Former Trump Aide Omarosa Recorded Her White House Firing

Former reality show personality and White House aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman has shared that she recorded conversations during her time at the White House including her own firing.

Via Axios:

Former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman released an alleged audio recording of her firing by Chief of Staff John Kelly in the White House Situation Room during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

While the White House stated that Omarosa resigned back in December, it was an open secret at the time that she had actually been fired by Kelly — allegedly causing a scene upon her departure from the White House grounds.

Sean Spicer Benched From White House Press Briefing

You can only guess that President Trump has lost faith in the answers and optics of Sean Spicer handling questions at the podium of White House press briefings.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster held today’s on-camera press briefing at 11:30 AM, while Spicer will reportedly hold an off-camera briefing at 2PM with the White House press pool.

Last night, McMaster denounced the Washington Post‘s report that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified intelligence with Russian officials last week in the Oval Office.

Today, McMaster told the White House press pool that the conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador was “wholly appropriate,” even though President Trump didn’t even know where the information he shared came from.

Before that, however, Trump threw his national security team under the bus by tweeting he did indeed share the intel with Russia, adding he has the “absolute right” to do so.

According to Buzzfeed reporter Adrian Carrasquillo, White House staffers turned the TVs in the West Wing up to drown out the back-and-forth of a closed door meeting where Team Trump attempted to figure their way out of this latest misstep.

Trump: Susan Rice Committed A Crime – “One Of The Biggest Stories Of Our Time”

Without providing any evidence, President Trump told The New York Times today that former national security adviser Susan Rice committed a crime so heinous, “It is one of the big stories of our time.”

President Trump said on Wednesday that he thought that the former national security adviser Susan E. Rice may have committed a crime by seeking the identities of Trump associates who were swept up in the surveillance of foreign officials by American spy agencies and that other Obama administration officials may also have been involved.

The president provided no evidence to back his claim. Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe that Ms. Rice’s actions were unusual or unlawful. When Americans are swept up in surveillance of foreign officials by intelligence agencies, their identities are supposed to be obscured, but they can be revealed for national security reasons, and intelligence officials say it is a regular occurrence.

“I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself “at the right time.”

When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”

Ms. Rice has denied any impropriety. In an interview on Tuesday with MSNBC, she said: “The allegation is that somehow the Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false.”

Mr. Trump, who has a history of promising to produce evidence to back up his unverified claims, and failing to do so, did not make clear what crime he was accusing Ms. Rice of committing. It is legal and not unusual for a national security adviser to request the identities of Americans who are mentioned in intelligence reports provided.

In that Susan Rice, as National Security Adviser, had legal security clearance to the identities of Trumpers who were caught chatting with Russians, it’s hard to see what crime she committed.

Donald Trump Handles Missile Incident Surrounded By Mar-a-Lago Members At Dinner

On Saturday night, Donald Trump hosted a dinner with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

During the dinner, news came in that North Korea had tested a mid-range ballistic missile. Both leaders went to work. The problem is – they went to work right there in the middle of the dinner surrounded by club members.

Paying members of the social club had the added bonus of entertainment with their meals, as they got to watch Abe and Trump deal with an international crisis.

Many shared the experience on Facebook and other social media like Richard DeAgazio.

DeAgazio wrote on Facebook:

“HOLY MOLY!!! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan. The Prime Minister Abe of Japan huddles with his staff and the President is on the phone with Washington DC. the two world leaders then conferred and then went into another room for hastily arranged press conference. Wow…the center of the action.!!!”

So, for $200K, you can get a Mar-a-Lago membership and have unfettered access to the President of the United States. What could possibly go wrong?

While it doesn’t seem like club members were close enough to overhear anything being discussed, the waiters – who according to CNN continued service as the leaders addressed the incident – certainly were.

Shouldn’t they all have gotten up immediately and moved to a secure, private setting? Didn’t Trump thrash Hillary Clinton during the campaign over issues of security breaches with sensitive info? And Trump sits in his club dining room addressing his first international ‘incident?’

Oh – and you thought YOUR club was exclusive? Before the night was over, the Mar-a-Lago member took a pic with (according to the poster) the guy who was carrying the nuclear football.

And, no – the agent’s name was NOT blacked out in Mr. DeAgazio’s post…

50 GOP National Security Officials: Trump Would Be “Reckless”

Fifty Republican national security officials have penned an open letter announcing they will not vote for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

From Huffington Post:

“We are convinced that [Trump] would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being,” said the former officials, many of whom held top positions in the George W. Bush administration.

“Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President,” they added. “He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.”

Signers include some of the best known intelligence, defense and security experts of the past two decades: Michael V. Hayden, the former director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency; Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, both of whom served as secretaries of Homeland Security during the Bush administration; Dov Zakheim, a former under secretary of defense; John D. Negroponte, a deputy secretary of state and a former director of national intelligence; Eric Edelman, a top national security adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney; and Robert Zoellick, a former deputy secretary of state, United States trade rep and president of the World Bank.

In closing, the 50 officials wrote, “We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.”

You can read the entire letter, along with a complete list of signers, here.

Convicted security leaker Bradley Manning seeks to transition as woman

CNN reports that convicted leaker Bradley Manning says he wants to transition as a woman and live his life as Chelsea, not Bradley:

WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning intends to begin hormone therapy for gender reassignment and live the rest of his life as a woman, according to a statement from him read on NBC’s “Today” show Thursday. Manning wants to be referred to as Chelsea — not Bradley — according to the statement. Manning’s announcement comes a day after a military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. military and diplomatic documents.

You can read Manning’s letter at Politico:

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.”

Manning’s lawyer says he intends to fight to ensure that Fort Leavenworth, where Manning is expected to serve the sentence, provides the treatment.

Sentenced to 35 years in prison (although he will be eligible for parole in 7 years), Manning plans to petition President Obama for a pardon:

Bradley Manning will send a personal plea to Barack Obama next week for a presidential pardon after he was sentenced on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks. “When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love to my country and a sense of duty to others,” Manning will tell Obama. “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.”

US Senate: GOP Senators make history, first to filibuster Sec. of Defense nominee

In what is truly an ironic twist, GOP US Senate members are filibustering the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense over concerns of “national security” that have nothing to do with Chuck Hagel.

From Think Progress:

Senate Republicans today chose to uphold a filibuster against Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, despite many of them previously pledging that they would be willing to allow him to be confirmed.

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and John Cornyn (R-TX) all voted against cloture, despite their pleas during the Bush administration that a president’s Cabinet nominees should receive an up-or-down vote.

Four Republicans, Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), voted to break the filibuster. The final vote was 58-40, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) voting present, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) not voting at all, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voting “no” as a procedural move so that he can bring another vote to the floor at a later date.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had originally scheduled the cloture vote for tomorrow morning, but surprised many by pushing it up to this afternoon. Earlier today, Reid took to the Senate floor to lambaste his Republican colleagues for delaying an up-or-down vote on Hagel, the first filibuster of a Secretary of Defense nominee.

Just so I’m seeing this clearly – the Republican senators are concerned about national security, so they decided to block having a Secretary of Defense based on nothing he’s done?

Do I have this right?

Hey Americans – you feel safer now?