Monday, May 08, 2017

The President is a Dangerous Ignoramus

“The president is a little confused this morning, he’s giving me some humor at 5:00 a.m. pacific time,” Mudd said of Trump’s tweet. “The White House doesn’t give security clearances. Individual agencies give security clearance…He doesn’t have any for the security clearance. As you’re suggesting, the issue here is whether the [Trump] White House had an ethics process for an incoming official. Typically, what you would do is say list your sources of income, list what you have been doing over the last year, list conversations you’re having about representative employment so you would know when you’re sitting down for a sensitive conversation in the White House about sanctions whether somebody around the table took money from Russia. There was an ethics conversation that the White House should have started.”

It was Flynn that didn’t disclose the information that he should have and Mudd is blaming Flynn for ignoring the rules.

“And also, we don’t have to speculate,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo cut in. “It’s not about, well, what did the White House– We know they knew. It will be the heart of the testimony from the former acting attorney general today, Sally Yates. She told them about this in January and there was a Wall Street Journal report. Weeks went by where the White House knew and apparently did nothing until they decided to throw Flynn under the bus. It isn’t ‘if,’ it’s a ‘why.'”

“When a Justice Department official goes to warn you in the White House that your security adviser is having inappropriate conversations with the Russians — that’s not a heads up. I don’t care how you characterize it,” Mudd continued. “So, I want to know what the urgency of the warning was. I want to know if it was persistent over time. I want to know if there was some background on why she thought the relationship between the Russians and the Trump campaign was so substantial. The one thing I’m watching for is she was privy to an investigation conducted by the FBI. She has to be careful talking about Gen. Flynn personally because it is the subject of an ongoing investigation but her responsibility to keep her access to that investigation private.”

"It just shows how much the norms of behavior have changed,” Toobin said. “The idea of the President of the United States essentially threatening a witness, he’s basically accusing her of leaking, we have never had that before. We’ve never had presidents who did this kind of thing. The idea that the president — the guy who’s in charge of the Justice Department — is threatening a witness is really kind of disturbing.”*


*Maybe if we change the composition of the House and Senate in 2018, things will change.

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