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Friday, March 31, 2017

They always tip their hands

by digby

I know it's shameful to do this but I can't help it. In light of the revelations yesterday that the White House was the source of Devin Nunes' "information", I have to republish the opening to my Salon piece from the morning after his bizarre little vaudeville act:

One of the more unusual characteristics of President Donald Trump and his closest associates is the extent to which they seem to have psychic powers. Recall that on Aug. 21 conservative operative and longtime Trump associate Roger Stone tweeted gleefully, “it will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel,” referring to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Lo and behold, on Oct. 7 WikiLeaks released its trove of Podesta’s emails.

It wasn’t long after this that Trump’s close ally, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, exhibited a similar eerie prescience. Days before FBI Director James Comey announced that his agency would examine Clinton emails found on a computer used by Anthony Weiner, Giuliani told Fox News Trump has “got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. . . . I’m talking about some pretty big surprises. . . . . We got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this around.” Was he ever right.

Then on March 15, in the wake of the president’s manic early-morning tweetstorm accusing former President Barack Obama of arranging for him to be wiretapped, Trump demonstrated his own awe-inspiring clairvoyance. Trump told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that despite all the denials from every institution and person in a position to know, “You’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

Wouldn’t you know it? On Wednesday House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was shown some documents by a “source” that had him so up in arms he couldn’t even take the time to alert the other committee members before he ran to the White House to show the president. When asked if he felt vindicated by this alleged bombshell, Trump replied:
I somewhat do. I must tell you I somewhat do. I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found, I somewhat do.
It’s amazing how Trump and his people are able to see into the future this way, isn’t it?

Of course, Roger Stone is now in the crosshairs of a serious counterintelligence investigation and undoubtedly regrets crowing about what he knew. Giuliani was unceremoniously put out to pasture after it was rumored he helped rogue elements of law enforcement with an anti-Clinton crusade on behalf of Donald Trump. And nobody on the planet really believes that Nunes’ bizarre performance “somewhat” vindicated Trump — or vindicated him at all. Indeed, all Nunes’ stunt did was open the door to a bunch of new questions that Trump may very well regret being asked.

They are so proud of their crude dirty tricks and underhanded manipulations that they have to crow about it publicly before it happens. It really helps to pay attention to what they say. Trump is an epic liar so it's always difficult to sort out his fantasies from reality but this one was easy. We already knew that the White House Counsel had been reported by the New York Times to have been looking for FISA orders. Trump's winking to Tucker Carlson seemed rather obvious to me.