Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation found that the 2016 Trump campaign’s interactions with Russians did not rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy, Mueller’s final report left no doubt that Russian government operatives went to great lengths to interfere in that presidential election. And cybersecurity experts are warning that Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election could also be a major problem for the United States. But journalist Eric Lutz, in an article published by Vanity Fair this week, reports that President Trump’s hypersensitivity on this subject and his “fragile ego” are getting in the way of efforts to protect U.S. elections from Russian interference.
One of the things that frustrated former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the president, according to the New York Times, was his reluctance to discuss cybersecurity with her. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Lutz notes, asked Nielsen to refrain from bringing up Russian interference in U.S. elections during meetings with the president—as it was a sore subject with him.
“Trump’s election-meddling angst has long been a pain point for his administration,” Lutz reports. “The president has consistently cast doubt on the extent of Russia’s 2016 interference, going so far as to take (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence officials.”
Lutz reports that Trump deeply resents “the notion that he didn’t beat” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “all by himself” in 2016 and had any outside help. Regardless, Lutz adds, Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election is “already being deployed” against Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and other Democratic primary candidates. And Trump Administration decisions like the elimination of a White House cybersecurity director position “may have kneecapped the government’s ability to address the problem, even as 2020 looms,” Lutz observes.
Lutz concludes his Vanity Fair piece with a quote from Kevin Carroll, a former Department of Homeland Security official who told the New York Times, “Russian intelligence’s 2016 covert actions to divide Americans by interfering in our election were so successful. Putin will amplify them in 2020.”
Trump unravels over Ukraine call in extensive thread– then blames Democrats
President Donald Trump continued to unravel over the call he had with Ukraine on July 25.
"This Scam going on right now by the Democrats against the Republican Party, and me, was all about a perfect phone call I had with the Ukrainian President. He’s already stated, NO PRESSURE! Where is the Whistleblower, or the 2nd Whistleblower, or the “informant?” All gone because their so-called story didn’t come even close to matching up with the exact transcript of the phone call. Was it a Corrupt Adam Schiff con? Why didn’t the IG see this? When do we depose Shifty Schiff to find out why he fraudulently made up my phone call and read this fiction to Congress and the American People? I demand his deposition. He is a fraud, just like the Russia Hoax was, and the Ukraine Hoax is now. When do the Do Nothing Democrats pay a price for what they are doing to our Country, & when do the Republicans finally fight back?"
Trump is furious over news coverage of Mick Mulvaney’s flub — and he’s growing ‘increasingly frustrated and agitated’
President Donald Trump is watching Mick Mulvaney going down on cable news, said one political analyst on CNN Sunday. The criticism of the chief of staff came after Trump spent the weekend watching media coverage of Mulvaney's flub, the network reported.
"Trump has voraciously consumed news coverage about Mulvaney and has become more agitated," the source said according to the report. "Specifically, the President is concerned, according to the source, that Mulvaney is not transitioning enough to the role he is in now -- helping to lead the impeachment inquiry defense from the West Wing."
Trump lashes out at Pelosi for going to Jordan to fix his Syria flub
President Donald Trump tweeted his anger about Speaker Nancey Pelosi (D-CA) taking a delegation of leaders to Jordan to meet with those working on Syria.
"Pelosi is now leading a delegation of 9, including Corrupt Adam Schiff, to Jordan to check out Syria. She should find out why Obama drew The Red Line In the Sand, & then did NOTHING, losing Syria & all respect. I did something, 58 missiles. One million died under Obama’s mistake!" Trump tweeted Sunday.
Vice President Mike Pence went to Turkey last week to attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, but what he ended up with was 120-hour freeze on bombing Kurds.