The Counterintelligence Implications of the Intelligence Officer’s Whistleblower Complaint

About an hour ago The Washington Post reported that the Intelligence official’s or officer’s complaint to the Intelligence Community Inspector General has to do with Ukraine.

A whistleblower complaint about President Trump made by an intelligence official centers on Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter, which has set off a struggle between Congress and the executive branch.

The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a “promise” that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.

Much more at the link, but not much new information beyond the top line. What we don’t have are details, just some tantalizing hints. Given that the complaint involves something the President committed to do for a still undisclosed foreign leader and that it involves Ukraine, it is likely one of two things. Either he promised Putin something that had something to do with Ukraine, such as getting sanctions lifted and/or getting Russia readmitted to the G-7 making it once again the G-8, or he promised Ukraine’s President Zelensky something. Most likely that he’d free up the military aid in exchange for made up dirt on Vice President Biden’s son. Either way Putin will have signals intercepts of the call. Either because the call was with Putin and he recorded it or because Russia is actively collecting Signals Intelligence on the Ukrainians. Ukraine’s new president would be a primary target of such collection. It also likely means that the Estonians, the Latvians, the Germans, the French, the Norwegians, the Dutch, and several others most likely know the details as well as they are all collecting Signals Intelligence on Russia and Putin.

And this is where the counterintelligence concerns arise. The President’s unconventional approach to communicating with foreign leaders, outside advisors, and others, and his opposition to having these communications memorialized creates a counterintelligence problem for him and for the United States. This counterintelligence problem exists regardless what he may or may not have promised a foreign leader over the series of phone calls and interactions at the heart of the Intelligence official’s or officer’s complaint and whether or not it is good for the US and American interests. By getting rid of note takers, getting rid of readouts and summaries, either eliminating or extremely restricting transcripts of his phone calls and meetings, and by often using an unsecured cell phone, the President has made it all but impossible for officials in his own administration to actually document and know what he is saying to and hearing from the foreign leaders he is interacting with. This places the President, and by extension the United States, at the mercy of these foreign leaders. Right now we do not know with whom the President was speaking to in these phone calls, even as we now know it had something to do with Ukraine. But it would be a safe assumption that the foreign leader was making a recording of the call, as well as having a note taker making detailed notes. This provides that foreign leader with leverage over the President and the United States should he or she choose to use it because they can disclose as much or as little of the conversations and spin them however they want, while the United States’ government has limited, at best, information about the conversations and is therefore operating at an asymmetric disadvantage. The same problems exists for the President’s one on one meetings with Putin and Kim, where we also have no officially documented notes or transcripts on the US side of the meetings. And if you think that Putin and Kim didn’t record those meetings, I have a bridge and some beachfront property to sell you.

Right now we do not know which foreign leader the President spoke with, what, if anything, the President promised that foreign leader, and if the promise is good for the US’s national interest or bad for it. We do not even know how the Intelligence official or officer came to know this information. We don’t know if she or he was part of the limited chain of distribution for a transcript of the call. We do not know if he or she saw a Signals Intelligence Intercept of the call because we have that foreign leader under full time Signals Intelligence surveillance. We do not know if he or she was in the presence of the President when the phone call and the other, multiple activities that were reported occurred. But we do know one thing: the foreign leader in question knows what the President promised and, from a counterintelligence perspective, it is responsible to assume that foreign leader has a recording of the call, which gives that foreign leader leverage over the President and the United States. The President has compromised himself and the United States to the leader of a foreign power and that is the major counterintelligence problem that arises from this whistleblower’s complaint.

Open thread!






135 replies
  1. 1
    zhena gogolia says:

    DUDE GOTTA GO

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: What did I do? I did the post you were all pestering me for. This is not a safe space. You can’t share anything here…

  3. 3
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You know perfectly well who I meant!

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: I know, I was just teasing.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    The Rudy interview/conspiracy theory spittle rant was just apeshit.

    Which made me believe this is a BFD.

  7. 7
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    I keep thinking “this is the last straw,” but it never is.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    One of the Rudys Giuliani appears to be having a meltdown on CNN:

  9. 9
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You KNOW what you did.
    File has been updated.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And he lapped himself!

  11. 11
    Bodacious says:

    I’m pretty tapped out on this whole nightmare. How many times can Donny Kueger-Trump jump out with a new moral deficiency? Again, not about Trump, it’s about those that value position over ethics.

  12. 12
    Immanentize says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: or really good diversion practice

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize: Mine is a dossier, thank you very much!

  14. 14
    TS (the original) says:

    Thanks for the post Adam. Is it right to assume that the US former allies – (many in Europe) – are no longer sharing intelligence with the US – cause that’s what I am thinking.

  15. 15
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Giuliani’s still going: “I don’t have to give you the proof! Go read it! It’s written in books! You just won’t read it! It’s all over the Internet! Go read it! I have the proof.”

    I would think a lawyer would understand the basic concept of the burden of proof, which is, of course, on those making claims. Must’ve gotten his law degree from a diploma mill

    Also, thanks for the post!

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    @Adam L Silverman: We try not to use that word after the Steele matter….

  17. 17
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Immanentize:

    We try not to use that word after the Steele matter….

    The Danielle Steele affair!

  18. 18
    jl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Too bad you didn’t know the Giuliani interview would be on before you posted. Rudy scooped you.

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    Trump will just deny everything, because that’s his modus operandi for his criminal enterprises, and his followers will lap it up.

    In happier news, I FINALLY GOT MY FUCKING CPAP MACHINE! She’s very pretty (I got the ResMed 10 “for her” model that has leaves stenciled on it, so definitely a she). Now I need to come up with a name for my new best friend. I was thinking Mabel, but now that I’m seeing her in person, she may be more of a Thelma. 🤔 Especially since we’ll be going on a weekend road trip in a couple of weeks.

    Did I mention that I FINALLY GOT MY FUCKING CPAP MACHINE?!?!

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Someone needs a nice stay in custodial care and a pudding cup!

  21. 21
    Tazj says:

    @zhena gogolia: Same, but hopefully this time is it. The one thousandth time is the charm.

  22. 22
    surfk9 says:

    One of these days the dam is going to burst and like one of those lakes of pigshit by the factory farms. The shit is going to get all over a lot of people

  23. 23
    jl says:

    The whistle blower and the leakers will have to worry about a corrupt Barr trying to put them in jail. They/ll also have to worry about Trump and Giuliani spilling all of the beans first.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    the President has made it all but impossible for officials in his own administration to actually document and know what he is saying to and hearing from the foreign leaders he is interacting with.

    Apparently, this is how Trump runs his businesses. He is also known to destroy notes, something that supposedly he is not supposed to do as president.

    This places the President, and by extension the United States, at the mercy of these foreign leaders. Right now we do not know with whom the President was speaking to in these phone calls, even as we now know it had something to do with Ukraine. But it would be a safe assumption that the foreign leader was making a recording of the call, as well as having a note taker making detailed notes. This provides that foreign leader with leverage over the President and the United States should he or she choose to use it because they can disclose as much or as little of the conversations and spin them however they want.

    This may be of limited value. Trump doesn’t care. He will issue denials or lie outright. We have already seen him lie about the status of trade talks with China. Foreign leaders can spin information any way they like. And Trump has his staff and Fox News to counter-spin any way they wish.

    Trump believes that he is immune to any negative pushback. He may be wrong, but this is how he will play it. This is how he rolls.

  25. 25
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Tazj:

    We’re buried under a pile of straws.

  26. 26
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What was Al Capone’s treatment plan, at the end? Rudy probably needs the same thing.

  27. 27
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Good for you! Hope it helps you sleep easier

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TS (the original): I think they’re likely hedging. Some stuff they will share, some they won’t.

  29. 29
    Immanentize says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Woot! Breathe/sleep easy.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Apparently I was surveilling the wrong infinite Rudys Giuliani.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Welcome to the world of good sleep!

  32. 32
    zhena gogolia says:

    I wonder if all this actually helps Biden’s campaign.

    Boy, my husband is all in for Biden. Interesting.

  33. 33
    jl says:

    @Brachiator: I wonder how anyone who has even one functioning brain cell would stake anything on Trump keeping his word.
    Even if the cover wasn’t blown, hasn’t Giuliani been working on this scheme for months, much of it reported in the news? What’s been the hold-up?
    The Ukrainians probably wanted small unmarked bills personally delivered by Giuliani, with photos of him handing it over in paper bags.

    Probably only ones who have above zero confidence that Trump will keep his end of any deal are the ones who have dirt on him. But OTOH, at this point, that might be pretty much everyone.

  34. 34
    Raoul says:

    Not to be naive, but if it is “also likely…that the Estonians, the Latvians, the Germans, the French, the Norwegians, and several others most likely know the details as well” couldn’t we, as say part of a very high level investigation of, say Articles of Impeachment, try to get the Germans, the French or other allies to hand over the transcript they have? Held in strictest secrecy, of course.

    I say this assuming that Trump goes down without ever fessing up to what he said to whom. As is his M.O.

  35. 35
    cain says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Congrats, but man, what’s with all these Depression era names?! ;) How about Louisa ? :)

  36. 36
    Jeffro says:

    Let’s have it, national snooze media: “Both Sides” this!

    Seriously, I’ll hold your beer. Go for it. Try and tell us how Obama did ‘essentially the same thing’. I’ll wait.

  37. 37
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I especially loved when Cuomo told Ghoulini “you’re not aware of what you’re doing”. He basically called him senile!

  38. 38
    OldDave says:

    @Mnemosyne: (gets her CPAP)
    Wear it in good health. I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea back when I was 38 years old. After reviewing the sleep study results the doctor proclaimed I wouldn’t make it to 40 unless I always used my machine. I believed him, so I did. I’m in my mid sixties now.

  39. 39
    zhena gogolia says:

    @cain:

    She’s a film noir buff.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Someone has been binge-watching A Few Good Men again, I see.

  41. 41
    cain says:

    @Brachiator:
    Trump seems like the perfect double/triple/quadriple agent. Leak whatever he wants and not even our 3 letter security folks can figure out what he said while opening himself up to being leveraged. But he’ probably happy because in the end maybe his resort or something gets something. They’ll use honey for sure.

  42. 42
    dmsilev says:

    @zhena gogolia: Would you really want to sleep with a noir dame? That usually didn’t end well for anyone.

  43. 43
    zhena gogolia says:

    @dmsilev:

    True. She should avoid the name Phyllis.

  44. 44
    jl says:

    ” Estonians, the Latvians, the Germans, the French, the Norwegians ”
    And the Dutch, don’t forget the Dutch.

    Several of my Dutch friends have told me that the Dutch have a whole division of their IC services devoted to electronic surveillance of Putin and any dirt they find out he is trying pull. Dutch want revenge on the plane the Russians shot down, or helped shoot down. Anyway, that apparently is widely believed in the Netherlands.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raoul: I doubt it.

  46. 46
    cain says:

    @OldDave:
    I had a sleep study done too because I was having a lot of trouble sleeping, feeling tired all the time almost to the point that my motor skills were having issues. After the sleep study, the tech told me I had a 95% sleep efficiency and that I sleep better than he does. :P

  47. 47
    zhena gogolia says:

    @jl:

    that apparently is widely believed in the Netherlands.

    And everywhere else.

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    No pudding till he cleans up his room entire act/life/personality/ability to breathe…….

  49. 49
    cain says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Ah… such as it is. Perhaps Judy might also be appropriate.

  50. 50
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yay! I sleep fewer hours and feel rested when I wake up!

  51. 51
    jl says:

    @zhena gogolia: After the Dutch were able to do nano surveillance on much of the Russian troll farms, I often heard the saying ‘If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t worth much’ from certain quarters. Something besides soccer, cheese, mammoth waterworks, and tulips to build national pride.

  52. 52
    Millard Filmore says:

    @zhena gogolia: This is likely an inappropriate question to ask in a reply to your post … what would be so bad about a Biden presidency? He bumbles around and says inappropriate things. So what? After Trump nothing will be as it was 3 years ago. We will never get back the presidential stature, trust, and power of that trust, that Trump destroyed. At worst, Biden will bumble around and say inappropriate things but still sign any bills the Democrats pass through Congress.

    At worst, he won’t be the World Leader we are looking for but domestically he will still do the right thing when presented with the right thing.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    HeleninEire says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I told you guys last thread.

  55. 55
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Ruckus:

    No pudding till he cleans up his room entire act/life/personality/ability to breathe…….

    In that case, the Ghoul would starve; I don’t think he has the integrity

  56. 56
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Immanentize:

    File has been updated.

    This is Balloon Juice, amigo. We update dossiers. Files are for plebes.

  57. 57
    HeleninEire says:

    @HeleninEire: It was NUTS.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Or just needs his medication.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Them too.

  60. 60
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: d’oh! Read before posting…read before posting…

  61. 61
    Mary G says:

    Of course, crazy Rudy is an excellent distraction from Trump’s Ukraine whistleblower.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cain:

    Oh, I’m totally picturing her as a 1940s broad like Thelma Ritter or Eve Arden:

    https://giphy.com/gifs/alfred-hitchcock-rTuQvwtomKLBu

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jl: Also:

  64. 64
    HeleninEire says:

    @HeleninEire: He was drunk

    Trump will fire him tomorrow.

  65. 65
    Jim, Foolsh Literalist says:

    @Millard Filmore: You didn’t ask me, but… I’m okay with President Biden, Candidate Biden worries me. I’ve become genuinely concerned about his agility as a candidate, and I say that as someone who dismissed the “too old” argument for the last year or so. People age differently. I’m sure Bernie will be bellowing into the void for another ten years, and I don’t worry about Warren’s age, but Biden, who I don’t think was ever a towering intellect, has become fuzzy about details and meandering in his responses.

  66. 66
    jl says:

    @HeleninEire: Why? Because Giuliani scooped Trump on spilling some evidence?

  67. 67
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Or Kitty, like in The Killers.

  68. 68
    SFAW says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Hey, Mnem! Yesterday you were talking about maybe getting a CPAP machine. What happened with that? Any luck?

  69. 69
    Mary G says:

    Now Rudy’s twittering:

    A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job. Maybe if Obama did that the Biden Family wouldn’t have bilked millions from Ukraine and billions from China; being covered up by a Corrupt Media.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 20, 2019

  70. 70
    jl says:

    Why not multiple scandals in one?

    @joshtpm
    Worth noting too that Rudy is also trying to force the government of Ukraine to manufacture evidence to exonerate Paul Manafort, which is likely to be used as the predicate for his eventual pardon.
    https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1174879092593893377

    Probably a bidding war among the networks to get Giuliani on to tell the country about that.

  71. 71
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    The important thing to remember is this:
    Although this presents a huge, huge, huge danger to the United States, remember, the GOP has done… absolutely nothing. In fact, they defended such tactics, pointing out that there’s *nothing wrong* with Jared Kushner wanting a back channel to Russia, in the Russian Embassy, of all places, without any US intelligence, State Department, or law enforcement oversight.

    That’s “peeing on a leg, and insisting to the leg’s owner that it’s raining” territory. There’s no honest reason for any competent person to want to do that; and even a somewhat-dull, dishonest, person should realize they’re matching wits with the entire Russian intelligence infrastructure, which is catastrophically stupid. It’s absolutely indefensible, and if you think about it, that shows just how screwed up the GOP really is. Worse, it shows how they are simply incapable of backing down any more. Each additional coverup makes it that much harder to admit you were wrong, but one that bone-headed means it’s already almost impossible to imagine what they’ll consider the breaking point, other than “if we keep covering for him, we’ll lose elections”.

  72. 72
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I think he’s had too much of his medication.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Sending you an email.

  74. 74
    cain says:

    @Ruckus:
    He should at least eat his meat.

  75. 75
    sukabi says:

    Fucking Infrastructure week is never ending. The upside is Guiliani will have talked himself into a padded cell in a federal penn before this is over.

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Rick Wilsonn@ TheRickWilson
    Yes, I saw it.

    Yes, he was.

    Yes, it was very sad.

    Wilson was a close campaign aide of Rudi’s, I think he was part of the crew that filmed that Rudi-in-drag skit with trump all those years ago. I assume “Yes, he was” is a response to “was he shit-faced?” queries.

  77. 77
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: jeez, it was a small mistake and you’re sending me a formal reprimand?

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Reminds me of an old joke.
    Pastry shop customer: “I’d like some of those cakes, please.”
    Pastry shop worker: “Those aren’t cakes, they’re gateaux.”

  79. 79
    clay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Did I mention that I FINALLY GOT MY FUCKING CPAP MACHINE?!?!

    Honest to God, I read this as CRAP MACHINE, and I thought “oh, Mnem got a new dog? How nice!”

  80. 80
    Jeffro says:

    The email exchanges with RWNJ dad are getting quite ‘out there’, shall we say? I would like to think he sees the writing on the wall, and yet, there is the specter of “soshulism!!1!”

    Also, he is STILL going on about the Clintons! That’s just shy of Rudy-level nuts.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Happy New CPAP Machine Day!

  82. 82
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    HOLY SHIT this is wild!

    *clicks*

    Oh fuck no. I don’t watch Ghoulian between the hours of 0:00 and 23:59.

  83. 83

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Mine is a dossier

    Aren’t we fancy.

  84. 84
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Mnemosyne: Congrats on the CRAP machine!

    Wait a sec…

  85. 85

    @Mnemosyne:

    I got the ResMed 10 “for her” model that has leaves stenciled on it, so definitely a she

    Now, be honest, you got the “Hello Kitty” model.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yep. He also worked for Rudy while Rudy was mayor.

  87. 87
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @zhena gogolia: Not sure. But I hear it’s great news for John McCain.

  88. 88

    @zhena gogolia:

    We’re buried under a pile of straws.

    Paper straws, no less; damn liberals.

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: First time I heard someone in Britain call a cake a pahlava I was like WTF?

  90. 90
    jl says:

    @Steve in the ATL: “Jeez, it was a small mistake and you’re sending me a formal reprimand?”

    The email is just notice of the formal reprimand, on official letterhead, with a dossier, which will be handed delivered by courier.
    Believe me, I know.

  91. 91
    Mike in DC says:

    It would be nice if another 20-30 Dems came out for impeachment after this bombshell. Also, Joe Biden has a golden opportunity here to let Trump have it with both barrels and supercharge the impeachment “debate”. I think Pelosi’s position has just been overtaken by events on the ground, so to speak.

  92. 92
    Joey Maloney says:

    So, do you get the feeling the WaPo’s sources are either the whistleblower or people the whistleblower is using as a conduit, deliberately dribbling out the facts for maximum impact?

    If it’s what I say it is, I love it.

  93. 93
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @zhena gogolia: There’s a girl wants to see you. Her name’s Wonderly.

  94. 94
    Another Scott says:

    @jl:

    I wonder how anyone who has even one functioning brain cell would stake anything on Trump keeping his word.

    Bingo.

    This is the biggest reason why Donnie will never get an agreement with Kim or Rouhani or anyone else we have manor disagreements with. Donnie doesn’t think that agreements constrain him. He thinks he can lie, cheat, steal, tear up any prior agreement or norm without consequences.

    He’s boxing himself in, and he is too stupid to know it.

    Grrr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  95. 95
    scott (the other one) says:

    It would also be nice if reporters from each major news organization hounded the likes of Lindsey Graham and Ben Sasse about this story until they were forced to say something, anything, of substance, either in defense or condemnation. Also nice would be me winning the lottery, even though I never actually buy any tickets.

  96. 96
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Congratulations and sweet dreams! (Keep her clean.)

  97. 97
    debbie says:

    I cannot wait for the reactions from the Congressional Republicans.

  98. 98
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Mnemosyne: Good line, but I always remember her suggesting that the murder was done in the bathtub to wash away the blood.

  99. 99
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Another Scott:

    Grrr…

    Good to see you’ve got this macro working again!

  100. 100
    Leto says:

    @Mnemosyne: Grats on the CPAP, or as clay called it: the CRAP machine! Hope you get all the sleeps! Can I suggest June as a potential name?

    Watching the Rudi, it was like watching an animatronic machine go into meltdown mode.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @scott (the other one): Yep.The Democratic candidates shouldn’t just be hounding the President over this, but they and their surrogates should also be hammering every Republican senator up for reelection this cycle. Ads should be up in Maine, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and the other 14 states no later than midday tomorrow.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: @debbie: I use a SoClean. I really like it.

  103. 103
    cain says:

    @Mike in DC:
    You know he’s not going to do that. He’s all about getting along, he wants to be buddy buddy with all his friends in Congress again – just like the good times.

  104. 104
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @scott (the other one): Yep.The Democratic candidates shouldn’t just be hounding the President over this, but they and their surrogates should also be hammering every Republican senator up for reelection this cycle. Ads should be up in Maine, Colorado, Arizona, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and the other 14 states no later than midday tomorrow.

    Curious.. do you think that is going to happen? I haven’t seen anything like an aggressive posture like that other than from the liberal 4.

  105. 105
    Leto says:

    @debbie: “The president has the right to make any secret deal to screw over the US that he wants!” Or something to that effect. Of course his lawyers, in response to the NY AG subpoena for his personal/business tax returns, are now arguing that the president can’t even be investigated. Of course that runs counter to what Mueller concluded, but hey, I’m sure we’ll get a ruling on that next July. It’ll be awesome.

  106. 106
    prostratedragon says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ya-a-a-y!

    Now go, sleep!

  107. 107
    jl says:

    @Leto: And corrupt deep state media covered up crimes of Joe Biden, and if the interview gets heated, those of HRC too.

  108. 108
    cain says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    NIce… that giphy was very suggestive though. :D

  109. 109
    patrick II says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I just recently got a ResMed and find to be a great machine. It is quiet and mine is set for dynamic feedback so the pressure can change based upon whether I am in a recliner or laying down or on my side. I sleep better than I have in a long time. Good hick with your new machine.

  110. 110
    Jeffro says:

    @debbie:

    I cannot wait for the reactions from the Congressional Republicans.

    Me either, but this requires 1) Dem candidates (and Dem reps/Sens in general) willing to get in front of cameras and demand those responses/reactions and 2) national media correspondents who will get up in GOP reps/Sens’ faces asking for reactions beyond ‘we’ll see’ or ‘the president said he has the right to…’

    PRESS HARD, DEMS!

  111. 111
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I second, and third, this proposal. GO DEMS GO! Make the R candidates pay for defending trumpov for anything and everything, and most especially this. The guy is WAY underwater across the country and that includes ‘battleground’ states.

  112. 112
    debbie says:

    @Leto:

    I look forward to the next administration’s legislation clarifying Article II. And I’m not snarking.

  113. 113

    [[[watches Rudy drunkenly spew conspiracy theories…turns off everything…crawls under covers]]]

    I hate this timeline

  114. 114
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Chris Murphy @ ChrisMurphyCT
    A few weeks ago in Ukraine, I met w President Zelensky and we discussed the surprise cut off of aid and the inappropriate demands the Trump campaign was making of him. The obvious question everyone in Kiev was asking was – were the two things connected?
    Zelensky did not explicitly connect the two in our meeting, but he was VERY concerned about the cut off of aid, and VERY aware of the conversations that Rudy Giuliani was having with his team.
    I told him it was best to ignore requests from Trump’s campaign operatives. He agreed.
    I don’t know what is in the whistleblower complaint, but it was clear to me that Ukraine officials were worried about the consequences of ignoring Giuliani’s demands. And of course they were. That’s why presidents shouldn’t have their campaigns talking to foreign leaders.

    my italics The foreign head of gov’t being squeezed knows he is being squeezed, and why. Mitt Romney also knows these things. Will he continue to pretend not to know these things. (substitute 51 other names for Romney’s. Repeat. Except maybe Johnson and Cornyn who might well be too damn dumb to follow the connected dots)

  115. 115
    frosty says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yay for you!!! Let us know how it goes when you wake up.

  116. 116
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @TaMara (HFG): May I suggest my Ghouliani-watching schedule?

  117. 117
    khead says:

    So, as someone else asked, what can be done about the whistle blower?

  118. 118
    hilts says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Contrary to that song by the late great band the Clash, Rudy can fail and he’s been failing for many decades, only now he’s sounding dumber than ever.

    The only good thing about seeing clueless Rudy on tv is that it makes me want to hear that Clash song again.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEK9oK02D1M

    Fuck Rudy and Long Live the Clash!

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cain: Hope is not a strategy.

  120. 120
    jl says:

    @khead: Some scumbag on this blog alerted me to it, and I had a lapse in judgment.

  121. 121
    dimmsdale says:

    Hey, Adam– a question: when you say “we” don’t know, who does that “we” cover exactly? Wouldn’t it make sense, as a matter of national urgency (if not patriotism) for the IC to thoroughly and relentlessly bug its own president, to keep track of who he talks to, what he says, what he commits America’s wealth and power to do for these garbage pail dictators he consorts with? Isn’t it fair to assume that if the Germans, French, Norwegians, Dutch etc. are monitoring what Russia’s up to when the talking anus has his private meetings with them, that we are too? I guess I always assumed that if the talking anus goes into a room with Sergei Lavrov and NO note-takers, that somehow, our team has ears on him anyway? Not so?

  122. 122
    VOR says:

    There was a story during the Cuban Missile Crisis that President Kennedy send Dean Acheson to meet the French President, Charles de Gaulle. Acheson offered to show the pictures of Soviet installations in Cuba to de Gaulle, who said he didn’t need to see them because the word of the President of the United States was good enough for him.

    Can you imagine anything like that happening now? The word of the President of the United States is worthless. Trump just says stuff, whatever comes to mind in the moment, and none of it means anything. Someone called it “word vomit”.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: We most likely have intercepts on the people he’s speaking to. But we can’t surveil Americans in the US without a FISA warrant. But that’s the rub. We’ve never had a reason to treat the president as a counterintelligence threat before now.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VOR: No, not for the time being.

  125. 125
    VOR says:

    @Adam L Silverman: FISA warrant application for surveillance of the President of the United States would be something for the history books. Wow.

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @VOR: In this case I think they could just apply for unmasking of the Signals Intelligence collection of the foreign leader on the other end of the call. But that in and of itself would still be both unprecedented and nuts.

  127. 127
    phdesmond says:

    adam,

    this has been an amazing news day or two, and i’ve been happy to follow the conversations on this topic.

  128. 128
    Redshift says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Now, be honest, you got the “Hello Kitty” model.

    Or the snap-on facehugger mask cover!

  129. 129
    bluehill says:

    Rudy’s version of A Few Good Men.
    “Did you order the code red?”

    “You’re damn right I did! … I did my job, I’d do it again!”

  130. 130
    BlueDWarrior says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: you joke, but Sanrio put Miss Kitty’s likeness on about everything as is…

  131. 131
    Ruckus says:

    @Another Scott:

    He’s boxing himself in, and he is too stupid to know it.

    And the hits keep coming!
    Not one to discount the level of his stupidity, but it may be more his narcissism that might keep him from boxing himself in. Having no understanding of his limits, because of course he thinks he has none, he’s quite liable to make decisions that could be considered manifestly stupid. Because they are. Of course one could make the argument that if he was smarter he’d recognize that not everything that he thinks he does properly, which is everything, actually is.

  132. 132
    joel hanes says:

    @Millard Filmore:

    what would be so bad about a Biden presidency?
    … domestically he will still do the right thing when presented with the right thing.

    He won’t, because the right thing is to prosecute every one of the motherfuckers who’ve spent the last thirty-two months demolishing the government of the United States and erecting a kleptocracy in its place, and to go to the mattresses against the GOP, which has comprehensively forfeited any right to be treated as a party of good-faith actors.

    Affable, get-along go-along Joe doesn’t have that in him, nor does is he even capable of that perception.
    His mind was formed in 1975 or so, and it ain’t gonna change.

  133. 133
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @joel hanes: Amen. Biden will treat Dump’s bastard presidency as water under the bridge instead of boiling these fuckers in oil.

    Reference

  134. 134
    No One of Consequence says:

    @joel hanes: ayup.

    Truth and reconciliation. I want a course correction along with investigations, prosecutions and Lengthy incarcerations.

    Let the Pubs whine, fuss and agitate. Many/most are themselves complicit.

    – NOoC

  135. 135
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Millard Filmore:

    I’m not one of the Never Bideners. When I watched the famous “record player” clip, I got a feeling of safety and security that I have not experienced since Nov. 2016.

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