AJ Vicens passes along the testimony of Admiral Mike Rogers, head of the NSA, on whether anyone has asked him to fight back against Russian election meddling:
In a response to questioning by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rogers said “I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay here…and that therefore I can continue this activity.”…Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) asked Rogers whether he had received orders to go after the Russian meddling operation where it originated: “Have you been directed to do so given the strategic threat that faces the United States and the significant consequences you recognize already?”
“No I have not,” Rogers responded.
Here is Rogers’ boss today:
Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2018
Is Trump concerned about the Russian hacks? No he is not. He’s concerned that the FBI is trying too hard to investigate the Russian hacks. He’s concerned that the FBI is interested in a guy who was explicitly recruited by the Russians a few years ago. He’s concerned with “potentially massive FISA abuse” by the FBI when they requested a wiretap on this guy.
There was, of course, no FISA abuse. It’s an entirely invented conspiracy theory. But Trump still wants that fake scandal investigated, and not just by some powerless inspector general. He wants it investigated using DOJ lawyers with the power to prosecute. And he’s once again pissed off at his own attorney general for not being enough of a lackey.
So it’s not surprising that Rogers has gotten no orders to do anything about the Russians. After all, who knows just what skullduggery that might accidentally uncover? It’s the last thing in the world that Trump wants.
UPDATE: Apparently Sessions is fed up. This time he’s fighting back:
AG Jeff Sessions responds to @realDonaldTrump‘s tweet criticizing him this morning (via @LauraAJarrett) 👇 pic.twitter.com/zO46iP0ST1
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) February 28, 2018
I’ve mentioned this before, but regardless of what you think about his politics, Sessions views himself as a person of honor and integrity. He’s not the bootlicker that so many of Trump’s other appointments are.