Category Archives: Campaigns

House Intelligence Committee chair demonstrates the need for a bipartisan commission and/or special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election

I have said before that House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), is the reason why we need to have a bipartisan commission and/or special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election as part of its information war against the U.S.  This Trump transition team member just made my point today.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes revealed Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s personal communications may have been picked up by investigators through “incidental collection” pursuant to a legal FISA warrant investigation of foreign nationals.

Remember how Nunes was pushing the GOP conspiracy du jour during the House Intelligence Committee on Monday that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn may have been improperly “unmasked” by intelligence agencies through “incidental collection” pursuant to a legal FISA warrant investigation of foreign individuals and his identity leaked to the press?

Nunes just abused the power of his position — and may have violated the law if he disclosed classified information, which includes the existence of a FISA Court warrant — for a partisan political motive by suggesting, as the White House immediately latched onto after his disclosure, that the “incidental collection” information is the equivalent of “surveillance” of the Donald Trump campaign (it is not) to give the White House cover for Trump’s false tweets that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

Nunes’ clear implication is that FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers were not fully forthcoming when they testified that there is no evidence to substantiate Trump’s false tweets that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower.

Nunes’ intentionally vague statements today were intended to provide grist to the propagandists of the conservative media entertainment complex. He has called into question the credibility of his chairmanship and the House Intelligence Committee investigation.

Nunes should be removed as chair of the House Intelligence Committee and referred to the FBI for investigation if he leaked classified information, including the existence of a FISA Court warrant, for a partisan political motive. If so, he should be forced to resign from Congress.

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McClatchy News: Russia uses ‘bots’ and trolls for information war against U.S.

For those of you who live on social media sites and believe just about anything you see posted there (don’t deny it, I can tell from the comments and links I see posted), this latest report from McClatchy News should cause you to question your faith in social media and embarrass you for having been an “unwitting agent” or “useful idiot” of the Russians. Some of our blog trolls may not be who they claim to be. Just sayin’.

But first, make no mistake: we are engaged in a cyber war with Russia, in a new strategy for information warfare:

Andrey Krutskikh, a senior Kremlin adviser, made the startling comments at the Russian national information security forum, or “Infoforum 2016,” held Feb. 4 and 5.

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Krutskikh as a “senior-level adviser” to President Vladimir Putin and “a long-standing player in cyber issues” at the foreign ministry. The official said he couldn’t confirm the details of Krutskikh’s remarks, but that “they sound like something Andrey would say.”

According to notes of Krutskikh’s speech, he told his Russian audience: “You think we are living in 2016. No, we are living in 1948. And do you know why? Because in 1949, the Soviet Union had its first atomic bomb test. And if until that moment, the Soviet Union was trying to reach agreement with [President Harry] Truman to ban nuclear weapons, and the Americans were not taking us seriously, in 1949 everything changed and they started talking to us on an equal footing.”

Krutskikh continued, “I’m warning you: We are at the verge of having ‘something’ in the information arena, which will allow us to talk to the Americans as equals.”

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Takeaways from the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in U.S. election (updated)

The House Intelligence Committee held its first committee hearing into Russian interference in the U.S. election with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testifying over five hours. They confirmed what we already know from press reports:

1. There is no evidence to support Donald Trump’s false tweets via right-wing radio host Mark Levin, Breitbart News and Brent Baier of FOX News that President Obama “wire tapped” Trump Tower. Period. Full stop.

2. There is no evidence to support White House pres secretary “Baghdad Sean” Spicer’s and Trump’s false claim via 9/11 Truther Andrew Napolitano of FOX News that British intelligence GCHQ “wire tapped” Trump and his campaign. Period. Full stop. Shepherd Smith of FOX News already distanced FOX News from Napolitano’s “utterly ridiculous” claim. Shep Smith: “Fox News Cannot Confirm Judge Napolitano’s Commentary”.

3. The FBI and intelligence agencies are conducting an investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. well, duh!

4. The FBI is conducting an investigation into possible “coordination” between Russia and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. Until today, the FBI had refused to privately acknowledge the existence of an investigation, let alone what it is looking into. This is the “big news” of the day from the hearing.

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Latest on Trump-Putin campaign investigation

The U.S. Justice Department on Friday delivered documents to congressional committees responding to their request for information that could shed light on President Donald Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama ordered U.S. agencies to spy on him. Reuters reports, Justice Dept. delivers documents on wiretap claim to Congress:

The information was sent to the House and Senate intelligence and judiciary committees, said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Devin Nunes, said in a statement late on Friday that the Justice Department had “fully complied” with the panel’s request.

A government source, who requested anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said an initial examination of the material turned over by the Justice Department indicates that it contains no evidence to confirm Trump’s claims that the Obama administration had wiretapped him or the Trump Tower in New York.

The House Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on Monday on allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers will testify and are expected to field questions on Trump’s wiretap claim.

Leaders of both the House and Senate intelligence committees, including from Trump’s Republican Party, have said they have found no evidence to substantiate Trump’s claims that Obama ordered U.S. agencies to spy on Trump or his entourage. The White House has publicly offered no proof of the allegation.

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‘No evidence’ to support Trump claim that Trump Tower was ‘wire tapped’

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Intelligence Committee chairmanRichard Burr, and ranking Democrat on the committee Mark Warner said Thursday that they have seen no evidence of President Donald Trump’s accusation that he was wiretapped last year by President Obama. Ryan, Senate Intel committee see no evidence of Trump wiretap:

“We have not seen any evidence that there was a wiretap or a (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order against Trump Tower or somebody in Trump Tower,” Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview Thursday on CNN’s “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer.

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Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr and ranking member Mark Warner issued a statement earlier Thursday, saying “based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”

The statement from the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee marks the clearest and strongest refutation of Trump’s allegations since the President first made them two weeks ago. The senators statement also addresses Trump’s more recent statement that he was not merely speaking about wiretapping specifically.

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Trump’s militaristic budget comes at the expense of the poor that he said he wanted to help

Donald Trump’s xenophobic white nationalist “America First” campaign from his alt-right Rasputin, Steve Bannon, has now produced a “fortress America” militaristic budget that comes at the expense of every other aspect of the federal government, and particularly at the expense of America’s poor, the very people Trump claimed he wanted to help during his campaign.

This budget comes before Trump has even rolled out his yuuuge tax cut plan to benefit himself and his wealthy Plutocrat friends — a tax expenditure that will: (a) require deeper budget cuts than those he has proposed, and or (b) explode the federal deficit, because faith based supply-side “trickle down” GOP economics does not work. It is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people.

The only saving grace is that the president’s budget, Democrat or Republican, has been dead on arrival in Congress in recent American history. There is little or no chance that Trump’s proposed budget will be the actual budget eventually produced by Congress.

The Washington Post today has numerous reports breaking down Trump’s proposed budget. “President Trump’s first budget proposes a $54 billion increase in military spending while seeking significant cuts across much of the rest of the federal government, including reductions of more than 20 percent at the departments of Agriculture, Labor and State, and more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency.” Plan calls for reductions in spending for science, diplomacy and the poor.

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