US Politics



  • A good timeline of events, taken from...https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/02/flynn-resigns-timeline/516594/

    November 8, 2016: Donald Trump is elected the 45th president of the United States. Flynn, a former Army general who was an early and ardent supporter of the Republican nominee, is expected to get a senior position in the Trump White House.

    November 18: Trump names Flynn as his national-security adviser.

    December 29: President Obama announced measures, including sanctions, on Russia for its interference in the U.S. election. The sanctions are in addition to those imposed on Moscow following its invasion in 2014 of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Flynn and Kislyak speak that day, The Washington Post reports, citing a Trump transition official. The official says sanctions weren’t discussed. Additionally, CNN reports the Russian ambassador texted Flynn on December 28.

    December 30: Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow will not retaliate. The Post says that prompted U.S. intelligence analysts to look for reasons why Putin declined to impose his own measures against the U.S. They found, the newspaper reported, Kislyak’s communications, including the phone call, with Flynn. Sally Yates, then the deputy attorney general, found Flynn’s comments in the call “highly significant,” the Post reported.

    January 12: David Ignatius, the Post columnist, wrote that Flynn and Kislyak spoke several times on December 29, the day the sanctions were announced. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” Ignatius wrote. He added a Trump transition official told him the calls, which occurred before the U.S. sanctions were announced, did not cover that topic. Ignatius added:

    This official later added that Flynn’s initial call was to express condolences to Kislyak after the terrorist killing of the Russian ambassador to Ankara Dec. 19, and that Flynn made a second call Dec. 28 to express condolences for the shoot-down of a Russian plane carrying a choir to Syria. In that second call, Flynn also discussed plans for a Trump-Putin conversation sometime after the inauguration. In addition, a second Trump official said the Dec. 28 call included an invitation from Kislyak for a Trump administration official to visit Kazakhstan for a conference in late January.
    January 13: Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, told reporters in a conference call that Flynn and Kislyak only discussed a post-inauguration call between Trump and Putin. “That was it, plain and simple,” he said.

    January 15: Pence, on CBS’s Face the Nation, said Flynn “did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”

    January 19: Yates, the deputy attorney general, and senior intelligence officials debated what to do with the information they had on Flynn. The Post reported that FBI Director James Comey argued against notifying Trump administration officials of the communications.

    January 20: Trump was inaugurated; Flynn officially became national-security adviser.

    January 23: Spicer told reporters he spoke with Flynn about the issue the previous night (January 22). He said Flynn and the Russian envoy spoke once. They discussed, he said, the Russian plane crash, the Syrian civil war, Christmas, and a call between their two leaders. Yates raised the issue again with Comey, who the Post said dropped his initial opposition to briefing the administration.

    January 26: Yates briefed Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, about the conversation, Spicer said Tuesday. (The FBI interviewed Flynn immediately prior to this briefing, the Times reported Tuesday, but it’s unclear what date that interview occurred. The Times added the bureau believes Flynn wasn’t completely forthcoming during the interview.) The Post reported earlier Tuesday that Yates told McGahn that Flynn had misled Pence and others about the content of his conversations with Kislyak. Flynn, Yates reportedly said, was consequently vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Spicer said McGahn immediately briefed Trump and other senior officials. Trump ordered McGahn to look into whether there was a legal issue, Spicer said. After several days, Spicer said, McGahn concluded there was none. Spicer said the nature of the conversation between Flynn and the Russian envoy was not unusual, but “the president [then] evaluated the trust issue” and concluded there had been an erosion of trust. Explaining the time difference between the time Trump was briefed and the time Flynn resigned, Spicer said he didn’t understand how that was “due process.” Yates, he said, “didn’t come in and say there was an issue. She said, ‘Wanted to give you a heads-up there may be information.’ She could not confirm there was an investigation.”

    February 7 and 8: Flynn told the Post he did not discuss the sanctions with Kislyak. A day later, his spokesman told the Post the national security adviser “couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

    February 9: NBC News reported Tuesday Pence was only informed of the Justice Department’s warning about Flynn 15 days after Trump and others were told.

    February 10: An unnamed Trump administration official told the Post Pence either misspoke or was misled by Flynn. Further, The New York Times reported that transcripts existed of the conversation. While the alleged content of the conversations was a likely breach of protocol during a presidential transition—and could be a breach of the law—it’s unlikely to lead to any charges against Flynn.

    February 11 and 12: When asked about it en route to Mar-a-Lago, Trump replied he was unaware of the controversy. Spicer said Trump was referring only to the Post’s article on the conversation. Here’s the exchange that took place:

    View image on Twitter
    View image on Twitter
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    Dan Merica ✔ @danmericaCNN
    Here is Trump's Air Force One exchange where POTUS says he didn't know about reports re: Flynn and Russian sanctions. (h/t @gregorywallace)
    6:45 PM - 14 Feb 2017
    81 81 Retweets 85 85 likes
    Still, Flynn went to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida retreat, with the president and the Japanese prime minister. He appeared to enjoy Trump’s confidence, and even huddled with the president when news broke of North Korea’s missile launch. Still, there was no public word from Trump over the reports about his national-security adviser.

    February 13: Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s counselor, said on MSNBC Flynn enjoyed the president’s confidence. Hours later, Flynn resigned.

    February 14: Conway said it was Flynn’s decision to resign; Spicer said Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation.



  • In regard to these anonymous sources making claims to the NY Times of Trump's campaign and Russia etc, I think it is in everyone's best interest that the evidence be fully published so everyone can see it. I trust the actual evidence will be forthcoming.

    At this point, the NYTimes says - there is "no evidence" that “Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”



  • @Frank said in US Politics:

    At this point, the NYTimes says - there is "no evidence" that “Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”

    Here's the link

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html?_r=0

    The title of which is "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence"

    Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

    American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

    The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

    But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.

    The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

    Read the last bit.



  • This is dirty politics on steroids.. And I am amazed anyone is remotely supporting it.

    Just step back and forget partisanship. Do you really want this sort of thing to become normal? Can you imagine the private conversations that all politicians have?
    It is a big towards a police state.



  • @Crucial

    Cheers. Good to have the actual truth re the validity of recording it. Backed up & everything!

    So now we have recording Flynn 100% legal & not even in a grey area, let alone dodgy.
    Leaks cannot be directly sourced as its an ongoing (criminal) investigation.

    What else we got?



  • @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in US Politics:

    This is dirty politics on steroids.. And I am amazed anyone is remotely supporting it.

    Just step back and forget partisanship. Do you really want this sort of thing to become normal? Can you imagine the private conversations that all politicians have?
    It is a big towards a police state.

    Flynn wasn't a polititian, he was an ex spook working on a political campaign talking directly to the Russians. You honestly want ex spooks representing major political parties being off limits when talking to direct adversaries of the US?

    OK, flip that. Hillary runs again, Jake Sullivan talks to the Iranian ambassador. That should not be monitored by the NSA?

    And this isn't in isolation. Manafort & Page already got fired this. Russia hacked the DNC & leaked it. If the NSA wasn't all over this it'd be an outrage.



  • @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in US Politics:

    This is dirty politics on steroids.. And I am amazed anyone is remotely supporting it.

    Just step back and forget partisanship. Do you really want this sort of thing to become normal? Can you imagine the private conversations that all politicians have?
    It is a big towards a police state.

    Who is supporting it?
    I think the EO of Reagan's is quite extreme but I think most countries have something similar within legislation regarding counterintelligence and monitoring current and ex employees. I was merely pointing out the legality as there were adamant and incorrect statements on here to the contrary.

    Where has anyone said politicians private conversations are fair game?

    I agree that the leaks from the WH and other govt branches are getting way out of hand but some of the blame for that has to rest on the administration's propensity for promoting lies in contrary to advice they have received and trying to shut down anything and everything negative. This administration simply does not have their (White) house in order.



  • I suspect that the media is going to really go strong on this story and anything associated with it. They even seem to have given up highlighting Trump's outright 'small' lies while they concentrate on this.
    Anyone see the press conference with Trudeau?

    This is what Trump declared without any factual backup.

    "Q: Good afternoon, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. And Mr. Prime Minister, could you answer in English and French for us, please?

    A little bit of a followup on my American colleague's question. President Trump, you seem to suggest that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse for potential terrorism, while the prime minister hugs refugees and welcomes them with open arms. So I'd like to know, are you confident the northern border is secure?

    Trump: You can never be totally confident. But through the incredible efforts — already I see it happening — of former general Kelly, now Secretary Kelly, we have really done a great job. We're actually taking people that are criminals — very, very hardened criminals in some cases, with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems — and we're getting them out. And that's what I said I would do. I'm just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large electoral college vote.

    And I knew that was going to happen. I knew this is what people were wanting. And that wasn't the only reason, that wasn't my only thing that we did so well on. But that was something was very important. And I said we will get the criminals out, the drug lords, the gang members. We're getting them out.

    General Kelly, who is sitting right here, is doing a fantastic job. And I said at the beginning we are going to get the bad ones — the really bad ones. We're getting them out. And that's exactly what we're doing.

    I think that, in the end, everyone is going to be extremely happy. And I will tell you right now, a lot of people are very, very happy right now."

    I'm not even sure he was answering the question about refugees being trojan horses but if he was he is saying that the current refugee program has allowed entry to criminals, gang members, drug lords, and ' very, very hardened criminals in some cases, with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems'



  • @Kirwan said in US Politics:

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in US Politics:

    @JC said in US Politics:

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback Didn't I read that the wiretap was on the Russian ambassador, not on Flynn? I'd have thought they'd at least attempt to tap every single communication with the Russians that they can, not just official ones.

    Edit - sorry, Crucial was way ahead of me. Ignore me.

    So? It is still illegal to wiretap a US citizen without going through legal channels.

    That boat sailed under Obama. The infrastructure they setup over the past decade makes the recent 1984 bleating seem far too late.

    Been watching a doco on SBS. "The United State of Secrets". That boat sailed under GWB.



  • @booboo said in US Politics:

    @Kirwan said in US Politics:

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in US Politics:

    @JC said in US Politics:

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback Didn't I read that the wiretap was on the Russian ambassador, not on Flynn? I'd have thought they'd at least attempt to tap every single communication with the Russians that they can, not just official ones.

    Edit - sorry, Crucial was way ahead of me. Ignore me.

    So? It is still illegal to wiretap a US citizen without going through legal channels.

    That boat sailed under Obama. The infrastructure they setup over the past decade makes the recent 1984 bleating seem far too late.

    Been watching a doco on SBS. "The United State of Secrets". That boat sailed under GWB.

    That EO goes back to Reagan. The usage of it has probably been stretched further and further by each successive administration.



  • @booboo said in US Politics:

    Been watching a doco on SBS. "The United State of Secrets". That boat sailed under GWB.

    Patriot Act (Bush) was a greenlight to do virtually anything if you cited Islamic terror. Still is. And its ramping up -

    https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/give-us-your-passwords/516315/

    “What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords.”

    That’s what U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wants foreign visitors to hear before they’re allowed to enter the United States. “If they don’t want to give us that information, then they don’t come,” he said, while testifying in front of the House Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

    The suggestion was met with horror among privacy advocates. “With that kind of access, they can not only see what you’ve publicly posted, but things you haven't posted yet, private messages, private lists, they can impersonate you, and even do these things on accident,” wrote Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, on his website. “This kind of access is profoundly invasive.”

    @Crucial

    I agree that the leaks from the WH and other govt branches are getting way out of hand but some of the blame for that has to rest on the administration's propensity for promoting lies in contrary to advice they have received and trying to shut down anything and everything negative. This administration simply does not have their (White) house in order.

    The issue with the leaks for me is you have people in the White House actually doing what, under any normal circumstances, would be framed as at worst treason at best a firing offense. And nothing is done. So if you are pretty straight laced you either aide & abet that. Or you leak. And you have a very receptive intelligence setup that is being ignored & tweeted at. Ditto media.

    And, most of all, there is actual wrong doing there. Thats the bizare thing, no one is even having to hype this up.



  • @gollum are you referring to the leakers or the administration, or both?



  • The right of request for password access at borders is completely impractical.
    People carry work devices with them all the time (or personal devices with work access) and have signed contracts saying they will not allow access to this info.
    Govt employees for example have encrypted access apps that they simply will not open for anyone else without clearance.
    Given that you have to pass US border control even if just changing planes at a US hub airport this would cause absolute chaos.



  • @Crucial said in US Politics:

    The right of request for password access at borders is completely impractical.
    People carry work devices with them all the time (or personal devices with work access) and have signed contracts saying they will not allow access to this info.
    Govt employees for example have encrypted access apps that they simply will not open for anyone else without clearance.
    Given that you have to pass US border control even if just changing planes at a US hub airport this would cause absolute chaos.

    http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/12/14583124/nasa-sidd-bikkannavar-detained-cbp-phone-search-trump-travel-ban

    Two weeks ago, Sidd Bikkannavar flew back into the United States after spending a few weeks abroad in South America. An employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Bikkannavar had been on a personal trip, pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. He had recently joined a Chilean team, and spent the last weeks of January at a race in Patagonia.

    Bikkannavar is a seasoned international traveler — but his return home to the US this time around was anything but routine. Bikkannavar left for South America on January 15th, under the Obama administration. He flew back from Santiago, Chile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on Monday, January 30th, just over a week into the Trump administration.

    Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn’t supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar’s phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn’t know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device.*



  • @Crucial said in US Politics:

    @gollum are you referring to the leakers or the administration, or both?

    Leakers. Look at Sally Yates. She gets bi-passed to allow an illegal order to go out. She then does her job by saying "thats not legal". She also calls Flynn as a massive issue 2 weeks ago. Ignored & then fired. And smeared on the way out. Would it be a shock if her department leaked? If you were in the DOJ & actually cared about US security & you knew the detail re Flynn don't you.. sort of, have a direct duty to leak?

    The leaks re Trump in his bathrobe, those are just political digs. They have come out of every white house ever. There were a huge number of leaks re Hillary in Bills first term as she tried to be second president & it pissed a lot of lifers off. Ditto Nancy Regan. The White House travel shake up under the Clintons leaked like thing that leaks a lot.

    The leaks re potential treason, illegal acts, impeachable offences are not normal. Because most administrations do not have the likes of Flynn or Bannon at the core.



  • I think a good argument could be put up that the leakers are acting treasonably themselves but thanks for making your point clear



  • @gollum
    I said "At this point..." in my post.



  • @Crucial said in US Politics:

    I think a good argument could be put up that the leakers are acting treasonably themselves but thanks for making your point clear

    Yep, for me it depends what they leak. If I leak that Trump thinks Teresa May is dumb, thats treason, if I leak that Flynn was videoed by the Russians t-bagging a hooker & yet is still attending top secret briefings I'm actively doing my job as a government official defending the US as he is clearly compromised & should not be anywhere near anything sensitive.



  • @Frank said in US Politics:

    @gollum
    I said "At this point..." in my post.

    Yep, but you said all the evidence should be released. The very article you quoted explicitly explained why that was not possible



  • @gollum said in US Politics:

    @Crucial said in US Politics:

    I think a good argument could be put up that the leakers are acting treasonably themselves but thanks for making your point clear

    Yep, for me it depends what they leak. If I leak that Trump thinks Teresa May is dumb, thats treason, if I leak that Flynn was videoed by the Russians t-bagging a hooker & yet is still attending top secret briefings I'm actively doing my job as a government official defending the US as he is clearly compromised & should not be anywhere near anything sensitive.

    The big difference though is not whether it could be defended in court but whether it would be taken to court in the first place.


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