Discover more from Wonkette
Happy Friday! Here's Some Horrifying Sh*t From Politico About Trump's Foreign Policy Shop!
It's a Friday in Trump's America, which means shit is probably about to hit the fan in some kinda way, but why not just get terrified and horrified all by yourself, huddled up under a weighted blanket and silently asking God when it's all going to stop? TGIF, right?
Politico has published a truly horrifying look at the early days of Trump administration foreign policy, and Wonkette can't really summarize it for you (yes we could, but do not want), so we're going to throw some block quotes at your face and say GO READ THE WHOLE THING.
The excerpts we're sharing are selected vignettes, compiled by reporter Nahal Toosi, from MANY current and former career officials at the Trump National Security Council (NSC), or as Trump hacks call them, "Obama holdovers." You know, the Deep State. Hillary's little servants. In other words, the experts who spend their lives devoted to their country, not to one presidential administration or the other, to keep Americans safe and ... oh fuck it.
These sources are some pissed off people.
We Do Nazi How Sebastian Gorka Got Access To This Meeting!
Shut up, Wonkette, Seb Gorka is NOT A NAZI! Anyway:
One Trump appointee, conservative commentator Sebastian Gorka, would show up at random meetings, even though it was never clear whether he had the proper security clearance, and he would often raise unrelated points. One former White House official recalled Gorka saying such things as, "'If you look at what Napoleon did ...' and we'd all be like, 'I don't even know how to respond to that.'" (Asked for comment, Gorka told a POLITICO reporter, "Take a long run off a short pier, you utter hack.")
This sounds par for the course for a guy who drives a snowflake 4-cylinder Mustang he illegally parks all over the place (he got a ticket for doing that at CPAC apparently, after he wailed at the crowd about how the era of the pajama boy would be over, if it weren't for the upcoming HAMBERDER GENOCIDE, you know, same way it happened under mean old Stalin).
On that subject, #NeverForget:
Gorka: The alpha males are back on January 20th www.youtube.com
That clip never stops being the funniest chickenshit thing we have ever seen in our entire lives.
A Lot Of People Don't Know Abraham Lincoln, Our Second Greatest President After TRUMP, Was A Republican!
Trump often seemed in disbelief that he, of all people, was now occupying such a weighty office. A former staffer recalls being in an informal meeting in Flynn's office when the president burst into the room. Trump apologized for interrupting but said he wanted to show them something. An aide came in with a framed photo of the 16th president. "Abraham Lincoln. President Abraham Lincoln," Trump said, according to the ex-staffer. "They've got all kinds of cool stuff here."
Very cool, and also very legal!
President Speak & Spell Can't Make Foreign Policy Decisions Without Some Pretty Pictures To Look At!
We already knew this, but:
At [Michael] Flynn's request, the Obama administration had held off on deciding whether to arm Kurdish fighters to help recapture the Syrian city of Raqqa from the Islamic State terrorist group. According to two former NSC staffers, immediately after Trump took office, the NSC staff sent Flynn and his top deputies a detailed memo around 10 pages long that laid out the pros and cons of arming the Kurds, along with every document Trump needed to sign off on a decision. A few weeks passed, and a Flynn deputy told the staffers that what they'd sent up was too long and complicated — could they shorten it? So the staffers cut the memo in half. Days later, a new instruction: Could they cut it down further and turn much of it into graphics? The president preferred pictures. So the NSC staffers, with aid from intelligence officials, devised a graphical version. The issue dragged on anyway; it wasn't until May that Trump decided to arm the Kurdish fighters.
And then who got blamed? A Trump administration official told the Washington Post it was "poor staff work," to which the sources who talked to Politico replied OH GO FUCK YOURSELF.
Trump Taking Cold, Wet Shits On Refugees And Trying To Ban Muslims Really Was Hard On Career Staff ... You Know, The NSC People Who Actually Love Their Country.
"I'll never forget the morning I fell apart," one former staffer said. "I was reading a New York Times article about a refugee named Mustafa. ... I just lost it. I was bawling. A few days later, I confessed I'd given a bunch of money to some refugee agency. And everyone around me said, 'I did, too!' We just wondered how many thousands of dollars had come from the NSC staff." The former staffer continued, head shaking in wonder: "These [executive orders] were, like, written in crayon, like The Heritage Foundation intern just came up with them. They just weren't very good. … It wasn't just bad policy. It was bad policy poorly executed. I could have done it better."
Career Folks Not Racist Or Stupid Enough, So Trump People Made Their Lives Hell In Ways Large And Small!
[C]areer staffers say they became objects of suspicion because of language they used, such as saying "undocumented immigrants" instead of "illegals." One former U.S. official who frequently dealt with the NSC says he stopped taking his print edition of The New York Times to the White House because Trump appointees gave him dirty looks.
VERY LARGE WAYS:
Trump political appointees were believed to frequently talk to journalists who worked for conservative media outlets. For months, those outlets published names of career Civil and Foreign Service officers in the NSC and other government agencies whose loyalties they deemed suspect. Career staffers who had joined the U.S. government many years, sometimes decades, earlier were suddenly cast as Obama loyalists determined to derail Trump's agenda as part of a "deep state." The people targeted included a State Department civil servant of Iranian descent who'd joined government under the George W. Bush administration; a highly respected Foreign Service officer who dealt with Israeli issues; and an NSC staffer who dealt with European and Russian issues. The latter, Eric Ciaramella , reportedly left the NSC after receiving death threats. Another staffer targeted by conservative outlets was Fernando Cutz, a Latin America expert and top aide to McMaster; at one point he had to temporarily get police protection.
Totally normal, and exactly what you'd expect if you were working for a particularly shitty mafia organization, but not when you're working for the US government.
As we said, go read the whole thing, because we skipped lots of stuff.
The moral of the story is that the early days of the Trump White House and the NSC were an utter shitshow of proportions that were devastating for national security. They were terrible under Michael Flynn, they got a little better when H.R. McMaster was national security advisor, but now that John Bolton is in the job, it's a total shitshow again and the career people who are left are scared.
But hey, who needs the NSC anyway? Jared and Ivanka have security clearances even though they're pretty obviously compromised by hostile foreign powers just like Daddy. Obviously, everything is fine .
TGIF! And OPEN THREAD!
[ Politico ]
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!
Wonkette is ad-free and funded ONLY by YOU, our dear readers. Click below to keep the lights on, please. We appreciate you, most of the time.