House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a letter Tuesday to acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell demanding he explain President Trump's recent dismissals of Michael Atkinson and Glenn Fine, the inspectors general of the intelligence community and the Pentagon, respectively. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent says how Grenell responds could be "incredibly telling" about the Trump administration's future plans.
In the letter, Schiff asks Grenell to confirm whether he exercised his "authority" to prohibit Atkinson from doing his job, aside from the fact that he was the official who brought the infamous whistleblower complaint about Trump's Ukraine conduct to Congress, eventually leading to the president's impeachment. Schiff also called on Grenell to commit to stopping any form of retaliation against anyone who makes "protected disclosures of misconduct."
Sargent spoke with Ned Price, a former senior National Security Council official, who said if Grenell doesn't respond to those challenges, it will signal a willingness to allow Trump to proceed with a "campaign of retaliation," which Sargent argues is already underway.
Price added that if things continue down the current path, there could be an effort to expose the whistleblower or an effort against career analysts who concluded Russia interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump. From Price's point of view, this would mean Trump "feels no limits whatsoever." Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell
In public, President Trump has offered praise for women who speak up to expose sexual misconduct by powerful men. "I think it's very, very good for women," he said late last month, "and I'm very happy a lot of these things are coming out."
In private, however, he is reportedly singing a different tune. Trump has complained "that the avalanche of charges taking down prominent men is spinning out of control," Politicoreported Monday, citing multiple unnamed sources with knowledge of the president's conversations on the subject.
Particularly in the case of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct toward girls as young as 14, Trump reportedly believes the allegations are a ploy to undermine their target's success. When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Trump to ask for his help in pushing Moore out of the race, the Politico story says, Trump's response shocked him. "Who were these women," Trump reportedly asked, "and why had they kept quiet for 40 years only to level charges weeks before an election?"
This perspective, paired with a combative instinct to react against the desires of establishment figures like McConnell, is how Trump "came around to an accused child molester," the Politico piece argues. Read the rest here. Bonnie Kristian