Category Archives: International

House Intelligence Committee releases transcript of Glenn Simpson testimony

Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein unilaterally released the transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.

Today, the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted to release the transcript of its interview with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. House intelligence panel votes to release transcript from Fusion GPS co-founder interview:

The committee voted in a closed-door meeting to release the transcript, which Simpson himself and the panel’s top Democrat had pushed for over the past month. The vote was unanimous, committee member Rep. Denny Heck told CNN.

Read the House Intel Committee’s interview with Glenn Simpson (Scribd).

With the vote, the House panel will be second committee to make the details of Simpson’s interview public. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, last week released the transcript of Simpson’s August Senate Judiciary Committee interview without the consent of Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

One congressional source said that the House Intelligence Committee interview with Simpson has material that was not in the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript.

In addition to the Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees, Simpson has testified before the Senate Intelligence panel. But that committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, has been wary in the past of releasing any committee documents.

I will update if there is anything of interest in the transcript.

GOP Disarray on DACA Deal

Just ten days ago, President Trump staged a televised bipartisan congressional discussion on immigration and DACA at the White House, the purpose of which was to dispel the claims of his incompetence in Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire And Fury.” It did not go well.

Trump literally agreed to everything each member of Congress proposed, including a “clean” DACA bill proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. GOP Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy had to jump in, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” and remind Trump of the Republican position on DACA: that any agreement needs to come with substantial border security.

The takeaway from this meeting was this: Trump says he’ll sign DACA deal, pursue comprehensive immigration reform:

You guys are going to have to come up with a solution [for DACA], and I’m going to sign that solution,” Trump said during a bipartisan meeting of House and Senate leaders at the White House on Tuesday morning.

“When you talk about comprehensive immigration reform, which is where I would like to get to eventually,” Trump said, turning to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., “If we do the right bill here, we are not very far away, we’ve done most of it. You want to know the truth, Dick, if we do this properly, DACA, you’re not so far away from comprehensive immigration reform. And if you want to take it that further step, I’ll take the heat. I don’t care,” said Trump.

“My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” the president later told the press pool. “If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” Trump said, flanked by Durbin and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

The Senate’s “Gang of Six” has put together a bipartisan compromise on DACA which has bipartisan support. Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters:

A bipartisan immigration agreement is picking up the support of several additional GOP senators despite opposition from President Trump and the White House.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) office announced that GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) are signing onto the forthcoming legislation.

That brings the total number of Republican lawmakers officially backing the bill up to seven, including Graham and GOP Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Cory Gardner (Colo.) — who were part of the original “Gang of Six.”

Despite Trump’s televised assurances that “”My positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with … If they come to me with things I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” Trump called the Senate proposal “horrible” on border security and “very, very weak” on reforms to the legal immigration system on Wednesday. Trump calls immigration proposal ‘horrible’.

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Sen. John McCain joins Sen. Jeff Flake in defending the free press from Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ assault (updated)

Senator Jeff Flake announced earlier this week that he will give a speech Wednesday regarding our “Dear Leader’s” penchant to portray the free press as “the enemy of the people,” a phrase employed by Joseph Stalin to silence the media. Sen. Jeff Flake hangs the Stalin label on Trump for attacking the free press.

Today, Sen. Flake’s seatmate, Senator John McCain, joins him in defending the free press against Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press in an op-ed in the Washington Post. Mr. President, stop attacking the press:

After leaving office, President Ronald Reagan created the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award to recognize individuals who have fought to spread liberty worldwide. Nancy Reagan continued the tradition after her husband’s death, and in 2008 she bestowed the honor on human rights icon Natan Sharansky, who credited Reagan’s strong defense of freedom for his own survival in Soviet gulags. Reagan recognized that as leader of the free world, his words carried enormous weight, and he used them to inspire the unprecedented spread of democracy around the world.

President Trump does not seem to understand that his rhetoric and actions reverberate in the same way. He has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing “fake news awards” upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with. Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 2017 was one of the most dangerous years to be a journalist. Last year, the organization documented 262 cases of journalists being imprisoned for their work. Reporters around the world face intimidation, threats of violence, harassment, persecution and sometimes even death as governments resort to brutal censorship to silence the truth.

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Tea-Publicans are failing to address the threat Russia poses to future U.S. elections and national security

Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein put an end to the bullshit being pulled by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley by releasing the transcript of testimony from Fusion GPS on the Steele dossier. GOP’s crazy Russia probe conspiracies are crushed in Fusion GPS transcript.

What you may not have seen reported is six House Democrats who serve as ranking members on their committees sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling him and other Republicans out for stonewalling their efforts to “investigate, hold public hearings, and advance legislation” concerning the Trump-Russia investigation. Top Democrats accuse GOP of ignoring Russia threat:

Six senior House Democrats on Tuesday said Republicans “put President Trump ahead of our national interests” by failing to address the threat they said Russia poses to future U.S. elections and national security.

“Rather than pursue the truth on behalf of the American people, House Republicans have waged an aggressive campaign to shut down congressional and criminal investigations into Russia’s attack,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan.

Signing the letter were Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the Oversight Committee; Rep. Maxine Waters, the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee; Rep. Elliot Engel, the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee; Rep. Bob Brady, the ranking member of the administration committee and Rep. Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee.

The Washington Post reported, Democrats go it alone on Russia probe after partisan breakdowns:

Democrats are striking out on their own this week over all but one of the congressional investigations into Russian meddling, independently releasing reports and transcripts, and attacking Republicans they accuse of intentionally undermining active probes in deference to President Trump.

Senior Democratic officials in the Senate, frustrated by what they consider a Republican campaign to discredit the law enforcement and intelligence agencies investigating the president, cleared their members to release the interview transcript of one of the Russia investigation’s most sensitive witnesses and, separately, to publish a report detailing the disinformation and intimidation tactics the Kremlin deploys against democracies globally.

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America’s racism runs deeper than racist Donald Trump

So Donald Trump, once again, says ‘I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed’.

Yeah, “me thinks thou dost protest too much.” The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial:

Mental health experts routinely say that denial is among the most common defense mechanisms. Denial is how the person defends his superior sense of self, his racially unequal society.

* * *

The reckoning of Mr. Trump’s racism must become the reckoning of American racism. Because the American creed of denial — “I’m not a racist” — knows no political parties, no ideologies, no colors, no regions.

David Leonhardt and Ian Philbrick provide Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List:

The media often falls back on euphemisms when describing Trump’s comments about race: racially loaded, racially charged, racially tinged, racially sensitive. And Trump himself has claimed that he is “the least racist person.” But here’s the truth: Donald Trump is a racist. He talks about and treats people differently based on their race. He has done so for years, and he is still doing so.

Here, we have attempted to compile a definitive list of his racist comments – or at least the publicly known ones.

Trump and his enablers (Sens. “Tehran” Tom Cotton and Sonny David Perdue – correction) really want to blame the government shutdown coming this Friday over the DACA negotiations on Democrats rather than on Trump’s racism towards immigrants, the very foundation of his 2016 campaign and appeal to the white grievances of GOP voters. Trump says ‘I’m not a racist,’ accuses Democrats of impeding DACA deal.

But Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the “gang of six,” says Democrats are negotiating ‘in good faith’ on Dreamers deal:

“One thing I do take big issue with the president on is he is saying that the Democrats aren’t moving forward in good faith,” Flake said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I can tell you I’ve been negotiating and working with the Democrats on immigration for 17 years and on this issue, on DACA or on the DREAM Act for a number of years, and the Democrats are negotiating in good faith.”

So add Trump’s political posturing to his list of more than 2,000 lies he has told since taking office.

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Racist Trump blows up DACA deal: a ‘bipartisan agreement died yesterday’

Our always insecure egomaniacal man-child Twitter-troll-in-chief made a vague attempt today to deny his racist comments to a group of senators negotiating a DACA deal on Thursday, Trump attacks protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries in Oval Office meeting:

President Trump grew frustrated with lawmakers Thursday in the Oval Office when they floated restoring protections for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump said, according to these people, referring to African countries and Haiti. He then suggested that the United States should instead bring more people from countries like Norway [i.e., white Europeans], whose prime minister he met Wednesday.

Our Twitter-troll-in-chief Trump acknowledged ‘tough’ language but appeared to deny ‘shithole’ remark:

President Trump acknowledged Friday that he used “tough” language during a meeting on efforts toward a bipartisan immigration deal but appeared to deny using the term “shithole” to refer to some countries.

“The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish [bipartisan] proposal made — a big setback for DACA!” Trump wrote on Twitter. (More on this below the fold).

Spokespeople for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for clarification Friday. The White House had not denied Thursday that Trump used the vulgarity, first reported by The Washington Post and later confirmed by numerous other news outlets.

Our Twitter-troll-in-chief is also a pathological liar, which is well documented. President Trump has made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims over 355 days. You can add his latest tweet to this list.

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