The Moron in Chief vs. National Security

I’ve worked for some really incompetent managers. What happens when the manager is a total moron is that the staff charged with getting work done learns to work around said manager, keeping him out of the loop at all costs.

Yesterday the administration’s top intelligence officials – Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, and others — testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee. What came from that testimony bore no resemblance whatsoever to anything the so-called Commander in Chief thinks. It’s obvious this crew is not bothering with the boss. They also aren’t interested in the wall.

President Donald Trump has previously declared that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, touted the defeat of ISIS, doubted the effects of climate change and railed against the Iran nuclear deal as “defective at its core.”

But the most senior intelligence officials in the Trump administration suggested Tuesday that many of the President’s sweeping assertions related to national security are inconsistent with their own assessments.

When pressed by Senate lawmakers during a hearing about the most urgent global threats facing the US, Trump’s intelligence chiefs, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA director Gina Haspel, appeared to contradict several claims made by the President to justify core tenets of his foreign policy.

Alex Ward writes at Vox:

President Donald Trump says ISIS is defeated in Syria. He’s said North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat” and that Kim Jong Un is committed to giving up his country’s nuclear weapons. He’s repeatedly bought Russia’s claim that it didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He regularly mocks the idea that climate change is a threat and has called it a hoax. And he said staying in the Iran nuclear deal would lead to that country acquiring nuclear weapons in “just a short time.”

But according to Trump’s own senior intelligence officials, none of that is true. Zero. Zilch.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and other top intelligence officials presented their annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. That document “reflects the collective insights of the Intelligence Community” — including the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and many other federal agencies — about the biggest threats currently facing the United States.

And the picture this latest report paints makes one thing stunningly clear: Trump’s major foreign policy positions are not based in reality.

ISIS is not defeated; North Korea is not about to give up nuclear weapons; Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election and is poised to interfere with the next one; climate change is a major threat, and not just to security; Iran is not currently engaged in weapons-making activities.

Today Trump had a tweet-fit criticizing the intel crew because their testimony conflicted with his fantasy life, which these days appears to be based on a film called Sicario: Day of the Soldado.  The moron who got played by Kim Jong Un for the world to see says the intel guys are “naive.”  If we have a real national security crisis while The Creature is in office we’re doomed.

Also, Wisconsin is screwed. Paul Waldmann:

Last summer, Wisconsin’s then-governor, Scott Walker, announced a deal for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to open a factory in his state, and like so many such deals, it came with gigantic tax incentives. Although it was extremely controversial, Walker insisted that the 13,000 jobs Foxconn was promising would be worth the billions of taxpayer dollars he offered the company.

President Trump took credit for it. As The Post reported at the time, White House officials were “ebullient” about the deal and even stressed that Trump himself negotiated it with the company’s chairman.

The consummate dealmaker made a deal, and now the benefits would rain down on the good people of Wisconsin, right?

Guess again.

A major jobs deal President Trump has touted with former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker now looks uncertain: Foxconn, a supplier for Apple and other technology firms, says it’s scrapping plans to build a giant new factory in Wisconsin, opting to hire American engineers and researchers instead of a promised fleet of blue-collar workers.

“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory,” Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou, told Reuters. “You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment.”

The Taiwanese technology juggernaut initially pledged in 2017 to construct a $10 billion liquid-crystal display panel plant and create up to 13,000 jobs in the state’s southeastern corner over the next 15 years. The positions would pay an average annual wage of $53,000, the firm said — a solid salary in the manufacturing realm.

In exchange, Wisconsin agreed to give Foxconn at least $3 billion in state tax credits and breaks, according to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a public-private agency that helped negotiate the package. The deal was much criticized at the time after it emerged that Wisconsin would not make money for 25 years. …

… Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office in November to investigate the Foxconn deal and other enormous state subsidy packages, said Wisconsin has already poured cash into new roads, campus construction and paying families who lived on the tentative factory site to move. He declined to name a figure.

Such a deal.

Share Button