Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certification

Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:28 am

Part 1 of 2

Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals: How Mark Milley and others in the Pentagon handled the national-security threat posed by their own Commander-in-Chief.
by Susan B. Glasser and Peter Baker
The New Yorker
August 15, 2022 Issue
August 8, 2022

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As the President’s behavior grew increasingly erratic, General Mark Milley told his staff, “I will fight from the inside.” Photo illustration by Klawe Rzeczy; Source photographs from Getty; National Archives / Newsmakers

In the summer of 2017, after just half a year in the White House, Donald Trump flew to Paris for Bastille Day celebrations thrown by Emmanuel Macron, the new French President. Macron staged a spectacular martial display to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the American entrance into the First World War. Vintage tanks rolled down the Champs-Élysées as fighter jets roared overhead. The event seemed to be calculated to appeal to Trump—his sense of showmanship and grandiosity—and he was visibly delighted. The French general in charge of the parade turned to one of his American counterparts and said, “You are going to be doing this next year.”

Sure enough, Trump returned to Washington determined to have his generals throw him the biggest, grandest military parade ever for the Fourth of July. The generals, to his bewilderment, reacted with disgust. “I’d rather swallow acid,” his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, said. Struggling to dissuade Trump, officials pointed out that the parade would cost millions of dollars and tear up the streets of the capital.

But the gulf between Trump and the generals was not really about money or practicalities, just as their endless policy battles were not only about clashing views on whether to withdraw from Afghanistan or how to combat the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran. The divide was also a matter of values, of how they viewed the United States itself. That was never clearer than when Trump told his new chief of staff, John Kelly—like Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general—about his vision for Independence Day. “Look, I don’t want any wounded guys in the parade,” Trump said. “This doesn’t look good for me.” He explained with distaste that at the Bastille Day parade there had been several formations of injured veterans, including wheelchair-bound soldiers who had lost limbs in battle.

Kelly could not believe what he was hearing. “Those are the heroes,” he told Trump. “In our society, there’s only one group of people who are more heroic than they are—and they are buried over in Arlington.” Kelly did not mention that his own son Robert, a lieutenant killed in action in Afghanistan, was among the dead interred there.

“I don’t want them,” Trump repeated. “It doesn’t look good for me.”

The subject came up again during an Oval Office briefing that included Trump, Kelly, and Paul Selva, an Air Force general and the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kelly joked in his deadpan way about the parade. “Well, you know, General Selva is going to be in charge of organizing the Fourth of July parade,” he told the President. Trump did not understand that Kelly was being sarcastic. “So, what do you think of the parade?” Trump asked Selva. Instead of telling Trump what he wanted to hear, Selva was forthright.

“I didn’t grow up in the United States, I actually grew up in Portugal,” Selva said. “Portugal was a dictatorship—and parades were about showing the people who had the guns. And in this country, we don’t do that.” He added, “It’s not who we are.”

Even after this impassioned speech, Trump still did not get it. “So, you don’t like the idea?” he said, incredulous.

“No,” Selva said. “It’s what dictators do.”

The four years of the Trump Presidency were characterized by a fantastical degree of instability: fits of rage, late-night Twitter storms, abrupt dismissals. At first, Trump, who had dodged the draft by claiming to have bone spurs, seemed enamored with being Commander-in-Chief and with the national-security officials he’d either appointed or inherited. But Trump’s love affair with “my generals” was brief, and in a statement for this article the former President confirmed how much he had soured on them over time. “These were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” he said.

It turned out that the generals had rules, standards, and expertise, not blind loyalty. The President’s loud complaint to John Kelly one day was typical: “You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?”

“Which generals?” Kelly asked.

“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.

But, of course, Trump did not know that. “No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him,” the President replied. In his version of history, the generals of the Third Reich had been completely subservient to Hitler; this was the model he wanted for his military. Kelly told Trump that there were no such American generals, but the President was determined to test the proposition.

By late 2018, Trump wanted his own handpicked chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He had tired of Joseph Dunford, a Marine general who had been appointed chairman by Barack Obama, and who worked closely with Mattis as they resisted some of Trump’s more outlandish ideas. Never mind that Dunford still had most of a year to go in his term. For months, David Urban, a lobbyist who ran the winning 2016 Trump campaign in Pennsylvania, had been urging the President and his inner circle to replace Dunford with a more like-minded chairman, someone less aligned with Mattis, who had commanded both Dunford and Kelly in the Marines.

Mattis’s candidate to succeed Dunford was David Goldfein, an Air Force general and a former F-16 fighter pilot who had been shot down in the Balkans and successfully evaded capture. No one could remember a President selecting a chairman over the objections of his Defense Secretary, but word came back to the Pentagon that there was no way Trump would accept just one recommendation. Two obvious contenders from the Army, however, declined to be considered: General Curtis Scaparrotti, the nato Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told fellow-officers that there was “no gas left in my tank” to deal with being Trump’s chairman. General Joseph Votel, the Central Command chief, also begged off, telling a colleague he was not a good fit to work so closely with Mattis.

Urban, who had attended West Point with Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and remained an Army man at heart, backed Mark Milley, the chief of staff of the Army. Milley, who was then sixty, was the son of a Navy corpsman who had served with the 4th Marine Division, in Iwo Jima. He grew up outside Boston and played hockey at Princeton. As an Army officer, Milley commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, led the 10th Mountain Division, and oversaw the Army Forces Command. A student of history who often carried a pile of the latest books on the Second World War with him, Milley was decidedly not a member of the close-knit Marine fraternity that had dominated national-security policy for Trump’s first two years. Urban told the President that he would connect better with Milley, who was loquacious and blunt to the point of being rude, and who had the Ivy League pedigree that always impressed Trump.

Milley had already demonstrated those qualities in meetings with Trump as the Army chief of staff. “Milley would go right at why it’s important for the President to know this about the Army and why the Army is the service that wins all the nation’s wars. He had all those sort of elevator-speech punch lines,” a senior defense official recalled. “He would have that big bellowing voice and be right in his face with all the one-liners, and then he would take a breath and he would say, ‘Mr. President, our Army is here to serve you. Because you’re the Commander-in-Chief.’ It was a very different approach, and Trump liked that.” And, like Trump, Milley was not a subscriber to the legend of Mad Dog Mattis, whom he considered a “complete control freak.”

Mattis, for his part, seemed to believe that Milley was inappropriately campaigning for the job, and Milley recalled to others that Mattis confronted him at a reception that fall, saying, “Hey, you shouldn’t run for office. You shouldn’t run to be the chairman.” Milley later told people that he had replied sharply to Mattis, “I’m not lobbying for any fucking thing. I don’t do that.” Milley eventually raised the issue with Dunford. “Hey, Mattis has got this in his head,” Milley told him. “I’m telling you it ain’t me.” Milley even claimed that he had begged Urban to cease promoting his candidacy.

In November, 2018, the day before Milley was scheduled for an interview with Trump, he and Mattis had another barbed encounter at the Pentagon. In Milley’s recounting of the episode later to others, Mattis urged him to tell Trump that he wanted to be the next Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, rather than the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Milley said he would not do that but would instead wait to hear what the President wanted him to do. This would end whatever relationship the two generals had.

When Milley arrived at the White House the next day, he was received by Kelly, who seemed to him unusually distraught. Before they headed into the Oval Office to meet with Trump, Milley asked Kelly what he thought.

“You should go to Europe and just get the fuck out of D.C.,” Kelly said. The White House was a cesspool: “Just get as far away as you can.”

In the Oval Office, Trump said right from the start that he was considering Milley for chairman of the Joint Chiefs. When Trump offered him the job, Milley replied, “Mr. President, I’ll do whatever you ask me to do.”

For the next hour, they talked about the state of the world. Immediately, there were points of profound disagreement. On Afghanistan, Milley said he believed that a complete withdrawal of American troops, as Trump wanted, would cause a serious new set of problems. And Milley had already spoken out publicly against the banning of transgender troops, which Trump was insisting on.

“Mattis tells me you are weak on transgender,” Trump said.

“No, I am not weak on transgender,” Milley replied. “I just don’t care who sleeps with who.”

There were other differences as well, but in the end Milley assured him, “Mr. President, you’re going to be making the decisions. All I can guarantee from me is I’m going to give you an honest answer, and I’m not going to talk about it on the front page of the Washington Post. I’ll give you an honest answer on everything I can. And you’re going to make the decisions, and as long as they’re legal I’ll support it.”

As long as they’re legal. It was not clear how much that caveat even registered with Trump. The decision to name Milley was a rare chance, as Trump saw it, to get back at Mattis. Trump would confirm this years later, after falling out with both men, saying that he had picked Milley only because Mattis “could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him.”

Late on the evening of December 7th, Trump announced that he would reveal a big personnel decision having to do with the Joint Chiefs the next day, in Philadelphia, at the hundred-and-nineteenth annual Army-Navy football game. This was all the notice Dunford had that he was about to be publicly humiliated. The next morning, Dunford was standing with Milley at the game waiting for the President to arrive when Urban, the lobbyist, showed up. Urban hugged Milley. “We did it!” Urban said. “We did it!”

But Milley’s appointment was not even the day’s biggest news. As Trump walked to his helicopter to fly to the game, he dropped another surprise. “John Kelly will be leaving toward the end of the year,” he told reporters. Kelly had lasted seventeen months in what he called “the worst fucking job in the world.”

For Trump, the decision was a turning point. Instead of installing another strong-willed White House chief of staff who might have told him no, the President gravitated toward one who would basically go along with whatever he wanted. A week later, Kelly made an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to persuade Trump not to replace him with Mick Mulvaney, a former congressman from South Carolina who was serving as Trump’s budget director. “You don’t want to hire someone who’s going to be a yes-man,” Kelly told the President. “I don’t give a shit anymore,” Trump replied. “I want a yes-man!”

A little more than a week after that, Mattis was out, too, having quit in protest over Trump’s order that the U.S. abruptly withdraw its forces from Syria right after Mattis had met with American allies fighting alongside the U.S. It was the first time in nearly four decades that a major Cabinet secretary had resigned over a national-security dispute with the President.

The so-called “axis of adults” was over. None of them had done nearly as much to restrain Trump as the President’s critics thought they should have. But all of them—Kelly, Mattis, Dunford, plus H. R. McMaster, the national-security adviser, and Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first Secretary of State—had served as guardrails in one way or another. Trump hoped to replace them with more malleable figures. As Mattis would put it, Trump was so out of his depth that he had decided to drain the pool.

On January 2, 2019, Kelly sent a farewell e-mail to the White House staff. He said that these were the people he would miss: “The selfless ones, who work for the American people so hard and never lowered themselves to wrestle in the mud with the pigs. The ones who stayed above the drama, put personal ambition and politics aside, and simply worked for our great country. The ones who were ethical, moral and always told their boss what he or she NEEDED to hear, as opposed to what they might have wanted to hear.”

That same morning, Mulvaney showed up at the White House for his first official day as acting chief of staff. He called an all-hands meeting and made an announcement: O.K., we’re going to do things differently. John Kelly’s gone, and we’re going to let the President be the President.

In the fall of 2019, nearly a year after Trump named him the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Milley finally took over the position from Dunford. Two weeks into the job, Milley sat at Trump’s side in a meeting at the White House with congressional leaders to discuss a brewing crisis in the Middle East. Trump had again ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, imperilling America’s Kurdish allies and effectively handing control of the territory over to the Syrian government and Russian military forces. The House—amid impeachment proceedings against the President for holding up nearly four hundred million dollars in security assistance to Ukraine as leverage to demand an investigation of his Democratic opponent—passed a nonbinding resolution rebuking Trump for the pullout. Even two-thirds of the House Republicans voted for it.

At the meeting, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, pointed out the vote against the President. “Congratulations,” Trump snapped sarcastically. He grew even angrier when the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, read out a warning from Mattis that leaving Syria could result in the resurgence of the Islamic State. In response, Trump derided his former Defense Secretary as “the world’s most overrated general. You know why I fired him? I fired him because he wasn’t tough enough.”

Eventually, Pelosi, in her frustration, stood and pointed at the President. “All roads with you lead to Putin,” she said. “You gave Russia Ukraine and Syria.”

“You’re just a politician, a third-rate politician!” Trump shot back.

Finally, Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader and Pelosi’s No. 2, had had enough. “This is not useful,” he said, and stood up to leave with the Speaker.

“We’ll see you at the polls,” Trump shouted as they walked out.

When she exited the White House, Pelosi told reporters that she left because Trump was having a “meltdown.” A few hours later, Trump tweeted a White House photograph of Pelosi standing over him, apparently thinking it would prove that she was the one having a meltdown. Instead, the image went viral as an example of Pelosi confronting Trump.

Milley could also be seen in the photograph, his hands clenched together, his head bowed low, looking as though he wanted to sink into the floor. To Pelosi, this was a sign of inexplicable weakness, and she would later say that she never understood why Milley had not been willing to stand up to Trump at that meeting. After all, she would point out, he was the nonpartisan leader of the military, not one of Trump’s toadies. “Milley, you would have thought, would have had more independence,” she told us, “but he just had his head down.”

In fact, Milley was already quite wary of Trump. That night, he called Representative Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who had also been present. “Is that the way these things normally go?” Milley asked. As Smith later put it, “That was the moment when Milley realized that the boss might have a screw or two loose.” There had been no honeymoon. “From pretty much his first day on the job as chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” Smith said, “he was very much aware of the fact that there was a challenge here that was not your normal challenge with a Commander-in-Chief.”

Early on the evening of June 1, 2020, Milley failed what he came to realize was the biggest test of his career: a short walk from the White House across Lafayette Square, minutes after it had been violently cleared of Black Lives Matter protesters. Dressed in combat fatigues, Milley marched behind Trump with a phalanx of the President’s advisers in a photo op, the most infamous of the Trump Presidency, that was meant to project a forceful response to the protests that had raged outside the White House and across the country since the killing, the week before, of George Floyd. Most of the demonstrations had been peaceful, but there were also eruptions of looting, street violence, and arson, including a small fire in St. John’s Church, across from the White House.

In the morning before the Lafayette Square photo op, Trump had clashed with Milley, Attorney General William Barr, and the Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, over his demands for a militarized show of force. “We look weak,” Trump told them. The President wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 and use active-duty military to quell the protests. He wanted ten thousand troops in the streets and the 82nd Airborne called up. He demanded that Milley take personal charge. When Milley and the others resisted and said that the National Guard would be sufficient, Trump shouted, “You are all losers! You are all fucking losers!” Turning to Milley, Trump said, “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?”

Eventually, Trump was persuaded not to send in the military against American citizens. Barr, as the civilian head of law enforcement, was given the lead role in the protest response, and the National Guard was deployed to assist police. Hours later, Milley, Esper, and other officials were abruptly summoned back to the White House and sent marching across Lafayette Square. As they walked, with the scent of tear gas still in the air, Milley realized that he should not be there and made his exit, quietly peeling off to his waiting black Chevy Suburban. But the damage was done. No one would care or even remember that he was not present when Trump held up a Bible in front of the damaged church; people had already seen him striding with the President on live television in his battle dress, an image that seemed to signal that the United States under Trump was, finally, a nation at war with itself. Milley knew this was a misjudgment that would haunt him forever, a “road-to-Damascus moment,” as he would later put it. What would he do about it?

In the days after the Lafayette Square incident, Milley sat in his office at the Pentagon, writing and rewriting drafts of a letter of resignation. There were short versions of the letter; there were long versions. His preferred version was the one that read in its entirety:

I regret to inform you that I intend to resign as your Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thank you for the honor of appointing me as senior ranking officer. The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is my belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country. I believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military. I thought that I could change that. I’ve come to the realization that I cannot, and I need to step aside and let someone else try to do that.

Second, you are using the military to create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people. The American people trust their military and they trust us to protect them against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and our military will do just that. We will not turn our back on the American people.

Third, I swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States and embodied within that Constitution is the idea that says that all men and women are created equal. All men and women are created equal, no matter who you are, whether you are white or Black, Asian, Indian, no matter the color of your skin, no matter if you’re gay, straight or something in between. It doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Jew, or choose not to believe. None of that matters. It doesn’t matter what country you came from, what your last name is—what matters is we’re Americans. We’re all Americans. That under these colors of red, white, and blue—the colors that my parents fought for in World War II—means something around the world. It’s obvious to me that you don’t think of those colors the same way I do. It’s obvious to me that you don’t hold those values dear and the cause that I serve.

And lastly it is my deeply held belief that you’re ruining the international order, and causing significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945. Between 1914 and 1945, 150 million people were slaughtered in the conduct of war. They were slaughtered because of tyrannies and dictatorships. That generation, like every generation, has fought against that, has fought against fascism, has fought against Nazism, has fought against extremism. It’s now obvious to me that you don’t understand that world order. You don’t understand what the war was all about. In fact, you subscribe to many of the principles that we fought against. And I cannot be a party to that. It is with deep regret that I hereby submit my letter of resignation.


The letter was dated June 8th, a full week after Lafayette Square, but Milley still was not sure if he should give it to Trump. He was sending up flares, seeking advice from a wide circle. He reached out to Dunford, and to mentors such as the retired Army general James Dubik, an expert on military ethics. He called political contacts as well, including members of Congress and former officials from the Bush and Obama Administrations. Most told him what Robert Gates, a former Secretary of Defense and C.I.A. chief, did: “Make them fire you. Don’t resign.”

“My sense is Mark had a pretty accurate measure of the man pretty quickly,” Gates recalled later. “He would tell me over time, well before June 1st, some of the absolutely crazy notions that were put forward in the Oval Office, crazy ideas from the President, things about using or not using military force, the immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, pulling out of South Korea. It just went on and on.”

Milley was not the only senior official to seek Gates’s counsel. Several members of Trump’s national-security team had made the pilgrimage out to his home in Washington State during the previous two years. Gates would pour them a drink, grill them some salmon, and help them wrestle with the latest Trump conundrum. “The problem with resignation is you can only fire that gun once,” he told them. All the conversations were variations on a theme: “ ‘How do I walk us back from the ledge?’ ‘How do I keep this from happening, because it would be a terrible thing for the country?’ ”

After Lafayette Square, Gates told both Milley and Esper that, given Trump’s increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior, they needed to stay in the Pentagon as long as they could. “If you resign, it’s a one-day story,” Gates told them. “If you’re fired, it makes it clear you were standing up for the right thing.” Gates advised Milley that he had another important card and urged him to play it: “Keep the chiefs on board with you and make it clear to the White House that if you go they all go, so that the White House knows this isn’t just about firing Mark Milley. This is about the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff quitting in response.”

Publicly, Lafayette Square looked like a debacle for Milley. Several retired generals had condemned his participation, pointing out that the leader of a racially diverse military, with more than two hundred thousand active-duty Black troops, could not be seen opposing a movement for racial justice. Even Mattis, who had refrained from openly criticizing Trump, issued a statement about the “bizarre photo op.” The Washington Post reported that Mattis had been motivated to do so by his anger at the image of Milley parading through the square in his fatigues.

Whatever their personal differences, Mattis and Milley both knew that there was a tragic inevitability to the moment. Throughout his Presidency, Trump had sought to redefine the role of the military in American public life. In his 2016 campaign, he had spoken out in support of the use of torture and other practices that the military considered war crimes. Just before the 2018 midterms, he ordered thousands of troops to the southern border to combat a fake “invasion” by a caravan of migrants. In 2019, in a move that undermined military justice and the chain of command, he gave clemency to a Navy seal found guilty of posing with the dead body of a captive in Iraq.

Many considered Trump’s 2018 decision to use the military in his preëlection border stunt to be “the predicate—or the harbinger—of 2020,” in the words of Peter Feaver, a Duke University expert on civil-military relations, who taught the subject to generals at command school. When Milley, who had been among Feaver’s students, called for advice after Lafayette Square, Feaver agreed that Milley should apologize but encouraged him not to resign. “It would have been a mistake,” Feaver said. “We have no tradition of resignation in protest amongst the military.”

Milley decided to apologize in a commencement address at the National Defense University that he was scheduled to deliver the week after the photo op. Feaver’s counsel was to own up to the error and make it clear that the mistake was his and not Trump’s. Presidents, after all, “are allowed to do political stunts,” Feaver said. “That’s part of being President.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:35 am

Part 2 of 2

Milley’s apology was unequivocal. “I should not have been there,” he said in the address. He did not mention Trump. “My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” It was, he added, “a mistake that I have learned from.”

At the same time, Milley had finally come to a decision. He would not quit. “Fuck that shit,” he told his staff. “I’ll just fight him.” The challenge, as he saw it, was to stop Trump from doing any more damage, while also acting in a way that was consistent with his obligation to carry out the orders of his Commander-in-Chief. Yet the Constitution offered no practical guide for a general faced with a rogue President. Never before since the position had been created, in 1949—or at least since Richard Nixon’s final days, in 1974—had a chairman of the Joint Chiefs encountered such a situation. “If they want to court-martial me, or put me in prison, have at it,” Milley told his staff. “But I will fight from the inside.”

Milley’s apology tour was private as well as public. With the upcoming election fuelling Trump’s sense of frenetic urgency, the chairman sought to get the message to Democrats that he would not go along with any further efforts by the President to deploy the machinery of war for domestic political ends. He called both Pelosi and Schumer. “After the Lafayette Square episode, Milley was extremely contrite and communicated to any number of people that he had no intention of playing Trump’s game any longer,” Bob Bauer, the former Obama White House counsel, who was then advising Joe Biden’s campaign and heard about the calls, said. “He was really burned by that experience. He was appalled. He apologized for it, and it was pretty clear he was digging his heels in.”

On Capitol Hill, however, some Democrats, including Pelosi, remained skeptical. To them, Lafayette Square proved that Milley had been a Trumpist all along. “There was a huge misunderstanding about Milley,” Adam Smith, the House Armed Services Committee chairman, recalled. “A lot of my Democratic colleagues after June 1st in particular were concerned about him.” Smith tried to assure other Democrats that “there was never a single solitary moment where it was possible that Milley was going to help Trump do anything that shouldn’t be done.”

And yet Pelosi, among others, also distrusted Milley because of an incident earlier that year in which Trump ordered the killing of the Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani without briefing congressional leaders in advance. Smith said Pelosi believed that the chairman had been “evasive” and disrespectful to Congress. Milley, for his part, felt he could not disregard Trump’s insistence that lawmakers not be notified—a breach that was due to the President’s pique over the impeachment proceedings against him. “The navigation of Trumpworld was more difficult for Milley than Nancy gives him credit for,” Smith said. He vouched for the chairman but never managed to convince Pelosi.

How long could this standoff between the Pentagon and the President go on? For the next few months, Milley woke up each morning not knowing whether he would be fired before the day was over. His wife told him she was shocked that he had not been cashiered outright when he made his apology.

Esper was also on notice. Two days after Lafayette Square, the Defense Secretary had gone to the Pentagon pressroom and offered his own apology, even revealing his opposition to Trump’s demands to invoke the Insurrection Act and use the active-duty military. Such a step, Esper said, should be reserved only for “the most urgent and dire of situations.” Trump later exploded at Esper in the Oval Office about the criticism, delivering what Milley would recall as “the worst reaming out” he had ever heard.

The next day, Trump’s latest chief of staff, Mark Meadows, called the Defense Secretary at home—three times—to get him to recant his opposition to invoking the Insurrection Act. When he refused, Meadows took “the Tony Soprano approach,” as Esper later put it, and began threatening him, before eventually backing off. (A spokesperson for Meadows disputed Esper’s account.) Esper resolved to stay in office as long as he could, “to endure all the shit and run the clock out,” as he put it. He felt that he had a particular responsibility to hold on. By law, the only person authorized to deploy troops other than the President is the Secretary of Defense. Esper was determined not to hand that power off to satraps such as Robert O’Brien, who had become Trump’s fourth and final national-security adviser, or Ric Grenell, a former public-relations man who had been serving as acting director of National Intelligence.

Both Esper and Milley found new purpose in waiting out the President. They resisted him throughout the summer, as Trump repeatedly demanded that active-duty troops quash ongoing protests, threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act, and tried to stop the military from renaming bases honoring Confederate generals. “They both expected, literally on a daily basis, to be fired,” Gates recalled. Milley “would call me and essentially say, ‘I may not last until tomorrow night.’ And he was comfortable with that. He felt like he knew he was going to support the Constitution, and there were no two ways about it.”

Milley put away the resignation letter in his desk and drew up a plan, a guide for how to get through the next few months. He settled on four goals: First, make sure Trump did not start an unnecessary war overseas. Second, make sure the military was not used in the streets against the American people for the purpose of keeping Trump in power. Third, maintain the military’s integrity. And, fourth, maintain his own integrity. In the months to come, Milley would refer back to the plan more times than he could count.

Even in June, Milley understood that it was not just a matter of holding off Trump until after the Presidential election, on November 3rd. He knew that Election Day might well mark merely the beginning, not the end, of the challenges Trump would pose. The portents were worrisome. Barely one week before Lafayette Square, Trump had posted a tweet that would soon become a refrain. The 2020 Presidential race, he warned for the first time, would end up as “the greatest Rigged Election in history.”

By the evening of Monday, November 9th, Milley’s fears about a volatile post-election period unlike anything America had seen before seemed to be coming true. News organizations had called the election for Biden, but Trump refused to acknowledge that he had lost by millions of votes. The peaceful transition of power—a cornerstone of liberal democracy—was now in doubt. Sitting at home that night at around nine, the chairman received an urgent phone call from the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. With the possible exception of Vice-President Mike Pence, no one had been more slavishly loyal in public, or more privately obsequious, to Trump than Pompeo. But even he could not take it anymore.

“We’ve got to talk,” Pompeo told Milley, who was at home in Quarters Six, the red brick house that has been the official residence of chairmen of the Joint Chiefs since the early nineteen-sixties. “Can I come over?”

Milley invited Pompeo to visit immediately.

“The crazies have taken over,” Pompeo told him when they sat down at Milley’s kitchen table. Not only was Trump surrounded by the crazies; they were, in fact, ascendant in the White House and, as of that afternoon, inside the Pentagon itself. Just a few hours earlier, on the first workday after the election was called for Biden, Trump had finally fired Esper. Milley and Pompeo were alarmed that the Defense Secretary was being replaced by Christopher Miller, until recently an obscure mid-level counterterrorism official at Trump’s National Security Council, who had arrived at the Pentagon flanked by a team of what appeared to be Trump’s political minders.

For Milley, this was an ominous development. From the beginning, he understood that “if the idea was to seize power,” as he told his staff, “you are not going to do this without the military.” Milley had studied the history of coups. They invariably required the takeover of what he referred to as the “power ministries”—the military, the national police, and the interior forces.

As soon as he’d heard about Esper’s ouster, Milley had rushed upstairs to the Secretary’s office. “This is complete bullshit,” he told Esper. Milley said that he would resign in protest. “You can’t,” Esper insisted. “You’re the only one left.” Once he cooled off, Milley agreed.

In the coming weeks, Milley would repeatedly convene the Joint Chiefs, to bolster their resolve to resist any dangerous political schemes from the White House now that Esper was out. He quoted Benjamin Franklin to them on the virtues of hanging together rather than hanging separately. He told his staff that, if need be, he and all the chiefs were prepared to “put on their uniforms and go across the river together”—to threaten to quit en masse—to prevent Trump from trying to use the military to stay in power illegally.

Soon after Miller arrived at the Pentagon, Milley met with him. “First things first here,” he told the new acting Defense Secretary, who had spent the previous few months running the National Counterterrorism Center. “You are one of two people in the United States now with the capability to launch nuclear weapons.”

A Pentagon official who had worked closely with Miller had heard a rumor about him potentially replacing Esper more than a week before the election. “My first instinct was this is the most preposterous thing I’ve ever heard,” the official recalled. But then he remembered how Miller had changed in the Trump White House. “He’s inclined to be a bit of a sail, and as the wind blows he will flap in that direction,” the official said. “He’s not an ideologue. He’s just a guy willing to do their bidding.” By coincidence, the official happened to be walking into the Pentagon just as Miller was entering—a video of Miller tripping on the stairs soon made the rounds. Accompanying him were three men who would, for a few weeks, at least, have immense influence over the most powerful military in the world: Kash Patel, Miller’s new chief of staff; Ezra Cohen, who would ascend to acting Under-Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security; and Anthony Tata, a retired general and a talking head on Fox News, who would become the Pentagon’s acting head of policy.

It was an extraordinary trio. Tata’s claims to fame were calling Obama a “terrorist leader”—an assertion he later retracted—and alleging that a former C.I.A. director had threatened to assassinate Trump. Patel, a former aide to Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, had been accused of spreading conspiracy theories claiming that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 election. Both Trump’s third national-security adviser, John Bolton, and Bolton’s deputy, Charles Kupperman, had vociferously objected to putting Patel on the National Security Council staff, backing down only when told that it was a personal, “must-hire” order from the President. Still, Patel found his way around them to deal with Trump directly, feeding him packets of information on Ukraine, which was outside his portfolio, according to testimony during Trump’s first impeachment. (In a statement for this article, Patel called the allegations a “total fabrication.”) Eventually, Patel was sent to help Ric Grenell carry out a White House-ordered purge of the intelligence community.

Cohen, who had worked earlier in his career at the Defense Intelligence Agency under Michael Flynn, had initially been hired at the Trump National Security Council in 2017 but was pushed out after Flynn’s swift implosion as Trump’s first national-security adviser. When efforts were later made to rehire Cohen in the White House, Bolton’s deputy vowed to “put my badge on the table” and quit. “I am not going to hire somebody that is going to be another cancer in the organization, and Ezra is cancer,” Kupperman bluntly told Trump. In the spring of 2020, Cohen landed at the Pentagon, and following Trump’s post-election shakeup he assumed the top intelligence post at the Pentagon.

Milley had firsthand reason to be wary of these new Pentagon advisers. Just before the election, he and Pompeo were infuriated when a top-secret Navy seal Team 6 rescue mission to free an American hostage held in Nigeria nearly had to be cancelled at the last minute. The Nigerians had not formally approved the mission in advance, as required, despite Patel’s assurances. “Planes were already in the air and we didn’t have the approvals,” a senior State Department official recalled. The rescue team was kept circling while diplomats tried to track down their Nigerian counterparts. They managed to find them only minutes before the planes would have had to turn back. As a result, the official said, both Pompeo and Milley, who believed he had been personally lied to, “assigned ill will to that whole cabal.” The C.I.A. refused to have anything to do with Patel, Pompeo recalled to his State Department staff, and they should be cautious as well. “The Secretary thought these people were just wackadoodles, nuts, and dangerous,” a second senior State Department official said. (Patel denied their accounts, asserting, “I caused no delay at all.”)

After Esper’s firing, Milley summoned Patel and Cohen separately to his office to deliver stern lectures. Whatever machinations they were up to, he told each of them, “life looks really shitty from behind bars. And, whether you want to realize it or not, there’s going to be a President at exactly 1200 hours on the twentieth and his name is Joe Biden. And, if you guys do anything that’s illegal, I don’t mind having you in prison.” Cohen denied that Milley said this to him, insisting it was a “very friendly, positive conversation.” Patel also denied it, asserting, “He worked for me, not the other way around.” But Milley told his staff that he warned both Cohen and Patel that they were being watched: “Don’t do it, don’t even try to do it. I can smell it. I can see it. And so can a lot of other people. And, by the way, the military will have no part of this shit.”

Part of the new team’s agenda soon became clear: making sure Trump fulfilled his 2016 campaign promise to withdraw American troops from the “endless wars” overseas. Two days after Esper was fired, Patel slid a piece of paper across the desk to Milley during a meeting with him and Miller. It was an order, with Trump’s trademark signature in black Sharpie, decreeing that all four thousand five hundred remaining troops in Afghanistan be withdrawn by January 15th, and that a contingent of fewer than a thousand troops on a counterterrorism mission in Somalia be pulled out by December 31st.

Milley was stunned. “Where’d you get this?” he said.

Patel said that it had just come from the White House.

“Did you advise the President to do this?” he asked Patel, who said no.

“Did you advise the President to do this?” he asked Miller, who said no.

“Well, then, who advised the President to do it?” Milley asked. “By law, I’m the President’s adviser on military action. How does this happen without me rendering my military opinion and advice?”

With that, he announced that he was putting on his dress uniform and going to the White House, where Milley and the others ended up in the office of the national-security adviser, Robert O’Brien.

“Where did this come from?” Milley demanded, putting the withdrawal order on O’Brien’s desk.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen that before,” O’Brien said. “It doesn’t look like a White House memo.”

Keith Kellogg, a retired general serving as Pence’s national-security adviser, asked to see the document. “This is not the President,” he said. “The format’s not right. This is not done right.”

“Keith, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Milley said. “You’re telling me that someone’s forging the President of the United States’ signature?”

The order, it turned out, was not fake. It was the work of a rogue operation inside Trump’s White House overseen by Johnny McEntee, Trump’s thirty-year-old personnel chief, and supported by the President himself. The order had been drafted by Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and a Trump favorite from his television appearances, working with a junior McEntee aide. The order was then brought to the President, bypassing the national-security apparatus and Trump’s own senior officials, to get him to sign it.

Macgregor often appeared on Fox News demanding an exit from Afghanistan and accused Trump’s advisers of blocking the President from doing what he wanted. “He needs to send everyone out of the Oval Office who keeps telling him, ‘If you do that and something bad happens, it’s going to be blamed on you, Mr. President,’ ” Macgregor had told Tucker Carlson in January. “He needs to say, ‘I don’t give a damn.’ ”

On the day that Esper was fired, McEntee had invited Macgregor to his office, offered him a job as the new acting Defense Secretary’s senior adviser, and handed him a handwritten list of four priorities that, as Axios reported, McEntee claimed had come directly from Trump:

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.
2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.
3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.
4. Get us out of Africa.

Once the Afghanistan order was discovered, Trump’s advisers persuaded the President to back off, reminding him that he had already approved a plan for leaving over the following few months. “Why do we need a new plan?” Pompeo asked. Trump relented, and O’Brien then told the rest of the rattled national-security leadership that the order was “null and void.”

The compromise, however, was a new order that codified the drawdown to twenty-five hundred troops in Afghanistan by mid-January, which Milley and Esper had been resisting, and a reduction in the remaining three thousand troops in Iraq as well. The State Department was given one hour to notify leaders of those countries before the order was released.

Two nightmare scenarios kept running through Milley’s mind. One was that Trump might spark an external crisis, such as a war with Iran, to divert attention or to create a pretext for a power grab at home. The other was that Trump would manufacture a domestic crisis to justify ordering the military into the streets to prevent the transfer of power. Milley feared that Trump’s “Hitler-like” embrace of his own lies about the election would lead him to seek a “Reichstag moment.” In 1933, Hitler had seized on a fire in the German parliament to take control of the country. Milley now envisioned a declaration of martial law or a Presidential invocation of the Insurrection Act, with Trumpian Brown Shirts fomenting violence.

By late November, amid Trump’s escalating attacks on the election, Milley and Pompeo’s coöperation had deepened—a fact that the Secretary of State revealed to Attorney General Bill Barr over dinner on the night of December 1st. Barr had just publicly broken with Trump, telling the Associated Press in an interview that there was no evidence of election fraud sufficient to overturn the results. As they ate at an Italian restaurant in a Virginia strip mall, Barr recounted for Pompeo what he called “an eventful day.” And Pompeo told Barr about the extraordinary arrangement he had proposed to Milley to make sure that the country was in steady hands until the Inauguration: they would hold daily morning phone calls with Mark Meadows. Pompeo and Milley soon took to calling them the “land the plane” phone calls.

“Our job is to land this plane safely and to do a peaceful transfer of power the twentieth of January,” Milley told his staff. “This is our obligation to this nation.” There was a problem, however. “Both engines are out, the landing gear are stuck. We’re in an emergency situation.”

In public, Pompeo remained his staunchly pro-Trump self. The day after his secret visit to Milley’s house to commiserate about “the crazies” taking over, in fact, he refused to acknowledge Trump’s defeat, snidely telling reporters, “There will be a smooth transition—to a second Trump Administration.” Behind the scenes, however, Pompeo accepted that the election was over and made it clear that he would not help overturn the result. “He was totally against it,” a senior State Department official recalled. Pompeo cynically justified this jarring contrast between what he said in public and in private. “It was important for him to not get fired at the end, too, to be there to the bitter end,” the senior official said.

Both Milley and Pompeo were angered by the bumbling team of ideologues that Trump had sent to the Pentagon after the firing of Esper, a West Point classmate of Pompeo’s. The two, who were “already converging as fellow-travellers,” as one of the State officials put it, worked even more closely together as their alarm about Trump’s post-election conduct grew, although Milley was under no illusions about the Secretary of State. He believed that Pompeo, a longtime enabler of Trump who aspired to run for President himself, wanted “a second political life,” but that Trump’s final descent into denialism was the line that, at last, he would not cross. “At the end, he wouldn’t be a party to that craziness,” Milley told his staff. By early December, as they were holding their 8 a.m. land-the-plane calls, Milley was confident that Pompeo was genuinely trying to achieve a peaceful handover of power to Biden. But he was never sure what to make of Meadows. Was the chief of staff trying to land the plane or to hijack it?

Most days, Milley would also call the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, who was hardly a usual interlocutor for a chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In the final weeks of the Administration, Cipollone, a true believer in Trump’s conservative agenda, was a principal actor in the near-daily drama over Trump’s various schemes to overturn his election defeat. After getting off one call with Cipollone, Milley told a visitor that the White House counsel was “constructive,” “not crazy,” and a force for “trying to keep guardrails around the President.”

Milley continued to reach out to Democrats close to Biden to assure them that he would not allow the military to be misused to keep Trump in power. One regular contact was Susan Rice, the former Obama national-security adviser, dubbed by Democrats the Rice Channel. He also spoke several times with Senator Angus King, an Independent from Maine. “My conversations with him were about the danger of some attempt to use the military to declare martial law,” King said. He took it upon himself to reassure fellow-senators. “I can’t tell you why I know this,” but the military will absolutely do the right thing, he would tell them, citing Milley’s “character and honesty.”

Milley had increasing reason to fear that such a choice might actually be forced upon him. In late November, Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. about his contacts with Russia. Soon afterward, Flynn publicly suggested several extreme options for Trump: he could invoke martial law, appoint a special counsel, and authorize the military to “rerun” an election in the swing states. On December 18th, Trump hosted Flynn and a group of other election deniers in the Oval Office, where, for the first time in American history, a President would seriously entertain using the military to overturn an election. They brought with them a draft of a proposed Presidential order requiring the acting Defense Secretary—Christopher Miller—to “seize, collect, retain and analyze” voting machines and provide a final assessment of any findings in sixty days, well after the Inauguration was to take place. Later that night, Trump sent out a tweet beckoning his followers to descend on the capital to help him hold on to office. “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” he wrote at 1:42 a.m. “Be there, will be wild!”

Milley’s fears of a coup no longer seemed far-fetched.

While Trump was being lobbied by “the crazies” to order troops to intervene at home, Milley and his fellow-generals were concerned that he would authorize a strike against Iran. For much of his Presidency, Trump’s foreign-policy hawks had agitated for a showdown with Iran; they accelerated their efforts when they realized that Trump might lose the election. In early 2020, when Mike Pence advocated taking tough measures, Milley asked why. “Because they are evil,” Pence said. Milley recalled replying, “Mr. Vice-President, there’s a lot of evil in the world, but we don’t go to war against all of it.” Milley grew even more nervous before the election, when he heard a senior official tell Trump that if he lost he should strike Iran’s nuclear program. At the time, Milley told his staff that it was a “What the fuck are these guys talking about?” moment. Now it seemed frighteningly possible.

Robert O’Brien, the national-security adviser, had been another frequent cheerleader for tough measures: “Mr. President, we should hit ’em hard, hit ’em hard with everything we have.” Esper, in his memoir, called “hit them hard” O’Brien’s “tedious signature phrase.” (O’Brien disputed this, saying, “The quote attributed to me is not accurate.”)

In the week of Esper’s firing, Milley was called to the White House to present various military options for attacking Iran and encountered a disturbing performance by Miller, the new acting Defense Secretary. Miller later told Jonathan Karl, of ABC, that he had intentionally acted like a “fucking madman” at the meeting, just three days into his tenure, pushing various escalatory scenarios for responding to Iran’s breakout nuclear capacities.

Miller’s behavior did not look intentional so much as unhelpful to Milley, as Trump kept asking for alternatives, including an attack inside Iran on its ballistic-weapons sites. Milley explained that this would be an illegal preëmptive act: “If you attack the mainland of Iran, you will be starting a war.” During another clash with Trump’s more militant advisers, when Trump was not present, Milley was even more explicit. “If we do what you’re saying,” he said, “we are all going to be tried as war criminals in The Hague.”

Trump often seemed more bluster than bite, and the Pentagon brass still believed that he did not want an all-out war, yet he continued pushing for a missile strike on Iran even after that November meeting. If Trump said it once, Milley told his staff, he said it a thousand times. “The thing he was most worried about was Iran,” a senior Biden adviser who spoke with Milley recalled. “Milley had had the experience more than once of having to walk the President off the ledge when it came to retaliating.”

The biggest fear was that Iran would provoke Trump, and, using an array of diplomatic and military channels, American officials warned the Iranians not to exploit the volatile domestic situation in the U.S. “There was a distinct concern that Iran would take advantage of this to strike at us in some way,” Adam Smith, the House Armed Services chairman, recalled.

Among those pushing the President to hit Iran before Biden’s Inauguration, Milley believed, was the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. On December 18th, the same day that Trump met with Flynn to discuss instituting martial law, Milley met with Netanyahu at his home in Jerusalem to personally urge him to back off with Trump. “If you do this, you’re gonna have a fucking war,” Milley told him.

Two days later, on December 20th, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq fired nearly two dozen rockets at the American Embassy in Baghdad. Trump responded by publicly blaming Iran and threatening major retaliation if so much as a single American was killed. It was the largest attack on the Green Zone in more than a decade, and exactly the sort of provocation Milley had been dreading.

During the holidays, tensions with Iran escalated even more as the first anniversary of the American killing of Suleimani approached. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that “those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani” would “be punished.” Late on the afternoon of Sunday, January 3rd, Trump met with Milley, Miller, and his other national-security advisers on Iran. Pompeo and Milley discussed a worrisome new report from the International Atomic Energy Agency. But, by the end, even Pompeo and O’Brien, the Iran hawks, opposed a military strike at this late hour in Trump’s Presidency. “He realized the clock ran out,” Milley told his staff. Trump, consumed with his election fight, backed off.

At the end of the meeting with his security chiefs, the President pulled Miller aside and asked him if he was ready for the upcoming January 6th protest. “It’s going to be a big deal,” Milley heard Trump tell Miller. “You’ve got enough people to make sure it’s safe for my people, right?” Miller assured him he did. This was the last time that Milley would ever see Trump.

On January 6th, Milley was in his office at the Pentagon meeting with Christine Wormuth, the lead Biden transition official for the Defense Department. In the weeks since the election, Milley had started displaying four networks at once on a large monitor across from the round table where he and Wormuth sat: CNN and Fox News, as well as the small pro-Trump outlets Newsmax and One America News Network, which had been airing election disinformation that even Fox would not broadcast. “You’ve got to know what the enemy is up to,” Milley had joked when Wormuth noticed his viewing habits at one of their meetings.

Milley and Wormuth that day were supposed to discuss the Pentagon’s plans to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as well as the Biden team’s hopes to mobilize large-scale covid vaccination sites around the country. But, as they realized in horror what was transpiring on the screen in front of them, Milley was summoned to an urgent meeting with Miller and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army. They had not landed the plane, after all. The plane was crashing.

Milley entered the Defense Secretary’s office at 2:30 p.m., and they discussed deploying the D.C. National Guard and mobilizing National Guard units from nearby states and federal agents under the umbrella of the Justice Department. Miller issued an order at 3:04 p.m. to send in the D.C. Guard.

But it was too late to prevent the humiliation: Congress had been overwhelmed by a mob of election deniers, white-supremacist militia members, conspiracy theorists, and Trump loyalists. Milley worried that this truly was Trump’s “Reichstag moment,” the crisis that would allow the President to invoke martial law and maintain his grip on power.

From the secure facility at Fort McNair, where they had been brought by their protective details, congressional leaders called on the Pentagon to send forces to the Capitol immediately. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were suspicious of Miller: Whose side was this unknown Trump appointee on? Milley tried to reassure the Democratic leadership that the uniformed military was on the case, and not there to do Trump’s bidding. The Guard, he told them, was coming.

It was already after three-thirty by then, however, and the congressional leaders were furious that it was taking so long. They also spoke with Mike Pence, who offered to call the Pentagon as well. He reached Miller around 4 p.m., with Milley still in his office listening in. “Clear the Capitol,” Pence ordered.

Although it was the Vice-President who was seeking to defend the Capitol, Meadows wanted to pretend that Trump was the one taking action. He called Milley, telling him, “We have to kill the narrative that the Vice-President is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative that the President is still in charge.” Milley later dismissed Meadows, whose spokesperson denied Milley’s account, as playing “politics, politics, politics.”

The Guard finally arrived at the Capitol by 5:40 p.m., “sprint speed” for the military, as Milley would put it, but not nearly fast enough for some members of Congress, who would spend months investigating why it took so long. By 7 p.m., a perimeter had been set up outside the Capitol, and F.B.I. and A.T.F. agents were going door to door in the Capitol’s many hideaways and narrow corridors, searching for any remaining rioters.

That night, waiting for Congress to return and formally ratify Trump’s electoral defeat, Milley called one of his contacts on the Biden team. He explained that he had spoken with Meadows and Pat Cipollone at the White House, and that he had been on the phone with Pence and the congressional leaders as well. But Milley never heard from the Commander-in-Chief, on a day when the Capitol was overrun by a hostile force for the first time since the War of 1812. Trump, he said, was both “shameful” and “complicit.”

Later, Milley would often think back to that awful day. “It was a very close-run thing,” the historically minded chairman would say, invoking the famous line of the Duke of Wellington after he had only narrowly defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Trump and his men had failed in their execution of the plot, failed in part by failing to understand that Milley and the others had never been Trump’s generals and never would be. But their attack on the election had exposed a system with glaring weaknesses. “They shook the very Republic to the core,” Milley would eventually reflect. “Can you imagine what a group of people who are much more capable could have done?” ♦

This is drawn from “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.”

An earlier version of this article mistakenly attributed a quote to Mark Esper’s book.

Published in the print edition of the August 15, 2022, issue, with the headline “Trump’s Last General.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Thu Aug 11, 2022 4:28 am

‘Trump Knows What The FBI Found’ In Search Of FL Home
by Lawrence O'Donnell
MSNBC
Aug 10, 2022

Donald Trump will not release what the FBI took from his Florida home. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell explains why Trump and his allies refuse to tell the truth about the search warrant carried out by the FBI.



>> WELL, DONALD TRUMP CAN'T
0:13
STOP EMAILING ME.
0:14
HE JUST EMAILED ME AGAIN, JUST
0:16
ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF AGO.
0:18
THIS ONE REALLY URGENT.
0:20
THE EMAIL SAYS BREAKING LIKE
0:23
BREAKING NEWS.
0:23
AND IT'S FROM IT SAYS THE ONLY
0:26
OF EMAILS FROM OFFICIAL DONALD
0:29
J TRUMP.
0:29
THIS EMAIL RIGHT HERE ON MY
0:31
PHONE.
0:31
IT SAYS, BREAKING, THE
0:35
DEMOCRATS BROKE INTO THE HOME
0:37
OF PRESIDENT DONALD J TRUMP.
0:40
THERE IT IS WE CAN PUT IT UP ON
0:42
THE SCREEN THIS EMAIL THAT I
0:43
JUST GOT.
0:44
TO ME, IT'S VERY PERSONAL.
0:47
IT SAYS LAWRENCE, THE RADICAL
0:50
LEFT IS CORRUPT.
0:50
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO STAND
0:52
WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP.
0:54
PLEASE RUSH A DONATION
0:56
IMMEDIATELY TO PUBLICLY STAND
0:58
WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP AGAINST
0:59
THIS NEVER ENDING WITCH HUNT.
1:02
THIS IS TO ONE OF MY MANY EMAIL
1:04
ADDRESSES.
1:05
IT'S ACTUALLY THE LEAST EMAIL
1:07
ADDRESS USED WHICH SOMEHOW THE
1:09
TRUMP EMAIL MANAGERS HAVE FOUND
1:12
AND THEY ARE SUGGESTING ONCE
1:13
AGAIN THE SAME CONTRIBUTION
1:14
THEY SUGGESTED LAST NIGHT.
1:16
THEY ARE SUGGESTING $45.
1:18
THEY FIGURE THAT'S WHERE I'M
1:19
GOOD FOR.
1:20
ON THE STEELE IT'S $45.
1:22
BUT THERE IS THAT PROBLEM
1:24
DEADLINE THAT'S RIGHT THERE ON
1:25
THE SCREEN.
1:26
THE DEADLINE WHICH IS RIGHT
1:27
UNDER THE 45 DOLLAR SUGGESTION,
1:29
THE DEADLINE IS IMMEDIATELY.
1:31
NOW I AM BAD WITH ANY DEADLINE
1:34
BUT IMMEDIATELY?
1:35
THAT IS JUST NO KIND OF
1:38
DEADLINE THAT I CAN WORK WITH,
1:41
SO THEY WILL KEEP SPENDING
1:44
THEIR EMAIL BUDGET SENDING
1:47
EMAILS TO ME TO RAISE MONEY FOR
1:50
DONALD TRUMP TO DO WHAT'S WITH
1:52
IT?
1:52
WHAT'S GONNA DO WITH IT?
1:53
AND HE'S RAISING MONEY BECAUSE
1:58
WHEN THE FBI RAIDED HIS HOME.
2:01
THE FBI RAIDS HIS HOME AND THEY
2:04
DO IT SECRETLY, THE FBI TELLS
2:06
NO ONE DONALD TRUMP'S RESPONSE
2:08
IS TO TELL EVERYONE.
2:10
THAT'S HOW WE KNOW IT AND THEN
2:12
TO RUSH OUT EMAILS RAISING
2:15
MONEY ON THE FACT THAT THE FBI
2:19
EXECUTED A SEARCH WARRANT AT
2:20
HIS HOME.
2:21
WE'VE HAD 48 HOURS OF PUBLIC
2:25
COMMENT SINCE THE FBI SURPRISED
2:28
DONALD TRUMP BY EXECUTING THAT
2:31
SEARCH WARRANT AT HIS FLORIDA
2:32
HOME AND WE WILL NOW PRESENT TO
2:36
YOU EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN
2:40
STATEMENT ABOUT THAT SEARCH
2:42
WARRANT THAT IS TRUE.
2:45
SO, HERE ARE ALL THE REPUBLICAN
2:50
STATEMENTS ABOUT THE TRUMP
2:52
SEARCH WARRANT THAT ARE TRUE.
3:00
SORRY.
3:03
NONE, NOT ONE.
3:05
I WOULD HAPPILY SIT AT THIS
3:09
DESK AND READ TO YOU EVERY TWO
3:12
STATEMENT BY ANY REPUBLICAN
3:15
ANYWHERE ABOUT THE TRUMP SEARCH
3:18
WORK IF THERE WERE ANY.
3:21
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE TRUE
3:24
STATEMENT MADE BY A REPUBLICAN
3:27
ABOUT THE SEARCH WARRANT.
3:28
NOW IN FAIRNESS MOST REPUBLICAN
3:32
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE
3:33
MANAGED TO SAY ABSOLUTELY
3:36
NOTHING ABOUT IT.
3:36
REPUBLICAN SENATOR MITT ROMNEY
3:40
IS TYPICAL.
3:42
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE REPORTS
3:44
THAT SENATOR MITT ROMNEY DID
3:45
NOT RESPOND SEEKING REQUESTS TO
3:47
COMMENT.
3:47
BUT EVERY REPUBLICAN WHO HOPES
3:49
TO BE PRESIDENT SUNDAY HAS HAD
3:51
SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT IT
3:53
INCLUDING YALE LAW SCHOOL
3:55
GRADUATE JOSH HOLLOWAY AT
3:58
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL GRADUATE'S
4:02
SENATOR TED CRUZ.
4:02
HE CALLED THE FBI PARTISAN
4:04
ATTACK DOGS FOR DEMOCRATS, THAT
4:07
WAS HIS PHRASE WITHOUT
4:08
MENTIONING THE FBI DIRECTOR
4:11
CHRISTOPHER WRAY IS A
4:12
REPUBLICAN APPOINTED BY DONALD
4:14
TRUMP.
4:14
SENATOR CRUZ SIMPLY LIED ABOUT
4:17
THE SEARCH WARRANT AND THE FBI.
4:19
SENATOR HAWLEY OFFERED A
4:22
CHILDISH COMMENT THAT MERRICK
4:24
GARLAND MUST RESIGN AND, THAT
4:27
CHRISTOPHER WRAY MUST BE
4:28
REMOVED FROM OFFICE.
4:29
AND SENATOR HAWLEY SAID
4:32
SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN ECHOED
4:33
BY OTHER REPUBLICANS.
4:34
SENATOR HALLE SAID QUOTE, THE
4:37
SEARCH WARRANT MUST BE
4:39
PUBLISHED.
4:40
THE REPUBLICAN DEMAND THAT THE
4:42
SEARCH WARRANT BE MADE PUBLIC
4:44
BE DESCRIBED AS DEAFENING BY A
4:48
CNN REPORTER ONLINE.
4:49
DEAFENING.
4:51
AND NOT ONE OF THOSE
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REPUBLICANS IS DEMANDING THAT
4:57
DONALD TRUMP REVEAL BUT THE FBI
5:00
TOOK FROM HIS HOME.
5:02
DONALD TRUMP WAS GIVEN A
5:04
RECEIPT OF SORTS FOR WHAT WAS
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TAKEN BY THE FBI.
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HE COULD MAKE THAT PUBLIC RIGHT
5:10
NOW AND SATISFY THE DEAFENING
5:15
DEMANDS BY REPUBLICANS TO
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REVEAL THE PURPOSE OF THE FBI
5:19
SEARCH WARRANT.
5:21
DONALD TRUMP HAS CHOSEN TO LIE
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ABOUT THE SURGE INSTEAD,
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SUGGESTING THAT THE FBI PLANTED
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EVIDENCE, THAT THEY WILL NOW
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CLAIM THEY FOUND THEIR.
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NOW THAT GOT INSTANTLY EMBRACED
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BY THE MOST CRAVEN TRUMP
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SUPPORTERS LIKE SENATOR RAND
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TOLD AND EVERYONE AT THE FOX
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PROPAGANDA CHANNEL.
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DONALD TRUMP KNOWS WHAT THE FBI
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FOUND.
5:46
DONALD TRUMP KNOWS THAT WHAT
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THEY FOUND INCLUDES EVIDENCE
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THAT MAY BE SO INCRIMINATING TO
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HIM THAT HE MIGHT WANT TO
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ASSERT THE DEFENSE AT THE FBI
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PLANTED THAT EVIDENCE IN HIS
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HOME.
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DONALD TRUMP MUST ALSO KNOW
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THAT THE PAPERWORK THAT THE FBI
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LEFT FOR HIM AT HIS HOME WOULD
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NOT BE HELPFUL TO HIS PUBLIC
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DEFENCE AND HIS PUBLIC
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FUNDRAISING IF HE MADE THAT
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DOCUMENT PUBLIC AS HE COULD.
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AND THERE IS NO DEAFENING
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DEMAND FROM REPUBLICANS THAT
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DONALD TRUMP REVEAL EVERYTHING
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THAT HE KNOWS ABOUT THE SEARCH
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IN HIS HOME BY THE FBI.

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TONIGHT THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
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IS REPORTING THAT AN INFORMANT
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HELPED GUIDE THE FBI'S SEARCH
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OF DONALD TRUMP'S HOME.
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WALL STROLL WALL STREET JOURNAL
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REPORTS QUOTE, SOMEONE FAMILIAR
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WITH THE STORED PAPERS TOLD
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INVESTIGATORS THERE MAY STILL
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BE MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS AT
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THE PRIVATE CLUB AFTER THE
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NATIONAL ARCHIVES RETRIEVED 15
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BOXES EARLIER IN THE YEAR,
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PEOPLE FAMILIAR WITH THE MATTER
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SAID.
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AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
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OFFICIALS HAD DOUBTS THAT THE
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TRUMP TEAM WAS BEING TRUTHFUL
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REGARDING WHAT MATERIAL
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REMAINED AT THE PROPERTY, ONE
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PERSON SAID.
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TWO MONTHS AGO, IN JUST TWO
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MONTHS AGO ON JUNE 3RD JAY BRAT,
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NATIONALLY SECURITY'S PERSON AT
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THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAD A
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MEETING WITH TRUMP AND TRUMP'S
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LAWYERS AT MAR-A-LAGO TO
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DISCUSS RECORDS IT APPEARED TO
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BE IN A BASEMENT STORAGE ROOM.
7:35
A FEW DAYS LATER, JAY BRAT SENT
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A LETTER TO THE TRUMP LAWYERS
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SAYING THAT A STRONGER LOCK
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SHOULD BE INSTALLED ON THAT
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STORAGE ROOM DOOR WE DON'T KNOW
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WHAT'S HAPPENED BETWEEN THEN
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AND NOW BUT THE NEXT THING THAT
7:53
WE PUBLICLY KNOW IS THAT THE
7:56
FBI SERVED A SEARCH WARRANT FOR
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THOSE DOCUMENTS ON MONDAY.
8:00
THIS IS HOW DONALD TRUMP
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DESCRIBED TODAY WHAT HAPPENED
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ON MONDAY.
8:06
THE FBI AND OTHERS FROM THE
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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT
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LET ANYONE INCLUDING MY LAWYERS
8:17
THE ANYWHERE NEAR THE
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 13, 2022 4:10 am

Trump Lawyer Says He Watched Search On Camera, Muddling Claim That FBI Planted Evidence: The Trump family was “actually able to see the whole thing,” attorney Christina Bobb said of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.
by Mary Papenfuss
Huffington Post
Aug 12, 2022, 08:45 PM EDT

Donald Trump’s attorney has revealed that he and Trump family members watched nearly the entire FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on surveillance cameras, further dashing the former president’s claims that agents likely “planted” any evidence that was taken.

“The folks in New York — President Trump and his family — probably had a better view than I did. Because they had the CCTV, they were able to watch,” the former president’s attorney Christina Bobb said in an interview on Real America’s Voice on Thursday.

The Trump family was “actually able to see the whole thing,” she said. “They actually have a better idea of what took place inside.”

Trump was in Manhattan on Monday when FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago. Bobb was on the scene at the resort in Florida but said she spent much of the time in a Mar-a-Lago parking lot to “collect paper and answer questions” from investigators.

Eric Trump told The Daily Mail in an article Wednesday that he watched the search via surveillance cameras.

FBI agents removed 20 boxes of documents, including 11 sets of classified information, from Mar-a-Lago on Monday, according to the warrant and property receipt used by the FBI to conduct the search of Trump’s Florida residence.

Some of the classified information was top secret and designated to remain only in a secure government facility. Sources told The Washington Post in a report Thursday that some of the classified documents were believed to be related to nuclear weapons, which was a key reason for the urgency of the search.

The warrant indicated that Trump is under investigation for a possible violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and removing and destroying official documents.

Bobb said agents at Mar-a-Lago initially asked the staff to turn off the surveillance cameras, reportedly citing agent safety. But the lawyers quickly ordered them switched back on.

“The cameras were only off for a very short period of time,” Bobb said.

Real America's Voice (RAV)
@RealAmVoice ·Follow
“The cameras were only off for a very short period of time.”
@christina_bobb, says that while staff initially complied w/ the FBI request to turn off the CCTV cameras in Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s lawyers stepped in and the cameras were turned back on.
@RealDrGina #PrimeTime
[x]
7:05 PM · Aug 11, 2022
Read the full conversation on Twitter


Trump has repeatedly claimed on Truth Social that the FBI likely “planted” damaging evidence at Mar-a-Lago. It’s an accusation that has been widely picked up by his followers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Trump has never mentioned on his social media platform that agents were in view of surveillance cameras throughout most of the search and were being watched by him and family members, according to his own attorney. He has insisted there were “no witnesses” to the search.

“Planting information anyone?” Trump sarcastically wrote in a recent Truth Social post.

Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump - 2d
The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago. Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, "planting." Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out? Obama and Clinton were never "raided," despite big disputes!

Trump indicates again on Truth Social that the FBI "planted" evidence.

Bobb said of the FBI in an interview earlier this week that there was “no security” to prevent the FBI from planting evidence. But she quickly added: “I’m not saying that’s what they did.”

Bobb also noted: “I don’t necessarily think that they would even go to the extent of trying to plant information.”

Aaron Rupar
@atrupar ·Follow
Trump attorney Christina Bobb suggests that the FBI may have planted evidence in Mar-a-Lago
[x]
2:03 PM · Aug 9, 2022
Read the full conversation on Twitter
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:57 pm

Trump Admin-Saudi Nuclear Probe Resurfaces Ahead of Warrant Unseal
by Brendan Cole
Newsweek
8/12/22 AT 8:03 AM EDT

A probe into Donald Trump's interactions with Saudi Arabia has resurfaced following a report FBI agents who raided the former president's Florida residence were seeking documents related to nuclear weapons.

Citing anonymous experts in classified information, The Washington Post said the search showed concern among U.S. government officials about what kind of information could be located at the Mar-a-Lago Club and whether it could fall into the wrong hands.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said he approved the decision for the search warrant at the resort. The Justice Department has filed a motion to make the warrant public, which could happen on Friday afternoon.

While the Post said these sources provided no further details over whether the documents were recovered, what the information was and which countries it pertained to, the raid has focused minds on an investigation released in February 2019.

That House of Representatives report highlighted whistleblowers' concerns with the Trump Administration's "efforts to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia," and was tweeted on Thursday by Judd Legum, who runs the Popular Information newsletter.

"We don't know why Trump took classified nuclear docs," Legum said in a follow-up tweet. "But certain nuclear information would have very high economic value to Saudi Arabia and other governments."

Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman tweeted: "Why would Trump want to keep nuclear documents?" "It is time to review the 2019 House Oversight Committee's stunning allegations of nuclear corruption," between the Trump administration and "Saudi/Qatar."

That committee report made a number of accusations against the Trump administration, including that it tried "to rush the transfer of highly sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia." This was without congressional review and in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act that restricts the export of U.S. nuclear technology.

The report also raised questions about the relationship between the White House and Riyadh following the murder of Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which was met with "equivocation by President Trump and other top Administration officials."

The report said that in the U.S. "strong private commercial interests have been pressing aggressively for the transfer of highly sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia," and this posed a "potential risk to U.S. national security absent adequate safeguards."

"These commercial entities stand to reap billions of dollars through contracts associated with constructing and operating nuclear facilities in Saudi Arabia," it added.


However, in July 2019, the Republican staff of the House Oversight Committee rejected Democrat claims that the Trump administration committed wrongdoing in its dealings with the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Their report said the firm IP3 International, comprised of former U.S. national security officials, pushing to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia, had kept Congress in the loop. Also, the Trump administration was "not rushing" nuclear technology to the kingdom, nor had it "skirted requirements for congressional notification."

"The evidence currently before the committee does not show impropriety in the proposed transfer of nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia," the Republicans said.

Meanwhile, Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, has called the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago "outrageous", telling Fox News that no such documents containing nuclear information were "disseminated freely" at the resort.

Christina Bobb, an attorney for the former president, told Fox News that while she had not "specifically spoken to the president about what nuclear materials may or may not have been in there. I do not believe there were any in there."

Newsweek has contacted the Trump team for comment.

***********************

Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts: Before committing $2 billion to Mr. Kushner’s fledgling firm, officials at a fund led by the Saudi crown prince questioned taking such a big risk.
by David D. Kirkpatrick
April 10, 2022

Six months after leaving the White House, Jared Kushner secured a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi crown prince, a close ally during the Trump administration, despite objections from the fund’s advisers about the merits of the deal.

A panel that screens investments for the main Saudi sovereign wealth fund cited concerns about the proposed deal with Mr. Kushner’s newly formed private equity firm, Affinity Partners, previously undisclosed documents show.

Those objections included: “the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management”; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for “the bulk of the investment and risk”; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them “unsatisfactory in all aspects”; a proposed asset management fee that “seems excessive”; and “public relations risks” from Mr. Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, former President Donald J. Trump, according to minutes of the panel’s meeting last June 30.

But days later the full board of the $620 billion Public Investment Fund — led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and a beneficiary of Mr. Kushner’s support when he worked as a White House adviser — overruled the panel.

Ethics experts say that such a deal creates the appearance of potential payback for Mr. Kushner’s actions in the White House — or of a bid for future favor if Mr. Trump seeks and wins another presidential term in 2024.

Mr. Kushner played a leading role inside the Trump administration defending Crown Prince Mohammed after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that he had approved the 2018 killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for The Washington Post and resident of Virginia who had criticized the kingdom’s rulers.

The Saudi fund agreed to invest twice as much and on more generous terms with Mr. Kushner than it did at about the same time with former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — who was also starting a new fund — even though Mr. Mnuchin had a record as a successful investor before entering government, the documents show. The amount of the investment in his firm, Liberty Strategic Capital — $1 billion — has not been previously disclosed.


A spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s firm said of its relationship with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, “Affinity, like many other top investment firms, is proud to have PIF and other leading organizations that have careful screening criteria, as investors.”

A spokesman for the Saudi fund declined to comment on its investment process. If any additional discussions about the deal took place, they were not reflected in the documents and correspondence obtained by The New York Times.

The Times reported last fall that Mr. Kushner had been seeking a Saudi investment. Now, the internal fund records and correspondence obtained by The Times show the outcome, scale and timing of his firm’s deal as well as the debate it aroused. Those documents and other filings indicate that at this point Mr. Kushner’s venture depends primarily on the Saudi money.

Mr. Kushner planned to raise up to $7 billion in all
, according to a document prepared last summer for the Saudi fund’s board. But so far he appears to have signed up few other major investors.

In its most recent public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, dated March 31, Mr. Kushner’s firm reported that its main fund had $2.5 billion under management, almost entirely from investors based overseas. Most of that appears to be the $2 billion from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi documents obtained by The Times say that in return for its investment, the Saudi fund would receive a stake of at least 28 percent in Mr. Kushner’s main investment vehicle.

No law or rules constrain the investment activities of former administration officials after leaving the White House; many from both parties have profited from connections and experiences gained in government.

But Robert Weissman, president of the nonprofit group Public Citizen, called Mr. Kushner’s relationship with the Saudis “extremely troubling,” arguing that his stance toward the kingdom’s leadership as a senior adviser “makes the business partnership appear even more to be both a reward to, and an investment in, Kushner.”

Saudi officials say that the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, which also holds stakes in the ride-sharing company Uber and the Newcastle United Football Club in Britain, operates autonomously, with an elaborate governance structure that includes the investment panel. But Prince Mohammed took control of the fund when he rose to power in 2015 and he is its paramount decision maker.

Mr. Kushner, whose fund has not publicly disclosed a theme or focus, has little experience or track record in private equity. Before working in the White House, he ran his family’s commercial real estate empire, sometimes with disappointing results. His best-known deal was the $1.8 billion purchase of the office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, in 2007; the building’s mortgage became a crippling liability when the recession hit the next year.

Diplomats, investors and ethics experts noted during the Trump administration that his anticipated return to the family business injected a potential conflict of interest into Mr. Kushner’s relationship with Prince Mohammed and other oil-wealthy Arab royals. Many are major long-term investors in American real estate, and the Kushner family had courted them before.

While advising Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner developed a friendship and informal alliance with the Saudi crown prince. Prince Mohammed signaled that he favored closer relations between Israel and the Arab monarchs of the Persian Gulf, which was also one of Mr. Kushner’s priorities while in the Trump administration. He helped negotiate a series of agreements, called the Abraham Accords, opening diplomatic relations between Israel and other Arab monarchies. After leaving government, he set up a nonprofit to promote economic and other ties between the countries.

In Washington, Mr. Kushner had also helped broker $110 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over 10 years. He helped protect those and other weapons deals from congressional outrage over the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and the humanitarian catastrophe created by the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.


The debate within the Saudi fund over investing with Mr. Kushner was a stark contrast to the easy approval of the proposal by Mr. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner who invested in numerous Hollywood films, including “The Lego Movie,” and helped resurrect a failing California bank before entering government.

Mr. Mnuchin’s fund is focused on cybersecurity, financial technology and entertainment — all sectors that fit Saudi priorities, according to an executive summary prepared by the fund’s staff. The summary noted that Mr. Mnuchin’s work at the Treasury gave him “significant access toward understanding the future of the U.S. financial system,” and the firm’s founders had “deep experience at some of the highest levels of the U.S. regulatory system” overseeing and monitoring its industries.

As Treasury secretary, Mr. Mnuchin had also chaired a committee responsible for vetting certain merger deals with foreign companies; the summary said he had “shaped” the new fund to accommodate investment from foreign governments like the kingdom.

In its most recent filing, dated March 31, Mr. Mnuchin’s firm reported raising $2.7 billion from a total of 33 investors. Most of the money came from abroad, and the Saudi documents say that other Persian Gulf states also invested.

A spokesman for Liberty Strategic Capital said the firm “has a diverse investor base including U.S. insurance companies, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors.”

Both Mr. Kushner’s and Mr. Mnuchin’s funds treated the Saudi fund as a “cornerstone” investor, the Public Investment Fund documents say, offering the Saudis a discount on the standard 2 percent asset management fee for private equity firms as well as a cut of the firm’s 20 percent share of any fund profits, known as carried interest.

But the Saudis agreed to pay Mr. Mnuchin’s firm only a 1 percent asset management fee, compared to 1.25 percent for Mr. Kushner’s, the documents indicate. On a $2 billion investment, that would pay his firm $25 million a year, not including a share of any profits earned by the Affinity fund.

Both firms agreed to open regional offices in Riyadh, which the Saudi government says it will soon require of any international company doing business with the kingdom.

The five-member board investment committee evaluating Mr. Kushner’s proposal referred to it with the code name Project Astro. The panel was led by Yasir al-Rumayyan, a Harvard Business School graduate who is also chairman of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant. The panel also included Andrew Liveris, the Australian-born former chief executive of the Dow Chemical Company, and Ayman al-Sayari, the vice chairman of the Saudi Central Bank.

A panel member identified in the minutes as Dr. al-Mojel — possibly Ibrahim al-Mojel, the chairman of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, who holds a Ph.D. from Stanford — asked before the June 30, 2021, meeting about the justification for investing in Mr. Kushner’s fund. “Why is the strategic benefit worth the risk?” he asked, according to printed responses.

The responses, apparently prepared by staff of the Saudi fund, argued that the promised Riyadh office of Mr. Kushner’s firm, Affinity, would help the Saudis “capitalize on the capabilities of Affinity’s founders’ deep understanding of different government policies and geopolitical systems.”

Why aren’t there any significant institutional investors from the US?

The Affinity principal would like to avoid media attention at this time. Accordingly, Affinity has approached international institutional investors on a very discreet basis (especially PIF as Affinity’s cornerstone LP) to anchor the launch of their inaugural fund.

Saudi staff wrote that Mr. Kushner was trying to avoid attention by initially courting only international institutions like the Saudi Public Investment Fund for his new venture.

Source: Minutes of the Board Investment Committee of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, June 30, 2021


The explanation for the absence of any American institutional investors in Mr. Kushner’s fund was that he “would like to avoid media attention,” the written responses said. “Accordingly, Affinity has approached international investors on a very discreet basis.”

Mr. Kushner’s lack of private equity experience and the “unsatisfactory” results of due diligence reviews conducted on behalf of the Saudi fund “are valid and important concerns,” the responses acknowledged, but they attributed the findings to the fact that he was still setting up the infrastructure for his company.

What’s more, the responses added, the Saudi fund had “partially mitigated these risks”: The Saudis had stipulated that Mr. Kushner’s firm could draw down only $500 million of the $2 billion commitment before “having a qualified investment team in place, on-boarding core operational professionals and constructing the investment committee.”

The expertise of the [general partner] isn’t relevant to the objective of the fund. Even the case studies presented focused on real estate only. Also, the operational [due diligence] shows that they are unsatisfactory in all aspects.

These are valid and important concerns. These risks have been flagged and detailed in the investment memo, including the risk of the Principal having limited experience in private equity and the inability for Affinity to provide any quantifiable investment track-record for their founding team.

Responding to objections raised about the $2 billion investment in Mr. Kushner’s fund, staff of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund acknowledged that he lacked a track record in private equity.

Source: Minutes of the Board Investment Committee of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, June 30, 2021


(Late last year, Mr. Kushner hired two experienced private equity investors, Bret Pearlman and Asad Naqvi; the recent securities filing states that Affinity Partners now has a staff of 20, about half of whom are investment professionals.)

Even after reading the responses, Mr. Liveris, the former Dow Chemical chief executive, and Mr. al-Sayari, of the Saudi Central bank, added their own doubts along with Dr. al-Mojel’s. Mr. al-Rumayyan, the panel chairman and top executive of the Saudi fund, appeared to concur, according to the minutes. The panel members did not respond to requests for comment or could not be reached.

The minutes record that all four panel members attending the meeting “stated that they are not in favor of Project Astro.” The panel’s rules require the votes of a majority of those present to pass a resolution, the minutes note. Mr. al-Rumayyan, in this case, suggested raising the panel’s “views and decision” to the fund’s board, led by the crown prince.

But within days, the board had passed a resolution approving the deal, documents show.

In a letter dated last July 5, fund staff explained to a board member who had questioned the size of the investment why it could not be cut back.

“This investment aims to form a strategic relationship with the Affinity Partners Fund and its founder, Jared Kushner,” the letter said. A reduction of the size of its $2 billion stake “may negatively or fundamentally affect the framework of the agreed strategic and commercial relationship.”

David D. Kirkpatrick is an investigative reporter based in New York and the author of “Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East.“ In 2020 he shared a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on covert Russian interference in other governments and as the Cairo bureau chief from 2011 to 2015 he led coverage of the Arab Spring uprisings. @ddknyt • Facebook

Kate Kelly covers money, influence, and policy as a correspondent in the Washington bureau of the Times. Before that, she spent twenty years covering Wall Street deals, key players and their intersection with politics. She is the author of three books, including "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh." @katekelly


A version of this article appears in print on April 11, 2022, Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Kushner Firm Got $2 Billion From Saudis.

******************************

France’s Macron talks energy with Saudi Crown Prince MBS in Paris: MBS’s visit to France has been controversial, with President Macron criticised by some in his country.
aljazeera.com
Published On 29 Jul 2022

[x]
French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shake hands at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday [Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

Energy was the main topic on the agenda between French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during talks in Paris seen as a diplomatic rehabilitation of the de facto leader of the Saudi kingdom.

Aides to the French president had indicated ahead of the talks on Thursday that Macron would urge Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production to help bring down crude prices, reiterating a request made by United States President Joe Biden during a visit to Riyadh earlier this month.

A statement by the presidential office on Friday made no explicit reference to oil or gas, but said Macron had “underlined the importance of continuing the ongoing coordination with Saudi Arabia with regards to the diversification of energy supplies for European countries”.

With Russian oil and gas supplies either unavailable to European Union nations due to sanctions or being withheld by Moscow, European countries are desperately seeking alternative sources of fossil fuels.

Saudi Arabia is one of few countries worldwide with the capacity to increase its output.

The French statement said that Macron and MBS also discussed food security amid fears of famines caused by the loss of Ukrainian grain, and agreed to work “to ease the effects” of the war in Ukraine.

“The President and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia underlined the need to bring an end to this conflict and intensify their cooperation to ease the effects in Europe, the Middle East and the wider world,” Macron’s office said.

The two leaders also discussed the war in Yemen. The French president commended what he said were efforts by Saudi Arabia to “find a political, global and inclusive solution under the aegis of the United Nations and expressed his hope that the truce continues”, the statement said.

[x]
French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ahead of a working dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris [Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

‘Warm welcome’

MBS on Friday thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for the “warm reception”.

“As I leave your friendly country, it gives me great pleasure to express to your Excellency my deepest gratitude and appreciation for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to me and the accompanying delegation,” bin Salman wrote in a message posted by the Saudi foreign ministry.

The de facto leader of the oil-rich nation is being courted again after being shunned by Western leaders following the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Macron and Biden both attracted criticism from rights groups for their rapprochement with the kingdom.

Biden fist-bumped MBS in a gesture that was seized on by critics, while Macron shook hands on the steps of the Elysee Palace as he welcomed the prince.

“He’s shaking the hand for a long time of man whose hands are covered in blood,” senior left-wing French MP Alexis Corbiere told BFM television on Friday.

The killing of Khashoggi was described by a United Nations probe as an “extrajudicial killing for which Saudi Arabia is responsible”. US intelligence agencies determined that MBS had “approved” the operation that led to Khashoggi’s death.


Hatice Cengiz, who was about to wed the journalist when he was killed, said on Thursday that she was “scandalised and outraged that Emmanuel Macron is receiving with all the honours the executioner of my fiancé”.

Allies of the French president defended the meeting as a demonstration of “realpolitik” – putting practical needs above principles in foreign policy.

Public services minister Stanislas Guerini, a close ally of the president, told Europe 1 radio on Friday that the role of the president was “to protect the French people” and that he believed that service had been carried out.

****************************

Golfers eager to play for Saudi-funded LIV Golf despite human rights concerns: US golf media has been critical of LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. But for many golfers — especially lesser-known ones — the league offers unparalleled financial opportunities.
by Adam Lucente
al-monitor.com
June 27, 2022

A new Saudi-funded men’s golf league is attracting top golfers, despite criticism because of Saudi Arabia’s human rights issues.

LIV Golf is coming to the US city of Portland this weekend, and just won over another top golfer — Brooks Koepka. Playing on the new circuit, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is especially attractive to lesser-known golfers who struggle to make a living playing the sport.

“People may not realize how expensive it is to be an aspiring golfer,” Brandon Cubitt, who heads New Nine Golf, told Al-Monitor. “LIV is appealing because it’s so much more money.”

LIV Golf was founded last year, and held its first tournament outside of London earlier this month. It is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is investing in an array of sectors to help the kingdom diversify and reduce dependence on oil. LIV Golf is headed by the Australian golf legend Greg Norman. The retired golfer has long been a critic of the PGA Tour, which is the dominant men’s golf competition in North America. LIV Golf only has male players at present, though Norman has expressed an interest in adding female golfers as well.

LIV Golf has been controversial from the start due to its Saudi funding source. The Gulf state has an array of human rights issues, including a high execution rate, legal discrimination against women and the infamous murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Saudi Arabia has made limited progress on some of these issues in recent years, granting women the right to drive in 2018 and easing male guardianship laws last year, for example.

Many top golfers have left the PGA for LIV due to the potential to make millions. Americans Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have reportedly been offered more than $100 million each to join.

But LIV Golf is perhaps most appealing to less famous and less compensated golfers. Many LIV Golf players are not household names, such as Spain's David Puig, who most recently golfed for Arizona State University.

Cubitt is a scratch golfer in Alberta, Canada, who creates golf content on YouTube, Instagram and other channels. He pointed out that aspiring professional golfers who want to play on the PGA Tour must first compete in “Q School” competitions, which cost thousands of dollars just to enter.

“If guys are not making money, they have no way of paying these fees,” said Cubitt. “Some of these guys don’t necessarily come from money. They’re eating fast food five times a week.”

LIV Golf’s first event had a minimum payout of $120,000, which is more than five times higher than that of some PGA events.

Golfers who want to play in LIV face considerable criticism. Earlier this month, a Sept. 11 victims group slammed Mickelson for working with Saudi Arabia due to the Saudi government’s alleged role in the attacks. Northern Irish golf superstar Rory McIlroy recently called LIV Golf participants “duplicitous.” US golf media has been especially critical of the league. One Golf Channel analyst accused LIV Golf participants of “exchanging a little bit of their soul for money.”

There is a disconnect between the criticism of LIV Golf in US media and some of the players, according to one sports journalist.

“It’s easy for people not offered that money to say they’re not gonna take that money,” Chase Howell, who writes for The Action Network, told Al-Monitor.

Howell is also a caddy on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is a developmental golf tour whose players aspire to make it to the PGA. He referred to LIV’s minimum payout as “life-changing money” for such golfers, and said many golfers on his tour would seriously consider playing for LIV.

“Talk to tour players and people making careers out of golf — they’re a lot more supportive,” said Howell. “Golf media has been very anti-this league. I don’t think that's what the majority of the public thinks.”

At least one Korn Ferry Tour alum, Turk Petit, is now playing for LIV Golf, and others may soon join. Howell also pointed to the case of English golfer Sam Horsfield, who has made $397,157 in career earnings, including at international PGA events, according to Golf Channel. The minimum payout for LIV Golf’s first event, which Horsfield competed in, is equivalent to more than 25% of that.

LIV is also beating the PGA in terms of compensation for caddies.

“Caddies are treated very well on LIV. All travel and hotels are paid for. They’re going above and beyond for every caddy,” said Howell. “The PGA has never paid for travel.”

Some LIV caddies expressed similar views to Golf Digest this month.

LIV Golf has several more events scheduled this year, including two at Trump Golf courses and one in Saudi Arabia itself in October. The PGA has already responded to LIV Golf’s emergence, refusing to allow its players to compete in the rival league and also promising more guaranteed money to those who stay.

Some observers think the outrage over LIV Golf may dissipate. David Samson hosts the Nothing Personal podcast on CBS Sports and previously served as president of the professional baseball teams the Miami Marlins and the Montreal Expos. He said that LIV golfers can survive the outrage over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

“Golfers have taken advantage of the fact that, with the public, there’s generally initial rage that then disappears,” Samson told Al-Monitor. “There’s a huge amount of guaranteed money waiting on the other side of that.”

Samson added that LIV has improved its public relations, which he described as “terrible in the beginning.”

Earlier this year, Mickelson actually described Saudis as “scary” when asked about his connection to LIV Golf. The comments drew a tremendous backlash.

Now, Norman is going on the offensive. Last month, he acknowledged Saudi Arabia’s human rights issues and praised the “cultural change” in the country. This month, he pointed out that the PGA Tour’s own sponsors do tens of billions of dollars worth of business in Saudi Arabia, which the golfer called “hypocrisy.”

“LIV did a good job with PR saying ‘we all have hypocrisy,’” said Samson.

Whether LIV Golf can compete with the PGA in the years to come remains to be seen. Many other rival sport leagues in North America have failed, such as the XFL American football league. Samson said LIV’s success “depends on the level of investment” from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Some in the golf world also feel that LIV may not be as exciting to watch as the “major” golf championships, such as the US Open and PGA Championship. For example, wins on the LIV Golf circuit do not count toward world golf rankings. Howell described LIV as more of an “exhibition.”

“They’re not playing to win as much. There’s not a bad side to losing. Part of the reason we love golf is the nerves we get,” he said. “People like the blowups, to see if people make mistakes. That’s why the majors are enticing.”

Many of golf's biggest names remain loyal to the PGA Tour. American Tiger Woods, who is chasing the record for most major titles of all time, turned down close to $1 billion to join LIV Golf, Norman told The Washington Post in May.

Cubitt said that golfers will need to choose between career achievements and the Public Investment Fund’s fortune when deciding whether to join LIV Golf.

“Guys really have to weigh what winning notable championships means,” he said. “It’s lifestyle and guaranteed money versus legacy.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:44 pm

Utter Baloney': Rep. Himes Knocks Trump's Excuses For Having Classified Material
MSNBC
Aug 12, 2022

Rep. Jim Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, talks about the stringent security requirements for accessing America's closest held secrets and why Donald Trump's evolving series of excuses for how secret material ended up at Mar-a-Lago are nonsense.



Transcript

[Ali Velshi] GIVEN THE SEARCH WARRANT'S BEEN
RELEASED THIS AFTERNOON, WE NOW
KNOW THAT AT LEAST SOME OF THE
MATERIAL THAT THE FBI OBTAINED
FROM TRUMP'S PROPERTY WERE
MARKED AS TOP SECRET, AND MEANT
TO BE VIEWED EXCLUSIVELY
IN SECURE GOVERNMENT
FACILITIES.
BUT WHAT SORT OF INTELLIGENCE
THREAT DOES ALL OF THIS POSE?
WELL, THANKFULLY, I HAVE JUST THE
PERSON TO ASK.
JOINING US NOW IS THE
CONGRESSMAN JIM HINES. HE IS
A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE INTEL
COMMITTEE.
CONGRESSMAN, THANK YOU FOR
BEING WITH US THIS EVENING.
I HAVE TO SAY, BEFORE TOO MUCH
OF THESE OBFUSCATIONS
GET AWAY FROM US, I THINK WE HAVE TO
ADDRESS THEM.
THE TACTICS HERE WERE NOT --
WILL NOT GO DOWN IN THE TOP 100
LIST OF THINGS THE FBI HAS DONE
THAT THEY SHOULD'VE DONE
DIFFERENTLY. THIS WAS JUST THE
EXECUTION OF A SEARCH WARRANT.
NO ONE GOT SHOT. NO DOORS WERE
BROKEN DOWN. NOTHING HAPPENED.
THEY WENT IN LOOKING FOR STUFF,
THEY GOT STUFF.
[Rep. Jim Himes] THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT, ALI,
AND WE SHOULD TRY TO KEEP OUR EYES
ON THE MAIN THING HERE, WHICH IS WE
ARE IN A WORLD OF THE TYPICAL
TRUMP DEFENCE, RIGHT? SO
MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, MIKE
TURNER THERE, IS TRYING TO DRAW VERY FINE
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN THE NATURE
OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AND
STUFF.
AND OF COURSE DONALD TRUMP IS TWEETING OUT ABOUT
HOW BARACK OBAMA KEPT NUCLEAR
SECRETS TOO, WHICH IS OF COURSE
A TOTAL LIE, RIGHT?
SO WE'RE ALL RUNNING AROUND CHASING
THIS STUFF.
LET ME TELL YOU THIS, BECAUSE I DO IT EVERY SINGLE
DAY AS A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE
COMMITTEE.
EVERY SINGLE DAY, I GO TO A SECURE
COMPARTMENT AND INFORMATION
FACILITY IN THE CAPITOL. AND I
TAKE ALL THE ELECTRONIC DEVICES
I HAVE ON MY BODY -- MY WATCH,
MY IPHONE -- I PUT THEM IN A
LOCKER.
I GO PAST AN ARMED GUARD,
THROUGH AN EXTRAORDINARILY
THICK DOOR -- TWO SETS OF DOORS,
ACTUALLY -- AND IF I'M GOING TO
LOOK, AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS,
AT THE MOST SENSITIVE
INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE IN
THIS COUNTRY, KNOWN AS TSSCI,
WHICH WE KNOW THAT THE FBI
TOOK OUT OF MAR-A-LAGO OF ALL
PLACES,
I HAVE TO GO THROUGH AN AWFUL LOT OF
STUFF. AND BY THE WAY, IF I TAKE
DOCUMENTS OUT OF THAT FACILITY,
I HAVE COMMITTED A FELONY.
AND IF A PRESIDENT TAKES THEM
OUT OF A FACILITY, HE TOO HAS
BROKEN THE LAW.
SO I PROMISE YOU, AMIDST ALL OF
THE OBFUSCATION HERE, I PROMISE YOU
THAT IF YOU OR I HAD BOXES OF
TSSCI INFORMATION SITTING IN OUR BASEMENT, NOT ONLY WOULD THE FBI HAVE SHOWN UP, BUT WEAPONS WOULD HAVE BEEN DRAWN,
IT WOULD
HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE DARK OF NIGHT, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL DONE BECAUSE
THOSE DOCUMENTS, IF THEY BECOME
PUBLIC, CAN ACTUALLY LEAD TO
OUR OFFICERS, BOTH INTELLIGENCE
AND MILITARY, BEING KILLED, OUR ENEMIES UNDERSTANDING HOW THEY MIGHT BETTER ATTACK US.
THIS IS ABOUT AS SERIOUS AS IT GETS,
ALI.

[Ali Velshi] OF COURSE, WHEN YOU GO INTO THOSE
COMPARTMENTED AREAS, WITHOUT
YOUR PHONE, YOU CAN'T CONVEY
ANYTHING FROM THERE, YOU CAN'T TEXT ANYBODY, YOU CAN'T
TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH OF ANYTHING,
THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO.
YOU GO IN WITH YOURSELF, YOU CAN LOOK AT THINGS AND READ THEM, AND THEN YOU HAVE TO LEAVE. AND YOU CAN'T CONVEY THAT INFORMATION TO ANYBODY.
[Rep. Jim Himes] THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT.
AND THINK BACK ALI TO WHAT HAPPENED TO DAVID
PETRAEUS, AN AMERICAN PATRIOT,
A GENERAL, DIRECTOR OF THE CIA,
WHEN IT TURNED OUT THAT HE HAD
SHARED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
WITH A RELATIONSHIP OF HIS. HE
WAS GUILTY, ULTIMATELY, OF A
MISDEMEANOR. HE STEPPED DOWN AS
DIRECTOR OF THE CIA.
THERE HAVE BEEN ANY NUMBER OF
CASES OF VERY SENIOR OFFICIALS,
INCLUDING FORMER DIRECTORS OF
THE CIA. I'M THINKING OF
DIRECTOR DEUTCH, WHO GOT IN A
LOT OF TROUBLE BECAUSE, EVEN
THOUGH THEY HAVE THESE EXALTED
POSITIONS, IF YOU ACCESS THESE
DOCUMENTS OUTSIDE OF THESE
FACILITIES, YOU HAVE COMMITTED
A CRIME.
[Ali Velshi] TRUMP'S STATEMENT WAS JUST
READ ON AIR AT FOX NEWS SAYING
THAT TRUMP HAS A, QUOTE,
STANDING ORDER, END QUOTE, THAT
DOCUMENTS REMOVED FROM THE OVAL
OFFICE AND TAKEN TO THE
RESIDENCE WERE DEEMED TO BE
DECLASSIFIED.
I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH DETAILS ON THIS.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THAT'S JUST
AUTOMATICALLY, THAT IF THEY LEFT THE OVAL OFFICE AND WENT
TO MAR-A-LAGO THEY WERE, "POOF"
DECLASSIFIED. EVERYTHING I'VE HEARD IS THAT
THERE'S
A BIT MORE OF A PROCESS
INVOLVED IN THAT.
[Rep. Jim Himes] WELL, THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT. FIRST
OF ALL, I DON'T BELIEVE FOR A
SECOND THAT THAT'S TRUE, BECAUSE
I WOULD SUGGEST THAT'S A LITTLE BIT MORE
INTENTIONALITY THAN WE EVER SAW OUT OF
PRESIDENT TRUMP.
BY THE WAY, IF HE THOUGHT THAT, OR EVER
TOLD ANYONE THAT
THAT WOULD BE THE CASE, THERE
WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT 50 PEOPLE TO
SAY, "NO, SIR, THAT
DOESN'T WORK."
SO FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T BELIEVE
IT. I THINK THAT'S IN THE CATEGORY
OF TRYING TO CONVINCE PEOPLE
THAT BARACK OBAMA ALSO TOOK
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, WHICH
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
TODAY PRETTY QUICKLY SAID, "NO THAT WASN'T TRUE."
BUT, LOOK, I THINK ONE OF YOUR
EARLIER GUESTS MADE THIS POINT:
THE PRESIDENT IS A
DECLASSIFYING AUTHORITY.
THE PRESIDENT CAN SAY, 'I AM
DECLASSIFYING THIS'. IF THE
PRESIDENT DOES THAT, THERE IS
AN ELABORATE SET OF PROCEDURES
FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.
IN OTHER WORDS, PEOPLE LIKE ME
NEED TO KNOW THAT INFORMATION
THAT WE MAY HAVE ALSO SEEN IS
NOW DECLASSIFIED.
LOTS OF DOCUMENTS NEED TO HAVE
THE CLASSIFICATION HEADINGS
REMOVED.
THERE'S A REALLY ELABORATE DOCUMENTED PROCESS FOR
DECLASSIFICATION.
IT OFTEN TAKES MONTHS, BY THE WAY.
SO OF COURSE HE'S GOING TO SAY
THAT BECAUSE IT CREATES A
LITTLE BIT OF CONFUSION, AND
THROWS A LITTLE BIT OF MUD INTO
THE WATER.
BUT I CAN TELL YOU, AS SOMEBODY WHO ALSO SEES THE MOST SENSITIVE INFORMATION THAT THIS COUNTRY HAS, THAT THAT'S UTTER BALONEY.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 17, 2022 3:34 am

Cohen predicts Trump's next move following Mar-a-Lago search
by Don Lemon
CNN
Aug 16, 2022

THIS IS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION DOCUMENTS. AND HE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE IT. AND AT THE SAME TIME, HE DOESN'T REALLY HAVE THE RIGHT -- HE DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO POSSESS THEM. AND THE REAL QUESTION THAT I CONSTANTLY BRING UP IS NOT, "WHAT WERE THE DOCUMENTS?", IT'S "WHY DID HE HAVE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE." AND I BELIEVE IT'S A NEFARIOUS REASON. I BELIEVE HE WAS GONNA USE IT AS A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD TO THE GOVERNMENT: "YOU COME AFTER, YOU PUT ME IN CUFFS, YOU PUT ME IN A HOME CONFINEMENT OR INCARCERATION, AND ONE OF MY LOYAL SUPPORTERS IS GOING TO RELEASE TO THE WORLD WHERE NUCLEAR LOCATIONS ..."

[DON LEMON] [URGENT INTERRUPTION] THAT'S SPECULATION ON YOUR PART.

[MICHAEL COHEN] IT SURE IS! I'M TELLING YOU FROM THE PLAYBOOK.


Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, tells CNN's Don Lemon what he predicts the former president's next move will be following the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago.



[DON LEMON] EXCUSES, DEFLECTIONS POURING
OUT OF THE TRUMP WORLD SINCE
THE MAR-A-LAGO SEARCH CLAIMING
THAT THEY WOULD HAVE HAPPILY
HANDED OVER THE DOCUMENTS IF
ASKED.
BASICALLY SAYING THAT THE FBI
PLANTED EVIDENCE, EVEN CLAIMING THAT THE
DOCUMENTS HAD ALREADY BEEN
DECLASSIFIED.
BUT THE SHIFTING EXCUSES SHOW
HOW WORRIED THE FORMER
PRESIDENT IS.
THERE'S LOTS OF QUESTIONS.
JOINING WITH ME NOW TO DISCUSS,
DONALD TRUMP'S FORMER FIXER, I
KNOW YOU LIKE THAT, MICHAEL
COHEN, HE IS NOW THE HOST OF THE
PODCAST, MEA CULPA WITH MICHAEL COHEN, AND AUTHOR OF THE
UPCOMING BOOK, "REVENGE, HOW
DONALD TRUMP WEAPONIZED THE U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AGAINST
HIS CRITICS."
MICHAEL, THANK YOU. GOOD TO SEE YOU.
[MICHAEL COHEN] DON.
[DON LEMON] GOOD TO SEE YOU. WELCOME BACK.
[MICHAEL COHEN] THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I APPRECIATE IT.
[DON LEMON] LISTEN, SO
THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ALLIES
ARE REALLY FLOODING THE ZONE
WITH DIFFERENT EXPLANATIONS FOR
WHY SO MANY TOP SECRET
DOCUMENTS WERE FOUND AT
MAR-A-LAGO.
IS THIS THE TRUMP PLAYBOOK OVERWHELMING
THE STORY WITH DISTRACTION AND
DEFLECTION?
[MICHAEL COHEN] WELL, WITH DONALD TRUMP, AS I
ALWAYS CALL HIM -- HE'S CAPTAIN
CHAOS -- IT'S TO THROW AS MUCH AT
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THAT HE CAN
IN ORDER TO CONFUSE THEM.
BECAUSE HE TRULY BELIEVES THAT
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HAS LIKE A TWO-
DAY, MAYBE IF YOU'RE BRIGHT, A
THREE-DAY WINDOW OF REMEMBERING
WHAT WAS GOING ON.
SO HE'LL JUST KEEP FLOODING IT.
BUT THAT'S NOT WHY --
NOT WHY DONALD TRUMP IS DOING
IT.
YOU'RE RIGHT. HE'S SCARED. HE'S SCARED OF THE
DOCUMENTS THAT THEY NOW HAVE
POSSESSION AND CONTROL OVER.
BECAUSE THIS IS DOCUMENTARY
EVIDENCE. THIS IS EVIDENCE THAT
THEY CAN USE AGAINST HIM.
[DON LEMON] YOU SAY THAT THE WALLS ARE
CLOSING IN AROUND HIM. HIS
NEXT MOVE IS TO FIND A
SCAPEGOAT.
[MICHAEL COHEN] YES, I BELIEVE THAT --
[DON LEMON] BECAUSE YOU WERE A
SCAPEGOAT.
[MICHAEL COHEN] ABSOLUTELY. AND ACTUALLY THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT I TALK A LOT ABOUT IN
"REVENGE."
I TAKE YOU -- IT'S A DISECTION FROM THE BEGINNING --
WITH THE STEELE DOSSIER,
ALL THE WAY TO THE
UNCONSTITUTIONAL REMAND.
AND THERE IS A LOT THAT GOES ON INBETWEEN.
BUT I BELIEVE THE NEXT
SCAPEGOAT IS GOING TO BE RUDY COLLUDY
GIULIANI.
I BELIEVE THAT --
EVERYBODY LIKES A
BARGAIN. BUT
DONALD TRUMP REALLY LIKES A BARGAIN.
AND I BELIEVE THAT RUDY IS LIKE
A BOGO: BUY ONE, GET ONE HALF
OFF.
THEY'RE GONNA THROW HIM UNDER
THE BUS FOR MAR-A-LAGO, AND AT
THE SAME TIME, THEY'RE GONNA THROW HIM
UNDER THE BUS FOR GEORGIA,
FOR THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY FANI WILLIS' CASE IN
GEORGIA.
THEY'RE JUST GOING TO KEEP POINTING THE
FINGER.
"IT'S RUDY. IT'S RUDY. QUITE FRANKLY, I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
IT'S RUDY. JUST ASK RUDY."
[DON LEMON] SO, IT'S SURPRISING, I SHOULDN'T
BE SURPRISED, BUT TO WATCH
EVERYONE MAKE ALL THESE EXCUSES
FOR WHAT HAPPENED, AND EVEN THE
FORMER PRESIDENT, BECAUSE SOME OF THESE
EXCUSES ARE STARTING TO MUDDY
EACH OTHER, RIGHT?
IT'S LIKE, WAIT A MINUTE, DIDN'T YOU
JUST SAY THAT IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE,
AND NOW YOU'RE SAYING IT'S
SOMETHING ELSE, AND SOMEONE IS
GOING ON TELEVISION, ONE OF
YOUR PEOPLE, SAYING, "OH, IT'S NOW
THIS?"
ISN'T THE FACT OF THE MATTER THAT
YOU DID SOMETHING WRONG?
YOU JUST DON'T PACK 33 BOXES OF
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION BY
ACCIDENT.
THAT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN.
[MICHAEL COHEN] NO, BUT NOT ONLY DOES THAT NOT
HAPPEN, HE ALREADY RETURNED
MORE THAN A DOZEN BOXES. AND
THEY SIGNED A DOCUMENT STATING
THAT THERE WERE NO MORE BOXES
OF INFORMATION AT MAR-A-LAGO,
WHICH IS OF COURSE ANOTHER LIE.
BUT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE SO NUMB TO THE LIES
THAT DONALD HAS TOLD US, THAT NO
ONE IS EVEN THINKING ABOUT,
"OH YEAH, YEAH, HE JUST MADE ANOTHER
MISTAKE."
NO. THIS IS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION DOCUMENTS.
AND HE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT
TO TAKE IT. AND AT THE SAME
TIME, HE DOESN'T REALLY HAVE
THE RIGHT --
HE DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO
POSSESS THEM.
AND THE REAL QUESTION THAT I
CONSTANTLY BRING UP IS NOT,
"WHAT WERE THE DOCUMENTS?",
IT'S "WHY DID HE HAVE THEM IN
THE FIRST PLACE."
AND I BELIEVE IT'S A
NEFARIOUS REASON.
I BELIEVE HE WAS GONNA USE IT
AS A GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD
TO THE GOVERNMENT: "YOU COME
AFTER, YOU PUT ME IN CUFFS,
YOU PUT ME IN A HOME
CONFINEMENT OR INCARCERATION, AND
ONE OF MY LOYAL SUPPORTERS IS
GOING TO RELEASE TO THE WORLD
WHERE NUCLEAR LOCATIONS ..."
[DON LEMON] [URGENT INTERRUPTION BY DON LEMON: "THAT'S SPECULATION ON YOUR PART."]
[MICHAEL COHEN] IT SURE IS!
I'M TELLING YOU FROM THE PLAYBOOK.

[DON LEMON] BUT YOU DID SAY, RIGHT, THAT HE WASN'T GOING TO LEAVE, THAT HE WAS GOING TO COME UP WITH EXCUSES. YOU DID PREDICT A LOT OF THIS. SO
IN SAYING THAT, IT'S
INTERESTING, BECAUSE PEOPLE
REALLY GET UPSET WITH ME WHEN I
SAY, "OF COURSE DONALD TRUMP --
ANYONE -- SHOULD FACE
CONSEQUENCES IF THEY BREAK THE LAW. RIGHT?
NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW."
MERRICK GARLAND, THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL, SAID THAT AS WELL.
BUT OUR PRESIDENT IS ABOVE THE
LAW.
HOW DO YOU, YOU CAN'T PUT --
I'M JUST --
YOU CANNOT PUT A FORMER
PRESIDENT IN JAIL.
YOU CANNOT PUT HIM IN GENERAL POPULATION.
YOU CAN'T DO IT.
[MICHAEL COHEN] WELL, I AGREE WITH YOU.
AND WHAT I BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL DO IS, THAT THEY WILL PUT HIM
IN A HOME CONFINEMENT SITUATION
THAT IS SO SEVERE THAT IT WILL
BE --
ESPECIALLY FOR HIM --
IT WILL BE LIKE SOLITARY
CONFINEMENT.
[DON LEMON] WELL, OKAY, AGAIN:
YOU ARE SPECULATING. BUT WHAT I'M SAYING IS THAT
IT'S TOUGH TO PUT A FORMER
PRESIDENT IN JAIL, CONSIDERING WHAT THE FORMER
PRESIDENT KNOWS. HE KNOWS ABOUT THE
NUCLEAR ARSENALS. HE KNOWS
ALL KINDS OF INFORMATION,
INFORMATION THAT IS IN THOSE
TOP SECRET FILES THAT ARE IN HIS PLACE.
[MICHAEL COHEN] AND HE WOULD SELL IT TO
ANYBODY IN PRISON FOR A BAG OF
TUNA.
[DON LEMON] AGAIN, THOSE ARE YOUR WORDS.
[MICHAEL COHEN] IT IS MY WORDS.

[DON LEMON] SO LISTEN, ON THE OTHER HAND THERE IS THIS NEW YORK
TIMES REPORTING TONIGHT THAT
THE FORMER TRUMP ORGANIZATION CFO ALLEN
WEISSELBERG IS CLOSE TO MAKING
A PLEA DEAL WITH THE MANHATTAN PROSECUTOR. AND COULD SERVE
FIVE MONTHS IN PRISON.
NOW LISTEN, HE IS NOT EXPECTED TO COOPERATE
WITH ANY OTHER INVESTIGATION.
TRUMP HAS BEEN FURIOUS THAT
YOU DID NOT REMAIN AS
LOYAL TO HIM AS HE WANTED YOU
TO. RIGHT?
SO IS IT LOYALTY TO THE END? TO WHAT END?
[MICHAEL COHEN] TO ALLEN'S DEMISE AS WELL. WHAT BOTHERS ME IS I
GOT A SENTENCE OF 36 MONTHS.
BUT THEN AGAIN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
DISTINCTION
BETWEEN THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S
OFFICE.
THE JUDGES IN THE DISTRICT
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, THEY ARE
VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE JUDGES
AT THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT --
THE FEDERAL COURT JUDGES --
IN THE FACT THAT, THEY REALLY
DO GET DOWN INTO THE MUD WITH
THESE PLEA DEALS.
AND FOR ALLEN TO ONLY END UP
WITH FIVE MONTHS WHEN THE
AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT HE DIDN'T
PAY TAXES ON WAS GREATER, IN
FACT, THAN WHAT I DIDN'T PAY,
AND ON TOP OF THAT, HE REFUSES
TO COOPERATE.
I PROVIDED OVER 800 HOURS OF
COOPERATION.
IN FACT, I'VE OPENED UP MORE THAN A
DOZEN INVESTIGATIONS.
[DON LEMON] TWO THINGS, WHY DO PEOPLE
REMAIN LOYAL TO HIM TO THE END?
[MICHAEL COHEN] BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID.
THERE'S NO OTHER ANSWER TO
THAT.
THEY'RE STUPID.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE
THINKING. I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY'RE THINKING
WHAT IT IS THEY ARE THINKING.
BUT THEY ARE. AND THEY THINK HE
IS GOING TO COME TO THE RESCUE
AT THE END.
NO. THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS.
HE POINTS THE FINGER, AND HE
SAYS, "IT'S MICHAEL, IT'S ALLEN,
IT'S
RUDY." IT'S ALWAYS SOMEBODY. HE'LL THROW HIS OWN KIDS
UNDER THE BUS BEFORE HIMSELF.
[DON LEMON] CONSIDERING WHAT YOU WENT
THROUGH WITH THE FORMER
PRESIDENT, DO YOU BELIEVE THAT
PRESIDENTS ARE ABOVE THE LAW?
[MICHAEL COHEN] ABSOLUTELY NOT.
[DON LEMON] OKAY. THANK YOU, MICHAEL COHEN.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:09 am

Tribe: Merrick Garland Has A 'Slam Dunk Case' Against Trump
by Lawrence O'Donnell
MSNBC
Aug 16, 2022

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell speaks to Harvard constitutional law Professor Laurence Tribe about new details of the Justice Department investigation into the classified documents that were recovered from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home and a New York Times report that quotes Trump’s saying this about the documents: “It's not theirs, it's mine."

[LAWRENCE O'DONNELL' PROFESSOR TRIBE, I'M VERY EAGER TO HEAR FROM YOU TONIGHT.
THIS IS THE FIRST CHANCE WE GET TO HEAR YOUR REACTION ABOUT WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE TRUMP SEARCH WARRANT WHEN WAS RELEASED LAST WEEK, AND WHAT YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN IN THE JUDGE'S HEARING ON THURSDAY ABOUT WHETHER TO RELEASE THE UNDERLYING AFFIDAVIT.
>> WELL, I EXPECT THE JUDGE
WILL GO ALONG WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND NOT
RELEASE THE UNDERLYING
AFFIDAVIT.
THE REASONS ARE COMPELLING.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPELLED THEM
OUT.
THERE WOULD BE DANGER TO
WITNESSES, DANGER TO ONGOING
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS, DANGER
TO THE SECURITY OF THE UNITED
STATES, AND A VIOLATION OF
IMPORTANT RULES ABOUT GRAND JURY
SECRECY.
IT'S HARD TO BLAME THE NEWS
ORGANIZATIONS FOR ASKING TO SEE
THE UNREDACTED AFFIDAVIT AND
ALL THE UNDERLYING INFORMATION.
THAT'S THEIR JOB.
THE FOURTH ESTATE WANTS TO
RELEASE INFORMATION, BUT THEY
KNOW THAT'S GOING TO BE DENIED.
WHEN DONALD TRUMP FROM THE
SIDELINES SAYS, I THINK IT
SHOULD BE RELEASED BUT AS YOU
POINT OUT DOESN'T ACTUALLY MAKE
A MOTION, HE IS TRYING AS
ALWAYS TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE.
IT'S CYNICAL IN THE EXTREME.
IF HE REALLY WERE SINCERE, WHAT WE CAN
CONCLUDE IS THAT HE IS WILLING
TO ENDANGER THE NATIONAL
SECURITY, NOT THAT WE DIDN'T
KNOW THAT ALREADY.
WE KNOW THAT IF HE WAS SINCERE,
IT WOULD MEAN THAT HE WOULD BE QUITE HAPPY TO
DISCLOSE SOURCES AND METHODS OF GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION OF THE MOST
SENSITIVE TYPE PROBABLY
ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON
POST INCLUDING NUCLEAR SECRETS.
ON THE OTHER HAND IF HE'S
INSINCERE AND IF HE'S JUST
BEING CYNICAL, WHAT WE KNOW IS
THAT HE IS WILLING TO PAINT A
TARGET ON THE BACKS OF HARD-WORKING, COMPETENT AND DECENT
FBI AGENTS WHO ARE ALREADY
BEING THREATENED BY SAYING,
YOU SEE THEY'RE HIDING
SOMETHING.
THIS IS ALL A PLOT BY BIDEN.
AS I SAY, HE WANTS TO HAVE IT
BOTH WAYS.
BUT IN THE PROCESS HE REVEALS
AS CRIMINAL A STATE OF MIND AS
HE POSSIBLY COULD.
>> ADDED TO OUR INFORMATION
TONIGHT IS THE NEW YORK TIMES
REPORTING SAYING THAT THE
FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE
COUNSEL WAS TRYING TO GET
DOCUMENTS RETURNED FROM FLORIDA
O THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
AND THAT DONALD TRUMP WAS
RESISTING HIM, RESISTING HIS
ATTEMPTS TO DO THAT, AND THEN,
IN THAT SAME PASSAGE, THE NEW
YORK TIMES QUOTES SEVERAL AIDES,
UNNAMED AIDES, SAYING THAT
DONALD TRUMP SAID ABOUT THAT
MATERIAL AT MAR-A-LAGO, IT IS
NOT THEIRS, IT'S MINE.
IF THAT'S TRUE, IF THEY CAN
PRODUCE SEVERAL WITNESSES, AND
IF THE FBI HAS ALREADY TALKED
TO SEVERAL WITNESSES WHO HAVE
HEARD DONALD TRUMP SAY THAT
ABOUT THE MATERIAL THAT HE WAS
KEEPING THERE, IT'S NOT THERE'S,
IT'S MINE, IS THAT ESSENTIALLY
A CONFESSION?
>> WELL I THINK, AS ADAM SCHIFF
TOLD YOU EARLIER, YOU ARE RIGHT
IN TREATING IT THAT WAY.
IT'S LIKE THE BURGLAR WHO SAYS,
I'M NOT HOLDING THIS STUFF FOR
THE PEOPLE WHO CLAIM IT'S
THEIRS.
IT IS NOW MINE.
I OWN IT.
WELL, THAT IS BASICALLY HIM
SAYING THAT HE OWNS MATERIAL
THAT REALLY BELONGS TO THE
PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.
HE CLAIMED TO HAVE DECLASSIFIED
EVERYTHING.
THAT IS JUST BS.
THERE IS NO MAGIC
DECLASSIFICATION.
AND ANYWAY, MERRICK GARLAND WAS
VERY CAREFUL IN THE THREE
STATUTES THAT WERE CITED, TO
CITE LAWS THAT WERE VIOLATED BY
HOLDING ON TO THIS MATERIAL,
THAT DID NOT DEPEND ON WHETHER
IT WAS CLASSIFIED OR NOT.
IT WAS MATERIAL THAT WOULD BE
HIGHLY DAMAGING TO THE COUNTRY
IF RELEASED, OR IF POSSESSED BY
SOMEONE WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO
POSSESS IT IN INSECURE
CIRCUMSTANCES.
SO THIS IS REALLY A SLAM DUNK
CASE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SEEMS TO BE BUILDING AGAINST
THE FORMER PRESIDENT, QUITE
APART FROM HIS INSURRECTION AND
ALL THE OTHER FEDERAL CRIMES.
>> WELL, YEAH, THE INSURRECTION,
BECAUSE THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT'S
MOTION ON THIS REFERS TO
OTHER POTENTIAL CASES, THAT
RELEASING THIS AFFIDAVIT COULD
JEOPARDIZE OTHER INVESTIGATIONS
THAT THEY ARE CONDUCTING.
THEY CALL THEM HIGH PROFILE
INVESTIGATIONS.
THAT WOULD OBVIOUSLY BE THE
JANUARY 6TH INVESTIGATION AND
THE ATTEMPT TO OVERTHROW THE
ELECTION.
>> EXACTLY.
AND WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED VERY
CLEARLY IS THAT THE SEARCH AND
SEIZURE WERE NOT SIMPLY EFFORTS
TO GRAB THIS STUFF BEFORE THE
PRESIDENT COULD MONETIZE IT OR
SELL IT TO SOMEONE, PUT IT BACK
IN THE SECURE HANDS OF THE
NATIONAL ARCHIVES, AND GET IT
OUT FROM UNDER IT'S COMPLETELY
UNRELIABLE GREEDY CUSTODIAN.
THAT'S WHAT SOME PEOPLE THOUGHT
THIS WAS ALL ABOUT.
IT WASN'T PART OF A CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATION, IT WAS SIMPLY AN
ATTEMPT TO REPATRIATE THE
MATERIAL.
NOW WE KNOW THAT IT WAS MUCH MORE
THAN THAT.
WE KNOW THAT IT IS PART OF CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATIONS, AND NOT ONLY
INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVING THE
WRONGFUL POSSESSION AND
POTENTIAL MISUSE OF TOP SECRET
INFORMATION, BUT OTHER CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATIONS OF A
HIGH-PROFILE NATURE.
IT IS NOT TOO HARD TO IMAGINE
WHAT SOME OF THOSE MIGHT BE.
SO, I THINK WE ARE MOVING
CLOSER TO THE POINT OF HOLDING
THIS -- MAN.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO -- I WAS GOING TO
CALL HIM A TRAITOR, BUT THAT'S NOT
QUITE RIGHT, IT'S NOT TREASON,
BUT HOLDING THIS PERSON WHO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE SECURITY OF OUR COUNTRY ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS CRIMES.

**************************

‘It’s not theirs, it’s mine’: Trump resisted advisers’ calls to return White House documents
by UK Independent
Tue, August 16, 2022 at 2:13 PM·2 min read

Donald Trump was warned that the records he was holding on to were illegally retained, but the former president refused to give them back because he disagreed with that assertion, a new report claims.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Mr Trump flat-out refused to return boxes of documents, including some that apparently were marked classified, when approached by his former deputy White House counsel, Patrick Philbin.

And he wasn’t alone – multiple other aides to the president reportedly told him the same thing. But Mr Trump resisted, telling them “it’s not theirs, it’s mine” on several occaisions, referring to the stash of documents.

The new reporting could help the Justice Department prove its case if charges are brought against him for the retention of classified materials, as it demonstrates that Mr Trump could or should have known that what he was doing was criminal in nature.

The former president has rolled through a number of conspiracies and thin defences since the raid at his estate last Monday. He has baselessly accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of doing the same thing, while also speculating that FBI agents will plant incriminating evidence in the boxes seized from his residence.

His escalating rhetoric against the bureau has led to a dramatic rise in threats, according to officials, since the Mar-a-Lago search including an armed protest in front of a Phoenix FBI building and a gunman attacking a FBI headquarters in Cincinnatti before dying in a shootout with police.

Over the weekend the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a joint memo detailing the enhanced threat environment, and a statement to The Independent about the threats they have seen on social media and other platforms.

"The FBI is always concerned about violence and threats of violence to law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI. We work closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous. As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately,” a spokesperson for the agency said on Monday.
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 17, 2022 6:53 am

An Oval Office incident from 2019 perfectly illustrates Trump's approach to state secrets, say ex intel officials. “He said, ‘Look, I’m the president, I can declassify anything,’” according to a former official.
By Ken Dilanian
NBC News
Aug. 16, 2022, 11:33 AM MDT

Senior intelligence officials realized early on that President Donald Trump wasn’t going to read even short written summaries of his regular intelligence briefings. So the CIA officers who prepared the briefings made sure they came to the Oval Office laden with striking images, pared-down charts and slick graphics designed to grab the president’s fleeting interest, several officials familiar with the briefings told NBC News.

“To secure his attention, you had to use images and catchy headlines, even better if they had his name in them,” said Doug London, a former CIA officer who helped assemble the briefing material.

On Aug. 30, 2019, top spies learned the dangers of that approach. What unfolded that day became an infamous moment in the Trump presidency — one that former intelligence officials say perfectly illustrated his approach to dealing with state secrets. A former senior intelligence official with firsthand knowledge told NBC News that Trump did indeed tweet a highly classified image taken by a secret spy satellite, as many experts suspected at the time. And in doing so, the official and others said, Trump gave U.S. adversaries keen insights into the U.S. capabilities to spy from above.

“The president tweeted a picture of an Iranian missile launch site that showed a failed ICBM test launch that everybody acknowledged was a highly classified picture taken from space,” former national security adviser John Bolton, who was in Poland when it happened, told NBC News Monday. “He tweeted it out, and that of course declassified it by definition, but also showed what could happen when such a picture, even on a Twitter attachment, was then able to be analyzed by foreign intelligence services.”

[x]
An image taken from President Donald Trump's Twitter account shows an undated photo after an explosion at Iran's Imam Khomeini Space Center on Aug. 29, 2019.Donald J. Trump Twitter account via AP

Bolton and others familiar with it say the episode is emblematic of a mindset in which Trump or people close to him thought it was permissible to bring and store what the FBI says are highly classified documents to his compound in Mar-a-Lago.

“He spent no time understanding what made something a secret and what we protected,” a second former senior intelligence official said.

The former senior official directly familiar with the matter explained to NBC News that the president’s intelligence briefing that day included a photo from one of the America’s premier spy satellites — an image with resolution far superior to anything on the commercial market. The photo showed the aftermath of a catastrophic failure of an Iranian rocket launch.

“We had this image of the Iranian missile blown up, and it was exquisite intelligence, and he didn’t even wait,” the former official said. “As soon as we showed him, he said, ‘Hey, I’m tweeting this.’”

The official said CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire tried to talk Trump out of doing it, noting that the U.S. spent billions of dollars developing capabilities to capture images from space, and told Trump, “You can’t do this. If you put this out, they’re going understand what our capability is.”

But the former official said Trump was unmoved.

“He said, 'Look, I’m the president, I can declassify anything,'” the official said.

Trump was told he was correct, but the intelligence officials asked Trump to wait, so they could provide the same image with less resolution, the official said.

Robert O’Brien, who was soon to replace Bolton as national security adviser, and Vice President Mike Pence were also in the briefing, the former official said.

Pence, O’Brien, Haspel and Maguire all declined to comment. Former President Trump’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Presidents have declassified satellite photos in the past, as when President John Kennedy released photographs of Soviet missile sites during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. But in that and other cases, the government went through a process to make sure no sources or methods were exposed.

The satellite photo wasn’t the only instance in which Trump was accused of releasing classified information.

As NBC News reported at the time, Trump in May 2017 told the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office that the Islamic State had used stolen airport security equipment to test a bomb that could be hidden in electronic devices and slipped undetected into an airplane cabin, the officials said. And he named the city in ISIS-held Syria where the intelligence was gathered, the officials added.

After the Iran photo incident, the former official said, senior intelligence officials resolved never again to bring highly classified images to the Oval Office.

Bolton, the former national security adviser, and London, the former CIA officer, said Trump would ask for highly classified images, charts or other documents.

“The president had a habit of asking to retain sensitive documents and from time to time, he did that and we didn’t know what happened to them,” Bolton said. “And it was always a concern, because he didn’t really fully understand the risks to sources and methods and other dangers of revealing classified information that it might get out to the wrong people.”

London said, “If he decided he liked something he saw, you would have to wrestle it back.”

To counter that, London said, briefers would use images blown up to the size of posters so Trump could not take them.

Another former senior intelligence official said Trump “didn’t behave as if he felt an obligation to protect secrets. He didn’t seem to understand.”

Mark Zaid, a lawyer who handles cases involving intelligence officers and classified information, told NBC News that Trump alone could not have been responsible for all the classified material that found its way to Mar-a-Lago.

“I don’t think anyone realistically thinks that Donald Trump took the documents off of his desk, pack them in a U-Haul box, put them on the helicopter, picked it up off the helicopter, put it in Mar-a-Lago,” he said. “Others did it for him. There must be several other people at least, who are in the scope and eyes of the Justice Department for prosecution under the Espionage Act and other statutes.”
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Re: Trump lashes out at Gov. Doug Ducey following certificat

Postby admin » Wed Aug 17, 2022 9:25 pm

Secret Service held onto Pelosi threat until after insurrection
by Jordan Libowitz and Lauren White
citizensforethics.org
August 17, 2022

The Secret Service knew of a threat to Nancy Pelosi on January 6th days before the insurrection, but did not pass it along until hours after the Capitol had been breached, according to Secret Service emails obtained by CREW.

On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook.

On December 31, the account posted,

“January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING”


and listed “Enemies,” including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service:

“Good afternoon, The US Secret Service is passing notification to the US Capitol Police regarding discovery of a social media threat directed toward Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”


The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021.

It was far from the only troubling post the Secret Service found tied to this account. A Twitter post from the same day as the threat against Pelosi listed,

“TIPS FOR THE BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS PATRIOTS GOING TO DC TO FORCE CONGRESS TO REFUSE BIDEN’S RIGGED ELECTION.”


The “tips” included warnings such as

“Keep MAGA gear hidden until AFTER checking in”


at hotels,

“DC is very BLUE and a hotbed for ANTIFA/BLM. Stay with the large group, especially at night,”


and “be wary” of DC police officers.

As January 6 loomed, the threats got more specific.

“Biden will die shortly after being elected,”


the account posted on January 2nd.

“Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario.”


“We’re all on a mission to save America. Lone wolf attacks are the way to go,”


read a post the following day.

“Stay anonymous. Stay alive. Guns up Patriots!!”


In the past month, we’ve learned that the Secret Service failed to prepare for violence on January 6 despite receiving explicit warnings, then deleted key evidence from the day, likely breaking the law. The delay in notifying Capitol Police about the threat to the Speaker of the House only adds to the impression that the agency failed to do its job, and leads to more questions. Why did the agency wait two days, until after the Capitol had been breached and Congressional leaders were in hiding to pass it along?
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