我开始同情特朗普了

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    ccc 难得糊涂 ID:6614 管理成员 VIP

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    White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter could be leaving the Trump administration as early as Thursday, a source told Fox News, amid questions over the internal handling of domestic abuse allegations against him.

    Porter, who denies the allegations, announced his resignation on Wednesday and had been expected to stay on for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition. But with photos circulating showing one of his two ex-wives with what appears to be a black eye, the departure could be moved up.

    The case also has raised questions for Chief of Staff John Kelly, who initially defended Porter. New reports say some aides were aware of the allegations for months.

    upload_2018-2-8_13-28-56.png

    Kelly now says he was “shocked” by the new accusations against the senior Trump aide.

    Kelly said: “There is no place for domestic violence in our society. I stand by my previous comments of the Rob Porter that I have come to know since becoming Chief of Staff, and believe every individual deserves the right to defend their reputation. I accepted his resignation earlier today, and will ensure a swift and orderly transition."

    DailyMail.com first published a photo of one ex-wife’s bruised face. Colbie Holderness told the outlet that Porter choked and punched her during their marriage.


    Holderness told Fox News on Thursday that she got the black eye during a hotel-room fight when she and Porter were on vacation in Florence, Italy. Further, Holderness said she told her story to the FBI on Jan. 24, 2017 when she was interviewed as part of Porter’s security clearance investigation. She also gave the photos to the FBI.

    Holderness described Porter as having a “bad temper” – and an “angry person.”

    Both of his ex-wives detailed physical and verbal abuse in prior press reports.

    [​IMG]
    Rob Porter was a key figure in Trump's White House. (AP)

    During the White House briefing on Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Porter had been “effective in his role” and the president had “confidence in his performance.”

    Sanders initially said that Porter would not leave immediately.

    Porter, meanwhile, pushed back strongly on the allegations in the press.

    "These outrageous allegations are simply false. I took the photos given to the media nearly 15 years ago and the reality behind them is nowhere close to what is being described. I have been transparent and truthful about these vile claims, but I will not further engage publicly with a coordinated smear campaign,” Porter said in a statement provided by the White House.

    “My commitment to public service speaks for itself. I have always put duty to country first and treated others with respect. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have served in the Trump Administration and will seek to ensure a smooth transition when I leave the White House.”

    Holderness told Fox News it’s true that Porter took one photo of her – but that she asked him to, so she’d have evidence in case it happened again. Further, she said she took several of the other photos showing her bruise.

    DailyMail.com recently reported that Porter had been dating White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, which Fox News has confirmed. Fox News also has learned that Hicks was involved in drafting the initial response to the first DailyMail.com report.

    As staff secretary, Porter was a senior aide in Trump’s White House working in large part to manage the documents crossing the president’s desk.
     
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    ccc 难得糊涂 ID:6614 管理成员 VIP

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    On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted this, in all caps: "NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!"

    Here's what he's referring to: Fox News reported on Wednesday that FBI lawyer Lisa Page told her lover Peter Strzok, an FBI agent, in a September 2016 text message that Obama wanted "to know everything we're doing." The two FBI officials are viewed by conservatives as the prime examples of alleged widespread anti-Trump bias among federal law enforcement, and have been targets of Republicans before.

    Conservatives — including the president — quickly pounced on the texts. They said the texts were further evidence of the anti-Trump conspiracy during the Obama administration to minimize the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails.

    Asked on Fox & Friends to interpret the text, House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said that "it means the president [Obama] wants to know what they're doing to stop Trump." Some conservatives also believe the effort to depose Trump continues within special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, which, among other things, looks into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

    The problem: We already know none of that is true.

    First, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that associates of Strzok and Page said the texts were actually about Obama wanting to learn more about Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election — not about the Clinton investigation.

    Second, CNN obtained emails in January that showed Strzok co-wrote the first draft of the letter that Comey sent to Congress in October 2016, announcing that the FBI was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails after finding new messages on Anthony Weiner's laptop. That letter set off a political firestorm just 11 days before the presidential election and hurt Clinton at the polls — so much so that it may have swung the election in favor of Trump.

    Finally, Fox News has the timeline all wrong. As Judd Legum at ThinkProgress noted on Wednesday, Comey closed the Clinton email investigation on July 5, 2016 — nearly two months before Page's supposedly explosive text. On top of that, the newly revealed texts show that the FBI didn't learn about the new Clinton emails later found on Anthony Weiner's computer until September 28, 2016 — weeks after Page's message to Strzok.

    This means it's actually unclear what Obama wanted to know, and not the nefarious move Fox News alleges. And it also continues the conservative campaign to discredit Mueller before his probe ends.

    That invites the question: Why have the texts become such a big deal?

    The answer lies perhaps in the timing of the Fox News piece, which comes just days after a Republican effort to make look Trump look good failed — and days before Trump could squash a Democratic effort that could make him look bad.

    This could all be part of a distraction from a big Trump decision
    Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) released a memo — with Trump's approval — alleging that US law enforcement abused its powers by wrongly spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

    The problem for Trump is that the memo was a dud. It had no proof that the FBI is biased against Trump, no proof of abuse of surveillance powers by the FBI, and no proof that the investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia is fundamentally flawed. The memo was a piece of partisan spin, and not a particularly compelling one at that.

    But now Trump must decide whether to approve the release of another memo — this one drafted by the committee's top Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff. The committee unanimously voted on Monday to give Trump five days to decide to release Schiff's memo, which is designed to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of Nunes's attacks on the FBI.

    That's awkward for Trump. If he makes the Schiff memo public, the president opens up himself and Republicans to criticism that the Nunes memo purposely left out information to insinuate the FBI is biased against the president and Mueller's probe. But if Trump keeps the memo private, he may receive harsh rebukes for burying a potentially damaging document.

    So the Page text story is a perfect distraction. Worse, it could serve as justification for Trump not to release the Schiff memo — thereby keeping hidden what could potentially hurt him.

    This all fits into a grander conservative attack on the federal law enforcement
    This isn't the first time conservatives went after Page and Strzok.

    Last year, some of their texts provided even more ammo to the FBI, Justice Department, and Mueller's critics. Strzok, a self-identified "conservative Dem," texted Page that Trump was an "idiot." He also wanted Clinton to defeat Trump in the election — in another message,he wrote: "God Hillary should win 100,000,000 — 0."

    And conservatives also point to Strzok's August 15, 2016, text to Page. "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office" — likely referencing to former FBI Deputy Director McCabe — "that there's no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40." It's unclear what Strzok exactly meant by "insurance policy" or what "path" Page outlined, but some conservatives feel this was a clear indication that Strzok wanted to find a way to make sure Trump lost the election.

    "This goes to intent to action," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a leading anti-Mueller Congress member, told reporters in December. "That to me is big."

    Strzok remains controversial because he was one of the top people investigating Clinton's use of a private email server. He allegedly changed the draft of how Comey publicly described that usage from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless." That change had the effect of softening Comey's criticism of Clinton at a particularly sensitive time in the 2016 campaign. Mueller removed Strzok from his investigative team in July, and Strzok is now under investigation by the Justice Department's internal watchdog.

    But it looks like the conservative-led attack on law enforcement works for Trump's base. According to a Reuters/IPSOS poll released on Monday evening, a huge majority of Republicans — 73 percent — believed that "members of the FBI and Department of Justice are working to delegitimize Trump through politically motivated investigations."

    Again, there's no evidence so far of such a massive, sweeping conspiracy theory — not in the Nunes memo, not in text messages between FBI employees released to the public, not anywhere.

    But it's a theme that's been repeated again and again by the president, conservatives, and Fox News — and apparently, most Republicans have gotten the memo.
     
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    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...55346f6de81_story.html?utm_term=.8905de5175c2

    upload_2018-2-11_16-51-36.png

    [​IMG]
    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens as President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Nov. 1, 2017. (Evan Vucci/AP)

    By Karen Tumulty
    February 11 at 4:03 PM

    It is hard to tell what should be more worrisome: the fact that the commander in chief doesn’t bother to read his daily compilation of the nation’s most urgent intelligence, or the fact that his son-in-law — who has been unable to obtain a security clearance — does.

    Those two stories were three pages apart in Saturday’s print edition of The Post.

    On the front page, my colleagues Carol D. Leonnig, Shane Harris and Greg Jaffe reported that Donald Trump is the first president since Richard M. Nixon not to regularly review the document known as the President’s Daily Brief, the distillation of information picked up around the world by U.S. intelligence agencies.

    Jared Kushner’s inability to get a permanent security clearance, for reasons that are not entirely clear, has become a source of vexation at the White House. But in the meantime, he has a temporary status that allows him to “see materials, including the President’s Daily Brief, that are among the most sensitive in government,” they wrote.

    There are two sets of issues to be concerned about here. The more serious one, of course, is whether the president is getting the information he needs to keep the country safe — or alternatively, whether his handlers may be dumbing things down to avoid overtaxing his attention span or challenging his preconceptions.

    In the case of Kushner, there is a potential security risk but also the more immediate question of how appropriate is it for him to have access to the material under any circumstances. That takes us back to the fact that the 37-year-old real estate scion has no credential to merit holding his current White House job, outside of whom he married.

    It is hard to miss the irony of it all: Wasn’t the main driver of the scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s emails the fact that it suggested she was careless in handling the nation’s secrets?

    The President’s Daily Brief, or PDB, was the document that on Aug. 6, 2001, contained a heading warning: “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S.” It even suggested that he might hijack airlines to do it.

    When such an attack happened a month later, that memo became Exhibit A in the case for those who argued that the George W. Bush administration was asleep to the danger.

    Of course, every president has his own style of processing information. But even Ronald Reagan, whose inattentiveness so often exasperated his closest advisers, made a point of reading the PDB every day.

    White House officials say that Trump’s decision to receive a shortened briefing orally reflects his “style of learning,” as well as his impatience with dense material. His intelligence advisers augment their presentation with charts, pictures, videos and what CIA Director Mike Pompeo calls “killer graphics.”

    But it seems fair to wonder how closely the easily distractable chief executive is following the oral presentations. The time on his official schedule set aside for the briefings has sometimes coincided closely with his tweets, including ones about random things he seems to have heard on “Fox & Friends.”

    A separate issue is whether his oral briefings are full reflections of what the PDBs actually say. Last year, for instance, The Post reported that intelligence officials include Russia-related material only in the written version and avoid referring to it in their oral presentations, in apparent fear that it will set off another presidential eruption about witch hunts by sore-loser Democrats.

    While it is typical for a close circle of presidential aides to also have access to the PDB, it is far less so for someone like Kushner, a newcomer to government who has only a temporary status on his clearance — and who, it should be noted, is also a focus in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation.

    Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell insisted in a statement that Kushner’s clearance is taking longer than usual “because of the extent of his holdings, travels and lengthy submissions.”

    But the process has not been helped by the fact that Kushner has had to repeatedly update his security questionnaire, known as an SF-86, because he neglected to include all contacts he has had with foreigners.

    Concern about the casualness with which the Trump White House deals with sensitive material also has been amplified in the past week, with the resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over allegations that he had abused two ex-wives. It turns out that Porter, whose job it was to control the flow of documents to the president, also had only an interim security clearance — and that the FBI had warned top White House officials that there was evidence that he committed a violent crime.

    Given Trump’s background — the flamboyant bankrupticies of his businesses, the many lawsuits that he has filed and that have been lodged against him, the credible allegations that he has mistreated women — it is hard to imagine that he would be a slam dunk for a security clearance.

    If he weren’t president, that is.

    But he is.

    And the job comes with homework.
     
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    The first year of his presidency has not gone smoothly for Donald Trump. After a flood of stories about quarrels with senior figures in the White House, dismissals and forced resignations from his team, failure to fill important positions, policymaking by tweet without reference to the responsible government department, and allegations of collusion with Russia during his campaign, Trump has the lowest approval ratings of any president in modern history, with nearly half of Americans considering him mentally unstable.

    Of course, that's not all. Since the campaign began and into his presidency, allegations have repeatedly been raised against Trump of sexual misconduct of one kind and another. The latest is possibly the most serious. After a golf tournament in Lake Tahoe in 2006, a year after he had married his current wife, Melania, Trump allegedly had a brief affair with the adult film star Stormy Daniels, who has recently been doing the media circuit telling her story. Daniels was reportedly paid $130,000 before the presidential election to keep quiet. The air is now thick with counterclaims issued by Trump supporters, who dismiss the whole story as a fabrication.

    But Daniels is not alone. At least 19 women have come forward with charges of sexual misconduct of one kind or another. A number of contestants in the beauty pageants run by Trump over the years — including Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and others — have claimed that he entered their dressing rooms without warning when they were naked or getting their costumes on; other women have charged him with unwanted sexual contact, including kissing and groping. Trump and his aides have said all these allegations are part of a coordinated campaign to discredit him and that all the women are lying. His case wasn't helped by tapes from 2005, leaked during the election campaign, that recording him saying: "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything." But Trump simply dismissed this as "locker room talk" and denied it had anything to do with the way he really behaved toward women.

    In the face of the corroborating evidence, Trump's outright denials might seem rather desperate, especially as other politicians, such as Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, and prominent figures in industries from film to media have recently been forced to step down for lesser sexual accusations. But the fact is that Trump's supporters apparently find his responses to such charges to be credible or at least sufficient. Only 36 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, but that figure has not dropped since Daniels surfaced — indeed, Trump's approval rating has slightly risen in the interim.

    Labour Party opposition until his premature death in 1963, was known to have had a long-term extramarital affair with Ann Fleming, the wife of the author of the James Bond novels, while the leading Conservative Party politician John Major, who as prime minister in the 1990s loudly proclaimed his government's intention of bringing Britain "back to basics," returning to traditional family values, was subsequently revealed to have had an extramarital affair with fellow Conservative member of Parliament Edwina Currie. Such dalliances are impossible to keep entirely secret, but whoever knew about the affair in the press was happy enough not to mention it at the time.

    Media deference to politicians was even more common earlier in the 20th century. In public, another Tory politician in the U.K., Harold Macmillan, prime minister from 1957 to 1963, was happily married to Lady Dorothy Cavendish, the daughter of the duke of Devonshire, but in private she had a long-term affair with another Conservative member of Parliament, the redoubtable Robert Boothby. It was not made public until long afterward, nor was the relationship, possibly never consummated, between Herbert Asquith, prime minister from 1908 until 1916, with the young Venetia Stanley, though he wrote intimate notes and letters to her virtually every day, even when he was chairing Cabinet meetings. His successor, the charismatic David Lloyd George, had so many extramarital affairs that he was known to some as the "Goat," but somehow, with the connivance of the press, he managed to keep it all out of the public domain. Not entirely so, perhaps: The popular ditty "Lloyd George Knew My Father" was enthusiastically sung (to the tune of "Onward, Christian Soldiers") by British troops during World War I, in a reference to his relationships with married women; some have even claimed it was a watered-down version of the more explicit "Lloyd George Knew My Mother," which it would have been impolitic to sing, given the fact that he was prime minister at the time.

    It is less easy to keep an extramarital affair secret, of course, if the participants are careless enough to allow it to lead to the birth of a child. Lloyd George's long-term mistress Frances Stevenson ("My Darling Pussy," as he called her) — whom he did in fact marry after the death of his wife, when he was 80 — gave birth to an child in 1929, but the fact that he was the (probable) father was hushed up as well. More recently, however, it has not been so easy to keep such a thing quiet, as British Conservative ministers Cecil Parkinson and Tim Yeo discovered in 1983 and 1994, respectively, when each was forced to resign after revelations they had fathered a child outside of marriage. Yeo had compounded his offense by backing the Conservative appeal to traditional values, proclaiming years earlier: "It is in everyone's interests to reduce broken families and the number of single parents. I have seen from my own constituency the consequences of marital breakdown." His own behavior revealed his insincerity in the most dramatic possible way.

    Such hypocrisy points to one reason at least why we don't like our politicians to engage in extramarital sex: How can you trust them in public if they lie and deceive in private? How can you take their policies and promises seriously if they can't tell the truth about their own lives?

    Angela Merkel an "unfuckable lard-arse" and appointing women to his government on the basis of their looks rather than their qualifications.

    The scandals that enveloped Berlusconi eventually led to his downfall, as he was debarred from holding office after a conviction for tax fraud. Among the many ways in which he caused offense were his statements about Benito Mussolini, the Fascist dictator who ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943. He saw himself in the dictator's letters to his mistress Clara Petacci, he said on one occasion, and described Fascist Italy as a "democracy in a minor way." Mussolini himself was even more priapic than Berlusconi, boasting of numerous one-night stands with female admirers, a demonstration of his virility that did no harm to his image among the Italian people. The contrast with the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in Germany could not have been more striking, as Hitler projected an image of celibacy and restraint, "married to Germany," and kept his conventionally monogamous relationship with his long-term partner Eva Braun out of the public eye.

    It bears noting here that political sex scandals have been extremely rare in modern German history. You have to go back before World War I to find a really major one, the Eulenburg affair, when an opposition journalist accused leading figures in Kaiser Wilhelm II's court circle of carrying on homosexual relationships with one another. This might be an indication that only homosexual dalliances have qualified as scandalous to the German media and public. But perhaps modern German public servants have simply better learned to steel their will against their libido than their peers in other countries. That would certainly be the most foolproof way of avoiding scandal.

    It's worth remembering that sex has only really been a feature of scandals surrounding politicians in modern times. In Britain, the moral rectitude encouraged by Queen Victoria in the mid-to-late 19th century superseded the libertinism of the Regency era, spawned a number of societies for the improvement of public morals and led to the downfall of men like Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish nationalist leader, when his relationship with a married woman, Katharine O'Shea, came to light through her husband's filing of a divorce suit naming Parnell as co-respondent A similar train of events led to the disgrace of the Liberal Party politician Sir Charles Dilke, accused of seducing a whole series of women, including maidservants, and introducing them to "every French vice," according to one of his lovers.

    The coming of democracy and the rise of a free press have made politicians vulnerable to public knowledge and public disapproval of their private lives, at least where the political culture has demanded moral conformity and sexual restraint. Perhaps, too, this has been more the case in Protestant cultures, such as those of Britain and America, than Catholic ones, such as in France and Italy.

    Will this happen with Trump? It does not look as if it will. It requires a concerted campaign to make allegations of sexual misconduct have any real impact — one like the campaign mounted against President Bill Clinton by Republicans over his affairs in the 1990s. But organizing such a campaign would be impossible in our fragmented, internet-dominated media landscape, where one person's facts are another person's fake news. And, of course, even the campaign against Clinton went nowhere.

    There are, to be sure, many other reasons to criticize Trump. True, some 60 percent of Americans believe the allegations about his sexual misconduct (though only a fifth or so of Republicans do), and most think they should lead to his impeachment. But that is not going to happen, with Republicans in charge of both houses of Congress. We are currently going through a period in which sexual misconduct of all kinds, including the groping and gawping of which Trump has been accused, is ruining the careers of a number of men in the media and the movie industry and rightly so. But more politicians have been undone over the decades by financial misdeeds than by sexual ones, and this may be the way Donald Trump's political career eventually comes to an end.
     
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