From Business Insider, early 2016, describing Donald Trump:
The documents revealed that, as of 2007, the real-estate magnate didn’t use a computer at his home or in his office, didn’t send text messages, and didn’t email for a while.
“I don’t do the email thing.”
But we’re told that the same guy that doesn’t like to leave a traceable electron lying around doesn’t understand the concept of a burner phone. Maybe they should have referenced “flusher phones” and he’d have readily understood.
Now that we know DOJ is investigating the organization that went into the January 6th rally, those “burner phones” are going to be increasingly important. You can plan a big important speech on your family plan. You cannot plan a coup. For that, you have to reach outside a possible subpoena for your daughter’s phone.
Given this reality, John Bolton did what he does best and pointed out the obvious. On CNN, Bolton said that he heard Trump talk about burner phones “a number of times… It was a term he kind of liked. He would say, ‘they have these burner phones.’ The former president’s acquaintance with the truth is often very casual. This is a good example of it.”
Right. For God’s sake, John, just say “Trump lies,” your wording doesn’t come across as cute as you think.
“I certainly spoke to him up there many times on regular phones, on the secure phones or regular landline. What else he was doing up there, I certainly don’t know.”
That’s helpful. We would never have guessed.
Bolton wasn’t part of the inner circle. Trump didn’t like Bolton while Bolton was working for him and we read time and again that Trump didn’t like Bolton’s meticulous notes. In a town where note-taking is a highly appreciated skill, Bolton stood out with a reputation as being among the best. There was a lot of reporting at the time that Trump hated those notes. That’s a clue.
It almost appears like the only thing Trump really trusted was total secrecy.
Bolton then pointed out something that perhaps wasn’t so obvious. The gap in the White House call logs is highly suspicious and not just because there was a gap. Bolton doesn’t think anyone would take the risk or effort to scrub the logs. The implication is that the “burner phones came out” about mid-day of January 6th:
“Well, I think it’s very hard to believe that anybody redid the log to purge information from it. These are routinely made, that is not subject to high-level scrutiny. So, if there was interference with it, it would be great extraordinary. I think it means the former president made a deliberate effort not to use Oval Office phones or government phones during that period. I don’t know how else to explain it. We know from what others said, he did have phone conversations with them that day that are not outside the gap period.”
Brianna Keilar wanted to be really sure of what she was hearing, asking if he was accusing Trump himself of using burner phones. Bolton was Bolton, and stated the obvious without any risk:
“I don’t know what other explanation would make any sense, frankly.”
Neither do we. But thankfully, it doesn’t end there. This morning we awoke for the first time knowing that the DOJ has a grand jury looking at how the initial rally was organized, much of it was likely done on burner phones.
Looking back, it is a little bit frightening. Either Trump and Company were extremely confident that their plan would work and Trump would be sworn in again as president, or none of them feared the consequences that might be “noted” by anyone looking at a huge gap in calls during what should have been a frantic period.
We know their real plan didn’t work. We will soon find out if the plan to rely upon anonymous phones worked any better.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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