national security

Putting the pieces together in the #Russiagate puzzle

Exposing the clear intent to circumvent national security watchdogs:

Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.

Bolding mine, because this isn't a fricking business partnership, it's the most powerful man in the world intentionally deceiving his own country's security officials. He doesn't get to decide which laws to follow and which ones to ignore, those national security rules and procedures were developed over decades, and many of them are in place due to Russian efforts to subvert our Republic. Trump couldn't pull a more inappropriate stunt if he tried.

Bad writing, bad reading, lead to confusion over Trump's NSC order

The latest outrage appears to be (at least partially) incorrect:

President Donald Trump is reshuffling the US National Security Council (NSC), downgrading the military chiefs of staff and giving a regular seat to his chief strategist Steve Bannon. Mr Bannon, formerly the head of the populist right-wing, Breitbart News website, will join high-level discussions about national security. The order was signed on Saturday.

The director of national intelligence and the joint chiefs will attend when discussions pertain to their areas. Under previous administrations, the director and joint chiefs attended all meetings of the NSC's inner circle, the principals' committee.

Before I proceed, I want to take a moment to reiterate the need for folks to take the time to find and examine primary sources. In this case, the primary source is the Presidential Memorandum itself. Accuracy is (of course) the main reason for doing this, but another big reason has to do with focus. When you take someone else's analysis as your only source, you may be missing other details that person didn't judge to be relevant or news-worthy. Anyway, back to the confusing memo:

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