The Pronk Pops Show 1031, August 27, 2017, Breaking News, Story 1: President Trump Announces Bilateral United States and Mexico Trade Agreement — “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — Pro Growth Deal — Videos –Story 2: Iran Claims Control of Straight of Hormuz — Videos — Story 3: Pope Francis Was Informed of Sexual Abuse Allegations of Predator Priests in Catholic Church In Particular Prominent Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Remained Silent and Covered Up Abuse Until Now — People Lose Trust in Catholic Church Leadership and Coverup — Conspiracy of Silence —  Pope Should Resign — Videos — Story 4: Arizona Senator John McCain Dies of Cancer at Age — Rest in Peace — Congress Should Repeal and Replace Obamacare — No Excuses Acceptable — Videos

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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

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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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Breaking, Story 1: President Trump Announces Bilateral United States and Mexico Trade Agreement — “The United States-Mexico Trade Agreement” — Pro Growth Deal — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Trump announces new US-Mexico trade deal

Canadian economy can’t survive well without a US deal: Wilbur Ross

Canada re-enters trade talks with US after Mexico deal

US, Mexico trade deal is a great start: Rep. Reed

Could Congress get in the way of the US-Mexico trade deal?

Will the US-Mexico trade deal benefit American workers?

Canada responds to US, Mexico trade deal

Kevin Hassett on trade negotiations with Mexico

Trump Considering Separate Trade Deals With Canada, Mexico

US-Mexico trade agreement is designed to shore up supply chain: Peter Navarro

Larry Kudlow: We are becoming growthier

 

Trump announces US-Mexico agreement to `terminate´ Nafta

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

The Trump administration and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to “terminate” the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US President Donald Trump made the claim after announcing an “understanding” with Mexico that could lead to an overhaul of the 24-year-old trade pact, which he has called a “disaster”.

Mr Trump said he would replace it with a deal more favourable to the United States called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement”.

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump says he will `terminate´ Nafta (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House

@WhiteHouse

President @realDonaldTrump: “It is an incredible deal for the workers and for the citizens of both countries.”

But the Trump administration still needs to negotiate with the third partner in Nafta, Canada, to become part of any new trade accord.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was on speakerphone as Mr Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office and said he hopes Canada will eventually be incorporated into the deal.

Without Canada, America’s second biggest trading partner, it is unclear whether any new US trade agreement with Mexico would be possible.

Mr Trump said that he will be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“If they’d like to negotiate fairly, we’ll do that,” Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump put pressure on Canada by threatening to tax Canadian auto imports and to leave Canada out of a new regional trade bloc.

Nafta reduced most trade barriers between the three countries. But Mr Trump and other critics say it encouraged US manufacturers to move south of the border to exploit low-wage Mexican labour.

Talks to overhaul the agreement began a year ago and have proved contentious.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

US and Mexican negotiators worked over the weekend to narrow their differences. The Office of the US Trade Representative said that Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75% of automotive content would be produced within the trade bloc (up from a current 62.5%) to receive duty-free benefits and that 40% to 45% be made by workers earning at least 16 US dollars an hour.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, said: “Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners. Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed Nafta agreement.”

Mr Austen said the Canadians had been in regular contact with the Nafta negotiators.

CSPAN

@cspan

President Trump: “They used to call it NAFTA. We’re going to call it the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. We’ll get rid of the name NAFTA.”

Full video here: https://cs.pn/2MCmIiY 

“We will only sign a new Nafta that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” he said, adding that “Canada’s signature is required”.

Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas, hailed the “positive step” but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal.

“A trilateral agreement is the best path forward,” he said, adding that millions of jobs are at stake.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-6103397/Trump-announces-US-Mexico-agreement-terminate-Nafta.html

 

Dow jumps more than 250 points, Nasdaq hits 8,000 as US and Mexico strike trade deal

Stocks jumped on Monday as the United States and Mexico closed a new trade deal, potentially removing a source of uncertainty that had been plaguing investors for months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 260 points as Caterpillar outperformed. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent to an all-time high, breaking above 8,000 points for the first time, as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose. The S&P 500 gained 0.8 percent to hit a record high with materials and financials as the best-performing sectors.

“The market has been buffeted with a lot of headwinds lately, and the biggest one is trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. “If you were to take trade out of the picture, you would have a smoother ride higher in this market.”

President Donald Trump said the deal would be called The United States-Mexico Trade agreement, leaving behind the 24-year-old NAFTA name. “The name NAFTA has a bad connotation because the United States was hurt very badly by NAFTA,” he said. Trump added that the deal with Mexico is also very special for farmers and manufacturers. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the deal must be approved by Congress before being implemented.

Stocks hit all-time highs — these experts break down what investors should do next  

The comment comes after Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Sunday both countries were close to resolving key differences on trade. This would pave the way for a new deal between the two longtime trade partners. “We’ve continued making progress,” Guajardo said.

Trump tweeted earlier on Monday that a deal with Mexico was “looking good.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

A big deal looking good with Mexico!

Shares of Caterpillar and Boeing rose 2.8 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Their stocks are considered trade bellwethers because of their large exposure to overseas markets. Shares of Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler also rose.

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year head start.”
The Mexican peso rose 1.2 percent against the dollar.

Dan McMahon, director of equity trading at Raymond James, said the positive trade news “allows for more room to run” in the market, but noted that equities are also benefiting from a typically slow time in the year. “There’s nothing [else] going on today,” he said.

Investors have been grappling with trade worries over the past few months as the U.S. takes a more protectionist stance toward its economy and trade deals under the Trump administration. The U.S. has slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth in Mexican and Chinese imports, to which Mexico and China have retaliated.

Bank shares surged, led by gains in Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase. Goldman rose 3.4 percent while Morgan Stanley jumped 3.8 percent. Citigroup advanced 2.6 percent and J.P. Morgan climbed 2 percent. The SPDR S&P Bank exchange-traded fund (KBE) rose 0.7 percent.

Global markets were also buoyed by comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He said he sees “further, gradual” rate hikes ahead. The Fed chief said at the Jackson Hole Symposium in Wyoming that the central bank would likely continue with its policy tightening if the economy continued to strengthen.

Powell’s comments lifted the S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes to record highs in Friday’s trading session. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index rose 0.5 percent on Monday, while the German Dax climbed 1.2 percent.

In Asia, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), reintroduced a policy adjustment aimed at supporting the yuan. The move, coupled with Powell’s comments, sent the Shanghai Composite up by 1.9 percent overnight.

Tesla shares dropped 2 percent after CEO Elon Musk gave up efforts to take the company private.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/27/us-stocks-to-open-higher-after-powell-signals-further-rate-hikes.html

Two cheers for Trump’s trade agreement with Mexico


President Trump talks with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on the phone on Monday. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
August 28 at 7:09 PM

The best thing that can be said about President Trump’s latest trade initiative is that it moves the United States back toward the kind of agreements Trump unwisely blew up when he became president.

So, two cheers for Trump’s revamped free-trade agreement with Mexico, announced Monday, and the one he may get soon with Canada. He wants to rebrand the package, of course, so that it’s not called NAFTA (“bad connotations!”). But the preliminary update includes labor and environmental standards somewhat like those that President Barack Obama wanted to add to NAFTA — and made the centerpiece of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Trump scuttled.

Trump seems readier to compromise these days with Europe, too, another positive shift after 20 months of intermittent trade tantrums. He hasn’t yet embraced Obama’s broad, market-opening vision of a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or TTIP), but maybe Trump will get there eventually, too. In recent months, he has been talking about mutually abolishing tariffs, which would be a good start.

You go tariff-free, you go barrier-free, you go subsidy-free . . . I mean, that would be the ultimate thing,” Trump enthused in June at the Group of Seven summit, in between taking swings at his trading partners. For once, he was entirely right.

The financial markets, which Trump touts as a proxy for success, have been roaring this week at the prospect that we may see new trade agreements, rather than the trade war Trump had threatened. The virtuous economic cycle (solid expansion, wage growth and continued low inflation) may be good news for Trump, but it’s also good news for everyone else.

The real importance of Trump’s Mexico move is that it clears the debris so the White House can concentrate on the bigger battle worth fighting — for fairer trade with a rising China that has tried for decades to rig the game in its favor. Europe and other trading partners should be our natural allies in this negotiation, for they, too, have suffered from China’s selfish policies.

President Trump on Aug. 27 said trade negotiations with Canada would result in tariffs or a “negotiated deal” in announcing a new trade agreement with Mexico. 

What Wall Street seems to be hoping is that Trump will resolve the little trade spats and marshal his forces for the more consequential ones. Allianz economist Mohamed El-Erian said Monday on CNBC that he sees a 60 percent chance that Trump’s aggressive policies will produce “fairer trade” for the United States. The puzzle for investors, he cautioned, is “how much damage would we incur in the process of winning this.”

Trump has often misdiagnosed the China trade problem. It’s not the sheer size of the U.S. trade deficit with China — though that was a staggering $375 billion last year, or about 65 percent of the total U.S. trade deficit. This raw number disguises the fact that China’s current-account surplus has been declining sharply as a percentage of its overall economy, from 9.9 percent of its gross domestic product in 2007 to about 1.4 percent last year. (The International Monetary Fund projects that China’s surplus will continue to decline steadily, to 0.4 percent of GDP in 2022.)

The China problem isn’t how much it sells us but that it won’t allow U.S. companies or investors fair access to its markets — and that it steals every bit of intellectual property that it can.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made this case Tuesday on CNBC: “We need better market access to China. We need reciprocal trade. And these are issues that our allies in the G-7 agree with us on. . . . This can’t be a one-way transaction where they have free trade here and we have no trade there.”

The Obama administration was heading in the right direction on this one, as well, by trying to negotiate a bilateral investment treaty with China that would open markets for American companies and protect them from theft. Trump chucked that, too, but he now seems to be reprising his own amped-up version.

Maurice Obstfeld, chief economist at the IMF, cautioned against “Pyrrhic” victories in trade in a recent Financial Times article. He explained: “The U.S. imports aluminum . . . which contributes to its trade deficit with China. But cheaper aluminum imports facilitate one of the U.S.’s biggest and most distinctive exports: aircraft. Restricting aluminum imports would not only hurt aircraft exports, it would make the global division of labor less efficient.”

Trump was elected by a country that doubted the global trading system was benefiting the ordinary worker. The answer to that popular anger wasn’t to wreck the system but to fix it. Too often during his presidency, Trump has looked like a wrecker. But this week, on Mexico, he claimed the unusual and welcome role of repairman.

Read more from David Ignatius’s archivefollow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

Has Trump ended NAFTA? Not just yet.

Trump announces trade agreement with Mexico

In announcing a trade agreement with Mexico on Aug. 27, President Trump called it “a big day for trade” and said it would not be called NAFTA. 

August 27

President Trump announced Monday that he’s “terminating” the North American Free Trade Agreement, and boasted that he and Mexico just struck “maybe the largest trade deal ever made.”

Actually: Trump can’t unilaterally kill NAFTA; this is only a possible step toward any new trade deal involving Mexico; it’s probably not a good step; and it may not actually lead to any new deal at all.

In other words, it’s precisely the puffery we’ve come to expect from a president who doesn’t understand what his own administration is doing, or doesn’t care.

Trump campaigned on fixing our “stupid” trade deals, including NAFTA. And, at more than two decades old, this tripartite pact with Canada and Mexico does indeed require sprucing up.

The global economy has changed since the early 1990s. NAFTA doesn’t address major industries that barely existed (if they existed at all) when the agreement was negotiated, such as e-commerce. It also didn’t do much for labor or environmental standards.

Indeed, politicians have been vowing to update NAFTA for years.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama also campaigned on a promise to renegotiate NAFTA. He ultimately did, in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The 12-country trade pact included Canada and Mexico among its signatories, and contained extensive language modernizing trade rules (including a whole chapter on e-commerce) and raising labor and environmental standards.

Alas, one of Trump’s first acts in office was to pull out of TPP. Worse, he subsequently lobbed new tariffs in virtually every direction, including at our allies in North America. The fallout from Trump’s trade war-mongering has unquestionably hurt Canada and Mexico, as well as U.S. firms.

But on Monday, Trump proclaimed this front in his trade wars was over. We allegedly have a new deal with Mexico, he said — a bilateral agreement that will replace NAFTA, and leave Canada cowering in fear.

“A lot of people thought we’d never get here,” he declared.

But in truth, “here” is pretty close to where we were before.

There is still no signed Mexico deal. And, unfortunately for Trump, he does not actually have authority from Congress to split NAFTA into two separate bilateral deals.

Additionally, most of what’s in NAFTA is implemented by statute. That means that no matter what Trump says, most of its provisions will live on unless and until Congress actually, you know, passes a new trade law. Which a Republican-led Congress doesn’t seem keen to do, at least if the new law in question is more protectionist than the one we have.

Congress also isn’t the only barrier to ditching NAFTA in favor of separate bilateral trade agreements. Canada and Mexico have each said that any new trade pact that results should include the involvement of all three countries.

In fact, during Trump’s Monday Oval Office event, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said no fewer than four times that he still expected Canada to be part of any final agreement.

He even closed his call by saying: “We’ll be waiting for Canada to be integrated into this process.”

So did the recent round of discussions between Mexico and the United States produce any results?

Sort of. But it’s hard to call it progress.

The United States and Mexico seem to have resolved some of their differences, including on automotive “rules of origin.” These complicated new rules would add burdensome requirements for any cars that could be imported into the United States from Mexico without tariffs.

Based on what we know so far, these requirements would likely require an enormous expansion of the administrative state (not something Republicans usually support), raise the cost of cars to consumers, and possibly reduce the number of cars assembled in North America — which is, of course, the opposite of their intended effect.

In fact, nothing announced thus far suggests the stuff we got Mexico to agree to would help the United States increase car exports to Mexico at all. “For autos, I am worried that the main outcome is a changing of the rules to allow us to trade less with Mexico,” Peterson Institute for International Economics senior fellow Chad P. Bown tells me.

And that’s if the deal actually goes through. Lots of hurdles remain, including within Mexico. The Mexican government has indicated that it wants any new deal signed before its next president takes office on Dec. 1.

That time frame effectively gives Trump exactly four days to get Canada on board since Trump must give Congress 90 days notice for a coming trade deal. If Trump wants to deliver on his campaign promises — and get any sort of trade deal, which he seems to desperately want ahead of the midterms — he’d best stop self-applauding and get back to work.

Fast.

 

Story 2: Iran Claims Control of Straight of Homuz — Videos

See the source image

 

Iran has full control of Gulf and Strait of Hormuz

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Iran launches ships into Strait of Hormuz

 

Iran says it has full control of Gulf, U.S. Navy does not belong there

by Reuters
Monday, 27 August 2018 11:53 GMT

 Iran has full control of the Gulf and the U.S. Navy does not belong there, the head of the navy of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Alireza Tangsiri, was quoted by Tasnim news agency as saying on Monday.

Tehran has suggested it could take military action in the Gulf to block other countries’ oil exports in retaliation for U.S. sanctions intended to halt its sales of crude. Washington maintains a fleet in the Gulf that protects oil shipping routes.

Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz that leads into it. Closing the strait would be the most direct way of blocking shipping.

“We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said in the quote, which appeared in English translation on Tasnim.

He added, “All the carriers and military and non-military ships will be controlled and there is full supervision over the Persian Gulf. Our presence in the region is physical and constant and night and day.”

Separately, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said Iran’s enemies would not prevail in a conflict.

“The enemies are strictly avoiding any conflict with Iran because they know that it will not be beneficial for them,” Jafari said, according to Tasnim.

Tension between Iran and the United States has escalated since President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May and reimposed sanctions.

Senior U.S. officials have said they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most senior authority in the Islamic Republic, said last month that he supports the idea that if Iran is not allowed to export oil then no country should export oil from the Gulf. (Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Dale Hudson and Peter Graff)

http://news.trust.org/item/20180827115338-hpqo0

Story 3: Pope Francis Was Informed of Sexual Abuse Allegations of Predator Priests in Catholic Church In Particular Prominent Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Remained Silent and Covered Up Abuse Until Now — People Lose Trust in Catholic Church Leadership and Coverup — Conspiracy of Silence —  Pope Should Resign — Videos —

Catholic leaders call on Pope Francis to resign

A Church Divided – ENN 2018-08-28

New Letter Calls For Pope Francis to Resign

POPE FRANCIS ASKED TO RESIGN! RESPONDS IN SILENCE!

The Man Accusing Pope Francis “Does Seem to Have a Lot of Credibility” – ENN 2018-08-27

The Next Steps for Pope Francis and Archbishop Vigano – ENN 2018-08-27

“Many People Have Lost Trust” – ENN 2018-08-28

Former Vatican representative says Pope Francis knew about sex abuse allegations against McCarrick

Pope Francis Long Knew of Cardinal McCarrick’s .Abuses, Archbishop Says

The Man Accusing Pope Francis “Does Seem to Have a Lot of Credibility” – ENN 2018-08-27

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The Vatican’s “Powerful Message” on Sexual Abuse Allegations – ENN 2018-07-30

Pope Francis condemns priestly sexual abuse

McCarrick/Wuerl and the End of the Imperial Episcopate w Fr Jay Scott Newman

Full Report of Former US Nuncio Archbishop Vigano

More than 1,000 children were victims of priest abuse, according to grand jury report

Former Vatican representative to the US says Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and calls on the pontiff to RESIGN

  • Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wants Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page letter that the Pope knew of McCarrick’s sex abuse allegations in 2013 
  • Vigano, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016, said he personally told Pope Francis about the allegations 
  • He said the Pope covered for McCarrick and made him his ‘trusted counselor’ 
  • A priest said he warned church officials about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sex abuse
  • Father Boniface Ramsey wrote a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in June 2015
  • The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him to lead a child sex abuse protection commission
  • O’Malley said in response that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 
  • He apologized to the pastor and anyone whose concerns were reflected in it
  • Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he abused an altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with seminarians

A former Vatican representative to the United States is calling on Pope Francis to resign writing in an 11-page testament that he knew of the sex abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick but covered them up.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington DC from 2011 to 2016 said that Pope Francis knew of the allegations as early as 2013, according to the National Catholic Register.

Vigano said in his letter that he personally told Pope Francis that McCarrick was accused of inappropriate behavior and Pope Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance.

According to Vigano, during a June 2013 meeting the Pope asked him what kind of man McCarrick was like. Vigano said he replied: ‘He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.’

He alleged that the Pope was trying to find out if he was an ally of McCarrick or not.

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign 

A former Vatican representative for the United State is calling on Pope Francis (pictured on Saturday in Ireland) to resign

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (pictured) wrote an 11-page letter accusing Pope Francis and others of covering for McCarrick 

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is seen on December 8, 2015 in Washington, D.C. McCarrick has said he has 'absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse' and believes in his innocence

Vigano told the outlet that Pope Francis ‘continued to cover’ for McCarrick and ‘not take into account the sanctions that Pope Benedict had imposed on him’. Vigano said in 2009 or 2010, Pope Benedict implemented sanctions that stated McCarrick ‘was to leave the seminary where he was living. He was also forbidden to celebrate (Mass) in public, to participate in public meetings, to give lecturers, to travel, with the obligation of dedicating himself to a life of prayer and penance’.

He said instead of taking action, Pope Francis revoked the sanctions and made McCarrick his ‘trusted counselor’.

Vigano said he sent several letters to Vatican representatives about McCarrick but they fell on deaf ears. He said in his letter that ‘the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy’ and that’s why he’s speaking out publicly.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said he personally told Pope Francis about the abuse 

The letter ended with Vigano asking Pope Francis, and others who allegedly tried to cover up the allegations, to resign. 

‘He (Pope Francis) knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator,’ Vigano stated, but although ‘he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end.’

‘It was only when he was forced by the report of the abuse of a minor, again on the basis of media attention, that he took action (regarding McCarrick) to save his image in the media,’ he wrote. 

Vigano wrote that Pope Francis ‘is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren,’ and urged him to ‘acknowledge his mistakes’ and, to ‘set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.’

The former DC nuncio also implicated Cardinals Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and Pietro Parolin as well as Cardinal Donald Wuerl, McCarrick’s successor as archbishop of DC.

Earlier on Saturday, Pope Francis traveled to Ireland and addressed the sex abuse claims plaguing the Catholic Church.

‘The failure of ecclesiastical authorities — bishops, religious superiors, priests and others — to adequately address these repugnant crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community,’ Francis said, according to NBC News.

Pope Benedict XVI (pictured) imposed sanctions on McCarrick ordering him to a life of penance but Pope Francis allegedly revoked the sanctions 

Father Boniface Ramsey (seen above in a CBS interview) said 'virtually everyone knew' about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's alleged sex abuse

Archbishop Sean Cardinal O'Malley (seen above at the Boston College 2017 141st Commencement Exercises at Boston College Alumni Stadium on May 22, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts) apologized Monday and said he didn't see a letter sent to his office in 2015

Church attendance in Ireland has plummeted in recent years as people call on the Vatican to take action and tackle the abuse allegations. The area has also been hit with its own share of scandal after a mass grave was discovered in 1993 at secretive Catholic institutions of confinement for unmarried mothers, prostitutes and other ‘fallen’ women.

At least 796 children were found buried in the grave.

A priest in New York City has also spoken out saying that he repeatedly warned church officials about now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – who was suspended last month over sex abuse allegations.

Father Boniface Ramsey told CBS News this week: ‘I had the impression that virtually everyone knew about it.

‘Archbishop McCarrick was inviting seminarians to his beach house. There were five beds… and there were six people. Archbishop McCarrick arranged it in such a way that somebody would join him in his bed.’

The priest, an archbishop of Newark at the time, said he was informed about the inappropriate behavior in 1986.

Ramsey wrote in a letter to Cardinal Sean O’Malley, of Boston, in June 2015: ‘Some of these stories were not presented to me as mere rumors but were told to me by persons directly involved.’

The letter was sent to O’Malley after Pope Francis appointed him as president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

O’Malley said Monday that he didn’t see a letter sent to his office in 2015 concerning McCarrick’s possible inappropriate behavior with seminarians. 

‘I should have seen that letter precisely because it made assertions about the behavior of an archbishop in the church,’ he said.

O’Malley said his priest secretary told the pastor a recommendation to review cases fell outside the commission’s mandate.

He apologized Monday to the pastor and to anyone whose concerns were reflected in the letter.

Pope Francis ordered McCarrick removed from public ministry amid allegations he sexually abused a teenage altar boy and engaged in sexual misconduct with adult seminarians decades ago. 

McCarrick has said he has ‘absolutely no recollection of this reported abuse’ and believes in his innocence.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6099157/Former-Vatican-representative-says-Pope-Francis-knew-sex-abuse-allegations-against-McCarrick.html

 

Ex-Vatican diplomat calls on ‘sinful’ Pope Francis to resign over sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis should resign for his  “sinful conduct” in covering up sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a retired Vatican diplomat says.

Francis had recently become pope in 2013 when he asked Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò his thoughts on McCarrick, Viganò says in a damning, 11-page open letter published Sunday.

“I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but there is a dossier this thick about him,” Viganò said he told the pope in 2013. “He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests.”

Viganò, who was serving as the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., told Francis that his predecessor, Pope Benedict, had ordered McCarrick to leave the seminary where he was living and withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.

Viganò, 77, was a hard-line conservative pillar at the Vatican before retiring in 2016. He said Francis dropped the sanctions against McCarrick, a well-known liberal by church standards, and “continued to cover for him.” McCarrick resigned last month amid claims of sexual abuse of an altar boy and seminarians.

More: In Ireland, Pope Francis meets with Catholic Church sex abuse survivors

More: Catholic priest beaten by man saying ‘this is for all the little kids’

More: ‘Men of God hid it all’: Church protected more than 300 ‘predator priests’

The Vatican had no immediate comment on Viganò’s claims but has said the pope acted quickly once he learned that McCarrick was facing credible claims. Francis addressed the global sexual abuse scandal Saturday in a speech in Ireland, where outrage over abuses there have overwhelmed coverage of the pope’s visit.

John Thavis, a former Catholic News Service reporter and author of The Vatican Diaries, says Viganò’s letter doesn’t explain how McCarrick was able to continue his high-profile work in the church at the end of Benedict’s reign if he had truly been admonished by the former pope. He noted that Viganò’s source on Benedict’s actions against McCarrick were based on second-hand information.

Thavis also noted that Viganò “blindsided” Francis two years ago when, during the pope’s U.S. visit, Viganò set up a controversial meeting between the pope and a court clerk in Kentucky who had refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

“The tone of the letter and its content resemble a political hit piece on the pope,” Thavis said. “Sadly, the sex abuse crisis is being used as political leverage by some factions in the church.”

Father Jame Bretzke, a theology professor at Marquette University, noted that conservatives such as Viganò  found their influence diminished when Francis became pope.

“While Viganò was not explicitly fired, he very clearly was ‘replaced’ and he has long been known as a fierce opponent of Pope Francis,” Bretzke said.

That said, the letter calls for a detailed response from the pope, Thavis said.

“I know of no other instance in modern times where a (former) high-ranking church officials has publicly called on the pope to resign,” Thavis said.

Viganò wrote that too many people have been “deeply scandalized by the abominable and sacrilegious behavior of the former Archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick; by the grave, disconcerting and sinful conduct of Pope Francis” and by many pastors who remained silent.

“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Viganò wrote.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/08/26/pope-francis-ex-vatican-ambassador-sinful-pope-should-resugn/1103407002/

 

 

Pope silent on claim he ignored abuse

Catherine MARCIANO

,

AFP

Pope Francis has declined to comment on a claim that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman amid speculation conservative elements in the Catholic hierarchy are using the issue to mount a “putsch” to remove the liberal pontiff.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States, on Saturday said he had told Francis of the allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013.

But rather than punish McCarrick, who was forced to resign last month, Vigano said Francis had lifted sanctions imposed on him by his predecessor pope Benedict XVI.

“Corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy,” Vigano said in an eleven-page letter published in the National Catholic Register and several conservative US Catholic publications.

But the pope refused to address the allegation on Sunday.

“I will not say a word about that. I think that the communique speaks for itself,” Francis said on his plane as he flew back from Dublin to Rome.

The timing of the letter’s release — right in the middle of Francis’s landmark trip to Ireland — has raised speculation of a campaign against the Argentinian pontiff by conservatives in the Church.

Francis told journalists to “read the communique attentively and make your own judgement,” referring to Vigano’s letter.

“You have sufficient journalistic capacity to draw conclusions,” he went on.

“When a little time has passed and you have the conclusions perhaps I will talk,” he added.

– ‘A putsch is afoot’ –

“Make no mistake. This is a coordinated attack on Pope Francis,” said an editorial article on the website of the progressive National Catholic Reporter weekly.

“A putsch is afoot and if the US bishops do not, as a body, stand up to defend the Holy Father in the next 24 hours, we shall be slipping towards schism,” the author Michael Sean Winters wrote.

“The enemies of Francis have declared war.”

Nicolas Seneze, the Rome correspondent for the French daily La Croix, echoed that there is “a clear desire to attack Francis,” telling AFP that “those who regard Francis as dangerous will stop at nothing.”

Bishop Vigano, 77, who was a papal nuncio in Washington between 2011 and 2016, said that Benedict XVI imposed canonical sanctions against McCarrick in the late 2000s.

McCarrick was forced to leave his seminary and live a life of penance after former Vatican ambassadors in Washington, now dead, reported him for “gravely immoral” behaviour with seminarians and priests.

Vigano claimed Francis asked him about McCarrick when he took office in June 2013, but that the pope ignored his warnings.

He said the pope “knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” adding that “he knew that he was a corrupt man, he covered for him to the bitter end”.

The pope accepted the resignation of McCarrick, now 88, in July, making him just the second cardinal ever to lose his status.

During his visit to Ireland on Sunday the pope “begged for God’s forgiveness” for past clerical abuse scandals, which have badly damaged the image of the Church in the Catholic stronghold.

His trip was met with enthusiastic crowds but also protests, with about 5,000 abuse victims and supporters attending a “Stand for Truth” rally in the capital Dublin.

It was the first papal trip to Ireland since John Paul II spoke in front of 1.5 million people in 1979.

– Homosexuality tendancies –

On the plane back to Rome after the two-day trip, the pope also commented on homosexuality. He recommended that parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies.

France’s Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa attacked those comments as “incomprehensible and indefensible”

The Vatican on Monday rolled back on the pope’s psychiatry idea, and withdrew the comment from its official verbatim record oh his trip.

The Catholic Church’s standing has been badly dented by the abuse scandals. Stronghold Ireland has largely shed its traditional Catholic mores, voting earlier this year to legalise abortion after approving same-sex marriage in 2015.

Multiple probes in Ireland have found Church leaders protected hundreds of predatory priests and former Irish president Mary McAleese revealed this month that the Vatican had sought to keep Church documents inaccessible to government investigators.

The abuse scandals in Ireland are part of a worldwide crisis for the Vatican.

A devastating report earlier this month accused more than 300 priests in the US state of Pennsylvania of abusing more than 1,000 children since the 1950s.

The US based Survivors’ Network for those abused by priests (SNAP) said in a statement that if Vigano’s allegations are true “this situation provides a dramatic illustration of the gap between rhetoric and decisive action”.

“Pope Francis has the power, but apparently does not have the will, to effect necessary change,” the group added.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/pope-hold-giant-mass-dublin-abuse-victims-rally-030337491.html

 

Story 4: Arizona Senator John McCain Dies of Cancer at Age 81 of Cancer — Rest in Peace — Congress Should Repeal and Replace Obamacare — No Excuses Acceptable — Videos

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[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVaRPRkBCA]

Senator Chuck Schumer To Rename Senate Building After John McCain | NBC News

Limbaugh It’s Clear Why The Media Is Really Praising John McCain So Much

 

John McCain

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John McCain
John McCain's official Senate portrait, taken in 2009
United States Senator
from Arizona
In office
January 3, 1987 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Barry Goldwater
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
In office
January 3, 2015 – August 25, 2018
Preceded by Carl Levin
Succeeded by Vacant
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Succeeded by Byron Dorgan
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Daniel Inouye
Succeeded by Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Ted Stevens
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 3, 2001
Preceded by Fritz Hollings
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Larry Pressler
Succeeded by Fritz Hollings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona‘s 1st district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by John Jacob Rhodes
Succeeded by John Jacob Rhodes III
Personal details
Born John Sidney McCain III
August 29, 1936
Coco SoloPanama Canal Zone, U.S.
Died August 25, 2018 (aged 81)
Cornville, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place United States Naval Academy CemeteryAnnapolis, Maryland (planned burial site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Children 7, including Meghan
Parents John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta Wright
Relatives Joe McCain (brother)
Education United States Naval Academy(BS)
Website Senate website
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1958–1981
Rank US Navy O6 infobox.svg Captain
Battles/wars Vietnam War (POW)

Awards

John Sidney McCain III (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018) was an American politician and naval officer who served as a United States Senator from Arizona from 1987 until his death. He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election, which he lost to Barack Obama.

McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958 and followed his father and grandfather—both four-star admirals—into the United States Navy. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. During the Vietnam War, he was almost killed in the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. While on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, McCain was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. He was a prisoner of war until 1973. McCain experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early repatriation offer. The wounds that he sustained during the war left him with lifelong physical disabilities. He retired from the Navy as a captain in 1981 and moved to Arizona, where he entered politics. In 1982, McCain was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served two terms. He entered the U.S. Senate in 1987 and easily won reelection five times, the last time in 2016.

While generally adhering to conservative principles, McCain also had a media reputation as a “maverick” for his willingness to disagree with his party on certain issues. After being investigated and largely exonerated in a political influence scandal of the 1980s as a member of the Keating Five, he made campaign finance reform one of his signature concerns, which eventually resulted in passage of the McCain–Feingold Act in 2002. He was also known for his work in the 1990s to restore diplomatic relations with Vietnam, and for his belief that the Iraq War should have been fought to a successful conclusion. McCain chaired the Senate Commerce Committee and opposed pork barrel spending. He belonged to the bipartisan “Gang of 14” which played a key role in alleviating a crisis over judicial nominations.

McCain entered the race for the Republican nomination for President in 2000, but lost a heated primary season contest to Governor George W. Bush of Texas. He secured the nomination in 2008 after making a comeback from early reversals, but was defeated by Democratic nominee Barack Obama in the general election, losing by a 365–173 electoral college margin. He subsequently adopted more orthodox conservative stances and attitudes and largely opposed actions of the Obama administration, especially with regard to foreign policy matters. By 2013, however, he had become a key figure in the Senate for negotiating deals on certain issues in an otherwise partisan environment. In 2015, McCain became Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In 2017, the year before his death at age 81, he reduced his role in the Senate after a diagnosis of brain cancer.

Early life and military career, 1936–1981

Formative years and education

John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, at Coco Solo Naval Air Station in the Panama Canal Zone, to naval officer John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta (Wright) McCain. He had a younger brother named Joe and an elder sister named Sandy.[1] At that time, the Panama Canal was under U.S. control.[2]

McCain’s family tree includes Scots-Irish and English ancestors.[3] His father and his paternal grandfather, John S. McCain Sr., were also Naval Academy graduates and both became four-star United States Navy admirals.[4]The McCain family[1] followed his father to various naval postings in the United States and the Pacific.[5]

Altogether, he attended about 20 schools.[6] In 1951, the family settled in Northern Virginia, and McCain attended Episcopal High School, a private preparatory boarding school in Alexandria.[7][8] He excelled at wrestling and graduated in 1954.[9][10] He referred to himself as an Episcopalian as recently as June 2007 after which date he said he came to identify as a Baptist.[11]

Formal portrait of young, dark-haired man in white naval uniform

McCain at the Naval Academy, 1954

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, McCain entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He was a friend and informal leader there for many of his classmates,[12] and sometimes stood up for targets of bullying.[4] He also became a lightweight boxer.[13] McCain did well in academic subjects that interested him, such as literature and history, but studied only enough to pass subjects that gave him difficulty, such as mathematics.[4][14] He came into conflict with higher-ranking personnel and did not always obey the rules, which contributed to a low class rank (894 of 899), despite a high IQ.[12][15] McCain graduated in 1958.[12]

Naval training, first marriage, and Vietnam War assignment

McCain began his early military career when he was commissioned as an ensign and started two and a half years of training at Pensacola to become a naval aviator.[16] While there, he earned a reputation as a man who partied.[6] He completed flight school in 1960 and became a naval pilot of ground-attack aircraft; he was assigned to A-1 Skyraider squadrons[17] aboard the aircraft carriers USS Intrepid and USS Enterprise[18] in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas.[19] McCain began as a sub-par flier[19] who was at times careless and reckless;[20] during the early to mid-1960s, two of his flight missions crashed and a third mission collided with power lines, but he received no major injuries.[20] His aviation skills improved over time,[19] and he was seen as a good pilot, albeit one who tended to “push the envelope” in his flying.[20]

Four military pilots posed in, on, or in front of, silver jet with United States markings

Lieutenant McCain (front right) with his squadron and T-2 Buckeye trainer, 1965

At age 28 on July 3, 1965, McCain married Carol Shepp, who was a model from Philadelphia.[21] McCain adopted her two young children Douglas and Andrew.[18][22] He and Carol then had a daughter named Sidney.[23][24]

McCain requested a combat assignment[25] and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal flying A-4 Skyhawks.[26] His combat duty began when he was 30 years old in mid-1967, when Forrestal was assigned to a bombing campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder, during the Vietnam War.[21][27] Stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, McCain and his fellow pilots became frustrated by micromanagement from Washington, and he would later write that “In all candor, we thought our civilian commanders were complete idiots who didn’t have the least notion of what it took to win the war.”[27][28]

On July 29, 1967, McCain was a lieutenant commander when he was near the epicenter of the USS Forrestal fire. He escaped from his burning jet and was trying to help another pilot escape when a bomb exploded;[29]McCain was struck in the legs and chest by fragments.[30] The ensuing fire killed 134 sailors and took 24 hours to control.[31][32] With the Forrestal out of commission, McCain volunteered for assignment with the USS Oriskany, another aircraft carrier employed in Operation Rolling Thunder.[33] Once there, he would be awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for missions flown over North Vietnam.[34]

Prisoner of war

McCain’s capture and subsequent imprisonment occurred on October 26, 1967. He was flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam when his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down by a missile over Hanoi.[35][36] McCain fractured both arms and a leg when he ejected from the aircraft,[37] and nearly drowned after he parachuted into Trúc Bạch Lake. Some North Vietnamese pulled him ashore, then others crushed his shoulder with a rifle butt and bayoneted him.[35] McCain was then transported to Hanoi’s main Hỏa Lò Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton”.[36]

Although McCain was seriously wounded and injured, his captors refused to treat him. They beat and interrogated him to get information, and he was given medical care only when the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was an admiral.[38] His status as a prisoner of war (POW) made the front pages of major newspapers.[39][40]

McCain spent six weeks in the hospital, where he received marginal care. He had lost 50 pounds (23 kg), was in a chest cast, and his gray hair had turned as white as snow.[35] McCain was sent to a different camp on the outskirts of Hanoi.[41] In December 1967, McCain was placed in a cell with two other Americans who did not expect him to live more than a week.[42] In March 1968, McCain was placed into solitary confinement, where he would remain for two years.[43]

In mid-1968, his father John S. McCain Jr. was named commander of all U.S. forces in the Vietnam theater, and the North Vietnamese offered McCain early release[44] because they wanted to appear merciful for propaganda purposes[45] and also to show other POWs that elite prisoners were willing to be treated preferentially.[44] McCain refused repatriation unless every man taken in before him was also released. Such early release was prohibited by the POWs’ interpretation of the military Code of Conduct which states in Article III: “I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy”.[46] To prevent the enemy from using prisoners for propaganda, officers were to agree to be released in the order in which they were captured.[35]

Beginning in August 1968, McCain was subjected to a program of severe torture.[47] He was bound and beaten every two hours; this punishment occurred at the same time that he was suffering from dysentery.[35][47] Further injuries brought McCain to “the point of suicide,” but his preparations were interrupted by guards. Eventually, McCain made an anti-U.S. propaganda “confession”.[35] He had always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he later wrote, “I had learned what we all learned over there: every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine.”[48][49] Many U.S. POWs were tortured and maltreated in order to extract “confessions” and propaganda statements;[50] virtually all of them eventually yielded something to their captors.[51] McCain received two to three beatings weekly because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.[52]

McCain refused to meet various anti-war groups seeking peace in Hanoi, wanting to give neither them nor the North Vietnamese a propaganda victory.[53] From late 1969, treatment of McCain and many of the other POWs became more tolerable,[54] while McCain continued actively to resist the camp authorities.[55] McCain and other prisoners cheered the U.S. “Christmas Bombing” campaign of December 1972, viewing it as a forceful measure to push North Vietnam to terms.[49][56]

McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for five and a half years until his release on March 14, 1973.[57] His wartime injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head.[58] After his release from the Hanoi Hilton, McCain returned to the site with his wife Cindy and family on a few occasions to come to grips with what happened to him there during his capture.[59]

Commanding officer, liaison to Senate and second marriage

McCain was reunited with his family when he returned to the United States. His wife Carol had suffered her own crippling ordeal due to an automobile accident in December 1969. As a returned POW, McCain became a celebrity of sorts.[60]

White-haired man in thirties sitting in a chair, pack of cigarettes readily available

Lieutenant Commander McCain being interviewed after his return from Vietnam, April 1973

Lieutenant Commander McCain greeting President Richard Nixon in May 1973

McCain underwent treatment for his injuries that included months of grueling physical therapy.[61] He attended the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. during 1973–1974.[62] McCain was rehabilitated by late 1974 and his flight status was reinstated. In 1976, he became commanding officer of a training squadron that was stationed in Florida.[60][63] He improved the unit’s flight readiness and safety records,[64] and won the squadron its first-ever Meritorious Unit Commendation.[63] During this period in Florida, McCain had extramarital affairs and his marriage began to falter, about which he later stated, “The blame was entirely mine”.[65][66]

McCain served as the Navy’s liaison to the U.S. Senate beginning in 1977.[67] In retrospect, he said that this represented his “real entry into the world of politics and the beginning of my second career as a public servant.”[60] His key behind-the-scenes role gained congressional financing for a new supercarrier against the wishes of the Carter administration.[61][68]

In April 1979,[61] McCain met Cindy Lou Hensley, a teacher from Phoenix, Arizona, whose father had founded a large beer distributorship.[66] They began dating, and he urged his wife Carol to grant him a divorce, which she did in February 1980; the uncontested divorce took effect in April 1980.[22][61] The settlement included two houses, and financial support for her ongoing medical treatments due to her 1969 car accident; they would remain on good terms.[66] McCain and Hensley were married on May 17, 1980, with Senators William Cohen and Gary Hart attending as groomsmen.[21][66] McCain’s children did not attend, and several years would pass before they reconciled.[24][61] John and Cindy McCain entered into a prenuptial agreement that kept most of her family’s assets under her name; they would always keep their finances apart and file separate income tax returns.[69]

McCain decided to leave the Navy. It was doubtful whether he would ever be promoted to the rank of full admiral, as he had poor annual physicals and hadn’t been given a major sea command.[70] His chances of being promoted to rear admiralwere better, but McCain declined that prospect, as he had already made plans to run for Congress and said he could “do more good there.”[71][72]

McCain retired from the Navy on April 1, 1981,[73] as a captain.[34] He was designated as disabled and awarded a disability pension.[74] Upon leaving the military, he moved to Arizona. His numerous military decorations and awards include the Silver Star, two Legion of MeritsDistinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and Prisoner of War Medal.[34]

House and Senate elections and career, 1982–2000

U.S. Congressman

McCain set his sights on becoming a congressman because he was interested in current events, was ready for a new challenge, and had developed political ambitions during his time as Senate liaison.[66][75][76] Living in Phoenix, he went to work for Hensley & Co., his new father-in-law Jim Hensley‘s large Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship.[66] As vice president of public relations at the distributorship, he gained political support among the local business community, meeting powerful figures such as banker Charles Keating Jr., real estate developer Fife Symington III (later Governor of Arizona) and newspaper publisher Darrow “Duke” Tully.[67]In 1982, McCain ran as a Republican for an open seat in Arizona’s 1st congressional district, which was being vacated by 30-year incumbent Republican John Jacob Rhodes.[77] A newcomer to the state, McCain was hit with charges of being a carpetbagger.[66] McCain responded to a voter making that charge with what a Phoenix Gazette columnist would later describe as “the most devastating response to a potentially troublesome political issue I’ve ever heard”:[66]

Listen, pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things. As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.[66][78]

McCain won a highly contested primary election with the assistance of local political endorsements, his Washington connections, and money that his wife lent to his campaign.[67][66] He then easily won the general election in the heavily Republican district.[66]

McCain in 1983, during his first term in the House of Representatives

In 1983, McCain was elected to lead the incoming group of Republican representatives,[66] and was assigned to the House Committee on Interior Affairs. Also that year, he opposed creation of a federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but admitted in 2008: “I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support [in 1990] for a state holiday in Arizona.”[79][80]

At this point, McCain’s politics were mainly in line with President Ronald Reagan; this included support for Reaganomics, and he was active on Indian Affairs bills.[81] He supported most aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, including its hardline stance against the Soviet Union and policy towards Central American conflicts, such as backing the Contras in Nicaragua.[81] McCain opposed keeping U.S. Marines deployed in Lebanon, citing unattainable objectives, and subsequently criticized President Reagan for pulling out the troops too late; in the interim, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing killed hundreds.[66][82] McCain won re-election to the House easily in 1984,[66] and gained a spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[83] In 1985, he made his first return trip to Vietnam,[84] and also traveled to Chile where he met with its military junta ruler, General Augusto Pinochet.[85][86][87]

Growing family

In 1984, McCain and Cindy had their first child together, daughter Meghan, followed two years later by son John Sidney (Jack) IV, and in 1988 by son James (Jimmy).[88]

In 1991, Cindy McCain brought an abandoned three-month-old girl needing medical treatment to the U.S. from a Bangladeshi orphanage run by Mother Teresa.[89] The McCains decided to adopt her and named her Bridget.[90]

First two terms in U.S. Senate

McCain’s Senate career began in January 1987, after he defeated his Democratic opponent, former state legislator Richard Kimball, by 20 percentage points in the 1986 election.[67][91] McCain succeeded longtime American conservative icon and Arizona fixture Barry Goldwater upon the latter’s retirement as U.S. senator from Arizona.[91]

White-haired man in suit greets dark-haired man in suit in formal setting, as gaunt, well-coiffed woman looks on

President Ronald Reagan greets John McCain as First Lady Nancy Reagan looks on, March 1987

Senator McCain became a member of the Armed Services Committee, with which he had formerly done his Navy liaison work; he also joined the Commerce Committee and the Indian Affairs Committee.[91] He continued to support the Native American agenda.[92] As first a House member and then a senator—and as a lifelong gambler with close ties to the gambling industry[93]—McCain was one of the main authors of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,[94][95] which codified rules regarding Native American gambling enterprises.[96] McCain was also a strong supporter of the Gramm-Rudman legislation that enforced automatic spending cuts in the case of budget deficits.[97]

McCain soon gained national visibility. He delivered a well-received speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention, was mentioned by the press as a short list vice-presidential running mate for Republican nominee George H. W. Bush, and was named chairman of Veterans for Bush.[91][98]

McCain became embroiled in a scandal during the 1980s, as one of five United States senators comprising the so-called Keating Five.[99] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in lawful[100] political contributions from Charles Keating Jr. and his associates at Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, along with trips on Keating’s jets[99] that McCain belatedly repaid, in 1989.[101] In 1987, McCain was one of the five senators whom Keating contacted in order to prevent the government’s seizure of Lincoln, and McCain met twice with federal regulators to discuss the government’s investigation of Lincoln.[99] In 1999, McCain said: “The appearance of it was wrong. It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”[102] In the end, McCain was cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee of acting improperly or violating any law or Senate rule, but was mildly rebuked for exercising “poor judgment”.[100][102] In his 1992 re-election bid, the Keating Five affair was not a major issue,[103] and he won handily, gaining 56 percent of the vote to defeat Democratic community and civil rights activist Claire Sargent and independent former governor, Evan Mecham.[104]

McCain with President George H. W. Bush in 1990

McCain developed a reputation for independence during the 1990s.[105] He took pride in challenging party leadership and establishment forces, becoming difficult to categorize politically.[105]

White-haired man, elderly white-haired woman, young boy, young girl, short-haired woman holding roses, all in front of sign showing a ship's silhouette

The 1992 christening of USS John S. McCain at Bath Iron Works, with his mother Roberta, son Jack, daughter Meghan, and wife Cindy

As a member of the 1991–1993 Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, chaired by fellow Vietnam War veteran and Democrat, John Kerry, McCain investigated the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, to determine the fate of U.S. service personnel listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.[106] The committee’s unanimous report stated there was “no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia.”[107] Helped by McCain’s efforts, in 1995 the U.S. normalized diplomatic relations with Vietnam.[108] McCain was vilified by some POW/MIA activists who, despite the committee’s unanimous report, believed large numbers of Americans were still held against their will in Southeast Asia.[108][109][110] Since January 1993, McCain has been Chairman of the International Republican Institute, an organization partly funded by the U.S. government that supports the emergence of political democracy worldwide.[111]

In 1993 and 1994, McCain voted to confirm President Clinton’s nominees Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg whom he considered to be qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court. He would later explain that “under our Constitution, it is the president’s call to make.”[112] McCain had also voted to confirm nominees of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.[113]

McCain attacked what he saw as the corrupting influence of large political contributions—from corporations, labor unions, other organizations, and wealthy individuals—and he made this his signature issue.[114] Starting in 1994, he worked with Democratic Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold on campaign finance reform; their McCain–Feingold bill attempted to put limits on “soft money“.[114] The efforts of McCain and Feingold were opposed by some of the moneyed interests targeted, by incumbents in both parties, by those who felt spending limits impinged on free political speech and might be unconstitutional as well, and by those who wanted to counterbalance the power of what they saw as media bias.[114][115] Despite sympathetic coverage in the media, initial versions of the McCain–Feingold Act were filibustered and never came to a vote.[116]

The term “maverick Republican” became a label frequently applied to McCain, and he also used it himself.[114][117][118] In 1993, McCain opposed military operations in Somalia.[119] Another target of his was pork barrel spending by Congress, and he actively supported the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, which gave the president power to veto individual spending items[114] but was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1998.[120]

In the 1996 presidential election, McCain was again on the short list of possible vice-presidential picks, this time for Republican nominee Bob Dole.[103][121] The following year, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122]

In 1997, McCain became chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee; he was criticized for accepting funds from corporations and businesses under the committee’s purview, but in response said the small contributions he received were not part of the big-money nature of the campaign finance problem.[114] McCain took on the tobacco industry in 1998, proposing legislation that would increase cigarette taxes in order to fund anti-smoking campaigns, discourage teenage smokers, increase money for health research studies, and help states pay for smoking-related health care costs.[114][123] Supported by the Clinton administration but opposed by the industry and most Republicans, the bill failed to gain cloture.[123]

Start of third term in the U.S. Senate

In November 1998, McCain won re-election to a third Senate term; he prevailed in a landslide over his Democratic opponent, environmental lawyer Ed Ranger.[114] In the February 1999 Senate trial following the impeachment of Bill Clinton, McCain voted to convict the president on both the perjury and obstruction of justice counts, saying Clinton had violated his sworn oath of office.[124] In March 1999, McCain voted to approve the NATO bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, saying that the ongoing genocide of the Kosovo War must be stopped and criticizing past Clinton administration inaction.[125] Later in 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Awardwith Feingold for their work in trying to enact their campaign finance reform,[126] although the bill was still failing repeated attempts to gain cloture.[116]

two men in uniform

Photo of McCain’s father and grandfather that appeared on the cover of his 1999 family memoir

In August 1999, McCain’s memoir Faith of My Fathers, co-authored with Mark Salter, was published;[127] a reviewer observed that its appearance “seems to have been timed to the unfolding Presidential campaign.”[128] The most successful of his writings, it received positive reviews,[129] became a bestseller,[130] and was later made into a TV film.[131] The book traces McCain’s family background and childhood, covers his time at Annapolis and his service before and during the Vietnam War, concluding with his release from captivity in 1973. According to one reviewer, it describes “the kind of challenges that most of us can barely imagine. It’s a fascinating history of a remarkable military family.”[132]

2000 presidential campaign

McCain announced his candidacy for president on September 27, 1999, in Nashua, New Hampshire, saying he was staging “a fight to take our government back from the power brokers and special interests, and return it to the people and the noble cause of freedom it was created to serve”.[127][133] The frontrunner for the Republican nomination was Texas Governor George W. Bush, who had the political and financial support of most of the party establishment.[134]

McCain focused on the New Hampshire primary, where his message appealed to independents.[135] He traveled on a campaign bus called the Straight Talk Express.[127] He held many town hall meetings, answering every question voters asked, in a successful example of “retail politics”, and he used free media to compensate for his lack of funds.[127] One reporter later recounted that, “McCain talked all day long with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus; he talked so much that sometimes he said things that he shouldn’t have, and that’s why the media loved him.”[136] On February 1, 2000, he won New Hampshire’s primary with 49 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent. The Bush campaign and the Republican establishment feared that a McCain victory in the crucial South Carolina primary might give his campaign unstoppable momentum.[127][137]

Chart with three data lines

McCain’s Gallup Poll favorable/unfavorable ratings, 1999–2009[138]

The Arizona Republic would write that the McCain–Bush primary contest in South Carolina “has entered national political lore as a low-water mark in presidential campaigns”, while The New York Times called it “a painful symbol of the brutality of American politics”.[127][139][140] A variety of interest groups, which McCain had challenged in the past, ran negative ads.[127][141] Bush borrowed McCain’s earlier language of reform,[142] and declined to dissociate himself from a veterans activist who accused McCain (in Bush’s presence) of having “abandoned the veterans” on POW/MIA and Agent Orange issues.[127][143]

Incensed,[143] McCain ran ads accusing Bush of lying and comparing the governor to Bill Clinton, which Bush said was “about as low a blow as you can give in a Republican primary”.[127] An anonymous smear campaign began against McCain, delivered by push polls, faxes, e-mails, flyers, and audience plants.[127][144] The smears claimed that McCain had fathered a black child out of wedlock (the McCains’ dark-skinned daughter was adopted from Bangladesh), that his wife Cindy was a drug addict, that he was a homosexual, and that he was a “Manchurian Candidate” who was either a traitor or mentally unstable from his North Vietnam POW days.[127][139] The Bush campaign strongly denied any involvement with the attacks.[139][145]

McCain lost South Carolina on February 19, with 42 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent,[146] in part because Bush mobilized the state’s evangelical voters[127][147] and outspent McCain.[148] The win allowed Bush to regain lost momentum.[146] McCain would say of the rumor spreaders, “I believe that there is a special place in hell for people like those.”[90] According to one report, the South Carolina experience left McCain in a “very dark place”.[139]

McCain’s campaign never completely recovered from his South Carolina defeat, although he did rebound partially by winning in Arizona and Michigan a few days later.[149] He made a speech in Virginia Beach that criticized Christian leaders, including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, as divisive conservatives,[139] declaring “… we embrace the fine members of the religious conservative community. But that does not mean that we will pander to their self-appointed leaders.”[150] McCain lost the Virginia primary on February 29,[151] and on March 7 lost nine of the thirteen primaries on Super Tuesday to Bush.[152] With little hope of overcoming Bush’s delegate lead, McCain withdrew from the race on March 9, 2000.[153] He endorsed Bush two months later,[154] and made occasional appearances with the Texas governor during the general election campaign.[127]

Senate career, 2000–2008

Remainder of third Senate term

McCain began 2001 by breaking with the new George W. Bush administration on a number of matters, including HMO reform, climate change, and gun legislation; McCain–Feingold was opposed by Bush as well.[116][155] In May 2001, McCain was one of only two Senate Republicans to vote against the Bush tax cuts.[155][156] Besides the differences with Bush on ideological grounds, there was considerable antagonism between the two remaining from the previous year’s campaign.[157][158] Later, when a Republican senator, Jim Jeffords, became an Independent, thereby throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats, McCain defended Jeffords against “self-appointed enforcers of party loyalty”.[155] Indeed, there was speculation at the time, and in years since, about McCain himself leaving the Republican Party, but McCain had always adamantly denied that he ever considered doing so.[155][159][160] Beginning in 2001, McCain used political capital gained from his presidential run, as well as improved legislative skills and relationships with other members, to become one of the Senate’s most influential members.[161]

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, McCain supported Bush and the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.[155][162] He and Democratic senator Joe Lieberman wrote the legislation that created the 9/11 Commission,[163] while he and Democratic senator Fritz Hollings co-sponsored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that federalized airport security.[164]

In March 2002, McCain–Feingold, officially known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, passed in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bush.[116][155] Seven years in the making, it was McCain’s greatest legislative achievement.[155][165]

Red rocks landscape of Arizona with McCain image added, on uppper half; cartoon illustration of pigs inside brown barrels on lower half

McCain’s Senate website from 2003 to 2006 illustrated his concern about pork barrel spending.[114]

Meanwhile, in discussions over proposed U.S. action against Iraq, McCain was a strong supporter of the Bush administration’s position.[155] He stated that Iraq was “a clear and present danger to the United States of America”, and voted accordingly for the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.[155] He predicted that U.S. forces would be treated as liberators by a large number of the Iraqi people.[166] In May 2003, McCain voted against the second round of Bush tax cuts, saying it was unwise at a time of war.[156] By November 2003, after a trip to Iraq, he was publicly questioning Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, saying that more U.S. troops were needed; the following year, McCain announced that he had lost confidence in Rumsfeld.[167][168]

In October 2003, McCain and Lieberman co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act that would have introduced a cap and trade system aimed at returning greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels; the bill was defeated with 55 votes to 43 in the Senate.[169] They reintroduced modified versions of the Act two additional times, most recently in January 2007 with the co-sponsorship of Barack Obama, among others.[170]

U.S. President George W. Bush with Senator McCain, December 4, 2004

In the 2004 U.S. presidential election campaign, McCain was once again frequently mentioned for the vice-presidential slot, only this time as part of the Democratic ticket under nominee John Kerry.[171][172][173] McCain said that Kerry had never formally offered him the position and that he would not have accepted it if he had.[172][173][174] At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain supported Bush for re-election, praising Bush’s management of the War on Terror since the September 11 attacks.[175] At the same time, he defended Kerry’s Vietnam War record.[176] By August 2004, McCain had the best favorable-to-unfavorable rating (55 percent to 19 percent) of any national politician;[175] he campaigned for Bush much more than he had four years previously, though the two remained situational allies rather than friends.[157]

McCain was also up for re-election as senator, in 2004. He defeated little-known Democratic schoolteacher Stuart Starky with his biggest margin of victory, garnering 77 percent of the vote.[177]

Start of fourth Senate term

In May 2005, McCain led the so-called Gang of 14 in the Senate, which established a compromise that preserved the ability of senators to filibuster judicial nominees, but only in “extraordinary circumstances”.[178] The compromise took the steam out of the filibuster movement, but some Republicans remained disappointed that the compromise did not eliminate filibusters of judicial nominees in all circumstances.[179] McCain subsequently cast Supreme Court confirmation votes in favor of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, calling them “two of the finest justices ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court.”[113]

File:Jsm2.ogv

Speaking on the Senate floor against earmarking, February 2007

Breaking from his 2001 and 2003 votes, McCain supported the Bush tax cut extension in May 2006, saying not to do so would amount to a tax increase.[156] Working with Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, McCain was a strong proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, which would involve legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components. The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act was never voted on in 2005, while the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 passed the Senate in May 2006 but failed in the House.[168] In June 2007, President Bush, McCain, and others made the strongest push yet for such a bill, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, but it aroused intense grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others, some of whom furiously characterized the proposal as an “amnesty” program,[180] and the bill twice failed to gain cloture in the Senate.[181]

By the middle of the 2000s (decade), the increased Indian gaming that McCain had helped bring about was a $23 billion industry.[95] He was twice chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in 1995–1997 and 2005–2007, and his Committee helped expose the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.[182][183] By 2005 and 2006, McCain was pushing for amendments to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that would limit creation of off-reservation casinos,[95] as well as limiting the movement of tribes across state lines to build casinos.[184]

Middle-aged man in military uniform talking with older man in casual civilian clothes, at night

General David Petraeus and McCain in Baghdad, November 2007

Owing to his time as a POW, McCain was recognized for his sensitivity to the detention and interrogation of detainees in the War on Terror. An opponent of the Bush administration’s use of torture and detention without trial at Guantánamo Bay (declaring that “even Adolf Eichmann got a trial”[185]), in October 2005, McCain introduced the McCain Detainee Amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill for 2005, and the Senate voted 90–9 to support the amendment.[186] It prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantánamo, by confining military interrogations to the techniques in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Interrogation. Although Bush had threatened to veto the bill if McCain’s amendment was included,[187] the President announced in December 2005 that he accepted McCain’s terms and would “make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention of torture, whether it be here at home or abroad”.[188] This stance, among others, led to McCain being named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of America’s 10 Best Senators.[189] McCain voted in February 2008 against a bill containing a ban on waterboarding,[190] which provision was later narrowly passed and vetoed by Bush. However, the bill in question contained other provisions to which McCain objected, and his spokesman stated: “This wasn’t a vote on waterboarding. This was a vote on applying the standards of the [Army] field manual to CIA personnel.”[190]

Meanwhile, McCain continued questioning the progress of the war in Iraq. In September 2005, he remarked upon Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers‘ optimistic outlook on the war’s progress: “Things have not gone as well as we had planned or expected, nor as we were told by you, General Myers.”[191] In August 2006, he criticized the administration for continually understating the effectiveness of the insurgency: “We [have] not told the American people how tough and difficult this could be.”[168] From the beginning, McCain strongly supported the Iraq troop surge of 2007.[192] The strategy’s opponents labeled it “McCain’s plan”[193] and University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said, “McCain owns Iraq just as much as Bush does now.”[168] The surge and the war were unpopular during most of the year, even within the Republican Party,[194] as McCain’s presidential campaign was underway; faced with the consequences, McCain frequently responded, “I would much rather lose a campaign than a war.”[195] In March 2008, McCain credited the surge strategy with reducing violence in Iraq, as he made his eighth trip to that country since the war began.[196]

2008 presidential campaign

White-haired man speaking at podium, with group of people behind him, some holding blue "McCain" signs

McCain formally announces his candidacy for president in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 2007

McCain formally announced his intention to run for President of the United States on April 25, 2007, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.[197] He stated that: “I’m not running for president to be somebody, but to do something; to do the hard but necessary things, not the easy and needless things.”[198]

McCain’s oft-cited strengths as a presidential candidate for 2008 included national name recognition, sponsorship of major lobbying and campaign finance reform initiatives, his ability to reach across the aisle, his well-known military service and experience as a POW, his experience from the 2000 presidential campaign, and an expectation that he would capture Bush’s top fundraisers.[199] During the 2006 election cycle, McCain had attended 346 events[58] and helped raise more than $10.5 million on behalf of Republican candidates. McCain also became more willing to ask business and industry for campaign contributions, while maintaining that such contributions would not affect any official decisions he would make.[200] Despite being considered the front-runner for the nomination by pundits as 2007 began,[201] McCain was in second place behind former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani in national Republican polls as the year progressed.

McCain had fundraising problems in the first half of 2007, due in part to his support for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was unpopular among the Republican base electorate.[202][203] Large-scale campaign staff downsizing took place in early July, but McCain said that he was not considering dropping out of the race.[203] Later that month, the candidate’s campaign manager and campaign chief strategist both departed.[204]McCain slumped badly in national polls, often running third or fourth with 15 percent or less support.

White-haired man in dark suit looks on as gray-haired man in dark suit holds hand and greets blonde-haired woman in medium-colored suit, all in front of a white building.

President Bush meets with the McCains as he endorses him for President, March 5, 2008

The Arizona senator subsequently resumed his familiar position as a political underdog,[205] riding the Straight Talk Express and taking advantage of free media such as debates and sponsored events.[206] By December 2007, the Republican race was unsettled, with none of the top-tier candidates dominating the race and all of them possessing major vulnerabilities with different elements of the Republican base electorate.[207] McCain was showing a resurgence, in particular with renewed strength in New Hampshire—the scene of his 2000 triumph—and was bolstered further by the endorsements of The Boston Globe, the New Hampshire Union Leader, and almost two dozen other state newspapers,[208] as well as from Senator Lieberman (now an Independent Democrat).[209][210] McCain decided not to campaign significantly in the January 3, 2008, Iowa caucuses, which saw a win by former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee.

McCain’s comeback plan paid off when he won the New Hampshire primary on January 8, defeating former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney in a close contest, to once again become one of the front-runners in the race.[211]In mid-January, McCain placed first in the South Carolina primary, narrowly defeating Mike Huckabee.[212] Pundits credited the third-place finisher, Tennessee‘s former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, with drawing votes from Huckabee in South Carolina, thereby giving a narrow win to McCain.[213] A week later, McCain won the Florida primary,[214] beating Romney again in a close contest; Giuliani then dropped out and endorsed McCain.[215]

On February 5, McCain won both the majority of states and delegates in the Super Tuesday Republican primaries, giving him a commanding lead toward the Republican nomination. Romney departed from the race on February 7.[216] McCain’s wins in the March 4 primaries clinched a majority of the delegates, and he became the presumptive Republican nominee.[217]

McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Had he been elected, he would have become the first president who was born outside the contiguous forty-eight states. This raised a potential legal issue, since the United States Constitution requires the president to be a natural-born citizen of the United States. A bipartisan legal review,[218] and a unanimous but non-binding Senate resolution,[219] both concluded that he is a natural-born citizen. If inaugurated in 2009 at the age of 72 years and 144 days, he would have been the oldest U.S. president upon becoming president,[220] and the second-oldest president to be inaugurated after Reagan at his second inaugural.[221]

McCain addressed concerns about his age and past health issues, stating in 2005 that his health was “excellent”.[222] He had been treated for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, and an operation in 2000 for that condition left a noticeable mark on the left side of his face.[223] McCain’s prognosis appeared favorable, according to independent experts, especially because he had already survived without a recurrence for more than seven years.[223] In May 2008, McCain’s campaign briefly let the press review his medical records, and he was described as appearing cancer-free, having a strong heart, and in general being in good health.[224]

McCain clinched enough delegates for the nomination and his focus shifted toward the general election, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fought a prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination.[225] McCain introduced various policy proposals, and sought to improve his fundraising.[226][227] Cindy McCain, who accounts for most of the couple’s wealth with an estimated net worth of $100 million,[69] made part of her tax returns public in May.[228] After facing criticism about lobbyists on staff, the McCain campaign issued new rules in May 2008 to avoid conflicts of interest, causing five top aides to leave.[229][230]

When Obama became the Democrats’ presumptive nominee in early June, McCain proposed joint town hall meetings, but Obama instead requested more traditional debates for the fall.[231] In July, a staff shake-up put Steve Schmidt in full operational control of the McCain campaign.[232] Rick Davis remained as campaign manager but with a reduced role. Davis had also managed McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign; in 2005 and 2006, U.S. intelligence warned McCain’s Senate staff about Davis’s Russian links but gave no further warnings.[233][234][235][236]

Throughout the summer of 2008, Obama typically led McCain in national polls by single-digit margins,[237] and also led in several key swing states.[238] McCain reprised his familiar underdog role, which was due at least in part to the overall challenges Republicans faced in the election year.[205][238] McCain accepted public financing for the general election campaign, and the restrictions that go with it, while criticizing his Democratic opponent for becoming the first major party candidate to opt out of such financing for the general election since the system was implemented in 1976.[239][240] The Republican’s broad campaign theme focused on his experience and ability to lead, compared to Obama’s.[241]

Todd Palin, Sarah Palin (behind a podium), Cindy McCain, John McCain together on an outdoor stage during daytime, crowd holding blue-and-white "McCain Palin" signs around them

The Palins and McCains campaign in Fairfax, Virginia, following the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 10.

On August 29, 2008, McCain revealed Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his surprise choice for running mate.[242] McCain was only the second U.S. major-party presidential nominee (after Walter Mondale) to select a woman for his running mate and the first Republican to do so; Palin would have become the first female Vice President of the United States if McCain had been elected. On September 3, 2008, McCain and Palin became the Republican Party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees, respectively, at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota. McCain surged ahead of Obama in national polls following the convention, as the Palin pick energized core Republican voters who had previously been wary of him.[243] However, by the campaign’s own later admission, the rollout of Palin to the national media went poorly,[244] and voter reactions to Palin grew increasingly negative, especially among independents and other voters concerned about her qualifications.[245] McCain said later in life that he expressed regret for not choosing the independent Senator Joe Lieberman as his VP candidate instead.[185]

On September 24, McCain said he was temporarily suspending his campaign activities, called on Obama to join him, and proposed delaying the first of the general election debates with Obama, in order to work on the proposed U.S. financial system bailout before Congress, which was targeted at addressing the subprime mortgage crisis and liquidity crisis.[246][247] McCain’s intervention helped to give dissatisfied House Republicans an opportunity to propose changes to the plan that was otherwise close to agreement.[248][249] After Obama declined McCain’s suspension suggestion, McCain went ahead with the debate on September 26.[250] On October 1, McCain voted in favor of a revised $700 billion rescue plan.[251] Another debate was held on October 7; like the first one, polls afterward suggested that Obama had won it.[252] A final presidential debate occurred on October 15.[253]

During and after the final debate, McCain compared Obama’s proposed policies to socialism and often invoked “Joe the Plumber” as a symbol of American small business dreams that would be thwarted by an Obama presidency.[254][255] McCain barred using the Jeremiah Wright controversy in ads against Obama,[256] but the campaign did frequently criticize Obama regarding his purported relationship with Bill Ayers.[257] McCain’s rallies became increasingly vitriolic,[258] with attendees denigrating Obama and displaying a growing anti-Muslim and anti-African-American sentiment.[259] During a campaign rally in Minnesota, Gayle Quinnell, a 75-year old McCain supporter said she did not trust Obama because “he’s an Arab”,[260] McCain pointedly replied to the woman, “No ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”[259] McCain’s response was considered one of the finer moments of the campaign and was still being viewed several years later as a marker for civility in American politics.[258][261] Down the stretch, McCain was outspent by Obama by a four-to-one margin.[262] Meghan McCain said that she cannot “go a day without someone bringing up (that) moment,” and noted that at the time “there were a lot of people really trying to get my dad to go (against Obama) with … you’re a Muslim, you’re not an American aspect of that,” but that her father had refused. “I can remember thinking that it was a morally amazing and beautiful moment, but that maybe there would be people in the Republican Party that would be quite angry,” she said.[263]

Results of the presidential election

The election took place on November 4, and Barack Obama was projected the winner at about 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time; McCain delivered his concession speech in Phoenix, Arizona about twenty minutes later.[264] In it, he noted the historic and special significance of Obama becoming the nation’s first African American president.[264] In the end, McCain won 173 electoral college votes to Obama’s 365;[265] McCain failed to win most of the battleground states and lost some traditionally Republican ones.[266] McCain gained 46 percent of the nationwide popular vote, compared to Obama’s 53 percent.[266]

Senate career after 2008

Remainder of fourth Senate term

Following his defeat, McCain returned to the Senate amid varying views about what role he might play there.[267] In mid-November 2008 he met with President-elect Obama, and the two discussed issues they had commonality on.[268] Around the same time, McCain indicated that he intended to run for re-election to his Senate seat in 2010.[269] As the inauguration neared, Obama consulted with McCain on a variety of matters, to an extent rarely seen between a president-elect and his defeated rival,[270] and President Obama’s inauguration speech contained an allusion to McCain’s theme of finding a purpose greater than oneself.[271]

Barack Obama speaking in foreground at an indoor event with an American flag in background; John McCain behind him, somewhat of focus

U.S. President Barack Obama and McCain at a press conference in March 2009

Nevertheless, McCain emerged as a leader of the Republican opposition to the Obama economic stimulus package of 2009, saying it had too much spending for too little stimulative effect.[272] McCain also voted against Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor—saying that while undeniably qualified, “I do not believe that she shares my belief in judicial restraint”[273]—and by August 2009 was siding more often with his Republican Party on closely divided votes than ever before in his senatorial career.[274] McCain reasserted that the War in Afghanistan was winnable[275] and criticized Obama for a slow process in deciding whether to send additional U.S. troops there.[276]

McCain also harshly criticized Obama for scrapping construction of the U.S. missile defense complex in Poland, declined to enter negotiations over climate change legislation similar to what he had proposed in the past, and strongly opposed the Obama health care plan.[276][277] McCain led a successful filibuster of a measure that would allow repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy towards gays.[278] Factors involved in McCain’s new direction included Senate staffers leaving, a renewed concern over national debt levels and the scope of federal government, a possible Republican primary challenge from conservatives in 2010, and McCain’s campaign edge being slow to wear off.[276][277] As one longtime McCain advisor said, “A lot of people, including me, thought he might be the Republican building bridges to the Obama Administration. But he’s been more like the guy blowing up the bridges.”[276]

Man in office with old-style furnishings

McCain in his Senate office, November 2010

In early 2010, a primary challenge from radio talk show host and former U.S. Congressman J. D. Hayworth materialized in the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Arizona and drew support from some but not all elements of the Tea Party movement.[279][280] With Hayworth using the campaign slogan “The Consistent Conservative”, McCain said—despite his own past use of the term on a number of occasions[280][281]—”I never considered myself a maverick. I consider myself a person who serves the people of Arizona to the best of his abilities.”[282] The primary challenge coincided with McCain reversing or muting his stance on some issues such as the bank bailouts, closing of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, campaign finance restrictions, and gays in the military.[279]

When the health care plan, now called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed Congress and became law in March 2010, McCain strongly opposed the landmark legislation not only on its merits but also on the way it had been handled in Congress. As a consequence, he warned that congressional Republicans would not be working with Democrats on anything else: “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year. They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”[283] McCain became a vocal defender of Arizona SB 1070, the April 2010 tough anti-illegal immigration state law that aroused national controversy, saying that the state had been forced to take action given the federal government’s inability to control the border.[280][284] In the August 24 primary, McCain beat Hayworth by a 56 to 32 percent margin.[285] McCain proceeded to easily defeat Democratic city councilman Rodney Glassman in the general election.[286]

In the lame duck session of the 111th Congress, McCain voted for the compromise Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010,[287] but against the DREAM Act (which he had once sponsored) and the New START Treaty.[288] Most prominently, he continued to lead the eventually losing fight against “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal.[289] In his opposition, he sometimes fell into anger or hostility on the Senate floor, and called its passage “a very sad day” that would compromise the battle effectiveness of the military.[288][289]

Fifth Senate term

While control of the House of Representatives went over to the Republicans in the 112th Congress, the Senate stayed Democratic and McCain continued to be the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As the Arab Spring took center stage, McCain urged that the embattled Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, step down and thought the U.S. should push for democratic reforms in the region despite the associated risks of religious extremists gaining power.[290] McCain was an especially vocal supporter of the 2011 military intervention in Libya. In April of that year he visited the Anti-Gaddafi forces and National Transitional Council in Benghazi, the highest-ranking American to do so, and said that the rebel forces were “my heroes”.[291] In June, he joined with Senator Kerry in offering a resolution that would have authorized the military intervention, and said: “The administration’s disregard for the elected representatives of the American people on this matter has been troubling and counterproductive.”[292][293] In August, McCain voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011 that resolved the U.S. debt ceiling crisis.[294] In November, McCain and Senator Carl Levin were leaders in efforts to codify in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 that terrorism suspects, no matter where captured, could be detained by the U.S. military and its tribunal system; following objections by civil libertarians, some Democrats, and the White House, McCain and Levin agreed to language making it clear that the bill would not pertain to U.S. citizens.[295][296]

In the 2012 Republican Party presidential primaries, McCain endorsed former 2008 rival Mitt Romney and campaigned for him, but compared the contest to a Greek tragedy due to its drawn-out nature with massive super PAC-funded attack ads damaging all the contenders.[297] He labeled the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision as “uninformed, arrogant, naïve”, and, decrying its effects and the future scandals he thought it would bring, said it would become considered the court’s “worst decision … in the 21st century”.[298] McCain took the lead in opposing the defense spending sequestrations brought on by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and gained attention for defending State Department aide Huma Abedin against charges brought by a few House Republicans that she had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.[299]

A group of about ten men walking along a road

The “Three Amigos” walking in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan in July 2011: McCain (second from left), Lindsey Graham (second from right in front), Joe Lieberman (right in front)[300]

McCain continued to be one of the most frequently appearing guests on the Sunday morning news talk shows.[299] He became one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, saying it was a “debacle” that featured either “a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable” and that it was worse than the Watergate scandal.[301] As part of this, he and a few other senators were successful in blocking the planned nomination of Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State; McCain’s friend and colleague John Kerry was nominated instead.[302]

Regarding the Syrian civil war that had begun in 2011, McCain repeatedly argued for the U.S. intervening militarily in the conflict on the side of the anti-government forces. He staged a visit to rebel forces inside Syria in May 2013, the first senator to do so, and called for arming the Free Syrian Army with heavy weapons and for the establishment of a no-fly zone over the country. Following reports that two of the people he posed for pictures with had been responsible for the kidnapping of eleven Lebanese Shiite pilgrims the year before, McCain disputed one of the identifications and said he had not met directly with the other.[303] Following the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack, McCain argued again for strong American military action against the government of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and in September 2013 cast a Foreign Relations committee vote in favor of Obama’s request to Congress that it authorize a military response.[304] McCain took the lead in criticizing a growing non-interventionist movement within the Republican Party, exemplified by his March 2013 comment that Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Representative Justin Amash were “wacko birds”.[305]

Kerry (far left) and McCain (center-right) with members of the Saudi Royal Family after greeting the new King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, January 2015

During 2013, McCain was a member of a bi-partisan group of senators, the “Gang of Eight“, which announced principles for another try at comprehensive immigration reform.[306] The resulting Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 passed the Senate by a 68–32 margin, but faced an uncertain future in the House.[307] In July 2013, McCain was at the forefront of an agreement among senators to drop filibusters against Obama administration executive nominees without Democrats resorting to the “nuclear option” that would disallow such filibusters altogether.[308][309] However, the option would be imposed later in the year anyway, much to the senator’s displeasure.[310] These developments and some other negotiations showed that McCain now had improved relations with the Obama administration, including the president himself, as well as with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and that he had become the leader of a power center in the Senate for cutting deals in an otherwise bitterly partisan environment.[311][312][313] They also led some observers to conclude that the “maverick” McCain had returned.[309][313]

McCain was publicly skeptical about the Republican strategy that precipitated the U.S. federal government shutdown of 2013 and U.S. debt-ceiling crisis of 2013 in order to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act; in October 2013 he voted in favor of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, which resolved them and said, “Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”[314] Similarly, he was one of nine Republican senators who voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the end of the year.[315] By early 2014, McCain’s apostasies were enough that the Arizona Republican Party formally censured him for having what they saw as a liberal record that had been “disastrous and harmful”.[316] McCain remained stridently opposed to many aspects of Obama’s foreign policy, however, and in June 2014, following major gains by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive, decried what he saw as a U.S. failure to protect its past gains in Iraq and called on the president’s entire national security team to resign. McCain said, “Could all this have been avoided? … The answer is absolutely yes. If I sound angry it’s because I am angry.”[317]

McCain addresses anti-government protesters in KievUkraine, pledging his support for their cause, December 15, 2013.

McCain was a supporter of the Euromaidan protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his government, and appeared in Independence Square in Kiev in December 2013.[318] Following the overthrow of Yanukovych and subsequent 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, McCain became a vocal supporter of providing arms to Ukrainian military forces, saying the sanctions imposed against Russia were not enough.[319] In 2014, McCain led the opposition to the appointments of Colleen BellNoah Mamet, and George Tsunis to the ambassadorships in Hungary, Argentina, and Norway, respectively, arguing they were unqualified appointees being rewarded for their political fundraising.[320] Unlike many Republicans, McCain supported the release and contents of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture in December 2014, saying “The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.”[321] He added that the CIA’s practices following the September 11 attacks had “stained our national honor” while doing “much harm and little practical good” and that “Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”[322] He opposed the Obama administration’s December 2014 decision to normalize relations with Cuba.[323]

As the 114th United States Congress assembled in January 2015 with Republicans in control of the Senate, McCain became chair of the Armed Services Committee, a longtime goal of his.[324] In this position, he led the writing of proposed Senate legislation that sought to modify parts of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 in order to return responsibility for major weapons systems acquisition back to the individual armed services and their secretaries and away from the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.[325] As chair, McCain has tried to maintain a bipartisan approach and has forged a good relationship with ranking member Jack Reed.[324] In April 2015, McCain announced that he would run for a sixth term in Arizona’s 2016 Senate election.[326] While there was still conservative and Tea Party anger at him, it was unclear if they would mount an effective primary challenge against him.[327] During 2015, McCain strongly opposed the proposed comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, saying that Secretary of State Kerry was “delusional” and “giv[ing] away the store” in negotiations with Iran.[328] McCain supported the Saudi Arabian-led military intervention in Yemen against the Shia Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh,[329] saying: “I’m sure civilians die in war. Not nearly as many as the Houthis have executed.”[330]

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wenmeets with U.S. Senate delegation led by McCain, June 2016

McCain accused President Obama of being “directly responsible” for the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting “because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures.”[331][332]

McCain campaigning with former Governor Romney in Mesa, Arizona during his 2016 re-election campaign

During the 2016 Republican primaries, McCain said he would support the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, but following Mitt Romney’s March 3 speech, McCain endorsed the sentiments expressed in that speech, saying he had serious concerns about Trump’s “uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues”.[333] Relations between the two had been fraught since early in the Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016, when McCain referred to a room full of Trump supporters as “crazies”, and the real estate mogul then said of McCain: “He insulted me, and he insulted everyone in that room… He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured… perhaps he was a war hero, but right now he’s said a lot of very bad things about a lot of people.”[333][334] Following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the party on May 3, McCain said that Republican voters had spoken and he would support Trump.[335]

McCain himself faced a primary challenge from Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter, and then was expected to face a potentially strong challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.[336] The senator privately expressed worry over the effect that Trump’s unpopularity among Hispanic voters might have on his own chances but also was concerned with more conservative pro-Trump voters; he thus kept his endorsement of Trump in place but tried to speak of him as little as possible given their disagreements.[337][338][339] However McCain defeated Ward in the primary by a double-digit percentage point margin and gained a similar lead over Kirkpatrick in general election polls, and when the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy broke, he felt secure enough to on October 8 withdraw his endorsement of Trump.[336] McCain stated that Trump’s “demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults” made it “impossible to continue to offer even conditional support” and added that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, but would instead “write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”[340][341] McCain, at 80 years of age, went on to defeat Kirkpatrick, securing a sixth term as United States Senator from Arizona.[342]

In November 2016, McCain learned of the existence of a dossier regarding the Trump presidential campaign’s links to Russia compiled by Christopher Steele. McCain sent a representative to gather more information, who obtained a copy of the dossier.[343] In December 2016, McCain passed on the dossier to FBI Director James Comey in a 1-on-1 meeting. McCain later wrote that he felt the dossier’s “allegations were disturbing” but unverifiable by himself, so he let the FBI investigate.[344]

On December 31, 2016, in TbilisiGeorgia, McCain stated that the United States should strengthen its sanctions against Russia.[345] One year later, on December 23, 2017, the State Department announced that the United States will provide Ukraine with “enhanced defensive capabilities”.[346]

Sixth and final Senate term

McCain chaired the January 5, 2017, hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee where Republican and Democratic senators and intelligence officers, including James R. Clapper Jr., the Director of National IntelligenceMichael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and United States Cyber Command presented a “united front” that “forcefully reaffirmed the conclusion that the Russian government used hacking and leaks to try to influence the presidential election.”[347]

In June 2017, McCain voted to support Trump’s controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia.[348][349]

Repeal and replacement of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) was a centerpiece of McCain’s 2016 re-election campaign, and in July 2017 he said, “Have no doubt: Congress must replace Obamacare, which has hit Arizonans with some of the highest premium increases in the nation and left 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties with only one provider option on the exchanges this year.” He added that he supports affordable and quality health care, but objected that the pending Senate bill did not do enough to shield the Medicaid system in Arizona.[350]

In response to the death of Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of organ failure while in government custody, McCain said that “this is only the latest example of Communist China’s assault on human rights, democracy, and freedom.”[351]

In September 2017, as the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar became ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslim minority, McCain announced moves to scrap planned future military cooperation with Myanmar.[352]

Brain tumor diagnosis and surgery

File:John McCain returns to Senate and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017.webm

McCain returns to the Senate for the first time following his cancer diagnosis and delivers remarks on July 25, 2017, after casting a crucial vote on the American Health Care Act.

McCain underwent a minimally invasive craniotomy at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 14, 2017, in order to remove a blood clot above his left eye. His absence prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.[353] Five days later, Mayo Clinic doctors announced that the laboratory results from the surgery confirmed the presence of a glioblastoma, which is a very aggressive brain tumor.[354] Standard treatment options for this tumor include chemotherapy and radiation, although even with treatment, average survival time is approximately 14 months.[354] McCain was a survivor of previous cancers, including melanoma.[223][355]

President Trump made a public statement wishing Senator McCain well,[356] as did many others, including President Obama.[357] On July 19, McCain’s senatorial office issued a statement that he “appreciates the outpouring of support he has received over the last few days. He is in good spirits as he continues to recover at home with his family in Arizona. He is grateful to the doctors and staff at Mayo Clinic for their outstanding care, and is confident that any future treatment will be effective.” On July 24, McCain announced via Twitter that he would return to the United States Senate the following day.[358]

Return to Senate

McCain votes no on repealing Obamacare by giving a thumbs down.

McCain returned to the Senate on July 25, less than two weeks after brain surgery. He cast a deciding vote allowing the Senate to begin consideration of bills to replace Obamacare. Along with that vote, he delivered a speech criticizing the party-line voting process used by the Republicans, as well as by the Democrats in passing Obamacare to begin with, and McCain also urged a “return to regular order” utilizing the usual committee hearings and deliberations.[359][360][361] On July 28, he cast the decisive vote against the Republicans’ final proposal that month, the so-called “skinny repeal” option, which failed 49–51.[362]

McCain did not vote in the Senate after December 2017, remaining instead in Arizona to undergo cancer treatment. On April 15, 2018, he underwent surgery for an infection relating to diverticulitis and the following day was reported to be in stable condition.[363]

Committee assignments

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senators Joni ErnstDaniel Sullivan, John McCain, Tom CottonLindsey Graham, and Cory Gardnerattending the 2016 International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit in Singapore

Caucus memberships

Death and funeral

McCain’s family announced on August 24, 2018, that he would no longer receive treatment for his cancer.[366] The next day on August 25, at 16:28 MST (23:28 UTC), he died with his wife and family beside him at his home in Cornville, Arizona, four days before his 82nd birthday.[367][368][369][370]

McCain will lie in state in the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on August 29 (McCain’s birthday), followed by a service at North Phoenix Baptist Church on August 30. His body will travel to Washington to lie in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol on August 31, before a service at the Washington National Cathedral on September 1. He was a “lifelong Episcopalian” who attended, but did not join, a Southern Baptist church for at least 17 years; memorial services were scheduled in both denominations.[371][372] He will be buried at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery, next to his Naval Academy classmate Admiral Charles R. Larson.[373]

Tributes were widely given on social media, including from Congressional colleagues, all living former Presidents – Jimmy CarterGeorge H. W. BushBill ClintonGeorge W. BushBarack Obama – and former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Vice President Mike Pence.[374][375][376] Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, German foreign minister Heiko Maas, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and former Vietnamese ambassador to Washington Nguyen Quoc Cuong, also sent condolences.[377][378][379][380] Colonel Trần Trọng Duyệt, who ran the Hỏa Lò Prison when McCain was held there, remarked “At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance. Later on, when he became a US Senator, he and Senator John Kerry greatly contributed to promote [Vietnam]-US relations so I was very fond of him. When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family.”[381] His daughter, Meghan McCain shared her grief, stating that she was present at the moment he died.[382] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he would introduce a resolution to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after McCain.[383]

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has the authority to appoint McCain’s interim replacement until a special election is held in 2020 to determine who will serve the remainder of McCain’s term, which ends in January 2023.[384] Under Arizona law, the appointed replacement must be of the same party as McCain, a Republican.[385] The potential appointees include McCain’s widow Cindy, former Senator Jon Kyl, and former Representatives Matt Salmon and John Shadegg.[386][387]

Prior to his death, McCain requested that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama eulogize him at his funeral, and asked that President Donald Trump not attend.[388][389] Trump reportedly rejected the White House’s plans to release a statement praising McCain’s life, and he said nothing about McCain himself in a tweet that extended condolences to McCain’s family. [390] In addition, the flag at the White House, which had been lowered to half-staff the day of McCain’s death, was raised back to full-staff the next day.[391] As of two days after McCain’s death, the White House had not issued a proclamation for flags to be flown at half-staff until his interment, contrary to the custom to honor a prominent American official, which has usually included a Senator who dies in office.[392] Many governors, both Democratic and Republican, have ordered flags in their states to fly at half-staff until interment.[393]

Political positions

Chart, with jagged pink and blue lines

McCain’s congressional voting scores, from the American Conservative Union (pink line; 100 is most conservative) and Americans for Democratic Action (blue line; 100 is most liberal)[394]

Various advocacy groups have given McCain scores or grades as to how well his votes align with the positions of each group.[395] The American Conservative Union has awarded McCain a lifetime rating of 82 percent through 2015, while McCain has an average lifetime 12 percent “Liberal Quotient” from Americans for Democratic Action through 2015.[396] CrowdPac, which rates politicians based on donations made and received, has given Senator McCain a score of 4.3C with 10C being the most conservative and 10L being the most liberal.[397]

The non-partisan National Journal rates a Senator’s votes by what percentage of the Senate voted more liberally than he or she, and what percentage more conservatively, in three policy areas: economic, social, and foreign. For 2005–2006 (as reported in the 2008 Almanac of American Politics), McCain’s average ratings were as follows: economic policy: 59 percent conservative and 41 percent liberal; social policy: 54 percent conservative and 38 percent liberal; and foreign policy: 56 percent conservative and 43 percent liberal.[398] In 2012, the National Journal gave McCain a composite score of 73 percent conservative and 27 percent liberal,[399] while in 2013 he received a composite score of 60 percent conservative and 40 percent liberal.[400]

Columnists such as Robert Robb and Matthew Continetti have used a formulation devised by William F. Buckley Jr. to describe McCain as “conservative” but not “a conservative”, meaning that while McCain usually tends towards conservative positions, he was not “anchored by the philosophical tenets of modern American conservatism.”[401][402] Following his 2008 presidential election loss, McCain began adopting more orthodox conservative views; the magazine National Journal rated McCain along with seven of his colleagues as the “most conservative” Senators for 2010[403] and he achieved his first 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union for that year.[394] During Barack Obama’s presidency, McCain was one of the top five Republicans most likely to vote with Obama’s position on significant votes; McCain voted with Obama’s position on such votes more than half the time in 2013 and was “censured by the Arizona Republican party for a so-called ‘liberal’ voting record.”[404]

From the late 1990s until 2008, McCain was a board member of Project Vote Smart which was set up by Richard Kimball, his 1986 Senate opponent.[405] The project provides non-partisan information about the political positions of McCain[406] and other candidates for political office. Additionally, McCain used his Senate website to describe his political positions.[407]

Cultural and political image

White-haired man standing at podium and speaking and gesturing with outstretched arm and an outdoor venue

Speaking in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Memorial Day, 2008, wearing his Purple Heart

Four people in a room

McCain and his wife Cindy watch in 2011 as their son Jimmy pins aviator wings on their son Ensign John Sidney McCain IV.

Public opinion of John McCain[408]

McCain’s personal character was a dominant feature of his public image.[409] This image includes the military service of both himself and his family,[410] the circumstances and tensions surrounding the end of his first marriage and beginning of second,[24] his maverick political persona,[114] his temper,[411] his admitted problem of occasional ill-considered remarks,[91] and his close ties to his children from both his marriages.[24]

McCain’s political appeal was more nonpartisan and less ideological compared to many other national politicians.[412] His stature and reputation stemmed partly from his service in the Vietnam War.[413] He also carried physical vestiges of his war wounds, as well as his melanoma surgery.[414] When campaigning, he quipped: “I am older than dirt and have more scars than Frankenstein.”[415]

Writers often extolled McCain for his courage not just in war but in politics, and wrote sympathetically about him.[58][409][413][416] McCain’s shift of political stances and attitudes during and especially after the 2008 presidential campaign, including his self-repudiation of the maverick label, left many writers expressing sadness and wondering what had happened to the McCain they thought they had known.[417][418][419][420] By 2013, some aspects of the older McCain had returned, and his image became that of a kaleidoscope of contradictory tendencies, including, as one writer listed, “the maverick, the former maverick, the curmudgeon, the bridge builder, the war hero bent on transcending the call of self-interest to serve a cause greater than himself, the sore loser, old bull, last lion, loose cannon, happy warrior, elder statesman, lion in winter….”[310]

In his own estimation, the Arizona senator was straightforward and direct, but impatient.[421] Other traits included a penchant for lucky charms,[422] a fondness for hiking,[423] and a sense of humor that sometimes backfired spectacularly, as when he made a joke in 1998 about the Clintons widely deemed not fit to print in newspapers: “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? – Because Janet Reno is her father.”[424][425] McCain subsequently apologized profusely,[426] and the Clinton White House accepted his apology.[427] McCain did not shy away from addressing his shortcomings, and apologizing for them.[91][428] He was known for sometimes being prickly[429] and hot-tempered[430] with Senate colleagues, but his relations with his own Senate staff were more cordial, and inspired loyalty towards him.[431][432] He formed a strong bond with two senators, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, over hawkish foreign policy and overseas travel, and they became dubbed the “Three Amigos”.[300]

McCain acknowledged having said intemperate things in years past,[433] though he also said that many stories have been exaggerated.[434] One psychoanalytic comparison suggests that McCain was not the first presidential candidate to have a temper,[435] and cultural critic Julia Keller argues that voters want leaders who are passionate, engaged, fiery, and feisty.[411] McCain has employed both profanity[436] and shouting on occasion, although such incidents have become less frequent over the years.[437][438] Lieberman has made this observation: “It is not the kind of anger that is a loss of control. He is a very controlled person.”[437] Senator Thad Cochran, who knew McCain for decades and had battled him over earmarks,[439][440] expressed concern about a McCain presidency: “He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”[437] Yet Cochran supported McCain for president when was clear he would win the nomination.[441] The Chicago Tribune editorial board called McCain a patriot, who although sometimes wrong was fearless, and that he deserves to be thought of among the few US senators in history, whose names are more recognizable than some presidents.[442]

All of McCain’s family members were on good terms with him,[24] and he has defended them against some of the negative consequences of his high-profile political lifestyle.[443][444] His family’s military tradition extends to the latest generation: son John Sidney IV (“Jack”) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2009, becoming the fourth generation John S. McCain to do so, and is a helicopter pilot; son James served two tours with the Marines in the Iraq War; and son Doug flew jets in the navy.[24][445][446] His daughter Meghan became a blogging and twittering presence in the debate about the future of the Republican Party following the 2008 elections, and showed some of his maverick tendencies.[447][448]

Awards and honors

President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia awards a National Hero of Georgia order to McCain in January 2010 in Batumi.

GEO National Hero Award BAR.svg
Order of Saint Vladimir, ribbon bar.svg
Order of Freedom of Ukraine.png
Kosovo Order of Freedom.svg
USA Philadelphia Liberty Medal ribbon.svg

In addition to his military honors and decorations, McCain was granted a number of civilian awards and honors.

In 1997, Time magazine named McCain as one of the “25 Most Influential People in America”.[122] In 1999, McCain shared the Profile in Courage Award with Senator Russ Feingoldfor their work towards campaign finance reform.[126] The following year, the same pair shared the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.[449] In 2005, The Eisenhower Institute awarded McCain the Eisenhower Leadership Prize.[450] The prize recognizes individuals whose lifetime accomplishments reflect Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s legacy of integrity and leadership. In 2006, the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award was bestowed upon McCain by the National Park Trust.[451] The same year, McCain was awarded the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Service Award by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, in honor of Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson.[452] In 2007, the World Leadership Forumpresented McCain with the Policymaker of the Year Award; it is given internationally to someone who has “created, inspired or strongly influenced important policy or legislation”.[453] In 2010, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgiaawarded McCain the Order of National Hero, an award never previously given to a non-Georgian.[454] In 2015, the Kiev Patriarchate awarded McCain its own version of the Order of St. Vladimir.[455] In 2016, Allegheny Collegeawarded McCain, along with Vice President Joe Biden, its Prize for Civility in Public Life.[456] In August 2016, Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, awarded McCain with the highest award for foreigners, the Order of Liberty.[457] In 2017, Hashim Thaçi, the President of Kosovo, awarded McCain the “Urdhër i Lirisë” (Order of Freedom) medal for his contribution to the freedom and independence of Kosovo, and its partnership with the U.S.[458]McCain also received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in 2017.[459]

McCain received several honorary degrees from colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. These include ones from Colgate University (LL.D 2000),[460] The Citadel (DPA 2002),[461] Wake Forest University(LL.D May 20, 2002),[462][463] the University of Southern California (DHL May 2004),[464] Northwestern University (LL.D June 17, 2005),[465][466] Liberty University (2006),[467] The New School (2006),[468] and the Royal Military College of Canada (D.MSc June 27, 2013).[469][470][471] He was also made an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin in 2005.[472]

Ancestry

Writings by McCain

Books

Articles and forewords

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017, Story 1: Cover His Assets Comey Leaked Documents To Friend Who Leaked Them To Press — Crime of Mishandling Government Documents with Confession and Evidence — “I Could Be Wrong.” — Trump Winner and Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers — President Trump: No Investigation, No Collusion, No Obstruction, No Evidence — Videos — Story 2: Will Prime Minister May Remain Prime Minister? Yes, But Not For Very Long — Videos — Story 3: President Trump On New Infrastructure and Regulation — Videos

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Image result for cartoons jame comey is a leaker

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The ‘Independent’ Mr. Comey

His prepared testimony shows why he deserved to be fired.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Senate Intelligence Committee released James Comey’s prepared testimony a day early on Wednesday, and it looks like a test of whether Washington can apprehend reality except as another Watergate. Perhaps the defrocked FBI director has a bombshell still to drop. But far from documenting an abuse of power by President Trump, his prepared statement reveals Mr. Comey’s misunderstanding of law enforcement in a democracy.

Mr. Comey’s seven-page narrative recounts his nine encounters with the President-elect and then President, including an appearance at Trump Tower, a one-on-one White House dinner and phone calls. He describes how he briefed Mr. Trump on the Russia counterintelligence investigation and what he calls multiple attempts to “create some sort of patronage relationship.”

But at worst Mr. Comey’s account of Mr. Trump reveals a willful and naive narcissist who believes he can charm or subtly intimidate the FBI director but has no idea how Washington works. This is not new information.

When you’re dining alone in the Green Room with an operator like Mr. Comey—calculating, self-protective, one of the more skilled political knife-fighters of modern times—there are better approaches than asserting “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Of course the righteous director was going to “memorialize” (his word) these conversations as political insurance.

Mr. Trump’s ham-handed demand for loyalty doesn’t seem to extend beyond the events of 2016, however. In Mr. Comey’s telling, the President is preoccupied with getting credit for the election results and resentful that the political class is delegitimizing his victory with “the cloud” of Russian interference when he believes he did nothing wrong.

Mr. Comey also confirms that on at least three occasions he told Mr. Trump that he was not a personal target of the Russia probe. But Mr. Comey wouldn’t make a public statement to the same effect, “most importantly because it would create a duty to correct” if Mr. Trump were implicated. This is odd because the real obligation is to keep quiet until an investigation is complete.

More interesting is that Mr. Trump’s frustration at Mr. Comey’s refusal raises the possibility that the source of Mr. Trump’s self-destructive behavior isn’t a coverup or a bid to obstruct the investigation. The source could simply be Mr. Trump’s wounded pride.

The most troubling part of Mr. Comey’s statement is his belief in what he calls “the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” which he invokes more than once. Independent? This is a false and dangerous view of law enforcement in the American system.

Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover.

Mr. Comey says Mr. Trump strongly suggested in February that he close the Michael Flynn file, but after conferring with his “FBI senior leadership” he decided not to relay the conversation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior. If he thought he was being unduly pressured he had a legal obligation to report, and in our view to resign, but he says he didn’t because “we expected” that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from Russia involvement.

Well, how did he know? Mr. Sessions didn’t recuse himself until two weeks later. Mr. Comey also didn’t tell the acting Deputy AG, who at the time was a U.S. attorney whom Mr. Comey dismisses as someone “who would also not be long in the role.”

This remarkable presumptuousness is the Comey mindset that was on display last year. He broke Justice Department protocol to absolve Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, without the involvement of Justice prosecutors or even telling then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Mr. Comey’s disregard for the chain of legal command is why Mr. Trump was right to fire him, whatever his reasons.

Also on Wednesday two leaders of the intelligence community told the Senate Wednesday that they had not been pressured to cover up anything. “I have never been pressured—I have never felt pressured—to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relation to an ongoing investigation,” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers added that he never been asked “to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump announced that he is nominating respected Justice Department veteran Christopher Wray as the next FBI director. Let’s hope Mr. Wray has a better understanding of the FBI’s role under the Constitution than Mr. Comey does.

Appeared in the June 8, 2017, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-independent-mr-comey-1496878266

Comey: ‘Lordy, I Hope There are Tapes’
AP

COMEY SAYS HE WAS FIRED BECAUSE OF RUSSIA INVESTIGATION


AP Photo
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign.

“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in explosive testimony that threatened to undermine Trump’s presidency.

“I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted,” Comey testified under oath. “That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”

Comey also accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing last month, declaring that the administration then “chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder under his leadership. And in testimony that exposed deep distrust between the president and the veteran lawman, Comey described intense discomfort about their one-on-one conversations, saying he decided he immediately needed to document the discussions in memos.

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI.”

The revelations came as Comey delivered his much anticipated first public telling of his relationship with Trump, speaking at a packed Senate intelligence committee hearing that brought Washington and parts of the country to a standstill as all eyes were glued to screens showing the testimony. The former director immediately dove into the heart of the fraught political controversy around his firing and whether Trump interfered in the bureau’s Russia investigation, as he elaborated on written testimony delivered Wednesday. In that testimony he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his “loyalty” and directly pushed him to “lift the cloud” of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.

Comey said that he declined to do so in large part because of the “duty to correct” that would be created if that situation changed. Comey also said in his written testimony that Trump, in a strange private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed him to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked Comey the key question: “Do you believe this rises to obstruction of justice?”

“I don’t know. That’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out,” Comey responded, referring to the newly appointed special counsel who has taken over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

In a startling disclosure, Comey revealed that after his firing he actually tried to spur the special counsel’s appointment by giving one of his memos about Trump to a friend of his to release to the press.

“My judgment was I need to get that out into the public square,” Comey said.

Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey’s affirmation that he told Trump he was not personally under investigation. Though Comey said he interpreted Trump’s comments as a directive to shut down the Flynn investigation, Kasowitz also maintained in his written statement that Comey’s testimony showed that the president “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey ‘let Flynn go.'”

The Republican National Committee and other White House allies worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing, trying to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress. Republicans and Trump’s own lawyer seized on Comey’s confirmation, in his written testimony, of Trump’s claim that Comey had told him three times the president was not directly under investigation.

Trump himself was expected to dispute Comey’s claims that the president demanded loyalty and asked the FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, according to a person close to the president’s legal team who demanded anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss legal strategy. The president has not yet publicly denied the specifics of Comey’s accounts but has broadly challenged his credibility, tweeting last month Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes'” of the conversations.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey remarked at one point Thursday, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over any claims from the president.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked the question that many Republicans have raised in the weeks since Comey’s firing as one media leak followed another revealing Comey’s claims about Trump’s inappropriate interactions with him.

Discussing the Oval Office meeting where Comey says Trump asked him to back off Flynn, Feinstein asked: “Why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong,’?”

“That’s a great question,” Comey said. “Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation I just took it in.”

The hearing unfolded amid intense political interest, and within a remarkable political context as Comey delivered detrimental testimony about the president who fired him, a president who won election only after Comey damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the final days of the campaign. Clinton has blamed her defeat on Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement that he was re-opening the investigation of her email practices. “If the election were on Oct. 27, I would be your president,” Clinton said last month.

Thursday’s hearing included discussion of that email investigation, as Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer to the issue as a “matter,” not an “investigation.”

“That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey said. “We had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling.”

Many Democrats still blame Comey for Clinton’s loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey last month. The opposite was the case as the firing created an enormous political firestorm that has stalled Trump’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill and taken over Washington.

Under questioning Thursday, Comey strongly asserted the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 election.

“There should be no fuzz on this. The Russians interfered,” Comey stated firmly. “That happened. It’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.”

Trump has begrudgingly accepted the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia interfered with the election. But he has also suggested he doesn’t believe it, saying Russia is a “ruse” and calling the investigation into the matter a “witch hunt.”


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COMEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-08-12-37-50

Former FBI Director James Comey’s planned testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday will provide President Trump’s opponents with plenty of opportunities to attack his conduct, while also giving his supporters the context they need to defend his actions.The seven-page opening statement Comey provided to the committee this week sheds new light on a series of private conversations and meetings between the president and the former FBI director that had previously been described only through anonymous leaks to the press.However, the statement contained few new revelations, and GOP allies — including the Republican National Committee quickly seized on the document to argue Trump had done nothing wrong.Here are seven takeaways from Comey’s opening statement, which he is slated to deliver before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning.Comey really did tell Trump he was not under investigation three times.In his letter last month asking Comey to resign, Trump thanked the former FBI director for telling him, on three occasions, that he was not personally the subject of an FBI probe.On Jan. 6, according to Comey’s statement, the former FBI director sought permission from the bureau’s “leadership team” to inform the president-elect that he was not under investigation.

“That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey wrote. He noted the team concluded that he should indeed tell Trump he was not under investigation “if circumstances warranted” during a “sensitive” conversation at Trump Tower about an unverified dossier of salacious allegations against the president-elect.

“During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance,” Comey wrote.

Then, during a Jan. 27 dinner at the White House, Comey cautioned Trump against calling publicly for an investigation of the salacious dossier by warning him that doing so “might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t.”

Finally, during a March 30 phone call, Comey again told the president he was not the subject of an investigation.

“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that,” Comey noted.

The former FBI director noted, however, that counter-intelligence investigations and criminal investigations differ in their scope and methods.

Comey had far more contact with Trump than with Obama.

The former FBI director noted that he decided to document his conversations with Trump shortly after their first meeting on Jan. 6 at Trump Tower.

“Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward,” Comey wrote in the statement. “This had not been my practice in the past.”

Comey said he had spoken with former President Obama alone just two times throughout his presidency, and said he did not feel compelled to take notes about either encounter.

“I can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months – three in person and six on the phone,” Comey wrote.

Comey did not perceive any interference on the Russia front.

After a Feb. 14 conversation with Trump in the Oval Office, Comey said he felt uncomfortable with comments the president made about his former national security adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn.

Trump asked Comey to “let this go,” referring to an investigation into whether Flynn made misleading statements to FBI agents about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Comey said.

But the former FBI director clarified that he did not believe the president was asking him to abandon the bureau’s probe of Russian meddling in the presidential race.

“I did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign,” Comey noted.

Comey never told Sessions about his concerns.

The former FBI director defended his decision not to alert the attorney general to his concerns in February about Trump by arguing that he did not expect Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the acting deputy attorney general beneath him to remain involved in the Russia investigation for much longer.

“We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.),” Comey noted.

However, Sessions did not recuse himself until his campaign-era contact with the Russian ambassador surfaced in news reports.

Trump told Comey “it would be good” to find out whether his associates “did something wrong.”

Rather than press Comey to close an investigation of his more distant associates, Trump told the former FBI director he would prefer to learn whether any had committed a crime.

“The president went on to say that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him,” Comey wrote in his opening statement.

Several of Trump’s former campaign advisers — such as Carter Page, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort — have come under scrutiny for their activities during the presidential race. All three were dismissed from the campaign long before Trump won the White House in November 2016.

Yet one former campaign hand, Flynn, joined Trump in the administration and has since emerged as a top target of investigative focus. And the president did suggest Comey end his efforts to probe Flynn, although the former FBI director suggested the request fell short of obstruction.

Comey does not describe nearly half of his interactions with Trump.

Although the former FBI director claims he interacted one-on-one with Trump on nine separate occasions, his opening statement describes only five of those conversations.

Comey described all three in-person encounters in the statement he provided to the Senate. However, he described just two of the six phone calls he says he had with Trump between Jan. 6 and April 11, the day Comey said he last spoke with the president.

Comey feared Trump wanted a “patronage relationship.”

Comey said Trump’s unexpected move to host him for a private dinner at the White House on Jan. 27 “was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.”

The former FBI director based that assessment on “[m]y instincts.”

Comey went on to describe an “awkward” moment that occurred when the president described his desire for “loyalty.”

“[T]he president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner,” Comey noted.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/7-takeaways-from-comeys-opening-statement/article/2625257

Obstruction of justice

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of obstructing prosecutors or other (usually government) officials. Common law jurisdictions other than the United States tend to use the wider offense of perverting the course of justice.

Legal overview

Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a person questioned in an investigation, other than a suspect, has lied to the investigating officers. However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent can be used to allow any person questioned by police merely to deny answering questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so. (In such a case, the investigators may subpoena the witness to give testimony under oath in court, though the witness may then exercise their rights, for example in the Fifth Amendment, if they believe their answer may serve to incriminate themselves.) If the person willfully and knowingly tried to protect a suspect (such as by providing a false alibi) or to hide from investigation of their own activities (such as to hide their involvement in another crime), this may leave them liable to prosecution. Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters, destroys, or conceals physical evidence.[1]Obstruction charges may also be laid in unique situations such as refusal to aid a police officer, escape through voluntary action of an officer and refusing to assist prison officers in arresting escaped convicts.

Obstruction can include crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general. It is misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. Most commonly it is prosecuted as a crime for perjury by a non governmental official primarily because of prosecutorial discretion.

Notable examples

  • Richard Nixon was being investigated for obstruction of justice for his alleged role in the cover-up of the break-in at the Watergate hotel during his re-election campaign in 1972. Although it is unknown whether Nixon had foreknowledge of his re-election committee’s “dirty tricks” campaign against Democratic presidential candidates that led to the break-in, he was aware of it after the fact and paid money to keep the participants quiet.
  • Former Vice-Presidential adviser I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice in March 2007 for his role in the investigation of a leak to reporters that named a CIA agent, Valerie Plame. His prison sentence was commuted by President George W. Bush in July 2007, so that Libby was no longer required to serve a two and a half year prison sentence, but was still required to pay a $250,000 fine, be recorded as a convicted felon, obey probation terms, and be disbarred.
  • Conrad Black was convicted of obstruction of justice in July 2007[2] for removing 13 boxes containing financial records from his office in Toronto after they had been sealed by a court order, returning the boxes a few days later.
  • Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice on April 13, 2011 for his testimony in front of the grand jury during the BALCO steroid scandal.[3] The conviction was later overturned by an appellate court.[4]
  • In United States v. Binion, malingering (feigning illness) during a competency evaluation was held to be obstruction of justice and led to an enhanced sentence.[5]

Obstruction trends

“Anticipatory obstruction of justice” has recently appeared on the horizon in cases such as US v. Wolff.[6] However, the operative section, 1519, passed in 2002, has thus far languished in quasi-obscurity. Titled “Destruction, Alteration or Falsification of Records in Federal Investigations and Bankruptcy,” the provision was passed under Section 802 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The text of the statute is relatively straightforward:

Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsified, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under Title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Aside from Section 1519’s 20-year maximum prison sentence (no small benefit to the government in big-dollar fraud loss cases such as Wolff), its primary appeal is that it uniquely removes certain key proof burdens from prosecutors’ collective shoulders.

Prosecutors charging violations of Section 1519 must still establish both of the following:

  • The accused knowingly directed the obstructive act to affect an issue or matter within the jurisdiction of any U.S. department or agency.
  • The accused acted at least “in relation to” or “in contemplation’” of such issue or matter.

Not on the list, however, is the requirement that prosecutors demonstrate to the finder of fact which specific “pending proceeding” the accused attempted to obstruct. That is a significant benefit to the government.[7]

See also

Footnotes

External links

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

Story 2: How Long Will Prime Minister May Remain Prime Minister? — Videos

 

Image result for 2017 uk election resultsImage result for prime minister thereas may visit to queen of england form government june 9, 2017Image result for prime minister thereas may visit to queen of england form government june 9, 2017Image result for prime minister car of united kingdomImage result for 9 june 2017 prime minister may of united kingdom car visiting buckham palace

BBC Calls Theresa May “Political LOSER!” Surprising Outcome Of U.K. Election!

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TABLE-British election results: PM May falls short of majority

LONDON, June 9 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May faced calls to quit on Friday after her election gamble to win a stronger mandate backfired as she lost her parliamentary majority, throwing British politics into turmoil and potentially disrupting Brexit negotiations. Below is a running total for how many seats each party holds. May is unable to get the 326 seats her Conservative party needs for an outright majority. She would need nine more seats, with only two more seats left to declare Party Seats so far Conservative 317 Labour 261 Lib Dems 12 SNP 35 Greens 1 UKIP 0 DUP 10 Other 12 Unreported 2 (Reporting by Alistair Smout and Georgina Prodhan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4586860/TABLE-British-election-results-seats-far-party.html#ixzz4jY3jgxZV

 

Humbled Theresa May says losing Tory candidates ‘didn’t deserve it’ but vows to be PM for five more years with support of the DUP… but do her rivals have other ideas?

  • Prime Minister Theresa May has lost seats in the general election in a stunning reversal of her hopes
  • Ashen faced Mrs May vows to stay on despite hammering insisting she can provide ‘certainty’ for the country
  • Mrs May said her government will keep Britain safe by cracking down on terrorism in the recent attacks
  • Serious questions remain over how terrorists behind the atrocities slipped through the net on her watch 
  • She has struck a deal with the 10 MPs from the DUP and is going to see the Queen to ask to form government 
  • But Tories are already breaking ranks to make clear that Mrs May must consider her position after the result
  • Mrs May is expected to reshuffle her cabinet this evening in an attempt to keep a grip on power
  • Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded that Mrs May ‘go’ and make way for government led by him
  • With just one seat left to count, Conservatives are down from 330 to 318, and Labour up from 232 to 262
  • Ministers including Jane Ellison and Ben Gummer have been ousted in a surge by Mr Corbyn’s party 
  • The US woke to the news of a Tory humiliation and President Donald Trump said the result was ‘surprising’ 
  • Fully 23 hours after polls closed across UK, Kensington was claimed by Labour to draw a line under the results 

Theresa May has finally apologised to the Tory MPs who lost their seats overnight but refused to say if her election disaster had weakened her hand in Brexit negotiations

Theresa May has finally apologised to the Tory MPs who lost their seats overnight but refused to say if her election disaster had weakened her hand in Brexit negotiations

A humbled Theresa May has finally apologised to defeated Tory MPs and pledged to stay for five more years – but is now too ‘weak’ to sack rivals including Philip Hammond and Boris Johnson, it was revealed today.

The Prime Minister’s political career is hanging by a thread after she promised to offer ‘certainty’ for Britain as PM – despite the Tories suffering humiliating losses when her election gamble backfired.

She will now rely on the support of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland to prop her up when she had hoped for a landslide victory.

Mrs May has said Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Brexit Secretary David Davis and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon – five favourites to replace her as leader – will keep their jobs.

The Chancellor and Foreign Minister could have been ‘goners’ but she is now ‘too weak to sack them’, a source said, while another expert suggested she has has been ‘taken prisoner’ by her Cabinet colleagues.

Earlier Mrs May stood in Downing Street and declared her determination to carry on for a full five-year term after getting permission from the Queen to form a government, even though she spectacularly lost her Commons majority overnight.

Incredibly she failed to mention that she had humiliatingly lost seats to Labour after calling the election three years early in a bid to capitalise on sky-high poll ratings.

Around two hours later she appeared on TV again and apologised to defeated Tory MPs after she was accused ‘lacking humility’.

Mrs May acknowledged that she had called an election three years early hoping for a ‘large’ majority, adding: ‘That was not the result that we secured’.

She said: ‘As I reflect on the result, I will reflect on what we need to do in the future to take the party forward.

‘I am sorry for those candidates and hard-working party workers who weren’t successful but also particularly sorry for those colleagues who were MPs or ministers who had contributed so much to our country and who lost their seats and didn’t deserve to lose their seats.’

Mrs May today refused to say if her election disaster has killed off Britain’s chances of a good deal to leave the EU – with former Chancellor George Osborne saying: ‘Hard Brexit went in the rubbish bin last night’.

Senior MPs such as Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan have openly called for Mrs May to step aside – with the latter suggesting she should go within ‘weeks or months’ because her credibility is shot.

One senior Tory MP told ITV News: ‘We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us’.

Mrs May declared her determination to carry on in Downing Street after going to see the Queen to request permission to form a government – even though she has lost her Commons majority

The PM was flanked by husband Philip on the steps of No10 as she delivered her statement after seeing the Queen today

The PM was flanked by husband Philip on the steps of No10 as she delivered her statement after seeing the Queen today

Mrs May was welcomed back into Downing Street by staff after the Queen gave her permission to form a new government

Mrs May was welcomed back into Downing Street by staff after the Queen gave her permission to form a new government

But the Tory leader looked slightly awkward being clapped by No10 staff after her poor showing in the general election

But the Tory leader looked slightly awkward being clapped by No10 staff after her poor showing in the general election

ELECTION 2017 RESULTS

UK results

Show
previous

SeatsVotes

650 of 650 seats declared 326 seats needed for majority
Con Theresa May (48.92%)
318
8short
Prev. held: 331
Lab Jeremy Corbyn (40.31%)
262
64short
Prev. held: 232
SNP Angus Robertson (5.38%)
35
291short
Prev. held: 56
Lib Dem Tim Farron (1.85%)
12
314short
Prev. held: 8
DUP Arlene Foster (1.54%)
10
316short
Prev. held: 8
Green Caroline Lucas (0.15%)
1
325short
Prev. held: 1
UKIP Paul Nuttall
0
Prev. held: 1
Lab vs. ConTurnout: 32,196,224 (68.73%)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4586042/Stunning-exit-poll-suggests-Theresa-LOST-seats.html#ixzz4jYp3DZSs

 

Story 3: President Trump On New Infrastructure and Regulation — Videos

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

~President Ronald Reagan

January 20, 1981: From Reagan’s Inaugural Address.

“Prosperity is the best protector of principle.”

~ Mark Twain

Trump launches week focused on improving US infrastructure

President Trump’s Plan to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure

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Image result for senate committee questions former fbi director james comey june 8, 2017

Image result for senate committee questions former fbi director james comey june 8, 2017

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Story 1: Former FBI Director James Comey Answers Some Senator Questions And President Trump’s Lawyer Responds To Comey Testimony — Videos —

 

Full hearing: James Comey testifies to Senate intel committee regarding Russia-Trump

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FBI Director James Comey EMOTIONAL Opening Statement in Testimony at Senate Hearing 6/8/2017

Sen. Risch to Comey: Trump’s exact words didn’t direct or order you to let go of Flynn probe

WATCH LIVE: James Comey Testifies on President Trump & Russia Investigation at Senate Hearing

Trump Attorney Responds To Testimony By James Comey

Comey: Trump Did Not Ask To Stop Russia Investigation

COMEY HEARING: COMEY FINALLY ANSWERS – “Do You Believe Donald Trump Colluded With Russia?”

Comey: “I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in”

COMEY HEARING: On CLINTON EMAILS – “Brutally Unfair” To Call For Special Counsel. “No Case There!”

Marco Rubio Crushes Democrat Media ‘Collusion’ Narrative at Comey Hearing

James Comey Admits Loretta Lynch Tried To Cover Up Hillary Clinton Investigation

James Comey Admits He Leaked Trump Memo To Reporters

FULL TESTIMONY: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee

Many news stories about Russia probe are dead wrong, Comey tells Sen. Lankford

Rubio questions former FBI Director James Comey

Comey ‘never initiated a communication with the president,’ he tells Sen. King

Comey to Sen. Cornyn: FBI agents have duty to report crime

Sen. Harris asks Comey if it was appropriate for Sessions to be involved in firing after recusal

Heinrich Questions Former FBI Director James Comey In Senate Intel Committee Hearing

Comey: ‘I’m A Little Confused Senator’

Former FBI director James Comey full testimony on Donald Trump at Senate hearing

Comey’s testimony makes things better for Trump: Fmr. DOJ official

 

The ‘Independent’ Mr. Comey

His prepared testimony shows why he deserved to be fired.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7.

The desk in the Hart Senate Office Building from which former FBI director James Comey will testify, June 7. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

The Senate Intelligence Committee released James Comey’s prepared testimony a day early on Wednesday, and it looks like a test of whether Washington can apprehend reality except as another Watergate. Perhaps the defrocked FBI director has a bombshell still to drop. But far from documenting an abuse of power by President Trump, his prepared statement reveals Mr. Comey’s misunderstanding of law enforcement in a democracy.

Mr. Comey’s seven-page narrative recounts his nine encounters with the President-elect and then President, including an appearance at Trump Tower, a one-on-one White House dinner and phone calls. He describes how he briefed Mr. Trump on the Russia counterintelligence investigation and what he calls multiple attempts to “create some sort of patronage relationship.”

But at worst Mr. Comey’s account of Mr. Trump reveals a willful and naive narcissist who believes he can charm or subtly intimidate the FBI director but has no idea how Washington works. This is not new information.

When you’re dining alone in the Green Room with an operator like Mr. Comey—calculating, self-protective, one of the more skilled political knife-fighters of modern times—there are better approaches than asserting “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Of course the righteous director was going to “memorialize” (his word) these conversations as political insurance.

Mr. Trump’s ham-handed demand for loyalty doesn’t seem to extend beyond the events of 2016, however. In Mr. Comey’s telling, the President is preoccupied with getting credit for the election results and resentful that the political class is delegitimizing his victory with “the cloud” of Russian interference when he believes he did nothing wrong.

Mr. Comey also confirms that on at least three occasions he told Mr. Trump that he was not a personal target of the Russia probe. But Mr. Comey wouldn’t make a public statement to the same effect, “most importantly because it would create a duty to correct” if Mr. Trump were implicated. This is odd because the real obligation is to keep quiet until an investigation is complete.

More interesting is that Mr. Trump’s frustration at Mr. Comey’s refusal raises the possibility that the source of Mr. Trump’s self-destructive behavior isn’t a coverup or a bid to obstruct the investigation. The source could simply be Mr. Trump’s wounded pride.

The most troubling part of Mr. Comey’s statement is his belief in what he calls “the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch,” which he invokes more than once. Independent? This is a false and dangerous view of law enforcement in the American system.

Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover.

Mr. Comey says Mr. Trump strongly suggested in February that he close the Michael Flynn file, but after conferring with his “FBI senior leadership” he decided not to relay the conversation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior. If he thought he was being unduly pressured he had a legal obligation to report, and in our view to resign, but he says he didn’t because “we expected” that Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from Russia involvement.

Well, how did he know? Mr. Sessions didn’t recuse himself until two weeks later. Mr. Comey also didn’t tell the acting Deputy AG, who at the time was a U.S. attorney whom Mr. Comey dismisses as someone “who would also not be long in the role.”

This remarkable presumptuousness is the Comey mindset that was on display last year. He broke Justice Department protocol to absolve Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, without the involvement of Justice prosecutors or even telling then Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Mr. Comey’s disregard for the chain of legal command is why Mr. Trump was right to fire him, whatever his reasons.

Also on Wednesday two leaders of the intelligence community told the Senate Wednesday that they had not been pressured to cover up anything. “I have never been pressured—I have never felt pressured—to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relation to an ongoing investigation,” said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers added that he never been asked “to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump announced that he is nominating respected Justice Department veteran Christopher Wray as the next FBI director. Let’s hope Mr. Wray has a better understanding of the FBI’s role under the Constitution than Mr. Comey does.

Appeared in the June 8, 2017, print edition.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-independent-mr-comey-1496878266

Comey: ‘Lordy, I Hope There are Tapes’
AP

COMEY SAYS HE WAS FIRED BECAUSE OF RUSSIA INVESTIGATION


AP Photo
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign.

“It’s my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation,” Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in explosive testimony that threatened to undermine Trump’s presidency.

“I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted,” Comey testified under oath. “That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”

Comey also accused the Trump administration of spreading “lies, plain and simple” about him and the FBI in the aftermath of his abrupt firing last month, declaring that the administration then “chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI” by claiming the bureau was in disorder under his leadership. And in testimony that exposed deep distrust between the president and the veteran lawman, Comey described intense discomfort about their one-on-one conversations, saying he decided he immediately needed to document the discussions in memos.

“I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document,” Comey said. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI.”

The revelations came as Comey delivered his much anticipated first public telling of his relationship with Trump, speaking at a packed Senate intelligence committee hearing that brought Washington and parts of the country to a standstill as all eyes were glued to screens showing the testimony. The former director immediately dove into the heart of the fraught political controversy around his firing and whether Trump interfered in the bureau’s Russia investigation, as he elaborated on written testimony delivered Wednesday. In that testimony he had already disclosed that Trump demanded his “loyalty” and directly pushed him to “lift the cloud” of investigation by declaring publicly the president was not the target of the FBI probe into his campaign’s Russia ties.

Comey said that he declined to do so in large part because of the “duty to correct” that would be created if that situation changed. Comey also said in his written testimony that Trump, in a strange private encounter near the grandfather clock in the Oval Office, pushed him to end his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia asked Comey the key question: “Do you believe this rises to obstruction of justice?”

“I don’t know. That’s Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out,” Comey responded, referring to the newly appointed special counsel who has taken over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

In a startling disclosure, Comey revealed that after his firing he actually tried to spur the special counsel’s appointment by giving one of his memos about Trump to a friend of his to release to the press.

“My judgment was I need to get that out into the public square,” Comey said.

Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, seized on Comey’s affirmation that he told Trump he was not personally under investigation. Though Comey said he interpreted Trump’s comments as a directive to shut down the Flynn investigation, Kasowitz also maintained in his written statement that Comey’s testimony showed that the president “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey ‘let Flynn go.'”

The Republican National Committee and other White House allies worked feverishly to lessen any damage from the hearing, trying to undermine Comey’s credibility by issuing press releases and even ads pointing to a past instance where the FBI had had to clean up the director’s testimony to Congress. Republicans and Trump’s own lawyer seized on Comey’s confirmation, in his written testimony, of Trump’s claim that Comey had told him three times the president was not directly under investigation.

Trump himself was expected to dispute Comey’s claims that the president demanded loyalty and asked the FBI director to drop the investigation into Flynn, according to a person close to the president’s legal team who demanded anonymity because of not being authorized to discuss legal strategy. The president has not yet publicly denied the specifics of Comey’s accounts but has broadly challenged his credibility, tweeting last month Comey “better hope there are no ‘tapes'” of the conversations.

“Lordy, I hope there are tapes,” Comey remarked at one point Thursday, suggesting such evidence would back up his account over any claims from the president.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked the question that many Republicans have raised in the weeks since Comey’s firing as one media leak followed another revealing Comey’s claims about Trump’s inappropriate interactions with him.

Discussing the Oval Office meeting where Comey says Trump asked him to back off Flynn, Feinstein asked: “Why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong,’?”

“That’s a great question,” Comey said. “Maybe if I were stronger I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation I just took it in.”

The hearing unfolded amid intense political interest, and within a remarkable political context as Comey delivered detrimental testimony about the president who fired him, a president who won election only after Comey damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton, in the final days of the campaign. Clinton has blamed her defeat on Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement that he was re-opening the investigation of her email practices. “If the election were on Oct. 27, I would be your president,” Clinton said last month.

Thursday’s hearing included discussion of that email investigation, as Comey disclosed that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer to the issue as a “matter,” not an “investigation.”

“That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey said. “We had an investigation open at the time so that gave me a queasy feeling.”

Many Democrats still blame Comey for Clinton’s loss, leading Trump to apparently believe they would applaud him for firing Comey last month. The opposite was the case as the firing created an enormous political firestorm that has stalled Trump’s legislative agenda on Capitol Hill and taken over Washington.

Under questioning Thursday, Comey strongly asserted the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 election.

“There should be no fuzz on this. The Russians interfered,” Comey stated firmly. “That happened. It’s about as unfake as you can possibly get.”

Trump has begrudgingly accepted the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia interfered with the election. But he has also suggested he doesn’t believe it, saying Russia is a “ruse” and calling the investigation into the matter a “witch hunt.”


http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COMEY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-08-12-37-50

Former FBI Director James Comey’s planned testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday will provide President Trump’s opponents with plenty of opportunities to attack his conduct, while also giving his supporters the context they need to defend his actions.The seven-page opening statement Comey provided to the committee this week sheds new light on a series of private conversations and meetings between the president and the former FBI director that had previously been described only through anonymous leaks to the press.However, the statement contained few new revelations, and GOP allies — including the Republican National Committee quickly seized on the document to argue Trump had done nothing wrong.Here are seven takeaways from Comey’s opening statement, which he is slated to deliver before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning.

Comey really did tell Trump he was not under investigation three times.

In his letter last month asking Comey to resign, Trump thanked the former FBI director for telling him, on three occasions, that he was not personally the subject of an FBI probe.

On Jan. 6, according to Comey’s statement, the former FBI director sought permission from the bureau’s “leadership team” to inform the president-elect that he was not under investigation.

“That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him,” Comey wrote. He noted the team concluded that he should indeed tell Trump he was not under investigation “if circumstances warranted” during a “sensitive” conversation at Trump Tower about an unverified dossier of salacious allegations against the president-elect.

“During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance,” Comey wrote.

Then, during a Jan. 27 dinner at the White House, Comey cautioned Trump against calling publicly for an investigation of the salacious dossier by warning him that doing so “might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t.”

Finally, during a March 30 phone call, Comey again told the president he was not the subject of an investigation.

“I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that,” Comey noted.

The former FBI director noted, however, that counter-intelligence investigations and criminal investigations differ in their scope and methods.

Comey had far more contact with Trump than with Obama.

The former FBI director noted that he decided to document his conversations with Trump shortly after their first meeting on Jan. 6 at Trump Tower.

“Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward,” Comey wrote in the statement. “This had not been my practice in the past.”

Comey said he had spoken with former President Obama alone just two times throughout his presidency, and said he did not feel compelled to take notes about either encounter.

“I can recall nine one-on-one conversations with President Trump in four months – three in person and six on the phone,” Comey wrote.

Comey did not perceive any interference on the Russia front.

After a Feb. 14 conversation with Trump in the Oval Office, Comey said he felt uncomfortable with comments the president made about his former national security adviser, Gen. Mike Flynn.

Trump asked Comey to “let this go,” referring to an investigation into whether Flynn made misleading statements to FBI agents about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, Comey said.

But the former FBI director clarified that he did not believe the president was asking him to abandon the bureau’s probe of Russian meddling in the presidential race.

“I did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign,” Comey noted.

Comey never told Sessions about his concerns.

The former FBI director defended his decision not to alert the attorney general to his concerns in February about Trump by arguing that he did not expect Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the acting deputy attorney general beneath him to remain involved in the Russia investigation for much longer.

“We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.),” Comey noted.

However, Sessions did not recuse himself until his campaign-era contact with the Russian ambassador surfaced in news reports.

Trump told Comey “it would be good” to find out whether his associates “did something wrong.”

Rather than press Comey to close an investigation of his more distant associates, Trump told the former FBI director he would prefer to learn whether any had committed a crime.

“The president went on to say that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him,” Comey wrote in his opening statement.

Several of Trump’s former campaign advisers — such as Carter Page, Roger Stone and Paul Manafort — have come under scrutiny for their activities during the presidential race. All three were dismissed from the campaign long before Trump won the White House in November 2016.

Yet one former campaign hand, Flynn, joined Trump in the administration and has since emerged as a top target of investigative focus. And the president did suggest Comey end his efforts to probe Flynn, although the former FBI director suggested the request fell short of obstruction.

Comey does not describe nearly half of his interactions with Trump.

Although the former FBI director claims he interacted one-on-one with Trump on nine separate occasions, his opening statement describes only five of those conversations.

Comey described all three in-person encounters in the statement he provided to the Senate. However, he described just two of the six phone calls he says he had with Trump between Jan. 6 and April 11, the day Comey said he last spoke with the president.

Comey feared Trump wanted a “patronage relationship.”

Comey said Trump’s unexpected move to host him for a private dinner at the White House on Jan. 27 “was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship.”

The former FBI director based that assessment on “[m]y instincts.”

Comey went on to describe an “awkward” moment that occurred when the president described his desire for “loyalty.”

“[T]he president said, ‘I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’ I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner,” Comey noted.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/7-takeaways-from-comeys-opening-statement/article/2625257

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The Pronk Pops Show 812, December 12, 2016, Story 1: Russian Agents of Influence in Democratic Party Outed Hillary Clinton/DNC (Inside Job) — Putin Payback for Libyan Double Cross — Fake News? or Real News? — What Difference Does It Make? — He Came, He Saw, Clinton Lost — Trump Won — Live With It — Move On — Forward With Trump! — What Crimes Clinton Covered-up By Destroying 33,000 Emails? — Videos — Story 2: Obama Recession in 2017 — Trump Boom in 2018 — Videos

Posted on December 13, 2016. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Defense Spending, Empires, European Union, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Law, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Russia, Senate, Spying, Syria, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year

 Broadcasts & Podcasts Will Resume January 9, 2017

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 812: December 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 811: December 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 767: September 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 766: September 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 765: September 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 764: September 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 763: September 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 761: September 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 760: September 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 759: September 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 758: September 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 757: September 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 756: September 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 755: September 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 754: September 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 753: September 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 752: September 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 751: September 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 750: September 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 749: September 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 748: September 1, 2016

Story 1: Russian Agents of Influence in Democratic Party Outed Hillary Clinton/DNC (Inside Job) — Putin Payback for Libyan Double Cross — Fake News? or Real News? — What Difference Does It Make? — He Came, He Saw, Clinton Lost — Trump Won — Live With It — Move On — Forward With Trump! — What Crimes Clinton Covered-up By Destroying 33,000 Emails? — Videos

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Tomi Lahren – The Blame Game Continues | Final Thoughts  

Tomi Lahren – The Real “Fake News” 12/08/16 | Final Thoughts

FULL: Bill O’Reilly Interviews Tomi Lahren – Fox News

Donald Trump at Fox News Sunday Special – Full Interview on Russia Hacking Election

Fox News Sunday 12/11/2016: Interview with Donald Trump

Kellyanne Conway MOCKS Hillary Clinton and Democrats, “They’re a BUNCH of Wrist Flickers” – WHAT?

WIKILEAKS Assange says Clinton election hack was ‘inside job’ NOT Russia

Published on Dec 14, 2016

WIKILEAKS BOMBSHELL: Assange ally says Clinton election hack was ‘inside job’ NOT Russia

AN ally of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said the hack of the Democratic Party in the run up to the US elections was not Russia but instead an ‘inside job’.
Former British ambassador Craig Murray said he has met the person who handed over the e-mails and they WERE from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Clinton and Trump Clash Over Alleged Russian Hack of DNC at the First Presidential Debate

Trump Benefited From Russia Hacking Suggests Obama Spokesman

JUDGE “RUSSIA DID NOT HACK THE ELECTION”! CHAOS! CHUCK TODD AND REINCE PRIEBUS GO AT IT!

BREAKING: WikiLeaks Just ENDED Russia Hacking Rumors!See Who Is Really Behind The DNC Leaks!Assange?

WIKILEAKS BOMBSHELL: Assange ally says Clinton election hack was ‘inside job’ NOT Russia.Wikileaks!

The Truth About Fake News | Russia Hacked U.S. Election For Donald Trump?

Democrat hasn’t heard anything from intelligent sources on Russian hacking the election

HEATED EXCHANGE: Tuck vs Democrat on Russian Election Hacking

Corporate Media & Democrats Play Russia FEAR Card; Hide Hillary Clinton’s Russian Record

Def Secretary Gates: Obama Double-Crossed Me

US Russian Cyber Attack Election Propaganda to Cover Clinton Dem Corruption Revealed in Wikileaks

Speaking Of ‘Fake News’!! Rachel Maddow Was So Happy Spewing Out Fake Polls!!

MSNBC Apologizes for Fake News

Globalists Are To Blame For Their Collapse, Not Russia

CIA Agent Admits “No Evidence” for “Fact” of Election Tampering

Clinton Refuses To Take The Blame

Paul Jay and Abby Martin on Trump and ‘Fake News’

The Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes John Podesta

Published on Nov 5, 2016

With the Wikileaks release of thousands of emails belonging to John Podesta, very little is known in US society about Podesta himself. While he’s maintained a low profile, John Podesta is actually considered one of Washington’s biggest players, and one of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the world.

In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin explores John Podesta’s political rise, his vast network of corporate connections and his think tank “Center for American Progress.” Learn why the Podestas and the Clintons are a match made in ruling class heaven.

Abby Martin on Hillary Clinton’s Hunger for Endless Wars

Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents

Global Empire – The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part Two]

Published on Aug 10, 2016

Tariq Ali talks to investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, about his revelations concerning the chemical attack at Ghouta, Syria in August 2013.

Image result for ship used to destroy Syrian chemicals weapons

Image result for ship used to destroy Syrian chemicals weapons cape ray

Image result for ship used to destroy Syrian chemicals weapons

Image result for ship used to destroy Syrian chemicals weapons

Image result for ship used to destroy Syrian chemicals weapons cape ray

Image result for cartoons branco russian hacking

Image result for cartoons branco russian hackingImage result for cartoons branco russian hacking

Image result for cartoons branco russian hacking

Global Empire – The World According to Seymour Hersh [Part One]

Published on Aug 10, 2016

Tariq Ali talks to investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh, about the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011 and describes what the Americans and Pakistanis knew about his whereabouts.

Glenn Greenwald: Why Did Trump Win? Blame the Failed Policies of the Democratic Party

GREAT INTERVIEW: Stephen Cohen Analyzes US Prospects with Russia after Trump’s Win

John Pilger talks on RT about Trump, Very Interesting Interview

2016 RED ALERT! PUTIN HAS LEFT THE NEW WORLD ORDER AND IS FIGHTING THEM

Putin Tells The West A Dirty Little Sercet! The New World Order Is terrified!

Putin: US / NATO is irreversibly pushing the world towards nuclear war

Biggest News Story Of The Year! And you’ve never heard about it. Until Now.

McCain Steps On Gen Dunford To Protect Establishment Elite War Option in Syria

No-fly zone would require war with Syria and Russia – top US general

Putin Issues No Fly Zone, Puts Obama On Notice!

THEY WILL DESTROY THE ELITE! Vladimir Putin And Donald Trump Have First phone Call

NATO Now In Declared War With Russia!

The Libya Gamble: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Push for War & the Making of a Failed State

Published on Mar 3, 2016

http://democracynow.org – The New York Times has published a major two-part exposé titled “The Libya Gamble” on how then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed President Obama to begin bombing Libya five years ago this month. Today, Libya is a failed state and a haven for terrorists. How much should Hillary Clinton be blamed for the crisis? We speak to journalist Scott Shane of The New York Times.

Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: http://democracynow.org

‘Greater share of oil production’ Hillary Clinton emails reveal motives of Libya intervention

Libya 5 years after NATO intervention: From one of richest nations in Africa to most troubled

How Will History Judge U.S., Coalition Intervention in Libya?

Global Empire – US 2016: Trump or Hillary?

Hillary Clinton & The Truth About Libya, watch this & you will vote Bernie Sanders P3

Published on May 17, 2016

Minute 23 Dr Derbesh states his feelings about Hillary Clinton.

Tariq Ali talks to Professor Mabruk Derbesh, formerly University of Tripoli, now in exile, about the worsening state of affairs in Libya. May 2016. Dr Derbesh was opposed to Gadaffi, but now is shocked at how how his country was “liberated”.

Original can be found http://videos.telesurtv.net/en/video/…
Part 1 can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvSi6…

Hillary Clinton & the truth about Libya: Watch this & you will vote for Bernie Sanders!

Semantics – The Rise and Fall of Muammar al Gaddafi

Gaddafi The Truth About Libya- Documentary

Putin: Who gave NATO right to kill Gaddafi?

This Is How a No-Fly Zone Actually Gets Enforced

Debate The Libyan Intervention: Humanitarian or an Aggression?

Inside Story – NATO’s intervention in Libya

U.N. approves Libya no-fly zone

CNN: UN approves no-fly zone in Libya

CNN: A closer look at Libyan no-fly zone

EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails – they were handed over to him at a D.C. park by an intermediary for ‘disgusted’ Democratic whistleblowers

  • Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and associate of Julian Assange, told the Dailymail.com  he flew to Washington, D.C. for emails
  • He claims he had a clandestine hand-off in a wooded area near American University with one of the email sources 
  • The leakers’ motivation was ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the  ’tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders’
  • Murray says: ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks’
  • ‘Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,’ Murray insists
  • Murray is a controversial figure who was relieved of his post as British ambassador amid allegations of misconduct but is close to Wikileaks

A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by ‘disgusted’ whisteblowers – and not hacked by Russia.

Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.

‘Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’ said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’

His account contradicts directly the version of how thousands of Democratic emails were published before the election being advanced by U.S. intelligence.

Craig Murray (left), former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (right), told the Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September

Murray is a controversial figure who was removed from his post as a British ambassador amid allegations of misconduct. He was cleared of those but left the diplomatic service in acrimony.

His links to Wikileaks are well known and while his account is likely to be seen as both unprovable and possibly biased, it is also the first intervention by Wikileaks since reports surfaced last week that the CIA believed Russia hacked the Clinton emails to help hand the election to Donald Trump.

Murray’s claims about the origins of the Clinton campaign emails comes as U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly confident that Russian hackers infiltrated both the Democratic National Committee and the email account of top Clinton aide John Podesta.

In Podesta’s case, his account appeared to have been compromised through a basic ‘phishing’ scheme, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly told members of Congress during classified briefings that they believe Russians passed the documents on to Wikileaks as part of an influence operation to swing the election in favor of Donald Trump.

But Murray insisted that the DNC and Podesta emails published by Wikileaks did not come from the Russians, and were given to the whistleblowing group by Americans who had authorized access to the information.

‘Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,’  Murray said. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’

He said the leakers were motivated by ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.’

Murray said he retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.

Murray claims he met with the person who passed the emails over in a Washington, D.C. part near American University

Murray claims he met with the person who passed the emails over in a Washington, D.C. part near American University

His account cannot be independently verified but is in line with previous statements by Wikileaks – which was the organization that published the Podesta and DNC emails.

Wikileaks published the DNC messages in July and the Podesta messages in October. The messages revealed efforts by some DNC officials to undermine the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was running against Hillary Clinton.

Others revealed that Clinton aides were concerned about potential conflicts and mismanagement at the Clinton Foundation.

Murray declined to say where the sources worked and how they had access to the information, to shield their identities.

He suggested that Podesta’s emails might be ‘of legitimate interest to the security services’ in the U.S., due to his communications with Saudi Arabia lobbyists and foreign officials.

Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election.

‘I don’t understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn’t true,’ he said. ‘Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that.’

Murray was a vocal critic of human rights abuses in Uzbekistan while serving as ambassador between 2002 and 2004, a stance that pitted him against the UK Foreign Office.

He describes himself as a ‘close associate’ of Julian Assange and has spoken out in support of the Wikileaks founder who has faced rape allegations and is currently confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange has similarly disputed that charges that Wikileaks received the leaked emails from Russian sources.

‘The Clinton camp has been able to project a neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything,’ Assange told John Pilger during an interview in November.

‘Hillary Clinton has stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 US intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false – we can say that the Russian government is not the source.’

Murray suggested that John Podesta's emails might be 'of legitimate interest to the security services' in the U.S., due to his communications with Saudi Arabia lobbyists and foreign officials

Murray suggested that John Podesta’s emails might be ‘of legitimate interest to the security services’ in the U.S., due to his communications with Saudi Arabia lobbyists and foreign officials

The Washington Post reported last Friday that U.S. intelligence agencies had ‘identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails.’

The paper said U.S. senators were presented with information tying Russia to the leaks during a recent briefing by intelligence officials.

‘It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,’ a senior U.S. official familiar with the briefing told the Post. ‘That’s the consensus view.’

The paper said U.S. senators were presented with information tying Russia to the leaks during a recent briefing by intelligence officials.

‘It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,’ a senior U.S. official familiar with the briefing told the Post. ‘That’s the consensus view.’

The Obama administration has been examining Russia’s potential role in trying to influence the presidential election. Officials said Russians hacked the Republican National Committee, but did not release that information in a deliberate effort to damage Clinton and protect Donald Trump.

Several congressional committees are also looking into the suspected Russian interference.

While there is a consensus on Capitol Hill that Russia hacked U.S. political groups and officials, some Republicans say it’s not clear whether the motive was to try to swing the election or just to collect intelligence.

‘Now whether they intended to interfere to the degree that they were trying to elect a certain candidate, I think that’s the subject of investigation,’ said Sen. John McCain on CBS Face the Nation. ‘But facts are stubborn things, they did hack into this campaign.’

President elect Donald Trump raised doubts about the reports and said this was an ‘excuse’ by Democrats to explain Clinton’s November loss.

‘It’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,’ said Trump on Fox News Sunday.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html#ixzz4SwyHoZs8

WikiLeaks: Seth Rich Leaked Clinton Emails, Not Russia

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange suggests that Seth Rich leaked the Clinton emails
WikiLeaks have suggested that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked the Clinton and Podesta emails, and not Russian hackers as is widely reported.

According to a new interview in the U.K.’s Daily mail newspaper, WikiLeaks say that U.S. intelligence reports suggesting that Russia interfered with the U.S. elections to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary are “absolutely wrong”.

Alexanderhiggins.com reports:

In the interview Wikileaks envoy Craig Murray and former British ambassador stated the he personally flew to the United States and was handed both the DNC emails and the Podesta emails.

Murray told the Daily Mail the emails came from DNC insider with legal access to the emails who had knowledge of the corruption within the Clinton Foundation leaked the emails because he was frustrated with the DNC rigging the Democratic primaries against Bernie Sanders.

Murray stated regardless of whether Russia hacked any emails or not the Wikileaks emails did not come from Russia.

‘Neither of the leaks came from the Russians,’ Murray said. ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.’

He said the motivation behind the leaks was ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.’

The new information may likely lead U.S. intelligence sources to the more information about the source of the leak given they will be able to cross-reference Murray’s flight records and cross-reference satellite and CCTV cameras during the time Murray was in Washington.

Murray told the Express that the person that who handed over the e-mails was from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Murray’s statements now officially corroborate prior claims initially made by Director Oliver Stone who suggested the leak was most likely an inside job in an interview with CNN three months ago.

Wikileaks is also retweeting confirming that Russia was not their source.

Although Wikileaks still is not officially naming their source Wikileaks is adding more fuel to the fire fueling the conspiracy that their source was suspiciously murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

As Buzzfeed reported:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange floated the possibility on Tuesday that a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer was an informant for the organization.

“Whistleblowers often take very significant efforts to bring us material and often at very significant risks,” Assange said in an interview to be aired Tuesday on the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur. “There’s a 27-year-old who works for the DNC and who was shot in the back, murdered, just a few weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the streets in Washington.”

Seth Rich, a DNC employee who did voter outreach, was shot to death last month early in the morning in Washington, D.C. The case is unsolved and police have speculated it was an attempted robbery.

On Reddit, Rich’s death has become the source of theories about whether he was involved in the leaks of emails and files from the Democratic National Committee last month. US intelligence officials have linked the leak to a Russian hack, though there has been no official conclusion on the matter.

“I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that,” Assange added, when asked what he was alleging. “We don’t comment on who our sources are.”

Asked by interviewer Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal why he would speculate about someone being shot, Assange said it showed “our sources face serious risks.”

This was coupled by a tweet from WikiLeaks offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s murderer.

ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

Here’s Assange’s Interview:

Murray told the Guardian:

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Murray said: “I know who leaked them.

“I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.

“As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two.”

http://yournewswire.com/wikileaks-seth-rich-leaked-clinton-emails/

Did the Russians Hack Hillary?

President-elect Trump has characterized these claims as “ridiculous” and just an “excuse” to justify the Clinton defeat, saying they’re also intended to undermine the legitimacy of his election. He pointed to FBI conclusions that the CIA is wrong. Who’s right?

Here is the back story.

The American intelligence community rarely speaks with one voice. The members of its 17 publicly known intelligence agencies — God only knows the number of secret agencies — have the same biases, prejudices, jealousies, intellectual shortcomings and ideological underpinnings as the public at large.

The raw data these agencies examine is the same. Today America’s spies rarely do their own spying; rather, they rely on the work done by the National Security Agency. We know that from the Edward Snowden revelations. We also know from Snowden that the NSA can monitor and identify all digital communications within the United States, coming into the United States and leaving the United States. Hence, it would be foolhardy and wasteful to duplicate that work. There is quite simply no fiber-optic cable anywhere in the country transmitting digital data to which the NSA does not have full-time and unfettered access.

I have often argued that this is profoundly unconstitutional because the Fourth Amendment requires a judicially issued search warrant specifically describing the place to be searched or the thing to be seized before the government may lawfully invade privacy, and these warrants must be based on probable cause of criminal behavior on the part of the person whose privacy the government seeks to invade.

Instead of these probable cause-based, judicially issued search warrants, the government obtains what the Fourth Amendment was written to prohibit — general warrants. General warrants are not based on evidence of probable cause of criminal behavior; rather, they are based on government “need.” This is an unconstitutional and absurd standard because the government will always claim that what it wants, it needs.

General warrants do not specifically describe the place to be searched or the thing to be seized; rather, they authorize the bearer to search where he wishes and seize whatever he finds. This is the mindset of the NSA — search everyone, all the time, everywhere — whose data forms the basis for analysis by the other agencies in the intelligence community.

In the case at hand, the CIA and the FBI looked at the same NSA-generated raw data and came to opposite conclusions. Needless to say, I have not seen this data, but I have spoken to those who have, and they are of the view that though there is evidence of leaking, there is no evidence whatsoever of hacking.

Leaking is the theft of private data and its revelation to those not entitled or intended to see it. Hacking is remotely accessing an operational system and altering its contents — for example, removing money from a bank account or contact information from an address book or vote totals from a candidate’s tally. When Trump characterized the CIA claim that the Russians hacked the DNC and Clinton campaign emails intending to affect the outcome of the election as ridiculous, this is what he meant: There is no evidence of anyone’s altering the contents of operational systems, but there is evidence — plenty of it — of leaking.

If hackers wanted to affect the outcome of the election, they would have needed to alter the operational systems of those who register voters and count votes, not those who seek votes.

During the final five weeks of the presidential campaign, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of DNC and Clinton campaign emails to the public. WikiLeaks denies that its source was the Russian government, yet for the purposes of the DNC and Clinton campaign claims, that is irrelevant because whoever accessed these emails did not alter the operational systems of any of the targets; the accessor just exposed what was found.

We do not know what data the president-elect examined. Yet in six weeks, he will be the chief intelligence officer of the U.S., and he’ll be able to assimilate data as he wishes and reveal what he wants. He should be given the benefit of the doubt because constitutionally, the intelligence community works for him — not for Congress or the American people.I

Who did the leaking to WikiLeaks? Who had an incentive to defeat Clinton? Whose agents’ safety and lives did she jeopardize when she was extremely careless — as the FBI stated — with many state secrets, including the identity and whereabouts of U.S. intelligence agents and resources?

The answer is obvious: It was the same intelligence community that cannot agree on the meaning of the raw data it has analyzed.

Someone leaked the Democrats’ and the Clinton campaign’s private work, and the government has a duty to find the person or entity that did so, even if it was one of the government’s own. Though the truthful revelation of private facts may have altered some voters’ attitudes, there is no evidence that it altered ballot totals. The law guarantees fair elections, not perfect ones.

Did the Russians hack Hillary Clinton? No. No one did. But some American intelligence agents helped WikiLeaks to expose much dirty laundry.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/12/andrew-p-napolitano/russians-hack-hillary/

 

President Obama Addresses Russian Hacking Review on ‘Daily Show’
Yahoo
– The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Foreign governments have launched numerous cyberattacks on the U.S. government and sensitive industrial sites, but Republicans say President Obama has not responded in a forceful way to years of Russian hacking.

A more assertive response might have headed off the type of hacking Russia is accused of launching during the presidential election, they say.

Russia, whose supposed cyberoffensive now is generating a Democratic Party movement that would delegitimize the incoming presidency of Donald Trump, has hacked Pentagon systems. In 2014 it penetrated computer networks at the White House and the State Department. Neither the White House nor the mainstream media reacted with any great alarm.

In one of the most extensive hacks on America, Chinese hackers invaded the massive files of the Office of Personnel Management and stole personnel data and security background checks of millions of federal workers.

In other examples, the Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy and oversees the banking industry, detected more than 50 cyberbreaches between 2011 and 2015, and some were called espionage, Reuters reported in June, citing federal records. The IRS also has acknowledged that taxpayer files have been stolen by hackers.

Mr. Obama’s record on defeating hackers has come into focus during the transition as he orders a sweeping probe of Russia’s alleged hack on the president’s own Democratic Party.

His White House spokesman has joined Democratic politicians in issuing a blistering attack on Mr. Trump and his aides for ties to Russia, even as it was this administration that early on reached out to the Kremlin and asked for a “reset” in relations. In 2010 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped Moscow create a “Russian Silicon Valley.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest even seemingly questioned the patriotism of Trump supporters in Congress.

House intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes accused Mr. Obama of not taking Russia’s cyberthreat seriously until now, a month before he leave office, when Democratic Party politics are involved.

“Russia’s cyberattacks are no surprise to the House intelligence committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia’s belligerence for years,” Mr. Nunes said. “As I’ve said many times, the intelligence community has repeatedly failed to anticipate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hostile actions.

“Unfortunately, the Obama administration, dedicated to delusions of ‘resetting’ relations with Russia, ignored pleas by numerous intelligence committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression. It appears, however, that after eight years the administration has suddenly awoken to the threat,” said Mr. Nunes, California Republican.

CIA Director John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s former campaign adviser and White House aide, has taken the extraordinary step of having his agency add to the climate of illegitimacy Democrats are trying to wrap around the Republican president-elect.

The Washington Post reported last week that CIA briefers told senators that Mr. Putin had ordered the hacking to help elect Mr. Trump, who sporadically has praised the former KGB officer as a stronger leader than Mr. Obama.

The CIA assessment goes well beyond a statement by James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence. He told the House intelligence committee on Nov. 17 that his agency does not have good intelligence on any link between the Putin regime and WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Mr. Clapper assessed Russia’s motives as a desire to “interfere” in elections in the West, as it has done in Europe. He did not say it was designed to get Mr. Trump elected.

Former CIA officer Kent Clizbe charges that Mr. Brennan has politicized the spy agency, and with the hacking brief to Congress, even more so today.

“But all the politicization of the CIA of the previous eight years is nothing compared to Brennan’s current operation — his vile use of the good name of the CIA in an attempt to invalidate our presidential election,” Mr. Clizbe said. “Brennan’s misuse of the CIA in an effort to serve his political masters is unprecedented and unforgivable. These are the actions of totalitarian dictators, using foreign security services to sully political opponents. Someone needs to stop him before it’s too late.”

Mr. Earnest, the White House press secretary, was asked Monday what the administration did to thwart Russia from hacking U.S. sites.

“Our intelligence community, our national security agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, were closely watching Russia’s malicious cyberactivity,” he said. “There was an ongoing investigation. It was being investigated. It was being closely watched in order to protect our democracy.”

Mr. Earnest unleashed a long attack on Mr. Trump, a recitation that might be unprecedented for a White House during what is supposed to be a smooth transition.

“You didn’t need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyberactivity,” Mr. Earnest said. “The president-elect didn’t call it into question. He called on Russia to hack his opponent. He called on Russia to hack Secretary Clinton. So he certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on. The last several weeks of the election were focused on a discussion of emails that had been hacked and leaked by the Russians. These were emails from the DNC and John Podesta — not from the RNC and Steve Bannon.”

Mr. Bannon, a former Breitbart News executive, is a senior Trump adviser headed to the White House.

Mr. Trump said in July that perhaps Russia could find the 33,000 emails deleted from Mrs. Clinton’s secret server during her tenure at the State Department. A federal judge ruled that her exclusive use of a private server for government business violated federal information laws.

Mr. Earnest also attacked Mr. Trump’s supporters in Congress.

“So what I’ve stated is not an argument but really just a presentation of objective facts about what all of you and the American public knew in advance of the election,” he said. “And, yes, this was all material that was known by Republican politicians in the Congress that endorsed the president-elect. And how they reconcile their political strategy and their patriotism is something they’re going to have to explain.”

One of those supporters is Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and a former Marine Corps officer who deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq.

“How misinformed. I think this statement verifies just how out of touch and clueless this administration truly is to the demands and expectations of the public,” said Joe Kasper, Mr. Hunter’s chief of staff. “There’s a reason why Democrats don’t have the House and the Senate, and have lost seats in various elections. I can tell you that Rep. Hunter was not duped by any stretch, and to question his patriotism means that he’s being questioned both as a lawmaker who loves this country and will fight for its interests and a U.S. Marine who did three tours.”

He added: “If the administration and Democrats are so worried about Russian hacking, they should have done something about it. They didn’t, but stating concerns now sure makes it one heck of an argument of convenience.”

As Mr. Obama began his second term, a number of experts said the U.S. still had not adjusted to the new world of hundreds of hackers attacking America daily.

“We are in a conflict — some would call it war,” Oracle’s security chief Mary Ann Davidson told Congress. “Let’s call it what it is. Given the diversity of potentially hostile entities building cadres of cyberwarriors probing our systems for weakness, infiltrating government networks and making similar attempts against businesses and critical industries, including our defense systems, is there any other conclusion to be reached?”

It was not until February that the White House proposed $3 billion in new funding to upgrade cyberdefenses and appoint a federal czar to oversee network protection.

When Russia hacked the White House two years ago, there did not appear any public threats against Moscow. The news media treated the story as a sign of the times: China, Russia and other adversaries are trying to hack into thousands of computer networks.

What makes the election hacking different, Democrats say, is that a foreign power was interfering in an election by targeting Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman and the DNC. WikiLeaks periodically dumped huge volumes of emails, creating news stories on Clinton aides’ intolerance toward Christians and, sometimes, toward each other.

Mr. Earnest stopped short of saying that the embarrassing disclosures released by WikiLeaks were a main factor in the election’s outcome, noting that analysts have cited a number of issues, such as Mrs. Clinton’s official emails and her strategy in battleground states.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/13/obama-shrugs-off-russian-hacking-until-donald-trum/

Webster Tarpley: Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya – Imperialist Aggression Shreds UN Charter 1/2

Uploaded on Mar 21, 2011

Webster Tarpley
March 21, 2011
http://www.infowars.com/
http://www.prisonplanet.tv/
http://www.infowars.net/
http://www.prisonplanet.com/

Late today US and British cruise missiles joined with French and other NATO combat aircraft in Operation Odyssey Dawn/Operation Ellamy, a neo-imperialist bombing attack under fake humanitarian cover against the sovereign state of Libya. Acting under UN Security Council resolution 1973, US naval forces in the Mediterranean on Saturday night local time fired 112 cruise missiles at targets which the Pentagon claimed were related to Libya’s air defense system. But Mohammed al-Zawi, the Secretary General of the Libyan Parliament, told a Tripoli press conference that the “barbaric armed attack” and “savage aggression” had hit residential areas and office buildings as well as military targets, filling the hospitals of Tripoli and Misurata with civilian victims. Zawi accused the foreign powers of acting to protect a rebel leadership which contains notorious terrorist elements. The Libyan government repeated its request for the UN to send international observers to report objectively on events in Libya.

The attacking forces are expected to deploy more cruise missiles, Predator drones, and bombers, seeking to destroy the Libyan air defense system as a prelude to the systematic decimation of Libyan ground units. International observers have noted that US intelligence about Libya may be substandard, and that many cruise missiles may indeed have struck non-military targets.

Libya had responded to the UN vote by declaring a cease-fire, but Obama and Cameron brushed that aside. On Saturday, France 24 and al-Jazeera of Qatar, international propaganda networks hyping the attacks, broadcast hysterical reports of Qaddafi’s forces allegedly attacking the rebel stronghold of Bengazi. They showed a picture of a jet fighter being shot down and claimed this proved Qaddafi was defying the UN by keeping up his air strikes. It later turned out that the destroyed plane had belonged to the rebel air force. Such coverage provided justification for the bombing attacks starting a few hours later. The parallels to the Kuwait incubator babies hoax of 1990 were evident. Qaddafi loyalists said Saturday’s fighting was caused by rebel assaults on government lines in the hopes of provoking an air attack, plus local residents defending themselves against the rebels.

At the UN vote, the Indian delegate correctly pointed out that the decision to start the war had been made on the basis of no reliable information whatsoever, since UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon’s envoy to Libya had never reported to the Security Council. The bombing started shortly after a glittering Paris summit “in support of the Libyan people,” where Sarkozy, Cameron, Hillary Clinton, Stephen Harper of Canada and other imperialist politicians had strutted and postured.

Token contingents from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia were supposed to take part in the attack, but were nowhere to be seen, while some Arab states were expected to provide financial support. The minimum estimated cost of maintaining a no-fly zone over Libya for one year is estimated in the neighborhood of $15 billion — enough to fund WIC high-protein meals for impoverished US mothers and infants for two years.
http://www.infowars.com/obamas-bay-of…

Webster Tarpley: Obama’s Bay of Pigs in Libya – Imperialist Aggression Shreds UN Charter 2/2

From ‘Fake News’ to ‘Fake Intelligence’
WAYNE MADSEN | 13.12.2016 | OPINION

From ‘Fake News’ to ‘Fake Intelligence’

Never in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency has it and its surrogates so blatantly and boldly interfered in a U.S. election. The U.S. media, in a matter of hours, altered course from concentrating on «fake news» about innocent pizzerias being linked to child sexual exploitation to spotlighting «fake intelligence» about Russia’s alleged cyber-espionage operation designed to elect Donald Trump president. The CIA leaked to The Washington Post, the owner of which has a $600 million contract with the CIA to provide cloud computing, findings of a secret report on Russia’s alleged «fixing» of the 2016 U.S. presidential election to favor Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The scandal-plagued Mrs. Clinton was defeated by Trump not because of nefarious cyber-sleuths from Moscow but because she and her campaign forgot how Barack Obama’s and her husband’s free trade deals destroyed the economic lifeblood of America, particularly in the «rust belt» Midwestern states. Rather than talk jobs and the economy, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign concentrated on such trivial matters as trans-gender restrooms and a former Miss Venezuela harping in poor housemaid English about how she was insulted over her weight by Trump.

Mrs. Clinton has been reduced to appearing in public dressed in purple outfits looking like the children’s character «Barney» the dinosaur. Clinton’s «purple haze» is a continuation of George Soros’s election-overturning «Purple Revolution». While Soros-paid protesters commit acts of vandalism across the country, the failed presidential candidate is pathetically complaining about «fake news». But when it comes to the CIA’s «fake intelligence» about Russia and the U.S. election, some of Mrs. Clinton’s ardent supporters are demanding that the results of the November 8th election be rejected and that President Obama remain in office indefinitely until a new election can be sorted out. Of course, none of this is constitutional. And the Clintonistas even have a novel solution for dealing with the certain resulting protests by states that voted for Trump and his supporters: Obama must declare martial law and suspend the U.S. Constitution.

The CIA intelligence on Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election is so sketchy that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in response to questions from members of Congress who were briefed on the CIA report, testified before the House Intelligence Committee that the CIA’s contentions about Russia were «fuzzy and ambiguous». The FBI did not support the CIA’s findings, claiming that the CIA’s conclusions lacked «facts and tangible evidence». Even the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Devin Nunes of California, told The Washington Post that, as far as he was concerned, the CIA conclusions about Russia lacked «clear evidence», adding, «There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it».

But the comments of Nunes and the FBI have not prevented the CIA and their puppet-stringed Democrats and media pundits from complaining about a «rigged» election and even the need for an election «do over». There are no constitutional provisions for election remakes in the United States. Obama, who claims to be a constitutional scholar, did not help matters by ordering the intelligence community to undertake a full-scale investigation of Russia’s alleged involvement in the U.S. election. Chomping at the bit to derail Trump’s selection of Exxon’s CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State are the «all-but-married» neocon duo of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. This political version of «Ken and Barbie» want to turn Tillerson’s Senate confirmation hearing into a Russia-bashing event. McCain, continuing to show classic signs of dementia, declared that Russia waged a form of «warfare» against the United States during the election campaign. This is the same man who thought selecting Alaska’s governor Sarah Palin as his 2008 vice presidential running mate was wise political move.

It is instructive that Obama, by ordering an investigation into foreign interference in the election, helped provide ammunition to the CIA in trying to nullify the election results. Obama’s actions came the same week that Gambia’s dictator president, Yahya Jammeh — after conceding his re-election loss to his opponent — reversed course and nullified the election and Ghana’s President John Mahama, dragged his feet on conceding his election loss to his opponent. Obama, who is a friend of both Jammeh and Mahama, was acting more like a tin-pot African dictator than President of the United States in lending official credence to the election conspiracy story involving Russia.

Trump’s transition team dismissed the CIA’s charges and their flimsy report, stating, these are «the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction». It was CIA director George Tenet that told George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the aftermath of 9/11 that it was a «a slam dunk case» that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The claim was used as prima facie evidence for the U.S. to justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq. Now, the very same CIA and some of the same discredited CIA officials are trying to convince the American people that Russia somehow «selected» Trump as president of the United States.

During the election campaign, it was not Russia, but the CIA that was trying to influence the American people. In August, after Trump’s nomination for president, former acting CIA director Michael Morrel said, «Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security». Morrel then began the CIA’s campaign to link Trump to Russia by telling CBS News that, «we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation». By «we», Morrel was saying the CIA. Those comments, alone, showed a CIA that was not hesitant to play favorites in the U.S. election. The entire meme that Russia interfered with the presidential election is a false one. The real headlines should read: «CIA interfered in presidential election by supporting Clinton over Trump».

Former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, the architect of NSA’s unconstitutional warrantless wiretapping program, said that Trump was «factually incorrect” in dismissing the CIA’s report about Russia’s alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails prior to the election. Five days before the election, Hayden penned an op-ed column for the CIA-linked Washington Post, in which he claimed that Trump was a «polezni durak», or «useful fool», for President Vladimir Putin. Such political commentary by intelligence chiefs, active or retired, is unprecedented in modern times.

Former CIA clandestine operative Robert Baer told CNN that he favors an election re-vote, even though there is no constitutional provision for one. Baer said, «It looks like to me, the Russians did interfere in our elections… Having worked in the CIA, if we had been caught interfering in European elections, or Asian elections or anywhere in the world, those countries would call for new elections, and any democracy would». This is where Baer is altering history to suit himself and his Democratic friends. The CIA repeatedly has interfered in elections in Europe and Asia, as well as Latin America, Africa, and Oceania and there were no «do-overs» but plenty of coups engineered by the boys from Langley. Baer continued, «I don’t know how it would work constitutionally, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m deeply disturbed by the fact that the Russians interfered, and I would like to see the evidence… If the evidence is there, I don’t see any other way than to vote again as an American citizen».

It is doubtful that Baer would have made his comments had he not been given some sort of green light from the CIA director, the Saudi-loving John Brennan. Brennan spent so much time as the CIA station chief in Riyadh kissing the robes of the Saudi royals that he lost any conception of what a constitutional federal republic is all about. It was Brennan who prevailed on Obama to fire Trump’s national security adviser-designate, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn concluded that it was Brennan and Obama who authorized the creation of the Islamic State to help topple the Syrian government.

The CIA has learned nothing from its blatant involvement in the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the 1972 set-up of President Richard Nixon in the Watergate break-in and cover-up, the 1980 «October Surprise» that resulted in President Jimmy Carter’s re-election loss, and the 1980s «Iran-contra» scandal that almost forced President Ronald Reagan from office through impeachment and his replacement by the former CIA director, Vice President George H. W. Bush.

The CIA is the actual villain in the 2016 presidential election, just as it has been the villain in every major domestic and foreign scandal involving the United States since 1947. The problem with the CIA is that for the past 70 years it has held sway over almost every facet of America’s political, social, religious, entertainment, and educational life. As described in this author’s newly-released book, «The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Proprietaries, Front Companies & Contractors», the CIA has stamped its insidious imprimatur on every sector of American society, including the media. It is the CIA’s remote-controlled media, with its «fake news» and its pushing of the CIA’s «fake intelligence», that is victimizing the American people. President Trump’s first action as commander-in-chief should be a complete shake-up of the CIA with the goal of doing what President Kennedy vowed to do with the «bastards» who ran the agency: splinter it in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds. The CIA were bastards in the early 1960s and they continue to be bastards today. Trump should fire every one of the bastards on January 20, 2017.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/12/13/from-fake-news-to-fake-intelligence.html

Putin calls Obama ‘decent man’ for confessing Libya was his ‘greatest mistake’

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin. © Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned the US against repeating the mistake it made in Libya in Syria, noting that Barack Obama’s confession about Libya being his “greatest mistake” shows the US President is a “decent person.”

Firstly, it confirms once again that the current US president is a decent man – and I say this without irony, because it’s not easy to say such things,” President Putin said during his annual Q&A session.

He recalled that Barack Obama, while still a senator, had criticized the actions of the US administration on its 2003 Iraq campaign.

Unfortunately, [Obama] himself made those mistakes in Libya. It is very good that my colleague has the courage to [admit it], not everyone can do it,” Putin said, adding that “only a strong man” can make such bold statements. But Putin stressed “the bad thing is that this series of errors continues. After all, the same mistake was almost made in Syria, and it is still not clear what the outcome will be.

When asked by Fox News last week what his “worst mistake” as a president had been, the US leader answered: “Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.

Putin’s response to the question about Obama was one of the most unexpected at the Q&A session.

When asked about his thoughts on Obama leaving his post later this year, the Russian president said “we will all leave some day,” adding, “there will come a new president, and we will work with the new one.” He did not, however, say who he prefers to see as US president – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, saying only that he “prefers someone less exceptional.

https://www.rt.com/news/339636-obama-putin-russia-us/

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Published on Dec 4, 2016

BREAKING!!
The new Sec. Of Commerce Wilbur Ross predicts that an economic U.S. Recession is “Likely in Next 18 Months”.
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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

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