Trump doesn’t know the basics of being President, doesn’t care, doesn’t want to learn

You didn’t have to be a political genius—or a genius of any kind, really—to see that Donald Trump was going to be a disaster at being president. He clearly has no interest in politics or policy and doesn’t understand, or care to understand, the basics of the job. The Trump platform consisted of unbelievable and unconstitutional lies all bound up with racist pipe dreams about how to Make America 1952 Again. To call Trump a con man is to insult hardworking, skilled con men and women the world over. Trump just recognized easy marks when he saw them, and he told them what they wanted to hear, which is that someone else’s suffering would help them get ahead.

That’s how we got here: 63 million ignorant, desperate and delusional Americans voted for a man uniquely unqualified to be president. Predictably, Trump has mucked up the task at every turn. On the rare occasions he shows up to work instead of golfing, Trump screws up with a frequency that can’t be measured by any currently available metric.

In just this last week (and we’re only three days in, mind you) Trump has spilled intelligence to the Russians, proved he’s a real-life Ron Burgundy and generally made the lives of White House staffers miserable. (Although, how much sympathy can you have for someone whose dream is to work in the Trump White House?)

Here are five examples of news tidbits from the last 72 hours proving Trump is a danger to us all.

1. Intelligence officials have to warn other countries not to tell him secrets.

According to the New York Times, Israeli newspapers “reported in January that American officials warned their… counterparts to be careful about what they told the Trump administration because it could be leaked to the Russians.”

As has been reported pretty much everywhere, Israeli officials decided to take their chances and share some intel with Trump. In his defense, national security adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster told media that Trump made a hasty decision to “tell the Russians what he knew.”

2. NATO officials have to dumb down everything for him.

Foreign Policy reports that NATO, aware of Trump’s reputation for being distracted by shiny objects, is doing its best to keep him entertained:

“NATO is scrambling to tailor its upcoming meeting to avoid taxing President Donald Trump’s notoriously short attention span. The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion… And the alliance scrapped plans to publish the traditional full post-meeting statement meant to crystallize NATO’s latest strategic stance.”

“‘It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,’ said one source briefed extensively on the meeting’s preparations. ‘It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,’ said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. ‘They’re freaking out.’”

3. His staff is afraid he’ll blab stuff unless someone keeps an eye on him.

In a report from the New York Times by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman, this details stands out: “There is a fear among some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers about leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.”

You know how when little kids can’t do stuff on their own, they get mad when you try to help them? Same with Trump. The Times article goes on to note that “General McMaster… has tried to insert caveats or gentle corrections into conversations” when Trump is proving his ignorance or losing the thread. Instead of being thankful he has someone to do what he hired him for, Trump gets defensive.

Trump has reportedly “groused that General McMaster talks too much in meetings, and the president has referred to him as ‘a pain.’”

4. He is easily fooled.

According to a report by Politico, Trump’s chief of staff Reince Priebus has to tell staffers to stop giving Trump things to read, because he’ll believe anything that’s put in front of him. In one example, deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland gave Trump printouts purportedly depicting two Time magazine covers. The first was dated to the 1970s and “warned of a coming ice age,” while the second from 2008 offered advice on “surviving global warming”:

“Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy. But there was a problem. The 1970s cover was fake, part of an internet hoax that’s circulated for years. Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it.”

In another case, Trump was slipped a story by notorious right-wing internet troll Charles C. Johnson. The piece, which accused deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh of leaking information to the press, made Trump suspicious of his hire based on the flimsiest of evidence. Walsh has since moved on to a new job, but Trump continues to be duped by fake news printouts, which staffers use to get a leg up on each other.

5. Officials say he’s too incompetent and uninterested to give away any important details.

Maybe the most frightening and obvious bit of information to emerge from the latest Trump-Russia intel scandal is this:

“In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling—and honest—defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies.”

In other words, the president doesn’t know, understand or care about one of his primary functions as president.

Trump asked Comey to lock up reporters.

President Trump has called reporters dishonest, said the media is “the enemy of the American people,” and mused about making it easier to sue journalists. And, according to a new report, he has gone even further than that in private, telling then-FBI Director James Comey that Comey should consider locking reporters up.

Trump said this to Comey during a meeting in the Oval Office in February, according to a New York Times report Tuesday. The request came during the same meeting in which Trump is said to have asked Comey to drop the federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, potentially interfering with the investigation into alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/16/media/trump-imprison-reporters/

Trump wanted Comey to put reporters in jail

The New York Times delivered a bombshell report — also confirmed by NBC News — on Tuesday evening that revealed that former FBI director James Comey wrote in a memo that President Donald Trump asked him to drop the bureau’s investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

Buried in the Times report is a note that Trump asked Comey to consider imprisoning reporters for publishing classified information.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/16/trump-allegedly-asked-comey-to-consider-imprisoning-members-of-the-press.html

No one wants to be the new FBI Director

The Trump administration’s search for a new FBI director hit roadblocks on Tuesday when two high-profile potential candidates, a moderate judge and a conservative senator, signaled they did not want the job.

Advisers to Judge Merrick Garland and U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas told Reuters they discouraged them from leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cautioning that they would be leaving important, secure jobs for one fraught with politics and controversy.

The advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the new FBI director would have little job security and heightened scrutiny by political observers following President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey on May 9.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-fbi-idUSKCN18C2PI

US allies backing away from sharing intell with us following Trump revealing highly classified info to Russians

It’s been less than a full day since reports of Donald Trump casually blabbing code-word level intelligence to visiting Russian dignitaries, but the first signs of damage are already becoming apparent. The intelligence he shared was apparently obtained from a source so secret that we haven’t even told our allies about it; the effects of burning such a sensitive source are, obviously, that nations are going to have to step back and reevaluate whether they turn over such information at all.

A senior European intelligence official tells The Associated Press that his country might stop sharing information with the United States if it confirms President Donald Trump shared classified details with Russian officials.The official said Tuesday that doing so “could be a risk for our sources.”

We don’t know which nation shared their source’s information with us, but Trump’s spur-of-the-moment brag has alarmed even our closest allies.

[Burkhard Lischka], who sits on the German parliament’s intelligence oversight committee, noted that Trump has access to “exclusive and highly sensitive information including in the area of combating terrorism.”The Social Democratic Party lawmaker said that if the U.S. president “passes this information to other governments at will, then Trump becomes a security risk for the entire western world.”

This is not a matter of mere pique, on the part of the nations cooperating with us; the damage that can be done by revealing key intelligence discoveries is, intelligence officials have been warning, far more severe than Trump’s self-centered pouting acknowledges.

Simply revealing that we know it risks unmasking the information’s source. Ex-Information Security Oversight Office head Bill Leonard, to Politico:

“It may not be readily apparent to people not familiar with intelligence. But the mere concept of the information may be revealing.”For example, “If someone revealed that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin had eggs and bacon for breakfast, that seems innocuous. How the heck do we know what he had for breakfast? It is potentially source revealing.”

In short, revealing information that could only have come from a bare handful of sources paints a target on those sources. It may be enough to expose them; it may be enough to get them killed. That, and not the specific information itself, is reason for a top-level classification of the sort that Donald Trump so casually invalidated.

The specific source of the information he shared is likely, as of this morning, no longer an operative source. The nation that told us such sensitive information, only to be repaid in this fashion, will likely not share similar information in the future. And that likely means we’re not going to get information about some newly planned terrorist attacks that we would otherwise have obtained; Trump’s self-centered bluster has made America markedly less safe. He either does not understand that or does not care.

Feds subpoena records of Paul Manafort’s $3.5 million mortgage (a Russian guy co-signed for him!!)

Federal investigators have subpoenaed records related to a $3.5 million mortgage that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort took out on his Hamptons home just after leaving the campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The mortgage document that explains how Manafort would pay back the loan was never filed with Suffolk County, New York — and Manafort’s company never paid up to $36,000 in taxes that would be due on the loan.

In addition, despite telling NBC News previously that all his real estate transactions are transparent and include his name and signature, Manafort’s name and signature do not appear on any of the loan documents that are publicly available. A Manafort spokesperson said the $3.5 million loan, which was taken out through a shell company, was repaid in December, but also said that paperwork showing the repayment was not filed until he was asked about the loan by NBC News.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also taking a “preliminary look” at Manafort’s real estate transactions, according to a separate source. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the Justice Department has requested Manafort’s banking records.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/feds-subpoena-records-3-5m-mortgage-manaforts-home-n759866

UPDATE

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/5/16/1662804/-Paul-Manafort-got-a-3-5-million-tax-free-payback-free-loan-from-unnamed-sources

Paul Manafort got a $3.5 million loan after he left the Trump-campaign.  The loan was taken out by a holding company that Manafort created one day after he left the campaign.
The loan was granted by a shell company whose two biggest owners just so happen to be Trump and a Ukrainian individual.

The loan is interest-free.
The contract contains no clauses requiring Manafort to repay the money.

Trump is turning his wrath on everyone, even on his son-in-law . . . Trump is losing it!!

As leaks from President Donald Trump’s White House continue to spring in the aftermath of the president firing former FBI Director James Comey, staffers are revealing more information about the president’s moodiness that is even directed at the closest in his inner circle.

According to a New York Times report by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush, the president has not only been overheard complaining about having to fire his disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, but has also begun directing his mood swings at his son-in-law-turned-adviser Jared Kushner.

“His own mood, according to two advisers who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has become sour and dark,” the report claims, “turning against most of his aides — even his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — and describing them in a fury as ‘incompetent,’ according to one of those advisers.”

Along with sources decrying the president’s temperament, the report also suggests that some aides believe Trump doesn’t understand his intel well enough to have leaked anything serious to the two Russian officials he met with in the Oval Office last week.

“In private, three administration officials conceded that they could not publicly articulate their most compelling — and honest — defense of the president: that Mr. Trump, a hasty and indifferent reader of printed briefing materials, simply did not possess the interest or knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would do harm to United States allies,” the report claimed.