US President-elect Donald Trump has angrily denied reports that Russia had obtained compromising personal and financial information about him, calling it a “tremendous blot” on the record of the intelligence community if it had released such material.
In his first media conference since winning the November 8 election, Trump called the allegations “phony” and attacked news organisations for publishing the material.
“It’s all fake news,” Trump said on Wednesday. “It didn’t happen,” he added.
IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.
This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”
Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.
The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.
But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.
Chelsea Manning, the army soldier who leaked state secrets in 2010 and has been imprisoned longer than any other official leaker in US history, has called on President Obama to show her clemency in the final days of his presidency, saying that this amounts to her last chance for freedom “for a very long time”.
With nine days left for the Obama presidency, Manning is reportedly on Obama’s “shortlist” for a commutation of her sentence, according to NBC News.
Time is running out for Manning, who has already been incarcerated for six years for leaking hundreds of thousands of war logs, embassy cables and videos that cast light on the nature of modern warfare. It is presumed that the incoming president, Donald Trump, would be unlikely to look favorably on her case and that under him her 35-year sentence would be left to run its course.
We speak with Democratic Congressmember Luis Gutiérrez about why he will not be attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and instead plans to go to the Women’s March on Washington the following day. “We need to come together because when women are attacked, we all are attacked,” Gutiérrez says. “When women win, we all win.” He is a member of the Judiciary Committee and is the co-chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, California alone could lose $11.2 billion in revenue each year.
As President-elect Donald Trump nears his first day in office, thousands of young undocumented immigrants in the United States are bracing for what will happen next. Trump has pledged to revoke a number of President Obama’s immigration policies, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which granted work permits and temporary deportation relief to immigrants brought into the country under age 16. And while Trump has flip-flopped on what to do about DACA, Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, made it clear at a nomination hearing that he “would have no objection to a decision to abandon that order.”