Dan Coats is leaving his post as Director of National Intelligence August 15. Trump has nominated “Secret Society” conspiracy theorist John Ratcliffe to succeed Coats, but it’s well known that Ratcliffe faces an extended and contentious confirmation process. That is due to the fact that Ratcliffe, like Trump, is a baldfaced liar. He claims that he was appointed as a “special prosecutor” in 2008 to take down Hamas, by kneecapping their sources of funding. Right. Daily Beast: Ratcliffe was also accused Tuesday of embellishing his record in an anti-terrorism case. ABC News reports that he has repeatedly misrepresented his role in the high-profile case, claiming he had been appointed as a “special prosecutor” in 2008 to help secure convictions for funneling money to Hamas, which is a designated terrorist organization. The congressman, who did serve as a terrorism prosecutor and U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas, has used the Holy Land Foundation conviction to boost his anti-terror credentials, but court records and lawyers involved in the case suggest he had no direct role in the prosecution. A spokesperson for Ratcliffe told ABC News that his involvement in the case was actually in conducting an investigation outside of the court proceedings, but said she could provide no further details “because the investigation did not result in any charges.” Puffery on a resume is never a good sign and certainly not in a case where the job to be filled is one of great sensitivity like Director of National Intelligence. In any event, Rat Boy faces an uphill climb to get confirmed, although he probably will, with the current Senate a bunch of Trump enablers hell bent on political survival no matter what the cost to the nation and it’s institutions. But in the meantime, somebody has to fill Coat’s shoes as placeholder. That would normally fall to the Principle Deputy Director of Intelligence, in this case Sue Gordon, who is greatly respected in the intelligence community, and on Capital Hill, based upon her decades of service. However, she has one fatal flaw, insofar as this administration is concerned: she’s not a MAGAt, and so Trump is looking to do an end run around the professional and install one of his own yes men, per usual. Daily Beast: That may not be as easy as it sounds. As Bobby Chesney of the University of Texas School of Law detailed at Lawfare, the law indicates that if both the DNI post and the post Gordon currently holds are vacant, then the president could choose from a fairly wide pool of people to take Gordon’s post and, therefore, become acting DNI. [Gordan is not stepping down.] That includes any senate-confirmed officials in the executive branch, and any senior employee who’s been at ODNI for 90 days or more—in other words, anyone on the list the White House just requested from ODNI. […] This disquiet is the latest episode of the president’s long-simmering feud with the Intelligence Community. During Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, he often fumed on Twitter about the so-called “Deep State.” And he even singled out his own officials. On Jan. 29 of this year, Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel told Congress in an open hearing that Iran was complying with the nuclear deal and that North Korea was still […]
Job terminations in Trump world follow a predictable pattern. First, Trump gripes about how “disloyal” the person is, (disloyality is the one and only unforgivable sin), which gins up the rumor mill that another firing is in the works. Then, Trump goes out of his way to validate the person in question, and indeed the intended firee usually claims how totally happy s/he is in his or her position, and anything to the contrary is fake news. John Kelly was the poster child for this proposition. Next, comes innuendo, like “I think he sounds like a Democrat,” and “this is Washington, everybody leaves,” said with respect to James Mattis. Then boom, down comes the butter knife of Damocles. Right now, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats is at phase one. Washington Post: In venting his anger at Coats, the president was following a familiar pattern that precedes his dismissal of Cabinet officials. Trump often grouses about disloyalty with the understanding that his interlocutors will speak to reporters, thereby putting the offending official on notice that their days are numbered. Trump is still “enraged” about Coats’s congressional testimony on national security threats last month, believing that the director undercut the president’s authority when he shared intelligence assessments about Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State that are at odds with many of Trump’s public statements, said one adviser who spoke with the president over the weekend. Trump had seemed to put the episode behind him and claimed shortly after the hearing that Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel told him they’d been “misquoted” in their comments at the televised hearing. But privately, the president has continued to fume, and this weekend he told the adviser that Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, is “not loyal” and “he’s not on the team.” “Not on the team,” is pretty much the same thing as “sounds like a Democrat.” However, another way to look at this situation, is that it’s a miracle that Coats has lasted this long. He certainly didn’t endear himself to Trump last July at the Aspen Security Forum, when a reporter asked Coats about the fact that Trump had just invited Vladimir Putin to the White House — a matter of which Coats knew nothing. His response, “Okaaaaay — that’s going to be special,” caused the room to erupt in laughter and the internet to explode. Trump was purportedly livid at that, accusing Coats of humiliating him in a room of important people. So far there have been 42 major firings or resignations, starting with Mike Flynn and ending with Raj Shah in December. Here’s a link to read the chart above in legible form. Needless to say, it’s described by that tired old workhorse of a word, “unprecedented.” Poor unprecedented. That word is going to drop in it’s traces from exhaustion before this administration is over. To receive articles of mine not published elsewhere become a patron on Patreon. Please follow me on Twitter @ursulafaw56
Sometimes people in Washington get it plain wrong!
If conservatives support police killing citizens without justification, climate denial, fact denial, science denial, racist and misogynistic behavior, or a litany of other absurd points of view about numerous important issues, we call them out.