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Trump Team Will Let Go Without Immediate Replacement Heads of Agency Responsible for Ensuring US Nuclear Weapons Are Secure

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‘Trump Basically Being Clueless’

UPDATE 01.10.2017:
Gizmodo has updated its story to state that rather than the Trump transition team asking the heads of the NNSA to leave on Jan. 20, “the Trump transition team has not asked the top two NNSA officials to stay on until they can be replaced.” The effect is the same: as it stand now there will be no leadership at the top of the federal agency that ensure the security of America’s nuclear weapons, and other nuclear materials.
The title has been updated to reflect this change, the story below has not been changed from the original:

The Donald Trump transition team is cleaning house of any and all Obama appointees, and that includes the heads of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal government agency responsible for ensuring America’s nuclear weapons are safe and secure.

“According to an official within the Department of Energy, this past Friday, the President-elect’s team instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th,” Gizmodo reports.

While it’s customary for all political appointees to resign effective noon on January 20, generally the incoming administration will ask those in key areas for which they have not yet had nominees confirmed to stay until they are replaced. The Trump administration, according to multiple reports, has not done this.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which has a $12.6 billion budget and about 25,000 employees, is “a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science,” according to its website. “NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.”

Gizmodo reports “Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons. According to our Energy Department source, Trump’s team has yet to nominate anyone to succeed them. Since both positions require Senate confirmation, if could be months before their chairs are filled. And the vacancies may extend beyond the leadership roles.”

“There are scores more appointees within the department,” our source told us. “Secretarial and administration appointments that don’t require Senate confirmation, mostly performing policy, liaison, and strategic advisory capacities in support of the agency they’re at. They serve at the will of the head of their agency. Those people are, theoretically, also out on inauguration day unless otherwise directed, which hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge.” 

The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”

While the lack of leadership isn’t an immediate danger, it could place the agency’s actions in disarray and it will leave them without anyone to advocate for their budget, and it will prohibit the agency from beginning any new work.

Bob Rosner, the Co-Chair of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists tells Gizmodo Trump’s call last month for a nuclear arms race and for enhancing America’s nuclear weapons is “a perfect example of Trump basically being clueless.” Trump “didn’t understand that we have a refurbishment program, according to Rosner.

“He didn’t understand that, under Obama, that we’d rebuilt the entire production complex. So exactly what he would mean by ‘strengthening the nuclear program,’ it’s a bit of a mystery. I don’t know what he’s talking about. We’ve done it already.” 

Here are a few tweets from Klotz and the NNSA explaining what they do: 

 

You can respond directly to Donald Trump by sending your comments to him on Twitter: @RealDonaldTrump. He is on Facebook. The Trump Transition Team is on Twitter: @transition2017
You can also call the US Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for any Senator or Representative. 

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Image by NNSA via Flickr and a CC license 

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Senior Trump Campaign Advisor and Top Fundraising Official Kimberly Guilfoyle Tests Positive for Coronavirus: Reports

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Trump campaign senior advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who is also the campaign’s top fundraising official, has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Guilfoyle was tested while in South Dakota, where President Donald Trump is right now, about to preside over a Fourth of July fireworks show at Mt. Rushmore.

ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci posted the news to Twitter:

The New York Times also reported Guilfoyle’s test result, and noted she is “the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son,” Donald Trump, Jr.

“Ms. Guilfoyle traveled to South Dakota with Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., in anticipation of attending a huge fireworks display where the president was set to speak.”

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GASLIGHTING AMERICA

‘Spawned,’ ‘Seeded,’ and ‘Spread’: Trump Official Spins Out-of-Control Anti-China Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

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Trump White House Trade advisor Peter Navarro used the long Independence Day weekend to spin a fantastical conspiracy theory that directly blames China for creating the deadly coronavirus, then sending “hundreds of thousands” of its people to the U.S. to infect and ultimately kill Americans.

“It is the Chinese Communist Party that is making us stay locked in our homes and lose our jobs,” Navarro, the author of the 2011 book, Death by China, told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi Friday afternoon.

“They spawned the virus. They hid the virus. They sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals over here to seed and spread the virus before we knew,” he continued, refusing to respond to Velshi’s questions.

“So, ah, the dateline is November. They spawned the virus, probably came out of the biological lab. For two months, they hid the virus from the world and the possibility of a pandemic, behind the shield of the World ‘Health’ Organization. While they did that, they vacuumed up the world’s protective equipment, including two billion masks, and,” said Navarro, plowing through Velshi who repeatedly asked if China did this deliberately.

“Here’s the point. While they were preventing any domestic travels from Wuhan to Beijing or Shanghai, locking down their transportation network, they freely sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese nationals on aircraft to go around the world.”

“They deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come to the United States, Italy, and everywhere in between, who were infected, while they were locking down their own transportation network.”

“Let’s be careful and clear with the words,” Navarro said, very carefully and deliberately gaslighting viewers. “What they did, during this period of time when they knew there was a pandemic, they didn’t allow their people to travel inside of China, they allowed people inside of china who were likely infected to go around the world.”

Watch:

 

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NOPE NOPE NOPE

‘Groucho? Harpo? Chico?’: Matt Schlapp Mocked for Claim This May Be Final 4th of July Before ‘Marxists’ Take Over US

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Far right wing lobbyist, Fox News contributor, Trump campaign surrogate, and provocateur Matt Schlapp is being mocked after claiming Marxists are taking over the country and warning that as a result, Saturday may be America’s final Fourth of July.

Schlapp apparently was forced to use a photo of umbrella-holding protestors fleeing what looks like tear gas, with one particularly patriotic young man donning an American flag face mask while holding up a rather large American flag.

“This Saturday, if the Marxist leaders have their way, we will celebrate #IndependenceDay for the last time as a free people,” Schlapp tweeted. “Now is the time to stand up for your country. And even more importantly, pray that the Great American Experiment survives their assault.”

At first glance, perhaps, some likely would assume the image is of Black Lives Matter activists at a George Floyd racial justice protest.

But as Vox co-founder Matt Yglesias pointed out, the photo is of protestors in Hong Kong, a region currently engaged in its own fight for freedom.

(The photo is from the Associated Press, and can be seen in this Voice of America article)

Schlapp, whose wife is a Trump campaign advisor, was double mocked – for the photo, and for the “American” protestors.

(The right recently has been labeling Black Lives Matter as “Marxist,” citing the reported beliefs of one of its co-founders, intentionally ignoring that the millions who are marching against police killings and for racial justice are not.)

Schlapp, by the way, is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the company that hosts the annual right wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Several companies have recently dropped Schlapp over his comments about the George Floyd protests. Among them, these:

Here’s how some are responding to Schlapp:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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