DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

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jserraglio
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DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by jserraglio » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:43 am

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump was infuriated after it quickly leaked that he had been directly instructed by his national security advisers in briefing materials not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent election victory during their call Tuesday morning, a source familiar with the President's thinking said.

Trump was fuming Tuesday night, asking his allies and outside advisers who they thought had leaked the information, noting that only a small group of staffers have access to those materials and would have known what guidance was included for the Putin call, the source said.

According to the source, the incident resurfaces his long-held belief there are individuals inside his administration -- especially in the national security realm -- who are actively working to undermine him.

White House chief of staff John Kelly also is furious that a confidential presidential briefing became public knowledge, a White House official said, and intends to address the matter Wednesday as aides try to figure out who disclosed the warning.

The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that Trump congratulated Putin despite warnings from multiple national security advisers and briefing materials that said "DO NOT CONGRATULATE." The White House declined to officially comment to CNN on the matter, with an official adding that they "cannot comment on alleged classified deliberative documents allegedly provided to the President."

The President often makes calls to foreign leaders while he is still in the residence during what has been dubbed "executive time." National security adviser H.R. McMaster has been known to join Trump in the residence during these calls, and was present during his Tuesday morning call with Putin. According to the public schedule released by the White House Tuesday, the President was not scheduled to be in the West Wing until noon, when he greeted the Saudi crown prince.

The leak, which one source said contributes to the ongoing atmosphere of paranoia in the West Wing, irked White House aides as well. Though the reaction has been described as "rattled," a White House official said it is more like anger and disappointment.

"This is unacceptable," the White House official said, speaking about the leak that some believe was an attempt to embarrass the President and McMaster. Another called it "ridiculous."

One of the White House officials described anger and disappointment in the West Wing over the leak.

It is still unclear if Trump actually read the guidance that was given to him by his advisers. Multiple officials have noted that he often follows his own path during his calls with world leaders. The substance of the call was not seen as a major deal by national security staffers, but the leak certainly was.

Another White House official didn't dispute to CNN Tuesday the language on the notes provided by members of Trump's National Security Council, but said Trump didn't read or see the notecard. The official added that Trump often disregards advice in calls with foreign leaders.

Trump's comments drew significant criticism among US politicians, including by Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, a noted Russia hawk, who said "an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections."

The leak comes as McMaster's standing the West Wing remains in question. After Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter last week, speculation intensified that McMaster was next to be ousted. The White House denied last week that McMaster was on his way out.

lennygoran
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by lennygoran » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:52 am

Image

Regards, Len

jserraglio
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by jserraglio » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:47 pm

Venality, I take it, is not a venial offense.

Donald like me may be ADHD & dyslexic. If so, mightn't he have misread DO NOT CONGRATULATE as DO CONGRATULATE?

In any case, I am adding this event to my 30-item list of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Trump is a Manchurian candidate.

In any event, somebody on the WH staff was so alarmed that he blew the whistle to the WAPO.

lennygoran
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by lennygoran » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:31 am

jserraglio wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:47 pm
In any case, I am adding this event to my 30-item list of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Trump is a Manchurian candidate.
How about a category that he's Putin's lackey! Regards, Len :(

Opinion | Editorial
Why Is Trump So Afraid of Russia?

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD MARCH 21, 2018


The former C.I.A. director John Brennan pulled no punches on Wednesday when he was asked why President Trump had congratulated his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for his victory in a rigged election, even after Mr. Trump’s national security staff warned him not to.

“I think he’s afraid of the president of Russia,” Mr. Brennan said, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, of the phone call on Tuesday between the two presidents. “The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Mr. Trump and may have things they could expose.”

The possibility that Mr. Putin could have some hold on the American president has lurked in the background over the past year as Mr. Trump displayed a mystifying affection for the Russian leader and ignored or excused his aggressive behavior and nefarious activities, most important, his interference in the 2016 campaign, a subject of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Some Trump defenders noted that President Barack Obama also called Mr. Putin when he was elected president in 2012.

But the circumstances are very different. In the intervening years, Mr. Putin has become an increasingly authoritarian leader who has crushed most of his political opposition and engineered a deeply lopsided re-election this week. American intelligence officials say they are certain that he meddled in the 2016 American election on behalf of Mr. Trump and is trying to meddle again in the 2018 election, as well as in many European elections.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, is waging war in other parts of Ukraine and is enabling President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

While the administration recently imposed its first significant sanctions on Russia for election interference and other malicious cyberattacks and has faulted Russia for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Britain, Mr. Trump has refrained from criticizing Mr. Putin or calling him to account. The phone call reinforced that approach.

What Mr. Trump didn’t say to Mr. Putin was as significant as what he did say. He did not demand that Mr. Putin stop meddling in American elections or others, he did not even raise Moscow’s role in the poisoning.


He made no mention of the unfair political system that deprives Russians of a real say in their government. The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, later reinforced Mr. Trump’s lack of interest, telling reporters it was not America’s place to question how other countries conduct their elections.

The disparity between Mr. Trump and his advisers, who seem to take threats from Russia more seriously, is becoming more pronounced.

A senior administration official told The Times that Mr. Trump didn’t want to antagonize Mr. Putin because fostering rapport is the only way to improve relations between the two countries. On Tuesday, the president said he hoped to meet Mr. Putin soon and discuss preventing an arms race — an arms race both leaders have encouraged with loose talk and investment in new weapons.

Engaging Russia and preventing an arms race are undeniably important. But it’s hard to see how praising and appeasing a bully will advance American interests. That’s not the approach Mr. Trump has taken with adversaries like North Korea or Iran, or, for that matter, even with some allies.

While Mr. Trump panders to Mr. Putin, his criticism of Mr. Mueller, is becoming harsher, as the investigation raises increasingly serious concerns about a web of ties connecting Mr. Trump’s associates to Russia.

Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to lying about his involvement with Russia. A former foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying about his involvement with Russians. A former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, who had his own Russian connections along with a now-indicted former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded guilty to lying about Russian-related matters.

Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed Mr. Trump’s company for any documents involving Russia. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee say Mr. Trump was “actively negotiating a business deal in Moscow with a sanctioned Russian bank” during the 2016 campaign season.

And Mr. Mueller has charged 13 Russians with conspiring to subvert the 2016 election and put Mr. Trump in the White House.

Mr. Brennan’s fears clearly arise from some of these elements.

Mr. Brennan knows more than most about possible threats to America, but he is not the only one speaking out. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, slammed Mr. Trump, saying “an American president does not lead the free world by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections.” Even the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who rarely crosses Mr. Trump, said calling Mr. Putin “wouldn’t have been high on my list.”

If Mr. Trump isn’t Mr. Putin’s lackey, it’s past time for him to prove it.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/21/opin ... eft-region

jserraglio
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:39 am

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:31 am
How about a category that he's Putin's lackey!
I still like him as a Manchurian candidate. But has anyone yet suggested unconscious homoeroticism?

Image

lennygoran
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by lennygoran » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:24 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:39 am
I still like him as a Manchurian candidate. But has anyone yet suggested unconscious homoeroticism?
I don't think anyone has but the Times could be wrong about Trump being Putin's lackey--there's someone next to Putin in that photo-the horse is hiding his face from view-he could be Putin's lackey and he looks much smaller than Trump--otoh maybe Putin has more than one lackey. :)

Meantime "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to release the dirt you have on Trump--I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press." Regards, Len :)

jserraglio
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:44 am

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:24 am
he could be Putin's lackey and he looks much smaller than Trump--otoh maybe Putin has more than one lackey
Paraphrasing Peter Gelb, the current poster-boy of the GOP is the 2-ton elephant in the Oval Office.

lennygoran
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by lennygoran » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:54 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:44 am
lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:24 am
the current poster-boy of the GOP is the 2-ton elephant in the Oval Office.
Is there a photo of Trump with an elephant out there-that would give Trump more firepower than Putin and his horse-I think a horse would definitely lose in a battle with an elephant. On another battle front what odds would I get in a Biden Trump street fight! Regards, Len :lol:

jserraglio
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Re: DO NOT CONGRATULATE leak launches search for the leaker; Trump said to be fuming

Post by jserraglio » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:02 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:54 am
what odds would I get in a Biden Trump street fight!
A WWE Biden-Trump match to decide the 2020 election might be the only way we would have to evade Putin's active measures, which by that time should be in full control of our electoral apparatus. Since WWE matches are all rigged, this might be right in the Donald's wheelhouse.

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