A new hire (again) and another controversy

After dumping John Bolton recently, Donald Trump named Robert O’Brien, the US hostage negotiator, his new national security adviser. ” He will do a great job!” Trump tweeted as he did for every hire.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said “Robert O’Brien said, ‘Trump is the greatest hostage negotiator in history.’ He happens to be right,” Trump said. “We are 38-0. 38-0, ask Robert.” I’m sure reporters were scratching their heads collectively. There is a score? Name those hostages.

Trump personally dispatched O’Brien to help free US rapper A$AP Rocky from Swedish prison earlier this year. Trump is including him in that ridiculous count. But the rapper wasn’t a hostage from [say] a terrorist organization.

A communication supposedly between Trump and a foreign leader prompted a whistleblower complaint that is now at the center of a dispute between the Director of National Intelligence and Congress. An official in the American intelligence community was so bothered by a “promise” Trump made to a foreign leader that the official filed a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community.

The White House and the Justice Department have advised Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the controversial complaint is outside intelligence activities as covered by laws governing intelligence whistleblowers. So far, the director of national intelligence has not allowed lawmakers access to the complaint.

Trump called the story “ridiculous” and described the whistleblower as partisan [blaming “the Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Media partners”] and reiterated that his conversations with foreign leaders are appropriate. So he’s above the law.

Unknown if the complaint involves Trump, but Trump always assume he’s involved. By law, the Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, was supposed to turn over the complaint to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees within a week. He has not done so.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff that he does not know the exact nature of the complaint, as he has not yet received the details from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, nor does he know the whistleblower’s identity. He also said that his committee may use legal action to get access to a whistleblower complaint involving Trump’s communications with a foreign leader. Schiff and other congressional Democrats are growing more and more agitated with the White House and Maguire, who have blocked their access to the complaint.

After a supposedly Iranian back attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant, Trump tweeted that the US is “locked and loaded” and is thinking of attacking the Iranians or their backers. What’s wrong with this picture? Well on more than one occasion, Trump said if other countries want the US’s help then they need to pay for their services. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s military budget is at least 6 times that of Iran. I think they can afford to do their own bombing. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility. Trump has since lowered the rhetoric.

After the attack, Sen. Lindsey Graham added the following to his comments “The measured response by President @realDonaldTrump regarding the shooting down of an American drone [earlier this summer] was clearly seen by the Iranian regime as a sign of weakness.” Trump responded with “a sign of strength.”

Trump refused to strike Iran with a military option but instead apply more sanctions against Iran. Critics point out that there isn’t much left to sanction. Trump is also worried that he doesn’t want a military conflict so close to the next election. He also wanted to wait for a final intelligence report. Yet, he hasn’t trusted his intelligence departments previously. So why now.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “…anytime you have an act of war of this nature, there’s always risk that that could happen. … This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before.”

Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, appearing before the House Judiciary Committee in the panel’s first official “impeachment hearing,” refused to answer key questions about potential obstruction by Trump and repeatedly argued with Democrats. He slamming committee Democrats, criticizing Obama-era intelligence officials, praising Trump’s successful presidential campaign and jabbing at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He denied collusion with Russia but avoided commenting on the obstruction issue.

To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month during a rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Trump said about Steve Cortes, a CNN contributor and Trump’s brand of conservative: “He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out because he looks more like a WASP than I do.”

Trump added “Nobody loves the Hispanics more. Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics? He says the country. I don’t know. I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you. We got a lot of Hispanics. We love our Hispanics. Get out and vote.”

As Trump will visit the UN, many of his fellow world leaders will be participating in a summit meant to address climate change. Not him. He is chairing his own session focused on worldwide religious persecution. Not every country in the UN was invited, and Trump probably wouldn’t have been asked to speak even if he wanted to. Other countries that rely on coal, like Japan and Australia, may also be excluded. But some key US allies like Germany, the United Kingdom and France are expected to participate.

The US will send a principal deputy assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. Yes. Not even someone higher like the head of the EPA. During the G7 summit in France, Trump skipped a session focused on climate change that all the other world leaders attended. Trump aides are characterizing as the centerpiece of his visit to the UN. An official said “The Secretary-General will be participating in the religious freedom event.”

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to revoke California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards. Trump administration will find the EPA previously acted unlawfully by granting the state a waiver from the Clean Air Act and allowing it to develop stricter standards than those of the federal government. About a dozen states have adopted California’s standards.

As part of the “purge” at the Department of Homeland Security, general counsel John Mitnick has been fired. This is an ongoing clean up when ousting of former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was dumped in April. Acting public affairs assistant secretary Andrew Meehan announced his departure, along with at least two other officials from DHS.

At a rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Trump said:

  • Trump repeated his claim that a “Google executive,” someone who “worked at Google,” reported that Google bias may have cost Trump up to 10 million votes in the 2016 election. – Except that flawed study was conducted by a psychologist, not a Google employee or executive.
  • He said the Democrats have an agenda of “open borders.” – Except they don’t. On the record saying that.
  • He boasted that he was the one who got the Veterans Choice health care program passed. But I’m good at getting things.” – Except the program was created in 2014 in a bill signed by President Barack Obama.
  • He said his border wall is being built “fast.” – Except as of the end of August, zero additional miles had been built during Trump’s term; 60 miles of replacement barriers had been built. (Trump has argued that these replacement projects should count as his wall.) He said of his USMCA trade agreement, “Unions love it.” – Except the president of the AFL-CIO federation says it will be a “disaster for workers” if it is not amended. Other unions generally are in agreement with the AFL-CIO.
  • He said the Mueller investigation cost “$40 million.” – Except the final total was $32 million, and the government is expected to recoup about $17 million from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a result of Mueller’s convictions.
  • Trump said, “We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. – Except the Republicans will always do that.” Except the Republicans are now trying to get the courts to declare Obamacare void, without a plan to replace those pre-existing protections if their lawsuit succeeds.
  • He suggested that the Democrats’ Green New Deal proposal would require people to have no more than “a single car,” and would prohibit people from driving “more than 162 miles.” – Except the Green New Deal resolution does not include any restrictions on the number of cars people can own or how far they can drive.
  • He said the US has the “cleanest air that we’ve ever had in this country.” – Except by several measures, US air was cleaner under Obama than it’s been under Trump. There were more “unhealthy air days” for sensitive groups in 2018 than in 2016.
  • He said Asian American unemployment numbers are the best in history. – Except the unemployment rate for Asian Americans did briefly fall to a record low under Trump, but it is now slightly higher than it was in Obama’s last month in office.
  • He said that, before the 2016 election, Cubans in Miami “gave me the Bay of Pigs award. Can you imagine, right? The Bay of Pigs award.” – Except Trump got an endorsement from the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, not an award. Oink!

Trump is suing his long-time accounting firm Mazars USA and New York district attorney Cyrus Vance to attempt to stop his accounting records and tax returns from being sent to the local prosecutor.

Speaking at a town hall at the Carter Center in Atlanta, former President Jimmy Carter made his feelings known on a Donald Trump victory in 2020, saying if Trump were reelected for a second term it would be ” a disaster to have four more years of Trump.” Expect Trump to respond in his usual way.

The White House plans to withdraw the nomination of Jeff Byard, Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency, seven months after he was nominated to the position. Instead, Trump is expected to nominate acting FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor – who is the agency’s confirmed deputy administrator.

About ebraiter
computer guy

One Response to A new hire (again) and another controversy

  1. rawgod says:

    Typical Trump strategy. Accuse, Deny, Deflect. But his worshitters believe him. They ask for no proof, his denials are gold, and his deflections are not looked into. The world is full of fools, and he appeals to every one of them.

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