A president on the ropes. Gage Skidmore photo via Flickr

Trump’s Losing His War on America’s Spies

They’ve hurt him bigly — and they’re just getting started

by MATTHEW GAULT

U.S. president Donald Trump went after America’s intelligence community again Wednesday. Which, if you’ve been paying attention, is the wrong move. When the Christian Broadcasting Network asked Trump a question about disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn during a press conference with Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu, the president lashed out at America’s deep-state spooks

“I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media — as I call it, the ‘fake media,’ in many cases — and I think it’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly,” Trump said of Flynn. “I think in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked.”

He called the leak a criminal act then went after Hillary Clinton, the woman who is not president. “People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton,” Trump said. “I think it’s very, very unfair what’s happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally — I stress that — illegally leaked. Very, very unfair.”

What an idiot.

Yeah, here’s the thing Donald … you won. You’re the president. You can’t just throw Clinton under the bus when shit goes wrong. Worse, you went after the two entities that are finally holding your feet to the fire — the press and the intelligence community.

A smarter president would back away from attacking intelligence agencies. You pissed them off, they decided to attack you and you’re losing, Donald. You’re losing. Bigly. Why do they hate you? Let’s remind everyone.

Days before Trump’s inauguration, the CIA briefed him on a Russian intelligence dossier that alleged Moscow spies had damaging info on him. Trump, never one to pay attention during an intelligence briefing, waved it off and dismissed it. So the spooks leaked the dossier to the press.

Months before that, they tried to tell Trump that Russia helped him win the election. He brushed this off and went on the offensive. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” an official statement from the then transition team read. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest electoral college victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”

Then there was the time he compared the CIA to the Nazis, said he wouldn’t need daily intelligence briefings because he’s so smart and floated a plan to purge the Agency and reorganize America’s intelligence groups. The deep state was not amused, and it’s hit back. Hard.

Every time Trump ignores something the spooks tell him, they leak it to the press. According to reports, Trump knew about Flynn’s connection to Russia for weeks before deciding to tell anyone else. There’s serious doubts he would have acted on the intelligence without agents leaking it to reporters to shame him into doing so.

Flynn’s resignation is a big victory in a protracted battle — and the spies aren’t letting up. Two days after the NSA head resigned in disgrace under allegations of collusion with the Kremlin, the FBI used Twitter to quietly remind everyone that Trump is a racist.

“This release consists of FBI materials on an investigation conducted between 1972 and 1974 into allegations that the Trump Management Company had discriminated against applicants for apartment rentals on account of their race,” the FBI tweeted.

The vault linked back to an almost 400-page report on the Bureau’s investigation into Trump and his father from the ’70s. Back then, the young real-estate developer was still making most of his money at his father’s side. Tenants and workers both accused the father-son duo of racism. The FBI looked into it and followed up by filing a civil rights lawsuit against them. The pair settled out of court.

Which is about as close to an admission of guilt as we’re ever going to get from The Donald. The report is damning.

“Fred Trump told me not to rent to blacks,” one former employee testified. “He also wanted me to get rid of the blacks that were in the building by telling them cheap housing was available to them at only $500 downpayment, which Trump would offer to pay himself … he advised me not to rent to persons on welfare.”

“I thought the black couple would be judged acceptable based on the above checks. However, [redacted] just told me they were blacks and that’s that.”

The files go on like this, telling horror stories from clients and employees. It’s an embarrassing side note in the middle of an already hard week. It’s a small sign that the intelligence community isn’t done humiliating Trump. It’s only getting started.

Turns out the deep state may be America’s best hope for checking executive overreach.

Stay defiant.

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