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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Kellyanne and others. Trouble in the White House Team. (Page 1)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Kellyanne and others. Trouble in the White House Team.
Gramps49
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Conway, that is. Getting her hands slapped for promoting her friend, Ivanka T's, clothing line on Fox News. Not supposed to do that as a government employee. (Though it appears your favorite dress--the pussy dress, which she has worn several times, is a Simplicity dress from the 70's)

Oh, sure, the Orange One can complain that Nordstrom has been so unfair to his daughter, but he is the President. The law does not apply to him (curiously). It applies to everyone else, but him.

And then there is Mike Flynn, calls the Russian ambassador the day Obama slap sanctions on Russia. Has a mind fart and cannot remember what was discussed. Something about arranging a phone call with the Orange One and the Bare Chested One.

Small matter it is against the law for a private citizen to conduct foreign affairs when you are not in the goverment.

Conway, gets slapped down. Flynn gets pass. I wonder what the dynamic is here.

[ 14. February 2017, 07:50: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Brenda Clough
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It helps that Conway was caught on camera. There is no debate about what she said, it's all on the video.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Conway, that is. Getting her hands slapped for promoting her friend, Ivanka T's, clothing line on Fox News.

Has she gotten her hands slapped? At the moment all we have is a statement from Sean Spicer saying she's been "counseled", with no further explanation of what that actually means.

quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Oh, sure, the Orange One can complain that Nordstrom has been so unfair to his daughter, but he is the President.

Not necessarily. There are some indications that the author of the tweet was someone else using his account. This is not new.

quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
And then there is Mike Flynn, calls the Russian ambassador the day Obama slap sanctions on Russia. Has a mind fart and cannot remember what was discussed. Something about arranging a phone call with the Orange One and the Bare Chested One.

Small matter it is against the law for a private citizen to conduct foreign affairs when you are not in the government.

Conway, gets slapped down. Flynn gets pass. I wonder what the dynamic is here.

There could be sexism at work, but it's more likely the fact that Conway did something incontrovertibly illegal on live national television and we can all watch the video replay, whereas Flynn's alleged wrongdoing depends on his own recollection (and therefore his cooperation) for proof.

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Brenda Clough
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And there is certainly some expectation among the pundit class that Flynn will pay the price. This is a free click, BTW.

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Crœsos
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Well, Flynn's own recollection and the statements of nine senior but anonymous intelligence officials.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Not necessarily. There are some indications that the author of the tweet was someone else using his account. This is not new.

Oh no! Don't tell me he's using an unsecured Twitter account! [Eek!]


[Biased]

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Gramps49
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On the one hand, Elizabeth Warren gets silenced for trying to read into the record Coretta Scot King's letter, but then the next day four male Senators complete the task.

There is a meme going around.

She was warned
She was given and explanation
Yet she persisted.

I am thinking Warren just got a campaign slogan for 2020, thanks to Mitch McConnell.

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Anglican_Brat
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I don't have much sympathy for Kellyanne. She isn't some inexperienced young staffer making a rookie mistake, she is been in the Beltway circles for quite a while now, she should know about conflict of interest rules.

We are barely less than a month from the Inauguration and Trump has managed to produce more scandals than Obama did in eight years in the White House.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I don't have much sympathy for Kellyanne. She isn't some inexperienced young staffer making a rookie mistake, she is been in the Beltway circles for quite a while now, she should know about conflict of interest rules.

I agree. I understand she has been the head of her own consultancy business in this field for over 20 years. IMHO people are entitled to expect her both to know both the rules and the ethical principles that underlie them, and to live by them. Attempting to excuse this or explain it away, would be like a solicitor claiming he/she didn't know he/she was supposed to keep clients' money in a separate account from their own, and not pocket other peoples' money.
quote:
We are barely less than a month from the Inauguration and Trump has managed to produce more scandals than Obama did in eight years in the White House.
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.

There is plenty to hate, but I fear the signal to noise ratio is poor and the result more diversionary than anything else.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.
Andrew Johnson comes to mind.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Prester John
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.
Andrew Johnson comes to mind.
Nixon? With cause I might add.
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rolyn
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Negative attention is what won trump the Election, and now negative attention looks likely to be his tactic for the next 4 to 8 years.
Just wondering if the rest of us have the necessary stamina to feed such a game over that amount of time.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Prester John:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.

Andrew Johnson comes to mind.
Nixon? With cause I might add.
I'm not sure about the media, but Nixon was a lot more publicly popular when he entered office than Trump is currently. Nixon's net job approval rating (percent approve minus percent disapprove) was +54% during his first month as president according to Gallup. Trump's average net approval is -7% so far (ibid.). Nixon didn't achieve negative approval (more people disapproving of his job performance than approving it) until about six months into his second term.

Blogger Paul Campos breaks this down in terms of past presidents.

[ 10. February 2017, 18:45: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Anglican_Brat
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.

There is plenty to hate, but I fear the signal to noise ratio is poor and the result more diversionary than anything else.

I recall the Bush II years and the Florida election controversy, now there was pointed and fervent opposition to Bush, but as I recall, while there was ridicule of his intellect, there was at least a grudgingly acceptance of Bush being a decent guy in person. The best remark I remember is by a critic at the time was someone who wrote that he would be fine having a conversation with W in a bar, but he was not fine with W in the White House.

With Trump, we have a person who eschews the basic norms of decency, and frankly I think he was coddled all his life, and never had to be accountable for anything. Far from being a brilliant businessman, it seems from watching documentaries about his life, that Trump has never had to face the consequences in any major way, which is deeply frightening.

To tie it to the Kellyanne issue, the explanation I can think of for her action isn't that she was ignorant of the rules, it's that her boss, Trump, by his example of shunning norms is giving carte blanche to his subordinates to do likewise. Trump's people "counselling" Kellyanne, isn't discipline, it's purely for show, to pretend that they care about the rules.

[ 10. February 2017, 19:03: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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Brenda Clough
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To put it another way, rule-breaking is now becoming normalized. Standard operating procedure.

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
To put it another way, rule-breaking is now becoming normalized. Standard operating procedure.

It's not rule-breaking -- they are now "alternative rules."

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Og, King of Bashan

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Unfortunately, I think this is the reality of having an internet troll in chief.

Of course the media hates him. He goes out of the way to pick fights with them. A lot of people (at least enough to get him elected under our system) apparently love him for it. Has any President ever been this openly hostile to the media? (I guess G.W. Bush stopped calling on Helen Thomas for a while, but I don't think it ever rose from passive aggression to this level of overt aggression.)

My take on Conway's latest screw up is that she went out there not with the intention of endorsing Ivanka's line, but rather to troll the folks who had been going nuts over Trump's earlier tweet, not realizing that her statement could still (properly) get her into trouble.

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Anglican_Brat
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Before Trump, I only encountered Kellyanne Conway through some clips of Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect show, about 15 or so years ago. Back then, Kellyanne struck me as a reasonable, somewhat moderate Republican.

How things have changed.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Dave W.
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Here's a whole page of comments she made criticizing Trump last year... before he hired her:

Here's How Trump's New Campaign Manager Attacked Him As A Cable News Pundit

Boy, she's really come around since that time when she tut-tutted about "the danger of just saying things that aren't true and getting people to believe it and getting 20,000 people at a rally today to just lap it up as if it's true. "

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Barnabas62
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Flynn shouldn't survive. It looks as though he misled Pence over cosying up to the Russians.

Conway shilling for Ivanka demeaned both her office and her personally. She should also go.

Spicer is a shambles, loyally defending 'alternative facts' way beyond spin. He should go.

But I think all three may survive since their 'sins' seem to mirror and follow those of their Master. Who knows? They may even have been following 'implied instructions'.

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Penny S
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So what has shifted her? Money? Blackmail about something? Russian threats?
Or thinking that it's better to be inside where you might be able to modify things?
Or thinking that you might be able to sink the whole thing before disaster strikes?

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Eutychus
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Power, I should think. Plus I think there's something cult-like about the whole team.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
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simontoad
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
Unfortunately, I think this is the reality of having an internet troll in chief.

Of course the media hates him. He goes out of the way to pick fights with them. A lot of people (at least enough to get him elected under our system) apparently love him for it. Has any President ever been this openly hostile to the media? (I guess G.W. Bush stopped calling on Helen Thomas for a while, but I don't think it ever rose from passive aggression to this level of overt aggression.)

My take on Conway's latest screw up is that she went out there not with the intention of endorsing Ivanka's line, but rather to troll the folks who had been going nuts over Trump's earlier tweet, not realizing that her statement could still (properly) get her into trouble.

The media is working them out, and to use a cricketing metaphor they just need to keep playing a straight bat and eventually the runs will come.

Some commentator tonight said that Trump has shown himself to be scandal-proof. But does anyone happen to have some footage of him burning an American flag?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
That's quite an achievement. Has any other new president managed to do this so quickly?

I don't think any other new president has been quite so hated by the media.

There is plenty to hate, but I fear the signal to noise ratio is poor and the result more diversionary than anything else.

Which is the chicken and which the egg here? The media coddled him for months until they for some reason realized maybe they should pay attention to whether or not what he was saying was true. As soon as they did that he turned on them. How dare they call him on his lies? Before that they didn't hate him, they loved him for the boost to their ratings. Now if they hate him it's because (a) he hates them and does everything in his power to undermine them, and (b) he's a liar and they are finally remembering it's their job to tell the truth.

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lilBuddha
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And I think they are embarrassed for having been the most valuable member of his campaign.

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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Brenda Clough
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
[Which is the chicken and which the egg here? The media coddled him for months until they for some reason realized maybe they should pay attention to whether or not what he was saying was true. [/QB]

Eh? The PG's sins were constantly on the media. Do you remember the blanket coverage of the "grab 'em by the pussy" footage? The shindy kicked up when he dissed the Muslim parents of a slain soldier? It wasn't for want of coverage; it was that the dirt, even though dredged from the well of truth, didn't stick. His base loved him in spite of these sins. The big worry is that they love him because of his vileness, because then what does that say about our countrymen?

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Lock her up!

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(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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lilBuddha
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The press treated him as a joke instead of a threat. They covered his rallies entire, giving him free adverts worth millions. They clung to the myth of "balanced" coverage and they abetted the side show distraction of Clinton's e-mails, allowing the noramlisation of Trump's many faults.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Barnabas62
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Flynn's future now looks very uncertain. A story is circulating that he may have had encrypted communications with the Russian ambassador and there is some record of that. That, coupled with the non-reaction to Obama's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, means the whole question of Trump's relations with Russia prior to the election is surfacing again. Plus the White House is leaking that "the knives are out".

"Poor Kellyanne" is in a lot less trouble that.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Golden Key
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If Kellyanne has any inclination to quit and run, this might be a really good time to do it. So many other people and situations are in trouble that she might not get the full weight of the media going after her, right away.

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
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Brenda Clough
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No, it's too late. She is chained to Crooked Donald with links of adamant. Who would hire her? Give her a platform? Sit at table with her? Her only hope is to cling to him and hope he doesn't go down like Icarus, in a ball of fire.

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Barnabas62
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After Kellyanne's 'POTUS has completely confidence in him' message, Flynn has fallen on his sword. Presumably it was that or 'You're fired!'. But I doubt that will be the end of the matter. What did Trump know and when did he know it?

SNL continues to do a great job on Spicey, but their 'Fatal Attraction' sketch on 'Poor Kellyanne' was OTT. That and the Flynn fallout may help her to survive. Despite the 'complete confidence' message. Whas she out of the loop?

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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L'organist
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Michael Flynn has resigned.

Apparently all to do with his russian contacts, and specifically with lying to Mike Pence about them. In his resignation letter Mr Flynn said he had
quote:
"inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador"
In other words, he lied to the VP (then elect) about discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador before the election.

Bearing in mind that it has emerged it was Mike Flynn junior who was responsible for the Pizzagate rumours about HRC, I think one can forgive a certain degree of schadenfreude in her tweeting "What goes around comes around".

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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TurquoiseTastic

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I find it interesting that Trump did not support Flynn. What was it about Flynn's actions that led to his getting the chop?
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L'organist
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Well, speculation is already across the airwaves about whether The Orange One knew about the discussion on sanctions and, if so, was it before his inauguration.

Not that a chaotic first 100 days is anything knew: the first Clinton administration had a rocky start but then people were more inclined to cut Bill C some slack - perhaps because he hadn't alientated almost the entire fourth estate?

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Well, speculation is already across the airwaves about whether The Orange One knew about the discussion on sanctions and, if so, was it before his inauguration.

Not much speculation is needed, given that the White House was allegedly informed of Flynn's problematic Russian contacts by then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Yates was fired shortly thereafter.

This seems a clear example of Reagan's fork: a situation where the only plausible explanations are incompetence or corruption. Either "the White House" was informed that the National Security Advisor was compromised by a sometimes-hostile foreign power and this information somehow didn't filter up to Trump, or Trump knew and did nothing.

Three weeks in and we're already asking "what did the president* know and when did he know it?" Three weeks of Trump is like five years of Nixon.

quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Not that a chaotic first 100 days is anything knew: the first Clinton administration had a rocky start but then people were more inclined to cut Bill C some slack - perhaps because he hadn't alientated almost the entire fourth estate?

This is the same Bill Clinton who was accused by the press of running drugs out of the Mena Airport and being complicit in the murder of Vince Foster? You and I seem to have very different ideas of what 'cutting slack' means.

[ 14. February 2017, 13:37: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Brenda Clough
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The real question is, was Flynn a loose cannon, or was he speaking on behalf of Lyin' Don himself? Since this was in December we know who was president at that time, and it wasn't anybody orange.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
The real question is, was Flynn a loose cannon, or was he speaking on behalf of Lyin' Don himself? Since this was in December we know who was president at that time, and it wasn't anybody orange.

Since Flynn was (allegedly) promising the ability to lift the sanctions against Russia he was either speaking on behalf of Trump or was fairly sure he could get Trump to do his bidding on this matter later on. I'm not sure which would be the worse explanation, which brings us back to Reagan's fork.

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Brenda Clough
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I am sure that one and all will insist that it was Flynn himself, running his mouth. He is the scapegoat now, and all sins may be laid upon him as he is driven out into the desert. But if it was Crooked Donald himself, then that is a crime. (Not that this really slows him down.)

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
After Kellyanne's 'POTUS has completely confidence in him' message, Flynn has fallen on his sword. Presumably it was that or 'You're fired!'. But I doubt that will be the end of the matter. What did Trump know and when did he know it?

SNL continues to do a great job on Spicey, but their 'Fatal Attraction' sketch on 'Poor Kellyanne' was OTT. That and the Flynn fallout may help her to survive. Despite the 'complete confidence' message. Whas she out of the loop?

I am starting to think that maybe no one is in the loop at the White House right now. Which might be the thing that ends up bringing the whole operation down. Fingers crossed.

It would be extremely brazen of Trump to try to lift sanctions against Russia at this point, right? I guess he could try to play it off as a completely unrelated decision based on his best business judgment, but the whole thing would stink.

(I have been thinking about re-reading "Tinker Tailor..." in recent months. The part of me that reads way too many spy novels is frantically trying to figure out how this is all part of the cover up. I can't quite make it work. If this were a planned thing to make it look like Trump is actually interested in getting Russian influence out of the White House while secretly keeping them in, certainly he would be crowing about this more, right? Any other cloak and dagger three degrees of backstabbing theories?)

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Barnabas62
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The conspiracy theory is that Trump already had some kind of a deal with someone in Russia and the quid pro quo was the Hillary hack to help him get into power. All done through intermediaries of course, one of whom might have been Flynn.

The thing that doesn't quite compute is that Flynn must have known his call would be monitored. But there is a hint in one of the leaks that part of Flynn's communication was encrypted or coded. Which actually looks even more suspicious if true.

Og, you're right. It doesn't quite all add up. But it is smelly.

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Gramps49
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It now seems the Russians have discovered one of the best ways to weaken NATO and the European Union is to financially support ultra-right nationalist parties in European countries. Get other countries to question the effectiveness of Nato, and Russia will be able to drive a tank through the gaps as it were.
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Rocinante
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Personally I'm inclining towards the "incompetence" prong of Reagan's fork. ISTM that most of what goes on at the White House these days is just what happens when a bunch of inexperienced egotists are put in charge of something they don't really understand. If there is a conspiracy at the heart of all this, it's a risibly inept one.
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Brenda Clough
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Close observers agree with you. The money quote: "What decent and competent person at this point would walk into the West Wing, which seems more like the “Star Wars” bar scene with each passing day?"

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Og, King of Bashan

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It does seem like Trump and his advisors have relied a bit to heavily on the old "when the President does it, it isn't illegal" logic. That's essentially their argument in favor of the immigration EO, constitutional issues be damned.

Conway was on The Today Show this morning, again tying herself in knots to avoid answering basic questions. She alleges that the President fully supported Flynn yesterday afternoon, as she had said. It was only after he learned that Flynn had mislead the VP that he dropped his support. Only problem, as pointed out by Matt Lauer: we know that the President was briefed about this several weeks ago.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Og, King of Bashan:
I have been thinking about re-reading "Tinker Tailor..." in recent months.

You need to read more Le Carré. There's at least as much incompetence as conspiracy (see, for instance The Russia House).

Of course, both can destabilise.

Either way, I'm sure Russia is having a good laugh at the mess in the White House regardless of how much of it they actually masterminded. Even more so if the actual answer is "none".

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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Close observers agree with you. The money quote: "What decent and competent person at this point would walk into the West Wing, which seems more like the “Star Wars” bar scene with each passing day?"

Or to put it another way, there is no "loop" for people to be in or out of.

John

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Barnabas62
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Sean Spicer did a pretty good job in answering questions. Much better than Kellyanne. But the key points in the defence are that the White House counsel assured Trump that Flynn had done nothing illegal. And Trump had not given Flynn a specific brief, he was just doing his duty.

This was the only way of managing the gap between the notification by the Acting AG, giving the White House a heads up re Flynn and the three week interval before his dismissal/resignation.

Will that story hold? Only if the transcripts confirm it. So I think there are powerful people in the Senate and the House who will want to see those transcripts.

This story has legs.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Sean Spicer did a pretty good job in answering questions. Much better than Kellyanne. But the key points in the defence are that the White House counsel assured Trump that Flynn had done nothing illegal.

I'd love to see that legal analysis. Of course the only thing that would make such a determination plausible is if the White House counsel knew everything Flynn "had done". Given Flynn's lack of honest up to that point, that doesn't seem a safe bet to make.

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