Showing posts with label Mike Pence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Pence. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting the aide, Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said.

Flynn was interviewed by the FBI about his telephone conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., a sign his ties to Russia had caught the attention of law enforcement officials.
Though the WH had known about Flynn's discussions with the Russians since January 26, when they were informed by acting-AG Sally Yates and another official that he was vulnerable to blackmail, no one bothered to inform Pence.  Yet he was sent out to defend Flynn publicly in a TV interview and declare the conversations about sanctions had not happened.
Pence, who had vouched for Flynn in a televised interview, is said to have been angry and deeply frustrated.
How many ways to say out of the loop?  Team Trump humiliated Pence, and now he is angry.  Still, I expect he's not angry enough to resign his potted plant position in the Trump maladministration, because he is the gentleman-in-waiting should something go wrong.

According to the "retelling" from the White House, Flynn had done nothing illegal, but his downfall came because he lied to WH officials. Why was the erosion of trust in Flynn "slow and steady"?  Trump values loyalty above all.  It seems not to matter if his close advisers do not know what the hell they are doing or whether they tell the truth.  Why would truth matter when the boss lies repeatedly? Thus, loyalty trumps everything else, even if the result is chaos and certain staff members are thrown under the bus.

What about Kellyanne Conway?  What did she know, and when did she know it?  Conway is the most visible of Trump's loyal supporters defending him on TV.  Is she out of the loop, too?  A couple of hours before the information about Flynn's "resignation", she said the security adviser had Trump's "full confidence".

If you'd like to walk through the looking glass with Matt Lauer and his interview with Kellyanne Conway this morning, you may or may not find the answer to the question about whether she was out of the loop.

I confess that I was dizzy, rather than enlightened by the walk, but that's just me.

Here's the video of the interview. Conway's ability to remain upright through this long spin is amazing.

Monday, February 13, 2017


What did Donald Trump know, and when did he know about Mike Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador?

What did Mike Pence know, and when did he know it?

When will the investigations of the Russian connections begin? Congress? Congress?

When will Mike Flynn be fired or step down? Will Flynn go quietly? Was he following orders? Whose orders?

That's not to mention Steve Bannon, a white supremacist, conspiracy theorist, and general menace who should be nowhere near the White House. Bannon also has Russian connections.
“Steve Bannon, who is the leader of alt-right remember, he runs the alt-right media arm, which is the white supremacist, neo-Nazi arm of the conservative movement,” [Malcolm] Nance said. “He is a believer in what is called Duginism. There’s a guy, Alexander Dugin … He is a Russian that is sort of the Rasputin of the anti-democratic movement in eastern Europe that hates the liberal elite.”

The analyst believes Bannon is setting the strategy for the White House. He told host Joy Reid that Bannon was ultimately attempting to push for Eurasianism, which would “align the United States and Russia together in a Christian war against Islam.”
Nance, who comments frequently on MSNBC, is "a retired United States Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer in naval cryptology and author, scholar and media commentator on international terrorism, intelligence, insurgency and torture." (Wikipedia)

And what about Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon Mobile, now Secretary of State, and his previous lobbying against Russian oil sanctions, which he claims was not lobbying?
I have never lobbied against sanctions,” Tillerson said. “To my knowledge, Exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions.”

This seems hard to believe. Indeed, after the second line, Sen. Bob Corker, the Republican chair of the committee, interjected: "I think you called me at the time [Russia sanctions were being debated]," he said. The public record backs him up: There is abundant and clear evidence that Exxon did lobby on sanctions under Tillerson’s leadership.

“In your mind, calling a United States senator to express your belief that sanctions are not effective is not lobbying,”[Sen. Chris] Murphy said. “In my view, that is a distinction without a difference.”
If the Pandora's box of Russian connections between Trump's cabinet and staff is ever opened, much will be revealed.