Thune “Concerned,” Rounds/Noem Silent on Trump’s Oval Office Delivery of Classified Intel to Russians

When the director of the FBI decided not to bring charges against a Presidential candidate for transmitting classified information on a private server in a way that could have allowed the information to be intercepted by the Russians or adversaries, Senator John Thune still demanded consequences:

“Secretary Clinton has demonstrated that she has no respect for the security of classified information and she should face the consequences,” Thune said [Dana Ferguson, “Thune, Rounds Call for Revocation of Clinton’s Security Clearances,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.07.07].

Senator Mike Rounds groused similarly:

“Access to classified information is a serious responsibility; at a minimum, they should not be trusted to handle this sensitive national security information in the future,” Rounds said [Ferguson, 2016.07.07].

When the FBI found evidence of more questionable transfers of classified information by the same Presidential candidate, Rep. Kristi Noem jumped in to expound on the importance of protecting classified information:

“Careless mishandling of classified information jeopardizes our national security and the safety of our troops and diplomats abroad.  With significant questions remaining, further investigation is not only warranted, it is required for the public’s trust to ever be restored,” Noem said [“Source: Clinton-Related Emails Came in Weiner Investigation,” AP via KELO-TV, 2016.10.28].

Now Donald Trump has handed highly classified information directly to the Russians in the Oval Office:

The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies” [Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe, “Trump Revealed Highly Classified Information to Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassdor,” Washington Post, 2017.05.15].

Before you start chanting, “Lock Him Up!” Miller and Jaffe note that the President “has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law.” Of course, I’ll understand if you feel uneasy that Trump has now replaced the formal process for declassifying intel with thoughtless bragging to Russian officials.

But hey, how does Senator Thune feel about Trump’s loose lips?

“I would be concerned anytime we’re discussing sensitive subjects with the Russians,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. Thune reacted after an initial briefing on the news report and said he had not reviewed details [Ed O’Keefe, “GOP Senator Says Trump Administration ‘in a Downward Spiral’ After Intel Disclosure,” Chicago Tribune, 2017.05.15].

Concerned—that’s a notable step down from consequences.

Noem Thune Rounds Monkeys
There go any more town halls….

Senator Rounds declared three months ago that we need to get tough with a “confrontational” Russia. Rounds is apparently still digging for “share classified intel” in any thesaurus entry for “get tough.” Rep. Noem said in February she hadn’t seen any evidence that the Trump Administration “has been influenced by Russian authorities or those within the Russian government” but said she’d “continuously watch… to see if real evidence comes forward.” She has not yet commented on this real evidence that has come forward.

Related: Thune and Rounds are among 27 Senators who, by FiveThirtyEight.com’s count, have voted 100% so far with Trump. Noem is only at 96.6%, having voted against Trump on one major bill, the appropriations bill for the rest of this fiscal year.

Also Related: The Washington Post reminds us of what Donald Trump said on the campaign trail:

Greenville, N.C., September: “This is really, if we bring it up, this is like Watergate, only it’s worse, because here our foreign enemies were in a position to hack our most sensitive national security secrets. We can’t have someone in the Oval Office who doesn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘confidential.’ ” [Donald Trump, quoted in Philip Bump, “On the Campaign Trail, Trump Was Very Worried About Revealing America’s Secrets,” Washington Post, 2017.05.15]

And why not argue for impeachment—from Republican Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, last September:

“She betrayed her country by exposing national security information to risk by our adversaries. That is a criminal offense. That makes it an impeachable offense. She probably has committed an impeachable offense, therefore she probably should be impeached. But in all likelihood she won’t be because Congress doesn’t have the political will to do so,” Brooks told AL.com in a phone interview Friday. “Looking at it from a strictly legal standpoint, Hillary Clinton has, in my opinion, committed a high crime or misdemeanor or treason, which is the constitutional standard. Which, under those circumstances, she probably should be impeached if she’s elected president. But at the same time, impeachment is a political matter, and I don’t see based on my observations of this Congress … I don’t see it happening” [Howard Koplowitz, “Mo Brooks: Hillary Clinton Should Be Impeached if Elected, but Congress Lacks Political Will,” AL.com, 2016.09.09].

And remember, Brooks made that argument based solely on exposing information to the risk of leakage, not actually recklessly handing over the information directly to a foreign power.

Update 07:13 CDT: Donald Trump says he has an “absolute right” to tell the Russians classified information… but the Russians say the story that Trump told them secrets is fake.


90 Responses to Thune “Concerned,” Rounds/Noem Silent on Trump’s Oval Office Delivery of Classified Intel to Russians

  1. If the GOP Party rolls over and plays dead in response to Trump’s argument that he has an “absolute right” to give classified information to the Ruskies, then the barn door is opened for him to start shoveling classified information to them with impunity. Dasvidaniya

  2. mike from iowa

    From the Daily Beast- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the infamous Ambassador Sergey Kislyak must have giggled inside, maybe even smirked a little as Russia’s preferred President bragged to them about how “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day.” Trump’s bravado allegedly revealed highly classified specifics about an Islamic State plot to bomb civilian aviation, one that has triggered months of incremental bans on laptops being carried into airplane cabins bound for the U.S.

    He gave that information—which came from an ally as part of what the Washington Post describes as “an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government”—to an adversary, Russia. The same adversary under scrutiny for its widespread hacking of American leaders, including the Presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, the personal emails of former Secretary of State General Colin Powell and former NATO commander General Breedlove, hacking which may have tipped the election in favor of Trump.

    By releasing classified intelligence, at best, Trump created a gaffe for which any American other than the commander-in-chief might be imprisoned. At worst, he revealed and put at risk the life of an essential intelligence source of a critical foreign ally.

  3. What would Trump’s lap doggies from South Dakota be saying if President Obama had done what Trump just did? Would two of them remain silent? Would the other one be “concerned”?

    These hacks are just examples of what’s wrong with Warshington. They act like there is one set of rules for their own party and an entirely different and more stringent set of rules for the other party. What’s the likelihood of someone growing a spine and applying the same principles to Trump as they applied to Obama? Don’t hold your breath, folks.

  4. This so-called President’s incompetence continues to reach dangerous levels. Not only is the job above his head and he treats it like a reality TV show—- He KNOWS that he can do pretty much anything with impunity because? The GOP won’t do anything. They’ve shown that time and time again. Thune and the rest of the GOP are enablers of this child.

    Absolute power corrupts. The GOP greed and want of power right now is taking a front row seat over our country. No political courage. No country before party. It is disgusting.

  5. Mike, you get me thinking about an important point on this issue. The President committed an act that would land any other American in jail. And this isn’t just some protocol thing like using the Oval Office toilet. This is an action that everyday Americans can recognize immediately as wrong and dangerous and that the President can only justify by separating himself from regular Americans—Well, I’m the President, and I have an absolute right to do whatever I want. I can grab women’s genitals; I can give secrets to the Russians. No explanation the President offers makes this action sound good.

    And he performed this action for no good reason, with no plan, with no strategic goal. He just wanted to make himself sound important, and his mouth ran away on him. The President of the United States doesn’t have to tell anyone, certainly not the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador, that he has access to great intel. Bragging about his great intel doesn’t win any strategic points; it probably weakens us, since it confirms for the Russians and all other geopolitical rivals that the American President is an insecure blowhard who can be easily manipulated or provoked into making mistakes.

    Dana is right: Donald Trump’s incompetence is obvious, objective, and dangerous. America is losing secrets, stature, and international influence. The great negotiator is turning out to be Ferris Bueller’s principal. National security demands the swift removal and replacement of this President by impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

  6. And all Pat Powers can talk about this morning is Lora Hubbel. Good grief.

  7. trump is willing to give them the launch codes and willing to give them intel because the russians already know the intel on his income tax returns. They know exactly what his bottom line is because he has been working for them just like other folks work with their bankers. Guess that is why trump has so much support from the folks here in South Dakota, he is now kind of a kindred spirit. What still intrigues me is why folks of German heritage are supporting the russians though, that is amazing.

  8. Roger Cornelius

    During the 2016 campaign Trump said the ‘he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue (or Times Square) can’t remember which, and get away with it.
    By his recklessness with classified information he may have gotten some American soldiers and diplomats killed and will get away with it.
    As the whole Trump-Russia scandal plays out many are calling for Trump to reveal his taxes and to follow the money, what we should be doing is following the bodies of dead Russian spies.

  9. As Dana P says: “Thune, Rounds and Noem are putting their party ahead of the country.” I have written all three several times urging them to get on the right side of history and break with this dangerous president. All I get back is form letters. I hope it is not too late.

  10. I am shocked, shocked I say, to find partisan hypocrisy right here in South Dakota.

  11. Everyday brings worsening chaos from the Trump admin-will this continue to be the standard operating procedure? Just what will finally be the tipping point? Who,exactly,would Trump listen to and respect…

  12. mike from iowa

    Drumpf tweeted today an admission of what he told the Russkies and yet the WH and others are claiming Drumpf did not give out any intel.

    Trolls everywhere are calling WaPo fake news because they are lying about this. Un-freaking-believable!

    RogerC here’s your quote- On 23 January 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump caused controversy when he stated the following during a campaign rally in Iowa:

    I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.

  13. Roger Cornelius

    Thanks for fixing it, mfi.

  14. Vance Feyereisen

    Someone should tell our congressional delegation that prostitution is illegal with the exception of NV.

  15. mike from iowa

    Your welcome< Roger. You were close enough.

  16. mike from iowa

    Well lookee here, somebody just woke up to find an intruder in their midst- http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/republicans-trump-russia-information-isis

    Wingnuts are mad because Drumpf told Russians more than he told Congress and they aren’t gonna take it/fake it no more. This is their baby they have coddled and spoiled. Now might be a good time to drown it.

  17. JK, Trump is a tumor. We do not listen to a tumor. We do not seek the respect of a tumor. We remove it.

  18. Clinton has come up in conversations on other channels. I want to take a moment to lay out the logical propositions flowing from the Trump/Clinton comparison in handling of classified information:

    1. If you contend that Trump did nothing wrong, you must contend that Clinton did nothing wrong.
    2. If you contend that Clinton did something wrong, you must contend that Trump did something wrong.
    3. If you contend that Trump did something wrong, you may accept, reject, or remain agnostic on whether Clinton did something wrong.
    4. If you contend that Clinton did nothing wrong, you may accept, reject,
      or remain agnostic on whether Trump did something wrong.

    These four propositions depend on one key difference between what Clinton did and what Trump did: Trump directly and willfully transmitted classified information to a rival power; Clinton did not.

  19. While Pat Powers expands his distractions to Corinna Robinson, pleading with whatever God he believes in to make real news go away, Pat’s God laughs and sends this blog post from conservative Erick Erickson, who says he knows one of the sources of the Trump-classified intel story:

    And the source is solidly supportive of President Trump, or at least has been and was during Campaign 2016. But the President will not take any internal criticism, no matter how politely it is given. He does not want advice, cannot be corrected, and is too insecure to see any constructive feedback as anything other than an attack.

    So some of the sources are left with no other option but to go to the media, leak the story, and hope that the intense blowback gives the President a swift kick in the butt….

    I am told that what the President did is actually far worse than what is being reported. The President does not seem to realize or appreciate that his bragging can undermine relationships with our allies and with human intelligence sources. He also does not seem to appreciate that his loose lips can get valuable assets in the field killed.

    …This is a real problem and I treat this story very seriously because I know just how credible, competent, and serious — as well as seriously pro-Trump, at least one of the sources is [Erick Erickson, “I Know One of the Sources,” The Resurgent, 2017.05.16].

    Well.

  20. AP reports that Senator Rounds says he’s “concerned” that Trump’s info-sharing with the Russians “may not have been done with sufficient care.” Rep. Noem sends a spokeswoman to tell AP that Noem “hopes for an explanation that clears up ‘distractions’ and lets lawmakers focus on tax, regulatory and health care overhauls.”

    Our delegation is nowhere near the “swift kick in the butt” language that Erick Erickson and I agree is appropriate and perhaps essential to salvaging American national security.

  21. Tyler Schumacher

    Cory, talking strictly of the handling of classified information, your points may be accurate (assuming that you are not equating ‘wrong’ and ‘illegal’). However the mishandling of classified information was not the only issue regarding Clinton’s use of private email servers that could make someone think Clinton did something wrong.

  22. Roger Cornelius

    This morning the White House notified CNN not to report that Israel was the source of the leaked information to Russia. Trump feels that he can give our adversary classified information and not to the American people.
    And in just released information Comey has claimed in a memo that Trump asked Comey to end the Flynn probe. if this report of the memo is true, Trump has gotten himself closer to a charge of obstruction of justice.
    How dare Thune, Rounds, and Noem play nice with all the recent information of the past week when Trump has jeopardized our intelligence sharing with our allies.

  23. bearcreekbat

    You make a great comparison, Cory, between Trump and Clinton, but you overlook a key legal distinction. Clinton, as SOS, did not have the legal authority to declassify material at will. Apparently Trump, as POTUS, does have that legal authority under our current statutes.

    If Clinton, as SOS, met with Russians and made the exact same disclosures as Trump did, she could be charged and convicted of a serious felony. But Trump, as POTUS, apparently faces no such legal restrictions, as he purportedly has the power to instantly declassify. At least that seems to be what credible media reports.

  24. mike from iowa

    Bear-McMaster said Drumpf doesn’t even know where that information came from he divulged to the Russians. Now that is scary and here is something even scarier- http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/literally-the-worst-idea-ive-ever-heard-internet-aghast-at-trumps-plan-to-give-speech-on-islam-in-saudi-arabia/

    Drumpf plans to give speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia. What could go wrong?

  25. mike from iowa

    Are we living in a really bad episode of Dallas? This stuff can’t possibly happen in America circa 2917 can it?

  26. mike from iowa

    2017. Now wingnuts have me discombobulated.

  27. Tyler, understood. But an even bigger distinction, perhaps the most relevant one, is this: right now, Donald Trump is President. Hillary Clinton is not. Donald Trump is in a position to do maximal damage to American national security. Hillary Clinton is relatively powerless. So ultimately, whatever further academic discussions may be had and rehad about Clinton’s internal tech policies, we have before us right now a President who surrenders classified intel from a close ally to the Russians for no discernible or justifiable purpose.

    And Bear, yes, I’ll acknowledge “lawful but awful” on Trump’s action as a distinction from the actions of a Secretary of State. Practically speaking, that distinction matters only to prosecutors. And impeachment does not require violations of statute. Alexander Hamilton said impeachable offenses include “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

    Are we there yet?

  28. Don Coyote

    @mike missing in iowa: “Are we living in a really bad episode of Dallas?”

    FYI, all episodes of Dallas were bad. What a wretched show.

  29. No, Mike, this isn’t a bad episode of Dallas. If this were Dallas, we’d get one hour of melodrama, then a whole week to absorb it and discuss it at the water cooler before the next dramatic revelation.

    In Trumpland, just a day after the Russia lapse revelation, the New York Times says James Comey says Trump asked him to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn:

    President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

    “I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

    The existence of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

    Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. The memo was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations [Michael S. Schmidt, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation,” New York Times, 2017.05.16].

    The second-most important phrase in that article may be “part of a paper trail.”

  30. Here’s the pattern:

    1. Trump says or does something stupid, rash, and/or corrupt.
    2. Trump’s staff goes into overdrive coming up with bald-faced lies to cover for Trump.
    3. The press picks apart the multiple lies told by multiple Trump staff members.
    4. Trump says, “Don’t listen to my staff. They’re bald-faced liars. What you thought was stupid, rash and/or corrupt was every bit as bad as you thought.
    5. Congressional Republicans go into overdrive minimizing what Trump did and avoiding earlier statements they made condemning Obama and/or Hillary for doing/saying something less stupid, rash and/or corrupt.
    6. Rinse and repeat.

  31. Senator Angus King says that if the Comey memo exists and Comey’s statement is true, that’s obstruction of justice, and that’s grounds to start the impeachment process.

    House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, who is not running for re-election, says he is ready to subpoena the Comey memo.

  32. bearcreekbat, is there a process for POTUS declassifying information – or by the very nature of his sharing does that become defacto declassification? Do we live in a time where the POTUS says something and the intelligence community shrugs and recognizes one fewer secret to keep now?

    Did President Trump mean to declassify Israel’s information?

  33. John, Kristie, Mike; 3 questions:

    1.) 10.06.16 “grab ’em by the pussy”

    -kind of inappropriate “boasting” for a republican candidate to do/say?

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/10/trump-tape-%E2%80%9Cgrab-them-pussy-you-can-do-anything%E2%80%9D

    2.) 2.14.17 “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to the memo. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

    -completely inappropriate for a republican president under investigation for collusion with Russia?

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/05/16/comey-memo-says-trump-asked-him-end-flynn-investigation/1LYTnRrV9R8qW4hZFQyPyN/story.html

    3.) 5.10.17 Trump disclosed intelligence about an Isis terrorist plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and came from the Israelis, the New York Times reported.

    -completely inappropriate “boasting” by a republican “puppet” president, again, to Russian intelligence, and after excluding US but not Russian press?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/trump-classified-information/526797/

    4.) Friday 5.12.17 “Better hope there are no tapes….”

    -completely inappropriate for a republican president to intimidate an FBI Director (witness)?

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/donald-trump-james-comey-threat

  34. Hmmm, where are all our Trump supporters? Yoo hoo – Troy, Daniel, Greg Deplorable…what’s the matter, having a hard time defending your man now? Even Coyote not talking?

    My god this just keeps getting worse and worse.

  35. Darin Larson

    I have to admit I’m conflicted on this one. For the good of the country, Trump should resign or be impeached. He is just as many of us predicted: a total disaster and clearly unfit to be President.

    But right now Trump is the biggest roadblock to the Republican agenda because of his incompetence, arrogance and narcissism. His scandals, gaffes, and incompetence have distracted, overshadowed and shoved aside any chance of a coherent Republican legislative agenda.

    Trump is also the greatest impetus for a Democratic resurgence in 2018. If Trump is impeached, (let’s face it, his ego won’t allow him to resign) Mike Pence becomes President. Pence could be a lot more effective in pushing the Republican agenda and the sooner Trump is gone, the sooner voters can forget about this generation’s “long national nightmare.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLyX4DbE6Hc

  36. Democrats should keep their powder dry and not go all-out impeachment. The public is not ready for that yet. Democrats should just let Trump continue f***ing up, and let congressional republicans keep defending and covering for him, until the country is just completely fed up with incompetence, corruption, failure and excuses.

    The Democratic Party just has to step aside and watch the mayhem and continue throwing a few logs on the fire until congressional Republicans feel so much heat from an angry public that either they impeach their own guy or voters send them all packing in 2018. If Trump is impeached now it just looks like Democrats jumped the gun. He’s only been in for a few months so far. Let us give him enough him time with his total GOP Party control of government to either accomplish or fail at his main goals: throwing 20 million poor people off of insurance, giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, shoveling classified intelligence to Russia because he’s the President and allowed to do that, building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, deporting 12 million people, bringing back coal jobs, solving the Syria, Iran, Iraq and North Korea situations, and exceeding President Obama’s 8-year travel budget every 6 months. We must give him a chance to succeed or fail.

  37. mike from iowa

    Darin and Rohr-if we do as you suggest, wouldn’t we be guilty of placing party ahead of country?

  38. Darin Larson

    mfi- It depends on whether you take a larger view of what is good for the country. I don’t think the Pence agenda will be good for the country–tax cuts for the rich, 24 million people would lose healthcare insurance, cuts to education and programs for the poor, vouchers to subsidize private religious educational institutions, culture wars, etc., etc.

    On the other hand, one could argue that Trump is such a loose cannon that his rashness and poor decision-making endangers our country beyond the day to day policy issues. I certainly wouldn’t put it past him to start a shooting war to try to rally people around the flag and think he could save his presidency.

    This is why I’m torn between dumping Trump and keeping him as a lame duck, one term President.

  39. Well Mike, the electoral college said Trump won despite losing by 2.8 million votes, so allowing Trump an opportunity to succeed or fail is honoring the will of the electoral college – though not the will of the voters.

  40. mike from iowa

    http://juanitajean.com/turkish-security-agents-attacked-protestors-in-dc/

    Turkish security agents crossed a street and physically assaulted protesters before local cops could break it up. Drumpf prolly greenlighted the attacks. What does he have to lose?

  41. All cleared up now: it is being reported today (from GOP and an unnamed White House official) that POTUS asking Comey to lay off Flynn may have been POTUS joking around. The humor is lost in the written memo of the event.

    So the obstruction of justice issue that layered over the firing of the FBI director that happened on the day of the leak of classified foreign intelligence to the Russians (during a meeting US press was barred from) in the middle of a Russian collusion/interference if a US election investigation was all just 45 joking around. Nothing to worry about.

  42. Porter Lansing

    Good one, o.

  43. mike from iowa

    One congressman stood up and said it was time to impeach the mangled apricot. Someone reported wingnuts were willing to give Drumpf another 500 or so chances.

    Elect a clown, expect a circus.

  44. mike from iowa

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nbc-mcmaster-did-not-realize-significance-of-trump-classified-info-russia

    The guy in charge of intel didn’t realize the importance of the intel Drumpf spewed to Russia. That anyway to run a railroad?

  45. mike from iowa

    Milwuakee Co sheriff Clarke, the black so called Dem sheriff has been hired as asst sec of homeland security. He arrests people for looking at him and is eager to take a squad of goons out and beat protesters out of their constitutional rights because he says he can.

  46. Darin Larson

    The DOJ just appointed a special counsel to oversee the Russian investigation.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/17/politics/special-counsel-robert-mueller/index.html

    Trump says he will fight, fight, fight.

  47. Darin Larson

    It was reported today that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said last June that he thought that Trump was on Putin’s payroll.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/house-majority-leader-to-colleagues-in-2016-i-think-putin-pays-trump/2017/05/17/515f6f8a-3aff-11e7-8854-21f359183e8c_story.html?utm_term=.728a31ff4291

    Initially McCarthy’s staff denied that he had said that, but when confronted with the recording of the conversation, they then said he was just joking.

    Speaker Ryan is heard on the tape suggesting they keep the information quiet and keep it in the family: “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks…This is how we know we’re a real family here.'”

  48. Mr. Lansing

    Good one, Darin. Now, instead of President Trump being the most embarrassed politician since Nixon he’s got a puncher’s chance of being the most reviled traitor since Benedict Arnold. GO DONNIE!! NEVER GIVE UP …

  49. MFI,

    What is the relevance of Sheriff Clarke’s race? Seems racist.

  50. Porter Lansing

    C’mon, Troy. Clarke is a black racist cop that’s condoned the murders of unarmed black men by his cops. He’s butt deep in race events.

  51. Mr. Clarke, it seems from Mike’s viewpoint there in Iowa, is a DINO

  52. Roger Cornelius

    Troy,
    Why isn’t your buddy Pat Powers not defending Donald Trump?

  53. mike from iowa

    What, are you going to tell me he is not black? The relevance is he will be one of about a dozen, total token blacks in the wingnut party. He has shown he has little to no compassion for people of color. If you want to call it racist, It is okay by me.

  54. Most promising news of the day: during Tuesday night’s evening broadcasts (as the news of Trump asking Comey to drop the Flynn investigation continued to break), FOX News went off that topic and into Trump damage control and viewers tuned OUT. MSNBC and CNN picked up viewers that night as they continued to cover the POTUS story.

    Is this a sign of the informational tide turning? Have the Trump voters finally realized they need to get REAL news of what is going on with POTUS and they must go beyond Fox to get that news?

  55. Just as we don’t get to joke about bombs in the airport, the President doesn’t get to joke about dropping investigations with the head of the FBI.

    O, I want to believe that we are reaching the point where the BS is just too much to take, where the gravity of the situation overcomes partisanship and Archie Bunkerism. But I’m always wary of believing what I want to believe.

  56. Porter,

    Now I am even more confused the relevance of race.Just so I understan your view:

    Is it better or worse to condone cops killing unarmed black men or white men?

    Or in your mind it would have been acceptable for Milwaukee cops to kill unarmed men if Clarke weren’t black.

    Finally, the fact you find race relevant isn’t it by definition you are racist?

  57. Porter Lansing

    Give an example of cops gunning down unarmed white men at levels three times higher than the population per capita percentage and I’ll run the numbers.

  58. Porter,

    Is the offense gunning down unarmed men or because they are black men? Would it be ok if they were white? Would it be worse? What is the relevance of race?

  59. Porter Lansing

    Troy asks, “What is the relevance of race?” (This is at least the third time Troy has had this discussion with me, which shows something relevant in it’s own right.) Relevance means “does it matter”. Do Black Lives Matter? Troy’s assertion is that “All lives matter”. All lives DO matter but black lives are not being respected on an equal level as white lives. Because of this disrespect and unequal treatment, it’s necessary to point out loudly that “Black Lives Matter, TOO”. I’ll note that when this unequal treatment wasn’t addressed by talking loudly about it and a few white cops were gunned down in retaliation, the unequal treatment got accelerated attention and some of this unequal treatment was mitigated.

  60. Tyler Schumacher

    Porter, what makes you think that particular statistic, by itself, means anything? There are a number of situations where, according to police training, it is acceptable to shoot an unarmed person. When a group of people that makes up 12.6 percent of the population commits 52.5 percent of all homicides (DoJ), that ‘three times higher’ statistic doesn’t quite seem so unreasonable. Of the 36 unarmed black males shot by police in 2015 (WaPo), 15 were labeled as ‘Attack in progress’, 3 as ‘Undetermined’, and 18 as ‘Other’, which includes things like breaking into a motel room, running at police wielding a large tree branch, and trying to grab something out of a car after being ordered to put your hands up. And I’m not saying that these numbers by themselves are enough to say anything either. It’s more complex than just being able to throw a statistic at it.

  61. Porter Lansing

    One bigot at a time, Tyler. I’m practicing using less words. Your statistics are wrong. Your assertions are paralogical.

  62. Tyler Schumacher

    I take that as quite an insult Porter (paralogical as much as bigot, as bigot gets thrown around like candy). What statistics are wrong? The Department of Justice’s? The Washington Post’s police shootings database? Did you look at the sources (the links are there, in the parentheticals, in case you missed it)? What assertion do you have a problem with? That you should base a decision on more than just one statistic? That police training can lead to unarmed people being shot? I am fine with concision, but an actual argument would be helpful over ‘You’re wrong.’

  63. Porter Lansing

    Is this Tyler Schumacher, age 77, lives in Pierre? Used to live in Milwaukee, Cuba City and Platteville?

  64. Tyler Schumacher

    Not age 77. And it was just outside of Milwaukee. Is there a reason you’re publicizing my personal information?

  65. Porter Lansing

    Yes. It helps me know your general computer research skill and whether you know how to GOOGLE.
    Google this … How many unarmed police shootings in 2015?

  66. Tyler Schumacher

    I’m not here to play games. The database I linked to lets you break down the shootings however you would like. Here.

  67. Roger Cornelius

    Porter,
    Don’t you know that the cops killing unarmed black men is a fake story?

  68. Porter Lansing

    Good one, Roger. – Mr. Schumacher … the statistics you posted are the exact same statistics that Stace Nelson posted, last time he tried to make the assertion that killing unarmed black men is justified. Where do these statistics come from? I’d like to analyze the source. I’ll give you one link but you’d retain the info better if you researched it yourself. Just sayin’ …
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/?utm_term=.19846193dfc1

  69. OMG, the ends justify the means, including the means of shooting cops in cold blood? Its formal ethical term is called consequentialism which is by fascists and communists to justify genocide, “mercy” killing, elimination of civil liberties/rights, human scientific experimentation (ala the Tuskegee VD experiments), slavery, human trafficking, and a host of other evils.

    Porter: “I’ll note that when this unequal treatment wasn’t addressed by talking loudly about it and a few white cops were gunned down in retaliation, the unequal treatment got accelerated attention and some of this unequal treatment was mitigated.”

    At the end of the day, I haven’t heard a single reason why the race of Sheriff Clarke is relevant to his appointment to Homeland Security, why race is relevant to cops shooting unarmed men (without justification I presume), and raising consequentialism as a defense is at best bonkers (if not patently evil).

  70. Porter Lansing

    Clarke’s race is relevant because a black Sheriff that justifies killing unarmed black men gives bigots a type of invalid justification for the bigoted things they believe. Here’s an analogy from your white world.
    If a man stands up and says, “The Catholic Church is wrong to deny women their pro-choice rights.”, it’s not as relevant as if a Catholic Bishop stands up and says, “The Catholic Church is wrong to deny women their pro-choice rights.”

  71. Tyler Schumacher

    I can’t tell if you’re trolling me. Did you not look at my links at all? The database I linked to was made by the Washington Post. It’s linked to in the article that you just linked. So we’re looking at the same source. The DoJ document I linked to includes methodology and sources, so have it. Do you realize that the strongest statement I made was that your statistic didn’t seem unreasonable when also looking at other statistics? From that you called me a bigot.

  72. Porter Lansing

    You’re a bigot because you’re trying to justify the killing of unarmed black men when it’s unjustified by sheer numbers alone. Ninety dead unarmed men in one year is far beyond the reasonable limit of extenuating circumstances.
    – Black Lives Matter, Too Mr. Schumacher and saying they don’t is bigoted.

  73. A bigot who uses race to justify a bigotry is still a bigot.

    And a racist who says race is relevant is still a racist.

  74. Tyler Schumacher

    I don’t recall saying they don’t matter. And I’m not trying to justify the killing of anyone, as that would obviously have to be done on an individual basis. All I did was question your numbers. Which I’ll do again. Why are you mentioning 90 dead unarmed men? That is all races, which doesn’t seem to be applicable to your narrative. 31 White, 36 Black, 19 Hispanic, 5 Other (91 total, the article was made before the end of the year, so it missed one). Your assertion that the numbers are disproportionate to the population is correct. Your belief that that automatically constitutes a ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter’ agenda is patently false. The database includes snippets about each individual death, and links to news articles. As justification for a shooting could be subjective, why don’t you look through all of the snippets, and come up with numbers for what you think may be justified and how they compare across the races. Unarmed != not a threat. Since, according to the DoJ as linked above, a group that makes up 12.6 percent of the population is responsible for 52.5 percent of homicides, can’t you admit that there is at least a slight possibility that that group would account for a disproportionate amount of unarmed threats? If you have a problem with that statistic, fine, make an argument. I’m willing to listen to logic. But if you’re going to continue to ignore statistics without making a coherent argument, preferring to make attacks based on unfounded assumptions, I’ll say good day.

  75. Porter Lansing

    And … neither one matters if you’re white? It matters a lot if your black son is dead because a white cop felt threatened and disrespected; killed first and asked questions later.

  76. Porter,

    Parents who grieve the loss of a child are having a colorblind experience. They join a club they didn’t apply for and can never leave. While most people experience loss of a parent and siblings and half loss of a spouse, the few who have lost a child think those who haven’t should forego thinking they know crap about it or have anything relevant to say.

    You are only digging your hole deeper.

  77. Porter Lansing

    You’re in the hole, Troy. No parent should have to bury their child but when their child is taken because of their race saying they’re color blind is beyond arrogance. Black Lives Matter, Too.

  78. Porter,

    I’ll say it again, slightly differently. Parents who grieve the loss of a child are having an experience where race is irrelevant.

  79. Porter Lansing

    If that’s what you believe then we disagree. Last word is your’s, Mr. Jones

  80. Porter,

    The parents in the club don’t give an ounce of consideration to what people outside the club think or believe. They just wish people outside would quit pretending they know anything.

  81. And because of that with regards to parents grieving a child, race doesn’t matter

  82. mike from iowa

    McMasters said he was in the room and Drumpf did not do anything untoward. Later McMasters said he did not realize at the time Drumpf disclosed sensitive-aka top secret- info how significant it was and now we don’t know the reality of the damage the 4 year old brat in the WH has done to intel services around the world.

    WaPo report also said if 50 whites and 50 blacks are murdered and blacks make up one fifth the pop as whites, then blacks are 5 times more likely to be murdered than whites.

  83. Roger Cornelius

    mfi,
    Do you know how Pat Powers on Dakota War College is responding to this Trump-Russia scandal?

  84. mike from iowa

    No I didn’t, Roger. I’ll go check it out.

  85. mike from iowa

    Impressive coverage, Roger. I almost thought I saw the word Russia. :)

  86. Roger Cornelius

    Thanks mike, I don’t like to dirty up my fingers looking at that site.
    He’s probably still talking about the Democratic McGovern Day Dinner.

  87. Porter Lansing

    Pat has two trains of deception aimed at people like Grudz.
    1. Outsiders are laughing at you.
    2. Outside money is trying to tell you what to do
    Wrong …
    1. It matters little what people think of you, because they rarely do. People mostly think about themselves
    2. Money and ideas are fungible. They flow freely from person to person, town to town and state to state. It’s a natural as weather moving west to east.

  88. Pat still hasn’t addressed the most significant scandal and crisis of leadership facing a U.S. President since the Clinton impeachment.

    Of course, somehow the commenters here have drifted off to another topic as well. These things happen.

    But stay tuned: I’m sure Donald Trump’s speeches in Saudi Arabia will focus everyone’s attention again. ;-)

  89. Porter Lansing

    Trump is for sale and the House of Saud has money to spend.

  90. Troy’s white privilege:

    “Parents who grieve the loss of a child are having a colorblind experience.”