Monday, September 30, 2019

Trump is blasting Democrats and "corrupt journalists" for his impeachment woes, but his own ignorance, big mouth, and incompetent aides really are to blame


Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky

Donald Trump already is blaming others for the impeachment inquiry that has grown out of his dubious communications with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. That should surprise no one, but Trump might look in the mirror if he wants to size up the person most responsible for his current pickle, reports a D.C.-based investigative journalist.

A weekend post at the subscription-based Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) -- titled "Trump's big mouth and freelancing landed him in hot water with the NSA and DNI," -- shows Trump is mostly to blame for the hot water in which he now resides. Writes publisher Wayne Madsen, a former Naval surveillance officer who knows a thing or two about international security issues:

In July 2018, White House leaks indicated that Donald Trump gave his personal mobile phone number to various foreign leaders. Although Trump is known to have phoned some foreign leaders over his official White House landline, he is also known to call some leaders using his mobile phones on a whim and while some of his calls’ recipients, in Asia, for example, are asleep. Trump is also known to use multiple cell phones to call foreign leaders. Criminals, including narco-lords and drug smugglers, often use multiple “burner” phones in the hope they can evade detection and eavesdropping by law enforcement.

Trump’s official White House landline calls with foreign government leaders are routinely logged and transcribed by National Security Council and State Department personnel, particularly experts on the particular region and country involved, as well as interpreters. However, Trump’s personal calls are subject to being monitored by the National Security Agency and its FIVE EYES partners in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Under federal law and Department of Defense, Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI), and NSA operational regulations, these calls are subject to surveillance, with minimization kicking in if they involve a “U.S. Person.” It is not Trump who is a subject of surveillance but the foreign leaders.

How does the evolving Ukraine scandal get connected to all of this? Madsen explains:

In the case of the multiple calls between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump, it is Zelensky’s communications that would be routinely intercepted by NSA. Trump’s name was minimized in raw signals intelligence (SIGINT) reports until it became apparent that he was engaged in a criminal violation of U.S. federal election law by extorting political dirt on the Biden family in exchange for the transfer of previously appropriated U.S. defensive weapons to Ukraine. Also intercepted would have been the private calls between Trump personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani and Zelensky’s aide, Andriy Yermak, as well as calls between Giuliani and Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Bohdan and acting Security Service chief Ivan Bakanov.

NSA’s “Ukraine Shop” would have retrieved such calls from the PINWALE database, which would have also contained transcripts of other Trump personal calls with other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron. In addition to transcripts of intercepted voice communications, PINWALE includes copies of e-mail, faxes, and text messages.

There are reports that Trump loyalists also attempted to purge other databases that contain intercepts of foreign government officials to which Trump was a party. NSA SIGINT analysts work with various geographic area intercept databases. For example, Balkans analysts comb through intercepts stored in a database called ENRICHMENT. The U.S. embassy in Kyiv also maintains an NSA X-KEYSCORE intercept operation targeting Ukrainian telecommunications networks. Similar systems are found in U.S. embassies around the world. However, in the case of the embassy in the Ukrainian capital, Trump may have discovered its role in NSA operations, resulting in him firing U.S. career foreign service ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in May of this year.

Trump apparently has surrounded himself with sycophants who are as dense as he is on intelligence matters. Writes Madsen:

One of the Intelligence Community’s whistleblower’s complaints against Trump is that White House officials began pulling intercept transcripts out of the relevant database and hid them in another database, with which access is limited, even to NSA and other intelligence analysts. 
When criminal activities are discovered by NSA and other Intelligence Community analysts, the redacted name of the U.S. Person is unmasked and a copy of the intercepted communications transcript is forwarded to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. Somehow, this normal process became bogged down in political decisions by certain Trump loyalists in the Justice Department, including Attorney General William Barr and Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Brian Benczkowski. 

In essence, the incompetence of Team Trump finally appears to have bitten several of its members in the hindquarters. You might say they pooped in their own front yard and promptly managed to step in it -- with the whole world watching. Writes Madsen

The interference by Trump loyalists in the normal SIGINT operations and procedures of the NSA and DNI is what triggered the whistleblower complaint to the DNI’s Inspector General. Trump has his own big mouth and ignorance of how U.S. intelligence works to blame for his current impeachment predicament. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you let amateurs handle a job that calls for professionals.

Anonymous said...

Trump will never take responsibility for anything. It's always someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insights in this post, LS. Madsen knows his stuff on matters of intelligence and surveillance.

legalschnauzer said...

Attorneys have written letter to Congress, expressing concerns about safety of whistleblower:



https://compassrosepllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019_0928_-Correspondence-to-HPSCI-and-SSCI-with-Enclosure.pdf

legalschnauzer said...

From Seth Abramson on Twitter:


"Those of us who called Trump a sociopath and career criminal from Day 1 of his presidency—as the evidence already gathered over several decades confirmed it—are being proven correct each and every day. And those who said we were Chicken Littles are being proven dangerously wrong."

Anonymous said...

What could go wrong for the whistleblower? He's probably under the watch of the same guys who "protected" Jeffrey Epstein.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, this White House would have to improve to be a clown car.

Anonymous said...

I want those Putin transcripts.

Anonymous said...

One good thing about Trump: Maybe he will be the end of people saying, "Hey, we need a businessman to run the country."

Anonymous said...

It's a mistake to think the Whistleblower's Complaint is the most damaging revelation to befall Trump. Nope. It's just an appetizer and teaser for the big stuff that's yet to come. During the next month or so, there will be a dribble of other, additional revelations that will continue to rock Trump and his gang. Then, when Americans think there can't be anymore 'dirt' on Trump to expose, there will be revelation of something so huge that Trump won't have anyone left in America to support or defend him (excepting, of course, his core Kool-Aid Drinkers and his family). To be sure, history will not be kind to Trump or to those who have supported Trump and his continuing criminal enterprise. Also, "Trump IS The Swamp" and one of America's most shameless traitors. Kudos to Wayne Madsen (and Legal Schnauzer for reporting on Madsen's reporting); this is because, Madsen's reporting is spot-on and details far better than the main stream media why we can expect more intel revelations that will lead to Trump's eventual downfall.