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Trump Presidency

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


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Two people briefed on the classified documents that investigators believe remained at Mar-a-Lago indicated that they were so sensitive in nature, and related to national security, that the Justice Department had to act.
Some senior Republicans have been warned by allies of Mr. Trump not to continue to be aggressive in criticizing the Justice Department and the F.B.I. over the matter because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.

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From both the "What's good for the goose" and "Orange hypocrite" files:

"Speaking in 2016 about the government's decision not to charge Hillary Clinton with crimes related to their investigation into her handling of classified material and use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, then-candidate Trump repeatedly promised that his administration would strictly enforce all rules regarding classified material.

"On political corruption, we are going to restore honor to our government, '' Trump said in August 2016. "In my administration, I'm going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law."

"One of the first things we must do is to enforce all classification rules and to enforce all laws relating to the handling of classified information," he said in September 2016.

Speaking in July of that year, Trump said Clinton's mishandling "disqualifies" her from public service.

"Any government employee who engaged in this kind of behavior would be barred from handling classified information," Trump said. "Again, that alone disqualifies her."
In 2017, when calls between Trump and foreign governments were leaked, along with communications between incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and foreign governments, Trump suggested those responsible for the leaks should go to prison.
"That is the most confidential stuff," Trump said. "Classified. That's classified. You go to prison when you release stuff like that."

Trump also said several times that former FBI Director James Comey should be "prosecuted" in tweets pushing unfounded accusations that Comey disclosed classified information. A DOJ inspector general report found "no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." The IG's office referred the findings of its report to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and prosecutors declined to bring charges.

"He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted," one Trump tweet in April 2018 said, with another saying Comey should be in jail.

Trump also repeatedly and strongly called for the prosecution of his former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Following the publication of Bolton's memoir from his time in the Trump White House, "The Room Where It Happened," Trump said that the book contained classified information.

A federal judge involved in one of the Bolton cases did find that he likely put national security at risk with his book, but the judge also rejected the Trump administration's attempt to block the book's publication.

In 2020, Trump told Fox News that Bolton should go to jail for "many, many years" for releasing the memoir.

"Classified information; he should go to jail for that for many, many years," Trump said.

In an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Trump again called for Bolton's imprisonment.

"Here's what he did: He released classified information, highly classified information and confidential information, all different categories," Trump said. "John Bolton should never have been allowed to do that. You know, the young sailor that sent a picture home to his mother and other people. They go to jail for a long period of time. You can't do that. And that was not nearly as vital, as important, as John Bolton."

Trump tweeted in June 2020 that Bolton was "washed up" until Trump hired him.

"I brought him back and gave him a chance," the tweet read. "[He] broke the law by releasing Classified Information, in massive amounts. He must pay a very big price for this, as others have before him. This should never to happen again!!!"

Trump later said in an interview with Brian Kilmeade that regardless of if Bolton unknowingly leaked information in his book "he should go to jail."

A Justice Department probe into Bolton was dropped in 2021, and he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" last year that his book "did go through a pre-publication review process" and that it "was cleared by the expert team that reviewed it, arduously.""

Donald Trump has repeatedly called for lengthy jail sentences for those who he claimed mishandled classified information
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Trump Is Not and Never Has Been Antiwar

The idea that he broke with conventional movement conservative and Republican foreign policy is nonsense.

There is a lot wrong in this paean to Trump, but I will focus on this ridiculous claim:
Only Trump has broken from the disastrous foreign policy championed by the conservative movement.
The evidence given for this supposed break is that Trump attacked the Iraq war when he was a candidate and decided against attacking Iran in response to the downing of a U.S. drone. These are some very slender reeds on which to base such a sweeping claim about Trump’s foreign policy. As anyone even remotely familiar with Trump’s record knows, the idea that he broke with conventional movement conservative and Republican foreign policy is nonsense. It is something that some Trumpists tell themselves to make their ongoing support for a corrupt buffoon seem defensible in their own minds. The reality is that he mostly appointed Republican hard-liners to run his foreign policy, and he then presided over four years of foreign policy failures because he usually did what those hard-liners wanted. Another Trump administration would likely deliver more of the same reckless and destructive policies, and there should be no illusions about that.

On almost every issue, Trump’s foreign policy was indistinguishable from one run by Marco Rubio or Mitt Romney, and in some cases Trump’s policies were authored by Marco Rubio. Whatever Trump may have said about previous wars that he used to support, the reality was that he escalated every war he inherited and ended none when he was in office. He lacked the political courage to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and even in Syria he couldn’t follow through on his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from that country. Trump shared and implemented the obsessions of Iran hawks in his party, and on at least two occasions his bankrupt policy brought the United States and Iran to the brink of war. His abject servitude to the interests of Saudi Arabia and the UAE should have outraged so-called nationalists, but somehow they never seemed to mind. He waged pointless economic wars on Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Syria with nothing to show for any of them, and he aided and abetted in the devastation of Yemen for his entire presidency.

It simply isn’t true that Trump “has broken with the conservative movement’s unquestioning support for foreign wars.” He campaigned on continuing and escalating the foreign wars the U.S. was waging when he was a candidate, and then as president he escalated in Iraq and Syria and in Afghanistan. Trump also loosened rules of engagement and escalated the drone war. He very nearly started wars with North Korea and Iran, he repeatedly floated the possibility of attacking Venezuela, and given another chance I assume he would likely make good on at least some of his deranged threats to use force. He ordered illegal attacks on Syria, and he clearly has nothing but contempt for the Constitution’s constraints on presidential power. As many people have realized by now, Trump is a militarist and governs like a militarist. Most of his supporters are likewise nationalist militarists. If you don’t want even more militarism in U.S. foreign policy than we already have, don’t support Trump.
No one interested in a peaceful and sane foreign policy should want to have anything to do with Trump, and no one who still cheerleads for Trump at this late stage is interested in a peaceful and sane foreign policy.
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