The Trump administration


Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner worked to sink LGBT order

By Annie Karni
Politico, 2017-02-03 : 02/03/17 02:16 PM EST

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump helped lead the charge to scuttle
a draft executive order that would have overturned
Obama-era enforcements of LGBT rights in the workplace,
multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO.


Tony Perkins, CEO of the Family Research Council, said in an interview ...
that Vice President Mike Pence has been involved and is “clearly sensitive to this.”
If so, the fight over LGBT rights could reveal a fault line between
Pence, an evangelical Christian who as governor of Indiana
signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015;
and Kushner, who is Jewish
and whose social circle includes socially progressive New Yorkers.

“There are some in Trump’s family that have some views on these things,”
said a source close to the discussions.
“That’s where the decision is ultimately being made.”


For Kushner, Israel Policy May Be Shaped by the Personal
New York Times, 2017-02-11


[Jared Kushner] knew the prime minister [Bibi Netanyahu],
who was friendly with his father, a real estate developer and donor to Israeli causes.
Mr. Netanyahu had even stayed at the Kushners’ home in New Jersey,
sleeping in Jared’s bedroom.

(The teenager moved to the basement that night.)


“Israel wasn’t a political discussion for him; it was his family, his life, his people,” said Hirschy Zarchi, rabbi at the Chabad House at Harvard, where Mr. Kushner was an undergraduate.

Rather than diplomatic experience, Mr. Kushner has ties to Israel that are personal and religious. His visit to Auschwitz was stark, but its themes were not new to him. His grandmother survived the Holocaust by crawling through a homemade tunnel in Poland. His grandfather escaped the massacres by hiding in a hole for years. An Orthodox Jew, Mr. Kushner was instructed to protect Israel, remember the genocide and assure the survival of the Jewish people, those close to him say.

He was educated at Jewish schools where second graders were expected to draw maps of Israel from memory and the West Bank was often referred to by its biblical names, Judea and Samaria, a practice that emphasizes Jewish claims to the land. His family used its real estate fortune to donate millions of dollars to American Jewish and Israeli hospitals, schools and other institutions, including a few in settlements, according to public records.
When Mr. Trump ran for president, his son-in-law’s stances on Israel helped shape the campaign. Mr. Kushner helped script a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and consulted with Netanyahu officials behind the scenes. When he brought the candidate and the prime minister together for a meeting, his father, Charles Kushner, was invited to join them.

Thanks in part to the younger Mr. Kushner, Mr. Netanyahu will arrive at a White House that has already adopted many of the prime minister’s perspectives on the region. Now Mr. Kushner is helping Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu craft a strategy to recruit Sunni Muslim countries that oppose Iran to help foster an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The approach is a long shot: Negotiations are dead. The Israeli right is pushing for more settlement in the West Bank as talk among Palestinians turns to a single state in which they have equal rights.
But his family was busy building a world to replace the one it had lost: schools, organizations, synagogues, campuses. The Kushners’ Judaism and support of Israel were one and the same, friends said: about ensuring survival.

The major Jewish institutions of Mr. Kushner’s life — school and synagogue — emphasized the connection between religion and Zionism. “In the modern Orthodox community, the state of Israel has an important place in identity, as a religious ideal, not only a political reality,” said Elie Weinstock, rabbi at Kehilath Jeshurun, the Manhattan synagogue Mr. Kushner joined.

At his elementary school, the Hebrew Youth Academy in Livingston, N.J., it was impossible to walk the halls “without seeing the flags of Israel and Israeli historical figures and how the kids celebrate Israeli holidays,” said Stephen Flatow, whose daughter Ilana was in Mr. Kushner’s grade.

But classmates say the environment Mr. Kushner lived in could feel apolitical, because most everyone shared similar views, and Palestinian perspectives were barely considered. Some teachers told students that “Palestinian” was a made-up identity, a label adopted for political reasons. There was little discussion of what it was like to live under occupation, several classmates of Mr. Kushner’s recalled. Many rabbis and teachers seemed comfortable with settlements, and some students said they never learned that Israel’s borders were a highly contested topic.

“There was such an assumption that Jews deserve to have this place, that it was theirs for thousands of years by biblical fiat,” said Eli Schleifer, who graduated the year before Mr. Kushner. “There was such a strange blindness to the complexity of the situation.”
Mr. Kushner sometimes expressed his views during long Sabbath meals at the house. “He certainly believed that a strong and secure Israel was in America and the world’s best interest,” Rabbi Zarchi said. He didn’t believe that Israel needed “the approval of Europe, the United Nations or even Washington or London,” the rabbi continued.

The Flynn Resignation

Why Donald Trump let Michael Flynn go
Inside the national security adviser's final days in the White House.
By Josh Dawsey, Alex Isenstadt and Tara Palmeri
Politico, 2017-02-14 : 02/14/17 02:28 AM EST

EXCLUSIVE: In Final Interview,
Defiant Flynn Insists He Crossed No Lines, Leakers Must Be Prosecuted

by Richard Pollock
Daily Caller, 2017-02-14 : 3:22 PM 02/14/2017

The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn
By Eli Lake
Bloomberg, 2017-02-14 : Feb 14, 2017 10:09 AM EST


There is another component to this story as well -- as Trump himself just tweeted.
It's very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials.
The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets.
This is for good reason.
Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA
gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity.
This is what police states do.

In the past it was considered scandalous
for senior U.S. officials to even request
the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government
(normally they are redacted from intelligence reports).
John Bolton's nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests
when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush's first term.
The fact that the intercepts of Flynn's conversations with Kislyak
appear to have been widely distributed inside the government
is a red flag.

Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told me Monday that he saw the leaks about Flynn's conversations with Kislyak as part of a pattern. "There does appear to be a well orchestrated effort to attack Flynn and others in the administration," he said. "From the leaking of phone calls between the president and foreign leaders to what appears to be high-level FISA Court information, to the leaking of American citizens being denied security clearances, it looks like a pattern."


New Yorker

The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies
by Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept, 2017-02-14 @ 1301

America's spies anonymously took down Michael Flynn. That is deeply worrying.
by Damon Linker
The Week, 2017-02-14

EXCLUSIVE: How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn’
by Richard Pollock
Daily Caller, 2017-02-15 @ 2110


All of the former intelligence officials say the rage against Flynn dated back to when the decorated general headed up the DIA. There he garnered a reputation to balk at the “politicization of military intelligence” in order to conform with President Obama’s world views.

Flynn refused to downplay the threat posed by the Islamic State and other radical Islamic groups throughout his two-year reign at the DIA. He was fired after offering congressional testimony that was at odds with the Obama administration’s posture on the Islamic threat.

Waurishuk, who interacted with Flynn as an Air Force intelligence officer and as deputy director of intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, said Flynn was a “straight shooter” who always demanded accurate threat assessments and never bent to the Obama pressures of political correctness.

Waurishuk worked in military intelligence in the Obama administration. He told TheDCNF Obama officials “know Flynn and they hate Flynn because he would call them out. So, this was their opportunity to wage what is a personal vendetta in some respects.”


Conway blames Trump's wiretap dust-up on 'double standard'

By Louis Nelson
Politico, 2017-03-06

President Donald Trump is the victim of double-barrel double standards
when it comes to his unsubstantiated allegation that
his Manhattan skyscraper was illegally wiretapped by former President Barack Obama,
counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said Monday morning,
one from Democrats and another from the media.


“We have this double standard for anonymous sources. The media loves to use anonymous sources for anything and everything that could possibly be derogatory, negative for this president and his administration,” she told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Monday morning. “And yet, they refuse to give any credibility to such sources when it may be something positive or exculpatory.”


Steve Bannon Calls Jared Kushner a ‘Cuck’ and ‘Globalist’ Behind His Back
Donald Trump’s two closest aides are fighting “nonstop” and often “face-to-face,”
officials say — and it’s even uglier in private.
by Asawin Suebsaeng
Daily Beast, 2017-04-06

Behind Comey’s firing:
An enraged Trump, fuming about Russia

The president deliberated for more than a week
before ousting the FBI chief who was investigating Trump associates.
By Josh Dawsey
Politico, 2017-05-10 : Wednesday, 05/10/17 12:02 AM EDT, Updated 05/10/17 01:06 PM EDT

Exclusive: Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC
Fired White House staffer argued
"deep state" attacked Trump administration
because the president represents a threat
to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, and bankers.

By Jana Winter, Elias Groll
Foreign Policy, 2017-08-10

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3922874/Political-Warfare.pdf - This is the seven page PDF of the memo.

The memo at the heart of the latest blowup at the National Security Council
paints a dark picture of media, academics, the “deep state,” and other enemies allegedly working to subvert U.S. President Donald Trump,
according to a copy of the document obtained by Foreign Policy.

The seven-page document, which eventually landed on the president’s desk,
precipitated a crisis that led to the departure of several high-level NSC officials tied to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
The author of the memo, Rich Higgins, who was in the strategic planning office at the NSC, was among those recently pushed out.

The full memo, dated May 2017, is titled “POTUS & Political Warfare.”
It provides a sweeping, if at times conspiratorial, view of what it describes as a multi-pronged attack on the Trump White House.

Trump is being attacked, the memo says, because he represents
“an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative.”
Those threatened by Trump include “‘deep state’ actors, globalists, bankers, Islamists, and establishment Republicans.”