Monday, July 31, 2017
By Katie Pavlich
UPDATE: Scaramucci is completely out and will not be assigned to a different position inside the White House. The White House would not clarify if he was asked to resign or if he was fired. It should be noted he was scheduled to announce his communications team Monday afternoon but was instead escorted out of the building.
During the press briefing Monday afternoon, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President and General Kelly believed Scaramucci's comments to The New Yorker were inappropriate for someone in his position.
It's been just a few hours since General John Kelly was sworn in as President Trump's chief of staff and he's already making it clear who's in charge.
Kelly has removed Anthony Scaramucci from his position as White House Communications Director after he was hired just ten days ago.
"Anthony Scaramucci will be leaving his role as White House Communications Director. Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released in a statement.
The move comes after Scaramucci gave a profanity laced interview to the New Yorker, in which he berated former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus as a "f–king paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac." He also referred to Chief Strategist Steve Bannon as "trying to suck his own c*ck."
Kelly's hiring is seen as an effort by the President to bring order to a White House in chaos.
It is unclear who will replace Scaramucci or whether he will be reassigned to another job in the West Wing. Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who has been acting as the defacto communications director, is still technically employed and was officially departing tomorrow.
Since January, President Trump has enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the first 100 days than any President in the last fifty years.
It's not just about the stats, it's about our President keeping his promises and making good on his word to Make America Great Again!
President Trump is working hard to do what we elected him to do:
Transforming the Department of Veterans Affairs
• From President Trump’s inauguration to July 3rd, the VA fired over 500 employees, suspended 200, and demoted 33.
• 22 senior leaders were disciplined.
Pursuing Fair and Reciprocal Trade Deals
• President Trump began the process of renegotiating the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement in response to a rising trade deficit and falling U.S. exports.
American First Foreign Policy And Military
• Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul from ISIS.
• President Trump brokered a ceasefire with Russia and Jordan in southwest Syria.
• Poland, one of the NATO member countries to meet its defense-spending target of 2 percent of GDP, agreed to buy and deploy the U.S. Patriot missile defense system.
• The President ordered the hiring of 15,000 new immigration agents, including 5,000 additional border patrol agents.
• The DOJ transferred immigration judges to six detention centers near the border.
• In fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed 2,798 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016.
• ICE has specifically targeted MS-13 criminal gang members for removal on immigration violations.
Unleashing our Economic Potential
• 222,000 jobs were created in June, 187,000 of which were in the private sector.
• African Americans and teenagers (age 16 – 19) are experiencing their lowest unemployment rate since 2000.
• Labor force participation rate increased by 62.8 percent in June.
• 863,000 jobs have been added since January, 2017, with 821,000 of which were in the private sector.
• Already in 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has had 24 record highs, including this week.
Eliminating Job Killing Regulations & Wasteful Spending
• In a billion dollar opioid fraud crackdown, the DOJ charged more than 400 people, including doctors and medical facilities, who it said were prescribing unnecessary opioids to addicts and fueling the drug crisis.
• AG Sessions called it: “The largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history.”
Unlocking American Energy
• During “Energy Week,” the President hosted an event to highlight unleashing American energy.
• Unleashed oil and gas development by approving Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
• A State Department report estimates the building of Keystone XL alone will create 42,100 jobs, including 3,900 construction jobs, with a total of $2 billion in earnings.
IN OTHER NEWS
U.S. Companies Post Profit Growth Not Seen in Six Years
By Theo Francis and Thomas Gryta
America’s largest companies are on pace to post two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011, helped by years of cost-cutting, a weaker dollar and stronger consumer spending.
Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to rise 11% in the second quarter, according to data from Thomson Reuters, following a 15% increase in the first quarter. Close to 60% of the firms in the index have reported second-quarter results so far.
Corporate America’s strong earnings performance comes as several policy initiatives that were expected to help boost companies’ bottom line—corporate-tax cuts and increased government spending on infrastructure—have been sidetracked amid political infighting in Washington, D.C., which culminated with the recent failure of the health-law bill.
Key findings of the “White Working Class Voter Project”
A new Democrat survey of working-class white voters in key 2018 districts has Democrats panicking.
The voters that carried President Trump to victory in November largely approve of the job he and Congressional Republicans are doing.
· By a staggering 35-point margin, Republicans are believed to be more likely to “help improve the economy and create jobs” than Democrats
· Democrats trail on the initial Congressional ballot by 10 points (43% - 33%)
o Republicans are doing better with those under the age of 60 (45 % - 32%) than those over the age of 60 (42% - 34%)
· A majority approve of the job President Trump is doing (52% - 44%)
o Trump’s approval is higher among those under the age of 60 (56% - 40%) than it is with those over the age of 60 (49% - 47%)
o Trump’s approval is higher in districts surveyed that Hillary Clinton carried (53% - 43%) than ones he carried himself (52% - 45%)
· A majority also say the Trump Presidency is either going as well as they expected or going better than they expected
· When asked: “Thinking about Democrats in Congress, what is your greatest concern?” the top 2 answers were “hyperpartisanship/not working with Republicans” and “obstructionist/opposition to Trump”
· 66% of GOP voters approve of the job House Republicans are doing, up from 44% last year
· These voters’ share of the electorate was stable from 2012 to 2016, but Democrats margin among them got 12 points worse
% of Electorate
% Obama/ HRC
% Romney/ Trump
Top Conclusions From Democrats:
"We suffer from the lack of an identifiable positive agenda. Without it, voters will turn to Trump for progress. With it, we can make significant gains.”
"Our economic deficit is devastating. Voters don’t see special interests as the problem we need to fix.”
You can read the full House Majority PAC-funded survey here.
Complied by the Republican National Committee.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
By Brian McNicoll
Fannie and Freddie are federally chartered enterprises which buy mortgage loans from banks and bundle them into securities that are sold to investors, thus freeing up capital so that banks can make more home loans.
President Obama never was shy about using his phone and pen to achieve what he could not get from Congress on regulatory matters.
But documents revealed last week show the Obama administration may have been willing to get around congressional decisions on spending by using a slush fund of sorts funded by the profits of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two government-sponsored home loan giants.
They are government-sponsored enterprises, which means the government guarantees their loans. But they are run as private enterprises, with private leadership, a board of directors and, most significantly for this purpose, investors. They’re even listed on the stock market.
In response to the mortgage crisis of 2008, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which provided $187.5 billion in government loans for Fannie and Freddie and placed them in conservatorship under the newly established Federal Housing Finance Agency.
But Fannie and Freddie were not in such bad shape after all, and in just a few years, they were turning profits and on course to pay back the government with interest and still have money to pay dividends to their investors.
In 2012, the Obama administration came up with a plan to divert those profits to the Treasury that became known as the Net Worth Sweep. Officials said the profits had to be diverted back into the Treasury because Fannie and Freddie were in a “death spiral” and would have to return for loans, and this money would be used for those loans. In other words, Treasury would take all the profits from Fannie and Freddie and hold them for future loans when they again found themselves in trouble.
But -- the administration knew Fannie and Freddie were healthy for the long term, were unlikely to need any more loans and, in fact, had enough money to pay dividends.
The dividends were a problem for the administration because it made it hard to explain why it needed to abscond (steal) with Fannie and Freddie’s $241 billion in profits, execute an improper taking against the shareholders, and spend the money without congressional approval.
Some even pushed to change accounting methods to make Fannie and Freddie look worse on paper and/or force them to “need” loans to survive.
In 2013, Fairholme Funds, one of those investors, filed suit, charging that, in sweeping the money back into the Treasury rather than pay dividends as required by law, the government exceeded its authority and ignored the law’s requirements that it conserve the assets of the enterprises.
The government’s response indicates Fairholme’s accusations are probably dead on.
One of the documents released last week said the proposal to sweep the funds into Treasury would have “three primary benefits:”
It would “eliminate the circularity of Treasury funding the GSE’s dividends payments to Treasury.” It would “…capture all future earnings at the GSEs to help pay back taxpayers for their investment in those firms,” and it would “reduce future draws… so such draws would only be made when needed to fund quarterly net losses.”
The administration could have “eliminated the circularity” by following the law and paying the dividends.
There is no legal basis for unilaterally deciding to “capture all future positive earnings at the GSEs” -- in fact, the law specifies otherwise. And the government’s own economists acknowledged future quarterly losses were highly unlikely.
Another document suggested announcing the change on Friday after markets had closed. “Rationale: GSE’s will report very strong earnings on August 7, that will be in-excess of the 10% dividend to paid to Treasury.”
In other words, wait till late on an August Friday night -- a media dead zone almost the equivalent of Christmas – to say that, even though the GSEs reported “very strong earnings” earlier in the week, it needed these prudent protections.
The documents released last week were made public only after years of government protest. The government has tried to keep 77,000 related documents from being released publicly and 11,000 from being shared even with attorneys for Fairholme.
The government’s out in this always was to claim that “since we intend to wind down the GSEs over time, the GSEs do not need to retain income in excess of amounts required to pay the 10 percent dividend,” which by making the government the largest investor with preferred stock, meant the money went to the Treasury and not the initial investors, such as Fairholme.
But the administration never offered a plan to wind down the GSEs, and the proposal would make little sense at this point.
What happened here is not hard to discern. The Obama administration had a convenient boogey man in the GSEs and a need for cash because of a recalcitrant Congress. It did not take into account the legal rights of the investors. The courts are slowly coming to this conclusion.
In the meantime, we’re left with another abuse of the public trust by double-dealing government insiders. If that’s not an argument for limited government, what is?http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/07/obama_looted_fannie_mae_and_freddie_mac.html#ixzz4oHAt7ayP
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Social media duo gets the final word on 'Hannity'
Why Are Republicans Trouncing Democrats in Fundraising?By Byron York
The Republican president has a job approval rating around 40 percent. The GOP has an unfavorability rating around 56 percent. And Republicans trail Democrats by nine points in an average of "generic ballot" polls.
All of which makes it notable that the Republican National Committee is trouncing the Democratic National Committee when it comes to raising money, especially from small donors.
The numbers are striking. In June, the RNC raised $13.5 million to the DNC's $5.5 million.
For 2017 so far, the RNC has raised $75.4 million to the DNC's $38.2 million.
The RNC started the year with $25.3 million in cash-on-hand. Now it has $44.7 million. The DNC started the year with $10.5 in cash-on-hand. Now, that has fallen to $7.5 million.
As of June 30, the RNC reported $0 in debt. The DNC reported $3.3 million in debt.
A look inside the numbers is even worse for the DNC. Looking at collections from small donors -- that is, those who contributed less than $200 -- the RNC raised $10.5 million in the months of May and June. The DNC raised $5.3 million from small donors in the same time period.
The RNC's money total is a record -- more than was raised in any previous non-presidential election year. That is true for June, and for all of 2017 as well.
The $75.4 million raised this year compares to $55.4 million for the same period in 2015; to $51.2 for the same period in 2014; to $41.1 million for the same period in 2013, and so on going back.
"It's definitely a reflection of support for President Trump," said RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney. "Our small-dollar donors are giving at a record pace because they believe the RNC is supporting President Trump, and they like that."
The obvious reason for the Democrats' troubles is that they lost the White House, the House and the Senate last year. Now, the party appears to have a particularly bad hangover.
One data point: In 2013, after Republicans lost their second presidential election in a row and many believed the party faced years in the electoral wilderness, the RNC still raised more money in the January-June period, $41.1 million, than the $38.2 million the Democrats have raised so far this year.
There is much discussion about the intensity of Democratic opposition to President Trump, and indeed Democrats showed a lot of fundraising enthusiasm in the losing Georgia 06 congressional race that turned into a referendum on the president.
But the fact is, the passions behind The Resistance have not, or have not yet, turned into support for the main vehicle of opposition to Trump, the Democratic Party.
Democrats have simply not gotten over the Hillary-Bernie split that plagued the party last year. And they have not decided what they will be in the future. Remember, this is a party that won the White House in 2008 and 2012 on the strength of the Obama coalition of minorities, young people, and the college educated -- the group political journalist Ron Brownstein calls the "coalition of the ascendant."
It's not an exaggeration to say that many believed demographics favored them so heavily that they were virtually guaranteed Democratic victories in the years ahead. And then the Trump victory reminded them that there are still a lot of working-class voters in the country who aren't necessarily natural Democrats.
This week, Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rolled out a new agenda, which they call "A Better Deal," which is designed to appeal to those disaffected voters.
And not a minute too soon.
When a recent ABC-Washington Post poll asked, "Do you think the Democratic Party currently stands for something, or just stands against Trump?" -- just 37 percent said the party stands for something, while 52 percent said it just stands against Trump, and 11 percent had no opinion.
So now Democrats have a huge job in front of them. And it is unclear whether Tom Perez, the Hillary Clinton-backed candidate who won the DNC chairmanship in a divisive battle with Rep. Keith Ellison earlier this year, is the man to do it.
Last month, in explaining another dismal fundraising period for the Democrats, Perez distanced himself from the problem. "I got here on March 1," Perez told MSNBC, "and I was the first to say it, we've got a lot of rebuilding to do."
The new fundraising numbers don't predict what will happen in 2018. But they do say what is happening now.
And that is, in spite of his problems there is enough support for Trump in the Republican base to set new small-donor fundraising records, while Democrats have yet another measure of the work that lies ahead.
Pseudo-Republican squishes anything but compassionateBy David Limbaugh
sdominick | Getty ImagesIt is enormously frustrating that conservatives can't capture the moral high ground from the phony virtue-signaling factory that is the modern Democratic Party. Conservative policies not only work better but also are morally superior.
Democrats depend on cliches and false narratives to obstruct true reform — which includes shaming many Republicans from believing enough in their own agenda to pursue it with conviction. This is nowhere more apparent than in the endless debate over the fate of Obamacare and the future of American health care.
It is unconscionable that Republicans are unable to muster a simple majority to end the Obamacare monstrosity — a freakish beast that does everything it promised not to do and does little it promised to do, a gargantuan scam that is destroying our health care, eroding our liberty and punishing our economy. It's a camel with its entire body already inside the tent of the American idea — hellbent on completing Obama's plan to fundamentally demolish it.
It's almost a waste of space to reiterate the obvious truth that the Democratic Party is bankrupt. It is wholly out of ideas except for concocting ever more creative ways to demonize conservatives as bigots, thwart policies that could bring relief to the people it professes to champion, and advance an agenda whose inevitable result is socialism — all while pretending to believe in free market competition.
Democrats mouth such banalities as offering a "better deal," as if they weren't the ones who have given us this horrendous deal that is rotting the American system from the inside out.
They are incapable of offering new ideas because they are ideologically and politically enslaved. Their worldview weds them to the historically discredited notion that great results flow from allegedly good intentions. And their lust for power impels them to exploit identity politics and perpetuate victimhood for the constituencies whose overwhelming support is essential to their political lifeblood.
For example, they can't support decentralization and competition in education, no matter how much that could improve the lives of minorities trapped in inferior schools, or support across-the-board tax cuts — even though cuts for higher-income earners help stimulate economic growth, which redounds to the benefit of middle- and lower-income earners — because they cannot abandon their class warfare strategy.
Now back to today's more pressing issue — health care reform. Their policies have wrought untold disaster across the board, yet they will acknowledge no responsibility for these failures, much less join, in any way, those seeking solutions.
Democrats tell us they would be happy to work with Republicans to repair the glitches in Obamacare. The problem is that we are not dealing with mere glitches. The entire legislative debacle is a galloping cancer on our system.
Further exposing the Democrats' fraud, almost all of the Republicans' so-called "repeal and replace" proposals have not actually contemplated repeal at all; they've just proposed revisions. Yet Democrats, in lockstep, will not even come to the table to discuss them. In other words, except for their failed efforts to fully repeal the bill, all Republican proposals have been efforts not to completely end Obamacare (sad to say) but to partially repair it.
Democrats don't want the system improved. They know it's a barely disguised wealth redistribution scheme that if left alone will necessarily eventuate in a single-payer system — a euphemism for socialized medicine.
So for now, let's forget Democrats, who have no intention of working with Republicans on this.
What about the couple of handfuls of pseudo-Republicans who don't have the decency to end this nightmare — the ones who campaigned on the promise to repeal this law but won't now pull the trigger?
I don't want to hear that their consciences are involved or that they are from liberal states. How about their intellectual honesty and dignity?
Why do they enable Democratic propaganda that millions would be hurt by repealing a law that forces those millions to buy insurance against their will? Why aren't they held accountable for giving life-support to a law that is already harming people and would result in socializing one-sixth of our economy?
Don't you just love hearing the self-serving protestations of these squishes, pretending to care so much about people while they are single-handedly (as Democratic intransigence is an irremediable reality) decimating world history's greatest health care system?
There is nothing compassionate about what Democrats and their sanctimonious foxhole-sharing Republican frauds are doing here.
It's time for freedom-loving, people-loving Americans to turn the tables on these charlatans and recapture the moral high ground through aggressive and intelligent messaging.
We'll never save this republic if we can't make the case that government largesse is fundamentally destructive and incompetent and that the invisible hand of the market yields results across the board that are more beneficial for more people than those of any other system known to man.
Socialism kills, impoverishes and enslaves and only masquerades as compassion while facilitating the compassion merchants' consolidation of power.
Freedom brings prosperity and, if you insist on using compassion as the be-all-end-all yardstick, is abundantly compassionate.
President Trump names Sec. Kelly as new chief of staffPresident Trump late Friday replaced his embattled chief of staff Reince Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the decorated retired general who had been leading his administration’s charge on immigration enforcement.
The seismic shake-up capped another rollercoaster week in the West Wing, rocked by the public clash between Priebus and new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The latter's hiring prompted press secretary Sean Spicer to resign in protest one week ago and immediately touched off speculation that Priebus could be next.
White House sources confirmed to Fox News that Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman, resigned secretly on Thursday.
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this president and our country,” Priebus said in a statement. “I want to thank the president for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president's agenda and policies.”
He added, “I can't think of a better person than Gen. John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God's blessings and great success.”
Trump made the announcement publicly on Twitter late Friday afternoon.
"I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American ... and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration," he tweeted.
I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American....____________
...and a Great Leader.
John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true
star of my Administration.
Kelly, a retired Marine general, formerly commanded the United States Southern Command.
"I have been fortunate to have served my country for more than 45 years - first as a Marine and then as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security," Kelly said in a statement. "I am honored to be asked to serve as the chief of staff to the President of the United States."
The selection of Kelly was greeted with praise on Capitol Hill.
“Secretary Kelly is one of the strongest and most natural leaders I’ve ever known,” said South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has sparred with the president in the past. “As a Marine Corps officer, he instilled loyalty, respect and admiration from all who served under him.”
Speaking to reporters, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders cited Kelly’s role at the Department of Homeland Security in working to reduce illegal immigration.
“He has helped seal the border and reduced illegal immigration by 70 percent,” Sanders said. “He is respected by everyone, especially the people at the Department of Homeland Security.”
Sanders said Kelly will be sworn in on Monday, when he begins his new job.
Priebus was traveling with the president on Friday. Reporters spotted Priebus getting in a car after Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews.
"Reince is a good man,” Trump told reporters at Andrews. “John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He's a great, great American. Reince is a good man."
A day earlier, Scaramucci was quoted in a New Yorker story using profanity as he bashed Priebus and seemed to accuse him of leaking to reporters.
“Reince is a f---ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci was quoted saying.
After that story’s publication, Scaramucci didn’t deny the comments or apologize. He tweeted that he "made a mistake in trusting in a reporter.”
“I sometimes use colorful language,” he said. “I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump's agenda.”
In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday evening, Priebus said he had been discussing the prospect of resigning with the president “for a few days.”
“I think Gen. Kelly is a brilliant pick,” Priebus said, noting he would help Kelly with the transition for several weeks.
Priebus said he was leaving on good terms with the president.
“This is not like a situation where there’s a bunch of ill-will feelings. This is, I think, good for the president. I think it’s smart for him to pick Gen. Kelly. And I think that things are going to be run very well,” he said.
Priebus declined to discuss Scaramucci’s comments about him. “I’m not going to respond to it,” he said. “I’m not going to get into the mud on those sorts of things.”
Asked if he was a leaker, he said: “That’s ridiculous, Wolf, come on. I’m not going to get into his accusations.”
Priebus said he planned to take some vacation time with his family, but that he’d continue to support the president.
“I’m always going to be a Trump fan,” he said. “I’m on Team Trump. And I look forward to helping him achieve his goals and his agenda for the American people.”
Both Priebus and Spicer worked together at the Republican National Committee before joining the administration. Another White House press aide who worked with Priebus and Spicer at the RNC, Michael Short, who was also forced out of his job this week.
At 189 days, Priebus had the shortest tenure of any chief of staff in modern history who was not serving in an interim capacity or leaving with their president. The position was formally established in 1946.
Fox News' Alex Pappas and Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.
Friday, July 28, 2017
A GOP-led measure that would strip parts of former President Obama’s signature health law failed in the Senate early Friday, 51 to 49. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, were among those who voted against the bill.
IN OTHER NEWS
Fusion GPS Ties To Russia Exposed
There is some incredible new information about Democrats and Russian backed Fusion GPS.
To summarize the web of connections outlined below:
- A know a Russian backed, Democrat connected research firm, with a history of smearing individuals and pitching fake information to reporters, was hired by opponents of President Trump to compile a “dossier” of supposed Trump ties to Russia.
- The information that was compiled was taken seriously by the highest levels of our intelligence community along with our media, despite obvious signs that the firm behind it was tied to Russia.
- As a reminder, this phony “dossier” helped spark the investigation now led by Special Counsel Mueller.
This issue deserves A LOT more reporting and interest.
· Fusion GPS is the firm that hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to put together a phony dossier during the 2016 campaign on supposed Trump ties to Russia.
· The dossier, full of Russian sourced information, was shopped to dozens of U.S. journalists during and immediately after the 2016 campaign, and eventually reported on despite obvious red flags to its accuracy.
· The dossier’s claims made it into the hands of U.S. intelligence officials, and were included in a top secret intelligence briefing for President Obama.
· The dossier's claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia helped spark the FBI investigation now supervised by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
· We now know the dossier is full of bogus, false information. Christopher Steele even admitted in a lawsuit recently that most of his work in the dossier was never fully verified.
· Fusion GPS is deeply connected to Democrat politics. The co-founder of Fusion GPS is reportedly a Hillary Clinton donor. Fusion GPS allegedly was retained by Planned Parenthood, and did work for Democrats to investigate Mitt Romney in 2012.
In recent days, we have learned more about Fusion GPS:
· According to the testimony of William Browder this morning, along with other reporting, Fusion GPS was hired by Russians to defend Russian government connected officials from allegations of fraud.
· Fusion GPS was also employed by Russians to fight against the Magnitsky Act and has worked on issues with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
· Browder spoke this morning about Fusion GPS’ tactics to work over reporters, and its efforts to run smear campaigns on behalf of their clients.
· It is troubling to hear about allegations that a Russian-backed opposition research firm, with a history of smearing individuals and pitching fake information to reporters, was then hired by opponents of President Trump and the information that was compiled was taken seriously by the highest levels of our intelligence community along with our media.
See below for more information on this morning’s testimony on Fusion GPS, and HERE for an RNC Research document on the firm. Click below to hear Browder's Congressional testimony:
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: This whole story reads like some kind of novel that nobody would buy, it’s got to be fiction, but unfortunately maybe it’s true. Let’s just break down sort of why you’re here. You believe that Fusion GPS should of registered under FARA, because they were acting on the behalf of the Russians?
WILLIAM BROWDER: That’s correct.
SEN. GRAHAM: So, I just want to absorb that for a moment. The group that did the dossier on President Trump hired this British spy, wound up getting it to the FBI. You believe they were working for the Russians?
BROWDER: And in the Spring and Summer of 2016 they were receiving money indirectly from a senior Russian government official.
SEN. GRAHAM: Okay. So, these are the people that were trying to undermine Donald Trump by showing the nefarious ties to Russia. Is that what you’re saying?
BROWDER: Well, what I’m saying with 100% certainty is that they were working to undermine the Magnitsky act and the timing of that.
SEN. GRAHAM: But, the Fusion GPS products apparently as they hired a guy to look into Trump?
SEN. GRAHAM: Right?
Click Below To Hear Senator Graham's Questions:
SHANNON BREAM: Good to see you this morning, Senator. Why should Americans care about what this guy is telling you this morning and what it means with regard to Russia?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well who is this guy? He was the lawyer for Mr. Magnitsky, who was killed by Putin, because he exposed a bunch of fraud and criminal misconduct inside Putin’s Russia. So as a tribute to Mr. Magnitsky, he is trying to tell the world about how Putin works. But this was the most fascinating exchange yet. Fusion GPS is an organization that was colluding with the Democratic Party, hired a former British spy to go out and try to find dirt on Donald Trump and the Russians. The dossier – that – the famous dossier, came out of this exercise and this man in 2016 filed a complaint against Fusion GPS saying they were actually working for the Russian government. So what blows my mind is that the Russians were backing Fusion GPS, who produced a dossier to undercut Donald Trump.
Compiled by the Republican National Committee__________________
ABC, NBC, And CBS Pretty Much Bury IT Scandal Engulfing Debbie Wasserman Schultz's OfficeBy Matt Vespa
Well, just in case you didn’t hear, an information technology officer has been accused of bank fraud. He tried to flee the country, and now Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s (D-FL) office has finally fired the aide, despite this person being under investigation since last winter. His termination was made official on Tuesday.
Imran Awan is the name of the subject in question. The Capitol Police launched a probe, where he’s been accused of “serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.” He also provided technical assistance to other Democratic members of Congress.
It was a family affair as well. As Jenn noted over the weekend, his two brothers, along with two of their wives, also worked for members of Congress. Imran moved out of his house in Virginia when he found out he was under investigation last February.
He rented the home to a Marine Corps veteran and his wife, a naval officer, who found hard drives that Awan had reportedly tried to destroy. The FBI now has possession of those drives. Jenn added that Imran tried to enter the home to retrieve them, though the Marine refused entry.
On Monday, Imran was arrested trying to leave the country at Dulles airport (via The Hill):
Awan, an IT staffer who has worked for many House Democrats and was employed by Wasserman Schultz, was allegedly at the center of a scheme that involved double-charging the House for IT equipment, and may also have exposed House information online, according to Fox.
Awan and his family have reportedly worked for House Democrats for years. He declared bankruptcy in 2012, but has made millions of dollars on the House payroll over at least a decade of work for various members, according to a Politico report.
In March, a group of House Democrats fired Awan and one other staffer over their alleged involvement in the scheme and the looming criminal investigation. However, Fox News reported Tuesday that Wasserman Schultz still has Awan on her staff's payroll despite him being barred from accessing the House's computer system since February.
Concerning media coverage, Politico has reported something on it, but the big three—ABC, NBC, and CBS—have virtually buried this story, preventing the millions of viewers that tune into these respective networks from learning about it. NBC and ABC have been silent in their broadcasts, but CBS did devote 37 seconds to it. That's it (via Newsbusters):
ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today continued on Wednesday morning the liberal media’s attempts to help Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl.) cover up the scandal involving now-fired I.T. staffer Imran Awan after his arrested Monday when he tried to flee the country.
After all three ignored the story until Wednesday, CBS This Morning arrived at the scene, albeit it with a 37-second news brief by co-host Gayle King that only scratched the surface on this scandal concerning Awan and his family.
As The Daily Caller has reported for months, Awan and his family have provided I.T. services to not just Wasserman Schultz but prominent congressional Democrats across key committees such as the House Intelligence Committee.
The news outlet also found that Awan and his brother secretly took $100,000 of Iraqi money, owed money to an Iraqi politician who’s been linked to Hezbollah, and possibly kept their stepmother “in ‘capivity’” for better access to offshore money.
On Monday, The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak reported that the FBI had “seized smashed computer hard drives” from Awan’s home in addition to the Capitol Police’s seizure of “computer equipment tied to [Wasserman Schultz].”
Awan’s attorney is blaming the media attention on “anti-Muslim bigotry.” Awan is from Pakistan.
Oh yeah, I forgot about the bank fraud part (via USA Today):
Awan, who lives in Lorton, Va., was arraigned Tuesday on charges of bank fraud for allegedly attempting to get a loan from the Congressional Federal Credit Union on a rental property by claiming it as his primary residence.
He pleaded not guilty. His passport was confiscated and he was outfitted with a GPS monitoring device.
Awan's wife, Hina Alvi, flew to Pakistan in March with the couple's three children. A federal court complaint, which noted the children had been abruptly taken out of school in Virginia, said an examination of her luggage found she was carrying $12,400 in cash. She was allowed to leave for Pakistan.
The quest to prove collusion is crumblingBy Ed Rogers
…[T]he media has been trying to sneak away from the “Russian collusion” story. That’s right. For all the breathless hype, the on-air furrowed brows and the not-so-veiled hopes that this could be Watergate, Jared Kushner’s statement and testimony before Congress have made Democrats and many in the media come to the realization that the collusion they were counting on just isn’t there.
Clinton Scandal Only Deepens — So Why Is Trump, Not Hillary, Targeted For Investigation?
Corruption: Amid the trivial fault-finding by the media of President Trump's every move, it's important to note that the very same pundits who now rip Trump have completely ignored the growing scandal of Hillary Clinton's pay-for-play tenure as secretary of state. It's reasonable to wonder why no charges have yet been filed, yet the media, blinded by their Trump hatred, seem strangely incurious.
The legal investigative think tank Judicial Watch recently released 448 pages of documents that it dug up from the U.S. State Department, the fruit of months of Freedom of Information Act requests and document-digging. The documents are damning, showing even more instances of Hillary Clinton performing official favors for those who donated to the Clinton Foundation and certain political campaigns.
To put it even more bluntly, the emails make a prima facie case for a criminal prosecution of Clinton. As Judicial Watch notes:
"In July 2009, in reference to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Clinton Global Initiative head Doug Band told (Huma) Abedin that she "Need(s) to show love" to Andrew Liveris, the CEO of Dow Chemical (DOW). Band also asked for Liveris to be introduced to Hillary, "and have her mention both me and wjc." Dow gave between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. Band also pushes for Clinton to do a favor for Karlheinz Koegel, a major Clinton Foundation contributor, who wanted Hillary Clinton to give the 'honor speech' for his media prize to 'Merkel.' "
Further, "The emails reveal that on June 19, 2009, Clinton's brother, Tony Rodham, passed a long a letter for Hillary Clinton for Clinton donor Richard Park. Park donated $100,000 to Bill Clinton as far back as 1993 and is listed by the Clinton Foundation as a $100,000 to $250,000 donor."
This wasn't all, not by a long shot. Ben Ringel, a Clinton donor, emailed top Clinton aide Huma Abedin seeking a U.S. visa for an unnamed Iranian woman. Ringel donated between $10,000 and $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Foundation head Band shows up in numerous emails, seeking favors, including trying to get people jobs in the State Department. At times, the Clinton Foundation's top executive seems almost to be an adjunct State Department official.
In August 2009, for instance, Band tried to get his candidate installed as ambassador to Barbados. Abedin answered: "I know, he's emailed a few times. But she wants to give to someone else." In another instance earlier that year, Band sought a "career post" in East Timor for someone. Abedin told him that Hillary Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills was working on that request "under the radar."
Still other emails show a stunning contempt for any notion of protecting classified information, with emails revealing sensitive matters being routinely exposed on Hillary Clinton's and Huma Abedin's unsecured email server, ranging from classified emails from U.S. ambassadors to the planned schedule for President Obama while in Cairo, Egypt, to a sensitive document of a Clinton phone call with "Chinese Foreign Minister Yang."
All on a server that many experts believe was probably hacked by the Chinese, the Russians, or both.
Old news, you say? Hardly. As most know, the hoo-ha over Donald Trump Jr.'s talks with Russian officials revolves around a somewhat mysterious yet nearly ubiquitous Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya, who purported to have some dirt on Hillary Clinton that she would exchange for help with the Global Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that imposed sanctions on Russians who were deemed to be human-rights violators.
Now, if you reach way back in your memory banks, recall that Bill Clinton, on June 29, 2010, gave a speech in Moscow for $500,000, paid for by the Russian government-tied financial firm Renaissance Capital. And also remember that before Bill's speech was made, Hillary had refused a congressional request to reject visas for several Russian officials who were thought to be implicated in human-rights abuses.
Which raises a big question: Was Bill's speech a quid pro quo for Hillary's help?
Subsequent events suggest the answer was yes. For despite Hillary Clinton's and President Obama's hopes of a "reset" with Russia, Congress in 2012 passed the Global Magnitsky Act. And for the record, Renaissance Capital was allegedly party to the scandal that led to the Magnitsky Act.
Documents from WikiLeaks show that Hillary was aware of the potential trouble this could create for her campaign. As Jesse Lehrich, part of the Clinton campaign's "Rapid Response Communications" team, wrote in May of 2015: "With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC's oppostion to the Magnitsky bill a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow."
In an ironic addendum, it was to get help with avoiding restrictions under the Magnitsky Act that Veselnitskaya sought to meet with Donald Trump Jr.
Collusion? There's plenty of it. As we've noted repeatedly in the last year, the conflicts of interest and criminal collusion between Hillary Clinton's State Department, the Clinton Foundation and the Russians, among others, are numerous and profound. They warrant a thorough investigation. Why Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been tasked to look into the pathetically trivial meetings between the Trump camp and a handful of Russians — not a violation of any law we're aware of — is inexplicable.
Sessions Intensifies Crackdown on Sanctuary CitiesBy Alice Greene
As announced this Tuesday, sanctuary cities that fail to meet certain requirements risk losing access to millions of dollars in law enforcement grants.
The requirement is twofold:
1. Cities must notify authorities 48 hours before releasing an immigrant that is wanted by ICE
2. Cities must allow DHS officials into their jails to interview inmates.
Giving agents the ability to interview inmates “would knock aside a major hurdle for immigration agents trying to carry out Mr. Trump’s policies,” reports The New York Times. “Instead of trying to round up unauthorized immigrants on the street or during raids, they would be able to collect their targets straight from local jails.”
The new policy is the next step in the Trump Administration’s broader goal to decrease illegal immigration by tightening our borders and punishing sanctuary cities for their failure to obey federal law.
“This is what the American people should be able to expect from their cities and states,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Under previous rules, cities looking for grant money were simply required to show that they did not prohibit local cops from communicating with ICE agents.
“So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” said Sessions. “These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law.”
President Trump has long sought to withhold federal money from cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.American cities should be sanctuaries “for law abiding Americans,” said Trump Tuesday at a campaign-style rally in Ohio. “Not for criminals and gang members that we want the hell out of our country!”
One of his earlier moves was to ask the DHS to periodically release lists of jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with ICE and the crimes committed by illegal aliens they released from prison. As I wrote in March, the first such list detailed crimes including sexual assault, domestic violence, and drunk driving.
Trump attempted to withhold grant money from sanctuary cities earlier this year, but the policy was blocked by a federal judge in California.
The policy announced this week is different than the previous policy in that it requires advance notice before illegals are released, but does not require cities to hold inmates after they have finished their sentences.
Despite continuous threats from the Trump Administration, several big cities across the country have vowed to maintain sanctuary policies. San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera is actually suing the Trump Administration over its attempts to withhold funding to sanctuary cities, arguing that the newest policy violates the Constitution.
The new policy will take effect in September.