February 22, 2017

Obama’s Feds Tried to Hack Indiana’s Election System While Pence Was Governor

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials tried to hack Indiana’s state electoral system with at least 14,800 “scans” or hits between Nov. 1, 2016, to Dec. 16, 2016, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

The attacks are the second confirmed IT scanning assault by DHS officials against states that resisted then-President Barack Obama’s attempt to increase federal involvement in state and local election systems by designating them as “critical infrastructure” for national security.

Members of the National Association of Secretaries of State voted Saturday at their winter meeting to oppose the designation. They are asking President Donald Trump to overturn it.

Former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was also Trump’s vice presidential-elect during much of the period covered by the DHS scans of the Indiana system.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the incoming president of the association, told TheDCNF Tuesday that, “we know that between November 1 and December 16 we were scanned with about 14,800 scans, nearly 15,000 different times.”

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February 21, 2017

Trump Will Issue Executive Orders To Dismantle Obama’s ‘Climate Action Plan’

President Donald Trump will order the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin dismantling a regulation central to former President Barack Obama’s plan to fight global warming.

A source briefed on the matter told The Washington Post one of the orders “will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities” and order “the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.”

Trump will issue a second order instructing the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal control over rivers, streams and wetlands — even those on private property.

Trump is expected to issue the orders in the next week. Dismantling EPA regulations could take months and is bound to draw legal challenges. Repealing the Department of the Interior’s coal moratorium, on the other hand, could take effect immediately.

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February 20, 2017

State Officials Want Trump To Reverse Obama’s Last-Minute Election Power Grab

State officials across the nation are fighting former President Barack Obama’s last-minute decision to impose federal authority over state-run election systems, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which includes officials from all 50 states and U.S. territories, appealed to President Donald Trump in a resolution approved Saturday at the group’s winter meeting to overturn the Obama policy, but doing so may encounter unexpected resistance from the new administration.

Obama ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Jan. 6, 2017, to classify local and state election systems under the new federal designation of “critical infrastructure.”

By a voice vote, the NASS declared that it “opposes the designation of elections as critical infrastructure,” with opposition cutting across party lines. The NASS includes 33 Republicans, 21 Democrats and one independent.

Election authority falls under secretaries of state in most states, but some states give the authority to their lieutenant governors. All were in attendance at the winter meeting.

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February 17, 2017

Judicial Watch Planning to Sue FBI, NSA, CIA for Flynn Records

Conservative foundation Judicial Watch is planning to sue several government agencies if they do not hand over records related to the wiretapping of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The group filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the records weeks ago but are planning to sue by next week for the records if they do not receive anything by then.

Judicial Watch filed the requests with the FBI, NSA, CIA, and Treasury Department, according to the group’s Director of Investigations and Research Chris Farrell.

The group is aiming to find out whether there was ever a warrant allowing the U.S. government to wiretap Flynn’s phone calls, and if so, who requested it and why.

“If you have a warrant, attached to the warrant 99 percent of the time, there is an affidavit, a sworn declaration normally by a law enforcement officer or senior official,” said Farrell.

Such a warrant could be classified, depending on the case, he said.

A wiretapped phone call between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post and revealed in a Feb. 9 story.

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February 16, 2017

How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn

National Security Advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) — who resigned Monday — was the victim of a “hit job” launched by intelligence operatives, Obama government holdovers and former Obama national security officials, according to former intelligence officials who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials.

“This was a hit job,” charged retired Col. James Williamson, a 32-year Special Forces veteran who coordinated his operations with the intelligence community.

Noting the Obama administration first tried to silence Flynn in 2014 when the former president fired him as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Williamson called Monday’s resignation, “stage Two of ‘Kill Mike Flynn.”

Former intelligence officials who understand spy craft say Flynn’s resignation had everything to do with a “disinformation campaign” and little to do with the December phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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February 15, 2017

Former Obama Officials, Loyalists Waged Secret Campaign to Oust Flynn

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump's national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn's credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration's efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

Insiders familiar with the anti-Flynn campaign told the Free Beacon that these Obama loyalists plotted in the months before Trump's inauguration to establish a set of roadblocks before Trump's national security team, which includes several prominent opponents of diplomacy with Iran. The Free Beacon first reported on this effort in January.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon requested anonymity in order to speak freely about the situation and avoid interfering with the White House's official narrative about Flynn, which centers on his failure to adequately inform the president about a series of phone calls with Russian officials.

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February 14, 2017

Israeli PM Netanyahu Becomes D.C. Darling as Democrats Clamor for Meetings

After years of tense relations with the United States under former President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is emerging as one of the most prominent international personalities, according to multiple sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Democrats, Republicans, and high-level White House officials are clamoring for a sit down with the Israeli leader when he arrives in town on Tuesday.

Senior officials across party lines hope to let Netanyahu know that America has Israel's back and that years of tension during the Obama administration is just water under the bridge, according to both congressional sources and those close to the Trump administration.

Netanyahu's schedule is already packed with powwows between President Trump, senior administration officials, and a cast of leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the aisle.

Meetings will center on U.S. lawmakers' desire to reset relations with the Jewish state. Multiple sources told the Free Beacon that sit downs with White House officials will focus on holding Iran accountable for violations of the nuclear deal, moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and combatting efforts at the United Nations to delegitimize Israel.

Netanyahu already has confirmed a 6:30 p.m. dinner Tuesday evening with newly installed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The meeting will take place inside the State Department.

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February 13, 2017

Could Reince Be On His Way Out As Chief Of Staff?

The opening weeks of the Trump administration have been described as tumultuous by many, potentially leaving White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus’ head on the chopping block.

Chris Ruddy, founder of Newsmax Media and one of President Trump’s friends, said Sunday on CNN that the “White House is showing not the amount of order that we need to see. I think there’s a lot of weakness coming out of the chief of staff.”

After his comments on CNN, Ruddy told The Washington Post, “I’ve gotten three text messages from sitting Cabinet members praising my appearance. They realize this whole government depends on this chief of staff.” The significance of Ruddy’s comments are compounded by his tweet that he spoke at length with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago Saturday night.

“It’s my view that Reince is the problem. I think on paper Reince looked good as the chief of staff — and Donald trusted him — but it’s pretty clear the guy is in way over his head,” Ruddy told The Post. “He’s not knowledgeable of how federal agencies work, how the communications operations work. He botched this whole immigration rollout. This should’ve been a win for Donald, not two or three weeks of negative publicity.”

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February 10, 2017

State Department Doubles Refugee Inflow Since Court Ruling, Most From Terror-Prone Countries

The U.S. State Department has more than doubled the refugee inflow from seven terror-prone countries since a Seattle judge’s decision to block President Donald Trump’s immigration reform, according to a report in The Washington Times.

Since the Feb. 3 ruling, 1,100 refugees have entered the United States, with 77 percent arriving from the seven terror-prone countries outlined on Trump’s executive order.

In a statement to The Washington Times, the State Department said the increase in numbers was a result of “rescheduling those whose travel had been suspended the previous week.”

The countries, which include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, were originally deemed a terror threat by President Barack Obama’s administration, as part of the Terrorist Prevention Act of 2015.

Out of the 1,100 refugees admitted, 346 come from Syria, while 232 originate from Iraq. Meanwhile, 64 per cent of recent arrivals identify as Muslim, compared to just 31 percent of arrivals in the first week of the Trump administration.

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February 9, 2017

‘Should Be Sued For Fraud’ — Matt Drudge Unloads On Republicans

Matt Drudge unloaded on Republicans Wednesday, saying they should be “sued for fraud.”

The proprietor of popular news aggregator The Drudge Report, Matt Drudge is known for his secrecy and rarely gives his personal opinion on political issues.

He made an exception on Wednesday, unleashing on Twitter against congressional Republicans for what he felt was a lack of real action.

Drudge claimed Republicans “Only know how to be opposition not lead!” and pointed to the lack of an Obamacare repeal as an example. He followed up by saying the “Republican party should be sued for fraud,” urging lawmakers to get “Back to basics.”

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February 8, 2017

McConnell Shuts Down Elizabeth Warren in Sessions Senate Floor Debate

Tuesday night on the U.S. Senate floor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who was speaking out against Attorney General designee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), was shut down by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for an apparent violation of Senate rules.

Warren in here speech attempted to read a letter by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., that protested the nomination of Sessions to the federal bench in 1986. However, Warren was warned by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), who was presiding over the Senate at the time and had warned Warren about violating “Rule 19.”

“The senator is reminded that it is a violation of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate to ‘impute to another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or becoming a senator,” he said.

Later, McConnell finally shut down Warren for criticizing their Sessions and was told to take her seat.

Senators then voted along party lines by a 49-43 margin to uphold the ruling of the presiding chair and block Warren from speaking for the remainder of the debate.

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February 7, 2017

Trump Admin Calls NY Times Story ‘Epitome Of Fake News’

President Donald Trump and his press secretary Sean Spicer spent Monday attacking a New York Times story accusing the Trump administration of having difficulty adjusting to power.

The Times story “Trump and Staff Rethink Tactics After Stumbles” published Sunday cited multiple sources and included many minute details about the Trump White House. “Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit,” Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman wrote.

The New York Times story said that Trump constantly watches television in his bathrobe and spends time complaining about negative coverage of his administration. After the story came out, Trump tweeted, “The failing [New York Times] writes total fiction concerning me. They have gotten it wrong for two years, and now are making up stories & sources!”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also complained about the story to reporters on Air Force One. “That story was so riddled with inaccuracies and lies that they owe the president an apology,” Spicer said.

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February 6, 2017

McConnell: No Federal Money for Investigating Voter Fraud

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he would not spend federal funds investigating what President Trump says is “massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.”

McConnell told CNN’s Jake Tapper that, although there are instances of voter fraud, he believes that it’s not “as widespread as Trump claims” and that combating voter fraud should be an issue “best left to the states” instead of the federal government.

“Election fraud does occur,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, adding that “there’s no evidence that occurred in such a significant number that it would have changed the presidential election.”

“I don’t think we ought to spend any federal money investigating that. I think the states can take a look at this issue. Many of them have tried to tighten their voter rolls, tried to purge people who are dead,” McConnell said.

Trump says he lost the popular vote by three to five million votes because of illegal immigrants in a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, the Hill reported.

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February 3, 2017

Trump Warns Israel That New Settlements May Not Advance Peace

The Trump administration asserted that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, but stopped short of taking an official position on settlement activity.

“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years,” the White House said in a statement Thursday evening.

“While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal,” the statement said.

While Trump has reaffirmed his commitment to a strong Israeli-U.S. relationship, he is using language that Republican presiden

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February 2, 2017

President Trump’s Message For Mitch McConnell? ‘Go Nuclear.’

President Trump encouraged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “go nuclear” if there is Democratic opposition to his Supreme Court nominee.

While speaking with reporters at the White House Wednesday, the president urged Republicans to use all means necessary to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed — including stripping the 60-vote threshold required to confirm Supreme Court nominees.

“If we end up with the same gridlock that they’ve had in Washington, I would say, ‘If you can, Mitch, go nuclear,'” Trump said. “Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect. I would say it’s up to Mitch, but I would say, ‘Go for it.'”

On Tuesday night, Trump announced that Gorsuch was his nominee for the Supreme Court.

“I made a promise to the people that I would find the very best judge in the country to nominate to the Supreme Court,” Trump said from the White House. “Millions of people said this was the single most important decision.”

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February 1, 2017

Ted Cruz Issues A Warning Shot: ‘Democrats Will Not Succeed In Filibustering This Nomination…’

Ted Cruz said it would be a mistake for Democrats to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

The Texas senator told Tucker Carlson that he believes a number of Democrats will vote for Gorsuch just minutes after President Trump nominated him.

“I think Judge Gorsuch is a home run,” Cruz said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “It would be a mistake for Democrats to filibuster Judge Gorsuch. They will not succeed.”

“This has been, I think, the most transparent process we’ve ever seen for a Supreme Court nominee,” he continued. “A judge’s job is not to pick which litigant you like better or pick which outcome or policy you like. It’s to follow the law. I believe that he will follow in the path of Scalia. What that means is he will maintain a balance of power on the Supreme Court.”

“If Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would have lost much of our fundamental liberty.”

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January 31, 2017

Trump Readies Crackdown On H-1B Visa Abuse By Executive Order

President Donald Trump is preparing an executive order aimed at revamping the H-1b visa program to ensure tech companies make a good faith effort to hire American workers before importing foreign workers.

The stated purpose of the H-1b program is to allow companies to temporarily import high-skilled workers when they can’t find American workers willing or able to do the job, but critics contend its true purpose is to help big businesses cut costs by importing less expensive workers. In the past several years, Disney, Southern California Edison, Fossil Group and others have together fired hundreds of American tech workers and forced them to train their foreign replacements, many of whom were flown in specifically to take their jobs.

A major overhaul to the program would have to happen through Congress, but Trump can make some changes via executive authority, and his administration is drafting an order, reports Bloomberg. Tech companies would have to prioritize American workers first under the draft order, and if they do import foreign workers, they would have to prioritize those who are the most skilled and highest paid.

“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” a draft reviewed by Bloomberg reads. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

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January 30, 2017

WARNING: Trump’s EPA Secretary Will Have ‘16,000 Employees Working Against Him’

When likely EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt walks into his first day at the office, “He’ll have 16,000 employees working against him,” Sen. James Lankford told a large gathering of libertarian donors Saturday evening.

“And I expect a flood of lawsuits over everything he does.”

Pruitt, who has been nominated to lead the EPA by President Donald Trump, is the attorney general of Lankford’s state, Oklahoma. He has faced fierce opposition from the environmentalist left.

Lankford, who chairs the Senate Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, was joined on stage by Sens. Mike Lee and Pat Toomey. Their panel, moderated by Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips, was during a dinner on day one of Charles and David Koch’s libertarian Seminar Network in Palm Springs, Calif.

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January 27, 2017

White House Reveals How It Will ‘Easily’ Get Mexico To Pay For The Wall

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers for the border wall by paying a 20 percent tax on exports to the U.S.

Spicer said if you tax 20 percent of the $50 billion annual trade deficit with Mexico, you can get $10 billion a year which would “easily pay for the wall.”

“That’s really going to provide the funding,” the White House press secretary said. After Spicer’s comments were widely reported, the press secretary tried to clarify his comments and said the tax is one of several options available to the Trump White House.

Spicer tells me 20% tax on Mexican imports is NOT a policy proposal, but example of options how to pay for wall.

He said that the White House has been in touch with Congress about the proposal and creating a concrete plan around it.

President Trump has said Congress will pay for the border wall first and that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers later, through a possibly “complicated form.” Mexico’s leadership has adamantly denied that they will pay for a wall on America’s southern border, saying that it would be an affront to their dignity.

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January 26, 2017

Media Matters Is Building A Creepy Database On White House Journos

Media Matters asked for help building a “comprehensive” database of reporters who “get to ask” questions at the White House Wednesday, sending a series of bizarre tweets in which the heads of various journalists are circled in red ink.

“[Media Matters] is going to try to maintain a comprehensive database of who gets to ask questions at press briefings,” senior fellow Matthew Gertz tweeted. “We need your help to ID some!”

Gertz then began tweeting out image after image of reporters asking questions in the White House briefing room, describing the question asked in each one and asking followers to identify the reporter. Each one’s head is circled in red ink.

“Who is this?” he tweeted, along with one of the photos. “On Monday he asked about the Women’s March on Washington and the March for Life.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has switched up the pecking order in the first few briefings, opting to give outlets such as The New York Post and Christian Broadcasting Network an opportunity to ask questions, in addition to the more traditionally favored networks and wires.

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