“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
That was Wednesday morning’s tweet from none other than Donald Trump, in response to the majority of the mainstream media reporting on certain information contained in a document that the intelligence chiefs had imparted to President Obama and also Trump on Tuesday. How did the media get the story? I neither know nor really care at this moment, but Trump’s angry response was not well received, especially by the Jewish community who say the analogy to Nazi Germany was erroneous, offensive and denigrating to Holocaust survivors. They are demanding that he apologize for it. I agree. If the man ever engaged his brain prior to engaging his fingers ….
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, of the Anti-Defamation League, said that Mr. Trump’s analogy was “not only an inappropriate comparison on the merits, but it also coarsens our discourse. We have a long record of speaking out when both Democrats and Republicans engage in such overheated rhetoric. It would be helpful for the president-elect to explain his intentions or apologize for the remark.” However, Trump chose instead to heap insult on top of injury in his press conference later on Wednesday, blaming the intelligence agencies for allowing the release of what he said was erroneous information about him and saying, “I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that — and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, attempted to reach out to Trump, despite Trump’s highly inappropriate temper tantrum:
“This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday. I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.
We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it. I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable [emphasis added], and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.
President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community, and I assured him that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people.”
And with that, the dispute between Trump and the Intelligence community is put to rest, right? WRONG! The next day, Trump tweeted: “James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts.Too bad!” Oh come on, Donnie-boy … what do you want, the man to lick your bloomin’ boots? Note that Mr. Clapper, whose integrity I respect more than that of Trump, specifically said that the intelligence community had made no judgment on the reliability of the document. NO JUDGMENT.
My hope is that the information contained in the document is either verified or proven false before January 20th, less than a week, because I suspect that the investigation will be quietly dropped once Trump takes office. James Clapper will leave his position at the end of the Obama administration, and, pending senate confirmation, will be replaced by Trump’s nominee, Dan Coats.
Dan Coats is a two-term senator from Indiana who is well-liked and respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. He may well be one of the better of Trump’s selections. While fiscally conservative, he has often found common cause with Democrats, who described him as thoughtful on intelligence and national security issues, with a sharp intellect and disarming humor. “I have always been impressed with his demeanor,” said Senator Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and who served on the Intelligence Committee with Mr. Coats and traveled with him in Eastern Europe. “He’s not a fierce partisan and knows the intelligence community. He’s very amiable and easy to work with.”
The job of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is to coordinate the intelligence-gathering and analysis of the country’s 16 civilian and military spy agencies, helping to prevent a terrorist attack and serving as a central liaison to presidents and their White House staff.
A bit about his political views:
- He has supported several pieces of gun-regulation legislation, including the Biden-Thurmond Violent Crime Control Act of 1991 which would have created a waiting period for handgun purchases and placed a ban on assault weapons, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the Feinstein Amendment 1152 to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1993.
- Coats was one of the authors of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and opposed its 2011 repeal. He does not support same-sex marriage.
- Coats pressed President Barack Obama to punish Russia harshly for its March 2014 annexation of Crimea. For this stance, Coats and several other lawmakers were banned from travelling to Russia.
- Coats cosponsored, with former Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, and James Jeffords the Human Services Reauthorization Act of 1998, which amended the Head Start Act, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, and the Community Services Block Grant Act… in order to provide an opportunity for persons with limited means to accumulate assets.”
He received the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Charles G. Berwind Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He also frequently donates to charity and has helped underprivileged youth. I am quite surprised that he is Trump’s choice for DNI, as he seems too moderate and too humanitarian to fit into the regime. I disagree with his stance on LGBT, but apart from that, I see very little not to like about Mr. Coats. This is one whom I would actually like to see confirmed.
So much political news to opine about these days … my mind and body cannot keep up! I am getting calluses on my fingertips from pounding the keyboard and am considering buying a second laptop as backup when I finally kill this one. I was particularly amused by a comment I saw on Facebook earlier today: “These last few weeks have been the longest 4 years of my life.” I share that sentiment.