January 20, 2017 Last Updated 8:01 am

Today marks the end of Obama administration, and maybe also Trump’s personal tweeting

Morning Brief: The AP reports that the incoming president has given up his trusty Android phone, meaning the press (and businesses) may not have to monitor those early morning tweets after Donald Trump is sworn in today

Today marks the end of an era, the nation’s first African-American president. But if the press was gearing up to deal with a new president that uses Twitter early in the morning to exact revenge on rivals, they may be disappointed. It appears Donald J. Trump has given up his Android phone for security purposes.

That would end his AM tweetstorms and leave control of his Twitter account to his aides, who are seen tweeting using an iPhone.

During the campaign, tech people analyzed Trump’s tweets and found that about half came from the candidate’s personal Android device, half from the staff’s iPhones. Trump’s own tweets generally occurred early in the morning, with staff tweets coming in the afternoon and evening. A tweet that contained a picture usually came from staff, those that quoted others more often than not came from the candidate himself – he loves cut and paste.

“When Trump wishes the Olympic team good luck, he’s tweeting from his iPhone. When he’s insulting a rival, he’s usually tweeting from an Android,” David Robinson, data scientist at Stack Overflow, wrote in August.

Associated Press, Julie Pace:

Trump steps into security bubble; will he bring his phone?

(A)s Trump prepares to take the oath of office Friday, the future of his ever-present Android smartphone is now a matter of national security. On Thursday, he told a friend that he had given up his phone, as security agencies had urged him to do. It was unclear whether he was following the lead of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first cellphone-toting president, who exchanged his personal device for a Blackberry heavily modified for security purposes…

…The presidency has long been a lonely, isolating office, with security concerns keeping the commander in chief at a distance from the public. Under Obama, worries about cyber intrusions — particularly by foreign governments — pulled the president’s technology deeper into the security bubble as well. Many of the functions on Obama’s Blackberry were blocked and only a handful of people had his phone number or email address.

Trump doesn’t email, but he uses his phone to tweet — something he’s made clear he plans to continue in office. He’s known to make calls early in the morning and late at night, often seeking input from multiple sources when making a decision. Sometimes he leaves a voicemail.


This is the story a lot of folks expected to come out before the election. But its timing now seems rather suspicious, especially since the story seems to have so many holes in it.

In short, Trump and his associates have had communications and dealing with Moscow that have been picked up by the intelligence community, but the details of those communications and financial dealings remain unknown, or at least not revealed.

This is what many have said for a long time, so why the report now, and will this story be developed, or is it being dumped now simply to get it out before the swearing in? Who knows, and those involved deny any connections with the Russians.

““I have never had any relationship with the Russian government or any Russian officials. I was never in contact with anyone, or directed anyone to be in contact with anyone,” former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said when asked by the NYT.

The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo:

Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him…

…Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.


This story reminds me of time when Jimmy Carter was leaving office, and Ronald Reagan was coming in, and the Iranian hostages were to be released. If you are old enough to recall, their release came moments after Reagan was sworn in. Carter got to go and meet the Americans after they were released, but he was prevented from being able to announce their release, and bask in the joy of the moment, by the timing which made sure the event took place during Reagan’s term, not Carter’s.

Now, we have the Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, or El Chapo, being extradited to the US just before Trump’s swearing in. Why now? (This seems to the question of the day.)

Like the Mexican government did not want to make it appear that they were caving in to the incoming president, who has already said some negative things about Mexico and Mexicans. Better to move him to the US now, when a friendlier president is in office.

The New York Times, Azam Ahmed:

El Chapo, Mexican Drug Kingpin, Is Extradited to U.S.

The decision to extradite Mr. Guzmán was an about-face for the Mexican government, which once claimed that he would serve his long sentence in Mexico first. However, after his Houdini-like escape in 2015, when his associates tunneled him out of Mexico’s most secure prison, officials began to reconsider…

…An American law enforcement official said the United States authorities had not known that the Mexicans were about to hand over Mr. Guzmán until late Thursday afternoon. The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the case, said the “guesstimate” was that the timing of the extradition was “politically motivated.” The official did not elaborate.

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