Friday, February 24, 2017

World's witches mobilize to cast a binding spell on Trump

In combatting Trumpzilla, I am for leaving no stone unturned -- therefore, this message:

It's come to this! Desperate times call for desperate measures.  The White House and Congress are now controlled by those who wish to do great harm in our world.  Since the U.S. political forces are joined against all people of good will, we now must rely on the good witches all over the planet to put a binding spell on Trump and his entourage, which will counteract the evil they are perpetrating on citizens of our country and the world--and the Earth itself. Please join forces with the witches tonight at midnight (the time in your area) and perform the binding spell with them. If you don't have a Tarot deck, just print this e-mail with the Tower card image and Trump photos included below.

I see by the following article that evangelistic Christians are going to pray to protect Trump from the spell. In this case, I think anyone with a working brain and a compassionate heart will agree that these self-defined Christians are duped, are definitely on the wrong side, and that their prayers to uphold the dastardly Trump administration, therefore, will be ineffective.  Because goodness is at its core intent, the binding spell will succeed, and Trump will be out of office well before his first year is up...maybe even before the first 100 days.  See below for the spell instructions.  Onward, Wiccan soldiers! (~.~)  (If you choose not to join in with the spell casting, at least wish the witches well in their godly effort.) :-)

Witches mobilize to cast a binding spell on President Trump

By Aris Folley,

Get your covens ready.

Protest may be the new brunch, but witches are joining together worldwide in a more magical form of resistance to cast a spell on President Donald Trump, reports say.

A document circling the internet in both private and public witchcraft groups contains a spell to bind Trump to all who abet him, and even muggles (non-magic folks for those unfamiliar with Harry Potter) are encouraged to participate.

The binding ritual is to be performed monthly by those who practice the craft until Trump is removed from office.

The mass spell is to be performed on every waning crescent moon at the stroke of midnight EST in order for it to work.

The first spell cast event is set to occur on Friday, Feb. 24. Similar events are anticipated to follow on March 26, April 24, May 23, etc.

Until Trump is out office, that is.

As some may have already expected, reports say that some Evangelical Trump supporters hip to the witches' plans are prepping to pray en masse Friday night to zero out the spell's effects.

For those who ask if it will work, there is only one way to find out. Luckily, we've got the supplies and instructions for you below.


  • Unflattering photo of Trump    
  • Tower tarot card.
  • Tiny stub of an orange candle
  • Pin or small nail
  • White candle, representing the element of Fire
  • Small bowl of water, representing elemental Water
  • Small bowl of salt, representing elemental Earth
  • Feather, representing the element of Air
  • Matches or lighter
  • Ashtray or dish of sand

Once you have all of the materials needed, you're instructed to inscribe "Donald J. Trump" onto the orange candle using the pin or nail.

After, arrange the remaining items in a circle, leaning the tarot card onto something so that it stands vertically.

Then you can start reciting the banishing ritual, which includes lines like:

(Light white candle)

Hear me, oh spirits
Of Water, Earth, Fire, and Air
Heavenly hosts
And spirits of the ancestors

(Light inscribed orange candle stub)

I call upon you
To bind
Donald J. Trump
So that he may fail utterly
That he may do no harm
To any human soul
Nor any tree
or Sea

Bind him so that he shall not break our polity
Usurp our liberty
Or fill our minds with hate, confusion, fear, or despair
And bind, too,
All those who enable his wickedness
And those whose mouths speak his poisonous lies

I beseech thee, spirits, bind all of them
As with chains of iron
Bind their malicious tongues
Strike down their towers of vanity


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dems: Read this

Best article yet for Democrats on how we got where we are -- and what we must do to turn things around:


Donald Trump -- Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Donald Trump Is 300 Pounds Of Manure In A 260-Pound Bag

The president doth protest too much.

By Chris Lamb
When Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency in June 2015, he paid actors $50 a piece to pose as his supporters. The story was confirmed in an email from the Trump campaign to the casting company hired to find actors to cheer for him.

"We are looking to cast people for the event to wear T-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement," the email said.

Trump accuses anyone who protests against him of being paid by liberal organizations – despite a lack of evidence to support his allegation – because he thinks – and, more importantly, wants us to think ― everyone else is as dishonest as he is. He rationalizes his acts of dishonesty, malevolence, boorishness, and corruption by accusing his critics of doing what he himself is doing.

Trump, being the con man that he is, uses sleight of hand to distract us from his treachery while he says we can trust him, and the more insistent he becomes, the more suspicious we should be of him. He is a liar who, when asked for the source for a dubious statement, will cite another lie.

(Every statement in this post includes a link to the source.)

During the GOP primary, Trump called his GOP rival Ted Cruz "Lyin Ted.", the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-check organization, said Trump lied far more than any other presidential candidate.

It reported that only 2.5 percent of Trump's statements during the campaign were rated "true." More than 60 percent of his statements were rated either "false" or were considered "pants on fire" lies," which is how the organization characterizes the most egregious of lies. PolitiFact said Trump made more "pants on fire" statements during the presidential campaigns than all other 21 presidential candidates combined.

Once Trump won the GOP primary, he began calling Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton "corrupt Hillary."

Hillary Clinton will never be mistaken for Abraham Lincoln, but there wasn't a day, an hour or a minute during the campaign that Trump was the more honest candidate

Magazines ― from the National Review on the right to The Atlantic on the left – published articles detailing Trump's corrupt, unethical and even illegal business practices. New York Magazine, published in the city where Trump lives and works, called him "the most corrupt candidate ever." Shortly after winning the election, Trump agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims of fraud by former students of Trump University.

Trump has been called a con artist by such respected businessmen, politicians, and journalists as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney; independent candidate for president Evan McMullen; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein; Trump biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston; conservative political blogger Erick Erickson; and Tony Schwartz, who ghost wrote Trump's autobiography, The Art of the Deal.

Trump accused Hillary Clinton of rigging the presidential election ― despite a lack of evidence to support his allegation.And then after winning the election, though losing the popular vote by 2.8 million votes, Trump called for an investigation into voter fraud – despite a lack of evidence to support this allegation.

Trump waves his shiny watch in front of the American people, but don't be distracted by it; it's as fake as the news that the Russian mediaBreitbart, and other conservative websites spread to influence the presidential election.

A few years ago, Trump bragged about his business dealings in Russia. Time magazine reported that several columnists and reporters have "painstakingly" shown how Trump businesses are "entangled with Russian financiers inside Putin's circle."

Trump now denies he ever had any business relationships in Russia. He calls such stories "fake news." He attacks the media who dare ask him about a relationship with Russia he once bragged about. Like Putin himself, he considers journalists "the enemy of the ... people."

Trump responds to questions about his business dealings in Russia by saying, "Nyet."

And yet.

The president doth protest too much.


Robert Reich: The 7 Signs of Tyranny

Unfortunately, those who support Trump won't read this. Even if they might have it delivered to them or should they come across it accidentally, they will immediately deny that it has anything to do with Trump, and they will shoot the messenger, Robert Reich, a man of indisputable integrity, knowledge and--most important--wisdom.  

But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the warning given below is very clear. Warnings such as this were given by wise men to the Germans in the '30s, but their warnings were ignored.  What followed then is well known.  Contrary to what some Trump supporters claim (that our Constitution wouldn't allow a dictator like Hitler to arise here), fascist authoritarians like Trump and his puppet master Steve Bannon don't pay attention to Constitutions or established rules/laws of government.  They trample over them.  

We are warned.

The 7 Signs of Tyranny

by Robert Reich | February 22, 2017 

— from Robert Reich's Blog

As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically do 7 things:

1. They exaggerate their mandate to govern – claiming, for example, that they won an election by a "landslide" even after losing the popular vote. They criticize any finding that they or co-conspirators stole the election. And they repeatedly claim "massive voter fraud" in the absence of any evidence, in order to have an excuse to restrict voting by opponents in subsequent elections.

2. They turn the public against journalists or media outlets that criticize them, calling them "deceitful" and "scum," and telling the public that the press is a "public enemy." They hold few, if any, press conferences, and prefer to communicate with the public directly through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (or what we might now call "tweets"). 

3. They repeatedly lie to the public, even when confronted with the facts. Repeated enough, these lies cause some of the public to doubt the truth, and to believe fictions that support the tyrants' goals.

4. They blame economic stresses on immigrants or racial or religious minorities, and foment public bias or even violence against them. They threaten mass deportations, "registries" of religious minorities, and the banning of refugees.

5. They attack the motives of anyone who opposes them, including judges. They attribute acts of domestic violence to "enemies within," and use such events as excuses to beef up internal security and limit civil liberties.

6. They appoint family members to high positions of authority. They appoint their own personal security force rather than a security detail accountable to the public. And they put generals into top civilian posts.

7.They keep their personal finances secret, and draw no distinction between personal property and public property – profiteering from their public office.

Consider yourself warned.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One can only hope....

by Ted Rall | February 21, 2017 

Worried about President Trump's incipient fascism? Don't fret – there's no way this bunch of dysfunctional morons could possibly run things as efficiently as real fascists like Hitler and Mussolini!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Fascinating article: The Mind of Donald Trump

For full article:

In 2006, Donald Trump made plans to purchase the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen, Scotland, aiming to convert the dunes and grassland into a luxury golf resort. He and the estate's owner, Tom Griffin, sat down to discuss the transaction at the Cock & Bull restaurant. (Aptly named place to meet when dealing with Donald Trump.) Griffin recalls that Trump was a hard-nosed negotiator, reluctant to give in on even the tiniest details. But, as Michael D'Antonio writes in his recent biography of Trump, Never Enough, Griffin's most vivid recollection of the evening pertains to the theatrics. It was as if the golden-haired guest sitting across the table were an actor playing a part on the London stage.

"It was Donald Trump playing Donald Trump," Griffin observed. There was something unreal about it.

The same feeling perplexed Mark Singer in the late 1990s when he was working on a profile of Trump for The New Yorker. Singer wondered what went through his mind when he was not playing the public role of Donald Trump. What are you thinking about, Singer asked him, when you are shaving in front of the mirror in the morning? Trump, Singer writes, appeared baffled. Hoping to uncover the man behind the actor's mask, Singer tried a different tack:

"O.K., I guess I'm asking, do you consider yourself ideal company?"

"You really want to know what I consider ideal company?," Trump replied. "A total piece of ass."

I might have phrased Singer's question this way: Who are you, Mr. Trump, when you are alone? Singer never got an answer, leaving him to conclude that the real-estate mogul who would become a reality-TV star and, after that, a leading candidate for president of the United States had managed to achieve something remarkable: "an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul."


The Boy Who Cried "Wolf!" and Trump are joined at the hip

Trump Says There's Been No Russia Contact — Of Course, Much Of What He Says Is Untrue

The falsehood-prone president now faces the problem of selling Americans on something important.  (And no one except his we-love-to-be-duped supporters believe him.)

By S.V. Date

WASHINGTON – The Republican leader of the United States Senate was asked last week if he believed the Republican president's denial that his campaign colluded with the foreign power that was trying to help him win.

Mitch McConnell's answer: "I have no idea."

His office later said that McConnell misunderstood the question ― that he thought he was being asked if he personally knew whether Trump's campaign had colluded with Russia. Regardless, McConnell's four words represent the new president's problem in a nutshell. Having made falsehoods a staple of his public discourse, Donald Trump now faces enormous hurdles in getting even his presumptive allies to put their names behind his credibility.

Trump has made untrue statements about the size of his inauguration crowd, the "standing ovation" he received at CIA headquarters, the "millions" of "illegal" votes cast in the November election, the murder rate, the news coverage given to terror attacks, and, just Saturday at his Florida "campaign" rally, about the amount of vetting refugees trying to enter the country must undergo and about a nonexistent terror incident in Sweden.

That's just a partial list, and he's only been in office a month.

"I don't know if he's got the internal capacity to change how he communicates," conceded Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to President George W. Bush who has generally given Trump a pass on his falsehoods.

This casual, even cheerful use of untruths is nothing new for Trump. As a self-promoting businessman, he actually bragged about his "truthful hyperbole" and repeatedly made false statements under oath in lawsuit depositions. Neither his Republican primary opponents nor Democrat Hillary Clinton was able to make his near-daily falsehoods on the campaign trail enough of a liability to defeat his candidacy.

But with Trump continuing his disregard for facts in the White House, the habit may now become his Achilles' heel. Multiple investigations in Congress will be exploring the Russian government's involvement in the presidential election. American intelligence agencies have already concluded that Russian leaders were not only behind the theft of Democratic emails ― which were then released by Russia-aligned WikiLeaks on a near-daily basis in the campaign's final weeks ― but that they were actively supporting Trump.

For months, Trump claimed that it was impossible to know who had done the hacking, even as he praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a strong leader. Of late, Trump has claimed that whatever Russia might have done, he personally was not involved.

"Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years," Trump said at a news conference last week. "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does."

Of course, given his track record with veracity, should Americans take him at face value?

"They should not, because the president and most of his senior advisers are serial liars. It's that simple," said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under Bush and a participant of his National Security Council. "I cannot believe a word that comes out of the president's mouth, the spokesman's mouth, the vice president's mouth, because, frankly, he's morally compromised now, too."

I cannot believe a word that comes out of the president's mouth, the spokesman's mouth, the vice president's mouth, because, frankly, he's morally compromised now, too.Eliot Cohen, former National Security Council participant under President George W. Bush

Whether Trump is knowingly lying at any given moment, honestly believing things that are not true or making assertions without caring whether they are true is impossible to know.

Over the course of his decades in the public eye, he clearly has shown the capacity for willful deceit. In the 1990s, for example, he would call gossip columnists under an invented identity to place news items about himself. Once, he called People magazine posing as "John Barron" to claim that his employer ― which is to say, Trump ― was dating Italian model Carla Bruni. (Bruni denied she'd had anything to do with Trump and called him a "lunatic.")

Other times, he has made suggestions so patently preposterous that it's difficult to imagine he could have thought them true. During the campaign, he suggested Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's father had been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ― and cited a National Enquirer story as his proof.

And for years Trump pushed the conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama had not been born in the United States, despite clear evidence that he had.

During the presidential campaign, because Trump displayed a lack of knowledge on any number of topics, it was sometimes unclear whether his inaccurate statements about undocumented immigrants "pouring" across the border, increasing murder rates, or trade deficits were intentional falsehoods or simply a function of that ignorance.

In other cases, though, the untruths appeared to be purposeful. Over the period of a few days last summer, for example, Trump falsely claimed that the NFL had sent him a letter complaining about the fall debate schedule (it had not), that the billionaire Koch brothers had tried to meet with him to offer their support (they had not), and that he had seen a video showing hundreds of millions of dollars in cash being unloaded from a plane in Iran (no such video existed).

Trump had the lowest percentage of truthful statements of any recent presidential candidate, according to the fact-checking group PolitiFact. Of the hundreds of Trump claims the group has analyzed since he entered the race in 2015 through his first month in office, a full 70 percent are rated "mostly false," "false," or "pants on fire."

"What can I say? We nominated a fabulist," one Republican National Committee member told The Huffington Post on condition of anonymity at the time. "There's no defending that."

Presidential historians, meanwhile, appeared to form a consensus that Trump's candidacy was setting a new bar with its falsehoods. "In American history, we've never had a major presidential candidate who fabricated facts with the regularity of Donald Trump," Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University, said last summer. "He just simply makes up things."

If Nixon did what he did in today's context, I don't think he would have been impeached.Rick Tyler, former aide to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

Trump has taken that factually challenged approach from the campaign trail directly into the Oval Office. On the first full day of his administration, he claimed the media was underreporting his inaugural crowd of perhaps 1.5 million, even though photos show it was a small fraction of that. He claimed that his audience during a CIA visit had given him repeated standing ovations, even though they were standing when he entered the room and he never gave them leave to sit down. He claimed the news media failed to report on terror attacks, although when the White House produced a list, the attacks had, indeed, been covered ― some of them extensively so.

Perhaps most forcefully, Trump has repeatedly claimed that between 3 million and 5 million "illegal" ballots were cast in the November election, with all of them going to his opponent Clinton. More recently, Trump and his aides have narrowed on New Hampshire, claiming that busloads of Massachusetts residents were taken to the state to vote for Clinton. There is no evidence that any of this occurred. Trump has not offered any, and even New Hampshire Republicans have ridiculed the idea of widespread voter fraud in their state. (Trump advocate Corey Lewandowski has now also confirmed the "busloads" claim is a lie.)

Former state party chairman Fergus Cullen tweeted that he would pay $1,000 to anyone who could prove that even a single person had taken a bus from Massachusetts to vote illegally ― and then posted a series of mocking tweets picturing people on buses, supposedly en route to New Hampshire to vote. They included Queen Elizabeth IIHarry Potter and the Partridge Family.

What Trump has succeeded in doing, though, is to have his senior White House staff repeat his various falsehoods on his behalf. Press secretary Sean Spicer was sent out the day after the inauguration to deliver an angry statement claiming that the crowd had been the largest in history. Policy director Stephen Miller appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows to sell a number of Trump untruths, while counselor Kellyanne Conway famously coined the phrase "alternative facts" to describe them.

The net effect, said Cohen and others, is that no one in the White House has retained the role of an honest broker with the American public ― and that lack of trust is going to come back to bite them.

"No matter how clever they think it is to attack the very notion of truth itself, a time will come when they want people to give the president some kind of credit for being truthful when the evidence is not in front of us," said Cohen, who now teaches at Johns Hopkins University. "That they will not get."

Brinkley said many Americans are entertained by Trump's propensity to say outrageous things or exaggerate. "People like tall tales. Some allowances are made, particularly for small things like 'SNL' skits or Nordstrom," he said, referencing two of Trump's recent tirades. Still, Brinkley said, Trump would pay a heavy price if he cannot earn some credibility.

"Sometimes, he's going to say something, and he means it, and it is factual, and it's important, and people aren't going to believe him," Brinkley said. "He needs to get his verbal house in order quickly."

Even Fleischer, who believes that Trump's main measure of success will be whether he follows through on bringing back manufacturing jobs as he has promised, says Trump has to have Americans beyond his loyal fan base believe him. "He needs those people, he should want those people," Fleischer said.

Fellow Republican Rick Tyler, a consultant who worked for Cruz during the campaign, wonders how so many in his party have come to accept Trump's dishonesties as normal.

"It's a really disturbing and unsettling time when the truth doesn't seem to matter. If Nixon did what he did in today's context, I don't think he would have been impeached. What did he do, break into the DNC and cover it up?" Tyler quipped. "What's the big deal?"


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Harward turns down Trump's Natl. Security Adviser job offer

Can't blame him! Would you want to sign on as first officer on a sinking ship with Captain Queeg at the helm?

WASHINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's choice for national security adviser, retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward, has turned down the offer, sources familiar with Harward's decision said on Thursday.

Harward was offered the job after Michael Flynn was fired by Trump on Monday for misleading Vice President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

Two sources familiar with the decision said Harward turned down the job in part because he wanted to bring in his own team.

That put him at odds with Trump, who had told Flynn's deputy, K.T. McFarland, that she could stay.

Trump appeared to refer to Harward earlier in the day at a presidential news conference, saying, "I have somebody that I think will be outstanding for the position."

The president also made clear why he asked Flynn to resign on Monday, saying it was because the retired general had not been completely truthful with Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak.

"The thing is, he didn't tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn't remember. So either way, it wasn't very satisfactory to me," Trump said. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Re. Michael Flynn: For Those Who Want Truth, Not "Alternate Facts"

The Questionable Account of What Michael Flynn Told the White House

The White House would like you to know that Michael Flynn's sin was lying. Flynn resigned late last night as President Donald Trump's national-security adviser, after twenty-four days on the job.

While waiting last night for the resignation announcement to become public, a senior White House official insisted to me that Trump's loss of confidence in Flynn was the result of a fact-finding exercise by Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff. According to the senior official, Priebus's efforts began after January 12th, when the Washington Post's David Ignatius first reported that Flynn may have talked to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador, about sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration.

"Reince has been leading this evaluation," the official said. "He's been talking to the Vice-President, looking back on these reports, talking to Flynn exhaustively." In this account, Flynn was something of a rogue operative, duping everyone in the White House about his contact with Russian officials. In particular, Flynn was said to have misled them about his conversations with Kislyak on December 29th, in the hours after Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

"Flynn kept saying, 'This isn't true, I never did this,' " the senior White House official said. "Reince kept coming at him."

According to this account, Priebus, a former litigator, eventually got Flynn to crack. "He said, 'Look, this is what this person says. Does this date ring a bell?' Finally Flynn's like, 'I've got to be honest with you, maybe it did happen. I don't recall that, but I can't be one hundred per cent certain.' That's when I think a lot of this evolved."

Last Thursday, the Post reported that, according to nine current and former Administration officials, "Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia" with Kislyak, "contrary to public assertions by Trump officials." Flynn had denied the Post's account in an interview with the paper on Wednesday, but then retreated on Thursday, before the story was published, telling the Post, through a spokesperson, that "while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn't be certain that the topic never came up."

As the story festered, Flynn spent the weekend with Trump in Florida, staffing the President's getaway with the Japanese Prime Minister at Mar-a-Lago. On Monday, the Post reported that in late January, the former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had told Trump's White House counsel Donald McGahn that transcripts of Flynn's calls clearly showed he was lying about his contacts with Kislyak.

That story finally seized Trump's attention. "This has been something the President's been monitoring internally for a while," the senior White House official said. "Today, in between meetings, he started to ask questions about who knew what, what do we think about this report, and continued to flesh it out."

In his resignation letter, Flynn echoed this account, claiming that he had misinformed the White House in the rush of events during the transition. "Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador," he wrote.

To understand why this account is so self-serving and dubious, you have to review the chronology of events surrounding this unusual episode.

Almost immediately after Obama made his sanctions announcement, on December 29th, expelling thirty-five Russian diplomats and closing down two Russian compounds, the Russian government made clear that Putin would retaliate in kind.

"We, of course, cannot leave unanswered the insults of the kind, reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and foreign relations," Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, said during televised remarks in Russia. "Thus, the Russian Foreign Ministry and officials of other authorities have suggested the Russian President to announce thirty-one personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the Consulate General in St. Petersburg persona non grata." Lavrov also said that he had recommended the closure of two U.S. facilities used by American diplomats.

Lavrov's spokesman said, "Tomorrow there will be official statements, countermeasures."

Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary to Vladimir Putin, affirmed that a reciprocal response would be forthcoming. "There is no doubt that Russia's adequate and mirror response will make Washington officials feel very uncomfortable, as well," he said. The Russian Embassy's official account tweeted that Obama's sanctions "are aimed directly at undermining bilateral relations," and "they won't be left unanswered."

And then: nothing.

On Friday, December 30th, early in the morning in the United States (the afternoon in Moscow), an official statement from Putin was posted on the Kremlin's Web site. "Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible 'kitchen' diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration," the statement said. "We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone."

A few hours later, Trump celebrated the decision. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!" he tweeted.

What happened between Obama's statement on Thursday and Putin's statement on Friday to change the Russian government's response? This is the period when Flynn and the Russian Ambassador exchanged a flurry of communications, including, we now know with certainty, discussions about the Obama Administration's sanctions. Before the Post confirmed with nine officials that Flynn had discussed sanctions on those calls, both Vice-President Mike Pence and Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, denied that Flynn had. The White House would like this to be a story about Flynn lying to them.

But now Flynn is gone, and there are some bigger unresolved questions. Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?

"It wasn't one report," the senior White House official told me about the series of news articles that made Trump finally focus on Flynn yesterday. "It was a drip, drip, drip."

Both Congress and the F.B.I. are looking into Flynn's links to Russia. There are several former Obama officials who saw transcripts of his calls with the Russian Ambassador. The dripping has only just begun.