March 24, 2017

House Intel Committee to See ‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence Obama Admin Spied on Trump Team

James Rosen of Fox News reports that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will be presented with “smoking gun” evidence that “the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump.”

According to the source for Rosen’s report, this evidence will come from the National Security Agency, which is supposed to produce documents for the House Intelligence Committee by Friday. It is expected to take a week or so for congressional investigators to assess these materials.

The NSA material is said to be even more compelling than the evidence that prompted committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) to announce on Wednesday that “incidental” surveillance of the Trump transition team was conducted by the intelligence community.

Rosen’s report has a few more interesting developments in the aftermath of Nunes’ announcement:

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

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March 23, 2017

‘Yes’ — Nunes Confirms Obama Admin. Incidentally Collected Trump’s Personal Communications

Congressman Devin Nunes confirmed Wednesday afternoon that some of President Trump’s personal communications were in fact collected by the Obama administration during the 2016 election.

Earlier in the day, Nunes — the chairman of the House Intelligence Community — said POTUS’ communications might have been included in those reports, yet he adjusted his statement when asked during a media gaggle outside the White House.

“Are you suggesting that Mr. Trump’s communications are in those reports?” a reporter directly asked Nunes. “Second, are you saying you’re concerned enough that this will trigger a different separate investigation, and third, why did you not discuss this with a ranking member before you came to the White House?”

“Yes, no, and I’m going to be meeting at some point to talk about where to go with this investigation,” the congressman responded. “I had to brief the Speaker first, and then I had to talk to the C.I.A. director, N.S.A. director, and I’m waiting to talk to the F.B.I. director because we’re still waiting to find out how we’re going to get this. I went and voted and talked to the president.”

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March 22, 2017

Podesta Was Board Member Of Firm Linked To Russian ‘Investors’

Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken House Republican from Texas, is calling for a congressional investigation of John Podesta’s role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Podesta — best known as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

Podesta has attempted to downplay his relationship with Joule and Rusnano, but it could come to haunt him.

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March 21, 2017

Gowdy Points To President Obama And 6 Admin. Officials As Possible Source Of Flynn Leaks

Rep. Trey Gowdy, questioning James Comey during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, appeared to name former President Barack Obama and six of his administration’s top staffers as potential sources of leaks about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s alleged collusion with the Russian government during the 2016 election.

It should be noted that Gowdy did not give evidence for any of the names he raised possibly being the source of the leaks.

The South Carolina Republican first asked the FBI director if former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “knew the name of the U.S. citizen that appeared in The New York Times and Washington Post?… Would he have access to an unmasked name?”

Gowdy asked similar questions about former CIA Director James Brennan, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice former White House advisor Ben Rhodes, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Finally, Gowdy asked Comey if he “briefed President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn.”

“I’m not going to go get into either that case or any conversations I had with the president,” Comey answered.

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March 20, 2017

Germany Rejects Trump’s Claims It Owes NATO ‘Vast Sums Of Money’

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen released a statement Sunday in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims Germany owes NATO “vast sums of money” for defense.

Trump said Germany needs to contribute more to the NATO alliance in a series of tweets following his Friday meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Von der Leyen released a statement in response to the tweets, saying “there is no account where debts are registered with NATO.” She further questioned the way NATO calculates military spending.

“Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism,” von der Leyen said.

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March 17, 2017

Judge Considers Ordering President Donald Trump to Double 50,000 Refugee Inflow to the United States

A federal District Court judge in Maryland is considering whether he should order President Donald Trump to double the annual inflow of refugees up to 100,000 per year.

Any demand by the judge that the federal government airbus an extra 50,000 migrants — including many adherents of Islam’s sharia legal system — into American neighborhoods would be an unusual intervention into government roles normally left to the elected President and Congress.

If actually implemented, the judge’s plan also would be extremely expensive for Americans, because state and local communities subsidize each new immigrant with roughly $1,600 each per year for decades.

The judge revealed his proposal in a footnote in his March 15 decision where he denounced Trump’s reformist Executive Orders, which sharply curbs the inflow of refugees from war-torn Islamic countries. The judge’s footnote declared:

On February 22, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction of S 5(d) of the Executive Order, ECF No. 64, requesting that the Court enjoin a specific provision of the First Executive Order. With the agreement of the parties, the Court set a briefing and hearing schedule extending to March 28, 2017. The Court will resolve that Motion, which the parties have agreed should be construed to apply to the successor provision of the Second Executive Order, in accordance with the previously established schedule.

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March 16, 2017

Trump: Judge Blocking New Immigration Order Is ‘Unprecedented Judicial Overreach’

Donald Trump responded to the federal judge in Hawaii who froze his latest executive order restricting immigration just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Speaking from a rally in Nashville Wednesday night, the president said it was “unprecedented judicial overreach.”

“Let me give you the bad news,” Trump said. “We don’t like bad news, right? Let me give you the bad, the sad news. Moments ago, I learned that a district judge in Hawaii, part of the much overturned ninth circuit court, and I have to be nice or otherwise I’ll be criticized for speaking poorly about our courts…a judge has blocked our executive order. The order he blocked was a watered down version of the first order. That was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with.”

“This new order was tailored to the ninth circuit’s dictates. The law and Constitution give the president the power to suspend immigration when he or she deems — fortunately, it will not be Hillary she…”

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March 15, 2017

Epic Fail: Rachel Maddow Mocked After Dragging Out Trump Tax ‘Scoop’

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow was widely mocked on social media Tuesday night after drawing out the revelations in what she announced was an “exclusive story” regarding Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Instead of getting right to her big scoop about a 2005 Trump tax return she obtained, Maddow opened her show with a rambling 20-minute rant outlining her often tangential theories regarding Trump’s connections to Russia.

Maddow did not unveil the relevant tax documents until 23 minutes into the show, revealing that Donald Trump had made more than $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.

In fact, Maddow took so long to get to the point, that the Trump White House scooped her:

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March 14, 2017

Trump’s Original Labor Pick Blasts The Media For Biased Coverage

President Donald Trump’s initial choice to lead the Department of Labor blamed the “biased nature” of the news media for his withdrawal from consideration.

“When they announced my withdrawal, there was a tweet from somebody who was in the newsroom, one of the reporters at Politico, saying that they broke out in applause,” Puzder said in his first television interview. “So, you could imagine the biased nature of the coverage.”

Puzder was forced to withdraw after Senate Republicans informed the White House that they did not possess the votes necessary to confirm the CKE restaurant CEO.

He was under a barrage of negative stories ranging from reports that he paid some employees in cash, hired an illegal immigrant housekeeper and allegedly abused a former spouse.

“I think the big problem here was that the left, the Democrats, really didn’t want a successful businessman who started out as a working class kid,” Puzder asserted, adding that the left would do anything they possibly could to keep me out of that office (Secretary of the Department of Labor).

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March 13, 2017

Tancredo — Illegal Aliens and Violent Crime: Some Amazing Facts

Take a look at the crime statistics for just one state, Texas. A 2017 report by the Texas Department of Public Safety reveals that over the period from June 1, 2011 to February 28, 2017, the 215,000 criminal aliens who were booked into Texas jails were collectively charged with 566,000 offenses, including 1,167 homicides and 6,098 sexual assaults, with a total of 257,000 convictions.

By the way, Texas has less than half the criminal alien jail and prison population of California, which has over 100,000 criminal aliens occupying facilities supported by California taxpayers. (For 2009 incarceration numbers for each state, see Appendix III of the 2011 GAO report, here.)

It’s no secret that progressive politicians in hundreds of cities and counties are opposing the Trump administration initiatives to end so-called “sanctuary” policies. What those politicians never talk about is the fact that those policies continue to allow tens of thousands of criminal aliens to go free instead of facing deportation proceedings as prescribed by federal law.

According to a summary report on sanctuary policies from Federation for American Immigration Reform and numerous media reports, it’s not just San Francisco, New York and Chicago that are obstructing federal deportation of violent criminals. About 300 local city and county jurisdictions have adopted official policies to refuse cooperation with immigration enforcement in open violation of federal law. And California is not the only place with a statewide sanctuary policy. For a map of principal sanctuary jurisdictions, go here.

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March 10, 2017

Paul Ryan Replaces Obamacare’s Insurance Penalties with Even Larger Penalties

Paul Ryan’s Obamacare-lite plan will replace Obamacare’s health mandate penalty with an even larger penalty.

Avalere Health reports that the Ryan plan’s insurance penalty eclipses Obamacare’s penalty.

Paul Ryan’s Obamacare-lite plan will replace the individual mandate penalty with a premium surcharge for failing to maintain health insurance coverage over 63 days. Individuals without insurance face a 30 percent surcharge of their monthly premium. The penalty will fill the coffers of the insurance companies instead of the government.

Obamacare imposes penalties for those who go without insurance for more than three months. The IRS imposes penalties based on income, and the length at which an individual went without insurance.

Health insurance premiums adjust based on age, meaning that Ryan’s health penalties would be cheaper for younger Americans, and more expensive for older Americans. The Ryan plan’s penalty is not tied to income, unlike Obamacare, making penalties proportionately higher for low-income Americans.

Avalere Health reports that “a 50 year old individual at 100% of the federal poverty level ($11,880 in income for 2016) could pay over $1,000 more in penalties under AHCA for not having insurance in the prior year than what she would pay for not having insurance under the current law.  Finally, unlike the ACA individual mandate penalty, the AHCA’s penalties are not prorated based on how long someone is uninsured, so penalty increases are higher for those who have shorter gaps in coverage.”

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March 9, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul on Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Lite: Speaker ‘Trying to Pull the Wool Over the Eyes of the President’

In the interview, Paul accused Ryan of misleading President Donald Trump on the process and the level of support in the House for the bill that House GOP leadership—at Ryan’s direction—put forward this week.

The House Freedom Caucus was publicly against this strategy before Ryan even rolled it out. The group of more than 40 House conservatives remains steadfastly opposed to Ryan’s plan on this front, showing no signs of breaking as they signaled before it was introduced, and now many Republican offices outside the House Freedom Caucus privately tell Breitbart News that as many as 70 or more House Republicans are opposed to Ryan’s plan.

Leadership knows this too, they say, as all the “hard no” votes have told the Speaker’s office or the whip teams they cannot vote for this bill. But Ryan is plowing forward, stating at a number of press conferences this week he is confident he will receive the 218 votes he needs to pass the bill—even though he clearly does not have them right now.

When asked what Ryan’s strategy is here, Paul told Breitbart News it makes no sense—and that he believes that the Speaker is deliberately misleading President Trump into thinking he has more support for this bill than he has, and that its fate is not in crisis.

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March 8, 2017

Podesta Didn’t Register As A ‘Foreign Agent’ When He Represented A Bank With Ties To Russian Spy Agencies

Democratic super lobbyist Tony Podesta failed to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) when he agreed to represent Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Sberbank allegedly has close ties to Russia’s intelligence services, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Marc Raimondi, the national security spokesman at the Department of Justice, confirmed to The DCNF that Sberbank never registered with the department under FARA.  It did not directly register nor was not registered through any other agency such as the Podesta Group.

“The FARA Registration Unit personnel conducted a search related to your questions and can confirm that the search terms – Sberbank CIB USA, Inc., or Sberbank – are not currently (nor previously have been) registered under FARA,” he informed The DCNF in an email.

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March 7, 2017

Dem Super-Lobbyist Podesta Got $170K to End US Sanctions On Russian Bank

Democrat super-lobbyist Tony Podesta was paid $170,000 over a six-month period last year to represent Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, seeking to end one of the Obama administration’s economic sanctions against that country, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Podesta, founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, is listed as a key lobbyist on behalf of Sberbank, according to Senate lobbying disclosure forms. His firm received more than $24 million in fees in 2016, much of it coming from foreign governments, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, who was the national campaign chairman for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s losing 2016 campaign for the presidency. Former President Barack Obama imposed the sanctions following the Russian seizure of the Crimean region of Ukraine in 2014.

The lobbying campaign targeted Congress and the executive branch, with Podesta and other lobbyists arranging at least two meetings between Sberbank officers and Department of State officials, according to Elena Teplitskaya, Sberbank’s board chairman, who spoke to House aides in August.

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March 6, 2017

Chuck Schumer Plans New ‘Blue Wall’ to Block Donald Trump’s Border Wall

The Democrats’ leader in the Senate hopes to hammer President Donald Trump’s entire presidency by blocking funds to build a border wall against the northward flow of drugs, criminals, and cheap-labor illegals, says Axios.com.

According to Axios, Sen. Chuck Schumer:

… has concluded that denying President Trump his wall is perhaps the surest major defeat Democrats can hand the President in his first year.

 Trump needs 60 Senate votes to fund construction of his “great wall” along the Southern border. Unlike healthcare or tax reform, Republicans can’t use the budget process to ram the wall funding through Congress using only Republican votes…

The evolving plan, being discussed by Schumer’s office and Senate appropriators: If Republicans put money for the wall into a bill, Democrats block it. It doesn’t matter what else is in the bill — Schumer will make it about the wall. The way Democrats see it, if they can block the wall, they’d crush a central feature of Trump’s political identity. And as the face of the strategy, Schumer would thrill the Democratic base

Read it all here.

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