Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 was never able to escape that long shadow cast by Mario Kart. While the game got a remake for the DS, it never got a true successor. And if we’re being honest, it probably never will. Fortunately there’s a fan video to help fill the void left by its eternal absence.

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time. The dawning of a year means a little more of what was once the near-future is now the present. While most games set in 2018 squandered this just-out-of-reach year by simply speculating that sports teams might […]

LawBreakers publisher Nexon has blamed the game's disastrous fortunes on... PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Nexon's latest financial results include a whopping $32.6m (£24m) expenses hole - "the majority of which" of which was meant to filled by Cliff Bleszinski's unloved game.

In the wake of the financials being published, Nexon's investors understandably wanted answers. Step up Nexon financial exec Shiro Uemura - who blamed PUBG for the failure of its take on the oversaturated hero shooter genre.

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The first week of January doesn't just usher in a new year. It also means a slew of new movies and TV shows are arriving on Netflix. If you're looking for a post-holiday binge to help ease the pain of returning to the normal world, the streaming service has you covered.

Perhaps the best new additions are the arrival of the Batman films. Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and Batman Begins are all available for streaming as of January 1. The Lethal Weapon and Bring It On franchises have also joined Netflix's vast library of movies.

Among the other film titles being added this week are Breakfast at Tiffany's, Caddyshack, King Kong, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 30 Days of Night, and National Treasure. On the TV front, new seasons of Eastsiders, Lovesick, and Episodes have come to Netflix.

You can take a look at the full list of this week's additions below. You can also see all of January's comings and goings on Netflix, along with what's being added to both Hulu and Amazon Prime to kick off 2018.

January 1

  • 10,000 B.C.
  • 30 Days of Night
  • Age Of Shadows
  • AlphaGo
  • America's Sweethearts
  • Apollo 13
  • Batman
  • Batman & Robin
  • Batman Begins
  • Batman Forever
  • Batman Returns
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Bring It On
  • Bring It On Again
  • Bring It On: All or Nothing
  • Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
  • Bring It On: In It to Win It
  • Caddyshack
  • Chef & My Fridge: 2017
  • Defiance
  • Definitely, Maybe
  • Eastsiders: Season 3
  • Furry Vengeance
  • Glace: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
  • King Kong
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Lethal Weapon 2
  • Lethal Weapon 3
  • Lethal Weapon 4
  • License to Wed
  • Like Water for Chocolate
  • Love Actually
  • Lovesick: Season 3 (Netflix Original)
  • Maddman: The Steve Madden Story
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Monsters vs. Aliens
  • National Treasure
  • Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
  • Stardust
  • Strictly Ballroom
  • The Dukes of Hazzard
  • The Exorcism of Emily Rose
  • The First Time
  • The Godfather
  • The Godfather: Part II
  • The Godfather: Part III
  • The Italian Job
  • The Lovely Bones
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Truman Show
  • The Vault
  • Training Day
  • Treasures From The Wreck Of The Unbelievable
  • Troy
  • Wedding Crashers
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

January 2

  • Mustang Island
  • Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Rent

January 5

  • Before I Wake (Netflix Original)
  • Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix Original)
  • DEVILMAN crybaby: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • Rotten (Netflix Original)

January 6

  • Episodes: Season 1-5

Overwatch is approaching its second anniversary, but Blizzard has no plans to slow its support for the hero shooter. With 2017 in the books, the studio has offered a recap of the past year in Overwatch updates and provided some vague sense of what's to come in 2018.

In the video above, game director Jeff Kaplan discussed what the Overwatch team has in the works. An exact schedule for what he talks about was not shared, although he did indicate that the new Blizzard World map launches "very soon." He said that the map--which is a theme park for Blizzard's other franchises--is one of the game's best to date, contains "tons of great Easter eggs," and mixes things up with gameplay in a way that Blizzard hasn't tried before.

Also coming "very soon" is a Lunar New Year event. Whereas last year's celebration was the Year of the Rooster, 2018's event will be the Year of the Dog. More details will be announced in the future, but Kaplan said that it includes some "pretty significant content that players are going to be very happy with." He added that Blizzard also intends to make some changes during the event based on feedback to previous events.

Last year's Uprising event will return in some form, though Blizzard "want[s] to evolve it" in some way. The Anniversary event will also make a comeback, providing players with another chance to earn things like the dance emotes that were available last time around. With the Overwatch League kicking off shortly, skins based around that will be added to the game soon, and short- and a long-term changes to how Competitive Play operates will continue to be considered.

Kaplan teased that "great new maps" are in the works, and a new character, tentatively referred to as Hero 27, is already in internal testing. He didn't give any indication of what to expect from the character, only saying he or she is "very needed." A release date hasn't been determined yet, as Blizzard is more concerned with getting the character right. The studio is also thinking about new heroes to come after this one.

Finally, players can expect to see a "ton of new content" added to the base loot box in the near future. This will provide a variety of new items to obtain without any of the time constraints of the limited-time loot boxes that appear during events. Unfortunately, there's no word on how soon we might see Kaplan again sitting in front of a fireplace.

2018 is here, and so Valve is taking a look back at the year that was on Steam. Much as it did last January, it has revealed a list of the best-selling games on the platform, but it's also provided information on some new categories. While it doesn't provide any specific figures, it does give us a snapshot of what proved to be Steam's most popular games in 2017.

This starts with the list of 2017's top sellers, which is determined based on gross revenue earned during the calendar year. Valve provided a list of the top 100 games, which have been divided into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels (though the exact distinction between these is not explained). Most of the games to reach Platinum were older titles and included the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Grand Theft Auto V, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, and Dota 2. There were some 2017 releases, too, including Divinity: Original Sin II and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the latter of which we know has proven to be phenomenally popular.

In terms of players, Valve provided a list of the games with the most concurrent users (meaning those that were online and playing at the same time). PUBG, of course, leads the list, having recently eclipsed the 3 million mark. Eight others also topped the 100,000 mark during the year, including Dota 2, Counter-Strike: GO, Rainbow Six Siege, and Grand Theft Auto V.

Valve also shared a breakdown of new titles, offering a look at the top-grossing newly released games of each month. The number of games shown varies from month to month, and again, there's little insight into what allowed them to qualify. Some months have as many as 16, while June had just five, including Dirt 4, Tekken 7, and Cold Waters.

VR-only games got their own top sellers list (again based on revenue during the year and divided into four tiers). Job Simulator, Superhot VR, and Fallout 4 VR were among those to hit Platinum status. There's also a look at the top-grossing games that left early access in 2017, and while the expected ones like PUBG and Original Sin II show up, the Platinum tier also includes The Long Dark, Slime Rancher, and Ark: Survival Evolved, among others.

You can check out all of Steam's 2017 charts here.

As previously announced, the latest round of maintenance has begun for Destiny 2 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Although it will remain playable for a short while longer, most people will be unable to play the game for a period of time today as Bungie prepares to release a new update.

Server maintenance officially began today at 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET / 3 PM GMT (2 AM AET on January 4). As is usually the case, those who were already online can continue playing for an hour, at which point everyone will be booted offline. Bungie expects servers to come back up at 12 PM PT, though that may end up happening sooner or later.

Once maintenance concludes, a new update, hotfix 1.1.1.2, will be released on all platforms. Bungie has not yet shared the patch notes or provided much insight into what this will do, but Destiny 2 hotfixes typically involve making small changes or resolving bugs. Community manager David Dague did tease on Twitter, "We'll be restoring game rituals like Iron Banner and Faction Rallies to working order for all. Updates to the live calendar to come next week."

The most recent Faction Rally event was canceled in light of the uproar over Bungie's handling of content that was available to DLC and non-DLC owners. Rather than take place in mid-December, just prior to The Dawning, Bungie postponed the event "to ensure all of our players can access the activity and the appropriate rewards." Rewards that were offered through Faction Rally (and Iron Banner) events during Season 1 will continue to be available to everyone. However, there will be new seasonal rewards, including armor ornaments, that only Curse of Osiris owners can get their hands on. This is one of several changes the studio has made to Destiny 2's DLC paywall.

We'll report back with the details of hotfix 1.1.1.2 once we know exactly what it does. Meanwhile, the ongoing Dawning event runs for a short while longer, coming to a close on January 9.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that as gadgets get older they slow down—your 3-year-old laptop or phone isn’t going to have the same spring in its step as it did when you first unboxed it. But what are the factors that cause this inevitable sluggishness? Is your precious device quite simply wearing out?

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Looking for a way to ring in the new year that involves little more than your couch and a TV? Luckily for you, the start of a new month means new movies and TV shows added to several streaming services--including Hulu.

In terms of movies, there are a number of standout titles being added to the streamer, but none quite as excellent as both films in the Bill & Ted series. Both Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey arrive on January 1, along with movies like Zodiac, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Karate Kid 1-4, and Grizzly Man.

For TV, new seasons of Fear the Walking Dead, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Homeland all arrive. January will also see the addition of many cooking shows, with new episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Cupcake Wars, and Great Food Truck Race among the titles arriving.

You can take a look at all of the Hulu additions for January below. You can also see everything Netflix is debuting during the first month of the new year.

Arriving on Hulu in January

January 1

  • 10 to Midnight
  • A League of Their Own
  • All Is Lost
  • American Ninja
  • American Pickers: Season 14
  • Ancient Impossible: Season 1
  • Anger Management
  • Art of the Prank
  • Assassination
  • Avenging Force
  • Babel
  • Baby Mama's Club
  • Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics: Seasons 8 & 9
  • Beat Bobby Flay: Seasons 1 & 2
  • Best of Man v. Food: Season 1
  • Beyond the Sea
  • Big Driver
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
  • Black Rain
  • Bloodsport
  • Bolero
  • Breaking Borders: Season 1
  • Brothers
  • Brother vs. Brother: Seasons 1 & 2
  • Burning Blue
  • But I'm A Cheerleader
  • Capote
  • Cold Case Files (Reboot): Season 1
  • Cold Mountain
  • Coming Soon
  • Container Homes: Season 1
  • Cool World
  • Counting Cars: Season 6
  • Cross Bronx
  • Cube
  • Cube 2: Hypercube
  • Cube Zero
  • Cupcake Wars: Season 8
  • Cutthroat Kitchen: Season 7
  • Daddy Day Care
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: Season 22
  • Down in the Delta
  • Drop Dead Sexy
  • Duck Dynasty: Seasons 10 & 11
  • Evolution
  • Excess Baggage
  • Flawless
  • Flea Market Flip: Season 3
  • Flip or Flop: Season 5
  • Food Network Star: Season 12
  • Frailty
  • Freedom Writers
  • Ghost Adventures: Season 11
  • Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College
  • Great Food Truck Race: Season 7
  • Green Street Hooligans Underground
  • Grizzly Man
  • Hamlet
  • Hercules in New York
  • Highway
  • Horsemen
  • Hot Rod
  • Hustle & Flow
  • I Spy
  • Invaders from Mars
  • Invasion U.S.A.
  • Ironweed
  • Kill the Irishman
  • Liz & Dick
  • Look Who's Talking
  • Look Who's Talking Now
  • Look Who's Talking Too
  • Love & Death
  • Love Story
  • Missing in Action II: The Beginning
  • Mona Lisa Smile
  • Mountain Men: Seasons 1-6
  • Murphy's Law
  • My Boss's Daughter
  • Night of the Living Dead 3D
  • Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection
  • Ninja III: The Domination
  • P2
  • Paper Heart
  • Platoon Leader
  • Pretty Bird
  • Primitive
  • Punch Drunk Love
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Revenge of the Ninja
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Richard the Lionheart
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Secretary
  • Shirley Valentine
  • Show of Force
  • Six Degrees of Separation
  • Sliding Doors
  • Songcatcher
  • Spaceballs
  • Step into Liquid
  • Street Smart
  • Subspecies
  • Subspecies 2
  • Subspecies 3
  • Subspecies 4
  • Subspecies 5
  • Sunshine Cleaning
  • The Parent Trap (1961)
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Fourth War
  • The Future
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Karate Kid: Part II
  • The Karate Kid III
  • The Next Karate Kid
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Pom Pom Girls
  • The Presidio
  • The Wraith
  • Thelma & Louise
  • Total Recall
  • Two Family House
  • Uncommon Valor
  • War
  • Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan: Seasons 1 & 2
  • Witless Protection
  • Words and Pictures
  • Zodiac

January 2

  • Cruel and Unusual

January 3

  • The Game Changer

January 5

  • The Devils Double

January 6

  • Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait

January 7

  • Yakuza Apocalypse

January 8

  • Frank

January 11

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 5
  • These Final Hours

January 12

  • False Flag: Season 1
  • Homeland: Season 5

January 13

  • XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

January 15

  • 12 O'Clock Boys
  • The Alchemist Cookbook
  • Are We Done Yet?
  • Are We There Yet?
  • Advanced Style
  • Afterimage
  • Bending Steel
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Coherence
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Dogs on the Inside
  • Meek's Cutoff
  • Polina
  • Polytechnique
  • The Queen
  • Sex Guaranteed
  • Soul on a String
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
  • Wendy & Lucy

January 18

  • Barista

January 19

  • My Best Friend

January 21

  • School Life

January 22

  • Espionage Tonight
  • Ingrid Goes West

January 24

  • Detroit

January 25

  • Sword of Vengeance

January 27

  • Crash Pad

January 29

  • Beside Bowie
  • Halloween Pussy Trap Kill Kill

January 30

  • Fear the Walking Dead: Season 3
  • Uncle Grandpa: Season 5

January 31

  • All Dogs Go To Heaven
  • All Dogs Go To Heaven 2

Are you the next Dr. Disrespect? Are you the best Rocket League player you know? Is your incessant couch commentary so entertaining to your gaming friends that they’ve asked you to never, ever stop? Probably, then, you’ve thought about streaming on Twitch.

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Imaging What A New Diddy Kong Racing Might Look Like

Diddy Kong Racing for the N64 was never able to escape that long shadow cast by Mario Kart. While the game got a remake for the DS, it never got a true successor. And if we’re being honest, it probably never will. Fortunately there’s a fan video to help fill the void left by its eternal absence.

Read more...

Foreign governments are granting Trump projects big favors to get what they want from...

President Donald Trump purportedly stepped away from his business interests for the duration of his term as president, but Vanity Fair‘s Tina Nguyen says that foreign governments are granting favors and greasing the wheels for Trump-branded projects around the world.

Anita Kumar at McClatchy reported that the Indonesian government has chosen to build a new road to shorten the drive between the island chain’s main airport and the new Trump golf resort.

In Panama, the national government directly intervened in a lagging sewer project connected to the new Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City. The original contractor tasked with constructing the system went bankrupt, prompting the government to use its own money to construct sewage and water pipes connecting to the resort hotel.

“And in other countries,” Kumar wrote, “governments have donated public land, approved permits and eased environmental regulations for Trump-branded developments, creating a slew of potential conflicts as foreign leaders make investments that can be seen as gifts or attempts to gain access to the American president through his sprawling business empire.”

As Nguyen noted, all of this appears to place Trump squarely in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officials from accepting gifts or anything that might be constituted as a bribe from foreign governments.

However, she said, “Just weeks after Trump won the election, the Argentinian government suddenly granted a permit for a long-delayed Trump Tower development in Buenos Aires. In September, Trump’s Middle Eastern business partners granted a company partially owned by the Chinese government a contract to build a road to Trump World Golf Club in Dubai, seemingly going against his pledge to not engage in foreign business transactions during his presidency. And, of course, there is the ongoing constitutional crisis that is the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C., which critics claim violates the Emoluments Clause on a regular basis.”

Two lawsuits have been brought against the Trump administration alleging these violations, one of which was dismissed by a judge just before Christmas.

Kumar spoke with Noah Bookbinder of the Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who said, “If you have a foreign government providing a benefit to the Trump company that is going to violate emoluments clause of the Constitution.”

The president is reportedly receiving boons to his projects — which he claims he handed over to the management of his sons, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump — from the governments of Uruguay, India and the Philippines.

Read the full McClatchy report here.

Mormon leader Thomas Monson dies aged 90

Thomas S Monson, who served in top leadership councils for the Mormon church for 50 years and became its president in 2008, has died. He was 90.

Monson was a church bishop at 22 and in 1963 the Salt Lake City native became the youngest church apostle ever, at 36. He was a counselor for three church presidents before assuming leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monson died at his home in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins. The next president was not immediately named, but the job is expected to go to next longest-tenured member of the church’s governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M Nelson, 93, per church protocol.

Monson’s presidency was marked by his noticeably low profile during a time of intense publicity, including the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Mormon Mitt Romney. His most public acts were appearances at church conferences and devotionals as well as dedications of church temples.

He will be remembered for continuing the religion’s push to be more transparent about its past; his emphasis on humanitarian work; and lowering the minimum age for missionaries.

He will also be remembered for leading the faith’s involvement in the passage of a gay marriage ban in California in 2008. At his urging, Mormons were vigorous campaign donors and volunteers. That prompted a backlash against the church that included vandalism of church buildings, protest marches and demonstrations outside church temples nationwide.

In subsequent years, the church began utilizing a softer tone on the issue. In 2015, the church backed an anti-discrimination law in Utah that gave unprecedented protections for gay and transgender people while also protecting religious freedoms.

But the religion came under fire again in the fall of 2015 when it banned baptisms for children living with gay parents and instituted a requirement that those children disavow homosexual relationships before being allowed to serve a mission. The changes were designed to avoid putting children in a tug-of-war between their parents and church teachings, leaders said.

Thomas Monson attends a corner stone laying ceremony at the dedication of the Draper Utah Temple in Draper, Utah, in 2009.
Thomas Monson attends a corner stone laying ceremony at the Draper Utah Temple in Draper, Utah, in 2009. Photograph: George Frey/Reuters

The revisions triggered anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBTQ-supportive Mormons who were buoyed in recent years by church leaders’ calls for more love and understanding for LGBTQ members.

Monson also continued the church’s push to be more open about some of the most sensitive aspect of the faith’s history and doctrine. A renovated church history museum reopened in 2015 with an exhibit acknowledging the religion’s early polygamous practices, a year after the church published an essay that for the first time chronicled founder Joseph Smith’s plural wives.

Other church essays issued during Monson’s tenure addressed other sensitive topics: sacred undergarments worn by devout members; a past ban on black men in the lay clergy; and the misconception that Mormons are taught they will get their own planet in the afterlife.

The growth and globalization of the religion continued under Monson, with membership swelling to nearly 15.9 million, with more than half outside the US. There were 71,000 church missionaries serving around the world at the end of 2016.

Mormons considered Monson a warm, caring, endearing and approachable leader, said Patrick Mason, associate professor of religion at Claremont Graduate University in California.

He put an emphasis on the humanitarian ethic of Mormons, evidenced by his expansion of the church’s disaster relief programs around the world, said Armand Mauss, a retired professor of sociology and religious studies at Washington State University.

Monson often credited his mother, Gladys Condie Monson, for fostering his compassion. He said that during his childhood in the Depression of the 1930s their house in Salt Lake City was known to hobos riding the railroads as a place to get a meal and a kind word.

“President Monson always seemed more interested in what we do with our religion rather than in what we believe,” Mauss said.

A second world war veteran, Monson served in the navy and spent a year overseas before returning to get a business degree at the University of Utah and a master’s degree in business administration from the church-owned Brigham Young University.

Before being tabbed to join the church’s governing Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Monson worked for the church’s secular businesses, primarily in advertising, printing and publishing including the Deseret Morning News.

He married Frances Beverly Johnson in 1948. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Frances died in 2013 at the age of 85.

Monson was an avid fisherman who also raised homing pigeons, specifically, roller pigeons who twirled as they flew. He was known for his love of show tunes, Boy Scouts and the Utah Jazz.

The man expected to take Monson’s seat, the 93-year-old Nelson, has been a church apostle since April 1970. Nelson will choose two new counselors from the Quorum of the Twelve who will join him to form a three-person “presidency” that is the top of the religion’s governing hierarchy. Monson’s two counselors were Henry Eyring and Dieter Uchtdorf. They will go back to being regular members of the Quorum unless they are chosen again.

A Fixer Upper Cast Member Admits the House Isn’t Always Done on Reveal Day...

Crafty home blogger, mom, and Fixer Upper expert Rachel Teodoro is at it again with her great research into

How Donald Trump’s war on intelligence is destroying American national security

President Donald Trump’s insecurity over losing the popular vote and the salacious allegations in the Steele Dossier have prompted him to lash out at the intelligence community’s claims that Russia influenced the 2016 election. Now that war against the intelligence community is impacting American national security.

A Wednesday Washington Postreport revealed that the National Security Agency is hemorrhaging staff at an alarming rate. Some of these “highly skilled” staffers have become “disillusioned” with intelligence but the leadership and a reorganization effort under the new administration has sent many to update their resumes.

The work these experts do included monitoring a broad array of subjects including the Islamic State, Russian and North Korean hackers, and analyzing the intentions of foreign governments, and they were responsible for protecting the classified networks that carry such sensitive information. Yet, these staffers saying that they want a higher-paying job in the private sector or more flexible hours.

Since 2015, hundreds of hackers, engineers and data scientists have bailed on the NSA, former officials said. Now it’s reaching a level that national security can be impacted. Of the 17 spy agencies, the NSA is the largest and they’re responsible for collecting the information that goes into the presidential daily briefing that Trump doesn’t understand. Over the first year in office, aides have even been forced to tailor the briefing so it doesn’t include anything about Russian interference in the election so as to not anger Trump.

“Some synonym of the word ‘epidemic’ is the best way to describe it,” said former NSA senior researcher Ellison Anne Williams. She left her job at the NSA in 2016 to start her own data-security firm and took 10 NSA staff with her. “The agency is losing an amazing amount of its strongest technical talent, and to lose your best and brightest staff is a huge hit.”

The agency won’t disclose the number of vacancies over the last year, but it said there is 5.6 percent decrease in staff who specialize in science, technology and math. The NSA isn’t the only place the Trump administration has implemented the right-wing war on science. In Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency, scientists became the enemy. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was told never to say the words “climate change.” Losing the experts means new staff are filling the positions without the experience central to the NSA’s mission collecting huge swaths of data and analyzing it.

Former staff have complained that they felt their mission was marginalized by a restructuring of the agency. Others allege the reorganization was “an enormous distraction.” Some even call the pay structure and promotion program part of the problem. According to former staff, it prioritizes seniority over experience or expertise.

Another former employee alleged that the problems began with former contractor Edward Snowden and the arrest of former contractor Harold T. Martin III in 2016. Accessing data and information became more difficult for those trying to do their jobs. The witch hunt searching for leakers made things worse. An environment with collaboration has turned toward suspicion, a former staffer said.

“It comes down to death by a thousand cuts,” said a former employee, adding that people “tend to quit in packs. One person hits their breaking point, and once they leave, the dominoes start falling.”

NSA spokesman Tommy Groves didn’t discount the reports.

“If the price of security becomes that we drive away the very men and women that generate value in the first place, we now have a self-induced mission kill,” National Security Agency Director Administrator Michael Rogers said in a conference speech.

Trump’s attacks on the 17 intelligence agencies that confirmed the Russian interference couldn’t have made morale any better. After meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump swore that Russia didn’t do it.

“He said he didn’t meddle, he said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump told reporters in November. “Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.”

Trump has also waged a war with the FBI, calling it “tainted” and alleging it is part of the “deep state” shadow government.

“It is also a possible obstruction of justice, witness intimidation, and it’s obstructing justice by saying to agents, ‘you better not dig too deep, you better not find anything because I will attack you,'” former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said to MSNBC.

The only way to maintain staff is to tape into the sense of duty “for God and country,” said former threat operations center chief Daniel Ennis. He thinks the agency will recover, because it always has.