Saturday, October 15, 2016

Donald J. Trump: “I am the smartest person ever. Don't Believe It, Just Ask Me”

Two of a Kind; Birds of a Feather; Cut from the Same Cloth; Mirror Image

Trump always has been, still is, and will try to be the only show in town (or so he says). He would be a “one-man administration” in the Oval Office running it like a new business, some fancy new product line, or new TV reality show.

The latest: Trump apparently does not trust U.S. intelligence agencies and especially when it comes to talking about threats now or ever from Russia and Vlad Putin. This story from here, and in part below (Chicago Tribune from the Washington Post).

Former senior national security officials are dismayed at Trump and his repeated refusal to accept their judgment and that of many intelligence professionals about it was Russia who hacked and stole files from the DNC computers in an effort to influence our national election, and to some extent still are hacking and attempting to spoil or totally destroy our entire electoral process.

Former officials, who have served presidents in both parties for decades, say they are still bewildered even after Trump cast doubt on Russia's role even after he received a classified briefing on the subject and then again after he heard or read an unusually blunt statement from those agencies saying they were “confident that Moscow had orchestrated the hack attacks.

Trump for his part has assured supporters that, if elected, he would surround himself with experts on defense and foreign affairs, where he has little experience, but when it comes to Russia, he also made it clear that he is not listening to intelligence officials, some former officials have said.

Some officials and their statements and views on this:

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden former director of the CIA and the NSA said about Trump's pronouncements: “It defies logic. He seems to ignore their (agency) advice. Why would you assume this would change when he is in office? It's remarkable that he's refused to say an unkind syllable about Vladimir Putin. He contorts himself not to criticize Putin,” Hayden concluded.

Note: Trump has consistently adopted positions likely to find favor with the Kremlin. He has, for instance, criticized NATO allies for not paying their fair share and defended Putin’s human rights record, like bombing civilians all over Syria.

Then this irony: Trump's VP mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN), said in his vice-presidential debate that the United States should “use military force” against the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Trump disagreed with Pence saying we should in essence join Assad and Russia and Iran to fight ISIS and I guess, continue to bomb Syrians back to the Stone Age (or so he implies).

Former acting CIA director John E. McLaughlin said that all previous presidential candidates took the briefings to heart, adding: “In my experience, candidates have taken into the account the information they have received and modulated their comments. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, is playing politics. He's trying to diminish the impression people have that a Russian hack of the DNC somehow helps his cause.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said information she received has led her to conclude that Russia is attempting “to fix this election,” and she called on Trump and elected officials from both parties “to vocally and forcefully reject those efforts.”

Former CIA Lawyer John Rizzo, who served under seven presidents and became the agency's acting general counsel said: “I don't recall a previous candidate saying they didn't believe or trust the information from an intelligence briefing. These are career people. They are not administration officials. What do those comments do to their morale and credibility?”

Other former intelligence officials interviewed believe Trump is either willfully disputing intelligence assessments, has a blind spot on Russia, or perhaps doesn't understand the nonpartisan traditions and approach of intelligence professionals. For example, in the first presidential debate, right after intelligence and congressional officials stated Russia almost certainly broke into the DNC computers, Trump quipped on national TV: “I don't think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

Continue the story here (Chicago Tribune from the Washington Post).

This story illustrates another serious side of Trump that displays his total arrogance and stupidity. It reinforces that I called his act as “a one-man show” who wants to handle everything by himself and now adds this to his long string of other stupid comments like: “I know more about ISIS than the Generals do” or “I am the only one who can fix things.” 

Donald J. Trump should never be near the White House except maybe on a visitor’s weekend tour, but certainly never on duty as the CINC. He is a menace to national sanity by any standard.

Thanks for stopping by – come again and vote on November 8th like everything depends on it – because it does.

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