Category Archives: Current Political Affairs

NEXT ANAL PROBE: CROOKED HILLARY

Sessions considering second special counsel to investigate Republican concerns, letter shows
www.washingtonpost.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate a host of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia — and has directed senior federal prosecutors to explore at least some of the matters and report back to him and his top deputy, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post.

The revelation came in a response by the Justice Department to an inquiry from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who in July and again in September called for Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate concerns he had related to the 2016 election and its aftermath.

The list of matters he wanted probed was wide ranging but included the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, various dealings of the Clinton Foundation and several matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency. Goodlatte took particular aim at former FBI director James B. Comey, asking for the second special counsel to evaluate the leaks he directed about his conversations with President Trump, among other things.

In response, Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd wrote that Sessions had “directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters,” and that those prosecutors would “report directly to the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

Trump has repeatedly criticized his Justice Department for not aggressively probing a variety of conservative concerns. He said recently that officials there “should be looking at the Democrats” and that it was “very discouraging” they were not “going after Hillary Clinton.” On the campaign trail, Trump’s supporters frequently chanted “Lock her up!” at the mention of Clinton’s name.

What you need to know about the Uranium One deal 

House Republicans have announced a probe into a deal involving U.S. uranium reached under the Obama administration in 2010. Here’s what you need to know. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

“Hopefully they are doing something, and at some point, maybe we are going to all have it out,” Trump said recently.

Sessions’s relationship with the president has been significantly strained since he recused himself from the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. The president has publicly lambasted his attorney general and noted that had he known in advance of Sessions’s recusal, he would not have appointed him to the post. It was after Sessions’s recusal that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Robert S. Mueller III to lead the investigation into the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

While the Justice Department is part of the executive branch — and the attorney general is appointed by and answers to the president — the White House generally provides input on broad policy goals and does not weigh in on criminal probes.

In that context, the letter is likely to be seen by some, especially on the left, as Sessions inappropriately bending to political pressure, perhaps to save his job. The possible reigniting of a probe of Clinton is likely to draw especially fierce criticism, even as it is welcomed by Trump’s supporters.

When Trump said during the campaign that he would “instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor” to look into Clinton, former attorney general Michael Mukasey — a Trump supporter and vocal Clinton critic — said Trump having her investigated and jailed “would be like a banana republic.”

“Putting political opponents in jail for offenses committed in a political setting, even if they are criminal offenses — and they very well may be — is something that we don’t do here,” he said.

Trump would later back down from his threats, before breathing life into them again with his more recent comments.

How the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Jeff Sessions

The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Department of Justice oversight hearing on Oct. 18, asking him about issues from Russian meddling to immigration enforcement. (Joyce Koh/The Washington Post)

Sessions, who was a Republican senator from Alabama before being appointed attorney general, is set to testify before Goodlatte’s committee Tuesday and is likely to face questions on the topics raised in the letter.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment for this article, as did a lawyer for Comey.

Brian Fallon, who served as the press secretary for the Clinton campaign, noted that the Justice Department letter became public not long after revelations that Donald Trump Jr. had communicated with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

“Like clockwork, just as we learn of damning details of Donald Trump Jr.’s contacts with WikiLeaks, the Trump administration is firing up the fog machine to distract from the Mueller probe,” Fallon said.

In asking for a second special counsel in July, Goodlatte wrote that he wanted to “request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice system and its investigators.” His letter, signed by 19 other Republicans, said Judiciary Committee members were concerned that Mueller might not have a broad enough mandate to investigate other election-related matters, which he said included actions taken by Comey, Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

Many of the items Goodlatte wanted investigated had long been conservative talking points, some having to do with matters many considered resolved: various decisions made in the Clinton email case, the Uranium One purchase, the “unmasking” of people by the intelligence community and allegations by Trump that he was wiretapped by his predecessors. Unmasking is a routine part of intelligence officials’ jobs; officials have said there is no evidence to support Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped; and while conservatives have sought to cast the Uranium One deal as an example of Clinton taking Russian money to influence U.S. policy, there is no evidence that Clinton participated in any discussions regarding the sale, which was approved during the Obama administration while she was secretary of state.

In the Justice Department’s response, Boyd did not indicate whether any of the topics might draw greater interest than others, though he said the review by senior federal prosecutors would “better enable the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to more effectively evaluate and manage the caseload.” He noted that the Justice Department inspector general already was investigating several aspects of the Clinton email case and said that once that probe was complete, the department would assess “what, if any, additional steps are necessary to address any issues identified by that review.”

“We will conduct this evaluation according to the highest standards of justice,” he wrote.

A special counsel can be appointed when the Justice Department or a U.S. attorney’s office has a conflict of interest, when there are other “extraordinary circumstances,” or when it would otherwise be “in the public interest” to do so, according to the federal regulation governing such appointments.

COMMENTS (413)

FBI PROBES PLANNED PARENTHOOD

FBI seeks Senate documents, signaling possible probe into sale of fetal tissue
thehill.com

The FBI has asked the Senate for unredacted documents it obtained from abortion providers, signaling agents may be investigating whether Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers illegally sold fetal tissue and body parts, according to sources familiar with the document request.

The request was made in recent days, the sources said, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), last December referred Planned Parenthood and several other abortion providers to the FBI for investigation after a lengthy probe into the transfers of fetal tissue.

Grassley said at the time that his committee had uncovered enough evidence in its final investigative report to show abortion providers had transferred tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to firms for use in research by charging dollar amounts above their actual costs.

Abortion providers are allowed under a 1993 law to transfer fetal tissue for research at a cost equal to the price of obtaining it, but are not allowed to sell it at a profit.
The Justice Department declined comment, saying it does not confirm nor deny whether an investigation is taking place.

A spokesman for the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Planned Parenthood said that while it is aware of Grassley’s prior request for a criminal probe, none of its affiliates has had any contact with the FBI. It noted it provided more than 30,000 pages of documents and several witnesses to the congressional probes and believes it has complied with the law.

“Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees with the recommendations of the Senate Republican staff to refer this matter to the Justice Department, especially in light of the fact that investigations by three other Congressional committees, and investigations in 13 states including a Grand Jury in Texas, have all shown that Planned Parenthood did nothing wrong,” said Dana Singiser, Vice President of Government Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“These accusations are baseless, and a part of a widely discredited attempt to end access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has never, and would never, profit while facilitating its patients’ choice to donate fetal tissue for use in important medical research,” she added.

The Senate probe and a similar investigation by the House were prompted by the public release in 2015 of several undercover videos from an anti-abortion group showing abortion providers or fetal tissue firms discussing how they took money for aborted fetuses. The Senate committee conducted interviews and gathered documents on its own as part of an investigation triggered by the videos.

It is that information, including the unredacted documents Senate Judiciary gathered from abortion providers and fetal tissue firms, that was requested by the FBI, the sources said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

“The report documents the failure of the Department of Justice, across multiple administrations, to enforce the law that bans the buying and selling of human fetal tissue,” Grassley wrote last December when he asked the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Planned Parenthood and other abortion and fetal tissue providers. “… It also documents substantial evidence suggesting that the specific entities involved in the recent controversy, and/or individuals employed by those entities, may have violated that law.”

Grassley staff is working to comply with the FBI’s document request in compliance with Senate rules, sources said.

One option would be for FBI agents to be allowed to come to the committee’s reading room and review the documents. A full Senate vote would be required if copies of the documents needed to be transferred to a grand jury, according to a source directly familiar with Senate document procedures.

Lila Rose, a prominent anti-abortion activist, praised the FBI’s document request.

“We, of course, applaud any action taken to follow the evidence to where it leads and to hold Planned Parenthood accountable,” she said. “The only thing that could hinder this investigation from leading to indictments of Planned Parenthood and the companies involved in the sale of fetal body parts is politics.”

The advent of a criminal investigation into abortion providers would mark a major escalation in a controversy ignited by undercover videotapes made by an anti-abortion group back in 2015.

The Center for Medical Progress, which released the videos, saw two of its executives charged with state privacy violations for making the undercover tapes. The charges were dropped in Texas but remain pending in California, where they are being appealed. The group denies any wrongdoing.

The center’s head, David Daleiden, said Monday that an FBI probe is “long overdue” and that the ”sale of aborted baby body parts is the greatest human atrocity of our times and must finally be brought to justice under the law.”

The Senate report concluded that the prices paid for tissue and body parts exceeded the actual costs, and that in some cases such costs weren’t even calculated until after investigators began asking questions.

In one example cited by the Senate report, a firm’s own records show it paid $60 for an aborted fetus from a Planned Parenthood clinic, then transferred the various parts for $2,275 – including the brain for $325, two eyes for $650, and a part of a liver for $325. The firm also charged additional fees for shipping and disease screening, the report said.

“The companies involved in transferring fetal tissue have been free to receive substantial payment with impunity, relying on an expansive interpretation of the exception to the ban on buying and selling fetal tissue,” the report said.

Some of the companies involved in the transactions “had not, in fact, conducted any analysis of their costs when setting fees, and their post ad hoc accounting rationalization invoked a bevy of indirect and tenuously related costs in an attempt to justify their fees,” the report added.

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Media Cover Up Conspiracy: Hillary Medically Unfit

How Brazile’s book exposes liberal media’s Hillary health coverup
nypost.com

Silly, silly Donna Brazile. She’s publioshing a book detailing turmoil in the Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign, highlighted by her concern that Hillary Clinton was seriously ill and might need to be replaced by Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.

What’s the big deal? There’s no news here because all this was well-known and covered at the time by the big national newspapers and networks, right?

Wrong. If Brazile were rehashing things we knew, there would be no book and no bombshell headlines now.

Instead, she has thrown open a new and very big window on 2016 — and exposed yet again the consequences of the political biases of the Democratic media.

The missed stories are not merely the result of mistakes or sloppy reporting. Brazile’s book is a revelation in that it shows that many left-leaning journalists didn’t so much cover Clinton as cover up for her.

Put it this way: How is it possible that the leader of the Democratic Party was talking to colleagues about trying to replace its nominee during the general election because of health concerns, and none of the thousands of journalists covering the campaign got wind of it?

It’s not possible — if the media had been playing it down the middle and holding both candidates to the same standard of scrutiny. But big media missed a big story because so much campaign “news” coverage was tilted toward defeating Donald Trump and electing Clinton.

Anything that could possibly suggest Trump was unfit for the Oval Office — bingo, front page, top of the broadcast.

On the other hand, anything that could hurt Clinton was downplayed or ignored. Nothing to see here, move along.

The coverage of Clinton’s health was a prime example of the tilt. Her coughing fits, especially a long one on Labor Day, and a history of falling were pointed out by the popular Drudge Report, some Republicans and smaller, conservative-leaning sites to suggest she was not being honest about her health.

But her campaign always denied anything was wrong — allergies, the candidate and her flacks insisted, caused the persistent coughs, and major news organizations mostly nodded their heads and stayed mum, accepting the official denials without skepticism.

The dam cracked a bit on Labor Day, when an NBC reporter filed a 91-word, four-paragraph story that said Clinton had been unable to finish her speech in Ohio because of a coughing fit.

The truth was dangerous, so the Praetorian Guard sprang to Clinton’s defense. The NBC reporter, Andrew Rafferty, was mocked and insulted, first by the campaign, and then by journalists, including some MSNBC commentators who turned on their colleague as if he had violated a secret oath.

CNN joined the Clinton amen chorus, and at the Washington Post, political writer Chris Cillizza denounced the topic of Clinton’s health as “a totally ridiculous issue” and declared it a “sure-fire loser” for Trump.

“It’s hard to plausibly insist, based on the available data, that Clinton is ill,” insisted Cillizza, who is now at CNN.

Five days later, Clinton was unable to walk on her own and collapsed at the 9/11 ceremony in Manhattan as she tried to get into a van. The campaign insisted she was just “dehydrated” until a short video of the incident aired, then admitted the candidate had been diagnosed with pneumonia days earlier.

In other words, the claim of allergies was a big fat lie. That prompted Brazile to contemplate starting the process of replacing Clinton, writing in her book that the campaign also was “anemic” and had “the odor of failure.” She says she considered numerous tickets to replace Clinton and Sen. Tim Kane, and decided that Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) would be the best.

It’s not clear how long she deliberated or how many people she talked to, but Brazile writes that Biden called her on Sept. 12. In the end, she says, she made no move because she couldn’t disappoint Clinton’s supporters.

Her book is called “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” and it’s got lots of other juicy bits, including evidence that the party rigged the primaries to help Clinton beat Sanders and that Clinton possibly broke federal campaign finance laws by scooping money donated by big donors to state parties, far in excess of individual federal limits.

Brazile also writes that the Clinton team treated her like “a slave,” and she accuses its male hierarchy of sexism.

As is their wont, the Clinton campaign is attacking Brazile, saying she fabricated incidents just to sell books. But curiously, the candidate herself has been silent.

Presidential campaigns, of course, are grueling, dynamic events and infighting is common. But what is extraordinary here is the fact that none of the huge moments Brazile recounts has been reported before.

That would matter less if the media humbly acknowledged it missed major stories that could have rocked the race, but that’s apparently expecting too much from news organizations that have forfeited their public trust. Nothing has changed, with the anti-Trump bias firmly intact.

Still, Brazile’s book is timely, with today the anniversary of Trump’s smashing upset. It is a reminder that, thankfully, voters weren’t fooled by the media conspiracy to hide the truth.

Gray Lady hasn’t a ‘preyer’
An op-ed in the New York Times headlined “The Deep Confusion of the Post-Weinstein Moment” celebrated the way women are becoming emboldened to name their powerful abusers instead of staying silent. I was agreeing with the author that it is a welcome cultural change we are witnessing — until she spoiled her piece by twisting it with politics.

The writer, novelist Naomi Alderman, made three mentions of the sexual accusations against President Trump last year, but skipped the most famous sex case in the history of politics — the one involving a sitting president by the name of Bill Clinton and a young intern. Nor, having blasted Trump and his supporters, did she mention Harvey Weinstein’s prodigious fundraising for Democrats, or the way Hollywood liberals protect predators.

Left not right again on guns
The military screw-up that allowed the Texas killer to buy his weapons is a perfect example of how the failure to enforce laws often leads to horrible tragedy — and yet still provokes calls for ever more laws.

If the Air Force had done what it is supposed to and told the FBI that Devin Patrick Kelley had been dishonorably discharged after beating his wife and cracking the skull of his infant stepson, he would not have been allowed to purchase any firearms legally. But the Air Force never made the crucial notification, and Kelley passed all background checks as he assembled his small arsenal.

Still, the demand for more gun control, any gun control, dominates the left’s reaction.

Don’t facts matter?

COMMENTS (246)

DNC “Old” Guard Stumbling

Nancy Pelosi, the iconic delusional Democrat Leader

MORE Pelosi brain freeze: Confused about time of day, botches name of own guest –

 

 

The American MirrorThe American Mirror
www.theamericanmirror.com

Prior to the start of a Friday press conference intended to attack President Trump’s tax cut proposal, Nancy Pelosi was handed a folder of what she was supposed to tell reporters.

It might have been good for her to actually browse it before stepping to the microphone.

As the House Minority Leader was waiting for several invited guests to file in behind her, she could hear muttering to herself, “Is it still morning?”

After tripping over the word “incentives,” moments later she did a verbal face plant when she tried to say “giveaways.”

Accusing the Republicans of cutting taxes for the “rich” at the expense of working class taxpayers, Pelosi called it “a buffet of tax getaways — giveaways.”

Second later, she had trouble saying “GOP bill,” saying “G-O pill—GOP bill.”

Then the mistake of not reading her notes came back to bite her.

While introducing her guests, she said one woman’s son suffers from “microceph— microcephaly,” before flubbing “Nabisco,” the popular cracker and cookie company.

According to a press release from Pelosi’s office, a guest’s name was “Susan Flashman.”

Turning to her invitees, Pelosi said, “We’ll lead off today with Suzanne Fleishmann— Flashman.”

After thanking Flashman for her remarks, the 77-year-old House Minority Leader said, “You’ve answered the question, ‘why.’

“Why would they take away this extraordinary medical, uh, uh, deduction, medical, extraordinary medical expenses,” she said.

After stumbling over saying “permanently,” Pelosi appeared to suffer a brain freeze.

“Tax advantage to, uh,” she said, before stopping and staring at reporters, before continuing, “create jobs overseas…”

Wrapping up the appearance, Pelosi again tripped over Susan Flashman’s name.

COMMENTS (358)

2017 DNC CORE MELTDOWN

Democrats Determined to Wage Civil War Forever
www.thedailybeast.com

DNC Chair Donna Brazile
Democrats Determined to Wage Civil War Forever. Donna Brazile lit another match. But, really, the flame hasn’t gone out since Trump won.

Gideon ResnickSam Stein11.03.17 3:57 PM ET

During the final week of the most important election of the calendar year, the Democratic Party finds itself in a familiar place: subsumed by internal divisions and sniping.

The latest fracas is owed, in part, to Donna Brazile, the former interim chairwoman of the party, who released an excerpt of an upcoming book this week detailing an agreement between the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign that gave the campaign early control over the party’s finances and some staffing decisions.

This agreement, which was later revealed by NBC News, pertained to preparations for the general election and was in addition to a joint fundraising pledge, which was previously widely known during the first months of the presidential campaign. But Brazile’s piece provided an incisive reminder of what critics see as a fundamental rot within the party: a disposition to the establishment, a dependency on mega donors, and a top-down operational structure. That the piece landed as the DNC is still attempting to right the ship under new leadership made it downright pyrotechnic.

Some DNC members argued that it behooved the party to come to grips with its past—even in full public view—before moving forward; that it took particular courage for Brazile, who infamously passed Clinton a debate question, to help validate Democrats’ complaints with the DNC.

“Democrats all across the country are angry that our party was being controlled by a few at the top,” Jane Kleeb, the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party and a member of the DNC’s Unity Commission, told The Daily Beast. “This goes against everything we stand for as Democrats. Some in our party will want us to continue the status quo. But most of us are rolling up our sleeves pushing for reforms inside the party and electing Democrats so we are not facing a tax plan that leaves middle class families holding the bag.”

Others outside the DNC were furious with Brazile, calling the essay a selfish attempt to sell books at a time when the party’s fundraising is flagging and its attention should be on the upcoming, critical races. “She’s playing into Trump’s hands,” one Clinton campaign vet said. Brazile declined to comment until her book was formally released.

Whether it was necessary medicine or opportunistic marketing, Brazile’s piece reverberated throughout the party, up through DNC’s leadership. “We knew that there was stuff going on that we didn’t know about,” James Zogby, a current member of the Unity Reform Commission told The Daily Beast.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who serves as deputy chair of the DNC, meanwhile, issued a lengthy statement on Friday saying that the “account cannot simply be dismissed.”

“I’m committed to working with Chairman [Tom] Perez to make the DNC more transparent and accountable to the American people, whether that’s by ensuring that debates are scheduled far ahead of time or by guaranteeing that the terms of joint fundraising agreements give no candidate undue control or influence over the party,” Ellison said. “Additionally, when the DNC Unity Commission presents its recommendations on reforming our party, we must listen and act. If we do, Democrats can move forward and retake power at every level of government across the nation.”

Moving forward constructively has proven a tall task for Ellison, Perez and others at the DNC, which has been beset by poor fundraising and internal strife. Hours after the Brazile story was published, the organization dismissed its top money-raiser. Emily Mellencamp Smith, a veteran of Sen. Maggie Hassan’s (D-NH) Senate campaign, had been brought in over the summer to help the committee close its cash gap with the RNC. She lasted five months on the job.

Michael Tyler, the DNC’s press secretary, said in a statement to The Daily Beast that the DNC was “grateful” for her work and that Smith was “staying on in a consulting role for the DNC.” But others in the party were uncharacteristically livid.

“I’ve seen a lot of bosses scapegoat staff to cover their own failures but Tom Pérez takes the cake for this one,” Paul Tencher, chief of staff for Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) tweeted. “Really really despicable.”

Neither Tyler nor Tencher responded to requests to expand on their statements.

Both the reaction to Brazile’s piece and the nasty backlash towards Smith’s firing reflect a party still searching for an identity and functionality in the Trump era. Democrats seem clear that they want to turn the page from the 2016 Clinton campaign. But they’re unclear how best to do so.

In this climate, even an employee shakeup becomes a point of contention. A congressional Democratic source described Smith as “an extremely talented and qualified person,” and said that the a big chunk of the DNC’s fundraising woes this year occurred prior to her arrival.

Indeed, while Brazile’s piece centered its criticism on the Clinton campaign, it did not spare Barack Obama either. It was the former president, Brazile wrote, who left the committee in financial disrepair and who felt comfortable putting in a chair—Debbie Wasserman Schultz— who was plainly not up for the task.

When asked about her reaction to the piece, Wasserman Schultz said in a statement: “It was a tremendous honor to be asked by President Obama to serve as chair of the DNC. I am proud of the work our team did to support Democrats up and down the ballot in the 2016 election and to re-elect the President in 2012.” A spokesperson for the Congresswoman did not respond to a follow up question asking her to address specific claims made in Brazile’s book excerpt.

Clinton allies, meanwhile, insist that they did more to help the DNC than to harm it. The joint fundraising agreements were made available to her and Sanders (which DNC Chairman Tom Perez noted in a letter to DNC members on Friday.). And though Clinton was afforded a large degree of operational control over the committee (which former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Washington Post they did not have), she also helped it get out of debt, even as she reportedly pillaged a huge amount of the money that had been ostensibly donated to help state parties.

On Friday, Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign director, tried to take temperature down a bit. “Eye on the ball, Democrats!” he tweeted, saying the focus should be on the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. Others joined in.

“There is a race, a very important one, for governor in Virginia that if we are not careful could slip through our fingers,” said Clinton’s former spokesman, Brian Fallon, in an interview. “If [Ed] Gillespie were to pull of an upset there, it would basically ensure that Republicans would spend the next year running Trump-style campaigns that give in to race baiting because they will be convinced it is a successful strategy in the Trump era.”

“So, while it’s important for Democrats to take stock of our failings in 2016, there comes a point where it is just time to rally together and take a stand against the authoritarian regime that has taken over the U.S. Government. I hope people won’t lose sight of the bigger picture,” he concluded.

And yet, befitting the times, Democrats are encountering intraparty hiccups on that front too. On Friday, Democracy for America, a political action committee formed by former Governor Howard Dean, announced that it would not provide aid directly to Virginia Democratic candidate Ralph Northam due to a slight change in his position on sanctuary cities—which Virginia doesn’t have.

Dean, who is no longer affiliated with the organization, blasted the decision as “incredibly stupid.”

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The real Russian Meddle – with Bill & Hillary Clinton

A YEAR of Clinton lies about the ‘golden showers’ dossier exposed
www.dailymail.co.uk

It’s claimed that Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias and other Democrats falsely denied to reporters their involvement in the ‘dirty dossier’
Two New York Times journalists say they were lied to at every turn
It’s now established that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias arranged for the campaign and the Democratic Party to pay a dirt-digging firm to produce the dossier
‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted
A Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer who launched what would become known as the anti-Trump ‘dirty dossier’ denied involvement in the project for a year as reporters pressed him for information.

Marc Elias brokered a deal between the Clinton camp, the Democratic National Committee and opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the president while he was running for office.

But a pair of New York Times reporters said Tuesday night on Twitter that Elias and others involved had lied about their ties to the arrangement.

‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted after The Washington Post linked the dossier to Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie.

Kennth Vogel, another Times journalist, tweeted: ‘When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying “You (or your sources) are wrong”.’

Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc E. Elias hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt about Donald Trump, but falsely denied involvement to reporters

Two New York Times journalists blew up on Twitter when The Washington Post broke the story

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funneled money to Fusion GPS through Elias’s law firm.

The deal began in the spring of 2016, when Elias was approached by Fusion GPS, and lasted until right before Election Day. When Fusion approached Elias, it had already been doing research work on Trump for an unnamed client during the Republican primary.

But the dossier itself was funded entirely by Democrats, using Elias as a middle-man.

After the DNC and the Clinton campaign started paying, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to do the dirt-digging. His work later resulted in the dossier.

Trump has called the material ‘phony stuff,’ and on Wednesday he portrayed himself as the aggrieved party.

Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch (left) and partner Thomas Catan (right) took the Fifth last week rather than talking to Congress.

The dossier, compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, contends that the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump

The president posted a quote on Twitter that he attributed to Fox News: “Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President”.’

The FBI has worked to corroborate the document, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, questioned Steele weeks ago.

The dossier circulated in Washington last year and was turned over to the FBI for its review. It contends that Russia was engaged in a long-standing effort to aid Trump and had amassed compromising information about the Republican.

Among its wild claims was that Russian officials have videos of the president cavorting with prostitutes, filmed during Trump’s 2013 visit to a luxury Moscow hotel for the Miss Universe contest

It also contains a highly unusual and unsubstantiated report that the call girls performed a ‘golden shower’ routine that involved them urinating on a hotel bed as a sign of disgust for then-president Barack Obama.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the document as false and in recent days has questioned whether Democrats or the FBI itself had helped fund it.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the dossier’s claims, including the salacious allegation that he hired prostitutes in Russia

Trump called himself a ‘victim’ of the infamous dossier that Democrats helped pay to produce

Trump also has challenged the findings of the FBI, NSA and CIA that Russia waged a large-scale influence campaign to interfere in the election.

The FBI and the CIA have said with high confidence that the effort was aimed at hurting Clinton’s candidacy and helping Trump. The NSA found the same with “moderate” confidence.

It’s unclear what Fusion GPS had dug up by the time Perkins Coie hired it in April 2016. According to a copy of the dossier published by BuzzFeed last year, the earliest report from Steele dates to June 2016.

It was not immediately known how much money Fusion was paid or how many others in the Clinton campaign or DNC were aware that the firm had been retained.

Clinton campaign officials did not immediately comment, but in a statement, a DNC spokeswoman said the party chairman, Tom Perez, was not part of the decision-making and was unaware that Perkins Coie was working with Fusion GPS.

Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said on Twitter that he regretted not knowing about Steele’s hiring before the election, and that had he known, ‘I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him.’

‘I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent,’ Fallon in another tweet.

THE TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE
2016

June 20: The dossier is first dated June 20 and had contained several unverifiable periodic reports made over the summer, according to Mother Jones. It was sent in dated sections from a former Western intelligence officer to the FBI and alleged Russia had enough to blackmail Trump.

It alleged that Trump had been cultivated by Russian officials ‘for at least five years.’ It also claimed that the Kremlin had compromising material related to ‘sexually perverted acts’ Trump performed at a Moscow Ritz Carlton where former President Barack Obama once stayed.

Dossier also alleged that Trump’s inner circle was accepting a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton.

July 27: Trump asks Russian hackers to find Clinton’s 30,000 emails during a press conference.

July 31: Kremlin weighing whether to release more information about Clinton.

Late July: The FBI opens its investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, and the Trump campaign’s possible role in it.

August 27: Then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid sent a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey and called for a full investigation and public disclosure. He wrote: ‘The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia and the Kremlin.’

September 23: U.S. intelligence officials began investigating links between Trump adviser Carter Page and the Russian government, Yahoo News reported. Page had extensive business links in Russia and is a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in Moscow.

October 7: The Obama administration publicly accuses Russia of ‘directing the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations’ to affect the US election.

October 30: Reid sent Comey another letter demanding that Trump’s possible ties to Russia be fully investigated and he cited the existence of ‘explosive information’ that the FBI has in its possession.

November 3, 2016: Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev flies into Charlotte, North Carolina on a private plane. Trump’s plane lands on the tarmac not long after and parks next to Rybolovlev, whose plane stays in Charlotte for 22 hours afterward. Trump rallies in nearby city Concord.

November 8: Trump wins the election to become the 45th president of the United States.

November 10: President Barack Obama warns Trump during a meeting at the White House that national security advisor Michael Flynn, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general and Defense Intelligence Agency chief, is a problem.

November 18: During a security meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sen. John McCain hears about the documents and dispatches a former US official to meet the source of the documents and gather more information.

December 9: McCain meets Comey gives the FBI director the documents, The Guardian reported.

December 13: This is the last date of the memos from the dossier written by the British source.

December 29: The Obama administration issues new sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer and other efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

2017

January 10: Obama and Trump were both given a two-page summary of the dossier, CNN reported. BuzzFeed News then reported on the dossier and published it in full about how it alleges Trump’s deep ties with Russia.

January 19: The New York Times reported that ‘intercepted communications’ between Trump associates and Russians are being investigated as part of the FBI’s inquiry into Russia’s election meddling.

January 27: Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, holds a meeting with Russian-American businessman Felix Sater and Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko to discuss a backchannel ‘peace plan’ for Russia and Ukraine.

February 13: Flynn resigns as national security adviser after reports emerge that he misled Vice President Mike Pence.

March 2: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from the investigation into whether the Trump campaign communicated with Russia.

March 4: Without presenting evidence, Trump tweets that Obama had Trump Tower’s ‘wires tapped’ during the presidential campaign.

March 15: Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that the committee had not found any evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping claim.

March 20: Comey said he has ‘no evidence’ to support Trump’s wiretapping claim. He confirmed that an investigation into Russia’s election-related meddling includes an examination of contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign.

Late March: Flynn asks for immunity in exchange for testifying to the House and intelligence committees investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

April 1: Trump tweets: ‘It is the same Fake News Media that said there is “no path to victory for Trump” that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!’

April 3: Trump calls Putin to condemn a Saint Petersburg, Russia terrorist attack.

April 6: Nunes steps aside from the Russia investigation, because he himself is under investigation.

April 11: Page is now under investigation by the FBI who obtained court permission to monitor his communications. The U.S. believed he was acting as a Russian agent.

April 27: The Pentagon inspector general is investigating whether Flynn violated military rules by accepting foreign payments from Russia and Turkey, which is disclosed by a House committee.

May 8: Trump tweets ‘Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax’.

May 9: The president fires Comey from his position at the FBI.

May 10: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House.

May 15: The Washington Post reported that Trump shared highly classified information about Islamic State with the Russian diplomats during a meeting the previous week.

May 17: Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is appointed the special counsel to take over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

Late May: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is revealed to be under investigation by the FBI. According to the Post, he proposed a private back channel between the Kremlin and Trump’s transition team during a meeting in December.

June 8: Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee and answers questions related to Russia meddling into the U.S. election.

June 13: Sessions denies colluding with Russia during Senate testimony.

June 14: The Washington Post reported that Trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by Mueller.

September: Several news outlets, including POLITICO and Buzzfeed, are suing under the Freedom of Information Act to get records about how the federal government tried to vet the claims in the dossier.

October 24: It’s revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped bankroll research that led to the ‘golden showers’ dossier on Donald Trump. Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias hired research firm Fusion GPS back in April 2016 to look into allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post.

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President Trump: With tax reform we can make it morning in America again

President Trump: With tax reform we can make it morning in America again

In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, President Trump outlined his new tax plan that he claims will mean bigger paychecks and financial independence.

President Trump

Today is the anniversary of former president Ronald Reagan signing into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The act was the second major law he signed to reform the tax code for the American people.

Republicans and Democrats came together to cut taxes for hardworking families in 1981, and again in 1986 to simplify the tax code, so that everyone could get a fair shake. The rest, as they say, is history.

The economy boomed, launching into one of the largest peacetime economic expansions in history. Dormant small businesses and factories sprung back to life. The famed American Worker produced at unprecedented levels. The median family income rose. And more American products than ever before reached foreign shores, stamped with those four beautiful words: “Made in the USA.”

The 1980s also saw extraordinary ideas transformed into reality by American inventors and entrepreneurs. Many of those creations dramatically improved our quality of life. Others connected us like never before and put an entire universe of information at our fingertips. Still others, like the space shuttle after its first launch in 1981, stretched the bounds of what we thought was possible for humankind.

It was a time of extraordinary optimism — it was truly “Morning in America,” an economic miracle for the middle-class.

A lot has changed since then, especially when it comes to taxes.

While our economic competitors slashed their taxes in hopes of replicating America’s success, our leaders remained complacent or, in some cases, reversed course.

We are now among the highest taxed nations in the developed world. Our tax code and laws have nearly tripled in length since the 1986 reforms. They now span 2,650 pages, with another 70,000 pages of forms, instructions, court decisions, and other guidance.

We have watched our leaders allow other countries to erode our competitive edge, take our jobs, and drain our wealth. And, for the first time in our history, Americans have feared that their children will not grow up to be better off financially than they are.

That era of economic surrender is now over.

In the nine months since I took office as president, we have removed intrusive, job-killing regulations at a record pace. We are leaving lopsided international deals that hurt America like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris Climate Accord. We have unleashed American energy by ending the war on coal and approving major projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. And earlier this month, I signed an executive order to take important steps to free our people from the grip of Obamacare.

And now, unemployment is at a 16-year low. Wages are rising. Manufacturing confidence is higher than it has ever been. The stock market is soaring to record levels. And GDP growth climbed to more than 3% in the second quarter.

The optimism has returned — the sun is once again rising over America.

But our economy cannot take off like it should unless we transform our outdated, complex and burdensome tax code, and that is exactly what we are proposing to do.

Revising our tax code is not just a policy discussion — it is a moral one, because we are not talking about the government’s money – we are talking about your money, your hard work.

According to the Tax Foundation, taxes cost Americans more out-of-pocket than housing, clothing, and food — combined.

Somehow, this has become “normal” in the Land of the Free, but it should not be.

American families should not have to send more money to the government than they spend on building a better life for themselves and their children. You are the ones who carry this nation on your back, and it is time for you to get the relief that you deserve.

That is why we are taking action to dramatically reduce the burden that the sprawling federal tax code has become on our citizens.

Our plan will transform the tax code so that it is once again simple, fair and easy to understand. We want you to spend your valuable time pursuing your dreams, not trapped in a tax compliance nightmare.

We will cut taxes for hardworking, middle-class families.

We will double the standard deduction, which means the first $24,000 of a family’s income will be tax-free. We will also expand the child tax credit. And we will lower rates so that families will keep more of their hard-earned money.

We will also restore our competitive edge so we can create better jobs and higher wages for American workers.

Our plan will provide tax relief to businesses of all sizes, and deliver our small and medium-sized businesses the lowest top rate in more than 80 years.

Finally, we will bring back trillions of dollars in American wealth currently parked overseas.

Today’s tax system foolishly penalizes companies that bring foreign profits back to the United States. Our plan encourages companies to bring this money home, where it can be invested in American companies, American jobs and American workers.

If Congress comes together to enact this commonsense plan, the Council of Economic Advisers estimates that it will raise the annual income of a typical, hardworking American household by an average of around $4,000.

Just imagine the possibilities.

We have the benefit of hindsight as we look back at the three decades since our country’s last major tax reform. We can see what worked and what did not. And most importantly, we can apply the lessons learned to the challenges of today.

The tax cuts and reforms of the 1980s show that when we empower the American people to pursue their dreams, they will not only achieve greatness and create prosperity beyond imagination, they will build an entirely new world.

It is time to ignite America’s middle class miracle once again.

COMMENTARY

Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. He was elected after a Republican primary contest, beating seventeen other candidates decisively. He went on to beat the Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who failed to impress her own supporters. After winning the election, he spoke at victory rallies, explaining how he repeatedly returned to New Hampshire to secure just one precious electoral vote.

Quite the opposite in stark contrast, Hillary Clinton was in poor health, fainting and collapsing numerous times on the campaign trail, rarely making more than a single one-hour appearance per week. She was seen at least once being propped up by her nurse while her van, equipped like an ambulance, arrived to pick her up. She was seen tripping and falling numerous times like an opioid addict. Her young female physician LIED when she certified that Hillary was in “excellent health.”

The voting public was not easily fooled by lie after lie. Speaking of Democrat lies and massive cover up, mid-October 2017 broke stories of the real Russian collusion that occurred during the Obama Administration. The US Justice Department is investigating the sale of 20% of US uranium production – approved by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and signed off by President Obama. Former president Bill Clinton was paid $500, 000 for a one hour speech to Russian businesses, plus tens of millions given to the Clinton Foundation.

 

HERR MUELLER, DNC GESTAPO

Comey and known Communist Sympathizer & Muslim Apologist Jeh Johnson scheming together.

Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me
news.wgbh.org

Is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in mid-May to lead the investigation into suspected ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and various shady (aren’t they all?) Russian officials, the choirboy that he’s being touted to be, or is he more akin to a modern-day Tomas de Torquemada, the Castilian Dominican friar who was the first Grand Inquisitor in the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition?

Given the rampant media partisanship since the election, one would think that Mueller’s appointment would lend credibility to the hunt for violations of law by candidate, now President Trump and his minions.

But I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor. My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.

When Mueller was the acting United States Attorney in Boston, I was defense counsel in a federal criminal case in which a rather odd fellow contacted me to tell me that he had information that could assist my client. He asked to see me, and I agreed to meet. He walked into my office wearing a striking, flowing white gauze-like shirt and sat down across from me at the conference table. He was prepared, he said, to give me an affidavit to the effect that certain real estate owned by my client was purchased with lawful currency rather than, as Mueller’s office was claiming, the proceeds of illegal drug activities.

My secretary typed up the affidavit that the witness was going to sign. Just as he picked up the pen, he looked at me and said something like: “You know, all of this is actually false, but your client is an old friend of mine and I want to help him.” As I threw the putative witness out of my office, I noticed, under the flowing white shirt, a lump on his back – he was obviously wired and recording every word between us.

Years later I ran into Mueller, and I told him of my disappointment in being the target of a sting where there was no reason to think that I would knowingly present perjured evidence to a court. Mueller, half-apologetically, told me that he never really thought that I would suborn perjury, but that he had a duty to pursue the lead given to him. (That “lead,” of course, was provided by a fellow that we lawyers, among ourselves, would indelicately refer to as a “scumbag.”)

This experience made me realize that Mueller was capable of believing, at least preliminarily, any tale of criminal wrongdoing and acting upon it, despite the palpable bad character and obviously questionable motivations of his informants and witnesses. (The lesson was particularly vivid because Mueller and I overlapped at Princeton, he in the Class of 1966 and me graduating in 1964.)

Years later, my wariness toward Mueller was bolstered in an even more revelatory way. When he led the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, I arranged in December 1990 to meet with him in Washington. I was then lead defense counsel for Dr. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, who had been convicted in federal court in North Carolina in 1979 of murdering his wife and two young children while stationed at Fort Bragg. Years after the trial, MacDonald (also at Princeton when Mueller and I were there) hired me and my colleagues to represent him and obtain a new trial based on shocking newly discovered evidence that demonstrated MacDonald had been framed in part by the connivance of military investigators and FBI agents. Over the years, MacDonald and his various lawyers and investigators had collected a large trove of such evidence.

The day of the meeting, I walked into the DOJ conference room, where around the table sat a phalanx of FBI agents. My three colleagues joined me. Mueller walked into the room, went to the head of the table, and opened the meeting with this admonition, reconstructed from my vivid and chilling memory: “Gentlemen: Criticism of the Bureau is a non-starter.” (Another lawyer attendee of the meeting remembered Mueller’s words slightly differently: “Prosecutorial misconduct is a non-starter.” Either version makes clear Mueller’s intent – he did not want to hear evidence that either the prosecutors or the FBI agents on the case misbehaved and framed an innocent man.)

Special counsel Mueller’s background indicates zealousness that we might expect in the Grand Inquisitor, not the choirboy.

Why Special Prosecutors Are A Bad Idea

The history of special counsels (called at different times either “independent counsel” or “special prosecutor”) is checkered and troubled, resulting in considerable Supreme Court litigation around the concept of a prosecutor acting outside of the normal DOJ chain of command.

The Supreme Court in 1988 approved, with a single dissent (Justice Antonin Scalia), the concept of an independent prosecutor. Still, all subsequent efforts to appoint such a prosecutor have led to enormous disagreements over whether justice was done. Consider Kenneth Starr’s obsessive four-year, $40-million pursuit of President Bill Clinton for having sex with a White House intern and then lying about it. Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s 2006 pursuit of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is not as infamous, but it should be. Fitzgerald indicted and a jury later convicted Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for lying about leaking to the New York Times the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Subsequent revelations that there were multiple leaks and that Wilson’s CIA identity was not a secret served to discredit Libby’s indictment. Libby’s sentence was commuted. Libby’s relatively speedy reinstatement into the bar is seen by many as evidence of his unfair conviction. Considered in tandem, the campaigns against Democrat Clinton and Republican Libby raise disturbing questions about the use of special or independent prosecutors.

Yet despite the constitutional issues, the most serious problem with a special counsel is that when a prosecutor is appointed to examine closely the lives and affairs of a pre-selected group of targets, that prosecutor is almost certain to stumble across multiple actions that might be deemed criminal under the sprawling and incredibly vague federal criminal code.

In Mueller’s case, one can have a very high degree of confidence that he will uncover alleged felonies within the ranks of the inner circle of the President’s men (there are very few women to investigate in this administration). This could well include Trump himself.

I described this phenomenon long before Trump began his improbable rise, in my 2009 book “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent” (Encounter Books, updated edition, 2011).  I explained how federal “fraud” statutes were so vague that just about any action in the daily life of a typically busy professional might be squeezed into the elastic definition of some kind of federal felony. Harvard Law Professor (and, I should note, my former professor and subsequent longtime friend and colleague) Alan Dershowitz has beaten me to the punch, making the case in a raft of articles and on TV and radio that none of the evidence thus far leaked to or adduced by investigative reporters constitute federal crimes.

But Mueller’s demonstrated zeal and ample resources virtually assure that indictments will come, even in the absence of actual crimes rather than behavior that is simply “politics as usual”. If Mueller claims that Trump or members of his entourage committed crimes, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily so. We should take Mueller and his prosecutorial team with a grain of salt. But a grain of salt seems an outmoded concept in an age when both sides – Trump and his critics – seem impervious to inconvenient facts. The most appropriate slogan for all the combatants on both sides of the Trump wars (including, alas, the reporters and their editors) might well be: “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.”

The Author

Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense and First Amendment lawyer and writer, is WGBH/News’ “Freedom Watch” columnist. He practices law in an “of counsel” capacity in the Boston law firm Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP. He is the author, most recently, of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (New York: Encounter Books, updated edition 2011). The author thanks his research assistant, Nathan McGuire, for his invaluable work on this series.

TRUMP APPROVAL RISING

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll – Rasmussen Reports
www.rasmussenreports.com

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 45% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 29% who Strongly Approve of the way Trump is performing and 46% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17. (see trends).

Most Americans continue to say their families regularly display the U.S. flag on holidays, and as in the previous survey, 85% of adults consider themselves, to be patriotic Americans.

Also, voters do not see chanting “USA” as an intolerant expression.

Yet respect for the flag and the national anthem remains a contentious issue. Hundreds of NFL players have knelt, sat or avoided the National Anthem since President Trump said last Friday that players who disrespect it should be fired. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Americans say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of protests by players on the field.

Protests erupted in St. Louis following the acquittal of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black man in 2011. But Americans believe those protests are primarily fueled by criminals taking advantage of the situation and are not an expression of legitimate outrage.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe most politicians raise racial issues to get elected.

Voters still see a lot more corruption in the federal government than in its state and local counterparts, but there’s doubt about government honesty at every level.

As in prior years, voters remain strongly convinced that their fellow countrymen are not informed voters.

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the presidentsince they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

Elizabeth Warren scrambles when confronted about wealth, attacks on 1% – The American MirrorThe American Mirror
www.theamericanmirror.com

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was recently confronted with a simple question, and her reaction speaks volumes.

WRKO radio host Jeff Kuhner caught up with Warren the other day and recorded his brief encounter, during which he asked the Massachusetts senator an easy question.

“You often say, and I agree with you, that the 99 percent are getting shafted by the 1 percent,” Kuhner told Warren as she shook her head in agreement. “Let me ask you this. A lot of people, especially my listeners, say you live in Cambridge. You have a $2 million mansion, plus you’re a multi-millionaire yourself. So how can you rail against the 1 percent, when you are and live like the 1 percent?”

The senator launched into a oral history of her family and the “opportunities” that landed her in the upper-upper class.

“I wasn’t born in Cambridge,” Warren said, “I was born into a family where my daddy worked one job after another and ended up as a janitor.”

Her mother worked for minimum wage, and her brothers were in the military, and she wanted to be a school teacher and didn’t even have money to pay for the college application, she said. Eventually she graduated from a “commuter college that cost $50 a semester” to become a special needs teacher. After that, she was a mom and attended a state law school, Warren said, avoiding Kuhner’s original question.

“But you are part of the 1 percent?” the radio host persisted. “You are a multi-millionare and have a mansion in Cambridge, do you not? It’s worth north of $2 million.”

“I had opportunities because America invested in kids like me,” Warren said. “And that’s the reason I’m in public office, so I can make sure the next kid …”

“Ya, I know,” Kuhner cut her off. “But you are part of the 1 percent and you’re railing on the 1 percent. You don’t see the hypocrisy there?”

“This is whether you believe in opportunity or not, and I believe in opportunity,” Warren said as her handler suddenly remembered the senator had a pressing engagement.

“You mean the $350,000 for one course?” Kuhner shot back as Warren dashed down the hallway. “Is that what you mean by opportunity, senator?”

Kuhner’s parting shot refers to the big money Warren raked in as a Native American faculty member at Harvard.

The exorbitant salary is often cited in response to Warren’s hypocritical criticism about the high cost of higher education in America.

Folks online seemed to enjoy watching Warren squirm.

“I love this! Thank you for calling her out on it,” Rick Scherer posted. “College is too expensive … bu she gets paid 350k to teach one class!”

“She was willing to answer the questions but the minute she was confronted with something she didn’t like she couldn’t get out of there fast enough,” Susan Woods wrote.

“So you pulled up the boot straps and got out on your own and became part of the 1%,” Richard Rizza pointed out. “Why can’t everyone else do the same? Why do they need so much help, when you were able to do it?”