Patterico's Pontifications

10/24/2018

Trump’s Disdain for Security Has Our Enemies Listening to His Phone Calls

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:50 pm

Lock him up.

When President Trump calls old friends on one of his iPhones to gossip, gripe or solicit their latest take on how he is doing, American intelligence reports indicate that Chinese spies are often listening — and putting to use invaluable insights into how to best work the president and affect administration policy, current and former American officials said.

Mr. Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and they have told him that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on the calls, as well. But aides say the voluble president, who has been pressured into using his secure White House landline more often these days, has still refused to give up his iPhones. White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them.

American spy agencies, the officials said, had learned that China and Russia were eavesdropping on the president’s cellphone calls from human sources inside foreign governments and intercepting communications between foreign officials.

The officials said they have also determined that China is seeking to use what it is learning from the calls — how Mr. Trump thinks, what arguments tend to sway him and to whom he is inclined to listen — to keep a trade war with the United States from escalating further. In what amounts to a marriage of lobbying and espionage, the Chinese have pieced together a list of the people with whom Mr. Trump regularly speaks in hopes of using them to influence the president, the officials said.

Fortunately, he’s probably not spilling any classified information because he barely pays attention to that stuff.

Administration officials said Mr. Trump’s longtime paranoia about surveillance — well before coming to the White House he believed that his phone conversations were often being recorded — gave them some comfort that he was not disclosing classified information on the calls. They said they had further confidence he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities.

None of this is shocking. There is a dolt in the Oval Office, everyone knows he’s a dolt, and Americans are apparently fine with it. All you can do is shrug your shoulders.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Quintessential Trump Gaslighting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 pm

Who says Trump can’t be entertaining reading prepared remarks? I’ll start the clip in the right place, but you’ll have to stop it yourself.

As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories. Have to do it. Have to do it. They have got to stop. Bring people together.

It’s the funniest thing I’ve heard since I heard about Melania Trump making a crusade of opposing bullying.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

More Explosive Devices: Clintons, Obamas, and Maybe CNN

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Dana already blogged about the explosive device at George Soros’s home. Now there are reports of explosive devices having been sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton and to Barack Obama.

The Secret Service said Wednesday that it had intercepted packages containing “potential explosive devices” addressed to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in New York and former president Barack Obama in Washington.

The devices were recovered not long after an explosive device was found in a mailbox at the Bedford, N.Y., home of George Soros, the liberal philanthropist who is a frequent target of criticism from far-right groups.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said in a statement Wednesday. “The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

The Secret Service said the package addressed to the Chappaqua, N.Y., home of Clinton and former president Bill Clinton was recovered late Tuesday. The package sent to Obama’s Washington home was intercepted early Wednesday, authorities said.

Meanwhile, as I type this post, CNN’s offices in New York are being evacuated:

The evacuation is taking place because of reports of a suspicious device.

What does it all mean? Nobody knows, of course — but that won’t stop lefties from blaming Trump’s rhetoric, or Trumpists from crying “false flag!”

It does raise a question in my mind, though. If you applauded the body-slamming of a Guardian reporter by a Republican congressional candidate, and if you laughed when Donald Trump celebrated that, do you approve of all this too? No? Then where do you draw the line? Body-slamming is OK but explosive devices are not?

Related issue: is the central question here the behavior of Bill or Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, or CNN? Or is the central question the behavior of the person behind the sending or planting of these explosive devices?

I mean these questions to be rhetorical, but treat them as regular questions if you like.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


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