A Stormy Week In The White House
FEMA is dropping “Climate Change” from its strategic plan for the next four years. FEMA’s responsibilities include responding to disasters like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other incidents which are unambiguously driven by climate change. FEMA does address what it calls a “rising natural hazard risk” though it will now confine its prevention efforts to what it calls “pre-disaster mitigation.”
A CBS 60 minutes interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels in which she details her affair with President Trump and the attempt to cover it up will air later this week. Daniels was apparently threatened physically as part of the attempt to silence the adult film star and bury evidence of her relationship with President Trump. Daniel’s lawyer further stated that at least six additional women have approached him with (as yet unvetted) stories which echo her claims.
The President and Mr. Cohen have purposely ignored our settlement offer, thus doubling down on their efforts to muzzle Ms. Clifford and prevent her from telling the American people what happened. Time to buckle up. #basta— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 13, 2018
On their way out of the Trump White House this week are the following people.
Rex Tillerson — Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson was dismissed by President Trump following comments he made suggesting that Russia should be held do account for their attempted assassination of a former spy in London. The assassination attempt has escalated tensions between the UK and Russia, in no small part because it was carried out with an exotic chemical weapon. Adding insult to injury, Tillerson was apparently fired over Twitter.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
John McEntee — Personal Aid to the President
McEntee is one of the raft of Trump staffers who have been unable to get a security clearance. His case is particularly concerning; as the personal aid to the President, McEntee enjoyed a level of access far beyond what a 27 year old could ordinarily command. That, combined with what the Wall Street Journal reports as a compulsive gambling habit positions him as an ideal pressure point for a foreign intelligence agency.
Andrew McCabe — Former FBI Deputy Director
In a move that smacks of spite, Andrew McCabe has fired just over 24 hours shy of retirement. McCabe, who drew President Trump’s ire for his wife’s involvement in Democratic politics, was also implicated in media leaks about the FBI’s investigation of then-candidate Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reports that McCabe’s dismissal will likely cut into his expected federal pension.
General H.R. McMaster — National Security Advisor
There have been rumors swirling about McMaster’s departure for a few weeks but they have intensified, just as they did around Tillerson, on the heels of comments suggesting that Russia is complicit in the ongoing human rights catastrophe that is Syria. McMaster also angered trump back in February when he said that there was “incontrovertible” evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. So far the White House is denying that McMaster is on the way out, but official statements have not been able to shake rampant speculation that the cartoonishly pro-war, Fox News analyst John Bolton may be about to replace McMaster.
General James “Maddog” Mattis — Secretary of Defense
Just kidding, Mattis shows no signs of leaving. This, despite being embroiled in what the Securities and Exchange Commission describes as an “elaborate, years-long fraud.” Mattis served on the board of a company called Theranos which essentially lied about its technology offerings. Mattis used his influence and reputation in the Army to attempt to force adoption of the non-existent tech.
Mattis is widely seen as the last sane man in the Trump administration and one of the only people who might be able to prevent the administration from committing the United States to a disastrous military conflict with North Korea or Iran. As Vox puts it:
the Democratic Party opposition is… inclined to give Mattis a pass. Everyone in Washington is more or less convinced that his presence in the Pentagon is the only thing standing between us and possible nuclear Armageddon.
Tell Congress What You Think
This all sounds like a bunch of Executive Branch stuff but Congress has a voice in all of this too. Between oversight, investigations, and confirmation, your Representatives and Senators have a real role to play in daily whirlwind of chaos that is the West Wing. You can tell Congress what you think about these or any other issues by texting RESIST to 50409. Or, if SMS isn’t your style, you can contact your government by talking to Resistbot on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, or Twitter.