We are now in Day 8 of the Porter Affair — in which we've learned that a wife-beating, blackmailable White House aide had more than a year's access to the nation's most sensitive secrets (but, Hillary's emails!) — and Day 390 of presidential indifference to defending the United States from foreign attack.
"There should be no doubt that Russia … views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations," the director of national intelligence told the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday. Saying the same were the directors of the National Security Agency, the CIA and the FBI. Each delicately added, when asked by an incredulous Democratic committee member, that their boss, the president of the United States, had ordered nothing in terms of defense. In fact, as the Times notes, Trump "has mocked the very notion of Russian meddling in the last election and lashed out at those who suggested otherwise." Spineless aides who fear the emperor's infantile wrath have taken to avoiding the topic altogether in his presence.
Such is the state of affairs at the dubious helm of our ship of state. One state of affairs, that is. Another is the misnamed "Kelly coverup," which a White House official described to Axios as "unraveling right before our eyes." Other WH officials have told the Washington Post that this coverup of a coverup — which became vividly undeniable because of the FBI director's additional testimony yesterday before the Senate committee — is "a killer." WH officials have also characterized CoS John Kelly as a "big fat liar" and "well done." The perfectly ghastly Anthony Scaramucci, the WH communications director who lasted all of 10 days before Kelly sacked him, vindictively tweeted "Kelly must resign," as the FBI director was making hash of the WH's lies about the Porter tick-tock.
Director Christopher Wray, reports the Post, revealed that the "bureau had completed a background report on then-staff secretary Rob Porter last July," while the "White House claims that the investigation required for Porter’s security clearance was 'ongoing' until he left his job last week." Who you gonna believe? The FBI director or the oleaginous Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Yet that is not the most pertinent line in WaPo's reporting. This is (with my emphasis): "The latest bout of turbulence is exacerbated by the administration’s reputation, earned over 13 chaotic months, for … misrepresenting facts to the public — a culture set by the president himself."
This other line also zeroed in on the presidential culture of lies. "When asked if Kelly could have been more transparent or truthful," a WH aide texted the Post: "In this White House, it’s simply not in our DNA. Truthful and transparent is great, but we don’t even have a coherent strategy to obfuscate."
Let's be clear. Chief of Staff John Kelly is a dissembler, a fraud, a degenerate protector of highly educated abusers. But chiefs of staff don't hatch the "moral" zeitgeist of the White House. That's the president's job. And this president is the king of degenerates, whose only trickle-down is in the form of transmittable mendacity. As a dutiful military man, Kelly was merely following Trump's lead. In this case, the Nuremberg defense is a valid one.
It's only Day 390. Show of hands. How many here believe that this White House, incessantly embroiled in fresh and multiple scandals, will ever see Day 1,460, let alone 2,920?