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The Left’s Ridiculous Double Standard on Spilling Secrets 

This occurred over what the Washington Post and the New York Times suggest was President Trump’s inadvertent disclosure of highly classified intelligence from Israel in the Oval Office when Trump received Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The disclosure, the Times quoted American officials as representing, “could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected.” At one moment Wednesday, the Times had on its home page something like 18 pieces on this or related scandals.

What a contrast to, say, 2006. That’s when the Gray Lady thumbed its nose for news at President George W. Bush’s pleadings that the paper refrain from disclosing how the government, in its hunt for terrorists, was mining data of the Swift banking consortium.

The Bush administration had begged the Times not to proceed. Yet it did so. Bush called it “disgraceful,” adding that the “fact that a newspaper disclosed it makes it harder to win this war on terror.” Treasury said it would hamper the pursuit of terrorists.

Such a hullabaloo arose from long-suffering Times readers that the paper’s executive editor, then Bill Keller, issued a 1,400-word “personal response.” In it, he suggested that if conservative bloggers were so worried, they should stop calling attention to it. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Many Members Of The Opposition Party Did The Previous Administration Surveil?

Obama, Trump and Surveillance

 reports: Another day brings another series of tweets from President Trump that have his opponents—and even some of his allies—expressing shock and outrage. In one particularly incendiary missive this morning Mr. Trump wrote, “ James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” It’s no surprise that Mr. Trump is once again dominating the news via Twitter, but reporters might also want to pay attention to presidential use of a much more powerful set of electronic tools.

Mr. Trump’s political skills have been repeatedly underestimated, including by your humble correspondent. But at the risk of being proven wrong again, the prediction here is that Mr. Trump will fail if he thinks he’s going to prevent the former FBI director from conducting effective media relations. This is Mr. Comey’s core competency.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump’s morning tweet has triggered more negative press for the President. The New York Times writes:

Democrats expressed shock. “For a president who baselessly accused his predecessor of illegally wiretapping him, that Mr. Trump would suggest that he, himself, may have engaged in such conduct is staggering,” said Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “The president should immediately provide any such recordings to Congress or admit, once again, to have made a deliberately misleading — and in this case threatening — statement.”

Mr. Schiff also took to Twitter on Friday to add: “Mr. President, if there are ‘tapes’ relevant to the Comey firing, it’s because you made them and they should be provided to Congress.”

So the ranking Democrat on the House intel committee clearly seems to be concerned about the possibility that a president would record the conversations of a subordinate in the executive branch. Rep. Schiff also spent years in Congress professing to be deeply concerned about government collection of telephone metadata, which did not even include the content of any conversations. So it would clearly follow that if the executive branch were spying on the Congress and a president’s political opposition, Mr. Schiff would be horrified.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Yet Mr. Schiff’s Twitter followers are still awaiting comment on yesterday’s report from a congressional colleague suggesting that’s exactly what happened. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) appeared on Fox News Thursday afternoon and said that a Senate colleague “confided to me that he was surveilled by the Obama Administration, including his phone calls.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Henninger: Comey was Brought Down by the ‘Clinton Method’ 


McCabe: FBI Agents Were ‘Vocal’ In Their Dissatisfaction Over Failure To Indict Clinton

JONATHAN TURLEY

Andrew_McCabe_official_photoHillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziThe testimony of Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday grabbed headlines in his direct contradiction of the White House claim that former FBI Director James Comey has lost the support of career agents.  McCabe made clear that the rank and file were (and remain) entirely supportive of Comey.  However, I thought the most interesting aspect of the hearing was a brief discussion of the 2016 decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. McCabe, who is viewed by many Republicans as having problematic links to the Clinton camp (through his wife who ran for office with their financial support), said that the failure to indict Clinton produced “vocal” opposition from the agents investigating her conduct.

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Report: Rosenstein Appears To Deny That He Threatened To Resign Over False Account Regarding His Comey Memorandum [UPDATED]

JONATHAN TURLEY

Rod_Rosenstein_US_AttorneyDeputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who wrote the memorandum firing James Comey  is back in the news today.  Various news organizations are reporting that he allegedly threatened to quit after the White House represented that Comey was fired based on his recommendation.  Both the Washington Post and ABC News are reporting that Rosenstein was sufficiently outraged by the White House statements that he was prepared to walk.  The reporting is highly disturbing on a number of levels.  The White House made a notable change in its account of the decision yesterday — admitting that Trump decided that he wanted Comey gone over a week earlier.  Of course, this does not change the fact that Rosenstein recommended the firing of Comey in the memo but it raises serious questions of the veracity of the White House. UPDATE: The White House is categorically denying that Rosenstein threatened to resign.  More importantly, Rosenstein has…

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[VIDEO] SUPERCUTS! Comey: Should He Stay Or Should He Go?




[VIDEO] The Most Unhinged Media Reactions to Trump’s Firing of James Comey

President Trump was accused of abuse of power and fascism during the mainstream media’s coverage of the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

On CNN, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the firing a “grotesque abuse of power” by the president, saying this is the sort of thing that is done in “non-democracies.”

Toobin said he’s seen nothing like this since 1973 when President Richard Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

“This is not normal. This is not politics as usual,” he said.

Over on MSNBC, Chris Matthews said there was a “little whiff of fascism” and that Trump was demonstrating that he does not care about the law. Read the rest of this entry »


Comey: ‘I have long believed a president can fire an FBI director for any reason or no reason at all’

 

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[VIDEO] Exclusive Footage of James Comey Waving Goodbye


[VIDEO] Jeffrey Toobin Goes on Full-Scale Global Panic Cuckoo Bananas Rant Over Comey Firing 


Former FBI Director James Comey: Driver’s License Still Valid!

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TRUMP FIRES FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY

JONATHAN TURLEY

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this evening in a surprise move.  Various politicians and the media have openly referred to the act as “Nixonian” and “another Saturday Night Massacre.”  I have previously stated how the Saturday Day Massacre has been misrepresented.  I also do not agree with Jeff Toobin on CNN tonight that the decision was clearly due to the fact that Comey’s investigation was getting “too close” to President Trump.  I do not see how one can reach that conclusion after months of criticism over Comey’s past conduct, including widespread anger from Democrats over his public statements on Hillary Clinton.  I agree that the timing is concerning and legitimately questioned.  However, the Administration may also have waited for the Deputy Attorney General to be confirmed to allow a career prosecutor to review the matter and to concur with the decision.  Democrats denounced Comey over his actions…

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An Important Announcement From The Former President of the United States

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OH YES HE DID: President Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

Jonathan Karl,Meghan Kenally and Justin Fishel report: FBI Director James Comey has been fired, according to the White House.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” the White House statement reads.

“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the statement said.

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President Trump has previously been critical of Comey, suggesting that his actions helped Hillary Clinton during the campaign, while Clinton blamed Comey and his late announcement about the FBI’s investigation into her email server contributed to her electoral college loss. Read the rest of this entry »


Hemingway: Did The FBI Use Garbage Opposition Research To Spy On An American?

The FBI spied on a Trump associate. Do they have evidence that Trump colluded with Russians, or was this a rampant abuse of power?

These latest leaks of classified information appear to be in response to Sen. Charles Grassley’s inquiry to FBI Director James Comey on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs. Grassley noted a February 28 Washington Post report, which used anonymous sources to report the FBI had made plans to pay dossier author Christopher Steele to continue investigating Trump before the election.

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Paying an opposition researcher to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election “raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

Grassley demanded that the FBI turn over all records relating to the agreement, interviews of Steele, information on any government officials outside the FBI discussing the agreement with Steele, information on how the FBI obtained the dossier, any official reports that used Steele-collected information, any indication the FBI used the information before verifying it, and various other information, including:

9. Has the FBI relied on or otherwise referenced the memos or any information in the memos in seeking a FISA warrant, other search warrant, or any other judicial process? Did the FBI rely on or otherwise reference the memos in relation to any National Security Letters? If so, please include copies of all relevant applications and other documents.

These latest leaks answer that question. And the leaks about what intelligence agencies were doing during the presidential campaign begin to answer questions about whether the U.S. government has hard evidence that the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Russian meddling and coordinated with Russians about that meddling, or whether there was rampant abuse of power in stripping an innocent U.S. citizen of his right not to be surveilled by his own government. Read the rest of this entry »


Lawmakers Say Intelligence Agencies Stonewalling on Surveillance Probe

Adam Housley and Malia Zimmerman report: Lawmakers probing the surveillance of key officials in the Trump campaign and administration say the intelligence agencies now nominally under the president’s control are stonewalling efforts to get to the bottom of who revealed names and leaked protected information to the press.

“Our requests are simply not being answered.”

House Intelligence Committee source

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are currently investigating allegations the Obama administration spied on Trump associates – and possibly Trump himself – for as long as the year preceding his inauguration. And while former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice has been implicated as at least one of the officials who sought redacted names from surveillance transcripts, multiple lawmakers and investigators for the panel told Fox News the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency – all agencies in position to aid the probe – are not cooperating.

“Our requests are simply not being answered,” said one House Intelligence committee source about the lack of responsiveness. “The agencies are not really helping at all and there is truly a massive web for us to try and wade through.”

A Senate Intelligence Committee source said the upper chamber had the same experience.

“Any information that will help find the wide extent on the unmasking and surveillance is purposely not being provided,” said the Senate source.

An FBI spokesperson said the bureau is working in good faith. Read the rest of this entry »


Barack Obama Changed How NSA Intercepts of Americans Could Be Shared

John Solomon and Sara Carter reports: As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures’ perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Should Obama be Subpoenaed Over Trump’s Wiretapping Claim? 

Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice on whether Barack Obama should be subpoenaed over President Trump’s wiretapping claim.


Why Nunes’ Obama Spying Revelations Are Such A Big Motherfreakin’ Deal

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House Intel Chief Devin Nunes revealed Obama’s intelligence agencies may have been improperly spreading significant information about Trump’s transition.

Dozens of intelligence reports provided to Nunes by an unnamed whistleblower were floating around during the sensitive transition period following the election, he said. The information collection itself may have technically been legal, but the failure to properly mask the information “alarmed” the California congressman, who notified the White House of the surveillance and dissemination of information on Wednesday afternoon.

[Read the full story here, at The Federalist]

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference here.

Nunes began his remarks by reiterating his Monday request that anyone with information on surveillance of Trump or his team come forward. “I also said while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.” While Nunes’ earlier refutation of Trump’s wiretap claim received outsize attention by the media, his concern about other surveillance did not.

He then dropped the bombshell: “First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Second, details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Read the rest of this entry »


Bob Woodward: Obama Officials Possibly Facing Criminal Charges for Unmasking Scheme

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said earlier that he had briefed Trump on new information, unrelated to an investigation into Russian activities, that suggested that several members of Trump’s transition team and perhaps Trump himself had their identities “unmasked” after their communications were intercepted by U.S. intelligence officials.

The revelation is notable because identities of Americans are generally supposed to remain “masked” if American communications are swept up during surveillance of foreign individuals.

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During an interview on Fox News, Woodward said that if that information about the unmasking is true, “it is a gross violation.” Read the rest of this entry »


Potential ‘Smoking Gun’ Showing Obama Admin Spied on Trump Team, Source Says

Nunes’ Trump surveillance claims raise more even questions.

James Rosen reports: Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying.

[Order James Rosen’s book “A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century” from Amazon.com ]

Some time will be needed to properly assess the materials, with the likely result being that congressional investigators and attorneys won’t have a solid handle on the contents of the documents – and their implications – until next week.

Because Nunes’s intelligence came from multiple sources during a span of several weeks, and he has not shared the actual materials with his committee colleagues, he will be the only member of the panel in a position to know whether the NSA has turned over some or all of the intelligence he is citing. However, Fox News was told Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had been briefed on the basic contents of the intelligence described by Nunes. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Judicial Watch Sues Intelligence Agencies Over Flynn Investigation

Judicial Watch director Christopher Farrell on why the organization is suing U.S. intelligence agencies over leaks of classified information about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury regarding records related to the investigation of retired United States Army Lieutenant General Michel Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al. (No.1:17-cv-00397)).  (The National Security Agency refused to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records about communications between Gen. Flynn and Amb Kislyak.)

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agencies failed to respond to a January 25, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak between October 1, 2016 and the present.

This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all related warrants, affidavits, declarations, or similar records regarding the aforementioned investigation.

For purposes of clarification, please find enclosed a CNN report regarding the investigation, which cites information that was provided to CNN by members of the Intelligence Community.

File photo : Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, U.S. national security advisor, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a "hallmark of our democracy." Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg(Sipa via AP Images)

The officials all stressed that so far there has been no determination of any wrongdoing.

FBI and intelligence officials briefed members of the Obama White House team before President Barack Obama left office about the Flynn calls to the Russian ambassador, sources said.

“President Trump is on to something. The Obama-connected wiretapping and illegal leaks of classified material concerning President Trump and General Flynn are a scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch aims to get to the truth about these crimes and we hope the Trump administration stands with us in the fight for transparency.”

The officials all stressed that so far there has been no determination of any wrongdoing.

FBI and intelligence officials briefed members of the Obama White House team before President Barack Obama left office about the Flynn calls to the Russian ambassador, sources said. Read the rest of this entry »


Fake News: Postmodernism By Another Name 

Exhibition Clip; Revolution of the Eye Modern Art and the Birth of American Television The Jewish Museum May 1 – September 20, 2015; Organized by the Jewish Museum, New York, and the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Exhibition Curator: Maurice Berger

victor-davis-hVictor Davis Hanson writes: After the election, Democrats could not explain the inexplicable defeat of Hillary Clinton, who would be, they thought, the shoo-in winner in November. Over the next three months until Inauguration Day, progressives floated a variety of explanations for the Trump win—none of them, though, mentioned that the Clinton campaign had proven uninspired, tactically inept, and never voiced a message designed to appeal to the working classes.

When a particular exegesis of defeat failed to catch on, it was mostly dropped—and then replaced by a new narrative. We were told that the Electoral College wrongly nullified the popular vote—and that electors had a duty to renege on their obligations to vote for their respective state’s presidential winner.

“Fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public.”

Then followed the narrative of Trump’s racist dog-whistle appeals to the white working classes. When it was reported that Barack Obama had received a greater percentage of the white votes than did either John Kerry in 2004 or Hillary Clinton in 2016, the complaint of white chauvinism too faded.

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“The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.”

Then came the allegation that FBI Director James Comey had given the election to Trump by reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails just days before Election Day. That fable too evaporated when it was acknowledged that Comey had earlier intervened to declare Clinton without culpability and would so again before November 8.

[Read the more here, at Hoover Institution]

Then came the trope that Vladimir Putin’s hackers stole the election—on the theory that the Wikileaks revelations had turned off the electorate in a way the Clinton candidacy otherwise would not have. That storyline then evolved into the idea of Russian propagandists and Trump supporters variously peddling “fake news” to websites to promulgate myths and distortions—as a grand plan to Hillary Clinton and give Trump the election.

More specifically, it was alleged that Trump’s exaggerations and fabrications—from his allegations about Barack Obama’s birth certificate to rumor-mongering about Ted Cruz’s father—had so imperiled journalism that the media in general was forced to pronounce there was no longer a need to adhere to disinterested reporting in the traditional sense.

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“No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes.”

The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg and CNN’s Christiane Amanpour confessed that they could not be fair in reporting the news in the era of Donald Trump. Apparently, being fair had become tantamount to being a co-conspirator in Trump falsity. The New York Times in a post-election op-ed explained why it had missed the Trump phenomenon, admitting, but not necessarily lamenting, that its own coverage of the election had not been fair and balanced.

“Ben Rhodes cynically bragged about how the Obama administration had sold the dubious Iran deal through misinformation picked up by an adolescent but sympathetic media (for which Rhodes had only contempt).

Yet all politicians fib and distort the truth—and they’ve been doing so since the freewheeling days of the Athenian ekklesia. Trump’s various bombastic allegations and claims fall into the same realm of truthfulness as Obama’s statement “if you like your health plan, you can keep it”—and were thus similarly cross-examined by the media.

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 “As Rhodes put it, ‘The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.’”

Yet fake news is something quite different. It is not merely a public figure’s spinning of half-truths. It is largely a media-driven, and deliberate attempt to spread a false narrative to advance a political agenda that otherwise would be rejected by a common-sense public. The methodology is to manufacture a narrative attractive to a herd-like progressive media that will then devour and brand it as fact—and even lobby for government redress.

[Read the full story here, at Hoover Institution]

Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen has never been to Prague to negotiate quid pro quo deals with the Russians. Trump did not watch Russian strippers perform pornographic acts in the bedroom that Barack Obama once stayed in during a visit to Moscow. Yet political operatives, journalists, and even intelligence officers, in their respective shared antipathy to Trump, managed to lodge these narratives into the public consciousness and thereby establish the “truth” that a degenerate Trump was also a Russian patsy.

No one has described the methodology of fake news better than Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor for Barack Obama and brother of the president of CBS News, David Rhodes. Read the rest of this entry »


John Fund & Hans von Spakovsky: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth 

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Even a prominent Trump adviser accepts the false premise that there has been no ‘ethical shadiness.’

John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky write: You often hear that the Obama administration, whatever its other failings, has been “scandal-free.” Valerie Jarrett, the president’s closest adviser, has said he “prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself.”

Even Trump adviser Peter Thiel seems to agree. When the New York Times’s Maureen Dowd observed during an interview that Mr. Obama’s administration was “without any ethical shadiness,” Mr. Thiel accepted the premise, saying: “But there’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”

In reality, Mr. Obama has presided over some of the worst scandals of any president in recent decades. Here’s a partial list:

• State Department email. In an effort to evade federal open-records laws, Mr. Obama’s first secretary of state set up a private server, which she used exclusively to conduct official business, including communications withobama-BW the president and the transmission of classified material. A federal criminal investigation produced no charges, but FBI Director James Comey reported that the secretary and her colleagues “were extremely careless” in handling national secrets.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

• Operation Fast and Furious. The Obama Justice Department lost track of thousands of guns it had allowed to pass into the hands of suspected smugglers, in the hope of tracing them to Mexican drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the fatal 2010 shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Congress held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt when he refused to turn over documents about the operation.

• IRS abuses. Mr. Obama’s Internal Revenue Service did something Richard Nixononly dreamed of doing: It successfully targeted political opponents. The Justice Department then refused to enforce Congress’s contempt citation against the IRS’s Lois Lerner, who refused to answer questions about her agency’s misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »


KOMPROMATAGEDDON

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Russia Says ‘Нет, у нас нет никаких компрометирующих материалов на Трампа’

Russia has denied such accusations and described them as unsubstantiated and an attempt by U.S. politicians to distract attention from domestic issues.

Laura Mills writes: Russia on Wednesday denied it has compromising material on Donald Trump, calling a dossier of unverified allegations an “absolute fabrication” and an attempt to damage U.S.-Russian relations.

“Among the allegations, contained in a set of confidential memos written by the former official, are that Mr. Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, met with Kremlin officials and discussed how to arrange cash payments to hackers working under Moscow’s direction against the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report, which claimed that Russia has material that could be used to blackmail Mr. Trump, as “pulp fiction,” according to Russian news agencies.

“The FBI has found no evidence that he traveled to the Czech Republic, where the meeting allegedly took place in August of last year, officials said.”

“This is a clear attempt to damage our bilateral relations,” he said. “Truly, there are those who whip up this hysteria, who will break their necks to support this ‘witch hunt’”

Mr. Peskov said that the Kremlin wasn’t involved in collecting compromising information on anyone, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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His comments come a day after it emerged that U.S. intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have spent months trying to substantiate explosive claims, compiled by a former Western intelligence official, that Russian government operatives engaged in an extensive conspiracy with advisers to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and employees of his company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. intelligence community and top officials have repeatedly accused Russia of trying to influence the 2016 presidential election, releasing a report last week that leveled broad accusations against Moscow, including cyberattacks meant to undermine the election and skewed coverage by state-funded Russian media.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Russia has denied such accusations and described them as unsubstantiated and an attempt by U.S. politicians to distract attention from domestic issues.

The latest claims were deemed sufficiently significant by senior intelligence officials to summarize them in a two-page addendum to the classified briefing President-elect Trump received last Friday about Russian efforts to influence the U.S. presidential campaign, the people said.

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“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” Mr. Trump tweeted after the allegations surfaced publicly Tuesday evening.

U.S. officials confirmed that a summary of the information had been given to Mr. Trump. They said sharing of such unverified information was taken out of an abundance of caution that the incoming president should be aware of allegations being made against him that could become public—a decision intelligence experts backed. President Barack Obama received the same information, officials said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Clinton Email Search Warrant Unsealed; Little New Revealed

A newly unsealed search-warrant application confirms the Federal Bureau of Investigation found thousands of emails potentially linked to Hillary Clinton on a laptop used by former congressman Anthony Weiner, who was then married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

“Mr. Weiner has been under investigation into whether he sent sexually explicit material to an underage girl. The investigation into Mr. Weiner continues, and he hasn’t been charged with any crimes.”

The search warrant application doesn’t offer any new revelations or insight—if anything, it repeats and reaffirms past assertions by officials about the case regarding how and why they decided to search the laptop in the final days of a heated presidential campaign.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

The search-warrant paperwork was unsealed Tuesday—with some redactions—after a California lawyer convinced a New York judge to make public the court document used in an email search that upended the final days of the 2016 race for the White House.

The search warrant was executed in late October on a laptop computer that agents believed was used by both Mr. Weiner and his now-estranged wife, Ms. Abedin. Ms. Abedin is a longtime aide to Mrs. Clinton, including when Mrs. Clinton served as secretary of state.

On Capitol Hill, Directors James Comey of the F.B.I., John O. Brennan of the C.I.A. and James R. Clapper Jr. of national intelligence. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Capitol Hill, Directors James Comey of the F.B.I., John O. Brennan of the C.I.A. and James R. Clapper Jr. of national intelligence. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mr. Weiner has been under investigation into whether he sent sexually explicit material to an underage girl. The investigation into Mr. Weiner continues, and he hasn’t been charged with any crimes.

That probe was unrelated to the politically charged investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state. In July, FBI Director James Comey announced the end of the email probe, saying no reasonable prosecutor would file charges, though he criticized “extremely careless’’ behavior at the State Department in handling Mrs. Clinton’s emails, some of which included classified information.

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Then, 11 days before the election, Mr. Comey made a surprise announcement, in the form of a letter to Congress, saying federal agents were examining newly discovered emails that might shed new light on the email case. Since the election, Mrs. Clinton and many Democrats have blamed Mr. Comey’s announcement, along with alleged Russian hacking of her campaign’s internal discussions, for her defeat. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Senator Reid: ‘Obvious’ Comey Was Partisan, ‘FBI Did Nothing’ About Russia 

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Anthony Weiner Fined $65K for Using Campaign Cash for Personal Use 

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The New York City Campaign Finance Board hit disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner with a $65,000 fine for a number of violations including using campaign funds from his failed 2013 mayoral run for his own personal use.

The board found that Weiner accepted contributions over the donation limit, failed to show that money he spent was in furtherance of his 2013 mayoral campaign and spent money after the election that was not related to the campaign.

The board is also ordering him to return $195,377 in matching campaign funds, DNA Info reported.

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The NYC Campaign Finance Board hit disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner with a $65,000 fine for a number of violations including using campaign funds from his failed 2013 mayoral run for his own personal use (pictured above in 2013)

The board found that Weiner (pictured above in 2013) accepted contributions over the donation limit, failed to show that money he spent was in furtherance of his 2013 mayoral campaign and spent money after the election that was not related to the campaign

Money that Weiner spent for personal use included him paying his cell phone bill and  another personal line he used for fundraising. For that violation, he was fined $2,308. Read the rest of this entry »


Paul ‘Black Helicopters’ Krugman Speculates on an FBI Virtual ‘Alliance with Putin’

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 reports: Paul Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist and New York Times columnist, suggested Thursday that an “alliance” between a faction of the FBI and Russian President Vladimir Putin swung last week’s election in favor of Donald Trump.

“So it looks more and more as if we had an election swung, in effect, by a faction of our own security sector in alliance with Putin.”

— Paul Krugman, during a psychotic break, on Twitter

Krugman said that given the small margin in swing states that decided the election, the FBI’s reactivation of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was just enough to change the minds of some voters.

“The economist has frequently taken to Twitter in the days after the election to bemoan the outcome and to draw concern over early policies of Trump.”

FBI Director James Comey announced the discovery of new emails “pertinent” to the case on October 28 — 11 days before the election — before clearing her again a week later.

[Read the actual news item here, at Business Insider]

“As evidence accumulates that Trump benefited from a lot of late deciders breaking his way, the case that it was Comey gets stronger,” Krugman wrote in a tweet.

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The US intelligence community publicly accused the Russian government of being behind the hacks of emails of members of Democratic Party organizations and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose electronic communications were released in droves by WikiLeaks during the final weeks of the campaign. Read the rest of this entry »


Unexpectedly, In Wake of Hillary’s Defeat, Donations to Clinton Foundation Dry Up

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Who could have seen this coming?

Donations to the Clinton Foundation plummeted amid Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential run, it has been revealed. The non-profit organization’s latest tax filings show contributions fell 37 per cent to $108million – down from $172million in 2014, according to the New York Post.(read more)

money-broke-empty-pockets Read the rest of this entry »


Clinton Staffers Popped Champagne on Election Day Before Loss

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Hillary Clinton’s aides were so sure she would win that they reportedly popped champagne on the campaign plane on Election Day.

Hours later, instead of becoming the nation’s first female president as polls had predicted, Clinton suffered one of the most stunning political defeats in history, champagne-hillaryand Donald Trump became the new president-elect.

“There is no question that a week from Election Day, Secretary Clinton was poised for a historic win. In the end, late breaking developments in the race proved one hurdle too many for us to overcome.”

The New York Times reported the champagne element on Saturday, as part of a story that detailed Clinton’s comments echoing a memo from her campaign that blamed her shocking loss on FBI Director James Comey.

“Instead of becoming the nation’s first female president as polls had predicted, Clinton suffered one of the most stunning political defeats in history, and Donald Trump became the new president-elect.”

A mere 11 days before the election, Comey sent a letter notifying Congress that the FBI was looking into new emails related to Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.

The agency discovered the emails while investigating former congressman Anthony Weiner. But the Sunday before Election Day, Comey announced the emails didn’t warrant additional investigation, and again cleared Clinton.

The Clinton campaign and prominent Democrats slammed Comey for his timing, accusing the Republican FBI director of trying to sway the election. Read the rest of this entry »


#HandsUpFakeNews

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Don’t Kid Yourself — Liberals Are Just As Susceptible To Fake News. Their brand may be more sophisticated, but it’s no less harmful.


Democrats Are Losing the Culture Wars

Party leaders are moving leftward, naively assuming they can win over working-class voters with a socialist-minded message.

Josh Kraushaar writes: In the af­ter­math of the elec­tion, shell-shocked Demo­crats struggled to pin­point a reas­on be­hind their stun­ning loss to Don­ald Trump. Hil­lary Clin­ton blamed FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey. Demo­crat­ic op­er­at­ives cri­ti­cized the Clin­ton cam­paign team for tak­ing the Rust Belt for gran­ted. Bernie Sanders and his as­cend­ant left-wing flank of the party blames the party’s close­ness to Wall Street.

“On is­sues ran­ging from the pres­id­ent’s hes­it­ance to la­bel ter­ror­ism by its name to an un­will­ing­ness to cri­ti­cize ex­trem­ist ele­ments of protest groups like Black Lives Mat­ter to ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders man­dat­ing trans­gender bath­rooms, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fen­ded the sens­ib­il­it­ies of the Amer­ic­an pub­lic.”

No one is point­ing a fin­ger at the most glar­ing vul­ner­ab­il­ity—the party’s cul­tur­al dis­con­nect from much of the coun­try. On is­sues ran­ging from the pres­id­ent’s hes­it­ance to la­bel ter­ror­ism by its name to an un­will­ing­ness to cri­ti­cize ex­trem­ist ele­ments of protest groups like Black Lives Mat­ter to ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders man­dat­ing trans­gender bath­rooms, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fen­ded the sens­ib­il­it­ies of the Amer­ic­an pub­lic.

[Read the full story here, at nationaljournal.com]

Among lib­er­al-minded mil­len­ni­als, Pres­id­ent Obama’s ac­tions were a sign that he was chart­ing “an arc of his­tory that bends to­wards justice.” But to older, more-con­ser­vat­ive Amer­ic­ans, it was a sign that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s views were well out­side the Amer­ic­an main­stream.

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“Among lib­er­al-minded mil­len­ni­als, Pres­id­ent Obama’s ac­tions were a sign that he was chart­ing ‘an arc of his­tory that bends to­wards justice.’ But to older, more-con­ser­vat­ive Amer­ic­ans, it was a sign that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s views were well out­side the Amer­ic­an main­stream.”

Clin­ton tried to win over mod­er­ates by rais­ing red flags about Trump’s for­eign policy and his ra­cially charged, miso­gyn­ist­ic rhet­or­ic. But she didn’t have a Sis­ter Soul­jah mo­ment to cri­ti­cize the ex­cesses of the Left—as Bill Clin­ton fam­ously did dur­ing the 1992 cam­paign—for fear of ali­en­at­ing the Obama co­ali­tion. In fact, her line that “im­pli­cit [ra­cial] bi­as is a prob­lem for every­one” dur­ing the first de­bate was a mo­ment that couldn’t have been more re­pel­lent to those white Rust Belt voters who deser­ted the Demo­crats this year.

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“Demo­crats will be spend­ing their time in the polit­ic­al wil­der­ness fig­ur­ing out how to re­build a shattered party. But early in­dic­a­tions sug­gest that party lead­ers are veer­ing even fur­ther to the left in­stead of mod­er­at­ing their rhet­or­ic.”

As New York Times colum­nist Ross Douthat pres­ci­ently wrote in Septem­ber: “The new cul­tur­al or­tho­doxy is suf­fi­ciently stifling to leave many Amer­ic­ans look­ing to the vot­ing booth as a way to re­gister dis­sent.” Op­pos­ing polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness was one con­sist­ent theme in Trump’s very muddled cam­paign mes­sage.

Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town, that they say they sleep with handguns close at hand. Gloria Shafer keeps her 9 mm gun under her pillow.

“They’ve con­cluded—with the as­sist­ance of Sanders, Eliza­beth War­ren, and po­lemi­cist Mi­chael Moore—that they would have per­formed bet­ter with work­ing-class white voters if they only ar­tic­u­lated a more pop­u­list eco­nom­ic mes­sage. They’ve shown no in­clin­a­tion to re­ject Clin­ton’s con­tro­ver­sial no­tion that half of Trump’s sup­port­ers were de­plor­able and ir­re­deem­able.”

Demo­crats will be spend­ing their time in the polit­ic­al wil­der­ness fig­ur­ing out how to re­build a shattered party. But early in­dic­a­tions sug­gest that party lead­ers are veer­ing even fur­ther to the left in­stead of mod­er­at­ing their rhet­or­ic. Read the rest of this entry »