(KNOW YOUR ENEMY!) – Congressman Asks if Trump Had ‘Lynching Tree’ at Black History Month Event

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) stops to talk with reporters before a meeting in Chicago on June 10, 2013. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

BY NICHOLAS BALLASY

WASHINGTON – Asked about President Trump’s remarks at Tuesday’s White House Black History Month ceremony, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who hadn’t seen the event, asked PJM if the administration displayed a “lynching tree” there.

“Lynching? What did they have? A tree like out in Alabama they used to lynch with?” Rush asked during an interview Tuesday evening after the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Avoice Heritage Celebration recognizing African-American veterans.

When Rush was told there wasn’t a lynching tree at the White House, he replied, “Oh, they didn’t have that? He didn’t do a replica of a lynching tree?”

The theme of the White House’s Black History Month ceremony was “African-Americans in Times of War.” During the event, Trump reiterated his remarks about a record-low African-American unemployment. The rate in December was 6.8 percent; the lowest previous rate was 7 percent in April 2000. The current trend began falling in June 2013, when the rate was 14.2 percent.

Rush, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was asked if he thinks the low rate is evidence that the administration’s policies are working for African-Americans.

“Oh, absolutely not. The unemployment rate for our whole nation is coming down and it had nothing to do with Trump,” Rush said. “It started years ago under Obama, really before Obama, but during the Obama years. So [Trump] can’t take credit for that. And there are too many African-Americans who are underemployed, and until we deal with the issue of underemployment of African-Americans there’s no reason to rejoice.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) was also asked if there is a correlation between the African-American unemployment rate and the Trump administration’s policies.

“I have no factors that would allow me to comment on a random statement about African-American unemployment,” Jackson Lee replied. “I know that in the policy sector, we continue to work to provide opportunities for our young people.”

PJM asked Rush, an Army veteran, if he supports the Trump administration’s efforts to reform the Veterans Affairs administration.

“No. He’s been lethargic in terms of his support for veterans. A lot of it emanates from the fact that he is not a veteran so he can’t really empathize with veterans,” said Rush, who skipped Trump’s State of the Union address.

“He can try to create a national parade down Pennsylvania Avenue so that everybody can salute him,” the congressman added, noting again Trump’s lack of military service. “He has the form and rhetoric for being an advocate for veterans, but he doesn’t have the substance.”

Trump has asked the Department of Defense to plan a military parade that would possibly showcase troops and hardware like the Bastille Day parade the president openly admired in France. White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney estimated today that a military parade would cost between $10 million and $30 million.

Rush said he’s “absolutely not” a fan of the idea “unless you really are going to highlight the veterans who are struggling and the effects of war and not try to mesmerize people with the military war equipment.”

“The human effects of war – that’s what needs to be highlighted,” he emphasized.

Ouch! Senator Chuck Grassley BLASTS Failed Attorney General Jeff Sessions

For months it’s been clear that AG Sessions is a total failure. He recused himself and then hired crook Rod Rosenstein as Asst AG who then created the crooked Mueller investigation.  If this republic is to continue, Sessions must go!

The US cannot have multiple layers of laws. It’s impossible to have some individuals who do not have to abide by the same laws as the rest of the population.  We also cannot stand for the corrupt FBI, DOJ and State Departments (amongst others) that are able to spy, lie and assault Americans for faulty crimes.  Obama’s Administration was corrupt and dishonest at all levels and so it’s no surprise that the entire federal government is corrupt.  These people must be swept out.  It’s starts with AG Sessions!

AG Sessions praised Asst AG Rosenstein the same day Rosenstein was identified in the FISA memo as one of the individuals who signed off on the slanderous FISA memo to spy on President Trump.  Mueller’s investigation is full of former Clinton and Obama corrupt cronies.  The FBI and DOJ continue to delay and prevent Congress from seeing information requested for month.  Much of the information is unnecessarily redacted from the individuals (Congress) who has the mandate to oversee these same institutions.

Many Congressman are calling for Jeff Sessions to resign or be replaced and have for months.

Attorney General Sessions has failed to bring trust in the judicial system back to America.

Now this…
Jeff Sessions is meddling with the US Senate.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is working with senators on criminal justice reforms.

Attorney General Sessions is trying to meddle in the senate process.

Grassley hit Sessions hard today:

The Politico has more:

“It’s Senator Sessions talking, not a person whose job it is to execute law, and quite frankly I’m very incensed,” he told POLITICO.

What Sessions’ letter “doesn’t recognize here,” Grassley added, “and why I’m incensed about it is, look at how hard it was for me to get him through committee in the United States Senate. And look at, when the president was going to fire him, I went to his defense.”

The Iowa Republican said “all kinds of” potentially polarizing Justice Department nominees who have proven “very difficult to get through the United States Senate” have also landed in his lap as chief of the influential Judiciary Committee.

“If he wanted to do this,” Grassley said of Sessions, “he should have done what people suggested to him before: resign from attorney general and run for the Senate in Alabama again. We’d have a Republican senator.”

Former Officials Give Conflicting Accounts of Kerry State Dept’s Handling of Trump Hoax Dossier

by AARON KLEIN  14 Feb 2018

TEL AVIV – Seeming discrepancies between the claims of two former officials in John Kerry’s State Department about actions taken involving the infamous, 35-page largely discredited anti-Trump dossier raise immediate questions about the State Department’s possible role in the sordid affair.

The dossier, which contains wild and unproven claims about Trump’s campaign and Russia, was authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele on behalf of the controversial Fusion GPS firm and was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The dossier was reportedly utilized by the FBI to launch its probe into Trump. According to House Republicans, the questionable document was used by Obama administration officials to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign. The political origins of the dossier and issues relating to Steele’s credibility as a source were kept from the FISA court, a House Intelligence Committee memo documents.

Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who worked under the Clintons and served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs under Kerry, described in a recent Politico podcast interview what she claimed was her reaction when she was presented with Steele’s dossier information at the State Department.

She said that she offered advice to “those who were interfacing with” Steele, immediately telling the intermediary or intermediaries that Steele “should get this information to the FBI.” She further explained that a career employee at the State Department could not get involved with the dossier charges since such actions could violate the Hatch Act, which prevents employees in the executive branch of the federal government from engaging in certain kinds of political activities.

In a second interview, this one with CBS’s Face The Nation, Nuland also stated that her “immediate” reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

Here is a transcript of the relevant section of her February 5 interview with Susan B. Glasser, who described Nuland as “my friend” and referred to her by her nickname “Toria”:

Glasser: When did you first hear about his dossier?

Nuland: I first heard — and I didn’t know who his client was until much later, until 2017, I think, when it came out. I first heard that he had done work for a client asserting these linkages — I think it was late July, something like that.

Glasser: That’s very interesting. And you would have taken him seriously just because you knew that he knew what he was talking about on Russia?

Nuland: What I did was say that this is about U.S. politics, and not the work of — not the business of the State Department, and certainly not the business of a career employee who is subject to the Hatch Act, which requires that you stay out of politics. So, my advice to those who were interfacing with him was that he should get this information to the FBI, and that they could evaluate whether they thought it was credible.

Glasser: Did you ever talk about it with anyone else higher up at the department? With Secretary Kerry or anybody else?

Nuland: Secretary Kerry was also aware. I think he’s on the record and he had the same advice.

Nuland stated that Kerry “was also aware” of the dossier, but she did not describe how he was made aware. She made clear that she told “those who were interfacing” with Steele to go to the FBI since any State Department involvement could violate the Hatch Act.

Nuland’s Politico podcast interview was not the only time she claimed that her reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI.

On Face The Nation on February 4, Nuland engaged in the following exchange in which she stated her “immediate” reaction was to refer Steele to the FBI (emphasis added):

MARGARET BRENNAN: The dossier.

VICTORIA NULAND: The dossier, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding, and our immediate reaction to that was, “This is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI, if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”

And that was our reaction when we saw this. It’s not our — we can’t evaluate this. And frankly, if every member of the campaign who the Russians tried to approach and tried to influence had gone to the FBI as well in real time, we might not be in the mess we’re in today.

Nuland gave the two interviews after her name started surfacing in news media reports involving Kerry’s State Department and the dossier. Her name also came up in relation to a criminal referral of Steele to the Justice Department in the form of a letter released last week and authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

The Grassley-Graham criminal referral contains redacted information that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in contact with a “foreign sub-source” who was in touch with a redacted name described as a “friend of the Clintons.”

Numerous media reports have since stated that the source of information provided to the State Department that was in turn passed onto Steele was Cody Shearer, a controversial figure tied to the Clintons who is also an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal. According to sources who spoke to CNN, Shearer’s information was passed from Blumenthal to Jonathan Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya working under Kerry. Winer says that Kerry personally recruited him to work at the State Department.

It is Winer’s version of events that seems to conflict with Nuland.

In an oped last week published in the Washington Post, Winer identified Nuland as the State Department official with whom he shared Steele’s information. Winer writes that Nuland’s reaction was that “she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.” He does not relate any further reaction from Nuland.

Winer wrote at the Washington Post (emphasis added):

In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved “active measures,” a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the “dossier.” Steele’s sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.

That was the extent of Winer’s description of Nuland’s reaction upon being presented with Steele’s dossier claims. Nuland’s public claim that her “immediate” response was to refer Steele to the FBI since State involvement could violate the Hatch Act seems to conflict with the only reaction that Winer relates from Nuland – that she felt Kerry should be made aware of the dossier information.

In Winer’s Washington Post oped, he writes that Steele had a larger relationship with the State Department, passing over 100 reports relating to Russia to the U.S. government agency through Winer. Winer wrote that Nuland found Steele’s reports to be “useful” and asked Winer to “continue to send them.”

He wrote:

In 2013, I returned to the State Department at the request of Secretary of State John F. Kerry, whom I had previously served as Senate counsel. Over the years, Steele and I had discussed many matters relating to Russia. He asked me whether the State Department would like copies of new information as he developed it. I contacted Victoria Nuland, a career diplomat who was then assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and shared with her several of Steele’s reports. She told me they were useful and asked me to continue to send them. Over the next two years, I shared more than 100 of Steele’s reports with the Russia experts at the State Department, who continued to find them useful. None of the reports related to U.S. politics or domestic U.S. matters, and the reports constituted a very small portion of the data set reviewed by State Department experts trying to make sense of events in Russia.

Last month, Nuland was appointed CEO of the Center for a New American Security, which describes itself as “an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit organization that develops strong, pragmatic, and principled national security and defense policies.”  “As CEO, Ambassador Nuland will lead CNAS’s efforts to develop bold, innovative, and bipartisan solutions to the most pressing national security and defense issues,” the Center said in a statement.

She previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Senators question Susan Rice about an odd email – and it was written on Trump’s inaugural

Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice is being questioned by Republican senators over an odd email she sent to herself on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot)

By Carlos Garcia

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are questioning an odd email written by former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice — and it was composed on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Here’s what it said:

The email is an account of a meeting between herself and former President Barack Obama, his Vice President Joe Biden, then-FBI Director James Comey, and then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. They were discussing the progress in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President Obama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present,” the Rice email read.

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective,” it continued.

“He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book,” she added. “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia…”

“The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would,” the note concluded.

Odd details

Rice wrote the email about the meeting more than two weeks after the meeting occurred, on January 5, 2017. The email was written on the day of Trump’s inauguration, and was sent to Rice herself.

Grassley and Graham sent an email to Rice asking that she answer 12 questions about the email, one of which was the following: “Did anyone instruct, request, suggest, or imply that you should send yourself the aforementioned Inauguration Day email memorializing President Obama’ s meeting with Mr. Comey about the Trump/Russia investigation? If so, who and why?”

Another asks, “When and how did you first become aware that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Mr. [Christopher] Steele’s efforts?” referring to the author of the controversial “Trump dossier.”

The last question asks, “Did President Obama have any other meetings with Mr. Comey, Ms. Yates, or other government officials about the FBI’ s investigation of allegations of collusion between Trump associates and Russia? If so, when did these occur, who participated, and what was discussed?”

A pattern of abuse?

Rice was the Obama administration official who was sent to Sunday talk shows in order to blame the Benghazi attack on a YouTube movie about the origins of Islam. Many accuse her of lying about the cause in order to shield the administration from criticism over security at the consulate.

Rice was later accused of illegally “unmasking” Trump officials, a charge which she vehemently denies.