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The Deep State Targets Trump

When Gen. Michael Flynn was forced to resign as national-security advisor, Bill Kristol purred his satisfaction, “If it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.”

To Kristol, the permanent regime, not the elected president and his government, is the real defender and rightful repository of our liberties.

Yet it was this regime, the deep state, that carried out what Eli Lake of Bloomberg calls “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn.”

And what were Flynn’s offenses?


In December, when Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador. He apparently counseled the envoy not to overreact, saying a new team would be in place in a few weeks and would review U.S.-Russian relations.

“That’s neither illegal nor improper,” writes Lake.

Vladimir Putin swiftly declared that there would be no reciprocal expulsions and U.S. diplomats and their families would be welcome at the Kremlin’s Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Diplomatic crisis averted. “Great move … (by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump, “I always knew he was very smart.”

But apparently, this did not sit well with the deep state.

For when Vice President Pence told a TV show that Flynn told him that sanctions did not come up in conversation with the Russian ambassador, a transcript of Flynn’s call was produced from recordings by intelligence agencies, and its contents leaked to the Washington Post.

After seeing the transcript, the White House concluded that Flynn had misled Pence, mutual trust was gone, and Flynn must go.

Like a good soldier, Flynn took the bullet.

The real crime here, however, is not that the incoming national-security advisor spoke with a Russian diplomat seeking guidance on the future president’s thinking. The real crime is the criminal conspiracy inside the deep state to transcribe the private conversation of a U.S. citizen and leak it to press collaborators to destroy a political career.

“This is what police states do,” writes Lake.

But the deep state is after larger game than General Flynn. It is out to bring down President Trump and abort any move to effect the sort of rapprochement with Russia that Ronald Reagan achieved.

For the deep state is deeply committed to Cold War II.

Hence, suddenly, we read reports of a Russian spy ship off the Connecticut, Delaware, and Virginia coasts, of Russian jets buzzing a U.S. warship in the Black Sea, and Russian violations of Reagan’s INF treaty outlawing intermediate-range missiles in Europe.

Purpose: stampede the White House into abandoning any idea of a detente with Russia. And it appears to be working. At a White House briefing Tuesday, Sean Spicer said, “President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to … return Crimea.”

Is the White House serious?

Putin could no more survive returning Crimea to Ukraine than Bibi Netanyahu could survive giving East Jerusalem back to Jordan.

How does the deep state go about its work? We have seen a classic example with Flynn. The intelligence and investigative arms of the regime dig up dirt, and then move it to their Fourth Estate collaborators, who enjoy First Amendment immunity to get it out.

For violating their oaths and breaking the law, bureaucratic saboteurs are hailed as “whistleblowers” while the journalists who receive the fruits of their felonies put in for Pulitzers.

Now if Russians hacked into the DNC and John Podesta’s computer during the campaign, and, more seriously, if Trump aides colluded in any such scheme, it should be investigated.

But we should not stop there. Those in the FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence agencies who were complicit in a conspiracy to leak the contents of Flynn’s private conversations in order to bring down the national-security advisor should be exposed and prosecuted.

An independent counsel should be appointed by the attorney general and a grand jury impaneled to investigate what Trump himself rightly calls “criminal” misconduct in the security agencies.

As for interfering in elections, how clean are our hands?

Our own CIA has a storied history of interfering in elections. In the late ’40s, we shoveled cash into France and Italy after World War II to defeat the communists who had been part of the wartime resistance to the Nazis and fascists.

And we succeeded. But we continued these practices after the Cold War ended. In this century, our National Endowment for Democracy, which dates to the Reagan era, has backed “color revolutions” and “regime change” in nations across what Russia regards as her “near abroad.”

NED’s continued existence appears a contradiction of Trump’s inaugural declaration: “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone.”

The president and GOP should get out front here. Let Congress investigate Russia meddling in our election. And let a special prosecutor run down, root out, expose, and indict those in the investigative and intel agencies who used their custody of America’s secrets, in collusion with press collaborators, to take down Trump appointees who are on their enemies lists.

Then put NED down.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority [1].

38 Comments (Open | Close)

38 Comments To "The Deep State Targets Trump"

#1 Comment By KevinS On February 16, 2017 @ 9:46 pm

“And what were Flynn’s offenses?”

We have no idea. If you think one phone conversation with vague references to sanctions and the failure to be honest with Mike Pence were sufficient to oust Flynn, you are naive. The CIA has (and presented) a lot more on Flynn.

#2 Comment By Bob K. On February 16, 2017 @ 10:38 pm

It used to be that no one knew what “the deep state” was. Now it has become a common news item.

Bill Kristol and other people close to it may come to regret their satisfied “purring” about its actions against American democracy.

#3 Comment By Ben Stone On February 16, 2017 @ 11:50 pm

4 months ago the “deep state” was the thing that loved Trump and was using the FBI and Comey to sabotage Clinton. Now the “deep state” is in a conspiracy to ruin Trump. It’s clear to me what the “deep state” is. It’s an economy sized roll of thick, shiny tin foil.

#4 Comment By Andrew On February 17, 2017 @ 1:45 am

Right, KevinS, that must be why we’ve seen no transcript of it and are told to “trust” Big Media on it.

#5 Comment By Joe On February 17, 2017 @ 3:31 am

Is it conclusive that the leak came from the IC?

#6 Comment By Rdevagiri On February 17, 2017 @ 4:46 am

Hi – I agree with all you say. As an Australian citizen, I am outraged that the conversation between my Prime Minister and your President was leaked. This leak occurred from within the White House. There were reportedly four people from the Donald Trump admin who were on line. So yes, deep state boogey stuff is sexy, who among the reported President’s team – Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn or God forbid the president himself leaked? No deep state involvement in a call with the only ally that has fought all wars with the USA since WW2 right?

#7 Comment By John S On February 17, 2017 @ 7:05 am

“The real crime is the criminal conspiracy inside the deep state …”

Mr. Buchanan could have written this in his piece “Hillary’s High Crimes and Misdemeanors” published just a few short months ago in reference to leaks from the FBI. In that case, for Buchanan, “the people have a right to know.” Seems like a double standard to me.

#8 Comment By Mark Thomason On February 17, 2017 @ 7:16 am

It is important to expose the American origins of this drive for Cold War II, and its motives.

Good work.

#9 Comment By Phil On February 17, 2017 @ 7:19 am

Don’t forget James Comey’s very unusual and inappropriate behaviour during the election!

#10 Comment By Drue Gawel On February 17, 2017 @ 9:39 am

Strange how Patrick Buchanan didn’t complain about the Deep State when it was leaking information about Hillary. [2]

Seems like he is just a partisan as politicians who complained about the FBI leaks.

With regard to making leaks public, I think Buchanan’s comments about Hillary are as true for Trump. “Indeed, it would seem imperative that FBI Director James Comey, even if it violates protocol and costs him his job, state publicly whether what Baier’s FBI sources are telling him is false or true.”

I personally think that if Trump has conflicts of interest and can be subject to Russian pressure, the public deserves to know. And as Buchanan suggests, the leakers should take the consequences. Why did Trump not chose transparency and release his Tax Returns and why did he not choose the public’s interest and divest himself of his business holdings?

#11 Comment By Slugger On February 17, 2017 @ 10:08 am

I certainly agree that full and complete investigation with total public disclosure is in order. A special prosecutor should be appointed. I want to know about all ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

#12 Comment By KennethF On February 17, 2017 @ 10:29 am

Best response I’ve seen to this “Deep State” nonsense: [3]

#13 Comment By Sceptic On February 17, 2017 @ 11:10 am

What the sniping comments here ignore is context. This is not about just matters of correct process and form — to which it is easy to respond sarcastically to the Trump objections: it’s about starting or stopping Cold War II. And let’s not forget, Cold War II increases the dangers of the hot kind, which could be quite unpleasant.

One correction. It is not just about Putin’s government, as Mr. Buchanan states. Despite fond dreams inside NED, no conceivable Russian government will ‘give back’ Crimea — that is, short of WWIII — or, as an outside possibility, the establishment of a neutral zone after the dissolution of NATO and the reordering of the international system.

#14 Comment By Will Harrington On February 17, 2017 @ 11:46 am

Ben Stone, Seriously? Boy, you lived in a whole different country 4 months ago than I did.

What has become obvious to me is that the United States government is operating as any regime which fears it’s people (but does not fear them enough) operates. They drum up fears of an outside enemy. In this case, it’s Russia. If they succeed, then they can subvert the will of the people as expressed through an elected President. They can prevent peace and prosperity for the benefit of the few who hold power through, as we have seen, blackmail. Trump should pardon Snowden and start firing upper level management in any intelligence agency that behaves insubordinately. They serve at the President’s pleasure with Congressional oversight on their activities and bureaucrats need to be reminded of this, frequently. In this case, the record of these intelligence agencies renders the argument that we can’t afford to lose the expertise these people represent is moot. Elected officials must take precedence over unelected functionaries and intelligence agencies do not have any business in determining policy.
Seriously, I didn’t vote for the guy, but Trump is not the one we need to worry about when it comes to taking away our liberty. If a President can be brought to heel through tactics like this by unelected bureaucrats then we officially live in a police state.

#15 Comment By Will Harrington On February 17, 2017 @ 11:53 am

John S

You make a category error. Hillary Clinton was not an sitting President at the times those leaks were made. Donald Trump is. That makes a very real difference. If you leaked information about a vice president of the company that employed you in an attempt to get him fired and embarrass your CEO, then you should be fired for insubordination.

#16 Comment By Dennis On February 17, 2017 @ 12:17 pm

The media and Deep State’s obsession with Russia, and desire to fan the flames of war with Russia, is truly mystifying and terrifying. Why are they so obsessed with Russia, and acting as if Russia were still an enemy and we were still in the midst of the Cold War?

We have more in common with Russia than not, and should work together to promote common interests, particularly in combating ISIS and radical Islam. Russia and Eastern Europe in general are also at the forefront of fighting against the US & Western European liberal monoculture consensus that dominates US & EU media and policy-making elites. On Russia policy Trump’s instincts are right, but I fear the Deep State and some of his own advisors are doing their best to undermine those instincts and promote conflict. How else could one make sense of Spicer’s idiotic comment the other day that the President expects Russia to give back the Crimea? One can make an historical case that not only the Crimea but all of the Ukraine should be part of Russia, but that is not our problem and we need to stay out of it and focus on areas of agreement where we can make common cause with Russia.

#17 Comment By KevinS On February 17, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

Andrew writes, “Right, KevinS, that must be why we’ve seen no transcript of it and are told to “trust” Big Media on it.”

No, you do not need to trust the (scary) Big Media. Trump himself said Flynn was not honest about the contents of the call, leading Pence to say something that was not true (i.e., that sanctions were not discussed).

#18 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On February 17, 2017 @ 12:58 pm

remains to be seen if Flynn was a ‘good soldier’. violating the Logan Act (felony) and lying to the FBI (also a felony) suggest otherwise. in addition, Flynn was a career intelligence officer. he had to know his conversations with the Russian Embassy would be monitored (ON BOTH ENDS). ergo, the content allowed him to be “leveraged” by either side (or both). again, not a very good soldier in my book. and finally, if he “did nothing wrong” why the resignation? this was not a political hit or the American intelligence community flexing its muscles. it was another example of an executive branch believing it can govern via the tenets on precepts of reality TV and the shell game that is Donald Trump’s (real estate) business model.

#19 Comment By Simon James On February 17, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

Sorry to see that was so little disturbed by Flynn lying to Mike Pence that he did not even feel the need to try to justify it. Apparently lying is considered, even by good men like Pat, an acceptable part of “public service” nowadays?

#20 Comment By Simon James On February 17, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

Sorry to see that Pat was so little disturbed by Flynn lying to Mike Pence that he did not even feel the need to try to justify it. Apparently lying is considered, even by good men like Pat, an acceptable part of “public service” nowadays?

#21 Comment By OhhJim On February 17, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

Bad soldiers take bullets, too. Perhaps Mr. Buchanan doesn’t know much about war.

#22 Comment By TJ Martin On February 17, 2017 @ 3:56 pm

As a Reformed theologian / philosopher / apologist : politically Independent and Centrist who discovered TAC thru their John Lukacs articles I had come to think of TAC as a safe and reasonable site where valid articles and essays could be found devoid of of the hysteria / fake news and conspiracy theory not to mention extreme bias etc found on most other ‘ Faith Based ‘ sites . So one can only imagine my utter disappointment , disdain and dare I say it disgust to see the paranoid delusional conspiracy theory of a so called ‘ Deep State ‘ being written about by a contributor as if it were a real and valid entity . As for the essay and as well as the subject of the ‘ so called ‘ ‘ deep state ‘ ;

1) As Druel Gawel stated Mr Buchanan’s hypocrisy and double standards in regards to his misguided belief in the ‘ deep state ‘ especially as it related to H. Clinton and as it does now to Trump is blatantly and sickeningly obvious

2) What Mr Flynn did was not the actions of an ‘ individual ‘ but rather the actions of a man attempting to negotiate and make promises to a foreign entity under the false pretense of his ‘ representing ‘ the US before the election had even concluded or he was in any ‘ official ‘ capacity to do so .

3) On that subject the initial ‘ leak ‘ came from the Russian diplomat himself on direct orders from his Embassy no doubt to circumvent any possible consequences / international incidents with the FBI , CIA and NSA then following up and legally passing their findings as well as the information given to them by the Russian diplomat to the news media . Had Mr Buchanan so much as done a modicum of research on the subject he would of known all of this

4) The only ‘ Deep State ‘ Mr Buchanan needs to be concerned about or take as anything but a delusional conspiracy theory is the ‘ Deep State ‘ of the corporate and financial world who have their steely tentacles into every fiber and aspect of our lives . Suffice it to say Mr Buchanan at this very instant Google knows more about you , your personal habits , financial status and family life than the FBI , CIA and NSA combined

So in conclusion addressing To Whom it May Concern within TAC . I truly hope I never see another shameful article or essay such as this so riddled with false conspiracy theories and fake news completely devoid of research or investigation and riddled with bias as well as a blatant and obvious agenda ever again .

#23 Comment By Joe from PA On February 17, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

Congress must take charge in oversight — which it had failed at under Bush, Obama, and, in some quarters of the GOP hacks, is inclined to do for Trump.

For Trump we need a special prosecutor and a bipartisan commission to investigate the election. We also need to come to a reckoning with the sweeping powers of the National security deep state.

We need to get a handle on these two distinctive issues …. and let the chips for legal consequences fall as they may for whomever. No one will be above the law!

#24 Comment By Kurt Gayle On February 17, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

An interview with Glenn Greenwald, who has long been an opponent of President Trump: “Rooting For ‘Deep State’ To Undermine Trump Is Destroying Democracy In Name Of Saving It.” This Real Clear Politics link includes a transcript of the most important parts of the “Democracy Now!” interview:


#25 Comment By SteveM On February 17, 2017 @ 5:54 pm

As an aside, WikiLeaks just reported classified CIA plans to engage in aggressive intelligence collection of the candidates for the French presidency in 2012. Implied collection methods included wiretapping and bugging. The U.S. MSM gave this story little or no play. I wonder what the MSM reporting profile would have been if it were covert Russian plans against the French instead?

The take-away is that this story establishes a clear equivalence between what the CIA did in France and what the MSM and War Party claims Russia did in the U.S.

The open and interesting question is what did the CIA do with the information it covertly collected in France or in other country where it engages in covert activities. I.e., backdoor attempts at extortion and blackmail? Who knows?

Not surprising that the U.S. pot is calling the Russian kettle black.

#26 Comment By Baldy On February 17, 2017 @ 9:12 pm

I don’t need to reiterate what above posts have pointed out regarding the double standard. Buchanan has turned into a partisan hack. He also criticized the Obama administration for not supporting Israel in the Security council vote, and has mostly turned a blind eye to Trump’s recklessness in foreign policy. He used to be an interesting alternative to mainstream conservatism. His Trump crush is clouding his judgement.

#27 Comment By Geogman On February 17, 2017 @ 10:48 pm

“Now if Russians hacked into the DNC and John Podesta’s computer during the campaign, and, more seriously, if Trump aides colluded in any such scheme, it should be investigated.” Wow Pat, that’s mighty generous of you.

#28 Comment By Matt On February 17, 2017 @ 10:52 pm

They should remove the top 6 levels of management from all these intelligence agencies. That purges out the most likely leakers, what good is an intelligence agency that is set against the government.
A hard purge is only way to reset the system, and if leaks continue, give them another 6.

#29 Comment By TrueConservative On February 18, 2017 @ 10:34 am

I see by above comments the #NeverTrumpers have softened a little but are still skeptical of Trump. Buchanan is right! The Deep State , whose front men are John McCain and Lindsey Graham, don’t want detente with Russia. It’s not surprising then that McCain, Graham, Rubio and others are on the payroll of George Soros. You see, the Deep State is a BIPARTISAN collection of crooks, traitors, petty tyrants, pedophiles, murderers and drug dealers. In short, the SCUM of the Earth! As Angelo Codevilla wrote in his book, “The Ruling Class”, it’s the Ruling Class (Washington and the Deep State) vs. the Country Class (the rest of us). The Bush Doctrine of “Nation Building” was a cash cow for the Military Industrial Complex and the flood of private contractors which followed. The Rules of Engagement for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are purposefully BLURRY. Long drawn out wars are good for business! The Deep State doesn’t care about wasting American blood and treasure. The ultimate goal is one World government and the trifecta of money, power and influence! The Deep State wants to be at the TOP of the “Food Chain” in the New World Order. Lets revisit the Patriot Act shall we? Wasn’t it supposed to be used against FOREIGN nationals seeking to do America harm? To avoid another 911? At least that is how it was packaged by the Deep State. Isn’t the Patriot Act, in REALITY, just legalized PERMISSION for the Deep State to SPY on EVERYBODY? Every day Americans included! The Obama administration’s blatant WEAPONIZING of Government agencies is TOTALLY unconstitutional and treasonous! Using the Federal apparatus to go after one’s political enemies is nothing more than criminal misuse of power! The leaks coming out of the IC against Trump and Flynn are from these weaponized agencies that see Trump’s populism as a clear and present danger to their treasonous and criminal enterprises both here and abroad. Instead of exhibiting an endless display of “sour grapes”, you “NeverTrumpers” should HELP Trump fight against the Deep State! Evil prevails when people ALLOW it to prevail!

#30 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 18, 2017 @ 11:40 am

“4 months ago the “deep state” was the thing that loved Trump and was using the FBI and Comey to sabotage Clinton.”


The establishment, which includes a near all in the tank support for Sec Clinton, is making more than hay. I disagreed with Gen Flynn on Iran, and if they he advocacy is why he was removed fine, a disagreement on policy.

But these machinations are all intended to destroy the current admin and I suspect Mr. Buchanan is correct here, Pres Trump. They intend on doing so because he managed to beat them in spite of themselves.

I am disappointed in them. As if that matters a lick to them. Laugh.

#31 Comment By IndependentThinker On February 18, 2017 @ 1:44 pm

I’m confused by Buchanan’s argument. The gov’t didn’t wiretap “the private conversations of a US citizen,” they tapped the Russian Ambassador. The fact that Flynn, a private US citizen, was negotiating with the Russians violates the Logan Act.

I agree with the others. Buchanan seems to be holding a partisan double standard.

#32 Comment By MB On February 18, 2017 @ 5:18 pm

The real crime here, however, is not that the incoming national-security advisor spoke with a Russian diplomat seeking guidance on the future president’s thinking. The real crime is the criminal conspiracy inside the deep state to transcribe the private conversation of a U.S. citizen and leak it to press collaborators to destroy a political career.

Well, this is certainly an opinion. But you’d be willfully blind to claim there is no ambiguity in this case. How can we be quite sure what the “real crime” is?

Even as a liberal, yes, I certainly hope it is the case that this is all politically-motivated smoke and no fire, as opposed to the alternative (i.e. knowing collusion/treason in the executive branch). But at the moment it does not seem that the evidence is all in. I look forward to the results of an independent investigation.

#33 Comment By Katharine Daly On February 18, 2017 @ 10:19 pm

Bob K. has the right “take away” from the Buchanan piece: there is a deep state and its existence has become obvious to the average citizen. Furthermore, this entity is so much a part of the D.C. mind set that it merits only smirks from political commentators like Bill Kristol.
I do not think the public is willing to brush past this reality with similar indifference. We are not yet inured to brazen criminal behavior directed against members of an elected government.

#34 Comment By Jon On February 19, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

Is there a large Neocon segment of readership here? Or those who read and absorb Neocon publications unaware?

#35 Comment By REEFSHARK On February 21, 2017 @ 7:18 am

I had never heard about the deep state. I was suspicious, even in my own community, that an invisible hand was directing traffic in terms of policies, naming of public facilities, and hiring of non-accomplished people into key jobs. NetFlix is a key distributor of deep state messages. Their messages are omnipresent. The targets always the same (Russia, Assad, Muslims). Deep state proponents are good at hiding the real message – but they are running out of hiding places and it is becoming wearisome to get caught up in a movie plot and find the baddies are the regular baddies and the goodies the usual suspects. How dumb do they think we are?

#36 Comment By Mark Kar On February 22, 2017 @ 4:11 pm

to Jon – there are wolves in sheep’s clothing everywhere. The American people are turning on one another because of them, but this can’t go on forever.

#37 Comment By Charlieford On February 24, 2017 @ 12:40 pm

Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation. If you want to see who knocked Flynn from his position, just check who’s in the oval office.

#38 Comment By Mike Travis On April 6, 2017 @ 9:04 am

Bob K,
Why do you refer to the US as a “democracy”? It was designed as a Constitutional Republic, though admittedly we are much closer to a dictatorship than either of the above adjectives.

If one wishes to the US at all, please refrain from using inaccurate terms, especially ones that are promoted by the deep state itself to further their agenda. Thanks.