May 16, 2017

"President Trump appeared to acknowledge Tuesday that he revealed highly classified information to Russia — a stunning confirmation of a Washington Post story..."

"... and a move that contradicted his own White House team after it scrambled to deny the report," WaPo reports.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”...

Trump's tweets undercut his administration's frantic effort Monday night to contain the damaging report. The White House trotted out three senior administration officials — National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — to attack the reports.

The president's admission also follows a familiar pattern. Last week, after firing FBI director James B. Comey, the White House originally claimed that the president was acting in response to a memo provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.
It looks like they're not merely lying, they're incompetently lying, failing to get their story straight before they start talking. That's the simplest explanation of what we are seeing. Or do you think it's some "genius" move and I'm just failing to see the brilliance?

I wonder how McMaster, Powell, and Tillerson feel about the way they were used. Did Trump exploit them and then immediately blindside them? If so, would they resign and talk about it?

ADDED: Ben Sasse explains it: McMaster didn't really say what the media were saying he said:
“When I look at McMaster’s quote, it’s a pretty technical quote,” Mr. Sasse said. “I think it’s actually something quite different from a full rebuttal of the story.”
Incredibly, the NYT article where I got the Sasse quote, doesn't have the verbatim "pretty technical quote" from McMaster that Sasse is talking about. It only says: "General McMaster told reporters on Monday that The Post’s account “as reported” was 'false'...". I had to google it! Here:
The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time, [were] intelligen[ce] sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of the State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. [They're] on the record accounts should outweigh anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn't happen.

264 comments:

1 – 200 of 264   Newer›   Newest»
dreams said...

As far as I'm concerned, the real story is the extent the corrupt liberals will go to destroy Trump and they're not going stop until they do. I'm starting to get worried.

Rene Saunce said...

The Democrat Media Industrial Complex placed this non-troversy story out there right before the Seth Rich story hit.

All the headlines are bullshit. The story is bullshit.

Rene Saunce said...

Washing Post is a total joke. It's a corruption rag for a corrupt party.

WisRich said...

"President Trump appeared..." Appeared? I watched and read everyone's statements. To me, Trump's tweet in no way contradicted McMaster, Tillerson, or Powell.

The real question? There were only a few people in the room. Who is leaking to the press?

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse,

I think there is a complicated Venn diagram here.

circle 1: the whole truth

circle 2: The WaPo story

circle 3: What McMaster denied (I think his circle is a subset of circle 1. Mostly that sources and methods were not shared)

circle 4: What Trump admits (as I understand it, he admits sharing info on what to watch out for on civil plane flights. something that should be shared IMHO)

Things will sort themselves out.

Understand that the Sources of WaPo story leaked SCI material to them including what was claimed to have gone to Russia. Those sources are clearly guilty of a crime. The POTUS can NOT be guilty of a crime in this, because he can declassify. Bad Judgement YES, Crime NO.

Sources: Bad Judgement and a CRIME

Matthew Sablan said...

Wait, how did they attack the report? I mean, the reports I heard were that Trump unwittingly revealed top secret classified things that would endanger intelligence assets, which does NOT sound like what Trump is saying he did. So, the reports, if Trump is right, are wrong -- but he DID still give out information.

My gut, given how wrong the media has been about all things Trump, is to always wait a few days for the truth to get its boots on. In this case, the damning reports of Trump being an incompetent boob and blabbing secrets turns out to be wrong; Trump made a calculated revelation to people to gain their support on something of mutual benefit.

We can argue over should he have shared something, but the characterization is much, much different.

The Cracker Emcee said...

What information? To what purpose? Does this deviate from normal practices? According to who?

You got suckered, Althouse. You began where they said to begin, instead of at the beginning.

Rene Saunce said...

Trump admits to discussing airport/airline security. Oh no! Get your story straight, Trump. You must lie as much as the corruptocrats do.

David Begley said...

Reports that there was cheering in the WaPo newsroom when the story broke. Another breach of journalistic ethics.

WaPo should just conduct its own impeachment trial. Bob Woodward gets 10 votes.

rehajm said...

Illegal for him to reveal the information?

Inappropriate? Sometimes we share common interests with Russia.

Rene Saunce said...

Trump --- “As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning. “Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”


How is that "classified"? We already know thru the "news" that laptops are banned on many flights - because of terrorist threats. OMG - the American people were leaked sensitive info, by the 'news" media.

Rene Saunce said...

Our common interest with Russia ended when the corrupt money whore who gave the Russians a re-set button, LOST.

rehajm said...

Apparently it's only okay to share classified information through emails.

Once written, twice... said...

Trump is a sick perverse joke that has been foisted on the country by the Republican Party. Conservatives are going to own him for the next three and a half years.

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

You don't want to directly or indirectly reveal hidden sources, as a matter of wisdom. You lose not only the source but a lot of future sources who say fuck it.

The president can talk about anything he wants to, however. This or that bit of intelligence for instance.

You just don't want everybody doing it.

The news seems to be fake in this case, as always, but I haven't tried to analyze the claims.

mockturtle said...

My older daughter also frequently gets suckered in by the WaPo, causing me to sigh in exasperation.

"Appeared to acknowledge" falls into the same category as "studies seem to suggest".

Quaestor said...

Conservatives are going to own him for the next three and a half years.

Conservatives are going to own him for the next seven and a half years. FIFY

EDH said...

The line seems to be between sharing threat intelligence and revealing sources/methods.

Didn't the Trump advisors deny the later and Trump confirmed the former?

mockturtle said...

Dreams asserts: As far as I'm concerned, the real story is the extent the corrupt liberals will go to destroy Trump and they're not going stop until they do. I'm starting to get worried.

Not only the corrupt liberals but the corrupt GOPe. In other words, the Deep State. Who can save our Republic?

Mike said...

Since WaPo never backs up their claim in that breathlessly reported hack article, I'm withholding application of the Fake News tag until later. Once more, we have the allegation of conflicting info when they don't actually present evidence that Trump contradicted McMaster. McMaster is a real stand-up guy and independent enough that he wouldn't come out and say, "I was there. It didn't happen," if the alleged disclosures of Top Secret (which is what WaPo said yesterday) data actually happened.

And it is rich that all of a sudden the media and Democrats (redundant) pretend to care about secrets and leaks. Pleeeeeeease!

rcocean said...

You're trusting the WaPo and MSM to tell you the truth. Trump DID NOT contradict McMasters or Tillerson. Trump simply stated he had a right to share classified data with Russia regarding XYZ. He did NOT say he shared the data the WaPo said he did.

1. The Wapo is wrong per tillerson/mcmasters
2. Trump states he can share classified data and did
3. That data is not what the Wapo said was shared.

None of these are contradictory.

rehajm said...

This is where ARM would like to point out the panic in financial markets that Trump has caused.

Mike said...

The first clue is the weasel word "appeared" which indicates something only those with the secret decoder ring can see (i.e. rabid partisans).

rcocean said...

The MSM is doing what they've done for almost 2 years now. Trump tweets - the MSM then interprets the Tweet in a way that damages trump - despite its plain meaning. The rest of the MSM then takes that negative interpretation and runs stories starting with "Trump said" - when he didn't say that.

St. George said...

The Democrats are brilliant at diverting attention. This means nothing to the great vast majority of Americans, except those who are easily hoodwinkable or are the Dem. party's base.

The big story today is that the North Koreans may have been behind the global computer hack. If so, is that not causus belli?

Hagar said...

Joseph C. Wilson IV's "Yellowcake/Valerie Plame" caper on steroids.

rcocean said...

Trump did not threaten Comey nor did he say he had "Tapes" - that was MSM interpretation trying to damage Trump.

Mark said...

EDH, exactly. The Post story says he did the former and Trump would appear to verify that.

What his advisors stated was the latter, which I don't think Trump directly contradicted.

Lyle Smith said...

It looks like there is bad messaging coming from the WH. That said, it is ludicrous to try and say it is impeachable to share info on ISIS to help defeat ISIS.

Static Ping said...

*shrug*

It's all so confusing to determine how to respond to these things. I did not really want Trump to be President, but he was the best of several bad options. The media, especially the Washington Post, is utterly obsessed with the "Russians hacked the election" narrative to the point that they have lost all credibility and can no longer be trusted. The corrupt "deep state" is obviously now attempting to undermine the President with continuous leaks. The Democratic Party is currently acting like the country is under occupation. Our college campuses are starting to look like something out of a dystopian novel. Our elites have proven to be, on the whole, losers. As an American, I have no frame of reference to now how to properly react in this situation.

Normally I would say to wait for further developments, but who am I supposed to get those developments from? The media?

rcocean said...

This whole BS story - is nothing about nothing. Even if its true, its irrelevant.

Trump needs to figure out how to deal with Wapo. Ban them from White House?

David Blaska said...

That information is classified does not mean it cannot be shared, only that it cannot be shared indiscriminately. Russia and the U.S. are fighting ISIS. Trump shared vital information with Russia, but not the means by which it was collected.

Mike Sylwester said...

All this leaking from the Intelligence Community eventually will cause much damage to the Intelligence Community.

When Sally Yates leaked about the Flynn-Kislyak telephone conversation, our President Trump tweeted that Obama had wiretapped Trump's election staff.

It looks like our Intelligence Community's self-defeating war against our President Trump will continue for the next eight years.

Every time there's some leak about Trump, he will open another can of worms about the Intelligence Community.

Chuck said...

The White House voice recording system ("tapes" in the Trump parlance) should answer all questions about this.

zyz65 said...

What this story amounts to, is that someone in the government disagrees with the way the elected president is handling foreign affairs, and is willing to risk their job to express their disagreement. Since all but a handful of government employees until recently worked for the Obama administration, with a totally different foreign policy, this is hardly news, except perhaps in the captive media's continuing nervous breakdown that their side lost the election.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickelit said...

Althouse could be a leader of Davids but chooses to shill for Goliath.

Amazon affiliation?

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Stephen Green points out that McMaster denied that Trump had divulged scope and methods; Trump has not said he actually did divulge scope and methods, so there may be no contradiction so far. Of course I have no idea why a president would want his communications to be so unprofessional.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/265025/

readering said...

Comments collectively read like audition for WH Communications position.

Rene Saunce said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rene Saunce said...

Now that the Russians have been told by Trump that ISIS are planning to use laptops on commercial aircraft to deliver terror - it's over folks.

WisRich said...

St. George said...
The Democrats are brilliant at diverting attention. This means nothing to the great vast majority of Americans, except those who are easily hoodwinkable or are the Dem. party's base.

The big story today is that the North Koreans may have been behind the global computer hack. If so, is that not causes belli?
5/16/17, 9:01 AM

Don't forget the Seth Rich story: DNC insider sent 44K emails to wikilieakes. Most likely the source of DNC email leak, not the Russians.

Um, Washington D.C. wants to divert attention from this story, bigly. Voila, WaPo "trumps up" bogus story about Trump revealing classified intel to Ruskies! It's really a twofer.

Rusty said...

Once written, twice... said...
"Trump is a sick perverse joke that has been foisted on the country by the Republican Party. Conservatives are going to own him for the next three and a half years."

But please keep in mind that he wouldn't be there at all if it wasn't for you lying,thieving, corrupt and immoral democrats.
And you continue to double down on what put him there.
Do something different.
Try not lying.

Tim Gilliland said...

Technically, if Trump decided to share classified information with a non-cleared party he can damn well do so, and essentially 'declassify' the info on the fly. The act of his speech would in effect do so as he can do whatever he damn well pleases on this front, and is not violating any law. Whether it is wise may be another thing, but honestly, haven't we all watched enough spy movies to know that quid pro quo communications of this type happen all the time?
What Trump really has is a leaker problem, and he desperately needs to get to the bottom of it and get rid of all these Oblama holdovers and liars/leakers who keep the outrage mill ginned up.

roesch/voltaire said...

Trump is a braggart and egotist willing to make a deal with anybody, particularly the Russians who he pointedly invited without any US press to cover the cuddle up.He better hope there are no tapes of this conversation.

Mike Sylwester said...

For the sake of argument, let's suppose that our President Trump indeed say too much to the evil Russian diplomats.

For honest officials in our Intelligence Community, the proper remedy would be to discuss the problem in secret with President Trump.

Instead of honest officials and a proper remedy, however, we have officials abusing their special position and information to leak their insinuations and gripes to anti-Trump journalists.

This is being done by very high-ranking officials who have been entrusted to manage valuable information of the US Government. They should know better than to abuse their special positions and information. They are emotional, hysterical and deranged, and therefore they themselves are the security risk.

Here is an excellent article by investigative reporter Robert Parry, titled "The Soft Coup of Russia-gate".

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/13/the-soft-coup-of-russia-gate/

The article begins:

... The Washington Post on Thursday [May 11] published a lengthy story entitled in the print editions “Alarm at Russian in White House” about a Russian photographer who was allowed into the Oval Office to photograph President Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Post cited complaints from former U.S. intelligence officials who criticized the presence of the Russian photographer as “a potential security breach” because of “the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics.”

To bolster this alarm, the Post cited a Twitter comment from President Obama’s last deputy CIA director, David S. Cohen, stating “No, it was not” a sound decision to admit the Russian photographer who also works for the Russian news agency, Tass, which published the photo.

One could picture Boris and Natasha, the evil spies in the Bullwinkle cartoons, disguised as photographers slipping listening devices between the cushions of the sofas.

Or we could hear how Russians are again threatening to “impurify all of our precious bodily fluids,” as Dr. Strangelove character, Gen. Jack D. Ripper, warned us in the 1964 movie.

Watching that brilliant dark comedy [Dr. Strangelove] again might actually be a good idea to remind us how crazy Americans can get when they’re pumped up with anti-Russian propaganda, as is happening again now. ...

David said...

Tillerson and McMaster are not happy, that's for sure. Doubt they will resign. That would doom Trump and they do not want that on their hands. The rolling coup is well developed now, with a good chance of "success." Trump keeps feeding the plotters. If he can't stop, and I'm not sure he can, he will become completely ineffective.

The irony is that this leaves the nation with President Pence. That could end up being the left's worst nightmare. Be careful what you wish for indeed.

tcrosse said...

Trump is a braggart and egotist

Not outstandingly so by the standards of the trade.

Paddy O said...

I hear fDR shared information with Stalin, can you believe it?!

Fake outrage, meant to play on the perceived concerns of Trump supporters. That's the whole schtick from much of the Left, who can't sell a proactive vision of their own, because they have been entirely coopted by a ruling class of politicians and oligarchs who seek to use rhetoric about security and the poor for their own wealth.

I don't even like Trump but they keep giving reasons to defend him based on clearly obvious factors. But then again, the return of an aggressive press isnt bad.

Politics has turned into a version of the worst of International Football, the slightest issue turns into flopping about with pretend injuries.

Althouse hands out a yellow card to team Trump even still.

Mike said...

It is so curious that this fake news bombshell "comes at a time" that it would obliterate the reporting on Seth Rich's computer. The DNC "hack" was an inside job, as we knew all along. The Hillary-Russia narrative is crumbling.

"Quick, get me something to put on the front page so we can keep this news off of it!"

MayBee said...

Remember when the Obama administration was leaking this:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS75351856220130516

NBC News ("Spy who uncovered underwear bomb plot is British national, sources say," May 10) maintained that the double agent held a British passport and that multiple "security services" had participated in the operation, including that of Saudi Arabia. Reuters ("British played central role in foiled bomb operation: sources," May 10) gave British intelligence services MI5 and MI6 "a central role" in the operation. (MI5 is the U.K.'s domestic security agency. MI6 is its CIA equivalent.) The Telegraph ("British secret agent was al-Qaeda mole who cracked new 'underpants' bomb plot," May 10) reported that the double agent was recruited by MI5 and MI6, and worked with the Saudis on the operation.

This was about the underwear bomber. I think Brennan was later outed as the leaker in this, right?

traditionalguy said...

Sounds like the White House is also "wire tapped" by the CIA and NSA. They then feed live time into WaPo news room. The CIA and NSA are executing a counter coup destroy the President who won our election. That is the actual attack on our Democratic Institutions that has been proven.

Ergo: the CIA and NSA are Russians.

Sebastian said...

The following statements are not logically contradictory:

1. Trump is an amateurish clown.
2. His WH operation is poorly organized.
3. The MSM will do anything to take him down.
4. The leak was illegal.
5. Trump said more to Lavrov than was wise.
6. The report on the leak was wrong in substance.
7. The McMaster explanation was correct as phrased.
8. Trump acknowledged sharing sensitive, perhaps classified info.
9. He did not acknowledge the original report or contradict McMaster.
10. When the MSM weasels report that Trump "appears" to acknowledge, they don't have the goods.

narciso said...

No they pinned it on a part time fbi contractor, in the review, after they had gone through the whole rolodex

David Baker said...

Vietnam Medal-of-Honor nominee Sen. Richard Blumenthal is outraged, even suggesting this latest Trump-stunt may well be the last straw.

And as per usual, I'm pretty worried.

Ken B said...

Where does he mention classified info? You are putting words in his mouth again.

MayBee said...

Yes here we are. It was Brennan:

https://pjmedia.com/blog/judicial-watch-obtains-transcript-revealing-that-cia-director-john-brennan-was-behind-the-serious-underwear-bomber-leak/

BRENNAN: The device itself, as I think the FBI statement said quite clearly, never posed a threat to the American public or the public … Well, as we, well know, al Qaeda has tried to carry out simultaneous types of attacks, and so we were confident that we had inside control over the – any plot that might have been associated with this device.
CLARKE: If it gets asked. There was no active threat because we had insider control …

BRENNAN: I would not disagree with the way you put that, at all.

Brennan later defended his comments in his February 2013 Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing. At the same time, he admitted to Sen. James Risch (R-ID) that he had leaked the "inside control" information. Risch characterized that leak as “the leak the Justice Department is looking for”:

Chuck said...

The two WaPo reporters on this story were Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe. Greg Jaffe is on the public radio program "On Point" right now, explaining the blowback from late yesterday.

Jaffe has just finished saying that McMaster's statement was a denial of something that the Post did not report. The Post story did not claim that Trump discussed sources and methods. The Post story made a point that McMaster did not address, before he refused any questions on the topic; that Trump talked about highly classified information that would have given the Russians information about an intelligence ally against that ally's wishes.

Jonah Goldberg makes some really great points here, no matter how you view the McMaster statement:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/447664/donald-trump-russia-washington-post-president-revealed-highly-classified-information

He concludes by saying that he gets it, why many conservatives (the NRO readership) would not trust the Washington Post, but asking why we should trust the Trump Administration.

khesanh0802 said...

The reporting on this story is terrible. First it was an intelligence compromise, but since the three there denied that, we slipped over into innuendo about what Trump might have done. Then Trump gives us info that he shared some intelligence conclusions with the Russians in hopes of getting better cooperation from them ( Obama only gave the Iranians nukes in hopes of better cooperation.) Conclusions are not " sources or methods". But sharing conclusions is bad because the Russians might figure out where it came from. Like they did not already know! I don't see that there is a whole lot of difference between what Trump said and McMaster and all said. It would have been better if Trump had just been quiet , but that's not his style. Anyway, so after the McMaster denial the story then, of course, shifts to the nuances of language a interpreted by reporters.

Sorry I am a little incoherent on this, but I am thoroughly fed up with the Bullshit being provided by the MSM. Trump should follow through on his idea of suspending press conferences; he should get the FBI after the leaks, and he should just go about his business because he is never going to win the hearts and minds of the assholes in the media.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

And yet WAPO endorsed Hilary Clinton, a woman who set up an insecure, illegal back channel to bypass federal laws in order to control all her official email communications while SoS. Potentially exposing every email she ever received or sent while holding one of the most powerful positions in our government.

The days of taking WAPO seriously are long gone.

Mike said...

Doesn't it bother you Chuck that someone inside the circle is telling these things to the Post, whether they are fully true or not? WTF? The leak bothers me much more than Trump sharing something that "might" upset an ally. We have a lot of bridges to rebuild after the last CiC screwed over our allies, but we also need Russia cooperation on counter-terror ops.

buwaya said...

The story of the month is the Seth Rich murder.
Apparently the Wikileaks-connection information was known last year as the records of this are on his laptop. This person, not being a security official, and having access to the DNC server, had no good reason to be dealing with Wikileaks, so the only reasonable conclusion is that he was giving them information. If so his timely murder is very, very unlikely to be a coincidence. Its an extremely low probability event, and as a matter of common sense it can't be assumed to be random.

A "cleanup" political murder by agents of the Democratic party implicates the whole party in a criminal conspiracy, and besides which the omerta on this case, so far, plus the organized campaign of misdirection, implicates the entire security establishment of the US. The silence on this scandalous matter further condemns the MSM as participants in a criminal conspiracy.

The US really is the greatest banana republic ever.

MayBee said...

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/05/tracing-cia-underwear-bomb-leak-back-white-house/327935/


You know those expert commentators who once held high-level counter-terrorism jobs and now work as talking heads for news shows? Well, they're called "experts" because they get access to people like current counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, who held a conference call to brief some of them on the plot earlier this month. And while explaining why they shouldn't tell people the United States was in danger from a would-be bomber, Brennan apparently let the secret slip, reports' Hosenball:

Rene Saunce said...

Brian Pagliano took plead the 5th - 125 times.

Media completely uninterested.

Luke Lea said...

faux outrage

Rene Saunce said...

WaPo "Democracy Dies in Darkness" is their whiny butthurt for "Hillary lost, and we are sads"

AReasonableMan said...

I have heard that Seth Rich leaked documents to wikileaks, that Hillary Clinton placed a hit on him and that John Podesta personally carried out this hit in order to silence him. Why isn't this being reported by the corrupt MSM?

Inga said...

"The president's admission also follows a familiar pattern. Last week, after firing FBI director James B. Comey, the White House originally claimed that the president was acting in response to a memo provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. It looks like they're not merely lying, they're incompetently lying, failing to get their story straight before they start talking. That's the simplest explanation of what we are seeing. Or do you think it's some "genius" move and I'm just failing to see the brilliance?"

Ask Scott Adams, I'm sure he has a really good explanation. Maybe they just want to look incompetant, yep it's brilliant! Most commenters here are still in the throes of Trumpism, they haven't yet gotten to the point Ann Coulter has. It's only a matter of time for some, for others they won't ever realize what a blunder they've made.

It's amazing that these people don't quit, how many times are they going to get out there to try to clean up a TrumpMess by spinning or lying for him, then the next day trump tweets " No,I meant to do that! Do I have to do all these press conferences myself, those damn incompetent press people of mine!"

chuck said...

I'm not bothered by what Trump did. I would expect the President to share intelligence that serves a mutual interest. Nor did McMaster deny that intelligence was shared. What bothers me most here is that now everyone's attention has been brought to what may have been a small slip, something that may or not matter much. That is not how these things should be handled. Further, I conclude that the CIA is a political entity that cannot be trusted and needs a profound housecleaning, and that the Democrats continue to put their own advancement above the needs of the country. I swore off voting for Democrats for precisely that reason after 9/11 and this does nothing to change my mind.

Kevin said...

As was previously pointed out, Stephen Green has already done the explaining over at Instapundit:

I’ll try to unpack this.

Yesterday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said the original WaPo report was false. That’s a complicated denial, because the thing which McMaster said was false — that Trump revealed “methods and sources” to the Russians — wasn’t in the original WaPo report.

So McMaster denied something nobody was reporting, which could have been obfuscation or could have been a misunderstanding of what was reported. We just don’t know. What we do know is that McMaster is on record saying that the President did not reveal the methods and sources which could endangered an intelligence operation and our spies on the ground.

Despite what WaPo implied today, Trump’s tweet did not contradict McMaster’s complicated denial. Trump says he shared anti-ISIS intel, minus the methods and sources, with Russia — as is his right. Whether or not that was wise depends on how you view the potential for combined U.S.-Russian anti-ISIS operations. “It’s complicated” would probably be a fair assessment.

So the short version is that the President did share “highly classified information” regarding ISIS and/or terrorism in general, but not in such a way to compromise either our intelligence gathering or our intelligence officers. And that last bit comes from no less than H.R. McMaster, who wrote the book (or at least one of the first books) on how careless and stupid politicians got us into Vietnam and doomed our war there.

Today’s WaPo followup (quoted and linked above) by Ashley Parker concludes that “Trump’s tweets undercut his administration’s frantic effort Monday night to contain the damaging report.” But if I’ve unpacked this correctly, then that conclusion doesn’t follow from what was reported yesterday, what was thoroughly denied by McMaster, and by what Trump tweeted this morning. The only way to reach Parker’s conclusion is to take McMaster’s denial of one specific item (“methods and sources”) as a blanket denial. But that’s not what he said.

However, the White House P.R. effort was conducted in its customarily chaotic way, which has allowed WaPo (and many others) to make claims and conclusions which the facts — if I’ve correctly understood them — don’t support.

Larvell said...

Trump's statement doesn't contradict McMasters. McMasters's statement was lawyerly, almost certainly true as far as it went, and didn't really deny the actual claims in the WaPo article -- a point that was made in several articles discussing his statement. To the extent that Trump's tweet admits he told the Russians something, it doesn't contradict McMasters, since he didn't deny that Trump told the Russians something -- he just said they didn't discuss sources and methods, and Trump doesn't say he did.

There's an awful lot to criticize Trump for, but it's not accurate to say that he contradicted McMasters. What he did was put him in an awful position, like he does to anybody who has to try to speak for him while simultaneously minimizing the damage. But we need to have grown-ups around Trump, since if they all just resigned on principle, I shudder to think what trouble would ensue.

buwaya said...

This all is not about people indulging their emotions.

Everything promoted in the press is there for a reason, to advance one side of a high-stakes conflict. They seek to produce an effect on some parts of the public or some faction of their supporters or opponents. We are watching moves on a chessboard, in a game being played between teams of ruthless people.

dreams said...

McMaster is going to do a press briefing at or around 11:30.

Kevin said...

Why the WAPO, who must have people on staff who understand the issues and can break them down like Green did, didn't have the time or inclination to do so, will be left as an exercise for the reader.

Hint: If Democracy Dies in Darkness, it appears the power may be out in the Washington Post newsroom.

Quaestor said...

How can information about airline safety and terrorism be highly classified? If the United States knows about a general threat of terrorism to commercial air travel is it not in everyone's interest to disseminate that information as widely as possible. Revealing the threat and revealing the ultimate source of the information — an agent in the field or a tapped communications channel, for example — would be a mistake, but there's no evidence he did that.

One of Comey's cronies is likely to be the WaPo source. Intelligence agencies are often obsessive about the data they gather, a times insisting on such restricted distribution that the intelligence is useless. The 9/11 attacks are a prime example of this propensity in action. Another reason to keep gathered intelligence a closely guarded secret, and the most justifiable, is the they must not know that we know caveat. On 14 November 1940 Coventry, England was gravely damaged by a massive German bombing attack. After the war, certain writers claimed that Churchill had prior knowledge of the attack, but did nothing to protect Coventry because such intervention would have alerted the Germans that their "unbreakable" Enigma encryption system had been indeed broken. Similar accusations have been leveled at FDR in regard to the Pearl Harbor attack. Both examples are false, by the way, but they illustrate the principle. However, the United States is not at war with ISIS or al-Qaeda, in spite of all the "War on Terror" rhetoric, the occasional drone strikes, and the ever rarer boots-on-the-ground. ISIS counterattacks. Real war would have settled their account ten years ago. Instead, we've handled terrorism primarily as a criminal matter and a public safety issue. "The enemy must not know that we know" caveat makes little sense in the context of the actual conduct of our so-called war on terror.

Kevin said...

That’s a complicated denial, because the thing which McMaster said was false — that Trump revealed “methods and sources” to the Russians — wasn’t in the original WaPo report.

I would add to Green's excellent analysis that although "methods and sources" wasn't in the original WAPO article, it was the talking point du jour of the chattering classes last night.

They know "the president breached confidentiality" isn't a crime and therefore is a non-starter, so they quickly moved on to "this is going to make everyone in the world not share information with us" as the tort committed.

McMaster walked out last night to shut that down.

Nonapod said...

All this is too vague to make an assessment about whether Trump actually did a Bad Thing or if this is being way overblown. Without knowing specifically what Trump revealed (which the revelation of itself would be damaging obviously) and what potentially "bad ,for us" thing Russia could and likely would do with this revelation, all we have is hearsay and innuendo and essentially the word of a leaker and the fevered imaginings of the anti-Trump crowd.

Fernandinande said...

stunning confirmation of a Washington Post

It would be stunning if a WaPo story were confirmed.

Chuck said...

Mike said...
Doesn't it bother you Chuck that someone inside the circle is telling these things to the Post, whether they are fully true or not? WTF? The leak bothers me much more than Trump sharing something that "might" upset an ally. We have a lot of bridges to rebuild after the last CiC screwed over our allies, but we also need Russia cooperation on counter-terror ops.

Short answer is that yes, it bothers me. I think White House leaks are a White House problem, in the first instance. So that is up to this White House, to fix.

What also bothers me is that in one story after another, the White House (and Trump himself) can't or won't explain Trump.

There was a lengthy and detailed answer as to why firing Comey was a sound, ethical, legally defensible position. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein crafted a good memo; Spicer, Pence and Sanders all tried to advance that story; and then Trump says he didn't rely on Rosenstein's report and had decided to fire Comey earlier, and seemingly based on Comey's congressional testimony a few days previous. Coming from Trump himself, I presume that the latter (his own) explanation is true, which raises all kinds of questions about when we should ever believe anyone else in the White House about anything.

Mike said...

Fernandinande:
It would be stunning if a WaPo story were confirmed.


Boy if that ain't the truth!

Humperdink said...

Seth Rich was unavailable for comment, as was Vince Foster, as was ........

roesch/voltaire said...

Tass the Russian newspaper is now reporting that Trump did leak intelligent information-- who to believe:
WP: Трамп поделился с Лавровым секретными данными

Международная панорама 16 мая, 0:35 дата обновления: 16 мая, 2:16 UTC+3
Авторы публикации настаивают, что раскрытие этих данных президентом США поставило под угрозу важнейший источник информации о террористической группировке "Исламское государство"

Inga said...

"“I know one of the sources,” Erickson writes. “And the source is solidly supportive of President Trump, or at least has been and was during Campaign 2016.”

So why would a Trump supporter leak a damaging story about the president to multiple news organizations? According to Erickson, it’s the only way to get Trump to change his behavior.

“The President will not take any internal criticism, no matter how politely it is given,” Erickson explains. “He does not want advice, cannot be corrected, and is too insecure to see any constructive feedback as anything other than an attack. So some of the sources are left with no other option but to go to the media, leak the story, and hope that the intense blowback gives the President a swift kick in the butt.”

Additionally, Erickson’s source claims that “what the President did is actually far worse than what is being reported” and that “the president does not seem to realize or appreciate that his bragging can undermine relationships with our allies and with human intelligence sources.”"

Humperdink said...

Nice business you have there at Amazon Jeff Bezos. Hate to see the anti-trust division start poking around.

Paul said...

I have no doubt every president has shared intel with other countries, especially when terrorism is involved.

The liberal MSM is just grasping for straws. What a joke the are!

James K said...

then Trump says he didn't rely on Rosenstein's report and had decided to fire Comey earlier

Trump could have "decided" but nonetheless sought a second opinion from Rosenstein before acting. I don't see that tweet as any more contradictory than the ones here.

Earnest Prole said...

Why can't Trump and the Post both be dopes?

Rene Saunce said...

Seth Rich was a DNC staffer who was in contact with wilileaks and after his murder, the DC police were told to stand down.

Nothing to see here!

Mike said...

Don't worry Rene, the FBI is on the case!

Rene Saunce said...

Beyond the pale to discuss laptops and terror with the Russians. Best to give them stupid toys and make mega-bucks off of secret Uranium deals.

Quaestor said...

I have heard that Seth Rich leaked documents to wikileaks, that Hillary Clinton placed a hit on him and that John Podesta personally carried out this hit in order to silence him. Why isn't this being reported by the corrupt MSM?

ARM's attempt at satire. Lame as usual.

Fact: The DC police have stated that the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery attempt". They have produced no evidence or testimony to support this conclusion. Rich was shot from behind at close range with a .380 hollow-point bullet. No one heard the shot. Nothing was taken, which is odd considering he had an iPhone 7, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, several credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash on his person.

Fact: Seth Rich was a Sanders supporter and known to his colleagues as bitter and resentful over the unfair DNC policy intended to give HRC the nomination no matter what result the primaries produced.

Fact: John Podesta is a fuck-up.

Fact: Hillary Clinton is unimpaired by burdensome moral constraints.

Fact: A highly improbable number of Clinton associates have met with untimely violent ends.

Brookzene said...

Asked about the attention the new report received from right-leaning outlets, Brad Bauman, a spokesperson for the Rich family, said the family condemned the attempt to politicize Rich's death.

"It's sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda," Bauman told Business Insider. "I think there is a special place in hell for people like that."

buwaya said...

I suspect the source is someone in the loop of preparing the Presidents briefings, and probably not a participant. This would be someone with connections to intelligence agencies.

The real motivation is, I suspect, some sort of intra-agency turf war.

Inga said...

The Russians want you to stop reading American newspapers. read only Russian news sources! Yes, of course. MRGA!

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-zakharova-idUSKCN18C17Z

"A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Tuesday advised that people don't read American newspapers, in response to U.S. media reports that President Donald Trump had disclosed classified intelligence at a meeting with Russian officials.

The spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said she had received dozens of messages asking about the reports, which have been denied by the White House.

"Guys, have you been reading American newspapers again?" she wrote on her Facebook page. "You shouldn't read them. You can put them to various uses, but you shouldn't read them. Lately it's become not only harmful, but dangerous too.""

Jupiter said...

Rene Saunce said...
WaPo "Democracy Dies in Darkness" is their whiny butthurt for "Hillary lost, and we are sads"

"Democracy Dies in Darkness" is shorthand for the somewhat longer idea that the Russians sabotaged the American political process by revealing the truth about John Podesta and the Clinton campaign to the American electorate. At WaPo, "Democracy" means "the Democratic Party", and "dies in darkness" means "is allergic to the truth".

Rene Saunce said...

Don't worry Rene, the FBI is on the case!

It's important Americans trust our law enforcement institutions. protecting democrats is key.

AJ Lynch said...

Tweets are not appropriate for national security topics. Trump needs to STFU re certain issues.

EDH said...

Paul said...
I have no doubt every president has shared intel with other countries, especially when terrorism is involved.

Or, like the Russians warning the FBI about the Boston Marathon bombers.

Richard Dolan said...

"It looks like they're not merely lying, they're incompetently lying, failing to get their story straight before they start talking."

No, it doesn't. Trump said he shared "facts pertaining to terrorism and air line safety" with the Russians. If there was any point to the meeting, the participants were obviously discussing "facts" pertaining to its subject matter. And neither McMaster not anyone else said anything to the contrary. It's all a matter of the specific "facts" that were discussed, a subject about which Trump said nothing. On that matter, McMaster et al. were quite clear as to those that were not discussed.

Nothing here, move on.

Fernandinande said...

Mike said...
Don't worry Rene, the FBI is on the case!


I was a communist - FOR THE FBI!

Rene Saunce said...

Most American 'news' is a fake hacktastic joke. We don't need those scary Russians who embarrassed poor Hillary with Clinton-Podesta-Coke-DNC e-mail leaks to remind us.

Come on America, you stupid deplorables - read the WaPo and trust the WaPo.

Inga said...

Trump on revealing classified information.

I Callahan said...

Do something different. Try not lying.

They can't. Because if they did tell the truth, they'd have to admit that they're flat-out communists. Because that's exactly what the Dem party has become. Communists without the honesty.

n.n said...

Trump talked to the Russians about common security concerns. That is good.

There is no evidence to support The Washington Post's assertion that this was either illegal or inappropriate. It is not confirmed by Trump's comment.

The leaking of possibly classified conversations and materials from the White House to The Washington Post threatens the security of our nation and assets, where the press has been working since day -100 to abort Trump, and since, his administration. That is bad.

I Callahan said...

Not only the corrupt liberals but the corrupt GOPe. In other words, the Deep State. Who can save our Republic?

At this point, it cannot be saved. The fact that the deep state is in direct cahoots with the media to bring down a sitting president means that the Republic is already lost.

Good job, everyone!

buwaya said...

Seth Rich very likely did leak to Wikileaks, if he was in contact with them. Or his contacts to Wikileaks were detected. There may well have been several leakers.

HC probably knew nothing of the matter. There were and are plenty of parties with an interest in her victory that were not under her authority.

Podesta didnt do it of course. That is absurd, this sort of thing is not done by persons of status (unless its Duterte, but he's a special case). Podesta was not in the DNC in any case and his email leak was separate.

Most likely word came down from someone in the alphabet soup of Democratic affiliate organizations to take care of the problem. A traitor with access to communications of that sort, and more, who is not just leaking but likely to squeal if left to talk is a danger to much more than the DNC.

buwaya said...

Anyway, the takeaway here is that you have a choice, your position as the consumer of news. You can be a piece on the chessboard, or you can be an observer of the game.

Rene Saunce said...

Quaestor @ 10:11

Boom.
Pesky facts get in the way.

n.n said...

Trump engaging Russians to share responsibility for mitigating the threat of terrorism created by Obama's premature evacuation from Iraq, establishing ROE in Afghanistan to favor the terrorists, delegating responsibility for the welfare of non-combatants in created war zones, forcing refugee crises through elective regime changes in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine, and exposing the press and non-profits (including religious organizations) that have participated in the cover-up of collateral damage from social justice adventurism, elective regime changes, extrajudicial trials, and democratic gerrymandering, is good, not bad.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Here's what I think:

Team trump knew that the Seth Rich story would be coming out. Everybody knows that President Trump was personally behind the murder. That's why the wallet was left behind, The Donald doesn't need the money.

So they ginned up this story to deflect from Seth Rich and keep people from looking into it.

Why not? That is at least as good a thesis, perhaps better, than anything on offer from the WaPo et al.

John Henry

Matthew Sablan said...

Considering someone poisoned a conservative speaker over seas, the idea of a conspiracy to murder Seth Rich is less crazy than it was just a few days ago.

Rene Saunce said...

BOMBSHELL: Seth Rich sent 44,053 DNC emails to WikiLeaks

Not a bombshell for the hack press.

Brookzene said...

"It's sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda," Bauman told Business Insider. "I think there is a special place in hell for people like that."

Spokesman for Seth Rich's family today. That's you guys the family is referring to.

Rene Saunce said...

worth a re-post:

Fact: The DC police have stated that the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery attempt". They have produced no evidence or testimony to support this conclusion. Rich was shot from behind at close range with a .380 hollow-point bullet. No one heard the shot. Nothing was taken, which is odd considering he had an iPhone 7, a Rolex Oyster Perpetual watch, several credit cards and an undisclosed amount of cash on his person.

Fact: Seth Rich was a Sanders supporter and known to his colleagues as bitter and resentful over the unfair DNC policy intended to give HRC the nomination no matter what result the primaries produced.

Fact: John Podesta is a fuck-up.

Fact: Hillary Clinton is unimpaired by burdensome moral constraints.

Fact: A highly improbable number of Clinton associates have met with untimely violent ends.


Quaestor - 5/16/17, 10:11 AM

Brookzene said...

But of course, this crowd has absolutely no character or shame. You'll go on and on and on politicizing his murder knowing that kind of shit pains the family.

And this is just symptomatic of all that hard-core hatred. The right gets lower and lower. Wake up.

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: It looks like they're not merely lying, they're incompetently lying, failing to get their story straight before they start talking. That's the simplest explanation of what we are seeing. Or do you think it's some "genius" move and I'm just failing to see the brilliance?

I have read and re-read the linked WaPo "scoop" and I have noted not a single material contradiction between what Trump has written and what his advisors have said.

I admit to being prejudiced in favor of the President, and I admit my prejudice could possibly blind me to facts. I invite the Trump-haters to point out my error here in this thread. NB. Be specific. Point out specific sentences that contradict the President's statement. Do not engage in "appears to suggest" weaseling if you want my respect. I await your replies. Meanwhile, I think the real question to be debated here is whether Althouse is trolling Inga, Chuck, and the other usual suspects.

Craig said...

The Drill SGT:

You cannot make a four-set Venn diagram with circles, see here.

Trumpit said...

Your Tag, "Trump Derangement Syndrome" should, from now on, be "Trump's Derangement Syndrome."

It is true that Trump drives people crazy, but that's because Trump is the personification of Bizzaro the anti-hero of comic book fame.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro

Paddy O said...

It's a vast right wing conspiracy.

buwaya puti said...

Political murders are consequential to the entire polity. This is not a private matter.

Brookzene said...

Whatever salves your conscience, moron.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I remember seeing Jon Lovitz do an interview once where he explained how he could get people to think he was lying even when he was telling the truth. I think the example was "Where was I? Errrr.... ummm... I was at (pause) the bowling alley! Yes, at the bowling alley." All the while with a shifty expression. He was actually at the bowling alley but one would think he was lying about it.

I wonder if Team Trump is using this as a strategy. Get the WaPo and other media all spun up about having caught them in a lie. Then, a couple days later it turns out that the WaPo got it wrong. It won't make the front page but some people will figure it out.

Rinse and repeat over and over. Pretty soon a lot of people will see how little credibility the media deserves.

John Henry

Quaestor said...

Brookzene, there are already special places in hell for people who'd rather obscure the truth for political reasons than face inconvenient facts. You may consult Dante if you doubt me.

I'm not a believer, but if I'm wrong I'll be able to say to whatever god sits in judgement that I chose to seek the truth rather than bask in the comfort of willful ignorance. Why the parents of the late Seth Rich would prefer not to know is incomprehensible to me, but I'm not a Democrat, a class of people notorious for having incomprehensible attitudes toward the Clinton clan

dbp said...

Adlai Stevenson shows aerial photos of Cuban missiles to the United Nations, October 25, 1962.--Classified information, impeach Kennnedy!

The answer, which is really very simple, is that our policy should be to share information when it is in our interest to do so. I haven't seen even the Washington Post try and argue that it helps the United States for an Aeroflot jetliner to get blown-up by a rigged laptop.

hombre said...

I have used my limit on WaPo, but based on the quote here, there does not appear to be a contradiction between what Trump said and what McMasters said. Does Trump ever say that he has disclosed classified or dangerous information? Is there any reason to believe that other Presidents have not disclosed secret information, the only difference being the despicable, leaking deep state?

How is it that our President cannot have a conversation with foreign leaders without the content being leaked - truthfully or falsely - by anonymous cowards to a corrupt leftmedia? Why is the issue what Trump is saying about it instead of whether the illegal leaks are impeding his ability to govern?

The leftmedia's game has been to manipulate language and interpretations to create the impression of dishonesty and dissent where there is none and then to manipulate again when they are called out for fake news. Donald Trump is not the danger here. The danger is the seditious leftmedia enabling deep staters to violate espionage laws by leaking for political purposes without consequences.

Quaestor said...

Political murders are consequential to the entire polity. This is not a private matter.

Any murder is a crime again the entire polity. The "pain of the family" is absolutely irrelevant. Anyone who invokes the "pain of the family" excuse to silence inquiry is a villain.

Quaestor said...

Whatever salves your conscience, moron.

Tend to your own conscience. In my book, you are complicit in the villainy, Bookzene.

hombre said...

Brookzene: "You'll go on and on and on politicizing his murder knowing that kind of shit pains the family."

The private investigator hired by Seth's family has publicly challenged the D.C. Police "robbery" version. What are you talking about?

Brookzene said...

I suppose decent people of all political stripes who are disgusted by the Newton massacre deniers are villains for using the "pain of the family excuse to silence inquiry.

Whatever you need to sleep better.

MrCharlie2 said...

Rene Saunce said...
The Democrat Media Industrial Complex placed this non-troversy story out there right before the Seth Rich story hit.

The already debunked Seth Rich story, that is.

SukieTawdry said...

Even the WaPo finds itself ridiculous resting on 40-year old laurels. There's a whiff of that in most of its reporting and sometimes the odor is quite pungent. I question if there's any credibility left in the legacy media. I trust them not in the slightest.

Still, Mr. Trump chose to make his wars with the press and intelligence community public. He chose the caustic tone. Our president is an egoist and a braggart with poor impulse control. These are things we've known since day one. Now, however, there's important work to be done, work that won't get done if the environment remains toxic. It may be the Trumpster who sows this wind, but it's the nation that stands to reap the resulting whirlwind. Everybody who needs to grow the fuck up needs to do it now. And the adults already in the room need to keep a steady hand.

Quaestor said...

Brookzene wrote: I suppose decent people of all political stripes who are disgusted by the Newton massacre deniers are villains for using the "pain of the family excuse to silence inquiry.

Does the term nonsequitur register in your brain, Brookzene? I doubt it does, given the sentence, I quoted above.

eric said...

I expect this sort of ignorance on how things are done by the likes of Chuck. I mean, he purposefully wants to see Trump fail and everything is viewed through that prism.

I'm disappointed to find Althouse displaying this sort of ignorance, however.

The best lies contain just enough truth. Because of the WaPo, everyone now thinks intelligence is never shared with our allies. Even Althouse seems to think this.

We share Intel all the time. The lie is in what Intel was shared. The trick is, without revealing too much, the gov can't discuss it. So they are careful in their denials.

Which is why the best thingi McMaster said today was, nothing inappropriate was said at the meeting.

That should be the end of it. But the Chuck's of the world aren't going to let this go.

mockturtle said...

Everything promoted in the press is there for a reason, to advance one side of a high-stakes conflict. They seek to produce an effect on some parts of the public or some faction of their supporters or opponents. We are watching moves on a chessboard, in a game being played between teams of ruthless people.

Exactly so, buwaya.

Annie said...

"McMaster:
"There is nothing that the President takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the Secretary of State, remembered the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn't happen."

Brookzene said...

I think it's dead on. But if you want to use this thread about Trump's revealing classified info to the Russians to throw out your cheap InfoWars conspiracy chum in spite of Seth Green's family, be my guest. I just won't talk to you any more, other than to leave you, once more, with today's statement from the family spokesman:

"It's sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda. I think there is a special place in hell for people like that."

Chuck said...

Damn, what a show in the White House press briefing room!

McMaster comes in, makes a statement (about the glossy details of the President's upcoming trip to the Middle East and Italy) and then takes questions. Saying first that Spicey will call on reporters.

So Spicey calls on first one guy reporter and then one gal reporter, who were plants to feed McMaster the questions they wanted him to riff on.

The WaPo was right; Jon Karl of ABC barely got in to ask him about the one major detail of that story and in a yes or no question, McMaster couldn't say that they got it wrong.

And, we get the juicy details that 1) the President and the security staff didn't do any organized decisionmaking on whether to reveal the info to the Russians (it was purely spontaneous, by Trump) and 2) McMaster says that the President may not even have known that he was dealing in classified information that involved shared info from an ally.

Egads; this is not getting any better. I don't expect that there is any apparent crime, but once again the process looks like an episode of The Apprentice.

hombre said...

Limited attendance at meetings.
Classify all discussions at the meetings.
Polygraphs for attendees every time there is a leak.
Daily scanning for electronic surveillance by private contractors.
Charge new FBI Director to focus on leaks.
No plea bargains for leakers.
Eliminate press briefings in favor of alternative dissemination (Perhaps Fox News replacement network. LOL.)
Hire Newt.

Problem solved.

I Callahan said...

Still, Mr. Trump chose to make his wars with the press and intelligence community public. He chose the caustic tone. Our president is an egoist and a braggart with poor impulse control.

See, now this is a completely valid point, one you can have whether you're on the left or the right.

That said, however, it doesn't mean that he deserves this treatment from the media. In fact, this pretty much proves that the same media and intelligence communities have their own problem with egos and poor impulse control, considering that their actions are more detrimental than what Trump has done here.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

At least this time Trump doesnt appear to have lied to the Vice President.

I Callahan said...

So Spicey calls on first one guy reporter and then one gal reporter, who were plants to feed McMaster the questions they wanted him to riff on.

And you know this, exactly, how? What makes them plants? The fact that they asked even-handed questions, which is the opposite of what a TDS infected LLR would do?

You HAVE to be a bot. NO one can be as 1-dimensional as you without being artificial intelligence.

Quaestor said...

So far no one — not Inga, not Chuck, not Trumpit (not surprisingly), or even the érudit faux roesch/voltaire has risen to my 10:48 challenge. What am I to conclude from this?

MayBee said...

2) McMaster says that the President may not even have known that he was dealing in classified information that involved shared info from an ally.


McMaster said that?

dreams said...

I don't expect the liberal media to change their behavior regardless of Trump's behavior.

Chuck said...

eric said...
...
Which is why the best thingi McMaster said today was, nothing inappropriate was said at the meeting.
That should be the end of it. But the Chuck's of the world aren't going to let this go.

I won't let that go, because McMaster's saying that there was "nothing inappropriate" is bullshit. It doesn't tell me anything. I'd have two hours of questions for McMaster, and not one of those questions would be, "Did you think it was appropriate?"

That was such a craptastic presser. How many questions were there? Six? Seven? And the first two were Spicey set-ups.

Even at that, we got some pretty crazy shit out of McMaster. There wasn't any previous process to clear the release of the info. And Trump seems to have spontaneously thought to mention it. And Trump may not even have known that it was info from a source shared by an ally, and that his talking about it could compromise things that he hadn't considered.

buwaya said...

" this pretty much proves that the same media and intelligence communities have their own problem with egos and poor impulse control"

The entire security system, all the agencies as a mass, are bloated and inefficient, not fit for purpose, and their power and influence make them far more a danger to the polity than an asset. They need to be abolished and recreated on a far smaller scale and a much more restricted mandate.

Chuck said...

MayBee said...
"2) McMaster says that the President may not even have known that he was dealing in classified information that involved shared info from an ally."


McMaster said that?

Yep. When we get video to link to (I can't find any, yet), it will be in the last minute or so of the presser.

Renee said...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/27/iraq-strikes-intel-sharing-agreement-with-russia-syria-and-iran/


September 2015

" "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reacted cautiously to the report. “I think the critical thing is that all of the efforts need to be coordinated. This is not yet coordinated. I think we have concerns about how we’re going to go forward, but that’s precisely what we’re meeting on to talk about now,” the top American diplomat said in New York Sunday, appearing before reporters next to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. “Our presidents will be meeting tomorrow. This is the beginning of a genuine effort to see if there is a way to de-conflict, but also to find a way forward that will be effective in keeping a united, secular Syria that can be at peace and stable again without foreign troops present, and that’s our hope.”




MayBee said...

I saw the last minute of the presser. What I heard McMaster say was Trump hadn't been told the source and methods of the classified info.

It doesn't tell me anything.
Really, what does the WaPo story tell you?

It's all kind of just a line with hysteria blown up all around it. There's nothing in the story at all. It's like a little cracker that was served just to hold a mound of delicious toppings for the media to indulge in.

dreams said...

McMaster also said that what Trump said was totally appropriate.

dreams said...

Here is the video.

http://www.cnbc.com/top-video/

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"I'd have two hours of questions for McMaster,"

Fantasizing about playing an interogating attorney again, eh lifelong Republican Chuck?

Maybe you could start by learning the difference between slander and libel, if you are going to continue to play make believe on the internet.

In reality, you are a just a stupid putz mobying on the internet.

dreams said...

The video I share is not the full video though.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

Here is some video that relates to previous comments.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000619028

mockturtle said...

Buwaya asserts: The entire security system, all the agencies as a mass, are bloated and inefficient, not fit for purpose, and their power and influence make them far more a danger to the polity than an asset. They need to be abolished and recreated on a far smaller scale and a much more restricted mandate.

So, how long do we continue to observe the chess game before we upend the board in disgust?

Humperdink said...

Humperdink said @ 10:03AM: "Nice business you have there at Amazon Jeff Bezos. Hate to see the anti-trust division start poking around."

Rush just alluded to this on his radio show. Ha.

dreams said...

This is how the briefing started.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000619028

Brookzene said...
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Renee said...

Brookzene... Read the Foreign Policy article from September 2015

Brookzene said...

Trump has no idea what information is appropriate to share and what isn't. There was no strategic interest in giving this intel to Russians, he just did it on an impulse, spur of the moment, like he does so many things. He was completely clueless to the implications. And he did it because he was simply bragging, trying to impress his Russian friends with how good his intel was. He'll most certainly do it again.

Presidents get staffed and briefed before these meeting precisely so this nonsense doesn't happen. But Trump can't listen, he can't follow a script, he never will be able to. He's not fit to be President.

The good news is the GOP agenda is not going anywhere. The bad news is our enemies see exactly what's going and will likely figure out how to exploit his shameful weakenesses to our detriment.

dreams said...

Brookzene

Watch the video I posted at 11:54 and become more informed.

Brookzene said...

@Renee Okay. As soon as I'm able I'll take a look.

n.n said...

The Washington Post and other JournoLists have been fishing for babies to hang around Trump's neck since day -100 and since on his administration. So, the baby hunt continues as is their quasi-religious rite.

Brookzene said...
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MayBee said...

It seems to me this is what happened:

Trump said to Russia "We know this thing"

The media jumped up and said "He gave away our allies. The way we know this thing is because we have an ally in a sensitive situation and the information came from them!!!"

So...who released information about our ally's sensitive situation? The press or Trump?

eric said...

Blogger Brookzene said...
Trump has no idea what information is appropriate to share and what isn't. There was no strategic interest in giving this intel to Russians, he just did it on an impulse, spur of the moment, like he does so many things.


You've gotta also believe that tillerson and McMaster have no idea, as they've both said Trump didn't share any information that was inappropriate.

MayBee said...

The story that Trump might have shared classified information with Russia is a total non-story. Not worth an outrage.

Is there anyone who thought Presidents don't share classified information with their foreign counterparts? It's there anyone truly outraged by the idea?

Martin said...

Like when Bill Clinton assured his cabinet that he had no relations with Lewinsky and then had them say so to the media?

Which in no way excuses Trump if he did what is being claimed.

My only point is that we as a nation and polity lost interest in character and integrity sometime before we elected Bill Clinton in 1992, when it was obvious to anyone that he had little of either.

Now we are supposed to get all worked up about it? Well, OK, if it goes both ways.

eric said...

Blogger MayBee said...
It seems to me this is what happened:

Trump said to Russia "We know this thing"

The media jumped up and said "He gave away our allies. The way we know this thing is because we have an ally in a sensitive situation and the information came from them!!!"

So...who released information about our ally's sensitive situation? The press or Trump?


Possibly.

The problem is, Trump and McMaster and the rest really can't discuss it. They can't go into any details. They can only give vague denials and assurances that nothing shared was inappropriate.

The media counts on this. They count on our ignorance. People wonder, how does this stuff leak if all the people in the room are supporting Trump? What they don't realize is that these high level meetings always have cables go out to nsa and cia afterward. And that's where the leaks come from.

And then they can pretend that even these cables are inappropriate. Bcuz there is so much ignorance.

buwaya said...

"So, how long do we continue to observe the chess game before we upend the board in disgust?"

I am a foreigner. That is a matter for you Americans.

I Callahan said...

because McMaster's saying that there was "nothing inappropriate" is bullshit. It doesn't tell me anything.

Yes, it tells you that nothing said or shared with whoever was in the room, was inappropriate. You don't need to know anything beyond that.


I'd have two hours of questions for McMaster, and not one of those questions would be, "Did you think it was appropriate?"

And here we have a classic case of mission creep. McMaster didn't say "The stuff shared was not inappropriate, in my opinion". He said IT WASN'T inappropriate. It wasn't an opinion; it was fact. But your first response, as usual, is to believe the media, the left, and anyone else who has a grudge, and to be skeptical of anything coming out of the white house or anyone who works there.

Chuck said...

Quaestor:

RE: Your 10:48 question.

I wasn't clear on what you were asking, because I wasn't clear on what you meant by "what Trump wrote." Are you referring to a Trump Tweet?

Just for the sake of defining our terms, I think the big problem is that Trump's most serious mouthpiece -- General McMaster -- keeps talking about pablums like how the President didn't say anything inappropriate, but McMaster doesn't deal with the specifics of the WaPo story. Even if I were taking McMaster at his word and believing him, he is not addressing the details of the story.

~ Did Trump truly say things to the Russians, that our unnamed ally would have found wildly objectionable based on the implied disclosures in that info? Discuss in detail.

~ If Trump gave away no "inappropriate" info, why did security staff immediately get in touch with the WaPo to get them to soften the details in the story based on national security concerns?

~ Do more to explain Trump's thinking behind why he thought it was a good idea to reveal this information, including Trump's full knowledge and briefing on the nature and sourcing of the info. And why did Trump go ahead an reveal this, if there had not been any organized analysis as to whether it should be revealed to the Russians? (As McMaster admitted today.)

~ AND... IS THERE A TAPE RECORDING OF THE DISCUSSION? WAS THERE A WRITTEN SUMMARY OF THE MEETING, THAT LED TO THE LEAK OF THE STORY? CAN OUTSIDE, SECURITY-CLEARED OFFICIALS REVIEW THOSE THINGS?

Chuck said...

I Callahan said...
"...because McMaster's saying that there was "nothing inappropriate" is bullshit. It doesn't tell me anything."

Yes, it tells you that nothing said or shared with whoever was in the room, was inappropriate. You don't need to know anything beyond that.

Just imagine an Obama Administration official saying that. I'd be offended. Same as your saying it.

Trumpkins would have loved the Stalinist Soviet Union, or Maoist China, or Castro's Cuba, or Pol Pot's Cambodia. You only need to know what the government tells you is "appropriate."

MayBee said...

If Trump gave away no "inappropriate" info, why did security staff immediately get in touch with the WaPo to get them to soften the details in the story based on national security concerns?

Because the leakers had given more details for the story.

I Callahan said...

Trump has no idea what information is appropriate to share and what isn't. There was no strategic interest in giving this intel to Russians, he just did it on an impulse, spur of the moment, like he does so many things. He was completely clueless to the implications. And he did it because he was simply bragging, trying to impress his Russian friends with how good his intel was. He'll most certainly do it again.

Uh, did you read ANYTHING in this thread? There are a number of comments here that prove your first 3 sentences to be completely, unequivocally 100% wrong.

That said - he's the president of the United States. He gets to DECIDE what is appropriate to share and what isn't, because he can declassify any information he wants.

So not only are you wrong, but painfully stupid in addition.

mockturtle said...

If anyone doesn't recognize that Islamic jihad isn't a bigger threat to our safety and way of life than Russia, they are both blind and deaf. Not to mention stupid.

MayBee said...

~ Do more to explain Trump's thinking behind why he thought it was a good idea to reveal this information

Is this something we do with every conversation our presidents have with foreign ministers?

You and WaPo need to explain why this is all out of the ordinary.

MayBee said...

Trumpkins would have loved the Stalinist Soviet Union, or Maoist China, or Castro's Cuba, or Pol Pot's Cambodia.

Oh yes. Truly today marked the start of the Killing Fields.

I Callahan said...

~ Did Trump truly say things to the Russians, that our unnamed ally would have found wildly objectionable based on the implied disclosures in that info? Discuss in detail.

No. McMaster said he didn't. Yes, I choose to believe McMaster, just based on the speed with which the White House had to respond to this tripe.

~ If Trump gave away no "inappropriate" info, why did security staff immediately get in touch with the WaPo to get them to soften the details in the story based on national security concerns?

Objection, your honor. This assumes facts not in evidence. The WaPo story is just that - a story. It is completely logical to assume that enough of what was posited in the story is false enough to conclude that anything ELSE in the story is false, including the non-provable assertion above.

~ Do more to explain Trump's thinking behind why he thought it was a good idea to reveal this information, including Trump's full knowledge and briefing on the nature and sourcing of the info. And why did Trump go ahead an reveal this, if there had not been any organized analysis as to whether it should be revealed to the Russians? (As McMaster admitted today.)

Trump was rather clear about why he thought it was a good idea to talk about something THAT ALREADY IS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. Apparently, Russians have issues with terrorists just like we do, and I'd think Trump sharing some knowledge of what we know may help them, meaning that if we need Russia's help with something, they'll be forthcoming.

Christ, Chuck. This isn't fucking rocket science.

Michael said...

The WaPo has, to date, failed to disclose a key piece of their investigative reporting. Trump gave the Russians three (3) scoops of icecream. Move to impeach. #resist. LOL

hombre said...

Chuck Channeling Schumer said: "The WaPo was right; Jon Karl of ABC barely got in to ask him about the one major detail of that story and in a yes or no question, McMaster couldn't say that they got it wrong."

Of course. Yesterday McMasters said WaPo got it wrong. Today McMasters says they got it right. Of course he did.

It must be a full time job for CCS to keep up well enough to rationalize lefty sedition. The question is: How does a "lifelong Republican" justify supporting left-wing efforts to delegitimize a duly elected POTUS. The next question is: If McMasters and Tillerson lied and WaPo didn't, so what? Clapper lied to Congress for security reasons. Moreover, POTUS can declassify anything at any time and the only assessment we have that Trump's statements were potentially harmful are from WaPo's anonymous cowards.

Obama's signature achievements, ACA and the Iran deal, are built on lies far more consequential than alleged here. No comparable fuss.

What is happening with the news media and their criminal informants, the Democrats and the GOPe is warped as are its defenders.

I Callahan said...

Just imagine an Obama Administration official saying that. I'd be offended. Same as your saying it.

I'll admit they handled these types of things differently. They just stonewalled the Republicans by not answering ANY questions. And the complicit press didn't bother to ASK the questions of Obama in the first place. I could go down a list of things Obama did that Trump would never get away with, but that would require you to admit that comparing the two is a non-starter.

Snark said...
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Snark said...

@hombre

"McMasters"..You're really dialed in, uh.

furious_a said...

Didn't the Russians share classified intelligence about the Tsarnaev brothers with the FBI?

Of course they did.

Brookzene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brookzene said...

"He gets to DECIDE what is appropriate to share and what isn't, because he can declassify any information he wants."

I'll bet you that (all other) Presidents DON'T just decide on the spur of the moment that it's okay to share classified information from a 3rd party (w/o their permission) with high level diplomats of foreign countries, esp. adversaries like Russia. They get a script, they go over it, and decisions such as that are made ahead of time in consultation with State and appropriate intelligence agencies. At least that's what one former diplomat was saying on CNN today. And that makes a lot more sense than YOUR idiotic idea that a President just goes out and reveals to the Russian diplomats whatever he feels like as if he's shooting the shit in a barbershop - which is what Trump did.

There's a reason for that, too, and it's not hard to figure out. Because it's fucking dangerous otherwise. Something Trump and his Trumplestiltskeins (you) can't quite grasp.

Snark said...

I find the whole thing depressing. The WaPo clearly mischaracterizes the McMaster non-denial denial, and the McMaster non-denial denial clearly mischaracterized the original WaPo article. It's not hyperbole to say that this assault on the very notion of truth from all sides undermines democracy. If they won't stop it, we can at least notice that everybody is doing it and stop seeing it as a distinctly liberal or conservative problem.

MayBee said...

I'll bet you that (all other) Presidents DON'T just decide on the spur of the moment that it's okay to share classified information from a 3rd party (w/o their permission) with high level diplomats of foreign countries, esp

As I linked to earlier in this very thread, Brennan decided on the spur of the moment to share classified information from a 3rd party (w/o their permission) with the entire world. That the UK had an agent so undercover he could have affected the success of the underwear bomb.

Renee said...

Brookzene.... Are you sure?

Brookzene said...

"If they won't stop it, we can at least notice that everybody is doing it and stop seeing it as a distinctly liberal or conservative problem."

We do have a real problem and it isn't long before an outside party figures out how to tie us all up into knots so nobody knows what's what or who to believe.

Brookzene said...

"Brookzene.... Are you sure?"

I'm not 100% sure of anything.

Renee said...

Brookzene... I still holding out on the press and keeping an open mind. As of now it seems all about the word choice of the press.

Brookzene said...

Renee I appreciate your principled approach.

Snark said...

Ironically the only solution to crap journalism is probably to pay as much as you can for it anyway.

eric said...

Media yesterday: Trump reveals source of highly classified information to Russia!!

Media today: Hey everyone, the source was Israel BTW. Just an FYI.

Chuck said...

The question is: How does a "lifelong Republican" justify supporting left-wing efforts to delegitimize a duly elected POTUS.

What an ignorant charge. I've never written anything to "delegitimize" Trump's presidency. Let's review:
1. I voted for Trump.
2. I've written that there is no evidence that the Trump electoral win was tainted, or that the Russians swayed the vote, or that the election was in any way illegitimate.
3. I've written, more times than anyone can count, that I don't support any left-wing causes, and I have challenged countless Atlhouse commenters to produce a "lefty" quote from me. I liked most of the Trump cabinet picks and was a huge fan of the one really well-executed initiative of the Trump Administration, which was the nomination and confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch. (Which in turn was orchestrated for Trump by the Federalist Society, and executed for the Administration by Senator Mitch McConnell.) No great credit to Trump, personally.

My complaints about Trump are always all about his own personal stupidity, verbal recklessness, insane Twitter rants, and his general unreliability and psychopathology.

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