July 17, 2018

RAND PAUL GOES AFTER RESPONSE TO TRUMP, PUTIN MEETING, SAYS IT’S ‘TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME’

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said critics of President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladmir Putin in Helsinki, Finland have “Trump derangement syndrome” Monday on CNN.

“Let me get right to the questioning. Do you believe that President Trump’s meeting with Putin made America safer?” asked CNN host Wolf Blitzer.

“You know, I think engagement with our adversaries, conversation with our adversaries is a good idea. Even in the height of the cold War, maybe at the lowest ebb when we were in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis, I think it was a good thing that Kennedy had a direct line to Khrushchev. I think it was a good thing that we continued to have ambassadors to Russia even when we really objected greatly to what was going on, even during Stalin’s regime. So I think that it is a good idea to have engagement,” Paul said.

“And I think that what is lost in this is that I think there’s a bit of Trump derangement syndrome. I think there are people that hate the president so much that this could have easily been President Obama early in the first administration setting the reset button and trying to have better relations with Russia and I think it’s lost on people that they are a nuclear power,” Paul continued.

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July 16, 2018

RAND PAUL: RUSSIA IS ALWAYS GOING TO MEDDLE IN OUR ELECTIONS, JUST LIKE WE’RE GOING TO MEDDLE IN THEIRS

Russia meddled in the 2016 election in part as a retaliation against the U.S. influencing elections in eastern Europe, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Sunday.

“I think really we mistake our response if we think it’s about accountability from the Russians,” Paul told Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union. “They are going to spy on us, do spy on us. They are going to interfere in our elections, we also do the same,” Paul said.

The comments, which come just a day before President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, show a realism that neither staunch Republicans or Democrats discuss, which is that Russia attempted various hacking and disinformation campaigns surrounding the 2016 election to discredit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I would say it’s not morally equivalent,” Paul said of Russia’s election meddling relating to America’s campaigns to influence foreign elections. “But I think in [Russia’s] mind it is. It’s important to know in your adversary’s mind the way they perceive thing. They react to our interference in their elections and one of the reasons they didn’t like Hillary Clinton, they found her responsible for some of the activity by the U.S. in their elections under the [Former President Barack] Obama administration,” Paul said.

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July 13, 2018

STRZOK CLAIMS HE STILL HAS TOP SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE

Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok was given a limited security clearance ahead of his testimony before Congress on Thursday, a Justice Department official tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The official disclosed Strzok’s security clearance status after Strzok claimed during a joint hearing on Thursday that he has a top secret security clearance.

“You currently have what classification?” Strzok was asked by Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins during a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees. 

“I have a top secret clearance with some SCI compartments,” replied Strzok, the former deputy director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. “SCI” is an acronym for highly classified materials known as Sensitive Compartmented Information.

The statement appeared to be a contradiction to a claim that Attorney General Jeff Sessions made during an interview in June.

“Mr. Strzok, as I understand, has lost his security clearance,” Sessions told conservative radio host Howie Carr on June 21.

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July 12, 2018

DEMOCRATS RELEASE LIST OF ALL THE AWESOME QUESTIONS REPUBLICANS ASKED PETER STRZOK

Congressional Democrats released a list of questions Wednesday that their Republican counterparts asked of Peter Strzok, the former FBI official who sent anti-Trump text messages while working on the Russia investigation.

Democrats published the questions in an attempt to force Republicans to release a transcript of Strzok’s 10-plus hour closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on June 27.

Strzok is scheduled to appear before both committees for an open hearing on Thursday.

While Democrats complained that the questions show the GOP lawmakers’ lines of inquiry appear in line with the questions that Trump supporters have raised about Strzok and the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

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July 11, 2018

EX-FBI LAWYER LISA PAGE WILL DEFY CONGRESSIONAL SUBPOENA

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page will defy a congressional subpoena to appear for a deposition on Wednesday, her lawyer said in a statement.

The House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform Committees issued the subpoena to Page, who has been at the center of controversy over anti-Trump text messages that she exchanged with Peter Strzok, the former deputy chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

Page and Strzok worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Strzok is slated to testify in a public hearing before the two congressional committees on Thursday.

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July 10, 2018

TRUMP ISSUES FULL PARDONS TO OREGON RANCHERS FORCED BACK INTO PRISON UNDER ANTI-TERROR LAW

President Donald Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers forced back into prison in 2016 to serve out the rest of the mandatory minimum sentence required under an anti-terrorism law.

“The Hammonds are multi-generation cattle ranchers in Oregon imprisoned in connection with a fire that leaked onto a small portion of neighboring public grazing land,” the White House said in a statement. “The evidence at trial regarding the Hammonds’ responsibility for the fire was conflicting, and the jury acquitted them on most of the charges.

Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of committing arson on federal land in 2012 under an anti-terrorism law from 1996. The U.S. District Court judge who sentenced the ranchers believed the mandatory minimum sentence was too harsh, thus both men served short stints in prison.

The Hammonds served their time, but federal prosecutors appealed the case and got a federal court to overturn the 2012 judgement. The Hammonds were forced back into prison in 2016 to serve the rest of their sentences.

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July 9, 2018

MUELLER WILL NOT PRESENT COLLUSION EVIDENCE AT MANAFORT TRIAL

Special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday that his prosecutors will not present evidence regarding Trump campaign collusion with Russia at an upcoming trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government,” reads a filing submitted by Mueller’s team in federal court in Virginia on Friday.

The filing sheds light on one of the largest questions looming over the Manafort case. Mueller’s prosecutors have indicted Manafort in federal court in Virginia and Washington, D.C., on a slew of charges related to his consulting work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort ended the work in 2014, and it has been unclear whether Mueller’s team planned to reveal evidence about President Donald Trump or the campaign.

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