Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Donald Trump’s chief strategist and ideologue will be party to all discussions on the White House National Security Council unlike military and intelligence chiefs

The White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, far right, sits alongside the national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump.
The White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, far right, sits alongside the national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The formal inclusion of Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist and ideologue in the small circle of top officials who decide US national security policy, sparked alarm among former officials who described it as an unprecedented politicisation of decisions that could mean the difference between peace and war.

Bannon, a former executive of the rightwing Breitbart news site, will be a permanent fixture of the “principals committee” of the National Security Council (NSC), the White House announced, but said that the director of national intelligence and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff would only attend if the “issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed”.

David Rothkopf, author of a history of the NSC, said the turbulence of Trump’s foreign policy, intricately connected to the deliberative processes that led to it, was already creating a crisis with international reverberations.

“We have an escalation of chaos as a consequence of White House decision-making, made without consultation with the federal bureaucracy, that has no precedent in modern history and now has people taking to the streets in numbers and ways that is evocative of the 1960s,” Rothkopf said.

“It is not an overstatement to say we have a brewing crisis.”

Placing Bannon on the NSC, with his lack of national security experience, was a “radical” step, Rothkopf said, as the former Breitbart media chairman had shown himself to hold “racist, misogynist and Islamophobic” views. His seat on the NSC principals committee was “essentially putting a thumb on the scale of deliberation in the direction of that kind of thinking”.

Trump, Rothkopf said, was building a security apparatus “with the wrong people at the table and the wrong person at the head of the table” – Trump himself.

Foreign governments, seeing the diminished influence of the established pillars of national security decision-making in the US, were likely to begin dealing with Bannon and his cohort directly to secure their influence with Trump, he continued.

The White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, insisted that the composition of the National Security Council’s principals committee under the Trump administrationwas no different than it had been under Bush or Obama and waved sheaves of paper to prove his point as television screens showed highlighted text on either side of him.

He said the chairman of the joint chiefs and the director of national intelligence were welcome to attend, but did not have to if the issues under discussion were not directly part of their brief.

The announcement of Bannon’s national security role came at the end of the Trump administration’s first week in office, during which Bannon was increasingly seen as the most powerful figure in the White House after the president himself, spurring on the issuance of a string of executive orders culminating in the radical immigration ban on travellers and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries.

As more details emerged about the chaotic launch of Trump’s flagship immigration ban, it emerged the White House office of management and budget, responsible for coordinating executive action with the rest of the government, was told not to put the ban through the normal review process with the justice, state, homeland security and defense departments, so it was as surprised as everyone else about the announcement.

The newly confirmed homeland security secretary, John Kelly, was airborne when it took effect on Friday and only discovered the president was signing the order on Friday because an aide he was talking to by phone saw the signature ceremony on television, according to the New York Times.

Although the defense secretary, James Mattis, was standing at Trump’s shoulder at the Pentagon when the order was signed, the defense department was also not consulted on its contents beforehand.

Trump’s choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who is expected to be confirmed in the Senate this week, was also not consulted, according to a source he spoke to at the annual Alfalfa Club dinner in Washington, an event which brings the country’s mega-rich together with top politicians. Tillerson, as a former oil executive, is both.

Tillerson, who will be America’s top diplomat, appeared unruffled by the executive order and by a purge of top career officials at the state department, the source said, but made it clear he had not been consulted on either issue.

He will inherit a department in turmoil, in the wake of the dismissals of top administrative staff and a growing mutiny over the refugee ban among diplomats, who were circulating a draft cable dissenting from the executive order on Monday.

Steve Bannon: his appointment to the NSC was ‘a radical departure from any national security council in history’, according to Senator John McCain.
Steve Bannon: his appointment to the NSC was ‘a radical departure from any National Security Council in history’, according to Senator John McCain. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The elevation of Bannon, who ran a media organisation that offered itself as a platform for the far right and promoted fake news during the election, has alarmed European capitals as he is a fervent opponent of the European Union. It has also provoked unease about how the new administration will take decisions on intelligence and national security issues, among former officials with experience of the way the NSC functions at the heart of Washington.

“What is striking about it is it is such an explicit rejection of the well-entrenched principle that when it comes to matters of national security that politics doesn’t have any place in the room,”

said James Steinberg, former deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration.

“It is a flat rejection of what has been a shared view of Republican and Democratic administrations.”

National security professionals considered Bannon’s placement on the NSC an indicator that the institutional disarray following Trump’s immigration halt would be replicated in future policy decrees.

The leadership of the influential Senate armed services committee appeared stunned and appalled by the Trump White House elevating Bannon and diminishing the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence.

The Senate armed services committee chairman, John McCain, who as recently as Thursday lavished praise on Trump’s security team at a Republican retreat, saidBannon’s appointment was

“a radical departure from any National Security Council in history”.

His Democratic colleague, Jack Reed, called it “outrageous and potentially dangerous” and said Trump was turning the NSC into

“an entity that is without a non-partisan military voice”.

With the senior, non-partisan US military officer or the US intelligence chief absent for critical deliberations, presidents are more likely to stumble into unforced errors with significant global repercussions, said Kori Schake, a defense analyst at the Hoover Institution who has advised McCain and co-edited a book with the defense secretary, Mattis.

“Any president should want their intel and military advisers in on the decisions for the same reason you want a lawyer present: they keep you from making mistakes,” Schake said.

“A president would not, for example, want to find out after issuing an executive order banning immigration from countries fighting alongside us that those countries would reciprocally ban Americans, to great detriment for the war effort.

“Evidently the president’s political advisers lacked the judiciousness to see that coming; the experience it takes to make it to the top of the intelligence or military leadership would easily have been able to call that in advance.”

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser in the last Bush administration, argued that the new administration’s guidelines for the new National Security Council were “not very dissimilar from other orders that other administrations have adopted”.

He said that George W Bush had vetoed the participation of his own closest political adviser to the NSC principals committee, but that the Obama administration had not observed such a distinction between politics and national security. “Karl Rove at one point wanted to participate in the NSC meetings and I ran it by President Bush, who said no. He did not want to suggest in any way that national security decisions are made on domestic politics, which is something that I respect,” Hadley told the Guardian.

“David Axelrod, [who] was President Obama’s political person in the first term, I am told attended a number of NSC meetings. This is something where there is no rule written in stone. Presidents basically make the decisions on who they want at their meetings. You can make a stronger case for Bannon because he is not just political adviser … So I can see why the president would want him at the NSC meetings.”

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A huge swathe of Trump’s voter base are non college educated blue collar workers who he’s enticed and inveigled into his right wing ideology because they have the same limited understanding of political machinations as their new messiah has.
It’s not a personal triumph to vote for a failed (4 times bankrupted) businessman and reality TV Celeb to laud over you, but simply a sign of your lack of education and how you’ve bought into the cult of personality.
It would be a false syllogism to say ‘all republicans are morons; he’s a republican therefore he must be a moron’ this is a fallacy, as I’m sure there must be some republicans out there that are decent, it’s just I’ve yet to meet any.
Tragically, many of his fans don’t have a great deal of education and feel he’s offering them hope to make something out of their pathetic lives but the sad reality is they’re still going to be bottom of the heap whichever demagogue is preaching politics of division at them.
In the meantime, Trump has signed multiple Executive Orders that will have dire consequences for the World’s climate and the environment for many decades to come.
This is a kleptocracy, a Kakistocracy on steroids, and has to be fought every step of the way!
This demagogue is in position as an environmental terrorist who will instigate a deliberate Ecocide to ruin the Earth for generations to come!

Award winning investigative journalist John Pilger nails it – yet again.

This is a superb articlehttp://theduran.com/journalist-film-maker-author-john-pilger-gives-best-description-obamas-presidency-will-ever-hear/

Pilger : Ultimate ambition of hawks in Washington was regime change in Russia

RT’s Rory Suchet asks all the right questions to Pilger…and Pilger does not disappoint (jump to the 12:30 mark to watch Obama’s “legacy” demolished).

“Obama has been one of the most violent presidents. He initiated a worldwide terrorist campaign with Hellfire missiles being fired by drones at so called terrorists…certainly at weddings and funerals…in some of the poorest countries in the world.”

“What I find personally some of the most anxious and almost shameful descriptions are those from so called intellectuals in the west…writers, journalists, people in the liberal establishment who have had all the privilege that they ought to know better, fawning in sycophancy to this man who has done what he was meant to do.”
“He served the power…He was meant to serve.”

 

Trump shocked many but for his own supporters today as his racist, xenophobic, authoritarian, climate-science-denying, misogynistic, “grab-them-by-the-pussy” candidacy somehow carried him to victory, President Elect Of The United States Of America, Donald Trump. How does that sound?

Larger than expected turnout among rural and working-class, white, voters led Trump to outperform polling expectations in almost every battleground state winning; Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which put him over the required 270 electoral votes by early Wednesday morning.

Trump and the “birther movement” accusations were not true in 2011, when he mischievously began to question President Obama’s birthplace aloud in television interviews. “I’m starting to think that he was not born here,” he said at the time.
It was not true in 2012, when he took to Twitter to declare that “an ‘extremely credible source’” had called his office to inform him that Obama’s birth certificate was “a fraud.”
It was not true in 2014, when Trump invited hackers to “please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check ‘place of birth.’”
It was never true, any of it.
Obama’s citizenship was never in question.
No credible evidence ever suggested otherwise.

Yet it took Trump five years of dodging, winking and joking to surrender to reality finally, in September 2016, after a remarkable campaign of relentless deception that tried to undermine the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president.

In fact, it took Trump much longer than that: Obama released his short-form birth certificate from the Hawaii Department of Health in 2008. Most of the world moved on. But not Trump.

He nurtured the conspiracy like a poisonous flower, watering and feeding it with an ardor that still embarrasses many around him. Trump called up like-minded sowers of the same corrosive rumour, asking them for advice on how to take a falsehood and make it mainstream in 2011, as he weighed up his own run for the White House.

What could he do — what he did do — was talk about it, uninhibitedly, on social media, where dark rumours flourish in 140 characters and, inevitably, find a home with those who have no need for facts and whose suspicions can never be allayed. Trumped mused about it on TV at any opportunity, where bright lights and sparse editing ensure that tens of millions can hear unchallenged falsehoods.

“Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate?” Mr. Trump asked on ABC’s “The View.” “I want to see his birth certificate,” he told Fox News’ “On the Record.”

And so it went.

Much has been made of Trump’s casual elasticity with the truth; he has exhausted an army of fact-checkers with his mischaracterisations, exaggerations and fabrications. But this lie was different from the start, an insidious, calculated calumny that sought to undo the embrace of an African-American president by the 69 million voters who elected him in 2008.

Trump, the one-time leader of this racist “birther” movement entered the race calling Mexicans “rapists” and repeatedly refusing to condemn white supremacists

Trump refused to condemn a KKK endorsement or say he didn’t want the support of white supremacists — four times.”I don’t know anything about David Duke. I don’t know what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacist. I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me, or what’s going on?” he said.

and issued policy proposals that seemed unbound by the limits of executive power or basic human decency.

  • Trump promised to;
  • “bomb the shit” out of Middle Eastern countries,
  • kill terrorist’s innocent families,
  • do “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,”
  • and suggested that dipping bullets in pigs’ blood may be sound counterterrorism policy.

Donald Trump repeated his debunked story about General John Pershing shooting Muslims with pig’s blood at a large California rally in April.  The rally preceded violence in Orange County. According to Trump, around the time of the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, Pershing killed 49 Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs blood, and “the fiftieth person, they said, ‘Take this bullet and bring to back to all of the people causing the problem,’” said Trump in Costa Mesa, CA. “And for 42 years they didn’t have a problem.”

The Real Story Behind Donald Trump’s Pig’s Blood Slander – IT IS NOT TRUE!

Trump has a long history of misogyny and belittling women, but after a decade-old tape surfaced of Trump saying he could; “grab [women] by the pussy,” and “if you’re a star, they let you do it,” many were horrified, and numerous women came forward with stories of being victimised by Trump. (http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/trump-tape-“grab-them-pussy-you-can-do-anything”)

Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place….“I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Trump says….“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap opera set. “Your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show….“I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says….“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says….“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
Trump’s excuse is that he’s heard Bill Clinton say a lot worse. Or something… http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/trump-tape-%E2%80%9Cgrab-them-pussy-you-can-do-anything%E2%80%9D

Trump’s election is a particular nightmare-come-alive for American Muslims, his campaign already having incited hundreds of anti-Muslim hate crimes and started a new wave of anti-Muslim bullying in schools.

Trump’s promises to spy on mosques and ban Muslims from entering the country have electrified his base, and served as consistent applause lines throughout his campaign.  Trump’s circle of advisors, surrogates, and political allies include people who brag about spying on mosques and call for “sharia tests” of all American Muslims, under penalty of deportation.

General Michael Flynn, a top national security adviser to Donald Trump and possible Defense Secretary, has tweeted that; “fear of muslims is rational.”

Wide open questions remain as to how Trump would staff his administration, or govern? Trump has flip flopped on hundreds of policy positions, and despite his promise to break the control of Washington by political insiders, his transition team is full of corporate lobbyists and Republican power brokers.
Two places he’s been consistent:

  • His convictions to build a wall on the southern border,
  • and to stand by police when they kill unarmed black men.
America has 5% of the world’s population but has incarcerates 25% of the world’s prisoners. That’s 1 in every 4 prisoners in the World is locked up in an American prison.
This statistic was delivered by Obama at the start of the Award winning documentary 13th (a 2016 multi-award winning documentary by director Ava DuVernay about the American Constitution 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery except as a form of punishment for crime – The full Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads as follows: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.).
They had declined sharply after Obama’s Justice Department announced it would stop using private prisons. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/private-prison-stocks-are-soaring

Political scientists, pollsters and pundits will likely debate for many years how media elites could have been so wrong in predicting an overwhelming Clinton victory.
Political punditry and polls are officially dead.
But in the short term, many communities and minorities groups, from undocumented immigrants to Muslims, suddenly face grave concerns for their rights, safety and security.


Sources:

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/09/the-nightmare-president/

The Real Story Behind Donald Trump’s Pig’s Blood Slander

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/trump-tape-“grab-them-pussy-you-can-do-anything”

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/private-prison-stocks-are-soaring


 

Jeremy Corbyn · 12 hrs ·

Many in Britain and elsewhere will be understandably shocked by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, the rhetoric around it and what the election result means for the rest of the world, as well as America.

Trump’s election is an unmistakable rejection of a political establishment and an economic system that simply isn’t working for most people. It is one that has delivered escalating inequality and stagnating or falling living standards for the majority, both in the US and Britain

This is a rejection of a failed economic consensus and a governing elite that has been seen not to have listened. And the public anger that has propelled Donald Trump to office has been reflected in political upheavals across the world.

But some of Trump’s answers to the big questions facing America, and the divisive rhetoric around them, are clearly wrong.

I have no doubt, however, that the decency and common sense of the American people will prevail, and we send our solidarity to a nation of migrants, innovators and democrats.

After this latest global wake up call, the need for a real alternative to a failed economic and political system could not be clearer.

That alternative must be based on working together, social justice and economic renewal, rather than sowing fear and division. And the solutions we offer have to improve the lives of everyone, not pit one group of people against another.

Americans have made their choice. The urgent necessity is now for us all to work across continents to tackle our common global challenges: to secure peace, take action on climate change and deliver economic prosperity and justice.