After Obama, an emotional Merkel vowed to defend the liberal world order against Trump, book claims
BERLIN — After Donald Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016, his future German counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel, offered him her “close cooperation,” at least if Trump respected common values such as “democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views.”
It appeared to be pure coincidence that less than two weeks later, the German chancellor also announced she would run for a fourth term, after thinking about it “for an eternity.”
In interviews at the time, her reasoning behind another run mainly appeared to be associated with the rise of populism in Germany. “Can I do something to facilitate cohesion in our polarized society? I think I can help to tone down the rhetoric: Instead of hating each other, we should debate like democrats.”
While Merkel was referring to populists in Germany, the underlying message may very well also have been directed against Trump, according to a memoir being published next week. In “The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House,” Ben Rhodes, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, recalls how Merkel told Obama after Trump’s victory that the election had contributed to her decision to run again, to defend the liberal world order, according to excerpts published by the New York Times on Thursday.
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WaPo - Rick Noack
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Rhodes could have entitled his book "We're fucked."
New Book: Trump Team, Not Deep State, Revealed Flynn’s Talks With Russians
Obama aide Ben Rhodes writes that he learned about Mike Flynn’s parley with the Russian ambassador not from ‘unmasked’ surveillance intercepts but from Trump’s own people.
The Trump transition team told Barack Obama’s White House about Mike Flynn’s fateful conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to a senior Obama aide’s new memoir. That account stands in contrast to oft-repeated claims that the Obama team unmasked Flynn’s name after learning of the Kislyak conversation from surveillance intercepts.
Ben Rhodes, an Obama deputy national security adviser and a long-time right-wing bete noire, often features prominently in accusations from Donald Trump’s allies that the outgoing White House improperly “unmasked” Flynn from surveillance intercepts and then leaked his name to discredit him In October, Rhodes testified behind closed doors to the House intelligence committee probe controlled by Trump ally Devin Nunes about unmasking.
But in his just-released book The World As It Is, the former senior National Security Council staffer writes that the Obama White House learned about the Flynn-Kislyak talks from the Trump team itself. If Rhodes’ claim is true, then Obama aides had no need to “unmask” any surveillance intercept of Kislyak’s phone calls to determine Flynn was the interlocutor.
Flynn “took a couple of weeks after his own appointment to accept Susan Rice’s invitation to meet,” Rhodes writes. “His own transition team volunteered to us that he’d met with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, before meeting with the American official he was replacing.”