Thursday, May 18, 2017

Daily Beast — White House Staff ‘Hiding’ As Russia Chaos Engulfs West Wing


The White House and the Washington republican establishment are faltering over Trump’s recent behaviors and increasing probability of conflict of interest with the Russian government. With considerable political pressure mounting, a Special Prosecutor has been named, embodying potential for President Trump’s impeachment.

“White House and administration officials are reeling at reports that President Donald Trump reportedly shared classified information with Russia’s top diplomats during an Oval Office meeting last week.

“It’s the latest crisis jolting Trump’s senior staff in the week following the chaotic fallout from the firing of FBI director James Comey—and especially ironic considering the president’s repeated condemnations of Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, which contained a handful of messages deemed to be classified.

“Communications staff and senior staffers at the White House were literally “hiding in offices,” according to a senior Trump aide, as a gaggle of White House press stormed White House hallways just after the Washington Post story broke on Monday evening.

“ ‘Do not ask me about how this looks, we all know how this looks,’ the senior aide told The Daily Beast on Monday evening. Trump administration officials spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity so as to speak freely. The aide described a scene at the White House as tense and “a morgue,” where senior officials such as Sean Spicer, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Stephen Bannon convened to sketch an immediate path forward in handling the aftermath,” reports The Daily Beast

“And then the dam broke,” writes Dan Rather.

“A flood is coming that will shape the future of our Republic in ways no one can predict. Except that the speed with which this has all happened, just over a hundred days into President Donald Trump's dumpster fire of an administration, means it was all very predictable. And no one who played a role in normalizing this President should be allowed to forget it.

“We have news that the Department of Justice, under Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, will appoint a special a Special Counsel to investigate the Russia interference scandal. Apparently the President was only given a 30 minute heads up, and it came while he was interviewing new heads for the FBI. The Special Counsel will be former FBI Director Robert Mueller. These types of investigations tend to stir up more dirt than anyone thought was there. We will see if that happens now.

“The stock market plummets. The White House staff is in chaos. The chorus of Republicans suddenly eager to be on the right side of history gets louder. Most of the time Washington moves in slow motion - except when it doesn't. And this moment is one of those times. We are living in a news cycle that can be measured in nanoseconds.

“And amidst the news, another blockbuster report by the Washington Post. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy apparently said last June that he thought Putin pays Trump. At which point Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who was also there, stopped the conversation and swore those who were present to secrecy. When the Post asked about the incident, spokesmen for both representatives denied the story on the record. When they were informed that the Post reporters had heard a tape of the exchange, they changed their tune - saying it was a joke.

“What all this makes clear is that the concerns which now threaten the integrity of our government were well known and played for cynical theater. Well the curtain may be coming down on this act of this tragedy. New actors wait to take the stage for a drama for which the script is yet to be written.”


Special counsel Mueller named to probe Trump-Russia ties

By Eric Tucker And Nancy Benac


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