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The Trump Years- Every day something more shocking than the last!


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I won't know for a while, but my final chemo treatment was a week and a half ago, the side effects are subsiding, and I feel better than I have in a long time. Thanks for asking.

So that whole, "I bet you wimps would never challenge big, bad Donald physically" stuff got me thinking last night. I sincerely believe that I could defeat an entire gauntlet of all living Presid

You kidding?  For those on the right, the past 8 years the supporters have been focused almost totally on how much the democrats were the enemy.  It was on fox news, on talk radio, on the breitbart an

53 minutes ago, NREC34 said:

I see he's meeting with top USA manufacturing execs. That's a good thing. 

I agree.....forget crowds and ratings and who voted for who.  You won.  Do stuff and don't make us look like morons.  Don't sweat the small stuff. 

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2 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Trump is ever so slightly more distractible than Obama.

Fair enough.  But tweets get shared a lot faster than civil complaints.  If the strategy is distracting him, hiring a bunch of meme generators seems cheaper than hiring a lawyer.  I'm a crappy lawyer, but I'm pretty sure I cost more than the people who are splicing Celine Dion songs into that Nazi getting punched. 

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Just now, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

Fair enough.  But tweets get shared a lot faster than civil complaints.  If the strategy is distracting him, hiring a bunch of meme generators seems cheaper than hiring a lawyer.  I'm a crappy lawyer, but I'm pretty sure I cost more than the people who are splicing Celine Dion songs into that Nazi getting punched. 

Trump follows the mainstream media.  The media doesn't generally report on random Twitter zingers.  They do report on lawsuits and judicial opinions.

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Trump follows the mainstream media.  The media doesn't generally report on random Twitter zingers.  They do report on lawsuits and judicial opinions.

what media are you watching.  Every time Trump tweets a panel gets together to break it down.

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1 minute ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Trump follows the mainstream media.  The media doesn't generally report on random Twitter zingers.  They do report on lawsuits and judicial opinions.

According to the Times the entire  "alternative facts" fiasco over inauguration weekend was because Trump follows Twitter. 

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25 minutes ago, Jackstraw said:

“We should've kept the oil ... maybe you'll have another chance,” President Trump tells the CIA about Iraq.

:shock:

That's the one part of the speech that jumped out at me, too. Nobody in their right mind can want to attack Iraq again.

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Today we're on to Alternative alternative facts.

Quote

Kellyanne Conway referenced a story saying viewership for Friday’s swearing-in was the “second biggest” in history.

Conway, fresh off a weekend in which she defended demonstrably false statements about inauguration attendance and viewership by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as “alternative facts,” linked to an Entertainment Weekly article on her Twitter account, publishing the headline “Trump Inauguration Ratings Second Biggest in 36 Years.”

That's the new alternative fact -- "second biggest". Meanwhile in fact facts

Quote

Calculating the overall global viewership for Trump’s inauguration would be nearly impossible, but in the U.S., it was viewed by 30.6 million Americans, according to Nielsen ratings. That would put Trump’s inaugural ceremony behind that of former Presidents Ronald Reagan (41.8 million viewers in 1981), Obama (37.7 million in 2009), Jimmy Carter (34.1 million in 1977) and Richard Nixon (33 million in 1973).

 

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I don't usually agree with Newt Gingrich but he said something interesting yesterday: he stated that if Trump can produce jobs and keep us safe, he'll be viewed as a success and re-elected; nothing else will matter. 

I think this may very well be true except I'll make one change: what Trump needs to do is give the public the appearance of producing jobs, and the appearance of keeping us safe. Obama actually accomplished both of these goals to a reasonable degree, but never succeeded in properly communicating his successes to the public. I suspect that Trump will be far less successful in these goals than Obama was but will sell himself much better. We may be here for a while. 

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10 minutes ago, Quez said:

Who's down with TPP?

I absolutely am. Don't love everything about it but it would have opened up a tremendous marketplace for our goods and the advantages of that far outweighed any negatives. We have lost a great opportunity here IMO. 

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I don't usually agree with Newt Gingrich but he said something interesting yesterday: he stated that if Trump can produce jobs and keep us safe, he'll be viewed as a success and re-elected; nothing else will matter. 

I think this may very well be true except I'll make one change: what Trump needs to do is give the public the appearance of producing jobs, and the appearance of keeping us safe. Obama actually accomplished both of these goals to a reasonable degree, but never succeeded in properly communicating his successes to the public. I suspect that Trump will be far less successful in these goals than Obama was but will sell himself much better. We may be here for a while. 

His daily twitter melts are already wearing thin on his supporters and it's day 3. This is going to be an epic disaster.

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1 minute ago, Skoo said:

His daily twitter melts are already wearing thin on his supporters and it's day 3. This is going to be an epic disaster.

I would also question how effective his campaigning will be the second time around. Think people will buy into the #### talking the second time around. 

But events we can't possibly foresee will probably be more of a factor than anything. 

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I wish more people would put energy in managing their own lives according to whatever obstacles government puts in their way instead of investing all of their energy into complaining about the obstacles.  Then get involved at the local level - start or join a grassroots movement that actually does something to make things better.  Vote.  Look at the horrible turnout in the election cycles and realize by not voting we are allowing a small percentage of the population make horrible choices for us. Get involved in your local election commission or your party of choice - serve on your local school board - join the PTO - attend city council meetings (run for city council), etc.  Start small, make a difference and convince others to do the same.  Too many complainers and not enough voters - if you care enough to complain then care enough to vote and stay engaged with your representatives.  Hold them accountable but hold yourself accountable to the process which gets them elected in the first place.

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9 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I don't usually agree with Newt Gingrich but he said something interesting yesterday: he stated that if Trump can produce jobs and keep us safe, he'll be viewed as a success and re-elected; nothing else will matter. 

I think this may very well be true except I'll make one change: what Trump needs to do is give the public the appearance of producing jobs, and the appearance of keeping us safe. Obama actually accomplished both of these goals to a reasonable degree, but never succeeded in properly communicating his successes to the public. I suspect that Trump will be far less successful in these goals than Obama was but will sell himself much better. We may be here for a while. 

I kind of agree, but these are not the black and white questions Newt suggests they are.

Did Obama produce jobs and keep us safe in his first term?  I think most people would say yes, but plenty of people disagree, and he won his second term by a much narrower margin than his first.

Did Bush produce jobs and keep us safe in his first term?  I personally would have a hard time not laughing at you before you even finished asking the question, but he won a second term more easily than he won his first.

 

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The TPP withdrawal order was one of three actions taken by the President in his third full day in office. He also ordered a freeze in government hiring and reimposed ban on providing federal money to international groups that provide abortions.

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1 hour ago, Jackstraw said:

“We should've kept the oil ... maybe you'll have another chance,” President Trump tells the CIA about Iraq.

:shock:

I mean, he has no idea the implications of the dumb #### he says.  How can he be that dumb?

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13 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

The TPP withdrawal order was one of three actions taken by the President in his third full day in office. He also ordered a freeze in government hiring and reimposed ban on providing federal money to international groups that provide abortions.

Trump is already over 1% to matching Obama's total number of executive orders from his entire 8 years.  Looking forward to the chorus of disapproval from those who decried Obama's "imperial" presidency (Obama's rate of executive orders per year in office was the lowest since Grover Cleveland's first term). 

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8 minutes ago, massraider said:

I mean, he has no idea the implications of the dumb #### he says.  How can he be that dumb?

I honestly think that he views being President as just another reality TV gig. He's still talking about ratings, the number of people that showed up for his inauguration was a huge deal to him, he brings a pack of staffers to cheer for him everywhere he goes. He's going to govern with the appearance of popularity as his #1 priority, and he's going to keep on saying outrageous stuff to get attention, just like he has going back to his days going on Stern well before The Apprentice. I hope I'm wrong, but I kind of doubt it.

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U.S. officials confirmed to CBS News that Donald Trump’s team brought supporters to his speech at the CIA headquarters on Saturday to sit in the first few rows. These 40-or-so individuals were reportedly cheering while Trump spoke, which the initial perception was that CIA employees listening to the speech were doing so. Additionally, CBS reported that agency employees at large were “uncomfortable” with Trump’s visit, which “made relations with the intelligence community worse.” Despite claims from the administration that some were waiting to get inside the room, the network reported that just 400 employees RSVP’d. “Thousands” were reportedly invited. 

This is hilarious/awful.

That speech was an abomination.  

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1 minute ago, massraider said:

This is hilarious/awful.

That speech was an abomination.  

IB4 "Fake News"

But for real, his supporters won't care one bit.  If he can somehow create a few box stacking jobs, not get us nuked, and not grab too many pus*ies, he'll be doing a good job according to them. 

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30 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

The TPP withdrawal order was one of three actions taken by the President in his third full day in office. He also ordered a freeze in government hiring and reimposed ban on providing federal money to international groups that provide information about abortions.

fixed

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If you're wondering about that CIA speech, and why people are talking about it, here you are:  This is a pretty accurate read on the CIA speech, and one of the better reads, overall, you'll find today:

 

Quote

The death of Robert Ames, who was America’s top intelligence officer for the Middle East, is commemorated among the hundred and seventeen stars on the white marble Memorial Wall at C.I.A. headquarters, in Langley, Virginia. He served long years in Beirut; Tehran; Sanaa, Yemen; Kuwait City; and Cairo, often in the midst of war or turmoil. Along the way, Ames cultivated pivotal U.S. operatives and sources, even within the Palestine Liberation Organization when it ranked as the world’s top terrorist group. In April, 1983, as chief of the C.I.A.’s Near East division, back in Washington, Ames returned to Beirut for consultations as Lebanon’s civil war raged.

Shortly after 1 p.m. on April 18th, 1983, Ames was huddling with seven other C.I.A. staff at the high-rise U.S. Embassy overlooking the Mediterranean, when a delivery van laden with explosives made a sharp swing into the cobblestone entryway, sped past a guard station, and accelerated into the embassy’s front wall. It set off a roar that echoed across Beirut. My office was just up the hill. A huge black cloud enveloped blocks.

It was the very first suicide bombing against the United States in the Middle East, and the onset of a new type of warfare. Carried out by an embryonic cell of extremists that later evolved into Hezbollah, it blew off the front of the embassy, leaving it like a seven-story, open-faced dollhouse. Sixty-four were killed, including all eight members of the C.I.A. team. It was, at the time, the deadliest attack on an American diplomatic facility anywhere in the world, and it remains the single deadliest attack on U.S. intelligence. (Only one of the thirty attacks on U.S. missions since then, in Nairobi, in 1998, has been deadlier.)

Ryan Crocker, the embassy’s political officer, had met with Ames earlier that day. Crocker was blown against the wall by the bomb’s impact, but escaped serious injury. He spent hours navigating smoke, fires, and tons of concrete, steel, and glass debris, searching for his colleagues.

“This is seared into my mind, irretrievably,” Crocker recalled for me this weekend. “There wasn’t an organized recovery plan, not in the initial hours after the bombing. I was de facto in charge that first awful night, when you dug a little and shouted out in case there was someone alive there, and then dug a bit more. Somewhere that night, I was on that rubble heap, and a radiator caught my eye. There was an object at the foot of the radiator. It looked like a beach ball, covered thick with dust. It was Bob Ames’s head.”

Ames left behind a widow and six children. He was so clandestine that his kids did not know that he was a spy until after he was killed. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, saw the flag-draped coffins of the American victims arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, and met with the families of the deceased.

Reagan, who had known Ames, recounted the meetings in his diary, according to Kai Bird’s book about Ames, “The Good Spy”: “We were both in tears—I know all I could do was grip their hands—I was too choked up to speak.” More than three thousand people turned out for the memorial service at the National Cathedral for Ames and the other American victims.

On his first full day in office, President Trump spoke at the C.I.A. headquarters in front of the hallowed Memorial Wall, with Ames’s star on it. Since his election, Trump has raged at the U.S. intelligence community over its warnings about Russian meddling in the Presidential election. After CNN reported on, and BuzzFeed published, an as-yet unsubstantiated dossier about Trump’s ties to Russia and personal behavior, the President erupted on Twitter, “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

On Saturday, speaking to about four hundred intelligence officials, Trump blamed any misunderstanding on the media. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” he said. (The official White House transcript notes “laughter” and “applause” here.) “They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the No. 1 stop is exactly the opposite—exactly.”

Trump vowed greater support for America’s sixteen intelligence agencies than they had received from any other President. “Very, very few people could do the job you people do,” he said. “I know maybe sometimes you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted, and you’re going to get so much backing. Maybe you’re going to say, Please don’t give us so much backing. Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing.” Trump said he assumed that “almost everybody” in the cavernous C.I.A. entry hall had voted for him, “because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks.”

In his remarks, Trump made passing reference to the “special wall” behind him but never mentioned the top-secret work or personal sacrifices of intelligence officers like Ames and the others who died in Beirut, including the C.I.A. station chief Kenneth Haas, and James F. Lewis, who had been a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, and his wife Monique, who was on her first day on the job at the Beirut embassy. Nor did the President refer to any of the dozens of others for whom stars are etched on the hallowed C.I.A. wall of honor. It was like going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and not mentioning those who died in the Second World War.

Trump’s unscripted remarks were, instead, largely about himself, even as he praised Mike Pompeo—a West Point and Harvard Law School graduate, Kansas congressman, and Tea Party supporter—as his choice to lead the C.I.A.

“No. 1 in his class at West Point,” Trump said. “Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at M.I.T. for thirty-five years, who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically—was an academic genius—and then they say, Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart persona.”

Apparently as proof, the President noted that he had set an “all-time record” in Time magazine cover stories. “Like, if Tom Brady is on the cover, it’s one time, because he won the Super Bowl or something, right?” he told the intelligence officials. “I’ve been on it for fifteen times this year. I don’t think that’s a record that can ever be broken.” Time told Politico’s Playbook that it had published eleven Trump covers—and had done fifty-five cover stories about Richard Nixon.

Trump spoke briefly about eradicating “radical Islamic extremism,” a cornerstone of his foreign policy. But he devoted more than twice as many words to the dispute over the turnout at his Inauguration. “Did everybody like the speech?” Trump asked. “I’ve been given good reviews. But we had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field. I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, the field was—it looked like a million, million and a half people.”

Crowd scientists who spoke to the Times estimated that about a hundred and sixty thousand people attended, compared with the record-setting 1.8 million who were estimated to have been at President Obama’s first Inauguration. Trump was defiant. “We caught them, and we caught them in a beauty,” he told the C.I.A. crowd. “And I think they’re going to pay a big price.”

Trump’s remarks caused astonishment and anger among current and former C.I.A. officials. The former C.I.A. director John Brennan, who retired on Friday, called it a “despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of C.I.A.’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” according to a statement released through a former aide. Brennan said he thought Trump “should be ashamed of himself.”

Crocker, who was among the last to see Ames and the local C.I.A. team alive in Beirut, was “appalled” by Trump’s comments. “Whatever his intentions, it was horrible,” Crocker, who went on to serve as the U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Kuwait, told me. “As he stood there talking about how great Trump is, I kept looking at the wall behind him—as I’m sure everyone in the room was, too. He has no understanding of the world and what is going on. It was really ugly.”

“Why,” Crocker added, “did he even bother? I can’t imagine a worse Day One scenario. And what’s next?”

John McLaughlin is a thirty-year C.I.A. veteran and a former acting director of the C.I.A. who now teaches at Johns Hopkins University. He also chairs a foundation that raises funds to educate children of intelligence officers killed on the job. “It’s simply inappropriate to engage in self obsession on a spot that memorializes those who obsessed about others, and about mission, more than themselves,” he wrote to me in an e-mail on Sunday. “Also, people there spent their lives trying to figure out what’s true, so it’s hard to make the case that the media created a feud with Trump. It just ain’t so.”

John MacGaffin, another thirty-year veteran who rose to become the No. 2 in the C.I.A. directorate for clandestine espionage, said that Trump’s appearance should have been a “slam dunk,” calming deep unease within the intelligence community about the new President. According to MacGaffin, Trump should have talked about the mutual reliance between the White House and the C.I.A. in dealing with global crises and acknowledged those who had given their lives doing just that.

“What self-centered, irrational decision process got him to this travesty?” (massraider: LOL) MacGaffin told me. “Most importantly, how will that process serve us when the issues he must address are dangerous and incredibly complex? This is scary stuff!”

Trump could have taken a page from Reagan, whom he has often invoked. In 1984, at a groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to C.I.A. headquarters, Reagan told the intelligence community, “The work you do each day is essential to the survival and to the spread of human freedom. You remain the eyes and ears of the free world. You are the ‘trip wire’ over which totalitarian rule must stumble in their quest for global domination. . . . From Nathan Hale’s first covert operation in the Revolutionary War to the breaking of the Japanese code at Midway in World War II, America’s security and safety have relied directly on the courage and collective efforts of her intelligence personnel.”

Bruce Riedel was a protégé of Ames at the C.I.A.; they travelled together in the Middle East. For more than three decades, he has made an annual visit to Ames’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. He noted one glaring omission from Trump’s comments: a third of the stars are from deaths that have happened since 9/11, “making it more dangerous to work for the agency now than ever before.” He faulted Trump for not visiting the Counterterrorism Center, talking to the team now tracking Al Qaeda and Islamic State leaders, and seeing how drones work—all “invaluable experience when he later needs to make life-and-death decisions,” Riedel, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told me.

Paul Pillar, a Vietnam veteran, rose to become deputy director of the Counterterrorism Center and later the National Intelligence Officer in charge of the Middle East and South Asia. He, too, was anguished by Trump’s comments. “He used the scene as a prop for another complaint about the media and another bit of braggadocio about his crowds and his support,” Pillar told me Sunday. “That the specific prop was the C.I.A.’s memorial wall, and that Trump made no mention of those whom that wall memorializes, made his performance doubly offensive.”

At 7:35 a.m. on Sunday, Trump responded on Twitter to the negative reactions to his comments. “Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!”

But it’s hard to see how America’s new leader will recoup from a performance so shallow, irreverent, and vainglorious.

This got me thinking, well hang on here, maybe this writer is some liberal hack from BuzzFeed, on loan from HuffPo, you know??

Quote

Robin Wright is a contributing writer for newyorker.com, and has written for the magazine since 1988. Her first piece on Iran won the National Magazine Award for best reporting. A former correspondent for the Washington Post, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Sunday Times of London, she has reported from more than a hundred and forty countries. She is currently a joint fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has also been a fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as well as at Yale, Duke, Dartmouth, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Wright has received the U.N. Correspondents Association Gold Medal for international coverage, and the Overseas Press Club Award for the “best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initia­tive,” for her coverage of African wars. The American Academy of Diplomacy has named her its journalist of the year for “distinguished reporting and analysis of international affairs.” She has also won the National Press Club Award for diplomatic reporting and has been the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant.

Wright is the author of several books, including “The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran,” “Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam,” and “Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East,” which was selected by the New York Times and the Washington Post as one of the most notable books of 2008. Her most recent book, “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” was selected as the best book on international affairs by the Overseas Press Club.

 

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5 minutes ago, massraider said:

At 7:35 a.m. on Sunday, Trump responded on Twitter to the negative reactions to his comments. “Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!”

This is my favorite part.

Did he really claim that a speech at the CIA memorial was a WIN?

Someone really needs to tell this guy the election is over.

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1 minute ago, massraider said:

This got me thinking, well hang on here, maybe this writer is some liberal hack from BuzzFeed, on loan from HuffPo, you know??

That's a good piece from a well respected journalist. That said, I get email updates for the online New Yorker daily (ETA: looks like 6 days a week), and I can't remember the last time it didn't include a piece on Trump. Just did a quick search on my Inbox, 42 since December 1. Eventually they'll probably find something positive or favorably to write about him, but so far I think they're batting 1.000.

(which is fine by me, but they're more biased than the NYT)

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1 minute ago, Skoo said:

This is my favorite part.

Did he really claim that a speech at the CIA memorial was a WIN?

Someone really needs to tell this guy the election is over.

"Win"?

Is he going to start tweeting that he has tiger blood?

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6 minutes ago, Coeur de Lion said:

Is he going to bring a cheering section to every briefing and press conference that he does? What in the mother ####?

It's awful. Completely inappropriate. Trying to sway perception via a traveling studio audience.

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U.S. officials confirmed to CBS News that Donald Trump’s team brought supporters to his speech at the CIA headquarters on Saturday to sit in the first few rows. These 40-or-so individuals were reportedly cheering while Trump spoke, which the initial perception was that CIA employees listening to the speech were doing so. Additionally, CBS reported that agency employees at large were “uncomfortable” with Trump’s visit, which “made relations with the intelligence community worse.” Despite claims from the administration that some were waiting to get inside the room, the network reported that just 400 employees RSVP’d. “Thousands” were reportedly invited.


Wonder what Spidey is going to say about this?

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10 minutes ago, Coeur de Lion said:

Is he going to bring a cheering section to every briefing and press conference that he does? What in the mother ####?

I think the fear-mongering from anti-Trumpers is a little overblown in general, but that is kinda some North Korea ####.

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  • Clayton Gray changed the title to The Trump Years- Trump Jr. might have accidentally treasoned. Maybe.
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