T Nation

Intel, the Courts and Trump


#1

Okay…let me first say that I deliberately kept “The Media” out of this group, simply because slapping them around is probably “fair” game. Even though I don’t think that almost going out of your way to make all outlets (except select ones) your “true” enemy is smart (the President has stirred up a Hornet’s nest)…he can Tweet he vitriol about them all he wants…

So let’s keep the “Liberal Media” out of this.

My question is about Trumps continued disdain shown for the Intelligence Community and the Courts…and the wisdom in that. He literally is more critical of them than our true adversaries…and Tweets his concerns on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis.

For the PWI family:

  1. Does he have legitimate grips?

  2. Are the Intel Community and the Courts “treating” him unfairly or “different”?

  3. As President…“should” he be criticizing; in such a public way; the Counts and the Intel Community in the way he is?

It seems to me that “right” and “wrong” are “relatives” to the President, depending on who agrees or disagrees with him.

I just don’t think that any of this is giving the President a good start.

(…and PLEASE let’s stop with the Andrew Jackson comparisons…please…?)


#2

The Intel community has leaked things about Flynn and other things to damage him. They didn’t do that to Obama. But he did say he was going to replace many department heads. So if he’s going to clean house why not now? Why wait?

The argument used to put a stay on the EO wasn’t a legal argument. Even the 9th Circuit wants to re hear the case. So it is actually a bad ruling without Trump demagoging it.

Should Trump be using Twitter at all ever? I vote no. Shut the hell up and pay people to put out a consistent message for you. But what do I know? I never got elected.


#3

I think this part is probably the most important (to me at least). Public perception means a hellava lot in today’s age. At the moment all his cry babying any time things don’t go his way is just further polarizing the country and breaking the public’s trust in our government.

These 2 parts I don’t think we can know for certain, as the intel community has access to soooo much more than us average citizens do. That being said I think, fundamentally, when someone “leaks” important/sensitive info, they’re risking prison time to expose a truth they feel people NEED to know (not Trump specific, it certainly happened to Obama as well). I also think statistically, when “leaks” start to happen more and more from a group of people like the intel community who are “in the know,” it’s cause for alarm.


#4

Correct me if I’m wrong…

The issue with Flynn is two-fold, making this a debatable point:

  1. Flynn’s contacts and discussions were as a “private” citizen and at a time when the previous Administration was trying to determine how best to respond to the Soviet’s tampering with our elections.

  2. He wasn’t completely forthcoming with the Vice President on what he did (or did not) discuss?

Am I wrong?

Does this make any difference?


#5

No Flynn should be fired 100%. I expect Trump will be the quickest to fire president ever. Which is a good thing in my opinion. Government Jobs shouldn’t be super secure just because. You screw up big time and then lie to your boss about it… you’re off the team.

Should Trump look into replacing key people in Intel? Yes. Should he berate them on Twitter? No.


#6

Agree.

I think that he really has to get “in-sync” with the Intel Community…or he can count on a difficult time in office.

With that said…they are “information collectors”…that information may not always agree with the President’s aims and/or objectives. Information and intelligence are what they are…not what we want them to be.

Court decisions can certainly be debated…I just think that the President should not voice his feelings of the competence of (NOT the decision of) the Judges on Twitter.


#7

I would have thought so too, but the DoJ warned the WH about Flynn two weeks ago. And since that time, Flynn’s been sitting in intelligence meetings. It’s pretty damn incredible that the National Security Adviser to the President of the United States has been fired for being a national security threat.


#8

Some. The anonymous leakage and the allegations we find later to be baseless, but made the news cycle anyway would piss me off. There has been a lot of hearsay and a shortage of facts. For instance, you have this article:

Within the article it says this:
“The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”

If there is no evidence, why is there even a story?

Somebody is trying to infer that Trump colluded with Russia to hack the election by conjecture and hearsay and no evidence. And people in the intelligence community is leaking this stuff… “Ah, Joe Shmoe had a couple of phone calls with some Russian, they must have hacked the election”.

I don’t think so, but there is clearly a mole somewhere that is leaking information and it doesn’t take a lot of people to do a lot of damage. If there is evidence of wrong doing, then it should be brought forth.

They totally assassinated that poor Flynn guy to the point where, just the mere appearance of impropriety forced his short tenure. All because someone leaked part of a bugged phone call. Which begs the question, why are they surveilling WH staff and who else is being bugged? Or did we reveal that we have the Russian Embassy bugged?
Revealing what our intelligence is up to isn’t very smart, but somebody is leaking this stuff. So, the President has a legit grievance with regards to leakage and hence has the feeling of working against him, not for him.
If the leaks continue, he may be forced to remove all the Obama appointees and replace them with friendlier people.
I would have a hard time trusting an organization giving the impression they are out to get me. And with each evidence-less accusation the divide deepens.

I don’t like his tactics and never have. I would prefer more decorum and professionalism. But that’s just the way he is, brash and abrasive and I don’t think he is going to change. I think he will improve over time as he learns the job better, but his communication skills will always be lacking. He acts more like a pimp than a boss…

I don’t think he has as big a problem with disagreements as people think. I think he’s paranoid that people have it in for him and hence over protective and over reactionary. But there is a contingent that is truly out to get him, so he’s not totally unjustified in his fears; but he’s not classy either. And that hurts him.

Unlike Bush who understated his case in many situations, Trump overstates his case. He has some points, as there is a full on character assassination attempts, but I think he could quiet the noise if he had a little more decorum.

I think he and his opposition needs to settle down a bit.


#9

No it didn’t.


#10

That may require a bit of house cleaning if the leakage cannot be contained. Obviously, he needs the intel community, but they also need to work with him and not against him. And there are people in the community working against him, clearly.
If the leaks stop, or the mole(s) is/ are found I am sure they will get along just fine.

Or he can just ask Netanyahu to get updates from Israeli intelligence. They know everything that is happening. Their intelligence community is one well oiled machine.


#11

You’re saying there wasn’t a single intel leak during Obamas terms? Really?


#12

I know this isn’t your question, Mufasa, but Trump’s comments about the intelligence community and now our judiciary are really discouraging. I’m talking about the accusations of ineptitude, with regards to the IC and the hacking fiasco, “they have no idea.” “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” That kind of thing undermines faith in the institutions.


#13

Trump needs to get Comey and say “In 24 hours, you bring me the mole or you are fired.”

Endless indignation here and in other areas re Snowden, WikiLeaks, Golden Shower Films, etc.
Crickets chirping on Rhodes, leaking Intel, illegal surveillance of our highest officials.


#14

Wait, what illegal surveillance?

Given that the Israeli intelligence apparatus ‘knows everything that is happening,’ the following is telling indeed:


#15

Personally, I see the intel leakers as heroes–professionals risking their jobs (and their freedom) to keep us aware of the alarming facts surrounding this administration.

The fact that Chaffetz is declining to investigate the connection(s) between the Trump administration and Russia, but has requested a witch-hunt to find those who leaked info pertaining to the obviously compromised Flynn, speaks to what a craven, partisan weasel he is.


#16

Nah. Can’t have it. Chaffetz may be a craven partisan weasel, but you can’t have intelligence officers or rank and file leaking information. That is a compromise that can not be tolerated. Doesn’t matter who or why. Once somebody has compromised their integrity to that extent in those circumstances, they gotta go.

Now Trumps cabinet and any other related activities should be looked into too, but really, do you want that leaked? Probably not, right? But you can’t very well control a loose cannon that is going off on a crusade, or needs to make a car payment, or what ever the motive, can you?

So what if the leak thinks he’s doing the right thing? He’s setting off red flags to potential targets.


#17
  1. No way.

  2. Differently, yes perhaps in the case of Intel community. Unfairly, no fucking way. He brought this on himself through his campaign actions, his speeches, and his attitute, and he needs to put his big boy pants on for 4 years and grow the fuck up. no, the courts are not treating him differently.

  3. Maybe not as publicly–but again he brought in on himself and he should sack up (but he can’t). Judges make statements in their decisions all the time–Scalia was famous for his bite in his written decisions. Nothing new or strange. As for the Intel Community well…they shouldnt do anything publicly. But he started this snowball rolling so fuck him. I have no sympathy. This is a president that a large chunk of the intel community thinks is himself an actual national securty and/or geopolitical threat–that is the first time that has happened. And again, he did this because he couldn’t shut up.

NOTE–none of these points have anything to do with the actual quality of the legal decisions made by appeals court. That’s a legal matter that he may have some space on. But judges ARE accustomed to voicing their opinions publicly in their written decisions. I am speaking specifically about the public nature/perception of the fueds as requested. Legal analysis, at least on this layman’s part, is not part of my goal here.


#18

And, just to clarify, no I do not think one can tolerate intel leaks. I agree with SkyzykS there. But that’s not --at least I dont think–what was being asked by Mufasa.


#19

Nunes is talking about this.
Klayman says he has witness with evidence of even USSC Justices being surveilled.

I’m surprised that you find leaking of confidential conversations, cryptic communication between adversaries of the administration, refusal to brief both Congress and President on collected intel acceptable. This seem very detrimental to the Republic itself.

Would a US version of the Stasi need to be revealed, for citizens to realize the Intelligence Community considers itself above both the law and the government?
.


#20

Chaffetz is an opportunistic publicity whore of the highest order…and his constituency (in Utah, of all places)…nailed his ass to the wall at a Public Meeting earlier this week. (It made national news).

He has shown a high degree of hypocrisy…but that’s how the game is played, I guess.