Top CIA lawyer made criminal referral to Justice on whistleblower's Trump-Ukraine complaint

Weeks before the Trump Ukraine whistleblower's complaint was made public, a top CIA lawyer made what she said was a criminal referral to the Justice Department on the whistleblower's claim Trump abused the powers of the presidency in pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Read the rest

Trump White House changed top-secret system to heighten secrecy

Trump White House changed security on the National Security Council's top-secret codeword system in early 2018, two former administration officials tell Politico, in an apparent effort to increase secrecy around Trump calls with foreign leaders. Read the rest

Trump White House cancels Davos trip for World Economic Forum

The planned delegation included Pompeo and Mnuchin.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the Trump administration has canceled a planned trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The announcement was made today, Thursday, the 27th day of Trump's partial government shutdown. Read the rest

Trump White House suspends credentials for CNN's Jim Acosta UPDATE: Sanders uses Prison Planet video as "proof"

The White House has suspended the press credentials of CNN's Jim Acosta after President Trump clashed with the reporter during today's batshit crazy press conference. Read the rest

Omarosa secretly taped Donald Trump

Lordy, there are MORE tapes!

The Daily Beast is reporting that professional reality show villain Omarosa Manigault-Newman secretly taped Donald Trump during her time in the Oval Office as Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison. Her new book "UNHINGED: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House" comes out next week.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell The Daily Beast that Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the infamous former Apprentice star who followed Trump to the White House, secretly recorded conversations with the president—conversations she has since leveraged while shopping her forthcoming “tell-all” book, bluntly titled UNHINGED.

For months, it has been rumored that Manigault had clandestinely recorded on her smartphone “tapes” of unspecified private discussions she had in the West Wing. Audio actually does exist, and even stars Manigault’s former boss.

Good thing Trump only picks the best, most loyal and trustworthy people.

Omarosa Secretly Recorded Trump—And Played the Audio for People, Sources Say [Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng, Maxwell Tani/Daily Beast] [Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images] Read the rest

Fugitive wanted for attempted murder found at White House, where he worked for National Security Council

Pretty logical place to hide, if you ask me.

Secret Service agents grabbed Martese Maurice Edwards today when he showed up for work at the White House, where he worked as a private contractor for the WH National Security Council.

A man by that same name is wanted for attempted first-degree murder in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Read the rest

After a Freedom of Information lawsuit, the White House visitor logs are now available online as a free searchable database

The DC-based transparency group Property of the People successfully sued the White House to force it to disclose its visitor logs; now, in collaboration with Propublica, those logs are online as a free, searchable database. Read the rest

Jimmy Kimmel's full 20-minute interview with Sean Spicer

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer talked about his work with the Trump administration. In this 20-minute long interview, Kimmel gets Spicer to talk about how he got the job in the first place, his thoughts on Donald Trump's tweets, how he felt about Melissa McCarthy's portrayal of him, and more. Read the rest

Trump's ethics office reverses policy, will allow anonymous donors to fund White House employees' legal defense

The US Office of Government Ethics has silently reversed its longstanding policy banning anonymous "gifts" to White House employees who have started legal defense funds after being accused of malfeasance. Read the rest

Mike Pence wins the blunder games, at least in this photo

Michael "Rands" Lopp spotted something beautiful about this White House photo: everyone in it who doesn't have the word "president" in their job title has been fired.

Only the best people.

Here's the season 1 winner of the blunder games, as shot by Jonathan Ernst with Reuters. Read the rest

After Trump called the White House a dump, it's being renovated. Here are photos of it 'under construction'

That's wild, you can't even see all the new listening devices. Read the rest

The White House banned cameras from press briefings, so CNN sent in a courtroom sketch artist

Bravo, CNN artist Bill Hennessy.

CNN equated the briefing to a Supreme Court argument -- an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned.

Hennessy has been a Washington-based courtroom sketch artist for decades. He has covered a wide range of cases, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, terror suspect trials, and Guantanamo Bay detainee hearings. He worked for CNN at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Hennessy's presence highlighted the significant change in White House access that has taken place recently. Press secretaries for Democratic and Republican presidents have held on-camera briefings on a regular basis for the past quarter century. But the Trump White House has been cutting back on the frequency and the length of on-camera briefings.

What's amazing is how angry conservatives are about CNN doing this. I'd call them snowflakes, but they've already melted into salty little puddles. Read the rest

TFW you're a White House reporter listening to Sean Spicer

Vice compiled this terrific compilation of White House reporters' reactions as they listen to Sean Spicer. If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

Read the rest

In Trump's shambolic White House, staffers who can't find the light-switches literally hold meetings in the dark

Yesterday's anonymously sourced New York Times story is the most detailed picture yet of the bizarre, brooding nightmarescape that is the Trump White House: it's not just the cut-throat power games (and Steve Bannon tricking Trump into helping him stage a coup); it's a big, complicated government building whose knowledgeable core has been purged, leaving the new administration literally in the dark. Read the rest

Trump's bookcase, Old State Department Library

Ladies and gentlemen, the bookcase of the Old State Department Library at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. (via Bookshelf) Read the rest

Kellyanne Conway: lies are "alternative facts" and if the press says otherwise, there's gonna be trouble

Donald Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer inaugurated his first day on the job by telling easily falsifiable lies about the relative sizes of the Trump inauguration crowds and those of the Obama administration. Read the rest

Look back on the best White House photos of 2016

Every year Chief White House photographer Pete Souza rounds up his best photos, and this year’s collection is especially poignant as it’s the last one of the Obama administration. Souza was looking for “behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady.” The whole collection is available over on Medium and a few of my favorites are below:

[via Medium] Read the rest

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