President Donald Trump continues to refuse to give up the election. His national security adviser Robert O’Brien is allowing chaos, four senior officials told The Daily Beast.
O’Brien – once seen as a potential check on Trump’s erratic national security demands – has approved the installation of a pair of Trumpists at the highest levels of the Pentagon, while Defense Secretary O’Brien long opposed it was tweeted.
One official claimed that O’Brien supported a peaceful transfer of power, joking at a Monday event about the loss of Trump and ordering his staff to start drafting transition documents. But three other officials told The Daily Beast that O’Brien had become one of Trump’s greatest catalysts at a crossroads, supporting the president’s attempt to retain power even if carried out as part of a nationwide disinformation campaign.
According to several officials, O’Brien had complained for months about now sacked Defense Secretary Mark Esper and his crackdown on the president’s demands, including that the military be used for political purposes.
This week, officials say, O’Brien backed the impeachment of several senior Pentagon officials and favored Christopher Miller, a former NSC official who moved to the National Counterterrorism Center, to replace Esper as secretary. to the defense. He also approved the installation of Kash Patel as Miller’s chief of staff, officials said. Patel previously worked under O’Brien on the National Security Council. A senior official described Miller and Patel as “O’Brien’s boys”. Patel is also said to be close to another former NSC colleague, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, who is now the Pentagon’s senior intelligence official.
An official described it to Washington post Dan Lamothe as the NSC taking control of the Pentagon, while another tried to relieve O’Brien of his primary responsibility. “Staff change at DOD [the Department of Defense] were led by a very small circle welded around the president. Traditional national security voices have been excluded from these discussions, ”the official told The Daily Beast. Another senior administration official pointed the finger at John McEntee, the head of the presidential staff office, who was working with Patel to orchestrate the purge at the Pentagon.
“If you even mention Biden’s name … it’s forbidden. You would be fired. Everyone is afraid to talk about the possibility of working with the [Biden] transition.
– National security officer
Other officials familiar with the matter noted that O’Brien had also pushed national security officials to publicly adopt Trump’s absurd message that the election has not been certified and that there are still ongoing legal battles across the country that could turn in the president’s favor.
“If you even mention Biden’s name… it’s forbidden.” You would be fired, ”said a national security official. “Everyone is afraid to talk about the possibility of working with the [Biden] transition.”
Asked whether White House officials feel comfortable saying Biden’s name in the West Wing, a senior White House official replied, half-jokingly: “Of course, you can say his name. If you’re talking about who lost the election to the president.
Behind closed doors, one official said, O’Brien has been much more open about the loss of Trump and the need to prepare for a transition. The problem, other officials said, is that O’Brien did not report this to the commander-in-chief.
“It’s like dealing with a madman in the metro. Everyone sits down and looks in front of him, pretending not to hear him and waiting for him to finally get down.
– GOP source close to the administration
O’Brien, who assumed his current post as National Security Advisor in September 2019, has deep ties to the Republican Party and was viewed by national security officials upon his arrival at the White House as someone one who would be able to keep Trump inside. check. Since taking office, however, officials who have worked with him say O’Brien has supported the president at all times. A former senior national security official said he was known among his staff as a man of yes. “He does whatever Trump says,” a current national security official said.
It’s getting harder and harder to find the big hitter who will tell Trump to concede. Three sources say it’s perfectly clear to many around Trump that his court challenges, launched without any evidence of massive electoral fraud, will not change the election outcome, even with Attorney General Bill Barr’s national hunt for the election. electoral fraud. Yet the dynamic of personal loyalty that unites Trumpworld dissuades many of his closest advisers from telling him his presidency is over.
“It’s like dealing with a madman in the subway. Everyone sits down and looks ahead, pretends they can’t hear them and waits for him to finally come down, ”a GOP source close to the administration told The Daily Beast.
A major consequence of Trump’s refusal to concede the outcome is the ongoing chaos in the national security apparatus.
AAt the State Department, officials say there was no guidance or message on the election. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a press conference on Tuesday: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. It caused international confusion as to whether the chief US diplomat was really arguing that the defeated Trump would not relinquish power – and shock among State Department employees who wanted to know what Pompeo would say about Trump’s refusal. to leave.
“We all looked for a clue. And I guess we figured it out… whether he was kidding or not, it was terrible. But we now expect this kind of contempt, ”said a senior department official.
Pompeo spent the consequences stepping up his joking, not joking, stance that Trump did not lose the election. Asked Tuesday night on Fox News about the influx of foreign leaders congratulating Biden, Pompeo replied, “We remind everyone that not all votes have been counted.” He will have many opportunities to spread the message. On Friday, Pompeo leaves for a trip of a week or more to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Whether or not Pompeo thinks he has more time in power, he rules as if in a hurry. On Tuesday, a new round of sanctions took place against “buying networks” linked to Iran. He approved a massive $ 23 billion arms sale to UAE– the apparent cost of recognizing Israel by Abu Dhabi– which includes the F-35 advanced jet fighter and 18 weapon capable Reaper drones. With little fanfare, Pompeo entrusted the department’s counterterrorism chief Nathan Sales with the task of coordinating the global coalition against the so-called Islamic State, and made Joel Rayburn the special envoy for Syria, after announcing Amb. Jim Jeffrey retired from both roles on Monday.
All of this has sparked speculation and fears that a last-minute standoff with Iran is on the horizon – especially given the ongoing fallout from a blistering week at the Pentagon the department has yet to. explained.
There is uncertainty over what Patel, Cohen-Watnick, and the new head of politics, Anthony Tata, have been tasked with doing in the Pentagon. Theories run the gamut of retaliation against officials perceived to be disloyal to Trump; to block the flow of intelligence to Biden’s inevitable transition; to selectively disclose GOP information perceived to be harmful to Biden or Obama.
Cohen-Watnick, according to a Pentagon official who spoke on condition of anonymity, has a lot of opportunity ahead of him. In addition to his rise to the post of Pentagon intelligence chief, he remains in charge of directing special operations / low intensity conflict, simultaneously making him the Pentagon official with oversight responsibilities on all intelligence missions and special operations.
“Basically a totally unconditional person takes the crown jewels, but since he has a close connection in the White House, there isn’t much to do at this point,” the official said.
A Pentagon official did not respond to a request for comment.
Patel, however, is said to be the White House’s mole in the Secretary of Defense’s office, although the Pentagon official has expressed a high degree of confidence in Miller’s integrity.
Two people who speak to Trump regularly say that even before the 2020 presidential race was called on Saturday by major networks, they each independently told Trump that he should fire Christopher Wray, the FBI director, before the day of the inauguration 2021 – even if lame duck. One of those sources said he told the President that getting rid of Wray, winning or losing, would be “the right and right thing to do” given how much they felt the head of the bureau had done to undermine Trump.
For now, virtually all of Trumpworld’s major players, starting with the president, are publicly operating as if a second term could magically materialize tomorrow.
“Until a judge says ‘no’ you have to keep going, you have to keep going, like you’re going to get a second term. You can’t just stop governing, “said Barry Bennett, who was Trump’s senior advisor during the 2016 campaign.” You don’t hand over the keys until January 20 … Some transitions have gone pretty badly. If you go back to Bush in 2000, no one expected Clinton to stop being president just because Gore lost the election in November. So, of course, he must continue his policy. He should.”
“As Justice Ginsburg said, a president is ‘elected for four years’. So for four years [Donald Trump’s] president … If a vacancy arises, he should fill it. Why not? said Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House and informal adviser to Trump. Asked about the White House’s continued scrutiny of political nominations for a second term that does not happen, and whether that is appropriate or not given Biden’s decisive victory, Gingrich replied: “Of course [it’s appropriate]. He didn’t concede. Why should he act like he conceded?
“He has to go. His team is already oozing. I sent four CVs today“
– GOP source
One reason that even most Republicans recognize: he lost the election.
“He has to go. His team is already oozing. I submitted four CVs today,” said the GOP source close to the administration. “I really think the worst thing for him is that this is all happening without him. He’s going to sulk at the door and I guess Biden walks into an empty White House… What a fucking clown show.
#Dont #mention #Bidens