The Pronk Pops Show 1177, November 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos — Story 2: Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation or Face The Consequences — Videos — Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos — Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy — Back To 1946 — Videos 

Posted on November 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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

See the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions  — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos

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Donald Trump threatens to prosecute Hillary Clinton

Fitton: ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ that DOJ and State Dept. CONTINUE to Protect Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch

Streamed live on Nov 20, 2018

In this edition of “Inside Judicial Watch,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton gives an update on some of the key cases and investigations Judicial Watch is involved with, including the Clinton email scandal, the Mueller probe into alleged Trump/Russia collusion during the 2016 election, and the midterm election recount in Florida.

Judicial Watch did a REAL Investigation into Clinton Email Scandal While FBI Didn’t

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Published on Dec 13, 2017

New FBI text messages draw a possible connection to Obama

Published on Feb 7, 2018

#FBI Texts Hint at Obama Involvement in Deep State FISA Abuse, Treason and Sedition

Dershowitz: ‘Terrible Mistake’ If Trump Ordered DOJ to Investigate Clinton, Comey

Media pounce on report Trump wanted Clinton, Comey probes

Dem and GOP lawmakers call for dueling investigations

Trump wanted to prosecute Hillary Clinton, James Comey

Joe diGenova on Comey and Lynch Subpoenas

Should Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia probe?

Trump speaks out on Ivanka’s private emails, Saudi Arabia

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans call for second special counsel

DOJ watchdog: James Comey broke protocol in Clinton probe

Today News – Here’s Why the New York Times Bombshell Report Could Be the Finishing Touch for Mueller

Trump on Justice Department and Comey: ‘The end result was wrong’

Hillary Clinton committed a myriad of crimes: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted, says Judge Andrew Napolitano

New York Times vs. Donald Trump – The Fifth Estate

The New Trump TV Network: Providing the Death Knell of MSM But A Vital Citizen Connection to Truth

 

Report: Trump wanted to prosecute Comey, Hillary Clinton

yesterday
James Comey

FILE – In this Thursday, June 8, 2017, file photo, former FBI director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. A published report says President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and Comey. The New York Times says the idea prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Then-counsel Don McGahn told the president he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, The Associated Press confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the situation. McGahn said that Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said.

Presidents typically go out of their way to avoid any appearance of exerting influence over Justice Department investigations.

Trump has continued to privately discuss the matter of prosecuting his longtime adversaries, including talk of a new special counsel to investigate both Clinton and Comey, the newspaper said, citing two people who had spoken to Trump about the matter.

Trump has repeatedly and publicly called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, and he has tweeted his dismay over what he saw as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to go after Clinton. Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a memo last year to investigate Comey and his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Sessions last year said he was directing senior federal prosecutors to look into matters raised by House Republicans related to the Clinton Foundation and a uranium mine transaction benefiting the foundation that was approved when Clinton was secretary of state. The FBI has been investigating that matter. Sessions, in March, told lawmakers that he was not prepared to appoint a special counsel to investigate the FBI and potential political bias there.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, also did not respond to a request for comment.

___

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Chad Day contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/060ca2399a744b4a9554dbd2ec276a90

Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton

President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for 
Image
President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for Glamour

By Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON — President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.

The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further. But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue. He has also repeatedly expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton, calling him weak, one of the people said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. declined to comment on the president’s criticism of Mr. Wray, whom he appointed last year after firing Mr. Comey.

“Mr. McGahn will not comment on his legal advice to the president,” said Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck. “Like any client, the president is entitled to confidentiality. Mr. McGahn would point out, though, that the president never, to his knowledge, ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”

It is not clear which accusations Mr. Trump wanted prosecutors to pursue. He has accused Mr. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with The New York Times in a memo that Mr. Comey wrote about his interactions with the president. The document contained no classified information.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation. Law enforcement officials declined their requests. Mr. Comey is a witness against the president in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times
Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

Mr. Trump repeatedly pressed Justice Department officials about the status of Clinton-related investigations, including Mr. Whitaker when he was the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. CNN and Vox earlier reported those discussions.

In his conversation with Mr. McGahn, the president asked what stopped him from ordering the Justice Department to investigate Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton, the two people familiar with the conversation said. He did have the authority to ask the Justice Department to investigate, Mr. McGahn said, but warned that making such a request could create a series of problems.

Mr. McGahn promised to write a memo outlining the president’s authorities. In the days that followed, lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office wrote a several-page document in which they strongly cautioned Mr. Trump against asking the Justice Department to investigate anyone.

The lawyers laid out a series of consequences. For starters, Justice Department lawyers could refuse to follow Mr. Trump’s orders even before an investigation began, setting off another political firestorm.

If charges were brought, judges could dismiss them. And Congress, they added, could investigate the president’s role in a prosecution and begin impeachment proceedings.

Ultimately, the lawyers warned, Mr. Trump could be voted out of office if voters believed he had abused his power.

Mr. Trump’s frustrations about Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton were a recurring refrain, a former White House official said. “Why aren’t they going after” them?, the president would ask of Justice Department officials.

For decades, White House aides have routinely sought to shield presidents from decisions related to criminal cases or even from talking about them publicly. Presidential meddling could undermine the legitimacy of prosecutions by attaching political overtones to investigations in which career law enforcement officials followed the evidence and the law.

Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement. Witnesses have told the special counsel’s investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to end an investigation into an aide, install loyalists to oversee the inquiry into his campaign and fire Mr. Mueller.

In addition, Mr. Trump has attacked the integrity of Justice Department officials, claiming they are on a “witch hunt” to bring him down.

Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via
Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

More significant, Mr. Mueller is investigating whether the president tried to impede his investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s campaign to sow discord among the American electorate during the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Trump stoked his enmity for Mrs. Clinton during the campaign, suggesting during a presidential debate that he would prosecute her if he was elected president. “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Mr. Trump said.

“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Mrs. Clinton replied.

“Because you would be in jail,” Mr. Trump shot back.

During the presidential race, Mr. Whitaker, a former United States attorney, also said he would have indicted Mrs. Clinton, contradicting Mr. Comey’s highly unusual public announcement that he would recommend the Justice Department not charge her over her handling of classified information while secretary of state.

“When the facts and evidence show a criminal violation has been committed, the individuals involved should not dictate whether the case is prosecuted,” Mr. Whitaker wrote in an op-ed in USA Today in July 2016.

Two weeks after his surprise victory, Mr. Trump backed off. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Times. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

Nonetheless, he revisited the idea both publicly and privately after taking office. Some of his more vocal supporters stirred his anger, including the Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro, who has railed repeatedly on her weekly show that the president is being ill served by the Justice Department.

Ms. Pirro told Mr. Trump in the Oval Office last November that the Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal, two people briefed on the discussion have said. During that meeting, the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, told Ms. Pirro she was inflaming an already vexed president, the people said.

Shortly after, Mr. Sessions wrote to lawmakers, partly at the urging of the president’s allies in the House, to inform them that federal prosecutors in Utah were examining whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mrs. Clinton. A spokeswoman for the United States attorney for Utah declined to comment on Tuesday on the status of the investigation.

Mr. Trump once called his distance from law enforcement one of the “saddest” parts of being president.

“I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department,” he said in a radio interview a year ago. “Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton and her emails and with her, the dossier?” He added: “I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I am very frustrated.”

Michael S. Schmidt reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/politics/president-trump-justice-department.html

Story 2: Bombshell is A Dud– President Responds in Writing To Mueller Questions — Time To Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation–No Evidence Trump Colluded With Russians Nor Obstructed Justice — Videos — 

President Trump Submits Written Answers To Mueller’s Questions In Russia Probe | TIME

Hannity: Trump’s ‘unprecedented cooperation’ with Mueller

Sean Hannity 11/20/18 Fox News November 20, 2018

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos 

Trump: Federal courts in Ninth Circuit ‘very unfair’

Trump hits back at Chief Justice Roberts’ rebuke

Trump hands over responses to Robert Mueller’s team

Homan: Trump’s efforts to protect US are met with lawsuits

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/20/18 | Breaking Fox News | November 20, 2018

What Happens When Democrats Run Your State?

‘Two-States of California’- Victor Davis Hanson at American Freedom Alliance

On Watch: Exposing Mainstream Media Lies About the Illegal Alien Invasion

Streamed live on Nov 21, 2018

In this episode of “On Watch,” Judicial Watch Director of Investigations & Research Chris Farrell joins filmmaker Ami Horowitz to discuss his recent trip to Mexico investigating the migrant caravan.

As Predicted, San Francisco-Based Obama Judge Blocks Trump Asylum Order

The migrant caravan makes its way to Juchitan from Santiago Niltipec, Mexico, October 30, 2018. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

It took a few more days than I expected, but a San Francisco-based federal judge appointed by President Obama issued an order last night barring the administration from enforcing the asylum restrictions President Trump announced on November 9. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that the president had unlawfully attempted to rewrite congressional law. (Mind you, these are the same federal judges who are striving to enshrine President Obama’s DACA program, an actual presidential rewrite of congressional law.)

Tigar’s predictable judicial usurpation of immigration and border security policymaking authority will no doubt be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which will no doubt endorse the district judge’s gambit.

To repeat what I wrote ten days ago:

As I write on Friday, the restraining order hasn’t come down yet. But it’s just a matter of time. Some federal district judge, somewhere in the United States, will soon issue an injunction blocking enforcement of the Trump administration’s restrictions on asylum applications.

The restrictions come in the form of a rule promulgated jointly by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and a proclamation issued by President Trump. In conjunction, they assert that an alien who wishes to apply for asylum in the United States must act lawfully: An alien who is physically present here and wishes to apply must be in the country legally; an alien outside the country who wishes to apply must present himself at a lawful port of entry — not attempt to smuggle his way in or force his way in as part of a horde (i.e., no invasions by caravan).

Of course, what used to be assumed is today deemed intolerable. It is no longer permitted to expect of non-Americans what is required of Americans — adherence to American law while on American soil.

Therefore, the fact that the administration’s action is entirely reasonable will not matter. No more will it matter that, contrary to numbing media repetition, the rule and proclamation derive from federal statutory law. Nor will it make any difference that, in part, the president is relying on the same sweeping congressional authorization based on which, just four months ago, the Supreme Court affirmed his authority to control the ingress of aliens based on his assessment of national-security needs.

Just two things will matter. The first is that the asylum restrictions represent a Trump policy that reverses Obama policies — specifically, policies of more lax border enforcement, and of ignoring congressionally authorized means of preventing illegal aliens from filing frivolous asylum petitions (with the result that many of them are released, evading further proceedings and deportation). The second is that, precisely to thwart the reversal of Obama policies, President Obama made certain that the vast majority of the 329 federal judges he appointed were progressive activists in the Obama mold.

The media-Democrat complex will tell you this is “the rule of law.” In reality, it is the rule of lawyers: the Lawyer Left on the front line of American decision-making, a line that runs through courtrooms, not Capitol Hill.

The people of the United States, through their elected representatives, have empowered the president to suspend or impose conditions on the ingress of aliens if he finds their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” How can it be denied that the illegal entry of aliens — which patently undermines the rule of law — is detrimental? Yet, there is certain to be a race to be the first judge to issue a restraining order, to champion an imaginary right of aliens to seek asylum however they damn well please.

Congratulations Judge Tigar, you win the prize!

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/san-francisco-based-obama-judge-blocks-trump-asylum-order/

California Judge Blocks New Trump Rule Restricting Asylum

Judge Jon Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM)

A California judge late Monday issued a nationwide order blocking the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict asylum-seekers, saying a new rule imposed eligibility conditions that went beyond the powers granted by Congress.

The Trump administration’s rule and a related presidential proclamation restricting asylum claims on the southern border to those individuals who enter the U.S. at designated ports run afoul of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, said Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In some instances, he said, the rule would have categorically prevented some immigrants from making asylum claims.

“The rule barring asylum for immigrants who enter the country outside a port of entry irreconcilably conflicts with the INA and the expressed intent of Congress,” Tigar wrote. “Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”

Tigar imposed a nationwide injunction—the latest against a Trump administration immigration policy—that is set to run at least until Dec. 19. The ruling came just hours after a hearing in San Francisco federal district court, where the American Civil Liberties Union, representing nonprofit plaintiffs, argued against the so-called asylum ban. A related court hearing also was held Monday in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Justice Department lawyer Scott Stewart argued the Trump administration’s asylum rule did not flatly bar asylum-seekers so long as they enter through designated U.S. ports.

Tigar’s ruling is certain to be challenged by the Trump administration, which has railedagainst the number of nationwide injunctions blocking immigration and other policies. Tigar said he would meet with the lawyers in the case on Dec. 19 to review whether a preliminary injunction should be imposed.

“Potential asylum seekers are exposed to numerous harms while waiting to present their claims, including not only physical privations like physical assault but also the loss of valuable, potentially meritorious claims for asylum,” Tigar wrote. “The rule, when combined with the enforced limits on processing claims at ports of entry, leaves those individuals to choose between violence at the border, violence at home, or giving up a pathway to refugee status.”

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement: “This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers. There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”

In the Washington case, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did not issue an immediate ruling. Sullivan in August drew national headlines when he ordered the U.S. government to turn around a plane midflight carrying a woman and her daughter who had been seeking asylum. The judge was incensed that the government, despite assertions to the contrary, had removed the family amid emergency proceedings in the case.

Read the order:

https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/11/20/california-judge-blocks-new-trump-rule-restricting-asylum/?slreturn=20181021165005

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times
Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditCreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times

By Miriam Jordan

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States, dealing at least a temporary setback to the president’s attempt to clamp down on a huge wave of Central Americans crossing the border.

Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally.

“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Mr. Tigar wrote in his order.

As a caravan of several thousand people journeyed toward the Southwest border, President Trump signed a proclamation on Nov. 9 that banned migrants from applying for asylum if they failed to make the request at a legal checkpoint. Only those who entered the country through a port of entry would be eligible, he said, invoking national security powers to protect the integrity of the United States borders.

But the rule overhauled longstanding asylum laws that ensure people fleeing persecution can seek safety in the United States, regardless of how they entered the country. Advocacy groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, swiftly sued the administration for effectively introducing what they deemed an asylum ban.

After the judge’s ruling on Monday, Lee Gelernt, the A.C.L.U. attorney who argued the case, said, “The court made clear that the administration does not have the power to override Congress and that, absent judicial intervention, real harm will occur.”

“This is a critical step in fighting back against President Trump’s war on asylum seekers,” Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the other organizations that brought the case, said in a statement. “While the new rule purports to facilitate orderly processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, Customs and Border Protection has a longstanding policy and practice of turning back individuals who do exactly what the rule prescribes. These practices are clearly unlawful and cannot stand.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights also joined in the suit.

President Trump, when asked by reporters about the court ruling on Tuesday, criticized the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the liberal-leaning court where the case will likely land, calling it a “disgrace.” He labeled Judge Tigar an “Obama judge.”

“Our asylum system is broken, and it is being abused by tens of thousands of meritless claims every year,” Katie Waldman, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, and Steve Stafford, the Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement.

They said the president has broad authority to stop the entry of migrants into the country. “It is absurd that a set of advocacy groups can be found to have standing to sue to stop the entire federal government from acting so that illegal aliens can receive a government benefit to which they are not entitled,” they said. “We look forward to continuing to defend the executive branch’s legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border.”

Presidents indeed have broad discretion on immigration matters. But the court’s ruling shows that such discretion has limits, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration scholar at Cornell Law School.

“The ruling is a significant blow to the administration’s efforts to unilaterally change asylum law. Ultimately this may have to go to the Supreme Court for a final ruling,” said Mr. Yale-Loehr.

The advocacy groups accused the government of “violating Congress’s clear command that manner of entry cannot constitute a categorical asylum bar” in their complaint. They also said the administration had violated federal guidelines by not allowing public comment on the rule.

But Trump administration officials defended the regulatory change, arguing that the president was responding to a surge in migrants seeking asylum based on frivolous claims, which ultimately lead their cases to be denied by an immigration judge. The migrants then ignore any orders to leave, and remain unlawfully in the country.

“The president has sought to halt this dangerous and illegal practice and regain control of the border,” government lawyers said in court filings.

Mr. Trump, who had made stanching illegal immigration a top priority since his days on the campaign trail, has made no secret of his frustration over the swelling number of migrants heading to the United States. The president ordered more than 5,000 active-duty troops to the border to prevent the migrants from entering.

The new rule was widely regarded as an effort to deter Central Americans, many of whom request asylum once they reach the United States, often without inspection, from making the journey over land from their countries to the border.

United States immigration laws stipulate that foreigners who touch American soil are eligible to apply for asylum. They cannot be deported immediately. They are eligible to have a so-called credible fear interview with an asylum officer, a cursory screening that the overwhelming majority of applicants pass. As result, most of the migrants are released with a date to appear in court.

In recent years, more and more migrants have availed themselves of the asylum process, often after entering the United States illegally. A record 23,121 migrants traveling as families were detained at the border in October. Many of the families turn themselves in to the Border Patrol rather than queue up to request asylum at a port of entry.

The Trump administration believes the migrants are exploiting asylum laws to immigrate illegally to the United States. Soaring arrivals have exacerbated a huge backlog of pending cases in the immigration courts, which recently broke the one-million mark. Many migrants skip their court dates, administration officials say, only to remain illegally in the country, which Mr. Trump derides as “catch and release.”

But advocates argue that many migrants are victims of violence or persecution and are entitled to seek sanctuary. Gangs are ubiquitous across El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where lawlessness and corruption enable them to kill with impunity.

Daniel Victor contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/judge-denies-trump-asylum-policy.html

Jon S. Tigar

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Jon Steven Tigar
Judge Jon S. Tigar.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office
January 18, 2013
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Saundra Brown Armstrong
Personal details
Born Jon Steven Tigar
October 8, 1962 (age 56)
LondonUnited Kingdom
Education Williams College (B.A.)
UC Berkeley School of Law (J.D.)

Jon Steven Tigar (born October 8, 1962) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Early life and education

Tigar was born in LondonEngland in 1962.[1] His father is retired law professor Michael Tigar.[2] Tigar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from Williams College and a Juris Doctor degree in 1989 from UC Berkeley School of Law.[3] He graduated Order of the Coif,[1] was an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and served as a Research Assistant to Professor Melvin Eisenberg. In 1989, Tigar served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert Smith Vance.[3][4]

Professional career

From 1990 until 1992, Tigar served as a litigation associate for the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He then served as a public defender in San Francisco from 1993 until 1994[3] Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at the law firm Keker & Van Nest from 1994 until 2002.[3] From 2002 to 2013, Tigar served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court.[3] Tigar is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an Adviser to the forthcoming Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Loss.[4]

Federal judicial service

On June 11, 2012, President Obama nominated Tigar to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, taking the seat vacated by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who took senior status on March 23, 2012.[3] The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on his nomination on July 11, 2012, and reported his nomination to the floor on August 2. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on December 21, 2012, and he received his commission on January 18, 2013.[4]

Notable decisions

On November 19, 2018 Tigar issued a nationwide restraining order that barred the Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who crossed over the southern border between points of entry.[5][6]

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_S._Tigar

Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy —  Back To 1946 — Videos

America and the World, 2017-2018 | Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson, the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics emeritus at California State University, Fresno. Dr. Hanson earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University. In 2007, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal, and in 2008, he received the Bradley Prize. He is a columnist for National Review Online and for Tribune Media Services, and has published in several journals and newspapers, including Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, The New Criterion, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Hanson has written or edited numerous books, including Wars of the Ancient Greeks, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, and his latest book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Victor Davis Hanson reveals the nature of history, politics and the left

Victor D Hanson; Explains Perfectly how Trump pulled off the biggest Upset in Presidential History

Donald Trump’s entire foreign policy speech

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: The Future of Great Power Politics

U.S. Foreign Policy: The Fate of Realism and Restraint in the Trump Era

The publication of the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a milestone for any presidency. A statutorily mandated document, the NSS explains to the American people, U.S. allies and partners, and federal agencies how the President intends to put his national security vision into practice on behalf of fellow citizens.

First and foremost, President Donald J. Trump’s NSS is a reflection of his belief that putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for effective U.S. leadership in the world. It builds on the 11 months of Presidential action thus far to renew confidence in America both at home and abroad.

Four vital, national interests—organized as the strategy’s four pillars—form the backbone of this commitment:

  1. Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life
  2. Promote American prosperity
  3. Preserve peace through strength
  4. Advance American influence

This NSS and its four themes are guided by a return to principled realism.

The strategy is realist because it is clear-eyed about global competition: It acknowledges the central role of power in world affairs, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests. It is principled because it is grounded in the knowledge that promoting American values is key to spreading peace and prosperity around the globe.

President Trump’s ultimate goal is to leave our children and grandchildren a Nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and greater than ever before.

Read a summary of the President’s National Security Strategy here.

The full NSS report is available for download here.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/new-national-security-strategy-new-era/

President Trump at the UN: An Unapologetic Defense of “Principled Realism”

Sep 28th, 2018 5 min read

COMMENTARY BY Brett D. Schaefer

Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs

Brett D. Schaefer is the Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
President Trump speaks at the 73rd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters at in New York City on September 25, 2018. MONIKA GRAFF/UPI/Newscom

Addressing the United Nations for the second time in his presidency, Donald Trump spoke first to the American people, using the opportunity to tout his domestic policies and successes. “The United States is stronger, safer and a richer country than it was when I assumed office less than two years ago,” he proclaimed.

However, the bulk of the speech outlined and defended his foreign policy and international priorities—exactly what you’d expect in a speech before the world’s leaders. 

North Korea was featured prominently, as it was in last year’s speech . However, the tone could not have been more different. In 2017, the Trump warned, “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” This year, he expressed optimism in ongoing negotiations with North Korea. While noting that progress has been made, the president smartly cautioned that much remains to be done and vowed that “sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs.”

Trump also highlighted the diplomatic effort in the Middle East to address the situation in Syria, combat ISIS, and deal with other points of instability. He reaffirmed America’s determination to “respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime,” assist the refugees displaced by the war, and participate in UN peace negotiations.

He reserved his strongest warning for Iran:

Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond . . . The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen . . . We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.

He made clear that the United States will continue to ratchet up pressure on Iran through sanctions and urged other nations to “support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.” Iran is a serious threat, and the administration is right to confront it.

The most consistent theme of the speech was a robust defense of American sovereignty and security.

Early on, the president stated, “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination. I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions.” He concluded the speech by noting, “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”

These bookends encapsulate the U.S. belief that sovereignty derives from the governed and that efforts to impose rules, restrictions, or principles via supranational institutions upon the American people without our consent are objectionable and unjust. This notion threads through the speech in several passages including:

– The direct rejection of the International Criminal Court that claims authority to investigate and prosecute Americans even though the United States has never joined the court.

– The defense of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with the right of every sovereign state to “determine its own capital.” Indeed, each of the last three U.S. presidents had promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with U.S. law, but only President Trump actually followed through.

– The right of nations to control their borders and “confront threats to sovereignty from uncontrolled migration.”

However, the speech at times flirted unhelpfully with the idea that the United States would not criticize other nations or seek to advance core principles that America has embraced for decades. For instance, the president stated, “The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

If the United States does believe that sovereignty is derived from the governed, then it must be a champion of civil and political rights around the world as well as self-government. Americans should not tell others how to worship, but they must instead defend their freedom to worship as their conscience dictates. This does not mean that the United States has an obligation to intervene or take direct action when people are denied these rights, but the United States should not and must not stand silent.

In fact, the failure of the Human Rights Council to champion human rights consistently and forthrightly was a central reason for the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Council this summer. This was the correct decision , and the president rightly praised Ambassador Nikki Haley’s leadership in leaving that gravely flawed body. However, the United States undermines its case if it is silent in the face of repression.

Indeed, the president’s condemnation of the “human tragedy” in Venezuela in his speech is a case in point. The president is right—socialism and communism have “produced suffering, corruption, and decay” wherever it has been tried. We do people no favors by refraining from urging them to avoid that misery or failing to condemn repressive governments that deny their people fundamental rights and freedoms.

The president also defended his recent trade actions based on sovereignty. There is no doubt that nations have the right to defend their economic interests and respond when other nations violate agreed rules, such as Chinese theft of intellectual property. But the economic benefits of trade between nations are well established and the long-term interests of the American people should lead the administration to support free trade, not protectionism.

Finally, the president focused on the need to advance U.S. interests in the UN, including asking the UN to be “more effective and accountable” and more evenly share the burden of supporting its activities. This is certainly a reasonable expectation for the largest financial supporter of the UN and is a goal pursued by U.S. administrations going back decades.

He also stated that “[m]oving forward, we will only give foreign aid to those who respect us and our friends.” This is a broad statement and not entirely clear. America provides assistance for many purposes, and it is not useful to tie allocation of all aid to support for the United States at the UN. Linking humanitarian and security aid to support of U.S. policy priorities would undermine the purposes and effectiveness of that aid. However, the United States also provides assistance to advance its broader foreign-policy interests. The UN is an important institution where governments make significant decisions, and it is entirely appropriate to use this assistance to increase support for U.S. priorities in the UN.

Overall, the speech was quintessential Trump. It was an unapologetic defense of his “principled realism” approach to foreign policy—one that elevates the interests of the United States and protection of the American people above all and explicitly rejects the more idealized global leadership role favored by the foreign-policy establishment—with significant divergence in means and goals—on the left and the right. This approach wins few plaudits in Turtle Bay and Washington, but appeals strongly to those who most concern Trump: non-coastal Americans who have grown increasingly concerned that their circumstances and welfare are irrelevant to the decisionmakers in Washington.

https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/president-trump-the-un-unapologetic-defense-principled-realism

 

The National Interest

September 26, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Americas Tags: Donald TrumpUnited NationsForeign PolicyPopulismPatriots

Trump’s Foreign Policy Successes Show Principled Realism in Action

Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver a string of foreign-policy successes.

by Salvatore Babones

President Donald Trump took a lot of ribbing Tuesday morning at the United Nations for proclaiming, in his usual modest style, that his administration had “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

But if the claim smacks of hyperbole, then the hyperbole is at least well deserved. The economy is booming, the military is rapidly recovering from fifteen years of overextension, and the Trump administration is concluding trade deals in record time.

And all this has come despite the fact that much of the country’s expert class, including many people employed in the federal government itself, have been desperately hoping for failure. If it is true that the Trump presidency is unprecedented, then it is equally true that the existence of an organized resistance campaign among erstwhile public servants is unprecedented.

Yet Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver an as yet uninterrupted string of foreign-policy successes : North Korea’s “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un hasn’t launched a rocket in ten months; America’s NATO allies are finally starting to deliver on pledges to increase defense spending toward the 2 percent of GDP target agreed in 2006 ; Mexico has seemingly come to terms on long-overdue NAFTA reforms; the United States has stayed out of the Arab world’s interminable wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen; and the U.S. embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem in May without sparking the Third Intifada predicted by Trump’s opponents.

Perhaps just as important (from a U.S. perspective), America’s long-term enemies are nearly all on the run. The Russian economy is crumbling. The Venezuelan economy has crumbled. The Iranian economy, which boomed after the nuclear deal was signed in 2015, has come back down to earth since Trump took office, and stagnated since he pulled the United States out of the deal in May.

And then there’s China. Back in December 2016, just a few weeks before Trump took office, China staged a “Trump Test,” exactly as predicted by U.S. Naval War College Professor Andrew S. Erickson. A Chinese ship sent marines on a speedboat to seize a surveillance drone from under the stern of a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey vessel. President Barack Obama politely asked for the return of the device. President-elect Trump told China to keep the drone —and implied that things would get tougher when he took office.

Under the Obama administration, Chinese forces regularly harassed U.S. vessels navigating the South China Sea. That doesn’t happen under the Trump administration. What’s more, China is now enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea, cooperation that has been crucial to bringing Kim to the nuclear bargaining table. And though China regularly threatens and bullies Taiwan, it has done little more than issue bland propaganda statements in response to expanding U.S. weapons sales to the island. Even the Trump administration’s full court press on trade has not disrupted U.S. relations with China. If anything, China’s behavior has improved.

Principled Realism

The secret to the Trump team’s success is its embrace of principled realism : in its simplest terms, the faith that America’s goals are just and American power should be exercised to support those goals. Since taking office a year and a half ago, Trump has forcefully applied American power—while avoiding his predecessors’ equation of power with military force. As a result, America is getting its way on the world stage, generally without putting American lives at risk to get it. That’s about as win-win as things come in international relations.

If anyone doubts that this newfound realism is principled, just look at the targets: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Russia and China. Trump has exerted strong pressure on America’s NATO allies as well—to arm themselves against Russia and other regional threats. And on international trade, Trump has pressured just about everyone to stop unfair and often illegal trading practices.

Now that the Trump era is well and truly underway, it is worth remembering that Hillary Clinton’s “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations was a hallmark of the Obama administration’s first term foreign policy. It ended in Russia’s seizure of Crimea and a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine that continues today. John Kerry’s signature issue at the start of Obama’s second term was Israeli-Palestinian peace. Nine months of inconclusive talks ended in the 2014 war in Gaza.

It may be too soon to declare victory for principled realism, but the early signs are certainly encouraging. Other countries do not always accept the principle that America’s goals are just, but history has usually vindicated the United States in the long run. And in any case, as Trump is fond of pointing out, he is not the president of the world. He is the president of the United States of America.

Two weeks into that presidency, one of America’s most respected foreign-policy scholars summarily declared that Trump Has Already Blown It , while Obama administration veterans were labeling Trump’s foreign policy the “ Grand Strategic Train Wreck .” With the midterm elections now looming, there’s little chance that these experts will admit that they were wrong. But as long as the voters keep seeing results, the chances are that Trump will stay on target.

Salvatore Babones is the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts .

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trumps-foreign-policy-successes-show-principled-realism-action-32042

Trump sets out national security strategy of ‘principled realism’ and global competition

President Trump spoke about dealing with Russia and China during a speech Dec. 18 in D.C., saying “We will stand up … like we have never stood up before.”

December 18, 2017

President Trump placed himself at the center of a new national security strategy Monday, casting his election as a pivot from failed policies pushed by his predecessors and presenting his “America First” doctrine as the organizing principle for U.S. engagement around the world.

In a year-end, campaign-style speech, the president emphasized his view that the United States has been cheated and taken advantage of abroad while its citizens were ill-served at home — a situation he said his security plan would seek to reverse.

“For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another; too many of our leaders — so many — who forgot whose voices they were to respect, and whose interest they were supposed to defend,” Trump said at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, before an audience that included Cabinet secretaries, government workers and uniformed members of the military.

The National Security Strategy, a congressionally mandated mission statement, is supposed to guide an administration’s priorities for global engagement, economic bargaining and demonstrations of military strength.

While it is viewed as an important policy document, its release is usually a low-key affair and Trump is believed to be the only U.S. president to present the plan with a speech, an aide said. At times Monday, Trump seemed as intent on revisiting his electoral victory as he was on defining a new national security strategy for the country.

“You spoke loud and you spoke clear,” Trump said of his upset election last year. “On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. You embraced new leadership and very new strategies and also a glorious new hope.”


President Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a break at a leader’s meeting at the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 11. (S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock/S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock)

Trump, as he did during the campaign, declared the United States must push for better trade deals to remain strong when it comes to national security. “Economic security is national security,” he said. “Economic vitality, growth and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad.”

Yet many of the trade tactics he has advocated could end up hurting the U.S. economy.

He boasted of killing the Trans­-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact between a dozen countries, but supporters of the accord say it would have helped keep Chinese economic influence at bay.

The linkage Trump drew between economic and political power is valid, but Trump’s confrontational trade policies work against his own goals, said Nicholas Burns, a Harvard Kennedy School professor and former senior State Department official.

“He is right about the philosophical point, but all his practical policies undercut it,” Burns said.

C. Fred Bergsten, veteran trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, agreed.

“There’s a germ of truth in what he says,” Bergsten conceded. U.S. policy has failed to choke off intellectual property theft, especially in China. But, Bergsten added, “his overarching point that these are terrible [trade] deals, that they adversely affect U.S. economic interests, he’s never offered a shred of proof of that.”

Trump has dismissed this type of criticism and used the speech to emphasize one of his campaign themes — that past administrations got the short-end of trade agreements because they didn’t now how to cut deals.

“Our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations but sent thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs to those other countries,” he said.

Trump also boasted of his decision to withdraw from the “very expensive and unfair Paris climate accord” that President Barack Obama agreed to two years ago. But supporters of the accord say it is a small step toward slowing global warming that could prove catastrophic economically as well as from a climate view. And Obama repeatedly argued that denial of climate science would undercut renewable energy technologies that the U.S. economy needs to remain competitive in the future.

Trump’s campaign theme of “America First” formed the foundation of his remarks.

“A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad,” Trump said. “A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war. A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.”

Burns argued that “what’s missing from this document is any emphasis that the U.S. has to promote democracy and human freedom, which most American presidents — John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan — have felt was important. He’s weakening us on these essential foundations of American power.”

Trump highlighted claimed accomplishments — including on issues not directly related to national security — a list the administration contends has not received the attention it deserves.

Alongside withdrawal from what he called unfair trade and climate deals and a sharper focus on terrorism and border security, Trump listed a soaring stock market, deregulation and the likelihood of forthcoming tax cuts.

The national security strategy documents are broad outlines of U.S. policy that guide other, more specific planning such as nuclear and ballistic missile force posture.

Trump’s version has four main organizing principles: protecting the American homeland, protecting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing U.S. influence.

He presented China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States. At the same time, he added, those nations can be partners in pursuit of shared interests.

That is a familiar theme from past administrations, but the Trump document frames the contest as one that previous U.S. leaders failed to adequately recognize or counter.

“China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity,” the document says. “They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The president said intellectual property theft would be targeted, a clear warning to China which American companies have complained about for years. “We will no longer tolerate trading abuse,” he warned.

As a candidate, Trump accused China of “raping” the United States economically and stealing jobs. As president, he has developed and trumpeted a warm relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he credits with helping to apply pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Trump also pointed to his energy policies as a source of strength at home and abroad, suggesting that the United States could use its “energy dominance” to enhance its influence.

The Trump administration has indeed sought to open up more federal lands to coal, oil, and natural gas exploration and production, but most of the domestic energy boom took place under the Obama administration. Oil output under Obama grew by more than 4 million barrels a day and natural gas output in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Oklahoma rose rapidly.

Trump has publicly complimented Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him “very smart,” and has sought a better relationship with Russia after years of worsening ties under Obama. He has been openly skeptical of U.S. intelligence findings that Russia mounted a systematic effort to undermine the 2016 presidential election. But Trump has not reversed congressional sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, as Putin hoped he would.

The strategy document released Monday skirts the issue of Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.

“Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world,” the document says.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sets-out-national-security-strategy-of-principled-realism-and-global-competition/2017/12/18/7edcb0be-e412-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1fbe20ebc80e

National Security Strategy (United States)

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The National Security Strategy (NSS) is a document prepared periodically by the executive branch of the government of the United States for Congress which outlines the major national security concerns of the United States and how the administration plans to deal with them. The legal foundation for the document is spelled out in the Goldwater-Nichols Act. The document is purposely general in content (contrast with the National Military Strategy, NMS) and its implementation relies on elaborating guidance provided in supporting documents (including the NMS).

Contents

Purposes of the NSS Report

The stated intent of the Goldwater-Nichols legislation is broadly accepted as valid for effective political discourse on issues affecting the nation’s security–the Congress and the Executive need a common understanding of the strategic environment and the administration’s intent as a starting point for future dialogue. That said, however, it is understood that in the adversarial environment that prevails, this report can only provide a beginning point for the dialogue necessary to reach such a “common” understanding.[1]

The requirement of producing this report along with the budget request leads to an iterative, interagency process involving high level meetings that helps to resolve internal differences in foreign policy agendas. However, “this report was not to be a neutral planning document, as many academics and even some in uniform think it to be. Rather it was … intended to serve five primary purposes.” [1]

  1. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to Congress, and thus legitimize its requests for resources.
  2. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to foreign constituencies, especially governments not on the US’s summit agenda.
  3. Communicate with select domestic audiences, such as political supporters seeking Presidential recognition of their issues, and those who hope to see a coherent and farsighted strategy they could support.
  4. Create internal consensus on foreign and defense policy within the executive branch.
  5. Contribute to the overall agenda of the President, both in terms of substance and messaging.

Where the incoming executive team has not formulated a national security strategy, such as an after an election in which foreign policy and defense were not important campaign issues, the process of writing the report can be of immense importance:

Few things educate new political appointees faster as to their own strategic sensings, or to the qualities and competencies of the “permanent” government they lead within executive bureaucracies, than to have to commit in writing to the President their plans for the future and how they can be integrated, coordinated and otherwise shared with other agencies and departments. The ability to forge consensus among these competing views on direction, priorities and pace, and getting “on board” important players three political levels down from the president is recognized as an invaluable, if not totally daunting, opportunity for a new administration.[1]

Counterinsurgency objective

In order to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the National Security Strategy of 2010, the United States needs to engage in a large amount of interagency cooperation and communication with the Muslim population in Afghanistan and throughout the world.[2] The objective of the National Security Strategy is to create a stable situation for the world, including those countries struggling with insurgencies. “The most effective long-term measure for conflict and resolution is the promotion of democracy and economic development.”[3] In order to promote democracy and economic development communication with the civilian population of the host-nation is essential. The Stability Operations Field Manual states that success depends on a U.S. ability to build local institutions and in the establishment of a legitimate permanent government, which builds trust between the citizens and the counterinsurgency personnel.”[3] The National Security Strategy establishes the interagency coordination in order to conduct useful public diplomacy to secure the population in the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous national security strategies

The National Security Strategy issued on September 17, 2002 was released in the midst of controversy over the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war which is contained therein.[4] It also contains the notion of military pre-eminence that was reflected in a Department of Defense paper of 1992, “Defense Policy Guidance”, prepared by two principal authors (Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby) working under then US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. The NSS 2002 also repeats and re-emphasizes past initiatives aimed at providing substantial foreign aid to countries that are moving towards Western-style democracy, with the “ambitious and specific target” of “doubl[ing] the size of the world’s poorest economies within a decade.”[4]:p. 21

The Bush doctrine emerges in the context of moving from the old Cold War doctrine of deterrence to a pro-active attempt to adjust policy to the realities of the current situation where the threat is just as likely to come from a terrorist group such as al-Qaeda as from a nation state such as Iraq or Iran.[5]

The document also treats AIDS as a threat to national security, promising substantial efforts to combat its spread and devastating effects.

The 2010 National Security Strategy

On May 26, 2010, the third most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama.[2]:p.8 The new Strategy was referred to by United Nations ambassador Susan Rice as a “dramatic departure” from its predecessor.[6] The Strategy advocated increased engagement with Russia, China and India.[7] The Strategy also identified nuclear non-proliferation and climate change as priorities,[8] while noting that the United States’s security depended on reviving its economy.[9] The drafters of the new Strategy made a conscious decision to remove terms such as “Islamic radicalism”, instead speaking of terrorism generally.[10]

The 2015 National Security Strategy

On February 6, 2015, the second most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama[11]:p.1310 to provide “a vision and strategy for advancing the nation’s interests, universal values, and a rules-based international order through strong and sustainable American leadership.” [12]

The 2017 National Security Strategy

President Donald Trump delivered his first national Security Strategy on December 18, 2017. The new document named China and Russia as “revisionist powers” while removing “climate change” as a national threat.[13] It also characterized the world as a competitive arena rather than a “community of nations” or “international community” as previous documents had.[14] NSS-2017 represents a break with past foreign policy doctrine. “My guess is that members of the Foreign Policy elite will encounter these first pages as a kind of boilerplate, even trite. Notice, though, that those two pages lead directly to a third page that repudiates the whole living body of American foreign policy thought. Everything since Ronald Reagan is rejected in two short paragraphs which explain exactly what four successive administrations got wrong.”[15]

Success, however, bred complacency. A belief emerged, among many, that American power would be unchallenged and self–sustaining. The United States began to drift. We experienced a crisis of confidence and surrendered our advantages in key areas. As we took our political, economic, and military advantages for granted, other actors steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America and to advance agendas opposed to the United States, our allies, and our partners.

We stood by while countries exploited the institutions we helped to build. They subsidized their industries, forced technology transfers, and distorted markets. These and other actions challenged America’s economic security. At home, excessive regulations and high taxes stifled growth and weakened free enterprise—history’s greatest antidote to poverty. Each time government encroached on the productive activities of private commerce, it threatened not only our prosperity but also the spirit of creation and innovation that has been key to our national greatness.[16]

See also

References

External links

In the media

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Strategy_(United_States)

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video

Special Report w Bret Baier 11/15/18 Fox News November 15, 2018

Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/15/18 Breaking Fox News November 15, 2018

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

Stacey Abrams says she recognizes Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

GEORGIA RACE OVER: Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Challenge For Governor Race

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp, but won’t concede

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

Stacey Abrams ended her run for Georgia governor on Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp as state officials prepared to certify the election.

Saying the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor, Abrams announced a new voting rights group that will file “major” litigation against the state over electoral issues.

And she laced her speech with bruising critiques of Kemp, a former secretary of state who she said was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to suppress the vote.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Kemp, meanwhile, thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard word and commitment to public service.”

“The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” said Kemp. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

The Democrat’s campaign was considering a long-shot legal challenge under a law that allows losing candidates to contest the election in the case of misconduct, fraud or “irregularities.”

She would have faced a tremendous legal burden to prove her case, and even some Democrats warned that prolonging the court battle would jeopardize two down-ticket runoffs set for next month.

The secretary of state could certify the election as soon as 5 p.m. Friday and cement Kemp’s victory in the tightest race for Georgia governor since 1966.

The latest tally showed Abrams is roughly 55,000 votes behind Kemp — and in need of more than 17,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, which is only a possibility because a third-party contender netted about 1 percent.

Hundreds of previously uncounted votes could still be added Friday before the election is certified by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.

Abrams’ campaign has long tried to make the case that Kemp used his role as secretary of state to suppress the vote.

In her fiery speech, Abrams cited long lines at voting sites, closed polling stations and the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of voter registrations.

But to have a chance in court, Abrams would have had to prove there were enough Georgians blocked from voting to close the gap. Her campaign apparently could not meet that requirement.

Before Abrams ended the campaign, Republicans blasted the suggestion that she might contest the election in court. In one of the most biting barbs, Kemp’s spokesman called for Abrams to end her “ridiculous temper tantrum and concede.”

Unchanged dynamics

Kemp’s lead had dwindled since Election Day as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. But as more counties completed their vote tallies, Abrams and her allies claimed there were thousands of outstanding ballots that never materialized.

Her campaign also went to court to force local officials to accept some previously rejected ballots.

She secured one court order that required elections officials to review as many as 27,000 provisional ballots, though it didn’t require those votes to be accepted.

Another ruling required the state to count absentee ballots with incorrect birthdate data, but rejected an effort to accept provisional ballots cast in the wrong counties.

That order, by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, set off a scramble by county officials to revisit rejected ballots. But it left Kemp’s lead virtually unchanged, even as the biggest trove of those votes in Gwinnett County was added to the total.

Those final ballots in Gwinnett also likely cemented the contest for Georgia’s 7th District. Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes, though her campaign on Friday requested a recount.

Some pushback

Abrams has long hinted at more litigation challenging “irregularities” at polling sites, and targeted what she claimed was Kemp’s abuse of the secretary of state’s office. But she determined that new legal action wouldn’t prevent Kemp’s victory.

Some Abrams’ allies had raised alarms that the prospect of extending her legal fight would shift attention away from a pair of candidates who are already in a runoff: John Barrow for secretary of state and Lindy Miller for Public Service Commission.

“I totally concur with the notion that every vote should be counted,” said Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb chief executive and a former Democratic state labor commissioner. “And going forward, the most effective way to do that is to focus on electing John Barrow as the next secretary of state.”

And former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden said it’s “pretty evident” the race will be certified for Kemp and that Abrams should begin focusing on a 2020 run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

“Never stop. Keep using this energy,” he said. “Keep using these new voters.”

Kemp, meanwhile, has tried to cast himself as the eventual winner.

Several of his aides were at the Capitol this week to meet with state legislators and scope out executive offices. And Kemp’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Abrams for refusing to concede, saying she has no mathematical chance at forcing a runoff.

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

“I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead,” he said.

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first.”

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/kemp-holds-steady-lead-over-abrams-state-prepares-certify-vote/WI5zxjHjLNR2WbvcEBVYWL/

Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

See the source image

Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

OH BOY!! HAPPENING NOW! Hannity Just EXPOSED Dems HIDE This BIGGEST PLAN Against Trump!

Trump legal team finalizing answers to Mueller questions

Lindsey Graham on Florida recount, Mueller probe

Sen. Mike Lee on Democrats’ objections to Matt Whitaker

Joe diGenova Talks About Jeff Sessions Replacement

MUELLER JUST GOT TRUMP’D! [AND HE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING

Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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Matthew Whitaker
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General
In office
September 22, 2017 – November 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Preceded by Jody Hunt
Succeeded by Gary Barnett
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 25, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O’Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born Matthew George Whitaker
October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des MoinesIowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BAJDMBA)

Matthew George Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and politician serving as Acting United States Attorney General since November 7, 2018. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request.[1] Whitaker served as a U.S. Attorney during the Bush Administration and served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018.[2]

In 2002, Whitaker was the candidate of the Republican Party for Treasurer of Iowa. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Whitaker ran in the 2014 Iowa Republican primary for the United States Senate. He later wrote opinion pieces and appeared on talk-radio shows and cable news as the director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative advocacy group.

The legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General was challenged by the State of Maryland.[3][4] His appointment prompted a number of legal scholars, commentators, and politicians to question its legality and constitutionality, noting that his selection circumvented Senate confirmation.[5] Some also called for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller because of his public criticisms of the probe and his ties to Trump, and to Sam Clovis, a witness in the investigation.[6][7][8]

After Whitaker took office, reports surfaced of his prior involvement with World Patent Marketing, which had been fined $26 million and shut down by federal regulators in 2017 for deceiving consumers.[9][10]

Early life and education

Whitaker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 29, 1969. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a car salesman. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School and attended the University of Iowa, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, a Master of Business Administration, and a law degree in 1995.[11] While in college he wanted to be in the film industry.[12]

During his undergraduate years at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa’s Rose Bowl game in 1991.[13]

Career

After graduating from law school, Whitaker worked for a number of regional law firms including Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) and Finley Alt Smith (Des Moines). He was also corporate counsel for a national grocery company, SuperValu, and small businessman owning interests in a trailer manufacturing company, a daycare, and a concrete supply company.[14] Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002, losing to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%.[15]

In 2003, Whitaker founded “Buy The Yard Concrete,” based in Urbandale, Iowa which did projects as far away as Las Vegas. In 2005, Whitaker was named as a defendant to a collections lawsuit in Nevada for $12,000 in unpaid invoices for supplies and equipment rentals related to a concrete project in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was settled out of court.[16]

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. The appointment was at the recommendation of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in spite of Whitaker’s minimal relevant legal experience.[17]

From 2005 to 2007, Whitaker was responsible for the unsuccessful investigation and prosecution of Iowa State Sen. Matt McCoy, a gay, liberal Democrat, on charges of attempting to extort $2000.[18] A columnist for the Des Moines Register said that the case “… was based on the word of a man former associates depicted as a drug user, a deadbeat and an abuser of women; a man so shady even his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors called him ‘a pathological liar.'”[19][20] The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict of “not guilty”.[21][22]

Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the Senate confirmation of his replacement, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.[13][23]

Private practice and political activities

From 2009 to 2017, Whitaker was a managing partner of the small general practice law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow & Gustoff LLP) in Des Moines, Iowa.[24]

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Whitaker was Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty‘s co-chairman in Iowa, and then state co-chairman for Texas governor Rick Perry.[25]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa, a seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came in fourth in the Republican primary in June, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[26]

After losing the Republican primary, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Sam Clovis, another unsuccessful primary candidate who had been selected, later in June, to run for Iowa State Treasurer.[27] Clovis lost in the November 2014 general election.[28][29][30]

MEM Investment

In 2012, Whitaker and two partners used their company, MEM Investment, to purchase and develop an affordable-housing apartment building in Des Moines.[31] In 2014, the partnership reverted to just Whitaker. By spring of 2016, the company failed to deliver on the contracted renovation, the city terminated the loan agreement, Lincoln Savings Bank declared MEM in default of the $687,000 mortgage, and the property was sold to another developer for completion.[32][33]

World Patent Marketing

In 2014, Whitaker joined the board of World Patent Marketing (WPM) which was a fraudulent invention promotion firm based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.[34][35][36] In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraudulently deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints through intimidation and the use of gag clauses.[36][37][38] In May 2018, a federal court ordered the company to close and pay a $26 million fine.[39] Many customers suffered significant losses as a result of working with the company[9][40] and when they tried to recoup their fees, the company used Whitaker’s background as a U.S. Attorney to threaten them. In a 2015 email mentioning his background as a former federal prosecutor, Whitaker told a customer that filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or “smearing” the company online could result in “serious civil and criminal consequences.”[41][42] The owner of Ripoff Report told The Wall Street Journal that Whitaker had called him in 2015 demanding his website take down negative reports about WPM, alleging, “He threatened to ruin my business if I didn’t remove the reports. He [said he] would have the government shut me down under some homeland security law.”[43][44] The company contributed to Whitaker’s 2014 US Senate campaign.[45] Whitaker performed almost $17,000 in compensable work for the company.[46] In 2017 FTC investigators examined whether Whitaker had played any role in making threats of legal action to silence the company’s critics. Whitaker rebuffed an FTC subpoena for records in October 2017, shortly after he had joined the Justice Department.[47]

White House and senior Justice Department officials were surprised to learn of Whitaker’s connection to the company.[48] Through a DOJ spokesperson, Whitaker has denied awareness of the company’s fraud.[9] The court receiver in the case said he has “no reason to believe that [Whitaker] knew of any of the wrongdoing.”[48] As of November 2018, the FBI is still investigating World Patent Marketing.[49]

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

From October 2014 to September 2017, Whitaker was the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT),[50] and the organization’s only full-time employee in 2015 and 2016.[51] FACT, founded in late 2014, is a conservative nonprofit organization specializing in legal and ethical issues related to politics.[52][53] The group was backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors, who Whitaker declined to identify to the media.[54] According to the organization’s first tax return, its funding — $600,000 in 2014 – came from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, a pass-through vehicle that allows donors to remain anonymous.[55]

While Whitaker was the head of FACT, the organization had a special focus on the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and perceived favoritism in the business dealings of Clinton.[56] Despite claiming to be nonpartisan, the organization called for ethics investigations into or filed complaints about forty-six different Democratic politicians, officials, and organizations, compared to only a few Republicans.[57] FACT has been described as using “the legal system as a political weapon”[58] and characterized, by a GOP operative, as a “chop shop of fake ethics complaints”.[59] During this time, Whitaker wrote opinion pieces that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appeared regularly on conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.[60]

CNN contributor

Whitaker aspired to become a judge in Iowa, and hoped his media appearances would catch the eye of the Trump administration.[25] For four months, from June to September 2017, he was a CNN contributor.[61] One month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”[62] He stated that Mueller’s investigation was a “lynch mob”, that it should be limited, and that it should not probe into Trump’s finances.[63][64]

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

Whitaker stated in a question-and-answer session during his 2014 Iowa Senatorial campaign that “the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch.”[65][66] Whitaker was critical of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the decision that allows judicial review of the constitutionality of the acts of the other branches of government, and several other Supreme Court holdings. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe commented on Whitaker’s views that “the overall picture he presents would have virtually no scholarly support,” and that they would be “‘destabilizing’ to society if he used the power of the attorney general to advance them.”[65]

Whitaker also stated during his 2014 Senate bid that he would not support “secular” judges and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” Asked if he meant Levitical or New Testament justice, he replied “I’m a New Testament.”[67] Whitaker’s answer has been interpreted by various individuals and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, to imply that he would disqualify non-Christian judges, and were condemned as unconstitutional. An ADL spokesperson said, “The notion that non-Christian judges are disqualified from service is patently wrong, and completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office.”[68]

Whitaker stated in 2013 he supports the right of states to nullify federal laws.[69] Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated that Whitaker’s views on nullification are “irreconcilable not only with the structure of the Constitution, but with its text, especially the text of the Supremacy Clause,” and added that “For someone who holds those views to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, even temporarily, is more than a little terrifying.”[69]

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

During the months prior to joining the Justice Department as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker made several statements critical of the Mueller investigation, of which he assumed oversight responsibility upon being appointed Acting Attorney General in November 2018. By July 2017, the Trump White House was interviewing Whitaker to join the Trump legal team.[70] During a six-month span in 2017, Whitaker insisted that there was no obstruction of justice or collusion and criticized the initial appointment of the special counsel. He also called the probe “political”[71] and “the left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the U.S. election, which has been proven false.”[72] He also published an op-ed titled, “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Is Going Too Far”[73] in which he expressed skepticism about the investigation generally and called the appointment of Mueller “ridiculous.”[72] Through social media, he also promoted an article that referred to the investigation as a “lynch mob.”[63][73][74]

Relationship with Donald Trump

Trump saw Whitaker’s supportive commentaries on CNN in the summer of 2017, and in July White House counsel Don McGahn interviewed Whitaker to join Trump’s legal team as an “attack dog” against Robert Mueller, who was heading the Special Counsel investigation. Trump associates believe Whitaker was later hired to limit the fallout of the investigation, including by reining in any Mueller report and preventing Trump from being subpoenaed.[70] On November 13, Whitaker sought advice from ethics officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether a recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation was warranted.[75]

In 2017 Whitaker provided private advice to Trump on how the White House might pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s adversaries, including appointing a special counsel to investigate the FBI and Hillary Clinton.[76]

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society recommended Whitaker to McGahn as chief of staff for Sessions, and Whitaker was installed into that role at the direction of the White House. Sessions, it is reported, did not realize for a year that Whitaker wanted to replace him.[77]

By early September 2018 Whitaker was on the short list of President Trump‘s White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[78][79]

In September 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department, which the president considered himself at war with.[80]

Trump had spoken with Whitaker in September 2018 about potentially assuming Sessions’s role as Attorney General, although it was not clear whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity.[81] At that time, The New York Times described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who had frequently visited the Oval Office and as having “an easy chemistry” with Trump.[80] Whitaker was referenced by White House staff after a New York Times article disclosed in September that Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping his conversations with the president and talked about using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Trump from office.[73]

Trump repeatedly stated on November 9, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” contradicting remarks a month prior on Fox & Friends when he said, “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”[82][83][84] The president met with Whitaker at least ten times and frequently talked to him on the phone, and according to a former and a current administration official, Whitaker advised Trump in private on how to potentially pressure the Justice Department into investigating Trump’s adversaries.[85]

Other policy Issues

Whitaker has ties to the evangelical Christian community, his website previously stated that he is a “Christian who regularly attends church with his family, Matt has built a life on hard work and free enterprise” and he stated in 2014 that “life begins at conception.”[86][87][88]In 2014 he advocated for reducing the influence of the government saying, “I know that the government forcing people to violate their faith must never be tolerated. In the Senate, I will be a steadfast protector of every American’s religious rights.”[89]

He has expressed a desire to get rid of chain immigration and is against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[90] Whitaker argued in 2014 that expressing homophobic comments is legitimate expression of religious beliefs that should be protected speech, saying “I just really think this case is a prime example of where religious freedom in our country is under assault and we need to send a strong message.”[91] Whitaker supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in his 2014 Senate campaign.[73]

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

On September 22, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Sessions had appointed Whitaker to replace Jody Hunt as his chief of staff.[63][92] George Terwilliger, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, said in his role as chief of staff, Whitaker would have dealt daily with making “substantive choices about what is important to bring to the AG….”[93]

Acting Attorney General

With the resignation of Sessions on November 7, 2018, Whitaker was appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[11][94] The Acting Attorney General directly supervises Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation, which had previously been supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his role as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

Soon after Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General, a “broad and growing array” of legal experts expressed concern.[95] New York University law professor Ryan Goodman and Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, argued for Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation, citing potential conflicts of interest such as his previous criticism of the Special Counsel investigation and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in the investigation.[7][96][97] NYU law professor Stephen Gillerssaid Whitaker “has no such legal or ethical obligation to step aside” but agrees that “Whitaker should be recused. His repeated expression of hostility to the Mueller investigation makes it impossible for the public to have confidence in his ability to exercise the necessary prosecutorial judgment in supervising Mueller”.[98][99] According to people close to Whitaker, he does not have any plans to recuse.[100]

Democrats poised to assume chairmanships of key House committees in January 2019 warned the Justice Department and other departments to preserve records relating to the Mueller investigation and Sessions’ firing. Republicans Senator Susan Collins, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator-elect Mitt Romney, also issued statements insisting that Mueller’s investigation must remain free from interference.[101]

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

Former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who both served in the George W. Bush administration, questioned the legality of the appointment.[102] Lawyers Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III called the appointment “illegal” and “unconstitutional” under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.[103][104][105] Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano posited that Whitaker is “not legally qualified for the role” as he is neither the Deputy Attorney General nor in a role that required Senate confirmation, and the senate is not in recess currently.[106][107] Lawyers Renato Mariotti and Laurence Tribe have argued that the Vacancies Act would not allow Trump to appoint Whitaker if Sessions was fired and that a court could conclude that Sessions did not resign but was fired.[108] John E. Bies, who served in the Obama Administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, has written that legality and constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment is an open question and it has not been answered. Bies also points out that it is a difficult argument to make that Sessions was fired instead of resigning since a court would probably not “look past an official’s formal statement that they resigned”.[109]

Law professor John Yoo, who notably argued in favor of expansive executive power as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, echoed the Katyal and Conway argument, stating that because of the Appointments Clause “it is not only the special-counsel investigation that he cannot supervise. Every action of the Justice Department might fall before challenges to Whitaker’s appointment.”[110] Law professor Stephen Vladeck argued that the U.S. Supreme Courtdecision United States v. Eaton allowed the appointment since it was temporary and that Sessions formally resigned.[95] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I think this will be a very interim AG.”[111]

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of the appointment. The memo concluded that because the appointment was temporary, no senate confirmation was required. It found that previously in 1866 an assistant attorney general who was not confirmed by the senate was appointed as acting attorney general, and that a non senate confirmed individual served as a principal officer in an acting capacity over 160 times between 1809 and 1860, and more recently at least nine times in the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.[112][113][114]

NBC News analyzed the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits a federal employee from participating in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship and said it may “arguably apply,” but also noted that “Even if a court could review the application of the recusal regulations to Whitaker in this situation, it might conclude that this personal or political relationship does not warrant [Whitaker’s] disqualification.”[115] Writers at Lawfare also noted Whitaker’s personal and prior political relationship with Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, who has been questioned by Mueller’s investigators and testified before the investigation grand jury.[116][117]

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a group called Checks and Balances in the wake of Whitaker appointment.[118] Members include George T. Conway III, Tom Ridge, Peter D. KeislerJonathan H. AdlerOrin S. Kerr, Lori S. Meyer, Paul McNultyPhillip D. BradyJohn B. Bellinger III, Carrie Cordero, Peter Keisler, Marisa C Maleck, Alan Charles Raul and Paul Rosenzweig amongst others.[119][120][121][122] The group was formed to provide a critical legal and conservative voice for when, “he [Trump] attacks the Justice Department and the news media.”[123][124] The group was formed by Conway after he published a letter critical of Matthew Whitaker appointment that argued the illegality of his appointment because of constitutional reasons and specifically mentions the phrase checks and balances, “It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.”[125]

On November 14 The American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel’s Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.[126][127] The signatories demand that Whitaker recuse himself or “otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts.”[128]

Legal challenges

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh representing the State of Maryland filed for an injunction against Whitaker’s appointment.[129] Maryland had previously filed a suit against the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding his inability to defend the Affordable Care Act in court as part of a broader hostility of the Obama era act from the Trump administration.[130][131][132] Maryland is expected to test the argument in court that Whitaker was unlawfully named acting attorney general, and thus has no standing in the court or authority to respond to their lawsuit.[3][4] Maryland is also arguing that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution, which requires that principal officers of the United States be appointed “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Whitaker was not serving in a Senate-confirmed position when he was appointed.[3] The state is arguing that the role of acting Attorney General rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.[133]. A judge has set a December 19 hearing.[134]

On November 12 San Francisco’s city attorney questioned the appointment of a new acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not provide a legal justification for the designation.[135][136]

Lawyers for former agricultural products executive Doug Haning filed a motion on November 13 asking a federal court in St. Louis to rule that Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General is illegal thereby he has no standing to hear the case.[134] Some lawyers have predicted a flood of similar motions.[134]

Personal life

Whitaker has three children with his wife, Marci, a civil engineer.[137] He is affiliated with Lutheran Evangelicalism.[138][89]

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

General election results[139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Fitzgerald 534,714 54.77%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 421,574 43.18%
Libertarian Tim Hird 19,687 2.02%
Republican Write-ins 344 0.04%
Total votes 976,319 100.00%

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

Republican primary results[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joni Ernst 88,535 56.12%
Republican Sam Clovis 28,418 18.01%
Republican Mark Jacobs 26,523 16.81%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 11,884 7.53%
Republican Scott Schaben 2,233 1.42%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.10%
Total votes 157,748 100.00%

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(attorney)

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The Pronk Pops 1162, October 24, 2018, Breaking News: Story 1: The Windmills of Your Mind — Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — A Barack Clinton Dud (ABCD) — Fake Bombs — Fake Dossier — Fake News — Real Smear Campaign — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Mexican Marxist Mobs Marching — Return To Sender — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1162 October 24, 2018

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Breaking News: Story 1: The Windmills of Your Mind — Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — A Barack Clinton Dud (ABCD) — Fake Bombs — Fake Dossier — Fake News — Real Smear Campaign — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Mexican Marxist Mobs Marching — Return To Sender — Videos

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

The Windmills of Your Mind – Noel Harrison

Glider flying ‘Windmills Of Your Mind’ film ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ 1968

The Windmills of Your Mind

Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind
Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind
Keys that jingle in your pocket, words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly, was it something that you said?
Lovers walking along a shore and leave their footprints in the sand
Is the sound of distant drumming just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway and the fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces, but to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over you were suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning to the color of her hair!
Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel
As the images unwind, like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Marylin Bergman / Michel Legrand
The Windmills of Your Mind lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
[youtbe=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rTq6lDtCsU]

Trump vows to investigate bombs mailed to Clintons, Obama and CNN

Tucker Carlson Tonight Fox News 10/24/18 Breaking News Tonight October 24, 2018

FAKE MAIL BOMBS Sent to Dems-FALSE FLAG is a CNN/ Media-farce by Left used to attack Trump/Midterms

Tucker Carlson Tonight Fox News 10/25/18 Fox News Today October 25, 2018

Explosive devices sent to Clinton, Obama, CNN raises concerns of copycats

Mail bomb spree spreads fear throughout the country

Sean Hannity Fox News 10/24/18 Hannity October 24, 2018

Law Enforcement Confirms Pipe Bombs Are Fake Deep State False Flag Confirmed

Ordinance Disposal Bombs Are Fake

PBS NewsHour full episode October 24, 2018

U.S. sees a series of targeted bomb scares

‘Pipe bombs’ sent to White House, Clinton, Obama and CNN studio

Obamas, Clintons and CNN among targets of mail bombs | ITV News

President Donald Trump Accuses Hillary Clinton Campaign Of Russian Collusion | NBC News

Conservatives Create Wild Conspiracy Theories About MAGA Bomber

Federal Agents Reveal “Huge Clue” About Who Sent Mail Bombs To Top Democrats

What we know about the U.S. mail bombs

‘The Five’ on explosive devices sent to prominent Democrats

We All Should Be Calling This Out’: Rep. Scalise Calls for Partisan Unity After Mail Bomb Scare

‘Mail bombs’ sent to Obama, Clintons, senior Democrats and CNN

See Trump’s response to bombs

CNN, Obamas, Clintons and Holder Targeted with Mail Bombs

Bomb Disposal Expert Claims Mail Bombs Are an ‘Obvious Hoax’

Deep Dumpster Diving Into the Magnificent Story of the Bomb Scare Hoax and Why It Boggles the Mind

The Ingraham Angle Fox News [2AM] 10/24/18 Laura Ingraham October 24, 2018

Questions About the Mail Bomber

Ann Coulter Reacts to Suspicious Packages Sent to Obama, Clintons

Ann Coulter: US takes in more refugees than rest of the world combined

Tracking the migrant caravan’s journey from Central America to the southern U.S. border

Ingraham: The caravan of lies and manipulation

Second migrant caravan forms as many seek asylum in Mexico

Migrant caravan raises Trump’s ire again

Ingraham: The flameout of the Democrats’ latest stars

Here’s Who’s Really Behind The Migrant Caravan

Trump should ask Mexico to stop migrant caravan: Former ICE director

How Do You Judge America? Left vs. Right #3

Elvis Presley – Return To Sender

Return to Sender
Return to sender, return to sender
I gave a letter to the postman, he put it his sack
Bright in early next morning, he brought my letter back
She wrote upon it
Return to sender, address unknown
No such number, no such zone
We had a quarrel, a lover’s spat
I write I’m sorry but my letter keeps coming back
So then I dropped it in the mailbox and sent it special D
Bright in early next morning it came right back to me
She wrote upon it
Return to sender, address unknown
No such person, no such zone
This time I’m gonna take it myself and put it right in her hand
And if it comes back the very next day then I’ll understand
The writing on it
Return to sender, address unknown
No such number, no such zone
Return to sender, return to sender
Return to sender, return to sender
Songwriters: Otis Blackwell / Winfield Scott
Return to Sender lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Raleigh Music Publishing

Neil Diamond – The Windmills Of Your Mind

Ginetto reno-Windmills of your mind-Chess scene

Jordan Peterson: 5 Hours for the NEXT 50 Years of Your LIFE (MUST WATCH)

New X-ray images reveal how ‘MAGAbomber’ made crude pipe bombs out of PVC tubing and an Amazon digital clock before stuffing them with sulfur and shards of glass

  • The pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats across the United States each had matching characteristics
  • Officials said the devices were contrived of PVC tubing attached to a digital clock, available for purchase on Amazon, and included sulfur as explosives and shards of glass as shrapnel
  • X-ray images provide a more detailed look at the explosive devices that also include a battery and wiring
  • Secret Service intercepted two explosive devices en route to Obama’s Washington home and Hillary Clinton’s New York residence
  • Another was discovered on Wednesday at the Time Warner Center in New York where CNN’s newsroom is located. It was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan 
  • The devices are all similar to a small pipe bomb found at billionaire George Soros’ home in New York Monday
  • They were wrapped in black electrical tape and stuffed full of gunpowder with a digital clock timer attached
  • Other intercepted devices targeted California congresswoman Maxine Waters, former Attorney General Eric Holder, VP Mike Pence and actor Robert De Niro
  • All the packageshad former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office listed as a return address
  • The hashtag #MAGAbomber became a top trending hashtag on Twitter Wednesday 
  • President Trump meanwhile condemned the pipe bomb incidents and called for unity across the nation

The pipe bombs anonymously sent to the addresses of prominent Democrats across the United States each had matching characteristics, law enforcement officials revealed Wednesday evening.

The crude devices were contrived of PVC tubing attached to a digital clock, available for purchase on Amazon. They included sulfur as explosives and shards of glass as shrapnel.

X-ray images obtained by ABC News provide a more detailed look at the explosive devices that also include a battery as well as wiring to initiate an explosion.

Officials suspect a serial bomber likely with an intent to kill is behind the rash of homemade explosives sent in the mail this week.

Law enforcement officials said Wednesday evening the pipe bombs anonymously sent to the addresses of prominent Democrats across the United States each had matching characteristics. An x-ray of the explosive device sent to Barack's Obama's Washington residence is pictured

Law enforcement officials said Wednesday evening the pipe bombs anonymously sent to the addresses of prominent Democrats across the United States each had matching characteristics. An x-ray of the explosive device sent to Barack’s Obama’s Washington residence is pictured

The crude devices were contrived with PVC tubing attached to a digital clock and included sulfur as explosives and shards of glass as shrapnel. An x-ray of the explosive device recovered at Time Warner Center in NYC is pictured

The crude devices were contrived with PVC tubing attached to a digital clock and included sulfur as explosives and shards of glass as shrapnel. An x-ray of the explosive device recovered at Time Warner Center in NYC is pictured

The digital clock is circled above. Multiple suspected explosive devices were found in the mail addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN's New York newsroom on Wednesday. Pictured is the pipe bomb sent to CNN's newsroom

The digital clock is circled above. Multiple suspected explosive devices were found in the mail addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN’s New York newsroom on Wednesday. Pictured is the pipe bomb sent to CNN’s newsroom

Secret Service agents revealed earlier Wednesday they had intercepted two explosives en route to former President Obama’s Washington D.C. home and Hillary and Bill Clinton’s property in Chappaqua, New York.

A short time later, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a pipe bomb found in an envelope addressed to former CIA director John Brennan.

The devices were similar to the small pipe bomb found at liberal billionaire donor George Soros’ New York home on Monday and appear to have been sent by the same person, NYPD’s chief of counterterrorism said.

Throughout the day, a disturbing hashtag that suggests the Trump administration holds responsibility for the pipe bombs became a top trend on Twitter.

Liberal conspiracy theorists took to the social media platform to share countless viral tweets under the hashtag #MAGAbomber, while President Trump in the meantime condemned the attempted act of terror against his greatest foes and called for unity across the nation.

One user wrote in a tweet using the trending hashtag: ‘I promise you it will not be long until a crowd of people cheer at a Trump rally for the #MAGABomber.’

Another user said: ‘No one could have predicted the #MAGABomber except for literally everyone,’ while someone else wrote: ‘@realDonaldTrump you and your hateful rhetoric are responsible for the #MAGAbomber.’

Someone else suggested: ‘#MAGAbomber the hashtag fits @realDonaldTrump you must admit.’

Trump spoke about pipe bomb incidents Wednesday at a White House event, where signed an opioid epidemic law that will make medical treatment more readily available to drug abusers and crack down on the mailing of illegal substances.

Trump said in the statement: ‘I just want to tell you that in these times, we have to unify… we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the Untied States of America.

‘The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority. I’ve just concluded a briefing with the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service.

‘As we speak, the packages are being inspected by top explosive experts and a major federal investigation is now underway.

‘The full weight of our government is being deployed to conduct this investigation and bring those responsible for these despicable acts to justice.’

US President Donald Trump condemned the act of terror against his greatest foes and called for unity across the nation while speaking at a White House event on October 24, 2018 in Washington, DC

US President Donald Trump condemned the act of terror against his greatest foes and called for unity across the nation while speaking at a White House event on October 24, 2018 in Washington, DC

Trump speaks about crude pipe bombs targeting Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, CNN and others, during an event on the opioid crisis, in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday in Washington

The FBI said the packages were mailed in manilla envelopes with bubble wrap interior. The packages were affixed with computer-printed address labels and six stamps bearing the Stars and Stripes. All packages had the return address of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida.

The explosive device intended for Holder was returned to her Florida office – also sparking an evacuation there on Wednesday afternoon.

All of those targeted are among Trump’s biggest political enemies and have been subjected to his ire on Twitter.

The White House also called the attacks as ‘despicable’, while officials described the events as a coordinated ‘effort to terrorize’ just days before polarizing US elections.

‘This clearly is an act of terror attempting to undermine our free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,’ New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

The FBI has warned that other packages could also have been mailed and said they were working with multiple agencies to track down the person responsible.

The packages sent to the Clintons and Obama were discovered during routine mail screenings and were intercepted prior to being delivered to Clinton and Obama.

Bill Clinton was at the family’s home at the time the package was intercepted, while Hillary was attending campaign events for Democrats in Florida.

Multiple suspected explosive devices were found in the mail addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN's New York newsroom on Wednesday. Pictured above is the pipe bomb sent to CNN's newsroom

Multiple suspected explosive devices were found in the mail addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN’s New York newsroom on Wednesday. Pictured above is the pipe bomb sent to CNN’s newsroom

The FBI said the packages were mailed in manilla envelopes and were affixed with computer-printed address labels with six stamps bearing the Stars and Stripes. The packages had the return address of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida

The FBI said the packages were mailed in manilla envelopes and were affixed with computer-printed address labels with six stamps bearing the Stars and Stripes. The packages had the return address of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida

A bomb was found at the New York home of Hillary and Bill Clinton on Wednesday morning

Two bombs have been found in the mail addressed to former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to the Secret Service

The packaging was addressed care of CNN to former CIA director John Brennan, who doesn’t work for the network but is an MSNBC contributor. An evacuation alarm went off as CNN anchors were live on air reporting on the packages sent to Obama and Clinton.

The bomb was constructed with a metal pipe, wires and black tape, according to police. The device found at CNN was removed by the NYPD bomb squad and taken away for investigation.

A suspicious package addressed to Democratic California congresswoman Maxine Waters was intercepted by Capitol Police on Wednesday afternoon and another was found en route to her California office.

Earlier, a law enforcement source told Reuters and CNN that they believed a pipe bomb had also been sent to the White House but was intercepted at an off-site facility in D.C. The Secret Service later denied this, saying there was no suspicious package addressed to the White House.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said his office received a similar package, but New York police officials said the office was cleared and no device was found. The San Diego office of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was evacuated early Wednesday following reports of a suspicious package, but police found nothing.

The package sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton's property in Chappaqua, New York was found by an employee who screens their mail. Police guarded the property early Wednesday

The package sent to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s property in Chappaqua, New York was found by an employee who screens their mail. Police guarded the property early Wednesday

A device addressed to former President Obama's home in Washington D.C. was intercepted by Secret Service. Law enforcement were spotted outside the home early Wednesday morning

A device addressed to former President Obama’s home in Washington D.C. was intercepted by Secret Service. Law enforcement were spotted outside the home early Wednesday morning

A short time later, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN's offices (above) in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package 

A short time later, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices (above) in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package

A bomb robotic was deployed outside the building in Sunrise, Florida where Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has an office

A robotic device and members of the bomb squad were deployed outside the building in Sunrise, Florida where Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has an office following reports of a suspicious device

TIMELINE: Packages target prominent Democrats and Trump’s foes

Monday: George Soros

Pipe bomb is found at George Soros’ home in Katonah, New York on Monday.

It was located in a mailbox outside the gates of the billionaire’s compound.

Tuesday : Hillary Clinton

Suspicious package is discovered at Hillary and Bill Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York, Tuesday night.

The device addressed to Hillary was found during a routine mail screening. Bill was at the home but Hillary was campaigning for Democrats in Florida.

Wednesday: Barack Obama

Secret Service intercept a package en route to Obama’s Washington D.C. residence early Wednesday.

It was also discovered during routine mail screenings.

Wednesday: CNN/John Brennan

Suspicious package addressed to former CIA director John Brennan is found in the mail room of CNN’s New York Bureau on Wednesday.

CNN evacuated after a pipe bomb and an envelope of white powder was discovered. Brennan has worked as a television analyst.

Wednesday: Eric Holder/Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Bomb squad is called to Florida office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday after package is found.

Packages that were intercepted all had Schultz’s office listed as a return address.

Package at her office was sent to former Attorney General Eric Holder but was mailed to the wrong address, so was returned to her instead.

Wednesday: Maxine Waters

Suspicious package addressed to California congresswoman Maxine Waters was intercepted Wednesday afternoon by Capitol Police.

Another package was sent to Waters in California.

Thursday Joe Biden

Authorities locate two suspicious packages addressed to the former VP at mail facilities in Delaware on Thursday.

Thursday: Robert De Niro

New York Police swarm a building associated with the Hollywood actor in Tribeca early Thursday after a suspicious package was found.

The White House issued a statement regarding the devices, condemning the ‘violent attacks’.

‘We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,’ a statement from press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

‘These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.’

Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump also issued statements condemning the attacks on Obama, the Clintons and CNN.

‘These cowardly actions are despicable and have no place in this country. Grateful for swift response of @SecretService, @FBI & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice,’ Pence tweeted.

Ivanka tweeted: ‘I strongly condemn the attempted acts of violence against President Obama, the Clinton family, @CNN and others. There is no excuse – America is better than this. Gratitude to the @SecretService and law enforcement for all they do to keep this nation safe.’

President Trump initially just retweeted Pence’s tweet, saying: ‘I agree wholeheartedly!’ but expanded during a White House press conference later on Wednesday.

‘I just want to tell you that in these times we have to unify, we have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,’ Trump said.

Trump did not mention any of the recipients of the packages in his remarks.

‘The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority,’ he said.

His wife Melania also spoke, saying: ‘We cannot tolerate those cowardly attacks and I strongly condemn all who choose violence.

‘I’m grateful to the secret service as well as the federal and local law enforcement for all they do on a daily basis to keep us safe and encourage people across the country to choose kindness over hatred.’

Hillary Clinton said at a Florida fundraiser on Wednesday that ‘we are fine’ as she thanked the Secret Service for intercepting the device ‘long before it made its way to our home’.

Clinton, who was speaking at a fundraiser for Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala, said her family was grateful for the Secret Service’s ‘service and commitment and obviously never more than today’.

The pipe bomb found at CNN was safely taken away in an NYPD emergency vehicle on Wednesday to be examined by the FBI

The pipe bomb found at CNN was safely taken away in an NYPD emergency vehicle on Wednesday to be examined by the FBI

A member of the New York Police Department bomb squad is pictured outside the Time Warner Center in the Manahattan after a suspicious package was sent to CNN

An evacuation alarm went off as CNN anchors were live on air reporting on the packages sent to Obama and Clinton

An evacuation alarm went off as CNN anchors were live on air reporting on the packages sent to Obama and Clinton

New York police block off a street after they were called to a suspicious package sent to the Time Warner building where CNN's newsroom is located

New York police block off a street after they were called to a suspicious package sent to the Time Warner building where CNN’s newsroom is located

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference that it was an 'act of terror'. He is pictured above with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (right) and New York Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill (left)

With the country deeply polarized under President Trump, the packages brought a new level of tension to the November 6 political contests that will decide whether Democrats can challenge the majorities now held by Trump’s Republicans in Congress.

The targets are all Democrats frequently attacked by Trump online and in speeches as he defends his 2016 election victory and policies he has implemented since coming to office in January 2017.

The term #MAGAbomber was trending as the investigation unfolded.

Obama preceded him in the White House and Clinton was his 2016 election rival. Holder was attorney general in the last years of the Obama administration.

Trump has labelled CNN the leading purveyor of ‘fake news’ against him, and Brennan is perhaps his most damaging critic from the national security community. Brennan called the president’s performance during a July joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki ‘nothing short of treasonous’.

Trump often ridicules Waters, a senior Democrat, as ‘low IQ’ and has regularly attacked Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and Cuomo.

Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros, said in an opinion piece published by the New York Times that his father had long faced verbal criticism and threats over his involvement in politics, ‘but something changed in 2016’ when Trump was elected.

‘Before that, the vitriol he faced was largely confined to the extremist fringes, among white supremacists and nationalists who sought to undermine the very foundations of democracy. But with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, things got worse,’ Alexander Soros wrote.

He placed direct responsibility with those who sent the devices, but added: ‘I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today.’

Hillary Clinton said at a Florida fundraiser on Wednesday that 'we are fine' as she thanked the Secret Service for intercepting the device 'long before it made its way to our home'

Hillary Clinton said at a Florida fundraiser on Wednesday that ‘we are fine’ as she thanked the Secret Service for intercepting the device ‘long before it made its way to our home’

Melania Trump strongly condemned the attempted violence to President Trump's political rivals on Wednesday at a White House press conference

Melania Trump strongly condemned the attempted violence to President Trump’s political rivals on Wednesday at a White House press conference

At a press conference on Wednesday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the ‘effort to terrorize’ as he and fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo appealed to all elected officials, including a veiled reference to Trump, to tone down rhetoric.

‘Don’t encourage violence, don’t encourage hatred, don’t encourage attacks on media,’ de Blasio said. ‘Unfortunately this atmosphere of hatred is contributing to the choices people are making.

‘The way to stop that is turn back the other way, to bring down the temperature, to end any messages of violence against people we disagree with and this has to start at the top.’

Meanwhile, during Fox News’ coverage of the events, former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker told the outlet that the Democrats might be to blame for the bombs.

‘We’re already seeing a little bit of a pattern,’ Swecker said. ‘They’re going to be looking at this as a potential terrorist motive, whether it’s on one side or the other.

‘This doesn’t necessarily mean someone is espousing some sort of conservative ideology and targeting Democrats. It could be someone who is trying to get the Democratic vote out and incur sympathy.’

INNOCENT-LOOKING MANILA ENVELOPES PACKED WITH PIPE BOMBS ‘INTENDED TO MAIM AND KILL’

A 6-inch pipe bomb wrapped in black electrical tape, hidden in a simple envelope with the return address of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz – this is the ‘rudimentary but functional’ design behind at least five explosive devices sent out to America’s liberal elite in the last three days.

The devices sent to George Soros, The Clintons, The Obamas, CNN and Former Attorney General Eric Holder have all been described as pipe bombs and are believed to be the handiwork of the same serial bomber based on their design, according to law enforcement officials speaking to multiple outlets.

Their intention was not just to create fear but to explode and maim and kill, law enforcement sources told ABC

An envelope intended for Congresswoman Maxine Waters is also being investigated but hasn’t been confirmed as an explosive

All of the bombs were delivered in manilla envelopes with the return address of former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

They all had bubble wrap interiors and printed labels alongside six Stars and Stripes stamps

The first pipe bomb found inside the mailbox of George Soros’ Westchester mansion on Monday afternoon was a six-inches-long piece of pipe packed with explosive powder

Images of the CNN pipe bomb, showed the explosive device wrapped in black electrical tape and linked up to a cell phone detonator

Images of the CNN pipe bomb, showed the explosive device wrapped in black electrical tape and linked up to a cell phone detonator

It was hand-delivered but designed to look like it had come through the mail.

The Obama and Clinton packages were intercepted in mail sorting offices but it is unclear how they were delivered.

Some have questioned whether the packages were actually sent through the postal service as that would have raised the alarm much more quickly and they wouldn’t have reached their intended targets

Images of the CNN pipe bomb, showed the explosive device wrapped in black electrical tape and wired up to a digital clock counter

It was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan and intercepted in the media giant’s mail-room and reportedly delivered by a messenger

Images showed the small makeshift device and its envelope while a NYPD press conference reported it was stuffed with gunpowder

The bomb addressed to former Attorney General Eric Holder was somehow sent back to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s office – prompting a police investigation and evacuation of that office

A package is currently being investigated in a Maryland sorting office, reportedly addressed to Congresswoman Maxine Waters

False alarms were called in from the offices of Governor Andrew Cuomo and  Senator Kamala Harris. Both suspicious packages were found to be innocent

Mailboxes stand outside the entrance to a house owned by Soros in Katonah, a suburb of New York City, in New York. The package was allegedly hand-delivered here

Mailboxes stand outside the entrance to a house owned by Soros in Katonah, a suburb of New York City, in New York. The package was allegedly hand-delivered here

Pipe bombs are common improvised explosive devices. The pipe is sealed at both ends and packed with gunpowder. The tightly-packed design means even low grade explosives can have potentially devastating consequences and the pipe itself turns into shrapnel.

Often such devices are coated with metal projectiles like nuts and bolts creating an even more vicious impact on explosion. According to CNN, one of the four sent out this week was packed with shards of glass

They are linked up to a fuse and most often, a timer and battery for detonation. It is unclear how the devices in this case were intended to be detonated and what the role of the digital clock taped on the side of the pipe bomb was intended to serve

Investigators treating packages as ‘live devices,’ not hoax

36 minutes ago
Police tape cordons off a post office in Wilmington, Del., Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018. A law enforcement official said suspicious packages addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden were intercepted at Delaware mail facilities in New Castle and Wilmington and were similar to crude pipe bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators probing crude pipe bombs sent to prominent critics of President Donald Trump are trying to determine whether the devices were intended to detonate or simply to sow fear, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press Thursday.

The officials said the devices were not rigged like a booby-trapped package bomb that would explode upon opening. They had timers and batteries but never went off. Law enforcement officials were still uncertain whether the devices were poorly designed or never intended to cause physical harm. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name.

“As far as a hoax device, we’re not treating it that way,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

At the briefing, authorities confirmed that at least some of the packages were distributed through the U.S. mail. They said investigators searching for additional suspicious parcels had not found any during the previous eight hours.

Details about the devices came as the four-day mail-bomb scare widened. Law enforcement officials seized three more devices Thursday — two addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and one to actor Robert De Niro — described as similar to the devices sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others.

The new discoveries brought to 10 the number of suspicious packages targeting Democrats but intercepted by authorities this week.

Much was still unanswered about the devices and authorities have said nothing about suspects. Details suggest only a broad pattern — that the items were packaged in manila envelopes, addressed to prominent Trump critics and carried U.S. postage stamped. Some were discovered in mail processing facilities. Officials said the devices are being examined by technicians at the FBI’s forensic lab in Quantico, Virginia.

The packages stoked nationwide tensions and fears two weeks before major congressional midterm elections. Even with the sender still unknown, politicians from both parties used the moment to decry a toxic political climate and lay blame.

“A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News,” Trump said on Twitter. “It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

Former CIA Director John Brennan, the target of one package sent to CNN, fired back.

“Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror,” Brennan tweeted. “Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act….try to act Presidential.”

The list of bombing targets spread from New York, Delaware and Washington, D.C., to Florida and California.

The explosive devices were packed in envelopes with bubble-wrap interiors bearing six American flag stamps and the return address of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee who was accused by Clinton rivals of secretly helping the party’s eventual presidential nominee.

The bombs seized Wednesday, each with a small battery, were about six inches long and packed with powder and broken glass, according to a law enforcement official who viewed X-ray images. The official said the devices were made from PVC pipe and covered with black tape.

The packages discovered Thursday set off a new wave of alarm.

Two officials told The Associated Press that a person working at De Niro’s Manhattan office called police after seeing images of a package bomb sent to CNN and recalling a similar package addressed to the actor. De Niro’s office is located in the TriBeCa Film Center in lower Manhattan, and also includes an upscale restaurant and private screening room.

A police officer blocks off an area responding to reports of a suspicious package in the Tribeca neighborhood in New York. (AP Photo/Ron DePasquale)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the packages were “clearly an effort to terrorize people politically, to choose people for political purposes and attack them because of their beliefs.”

The packages addressed to Biden were intercepted at Delaware mail facilities in New Castle and Wilmington, according to a law enforcement official who, like others, wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Like earlier targets, both Biden and De Niro have been sharply critical of Trump. The actor dropped an expletive insult at Trump at this year’s Tony Awards and also apologized to Canadians for the “idiotic behavior of my president.” Biden said last week that the president may not “know what he’s doing” and coddles dictators.

The first crude bomb to be discovered was delivered Monday to the suburban New York compound of George Soros, a liberal billionaire and major contributor to Democratic causes. Soros has called Trump’s presidency “dangerous.”

Similar packages addressed to Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama were intercepted on their way to Chappaqua, New York, where the Clintons live with former President Bill Clinton and to Washington, where Obama lives with his wife, Michelle. The Secret Service said neither package reached its intended recipient.

Others were sent to frequent Trump critics Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder. His ended up at the Florida office of Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was listed as the return address.

A police bomb squad removed the package addressed to Brennan from CNN’s New York office, which was evacuated.

EXPLOSIVE DEVICES

As the scope of the attack became clearer Wednesday, Trump decried political violence during a scripted event in the White House East Room, and other members of the administration said violence has no place in American society.

Later at a rally in Wisconsin, he urged unity.

“Let’s get along,” he said. “By the way, do you see how nice I’m behaving tonight? Have you ever seen this?”

But at the same event, he blamed the news media and on Twitter Thursday kept up the argument that the media play a role.

“Acts or threats of political violence have no place in the United States,” Trump said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump spoke with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday morning and offered him any federal assistance needed. The president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump reached out to Chelsea Clinton, a longtime friend.

Democratic Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California said such words “ring hollow” when coming from Trump. They noted the president’s recent praise of a GOP congressman who body-slammed a reporter, among other pugnacious statements.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders took a slap at Democrats as she defended Trump.

“The president is certainly not responsible for sending suspicious packages to someone no more than Bernie Sanders was responsible for a supporter of his shooting up a Republican baseball field practice last year.”

James T. Hodgkinson, 66, was shot and killed by police after he opened fire on congressional Republicans practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats in 2017. Hodgkinson’s widow said he had been a supporter of Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in 2016.

___

Sisak reported from New York. Associated Press writers Zeke Miller, Laurie Kellman, Colleen Long, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin and Chad Day in Washington and Jim Mustian, Deepti Hajela and Tom Hays in New York contributed to this report.

For the AP’s complete coverage of the mail-bomb scare: https://apnews.com/PipeBombAttacks

https://apnews.com/e0ed03c0100a42a0a3ce65419c72af37

Two packages sent to Joe Biden, one to Robert De Niro match other mailed pipe bombs

Officials say the numerous devices recovered were poorly made, but it’s unclear if that was intentional, or if they were just badly constructed.
 / Updated 
By Jonathan Dienst, Adam Edelman and Elisha Fieldstadt

Two suspicious packages found Thursday addressed to former Vice President Joe Biden and another sent to Robert De Niro at his office in downtown Manhattan are similar to the pipe bombs sent to political and media figures in the past few days, according to the FBI.

One package addressed to Biden was discovered at a postal facility in New Castle, Delaware, and another was found at a postal facility in Wilmington, Delaware, officials. They suspected Wednesday that a package addressed to Biden was somewhere within the postal system.

Image: Suspicious package Delaware
A member of the bomb squad investigates a suspicious package at a postal facility in New Castle, Delaware.NBC News

The package sent to De Niro was found at 375 Greenwich St., the site of the restaurant Tribeca Grill, which the actor co-owns, and the offices of De Niro’s Tribeca Productions. There was no need to evacuate because the building was empty, police said.

An employee of DeNiro’s called authorities around 4 a.m. ET on Thursday after he realized a package he had seen earlier in the week looked like the others he was seeing, officials said.

The employee is a retired NYPD detective, according to John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.

“He was awake and watching the news and saw the image of the packaging that has been common to most of these devices as they have turned up at various locations,” Miller said, “and it struck him that the looked very much like a package he had seen on Tuesday in mail he was to screen for Robert DeNiro Productions at their offices on Greenwich Street.”

Investigators are looking into whether some of the packages were sent from Florida, two senior law enforcement officials told NBC News. Three officials said that they believe all of the packages were sent through the mail.

The CNN package arrived by mail to a screening facility in Midtown Manhattan before being delivered by courier to the CNN offices, an official said. The package was not screened because it was relatively small.

The devices were poorly made and some discovered could not have exploded, but it’s unclear if that was intentional, or if they were just badly constructed, officials said. They said some of the bombs had substantial flaws, some had subtle flaws and some have yet to be examined.

Even if some of these explosives were defective, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said they “are treating them as live devices.”

“As you (saw) the way our bomb squad detectives went into CNN yesterday, this has to be taken with the utmost seriousness,” O’Neill said. “As far as (if they are) hoax devices we’re not treating it that way.”

Officials said they are not aware of any new devices being discovered but are still concerned there could be more, and cautioned anyone who comes across a potential package of this type to treat it as dangerous.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/package-found-robert-de-niro-s-office-nyc-matches-other-n924251

Experts: Bomber likely left behind a mass of forensic clues

today

An officer with the Uniform Division of the United States Secret Service uses his dog to search a checkpoint near the home of President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Washington. The U.S. Secret Service says agents have intercepted packages containing “possible explosive devices” addressed to former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators examining the explosive devices sent to high-profile targets in Washington and New York will be working to glean forensic clues to help identify who sent them, gathering fingerprints and DNA evidence while tracking the origin of the packages and the components used to make the bombs.

Larry Johnson, a former head of criminal investigations for the U.S. Secret Service who also served as a special agent in charge of the presidential protective detail, said that bomb makers usually leave evidence behind. “If there is a human involved, there is a high probability you’re going to get somewhere investigatively,” he said. “There will be no stone left unturned.”

“A good percentage of the time, this is not the first time whoever is responsible for this will have stuck their neck out,” Johnson said. “Those looking to do revenge or harm to someone, it doesn’t just come to them one day.”

This screenshot from CNN’s Twitter account shows what CNN says is the explosive device that was delivered to their New York headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. (CNN Twitter Account via AP)

Among the first steps for investigators will be retracing the path of the packages through the postal system or courier service used to deliver them.

The U.S. Postal Service operates a sophisticated imaging system that photographs the outside of each piece of mail processed across the country and can be used to determine the specific location of where it was sent. That’s how federal officials were led to a woman who sent the poison ricin through the mail to President Barack Obama and then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013.

The envelopes and packaging materials themselves will also be closely scrutinized.

“It will be a treasure trove of forensic evidence,” said Anthony Roman, a private security and investigations consultant. “As human beings, we are filtering off our DNA everywhere we walk, everywhere we sit.”

Even the most careful bomber is likely to leave behind genetic material that could be used to identify them, especially traces of sweat, saliva or skin cells. There may also be fingerprints or hair.

Roman said investigators will also be collecting all available video camera footage taken from where the packages were mailed and delivered, as well as interviewing any potential witnesses in the area.

Because the devices were intercepted before they exploded, forensics experts will be able to carefully disassemble the devices and examine the components. They’ll examine the wiring, the initiating system, any timing device and seek to identify what type of pipe. The design of the bomb will be compared to other explosive devices recovered in the past.

Adam B. Hall, director of the Core Mass Spectrometry Facility at the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis at Northeastern University, said most devices are made from easily available materials regardless of what specific type of device it is.

It will have three primary components: the pipe, the explosive filler and an “initiator,” or mechanism to set it off. The initiator will help identify how sophisticated the bomb maker is, whether it’s a timing device or a remote trigger.

“Your typical pipe bomb, it’s not very sophisticated,” said Hall, who previously worked in the Massachusetts State Police crime laboratory and was involved in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. “A lot of the directions for this are available on the internet. … This is not something that would require days or weeks of planning in order to execute.”

Still, there are likely innumerable telltale signs that could help authorities track down how and where it was made, said Jimmie Oxley, the co-director of the University of Rhode Island’s Center of Excellence in Explosives, Detection, Mitigation and Response.

Some explosives can be homemade, which will make them more difficult to trace. But other materials must be purchased and can help narrow down where and how a device was made. Smokeless powder, for example, is virtually guaranteed to have been purchased. Black powder can be commercial grade or homemade, but it’s easy to discern which is which.

“All of these are signatures,” she said.

There are times, such as with the recent spate of bombings in Austin, Texas, as well as with the notorious Unabomber, when each device will have a different “signature” in an attempt to throw off authorities or as the person making the devices tests and finesses their technique.

Oxley said there will still likely be some commonalities that will allow law enforcement to zero in on a suspect or suspects.

“It’s not an insurmountable task,” Oxley said. “There’s a ton of evidence out there. Unless this is a really, really smart person, they will find out who did this.”

___

Pane reported from Boise, Idaho. Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/8602ba97298a47b88439b4922d96bd6c

Woman holds ‘Fake News Fake Bombs’ sign outside Florida governors debate

A woman was photographed holding a sign that read “Democrats Fake News Fake Bombs” outside the Broward College building hosting Florida’s gubernatorial debate on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, a series of pipe bombs were discovered after having been addressed to CNN and a number of prominent Democrats, including former President Obama and former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

President Trump and lawmakers from both parties have condemned the attempted attacks, and federal and state authorities are investigating the matter. Another, similar device was found on Thursday morning at a building housing a production company owned by the actor Robert De Niro.

The sign appeared to reference conspiracy theories that have quickly circulated on social media among some on the right. Those theories suggest the bombs were “false flags” and meant to change the political conversation in a way that would hurt Trump and Republicans ahead of the midterm elections, which are less than two weeks away.

All of the people who the bombs were addressed to are prominent critics of Trump who have been frequent targets of his barbs.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh suggested that a “Democratic operative” was behind the packages, because “Republicans just don’t do this kind of thing.’

Several pro-Trump media personalities pushed the “false flag” theories on social media.

“From the Haymarket riot to the Unibomber [sic], bombs are a liberal tactic,” Ann Coulter tweeted.

Conservative writer Ben Shapiro condemned the “false flag” theories: “If your first reaction to some evil person sending bombs to a variety of politicians on one side of the aisle is ‘FALSE FLAG,’ you are officially deranged.”

Critics of Trump, including Democratic leaders of Congress, have blamed his repeated attacks on the media and political opponents.

Speaking at a rally in Wisconsin, Trump condemned the pipe bombs and called for “all sides to come together in peace and harmony.” But he also didn’t mention those targeted by the bombs, and put blame on the media and his political opponents for the political environment.

The DeSantis campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment from The Hill.

Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo in a statement called on DeSantis to apologize for the supporters’ sign.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/413078-Woman-holds-Fake-News-Fake-Bombs-sign-outside-Florida-governors-debate

The Windmills of Your Mind

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“The Windmills of Your Mind”
Song by Noel Harrison
from the album The Thomas Crown Affair
Released 1968
Composer(s) Michel Legrand
Lyricist(s) Alan and Marilyn Bergman(English)
Eddy Marnay (French)

The Windmills of Your Mind” is a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand and English lyrics written by Americans Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The French lyrics, under the title “Les Moulins de mon cœur“, were written by Eddy Marnay. The song (with the English lyrics) was introduced in the film The Thomas Crown Affair (1968),[1] and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in the same year.[1] In 2004, “Windmills of Your Mind” was ranked 57 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top songs in American cinema. A cover by Sting was used in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

 

Composition/original recording

In the original 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, the song is heard – sung by Noel Harrison – during opening credits; and, during the film, in a scene in which the character Thomas Crown flies a glider at the glider airport in Salem, New Hampshire: having edited the rough cut for this scene utilizing the Beatles track “Strawberry Fields Forever” producer/director Norman Jewison commissioned an original song be written for the glider scene which would reference the ambivalent feelings of Thomas Crown as he engages in a favorite pastime while experiencing the tension of preparing to commit a major robbery. Alan Bergman: “Michel [Legrand] played us [ie. Alan and Marilyn Bergman] seven or eight melodies. We listened to all of them and decided to wait until the next day to choose one. We three decided on the same one, a long baroque melody… The lyric we wrote was stream-of-consciousness. We felt that the song had to be a mind trip of some kind” – “The [eventual] title was [originally] a line at the end of a section… When we finished we said: “What do we call this? It’s got to have a title. That line is kind of interesting.’ So we restructured the song so that the line appeared again at the end. It came out of the body of the song. I think we were thinking, you know when you try to fall asleep at night and you can’t turn your brain off and thoughts and memories tumble.”[2]

Noel Harrison recorded the song after Andy Williams passed on it: according to Harrison: “It was recorded live on a huge sound stage at Paramount, with the accompanying film clips running on a giant screen and Michel blowing kisses to the orchestra.”[3] Harrison took issue with the couplet “Like a tunnel that you follow to a tunnel of its own / Down a hollow to a cavern where the sun has never shone”, singing the word “shone” British-style with a short vowel sound making the rhyme with “own” imperfect. Marilyn Bergman: “We said ‘No, it’s shone [long vowel sound].’ And he said ‘No, it’s our language!’ And we said: ‘Yes, but it’s our song.’ So reluctantly, he sang shone [long vowel sound] and our rhyme was intact.”[2] However, Harrison evidently had the last laugh; in the finally released version he sings “shone” with a short vowel. Harrison’s version had a US single in the US in July 1968 soon after the premiere of the film and similarly was released in the British Isles at the time of the film’s 7 February 1969 premiere in the UK and Ireland. As a result, it was a current UK release when “The Windmills of Your Mind” received an Academy Award nomination on 24 February 1969: Harrison’s single debuted at #36 in the UK Top 50 dated 4 March 1969 and had risen to #15—abetted by performances by Harrison on the 27 March 1969 broadcast of TOTP and also on variety shows hosted by Rolf Harris and Scott Walker—when the song won the Academy Award on 14 April 1969, an endorsement which facilitated the Top Ten entry of Harrison’s single on the UK chart dated 22 April 1969 with its chart peak of #8 effected two weeks later.[4]

“The Windmills of Your Mind” was performed on the Academy Awards ceremony broadcast of 14 April 1969 by José Feliciano; Noel Harrison would recall: “I was invited to sing it at the Academy Awards… but I was making a movie in England at the time, and the producer (who didn’t like me) refused to let me go.” The film which caused the scheduling conflict has been identified as Take a Girl Like You directed by Jonathan Miller.[3]

Dusty Springfield version

Jerry Wexler, president of Atlantic Records, heard “The Windmills of Your Mind” on the soundtrack of The Thomas Crown Affair and championed having Dusty Springfield record the song for her debut Atlantic album Dusty in Memphis, overcoming the singer’s strong resistance; Springfield’s friend and subsequent manager Vicki Wickham would allege: “Dusty always said she hated it because she couldn’t identify with the words.”[5] During the first sessions for the track at American Sound Studio in Memphis, problems with getting the proper chords down arose, and at Springfield’s suggestion the song was arranged so the first three verses were sung in a slower tempo than the original film version.

In April 1969 the third A-side release from Dusty in Memphis was announced as “I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore” with “The Windmills of Your Mind” as B-side: however Wexler was prepared to promote “Windmills” as the A-side if it won the Oscar for Best Song, reportedly instructing mail-room clerks at Atlantic Records’ New York City headquarters to listen to the Academy Awards broadcast the night of 14 April 1969; hearing “The Windmills” announced as the Best Song winner was these clerks’ cue to drive a station wagon loaded with 2500 copies of a double-sided promo single of Springfield’s version – identified on the label as “Academy Award Winner” – to the New York City general post office, where the copies of the single were mailed out to key radio stations across the US.[6] Although its Hot 100 debut was not effected until the 5 May 1969 issue of Billboard and then with a #99 ranking, Springfield’s “The Windmills” made a rapid ascent to the Top 40 being ranked at #40 on the Hot 100 dated 24 May 1969 only to stall over the subsequent three weeks peaking at #31 on the Hot 100 dated 14 June 1969 with only one additional week of Hot 100 tenure, being ranked at #45 on the 21 June 1969 chart. On the Cash Box chart, the song rose as high as #22.[7] Local hit parades indicate that Springfield’s “Windmills” had Top Ten impact in only select larger markets: Boston, Southern California, and Miami. The track did reach #3 on the Easy Listening chart in Billboard a feat matched by Springfield’s third subsequent single “Brand New Me” which therefore ties with “The Windmills” as having afforded Springfield her best-ever solo showing on a Billboard chart.[8]

José Feliciano version

“The Windmills of Your Mind” was recorded by José Feliciano for his 1969 album 10 to 23,[9] and Feliciano performed the song on the Academy Awards ceremony broadcast of 14 April 1969; the song’s original singer Noel Harrison would later opine of Feliciano’s performance: “A wonderful musician and compelling singer, he made much too free with the beautiful melody in my humble opinion. But that’s jazz.”[3] It was Feliciano’s version of “The Windmills” which became a hit in the Netherlands, reaching #11 on the Dutch chart in November 1969.[10] and Nr. 4 in the Turkish hit parade in April 1970.[11]

Other versions

In English

In French: “Les Moulins de mon cœur”

The lyrics for the French-language rendering of “The Windmills of Your Mind” were written by Eddy Marnay and this version, entitled “Les Moulins de mon cœur”, was first recorded in 1968 by Marcel Amont who was resultantly afforded a minor French chart hit (peak #49).[91]

“Les Moulins de mon coeur” has subsequently been recorded by:

In other languages

In 1970 Helena Vondráčková, prior to recording “The Windmills of Your Mind” with its original English lyrics for her album Isle of Helena (1972), recorded the song as rendered in Czech: “Můžeš zůstat, můžeš jít”,[114] and also Japanese: “Kaze no sasayaki”.[115] Introduced on the album Ostrov Heleny Vondráčkové,[114] “Můžeš zůstat, můžeš jít” has become a signature song for Vondráčková: in 2012 when her three CD retrospective (Nejen) o lásce was issued, Vondráčková cited “Můžeš zůstat, můžeš jít” as “the song on the [anthology] dearest to [her] heart”.[116] An alternate Czech rendering of “The Windmills of Your Mind”: “Mlýnské kolo v srdci mém”, was recorded by Hana Hegerová to serve as title cut for her 2010 album of renderings of famous French-language songs.[117]

“The Windmills of Your Mind” has also been rendered as:

References …

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

Noel Harrison, singer of The Windmills Of Your Mind, dies

Noel Harrison, whose song The Windmills Of Your Mind for movie The Thomas Crown Affair won an Oscar, dies at the age of 79

Singer Noel Harrison has died at the age of 79

Singer Noel Harrison has died at the age of 79

Singer Noel Harrison, known to millions for The Windmills Of Your Mind, has died at the age of 79 from a heart attack.

Harrison, who was born in London on January 29,1934, was best known for recording the hit song on The Thomas Crown Affair soundtrack. He was the son of the late actor Rex Harrison. Harrison’s mother was Collette Thomas, the first of his Hollywood star father’s six wives. His parents divorced in 1940.

Harrison had an eventful life. He had chart success with the song A Young Girl and starred in the TV series The Girl from UNCLE. In 1953, he had become the British ski-racing champion and represented Britain at the Olympics.

After moving to Los Angeles in the Sixties, he had a US chart hit with Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen

He will remain best known, though, for The Windmills of Your Mind, a song with music by French composer Michel Legrand and lyrics by Americans Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman. The song was used as the theme for the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968. A version by Sting was used in the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.

Harrison wrote on his website that he had not anticipated the song would become so popular and “my most notable piece of work”. He wrote: “It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I went to the studio one afternoon and sang it and pretty much forgot about it. I didn’t realise until later what a timeless, beautiful piece Michel Legrand and the Bergmans had written. It won best song at the 1968 Oscars and turned out to be my most notable piece of work.”

His wife, Lori Chapman, said: “Noel will be loved and missed by more people than I ever knew.”

In 2011 played Glastonbury Festival’s Spirit Of ’71 stage. Harrison performed at the village hall in Black Dog, Devon, on Saturday. His wife said that the performance had been “extremely successful” but that he had “a long drive home” and was “exhausted” when he returned. Harrison, who lived in Devon, had five children and four grandchildren.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/10395944/Noel-Harrison-singer-of-The-Windmills-Of-Your-Mind-dies.html

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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

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Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

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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

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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

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Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

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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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Uncle Sam Wants You: Treasury Depends More on Domestic Bond Buyers

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 1086, May 31, 2018, Story 1: Maximum Pressure –Trump Administration Increases Tariffs or Taxes on American Consumers and Producers by Imposing Tariffs on $50 Billion of Chinese Goods and Steel And Aluminium Imports From Canada, Mexico Europe and China — Trade Dispute or Trade War — Stop Unfair Chinese Trade Practices Including Non-Tariff Barriers To Trade and Stop Tariffs or Taxing American Consumers and Producers By Protecting Them Against Lower Prices! — Videos — Story 2: FBI Spied On Trump Campaign To Protect Obama Administration and Clinton Campaign From A Possible Russian Disclosing To Trump Clinton’s 30,000 Compromising Emails Before Election Day — Videos

Posted on May 31, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Canada, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Coal, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Germany, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islam, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Libya, Life, Lying, Media, Mexico, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Netherlands, News, North Korea, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Water, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018