Did I call the shot or what?
For a while now, I've been mentally preparing an apology for my repeated claim that Trump would not have asked Congress to investigate his "tapp" allegation unless he knew from the get-go that doing so would work to his political advantage. Nobody agreed with my scenario. Everyone said that Trump was simply a fool who would not let go of a conspiracy theory.
Finally, last night, I myself became converted to the theory that Trump was simply a bullheaded, paranoid ignoramus.
And then Devin Nunes
-- clearly functioning as either a dupe or willing partner of Trump's conspiracy -- provided evidence that my original read might turn out to be the correct one.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes went to the White House on Wednesday afternoon to personally brief President Trump about intelligence he says he has seen regarding surveillance of foreign nationals during the presidential transition.
The surveillance could have inadvertently picked up the president or members of his transition team, the chairman said.
“What I’ve read seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal. I don’t know that it’s right,” Nunes said to reporters outside the White House. “I don’t know that the American people would be comfortable with what I’ve read.”
Trump is now saying that his tweets were vindicated.
Before heading to the White House, Nunes said he briefed House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on what he learned, and he also spoke with reporters. He said that U.S. intelligence agencies may have picked up communications involving Trump as part of court-approved surveillance of foreign intelligence targets in the period between Trump’s election and his inauguration.
Nunes did not, however, brief his ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), about the contents of what Schiff said were intercepts.
He gave Schiff short shrift? This indicates that the Nunes "investigation" was part of a partisan hit all along. I don't yet know what Nunes saw, but I'm fairly confident, right now, that Trump knew all along that the events of this day would happen.
Also see here
Nunes viewed those documents at the originating agency. Right now, we do not know which
agency. NSA? Seems as good a guess as any.
I keep telling you people -- not that anyone has listened -- that Breitbart is and always has been seriously tied to the intelligence community. Here, let me put in boldface:
Breitbart is and always has been seriously tied to the intelligence community.
You doubt my word? You want a few links that will help you start
to investigate this claim? Okay.
. And here
. And here
. And here
. And here
Everyone keeps talking "Russia Russia Russia." Russia is important, but the matter isn't so simple as many think.
Remember, the Russians hired people like Manafort and Stone and Devine to tell them how to rig elections in their own part of the world.
Did you ever see this film?
Do you really think that the Russians would know how to rig an American election? Do you really think they "know the territory" (as they say in The Music Man
)? Do you really think that the FSB has a subtle enough grasp of our politics to understand (for example) how to transform Bernie supporters into virulent Clinton-haters?
No. It may be more accurate to posit that Putin provided some plausibly deniable manpower. He was hired muscle.
People like Mensch and Schindler keep pushing a simplistic narrative of "virtuous spooks versus the Trump/Putin conspiracy."
For weeks now, I've been telling you: NO. That's not it. It's a partial truth at best.
I don't have a clear counter-narrative formulated yet. All I know is that the Mensch/Schindler "Virtuous spooks vs. Evil Trumpers" scenario won't suffice, because that scenario completely ignores the truth about Breitbart. I'm not saying that Mensch is operating in bad faith: I'm saying that her deference (allegiance?) to the intelligence community means that she is giving you a woefully incomplete picture.
Breitbart did more than Putin did to put Trump in power. And Breitbart is spooked up. Schindler and Mensch and "The Jester" won't tell you that.
I don't know what is in those documents provided to Nunes. But I feel certain that the same spooks who have been in bed with Breitbart for many years knew all about those documents before Trump issued those tweets.
Since everyone seems to be referencing Watergate these days, let me tell you about a Watergate-era Jack Anderson column that few people now remember. I don't have the clip to hand, but some of my older readers may recall seeing it. In this column, Anderson interviewed Gordon Novel, a bizarre figure who always tended to pop in these scandals.
Novel revealed that the Nixonites had a tentative plan -- never enacted -- to undermine the Watergate investigation. It was a simple trick: Nixon's men would use actors to concoct a fake tape in which Nixon says incriminating things on the phone to E. Howard Hunt. The media would be subtly manipulated to insure that the entire Watergate controversy centered on the question of the legitimacy of that tape. Eventually, analysis would reveal the tape to be a hoax -- at which point, Nixon would look like the victim
of a conspiracy, not the perpetrator of one.
Again: That scheme was never enacted. It was just an idea, a bit of spitballing. Nevertheless, I think that we should always keep this idea in the back of our minds as our current White House melodrama unfolds.