The Morning Briefing: Trump Put on Diet of Highly-Curated Information and Much, Much More
Good Friday Morning.
Here's what is on the President's agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
- The President will then meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
- In the afternoon, the President and First Lady Melania Trump will depart the White House en route to Camp David.
Trump put on diet of highly-curated information
Both Politico and The New York Times ran stories earlier this week outlining the new processes put in place by Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly that will be guiding the information stream that leads to the Oval Office. In a nutshell, Trump will be receiving highly-curated information that has passed through several levels and layers of scrutiny.
The new system, laid out in two memos co-authored by Kelly and Porter and distributed to Cabinet members and White House staffers in recent days, is designed to ensure that the president won’t see any external policy documents, internal policy memos, agency reports and even news articles that haven’t been vetted. Kelly’s deputy, Kristjen Nielson, is also expected to assume an integral role.
From The New York Times:
In one of the memos, White House aides were told that all materials prepared for the president must go first to Mr. Porter for vetting and clearance. Then Mr. Kelly must sign off on them before they go to Mr. Trump’s desk. That includes news articles, according to West Wing officials who described the memos’ content — of particular importance, given the propensity for some of Mr. Trump’s staff to slip him news accounts from dubious sources that shape his thinking or prompt him to cite unreliable or inaccurate information.
Business Insider writes about the victims of the new system. "Far-right media outlets have become increasingly worried about being cut from Trump's voracious media diet after White House chief of staff John Kelly began regulating Trump's intake of information, which was reported by multiple news outlets on Thursday."
"I'm scared that the military complex is taking over the formerly populist White House," a writer for Gateway Pundit told BuzzFeed News. Said long time Trump confidante Roger Stone of the new system, "news summaries have been sanitized, which means no Infowars, no Daily Caller, no Breitbart."
"As such," Stone asserted, "his views are shaped by CNN and FOX News. He watches network news as well, which is almost antiquated."
"The problem that this presidency has had is the sheer proliferation of bad information," one source said. "That proliferation is a result of two things," the source added. "People who don't know what they're doing, and people willing to push bad information to further their personal agendas. It's one of the most important things to get your arms around."
All of this assumes the people curating Trump's information dumps don't have their own agenda. Is the information "bad" or does the undesirable information merely interfere with a different agenda?
Manafort raid "designed to intimidate"
A source close to the FBI investigation said the pre-dawn 10-hour raid on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's house was "heavy-handed, designed to intimidate."
The source said both Manafort and his wife were asleep when FBI agents entered the Alexandria, Va., condo without warning at about 6 a.m. ET. They did not conclude their search until late afternoon, around 4 p.m. ET. The 1,600-square-foot condo includes three bedrooms and a main living area.
During the raid, agents copied the electronics through a process known in law enforcement circles as ‘mirroring’ and collected records -- including several documents marked "attorney-client" that included privileged material to aid Manafort's preparation for congressional testimony, sources said.
"This is an unusual step, there is no getting around it," former Justice Department official Tom Dupree told Fox News. "It is an aggressive step. I think it sends a very strong message both to Manafort himself and potentially other people who might be targets of this investigation that [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller is going to pursue this aggressively."
Attorney-client privilege? Holy civil liberties, Batman!
Nancy, Nancy, Nancy
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has had a rough couple of days. During an interview on Wednesday with San Francisco TV station KRON, Pelosi displayed her constitutional acumen: "The Constitution does not say that a person can shout…yell ‘wolf’ in a crowded theater. If you are endangering people, then you don’t have a constitutional right to do that," she said. What this has to do with political expression, I don't know. Pelosi seems to miss the point of the First Amendment entirely, which exists to prohibit the government from interfering with citizens' political speech. Political speech doesn't "endanger people." People who can't control their reactions to unpopular or even despicable political speech endanger people.
And there's more. Nancy is jacking up her Democrats in the House of Representatives to get rid of the 10 Confederate statues littering the halls of Congress. However...
It was May 2, 1948, when, according to a Baltimore Sun article from that day, “3,000” looked on as then-Governor William Preston Lane Jr. and Pelosi’s father, the late Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., spoke at the dedication of a monument to honor Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
The article said Lane delivered a speech, and Mayor D’Alesandro “accepted” the memorial.
“Today, with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions,” D’Alesandro said in his dedication. “We must remain steadfast in our determination to preserve freedom, not only for ourselves, but for the other liberty-loving nations who are striving to preserve their national unity as free nations.”
He added: “In these days of uncertainty and turmoil, Americans must emulate Jackson’s example and stand like a stone wall against aggression in any form that would seek to destroy the liberty of the world.”
To quote White House advisor Kellyanne Conway "That's rich."
The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Harvey has strengthened to a Category 2 storm.
Fueled by warm Gulf of Mexico waters, the storm is projected to become a major Category 3 hurricane.
Forecasters are labeling it a “life-threatening storm” with landfall predicted late Friday or early Saturday between Port O’Connor and Matagorda Bay, a 30-mile stretch of coastline about 70 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.
If you are in the path of Harvey, you might want to prepare if you haven't already.
Historical picture of the day:
And that's all I've got, have a great weekend!