Holy $@!&: Are Fox News – and Melania – Taking Over National Security for the Trump Admin?

A pair of stories are burning up the wires this Tuesday afternoon. And they have nothing to do with the California fires or the still cresting Democratic “Blue Wave” that washed over the midterm elections. Nope. These stories have to do with the perpetual state of chaos in Donald Trump’s National Security operations.

Donald Trump, Melania Trump

First of all, it is being reported that Trump is expected to fire his secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, after less than a year on the job. But staff shake ups in and of themselves are not uncommon in the Trump administration. He’s already had far greater turnover than any other president.

What’s of interest here is who Trump is considering to replace Nielsen. And the top name being mentioned is the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan. He is a rabidly pro-Trump partisan who defends the administration’s horrific policy of separating migrant children from their parents. But the reason cited for Trump’s interest in Homan is that Trump likes his appearances on Fox News where he fiercely defends and praises the President. And that’s the most important criteria for a leader in protecting the United States from terrorists, isn’t it?

The other story making the rounds is that Trump is about to fire his deputy national security advisor, Mira Ricardel. She’s also a fierce Trump supporter, but lately she has gotten into trouble with the First Lady. And now Melania is asserting herself in these staffing decisions:

“The first lady’s office released a statement calling for Ricardel’s ouster as reports surfaced that President Donald Trump would fire the official, deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel.

“‘It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that (Ricardel) no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,’ the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement on Tuesday.”

Some reports say that Melania’s problem with Ricardel stems from a seating scuffle on Air Force One. Ricardel, for the time being, reports to national security advisor John Bolton. But she has reportedly also raised the hackles of Trump’s chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly. Making matters even more confusing, Kelly has been an advocate of Nielsen, and her imminent departure might result in Kelly joining her in the White House exodus.

If all of this sounds like the melodrama whipped up by a reality TV show, well guess why. Donald Trump was an incompetent boor from the start and never had the experience to run an enterprise as large and complex as the White House. So he relies on his TV Shadow Cabinet (Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, etc.) to make decisions for him. That is, when he isn’t hiring people (Bolton, Heather Nauert, Bill Shine, etc.) directly from Fox News. And while this might be entertaining if it were a Hallmark Movie of the Week, it’s downright frightening when it’s real life.

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

HUH? DHS Secretary Says She’s ‘Not Aware’ of Intelligence that Russia Tried to Help Trump

The United States was the victim of a concerted cyber attack by Russia throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. That fact is undisputed by every U.S. intelligence agency with jurisdiction over the subject. Even the Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that Putin preferred Donald Trump and was deliberately aiding his candidacy while working against Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

So it comes as some surprise that Trump’s Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, responded to reporter’s inquiries at a House briefing on election security by saying that she wasn’t aware of any such assessment (video below):

“I don’t believe I have seen that conclusion – that the specific intent was to help President Trump win. I’m not aware of that,” said Nielsen. She said that, in her opinion, Russia was only trying to “disrupt our belief and our own understanding of what’s happening.”

Seriously? This is the top domestic security official in the U.S. government. She is responsible for maintaining the safety and integrity of the nation’s voting systems and the confidence of the American people that their votes count. But she claims not be aware of established facts that expose severe flaws in our electoral processes and pose an existential threat to our democracy.

The conclusion that Russia sought to aid Trump is not in dispute. It was confirmed as far back as January 2017 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a report that unambiguously stated that:

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

If Nielsen is actually unaware of these undisputed facts regarding Russia’s election interference, then she is either lazy or incompetent. There is no excuse for her not knowing about this fundamental report or the serious threats to Homeland Security that are enumerated in it.

If Nielsen is merely feigning ignorance on behalf of her boss, then she is complicit with his propaganda and criminal negligence. Trump has repeatedly denied the reality that Putin was helping his campaign. He surely doesn’t want members of his cabinet contradicting him. That could lead to further erosion of his denials regarding his collusion with Russia and financial improprieties by himself and his family.

But Nielsen, like all federal officials, took an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” She works for the American people. She did not swear allegiance to a wannabe dictator who insists that all of his minions kowtow to him and protect him from bad publicity or criminal liability. And if she doesn’t understand that she should resign and stop helping Trump to soft-pedal Russia’s hostilities against the United States.

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

Michael Moore Literally BEGS Donald Trump To ‘Do Your Job. Attend The Briefings’

Critics of Donald Trump warned that he was unprepared for the presidency, and unwilling to prepare, long before Election Day. Now as President-Neglect he is validating all of their worst fears. Reports that Trump has been shrugging off national security briefings raise serious concerns about his commitment to the job.

Donald Trump

These briefings are not social get-togethers for lonely intelligence operatives. They are critical data exchanges that could impact the lives of American citizens as well as those of our foreign allies. And they are especially important for someone who has no prior experience in international affairs. Trump needs to be ready on day one of his presidency, and there is more to learn than he comprehends. The terrorist attacks on 9/11 occurred less than nine months into the administration of George W. Bush. And he had warnings that he also ignored.

On Wednesday night, Michael Moore was on Late Night with Seth Meyers. There was a wide ranging discussion that touched on several aspects of the Trump transition. Among other things, Moore speculated that Trump might not receive the necessary votes from the Electoral College to assume the presidency. But later in the segment Moore got serious about the dangerous level of disengagement exhibited by Trump. He expressed concern about Trump dodging the briefings. And he was disturbed that Trump was “more engaged with tweeting about Alec Baldwin and SNL.” Then he turned to the camera and pleaded directly:

“With all due respect Mr. President-Elect, on our behalf you have to pay attention. You have to attend these briefings. This is our country, this is our security, this is our safety. You’re horsing around with all this nonsense and you’re not doing your number one job. And the number one job of the president is to make sure that the country is safe.

“I beg you, seriously, there is no right or left, Republican or Democrat going on here. I’m asking you to do your job for the sake of the people who may end up dead because you didn’t do your job. We had this happen once before. We had this non-engaged president who wasn’t reading his briefs. You don’t even attend the briefs. So I’m begging you to do that. I’m begging you to get up in the morning, send out your tweets of whoever, and then, God please, attend the briefings.”

That doesn’t seem like to much to ask. The fate of the nation (and the world) is at stake. We have a tragic precedent in 9/11 that ought to make this an easy call for Trump. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be easy for him, particularly if it requires actual work. He shouldn’t need to be prodded to do the most basic parts of his job. If it’s too much for him, he shouldn’t have asked for the job. But now we’re stuck with him and we expect him to spend more time with security briefings than with ego-stroking victory rallies and comedic impressions.

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