Donald Trump Will Not Survive by Publius Tacitus


I have a bet with an old friend and mentor. Both of us believe that Donald Trump will not serve his full four year term. We differ, however, on how long he will survive. My friend thinks he will have been impeached by he House by Labor Day. While I don't dismiss that as an possibility, I'm betting he will get to 2018 but become so toxic by then that Republicans will abandon him in droves. The winner of this bet buys the other dinner at s fine restaurant in Washington, DC. 

The agitprop designed to destroy Trump is alive and well and more Republicans appear to be signing on with anti-Trump memes pushed by the Democrats. But this is not a one-sided affair in terms of the effort to take Trump down. Donald Trump himself is busy shooting his own foot off with his uncontrollable mouth. 

I think a good number of voters chose Trump over Hillary in the hopes that he was actually a businessman who had the organizational skill and vision to get things done. Those voters are starting to turn on Trump. Instead of good organization the nation is being treated to a petulant display of boorish immaturity. What manager in their right mind fires the head of the FBI in such a cavalier, reckless fashion. Please understand–I believe that Comey needed to go. He needed to be fired. But there is a right way and a wrong way.

What did Trump do? He chose the wrong way and further damaged his image. 

Instead of calling Comey in for a meeting and giving him a chance to resign, Trump opted to blindside him. In doing so Trump gave the Democrats ammunition for attacking him as someone who was trying to interfere with an on-going investigation. Trump compounded the chaos by issuing a veiled threat against Comey by raising the specter that Comey's previous conversations with the President had been recorded. That has piqued the interest of Congress and we now have a bipartisan request for such tapes (if they exist). 

I personally am sick and tired of listening to the whining of people like Kelly Anne Conway, who was on Howard Kurtz's show today (Sunday) kvetching about the media's failure to focus on the trade deal with China or health care. Sorry Kelly Anne, but the media did not fire Comey and the media did not produce competing explanations about why Trump did what he did.

There is simply no excuse for this kind of impromptu decision making. Unfortunately, Trump has made a habit of this during the campaign. It did not prove fatal then. That is not likely to be the case going forward. Trump will not run for a second term. Trump will not finish his first term. The only question is when will he be forced out or call it quits. The only winners from this sad affair will be my friend and me–but we will share a great meal together.  PT

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126 Responses to Donald Trump Will Not Survive by Publius Tacitus

  1. Bill Herschel says:

    Once again, doesn’t it all depend on the results of the midterm elections? Trump will last till then, because enough Congressmen and Senators are owned outright by big money types, who are drooling over Trump, that none will vote to impeach. Please remember that equation: if money is pouring into your political coffers from the one group who has absolutely no problem with Trump at all (cf. AHCA, tax “reform”…), you’re not going to impeach him.
    But if the number of ladies of the night in Congress is reduced, then Trump will go. And he will resign the second he is impeached. There will be no trial. Then he gets to say he was a victim.
    His core constituency which shows absolutely no sign of abandoning him is the wild card.

  2. Jackrabbit says:

    Q: How one views Trump depends of what one thinks is the goal of the borg/establishment.
    Is Trump there because there are powerful people that want peace? Or is he a shiny object (to the Russians and Western public)?
    Obama also wanted peace. So so much. He planned ‘resets’ and ‘new dawns’, etc. And his apologists vigorously defended his sly mendacity.
    I think we have been had. Lucy will pull the football again. Exactly how that happens is just a detail: whether Trump caves in or is removed hardly matters.
    I wish it would be different. But the Syrian bombing was shocking. He didn’t have to do it. And then, after bombing due to the “beautiful babies”, to be silent when the rebel’s killed dozens of children only days later was atrocious.
    Is it really possible to elect an outsider when Western politics is so driven by monied interests? If Sanders was a sheep-dog and DNC colluded to ensure Hillary’s election, how can we trust that Trump (was supported Hillary in 2008, and whose beloved daughter is close to Chelsea Clinton) was also colluding?
    Trump is a guy that craves success (or at the appearance of it) and his “Presidential Show” may be his most lucrative venture yet. When he leaves, he will have hotel, golf course, and book deals that will be huuuuge.

  3. Chris Chuba says:

    I have become fatalistic. I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think it matters whether he stays or goes. The Foreign Policy Establishment has proven itself supreme. I thought that they would try to finesse Trump with insiders but they bum rushed him and won. I am amazed by their arrogance, they had absolutely no fear of a sitting President. However, it’s a Pyrrhic victory. We are the world’s drunk driver. It’s only a matter of time before we skid off the road. I just hope we land in a ditch instead of smash into a tree.

  4. John_Frank says:

    With respect, from a business perspective, the way that Mr. Comey was fired is exactly how one would handle the situation in the circumstances.
    Yes, the usual suspects have latched on to the situation and ramped up the political attacks.
    However, outside of the beltway media crowd, what is the rest of the country concerned about? Whether Mr. Comey was treated with the appropriate decorum or not? I do not think so.
    Again, I am obliged to ask, what crime has been committed by Mr. Trump or his campaign involving the 2016 election which justifies the appointment of a special prosecutor? To date, no evidence has been presented of any such crime.
    Furthermore, was not the Russian Federation punished for interfering in the 2016 election by President Obama on December 29, 2016?

  5. EEngineer says:

    I think you underestimate Trump. He may very well be uncouth and undiplomatic, but there appears to be a method to the madness. Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, has been on to his game from the beginning. I think that at this point, a sizable fraction of the populous has become so disenchanted with the Borg/status quo, that they will tolerate nearly anyone who opposes it. No mater how odious. So long as that is true, an impeachment vote is career suicide.
    The Comey firing was high theater. It put the opposition off balance and made many others wonder if they could be next. It was not an impromptu event, it was thought out and executed for maximum effect.

  6. Fredw says:

    Two things have to happen for Trump to be ousted:
    1. The American people have to be willing to accept it. For that to happen, the campaign of anti-Trump agitation has to penetrate into the Republican voter base. So far that does not seem to be happening. In spite of all the anecdotes, the voters who supported him still do. That can be a very hard thing to change, both because of partisan inertia and because he is still giving them things that they like.
    2. Trump and the Republican party have to split. In theory that should not be hard to arrange. They really don’t have much in common. But the practical fact is that he owns most of their voters. He won’t go easily, and if he does then he will take most of their voters with him. So I don’t forsee the Republican establishment breaking with him. Him breaking with them is another story. That is easily imaginable. But who knows?
    I appreciate your lack of certainty. There is far too much certainty going around on both sides of the partisan divide about things that are really not known. The nature of Trump and politics is such that rumor and leaks get mistaken for facts by many people who should know better. I too think I see patterns and a direction. But I am constantly reminded how little I know and how much of that little is based on people pushing their own interests.
    I find it useful to consider the administration of Dennis Kucinich (of all people!) as mayor of Cleveland. It is not easy to suddenly find yourself in a position of power without a network of people you trust supporting you! I have never heard anyone claim that Kucinich was dishonest or shallow or anything like that. (I heard lots of other things.) But it is very difficult to get things running smoothly when you don’t respect or trust any of the people who have been doing the work before. I don’t think Trump has trust or respect for any of the Washington establishment, Republican, Democrat, or bureaucrat. And I am not at all sure that he is wrong.

  7. TV says:

    Couldn’t have said it better.
    Trump spends his waking hours shooting himself in the foot.
    He was NEVER a manager (in spite of the TV show).
    He is a real estate deal-maker, salesman, entertainer, egomaniac, but NOT a manager.
    People skills are terrible – not a manager.
    But you know what?
    If the election were held again, I’d still vote for Trump – holding my nose.
    Neil Gorsuch, border security, tax cuts (hopefully).
    And outside of the beltway establishment, not that many people care that Comey got fired, much less how.

  8. John_Frank says:

    Senator Schumer is now saying that the Democrats will not vote to confirm a new FBI Director until the President appoints a special prosecutor.
    However, that begs the question, to prosecute what? To date no evidence has been presented that Mr. Trump or anyone on his campaign committed any crime in relation to the 2016 Presidential primary or general election.
    In fact, the acting FBI Director testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that the White House has not interfered in the investigation and the deputy Attorney-General told the same committee that he saw no need for the appointment of a special prosecutor
    Yes, Lt. Gen. Flynn (ret.) may not have complied with the disclosure laws on a timely basis, but he no longer works for the President.
    True, Paul Manafort may or may not have been involved in some dealings with the Ukrainians that expose him to liability, but those issues have nothing to do with the primary or election and he resigned from the campaign when the issue first surfaced.
    There is also a claim that Mr. Manafort may have received a favorable financial arrangement in exchange for him recommending someone to be the next Army Secretary. However, on its face the case does not hold much water, and has nothing to do with the President, nor his campaign.

  9. Jack says:

    I don’t recall you posting before the elections. Curious, what your forecast was? The vast majority of the correspondents including me did not predict a Trump win. Although there were a fair number of us that did vote for him. Tyler won a bet with GCP. And he was spot on right through the primary and the general election.
    You forecast – “Trump will not finish his first term. The only question is when will he be forced out or call it quits.” IMO, you will be proven wrong. We’ll know soon enough I suppose.

  10. John LeDell says:

    Impeachment is a huge political loser for Democrats. It would make Trump the victim and his popularity would soar. Remember Clinton became more popular after his impeachment. If Democrats try to impeach Trump before 2020, Trump is a likely winner of being elected again. I suspect the Democrats will try to win one or both chambers of Congress in 2018 and thus tie Trump in knots over any legislation he wants. This will make him so angry, his mouth and emotions will trigger lots of stupid moves and almost guarantee the Democrats winning in 2020.

  11. John_Frank says:

    What a breathless media got wrong about Trump, Comey and Russia this week … (h/t @SharylAttkisson)
    “There are 6 or less targets of grand jury Trump-Russia probe & none are senior admin officials.” –@Circa
    By Sharyl Attkisson – 12 Times Dems/Repubs said no evidence of Trump collusion with Russia

  12. BraveNewWorld says:

    If there was something fatal about the Comey firing, it was when Trump went on TV and said he did it to shut down the Russia investigation. That is text book obstruction of justice. I don’t think any thing will actually come of it because the Republicans control every thing, but yowzers that was a brutal mistake.
    Talking about tapes was also a brutal mistake. Some one is going to demand them for one of the investigations then he either has to produce them or admit they don’t exist. Neither one is good for him.

  13. Ghostship says:

    Trump lost one skirmish and he’s lost the war? Nah, now he knows who his enemies are and he seems quite a vindictive old bastard. It’s only just getting started.

  14. O'Bryan says:

    It seems that the Comey decision, and subsequent fallout, are a symptom of the larger problem. In the Economist interview the president said he was going to “pull out of NAFTA”. He just decided to do it. That day. Then he got a call from Justin Trudeau he asked him to negotiate. Amazingly, 10 minutes later, he got a call from the Mexican president asking him the same thing, using the same words. Of course he had to say yes he was willing to negotiate. He appeared to be quite pleased with himself that he was flexible and relented to their requests.
    A couple of days later it was leaked that he was genuinely going to suddenly get rid of the treaty. That very day and the White House staff went into full damage prevention mode. Calls were made to Canada and Mexico. Return calls to DT were immediately arranged. Sonny Perdue was contacted and he hurriedly put together a map of the counties that voted for the president and a map(overlay) that showed the rural agricultural areas that would be seriously affected by such a rash move. He immediately went to the White House to talk him off the edge of the cliff. The calls and the meeting with the Agriculture Secretary averted a potential, self-inflicted, catastrophe. Most people will agree that NAFTA needs to be reworked and possibly replaced. Waking up one day and pulling out would send shock waves through the financial system that could have had disastrous consequences.
    Every day that goes by gives the President another opportunity to impulsively act in a way that he appears to have no idea of what the outcome will be. He seems incapable of preparing for the eventualities that face him and the nation. Only one foreign ambassador has been confirmed. Only a handful have been nominated. None have submitted the paperwork necessary for confirmation. There are zero confirmation hearings scheduled. No FEMA director. 114 days since inauguration and the basics are being ignored. Do we have the proper people in place to handle the inevitable crisis that could be just around the corner?

  15. robt willmann says:

    Donald Trump is not going to resign as president. James Comey was not going to resign as FBI Director. Trump could have handled the dismissal in a better political way, since the environment in which he is operating is governmental politics. But Comey said in his letter to FBI employees that he thought the director could be removed for no reason by the president: “I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all.”
    A big issue is inching forward, but the mass media and Borg will not be pushing it because it involves former president Barack Obama and domestic surveillance. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is asking, in his low key but persistent way, whether he was spied upon by the Obama administration when he ran for president or otherwise, as he sends another letter to the two top dogs on the Senate “Intelligence” Committee–
    Sen. Paul includes this curious sentence in his letter: “Specific to these allegations, I am requesting a clear answer on whether your committee received a Gates notice related to me or to members of my staff”.
    Hmmm…a “Gates notice”. At 42 seconds into this interview with Sean Hannity, Sen. Paul talks about a Gates notice–
    In a TV interview with Maria Bartiromo, Sen. Paul says that reporters have told him that the Obama administration was looking at his private information and likely that of others running for president in the 2016 election, and, further, that: “I know one other senator, who has already confided to me that he was surveilled by the Obama administration, including his phone calls.”–
    This brings back to mind the interview on the PBS Newshour television program in August 2013 about NSA domestic surveillance with William Binney and Russell Tice, with the host Judy Woodruff. Only part of the eight and a half minute interview was broadcast on television, with the most salient parts edited out. However, the full interview is here–
    In the very unlikely event that the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives starts an impeachment inquiry about Trump, here is a February 1974 report/treatise from the committee entitled “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment”, put out during the Richard Nixon episode–

  16. Lemur says:

    The last poll results i saw showed few Trump voters regretted pulling the lever for Trump, but many of Clintonistas had second thoughts. I doubt firing someone Republicans perceive as an impediment to their program will dent Trump’s popularity.
    The Democratic Party is already in collapse. They’ve lost governships, the base is fracturing, paranoid conspiracy rules their mindset, and what leadership still exists is aging out. They’re in no position to challenge Trump, particularly after Trump ingratiated himself with the standard issue GOP by lobbing some missiles at Syria.
    As for the Comey firing itself, sundance at CTH maps out the context that led to this which makes it seem more like a Trump counter move than an impromptu dismissal.
    Old political paradigms of ‘toxicity’ no longer apply. Toxicity implies factions give a damn about one another. Trump represents the fracturing of American society breaching the surface of visible politics. Institutions of governance no longer offer a ground for group cooperation toward a common good; they are sites for struggle without resort to mass civil unrest.
    ‘Nothing, says Rousseau, ‘can replace mores for the maintenance of government. By reason alone,none cannot establish any natural law.’
    We shall see how long pro forma ‘sacred honour’ can endure when predicated on sheer narrative will to power.

  17. doug says:

    It’s quite apparent that DJT actually believed that the deputy AG’s, legitimately scathing review of Comey’s handling of the HRC email would be received as proffered. But it would be so unlike DJT that it failed within hours. Really, no one believed it. So he’s a liar. Well, nothing new about presidents lying. But to do so that transparently says a lot about how completely stupid he thinks people are. I was hoping he was a bit more savvy than that but obviously I was wrong.
    And for DJT to accuse Comey of showboating and grandstanding after firing him in the manner he did? Pot, meet Kettle.
    Sad, tragic even, as much of what DJT advocated was needed and a refreshing change from business as usual. Being POTUS is, I’m afraid, not within his area of competence.
    As for how long he’ll last, I predicted last summer that he had to be assimilated by the borg or he wouldn’t last 6 months. He caved to them in some ways but his personality doesn’t permit the necessary fealty and worse, he has demonstrated behavior that, I believe, will result in eventual rejection by the public at large. As it is I suspect a rather large percentage of his own appointees don’t trust him. Not a happy place.
    Integrity is a personal attribute but personal loyalty is earned. Even excluding those that already disliked him or are political opponents, he is squandering support by his own actions.
    As for his supporters, aligning cognitive dissonance only works up to a point then, when it reaches it’s limits, the results are not pretty.
    There is a slim chance he can revert this swan dive into the abyss but it’s getting smaller by the day.

  18. Lefty says:

    Six months after the election Trump’s base does not seem to be eroding. Unless that changes it is unlikely either impeachment or a Dem wave in ’18 will happen.
    Last summer only 11% of Trump supporters thought life was better for people like them than it was 50 years ago. Today it is 41%, almost four times as many. When reality catches up those numbers will recede, but it is not happening yet.
    I thought Comey needed to go last July so I’m happy he’s gone. The graceless and apparently impetuous way it was done sucks. That does not seem to phase Trump supporters, and may be more of the “Sock it to ’em” that has been part of his appeal. Who’d have guessed a recurring “Laugh In” theme would become presidential operating policy 50 years later.

  19. Ingolf Eide says:

    I’m with John Frank and EEngineer in suspecting you may be missing the signal amidst all the noise.
    To my mind the really critical question is whether the campaign Trump was a fake. In trying to answer that, the Syrian strike was for many the final straw; he’d been co-opted, it was all a con . . . whatever. That may still turn out to be true but I think the evidence suggests otherwise.
    Under cover of all this chaos, much of it (I suspect) deliberately created, there’s quite a bit happening and most of it seems to be in line with his promises. Just on the foreign policy front:
    – Tillerson recently talked to State Department staff and quietly signalled a revolution in US foreign policy. American values were to be separated from policy and not imposed or demanded as a condition of good relations, while cooperation was to be sought wherever possible. Not a single mention of exceptionalism and very little about the military. He simply noted its value in being able to speak from “a posture of strength — not a threatening posture, a posture of strength.”
    – Syrian policy aims seem to be shifting towards something more in line with Russia’s. Eradication of terrorist groups, reconciliation wherever possible of other rebel groups with the Syrian government, no current talk of Assad having to go, and cautious participation in the Astana process.
    – Trump welcomed Lavrov (and Kislyak) to the Oval Office at more or less the same time as he was firing Comey. Hard to see this as an accident.
    And so on. If it’s all reversed then you’re probably right, but given these moves are in line with Trump’s campaign pitch it seems to me reasonable for now to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    The noisiness of Trump’s opposition seems inversely correlated to the quality of the decisions being made so we should probably take the current level of hysteria as a good sign.

  20. Lefty says:

    Perhaps Comey as distraction from a policy change in Syria? Russian foreign minister Lavrov in D.C. last week made not much of a ripple, very little of the usual hysteria. All anyone was freaked about was that a Russian photographer was let into the oval office.
    It’s a less expensive way to change the subject than 59 cruise missiles (Where did the majority of those go? Reportedly 23 hit the air base and 36 did not).

  21. Tyler says:

    This is one of your weaker columns. If you’re feeling froggy, you can bet me that Trump won’t finish his term because of impeachment.

  22. Mikey says:

    I have had heard the word manager mentioned several times lately. Nations don’t need managers at the top, they need leaders.

  23. anon says:

    Russia, in particular, could respond aggressively, Bremmer added. Given that the ICIJ was partially funded by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Kremlin may seek to punish the U.S., Soros and the CIA, he noted.
    “This is going to make Russian policy towards the U.S. even more antagonistic.” Bremmer believes the $2 billion linked to people close to President Putin was just “a tiny fraction of what the Kremlin has actually been laundering.”
    one year later and things are getting jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjummmppppppyyy

  24. Bill H says:

    Impeach and convict Trump, and then the Democrats have Pence. Talk about a Pyrrhic victory!

  25. Matt says:

    please believe I’ve no intention of offending American citizens when I say that from our side of the Atlantic we think Chump is fantastic!
    the more buffoonery he partakes in the more people over here realise that there is no point looking to Washington for direction and begrudgingly concede they might actually have to think for themselves,
    I hope Chump lasts long enough for European governments to form their own foreign policy stances instead of following Washington blindly into the next NATO disaster,
    with Obama he had the grace and eloquence to make even suggesting eating babies sound reasonable to us,
    Chump is pretty much incomprehensible for the British, I dare say people who speak English as a second language find him bewildering,
    although both our nations theoretically are English speaking there are times when one party just doesn’t quite understand wtf the other is talking about,
    imagine Terence Stamp as Chump and the detective as his British audience

  26. johnf says:

    I am not in any way at all knowledgeable about computer hacking or cyber security but I do subscribe to Bruce Schneier’s email newsletter on such matters, and Bruce IS an expert.
    This is his take on whom is hacking whom:

  27. Dmcna says:

    ‘Petulant display of boorish immaturity’. That his enemies dwell on such thoughts, for want of better ones perhaps, is one of Mr Trump’s strengths.

  28. scott douglas says:

    Agree. This has been my take going back to the slight-of-hand/Syrian one-off cruise missile move, as well. Lavrov yukking it up with president The Donald in Russian-only photo shoot was f-you amplification of the message in the Comey firing. Trump has decided to fight, and he fights funny-like…

  29. LeaNder says:

    t’s quite apparent that DJT actually believed that the deputy AG’s, legitimately scathing review of Comey’s handling of the HRC email would be received as proffered. But it would be so unlike DJT that it failed within hours. Really, no one believed it.
    Not familiar with the larger context you allude to here. As a consequence the second sentence somehow stands crossways in my mind, refusing to allow me to integrate it neatly into context.
    Would you please rephrase?
    Ok, I see the UK’s Telegraph connected matters. Still, what’s on your mind?
    More vaguely

  30. LeaNder says:

    I’m with John Frank and EEngineer,
    me too. Yes, this seems to be my favored nitwit dot connection too. No doubt from a superficial perception. And surely I am not at all a fan of Trump. 😉
    – Trump welcomed Lavrov (and Kislyak) to the Oval Office at more or less the same time as he was firing Comey. Hard to see this as an accident.

  31. Fredw says:

    Impeachment requires that Trump and the Republican party split. He won’t go quietly, and he will take most of their voters with him. That would be the end of the Republican party and the start of something new.
    Unless he actually takes himself out of the picture by dying, that is what impeachment means.

  32. BillWade says:

    We don’t really know what the “Comey Tape” is all about, perhaps it’s not about the Trump-Comey dinner conversation, anyway the Dems want it made public. Trump lost some of his base over the Syria missile strike but that turned out to be kinda of a dud and with the Comey firng, his base is back, not sure if it really left him in the first place. The Syria missile strike also, once again, revealed the major hypocrisy that is our MSM. The Russians and the Chinese like Trump and are playing nice with him, The EU just got a temporary reprieve until next year at best, EU money will flood into the US equities markets, the stock market will soar, everyone but the SJW crybabies, trannies, and Diversity Inc., will be happy, what’s not to like. Impeachment of Trump – big big pushback from the American people in my estimation. They are starting to get back the America they like and felt they had lost.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Useful document. I learned in the business world that just about everyone wants to hide money. pl

  34. Why do people think a businessman could run government? Business and government are two different kinds of things. Business makes a profit, government takes care of needs that don’t make profit. “Politician” is a bad word, but it can be a noble pursuit, as Cicero showed.

  35. pantaraxia says:

    It is becoming increasingly likely that Trump may be dragged down by the Russian angle after all. As the investigation expands its not collusion with the Russian government but rather his participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia which may prove to be his Achilles heel. A criminal investigation of Trump‘s business dealings is not something he is likely to survive.
    Dutch Public Broadcasting has recently broadcast a two part series investigating the supposedly non-existent business connections between Trump and Russia.
    More detail and background is provided in this informative article by James S. Henry, a reputable investigative journalist:
    The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections

  36. Eric Newhill says:

    I agree. Comey was fired exactly as many business people are fired. Working in the Fortune 500 world, I have seen big shot exec.s on top one day and ignominiously escorted out of the building by security the next. True, some failing exec.s are provided the opportunity to resign in order to “pursue other opportunities….and…we wish him/her the best of luck”, yet others get Comied. No explanation forthcoming. Tight lips on those who would know the backstory. The only thing clear in those cases is that the terminated party incurred the wrath of someone above, perhaps the CEO himself, and that there are severe consequences if a certain line of incompetence or ethical lapse is crossed.
    And, let us not forget that part of Trump’s popularity in show biz was his iconic “You’re fired!” . Apparently there are a lot of folks out there that really like that approach. Enough to make Trump a star.
    Maybe this is a rare thing in the realm of government work. Maybe it shouldn’t be.
    I predict Trump will stay in office as long as he wants to, which, at this point, will be a full term at least. As you say, there is no proof of any crime having been committed by him and, absent that, the Borg cannot remove him. There would be hell to pay.
    For one thing, the Republican party would be destroyed. Oddly, I think it would also fracture the Democrats. The Clintonites would be happy, but the Bernie Bro.s – or at least a lot of them – would see the impeachment as more evidence of serious corruption in both traditional parties. These guys are at least as paranoid as right wing conspiracy theorists. In fact, they’re the same; just their solution is Che Guevera and communism as opposed to living in the woods. So there’d be a rift along Clintonite/Bernie Bro allegiances. Then there’s all the civil unrest that I’m sure would follow.
    The DC establishment has to see this.
    I know it is said they didn’t see Clinton losing – but I have a different take on even that. My theory is they knew it would be close and that a Clinton loss had a high probability, but they wanted to make it look rosy to keep the donor money coming in. It was a con game. Get some ginned up polls. Get the media to play along. Collect as much money as possible before the election revealed the con. Then, when faced with angry donors post-election, blame the loss on Russia. Promise to undo the mess by foiling Trump’s presidency.
    I think the establishment knows they can’t really do what they want to.

  37. Bill Herschel says:

    “even more antagonistic”? You’re living in a propaganda bubble dream world. Russia is frantically defending itself against a U.S. onslaught without historic precedent. Napoleon ain’t in it.

  38. LeaNder says:

    Great link, I didn’t know Terence Stamp. It doesn’t quite make sense to ponder if he was a detective in this context, well yes, considering his prison experiences? But I enjoyed hearing geezer once again. 😉

  39. LeaNder says:

    With respect, from a business perspective, the way that Mr. Comey was fired is exactly how one would handle the situation in the circumstances.
    Not always or more generally, from my no doubt rather limited perspective. … on some layers, yes, on others not so much.

  40. LeaNder says:

    Ok, if one adds a dot m dot, one gets a different outlay.
    Now I wish I could trace the larger context, or the time it was frequently happening, wondering why this happened. Or maybe the larger context, that surfaces just now. Were there already many tablets around then? Still don’t have one. 😉

  41. Valissa says:

    Ingolf, I agree with all your points. Just because the headlines in the media are hysterical doesn’t mean all that much. In general, the MSM has been wrong so often about Trump that it’s not worth paying much attention to.
    Trump has been getting a lot of advice from Kissinger recently, and he was in Trump’s office just before Lavrov arrived. I posted some links about that here

  42. TV says:

    I’ve yet to see a good leader with no management skills.
    Granted, a good manager is not necessarily a leader

  43. Allen Thomson says:

    I confess that I didn’t know what a Gates notice is, but The Hill explains it thus:
    “[Paul] added that he also wants a ‘clear answer on whether your committee received a Gates notice related to me or to members of my staff,’ referring to the notification Congress receives if a lawmaker’s name is revealed in an intelligence report.”
    If that’s the case, it seems unlikely politically targeted spying would be written up in an actual intelligence report (IIR, FIR, etc.). OTOH, it’s not at all improbable that the name of a Congressbeing would show up in the conversations of, for example, Ambassador Kislyak. Those, we trust, are routinely monitored and interesting tidbits written up in IRs.

  44. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    The “pussy grabber” incident was fairly telling. What happened? After being condemned by Republican electeds, they went home and then proceeded to kiss Trump’s ring. “Pussy grab” should have ended his chances against anyone.
    The Democratic problem is two fold. One, elite Democratic media outlets are dominated by Hillary supporters. During the primary, people who voted for Hillary were found to receive primarily from cable news. Sanders listed non-cable news platforms. Despite the unity of elite Democratic linked media outlets, a 73 year old Senator from Vermont challenged the Queen who significantly outperformed the Sanders in areas with limited internet access. One should not underestimate dissatisfaction within the potential Democratic coalition.
    The state of Versailles on the Potomac relative to outside Versailles is the issue. Many of our institutions poll at all time lows. Congress is even less popular than the President, and the media polls with Congress. Congressional popularity is not linked to a particularly party given the personalities.
    The “OMG Russia” meme has been in the news for so long that its unlikely to move people without “evidence” or acceptable “evidence.” Further innuendo, much like the discussions about long form and short form birth certificates, might serve to enrage a person committed to a particular narrative no matter how absurd. It will no longer move people. Given the dishonesty or complete lack of substance in the “OMG Russia” stories to date, the risk is people will only look away from the “OMG Russia” crowd similar to the Birthers as time progresses.
    Trump’s popularity did drop in recent days during the healthcare vote period.

  45. Valissa says:

    I’m curious about that too. Although I quite appreciated the PT’s other posts, I find this one very biased by personal emotion and probably group affiliation as well. Guessing that PT has long been an anti-Trumper. Also guessing PT lives and/or works in the DC area which appears to have a heavy anti-Trump bias. One cannot do rational analysis about politics when one is emotionally biased for or against someone or something. When what you are watching on TV as well as media headlines keep repeating the same hysterical bullshit, and constantly pulls on emotional strings, even very intelligent people can get sucked into the collective lynch mob mentality. This anti-Trump propaganda campaign is being strongly pushed by the Democrats and many Republican elites/insiders as well.
    Versailles on the Potomac is having a collective hissy fit about Trump and his every step. Makes the DC insiders look even lamer than they did before the election. I find that very amusing!
    I’d be happy to bet against anyone who thinks Trump will get impeached.
    [reminder, I’m a 3rd party voter and did not vote for Trump. ]

  46. Eric Newhill says:

    You really want to go there? I don’t think so.
    First off, tossing out “Jewish” mafia as a term is going to get attacked as “anti-Semitic”. We can’t even discuss AIPAC and its influence without being shouted down and shamed.
    Worse, politicians get money from all kinds of shady sources. Think about the unions and organized crime and the donations they would make. Organized crime is behind a lot of campaigns. If I was Trump, I would be having the FBI put together a nice power point, right now, of Democrat/organized crime connections; easy to do.
    No one in DC wants their money sources to become a hot topic. Trump would fight back by doing just that.
    And it’s not just organized crime. How about exposes on Saudi/ Clinton connections filled with evocative images of people getting their heads cut off and women being stoned to death?
    The pot really needs to be careful about calling the kettle black when the kettle has nothing to lose.

  47. hemeantwell says:

    I think you may be overloading on scandal and underloading on the possibility that Trump may be identified with significant policy accomplishments. That he and Warren might form a coalition on Glass-Steagall II would be both worthwhile policy and a significant disruptor of the anti-Trump coalition. As someone in another thread wondered, what will Rachel Maddow say to that? Also, if the pressure on Trump forces him to resort to the most efficient anti-ISIS strategy available, i.e. coordinating with the R+6, the fall of Raqaa would help him.

  48. iowa steve says:

    The same vested money interest pours in for both sides regardless of who’s in power, doesn’t it?

  49. TonyL says:

    Thanks pantaraxia. IMO, these might have been the real reason why Comey was fired. Could it be that Trump felt the investigation is getting too close to these shady deals?

  50. Fred says:

    Which TV show was this where Trump said “he did it to shut down the Russia Investigation” or is that just your own made up quote?

  51. Colonel,
    Off topic and old news to your readers no doubt, but this direct confirmation of Western support for the Jihadis is unusual.
    (Via MOA)

  52. Fred says:

    The federal bureaucracy is full of manager who put great weight on administrative busywork. Trump needs to eliminate about half of those positions across the Republic and it would be of great benefit to move most of what is left out of metropolitan D. C..

  53. Fred says:

    What paperwork for confirmation is required by the Constitution? I don’t recall reading any in that document. Only one foreign ambassador was confirmed? You mean the ones in place need to be fired or that unlike most of his predecessors he isn’t filling the positions with political donors? If he needs a volunteer I’d be happy to be nominated.

  54. Jack says:

    Spot on, Valissa.
    Trump Derangement Syndrome has addled even some normally clear-headed analysts. I hear it all the time by many of my friends and family who are so caught up in the shiny objects of Trump’s latest tweet or gaffe. They pine for the slickness and smooth talking of Obama while not recognizing that beneath that veneer was someone as Borgist as they come.
    While I don’t begrudge the Obamas all the benefits of joining the oligarch club, I want to gag when his kool-aid drinkers compare him to Trump and note the suave vs boorish. The whole lobbying industry is all about laundering money and favors and the Russians are competing with the Saudis and Israeli Firsters, who have had a lock on things for a while. Of course there’s also the huge flows of funds from domestic sources from the unions to big pharma & finance.

  55. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    In regard to the “lynch mob mentality”, yes, some people can get pulled into it, but surprisingly enough, not necessarily because they agree with the reasons advanced by the “lynch mob”. Rather, these people may just get exasperated by the gridlock, despair of attaining a resolution, and getting on to pressing business, so they go along with the “lynch mob” just to break through to the other side; throw the guy to the wolves even if it is not justifiable on the basis of evidence, merely get past the immediate, apparently unresolvable screeching. I see many of the Republican party apparatchiks in Congress as being susceptible to this; Trump is, after all not one of the Tribe. Look at how he blew hu-u-uge holes through Jeb!, Cruz, and the beat-down he administered to the other odious dwarves that their party establishment threw up for consideration for the nomination.
    How dare he threaten the smooth operation of the soft machine? Get him out in favor of an Inner Party operative like Pence.
    Only at the cost of your party, buckos, ’cause if you do that, many of your potential voters will drop you like a stone.

  56. Dr.Puck says:

    Love the overlay point-of-fact! It should have been deployed to argue against the catastrophic (to the health of the deplorables,) Trumpcare.
    Trump doesn’t trust people easily. This is consistent with his mental problems. Originally, it seemed that this would fit in with a significant paring down of the government, its agencies and bureaucracies and regulatory functionality and research functionality. At the time, this seemed to be a perfect fit: Trump’s natural distrust of people not right next to him, and, Bannon’s deconstruction of the so-called administrative state.
    The continuing budget he signed has mostly delayed this radical contraction of the state.
    But, the question remains, how much paranoia is it healthy for a leader of the free world to indulge in?

  57. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Annoying as it is to be slapped in the face with the Trump Derangement Syndrome every damn morning on the front page of my local Newz Ragg, the Philadelphia Inquirer (now a Mini-Me to the Washington Post…how they have fallen from the honorable days as a McClatchy paper), I am thoroughly enjoying the foam-flecked invective, and rumor-mongering to which they are reduced.
    And yes, I too see some hopeful signs that beneath the roiled surface of public non-discourse, some important initiatives are forging slowly forward. Tillerson’s Dutch Uncle speech concerning the past petulant, and astonishingly arrogant insistence on so-called “American Values” being adopted by counter-parties before international relations can be fruitfully prosecuted was particularly gratifying to me. Why, it’s almost as if something or other from Washington’s Farewell Address was dimly recalled as wise counsel in this regard. Huh.
    Enough with the Obama (and, to be fair, Bush) State Department’s NeoConservative/Trotskyite Continual Revolution BS. Time to put on the Big Boy Pants for a – very welcome – change.

  58. Stephanie says:

    Fred, if I may speak for BraveNewWorld, it’s the interview Trump did with Lester Holt of NBC News, where he admitted he was thinking of the Russian investigation when he fired Comey. Very easy to find and very widely noted.

  59. Stephanie says:

    Also, the State Department would not be in this position if Trump had not summarily dismissed the ambassadors in place at the time of his inauguration. It is of course customary to replace ambassadors nominated by the previous administration, particularly that of a rival party, but it is most irregular to do so as this administration did it, ordering people home immediately without regard to their individual circumstances and without having so much as a list drawn up of potential replacements.

  60. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Back from your stroll in the woods, Hillary? Think you must have ingested some psychoactive fungi while out there.
    Oh, and regarding the Panama Papers “leaks”, isn’t it just so odd that they never seem to concern our Noble Leaders in the west? Seeings how all of the tax havens are units of the west to one degree or another, I can’t conceive of how people like, oh, the Clintons, or the Blairs, or ilk are not up to their necks in it after their assiduous cultivation of trans-national grifting for lo these many years, if not for decades. Strange how their boil-covered bums are never exposed to the light. Right, Hillary?

  61. doug says:

    Specifically, that since Democrats had been calling for Comey’s head. DJT’s proffered reason was Comey’s unprofessional July presser ripping into HRC. He bizarrely expected at least some Democrats to support the firing. But it stretches credibility beyond the breaking point to believe DJT fired Comey because of the unprofessional, public treatment of HRC.

  62. pantaraxia says:

    Should this turn out to be the thrust of the FBI investigation and the reason for firing Comey it then becomes a criminal non-partisan issue. Keeping a lid on this would to be extremely difficult and may prove to be impossible. Even Sen. Linsey Graham recently stated he wanted to know more about Trump’s business dealings in relation to Russia. The deals referenced in the videos and article did, in fact, take place, This is not a matter of speculation or conjecture. The key issues then becomes Trump’s level of culpability and whether the murky world of off-shore financing has been sufficiently effective in obfuscating the trail from the FBI and FinCEN.
    As to the Democrat/Republican dynamic, all I can say is a pox on both parties. Your points about the lack of political will are unfortunately all too true. This may yet become an issue too big to bury and force the politicians to be seen as responding. (Should your conjecture about this evolving into something that drags down the Clintons prove to be correct, well that’s just an added bonus.)
    Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain ‘tribal’ persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI’s most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

  63. Anonymous says:

    Still have my apple newton message to context.wikileaks.

  64. Kooshy says:

    Down the ditch or landing on a tree is wishful hopes, this is a cliff edge ride. 911 happened when this country nominally made enemy with one Sunni extrimist group who came to end of her usefulness. One can only imagine, in this last 16 years, this country’s continued policy of bombing and waring muslims all over ME, (with exception her own approved regional “democratic” dictators) has managed to make street level Sunni muslims her and her allies enemy for life, all over the globe, even with the “civilaized” european muslims. I say we already have at least couple of wheels hanging over the cliff while the rest of non-middle eastern or western European world is watching and laughing.

  65. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Well, maybe by getting rid of the political appointees all too commonly found warming the ambassadors’ chairs abroad, one might be able to fall back onto the professional diplomatic corps present in each of these nations to ride out the period wherein there are no appointed ambassadors. Why, who knows, maybe if we took our diplomatic presences more seriously (like some other nations do, perhaps like those devious Rooskies, say), we might not get our asses stuck in so many cracks; having technically unqualified toy ambassadors in place only increases the temptation to the Mandarins to unhelpfully micromanage affairs from the Imperial Capital without the benefit of informed feedback from expert observers on the ground.

  66. Fred says:

    Words have specific meaning. “Shut down” is not “thinking about”. That’s why Comey’s words “extremely careless” were used regarding Hilary’s handling of the emails rather than “grossly negligent” as the later would have gotten her indicted.

  67. Barbara Ann says:

    “Why do people think a businessman could run government?” – The government (politicians) evidently can’t run the government, so surely it’s worth a shot.
    “Business and government are two different kinds of things” Yes, the latter is currently a very badly broken and dysfunctional institution. The former trains results-oriented people who build great institutions.
    “Business makes a profit, government takes care of needs that don’t make profit” – The government will be able to take care of squat unless the economy is sound – i.e. it turns a profit. The stock markets certainly think that prospect looks much more likely so far under this President.
    As for noble pursuits – I give you a man who has willingly given up minding his billion dollar business empire to enter public service, at the age of 70. Another pertinent fact is that brand Trump’s fortunes (previously not at high risk) are now wedded to his personal success in office. That could be mistaken for pretty noble behaviour.

  68. Fred says:

    That would make a great episode of Rumpole of the Bailey.

  69. steve says:

    Nope, you do not get fired in the Big business world this way unless you have been caught stealing. You get fired when you aren’t making money, or worse, losing it. When you have pissed off the board. Even then you usually get a nice, quiet golden parachute and leave w/o a lot of fuss. The big corps go out of their way to avoid public scandal. Besides which this is basically akin to the CEO being accused of embezzling and then firing the accountant who was investigating that claim. No Board of Directors would put up with that.

  70. steve says:

    Trump is not being impeached. He won’t quit. Maybe, he won’t run for a second term. The GOP controls Congress. Not happening. He has hired a bunch of lackeys who don’t want to tell him the truth. If he doesn’t like themm he will just hire more after firing the current bunch. I hope people don’t think he cares that much about his legacy. By the time he leaves his business interests will have doubled, the kids will be richer than ever and he will have passed laws making it easier to keep that money. Whatever happens he will declare victory and move on.

  71. DianaLC says:

    I am not sure that anyone in D.C. knows how to get organized to carry out an impeachment. It’s like a clown show on television every time I think I will watch what used to be called the news channels. But if they do find a way, I think your prediction will come true.
    But there are some who know me well, and they know how very upset I was about the Trump presence in politics from the first Republican debate. I was a Never Trump person from the beginning. However, I did try to give him a chance, and I keep hoping for a respite from his absolutely boorish behavior. I will also say that I would like to have a respite from the Democratic Party and its many followers who go about shouting and screaming and destroying things in the name of protest. I didn’t like it much in 1968 at the Democratic Convention. I didn’t like it much when Billy Ayers’ friends were also doing their “politics” through vandalism and criminal behavior. So, all I can sayt is that I am happy that HRC was not elected.
    We really did have a Devil or the Deep Blue Sea choice, didn’t we?
    We did really need a mature, intelligent POTUS to deal with the mess our country is in and the mess that the world situation is.
    I can do nothing but put it all in God’s hands and try not to think about it much, while always praying for His will to be done on Earth.

  72. Stephanie says:

    Yes — Trump admitted that he was considering the Russian investigation when he canned Comey. That in itself is really more than enough, but to be more specific, he said that as he was deciding to fire Comey he had the Russian investigation in mind and that he believes “it’s a made up story.” The suggestion that he got rid of Comey to try to make it go away is clear.
    As for the gratuitous Clinton reference – nice try, but by me it’s not a patch on the Mar-a-Lago Situation Patio, never mind the latest developments from the White House.

  73. LeaNder says:

    thanks, doug.
    Getting odder and odder with the recent WAPO coup: Trump passing on highly classified information to Lavrov.
    So we have a sublayer connection now, classified matters circulated via Hillary’s private email account, Trump passing on even more sensitive information from a non-named partner. GB?
    Has the early post 9/11 expert opinion that messages and code could be embedded in image files ever come true? They no doubt are bigger then text files. 😉

  74. LeaNder says:

    thanks, johnf, was puzzled by allusions to this earlier.

  75. turcopolier says:

    HC was not president when she broke the law repeatedly by ignoring classification in her communications. The president is the ultimate classification and de-classification authority since the system is created by Executive Order. If HC had been POTUS when she did this she would not have committed a crime. Trump was withing his rights to reveal classified to the Russians. pl

  76. turcopolier says:

    The FBI Director is appointed by POTUS and serves at POTUS’ pleasure. He/she is a line subordinate of POTUS and is in no way independent. If POTUS had attempted to fire a federal judge or a member of Congress you would be correct but he did not. pl

  77. LeaNder says:

    As for noble pursuits – I give you a man who has willingly given up minding his billion dollar business empire to enter public service, at the age of 70.
    well basically, I think, in a family business at that age it may not be the worst time to turn it over to your successors.
    Concerning Lee A. Arnold’s use of nobility, for whatever reason, and I am surely not an expert on the classics, it triggers Cato and Cataline.

  78. jonst says:

    all the crocodile tears being shed for the manner in which Comey was fired (I grant all it could and should have been done more smoothly) are evidence, if any more is needed, of the high opinion the Borg has of itself. People are ungraciously fired every day, escorted out of the building, in Corporate America. And I mean all the way from the top, right down to burger flippers. You want Neoliberalism? Ya got it. So, I say, to hell with Comey. Anyone who comes before Congress, on such a vital and controversial matter, 6 MONTHS after the fact pattern occurred, so you have 6 MONTHS TO LEARN THE PATTERN, and make a mistake like Comey did,testifying that Weiner was “printing 1000s of State Dept Documents off his printer, should be fired. With, if not extreme prejudice, a hell of lot of it anyway. And that says nothing about all the other mistakes he made. And, apparently, refused to concede to.

  79. Tyler says:

    I swear one of Trump’s greatest strengths is his ability to make his opponents look like lunatics lighting their hair on fire and waving their severed genitals around.

  80. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Col. Lang,
    That the President has the authority to declassify and/or share classified information when he adjudges this to be in the national interest was my very first thought when confronted by the whiny, hand-wringing headline in this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer & NeoCon Toe-Sucker. The article was, of course, from the brains of this local operation, the ever-odious Washington Post, unchallenged lead cheerleader for Trump Derangement Syndrome.
    Yesterday we were treated to the information that “Clapper Pointedly Criticizes Trump” in our same local puppy-training medium. Well, I must say that, coming from the man who perjured himself before Congress, that’s all I need to hear.

  81. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Thank you.
    Lost amidst all of the undignified caterwauling surrounding Comey’s termination is the plain fact that the Director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the President (and reports to the Deputy AG, in this case, Mr. Rosenstein). Even Comey himself acknowledged this fact. Lordy me.

  82. LeaNder says:

    The big corps go out of their way to avoid public scandal
    Yes, that’s the main problem. Public Perception. I can assure you that even more elaborate scenarios of “caught stealing” are trumped by the concern you list.

  83. Fred says:

    Next thing you know we’ll find out a Democratic President gave classified information to Stalin.
    “…passing on even more sensitive information from a non-named partner…”
    The President must kneel in submission to the extortionate demands of the unnamed power or else they’ll get the WAPO to publish a story. Seems to me Trump should let everyone know who is threatening the US over keeping Their information secret. Just how much has that un-named power done to destroy ISIS?

  84. LeaNder says:

    Pat, it seems obvious he was aware of it. As president he surely must have been in the email ‘loops’. Nitwit, no expert, question: is it costume that the Secretary of State communicates with the President via his secretary (no idea about the correct person in charge). Yes, pretty unlikely.
    Would I want to dig into the dump? No, not quite a roof to repair, but along the lines of TTG something that I wanted to do for longer then I wish to remember. Meaning, something I would prefer to “dig into”. Core cynic that I am. 😉

  85. TonyL says:

    Yes. It is true that the Director of FBI serves at the pleasure of the President. But the President should not fire the Director of the FBI when his close business associates are under criminal investigation by the same Director.

  86. bks says:

    No one has said that Trump can’t fire Comey. What is being said is that the timing of the Comey firing is suspicious in light of the Russia/Flynn/Manafort investigations and that Trump has created a new maximal “credibility gap” by gainsaying his own aides.
    This morning Trump has poured fuel on the fire by confirming the WaPo story about leaking intelligence to the Russians just hours after his top advisers were saying it was false! No one is denying that Trump can declassify intelligence at will,
    but rather that he blurted it out to impress his guests. Nota bene this story from conservative Erick Erickson:

  87. turcopolier says:

    Since, as you admit, Trump was within his rights and legel powers both to fire Comey and to disclose whatever he thought best to the Russians (or anyone else)your objections can be disregarded as mere political polemic. pl

  88. turcopolier says:

    I share the opinion that it was foolish for ’45 to fire Comey at that time, but that does not change the fact that he did nothing illegal. pl

  89. pantaraxia,
    I do not know whether James S. Henry is a ‘reputable investigative journalist.’ He quotes Cervantes – ‘Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are.’ If however the people with whom he is walking are in British intelligence, or British law enforcement, I would want to look very carefully at claims he makes involving Semyon Mogilevich.
    Remarks in a preliminary response of mine to Sir Robert Owen’s report on the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which Colonel Lang posted in January last year, may be to the point:
    (See .)
    The section dealing with the use of Mogilevich in MI6 ‘information operations’, and the covering up of this by British law enforcement, reads:
    ‘Although I am still reading through the report, it appears that Owen has chosen to accept the version according to which Litvinenko, together with associates like the Italian Mario Scaramella and their common collaborator Yuri Shvets, was engaged in bona fide attempts to uncover terrible truths about Putin and his “sistema”.
    ‘To do this, Owen both suppresses a vast mass of information, much of it unearthed by Mr Italian collaborator Mr David Loepp, and repeatedly drawn to the Inquiry team’s attention by myself, and makes highly selective use of the information he does accept into evidence.
    ‘A key document is a letter supplied to Scaramella by Litvinenko on 1 December 2005 for use by the so-called ‘Mitrokhin Commission’, of which my Italian collaborator Mr David Loepp obtained the full (Italian) version, and an abbreviated (English) version was presented at the Inquiry.
    ‘Not discussed by Sir Robert Owen, however, was a key claim in the letter: that the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin’s personal “krysha”, was attempting to obtain a “mini nuclear bomb” for Al Qaeda. This was clearly an attempt to capitalise on the “suitcase nuke” hysteria.
    ‘At the time he and Scaramella were collaborating in disseminating this and similar claims – with the involvement of other figures, such as Oleg Gordievsky, Vladimir Bukovsky, Vladimir Rezun (aka “Viktor Suvorov”), and the former CIA operative Lou Palumbo – Litvinenko was, as we now know, an agent of MI6. (See
    ‘This farrago was supported by material from the famous Melnichenko tapes, which were transcribed and disseminated by Shvets, the whole operation being funded by Boris Berezovsky. As is evident to anyone who has looked at all closely to them, what used to be the conventional wisdom – that the published excerpts were not edited – is patently false.
    ‘If you do not believe me, have a look at the key transcript, available at
    There is a great deal more material in the remainder of the post and the exchanges of comments that followed.
    What makes me even more cautious is the way that the former MI6 operative Christopher Steele has emerged as a key figure in the attempts to demonstrate that Trump was the ‘Siberian candidate’.
    Unfortunately, as commonly, the versions disseminated by British officials are a tissue of contradictions. When the story of Steele’s involvement with the BuzzFeed dossier first broke in January, the ‘Telegraph’ reported that he had been case officer for Litvinenko. If this was true, of course, it would have been likely that he had been up to his eyeballs in forging the evidence supposed to implicate Putin in supplying nukes to jihadists.
    (See .)
    However, by the time Steele emerged out of the shadows in March, the ‘Guardian’ were being told a different story:
    ‘Several of the lurid stories about him that have appeared in the press have been wrong, said friends. The stories include claims that Steele met Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was murdered in 2006 with a radioactive cup of tea, probably on Putin’s orders.
    ‘As head of MI6’s Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko’s polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.’
    (See .)
    Of course, if he was head of MI6’s Russia desk at the time, it would again appear likely that Steele was involved in the attempts to implicate Putin in supplying nukes to jihadists – and the related attempt to smear Romano Prodi as a KGB/FSB agent.
    Be that as it may, it appears that, at the least, Christopher Steele can be held responsible for the crude cover-up which I described in my post last year.
    Whether he was actually involved in the forging of the interviews purportedly given by Litvinenko to Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt when he was dying I cannot say – although it seems quite likely. That they are forgeries is clear.
    The account of Litvinenko’s journey into central London on 1 November 2006, the day he was – supposedly – deliberately poisoned, and how it was established that he was clear of contamination when he travelled, involves the claim that he travelled in from his home in Muswell Hill by a combination of a no 234 bus and Northern Line and Victoria Line tube trains to Oxford Circus.
    However, it took Steele and his cronies a long time to arrive at this version. First of all it was claimed that he had been given a lift in by car, which was found to be clear of contamination. Then it was supposed to be a no 134 bus, identified by a £1.50 ticket. After that it was a no 134 bus, identified by an Oyster Card, which brought him in to Tottenham Court Road. And – in the last version before that presented to Owen – it was a no 134 bus and tube.
    In addition, if the interviews were to be believed, Litvinenko immediately suspected, following his meeting with his supposed assassins, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, on the late afternoon of I November, that poison had been put in his green tea.
    However, if the interviews are to be believed, his MI6 ‘handler’ was completely ignorant of the fact that there was anything amiss with him until at Litvinenko’s instigation Brent Hyatt ‘phoned him on 20 November.
    (See .)
    So, you see, if John S. Henry chooses to ‘walk with’ people like this, I think he may have told us a good deal about whom he may be.

  90. Stephanie says:

    I’m not sure why you would wish to inflict unnecessary extra work on our admirable professional diplomats by an immediate and unexpected mass firing of all ambassadors. They already have enough to do, surely. Are you suggesting that we dispense with all appointed ambassadors? It may not be a bad idea in the long run, but it’s not at all clear that Trump had that – or anything – in mind. It would seem to be the act of someone who does not take our diplomatic presences seriously, which is what you say you are advocating.

  91. Valissa says:

    The FBI has been investigating the Russia issue for a long time now. And they are probably not the only ones doing so. Yet there is still no evidence that shows Trump did anything wrong. It is just constant innuendo.
    To quote an old commercial… “Where’s the beef?”
    After probably thousands of man-hours of investigation looking for something to pin on Trump, still nothing. Feinstein said there was nothing recently when she was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CCN after having meetings with both the CIA and FBI.
    Why shouldn’t trump fire Comey after hearing the FBI wanted to continue investigating something that has produced NOTHING but more innuendo and speculation of dastardly deeds after many months of concerted effort.
    The phrase “leaking intelligence” was used by the WaPo to paint Trump in a certain light. Even the WaPo article pointed out it is the President’s right to share intelligence whenever they deem it useful or necessary to do so. They should have said he shared intelligence not that he “leaked” it. The use of the word “leaked” implies illegality and is an example of anti-Trump propaganda geared to trigger readers to be upset with the president for doing something wrong.
    This type of anti-Trump propaganda is constant. While I’m not surprised that uninformed readers believe it, I am surprised that a commenter at this blog is so easily suckered by such blatant MSM propaganda.

  92. Stephanie says:

    I agree, and I didn’t mean to suggest that the President wasn’t technically within his rights to dispense with Comey’s services whenever he pleased, as Comey himself said. However, here you have a situation where the (multiple and changing) reasons offered for the dismissal were plainly pretexts, the official being fired had reportedly previously refused to vow personal fealty to the president at a meeting requested by the president, and the official dismissed was leading an investigation bearing on the president, which the president publicly admitted to factoring into his decision. Not good, to say the least.
    If Trump is right in claiming that this is all a “made up story” he hasn’t done much to make it disappear. Just the opposite.

  93. turcopolier says:

    “Technically” Your use of that terms plumbs the depths of your partisan status as part of “the resistance.” pl

  94. bks says:

    Any fair-minded person will admit that Trump was obstructing justice in firing Comey. Whether that rises to the level of High Crimes is all about political polemics. Likewise, a fair-minded person will acknowledge that Trump blurted out the intelligence to impress his guests. Whether that was an impeachable breach of his Oath of Office is, likewise, political polemics.
    Trump could order his opponents shot dead and then pardon the shooters.

  95. bks says:

    Flynn is gone. Manafort is gone. There’s the beef.

  96. turcopolier says:

    Most Foreign Service Officers serving overseas are drones who don’t work much, entertain other diplomats a lot at US government expense, live in well furnished US government representational housing, send their kids to Swiss or British boarding prep schools at US government expense, get very liberal leave with transport to the US and draw hefty overseas duty additional pay. I was Defense and Army Attache in two US embassies and later head of all military, air and naval attaches in all US embassies world-wide. pl

  97. TonyL says:

    Yes, I agreed he did nothing illegal. And I understood the President is the ultimate classification authority (except for some extraordinary secrets).
    Just the timing and the way he fired Comey made it smell of something very inappropriate.

  98. Fred says:

    The reason – stated in writing – for firing Comey was that “gratuitous” Clinton reference known as the investigation of her email server and the FBI director’s handling thereof.

  99. turcopolier says:

    Tony L
    “some extraordinary secrets” Their are no “extraordinary secrets” that the prisdent cannot legally de-classify in the course of his duties. There is no classification authority above the president. Do you think God Almighty classifies things as a higher authority? pl

  100. turcopolier says:

    Nothing has been proven against either of these men. people like Trump fire subordinates because they are inconvenient or embarrassing. Perhaps we should lynch these two as an example to … pl

  101. Fred says:

    “Any fair-minded person will admit …’
    And those who don’t agree with you must not be “fair-minded”. Nice Kafka trap you created there.
    “Trump could order his opponents shot dead and then pardon the shooters.”
    no he could not.

  102. turcopolier says:

    “Whether that rises to the level of High Crimes is all about political polemics.” That is not true. There first must be an actual crime in office. pl

  103. turcopolier says:

    Yes, ordering his opponents shot dead would be a crime in law. Firing Comey was not a crime in law. pl

  104. jonst says:

    Well, I think a lot of people have given up on that expectations, ‘we want leaders’. They DO want them….but look around? You see any? Putin maybe, whether one likes him or not.

  105. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Well, yes, I would indeed advocate treating the Diplomatic Corps as responsible professionals expected to be assiduously involved in the understanding of the national currents in their duty stations, and more widely, the regional currents that impact on the behaviors of the nation to which they are posted which may be quite necessary to honing their understanding of the national ethos. It is a conceit of an arrogant imperial power to neglect to attempt to comprehend the history and aspirations of other nations with whom they have relations. Merely being ready to slide some other ill-informed donor in as an ambassador hardly addresses this, and yet this seems to be your main complaint. Seriously? Let the poor, poor babies in the Diplomatic Service do their crucial work, and aspire to higher standards for your chief diplomatic representative whether they be an ambassador or charge d’affairs.

  106. Jack says:

    “The use of the word “leaked” implies illegality and is an example of anti-Trump propaganda geared to trigger readers to be upset with the president for doing something wrong.”
    What is so fascinating is that they recognize that POTUS has ultimate classification authority but insist on the propaganda line of “leaking national security secrets to the Russians”. The double stroke reinforcing their meme that Trump is Putin’s Stooge selling out the US. And right on cue all the Borgists in the media and the political establishment speak with grave authority about how bad Trump is. No one of course ever asks who is leaking to the propagandists at the WaPo and the Times? It couldn’t be clearer that there are elements in government colluding with the Borgists in the media and political establishment doing everything they can to take down the Trump administration with innuendo and hysterical reporting.
    A recent sanctimonious op-ed by Borgist Fareed Zakaria was definitely vomit inducing. This democracy is under threat propaganda while cheerleading mass surveillance, and illegal interventions all over the world.

  107. different clue says:

    Eric Newhill,
    You are mistaken about who wants the Che Guevara and the Communism. (Also, Bernie Bros was a smear-word invented by the Clintonites to false-accuse Sanders of misogyny and etc.) The Sanderbackers range from wanting a New Deal Revival to wanting to Swedenize America.
    The people who want Che Guevara and Communism are the people who call Sanders a sheepdog and accuse Sanders of selling out for supporting Clinton when she got the nomination. They feel betrayed because Sanders did not lend his “star power” to the Green Party when its head asked him to be their Pres Candidate.

  108. different clue says:

    After several decades of attrition and degradement of the Union Movement and many individual unions, I wonder how much money unions can still contribute as against how much they used to contribute before 1980. I also wonder what percent union political spending makes up of all political spending overall.

  109. VietnamVet says:

    General Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Ambassador and President Trump’s passing on intelligence on laptop bombs to the Ambassador and the Russian Foreign Minister were both leaked by the upper levels of the intelligence community to corporate media. The best possible light is that both institutions are intent on changing the President’s policies towards Russia. At worse, this is an ongoing coup to remove him. I don’t know if the President gets it. But, his staff should. I think public opinion supports detente with Russia and a stand down from the forever wars.
    If the citation posted above by johnf is correct that the intelligence community believes that CIA and NSA hacking tools were released by the Russians; this means that the USA is in a cyberwar. The ransomware attack is the first shot across the bow. There is an obligation to provide the facts to the American people documenting this and a declaration of war passed by Congress. Otherwise, if agitprop, a clean sweep of the upper management of the 17 Intelligence Agencies for corruption and incompetence is needed.

  110. different clue says:

    I wonder how much I should even believe that, given that it is the Clintonite Washington Post which makes that claim.

  111. different clue says:

    Bill H,
    Pence is a Depublicratic Insider, just like most of the Democrats. He is “one of them” except for certain items of religious ideology. He supports their Assad-must-go, Cold War 2.0 with Russia, Forced Trade Agreements, and all the rest of the Borg Agenda.
    Removing Trump and getting Pence would put the Presidency back in Establishment hands and make a visible show of punishing the pushy-upstart Trump for daring to challenge the Mainstream-Annointed nominee-wannabe Depublicrats. And then the Democrats could try exploiting Pence as a ” cultural concerns” foe in order to keep their pink kitty cap base focused on social-culture items and carefully ignoring Forced Trade Agreements, collapsing real-wages, collapsing job-bases, etc.

  112. different clue says:

    Perhaps the EUropeans ( and Great Britain too) will abrogate NATO and form a NEATO (North East Atlantic Treaty Organization) of your very own.

  113. raven says:

    Thank you Captain Queeg.

  114. Valissa says:

    Fareed Zakaria, one of the leading globalist pseudo-intellectuals fronting for the Borg. Meh…
    Although WaPo finally reported this, it won’t get nearly the coverage. The courtiers of Versailles on the Potomac will continue their nasty gossip and innuendo to attempt to being down Trump.
    McMaster: Trump’s sharing of sensitive intelligence with Russia was ‘wholly appropriate’
    McMaster added that Trump made a spur-of-the-moment decision to share the information in the context of the conversation he was having with the Russian officials. He said that “the president wasn’t even aware of where this information came from” and had not been briefed on the source. “I wanted to make clear to everybody that the president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation,” the national security adviser said.

  115. bks says:

    Another bombshell tonight. If not a smoking gun, at least some powder burns. If I were on a jury and had to decide if Comey was truthful, or Trump was truthful, I’d call it for Comey in a microsecond. Of course, I’m just biased.
    Saw an interesting comment at HotAir: Trump’s mistake was that in firing Comey he increased the list of things the Comey could talk about tenfold.

  116. WarrenPeese says:

    The Comey memo may well shorten Trump’s presidency to less than a full term, but it could be also shortened by assassination. There are a lot of really angry leftists out there.

  117. Ingolf Eide says:

    If Trump hopes to win (or maybe even survive) these infowars, a larger narrative is needed. Something that helps supporters and undecideds contextualise what’s happening and pre-emptively casts doubt on future destabilisation attempts.
    Many of the elements are there in what he’s been saying: the whole “fake media” thing; the Democrats trying to cover for their failure and so on. However, to me it doesn’t feel like it’s really coming together, with each new drama responded to in a rushed and often fragmented fashion.
    He may need to go all in and openly and consistently emphasise the nature of the deeper battle. Put a frame around it. Namely that those who for decades have entangled America in pointless, destructive interventions and wars are fighting a desperate, ruthless battle against Trump’s vision. It seems there’s no end to the tricks, the exaggerations, the lies they’re willing to use. The future is at stake, right now, and we all need to be aware etc etc.

  118. Sam Peralta says:

    This campaign to create a narrative around POTUS and his Russian “connection” with the objective of his removal from office is truly bizarre.
    Take the example of the narrative and consequent media hysteria that POTUS disclosed very sensitive classified intelligence to the Russian FM and the Ambassador during their WH meeting, and now no intelligence service can trust the US with sensitive intel. If this was so sensitive and so classified and the IC hair was on fire, then what about the leaking of this information by someone in the IC, to the purveyors of propaganda, at the WaPO and the Times and then on to CNN, MSNBC, et al, who then spread this all over, while making a big noise, such that everyone knows about this so called sensitive intel. So, let’s ask the simple question, is this highly sensitive info or is this just a big stick to beat Donald J. Trump with? Clearly, those that claim it is super sensitive intel, such as those in the MSM, have no problem contradicting this claim as they disseminate this sensitive intel along with their now frequent hysteria. It is this dissonance that many Americans, specially those in the the ranks of the Deplorables are cluing into and one reason that this blatant “soft coup” could badly backfire. So while some may believe that Trump is way over his head, they also see this concerted effort to depose him through a massive information operation and feel that actually is even more dangerous. In any case, the Borg is truly playing with fire as their actions are not very subtle and many people get what they are doing.
    Phil Giraldi is bringing this point to the attention of his readers.
    “I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20th.”

  119. Tyler says:

    No exhibit A, thank YOU.

  120. TonyL says:

    I meant extraordinary secrets in nuclear compartment only. I would be surprise if the President can legally declassify those. But please correct me if I am wrong.

  121. LeaNder says:

    jonst, admittedly I still have troubles with “the Borg”. Journalists are just as human as we are …
    What feels slightly more curious then earlier pretty scandalous events in the Post 9/11 US universe, is, how easy it seems to predict the next step from a purely human experience basis.
    Example: Trump’s threat: be careful, I recorded you, triggers mentally e.g. both recorded phone calls, and a supposedly recorded phone call one may have used as pure threat oneself. Works wonders sometimes. But it also triggers, protocols made after an encounter.
    Strictly, I always taken care I had proof they arrived in more important cases. I never assumed given our laws of evidence, they mattered in any way if not. Which is obvious, strictly, I could have seriously misunderstood someone. If I sent him the protocol, s/he has a chance to contradict.
    I am on no one’s side in this matter, but strictly quite possible, if customs were followed in the dismissal of Comey, there wouldn’t have been a story at all. Or at least not the hype we witness now.

  122. pantaraxia says:

    Thank you for your word of caution. While one can never be certain as to who is walking with whom the Wikipedia entry for James Henry (for what its worth) does not raise any obvious red flags. If anything quite the opposite. His work as a senior adviser at the Tax Justice Network and publications such as “Pirate Bankers: First-Hand Investigations of Private Banking, Capital Flight, Corruption, Money Laundering, Tax Evasion, Drug Trafficking, Organized Crime, Terror Banking, and the Continuing Global Development Crisis (2006)” are indicative of walking an altogether different path.
    In the article references to Mogilavich are sourced:
    .”According to a certified U.S. Supreme Court petition, Felix Sater’s FBI handler stated that he “was well familiar with the crimes of Sater and his (Sater’s) father, a (Semion) Mogilevich crime syndicate boss.”
    “According to the Financial Times and the FBI, …, Birshtein was a close business associate of Sergei Mikhaylov, the reputed head of Solntsevskaya Bratva, … 1996 FBI intelligence report cited by the FT claims that Birshtein hosted a meeting in his Tel Aviv office for Mikhaylov, the Ukrainian-born Semion Mogilevich, and several other leaders of the Russo/FSU mafia, in order to discuss “sharing interests in Ukraine.”
    ( No doubt you are aware of Mogilevich’s ‘close association’ with Solntsevskaya Bratva.)
    The article (and the videos referenced above) bring into stark relief some of Trump’s rather dubious business dealings with characters who have, at the very least,. ties to Russian organized crime. I fail to see a hidden agenda here nor any similarities to the type of situation described in your informative post.

  123. turcopolier says:

    Tyler’s reference seems to have more to do with maenads rather than Queeg. pl

  124. Sam Peralta says:

    “Of course, I’m just biased.”
    That is rather apparent. TDS is an affliction that can lead to blindness.
    Maybe this cartoon can help??

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