LOCK ‘EM UP: Fox News Leaks Classified Info Based on Anonymous Sources – Trump Retweets

The White House recently embarked on a campaign to flush out the throngs of leakers in their midst. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press briefing to announce that anyone caught leaking would face stiff consequences. So it’s interesting that this warning is already being ignored by a surprising offender.

Fox News Donald Trump

On Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, co-host Steve Doocy interviewed U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. In the course of their conversion Doocy let slip some information he obtained from a story on Fox News. The story revealed that U.S. satellites had detected North Korea loading anti-ship cruise missiles on a patrol boat. That, apparently, was not information approved for public dissemination. And Haley let Doocy know that in no uncertain terms (video below):

DOOCY: Ambassador, on the front page of foxnews.com right now there is a story that apparently the intel community has picked up anti-ship cruise missiles were being loaded onto a patrol boat or patrol boats in North Korea. What can you tell us about that?
HALEY: I can’t.
DOOCY: Why?
HALEY: I can’t talk about anything that’s classified. And if that’s in the newspaper that’s a shame. But –
DOOCY: You have no reason to believe that’s not accurate though?
HALEY: I have no reason to comment on it.
DOOCY: (Laughing) OK.
AINSLEY EARHARDT: That shouldn’t be in the newspaper? Is that another leak I guess?
HALEY: You know, it’s one of these things, I don’t know what’s going on. But, I will tell you it’s incredibly dangerous when things get out into the press like that. You are not only just getting a scoop on something, you are playing with people’s lives. And this has got to stop. Whatever the leaks are coming from, if somebody thinks they are getting power or fame from it, all you are doing is putting Americans in danger.

Haley was adamant in her first response that she could not answer Doocy’s questions. But that didn’t stop him from pressing her further. She reiterated her intention to refrain from commenting. Doocy thought that was funny. Haley had to school him on the serious nature of the data he was pushing her to reveal.

As if it weren’t bad enough that Fox News was disclosing classified information, there was another culprit with loose fingertips. Trump, as usual, was watching Fox and Friends this morning. He retweeted three separate stories that he had seen on the broadcast. One of them was the story about North Korea with the classified data. So Trump was participating in the leaking of information that his own U.N. ambassador warned was “incredibly dangerous,” and “playing with people’s lives.” What’s more, he was propagating info obtained from anonymous sources. Recall, Trump’s position on the use of sources who are not identified in news reports:

It is endlessly perplexing that Trump still gets his intelligence data from Fox News. Apparently he is unaware of the resources he has at his disposal within the government he allegedly manages. Had he contacted his National Security Advisor or the CIA, he might have been cautioned as to the sensitive nature of the data he was about to publish. But that’s too much to ask this notoriously ignorant and reckless so-called president.

The only question now is whether the Department of Justice will follow through on their threat to prosecute anyone found to be leaking. This past weekend, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appeared on Fox News Sunday. He told Chris Wallace that he would prosecute whoever was discovered to be violating the law. He specifically that included members of Congress and the White House. In this case, Donald Trump is unambiguously guilty. And this is not the first time that Trump has breached this legal directive. If the DoJ expects to be taken seriously they need to investigate Trump’s leaks and prosecute if warranted. Otherwise, they will have no credibility to prosecute any other alleged leakers.

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

Trump Mocked for Partnering with Putin on Cyber Security as ‘Dumbest Idea’ Ever

Donald Trump just returned from his latest Embarrassing America World Tour. And even before deplaning in D.C., he has managed to aggravate his own party for some typically Trumpian idiocy.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

During the highly anticipated meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Trump reportedly raised the issue of election tampering. However, his approach completely failed to hold Putin to account. Trump tiptoed into the subject by phrasing it as something that concerns the American people. He never asserted that it was of concern to him. And, of course, it wasn’t, judging by his public comments on it. Once at home, Trump felt comfortable to post his latest feelings on Twitter:

Well, then. Since he pressed it twice. I’m pretty sure that’s how professionals in law enforcement handle these things. They ask the suspect twice if he committed the murder, and if he denies it, they let him go. As for Trump’s assertion that he has already given his own opinion, that’s true. He did so again a few days ago when he said:

“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows for sure.”

That certainly clears things up, doesn’t it? And now that the whole election hacking scandal is wrapped up, we can move on to other pressing matters. For instance, Trump announced that he and Putin have agreed to set up a cyber security operation to prevent future electronic intrusions. Trump tweeted that:

What a grand idea. Let’s collaborate with the guy who ordered the election hacking in the first place on scheme to keep others from doing it. In other words, let’s give the burglar the keys to the front door and the times we will be out walking the dog. Makes perfect sense. In fact, it’s so brilliant that even Trump’s colleagues in the Republican Party had something to say about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that “Partnering with Putin on a “Cyber Security Unit” is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit.'” Sen. Lindsey Graham said that working with Putin to combat cyber crimes is “pretty close” to “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” And Sen. John McCain snarked that “I’m sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he is doing the hacking.” If that’s how Republicans are responding, needless to say the rest of the nation is at least equally dismayed. For instance, Twitter is afire with sarcastic analogies:

None of this matters to Trump. He’s still obsessed with why Obama allegedly “did nothing” about the Russian hacking that he still thinks is fake news. Trump’s PR offensive is fanning out to the Sunday news programs to spread illogical talking points. His Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, insists that “The President absolutely did not believe the denial of President Putin.” Of course not. Trump asserted the same denial before ever talking to Putin. Then his U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that “Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections” Well, everybody but Trump, who still claims that “Nobody really knows for sure.” Why is his top diplomat contradicting him?

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

This would all be great material for Saturday Night Live if it weren’t so dangerous for America’s future. Trump is now going beyond merely letting Putin off the hook. He’s inviting our enemy into the situation room so he can get a better look at our defenses. It would be generous to say that this only borders on treason. And Trump’s Republican Party appears to be in complete accord with this betrayal. The question is, what will it take for the GOP to stand up for America’s sovereignty? And will they do it before even more serious damage is done?

UPDATE: Trump posted another tweet on this subject:

So Trump spoke with the man who orchestrated the election tampering without making him pay any price for subverting democracy. And now we learn that he wasted much of that time on an idiotic plan to partner with Putin on cyber security that he didn’t even think was possible. This just keeps getting worse.

DUH! Trump’s U.N. Ambassador Says ‘No One’s Talking to Me’ About Russia’s Election Tampering

The prospect that Russia played a significant role in the election of Donald Trump continues to accumulate evidence. It is undoubtedly the worst scandal the United States has ever experienced. When a hostile foreign power is suspected of manipulating American democracy all citizens should be intensely concerned.

Nikki Haley

While a majority of citizens are indeed concerned, their anxiety doesn’t seem to be shared by Trump or his administration mouthpieces. On Sunday morning Face the Nation interviewed Nikki Haley, Trump’s United Nations Ambassador, and began with this topic. Host John Dickerson asked Haley whether she agreed with expert analyses of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to destabilize American institutions:

Dickerson: When you look at all the back and forth and the charges and the tweets that have been in the last few weeks, hasn’t he already succeeded in doing that?

Haley: None of my colleagues or ambassadors from other countries are talking about D.C. chatter.

First of all. Haley is dismissing congressional investigations, and even Trump’s tweets, as “chatter.” To some extent that’s true, but it can’t be the impression that Trump wants for his Twitter rants. So Dickerson took another swing at the question:

Dickerson: In your world, then, they’re not concerned about Russian efforts to meddle in elections in America, relative to its efforts to meddle in elections in other countries and in Europe? There’s no talk about that at all?

Haley: No one is talking to me about that.

So twice Haley insisted that no one is talking to her about one of the most disquieting acts of political subterfuge in history. That’s entirely believable. Why would any of her diplomatic colleagues talk to her about that? She’s a Trump minion who can be expected to align herself with his political interests. Trump has demonstrated that he has greater loyalty to Russia than to the U.S. He will never say a bad word about his pal Putin.

If there was collusion between Trump and Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton, it would be crazy to confide with Haley. Other diplomats are wise enough to know that you don’t get in bed with puppets of totalitarian regimes. Many European countries are dealing with similar attempts by Russia to interfere with their elections. Considering the circumstances, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t talk to an American who submits to such interference. Anything they say confidentially to Haley could find its way back to Putin and put them at even greater risk.

Haley also shares her boss’s reluctance to malign Vladimir. Dickerson brought up Putin’s denial that Russia interfered with the U.S. election. He asked Haley pointedly, “Did he lie?” That would be an easy question for most patriotic Americans. Instead, Haley mumbled weakly that “we’re all aware that Russia was involved in the elections.” But then she went on to say “I’m not going to talk about who is lying and who is not.” And Putin will surely appreciate that.

Several times in the segment Haley asserted that the U.S. would confront Russia when necessary. When Dickerson asked for an example, the only thing she could come up with were the sanctions due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Those, of course, were imposed during President Obama’s administration. And it was Trump’s disgraced ex-National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who sought to ease them in secret meetings. Furthermore, in an alarming admission of negligence, she told Dickerson that she has not even read the Countering Russian Hostilities Act currently before Congress.

The spectacle of watching the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. admit that she is ignorant of issues critical to her mission would be troubling by itself. But when combined with her Trump-like attachment to Putin it becomes downright scary. And the fact that her U.N. colleagues aren’t talking to her about Russia shows their dire lack of respect. Even worse, it shows a wariness that could be dangerous.

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