Connect with us


US Intel Agencies Forced to Hire Outside Consultants to Study How to Get Trump to Understand National Security Info



U.S. Intelligence agencies have been forced to hire outside consultants to study how to present vital national security information to President Donald Trump in a way he will understand the data, The New York Times reports.

Trump, unlike most presidents, is infamous for not reading his daily briefing materials or even paying attention during his oral briefings, now just two or three days a week. But unlike most presidents, Trump prefers to rely on conversations he has with close friends instead of information collected by the nation’s top spies and intelligence professionals.

“The president veers off on tangents and getting him back on topic is difficult,” The Times adds, citing former intelligence officials. “He has a short attention span and rarely, if ever, reads intelligence reports, relying instead on conservative media and his friends for information. He is unashamed to interrupt intelligence officers and riff based on tips or gossip he hears from the former casino magnate Steve Wynn, the retired golfer Gary Player or Christopher Ruddy, the conservative media executive.”

President Trump “rarely absorbs information that he disagrees with or that runs counter to his worldview, the officials said. Briefing him has been so great a challenge compared with his predecessors that the intelligence agencies have hired outside consultants to study how better to present information to him.”

Trump’s inability and lack of interest in understanding the forces that daily threaten America’s 3.8 million square miles and nearly 330 million people was never more an issue than at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. To date, nearly 100,000 Americans have died from the virus.

Studies, including one released Wednesday, show that had President Trump acted just one week earlier, 36,000 lives would have been saved.

But Trump “has insisted that the intelligence agencies gave him inadequate warnings about the threat of the virus, describing it as ‘not a big deal,'” The Times notes, referring to a January 23 briefing.

Trump blamed that questionable claim on “a C.I.A. analyst with three decades of experience.” He also “ignored a host of warnings he received around that time from higher-ranking officials, epidemiologists, scientists, biodefense officials, other national security aides and the news media about the virus’s growing threat. Mr. Trump’s own health secretary had alerted him five days earlier to the potential seriousness of the virus.”

Despite all the early warnings about the impending global pandemic, “Trump balked at further measures that might have slowed its spread.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘It’s Insane’: Experts Condemn Trump’s July 3 Mt. Rushmore Fireworks Show Over Virus and Fire Concerns



President Donald Trump is forcing through his plan to headline a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore despite concerns from experts who know the national park and its 80-year old monument very well. Those concerns include the coronavirus pandemic, threat of setting off wildfires, water contamination from fireworks chemicals, and limited access to and from the park.

“I think it’s insane to explode fireworks over flammable material and ponderosa pine vegetation,” Bill Gabbert, a former National Park Service fire management officer, told The Washington Post. Gabbert oversaw Mount Rushmore and six other national parks for three years.

Trump will get his way, fulfilling his years-long dream. 7500 tickets are being distributed by the state’s tourism department.

The president and his re-election campaign team will fly to South Dakota and Montana for a four-day “high-dollar” fundraising trip, followed by Trump’s July 3 fireworks show. Tickets to the fundraising events cost between $250 and $100,000.  Trump is also headlining a July 4 “Salute to America” in D.C., where he will speak on “heritage.” The event will feature military flyovers and demonstrations.

Other Mount Rushmore experts are also concerned.

“It’s a bad idea based on the wildland fire risk, the impact to the water quality of the memorial, the fact that is going to occur during a pandemic without social distancing guidelines and the emergency evacuation issues,” says Cheryl Schreier, superintendent at Mount Rushmore National Park between 2010 and 2019.

Schreier says there are “public health and safety risks, not only to the visitors but to employees.”

“Fireworks shows,” the Post notes, “had been held at the memorial between 1998 and 2009, until U.S. Geological Survey scientists determined the activities left high levels of a toxic chemical called perchlorate in drinking water used by the 3 million people who visit the memorial annually.”

Trump in January, discussing his desire to have the fireworks at the historic monument honoring four of the nation’s greatest presidents, ignored all the risks.

“What can burn? It’s stone.”





Continue Reading


Watch: Trump Warns Kids in California Are Committing Voter Fraud by ‘Raiding Mailboxes’ for Vote by Mail Ballots



President Donald Trump went on a long rant Thursday afternoon when a reporter told him he was wrong about mail-in voting. Trump is falsely claiming the State of California is sending out ballots to everyone in the state, including non-citizens.

“Governor Newsom has not sent ballots out to everybody in California,” a reporter told Trump, as the President, displeased with being fact-checked, rearranged papers on his desk. “They’re only going to registered voters.”

Trump repeated has lied about levels of fraud with mail-in voting:

“So when he sends out 28 million ballots,” Trump responded to the reporter, falsely (video below), “and they’re in all the mailboxes, and kids go and they raid the mailboxes, and they hand them to people that are signing the ballots at the end of the street – which is happening – they grab the ballots. You don’t think that happens? There’s ballot harvesting where all – you know we had seven elections, for Congress, and they were like tied, they lost every one of them, ’cause they came and they dropped a whole pile of ballots on the table,” Trump claimed.

“But you don’t think that they rip ’em out of mailboxes?” the President asked. “All the time you read about it. You can read about it, take a look,” Trump instructed.

“They do worse than that,” the President continued. “In some cases they won’t sell them, like, to a Republican community, a conservative community. They don’t happen to send the ballots to those communities. And there’s no way of checking. No, you have to go and you have to vote. Voting is a great thing. Voting – we would be the laughing stock of the world. And if you just, use common sense, you know that? You know that’s going to happen. But they raid the mailboxes, they can even print ballots, the same paper, the same machine, nothing special, they get the same paper, the same machine, they print ballots, and Bill would have to do a great job to catch them doing it,” Trump continued, pointing to the Attorney General.

“Or your state authorities would have to. But you have tremendous potential – and you have tremendous abuse – but you have tremendous potential for fraud.”

Nothing the President said there is true. Also, NCRM could find no news articles about children stealing ballots from mailboxes.

An NBC affiliate in Spokane, Washington in 2018 reported on a man who did not get his mail-in ballot, and his neighbors said they did not either.

Spokane County Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin told KHQ News, “Every ballot that is returned goes through our sorter is checked against the barcode to make sure it is a valid ballot to be returned, and every signature is verified on all of these ballots.”


Continue Reading


Trump Promises to Sign Executive Order Today to Punish Tech Firms After Twitter Fact-Checked Two of His Tweets



President Donald Trump on Thursday will sign an executive order in retribution for Twitter appending a “get the facts” label on two of his tweets that were not only false but designed to suppress the vote. On Wednesday Trump responded to the new labels by tweeting, “Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” which is false, and promising tech companies he would “strongly regulate, or close them down.”

That seeds of that promise will be sown today with an executive order that would lay the groundwork to make tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Google legally liable for content posted to them by users. The Washington Post reports the order “could roll back the immunity that tech giants have for the content on their sites.”

Ironically, if implemented, it would force Twitter to delete many of the President’s own tweets. For example, he is currently engaged in an online smear campaign against Joe Scarborough, accusing the MSNBC host of murdering an intern who died of natural causes in 2001.

Just last night Trump posted a link to a video from a supporter that begins, “I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” The speaker is reportedly an Otero County, New Mexico Commissioner and the head of Cowboys for Trump. President Trump tweeted his thanks:

Trump’s executive order would direct the federal government to reinterpret a law called Section 230, which “spares tech companies from being held liable for the comments, videos and other content posted by users on their platforms.”

The President’s intended changes “could mean potentially dramatic free-speech implications and wide-ranging consequences.”

Trump gleefully hinted at the executive order Thursday morning.


Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.