Coalition of the Confused

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Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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The "Banned-From-The-White-House" Book Club   America - all of it

Started 4/13/18 by Jenifer (Zarknorph); 25616 views.
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


You mentioned this in passing somewhere...

Anyway, I guess this will be the next book...

US President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, accusing him of using his access to classified information to "sow division and chaos" about the Trump administration.

Key points:

  • Donald Trump is also reviewing security clearances of other former officials
  • John Brennan has been a sharp critic of Mr Trump
  • He took to Twitter after the decision to say it was an effort to "suppress freedom of speech and punish critics"

Mr Trump announced the decision in a statement read by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders at her daily news briefing.

Mr Trump said he was also reviewing the security clearances of several other former ranking government officials, all of whom have criticised Mr Trump, including former US national intelligence director James Clapper, former FBI director James Comey, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, and former deputy attorney-general Sally Yates, among others.

CIA Director John Brennan speaking in April 2015

Mr Brennan, who was director of the CIA under Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, has been a sharp critic of Mr Trump, frequently appearing on cable television news shows to attack his foreign policy positions.

Mr Trump's statement said Mr Brennan had engaged in "increasingly frenzied commentary" and abused his access to classified information by using it to "sow division and chaos".

"At this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behaviour," Mr Trump said.

"That conduct and behaviour has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that has been due to him."

A spokesman for Mr Brennan declined to immediately comment, but Mr Brennan took to Twitter himself to criticise the decision as an effort to "suppress freedom of speech and punish critics".

Democrats are also lining up to denounce Mr Trump's decision, with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi calling the move "a stunning abuse of power".

Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warned a "dangerous precedent" was being set.

But Ms Sanders defended the decision, saying Mr Brennan had been making "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against the administration.

Mr Brennan called Mr Trump's behaviour at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin "nothing short of treasonous."

Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said of Mr Trump: "Leaders behave like this in dictatorships, not democracies."

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Trump takes the high road!  ... just kidding

US President Donald Trump has escalated his messy clash with former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, referring to his longtime colleague, who had been the top African-American in his White House, as "that dog!"

Key points:

  • Trump calls Manigault Newman "crazed, crying lowlife"
  • Former aide says she has more recordings
  • Trump presidential campaign files arbitration action against Manigault Newman

The pressure on Ms Manigault Newman increased, as the Trump presidential campaign filed arbitration action against her, alleging a breach of a confidentiality agreement.

A campaign official said the action was filed with the American Arbitration Association.

Mr Trump tweeted a barrage of insults on Tuesday morning (local time) as Ms Manigault Newman continued promoting her White House tell-all and releasing secret audio recordings.

Her book paints a damning picture of Mr Trump, including her claim that he used racial slurs on the set of his reality show The Apprentice.

Twitter time:

"When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out," Mr Trump said.

"Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"

While Mr Trump trades in insults on a near daily basis, calling Ms Manigault Newman a "dog" was a stunning move in a row that touched on several sensitive issues in Trump's White House.

They included a lack of racial diversity among senior officials, security concerns — Ms Manigault Newman taped her firing in the White House Situation Room — and extraordinary measures such as non-disclosure agreements to keep ex-employees quiet.

Mr Trump has also pushed back against Ms Manigault Newman's claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using the N-word.

He tweeted that he had received a call from the producer of The Apprentice assuring him "there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa",

Mr Trump said "I don't have that word in my vocabulary, and never have".

Di (amina046)

From: Di (amina046)


#Omarosa Wins Back Her BLACK CARD In Shocking Al Sharpton Interview (19 Aug. 2018)

GET YOUR FREE PERSONALIZED NUMEROLOGY REPORT HERE: #Omarosa wins back her Black Card in a shocking, no-holds-barred interview on MSNBC...

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


I guess there'll be a new book soon...

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley makes a hand gesture as she speaks during a news briefing at the White House.

Nikki Haley has become the latest high-profile resignation from the Donald Trump White House.

At a press conference in the Oval Office, Ms Haley said she would be leaving her role as US ambassador to the UN by the end of the year. The departure has left plenty of people scratching their heads.

Ms Haley is one of the administration's most popular figures, among Republicans and Democrats, and Mr Trump praised her as a "fantastic person" who has "done an incredible job".

So why is she stepping down now weeks before crucial midterm elections?

Here's some of the reasons being floated for her resignation.

Let's start with Ms Haley's official explanation

Ms Haley said the past eight years, six of which were spent as South Carolina's governor and two as the UN ambassador, had been intense.

"I am a believer in term limits. I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else to do the job," she said.

Mr Trump told reporters she was resigning to "take a little time off".

Both explanations didn't really satisfy anybody.

On the timing of the announcement, CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Ascosta reported that Ms Haley was concerned about resigning after the midterm elections, but also didn't want to step aside during Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation process.

She might want to make money in the private sector

According to CNN, Ms Haley's 2018 financial disclosure reported a significant number of outstanding debts including a million-dollar mortgage and a line of credit between $250,000 and $500,000.

The network reports that seven-figure salaries are waiting for someone with her experience in the private sector, compared to the comparatively modest salary she currently earns as a public official.

She could be planning a run for president

Ms Haley answered the question about a run in 2020 before reporters could even ask her about it.

She had been talked about as a vice-presidential candidate as far back as 2012, and it's long been speculated that she had eyes on the White House.

Naturally, sitting next to the man who intends to be the Republican nominee in 2020, she quickly ruled out a run in two years time.

"No I'm not running in 2020," she told reporters, and followed up that she would campaign for Mr Trump.

But two years is a long time in the Donald Trump era.

Who knows what could happen between now and 2020, especially with special counsel Robert Mueller yet to complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

And even if 2020 isn't an option, Ms Haley is only 46-years-old. A run in 2024 could absolutely still be on the cards.

Were there uncomfortable questions on the horizon?

Just this week, a Federal Government watchdog asked the State Department to investigate Ms Haley's use of private jets in seven instances last year.

The Post and Courier reports that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the State Department to examine Haley's acceptance of the flights as gifts.

Similar scandals eventually led to the resignations of two other Trump cabinet members, Scott Pruitt and Tom Price.

In reply toRe: msg 37
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


Here comes Michelle!

a woman sits on a chair

Michelle Obama felt alone after a miscarriage 20 years ago, and she and Barack Obama underwent fertility treatment to conceive their two daughters, according to her upcoming memoir Becoming.

Key points:

  • Ms Obama says she and her husband used IVF to conceive their two daughters
  • She writes in her book that Donald Trump's "bigotry" put her family's safety at risk
  • Mr Trump has responded by accusing Barack Obama of making the US "very unsafe"

In some of her most extensive public comments on her White House years, the former first lady also lets her fury fly over US President Donald Trump's "bigotry and xenophobia" — dangerous, deliberate rhetoric, she writes, that risked her family's safety.

"For this," she writes, "I'd never forgive him."

But it's her deeply personal account of her marriage to Mr Obama that sheds new light on the Ivy League-educated couple's early struggle with issues of family, ambition and public life.

"We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn't going well," Ms Obama, 54, writes in her memoir Becoming.

"We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt."

The Obamas opted for IVF, one form of assisted reproduction that typically involves removing eggs from a woman, fertilising them with sperm in a lab, and implanting the resulting embryo. It costs thousands of dollars for every "cycle" and many couples require more than one attempt.

Ms Obama writes of being alone to give herself injections to help hasten the process. Her "sweet, attentive husband" was at the state legislature, "leaving me largely on my own to manipulate my reproductive system into peak efficiency," she said.

Memoir lets loose at Trump

Confronting racism in public life — being the first black first lady, wife of the nation's first black president — was a bracing experience, in Ms Obama's telling. She agonised over what she feared was a cartoonish, racist image. She remembered being labelled "angry" and, by the Fox network, "Obama's Baby Mama".

In the White House, she knew she would be labelled "other" and would have to earn the aura of "grace" given freely to her white predecessors. She found confidence in repeating to herself a favourite chant: "Am I good enough? Yes I am."

In the memoir, Ms Obama lets loose a blast of anger at Mr Trump.

She writes that Mr Trump's questioning of whether her husband was an American citizen was "crazy and mean-spirited" — and "dangerous". Mr Trump suggested Mr Obama was not born in the US but on foreign soil — his father was Kenyan. The former president was born in Hawaii.

"What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?" she writes in the memoir.

"Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family's safety at risk. And for this, I'd never forgive him."

As he left for Paris on Friday, Mr Trump chose not to respond to the former first lady, telling reporters, "Oh, I guess she wrote a book. She got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insisted you come up with [controversy]."

Mr Trump instead changed the subject to his predecessor Mr Obama, saying "I'll give you a little controversy back. I'll never forgive [Mr Obama] for what he did to our US military. It was depleted and I had to fix it".

"What he did to our military made this country very unsafe for you and you and you," Mr Trump said.

Ms Obama also expresses disbelief over how so many women would choose a "misogynist" over Hillary Clinton in 2016. She remembers how her body "buzzed with fury" after seeing the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Mr Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women

She also accuses Mr Trump of using body language to "stalk" Ms Clinton during an election debate. She writes of Mr Trump following Ms Clinton around the stage, standing nearby and "trying to diminish her presence".

Pain of miscarriage and falling in love

Becoming is one of the most anticipated political books in memory, ranking at the top of Amazon's best-sellers on Friday.

Until now Ms Obama has not extensively shared details of her personal life, such as losing a baby.

"I felt like I failed because I didn't know how common miscarriages were because we don't talk about them," the former first lady said in an interview broadcast on US network ABC's Good Morning America.

''We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we're broken."

Ms Obama also writes about falling in love. The Obamas met at the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin LLP, and Michelle was sceptical at first. But she was then impressed by his "rich, even sexy baritone" and by his "strange, stirring combination" of serenity and power.

Their first kiss set off a "toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder," she wrote.

Ms Obama will launch her promotional tour for the book at in front of tens of thousands of people at Chicago's United Centre — the home arena of the NBA's Chicago Bulls — next week at an event moderated by Oprah Winfrey.

In reply toRe: msg 38
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


John Kelly, get out your typewriter!

United States President Donald Trump's chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job by year's end amid an expected West Wing reshuffle reflecting a focus on the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats reclaiming control of the House.

Key points:

  • The retired four-star general was hired by Mr Trump by tweet in July 2017
  • He had early success in bringing some order to a chaotic White House
  • Mr Trump said Mr Kelly's replacement will be made shortly

Nick Ayers, Vice-President Mike Pence's chief of staff, is Mr Trump's top choice to replace Mr Kelly, and the two have held discussions for months about the job, a White House official said.

An announcement was expected in the coming days, the President said as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

Mr Kelly had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary.

But his iron first also alienated some longtime allies of the US President, and he grew increasingly isolated, with an increasingly diminished role.

Known through the West Wing as "the chief" or "the general," the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Mr Trump via tweet in July 2017 from his perch atop the Homeland Security Department to try to normalise a White House riven by infighting and competing power bases.

"John Kelly will be leaving — I don't know if I can say retiring — but he's a great guy," Mr Trump said.

"John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We'll be announcing who will be taking John's place — it might be on an interim basis.

"I'll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year … I appreciate his service very much."

John Kelly sits behind and listens to Donald Trump speak during a meeting.

Mr Kelly had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that had been compared to New York's Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Mr Trump.

But those efforts also miffed the President and some of his most influential outside allies, who had grown accustomed to unimpeded access.

Mr Kelly's handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Mr Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.

Mr Trump and Mr Ayers were working out terms under which Mr Ayers would fill the role and the time commitment he would make, the White House official said.

Mr Trump wants his next chief of staff to agree to hold the job through the 2020 election.

Mr Ayers, who has young triplets, had long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year, but he has agreed to serve in an interim basis through the spring of 2019.

Word of Mr Kelly's impending departure comes a day after Mr Trump named his picks for attorney-general William Barr and ambassador to the United Nations Heather Nauert, and two senior aides shifted from the White House to Mr Trump's campaign.

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Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


In reply toRe: msg 40
Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)



From: BerrySteph


Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:

Donald Trump's lawyers continue the US President's impeachment defence, but a report from the New York Times renews calls for fresh witnesses in the Senate trial.

This may be the moment that Trump is doomed.

But if some Republicans don't break ranks now, then the US has really set sail for a very dark place.

Jenifer (Zarknorph)

From: Jenifer (Zarknorph)


BerrySteph said:

But if some Republicans don't break ranks now, then the US has really set sail for a very dark place.

It set sail in November 2016.

Now it's just careening over a cliff.