Michael Morell, fmr. deputy director of the CIA, discusses President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
- The climate will be worse than it would have been
- Preservation of the nation
- nuclear war with Russia
- naturally occurring biological agent
- climate change is that serious over the long term
- Specific national security implications
- water shortages: conflicts over water.
- instability caused by growing deserts
- food scarcity
- US leadership: worse than not enforcing red line in Syria
- This undermine allies’s faith in US: Angela Merkel sees greater prospects with China than US
- Thought US did well to reassure Middle East Allies in Middle East (vis-a-vis Iran)
- Failure to reassure Europe over Article 5. They feel like America doesn’t have their back
- George Shultz: the US helped to forge
- Say what you mean: have clearly articulated policty
- Do what you say: draw red line, if you forge treaty, don’t abandon it
- I’ve been an analyst of other countries. Now I’m an analyst of my own country:
- Nationalists: Bannon, etc: very narrowly focused
- Globalists: McMaster, Mattis, Pompeo, Tillperson, Dan Coats, Gary Cohn: traditional Republican foreign policy
- Jared Kushner: not ideological, not long-term interests of US, looking out for Reputation of Family: Barak Obama of Administration
- President Trump: view was framed on campaign trail, what resonated with people: if there is a threat to US, we will crush it. Otherwise we will withdraw.
Is it wise to make Iran an enemy? Yes, Iran is a threat to strategic interests
- They conduct terror through Kuds force conducts terrorism against Jews, and neighbors
- Support terror
- Support Shia insurgent groups to overthrow Sunni regimes
- It is policy to destroy Israel
- It is policy to dominate region
- We need to push back agains bad behavior, but give them an out if they want to change.
- We need to reassure the allies
- We need to talk to our allies about democracy privately
- John Kerry says if we do more sanctions, they walk
- then that is them walking away from the table
- we should leave the door open to them
- they have to pay a price for their bad behavior, and I think that happens through sanctions
What is the significance of the James Comey firing and testimony
- Did any Trump associates conspire with Russians, help choose material, timing for maximal impacy
- Did Russian organized crime help launder money. Donald Jr. said that money was flowing in from Russia. Did they do due diligence to know where the money was coming from?
- Is there anyone in the Trump administration, particularly with classified info, with inappropriate relationship with Russian Intelligence
- Did the president obstruct justice by
- asking for loyalty
- asking to let Flynn issue go
- firing Comey
- Jared Kushner meeting with ambassador, asking for backchannel
- facts in public domain may not be accurate
- Russians talking to each other about meeting
- Officials leaking to reporters
- Reporters reporting on this: this is not a great chain of evidence
- This isn’t just about Kushner, Michael Flynn was there and would have known better than to ask for secure communications
- Its less the desire to set up a channel, supposedly to talk to Russian military about Syria. Why the secrecy? Maybe they were worried about leaks.
- Was this Flynn and Kushner’s acting on their own, or did Trump, Pence have permission?
- I’m more interested in what they were doing before the election than after.
- The facts as we know them do not indicate that there was something criminal.
- Hillary asked about whether anyone in the Trump camp helped weaponize stolen data and what fake news to promote.
Middle East: Syria: we’re entering a new phase
All of our focus is on the defeat of ISIS, but there is a growing risk of conflict between: US-Iran and US-Russia
- Assad-Opposition: as they are winning, they are getting closer to US allies
- US & Allies – ISIS:
- US: struck Syrian government forces
- Russia struck US allies getting closer to their base
White House showdown on Paris deal set for next week
Advisers and Cabinet officials hope to reach consensus Tuesday, though that could prove difficult: They’re still divided over whether to abandon the agreement.
whether the United States should stay in the Paris climate change agreement, a major point of dispute between the moderate and nationalist wings of the White House
.. Bannon and Pruitt are said to be strongly opposed to remaining in the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson are said to be in favor of staying.
Cohn and McMaster have not yet staked out a position in internal discussions at the White House, but they are also expected to argue for staying in the pact.
.. Pruitt has emerged in recent days as a staunch opponent of the pact
.. Pruitt is also concerned that the Paris agreement could harm his legal position as he pushes forward with a repeal of Obama’s climate change regulations for power plants
.. A small group of White House aides have been holding meetings with fossil fuel industry officials to outline one approach: Stay in the agreement, but weaken Obama’s domestic emissions reduction target.
.. “If Trump allows this deal to go forward, he will unwittingly fulfill Hillary Clinton’s arrogant and dastardly promise to put every coal miner in America out of a job,” Heritage fellow Stephen Moor
Ned Ryun: Trump WH Breaking into Two Factions — National Populists vs. Liberal NYC Democrats
“Since inauguration, it was really about four camps,” Ryun replied. “It was the Kushner camp, it was the Bannon camp, it was the Reince camp, and it was the Pence camp. But I’m starting to think, based off what I was hearing from yesterday and then reading reports this morning, that this is becoming actually more of two camps – that it really is the national populists, really led by Bannon, versus, quite frankly – there’s no other way to describe them – the liberal New York City set that have come in.”
.. “God bless them, they’re part of the Trump family, but let’s not kid ourselves: they are part of the Manhattan liberal set,” he said of the latter duo.
.. “The people that voted for Donald Trump voted for very specific things,” he noted. “They do want to see a wall. They want to see immigration dealt with. They want to see healthcare reform. They want to see tax reform. They want to see all of these things.”
.. “I have real concerns, not only about the New York liberal set that has come into the White House. … I am more and more concerned about the Goldman Sachs people that have come into the administration,” Ryun professed.
He said they have a “different worldview than the American people that voted Trump in.”
.. my hope is that Trump will say, ‘I know what got me in. I know what brought me to the White House. Steve Bannon is really the lead cheerleader on that front. Keep Steve close. Listen to Steve.
.. I really do think we’re going to get something done with health care. There’s going to be a massive step in the right direction. I do think we’ve got a real shot at tax reform.”
.. “If the other guys win, I guarantee you Bannon’s out, Reince is out, Spicer’s out, the corporate New York set is in.”