The Director of National Intelligence has just issued a thinly-veiled warning to Attorney General Bill Barr to not overstep now that President Trump has created unprecedented, sweeping powers for the head of the Dept. of Justice. Thursday night the intelligence community and intel experts were stunned when Trump announced he had given Barr total authority to declassify any information related to any investigation of the 2016 election.
Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) warned Barr in a public memo to work “in accordance with the long-established standards to protect highly-sensitive classified information,” and not “put our national security at risk.”
Those are strong words that indicate President Trump did not consult with Coats, and likely did not consult with FBI Director Chris Wray or CIA Director Gina Haspel before tweeting our Barr’s new powers, then heading to Japan barely 12 hours later.
Coats added that the Intelligence Community “will continue to faithfully execute its mission of providing timely, apolitical intelligence to the President and policymakers,” again, clearly suggesting that Trump’s actions, and possibly Barr’s, are entirely partisan.
Interestingly, Coats characterized Barr’s investigation into how the Russia investigation was started as a “review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election,” which is not what Barr is conducting.
Trump’s decision to hand Barr the keys to the Intelligence Community’s kingdom is seen as just the latest in a long line of actions – albeit possibly the most dangerous to date – of Trump using the presidency to attack the Intel community – and to “investigate the investigators.”
Intelligence experts have begun to weigh in on Coats’ memo.
Former Intelligence Community attorney, now the Executive Editor of Lawfare, and a Brookings Senior Fellow, and CNN National Security and Legal Analyst:
This does not read to me like a supportive statement from Coats at all. The intelligence committees should seek to have Coats and Haspel answer whether anyone in their agencies was consulted or raised objections to this plan to the White House. https://t.co/30iOEKAXCK
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) May 24, 2019
CBS News Intelligence and National Security Reporter:
Battle lines are drawn:
DNI Coats pledges to provide DOJ with “all of the appropriate information” related to 2016 and expresses confidence that AG Barr will make efforts to “protect highly sensitive classified information.”
The devil is most certainly in the details here. pic.twitter.com/wOc7F7sQBJ
— Olivia Gazis (@Olivia_Gazis) May 24, 2019
Politico Foreign affairs reporter:
I *think* this is Dan Coats’ way of telling Bill Barr, “Tread carefully, buddy.” pic.twitter.com/kQJO2aIdVZ
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) May 24, 2019
We’ll add more reactions from experts as they come in.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Trump Shamefully Withdraws United States from World Health Organization During Pandemic
In an absolutely shameful move for Americans everywhere (whether they believe it right now or not), the Trump White House has announced its departure from the World Health Organization (WHO). The line was drawn in the proverbial sand on Tuesday, July 7.
“We have detailed the reforms that it [the WHO] must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” Trump said.
According to The Hill, the United States contributes upwards of $400 million annually to the WHO — the group’s largest contributor — and public health experts have warned that a suspension of funds would severely damage the organization.
Following Trump’s ill-timed announcement, United States Senator Bob Menendez tweeted, “Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the WHO in the midst of a pandemic. To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice. This won’t protect American lives or interests — it leaves Americans sick & America alone.”
Congress received notification that POTUS officially withdrew the U.S. from the @WHO in the midst of a pandemic.
To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn't do it justice. This won't protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 7, 2020
“I disagree with the president’s decision,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. “Certainly there needs to be a good, hard look at mistakes the World Health Organization might have made in connection with coronavirus, but the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”
“Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need,” Alexander added.. “And withdrawing could make it harder to work with other countries to stop viruses before they get to the United States.”
It’s not the first time Trump has publicly denounced the WHO and it certainly won’t be his last. Trump said this past May that “China’s pattern of misconduct is well-known. For decades, they’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year were lost dealing with China, especially over the years during the prior administration. China raided our factories, off-shored our jobs, gutted our industries, stole our intellectual property and violated their commitments under the World Trade Organization.”
Although Trump has put the plan in motion to extricate America from the WHO, there may still be a long legal battle ahead if Congress challenges the decision in court since Congress already allocated funding for the WHO in its current spending bill.
119 days, America. The world is literally watching.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) July 7, 2020
Trump just formally withdrew the United States from the World Health Organization. What a shameful moment.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) July 7, 2020
I will say it again. National unity. Global solidarity.
This is our only road out of this pandemic"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 7, 2020
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 7, 2020
Petty, short-sighted and criminally irresponsible. #WHO is the world body that coordinates the global response to the virus. Now, we’re not just alone in our ineptitude, we’re actually alone. https://t.co/EDpNYva29j
— Richard Stengel (@stengel) July 7, 2020
Leaving the #WHO is a monumentally stupid decision from a deathly incompetent administration. It undermines our efforts to get #Covid under control while locking us out of the main global body tracking & responding to the virus. https://t.co/jSs2S5c8XF
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) July 7, 2020
— Barbara Malmet (@B52Malmet) July 7, 2020
— Prof. Dr. H. C. Vollmar (@hcvollmar) July 7, 2020
— Maalai Malar News (@maalaimalar) July 7, 2020
— Market Raptor (@swissraptor) July 7, 2020
Experts Blast Barr for ‘Utterly Shocking Bad Faith’ NBC Interview Attacking FBI: ‘Hannity Is the Attorney General Now’
“If there is a single thing William Barr is an expert on, it is ‘bad faith.'”
In a stunning move the Attorney General of the United States on Tuesday blasted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, widely separating himself from the findings of the Dept. of Justice Inspector General’s report. Barr also claimed the FBI should have ended the counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump once he was elected president.
And Barr even said the FBI acted in “bad faith” in conducting the investigation into Trump and Russia.
Effectively, Barr is saying not only should the president never be prosecuted, but presidents should never be investigated. All these statements are contrary to what many if not most constitutional experts have said.
Barr also called the reasons for opening the Russia probe “very flimsy,” in an interview with NBC News’ Pete Williams.
Again, that is in direct contradiction into what legal and constitutional experts have said.
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr also told Williams.
Stunningly, Barr also tells Williams the Steele Dossier is “false.” Nearly none of it has been determined to be false.
He also falsely hunkers down on his false claim the Trump campaign was spied on.
Barr is getting blasted as his interview airs on MSNBC.
Here’s MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who pulls no punches:
If there is a single thing William Barr is an expert on, it is “bad faith” https://t.co/qBh13ZaXCW
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 10, 2019
Last night Frank Figliuzzi describes Barr as “shopping for outcomes” and he’s now basically come out and admitted that.
Gonna be awesome when DOJ opens a criminal investigation into whoever the D nominee is in 2020.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) December 10, 2019
Here’s ACLU attorney Josh Block:
— Josh Block (@JoshABlock) December 10, 2019
CNBC/NBC’s John Harwood:
Putin could not serve Trump’s purposes any better than Barr in this interview
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 10, 2019
he continues to say Mueller found there was no collusion
that is false
Mueller found that he could not establish a conspiracy to collude – not that there was no evidence of it
to the contrary, Mueller found that Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference and exploited it
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) December 10, 2019
CNN National Security and Legal Analyst Susan Hennessey:
Just utterly shocking bad faith by the Attorney General. Once upon a time, this was the kind of thing that would spark high-level resignations in protest at the Department and Bureau. https://t.co/r0kjL4V4PW
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) December 10, 2019
NBC News and MSNBC Legal Analyst Glenn Kirschner:
Barr is becoming the Attorney General for Disinformation. Congress, if you’re listening . . .
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) December 10, 2019
U.S. Senator Mark Warner, Vice Chairman, Intel Committee:
Mr. Barr is acting in incredibly bad faith. With this revisionist campaign to undermine a thorough, two-year IG investigation, the Attorney General is once again substituting partisan rhetoric for politically inconvenient facts. https://t.co/41KkrxMCkn
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) December 10, 2019
Barr is inadvertently describing exactly what Trump did with Ukraine and what the Articles of Impeachment cover. https://t.co/SXJu7pjcfG
— Leah McElrath 🏳️🌈 (@leahmcelrath) December 10, 2019
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) December 10, 2019
You know, John Mitchell went to jail for Nixon out of loyalty. Barr is doing it because after years of hiding under the radar as a kind of standard-issue Bush/Reagan Republican, he turns out to be a tin-foil loon. https://t.co/S5Rds7Pa0E
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 10, 2019
Erick Erickson on Pete Buttigieg: ‘His Understanding of Christianity Isn’t Very Deep or Serious’
Conservative evangelical personality and blogger Erick Erickson is at it again. The man who says he believes terrorist attacks occur because of God hates gay people just can’t help himself in a new Twitter rant regarding Vice President Mike Pence and 2020 presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Note: VP Mike Pence is set to speak at an event hosted by Erick Erickson this week.
How do Episcopalians feel about that? https://t.co/V4PITKGMnE
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) July 31, 2019
His racist attack on Americans is right in line with President Donald Trump’s rants as well.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 1, 2019
He aligns himself with people who call people like Senator Kamala Harris “salty,” to say the least:
Kamala Harris was super salty in post-debate interview last night about Tulsi Gabbard’s hit on her record as a prosecutor. Called herself a “top-tier candidate,” and belittled Gabbard’s poll numbers. https://t.co/MmCnfpbDxM
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) August 1, 2019
Confession: while I appreciated Gabbard’s take down of Harris, I still do not find Gabbard to be a credible candidate. She’s just the next Ron Paul in waiting, but with fewer followers.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 1, 2019
Five years ago, New Civil Rights Movement reported that Erickson was behind the nation’s “First National Gun Appreciation Day,” conveniently scheduled for Saturday, January 19, Robert E. Lee Day. Lee was the Civil War hero of the Confederate Army.
He throws support around hate wherever he goes, including retweeting this nonsense:
A transgender 3 year old is like a vegan cat.
We all know who’s making the lifestyle choices.
— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) July 31, 2019
Class act, this one.
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