Friday, March 31, 2017

Is Trump thinking about quitting?

Maybe I should have taken that bet.  Two sources I consider to be of dubious stature -- Palmer Report and Inquisitir -- are reporting exactly that as of last night, in ongoing fallout from Michael Flynn's implosion, his latest act of desperation being an offer to testify under immunity from prosecution.  First, from the Hillbot blog that almost never links to anything except Twitter.

Now that Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser is offering to testify in Trump’s Russia scandal in exchange for immunity, it significantly narrows the path for Trump managing to survive the scandal himself. Flynn is essentially admitting he’s guilty just by asking for immunity, and such a deal will only be granted if Flynn can take down a bigger fish; that fish would be Trump. So it doesn’t come as a total shock to see a credible report tonight that Donald Trump is considering resigning.

Go ahead, give the guy the click.  He mentioned 'big fish' and baited the hook for you.

Here's the excerpt from Jared Kushner's shop, which occasionally forgets to run some kinda big deal past its publisher.

Donald Trump is reportedly considering resigning the presidency after reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has offered to testify about allegations that the Trump campaign worked with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

To review:

There have been reports circulating for months that Trump was working closely with Russian intelligence officials, and the allegations were laid out in a dossier compiled by a former British MI6 agent. The report claimed that Russian officials had worked for many years to cultivate Donald Trump as a candidate, compiling embarrassing information to use as blackmail while also offering lucrative financial deals for Trump. The dossier alleged that Trump struck a deal to lessen sanctions on Russia in exchange for help taking down Hillary Clinton.

That help allegedly came in the form of emails from Clinton’s campaign leader and the Democratic National Committee, stolen by Russian hackers and published through WikiLeaks.

Flynn had already been taking (sic) down for his connections to Russia. The national security adviser served just three weeks before resigning for reportedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence about contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

Yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, with Clinton Watts as the spotlight dancer, set ablaze the New Cold War paranoia again.  Let's read Newscorpse for the scary details.

Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. The former FBI agent was called to give testimony about the unfolding allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump. His testimony addressed many of the most troubling aspects of Trump’s unsavory connections to Russia during the 2016 election.

After his testimony, Watts was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN. He affirmed much of what he told the committee and described the objectives of the Russian operatives. Watts was straight forward with this assessment of the situation:

Blitzer: What was Putin’s objective in all of this?

Watts: The ultimate objective is to destroy democracies from the inside out. What he wants to do is erode trust and sow divisions in the U.S. electorate.

Watts went on to say that intelligence operatives saw hacks and leaks that were “synchronized” with the Trump campaign. “That tends to lead to the belief that there was coordination,” he said. He also spoke about the “trail of dead Russians” that could lead to the confirmation of allegations raised by the infamous “Trump dossier.

This is about as close as any witness has come to asserting a direct relationship between Trump’s campaign and the Russians. The CIA has already confirmed that Russian operatives were working to help Trump get elected and to hurt Hillary Clinton. The risks facing Watts for his testimony were on his mind during the Senate hearings. He told Blitzer that:

“If I speak today, my bank account could be compromised, I could be discredited through compromising materials, some true some false, but I think the biggest concern is I’m not confident right now that the U.S. government would actually come to bat for me. I’ve seen President Trump call for Russia to leak emails against a political opponent, I’ve seen him discredit the U.S. intelligence community to cite conspiracies that he’s seen on his Twitter feed.

“So, if I say things that the Trump administration doesn’t like or that is counter to Putin, I’m not sure it’s not Trump first, Russia second and the rest of America third.”

That description of Trump’s loyalties should send chills down the spine of every American. Watts’ career has put him in dangerous positions around the world. He is no shrinking violet. But his doubts amount to an indictment of Trump’s patriotism. Watts added that the Trump White House could not be relied on for anything but its own self-interests. “They will push falsehoods to achieve political objectives,” he said, “before they will push the truth for the American people.”

That has been borne out many times as Trump and his spokespersons disseminate “alternative facts” and cast false accusations at critics and the press. It is part of a grand strategy to discredit anyone who dares to find fault with the president. But as the Russian scandals compound, Trump is finding it increasingly more difficult to defend himself and his cohorts.

This Daily Kos diarist also passes along a Tweet from someone named West Wing Reports that former RNC chief Michael Steele is telling him/her "at lunch that Trump will not finish his term; advises clients to bolster ties w/VP Pence".

Let's establish that Trump is precisely the sort of petty, hyper-aggressive bully that would take his ball and go home if everybody won't stop being mean to him.  But I am only able to give veracity to these accounts after the fact; if indeed Trump quits the presidency sooner than later.  Until that comes into reality, I'm popping corn and watching and reading along with you.

1 comment:

Harry Hamid said...

Oh, don't tease us like this!

This is a great article to start the weekend with. I'd get up and dance except I just remembered who the Vice President is.