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Some reading this would be delighted if President Donald Trump were toppled from office.

With the recent revelations during the past two weeks, it does not appear as if this will happen (thank goodness), but the coup is real.

In July, I wrote about a South African — now American — Evangelical pastor who held a 24/7 prayer vigil at his church praying for Trump’s safety.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is no tin-foil hat wearer. The danger is real.

Cascade Free Zone has an excellent article, ‘The Deep State Coup’, which is brilliantly written and informative. I highly recommend it.

Brief excerpts and a summary follow. Emphases mine below.

The coup has been going on since the November 8, 2016 election. The means and accusations were in place long before then — e.g. the Russian dossier. Note that the dossier is still in active play and old accusations about Trump and women are making the news cycle once again. Impeachment stories feature strongly as do news items about the president’s mental state.

Now:

We are approaching the end of the first-phase of the coup. This is a non-military coup, but what we are witnessing clearly fits the definition of “the overt seizure of the state by an elite within the state apparatus”.

Renowned patriot author and speaker Matt Bracken, in a series of postings and interviews, has outlined the basic mechanics of the coup.   Central figures include former FBI director James Comey and the Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, assistant US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and current  acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe.  Motivation for all of them is self-preservation.  As we have learned Clinton-World was a very corrupt place and the list of self-serving deals and those who benefited from them includes all of the key plotters.  None of them believed there was any chance Hillary would lose and leave them exposedShe didThey are.

Here is an illustration of the plot:

The Special Counsel investigation of Russian collusion — led by Robert Mueller — has not found the president guilty of anything.

Meanwhile, several Democrats have found themselves embroiled in impropriety.

So have law enforcement organisations, such as the FBI:

Americans of a certain generation have to strip away the years of propaganda indoctrination that the FBI are “the good guys” and look closely at what they do. The DOJ are their partners in all this, together they are the muscle of the Deep State plotters.

As for the wiretapping — the word the New York Times used in a headline — of Trump Tower last year:

This was clearly an illegal use of the most powerful wiretapping tool in the US law enforcement arsenal. FISA warrants were created to help prevent terrorism, not to ensure election of Deep State approved candidates. It has been criminally misused by the Obama administration to spy on political opponents and blackmail them with the illicitly obtained knowledge.

This goes further than deposing Trump. This is meant to also prevent his successor, Vice President Mike Pence, from taking his place:

the Deep State agenda is not merely to remove Trump, but also to remove Pence, Ryan, McConnell and whoever else stands in their way. Discussion of “do-over elections” is a serious topic there, as is simply removing every person until a flexible insider is found to run things.

Good grief. If that isn’t a totalitarian notion, what is?

There are minor — yet seemingly powerful — players, too. Saul Montes-Bradley has a good Twitter thread, excerpted below, spelling edited (photos in the thread):

(3) Two major events occupied out time last year during the campaign: The Clinton investigation over Hillary’s corrupt and felonious handling of her office as Secretary of State, and the,”Steele Dossier,” that abhorrent and at times sophomoric attempt to besmirch candidate Trump.

(6) I have tried to keep abreast of events as they developed, from the collusion of a venal press with the DNC, to the shenanigans of FBI agents in the Mueller probe.

(8) But it is much, much worse.

And all is coming together now.

Let’s bring a few more names to the forefront.

Does anyone remember Aaron Zebley? …

(9) Zebley was Mueller’s Chief of Staff at the FBI before becoming a Senior Counselor in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice.

Before that he was Special Agent of the FBI in the Counterterrorism Division for seven years.

(10) In between his two tours at the FBI, Zebley served as an Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) in the National Security and Terrorism Unit in Alexandria, Virginia.

If he is any measure, no wonder the fight against terrorism was an utter failure for years!

(11) In March 2014, he joined the law firm Wilmer Hale. “Aaron’s experience at the FBI, DoJ and the US Attorney’s Office will add to our internal investigations, crisis management and cybersecurity capabilities,” crowed his new managing partner …

wilmerhale.com/pages/publicat…

(12) Guess who this upstanding shyster represented there?

Justin Cooper

(13) Yep.

The cretin who set up the Hilldebeast private email server in her basement and then took a hammer to the blackberries she claimed she did not use!

The one who handled classified information without a security clearance.

(14) [Zebley] … went from defending Cooper to the Russia investigation under Mueller, working with McCabe and Strzok, who were supposed to have investigated Cooper

Go figure.

(15) There’s always room for a couple more … in this caper.

Enter Andrew Weissman, for one.

(16) he returned to the Bureau in 2015 (amazing how many of these vermin found their way back to the bureau in 2015, isn’t it.)

This time as Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Fraud, mind you.

(20) There are quite a number more.

Like Jeannie Rhea, a shyster in Mueller’s team, who defended Ben Rhodes, finally a focus of the investigation into the “unmasking” caper.

She and 8 others donated to the Hilldebeast’s campaign.

(21) Or Rudy Contreras, judge who presided over @GenFlynn’s plea agreement without telling anybody he was on the FISA court that authorized the tapping of Trump’s phones and God knows why, suddenly remembered and recused himself.

ONE DAY AFTER THE PLEA.

Did he find religion?

(22) And then of course, there’s good ‘ol Bruce Ohr, former Associate Deputy Attorney General, AND Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.

“Former” since Trump demoted him four days ago

(23) Why was he demoted?

Oh, well, he forgot to declare a minor detail to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigating a tiny thingy called the “Trump Dossier.”

What did he forget?

(24) Nothing much. Just that he had “ties” to Fusion GPS and its founder, Glenn Simpson.
It gets better. Simpson had introduced him to Christopher Steele (though some sources he has known Steele for 10 years!).

(25) Steele, yes, the chap who concocted that abomination paid for by the DNC to smear candidate Trump.

Ohr met with Steele SEVERAL TIMES during the campaign, just as this thing was going on, and back with Simpson soon after the election.

What a coincidence!

(26) In fact, Simpson and Ohr met “around Thanksgiving” to discuss “the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation and what Simpson considered the “distressing development of Trump’s victory.”

Distressing, indeed. And after all that work, too!

(27) But that’s not all.

Who was working with Steele in the cooking of the infamous dossier but Ohr’s better half, his wife, Nellie.

What do you know, SHE was HIRED by Fusion GPS in 2016!

Her area of expertise? You guessed it: Russia, Russia Russia.

(28) Ohr didn’t declare any of this. Oops! Forgot.

It was discovered by the HPSCI, but only after threatening Director Wray and Deputy Dog Rosenstein with finding them in contempt …

(29) And this in spite of the obstruction of … Adam Schiff, who tried every which way to stop the committee.

Uncharacteristically, he is now silent over this.

Cat ate his tongue.

(30) Who else had his nose in this?

Peter Strzokwho interrogated @GenFlynn without a lawyer and without disclosing his conflicts of interest.

(31) Now, as the Dimms like to remind us, there is under Federal law the crime of conspiracy to perform a criminal act.

Indeed, if it turns out that these band of 3rd world misfits conspired to undermine the investigation into the Clinton mishandling of classified information

(32) AND to pervert the 2016 elections AND to undermine the legitimately elected President of the United states, while endangering the country creating conflicts with foreign powers

(33) …not to mention other beauties like egregious violations of the Hatch Act, lying to Congress, falsifying informationthey should be in a world of trouble

(34) Meanwhile, five have already been demoted or suspended pending investigation, one has been recused and, suddenly, it looks as if the … charge against @GenFlynn might well end up dismissed as the only evidence against him is the tainted word of a felon.
Poisoned fruit

(35) What upsets me the most, especially today, is that the FBI these vermin corrupted into a political police doing the dirty job of the DNC, neglected its counter espionage functions and endangered us all.

(37) I said months ago that the Dimms may come to regret ever having demanded this investigation.

It looks like that was an understatement.

They swallowed the hook, line and sinker.

Amateur hour is over.

Somebody WAS looking.

FINIS

Ultimately, the coup will fail. In fact, it looks as if many of the players are imploding. More will follow suit.

We can only hope that they are fully investigated and, where possible, prosecuted and sentenced.

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Yesterday’s post discussed the events that took place Friday, December 1, 2017.

Today’s entry serves as an update on the weekend’s news. I won’t be recapping much of what I wrote about Friday, so you might want to read that post before continuing here.

ABC’s Brian Ross

ABC’s veteran reporter Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay for his fake news of Friday that caused the US stock market to dip for an hour:

President Donald Trump was delighted:

But he was not yet finished:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, father of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a past Republican presidential candidate and former Fox News show host:

This lawyer and writer for The Federalist listed more of Ross’s huge blunders:

Mueller investigation — Peter Strzok

One of Robert Mueller’s top investigators has been sacked from his team investigating the Trump campaign’s notional Russian collusion:

One could not make this up:

 

You can read clips from more articles on that subject here (image courtesy of a Reddit contributor).

Trump chimed in:

Advice came in for the new FBI director, Christopher Wray:

Judicial Watch has been keen for the McAuliffe/Clinton scandal to be investigated:

Their November 21 article begins with this summary:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.

The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.

Most Trump supporters knew about that during the 2016 campaign, but it got little media coverage.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton has been doing great work in exposing Swamp scandals. See here, here and here.

This is very serious. Can one imagine a Republican getting away with such a thing?

Where’s the justice?

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has been made to look like a criminal for lying to the FBI, but we have senior US officials — present and former — who have committed crimes. The American people are told there is nothing to see.

Congressman Steve Smith (R-Georgia) summarised the situation well:

Trump is, rightly, on the warpath:

Is he having a go at his Attorney General Jeff ‘Sleepy’ Sessions?

Sleepy will be leaving soon, probably early in 2018.

His immediate recusal from this probe, because it was connected with the Trump campaign and he was part of the campaign, caused a lot of grief for a lot of people, including the spring-summer campaign manager Paul Manafort, whom the Mueller team treated terribly — including a middle-of-the-night FBI raid on his and his wife’s home while they were asleep.

What Manafort has been indicted for isn’t even related to the Trump campaign but to work he did in Ukraine years before.

See how justly Manafort has been treated:

Obama still acts as if he’s in office

But wait, there’s more.

Never has there been a US president who hasn’t let his successor be in charge.

But not Obama:

Even if he was only referring to climate change, he should do the decent thing.

On December 2, the Washington Examiner reported:

While speaking to a group of business leaders in Paris, former President Barack Obama said there is a “temporary absence of American leadership” when it comes to tackling climate change.

“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” the former president noted, which was met with laughter from the room full of French former ministers and CEOs at the invite-only event, according to Reuters.

Obama also recently visited China:

Swamp tries to trap CIA director Pompeo

On December 2, the CIA director Mike Pompeo — a Trump appointee — was a guest at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

TrumpSoldier has a detailed Twitter thread on Pompeo’s appearance, video clips and still photos included. A summary with most of the tweets follows. I corrected a few original typos below.

The Reagan National Defense Forum (RNDF) sounds conservative until one looks at who is on the steering committee (see point 4), including the CEO/Publisher of the Washington Post, a few Obama appointees, anti-Trump Republican senator John McCain and former Clinton adviser and CIA director Leon Panetta. Fox News’s Bret Baier conducted an interview on stage with Pompeo and Panetta (emphases mine below):

5) Mike Pompeo was going into swamp territory and now everything makes sense to me as you will soon see.

6) The slogan for the RNDF is “Investing in Peace Through Strength” I like Peace through Strength but the “investing” part sets off alarm bells. I am not going to investigate who funds them but I imagine it’s not pretty.

7) The RNDF is an organization that is run by active and retired swamp creatures whose main purpose is influencing and shaping policy.

8) Mike sat down with Panetta and his lackey Bret Baier for an hour and they discussed world events from a security perspective. It was light hearted and fun and that is all part of the set up.

9) Mike Pompeo is relaxed, joking and having fun. Panetta even tries to connect with him as “two Italians”. Bret’s ambush questions are strategically placed for maximum effect.

10) The Triggering!
Baier asks Mike Pompeo about Saudi Arabia: Panetta and decades of swamp failure are brought face to face with the dramatic sudden success of Trump Administration Foreign Policy.

11) Everything was jovial up to this point (at about 30 minutes in) Panetta’s reactions became really serious and concerned and his responses became lectures. An old swamp thing cut off from power flailing for relevance.

12) The Soft Ball
Baer asks Mike Pompeo how he shares intelligence with Trump.

No real answer, by the way. Good.

14) The Ambush!
Mike Pompeo asked about #FakeNews stores regarding the mental state of President Trump: “It’s Absurd” (watch and listen closely)

15) Remember everyone is laughing and having a good time up to this point and on cue as the question is asked Panetta laughs. It was the perfect set up!

16) You can see the moment when Mike senses the trap he licks his lips and smiles ever so slightly. He is ready!

17) Mike breaks character, reveals his power level, and suddenly kills the room! Panetta nervously begins laughing some more to try to lighten the mood. I would have loved to see Baier’s face as he absorbed this stare. I guarantee he looked down and away.

18) The next order of business to to try to get Pompeo to listen to the wisdom of a “very concerned” Panetta regarding the danger of #TrumpTweets

19) #TrumpTweets are Dangerous!
Mike Pompeo doesn’t think so. He uses them strategically.

In fact, The Hill reported on this interview:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that President Trump’s Twitter habits have actually helped his agency gather and understand intelligence

 “I’ve actually seen it help us,” he said. “I have seen things the president has put on his Twitter account actually have a real-world impact on our capacity to understand what’s going on in other places in the world.”

“That is, our adversaries responded to those tweets in ways that were helpful to us to understand command and control issues, who’s listening to what messages, how those messages are resonating around the world.”

Back now to the Twitter thread. Baier was eager to pursue this line of questioning, even though Pompeo wanted to move on to other topics. Panetta also pressed Pompeo on Trump’s tweets, expressing ‘concern’.

22) Note Mike’s body language and comments he really is trying to politely end the conversation but they keep pushing

23) THE KILL
CIA Director Mike Pompeo reminds old swamp creature (Leon Panetta) that he is a failure and irrelevant.

24) After you are done laughing consider how deadly serious this was. It was a carefully orchestrated trap completely scripted and gamed out in advance and Mike came up aces!

25) Pompeo’s ruthless defense of Donald Trump speaks volumes about his loyalty and dedication to the cause. His defense of #TrumpTweets confirms that they are highly strategic and coordinated with the CIA. This frightens everyone… but us.

No doubt this week’s narrative will be about Trump’s mental health again.

The Left’s dirty game

For over a year, the media and other Democrats have been saying that it was wrong for the Trump team to speak to the Russians prior to the inauguration.

It is legal and something that every president-elect’s transition team does.

As for contact with Russia during the campaign, to date, Mueller’s team has found nothing, except for the abortive meeting with the Russian lawyer. Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner left soon after it started. President Trump was unaware of it at the time.

My post yesterday listed three meetings that campaign advisers to then-candidate Obama had with Hamas and FARC. When he was still president-elect in January 2009, he met with the president of Mexico.

The Democrats — including the media — are being very dishonest with this anti-Trump narrative which is dividing the country.

In January 2017, Obama’s press secretary Mark Toner said there was no problem with the Trump team speaking with the Russian ambassador:

That text comes from the transcript of January 13. This is what precedes it:

QUESTION: — reports starting yesterday, but then more of them this morning, about contact between the incoming national security advisor and the Russian ambassador. I’m just wondering, from the State Department’s point of view, is this something that’s of concern at all? Or – I’ll just leave it there and then follow up.

MR TONER: Again, not necessarily – I’ve seen the reports. I don’t think they’ve been confirmed or corroborated yet. But that’s – as he’s part of the transition team, that’s really for them to speak to in how they are engaging. I mean —

QUESTION: Right, but —

MR TONER: — the president-elect is also engaged on his own with many world leaders.

 

Lt Gen Michael Flynn

Now a word about the embattled Lt General Michael Flynn.

On Saturday, December 2, Trump tweeted:

And:

The Conservative Treehouse has a good analysis and timeline of Flynn and the Russian ambassador, including Flynn’s dismissal. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

Many people have asked the question why would Michael Flynn have lied about talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the first place?

It’s a great question.

The Occam’s Razor answer is the toxic political environment that existed in January 2017, where the administration was being hammered by a tsunami of media narratives and political opposition claiming that any scintilla of contact with anything Russian meant that Putin and Trump were “colluding” BFFs,…. and Flynn didn’t want to fuel that nonsense.

That’s really the only reason to mislead about Russian contacts.

And/or once Vice-President Mike Pence made the statement that Flynn had no contact with anyone from Russia etc. any contradictory statement from Flynn would make Pence appear compromised; so Flynn had to stick to it without clarification.

Sunday January 15th – VP-elect Mike Pence appears on Face The Nation. [Transcript Here] …

[*NOTE* Notice the narrative questioning at the time (early Jan) was framed that ‘any contact’ with Russians was evidence of meddling/election-collusion with Russians.]

Friday January 20th – Inauguration

Tuesday January 24th – Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn was interviewed at the WH by the FBI.  [Either Flynn contradicts Pence, or he tells a lie, those were his options.]

Afterwards, having received a report of the interview, Department of Justice (DOJ) employee, Sally Yates — since fired — had discussions about Flynn with other senior Obama holdovers still working there. This was what brought about the charge that Flynn lied to the FBI.

Another part of this story is that Flynn had talked to the Russian ambassador in December 2016 about the sanctions that Obama had imposed on Russia.

The following comes from The Last Refuge, the founder and author of The Conservative Treehouse (emphases mine below):

11. So on December 29th, sanctions day, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… Essentially, saying ‘chill out, we’ll get through this’ etc.

14. We arrive at Sunday January 15th. VP-Elect Mike Pence appears on Sunday talks to discuss political stuff and the Trump administration.

15. On that Sunday 1/15/17 Pence appeared on CBS Face the nation (John Dickerson)

16. What does Dickerson start off with? Of course – The Vast Russian Hacking Election conspiracy: “did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?”

17. Amid the questioning, there is no distinction between *BEFORE* the election, and during the President-Elect transition period (ie. *AFTER* the election). It’s just one long framed question about “contact” and “collusion” etc.

18. And with that framework VP-Elect Pence says: “Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

19. VP-Pence says “of course not”, ie NO CONTACT. In doing so, and without pointing out the transition team would have ordinary and customary contact, Pence has now painted Flynn into a corner.

20. Flynn has had contact (ordinary and appropriate contact), but VP-Elect Pence gave an emphatic: “Of course not.”

22. The January 24th [FBI] interview is where the “Flynn Lied” to the FBI came from.

23. At the time of the interview the media cycle was filled with intelligence leaks. During that interview Flynn had two options: Option #1) tell investigators he did have conversations with Kislyak in December – and as a consequence contradict VP Pence.

24. Option #2) tell investigators he did not have conversations with the Russians (Kislyak) and align with VP Pence statement a week prior.

Option #1 puts the criticism and Russia story on VP Pence for lying to CBS. (He didn’t, because the question was vague on timing but that didn’t matter amid the frenzy) and as an outcome weaken the incoming administration 4 days after inauguration.

26. Option #2 puts himself at risk; but protects VP Pence and avoids the immediacy of a narrative against the White House and new administration.

27. Likely Flynn knew the FBI was up to no good because they probably already knew the answer to the question (wiretapping). But these decisions were about politics amid the frenzied media swarm. The downstream sh[*]t-storm on Pence would have been brutal.

28. The very next day, Wed Jan 25th, Sally Yates (DOJ) gets an after action report on the FBI questioning of Flynn.

37. Note the presumption here is that Flynn had lied to VP Pence. However, there is nothing to indicate that angle/aspect is or was actually correct. Specifically, there is ample evidence the ‘lie to Pence’, evolved from a storyline -driven by necessity- to save face for Pence.

38. The administration was now boxed in. Flynn lied to protect Pence’s political posture/integrity/position, (ie. Military Leadership Training 101: never compromise your leadership), but was now confronted by Sally Yates. FUBAR!!

Conclusion — thus far

It seems this past weekend served, in part, as a watershed moment.

As I write, Trump’s Twitter account has over 43m subscribers. Imagine factoring in millions of others, e.g. yours truly, who don’t subscribe but check it at least once a day.

Tens of millions of people are reading and passing his tweets along to millions more every day.

Over time, that’s a lot of red pills being handed out.

Trump is taking this time to get the American people psychologically prepared for The Storm / the Silent War.

I have read several online commenters saying that they never realised how corrupt America is until they read about the Strzok dismissal and the crookedness of this Mueller investigation which, so far, has cost around $5m in taxpayer money.

Meanwhile, actual criminals who served at federal level are on the loose. Where’s the DOJ? Where’s the justice?

On Friday, December 1, 2017, Lt General Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Powerline has a simple explanation of the story, excerpted below (emphases mine):

News media are breathlessly reporting that Gen. Michael Flynn has agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI. You can read the Statement of the Offense here. The false statements alleged by the government seem rather pathetic: 1) Flynn falsely told an FBI agent that he didn’t ask the Russian ambassador to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions” the U.S. had just imposed, and 2) that he didn’t recall the ambassador subsequently telling him that the Russians had moderated their response per his request; 3) Flynn falsely said that he didn’t ask the Russian ambassador to delay or defeat a pending U.N. Security Council resolution, and 4) that the ambassador never subsequently described his country’s response to that request. (Flynn tried, unsuccessfully, to convince several members of the Security Council, including Russia, not to proceed with an anti-Israel resolution. This is to his, and President Trump’s, credit.)

That’s it, after a year of huffing and puffing. Nothing about the election, nothing about the long-awaited “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. I have no idea why Flynn apparently lied to an FBI agent, assuming that he did. But the communications described in the information are exactly the sorts of contacts that a national security advisor to an incoming president should be having with foreign powers.

In short, the allegations against Flynn suggest that Robert Mueller has nothing significant against President Trump or other members of his administration.

The following statement is from President Donald Trump’s lawyer:

This happened after the election, when the president-elect’s transition team initially contacts foreign governments. Obama also did this in speaking with then-Mexican president Felipe Calderon on January 12, 2009, just days before his first inauguration.

In fact, it is alleged that Obama’s campaign team met with Hamas and Iranian contacts in 2008, during his campaign. In March 2008 — also during the primary campaign — it emerged they were in touch with Colombia’s FARC.

ABC’s Brian Ross reported on the Flynn guilty plea, saying that the general was in touch with the Russians when Trump was a ‘candidate’. As Ross’s faulty story broke, the markets fell slightly for an hour on Friday. Ross did not issue a retraction until hours later:

This is what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Brian Ross, who has twisted the truth before:

Later on Friday, The Hill reported that CNN’s Jim Acosta — another questionable reporter — said White House sources told him the Obama administration approved Flynn’s communications before they took place. Also note that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is also mentioned:

The White House said on Friday that it was the Obama administration that authorized former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during President Trump’s transition, according to CNN.

Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Kislyak in the month before Trump took office, the first current or former Trump White House official brought down by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

Court records indicate that his communications with Kislyak were directed by a Trump transition official, with multiple news outlets reporting that official was Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.

“They are saying here at the White House that Flynn’s conversations with Sergey Kisylak were quote ‘authorized’ by the Obama administration,” CNN correspondent Jim Acosta said.

“We should point out, that is something that we have not heard before in terms of a defense from this White House,” he said.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Of course, James Clapper, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence — and no friend of the Trump administration — said the White House claim was ‘absurd’.

Regardless, Flynn’s conversations happened after the election — not before, as some of the Obama campaign’s did.

Acosta also filed a CNN story wherein a ‘senior White House official’ told him:

“There is no anxiety with Flynn and about what he might say.”

The President “feels sorry for Flynn… I think he likes Flynn,” this official said, adding the Trump is “thinking about Flynn and his family.”

As I write on Saturday (GMT), it seems likely that this story will run and run all weekend long. Trump detractors worldwide will enjoy this, such as ex-FBI director James Comey:

He was quickly rebuked by former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino:

More reports emerged from ABC, NBC (and other news outlets). From ZeroHedge (emphases in the original):

ABC news takes it a step further, reporting from an anonymous source that “Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians, initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria.” – though NBC News reports it was Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner.

I have already gone into the major points of the story thus far, but two of ZeroHedge‘s ‘observations and takeaways’ are worth noting:

  • If Flynn’s contact with Russia was related to “collusion” in regards to election meddling, he would be pleading guilty to an espionage conspiracy, not the “process crime” of lying to the FBI..
  • If Flynn were to now drop some new bombshell about greater Russian collusion, he would have lied to the FBI twice.

The article asks why Flynn would have lied and offers these possibilities:

Why would Flynn lie about his contact with the Russians in late January, five days after the Inauguration? Was it because the nation had been whipped into an anti-Russia frenzy? Or, as some have suggested, does the rabbit hole go much deeper and there are aspects of the Trump-Russia story that haven’t been made public yet? Again, if that were known, Flynn would be pleading guilty to a much more serious crime.

Ultimately:

That said, Flynn is facing a whopping six months in prison and a fine of up to $9,500 for lying to the Special Counsel.

The article concludes:

So – unless there’s more than meets the eye, it appears that the coverup is far greater than the crime in regards to Flynn’s decision to lie to the FBI. And whatever the outcome, the hard bounce in the S&P 500 would seem to suggest this is perhaps another nothingburger and not quite the end of Drumpf.

What follows is part of Imperator_Rex’s analysis (two name corrections are at the bottom of his thread, but I have just used ‘Obama/Said officials’). Emphases mine below:

5. The plea offenses are known as ‘process crimes’, in other words non-compliance with the technicalities of being in an incoming administration.

6. In return for the plea, Flynn will FULLY CO-OPERATE with Mueller’s SC. That’s what this is all about. And it’s not heading in the direction of the Clinton/DNC Trump-Russia lie, that much is certain.

7. To recap : in January 1017, General Flynn didn’t tell the truth to Jim Comey & Andrew McCabe’s clownshow of an FBI, about meeting the Russian ambassador.

Thank God he didn’t.

8. To clarify, an incumbent administration communicating with foreign states, while a lame duck POTUS runs out his or her term, is commonplace & happens all the time. As you’d expect it to be.

9. However, the FBI under Comey & McCabe was a corrupted organization, which Flynn knew well. IMO he did the RIGHT thing not telling them about the communications with the Russian ambassador. It would have been leaked, with the intent of bringing down Trump.

11. [Obama officials] used unmasked intel under a FISA warrant (probably based on the Fusion GPS dossier) to ID Flynn and then leaked it to WaPo, a crime.

[Said officials] also tried to ambush Trump by saying they warned him about Flynn.

It didn’t work. Trump was inaugurated.

12. Trump likely became fully aware of what they did in February, but definitely by at least May 8, 2017 …

13. After his ‘resignation’, Flynn offered to tell his ‘story’ in a public Congressional hearing, in exchange for immunity. This was denied. The last thing those snakes wanted was for Flynn to reveal all on live television.

14. General Flynn knows everything about Obama & Clinton. That’s because he was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, serving from July 2012 to his retirement from the military in August 2014.

18. This plea deal allows Flynn to provide testimony under oath, as well as 24/7 ‘assistance’, to Mueller about EVERYTHING he knows. But it won’t be about the Drumpf-Russia lie. It will be about other things

20. Ignore the crowing of the hysterical MSM today. They have been consistently wrong about everything, because they are basing it all on the Trump-Russia lie.

They are 100% wrong on this, too.

22. Remember these words from General Flynn’s lawyers in March, 2017:

‘General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit’.

The circumstances now permit.

The end.

Some evidence that Imperator_Rex could be right comes from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta’s answers to questions from an audience at Duke University on Wednesday, November 29:

The Duke Chronicle reported his answer to a student who asked about Pizzagate and his ties to Russia:

“This is how the alt-right does fake news,” Podesta said. “It’s personally painful because a lot of this is really total bullsh*t. My family and I have been put through this Pizzagate bullsh*t now for a year—which has totally been debunked, by the way.”

“My relationship with the company that you talked about, that was based in Boston, an American innovative company—I totally disclosed [my relationship with it]. Fox [News] has had to correct that twice,” he added in response to Kiprilov’s question. “I could go down the rest of your list. I have no relationship to the Podesta Group and haven’t for 15 years. You can stick with it. The one thing I will tell you is you have a lot of company on Twitter and on the internet, so have at it.”

The student told the Duke Chronicle (emphases mine):

“Pizzagate was a conspiracy theory, but the other allegations, I don’t know,” Kiprilov said. “If he had been a bit calmer and more mature in answering the questions, I would have been satisfied. I was disappointed that he got so angered and triggered by my question.”

A self-identified Republican who says she is not part of the alt-right, Kiprilov said she felt that Podesta misunderstood the nature of her question.

“I did not imply that I believed any of this,” she said. “I think he immediately assumed I did, so he lumped me with the alt-right crowd, which was very unfortunate that he jumped to that conclusion.”

iBankCoin reported (emphases in the original):

In response to the next question from an audience member about how John feels about his brother Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group being under FBI investigation, John Podesta made sure to distance himself from Tony as he stammered through his response:

“Look I think my brother, uh, uh, A) I’m not my brother. Does it worry me? You know, I, I, It’s, it’s painful. I mean his firm, uh, uh, after many years in business, uh, uh, un-unraveled as a result of, I think of the fact that it was under investigation,” adding that he thinks Tony’s involvement with [Paul] Manafort’s partner Rick Gates and Congressman Vin Weber (R-MN) was ill advised.

Just to be clear, Paul Manafort’s indictment has nothing to do with the Trump campaign, but for Ukraine-related work during his time with the now-defunct Podesta Group.

Podesta then answered a question about Hillary’s defeat in 2016. This is an amazing answer:

Before the night was over, Podesta answered questions about Russia’s effect of the election, stating that while he didn’t think Russia’s efforts to interfere with voting on election day succeeded, bots and Facebook ads spreading fake news did.

Wow.

iBankCoin rightly concludes:

Or, maybe Russian internet bots, Pokémon Go and Facebook ads promoting liberal activism are perhaps the lamest possible excuses for why Hillary Clinton lost the election.

If Mueller finds nothing after his investigation, it will then be up to Attorney General Jeff ‘Sleepy’ Sessions to act like an Attorney General — tough. That is unlikely to happen, however. The Gateway Pundit has a scathing article on Sleepy, saying that he is actually bringing down the Trump administration through his recusal from campaign investigations — which enabled Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel — and ineffectiveness with regard to the Swamp.

Technically, Sessions probably did have to recuse. If so, he never should have accepted the post. Trump, apparently, did not know until after the fact.

More articles like that and Trump’s base will clamour for Sessions to resign. He never should have taken the job if he planned on recusing almost immediately, then getting a Democrat to be his deputy.

Trump will have to think quickly and carefully about resolving that situation soon.

UPDATE — On December 2, Fox News reported that ABC’s Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay for his story on Flynn:

ABC News announced Saturday that Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross would be suspended for four weeks without pay over a botched “exclusive” about former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

During a live “special report” Friday morning, Ross reported that Flynn would testify that Donald Trump had ordered him to make contact with Russians about foreign policy while he was still a candidate. The report raised the specter of Trump’s impeachment and sent the stock market plummeting.

Later in the day, ABC issued a “clarification” to Ross’s report, saying that Trump’s alleged directive came after he’d been elected president. Ross himself appeared on “World News Tonight,” several hours after the initial report, to clarify his error.

To be continued tomorrow.

There are too many theories about National Security Adviser Lieutenant General (ret’d) Michael Flynn’s resignation on Monday, February 13, 2017 and too much information unknown to the public.

Sure, Flynn’s name has been all over the media for weeks, but more than one element is likely to be involved in his departure. You decide.

Deep State and the Democrats

Just after the New Year, Democrat Charles E Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, told MNSBC’s Rachel Maddow in a discussion about President Trump’s rebuttal of notional Russian hacking:

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.

There’s also another angle.

The Free Beacon analyses how Obama’s people feared Flynn would reveal more about the former president’s nuclear deal with Iran, so they set out to destroy him (emphases mine):

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

Leaks from within the White House

Close observers knew it was questionable whether Trump could use the Oval Office after the inauguration.

It was always likely — perhaps probable — that the Oval Office is or was bugged. No doubt, Trump had it swept prior to the inauguration. However, the success of the sweep depends on who did it and how thoroughly:

Then there are Obama appointees still in place because senators were slow in approving Trump’s key cabinet appointments. Rex Tillerson is now in place as Secretary of State. Jeff Sessions is now Attorney General. However, it will take some time for both to make their own staff appointments.

There could also be people close to Trump — his personally appointed staff — who are leaking to the media.

With regard to Flynn specifically, the Washington Post (WaPo) says that the retired general had discussions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak as early as December when he was part of the transition team. He would have been in New York at that point. New York magazine gives a summary:

Several current and former U.S. officials say National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed new sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration during conversations with that country’s ambassador in December. That may be illegal, and to make matters worse, it contradicts denials made by senior members of the Trump administration, including Vice-President Mike Pence.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that nine current and former U.S. officials who had access to intercepted communications between Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak say that Flynn made explicit references to election-related sanctions. Two said Flynn even urged Russia not to overreact. “Kislyak was left with the impression that the sanctions would be revisited at a later time,” said one former official.

When the Post asked Flynn on Wednesday if he ever discussed sanctions with Kislyak, he said no. Then, on Thursday, his spokesman walked that back, saying Flynn “indicated that while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

Flynn exchanged phone calls and texts with Kislyak a day before the Obama administration imposed new sanctions and expelled 35 Russian diplomats over the Kremlin’s alleged attempt to meddle in the U.S. election.

Those sanctions came during the Christmas holiday.

As Flynn’s conversations from December have been revealed, it is possible that Trump has a GOPe mole in his midst.

Trump is rightly concerned about who is leaking:

On February 14, WaPo featured quotes from conservatives who voiced their concerns about Trump transition and administration leaks:

“I think this really was the death by a thousand leaks,” Laura Ingraham, a conservative news commentator, said on Fox News. “The leaks that were coming out of this administration and the transition — before the administration — were at a level that I don’t remember seeing for quite some time.”

Not long before Trump tweeted, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said on Fox that “somebody in the nebulous intelligence community” would have had access to the information about Flynn’s calls.

Who tapped the phones? Who is listening to it? Who leaked it? I think those are legitimate questions to ask,” Johnson said Tuesday morning.

The senator said he did not know whether those who leaked the information about Flynn broke the law, but he added: “Leaks of this nature are incredibly damaging to America, to our national security, and we need to look into it.”

On the opposite side of the political spectrum, The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald agrees:

That Flynn lied about what he said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who has built his career on repeating what his CIA sources tell him. In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.

That all of these officials committed major crimes can hardly be disputed. In January, CNN reported that Flynn’s calls with the Russians “were captured by routine U.S. eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats.” That means that the contents of those calls were “obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of [a] foreign government,” which in turn means that anyone who discloses them — or reports them to the public — is guilty of a felony under the statute.

Yet very few people are calling for a criminal investigation or the prosecution of these leakers, nor demanding the leakers step forward and “face the music” — for very good reason: The officials leaking this information acted justifiably, despite the fact that they violated the law. That’s because the leaks revealed that a high government official, Gen. Flynn, blatantly lied to the public about a material matter — his conversations with Russian diplomats — and the public has the absolute right to know this.

The trust issue

In January, the then-acting Secretary of State Sally Yates warned the White House that Flynn had not been entirely honest with Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

In his press briefing of February 14, Sean Spicer announced:

We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth.  We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, where a level of trust between the President and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change.

The President was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the Vice President and others.  He was also very concerned in light of sensitive subjects dealt with by that position of national security advisors — like China, North Korea and the Middle East — that the President must have complete and unwavering trust for the person in that position.

The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the President to ask for General Flynn’s resignation.  Immediately after the Department of Justice notified the White House Counsel of the situation, the White House Counsel briefed the President and a small group of senior advisors.  The White House Counsel reviewed and determined that there is not a legal issue, but rather a trust issue.

During this process it’s important to note that the President did not have his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who he trusts immensely, approved by the Senate.  When the President heard the information as presented by White House Counsel, he instinctively thought that General Flynn did not do anything wrong, and the White House Counsel’s review corroborated that.

… The issue here was that the President got to the point where General Flynn’s relationship — misleading the Vice President and others, or the possibility that he had forgotten critical details of this important conversation had created a critical mass and an unsustainable situation.

That’s why the President decided to ask for his resignation, and he got it

Larry Johnson of No Quarter, who worked for the CIA then the State Department, wrote:

Sad day for Mike Flynn. The only thing he did wrong was not tell Vice President Pence the full truth. That’s it. He was well within his rights as the incoming National Security Advisor to talk to the Russians and to talk about any issue. The only thing he could not do was pass on classified information. That’s it. The people who insist he did something untoward with Russia are either woefully ignorant about the duties of the incoming Director of the NSC or are being deliberately disingenuous.

Another security expert, Richard A Moss, wrote about Flynn’s indiscretion in the way he communicated with the Russian ambassador. From WaPo:

Flynn resigned not because of his communications with the Russians, but rather because of his lack of discretion, misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of the exchanges, and, allegedly, opening himself up to blackmail by the Russians.

Moss goes on to explain how Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon co-ordinated Kissinger’s communications with the Russians during Nixon’s transition period between 1968 and 1969:

Nixon and Kissinger synchronized the two back channels to the Soviets during the 1968 election and the transition period

We know these details not because of the content of reportedly leaked FBI wiretaps, as in the case of Flynn, but because of good record keeping. Kissinger wrote detailed memorandums of his various back-channel exchanges and shared them with the president (and, occasionally, others who had a need to know). In Washington, political warfare is frequently fought on the battlefield of competing memorandums. Kissinger also had his staff make transcripts of his phone conversations, eventually off recordings of the calls, but initially by having a secretary write in shorthand by listening on a telephone with a muted microphone.

Flynn operated differently:

By contrast, Flynn’s inconsistency over the content of his conversations with Kislyak hurt his credibility and brought on scrutiny both inside and outside the White House.

Somewhat strangely for a career intelligence officer, Flynn also used insecure means of communication by talking on open telephone lines to Kislyak. In military-speak, he used poor communications security (COMSEC), which was apparently subject to FBI monitoring — and, hypothetically, foreign intelligence collection

Flynn’s preference for the phone is ironic since Trump said a few weeks ago, “You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way.”

Ultimately, nearly 50 years ago:

Kissinger kept good records and he kept his boss, Nixon, informed. Fundamentally, back channels require the confidence of the person at the top. Kissinger understood this and became the indispensable man for Nixon’s foreign policy.

This year:

Flynn clearly lost the confidence of those at the top and had to go.

It should be noted that, on February 14, WaPo walked back earlier reports on the FBI and Flynn. This is at the end of a different article, not the one Richard A Moss wrote:

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Michael Flynn was the reported object of FBI investigations. This version has been updated.

Accuracy In Media states that the FBI cleared Flynn.

Is this important?

The double standard

We are seeing an egregious double standard in play.

The aforementioned article from The Intercept points out:

What matters is not the motive of the leaker but the effects of the leak. Any leak that results in the exposure of high-level wrongdoing — as this one did — should be praised, not scorned and punished.

However, keep in mind that those cheering Flynn’s resignation were blind to the transgressions on their own side for eight years:

It’s hard to put into words how strange it is to watch the very same people — from both parties, across the ideological spectrum — who called for the heads of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Tom Drake, and so many other Obama-era leakers today heap praise on those who leaked the highly sensitive, classified SIGINT information that brought down Gen. Flynn.

It’s even more surreal to watch Democrats act as though lying to the public is some grave firing offense when President Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, got caught red-handed not only lying to the public but also to Congress — about a domestic surveillance program that courts ruled was illegal. And despite the fact that lying to Congress is a felony, he kept his job until the very last day of the Obama presidency.

Unintended positive consequences

The Intercept goes on to say that this leak and Flynn’s resignation may work for Trump and the American public rather than against them:

numerous leaks have already achieved great good in the three short weeks that Trump has been president.

Trump knows, his staff know and the American public know.

As negative as these events appear right now, they could help Trump to ‘drain the swamp’.

As former CIA analyst and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer told FOX Business Network:

I would put this right at the feet of John Brennan and Jim Clapper and I would go so far as to say the Obama White House was directly involved before they left. Ben Rhodes and those folks… The Democrats are behind this and some of the Republicans are involved with the leaks. So I say ‘Bring it on!’

Flynn’s replacement could be even better

One of the men being discussed as a replacement for Flynn is retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward.

Gateway Pundit reports that Harward served under then-General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis at US Central Command and that he speaks Farsi:

Harward could prove to be a much better candidate than Michael Flynn which would be disastrous for the left who just spent weeks trying to get Flynn removed.

————————————————————————–

Those of us who watched Trump put together his transition team late last year remember that Flynn did consulting work for Turkey and is pro-Erdogan. Geopolitical expert Joel Richardson wrote about that at the time:

… in a Facebook post on Dec. 7, Richardson called for the Trump administration to cut ties with Flynn, because “he’ll be gone within the first year.”

Richardson blasted Flynn for reportedly owning a company that lobbied for an obscure Dutch company with ties to Turkey’s government and President Erdoğan himself. Richardson characterized the hiring of Flynn as a betrayal of Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” by removing lobbyists from government positions.

“On Election Day, Flynn published a fairly lengthy opinion piece, and a very strong opinion piece, in the online news website called The Hill, a real prominent website,” said Richardson. “Specifically, he was urging the U.S. to support Turkey and Turkey’s controversial president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. … Those who follow my program know I am no fan of President Erdoğan. He is a dictator and I am likening him to an emerging Adolf Hitler. … This guy is dangerous.”

Flynn’s temporary replacement is Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr.

To everyone who doubts Trump’s ability to rectify the situation, remember, he is there to win the war. Battles will be lost from time to time. Flynn’s departure is one of them. However, in the words of Machiavelli (H/T: The Conservative Treehouse):

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.

Onwards and upwards. MAGA!

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