[IMPORTANT: UPDATES AT BOTTOM]
Consider yourself warned: this won’t be a very long post.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the timing of the July 26 search warrant’s execution on Paul Manafort’s Alexandria VA residence. The Washington Post called it a “predawn raid.” Some have pooh-poohed this as hyperbole, claiming the warrant was probably executed sometime after 6:00 a.m. EDT. Sunrise happened to be 6:04 a.m. EDT that day, leaving a narrow four-minute window for both “predawn” and “daytime hours” (beginning at 6:00 a.m.) to be accurate.
Some have also noted Trump completely surprised his military leadership the same day as the raid by tweeting an unexpected ban on transgender individuals in the service.
You may also recall reports indicating members of the military sat with bated breath waiting for nine minutes between his first tweet and his next to determine if they were supposed to scramble or take other military action. That overlong ellipsis at the end of the first tweet left them wondering if they were to begin a North Korean strike.
But it wasn’t just the same day the raid and the tweets happened. Trump tweeted just as the raid must have been underway at Manafort’s house.
What happened to trigger the initial 5:55 a.m. EDT tweet of the series? We know Manafort wasn’t in contact with Trump at that time if he was still asleep when the FBI knocked on his bedroom door.
What happened in that nine minute gap between 5:55 a.m. and the 6:04 a.m. sunrise tweet containing the decisive wording about a transgender ban, while our military stood by, waiting a possible strike order?
And did any one or all of these tweets serve as a signal, not to the Department of Defense or transgender Americans an intent to change policy, but something else entirely different?
UPDATE — 12:15 a.m. EDT 10-AUG-2017 —
CNN’s Jim Sciutto confirmed the search warrant was “no-knock” — timing of the raid may have been earlier than 6:00 a.m. EDT. When did the raid begin and how long between the warrant being served and Trump’s tweets?
UPDATE — 1:30 p.m. EDT 10-AUG-2017 —
Jon Kimball says the time stamp on Trump’s tweets was PDT, not EDT.
Those tweets began at 8:55am EST. I remember because I was dropping my daughter off for a 9am appt. See –>> https://t.co/Ti0upRgtc8
— Jon Kimball (@jonkimball) August 10, 2017
Can somebody explain this back-and-forth timezone in tweets? The link Kimball shares to Trump’s tweet shows 8:55. The screenshot I took last night shows 6:55.
Ridiculous situation — I feel like Schroedinger’s dead/alive cat-in-a-box.
If Kimball’s right and the timestamp in my screenshot is PDT (I use EDT on my desktop, by the way), the nine-minute gap matters not. The deployment of an utterly unanticipated change in policy via tweets to distract from the raid on Paul Manafort’s residence is still absolutely relevant.