Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Sunday, March 05, 2017


How deep is Trump's rabbit hole?

by Tom Sullivan

’ChapStick’ surveillance devices similar to those destroyed by FBI Director L. Patrick Gray during Watergate. [Source: National Archives].

How to process yesterday's rage tweeting by the sitting president that his phones were tapped by President Obama? First, and perhaps foremost, Trump's non-experience in public office and stunning lack of self-awareness of what he doesn't know continue to dog him as much as his paranoia and immaturity. Ben Rhodes, an Obama foreign policy advisor, responded:

Steve Benen sums up the dilemma Trump's own instability presents for him:
As Digby pointed out yesterday, this is what comes of a president getting his news from the fever swamps at Breitbart. (Didn't he have plans for draining swamps?)

The New York Times reports that the White House, rather than tamping down Trump's rage tweets, is going even deeper down the rabbit hole:
But a senior White House official said that Donald F. McGahn II, the president’s chief counsel, was working to secure access to what Mr. McGahn believed to be an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing some form of surveillance related to Mr. Trump and his associates.

The official offered no evidence to support the notion that such an order exists. It would be a highly unusual breach of the Justice Department’s traditional independence on law enforcement matters for the White House to order it to turn over such an investigative document.
Yes, that would be interfering in an ongoing investigation.

Besides Trump not knowing what he's talking about, there are subtleties to how national intelligence works that many reporting on these matters miss, especially if they write for Breitbart. For unpacking the backstory to the Breitbart piece that inspired the Trump tweets, there's Marcy Wheeler. It's a long, detailed post explaining that while it is likely Trump isn't bugged, "It’s quite likely a number of Trump’s close associates are ..." Wheeler concludes:
Based on the assumption there is a FISA order covering at least some of his close associates, but probably not one covering him, understand what has happened here:
1. Trump’s Attorney General, who claims he had already decided to recuse, recused after his nomination lies were exposed, meaning he no longer controls the investigation into his boss
2. A misleading article written in response to that recusal led Trump to claim he was being targeted
3. Based on the claim, Trump sent out his WHCO to find a FISA order probably not targeting him but probably targeting his aides
4. Having just been deprived of visibility and control over the investigation, Trump is forcibly obtaining another way to control it
Bruce Bartlett distilled to an insult Trump's attempt at creating a Wiretapgate narrative and to stifle the Russian one:
But don't expect Trump to get on his knees and pray, but it may be his staff will. After his speech Tuesday, Trump's week went downhill as fast as his attorney general's. CNN reports:
"Nobody has seen him that upset," one source said, adding the feeling was the communications team allowed the Sessions news, which the administration deemed a nonstory, to overtake the narrative.

On Thursday, Sessions recused himself from any current or future investigations into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign after it was reported he had met with the Russian ambassador to the US, something he had previously failed to disclose.
After all the congratulations Trump received for his Tuesday speech, the Russia investigation came roaring back. Of course, Trump blamed his staff. Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tweeted yesterday morning, "During the campaign, Trump would routinely kick aides off the plane as a time-out. 'They hate me because they hate you,' was a refrain." That is consistent with what follows in the CNN report:
When the President returned to the White House Thursday evening from a day trip to Virginia, there were "a lot of expletives." The source said for more than a week Trump had been lamenting that his senior staff "just keep getting in their own way."


Trump is upset because he doesn't believe he is getting credit he thinks he deserves for his time office so far because of self-inflicted wounds and missteps, the source said. An informed presidential ally outside government but close to the President said Trump was really angry about having a "mini disaster" a week. The President's mood is adding to tremendous pressure inside the West Wing and aides have been seen in tears in recent days at multiple meetings.
Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is on the receiving end of Trump's tantrums as well, according to CNN. So now Trump has given him a time-out. Although he was on the manifest to accompany Trump to Florida for the weekend, Preibus is remaining in Washington. White House staff deny Priebus was supposed to go, insisting Priebus stayed behind "for a family celebration."

A lot of Trump's people soon may need more time with their families.