One of the many supremely stressful aspects of the Trump era is the very real danger that President Trump’s style of erratic, racist, bullying, misinformed politics will continue beyond Trump, further eroding institutions and obliterating the functioning of government as we know it. Specifically, I’m most concerned about Trump’s copycats continuing to perfect the fact-free gibberish he’s made famous, and, in some cases, doing it better than Trump.
As seen this week in a New York Times profile, they’re popping up like orange weeds in red hats, mimicking Trump’s catchphrases and his abandonment of decency (insofar as politics is tempered by collegiality and decorum, to an extent).
There’s one guy named Don Blankenship who’s running for U.S. Senate out of West Virginia. His first big ad-buy includes a commercial in which he calls for locking up Hillary Clinton. The stupefying ridiculousness of continuing to pursue a grandma who’s not even active in public service or electoral politics any more goes without saying, but there he is, running on an Investigate Hillary platform two years after the 2016 elections wrapped up.
Worse, you might remember Blankenship’s name from the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster in which 38 men were buried alive. Blankenship ended up serving a year in prison for his part in the disaster, namely for deliberately violating mining safety laws. Now, he’s got a 50/50 shot at being the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate from West Virginia. Staggering. Once again, there’s a sickness — a cultural rot in the red areas of the nation. The fact that Blankenship could very well win his primary and go on to defeat Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is a gigantic symptom of that sickness.
This sanctimonious criminal who’s responsible for the worst mining disaster in 40 years has the nerve to attack Hillary as some sort of crook for — not killing miners, but for having a personal email server in her house. Gasp!
Anyone, including Mr. Blankenship, who’s still repeating “lock her up,” can feel free to jump off a cliff. That includes the president who continues to threaten his political opponents, including Hillary and including journalists, with imprisonment or worse.
Speaking of Trump, I’m not sure how any Trumper can look themselves in the mirror when bitching about Hillary’s email server, while simultaneously ignoring the fact that the president himself is somehow still using his personal Android phone to make calls and, presumably, to drop his tweet turds into your Twitter feed.
President Donald Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers, multiple sources inside and outside the White House told CNN, as Trump returns to the free-wheeling mode of operation that characterized the earliest days of his administration.
“He uses it a lot more often more recently,” a senior White House official said of the President’s cell phone.
Sources cited Trump’s stepped-up cell phone use as an example of chief of staff John Kelly’s waning influence over who gets access to the President. During the early days of Kelly’s tenure, multiple sources said, Trump made many of his calls from the White House switchboard — a tactic that allowed the chief of staff to receive a printed list of who Trump had phoned. Kelly has less insight into who Trump calls on his personal cell phone.
Bear in mind that President Obama also used a device, but it was augmented with increased security measures. There’s nothing to indicate Trump’s phone is likewise secured. Indeed, his sole reason for using it is privacy (he thinks). Namely, the president doesn’t want his chief of staff, John Kelly, knowing who he’s calling and how often.
Now, if Kelly really wanted to know who Trump was talking to, he might be able to ask Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency, because chances are, the NSA is keeping track of who Trump’s calling. The FBI, too. But that’s the least of Trump’s problems here. It’s even more likely that Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea and maybe Pakistan are all listening to Trump’s calls, too, while also intercepting any other bits of information transmitted from Trump’s goddamn phone.
All told, Trump’s phone usage is far worse than anything Hillary did or didn’t do with her homebrew server, especially considering that he’s the president now, while, at the apex of her career, Hillary was several rungs down the ladder.
We also know that Trump was compromised before he even slithered into the Executive Mansion; and we know that many of Trump’s closest advisers were even more compromised — Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort, especially, with Jared Kushner as a very likely possibility. And now, Year Two Trump is blabbing away on an unsecured phone, giving our enemies and allies alike countless hints about how best to manipulate the president, while, bonus, nabbing some top secret information along the way. Trump’s loose-lips aren’t just for Lavrov and Kislyak in the Oval Office any more. Hackers of all varieties, state sponsored or freelance, have an easily accessible window into Trump’s private conversations.
The Trump administration is literally giving away American national security secrets, and no one seems to give a shit. It’s not that difficult for the Secret Service to provide Trump with an encrypted device. Clearly, though, Trump thinks he’s above the law and beyond reproach. He’s neither of course, but as long as his disciples are looking the other way, he can get away with murder.
I’ve been repeating since the Summer of 2016 that Trump is a threat to national security, and not just because of Russia. Trump is so easily pegged and so easily puppeteered — he’s so careless with the responsibilities of the presidency — he’s basically opened the door to the Oval Office to any black-hat who wants to burrow into the Resolute Desk and hunker down for some unprecedented access to American secrets of all varieties. And we don’t even know the full extent of the infiltration, and we’re 100 percent certain to never find out.