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Storm Clouds Gathering Around Trump

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“Forget talking about the Trump Administration. The question now is whether this will be a Trump Putin Administration or a Putin Trump Administration.” – Dan Rather

In an editorial published Monday China’s state-run Global Times newspaper wrote that “in the field of diplomacy” President-elect Donald Trump is “as ignorant as a child.”

China is angered by Trump’s public dismissal of decades of established diplomatic protocols and means, made readily apparent by his phone call to the president of Taiwan, showing his disdain for a mutually agreed upon “One China” policy.

The world’s most populous nation, China’s viewpoint is also shared by numerous American intelligence officials, elected officials, and diplomatic personnel, many of whom are alarmed by the President-elect’s reaction to the Washington Post article Friday that disclosed that the Central Intelligence Agency reported the government of Russia, via proxy means and hacking activity, actively worked to disrupt the American political process, sow discord, and assist in electing Trump to the the presidency.

Trump dismissed the CIA report calling the notion “ridiculous” and, “just another excuse.” 

He lashed out warning that the persons in the intelligence community releasing these reports were the same ones who claimed that Iraq had possessed weapons of mass destruction, when in fact those reports were fabrications. 

However, not all intelligence officials agree on the CIA’s assessment, which could could give Trump more ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment. In a series of interviews with Reuters, officials with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the 17 agencies in the U.S. intelligence community told the wire service, “ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” said one. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.” 

Reuters also noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA’s analysis – a deductive assessment of the available intelligence – for the same reason.

Speaking to the foreign press corps, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, referred to the CIA’s report as an “absolutely unfounded, unprofessional, unqualified statement and accusation which has nothing to do with reality.” 

In sharper contrast, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during his daily press briefing Monday, “You didn’t need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyber activity. The president-elect didn’t call it into question,” he said, adding, “He certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xG8v5A-Ujo

On Capitol Hill, members from both Houses are dismayed and alarmed. “This is very serious stuff,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said regarding the reports of Russian hacking. “But for Donald Trump to summarily dismiss all of this makes no sense to me at all.” 

Screen_Shot_2016-12-13_at_9.09.50_PM.pngIn a joint statement, Senators Charles Shumer (D-NY), Jack Reed (D-RI), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “The reports should alarm every American.”  

Of greater concern for one U.S. Senator speaking with NCRM who declined to be named, is Trump’s refusal to take in daily intelligence briefings. In an interview with Fox News that aired Sunday, the president-elect claimed that he doesn’t need daily security briefings because he’s “like, a smart person.” The Senator scoffed at Trump’s declaration, saying, “Perhaps the president-elect should accept more intelligence briefings, so he understands Russia’s extensive hacking capability, as well as the extensive surveillance capabilities of U.S. intelligence agencies.”

The Senator then outlined a long list of reported ties between Trump’s team and Russia, noting that Congress and the public knew of those connections before the election, adding that Trump naming ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his choice for Secretary of State dismissing concerns the Exxon chief is too cozy with the Russian President is the ultimate act of studied ignorance. 

“Putin gave him [Tillerson] a pretty damn prestigious award back in 2013 (video). What kind of message does this send and not only to Trump’s critics here, what about our NATO allies and other governments?” he said. ”This goes beyond theatrics and buffoonery, no, this is damaging to national security and efforts diplomatically around the globe.” 

A major consideration is the fact that even though government officials were very much aware of the hacking problem even before the election, there was not a willingness to have the issue become politicized, according to one White House source. The Senator concurred and Tuesday The New York Times noted that “a skeptical president-elect, the nation’s intelligence agencies and the two major parties have become embroiled in an extraordinary public dispute over what evidence exists that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.” 

Screen_Shot_2016-12-13_at_8.52.13_PM.pngA senior intelligence official told NCRM that the worst aspect of the Russian debacle is Trump’s apparent naiveté regarding the importance of briefings and keeping informed.

“He just doesn’t get it. Every action he takes, every tweet he sends, every public pronouncement he makes has a direct impact on more than just foreign policies and U.S. interests. He is displaying willing effort to remain ignorant about matters than change in mere hours or even minutes – that impact not just national security but global stability.”

Famed journalist Dan Rather took the President-elect to task too, saying, “Forget talking about the Trump Administration. The question now is whether this will be a Trump Putin Administration or a Putin Trump Administration.”

“Trump can publicly diss the findings of the CIA all he wants – itself a worrying development for a President-elect seemingly allergic to intelligence briefings. But the reality is that America’s intelligence community has found solid evidence that Russia favored electing a President Trump. Tweeting in a post-fact world doesn’t change that.”

 

Brody Levesque is the Chief Political Correspondent for The New Civil Rights Movement.
You may contact Brody at Brody.Levesque@thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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ANTI-SCIENCE EXTREMISM

Protestors in Idaho Bring Their Kids to Mask-Burnings Promoted by Far Right Extremist Lawmakers

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Two far right Republican state lawmakers in Idaho recorded a video promoting coronavirus mask burnings, which subsequently took place across the state Saturday, including on the steps of the state capitol in Boise.

Despite what the two lawmakers say, Republican Governor Brad Little has instituted no statewide mask mandate, businesses are mostly open, and there are no stay-at-home orders, according to The New York Times.

The two GOP lawmakers are Rep. Dorothy Moon, whose husband belongs to the antigovernment extremist group the John Birch Society, and Rep. Heather Scott who reportedly supports white nationalism and according to a report is a leader in a group known as COWS, or the Coalition of Western States. Its founder was removed from the GOP caucus after a report stated he had engaged in domestic terrorism.

In April of 2020 Scott “compared Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) to Adolf Hitler because she said that stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic are akin to Nazi extermination camps.”

In the video the two lawmakers, Moon and Scott, say they “fully support” the mask burnings.

“People are gonna be lining up [at] burn barrels to throw masks in, mandates, or emergency orders or replications there have, because I think everyone’s ready for this emergency order to be lifted,” Moon says. “And now we’re almost one year into this COVID lockdown and mandates and orders that it’s time to end the numbers aren’t there.”

Given that Idaho ranks 43rd in per capita coronavirus testing, it’s impossible to say accurately “the numbers aren’t there.”

Scott chimes in to say the mask-burnings will be “pretty fun,” and Moon adds that there will be “50 burn barrels set up around the state.”

And indeed, people did come out to burn masks, and brought their children with them. One speaker referred to Idaho residents as “political refugees,” apparently for living under mask requirements in Boise.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reporter Sergio Olmos posted these photos and videos of the mask-burning at the Idaho capitol. Law enforcement officers asked the anti-science extremists, who are promoting the mask-burnings and including their children in them, to put out the fire.

 

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ANALYSIS

Expert Explains How Dems Just Brilliantly Forced Trump to Respond Under Oath for the Capitol Riot

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On MSNBC Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance outlined the legal problems that the new civil suits against former President Donald Trump will create for him.

“These civil cases are a very interesting aspect of the search for accountability,” said Vance. “We’ve seen the flawed impeachment procedure, which failed to hold him accountable despite evidence. We’re looking at the criminal process and criminal investigations ongoing, too early to conclude whether that would ultimately reach former President Trump and his inner circle. These civil cases are a direct and potentially more quick route for the American people to gain the truth.”

“Representative [Eric] Swalwell’s complaint is particularly interesting because it raises claims under the Ku Klux Klan Act, which talks about interference with Congress’ performance of official duties, and files suit in his individual capacity, arguing interference and interference with his well-being and the well-being of others,” said Vance. “Only one of the claims in this complaint have to survive a motion to dismiss, an early preliminary motion that the defendants will file in order to begin the discovery process, and that’s part of the legal proceedings in the civil case where a litigant like Representative Swalwell has the ability to take depositions to ask for documents where there’s actually an obligation that the defendants respond under oath.”

“This could get interesting relatively quickly,” concluded Vance, although she added, “It’s too early, I think, to assess whether the suit has a chance of success on the merits.”

“At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president,” saidformer EEOC general council David Lopez. “I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I’ve never heard of that happening before.”

Watch below:

Image via Shutterstock

 

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NOPE NOPE NOPE

Sinema Slammed After Spokesperson Says It’s Sexist to Discuss Her ‘Thumbs Down’ Vote Against $15 Minimum Wage

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Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) on Friday offered up a dramatic “thumbs down” vote on increasing the minimum wage to $15, which NCRM and other news outlets reported. While she was one of eight Democrats to vote against the legislation, she was the only one to mimic the late Republican Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, who famously stopped Republicans from killing ObamaCare.

Sinema was also the only one to bring cake to the Senate floor, giving her critics ample ammunition to compare her to Marie Antoinette.

But now Senator Sinema is fighting back.

According to HuffPost, Sinema’s spokesperson says it’s sexist to discuss her thumbs down act.

“Sinema’s office responded to a question about the gesture by making the absurd claim that the inquiry is sexist,” the news outlet’s Sara Boboltz reports. “‘Commentary about a female senator’s body language, clothing, or physical demeanor does not belong in a serious media outlet,’ Hannah Hurley, a spokesperson for Sinema, told HuffPost.”

Related: ‘Marie Antoinette’ Trends After Video of Sen. Sinema Giving Thumbs Down to $15 Minimum Wage Vote Goes Viral

On social media news of the “sexist” claim spread quickly, and did not go over well. Some responses:

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