AP BOTCH: NATIONAL GUARD NOT CALLED ON ILLEGALS

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By Betsy Woodruff

Homeland Security on AP’s National Guard: ‘Absolutely Incorrect’

The Department of Homeland Security is roundly condemning an Associated Press story that broke Friday morning about considering the use of the National Guard to “round up” undocumented immigrants. The DHS says that isn’t true, and—contra the AP’s reporting—that DHS Secretary John Kelly didn’t write the draft memo. 

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“The Department is not considering mobilizing the National Guard,” said Gillian Christensen, the acting press secretary for DHS.

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A DHS official told The Daily Beast that the memo the AP cited was an early, pre-decisional draft, that Kelly never approved it, and that the department as a whole never seriously considered it.

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The AP reported that the draft memo suggested using National Guard troops to “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.”

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The AP also reported that Kelly wrote the memo, but Christensen told The Daily Beast that that is “absolutely incorrect.”

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Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, denied the AP’s report on Twitter shortly after it published.

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“Not true. 100% false,” he tweeted.

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The draft memo, which the AP published in full after putting up its initial story, discusses the possibility of using the National Guard for immigration enforcement. It directs the heads of Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to “immediately engage” with the governors of the border states and states that touch those states about using their National Guard troops for immigration enforcement. That would mean Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon, and Nevada.

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Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat released a statement decrying the draft.

“The mere suggestion that the President would consider ordering 100,000 members of the National Guard to go door to door checking people’s document status is deeply disturbing,” she said. “The National Guard’s principal responsibility is to help people in distress after natural disasters and respond to rare instances of domestic unrest. Deploying them for any other purpose is a severe mismanagement of resources, an abuse of Executive Power, and conjures images of Japanese internment camps and mass deportations of Mexican immigrants under President Eisenhower. I challenge Republicans and Democrats, whether they are members of Congress or Governors, to condemn this plan and ensure it never sees the light of day.”

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Over the course of Trump’s first few weeks in office, numerous news outlets have reported on drafts of executive orders that have yet to be signed or implemented. The New York Times reported on a draft that would have brought back CIA black site prisons, and The Nation reported on a draft executive order that would “legalize discrimination” against LGBT people. The president has not signed executive orders on either counts.

OBAMA EXPANDED NSA POWERS DAYS BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE, NOW THEY’RE BEING USED TO SABOTAGE TRUMP

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Paul Joseph Watson – FEBRUARY 16, 2017

After President Trump won the election, Obama quietly expanded the NSA’s ability to spy on innocent Americans just days before leaving office.

Seeing as how the deep state, which includes the NSA and FBI, appear to be leaking all of Trump’s private phone calls with foreign leaders and took down General Michael Flynn by spying on his calls and leaking them to their friends in The Washington Post and The New York Times, the story is being looked at in a completely new light.

As the The New York Times reported on January 12th:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.


Trump questioned whether the NSA and FBI were behind a multitude of leaks handed to the New York Times and Washington Post.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

These are Obama loyalists who reports suggest may have worked to sabotage Trump by ousting Flynn in order to preserve Obama’s Iran deal.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

“This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”

But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

“Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”

Is this what happened to Flynn?

Is this why Trump’s calls with foreign leaders are being illegally leaked to the press in order to sabotage his presidency?

It sure as hell looks like that’s the case.

Remember, the point at which Donald Trump broke away from the pack and secured his victory during the primaries was when the Colorado GOP decided to deny Americans their right to vote and handed Ted Cruz all the state’s delegates, then tweeted: “We did it. #NeverTrump.”

A very similar story is now happening with the deep state’s open sabotage. Even though Americans came out in droves to elect a populist leader promising massive change, the deep state is sabotaging his presidency to prevent him from implementing the agenda his supporters voted for.

The Colorado GOP’s act of sabotage backfired spectacularly and was the turning point which secured Trump and his supporters their victory, if this deep state sabotage is exposed just the same, this too could be the turning point which sinks the establishment and secures our populist revolution.

In Final Days, Obama Gave Spooks Broad New Powers…

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Surprise: At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers

By Michael Walsh

This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

One of the central questions behind the Mike Flynn flap that should have been asked but largely wasn’t is: who was wiretapping the general? The answer, we know now, was the National Security Agency, formerly known as No Such Agency, the nation’s foremost signals-intelligence (SIGINT) collection department.

Once compartmentalized to avoid injuring private citizens caught up in the net of the Black Widow (as we all are already) and her technological successors, the NSA was suddenly handed greater latitude in what it could share with other, perhaps more politicized bodies of the intelligence community. Why?

Let’s call the roster of the bad guys:

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

“This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”

Throwing the BS flag on this one. “Widening the aperture,” my old granny. One of the things about the IC is that “existing rules” are made to be broken whenever one of its unaccountable minions feels like it; these are people who lie and cheat for a living. And the genius of the Democrats — something for the GOP to think about next time — is that they were able to leverage the transition in order to change as many rules and embed as many apparatchiks as possible before formally turning over the reins to the new kids.

But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

“Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”

Correct. But the Fourth Amendment went out the barn door along with all the pretty horses long ago. Google and Facebook and Amazon know more about you than the CIA or FBI ever used to. And most of the personal information is provided by… you. Think about that, the next time you “check in,” post pictures of your loved ones and talk about your travel plans.

Trump: Intelligence community giving out classified information to press ‘like candy’

US President Donald Trump has criticized the US intelligence community for allegedly leaking classified information to the media, responding to the latest report on alleged communications between his campaign aides and Russian intelligence agents.

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Trump tweeted that information is “being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community,” wondering whether the NSA and FBI could be behind the leaks.

In a later post, he said it was “very un-American” that classified information “is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy.”

The remarks came after the New York Times and CNN ran a story based on anonymous sources, which claimed that several associates of Trump had regular contact with Russian intelligence and other officials during his election campaign.

The president dismissed the reports as “non-sense,” attributing them to an attempt to cover up the failure of his rival Hillary Clinton in the election.

He also praised Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake for his views on the intelligence community’s role in current US politics, apparently referring to his piece on the resignation of Michael Flynn. In the column, Lake said “in normal times,” intelligence leaks to the media on intercepted communications of top US officials “would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism.”

The Kremlin described the reports on alleged contact between Trump’s associates and Russian intelligence as “laughable” and lacking verifiable facts.

READ MORE: US media reports of Trump links to Russian intelligence ‘laughable, cite no facts’ – Kremlin

“Those reports are not based on concrete facts,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, noting that “there are five different sources in the story and none is named. So you see, really laughable stories are now given a go.”

FLASHBACK – Reports: Obama’s 2008 Campaign Reps Talked with Iran, Hamas

By Aaron Klein

Amid the controversy surrounding White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s alleged conversations with Russia, it may be instrumental to recall that representatives for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign were accused of meeting with Hamas and Iran.

Depending on what took place, the alleged contacts with Iran may have violated the Logan Act, which bars citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in dispute with the United States. It may be questionable whether Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, legally qualifies as a foreign government.

In 2008, Robert Malley stepped down as an informal foreign policy adviser to Obama’s campaign when it was revealed that he met with Hamas members.

Malley admitted to the meetings, but he claimed he met with the terrorists as part of his private job.

“I have never hidden the fact that I had meetings with Hamas,” Malley wrote in an open letter published in the New York Times. “I do this as part of my job as Middle East program director at the International Crisis Group.”

He said he distanced himself from Obama’s campaign because the Hamas meetings were “becoming a distraction to me and to Senator Obama’s campaign, and to avoid any misperception — misrepresentation being the more accurate word — about the candidate’s position regarding the Islamist movement.”

Malley later joined the Obama administration. In 2015, he was appointed to lead the Middle East desk of The National Security Council.

He was also named Obama’s special adviser regarding the Islamic State.

Meanwhile, in August 2014, Michael Ledeen, a former consultant to the National Security Council and U.S. Defense Department, penned a column at PJ Media stating Obama opened a back-channel to Iran during the 2008 presidential campaign. Ledeen said the back channel went through retired Ambassador William G. Miller, who also led the 1979 negotiating mission during the Iran hostage crisis. Ladeen wrote that Miller confirmed his back-channel involvement to him.

Ledeen wrote:

The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

The Logan Act states:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Media panic as White House lets lesser known outlets ask questions…

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By Kelly Riddell

The mainstream media isn’t liking the new set up at the White House: Lesser name news outlets are being called on during press briefings, rather than the old, established bellwethers.

During his press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Donald Trump called on two news outlets: WJLA a local ABC news affiliate, and the Daily Caller. Both failed to ask him about the fate of his national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, who has been marred in a controversy that he spoke to Russian authorities before Mr. Trump took office.

And the mainstream media immediately pounced – saying Mr. Trump was picking favorites in order to avoid questioning on Mr. Flynn.

“By handpicking reporters, Trump manages to get through a news conference without being asked about Flynn,” New York Times reporter Peter Baker lamented on Twitter – failing to mention that all U.S. presidents handpick reporters.

Bloomberg’s Angela Greiling Keane helped him clarify.

“By *handpicking* friendly reporters. To be fair, the previous WH also handpicked reporters. But it was very different than this,” she tweeted.

Mark Murray at NBC News was equally flummoxed.

In response to a tweet from Lizzie O’Leary – who aptly pointed out that White Houses have been calling on specific reporters “they know won’t grill them since time immemorial,” Mr. Murray responded: “But not during bilateral pressers with world leaders, where questions typically go to wire reporters (AP, Reuters).”

Hadas Gold at Politico, quoted NBC Journalist Brian Williams, who noted on-air “what wasn’t being asked” at the press conference, adding the New York Times and Washington Post weren’t called upon.

Deputy Washington Editor of the New York Times, Jonathan Weisman, wasn’t pleased.

“Biggest papers in the U.S. blare headlines on embattled National Security Adviser Flynn. Trump calls on WJLA & Daily Caller, no Flynn questions,” he tweeted.

Too bad.

The reporters at WJLA and the Daily Caller may have dropped the ball in their line of questioning – but that’s not Mr. Trump’s fault.

The mainstream media – especially CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post – have largely been combative of Mr. Trump’s presidency. Why would they think they would then be given preferential treatment at his press conferences? Because they’re the establishment?

There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding here.

It’s refreshing to see a White House give voice to lesser known news outlets – it’s more democratic in a way, opening the press corps up to different lines of questioning.

For, the mainstream media have tried to control the narrative for way to long. Them complaining they’re losing it is comical.