‘John McCain passed dossier to make Trump look bad; now he’s trying to save his hide’

McCain had a private meeting with FBI Director James Comey to hand him a dossier on Trump in a ploy to make him look bad, claims Daniel McAdams, executive director of Ron Paul Institute. Now McCain is attempting to disassociate himself from it, he added.

*

US Senator John McCain said last week’s leak of an unverified report on Russia having compromising information on Donald Trump was “totally wrong” and that someone must be held responsible for it.

RT: John McCain, who passed the unverified information to the FBI himself now claims that those behind its leak must be responsible for it. What’s your take on that?

Daniel McAdams: We should be clear what McCain’s role was in this. McCain is a chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, an extraordinary powerful individual in Washington DC. I think that what happened is that McCain is caught in the center of this controversy. Now he is trying to play the innocent. “Oh, I just did my duty,” he said. “I had no way of knowing whether this was valid damning information.”

But what he did in his role as the Chairman of the Committee was he validated that information. He contacted James Comey, the director of the FBI, to have a personal and private meeting to hand him this dossier. That action in itself validates or gives the impression that the document is validated to the FBI. So I think he is caught in the trap of his own making. He was trying to be involved in a ploy to make Trump look bad. He was caught at it, and now he is trying to backtrack and save his hide.

capture

McCain just today released his own new defense budget: five years – five trillion dollar defense budget; a lot of that is aimed at Russia. It is great for the American military-industrial complex, which is what keeps John McCain in office. So that is one of the reasons he does this. One of the reasons why he cannot stand Donald Trump and he could not stand to have any change in Washington’s anti-Russia policies… If anyone is hurting American democracy, it’s people like John McCain and whoever hired this person to dig up this supposed dirt to create this dirt…

They’ve created the narrative that Trump is somehow in the pay of the Russians. Even Mike Morrell, the acting CIA Director, said the incoming President of the United States is an “agent of Putin.” This is unprecedented. They’ve established this to de-legitimize – whatever you think about Donald Trump, this is to de-legitimize him. Most people will remember the salacious details of this dossier; they won’t remember all the finer points about how it came about, McCain’s role in it. They don’t remember this; they remember the headlines. So I would say as a propaganda ploy this will probably be very successful.

CNN PRESIDENT: OUR ‘CREDIBILITY IS HIGHER THAN EVER’

Jeff Zucker defends network after being labeled ‘fake news’ by president-elect

| Infowars.com – JANUARY 18, 2017

CNN President Jeff Zucker is defending his network following remarks from the incoming leader of the free world, who last week labeled the cable news outlet “terrible” and “fake news.”

Zucker told New York Magazine Tuesday CNN’s credibility has never been higher, and asserted President-elect Donald Trump’s treatment of the network has little to no impact on its global influence.

“I think the era of access journalism as we’ve known it is over. It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus — and that’s CNN.”

Zucker went on to issue an eerie warning to Trump reminding him the network controls how other countries perceive him.

“The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.”

Zucker also claimed CNN plays “a vital role in our democracy,” and said Trump was attempting to delegitimize the organization.

“It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy. I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad.”

The network president also said he stood by CNN’s reporting of unsubstantiated allegations last week claiming that Russia had compromising intel on President-elect Donald Trump.

“We didn’t pass judgment on the allegations. We reported we had not been able to corroborate them. But the news was that the two most powerful people in the world had been briefed on the existence of these allegations,” Zucker said.

At a fiery press conference last Wednesday, the president elect took a CNN reporter to task when he persisted in attempting to ask a question.

“Your organization is terrible,” Trump told CNN’s Jim Acosta, who repeatedly asked, “Can you give us a question?”

“Don’t be rude,” Trump responded. “No, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”

Trump had previously made his feelings toward the network clear during a meeting at Trump Tower in November following his successful presidential bid.

At a meeting with several high-profile media executives and journalists described as a “f**ing firing squad,” Trump unleashed his true feelings on the mainstream media.

According to The New York Post, “Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars.”

The president-elect had also previously labeled the network “fake news” via Twitter after it reported the businessman he would maintain a role on the TV show The Apprentice despite being president.

capture

OBAMA SNUBS SNOWDEN

Earnest said the “disclosures by Edward Snowden were far more serious and far more dangerous” than those of Manning

mcclatchydc.com – JANUARY 18, 2017

Obama’s actions also raise questions about the future of Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency whose unauthorized revelations in 2013 showed vast surveillance by the U.S. intelligence apparatus, some of it on trusted leaders of allied nations. Snowden’s leaks also underscored how the NSA swept up telephone records within the United States in apparent violation of U.S. law. Snowden is in asylum in Moscow. 

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted recently the “stark differences” between Manning and Snowden, whose supporters who have been pushing for clemency.

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

“So I think the situation of these two individuals is quite different. I can’t speculate at this point about to what degree that will have an impact on the President’s consideration of clemency requests. But I know that there’s a temptation because the crimes were relatively similar to lump the two cases together. But there are some important differences, including the scale of the crimes that were committed and the consequences of their crimes.”

Earnest said the “disclosures by Edward Snowden were far more serious and far more dangerous” than those of Manning.

Supporters hailed the commutation as an act of humanity.

BIDEN BREAKDOWN: WORLD ORDER AT RISK OF COLLAPSE!

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-9-30-33-am

BY JAY YAROW

In an epic final speech, Joe Biden warns that the progressive democratic world order is at risk of collapse

Vice President Joe Biden delivered an epic final speech Wednesday to the elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The gist of his speech was simple: At a time of “uncertainty” we must double down on the values that made Western democracies great, and not allow the “liberal world order” to be torn apart by destructive forces.

Biden went after Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, saying he is using “every tool” in his power to whittle away the European project, and undermine Western democracies. Biden accused Putin of wanting to “roll back decades of progress.”

Biden said Russia used “cyber aggression” to meddle in the U.S. election, an assertion supported by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies. He also warned that we will see further interference from Russia in the future and said the “purpose is clear” — that Putin wants to see a “collapse of the international order.”

“Simply put, Putin has a different vision of the future,” the vice president warned.

At the outset of his speech, Biden implored the media to not hear his speech as a shot at President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on Friday. And, while what Biden said applies broadly to leaders in Europe, as well as the United States, there is no mistaking that his comments were a rebuttal to Trump’s friendly statements about the Russian president.

At a time when Trump and his advisors are talking about shaking up NATO, Biden said, we must “support our NATO allies. An attack on one is an attack on all. That can never be placed in question.”

Biden also warned that unlike Trump’s call for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, it’s not the time to build walls and live in fear.

Biden implored world leaders to work together to protect democracy from encroachments by Russia, Iran and others. Yet, Trump’s world view is “America First,” which runs counter to Biden’s view.

Biden didn’t merely urge the world leaders at Davos to maintain the status quo. He warned that the reason for the pressure on the democratic order is the rise in income inequality and the hollowing out of the middle class, as the rich get richer and people in developing nations see their lives gradually improve.

He said the top 1 percent is not paying their fair share, and as a result we are seeing social instability increase.

“We need to tap into the big heartedness,” Biden said. “This is a moment to lead boldly.”

See also: Biden to Davos: The 1% needs to pay up or else…

‘Worse than prostitutes’: Putin slams those behind Trump ‘leak’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he has no grounds to attack or protect US President-elect Donald Trump, since he does not know him personally. He added though that those behind the recent allegations against Trump have “no moral scruples.”
*

“I don’t know Mr. Trump personally, I have never met him and don’t know what he will do on the international arena. So I have no grounds to attack him or criticize him for anything, or protect him or whatever,” Putin said.

READ MORE: US anti-Russia sanctions failed, united Russians around President Putin – Trump’s advisor

Despite the fact that elections in the US are over and ended with a solid win for the Republican candidate, an intense political struggle continues in the US, the Russian president observed, adding that there are certain forces that aim “to undermine the legitimacy of the president-elect.”

“I have an impression they practiced in Kiev and are ready to organize a Maidan in Washington, just to not let Trump take office,” Putin said, apparently referring to anti-government protests in the Ukrainian capital in 2014, which resulted in the leadership being ousted.

*

Those anti-Trump forces in the US also want to “bind hand and foot” the newly-elected leader, Putin added. He said that in this way, they aim to interfere with the domestic and international policies outlined in Trump’s presidential campaign.

By doing so, these forces “severely harm US interests,” Putin said.

The campaign to discredit the president-elect shows that certain “political elites in the West, including in the US,” have “significantly” worsened, according to the Russian president.

“Prostitution is an ugly social phenomenon,” he told reporters, adding that people who stand behind “fabrications” being used against Trump “are worse than prostitutes.”

“They have no moral scruples,” he said.

The Russian leader also called the allegations that Moscow might have blackmail material on the US president-elect evidently fake.”

“When Trump visited Moscow several years ago, he wasn’t a political figure. We didn’t even know about his political ambitions, he was just a businessman, one of America’s richest people. So does someone think that our intelligence services go after each American billionaire? Of course not, it’s complete rubbish,” Putin said.

*

Commenting on reports spread in the Western media accusing Trump of frolicking with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, the Russian president said he doubted that a man who had been organizing beauty pageants for years and had met “some of the most beautiful women of the world” would hire call girls in the Russian capital.

Last week, a report on what was claimed to be a secret dossier, reportedly compiled by former UK intelligence officer Christopher Steele, was published by CNN and BuzzFeed. It alleged that Trump was groomed and supported by Russian intelligence and that the Kremlin was in possession of compromising material on the president-elect.

The dossier reportedly contained a bizarre story of Trump allegedly hiring prostitutes to “perform a ‘golden showers’ show in front of him” on a hotel bed in the Ritz Carlton presidential suite in the Russian capital, where Barack Obama and his wife had previously stayed.

READ MORE: Theresa May says Trump dossier spy Christopher Steele ‘hasn’t worked for UK for years’

The US president-elect, who will be inaugurated on January 20, has branded the dossier a “complete fraud,” saying that intelligence insiders have confirmed to him that the allegations were fake.

US military boosts weapons airdrops to Syrian opposition – reports

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-12-15-16-pm

A growing number of opposition groups in Syria are getting increased weapons and ammunition supplies from the US Air Force to tackle Islamic State, according to US media reports citing the country’s military.
*

The weapons are intended for opposition forces closing in on IS’s self-proclaimed capital Raqqa in Syria, USA Today .

*

The “expanded” airdrops are “helping ground forces take the offensive to [the Islamic State] and efforts to retake Raqqa,” Gen. Carlton Everhart, commander of the US Air Mobility Command, is quoted by the news outlet.

Currently, the Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) – an alliance of various militias, mainly formed by Kurdish fighters – is continuing its  to retake territories around Raqqa. SDF is among key opposition forces being backed by the US-led international coalition in Syria.

The weapons supplies “are absolutely essential” for the irregular forces fighting on the ground, the US Air Force spokesman in Baghdad Col. John Dorrian claimed, according to USA Today.

Meanwhile, Everhart reportedly claimed that the US military is being extremely precise while delivering arms and equipment to the opposition in Syria. “We’ll get it within 10 or 15 meters of the mark,” he said.

The US-led coalition has been repeatedly conducting military airdrops for the opposition groups in Syria. However, such missions have not always gone according to plan.

Back in October 2014, a weapons airdrop by the US Air Force apparently ended up in the hands of IS terrorists, who released a video claiming to have seized the cache of arms. The weapons had been intened for the Kurdish forces battling jihadists who were besieging the Syrian town of Kobane at the time.

*

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steven Warren later said that two bundles of weapons have been lost. While one of them was destroyed by an air strike, another “went astray and probably fell into enemy hands.”

“There is always going to be some margin of error in these types of operations,” Warren added.

In December last year, US President Barack Obama granted a waiver for some of the restrictions on the delivery of military aid to “foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals,” if those groups are supporting the US’s alleged counter-terrorism efforts in Syria.

Reacting to the decision, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the move could result in some of the weapons getting into the hands of terrorists.
Such an occurence would pose “a serious threat not only for the region, but the entire world,” he warned.

On December 9, 2016 US Democratic lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard  the Stop Arming Terrorists Act bill. She alleged that the CIA in fact supplied arms to the opposition, some of whom cooperated with terrorists including al-Qaeda. “This madness must end,” she urged.