GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who currently leads the Senate Intelligence Committee, is having a FIT, y'all. And if if he gets madder than he currently is, he might have to text his friend Senator Susan Collins for tips on how to be dismayed and concerned and then ultimately get over it and do whatever Donald Trump is currently demanding. (To be clear, she is indeed dismayed about the thing Marco Rubio is dismayed about.)

You see, Trump's latest unqualified dipshit director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who used to scream nonsense as a GOP congressman from Texas, has announced that he no longer feels the need to brief Congress in person about ongoing Russian threats to our 2020 election, and would just send them little sticky notes instead. To be clear, Congress will still get the info, but they won't be able to ask questions to REALLY suss out the truth. As House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff told CNN this weekend, Trump "knows that if, and when, they do come and brief Congress, we ask questions and we can get to the bottom of things and that's what he doesn't want."

Ratcliffe says he's doing this because he doesn't want there to be any misunderstandings about what the intelligence community is telling Congress, and also because terrible Democrats won't stop telling America that Russia is currently attacking the election to help Donald Trump leaking classified information. Ratcliffe is full of shit, and protecting a criminal president.

Rubio has issued a statement simultaneously whining about what Ratcliffe is trying to do, and also attacking Democrats for, we guess, behaving so badly that it caused Ratcliffe to behave badly, oh bother! And as usual, Marco Rubio is stuck in the middle, being a perfect little fucking angel.

"Intelligence agencies have a legal obligation to keep Congress informed of their activities. And members of Congress have a legal obligation to not divulge classified information. In my short time as Acting Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have witnessed firsthand how this delicate balance has been destroyed.

Waaaaahhhhh!


So what's this all about, then?

Journey back with us a few weeks, to when William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, told us in no uncertain terms that Russia is again attacking the 2020 election to help Donald Trump win. Wait, did we say "in no uncertain terms"? We meant in no uncertain terms that were buried in a sea of weasel words that drew a false equivalence between Russia's actions for Trump and China's and Iran's preferences for Not Trump. (This is, not coincidentally, very similar to the false equivalence where Republicans screech and holler that in 2016, the REAL COLLUSION was UKRAINE and DEMOCRATS, their evidence for which is that a couple of Ukrainian lawmakers talked poop about Trump in Facebook posts.)

Gang of Eight Democrats in Congress noticed the weasel words, just like Wonkette noticed. Evanina was doing that thing that's so common in the Trump intel community, where they try to hide and shade the truth to keep President Dumbfuck from throwing a conniption, while still being able to say they imparted the truth to the American people.

Marco Rubio doesn't see it that way, because of course not.

"Consistent with our requests, Mr. Evanina, a career member of the intelligence community who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, released the first of a planned series of statements to the American public on threats to the 2020 Elections. His reward was to be smeared in vile and personal terms in a letter signed by Democratic leaders of Congress.

"And in response to widespread bipartisan encouragement, Mr. Evanina issued the most specific and public pre-election foreign threat notification in American history -- a public notice that divulged the names of various actors behind efforts to undermine the 2020 election. And the response from the usual Congressional suspects was to employ their usual tactic, to disingenuously imply that additional and relevant information was being withheld because it was damaging to the President.

Fuck you.

Rubio doesn't say what kind of "classified information" was leaked, but he definitely says in his statement that it's a "federal crime." You bet.

So like we said, here is poor Marco Rubio in the middle, being God's gift to deliberative democracy, surrounded on both sides by HOOLIGANS I tell you HOOLIGANS.

So what's really happening here?

Here is what is happening here. John Ratcliffe is a true believer toady who has no business being anywhere near America's classified secrets, much less as the director of national intelligence. He also knows that the last confirmed DNI, Dan Coats, was fired in part because he refused to modify the annual National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to water down language about Russia actively attacking American democracy to help Trump. The next (acting) DNI, Admiral Joseph Maguire, was fired after one of his briefers told Congress that Russia was attacking the election to help Trump. And that was after Maguire went to hell and back trying to hide from Congress the whistleblower report about Trump trying to get Ukraine to help him steal (another) election. What thanks he got!

IT'S KIND OF A PATTERN, YOU GUYS.

As you might expect, Democrats in Congress are furious, and not in the performative way Marco Rubio is furious. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff said in a statement that "This is a shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility to keep the Congress currently informed, and a betrayal of the public's right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "President Trump is simply using John Ratcliffe to hide the ugly truth from the American people — that the president is again receiving the help of the Kremlin."

And when Trump started whining, like Ratcliffe is whining, that this is all about mean terrible leaking Democrats, Schiff called bullshit on Twitter.

(Of note here is that Trump and his trusty pals always accuse Schiff of leaking, when it's always appeared that it isn't Schiff but his GOP counterpart on the House Intel Committee, Devin Fucking Nunes, who has a real stinky habit of Fox News broadcasting his version of what he hears in briefings 30 minutes after he gets the intel.)

Senator Elizabeth Warren is not pleased:

If you want more pissed off reactions from pissed off senators, Axios got some.

And of course Democratic nominee Joe Biden also weighed in this weekend, stating unequivocally the Trump administration is doing this because Putin is helping Trump and Trump doesn't want Americans to know it. Here's a big chunk of his statement:

This is not how democracy works. But it is how American national security and sovereignty are violated. [...]

Nothing is more important than the security and integrity of our elections. And we know that President Trump is unwilling to take action to protect them.

That leaves Congress as the best defender of our democracy. But now President Trump, through his hand-picked DNI — chosen for loyalty, not experience — is attempting to deprive Congress of the information they need to do their part.

There can be only one conclusion: President Trump is hoping Vladimir Putin will once more boost his candidacy and cover his horrific failures to lead our country through the multiple crises we are facing.

And he does not want the American people to know the steps Vladimir Putin is taking to help Trump get re-elected or why Putin is eager to intervene, because Donald Trump's foreign policy has been a gift to the Kremlin.

Click over to read the whole thing.

Sixty-three days until the election y'all. America is under attack from within, by its own leaders, and from outside, again, by the hostile foreign power propping up those leaders. What are you doing about it today?

[Rubio statement / Joe.My.God / MaddowBlog]

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