December 31, 2018


It’s always a good idea to do some self-reflection before the start of a new year, and the establishment media sure has a lot to think about.

MSNBC has been covered by the Washington Free Beacon, but in order to help CNN in this process, we’ve compiled the most insane moments that happened on their airwaves in 2018.

CNN kicked off the year in style by having anchors Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon get wasted in a New Orleans bar on New Year’s Eve. Fellow reporter Randi Kaye, meanwhile, was in Colorado worrying about getting a “contact high” on a party bus filled with pot-smokers.

The nonsense continued through February when CNN sent a reporter to the home of an elderly woman who unwittingly shared pro-Trump Facebook posts that were created by Russian trolls. After CNN aired the video of their reporter confronting the woman, she was exposed to vicious and constant online harassment and threats.

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December 27, 2018


  • Billionaire tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman apologized for funding a false flag operation suggesting Russian bots supported Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s failed Senate bid.
  • Hoffman did not mention in his apology who executed a disinformation campaign designed to tie Moore to Russian internet trolls. 
  • One of the officials who was responsible for the Russian bot “false flag” operation is an Obama-era official.

Billionaire Reid Hoffman apologized Wednesday for funding an effort to dupe Alabama voters into believing Russian bots were fueling Republican Roy Moore’s failed senatorial bid. But he left crucial questions unanswered.

His statement left several important facts about the so-called experiment unaddressed, including a detailed accounting of everyone involved in the caper, as well who crafted and executed the campaign. The effort was the subject of a closed-door presentation in Washington, D.C., to a group of liberal technology experts, The Washington Post reported, citing anonymous sources.

“I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing,” Hoffman said in his statement. “For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET — the organization I did support — more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject.”

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December 26, 2018


Over the past 40 years, the American conservative movement has taken on a lot of unneeded and somewhat useless baggage. Go to any meeting of the vast right wing conspiracy and you will find all sorts of accomplished individuals many of whom run their own organizations. Sometimes the organizations are so intimately connected to the individuals that when the individual dies the organization will fade away. But most have worked hard to ensure their organizations survive beyond them.

There is another cast of character you will also find at these gatherings. These are the men and women who show up to orbit the actual influencers then claim influence for themselves. They pay the membership fees and get to hang out with the powers that be. Occasionally, they luck into seats at the table where they get to influence the direction of the organizations, but typically they are the people in the hallway passing out business cards regaling everyone of their next big project that rarely happens. The conservative power brokers may pass them a few scraps off the board room table while whispering amongst themselves not to get too close.

One of the silver linings of the Mueller investigation is that many of these charlatans, grifters, and conmen are finally getting their comeuppance. During the 2016 Republican primary, roughly 1.2 million candidates sought the nomination. They hired the A teams and the B teams. No one really took Donald Trump seriously as a candidate. But Trump had millions of dollars, high name identification, and Mar-a-Lago. The grifters of the conservative movement knew the doors would not open at the other campaigns, but they could sail into the Trump campaign. The conservative movement had done such a poor job of policing its own that these hangers-on could honestly show they had credible access.

They had the calling cards, the memberships in all the super secret organizations, the books published by the conservative publishers, the rolodex with names, etc. Trump, not having anyone else to turn to at the time, turned to them. Miracle of miracles, Trump won. Over the past two years, a great sorting has taken place where many of those who were on the outside looking in found themselves on the inside, but slowly saw themselves pushed back out.

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December 24, 2018


Chief Justice John Roberts stayed a contempt order in a case that likely arose from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Sunday night.

Roberts’ order could mark the first time that the Supreme Court has intervened in the Mueller inquiry.

Very little is known of the case, which reached the justices on Saturday, because the matter has proceeded through the federal courts under seal, meaning strict confidentiality prevails over every detail.

The scant facts which are available about the case are these: a grand jury issued a subpoena to an unnamed company owned by a foreign government some time during the summer of 2018. That firm, referred to in court filings as “the corporation” has been fighting the subpoena in federal court since August.

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December 21, 2018


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced migrants who seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border must return and wait in Mexico while their claims are processed.

In what might be one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive reforms of the U.S. immigration system to date, Secretary of Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen revealed Thursday her department will no longer allow migrants to enter the U.S. after claiming asylum. Instead, asylum seekers who tried getting into the country through the U.S. southern border will have to wait in Mexico while their cases move through the immigration courts.

It won’t apply to “children traveling alone or to Mexican asylum seekers,” according to The Associated Press.

The change in policy comes after immigration officials have had to deal with an influx of Central American migrants attempting to cross the U.S. border with Mexico. Applications for asylum reached all-time highs.

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December 20, 2018


Attorney General nominee William Barr sent a memo to the Department of Justice criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, particularly those aspects of the probe relating to obstruction of justice in June.

The unsolicited document, whose existence was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, argues President Donald Trump’s dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey does not rise to obstruction of justice, since the president was carrying out his constitutional responsibilities.

“As I understand it, [Mueller’s] theory is premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law,” Barr wrote. “Moreover, in my view, if credited by the Justice Department, it would have grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the presidency and to the administration of law within the executive branch.”

Barr conceded a sitting president could obstruct justice by destroying evidence or tampering with witnesses, according to the Journal. Still, he insisted that the president cannot commit obstruction of justice when exercising his lawful powers.

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December 19, 2018


  • Former FBI Director James Comey continues to falsely claim that Republicans were the initial backers of Christopher Steele and his infamous dossier.
  • In congressional interviews on Dec. 7 and Monday, Comey repeatedly claimed that Steele had Republican backers.
  • In reality, Steele was hired in June 2016 by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was working at the time for the law firm for the DNC and Clinton campaign.

Former FBI Director James Comey falsely claimed throughout two recently congressional interviews that Republicans were the initial backers of the infamous Steele dossier, which alleges a vast conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

Comey claimed twice in an interview Monday with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees that Republicans initially commissioned the work of Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the dossier. He made similar claims twice more in an interview with the same committees on Dec. 7.

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December 18, 2018


Countless people, including a former federal prosecutor, seem oblivious to one of the greatest abuses, outrages, and tragedies of our criminal justice system: innocent people are forced to plead guilty every day.

Indeed, the Innocence Project alone has exonerated 31 people who spent a combined 150 years in prison on guilty pleas. That is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

This horrific injustice is solely attributable to the unchecked power of prosecutors who now function as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. They have unfettered discretion, no supervision, no limits, and most federal judges defer to them at every turn.

There are two judges who I know do not simply defer. One is Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, the judicial hero of my book who will preside tomorrow over the proceedings against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

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December 17, 2018


The Supreme Court held long ago in Brady v. Maryland that the Constitution requires the prosecution, which holds all the cards in a criminal case, to give the defense all evidence favorable to the defendant, whether it impeaches a witness, mitigates punishment or shows his innocence. Indeed, the burden is on prosecutors to find anything in the possession of the government that is favorable to the defense.

From the minute Judge Emmet G. Sullivan received the case against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, which will be decided on Tuesday, he ordered Mueller to provide the defense with all Brady material. Last week, Judge Sullivan specifically ordered Mueller to produce any FBI interview reports — called 302s — or memoranda relevant to the original interview of Gen. Flynn. Ironically, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has been requesting the agents’ notes and 302s for two years. Did Mueller comply?

Remarkably, but not surprisingly to those who have read my book, Mueller has thumbed his nose at Judge Sullivan’s order. He produced only a 302 created by his own squad seven months later from his own agent’s interview of none other than the infamous, fired-for-bias, disgraced, Trump-loathing, former Agent Peter Strzok — the guy who swore he’d “stop” President Trump and devised “an insurance policy” with his mistress Lisa Page and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in case Trump won the election. We are watching Mueller execute that insurance policy by the day.

The evidence indicates Mueller has destroyed or is suppressing Brady material. There was an original 302 created within five days — by FBI protocol — of the Jan. 24, 2016 ambush interview of General Flynn by two agents — Strzok and Special Agent Joe Pientka. It is mentioned in the Strzok-Page text messages and on page four of the recrafted 302 Mueller filed. Comey read the original 302 before he was fired.

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December 14, 2018


Department of Justice investigators were unable to recover text messages Peter Strzok and Lisa Page sent during their short tenure on the special counsel’s investigation, according to a report released Thursday by the DOJ’s office of the inspector general (OIG).

According to the OIG report, iPhones issued by the special counsel’s office to Strzok and Page were reset after they left the special counsel probe in July 2017, making it impossible to retrieve text messages sent and received on those devices.

There is no allegation of wrongdoing on the part of Strzok and Page in the report, which was issued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz. But the absence of text messages from a crucial period of time prevents Congress and the public from seeing whether Strzok and Page’s anti-Trump sentiments carried over into the special counsel’s probe.

Strzok and Page exchanged tens of thousands of text messages in the months before joining the special counsel’s office. Exchanges retrieved from their FBI-issued devices showed a deep animus toward President Donald Trump. Some of the exchanges even suggested Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, actively sought to prevent Trump from becoming president.

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December 13, 2018


  • A mysterious nonprofit group backed in part by George Soros and linked to Fusion GPS has investigated President Donald Trump and possible Russian interference.
  • The Democracy Integrity Project has largely remained a mystery, but The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned new details about the group’s board of directors.
  • One board member is an attorney who has worked closely with Fusion GPS in the past. The lawyer, Adam Kaufmann, has worked for Derwick Associates, a Venezuelan power company accused of bribery and money laundering.

Days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, a nonprofit organization opened up shop in Washington, D.C., to continue a private investigation into the president’s possible ties to Russia.

Only a few details of the group, the Democracy Integrity Project, have trickled out over the nearly two years since its founding.

The organization’s founder, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer named Daniel J. Jones, hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS and dossier author Christopher Steele as part of the initiative, he told the FBI in March 2017. And it has been revealed that billionaire financier George Soros has given at least $1 million to the group and is considering giving more.

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December 12, 2018


  • Christopher Steele disclosed information from his infamous dossier to Strobe Talbott, a longtime Clinton insider and former State Department official.
  • Court documents released on Tuesday show that Steele shared information with Talbott because of the latter’s position on the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
  • Talbott’s link to the dossier has not been previously reported. His brother-in-law, another Clinton insider, compiled an anti-Trump dossier of his own during the campaign. 

Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier, disclosed information from his Trump-Russia investigation to a longtime Clinton crony because of his position on a State Department advisory board, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

According to the court filing, Steele told a court in the United Kingdom on Aug. 1 that he provided Strobe Talbott, the Clinton insider, with anti-Trump research because of his position on the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, an independent advisory board set up in 2011 by then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton appointed Talbott chairman of the advisory board, and he served in that role through John Kerry’s tenure.

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December 11, 2018


The Department of Justice is requesting that the justification of an FBI raid on a reportedly recognized whistleblower’s home remain secret, according to a letter from U.S. Attorney Robert Robert Hur.

The letter was sent to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland on Dec. 7 in response to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Nov. 30 request to unseal court documents that would show the FBI’s rationale for the raid.

The documents could potentially reveal whether the bureau and the magistrate who signed the court order allowing the raid, Stephanie A. Gallagher, knew that the subject was, according to his lawyer, a recognized whistleblower.

Sixteen FBI agents raided Dennis Cain’s Union Bridge, Maryland, home on Nov. 19 for six hours, even though Cain told them that he was a recognized whistleblower and handed classified documents over to the agents.

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December 10, 2018


  • James Comey made the surprise revelation in his congressional testimony on Friday that the FBI opened investigations into four Trump associates in late July 2016.
  • It was previously known that four Trump advisers were the focus of the FBI probe, but it was not known that they were targeted at the outset of the investigation.
  • It was previously believed that former Trump aide George Papadopoulos was the catalyst for the investigation, which was dubbed Crossfire Hurricane.

The FBI opened counterintelligence investigations into four Trump campaign associates in late July 2016, earlier than previously known, former FBI Director James Comey told Congress Friday.

“I was briefed sometime at the end of July that the FBI had opened counterintelligence investigations of four individuals to see if there was a connection between those — any of those four and the Russian effort,” Comey said during a seven hour interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees.

The revelation comes as something of a surprise because Democrats and many in the media have insisted that the probe, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, was launched solely based on information that the Australian government provided the FBI on Trump aide George Papadopoulos.

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December 7, 2018


  • FBI officials discussed intelligence community concerns about the infamous Steele dossier in a lengthy email thread in October 2016, according to a new report.
  • The FBI relied heavily on the dossier to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
  • But Republicans have questioned whether the FBI relied on unverified or inaccurate intelligence to obtain the warrants.

Justice Department and FBI officials exchanged emails during the late stages of the 2016 presidential campaign discussing concerns within the intelligence community about the infamous Steele dossier, according to a new report.

The emails also show that top government officials were aware that Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, was in contact with reporters regarding his investigation into President Donald Trump and his possible links to Russia.

The emails, first reported by The Hill, were exchanged in October 2016, before the FBI submitted its first of four applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

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December 6, 2018


Federal prosecutors have recently resumed interviewing witnesses in an investigation of two lobbying firms that worked with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, including one operated by the brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

According to The Associated Press, prosecutors in New York have in recent weeks started contacting witnesses and attorneys as part of an investigation into the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs.

The two firms worked with Manafort through 2014 on a consulting project aimed at fluffing the public image of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Prosecutors have also focused on Greg Craig, the former White House general counsel under then-President Barack Obama and a former partner at the firm Skadden Arps. CNN reported in September that prosecutors were weighing charges against Craig, who has since left his firm.

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December 5, 2018


  • The Guardian is under fire over a questionable article published in November that alleged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met secretly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
  • But as The Washington Post notes, one of the reporters who helped write The Guardian piece has been accused of fabricating documents provided to The Guardian for a 2014 story about an oil deal between Ecuador and China.
  • WikiLeaks and Manafort have vehemently denied the latest story, and The Guardian has issued a tepid response supporting the article.

An Ecuadorian journalist who has been accused of fabricating documents in the past helped write a would-be bombshell for The Guardian in November that alleged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met multiple times, including during the 2016 presidential campaign, with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Fernando Villavicencio was listed as one of three reporters, along with Luke Harding and Ben Collyns, on the print version of the Guardian’s story, which was published on Nov. 27. His name was left off of the web version of the article.

As The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi notes, the Ecuadorian government previously accused Villavicencio, a vocal critic of Ecuador’s former president, Rafael Correa, of fabricating documents related to an agreement between Ecuador and China to drill for oil in the Amazon forest.

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December 4, 2018


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley wants answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray about a Nov. 19 bureau raid on the home of a recognized whistleblower.

The whistleblower, Dennis Cain, who was once employed by an FBI contractor, reportedly turned over documents to the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the bureau’s failure to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the Russian company that purchased Uranium One.

Horowitz subsequently deemed Cain a whistleblower protected under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, Cain’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told The DCNF.

Grassley sent a letter to Wray on Nov. 30 asking pointed questions about the raid on Cain’s private residence in Union Bridge, Maryland.

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December 3, 2018


Former FBI Director James Comey ended a legal battle with House Republicans on Sunday, announcing that he will testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill this week after receiving assurances that a transcript of his interview will be released to the public.

Comey’s announcement brings to an end a short-lived standoff over the former FBI chief’s congressional testimony. Republicans on the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees subpoenaed Comey on Nov. 21 to appear for a closed-door deposition on Dec. 3 to face questions about his handling of the Clinton email and Trump-Russia collusion investigations.

Comey sought a public hearing, claiming in a court filing Thursday that he feared “selective leaks” from Republicans. But in an emergency court hearing Friday, Comey’s attorneys acknowledged that the request to quash the congressional subpoena was unorthodox, suggesting the motion had little chance of succeeding.

Comey wrote Sunday on Twitter that he was “grateful for a fair hearing from judge.”

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