With Obama holdovers still in the Trump administration and months of controversy over a single call to the Ukraine President, Trump is considering ending the practice of having officials listen in on calls altogether.
The Hill reports President Trump said Thursday he may end the practice of having national security and foreign service staff listen in on his calls with foreign leaders after a July call with the president of Ukraine triggered his impeachment in the House.
Trump complained extensively about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry, during a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, accusing him of being “insubordinate” by raising concerns about the president’s conduct on the July 25 call.
“Why are so many people allowed to listen to your phone calls anyway?” Rivera asked.
“Well, that’s what they’ve done over the years,” Trump said. “When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely.”
Top White House and national security officials typically listen in on presidential phone calls to keep everyone on the same page and create a record of the conversation.
Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky set off the impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower raised concerns that the president was pressuring Zelensky to investigate his political rivals while holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.
Tuesday, per TCO, conservative radio icon and medal of freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh accused President Trump of planting “moles” throughout the SNC and federal bureaucracy to undermine and sabotage Trump.
Rush names impeachment witnesses Vindman and Fiona Hill, along with Abigail Grace among them.
RUSH: I mentioned Lieutenant Colonel Vindman — O say can you see? — earlier. The conventional wisdom is that here’s a guy wearing his Army medals — decorated, National Security Council staff at the White House — terribly upset over what he thought he heard in a phone call between President Trump and Zelensky of Ukraine.
He was so distressed and was so torn by this, so scared what this meant for American national security, that he had to do something — and what he had to do was help put in motion the eventual impeachment of Donald Trump. So it became that you couldn’t criticize Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, remember? You couldn’t criticize anybody wearing the uniform. “No, no, no! Don’t you dare.” Never mind they could destroy David Petraeus all day long.
They could destroy Michael Flynn all day long, but we can’t talk about Lieutenant Colonel Vindman. So Trump comes along finally and fires Vindman and fires Vindman’s brother and fires all these people — Gordon Sondland, all these people — that participated in the coup, which is what it was. And so here comes the conformist reaction, “Oh, this is horrible. Donald Trump should not be able to retaliate this way.
“This is absolutely reprehensible. This is so beneath… We can’t have whistleblowers anymore if there’s going to be retaliation!” So the conformist view is whenever there is criticism of a Republican president, it’s legit. We gotta sit there. We gotta deal with it. We gotta take it — and even when it’s shown to be bogus and filled with lies, we can’t have retribution or reciprocity and deal with the person who got the ball rolling.
Not in my world.
I’m gonna tell you what I think. Have you heard in this whole story that Obama expanded the National Security Council staff to over 230 people? You know what the National Security Council staff is?
That’s a personal staff to the president. They are in the White House complex. They are in the West Wing and the Old Executive Office Building complex, and they are direct employees of the president. George W. Bush ran the Iraq war and the War on Terror with a hundred members on that council.
Obama expands it and blows it up to 230 with people like the Vindmans, (the alleged Whistleblower) and people like Sean Misko, who ends up going to work for Pencil Neck Schiff. And then you remember how Obama multiplied the number of federal agencies who had access to classified data? I think what this actually was… I think as Obama was leaving office, he expanded the National Security Council staff and then enlarged the number of agencies that had access to whatever classified data they did. He planted moles.
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