Trump Threatens Freedom Caucus, and Other News

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.

14 thoughts on “Trump Threatens Freedom Caucus, and Other News

  1. Mike “The Dense” Pence is afraid of women, and won’t have a meal alone with one of them – who’s not his wife – or go to a function with alcohol with one – who’s not his wife – or, he won’t even go if there are women there, even without him accompanying one?

    Ok. JAAAYZOOS! How to say this politely?
    Mike, if this is a new-flash, then you’re even more remarKKKably dense than your reputation for being obtuse:
    You ain’t exactly George Clooney.
    And, if I was a female, I’d be terrified of being alone with an uber-“Christian” zombie freakazoid like you!

    Now, as for t-RUMPLE-Thin-Skin attacking the Ho’s FreeDUMB KKKounsul, he’d better be careful!
    They’re the tail that wags the GOP Ho’s dog.
    And you know what happens when you cut-off a dog’s tail?
    There’s nothing that can potentially stop the shit from all of those asses, from soiling you, and everyone near you.

    But, you’re a political genius.
    So, please don’t let me stop you.
    Please proceed, Mr. t-RUMP.
    Please, please proceed…

    • I wouldn’t mind being alone with Pence as long as I had access to something blunt and solid that I could smack into his head.

  2. Oh, goodie! We’re going to see my Hyenas vs. The Lion analogy played out before our eyes. Well, at least Trump will go down swinging. Rumor has it that Paulie is egging Trump on so his presidency ends up in the tank..Sort of a payback for Trump’s chastisement of Paulie that was publicly delivered by way of Jeanine Pirro. Seems Paulie is kicking against the goads.
    It’s almost like watching the episode of Roots where Kunta Kinte reluctantly becomes Toby.

  3. Oh my, Pence is so proper or in my opinion so self righteous. Just an excuse to maintain the “good ol’ boy” practice of meeting only with men and making decisions that affect women. Let men handle the politics and leave the cookie baking to the little woman.

  4. Swami – I’m not saying it’s likely, but for the first time in my lifetime I consider it possible that the POTUS will defect to Russia to escape prosecution for treason. No way will Trump die in prison for a financial hustle, and when/if the truth comes out the GOP will lead the bloodthirsty charge for Trump’s head. And he has a jet capable of the flight.

    Treason is not the same as obstruction of justice – Nixon arranged self-exile in the US. I don’t think the voters will allow it IF the truth is as bad as I think, and IF the truth comes out.

  5. Bear in mind that the Rosenbergs were not tried and executed for treason but for espionage. We are not at war with Russia and therefore it is not an enemy in the sense of the Constitution’s definition. Tokyo Rose was convicted of treason but she was about the last American to be so tried in a court of law. Adam Gadahn was indicted for treason for being a spokesman for Al Qaeda but was killed in a drone strike rather than tried in court. The US was exchanging gunfire with Al Qaeda at the time so it could qualify as an enemy in the strict definition of treason. But none of our armed forces are currently in a state of hostilities with Russia so Trump has not committed the crime of treason. Disloyal yes, treasonous no.

  6. Doug ..I don’t know where this is going to go, but I’m smelling the scent of blood. So far I think 3 of the persons of interest in the Russian connection have proffered to investigatory agencies — through their legal counsel— the suggestion of exchanging their testimony for immunity. That suggests to me that they know that somebody has a firm hook in them, but they are just small fries who want to get clear of the potential charge of treason.
    I’m anxious to find out what the conversation that was captured by the NSA involving Flynn and the Russian ambassador entailed..If it dealt with the lifting of sanctions against Russia if Trump was elected then clearly it would become an act of treason. Not because anything would have to be fulfilled on Trump’s part, but just because he possibly made the suggestion or even entertained the suggestion.
    I was watching the Senate investigation hearings today and they mentioned how the Russians operate in influencing public opinion and creating divisiveness to attack our democracy. One of the examples they gave was of the Pizzagate story. That was the one where Flynn’s idiot son was working overtime trying to push that story. It sure doesn’t look good when your son has been identified as being a tool in Putin’s tool box to destroy ur democracy.
    Like father, like son?

  7. Ed: I agree, it’s betrayal but legally not treason. But also it’s corruption, and espionage, and dirty money, and much else. We don’t have to be at war with Russia to prove Trump a crook.

  8. Wow, Pence is such a fine upstanding Christian soldier..He wears the whole armour of God. Not just the helmet of salvation, but the breastplate of righteousness also. Not to mention that he faithfully girds his loins with the gospel message and the implementation of proper admonitions. Scriptures say: beware of the harlot all saucy and pert for she seeks to devour you.
    Pence is so good for safeguarding his marriage and maintaining a vigilance by invoking the Billy Graham rule. I, on the other hand achieve the same outcome in protecting my marriage by a little device called trust.

  9. I’m not sure if this is one of my goofy takes on a situation, or if it could be the real reason behind this whole Kremlin Connection:
    Trump’s campaign was a political version of “The Producers.”

    You remember the movie (the original is one of my favorites), where the producers pick a bomb of a play, have people over-invest in it, and then keep the bucks when the play closes on the opening night, because no accountant’s will look into the financing of a flop – a losing production.

    Well, I don’t think Trump and his minions thought they had any chance at winning the presidency. All he wanted, was to come close enough to Hillary to be within “whining” distance:
    You know, “The election was stolen from me by “Crooked Hillary,” and the “Crooked Media!” I should have won, I had more… Blah, blah, blah… And, yadda, yadda, yadda…”

    I don’t know who it was who recommended the involvement of the Russians – whether it was Trump himself, his idiot son’s, Flynn, Manafort, Bannon, or Putin himself, I have no idea.

    The scheme was for the Russky’s to get involved to make it a close election so Trump could complain about it being stolen from him.
    And then, because he lost and Hillary won, she wouldn’t investigate, and neither would any of the national security agencies, nor either House of Congress.

    Trump won!
    And now, everyone wants to investigate whether there was collusion/treason or not.

    I guess this song in this musical, made it a hit:
    “Springtime for Vladimir!”
    I can place the other characters in the original movie with “Trump’s Not Ready For Governin'” players, except for one:
    Who is Franz Liebkind?

  10. Gulag: I have a slightly different take on the situation. From what I have observed, Trumps MO is to bully, attack and then always blame the other person if it doesn’t turn out like he wants which of course is to WIN. He doesn’t know how to cooperate with another person or persons to get what he wants and he definitely doesn’t have the courage to take on Putin as an adversary. Bullies are cowards. Sure, he blurts out stupid things like: “Putin, go ahead and hack Hillary’s emails.” He doesn’t realize something like that may come back to bite him. He is a narcissist with delusions of grandeur. His talk is full of superlatives: great, fantastic, unbelievable, something like has never been seen before. Unfortunately, this seems to have been successful for him. He is the president. But what he didn’t count on is that he does not have the power he wanted or expected. He has to work with Congress and the courts. He can’t fire them and he doesn’t know how to cooperate. If there was any actual collusion with the Russians, I don’t think Trump had any personal interaction because he doesn’t have the guts. But I can believe he let other people do his dirty work. In his eyes, he can’t be blamed, he can say he was not aware. But I would caution Trump: Be careful, you are making enemies, not friends.
    Anyway, that’s my armchair diagnosis. In any case, I believe that nobody can predict what he will do next.

  11. Watching the Trumpanzees unfold and unravel, words coming back to haunt (Flynn: “people with immunity probably committed a crime!”) would be great entertainment were the threat to democracy and our national security weren’t as grave.

    What we’re seeing is the foolishness and pitfalls of “businessmen” trying to “run the government like a business.” Throw in the false self perception these wealthy scions have about their inherited wealth, that its somehow “evidence” of their merit and skill, and you have the The Three Stooges Administration: Trump, Bannon, Kushner. It shouldn’t be a surprise that their numbskull attempt to pull Trump’s micro balls out of the fire created by his lie that Obama “wiretapped” him has blown up in the possible worst way. That they thought they could get away with using the anti-genius Nunes to do it is just mind-boggling. It doesn’t get any more Stooge-like than that..

    More proof that the great DealMaker is a fool in way over his head who can’t even be trusted with a Twitter account, let alone the Presidency.

    You can equate it like this: stupid + greed / hubris = disaster.

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