United States update (where to begin?)

There’s a lot going on in US politics around the Mueller inquiry and FBI investigations.

Fox news: FBI Fires Peter Strzok

FBI official Peter Strzok, who played a lead role in both the Russian meddling and Hillary Clinton email probes but became a political lightning rod after the revelation of anti-Trump text messages, has been fired.

Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement Monday that his client, a 21-year FBI veteran, was fired Friday afternoon, claiming this was a departure from standard practice and politically motivated. Goelman said bureau Deputy Director David Bowdich “overruled” the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility to remove him.

“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” the attorney said.

President Trump and his allies for months, though, have hammered the former FBI agent and cast him as the poster child for anti-Trump bias within the bureau and Justice Department.

Trump followed up implying he had done the firing:

New York Times: President Escalates Criticism of AG Sessions, Calling Him ‘Scared Stiff’

Mr. Trump’s latest broadside included some of his harshest language yet against Mr. Sessions, whom the president begrudges for recusing himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in 2016.

Washington Examiner: Nunes: Clinton Camp Colluded With ‘Nearly Every’ Top DOJ/FBI Official

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes declared Sunday that Hillary Clinton’s campaign “colluded” with nearly every top official in the Justice Department and FBI.

Nunes, R-Calif., blamed the media for largely ignoring the revelations surrounding the origins of the federal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and stressing that the American people “need to know it” called for the declassification of “an unprecedented amount of information.”

RealClear Politics: Graham: FBI/DOJ Investigations Against Trump Corrupt To The Core

Sen. Lindsey Graham calls for a second special counsel to investigate the crimes committed by prior investigations into President Trump.

“The criminal investigation of the Clinton campaign was a joke. When it came to the Trump campaign, it was corrupt, it was biased and I think unethical,” Graham said. “These investigations against Trump were corrupt at the core.”

Politico: Omarosa: Trump’s Mentally Declined

Former White House official Omarosa Manigault Newman on Sunday said top administration officials are deceiving the country about President Donald Trump’s mental state and accused White House chief of staff John Kelly of threatening her when she was fired.

“I was complicit with this White House in deceiving this nation,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.“ “They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is, about how difficult it is for him to process complex information, how he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impacts our country.”

Manigault Newman, who is promoting her new book, also provided a tape to NBC of a conversation between her and Kelly, which she claimed was a recording of her firing in the White House Situation Room. She left the White House in December 2017.

Manigault Newman said it was “obvious” that the reference to her reputation was “a threat.” “He goes on to say that, ‘things can get ugly for you,’” she said. “That’s downright criminal.”

The release of the recording has created a stir.

CNBC: Trump Fights Back, Launches Twitter Attack on ‘Wacky’ Omarosa

  • Trump attacks Omarosa Manigault Newman on Twitter shortly after the former White House aide revealed that she had surreptitiously taped the president in 2017.
  • Earlier Monday, NBC’s “Today” played a recording that appeared to show Trump getting caught off guard by the news of her firing in December.

The whole situation in the US looks wacky, with Wacko in Chief Trump leading the charges.

66 Comments

  1. David

     /  August 14, 2018

    Employing Omarosa was such a dumb thing to do, crazy decision and it took Kelly to finally getting round to firing her.
    Good to see Stzork gone and I would imagine a very pleasing result for the rank and file agents who are having their reputations smashed because of his behaviour and his performance giving testimony, smarmy git.
    Bruce Orr needs to be the next to go and probably needs to be charged to boot.

    • MaureenW

       /  August 14, 2018

      They’re just getting around to Bruce Ohr now, shouldn’t be long before he’s thrown out too.

      • Not getting around to Trump yet, but he keeps trying to interfere in judicial processes which is highly questionable behaviour from a president.

        • MaureenW

           /  August 14, 2018

          Which processes are you referring to Pete?

        • David

           /  August 14, 2018

          The President cant interfere because he is the executive he can literally shut it down himself or he can fire Rosenstein and Sessions and appoint a new AG and control the investigation that way and it would all be totally legal.
          He can also declassify all the documents demanded by Congress but hasnt due to not wanting to be seen to interfere in the investigation. I know he has a million faults and flaws but firing off a few tweets aimed solely at his base his hardly a capital crime for a politician.
          He is cleared of collusion and all they have is obstruction of justice which he cant be charged with because he can direct his justice department however he wants.
          Trump knows they have nothing but the investigation is great politics for him and the longer it goes on the more it plays to his base, Rudy is playing his part beautifully.

          • Griff.

             /  August 14, 2018

            He is cleared of collusion

            How many times have you made that claim now despite not having any idea of what Muller has evidence of?
            Trump will not be cleared until Muller finish’s the investigation.
            Saying so before then is Trump Derangement Syndrome .
            Trump is not above the law.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  August 14, 2018

              David still hasn’t realised that collusion is spelled c.r.i.m.i.n.a.l. c.o.n.s.p.i.r.a.c.y. in the US and trump sure ain’t been cleared of criminal conspiracy.

              Point is he and his fellow swamp-creatures look more guilty with each new revelation.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 14, 2018

              Griff, I fear that he IS above the law.

      • MaureenW

         /  August 14, 2018

        False stories shared by Fusion GPS Founder Glen Simpson, with Bruce Ohr ..
        http://www.dailycaller.com/2018/08/13/bruce-ohr-glenn-simpson-nra/

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  August 14, 2018

          you really love those fake news/conspiracy theory websites, Maureen.

          • MaureenW

             /  August 14, 2018

            Whatever you say Joe. If you didn’t see it on CNN it didn’t happen right?

            • Griff.

               /  August 14, 2018

              The daily caller is a whacko right wing blogshite.
              Extreme bias and wingnuttery .
              On the side bar..
              Bermuda Triangle explorer finds ‘alien craft’ using maps made by NA…
              Really… thats the content on your news source?
              You will be linking to Prison planet and zerohedge next .

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              It seems everything not to your liking is whacko or right wing or alt-right or nazi or kkk. These are now everyday terms used in comments on this blog by people like yourself.

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              @Griff. Bugger, I didn’t get the alien story, what happened? I wonder if only you saw it due to your internet browsing history?

            • Griff.

               /  August 14, 2018

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              That’s it? Only a nazi helmet? Could of had him in a burka – that would have been funny.

            • Griff.

               /  August 14, 2018

              I think the reference may have gone over your head /I see nothing ..nothing.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  August 14, 2018

      Omarosa may be a self-promoter (like trump) and a frequent liar (like trump). Nevertheless, to listen to that link of her speaking extemporaneously this morning makes one thing very clear: She is articulate as hell! And that suggest she’s got far better intellectual equipment than trump. She was certainly way out of her league to be a White House advisor. But trump is much further out of his league as the White House ‘resident,’ who employed her.

      The most important question is not whether she broke the law or violated national security by taping her firing by John Kelly. That she could do it is simply an expression of the incompetent processes used for everything this White House does.

      Her taping does not implicate the Situation Room as a SCIF. It implicates Kelly’s shitty communications security protocols.

      It implicates Kelly for having taken her into what became a locked room – a closet devoid of people other than lawyers for Kelly. He isolated and virtually imprisoned her in a soundproof room to announce her “non-negotiable” firing and to extort her silence. That’s the story.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 14, 2018

        Most firings are non-negotiable, Joe. They are also usually conducted in private. Squirrel?

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  August 14, 2018

          Get a grip troll. Most firings are done in the HR department, not in the Situation Room.

          Who believes that trump really didn’t know about Kelly firing Omarosa ahead of time? That would make Kelly a fool as well as an abusive extortionate manager.

          And who believes trump is lying like a flat fish to her to avoid accountability for firing her like a trump apprentice?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 14, 2018

            Tripe, Joe. Kelly did the firings, multiple, not HR. Why should Trump care if he or Kelly is responsible for firing her. They obviously had good cause to doubt her integrity.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  August 14, 2018

              And she obviously had good cause to doubt theirs.

              Face it, Rosebud, there are no winners when the cannibals start eating their own.

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              I think Joe’s got a crush on you .. Rosebud, Honey .. this might turn into a thing.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 14, 2018

              A sweetie, Maureen, isn’t she?

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              “Rosebud” is a bit concerning.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  August 14, 2018

        So is trump clueless or a coward?

        If he knew Kelly was going to fire Manigault Newman, but lied about it to her, then trump’s a coward

        If he genuinely didn’t know Kelly was going to fire her, then trump is clueless.

        Clueless, or cowardly? Those are the only options, and neither’s particularly presidential.

        • MaureenW

           /  August 14, 2018

          It’s called diplomacy – as opposed to lead-footed honesty. Widely practiced I believe. Not defending it, just saying.

        • Griff.

           /  August 14, 2018

          You forgot the third and most likely judging by his behavour.
          Trump is clinically insane .

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 14, 2018

    Amazing Strzok lasted so long but I am sure Trumpy is pleased that he did.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 14, 2018

    Strzok’s firing looks like Fox, and therefore trump, needed a scalp, both to appease trump’s growing desperation and anger and to give him something to campaign on this November.

    More importantly, it’s part of the overall strategy of tearing down the FBI and its parent agency, the DoJ, and their investigation into how Russia helped elect him to the presidency.

    Plus, nothing entirely satisfies trump more than publicly and humiliatingly firing someone who doesn’t deserve it. (The OPR recommended 60 day suspension and demotion in rank. The Bureau’s depty director overruled the recommendation, no doubt on Wray’s order.) If trump smoked, he’d be lighting one up about now.

    Bowdich and Wray take a hit for this. They are toast as far as rank and file are concerned. All part of destroying the FBI’s morale and the government’s power to investigate the great and powerful wizard of trump.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 14, 2018

      Fatuous drivel. Strzok is held in contempt by the FBI rank and file. Like the other Obama operatives already fired and squealing like stuck pigs.

      • David

         /  August 14, 2018

        I am sure one would have loads of confidence if Stzrok was the lead investigator into anything given his extreme bias. I would have fired him for having the time to spend 36000 text messages on his work phone to his lover who didnt want Trump elected.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  August 14, 2018

      It would be interesting if it were published by a credible source.

      True Pundit has a strong right-wing bias and pins it’s reputation on publishing hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and disinformation…

      Get back to me if the story breaks on CNN or in the NYT.

      • MaureenW

         /  August 14, 2018

        CNN or NYT? Bit early in the day for jokes

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 14, 2018

        Lol. Pull your head out of your backside, Joe.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  August 14, 2018

          does your mum know you’re playing on her computer?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 14, 2018

            Ok, don’t then. Stick it in further. It makes you look funny.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 14, 2018

      Page earned kudos as an honest woman in her testimony to Congress whereas Strzok weaseled. Should be an interesting mongoose vs snake fight.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  August 14, 2018

      Lisa Page is drunk ?

      • MaureenW

         /  August 14, 2018

        Not inebriated, no. Very annoyed.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 14, 2018

          Oh, you mean that she’s pissed off.

          • MaureenW

             /  August 14, 2018

            No, just pissed.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 14, 2018

              In NZ, as in the UK and Australia pissed means drunk.

              It may mean annoyed in the US, but we are not living there.

              Outside the US, it’s pissed off that means annoyed.

            • David

               /  August 14, 2018

              It means both and always have done, you know what she meant, makes you look like a silly pedant Kitty

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              Tell someone who cares Ma’am.

            • Gezza

               /  August 14, 2018

              Pissed off has been the only kiwi expression for being annoyed (also meaning gone or to have left, in some contexts) – pissed meaning only “drunk”.

              I think this may be true of the UK too.

              Pissed – meaning annoyed or irritated is an American import as far as I’m concerned. It always make me chuckle but now it’s getting traction here. I hate it when stupid Americanisms get taken up by NZers but it’s unavoidable in our connected, more and more US English-dominated globe.

            • MaureenW

               /  August 14, 2018

              I think you’ll find both derivations were imported.

            • Gezza

               /  August 15, 2018

              I imagine our “pissed off” and “pissed” meaning blotto came from the UK, but a long time ago. Pissed meaning pissed off is a recent import from yanqiland.

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  August 14, 2018

    As reported throughout the free world:

    “Numerous signs are popping up that the impact of Trump’s policies is far from the disastrous scenario the media predict. By wielding America’s power instead of apologizing for it, and by keeping his focus on jobs and national security, Trump is making progress in fixing the ruinous status quo he inherited.

    America First, it turns out, is more than a slogan. It is a road map to reshaping America’s relationship with friend and foe alike.

    Take China. Despite press accusations that Trump risks a global recession with tariffs on Chinese imports, recent reports from China say there is growing criticism there over how President Xi Jinping is handling Trump. One brave professor published an essay citing “rising anxiety” and “a degree of panic” about Xi’s combativeness on the issue and his autocratic ways.

    As The Atlantic magazine notes, Trump’s approach to Iran resembles his approach to North Korea: “Saber rattling followed by summitry.” The magazine reports that North Korea’s foreign minister visited Tehran last week.

    The NATO spending issue is a classic example of media bias against Trump. When President Ronald Reagan was subjected to similar knee-jerk attacks over his foreign policies, the late great William Safire dubbed the critics “Blame America Firsters.”

    A final thought: Trump’s big initiatives are in the early stages and remain unfinished. His team is solid but small and they are juggling a lot of complex issues. Time, persistence and luck are needed for success.

    Some foreign governments are waiting to see what happens in the midterm elections. While it waits, China is actively targeting red-state industries with tariffs in a clear attempt to punish Trump. If that isn’t election meddling, what is it?

    https://nypost.com/2018/08/11/trumps-foreign-policy-is-actually-boosting-americas-standing/

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  August 14, 2018

    ummmmm, like the accused bank robber claiming “The bank manager called to say that there are no tapes of me robbing the bank.” ??

    • Griff.

       /  August 14, 2018

      ROFL
      So He did use the word it is just not on tape .
      Why else would you tweet that?
      Hang on its Trump.
      The worlds greatest Tweet twit.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 14, 2018

        Drivel.

        • Griff.

           /  August 14, 2018

          Why yes Alan most of Trumps tweets are .
          ‘Did you just notice?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 14, 2018

            More drivel. As your fellow Lefty mate Baron Cohen got owned:
            Asked flat-out whether he thought the president was racist — or “the least racist man alive” — his former campaign manager said: “I had the privilege of standing and sitting next to candidate Trump — and now the president — for thousands of hours over my tenure running his campaign. Never, ever, ever did I ever hear him utter a racist word in his life. Ever.”
            https://nypost.com/2018/08/13/corey-lewandowski-doesnt-take-sacha-baron-cohens-bait/

            • Griff.

               /  August 14, 2018

              My dear Alan being a trump supporters dos not make you a rightie .
              It marks you as an idiot .
              How that wall going?
              About as good as replacing Obama care I hear.
              Remember sell high once you have the suckers who cares.
              http://www.usdebtclock.org/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 14, 2018

              Sorry if the facts offend your drivel, Griff, but since you can’t change them best change it.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 14, 2018

      And
      President Trump is making life better for black Americans everywhere you look while his predecessor fumbled. But hey, say his critics, not everything is perfect yet, so don’t give in to his policies. It’s an unbudging, self-inflicted blindness that can hardly be called racism itself even though it is similarly destructive.
      http://www.bostonherald.com/opinion/op_ed/2018/08/ambrose_donald_trump_doing_plenty_for_black_americans