Breaking: Trump’s longtime aide Keith Schiller, who delivered Comey firing letter, tells people he has decided to leave WH –@DanaBashCNN
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 1, 2017
It’s just no FUN anymore! Schiller’s been The Donald’s personal bodyguard/bagman for almost twenty years — he was the guy who delivered the letter firing Comey to the FBI. It *could* just be a coincidence that he decides to jump ship right now… Per CNN:
… Schiller has told associates within the last two weeks that he plans to leave the White House at the end of September or in early October, the sources said. Schiller has told people his primary reason for leaving was financial, the sources said. Schiller earns a $165,000 annual salary at the White House — a downgrade from his annual earnings before he followed Trump to the White House…
The sources stressed that Schiller’s reasoning was primarily financial, but one source said Schiller has also grown frustrated with the new system installed by White House chief of staff John Kelly aimed at restricting access to the President. Schiller has complained that he must call into the White House switchboard to reach Trump over the phone, one source said…
Mueller obtains letter that Trump & Stephen Miller drafted (but never sent) before firing of James Comey. https://t.co/sLTDkUCUlE pic.twitter.com/6hef2YYMWz
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 1, 2017
The idea of Stephen Miller and Trump writing a letter together must give the Trump legal team big league heartburn.
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) September 1, 2017
The NYTimes broke the story:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter drafted by President Trump and a top political aide that offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.
The circumstances and reasons for the firing are believed to be a significant element of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which includes whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey.
The letter, drafted in May, was met with opposition from Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, who believed that its angry, meandering tone was problematic, according to interviews with a dozen administration officials and others briefed on the matter. Among Mr. McGahn’s concerns were references to private conversations the president had with Mr. Comey, including times when the F.B.I. director told Mr. Trump he was not under investigation in the F.B.I.’s ongoing Russia inquiry.
Mr. McGahn successfully blocked the president from sending the letter to Mr. Comey, which Mr. Trump had composed with Stephen Miller, one of the president’s top political advisers. But a copy was given to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who then drafted his own letter. Mr. Rosenstein’s letter was ultimately used as the Trump administration’s public rationale for Mr. Comey’s firing, which was that Mr. Comey mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server…
The Washington Post adds helpful explainer:
… Comey’s firing was instantly controversial given the FBI was investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. But the administration had claimed the firing originated in the Justice Department and it was about Comey’s conduct during the Hillary Clinton investigation. There were, of course, plenty of suggestions Trump really fired Comey because of Russia, but the administration made pains to say that wasn’t it at all.
Then Trump spoke [to Lester Holt]. In one fell swoop, the president admitted the DOJ’s recommendation he fire Comey didn’t matter, and he completely undercut the stated reasons.
What he didn’t do, though, is explicitly admit he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation… He also didn’t say, in so many words, the Justice Department’s recommendations were intended to deceive or offer a false justification for Comey’s firing. That’s where he could get into legal trouble for obstruction of justice…
Which brings us to that letter. According to The Post reporters, who were briefed on its contents, it doesn’t dwell on Russia, but it does express concern Comey wouldn’t say publicly Trump himself wasn’t under investigation.
The letter was drafted with top White House adviser Stephen Miller, a former Senate aide to now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Miller has been among the most controversial and ideologically extreme members of the White House staff, and it’s tempting to believe he wouldn’t rein in Trump’s impulses in the drafting of the letter.
We also know the letter was multiple pages — suggesting plenty to pick apart — and aides cautioned Trump against at least some of its contents…
Mueller being a thorough soul, it’ll still be many weeks or months before he’s ready to indict. Donald Trump not being known for his patience, or attention span, I’d give even odds he continues to give extremely dramatic performances as his nerves further fray.
Coming Soon: “Yes, we colluded with Russia to hack the DNC, launder the info through Wikileaks, and use the Russian government bot army and technology to win an American election. So what? What are you going to do about it? Our base still supports us, the Republican Congress won’t impeach, we have gentrified House districts so you’ll never win back control of the House with less than 65% of the vote, we have the pardon authority, Fox News won’t report a word of the facts, and 40% of the people in the US not only don’t know that Russia is a corrupt dictatorship, they don’t know the meaning of the terms.”
Major Major Major Major
@Pangloss: Well, shit, why get out of bed in the morning?
This was a nice place to hike, it’s all gone now.
I have friends who are waiting to see if they’ll have to be evacuated now that the fire has jumped over the ridge to the Burbank side of the hill. This is the second brush fire that’s affected them this year.
@Mnemosyne: That earlier fire was in Wildwood canyon, Stough Canyon is the next one to the west and it’s gone now, the next one over is Brace Canyon and there are home there and they have a mandatory evacuation order.
ETA: When I hiked up to the western part of the Verdugos, I’d hike up Stough Canyon first.
They write letters.
@Major Major Major Major:
I look forward to our new Canadian Overlords.
Outside intervention really does seem the last best hope for peace.
@?BillinGlendaleCA: @Mnemosyne: It’s going to be a long, long fire season now that all the growth from last winter’s rains has dried up.
@Major Major Major Major:
Sooo, traveling or were you in SF for 104 today? All-time record and one I’m happy to have not shared even if it was 110 here.
Was in SF once on a 98-degree day and at least at the time nobody had A/C so it was basically a shambles. Pretty fun night though, since half a million residents decided sleep was hopeless..
@Mary G: Actually, this one sounds like a bit of a fuck-up. They had a small brush fire and didn’t bring that many personnel or air resources to fight it, the wind shifted and it took off.
@trollhattan: It’s still 88 here. I turned off the a/c, I can’t run it all night.
I have asthma, so we have to run the A/C all night. It’s better than me not being able to breathe because of all of the smoke in the air.
Told the spousal unit at the beginning of the week if the A/C gets us through this season we should bake it a cake. Suspect we’re on track for hottest summer on record, at the least we have a new record for consecutive days of 90+. Odd on the heels of the wettest N-CA winter but I guess that’s what “extreme climate” means.
@Mnemosyne: If I ran it all night the place would probably burn down, this building doesn’t have the best wiring.
Absolute proof that Trump worked together with Russians to win the election could cause Trump’s approval rating among Republicans to drop to 70% – maybe even as low as 65%
Sister Golden Bear
@trollhattan: I’m just thankful for the portable A/C unit I bought after the last nasty heatwave. It’s an absolute pain to get out of the garage, and it only is powerful enough to cool down one room, but I’ve been camped out in front of it all evening.
Tried airing out the house after dark, since that usually works, but it’s still 80 outside (and feels like 90 due to the humidity).
So now I need to wheel it into the bedroom — although my bedroom is so tiny, I’ll have to actually lift it over the bed to get to the window. But at least I’ll be able to get some sleep.
Fixed that for CNN.
Does Schiller come out of the White House bearing gifts for Bobby Three Sticks’ investigation? If so, then we know his real reason for leaving. I don’t buy the “financial reasons” claim. If he couldn’t live on US$165k/year, he wouldn’t have accepted the White House job in the first place.
Our place is pretty new (post-Northridge, IIRC). It’s very slightly askew, though. The floors are a bit uneven and when you hang pictures, you have to hang them “crooked” according to the level for them to look even.
Rumor has it that it was built to be condos but it and its sister building settled funny on the foundation, so they weren’t able to sell them as individual units and had to rent them as apartments instead.
@Sister Golden Bear:
Good thing to have, since it gives you enough of a space to weather the misery. Sleep well!
Fires were mentioned upthread. This is an overview look of the 2013 Rim Fire burn near the Yosemite west boundary, which at a quarter-million acres was the largest Sierra fire recorded.
@Mnemosyne: IIRC, this building was built in 1939.
ETA: I think we’re getting a little ash fall, I can see it on my outside infrared camera.
Sorry to hear about the brush fires. Those were nice places for a hike. Hope things calm down soon and the fire fighters get a handle on it.
Still cool in SF compared to interior valleys. So I’m not complaining.
And I have experienced nothing elsewhere in California as insufferable as Santa Anas and the Autumn heat waves in Los Angeles.
Give me 110 in the Central Valley any day.
@jl: I’d take the Santa Anas any day and twice on Sunday compared to this. This is hot and humid(for us) courtesy of the monsoonal flow.
SON OF A BITCH!!!!
Fucking stupid ass Hanabusa is giving up her Congressional House Seat (D) to run for fucking governor.
YOU STUPID FUCKING WOMAN!!! THIS IS WHY YOU LOST THE LAST TWO ELECTIONS FOR THE SENATE. YOU DON’T FUCKING BOTHER TO DO THE JOB YOU HAVE, INSTEAD YOU KEEP LOOKING FOR THE NEXT PROMOTION TO POWER!!!
Fuck. This is the same kind of shit that got us that corrupt bitch Lingle as governor.
Or it might go up. Like Russians, some Americans like their presidents to be thugs and dictators.
Some people have the Peter Principle in their DNA. And some people rise well beyond their own level of incompetence.
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
@TenguPhule: Well to give you a happier late night, Linda Lingle went to Illinois after she lost the senate attempt. As a “Senior Adviser” to the Republican governor there. She lost that job in 2016, and has completely dropped off of the Google after that. to say her political career is dead is an understatement to pre-Cambrian fossils.
With Linda (and I can use that, my mom was friends with her on Maui in the 80’s), It’s an interesting story of how the Republican party was poison even back then, to the farthest reaches of the country. It was a widely known secret that she was a closeted lesbian. With all of that, she still said things like this “Link to Linda Lingle comparing same sex marrige to incest”.
I just can’t understand how somebody can speak out so vilely and publicly against a concept that should be so center to their being. I just don’t understand how somebody can live with that public level of self-hate and not destroy themselves.
Although, I guess she destroyed herself in the end. I’m guessing that is the fate of many trump supporters.
“There are three endings when you try to harness a monster in the end. First, the monster consumes you. Second, you ride the monster, and in riding it, you become a monster yourself. Third, and rarest, you cast the monster out in a flurry of teeth and claws and blades and words. In that rare instance you are bloodied and scarred, and weakened for a while, but you have snatched a rare gift if you survive. By casting a monster out, you gain the seeds, furrowed in your scars, of defeating the monster itself.”
Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]
Comment stuck in moderation. If a mod would be so kind to fish it out of the bit bucket.
Betcha Sheriff Clarke takes Schiller’s job.
Judge Posner is retiring.
If only Posner were the kind of conservative that the GOP chose for the SCOTUS. I’d much rather have a liberal, but unlike a POS like Gorsuch, Posner has some integrity. Oh, and he’s not a complete RWNJ!
He got some important stuff wrong over the years–his vote to allow the Indiana voter ID law to go into effect comes to mind–but he was one smart motherfucker, he took care to judge every case on its own merits, and his opinions were easy and fun to read. And he’s a cat person.
Kelly was brought on specifically because the tRump WH was not just going nowhere but going their fast and eating itself on the way. Now the true reasoning for those that came along and supported him is showing so they are all either leaving, angry at how the WH is being managed (ie now that it is being managed), or has a Sad that things aren’t the way they were. The before was antithetical to getting anything done. But then that wasn’t really what tRrump wanted- he wanted the title and perks but never thought that being president was hard and work. Now he has discovered otherwise.
He may have been promised additional unofficial compensation of the type that is currently under investigation.
If non-RWNJ members of the judiciary actually had a chance at SC nominations by the GOP, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.
@trnc: I thought Trump had a security team that were not federal employees but Trump,Inc employees. Why would this guy have to take a pay cut? Trump has to pretend to obey the emolument clause, but his bodyguard doesn’t.
@Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:
Harnessing monsters in the end usually leads to messy consequences. That’s why I always try to harness them around the neck or shoulders.
Not to spend more time with the family? I guess he couldn’t actually say the reason was a sinking ship without admitting he’s a rat.
How did this letter come into the NYT’s possession? I have seen 3 articles on 3 different sites, yet no one has speculated who gave this important piece of evidence to Mueller.
Cui Bono as we like to drawl around the campfire, when the preznit is exposed in Justicia Obstructorando?