September 24, 2018

BRITS ASKED TRUMP NOT TO DECLASSIFY RUSSIA DOCS


  • President Donald Trump backtracked on an order Friday to declassify and release documents related to the FBI’s collusion investigation
  • Trump claimed that two foreign allies expressed concerns over releasing the documents
  • The New York Times reports that the British government was one of the allies. According to The Times, the Brits were concerned about releasing information about Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer who wrote the unverified dossier

The British government asked President Donald Trump not to release a trove of documents from the Russia investigation, according to The New York Times.

Trump ordered Monday the release of a slew of documents from the Russia probe, including a June 2017 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application granted against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But the Republican suddenly backtracked Friday, saying that he would refer declassification issues to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.

Trump said the Justice Department and two foreign allies had raised concerns about declassifying and releasing the documents.

“We are moving along, we are also dealing with foreign countries that do have a problem,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday, before reneging on the declassification order.

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September 14, 2018

AS HURRICANE FLORENCE MOVES IN, DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING UP TRUMP’S PICK TO HEAD EPA’S EMERGENCY RESPONSE DIVISION


  • Senate Democrats are holding up the confirmation of EPA’s top emergency response official.
  • Trump nominated Peter Wright for the position in March, but he hasn’t gotten a floor vote yet.
  • Hurricane Florence could flood toxic and hazardous waste sites in the Carolinas.

Senate Democrats are holding up the confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) emergency management division.

Trump nominated former Dow Chemical attorney Peter Wright to head EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, which responds to emergency situations, including chemical spills and hurricanes. Hurricane Florence is hitting the Carolinas and is expected to make landfall Thursday night.

Hurricane Florence is expected to dump up to two feet of rain over swaths of North Carolina and South Carolina, and officials have warned residents of “catastrophic flash flooding” amid the downpour.

Flooding could damage hazardous and toxic waste sites in the Florence’s path. Many pig farms, coal ash disposal sites and several Superfund sites could be impacted by torrential rain. EPA officials are monitoring the situation.

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September 13, 2018

‘DEEPLY OFFENSIVE’: LEAKED VIDEOS SHOW GOOGLE LEADERSHIP REACTING TO TRUMP’S VICTORY

A leaked video published Wednesday night appears to show several senior Google executives holding a large staff meeting following the 2016 election to reckon with President Donald Trump’s victory.

In the video, Google’s executives speculate about what motivated people to vote for Trump, as well as the role the company can play in informing people about the election. Executives also appear to discuss ways to defend what they called good values.

“We have no idea what direction this country will take… It’s a period of great uncertainty… especially for immigrants or minorities [and] women,” co-founder Sergey Brin told Google employees. “As an immigrant and a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive, and I know many of you do too.”

The video features co-founders Larry Page and Brin, VPs Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton, CFO Ruth Porat, and CEO Sundar Pichai.

One executive, Porat, got emotional while talking about the election’s results and promised employees that company will “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.”

September 12, 2018

TWO MORE KEY TRUMP OFFICIALS DISPUTE WOODWARD CLAIMS

Two former key aides to President Donald Trump are denying quotes and actions attributed to them in a new book by Bob Woodward, they said in Tuesday statements.

“This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House,” former NEC Director Gary Cohn said in a Tuesday statement. “I am proud of my service in the Trump Administration, and I continue to support the President and his economic agenda.”

Woodward alleged that Cohn once took key trade documents off Trump’s desk and disparaged his intelligence frequently. Cohn was joined by disgraced White House staff secretary Rob Porter in denying elements of the book.

Porter also told Axios and other news outlets “having now read Bob Woodward’s Fear, I am struck by the selective and often misleading portrait it paints of the President and his administration,” adding “during my time in the White House, I sought to serve the President’s best interests and to help enable his many successes—successes that Mr. Woodward’s book ignores.”

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September 11, 2018

WHITE HOUSE LAWYERS ACTIVELY REVIEWING DOCS FOR DECLASSIFICATION


  • President Donald Trump is insistent on releasing FBI and DOJ documents related to surveillance of campaign advisers, but he has received pushback from White House lawyers, according to multiple sources.
  • House Republicans have pressed Trump to release the documents.
  • Congressional sources say they expect Trump to release the records, but they have tempered their expectations on when they will be made public.

White House lawyers are actively reviewing controversial FBI and Department of Justice documents relating to the 2016 presidential campaign for possible declassification, multiple sources with knowledge tell The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The review process is being led by Emmet Flood of the White House Counsel’s office at the urging of an insistent president, two sources with knowledge of the process told The DCNF. A source close to the president noted that Flood and his colleagues within the counsel’s office are generally opposed to declassification, out of the concern for the precedent it would set as well as any unintended consequences of making the information public.

Sources cautioned that declassification could occur as soon as this week, though the uncertainty reflects the nature of the review process itself.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders demurred on declassification in a Monday briefing saying, “I can’t get into that right now.”

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September 10, 2018

TRUMP REPORTEDLY CLOSE TO DECLASSIFYING CARTER PAGE AND BRUCE OHR DOCUMENTS

President Trump is reportedly on the verge of declassifying documents related to the government’s surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and FBI documents regarding Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

House Republicans have recently pressed Trump to declassify the documents, which they claim undercuts the FBI and Justice Department’s rationale for opening an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Axios reported on Sunday that Trump’s allies say that he is close to declassifying the documents.

Sources familiar with Trump’s thinking have told The Daily Caller News Foundation over the past week that they believed Trump was close to releasing the documents.

Trump himself told The Daily Caller in an Oval Office interview on Sept. 4 that he is “very seriously” considering declassifying the documents.

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September 7, 2018

FIVE KEY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW YORK TIMES’ ANONYMOUS ‘SENIOR OFFICIAL’

One day after The New York Times published an op-ed from an anonymous “senior official” in President Donald Trump’s administration who trashed the president and claimed to be secretly working against his or her wishes, five key questions remain unanswered.

1) Who wrote it?

The question everyone is asking: Who is the anonymous official? TheNYT appeared to let slip in a tweet that the author is a “he,” though the paper later claimed the gendered word was used in error. Twitter has been filled with speculation — based on the official’s sentiments and word choices — about the writer’s identity. CNN’s Chris Cillizza published 13 guesses about the official’s identity, “based on what we know about the various factions, likes, dislikes, motivations and ambitions within the Trump administration.” Denials have begun rolling in from prominent officials in the administration. (RELATED: Denials Roll In From Top Admin Officials On Op-Ed) 

2) How senior is this person?

Just how senior is this anonymous “senior official”? The Trump administration has “roughly 1,200 positions” that require Senate confirmation, including 640 “key positions,” according to PolitiFact. Axios’s Mike Allen similarly noted in his newsletter that the “senior official” label could apply to “hundreds of officials.” If the person who wrote the op-ed isn’t an assistant to the president or a cabinet-level official, TheNYT would likely face a backlash for exaggerating the official’s importance in the administration.

3) Why did this official write it?

The author’s decision to remain anonymous and continue working against a president he or she is supposed to be helping has been sharply criticized in the press. “Here, I think, President Trump’s use of ‘gutless’ is apt,” wrote Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan. “The piece is an exercise in ego, although I have no doubt that the writer is thrilled with his or her own display of courage.” The Atlantic’s David Frum argued the official’s op-ed was meant to portray himself or herself as heroic but instead threw “the government of the United States into even more dangerous turmoil.” Still, until the author is identified, it will be tough to say exactly what the motive was.

4) Who was the intermediary?

The anonymous senior official submitted the op-ed to TheNYT using an intermediary, according to the paper. The intermediary has not yet been identified.

5) How accurate is the op-ed?

Democrats in Congress have been eager to tout the official’s claim that “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment.” Other claims are similarly damaging to Trump, including that “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” But it’s difficult to evaluate those claims without knowing who or how credible the author is.

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September 6, 2018

DEMOCRATS USE ANONYMOUS TRUMP OFFICIAL’S NYT OP-ED TO PUSH 25TH AMENDMENT FANTASY


  • An anonymous official in President Donald Trump’s administration wrote an op-ed in the New York Times claiming that Trump’s senior staffers are working against him
  • Democrats in Congress are using the op-ed to push for Trump’s removal via the 25th Amendment
  • The 25th Amendment has been only used three times for temporary measures related to medical operations

Some Democrats in Congress quickly used a New York Times op-ed written by an anonymous official in President Donald Trump’s administration to demand his cabinet remove him from office via the 25th Amendment, which the official claims was briefly whispered about in Trump’s cabinet.

The op-ed, titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” claimed that “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The official claimed that “there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment” but that “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”

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September 3, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: HILLARY CLINTON IS HIRING INTERNS FOR THE FALL — BUT WON’T PAY THEM A CENT

Hillary Clinton is hiring a batch of unpaid interns for the fall to work in her New York City office, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis and will “run from September to mid-December.” The internship requires “a minimum of three days per week,” and undergrads “of all majors are encouraged to apply.”

While the amount of hours per day aren’t specified, the “internship is unpaid.”

“Interns will provide support to our staff, assisting our work on a wide range of projects. Work will include but will not be limited to: compiling press clips, monitoring social media, conducting research, drafting correspondence, and assisting with office management,” the job posting states.

Clinton’s office is looking for applicants who have “a high level of professionalism and discretion,” “strong research and writing skills,” “the ability to work collaboratively as part of a team,” “strong interpersonal communication skills,” “a diligent work ethic and a sense of conscientiousness,” as well as “enthusiasm, dedication, and a positive attitude.”

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August 31, 2018

GIULIANI SAYS BRUCE OHR SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FOR POSSIBLE FELONY

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani suggested the Department of Justice should investigate its own employee, Bruce Ohr, over payments his wife received from Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier.

Writing on Twitter, Giuliani questioned whether the Justice Department has opened an investigation into whether Ohr had a written waiver for his wife’s work for Fusion GPS.

“What are the odds the DOJ or Mueller have begun an investigation of Bruce Ohr for violating 18 USC sec. 208? That’s a federal felony unless he disclosed all facts to the DOJ and has a written waiver. How many of you know what that is?” Giuliani wrote.

Ohr’s wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS as part of its Democrat-funded investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

The law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid Fusion GPS just over $1 million to investigate Trump. Fusion, which was founded by three former Wall Street Journal reporters, paid Steele $178,000 for his work. Nellie Ohr was paid $44,000, according to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who took part in Ohr’s hearing Tuesday.

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August 30, 2018

FBI REFUSES TO CONFIRM OR DENY ICIG WARNED OF CLINTON SERVER INTRUSION


  • The FBI won’t disclose whether it met with senior officials of the Intelligence Community Inspector General.
  • TheDCNF confirmed that the ICIG briefed top bureau officials on three separate occasions to warn the FBI of an “anomaly” they found 30,000 in-bound and outgoing emails.
  • The anomaly showed a code embedded in Clinton’s server was producing in real time a “courtesy copy” to a third party.

The FBI refuses to disclose whether or not it met with senior members of the Intelligence Community Inspector General on the subject of foreign intrusion of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private server.

An FBI spokeswoman refused to confirm if Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) officials — including Frank Rucker, its chief investigator — briefed top bureau officials about evidence of penetration of Clinton’s private server by a Chinese government intelligence operation. “We have no comment,” she told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Earlier Wednesday, an FBI spokesman released what appeared to be a categorical statement about the Clinton server: “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised,” the FBI stated.

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August 29, 2018

‘PURE BS’: DON JR. HITS CNN OVER FIZZLED ‘BOMBSHELLS’

Donald Trump Jr. continued his battle with CNN on Tuesday, calling two of the network’s “bombshell” reports “pure BS.”

“It’s simple, there is no penalty for being wrong about Trump. If it’s against Trump, any error no matter how egregious is ignored or forgiven,” Trump Jr. tweeted.

He was referring to two CNN stories, one published last month and one published in December, that were widely cited after publication as evidence of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

The first story, from Dec. 8, 2017, alleged that Donald Trump Jr. received an email on Sept. 4, 2016 containing a link and encryption key to hacked emails provided to Wikileaks. The second story, published on July 27, asserted that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen claimed to have been present during a meeting when Trump Jr. told his father about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a group of Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN, Cohen said he was willing to tell Special Counsel Robert Mueller that President Trump approved of the meeting.

The first story was completely debunked while the second has come under intense scrutiny, given that one of the sources, Cohen attorney Lanny Davis, has retracted his claim.

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August 28, 2018

LANNY DAVIS BUSTS CNN — ADMITS HE WAS SOURCE FOR NETWORK’S DEBUNKED TRUMP TOWER STORY


  • Lanny Davis, the attorney for Michael Cohen, has dropped another bombshell, this time on CNN.
  • Davis told BuzzFeed that he was one of the anonymous sources for CNN’s July 27 report alleging that Cohen had information that Trump approved of the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016. 
  • Davis admits that he lied last week when he denied being a source. CNN is standing by its report. 

Lanny Davis has acknowledged that he was an anonymous source for CNN for a now-debunked story published in July claiming that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is willing to tell the special counsel’s office that President Donald Trump had foreknowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

Davis, a Clinton-connected public relations guru who is representing Cohen, admitted to BuzzFeed News on Monday that he was a source for CNN’s story, which appeared on July 27.

The report cited “sources with knowledge” of Cohen’s comments who claimed that he was in a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. when he told his father about a meeting set up with a group of Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The report marked a major development in the Russia investigation because both Trump Jr. and Trump have denied that Trump knew about the June 9, 2016 meeting until it was reported last July.

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August 27, 2018

BRIAN STELTER IGNORES CNN’S BUNGLED TRUMP TOWER STORY


  • CNN has refused to acknowledge a massive error in its July 27 report that Michael Cohen has information implicating President Donald Trump in a cover-up over the Trump Tower meeting.
  • Cohen’s lawyer debunked the report earlier this week.
  • CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewed Carl Bernstein, one of the authors of the false report, on Sunday but did not bring up the fake news.

The host of CNN’s media criticism show “Reliable Sources” on Sunday interviewed Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters who wrote a since-debunked story asserting that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen claimed President Donald Trump approved the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

But Bernstein’s faulty reporting was not one of the topics of discussion on the CNN show, which is hosted by Brian Stelter. Instead, Stelter led a panel discussion in which Trump was called a “liar” several times.

Bernstein and CNN reporters Jim Sciutto and Marshall Cohen reported July 27 that Cohen is willing to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that he took part in a meeting in which Donald Trump Jr. told his father about an offer to meet with a group of Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN’s anonymous sources, Cohen said Trump approved of the meeting. The story caused waves, with CNN hosts discussing the story for days. Democrats and Trump critics argued the report was the strongest evidence yet that Trump colluded with Russia. They also noted that Trump and Trump Jr. publicly denied that Trump knew about the meeting until it was reported in the press in July 2017.

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August 24, 2018

ERIC SWALWELL FLOATS DEBUNKED TRUMP TOWER STORY IN MSNBC INTERVIEW

California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell falsely claimed Thursday that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has information that President Donald Trump had foreknowledge of the Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June 2016.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, Swalwell appeared to cite a CNN report from July that Cohen was present at a conference when Trump approved the meeting between his son and a group of Russians offering dirt on former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“It is clear that Michael Cohen was not truthful with the House Intelligence Committee, which is all the more reason that we never should have ended our investigation. It now sounds like, listening to Mr. Davis, that Mr. Cohen does have information about what candidate Trump knew about the Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton in the meeting they set up at Trump Tower,” said Swalwell, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

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August 23, 2018

LANNY DAVIS: MICHAEL COHEN NEVER WENT TO PRAGUE AS STEELE DOSSIER CLAIMS


  • Michael Cohen’s lawyer dropped a bombshell on Wednesday, saying that Cohen has not been to Prague
  • The Steele dossier alleges that Cohen traveled to Prague during the campaign to collude with Russians
  • But Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis says that the dossier allegations are “false”

Lanny Davis, the Clinton-connected attorney for Michael Cohen, said Wednesday that the former Trump lawyer had never been to Prague, as the infamous Steele dossier alleges.

“Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life,” Davis said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg.

The statement is a significant denial given that, according to Davis, Cohen has turned over a new leaf by deciding to discuss his work on behalf of President Donald Trump.

Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. He claimed that he acted at the direction of Trump by paying off two women who claimed they had affairs with the former real estate mogul in 2006.

But Cohen did not address a larger question of whether he was involved in a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government, as former British spy Christopher Steele claimed in the Democrat-funded dossier.

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August 22, 2018

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY MISUSING $250K IN CAMPAIGN FUNDS

California Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on charges that they illegally spent more than $250,000 in campaign funds on vacations and personal items.

The scheme took place between 2009 and 2016, according to the Justice Department. Hunter, a 41-year-old Republican, took office in 2009.

“The purchases included family vacations to Italy, Hawaii, Phoenix, Arizona, and Boise, Idaho; school tuition; dental work; theater tickets; and domestic and international travel for almost a dozen relatives,” the Department of Justice said in a statement announcing the indictment.

The Hunters will be arraigned in federal court in San Diego on Thursday. They face charges of conspiracy against the United States, wire fraud, falsification of records and prohibited use of campaign contributions.

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August 21, 2018

WATCHDOG SUES PENTAGON ON BEHALF OF WHISTLEBLOWER WHO QUESTIONED CONTRACTS TO ‘SPYGATE’ FIGURE


  • Pentagon analyst Adam Lovinger flagged contracts given to FBI informant Stefan Halper in October 2016.
  • Lovinger was stripped of his security clearance several months later.
  • Judicial Watch is suing on behalf of Lovinger, who filed a whistleblower complaint last year.

The watchdog group Judicial Watch is suing the Department of Defense on behalf of a Pentagon analyst who said he was stripped of his security clearance after raising concerns about contracts given to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign.

Adam Lovinger, a former analyst at the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), the Pentagon’s internal think tank, had filed public records requests seeking information about the Pentagon’s decision to strip him of his security clearance in May 2017.

Months earlier, Lovinger, a 12-year veteran of ONA, had filed a complaint with his boss, ONA Director James Baker, about contracts that went to Halper as well as to a firm called Long Term Strategic Group, a consulting company owned by Clinton friend Jacqueline Newmeyer Deal.

Lovinger, who filed a whistleblower complaint in September 2017, claims that he was stripped of his security clearance because of his complaints about the contracts. In an October 2016 email to Baker, Lovinger raised concerns about “the moral hazard associated with the Washington Headquarters Services contracting with Stefan Halper.”

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August 20, 2018

MINNESOTA DFL PARTY BACKS KEITH ELLISON DESPITE DOMESTIC ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

The Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor (DFL) Party overwhelming voted to endorse embattled Democrat Keith Ellison for state attorney general on Saturday, despite recent abuse allegations.

The party voted in favor of endorsing Ellison by a vote of 326 to 70.

“I want to tell you, face to face, that I never abused Karen,” Ellison said to the delegation, according to the Minnesota Star Tribune. “Despite everything, I still care about her as a person and I don’t want anybody to say anything insulting to her at all.”

The delegation opted to vote via paper ballot instead of voice vote to allow individuals to feel more comfortable.

“Our party is going to do everything it can to help Keith and the other candidates on the ballot,” DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said after the vote was announced.

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August 17, 2018

PENTAGON WHISTLEBLOWER QUESTIONED FBI INFORMANT STEFAN HALPER’S ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ CONTRACTS


  • A Pentagon whistleblower complained in October 2016 about “outrageous” contracts that were provided to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign.
  • The whistleblower, Adam Lovinger, was stripped of his security clearance after complaining about Halper’s contracts.
  • Lovinger’s lawyer says Halper’s work for the Pentagon could have provided him the cover he needed to contact the Trump campaign.
Over a year before Stefan Halper was revealed as an FBI informant who spied on the Trump campaign, a Pentagon analyst complained to his bosses about “astronomically outrageous” contracts given to Halper, a former University of Cambridge professor.

That analyst, Adam Lovinger, has since been stripped of his security clearance; he says because he blew the whistle on the Pentagon contracts with Halper and Long Term Strategic Group (LTSG), a firm owned by a childhood friend of Chelsea Clinton’s named Jacqueline Newmyer Deal.

Lovinger flagged the contracts in 2016 to his boss James Baker, the director of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), a small Defense Department unit known as the Pentagon’s think tank. Shortly after joining the National Security Council, Lovinger’s security clearance was revoked on May 1, 2017.

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