The White House is 'paralyzed' and 'teetering on the edge of a cliff' as it grapples with Ukraine fallout and 'Hurricane Rudy'

  
Via:  tessylo  •  3 weeks ago  •  29 comments

The White House is 'paralyzed' and 'teetering on the edge of a cliff' as it grapples with Ukraine fallout and 'Hurricane Rudy'

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The White House is 'paralyzed' and 'teetering on the edge of a cliff' as it grapples with Ukraine fallout and 'Hurricane Rudy'



8671bb20-a4bf-11e9-bf77-b045690ae315   Sonam Sheth, Business Insider   1 hour 56 minutes ago  






ab872801d415a6ed49ea790745cfecc1 White House

  • The White House is "paralyzed" and "teetering on the edge of a cliff" in the wake of an explosive whistleblower complaint about President   Donald Trump's   phone call with the Ukrainian president, a White House official told Insider.

  • A senior US official backed up that characterization, describing the mood within the White House as "a Category 5 storm."

  • Complicating things is the outsize role Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is playing in the controversy, as well as Trump's public comments on the matter. "We're just waiting for Hurricane Rudy to stop obliterating everything in its path," the White House official told Insider.

  • Trump's advisers are also worried that the White House lacks a cohesive internal apparatus to push back on House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Trump, who has defended his call as legal and appropriate.

  • Insider spoke with half a dozen current and former officials and advisers who described a White House reeling from days of Ukraine coverage and struggling to find a persuasive argument to counter Democrats' rising calls for impeachment.

  • Trump needs a "defense that doesn't look like it was put together by a bunch of pissed-off preschoolers," a former White House official said. "You can't go around screaming 'fake news' and 'witch hunt' when you yourself put the evidence out there. It doesn't work that way."

  • They added: "This isn't a two-year-long investigation like the Mueller probe — this thing is moving fast, and if the president doesn't get out ahead of it, it's going to swallow him up."


  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

"A Category 5 storm."

That's how one senior US official described the mood within the White House as it grapples with the fallout from an explosive whistleblower complaint that spurred an impeachment inquiry that threatens   Donald Trump's   presidency.


At the heart of the controversy is a phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, during which the US president repeatedly pressed his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate corruption allegations against former Vice President   Joe Biden   and his son. Biden is one of the 2020 Democratic frontrunners and has been Trump's chief political rival.

Insider spoke with half a dozen current and former officials and advisers who described a White House reeling from days of negative coverage and struggling to find a persuasive argument to counter Democrats' rising calls for impeachment.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff of California, revealed the existence of the whistleblower's complaint last month. But it was initially unclear what the complaint was about, or even whom it was filed against, because the Office of the Director of National Intelligence refused to release it to Congress.

As the public firestorm around the complaint and the phone call mounted, Trump decided to release a White House summary of his conversation with Zelensky, believing that he had done nothing wrong and that releasing it would calm some of the backlash and help him come out the other end of the controversy.

"It was the stupidest f---ing thing I'd heard in months," a GOP adviser familiar with the president's thought process told Insider of Trump's rationale for releasing the memo. "Anyone who heard what was said on that call knew it would bury the president. That's why they went and buried the transcript. I can't fathom what would lead him to believe this would help his case."

Read more:   'Pure insanity': Intelligence veterans are floored by Barr's 'off the books' overtures to foreign officials about the Russia probe

The source was referring to an allegation that senior White House officials tried to lock down all records of the call after the conversation. That detail was included in the whistleblower's complaint, released by Congress last Thursday, the day after the White House's memo about the call was made public.

Officials   told the whistleblower   they were "directed" by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system such documents are typically stored in and to place it in a codeword-level system, a National Security Council server meant to house classified and highly sensitive information pertaining to US national security.

The transcript hasn't been released. But the White House's summary of the call is more than damning and provides plenty of fodder for House Democrats as they conduct an impeachment inquiry, current and former officials told Insider.

The memo largely corroborates the whistleblower's claims that Trump tried to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election, and the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, told Congress last week that the memo was "in alignment" with the complaint.

Trump, meanwhile, has defended his conduct during the call as "perfect."

The White House and Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

'We're just waiting for Hurricane Rudy to stop obliterating everything in its path'


b2f280d42dda330a0c8ea176755db3a1 (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

Complicating matters further is the outsize role that Giuliani is playing in the controversy, as well as the White House's lack of a cohesive apparatus to push back on the impeachment inquiry.

"We're just waiting for Hurricane Rudy to stop obliterating everything in its path," one White House official told Insider. Asked what they meant, the official replied, "Have you been watching TV lately?"

The official was referring to Giuliani's slew of cable news appearances in recent days, during which he erupted at the news anchors interviewing him, contradicted himself, confirmed he asked the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens, implicated the State Department in the controversy, and said he would not cooperate with the House's investigation into the matter.

Read more:   Trump pressed Australia's prime minister to help AG Barr investigate the origins of the Russia probe

Trump has also been unusually active on Twitter in recent days, firing off dozens of tweets accusing the whistleblower of being a spy and committing treason; suggesting Schiff should be investigated for treason; and quoting a Fox News guest who implied that a civil war would break out if Trump were impeached.

Together, the White House official said, Trump and Giuliani's antics have left the White House "paralyzed" and "teetering on the edge of a cliff" as it tries to cobble together a coherent defense against House Democrats' impeachment investigation.

'This thing is moving fast, and if the president doesn't get out ahead of it, it's going to swallow him up'


29d825b461ad017490c72e08b26170e2 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

But the president has told aides and confidants he doesn't need a more robust legal team, sources told Insider, because he believes that he's his own best attorney and that the right-wing media machine will boost his case.

Perhaps for that reason, Trump was infuriated with the Fox News host Chris Wallace and correspondent Ed Henry over the weekend, both of whom raised questions about the president's misleading defense against the whistleblower's claims.

Trump expressed his anger toward Henry through a series of almost two dozen tweets and retweets attacking Henry and praising the far-right radio host Mark Levin for tearing into Henry during an interview on Fox News.

On the other hand, sources told Insider the president was thrilled with the performances of the White House policy aide Stephen Miller and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on the Sunday shows, where both men vehemently defended Trump's actions and laid the blame at Biden's and the Democrats' feet.

Read more:   House Democrats subpoena Rudy Giuliani as part of impeachment inquiry over Trump's Ukraine call

Still, others around the president have been working overtime to persuade him to beef up his war room as they anticipate the drip-drip nature of the whistleblower controversy and the impeachment investigation will continue taking its toll on Trump's ability to govern.

Trump "is consumed by this," one former White House official told Insider, and "he needs to find a way to put down his phone and actually do his job."

"But he can't do that while he's surrounded by these PR clowns," the official added, referring to Giuliani and the Fox News contributors Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, all of whom the president is said to have dispatched to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Trump also needs a "defense that doesn't look like it was put together by a bunch of pissed-off preschoolers," the former official added. "You can't go around screaming 'fake news' and 'witch hunt' when you yourself put the evidence out there. It doesn't work that way. This isn't a two-year-long investigation like the Mueller probe — this thing is moving fast, and if the president doesn't get out ahead of it, it's going to swallow him up."









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Tessylo
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

Trump "is consumed by this," one former White House official told Insider, and "he needs to find a way to put down his phone and actually do his job."

"But he can't do that while he's surrounded by these PR clowns," the official added, referring to Giuliani and the Fox News contributors Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, all of whom the president is said to have dispatched to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Trump also needs a "defense that doesn't look like it was put together by a bunch of pissed-off preschoolers," the former official added. "You can't go around screaming 'fake news' and 'witch hunt' when you yourself put the evidence out there. It doesn't work that way. This isn't a two-year-long investigation like the Mueller probe — this thing is moving fast, and if the president doesn't get out ahead of it, it's going to swallow him up."

Do his job?  Since when has he done his job?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2  Trout Giggles    3 weeks ago

Put down his phone????

right........

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Trout Giggles @2    3 weeks ago

His unsecured phone by the way.  

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3  XDm9mm    3 weeks ago
a White House official told Insider.

That's how one senior US official

The source was referring to an allegation

In other words the entire article can be reduced to the following:

Rumor.

Conjecture.

Innuendo,

Supposition.

Hunches.

Inferences.

Guesses.

Opinions.

Theorizing.

Presumptions.

Suspicions.

And a plethora of other adjectives to describe the authors ramblings.

 
 
 
MUVA
3.1  MUVA  replied to  XDm9mm @3    3 weeks ago

i would use the words hopeful or wishing.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
3.1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  MUVA @3.1    3 weeks ago
i would use the words hopeful or wishing.

Other excellent choices also.

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @3    3 weeks ago

jrSmiley_90_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
It Is ME
4  It Is ME    3 weeks ago

The Dems better push harder, 'cause the crappy "Same Old Dinosaur" stuff they've been doin', is starting to come out . 

"The Swamp" is really starting to drain as we speak. jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

You Go Bill, Rudy and John ! jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @4    3 weeks ago

They're all drowning in their own swamp.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.1  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @4.1    3 weeks ago
As usual, you make 0 sense.

Just don't say it...… "Sense" me ….. "Teach" me ….. do "Something" ! jrSmiley_15_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
4.1.2  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  It Is ME @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Nice to see some people know and retract a statement they know is gonna get some mod attention................hahaha

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.3  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Go sense yourself.  I'm sure you're very good at that.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.4  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

That's what the delete/update buttons are for.  Some just are too dull to catch on and keep up.  

Duh.  

I have the right to change my mind and change my statement.  

Mod attention?

I guess when some folks flag everything I post, it's bound to catch someone's attention.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.5  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.3    3 weeks ago
Go sense yourself. 

You'd only "Ignore" it ….. as usual !

Quick ….. what does "Sense" mean ?

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.6  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @4.1.5    3 weeks ago

If you obviously don't know I can't help you.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.7  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.6    3 weeks ago
If you obviously don't know

Don't know what ?

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.8  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  It Is ME @4.1.7    3 weeks ago

That's what I thought.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.1.9  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.8    3 weeks ago
That's what I thought.

Thought ?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
4.1.11  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.4    3 weeks ago
I guess when some folks flag everything I post, it's bound to catch someone's attention.  

If it were true, that's sad. You know there is quite possibly, if that truly happens,  an underlying reason. I'll think about that for you and see what I can legally (within the CoC) help you out with. Hmmmmmmmm. Nope guess that would be pretty much impossible. And I know what the delete and update "buttons" are for. Thing is, once someone highlights it and replies, it remains for posterity. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.1.12  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @4.1.11    3 weeks ago

It is true.  Perrie told me multiple posters flag just about everything I post.  

When I need your help, I'll let you know, which will be when hell freezes over.

Now scoot.  

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  It Is ME @4    3 weeks ago
"The Swamp" is really starting to drain as we speak.

? Well, Trump has fired more of his of staff, aides and cabinet members than any other President in history, so I guess you could say he's draining his swamp. Sadly, he's just replacing them with even worse brown nosing suck up sycophants who proclaim their loyalty to Trump and not to our country, so we're worse off than ever before.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.2.1  It Is ME  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.2    3 weeks ago
Trump has fired more of his of staff, aides and cabinet members than any other President in history

That's a bad thing ?

"Sadly, he's just replacing them with even worse brown nosing suck up sycophants"

And the "Left" actually vote in the same Ol' crap !

Adam "I'll Adlib anything" Schiff.

Nancy "I saw it before you did" Pelosi.

Chuck "I'll cry for Mexico" Schumer.

Steve "Give me Chicken" Cohen.

Jerrold "I don't know what I'm doing" Nadler.

Sheila "You owe me" Jackson Lee.

Ilhan "America Sucks" Omar.

Ayanna "Only blacks should regulate Blacks" Pressley.

Rashida "Palestine Rules" Tlaib.

Alexandria "We must Socialize and get rid of cows" Ocasio-Cortez.

Or any of the Dems that continually BITCH about "Illegal Immigrant treatment", and still haven't done anything more than Bitch about Illegal Immigrant problems ?

Those types are better ?

And you say Trumps folks are bad !

Really ?

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
4.2.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  It Is ME @4.2.1    3 weeks ago
Adam "I'll Adlib anything" Schiff.

So you've got nothing but contempt for a congressman who is investigating corruption.

Nancy "I saw it before you did" Pelosi.

Do you hear that? That high pitched whine? Try usng anything other than "But we hate Democrats" if you're trying to actually prove any supposed point.

Chuck "I'll cry for Mexico" Schumer.

Still nothing but pointless mischaracterizations. If you have something that proves he's done something wrong, please do share.

Steve "Give me Chicken" Cohen.

? You're basing your dislike of Steve on a silly meme?

Jerrold "I don't know what I'm doing" Nadler.

Nadler knows what he's doing, he simply can't believe the amount of bullshit being flung by Trump aides and supporters and thinks, like most legal experts, that the Trump administrations use of some blanket executive privilege is total nonsense, because it is and the courts will eventually force these lawbreakers to testify

Sheila "You owe me" Jackson Lee.

Just more patriotic Americans trying to do their jobs which is oversight of the executive branch, not capitulation as the Republicans have been cowed into.

Ilhan "America Sucks" Omar.

“I refuse to give oxygen to people who suck out oxygen,” - Ilhan Omar

Ayanna "Only blacks should regulate Blacks" Pressley.

"We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice,” Pressley reportedly said during the event. “We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice". So totally not what you claim.

Rashida "Palestine Rules" Tlaib.

I'm not a big fan of any religion being injected into the secular laws of the United States, whether they be Muslim or Christian or any other flavor. Those Muslim congresswomen should keep their faith out of their politics, but so should every single Christian in congress as well. There is no difference between a Muslim legislator supporting a two state solution because of their faith and a Christian Zionist supporting a one State solution because they believe Armageddon requires Israel to be in control of the plains of Megiddo if their desired fantasy end of the world is to happen.

Alexandria "We must Socialize and get rid of cows" Ocasio-Cortez.

I doubt AOC has any clue as to what socialism actually is, most people don't. It's why the calls from a freshman congresswoman fall on deaf ears. The vast majority of Democrat legislators do not support anything even close to socialism, even when they use the word to describe some policies they support. If it's not the government taking over the production, distribution, and exchange of the capitalist free market, then it's not really socialism. Maybe it should be called "Fauxcialism" because all they are really advocating for are tax funded benefits produced, distributed and sold by the free market for certain levels of higher education and health care. Medicare for all does not get rid of private medical services, there will be no government employee doctors like they have in Britain.

Those types are better ?

Yes, all of them are better than the Republicans who have refused to do their job of oversight for fear from their sycophant loyal Trump fans who, as Trump said, would continue to support the orange clown even if he shot someone on the street. There is no soul, no backbone, no morality, no ethics left in the Republican legislature. They are nothing but suck ups trying to appease a large portion of Trumps base who are bitter bigots with no civics education so all they can do is whine and complain about a fantasy "deep state" and bitch about Obama being a secret gay Kenyan Muslim and his wife supposedly having a bigger dick than any of those sick weasels fantasizing about such things.

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.2.3  It Is ME  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.2.2    3 weeks ago
Yes, all of them are better than the Republicans

Good to know !

You like Mixed Nutz !

 
 
 
Tessylo
4.2.4  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4.2.2    3 weeks ago

All you'll get from that one is the patented ItIsMe Shuffle.  

 
 
 
It Is ME
4.2.5  It Is ME  replied to  Tessylo @4.2.4    3 weeks ago
All you'll get from that one is the patented ItIsMe Shuffle

It's like you think you know me ! jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Tessylo
5  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

Really!

All tRumps' folks are scum, just like him

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Tessylo @5    3 weeks ago

I was talking about his cabinet and administration being scum for fucks' sake.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
6  bbl-1    3 weeks ago

The litany of the Trump's Trumpisms hourly multiples exponentially.  All of it in a simplistic nutshell---"Stormy who?"

 
 
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