What has happened to the United States federal government? Out from the maze of agencies, departments, offices, bureaus and bureaucracies in Washington, D.C., comes headline after headline: “Scandal!” “Leaks!” “Lies!” “Spies!”
You probably have a strong sense that something serious is happening to the government—but it’s hard to tell what it is. Politicians, judges, agents, lawyers, journalists and commentators are filling thousands of pages and thousands of hours of airtime, but the truth remains murky.
It begins to make sense once you realize the horrifying truth that the United States government is actually at war with itself.
Over the last century, Americans have allowed the federal government to swell into exactly what the nation’s founders sought to prevent. It now includes millions of federal agents, secretaries, regulators and other unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats exerting enormous power over average people, over lawmakers, over judges and even over the president.
Many of these bureaucrats share the same ideology. They believe that much of the power over your life should be controlled, not by you but by the government.
The most forceful parts of this bureaucracy are its agents: regulators who restrict what you can do, judge whether you are guilty, and enforce punishment on you; spies who monitor your social media posts, e-mails, phone calls and location; armed agents who can raid your home and workplace. Most Americans assume that these powers are only used against “the bad guys,” but already many of these tactics have been used against millions of average people—and against the president they elected. The unconstitutional power exerted by unelected bureaucrats has a name: the “deep state.”
The Trumpet has unique insight into the civil war raging inside the United States government. This conflict is far worse than just paper-pushers fighting to keep their jobs or Republicans and Democrats bickering about the budget. This is an attempt by top leaders to destroy what remains of American constitutional government and to mutate it into something different.
We at the Trumpet know because we have seen it before.
The best way to understand the nature and the seriousness of what is happening to the U.S. government is to examine the events before, during and after the 2016 presidential election.
The Obama Administration
During eight years in power, President Barack Obama and his administration changed the American government and transformed America.
Through his heavy abuse of executive actions, the president became infamous for overruling Congress, passing “laws” of his own, and choosing when and where to enforce them. He made illegal appointments and illegal changes to his health-care law without involving lawmakers. He ordered a federal review of state election systems. His Internal Revenue Service successfully targeted conservative political groups and got away with it. But that was not all.
Obama used the Department of Justice as a political weapon. Under Attorney General Eric Holder, it became filled with bureaucrats who were politically motivated or pressured to put radical ideology above the law. Prosecutors were found to be targeting innocent people for political reasons. The department worked to stop enforcement of immigration laws and threatened to sue states that enforced their own immigration laws. It also pressured agents at its Federal Bureau of Investigation to advance its political ideology.
The Department of Justice was found to be secretly monitoring thousands of phone calls from Associated Press journalists. It created legal arguments promoting the president’s power to assassinate people, including Americans on foreign soil and potential future drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.
The Supreme Court ruled against Obama’s Justice Department unanimously about 20 times; even the liberal justices Obama appointed to the court said he was exceeding his authority.
Obama’s National Security Agency was found to be spying on citizens’ international communications without identifying its targets in court, without a warrant, even without any suspicion of wrongdoing. (The nsa’s definition of a terrorist suspect included “someone searching the Web for suspicious stuff.”) It later emerged that top Obama administration officials—including cia director John Brennan, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes—requested that the nsa reveal the identities of hundreds of people it had spied on who were part of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked point-blank, under oath: “Does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?” Clapper said no. A few months later, numerous leaked nsa documents showed that the agency intentionally spied on millions of everyday Americans who were not suspected of any wrongdoing. Clapper later described his perjury as answering in “the most truthful or least untruthful manner.” The nsa was also caught spying on Americans’ elected representatives: members of Congress. (The Department of Justice provided legal arguments defending the nsa.)
The federal bureaucracy was already enormous, bloated and dangerous when President Obama came into office. But he weaponized it to advance his agenda: heavy environmental regulation, limits on businesses, new taxes, homosexual “marriage,” restrictions on religion, uncontrolled immigration, amplification of racial issues, outreach to Muslim nations, a “reset” with Russia, leaving Iraq, reviving Iran, rejecting Israel, forcing implementation of Obamacare, enormous increases in power for the federal government, and a presidency that rejected constitutional restraints.
To lock in his legacy, his ideology and his policies, and to prevent the nation from returning to its traditional form of government, President Obama supported as his successor a fellow Democrat who promised to continue his policies.
The Clinton E-mail Scandal
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had a problem. She was under investigation for the unprecedented way in which she communicated as secretary of state. In spite of guidance and warnings from government officials, she had insisted on exclusively using a private, non-secure e-mail server and private messaging software to conduct State Department business rather than official, secured department servers—even while she was in foreign countries. This likely exposed her communications to hacking, but it enabled her to avoid complying with the Federal Records Act, reducing her transparency and accountability. She and her team were later found to have deleted 33,000 messages and destroyed devices to keep her communications secret, potentially forever.
In 2015, the fbi began investigating the fact that more than 100 of the e-mails Clinton sent contained classified information. But there was heavy pressure against prosecuting Clinton, much of it from the Obama administration. In January 2016, his spokesman said that the Department of Justice told Obama she was not a target. Soon after, when told that some Americans were worried that he was pressuring the doj not to bring charges, Obama boldly stated six times in a row that he “guaranteed” that there was no political influence in any doj or fbi investigation and that he never talked with the attorney general or the fbi director about pending investigations. Yet in almost the same breath, he boldly portrayed Hillary Clinton as merely “careless” with her e-mails, all but saying he thought she was innocent!
The fbi allowed Clinton to not testify under oath, began drafting an exoneration letter before she was interviewed, did not record her interview, and did not require top aide Cheryl Mills to testify because she claimed that since she was also Clinton’s personal lawyer, their conversations were protected by attorney-client privilege. The Clinton campaign took pains to refer to the investigation as “a security inquiry” rather than an “investigation.” Obama’s new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, appeared to coordinate with Clinton when she instructed fbi director James Comey not to use the term “investigation” but to call it “a matter.”
In late June 2016, Lynch met Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, in private aboard her plane at the Phoenix airport. About a week later, Comey announced that although Clinton and her aides were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” they should not be charged with crimes. The next day, Lynch confirmed that the Justice Department would not bring charges.
Using its influence and especially its cash, Clinton’s presidential campaign was able to take control of the Democratic National Committee (dnc), which is supposed to ensure fair debates and fair processes. But the Democratic primary was marred by cheating, and interim dnc chairwoman Donna Brazile later admitted that her predecessors at the committee had secretly rigged the system in favor of Clinton.
Clinton won the nomination for the Democrats, and Donald Trump unexpectedly won the nomination for the Republicans. Clinton and the media portrayed Trump as a joke, and the news media consistently reported that polls showed Clinton would win a convincing victory.
The Clinton-Steele Dossier
Like other campaigns, Clinton’s supporters conducted “opposition research” to find negative information about Trump to use against him prior to the election. But one of these research projects would go on to be used in ways few could have imagined—not by the campaign, but by the government.
Through a New York law firm, the Clinton campaign and the dnc paid a firm named Fusion gps to find dirt on candidate Trump. Fusion gps hired former British spy Christopher Steele to create 17 memos later known as the “Steele dossier.” The dossier contained a conspiracy theory that the Trump campaign worked with the Russian government to win the election. It also accused Trump of engaging in disgusting activities with Russian prostitutes in Moscow and indicated that the Russian government was therefore able to blackmail him. In almost two years since the first memo was written, none of these claims have been proved.
A troubling fact about the dossier is that one of its writers is Nellie Ohr, a former cia researcher. Ohr’s husband was Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, who worked at President Obama’s Department of Justice with some of its highest-ranking members. Steele admitted to Bruce Ohr that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected” and was “passionate about him not becoming president.”
Finding or fabricating dirt on one’s political enemies is nothing new. But what is shockingly unprecedented is the way in which the government—not the Clinton campaign, but the government itself—weaponized such a flimsy document. The Obama administration used its powers to take the dossier’s unverified allegations and try to destroy Trump with them.
Steele began sharing the accusations and conspiracies in his dossier with the fbi as early as July 2016. Although it relied almost exclusively on sources tied to the Russian government, fbi agents took it seriously. Some now believe they took it seriously because the government had advance knowledge of it and possibly helped in its production.
As the election approached, the shocking allegations of Trump engaging in perversions with Russian prostitutes began appearing in the news. Steele had leaked parts of his dossier to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, cnn and Yahoo News. But the full, original dossier was not yet public. It would soon become the “worst-kept secret in journalism” as journalists tried to verify its claims.
With the election just weeks away, the fbi applied to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for permission to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Its original request was denied, but then was granted when the fbi returned with the Steele dossier and a Yahoo News article. It presented the latter as independent corroboration of the dossier, when in fact both came from Steele and the fbi knew it. The fact that the wife of a top Justice Department official helped write the dossier was concealed from the court. The doj and the fbi, including Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and director Comey himself, would sign several applications and renewals for spying on Page and thereby on other campaign members. Deputy director Andrew McCabe would later admit to the House Intelligence Committee that the fbi could not have sought to spy on Carter Page without the Steele dossier.
New Reason for the Investigation
Two years after Steele began filing his dossier, it has been exposed as a politically motivated fraud. The investigation of Carter Page has turned up nothing. But the deep state and its allies in the mainstream media have pivoted to another reason for continuing to investigate Donald Trump’s “collusion” with Russia. It has to do with a young, low-level member of Trump’s foreign-policy campaign team named George Papadopoulos.
In May 2016, Papadopoulos got drunk at a London pub and blabbed to Australia’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Alexander Downer, that the Russians had obtained thousands of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. We are now told that this is what really triggered the investigation, not so much the Steele dossier.
According to the New York Times, the Australians allowed the fbi to interview Ambassador Downer in London right around the time the fbi officially opened its investigation into the Trump campaign: July 31, 2016.
Codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane,” the investigation into the Trump team was shrouded in secrecy, quite unlike the fbi probe into Hillary Clinton and her private e-mail server. There, director Comey publicly chastised the former secretary of state for her carelessness but recommended that she not be prosecuted. With Donald Trump, the fbi doggedly searched for reasons to prosecute but carefully concealed the details of the investigation from the American people.
Underpinning both cases, the New York Times wrote on May 16, “was one political calculation: that Mrs. Clinton would win and Mr. Trump would lose. Agents feared being seen as withholding information or going too easy on her. And they worried that any overt actions against Mr. Trump’s campaign would only reinforce his claims that the election was being rigged against him.”
The fbi and doj wanted to legitimize Clinton’s certain presidential victory by showing America she had been thoroughly investigated for the private e-mail scandal and completely exonerated.
The assumption that Hillary would win also informed Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into Clinton 11 days before the presidential election. In early October 2016, the bureau stumbled upon tens of thousands of Clinton e-mails on the laptop of Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner. The fbi wrestled over what to do with the incriminating information, not wanting to hurt Hillary’s chances of winning but also wanting to legitimize her presidency and keep critics from being able to say the bureau hid this explosive revelation. Comey opted to notify Congress on Oct. 28, 2016, that he had reopened investigation.
Then, on Nov. 8, 2016, the deep state that had been living in a world where Hillary Clinton would be the next president suddenly found itself in a world where Donald Trump had been elected. The Clinton e-mail scandal? It disappeared almost as fast as the Trump-Russia collusion probe burst into the open!
Operating in a New World
The Obama administration, Democrats and the mainstream media had slapped down reports of Russian interference in the U.S. election before November 8. Following Trump’s stunning victory, they immediately claimed that Russia rigged the election in Trump’s favor—and that Trump’s team had colluded with Russia.
As Donald Trump’s inauguration approached, Obama’s Justice Department and fbi expanded their investigation of Trump’s transition team, and Obama himself worked hard behind the scenes to vastly expand the nsa’s ability to share information with the 16 other federal intelligence agencies. The New York Times reported, “In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election—and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians—across the government” (March 1, 2017; emphasis added throughout).
An Obama official named Evelyn Farkas admitted on Morning Joe that if the Trump administration “found out how we knew what we knew about … the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence.”
So on the way out, Obama’s administration empowered the intelligence agencies by giving them more latitude to spread “information” across the intelligence community. They wanted the investigation, if not the surveillance, to continue even while Mr. Trump was president.
During that same transition period, the deep state was hard at work setting up President-elect Trump for a future indictment and/or impeachment. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, directed James Comey to brief the president-elect on some of the allegations in the Steele dossier. Comey didn’t tell Trump that Steele had been fired by the fbi. He didn’t say the dossier was ultimately funded by the Clinton campaign. He didn’t say he had relied on the dossier and personally signed an application to receive a secret court order to spy on Carter Page and the Trump campaign even while knowing it was unverified gossip. He just told the president-elect about some of the dossier’s salacious content and said certain media outlets had the information and were looking for a “news hook” that would justify their publication of the political opposition “research.”
Following this Comey-Trump meeting, Clapper—the one who directed Comey to brief Mr. Trump—promptly leaked information about the meeting to cnn, giving the network the hook it needed to “report” on the dossier.
Comey, meanwhile, penned a series of memos to himself about what he and Donald Trump discussed during the transition and in the early months of the new presidency. Comey later gave these memos to a friend, who then leaked them to the media. He asked his friend to do this, Comey testified in June 2017, because he thought it “might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
That is exactly what happened. In May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former fbi director Robert Mueller as special counsel with wide-ranging authority to investigate any links between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, any other matters that arise directly from that investigation, and other issues. The one-year anniversary of that probe has come and gone, and Mueller has been busy forcing Trump’s national security adviser to resign, expanding his investigation’s scope beyond its original parameters, indicting Russians, providing reasons for raiding the dwellings of Trump’s personal attorney, and coming up with justification to keep the investigation going. Meanwhile, Mueller has been deafeningly silent in providing any evidence of Trump colluding with Russia as described in the Steele dossier or other sources.
A dizzying series of battles waged in the government and the media have become public. We have learned that President-elect Trump’s seemingly outrageous claim that Trump Tower was being monitored by the Obama administration was true. We have learned that Fusion gps directly paid journalists who reported about Russian interference in the election. We have learned that Fusion gps cofounder Glenn Simpson paid Steele out of pocket after Clinton lost the election to keep the dossier going. We have learned that Simpson’s wife claimed the cia “hopped to and immediately worked to verify” the Steele dossier. We have learned that there were shocking reasons for President Trump to fire Comey. We have learned that members of Mueller’s investigative team, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, were virulently biased against Trump and that Strzok advocated having an “insurance policy” in place to use against Trump if he got elected.
We have seen a government at war with itself.
The Government Civil War
Government exists solely to maintain a nation’s rule of law. But America is now a place where the government is almost dominated by a deep state of spies, agents, politicians and bureaucrats who are spying on voters and their elected representatives and who are colluding to advance their own ideologies and their own personal gain. The government is usurping power and using it to destroy the Constitution and the rule of law itself!
It is amazing that the radical left failed to install Hillary Clinton into power and complete its takeover. It is amazing that Donald Trump was elected. It is amazing that his presidency has endured so many direct assaults by politicians, journalists, commentators and especially the bureaucrats inside the executive branch over which the Constitution makes him the head. It is amazing that such powerful people as Obama, Clinton, Holder, Lynch, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, Steele and others have been unable to keep the truth of their actions from becoming public. It is amazing that, in spite of incessant attacks, President Trump has actually been able to revive some of America’s physical greatness.
How did all this happen? My father wrote in his cover story last issue, “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily,” that God actually intervened to save the United States, not because of Mr. Trump’s greatness, but because of God’s pity (2 Kings 14:26-27).
“Donald Trump is a man with serious problems. But the radical left is relentlessly waging war against the president and leading this country to its destruction!” he wrote. “We are witnessing a government—and a nation—on the verge of collapse!”
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in 1956 about the radical ideology that was infiltrating the nation: “It’s a kind of warfare we don’t understand or know how to cope with. It uses every diabolical means to weaken us from within, sapping our strength, perverting our morals, sabotaging our educational system, wrecking our social structure, destroying our spiritual and religious life, weakening our industrial and economic power, demoralizing our armed forces, and finally, after such infiltration, overthrowing our government by force and violence!”
Look back at the last 60 years. Has this not happened? Are we not entering the very last stage of that progression?
My father writes in his booklet Great Again that Communists “aim to destroy the system, because they can’t build another one until that happens. The Communist attack from within America is far more significant than you may realize. We are staring it in the face today.” Earlier he writes, “We must see reality: Something deadly dangerous has seized the country—far more than what people realize. There is a spiritual dimension to what is happening, and you cannot understand these events unless you recognize this.”
Miraculously, the actual physical violence of that takeover was averted. But only barely—and only temporarily.
If you believe that there is no God, you believe that everything is random: the past greatness of the United States, its current peril, its brief revival, its imminent overthrow—even the suffering of human beings in general and the existence of human beings in the first place. But if you believe that there is a God, you know there must be real reasons why America is crumbling.
In America Under Attack, my father boldly states that the power behind this assault comes from Satan the devil!
Satan is very real, and he is the source of the spirit, the ideology and the hate that somehow unites Communists, statists, anarchists, extremists, sexual deviants and other elements of the radical left. He is the one uniting them against a common enemy: the last remaining Bible-based principles of the past. He is also the source of the weakness, the blindness and the apathy of those who aren’t as radical. And he is the source of a movement within the government itself to destroy the government.
My father brings out that we at the Trumpet have seen this before. The United States is part of the physical descendants of Israel. God’s Church is spiritual Israel. After the human leader of God’s Church (Herbert W. Armstrong) died in 1986, Satan attacked the Church. How did he do it? With a new ideology, with hatred for the past, with powerful leaders at the top, with apathy and confusion among the people. He did it slowly and subtly. He did it by leaders boldly proclaiming that they were loyal to the principles of the past while they knowingly destroyed those principles. He did it by portraying as backward, oppressive and, yes, racist, those who continued to believe and live the way they had always believed and lived. He did it by people ignoring, belittling and forcing out those who didn’t adopt their liberal ideology.
Does this sound familiar? You will be shocked to see how closely the ongoing attack on the United States government matches the attack on God’s Church. If you have not yet read my father’s booklets America Under Attack and Great Again, now is the time.