Thursday, June 29, 2017

Leaky, Leaky

"Fake News" CNN soldiers on.
As President Donald Trump lashes out at former President Barack Obama for failing to take a harder line against Russia for election meddling, Trump's own advisers are struggling to convince him that Russia still poses a threat, according to multiple senior administration officials.

He keeps harping on what Obama didn't do, but Trump hasn't done anything else. Apparently he's going with, 'It was a one time shot. I was elected. They won't do it any more.' Which makes him look guilty of collusion whether he is or not.
Obama retaliated against Russia's interference in the election in January with a package of sanctions that included ejecting 35 Russian diplomats from the US, closing two Russian compounds and sanctioning two Russian intelligence services. While the Trump administration has upheld those measures, it has not taken additional steps.


The Senate passed a bill to slap Russia with new sanctions for its election interference and the legislation has moved to the House, which would also need to pass it before it goes to Trump's desk. But congressional sources said the Trump administration is hoping to water down the sanctions package.


[White House press secretary Sean] Spicer noted that Trump has upheld the sanctions the Obama administration put in place against Russia, signed a cybersecurity executive order to consolidate responsibility for protecting the government from hackers and created an election commission.
Much harder than Obama.
In a recent closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers expressed frustration to lawmakers about his inability to convince the President to accept US intelligence that Russia meddled in the election, according to a congressional source familiar with the meeting.


One intelligence official said the intelligence community continues to brief Trump on Russia's meddling in the election as new information comes to light. The source said the President appears no less engaged on issues surrounding Russian election meddling than on any other matters covered in the presidential daily brief.
Are they not putting his name in enough places?
But the official acknowledged that Trump has vented his frustration with officials outside of the briefings about the amount of attention paid to the investigation into Russian election interference.
His may not be the most transparent administration, but he's surely the most transparent president we've ever had.
The President doesn't differentiate between investigations into Russian election meddling and investigations into potential collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia, according to sources that have spoken to Trump about the issues.
He can't separate them. Any Russia-related investigation is apt to uncover his money laundering and racketeering.
"The United States continues to combat on a regular basis malicious cyber activity, and will continue to do so without bragging to the media or defending itself against unfair media criticism," [White House press secretary Sean] Spicer said in a statement.
I hope Spicer gets to stay on. It's nice to have a comedian in that position for a change.
Former US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns, testifying in front of the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, faulted Obama for failing to take action against Russia more quickly when he was president. But he unleashed his fury at Trump for doing so little to curtail Russian aggression.


" It's his duty to investigate and defend our country against a cyber offensive because Russia is our most dangerous adversary in the world today," said Burns, a career foreign service officer who has served under presidents of both parties. "And if he continues to refuse to act it's a dereliction of the basic duty to defend the country."
He's covered. Republicans control Congress.
Trump takes questions about Russia personally, sources said, because he sees them as an effort to undermine the legitimacy of his presidency.
That's one reason.
"He can't admit anything that may taint his election. He is more hung up on how it affected the election outcome than what Russia did."
That and his continued harping on Hillary Clinton long after he won the election reveal an insecure little man who doesn't truly believe he won the election on his own merits.
Another source close to the President says Trump sees everything regarding Russia as being "organized as a challenge to him."
The only thing we have to understand about Trump is he's a narcissist. Everything is either about him or trivial to the point that there's no need for him to consider it.
In Trump's mind "he had nothing to do with Russia," one source said. "He knows in his own mind there is not one single iota of anything that could implicate him."
It's beyond obvious that's not true. He's afraid of what will be unearthed.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, says he is working with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, on legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to explore what happened in 2016 on the cyber front.

Graham tells CNN their idea is to create a commission made up of all experts -- no politicians.
Inadvertently admitting politicians are not experts.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said earlier this month that he would keep in place a decision to designate election systems as "critical infrastructure."

The designation means that the federal government will put more resources toward protecting election systems and voting machines. They'll get the same treatment as other "critical infrastructure" that is paramount to national security, like dams and the power grid.
I wouldn't be comforted by that.

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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