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National Security Briefings for Trump should be suspended

If you haven’t seen the NYTimes front page this morning, get over there now and read Secret Ledger for Ukraine Lists Cash for Top Trump Aide. It’s about Paul Manafort, who is an unpaid campaign manager for Donald Trump. The report is about how Manafort’s name is on a Ukranian ledger and shows that he was to be compensated for millions of dollars. Unknown at this time is whether he actually received the money.

What do you think?

Yeah, me too.

If you’re looking for some decent background information on this report, you might try Slate’s TrumpCast. These episodes are particularly informative:

The Moscow Mule (guest Frank Foer)

America’s Putin (guest Masha Gessen)

The Post-Modern Manchurian Candidate (guest Anne Applebaum)

The first two podcasts were recorded back in June and early July before the DNC hack.

We’ve heard about Trump’s alleged ties to Putin for awhile now and speculation is he owes the Russians for something and that’s what’s driving his statements on Ukraine and NATO.

In the interest of national security, Donald Trump’s access to national security briefings of classified information should be suspended until we know the extent of his and his campaign manager’s ties to Putin and the Russians.

This is more important than partisan politics at the moment.




37 Responses

  1. My understanding is that Trump like any other candidate only gets one security briefing after being the nominee not regular security briefings and that Obama controls the information that he gets.

  2. This is huge and I agree goes beyond politics. I hope this story becomes bigger so that people realize we are dealing with a serious issue here.

  3. Amazing just gob smack amazing, but it helps to explain the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign and why it has been and continues to be such an embarrassing event in our history. And I do believe the Republicans have groomed their base to hate Hillary so much that they would allow Russia an upper hand if it could help them defeated her. I’m thinking October should be really interesting this year no way there would be no digital trace of Russia involvement in the Campaign.

    • So far we’ve heard little about Trump’s undoubtedly, shall we say colorful, background. I like to think the Democrats have been holding their fire until after Labor Day, when the campaign really gets started.

      Hold on to your hats.

  4. This is “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” and worse. The misdirection is the email nonsense. The blaming of Hillary for various world events, while right under our eyes, the Russians are trying to take over our government. Murdoch involved with Russia in some way, as well. Maybe Stone and Judicial Watch. Assange, obviously. A global web designed to defeat Hillary, and install a Russian puppet in the Presidency. And where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins of today? Those two have long since succumbed to the lure of substituting the hatred of Hillary for responsible journalism;; while the cable media itself is either absymally inept, deliberately out to get Hillary at all costs, or part of the actual conspiracy.

    • If Putin is the mastermind of all this, I will need to lower–dramatically–my estimate of his intelligence, and I don’t mean the spy kind of intelligence. I would expect something smoother and less detectable from him, plus it seems a foolish risk. After all, if Hillary wins, and the Trump campaign gets traced back to Putin–well, if anyone can figure out a way to make Vlad wish he’d never been born, it would be Hillary. 😈

      • Putin is an excellent strategist, but I doubt very much there’s any master plan. I would guess he sees this Useful Idiot Buffoon, knows that some carefully dosed cash infusions will make him even more useful, and just goes with the flow. He has some strings he can pull among the high and mighty, but that’s a far cry from taking over the government or installing a puppet. I’d be very surprised if he was stupid enough to overextend himself that way.

        And he’s enough of a strategist to know that the Drumpfsterfire is very likely to flame out, so the traces from his end of the operation won’t be right out there. He’s probably cursing and muttering about the asinine Ukrainians and their handwritten ledgers with everything laid out.

  5. Speaking as someone who has actually had a clearance, I’d be inclined to suspend both of them:

    1) Trump, because of the questions of foreign influence and because, quite frankly, I think he’s got more than a couple of screws loose, and

    2) Clinton, because she’s already shown an unwillingness to properly handle classified and SBU information.

    • I would repeat that the information was not classified at the time, but I’d be spitting in the wind.

    • Sorry, Propertius but we all have to accept that she didn’t do anything illegal. Her actions were no worse tha Colin Powell’s and if I recall correctly, he said as much himself.
      AND as I’ve said before, 110 largely mid characterized or misclassified emails out of 55,000 is a “failure” rate of .02%. On what planet can this be considered “extremely careless”?
      I’m going to go out on a limb here and speculate that her setup was a lot more sophisticated than Comey et al let on. She and Bill have the money to hire some pretty sharp sys admins. Sure, her blackberry traffic might have been intercepted by the enemy. But after 20+ years of media harassment and living thru the Lewibski scandal where every love letter and soppy note was published in lurid detail, she would be absolutely stupid to put anything in an email that she wouldn’t want to see in the front page of the NYT.
      Which is why the media is going nuts about this. There’s no really juicy tidbits and they’re cranky.
      I think this is going to backfire on them. If she wins, she will have done it largely without their help. If I were her, the first thing I’d do is try to get better control of the message. That means fixing the CPB and possibly the fairness rule. Not saying she would but she’s going to have a hard time presidenting if these wolves can’t be sated. That’s a shame. Because we need a healthy press to keep the powerful in line. Even Clinton is not above the law as Comey would tell you himself. But they’ve really bent over backwards to smear her with the email thing. I’d make their lives miserable in the White House. I suppose she could be cordial with them but it’d be like that fable about the man who picked up a dying snake and kept it warm next to his chest. The snake bit him anyway and says, “you knew what I was when you picked me up”.
      The worse part of this is that the media has almost succeeded in equalizing Donald Trump’s bizarre and dangerous statements with her desire to keep her personal email, personal. How in dog’s name have we come to this?? We have lost all perspective and proportion. No, no don’t even start. The notion that we would even attempt to equate the two is maliciously irresponsible.
      She is no Nixon, but he may very well be a two bit Mussolini.

    • What Propertius said. Clinton is not to be trusted on anything.

  6. CNN is unbelievable.
    On the day that it’s revealed that Paul Manafort is on Putin’s Puppet’s payroll, all Brianna and panel want to talk about is Hillary Clinton’s emails!!
    I feel like I’ve gone through the looking glass.
    They are ignoring the biggest story of the year to focus like laser beams on HRC’s emails.
    And I love how, show after show, they pretend not to understand her explanations.
    Anybody else watching “Braindead” on Sunday nights?
    Space ants that live in your brain might be the only plausible excuse for our feckless, ignorant Press.

    • I know Sue. CNN has gone as mad as Trump. Every daytime host and Jake Tapper, who I don’t watch more than a minute if I happen to turn on with him there, are obsessed and as you say, seem convinced that Hillary has never once apologized for the ‘error of her ways’. Has Roger Ailes taken over cnn? Are they drinking the same water as Trump?

  7. The story was posted on line last night (8/14) and the comments to the NY Times jumped from 2 to 50 to 80 quite quickly. Many of the commentators had the same concerns about what information Trump receives in the briefings and calling for investigations.

  8. Yeah, it’s Counterpunch, but at least this article makes sense:

    Donald Trump and the Myth of Economic Populism

    According to this fellow, the Donald’s loyalists aren’t generally so down-and-out as advertised.

  9. The comments Trump made in yesterday’s speech caused me to recall the novel “The Plot Against America,” by Philip Roth, which was an alternative history of a United States in 1940 where the Nazi sympathizer and anti-semite Charles Lindbergh was elected, and began to target Jewish people for “assimilation,” undoubtedly preparatory to much worse.

    If we take Trump’s words at face value, he is calling for some kind of “test” for immigrants to see if they truly love America. The obvious next step would be a test for citizens. Loyalty oaths? Indoctrination camps? Deportation or worse if they didn’t pass? This is truly fascist stuff. What a predictable shame that the media doesn’t see it, or doesn’t care about it, in their pubescent desire to go after Hillary for what is truly nothing. I agree with RD that I wish Hillary would be just a little bit like the imperious person the media frames her as, and make the lives of the media people very unfruitful, if not miserable, if she is elected. They, at least the broadcast media, deserve nothing less.

    • “…I wish Hillary would be just a little bit like the imperious person the media frames her as…”

      That reminds me–if the Clintons are as powerful, smart, ruthless, and murderous as the conspiracy goofballs say they are, then how is it that, for example, Alex Jones is alive and well? Or Rush Limbaugh? Or…you get the idea.

      Susie Madrak makes a similar point at greater length here.

  10. I would guess that the Donald is not going to receive anything in his “national security briefings” that our national security people don’t want Tsar Putin to know.

    Actually, this might be a good opportunity to feed Pooty-Poot some disinformation… 😈

  11. Except, that Ukraine is ANTI-RUSSIA and ANTI-PUTIN — Unless you’ve been out in some mountain, sleeping since 2014, and just woke up, you would know that Kiev is under US/NATO “care”. If the money was coming from Donbass region, or Crimea, the case could be made that Putin is involved.

    If you’re concerned about corruption, I could see why you’d be concerned, but you can forget about a Ukraine-Putin connection, there hasn’t been one since Russia annexed Crimea.


    • Manafort was working for Yanukovych. He was the former head of Ukraine who was forced out. He objected to Ukraine’s EU friendliness. When he left, he went to Russia.
      The problem is that Manafort has worked with some nasty heads of countries and that any evidence that shows him to have potentially received millions of dollars fro Yanukovych’s party may also explain why The Donald spews statements that should give Putin a hard on.

  12. I wonder if our national security briefers might not pull an old trick. Feed some false piece of data to Trump and his handlers, and then see if it shows up in Russian intelligence traffic.

    Our military intelligence had broken the Japanese naval code in WW2, and used such a trick to find out that the Japanese were going to try to take the Midway Islands.

    Our intelligence knew the Japanese were going to strike at objective “AF”. But what did “AF” mean? They guessed Midway, so a message was sent saying that Midway’s water desalinization plant had broken down (the Midway Islands have no fresh water source). Our intelligence soon intercepted a Japanese message that “AF” was short of fresh water. :mrgreen:

  13. As much as I love politics and political talk, I think that 1.5 year presidential campaigns are crazy. Too much time to drag the good candidates, e.g., Hillary, through mud and to impact unthinking voters. Now with Trump’s campaign headed into crazier zone (all the media says!!), could Hillary be ‘peaking’ too soon? Can she hold the lead with Congress pouring over FBI interviews and all the media interviewing Trump surrogates who just roll right over the interviewers. Plus Russia is threatening to release worse data if the U.S. retaliates; no doubt it would not be nice for Hillary. 80+ days is a long countdown.

    On the other hand, one-third of the whole state of Louisiana is wiped out and it is hard to know that watching cable TV.

    • I expect that since our country’s national security establishmentarians, almost to a man (or woman), have made it clear they want Clinton in the White House rather than Trump, Trump is toast.

      The NSE has connections in the Corporate Media, which has been hardening against Orange Julius lately. Those connections may explain much of that hardening.

      I doubt even high-and-mighty Tsar Vladimir has more power over public relations in this country than our national security establishment has. :mrgreen:

      If Tsar Vlad is as smart as he’s made out to be, he’ll start quietly mending fences with Hillary soon, if he’s not already doing that.

      • I expect the only way Trump can win now is if Putin’s hackers are smarter than our national security establishment’s hackers, so that Putin’s hackers can make the computerized voting machines go Trump’s way. Even that will only work if Trump gets close like Dubya did in 2000, and that does not look promising.

      • Plus, Hillary’s best asset of all may be her opponent’s mouth, which will become even less inhibited, now that Orange Julius has hired Steve Bannon, head of the Blightfart site. 😉

      • I expect that since our country’s national security establishmentarians, almost to a man (or woman), have made it clear they want Clinton in the White House rather than Trump, Trump is toast.

        Aren’t those the same people that got us into Iraq?

  14. Now that Assange has started doing Putin’s bidding, I propose we start referring to WikiLeaks as “VladiLeaks”. If it turns out that I coined that word, I release it for general use. :mrgreen:

  15. The truth is that everyone who cared to read about it knew all about Manafort, that he’d worked for Yanukovych, got him to change his style and be acceptable, and lo and behold he was elected in Ukraine, only to later be booted. I never understood why the details weren’t made much of when he was first hired by Trump, because I read every single point that’s now coming out, with the possible exception of some tax issues. My suspicion,therefore,is that Trump decided he had to switch him out after recent declines in the campaign (Manafort did, by the way, entirely rescue Trump from losing the delegate race with Cruz–this is one of Paul’s specialties-and thought he could fix Trump like he fixed Yanko to no avail),and so one of the Trumpkins possibly managed to push the story to the front of the news all of a sudden. I realize the NYT would never try to help Trump,but maybe a little bit of info about an extra unkosher aspect of what everyone who cared to know knew in enormous detail about Paul months ago was released deliberately by someone on the Tump team so that the NYT would blare out the story and say he’d need to be gone in 24 hours. I just don’t see why they would have waited to suddenly jump up and down over very old news.

  16. RD, I love that your are so happy in Pittsburgh.
    And, I’m tickled that my all time favorite movie star called your town home.

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