Monday, May 22, 2017
Rob Quist for Montana
For those of us old enough to remember the first GOP crook, Tom Tomorrow's "Then And Now' with the second GOP crook is uncomfortably close. But remember, those who are not taught their history in public school are condmned to repeat the worst parts of it.
Horrid little man
They are one pest the Orkin Man can't reliably get rid of for you. There are however various laws and rules that restrain lobbyists from working in government until the taint of their previous employer has worn off. But to keep the persons who may be of value, there are also waivers from these laws and rules. In the Trump administration, these waivers have been given out like beads at Mardi Gras. As might be expected, the Office of Government Ethic is curious to see the many waivers in all the government agencies.
The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose any ethics waivers granted to former lobbyists who now work in the White House or federal agencies.No doubt about it, the Trump administration has a lot to hide and the determination to keep it hidden.
The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.
Dozens of former lobbyists and industry lawyers are working in the Trump administration, which has hired them at a much higher rate than the previous administration. Keeping the waivers confidential would make it impossible to know whether any such officials are violating federal ethics rules or have been given a pass to ignore them.
Mr. Shaub, who is in the final year of a five-year term after being appointed by President Barack Obama, said he had no intention of backing down. “It is an extraordinary thing,” Mr. Shaub said of the White House request. “I have never seen anything like it.”
Marilyn L. Glynn, who served as general counsel and acting director of the agency during the George W. Bush administration, called the move by the Trump White House “unprecedented and extremely troubling.”
“It challenges the very authority of the director of the agency and his ability to carry out the functions of the office,” she said.
In a statement issued Sunday evening, the Office of Management and Budget rejected the criticism and instead blamed Mr. Shaub, saying his call for the information, issued in late April, was motivated by politics. The office said it remained committed to upholding ethical standards in the federal government.
“This request, in both its expansive scope and breathless timetable, demanded that we seek further legal guidance,” the statement said. “The very fact that this internal discussion was leaked implies that the data being sought is not being collected to satisfy our mutual high standard of ethics.”
President Trump signed an executive order in late January — echoing language first endorsed by Mr. Obama — that prohibited lobbyists and lawyers hired as political appointees from working for two years on “particular” government matters that involved their former clients. In the case of former lobbyists, they could not work on the same regulatory issues they had been involved in.
Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama reserved the right to issue waivers to this ban. Mr. Obama, unlike Mr. Trump, automatically made any such waivers public, offering detailed explanations. The exceptions were typically granted for people with special skills, or when the overlap between the new federal work and a prior job was minor.
Ms. Glynn, who worked in the office of government ethics for nearly two decades, said she had never heard of a move by any previous White House to block a request like Mr. Shaub’s. She recalled how the Bush White House had intervened with a federal agency during her tenure to get information that she needed.
There is no end to this prick
John Oliver spends more time than usual on the latest week in Stupid Watergate. And the near future is not rosy.
Another religious mystery
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Creole Love Call
While the version of Duke Ellington's song for the movie Cotton Club had the ethereally haunting voice of Patricia Baskerville, the original recording with Adelaide Hall has the wonderful scatting that the movie version replaced with instrumentation. Here is the original and to my tastes, still the best "Creole Love Call"
While Trump does his thing
Impossible to audit
But every once in a while it is possible to glimpse the exotic accounting practices of the Pentagon as they seek the impenetrability of Hollywood accounting. Our latest peek at their machinations comes from the metod used to purchase the vast amounts of fuel used by the individual services.
The Pentagon has generated almost $6 billion over the past seven years by charging the armed forces excessive prices for fuel and has used the money — called the “bishop’s fund” by some critics — to bolster mismanaged or underfunded military programs, documents show.Lord knows how much the brass will skim if they get an extra, unnecessary $54 Billion. They are doing quite well with the current pittence Congress allots them. An I hope you will never again wonder why we can't have good things in this country anymore.
Since 2015, the Defense Department has tapped surpluses from its fuel accounts for $80 million to train Syrian rebels, $450 million to shore up a prescription-drug program riddled with fraud and $1.4 billion to cover unanticipated expenses from the war in Afghanistan, according to military accounting records.
The Pentagon has amassed the extra cash by billing the armed forces for fuel at rates often much higher — sometimes $1 per gallon or more — than what commercial airlines paid for jet fuel on the open market.
Under a bureaucracy that dates to World War II, the Defense Department purchases all of its fuel centrally and then resells it at a fixed price to the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and other customers, who pay for it out of their own budgets. The system is intended to reduce duplication and promote efficiency.
The Defense Department is the largest single consumer of fuel in the world. Each year, it buys about 100 million barrels, or 4.2 billion gallons, of refined petroleum for its aircraft, warships, tanks and other machines.
The practice of exploiting fuel revenue to plug unrelated gaps in the defense budget has escalated in recent years, prompting allegations — and official denials — that the accounts are being used as a slush fund.
Pentagon officials defended the arrangement.
Congress has routinely approved their requests to skim off the fuel-purchasing accounts as a straightforward way to balance the Defense Department’s books. Lawmakers, however, are increasingly questioning the budgeting methods that have enabled the Pentagon to accumulate large windfalls from fuel sales in the first place.
The obscure accounting policy exemplifies the enormous scale and complexity of the U.S. military’s business operations, and how waste and inefficiency in the defense bureaucracy can dwarf what Washington spends on other parts of the federal government.
Such fiscal problems are deeply rooted. For the past
quarter-century, the Defense Department has failed to meet a congressional mandate to clean up its books so it can pass an audit — the only federal agency that has failed to do so.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon is preparing for a military buildup. President Trump has said that he will ask Congress to add $54 billion to next year’s defense budget, about a 10 percent spike over current spending caps.
Donny is a very funny man
The Tangerine Shitgibbon has traveled to Saudi Arabia and given a speech calling for action against Wahabi terrorists.
President Trump sought to rally leaders from around the Muslim world on Sunday in a renewed campaign against extremism, rejecting the idea that the fight is a battle between religions even as he promised not to chastise them about human rights violations in their own countries.It is doubtful that Tangerine understands that the majority of the 9/11 murderers waere Saudis and the bulk of worldwide terrorist funding comes from Saudi coffers. What is worrisome is the possibility that Cheeto Mussolini, in his search for a large distraction, will start a war with Iran at the request of the Saudi terrorist paymasters. The worst possible choice is the hallmark of the Shitgibbon presidency.
Mr. Trump, who during last year’s presidential campaign said he thought that “Islam hates us” and proposed a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, sounded different themes in a speech to Muslim leaders here in the Saudi capital. While declaring terrorism to be a “battle between good and evil,” he said that it should be fought by “decent people” of all religions.
Coming on the second day of Mr. Trump’s inaugural trip overseas as president, the address was designed as the centerpiece of his stop in Riyadh, where he met with Arab leaders and convened a larger gathering of Muslim leaders. In effect, the speech was meant as a reset from the harsher tone and policies Mr. Trump adopted as a candidate last year and in the early days of his presidency.
“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Mr. Trump said. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people, all in the name of religion. People want to protect life and want to protect their religion. This is a battle between good and evil.”
While he has criticized President Barack Obama and others for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” his staff sought to ensure that he not use it in the speech here to this Muslim audience. The advance excerpts sent out by the White House had him instead embracing a subtle but significant switch, using the term “Islamist extremism.” Some experts say the word Islamist reflects extremists without tarring the entire religion.
But when that moment in the speech came, Mr. Trump went off script and used both words, Islamic and Islamist. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds,” Mr. Trump said. It was unclear whether he stumbled over the different word or consciously rejected the change suggested by the text.
Either way, he sought to put more of the burden on Muslim leaders, calling on them to do more to confront extremism in their midst. “The nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them,” he said. “The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries and, frankly, for their families and for their children.”
Trump's Official Family sings Cohen's Hallelujah
SNL's cold open
And news from the rest of the world
Despite what he would like, all the news is not about Trump.
Mommy is Mad At Donny
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Big, Big World
The Angel Band sings of getting lost and found in the "Big, Big World"
Sign of the Times
When you put a corporate lapdog in charge
You can expect the corporations who pay him to celebrate their new found freedom from regulation and responsibility. That is just what is occurring in the oil and gas industry as pesky rules that make companies stop dumping poisonous shit everywhere and clean up what was previously dumped are eliminated.
Devon Energy, which runs the windswept site, had been prepared to install a sophisticated system to detect and reduce leaks of dangerous gases. It had also discussed paying a six-figure penalty to settle claims by the Obama administration that it was illegally emitting 80 tons each year of hazardous chemicals, like benzene, a known carcinogen.That neverending conservative love for foul air and polluted water will probably reach heights not seen sincethe first half of the last century. And those responsible will sit back thinking their money made from it will somehow protect them fom the consequences.
But something changed in February just five days after Scott Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general with close ties to Devon, was sworn in as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Devon, in a letter dated Feb. 22 and obtained by The New York Times, said it was “re-evaluating its settlement posture.” It no longer intended to move ahead with the extensive emissions-control system, second-guessing the E.P.A.’s estimates on the size of the violation, and it was now willing to pay closer to $25,000 to end the three-year-old federal investigation.
Devon’s pushback, coming amid an effort to ease a broad array of federal environmental rules, is the first known example under the Trump administration of an accused polluter — which has admitted violating the law — backing away from a proposed environmental settlement. It is already being hailed by other independent energy companies as a template for the future.
“Not in our wildest dreams, never did we expect to get everything,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based association of independent oil and gas companies. “We were kind of used to getting punished.”
The extraordinary about-face reflects the onset of an experiment in President Trump’s Washington that is meant to fundamentally reorder the relationship between government and business. Across the federal government, lobbyists and lawyers who once battled regulations on behalf of business are now helping run the agencies they clashed with.
Mr. Trump and his team believe that loosening the regulatory grip on business will help the economy, create jobs and allow Americans “to share in the riches,” as he said during the campaign. But in the energy field, environmentalists, Democrats and even some in the industry fear the efforts will backfire, harming health and safety without creating much economic benefit.
In just the last three months, with Mr. Pruitt in charge, the E.P.A. postponed a long-planned rule requiring companies like Devon to retrofit drilling equipment to prevent leaks of methane gas — a major contributor to climate change — and to collect more data on how much of the gas is spewing into the air.
The Interior Department, meanwhile, announced this month that it would reconsider a separate rule limiting the burning of unwanted methane gas from wells drilled on federal and Indian lands, a process called flaring. That announcement came the same day the Senate narrowly rejected industry calls to repeal the same rule.
Interior officials have also announced their intention to repeal or revise a contentious rule requiring companies like Devon to take extra steps to prevent groundwater contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, a drilling technique in which chemicals and water are forced into rock formations.
Orange Sphincter to the rescue
Bill Maher casts Donald Trump and his minions as super heroes to explain WTF is going on.
Friday, May 19, 2017
A Ruthie Foster Reprise
Because she is good. Like when she sings "Richland Woman Blues"
Whine from his own vinyards
One Senator is seizing the opportunity
Rising to the moment you might say. However you say it Bob Casey, a man who grasped the middle of the road as if the yellow line were real, is making his presence known in serious opposition to The Tangerine Shitgibbon.
Mr. Casey is not behaving like a senator approaching a re-election race next year in a state Mr. Trump carried, erasing any expectation that vulnerable Democrats would edge toward Mr. Trump en masse and distinguishing himself from some more reticent colleagues.Bob Casey is a man who has quietly maintained his integrity until times like now when it is most needed. He is up for re-election in '18 and may have an eye on the White House for '20 but now he is working the Cheeto Mussolini beat.
Nor is Mr. Casey behaving, according to some friends and supporters, entirely like himself — or, at least, the iteration they had come to expect during his even-tempered decade in Congress under presidents not named Trump.
Yet, as the anti-Trump movement continues, it has accommodated a leadership role for Mr. Casey, 57, the son of a governor from a suddenly-red state, initially elected to the Senate as an anti-abortion, pro-gun product of Scranton, Pa. — that irrepressible exporter of blue-collar political narratives for Bidens and Clintons and most any other candidate with a credible Rust Belt connection and a story to tell.
Of course, times change, and senators, too.
But Mr. Casey insists his higher gear has existed all along, suggesting that his circumstances have shifted far more than his legislative priorities, which have long skewed toward a familiar sort of Democratic Catholicism: programs for children, people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups.
“We’re in a period of time where we’ve never been before,” Mr. Casey said in an interview at his office in the Capitol — once occupied by another noted Catholic Democrat in the Senate, John F. Kennedy. “I’ve been fighting these battles for years.”
Composure is central to the Casey political brand. There is a family joke about a stubborn mood ring given to Mr. Casey in the 1970s: It never changed colors.
Still, admirers say they can identify Mr. Casey’s recent spark.
“Trump has gotten his Irish up,” said Paul Begala, the Democratic strategist who first encountered Mr. Casey when his father, Robert P. Casey, ran successfully for Pennsylvania governor in 1986.
The Casey family’s opposition to abortion is enshrined in a Supreme Court decision: Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which, in 1992, reaffirmed Roe v. Wade but upheld part of a Pennsylvania law regulating access to abortions during the elder Mr. Casey’s tenure. The former governor died in 2000.
During his time in the Senate, though, the younger Mr. Casey has become an ally of sorts for Planned Parenthood, fighting Republican efforts to defund the organization.
“I think our party is a much bigger tent than it was 10 or 15 years ago,” Mr. Casey said in his office, where a Pope Francis doll is perched beside his desk. He suggested that work on economic priorities for Democrats could transcend social issues.
It's the Watergate Express
And Seth Meyers take his shot at explaining
It's hard to keep up
But Trevor Noah does what he can to explain the Trump scandal
Useful information for your trip
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Viewing the world through rose colored eyeballs.
B.I.H. Roger E. Ailes
It took you 20 years but you fucked the United States pretty damn good.
A turd floating in a sea of self-pity
In truth is there any way to describe our Illustrious Whiner-In-Chief who is becoming notorious for pissing and moaning about how mean everybody is to him at every opportunity. His latest mewling puke fest came by way of his beloved Twitter after the man he put in charge of the Russo-Trumpinvestigation appointed a Special Counsel.
President Trump lashed out on Thursday, saying he was the target of an unprecedented witch hunt, a day after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate ties between his presidential campaign and Russian officials.Contrast the tweets which were probably done during an unsupervised period when he should have been asleep. The official statement obviously came when he was surrounded by the adults.
In a pair of early morning tweets, Mr. Trump cited, without evidence, what he called the “illegal acts” committed by the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and the campaign of his former opponent, Hillary Clinton — and said they never led to the appointment of a special counsel.
“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!” Mr. Trump wrote, misspelling counsel.
Moments later, Mr. Trump added, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
The tweets, shortly before 8 a.m., were a stark contrast to his muted reaction to the announcement on Wednesday evening that Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, had been named to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
In a statement released by the White House, the president said: “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”
How Mr. Trump should respond to the appointment was the subject of brief, but lively debate in the Oval Office, several senior officials said, with most of the president’s aides counseling a conciliatory tone. Mr. Trump often takes his most combative stances early in the morning on Twitter.
Preparations for Donald's World Tour
He could at least smile
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
A bit of Memphis soul
Amy Black with an excellent backing group asks "What Makes A Man" from her album Memphis.
The Generosity of Trump
They have too much to lose
While members of Congress are assimilating the latest Trump Russian revelations and wondering if it is time to find and dust off their long unused spines, one group know it can never do anything of substance about him. The senior Republican leadership knows full well their nuts are in a salad shooter if they ever give up Cheeto Mussolini.
The revelation, based on contemporaneous notes kept by Mr. Comey, heightened the unease among Republicans on Capitol Hill and produced new calls for Mr. Comey to testify. But it did not seem to stir Republican leaders to any new level of urgency. Their position has puzzled Democrats, political analysts and many in the news media who keep asking: What will it take for leading Republicans to abandon Mr. Trump given the escalating White House chaos and its impact on the policy agenda?You can say it many ways but ultimately it comes down to protecting their currently gold plated meal tickets. And a center point of the Republican Party has always been that greed supercedes country.
But as they survey the political and investigative landscape, Republicans say they have good reasons for not being swept up in what they see as the self-inflicted disorder rocking Mr. Trump and his White House.
Top Republicans on and off the Senate Intelligence Committee say they have yet to see convincing evidence of Mr. Trump colluding with the Russians during the presidential campaign, despite the intense scrutiny. Without such proof, Republicans are reluctant to engage in undermining Mr. Trump.
House and Senate Republicans say that the inquiries being conducted by the intelligence committees and other panels are more than sufficient and capable of producing results.
Republicans are loath to accede to Democratic demands of any kind. What is the point of being in control of the House and Senate if they are going to acquiesce to heated Democratic cries for a special counsel or a select committee?
Republicans are acutely aware that if they turn on Mr. Trump, they run the risk of alienating the voters who made him president, voters the Republican Party is going to badly need in the midterm elections.
While Democrats and growing numbers of independent voters are digging in against Mr. Trump, conservatives in red states that provide the party majorities in the House and Senate are still standing by him. It is the same reasoning behind the Republican push for their health care bill — they need to mollify the base even at the risk of alienating other voting blocs.
He is having a good laugh
As he surveys the havoc he has created with the election of his Giant Orange Stooge as president of the US. And like anyone who has started a good joke, he can't resist adding some more to it. And so Putin trolls the US government.
President Vladimir V. Putin, deriding as “political schizophrenia” a furor in Washington over President Trump’s sharing of classified intelligence with Russia, said on Wednesday that he was ready to give American lawmakers “a record” of the Oval Office meeting between Mr. Trump and senior Russian diplomats.Such a fine mix of real and fanciful will no doubt keep Putin laughing for some time to come. And what stories he will tell his grandchildren.
Mr. Putin, speaking at a joint news conference in Sochi, Russia, with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy, did not specify what record he had of the meeting between Mr. Trump; the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov; and Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak. Mr. Putin insisted the whole episode was a tempest in a teacup, whipped up for political reasons.
“If the U.S. administration finds this appropriate, we’re ready to provide a record of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the U.S. Senate and Congress,” the Russian president said. The Russian word for “record” can refer to an audio recording, but the Interfax news agency quoted a Kremlin aide, Yuri V. Ushakov, as telling reporters that Moscow had in its possession a written record of the conversation, not a recording.
Officials in Washington have said that Mr. Trump disclosed to Mr. Lavrov highly classified information provided by Israeli intelligence about a planned terrorist operation by the Islamic State extremist group.
Mr. Putin dismissed that claim, saying, “It’s hard to imagine what else these people who generate such nonsense and rubbish can dream up next.”
He also returned to a favorite Kremlin theme: that Russia is the victim of Russophobic hysteria gripping the political establishment, notably Mr. Trump’s foes, in the United States.
“What surprises me is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-Russian slogans,” Mr. Putin said. “Either they don’t understand the damage they’re doing to their own country, in which case they are simply stupid, or they understand everything, in which case they are dangerous and corrupt.”
Someday the boy will be someone important
They hacked Trump's mouth
Seth Meyers on Trump and Russians and Comey, Oh My!
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Neil Young writes good songs
And Red Horse, a supergroup collaboration of Eliza Gilkyson, Lucy Kaplansky and John Gorka, does well with "I Am A Child"
Vlad did pay for it before the election
Cop, Veteran, US Citizen don't mean nothing
Not to the thugs being hired to handle customs these days. One such person, a New York police officer, Army veteran and citizen of the US found himself detained for hours by the ignorant thugs hired these days by US Customs as he returned from a post deployment vacation overseas. His crime was being Muslim.
Syed Ali is an American citizen, an officer in the New York Police Department, a combat veteran and a major in the United States Army Reserve. But none of that made a difference at passport control last month when he arrived at Kennedy Airport on an evening flight from Istanbul.With Trump detaining citizens and passing secrets to the Russians, I have to say I haven't felt this safe in years!
After landing, Officer Ali was led from passport control to a holding area for what Customs and Border Protection refers to as secondary screening. But instead of a quick check to confirm his identity, Officer Ali said, he was held for hours, past midnight. When he asked, after more than an hour of waiting, whether it would take much longer, an officer threatened to incarcerate him, he said.
“If you can’t sit patiently, I can gain compliance from you by putting you in a detainment cell,” he recalled a Customs and Border Protection officer’s telling him.
“I feel like my rights were violated,” Officer Ali said in an interview, still sounding a little shaken. “Are you telling me that every guy with the last name Ali is a terrorist? Are you telling me every guy with brown skin coming in from overseas is a terrorist?”
Officer Ali’s trip was part of a vacation to decompress after a two-year military deployment to Kuwait, where he had served in Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission to combat the Islamic State. In September, he is scheduled to return to his regular job with the Police Department, where he most recently worked in the transit unit.
Officer Ali is one of a number of Muslim Americans who have complained that since the start of the Trump administration they have been subjected to additional scrutiny when returning from abroad, facing hours in airport custody and what they described as hostile questioning. A retired North Carolina police chief, Hassan Aden, recounted an experience similar to Officer Ali’s, also at J.F.K., in March.
Puts ripples in his julep
Mitch certainly doesn't like excitement, it puts ripples in his julep and quivers his wattles. It also makes it harder for him to cover-up Tangerine Shitgibbon's collusion and admitted espionage with the Russians.
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who has been largely silent on President’s Trump’s increasing troubles concerning Russia, carefully pleaded with the administration to stop impeding the Republican agenda Tuesday morning as Democrats prepared to use their limited powers to pressure the White House to reveal more detail about the president’s meeting with Russian officials.Old Mitch the Turtle knows that the information passed by Tangerine to the Russians was just keeping his end of the bargain. And if that damned Shitgibbon can stop raising a ruckus every other day, Mitch can see that he his held harmless by Congress.
“I think we could do with a little less drama from the White House on a lot of things so that we can focus on our agenda,” Mr. McConnell said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Tuesday morning, reflecting an increasingly frustrated Republican majority over the near standstill of any policy agenda in the wake of Mr. Trump’s many contentious statements. As if to emphasize that point, when he took the Senate floor on Tuesday, Mr. McConnell again criticized the Affordable Care Act.
The inscrutable Mr. McConnell did not go as far as Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who on Tuesday suggested in a statement that the information discussed by Mr. Trump with the Russians might have endangered allies.
They paid for it so he gave it to them
They being the Russians who worked so hard and at great expense to get The Tangerine Shitgibbon elected. So when Tangerine fired the FBI director for getting too close with his investigations, he thought it was safe to invite his Russian spy handlers to the oval office to hand off a few secrets, from a now former ally's spies, while their "press crew" planted a few bugs. And to distract from the election and the bugs he admits he passed on the secrets.
President Trump boasted about highly classified intelligence in a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, providing details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected, a current and a former American government official said Monday.Tangerine believes he has the "absolute right" to declassify any secrets he pleases. And for their efforts, he has probably already passed on quite a few and can be expected to send over anything more his good friends ask for.
The intelligence disclosed by Mr. Trump in a meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was about an Islamic State plot, according to the officials. A Middle Eastern ally that closely guards its own secrets provided the information, which was considered so sensitive that American officials did not share it widely within the United States government or pass it on to other allies.
Mr. Trump’s disclosure does not appear to have been illegal — the president has the power to declassify almost anything. But sharing the information without the express permission of the ally who provided it was a major breach of espionage etiquette, and could jeopardize a crucial intelligence-sharing relationship.
In fact, the ally has repeatedly warned American officials that it would cut off access to such sensitive information if it were shared too widely, the former official said. In this case, the fear is that Russia will be able to determine exactly how the information was collected and could disrupt the ally’s espionage efforts.
Trump Leaks, Colbert Speaks
What a good puppet he is
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