A Washington Post reporter has revealed that the Islamic State (IS) laptop plot story, which President Donald Trump mentioned to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House last week came from IS itself, through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The reason for the leaking against Trump, which followed in the Post and in the Anglo-American media, has also been disclosed by the Post. The CIA and at least one senior staff official of the National Security Council, who briefed the CIA on what Trump had said, are angry at the President for revealing collaboration between IS operatives and their US Government handlers in attacks on Russian targets, including Russian airline travellers.
. . . [T]he US “partner” is being run by the CIA for Islamic State (ISIS) operations against Russia. The “common threat”, to which McMaster referred – that is, an Islamic State plot against both American and Russian air travellers — is a plot which the senior NSC and CIA operatives do not want to reveal to their real adversary. This, according to Miller and his US official sources, is not Islamic State but Russia.
. . . Trump identified a US tie to Islamic State which is operational against Russian targets. That the Obama Administration and the CIA have been doing this is no secret. Nor is the prospect of Islamic State and CIA plots against Russian and international aviation a secret.Helmer doesn't clarify Israel's role in this story of the ISIS-U.S. alliance. Why was Israel identified as the source? My guess is that the Israelis are active participants along with Daesh and the CIA.
FiveThirtyEight has a handy poll tracker for Trump's approval ratings, "How Un/Popular is Donald Trump?" Trump's baseline "Approve" is at a low, while his "Disapprove" is at a high. He is not cooked yet. But if these trends continue -- say, his "Approve" numbers dip below 35% -- he will be.
Guy Verhofstadt had an opinion piece, "Speak Up for Europe and Win," published in the NYT the other day where he celebrates the resurgence of the neoliberal center and points the way forward to a reanimated European Union. That path? Increased centralization and militarization:
After the German elections in September of this year, we have to start reforming the union — not by papering over the cracks, but with deep reforms. That means fixing the eurozone, strengthening the union’s foreign policy and border protection measures, creating a European defense force and establishing a continentwide security service. All of this needs to go hand in hand with deep changes to our institutions. The key challenges are to replace the bloated European Commission with a smaller government and to eradicate once and for all the unanimity rule.Not much hope there.