Full transcript here.Ryan said Russia?s goal was to ?turn Ukraine against itself.? Groysman underlined Russia?s intentions, saying ?They?re just going to roll right through us and go to the Baltics and everyone else,? according to Ryan?s summary of the prime minister?s remarks in the recording.
?Yes,? Rodgers said in agreement, noting that the Russians were funding non-government organizations across Europe as part of a wider ?propaganda war.?
?Maniacal,? Ryan said. ?And guess, guess who?s the only one taking a strong stand up against it? We are.?
Rodgers disagreed. ?We?re not?we?re not?but, we?re not,? she said.
That?s when McCarthy brought the conversation about Russian meddling around to the DNC hack, Trump and Rohrabacher.
?I?ll guarantee you that?s what it is...The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump,? McCarthy said with a laugh.
Ryan asked who the Russians ?delivered? the opposition research to.
?There?s... there?s two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,? McCarthy said, drawing some laughter. ?Swear to God,? McCarthy added.
?This is an off the record,? Ryan said.
Some lawmakers laughed at that.
?No leaks, alright?,? Ryan said, adding: ?This is how we know we?re a real family here.?
?That?s how you know that we?re tight,? Scalise said.
?What?s said in the family stays in the family,? Ryan added.
NYTimes said:WASHINGTON ? Michael T. Flynn told President Trump?s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case.
Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser. The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.
Mr. Flynn?s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team?s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn?s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.
When the World Is Led by a Child
At certain times Donald Trump has seemed like a budding authoritarian, a corrupt Nixon, a rabble-rousing populist or a big business corporatist.
But as Trump has settled into his White House role, he has given a series of long interviews, and when you study the transcripts it becomes clear that fundamentally he is none of these things.
At base, Trump is an infantalist. There are three tasks that most mature adults have sort of figured out by the time they hit 25. Trump has mastered none of them. Immaturity is becoming the dominant note of his presidency, lack of self-control his leitmotif.
First, most adults have learned to sit still. But mentally, Trump is still a 7-year-old boy who is bouncing around the classroom. Trump?s answers in these interviews are not very long ? 200 words at the high end ? but he will typically flit through four or five topics before ending up with how unfair the press is to him.
His inability to focus his attention makes it hard for him to learn and master facts. He is ill informed about his own policies and tramples his own talking points. It makes it hard to control his mouth. On an impulse, he will promise a tax reform when his staff has done little of the actual work.
Second, most people of drinking age have achieved some accurate sense of themselves, some internal criteria to measure their own merits and demerits. But Trump seems to need perpetual outside approval to stabilize his sense of self, so he is perpetually desperate for approval, telling heroic fabulist tales about himself.
?In a short period of time I understood everything there was to know about health care,? he told Time. ?A lot of the people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber,? he told The Associated Press, referring to his joint session speech.
By Trump?s own account, he knows more about aircraft carrier technology than the Navy. According to his interview with The Economist, he invented the phrase ?priming the pump? (even though it was famous by 1933). Trump is not only trying to deceive others. His falsehoods are attempts to build a world in which he can feel good for an instant and comfortably deceive himself.
He is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. Trump thought he?d be celebrated for firing James Comey. He thought his press coverage would grow wildly positive once he won the nomination. He is perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with his fantasies.
Third, by adulthood most people can perceive how others are thinking. For example, they learn subtle arts such as false modesty so they won?t be perceived as obnoxious.
But Trump seems to have not yet developed a theory of mind. Other people are black boxes that supply either affirmation or disapproval. As a result, he is weirdly transparent. He wants people to love him, so he is constantly telling interviewers that he is widely loved. In Trump?s telling, every meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but his guests stayed two hours because they liked him so much.
Which brings us to the reports that Trump betrayed an intelligence source and leaked secrets to his Russian visitors. From all we know so far, Trump didn?t do it because he is a Russian agent, or for any malevolent intent. He did it because he is sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.
The Russian leak story reveals one other thing, the dangerousness of a hollow man.
Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president?s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it?s part of some strategic intent.
But Trump?s statements don?t necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.
We?ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.
?We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him,? David Roberts writes in Vox. ?It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next. But what if there?s nothing to understand? What if there is no there there??
And out of that void comes a carelessness that quite possibly betrayed an intelligence source, and endangered a country.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/what-james-comey-told-me-about-donald-trumpBut as he told me the story, he tried hard to blend into the background and avoid any one-on-one interaction. He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue. So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn?t notice him camouflaged against the wall
Personally, I feel Trump himself has confirmed that already through his comments about absolute having the authority to do exactly that1) Do we know who made the claim that Trump revealed classified information to the Russians? Washington Post just says "current and former US officials" which isn't very specific. Is there any evidence?
I agree but, what I imagine is the reason for the vague claims to who said is it is for protection of the individual. Would you like your name broadcasted across the world as the guy who leaked that info? Doesn't work out for people.1) Do we know who made the claim that Trump revealed classified information to the Russians? Washington Post just says "current and former US officials" which isn't very specific. Is there any evidence?
2) Comey's notes that Trump tried to influence him - do we have a better source than "an associate" who claims to have seen the notes? If the note does exist, is there evidence to prove that what is alleges is true?
Remember Kids, only ever talk about stuff that is 100% certified and bulletproof. Do not talk about maybes or what-ifs![...]
The part about the child molestation ring was proven? And that The Clintons killed all these people? WOW![...] Since you mentioned Clinton emails - that was actually proven.
Sure. But you can have an impeachment process based on sufficient grounds, which would allow you to discover evidence (through subpoenas, etc.). It still doesn't mean that the accusations are true, or that they would be enough to require removal from office. Bill Clinton was impeached and acquitted.No double standard here - I just think that the Democratic call for impeachment over some of this stuff is silly precisely because we're still in questioning mode and there's basically zero evidence (so far).
There is one guy who definitely believes that.Well, it seems like you're untouchable when you're wealthy or pretending to be president. Seems like you could murder anybody and freely admit to it without repercussions.
Source: http://www.spiegel.de/international...-a-menace-to-the-world-opinion-a-1148471.htmlA Danger to the World It's Time to Get Rid of Donald Trump
Donald Trump has transformed the United States into a laughing stock and he is a danger to the world. He must be removed from the White House before things get even worse.
A DER SPIEGEL Editorial by Klaus Brinkb?umer
Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. He does not possess the requisite intellect and does not understand the significance of the office he holds nor the tasks associated with it. He doesn't read. He doesn't bother to peruse important files and intelligence reports and knows little about the issues that he has identified as his priorities. His decisions are capricious and they are delivered in the form of tyrannical decrees.
He is a man free of morals. As has been demonstrated hundreds of times, he is a liar, a racist and a cheat. I feel ashamed to use these words, as sharp and loud as they are. But if they apply to anyone, they apply to Trump. And one of the media's tasks is to continue telling things as they are: Trump has to be removed from the White House. Quickly. He is a danger to the world.
Trump is a miserable politician. He fired the FBI director simply because he could. James Comey had gotten under his skin with his investigation into Trump's confidants. Comey had also refused to swear loyalty and fealty to Trump and to abandon the investigation. He had to go.
Witnessing an American Tragedy
Trump is also a miserable boss. His people invent excuses for him and lie on his behalf because they have to, but then Trump wakes up and posts tweets that contradict what they have said. He doesn't care that his spokesman, his secretary of state and his national security adviser had just denied that the president had handed Russia (of all countries) sensitive intelligence gleaned from Israel (of all countries). Trump tweeted: Yes, yes, I did, because I can. I'm president after all.
Nothing is as it should be in this White House. Everyone working there has been compromised multiple times and now they all despise each other - and everyone except for Trump despises Trump. Because of all that, after just 120 days of the Trump administration, we are witness to an American tragedy for which there are five theoretical solutions.
The first is Trump's resignation, which won't happen. The second is that Republicans in the House and Senate support impeachment, which would be justified by the president's proven obstruction of justice, but won't happen because of the Republicans' thirst for power, which they won't willingly give it up. The third possible solution is the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which would require the cabinet to declare Trump unfit to discharge the powers of the presidency. That isn't particularly likely either. Fourth: The Democrats get ready to fight and win back majorities in the House and Senate in midterm elections, which are 18 months away, before they then pursue option two, impeachment. Fifth: the international community wakes up and finds a way to circumvent the White House and free itself of its dependence on the U.S. Unlike the preceding four options, the fifth doesn't directly solve the Trump problem, but it is nevertheless necessary - and possible.
No Goals and No Strategy
Not quite two weeks ago, a number of experts and politicians focused on foreign policy met in Washington at the invitation of the Munich Security Conference. It wasn't difficult to sense the atmosphere of chaos and agony that has descended upon the city.
The U.S. elected a laughing stock to the presidency and has now made itself dependent on a joke of a man. The country is, as David Brooks wrote recently in the New York Times, dependent on a child. The Trump administration has no foreign policy because Trump has consistently promised American withdrawal while invoking America's strength. He has promised both no wars and more wars. He makes decisions according to his mood, with no strategic coherence or tactical logic. Moscow and Beijing are laughing at America. Elsewhere, people are worried.
In the Pacific, warships - American and Chinese - circle each other in close proximity. The conflict with North Korea is escalating. Who can be certain that Donald Trump won't risk nuclear war simply to save his own skin? Efforts to stop climate change are in trouble and many expect the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because Trump is wary of legally binding measures. Crises, including those in Syria and Libya, are escalating, but no longer being discussed. And who should they be discussed with? Phone calls and emails to the U.S. State Department go unanswered. Nothing is regulated, nothing is stable and the trans-Atlantic relationship hardly exists anymore. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Norbert R?ttgen fly back and forth, but Germany and the U.S. no longer understand each other. Hardly any real communication takes place, there are no joint foreign policy goals and there is no strategy.
In "Game of Thrones," the Mad King was murdered (and the child that later took his place was no better). In real life, an immature boy sits on the throne of the most important country in the world. He could, at any time, issue a catastrophic order that would immediately be carried out. That is why the parents cannot afford to take their eyes off him even for a second. They cannot succumb to exhaustion because he is so taxing. They ultimately have to send him to his room - and return power to the grownups.