Sleeper Cell in the White House

All the President’s Men…Robert Redford depicting Bob Woodward

As excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House, were released yesterday and today (September 4-5), it dominated the news cycle, even overpowering the Senate judiciary committee’s hearing on Trump’s nomination  of Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Then, today, the insider gossip of madness in the White House peaked with an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a senior  White House official who confirmed just about everything that has leaked about the chaos in the Trump administration. This is the first time someone high in the administration has said publicly—though unfortunately anonymously—that Trump is unfit to be president. Essentially, this high ranking administration official is saying that the president is nuts.

If you haven’t read about it already, here it is.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the op-ed titled: “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration. “The dilemma — which [Trump] does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the author wrote. “I would know. I am one of them.”

He goes on: “Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.”

Here’s the synchronicity. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were given information by an anonymous source within the Nixon administration about the Watergate scandal that ultimately exposed Nixon’s crimes. It led to Nixon’s resignation and to prison terms for H.R. Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean, and several others. Now, 44 years later, excerpts from Woodward’s book, which will be published on 9-11, sets off a firestorm of news coverage and denials from POTUS and his administration. Within a few hours, the New York Times releases the anonymous op-ed, and it’s  a confirmation of the material in Woodward’s book.

In both scandals, Woodward’s role was pivotal. Both times the truth teller was anonymous—Deep Throat and now ‘Deep State.’ The revelations in the Times op-ed make Trump’s earlier accusation that Woodward’s book is fiction sound like a toothless defense that even his gung ho supporters would have a hard time accepting. But you never know.

The question with this ‘Deep Throat’ source is why he/she didn’t identify him/herself and use the op-ed as a resignation letter, and send a copy to the appropriate congressional committees. Surely, the person’s ID will come out eventually. But ultimately that’s a secondary matter to the startling and scary assertions presented in the op-ed.  In retrospect, on the book yet to be published, Woodward’s title, FEAR, is certainly sounding applicable. He/she assures us there are others who are also working to protect the country from acts of madness being generated by a mentally unstable occupant of the Oval Office.

All of this reminds us of a now prophetic novel from the 1950s—Night of Camp David—that posed the same question that many are considering today.

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27 Responses to Sleeper Cell in the White House

  1. CJ says:

    Thank you MacGregors, for your response! I am totally astonished and offended that ANYONE would have the nerve to make obscene comments about Megan! She has become a sort of distrant “surrogate daughter” to all of us who regularly meet here, and that just burns me up. And, I hear you about bh. You are absolutely right. This blog is YOURS. I’m reminded of the interloper a few years ago who was outrageous , who just kept coming and coming and coming and getting worse and worse and worse and whose comments became so offensive that you had to receive assistance from outside law enforcement agencies to shut him down. I also understand about Trump, because as you are aware my husband is a gung-ho Trumpster as are his entire family and most of our friends. That’s why I avoid it when possible and try to remain neutral when I can’t. But I’m an”energy sponge”, as you know, and actually occasionally experience physical symptoms when negative energy impacts me, similar to the planetary empath symptoms. Gosh, you are moving?? Will you be staying in W. or will you be re-locating to another town in FL? Look at the tropical symptoms being
    born off the coast of Africa……seems like we may be in for a busy season. Hope not, but tis the time. Take care, you Two, and keep the faith. What holds me togeher is having the conviction that there are plans created by our individual Souls and although they aren’t remembered on our conscious level, they do ultimately run their course. I often asked myself, on truly terrible days, why in the world did I create Parkinson’s Disease as one of my apparent issues, and don’t have the answer within reach. Making this journey with your Dad, Trish, you are intimately familiar with
    this affliction. Bummer. Thanks again. I so much appreciate your friendship and your books are staples in my home library. Am still fighting blindness, waiting for the Estate of T’s mother to be finished so the funds will be available. Meanwhile, it’s pretty tough navigating the challenges. Anyway, it is what it is and I will persevere. Watched INDEPENDENCE DAY last night for the umpteenth time, and recall the quote from the President in the movie that “we will not go quietly into this dark night”. That’s me.

  2. CJ says:

    I’ve been thinking (dangerous, huh, for me to be thinking! 🙂 ) First, I need to remark that I don’t and have never involved myself in social media. No facebook, no twitter, no blogging of my own and I only visit this one, SS, and Whitley’s Unknown Country. My computer is used for my research and for emails, and for shopping because I am unable to physically go to stores anymore.Moving on, I met the two of you, Trish and Rob, many years ago when I went on a T.J. MacGregor novel-reading binge and sent you, Trish, a letter after reading one of my favorites. You answered my note, and the rest is history. When you created SynchroSecrets, I was thrilled. Under one broad heading of “THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT”, you give us amazing, enthralling, insightful posts of the countless array of subjects that are clumped together under that heading, and oodles of comments of experiences from readers of the SS blog around the world. Every single day I looked forward to coming here and joining in the latest such subject you were discussing. Then, awhile back, I came and found the initial post about DJT. I thought, OK. This is a one-time deal mixed in with the paranormal metaphysical , the flash dancings, the wonderful doggie stories about Noah, Nika, then Nigel, and their escapades, “SQUIRRELS!”, the photos, your visits to Cassadaga and various places, Megan’s art and successes, and so on.
    But the political posts continued, and I was dismayed. I admit that because I am making the journey through what will ultimately lead me to transition, the political arena currently consuming our country is so heinously negative that I try to avoid it whenever possible, and when avoidance isn’t possible I try my best to be fair-minded.
    So, here’s where my thinking has led me: All of us in the SS family are aware of how incredibly busy the two of you are, writing your books, both novels and non-fiction, appearing on radio shoes and other public venues, etc etc etc…..but…..would it be a consideration for you to create a SECOND blog that is a political forum, separate and apart from SS? I understand that I certainly can just skip reading the political stuff here, but I truly miss the original purposes of SS. Do you have the time and inclination to establish a second blog as a political forum, where the many folks who ARE deeply
    immersed in that on-going subject and escalating? Just a thought, because the next few years will not see an abatement in this American dilemma but will instead increase exponentially? You are two of the most creative folks on the planet, I think, and that’s what makes me wonder about this possibility. I must remark that I read the comments from bh, and have a sense that he is not being so contentious but is instead attempting to express a different yet nonetheless perhaps valid slant on the entire scenario. I can say with total candor that I am sitting on a fence here, watching all the hype from all sides and all news outlets, etc., swirling around us, and because it’s unavoidable, and I am able to witness both positive and negative aspects from ALL sides of the political stage.
    Anyway, can you give some serious thought to potentially creating a second and timely blog, because the DJT business isn’t going away? Thanks, Guys, for listening to my suggestion even if it isn’t a possibility.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      That would be difficult, CJ. We’re in the midst of house repairs from Irma, are going to be moving at some point, and the time we have goes toward getting books finished. When there are synchros in the news, we’ll post about them regardless of the politics. I deleted a number of comments for several reasons: it was turning into a narrative driven by someone else. I don’t have the time or energy to educate anyone else about trump or any facet of politics.

      Shortly after BH’s first couple of comments, we received an utterly pornographic comment about our daughter. This was posted within minutes of BH’s comment, from another IP address. Odd coincidence. Then, within minutes of BH’s comment yesterday, another came through from someone named Barb, who claimed to be a long time reader and an ardent trump supporter. I pinged her email, figuring it was fake, just like BH’s, but it wasn’t. She noted that her comment was censored and it offended her. Well, too bad. For all I know, she and BH might be Russian trolls or just regular American trolls. Whoever they are, I won’t have the narrative of this blog driven by other people, and that’s what it was turning into.

      My hope for this country and for democracy, CJ., doesn’t depend on any political party. It depends on people who value the bill of rights, who recognize authoritarianism in whatever guise it appears. Let’s remember: trump didn’t win the popular vote, the only vote that really counts, as long as we have free elections that aren’t hacked by another country.

      • bh says:

        FWIW, it wasn’t me who posted the other comments you mentioned. I post as bh and only as bh. And no, I’m not a Russian troll, either.

        And I’m not trying to “drive the narrative”, but only present an opposing viewpoint, as CJ correctly points out. I actually didn’t come here to talk about politics at all – I read one of your books, found it interesting, and came to your blog to read more about you and what you’re about. The first post I read here was a rant about politics containing some mischaracterizations and misconceptions, and I didn’t want to leave that unchallenged. An interesting back-and-forth developed, which I enjoy, so I’ve stuck around. I apologize if I’ve said anything that may have offended you, but I believe I’ve been very fair and presented solid, logical arguments. It’s not personal. We disagree on a lot of things, but I don’t hold that against you. I’m trying to understand your position and how you got there – I like to challenge my own positions that way, to make sure I’ve reached them through valid reasoning, and not by fallacy. When I ask you to defend yours, understand that I’m not posturing or implying that your position is foolish, I’m just trying to understand your position, and hopefully encourage you to examine it too, and maybe look at things from another perspective. When all I can get out of you is “Trump sucks,” it tells me nothing about how you arrived at that conclusion, and I genuinely want to understand. And if you’re getting bad information from your news sources, I want to give you an alternative explanation for what you think you know. As Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you absolutely know for sure, that just ain’t so.” And I’m not trying to change your mind – it’s yours, and it’s not my business to change it. Unless you run for office :), then it becomes my business.

        There are bad people on the right and bad people on the left. And there are also good people on both sides. I like to think I’m one of them, and I think you are too. We can disagree on stuff, that’s what makes America great (sorry, couldn’t resist…). But can’t we at leasttalk to each other and try to understand our differences?

        • Trish and Rob says:

          Fair enough, BH. And we do agree there are bad and good people on both sides. But I’m closing this post to comments because right now, I don’t have the time or inclination to debate about politics.

  3. Connie Cannon says:

    I posted a comment asking HOW you are convinced beyond doubt that this Anonymous
    person IS in the administration? My comments didn’t make it thru. I think they were important, but maybe not.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      No comment came thru except this one

    • Trish and Rob says:

      My sense, CJ is that the NY times wouldn’t publish an anonymous piece like that without verifying the individual’s identity. However people who believe, as trump has said, that the times is fake news, won’t buy that. But apparently trump himself buys it, which is why he tweeted that the times should reveal the person’s identity and turn them over to the government. Never mind that a statement like that is what you would hear in an authoritarian regime. The person who wrote the piece is exercising his or her 1st amendment rights.

  4. CJ says:

    Trish and Rob, we have become wonderful friends and the LAST thing I want to do is alienate you with the question I’m going you ask you here. I’m not a Trump supporter.
    Here’s my question: HOW DO YOU KNOW FOR AN ABSOLUTE FACT THAT THE ANONYMOUS PERSON IS IN TRUMP’S ADMINISTRATION? I’ve searched everywhere possible, and can’t locate irrefutable PROOF that Anonymous is in the administration. Have you found something that I haven’t that is positive proof that he/she is actually where he/she says, or are you basing your conviction on all the media hype about it? I think this is an urgent need-to-know situation if we are to put our faith and trust in the Anonymous individual’s comments. This isn’t one of the
    multitude of subjects that capture our attention and require validation, such as UFOs, etc. We’re talking about a person who is refusing to identify himself or herself, making accusations against a sitting President regardless of how we may feel about him, and unless or until the person reveals his/her identity. Honestly, I don’t give a tinker’s damn about accusations against ANYONE unless the accuser is willing to make that self-revelation. We discuss transparency, so I am asking for transparency; I am waiting to know WHO this accuser is. Only then will I give it credibility. I honestly also don’t give a tinker’s damn about whether or not this whistle-blower will suffer the loss of a job if identified. If you’re going to climb out on a flimsy limb and make such
    accusations, then in my terms, by God tell us WHO YOU ARE. If you aren’t willing to do that, then go crawl back into your safe little’anonymous’ hole and expect everyone to believe you. Who are you, and what position do you hold in the administration? Without that, I can’t offer you my credibility. And my vote counts.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      You’re right. No one knows. But I’m fairly sure of one thing – the Times doesn’t do anonymous op-ed pieces like this unless the person identifies himself or herself to the op-ed editor.

  5. CJ says:

    Intuitively, I do not believe for a New York minute that this “anonymous” informer is in the White House. My sense is that he or she wants credibility and thus decided to state that he or she is in the administration. What better way to galvanize public acceptance than to present as a member of the administration. I don’t believe it…..that the person is in the White House. The entire scenario regarding this anonymous individual has resonated with me as a Trump hater who declared as being in the “inside”. Nope. I don’t believe it. Secondly, I will say what I’ve said in the past here…..if we have a JFK event, this country of ours will find itself in a chaos that is unprecedented, and many, many will die as a result. I don’t speak this lightly or off the top of my head. Instead of bashing him with every breath, it’s my opinion that we need to spend our energies hoping and focusing that such a catastrophe doesn’t occur. The
    hatred being spewed at DJT has created an ominous, negative black aura that is enveloping the entire United State and devouring it like a cancer.. We are supposed to be Spiritual Beings . All this hatred…what happened to the Purpose of our lives? It can’t co-exist with the on-going egregiouswar against Trump. It simply cannot.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      Connie, the country is already in chaos. If Trump continues to be in power, we not only won’t be co-existing, but we might not be existing at all. The man is seriously deranged. And, yes, the anonymous person is a senior administration appointee. Appointed by Trump. He may not be in the White House, but he or she is cabinet level or just under, probably in national security. Interestingly, several others also in the administration came out and said (anonymously again) “that was exactly what I was thinking.” Or, “I wish I had written that op-ed.” THey know it’s bad and getting worse. THe man is unhinged and cornered, his popularity now declining into the mid-30s, and probably will go lower in the next week. He needs to resign for the sake of the country. As Trump said himself in the campaign (talking about Hillary), “We can’t have a president who is under criminal investigation. The American people won’t stand for it.” He was right there. Not only is he under investigation, but he is a non-indicted co-conspirator, conspiring with his former lawyer who has already plead guilty. What more do you need to be convinced that there is an illegitamate person in the White House, one who is incompetent to run the country?

      • Trish and Rob says:

        Saying that it is just liberals who are against Trump is a great fallacy. It’s liberals, moderates, and many many conservatives. He is dividing our country with his rhetoric, with his inane and often insane tweets. He attacks, attacks, attacks. Look up the words of conservatives, such as George Will, Joe Scarborough, Steve Schmidt (McCain’s former campaign manager) and Nicole Wallace (Bush’s communication director when W was POTUS.) They are all worried about the future of our country under Trump and especially his authoritarian tendencies. He would love to be like Putin, Kim in N. Korea, the Phillipines and Turkey dictators…that’s his state of mind. He doesn’t believe in liberal democracy.

        • bh says:

          I asked this before and you didn’t let the comment through moderation, but I’ll try again: What has the president said or done that you feel is deranged or dangerous? Be specific, please. I don’t want part of a statement taken out of context, or a diatribe from some MSNBC host, I want specific words or actions of the president, in his own words, with enough context to understand the intent.

          On the op-ed, I agree wholeheartedly with CJ – I think it’s rather telling that the author didn’t identify themselves – if what they say is true, then why not come out of the shadows and allow their claims to be verified? If there really were “whispers about the 25th ammendment,” then let’s talk to the people who were doing the whispering and see if that’s true. If senior officials really are “working to insulate their departments from his whims”, who are they and what exactly are they doing to insulate themselves? Let’s talk to them and see if we can verify that claim. Stories about chaotic meetings and angry rants? Who else was in the meetings, and can we talk to them and verify that claim? Nope. Nothing but unsourced innuendos and unverifiable claims. Surely the author knows that if their story is true and verifiable, they would be hailed as a hero by those they claim to be protecting. So why the anonymity? Why the lack of sources, lack of evidence, lack of anything verifiable to back up their claims?

          Oh, and Joe Scarborough is NOT a conservative. What ever gave you that idea?

          • Trish and Rob says:

            Look, BH, it’s not our place to give you specifics. Start googling – or better yet, follow him on twitter. That’s who he is, in his own words. If you find nothing offensive in his tweets – fine, that’s your choice. Personally, I find nearly everything trump says on twitter – and yes, I follow him – is uncouth, divisive, ugly…When he talks about how the times should turn over anonymous to the government – in trump’s own words – that’s straight talk from the world of putin and other dictators. If that’s okay with you, fine. Again, it’s your choice. But not my choice. His twitter rants – and that’s what they are, rants- should be offensive to anyone who values democracy and freedom, equality, freedom of speech and all the other point in the bill of rights.

            I’m not spending any more time discussing it with you. You have your view, I have mine.

            Oh, and Joe Scarborough used to be a republican – a republican congressman from Panama City. He’s still conservative – he just doesn’t like trump. Those are facts.

  6. bh says:

    It doesn’t terrify you that there is a group of people who have taken it upon themselves to circumvent the executive branch and deliberately undermine the President of the United States? And one of them just confessed to it? In case you’re wondering, yes, that does constitute treason.

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again, it should absolutely terrify you to know that there are people inside our own government (of the people, by the people, and for the people) who are systematically working against it. You don’t have to like the current occupant, but you darn well better care that there are people with access to the White House who are actively trying to sabotage it.

    Can you honestly say that doesn’t bother you, even a little bit? Would it bother you if your guy was the president?

    • Trish and Rob says:

      What terrifies me is that trump would love to become a dictator. And if there’s a coup going on in the white house because others recognize this, great. I wish anonymous had identified himself/herself.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      I guess you like having a madman in the White House and think his administration should be furthering his nutty, unhinged, and dangerous behavior. It’s overly clear that he is not competent to be president. He doesn’t read, or think things through. He acts on the moment, on his emotions that he tweets everyday. He is not presidential, becasue he doesn’t know anything except real estate. He is over his head. He does not belong in the office. He should resign immediately for the good of the country, and I don’t understand why you don’t see that. Do you remember—or have you read, at least—how Nixon was acting near the end and how those around him took actions to keep him from going over the edge? It all came out after he was gone. But this time we’re seeing it happen in real time.

    • Trish and Rob says:

      If you looked up the constitutional definition of treason, you would discover that a foreign government must be involved. In other words, treason looks more like what Jared Kushner did during the campaign when he suggested to the Russian ambassador that they set up a Russian server in Trump Tower to create a back channel communication. This is serious stuff and top people are going to be prosecuted. The anonymous Republican in the administration who wrote the op-ed piece, in part, was trying to save his ass, to show that he wasn’t a co-conspirator in the mayhem. One thing seems certain: it’s only going to get worse in the coming months.

      • Trish and Rob says:

        An interesting Seth Meyer observation: that all you need to grade rump’s intelligence is eyeballs and earholes.

        We don’t need statues, citations, legalese. We don’t need opinion pieces by Rachel Maddow or anyone else: we can see and hear what he said after Charlotteville, after Parkland, after every event during his chaotic presidency to know who he is and what he believes.

        • bh says:

          You should probably consider spending less time watching left-wing media outlets, and read more. I get the impression you surround yourselves with people who think like you do, and you’re not used to having your political views challenged. In those circles you can just shake your head and sigh “Trump” and everybody nods in agreement but nobody learns anything. Challenge yourself. Talk to people who think differently, and defend your position. Not with false diatribes and snide comments about the president’s intelligence, but with logical arguments leading to rational conclusions. Sometimes in defending your position you learn something new that confirms it; sometimes you learn something new that invalidates it. Either way, you’ve learned something – and that makes it worthwhile.

          Expose yourself to both sides of the story, you might accidentally learn something.

          • Trish and Rob says:

            You should probably spend less time trying to convince us to like trump or to believe he’s a terrific president. I get the impression you surround yourself with people who think and believe as you do and dislike having your views challenged. In those circles, you can just nod enthusiastically and rah rah around trump. See? This works both ways. Challenge yourself, bh. You might accidentally learn something. And you might consider using your real name instead of hiding behind initials.

            • bh says:

              I’m not trying to convince you of anything – just refusing to let your unfounded criticisms go unchallenged. Believe as you wish, but know that when you do so out loud, somebody might challenge you on it.

              And it’s your blog, so your are free to not publish the other comments I wrote here because you didn’t like them – but that makes you no better than CNN or MSNBC in presenting only one side of the story. You do your readers a disservice.

              Oh, and FWIW, my name is Bhairujan if that helps. My friends call me bh because Bhairujan is hard for English speakers to pronounce. Happy now?

  7. Nancy says:

    Of course, he will just point to confirmation of the “Deep State” from this op-ed.