Adios Low Energy Rex

Trump just canned Tillerson and will move CIA director Mike Pompeo into the Secretary of State job. Gina Hapsel, a career CIA employee who once ran a black site prison will be the new CIA director.

I wonder if Pompeo thinks that the Russians had anything to do with Russian nerve agent poisoning a former Russian spy in England.






289 replies
  1. 1
    Elmo says:

    Rexit!

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Did the father and daughter die? I thought they were still alive but in critical condition.

  3. 3
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    This is why multiple Russian Intel chiefs recently came to DC to “meet” Pompeo. They were interviewing him for the State job. Putin had to give the okay before Pompeo could be named. The same way Putin picked Tillerson.

  4. 4
    foucault swing voter mistermix says:

    @satby: They’re alive. I fixed the post.

  5. 5
    gvg says:

    Don’t both a CIA director and Sec. of State need Congressional approval? this seems like a way to sabotage further both State and CIA. Plus threaten a bit every appointment that wants to keep their job. Congress should just say no.
    Has he said why he fired Tillerson? Also who carried the letter this time and did he manage to strand Tillerson overseas?

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    @gvg: State certainly does (all Cabinet Secretaries do), not sure about CIA.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    laura says:

    Has anyone started the countdown clock on Pompeo to track the time it takes until he recommends lifting sanctions?

  9. 9
    Elizabelle says:

    Hope Pompeo is not confirmable.

  10. 10
    dmsilev says:

    @Elmo: Simple pattern analysis suggests that soon ‘Ex-it’ will be trending. Maybe we’re in for a Ivana Trump gory revelation.

  11. 11
    Boatboy_srq says:

    Makes you wonder how the Kochs feel to learn that they were outbid for the United States by a Russian oligarch.

  12. 12
    bystander says:

    Andrea Mitchell is saying that Tillerson is out over twitler’s unwillingness to denounce Putin.

    I love that twitler is saying it’s because they want the new team in place for the talks with NK. No word on why twitler couldn’t put together the necessary team in the first 18 months of his admin or why anyone thinks he will now.

    The only upside to this is that Mike Pompeo is going to look like used toilet paper within months.

  13. 13
    JMG says:

    CIA director requires Senate confirmation.

  14. 14

    What has Pompeo said about Russia screwing around in the 2016 election? I don’t know much about him.

  15. 15

    I guess I’m not going out too far on a limb saying that I don’t think Pompeo is going to go overboard saying no to the Cadet.

  16. 16
    Jinchi says:

    Monday:

    Asked if the poisoning will trigger a mutual defense response with the close NATO ally, Tillerson said that “it certainly will trigger a response. I’ll leave it at that.”

    Tuesday:

    Trump replaces Secretary of State Tillerson with CIA director

  17. 17
    m0nty says:

    15 Democrats voted to confirm Pompeo at the CIA, so I guess he’ll sail into State.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Pompeo is a total Trump ass kisser and wingnut ideologue. As CIA director, he’s admitted Russia interfered in our election when pressed on that point, but so has Trump, while mumbling about other possible interference to minimize it as much as possible.

  19. 19
    GregB says:

    Trump’s personal assistant was shit canned yesterday and escorted out of the White House.

    John McEntee.

  20. 20
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @JMG:

    Haspel can’t survive confirmation.

  21. 21
    TS says:

    @bystander:

    Andrea Mitchell is saying that Tillerson is out over twitler’s unwillingness to denounce Putin.

    Seems to be the thought process of most of the pundits – comparing what Sanders said to what Tillerson said. Trump does not want to support the UK against Russia.

    Providing more thought processes for Mueller?

    Of course, republicans (Kasich on MSNBC) are saying – nothing to do with Russia.

  22. 22
    Butch says:

    Sorry about this in advance, but I keep thinking it’s another of the Trump Administration’s Train Rex.

  23. 23
    different-church-lady says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: What’s the reason?

  24. 24
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Butch: So, you’re saying POTUS is asleep at the Tillerson?

  25. 25
    GregB says:

    @GregB:

    Hopefully his cardboard box of stuff he took out the door includes the wire he was wearing.

  26. 26
    LAO says:

    And this:

    Another long-time Trump aide is out: John McEntee, an original Trumper among w Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino, was escorted out of the White House on Monday https://t.co/haIhsITOxp— Michael C. Bender (@MichaelCBender) March 13, 2018

    WTF is going on.

    (PS anyone have access to the WSJ, article is behind a paywall?)

  27. 27
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Trump announced his desire to meet with Kim Jong Un on Thursday and fired his Secretary of State on Friday.

    This administration is going so smoothly.

    And, sorry to miss the fun, but I’m going to be away from my computer most of today.

  28. 28
    Skepticat says:

    Rexit!

    You are so spot on,

    Sorry about this in advance, but I keep thinking it’s another of the Trump Administration’s Train Rex.

    and you are so forgiven.

  29. 29
    MomSense says:

    Shit, ReXxon is going to need a whole team of food tasters.

  30. 30
    TS says:

    @GregB: From your link

    He was escorted from the White House because of an “unspecified security issue,” the Journal reported, citing a third White House official.
    The Trump campaign announced on Tuesday that McEntee is rejoining the campaign as a senior adviser.
    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Journal that “we don’t comment on personnel issues.”

    Imagine if the Obama administration had refused to explain why someone was escorted out – and then got employed within the campaign organisation. The media would still be screaming about it years after the event. What does trump have to do to be censured by this so called fourth estate

  31. 31
    different-church-lady says:

    @LAO:

    WTF is going on.

    It’s a safe assumption that one component is Trump’s paranoia is increasing.

  32. 32

    @LAO:
    Trump is angry he’s not brave enough to fire Kelly, Sessions, or Mueller, so he’s tossing out people who will shrug and go ‘sure.’ Throw in that he was expecting the press to fellate him for taking charge on Korea, and instead he’s seeing pundits suggest Kim Jong Un might outsmart him. It’s a coward’s tantrum.

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    How long before Trump threatens someone with the same thing happening to them that happened to the man and his daughter in London? He really is that stupid, I think.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @GregB: From your “The Hill” link on McEntee’s work:

    In his role in the White House, McEntee did tasks such as giving the president messages and making sure the clocks were correctly set for daylight-saving time.

    According to the Journal, he was not allowed to gather his belongings before being escorted out of the White House.

    Well, we did just hit DST.

    But what a job description. LOL.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    NPR says (a) Trump and Tillerson did not talk directly, and (b) Tillerson was not told the reason for his ouster.

    I suppose neither is required, but both strike me as cowardly in the extreme. So, not surprising.

  36. 36
    WaterGirl says:

    @GregB: They said he wasn’t even allowed to take any of his personal stuff.

  37. 37
    MomSense says:

    @LAO:

    Damn, was he wearing a wire or something?

  38. 38
    Butch says:

    @Boatboy_srq: And Skepticat. There really isn’t much left to do now other than point and laugh, is there? Thanks for letting me know my joke wasn’t too awful!

  39. 39
    m0nty says:

    Are we sure that McEntee wasn’t actually giving the president massages?

    Wait, eurgh.

  40. 40
    Zinsky says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Pompeo is a Kochhead, plain and simple. They have bought this very obese turd, heart and soul. My brother is a liberal professor at Wichita State University (and desperately trying to get out of that God-forsaken conservative shithole) and has met Pompeo at Board of Regents events, etc. He says Pompeo is rude, extremely simple-minded and is not nice to people. Much like his Master…. This is not a good sign for the march of Western civilization.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @LAO:

    WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said. The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third White House official with knowledge of the situation.

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment saying, “We don’t comment on personnel issues.” Mr. McEntee didn’t return a call seeking comment.

    Mr. McEntee was removed from the White House grounds on Monday afternoon without being allowed to collect his belongings, a White House official said. He left without his jacket, a second White House official said.

    It wasn’t clear exactly why Mr. McEntee was fired Monday. He indicated to colleagues that it was an issue in his background.

  42. 42
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Going from bad to worse at both State and CIA. What a fucking dumpster fire.

    If the Republicans in Congress gave a damn about this country, they’d remove Trump tomorrow. But they only give a damn about their donor class. I’ll say it: they may not hate America as such, but their actions are indistinguishable from what a ruling party would do if it hated America.

  43. 43
    bystander says:

    @TS:

    Of course, republicans (Kasich on MSNBC) are saying – nothing to do with Russia.

    Kasich is such a spineless twerp. I would love watching twitler make disparaging remarks about him.

  44. 44

    @WaterGirl:
    IE, they had to evict him fast, so there was no chance Trump would have to look the guy in the face. Even though the rehiring suggests it’s a mock firing. And heaven knows there was long speculation Tillerson was in the edge of resigning. Trump is truly the most chickenshit coward in the world.

  45. 45
    LAO says:

    @WaterGirl: Another wife beater? What a shitshow this administration is.

    @MomSense: We should have been so lucky. But it doesn’t look like it.

  46. 46
    rikyrah says:

    The Secretary of Exxon got his $71 million dollar tax break, didn’t he?

    So, he’s cool.

  47. 47
    Mike in DC says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Firing a Cabinet level official without talking to them first seems…indecorous in the extreme.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    By the time you return to us early this evening, this will be old boring news and we’ll have four or five new toys to bat around.

  49. 49
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Wasn’t Tillerson supposed to be part of some survivors’ pact with Mattis and Mnuchin? A week ago– maybe it was thirty years ago, hard to tell anymore– the gossip was Mattis and Tillerson had joined forces to push McMaster out, then McMaster was supposed to have ankle Tillerson and Mattis out of the loop on NORK.

    (On MSNBC, Lindsey Graham looks like he’s been crying, or maybe he’s hungover.)

  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I know, it’s the instant re-hiring that makes this so perplexing. Until I read that part, I had hoped that maybe he had been wearing a wire.

  51. 51
    But her emails!!! says:

    @bystander:

    Andrea Mitchell is saying that Tillerson is out over twitler’s unwillingness to denounce Putin.

    The irony here being that Rex has billions of barrels worth of reasons to play nice with Russia, but apparently even he has his limits, unlike the squatter in the White House.

  52. 52
    Amir Khalid says:

    I reckon Trump sacked Tillerson for calling him a moron, but waited for the moment when the sacking would cause Tillerson the most embarrassment and humiliation before he pulled the trigger. Because that is what Powerful People like Trump do to demonstrate their Power.

    My wild guess is that without some compelling reason to reject Pompeo, the Republican-majority Senate will confirm him as Secretary of State. Ditto with Hapsel; she might not be DCI material for whatever reason, but Trump has been able to appoint utterly unsuitable people to Cabinet-level posts with nary a peep of opposition from anyone but Democrats.

  53. 53

    @low-tech cyclist:
    Hating America is at least as big a keystone of their philosophy as plutocracy. America is too brown. They’ve decided to burn it down while whites still have the power to do that.

  54. 54

    @WaterGirl:
    World. Champion. Chickenshit.

  55. 55
    Mart says:

    Wow, those reports last week that the creep has just realized his POTUS super powers and he is going to be even more rouge going forward… It is not been healthy for me to pay attention to this stuff.

  56. 56
    LAO says:

    Anyone feel like today is moving too fast? So much news and it’s not even 10 am. AND IT’S ONLY TUESDAY!

  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Vaughn Sterling @ vplus
    Trump on UK poisoning: “We will condemn Russia…or whoever it may be.”

    could’ve been China, could’ve been some four hundred pound guy in his basement

  58. 58
    condorcet runner-up says:

    He was escorted from the White House because of an “unspecified security issue,” the Journal reported, citing a third White House official. The Trump campaign announced on Tuesday that McEntee is rejoining the campaign as a senior adviser.

    @TS: So the guy who they wouldn’t even let go get his jacket before escorting him out of the WH is now advising the campaign?

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike in DC:

    I agree. Most unseemly.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: Torture.

  61. 61

    @Mike in DC: Decorum left the building when the Orange One entered it.

  62. 62

    Who is pulling the strings? My vote is Kelly. Unlike most of this crew he is evil and competent.

  63. 63
    Chyron HR says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    could’ve been some four hundred pound guy in his basement

    To be fair, you’d feel sick too if you were downwind of that guy.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @condorcet runner-up: his name is trending on twitter, and there’s something going around about a discovery in his “background”, so maybe there’s some there there.

    Kyle Griffin @ kylegriffin1
    Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials tell WSJ.
    The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third W.H. official with knowledge of the situation.

    tick tock….?

  65. 65
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Wasn’t Tillerson supposed to be part of some survivors’ pact with Mattis and Mnuchin?

    I thought it was Mattis, Kelly, and McMaster, but my Google-fu stinks this morning, and my memory is definitely fallible these days. (Who can keep up, anyway?)

  66. 66

    @condorcet runner-up:
    I repeat: World. Class. Chickenshit. Trump is such a pathetic coward he can’t look in the face the guy he’s fake-firing or the guy he’s firing who wanted to leave. Trump is a coward of legendary, ‘This is a joke, right? Nobody is THAT gutless.’ proportions.

  67. 67
    LAO says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: I think that’s overly optimistic. The inmates have taken over the asylum and apparently torture is positively American.

  68. 68
    MomSense says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    It’s his new eau de toilette – Komprommat. It doesn’t agree with him.

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    On MSNBC, Lindsey Graham looks like he’s been crying, or maybe he’s hungover.

    All together now: ¿Porque no los dos?

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Stephanie Ruehel has Andrew Puzder, who withdrew his name from consideration for Labor Sec because of spousal abuse, on to talk about management and being a CEO. Rumors are trump wants him back.

  71. 71

    OT: A decidedly non-T thought for the day

    Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
    Where knowledge is free
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
    By narrow domestic walls
    Where words come out from the depth of truth
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
    Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
    Where the mind is led forward by thee
    Into ever-widening thought and action
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

    -Rabindranath Tagore

  72. 72
    Leto says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    (b) Tillerson was not told the reason for his ouster.

    The Guardian article also said Rexxon was unaware he’d been fired:

    Tillerson’s departure had long been predicted after a series of clashes with Trump over policy. But the announcement, made just four hours after the secretary of state landed in Washington after a tour of Africa, took Tillerson unawares.

    Just like Comey, Rexxon was away when he was fired. This is such banana republic shit.

  73. 73
    lynn says:

    @Amir Khalid: He saved it and used it to distract from the porn star.

  74. 74
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @different-church-lady:

    She destroyed torture videos.

  75. 75
    Redshift says:

    @LAO:

    Another wife beater? What a shitshow this administration is.

    I would think that’s the most likely, but it doesn’t seem like being escorted out fits with that. On the other hand, being identified as as leaker (am obvious possibility for a “security issue”) doesn’t fit with being hired by the campaign. Unless maybe it’s a do-nothing job to keep him from being free to blab to the media, where he won’t hear anything he can leak. But that seems too clever for Team Trump.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @TS: Say what now? He was escorted out of the White House because of some ‘unspecified security issue’ but is going back to work for the grift/campaign?

    He only hires the best

  78. 78
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    I’ve waited to see some confirmation on this, and it looks real.

  79. 79
    PST says:

    @condorcet runner-up:

    So the guy who they wouldn’t even let go get his jacket before escorting him out of the WH is now advising the campaign?

    Or is that job just an excuse for hush money? Probably comes with a non-disclosure agreement.

  80. 80
  81. 81

    Thank You, T voters and never Hillary BS supporters and Jill Stein and Johnson voters, for giving us this waking nightmare. And the Rs in Congress for letting it continue for over a year.

  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @low-tech cyclist: some tweeters dug this one up from the WaPo

    Tillerson, Mattis, Mnuchin forge ‘suicide pact’ in the event Trump wants one of them gone: Report
    by Melissa Quinn
    | October 04, 2017 04:34 PM

    ETA: Small comfort, but I’m glad somebody put this in his ear

    Michael M. Grynbaum @ grynbaum
    Question to Trump on the South Lawn just now: “Did you fire him because he called you a moron?”

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @PST: That makes a lot of sense…

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Probably my favorite poet. The university he created/founded is on my bucket list.

  85. 85
    Leto says:

    @low-tech cyclist: It was the three generals who had the “survivors pact”. They were also supposed to be around him at all times just in case he tried to use the football and start WW3. Something about tackling him and beating him senseless. No way is someone like low-grade John Oliver cosplayer Steven Mnuchin going to be included on anything like that. Just the military folk.

  86. 86
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Just One More Canuck:
    That do seem hinky.

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    All Mike Pompeo has gained from being the next SoS, if he even gets there, is an opportunity to be the next person Trump fires on a petulant impulse.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Some Russian media are saying it has Ukraine’s footprints. Of course, a country without the technical means to make the stuff and with no axe to grind with Skripal will risk world opprobrium to publicly poison the guy in a NATO country.

  88. 88

    @Redshift:
    I take it as assumed that the vast majority of Trump appointees are guilty of at least groping level sexual assault and/or spousal abuse. If you don’t view women as inferior objects for sex who need to be kept in that role, you’re never going to be able to interface with the boss. That’s one of the cornerstones of Trump’s personality.

    EDIT – But some people are cautious enough to not want it to be dragged out as a national scandal.

  89. 89
    Leto says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Again, just like how Comey found out he was fired when he saw it on TV and the field staff he was briefing at the time was sort of joking about it. Such a POS.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I could’ve swore it was just the three generals. My bad!

  90. 90
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @WaterGirl:

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to comment saying, “We don’t comment on personnel issues.”

    As if the White House has that luxury. The presidency isn’t some privately owned real estate/licensing/game show grift.

  91. 91
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Dan Pfeiffer @ danpfeiffer
    Trump signing himself up for two confirmation battles in an election year in agencies directly related to Russian meddling seems like an idea that wasn’t fully thought through.

    a 51-49 Senate with John McCain mostly absent. Which given the CIA acting head’s history with waterboarding is probably a plus for trump

  92. 92
    TS says:

    @condorcet runner-up:

    So the guy who they wouldn’t even let go get his jacket before escorting him out of the WH is now advising the campaign?

    Only the best people work for the trump campaign

  93. 93
    Brachiator says:

    @Elmo:

    Rexit!

    Beautiful!!

    Damnit. Can’t I just wake up and start the day without some Trump chaos?

    And conservative goobers who would whine about an Obama presidential visit snarling traffic are wetting their pants with joy over the impending Trump California visit.

    And it’s only Tuesday. Sigh.

  94. 94
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: one more excellent reason not to be on Twitter!

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m starting to think that maybe we can’t believe everything the Russians say….

  95. 95
    Mary G says:

    At least it’s not the walrus John Bolton. Yet.

  96. 96
    TriassicSands says:

    Once again Trump shows us what the reality-show model of the presidency looks like — unprofessional, chaotic, rude, and thoughtless. And again, Trump reveals his apparent belief that any loyal body with a pulse can fill any important government position. The only important qualification is loyalty to the “boss.”

    Tillerson just becomes the latest Trump Chump. Probably the worst decision Tillerson ever made was accepting a position in the Trump Apprentice Presidency. Apart from the humiliation of being fired summarily without even being informed of his departure, this has to be a relief to Tillerson.

  97. 97
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    MSNBC says Haspel oversaw “rough interrogation” techniques at black site in Thailand

  98. 98

    @MomSense: A character in Madras Cafe* that I saw this weekend recites it at the end of the movie. That’s why its been on my mind. BTW How is your friend, who was sick?

    *Madras Cafe is a 2013 movie about the the Indian involvement in the Sri Lankan Civil war, leading up to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

  99. 99
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Good. If I convince one person at a time about this, I’ll have all of the US covered in, let’s see, about three million years.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    Jager says:

    I was on a consulting trip, spent a couple of days with a new client. The evening of the second day, he said “let’s stop by the hospital and see X”. The guy was recovering from a heart attack. We’re standing by the bed and my new client fires the guy. It was a horrible thing to do, but at least the prick did it in person. And yeah, I dropped the client.

  102. 102
    Brachiator says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    The presidency isn’t some privately owned real estate/licensing/game show grift.

    That’s exactly what it has been reduced to.

    And press briefings are little more than infomercials for the Trump brand.

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Small comfort, but I’m glad somebody put this in his ear

    Michael M. Grynbaum @ grynbaum
    Question to Trump on the South Lawn just now: “Did you fire him because he called you a moron?”

    Oh, I am having a good morning now – thanks JFL!

  104. 104
    JPL says:

    @LAO: I don’t know if he was fired over beating his wife, because even Porter was allowed to pack up his stuff. hmmm

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Mr. McEntee was removed from the White House grounds on Monday afternoon without being allowed to collect his belongings, a White House official said. He left without his jacket, a second White House official said.

    Oh really?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    Title over at LGM:

    PUTIN FIRES TILLERSON

  107. 107
    GregB says:

    @rikyrah:

    Donald Trump, he’s the kind of guy who’d take the jacket off of your back.

  108. 108
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    The presidency isn’t some privately owned real estate/licensing/game show grift.

    It is now.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @rikyrah: I was hoping that’s not where his wire was, until I saw that the has been hired by the Trump campaign. And by “hired”, I mean being paid hush money under the guise of being a campaign employee. Just like the bodyguard who who is making a ridiculous amount of money doing nothing for the campaign.

  110. 110

    What gloss is the newspaper of record putting over this?

  111. 111
    Central Planning says:

    @GregB: FTFA:

    In his role in the White House, McEntee did tasks such as giving the president messages and making sure the clocks were correctly set for daylight-saving time.

    Hilarious!

  112. 112
    TriassicSands says:

    OT — In other news, an ICE spokesperson decides to quit rather than help Sessions and ICE Acting Director Homan lie about a recent raid in California.

    Imagine that. Trump officials lying? Shocking! Who could have believed such a thing was possible in an administration that places the truth above all else?

    James Schwab deserves our thanks for refusing to help Sessions and Homan lie. And leave it to Trump to take the lies Sessions and Homan told and inflate the numbers even more. No lie is big enough for Trump, the master of the BIG LIE.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Tillerson just becomes the latest Trump Chump. Probably the worst decision Tillerson ever made was accepting a position in the Trump Apprentice Presidency.

    Tillerson thought it would be a good business move. And he and Trump were in sync when it came to downgrading the ability of the foreign service to do its job.

    Tillerson will return to the private sector with a few bruises, but will otherwise be okay.

    But you are right on the money when you note that there’s not much of an upside in being part of team Trump. And yet Trump seems to have little problem in finding new candidates for his crazy reality show.

  114. 114
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Pompeo is a dominionist dipshit, and probably another compromised by Russia asswipe. Tillerson got the axe for daring to say that Russia was behind that assassination attempt in the UK.

    Donald is a traitor, an FSB stooge. Any Rethug who stand with him is a traitor.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  115. 115
    japa21 says:

    I am really hoping someone asks SHS why her boss is such a coward that he can’t even fire someone in person.

  116. 116
    PPCLI says:

    @schrodingers_cat: an interrogation that involves over 80 water boardings and involves multiple head-to-wall contact that causes the detainee to lose an eye is more than “rough”. MSM enablers strike again.

  117. 117
    Betty Cracker says:

    Looks like there was no love lost betwixt Haley and Tillerson:

  118. 118
    Brachiator says:

    @TriassicSands:

    In other news, an ICE spokesperson decides to quit rather than help Sessions and ICE Acting Director Homan lie about a recent raid in California.

    Sad, but nice to see that someone had a shred of honor.

  119. 119
    PPCLI says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Shame the follow up wasn’t “did you fire him because he said Russia used nerve gas in the UK?”

  120. 120
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Tom Cotton knew before trump’s tweet. Ugh. I feel very unsettled about all of this.

    As generational commentary, my mom is watching the tv and on the phone talking about this with her octogenarian friends. I’m blogging about it and my 14 year old is snap chatting about it.

  121. 121
    Procopius says:

    I’m pretty sure no good will come from this.

  122. 122
    dmsilev says:

    @schrodingers_cat: From their homepage just now:

    Tillerson Is Out, Replaced by Pompeo
    Secretary of State Was Often at Odds With Trump
    By PETER BAKER and GARDINER HARRIS 39 minutes ago
    Rex W. Tillerson, a former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, had been among President Trump’s most well-regarded cabinet choices.

    I like “most well-regarded cabinet choices”. Most observers have rated him as one of the worst, possibly THE worst, Secretary of State we’ve ever had.

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @PPCLI:

    an interrogation that involves over 80 water boardings and involves multiple head-to-wall contact that causes the detainee to lose an eye is more than “rough”. MSM enablers strike again.

    And Trump clearly loves to talk tough about dealing with “bad guys.” It must give him quite a tingle to elevate someone who is fine with the use of torture.

  124. 124
    randy khan says:

    @GregB:

    How could you post the link without telling us what the guy actually did?

    In his role in the White House, McEntee did tasks such as giving the president messages and making sure the clocks were correctly set for daylight saving time.

    Thank goodness that he wasn’t fired until yesterday. Imagine the chaos if they’d let him go on Friday.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I told G the McEntee story, and his response was, “So Kelly fired him and Trump re-hired him for the campaign out of spite.”

    That seems to be about right.

  126. 126
    japa21 says:

    @Procopius: I’m pretty sure that statement can be made about anything Trump does.

  127. 127
    Procopius says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): He’s said they did it. I don’t believe him.

  128. 128
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dmsilev: Those aren’t mutually exclusive.

  129. 129
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Did Bob Corker just say (on MSNBC) that he’s not sure he’s ever met Mike Pompeo? The head of the CIA never met with the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?

    Also says, to excuse conflicts between trump and Rex, that Kerry and Obama were in “different places” on “almost every issue”. What fucking horseshit. Kerry was a Syria hawk (I believe) but was all in on Iran, and a climate hawk.

  130. 130
    Chyron HR says:

    @dmsilev:

    Yes, but we didn’t hear about him beating his wife, which makes him one of Trump’s top picks.

  131. 131
    Peale says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Yep. White folks looked around, saw a bunch of minorities working in their offices, and worried so much that the nation was becoming a third world country that they decided to send a bunch of people to Washington to turn us into a tin-pot dictatorship. If we are unable to slap them, I think in a few years, we’ll be writing winsome peons to how we wish someone as honest as Manuel Noriega would step up and lead the country.

  132. 132
    Brachiator says:

    @MomSense:

    As generational commentary, my mom is watching the tv and on the phone talking about this with her octogenarian friends. I’m blogging about it and my 14 year old is snap chatting about it.

    Your kid is politically engaged? That’s kinda cool.

    And I enjoyed your observation about the family technology choices.

  133. 133
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Brachiator: IIRC, the guy who lost the eye ended up being released by the CIA because they concluded he had nothing useful. So not only not a bad guy, just some poor rando.

  134. 134
    randy khan says:

    @Mary G:

    Bolton is getting National Security Advisor, which sadly does not require confirmation.

  135. 135
    TriassicSands says:

    @Brachiator:

    Tillerson will be OK, but he will also go down as perhaps the worst Secretary of State in American history. On balance, he may wish he’d never said “yes” to Trump.

    For his part, Trump is providing considerable evidence that the business model of government is unworkable. On the other hand, defenders of that model can argue that Trump is an incompetent businessperson who is bumbling his way through the presidency the same way he bumbled his way through his career as a real estate con man. What is clear is that running the government like a cheesy reality TV show is a very bad idea.

    Tillerson’s tenure and exit are also inflicting a hit on the “central casting” theory or government personnel. It turns out that being tall and having silver hair are not adequate attributes to guarantee success as Secretary of State. Who could have predicted that?

  136. 136
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: My teen texted me about it earlier. One positive thing about the Trump nightmare may be that it focuses more people on politics, especially the younglings. Apathy is a terrible enemy of democracy.

  137. 137
    randy khan says:

    @dmsilev:

    I like “most well-regarded cabinet choices”. Most observers have rated him as one of the worst, possibly THE worst, Secretary of State we’ve ever had.

    Both of those things can be true.

  138. 138
    Betty Cracker says:

    @randy khan: That would be a very bad development.

  139. 139
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dmsilev: in the last five minutes, I read OBamabro Tommy Vietor and Bush alum and arch-neocon Elliott Cohen calling him ‘probably the worst” SoS in history.

    I”m also thinking of the story about Tillerson getting trump’s initial call, and being, he wanted people to think, reluctant to accept, and his wife told him “I told you God’s not done with you!”. That these are people who not only think and talk like that, but want people to know they think and talk like that. I wonder how Mrs T has decided this is a sign that Jeebus loves her. I doubt it was hard.

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: what I love about the Parkland yoots is that they all talk about registering to vote, counting down the days. I hope they’re spreading this idea around among their networks. Unlike other recent left-leaning movements (Occupy Wall St) who declared they wouldn’t sully themselves by participating in the rigged system.

  141. 141
    Mart says:

    Isn’t Pompeo the one who spends hours most every day traveling to take a knee on Trump’s throne, showing him glossy charts to help hizzoners’ misunderstanding of the world?

  142. 142
    TriassicSands says:

    @Brachiator:

    And yet Trump seems to have little problem in finding new candidates for his crazy reality show.

    Hey, Trump just told us “everyone wants a piece of the Oval Office.” Yep, everyone wants in on the scam. Well, everyone who is a right-wing idiot who is willing to bow and scrape before the Apprentice President.

    The “talent” pool is extensive partly because being competent is not a requirement. Being a groveling Trump sycophant is.

    How long until Pompeo is overheard calling Trump a moron? The odds are that he’ll keep that opinion to himself.

  143. 143

    Seriously, guys, I’ve been hearing for ages here on Balloon Juice that Tillerson wanted to get out once he’d served a year. Was there any substance to that? Because it wildly changes how I view the story.

  144. 144

    Trump's personal aide Johnny McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing tells CNN’s @kaitlancollins.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 13, 2018

  145. 145
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @dmsilev:

    I like “most well-regarded cabinet choices”. Most observers have rated him as one of the worst, possibly THE worst, Secretary of State we’ve ever had.

    All these things can be true simultaneously.

  146. 146
    Lyrebird says:

    Whoa, the day has come when I get inspired by… reading a Jennifer Rubin piece????? Link goes to RawStory, could look up the original piece if you want.

    “Trump has installed a disproportionate number of military and ex-military officials in key roles, putting those who deploy soft power at a severe disadvantage. If Pompeo, who does enjoy Trump’s trust, can elevate the profile of the department, improve morale, steer Trump away from international disasters and reestablish the essential role of human rights in our foreign policy, he’ll earn our deep gratitude. He surely will not have an easy time of it.”

  147. 147
  148. 148
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I’m not clear on that law, but people pointed it out about Cohn, too. Saved himself many millions by saving his principled outrage about Charlottesville for a few months

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): so he’s following Bard Pascale to the new campaign to stay on the payroll? Not even a little suspicious, that.

  149. 149
    Leto says:

    @TriassicSands:

    For his part, Trump is providing considerable evidence that the business model of government is unworkable. On the other hand, defenders of that model can argue that Trump is an incompetent businessperson who is bumbling his way through the presidency the same way he bumbled his way through his career as a real estate con man.

    The defenders of that model can go suck eggs. They elected a business man, then he surrounded himself with other “successful” business people. It’s been an unmitigated disaster, both foreign and domestic, ever since. Our standing within the world has only diminished, while domestically we’re coasting along on the Obama era initiatives (that still survive). They got their tax cuts, helped dismantle Obamacare further,,, past that they can’t get past all of the corruption/grift/incompetence that encompasses everything they do.

    Of course trying to explain these points on most Republicans is lost. The above list is all reflective that “we didn’t give him a chance”. They can fuck right off.

  150. 150
    Victor Matheson says:

    @Mart: Trump will go “even more rogue”… I think a shift from orange to a more delicate pinkish or red would be a definite improvement.

  151. 151
    Thaddeu says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I wonder how Mrs T has decided this is a sign that Jeebus loves her

    Easy. God got you off the Titanic at the right time, before it approached the iceberg.

  152. 152

    @Lyrebird:
    I’m pretty sure it’s the military men who are pushing for the use of soft power, since they actually have some idea of what war means. The rest of his staff think you drop a bomb, wipe out the natives, declare victory over your new conquered territory, and divide up the loot.

  153. 153
    TriassicSands says:

    @japa21:

    I am really hoping someone asks SHS why her boss is such a coward that he can’t even fire someone in person.

    That would be rude. Nowhere in the modern “How to Be a Journalist” manual does it say journalists should ask tough questions. Besides, while you want to hear the question, I doubt you’d like the answer. SHS is such a slimy weasel (apologies to all real weasels) that question wouldn’t even cause a momentary hesitation in her torrent of lies.

  154. 154
  155. 155

    @Frankensteinbeck: Worked out so well in Iraq.

  156. 156
  157. 157
    balconesfault says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yep – the suicide pact should kick in.

    That would be pretty damn awesome – the White House losing Cohen, Mnuchen, Mattis, and Tillerson all in one week!

  158. 158
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The law has to do with treatment of capital gains on the assets you have to divest when you enter public service; you have to hold the job a year to get favorable treatment.

    Just writing that makes me nostalgic for the days when the presidential administration had ethical standards and worried about conflicts of interest.

  159. 159
    clay says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Firing a Cabinet level official without talking to them first seems…indecorous in the extreme.

    Yeah… aren’t they usually allowed to resign? Seems Trump didn’t even have the guts to have a sit-down with his own Sec State to even ask for a resignation.

  160. 160
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @GregB:

    Trump’s personal assistant was shit canned yesterday and escorted out of the White House.

    That’s the classic useless a-hole manager move when they’ve screwed up; blame their secretary.

  161. 161
    🌷 Martin says:

    @rikyrah: Yep. Same with Cohn. If you’re a billionaire and want to take your winnings tax free, the cost is doing a year with Trump. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a lot of them were approaching Trump for precisely this reason. Get a cool title on your resume, a nice federal pension, and skip out on your cap gains.

    The grifting will continue.

  162. 162

    @schrodingers_cat:
    And the people who pushed that strategy were draft-dodging cowards or dogma-crazed young pups, not military men. With the possible exception of Powell, who is generally considered vile not for wanting the war, but being willing to lie and promote it because his boss wanted him to.

  163. 163
    Peale says:

    @balconesfault: But we’re getting Pompeo, some torture queen, Larry Kudlow (Jesus, fucking Christ), and Josh Bolton in return. This isn’t going to end well for anyone inside or outside our borders. I’m thinking of selling everything and buying gold.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🌷 Martin: Not that I disagree with your general point, but I rather doubt that a year in the cabinet qualifies one for a pension.

  165. 165
    janeform says:

    Tweet from Schumer. jfc

    Chuck Schumer
    ‏Verified account
    @SenSchumer
    The instability of this administration in just about every area weakens America.
    If he’s confirmed, we hope that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin.
    6:31 AM – 13 Mar 2018

  166. 166

    I have been watching The Great War YouTube channel and the country that reminds me most of our current waking nightmare is Germany. Inept titular leader, over reliance on generals, and the best for the last, the same zero-sum thinking about international affairs. Worked out so well for the Germans that these morons want to emulate it.

  167. 167

    @Peale:
    Yes, those are all godawful, but I don’t see them as worse. Maybe Bolton. I don’t know who he’s replacing.

  168. 168
    GregB says:

    Sudden Russian Death Syndrome strikes in the UK again.

    Did Pompeo give out names and addresses to the Russian intel a few weeks ago?

  169. 169
    PPCLI says:

    @TriassicSands:

    he will also go down as perhaps the worst Secretary of State in American history

    Trump will likely go through 10 Secretaries of State in the next 2.5 years, and I bet most if not all of them will be even worse.

  170. 170
    Aleta says:

    Congratulations to all!

  171. 171
    TriassicSands says:

    Whoa, the day has come when I get inspired by… reading a Jennifer Rubin piece?????

    I don’t know how familiar you were with Rubin in the pre-Trump era. She was, is, and in all likelihood will again be a disaster. It’s true she despises Trump, but if ever there was a case of “the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend (or ally)” Rubin is it. As soon as Trump is gone, I expect here to revert to being just another RWNJ supporting one noxious GOP initiative after another. She has simply transferred her right-wing extremism to extreme opposition to Trump. It would be refreshing if exposure to Trumpism has actually caused Rubin to re-examine her beliefs and policy preferences, but that seems unlikely. What are now reasons for Rubin to criticize Trump may miraculously morph into reasons to enthusiastically support Pence or some other Republican president.

    Beware! Jennifer Rubin ahead. Use extreme caution.

  172. 172
    Peale says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yep. We’ve elected Kaiser Wilhelm and expect that we’ll pull one over on the world.

  173. 173
    Immanentize says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    That is one odd tweet. Department of Homeland Security does not generally investigate financial crimes. That would be DOJ…

  174. 174
    Mike in NC says:

    Might have to tune in to Tweety this evening just for shits and giggles.

  175. 175
    ewrunning says:

    @Redshift: Sure he’s signing a non-disclosure agreement as we speak.

  176. 176
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Jacob T. Levy @ jtlevy
    Flake, McCain, Sasse, Corker now have a moment of genuine leverage, if they care to use it.

    NARRATOR: They won’t care to do so.

  177. 177
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Victor Matheson: Blood Orange, ala Dorne.

  178. 178
  179. 179
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My older kids are texting, too. I think the Obama generation kids are going to take charge for their own survival.

  180. 180
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: huh, good point. I imagine Meuller just told someone to start a new file, or make an addition to an existing one.

  181. 181
    Aleta says:

    NYT says he was fired before dawn today upon his return from Africa. Where he’d cancelled or postponed a day of meetings a few days ago because of ‘not feeling well.’

    It seems possible he quit though since WH sources play the press.

    Imo unless he talks honestly about his experience with T he’s still on team Trump’s Traitors.

  182. 182
    germy says:

    NEW: Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home https://t.co/LMqvhNZDla— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) March 13, 2018

  183. 183
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    This is all very unsettling.

  184. 184
    🌷 Martin says:

    Well, if May didn’t realize she was on her own yesterday, that must be clear now.

  185. 185
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    And yet they’re more than happy to have him working for the reëlection campaign. Hmmmmm.

  186. 186
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Lyrebird:

    “If Pompeo, who does enjoy Trump’s trust, can elevate the profile of the department, improve morale, steer Trump away from international disasters and reestablish the essential role of human rights in our foreign policy, he’ll earn our deep gratitude.”

    … And pigs will fly.

  187. 187
    Mike in NC says:

    @Peale: Otto Von Bismarck said that Wilhelm was like a petulant child who wanted every day to be like his birthday. Pretty much the Trump mold.

  188. 188
    MomSense says:

    @Aleta:

    He said he didn’t know until he saw trump’s Tweet.

  189. 189
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @germy:

    Fuuuuuuu

  190. 190
    LAO says:

    @sukabi: I see that now, but am still confused because I’m unaware of the jurisdictional basis that allows Homeland Security to run a financial crime investigation.

  191. 191
    Aleta says:

    @randy khan: ha. Though maybe he forgot and the cause of firing was his dereliction.

  192. 192
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @sukabi: I guess it makes sense that the Trump campaign would hire him

  193. 193
    randy khan says:

    @TriassicSands:

    Beware! Jennifer Rubin ahead. Use extreme caution.

    I am grateful for her support, but will wait to see if there’s a road to Damascus conversion or not. I will say that Trump has caused at least one of my conservative friends to re-examine his politics, much to my great surprise.

  194. 194
    NY Robbin says:

    @dmsilev:
    In other words, well-regarded in Trump-adjusted terms.

  195. 195
    ET says:

    And he apparently found out on Twitter….. I have read several places that tRump hates to be the one firing someone but any normal person would be embarrassed about how that happened. It doesn’t speak well of him and I am not even talking about it being bad management and disrespectful (and both are the truth in this case). The President of the US – any president – having so little care for the position of president that this is how things go down? It sends all sorts of signals that things aren’t going well – which they aren’t.

  196. 196
    randy khan says:

    @Immanentize:

    That is one odd tweet. Department of Homeland Security does not generally investigate financial crimes. That would be DOJ…

    The Secret Service is now part of DHS, and they investigate counterfeiting and crimes involving the U.S. financial system. I’m going to assume it’s not counterfeiting, although with these guys you never know.

  197. 197
    🌷 Martin says:

    @ET: Also highlights what a coward Trump is. Again, not a good look.

  198. 198
    🌷 Martin says:

    @LAO: My understanding is that they took over counterfeiting from the Treasury, and they also have authority to handle cross border financial crimes such as foreign money laundering.

  199. 199
    LAO says:

    @randy khan: Interesting.

  200. 200
    LAO says:

    @🌷 Martin: Thanks, I hadn’t realized that the Secret Service had been moved from Treasury. (I should have, because I think that when ATF was moved to Justice). Live and Learn.

  201. 201
    Steeplejack says:

    Jesus. MSNBC security analysts Malcolm Nance and Ned Price are trotting out the “good German” defense for Gina Haspel. Hey, policy was set at the top, we were given orders and we had to carry them out, etc. It’s irrelevant now, the laws have been changed, we’re never going back to those dreadful times, blah, blah, blah. Price even finished it off with: “She lived through this period, and she knows the horror that period inflicted, not only upon the agency but also upon our moral standing.” All righty, then.

    This about a woman who ran a black site in Thailand where (per Velshi) one suspect was waterboarded 83 times in one month—tortured so badly that at one point he was thought to be dead. And she later participated in the destruction of the CIA records of “enhanced interrogation.”

    At least Ari Velshi—and Nance, to his credit—is calling it torture.

    One of the biggest problems in our political system is that responsibility always lies elsewhere. “Our orders came from up above,” but at the same time “I didn’t know what my minions were doing.” Oh, well, nothing can be done now. We have to look forward, not back, and move on.

    ETA: Haven’t read the thread. Sorry if someone has already ranted about this.

  202. 202
    🌷 Martin says:

    I’m not sure why, but this news has moved my internal oh-shit-o-meter from about a 4 to about a 9 in much the same way that watching Bush directly contradict what Hans Blix was saying. I have a feeling something genuinely life and death bad is about to happen.

  203. 203
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @germy: Have we gotten to the part where the coda to “Layla” plays over a montage of found bodies?

  204. 204
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Yep.

  205. 205
    MomSense says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Me too.

  206. 206
    cmorenc says:

    My guess is that the “security issue” in McIntee’s background that was the actual reason for his firing and being so abruptly ejected from the White House grounds was that Trump suspected him of being the source of damaging leaks to the mainstream media.

  207. 207
    Brachiator says:

    @TriassicSands:

    And yet Trump seems to have little problem in finding new candidates for his crazy reality show.

    Hey, Trump just told us “everyone wants a piece of the Oval Office.” Yep, everyone wants in on the scam.

    This is very true. A relative once worked for a local government agency that had developed a reputation for corruption. After a certain point, the agency became a magnet for grifters. Ironically, the corrupt managers began to consider anyone not willing to steal, or at least look the other way, as “untrustworthy.” My relative got the hell out as soon as possible.

    From the beginning of his administration, Trump turned the Executive branch into a den of thieves. It is odd that some observers insisted in looking at people like Kelly or Tillerson as “adults in the room,” or respectable. They might not be bumblers, but they knew what was expected of them, or figured it out pretty quickly.

    The sad thing, the tragic thing is that the GOP leadership continues to be complicit, and rank and file conservatives continue to delude themselves into believing that Trump is some astute leader who is going to drain the swamp, make the country great again, and do something other than peddle bullshit and call it sunshine.

  208. 208
    catclub says:

    @MomSense: So Tillerson also lasted his year in order to get the tax break on divesting assets.

  209. 209
    rp says:

    Greenwald is arguing that Pompeo used to be a big Russia hawk when Obama was President, so his elevation proves that the Russia/Trump stuff is all fake news. Because we all know that intellectual consistency and rock solid principles are what the GOP is all about.

  210. 210
    sukabi says:

    @randy khan: counterfeiting? How about forging drumpfs signature? Apparently the guy has a penchant for forging drumpfs signature “just for fun”…

    Anything interesting comes up regarding something trump signed and they’ve got a convenient scapegoat.

  211. 211
    Steeplejack says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Possibly because, hard as it is to believe, Pompeo will probably be worse than Tillerson at State. He strikes me as a complete tool and an enabler for Trump. And, as I ranted above, Gina Haspel moving to the top at the CIA is chilling. It’s a critical agency that requires civilian leadership and oversight at the top.

  212. 212
    TriassicSands says:

    @randy khan:

    You make a good point. Trump is different. I’ve been watching Rubin because her current columns in the WaPo seem so out of character with her pre-Trump positions. And she has been extremely critical of the failure of the GOP to hold Trump accountable. It remains to be seen if that will translate into a new and better Rubin once Trump is gone. I’m skeptical.

  213. 213
    eclare says:

    @Steeplejack: I don’t understand how she still has a job at the CIA.

  214. 214
    Kay says:

    Such an asshole. Fires people on Twitter.

  215. 215
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: Visiting your mom during spring break?

  216. 216
    catclub says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    I have a feeling something genuinely life and death bad is about to happen.

    Trump is STILL far better than Bush in terms of dead people , Although Bush didn’t really get going on the needless deaths until his third year.
    He had just fucked up catching BinLaden at this point.

  217. 217
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’d say we’re both right!

  218. 218
    Aleta says:

    @Lyrebird: ‘If Pompeo can elevate the profile of the department, improve morale, steer Trump away from international disasters and reestablish the essential role of human rights’

    I think even I can predict the answer to that.

  219. 219
    catclub says:

    @eclare:

    I don’t understand how she still has a job at the CIA.

    oh, oh, pick me! If they throw her out it is an admission that what she did for the CIA was not good. So she has firing insurance.

  220. 220
    Yarrow says:

    @🌷 Martin: Yep. It’s also why the Britain won’t invoke Article 5 because if the US refuses to respond then it would break up NATO and they can’t risk that.

    Pompeo is a traitor.

    @Steeplejack: I’ve been skeptical of Malcolm Nance. His response in this manner does nothing to change my opinion.

  221. 221
    gvg says:

    @Steeplejack: there was a time when I thought the little people who followed bad orders should not be prosecuted because I thought it was unfair that the big shots would not be. As time passed and nothing has happened to the Bush torture regime, I have changed my views. I now think the little people, privates, sargents etc. should have the book thrown at them because in the long run that will make them insist on copies of orders and videos and more evidence in order to protect themselves because then they can plea bargain and roll the bosses to prosecution. Further result should be bad orders just not happening.
    I promised myself I wouldn’t forget that the tortures should go to jail, but I am currently over welmed with the newer dangerous Trump fruitcakes actually in power.

  222. 222
    MomSense says:

    @WaterGirl:

    She’s staying with me. She had follow up appointments with her surgeon and it looks like a new round of eye operations coming up.

    I am going to Florida last minute for the other parents’ health needs. I think my siblings were onto something when they decided to have a second round of kids later in life.

  223. 223
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    [Re: Tillerson’s departure]

    I rather doubt that a year in the cabinet qualifies one for a pension

    I thought it was that a full calendar year in govt meant that Tillerson wouldn’t have to pay cap.-gains taxes on divesting from his stock portfolio to take the govt job?

    Either way: (a) good riddance to bad rubbish; and (b) we’d be going from bad to worse.

    (c) I called my Senators this AM, thanks to early-breaking news on BJ, and asked them to oppose Pompeo and Haspel. Thank you, jackals, for keeping me politically aware and active!

  224. 224
    Aleta says:

    @Steeplejack: ‘the “good German” defense’ — exactly.

    She may have been in the tapes that were erased. And may have been the one who erased them.

  225. 225

    @Brachiator: I once saw a study that said workers who steal will answer “yes” on job applications that ask if they steal. They figure everybody does, so if you say “no,” the prospective employer will think you’re a liar.

  226. 226
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home

    WTF. This is Michael Corleone level shit. The Russians seem to be taking care of business and eliminating all loose ends.

    And snubbing their noses at Western intelligence agencies.

  227. 227
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): This finally makes sense! They had to get him out of there before some government agent flipped him against Trump. At least working for the campaign but not doing anything, he can’t learn anything new. Paying him for loyalty?

  228. 228
    different-church-lady says:

    @dmsilev: Well, it is true that in a set of negative numbers, one of them must be the highest.

  229. 229
    Immanentize says:

    @MomSense:
    Yes, very. I used to run with the cicle-A punk kids back in college. Never imagined it would come from inside our gov’t.

  230. 230
    gvg says:

    @catclub: Some of this is luck. Some of it is people know daddy’s crazy, keep trouble away.
    We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. some deaths are still happening.
    Bin Laden is dead and not making further trouble thanks to Obama.

  231. 231
    Steeplejack says:

    @catclub:

    I believe this has been debunked. Barron’s, October 2017:

    The time value of deferring taxes on these considerable sales has fed rumors that Tillerson, for one, must remain in office for at least a year in order to lock in the tax benefit on the divestments. [. . .]

    I asked a number of tax and legal experts about this idea. Unfortunately, they all said that nothing in the ethics and tax rules sets a minimum term of service. David Herzig is a law professor at Valparaiso University who has written about the tax treatment of ethics divestments. “If you’re following the form of the statute,” he says, “I don’t know why it wouldn’t apply, even if you worked for just one day.”

  232. 232
    Aleta says:

    I’m remembering a B movie, fictional, about a woman in US intelligence who was a redblooded savior of the USA, so committed that she tortured terrorists for the information that would save the world. Something like that.

  233. 233
    Yarrow says:

    @Brachiator: That’s exactly what they’re doing. The UK hasn’t stood up to them and it will be dangerous for them to do so because who will have their back? It also has the potential to damage the British economy because of all the Russian money swimming around there.

  234. 234
    Kay says:

    Well, look at the bright side. He was terrible at the job. The next one will be worse of course but you’re really choosing between a bunch of horrible people.

  235. 235
    Kay says:

    President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was escorted out of the White House on Monday, two senior administration officials said. The cause of the firing was an unspecified security issue, said a third White House official with knowledge of the situation.

    This seems bad. What kind of financial crimes does Homeland Security investigate? Money laundering? Human trafficking?

  236. 236
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: How long before the FSB starts going after major figures in the US opposition? So far they seem to be confining themselves to direct annoyances to Putin, but I wonder how willing they’ll be to branch out if the US administration is cooperative. Maybe they could whittle down un-mutual elements in the FBI and CIA.

  237. 237
    Aleta says:

    Even though McEntee is reportedly being under investigation for financial crimes, the Trump presidential campaign announced on Tuesday morning that it would hire him to help with the president’s reelection efforts in 2020. (Raw Story)

    Seems like many who were close enough to T to have incriminating stories are getting 2020 campaign jobs when forced out of the WH. Is that a way to give payoffs so they won’t use the stories?

    I think I read that donations to the ‘convention fund’ (was it?) are a murky area and can be quite large, and it is used as a sort of slush fund (w/o as much oversight as campaign funds).

  238. 238
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I hope you’re wrong on this. I even think you might be!

  239. 239
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Brian Stelter @ brianstelter
    Steve Goldstein, undersecretary for public diplomacy, tells MichLKosinski that Tillerson “did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason.” So something isn’t adding up here…

    Steve Goldstein has been fired. The sense I’m getting is that Kelly called Tillerson and told him a twitter tantrum was imminent, Kelly was free-lancing, and Tillerson figured it was no more than another tantrum

    @WaterGirl:for going on twenty years, I’ve been hoping I’m too pessimistic about Republicans and Voters, so I hope I’m wrong, too t I’m no McCain worshipper, but if he’s feeling healthy, pompous and mad enough, I could imagine him raising a stink. He hates Putin and (again, not joining in the Beltway Daddy-issues chorus) I think things might– MIGHT– look different if he weren’t sick

  240. 240
    TriassicSands says:

    @Brachiator:

    The sad thing, the tragic thing is that the GOP leadership continues to be complicit,

    I agree that it is both sad and tragic. But it’s not surprising. One danger of Trump’s outrageousness is that it will serve to make the pre-Trump GOP seem more responsible or acceptable. The transition to the Modern* Republican Party was in full force in 1994. By the time Obama became president, McConnell and later Ryan were leading a party that had given up entirely on democracy and legitimately elected government. Stealing a SCOTUS seat was seen as not only acceptable but necessary. Opposing everything had become the guiding principle behind the GOP. What they hated — Obama, Nancy Pelosi, poor people — defined the party. Causing millions of Americans to lose their health insurance had become a reasonable side effect of repealing Obamacare. To Modern Republicans, America’s two biggest problems seem to be 1) the wealthy aren’t wealthy enough and 2) the poor have too much.

    *Some have suggested the use of the word “Modern” is inappropriate because there is nothing modern about a bunch of regressive throwbacks who long to return us variously to before the Civil Rights era and in some cases to before the Civil War. Some of the religious zealots pine for life not decades ago, but centuries.

  241. 241
    WaterGirl says:

    @sukabi: Think about it. This guy was in the same position as Charlie on West Wing. I wouldn’t have guessed that the corruption went that far down. At this rate, even the cooks in the kitchen are probably swindling someone out of something..

  242. 242
  243. 243
  244. 244
    Yarrow says:

    @Matt McIrvin: It’ll be awhile. People like Paul Manafort will be earlier targets.

  245. 245
    WaterGirl says:

    @LAO: I’m sure somebody got their government agencies mixed up.

    edit: or maybe not, based on what Martin and others are saying.

  246. 246
    LAO says:

    BREAKING: Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal.— The Associated Press (@AP) March 13, 2018

    The Administration just fired the Undersecretary.

  247. 247
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: The corruption is at all levels with anyone associated with the Trump administration.

  248. 248
    Kay says:

    @cynthia ackerman:

    My husband thinks he was stealing from White House petty cash. They’re this gross group of low rent grifters. Trump is cheap – his hush money was even chump change and God knows what that woman has. I think she has video. If he hadn’t have been such a cheapskate she’d probably be down the road.

  249. 249
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Of course they did. They are authoritarians. It’s their way or the highway.

  250. 250
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: I can’t wait to see how he breaks up with Melania.

  251. 251

    @Yarrow: May should give a stirring speech that would change everything.

  252. 252
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: LOL. Yeah, that would change everything.

  253. 253
    Lyrebird says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    FWIW, I believe you, and I believe that the caring of military leaders for their troops and for basic feasibility checking is what has kept us out of war with Iran several times.

    @Amir Khalid:
    @Aleta:

    Yeah what little I know of Pompeo’s record gives me nothing to work with to counter your doubts. In other words, I wish I weren’t so sure you’re both right.

    I’m a confirmed grasper at straws, not because they make the nightmare we’re in go away, but every now and then even a little tiny straw is useful.

  254. 254
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: it’s looking like he laundered (in my opinion if not in strict legal use of the term) campaign money through his company to pay her off. I wonder how the Bible-thumping (I think) Mercers feel about getting stuck with that tab

  255. 255
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: Yikes. With all that stress with family-related health issues, it’s good that the rest of the world is moving along swimmingly with nothing to worry about there.

    I hope you have some seriously awesome stress management tricks up your sleeve. Hugs.

  256. 256
    chris says:

    the beatings will continue…

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal.— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) 13 March 2018

    ETA: Damn, too slow

  257. 257
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    He’ll tell Maggie Haberman to tell Melania.

    I notice Trump hasn’t fired his daughter or son in law. They must be doing an excellent job! Super de duper.

  258. 258
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    WTF just happened to Betty Cracker’s new thread?

    I mean obviously she pulled it, but why? Why, Betty, why??

  259. 259
    Kay says:

    @chris:

    I wonder if Kelly is lying. Maybe he imagined another whole specific day and set of events like he did with the AA congresswoman. THAT was fucking bizarre.

  260. 260

    @Yarrow: May may say,
    We will fight them in our apartments (flats), we will fight them while drinking tea and we will fight them in our railway stations…

  261. 261
    Mnemosyne says:

    @catclub:

    Trump may be willing to publicly humiliate and demean his pet billionaires, but he would never cost them money. That would be rude.

  262. 262
    different-church-lady says:

    @Kay:

    I notice Trump hasn’t fired his daughter or son in law.

    It’s only Tuesday.

  263. 263
    James E. Powell says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    She destroyed torture videos

    Doesn’t that make her a hero to the RW? Republicans have no objection to torture or to destroying evidence of government wrongdoing while Republicans are in office. Why would they care about this?

  264. 264
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    Trump’s personal aide Johnny McEntee was fired because he is currently under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes, a source familiar with his firing tells CNN

    Can’t be the real reason or the West Wing would be empty

  265. 265
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @different-church-lady: I’d bet fifty bucks that Jared will be moved over to the campaign by April 1.

  266. 266
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Holy shit, they fired the guy within hours of his statement about Tillerson’s firing! That’s pushing my needle even further, ala Martin’s statement earlier about his needle moving from 4 to 9.

  267. 267
    different-church-lady says:

    @WaterGirl: Are we talking about the Doomsday Clock?

  268. 268
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: OTOH, you might be right about McCain

    Jennifer Benderyv@ jbendery 21m21 minutes ago
    John McCain on Haspel: Torture of detainees “was one of the darkest chapters in American history” and Haspel her involvement in this process. (She led a “black site” where people were waterboarded.)

    ] He says she’ll have to account for her record, and that’s a more critical statement than either Schumer or Feinstein, who once blocked Hassles’ promotion because of torture

  269. 269
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And now it’s back.

  270. 270
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There are so many pronouns in your comment that I can’t figure out who you are talking about, and I even followed the chain 4 comments back. Would you mind clarifying?

  271. 271
    MomSense says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Thank you! Fortunately my parents are really nice so it makes it a bit easier. My dad is doing ok but my stepmom needs some orthopedic surgery. Her daughter is going to help her out while I take care of my dad. I’m predicting my stepsister and I will be drinking a lot of wine on the balcony in the evenings.

  272. 272
    James E. Powell says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What gloss is the newspaper of record putting over this?

    Outrage Over Hillary Clinton’s Remarks Spreads Across America

  273. 273
    WaterGirl says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Martin
    March 13, 2018 at 12:00 pm
    I’m not sure why, but this news has moved my internal oh-shit-o-meter from about a 4 to about a 9 in much the same way that watching Bush directly contradict what Hans Blix was saying. I have a feeling something genuinely life and death bad is about to happen.

  274. 274
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: it looks like trump laundered campaign money to pay off Stormy Daniels, some conveniently timed bills from the trump hotels to the campaign (which is already laughably corrupt but LOL nothing matters)

    Susan Simpson@ TheViewFromLL2
    Something I’d love to see a reporter ask Trump Org about:
    1) Cohen formed EC LLC on Oct 17 2016
    2) The contract provided for EC LLC to pay Stormy $130K by Oct 27 2016
    3) Between Oct 17 & Oct 25, the Trump campaign made payments to Trump Org properties that add up to $129,999.72.

  275. 275
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @catclub:

    If they throw her out it is an admission that what she did for the CIA was not good. So she has firing insurance.

    The CIA has ways of getting rid of no longer useful employees without firing them

    @Immanentize:

    I used to run with the cicle-A punk kids back in college.

    So you were a punk rocker AND a moon stomper?

    @LAO:

    The Administration just fired the Undersecretary.

    Oh shit–undersecretaries are the people who make things work while political appointees come and go. Not good.

  276. 276
    WaterGirl says:

    @MomSense: I was home to run the family business for 3 weeks (decades ago) when my mom had cancer and my dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital. Truly, what got me through it was walking the 2-4 blocks to a nice restaurant (there were two) and eating a solitary, leisurely dinner and having a couple of adult beverages. Every single night for dinner.

    I’m glad you will have company. If Amazon will drop ship wine, I will gladly have a couple of bottles sent to you.

  277. 277
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Holy fuck. I can say with certainty that it feels like this roller coaster we are on doubled in speed this past week, and has now doubled again.

  278. 278
    TenguPhule says:

    @WaterGirl: Its gone plaid.

  279. 279
    burnspbesq says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    She destroyed torture videos.

    I thought that was Rodriguez. Didn’t Judge Brinkema find as a fact, in a case in 2007 or so, that it was Rodriguez?

  280. 280

    T whisperer from Vichy Times

    The narrative of Trump unglued is not totally wrong but misses the reason why – he was terrified of the job the first six months, and now feels like he has a command of it.

  281. 281
    Procopius says:

    @Gin & Tonic: They decided he was like the number three guy in Al Qaeda, and in fact he was the equivalent of a clerk in the travel office. Haspel is a real sadist, though.

  282. 282
    Steeplejack says:

    @eclare:

    The whole agency was complicit.

  283. 283
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Today, when he fired a bunch of people randomly over Twitter, he truly became President.

  284. 284
    TriassicSands says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    it looks like trump laundered campaign money to pay off Stormy Daniels…

    If there is anything illegal that Mueller ought to be able to get Trump for doing, it is using questionable and even illegal means to pay off a debt. Trump has shown an aversion his entire adult life to using his own money to pay for things that are his responsibility. Paying Daniels out of his own pocket — the bill would be chump change for a person of Trump’s self-proclaimed vast wealth — would be very uncharacteristic for Trump. Now, if they said he’d raided a charity to make the payment or stolen the money out of collection plates in church (if he went to church), I’d have no trouble believing it. But out of his own pocket? Unlikely.

  285. 285
    Procopius says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: “She destroyed torture videos.” No, that was a guy. He already retired under the Obama administration. I think they gave him a gold watch and the Medal of Freedom. No, Haspel was the one who made them continue to torture Zubaydah after everyone else at the site was certain he knew nothing. I’m hoping there is at least one Democrat who will filibuster the nomination (they can still do that for non-judicial appointments).

  286. 286
    SgrAstar says:

    @WaterGirl: Instant rehire = NDA goes into effect.

  287. 287
    James E. Powell says:

    @janeform:

    Schumer tweets:

    If he’s confirmed, we hope that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin.

    Lame remarks like that are one of the main reasons that even insanely loyal Democrats, like me, are constantly bitching about the leadership. How about, “Like nearly all of Trump’s cabinet choices, Pompeo is not a suitable choice. He has neither the experience nor the character to represent America.”

    They need to condemn him, reject him, and make a loud noise about it. It’s not like kissing his ass or giving him the benefit of the doubt is going to do anyone any good.

  288. 288
    Stan says:

    @Steeplejack: One of the biggest problems in our political system is that responsibility always lies elsewhere. “Our orders came from up above,” but at the same time “I didn’t know what my minions were doing.” Oh, well, nothing can be done now. We have to look forward, not back, and move on.

    You’re right, and yet….those at the top, the ones who really made the decisions and gave the orders, are NEVER held accountable. So there is some unfairness in holding the middle and lower levels responsible.

    It’s a bit like Vietnam where everyone from the President on down was cool with leveling villages indiscriminantly, but they hung one Lieutenant out to dry for it. I am not arguing Calley was a good officer, because he sucked. But its wasn’t HIM making the policy.

  289. 289
    Steeplejack says:

    @Stan:

    Perhaps you misunderstood me: I absolutely was saying that those at the top should be held accountable as well.

Comments are closed.