Sunday, February 16, 2020

the last book I ever read (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America, excerpt seven)

from A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig:

Deep into the first hour of Fox & Friends, on January 11, at 6:46 a.m., Andrew Napolitano came on the air. Napolitano was one of Trump’s favorite Fox analysts, so much so that some of Trump’s advisers had talked seriously about the former New Jersey judge as a possible Supreme Court nominee. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives was expected to vote that day to reauthorize a key part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a move the White House had endorsed. Known as the Section 702 program after its numerical reference in the statute, the measure was essential to U.S. intelligence agencies because it authorized government surveillance on foreigners abroad as a way of catching terrorists before they struck.

“I’m scratching my head,” Napolitano said. “I don’t understand why Donald Trump is in favor of this.”

Napolitano said he did not trust the surveillance program and warned, erroneously, that it had likely been used to spy on the Trump campaign and give birth to the Russia investigation. Then, forty-seven minutes later, at 7:33 a.m., a gap in time explained perhaps because Trump had been watching Fox & Friends on a delay, the president announced his opposition to the bill that his own White House had been championing in language that eerily echoed Napolitano’s commentary.

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