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Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

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Breaking News, Story 1: Democrats Distracting Destruction Derby at Senate Judiciary Committee For Nomination Hearing of Judge Brett Kavanaugh For Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States —  — Kavanuagh Will Be Confirmed — Resistance Is Futile Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Video

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CHAOS: KAVANAUGH HEARINGS KICK OFF WITH BELLIGERENT, SHRIEKING DEMOCRATIC HECKLERS, CALLS TO ADJOURN

Grassley: ‘We will continue as planned’

 

As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), attempted to call the hearings to order, hecklers almost immediately began heckling the lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) promptly interrupted Grassley, demanding a delay to the hearings. Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minn.) then followed up with another call to delay the hearings. The Democratic lawmakers were upset over documents the White House released last night, which they said came too late.

“We cannot possibly move forward,” Sen. Kamala Harris said. Sen. Blumenthal then moved to adjourn the meeting, a call which received a roaring ovation from the hecklers.

Watch above to witness the circus in full swing.

Below is a transcript:

GRASSLEY: “Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— Brett Kavanaugh –”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— to serve as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night less than 15 hours ago —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, regular order.”
HARRIS: “— 42.000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze.”
GRASSLEY: “You are out of order. I will proceed.”
HARRIS: “We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman. We have not been given the opportunity to have a meaningful hearing with Congress nominee–“[cross-talk]
GRASSLEY: “I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh, to his wife Ashley, their two daughters –[cross-talk]
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I agree with my colleague, senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42.000 documents tat we haven’t been able to review  —”
GRASSLEY: “— And everyone else joining us today.”
UNKNOWN: ” and we believe this hearing should be postponed —”
GRASSLEY: “I know this is an exciting day for all of you here and your you’re rightly proud —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, if we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn.”
GRASSLEY: “— From Judge Kavanaugh —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise —” (Audience cheering)
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, we have been denied the real access to the documents we need —[cross-talk] which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms and, Mr. Cha

As the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), attempted to call the hearings to order, hecklers almost immediately began heckling the lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) promptly interrupted Grassley, demanding a delay to the hearings. Sen. Klobuchar (D-Minn.) then followed up with another call to delay the hearings. The Democratic lawmakers were upset over documents the White House released last night, which they said came too late.

“We cannot possibly move forward,” Sen. Kamala Harris said. Sen. Blumenthal then moved to adjourn the meeting, a call which received a roaring ovation from the hecklers.

Watch above to witness the circus in full swing.

Below is a transcript:

GRASSLEY: “Good morning. I welcome everyone to this confirmation hearing on the nomination of —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— Brett Kavanaugh –”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman.”
GRASSLEY: “— to serve as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized for a question before we proceed. Mr. Chairman, I’d like to be recognized to ask a question before we proceed. The committee received just last night less than 15 hours ago —“
HARRIS: “Mr. Chairman, regular order.”
HARRIS: “— 42.000 pages of documents that we have not had an opportunity to review or read or analyze.”
GRASSLEY: “You are out of order. I will proceed.”
HARRIS: “We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman. We have not been given the opportunity to have a meaningful hearing with Congress nominee–“[cross-talk]
GRASSLEY: “I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh, to his wife Ashley, their two daughters –[cross-talk]
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I agree with my colleague, senator Harris. Mr. Chairman, we received 42.000 documents tat we haven’t been able to review  —”
GRASSLEY: “— And everyone else joining us today.”
UNKNOWN: ” and we believe this hearing should be postponed —”
GRASSLEY: “I know this is an exciting day for all of you here and your you’re rightly proud —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, if we cannot be recognized I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn.”
GRASSLEY: “— From Judge Kavanaugh —”
UNKNOWN: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. Mr. Chairman, we have been denied real access to the documents we need to advise —” (Audience cheering)
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, we have been denied the real access to the documents we need —[cross-talk] which turns this hearing into a charade and a mockery of our norms and, Mr. Chairman, I therefore move to adjourn this hearing.”
AUDIENCE: “This is a mockery. This is a travesty of justice. Cancel Brett Kavanaugh, adjourn the hearing. [ indecipherable].”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I ask for a roll call vote on my motion to adjourn.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “‘[indecipherable]'”
GRASSLEY: “Okay.”
BLUMENTHAL: “Mr. Chairman, I move to adjourn. I ask for a roll call vote.”
GRASSLEY: “We are not in executive session. We will continue as planned.”

RELATED: 

— Cory Booker Demands Cancellation of Kavanaugh Hearings: ‘This Committee Is a Violation’

— Hecklers Continue to Interrupt Start of Brett Kavanaugh Hearing

— More Chaos as Sen. Blumenthal Interrupts His Colleague Feinstein During Kavanaugh Hearings

— Sen. Tillis Reads Report Debunking Dems’ Docs Argument: Plans to Disrupt Were Already in Place

https://news.grabien.com/story-kavanaugh-hearings-kick-belligerent-shrieking-hecklers

 

Brett Kavanaugh

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Brett Kavanaugh
Judge Brett Kavanaugh.jpg
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Assumed office
May 30, 2006
Appointed by George W. Bush
Preceded by Laurence Silberman
White House Staff Secretary
In office
June 6, 2003 – May 30, 2006
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Harriet Miers
Succeeded by Raul F. Yanes
Personal details
Born Brett Michael Kavanaugh
February 12, 1965 (age 53)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Ashley Estes (m. 2004)
Children 2[1]
Education Yale University (BAJD)

Brett Michael Kavanaugh (born February 12, 1965) is a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Kavanaugh has been nominated to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The American Bar Association (ABA) unanimously gave him its highest rating.

Kavanaugh previously was White House Staff Secretary during the presidency of George W. Bush.

As an attorney working for Ken Starr, Kavanaugh played a lead role in drafting the Starr Report, which urged the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.[2] Kavanaugh led the investigation into the suicide of Clinton aide Vince Foster. After the 2000 U.S. presidential election (in which Kavanaugh worked for the George W. Bush campaign in the Florida recount), Kavanaugh joined Bush’s staff, where he led the administration’s effort to identify and confirm judicial nominees.[3]

Kavanaugh was first nominated to the Court of Appeals by Bush in 2003. His confirmation hearings were contentious and stalled for three years over charges of partisanship. Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed in May 2006 after a series of negotiations between Democratic and Republican U.S. Senators.[4][5][6]

On July 9, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States following the vacancy created by the pending retirement of Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy.[7][8] Trump and his advisors reportedly viewed Kavanaugh as “a stalwart originalist“.[9][10]

Early life and education

Kavanaugh was born on February 12, 1965, in Washington, D.C., and raised in BethesdaMaryland, the son of Martha Gamble (Murphy) and Everett Edward Kavanaugh Jr.[11][12] His mother was a history teacher at Woodson and McKinley high schools in Washington in the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her law degree from Washington College of Law in 1978 and served as a Maryland state Circuit Court Judge from 1995 to 2001.[13][14] His father was the president of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association for two decades.[15]

Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School, where he was two years senior to Justice Neil Gorsuch.[16][17] He then graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts and from Yale Law School with a Juris Doctor degree in 1990. There, he lived in a dilapidated group house with future-Judge James E. Boasberg and became a basketball partner of Professor George L. Priest, who was the sponsor of the school’s Federalist Society.[18] He was a Notes Editor for the Yale Law Journal.[19]

Early legal career (1990–2006)

Kavanaugh first worked as a law clerk for Judge Walter King Stapleton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[18] During Kavanaugh’s clerkship, Stapleton wrote the majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Third Circuit upheld many of Pennsylvania’s abortion restrictions.[18] Priest recommended Kavanaugh to Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, who was regarded as a feeder judge.[18]

After clerking for Judge Kozinski, Kavanaugh next interviewed with Chief Justice William Rehnquist, but he was not offered a clerkship.[18]

Kavanaugh then earned a one-year fellowship with the Solicitor General of the United StatesKen Starr.[20] Kavanaugh next clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, working alongside his high school classmate Neil Gorsuch and with future-Judge Gary Feinerman.[16]

Kavanaugh with President George W. Bush and other White House staffers in 2001. Kavanaugh is seated directly to the left of Bush.

After his Supreme Court clerkship, Kavanaugh worked for Ken Starr again as an Associate Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel, where his colleagues included Rod Rosenstein and Alex Azar.[21] In that capacity, he handled a number of the novel constitutional and legal issues presented during the Vincent Foster investigation.[21][22][23] In Swidler & Berlin v. United States (1998), Kavanaugh argued his first and only case before the Supreme Court when he asked it to disregard attorney–client privilege in relation to the investigation of Foster’s death.[24] The Supreme Court rejected Kavanaugh’s arguments by a vote of 6–3.[25]

Kavanaugh was a principal author of the Starr Report to Congress on the Monica LewinskyBill Clinton sex scandal.[21] He urged Starr to ask the president sexually graphic questions and argued on broad grounds for the impeachment of Bill Clinton,[26][27] describing Clinton as being involved in “a conspiracy to obstruct justice”, having “disgraced his office” and “lied to the American people”.[28]

Kavanaugh was later a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis.[20] While there in 2000, he was pro bono counsel of record for relatives of Elián González, a six-year-old rescued Cuban boy while Jeffery M. Leving spearheaded the amicus brief for the boy. After the boy’s mother’s death at sea, members of the extended family in the U.S. wanted to keep him from returning to the care of his sole surviving parent, his father in Cuba. The district court, the Circuit Court and the Supreme Court all followed precedent, refusing to block the boy’s return to his home.[29] In addition, Kavanaugh authored two amicus briefs supporting religious activities and expressions in public places.[29]

After George W. Bush became president in 2001, Kavanaugh was hired as an associate by the White House CounselAlberto Gonzales.[18] There, Kavanaugh worked on the Enron scandal, the successful nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts, and the unsuccessful nomination of Miguel Estrada.[18] Starting in 2003, he served as Assistant to the President and White House Staff Secretary.[20] In that capacity, he was responsible for coordinating all documents to and from the president.

Tenure as U.S. Circuit Judge (2006–present)

Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing in 2004

President George W. Bush first nominated Kavanaugh to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 25, 2003, to a vacancy created by Judge Laurence Silberman, who took senior status in November 2000.[30] Kavanaugh’s nomination was stalled in the Senate for nearly three years. Democratic Senators accused him of being too partisan, with Senator Dick Durbin calling him the “Forrest Gump of Republican politics”.[31] In 2003, the American Bar Association rated Kavanaugh as “well qualified”, but, after opposition from Senate Democrats, rated him in 2006 as only “qualified”.[18] His nomination was opposed by People for the American Way.[32]

The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary recommended confirmation on a 10–8 party-line vote on May 11, 2006,[33] and Kavanaugh was thereafter confirmed to the court by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, by a vote of 57–36.[34][35] On June 1, 2006, he was sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom he had previously clerked, during a special Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.[36] Kavanaugh was the fourth judge nominated to the D.C. Circuit by Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. Kavanaugh began hearing cases on September 11, 2006, and had his formal investiture on September 27, at the Prettyman Courthouse. His first published opinion was released on November 17, 2006.[37]

Kavanaugh being sworn in by Justice Anthony Kennedy as President George W. Bush and Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, look on

In July 2007, Democratic Senators Patrick Leahy and Dick Durbin accused Kavanaugh of “misleading” the Senate Judiciary Committee during his nomination. Durbin and Leahy accused Kavanaugh of lying to them in his confirmation hearing when he denied being involved in formulating the Bush administration’s detention and interrogation policies in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2002, Kavanaugh had met with other White House lawyers, and talked about whether or not the Supreme Court would approve of denying lawyers to prisoners detained as enemy combatants. Kavanaugh had previously been a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, and predicted in that meeting that Kennedy would not approve of denying legal counsel to those prisoners.[38] Durbin said, “It appears that you misled me, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the nation.” [39] This issue re-emerged in July 2018, as Kavanaugh was under consideration for a nomination to the Supreme Court[40], which Kavanaugh received.

Notable cases

The Supreme Court has adopted Kavanaugh’s position on cases 13 times, and has reversed his position only once. These included cases involving environmental regulationscriminal procedure, the separation of powers and extraterritorial jurisdiction in human rightsabuse cases.[18][41] He has been regarded as a feeder judge.[42]

Abortion

During his confirmation hearing in 2006 for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Kavanaugh stated that he considered Roe v. Wade binding under the principle of stare decisis and would follow the ruling of the higher court.[43] The prevalence of abortion regulations both historically and at the time, Rehnquist said he could not reach such a conclusion about abortion.”[44]

In October 2017, Kavanaugh joined an unsigned divided panel opinion which found that the Office of Refugee Resettlement could temporarily prevent an unaccompanied alien minor in its custody from traveling to obtain an abortion.[45] Days later, the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed that judgment, with Kavanaugh dissenting.[45][46] The girl then obtained an abortion.[45] In his dissent, Linda Greenhouse says Kavanaugh criticized the majority for creating “a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in U.S. government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand”.[47] In Azar v. Garza (2018), the girl’s claim was ultimately dismissed as moot after the en banc D.C. Circuit’s judgment was vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court.[48]

Affordable Care Act

In November 2011, Kavanaugh dissented when the D.C. Circuit upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), arguing that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.[49][50] In his dissent concerning jurisdiction, he compared the individual mandate to a tax.[51] After a unanimous panel found that the ACA did not violate the Constitution’s Origination Clause in Sissel v. United States Department of Health & Human Services (2014), Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy dissent from the denial of rehearing en banc.[52][53] In May 2015, Kavanaugh dissented from a decision that denied an en banc rehearing of the Priests for Life v. HHS ruling in which the panel upheld the ACA’s contraceptive mandate accommodations against Priests for LifeReligious Freedom Restoration Act claims.[54][55] In Zubik v. Burwell (2016), the Supreme Court vacated the circuit’s judgment in a per curiam decision.[56]

Appointments Clause and separation of powers

In August 2008, Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit found that the Constitution’s Appointments Clause did not prevent the Sarbanes–Oxley Act from creating a board whose members were not directly removable by the President.[57][58] In Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2010), the Supreme Court reversed the circuit’s judgment by a vote of 5–4.[59]

In 2015, Kavanaugh found that those directly regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could challenge the constitutionality of its design.[60][61] In October 2016, Kavanaugh wrote for a divided panel finding that the CFPB’s design was unconstitutional, and made the CFPB Director removable by the President of the United States.[62][63] In January 2018, the en banc D.C. Circuit reversed that judgment by a vote of 7-3, over the dissent of Kavanaugh.[64][65]

Environmental regulation

In 2013, Kavanaugh issued an extraordinary writ of mandamus requiring the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to process the license application of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, over the dissent of Judge Merrick Garland.[66][67] In April 2014, Kavanaugh dissented when the court found that Labor Secretary Tom Perez could issue workplace safety citations against SeaWorld regarding the multiple killings of its workers by Tilikum the orca.[68][69]

After Kavanaugh wrote for a divided panel striking down a Clean Air Act regulation, the Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 6–2 in EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P. (2014).[70][71] Kavanaugh dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc of a unanimous panel opinion upholding the agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and a fractured Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 5-4 in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency (2014).[72][73] After Judge Kavanaugh dissented from a per curiamdecision allowing the agency to disregard cost–benefit analysis, the Supreme Court reversed by a vote of 5–4 in Michigan v. EPA (2015).[74][75]

Extraterritorial jurisdiction

In Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (2007), Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit court allowed a lawsuit making accusations of ExxonMobil human rights violations in Indonesia to proceed, arguing in his dissent that the claims were not justiciable.[76][77] Kavanaugh dissented again when the circuit court later found that the corporation could be sued under the Alien Tort Statute of 1789.[41][78][79]

First Amendment and free speech

Kavanaugh wrote for unanimous three-judge district courts when they held that the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act could restrict soft money donations to political parties and could forbid campaign contributions by foreign citizens.[80][81] Those judgments were both summarily affirmed on direct appeal by the Supreme Court.[82]

In 2014, Kavanaugh concurred in the judgment when the en banc D.C. Circuit found that the Free Speech Clause did not forbid the government from requiring meatpackers to include a country of origin label on their products.[83][84] In United States Telecom Ass’n v. FCC (2016), Kavanaugh dissented when the en banc circuit refused to rehear a rejected challenge to the net neutrality rule, writing that “Congress did not clearly authorize the FCC to issue the net neutrality rule”.[20][85][86]

Fourth Amendment and civil liberties

In November 2010, Kavanaugh dissented from the denial of rehearing en banc after the circuit found that attaching a Global Positioning System tracking device to a vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[87][88] The circuit’s judgment was then affirmed by the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones (2012).[89] In February 2016, Kavanaugh dissented when the en banc circuit refused to rehear police officers’ rejected claims of qualified immunity for arresting partygoers in a vacant house.[20][90] In District of Columbia v. Wesby (2018), the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the circuit’s judgment.[91]

In Klayman v. Obama (2015), Kavanaugh concurred when the circuit court denied an en banc rehearing of its decision to vacate a district court order blocking the National Security Agency‘s warrantless bulk collection of telephony metadata.[92][93] In his concurrence, Kavanaugh wrote that the metadata collection was not a search, and, even if it were, no reasonable suspicion would be required because of the government’s special need to prevent terrorist attacks.[94]

National security

In April 2009, Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy concurrence when the court found that detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp had no right to advanced notice before being transferred to another country.[95][96] In Kiyemba v. Obama (2010), the Supreme Court vacated that judgment while refusing to review the matter.[97] In June 2010, Kavanaugh wrote a concurrence in judgment when the en banc D.C. Circuit found that the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory owners could not bring a defamation suit regarding the government’s allegations that they were terrorists.[98][99] In October 2012, he wrote for a unanimous court when it found that the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause made it unlawful for the government to prosecute Salim Hamdan under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 on charges of providing material support for terrorism.[100][101]

In August 2010, Kavanaugh wrote a lengthy concurrence when the en banc circuit refused to rehear Ghaleb Nassar Al Bihani’s rejected claims that the international law of war limits the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.[20][102] In 2014, Kavanaugh concurred in the judgment when the en banc circuit found that Ali al-Bahlul could be retroactively convicted of war crimes, provided existing statute already made it a crime “because it does not alter the definition of the crime, the defenses or the punishment”.[103][104] In October 2016, Kavanaugh wrote the plurality opinion when the en banc circuit found al-Bahlul could be convicted by a military commission even if his offenses are not internationally recognized as war crimes under the law of war.[105][106]

In Meshal v. Higgenbotham (2016), Kavanaugh concurred when the divided panel threw out a claim by an American that he had been disappeared by the FBI in a Kenyan black site.[107][108]

Second Amendment and gun ownership

In October 2011, Kavanaugh dissented when the circuit court found that a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles was permissible under the Second Amendment. This case followed the landmark Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008).[109][110]

Law clerk hiring practices

More than half of Kavanaugh’s law clerks have been women (25 of 48) and more than a quarter have been people of color (13 of 48).[111] A number of Kavanaugh’s law clerks are the children of other judges and high profile legal figures, including Clayton Kozinski (son of former federal Judge Alex Kozinski), Porter Wilkinson (daughter of Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III), Philip Alito (son of Justice Samuel Alito), Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld (daughter of Yale Law Professor and “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua), and Emily Chertoff (daughter of former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff).[112][113]

Nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States (2018)

Kavanaugh and his family with President Donald Trump in 2018

On July 2, 2018, Kavanaugh was one of four U.S. Court of Appeals judges to receive a personal 45-minute interview by President Donald Trump as a potential replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy.[114] On July 9, Trump announced his intent to nominate Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court.[115][116]

Legal philosophy and approach

The Washington Posts statistical analysis estimated that the ideologies of most of Trump’s announced candidates were “statistically indistinguishable” and placed Kavanaugh between Justices Gorsuch and Alito.[117] Brian Bennett writing for Time magazine in July 2018 reported that Trump and his advisors viewed Kavanaugh as “a stalwart originalist“.[118] Jonathan Turley of George Washington University has stated that among the judges considered by Trump, “Kavanaugh has the most robust view of presidential powers and immunities.[119] Brian Bennett writing for TIME magazine cites Kavanaugh’s 2009 Minnesota Law Review article as defending the privilege of the President to immunity from prosecution during tenure in office.[120] In a 2017 speech at the American Enterprise Institute about former Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, he praised his opinions in Roe v. Wade and Furman v. Georgia, where Rehnquist dissented in rulings that overturned the ban against abortion and the statutes which supported the death penalty.[121][122]

According to the Judicial Common Space scores, a score based on the ideology scores of the home state senators and president who nominated the judge to the federal benchClarence Thomas is the only justice more conservative than Kavanaugh. According to this metric, Kavanaugh’s confirmation would mean the composition of the court would shift to the right.[123] Had Merrick Garland been confirmed, Stephen Breyer would have become the median swing vote when Justice Kennedy retired. However, since Scalia was replaced by another conservative (Gorsuch), it is expected that Chief Justice John Roberts will become the median swing vote on the Supreme Court if Kavanaugh is confirmed.[124]

Teaching and scholarship

Since joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh taught full-term courses on Separation of Powers at Harvard Law School from 2008 to 2015, on the Supreme Court at Harvard Law School between 2014 and 2018, on National Security and Foreign Relations Law at Yale Law School in 2011, and on Constitutional Interpretation at Georgetown University Law Center in 2007. Kavanaugh has also been named the Samuel Williston Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School since 2009.[125] Kavanaugh was hired as a visiting professor by Elena Kagan, who was then the dean of Harvard Law School in 2008 and according to The Boston Globe, quickly became a student favorite professor who was generous with his time and accessible. He would often dine in Cambridge with students and offer references and career advice.[126][127] Kavanaugh received high evaluations from his students, including J. D. Vance.[128]

In 2009, Kavanaugh wrote an article for the Minnesota Law Review in which he argued that Congress should exempt U.S. presidents from civil lawsuits while in office[129] because, among other things, such lawsuits could be “time-consuming and distracting” for the president and would thus “ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.”[130] Kavanaugh argued that if a president “does something dastardly”, that president may be impeached by the House of Representatives, convicted by the Senate, and criminally prosecuted after leaving office.[129] The US would have been better off if president Clinton “could have focused on Osama bin Laden without being distracted by the Paula Jones sexual harassment case and its criminal investigation offshoots”.[129]This article garnered attention in 2018 when Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump, whose 2016 presidential campaign is the subject of an ongoing federal probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.[130]

When reviewing a book on statutory interpretation by Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann, Kavanaugh observed that judges often cannot agree on a statute if its text is ambiguous.[131] To remedy this, Kavanaugh encouraged judges to first seek the “best reading” of the statute, through “interpreting the words of the statute” as well as the context of the statute as a whole, and only then apply other interpretive techniques that may justify an interpretation that differs from the “best meaning” such as constitutional avoidancelegislative history, and Chevron deference.[131]

Personal life

Kavanaugh had his first date with his future wife Ashley Estes, then–personal secretary to President George W. Bush, on September 10, 2001. They were among the occupants of the White House evacuated during the September 11 attacks.[132]

In early 2006, Kavanaugh and his wife bought a $1.2-million home in Chevy Chase Section Five, Maryland.[18] In 2018, Kavanaugh reported that he earned a $220,000 salary as a federal judge and $27,000 as a lecturer at Harvard Law School during the previous year.[133]

Kavanaugh is an avid runner who has run the Boston Marathon twice. In 2010, at 45 years of age, he finished the course in 3:59:45, 1:53:53 behind the winner, and in 2015 he finished the race in 4:08:36.[134]

Kavanaugh is a Catholic[135] and serves as a regular lector at his Washington, D.C. church, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He has helped serve meals to the homeless as part of church programs, and has tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy, a Catholic private school in the District of Columbia.[136][137]

Publications

  • Are Hawaiians Indians? The Justice Department Thinks So., Wall St. J. A35 (September 27, 1999)
  • Law of Judicial Precedent (St. Paul: Thomson Reuters, 2016) (one of 13 co-authors)

See also

References

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

Story 2: Betraying Your Loyal Customers with Quitter Colin Kaepernick — Nike Nuts — Finding — Videos

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Colin Kaepernick’s new ‘Just Do it’ Nike ad puts pressure on NFL to take a stand

Decades from now, when Americans look back at the NFL player protests and wonder how anyone could have seen them for anything but the plea for equality they are, Colin Kaepernick’s new Nike ad will be one of the enduring images.

For two years now, the NFL and its owners have desperately tried to silence Kaepernick and the movement he began. They blackballed the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and teammate Eric Reid. They threatened to fine or cut the players who joined them in protest. They created a ridiculous policy that only served to confuse matters more.

And for what? To go down on the wrong side of history? Because that’s how future generations will see it, as the Nike ad released Monday made clear.

“Believe in something,” the tagline reads. “Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Colin Kaepernick

@Kaepernick7

Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.

This is not some small, left-leaning company that has decided Kaepernick is on the side of angels in this fight. It is one of the world’s largest conglomerates, a setter of trends and arbiter of what’s cool.

And it is one of the NFL’s biggest partners, the official apparel company of the league.

For Nike to choose Kaepernick sends a message even Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones cannot ignore. This is bigger than a hot-button issue in an election season, bigger than a segment of fans who choose to be angrier at the method of protest than the message behind it.

While the NFL and its owners have been trying to contain the issue, Kaepernick and the other players have been playing the long game. The civil rights protests were wildly unpopular when they were occurring — go back and research the polls and opinions of the time — but are now viewed as righteous and essential to our ongoing struggle for equality. The NFL protests will be viewed much the same way through the lens of history.

Nike has recognized as much, betting a very large and prominent endorsement deal that Kaepernick will one day be seen much like Muhammad Ali. A rabble rouser who outraged the establishment in his heyday, Ali eventually became a widely admired and influential figure once society caught up.

Cynics will say this is simply a marketing ploy for Nike, a way to capitalize on an issue everyone is already talking about. Perhaps. But that doesn’t lessen the burden on the NFL.

Or the stakes.

The league can continue to dither, trying to appease everyone while pleasing no one, and be remembered as an organization that put expedience ahead of equality. Or it can be bold.

More: What Hollywood is saying about the Kaepernick Nike campaign

More: Big & Rich singer urges Nike boycott over Kaepernick ad

By signing Kaepernick — and I mean a team giving him a legitimate chance to compete, not hiding him on the depth chart as a No. 3 quarterback — the NFL can tell the entire country that fighting for a truly equal society is a fight worth having. That while it recognizes the passions the player protests have produced, there is nothing dishonorable about holding our country to account.

There will be some backlash, sure. Just as some folks angered by Nike’s stance will no doubt express their outrage with their wallets, refusing to buy shoes, shirts or anything else with a swoosh on it.

So be it.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, especially in the moment. But this moment, and who stood for what during it, will be remembered for generations to come.

It’s time to take a stand, NFL. Go ahead and do it.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/nancy-armour/2018/09/03/nike-colin-kaepernick-just-do-ad-nfl-message/1187823002/

Nike took a calculated risk with Colin Kaepernick ad, experts say

Nike took a calculated risk with Colin Kaepernick ad, experts say
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is featured in this new Nike ad for the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” campaign. (Nike Inc.)

Nike Inc.’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick in its latest “Just Do It” advertising campaign predictably blew up the internet.

In one video, Nike shoes were set on fire. John Rich, half of the country music duo Big & Rich, showed that his soundman had cut Nike’s iconic swoosh off his socks. #NikeBoycott quickly began trending on Twitter.

At the same time, tennis star Serena Williams tweeted that she was “especially proud to be a part of the Nike family today.” Others said their children planned to wear Nike from head to toe in support of Kaepernick.

None of that should have been a surprise — least of all to Nike.

The athletic shoe and apparel company took a calculated risk in featuring Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49er quarterback who is now far better known for kneeling during the pregame national anthem to protest police shootings of black men, marketing experts said. Though the move was sure to be seen by many as provocative, the Beaverton, Ore., company is betting that more customers will support it — particularly the younger demographic that Nike is courting.

“Companies increasingly realize that it’s important for them to be purpose-driven,” said Joshua Beck, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Oregon who has conducted research on corporate brand activism. “Nike’s very careful in the way it makes decisions about its brand. This is something Nike thought would be consistent with who they are as a company.”

Nike isn’t the only apparel brand fighting for younger consumers. Baltimore-based Under Armour Inc. also caters to a younger demographic and has signed a number of elite athletes, including Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry and Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre.

Nike reportedly had competition for Kaepernick — Yahoo Sports reported Monday that Adidas and Puma were among “multiple” brands that had talked about signing him if Nike did not renew his sponsorship deal, which began in 2011.

Kaepernick is just one of several athletes, including Williams and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., featured in the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign. A Nike spokeswoman said in a statement Tuesday that the campaign “celebrates some of the most inspirational athletes who have chased dreams no matter the obstacle or outcome.”

Kaepernick’s new Nike deal is expected to feature the athlete on billboards, TV commercials and in online ads, as well as a clothing line. In the first ad, an image of Kaepernick appears with these words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Kaepernick has not played for a team since he left the 49ers in 2016 and became a free agent; last year he filed a grievance with the National Football League, alleging that owners colluded to keep him out of the NFL because of his protests. An arbitrator recently sent the case to trial.

Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick is in keeping with the rebellious image the company has sought in past campaigns. Last month, Nike tweeted an image of Williams with the words, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers” after the French tennis federation ruled that she would not be allowed to wear a black catsuit at the French Open next year.

The decision also reflects the company’s long-standing tradition of standing behind its athletes. Nike stood by Kobe Bryant after the Lakers star was charged with sexual assault in 2003. Prosecutors later dropped the criminal charges against Bryant and a civil lawsuit was settled out of court in 2005.

“If you think about Nike as a marketing company, they’ve always been provocative,” said Matt Powell, sports industry analyst for NPD Group, a market research firm. “They tend to stick with their athletes through thick and thin.”

The Kaepernick decision appears to have initially produced a public relations boost for Nike. A majority of the media sentiment expressed about Nike since the announcement was positive, according to an analysis done Tuesday morning by Apex Marketing Group — resulting in what the firm estimated to be the equivalent of $19.01 million of paid advertisements taken out in television, radio, web and social media. That compares with $13.76 million worth of neutral sentiment and $10.91 million in negative sentiment, said Eric Smallwood, Apex president.

Wall Street was less positive; Nike’s stock closed at $79.60 Tuesday, down 3.2%, slightly worse than the market as a whole.

Nike’s campaign could pay off in the long term. Boycotts tend to be short-lived and consumers who support brands’ actions typically persist. That can lead to sales growth, Beck said.

Corporate brand activism is one way to achieve that loyalty, he said.

“It’s not enough to just say that you’re for the environment or for fair labor practices,” Beck said. “Most companies now believe that. So the question is what can we do as a brand and stand out and differentiate from other competing brands.”

Millennial consumers, in particular, want brands to be transparent about their stances on social issues, said Powell of NPD Group, whose research found that two-thirds of the people who wear Nike in the U.S. are under 35 years old. And 45% of that group is under 25.

“In many ways, I think this campaign aligns very much in line with a younger consumer,” Powell said. “The older consumer is clearly not what Nike is focused on.”

But in the era of President Trump, the consequences of taking sides can be unpredictable, even for an edgy name like Nike.

“People have viewed them as this lifestyle brand, as this compelling brand that empowers athletes,” said David Carter, executive director of the USC Sports Business Institute. “But if they veer too far toward social activism, that may alienate a certain part of their consumer base.”

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-nike-kaepernick-20180905-story.html#

Nike Falls as Critics Fume on Social Media Over Kaepernick Deal

The backlash started just hours after Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who sparked controversy for kneeling during the national anthem, tweeted that he’s starring in Nike Inc.’s iconic “Just Do It” ad campaign.

Following the announcement, the hashtags #BoycottNike and #JustBurnIt started trending on Twitter and shares started falling. Some angry consumers even posted photos and videos of themselves burning their Nike shoes and other gear to protest the company using the divisive figure in its 30th anniversary ad campaign.

Nike shares slipped as much as 3.9 percent to $79 as of 9:31 a.m. Tuesday in New York — the biggest intraday slide in five months. They had climbed 31 percent this year through Friday’s close.

Nike Falls as Critics Fume on Social Media Over Kaepernick Deal

The fallout was no surprise but Nike may be betting that the upside of a Kaepernick endorsement is worth angering conservative Americans and supporters of President Donald Trump. Kaepernick — who sparked a movement among professional athletes when he began taking a knee in 2016 during the anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans — is embroiled in a lawsuit against the National Football League and accuses it of blacklisting him.

Popular Athlete

Still, with the former 49er one of the most popular football players in the U.S. the shoe giant is likely counting on passions to cool.

“The long-term relationship and a contract that benefits both parties over the next 10 years will likely outweigh any current controversy,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis.

Kaepernick tweeted an image from the campaign with the caption, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Nike is in a fierce battle with rival Adidas AG to sign star athletes. The combined marketing spending of the two companies may reach as much as $10 billion by fiscal 2020.

Nike has also shown its willingness to wade into America’s culture wars. Just a few weeks after Trump’s inauguration last year, the company launched a high-profile “Equality” campaign featuring LeBron James and Serena Williams. The campaign’s ambassadors included Ibtihaj Muhammad, a Muslim American fencer who wears a hijab when competing, and transgender triathlete Chris Mosier.

Despite criticism from Trump and calls by both conservatives and liberals to boycott the league, the NFL is still pulling in billions of dollars. The world’s richest sports league, the NFL distributed a record $8.1 billion to its teams last season and posted an estimated overall revenue of $14 billion.

There is a risk of Nike upsetting its relationship with the NFL, which last week lost an attempt to dismiss Kaepernick’s lawsuit alleging collusion by the league to prevent him from signing with a team.

Still, the league approved a new 10-year agreement in May that will make Nike and Fanatics Inc. the primary suppliers of apparel to teams and fans. As of 2020, Nike will continue to make all on-field NFL apparel, while all adult fan gear will have the Nike logo, but be made and distributed by Fanatics. Until this deal, Nike had been making everything.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/pursuits/2018/09/04/nike-decides-a-colin-kaepernick-deal-is-worth-the-backlash#gs.ZHLSAIw

Nike’s latest advertisement featuring Colin Kaepernick has sparked a lot of debate and controversy around the sports world and the country at large. And while seemingly everybody has an opinion one way or another, the quarterback of the Patriots is apparently backing the message behind Kaepernick.

An active Instagram user, Brady double-tapped the screen when he saw the account for GQ Magazine share the Nike ad, which features Kaepernick’s face and includes the words, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

img 7350 Tom Brady Likes Colin Kaepernick Nike Advertisement On Instagram

Tom Brady is shown as one of the thousands of Instagram users to “Like” the sharing of Colin Kaepernick’s latest Nike advertisement. (Screenshot from Instagram/GQ)

The 41-year-old Brady almost always avoids commenting publicly on controversial matters, though he has expressed support for Kaepernick over the past couple of years.

In an interview with CBS last September, Brady praised Kaepernick’s quarterbacking ability and said, “he’s certainly qualified and I hope he gets a shot.”

In November on WEEI, Brady said Kaepernick “was a damn good quarterback. He’s played at a high level and brought his teams to Super Bowls.”

The new Kaepernick ad, which hit the internet on Sunday, resulted in instant reaction, both in support and protest of the statement. Brady’s unlikely to comment further on his social media activity, but considering that he knows how closely all of his social media activity is monitored and covered, the “like” on Instagram serves a firm statement on Brady’s behalf.

Tom Brady Likes Colin Kaepernick Nike Advertisement On Instagram

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Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick
refer to caption

Kaepernick with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012
Free agent
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: November 3, 1987 (age 30)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school: John H. Pitman
(Turlock, California)
College: Nevada
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • 2× WAC Offensive Player of the Year (2008, 2010)
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
TDInt: 72–30
Passing yards: 12,271
Completion percentage: 59.8
Passer rating: 88.9
Rushing yards: 2,300
Rushing touchdowns: 13
Player stats at NFL.com

Colin Rand Kaepernick (/ˈkæpərnɪk/ KAP-ər-nik;[1] born November 3, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. Kaepernick played college football for the University of Nevada in Reno, where he was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Offensive Player of the Year twice and became the only player in NCAA Division I FBS history to amass 10,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career. After graduating, he was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Kaepernick began his professional football career as a backup quarterback to Alex Smith, and became the 49ers’ starter in the middle of the 2012 season after Smith suffered a concussion. He then remained the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During the 2013 season, his first full season as a starter, Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game. Over the next three seasons, Kaepernick lost and won back his starting job, with the 49ers missing the playoffs for three years consecutively. He opted out of his contract with the 49ers to become a free agent after the 2016 season.

In 2016, Kaepernick became a national figure when he ignited a firestorm of controversy by choosing to kneel on one knee rather than stand while the United States national anthem was being played before the start of NFL games. He described his behavior as a protest against racial injustice in the United States.[2][3] His actions prompted negative and positive responses. The negative responses included suggestions that players who protest should be fired;[4] other people displayed their disapproval of players’ protests by leaving the stadium immediately after the protests or refusing to watch games at all.[5][6] Positive responses included similar activity by additional athletes in the NFL and other American sports leagues protesting in various ways during the anthem. In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL and its owners, accusing them of colluding to not hire him. In 2018, Amnesty International awarded Kaepernick with that year’s Ambassador of Conscience award.

In 2018, Kaepernick signed on Nike‘s 30th anniversary celebration ad campaign of the Just Do It slogan, agreeing to lend his name to Nike apparel.[7][8]

Early life

Kaepernick is of mixed race. He was born in 1987 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Heidi Russo, a 19-year-old white woman who was single at the time.[9][10] His birth father, an African American man, left Russo before Colin was born.[11][12] Russo placed Colin for adoption with Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, a white couple who had two older children—son Kyle and daughter Devon—who decided to adopt a boy after losing two other sons to heart defects.[11][13] The German surname Käpernick is derived from Köppernig, the ancestral home of Nicolaus Copernicus (today the Polish village of Koperniki).[14]

Kaepernick lived in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, until age four, and attended grade school in Turlock, California.[15][16] When he was eight years old, Kaepernick began playing youth football as a defensive end and punter. At age nine, he was the starting quarterback on his youth team, and he completed his first pass for a long touchdown.[15] A 4.0 GPA student[17] at John H. Pitman High School in Turlock, California, Kaepernick played football, basketball and baseball and was nominated for All-State selection in all three sports his senior year. He was the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Central California Conference in football, leading his school to its first-ever playoff victory. In basketball, he was a first-team all CCC selection at forward and led his 16th-ranked team to a near upset of #1 ranked Oak Ridge High School in the opening round of playoffs. In that game, Kaepernick scored 34 points, but future NBA player Ryan Anderson of Oak Ridge scored 50 to lead the Oak Ridge Trojans to victory over John Pitman High School.[18]

College career

Recruitment

Kaepernick received most of his high school accolades as a baseball pitcher. He received several scholarship offers in that sport,[15] but he desperately wanted to play college football. As a senior, he was almost 6′ 5″ but weighed only 170 pounds (77 kg), and his coaches generally kept him from running the ball in order to limit his risk of injury.[16] Despite his strong arm, he also had poor throwing mechanics.[15] During his junior year, Larry Nigro—Pitman’s head coach at the time—made a highlight tape that Kaepernick’s brother, Kyle, copied to DVD, then sent to about 100 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS, then known as Division I-A) programs. Kaepernick received some interest but no scholarship offers.[15] Even as a senior, he received little attention from FBS schools. Although the University of Nevada, Reno coaching staff frequently watched video of his high school team, no one from the Nevada Wolf Pack football staff came to Turlock to see him play during his senior football season.[16] Nevada head coach Chris Ault decided to offer him a scholarship after one of his assistants, Barry Sacks, saw Kaepernick dominate a high school basketball game on an evening he was suffering from a fever of 102 °F (39 °C). Nevada was the only school to offer him a football scholarship, but was concerned that he would opt for baseball until he signed in February 2006.[16]

Baseball

Kaepernick was a two-time California all-state baseball player and was listed as a draftable prospect on Major League Baseball‘s website in the class of 2006. He earned Northern California athlete of the week honors as a pitcher. As a senior in high school, he threw a 92 mph (148 km/h) fastball, as reported during Kaepernick’s first college football start in 2007 against Boise State.[19] He was also a member of the Brewers Grey squad in the 2005 Area Code games. In his senior year of high school Kaepernick had an ERA of 1.265 with 13 starts and 10 complete games. He finished the year with an 11–2 record with 97 strikeouts and 39 walks.[citation needed]

In the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft, Kaepernick was drafted in the 43rd round by the Chicago Cubs.[20] He decided that he wanted to continue to play football at the University of Nevada and chose not to sign with the Cubs.[21]

American football

2007

Kaepernick started his college career at Nevada playing in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He finished the season with 19 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and 2,175 passing yards with a 53.8% completion percentage.[22] Kaepernick also added 593 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns as the Nevada Wolf Pack finished 6-7.[23]

2008

As a sophomore, Kaepernick became just the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards in a single season. Some of his notable statistical achievements were:

  • Only NCAA quarterback in 2008 to pass for 2,500 or more yards and rush for 1,000 or more yards.
  • Ranked second among all NCAA QB’s in rushing yardage with 1,130.
  • Ranked seventh among all NCAA players with 7.02 yards per carry.
  • Was tied ninth among all NCAA players with 17 rushing TD’s.

Kaepernick, with 1,130 rushing yards, and running back Vai Taua, with 1,521 rushing yards, made 2008 the first year in school history that Nevada had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season.[24]

Despite playing the entire second half with an ankle injury, he set a new Humanitarian Bowl record with 370 yards passing and was awarded the MVP in a losing effort. He was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year at the end of the season. He was the first sophomore to win this award since Marshall Faulk of San Diego State did in 1992. He was also named first team All-WAC quarterback.[citation needed]

2009

Kaepernick was named the pre-season WAC Offensive Player of the Year at the WAC Media’s event in July. On August 3 it was announced he was named to the Davey O’Brien Award pre-season watch list. On August 14 it was announced that he was named to the pre-season Maxwell Award watch list and on August 17 to the Manning Award watch list. Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack to an 8–5 record and a second-place finish in the WAC behind undefeated Boise State. He was named second team All-WAC quarterback. He was the first player in Nevada history to earn the team’s MVP award twice, doing so in 2008 as well.[citation needed]

He finished the 2009 season with 2,052 passing yards and 1,183 rushing yards.[25] He became the first player in NCAA history to record back-to-back 2,000/1,000 yard seasons. His 1,183 rush yards along with Luke Lippincott’s 1,034 and Vai Taua’s 1,345 makes him a part of the first trio of teammates in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards each in the same season.[citation needed]

2010

Passing against Hawaii in 2010

Entering the 2010 NCAA season, Kaepernick ranked first among active college football players in rushing touchdowns. He was second in yards-per-carry (behind Wolf Pack teammate Vai Taua), total offense-per-game, and touchdowns scored. He ranked third in yards-per-play and fourth in pass touchdowns and total number of offensive plays. He was a counselor at the prestigious Manning Passing Academy event in Thibodaux, Louisiana, during the 2010 camp. His performance drew praise from various NFL and ESPN personnel including former New York Giants quarterback Jesse Palmer who said of Kaepernick, “by far, the strongest arm in the camp”.[26]

Kaepernick in 2010

It was also announced that Kaepernick, along with teammates Taua and Lippincott, would have a display in the College Football Hall of Fame commemorating their being the first players in NCAA history to each break 1,000 yards rushing on the same team during the same season.[27] Kaepernick was named to the watch list for six major college football awards: the Manning Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Paul Hornung Award, the Maxwell Award, the Unitas Award, and the Walter Camp Award.

On November 26, Kaepernick led his team to a 34–31 overtime victory against the previously undefeated Boise State Broncos, snapping a 24-game win streak that had dated back to the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl.[28] This game was played on Nevada’s senior night, the final home game for Kaepernick. Nevada Head Coach Chris Ault would later call this game the “most important win in program history”. During this game, Kaepernick surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for this season, becoming the first player in NCAA history to have over 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing for three consecutive seasons. Along with Taua’s 131 yards rushing in the game, the duo became the NCAA’s all-time leaders in rushing yards by teammates (8,285) passing the legendary SMU “Pony Express” duo of Eric Dickerson and Craig James (8,193).[29]

On December 4 against Louisiana Tech University, Kaepernick joined Florida’s Tim Tebow as the second quarterback in FBS history to throw for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 in the same season. Later that same evening, Auburn’s Cam Newton joined Tebow and Kaepernick as the third. Kaepernick’s three rushing touchdowns in that game also placed him in a tie with former Nebraska quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch for most rushing touchdowns in FBS history by a quarterback with 59 in his career.[30] Nevada claimed a share of the WAC title after defeating Louisiana Tech. Kaeperick was named WAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Kellen Moore, who won the award in 2009.[31]

Kaepernick is the only quarterback in the history of Division I FBS college football to have passed for over 10,000 yards and rushed for over 4,000 yards in a collegiate career. He is also the only Division I FBS quarterback to have passed for over 2,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards in a single season three times in a career (consecutively).[citation needed]

Kaepernick graduated from Nevada in December 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in business management and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.[citation needed]

Statistics

Passing Rushing
Season Team GP Att Comp Comp % Yards TD INT RAT Att Yards Avg TD
2006 Nevada Redshirt
2007 Nevada 11 247 133 53.8% 2,175 19 3 150.8 105 593 5.6 6
2008 Nevada 13 383 208 54.3% 2,849 22 7 132.1 161 1,130 7.0 17
2009 Nevada 13 282 166 58.9% 2,052 20 6 139.1 161 1,183 7.3 16
2010 Nevada 14 359 233 64.9% 3,022 21 8 150.5 173 1,206 7.0 20
Career 1,271 740 58.2% 10,098 82 24 142.5 600 4,112 6.9 59

Professional career

Upon graduation, Kaepernick signed with XAM Sports and Entertainment. He spent time in Atlanta, Georgia, training for the NFL Scouting Combine at Competitive Edge Sports with trainer Chip Smith and quarterbacks coach Roger Theder.[citation needed]

2011 NFL Draft

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 458 in
(1.95 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
3312 in
(0.85 m)
918 in
(0.23 m)
4.53 s 1.62 s 2.63 s 4.18 s 6.85 s 3212 in
(0.83 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
x reps 37
All values from NFL Combine[32]

On April 29, 2011, the San Francisco 49ers traded up with the Denver Broncos from the thirteenth pick in the second round (#45 overall) to select Kaepernick as the fourth pick in the second round (#36 overall) at the 2011 NFL Draft.[33] The Broncos received picks 45, 108, and 141 overall in exchange for the 36th overall pick.

San Francisco 49ers

2011 season

For the 2011 preseason, Kaepernick completed 24-of-50 passes for 257 yards and five interceptions.[34] Kaepernick spent the 2011 season as backup to Alex Smith and played his first game in Week 4 (October 2) on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles.[34] On third down and 17 during the first quarter, he came in for Smith as quarterback with the offense in shotgun formation and handed off to Frank Gore, who ran for five yards.[35] In the Week 5 (October 9) home game, a 48–3 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kaepernick completed three passes for 35 yards.[36] However, he failed to complete two passes in the 49ers’ Week 13 (December 4) game, a 26–0 win over the St. Louis Rams.[34] The 49ers finished the 2011 regular season 13–3 but lost the NFC championship to the eventual Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants by a score of 20–17.[37]

2012 season

Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII

In 2012 against the New York Jets, Kaepernick scored his first career touchdown on a seven-yard run.[38] Throughout the early season, Kaepernick was used as a wildcat quarterback.[39] In Week 10 against the St. Louis Rams, Kaepernick replaced starter Alex Smith, who had suffered a concussion in the first half. However, the game would end in a rare 24–24 tie, the first tie in the NFL in four years.[40]

With Smith still recovering, Kaepernick got his first NFL start the next game on November 19, during a Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park.[41] Kaepernick completed 16-of-23 for 246 yards with two touchdowns in a 32–7 win against a highly ranked Bears defense. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke highly of Kaepernick’s performance after the game, leaving open the possibility of Kaepernick continuing to start. “Usually tend to go with the guy who’s got the hot hand, and we’ve got two quarterbacks that have got a hot hand”, Harbaugh said.[42] A quarterback controversy began. Smith was ranked third in the NFL in passer rating (104.1), led the league in completion percentage (70%), and had been 19–5–1 as a starter under Harbaugh, while Kaepernick was considered more dynamic with his scrambling ability and arm strength.[43][44]

Smith was cleared to play the day before the following game, but Harbaugh chose not to rush him back and again started Kaepernick. In a rematch of the 2012 playoffs against the New Orleans Saints, the 49ers won 31–21 with Kaepernick throwing for a touchdown and running for another.[45][46] The following week, Harbaugh announced that Kaepernick would start for the 8–2–1 49ers against St. Louis. Harbaugh stated that Kaepernick’s assignment was week-to-week, not necessarily permanent,[47] but he remained the starter for the rest of the season.

In his first career postseason start, the 49ers won 45–31 against the Green Bay Packers, and he set an NFL single-game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181, breaking Michael Vick‘s record of 173 in a 2002 regular season game.[48] He also broke the 49ers postseason rushing record, regardless of position.[49] Kaepernick carried the ball 16 times for 181 yards and scrambled five times for 75 yards, including touchdowns of 20 and 56 yards, and collected another 99 yards rushing on zone-read option plays. He also passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns. In total, Kaepernick had 444 yards of total offense with four touchdowns. Kaepernick became the third player after Jay Cutler in 2011 and Otto Graham in both 1954 and 1955 to run for two touchdowns and pass for two others in a playoff game.[48] In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 28–24 with Kaepernick completing 16-of-21 passes for 233 yards and one touchdown.[50] The team advanced to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens. Kaepernick threw for a touchdown and ran for another, but the 49ers fell behind early and could not come back, losing by a score of 31–34.[51]

2013 season

Kaepernick in 2013

In the season opener of the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards and three touchdowns, the first 400-yard game by a 49ers quarterback since Tim Rattay on October 10, 2004.[52] Of the total 412 yards, 208 yards were to newly acquired teammate Anquan Boldin, making his debut as a 49er. In addition, Kaepernick’s performance also marked the first 400-yard passing with three touchdowns performance by a 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia in the 1999 season.

In the NFC Championship Game against eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, Kaepernick rushed for 130 yards, including a 58-yard run, and passed for 153 yards. The 49ers led until the fourth quarter. Two turnovers by Kaepernick led to the Seahawks having a 23–17 lead with a few minutes left. Kaepernick drove the 49ers to the red zone but with 22 seconds left, Kaepernick’s pass intended for Michael Crabtree was tipped by Seattle’s Richard Sherman and intercepted by Malcolm Smith, ending the 49ers’ season and attempt to return to the Super Bowl.[53] Kaepernick ended the season with 3,197 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions. He also finished with 524 yards rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.[54]

2014 season

On June 4, Kaepernick signed a six-year contract extension with the 49ers, worth up to $126 million, including $54 million in potential guarantees, and $13 million fully guaranteed.[55]

On September 17, Kaepernick was fined by the NFL for using inappropriate language on the field.[56] On October 9, he was fined $10,000 by the NFL for appearing at a post-game press conference wearing headphones from Beats by Dre, while the league’s headphone sponsor was Bose.[57] In a game against the San Diego Chargers, he ran for a 90-yard touchdown.[58] The 49ers finished the season 8–8 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.[59] Kaepernick threw for 3,369 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He rushed for 639 yards and one touchdown.[60] Following the season, head coach Jim Harbaugh left to coach the University of Michigan.[61]

2015 season

In 2015, Kaepernick struggled under new head coach Jim Tomsula. A day after a 27–6 collapse at St. Louis in Week 8, Kaepernick lost his starting job to backup Blaine Gabbert for Week 9 against Atlanta.[62] With Gabbert starting as their new quarterback, the 49ers narrowly won 17–16. On November 21, the 49ers announced that Kaepernick would miss the rest of the season because of an injured left shoulder that required surgery.[63] He finished the season with 1,615 yards passing, six passing touchdowns, five interceptions and 256 rushing yards with one rushing touchdown.[64]

Head coach Tomsula was fired following the season and the 49ers hired Chip Kelly as his replacement.[65] In February 2016, Kaepernick expressed an interest in being traded.[66]

2016 season

Kaepernick entered the 2016 season competing for starting quarterback position with Gabbert.[67] On September 3, 2016, 49ers head coach Chip Kelly named Gabbert as the starter for the beginning of the 2016 season.[68] Prior to the 49ers Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills, Kelly announced Kaepernick would start, marking his first start of the season. On October 13, it was announced that he and the 49ers restructured his contract, turning it into a two-year deal with a player option for the next season.[69] He completed 13-of-29 passes, with 187 passing yards, one passing touchdown and 66 rushing yards in the 49ers 45-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills.[70] On November 27, he recorded 296 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and 113 yards rushing in the 49ers’ 24-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins.[71] He joined Michael VickCam NewtonRandall Cunningham, and Marcus Mariota as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to record at least three passing touchdowns and 100 yards rushing in a game. In a Week 13 loss to the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick threw a career-low four yards before getting benched for Gabbert.[72] He returned to the starting lineup the following week and threw for 183 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 13-41 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.[73] On December 24, Kaepernick recorded 281 total yards, two passing touchdowns, one interception, one rushing touchdown, and a two-point conversion on the game-winning drive as the 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 22-21 to get their first victory on the season with Kaepernick as the starter.[74] For the 2016 NFL season, Kaepernick played twelve games and ended the season with 2,241 passing yards, sixteen passing touchdowns, four interceptions and added 468 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.[75]

On March 3, 2017, Kaepernick officially opted out of his contract with the 49ers, an option as part of his restructured contract, therefore making him a free agent at the start of the 2017 league year.[76]

Professional statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing[77] Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
G GS Comp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost Win-Loss
2011 SF 3 0 3 5 60.0 35 7.0 0 0 81.2 2 −2 −1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0–0
2012 SF 13 7 136 218 62.4 1,814 8.3 10 3 98.3 63 415 6.6 5 16 112 9 2 5–2
2013 SF 16 16 243 416 58.4 3,197 7.7 21 8 91.6 92 524 5.7 4 39 231 6 4 12–4
2014 SF 16 16 289 478 60.5 3,369 7.0 19 10 86.4 104 639 6.1 1 52 344 8 5 8–8
2015 SF 9 8 144 244 59.0 1,615 6.6 6 5 78.5 45 256 5.7 1 28 166 5 1 2–6
2016 SF 12 11 196 331 59.2 2,241 6.8 16 4 90.7 69 468 6.8 2 36 207 9 3 1–10
Total 69 58 1,011 1,692 59.8 12,271 7.3 72 30 88.9 375 2,300 6.1 13 171 1,060 37 15 28–30

Playoffs

Year Team G GS Passing[77] Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack Yds Fum Lost W/L (as starter)
2012 SF 3 3 49 80 61.3 798 10.0 4 2 100.9 25 264 10.6 3 5 32 1 0 2–1
2013 SF 3 3 45 82 54.9 576 7.0 3 3 74.0 26 243 9.3 1 6 26 3 1 2–1
Total‡ 6 6 94 162 58.0 1,374 8.5 7 5 87.3 51 507 9.9 4 11 58 4 1 4–2

U.S. national anthem protest

2016

In the 49ers third preseason game of the 2016 season, Kaepernick was noticed sitting down during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as opposed to the tradition of standing. During a post-game interview, he explained his position stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder”, referencing a series of events that led to the Black Lives Matter movement and adding that he would continue to protest until he feels like “[the American flag] represents what it’s supposed to represent”.[78][79][80] In the 49ers’ fourth and final preseason game of 2016, Kaepernick opted to kneel during the U.S. national anthem rather than sit as he did in their previous games. He explained his decision to switch was an attempt to show more respect to former and current U.S. military members while still protesting during the anthem after having a conversation with former NFL player and U.S. military veteran Nate Boyer.[81] After the September 2016 police shootings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott,[82] Kaepernick commented publicly on the shootings saying, “this is a perfect example of what this is about”.[83]

Kaepernick soon became highly polarizing as numerous people took public stances either supporting or maligning Kaepernick’s actions; in many cases this polarization correlates with racial divisions.[84] Various members of the NFL and other athletes across the United States, such as American professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, also began kneeling and/or raising their fist like the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute during the playing of the U.S. national anthem.[85][86][87] Some U.S. military veterans voiced support using the social media hashtag “#VeteransForKaepernick”.[88] In the following weeks, Kaepernick’s jersey became the top-selling jersey on the NFL’s official shop website.[89] An NFL fan poll was taken during the beginning of the 2016 NFL season and Kaepernick was voted the most disliked player in the NFL; this poll was polarized, with 37% of Caucasians disliking him “a lot”, and 42% of African-Americans liking him “a lot.”[84] A few people posted videos of them burning Kaepernick jerseys. Former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason called Kaepernick’s actions “an embarrassment” while an anonymous NFL executive called Kaepernick “a traitor”.[90] The 2016 NFL season also saw a significant drop in their television ratings. Polls suggest that fans boycotting the NFL because of Kaepernick-inspired protests were a contributor to the decline in viewers.[91] He also stated that he received death threats.[83]

In September 2016, sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson wrote of the double bind faced by black people: “Black folk have, throughout history, displayed their patriotism by criticizing the nation for its shortcomings, and they have been, in turn, roundly criticized.” Dyson suggested that the wisdom of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass maintains relevance to racism in the context of Kaepernick and protest.[92] Dyson concluded, “When a black athlete bravely speaks up, we punish him.”

2017

In August 2017, former NYPD officer Frank Serpico gave a speech live on Facebook and stood with police officers at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in support of Kaepernick.[93][94] The same month, Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime civil rights activist Jim Browntold an interviewer that while he “wants to be in [Kaepernick’s] corner”, he would never “desecrate my flag and my national anthem.”[95]

In September 2017, President Donald Trump sent out multiple tweets, in which he advocated that NFL players should be either fired or suspended if they fail to stand up for the national anthem. In response, many NFL teams and players stood together to protest against Trump’s opinion. The players knelt, locked arms, or remained in the locker room during the playing of the anthem.[96]

2018

In 2018, Kaepernick signed on Nike‘s 30th anniversary celebration ad campaign of the Just Do It slogan, agreeing to lend his name to Nike apparel.[8] The company, which supplies game-day uniforms and sideline apparel for the NFL’s 32 teams, will donate to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign.[7]

Controversy over free agency

Following his departure from the 49ers, Kaepernick went unsigned through the offseason and 2017 training camps, leading to allegations that he was being blackballed because of his on-field political actions as opposed to his performance,[97][98][99][97] a notion supported by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.[100] Other players, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and former teammate Alex Smith, have stated that they believe his sporting ability is competitive in the NFL, and they are incredulous of his prolonged unemployment,[101][102] while former quarterback Michael Vick argued that he was not signed because his performance had declined.[103] Outside of the NFL, President Donald Trump claimed that Kaepernick’s situation was caused by a fear that he would use Twitter to create a public relations crisis for any team that signed him.[104][105] Kyle Wagner of FiveThirtyEight analysed his recent performance and found that no above-average QB of his level stays unemployed that long, implying that the reason must not be a sporting one.[106] Dan Graziano of ESPN reasoned that the issue dealt more with labor and management battles rather than Kaepernick’s beliefs or performance.[107]

In late July and early August 2017, the Baltimore Ravens were reportedly working to extend an offer to Kaepernick. According to former African American Ravens player Ray Lewis, the offer was terminated after Kaepernick’s girlfriend Nessa Diab—who works as a radio host— posted an incendiary tweet that compared Ravens team owner Steve Bisciotti to a slave owner and player Ray Lewis to a slave. Other reports, however, stated that Bisciotti had been objecting to signing Kaepernick before the incident.[108][109] A high-ranking member of the military had also raised concerns about bringing the polarizing quarterback to Baltimore.[110]

In November 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL, alleging that NFL owners colluded to keep him out of the league.[111] In August 2018 it was reported that system arbitrator Stephen B Burbank denied the NFL’s request to dismiss the case[112], the decision meant there was sufficient evidence for the case to go to trial.[113]

Activism

In 2016, after kneeling during the playing of the U.S. national anthem prior to NFL games in protest to what he believed to be racial injustices against black Americans, Kaepernick pledged to donate one million dollars to “organizations working in oppressed communities.”[114] In 2018, Kaeperkick announced that he would make the final $100,000 donation of his “Million Dollar Pledge” in the form of $10,000 donations to charities that would be matched by celebrities.[115]

In 2017, Kaepernick was named GQ magazine’s “Citizen of the Year” for his efforts.[116]

In April 2018, Amnesty International honored Kaepernick with the 2018 Ambassador of Conscience Award. The award celebrates ‘individuals and groups who speak out for justice’. In a statement about the award, Kaepernick stated that Amnesty’s award was one shared “with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force”.[117]

Personal life

Kaepernick was baptized Methodistconfirmed Lutheran, and attended a Baptist church during his college years.[118] Kaepernick spoke about his faith saying, “My faith is the basis from where my game comes from. I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did.”[119]

Kaepernick has multiple tattoos. His right arm features a scroll with the Bible verse Psalm 18:39 written on it. Tattooed under the scroll are praying hands with the phrase “To God The Glory” written on them. To the left of both the scroll and praying hands is the word “Faith” written vertically. His left arm features a Christian cross with the words “Heaven Sent” on it referring to Jesus. Written above and below the cross is the phrase “God Will Guide Me”. Written to the left and right of the cross is the Bible verse Psalm 27:3. His chest features the phrase “Against All Odds” and artwork around it that represents “inner strength, spiritual growth, and humility”. His back features a mural of angels against demons.[120][121][122] Near the end of the 2012 NFL season, Kaepernick’s signature touchdown celebration involved flexing and kissing the bicep of his right arm. Kaepernick says he kisses his “Faith”, “To God The Glory”, and Psalm 18:39 tattoos and the reason he does the celebration is because “God has brought me this far. He has laid out a phenomenal path for me. And I can’t do anything but thank Him.”[120]

Kaepernick reportedly started dating radio personality and television host Nessa Diab in July 2015,[123] and officially went public about their relationship in February 2016.[124] Kaepernick began following a vegan diet in late 2015.[125]

Since he was 10 years old, Kaepernick has had a pet African spurred tortoise named Sammy.[126]

References

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

Story 3: Your Not A Paranoid President When The Political Elitist Establishment Is Out To Get Trump — Trump Goes On Offense — Videos

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Trump lashes out at AG Sessions

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President Donald Trump Slams AG Jeff Sessions Over GOP Indictments | NBC Nightly News

Trump called Attorney Jeff Sessions a ‘traitor,’ and said ‘Everybody’s trying to get me,’ according to an explosive new Bob Woodward book

  • President Donald Trump complained “Everybody’s trying to get me” after he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House, according to a new book.
  • Trump also called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded,” was called “unhinged” and an “idiot” by his chief of staff John Kelly, according to Woodward.
  • Woodward, according to The Washington Post’s preview of the book “Fear,” writes that Trump exploded in a rage after being subjected to a practice interview with his own lawyer playing the role of Mueller.

President Donald Trump talks via speakerphone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they announce a bilateral deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the White House in Washington, August 27, 2018. 
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
President Donald Trump talks via speakerphone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto as they announce a bilateral deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the White House in Washington, August 27, 2018.

Legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward has a new book about President Donald Trump’s administration, and explosive excerpts, revealed by The Washington Post, paint a picture of a White House gripped by fear, loathing and chaos.

According to the book, titled “Fear,” Trump called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “a traitor,” and complained “everybody’s trying to get me” after he learned that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House.

Trump also called Sessions “mentally retarded.” The president was also the subject of insults. He was called “unhinged” and an “idiot” by his chief of staff, John Kelly, Woodward’s book says.

And the president once phoned Defense Secretary James Mattis to say “Let’s f—ing kill him” after Syrian leader Bashar Assad launched a chemical attack on civilians, according to the book.

“Let’s go in. Let’s kill the f—king lot of them,” Trump said in one of the highlights of the 448-page book that was described in an article Tuesday in The Washington Post, where Woodward has long worked. “Fear” is slated for a Sept. 11 release.

Woodward says in the book that he conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with participants and witnesses in the conversations he writes about. He also had taped notes, diaries and government documents.

The interviews were granted on the condition of “deep background,” which according to Woodward meant that while he could write what happened, he could not reveal the sources of particular stories.

The Washington Post, in a separate article Tuesday, published a lengthy transcript of a call last month between Trump and Woodward, during which the president said, “I would’ve loved to have spoken to you” for the book.

Woodward replied that he had sought an interview with the president through about a half-dozen people, including senior presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway and White House spokesman Raj Shah.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
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“They don’t tell me,” Trump said.

Mattis is depicted in the book as being “particularly exasperated and alarmed” by having to tell Trump that “we’re doing this in order to prevent World War III” to justify the presence of the U.S. military on the Korean Peninsula.

Mattis told associates that Trump “acted like — and had the understanding of — ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader,’ ” according to the book.

But Trump is quoted in “Fear” as being scornful of the intelligence of Sessions, a former Alabama senator whom he has long blamed for recusing himself in the Russian investigation, a step that led to Mueller’s appointment.

“He’s this dumb Southerner. … He couldn’t even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama,” Trump reportedly said of Sessions.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment to CNBC when asked about the president’s characterization of Sessions, who heads the department.

Woodward also writes that Trump exploded in a rage after a practice interview with his own lawyer John Dowd playing the role of Mueller, as they prepared for a potential sit-down with the special counsel.

“This thing’s a goddamn hoax,” Trump fumed, according to the book. “I don’t really want to testify.”

Dowd was sure that Trump would committ perjury if he did talk to Mueller, Woodward wrote.

But when Dowd told Trump, “Don’t testify,” warning that “It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit,” the president pushed back.

“I’ll be a real good witness,” Trump reportedly said.

“You are not a good witness,” Dowd retorted, according to the book.

The attorney quit the day after their conversation.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a prepared statement, said, “This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the President look bad.”

According to the Post’s account of the book, Kelly despaired of dealing with Trump, whom he called “unhinged” during discussions with colleagues in the White House.

“He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails,” Kelly was quoted in the book as saying.

He added, “We’re in Crazytown. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”

Kelly on Tuesday said, in a prepared statement: “The idea I ever called the President an idiot is not true.”

“As I stated back in May and still firmly stand behind: ‘I spend more time with the President than anyone else, and we have an incredibly candid and strong relationship. He always knows where I stand, and he and I both know this story is total BS. I’m committed to the President, his agenda, and our country. This is another pathetic attempt to smear people close to President Trump and distract from the administration’s many successes.’ ”

Kelly’s statement referred to an earlier one he had made in May, after NBC News first reported that he had called Trump an “idiot.”

Woodward reports that after Trump finally condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis — he initially claimed that “both sides” were to blame for violence during a white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, Virginia — he complained to aides, “That was the biggest f—ing mistake I’ve made.”

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018, Story 1: Moving Up The Chain of Command of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy – Focus Now on Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and Wife Nellie Ohr At Fusion GPS and Former CIA Director John Brennan Roles in Having Christopher Steele Fabricating The False Steele Russian Dossier — Who is next in Obama Department of Justice (Attorney General Loretta Lynch And Deputy Sally Yates) and Who Were They Communicating In The White House (Valery Jarrett and Susan Rice)?– American People Demand Second Special Counsel Investigation and Prosecution and Grand Jury Impaneled and Indictments — Videos — Story 2: International Investors in U.S. Treasury Securities Are Flat and Smallest Share in 18 Years — Videos

Posted on August 18, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, British Pound, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Euro, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, James Comey, Japan, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Middle East, Mike Pompeo, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Securities and Exchange Commission, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

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Docs reveal DOJ’s Ohr was deeply connected to Trump dossier

“I’ll Be Revoking Bruce Ohr’s Security Clearance Soon” President Trump’s Draining The Swamp

URGENT 🔴 President Trump EXPLOSIVE Press Conference from The White House – August 17, 2018

Trump calls DOJ official Bruce Ohr a ‘disgrace’

FOX News Sean Hannity: Mueller’s Never Ending “Witch Hunt”

DiGenova calls for investigation into Steele, Ohr

Trump revokes John Brennan’s security clearance

Tucker: Brennan thinks he has a right to clearance

Who’s next on security clearance chopping block?

White House speaks out on fate of more security clearances

Steyn reacts to left’s outrage over Brennan clearance

Levin: Trump should pull more security clearances

Rep. Gaetz reacts to Bruce Ohr’s notes about Steele

Frantic texts from Christopher Steele to Bruce Ohr revealed

DOJ’s Bruce Ohr is the ‘lynchpin’ in the Trump dossier: Chris Farrell

Why the Bruce Ohr-Christopher Steele texts are so important

Steele’s communications with DOJ raise questions

Like They Were All Best Friends’: Jordan on Emails Between Dossier Author, DOJ Official, Fusion GPS

Giuliani: John Brennan should go before a grand jury

Trump takes aim at Jeff Sessions over Twitter

Trump calls Sessions ‘scared stiff and missing in action’

Tucker: John Brennan is unhinged

Hannity: About time Brennan lost security clearance

Did John Brennan lie about the Trump-Russia dossier?

DiGenova calls for investigation into Steele, Ohr

DiGenova: John Brennan should get a good lawyer

Isikoff on John Brennan’s role in the Russia investigation

John Brennan faces scrutiny over anti-Trump dossier

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Byron York talks link between Steele and DOJ official

Rep. Jordan: FBI texts about Obama raise lots of concerns

DOJ official with ties to Fusion GPS gets demoted again

Napolitano on Fusion GPS testimony

Deeper connections revealed between Fusion GPS, DOJ official

WOW! Wife Of Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson Bragged On Facebook Her Husband Was Behind ‘Russiagate

Nunes on Bruce Ohr and the push to declassify DOJ documents

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

diGenova: HILLARY CLINTON COMMITTED CRIMES

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Who is Bruce Ohr and why does Trump keep tweeting about him?

The Fact Checker

August 16

“Bruce Ohr of the ‘Justice’ Department (can you believe he is still there) is accused of helping disgraced Christopher Steele ‘find dirt on Trump.’ Ohr’s wife, Nelly, was in on the act big time – worked for Fusion GPS on Fake Dossier.”

— President Trump, in a tweet, Aug. 14, 2018

“The big story that the Fake News Media refuses to report is lowlife Christopher Steele’s many meetings with Deputy A.G. Bruce Ohr and his beautiful wife, Nelly. It was Fusion GPS that hired Steele to write the phony & discredited Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary & the DNC.”

— Trump, in a tweet, Aug. 11

Who is Bruce Ohr?

Ohr exists in a netherworld — a subject of fascination in right-leaning media, barely a mention in mainstream media. His name last appeared in the pages of The Washington Post in February, and yet President Trump keeps tweeting about him. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in announcing that Trump had revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, listed the names of other people who also faced revocation of clearances.

Ohr’s name was on the list.

We have previously tried to explain the roles of former British agent Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Ohr is less of a central player, but as a reader service, we will try to disentangle the president’s tweets and explain what is known – and unknown – about Ohr’s actions. We will not offer a Pinocchio rating.

The Facts

First, let’s take a look at the key players.

Fusion GPS was started by a group of former Wall Street Journal reporters, notably investigative reporter Glenn R. Simpson. Fusion in 2015 began investigating Trump under a contract with the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website financially supported by GOP megadonor Paul Singer. That assignment ended once Trump was on track to win the nomination. But in April 2016, Fusion was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to keep funding the research. (Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm.)

Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, was hired by Fusion to examine Trump’s ties in Russia. Steele was the author of the “dossier” alleging ties between Trump and Russia; the dossier is actually several memos, based on conversations with Russian sources, that were written between June and December of 2016.

The dossier is a frequent target of presidential derision, but the probe into the Trump campaign originally was sparked by a separate matter that Steele never wrote about — a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, appeared to know Russia had obtained damaging emails on the Democrats. (Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.)

Ohr was associate deputy attorney general until late 2017, when the DOJ learned of his contacts with Steele. He briefly continued as head of Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) but then lost that job, too. It’s unclear what role he plays now at the DOJ. The agency declined to comment, except to point to a statement by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/08/16/who-is-bruce-ohr-why-does-trump-keep-tweeting-about-him/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.dd8799a9879a

 

Emails show 2016 links among Steele, Ohr, Simpson — with Russian oligarch in background

Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show Steele and Ohr were in frequent contact, that they intermingled talk about Steele’s research and the oligarch’s affairs, and that Glenn Simpson, head of the dirt-digging group Fusion GPS that hired Steele to compile the dossier, was also part of the ongoing conversation.

The emails, given to Congress by the Justice Department, began on Jan . 12, 2016, when Steele sent Ohr a New Year’s greeting. Steele brought up the case of Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (referred to in various emails as both OD and OVD), who was at the time seeking a visa to attend an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in the United States. Years earlier, the U.S. revoked Deripaska’s visa, reportedly on the basis of suspected involvement with Russian organized crime. Deripaska was close to Paul Manafort, the short-term Trump campaign chairman now on trial for financial crimes, and this year was sanctioned in the wake of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

“I heard from Adam WALDMAN [a Deripaska lawyer/lobbyist] yesterday that OD is applying for another official US visa ice [sic] APEC business at the end of February,” Steele wrote in the Jan . 12 email. Steele said Deripaska was being “encouraged by the Agency guys who told Adam that the USG [United States Government] stance on [Deripaska] is softening.” Steele concluded: “A positive development it seems.”

Steele also asked Ohr when he might be coming to London, or somewhere in Europe, “as I would be keen to meet up here and talk business.” Ohr replied warmly the same day and said he would likely travel to Europe, but not the U .K ., at least twice in February.

[Related: Devin Nunes says ‘pay close attention’: Top Obama DOJ official Bruce Ohr will become ‘more and more important’]

Steele emailed again on Feb . 8 to alert Ohr that “our old friend OD apparently has been granted another official [emphasis in original] visa to come to the US later this month.” Steele wrote, “As far as I’m concerned, this is good news all round although as before, it would be helpful if you could monitor it and let me know if any complications arise.” Ohr replied that he knew about Deripaska’s visa, and “to the extent I can I will keep an eye on the situation.” Steele again asked to meet anytime Ohr was in the U .K . or Western Europe.

Steele wrote again on Feb . 21 in an email headlined “Re: OVD – Visit To The US.” Steele told Ohr he had talked to Waldman and to Paul Hauser, who was Deripaska’s London lawyer. Steele reported that there there would be a U.S. government meeting on Deripaska that week — “an inter-agency meeting on him this week which I guess you will be attending.” Steele said he was “circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting” on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a “tool” of the Kremlin. Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email, “as he has asked, for legal reasons I understand, for all such reporting be filtered through him (to you at DoJ and others).”

Deripaska’s rehabilitation was a good thing, Steele wrote: “We reckon therefore that the forthcoming OVD contact represents a good opportunity for the USG.” Ohr responded by saying, “Thanks Chris! This is extremely interesting. I hope we can follow up in the next few weeks as you suggest.”

Steele was eager to see Ohr face to face. On March 17, Steele wrote a brief note asking if Ohr had any update on plans to visit Europe “in the near term where we could meet up.” Ohr said he did not and asked if Steele would like to set up a call. It is not clear whether a call took place.

There are no emails for more than three months after March 17. Then, on July 1, came the first apparent reference to Donald Trump, then preparing to accept the Republican nomination for president. “I am seeing [redacted] in London next week to discuss ongoing business,” Steele wrote to Ohr, “but there is something separate I wanted to discuss with you informally and separately. It concerns our favourite business tycoon!” Steele said he had planned to come to the U.S. soon, but now it looked like it would not be until August. He needed to talk in the next few days, he said, and suggested getting together by Skype before he left on holiday. Ohr suggested talking on July 7. Steele agreed.

Ohr’s phone log for July 7 notes, “Call with Chris Steele” from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. eastern time.

(A caution here: It is possible the “favourite business tycoon” could be Deripaska, or perhaps even someone else, and not Trump. But no one referred to Deripaska in that way anywhere else in the communications. Also, Steele made it clear the “tycoon” subject was separate from other business. And July 1 was just before Steele met with the FBI with the first installment of the Trump dossier. So it appears reasonable, given Steele’s well-known obsession with Trump, and unless information emerges otherwise, to see the “favourite business tycoon” as Trump.)

On the morning of Friday , July 29, Steele wrote to say that he would “be in DC at short notice on business” later that day and Saturday. He asked if Ohr and wife Nellie were free for breakfast on Saturday morning. They were, and agreed to meet for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington.

Ohr’s log of contacts with Steele lists a meeting with Steele on July 30. Steele finished installments of the dossier on July 19 and 26.

On Aug . 22, Ohr received an email from Simpson with the subject line “Can u ring.” There was no message beyond a phone number. Ohr’s log lists some sort of contact — it’s not specified what — with Simpson on Aug . 22.

Steele finished an installment of the dossier on Aug . 22.

Steele dated three installments of the dossier on Sept . 14. On Sept . 16, Steele wrote Ohr to say that he would be back in Washington soon “on business of mutual interest.” Ohr said he would be out of town Sept. 19-21. On Sept . 21, Steele wrote to say he was in Washington and was “keen to meet up with you.” The two agreed to have breakfast on Sept . 23. Meeting on that date would be “more useful,” Steele said, “after my scheduled meetings” the day before. It’s not clear what those scheduled meetings were. Ohr’s log lists a meeting with Steele on Sept . 23.

On October 18, Steele emailed Ohr at 6:51 a.m. with a pressing matter. “If you are in Washington today, I have something quite urgent I would like to discuss with you, preferably by Skype (even before work if you can).” Steele wrote. Ohr suggested they do it immediately. “Thanks Bruce. 2 mins,” Steele replied. Ohr’s lo g lists a call with Steele on Oct . 18.

There is no note on what they discussed. But a few hours later, still on Oct . 18, Steele emailed Ohr again, and the subject was related to Deripaska. “Further to our Skypecon earlier today,” Steele wrote, Hauser had asked Steele to forward to Ohr information about a dispute between the government of Ukraine and RUSAL, Deripaska’s aluminum company. “Naturally, he [Hauser] wants to protect the client’s [Deripaska’s] interests and reputation,” Steele wrote. “I pass it on for what it’s worth.”

After another few hours had passed, Ohr asked if Steele had time for a Skype call. Steele said, let’s do it now. Ohr’s log lists calls with Steele on Oct . 18 and 19.

Steele finished dossier installments on Oct . 18, 19, and 20. The installment on Oct . 18 was the infamous Russians-offer-Carter-Page-millions-of-dollars allegation, and the ones on Oct . 19 and 20 concerned Manafort’s alleged role in an alleged collusion scheme.

On Nov . 21, other players entered the conversation. Ohr received an an email from Kathleen Kavalec, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European Affairs in the State Department. (Kavalec is now President Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Albania.) Kavalec sent Ohr information on Simon Kukes, a Russian-born executive who contributed more than $250,000 to Trump-supporting organizations after Trump won the Republican nomination. Kavalec said she met Kukes around 2014, when “Tom Firestone brought him in,” a reference to former Justice Department official Thomas Firestone, now a partner at the Washington law firm BakerHostetler. Kavalec also linked to a Mother Jones article about Kukes.

Ohr responded by saying, “I may have heard about him from Tom Firestone as well, but I can’t recall for certain.” Then Kavalec answered by saying she was “just re-looking at my notes from my convo with Chris Steele” and that “I see that Chris said Kukes has some connection to Serge Millian, an emigre who is identified by FT as head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.” [In the book Russian Roulette, authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn wrote that Millian claimed to have some sort of business relationship with the Trump organization — which the Trumps denied. More importantly, Millian went on to become Steele’s source for the infamous “golden showers” allegation that Donald Trump had engaged in a kinky sex scene in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.]

Ohr’s phone log indicates that he called Simpson on Dec . 8 to set up a meeting for coffee the next day, Dec . 9.

There is not another email until Dec . 11. Simpson sent Nellie Ohr a link to an article in the left-wing ThinkProgress headlined, “Why has the NRA been cozying up to Russia?” The article focused on now-indicted Russian agent Maria Butina and Russian Alexander Torshin. Nellie Ohr responded, “Thank you!” to which Simpson, the next day, answered, “Please ring if you can.” Nellie Ohr forwarded the Simpson message to Bruce Ohr, saying, “I assume Glenn means you not me.”

Ohr’s phone log on Dec . 13 said, “Glenn Simpson. Some more news. Yesterday 9:27 a.m. Spoke with him.”

Steele dated a dossier installment Dec . 13.

On Jan . 20, 2017, inauguration day, Bruce Ohr received an email from Simpson that said simply, “Can you call me please?”

The emails raise a clear question of whether Steele was working, directly or indirectly, with Oleg Deripaska at the same time Steele was compiling the dossier — and whether the Justice Department, along with Simpson and Fusion GPS, was part of the project. Given Deripaska’s place in the Russian power structure, what that means in the big picture is unclear.

On Feb . 9 of this year, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley wrote a letter to Hauser, the London lawyer, and asked, “Is it the case that Mr. Steele, through you, works or has worked on behalf of Mr. Deripaska or businesses associated with him?”

Hauser refused to answer, claiming such information was privileged. But he added: “I can confirm that neither my firm nor I was involved in the commissioning of, preparation of or payment for the so-called ‘Steele Dossier.’ I am not aware of any involvement by Mr. Deripaska in commissioning, preparing or paying for that document.”

On Feb . 14, at an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton asked FBI Director Christopher Wray about Deripaska.

“Is it fair to call him a Putin-linked Russian oligarch?” asked Cotton.

“Well, I’ll leave that characterization to others, and certainly not in this setting,” Wray said.

“Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, last week sent a letter to a London-based lawyer who represents Mr. Deripaska,” Cotton continued, “and asked if Christopher Steele was employed, either directly or indirectly, by Oleg Deripaska at the time he was writing the so-called Steele dossier. Do you know if Christopher Steele worked for Oleg Deripaska?’

“That’s not something I can answer,” Wray said.

“Could we discuss it in a classified setting?”

“There might be more we could say there,” Wray answered.

The newly-released Ohr-Steele-Simpson emails are just one part of the dossier story. But if nothing else, they show that there is still much for the public to learn about the complex and far-reaching effort behind it.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/emails-show-2016-links-among-steele-ohr-simpson-with-russian-oligarch-in-background

 

Who Really Is Behind The Fake Russian Anti-Trump Dossier?

clinton andmediacartoon

The much-anticipated memo confirming Democrats’ abuse of power has been released and a question remains is who really created the now debunked dossier? Was it really a British agent or a Clinton political operative? No matter how you look at it, it’s Watergate times 1000.

The FBI used the dubious dossier, prepared as campaign opposition research for Clinton’s presidential bid, to get permission from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign and transition team communications.

Here are the six main points of the Dossier:

1) Hillary and the DNC hire, through opposition research firm Fusion GPS, foreign spy Christopher Steele with Russian connections who hates Trump to do a dossier on Trump and they paid roughly 12 million dollars for it. The dossier is filled with Russian propaganda, unsubstantiated claims and outright lies against Trump.

2) Someone, likely Bruce Ohr, gave the fake dossier to Obama’s DOJ and FBI.

3) The DOJ and FBI knows the dossier is fake and politically motivated.

4) The DOJ and FBI present the dossier to FISA court to get a wiretap against Trump.

5) The DOJ and FBI don’t tell the FISA court the dossier was financed by Trump’s campaign opponent.

6) The FISA court was defrauded into ordering the wire tapping of Trump campaign.

But imagine if we had lost. Imagine how corrupt things would be under another four or even eight years under Democrat control. Imagine if Congress hadn’t voted to release the memo in the first place. Clinton and Obama’s goal was to make us a socialist state with many of our freedoms gone and government control of our lives. This is what Obama meant when he talked about transforming America. Trump has gotten rid of many of the controls Obama placed on us and is returning freedom to the people. This can plainly be seen with the tax reforms where people are seeing huge deductions in their taxes and companies are hiring like never before and coming back here to build from overseas.  Analysts have said that if Hillary got in you would see a 50% drop in the stock market.

According to a report from The Washington Post published last year, the dossier used by the DOJ and FBI to target Trump specifically included “information it says was obtained from ‘a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.’”

“In other words, the Clinton camp and the DNC were essentially paying for information allegedly obtained from inside the Russian government,” the Post added.

In summary, the administration of former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, used a phony dossier based on Russian intelligence — and that was paid for by Clinton, the then-Democrat presidential nominee — to spy on the campaign of the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

The Dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to the tune of 12 million dollars. The contents were obtained by Russian sources. Therefore the real traitors and Russian colluders are liberal democrats and not Republicans.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) revealed on Friday that there would be more memos released as the committee concluded its investigation into abuse of FISA warrants by the Obama administration – and the State Department is next.

Appearing on Fox News’ “Special Report” with host Bret Baier, Nunes said that today’s release of the memo on FISA abuse was only the beginning of their investigation.

When asked by Baier if more memos would come out, Nunes responded, “Yes, this completes just the FISA abuse portion of our investigation,” adding that the “investigation is ongoing.”

“We are in the middle of what I call ‘phase two’ of our investigation, which involves other departments,” Nunes continued. “Specifically, the State Department and some of the involvement they had in this.” Don’t forget Hilary was the head of the State Department right before the campaign.

A conspiracy theory from the Clinton campaign became leverage for delegitimizing and trying to reverse the results of an election. And the conspiracy theory that elements of the FBI loyal to the Democrats relied upon to attack Trump originated from the deepest sewer in Clintonworld that had been covertly smearing political enemies for decades.

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones,” Mark Antony tells the Roman mob. So it will be with the Clintons one day.

The Clintons are done. But their legacy lives on after them. The Russia conspiracies and the Mueller investigation continue to divide this nation even though Hillary’s political career is deader than Julius Caesar. Fusion GPS is still around. So is IGI. And there are other organizations like them out there.

Hillary told her people during the campaign,”If Trump gets in we’re all going to be hanging from nooses.” And so they should.

https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2018/02/really-behind-fake-russian-anti-trump-dossier/

UNHOLY ALLIANCE: DID US INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COLLUDE WITH CLINTON TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 ELECTION?

John D. O’Connor | The attorney who revealed Mark Felt as Watergate’s Deep Throat

As controversial as the Steele dossier has become, it may well prove key to a political corruption scandal far more insidious than anyone has presently suggested. To be sure, critics have blasted its seeming partisan falsity, and many also have declaimed that it enabled the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. And there is evidence that the opening of the “Russiagate” investigation was itself premised strongly on this “salacious and unverified” report. But little attention has been paid to the role of American intelligence agencies in its creation, which now is appearing substantial, and which would implicate a governmental conspiracy making Watergate look like child’s play.

This is not to minimize the profoundly troubling questions that this dossier has already presented, including those about the legitimacy of using “human sources” (i.e., spies) to entrap the opposition candidate during a presidential campaign. These questions are being doggedly pursued by Congress, and fought tooth and nail by a DOJ/FBI whose present and former officials face serious jeopardy. For instance, any official who knowingly presented a materially false FISA application, for warrant or extensions, should be guilty, for one, of obstruction of justice under 18 U.S.C. §1505.

But reasonable inferences to be drawn from the known evidence suggest that governmental wrongdoing may be even more darkly sinister than DOJ critics presently imagine, encompassing possible criminality so pervasive and widespread that every top DOJ and FBI official serving in 2016 may face discipline or even indictment. The basis for this pandemic criminality would be the participation of the DOJ, FBI and CIA, not just in the questionable use of the partisan, false Clinton-funded Steele Dossier, but in its planning and development, an issue not yet been meaningfully explored.

Why would engagement in the dossier’s creation be any more heinous than the FISA fraud already being widely suggested? No one should make light of the distinct possibility that some officials possibly defrauded the FISA court, FISC, wrongdoing, however, also possibly excused as negligent, blinding political bias. But if the Steele dossier was conceived and developed by our own intelligence agencies, as opposed to it having been used by them after this allegedly reliable dossier fell in their laps, the potential for criminality changes dramatically.

If our intelligence agencies had a hand in creating this dossier, such would have been done with the intent to frame Trump for serious crimes, to leak false charges to the media during an election campaign, and possibly to use as an insurance policy supporting impeachment. Our trusted intelligence organizations, reminiscent of East Germany’s, would have employed their vast powers to corrupt our most important democratic processes.

Before the skeptical reader dismisses these statements as so much overheated rhetoric, let’s calmly examine this hypothesis. We now know that the Steele dossier is false in its major claims, at least as to Trump’s involvement. If American intelligence (FBI, CIA and DNI James Clapper) substantially developed the dossier, it would have only done so if it knew that the dossier would be false. If it was planned to be a true report, why would these agencies bother disguising the report, using a law firm, a British spy, and an opposition research firm? These American agencies, which were closely cooperating with British GCHQ, could have produced the same salacious findings, and presented them to FISC with even greater credibility than, as they did, vouching for a former British spy’s credibility. If the claims were thought to be true, the FBI and CIA, also citing GCHQ, could strongly rely on their own stellar reputations to support their own report. So they would use a “cutout” like Steele only if they needed deniability should the falsity be discovered. Since Clinton was heavily favored, this potential discovery would be a minimal risk, especially with the unctuous Comey continuing in his twelve-year FBI term. But the unthinkable happened.

Let’s consider the circumstantial indicia suggesting that our intelligence agencies did participate in the Steele dossier ab initio. The first such fingerprint is that of British intelligence, present throughout the CIA/DOJ/FBI work, and closely connected to Steele.

As the British journal Guardian has reported, and left-leaning Media Matters has confirmed, the tip that Putin intended to financially support Trump was relayed from GCHQ to the CIA, led at the time by Brennan, in December 2015. So GCHQ was involved from the outset, and was itself likely no fan of a possible Trump presidency which had much in common with the governmentally despised Brexit movement. Brennan then hurriedly formed an “inter-agency” group, including the FBI, which we know existed as of December 28, 2015, when FBI lawyer Lisa Page inquired of her lover, FBI Deputy Peter Strzok about his request for approval of “LUREs,” fedspeak for human informants or spies, inferentially to penetrate the Trump campaign.

What suggests continuing GCHQ involvement is the British locus of subsequent spying and entrapping activity, such as approaches to London resident George Papadopoulos by Joseph Mifsud, Sergei Millian and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, all occurring in March through mid-May 2016. Later Stefan Halper lured Papadopoulos, Carter Page and, unsuccessfully, Steven Miller to London for more entrapping initiatives. Indeed, GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan traveled to Washington in August 2016 to personally discuss the investigation with Brennan.

We know that retired British spies stay close and loyal to their alma mater, with reciprocity, which would suggest that Christopher Steele’s retention in June 2016, by Clinton’s Fusion GPS, was likely sanctioned by GCHQ, with the approval of its partners CIA and FBI. Let’s put it this way: could Steele do what he did, seemingly exploiting CGHQ assets regarding sensitive American issues, without the explicit approval of GCHQ and its partners the CIA and FBI? Of course not.

Icing on this cake is provided, first, by the shadowy Sergei Millian, who had presumably been working for some intelligence agency (perhaps playing a double game) when hounding Papadopoulos commencing April 2016. Whoever was Millian’s employer, it certainly spoon-fed him as “Source D” and “Source E” to Steele, who pumped out his first report tout de suite, relying mainly on Millian. At the least, the readily talkative Millian was certainly known to GCHQ and its partners CIA and FBI, who in turn employed the frighteningly partisan Strzok. So we ask, were these three partnering agencies so incompetent that they could not uncover in seven months what Steele found in days for his first report, after his retention, in June 2016? Of course they could have. But they knew such reporting would be palpably false, and so, we infer, routed the false Millian stories through Steele.

By June 2016 all the human sources of GCHQ, CIA and FBI had come up dry, with the best they had being Papadopoulos’s repeating the ho-hummer that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary. And by June 2016, their first FISA application suffered the unusual and ignominious disgrace of having been rejected by a normally friendly FISC, one of the disappointed officials being DOJ’s Bruce Ohr. So they were in a pickle: they did not have enough evidence to get a FISA warrant, and yet needed a FISA warrant to get evidence, failing which the whole venture would have been dead in June 2016. If they were going to gamble to fabricate evidence, they needed a cutout – Steele – precisely because they could not themselves get a legitimate warrant based on legitimate evidence. And the cutout had to be sellable to FISC as a trained intelligence agent with good credentials, like Steele.

In that vein, it appears that Steele himself was not hired to do real investigatory work so much as to be a “front” through which to route claims to FISC that were not proven. He was paid a mere $168,000 (out of a multi-million-dollar research budget), a startlingly low figure for what claims to be highly sensitive digging through numerous sources in multiple countries. So clearly, whether through his handler, Nellie Ohr, the Russian-speaking wife of Bruce Ohr, or through GCHQ and its American partners, Steele was being fed his purported findings.

Steele’s job, thus, seems something other than the “opposition research” it has been labelled, to Comey and Brennen’s likely relief. Rather, his concealed partisan provenance and his professional intelligence reporting style were seemingly intended from the outset to support a FISA application, using Steele as a credible front. Let’s put it differently: if Steele’s work was not intended from the beginning to be used in a warrant application, why would it be written in an intelligence report style? Why all the efforts to hide his financing by Clinton? These efforts only make sense if they were originally pointed toward a warrant.

While all of the foregoing suggests, circumstantially, coordination and planning from the get-go, it is confirmed by Fusion’s hiring of Nellie Ohr just as Bruce Ohr was failing in the first FISA application, shortly following a White House visit in April 2016 by Mary Jacoby, wife of Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson. Nellie provided Steele with researchobtained a ham radio license, presumably for secure communications with Steele (including husband Bruce?), and Bruce delivered the product to the FBI’s Peter Strzok, who met with Steele around the time of the first report. So the Nellie Ohr-Steele-Bruce Ohr-Strzok pipeline was pumping early on. And, of course, Steele kept spitting out his seemingly spoon-fed reports well into October, each one of them going, it appears, directly into FBI and CIA hands. Were the FBI, CIA and GCHQ partner merely passive recipients? Common sense argues no. After all, Strzok and Bruce Ohr met with Steele on multiple occasions as the reports were prepared, presumably as something other than human out-boxes.

In addition to obtaining an illegitimate FISA warrant, were our intelligence agencies looking to politicize Steele’s phony reports? The ink was barely dry on most of Steele’s “findings” when Brennan made a big play of his “secret” briefing of the Gang of Eight in August 2016, along with his special private briefing of the unprincipled Senator Harry Reid, who had falsely leaked as to Mitt Romney in 2012. Reid, thereafter, to no one’s surprise, wrote a public letter alluding to the scurrilous allegations.

In short, if the Steele dossier did not simply come over the transom, but was in fact developed in coordination with them, then Comey, Brennan and Clapper, along with their underlings, should face serious consequences. We have heard their pious pronouncements about the sanctity of our democratic processes. Were these agencies, as the facts suggest, wrongfully interfering in the 2016 election? Documents sought by Congress should provide conclusive answers in what may be a scandal of unprecedented explosiveness.

John D. O’Connor is the San Francisco attorney who represented W. Mark Felt during his revelation as Deep Throat in 2005. O’Connor is the co-author of “A G-Man’s Life: The FBI, Being ‘Deep Throat,’ and the Struggle for Honor in Washington” and is a producer of “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House” (2017), written and directed by Peter Landesman.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Trump–Russia dossier

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The Trump–Russia dossier, also known as the Steele dossier,[1] is a private intelligence report comprising 17 memos that were written between June and December 2016[2] by Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6). The resulting dossier contains allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Government of Russia during the 2016 election cycle, with campaign members and Russian operatives allegedly colluding to interfere in the election to benefit Trump.[3] It also alleged that Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton‘s candidacy, including sharing negative information about Clinton with the Trump campaign.[4] The dossier was published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10, 2017.[5] Several mainstream media outlets criticized BuzzFeed’s decision to release it without first verifying its allegations.[6][7]

Fusion GPS, a private investigative firm, provided political opposition research against Trump in two distinct phases, with completely separate funders. Fusion GPS was first contracted by a conservative political website, The Washington Free Beacon, and Steele was not involved in that research. When Trump became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee on May 3, 2016, The Free Beacon stopped their backing. Separately, in April 2016, attorney Marc Elias hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In June 2016, Fusion GPS subcontracted Steele to research and compile the dossier. Steele was hired without knowing, or ever having direct contact with, his ultimate clients,[8] and his only instructions were to seek answers to this basic question: “Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?”[9] Senior Clinton campaign officials were reportedly unaware that Fusion GPS had subcontracted with Steele, and Steele was not told the Clinton campaign was the ultimate recipient of his research.[10][8] Following Trump’s election as president, funding from Clinton and the DNC ceased, but Steele continued his research, and was reportedly paid directly by Glenn R. Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS.[11] The completed dossier was then handed to British and American intelligence services.[12] Weeks before the 2016 election, on the basis of Steele’s reputation working on Russia-related matters for nearly 20 years, the FBI reached an agreement to pay Steele to continue his work, but the agreement was later terminated as information about the dossier became public.[13]

The media, the intelligence community, and most experts have treated the dossier with caution, due to its unverified assertions, while Trump himself denounced the report as “fake news“. However, the intelligence community does take the allegations seriously and investigates them.[14][15][16][17] For example, as of May 2018, former career intelligence officer James Clapper believed that “more and more” of the dossier has been validated over time.[18]

Some of the dossier’s allegations have been corroborated, while others remain unverified[19] or may require access to classified information for verification.[20] In February 2017, some details related to conversations “solely between foreign nationals” were independently verified. Some of those individuals were known to be “heavily involved” in efforts to damage Clinton and help Trump. The conversations “took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier,” giving US intelligence and law enforcement “greater confidence” in the credibility of parts of the dossier.[21] Fox News reported on August 15, 2018 that nothing in the dossier had been publicly proven false.[22]

 

History

The opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS on Donald Trump was completed in two phases with separate funders. The first research phase, from October 2015 to May 2016, was funded by The Washington Free Beacon. The second phase, from June 2016 to December 2016, was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, unrelated to the Washington Free Beacon request. The second phase produced the dossier.[23][24]

Research funded by conservative website

In October 2015, before the official start of the 2016 Republican primary campaignThe Washington Free Beacon, an American conservative political journalism website primarily funded by Republican donor Paul Singer, hired the American research firm Fusion GPS to conduct general opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates.[1] The Free Beacon and Singer were “part of the conservative never-Trump movement”.[25] For months, Fusion GPS gathered information about Trump, focusing on his business and entertainment activities. When Trump became the presumptive nominee on May 3, 2016,[26] The Free Beacon stopped funding research on him.[2][27][28]

Although the source of the Steele dossier’s funding had already been reported correctly over a year before,[2][27][28] a February 2, 2018 story by the Associated Press (AP) contributed to confusion about its funding by stating that the dossier “was initially funded” by the Washington Free Beacon, so the AP posted a correction the next day: “Though the former spy, Christopher Steele, was hired by a firm that was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, he did not begin work on the project until after Democratic groups had begun funding it.”[29] At no point in time did the Free Beacon have any connection with the production of the Steele dossier, and the Free Beacon stated that “none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier.”[30]

Research funded by Democrats produces dossier

The second phase of opposition research was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, working through their attorney of record, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie. In April 2016, Elias hired Fusion GPS to perform opposition research on Trump.[10]

As part of their investigation, Fusion GPS hired Orbis Business Intelligence, a private British intelligence firm, to look into connections between Trump and Russia. Orbis co-founder Christopher Steele, a retired British MI6 officer with expertise in Russian matters,[2] was hired as a subcontractor to do the job.[31] In total, Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $1.02 million in fees and expenses, $168,000 of which was paid to Orbis by Fusion GPS and used by them to produce the dossier.[32]

Orbis was hired between June and November 2016, and Steele produced 16 memos during that time, with a 17th memo added in December.[33] The memos were like “prepublication notes” based on reports from Steele’s sources, and were not released as a fully vettedand “finished news article”.[34] Steele believes that 70–90% of the dossier is accurate,[35] a view that is shared by Simpson.[34]

Simpson has stated that, to his knowledge, Steele did not pay any of his sources.[36][9][37] According to investigative reporter Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, Orbis has a large number of paid “collectors” who “harvest intelligence from a much larger network of unpaid sources, some of whom don’t even realize they are being treated as informants […] but money doesn’t change hands, because it could risk violating laws against, say, bribing government officials or insider trading. Paying sources might also encourage them to embellish.”[8] According to British journalist Luke Harding, Steele’s sources were not new: “They’re not people that he kind of discovered yesterday. They are trusted contacts who essentially had proven themselves in other areas.”[38] Howard Blum said that Steele leaned on sources “whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years”.[39]

According to Fusion GPS’s co-owners, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, they did not tell Steele who their ultimate clients were, only that Steele was “working for a law firm”,[8] and they “gave him no specific marching orders beyond this basic question: ‘Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?'”[9] Mayer reported that when the Clinton campaign “indirectly employed” Steele, Elias created a “legal barrier” by acting “as a firewall” between the campaign and Steele. Thus, any details were “protected by attorney-client privilege. Fusion briefed only Elias on the reports. Simpson sent Elias nothing on paper—he was briefed orally.”[8] Only several months after signing the contract with Fusion GPS did Steele learn that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were the ultimate clients.[8] The firewall was reportedly so effective that even campaign principals John Podesta and Robby Mook did not know that Steele was on the Democratic payroll until Mother Jones reported on the issue on October 31, 2016.[8]

Steele delivered his reports individually as one- to three-page memos.[2] The first memo, dated June 20, 2016, was sent to Washington by courier and hand-delivered to Fusion GPS. The names of the sources were redacted, “providing instead descriptions of them that enabled Fusion to assess their basic credibility.”[8]

Luke Harding wrote:

“At first, obtaining intelligence from Moscow went well. For around six months – during the first half of the year – Steele was able to make inquiries in Russia with relative ease. It got harder from late July, as Trump’s ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Finally, the lights went out. Amid a Kremlin cover-up, the sources went silent and information channels shut down.”[40]

Steele has stated that he soon found “troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government.” According to his sources, “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”[41] According to Harding, “Steele was shocked by the extent of collusion his sources were reporting,” and told his friends: “For anyone who reads it, this is a life-changing experience.”[35] Steele felt that what he had unearthed “was something of huge significance, way above party politics.”[39] American reporter Howard Blum described Steele’s rationale for becoming a whistleblower: “The greater good trumps all other concerns.”[39]

On his own initiative, Steele decided to also pass the information to British and American intelligence services because he believed the findings were a matter of national security for both countries.[42][43] According to Simpson’s testimony, Steele approached the FBIbecause he was concerned that Trump, then a candidate, was being blackmailed by Russia,[44] and he became “very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat”.[42] When Steele showed his findings to FBI agents in Rome in early July, their reaction was “shock and horror”.[44][45] Jane Mayer reports that the FBI agents “asked Steele about Papadopoulos, and he said that he hadn’t heard anything about him.”[8]

Steele enjoyed a good working reputation “for the knowledge he had developed over nearly 20 years working on Russia-related issues for British intelligence.”[13] Knowing this, in October 2016, a few weeks before the election, the FBI agreed to pay him to continue collecting information. However, the subsequent public release of the dossier stopped discussions between Steele and the FBI.[13] Simpson testified that “Steele wasn’t paid by the FBI, but was possibly reimbursed for a trip to Rome to meet with FBI officials.”[28][46]According to Mayer, Steele “did request compensation for travelling to Rome, but he never received any.”[8]

Simpson later revealed that “Steele severed his contacts with [the] FBI before the election following public statements by the FBI that it had found no connection between the Trump campaign and Russia and concerns that [the FBI] was being ‘manipulated for political ends by the Trump people’.”[47] Steele had become frustrated with the FBI, whom he believed failed to investigate his reports, choosing instead to focus on the investigation into Clinton’s emails. According to The Independent, Steele came to believe that there was a “cabal” inside the FBI, particularly its New York field office linked to Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani, because it blocked any attempts to investigate the links between Trump and Russia.[43]

Hints of existence

Jane Mayer has described how, in “late summer, Fusion set up a series of meetings, at the Tabard Inn, in Washington, between Steele and a handful of national-security reporters…. Despite Steele’s generally cool manner, he seemed distraught about the Russians’ role in the election.” Mayer attended one of the meetings. No news organizations ran any stories about the allegations at that time.[8]

Mother Jones story

By the third quarter of 2016, many news organizations knew about the existence of the dossier, which had been described as an “open secret” among journalists. However, they chose not to publish information that could not be confirmed.[2][48]

By October 2016, Steele had compiled 33 pages (16 memos), and he then passed on what he had discovered to David Corn, a reporter from Mother Jones magazine. On October 31, 2016, a week before the election, Mother Jones reported that a former intelligence officer, whom they did not name, had produced a report based on Russian sources and turned it over to the FBI.[41] The article disclosed some of the dossier’s allegations:

The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance”. It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals”. It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him”. It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

— David Corn, “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump”, Mother Jones (October 31, 2016)[41]

When the Mother Jones story broke, John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, said he was “stunned by the news that the FBI had launched a full-blown investigation into Trump, especially one that was informed by research underwritten by the Clinton campaign.” Although they knew that Perkins Coie had spent money for opposition research, neither Podesta nor campaign manager Robby Mook knew that Steele was on the Democratic payroll. They both maintain they “didn’t read the dossier until BuzzFeed posted it online. Far from a secret campaign weapon, Steele turned out to be a secret kept from the campaign.”[8]

Post-election events

After Trump’s election on November 8, 2016, the Democratic client stopped paying for the investigation, but Steele continued working on the dossier for Fusion GPS.[2] At that time, Simpson “reportedly spent his own money to continue the investigation”.[11] After the election, Steele’s dossier “became one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets, and journalists worked to verify the allegations.[2]

On November 18, 2016, U.S. Senator John McCain, who had been informed about the alleged links between the Kremlin and Trump, met with former British ambassador to Moscow Sir Andrew Wood at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada. Wood told McCain about the existence of the collected materials about Trump,[49] and also vouched for Steele’s professionalism and integrity.[50]

According to Simpson’s August 22, 2017, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Steele and David J. Kramer, a longtime McCain aide and former U.S. State Department official working at Arizona State University, met each other at the Halifax forum and discussed the dossier. Kramer told Steele that McCain wanted to “ask questions about it at the FBI. … All we sort of wanted was for the government to do its job and we were concerned about whether the information that we provided previously had ever, you know, risen to the leadership level of the FBI.” Later, “Kramer followed up with Steele”.[51] Steele had agreed with Fusion GPS to deliver a hard copy of all 16 memos to McCain,[33] which McCain received in early December from Kramer.[2] On December 9, McCain met personally with FBI Director James Comey to pass on the information.[49][23][52] Comey later confirmed that counterintelligence investigations were under way into possible links between Trump associates and Moscow.[33]

After delivering his 16 memos, Steele received more information and composed the two-page “December memo”, dated December 13. It mostly contained allegations against Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, which he denied.[53][54] In an April 2017 court filing, Steele revealed previously unreported information that he had given a copy of his last memo to a “senior UK government national security official acting in his official capacity, on a confidential basis in hard copy form”, because it “had implications for the national security of the US and the UK”.[33] Steele also “sent an encrypted version to Fusion with instructions to deliver a hard copy to Senator McCain.”[33]

Publication by BuzzFeed

In early January 2017, President-elect Trump[55] and President Barack Obama were separately briefed about the Russian interference in the election and on the existence of the dossier by the chiefs of several U.S. intelligence agencies. Vice President Joe Biden has confirmed that he and the president received briefings on the dossier and the allegations within.[56][57][58]

After the meeting with Obama, Trump was informed of the Russian election interference by Comey and Clapper on January 6, 2017, at a meeting in Trump Tower. After this meeting, Comey stayed behind and spoke privately with Trump, informing him of the dossier and some of its allegations.[59] Trump later expressed that he felt that James Comey was trying to blackmail him at the meeting in Trump Tower, held two weeks before the inauguration.[55] In April 2018, Comey said he did not inform Trump that the dossier was partly funded by Democrats because that “wasn’t necessary for my goal, which was to alert him that we had this information”.[60][61]

On January 10, 2017, CNN reported that classified documents presented to Obama and Trump the previous week included allegations that Russian operatives possess “compromising personal and financial information” about Trump. CNN stated that it would not publish specific details on the memos because it had not “independently corroborated the specific allegations”.[62][63] Following the CNN report,[64] BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier that it said was the basis of the briefing, including unverified claims that Russian operatives had collected “embarrassing material” involving Trump that could be used to blackmail him.[65][66][67]

BuzzFeed was harshly criticized for publishing what Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan called “scurrilous allegations dressed up as an intelligence report meant to damage Donald Trump”,[68] while The New York Times noted that the publication sparked a debate centering on the use of unsubstantiated information from anonymous sources.[69] BuzzFeed’s executive staff said the materials were newsworthy because they were “in wide circulation at the highest levels of American government and media” and argued that this justified public release.[70]

In relation to a defamation lawsuit filed by Aleksej Gubarev against BuzzFeed, regarding their publication of the dossier, Senior Master Barbara Fontaine stated that Steele was “in many respects in the same position as a whistle-blower” because of his actions “in sending part of the dossier to Senator John McCain and a senior government national security official, and in briefing sections of the US media”. She said that “it was not known who provided the dossier to BuzzFeed but Mr Steele’s evidence was that he was ‘horrified and remains horrified’ that it was published at all, let alone without substantial redactions.”[71] Both Simpson and Steele have denied providing the dossier to BuzzFeed.[72]

Format

When BuzzFeed published the 35-page dossier in January 2017, the individual memos were one- to three-pages long and page numbers 1-35 had been handwritten at the bottom. All but one had a typed date at the bottom. Each of the first 16 reports was assigned a typed number in the heading between 80 and 135, but the numeric order didn’t always match the chronological order. The 17th memo, known as the “December memo”, was numbered 166.[73]

Each memo started with a page heading in the same style as the first one shown here:

CONFIDENTIAL/SENSITIVE SOURCECOMPANY INTELLIGENCE REPORT 2016/080

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP’S
ACTIVITIES IN RUSSIA AND COMPROMISING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
KREMLIN[40]

Authorship

When CNN reported the existence of the dossier on January 10, 2017,[62][74] it did not name the author of the dossier, but revealed that he was British. Steele concluded that his anonymity had been “fatally compromised”, and, realizing it was “only a matter of time until his name became public knowledge”, fled into hiding with his family, in fear of “a prompt and potentially dangerous backlash against him from Moscow”.[75][76] The Wall Street Journal revealed Steele’s name the next day, on January 11.[77] Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, for whom Steele worked at the time the dossier was authored, and its director Christopher Burrows, a counterterrorism specialist,[25] would not confirm or deny that Orbis had produced the dossier.[74][2] On March 7, 2017, as some members of the U.S. Congress were expressing interest in meeting with or hearing testimony from Steele, he reemerged after weeks in hiding, appearing publicly on camera and stating, “I’m really pleased to be back here working again at the Orbis’s offices in London today.”[78]

Called by the media a “highly regarded Kremlin expert” and “one of MI6’s greatest Russia specialists”, Steele formerly worked for the British intelligence agency MI6, heading its Russia Desk for three years at the end of his MI6 career. He entered MI6 in 1987, directly after his graduation from Cambridge University.[79] He currently works for Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, a private intelligence company he co-founded in London.[80][81]

Wood, the former British ambassador to Moscow, has vouched for Steele’s reputation.[43] He views Steele as a “very competent professional operator … I take the report seriously. I don’t think it’s totally implausible.” He also stated that “the report’s key allegation—that Trump and Russia’s leadership were communicating via secret back channels during the presidential campaign—was eminently plausible”.[82] FBI investigators reportedly treat Steele “as a peer”, whose experience as a trusted Russia expert has included assisting the Justice Department, British prime ministers, and at least one U.S. president.[83]

Allegations

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at HelsinkiFinland on July 16, 2018

Michael Cohen (2011)

Carter Page (2017)

The dossier contains multiple allegations, some of which have been publicly verified while many others remain publicly unverified but not disproven. In some cases, public verification is hindered because information is classified.[20] According to Adam Schiff, a major portion of the dossier’s content is about Russian efforts to help Trump, and those allegations “turned out to be true”.[84] Trump and Putin have repeatedly denied the allegations, with Trump labeling the dossier as “discredited”, “debunked”, “fictitious”, and “fake news”.[85][86]

Cultivation, conspiracy, and cooperation

  • That “Russian authorities” had cultivated Trump “for at least 5 years”, and that the operation was “supported and directed” by Putin.[40][87] (Dossier, p. 1)
  • That Putin aimed to spread “discord and disunity” within the United States and between Western allies, whom he saw as a threat to Russia’s interests.[42][88] (Dossier, pp. 1–2)
  • That Trump was a “divisive” and “anti-Establishment” candidate, as well as “a pragmatist with whom they could do business”. That Trump would remain a divisive force even if not elected.[89][90] (Dossier, p. 29)
  • That a major goal of the Russians in supporting Trump was “to upset the liberal international status quo, including on Ukraine-related sanctions, which was seriously disadvantaging the country.[89][90] (Dossier, pp. 28–29)
  • That the Russian government’s support for Trump was originally conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then by the Federal Security Service (FSB), and was eventually directly handled by the Russian presidency because of its “growing significance over time.”[89][3] (Dossier, p. 29)
  • That Trump had “so far declined various sweetener real estate business deals”, but had “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin,” notably on his political rivals.[23][91] (Dossier, p. 1)
  • That there was “a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between [the Trump campaign] and the Russian leadership,” with information willingly exchanged in both directions. That this co-operation was “sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian diplomatic staff based in the US.” That the Trump campaign used “moles within DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in Russia.”[92][93] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That Trump associates had established “an intelligence exchange [with the Kremlin] for at least 8 years.” That Trump and his team had delivered “intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading Russian oligarchs and their families”, as requested by Putin.[89][94][90] (Dossier, p. 11)
  • That the Trump camp became angry and resentful toward Putin when they realized he was not only aiming to weaken Clinton and bolster Trump, but was attempting to “undermine the US government and democratic system more generally.”[90] (Dossier, p. 17)

Key roles of Manafort, Cohen, and Page

  • That then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had “managed” the “conspiracy of co-operation”, and that he used Trump’s foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, and others, “as intermediaries”.[95][96] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That Page had “conceived and promoted” the idea of leaking the stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 Democratic National Convention.[97][88] (Dossier, pp. 7, 17)
  • That Cohen played a “key role” in the Trump–Russia relationship[3] by maintaining a “covert relationship with Russia”,[98][99][100] arranging cover-ups and “deniable cash payments”,[53][33] and that his role had grown after Manafort had left the campaign.[101][97] (Dossier, pp. 18, 30, 32, 34–35)
  • That “COHEN now was heavily engaged in a cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the full details of TRUMP’s relationship with Russia being exposed.”[97][90] (Dossier, p. 32)

Kremlin pro-Trump and anti-Clinton

  • That Putin feared and hated Hillary Clinton.[95][102] (Dossier, p. 7)
  • That there was a “Kremlin campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON”.[92][93] (Dossier, pp. 7, 13)
  • That Putin’s interference operation had an “objective of weakening CLINTON and bolstering TRUMP”.[90] (Dossier, p. 17)

Kompromat and blackmail: Trump

  • That Trump “hated” Obama so much that when he stayed in the Presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow,[8][103] he employed “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him”[87][65] in order to defile the bed used by the Obamas on an earlier visit. The alleged incident from 2013 was reportedly filmed and recorded by the FSB[104] as kompromat.[105][106][107] (Dossier, p. 2)
  • That Trump was susceptible to blackmail[39][89] due to paying bribes and the existence of “embarrassing material” due to engagement in “perverted sexual acts” and “unorthodox behavior” in Russia.[108][65][104] (Dossier, pp. 1–2, 8, 11, 27)
  • That the Kremlin had assured Trump they would not use kompromat collected against him, “given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team.”[89][109] (Dossier, pp. 11–12)
  • That Trump had explored the real estate sectors in St Petersburg and Moscow, “but in the end TRUMP had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success”.[106][105] (Dossier, p. 8)
  • That Trump has pursued real estate deals in St Petersburg, and “paid bribes there to further his interests”. That witnesses to his “sex parties in the city” had been “‘silenced’ i.e. bribed or coerced to disappear.”[106][105] (Dossier, p. 27)
  • That Trump associates did not fear “the negative media publicity surrounding alleged Russian interference”, because it distracted attention from his “business dealings in China and other emerging markets”, which involved “large bribes and kickbacks” that could be devastating if revealed.[110][38] (Dossier, p. 8)

Kompromat: Clinton

Dmitry Peskov (2017)

  • That Putin ordered the maintenance of a secret dossier on Hillary Clinton, with content dating back to the time of her husband’s presidency. The dossier comprised eavesdropped conversations, either from bugging devices or from phone intercepts; it did not contain “details/evidence of unorthodox or embarrassing behavior”, but focused more on “things she had said which contradicted her current positions on various issues”.[89][41] (Dossier, pp. 1, 3)
  • That the Clinton dossier had been collated by the FSB[89][41] and was managed by Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.[104][42] (Dossier, pp. 1, 3)

DNC email hack, leaks, and misinformation

  • That Russia was responsible for the DNC email hacks[89][111] and the recent appearance of the stolen DNC e-mails on WikiLeaks,[89][112] and that the reason for using WikiLeaks was “plausible deniability“.[113] (Dossier, pp. 7–8)
  • That “the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team.”[3][113] (Dossier, p. 8)
  • That after the emails had been forwarded to WikiLeaks, it was decided to not leak more, but to engage in misinformation: “Rather the tactics would be to spread rumours and misinformation about the content of what already had been leaked and make up new content.”[96] (Dossier, p. 15)
  • That Page had intended the email leaks “to swing supporters of Bernie SANDERS away from Hillary CLINTON and across to TRUMP.”[97][102] (Dossier, p. 17)
  • That the hacking of the DNC servers was performed by Romanian hackers ultimately controlled by Putin and paid by both Trump and Putin.[53][33] (Dossier, pp. 34–35)
  • That Cohen, together with three colleagues, secretly met with Kremlin officials in the Prague offices of Rossotrudnichestvo in August 2016,[114][89][54][115] where he arranged “deniable cash payments” to the hackers and sought “to cover up all traces of the hacking operation”,[53][33] as well as “cover up ties between Trump and Russia, including Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine”.[3] (Dossier, pp. 18, 34–35)

Kickbacks and quid pro quo agreements

Igor Sechin (2016)

  • That Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian President of Ukraine, had told Putin that he had been making supposedly untraceable[3] kickback payments to Manafort while he was Trump’s campaign manager.[113] (Dossier, p. 20)
  • That in return for Russia’s leaking the stolen documents to WikiLeaks, “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”[95][113] (Dossier, pp. 7–8)
  • That Page had secretly met Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin in Moscow on “either 7 or 8 July”,[92] together with a “senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN.” That Sechin “offered PAGE/TRUMP’s associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent (privatised) stake in Rosneft” (worth about $11 billion) in exchange for Trump lifting the sanctions against Russia after his election.[116][90][89][117][118] (Dossier, pp. 9, 30–32)

Russian spy withdrawn

  • That Russia had hastily withdrawn from Washington their diplomat Mikhail Kalugin (misspelled as “Kulagin”), whose prominent role in the interference operation should remain hidden.[94][119][120] (Dossier, p. 23)

Cultivation of various U.S. political figures

Possible earlier interest in Trump

Although the dossier alleged in June 2016 that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years”, Luke Harding wrote that the Soviet Union had been interested in him since 1987. In his book Collusion, Harding asserts that the “top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB.” Then-KGB head Vladimir Kryuchkov “wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.” Harding proceeds to describe the KGB’s cultivation process, and posits that they may have opened a file on Trump as early as 1977, when he married Czech model Ivana Zelníčková; the Soviet spies may have closely observed and analyzed the couple from that time on.[122][123]

Denials of specific claims

Michael Cohen

The dossier alleges that Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, met with Russian officials in Prague in 2016 with the objective of paying those who had hacked the DNC and to “cover up all traces of the hacking operation”. Cohen has denied the allegations against him,[33][53][54] stating that he was in Los Angeles between August 23 and 29, and in New York for the entire month of September[115] and that “I have never been to Prague in my life”.[124] According to a Czech intelligence source, there is no record of him entering Prague by plane, but Respekt magazine and Politico pointed out that he could have entered by car or train from a neighboring country within the Schengen Area, for example Italy. In the latter case, a record of Cohen entering the Schengen zone from a non-Schengen country should exist.[125][126] McClatchy reported that “investigators have traced evidence that Cohen entered the Czech Republic through Germany”,[114]which was confirmed by The Spectator citing an intelligence source in London.[127] Mother Jones reported that Cohen had told them “I was in Prague for one afternoon 14 years ago,” contradicting later statements that he had never visited.[103]

Paul Manafort

Manafort has “denied taking part in any collusion with the Russian state, but registered himself as a foreign agent retroactively after it was revealed his firm received more than $17m working as a lobbyist for a pro-Russian Ukrainian party.”[96]

Carter Page

Page originally denied meeting any Russian officials, but his later testimony, acknowledging that he had met with senior Russian officials at Rosneft, has been interpreted as corroboration of portions of the dossier.[128][129][130]

Donald Trump

Trump has denied the “golden showers” allegation by claiming he is a “germaphobe”,[131] and then, as an alibi, that he did not stay overnight in Moscow.[132] In April 2018, James Comey said he did not know whether Trump “was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013”, adding “It’s possible, but I don’t know”.[60][61] In a June 21, 2018, debate, Comey, when asked if he believed “all the salacious” stories in the dossier, replied: “When I first saw it I didn’t believe it at all… [now] I think it’s possible that it’s true.” He said he changed his view after his encounters with President Trump.[133] Comey has stated that at the time he was fired, the allegations had not been verified.[134]

Twice Trump provided identical and disproven alibis to James Comey. He claimed he did not overnight in Moscow, but according to flight records, Keith Schiller‘s testimony, and Aras Agalarov, he did spend Friday night, Nov. 8, in Moscow, and attended the Miss Universe pageant the next night.[135] Trump not only spent a full night in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow,[136] according to Trump’s close acquaintance, Aras Agalarov,[137] he actually stayed in the Presidential suite, where the “golden showers” incident is alleged to have occurred.[8]

Trump’s longtime bodyguard Keith Schiller “privately testified that he rejected an offer by a Russian individual to send five women to Trump’s hotel room during their 2013 trip to Moscow,” stating that “he took the offer as a joke … and Trump laughed it off.” After accompanying Trump to his room, Schiller stayed outside the door for a few minutes and then left,[138] and according to one source “could not say for sure what happened during the remainder of the night.”[139] Thomas Roberts, the host of the Miss Universe contest, has confirmed that “Trump was in Moscow for one full night and at least part of another.” (November 8–10).[140]

Veracity

Steele and the dossier have become “the central point of contention in the political brawl raging around”[83] the Special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Those who believe Steele consider him a hero who tried to warn about the Kremlin’s meddling in the election, and people who distrust him consider him a “hired gun” used to attack Trump.[83] With the passage of time and further revelations from various investigations and sources, it is becoming clearer that the overall thrust of the dossier was accurate, but some details appear to be merely disinformation:[72]

Some of the dossier’s broad threads have now been independently corroborated. U.S. intelligence agencies and the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference did eventually find that Kremlin-linked operatives ran an elaborate operation to promote Trump and hurt Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, as the dossier says in its main narrative.”

— Jeff Donn, “Some Questions in Trump-Russia Dossier Now Finding Answers”, Associated Press (June 29, 2018)[72]

Reputation in the U.S. intelligence community

On January 11, 2017, Paul Wood, of BBC News, wrote that the salacious information in Steele’s dossier was also reported by “multiple intelligence sources” and “at least one East European intelligence service”. They reported that “compromising material on Mr. Trump” included “more than one tape, not just video, but audio as well, on more than one date, in more than one place, in both Moscow and St. Petersburg.” While also mentioning that “nobody should believe something just because an intelligence agent says it”,[141][77] Wood added that “the CIA believes it is credible that the Kremlin has such kompromat—or compromising material—on the next US commander in chief” and “a joint taskforce, which includes the CIA and the FBI, has been investigating allegations that the Russians may have sent money to Mr Trump’s organisation or his election campaign”.[142][143][141]

On January 12, 2017, Susan Hennessey, a former National Security Agency lawyer now with the Brookings Institution, stated: “My general take is that the intelligence community and law enforcement seem to be taking these claims seriously. That itself is highly significant. But it is not the same as these allegations being verified. Even if this was an intelligence community document—which it isn’t—this kind of raw intelligence is still treated with skepticism.”[15][16] Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote that “the current state of the evidence makes a powerful argument for a serious public inquiry into this matter”.[16]

On February 10, 2017, CNN reported that some communications between “senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals” described in the dossier had been corroborated by multiple U.S. officials. They “took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier”. Sources told CNN that some conversations had been “intercepted during routine intelligence gathering”, but refused to reveal the content of conversations, or specify which communications were intercepted “due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs”. CNN was unable to confirm whether conversations were related to Trump. U.S. officials said the corroboration gave “US intelligence and law enforcement ‘greater confidence’ in the credibility of some aspects of the dossier as they continue to actively investigate its contents”. They also reported that American intelligence agencies had examined Steele and his “vast network throughout Europe and found him and his sources to be credible.”[21]

On March 30, 2017, Paul Wood reported that the FBI was using the dossier as a roadmap for its investigation.[144] On April 18, 2017, CNN reported that, according to U.S. officials, information from the dossier had been used as part of the basis for getting the FISAwarrant to monitor Page in October 2016. Officials told CNN this information would have had to be independently corroborated by the FBI before being used to obtain the warrant.[12][145] In his testimony before Congress, Glenn Simpson “confirmed that the FBI had sources of its own and that whatever the FBI learned from Steele was simply folded into its ongoing work.”[146]

British journalist Julian Borger wrote on October 7, 2017, that “Steele’s reports are being taken seriously after lengthy scrutiny by federal and congressional investigators”, at least Steele’s assessment that Russia had conducted a campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to Clinton’s detriment; that part of the Steele dossier “has generally gained in credibility, rather than lost it”.[96]

On October 11, 2017, it was reported that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (DRhode Island), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC), had stated: “As I understand it, a good deal of his information remains unproven, but none of it has been disproven, and considerable amounts of it have been proven.”[147]

On October 27, 2017, Robert S. Litt, a former lawyer for the Director of National Intelligence, was quoted as stating that the dossier “played absolutely no role” in the intelligence community’s determination that Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[148]

On November 15, 2017, Adam Schiff stated that much of the dossier’s content is about Russian efforts to help Trump, and those allegations “turned out to be true”, something later affirmed by the January 6, 2017, intelligence community assessment released by the ODNI.[84]

On December 7, 2017, commentator Jonathan Chait wrote that as “time goes by, more and more of the claims first reported by Steele have been borne out”, with the mainstream media “treat[ing] “[the dossier] as gossip” whereas the intelligence community “take it seriously”.[14]

On January 29, 2018, Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “little of that dossier has either been fully proven or conversely, disproven”.[149][150]

John Sipher, who served 28 years as a clandestine CIA agent, including heading the agency’s Russia program, said investigating the dossier allegations requires access to non-public records. He said “[p]eople who say it’s all garbage, or all true, are being politically biased”, adding he believes that while the dossier may not be correct in every detail, it is “generally credible” and “In the intelligence business, you don’t pretend you’re a hundred per cent accurate. If you’re seventy or eighty per cent accurate, that makes you one of the best.” He said the Mueller investigation would ultimately judge its merits.[8] Sipher has written that “Many of my former CIA colleagues have taken the [dossier] reports seriously since they were first published.”[101]

During his April 15, 2018, ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey described Steele as a “credible source”: “It was coming from a credible source, someone with a track record, someone who was a credible and respected member of an allied intelligence service during his career, and so it was important that we try to understand it, and see what could we verify, what could we rule in or rule out.”[151]

In May 2018, former career intelligence officer James Clapper believed that “more and more” of the dossier has been validated over time.[18]

Varied reactions about veracity

Steele, the author of the dossier, said he believes that 70–90% of the dossier is accurate.[35][25] In testimony to Congress, Simpson quoted “Steele as saying that any intelligence, especially from Russia, is bound to carry intentional disinformation, but that Steele believes his dossier is ‘largely not disinformation’.”[72] Regarding the sex claims, Michael Isikoff and David Corn have stated that Steele’s “faith in the sensational sex claim would fade over time…. As for the likelihood of the claim that prostitutes had urinated in Trump’s presence, Steele would say to colleagues, ‘It’s 50-50’.”[25] James Comey has stated that, after his meetings with Trump, he thinks the salacious claims are possibly true.[133]

Other observers and experts have had varying reactions to the dossier. Generally, “former intelligence officers and other national-security experts” urged “skepticism and caution” but still took “the fact that the nation’s top intelligence officials chose to present a summary version of the dossier to both President Obama and President-elect Trump” as an indication “that they may have had a relatively high degree of confidence that at least some of the claims therein were credible, or at least worth investigating further”.[15]

Vice President Joe Biden told reporters that, while he and Obama were receiving a briefing on the extent of election hacking attempts, there was a two-page addendum which addressed the contents of the Steele dossier.[56] Top intelligence officials told them they “felt obligated to inform them about uncorroborated allegations about President-elect Donald Trump out of concern the information would become public and catch them off-guard”.[152]

On January 11, 2017, Newsweek published a list of “13 things that don’t add up” in the dossier, writing that it was a “strange mix of the amateur and the insightful” and stating that it “contains lots of Kremlin-related gossip that could indeed be, as the author claims, from deep insiders—or equally gleaned” from Russian newspapers and blogs.[153] Former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton stated that certain aspects of the dossier were inconsistent with British intelligence’s understanding of how the Kremlin works, commenting: “I’ve seen quite a lot of intelligence on Russia, and there are some things in [the dossier] which look pretty shaky.”[154]

In his June 2017 Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, former FBI director James Comey called “some personally sensitive aspects” of the dossier “salacious and unverified,” but he did not state that the entire dossier was unverified or that the salacious aspects were false. When Senator Richard Burr asked if any of the allegations in the dossier had been confirmed, Comey said he could not answer that question in a public setting.[155][20]

Trump and his supporters have challenged the veracity of the dossier because it was funded in part by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, while Democrats assert the funding source is irrelevant.[156]

Veracity of certain allegations

Russian assistance to the Trump campaign

January 6, 2017, intelligence community assessment released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) stated that Russian leadership favored the Trump candidacy over Clinton’s, and that Putin personally ordered an “influence campaign” to harm Clinton’s electoral chances and “undermine public faith in the US democratic process,” as well as ordering cyber attacks on “both major U.S. political parties”.[157]

Newsweek stated that “the dossier’s main finding, that Russia tried to prop up Trump over Clinton, was confirmed by” this assessment.[87] ABC News stated that “some of the dossier’s broad implications—particularly that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an operation to boost Trump and sow discord within the U.S. and abroad—now ring true.”[42] Referring to the ODNI assessment, former Los Angeles Times Moscow correspondent Robert Gillette wrote in an op-ed in the Concord Monitor that the dossier has had at least one of its main factual assertions verified….Steele’s dossier, paraphrasing multiple sources, reported precisely the same conclusion, in greater detail, six months earlier, in a memo dated June 20.”[158]

In The New Yorker, Jane Mayer has stated that the allegation that Trump was favored by the Kremlin, and that they offered Trump’s campaign dirt on Clinton, has proven true.[8]

In March 2016, George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of stolen emails. This occurred before the hacking of the DNC computers had become public knowledge.[159][160]Papadopoulos sent emails about Putin to at least seven Trump campaign officials. Trump national campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis[161] encouraged Papadopoulos to fly to Russia and meet with agents of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who reportedly wanted to share “Clinton dirt” with the Trump campaign.[162][163] When Donald Trump Jr. learned of the offer, he welcomed it by responding: “If it’s what you say, I love it…”[8] Later, on June 9, 2016, a meeting in Trump Tower was held, ostensibly for representatives from Russia to deliver that dirt on Clinton.[164][165]

At the July 2018 summit meeting, Putin was asked if he had wanted Trump to win the 2016 election. He responded “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”[166]

Republican position on Russian conflict with Ukraine

The dossier alleges that “the Trump campaign agreed to minimize US opposition to Russia’s incursions into Ukraine”.[167] Harding considers this allegation to have been confirmed by the actions of the Trump campaign: “This is precisely what happened at the Republican National Convention last July, when language on the US’s commitment to Ukraine was mysteriously softened.”[53] In July 2016, the Republican National Convention made changes to the Republican Party’s platform on Ukraine: initially the platform proposed providing “lethal weapons” to Ukraine, but the line was changed to “appropriate assistance”. NPR reported, “Diana Denman, a Republican delegate who supported arming U.S. allies in Ukraine, has told people that Trump aide J.D. Gordon said at the Republican Convention in 2016 that Trump directed him to support weakening that position in the official platform.”[168] J. D. Gordon, who was one of Trump’s national security advisers during the campaign, said that he had advocated for changing language because that reflected what Trump had said.[121][169] The Trump campaign does not appear to have intervened in any other platform deliberations aside from the language on Ukraine.[170]

In an interview on This Week, Trump told George Stephanopoulos that people in his campaign were responsible for changing the GOP’s platform stance on Ukraine, but that he was not personally involved.[171]

Trump had formerly taken a hard line on Ukraine. He initially denounced Russia’s annexation of Crimea as a “land grab” that “should never have happened”, and called for a firmer U.S. response, saying “We should definitely be strong. We should definitely do sanctions.” But after hiring Manafort his approach changed; he said he might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and might lift the sanctions against Russia.[172]

Relations with Europe and NATO

Vladimir Putin (2017)

The dossier alleges that as part of a quid pro quo agreement, “the TRUMP team had agreed… to raise US/NATO defense commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”[95] Aiko Stevenson, writing in The Huffington Post, noted that some of Trump’s actions seem to align with “Putin’s wish list”, which “includes lifting sanctions on Russia, turning a blind eye towards its aggressive efforts in the Ukraine, and creating a divisive rift amongst western allies.”[173] During the campaign Trump “called Nato, the centrepiece of Transatlantic security ‘obsolete’, championed the disintegration of the EU, and said that he is open to lifting sanctions on Moscow.”[173] Harding adds that Trump repeatedly “questioned whether US allies were paying enough into Nato coffers.”[53] Jeff Stein, writing in Newsweek, described how “Trump’s repeated attacks on NATO have…frustrated…allies …[and] raised questions as to whether the president has been duped into facilitating Putin’s long-range objective of undermining the European Union.”[174] Trump’s appearances at meetings with allies, including NATO and G7, have frequently been antagonistic; according to the Los Angeles Times, “The president’s posture toward close allies has been increasingly and remarkably confrontational this year, especially in comparison to his more conciliatory approach to adversaries, including Russia and North Korea.”[175]

Lifting of sanctions

The dossier says that Page, claiming to speak with Trump’s authority, had confirmed that Trump would lift the existing sanctions against Russia if he were elected president.[89] On December 29, 2016, during the transition period between the election and the inauguration, National Security Advisor designate Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, urging him not to retaliate for newly imposed sanctions; the Russians took his advice and did not retaliate.[176]Within days after the inauguration, new Trump administration officials ordered State Department staffers to develop proposals for immediately revoking the economic and other sanctions.[177] One retired diplomat later said, “What was troubling about these stories is that suddenly I was hearing that we were preparing to rescind sanctions in exchange for, well, nothing.”[178] The staffers alerted Congressional allies who took steps to codify the sanctions into law. The attempt to overturn the sanctions was abandoned after Flynn’s conversation was revealed and Flynn resigned.[177][104] In August 2017, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to impose new sanctions on Russia. Trump reluctantly signed the bill, but then refused to implement it.[179]

Spy withdrawn from Russian embassy

The dossier alleges that a “Russian diplomat Mikhail KULAGIN [sic]” participated in US election meddling, and was recalled to Moscow because Kremlin was concerned that his role in the meddling would be exposed. The BBC later reported that US officials in 2016 had identified Russian diplomat Mikhail Kalugin as a spy and that he was under surveillance, thus “verifying” a key claim in the dossier.[94] Kalugin was the head of the economics section at the Russian embassy. He returned to Russia in August 2016.[96] McClatchy reported that the FBI was investigating whether Kalugin played a role in the election interference. Kalugin has denied the allegations.[96][180]

Page meeting with Rosneft officials

Jane Mayer said that this part of the dossier seems true, even if the name of an official may have been wrong. Page’s congressional testimony confirmed he held secret meetings with top Moscow and Rosneft officials, including talks about a payoff: “When Page was asked if a Rosneft executive had offered him a ‘potential sale of a significant percentage of Rosneft,’ Page said, ‘He may have briefly mentioned it’.”[8]

On November 2, 2017, Page appeared before the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. In July 2016, Page made a five-day trip to Moscow,[181] but, according to his testimony, before leaving he informed Jeff SessionsJ. D. GordonHope Hicks, and Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, of the planned trip to Russia, and Lewandowski approved the trip, responding: “If you’d like to go on your own, not affiliated with the campaign, you know, that’s fine.”[118][128] In his testimony, Page admitted he met with high ranking Kremlin officials. Previously, Page had denied meeting any Russian officials during the July trip. His comments appeared to corroborate portions of the dossier.[129][130] Newsweek has listed the claim about Page meeting with Rosneft officials as “verified”.[182]

Investigations using or referencing the dossier

The FBI’s Russia investigation

In late July 2016, “the CIA had set up a special group with the NSA and FBI… to investigate the extent of Russian intervention in the presidential election.” Former CIA director John Brennan then “ensured that all information about links between the Trump campaign and people working for or on behalf of Russian intelligence went to the FBI.”[183] These links between Trump associates and Russian officials were numerous. Politico keeps a very detailed running tally of the persons, and, as of April 25, 2018, they listed “73 associated with [Trump’s] 2016 campaign”.[184] Julian Borger reported that in Brennan’s testimony before the House intelligence committee, he made it clear “that he was alarmed by the extent of contacts between the Trump team and Moscow,” and that this justified the FBI inquiry:[183]

Brennan stressed repeatedly that collusion may have been unwitting, at least at first as Russian intelligence was deft at disguising its approaches to would-be agents. “Frequently, individuals on a treasonous path do not even realize they’re on that path until it gets to be too late,” he said.[183]

The investigation was also spurred by comments made by Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.[160][185] While Trump and some Republicans have claimed that the dossier was behind the beginning of the FBI investigation into his campaign’s potential conspiracy with Russia, in December 2017, former and current intelligence officials revealed that the actual impetus was a series of comments made in May 2016 by Papadopoulos to Alexander Downer, a top Australian diplomat, during a night of “heavy drinking at an upscale London bar”.[185][160] John Sipher reported that Papadopoulos bragged “that the Trump campaign was aware the Russian government had dirt on Hillary Clinton”[4] in the form of “thousands of emails” stolen from Clinton which could be used to damage her campaign. Papadopoulos had learned this about three weeks earlier. Two months later, when WikiLeaks started releasing DNC emails, Australian officials alerted the Americans about Papadopoulos’ remarks.[185][160]Over a year later, Papadopoulos was arrested on July 27, 2017,[186] and in October 2017, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and became a cooperating witness in Mueller’s investigation.[185][186]

Other factors also played into the FBI’s decision to investigate Russian interference and the Trump campaign: intelligence from friendly governments, especially the British and Dutch, and information about Page’s Moscow trip. Steele’s first report was sent to Fusion GPS, dated June 20, 2016, and FBI agents first interviewed Steele in October 2016.[160] The New York Times reported on February 14, 2017 that the FBI had made contact with some of Steele’s sources.[187] CNN later reported that the FBI had used the dossier to bolster its existing investigations.[33][12]

In a January 2, 2018, CNN panel discussion, Elizabeth Foley, a Florida International University law professor, falsely alleged that the FISA warrant for Page was “all based on a dossier”, adding “That’s what Jim Comey has suggested.” She also cited reports from CNN and The New York TimesPolitiFact concluded that her claim about Comey was unsubstantiated, and according to CNN, the dossier was only “part of the justification”, and that The New York Times report did not mention the dossier. PolitiFact rated her claim “Mostly False”.[188]

Special counsel investigation

According to Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman Mark Warner (D-VA), the dossier’s allegations are being investigated by a Special Counsel led by Robert Mueller, which, since May 2017, has been investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.[189] In the summer of 2017, Mueller’s team of investigators met with Steele.[190] As some leads stemming from the dossier have already been followed and confirmed by the FBI, legal experts have stated that Special Counsel investigators, headed by Robert Mueller, are obligated to follow any leads the dossier has presented them with, irrespective of what parties financed it in its various stages of development, or “[t]hey would be derelict in their duty if they didn’t.”[189][191]

Subject of the Nunes memo

On February 2, 2018, the Nunes memo, a four-page memorandum written for U.S. Representative Devin Nunes by his staff, was released to the public. Referring to the dossier, the memo states that the FBI “may have relied on politically motivated or questionable sources” to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in October 2016 and in three subsequent renewals on Carter Page in the early phases of the FBI’s interference investigation.[192] Republican legislators argued that the memo presents evidence that a group of politically-biased FBI employees abused the FISA warrant process for the purpose of undermining the Trump presidency.[193] The Nunes memo stated that there was excessive and improper dependence on the Trump–Russia dossier.

On February 3, 2018, Trump praised the Nunes memo and tweeted:

Donald J. Trump via Twitter
@realDonaldTrump

This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

3 Feb 2018[194]

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) disagreed, stating on February 4 on CBS’s Face the Nation: “I actually don’t think [the memo] has any impact on the Russia probe.” He went on to say:

“There is a Russia investigation without a dossier,” Gowdy said. “So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”[28]

Gowdy was dissatisfied with the process of seeking the warrant: “I say investigate everything Russia did but admit that this was a really sloppy process that you engaged in to surveil a U.S. citizen.” When questioned, he said that the FISA warrant on Carter Page would not have been authorized without the dossier.[195]

Jane Mayer has quoted Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: “To impeach Steele’s dossier is to impeach Mueller’s investigation… It’s to recast the focus back on Hillary”, with the Republicans’ aim to “create a false narrative saying this is all a political witch hunt.” Mayer tied his view directly to Devin Nunes‘ production of “a report purporting to show that the real conspiracy revolved around Hillary Clinton,” falsely alleging that Clinton “colluded with the Russians…”, a claim debunked by Glenn Kessler.[8] Kessler, a fact checker for The Washington Post, analyzed a false accusation made by Nunes in a February 7, 2018, interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show: “The truth is that they [Democrats] are covering up that Hillary Clinton colluded with the Russians to get dirt on Trump to feed it to the FBI to open up an investigation into the other campaign.” Kessler’s “Pinocchio Test” rating was: “[T]here is no evidence that Clinton was involved in Steele’s reports or worked with Russian entities to feed information to Steele. That’s where Nunes’s claim goes off the rails—and why he earns Four Pinocchios.”[196] “Four Pinocchios” equals a “Whopper”.[197]

The Nunes memo falsely asserted that “Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—’salacious and unverified.'” Factcheckers noted that Comey actually testified that “some personally sensitive aspects of the information” were “salacious and unverified,” rather than the entire dossier.[198][199]

The Nunes memo asserted that Andrew McCabe testified to the House Intelligence Committee that “no surveillance warrant [of Carter Page] would have been sought from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) without the Steele dossier information,” but because McCabe testified in classified session, no transcript has yet been released to verify this assertion. In a CNN interview, McCabe asserted “that House Republicans twisted his answers”:

“We started the investigations without the dossier. We were proceeding with the investigations before we ever received that information…. Was the dossier material important to the package? Of course, it was. As was every fact included in that package. Was it the majority of what was in the package? Absolutely not.”[200]

Congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the Committee, also stated that McCabe’s testimony was mischaracterized.[201]

Contrary to assertions by Trump and his supporters that the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections was triggered by the dossier,[202] the Nunes memo confirmed the investigation began with a tip from Australian diplomat Alexander Downer regarding a conversation he had with Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos in a London bar in May 2016.[160][203] The FBI opened its investigation in late July 2016, and The Washington Post noted that this timing is “significant, given the FBI did not seek authorization to conduct surveillance on Page until three months later, on Oct. 21, 2016.” The Democrats asserted that the Nunes memo “shows the Russia investigation would be underway with or without the surveillance of Page, and—more critically—even if the government had never seen the dossier of information about Trump that was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy.”[204]

Amid assertions in the Nunes memo and from others that the dossier’s use in the Carter Page FISA warrant request was improper—countered by Democrats’ assertions that there was nothing improper—on April 6, 2018 the Justice Department made the FISA application available for all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to review.[205]

On July 21, 2018, the Justice Department released heavily-redacted versions of four FISA warrant applications for Carter Page which showed that key assertions made in the Nunes memo were false or misleading, corroborating the rebuttal made by Democrats.[206][207]

Reactions

November 14, 2017 – House Intelligence Committee transcript of Glenn Simpson

August 22, 2017 Fusion GPS testimony transcript of Glenn Simpson

Individual responses

Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned the dossier, including in this tweet, in which he quotes from Fox & Friends:[19]

Donald J. Trump via Twitter
@realDonaldTrump

WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!

26 Dec 2017[208]

As late as July 29, 2018, Trump continued to falsely insist that the FBI investigation of Russian interference was initiated because of the dossier, and three days later White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeated the false assertion. Fox News host Shepard Smith said of Trump’s assertion: “In the main and in its parts, that statement is patently false.”[209]

Trump has called the dossier “fake news” and criticized the intelligence and media sources that published it.[210] During a press conference on January 11, 2017, Trump denounced the dossier’s claims as false, saying that it was “disgraceful” for U.S. intelligence agencies to report them. Trump refused to answer a question from CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta on the subject. In response, CNN said that it had published “carefully sourced reporting” on the matter which had been “matched by the other major news organizations”, as opposed to BuzzFeed‘s posting of “unsubstantiated materials”.[211][64]

James Clapper described the leaks as damaging to U.S. national security.[212] This contradicted Trump’s previous claim that Clapper had said the information was false; Clapper’s statement actually said the intelligence community had made no judgment on the truth of the information.[213]

As Putin’s press secretary, Peskov insisted in an interview that the dossier is a fraud, saying “I can assure you that the allegations in this funny paper, in this so-called report, they are untrue. They are all fake.”[214] Putin called the people who leaked the dossier “worse than prostitutes”[215] and referred to the dossier itself as “rubbish”.[216] Putin went on to state he believed that the dossier was “clearly fake”,[217] fabricated as a plot against the legitimacy of President-elect Trump.[218]

Some of Steele’s former colleagues expressed support for his character, saying “The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false—completely untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. He’s not the sort of person who will simply pass on gossip.”[17]

Among journalists, Bob Woodward called the dossier a “garbage document”, while Carl Bernstein took the opposite view, noting that the senior-most U.S. intelligence officials had determined that the content was worth reporting to the president and the president-elect.[219] Julian Borger has described the dossier as “one of the most explosive documents in modern political history…”[96] Ben Smith, editor of BuzzFeed, wrote: “The dossier is a document…of obvious central public importance. It’s the subject of multiple investigations by intelligence agencies, by Congress. That was clear a year ago. It’s a lot clearer now.”[220]

Ynet, an Israeli online news site, reported on January 12, 2017 that U.S. intelligence advised Israeli intelligence officers to be cautious about sharing information with the incoming Trump administration, until the possibility of Russian influence over Trump, suggested by Steele’s report, has been fully investigated.[221]

On March 2, 2017, media began reporting that the Senate may call Steele to testify about the Trump dossier.[222] On March 27, 2017, SJC Chairman Chuck Grassley asked the Department of Justice to initiate an inquiry into Fusion GPS, who initially retained Steele to write the dossier.[223] Fusion GPS was previously associated with pro-Russia lobbying activities due to sanctions imposed by the Magnitsky Act.[224] On August 22, 2017, Steele met with the FBI and had provided them with the names of his sources for the allegations in the dossier.[225]

Steven L. Hall, former CIA chief of Russia operations, has contrasted Steele’s methods with those of Donald Trump Jr., who sought information from a Russian attorney at a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016: “The distinction: Steele spied against Russia to get info Russia did not want released; Don Jr took a mtg to get info Russians wanted to give.”[226]

Jane Mayer referred to the same meeting and contrasted the difference in reactions to Russian attempts to support Trump: When Trump Jr. was offered “dirt” on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” instead of “going to the F.B.I., as Steele had” done when he learned that Russia was helping Trump, Trump’s son accepted the support by responding: “If it’s what you say, I love it…”[8]

On January 2, 2018, Simpson and Fritsch authored an op-ed in The New York Times, requesting that Republicans “release full transcripts of our firm’s testimony” and further wrote that, “the Steele dossier was not the trigger for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling. As we told the Senate Judiciary Committee in August, our sources said the dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources, including one inside the Trump camp.”[9] Ken Dilanian of NBC News stated that a “source close to Fusion GPS” told him that the FBI had not planted anyone in the Trump camp, but rather that Simpson was referring to Papadopoulos.[227][47]

On January 5, 2018, in the first known Congressional criminal referral resulting from investigations related to the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Grassley made a referral to the Justice Department suggesting that they investigate possible criminal charges against Steele[228][229] for allegedly making false statements to the FBI about the distribution of the dossier’s claims,[230] specifically possible “inconsistencies” in what Steele told authorities and “possibly lying to FBI officials”.[231]Senator Lindsey Graham also signed the letter.[232][233] Both Grassley and Graham declared that they were not alleging that Steele “had committed any crime. Rather, they had passed on the information for ‘further investigation only’.”[234] The referral was met with skepticism from legal experts, as well as some of the other Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary committee, who reportedly had not been consulted.[232]

On January 8, 2018, a spokesman for Grassley said he did not plan to release the transcript of Simpson’s August 22, 2017 testimony before the SJC.[235] The next day, ranking committee member Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the transcript.[51][236]

On January 10, 2018, Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to have advance information on the forthcoming release of the Nunes memo and its assertions about the dossier, saying “more shocking information will be coming out in just days that will show systemic FISA abuse.” Hannity asserted that this new information would reveal “a totally phony document full of Russian lies and propaganda that was then used by the Obama administration to surveil members of an opposition party and incoming president,” adding that this was “the real Russia collusion story” that represented a “precipice of one of the largest abuses of power in U.S. American history. And I’m talking about the literal shredding of the U.S. Constitution.”[237]

On January 18, 2018, the HPSCI released the transcript of the Simpson Testimony given on November 14, 2017.[238][239] Democratic committee member Adam Schiff stated that the testimony contains “serious allegations that The Trump Organization may have engaged in money laundering with Russian nationals”. Trump Organization’s chief counsel Alan Garten called the allegations “unsubstantiated” and “reckless”, and said that Simpson was mainly referring to properties to which Trump licensed his name. Democratic member Jim Himes said that Simpson “did not provide evidence and I think that’s an important point. He made allegations.”[240]

In April 2018, the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) gave The Merriman Smith Memorial Award to CNN reporters Evan Perez, Jim SciuttoJake Tapper and Carl Bernstein. In January 2017, they reported that the intelligence community had briefed Obama and Trump of allegations that Russians claimed to have “compromising personal and financial information” on then-President elect Donald Trump.[62][241] WHCA noted that “[t]hanks to this CNN investigation, ‘the dossier’ is now part of the lexicon”.[242]

Circumstances surrounding the death of Oleg Erovinkin

On December 26, 2016, Oleg Erovinkin, a former KGB/FSB general, was found dead in his car in Moscow. Erovinkin was a key liaison between Sechin and Putin. Steele claimed much of the information came from a source close to Sechin. According to Christo Grozev, a journalist at Risk Management Lab, a think tank based in Bulgaria, the circumstances of Erovinkin’s death were “mysterious”. Grozev suspected Erovinkin helped Steele compile the dossier on Trump and suggests the hypothesis that the death may have been part of a cover-up by the Russian government.[243][244] Experts expressed skepticism about the theory. “As a rule, people like Gen Yerovinkin don’t tend to die in airport thriller murders,” said Mark Galeotti, an expert on the Russian security services.[243]

Litigation

Against BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS

On February 3, 2017, Aleksej Gubarev, chief of technology company XBT and a figure mentioned in the dossier, sued BuzzFeed for defamation. The suit, filed in a Broward County, Florida court, centers on allegations from the dossier that XBT had been “using botnetsand porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership”.[245][246] In the High Court of Justice, Steele’s lawyers said their client did not intend for the memos to be released, and that one of the memos “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified”.[247] In response to the lawsuit, BuzzFeed hired the business advisory firm FTI Consulting to investigate the dossier’s allegations.[248] BuzzFeed has sued the DNC in an attempt to force the disclosure of information it believes will bolster its defense against libel allegations.[249] Fusion GPS “has claimed that it did not provide the dossier to BuzzFeed.”[250]

In connection with the libel suit against them by Gubarev, on June 30, 2017, BuzzFeed subpoenaed the CIA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They also sought “testimony from fired FBI Director James Comey, as well as former DNI James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan”. They were interested in using the discovery process to get information about the distribution of the dossier, how it had circulated among government officials, and the “existence and scope of the federal government’s investigation into the dossier”. They hoped “the information could bolster BuzzFeed’s claim that publication of the document was protected by the fair report privilege, which can immunize reports based on official government records.”[251] On June 4, 2018, Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that BuzzFeed could claim “fair report privilege” for the publication of the dossier and its accompanying article, bolstering BuzzFeed’s defense.[252]

In May 2017, Mikhail FridmanPetr Aven, and German Khan – the owners of Alfa Bank – filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for publishing the unverified dossier,[253][254] which alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners.[255][256] In October 2017, Fridman, Aven, and Khan also filed a libel suit against Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson, for circulating the dossier among journalists and allowing it to be published.[257]

On January 9, 2018, Michael Cohen sued BuzzFeed and Fusion GPS for defamation over allegations about him in the dossier.[258] On April 19, 2018, ten days after his home, office and hotel room were raided by the FBI as part of a criminal investigation, Cohen filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss the suit.[259][260][261]

Against Christopher Steele

In April 2018, Alfa Bank owners Fridman, Aven, and Khan filed a libel suit against Steele,[262] since the dossier alleges financial ties and collusion between Putin, Trump, and the three bank owners.[255][256] The lawsuit is filed in Washington D.C., and since none of the parties to the lawsuit are based in D.C., it is possible the lawsuit may not be able to move forward in that court.[262] Steele’s lawyers have filed two motions to dismiss the case, accusing the three men of intimidation.[263]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump%E2%80%93Russia_dossier

Story 2: International Investors in U.S. Treasury Securities Are Flat and Smallest Share in 18 Years — Videos

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U.S. investors have so far financed all of this year’s increase in the federal government’s borrowing

Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008.
Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008. PHOTO: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. government has been issuing more debt, but it’s not getting more foreign buyers in the door. As a result, U.S. investors have so far financed all of this year’s increase in the federal government’s borrowing.

Foreign holdings of the debt have remained essentially flat, though the government’s borrowing has risen by $500 billion, giving foreign investors the smallest share of U.S. government debt since 2003. Even as yields on Treasury securities have risen to multiyear highs, foreign demand for debt at government bond auctions has slowed to the weakest level since 2008. Yields rise when bond prices fall.

Imported BondsTreasury debt has been less popular overseassince auction sizes began increasing this FebruaryPercentage of Treasury auctions won by foreign investors Source: U.S. Treasury Department
%Jan. ’17JulyJan. ’18July7.510.012.515.017.520.022.5

Some foreign investors are concerned that the$1.5 trillion tax cut passed by Congress in December will overstimulate the U.S. economy, leading to an acceleration in inflation and potentially higher bond yields and interest rates.

The drop in foreign demand is happening as Treasury yields approach their highest premiums over German and Japanese debt since the 1980s and as the dollar is in the middle of a rally that caught many investors by surprise. The drop-off in foreign interest also coincides with a decision by the Federal Reserve to reduce the size of its government bond holdings as part of an effort to restore monetary policy to precrisis norms.

Investors and analysts cite two impediments that are discouraging foreign investment. One is the strength of the dollar has made it more expensive for investors in Japan and Europe to hedge the currency risk of buying Treasurys. A second is a new concern about the sustainability of U.S. borrowing practices at a time when the Trump administration is forecast to run a series of trillion-dollar budget deficits beginning as soon as 2020.

The hedging costs are “so high and so punitive that it is no longer attractive” to buy Treasurys, said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank. The cost is typically close to premium of short-term U.S. government bill yields over short-term yields overseas. Those rates are compared with short-term government debt yields, which are closely tied to each market’s central bank’s policies. The Fed is holding its target rate in a range between 1.75% and 2%, while rates for the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank are negative.

A bigger concern perhaps is that by boosting debt to fuel growth at a time when the unemployment rate is about 4%, the U.S. may be “opening the door to much more serious risks,” Mr. Slok said.

Those risks for the economy, which grew at a 4.1% pace in the second quarter, include the possibility that it overheats. That could force the Fed to raise interest rates quickly, risking a rise in bond yields, and accelerate the next recession, Mr. Slok said.

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/funding-secured-for-the-u-s-government-that-means-domestic-bond-buyers-1534507201

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The Pronk Pops Show 1124. August 14, 2018, Story 1: Terrorist Vehicle Attack In London Outside Houses of Parliament with Three Injuries — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Outstanding National Defense Speech on Strengthen Armed Forces — Videos — Story 3: Waiting For Mueller To Wrap Up His Counter Intelligence Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Election — No Evidence of Russian Trump Collusion — American People Want It Completed Now! — Videos — Story 4: Lady and Trump — Dog Fight — Trump Punches Back At Ungrateful Omarosa Manigault Newman — American People Simply Do Not Care About Omarosa — Why Was She Hired in The First Place? — You Are Fired For Good — Videos

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Story 1: Terrorist Vehicle Attack In London Outside Houses of Parliament with Three Injuries — Videos

Suspect is named

It is believed the driver of the car is a 29-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin called Salih Khater, understood to be from Birmingham

British police say suspect in Parliament crash is not cooperating

Westminster car crash: Man arrested as pedestrians injured – BBC News

Police treating London car crash as act of terror

London incident being investigated as terror attack

Witness of London Terror Attack: ‘Thank God I Wasn’t Actually Hit’

Suspected terror attack outside London parliament

Westminster car crash ‘terror attack’: What we know so far about the incident

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of terror offences after the crash in central London

By Zara Whelan

Mirror Reporter
  • 14:04, 14 AUG 2018
  • UPDATED16:00, 15 AUG 2018

A man has been arrested on on suspicion of terrorist offences after a car ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists outside Parliament.

The vehicle was seen careering through Parliament Square in Westminster before smashing into a barrier.

Armed police swooped on the scene and dramatic footage shows officers pull the driver out of the silver Ford at gunpoint.

Those who were nearby have told of how they had to “run” as the scene unfolded in central London at around 7.30am.

The Met Police confirmed a number of pedestrians have been injured in the incident, which occurred during rush hour this morning.

(Image: PA)

Police urged Londoners to remain vigilant, adding: “At this stage, we are treating this as a terrorist incident and the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command is now leading the investigation.”

Terrified eyewitnesses said it appeared the car was deliberately driven into the victims and barriers, and they ran for their lives fearing it was another terror attack in central London, the Mirror reports.

POLICE RESPONDING TO INCIDENT AT WESTMINSTER

The incident happened at the height of the morning commute and put the Palace of Westminster and surrounding area on lockdown.

Afterwards, the man who was arrested was not cooperating with detectives, and police were still trying to formally identify him, said Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, head of Scotland Yard’s Counter-Terror Command.

Video shows horrifying series of events

Metropolitan Police undated handout photo of the silver Ford Fiesta after it crashed outside the Houses of Parliament in a suspected terror attack (Image: PA)

The harrowing incident was captured on a number of CCTV cameras in the area.

The footage shows the police pulling up and surrounding the driver of the car that had smashed into security barriers.

TIME LINE

Westminister Incident: Timeline of events

    1. 7.40am: Car is seen careering through Parliament Square

      At around 7.40am a car is seen driving erratically through Parliament Square, first crashing into a group of cyclists. The driver then moves off through the roads in the square before smashing into a barrier.

    2. Hundreds of officers swarm the scene

      Seconds later, police officers storm the scene and pull the driver of the vehicle at gunpoint – understood to be a man in his late 20s.
      Reports say he did not resist arrest and remained in the car until the police arrived.

  1. ‘Smoke and flames were coming out the vehicle’

    Bus driver Victor Ogbomo, 49, was driving passengers past the front of Westminster when he saw the crash.

    “All I saw was the smoke coming out of a vehicle, a silver vehicle … I just stopped the bus,” he said.

    “The police said we have to move back, then in less than five minutes the response team came.

    “They went to the vehicle, so we had to push back. I saw the car in the barrier, I didn’t know how it got there.

    “I think someone was inside the vehicle because many police went towards the vehicle.”

    He said officers had their guns out when they arrested the driver.

  2. Car hits cyclists and pedestrians ‘at 40mph’

    There were scenes of panic and chaos as the car crashed at 40mph, leaving victims injured on the floor in the aftermath, say eyewitnesses.

  3. Police assemble cordon

    Police assemble a cordon around Parliament Square and beyond into Westminster.
    Westminster tube station is closed and no-one is allowed in or out of the barriers.
    The cordon remains in place as investigations take place.

  4. Parliament workers told to stay away from windows fearing follow-up attack

    Workers trapped inside parliament square buildings were told to hide in basements and stay away from windows.

    Scott Hawkins, who works in IT support for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in Westminster, was given the warning by police – sparking fears of snipers or a follow up attack.
    He said: “Police advised us to stay in the basement of our building as being near windows is a security risk right now.
    “I was walking through Parliament Square just before the crash so I missed the actual event.
    “The police have put our building on lockdown.
    “I have no idea when we will be allowed out.
    “They’re going to give us an update at 11am.”

  5. 11am: London Ambulance confirm third person injured

    London Ambulance Service have confirmed a third patient was treated at the scene – but was not taken to hospital.
    In its latest statement the emergency service said: “Two patients were treated at the scene and taken to hospital and a third patient with minor injuries was assessed at the scene.”

  6. 11.30am: MET Police release official statement

    The Metropolitan Police release an official statement.
    The Met Police’s assistant commissioner speaks to members of the press about the incident.

  7. Suspect is “not cooperating”

    Neil Basu said “The man is not co-operating with authorities at this stage.”

  8. Suspect not known to the authorities

    Neil Basu was asked whether the driver was someone that was known to officers or counter intelligence agencies, to which he replied: “We haven’t formally identified him yet and it’s too early to make that judgement.

    “On the details that we have at this moment we don’t believe this person is known to either MI5 or counter-terrorism police.”

  9. A deliberate attack but unknown motive

    Neil Basu asked whether the vehicle was deliberately driven at police officers in a targeted attack, to which he replied: “We can’t say that at this time. It certainly appears to be a deliberate attack act but the motivation is we can’t say.

  10. Transport police putting on extra patrols throughout the city

    British Transport Police (BTP) said it would be putting extra officers on patrols in England, Scotland and Wales on Tuesday afternoon and into the evening following the Westminster terror attack.

    Superintendent Chris Horton from BTP said: “We know incidents such as this are likely to cause concern, so our officers will be highly visible both on board trains and at stations.

    “We are there to reassure the travelling public, so please don’t be alarmed if you see our officers, including firearms officers, on your journey.”

  11. Cobra meeting to be held at 2pm today

    A meeting of the Government’s emergency cobra committee will be held at 2pm.

    This afternoon’s Cobra session will be a meeting of officials, with no cabinet ministers expected to attend at the moment, No 10 said.

    Prime Minister Theresa May is currently away in Switzerland on the second leg of her summer holiday.

  12. No other suspects

    Scotland Yard says there are no other suspects for the Westminster terror incident at this time, only the man arrested early this morning and there is “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to people in the capital

  13. 12.40pm: Forensic officers continue to work at the scene

    Pedestrians Injured As Car Crashes Into Security Barriers At Westminster

  14. Suspect is ‘believed to be from the midlands’

    Sources from Sky News confirm the suspect is believed to be from the midlands.

  15. Westminster Tube is open again

    Westminster Tube station has re-opened.

  16. Tourists seen posing just a few feet from suspected terror attack

    Photos have emerged of tourists posing for selfies on Westminster Bridge, just metres away from the scene of the suspected terror attack.

  17. Suspect is named

    It is believed the driver of the car is a 29-year-old British citizen of Sudanese origin called Salih Khater, understood to be from Birmingham

  18. Police raid tower block in Birmingham

    Police search a 10th floor flat in Brinklow Tower in Highgate Street, Birmingham in relation to the suspected terror attack on Westminster.
    Police in the midlands are carrying out searched in both Birmingham and Nottingham.

Eyewitness says ‘Car hit cyclists on wrong side of road before swerving into barrier’

Barry Williams told the Victoria Derbyshire show: “I heard a commotion and turned around to see a silver car heading towards the cyclists on the other side of the road. They were parked waiting for the lights to change.

“It hit the cyclists then swerved over towards where the safety barrier is where police make sure cars go through.

“It accelerated and hit it at quite a high speed.

“I wasn’t sure whether he meant to hit the cyclist they may just have been in the way but he accelerated hard towards the barrier

“Police were very fast they vaulted over the safety barrier and headed towards the car followed by obviously loads of armed police who were in the area.

He said the police then pushed people back from the crash.

“when it hit the barrier there was quite a lot of smoke and it hit with quite a jog – It actually came off the ground and landed again because it’s quite a light car.

A low-loader arrives at the scene near to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster in central London, after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament (Image: PA)

“(Police) rushed to the scene and they grabbed the bloke but then they seemed to walk away.

“After police got to the car they then started pushing us back towards where the lights were and that’s when I walked past and saw lots of pedestrians but also the cyclists -there was a few on the ground – some were holding their arms.

“There was bikes everywhere.”

He then added: “It was frightening but that’s why I was walking backwards – you never know who’s in the car.”

Attack condemned by many

In a statement on the attack, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said “all Londoners, like me, utterly condemn all acts of terrorism on our city”.

“The response of Londoners today shows that we will never be cowed, intimidated or divided by any terrorist attack,” he said.

PM Theresa May has praised the response from the emergency services:

UK Prime Minister

@10DowningStreet

“My thoughts are with those injured in the incident in Westminster and my thanks to the emergency services for their immediate and courageous response.” – PM @theresa_may

Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn wrote: “My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside Parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist incident.

“Our thanks go to our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery keeps us safe day in, day out.”

Jeremy Corbyn

@jeremycorbyn

My thoughts are with those hurt and injured outside Parliament this morning in what is being treated as a terrorist incident.

Our thanks go to our emergency services who responded immediately. Their bravery keeps us safe day in, day out.

US President Donald Trump has tweeted a typically inflammatory statement following the incident.

He wrote: “Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Another terrorist attack in London…These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!

Official statement from The Met Police from Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu in relation to this morning’s incident in Westminster:

“At 07:37hrs a silver Ford Fiesta was involved in a collision in front of the Houses of Parliament.

That vehicle collided with cyclists and pedestrians before hitting a barrier and coming to a stop.

Two people have been taken to hospital.

One man has been discharged and one woman remains in hospital being treated for serious but thankfully, non-life threatening injuries.

Another man was also treated at the scene but didn’t require hospital treatment.

The driver of the Fiesta, who was alone in the vehicle, was arrested at the scene by armed officers who were already nearby.

The man, who is in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences and has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.

“Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site we are treating this as a terrorist incident and it is being led by officers from the counter-terrorism command.

“Officers are searching the vehicle and no other weapons have been found at this time.

“At this early stage of the investigation no other suspects have been identified or reported to police.

“There is no intelligence at this time of further danger to Londoners or the rest of the UK connected to this incident.

“Our priority now is to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivation if we can.

“He is not currently co-operating.

A car that crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament stands to the right of a bus in London, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. London police say that a car has crashed into barriers outside the Houses of Parliament and that there are a number of injured. (Image: AP)

“However, as you would expect detectives form the counter-terrorism command are making various other urgent enquiries to ensure there is no outstanding risk to the public.

“Clearly we are treating the scene as a crime scene so cordons are likely to remain outside Parliament for some time.

“Thank you to the public for their patience whilst we deal with the incident.”

“Following questioning about whether police were pursuing the vehicle – as many believed they could see in CCTV of the incident – Mr Basu said: “No, I’ve heard that this morning .There wasn’t a police car in pursuit of the vehicle.

“I believe it was an ambulance on a completely unrelated call.”

A forensic officer attends the scene near the Houses of Parliament, Westminster in central London, (Image: PA)

Mr Basu was then questioned about whether the vehicle was deliberately driven at police officers in a targeted attack, to which he replied: “We can’t say that at this time. It certainly appears to be a deliberate attack act but the motivation is we can’t say.

He was then asked whether the driver was someone that was known to officers or counter intelligence agencies, to which he replied: “We haven’t formally identified him yet and it’s too early to make that judgement.

“On the details that we have at this moment we don’t believe this person is known to either MI5 or counter-terrorism police.”

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call 0800 789 321.

Anyone who may have footage or images of the incident is asked to send them to police via: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk

Timeline of recent terror attacks in UK

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed its Counter-Terrorism Command is leading the investigation after a car crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

It comes just 11 months after a partially exploded bomb was left on a Tube train – the last major incident to rock Britain.

Here is a timeline of attacks in recent years:

September 15, 2017: A partially exploded device planted on a District line train left more than 51 people injured.

Ahmed Hassan, 18, was jailed for at least 34 years for planting the Parsons Green tube bomb which caused a huge fireball.

June 19, 2017: One man dies and several others are injured after a man rammed his van into worshippers in north London.

Darren Osborne, 47, of no fixed address in Cardiff – who had been radicalised by far-right material, was jailed for at least 43 years after being found guilty in February of murder and attempted murder.

June 3, 2017: Eight people are killed in a terror attack around London Bridge.

A van ploughed into people on the bridge before the three attackers carried out a knife rampage in Borough Market. The perpetrators – Khuram Butt, 27, Rachid Redouane, 30, and Youssef Zaghba, 22 – were shot dead by police.

May 22, 2017: Twenty-two people – including children – are killed in a bombing at a pop concert in Manchester.

Lone suicide attacker Salman Abedi detonated an explosive device as crowds of music fans, many of them youngsters, left Manchester Arena following a performance by US singer Ariana Grande.

March 22, 2017: Five people are killed in a car and knife attack in Westminster.

Khalid Masood drove a hire car over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament, mounted the pavement and hit pedestrians before crashing into railings outside the Palace of Westminster.

He stabbed Pc Keith Palmer, 48, to death. Also killed in the atrocity were US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, and Britons Aysha Frade, 44, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes. Masood was shot dead by police.

June 16, 2016: Labour MP Jo Cox is murdered outside her constituency office in Batley, West Yorkshire.

The mother-of-two, 41, was shot and stabbed multiple times by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair. He was later handed a whole-life prison sentence for her murder.

May 22, 2013: Fusilier Lee Rigby is murdered by Islamist extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.

The 25-year-old serviceman was walking near his barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, when the pair rammed him with a car before attempting to hack off his head with knives. The killers were jailed at the Old Bailey in February 2014.

July 7, 2005: Four suicide bombers kill 52 and injure hundreds of others in blasts on the London Underground network and a bus.

Twenty-six died in the bombing at Russell Square on the Piccadilly line, six in the bombing at Edgware Road on the Circle line, seven in the bombing at Aldgate on the Circle line, and 13 in the bombing on a bus at Tavistock Square.

https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/westminster-car-crash-terror-attack-15028520

 

Trump blasts ‘another terror attack in London’ as he hits out at ‘animals’ and hints Britain isn’t being tough enough in tackling extremists

  • Trump hit out following London terror attack which he blamed on ‘crazy animals’
  • He said attackers ‘must be dealt with through toughness and strength’ 
  • At least 10 cyclists were hit by the car, leaving three injured, one seriously
  • A black man in his 20s has been arrested and is being treated as a terror suspect 

President Donald Trump has hit out following ‘another terrorist attack’ in Londonwhich he blamed on ‘crazed animals’.

In an early-morning string of tweets from Washington, Trump wrote: ‘Another terrorist attack in London… These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!’

Trump has previously accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to tackle extremism and crime in the city while blaming high levels of immigration.

At least ten cyclists were hit when a silver Ford Fiesta was driven across the sidewalk in central London around 7.30am local time before accelerating toward police outside the Houses of Parliament.

Donald Trump has spoken out after the terror attack in London, hitting out at what he called 'crazy animals' and saying they should be dealt with 'through toughness and strength'

Donald Trump has spoken out after the terror attack in London, hitting out at what he called ‘crazy animals’ and saying they should be dealt with ‘through toughness and strength’

 

Latest Westminster terror attack comes 17 months after Khalid Masood killed five people and injured 50

  • Today’s crash is 18 months after Westminster Bridge attack which left five dead 
  • Muslim convert Khalid Masood drove car into crowds on bridge in March 2017
  • 52-year-old abandoned car then stabbed and killed unarmed PC Keith Palmer 
  • Parliament’s security barriers of steel and concrete were extended after attack

Today’s suspected terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament comes 17 months after the Westminster Bridge attack which left five people dead and 50 injured.

Khalid Masood, 52, ploughed a car into crowds on the bridge in London in March 2017, in the first of five terrorist attacks on Britain last year.

Masood abandoned his car then stabbed and killed unarmed PC Keith Palmer before he was shot by armed police in a courtyard outside Parliament.

This graphic shows Khalid Masood's attack in March 2017, and the latest attack today (in red)

This graphic shows Khalid Masood’s attack in March 2017, and the latest attack today (in red)

Khalid Masood

Pc Keith Palmer,

Khalid Masood (left) ploughed a car into crowds on Westminster Bridge in March 2017, before abandoning his vehicle then stabbing and killing unarmed PC Keith Palmer (right)

A policeman points a gun at Masood on the ground at the Houses of Parliament in March 2017

A policeman points a gun at Masood on the ground at the Houses of Parliament in March 2017

Kurt Cochran (above) from Utah, was one of the victims of the attack. He was on a trip with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

Kurt Cochran (above) from Utah, was one of the victims of the attack. He was on a trip with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary

Masood’s rampage left five people dead – 48-year-old PC Palmer, who was on duty at the Palace of Westminster, along with US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea, 31, and Britons Aysha Frade, 44, and 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes, who were mown down on the bridge.

Security expert Chris Phillips said: ‘The whole point of those barriers is they are to stop and slow down any vehicles getting close to the building and people inside.’

On ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, he added: ‘If you tried to crash through those barriers, it just wouldn’t work. They’re strong enough to stop a vehicle at 50mph.’

Masood was a Muslim convert with a history of violent crime – and unleashed his rampage more than a decade after turning his back on his family in Birmingham.

People stand near the crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground after the attack

People stand near the crashed car and a injured person lying on the ground after the attack

The scene on Westminster Bridge in London following the terrorist attack in March 2017

Scotland Yard says they ‘treating this as a terrorist incident’

The father-of-three, born Adrian Elms in Kent, changed his name after amassing a series of criminal convictions and spent years living in a series of terrorist hotbeds.

After Masood’s rampage, there were four further attacks – at the Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Finsbury Park in North London and Parsons Green in West London.

Last week, a Muslim convert admitted plotting to kill more than 100 people by driving a truck into pedestrians on Oxford Street in the capital’s West End.

Britain is on its second highest threat level of ‘severe’, meaning an attack by militants is ‘highly likely’. Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit is leading today’s probe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6058517/How-todays-crash-comes-17-months-Westminster-Bridge-attack.html

 

Story 2: President Trump Outstanding National Defense Speech on Strengthen Armed Forces — Videos —

Image result for president trump at fort drum speech august 13, 2018

 

SIMPLY AMAZING: President Trump Speech in Fort Drum, New York – August 13, 2018

AMAZING 🔴 President Trump EXPLOSIVE Speech in Fort Drum NY, Signs National Defense Authorization Act

President Trump Delivers Remarks and Participates in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 5515, the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019” – President Trump Speech in Fort Drum, New York – August 13, 2018 – President Trump Press Conference

 

Story 3: Waiting For Mueller To Wrap Up His Counter Intelligence Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Election — No Evidence of Russian Trump Collusion — American People Want It Completed Now! — Videos —

CNN’s Poll on the Mueller Investigation Reveals the Exact OPPOSITE of What They Wanted

Judge Jeanine: I want the Mueller probe to go on and on

Gowdy: Peter Strzok didn’t need my help to get fired

Sekulow: Russia investigation ‘corrupt at its inception’

Here’s How Much Americans Bitterly Disagree About The Mueller Investigation

CNN poll: Most say Mueller should try to end investigation before Election Day

https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/14/politics/cnn-poll-trump-russia-election/index.html

 

 

Story 4: Lady and Trump — Dog Fight — Trump Punches Back At Ungrateful Omarosa Manigault Newman — American People Simply Do Not Care About Omarosa — Why Was She Hired in The First Place? — You Are Fired For Good — Videos

 

 

See the source image

Trump and Omarosa exchange barbs over bombshell book

Omarosa: ‘I Had A Blind Spot Where It Came To Donald Trump’ (Full) | Meet The Press | NBC News

 

WH insists Trump’s no racist as he vilifies another minority

President Donald Trump unloaded on former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman Tuesday, calling her a “crazed, crying lowlife” and “that dog,” as a clash rooted in the reality star’s accusations of racism focused new attention on his frequent disparagement of prominent African-Americans.

The public conflict showed no signs of slowing, as Manigault Newman did another round of interviews to promote her tell-all book and Trump’s presidential campaign filed arbitration action against her alleging she breached a confidentiality agreement.

Manigault Newman, who has painted a damning picture of Trump and alleged there is a videotape of him using a racial slur, told The Associated Press she is not going away.

“I will not be silenced. I will not be intimidated. And I’m not going to be bullied by Donald Trump,” she said.

Trump, who has denied the existence of any such tape, assailed Manigault Newman in language that stood out even by his trash-talking standards, praising his chief of staff, John Kelly, “for quickly firing that dog!”

That slam follows a pattern of inflammatory language about women and minorities. In 2015, shortly before he launched his campaign, Trump described Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington as “a dog.” He has recently targeted California Rep. Maxine Waters, basketball star LeBron James and TV journalist Don Lemon, all African-Americans, and has repeatedly attacked black football players for kneeling during the national anthem in social protest.

Manigault Newman told the AP that “at every single opportunity he insults African-Americans,” and she accused him of trying to start a “race war.”

During the campaign and her White House tenure, Manigault Newman, who was the highest ranking black official in the West Wing, stood by Trump even at moments of racial strife, including the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Trump’s targeting of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in social protest.

Fired by Kelly in December, Manigault Newman now says many of Trump’s actions gave her pause but she was sympathetic to him as a longtime friend and mentor.

In her book, she casts herself as a strong black woman who overcame humble beginnings and has often navigated hostile work environments with aplomb.

Now she is aligning herself with Trump’s victims, said Leah Wright Rigueur, a historian at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“She’s drawing a direct line of comparison between herself and other black women Trump has attacked,” Rigueur said. “She’s suggesting that the president is racist and sexist and using herself as evidence.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Tuesday that the president’s insults were not racially motivated, saying: “This has absolutely nothing to do with race and everything to do with the president calling out someone’s integrity.”

A contestant on the first season of Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice” and a veteran of reality television, Manigault Newman has managed her explosive book tour for maximum effect, conducting back-to-back interviews and teasing out new bits of information in each one, successfully baiting the television-watching president.

Central to her argument that Trump is racist is her claim that she had heard an audiotape of him using the N-word. Trump has pushed back hard, tweeting that he had received a call from the producer of “The Apprentice” assuring him “there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said she could not guarantee Trump had never used a racial slur. Asked if she could say with certainty that Trump had never used the N-word, she said, “I haven’t been in every single room,” though she stressed that the president has addressed the question and denied ever using such language.

Manigault Newman continued to stir the pot Tuesday, providing CBS another audio recording that she said showed campaign workers discussing the alleged recording.

Her allegations put Trump allies on their heels and clearly got under the president’s skin.

Trump insisted, “I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have.” He said Manigault Newman had called him “a true champion of civil rights” until she was fired.

Manigault Newman writes in her book that she’d heard such tapes of Trump language existed. She said Sunday that she had listened to one after the book closed.

Asked if the book can be backed up by email or recordings, Manigault Newman said on CBS that every quote in the book “can be verified, corroborated and it’s well documented,” suggesting she may have more information to release.

She told MSNBC that she’s been interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian election interference, though she did not provide any details to the network or the AP. A person familiar with the White House response to the investigation said that at no time prior to her departure did the Mueller team request documents related to her or seek an interview with her. The person insisted on anonymity to discuss the investigation.

Manigault Newman also asserted on MSNBC that Trump knew in advance about the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails by WikiLeaks, but did not provide any evidence.

In her interviews, Manigault Newman has also revealed two audio recordings from her time at the White House, including her firing by Kelly, which she says occurred in the high-security Situation Room, and a phone call with Trump after she was fired.

She also alleges that Trump allies tried to buy her silence after she left the White House, offering her $15,000 a month to accept a “senior position” on his 2020 re-election campaign along with a stringent nondisclosure agreement.

https://apnews.com/e90365d3ea744dd790bfd874b65a5fc4/Trump-lashes-out-at-Omarosa,-calls-her-‘that-dog’

 

Omarosa’s memoir marks a new peak in disgrace: EW review

August 14, 2018 at 10:06 AM EDT

Omarosa Manigault Newman has a story to tell. It’s certainly not a wholly truthful one, nor — for those who’ve been paying attention — is it a particularly surprising one. But it’s the one we get: the one to take hold of a weekend news cycle, to force a reexamination of the president’s racist and dishonest tendencies, to have the nation on the edge of their seat as they ponder, What does she know?

We’ve been here before. There was Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, a lurid foray into the White House’s day-to-day. There was James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, an earnest, bitter, rather disingenuous image rehabilitation project disguised as a leadership manifesto. Both topped best-seller lists, dominated headlines, and inspired many an infuriated @realDonaldTrump tweet before fading into the ether of Trump takedowns, come and gone.

Now there’s Omarosa’s tell-all: the logical next step in our collective, steep, seemingly endless descent toward disgrace.

Above all else, Unhinged is a meta-commentary on the bleakness of our political culture. Trump’s former Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison has, admittedly, executed an impressive rollout — of a style and, yes, substance more newsworthy than the book’s contents. The memoir’s very existence was leaked just weeks before publication to The Daily Mail; its juiciest material made its way online early, and came with receipts. Indeed, the prologue, in which Manigault Newman describes how Chief of Staff John Kelly met with her in the Situation Room last December and effectively fired her, is (ta-da!) backed up by a tape recording. So too, it turns out, is the conversation which appears near the book’s end, between President Trump and his former Apprentice villain after she’d been let go, as he bafflingly expresses confusion over her departure — as if he knew nothing about it.

On Meet the Press and Today, respectively, Manigault Newman quietly reveled in the implications of what she was revealing — that she could record a sensitive conversation in the uber-sensitive Situation Room. That she could record a sensitive conversation with the president of the United States. That she could prove, as The Washington Post authenticated, that she’d been offered a healthy sum of money by the Trump machine in exchange for her silence. Here was what would hurl her memoir toward legitimacy.

It’s useless to review Unhinged as a standalone written product. It’s engineered as a media tool, structured in a fashion that complements what its author says on TV and reveals in a steady stream of recorded semi-bombshells. The book itself reads mostly like the Fire and Fury sequel you never wanted: a swift account of the major events to surround Trump since he began his campaign for president, filled out with one adviser’s observations, opinions, and insider “knowledge.” Like her old boss, she “hears” many things. She throws out, for instance, that she “heard” Trump was having a sexual relationship with evangelical leader Paula White. “I could not stop myself from contemplating whether her position as his spiritual advisor had ever been missionary,” she writes. (Really.)

https://ew.com/books/2018/08/14/omarosa-memoir-review/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018, Story 1: FBI Finally Fires Peter Stzroyk — When Will Attorney General Sessions Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators? — Videos — Story 2: Joyriding Plane Ends In Crash and Death — Videos — Story 3: Big Google Is Watching Your Movements and So It Big Brother — Videos — Story 4: Alex Jones and Infowars More Popular Than Even Despite Corporate Censorship Conspiracy — Anti-American Leftist Great Purge of Pro Americans Viewpoints — Let The Lawsuits Begin — Videos —

Posted on August 14, 2018. Filed under: American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Eugenics, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

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Story 1: FBI Finally Fires Peter Stzroyk — When Will Attorney General Sessions Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators — Videos

Tom Fitton on Strzok’s firing: ‘body blow’ to Mueller probe

FBI fires Special Agent Peter Strzok, who had been on Russia probe

Peter Strzok fired over anti-Trump text messages

Jim Jordan: It’s about time Strzok was fired

 

FBI fires Peter Strzok, months after anti-Trump texts revealed

FBI official Peter Strzok, who played a lead role in both the Russian meddling and Hillary Clinton email probes but became a political lightning rod after the revelation of anti-Trump text messages, has been fired.

Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement Monday that his client, a 21-year FBI veteran, was fired Friday afternoon, claiming this was a departure from standard practice and politically motivated. Goelman said bureau Deputy Director David Bowdich “overruled” the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility to remove him.

“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” the attorney said.

Strzok appeared to launch a new Twitter account to fire back, saying he’s “deeply saddened” by the decision and linking to a GoFundMe page.

President Trump and his allies for months, though, have hammered the former FBI agent and cast him as the poster child for anti-Trump bias within the bureau and Justice Department.

Reacting to the firing, the president tweeted, “finally,” while asking whether the Russia case will now be dropped:

“Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!”

The president over the weekend had tweeted that Strzok and others have “badly damaged” the FBI’s reputation, referring to them as “clowns and losers!”

Strzok was removed from the special counsel probe last year after the discovery that he exchanged anti-Trump and other politically charged messages with colleague and lover Lisa Page.

FBI TEXTING SCANDAL EXPLAINED

In June, he was then escorted from his FBI office and lost his security clearance amid the release of a scathing DOJ inspector general report that largely dealt with the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s private email server but uncovered messages that “appeared to mix political opinion with discussions” about that probe — namely, between Strzok and Page.

Judicial Watch Director of Investigations Chris Farrell on how FBI official Peter Strzok requested that he retain his security clearance after being added to special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

The IG ultimately found no evidence that the bias among the several FBI agents impacted prosecutorial decisions in the Clinton email probe. But Republicans have repeatedly raised concerns that anti-Trump bias played a role in the start of the investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump associates in 2016.

One Strzok text in particular vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president.

In an explosive congressional hearing last month, Strzok sought to clear his name and address the many controversial messages. He claimed his personal opinions did not affect his work. But Republicans tore into the FBI official, with House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy saying he exhibited “textbook bias.”

Trump’s allies cheered the former agent’s termination on Monday.

“Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI because of what his own written words plainly showed: he was willing to use his official FBI position to try and stop President Trump from getting elected. He tarnished the FBI’s sterling reputation and severely damaged public trust in an institution where trust is paramount. His conduct should deeply concern every American,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said in a statement to Fox News.

Strzok’s attorney, meanwhile, blasted the bureau on Monday, saying the deputy director “reversed the decision of the career FBI official responsible for employee discipline who concluded, through an independent review process, that a 60-day suspension and demotion from supervisory duties was the appropriate punishment.”

He added, “A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work.”

The Justice Department and FBI declined to comment for this report.

Text messages first emerged last year, showing Strzok and Page discussing 2016 campaign politics and repeatedly blasting Trump. In one message, Strzok called Trump an “idiot.”

Messages continued to trickle out, including some reflecting apparent concern about being too tough on Clinton during the investigation into her private email system use.

The inspector general report, meanwhile, referred a total of five FBI employees for investigation in connection with politically charged texts, suggesting more disciplinary action could be considered for additional employees. Lisa Page left the bureau earlier this year.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/13/fbi-fires-peter-strzok-months-after-anti-trump-texts-revealed.html

Story 2: Joyriding Plane Ends In Crash and Death — Videos —

Extended audio: Horizon employee talks with air traffic control in cockpit

Horizon Air hijacking: ‘pilot’ performs stunts before crashing

Did Seattle baggage handler learn how to fly and do aerial stunts in a SIMULATOR? Expert gives his opinion on mystifying suicide of 29-year-old hijacker as devastated parents express their shock

  • Richard Russell, 29, was identified as the airport worker who hijacked an Alaska Airlines plane on Friday
  • His family said Saturday they were ‘stunned and heartbroken’ at death of ‘faithful husband and good friend’
  • Stole Horizon Air Q400 and did loop-the-loops while being pursued by two US Air Force F-15 fighter jets
  • Plunged into a heavily wooded area on the sparsely-populated Ketron Island and was engulfed by flames
  • Russell’s main role at the airport was to unload bags, and he had security clearance to be near aircraft
  • However, he did not have pilot’s licence so unclear how he managed to operate such a complex airplane
  • Former Horizon Airlines employee suggested he could have picked up his skills on a flight simulator
  • And investigator said it was ‘conceivable’ a ground service agent could start the airplane without a key  

The family of a suicidal baggage handler who hijacked an empty Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle on Friday night before taking it for a joyride and crashing to his death said on Saturday they feel ‘stunned and heartbroken’.

Richard Russell, a 29-year-old Horizon Air employee, was remembered in a family statement read out by friends at a news conference as a ‘faithful husband’ to his wife, Hannah, and a ‘good friend who was loved by everyone’.

‘It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man,’ they wrote, referring to Russell’s nickname.

The family described his death as a ‘complete shock’, adding: ‘We are devastated by these events and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now.’

They also referred to recordings of a conversation between Russell and air traffic controllers in which he said he ‘didn’t want to hurt anyone’ and apologized to his family for what he was about to do.

‘As the voice recordings show, Beebo’s intent was not to harm anyone and he was right in saying that there are so many people who love him,’ they wrote.

Russell, who was described as suicidal by investigators, hijacked the 76-seat plane at around 8pm on Friday after taking the aircraft from the maintenance area.

Although he had security clearance to be near planes, he did not have a pilot’s license and it is unclear how he learned how to fly. One expert said he could have picked up some skills by using a computer flight simulator.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Richard Russell, a married 29-year-old Horizon Air employee, (seen with his wife, Hannah) was remembered in a family statement released at a news conference on Saturday as a 'faithful husband' and a 'good friend'

Russell in his baggage handler uniform

Richard Russell, a married 29-year-old Horizon Air employee, (seen with his wife, Hannah, left; and in his uniform, right) was remembered in a family statement released at a news conference on Saturday as a ‘faithful husband’ and a ‘good friend’

The family statement was read out by friends of Russell's family on Saturday. None of his family members are thought to have been present

The family statement was read out by friends of Russell’s family on Saturday. None of his family members are thought to have been present

The hijacked Horizon Air Q400, which took off from Seattle-Tacoma Airport before crashing 25 miles away in south Puget Sound

The crash site at south Puget Sound

These images show the hijacked Horizon Air Q400 which took off from Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Friday before crashing 25 miles away in south Puget Sound (left, in the air; right, after the crash)

Witnesses described seeing the plane performing barrel rolls and loop-the-loops as the military planes directed it away from highly-populated areas and towards Ketron Island, where it crashed into a ball of flame.

‘He did some aerobatics in the airplane that I was shocked to see,’ said Rick Christenson, a retired operational supervisor for Horizon Air.

‘And for him to do that I would think that he either played in a simulator or what. It looked pretty amazing to me. Maybe it was luck, I don’t know.’

During the hijacking, Russell joked with air traffic controllers about how he would be jailed for life for stealing the plane, before telling them he was a ‘broken man’ with ‘a few screws loose’.

‘He was a warm, compassionate man’: Full statement from the family of hijacker Richard Russell

On behalf of the family, we are stunned and heartbroken. It may seem difficult for those watching at home to believe, but Beebo was a warm, compassionate man. It is impossible to encompass who he was in a press release. He was a faithful husband, a loving son, and a good friend. A childhood friend remarked that Beebo was loved by everyone because he was kind and gentle to each person he met.

This is a complete shock to us. We are devastated by these events and Jesus is truly the only one holding this family together right now. Without Him we would be hopeless. As the voice recordings show, Beebo’s intent was not to harm anyone and he was right in saying that there are so many people who love him.

We would like to thank the authorities who have been both helpful and respectful, Alaska Air for their resources, the community, his friends and his family for their incredible support and compassion, and Jesus whose steadfast love endures. We’d also like to thank the media for their sensitivity and acknowledging this as the only statement that will be released by the family, and we request that we now be given space to mourn.

At this time the family is moving forward with the difficult task of processing our grief. We appreciate your prayers. Thank you

He may also have hinted at having used some form of flight simulator in the past in an exchange when he told the officials he did not need help because, ‘I’ve played some video games before’.

Meanwhile, Horizon Air CEO Gary Beck said he was baffled about how Russell picked up the flying skills. ‘We don’t know how he learned to do that,’ he said.

‘Commercial aircraft are complex machines. No idea how he achieved that experience.’

Russell had worked for Horizon Air at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for nearly four years, according to his LinkedIn account, as a ground service agent and an operations agent.

Horizon Air COO Constance von Muehlen said in a video statement that ‘our hearts are with the family of the individual on board as well as all our Alaska Air and Horizon Air employees’.

Officials said during a press conference on Saturday that Russell used a push back tractor to rotate the plane 180 degrees before take off.

Debra Eckrote, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it was conceivable that a ground service agent would be able to start an airplane.

‘They don’t necessarily use a key, so there’s switches that they use to start the aircraft,’ she said.

‘So if the person has basic understanding — from what I understand he was support personnel, ground personnel — they probably do have at least a basic understanding on how to start the aircraft.’

Russell was born in Key West, Florida and moved to Alaska when he was seven years old, according to a 2017 blog post. He met his wife, Hannah, in 2010 while they were both in school and married one year later. It doesn’t appear that they had any children.

According to Russell’s blog, he and Hannah opened a bakery called Hannah Marie’s Bakery in North Bend, Oregon and ran it for three years.

In 2015, the couple relocated to Seattle ‘because we were both so far removed from our families’, Russell wrote.

‘Failing to convince Hannah of Alaska’s greatness, we settled on Sumner because of its close proximity to her family,’ he posted.

While living in Seattle, Russell started working for Horizon Air writing that he enjoyed being able to travel to Alaska in his spare time. Russell, who was pursuing his bachelor’s degree for social sciences from Washington State University, said he wanted to move up in his company to one day work in a management position.

The Horizon Air worker, however, also had other dreams, writing on his blog that he was considering becoming a military officer.

Richard Russell

Richard Russell

Russell has worked for Horizon Air at Seattle-Tacoma Airport for nearly four years, according to his LinkedIn account, as a ground service agent and an operations agent

Russell, 29, married his wife Hannah in 2011 after meeting in school the year before. They are seen together in an undated photo

Russell, 29, married his wife Hannah in 2011 after meeting in school the year before. They are seen together in an undated photo

Richard and Hannah Russell

Russell posted several videos on his blog showing him and his wife (pictured) traveling around the globe

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Russell’s blog is filled with pictures of him and his wife traveling across the globe. The 29-year-old also shared pictures from his wedding day and several videos showcasing what he does at work.

In one video, apparently for a class project, Russell introduces himself as ‘Beebo Russell’ and says he ‘lifts a lot of bags’ at his job.

‘Like a lot of bags,’ he says. ‘So many bags.’

He went on to say that because of his job he’s been able to visit places like France, Idaho, Mexico, Ireland and Alaska. Russell ended the nearly two-minute long video by sharing photos of his family.

Seattle plane hijacker’s final YouTube post reveals his boredom with his ‘minimum wage’ job

The final YouTube video posted by a Seattle plane hijacker depicts a happily married man with a monotonous job that’s only silver lining was the travel opportunities it afforded him.

Richard Russell, 29, stole an Horizon Airlines jet from the Seattle-Tacoma Airport and took it for an hour-long joyride before crashing on an island in a ball of flames on Friday evening.

A video posted to Russell’s amateur travel blog in December 2017 provides an intimate view into his life as a grounds service agent for Horizon Airlines, a job that consisted primarily of loading and unloading luggage, paying only $13.75 per hour.

‘Hi, I’m Beebo Russell and I’m a grounds service agent. That means, I lift a lot of bags. Like, a lot of bags. So many bags,’ he narrates over back-to-back clips of suitcases being loaded on and off of airplanes as a lighthearted tune plays in the background.

‘Look at all them bags. Ooh, a purple one,’ he says cheekily.

After making the point about the monotony of Russell’s job through several drawn-out luggage clips, the video flashes a selfie of the 29-year-old working in the rain, followed by footage of a storm soaking the Sea-Tac tarmac.

‘I usually have to work outside in this,’ Russell says.

‘But, it allows me to do some pretty cool things, too.’

The second half of the two-minute video is devoted to Russell’s travels, featuring photos and videos from his different trips around the world.

Several of his adventures were in his wife’s home state of Alaska, including a plane tour of the Misty Fjords in Ketchikan and hiking trips at Hatcher Pass in Palmer and Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.

He also shows off clips from a ski trip at Schweitzer Mountain in Sandpoint, Idaho, and a hiking trip at Precipice Trail in Maine’s Acadia National Park.

Outside of the US, one of Russell’s favorite locations appears to be France, where he’d toured everywhere from Alsace to Sisteron to the Lavender Field in Valensole.

Other international experiences shown in the video included a hurling match in Dublin, Ireland, and a guys’ weekend at Chichen Itza in Mexico.

Russell wraps up the video with several photos at gatherings with friends and family, saying: ‘Most importantly, I get to visit those I love most.’

Plane hijacker flies in loops and upside-down before crashing
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Russell said in a blog post that he and his wife met in Oregon and moved to Seattle in 2015

Russell said in a blog post that he and his wife met in Oregon and moved to Seattle in 2015

It does not appear that Russell and his wife had children. The couple are pictured together in a Facebook photo 

It does not appear that Russell and his wife had children. The couple are pictured together in a Facebook photo

Pictured above is Russell at what appears to be at a wedding. He posted the photo at the end of one of his YouTube videos 

Pictured above is Russell at what appears to be at a wedding. He posted the photo at the end of one of his YouTube videos

Rick Christenson, retired from Horizon Air, told the DailyMail.com that Russell was ‘quiet’ and ‘a nice kid’.

Christenson didn’t supervise Russell’s team, but said he saw the 29-year-old in passing while at work.

‘He always had a nice smile,’ he said. ‘He seemed quiet, and he always had a smile. The people that knew him said he was a nice guy.’

Christenson said he was sitting on his deck Friday night at his Tacoma home with his wife, his cousin and his cousin’s wife when he saw the Horizon Q400 fly over his house.

‘All of a sudden one of the Horizon Q400s came over the house at 500 feet, followed by two F-15s; one was high, one was low,’ Christenson said, adding that he knew something was wrong because the plane was flying way too low.

He added in a separate interview: ‘Everybody’s stunned… that something like this would happen. How could it? Everybody’s been through background checks.’

The former supervisor said he grabbed a pair of binoculars to watch the aircraft, admitting that he was ‘scared’ and ‘concerned’ because he didn’t know what was going on.

‘He was doing a lot of weird flying, weird turns,’ he said, ‘but he was coming back towards us, towards our way.’

Christenson said while the plane was over the water it did a 360 degree roll ‘and went into a steep dive’.

‘He brought the one wing up and the whole airplane rolled and as it rolled it went into a dive. It looked control,’ he said, adding that the plane pulled up with less than 50 feet between the nose of the aircraft and the water.

Christenson said two minutes later there was ‘big plume of black smoke’, indicating the plane had crashed.

Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled from Portland 'minutes later' to intercept it, according to Pierce County Sheriff's Office. Pictured is the hijacked plane, top, and one of the F-15s beneath it

Two F-15 fighter jets scrambled from Portland ‘minutes later’ to intercept it, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Pictured is the hijacked plane, top, and one of the F-15s beneath it

Smoke and an orange glow are seen on Ketron Island in Washington state, where the plane eventually crash landed

Smoke and an orange glow are seen on Ketron Island in Washington state, where the plane eventually crash landed

The retired Horizon Air worker also said he doesn’t understand how Russell was able to back the aircraft onto the taxiway by himself, although he said it is possible.

‘It’s not the procedure,’ he said, explaining that usually a two-person crew moves aircraft.

Christenson said under normal circumstances one worker is in the cockpit communicating with with the tower, and a second person is on the tractor used to push the plane.

Authorities have said that Russell was in the aircraft alone, but don’t know how he moved the plane and took off undetected.

Russell’s main role as a ground service agent was to load and unload bags, direct aircraft for takeoff, and de-ice planes in the winter.

According to a job posting, ground service agents are paid roughly $13.75 an hour and as a full-time employee they receive benefits, travel privileges for themselves and family members and are eligible for a bonus program.

Nowhere in the job description does it mention that ground service agents are permitted to fly planes.

Police officers standing at a staging ground at the ferry terminal in Steilacoom. Questions will now be asked about security at the airport and how an unqualified worker was given access to the plane

Police officers standing at a staging ground at the ferry terminal in Steilacoom. Questions will now be asked about security at the airport and how an unqualified worker was given access to the plane

Emergency services vehicles at the ferry terminal in Steilacoom, Washington, on Friday evening, near by the suspected crash site

‘I don’t need that much help. I’ve played some video games before’: Suicidal airport employee speaks to air traffic control before crash

Shortly after the plane took off, traffic controllers were heard on an Internet livestream speaking to a man identified as ‘Rich’.

‘There is the runway just off your right side in about a mile, do you see that?’ the traffic controller said.

‘Oh those guys will try to rough me up if I try land there…,’ Rich replied. ‘I think I might mess something up there too. I wouldn’t want to do that. Oh they probably have got anti-aircraft.’

‘They don’t have any of that stuff, we are just trying to find you a place to land safely.’

‘Yeah, not quite ready to bring it down just yet, but holy smokes I need to stop looking at the fuel ‘cos it’s going down quick.’

‘OK, Rich, if you could, could you start a left-hand turn and we’ll take you down to the south-east.’

‘This is probably jail time for life, huh? I would hope it is for a guy like me. ‘  

Rich: I’ve got a lot of people that care about me. It’s going to disappoint them to hear that I did this.

I would like to apologize to each and every one of them. Just a broken guy, got a few screws loose I guess. Never really knew it, until now

Rich: I’m down to 2,100, I started at like 30-something.

Air traffic control: Rich, you said you had 2,100 pounds of fuel left?

Rich: Yeah, I don’t know what the burnage, burnout? Is like on a takeoff, but yeah, it’s burned quite a bit faster than I expected.

Air traffic control: Right now he’s just flying around, and he just needs some help controlling the aircraft.

Rich: Nah I mean, I don’t need that much help. I’ve played some video games before. I would like to figure out how to get this… make it pressurized or something so I’m not lightheaded.

Rich: Ah minimum wage. We’ll chalk it up to that. Maybe that will grease the gears a little bit with the higher-ups

Rich: Damnit Andrew, people’s lives are at stake here.

Air traffic control: Ah Rich, don’t say stuff like that.

Rich: I don’t want to hurt anyone, I just want you to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.

Rich: Hey do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?

Air traffic control: You know, I think they would give you a job doing anything if you could pull this off.

Rich: Yeah right! Nah, I’m a white guy

Air traffic control: If you wanted to land, probably your best bet is that runway just ahead and to your left. Again, that’s McCourt (sic) Field.

If you wanted to try, that might be the best way to set up and see if you can land there. Or just like the pilot’s suggestion, the other option might be over Puget Sound, into the water.

Rich: Dang, did you talk to McCourt, cause I don’t know if I’d be happy with you telling me I could land like that, cause I could really mess some stuff up.

Air traffic control: Well Rich I already talked to ’em. Just like me, what we want to see is you not get hurt, or anyone else get hurt. So if you want to try to land, that’s the way to go.

Rich: Hey I want the coordinates of that orca, you know, the mama orca with the baby. I want to see that guy.

Rich: Hey, is that pilot on? I want to know what this weather is going to be like in the Olympics (mountains).

Air traffic control: Well, if you can see the Olympics, the weather’s good. I can see the Olympics from my window, and it looks pretty good over there.

Rich: Alright, ’cause I felt some, what felt like turbulence around Rainer, but there was no clouds hardly.

Air traffic control: Oh, that’s just the wind blowing over all over the bumpy surfaces there.

Captain Bill: Alright Rich, this is Captain Bill. Congratulations, you did that, now let’s try to land that airplane safely and not hurt anyone on the ground.

Rich: Alright, damnit, I don’t know man, I don’t know. I don’t want to… I was kind of hoping that would be it, you know.

Rich: I’m gonna land it, in a safe kind of manner. I think I’m gonna try to do a barrel roll, and if that goes good, I’m just gonna nose down and call it a night.

Air traffic control: Well Rich, before you do that, let’s think about this. I’ve got another pilot coming up, pilot Joel, in just a minute here I hope. And we’ll be able to give you some advice on what to do next.

Rich: I feel like one of my engines is going out or something.

Air traffic control: OK Rich, if you could, you just want to keep that plane right over the water. Maybe keep the aircraft nice and low.

Rich: Just kind of lightheaded, dizzy. Man, the sights went by so fast. I was thinking, like, I’m going to have this moment of serenity, take in all the sights. There’s a lot of pretty stuff, but they’re prettier in a different context.

Air traffic control: Do you have any idea of how much fuel you have left?

Rich: Oh man, not enough. Not enough to get by. Like, uh, 760? 760 pounds?

Air traffic control: Just flying around the plane, you seem comfortable with that?

Rich: Oh hell yeah, it’s a blast. I’ve played video games before so I know what I’m doing a little bit.

Air traffic control: OK, and you can see all the terrain around you, you’ve got no issue with visibility or anything?

Rich: Naw, everything’s peachy, peachy clean. Just did a little circle around Rainer, it’s beautiful. I think I’ve got some gas to go check out the Olympics (mountains).

Rich: I wouldn’t know how to land it, I wasn’t really planning on landing it.

Rich: Sorry, my mic came off, I threw up a little bit. I’m sorry about this, I hope this doesn’t ruin your day.

Rich: Man, have you been to the Olympics? These guys are gorgeous, holy smokes.

Air traffic control: Ya, I have been out there, it’s always a nice drive.

Rich: (inaudible)

Air traffic control: Hey I bet you do. I haven’t done much hiking over there. But if you could start a left turn, and back towards the east. I know you’re getting a good view there, but if you go too much farther in that direction I won’t be able to hear you anymore.

Rich: Hey pilot guy, can this thing do a backflip, you think?

Rich: I wouldn’t mind just shooting the s**t with you guys, but it’s all business, you know?

During a press conference on Saturday morning NTSB investigator Debra Eckrote said they are trying to determine ‘what his process was and where the aircraft was going’.

‘He’s ground support so, you know, they have access to aircraft,’ she said, adding that that we’re ‘very lucky’ the plane went down on a ‘very underpopulated island’.

She said the plane came to rest in a thick underbrush on Ketron Island, and first responders had to ‘blaze a trail’ to get to the wreckage.

Eckrote said the plane is ‘highly fragmented’ and the wings were torn off in the crash. She said responders could not identify a lot Friday night because there was a fire, but they were taking Saturday to ‘focus on the areas that we’re looking for’.

Eckrote called the incident ‘very usual’ and said the FBI were doing a background check on Russell to determine a motive.

‘Last night’s event is going to push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can ensure this does not happen again at Alaska Air Group or at any other airline,’ said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines.

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Saturday morning that president Trump was briefed on the incident and was monitoring the situation. She also praised the response effort for its ‘swift action’ and ensuring public safety.

Ferry workers stand by as fire trucks are driven onto a ferry boat headed to Ketron Island, Friday, Aug. 10

Ferry workers stand by as fire trucks are driven onto a ferry boat headed to Ketron Island, Friday, Aug. 10

Alaska Airlines, which owns Horizon Air, confirmed that the plane had taken off without permission and later crashed on Ketron Island

Alaska Airlines, which owns Horizon Air, confirmed that the plane had taken off without permission and later crashed on Ketron Island

Police said the pilot was a 29-year-old employee from Pierce County, Washington. They said he was acting alone and was 'suicidal'. His name has not yet been released

Police said the pilot was a 29-year-old employee from Pierce County, Washington. They said he was acting alone and was ‘suicidal’. His name has not yet been released

The FBI released a statement just before midnight in Seattle that they did not anticipate any further details tonight

The FBI released a statement just before midnight in Seattle that they did not anticipate any further details tonight

A map showing Ketron Island, a heavily wooded area inhabited by 24 people, according to the 2000 census

At one point in the flight, Russell asked air traffic controllers: ‘Hey do you think if I land this successfully Alaska will give me a job as a pilot?’

The air traffic controller, trying to keep him on side, replied ‘you know, I think they would give you a job doing anything if you could pull this off’, to which Rich replied: ‘Yeah right! Nah, I’m a white guy.’

He was also heard telling traffic controllers he was ‘just a broken guy’ before telling them he was preparing to go jail.

‘This is probably jail time for life, huh? I would hope it is for a guy like me,’ he said.

Once again, traffic control tried to get Russell to land.

‘There is the runway just off your right side in about a mile, do you see that?’ the traffic controller said.

‘Oh those guys will try to rough me up if I try land there…,’ Russell replied. ‘I think I might mess something up there too. I wouldn’t want to do that. Oh they probably have got anti-aircraft.’

‘They don’t have any of that stuff, we are just trying to find you a place to land safely,’ the traffic controller responded.

Russell told the air traffic controller he wasn’t ‘quite ready’ to bring the plane down.

‘But holy smokes I need to stop looking at the fuel ‘cos it’s going down quick,’ he added.

‘OK, Rich, if you could, could you start a left-hand turn and we’ll take you down to the south-east,’ the traffic controller said.

Air Alaska passengers wait in the terminal following the hijacking incident, which grounded planes and led to several flights being delayed

Air Alaska passengers wait in the terminal following the hijacking incident, which grounded planes and led to several flights being delayed

A large Alaska Air aircraft maintenance building is viewed on takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in this undated file photo

A large Alaska Air aircraft maintenance building is viewed on takeoff from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in this undated file photo

Ketron Island, where the plane went down, is a densely wooded area home to 24 people, according to the 2000 census. None of the island’s residents were thought to have been harmed.

Royal King told The Seattle Times he was photographing a wedding when he saw the low-flying turboprop being chased by to F-15s. He said he didn’t see the crash but saw smoke.

‘It was unfathomable, it was something out of a movie,’ he told the newspaper. ‘The smoke lingered. You could still hear the F-15s, which were flying low.’

Horizon Air is part of Alaska Air Group and flies shorter routes throughout the U.S. West.

Sea-Tac is the ninth busiest airport in the US, and flew 46.9 million passengers and more than 425,800 metric tons of air cargo in 2017.

  • For confidential support in the US call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255. 
  • For confidential support in the UK call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see http://www.samaritans.org for details.
  • For confidential support in Australia call the Lifeline 24-hour crisis support on 13 11 14.

HOW WAS SEATTLE AIRLINE EMPLOYEE ABLE TO HIJACK JET?

Investigators have been working to determine how Horizon Air employee Richard Russell was able to steal an empty turboprop plane from Sea-Tac Airport and take it for an hour-long joyride that ended in a fiery crash on an island in the Puget Sound.

The 29-year-old reportedly stole the Horizon Air Q400 jet from the maintenance area and took to the skies around 8pm Friday, despite not having any apparent flying experience.

It remains unclear how he was able to gain access to the aircraft and fly it out of the airport undetected.

‘We don’t know how he learned to do that,’ Horizon CEO Gary Beck told reporters when asked how Russell was able to perform loop-the-loop and barrels while flying the aircraft.

‘Commercial aircraft are complex machines. No idea how he achieved that experience.’

Russell has worked for Horizon Air at Seattle-Tacoma Airport for nearly four years, according to his LinkedIn account, as a ground service agent and an operations agent.

The bizarre incident involving a worker authorities said was suicidal points to one of the biggest potential perils for commercial air travel – airline or airport employees causing mayhem.

‘The greatest threat we have to aviation is the insider threat,’ Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent and transportation security expert, told AP.

‘Here we have an employee who was vetted to the level to have access to the aircraft and had a skill set proficient enough to take off with that plane.’

The Friday night crash happened because the 29-year-old man was ‘doing stunts in air or lack of flying skills,’ the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said. The man, who was believed killed, wasn’t immediately identified.

Video showed the Horizon Air Q400 doing large loops and other dangerous maneuvers as the sun set on Puget Sound. There were no passengers aboard.

The plane was pursued by military aircraft before it crashed on tiny Ketron Island, southwest of Tacoma, Washington. Video showed fiery flames amid trees on the island, which is sparsely populated and only accessible by ferry. No structures on the ground were damaged, Alaska Airlines said.

Authorities initially said Russell was a mechanic, but Alaska Airlines later said he was believed to be a ground service agent employed by Horizon. Those employees direct aircraft for takeoff and gate approach and de-ice planes.

Sheriff’s department officials said they were working with the FBI in investigating the man’s background and trying to determine his motive.

Investigators expect they will be able to recover both the cockpit voice recorder and the event data recorder from the plane.

Alaska Air Group CEO Brad Tilden said in a statement early Saturday morning that the airline was ‘working to find out everything we possibly can about what happened.’

The airline was coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration, the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board, he said.

“Suicidal” Airline Employee Steals Plane, Takes it for A Flight Before Crashing

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/suicidal-airline-employee-steals-plane-takes-it-for-a-joyride-before-crashing.html

 

Story 3: Big Google Is Watching Your Movements and So It Big Brother — Videos —

Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It Or Not

Google Could Be Tracking Your Movements

Google is tracking you. Even when you’re in Airplane Mode

Published on Feb 10, 2018

How the police use Google to track your every move

What Google Knows About You

 

AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.

For the most part, Google is upfront about asking permission to use your location information. An app like Google Maps will remind you to allow access to location if you use it for navigating. If you agree to let it record your location over time, Google Maps will display that history for you in a “timeline” that maps out your daily movements.

Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects — such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company lets you “pause” a setting called Location History.

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subjectstates: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.”

That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Storing location data in violation of a user’s preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau. A researcher from Mayer’s lab confirmed the AP’s findings on multiple Android devices; the AP conducted its own tests on several iPhones that found the same behavior.

“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off,” Mayer said. “That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have.”

Google says it is being perfectly clear.

“There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people’s experience, including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the AP. “We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time.”

Google’s explanation did not convince several lawmakers.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia told the AP it is “frustratingly common