Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, March 30th, 2017.


Trump Threatens Freedom Caucus, and Other News

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Trump Maladministration

The so-called president intends to make good on his threat to “go after” Freedom Caucus members who thwarted him on the health care bill —

Trump’s threat to “fight them” in the 2018 elections was an extraordinary step. Trump had previously made electoral threats against wayward members of his party, but Thursday’s tweet was especially direct, threatening to treat them the same way as Democrats.

“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump tweeted. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” …

…Finding Trump supporters to challenge Republicans in a primary would be hard and could further thrust the GOP into civil war.

To which I say, boo. And hoo.

The New York Times has identified two White House officials who gave intelligence reports to the nearly toasted Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Several current American officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and formerly worked on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Mr. Cohen-Watnick is a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who was originally brought to the White House by Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. The officials said that earlier this month, shortly after Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter about being wiretapped on the orders of President Barack Obama, Mr. Cohen-Watnick began reviewing highly classified reports detailing the intercepted communications of foreign officials.

Officials said the reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Mr. Trump’s family and inner circle in advance of his inauguration.

The problem is that Nunes has denied his sources worked in the White House; see Aaron Blake at WaPo.

Elsewhere — Jared Kushner is Trump’s Guy who is charged with running government like a business. But according to a former employee, Kushner can’t run a business like a business.

Paul Waldman tells us that Mike Pence is terrified of women. He should be, and so should Sam Brownback.

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