Trump Spills Classified Info to Russians
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Vol. 6, No.127
Leaker-in-Chief: In a report that might drown out every other uproar over President Trump, The Washington Post broke a story that says the president revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, endangering a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.
Sources told the Post that White House aides immediately called the CIA and National Security Agency to warn them about what Trump did. Some reports say Trump went off his planned discussions and just blabbed.
Trump tweeted this morning, “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. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.”
The information about bombs in laptop computers came from a US ally and was considered so sensitive it has been withheld from other friendly countries. The Post says the country that developed the information did not grant permission to share it with Russia and that Trump’s action jeopardizes the relationship with an ally that has inside information on the Islamic State.
Remember that Trump ran for president calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed for handling national security matters with her private email.
Presenting the administration’s denial, National Security Adviser HR McMaster said, “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” That sounds good, but it’s a non-denial denial. It doesn’t deny that what Trump said might have given the Russians enough information to trace it to its source.
Day in Court: A three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave the government a grilling yesterday on President Trump’s immigration and travel ban. The original order banned travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Judge Michael Hawkins bored right in asking, “Has the president ever disavowed his campaign statements? Has he ever stood up and said before I said I want to ban all members of the Islamic faith from entering the unites states, ‘I was wrong? I consulted with lawyers. I’m not addressing simply security needs?’ Has he ever said anything approaching that?”
Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall cited legal briefs hedging Trump’s campaign promises, but in his arguments Hawaii Attorney General Neal Katyal, said, “The truth is, there is no such statement.”
Voter ID: The Supreme Court decided to leave in place a lower-court ruling throwing out South Carolina’s voter identification law that said the law targeted “African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” In several cases, laws passed in the name of eliminating voter fraud have been found to have the actual intent of suppressing minority voting.
By the Numbers: A whopping 78 percent of Americans want a special prosecutor to take charge of the Russia investigation, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Forty-six percent of the sample told pollsters they believe President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to hamper the investigation of Russian influence on the US election.
Permawar: In a report titled “Human Slaughterhouse,” Amnesty International says that as many as 13,000 people have been tortured and executed at Syria’s Saydnaya prison since 2011. The report says prisoners are removed from their cells in the middle of the night under the pretext of being transferred and may not know they are being hanged until they feel the noose. Amnesty, which says the bodies are cremated, says the mass murder is part of a hidden campaign to exterminate dissenters.
Ransomware: US intelligence and cyber security experts say the footprints from the worldwide Ransomware attack lead back to North Korean hackers.
The Obit Page: Hollywood power player Brad Grey, who was the man behind many television and film titles, has died of cancer at age 59. Grey was forced out as Chairman of Paramount only in January after a string of film flops.
Grey was behind the development of “The Sopranos,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and the Oscar-winning movie “The Departed” that starred Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Grey came off as quiet and shy, but he was a tough and shrewd operator in a rough business.
The Science Section: A stunningly lifelike fossil of an 18-foot-long dinosaur has gone on exhibit at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada. The armored “nodosaur” has an alligator-like head and spiky armoring along its body. The creature was found intact in 2011 buried in Canadian oil sands. Over millions of years, minerals replaced the nodosaur’s armor and skin, preserving it in nearly lifelike form.