Trump goes to the CIA to mend fences and fucks things up even worse by pulling them into his propaganda campaign


On Saturday, standing in front of the CIA memorial commemorating the 117 agents who lost their lives in service to our country, Donald Trump, instead of just focusing on the importance of the work being done by the men and women of the intelligence agency, went on a rant about the “dishonest media,” which had sought, in his opinion, to underreport the number of people who had attended his inauguration. “As you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said to the over 400 CIA employees who were in attendance. He then went on to say, “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” before launching into a description of his inauguration which was, as you might expect, full of inaccuracies. According to CNN, “Trump even described the inauguration weather inaccurately, saying that the skies became ‘really sunny’ after his speech, when in fact it remained cloudy.” [One is reminded by this passage from George Orwell’s 1984: “The Party told you to reject all evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”] Trump concluded the bizarre, rambling speech by saying, “I love honesty.” And, judging from the reaction in the room, one certainly got the impression that what he was saying really resonated with those agents who showed up to hear him speak. As Trump said on social media, afterward, it was a “big win.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 10.16.25 AM

As we discovered today, though, what we thought were CIA agents laughing and clapping for the President as he, according to Politico, “hinted at loosening rules on torture put in place under President Barack Obama” and “promised to wipe ‘radical Islamic terrorism… off the face of the earth’,” may have actually been plants brought in by the Trump team to give the impression of enthusiastic approval. [Also, for what it’s worth, they weren’t giving him a “standing ovation.” They’re required to stand in the presence of the President until he gives them the word to sit, which he did not do.] The following comes by way of CBS News.

U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.

An official said the visit “made relations with the intelligence community worse” and described the visit as “uncomfortable.”

Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team originally expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks…

Intelligence sources say many in the workforce were stunned and at times offended by the president’s tone which seemed to evolve into a version of speeches he’d used on the campaign trail…

And it’s apparently not just anonymous sources within the intelligence agency that are commenting unfavorably on Trump’s speech. Former CIA Director John Brennan’s former deputy chief of staff, Nick Shapiro, took to Twitter after the speech to say the following.


For what it’s worth, I don’t doubt that some of the 400 CIA employees who chose to attend the event actually laughed and clapped. I also, however, don’t doubt for a minute that our equally insecure and brilliantly manipulative President travels with his own living laugh track. The thing I find much more troubling, though, is that Trump would jeopardize his opportunity to repair the relationship between himself and the CIA by pulling the agency into this drama and making them a part of his traveling sideshow. This is an agency that prides itself on working behind the scenes and being non-partisan, and Trump not only went in and gave a televised political speech, the response to which gave the impression that agents were enthusiastically supporting him, but pulled them into a domestic “war” between the President and the press, all in front of their hallowed memorial wall. It was a colossal mess, and you have to know, regardless of whether some CIA employees actually clapped, the upper administration has to be royally pissed. He essentially used the CIA, and their wall, as a fucking prop. And what did Trump get out of it? A few minutes of footage of what appeared to be CIA agents laughing and clapping as he talked about the “dishonest” press and his love of honesty. I know we don’t need more evidence of his shortsightedness and ineptitude, but, really, I found this absolutely astonishing. He could have gone in, told them that, despite what they may have heard in the press, he appreciated their work, and looked forward to making the world safer with their help. Instead, though, he rolled in with a circus and proceeded to make them complicit in his domestic propaganda campaign. While that might work outside a closed down coal mine in West Virginia, my sense is that it doesn’t play so well at Langley, where they actually understand what’s happening.

Here, in case you missed it, is the video.

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  1. Cassandra
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    At this point we all get that he is thin-skinned, narcissistic, unpredictable, petty, and vindictive. Each day (sometimes multiple times each day) he says something outrageous, and then the media (and much of the public) spend the rest of the news cycle obsessing over it.

    Meanwhile … the ultra-right-wing cabinet he is assembling is *not* so crazy. I fear that while the media and much of the public is focused on the zany boy-king, those who will make up his administration are busy planning to gut decades of hard-won legislation – medicare, social security, worker safety, consumer protections, environmental protections, etc. – all while awarding themselves and their rich friends (additional) huge tax breaks.

    As was the case with Reagan and G.W. Bush, the new president seems to be shaping up to be mostly a useful idiot who can serve as a front-man for the people who are actually pulling the strings behind him.

  2. Cassandra
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Piles of fake folders stacked on a table, deployed as a “prop” at his pre-inaugural press conference …

    Stating that his campaign was “an historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before …” and insisting his crowd of supporters during the inauguration was the “biggest ever in history” …

    Arranging to have a small crowd of “extras” laugh and cheer him at a semi-public event …

    Never forget: the new president is quite familiar with hype and spectacle. To him, all of this is just part of the “show.”

  3. Eel
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    My favorite quote for this speech.

    “Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years who did a fantastic job in so many different ways, academically — was an academic genius — and then they say, is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart persona. ”

    It got lots of laughs.

  4. Meta
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The press is “going to pay a big price,” says Trump.

    From the transcript.

    And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday at the speech. Did everybody like the speech? (Applause.) I’ve been given good reviews. But we had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field. I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, the field was — it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we’re not going to let it rain on your speech.

    In fact, when I first started, I said, oh, no. The first line, I got hit by a couple of drops. And I said, oh, this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it. But the truth is that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sunny. And then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, you know, we have something that’s amazing because we had — it looked — honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument. And I turn on — and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people. Now, that’s not bad, but it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around — you know, in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed. So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.

    Read more:

  5. jean henry
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    He can’t stay on script. That speech was chilling. Funny and chilling. He’s our president and he’s a complete idiot. A product of TV and privilege. Luckily he pissed off the wrong people. I give him two years tops.

  6. Meta
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    The Atlantic: “How Trump’s Speech to the CIA Endangered America”

    Every American, regardless of who they voted for in the election, should be furious with President Donald Trump for what he told the CIA during a recent meeting at its headquarters. I do not mean his digressions about the size of the crowd at his inauguration and the number of times he has appeared on the cover of Time magazine, although it does not inspire confidence to see the president waste fleeting time with national-security employees on his vanity rather than our security.

    It’s his comments on Iraq that ought to make Americans apoplectic, for in the space of seconds, Trump managed to utter words that are 1) morally repugnant, 2) certain to be exploited as a recruiting tool by America’s terrorist enemies, and 3) likely to help foreign adversaries diminish America’s reputation and power. For the sake of an indisciplined, self-indulgent riff, Trump made Americans less safe.

    Here are his words:

    “The old expression, ‘To the victor belong the spoils’––you remember I always used to say, ‘Keep the oil.’ I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I don’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you, when we were in we got out wrong. And I always said in addition to that, ‘Keep the oil.’ Now, I said it for economic reasons. But if you think about it, Mike, if you kept the oil you probably wouldn’t have ISIS because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil, okay? Maybe you’ll have another chance.”

    Read more:

  7. Jcp2
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    The left is dead. It’s nativists vs globalists now.

  8. Jcp2
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The left right divide is dead. It’s nativists vs globalists now. The Ds imploded because they didn’t understand this. The Rs are going to implode as the President is on one side and the party elite on the other.

  9. XXX
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Jcp2, the Republicans will not implode. They’ll milk DJT for all that he’s worth, and then they’ll cast him aside. They’ll get everything they’ve ever wanted.

  10. Fake Ass Bullshitter
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing that you clowns never run for office, considering that you have all the answers. Step up and stop whinning.

  11. Demetrius
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    NYT: The Shocking Affront of Donald Trump’s C.I.A. Stunt

    “On Saturday, the president and commander in chief of the United States stood in front of the C.I.A. Memorial Wall — where 117 stars honor the men and women who died in the line of service — and cracked jokes, made thinly veiled threats and disrespected many Americans.

    While many were stunned by President Trump’s remarks, it’s personal for me. My friend is represented by the 81st star on the Memorial Wall, which served as the background of Mr. Trump’s publicity stunt. He and the other 116 fallen colleagues did not put their lives on the line to serve as a sound bite for this president’s never-ending campaign stump speech.

    Few things are sacred in our government. Even fewer command equal respect from people on both sides of the aisle.

    The C.I.A. Memorial Wall is one of those things. …”

  12. Morbid Larson
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I want to die.

  13. Maria Huffman
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Eos ..if you think it is be it..who am I to judge your sense of humor

  14. Maria Huffman
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It is depressing.

  15. Maria Huffman
    Posted January 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    No offense Mark Maynard but the news is so bad I have quit reading your posts..Eos will see these posts.and will figure out what I was trying to say..sometimes he just wants to aggravate.

  16. jean henry
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 12:45 am | Permalink

  17. stupid hick
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    The news and local blogs are so chock full of Trump it’s wearing me down. We deserve more news about something less grave, like faraway nyatiti bands that have ties to Ypsilanti.

  18. Morbid Larson
    Posted January 25, 2017 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I agree. Wholly.

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  1. […] NBC News.” Yes, Trump was apparently planning to go to FBI headquarters for a staged event, like the one he did a CIA headquarters a few months ago, but we was warned to stay […]

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