Subornation of perjury

The Pronk Pops Show 1249, May 2, 2019, Story 1: Democrats and Big Lie Media False Accusations: Trump and His Campaign Conspired With The Russians — Muller Report Conclusion: No Evidence of Crimes Committed By Trump and Campaign Team — Trump and Barr Move On To Investigating, Indicting and Prosecuting The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Democrats Panic — Panicky Progressive Pelosi Projection: William Barr committed a crime — New Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) Smear Campaign — Videos — Story 2: High Stakes of Venezuelan Revolution — Largest Oil Reserve In The World — Coupe Attempt Failed — Send In The Marines and CIA — Videos — Story 3: FBI or CIA Sent Informant To Spy on Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos — Coming Attractions of The Department of Justice Inspector General Report in Early June –Videos 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 201

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1215 February 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1214 February 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1213 February 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1212 February 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1211 February 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1210 February 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1203 February 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1202 February 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1201 February 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1200 February 1, 2019

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Story 1: Democrats and Big Lie Media False Accusations: Trump and His Campaign Conspired With The Russians — Muller Report Conclusion: No Evidence of Crimes Committed By Trump and Campaign Team — Trump and Barr Move On To Investigating, Indicting and Prosecuting The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Democrats Panic — Panicky Progressive Pelosi Projection: William Barr committed a crime — New Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) Smear Campaign — Videos —

Is Barr stealing Trump’s ‘impeachment spotlight’?

Nancy Pelosi: William Barr committed a crime

Hannity: The Mueller witch hunt is completely over

Collins blames Dems for Barr’s absence in fiery hearing open

BREAKING NEWS: ‘He lied to Congress!’ Nancy Pelosi accuses Bill Barr of a crime claiming he hid Mueller contact from House committee – but Trump’s AG will blame a DEMOCRAT for asking the wrong question

  • Nancy Pelosi says Bill Barr lied to Congress, which is a crime
  • Barr testified in April that he didn’t know why some members of Mueller’s team were frustrated by the slow release of their final report
  • Mueller had sent Barr a letter more than a week earlier complaining about the pace of things
  • Justice Department official tells DailyMail.com that Barr will stick to his guns and say he was asked the wrong question – about Mueller’s team, not Mueller himself
  • Barr refused to show up and testify in a House hearing on Thursday
  • Democrats held an abbreviated session and brought a bucket of KFC and a toy chicken to paint him as a coward 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed Thursday in a dramatic press conference that Attorney General Bill Barr committed a crime in sworn testimony last month, ratcheting up the latest war of words to paralyze Washington in the Trump era.

‘He lied to Congress. He lied to Congress. If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,’ Pelosi told reporters. ‘Nobody is above the law. Not the President of the United States and not the attorney general.’

Barr testified April 9 in a House hearing that ‘no, I don’t’ know why some members of special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were frustrated by the nature of what he released to Congress on March 24.

With this week’s revelation of a March 27 letter in which Mueller told Barr he was displeased with how little material had been made public, that statement appears to have given Democrats a new weapon. Barr, however, plans to stick to his guns, according to a Justice Department official.

Barr told a House panel in April that he didn't know why some members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team were frustrated by how little information he had released to lawmakers; he said no, despite getting a letter weeks earlier with grips from Mueller himself

Barr told a House panel in April that he didn’t know why some members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were frustrated by how little information he had released to lawmakers; he said no, despite getting a letter weeks earlier with grips from Mueller himself

During a House Appropriations Committee, Florida Democratic Rep. asked: ‘Reports have emerged recently, general, that members of the Special Counsel’s team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?”

Barr said he didn’t. He added: ‘I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize.’

A DOJ official predicted on Thursday that Barr will stand by his claim that Crist’s question was poorly worded since it asked about Mueller’s team of lawyers and not the special counsel himself.

‘Crist asked it wrong. AG Barr did what good witnesses do: he didn’t answer a question that wasn’t asked,’ the official told DailyMail.com.

‘When a prosecutor asks you if you know what time it is, you don’t tell him it’s 12:30. If you know, the answer is yes. You don’t volunteer anything. We all learn that in law school.’

Officially, a Justice Department spokesperson issued a terse statement: ‘Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false.’

The March 27 letter from Mueller to Barr came three days after Barr released his four-page top-line results to a bipartisan quartet of congressional leaders from both judiciary committees.

Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist asked the question during an April 9 hearing; he said Wednesday that Barr should resign, joining a growing chorus of Democrats looking to make hay from a potential misstep by President Donald Trump's newest cabinet member

He wrote that Barr’s limited disclosures had resulted in ‘public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigation.’

Barr said Wednesday that he decided against releasing the Mueller report ‘piecemeal,’ describing the report as ‘my baby’ at the point it hit his desk.

He also described the letter as ‘a bit snitty,’ and suggested someone on Mueller’s staff wrote it.

Pelosi’s esclation came hours after House Judiciary Committee Democrats briefly gaveled in a hearing where Barr had expected to testify for a second day in a row, after sitting for an extended Senate grilling on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler lectured the Trump administration, facing an empty chair, while other Democrats ate KFC and displayed a plastic chicken to frame Barr as a coward.

Nadler opted to convene the hearing rather than waste a made-for-TV tableau after Barr refused to show up, with the Justice Department citing Nadler’s demand that staff attorneys should be able to question him in addition to elected lawmakers.

‘Given the Attorney General’s lack of candor before other congressional committees,’ Nadler said in an opening statement, referring to Barr’s hours-long grilling Wednesday on the Senate side ofthe Capitol, ‘I believe my colleagues and I were right to insist on the extended questioning.’

Ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia hit the roof, saying Democrats were treating Barr as a proxy for Trump because they ‘can’t’ or ‘don’t want’ to publicly impeach him.

Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee held an abbriviated hearing on Thursday with a plastic chicken standing in for Attorney General Bill Barr, who refused to attend because the chairman demanded he submit himself to questions from staff lawyers in addition to lawmakers

Hearing organizers arranged a bipartisan tableau facing an empty chair on Thursday

Hearing organizers arranged a bipartisan tableau facing an empty chair on Thursday

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler slammed Barr for refusing to appear, and threatened the Justice Department with action for refusing to turn over an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia election interference

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler slammed Barr for refusing to appear, and threatened the Justice Department with action for refusing to turn over an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia election interference

Barr, who spent hours testifying in a Senate hearing on Wednesday and was seen leaving his house Thursday, can't release an unredacted copy of the report to anyone, including Congress, because federal law requires him to protect material related to grand juries; all the other redactions have been uncovered in a copy made available to congressional leaders from both parties

‘The stunt and the circus continues over here,’ he boomed.

‘They wanted to have a staff member ask questions?’ Collins asked. ‘If that staff member wants to ask questions so desperately, run for Congress! Put a pin on. Find a committee.’ 

Nadler quickly gaveled the hearing to a close, ignoring other Republicans’ demands for parliamentary questions about the event’s format and whether they would have a chance to speak.

Pelosi wouldn’t speculate on Thursday about what Nadler might do next.

‘The committee will act upon how it will proceed,’ she said in a cryptic forecast.

‘How sad it is for us to see the top law enforcement officer in our country misrepresenting, withholding the truth from the Congress of the United States,’ she said.

Crist said late Weddnesday that Barr was parsing words and should have understood the spirit of the question he asked on April 9.

‘He not only misled the House of Representatives but also the United States Senate. When you’re doing that then you’re lying to the American people and if the chief legal officer of the United States is willing to do that, that erodes confidence in our institutions. That’s just unacceptable,’ he said.

Crist added that Barr should resign.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6985653/He-lied-Congress-Pelosi-accuses-Bill-Barr-crime-hiding-Mueller-contact-House.html

Spygate (conspiracy theory by Donald Trump)

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Spygate is a conspiracy theory initiated by President Donald Trump in May 2018 that the Obama administration had implanted a spy in his 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes.[1][2][3][4]

On May 22–23, 2018, Trump made these assertions, without providing evidence, adding that it was done in an effort to help Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, win the general election. He said this person was paid a “massive amount of money” for doing so.[5][6] Stefan Halper, a longtime FBI informant, had approached separately three Trump campaign advisers in 2016 in a covert effort to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, but as of April 2019, no evidence has surfaced that he had joined Trump’s campaign or acted improperly.[7]

On June 5, 2018, Trump further alleged that a counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign had been running since December 2015.[8] The House Intelligence Committee, then in Republican control, concluded in an April 2018 report that the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began in late July 2016, while the February 2018 Nunes memo written by Republican aides reached the same conclusion, as did the February 2018 rebuttal memo by committee Democrats.[9][10][11]

High-ranking politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as Fox News personalities, have dismissed Trump’s allegations as lacking evidence and maintained that the FBI did nothing improper. Trump’s claims have been shown to be false.[5][12][13]

Contents

Background

Trump has been involved in the promotion of a number of conspiracy theories which are lacking in evidence. These have included promoting Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories from 2011, claiming in 2016 that Ted Cruz‘s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and claiming that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if not for “millions” of illegal voters. Trump also alleged in 2017 that his Trump Tower offices had been wiretapped, which his Justice Department has debunked.[14] Max Boot, writing for The Washington Post, described Spygate as the latest example in a “nonstop” series of Trump’s “nonsensical” allegations of a “Deep State” conspiracy against him, and that an earlier conspiracy theory Trump had advocated in January 2018 was that texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were tantamount to “treason”, but the Wall Street Journal reviewed them and concluded they “show no evidence of a conspiracy against” Trump.[15]

In early February 2018, the Nunes memo — written by aides of Republican Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — confirmed that a tip about George Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of” the original FBI counterintelligence investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia in late July 2016.[16] Later that month, a rebuttal memo by committee Democrats stated that “the FBI initiated its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016”.[11][17]

In April 2018, the House Intelligence Committee, then in Republican control, released a final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which stated that the House Intelligence Committee found that “in late July 2016, the FBI opened an enterprise CI [counterintelligence] investigation into the Trump campaign following the receipt of derogatory information about foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos”.[9][10][18] In March 2019, Nunes, the then-ranking member of the committee, asserted that it was “for certain” false that the FBI investigation began in late July 2016 as his earlier report had found, but media reports offered no further evidence or explanation from Nunes on this claim.[9][19][20]

On May 16, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of a 2016 FBI investigation named Crossfire Hurricane tasked with investigating whether individuals within the Trump campaign had inappropriate or illegal links to Russian efforts to interfere with the election. Four individuals — Michael T. FlynnPaul ManafortCarter Page and George Papadopoulos — were initially investigated because of such ties.[21] During the investigation, the FBI “obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters, a secret type of subpoena”. The Times also reported that FBI agents, believing that Trump would lose the election, and cognizant of Trump’s claims that the election was rigged against him, took extreme care and caution to keep the investigation secret as they feared that Trump would blame his defeat on the revelation of the investigation.[21]

Stefan Halper spoke to Trump campaign advisers, but there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign.

Although an FBI informant, Stefan Halper, spoke separately to three Trump campaign advisers – Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos – in 2016 in an effort to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign. Page said that he “had extensive discussions” with Halper on “a bunch of different foreign-policy-related topics”, ending in September 2017.[22] A former federal law enforcement official told The New York Times that their initial encounter at a London symposium on July 11–12, 2016 was a coincidence, rather than at the direction of the FBI.[23][22] Clovis’s attorney said that Clovis and Halper had discussed China during their sole meeting on August 31 or September 1, 2016.[22] The New York Times reported that on September 15, 2016 Halper asked Papadopoulos if he knew of any Russian efforts to disrupt the election campaign; Papadopoulos twice denied he did, despite Joseph Mifsud telling him the previous April that Russians had embarrassing Hillary Clinton emails, and Papadopoulos bragging about it to Alexander Downer in May. After the emails were leaked, Downer informed the FBI of his conversation with Papadopoulos, triggering the opening of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[24][22][25] Papadopoulos was paid $3,000 by Halper for a research paper on the oil fields of Turkey, Israel and Cyprus.[7]

On May 17, 2018, Trump tweeted[26] that the use of an informant by the “Obama FBI” was “bigger than Watergate“.[27]

In April 2019, The New York Times reported that the FBI had asked Halper to approach Page and Papadopoulos, although it was not clear if he had been asked to contact Clovis.[28] In May 2019, the Times reported that the FBI also sent an investigator using the name Azra Turk to meet with Papadopoulos, while posing as Halper’s assistant.[29]

Trump and his allies’ allegations

May 2018

On May 22, Trump made the following accusation on Twitter without providing any evidence:[6]

If the person placed very early into my campaign wasn’t a SPY put there by the previous Administration for political purposes, how come such a seemingly massive amount of money was paid for services rendered – many times higher than normal … Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia, because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!

A day later, he followed up with related tweet:[30]

SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!

The Associated Press reported that Trump privately said that he wanted “to brand” the informant as a “spy” as using a more nefarious term than “informant” would supposedly resonate more with the public.[31][32] Trump has not offered any evidence for Spygate when asked for it, instead saying: “All you have to do is look at the basics and you’ll see it.”[33]

In the May 22 tweets, Trump wrote that Halper, a longtime FBI informant, was paid a “massive amount of money” and concluded that he thus must be a spy implanted for “political purposes”. However, the $1 million in contracts for “social sciences and humanities” research, some of which Halper subcontracted to other researchers, were signed with the Defense department‘s Office of Net Assessment between 2012 to 2016, with 40% of the money awarded before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015.[34] It is unknown if the FBI paid Halper at all.[35][36] Halper worked for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and continued as a State and Defense department advisor until 2001.[34][37] He had been considered for an ambassadorship in the Trump administration.[38]

In the May 23 tweets, Trump published a false quote attributed to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that “Trump should be happy that the FBI was SPYING on his campaign.” Instead, when asked “Was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?”, Clapper said, “No, they were not.” Clapper added that Trump should have been happy that the FBI was investigating “what the Russians were doing”, and “were the Russians infiltrating” his campaign or trying to influence the election.[39]

On May 26, 2018, Trump questioned “why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or ‘Justice’ contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?” NBC News reported in December 2017 that after Trump won the Republican nomination, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “briefed and warned” him that foreign adversaries, including Russia, might attempt to spy on and infiltrate his campaign. Trump was told to alert the FBI of any suspicious activity.[40]

On May 25, The Washington Post wrote that several conservative sources have sided with Trump to embrace and promote Spygate, including the Fox & Friends talk show and political commentators Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity for Fox News, the website Breitbart, and also radio show host Rush Limbaugh. Meanwhile, Infowars host Alex Jones took credit for coining the “Spygate” term.[41]

Asked on whether the promotion of the Spygate theory is meant to discredit the special counsel investigation, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said on May 27 that the investigators “are giving us the material to do it. Of course, we have to do it in defending the president … it is for public opinion” on whether to “impeach or not impeach” Trump.[42]

June 2018

On June 5, Trump made new accusations on Twitter, again without providing any evidence:[43]

Wow, Strzok-Page, the incompetent & corrupt FBI lovers, have texts referring to a counter-intelligence operation into the Trump Campaign dating way back to December, 2015. SPYGATE is in full force! Is the Mainstream Media interested yet? Big stuff!

However, the December 2015 texts do not make any reference to the Trump campaign or Russia.[44]

This particular conspiracy theory promoted by Trump was traced by media outlets to originate from a Twitter user called @Nick_Falco, who on June 4 posted about the words “oconus lures” in December 2015 texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. While “oconus” refers to “outside the continental United States”, Falco inferred that “lures” refer to spies.[43][45] However, according to the United States Department of Justice, “lures” refer to “subterfuge to entice a criminal defendant to leave a foreign country so that he or she can be arrested”.[46] Falco questioned if “the FBI wanted to run a baited Sting Op using foreign agents against Trump”, despite none of the texts mentioning the Trump campaign or Russia.[44] Also on June 4, Falco’s tweet spread to the r/conspiracy forum on Reddit, and also The Gateway Pundit, a far-right, pro-Trump website which has published multiple false conspiracy theories.[43][45] The Gateway Pundit wrote an article entitled: “Breaking: Senate releases unredacted texts showing FBI initiated MULTIPLE SPIES in Trump campaign in December 2015”.[47] However, the texts referenced by Falco were publicly released by a Senate committee months earlier in February 2018.[45][44] On June 5, Lou Dobbs of Fox Business said that “the FBI may have initiated a number of spies into the Trump campaign as early as December of 2015”. Dobbs’s interviewee on the show, Chris Farrell of the conservative group Judicial Watch, agreed that the existence of an “intelligence operation directed against then-candidate Trump” was “indisputable”. Trump’s June 5 tweet on Spygate came less than an hour after Dobbs’s interview, with Trump also tweeting praise of Dobbs for the “great interview”.[44][48]

After Trump made his June 5 tweet, Fox News described the news as “New Strzok-Page texts released”, with Fox News television host Laura Ingraham saying: “It certainly appears they were looking to put more lures into the campaign in 2015.” Republican Representative Ron DeSantis, a panelist on Ingraham’s show, agreed that it was “clear” that the FBI investigation into Trump started earlier than July 2016.[44][47]

Reactions and criticism

May 2018

Shortly after Trump’s allegation, several members of Congress received a classified briefing on the matter from the Justice Department. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a former federal prosecutor, stated after the briefing:[49][50]

I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump…President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did. I think when the President finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard…. The FBI is doing what he told them to do.

Senior Republicans including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, supported Gowdy’s assessment of the situation.[51]

Republican Representative Tom Rooney, who is on the House Intelligence Committee, chided Trump for creating “this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true…. Maybe it’s just to create more chaos.”[52] Republican senator Jeff Flake has said that the “so-called Spygate” is a “diversion tactic, obviously”.[53] while Republican senator Marco Rubio said that “it appears that there was an investigation not of the campaign but of certain individuals who have a history that we should be suspicious of that predate the presidential campaign of 2015, 2016”.[54]

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has said that Spygate is “lie-gate”, a “piece of propaganda the president wants to put out and repeat”. He accused President Trump of repeatedly spreading baseless lies by quoting that “people are saying …” or “we’ve been told …”.[53][55] Michael Hayden, a retired general, former Director of the National Security Agency and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that Trump, through Spygate, was “simply trying to delegitimize the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and he’s willing to throw almost anything against the wall”.[54]

Journalist Shepard Smith has said that “Fox News can confirm that Spygate is not” true; “Fox News knows of no evidence to support the president’s claim. Lawmakers from both parties say using an informant to investigate is not spying. It’s part of the normal investigative process.”[56] Former judge and Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano concurred:[57][58]

The allegations from Mayor Giuliani over the weekend, which would lead us to believe that the Trump people think the FBI had an undercover agent who finagled his way into Trump’s campaign and was there as a spy on the campaign seem to be baseless — there is no evidence for that whatsoever. But this other allegation with this professor, whose name we’re not supposed to mention, that is standard operating procedure in intelligence gathering and criminal investigations…I understand the president’s frustration that he was not informed of the fact that his campaign was being investigated, not because they think the campaign did anything wrong, but some people may have unwittingly…welcomed the Russian involvement in the campaign, and Donald Trump didn’t know about it…. [It] is such a stunningly unremarkable event, because law enforcement does this all the time.

Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, has said, in regards to Spygate: “The effect on the life of the nation of a president inventing conspiracy theories in order to distract attention from legitimate investigations or other things he dislikes is corrosive.”[1]

Aaron Blake, writing for The Washington Post, wrote that the “central problem” of the Spygate conspiracy theory is the “fact that these people who supposedly would do anything to stop Trump … didn’t”. In the period before the election, the FBI “didn’t use the information it had collected to actually prevent Trump from becoming president”, as it did not publicly reveal it was already investigating links between George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Russia. Rather, the reports before the election were that the FBI saw no clear link between Russia and the Trump campaign, instead believing that Russia was trying to disrupt the election without purposely trying to elect Trump.[59]

Steven Poole, writing for The Guardian, wrote that the real scandal was Trump using the “-gate” suffix for the issue, as the Spygate allegations are about “purely imaginary things”.[60]

From May 31 to June 5, 2018, Quinnipiac University conducted a national poll of 1,223 voting Americans regarding the Spygate allegations. With the margin for error being 3.4%, a majority of 56% believed that the FBI’s usage of a confidential informant was “routine procedure”, while 33% agreed with Trump that the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign. The only group of voters with a majority believing Trump were Republicans at 66%.[61][62]

June 2018

The New York magazine addressed the June 2018 allegations by stating: “It’s not surprising or scandalous that FBI agents would be using espionage tradecraft. Gateway Pundit seems to have invented the crucial factual element of the conspiracy out of thin air” while “Trump is citing right-wing conspiracy theorists who operate at a full level further removed from reality than the right-wing conspiracy theorists he customarily cites.”[43]

Zack Beauchamp of Vox, which noted that “the FBI’s investigation into Trump didn’t open until July 2016”, wrote about the situation which was “entirely unfounded in the actual evidence” occurred because “Fox picks up on some random internet rumor, the president picks it up from Fox, and then Fox and other right-wing outlets leap to defend what the president tweeted, which only reinforces Trump’s sense that he’s right.” After reporting on both Trump’s May 2018 and June 2018, Beauchamp wrote that the “best way to analyze ‘Spygate’ is … a conspiracy theory … a ginned-up controversy Trump has capitalized on to justify his argument that the FBI is hopelessly biased against him”.[47]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spygate_(conspiracy_theory_by_Donald_Trump)

 

 

Stefan Halper

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Stefan A. Halper
Voa chinese Stefan Halper 8Apr10.jpg

Halper in 2010
Born June 4, 1944 (age 74)
Nationality American
Education Stanford University (BA)
University of Oxford (PhD)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
Occupation Professor

Stefan A. Halper (born June 4, 1944) is an American foreign policy scholar and Senior Fellow at the University of Cambridge where he is a Life Fellow at Magdalene College and directs the Department of Politics and International Studies.[1] He served as a White House official in the NixonFord, and Reagan administrations, and was reportedly in charge of the CIA spying operation by the 1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign that became known as “Debategate“. Halper had through his decades of work for the CIA extensive ties to the Bush family.[2] Through his work with Sir Richard Billing Dearlove he had ties to the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Halper acted as an FBI informant for its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and was a subject of the Spygate conspiracy theory.[3][4]

Contents

Early life

Halper[5] graduated from Stanford University in 1967.[6] He received a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 1971.[6] He was appointed Director of American Studies at the University of Cambridge‘s longstanding Department of Politics and International Studies in 2001.[1][6] He received a second Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2004.[6]

Career

United States government (1971–1984)

Halper began his United States government career in 1971 in the United States Domestic Policy Council, part of the executive office of the president, serving until 1973.[6] He then served in the office of management and budget until 1974, when he moved to the office of the White House chief of staff as assistant to the chief of staff where he had responsibility for a range of domestic and international issues. During this time, Halper worked as an assistant for three chiefs of staff, Alexander HaigDonald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney. He held this position until January 20, 1977.[6]

In 1977, Halper became Special Counsel to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and Legislative Assistant to Senator William Roth (R-Del.).[6] In 1979 he became National Policy Director for George H. W. Bush‘s Presidential campaign and then in 1980 he became Director of Policy Coordination for the Reagan- Bush Presidential campaign.[6]

Halper played a central role in a scandal in the 1980 election. But it was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter that this scandal emerge. In connection with his position Halper’s name came up in the 1983/4 investigations into the Debategate affair, which was a spying scandal in which Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials passed classified information about Carter administration’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering (Iran hostage crisis). Reagan Administration officials cited by The New York Times described Halper as “the person in charge” of the operation.[7][8] Halper called the report “just absolutely untrue”.[9]

In 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, ex-CIA-Director George H. W. Bush, who worked with Halper’s father-in-law, ex-CIA-Deputy-Director Ray Cline.[9] After Reagan entered the White House, Halper became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.[6] Upon leaving the Department in 1984, he remained a Senior Advisor to the Department of Defense and a Senior Advisor to the Department of Justice until 2001.[6][2][10]

Business (1984–1990)

From 1984 to 1990 Halper was chairman and majority shareholder of the Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C., the National Bank of Northern Virginia and the George Washington National Bank.[6] Palmer National Bank was used to transfer money to Swiss Bank Accounts controlled by White House aid Oliver North.[11]

According to Peter Dale Scott‘s book The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in Reagan Era on the Iran-Contra scandal, Ray Cline’s son-in-law Roger Fontaine “made at least two visits to Guatemala in 1980… (with General Sumner) drafting the May 1980 Santa Fe Statement, which said that World War III was already underway in Central America against the Soviets and that Nicauragua was the enemy. And some Reagan aides felt that Halper “was receiving information from the CIA.”[12]

The Palmer National Bank, where Halper worked, was described as “the DC hub by which Lt. Col. Oliver North sent arms and money to the anti-Sandinista guerrilla Contras in Nicaragua. One of Palmer’s founders, Stefan Halper, had no previous banking experience but was George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy director during Bush’s unsuccessful 1980 presidential campaign.” [13]

Halper later set up a legal defense fund for Oliver North.[14]

Academic and media (1986–2000)

From 1986 to 2000 Halper wrote a national security and foreign policy-focused weekly newspaper column, syndicated to 30 newspapers.[6]

Halper has worked as a senior foreign policy advisor to various think-tanks and research institutions, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Center for the National Interest, where he is a Distinguished Fellow, and The Institute of World Politicswhere he is a Research Professor. He has served on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and contributed to various magazines, journals, newspapers and media outlets. These include: The National InterestThe Washington TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe American Spectator, the BBC, CNN, SKY NEWS, ABC, CBS, NBC, C-Span, and a range of radio outlets.

Professor Halper is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, and the Travellers Club in London.

In a 2007 book, The Silence of the Rational Center, Halper analyzed “institutional failures” in United States policy-making:

“Three times since World War II, Big Ideas have seized the political discourse and driven policy experts to the sidelines: during the Red Scare of the early Cold War; during the entry to the Vietnam War, with its talk off democracy and dominos; and at the onset of the Iraq War. Each time, framing concepts rooted in Big Ideas turned complex foreign policy challenges into undifferentiated, apocalyptic threats to the nation’s very existence. Professionals and area experts were excluded from the debate if they diverged from the patriotic consensus, and the mainstream institutions and publications that could have opposed the rush to simplification were either silent or instead provided an echo chamber for the dominant narrative.”[15]

Russian Berlin-based journalist Leonid Bershidsky wrote in May 2018, that “the Trump-Russia scandal born of this operation [FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign] could be added to The Silence of the Rational Center as a fourth institutional failure.”[15]

United States government research (2012–2016)

From 2012 to 2016 Halper received $1 million in contracts for “social sciences and humanities” research from the Defense department‘s Office of Net Assessment, some of which Halper subcontracted to other researchers. Forty percent of the money had been awarded before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015.[16]

FBI Operation ‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Halper acted as an FBI informant for its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and was a subject of the Spygate conspiracy theory initiated by President Donald Trump in May 2018. The theory alleges that the Obama administration planted a paid spy in the 2016 Trump campaign “for political purposes” to gather information in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Beginning in summer 2016, Halper spoke separately to three Trump campaign advisers — Carter PageSam Clovis and George Papadopoulos — but there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign.

Page said that he “had extensive discussions” with Halper on “a bunch of different foreign-policy-related topics,” ending in September 2017.[17] A former federal law enforcement official told The New York Times that their initial encounter at a London symposium on July 11–12, 2016 was a coincidence, rather than at the direction of the FBI.[18][17] Clovis’s attorney said that Clovis and Halper had discussed China during their sole meeting on August 31 or September 1, 2016.[17] On September 2, 2016 Halper contacted Papadopoulos, inviting him to London and to write a paper on Mediterranean old fields, which he did.[17] On September 15, 2016 Halper asked Papadopoulos if he knew of any Russian efforts to disrupt the election campaign; Papadopoulos twice denied he did, despite Joseph Mifsudtelling him the previous April that Russians had embarrassing Hillary Clinton emails, and Papadopoulos bragging about it to Alexander Downer in May. The New York Times reported in April 2019 that the FBI had asked Halper to approach Page and Papadopoulos, although it was not clear if he had been asked to contact Clovis.[19] During the late summer of 2016 the FBI authorized a federal investigator who called herself Azra Turk to pose as Halper’s research assistant, to gather information on Papadopoulos, and oversee the operation.[20]

Trump’s Spygate allegations are widely debunked, but gained renewed interest in April 2019 after attorney general William Barr testified to Congress that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, although his characterization of “spying” was ambiguous and he declined to be specific. He stated he was assembling a team to examine the matter, although the Justice Department inspector general had been looking into it and related matters for some time and was expected to release his report within weeks.[21]

Prior to his 2016 activities, Halper had a February 2014 encounter at a London intelligence conference with Michael Flynn, then the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and later a Trump supporter and first national security advisor. Harper became so alarmed by Flynn’s close association with a Russian woman that a Halper associate expressed concerns to American authorities that Flynn may have been compromised by Russian intelligence. Flynn was forced out of the DIA six months later, although public accounts at the time cited other reasons for his removal, including his management style and views on Islam.[22]

Consideration for Trump administration role

Axios reported in May 2018 that during the transition Trump top trade advisor Peter Navarro had recommended Halper for an ambassadorship.[23]

Personal life

Halper’s former wife, Sibyl Cline, is the daughter of the former CIA deputy director for intelligence, Ray S. Cline.[8]

Books

He is the co-author of the bestselling book, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, published by the Cambridge University Press in 2004, and also co-author of The Silence of the Rational Centre: Why American Foreign Policy is Failing (2007). In April 2010, his book The Beijing Consensus: Legitimizing Authoritarianism in Our Time, was published by Basic Books. Also a bestseller, it has been published in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and France.

Awards

Halper is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, the Justice Department’s Director’s Award, and the Defense Department’s Superior Honor Award.

References …

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Halper

Joseph Mifsud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

Disappeared 6 November 2017 (aged 56–57)
RomeItaly
Nationality Maltese
Education University of Malta (BA)
University of Padua (MA)
Queen’s University Belfast(PhD)

Joseph Mifsud (born 1960)[1] is a Maltese academic, with reportedly high level connections to the Russian government.[2] In 2016, he became involved with George Papadopoulos, an advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and was later accused of being a link between that campaign and Russia. In 2018, he was described as missing, and an Italian court listed his location as “residence unknown”.[3] According to media reports he is in Rome as of April 2019.[4] In an April 2019 interview Rudy Giuliani revealed that Mifsud was a “…Maltese counterintelligence guy[5]

 

Education

Mifsud holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Malta (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Padua (1989).[1] He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from Queen’s University Belfast; his thesis was titled “Managing educational reform: a comparative approach from Malta (and Northern Ireland); a headteachers’ perspective”.[6]

Career

From 2006 to 2008, Mifsud served as the chef de cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta.[1] He later became a principal in the London Centre of International Law Practice. In 2008, he was named President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia(EMUNI).[1][7] He was a professorial teaching fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland,[8] as well as director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, where he served as director from 2012 until it closed in 2016. The academy was partnered with the University of Stirling.[9][10][11] He has also served as president of the University Consortium of the Province of Agrigento in Sicily; in September 2018, an Italian court ordered him to repay the Consortium 49,000 euros ($56,700) in overpayments.[3]

In a 2017 interview, he claimed to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR),[12] although the ECFR website in 2018 did not list him as a member.[13] He regularly attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, backed by the Kremlin and attended by Vladimir Putin.[14] According to a BBC report, Mifsud was in Moscow in April 2016 to speak on a panel run by the Valdai Club alongside Dr. Stephan Roh, a German multimillionaire lawyer and investor described as a “wheeler-dealer” by the BBC Newsnight program.[15] Roh, Mifsud’s former employer,[16] could not be reached for comment by the BBC and has since attempted to erase links between the two men on his company website. Another speaker at the Valdai Club was Ivan Timofeev, who works for a think tank close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whom Mifsud subsequently introduced to Papadopoulos via email.[15] Mifsud reportedly claimed to his former girlfriend that he was friends with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[17]Mifsud himself denied having any contact with the Russian government, saying “I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian.”[8] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, said that Mifsud “maintained various Russian contacts while living in London”, including an unnamed person (name redacted), who was a former staff member of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm based in Saint Petersburg.[18]

Connection to George Papadopoulos

In March 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos was named as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, Mifsud met Papadopoulos in Rome. They later met again in London, where Mifsud allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman that he falsely claimed was Putin’s niece; Mifsud has denied the report.[8][14] At a meeting in April, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had learned the Russians were in possession of thousands of emails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the information to the Australian High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, who later reported to American authorities that Papadopoulos had apparently known about Russia’s theft of emails from Democratic sources before it was publicly reported. Papadopoulos has since publicly denied any recollection of this topic with Downer. The FBI then launched an investigation into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.[19]

Volume 1 of the Mueller Report[20] states that Mifsud travelled to Moscow in April 2016, and upon his return told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.[18] It also mentions that Papadopoulos “suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton”. This would appear to corroborate the contact with Downer.

According to Mifsud, he was interviewed by the FBI in February 2017 while visiting the United States to speak at a conference.[21][22] The FBI has not confirmed that they interviewed him, but he is listed as a featured speaker at the February 2017 national meeting of Global Ties, an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.[23] Mifsud left the United States on 11 February 2017. Prosecutors with the investigation into Russian interference in the election suggested, in a 17 August 2018 sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos, that they might have wanted to challenge, detain, or arrest Mifsud if Papadopoulos had told the truth about their interactions.[24]

Connection to Stephan Roh

Stephan Roh, a Russian-speaking[25] German lawyer and multimillionaire with close ties to Russia, has worked alongside Mifsud for years. Papadopoulos’s wife, who briefly worked for Mifsud, has described Roh as Mifsud’s lawyer, best friend, and funder. Roh owns multiple businesses, many headquartered in Moscow or Cyprus; he also co-owns Link University, where Mifsud taught. Roh was detained and questioned by investigators on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team in October 2017.[26]

Missing report

According to a filing in a U.S. federal court in the case Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation in September 2018, Mifsud “is missing and may be deceased”. Mifsud’s whereabouts were unknown and he could not be served with the complaint.[27] He spoke to his girlfriend on 31 October 2017. The next day an Italian newspaper revealed that the “professor” referred to in news reports about Papadopoulos was Mifsud, and she has not heard from him since then.[28] According to CNN, he has “gone to ground” and was last seen on 6 November 2017 at Link University, a private university in Rome where he was teaching at the time.[21] In September 2018, an Italian court described his location as “residence unknown”.[3]

In September 2018, a few days after the DNC filing, his associate Stephan Roh told The Daily Caller that he had gotten an indirect message from “really good sources” indicating that Mifsud is alive and living under a new identity.[29]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Mifsud

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Story 3: FBI or CIA Sent Informant To Spy on Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos — Coming Attractions of The Department of Justice Inspector General Report in Early June –Videos 

US informant reportedly tried to probe Papadopoulos on Trump-Russia ties, ‘seduce him’ during campaign

Published on May 2, 2019

An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try to probe George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, on the campaign's possible ties to Russia, according to a new report. And, Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday, the informant tried to “seduce” him as part of the “bizarre” episode.
The Thursday report in The New York Times cited individuals familiar with the Justice Department's ongoing Inspector General (IG) review of the intelligence community's actions in the run-up to Donald Trump's election as president. Attorney General William Barr received harsh partsian blowback for suggesting that “spying did occur” during the presidential race, but doubled down at a testy Senate hearing on Wednesday.
The Times reported that the FBI sent a woman using the alias Azra Turk to meet Papadopoulos at a London bar, where she asked, conspicuously and directly, whether the Trump team was working with Russia. Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday that he “immediately thought she was an agent, but a Turkish agent, or working with the CIA,” and “that's why I never accepted her overtures and met her again after London. … London became a very bizarre hangout spot for me that year.”
The FBI did not reply to Fox News' request for comment. BOMBSHELL CLAIM: FBI ASKED TRUMP AIDE TO WEAR A WIRE Turk, Papadopoulos added, was trying to “seduce” him in an effort to “make me slip up and say something that they knew I had no info on.” George Papadopoulos (left) pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud (right). (Twitter/Youtube) Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, another over dinner, and then once with Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor who has been a longtime FBI informant. The Times noted that Turk had apparently been sent to oversee Halper.
In House testimony. Papadopoulos previously said Turk “didn't strike me as a Cambridge associate at all” and noted that “her English was very bad.” According to Papadopoulos, “the professors liked to introduce me to young beautiful women.”
“As someone who has worked a lot in the Middle East and Southern Europe on policy issues and energy issues, as I was heavily involved in from 2011-2017, I would notice odd behavior of people I later learned were agents,”
Papadopoulos continued. When asked when he learned Turk was an agent, Papadopoulos replied: “I always had suspicions but the moment Halper was outed a year ago, I knew she was, too.” The informant operation against Papadopoulos provided no useful information to U.S. intelligence, the Times reported. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report indicated that operation began after Papadopoulos told an Australian official of “indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous

 

 

a man wearing a suit and tie: George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was the target of an F.B.I. investigation into connections between the campaign and Russia.© Tom Brenner for The New York Times George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was the target of an F.B.I. investigation into connections between the campaign and Russia.

WASHINGTON — The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?

The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

The American government’s affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it “Spygate.”

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The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I. during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.

Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mr. Halper, Robert D. Luskin. Last year, Bill Priestap, then the bureau’s top counterintelligence agent who was deeply involved in the Russia inquiry, told Congress during a closed-door hearing that there was no F.B.I. conspiracy against Mr. Trump or his campaign.

The London operation yielded no fruitful information, but F.B.I. officials have called the bureau’s activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances. They are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William P. Barr has said. Some of the findings are likely to be classified.

It is unclear whether Mr. Horowitz will find fault with the F.B.I.’s decision to have Ms. Turk, whose real name is not publicly known, meet with Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Horowitz has focused among other things on the activities of Mr. Halper, who accompanied Ms. Turk in one of her meetings with Mr. Papadopoulos and also met with him and other campaign aides separately. The bureau might also have seen Ms. Turk’s role as essential for protecting Mr. Halper’s identity as an informant if prosecutors ever needed court testimony about their activities.

Mr. Barr reignited the controversy last month when he told Congress, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.” He backed off the charged declaration later in the same hearing, saying: “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

Mr. Barr again defended his use of the term “spying” at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying he wanted to know more about the F.B.I.’s investigative efforts during 2016 and explained that the early inquiry likely went beyond the use of an informant and a court-authorized wiretap of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who had interacted with a Russian intelligence officer.

“Many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant” and the warrant to surveil Mr. Page, Mr. Barr said. “I would like to find out whether that is in fact true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it’s being represented.”

Possible FBI, Trump campaign “spying” under review: Barr

This account was described in interviews with people familiar with the F.B.I. activities of Mr. Halper, Ms. Turk and the inspector general’s investigation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subjects of a continuing inquiry.

As part of Mr. Horowitz’s investigation, his office has examined Mr. Halper’s past work as an F.B.I. informant and asked witnesses about whether agents had adequate control of Mr. Halper’s activities, people familiar with the inquiry have said.

While in London in 2016, Ms. Turk exchanged emails with Mr. Papadopoulos, saying meeting him had been the “highlight of my trip,” according to messages provided by Mr. Papadopoulos.

“I am excited about what the future holds for us :),” she wrote.

Weeks before Mr. Papadopoulos met with Ms. Turk and Mr. Halper, the F.B.I. had opened its investigation into the Russia effort — based largely on information that Mr. Papadopoulos had relayed to an Australian diplomat about a Russian offer to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

The F.B.I. received the information from the Australian government on July 26, 2016, the special counsel’s report said, and the bureau code-named its investigation Crossfire Hurricane.

Investigators scrambled to determine whether Mr. Papadopoulos had any Russian contacts while deciding to scrutinize three additional Trump campaign aides who had concerning ties to Russia: Paul Manafort, its chairman; Michael T. Flynn, who went on to be the president’s first national security adviser; and Mr. Page.

Secrecy was paramount for the F.B.I. officials because of the sensitivities of investigating campaign advisers during a presidential race. Had the investigation into Trump advisers’ contacts with Russia become public, it could have devastated the Trump campaign. And top bureau officials were enduring fresh attacks over their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

One of the agents involved in the Russia inquiry, a seasoned counterintelligence investigator out of New York, turned to Mr. Halper, whom he viewed as a reliable and trusted informant. They had a longstanding relationship; the agent had even spoken at an intelligence seminar that Mr. Halper taught at the University of Cambridge, discussing his work investigating a Russian espionage ring known as the illegals.

Mr. Halper had the right résumé for the task. He was a foreign policy expert who had worked for the Pentagon. He had been gathering information for the F.B.I. for about two decades and had good contacts in Chinese and Russian government circles that he could use to arrange meetings with high-ranking officials, according to a person briefed on Mr. Halper’s relationship with the F.B.I.

The F.B.I. instructed Mr. Halper to set up a meeting in London with Mr. Papadopoulos but gave him few details about the broader investigation, a person familiar with the episode said.

His job was to figure out the extent of any contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russia. Mr. Halper used his position as a respected academic to introduce himself to both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Page, whom he also met with several times. He arranged a meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in London to discuss a Mediterranean natural gas project, offering $3,000 for his time and a policy paper.

The F.B.I. also decided to send Ms. Turk to take part in the operation, people familiar with it said, and to pose as Mr. Halper’s assistant. For the F.B.I., placing such a sensitive undertaking in the hands of a trusted government investigator was essential.

British intelligence officials were also notified about the operation, the people familiar with the operation said, but it was unclear whether they provided assistance. A spokeswoman for the British government declined to comment.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that British intelligence spied on his campaign, an accusation the British government has vigorously denied. Last month, the president quoted on Twitter an accusation that the British had spied on his campaign and added: “WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!”

When Mr. Papadopoulos arrived in London on Sept. 15, he received a text message from Ms. Turk. She invited him for drinks.

In his book, “Deep State Target,” Mr. Papadopoulos described her as attractive and said she almost immediately began questioning him about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia, he wrote.

Mr. Papadopoulos was baffled. “There is no way this is a Cambridge professor’s research assistant,” he recalled thinking, according to his book. In recent weeks, he has said in tweets that he believes Ms. Turk may have been working for Turkish intelligence but provided no evidence.

The day after meeting Ms. Turk, Mr. Papadopoulos met briefly with Mr. Halper at a private London club, and Ms. Turk joined them. The two men agreed to meet again, arranging a drink at the Sofitel hotel in London’s posh West End.

During that conversation, Mr. Halper immediately asked about hacked emails and whether Russia was helping the campaign, according to Mr. Papadopoulos’s book. Angry over the accusatory questions, Mr. Papadopoulos ended the meeting.

The F.B.I. failed to glean any information of value from the encounters, and Ms. Turk returned to the United States.

Mr. Halper continued to work with the F.B.I. and later met with Mr. Page repeatedly in the Washington area. The two had coincidentally run into each other in July as well at Cambridge, according to people familiar with the episode.

At the urging of Mr. Page, he met another campaign aide, Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump’s campaign co-chairman, to discuss foreign policy. While aware of the contact with Mr. Clovis, the F.B.I. did not instruct Mr. Halper to ask him questions related to the Russia investigation, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Mr. Clovis recounted his coffee with Mr. Halper in Washington with an Iowa radio station in May 2018. “There was no indication or no inclination that this was anything other than just wanting to offer up his help to the campaign if I needed it,” he said.

Mr. Halper’s connections to the Trump administration strengthened from there. He was invited as part of a group of China experts to meet with White House advisers in 2017. Mr. Halper informed the F.B.I. of the invitation but was not provided with any guidance, people familiar with the episode said.

The group met briefly with Peter Navarro, the president’s top trade representative, who had interviewed Mr. Halper years earlier at Mr. Halper’s home in Virginia for a documentary. According to Axios, the administration also considered Mr. Halper for an ambassadorship.

In an interview with Fox Radio, Mr. Navarro said he viewed Mr. Halper’s role as an F.B.I. informant as a betrayal, saying he felt “duped.”

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The Pronk Pops Show 1240, April 16, 2019, Story 1: Our Lady of Paris Cathedral Will Be Restored To Its Former Glory — Every Catholic in The World Would Restore Notre Dame Cathedral By Donating $1 Dollar — Videos — Story 2: Vandalism of Churches in France On The Rise — Videos — Story 3: Yes America The FBI Spied On The Trump Campaign By Lying To (By Omission) and Not Verifying Representations To The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — A Felony — Round Up The Conspirators — Vidoes

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Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 201

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1215 February 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1214 February 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1213 February 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1212 February 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1211 February 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1210 February 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1198 January 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1197 January 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1196 January 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1195 January 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1194 January 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1193 January 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

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The damage to Notre-Dame cathedral is seen by drone

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Story 1: Our Lady of Paris Cathedral Will Be Restored To Its Former Glory — Every Catholic in The World Would Restore Notre Dame Cathedral By Donating $1 Dollar — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Special Report: Notre-Dame in flames

Notre Dame Cathedral still standing after devastating fire

Taking a look at the history of Notre-Dame

Notre Dame fire: World leaders, Paris residents and tourists react to blaze

Notre Dame Cathedral “interwoven” with fabric of French history, expert says

Donations pour in for Notre-Dame reconstruction

Notre Dame fire: Can the architectural masterpiece be restored? | ABC News

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Does Christianity still have a place in modern Europe?

Art historian on Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral

Sun rises over the Notre Dame Cathedral the day after the fire

Watch live: Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral engulfed in flames | NBC News

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is falling apart

Inside The Race To Save The Notre Dame Cathedral | TODAY

The history of France’s Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris Walk – Notre-Dame Cathedral Surroundings – France

The History of Gothic Cathedrals and Architecture documentary

Exploring an Incredible Abandoned Cathedral

 

‘The heart of France burns and the world cries’: How newspapers across the globe reacted to Notre Dame inferno

  • Notre Dame inferno has made international headlines around the world today
  • It sparked a wave of solidarity with France as newspapers reacted to the disaster
  • Many front pages carried dramatic images of the spire collapsing as fire raged
  • Headlines included ‘Heart in Ashes’ and ‘The heart of France burns and the world cries’ 

The Notre Dame inferno has made international headlines as the world reacted in horror to the disaster.

The huge fire sparked a wave of solidarity with France across the globe as newspaper’s dedicated their front pages to the shocking scenes in Paris.

Many carried dramatic images of the famous spire collapsing as the fire raged, alongside eye-catching headlines.

They included one in a daily in Argentina, which said: ‘The heart of France burns and the world cries’ and another in Italy comparing it to ‘The September 11 of Christian Europe.’

In France, La Croix, a daily Catholic paper, carried the headline: ‘Heart in ashes’ with an editorial that said the nation ‘suddenly felt its heart shake to see a church aflame.’

It adds: ‘The cathedral in Paris clearly has a specific place in the collective consciousness, in France, in Europe and in the world.’

Le Figaro, one of the oldest daily newspapers in France, carries the headline 'Disaster'

Le Figaro, one of the oldest daily newspapers in France, carries the headline ‘Disaster’

La Parisien uses the headline 'Our Lady of Tears' and features nine page of images and reports

La Parisien uses the headline ‘Our Lady of Tears’ and features nine page of images and reports

In France, La Croix, a daily Catholic paper in France, carried the headline: 'Heart in ashes'

Daily paper 'Libération,' also known as 'Libé,' uses a play on the French word 'Drame,' which translates to drama.

 

In France, La Croix, a daily Catholic paper in France, carried the headline: ‘Heart in ashes’. Daily paper ‘Libération,’ also known as ‘Libé,’ utilized a play on the French word ‘Drame,’ which translates to drama

La Nacion in Argentina went with 'The Heart of France burns and the world cries'

La Nacion in Argentina went with ‘The Heart of France burns and the world cries’

The El Pais in Spain has the headline 'Flames devastate Notre Dame, a symbol of European culture'

Italian daily il Giornale described it as 'The September 11 of Christian Europe.'

Elsewhere in Europe, Italian daily il Giornale described it as ‘The September 11 of Christian Europe.’ El Pais in Spain has the headline ‘Flames devastate Notre Dame, a symbol of European culture’

The Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias features an image of the famous spire on fire, with the words  Ardeu da humanidade, that translates as 'Burned humanity'

The Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias features an image of the famous spire on fire, with the words  Ardeu da humanidade, that translates as ‘Burned humanity’

Italian daily La Repubblica features an image of the spire collapsing in flames with the words: The world upset that Notre Dame is gone'

Italian daily La Repubblica features an image of the spire collapsing in flames with the words: The world upset that Notre Dame is gone’

Footage inside flame ravaged Notre Dame shows extent of the damage
Germany's Der Tagesspiegel writes alongside an image of the inferno: 'Notre Dame in flames'

Germany’s Der Tagesspiegel writes alongside an image of the inferno: ‘Notre Dame in flames’

Another French daily, La Parisien uses the headline ‘Our Lady of Tears’ and Le Figaro, one of the biggest selling daily newspapers, went with ‘Disaster’.

The front page carries the words: ‘Faced with this scene of loss, accounts of solidarity and sadness have flocked from across the world.’

And Liberation features a dramatic image of the cathedral ablaze with the words ‘Our tragedy.’

Elsewhere in Europe, Italian daily il Giornale described it as ‘The September 11 of Christian Europe.’

he Chicago Tribune using most of its front page with a picture of the blaze and the headline 'Notre Dame Burns'

The Dallas Morning News went simply with 'Paris icon burns'

The inferno made headlines across most US newspapers. The Chicago Tribune using most of its front page with a picture of the blaze and the headline ‘Notre Dame Burns’ The Dallas Morning News went simply with ‘Paris icon burns’

The New York Times had the headline: 'Fire Mauls Paris's Beloved Notre-Dame' alongside dramatic images of the spire collapsing
The Wall Street Journal also had an image of the spire collapse, with the words: 'Blaze ravages Notre Dame'

 

The blaze also made the front pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, describing it as ‘Fire Mauls Paris’s Beloved Notre-Dame alongside dramatic images of the spire collapsing

Belgium’s De Standaard covered the front page with a picture of the spire collapsing.

Also in Belgium, Het Belang Van Limburg declared ‘Paris weeps’ and the Gazet van Antwerpen went with ‘The sorrow of France’.

El Pais in Spain has the headline ‘Flames devastate Notre Dame, a symbol of European culture’.

And in Germany Der Tagesspiegel writes alongside an image of the inferno: ‘Notre Dame in flames’

Clip shows Paris firefighters battling to contain Notre Dame fire
Peruvian newspaper El Comercio featured an image of smoke billowing from the burning cathedral with the headline:  'Notre Dame burns'

 

Peruvian newspaper El Comercio featured an image of smoke billowing from the burning cathedral with the headline:  ‘Notre Dame burns’

In the US the blaze also made the front pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times describes it as ‘Fire Mauls Paris’s Beloved Notre-Dame’ alongside dramatic images of the spire collapsing.

In South America, Peruvian newspaper El Comercio featured an image of smoke billowing from the burning cathedral with the headline: ‘Notre Dame burns.’

La Nacion in Argentina featured one of the most eye-catching headlines and went with ‘The Heart of France burns and the world cries.’

And the largest newspaper in Argentina, Clarin, simply went with: ‘Paris will no longer be the same.’

Emmanuel Macron vows to rebuild Notre Dame in five years after blaze
Publico in Portugal had the headline 'Our Lady of Europe' and like many other used an image of the spire ablaze

Publico in Portugal had the headline ‘Our Lady of Europe’ and like many other used an image of the spire ablaze

Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen went with 'The sorrow of France'

 

The largest newspaper in Argentina, Clarin, had the headline: 'Paris will no longer be the same'

Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen went with ‘The sorrow of France’.  The largest newspaper in Argentina, Clarin, had the headline: ‘Paris will no longer be the same’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6927427/How-newspapers-globe-reacted-Notre-Dame-inferno.html

Years? Decades? Uncertainty over time needed to rebuild Notre-Dame

Clare BYRNE with Herve ASQUIN in Strasbourg
AFP News

 

-A picture taken on April 16, 2019 shows Notre-Dame-de-Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral

View photos

 

A picture taken on April 16, 2019 shows Notre-Dame-de-Paris in the aftermath of a fire that devastated the cathedral
Rebuilding the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris could take decades after it was gutted by a fire, experts warned Tuesday, even as its top priest expressed hope he could celebrate mass there within years.

Parisians and people around the world watched in horror on Monday as flames ripped through the roof of the beloved 850-year-old Gothic cathedral, causing the spire and most of the vaulted roof to collapse.

“We will rebuild Notre-Dame together,” French President Emmanuel Macron vowed after assessing the damage, declaring that the disfigured cathedral had been spared “the worst”.

France has experience of reconstructing cathedrals, including one in Reims that was severely damaged by shelling during World War I and another in Nantes that was gutted by fire in 1972.

Asked how long the rebuild could last, Eric Fischer, head of the foundation in charge of restoring the 1,000-year-old Strasbourg cathedral, which recently underwent a three-year facelift, said: “I’d say decades.”

“The damage will be significant. But we are lucky in France to still have a network of excellent heritage restoration companies, whether small-time artisans or bigger groups,” he told AFP.

Fischer said the ability to rebuild the colossal cathedral in a manner that respects its original form and character would depend on the plans, diagrams and other materials available to the architects.

They would need “a maximum of historical data or more recent data gathered with modern technology such as 3D scans” of the kind used in the restoration of the Strasbourg cathedral, he said.

– ‘Not in my lifetime’ –

The French government’s representative for heritage, Stephane Bern, said that money would not be the problem.

Within hours, pledges of donations amounting to nearly 700 million euros ($790 million) had flooded in from some of France’s richest families and companies and foreign governments were lining up with offers of help.

Bern, a 55-year-old TV presenter famous for his programmes on medieval France, said he feared it would not reopen in his lifetime.

“It will be rebuilt for future generations,” he said.

A symbol of Paris for close to a millenium, serving as a sanctuary for the hero in Victor Hugo’s classic novel “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”, the towering house of worship has been in the wars before.

During the French Revolution its treasures were plundered and the figures of kings carved into the stone above its entrance doors defaced.

Deemed unstable the spire was dismantled in 1792 and the cathedral fell into a state of disrepair until the mid-19th century when architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc gave the famed structure a major makeover.

But the intricate wooden oak frame that held up the roof, the so-called “forest”, had stood the test of time since its construction in 1220-1240 — until being consumed by Monday’s inferno.

For carpenters, “it’s a bit as if the Mona Lisa went up in smoke,” Thomas Buechi, head of Charpente Concept which specialises in timber frames, told AFP.

Recreating it will be the trickiest part of the restoration, experts said.

France’s top producer of oak said he was worried the country did not have enough of the precious timber for the job.

Sylvain Charlois estimated that around 1,300 oak trees had been used in the construction of the original roof.

“To constitute a big enough stock of oak logs of that quality will take several years,” he said.

– Tighter deadline needed? –

Francois Jeanneau, one of the 40 architects in charge of state monuments, suggested that Paris draw on the example of Nantes cathedral and build a new “forest” of reinforced concrete.

“The un-initiated can barely tell the difference,” he told Le Parisien newspaper.

Despite the longer forecasts of decades of work, the rector of Notre-Dame, Monsignor Patrick Chauvet, said he was hopeful of being back behind the pulpit before he retired.

“I’m 67 now and if all goes well, even if it takes 10 years, I will be 77 and still able to do it,” he told France Inter radio.

Jack Lang, who served as a hugely prominent culture minister under late president Francois Mitterrand, called talk of a decade-long restoration programme “a joke”.

“We have to give ourselves a tighter deadline, like we have done in the past on major projects.”

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/years-decades-uncertainty-over-time-needed-rebuild-notre-111811083.html

Story 2: Vandalism of Churches in France On The Rise — No Go Areas and No Media Coverage Areas — Videos

French Church Is Ninth in Eleven Days Vandalized Across The Country

Published on Feb 12, 2019

French Church Is Ninth in Eleven Days Vandalized Across The Country. The attack, which targeted the Saint Nicolas Roman Catholic church, saw the tabernacle of the church overthrown and vandalised and is not the first church in the area to be vandalised in recent weeks, according to local prefect Jean-Jacques Brot, Le Parisien reports. Mr Brot commented on the incident saying, “This vandalism is part of a sensitive and distressing context and the church of Saint-Nic…..

800 Year Old Church In Paris No-Go Zone Vandalized

Published on Mar 12, 2019

Paul Joseph Watson reveals that the Basilica of Saint-Denis was heavily damaged in Paris by vandals in one of the city’s suburban “no-go” zones where primarily Muslim migrants are held by the government.

France: Four were inside burning Saint-Sulpice Church but no one hurt

Notre Dame burns as Fox News host Shepard Smith shuts down “Conspiracy Theory”

Your World With Neil Cavuto 4/15/19 | Fox News Breaking April 15, 2019

Saint Denis France Muslim immigrants attack a Catholic church !

The Norte Dame Cathedral Conspiracy!! The Renovation Project & Removal of Statues!!!

 

France: basilica of Saint-Denis recovers its former majesty

 

If churches keep getting vandalized in France, should American news outlets cover the story?

By

Is it a news story if a church is set on fire or vandalized in some other way? What about if it’s part of a string of incidents? What if it happens five times? How about 10 times?

What if there are flames pouring out of one of the world’s most iconic cathedrals and it’s Monday of Holy Week?

We will come back to the flames over Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in a moment.

The answers to the earlier questions are yes, yes, yes, yes and, of course, yes! As someone who worked as a news reporter (and later a editor) at two major metropolitan dailies (at the New York Post and New York Daily News) and a major news network website (ABC News), I can tell you that any suspicion of arson at a house of worship, for example, is a major story.

It must somehow no longer be the case in the new and frenetic world of the internet-driven, 24-hour news cycle. That’s because a major international story — one involving at least 10 acts of vandalism at Catholic churches in France — went largely unreported (underreported, really) for weeks. The vandalism included everything from Satanic symbols scrawled on walls to shattered statues.

That’s right, a rash of fires and other acts of desecration inside Catholic churches — during Lent, even — in a country with a recent history of terrorism somehow didn’t warrant any kind of attention from American news organizations. Even major news organizations, such as The Washington Post, were late to covering it and only did after running a Religion News Service story.

This brings us to Monday’s fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, where a massive blaze engulfed the 12th century gothic house of worship. It’s too early to tell if this incident is part of the earlier wave of vandalism, but it certainly comes at a strange time. For now, officials say the blaze remains under investigation. The cathedral has been undergoing some renovation work and the fire may — repeat MAY — have started in one of those areas.

It would be crazy to assume there is a connection between all of these fires and acts of vandalism. It would be just as crazy for journalists not to investigate the possibility that there are connections.

There will be more to come on the Notre Dame story in the hours and days that follow and comes at the start of Holy Week, the most solemn time on the Christian calendar.

But back to my questions about the earlier string of fires and the lack of coverage. In my experience, fires were always a thing because they generally produced good art. Flames shooting from a window, whether a still photograph or video, was always a major reason editors put these incidents on their story budgets. In the case of the French churches, however, the photos tell only a small part of the story.

I recall covering several church fires in New York City during my time as a general assignment reporter, one in February 1999 just days before Ash Wednesday and another in March 2002. In the case of the second blaze, no one was hurt and it ultimately proved to be an electrical fire. Nonetheless, sacred relics were destroyed in the process. That it happened during Lent had made it that much worse for worshippers — and certainly a news story.

Fast-forward to present-day France. Crux was one of the first English-language Catholic news outlets to cover the phenomenon on March 28. While the article was accompanied by flames shooting through the front door of St. Sulpice Church in Paris, it wasn’t the reason why they wrote about it. It’s worth noting that St. Sulpice is a baroque church completed in 1870. It is also the city’s second-largest church, behind Notre Dame, and used in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code.

Here’s how the story opens:

Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.

More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.

St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, after Notre Dame Cathedral, had the large wooden door on its southern transept set ablaze March 17.

Investigators confirmed March 18 that the fire was started deliberately, according to the website of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, an independent organization founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.

In early February, in the Church of Notre-Dame-des-Enfants in Nimes, near the Spanish border, intruders drew a cross on a wall with excrement then stuck consecrated hosts to it.

Utter the words “France” and “Catholicism” in the same breath and you immediately get statements such as, “No one in France goes to church anymore.” While it is true that France ranks near the bottom of countries in the world where regular church attendance is low. While Pew Research found that 64% identified as Christians in 2018, only 18% attend services regularly in some of the same places that have been recently vandalized. It took me a simple Google search to find this information.

Furthermore, a very good piece in America magazine posted to its website in April 2018 alluded to a French Catholic renaissance. The essay looked at how faith and politics influenced the country’s presidential elections the year before. Could these heinous acts have a political connection? More on that later.

With all that, the spate of vandalism was picked up by a major outlet when it was published as a feature story by RNS on April 2. The nut graph — what journalists refer to as the part of the story that tells the reader why they’ve even bothered to write this thing — is the third paragraph. Here’s how the story opened:

Sometimes it’s a cross of human excrement smeared on a church wall, with stolen Communion hosts stuck at the four corners. Other times, a statue of the Virgin Mary lies shattered on the floor.

Now and then, a fire breaks out in a house of prayer.

Roman Catholic churches have increasingly come under attack in France, a country so long identified with Christianity that it used to be called “the eldest daughter of the church.”

A recent fire at St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, has shed light on a trend that has become commonplace in many smaller towns.

“Who has heard of the sacking of the monastery of Saint Jean des Balmes in Aveyron? Of those teenagers who urinated into the holy water font of the church at Villeneuve de Berg in Ardèche?” the Paris daily Le Figaro asked last week in an article highlighting some of the lesser-known profanations around the country this month.

Incidents such as these get a brief mention in the press, complete with quotes from Catholics shocked at the sight of scattered hosts or beheaded statues, and sometimes a short video clip on national television.

Other wire services, such as Reuters, wrote about the St. Sulpice fire. So did Newsweek, which was one of the first U.S. outlets to do so. That’s largely it. In England, The Daily Express, a tabloid newspaper, published a story on March 20 detailing the phenomenon. In Russia, RT’s English-language site also made a point of covering it.

The American press in particular has been negligent on this one. In fact, one of the first websites to write about the incidents for American audiences was Breitbart. Did coverage on the politically conservative site dated March 20 suddenly make this a right-wing story? It shouldn’t have. Vandalism, no matter who the potential culprits are, should be reported by journalists. Is there a conservative or liberal way to cover a fire? I never thought so — until now.

The Brietbart story ends with several key statistics, further proving that these cases aren’t isolated, but part of a terrifying trend:

The Catholic hierarchy has kept silent about the episodes, limited themselves to highlighting that anti-Christian threat and expressing hope that politicians and police will get to the bottom of the crimes.

Reports indicate that 80 percent of the desecration of places of worship in France concerns Christian churches and in the year 2018 this meant the profanation of an average of two Christian churches per day in France, even though these actions rarely make the headlines.

In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts, and 1,063 anti-Christian acts.

Even with the RNS story out there for media subscribers to use, the only major media outlet to run the story on its website was The Washington Post. There was, for example, no New York Times story (just to name one of the largest newspapers in the English-speaking world) until Monday’s Notre Dame disaster. It’s hard to believe that a rash of fires tied to vandals isn’t of interest to one of the world’s largest news organizations with a bureau in the French capitol.

Why? Would this rash of sacrilegious attacks have enjoyed more coverage had they occurred in synagogues or mosques? It’s hard to say. After all, the string of fires at black churches in Louisiana has warranted — and deservingly so — lots of media attention. On this series of fires, culminating with the arrest of a suspect on April 10, The New York Times did a solid job.

What makes this story even more intriguing is that it remains largely a mystery who committed these awful acts. This was buried in the Newsweek account from March 21:

The Vienna-based Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which was founded in cooperation with the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) but is now independent said there had been a 25 percent increase in attacks on Catholic churches in the first two months of the year, compared with the same time last year.

Its executive director, Ellen Fantini, told Newsweek that while in many cases the motive for the attacks was not known, France faced growing problems with anti-Christian violence, especially by anarchist and feminist groups.

“I think there is a rising hostility in France against the church and its symbols,” but “it seems to be more against Christianity and the symbols of Christianity.

“These attacks are on symbols that are really sacred to parishioners, to Catholics. Desecration of consecrated hosts is a very personal attack on Catholicism and Christianity, more than spray-painting a slogan on the outside wall of a church.”

She said that while France had a long tradition of secularism, it was seen as a culturally Christian country, and so any “attack on the church as a symbol of religion was also an attack on authority and patrimony.

Maybe it’s the suspects in this case that made the mainstream press skittish to report on it extensively. It’s true that foreign news is expensive for American news outlets. Furthermore, my experience is that Europeans know a lot more about what happens in America compared to what most Americans know about Europe.

Nevertheless, the political unrest in France involving protestors clad in yellow vests have, by comparison, gotten lots of attention from many of these aforementioned news sites. Another good example, Brexit and its aftermath, has been something The New York Times and many U.S. news websites can’t get enough of. Political stories, the new religion of our secular culture, are widely covered. The past few weeks has shown that when it comes to vandalism against Catholics, there isn’t so much interest in covering it.

https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2019/4/10/is-it-a-story-if-french-churches-are-vandalized

CATHOLIC CHURCHES ARE BEING DESECRATED ACROSS FRANCE—AND OFFICIALS DON’T KNOW WHY

France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration.

Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.

Last Sunday, the historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday,  Le Parisien reported, although no one was injured. Police are still investigating the attack, which firefighters have confidently attributed to arson.

RELATED: Everything we know about the devastating fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Built in the 17th century, St. Sulpice houses three works by the Romantic painter Eugene de la Croix, and was used in the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.

Notre Dame cathedralPolice officers patrol Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on September 10. French churches have been targeted by vandals in a spate of attacks since the start of the year.MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Last month, at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, in north-central France, a statue of the Virgin Mary was found smashed, and the altar cross had been thrown on the ground, according to  La Croix International, a Catholic publication.

Also in February, at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France, an altar cloth was burned and crosses and statues of saints were smashed. The attack prompted Lavaur Mayor Bernard Canyon to say in a statement: “God will forgive. Not me.”

And in the southern city of Nimes, near the Spanish border, vandals looted the altar of the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants (Our Lady of the Children) and smeared a cross with human excrement.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Diocese de Dijon@DiocesedeDijon

Tristesse de la communauté catholique diocésaine et de la paroisse Dijon-Notre-Dame en particulier: profanation de l’église ce matin. Messe de réparation présidée par l’archevêque ce samedi à 17h30. @Lebienpublic @RCFDijon @F3Bourgogne Merci pour vos RT.

Consecrated hosts made from unleavened bread, which Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus Christ, were taken and found scattered among rubbish outside the building.

Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes said in a statement: “This greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions.

“This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,” he added, according to The Tablet, which reported that in February alone there had been a record 47 documented attacks on churches and religious sites.

The Vienna-based Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, which was founded in cooperation with the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) but is now independent said there had been a 25 percent increase in attacks on Catholic churches in the first two months of the year, compared with the same time last year.

Its executive director, Ellen Fantini, told Newsweek that while in many cases the motive for the attacks was not known, France faced growing problems with anti-Christian violence, especially by anarchist and feminist groups.

“I think there is a rising hostility in France against the church and its symbols,” but “it seems to be more against Christianity and the symbols of Christianity.

“These attacks are on symbols that are really sacred to parishioners, to Catholics. Desecration of consecrated hosts is a very personal attack on Catholicism and Christianity, more than spray-painting a slogan on the outside wall of a church.”

She said that while France had a long tradition of secularism, it was seen as a culturally Christian country, and so any “attack on the church as a symbol of religion was also an attack on authority and patrimony.

Embedded video

Ruthann@TeaBoots

Saint Sulpice Church
The moment it caught on fire people were inside and attending. Firemen on the ground saying this was no accident- This was set.

“The pressure is coming from the radical secularists or anti-religion groups as well as feminist activists who tend to target churches as a symbol of the patriarchy that needs to be dismantled,” she added.

On February 9, the altar at the church of Notre-Dame in Dijon, the capital of the Burgundy region, was also broken into. The hosts were taken from the tabernacle, which adorns the altar at the front of the church, and scattered on the ground.

Last month, the Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe met French church leaders and said in a statement: “In our secular Republic, places of worship are respected. Such acts shock me and must be unanimously condemned.”

Senior Figures within the French Catholic Church expressed their sorrow at the rise in attacks on symbols of their faith.

“To  open the tabernacle, to take the hosts and to profane what for us is the basis of our faith, that is to say the presence of Jesus Christ in the hosts is something that is terrible for us.”

https://www.newsweek.com/spate-attacks-catholic-churches-france-sees-altars-desecrated-christ-statue-1370800

Story 3: Yes America The FBI Spied On The Trump Campaign By Lying To (By Omission) and Not Verifying Representations To The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — A Felony — Round Up The Conspirators — Vidoes

Hannity tonight Fox News on Youtube 4/16/19_Breaking News April 16, 2019

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Andrew Mccarthy on the Release of Mueller’s Redacted Report

SPYING: William Barr Says Trump Campaign Was Spied On By Feds

Tucker: We deserve to know why Trump was spied on

Andy McCarthy explains significance of Susan Rice’s email

Susan Rice memo trying to cover up Obama’s tracks?

Obama campaign connection to Fusion GPS

Obama knew about the Russian dossier: Tony Shaffer

Graham grills Barr over Obama DOJ surveillance of Trump team

Mark Levin on why Obama may have been spying on Trump

Strassel, Chaffetz on claims of Trump campaign surveillance

Political fallout from Trump’s informant claim

What happens if Obama was involved in illegal surveillance?

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

Did Obama lie about his knowledge of Clinton’s server?

 

Behind the Obama administration’s shady plan to spy on the Trump campaign

In Senate testimony last week, Attorney General William Barr used the word “spying” to refer to the Obama administration, um, spying on the Trump campaign. Of course, fainting spells ensued, with the media-Democrat complex in meltdown. Former FBI Director Jim Comey tut-tutted that he was confused by Barr’s comments, since the FBI’s “surveillance” had been authorized by a court.

(Needless to say, the former director neglected to mention that the court was not informed that the bureau’s “evidence” for the warrants was unverified hearsay paid for by the Clinton campaign.)

The pearl-clutching was predictable. Less than a year ago, we learned the Obama administration had used a confidential informant — a spy — to approach at least three Trump campaign officials in the months leading up to the 2016 election, straining to find proof that the campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s hacking of Democratic emails.

As night follows day, we were treated to the same Beltway hysteria we got this week: Silly semantic carping over the word “spying” — which, regardless of whether a judge authorizes it, is merely the covert gathering of intelligence about a suspected wrongdoer, organization or foreign power.

There is no doubt that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. As Barr made clear, the real question is: What predicated the spying? Was there a valid reason for it, strong enough to overcome our norm against political spying? Or was it done rashly? Was a politically motivated decision made to use highly intrusive investigative tactics when a more measured response would have sufficed, such as a “defensive briefing” that would have warned the Trump campaign of possible Russian infiltration?

Last year, when the “spy” games got underway, James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, conceded that, yes, the FBI did run an informant — “spy” is such an icky word — at Trump campaign officials; but, we were told, this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross Clapper’s heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, the Obama administration only used an informant because — bet you didn’t know this — doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.

Me? I’m thinking the tens of thousands of convicts serving lengthy sentences due to the penetration of their schemes by informants would beg to differ. (Gee, Mr. Gambino, I assure you, this was just for you own good . . .) And imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman. Surely David Axelrod, Chuck Schumer, The New York Times and Rachel Maddow would chirp that “all is forgiven” once they heard Republicans punctiliously parse the nuances between “spying” and “surveillance”; between “spies” and “informants”; and between investigating campaign officials versus investigating the campaign proper — and the candidate.

The “spying” question arose last spring, when we learned that Stefan Halper, a longtime source for the CIA and British intelligence, had been tasked during the FBI’s Russia investigation to chat up three Trump campaign advisers: Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis. This was in addition to earlier revelations that the Obama Justice Department and FBI had obtained warrants to eavesdrop on Page’s communications, beginning about three weeks before the 2016 election.

The fact that spying had occurred was too clear for credible denial. The retort, then, was misdirection: There had been no spying on Donald Trump or his campaign; just on a few potential bad actors in the campaign’s orbit.

It was nonsense then, and it is nonsense now.

The pols making these claims about what the FBI was doing might have been well served by listening to what the FBI said it was doing.

There was, for example, then-Director Comey’s breathtaking public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017. Comey did not just confirm the existence of a counterintelligence probe of Russian espionage to influence the 2016 election — notwithstanding that the government customarily refuses to confirm the existence of any investigation, let alone a classified counterintelligence investigation. The director further identified the Trump campaign as a subject of the probe, even though, to avoid smearing people, the Justice Department never identifies uncharged persons or organizations that are under investigation. As Comey put it:

“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts . . .”

The FBI was spying, and it was doing so in an investigation of the Trump campaign. That is why, for over two years, Washington has been entranced by the specter of “Trump collusion with Russia” — not Page or Papadopoulos collusion with Russia. Comey went to extraordinary lengths to tell the world that the FBI was not merely zeroing in on individuals of varying ranks in the campaign; the main question was whether the Trump campaign itself — the entity — had “coordinated” in Russia’s espionage operation.

In the months prior to the election, as its Trump-Russia investigation ensued, some of the overtly political, rabidly anti-Trump FBI agents running the probe discussed among themselves the prospect of stopping Trump, or of using the investigation as an “insurance policy” in the highly unlikely event that Trump won the election. After Trump’s stunning victory, the Obama administration had a dilemma: How could the investigation be maintained if Trump were told about it? After all, as president, he would have the power to shut it down.

On Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation.

Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–Acting Attorney General Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and national security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

Rice put this sleight-of-hand a bit more delicately in the memo about the Oval Office meeting (written two weeks after the fact, as Rice was leaving her office minutes after Trump’s inauguration):

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. [Emphasis added.]”

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. An informant had been run at campaign officials. The FISA surveillance of Page was underway — in fact, right before Trump’s inauguration, the Obama administration obtained a new court warrant for 90 more days of spying.

Enlarge ImageCarter Page
Carter PageGetty Images

In each Page surveillance warrant application, after describing Russia’s espionage operations, the Justice Department told the court, “The FBI believes that the Russian Government’s efforts are being coordinated with Candidate #1’s campaign[.]” Candidate #1 was Donald Trump — now, the president-elect.

The fact that the Trump campaign was under investigation for collaborating with Russia was not just withheld from the incoming president; it had been withheld from the congressional “Gang of Eight.”

In his March 2017 House testimony, answering questions by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), then-director Comey acknowledged that congressional leadership was not told about the Trump-Russia probe during quarterly briefings from July 2016 through early March 2017, because “it was a matter of such sensitivity.” Let’s put aside that the need to alert Congress to sensitive matters is exactly why there is a Gang of Eight (comprised of bipartisan leaders of both chambers and their intelligence committees).

Manifestly, the matter was deemed too “sensitive” for disclosure because that would have involved telling Republican congressional leadership that the incumbent Democratic administration was using foreign counterintelligence powers to investigate the Republican presidential campaign, and the party’s nominee, as suspected clandestine agents of the Kremlin.

How to keep the investigation going when Trump took office? The plan called for Comey to put the new president at ease by telling him he was not a suspect. This would not have been a credible assurance if Comey had informed Trump that (a) his campaign had been under investigation for months, and (b) the FBI had told a federal court it suspected Trump campaign officials were complicit in Russia’s cyber-espionage operation.

So, consistent with President Obama’s instructions at the Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting, information about the investigation would be withheld from the president-elect. The next day, the intelligence chiefs would tell Trump only about Russia’s espionage, not about the Trump campaign’s suspected “coordination” with the Kremlin. Then, Comey would apprise Trump about only a sliver of the Steele dossier — just the lurid story about peeing prostitutes, not the dossier’s principal allegations of a traitorous Trump-Russia conspiracy.

This strategy did not sit well with everyone at the FBI. Shortly before meeting with Trump on Jan. 6, Comey consulted his top advisers about the plan to tell Trump he was not a suspect. In later Senate testimony, Comey admitted that there was an objection from one FBI official:

“One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we’re looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump’s campaign, this person’s view was, inevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump’s] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.”

Note that Comey did not refer to “potential coordination” between, say, Carter Page or Paul Manafort and Russia. The director was unambiguous: The FBI was investigating “potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Enlarge ImageRobert Mueller
Robert MuellerGetty Images

Perspicaciously, Comey’s unidentified adviser connected the dots: (a) because the FBI’s investigation focused on the campaign, and (b) since the campaign was Trump’s campaign, it was necessarily true that (c) Trump’s own conduct was under FBI scrutiny.

Then-director Comey’s reliance on the trivial administrative fact that the FBI had not written Trump’s name on the investigative file did not change the reality that Trump, manifestly, was the main subject of the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

Remember last year’s hullabaloo over special counsel Robert Mueller’s demand to interview the president? What need would there have been to conduct such an interview if Trump were not a subject of the investigation? Why would Trump’s political opponents have spent the last two years demanding that Mueller be permitted to complete his probe of collusion and obstruction if it were not understood that the investigation — including the spying, or, if you prefer, the electronic surveillance, the informant sorties, and the information gathered by national-security letter demands — was centrally about Donald Trump?

That brings us to a final point. Congressional investigations have established that the Obama Justice Department and the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain FISA court warrants against Page.

The dossier, a Clinton campaign opposition research project (again, a fact withheld from the FISA court), was essential to the required probable-cause showing; the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, testified that without the dossier there would have been no warrant.

So . . . what did the dossier say? The lion’s share of it alleged that the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Kremlin to corrupt the election, including by hacking and publicizing Democratic Party e-mails. This allegation was based on unidentified Russian sources whom the FBI could not corroborate; then-director Comey told Senate leaders that the FBI used the information because the bureau judged former British spy Christopher Steele to be credible, even though (a) Steele did not make any of the observations the court was being asked to rely on, and (b) Steele had misled the FBI about his contacts with the media — with whom Steele and his Clinton campaign allies were sharing the same information he was giving the bureau.

It is a major investigative step to seek surveillance warrants from the FISA court. Unlike using an informant (a human spy), for which no court authorization is necessary, applications for FISA surveillance require approvals at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI. After going through that elaborate process, the Obama Justice Department and the FBI presented to the court the dossier’s allegations that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.

To be sure, no sensible person argues that the government should refrain from investigating if, based on compelling evidence, the FBI suspects individuals — even campaign officials, even a party’s nominee — of acting as clandestine agents of a hostile foreign power. The question is: What should trigger such an investigation in a democratic republic whose norms strongly discourage an incumbent administration’s use of the government’s spying powers against political opponents?

The Obama administration decided that this norm did not apply to the Trump campaign. If all the Obama administration had been trying to do was check out a few bad apples with suspicious Russia ties, the FBI could easily have alerted any of a number of Trump campaign officials with solid national-security credentials — Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie. The agents could have asked for the campaign’s help. Instead, Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.

That only makes sense if the Obama administration’s premise was that Donald Trump himself was a Russian agent.

Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a contributing editor of National Review.

https://nypost.com/2019/04/15/behind-the-obama-administrations-shady-plan-to-spy-on-the-trump-campaign/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1237, April 12, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense  — These Were Dirty Cops — An Attempted Coupe — This Was Treason — I’m Running The Department of Homeland Security — I Won: No Collusion and No Obstruction — Videos — Story 2: Attorney General Bill Barr Makes It Perfectly Clear FBI spied on the Trump Campaign — Round Up The Real Suspects — Clinton, Obama, Jarrett, Rice, Power, Clapper Lynch, Yates, Orh, Comey, McCabe, Priestrap, Strzok, Page, Brennan, Simpson,  Steele, Halper, and Many others Including Big Lie Media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, L.A.Times) —  Videos — Story 3: Broken Record of U.S. Budget Deficits — Totally Out of Control Federal Government Spending — Videos

Posted on April 13, 2019. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Hardware, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, James Comey, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense  — These Were Dirty Cops — An Attempted Coup — This Was Treason — I’m Running The Department of Homeland Security — I Won: No Collusion and No Obstruction — Videos —

See the source image

 

Trump praises Netanyahu, rips Mueller in fiery press remarks

Story 2: Attorney General Bill Barr Makes It Perfectly Clear — FBI spied on the Trump Campaign — Bring Me The Real Suspects — Clinton, Obama, Jarrett, Rice, Power, Clapper Lynch, Yates, Orh, Comey, McCabe, Baker, Priestrap, Strzok, Page, Brennan, Simpson,  Steele, Halper, and many others in Big Lie Media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, L.A.Times) —  Videos — Not A Conspiracy Theory — A Real Criminal Conspiracy — Worst Political Scandal in United States History —  Videos

Word for Word: Attorney General discusses Spying on Trump Campaign (C-SPAN)

WATCH: Barr says ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign

Barr: ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign

Graham grills Barr on Obama surveillance of President Trump

SPYING: William Barr Says Trump Campaign Was Spied On By Feds

What Does Attorney Gen. William Barr Mean By ‘Unauthorized Surveillance?’ | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

FULL: Mueller Report Update William Barr Senate Hearing

Nunes: Prepared to send 8 criminal referrals to Barr

Obama admin intelligence officers under fire for Trump investigation

Graham: What the public deserves to know about Clinton probe

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

What did Obama know about an alleged spy in Trump campaign?

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

Obama denies Trump’s wiretapping claims

Kobayashi explains it all

The Usual Suspects – The Lineup & Ending in HD

Casablanca Final Scene

CASABLANCA, Michael Curtiz, 1942 – Round Up the Usual Suspects!

[youruvw=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqFVLAKaEWs]

 

BARR: ‘I THINK SPYING DID OCCUR’ AGAINST TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Chuck Ross | Reporter

Attorney General William Barr dropped a bombshell Wednesday, telling a group of senators that he believes spying against the Trump campaign did take place in 2016.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said during an exchange with Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

Barr says he thinks spying occurred on 2016 Trump campaign

by Reuters
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 14:54 GMT

 Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday U.S. intelligence agencies engaged in spying directed at the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and that he would look at whether the surveillance was undertaken legally.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr told a Senate hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. … I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal – it’s a big deal.” (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

http://news.trust.org/item/20190410144125-laelo

THE FBI’S USE OF INFORMANTS IS FULL OF PROBLEMS, BUT WHAT HAPPENED IN “SPYGATE” ISN’T ONE OF THEM

THE #SPYGATE CONSPIRACY theory started, as so many things do these days, with a tweet from President Donald Trump:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” David Asman @LouDobbs@GreggJarrett Really bad stuff!

Initial reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post described the “spy” as a U.S. professor living in the United Kingdom who had met with Trump campaign aides on orders from the FBI in the summer of 2016.

The reports provided enough detail about the informant — or, to use the FBI’s preferred term, “confidential human source” — that some quick Googling allowed journalists, including The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, to identify him as Stefan Halper, a retired University of Cambridge professor who was involved in an effort in 1980 to help Ronald Reagan spy on President Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign. Halper, who worked for three previous Republican administrations and reportedly provided information to the CIA, has raked in more than $1 million in U.S. Defense Department contracts in just the last five years.

As with many of Trump’s conspiracy theories, #Spygate contains a kernel of truth. The FBI has an informant problem. With more than 15,000 informants today — 10 times as many as J. Edgar Hoover had during his era of intrusive surveillance operations — the FBI has loose regulations on how agents can recruit and run informants, who turn to the bureau to make a lot of money or avoid deportation, among other reasons. A decade ago, the FBI spied on Muslims throughout southern California with no reason for suspicion other than their religion. Informants regularly commit crimes, including while investigating accused terrorists. The bureau’s roster of informants has included terrorists such as Al Qaeda operative Najibullah Zazi, murderous criminals such as mobster Whitey Bulger, and even traitors to their causes like Ernest Withers, who reported to the FBI as he was building a reputation as the photographer of record for the civil rights movement.

With #Spygate, Trump has wrapped his conspiracy theory — that the FBI inserted an informant into his presidential campaign — around a fundamental truth about the FBI’s misuse of informants and then, further burnishing his reputation as a modern-day P.T. Barnum, sent it into the world with plenty of rhetorical flourish.

“The FBI could be the world’s most successful PR agency. They excel at making themselves look good. You realize that early on as an agent,” said Jeffrey A. Danik, a retired supervisory FBI agent. “The problem with the FBI today is that they’ve come up against one of the truly great marketing geniuses in Donald Trump. Their normal PR and spin is getting hammered by the PR spin master. He knows exactly which word will sell. ‘Spy’ is perfect.”

The FBI’s defense has been to disassociate itself from the term “spy,” even though that is exactly what FBI informants do whether they are working criminal or national security investigations. Instead, the bureau’s surrogates have been peddling the fiction that its informants have not been a constant source of scandal.

Former FBI Director James Comey commented this month that FBI informants are “tightly regulated,” a demonstrably false statement. (Read the FBI’s “Confidential Human Source Policy Guide” for yourself.)

Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent who wears a T-shirt bearing the red, white, and blue words #ComeyIsMyHomey when she’s not defending her former employer on CNN, argued in a Washington Post op-ed that informants deployed in national security investigations are somehow different from the ones used in criminal inquiries. She described Halper as an “intelligence source,” rather than an informant — a convenient but meaningless distinction, because FBI informants aren’t siloed. An informant could be working a criminal investigation one day and a national security inquiry the next, or a criminal investigation could become a national security concern, and vice versa. That’s a primary reason that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as FBI director, argued against a post-9/11 proposal to split the bureau into two agencies, one for intelligence and another for criminal investigations.

BUT WHILE THE FBI’s defenders seek to distance the bureau from the word “spy,” giving #Spygate even more momentum, they’re not talking about one clear sign that Trump’s claim of politically motivated spying is indeed a conspiracy theory.

Halper, the FBI’s informant, was a U.S. citizen living in London. Because he was overseas, he would have been considered, in the FBI’s parlance, an “ET CHS” — extraterritorial confidential human source — which means that the FBI would have been required to follow significantly more onerous rules than if he were spying in the United States.

Under the FBI’s informant guidelines, agents are permitted, through time-limited investigations known as “assessments,” to use informants to spy on people in the U.S. without having reason to believe they are committing crimes or posing national security concerns. Assessments have so few safeguards that their use in politically motivated spying is not implausible, though there’s no known case of this to date.

But assessments aren’t available to the FBI when working outside the U.S. To deploy an overseas informant, the FBI’s informant guidelines require agents to have a full investigation open. Such an investigation requires an “articulable factual basis” — in other words, evidence that a national security concern might exist or criminal activity may be occurring. An unsubstantiated tip, while enough to support the opening of an assessment, would not be enough to initiate a full investigation that could be used to task an informant working internationally.

Halper reportedly met with Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page in July 2016, prior to the FBI’s opening of its Trump-Russia investigation, code-named Crossfire Hurricane. This by itself is not scandalous, since the FBI was at the time investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to recruit Page as a spy of their own. In 2013, the bureau had obtained recordings of Russian agents discussing their approaches to Page. Those recordings, coupled with Page’s meeting with Russian officials in Moscow in July 2016, likely would have been enough to open a full investigation, making Halper’s activity in London perfectly justifiable under FBI rules.

Halper’s later known activity — meeting with Trump campaign aides Sam Clovis in August 2016 and George Papadopoulos in September 2016 — happened after the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, which again would have required an “articulable factual basis,” making baseless and politically motivated spying of the kind that Trump has alleged highly unlikely.

What’s more, because the FBI ran Halper as an overseas informant, any spying would have been documented in Delta, the FBI’s program for managing informants, creating a long paper trail about why the FBI chose to use Halper and what agents tasked him with doing. This is likely among the classified information Trump demanded that FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein provide to select senators and congressional representatives.

After reviewing the FBI’s materials, Republican U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy this week dismissed #Spygate on Fox News as the conspiracy theory that it is:

Embedded video

Fox News

@FoxNews

.@TGowdySC: “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump.”

1,917 people are talking about this

So let’s clear this all up: The FBI’s informants can run afoul of the law and internal regulations, and FBI informants are indeed spies. But there’s no evidence yet to suggest Halper’s actions were rooted in the political motivations of FBI agents.

The Russian collusion hoax meets unbelievable end

As the Russia collusion hoax hurtles toward its demise, it’s important to consider how this destructive information operation rampaged through vital American institutions for more than two years, and what can be done to stop such a damaging episode from recurring.

While the hoax was fueled by a wide array of false accusations, misleading leaks of ostensibly classified information, and bad-faith investigative actions by government officials, one vital element was indispensable to the overall operation: the Steele dossier.

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, which hid their payments from disclosure by funneling them through the law firm Perkins Coie, the dossier was a collection of false and often absurd accusations of collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials. These allegations, which relied heavily on Russian sources cultivated by Christopher Steele, were spoon-fed to Trump opponents in the U.S. government, including officials in law enforcement and intelligence.

The efforts to feed the dossier’s allegations into top levels of the U.S. government, particularly intelligence agencies, were championed by Steele, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, and various intermediaries. These allegations were given directly to the FBI and Justice Department, while similar allegations were fed into the State Department by long-time Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Their efforts were remarkably effective. Officials within the FBI and DOJ, whether knowingly or unintentionally, provided essential support to the hoax conspirators, bypassing normal procedures and steering the information away from those who would view it critically. The dossier soon metastasized within the government, was cloaked in secrecy, and evaded serious scrutiny.

High-ranking officials such as then-FBI general counsel James Baker and then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr were among those whose actions advanced the hoax. Ohr, one of the most senior officials within the DOJ, took the unprecedented step of providing to Steele a back door into the FBI investigation. This enabled the former British spy to continue to feed information to investigators, even though he had been terminated by the FBI for leaking to the press and was no longer a valid source. Even worse, Ohr directly briefed Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad, two DOJ officials who were later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In short, the investigation was marked by glaring irregularities that would normally be deemed intolerable.

According to Ohr’s congressional testimony, he told top-level FBI officials as early as August or September 2016 that Steele was biased against Trump, that Steele’s work was connected to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele’s material was of questionable reliability. Steele himself confirmed that last point in a British court case in which he acknowledged his allegations included unverified information. Yet even after this revelation, intelligence leaders continued to cite the Steele dossier in applications to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

It is astonishing that intelligence leaders did not immediately recognize they were being manipulated in an information operation or understand the danger that the dossier could contain deliberate disinformation from Steele’s Russian sources. In fact, it is impossible to believe in light of everything we now know about the FBI’s conduct of this investigation, including the astounding level of anti-Trump animus shown by high-level FBI figures like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as the inspector general’s discovery of a shocking number of leaks by FBI officials.

It’s now clear that top intelligence officials were perfectly well aware of the dubiousness of the dossier, but they embraced it anyway because it justified actions they wanted to take — turning the full force of our intelligence agencies first against a political candidate and then against a sitting president.

The hoax itself was a gift to our nation’s adversaries, most notably Russia. The abuse of intelligence for political purposes is insidious in any democracy. It undermines trust in democratic institutions, and it damages the reputation of the brave men and women who are working to keep us safe. This unethical conduct has had major repercussions on America’s body politic, creating a yearslong political crisis whose full effects remain to be seen.

Having extensively investigated this abuse, House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future. The men and women of our intelligence community perform an essential service defending American national security, and their ability to carry out their mission cannot be compromised by biased actors who seek to transform the intelligence agencies into weapons of political warfare.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/rep-devin-nunes-the-russian-collusion-hoax-meets-unbelievable-end

Story 3: Broken Record of U.S. Budget Deficits — Totally Out of Control Federal Government Spending — Videos

Harvard’s Feldstein Says Debt to Reach 100% of GDP by End of Decade

Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for FY 2019

US Deficit on the rise

Published on Oct 16, 2018

Why the federal deficit is rising, despite economic growth

Hedge Fund Legend Ray Dalio On The Economy

US budget deficit running 15% higher than a year ago

he federal government reported a $146.9 billion deficit in March, causing annual debt to rise 15% for the first half of the budget year compared to the same period in 2018.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday in its monthly report that the fiscal year deficit has so far totaled $691 billion, up from nearly $600 billion in 2018. The Treasury Department expects that the deficit will exceed $1 trillion when the fiscal year ends in September.

Tax receipts are running slightly higher than a year ago as more Americans are working and paying taxes. But the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017 have meant that the $10 billion increase in receipts has failed to keep pace with a roughly $100 billion increase in government expenditures.

he Congressional Budget Office was slightly more optimistic about the deficit in its January outlook, estimating that it would stay just below $1 trillion until 2022 when it would consistently stay above that total.

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article229076234.html

Deficit

The Three Reasons the US Deficit Is Out of Control

© The Balance 2018

The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2020 is $1.103 trillion. FY 2020 covers October 1, 2019, through September 30, 2020. The deficit occurs because the U.S. government spending of $4.746 trillion is higher than its revenue of $3.643 trillion.

The deficit is 1% greater than last year. The FY 2019 budget created a $1.09 trillion deficit. Spending of $4.529 was more than the estimated $3.r38 revenue, according to Table S-3 of the FY 2020 budget.

 

Three Reasons for the Current Budget Deficit

Many people blame the deficits on entitlement programs. But that’s not supported by the budget. These enormous deficits are the result of three factors.

First, the attacks on 9/11 led to the War on Terror. It’s added $2.4 trillion to the debt since 2001. It almost doubled annual military spending. It rose from $111.9 billion in 2003 to a peak of $150.8 billion in 2019. That includes the defense department budget and off-budget emergency spending, and increases for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Trump administration will set new records of defense spending. It is estimated to reach $989 billion. That adds spending for departments that support defense, such as Homeland Security, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

U.S. military spending is greater than those of the next 10 largest government expenditures combined. It’s four times greater than China’s military budget, and 10 times bigger than Russia’s defense spending. It’s difficult to reduce the budget deficit without cutting U.S. defense spending.

Second is the impact of tax cuts. They immediately reduce revenue for each dollar cut. Proponents of supply-side economics argue that the government will recoup that loss over the long term by boosting economic growth and the tax base. But the National Bureau of Economic Research found that only 17% of the revenue from income tax cuts was regained. It also found that 50% of the revenue from corporate tax cuts was lost.

For example, the Bush tax cuts added $2.023 trillion to the debt between 2011 and 2020. The Congressional Research Service estimated that service cost on that debt would add another $450 billion.

Going forward, the Trump tax cut will reduce revenue. It’s reducing the personal income tax rate, corporate taxes, and small business taxes. These cuts total $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. But the Joint Committee on Taxation said the cuts would stimulate growth by 0.7 percent annually. The increased growth will add revenue, offsetting some of the tax cuts. As a result, the deficit will increase $1 trillion over the next decade.

Lastly is unfunded elements of mandatory spending. Some people point to the $1 trillion cost of Social Security as a contributor to the deficit. But it’s funded through payroll taxes and the Social Security Trust Fund until 2034.

Medicare will cost $702 billion in FY 2020. But only 49% adds to the deficit. Payroll taxes and premiums pay for the remainder.

The rest of the mandatory budget adds to the deficit. This includes Medicaid, which will be $426 billion in FY 2020. Medicaid provides health care to those with low incomes.

The mandatory budget also includes $611 billion in income support programs for those who can’t provide for themselves. This includes welfare programs like TANF, EITC, and Housing Assistance. It also includes unemployment benefits for those who were laid off. Student loans help create a more highly skilled workforce. Other retirement and disability programs are for those who were former federal employees. These include civil servants, the Coast Guard, and the military.

Only an Act of Congress that amends a program’s benefits can change mandatory spending. That would require a majority vote in both houses and is thus unlikely to happen.

After the 2001 recession, federal deficits declined. The late 2006 recession drove deficits higher, with a deficit in 2009 driven up by more than $700 billion in bank bailouts under the TARP program. After the 2008 market crash, the federal deficit remained above $1 trillion until 2013. Below is a yearly breakdown of the federal budget deficit from 2007 to 2018.

 

Why the Government Always Overspends

The difference between the U.S. government and you is that the president and Congress overspend on purpose. Politicians realize that, the more the government spends, the more it stimulates the economy. That’s because government spending is itself a component of gross domestic product. They are rewarded by voters for creating jobs and growing the economy. They lose elections for raising taxes and unemployment.

In the United States, corporations have gained the right to make donations for political advertising. They support the idea that tax cuts are the best way to create jobs. They convince people that trickle-down economics is a solution that works for everyone. As a result, politicians no longer seriously try to balance the budget.

Most governments that consistently increase deficits are punished by investors. At some point, buyers of sovereign debt worry they won’t get paid back. To compensate for that risk, they demand higher interest rates. That slows economic growth, creating an incentive to keep debt levels reasonable.

The United States doesn’t suffer from that problem. Other countries, such as China, are willing to buy Treasury notes. They receive hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars in exchange for exports. They must invest those dollars somewhere, and U.S. Treasurys are safe. Their high demand for Treasurys keeps interest rates low. As a result, Congress isn’t burdened by punitive interest on the debt payments.

 

You Should Be Concerned

A budget deficit is not an immediate crisis. In moderation, it increases economic growth. It puts money in the pockets of businesses and families. Their spending creates a stronger economy. That makes other countries happy to lend to the U.S. government. It has always paid the debt back.

The World Bank found that if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds this tipping point for an extended period of time, it slows the economy. Every percentage point of debt above this level costs the country 1.7 percent in economic growth.

When the debt is excessive, owners of the debt become concerned. They worry that the United States won’t pay them back. They had reason to be concerned in 2011 and 2013. That’s when tea party Republican congressmen threatened to default on the U.S. debt.

You should also be concerned when the economy is doing well. The government should be reducing the deficit in an effort to lower the debt. Deficit spending in a healthy economy will make it overheat. An economy that’s churning too fast creates a boom and bust cycle. It always leads to a recession.

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1227, March 21, 2019 — Story 1:President Trump Said It is Time The United States Recognize the Golan Heights as Part of Israel — America Does Stand With Israel — Videos — Story 2: ISIS Caliphate Final Days Numbered — The End Is Near — Three Cheers — Videos — Story 3: Crazy Communist Cortez aka Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or AOC — Leads Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers aka Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) — In Their Guts Voters Know She Is Nuts — Videos — Story 4: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Want To Replace The Electoral College With Majority Rule Democracy or Tyranny of The Majority — Founding Fathers Were Right and Wise in Establishing The Electoral College — American People Vote By State For President of The United States of America — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Said It is Time The United States Recognize the Golan Heights as Part of Israel — America Does Stand With Israel — Videos

 

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Word for Word: Prime Minister Netanyahu “deeply grateful” for U.S. support (C-SPAN)

Trump supports Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

With Trump’s Golan Heights move, Netanyahu may be the biggest winner

Trump tweets Israel should have sovereignty over Golan Heights

Trump: Time for US to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

Trump says U.S. should recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel as Netanyahu accuses Iran of trying to set up terror network there — and Trump insists the move has NOTHING to do with saving Bibi’s re-election hopes

  • The Golan Heights are 690 square miles of territory that Israel annexed in 1981 after winning it from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War
  • The United Nations has never recognized Israeli sovereignty there
  • Donald Trump said Thursday on Twitter that it’s time for the U.S. to do so
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Trump on Monday in Washington and to speak at the AIPAC conference
  • The Golan Heights decision will be seen as a seismic move akin to repositioning America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
  • Trump said in a Fox Business Network interview that he had ‘been thinking about doing it for a long time’
  • Asked whether his announcement was linked to Netanyahu’s political future, Trump said, ‘No. I wouldn’t even know about that’
  • Netanyahu faces near-certain indictment on corruption charges as he prepares to stand for re-election on April 9 

President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that the U.S. will soon officially recognize the contested Golan Heights region as a part of Israel.

The move comes just four days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to visit with Trump at the White House.

Israel will see such a development as rivaling the significance of last year’s opening of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem — a unilateral White House action that now has city authorities planning to name a new subway station after the American president.

Trump said in an interview with the Fox Business Network, slated for broadcast on Friday morning, that he had ‘been thinking about doing it for a long time.’

Host Maria Bartiromo asked the president if the move was about the election – a reference to the April 9 election the embattled Netanyahu faces.

‘No. I wouldn’t even know about that,’ Trump responded. The president’s timing, however, coincides with a political crisis for Netanyhu, who almost certainly will face a corruption indictment following an announcement by his country’s attorney general.

Asked whether his announcement was linked to Netanyahu’s political future, Trump said, ‘No. I wouldn’t even know about that,’ and added: ‘I hear he’s doing okay. But I would imagine the other side, whoever’s against him, is also in favor of what I just did.’

‘Every president has said, “Do that.” I’m the one that gets it done.’

President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that the U.S. will soon officially recognize the contested Golan Heights region as a part of Israel

 

President Donald Trump signaled on Thursday that the U.S. will soon officially recognize the contested Golan Heights region as a part of Israel

'After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,' the president tweeted

‘After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,’ the president tweeted

The Golan Heights are 690 square miles straddling between Israel and Syria; Israel won the territory and others from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War

The Golan Heights are 690 square miles straddling between Israel and Syria; Israel won the territory and others from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (center) joined Netanyahu (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (not pictured) in prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Thursday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted back at Trump, saying Trump's move came 'at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted back at Trump, saying Trump’s move came ‘at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel

Netanyahu tweeted his gratitude Thursday afternoon, writing: ‘At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!’

In a tweet, the president had declared: ‘After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!’

Rumors of the potential move swirled in diplomatic circles this week as Israel-watchers expected a policy announcement timed with an American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting next week, where Netanyahu will speak.

At least four prominent Democratic presidential contenders have said they will skip the annual event as AIPAC has come under fire from their party’s progressive wing.

Fort Wayne, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUS Secretary Julian Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are all sidestepping the thorny Israel issue after freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar earned a reputation as an anti-Semite for complaining that moneyed Jews control much of Washington.

The president insisted he knows 'nothing' about how his announcement might help Netanyahu solidify his political position in advance of an April 9 election; Netanyahu faces the possibility of a corruption indictment between now and then

The president insisted he knows ‘nothing’ about how his announcement might help Netanyahu solidify his political position in advance of an April 9 election; Netanyahu faces the possibility of a corruption indictment between now and then

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Netanyahu and Friedman visited the border between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted back at Trump, saying Trump's move came 'at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted back at Trump, saying Trump’s move came ‘at a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel

Netanyahu tweeted his gratitude Thursday afternoon, writing: ‘At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!’

In a tweet, the president had declared: ‘After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!’

Rumors of the potential move swirled in diplomatic circles this week as Israel-watchers expected a policy announcement timed with an American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting next week, where Netanyahu will speak.

At least four prominent Democratic presidential contenders have said they will skip the annual event as AIPAC has come under fire from their party’s progressive wing.

Fort Wayne, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former HUS Secretary Julian Castro, California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are all sidestepping the thorny Israel issue after freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar earned a reputation as an anti-Semite for complaining that moneyed Jews control much of Washington.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Netanyahu and Friedman visited the border between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights last week

 The Golan Heights’ role as a Middle East political football intensified this week when the State Department stopped referring to it as ‘Israeli-occupied’ territory, a designation favored by Arabs.

In a new report, the area was called the ‘Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.’

A spokesman for Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called that decision ‘a continuation of the hostile approach of the American administration toward our Palestinian people.’

The spokesman said the shift is part of Trump’s plan to ‘liquidate’ the Palestinians’ cause.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 during the Six-Day War. The area’s 690 square miles today are a buffer zone between the two nations.

The United Nations weeks later called on Israel to withdraw from the territory, and from the West Bank and Gaza in a resolution that also declared that Israel had the same right as Arab states ‘to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.’

Pompeo's (center) frequent appearance in Israel is a sign of Trump's closeness with Netanyahu (left) and the value Israelis place on the certainty of their U.S. alliance

Netanyahu, Pompeo and Friedman finished their Old City Jerusalem tour on Thursday with a visit to the Western Wall Tunnels

Netanyahu, Pompeo and Friedman finished their Old City Jerusalem tour on Thursday with a visit to the Western Wall Tunnels

Israel instead enacted a law that effectively annexed the western two-thirds of the Golan Heights in 1981 following years of squabbling over the resolution.

The UN Security Council then passed a resolution declaring ‘that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is null and void and without international legal effect.’

Netanyahu suggested Thursday in Jerusalem that he’s eager to see Trump make a unilateral move akin to his decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, and his later move of America’s embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The presidential order enraged Palestinians, who see the largely Palestinian region of East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian nation whose existence the U.S. hasn’t acknowledged.

Israel’s prime minister also thanked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday for the Trump administration’s strong denunciations of Iran, which Israel regards as an existential threat.

The prime minister accused Tehran on Thursday of attempting to set up a terrorist network to target Israel from the Golan Heights, using Hezbollah militia groups from Lebanon as mercenaries.

Druze women, Arab-speaking Israeli citizens who live in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights but consider themselves Palestinians, watched a protest there last week

Druze women, Arab-speaking Israeli citizens who live in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights but consider themselves Palestinians, watched a protest there last week

‘Just last week we uncovered efforts by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, to build a military network in Syria, in the Golan Heights,’ Netanyahu said during a press conference. ‘All of you can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan: We would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.’

‘I think, for this reason, and many more, it is time that the international community recognises Israel’s stay on the Golan, and the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the State of Israel.’

One reason is the steady deterioration of security along a demilitarized border zone between Israel and Syria which lost its historical calm when the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, visited the Golan Heights with Netanyahu on Monday and pledged to promote Israel’s sovereignty over the area ‘now and forever.’

Story 2: ISIS Caliphate Final Days Numbered — The End Is Near — Three Cheers — Videos —

Syrian media, Pentagon send conflicting reports on ISIS defeat

Flares illuminate Syrian horizon as WH claims caliphate defeated

militants will still be a threat

Inside ISIS’s Final Fight (HBO)

Fighting in Syria continues as ISIS close to defeat

 

White House declares end to Islamic State, but fighting grinds on

March 22 at 4:59 PM

U.S.-backed forces have pushed the Islamic State out of its final foothold in Syria, the White House said Friday, making a long-awaited victory announcement but defying eyewitness accounts of continued fighting.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the group’s “territorial caliphate has been eliminated in Syria.”

Trump, making brief remarks to reporters after landing in Palm Beach, Fla., showed reporters a map comparing Iraq and Syria at the height of Islamic State power in 2014 with today.

“That’s what we have right now,” he said, indicating areas no longer controlled by the militants.

The announcement, more than four years after the United States launched its first airstrikes against the then-formidable militant group, follows months of speculation about when U.S.-backed Syrian forces would capture the Islamic State’s final foothold in eastern Syria.

Neighboring Iraq declared victory over the group in late 2017.

But the White House statements were immediately contradicted by reports from eyewitnesses and local forces in eastern Syria, where the U.S.-backed ­Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have struggled to root out militant holdouts who are dug in among civilians.

Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF, said the fighting had not eased up around the village of Baghouz, which has been the scene of an intense battle against those holdouts.

“Heavy fighting continues around mount #Baghouz right now to finish off whatever remains of ISIS,” he said in a message on Twitter.

A U.S. military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly, said the SDF was still working “to clear pockets of ISIS from caves under Baghouz.”

The official said there appeared to be a few hundred militants remaining around Baghouz.

Trump claims credit for ISIS’s territorial losses in Syria

President Trump on March 20 showed a map of the Islamic State’s diminished territory in Syria, and said it “will be gone by tonight.” 

Photographs from the area showed the night sky lit up with tracer rounds.

The militants appeared to be pinned down along a cliff near the Euphrates River as they mount a desperate final stand.

More than 50,000 people have left the enclave since January, surprising military planners who have repeatedly believed the area to be almost empty.

On Thursday, the International Rescue Committee said that thousands more civilians could follow in the coming days.

“These women and children are in the worst condition we have seen since the crisis first began,” said Wendy Taeuber, the group’s Iraq and northeast Syria country director.

The Pentagon did not immediately provide an explanation for the apparent disconnect between the White House depiction and reports from eastern Syria.

Trump, who has been eager to end the U.S. military mission in Syria, has repeatedly suggested in recent months that a final victory was imminent, only to have the fighting drag on.

In December, Trump made another victory declaration as he announced, in a surprise move, that he would pull out all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria.

In the following weeks, the president appeared to back away from that victory claim as top advisers warned that an abrupt departure from Syria would alienate allies and jeopardize gains against the militants.

The Pentagon now plans to keep at least 400 troops in Syria to help the SDF and other allies maintain security in former Islamic State strongholds.

While a conclusion to the operation would be a milestone for the Pentagon, officials expect the group will seek to mount continued insurgent attacks in Syria, as it has in Iraq.

Sanders said Trump had been briefed during his flight by acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan.

Shanahan joins Trump at his exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort as the president considers nominating the former Boeing executive to the top Pentagon job.

It was not immediately clear whether Shanahan conveyed to Trump that the Islamic State had been ejected from Baghouz, or whether Trump or Shanahan were aware of the assessment from Syrian and U.S. forces in the region.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/white-house-declares-islamic-state-100-percent-defeated-in-syria/2019/03/22/ce39dd02-4cbd-11e9-9663-00ac73f49662_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c29a4f4aaa92

Story 3: Crazy Communist Cortez aka Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or AOC — Leads Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers aka Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — In Their Guts Voters Know She Is Nuts — Videos —

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Why I Left the Left

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Why You Can’t Argue with a Leftist

 

The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”

By Will Morrow
23 November 2018

Last week, newly-elected Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a proposal for an addendum to the rules of the US House of Representatives, to create a new congressional committee that would draft legislation for a “Green New Deal.” Nine Democrats have already put their names to the proposal, including Rashida Tlaib, who like Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The document includes the call for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy within 10 years, and actions to “virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone.” It calls for “a job guarantee program to assure a living wage to every person who wants one”; “massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases,” and “upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety.”

The document, as with Ocasio-Cortez’s politics, is characterized by a massive political fraud. It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party. In particular, the members of the committee would be selected by the Speaker of the House, who is likely to be Nancy Pelosi, the stalwart of the Democratic Party establishment who has received the support of Ocasio-Cortez herself.

Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism’s neo-colonial wars abroad.

Ocasio-Cortez’s document, however, excludes any encroachment on the fortunes of the ruling class. It calls instead for “innovative public and other financing structures,” including a “new public bank,” or system of banks, or “public venture funds,” which in concrete terms means nothing more than new avenues for providing cheap credit to private corporations. Everything is phrased as part of consultation with “business” leaders.

Several of her proposals are explicitly aimed at promoting the interests of different sections of capital, including the call to “promote opportunities” for “entrepreneurship,” and “promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism.”

“Labor market flexibility”—that is, the ability of corporations to fire and hire at will. Such is the character of Ocasio-Cortez’s great left-wing reform!

The original “New Deal,” which included massive public works infrastructure projects, was introduced by Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s amid the Great Depression. Its purpose was to stave off a socialist revolution in America. It was a response to a militant upsurge of strikes and violent class battles, led by socialists who were inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that had occurred less than two decades before.

American capitalism could afford to make such concessions because of its economic dominance. The past forty years have been characterized by the continued decline of American capitalism on a world stage relative to its major rivals. The ruling class has responded to this crisis with a social counterrevolution to claw back all gains won by workers. This has been carried out under both Democratic and Republican administrations and with the assistance of the trade unions.

Since the 2008 crash, first under Bush and Obama, and now Trump, the ruling elites have pursued a single-minded policy of enriching the wealthy, through free credit, corporate bailouts and tax cuts, while slashing spending on social services.

To claim as does Ocasio-Cortez that American capitalism can provide a new “New Deal,” of a green or any other variety, is to promote an obvious political fiction.

None of the signatories to the bill believes that any of its proposals—except those directly tailored to corporate interests—will ever be implemented. Its purpose is rather to promote illusions that the Democratic Party, a party of the corporate and financial elite no less than the Republicans, can be transformed into an agency of social progress.

The document states that the newly-formed committee would be required to complete its plan by January 2020 and publish its draft legislation by March 2020, immediately prior to the next presidential elections. Any such documents would be wholly aimed at providing some popular appeal to the Democrats’ election campaign. They would be permanently shelved immediately after the election, regardless of the outcome.

Ocasio-Cortez’s promotion of the “Green New Deal” is also aimed at distracting attention from her own rapid rightward shift after her primary victory.

She has backtracked on her earlier criticisms of Israeli slaughters of Gaza protesters; hailed the late Republican Senator and war criminal John McCain as an “unparalleled example of human decency and American service;” called for securing US borders, dropped her previous calls to “Abolish ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement],” and declared that this slogan “does not mean abolish deportations” of immigrants. Over the weekend, she declared her support for Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House.

The “Green New Deal” is another example of the political function of Ocasio-Cortez and the DSA in seeking to provide a “left” political veneer for the capitalist politics of the Democratic Party. The latter is campaigning against the billionaire demagogue Trump on a right-wing basis, attacking him not for his militarist threats, fascistic rants, attacks on immigrants and efforts to build up an extra-parliamentary extreme-right movement, but for being insufficiently deferential toward the American intelligence agencies and aggressive toward Russia.

A socialist response to climate change cannot take place through the Democratic Party or within the framework of capitalism. It requires the organization of production according to a rational, scientific plan on a global scale. This requirement is fundamentally incompatible with both the private ownership of humanity’s productive forces (and the subordination of production according to the profit interests of the capitalist class), and the continued division of the world into rival national states, who compete on behalf of their own capitalist class for markets, profits and geostrategic control.

What is needed is not empty promises of a new “New Deal” bestowed from above by the capitalist class—which in any case is impossible—but socialist revolution by the working class and a fundamental transformation of society.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/11/23/cort-n23.html

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez standing
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York‘s 14th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Joe Crowley
Personal details
Born October 13, 1989 (age 29)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Education Boston University (BA)
Website House website

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (/ˌkɑːsi kɔːrˈtɛz/Spanish: [oˈkasjo koɾˈtes];[1] born October 13, 1989), also known by her initials, AOC,[2][3] is an American politician and activist.[4][5] A member of the Democratic Party, she has been the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since January 3, 2019. The district includes the eastern part of The Bronx and portions of north-central Queens in New York City.

On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party’s primary election for New York’s 14th congressional district, defeating the ten-term incumbent Congressman, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries.[11] She beat Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November 6, 2018, general election, and at age 29, became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.[12] Ocasio-Cortez is noted for her social media presence.[13][14]

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[15] Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are the first two members of the group in Congress. She advocates for a progressive platform that includes Medicare For All, a federal jobs guarantee, a proposed Green New Deal, abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, free public college and trade school, and a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes above $10 million. Before running for Congress, she served as an educational director for the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series for the National Hispanic Institute. Ocasio-Cortez majored in international relations and economics at Boston University, graduating cum laude in 2011.

 

Early life

Ocasio-Cortez was born in The BronxNew York City, on October 13, 1989, to Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (née Cortez) and Sergio Ocasio in a Catholic family.[16] She has a younger brother, Gabriel Ocasio-Cortez.[17] Her father was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican family and became an architect; her mother was born in Puerto Rico.[18][19] She has described her Puerto Rican community as an amalgamation: “We are black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European.”[20] Until age five, Ocasio-Cortez lived with her family in an apartment in the neighborhood of Parkchester.[19] The family moved to a house in Yorktown Heights, a suburb in Westchester County.[19]

Ocasio-Cortez attended Yorktown High School, graduating in 2007.[21] She came in second in the Microbiology category of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a microbiology research project on the effect of antioxidants on the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans.[22] In a show of appreciation for her efforts, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.[23][24] In high school, she took part in the National Hispanic Institute‘s Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session. She later became the LDZ Secretary of State while she attended Boston University. Ocasio-Cortez had a John F. Lopez Fellowship.[25] In 2008, while Ocasio-Cortez was a sophomore at Boston University, her father died of lung cancer.[26][27] During college, she served as an intern in the immigration office during the final year of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy‘s tenure.[28] “I was the only Spanish speaker, and as a result, as basically a kid—a 19-, 20-year-old kid—whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system.”[28]

She graduated cum laude from Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, majoring in international relations and economics.[25][29][30]

When her father died intestate in 2008,[31] she became involved in a long probate battle to settle his estate. She has said that the experience helped her learn “firsthand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy.”[32]

Early career

After college, Ocasio-Cortez moved back to the Bronx and found work as an educational director. Following the death of her father, she took on an additional job working as a bartender and waitress to help her mother—a house cleaner and school-bus driver—fight foreclosure of their home.[33][34] Ocasio-Cortez later launched Brook Avenue Press, a publishing firm for books that portray the Bronx in a positive light.[35] She worked as lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc.[36] Ocasio-Cortez also worked for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute, serving as the Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series, a five-day long program targeted at college-bound high school students from across the United States and other countries, where she also participated in the panel on the future of Latino leadership.[25][37][38]

In the 2016 primary, Ocasio-Cortez worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.[39] After the general election, she traveled across America by car, visiting places such as FlintMichigan, and Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and speaking to people affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline.[40] In an interview, she recalled her visit to Standing Rock as a tipping point, saying that before that, she had believed that the only way to effectively run for office was if you had access to wealth, social influence, and power. But her visit to North Dakota, where she saw others “putting their whole lives and everything that they had on the line for the protection of their community”, inspired her to begin to work for her own community.[41]

2018 campaign

Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional campaign logo was inspired by “revolutionary posters and visuals from the past.”

Ocasio-Cortez began her campaign while waiting tables and tending bar at Flats Fix, a taqueria in New York City’s Union Square.[42] “For 80 percent of this campaign, I operated out of a paper grocery bag hidden behind that bar,” she told Bon Appétit.[43] She was the first person since 2004 to challenge Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair, in the primary. She faced a financial disadvantage, saying, “You can’t really beat big money with more money. You have to beat them with a totally different game.” Her campaign posters’ design were said to have taken inspiration from “revolutionary posters and visuals from the past.”[44]

On June 15, the candidates’ only face-to-face encounter during the campaign occurred on a local political talk show, Inside City Hall. The format was a joint interview conducted by Errol Louis, which NY1 characterized as a debate.[45]On June 18, a debate in the Bronx was scheduled, but Crowley did not participate. He sent former New York City Council member Annabel Palma in his place.[46][47][48]

Endorsements

Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by progressive and civil rights organizations such as MoveOn,[49] Justice Democrats,[50] Brand New Congress,[51] Black Lives Matter,[52] and Democracy for America,[39] and by gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who, like Ocasio-Cortez, also challenged a longtime incumbent. Nixon challenged incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the 2018 New York gubernatorial election[53] but lost.

Governor Cuomo endorsed Crowley, as did both of New York’s U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, 11 U.S. Representatives, 31 local elected officials, 31 trade unions, and progressive groups such as the Sierra ClubPlanned Parenthood, the Working Families PartyNARAL Pro-Choice America, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, among others.[54] California representative Ro Khanna, a Justice Democrat like Ocasio-Cortez,[55] initially endorsed Crowley but later endorsed Ocasio-Cortez in an unusual dual endorsement.[56]

Primary election

Ocasio-Cortez speaks to a voter during the campaign.

On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez received 57.13% of the vote (15,897) to Joe Crowley’s 42.5% (11,761), defeating the 10-term incumbent by almost 15 percentage points.[57] Her win, and Crowley’s defeat, came as a shock to many political commentators and analysts and immediately garnered nationwide attention. Time called her victory “the biggest upset of the 2018 elections so far”;[58] CNN made a similar statement.[7] The New York Times described Crowley’s loss as “a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country”.[39] The Guardian called it “one of the biggest upsets in recent American political history”.[59] Her victory was especially surprising as she was outspent by a margin of 18 to 1.[60] Merriam-Webster reported that searches for the word “socialism” spiked 1,500% after her victory.[61] Crowley conceded defeat on election night.[62] However, that he did not call primary night to congratulate Ocasio-Cortez was a matter of dispute which was made public on Twitter on July 11, fueling some short-lived speculation that he intended to run against her.[63]

Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky congratulated her.[10][64] Several commentators noted the similarities between Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Crowley and Dave Brat‘s Tea Party movement-supported 2014 victory over Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th congressional district.[65][66] Like Crowley, Cantor was a high-ranking member in his party’s caucus.[67] After her primary win, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed several progressive primary challengers to Democratic incumbents nationwide,[68] capitalizing on her fame and spending her political capital in a manner unusual even for unexpected primary winners.[69]

Without campaigning for it, Ocasio-Cortez won the Reform Party primary as a write-in candidate in a neighboring congressional district, New York’s 15th, with a total vote count of nine, highest among all 22 write-in candidates. She declined the nomination.[70][71]

General election

Ocasio-Cortez faced Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in the November 6 general election.[72] Pappas, who lives in Astoria, is an economics professor at St. John’s University. According to the New York Post, Pappas did not actively campaign. The Post wrote that “Pappas’ bid was a long shot,” since the 14th has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+29, making it the sixth most Democratic district in New York City. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost six to one.[73][74][75] Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by various politically progressive organizations and figures, including former President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.[76][77] She spoke at the Netroots Nation conference in August 2018, and was called “the undisputed star of the convention.”[78]

Crowley also remained on the ballot, as the nominee of the Working Families Party (WFP). Neither Crowley nor the party actively campaigned, with both having endorsed Ocasio-Cortez after her Democratic primary victory.[79] Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who won reelection in 2006 on a third-party line after losing the Democratic Primary in 2006, penned a July 17 column in the Wall Street Journal expressing his hope that Crowley would actively campaign on the WFP ballot line.[80] Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the WFP, wrote an endorsement of, and apology to, Ocasio-Cortez for the New York Daily News; he asked voters not to vote for Crowley if his name remained on the general election ballot.[81]

Ocasio-Cortez won the election with 78% of the vote (110,318) to Pappas’s 14% (17,762). Her election was part of a broader Democratic victory in the 2018 midterm elections, as the party gained control of the House by picking up at least 40 seats.[82] Saikat Chakrabarti, who had been her campaign co-chair, became chief of staff for her congressional office.[83] Co-creator of two progressive political action committees, he has been called a significant political presence.[84]

Media coverage

Ocasio-Cortez during an interview with Julia Cumming in December 2017

After her primary win, Ocasio-Cortez quickly garnered nationwide media attention, including numerous articles and TV talk-show appearances. She also drew a great deal of media attention when she and Sanders campaigned for James Thompson in Kansas in July 2018. A rally in Wichita had to be moved from a theater with a capacity of 1,500 when far more people said they would attend. The event drew 4,000 people, with some seated on the floor. In The New Yorker Benjamin Wallace-Wells wrote that while Sanders remained “the de-facto leader of an increasingly popular left, [he is unable to] do things that do not come naturally to him, like supply hope.” Wallace-Wells suggested that Ocasio-Cortez had made Sanders’s task easier, as he could point to her success to show that ideas “once considered to be radical are now part of the mainstream”.[85]

Prior to defeating incumbent Joe Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary, Ocasio-Cortez was given little airtime by most traditional news media outlets.[86][87] Jimmy Dore interviewed her when she first announced her candidacy in June 2017.[88] After her primary win, Brian Stelter wrote that progressive-media outlets, such as The Young Turks and The Intercept, “saw the Ocasio-Cortez upset coming” in advance.[66] Margaret Sullivan said that traditional metrics of measuring a campaign’s viability, like total fundraising, were contributing to a “media failure”.[87] Ocasio-Cortez was barely mentioned in print-media coverage until her primary election win.[89] Ocasio-Cortez was one of the subjects of the 2018 Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 11/9; it chronicled her primary campaign.[90][91]

Just before Ocasio-Cortez took office, Twitter user “AnonymousQ” shared a Boston University student-produced dance video in which she briefly appeared, in an attempt to embarrass her.[92] Many social media users came to her defense, inspiring memes and a Twitter account syncing the footage to songs like “Mambo No. 5” and “Gangnam Style“.[93] Ocasio-Cortez lightheartedly responded by posting a video of herself dancing to Edwin Starr‘s “War“.[92]

116th Congress

File:Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - 2019-01-16 Speech about an immigrant constituent.webm

Ocasio-Cortez’s first speech as a Representative, addressing the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown

Ocasio-Cortez entered Congress with no seniority but with a large social media presence that could increase her influence in the House. Axios has credited her with “as much social media clout as her fellow freshman Democrats combined.”[13] As of February 2019, she has 3.1 million Twitter followers,[14] up from 1.38 million in November 2018[13] and surpassing Nancy Pelosi.[94] She has 2.2 million Instagram followers[95] and 500,000 followers on Facebook.[96] Her colleagues were so impressed that she was appointed to teach them social media lessons upon her arrival in Congress.[96]

On the first day of congressional orientation, Ocasio-Cortez participated in a climate change protest outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.[97] Ocasio-Cortez backed Pelosi’s bid to be Speaker of the House once the Democratic Party reclaimed the majority on the condition that Pelosi “remains the most progressive candidate for speaker.”[98]

During the orientation for new members hosted by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter about the influence of corporate interests by sponsors such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies: “Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where’s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”[99][100][101] During her first month in office, admirers of Ocasio-Cortez left dozens of post-it notes with messages of encouragement in orange, pink, yellow. The sticky notes were removed after the Superintendent of House Office Buildings said the notes obscured the braille on her nameplate.”[102]

When Ocasio-Cortez made her first speech on the floor of Congress, C-SPAN tweeted out the video. Within 12 hours, the video of her four-minute speech set the record as C-SPAN’s most-watched Twitter video by a member of the House of Representative.[103]

Speaking at a Congressional hearing with a panel of representatives from campaign finance watchdog groups, Ocasio-Cortez questioned the panel about ethics regulations as they apply to both the president and members of Congress. She asserted that no regulations prevent lawmakers “from being bought off by wealthy corporations.”[104] With more than 37.5 million views, the clip became the most-watched political video ever posted on Twitter.[105]

When President Trump‘s former lawyer Michael Cohen appeared before the Oversight Committee, Ocasio-Cortez asked him whether Trump had ever inflated property values for bank or insurance purposes and inquired where to get more information on the subject. Cohen’s reply implied that Trump may have committed potential tax and bank fraud in his personal and business tax returns, financial statements and real-estate filings.[106][107] David Brooks, a commentator for The New York Times, praised her for “laying down specific questions for specific predicates”.[108]

Committee assignments

Political positions

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America[15] and embraces the democratic socialist label as part of her political identity. In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, she described democratic socialism as “…part of what I am. It’s not all of what I am. And I think that that’s a very important distinction.”[111] She believes capitalism will gradually be replaced.[citation needed] In response to a question about democratic socialism ultimately calling for an end to capitalism during a Firing Line interview on PBS, she answered: “Ultimately, we are marching towards progress on this issue. I do think that we are going to see an evolution in our economic system of an unprecedented degree, and it’s hard to say what direction that that takes.”[112]

She rejects the policies of Cuba, the USSR and Venezuela, and favors policies that “most closely resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden.”[113][114]

Ocasio-Cortez supports progressive policies such as single-payer Medicare for Alltuition-free public college and trade school,[115] a federal job guarantee,[116] guaranteed family leave,[117] abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,[118] ending the privatization of prisons, enacting gun-control policies,[119] and energy policy relying on 100% renewables.[120] She is open to using Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as an economic pathway that could provide funding and enable implementation of these goals.[121]

Environment

Ocasio-Cortez speaks on a Green New Deal in front of the Capitol Building in February 2019.

Ocasio-Cortez has called for “more environmental hardliners in Congress”,[122] describing climate change as “the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization” and stating that the world will end in 12 years unless the problem is addressed.[123][124][125] Her comments referred to the recent United Nations report that established that unless carbon emissions are reined in over the next 12 years the effects of climate change will be irreversible.[126] Ocasio-Cortez advocates for the United States to transition to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy[127] and to end the use of fossil fuels within 10 years. The changes, estimated to cost roughly $2.5 trillion per year, would be financed in part by higher taxes on the wealthy.[128]

The plan, called the Green New Deal, has gained support from some Democratic senators, including Elizabeth WarrenBernie Sanders and Cory Booker;[127] other Democrats, such as Dianne Feinstein, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone, have expressed opposition. Activist groups such as Greenpeace and the Sunrise Movement have also come out in favor of the Green New Deal. No Republican lawmakers have voiced support.[129][130][131][132]

On February 7, Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey released a joint resolution laying out the main elements of a 10-year “economic mobilization” that would phase out fossil fuel use and overhaul the nation’s infrastructure. Their plan calls for implementing the “social cost of carbon” that was part of the Obama administration’s plans to address climate change and transitioning the United States to 100% renewable, zero-emission energy sources, including electric cars and high-speed rail systems.[133]

Tax policy

Ocasio-Cortez proposed introducing a marginal tax as high as 70% on income above $10 million to pay for the Green New Deal. According to tax experts contacted by The Washington Post, this tax would bring in extra revenue of $720 billion per decade.[134][135] Ocasio-Cortez has opposed and voted against the pay-as-you-go rule supported by Democratic leaders, which requires deficit-neutral fiscal policy, with all new expenditures balanced by tax increases or spending cuts. She joins Ro Khanna in condemning the rule as hamstringing new or expanded progressive policies.[136][137] She cites Modern Monetary Theory, a heterodox macroeconomic theory widely rejected by economists,[138][139] as a justification for higher deficits to finance her agenda.[140][141] Drawing a parallel with the Great Depression, she explains that the Green New Deal needs deficit spending like the original New Deal.[142]

Immigration

Ocasio-Cortez has expressed support for defunding and abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on multiple occasions. In February 2018, she called it “a product of the Bush-era Patriot Act suite of legislation” and “an enforcement agency that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day”.[143][144] That June, she said she would “stop short of fully disbanding the agency”, and would rather “create a pathway to citizenship for more immigrants through decriminalization”.[145] She later clarified that this does not mean ceasing all deportations.[146] She has called the Department of Homeland Security‘s immigration detention centers “black sites“, citing limited public access to them.[147] Two days before the primary election, Ocasio-Cortez attended a protest at an ICE child-detention center in Tornillo, Texas.[148] She was the only Democrat to vote against H.R. 648, a bill to fund and reopen the government, because it funded ICE.[149]

Healthcare

Ocasio-Cortez supports transitioning to a single-payer healthcare system, recognizing medical care as a human right.[150][151] She says that a single government health insurer should cover every American, reducing overall costs.[116] On her campaign website, Ocasio-Cortez says “Almost every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare. It’s time the United States catch up to the rest of the world in ensuring all people have real healthcare coverage that doesn’t break the bank.”[151] The Medicare-for-all proposal has been adopted by many likely Democratic 2020 presidential contenders.[117]

LGBTQ equality

Ocasio-Cortez is a staunch proponent of LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ equality. She has said she supports the LGBTQ community and thanked its members for its role in her campaign.[152][119] She publicized and later appeared on a video game live stream to help raise money for Mermaids, a charity for trans children.[153] At the January 2019 New York City Women’s March in Manhattan, Ocasio-Cortez gave a detailed speech in support of measures needed to ensure LGBTQ equality in the workplace and elsewhere.[154] She has also made a point of recognizing transgender rights specifically, saying, “It’s a no-brainer … trans rights are civil rights are human rights.”[155]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

In May 2018, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Israel Defense Forces‘ use of deadly force against Palestinians participating in the 2018 Gaza border protests, calling it a “massacre” in a tweet.[156] In a July 2018 interview with the PBS series Firing Line, Ocasio-Cortez said that she is “a proponent of a two-state solution[157] and called Israel’s presence in the West Bank an “occupation of Palestine“.[158] Her use of the term “occupation” drew backlash from a number of pro-Israel groups and commentators.[159][160] Others defended her remarks, citing the United Nations’ designation of the territory in the West Bank as occupied.[161][162]

Puerto Rico

Ocasio-Cortez has called for “solidarity with Puerto Rico”. She has advocated for granting Puerto Ricans further civil rights, regardless of Puerto Rico’s legal classification. She advocates for voting rights and disaster relief. Ocasio-Cortez was critical of FEMA‘s response to Hurricane Maria and the federal government’s unwillingness to address Puerto Rico’s political status.[163] She believes the federal government should increase investment in Puerto Rico.[119]

Other issues

  • Education: Ocasio-Cortez campaigned in favor of establishing tuition-free public colleges and trade schools. She has said she is still paying off student loans herself and wants to cancel all student debt.[151]
  • Impeachment of President Trump: On June 28, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN she would support the impeachment of President Trump, citing Trump’s alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause and stating that “we have to hold everyone accountable and that no person is above that law.”[164][165]
  • Amazon HQ2: Ocasio-Cortez opposed a planned deal by New York City to give Amazon.com $3 billion in state and city subsidies and tax breaks to build secondary headquarters in an area near her congressional district. Ocasio-Cortez said that they should instead invest the $3 billion in their district themselves.[166][167][168][169]

Awards and honors

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory named the asteroid 23238 Ocasio-Cortez after her when she was a senior in high school in recognition of her second-place finish in the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.[23][24] Ocasio-Cortez was named the 2017 National Hispanic Institute Person of the Year by Ernesto Nieto.[25]

Personal life

Ocasio-Cortez has family in Puerto Rico, where her grandfather lived in a nursing home[163] before dying in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.[170] After Ocasio-Cortez’s father’s death in 2008, her mother and grandmother relocated to Florida due to financial hardship.[18][33]She identifies as Catholic[171] and described her faith and its impact on her life and campaign for criminal justice reform in an article in America, the magazine of the Jesuit order in the United States.[172] Ocasio-Cortez said that she has Sephardic Jewish ancestry, although she does not practice the faith.[171] She has said “to be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of… African Moors [and] slavesTaino Indians, Spanish colonizers, Jewish refugees, and likely others. We are all of these things and something else all at once—we are Boricua.”[20]

During the 2018 election campaign, Ocasio-Cortez resided in Parkchester, Bronx with her boyfriend, Riley Roberts.[5][173][174][175]

See also

References …

Story 4: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDs) Want To Replace The Electoral College With Majority Rule Democracy or Tyranny of The Majority And Lowering The Voting Age To 16 Years Old — Founding Fathers Were Right and Wise in Establishing The Electoral College — American People Vote By State For President of The United States of America — Videos

Warren calls for abolishing Electoral College, moving to national popular vote

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls to abolish Electoral College

Professor makes case for the Electoral College

Professor explains the Electoral College process

Case Against the Electoral College

Elizabeth Warren: Replace Electoral College with Popular Vote

The Electoral College and Its Importance

Now Desperate Dems seek to abolish electoral college & drop voting age to 16

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrMkM1rRvZw]

Top 2020 Candidates Push To Abolish Electoral College and Lower Voting Age To 16 These People Are

Bill Bennett: There’s a reason for the Electoral College

Would election by popular vote be better than the Electoral College?

Do You Understand the Electoral College?

The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College

Levin: Left’s agenda is incompatible with constitutionalism

 

What is the Electoral College?

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/caRt0eHA0Pk?flag=1&enablejsapi=1&origin=www.archives.gov

The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in theConstitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.

The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.

The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators. Read more about the allocation of electoral votes.

Under the 23rd Amendment of the Constitution, the District of Columbia is allocated 3 electors and treated like a state for purposes of the Electoral College. For this reason, in the following discussion, the word “state” also refers to the District of Columbia.

Each candidate running for President in your state has his or her own group of electors. The electors are generally chosen by the candidate’s political party, but state laws vary on how the electors are selected and what their responsibilities are. Read more about the qualifications of the Electors and restrictions on who the Electors may vote for.

The presidential election is held every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. You help choose your state’s electors when you vote for President because when you vote for your candidate you are actually voting for your candidate’s electors.

Most states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all electors to the winning presidential candidate. However, Maine and Nebraska each have a variation of “proportional representation.” Read more about the allocation of Electors among the states and try to predict the outcome of the Electoral College vote.

After the presidential election, your governor prepares a “Certificate of Ascertainment” listing all of the candidates who ran for President in your state along with the names of their respective electors. The Certificate of Ascertainment also declares the winning presidential candidate in your state and shows which electors will represent your state at the meeting of the electors in December of the election year. Your state’s Certificates of Ascertainments are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officialsthe Office of the Federal Register and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

The meeting of the electors takes place on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after the presidential election. The electors meet in their respective states, where they cast their votes for President and Vice President on separate ballots. Your state’s electors’ votes are recorded on a “Certificate of Vote,” which is prepared at the meeting by the electors. Your state’s Certificates of Votes are sent to the Congress and the National Archives as part of the official records of the presidential election. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officials and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

Each state’s electoral votes are counted in a joint session of Congress on the 6th of January in the year following the meeting of the electors. Members of the House and Senate meet in the House chamber to conduct the official tally of electoral votes. See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the role and responsibilities of Congress in the Electoral College process.

The Vice President, as President of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the vote. The President of the Senate then declares which persons, if any, have been elected President and Vice President of the United States.

The President-Elect takes the oath of office and is sworn in as President of the United States on January 20th in the year following the Presidential election.

 

Learn about the Electors

 

Roles and Responsibilities in the Electoral College Process

The Office of the Federal Register coordinates the functions of the Electoral College on behalf of the Archivist of the United States, the States, the Congress, and the American People. The Office of the Federal Register operates as an intermediary between the governors and secretaries of state of the States and the Congress. It also acts as a trusted agent of the Congress in the sense that it is responsible for reviewing the legal sufficiency of the certificates before the House and Senate accept them as evidence of official State action.

See the key dates for the 2016 election and information about the roles and responsibilities of state officialsthe Office of the Federal Register and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Congress in the Electoral College process.

https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

 

United States Electoral College

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Map of the Electoral College for the 2016 presidential election

The United States Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, constituted every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of 270 electoral votes is required to win an election. Pursuant to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, the legislature of each state determines the manner by which its electors are chosen. Each state’s number of electors is equal to the combined total of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.[1][2][3] Additionally, the Twenty-third Amendment provides that the District of Columbia (D.C.) is entitled to a number of electors no greater than that of the least populous state (i.e. 3).[4]

Following the national presidential election day in the first week of November, each state counts its popular votes pursuant to that state’s laws to designate presidential electors. State electors meet in their respective state capitals in December to cast their votes. The results are certified by the states and D.C. to Congress, where they are tabulated nationally in the first week of January before a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives. If a majority of votes are not cast for a candidate, the House resolves itself into a presidential election session with one presidential vote assigned to each of the fifty state delegations, excluding the District of Columbia. The elected president and vice president are inaugurated on January 20. While the electoral vote has given the same result as the popular vote in most elections, this has not been the case in a few elections, including the 2000 and 2016 elections.

The Electoral College system is a matter of ongoing debate, with some defending it and others calling for its abolition. Supporters of the Electoral College argue that it is fundamental to American federalism, that it requires candidates to appeal to voters outside large cities, increases the political influence of small states, discourages the excessive growth of political parties and preserves the two-party system, and makes the electoral outcome appear more legitimate than that of a nationwide popular vote.[5] Opponents of the Electoral College argue that it can result in a person becoming president even though an opponent got more votes (which occurred in two of the five presidential elections from 2000 to 2016); that it causes candidates to focus their campaigning disproportionately in a few “swing states” while ignoring most areas of the country; and that its allocation of Electoral College votes gives citizens in less populated rural states as much as four times the voting power as those in more populous urban states.[6][7][8][9][10]Polls since 1967 have shown that a majority of Americans favor the president and vice president being elected by the nationwide popular vote, instead of by the Electoral College.[11][12]

 

Background

The Constitutional Convention in 1787 used the Virginia Plan as the basis for discussions, as the Virginia proposal was the first. The Virginia Plan called for the Congress to elect the president.[13] Delegates from a majority of states agreed to this mode of election. After being debated, however, delegates came to oppose nomination by congress for the reason that it could violate the separation of powers. James Wilson then made motion for electors for the purpose of choosing the president.[14]

Later in the convention, a committee formed to work out various details including the mode of election of the president, including final recommendations for the electors, a group of people apportioned among the states in the same numbers as their representatives in Congress (the formula for which had been resolved in lengthy debates resulting in the Connecticut Compromise and Three-Fifths Compromise), but chosen by each state “in such manner as its Legislature may direct.” Committee member Gouverneur Morris explained the reasons for the change; among others, there were fears of “intrigue” if the president were chosen by a small group of men who met together regularly, as well as concerns for the independence of the president if he were elected by the Congress.[15]

However, once the Electoral College had been decided on, several delegates (Mason, Butler, Morris, Wilson, and Madison) openly recognized its ability to protect the election process from cabal, corruption, intrigue, and faction. Some delegates, including James Wilson and James Madison, preferred popular election of the executive. Madison acknowledged that while a popular vote would be ideal, it would be difficult to get consensus on the proposal given the prevalence of slavery in the South:

There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.[16]

The Convention approved the Committee’s Electoral College proposal, with minor modifications, on September 6, 1787.[17] Delegates from states with smaller populations or limited land area such as Connecticut, New Jersey, and Maryland generally favored the Electoral College with some consideration for states.[18] At the compromise providing for a runoff among the top five candidates, the small states supposed that the House of Representatives with each state delegation casting one vote would decide most elections.[19]

In The Federalist PapersJames Madison explained his views on the selection of the president and the Constitution. In Federalist No. 39, Madison argued the Constitution was designed to be a mixture of state-based and population-based government. Congress would have two houses: the state-based Senate and the population-based House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the president would be elected by a mixture of the two modes.[20]

Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 68 laid out what he believed were the key advantages to the Electoral College. The electors come directly from the people and them alone for that purpose only, and for that time only. This avoided a party-run legislature, or a permanent body that could be influenced by foreign interests before each election.[21] Hamilton explained the election was to take place among all the states, so no corruption in any state could taint “the great body of the people” in their selection. The choice was to be made by a majority of the Electoral College, as majority rule is critical to the principles of republican government. Hamilton argued that electors meeting in the state capitals were able to have information unavailable to the general public. Hamilton also argued that since no federal officeholder could be an elector, none of the electors would be beholden to any presidential candidate.[21]

Another consideration was the decision would be made without “tumult and disorder” as it would be a broad-based one made simultaneously in various locales where the decision-makers could deliberate reasonably, not in one place where decision-makers could be threatened or intimidated. If the Electoral College did not achieve a decisive majority, then the House of Representatives was to choose the president from among the top five candidates,[22] ensuring selection of a presiding officer administering the laws would have both ability and good character. Hamilton was also concerned about somebody unqualified, but with a talent for “low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” attaining high office.[21]

Additionally, in the Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued against “an interested and overbearing majority” and the “mischiefs of faction” in an electoral system. He defined a faction as “a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” What was then called republican government (i.e., representative democracy, as opposed to direct democracy) combined with the principles of federalism (with distribution of voter rights and separation of government powers) would countervail against factions. Madison further postulated in the Federalist No. 10 that the greater the population and expanse of the Republic, the more difficulty factions would face in organizing due to such issues as sectionalism.[23]

Although the United States Constitution refers to “Electors” and “electors”, neither the phrase “Electoral College” nor any other name is used to describe the electors collectively. It was not until the early 19th century the name “Electoral College” came into general usage as the collective designation for the electors selected to cast votes for president and vice president. The phrase was first written into federal law in 1845 and today the term appears in 3 U.S.C. § 4, in the section heading and in the text as “college of electors.”[24]

History

Historically, the state legislatures chose the electors in more than half the states. That practice changed during the early 19th century, as states extended the right to vote to wider segments of the population. By 1832, only South Carolina had not transitioned to popular election. Since 1880, the electors in every state have been chosen based on a popular election held on Election Day.[1] The popular election for electors means the president and vice president are in effect chosen through indirect election by the citizens.[25] Since the mid-19th century when all electors have been popularly chosen, the Electoral College has elected the candidate who received the most popular votes nationwide, except in four elections: 187618882000, and 2016. In 1824, there were six states in which electors were legislatively appointed, rather than popularly elected, so the true national popular vote is uncertain; the electors failed to select a winning candidate, so the matter was decided by the House of Representatives.[26]

Original plan

Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution states:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 4 of the Constitution states:

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing [sic] the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution provided the original plan by which the electors voted for president. Under the original plan, each elector cast two votes for president; electors did not vote for vice president. Whoever received a majority of votes from the electors would become president, with the person receiving the second most votes becoming vice president.

The original plan of the Electoral College was based upon several assumptions and anticipations of the Framers of the Constitution:[27]

  1. Choice of the president should reflect the “sense of the people” at a particular time, not the dictates of a cabal in a “pre-established body” such as Congress or the State legislatures, and independent of the influence of “foreign powers”.[28]
  2. The choice would be made decisively with a “full and fair expression of the public will” but also maintaining “as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder”.[29]
  3. Individual electors would be elected by citizens on a district-by-district basis. Voting for president would include the widest electorate allowed in each state.[30]
  4. Each presidential elector would exercise independent judgment when voting, deliberating with the most complete information available in a system that over time, tended to bring about a good administration of the laws passed by Congress.[31]
  5. Candidates would not pair together on the same ticket with assumed placements toward each office of president and vice president.
  6. The system as designed would rarely produce a winner, thus sending the presidential election to the House of Representatives.

According to the text of Article II, however, each state government was free to have its own plan for selecting its electors, and the Constitution does not explicitly require states to popularly elect their electors. Several methods for selecting electors are described below.

Breakdown and revision

The emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns soon complicated matters in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, Federalist Party candidate John Adams won the presidential election. Finishing in second place was Democratic-Republican Party candidate Thomas Jefferson, the Federalists’ opponent, who became the vice president. This resulted in the president and vice president being of different political parties.

In 1800, the Democratic-Republican Party again nominated Jefferson for president and also nominated Aaron Burr for vice president. After the election, Jefferson and Burr tied one another with 73 electoral votes each. Since ballots did not distinguish between votes for president and votes for vice president, every ballot cast for Burr technically counted as a vote for him to become president, despite Jefferson clearly being his party’s first choice. Lacking a clear winner by constitutional standards, the election had to be decided by the House of Representatives pursuant to the Constitution’s contingency election provision.

Having already lost the presidential contest, Federalist Party representatives in the lame duck House session seized upon the opportunity to embarrass their opposition by attempting to elect Burr over Jefferson. The House deadlocked for 35 ballots as neither candidate received the necessary majority vote of the state delegations in the House (the votes of nine states were needed for a conclusive election). Jefferson achieved electoral victory on the 36th ballot, but only after Federalist Party leader Alexander Hamilton—who disfavored Burr’s personal character more than Jefferson’s policies—had made known his preference for Jefferson.

Responding to the problems from those elections, the Congress proposed on December 9, 1803, and three-fourths of the states ratified by June 15, 1804, the Twelfth Amendment. Starting with the 1804 election, the amendment requires electors cast separate ballots for president and vice president, replacing the system outlined in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3.

Evolution to the general ticket

Alexander Hamilton described the Founding Fathers’ view of how electors would be chosen:

A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated [tasks].[32]

They assumed this would take place district by district. That plan was carried out by many states until the 1880s. For example, in Massachusetts in 1820, the rule stated “the people shall vote by ballot, on which shall be designated who is voted for as an Elector for the district.”[33] In other words, the people did not place the name of a candidate for a president on the ballot, instead they voted for their local elector, whom they trusted later to cast a responsible vote for president.

Some states reasoned that the favorite presidential candidate among the people in their state would have a much better chance if all of the electors selected by their state were sure to vote the same way—a “general ticket” of electors pledged to a party candidate.[34] So the slate of electors chosen by the state were no longer free agents, independent thinkers, or deliberative representatives. They became “voluntary party lackeys and intellectual non-entities.”[35] Once one state took that strategy, the others felt compelled to follow suit in order to compete for the strongest influence on the election.[34]

When James Madison and Hamilton, two of the most important architects of the Electoral College, saw this strategy being taken by some states, they protested strongly. Madison and Hamilton both made it clear this approach violated the spirit of the Constitution. According to Hamilton, the selection of the president should be “made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station [of president].”[32] According to Hamilton, the electors were to analyze the list of potential presidents and select the best one. He also used the term “deliberate”. Hamilton considered a pre-pledged elector to violate the spirit of Article II of the Constitution insofar as such electors could make no “analysis” or “deliberate” concerning the candidates. Madison agreed entirely, saying that when the Constitution was written, all of its authors assumed individual electors would be elected in their districts and it was inconceivable a “general ticket” of electors dictated by a state would supplant the concept. Madison wrote to George Hay:

The district mode was mostly, if not exclusively in view when the Constitution was framed and adopted; & was exchanged for the general ticket [many years later].[36]

The Founding Fathers assumed that electors would be elected by the citizens of their district and that elector was to be free to analyze and deliberate regarding who is best suited to be president.

Madison and Hamilton were so upset by what they saw as a distortion of the original intent that they advocated a constitutional amendment to prevent anything other than the district plan: “the election of Presidential Electors by districts, is an amendment very proper to be brought forward,” Madison told George Hay in 1823.[36] Hamilton went further. He actually drafted an amendment to the Constitution mandating the district plan for selecting electors.[37]

Evolution of selection plans

In 1789, at-large popular vote, the winner-take-all method, began with Pennsylvania and Maryland; Virginia and Delaware used a district plan by popular vote, and in the five other states participating in the election (Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and South Carolina),[38] state legislatures chose. By 1800, Virginia and Rhode Island voted at-large, Kentucky, Maryland, and North Carolina voted popularly by district, and eleven states voted by state legislature. Beginning in 1804 there was a definite trend towards the winner-take-all system for statewide popular vote.[39]

By 1832, only South Carolina chose their electors this way, and it abandoned the method after 1860.[39] States using popular vote by district have included ten states from all regions of the country. By 1832, there was only Maryland, and from 1836 district plans fell out of use until the 20th century, though Michigan used a district plan for 1892 only.[40]

Since 1836, statewide winner-take-all popular voting for electors has been the almost universal practice. As of 2016, Maine (from 1972) and Nebraska (from 1996) use the district plan, with two at-large electors assigned to support the winner of the statewide popular vote.[41]

Fourteenth Amendment

Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment allows for a state’s representation in the House of Representatives to be reduced if a state unconstitutionally denies people the right to vote. The reduction is in keeping with the proportion of people denied a vote. This amendment refers to “the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States” among other elections, the only place in the Constitution mentioning electors being selected by popular vote.

On May 8, 1866, during a debate on the Fourteenth Amendment, Thaddeus Stevens, the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, delivered a speech on the amendment’s intent. Regarding Section 2, he said:[42]

The second section I consider the most important in the article. It fixes the basis of representation in Congress. If any State shall exclude any of her adult male citizens from the elective franchise, or abridge that right, she shall forfeit her right to representation in the same proportion. The effect of this provision will be either to compel the States to grant universal suffrage or so shear them of their power as to keep them forever in a hopeless minority in the national Government, both legislative and executive.[43]

Federal law (2 U.S.C. § 6) implements Section 2’s mandate.

Meeting of electors

Since 1936, federal law has provided that the electors in all the states and the District of Columbia, meet “on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment” to vote for president and vice president.[44][45]

Under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, all elected and appointed federal officials are prohibited from being electors. The Office of the Federal Register is charged with administering the Electoral College.[46]

After the vote, each state then sends a certified record of their electoral votes to Congress. The votes of the electors are opened during a joint session of Congress, held in the first week of January, and read aloud by the incumbent vice president, acting in his capacity as President of the Senate. If any person received an absolute majority of electoral votes that person is declared the winner.[47] If there is a tie, or if no candidate for either or both offices receives a majority, then choice falls to Congress in a procedure known as contingent election.

Modern mechanics

The 2012 Certificate of Vote issued by Maryland’s delegation to the Electoral College

Summary

Even though the aggregate national popular vote is calculated by state officials, media organizations, and the Federal Election Commission, the people only indirectly elect the president, as the national popular vote is not the basis for electing the president or vice president. The president and vice president of the United States are elected by the Electoral College, which consists of 538 presidential electors from the fifty states and Washington, D.C.Presidential electors are selected on a state-by-state basis, as determined by the laws of each state. Since the election of 1824,[48] most states have appointed their electors on a winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election DayMaine and Nebraska are the only two current exceptions, as both states use the congressional district method. Although ballots list the names of the presidential and vice presidential candidates (who run on a ticket), voters actually choose electors when they vote for president and vice president. These presidential electors in turn cast electoral votes for those two offices. Electors usually pledge to vote for their party’s nominee, but some “faithless electors” have voted for other candidates or refrained from voting.

A candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (currently 270) to win the presidency or the vice presidency. If no candidate receives a majority in the election for president or vice president, the election is determined via a contingency procedure established by the Twelfth Amendment. In such a situation, the House chooses one of the top three presidential electoral vote-winners as the president, while the Senate chooses one of the top two vice presidential electoral vote-winners as vice president.

Electors

Apportionment

State population per electoral vote for the 50 states and Washington D.C.

A state’s number of electors equals the number of representatives plus two electors for both senators the state has in the United States Congress.[49][50] The number of representatives is based on the respective populations, determined every 10 years by the United States Census. Each representative represents on average 711,000 persons.[51]

Under the Twenty-third AmendmentWashington, D.C., is allocated as many electors as it would have if it were a state, but no more electors than the least populous state. The least populous state (which is Wyoming, according to the 2010 census) has three electors; thus, D.C. cannot have more than three electors. Even if D.C. were a state, its population would entitle it to only three electors; based on its population per electoral vote, D.C. has the second highest per capita Electoral College representation, after Wyoming.[52]

Currently, there are 538 electors; based on 435 representatives, 100 senators, and three electors allocated to Washington, D.C. The six states with the most electors are California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), and Pennsylvania (20). The seven least populous states—AlaskaDelawareMontanaNorth DakotaSouth DakotaVermont, and Wyoming—have three electors each. This is because each of these states has one representative and two senators.

Nomination

The custom of allowing recognized political parties to select a slate of prospective electors developed early. In contemporary practice, each presidential-vice presidential ticket has an associated slate of potential electors. Then on Election Day, the voters select a ticket and thereby select the associated electors.[1]

Candidates for elector are nominated by state chapters of nationally oriented political parties in the months prior to Election Day. In some states, the electors are nominated by voters in primaries, the same way other presidential candidates are nominated. In some states, such as OklahomaVirginia and North Carolina, electors are nominated in party conventions. In Pennsylvania, the campaign committee of each candidate names their respective electoral college candidates (an attempt to discourage faithless electors). Varying by state, electors may also be elected by state legislatures, or appointed by the parties themselves.[53]

Selection

Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution requires each state legislature to determine how electors for the state are to be chosen, but it disqualifies any person holding a federal office, either elected or appointed, from being an elector.[54] Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, any person who has sworn an oath to support the United States Constitution in order to hold either a state or federal office, and later rebelled against the United States directly or by giving assistance to those doing so, is disqualified from being an elector. However, the Congress may remove this disqualification by a two-thirds vote in each House.

Since the Civil War, all states have chosen presidential electors by popular vote. This process has been normalized to the point the names of the electors appear on the ballot in only eight states: Rhode Island, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota.[55][56]

Since 1996, all but two states have followed the winner takes all method of allocating electors by which every person named on the slate for the ticket winning the statewide popular vote are named as presidential electors.[57][58] Maine and Nebraska are the only states not using this method. In those states, the winner of the popular vote in each of its congressional districts is awarded one elector, and the winner of the statewide vote is then awarded the state’s remaining two electors.[57][59]

The Tuesday following the first Monday in November has been fixed as the day for holding federal elections, called the Election Day.[60] In 48 states and Washington, D.C., the “winner-takes-all method” is used (electors selected as a single bloc). Maine and Nebraska use the “congressional district method”, selecting one elector within each congressional district by popular vote and selecting the remaining two electors by a statewide popular vote. This method has been used in Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996.[61]

The current system of choosing electors is called the “short ballot”. In most states, voters choose a slate of electors, and only a few states list on the ballot the names of proposed electors. In some states, if a voter wants to write in a candidate for president, the voter is also required to write in the names of proposed electors.

After the election, each state prepares seven Certificates of Ascertainment, each listing the candidates for president and vice president, their pledged electors, and the total votes each candidacy received.[62] One certificate is sent, as soon after Election Day as practicable, to the National Archivist in Washington D.C. The Certificates of Ascertainment are mandated to carry the State Seal, and the signature of the Governor (in the case of the District of Columbia, the Certificate is signed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia.[63])

Meetings

Certificate for the electoral votes for Rutherford B. Hayes and William A. Wheeler for the State of Louisiana (1876)

The Electoral College never meets as one body. Electors meet in their respective state capitals (electors for the District of Columbia meet within the District) on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December, at which time they cast their electoral votes on separate ballots for president and vice president.[64][65][66]

Although procedures in each state vary slightly, the electors generally follow a similar series of steps, and the Congress has constitutional authority to regulate the procedures the states follow. The meeting is opened by the election certification official – often that state’s secretary of state or equivalent – who reads the Certificate of Ascertainment. This document sets forth who was chosen to cast the electoral votes. The attendance of the electors is taken and any vacancies are noted in writing. The next step is the selection of a president or chairman of the meeting, sometimes also with a vice chairman. The electors sometimes choose a secretary, often not himself an elector, to take the minutes of the meeting. In many states, political officials give short speeches at this point in the proceedings.

When the time for balloting arrives, the electors choose one or two people to act as tellers. Some states provide for the placing in nomination of a candidate to receive the electoral votes (the candidate for president of the political party of the electors). Each elector submits a written ballot with the name of a candidate for president. In New Jersey, the electors cast ballots by checking the name of the candidate on a pre-printed card; in North Carolina, the electors write the name of the candidate on a blank card. The tellers count the ballots and announce the result. The next step is the casting of the vote for vice president, which follows a similar pattern.

Each state’s electors must complete six Certificates of Vote. Each Certificate of Vote must be signed by all of the electors and a Certificate of Ascertainment must be attached to each of the Certificates of Vote. Each Certificate of Vote must include the names of those who received an electoral vote for either the office of president or of vice president. The electors certify the Certificates of Vote and copies of the Certificates are then sent in the following fashion:[67]

A staff member of the President of the Senate collects the Certificates of Vote as they arrive and prepares them for the joint session of the Congress. The Certificates are arranged – unopened – in alphabetical order and placed in two special mahogany boxes. Alabama through Missouri (including the District of Columbia) are placed in one box and Montana through Wyoming are placed in the other box.[68] Before 1950, the Secretary of State’s office oversaw the certifications, but since then the Office of Federal Register in the Archivist’s office reviews them to make sure the documents sent to the archive and Congress match and that all formalities have been followed, sometimes requiring states to correct the documents.[46]

Faithlessness

An elector may vote for whomever he or she wishes for each office provided that at least one of their votes (president or vice president) is for a person who is not a resident of the same state as themselves.[69] But “faithless electors” are those who either cast electoral votes for someone other than the candidate of the party that they pledged to vote for or who abstain. Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have passed laws to punish faithless electors, although none have ever been enforced. Many constitutional scholars claim that state restrictions would be struck down if challenged based on Article II and the Twelfth Amendment.[70] In 1952, the constitutionality of state pledge laws was brought before the Supreme Court in Ray v. Blair343 U.S. 214 (1952).

Some states, however, do have laws requiring that state’s electors to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. Electors who break their pledge are called “faithless electors.” Only once, in 1836, has an election’s outcome been influenced by faithless electors. In that instance, Virginia’s 23 electors were pledged to vote for Richard Mentor Johnson to be vice-president, but instead voted for former South Carolina senator William Smith, leaving Johnson one vote short of the majority needed to be elected. In accordance with the Twelfth Amendment, the Senate then chose between the top two receivers of electoral votes for vice-president, electing Johnson on the first ballot. Over the course of 58 presidential elections since 1789, only 0.67% of all electors have been unfaithful.[71]

The Court ruled in favor of state laws requiring electors to pledge to vote for the winning candidate, as well as removing electors who refuse to pledge. As stated in the ruling, electors are acting as a functionary of the state, not the federal government. Therefore, states have the right to govern the process of choosing electors. The constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote, rather than refusing to pledge, has never been decided by the Supreme Court. However, in his dissent in Ray v. Blair, Justice Robert Jackson wrote: “no one faithful to our history can deny that the plan originally contemplated what is implicit in its text—that electors would be free agents, to exercise an independent and nonpartisan judgment as to the men best qualified for the Nation’s highest offices.”

While many laws punish a faithless elector only after the fact, states like Michigan also specify a faithless elector’s vote be voided.[72]

As electoral slates are typically chosen by the political party or the party’s presidential nominee, electors usually have high loyalty to the party and its candidate: a faithless elector runs a greater risk of party censure than of criminal charges.

In 2000, elector Barbara Lett-Simmons of Washington, D.C., chose not to vote, rather than voting for Al Gore as she had pledged to do.[73] In 2016, seven electors voted contrary to their pledges. Faithless electors have never changed the outcome of any presidential election.[74]

Joint session of Congress

The Twelfth Amendment mandates Congress assemble in joint session to count the electoral votes and declare the winners of the election.[75] The session is ordinarily required to take place on January 6 in the calendar year immediately following the meetings of the presidential electors.[76] Since the Twentieth Amendment, the newly elected Congress declares the winner of the election; all elections before 1936 were determined by the outgoing House.

The Office of the Federal Register is charged with administering the Electoral College.[46] The meeting is held at 1 p.m. in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives.[76] The sitting vice president is expected to preside, but in several cases the president pro tempore of the Senate has chaired the proceedings. The vice president and the Speaker of the House sit at the podium, with the vice president in the seat of the Speaker of the House. Senate pages bring in the two mahogany boxes containing each state’s certified vote and place them on tables in front of the senators and representatives. Each house appoints two tellers to count the vote (normally one member of each political party). Relevant portions of the Certificate of Vote are read for each state, in alphabetical order.

Members of Congress can object to any state’s vote count, provided objection is presented in writing and is signed by at least one member of each house of Congress. An objection supported by at least one senator and one representative will be followed by the suspension of the joint session and by separate debates and votes in each House of Congress; after both Houses deliberate on the objection, the joint session is resumed. A state’s certificate of vote can be rejected only if both Houses of Congress vote to accept the objection. In that case, the votes from the State in question are simply ignored. The votes of Arkansas and Louisiana were rejected in the presidential election of 1872.[77]

Objections to the electoral vote count are rarely raised, although it did occur during the vote count in 2001 after the close 2000 presidential election between Governor George W. Bush of Texas and the vice president of the United States, Al Gore. Gore, who as vice president was required to preside over his own Electoral College defeat (by five electoral votes), denied the objections, all of which were raised by only several representatives and would have favored his candidacy, after no senators would agree to jointly object. Objections were again raised in the vote count of the 2004 elections, and on that occasion the document was presented by one representative and one senator. Although the joint session was suspended, the objections were quickly disposed of and rejected by both Houses of Congress. If there are no objections or all objections are overruled, the presiding officer simply includes a state’s votes, as declared in the certificate of vote, in the official tally.

After the certificates from all states are read and the respective votes are counted, the presiding officer simply announces the final result of the vote and, provided the required absolute majority of votes was achieved, declares the names of the persons elected president and vice president. This announcement concludes the joint session and formalizes the recognition of the president-elect and of the vice president-elect. The senators then depart from the House Chamber. The final tally is printed in the Senate and House journals.

Contingencies

Contingent presidential election by House

The Twelfth Amendment requires the House of Representatives to go into session immediately to vote for a president if no candidate for president receives a majority of the electoral votes (since 1964, 270 of the 538 electoral votes).

In this event, the House of Representatives is limited to choosing from among the three candidates who received the most electoral votes for president. Each state delegation votes en bloc—each delegation having a single vote; the District of Columbia does not get to vote. A candidate must receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes (i.e., at present, a minimum of 26 votes) in order for that candidate to become the president-elect. Additionally, delegations from at least two thirds of all the states must be present for voting to take place. The House continues balloting until it elects a president.

The House of Representatives has chosen the president only twice: in 1801 under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3; and in 1825 under the Twelfth Amendment.

Contingent vice presidential election by Senate

If no candidate for vice president receives an absolute majority of electoral votes, then the Senate must go into session to elect a vice president. The Senate is limited to choosing from the two candidates who received the most electoral votes for vice president. Normally this would mean two candidates, one less than the number of candidates available in the House vote. However, the text is written in such a way that all candidates with the most and second most electoral votes are eligible for the Senate election – this number could theoretically be larger than two. The Senate votes in the normal manner in this case (i.e., ballots are individually cast by each senator, not by state delegations). However, two-thirds of the senators must be present for voting to take place.

Additionally, the Twelfth Amendment states a “majority of the whole number” of senators (currently 51 of 100) is necessary for election.[78] Further, the language requiring an absolute majority of Senate votes precludes the sitting vice president from breaking any tie that might occur,[79] although some academics and journalists have speculated to the contrary.[80]

The only time the Senate chose the vice president was in 1837. In that instance, the Senate adopted an alphabetical roll call and voting aloud. The rules further stated, “[I]f a majority of the number of senators shall vote for either the said Richard M. Johnson or Francis Granger, he shall be declared by the presiding officer of the Senate constitutionally elected Vice President of the United States”; the Senate chose Johnson.[81]

Deadlocked election

Section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment specifies if the House of Representatives has not chosen a president-elect in time for the inauguration (noon EST on January 20), then the vice president-elect becomes acting president until the House selects a president. Section 3 also specifies Congress may statutorily provide for who will be acting president if there is neither a president-elect nor a vice president-elect in time for the inauguration. Under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the Speaker of the House would become acting president until either the House selects a president or the Senate selects a vice president. Neither of these situations has ever occurred.

Current electoral vote distribution

Electoral votes (EV) allocations for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.[82]
Triangular markers (IncreaseDecrease) indicate gains or losses following the 2010 Census.[83]
EV × States States*
55 × 1 = 55 California
38 × 1 = 38 IncreaseIncreaseIncreaseIncreaseTexas
29 × 2 = 58 IncreaseIncreaseFlorida, DecreaseDecreaseNew York
20 × 2 = 40 DecreaseIllinois, DecreasePennsylvania
18 × 1 = 18 DecreaseDecreaseOhio
16 × 2 = 32 IncreaseGeorgia, DecreaseMichigan
15 × 1 = 15 North Carolina
14 × 1 = 14 DecreaseNew Jersey
13 × 1 = 13 Virginia
12 × 1 = 12 IncreaseWashington
11 × 4 = 44 IncreaseArizona, Indiana, DecreaseMassachusetts, Tennessee
10 × 4 = 40 Maryland, Minnesota, DecreaseMissouri, Wisconsin
9 × 3 = 27 Alabama, Colorado, IncreaseSouth Carolina
8 × 2 = 16 Kentucky, DecreaseLouisiana
7 × 3 = 21 Connecticut, Oklahoma, Oregon
6 × 6 = 36 Arkansas, DecreaseIowa, Kansas, Mississippi, IncreaseNevada, IncreaseUtah
5 × 3 = 15 Nebraska**, New Mexico, West Virginia
4 × 5 = 20 Hawaii, Idaho, Maine**, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
3 × 8 = 24 Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming
= 538 Total electors
The Twenty-third Amendment grants electors to DC as if it were a state, but not more than the least populous state. This has always been three.
** Maine’s four electors and Nebraska’s five are distributed using the Congressional district method.

Chronological table

Number of presidential electors by state and year
Election
year
1788–1800 1804–1900 1904–2000 2004–
’88 ’92 ’96
’00
’04
’08
’12 ’16 ’20 ’24
’28
’32 ’36
’40
’44 ’48 ’52
’56
’60 ’64 ’68 ’72 ’76
’80
’84
’88
’92 ’96
’00
’04 ’08 ’12
’16
’20
’24
’28
’32
’36
’40
’44
’48
’52
’56
’60 ’64
’68
’72
’76
’80
’84
’88
’92
’96
’00
’04
’08
’12
’16
’20
# Total 81 135 138 176 218 221 235 261 288 294 275 290 296 303 234 294 366 369 401 444 447 476 483 531 537 538
State
22 Alabama 3 5 7 7 9 9 9 9 0 8 10 10 10 11 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 11 10 9 9 9 9 9
49 Alaska 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
48 Arizona 3 3 4 4 4 5 6 7 8 10 11
25 Arkansas 3 3 3 4 4 0 5 6 6 7 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 6 6 6 6 6 6
31 California 4 4 5 5 6 6 8 9 9 10 10 13 22 25 32 32 40 45 47 54 55 55
38 Colorado 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 8 8 9 9
5 Connecticut 7 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7
D.C. 3 3 3 3 3 3
1 Delaware 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
27 Florida 3 3 3 0 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 7 8 10 10 14 17 21 25 27 29
4 Georgia 5 4 4 6 8 8 8 9 11 11 10 10 10 10 0 9 11 11 12 13 13 13 13 14 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 15 16
50 Hawaii 3 4 4 4 4 4 4
43 Idaho 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
21 Illinois 3 3 5 5 9 9 11 11 16 16 21 21 22 24 24 27 27 29 29 28 27 27 26 26 24 22 21 20
19 Indiana 3 3 5 9 9 12 12 13 13 13 13 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 14 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
29 Iowa 4 4 4 8 8 11 11 13 13 13 13 13 13 11 10 10 10 9 8 8 7 7 6
34 Kansas 3 3 5 5 9 10 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 8 7 7 7 6 6 6
15 Kentucky 4 4 8 12 12 12 14 15 15 12 12 12 12 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 11 11 10 10 9 9 9 8 8 8
18 Louisiana 3 3 3 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 0 7 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 9 8
23 Maine 9 9 10 10 9 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4
7