen the hands of our enemies. It also sets up a potentially dangerous conflict between the White House and the intelligence community.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

American citizens, and their representatives in Congress, need to be vigilant and active in opposing Trump’s anti-intelligence agenda. Because if he succeeds, so does Russia, and China, and North Korea, and Syria, and Iran, and ISIS. In short, if he succeeds, we lose.

The Vanishing Intelligence Trick

When the White House declassified its latest National Intelligence Estimate, it released it into a whirlwind of spin that could have taken out a small mid-western town.

The document itself said of Al Qaeda that:
“Their intent to attack the U.S. is undiminished, and they continue to adapt and improve their capabilities.”

Fran Townsend, the President’s Homeland Security Advisor said:
“We are facing a persistent terrorist enemy led by al Qaeda that remains driven and intent on attacking the homeland.”

And a leaked intelligence analysis proclaims reminiscently that:
“Al Qaeda Better Positioned To Strike The West.”

These statements are all consistent with the strategery of the administration which commonly seeks to pump up the fear ratio when it finds its popularity declining. And its popularity continues to set new lows. At the same time, they must realize that they can’t get away with painting a picture of a revitalized Al Qaeda without the nation wondering what the heck has been going on the past six years. The President doesn’t want to admit that he’s been asleep at the switch so he has to come out and say:

“There is a perception in the coverage that al Qaeda may be as strong today as they were prior to September 11. That’s just simply not the case,”

What you have just seen is the President waving a wand and dismissing everything his own intelligence machine has produced and reducing it to mere perceptions created by faulty coverage. Yet he gets to keep the simmering fear dispensed by the reports he now tosses off. Lucky for him, most of the press corps observing this spectacle are only interested in transcribing it and getting to happy hour in time for the cocktail weenies.

There is at least one correspondent that stayed alert and was not fooled by this stunt. In an exchange with Wolf Blitzer, Michael Ware, CNN’s man in Baghdad, delivered this bit of keen reporting:

“Now in the midst of all of this, despite this material, this evidence, we must be aware of the spin — the smoke and mirrors from the administration, trying to reshape the message on Iraq being specifically about Al Qaeda — America’s lingering, most familiar fear, trying to invoke some Pavlovian response from the American public, to fear them into again supporting the war. That doesn’t quite hold water.”

If that wasn’t enough to send poor Wolf into cardiac arrest, Jack Cafferty added this:

“What if we had spent the last five years with 158,000 soldiers and $500 billion hunting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and in the border regions next to Pakistan? I wonder if we’d still be hearing all of this stuff about Al Qaeda.”

What if…