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‘What the f*ck is going on?’: European allies alarmed as Trump administration descends into chaos

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Officials at European security services are baffled and wary over the latest turmoil in Pres. Donald Trump’s White House and many are concluding that “counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy.”

According to BuzzFeed’s Mitch Prothero, the resignation of Gen. Mike Flynn and allegations that the Trump team colluded with Russian intelligence services before and after the 2016 election have left NATO nations at a loss as to how to move forward.

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“I was hoping you could tell me what the f*ck is going on over there,” said one anonymous official to Prothero, who wrote that allies who have worked with the U.S. in the past are at a loss as to how to proceed in the face of the Trump administration’s close ties to Russia, NATO’s foremost rival.

“There’s no guide for handling this sort of situation, happening with such an important and powerful ally,” the official said — who, like everyone Prothero spoke with, would only speak anonymously for fear of reprisals. “If anything, it’s a wake-up call to European leaders that counting on America isn’t currently a smart policy. Of course this is exactly what Putin wants — to destabilize the Atlantic alliance — but I have to counsel my policymakers the best I can, and right now it’s ‘Prepare to handle some crises without US support.’”

“The perception that Flynn had close ties to Russian intelligence and diplomats had alarmed a number of observers from Washington to Brussels, as had his reputation as a poor manager after his 2014 firing as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency by then-President Barack Obama,” wrote Prothero.

The Trump administration’s secretive and slapdash approach to crafting policy and its conflicting and contradictory messaging has left many European observers unsure what the new president’s actual views on NATO are. Further complicating the issue is Trump’s apparent lack of understanding of how U.S. relations to the European Union actually work.

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Flynn’s resignation this week over calls he made to Russia’s ambassador and the lies he told to cover his tracks removed a major Russian influence from the Trump cabinet, but the officials with whom Prothero spoke were not entirely reassured.

“This changes nothing in terms of European concerns about possible shifts in American foreign policy from this administration when it comes to the role of NATO and the EU,” said one NATO official.

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They went on to say, “Those concerns will only be allayed when the new administration settles in and starts making coherent policy. We hear decent things from the diplomatic and military channels that policy will remain consistent, but that’s offset by statements from people on the political level leaving us with the same questions. Who is making policy? What are those policies? How much can we trust that there will be constancy between the White House and the Pentagon in terms of these policies? Maybe replacing Flynn will improve the organization and decision-making process, but that remains to be seen.”

One intelligence official said that Flynn’s “obvious ties and sympathies to the Russians were shocking and made a lot of people quite fearful. But will replacing him fix that perception? I don’t know … It’s hard to come back from concerns that Russia has infiltrated your security services. Broad replacement of everyone affiliated with Flynn would be a step towards reassuring NATO allies but it’s not going to be enough as long as the sense that the policymakers are unpredictable remains.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s economic advisers baffled over how to hold off recession that his trade war set it in motion: report

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According to a report from ABC, Donald Trump's economic advisers are baffled about how to stop what appears to be a recession coming before the 2020 election after his trade war upset an already teetering worldwide economy.

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It’s not Democrats who are making guns a political issue: It’s all the dead bodies

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We can’t keep up. We can’t keep up with the lies, we can’t keep up with the racism, we can’t keep up with the anti-immigrant hysteria, we can’t keep up with the firings and resignations, we can’t keep up with the flat-out lunacy, but most of all, we can’t keep up with the dead bodies.

In a single week, between Sunday, July 28, and Saturday, Aug. 3, there were three separate mass shootings in this country. In Gilroy, California, at a popular garlic festival, a man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying an AK-47 style assault rifle, killed three people and wounded 13. Two of the dead and several of the wounded were children. The shooter had six high-capacity magazines in his possession: one was a drum magazine holding 75 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, and the other five held 40 rounds. He had bought the AK-47 and ammunition just three weeks before he opened fire on the festival goers.

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