Thomas Wood 🌊 Profile picture
The Resistance. Vote Blue: True Blue American. We look forward, they look back. We’re progressive, they’re regressive.
18 Sep
The Brexit controversy of the day is about the “backstop agreement.”

(Actually, the backstop agreement has always been the real sticking point in Brexit, but it is rearing its very ugly head again.) 1/20
The backstop agreement, which was negotiated w/ the EU by Teresa May, would in important respects put Northern Ireland (NIR) outside the U.K.’s own common market in order to prevent a hard border between the NIR and the Irish Republic (IRL) when Brexit is implemented. 2/20
Under this proposed arrangement, when the U.K. leaves Brexit, goods imported from the rest of the U.K. to Northern Ireland will have to conform with EU trading agreements and regulations. 3/20
Read 21 tweets
13 Sep
Roger Stone has been on Alex Jones’s wigged-out right wing radio show saying the most extraordinary things. Stone is a close confidant of Trump, and if Stone is talking this way, we can be sure that Trump is listening. This is truly scary stuff. 1/12
The fact that Stone is talking this way is probably a pretty good indication that he realizes that Trump is very likely to lose, so extraordinary steps may be needed to keep Trump in power. 3/12
Read 13 tweets
1 Sep
There seems to be a lot of confusion about what Weissmann is implying here.

Weissmann is clearly pointing his accusatory finger at *Rod Rosenstein*. RR was the snake in the grass who made sure that there was no counterintel investigation. 1/17
Rosenstein did this by making sure that the right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing (or not doing). 2/17
First, he told Mueller to limit his investigation to *criminal* matters (though of course any such investigation would inevitably turn up relevant counterintel findings as well). 3/17
Read 18 tweets
5 Jul
Trump doesn’t wear a mask and is exposed to people all the time who may be carriers. (Don Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle is the latest example.)

Surprisingly, no one seems to have asked: What would happen to American politics if Trump were to get infected? 1/14
What if he were to die from the infection? And even if he didn’t die, the illness would likely be devastating. People who are infected often experience long lasting medical complications affecting the kidneys, heart, and brain in addition to the lungs. 2/14
His getting covid-19 would almost certainly lead to the end of the Trump presidency--either through death or disability that would force him to drop out of the race. (Trump can barely function physically and mentally as it is.) 3/14
Read 15 tweets
4 Jul
BLUF: The NSC memo emphasizes uncertainties and gaps in evidence, but acknowledges that “the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.”
So let’s see.

1/ The NSA had signals intel of wire transfers from Russia to the Taliban. Shortly after that Russians had face-to-face meetings with the recipients of the transfers, but NSA had no SIGINT of what was said in those meetings. 2/7
However, after lower-level members of that network were captured, they told interrogators that the Russians were paying bounties to encourage the killings of coalition troops, including Americans. 3/7
Read 8 tweets
2 Jul
Putting Pompeo’s presser today together with Bolton’s book leads me to the following conclusions about how Trump and his Admin got into this mess--from which they won’t get out alive politically. It’s the backstory that helps explain everything. 1/14
We know from Bolton’s book--and many other sources--that Trump is determined to get all U.S. troops and support personnel out of Afghanistan. He has promised to do so, and his base and talking heads like Tucker Carlson are pressuring him to do it. 2/14
Problem: doing that would create a vacuum and likely lead to incalculable dangers for the U.S. in that very unstable part of the world. So military and national security advisers to date have tried to prevent a withdrawal. Bolton was one of these. 3/14
Read 16 tweets
2 Jul
How stupid is this? Trump called the coronavirus a hoax, too. How well did that work out for him?

The same will be true of his calling the “Russia Bounty story” a hoax. His political advisers must be soiling their pants over this. 1/23
Note to Trump: a story doesn’t become a hoax simply because it is used by your political opponents against you. In fact, it is, over time, only true stories that can cause real damage, and this story is most definitely not a hoax! 2/23
WAPO published an update on the Russia-Taliban contract killing case last night that carries the “Russia bounty story” forward in ways that are extremely damaging to the Admin. 3/23
Read 24 tweets
30 Jun
The latest on the bounty intel story (9 hours ago), by AP.

The AP didn’t get this wrong. The reporting about Bolton will hold up. The only question now is WHEN Bolton will comment, under what circumstances, and to whom. 1/9
“Bolton declined to comment Monday when asked by the AP if he had briefed Trump about the matter in 2019.”

And there’s this, this morning: 2/9 Image
Bolton is likely waiting for the subpoena from either the Senate or House that never came during Trump’s impeachment. 3/9
Read 10 tweets
30 Jun
Includes video interview w Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who was at the WH meeting this A.M. Note to Rep. Kinzinger: if the intel is in the PDB, he was briefed, by definition. End of story. 1/5
Kinzinger, a self-declared Russia hawk, doesn’t even seem entirely convinced that Trump wasn’t *orally* briefed as well, although Rs were told in the meeting that he was. (How could he be sure? Even Rs know he lies.) 2/5
Kinzinger didn’t seem happy or comfortable in this interview. No wonder. This story is like opening a can of worms.

For example, the intel was included in the PDB in the spring (reportedly in March). 3/5
Read 7 tweets
29 Jun
It’s as clear as day what the Admin is trying to do to the Russia/Taliban intel story today. I anticipated it and called bullshit on it yesterday. The Admin is trying to move the goalposts. 1/16
Now the claim is that the intel has not been “verified” (!!), so when McEnany said today that Trump hasn’t been briefed, it only means that he hasn’t been briefed that the intel has been “verified.” 2/16
This is complete and utter bullshit, as experts who have worked in natsec like Ned Price and Susan Hennessey have pointed out. Intel is never verified: the most USIC will ever say is that it has a high degree of confidence that X…. 3/16
Read 17 tweets
28 Jun
Of course Trump knew about the Russia/Taliban bounty deal on U.S. and UK soldiers. But the story is so damaging that the WH has to deny it. The whole truth is bound to come out eventually, and the WH hasn’t found a false narrative it can go with even now. That’s how bad it is.
Significantly, nothing in WAPO’s reporting suggests that there was any serious reason to doubt the intel. There was only disagreement about what to do about it. 2/6
Further analysis of the intel from Afghanistan in Washington would have taken weeks, but there is no doubt that Trump got it eventually, and that he has known about it for some time.

WAPO: 3/6 Image
Read 7 tweets
28 Jun
The current state of play of this rapidly developing and explosive story is found in this NYT article, which was updated 2 hours ago. 1/9
As the Times explains, the story goes back as far as January. The intel that was reported to the highest levels in DC, including the WH, was put together by U.S. intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan, and then sent up the chain of command. 2/9
This early date nullifies the latest defense by the WH, which has Grenell and Ratcliffe denying that they briefed either Trump or Pence. That is now irrelevant because it would have been O’Brien and Mark Meadows, and possibly Haspel, who would have briefed the WH. 3/9
Read 10 tweets
22 Jun
The transcript of the ABCNews interview with John Bolton. 1/13
I’m about a quarter of the way through the book, and I would say that Bolton is right that his contribution was to give a detailed account of how Trump operated, by someone who certainly did not begin with an anti-Trump agenda. 2/13
Though he didn’t start out with an anti-Trump bias or agenda, Bolton reached the conclusion that Trump is unfit to be president, and beyond that, that he is even a danger to the Republic. 3/13
Read 13 tweets
16 Jun
Perhaps the biggest mistake that Trumpsters have made and continue to make is the assumption that before the pandemic hit and the economy tanked everything was great for Trump and that he was coasting to an electoral victory. 1/7
That Trump had a great record to run on and a solid standing in the polls that the pandemic and economic downturn damaged temporarily, but since all of that came out of the blue, a return to greatness is surely in the cards.

This is nonsense. 2/7
In fact, Trump has *always* had very low approval and very high disapproval ratings--from Day One. (No other president before Trump has ever failed to reach even a 50% approval rating in his first term.) 3/7
Read 7 tweets
16 Jun
Sargent points to two important issues raised by WAPO’s investigative reporting. 1/7
First, the National Guard and the DC police (unlike the Park Police) were never informed that force would be used against the protesters to expand the perimeter, or for any other reason. 2/7
This casts shade on Barr’s claim that the decision in the evening to remove the protesters was simply a matter of effectuating a plan to expand the perimeter to protect the WH from protesters. 3/7
Read 7 tweets
16 Jun
So it’s “celebrate a recovering economy, bash China and proclaim himself the candidate of law and order” is it?

GREAT! Let’s consider them one by one. 1/15
1) Voters always have and always will vote their *actual* pocketbooks, and in Nov the country will be in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Trump can argue till the cows come home that things are getting *better*, but that won’t cut it. 2/15
Most voters have been hurt by the recession, and it’s as bad as it is largely because of Trump’s misplaced bet on the virus. Voters know that, so they’re not going to give him a pass on the economy in November. 3/15
Read 15 tweets
9 Jun
Brilliant video journalism by WAPO, which has reconstructed the history of Lafayette Square, June 1 in detail.

The WH will have a lot of ‘splaining to do if the DC District Court accepts the ACLU/BLM lawsuit--which it should.

Devastating for the WH. 1/4
The assault began shortly *before* 7:00 p.m., when the curfew was to go into effect--guaranteeing that the crowd would not and could not have expected the violent police assault. Before the assault, the demonstrators could not hear the order to disperse. 2/4
The demonstrators were NOTviolent. No bricks were thrown (contra Barr), only eggs. In one case a protester throws a water bottle. Plenty of tear gas WAS used (again, contra Barr). 3/4
Read 4 tweets
5 Jun
@ThePlumLineGS Remember: Trump admired the CCP for crushing the *purely political* demonstrations at Tiananmen Square, and despised Gorbachev for not doing the same thing to save the Soviet regime (also involving purely political demonstrations). h/t Indy100
Read 4 tweets
5 Jun
As I have been predicting would happen, a lawsuit has been filed against Trump, Bill Barr, Secretary Esper and others in response to the violent clearing of Lafayette Park and the ensuing events. 1/9
Here is the text of the ACLU’s lawsuit (BLACK LIVES MATTER D.C. V. TRUMP).

(Note: Donald J. Trump, William P. Barr and others are the defendants.) 2/9
Here is the relief BLMDC and other plaintiffs are requesting of the court: 3/9
Read 9 tweets
3 Jun
Please note that there is no statute that authorizes Barr to do this.

(The request, incidentally, was made by Timothy Shea, the temporary head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, who also recommended the dismissal of the case against Michael Flynn.) 1/8
Here is the text of the DEA memorandum: 2/8
“Three DEA sources told BuzzFeed News they are troubled by the memo and see it as an example of the Justice Department potentially abusing its power in an attempt to smear the protests and crack down on protected First Amendment activity.” 3/8
Read 8 tweets
2 Jun
Reuters/Ipsos (completed today): 64% of American adults were "sympathetic to people who are out protesting right now," 27% said they were not. 1/5
More than 55% of Americans said they disapproved of Trump's handling of the protests, including 40% who "strongly" disapproved, while just one-third said they approved – lower than his overall job approval of 39%, the poll showed. 2/5
In a separate Reuters/Ipsos poll: Twice as many independent voters said they disapproved of Trump's response to the unrest. Even among Republicans, only 67% said they approved of the way he had responded. 3/5
Read 5 tweets