May 29, 2017

On CNN, Boston Globe Columnist Says Trump Normalized Violence, ‘Paved the Way’ for Attacks on Journalists

On CNN, Boston Globe columnist Indira Lakshmanan blamed President Donald Trump for creating a culture in which candidates like Montana’s Greg Gianforte can allegedly body-slam left-leaning reporters like the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs.

Appearing on the network’s “Reliable Sources” program on Sunday, Lakshmanan, an institutionalist who has titles like the “Newmark chair in journalism ethics at Poynter Institute” said Trump’s attacks on the media have “paved the way for this” because Trump has “normalized hatred of and denigration of the press by calling us the enemy of the people.”

“And by saying we’re some of the most dishonest people, he has normalized hatred towards journalists, and that is wrong,” she added.

Lakshmanan said it was “wrong” for Trump to use “this kind of violent language against people in the audience or against the press.”

“I think you’ve got a real problem, that normalization of violence is wrong,” she continued.

For the sake of argument, guest-host Frank Sesno, who also wondered whether the bar for hostility is lower under Trump, wanted to take another position and asked, “given the low esteem and trust that the media earn in survey after survey these days, it’s been happening for years, how about the media doing their jobs differently?”

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May 26, 2017

FBI’s Kushner Focus Appears To Prove Bannon Right

News that White House adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is under scrutiny in the FBI’s Russia probe comes almost two months after chief strategist Steve Bannon expressed concern that Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials could harm Trump’s presidency.

Multiple news outlets reported Thursday evening that the FBI is looking into Kushner’s meetings with Russian officials after the election as part of the probe into Russian election meddling. Although Kushner has not been accused of any wrongdoing, the news appears to vindicate Bannon’s concerns that Kushner’s meetings would be a major distraction for the Trump White House.

The New York Times reported early last month that Bannon “told confidants that he believes Mr. Kushner’s contact with Russians, and his expected testimony before Congress on the subject, will become a major distraction for the White House.”

Bannon’s words of caution came as he and Kushner were locked in an internal White House power struggle, which Kushner ended up winning as Bannon saw his role diminished.

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May 25, 2017

Wasserman Schultz Threatened Police Chief For Gathering Evidence On Her IT Staffer’s Alleged Crimes

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.

“My understanding is the the Capitol Police is not able to confiscate Members’ equipment when the Member is not under investigation,” Wasserman Schultz said in the annual police budget hearing of the House Committee On Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee.

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May 24, 2017

Brennan: ‘I Don’t Know’ If There Was Collusion

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) grilled ex-CIA Chief John Brennan on evidence of U.S.-Russia collusion, forcing Brennan to admit he doesn’t actually know if there was any collusion.

Brennan was testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday about connections between the U.S. and Russia.

Gowdy asked Brennan if he had seen any evidence of collusion, coordination or conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russian actors.

Brennan responded that he had seen information about contacts between Russian and U.S. actors that led him to believe the matter should be investigated further by the FBI, but declined to say whether or not he saw direct links between Trump and Russia.

“That doesn’t help us a whole lot,” Gowdy snarked.

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May 23, 2017

CNN, MSNBC Largely Ignore Terror Attack To Focus On Russian ‘Collusion’ Coverage

CNN and MSNBC largely ignored breaking news of a terror attack Monday night in England for nearly an hour to rehash news about President Trump and accusations his campaign colluded with Russia during the election.

Initial reports of explosions at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester came in around 6 p.m. EST, and Fox News began extensive coverage of the attack around 6:50 p.m. By then at least 20 were reported dead and hundreds wounded in what was quickly becoming a clear instance of a major terror attack.

CNN’s Erin Burnett and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews were obviously eager to dive into the Washington Post report at the top of the 7:00 hour, and their segments were literally torn between that news and news of people getting blown up at the concert. WaPo reported that Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence officials during the presidential campaign season to publicly deny the existence of any evidence his campaign colluded with Russia.

CNN and MSNBC briefly cut to news of the attacks before 7 p.m., but both networks opted to devote the bulk of the following hour to a discussion of news regarding the report on Trump and Russian collusion accusations. MSNBC devoted just 26 minutes of that hour to news of the massive terror attack. And CNN covered the attacks for just under 20 minutes.

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May 22, 2017

Obama Holdouts In Trump Administration Hiding Hillary Emails For YEARS

Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton is astounded: The Trump officials he finds working on Freedom of Information cases he files are still, typically, Obama holdovers.

Those holdovers, he told The Daily Caller News Foundation, are telling Judicial Watch it will be years before it can get former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails. “Frankly,” Fitton told The DCNF, “we should be waiting just a few months for them to get their act together.”

Trump should take the point of view that the government belongs to Americans– and its agencies need to tell the people what they are up to, Fitton said. “If there is no good reason for withholding information, give it to them and give it to them quickly.”

Trump should embrace “extreme transparency,” for his administration — as well as for former President Barack Obama’s administration. Americans would benefit by knowing more about what Obama did and what he obstructed from the public while in government. Fitton is especially interested in Obama’s alleged spying on candidate Trump and other political opponents.

Fitton is losing patience with politicians. Citizens, he declared, “don’t have to take it from the politicians. They work for you. You don’t work for them.”

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May 19, 2017

George Soros Still Quietly Buying District Attorneys’ Seats

George Soros has all but bought another district attorney’s seat.

The left-wing billionaire turned the Philadelphia district attorney’s race on its head by giving $1.45 million to fund a super PAC in support of his preferred candidate, Larry Krasner. Krasner, a progressive lawyer who has never worked as a prosecutor, sailed to an easy victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Because Philadelphia is a Democratic stronghold, Krasner’s primary victory all but guarantees him to win the general election in November.

The influx of money from Soros gave Krasner a significant leg up over his opposition. Despite splitting votes with six other candidates, Krasner, who was not a favorite to win before Soros’ investment, finished 18 points ahead of the second-place finisher. As one Philadelphia Inquirer writer put it after the billionaire’s investment: “Soros changed the game.”

The outcome of the Philadelphia district attorney’s race followed a now-familiar playbook. A candidate aligned with Soros’ left-wing politics emerged victorious thanks to the billionaire’s willingness to flood local races with the kind of capital typically reserved for important national political campaigns. Soros, a funder of Black Lives Matter, is a staunch advocate for reforming policing methods and softening drug laws. Installing like-minded district attorneys allows Soros the opportunity to influence law enforcement policies around the country.

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May 18, 2017

Trump Under Siege: More than 60 Percent of NSC Employees Placed by Obama

Calls are growing for President Trump to “clean house” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, after a series of leaks aimed at embarrassing and undermining the president sprung from the White House this week.

A White House source estimates more than 60 percent of employees at the National Security Council are not Trump administration appointees, but career officials who were appointed to the White House from other agencies under the Obama administration.

The source said there are “whole departments” at the NSC with only one Trump appointee.

“I think the lesson here is that these things are going to continue to happen until the Trump White House does a serious housecleaning,” said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA and Bush administration official.

“Now under civil service rules, it’s difficult to fire them and I’m not sure they should be fired, but they can be reassigned. And people who are going to promote the president’s policies rather than undermine them — he needs to put those people in place,” he added.

The White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether it would reassign or appoint new NSC officials anytime soon.

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May 17, 2017

Gowdy: ‘I Want To See The Memo’

Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy had a simple response Tuesday to The New York Times report that former FBI director James Comey left behind a memo about the Michael Flynn investigation: “I want to see the memo.”

“What’s your reaction to this story in the Times?” Fox News host Martha McCallum asked Gowdy on her show.

“Obviously I want to see the memo,” Gowdy responded. “Obviously I want to talk to Director Comey to determine how contemporaneous his recording of the conversation was.”

“But also, importantly, not just what was said, but what did Director Comey hear? How did he take it?” Gowdy asked. “And with all due respect to the New York Times, that can only be done by looking at the memo and talking to Director Comey.”

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May 16, 2017

Investigator Says Evidence Showing Deceased DNC Staffer Seth Rich Was Emailing With WikiLeaks

Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox’s Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

Rich was killed last year in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. According to local police, the incident was likely a botched robbery. However, Rich’s death has been the subject of other speculations given the timing of his death coincided with a WikiLeaks dump of Democratic National Committee emails.

Wheeler explained to Marraco the obstacles he has faced in dealing with both the local police and the FBI during his investigation and argued that Rich’s computer may offer some more details.

“[Neither] the police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” Wheeler said. “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or at the FBI. I have been told both.”

Wheeler went on to claim that he had a source within the police department who said the computer could link Rich to WikiLeaks. But he noted that a source within the police department told him of a “highly unusual” instruction for police to “stand down” on that murder investigation.

“Actually, I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case, and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that’s highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that’s going to come out tomorrow.”

Marraco went on to add that Wheeler’s reference to the information coming out Tuesday would be broadcast on the Fox News Channel.

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May 15, 2017

Violence And Intimidation Against Republicans Are Becoming The New Normal

Violence and intimidation against Republicans are quickly becoming the new normal in an increasingly tense political climate.

In one of the most recent incidents, police in Tennessee charged a woman with felony reckless endangerment on Thursday for allegedly trying to run Republican Congressman David Kustoff off the road after a town hall. The woman, Wendi Wright, was reportedly enraged over Kustoff’s support for the American Health Care Act and screamed at the congressman and his aide, striking his car windows and reaching inside the vehicle.

The same day that Tennessee police charged Wright for reckless endangerment, police in North Dakota escorted an enraged man from another town hall after he became physical with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer over his support for the GOP Obamacare replacement. “Will the rich benefit from, if the health care is destroyed, do the rich get a tax break? Yes or no?” the man shouted, before shoving cash down the congressman’s collar. “There you go, take it.”

CNN’s Poppy Harlow downplayed the incident, saying the man was “showing his disgust” with Cramer.

The day before that, a Huffington Post article that showed “how to really turn up the heat on elected officials” went viral. The author, Michaelangelo Signorile, called on protesters to harass Republicans at dinner, when they’re out shopping and even at home. Societal norms for the basic levels of decency one should afford political opponents, Signorile argued, no longer apply to liberals.

“It’s time to move beyond polite protests within specified boundaries. It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way,” he wrote.

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May 12, 2017

McCabe: ‘Not Aware’ Of Comey Asking For Extra Resources For Russia Probe

FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe said he is “not aware” of former Director James Comey requesting additional resources for the Russia probe, conflicting with reporting by the New York Times.

During the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Sen. Susan Collins asked McCabe if he could confirm reports that Comey requested resources from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for the Russia investigation just a few days before he was fired.

McCabe explained that not only was he “not aware” of such a request, but that the FBI makes resource requests to Congress, not the Office of the Attorney General.

Additionally, McCabe believes the U.S.-Russia investigation is already “adequately resourced.”

The New York Times said Wednesday that sources told them Comey had made the request to Rosenstein, who wrote the justification for Comey’s dismissal.

Sarah Isgur Flores, spokesperson for the Department of Justice, told The Daily Caller that the report was “totally false.”

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May 11, 2017

Buchanan: Bannon Is ‘Right’ — Media Is the Opposition Party Trying to ‘Bring Down Trump’

Wednesday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan said White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was correct when he said the media was the opposition party. He added that just like they took down President Richard Nixon, they are attempting to “bring down” President Donald Trump.

Buchanan said, “There is a cultural left and a political left and a media if you will, are a conglomerate. It’s not a conspiracy but it is collusion, and they were determined to break and bring down Nixon from the day he was nominated. They were determined, tried to break, and they succeeded. Tried to break and bring down Reagan over Iran-Contra. I was in the White House then. And the same forces, similar forces are trying to break and bring down Trump. And it’s transparent. It’s right in front of us. You can’t watch those briefings and things, watch TV cable TV and the rest of it without seeing there is a real animus. I mean it’s the White House correspondents’ dinner. Steve Bannon was dead right when he said one thing, the media are the opposition party.”

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May 10, 2017

Comey’s Temporary Replacement Has Strong Ties To A Clinton Ally

FBI acting director Andrew McCabe has strong ties to Clinton ally Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

McCabe was previously the deputy FBI director and following President Trump’s dismissal of James Comey, he will be in charge of the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency. The White House said Tuesday that the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

Until the administration finds this director, a man strongly connected to the Democratic Party will be in charge. The Democratic Virginia governor’s PAC donated $467,500 to McCabe’s wife Jill McCabe’s 2015 state Senate campaign. The Virginia Democratic Party also spent a little over $200,000 on the campaign.

The now-acting FBI director’s wife lost the campaign to the Republican incumbent. After the Wall Street Journal reported these findings, then-candidate Trump said, “We’ve never had a thing like this in the history of this country.”

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May 9, 2017

Still No Evidence of Collusion Between Russia and Trump Administration

Over 100 days into Donald Trump’s presidency, there still remains no evidence of collusion between his administration and Russian agents, despite mainstream media reports to the contrary.

During a congressional hearing into alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper confirmed that he still had no evidence to support the claims.

Last month, Clapper told NBC that the agency’s investigations had yielded no such evidence. When asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) whether this is still the case, Clapper said, “It is.”

Meanwhile, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates revealed she had expressed concerns over Donald Trump’s decision to appoint Mike Flynn as his National Security Advisor, but she failed to offer any evidence of collusion with between the two parties.

Yates also revealed that political ideology had influenced her decision to defy Trump’s executive order suspending travel from several terror-prone countries in January, although she maintained her decision was made “not purely as a policy matter.”

Trump later took to Twitter to criticize the investigation, describing it as a “total hoax” and a “taxpayer-funded charade,” pointing out the fact that there remains “no evidence of collusion.”

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May 8, 2017

Rahm Emanuel Takes A Pot Shot At Trump’s EPA For Nixing Climate Page

Rahm Emanuel’s mayoral office has recreated a climate webpage the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency removed last month.

Chicago “wishes to acknowledge and attribute this information to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies for the decades of work” fighting climate change, the city’s website notes. The page’s information was essentially lifted earlier this month from an earlier version on the EPA website.

Emanuel’s new page was referring to President Donald Trump’s decision to remove “outdated language” from the EPA’s website in April — the move was done the night before activists planned protests targeting the Trump administration’s climate policies.

EPA spokesman J.P Freire told reporters at the time that the content was nixed because the website “needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency.” It has maintained records of the archived portions of the Obama-era pages it scrubbed.

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May 5, 2017

Obama Endorses French Presidential Candidate Macron

Barack Obama has endorsed Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election.

Though the former president’s spokesman Kevin Lewis said he would not endorse anyone in the election, he did just that in a video posted to Twitter Thursday where he encourages voters to pick the center-left candidate Emmanuel Macron in the upcoming election.

It was the first time he made an official endorsement in the election.

Obama and Macron spoke by telephone in mid-April.

“President Obama appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr. Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a country that President Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally of the United States, and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world,” Lewis said in a statement.

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May 4, 2017

‘Clinton Cash’ Author Sounds The Alarm Over Jared Kushner’s Partnership With George Soros

The author of the best-selling book that revealed alleged pay-for-play schemes during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state is sounding the alarm about Jared Kushner’s ties to liberal bankroller George Soros and Goldman Sachs.

“Clinton Cash” author and Breitbart News editor Peter Schweizer said in a radio interview that Kushner’s ties to Soros — who funds a network of left-wing activists — as well as his billion-dollar loans, both of which he failed to include in his financial disclosure forms, present a “massive, massive problem” for the White House. Schweizer called for an independent audit of Kushner’s finances, which he said likely contain similar bombshells.

Schweizer expressed similar concern over the opacity of Kushner’s political views — which the adviser has kept close to his vest — and said the president should let the public “lift the hood up from the car and see what kind of engine is underneath there — to see really what his views are, have him do some public interviews about what his positions are.”

“He is now the sort of go-between, between President Trump and people like Goldman Sachs and/or George Soros that might have business in the White House,” Schweizer said. “These are people he does business with, and has commingled assets with. The American people need to know, and for a campaign that I think ‘draining the swamp’ and transparency were such important issues, this circumstance I think demands that kind of response.”

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May 3, 2017

Top Senate Republican Wants DOJ To Twist Screws On Probe Into FBI Deputy Director McCabe

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley Tuesday called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to start more closely supervising and reviewing the agency’s handling of high-profile and politically charged investigations, particularly one involving FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

In Chairman Grassley’s letter to the recently-confirmed deputy attorney general, the Iowa Republican reiterated issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement in high-profile and much debated FBI investigations considering the possible political conflicts of interest that come from his wife’s receipt of nearly $700,000 from close Clinton associates during her congressional campaign for office in Virginia.

McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, was urged to run for Congress by Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close friend and former fundraiser of Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to The Wall Street Journal, during the filing period of October to November 2015, McCabe’s campaign filings shows she received $467,500 from Common Good VA, a political action committee headed up by McAuliffe and $292,500 from another Democratic PAC.

Fox News reported in March that records revealed Deputy Director McCabe did not list these particular 2015 donations or his wife’s salary in financial disclosure forms.

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May 2, 2017

Senator Points To ‘Material Inconsistencies’ In Comey’s Statements On Trump Dossier

Ahead of a highly anticipated Senate hearing later this week, FBI Director James Comey is being accused of making inconsistent statements about the bureau’s relationship with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy behind the Trump dossier.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the allegation in a letter sent to Comey on Friday.

“There appear to be material inconsistencies between the description of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele that you did provide in your briefing and information contained in Justice Department documents made available to the Committee only after the briefing,” Grassley wrote to Comey.

Grassley will have a chance to quiz Comey on the issue on Wednesday, when the FBI chief testifies before the Judiciary Committee in a routine oversight hearing.

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May 1, 2017

DHS Slapped With Lawsuit To Release Jeh Johnson’s Emails

Judicial Watch is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for emails former Secretary Jeh Johnson and three other top agency officials sent or received from personal email accounts, the nonprofit government watchdog group announced Friday.

The lawsuit was filed after DHS produced no records in response to a Dec. 29, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the emails. A federal court hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 1.

“The agency claims the emails are essentially inaccessible and it is too troublesome to recover them,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.

“Judicial Watch previously obtained and made public 215 pages of documents containing official emails sent through the private, unsecured email accounts of Johnson, former DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and former General Counsel Steven Bunnell,” the statement continued.

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