April 27, 2017

Paul Ryan: Obamacare CSR Subsidies Won’t Be Included In Spending Bill

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters Wednesday the spending bill to keep the federal government running will not include funding for Obamacare subsidies.

“CSRs, we’re not doing that,” Ryan told reporters after meeting with House Republicans. “That is not in the appropriation bill. That’s something separate that the administration does.”

Obamacare provides cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs) designed to lower the out-of-pocket cost for plans bought on the Health Insurance Marketplace. The CSR an individual is entitled to is calculated by family size and household income. In general, the lower the household income, the higher the subsidy.

House Republicans are in the middle of a lawsuit over the way the subsidies are funded. The Obama administration initially asked Congress to approve the funding, but later argued congressional authorization was not necessary because the funding falls into the mandatory spending category. 

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April 26, 2017

Never Trump Movement Leader, Former Jeb Bush Staffer Helen Aguirre Ferre Infiltrates White House

A Never Trump movement leader who once blamed then-candidate Donald Trump for violent riots in Chicago has miraculously infiltrated President Trump’s White House, Breitbart News has learned.

Helen Aguirre Ferre, now the White House’s Director of Media Relations, previously very publicly—as an adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s failed 2016 presidential campaign and as a GOP consultant after Bush dropped out of the race—bashed Trump repeatedly on the campaign trail, leading the Never Trump movement.

Aguirre Ferre’s perhaps most egregious Never Trump comments came via Twitter on March 11, 2016, in a since-deleted Tweet in which she said now President Trump “bears responsibility” for violent riots in Chicago that forced him to shut down a campaign event there ahead of the Illinois primary—which he handily won on March 15, sweeping out many of the other states that day.

Then Trump rivals Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) inaccurately suggested that Trump was responsible for the violence in Chicago that caused him to cancel his planned March 11, 2016, campaign rally downtown at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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April 25, 2017

Trump Will Sign An Executive Order Creating An Office To Get Rid Of Bad Veterans Affairs Employees

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Thursday establishing an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to discipline or fire incompetent employees or managers.

The executive order, likely to be signed Thursday according to a source with direct knowledge, will create an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

The order “will help the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to discipline or terminate VA managers or employees who fail to carry out their duties in helping our veterans. The Office will also identify barriers to the Secretary’s authority to put the well-being of our veterans first,” according to the text obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The office will also protect whistleblowers who find themselves targeted by management in the course of their disclosures.

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April 24, 2017

New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False’

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.

Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.

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April 21, 2017

This Event Was A ‘Catalyst’ For FBI’s Investigation Into Trump-Russia Ties Photo of Chuck Ross CHUCK ROSS

New details are emerging about what led the FBI to open its investigation into whether members of the Trump presidential campaign had improper ties to the Russian government.

According to The New York Times, a trip that low-level Trump campaign adviser Carter Page took to Moscow in July was one of the factors that prompted the investigation.

The report notes:

It is unclear exactly what about Mr. Page’s visit caught the F.B.I.’s attention: meetings he had during his three days in Moscow, intercepted communications of Russian officials speaking about him, or something else.

Page, the managing partner of Global Energy Partners, visited Moscow on July 7 to speak at the commencement ceremony for the New Economic School. There, he criticized the U.S. government’s foreign policy. The speech drew the attention of reporters here in the U.S. and fueled speculation that the Trump campaign was too cozy with the Kremlin.

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April 20, 2017

FBI Says No Need For Top Official To Recuse Himself From Trump-Russia Probe

A top FBI official whose wife received political donations from an ally of Hillary Clinton’s last year does not need to recuse himself from the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, the bureau said Wednesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee inquired last month about FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s role on the Trump probe, which is looking into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s chairman, had expressed concerns about a potential conflict of interest given that McCabe’s wife ran a state campaign in Virginia that received $700,000 from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of Clinton’s.

Grassley noted in a March 28 letter to FBI Director James Comey that the McCabes met with McAuliffe on March 7, 2015, several days after the story broke that Clinton used a private email server as secretary of state.

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April 19, 2017

FBI Relied On Dossier To Obtain Surveillance Warrant On Trump Campaign Adviser

The FBI relied on information contained in an uncorroborated dossier compiled as part of a political opposition research campaign to obtain a federal surveillance warrant to monitor Carter Page, a former Donald Trump campaign adviser.

According to CNN, which broke the news, FBI Director James Comey has also cited the dossier in recent meetings with members of Congress.

Last week it was reported that the FBI and Justice Department applied last summer for a surveillance warrant in Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page, an energy consultant and short-lived foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign.

Federal surveillance warrants are granted when there is probable cause to believe that the target is acting as an agent for a foreign government, perhaps in a clandestine manner. The warrants are almost always approved once the FBI and Justice Department file for them.

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April 18, 2017

Donald Trump’s Latest Executive Order Aims To Make Companies ‘Hire American’

Donald Trump will sign an executive order in hopes of favoring American workers by reforming the H-1B visa program and minimizing exceptions to the Buy American Act of 1933, which requires the federal government to favor U.S.-made products when funding projects.

The president is scheduled to sign the two-part order — Buy American and Hire American — after delivering remarks at a tool manufacturing company in Wisconsin Tuesday.

The first part of the executive order — Hire American — seeks to enforce the H-1B visa program so it “serves the national interest” by awarding visas to the most-skilled and highest-paid applicants without bypassing American workers who are qualified for those jobs.

Though Trump vowed to end the H-1B visa program as a candidate, a senior administration official said the order instructs the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, the Department of Justice and State Department to propose reforms to the program to prevent fraud and abuse in the immigration system.

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April 17, 2017

Turkey Is Investigating Chuck Schumer, Ex-CIA Director John Brennan In Probe Of US-Based Cleric

The Turkish government is expanding its witch hunt of suspected allies of cleric Fethullah Gulen by opening an investigation into 17 U.S.-based individuals, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and former CIA director John Brennan.

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, were also named in the probe, which was first reported by Turkey’s state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency.

The probe is the latest salvo in the Turkish government’s obsession with Gulen, who has lived in self-exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has accused Gulen of masterminding last summer’s failed coup attempt. He has labeled Gulen’s network of followers the Fethullah Terrorist Organization, or FETO, and wants the U.S. government to extradite the imam.

Turkish investigators are interested in Schumer because of donations he has received from Gulen’s supporters here in the U.S. Bharara, who was fired by President Trump last month, is most likely being targeted because of his investigation into Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman who is under federal indictment for allegedly helping Iran skirt economic sanctions.

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April 14, 2017

CIA director denounces group Trump has praised

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has denounced the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service” and a threat to U.S. national security, a condemnation that differed sharply from President Donald Trump’s past praise of the organization.

In his first public speech since becoming taking over the CIA, the former Republican congressman escalated the agency’s hostility to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, accusing them of making common cause with dictators. While “Assange and his ilk” claim they act in the name of liberty and privacy, Pompeo said that in reality, their mission is “personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.”

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” Pompeo said Thursday.

Pompeo’s tone was notably different from that of his boss.

Before last year’s presidential election, Trump said he was happy to see WikiLeaks publish private, politically damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. The White House defended the president, saying there was a big difference between WikiLeaks publishing stolen, personal emails of a political figure and publishing files about national security tools used by the CIA.

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April 13, 2017

Clinton-Connected Lobbying Firm Registers As Foreign Agent Of Pro-Putin Ukrainian Group

A lobbying firm closely allied with Hillary Clinton has registered as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian organization with ties to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, also plans to register with the Justice Department for work he did for the same group, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

A spokesman for Manafort made the announcement just after the Associated Press reported that the Podesta Group has registered with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for work done for the European Centre between 2012 and 2014.

The Podesta Group, which received $1.2 million for the work, is operated by Tony Podesta, a major Democratic donor and the brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

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April 12, 2017

Eleven States Threatened With Lawsuits If No Action Taken To Clean Voter Rolls

Watchdog group Judicial Watch (JW) sent out warning letters Monday to 11 states with counties in where the registered voters outnumbers voting-age citizens,  as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey.

According to the letters, this is “strong circumstantial evidence that these … counties are not conducting reasonable voter registration record maintenance as mandated under the [National Voter Registration Act] NVRA.”

The NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to make reasonable efforts to maintain accurate voting rolls.

The 11 states that Judicial Watch sent a letter to are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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April 11, 2017

Is Trump Enlisting in the War Party?

By firing off five dozen Tomahawk missiles at a military airfield, our “America First” president may have plunged us into another Middle East war that his countrymen do not want to fight.

Thus far Bashar Assad seems unintimidated. Brushing off the strikes, he has defiantly gone back to bombing the rebels from the same Shayrat air base that the U.S. missiles hit.

Trump “will not stop here,” warned U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday. “If he needs to do more, he will.”

If Trump fails to back up Haley’s threat, the hawks now cheering him on will begin deriding him as “Donald Obama.”

But if he throbs to the war drums of John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio and orders Syria’s air force destroyed, we could be at war not only with ISIS and al-Qaida, but with Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

A Syrian war would consume Trump’s presidency.

Are we ready for that? How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East?

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April 10, 2017

NSC Shake-Up Leads To K.T. McFarland Ouster

K.T. McFarland has been asked to step down from her position as National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump in another White House shake-up.

She will serve two more weeks before taking on a new role as the U.S. ambassador to Singapore, Bloomberg Politics reports. The shift will allow National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who took over after Gen. Michael Flynn resigned, to choose his own second in command. McFarland was hired by Flynn.

Trump gave McMaster, a lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, the authority to restructure the National Security Council to suit his particular needs. Reports circulating in February suggested that McFarland might leave her post in the wake of the NSC’s change in leadership; however, she told The Hill that she would stay on. “I just met with the president and he asked that I stay on. I’m thrilled to do so,” McFarland told reporters.

The call for McFarland, a 65-year-old former national security analyst for Fox News, to step down follows a decision this past week to remove the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, from the key NSC committee.

McFarland’s reassignment, after just three months on the NSC, is being presented as a promotion, given Singapore’s status as an valuable strategic partner in the Asia-Pacific region.

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April 7, 2017

Steve Bannon Called Jared Kushner A ‘Cuck’ And ‘Globalist’ Behind His Back

Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon referred to President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner as a “globalist” and a “cuck,” while venting to people inside the White House about the man who insiders say he openly clashes with.

“[Steve] recently vented to us about Jared being a ‘globalist’ and a ‘cuck,'” an unnamed White House official told The Daily Beast, adding: “He actually said ‘cuck,’ as in ‘cuckservative.'”

The pejorative “cuck,” which is derived from the word cuckold, has become an insult used by many on the right to declaim someone’s weakness in standing up to progressive, establishment politics.

The animosity between Bannon and Kushner, who serves as a senior advisor to Trump, is an open secret within the White House.

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April 6, 2017

Paul: ‘The Real Question We Need To Ask’ Involves Susan Rice AND Obama

Sen. Rand Paul told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade Wednesday morning that revelations about Susan Rice unmasking private citizens mentioned in intelligence reports raises a more serious question.

Did President Obama “eavesdrop” on Americans for political purposes?

“I don’t think she answered the question, ‘did she unmask people in the Trump administration?'” the Kentucky Republican first posed. “She said, ‘maybe I did, but I didn’t do it for political reasons.'”

“I think it’s incumbent on her to show to the American people why it wouldn’t have been a political reason.”

“If someone were investigating the Trump administration, it ought to be the F.B.I. not someone in the White house,” he continued. “She’s a political appointee that reports directly to the president.”

“The real question we need to ask is did the president eavesdrop and sift through all of the mountains of intelligence we have?”

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April 5, 2017

Former US Attorney: Susan Rice Ordered Spy Agencies To Produce ‘Detailed Spreadsheets’ Involving Trump

In response to a question Tuesday from NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell,  former Obama White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied that she “prepared” spreadsheets of surveilled telephone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides. The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group, however, reported that Rice “ordered” the spreadsheets to be produced.

In addition, former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, one of The DCNF’s sources, said Tuesday in response to Rice that her denial “would come as quite a surprise to the government officials who have reviewed dozens of those spreadsheets.” 

Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.

“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.

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April 4, 2017

White House Computer Logs: Susan Rice Accessed Intel Reports Re Trump Associates

Circa News reported Monday that White House staffers found logs that document and date stamp President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice accessing intelligence reports that included associates of the Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign:

Intelligence sources said the logs discovered by National Security Council staff suggested Rice’s interest in the NSA materials, some of which included unmasked Americans’ identities, appeared to begin last July around the time Trump secured the GOP nomination and accelerated after Trump’s election in November launched a transition that continued through January.

The intelligence reports included some intercepts of Americans talking to foreigners and many more involving foreign leaders talking about the future president, his campaign associates or his transition, the sources said. Most if not all had nothing to do with the Russian election interference scandal, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the materials.

When intelligence or law enforcement agencies accidentally gather information related to American citizens, outside their legally sanctioned collection mission, the data appears in reports with simple labels, such as American 1 or American 2. However, when the reports were circulated inside the Obama administration, the actual names were used, or unmasked, or labelled in a way that made the speaker’s identity obvious.

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April 3, 2017

Podesta Still Hasn’t Explained Where 41,000 Stock Shares Went

John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, has not accounted for thousands of shares he was given by a company where he served on the board of directors with three powerful business figures with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Your letter does not respond to the substance of the article, which concerns the whereabouts of 75,000 shares of stock in Joule that Mr. Podesta was entitled to receive,” The Daily Caller News Foundation’s publisher, Neil Patel, said. “The fact that Mr. Podesta, a senior national political figure, apparently sat on the board of Joule with Russian state-owned entities only elevates the importance of this matter.”

Patel was responding to a March 29, 2017, “cease and desist” letter he received from Marc Elias, Podesta’s attorney attacking a March 26, 2017, story on The Daily Caller’s site entitled “John Podesta May Have Violated Federal Law By Not Disclosing 75,000 Stock Shares.”

The story — written by Richard Pollock, TheDCNF’s Investigative Group’s senior reporter — was “entirely false,” Elias claimed, because “Mr. Podesta actually reported more than was required.”

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March 31, 2017

Conservatives Demand IRS Commissioner’s Head In White House Meeting

An off-the-record White House meeting with roughly two dozen conservative leaders Wednesday included explicit calls for President Trump to fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, according to a source in the room.

White House conservative liaison Paul Teller organized the meeting Wednesday between Trump staffers and leaders of conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Judicial Watch.

Talk of Koskinen’s firing was part of a larger discussion on clearing out Obama-era personnel from the executive branch where possible, the source said.

The broad consensus among attendees was that Trump needs to clean out Obama-era bureaucrats if he is going to be successful in pushing through his agenda.

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