A Telling Silence

Asked on Friday if our president directly authorized the disastrous Niger mission, both Trump and his Press Secretary Sarah Sanders “answered” out of character: They said nothing without spin.

No blame shifting, distractive attacks or the worn-out fake media rhetoric.


Trump often brags, as recently as Monday, that he makes “four or five” decisions a day on covert missions. Obviously, if Niger was one of them, he’s not bragging about it.

Craig Crawford

Author: Craig Crawford

Trail Mix Host

66 thoughts on “A Telling Silence”

  1. maher explains it as twit’s business as usual — “same trump pattern… bluff, lie, attack”

    iow, don’t acknowledge the question about niger, distract …. and there we go again off on a titillating tangent forgetting the real problem

  2. the trumpence junta!    Silence is golden and trump loves gold.

    From the New Yorker — John Kelly and the language of the military coup.

    From the NYer — The 4 arguments of the coup-speak from this past week of insanity from the WH —

    Argument 1. Those who criticize the President don’t know what they’re talking about because they haven’t served in the military.

    2. The President did the right thing because he did exactly what his general told him to do.

    3. Communication between the President and a military widow is no one’s business but theirs

    4. Citizens are ranked based on their proximity to dying for their country.

    It is ‘why’ the kelly presser/botched Niger mission/mental health of the prez all need to have continuous sunlight on them and continuous coverage and discussion.  We are in the middle a junta and nazi sympathizers are treated like victims by the prez and the generals minus flynn are running over trump and running the country.

  3. From wiki:

    In 2013, the United States under PresidentBarack Obama sent 150 military personnel to Niger to set up a surveillance drone operation that would aid France in its counterterrorism efforts in the Northern Mali conflict.[7] In October 2015, Niger and the U.S. signed a military agreement committing the two countries “to work together in the fight against terrorism”.  The Green Berets were sent to train the Niger Armed Forces to assist in the fight against terrorists from neighboring countries.

    So Trump inherited the operation,  it was already authorized.



  4. I understand there are two drone bases in Niger, so where were the drones during the attack?

    trump may have inherited the bases, but his military is investing heavily in Niger, unlike the ACA, EPA regs, LGBT ban in the military, etc. — trump has killed a lot of stuff, but not the operation in Niger. He owns it now as he usually ‘kills’ anything ‘Obama.”

  5. Here is an article from July 2017 from CNN about Niger, drones, US involvement.

    From the lengthy article —
    Now the US military is moving its drone operation from Niger’s capital, Niamey, to Agadez. From 2018, at the behest of Niger’s government, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) will launch its MQ9 Reapers — “hunter/killer” drones with advanced intelligence gathering capabilities — from Air Base 201, just outside the city.
    “The move to Agadez is significant because it’s going to increase capability to surveil a larger and more significant area,” says Meiter. “It puts us in a more strategic location.”
    For now, the new base is very much a work in progress. Massive construction equipment does battle with the desert landscape 24 hours a day, every day, building a runway capable of handling military aircraft. A few hundred support staff oversee the construction work from tents nearby.

  6. jack, even after being in office and so-called command for almost a year, he can still blame it on Obama?   seems  boko haram and isil would be more credible targets for him to cite.

    btw, cia dir pompeo with his north korea being on cusp of nuking us is beginning to sound like we are about to go down that radioactive yellow brick road again.

  7. Both nuclear haley and pompeo are gunning for tillerson’s job.   poop on both of their noses as they out detonate each other with salvos on the norks and iranians to pleasure their boss.   All to get more yellowcake for trump’s hair.

  8. Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders the worst White House press secretary ever inflicted upon us? I’m not expecting a Pierre Salinger to work for *45, but couldn’t he have done better? Does she have any journalism experience? She seems to be more of a scold, a power-mad elementary school teacher with personal problems. Will she profit from her tenure, as in book deals and speaking tours, a carnival with her father? Or will she be ensnared in some Russian basket weaving project that Mueller will expose? When do we see the back of her?

  9. meanwhile, back in the Neverland of trolls and bots and botched elections….

    excerpt from today’s the guardian


    “Blacktivist” – a social media account coordinating and promoting the march online – was not run by black American activists, but instead, it is now believed, was operated by an agent of Russia attempting to interfere with US politics.

    “They are using our pain for their gain. I’m profoundly disgusted,” said Jones, who was stunned to hear that Russian propagandists had impersonated African American activists fighting police violence and racism and had created the event on Facebook, where hundreds RSVP’d. “Facebook should take responsibility. Don’t find out after the fact. After the fact is too late.”

    Recent disclosures have revealed that Russian trolls and bots manipulated social media sites to spread false and inflammatory news in an apparent effort to stoke political divisions on a large scale. Facebook admitted last month that a Russian influence operation had purchased $100,000 worth of ads to spread divisive messages about racial injustice, LGBT rights, immigration and other hot-button subjects, and Congress is now investigating. It appears that Twitter, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and other sites helped spread the content.

    This week, a Moscow-based news outlet called RBC uncovered the work of a troll factory that infiltrated US social networks, with Russians posing as Americans and making payments to legitimate activists in the US, directly funding protest movements. The revelations suggest that the Russian operation went beyond spamming online comment sections and spreading false news – and that a sophisticated interference campaign manipulated, controlled and created real-world events.


    In 2013, during a visit to the opening of new headquarters of Russia Today, the Kremlin’s television channel, which US investigators have claimed is part of the Russian disinformation effort, the president, Vladimir Putin, said the goal of the channel when it had been set up had been to “break the monopoly of Anglo-Saxon global information streams”. The mission, he said, had succeeded.

    Going one step further and infiltrating online discussions would be a logical continuation. As the analyst Mark Galleotti explained in a recent European Council on Foreign Relations report, “Russia’s is a broad-based campaign in which the majority of ventures come from the initiative of individuals within and without the government apparatus, guided by their sense of the Kremlin’s desires rather than any detailed master plan.”

  10. Divert, divert Will Robinson!

    So #45 is authorizing release of  JFK assassination documents?

    Well played, thanks to Roger Stone.

    You’ve got a friend.

  11. mr doodles, don’t forget that sarah is the hucksterbee’s spawn and he just might have some really dirty dirt on the twit worthy of insuring her tenure.

  12. Mr. DD, the evangelicals love suckabee.  She has coal coming out of her eyes!   The mooch was so correct about her make-over.  Her daddy, the good reverend, former faux news contributor, squirel eater, former repug prez candidate and guitar plucker helped her get the job in the ever-nepotic and faux news incest nest called the WH press office.   Down home bullshit, pure and simple.

  13. Hi mr doodlesdog,

    Mrs Huckabee Sanders is perfect for her job.

    Take that to mean whatever you want it to mean.

    She’s a very smart person, which is dangerous.


    In Whskyjack’s defense, he stated a fact, nothing more.

    The code of silence could be the veil surrounding this administration’s Iran Contra. Reagan Redux, #45 indeed. Nothing surprises me anymore.


  14. Jack, i guess the question is whether this particular covert action was authorized below the presidential level as a part of the overall authorization. I can imagine Trump being quite fascinated with covert activities, creating an environment where getting his personal approval provides butt covering. He has claimed from the beginning that he delegates tactical decision making to the military but I’ve never bought that. Just doesn’t seem like his nature.

  15. Conspiracy 101, but I always suspected one reason the Obama administration didn’t go after the Cheney-Bush regime re: torture was that too many Dems & “friendly” Republicans would have been snared in the net. Seems to be no straight lines but a minefield of zigzags in governing. No one’s a virgin in the Washington brothel.



  16. trump approves of waterboarding and black ops sites…I do not think those were the Obama created.  trump has morphed anything Obama and his military is on steroids, more than usual with new freedoms granted by mattis.

    Obama did not go after a lot corruption and the very thieves from the grand recession to the general’s botched wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are inhabiting the WH today, guiding trumps monetary and military decisions.

  17. Craig

    What covert operation?

    Everything was above board and in the open. They were in Niger at the invitation of the Niger government and were working along side Niger troops doing noncombat operations.

    As to Trump authorizing the particular mission? of course he didn’t any more than he personally approved their use of office supplies. Presidents don’t do day to day operations and that is what this was.

    My question is how did a large force from Mali cross the border undetected and attack an unsuspecting Niger/American force? Sounds like another intelligence break down.


  18. Ironically TCM featured the Kennedy assassination inspired “Winter Kills” last night. The movie is a strange trip but Jeff Bridges is perfectly wonderful. As always.


  19. BTW, Trump has shown no interest in military/diplomatic/foreign policy except his ongoing twitter war with NK even there  he doesn’t seem to care about policy, notice how many time he has undercut State as they try to negotiate.



  20. SJ, I am a huge Jeff Bridges fan. He never coasts, always turns in a solid performance. (Plus: great hair!)

  21. Time to watch Seven Days in May again.

    Most interesting about the Niger thing is the silence.  No blaming any past president or the official Black Man in the White House who is the cause of everything.  That SFB says nothing is very hard to believe, but it is still true facts, as opposed to SFB “facts” which are usually created from backed up farts in his head.

    I enjoyed my time of no SFB or his minions last night.  I am going to repeat it again.  Time to go shopping.

  22. PG is the president this is his fault.  Commander in Chief after all…

    Sarah Succubus cunning and sly with the morals of a junk yard dog owner

  23. i just don’t share your certainty. and i thought special ops/green beret actions are always covert.

  24. Could silence be the inability to admit defeat, a “Jimmy Carter in the Iran desert” PR disaster to current WH occupants? Winning, it’s all about winning. Everyone else is a loser.

    President Obama & his Cabinet (which included Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton) took down Osama bin Laden. A legacy that can’t be denied. There are pictures. It’s forever in history books. This has to burn #45. Maybe this means something, maybe not. Just a thought.


  25. Blue pumpkins for sale in Western New York, in honor of Buffalo K-9 policeman Craig Lehner. He drowned in the Niagara River while doing underwater training. It took a few days to locate his body & the helicopters thumped-thumped-thumped over my house while searching for their missing comrade. Canada sent officers to help also.

    His funeral is this coming Wednesday.

  26. SJ, the blue pumpkins are a marvelous tribute.

    BTW, I love New Yorkers. One of my best friends hailed from Newburgh. Fellow FDR fan.

    Guys, Sarah Huckabee Sanders particularly chafes me. Of all the miscreants in that WH, she gets to me. Maybe it’s because she so loathes the press, which is us, and allows her misplaced arrogance to fall upon them.

    Anyone follow John Schindler @20committee on Twitter? He will add something to Niger.

  27. mr doodlesdog,

    Jeff Bridges is a treasure.


    If Mrs Huckabee Sanders gets under the skin …. mission accomplished. Her job is to be a yellow jacket at the picnic. Distract, annoy, bzzzz, bzzzz. She does this quite well. The Press fits, spits, huffs, puffs. And #45 survives yet another day in Office.

    What was the subject? 😉



  28. Jack, how Did a large force sneak across the border and attack a joint Niger/American force? Simple.  The border is a line on a Map, and they ain’t got no  wall. Oh, and for some reason they apparently didn’t think they needed air support.

  29. Ah, SJ. SHS is a Medusa, meant to turn our attention to the stonewall? Well, I wash my hands of her and frustration. I’ll ignore her and maybe the press will do likewise.

  30. wapo: Trump pledges at least $430,000 of his own money to help cover aides’ legal costs related to Russia probes


    The arrangement drew immediate criticism from Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, who suggested on Twitter that it is rife with potential conflicts.

    “A potential witness or target of an investigation (and boss of investigators) paying for legal fees of other potential witnesses or targets?” Shaub wrote.

    The White House official said many issues remain to be resolved, including how the money will be accessed and who can request it. Legal costs of White House and campaign aides are expected to balloon well beyond what Trump is putting forward.



    most likely with the twit footing the bill, the answers to  the “how the money will be accessed and who can request it” questions will be determined by what they promise to say in their testimonies

  31. It is just this morning that President Trump learned that Niger was not a river dividing two regions of Nigeria. Up until today he viewed it much as the River Dee, dividing portions of Wales. His quite logical confusion, he blames on the French. He’s canceled tonight’s showing of The African Queen.



  32. Jack…  though you are most likely correct that Niger isn’t SFB’s fault….  neither was Benghazi Hillary’s fault.  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Niger!  Niger!

    Flatus… LOL!

  33. What an odd sum to pledge. Four-hundred-and-thirty-thousand dollars? Not 400K, not half a million, but 430K. Something is very, very fishy here when even the sum is odd (and he wouldn’t pony it up, anyway).

    Wait a minute: isn’t the RNC or some other slush fund paying *45’s legal bills, as well as DJTJr’s? What’s going on here?

  34. Mr Doodlesdog

    That $430K was the approximate amount that the RNC has already spent on the Trump crime family.  It wasn’t clear whether this amount from Trump was to repay RNC or to go to staffers.  There was an immediate ethics issue question as if Trump could pay others who would be testifying about the events where he could be testifying as well.



  35. SJWNY

    As usual Trump is taking credit for doing nothing.  The Kennedy papers will be automatically released 75 years after they were sequestered.  He could stop them, but he has absolutely no role in the go ahead.


  36. I can’t imagine the employees’ legal, legal expenses not being covered by some sort of errors and omissions policy provided for their benefit.

    Our city’s charter provided protection for the city, but not the responsible officials; I got an outside umbrella policy that specifically covered me for non-malicious errors or omissions. It was never invoked.

  37. Jeff said he wore his own clothes for the movie…….but then I guess that sometimes John Wayne wore his own clothes in a movie too……..

  38. But I remember this one time, they gave me a complete sailor suit…….I mean one uh nerd percent…….summer white sailor suit and winter wool dark blue with white piping sailor suits……….


    Thank you, Jamie.

    Sturgeone, Jeff wore his dude sweater to John Goodman’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in March. He left his jelly sandals at home, though.

    Boy, *45 is really tweeting this afternoon. Could a big Trump/Russia story be in the works?

  40. We didnt get no ribbons……..nary a one……they wouldn’t even put bills on our stupid dress hats…….the sailor hats were fine but try to keep the sun out of your eyes with a hat ain’t got no bill on it…….I guess you not supposed to be wearing your dress hat on deck or in the cockpit, but still…..that’s what I call a stupid hat.

  41. Jamie44,

    The Kennedy Docs are a welcome diversion to an administration excelling in diversions. #45 does have the authority to extend the final batch’s secrecy past the deadline. Will be interesting if he heeds to certain elements in the National Security Council & holds back on certain documents. Either way, conspiracy nuts go into maximum overdrive. I’d yield to National Security & the safety of our contacts. JFK is dead & will not be coming back no matter what is published.

  42. Ha ha…. When I was in cape may for 10 weeks boot, they made us wear the sailor hats squarely on top at all times when outdoors……when I got home on leave after, I had a GREAT tan…..except for a totally white dome on the top of my shorn head……..

  43. During the War my heroes were the Merchant Marine as they carried the myriad items that my uncle along with all the rest of the GIs and the people in the UK, France, Scandinavia, Russia needed to fight and survive. My source of information? The National Geographic. My age? Pre-school.

  44. Jamie, thanks for the link.  The site is setup so we can earmark where we want our donations to go if we so desire. I’ve done my duty. Back to USF–Tulane (ESPN2)

  45. I had the good fortune as a kid to have my Dad’s genuine sailor cap. I loved that thing. Wore it until I got my genuine Steve Canyon cap. Wore them for a sense of style and to support my military fantasies. Now I wear ball caps to cover my bare scalp.

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