Amid Russia Crisis, Trump Prepares "War Room", "Big White House Changes", Loss Of Twitter

Tyler Durden's picture

In lieu of the Friday night "Trump bombshell" deliverable from the NYT-WaPo complex, today it was Reuters' and the Wall Street Journal's turn to lay out the suspenseful weekend reads, previewing major potential upcoming changes to the Trump administration.

First, according to Reuters, Trump's top advisors are preparing to establish a "war room" to combat negative reports and mounting questions about communication between Russia.  Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, both senior advisors to the president, will be involved in the new messaging effort, which also aims to push Trump's policy agenda and schedule more rallies with supporters. This "most aggressive effort yet" to push back against allegations involving Russia and his presidential campaign, will launch once Trump returns from his overseas trip.

Upon Trump’s return, the administration will add experienced political professionals and possibly more lawyers to handle the Russia probe, which has gained new urgency since the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to head the investigation, the sources said.

On Thursday, NBC News reported that Kushner, who held several meetings with Russian officials following the election, is himself a focus of the probe, making him the first current White House official to be caught up in it, although Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. On Friday afternoon, the AP quoted Kushner's lawyer that if the FBI wants to talk to Jared Kushner about his Russian contacts, he stands ready to talk to federal investigators as well as Congress about his contacts and his role in Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

FBI probe aside, Kushner and Bannon will work to step up the White House’s strategic messaging. Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski - who has been seen in the White House recently - is also expected to be part of the messaging operation according to Reuters. Bannon and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus have been laying the groundwork for the messaging operation this week, sources told the news outlet.

“Since the firing of Comey, that really exposed the fact that the White House in its current structure ... is not prepared for really a one-front war, let alone a two-front war,” a person who remains in regular communication with the White House told Reuters. “They need to have a structure in place that allows them to stay focused, [while] also truly fighting back on these attacks and these leaks.”

The "war room" is just one of the steps Trump and his advisers plan to take to respond to the probe into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump reportedly hired Marc Kasowitz as his personal attorney earlier this week to represent him and guide him through the Russia investigations following the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. The president and his team are putting together a legal team of prominent lawyers who can help him best proceed through the questions surrounding whether his campaign colluded with Moscow.

Quoted by Reuters, Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a Trump friend, said he expects the president will travel more when he returns from overseas and encouraged the White House to focus on issues that pump up his base voters. “From my perspective, I think the president should be doing the stuff that he does best, which is talking about his agenda: jobs, trade and security,” Ruddy said.

Republicans in Congress are aching for Trump to leave the distraction of the Russia probe aside and focus on legislation and nominating officials to fill the hundreds of vacant slots across the administration. “What we really want to be able to do is tend to our business,” Mike Rounds, a Republican Senator from South Dakota, told Reuters. "We've got a healthcare bill we're working on. We've got tax reform that we think is important.”

Earlier on Friday, former House Speaker John Boehner said that Trump's time in office has been a "complete disaster" aside from foreign affairs. Boehner told an energy conference he supported efforts to "get to the bottom" of any potential interactions between Trump associates and the Russian government but described any calls to impeach Trump as the purview of "the crazy left-wing Democratic colleagues of mine."

* * *

Second, in a separate but similar report from the WSJ, the paper writes that Trump is "actively discussing major changes" in the White House, including a shakeup of his senior team, after spending much of his free time during his overseas trip weighing the Russia investigation and the political crisis it poses for him. A flurry of meetings devoted to White House operations are scheduled for next week, officials said, and sparks are expected to fly.

While this isn't the first time a major shake up around Trump was announced as imminent, recalls Axios reporting two weeks ago that an "angry" Trump was planning a huge reboot, and that Priebus, Bannon and Spicer could be fired, this time the urgency is far greater, and the WSJ reports that other revisions on the table include a new filter of the president’s social-media habit and fewer scheduled press briefings, officials and allies said. The anticipated moves are the latest sign of how the investigation into Russia’s interference in last year’s election, and the circumstances of the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, is defining the new administration. “Everything is in play,” one Trump adviser said.

The biggest change may be that Trump is about to lose his twitter privileges for good:

One major change under consideration would vet the president’s social media posts through a team of lawyers, who would decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed. The idea, said one of Mr. Trump’s advisers, is to create a system so that tweets “don’t go from the president’s mind out to the universe.”

 

Some of Mr. Trump’s tweets—from hinting that he may have taped conversations with Mr. Comey to suggesting without any evidence that former President Barack Obama wire-tapped Trump Tower—have opened him to criticism and at times confounded his communications team.

 

Trump aides have long attempted to rein in his tweeting, and some saw any type of legal vetting as difficult to implement. “I would be shocked if he would agree to that,” said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign aide.

It also appears that Sean Spicer is on his way out:

Other changes under discussion include removing communications director Mike Dubke and installing Sarah Sanders as the main spokesman instead of Mr. Spicer. Another consideration is scaling back on daily press briefings.

 

Mr. Spicer, one of the only practicing Catholics among Mr. Trump’s senior staff, was a last-minute scratch from the president’s meeting with Pope Francis this week, a move that shocked some senior administration officials.

 

Mr. Spicer and Ms. Sanders didn’t respond to further questions on any coming changes.

In a a contradiction from the Reuters report, the WSJ notes that neither Bannon nor Kushner themselves are safe.

Mr. Trump consulted Mr. Kushner on the firing of Mr. Comey, officials say. Mr. Bannon opposed the move and was absent from the inner circle who advised the president on the move. Mr. Bannon’s critics say they suspect him of leaking to the press and regard him as too much of a firebrand to massage the president’s agenda through Washington’s traditional processes. Mr. Kushner’s detractors in the West Wing refer to him as the “young princeling.”

But most interesting is the alleged emerging tension between Trump and his Goldman advisors: "Some Trump advisers have also questioned the judgment of communications officials, citing as an example the rollout of a tax-plan outline in April that featured Goldman Sachs alumnae Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Gary Cohn, the National Economic Council director.

“The left is automatically going to say the tax plan is tailored to the rich and to Wall Street. And we just gave them an image of the rich and of Wall Street,” one Trump former campaign official said.

In an amusing tangent, the WSJ also points out that Trump’s return to Washington will mark the end of a period which, White House staffers said, "brought some relief from the hectic pace of the news surrounding the administration and the Russia investigation. Some noted that it gave them a rare time to eat dinner at home."

* * *

While it could be just another red herring, it is likely that Trump's return may unleash the political chaos that dominated the news cycle for most of May. Alternatively, if Trump is serious about overhauling his communication strategy, his inner circle of advisors - especially those originating from Goldman, as well as cracking down on non-stop leaks, then there just is some hope that the relentless news bombardment may fade, if only for a few summer weeks. One can always hope, even if the odds are stacked very much against.

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Khan Bodin's picture

What facts have changed Murican? You think "facts" are something which changes in accordance to your desires?

Is-Be's picture

You think "facts" are something which changes in accordance to your desires?

Strawman.

It seems that you are confusing facts with goals. Who knows what his goals are? And who knows what his goals will be tomorrow?

This is natural and good. Change is the fundamental characteristic of consciousness. An unconscious president would have the mental agility of Abe Lincoln's statue.

Is-Be's picture

There is plenty to criticize the man over. But lets make sure we get it right.

Specifics please. No vague generalities allowed.

My view of the man is that he has an IQ of 137.

He knows that his greatest danger is the MIC. So he uses his IQ duplicitously. Fires off 57? missiles at Syria, hits nothing. Parades the Navy off North Korea. Let's "slip" the that there are 425 nuclear armed Armageddon sub's lurking around.

And lets the hystirical media strut their stuff.

If he lets Eurasia combine while huffing and puffing about "The Russians", that's fine by me.Eventually the USA will be forced to join the pan- Northern Economic block.

As a note, the Russian economy is just a tad bigger than Australia's. They are a nuclear armed midget. Why the hustle, if not to install a central bank. It is your own interest to thwart these machinations. 

Where's Wally? Can you find Russia on this chart?

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/74-trillion-global-economy-one-chart/

As for his Twatter account, long may he use it to misdirect attention.

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

Okay, one right off the top of my head. A one trillion dollar infrastructure project. Where the hell is the money gonna come from? 

Is-Be's picture

Its huff and puff if it cannot be funded.

Do you really think that he is not massaging his image just like any politician?

Onehundredpercentofnuthin...'s picture

I think he should come out and start telling the truth about what's going on in this country instead of worrying about his image. Unless he calls  for the end of the FED's charter, it's all meaningless BS. The new boss is the same as the old boss. But you go right ahead and keep believing that he's going to turn this whole thing around. He was [s]elected on MAGA and draining the swamp. How is selling $350 billion in weaponry to Saudi Arabia going to MAGA?

Is-Be's picture

No, no, no, no. I didn't say he was going to turn anything around. I wrote a description of the man. And

I think he should come out and start telling the truth about what's going on in this country instead of worrying about his image

Tell the truth? You must have mis-read that bit about the MIC being his greatest danger. If he tells the truth that the USA is a one-trick pony he would be late. As in the late president Trump. (Nod to the late Douglass Adams)

Surely it has become clear to you that the only card in the USA's hand is an ace of clubs?

Blankenstein's picture

Snopes   lol

 

"Snopes Co-Founder Embezzles $98,000, Drops Weight, Leaves Fat Wife And Marries Actual Whore"

 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-22/snopes-co-founder-embezzles-980...

 

 

yogibear's picture

LOL, What charater and integrity.

 

Khan Bodin's picture

What are you rumbling about, Murican? Trumpo is a lying, flip-flopping piece of shit, and so are most of you in that degenerate liberal land of yours Murican. You are whores. 

Khan Bodin's picture

What are you rumbling about, Murican? Trumpo is a lying, flip-flopping piece of shit, and so are most of you in that degenerate liberal land of yours Murican. You are whores. 

Is-Be's picture

And your mommy wears army boots.

Khan Bodin's picture

Go find some round object to shovel in your asshole, Murican. You know you want pleasure.

DjangoCat's picture

Snopes....

(making the sign of the cross) back Satan.  Garlic always around my neck.

Deeply Evil

Is-Be's picture

Don't diss Rasputin. He was the Dude.

Son of Loki's picture

Obama's new book, "Gay Fury: My Time in the Bath House" wil be a best seller in SF and Phili.

Handful of Dust's picture

Obama never hid the fact that he was Gay, and his pet, the wookie, never hid she was a Tranny. Look at her huge hands, the way she walks, her outfits, etc.

 

The odd thing is how he let the muslim slaughter all those Gays in orlando. That was very nawty of him.

serotonindumptruck's picture

Do you know what a "Motion Ham" is?

It's a gay termonology used in Chicago and New York bath-houses where a homosexual places his erect penis in between another homosexual's butt cheeks, and slowly grinds back and forth with rhythmic thrustings as if he is achieving full penetration.

Herodotus's picture

He needs to start by laying off about 15% to 20% of the staff of the Executive Office of the President. 

Kidbuck's picture

He needs to defund as many agencies and departments as it takes and transfer their monies to building the wall. Otherwise he is just another lying faggot president, in a long line of lying faggot presidents.

wide angle tree's picture

The tax plan is tailored to the rich and to Wall Street.  Yep!

Congress is the problem.

President Trump's entire MAGA agenda is DOA.

Tax cuts for corporations and the rich are only acceptable if offset by tariffs. It's just not going to happen.

There's not going to be any tax reform, any Health Care reform, infrastructure spending, there's not even going to be a budget passed on time.

I am predicting four years of continuing resolutions.

The orange Obama.

Apathetic or Whatever's picture

With all the leaks it's time to clean under the couch, my recommendations:

-fire all the bankers on staff
-fire your son in law
-promote Bannon
-hire me to do twitter
-only have press briefings with zero hedge
-fire comey again
-smoke a fatty with Vlad

DjangoCat's picture

Apathetic wins.  Not so sure about him on Twitter, but I'm willing to go along for the ride.  By the way, let's fire Comey again.

I'm out for a toke as we speak.

Apathetic or Whatever's picture

Come on, I would be a great twitterer, first 4 tweets:

-Fuck Hillary
-Fuck the press
-Fuck the deep state
-His name was Seth Rich

Apathetic or Whatever's picture

5th tweet:

-You deep state sons of bitches better have a change of undergarments cause I'm going to root you out from the pits of pizza.

DjangoCat's picture

Oh Kay,

all right then, let er rip..

DjangoCat's picture

OT, I commented on a Marketwatch story that had something to do with the Russian Hacking of the Election, so I asked, what about other countries actively manipulating the US electoral and policy making systems?

Israel came to mind.  What about Saudi Arabia, then?  Etc., and make a list from the Clinton Foundation donor list..

I was bounced from the site.  They put a cookie in my browser and only a fake login screen would come up.

Easily fixed, but indicative of the lengths they are going to hush up the hush hush. 

 

Sir John Bagot Glubb's picture

Same as WND locked out of Twitter yesterday for commenting about Seth Rich....

Sir John Bagot Glubb's picture

The Saudis supposedly gave $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, which HilldeBitch spent on her stupid, vapid campaign......that's far more than Trump got from Russia.....

The media is after Russia because of its long anti-Semitic history.....

Sir John Bagot Glubb's picture

--get rid of anyone who ever worked for Goldman Sucks, including that dufus Gary Cohn

Robert Trip's picture

Spicer has been reported and rumored to be on the way out since day one because he handles those liberal pussie "journalists" like a champ.

After 8 years of going down on Obama with all of the freebies that entailed they are shocked I say, shocked, to find the new Administration hates their guts.

The Gray Man's picture

Spicer is a moron. They need to get a person in there who is smarter than the media people in the room.

RightLineBacker's picture

The "Administration hates their guts" as do at least 50% of the US population.

I think body-slamming asshole reporters should become the new norm.

They may not appreciate the truth but they will appreciate physical pain.

The sooner the MSM goes away the better for America.

They are lyin' bottom-feeding scum.

artichoke's picture

Well hell, I don't know what's going on there, but if Bannon's leaking, out he must go!  I would trust Kushner almost implicitly, he's family.

And I suspect Priebus is solid.  He was fair to Trump in the primaries before that was at all easy.  And Priebus is important, he has leverage with a lot of people in Congress that he helped elect.

DjangoCat's picture

Wow Artie, that's about diametrically opposed to my view.  How interesting.

lester1's picture

Fire all obama holdovers asap!!

RightLineBacker's picture

Should have been Step #1.

But now is better than later.

And Trump should stop reading the MSM. It is now 150% bullshit and headed for 200% before total meltdown.

And forget about the butt-hurt Libbies, they are now completely insane and the Dim Party is history.

MAGA!

vietnamvet's picture

You Trumptards have a major sore butt (and throat) given your terrorist-supporting (and treasonous on those grounds alone) Cheeto-In-Chief's double-dealing and just plain incompetence.  

Get used to that hard (but reportedly tiny) Trump cock being forced into your ass and down your throat, it's what you deserve.

S Spade's picture

i'm good with firing anyone who attempts to censor his tweets, including twitter.

falak pema's picture

Looks like the Duck is in a hotdog sandwich; he has alienated the whole of Europe and Asia thru Nato and G7 shenanigans and now has to face the show at home. 

A Comey and a McCain make an awesome combi... 

A yuuge austerity program based on tax reduction and a yuuge increase in debt government spend...

According to all predicitions, as it is, the US has a yuuuge savings and entitlements problem that should require that Nobody EVA retires before 75 for the next generation onwards all the way to 2050. 

If the world hasn't blown up or frazzled brown, those who are left will be working their butts off in 2050.

Some generations dig deep holes for their progeny; and it ain't destiny its blowback.

ebear's picture

Why do people insist on misspelling the word huge?

Is that a snowflake thing?

Dre4dwolf's picture

With bitcoin setting new super high prices.... doesnt look like the presidency is very relevant, the usd is on its last legs, and without a monopoly on counterfeiting big govt cant exist.

The free market will simply slowly push out govt.

Ross123's picture

The MSM are obviously running out of "attack dog" ideas , manufactured leaks and probably polls show waining public support for them. So they now  have turned to trying to tell the President who has gaining public support , how to run his office.

Time for the President to take Newt's advice ---ignore the idiots and keep on trying to get his job done in what ever way he sees fit.

shovelhead's picture

Alienating Europe is a big plus.

Walking away from an open sewer is smart.

James TraffiCan't's picture

Blah, Ba Blah, Ba Blah, who can come up with the Fuckin Fakest News...Wins. Is this what we've come to?

Beam me up!