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Donald Trump knew damn well that the Russians hacked our elections, and he invited them into the Oval Office to tell them it was TOTALLY FINE. Yes, this was at the same May 10, 2017, meeting where he told Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Lavrov, "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job," because "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off." Don't worry about the cops, Sergei, hack away! And yes, this is one of the conversations White House lawyers stuck in the double-super-secret code word vault to make sure the American public never learned what a filthy traitor their president was. And yes, this shit is all coming out since the White House, which has always leaked like a sieve, is in total meltdown now that Nancy Pelosi has released the impeachment kraken.

(Although if we had to guess, we'd say this particular love note comes courtesy of "former official" John Bolton, who would have had access to the vault full of embarrassing transcripts and has been very clear that he's going to stick a shiv in Trump the first chance he gets.)


The Washington Post reports:

President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter.

Because Voice of America Radio and open endorsement of anti-corruption groups is exactly the same as hacking and disseminating politicians' emails and flooding social media with propaganda claiming that Hillary Clinton is a racist pedophile.

Four former officials confirmed the story to the Post and said they were disturbed by Trump's pro-Russia bias and predilection to privately excuse Putin's election interference while publicly denying its existence.

"He was always defensive of Russia," said one former senior official, while another told the Post, "What was difficult to understand was how they got a free pass on a lot of things — election security and so forth. ... He was just very accommodating to them."

Also accommodating? Burning our pals the Israelis by passing their spy stuff to Russia in that same meeting. LOCK 'ER DOWN, BOYS.

And White House lawyers were very accommodating to their traitorous boss, making sure to quarantine those incriminating transcripts on the "Bin Laden server" -- so known because it was used to house information of such exquisite sensitivity that leaks might harm national security, not just to hide stuff that might be politically embarrassing. In his complaint, the whistleblower said that the Ukraine shakedown transcript wasn't the only one locked down "solely for the purpose of protecting political sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information."

Guess what else wound up buried in that vault? CAN YOU EVEN GUESS?

Tell us, CNN!

White House efforts to limit access to President Donald Trump's conversations with foreign leaders extended to phone calls with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to people familiar with the matter.

Fam, we are shook. Although, in fairness, Trump's conversations with his Real Daddy Vladdy are personal, so it's UNLEGAL for us to know about because of Handler-Asset privilege.

The Post's source offered a half-hearted defense of the White House's classification practices, saying, "It was more about learning how can we restrict this in a way that still informs the policy process and the principals who need to engage with these heads of state." But CNN reports that, in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's murder and dismemberment in the Turkish consulate at the hands of Saudi government assassins, Trump's conversation with Mohammed bin Salman was buried so deep no one ever got to see it.

In the case of Trump's call with Prince Mohammed, officials who ordinarily would have been given access to a rough transcript of the conversation never saw one, according to one of the sources. Instead, a transcript was never circulated at all, which the source said was highly unusual, particularly after a high-profile conversation.

Which is all fine, and the president is entirely unbothered by any of it.

These leaks have just begun, and it's about to get much worse as White House staffers wake up to the prospect of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight congressional subpoenas, particularly since Democrats have said they'll use Congress's inherent contempt power to impose fines on witnesses who obstruct the impeachment investigation. And it's not just Donald Trump in jeopardy here. The "White House lawyers" who set up this classification wheeze to hide Trump's perfidy and ignorance from the public have to be doing some serious math this weekend. Lookin' at you, Pat Cipollone! And also ...

GOOD MORNING, JOHN EISENBERG! Adam Schiff is about to make you a star!

CNN's sources say that Eisenberg, deputy White House counsel for national security affairs and a lawyer for the National Security Council, was responsible for locking the Ukraine transcript in the Bin Laden Server. And if that name sounds familiar to you, then you've been spending way too much time paying attention to this and should probably go reacquaint yourselves with your loved ones. (Guilty!)

Remember that story Evan wrote yesterday about the whistleblower first going to CIA General Counsel Courtney Simmons Elwood -- thanks to the Times, which got this scoop, we all know that the whistleblower works at the CIA -- who called up the White House to see if they knew anything about the Ukraine shakedown call getting locked in a vault? Turns out that the CIA's lawyer called up the White House in early August and got ... JOHN EISENBERG on the horn. The Times noted that "He was already aware of vague concerns about the call." Which ... yeah, no shit he was!

Eisenberg, the guy who locked that conversation up and threw away the key, was "aware of vague concerns" that there might be something inappropriate there?

UH HUH. Here's how CNN described it, referring to Ellwood as "general counsel of the intelligence agency," because they are not the New York bloody Times.

During that call, the general counsel informed Eisenberg and [John] Demers [assistant attorney general for the DOJ's national security division] that there were concerns being raised about one of Trump's phone calls with a foreign leader. Eisenberg invited Demers and the intelligence agency's general counsel to review the transcript of the call, and Demers traveled to the White House the following day to review it. The general counsel of the intelligence agency declined to review the call, according to the official.

Did Ellwood refused to investigate further because she figured out that Eisenberg was in on the coverup? If Demers knew this was coming down the pike in August, how soon did he loop Bill Barr in? Does the timing of this call have anything to do with DNI Dan Coats being shoved out the door the last week of July and his deputy Sue Gordon being pushed out on August 9, leaving (acting) DNI Joseph Maguire in place to receive the whistleblower complaint when it landed on his desk on August 26?

OMG, WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

It means we are never getting another day off again, and we're not even mad about it.

[WaPo / CNN / NYT]

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