本帖由 ccc 于 2017-08-02 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
SEAN SPICER REGRETS THAT HE ‘BROUGHT EMBARRASSMENT TO MYSELF AND MY FAMILY’ DURING TIME AS TRUMP’S PRESS SECRETARY
Sean Spicer, the former press secretary for President Donald Trump, said Monday that he regrets the moments of his employment in the White House that "brought embarrassment" to himself and his family.
The GOP’s new tactic to protect Trump from Mueller is a transparent ruse
Last night, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release to the public the now-notorious memo created by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). At the same time, they have not said whether they will allow the public release of the rebuttal to that memo authored by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the committee’s ranking Democrat, though they have agreed to release it to all members of the House to read.
Under the House rule used in last night’s vote, President Trump now has five days to decide whether to release the memo. The White House has already said it wants the memo released, presumably to help build the case — supposedly supported by the memo — that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe actually constitutes an ongoing Deep State Coup to dislodge the president.
Powerful GOP watchdog Trey Gowdy becomes latest Republican to call it quits
WASHINGTON – Rep. Trey Gowdy, a powerful GOP watchdog who built his name leading the investigation into the 2012 attacks against Americans in Benghazi, Libya, has become the latest prominent Republican to head for the exits rather than run for another term.
The former South Carolina prosecutor who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said in a statement Wednesday that he planned to return to the justice system, though he did not elaborate.
U.S. President Donald Trump shortly after delivering his first State of the Union address Tuesday night. Democrats, and others, see Trump's criticisms of federal law enforcement as a dangerous attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. (Pete Marovich / GETTY IMAGES)
By Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Chief
Wed., Jan. 31, 2018
WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump is at war with his own law enforcement officials. More than ever before, he has backup from his party.
And law enforcement has started pushing back.
The day after Trump’s State of the Union address was dominated by an extraordinary series of developments in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice challenged Trump both on the record and through what appeared to be anonymous leaks to CNN.
The until-recently-unusual spectre of the “law-and-order” party attempting to undermine law enforcement agencies comes during the ongoing special counsel investigation of the Trump campaign’s links to the Russian government. Democrats, and others, see Republicans’ criticism as an attempt to protect the president by diminishing public faith in Robert Mueller’s probe.
“We’re no longer dealing in the realm of facts and reason when it comes to grave matters of security and justice,” Amanda Carpenter, a Republican former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, wrote in Politico. “We are, at Donald Trump’s behest, fully engulfed in a narrative explicitly designed to impugn and destroy the credibility of the law enforcement agency tasked with investigating the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia during the 2016 election.”
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In seeking short-term political gain, Trump and his allies will do long-term damage to federal law enforcement, said Matthew Miller, Justice spokesperson during the Obama administration. He pointed to the effects of conservatives’ attacks on other pillars of U.S. society.
“The first one they went after, starting decades ago, was the media. Now Republicans don’t believe what they hear on any channel other than Fox News. Then they moved to scientists … and now you see in polls Republicans who just don’t believe in scientists. They’ve turned on universities, and you see this rising discontent among conservatives about university. They are now turning on federal law enforcement,” Miller said in an interview.
“And if a significant percentage of the population — 35, 40 per cent — believes that federal law enforcement is biased, you’ll see those people less likely to co-operate with investigations, less likely to blow the whistle, and less likely to believe DOJ prosecutors when they sit on juries. It is extremely damaging to the long-term ability of those institutions to do their jobs.”
Others said Trump’s actions were risking deep damage to his own government.
“The growing and dizzying array of threats by Trump, and threats by officials to resign in response to Trump’s threats, suggest that this is not a stable situation (how could it be?),” Jack Goldsmith, an assistant attorney general in George W. Bush’s Republican administration, said on Twitter on Saturday.
“When Trump finally gets tired of being ignored and follows through on something stupid, the executive branch meltdown will be severe, to his enormous detriment (and hopefully not the country’s).”
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, after a Tuesday meeting with House GOP members on Capitol Hill. Nunes is at the centre of a controversy over the potential release of a secret memo purported to show improper use of surveillance by the FBI and Justice Department. (Mark Wilson/GETTY IMAGES)
The Republican attacks have been encouraged by increasingly conspiratorial Fox coverage centred on what hosts have called a “Deep State” attempting to topple Trump. Senior Republican politicians who once kept their distance from such arguments have begun to echo their language.
“Cleanse the organization,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said of the FBI on Tuesday.
The most dramatic developments on Wednesday centred on a secret four-page memorandum, authored by aides to pro-Trump chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, that Nunes claims will reveal “abuses” by the FBI in investigating Trump’s campaign.
Republican politicians have made a rallying cry of the phrase “release the memo.” (Ryan made his “cleanse” remark while speaking about the memo.) And they voted last week to do so despite the formal objections of a top Justice Department official who said a release “would be extraordinarily reckless” if Justice was not given a chance to review the memo and advise of possible harm.
Trump has not made a final decision. But when a Republican congressman urged him after his Tuesday speech to release the memo, he breezily said, “Don’t worry, 100 per cent.”
Trump’s hand-picked FBI director, Christopher Wray, and hand-picked Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, pleaded with Trump’s chief of staff on Monday not to release the memo, the Washington Post has reported. And then they went further.
In a move that has no obvious recent precedent, the FBI made its objections public on Wednesday — and effectively endorsed the view of Democrats who have called the memo highly misleading.
“As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the FBI said.
Later in the afternoon, CNN broke two stories that further called into question Trump’s interactions with and statements about law enforcement.
The first reported that Trump had asked Rosenstein if Rosenstein was “on my team” — a request that echoes his widely criticized alleged request for “loyalty” from then-FBI director James Comey — and suggested to lawmakers questions they could ask Rosenstein to try to discredit the Mueller probe.
The second reported that Peter Strzok, the FBI agent removed from the Mueller probe over text messages in which he criticized Trump, had supported the FBI’s late-campaign decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Republicans, including Trump, had previously seized on Strzok’s texts as evidence of FBI bias against him.
All of this comes just two days after the FBI’s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, stepped down under fierce pressure from Trump, who had accused him of bias because his wife’s Democratic campaign for a seat in Virginia’s state senate received political donations from allies of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an ally of Clinton.
That, in turn, came four days after the New York Times reported Trump had ordered Mueller’s firing but backed off when White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to quit.
All of the turmoil raised bipartisan fears that Trump would attempt another round of firings — of Rosenstein, with whom he is now engaged in a multi-front battle, or perhaps of Mueller once more. Democrats have warned that terminating Mueller would create the biggest crisis of Trump’s presidency.
If Trump refrains or is restrained from self-harm, however, his Fox-aided campaign to persuade Americans not to trust law enforcement may create an outcome that works for him personally even as it hurts the country more broadly.
If Republican voters have scant faith in Mueller and the Justice Department, their representatives are especially unlikely to pursue justice in the form of impeachment or resignation pressure, no matter what the facts say.
Said Miller: “When Bob Mueller finishes his work, he may have damning evidence against the president — and there will be a certain percentage of Americans who just refuse to believe him.”
(CNN) President Donald Trump has already canned one FBI director.
Now's he's getting close to the point of no return with his replacement.
The bureau's public call for the White House to halt publication of a Republican memo condemning its conduct in the Russia investigation puts FBI Director Christopher Wray in open conflict with the President -- and his job on the line.
The statement expressing "grave concerns" about the release of the memo, possibly as soon as Thursday, was more significant than the usual wrangling inside the US government over the release of intelligence material.
It represented a strong statement of independence from Wray, and a firm defense of his bureau that comes at the risk of infuriating the President, who has a record of demanding personal loyalty from top intelligence officials.
"He is putting his job before loyalty to the President," former US Attorney Preet Bharara told CNN, outlining a scenario that has often not ended well for top officials in the law enforcement community during the Trump administration.
Trump is telling associates that he believes the memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools could help discredit the Russia investigation, multiple sources familiar with White House discussions told CNN reporters.
He is also upset about the FBI statement and angry at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.
Clash between White House, intelligence community
But the showdown is about more than a memo -- it is a symptom of the intense crisis of trust between Trump and his own intelligence agencies, even those led by his own appointees. It is playing out against a coordinated attempt by the President and allies to discredit the Russia investigation. And ultimately, this latest tussle is rooted in the President's expressed belief that a "deep state" cabal in US spy and law enforcement agencies is conspiring against him in order to invalidate his 2016 election win.
The FBI is concerned that the memo, produced by Trump ally Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is inaccurate, distorts facts and could compromise classified intelligence. Late Wednesday night, the committee's top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, injected new drama into the standoff, accusing Nunes of sending a "materially different" memo to the White House than the version on which the committee voted. A spokesman for Nunes said the changes included minor "grammatical fixes" and edits requested by the FBI "and by the minority themselves."
"Not only do they have those concerns, but that they are stating them publicly, I guess in a manner in defiance of the President, is not something I have seen before," said Bharara, who is now a CNN commentator.
The confrontation between the White House and Wray escalated on another frenzied day in Washington, when revelations from the Russia probe and ominous signs of a building crisis over its outcome seem to come by the hour.
CNN reported that Trump asked another appointee, Rosenstein, in December where the Russia investigation -- which he oversees -- was heading, and whether he was "on my team."
The incident appeared to be yet another occasion when Trump may have crossed traditional firewalls between the White House and the FBI designed to shield the agencies from accusations of political interference.
Fired FBI chief James Comey testified last year that Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge. The President also asked former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who resigned this week, who he had voted for in the 2016 election, The Washington Post reported last week.
Bracing for memo's release
Wednesday's events thickened the plot surrounding Mueller's probe, which is examining whether Trump obstructed justice in his firing of Comey and whether his campaign team colluded with Russia's meddling in the election.
The revelations appeared to add new anecdotal evidence to suspicions that the White House and allies on Capitol Hill are politicizing intelligence and crushing long established norms in order to protect the President.
Washington is on tenterhooks for the release of the Nunes memo, which Republicans say shows a dossier about Trump and Russia written by a former British intelligence agent was misused to secure a surveillance warrant for former campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Trump told a lawmaker after the State of the Union address Tuesday that he would "100%" release the memo. Chief of staff John Kelly said on Fox News Radio it would be released "pretty quick." White House officials told CNN's Jeff Zeleny that the memo could be out as early as Thursday. But it was unclear if the FBI's vehement public objection, following personal appeals to top White House staff by Wray and Rosenstein would change minds in the West Wing. Former CIA director James Woolsey told CNN Wednesday that it was possible the showdown could be defused by making redactions to the document.
The memo, however, has become such a political cause celebrate among conservatives that it would be extraordinarily difficult politically for Trump to back down, even if he cites national security concerns.
In a statement, the FBI said it has grave concerns about "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy."
Democrats say the GOP selectively used intelligence to misrepresent how the dossier was used and to cast the FBI in a bad light.
Nunes pushed back, saying that it was not surprising that the FBI and the Justice Department were raising "spurious" objections to letting the American people know the truth about their surveillance "abuses."
Other Republicans insisted the memo would demonstrate there was serious wrongdoing at the FBI and the Department of Justice that the public needed to see.
"It is going to show FISA abuse took place and there was misconduct at the highest levels of both agencies," New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin told CNN's Erin Burnett on Wednesday.
Questions over panel's impartiality
The alliance between Nunes and Trump raises the question of whether the House committee, under a chairman who played a key role on the transition team, has now ceded its oversight role and become a tool in the political attacks on the FBI by the President.
Nunes was already a controversial figure because he dropped a bombshell last year by claiming that Trump campaign officials had been swept up in surveillance by US intelligence agencies and rushed to brief Trump.
In a bizarre twist, it only emerged later that he actually got the information in the first place from Trump aides, raising questions over whether he was taking part in an elaborate plot to discredit the FBI investigation.
"It almost seems like the chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence acts as an agent of the White House," former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday.
But Nunes is not acting alone. On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was once often critical of Trump but has emerged as an important ally, said he backed putting out the memo.
Questions about the motives of the White House and Nunes were bolstered on Wednesday with the release of a transcript of a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Republican memo.
In one exchange, Nunes hedged when asked by Democratic member Mike Quigley whether his staff wrote the memo with conversations or consultations with anyone at the White House.
"I would just answer, as far as I know, no," Nunes replied.
However the showdown turns out, it is certain to further strain relations between Trump and intelligence and judicial authorities.
"This is about a unique experience when a Republican president and a Republican congressmen, tell us that a Republican Department of Justice and a Republican FBI are are actually representative of the deep state," said Phil Mudd, a former CIA and FBI official who is now a CNN commentator.
"It is us versus them and the President has said, 'if you don't believe in me, you are off the team.'"
36氪 02-01 21:35
(CNN) On Thursday morning President Donald Trump said something that wasn't true.
"Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech," he tweeted. "45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. @FoxNews beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!"
And I quote: "45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history."
This is not true.
Know how I know? Because, well, I typed "highest rated State of the union Speeches" into Google. And it sent me to the Nielsen website. There I learned that Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night was actually the sixth most watched of all time. In fact, Trump's speech on Tuesday attracted 2 million fewer viewers than his SOTU-like speech last year. (Newly sworn-in presidents address Congress but the speech is not called a State of the union.)
Why lie about something that is so easily proven wrong? Good question! I have 3 theories:
1. Trump heard somewhere -- likely "Fox & Friends" -- that his State of the Union was the most-watched in history. So, he tweeted it. The end. Might he have misheard it from Fox (or wherever)? Sure. It's possible that it was the most-watched among a certain segment of the population and Trump just missed that part. Or, wherever he heard it just got it flat wrong.
2. Trump is unaware he is lying. Trump is someone who has spent much of his adult life telling himself a story about his own life in which he is the benevolent hero. I'm not sure that if he took a lie detector test and was asked about some of his prominent lies (inauguration crowd size, Muslims celebrating on New Jersey roofs on 9/11, etc.) he would fail. There is the real possibility he believes the untruths because, well, he needs to.
3. Trump knows he is lying and doesn't care. This follows the same logic as theory #2 except for the fact that Trump is self aware enough to know that he is deceiving people by pushing out untruths -- and he just doesn't care. If it works for him and the point he wants to make -- in this case: I am extremely popular and watchable -- then he says it. Whether it's, you know, true or not, is immaterial.
Regardless of the "why" what we know now is that this President is saying things that aren't true at a remarkably fast pace. According to stats kept by The Washington Post's Fact Checker, Trump said more than 2,000 things that were either totally false or broadly misleading before he had even spent a full year in office.
Trump's prevaricating isn't a glitch, it's a feature. He makes false statements compulsively -- and shows zero willingness to adjust those statements if and when he is proven wrong. (The Post's Fact Checker found 70 separate false claims that Trump had repeated at least three times; Trump has, wrongly, asserted that his tax cut was the biggest in American history more than 55 times. 55!
And the counts on what Trump has lied about don't even include his many unverifiable claims -- like that he has eliminated more regulations than any president in history. So you can assume there are plenty more questionable -- or outright wrong -- claims that didn't even make the 2,000.
It's easy to make fun of Trump for not telling the truth about something so easily checkable as the ratings for his State of the union speech. It's basically why Twitter was invented. And I am as guilty as anyone of being glib about his little white lies.
But someone who lies about little things -- things that are easily proven wrong -- will also lie about big things. Big things that impact the country -- now and in the future. When the person doing the lying (and lying and lying and lying) is also the President of the United States, we have a very big problem on our hands. And it's no laughing matter.
Donald Trump, President, 71
Mike Pence, Vice President, 58
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, 65
Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, 55
Jim Mattis, Secretary of Defense, 67
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, 71
Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, 56
Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture, 71
Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, 80
Alex Acosta, Secretary of Labor, 49
Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 50
Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 66
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, 64
Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, 67
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, 60
David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 58
Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, 45
John F. Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, 67
Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, 70
Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, 74
Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the United Nations, 46
Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 50
Mike Pompeo, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 54
Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, 49
Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, 69