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Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump The Wall Street Journal

An explosive report by the WSJ claims U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump. They are taking this unusual action over concerns it could be leaked or compromised, "according to current and former officials familiar with the matter."

The action of withholding information from the President underscores the deep fissure of mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, Trump further amplified the bad blood with the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information to undermine him.

In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.

A White House official responded to the WSJ report: “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this is an accurate account of what is actually happening.”

US Allies Conduct Intelligence Operation Against Trump Staff and Associates, Intercepted Communications Newsweek

The Internet has no borders and neither does international spying. If Trump tries to take over direct control of America's spy agencies -- de facto dictating the control of info -- will America's real news media turn to European intelligence operations for help? Will the US intel community -- with its long history of cooperation with the Europeans -- bank info with international colleagues, in case Trump and Republicans refuse to act on info the incriminates the Trump administration? ~ Anne

Related: White House Plans to Have Trump Ally Review Intelligence Agencies New York Times

Team Trump Takes Some Blows

Andrew Puzder Withdraws As Labor Secy

Trump donor Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination to be secretary of labor on Wednesday after Senate Republicans confirmed to the White House that he did not have the votes to pass. There were many problems with Puzder's nomination, including the fact that he is virulently anti-labor. Support for the nominee began eroding after it was revealed that he didn't pay taxes on an undocumented immigrant who worked for him over years. More than one cabinet nominee has been rejected over this issue. Oprah also became involved in the nomination process, turning over to the Senate a video of Puzder's then wife accusing him of serious physical and emotional abuse. via

Media Rejects Interviews with Kellyanne

Kellyanne Conway has an on-air credibility crisis. Call it spreading "alternative facts" and outright lies on behalf of her boss President Trump. 

"I serve at the pleasure of @POTUS," she tweeted Tuesday. "His message is my message. His goals are my goals. Uninformed chatter doesn't matter."

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, co-anchor Mika Brzezinski declared that she “will not interview her.”

“It’s giving people dishonesty, it’s not worth the interview,” she said, as co-host Joe Scarborough added, “She goes out and lies, and you find out about those lies a couple hours later.”

An anchor from a different network said Conway hasn’t been invited on the anchor's show for months, saying the viewer gets “nothing out of her” because “she constantly obfuscates and misrepresents the truth.”

Coming on the heels of her public endorsement of Ivanka Trump products last week, the Office of Government Ethics said in a letter on Tuesday that the White House should investigate whether Conway violated ethics rules and consider disciplinary action.

Just 12 days ago, Kellyanne Conway was a proud peacock, telling The Hollywood Reporter: "I'm the face of Trump's movement. "

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

The real news here is not Flynn's resignation but that then acting Attorney General Sally Yates -- who Trump accused of betrayal when he fired over over saying she would not defend Trump's Muslim ban -- advised the administration over a month ago that Gen. Flynn was compromised and at risk for being blackmailed by the Russians. Politico writes:

Trump administration officials, including chief White House counsel Don McGahn, were briefed last month on Flynn's apparent misstatements about his discussions with the Russians. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was dismissed a few days later — after refusing to enforce Trump's travel ban executive order — but a source familiar with the situation said her briefing on Flynn did not appear to play a role in her firing.

The Washington Post was the first to report the prior briefing Monday. The White House announced Flynn's resignation Monday evening.

Related: Conway Agrees "No Massacre" In Bowling Bowling Green | Sally Yates Stands Firm Against Boys Club AOC Women's News

How the Anti-Muslim Fringe Conquered the White House

Many Americans believe that the conspiracy theorists who surround Donald Trump pose a grave danger to our country. Frank Gaffney leads a posse of right-wing influencers who believe that not radical Islamists themselves, but Islam as a religion is working to conquer America from the inside. Vox explores allegations dismissed by most Americans but embraced by Trump and his inner circle. 

Gaffney believes that sharia, the Arabic term for Islamic law, is a “brutally repressive, totalitarian, political, military, and legal program” for gradually subverting Western governments. Trump's inner circle believes that in the US, those efforts were already well underway.

“This program of subversive, stealthy penetration and takedown is operating. It’s, in fact, been at work for 50 years,” he said. “Our government has been subverted.”

Gaffney wasn’t speaking metaphorically, writes Zack Beauchamp. He accused “agents of Hillary Clinton” of shredding files about Muslim radicals living both inside and outside the US and said that then–Homeland Security Secretary Johnson was surrounded by “a small echo chamber which is filled by Muslim Brotherhood operatives.”

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