Day: February 11, 2017

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Evan McMullin takes shot at Trump's appearance


Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin took a swipe at President Trump’s looks on Saturday, saying that refugees who come to America are better looking than the president.

In a tweet Saturday, McMullin spoke out in support of the “well-vetted” refugees who come to the U.S. from various parts of the world, saying that they present less risk to the country than the Trump administration.

“Trump’s presidency presents more risk to the Republic than do the well-vetted refugees we resettle to America,” McMullin said, adding “And, they’re better looking!”

The tweet about Trump’s appearance is a rare one for McMullin, who is a constant presence on Twitter in opposition to the president.

McMullin currently serves as the co-founder of Stand Up Republic, along with Mandy Finn, his former running mate, which pushes to lead Americans “in the promotion of liberty, equality, & truth in America.”

The former presidential candidate became a foil for Trump during his “Thank You” tour during his two months as president-elect, having referred to him as “Evan McMuffin” at a rally in Florida before Christmas.

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Democrats press ICE for answers on raids that 'have struck fear'


A group of Democrats with “serious concerns” are looking for more information about nationwide raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week, resulting in hundreds of arrests of people who have entered the U.S. illegally which may lead to deportation.

“These raids have struck fear in the hearts of the immigrant community as many fear that President Trump’s promised ‘deportation force’ is now in full-swing,” reads a letter dated Friday from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to acting ICE Director Thomas Homan.

The letter, signed by CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., along with five other Democratic members, asks ICE to set up a meeting with them by Feb. 15 in order to “discuss the impact these raids have had on our communities as well as obtain clarifying guidance on how ICE policies will differ from the last Administration.”

The lawmakers also requested the agency make public an internal memo meant to clarify a recently signed executive order signed by President Trump that instructs federal agents to enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act and pursue people who have entered the U.S. illegally and who had previously not been deemed the focus of the Obama administration’s Priority Enforcement Program.

“It is critical that our constituents have clarity on ICE operations and we request a copy of this memo,” the letter reads. “Without this guidance, our communities will be paralyzed as students will remain home from school, parents will be afraid to leave children alone and our local economies will be irreparably damaged.”

The raids, which took place Thursday and Friday, were conducted in at least six states, including cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles. A spokesperson for ICE told the Washington Examiner that, despite reports of checkpoints and community sweeps, the “focus” of these particular raids were “no different than the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis.”

Activists have pushed back against ICE’s claims, saying that the raids were part of a more hardline approach to immigration that Trump has alluded to ever since becoming a presidential candidate.

“Despite ICE’s claims, Donald Trump’s raids are designed to sow fear and terror in immigrant communities,” tweeted America’s Voice, a group supporting immigrants’ rights and comprehensive immigration reform.

In their letter, the lawmakers said that despite outreach, neither the Homeland Security Department nor ICE have provided their offices any “concrete data pertaining to these activities,” including the exact locations of the raids, reasons for the apprehensions and how many individuals, including how many parents of undocumented children, were taken in.

Trump's nominee to be Israel ambassador gets a hearing date

Also from the Washington Examiner

David Friedman could help lead many changes for U.S. policy toward Israel.

02/11/17 3:35 PM

Federal officials, as well as activists, have reported that the majority of those detained were adult men.

Anna Giaritelli contributed to this report.

Read the full letter below:

Democrats call for Australian prime minister to address Congress

Also from the Washington Examiner

Letter follows reportedly contentious call between Trump and Turnbull.

02/11/17 3:00 PM

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Reporters fall for fake, racist Trump campaign ads


They’re well-produced, but they’re still “clever fakes.”

Many reporters were shocked this week after racially charged videos surfaced online purporting to be campaign ads created in 1969 for Fred Trump, the late father of President Trump.

This particular media feeding frenzy was set off by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, who mentioned the videos in an essay published this week by the London Review of Books.

Blumenthal wrote:

In 1969, Fred Trump plotted to run for mayor of New York … He made two test television commercials. One of them, called ‘Dope Man’, featured a drug-addled black youth wandering the streets. ‘With four more years of John Lindsay,’ the narrator intoned, ‘he will be coming to your neighbourhood soon.’ The ad flashed to the anxious faces of two well-dressed white women. ‘Vote for Fred Trump. He’s for us.’
The other commercial, ‘Real New Yorkers’, showed scenes of ‘real’ people from across the city, all of them white. Fred Trump, the narrator said, ‘is a real New Yorker too’. In the end he didn’t run, but his campaign themes were bequeathed to his son.

Soon after Blumenthal’s essay appeared online this week, the videos he mentioned were widely shared on social media by reporters in various newsrooms. The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, was one of the first to circulate the videos on Twitter, and his note was shared by several of his colleagues.

There is only one problem with the supposed Trump ads mentioned by Blumenthal: They’re fakes.

Fred Trump never ran for mayor in New York City, and he never had ads made up for his supposed campaign. It’s all fake.

Trump's nominee to be Israel ambassador gets a hearing date

Also from the Washington Examiner

David Friedman could help lead many changes for U.S. policy toward Israel.

02/11/17 3:35 PM

The videos in question were created and published online last year by a group called “Historical Paroxysm,” which specializes in producing “found footage from alternate realities.”

The footage used in the group’s “Dope Man” ad, which ends with a banner reading, “Paid for by the Committee to Elect Frederick C. Trump,” is from a 1969 short film called “A Day in the Death of Donny B,” according to the Post.

Also, as noted by Gizmodo’s Matt Novak, U.S. political campaigns started adding the “paid for” disclaimer at the end of ads only very recently.

After Historical Paroxysm’s fake Trump ads went viral this week thanks to reporters and Blumenthal, the art project group removed the videos from their YouTube and Vimeo accounts with no explanation, Politico noted.

Several reporters, including Kessler, have also removed their previous posts on social media, pointing out what they thought were authentic campaign ads from the 1970s.

Democrats call for Australian prime minister to address Congress

Also from the Washington Examiner

Letter follows reportedly contentious call between Trump and Turnbull.

02/11/17 3:00 PM

The London Review of Books has since amended Blumenthal’s essay so that all mentions of the supposed Trump ads have been removed.

The following editor’s note has been attached to the Clinton’s confidant’s scribblings:

The original version of this piece contained two passages that require correction and clarification. … A paragraph referring to Fred Trump’s campaign for mayor of New York, although it accurately reflected Trump’s racial attitudes and his hostility towards Mayor John Lindsay, has been removed because the campaign ads referred to appear to be clever fakes.

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Media overhype yet another hate crime story in rush to connect it to Trump, GOP


People can be jerks. That’s a fact of life.

Sometimes you can read into crummy behavior and draw depressing conclusions about certain groups and institutions, and sometimes it’s just someone acting alone.

The following story is about someone acting alone, despite attempts by some in the press to make it into a bigger thing about the GOP and even President Trump.

Here’s what happened: A non-student handed out a foul, Nazi-themed Valentine’s Day card earlier this week at a Central Michigan University College Republicans event. The card read, “my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews,” and it included a picture of Adolf Hitler.

The card was not written or condoned by anyone in that College Republicans group. This cannot be emphasized enough. It came from a non-student who apparently thought she was being funny.

“Unfortunately, a very inappropriate card was placed into a bag without other members’ knowledge,” said the College Republicans on Feb. 8 in a Facebook post. “We in no way condone this type of rhetoric or anti-Semitism. We apologize for any offense, and want students to know that we do not tolerate this sort of behavior.”

The card, which, again, was written by a visitor, caught the attention several newsrooms. Unfortunately for the Central Michigan University College Republicans, few reporters avoided implicating them in their news coverage.

“College Republican club apologizes for handing out a joke Hitler-themed Valentine’s card which mocks the Holocaust,” read an extraordinarily misleading Feb. 9 Daily Mail headline.

The Associated Press went with, “College Republicans sorry for Hitler-themed Valentine’s card.”

Trump's nominee to be Israel ambassador gets a hearing date

Also from the Washington Examiner

David Friedman could help lead many changes for U.S. policy toward Israel.

02/11/17 3:35 PM

“University apologizes ‘with heavy hearts and great embarrassment’ for Hitler Valentine’s Day card,” read a Washington Post headline.

The Post subhead added, “‘My love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews,’ read the card handed to two students by a member of the College Republicans group at Central Michigan University.”

“College Republicans Apologize For Handing Out Hitler-Themed Valentine’s Card,” read a Talking Points Memo headline published that same day.

Conspicuously absent from these headlines are clear mentions of the fact that the College Republicans had long before denied any involvement in the card.

The press’ reaction on social media to the story was about as frantic as you’d expect.

Democrats call for Australian prime minister to address Congress

Also from the Washington Examiner

Letter follows reportedly contentious call between Trump and Turnbull.

02/11/17 3:00 PM

“Is it just me or has Trump’s election made anti-Semitism acceptable among Republicans?” asked the New Republic’s Jeet Heer.

ESPN’s Sarah Spain asked, “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F— IS GOING ON IN OUR COUNTRY?????????”

“This Hitler Valentine’s Day card was handed out at Central Michigan University – by a ‘College Republicans’ group,” said CBS’ Lauren O’Neil.

NPR’s Matt Katz added, “The anti-Semitic bigots in the College Republicans even got the number wrong.”

The university’s president, George Ross, released a statement on the incident, condemning it in no uncertain terms and stressing that no students were actually involved.

“The grossly offensive action of one individual, a nonstudent, has deeply distressed our campus community and others across the nation,” he said. “With heavy hearts and great embarrassment, we apologize. To those of Jewish descent, rest assured that we stand with you and vow to continue the effort to educate others.”

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Trump's nominee to be Israel ambassador gets a hearing date


Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced Saturday that the committee will hold a nomination hearing for David Friedman, President Trump’s nominee to become the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, on Thursday.

Friedman’s nomination hearing is set for 10 a.m. on Thursday in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who was nominated for the post in mid-December, could help lead many changes for U.S. policy toward Israel, including the potential move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The White House has not announced any official decision for any possible move.

Holding many conservative positions on Israel, Friedman has also been an outspoken critic of left-wing positions regarding the Jewish state. In June of 2016, Friedman said that supporters of J Street, a progressive Jewish advocacy group, are “worse than kapos” for backing a two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He has also said that he does not believe that Israeli settlement activity is illegal and opposes a ban on construction activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

However, Trump recently said in an interview that the continued settlement activity in both areas is not good for the peace process because it reduces the territory involved in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

“They [settlements] don’t help the process. I can say that,” Trump told Israel Hayom. “There is so much land left. And every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left. But we are looking at that, and we are looking at some other options we’ll see. But no, I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace.”

Trump also said that he does not plan on spending much time criticizing Israel, pointing to his warm relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a main reason.

Democrats call for Australian prime minister to address Congress

Also from the Washington Examiner

Letter follows reportedly contentious call between Trump and Turnbull.

02/11/17 3:00 PM

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Democrats call for Australian prime minister to address Congress


Two House Democrats are calling for House Speaker Paul Ryan to extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to address a joint session of Congress to reinforce the long-standing relationship between the U.S. and Australia.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and Rep. Elliot Engel, D-N.Y., sent a letter to Ryan on Saturday with the request, which comes soon after President Trump’s contentious phone call with Turnbull, according to reports. Trump reportedly complained about a deal between the two countries, struck under the Obama administration, in which the U.S. would take in more than 1,000 refugees.

“We request that you extend an invitation to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to address a joint meeting of Congress to reinforce our longstanding, close relationship and to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battles of the Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal, three critical moments in early World War II when the United States and Australia stopped imperial Japan’s expansion in the Pacific,” the House Armed Services Committee members wrote in the letter. “An address by one of our closest partners in the Asia-Pacific would also strengthen Congress’s understanding of the challenges our nations face together in containing China, defeating terrorism, and promoting the rule of law, free expression and free markets.”

“Last week, you stated that ‘Australia is a very important and central ally, and it’s going to continue to be.’ In September, you noted that ‘The alliance we’ve built with Australia over the past seven decades is stronger than ever,'” Smith and Engel wrote, quoting Ryan. “These are statements with which every Member of the House can agree, and an invitation to the Prime Minister, in consultation with the executive branch, to visit and address Congress would be very well received.”

“It would send a clear message that Congress continues to support a strong U.S.-Australia relationship based in mutual respect, and that the legislative branch retains its important role in promoting a sound foreign policy that benefits our nation and its people,” they added.

In the phone call with Turnbull, Trump reportedly called the deal to take in 1,250 refugees from an Australian detention center the “worst deal ever.” However, Trump stated in the days following the Jan. 28 call that he would “respect” the agreement.

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Piers Morgan, J.K. Rowling dispute Trump's 'Muslim ban' after 'f—k off' remark


Hours after former CNN host Piers Morgan was told to “fuck off” by a comedian after he said President Trump’s travel ban is not a “Muslim ban,” the former CNN host found himself in a Twitter fight with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

During a Friday evening panel on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show on HBO, Morgan disputed the host’s assertion that Trump instituted a Muslim ban when he signed an executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations with high terror risk.

Morgan and Trump have history, as Morgan was the victor on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2008, and is a self-described friend of the president’s.

His comment earned a swift rebuke from comedian and fellow panelist Jim Jefferies who said, “fuck off,” before comparing Trump’s fledgling presidency to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Morgan fired back, calling comments like that, “hysterical, over-the-top nonsense.”

Early Saturday morning, Rowling, a vocal Trump critic, applauded Jeffries’ statement.

“Yes, watching Piers Morgan being told to fuck off on live TV is *exactly* as satisfying as I’d always imagined,” Rowlingn tweeted.

Morgan tweeted back at Rowling: “This is why I’ve never read a single word of Harry Potter.”

Gorsuch returns questionnaire to Senate Judiciary Committee

Also from the Washington Examiner

Chairman thanked Supreme Court nominee for going to “great lengths” to fulfilling the wishes of committee.

02/11/17 12:36 PM

Their spat on social media continued back-and-forth, with Morgan defending his comments as “factual” and Rowling criticizing Morgan for not reading the Harry Potter books because he would have learned “the downside of sucking up to the biggest bully in school is getting burned alive.”

Report: 72 convicted of terrorism from 'Trump 7' mostly Muslim countries

Top Story

Since 9/11, 72 individuals from the seven mostly Muslim countries covered by President Trump’s “extreme vetting” executive order have been convicted of terrorism, a finding that clashes sharply with claims from an appeals court that there is “no evidence” those countries have produced a terrorist.

02/11/17 10:13 AM



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Gorsuch returns questionnaire to Senate Judiciary Committee


Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to serve on the Supreme Court, submitted his completed questionnaire Friday night to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider his nomination for the high court.

Gorsuch returned the questionnaire to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman of the committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee’s ranking Democrat, which was sent to him on Feb. 3, a week prior. In a statement, Grassley thanked Gorsuch for returning the questionnaire promptly and for going to “great lengths” to fulfilling the wishes of the committee.

“I appreciate Judge Gorsuch working diligently to return his questionnaire in a timely fashion. He’s gone to great lengths to produce the material requested by the Judiciary Committee,” Grassley said.

“Much of Judge Gorsuch’s extensive body of judicial and academic work is already publicly available, including the roughly 2700 cases he has participated in. He has written 240 opinions, including 175 majority opinions, as well as dozens of additional separate writings,” Grassley said. “I look forward to reviewing the material and asking him questions when he appears before the committee.”

Gorsuch’s completion of the questionnaire comes amid his meetings on Capitol Hill with senators of both parties as he looks to win over eight Democrats to put him over the 60-vote threshold to win a vote on the Senate floor.

Over the past week, Gorsuch met with Feinstein, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mt., and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who told reporters that the nominee expressed dismay at Trump’s attack on a “so-called judge” in response to federal judge striking down his executive order banning citizens from seven countries, all of which have Muslim-majority populations.

Trump agencies ready 'extreme vetting'

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The executive order gives departments 90 days to review screening measures.

02/11/17 12:33 AM



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Federal agencies weigh how to satisfy Trump's demand for 'extreme vetting'


Senior Trump administration officials have begun their appraisal of visa screening measures so that stricter procedures are ready once the legal battle over the president’s travel ban has run its course.

The revamped vetting proposal is likely to include inspection of travelers’ social media activity, a direct response to terrorist acts in which perpetrators had made their intent or extremist sympathies known online before it was too late.

“DHS is on top of this, and the White House will be receiving regular updates and then returning to the agencies with their input,” a senior administration official told the Washington Examiner. “I don’t know about State or other places, but Secretary [John] Kelly is a former Marine, and a Marine executes an order as soon as it’s given.”

Agencies are working flat out to put new policies in front of the president by the end of the 90-day suspension of travel from seven terrorist-ridden countries in the Middle East.

A source with knowledge of the review said officials are looking at a variety of “flaws” in the current process, such as time limits on interviews with visa applicants and privacy restrictions that prevent immigration adjudicators from inspecting foreign nationals’ social media postings.

“These are the kinds of things that they will be addressing aggressively to make common sense the standard by which we facilitate these measures,” the source said, adding that some officials believe immigrants seeking entry into the country have in many cases been “afforded more rights than U.S. citizens” under the existing system.

In the executive order, the president requested an interagency review of existing screening measures to “ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals.” The review was to take place during the 90-day period of suspended immigration and include officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and State, along with representatives from an assemblage of other agencies.

Under the current vetting system, individuals seeking refugee or asylum status in the U.S. must register with the United Nations, pass a series of security checks, interview with State Department contractors, pass another background check (sometimes two), complete an in-person interview with a DHS officer, participate in a cultural orientation course and pass one final security check at an American airport upon arrival.

The entire process takes one to two years on average, and only about half of all applicants every year go on to receive approval, according to the State Department.

Schumer, Sanders call for rallies against Obamacare repeal

Also from the Washington Examiner

“The Republican Party’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is in chaos,” they wrote.

02/11/17 10:28 AM

Even so, the current and previous administrations have said U.S. law enforcement officials are often unable to fully vet individuals because they are coming from war-ravaged countries with limited criminal databases for authorities to check.

“We did discover, in people who had come in as refugees from Iraq, a number of people who were of serious concern, including two that were charged when we found their fingerprints on improvised explosive devices from Iraq,” FBI Director James Comey admitted in congressional testimony last fall.

“There’s no doubt that that was the product of a less-than-excellent vetting that had been done on Iraqi refugees,” he added.

To avoid similar episodes or worse, conservative immigration experts are urging agency officials involved in the review process to recommend something akin to the ideological evaluation Trump proposed when he first coined the phrase “extreme vetting.” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, suggested preparing “a bare-bones statement of values” for immigrants to sign “as a precondition of their visas.”

“The provisions of such a contract would have to be simple and to-the-point: ‘I believe in the legal equality of men and women.’ ‘I believe that people are free to follow or leave any religion they choose, or follow no religion at all.’ ‘I believe that people have the right to criticize prophets and other religious figures, even if that criticism is unfair or incorrect,'” Krikorian said, previewing what such a statement might look like.

Report: Flynn aide forced out of National Security Council after CIA denies security clearance

Also from the Washington Examiner

CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly approved the rejection of Townley’s clearance request

02/11/17 10:21 AM

“It will put in black and white our rejection of Islamic supremacism. That may upset some of our ‘allies,’ but that’s too bad,” he added.

Trump, the “America First” president, has expressed similar sentiments while defending his travel ban against its myriad critics and promising to implement more secure screening policies.

“America is a proud nation of immigrants, and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression,” the president recently declared. But at the end of the day, Trump said his “first priority will always be to protect and serve our country.”

Exclusive: Internal poll says Dems can sway voters against Gorsuch

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The summary of the poll said there is “limited initial support for Gorsuch.”

02/11/17 12:54 AM



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Democratic lawmakers want Flynn suspended and investigated over Russia contacts


Democratic lawmakers from both chambers are urging President Trump to either suspend or investigate National Security Adviser Mike Flynn over reports that he discussed sanctions on Russia with the country’s ambassador the day they were imposed by the Obama administration.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that Flynn should no longer serve if allegations that he discussed sanctions with Russia while President Obama was still in office are true.

Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement that recent reports that Flynn spoke with Russia ahead of President Trump’s inauguration raise “serious questions” about whether the former military officer should continue serving as one of the president’s top advisers.

“The allegation that General Flynn, while President Obama was still in office, secretly discussed with Russia’s ambassador ways to undermine the sanctions levied against Russia for its interference in the presidential election on Donald Trump’s behalf raises serious questions of legality and fitness for office,” Schiff said in a statement.

“If he did so, and then he and other administration officials misled the American people, his conduct would be all the more pernicious and he should no longer serve in this administration or any other,” he continued.

It is not illegal for Flynn to speak with the Russian ambassador during Obama’s lame duck session, but the law does prohibit making any promises about possible changes under Trump’s administration that would undermine Obama. The FBI is investigating whether Flynn made any promises regarding the repeal or weakening of the sanctions Obama levied against Russia in response to its hacking during the U.S. election.

Sens. Ed Markey and Chris Murphy, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a joint statement about their concerns regarding Flynn.

Markey said Flynn may have lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his converstions with the Russian ambassador, and he may not be able to continue serving.

“That General Flynn may have misled the Vice President of the United States and others raises the most serious questions about his ability to continue serving as National Security Advisor,” Markey said. “I hope federal law enforcement professionals investigate this matter immediately. Any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy – even during a transition period – may be illegal and must be taken seriously.”

Schumer, Sanders call for rallies against Obamacare repeal

Also from the Washington Examiner

“The Republican Party’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is in chaos,” they wrote.

02/11/17 10:28 AM

Murphy added there’s no way to explain Flynn’s actions.

“Either Donald Trump directed his National Security Adviser to undermine U.S. foreign policy on Russia, or Michael Flynn went rogue and did it on his own,” Murphy said. “Then he either lied to the Vice President or the Vice President went on television to lie to the American people. Whatever transpired, the President needs to get his White House under control.”

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said his committee’s work on Russia’s role in the election is even more important now.

“These reports underscore both the gravity and the urgency of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” Warner said in a statement, “which will include a thorough examination of counterintelligence concerns – including any links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., is on the House Permanent Select Commitee on Intelligence said Flynn should no longer be serving.

Report: Flynn aide forced out of National Security Council after CIA denies security clearance

Also from the Washington Examiner

CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly approved the rejection of Townley’s clearance request

02/11/17 10:21 AM

“The @WhiteHouse should immediately SUSPEND National Security Advisor Flynn & REVOKE access to classified information until investigated,” Swalwell said in a tweet.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., previously questioned whether Flynn should even hold a security clearance if the allegations are true.

The White House said and Flynn initially stated that he did not discuss sanctions with the ambassador and instead exchanged Christmas greetings and the logistics of setting up a phone conversation between their two leaders, but he has subsequently changed his story.

A spokesman told the Washington Post that while Flynn “had no recollection of discussing sanctions,” he didn’t want to state for “certain that the topic never came up.”

Trump agencies ready 'extreme vetting'

Top Story

The executive order gives departments 90 days to review screening measures.

02/11/17 12:33 AM



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