January 5, 2017 2:52 am -

Donald Trump trusts Julian “I luv Vlad Putin” Assange more than the most extensive and sophisticated intelligence apparatus on the planet.

Trump’s tweets have reportedly sparked confusion among America’s intelligence officials, who said that there was no delay in the briefing schedule — which was always scheduled for Friday, according to an Associated Press report on Wednesday morning. Aside from increasing suspicions that Trump is avoiding facts that may damage his self-image or discredit his election victory, there are also concerns that his attitude could harm his relationship with the intelligence community.

You could well read Matthew Rozsa’s “could harm” as “have already harmed.” Rozsa also cites a large number of telling tweets by intel journos Mark Berman and Jim Sciutto. These caught our eye:

But they’re not the only ones tweeting:

A former spokesperson for the Department of Defense and the CIA warned this week that the U.S. would be “less safe” after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office on Jan. 20.

In a message posted to Twitter on Wednesday, George Little noted that Trump had recently sided with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange over U.S. intelligence officials about whether Russia had stolen emails from Democrats in order to influence the presidential election.

Trump’s tweet, which was quickly deleted, repeated Assange’s assertion that “a 14 year old could have hacked” Clinton’s campaign manager. U.S. intelligence officials have repeatedly pointed to Russia as the source for the stolen information.

Meanwhile, as the title of the article says, some Republicans learned to stop worrying and love Julian Assange:

Sean Hannity once said that Julian Assange was waging “war” on the United States and should be arrested. Sarah Palin once said he had “blood on his hands.”

That was then. Today, both Hannity and Palin think Assange’s document-leaking website, WikiLeaks, is doing the Lord’s work. Apparently, something has changed.

And they’re not alone. Increasingly, members of a Republican Party that once denounced Assange for exposing U.S. military secrets are praising him for leaking the Democratic Party’s secrets. Even President-elect Donald Trump is now citing Assange as an authority. …

Rudolph W. Giuliani said he found WikiLeaks “very refreshing.” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) thanked God for it, saying it was filling in for a derelict mainstream media.

But that view is not unanimous:

On Wednesday morning, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) made clear that he thinks Assange is “a sycophant for Russia.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), meanwhile, called Assange a “high-tech terrorist” in 2010 and doesn’t seem to have amended that view. And Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) rebuked Hannity in October for his Assange praise.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, for his part, sounds to be the most measured, lucid, and rational of the many anti-Assange legislators weighing in on the issue:

“I don’t believe any American should give a whole lot of credibility to what Mr. Assange says,” Graham said Wednesday on CNN’s “At This Hour.” “I hope no American will be duped by him. You shouldn’t give him any credibility. Look at his record in terms of how he treats our country.”

At any rate, grab the popcorn. This could be more prolonged and damaging than yesterday’s GOP self-inflicted ethics panel black eye.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.