Category: Donald Trump

California City Quietly Moves Toward Sanctuary City Status In Defiance Of Trump


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A California city will quietly consider whether to declare itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants Monday, when the city council votes on a resolution put forward by anti-Donald Trump organizers.

The resolution would bar local authorities in San Carlos from cooperating with federal agents to enforce immigration laws, officially designating the city as a safe zone from deportation for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. Such cities are widely known as “sanctuary cities,” although the proposal, interestingly, makes no mention of the politically loaded term.

The city council will vote on the resolution to declare San Carlos a “Welcoming City” at a meeting Monday night, after residents who show up have a chance to voice their opinion. The meeting will be live-streamed.

One city resident, who asked not to be named to avoid a backlash from the organizers, told The Daily Caller News Foundation he thinks the label is a “disguise” intended to obscure the reality of the policy change. Vice mayor and city council member Matt Grocott echoed that suggestion, saying the goal of the term is probably to avoid penalties from the Trump administration.

Trump has threatened to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities. The threat was enough to prevent a neighboring California city, San Mateo, from declaring itself a sanctuary for illegal immigrants in a recent vote on a similar resolution.

Grocott told TheDCNF: “It’s just semantics to describe us or the county as a ‘Welcoming City,’ simply because they want to avoid putting a target on our backs relative to the federal government.”

The organizers behind the resolution are a group of at least 100 residents who call themselves “#Resist: San Carlos,” and some regularly meet to discuss ways to “resist” the Trump administration. Messages on the group’s online platform Meetup reveal their hand in submitting the resolution to the city council and their plan to swamp the meeting Monday in a show of support.

“WE NEED TO PACK THE HOUSE!” a message informing members of the vote on the resolution reads. “San Carlos council members have told me that the biggest influence on their decision-making is local citizens speaking at their meetings. You don’t even have to prepare a big speech – just stand up and say ‘I support the passage of the Welcoming City Resolution.’ That’s it. 2 min or less and you can change the world.”

Interestingly the group does label the action a “sanctuary city vote.”

Photo: Screen shot/Meetup

“I think what the city is doing is deplorable,” the San Carlos resident told TheDCNF. “They are supposed to be non-partisan and yet they are doing the bidding of the Resist Trump folks. As a city, San Carlos should uphold all the laws of our country, state and nation. They were not elected to pick and choose what laws to uphold. They need to uphold them all or work to change them.”

Another resident adds in an email to Grocott provided to TheDCNF: “After hearing from the Chief of Police [in San Mateo] and some of the pitfalls including funding issues that could be cut at the federal level it was more than prudent to not declare [San Mateo] a sanctuary status. This is a mistake to do so and will have detrimental ramifications to our fine city.”

Organizers presented the resolution to the city council in a February meeting, successfully winning the required approval from 3 of the 5 members to get it included on the agenda for a vote.

Another resident expressed his support of the proposal in an email to Grocott: “American values, and San Carlos values, demand that we open our arms to our neighbors – making them feel welcome not afraid.”

Both San Mateo and San Carlos are a part of San Mateo County, which declared itself a sanctuary county in 2014. Additionally, San Carlos no longer has a local police force, but contracts the job out to the San Mateo city police department, apparently limiting the city from effectively sheltering illegal immigrants with or without the resolution. As it stands, an illegal held by the local San Mateo police department would not be sheltered from federal agents, unless he or she is handed over to the county.

Calling this dilemma a “bigger issue,” one of the organizers told TheDCNF the group sees “pressuring” the San Mateo sheriff to go along with the policy change as important, should San Carlos adopt the resolution.

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FLASHBACK: Sessions Was Axed By Clinton’s Attorney General


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WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the resignation of 46 U.S. Attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama Friday.

The action was criticized by opponents of the administration, but Sessions was once on the other side of the chopping block when Bill Clinton became president and Sessions was a U.S. attorney in Alabama.

Ultimately, it is not unusual for a new president to dismiss the appointments of the previous administration’s U.S. attorneys. What is interesting, however, is to see where some of the players in the appointment and dismissal process have ended up between administrations.

In March 1993, Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the resignation of all 93 U.S. attorneys, all of whom were Reagan and Bush appointments. A Justice Department official told CNBC that Sessions still has the that Reno sent to him at the time.

Letter from AG Reno to US Atty Sessions 1993

 

Reno said she asked for the resignations, according to The Sun Sentinel, “so that the U.S. attorneys presently in position will know where they stand and so that we can begin to build a team that represents a Department of Justice that represents my views and the views of President Clinton.”

Although President Donald Trump previously told now former U.S. Attorney to the Southern District Court of New York Preet Bharara he wanted him to stay on the job, Trump changed his mind and fired Bharara on Saturday after the U.S. attorney refused to resign at first.

Bharara’s history goes back to the George W. Bush administration when he served as Chief Counsel to New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. Bharara led investigations of the dismissals of U.S. attorneys fired by Bush at the time.

A statement from Schumer’s office to The New York Times said he was “troubled” to learn of the requests for resignations, “particularly that of Preet Bharara.”

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Rape Survivor Explains Why She Supports The Second Amendment [VIDEO]


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On May 12, 2006, Kimberly Corban was asleep in her college bedroom when a complete stranger raped her.

She thought those was her last moments on earth, as he tried killing her soul by brutally assaulting her body. This assault, her 911 call and her decisions afterward changed the trajectory of her entire life.

Now, she believes “your greatest courage comes from your worst struggles.” She has vowed never to be vulnerable again as she has learned more about self-protection, including how to use a firearm.

With her help and courage, her rapist was caught and convicted in 2007. She has also become a role model and an inspiration to a multitude of other young people who are learning how to protect themselves.

Last week, the head-turning, entrepreneurial TurningPointUSA launched the “Trigger Warning Campus Tour,” featuring Corban talking about her story and what students can do. Her motto is “being a victim is never a choice, but becoming a survivor is.”

“I don’t carry because I worry about what could happen. I carry because I already know.”

There are no promises once citizens learn and train how to use a firearm, but the way you train or how much you know or what you choose to carry is going to be one more tool in your toolbox, Corban says. “Safety and security are multi-layered,” she says, mentioning dogs, security systems, and mace.

The Daily Caller News Foundation filmed Corban at Conservative Political Action Conference after her “Armed and Fabulous” panel. She spoke along with Kristi McMains, Katie Pavlich, Antonia Okafor and Ashlee Lundvall.

In this interview, Corban tells how she met Kristi McMains, a Louisville attorney attacked in January 2016. The two met in 2016 at the NRA annual meeting. Kristi had been so moved by Corban’s story that she began carrying a gun for self-protection only to find within weeks her life was threatened by a man with a knife. Kristi says she was alive because of Corban, who told her story and changed McMain’s life.

Corban says at the first meeting last year, they “ugly cried.”  Then, at CPAC, Corban was “a proud mom” hearing McMains tell her story for the first time.

Corban says she avoids movies that glorify rape. She says, “what it’s like to have your soul murdered is never accurately depicted.  I don’t seek out fictional depictions of it in movies because there’s enough of it in real life.”

For more on Kimberly Corban see her website, the NRA ad she was in and her interaction with former President Obama, who she voted for in 2008, at a CNN town hall in 2016 about gun control here or follow her on Twitter @Kimberly_Corban.

Videographer Sean Moody is credited with the video work for this piece.

Mrs. Thomas does not necessarily support or endorse the products, services or positions promoted in any advertisement contained herein, and does not have control over or receive compensation from any advertiser.



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As Foreign Agent For Turkey, Flynn Agreed To Form Elite Investigation Team, Make ‘Criminal Referrals’


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While serving as a top adviser on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Michael Flynn signed a contract in which he agreed to utilize an “investigative laboratory” made up of elite former intelligence officials, including a former CIA director, to conduct research and make “criminal referrals” on behalf of a Dutch shell company linked to the Turkish government, federal records show.

But Flynn appears to have over-promised on the contract, which was signed on Aug. 9 between his firm, Flynn Intel Group, and Inovo BV, the shell company.

R. James Woolsey, the former CIA director identified by his title in the contract as a member of Flynn Intel’s “investigative laboratory,” says he was not aware of and never agreed to perform any of the work laid out in the contract.

The investigative work promised by Flynn Intel was most likely focused on Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric exiled in the U.S. whose extradition is being sought by the Turkish government.

Flynn Intel, which shut down in November after Flynn accepted Trump’s offer to serve as national security adviser, filed the contract with the Justice Department on Tuesday as part of a retroactive registration as a foreign agent of Turkey. (RELATED: New Disclosures Reveal The Next Scandal That Would Have Hit Michael Flynn)

The contract called for Flynn Intel to receive $600,000 in payments over three months from Inovo BV, a sole proprietorship registered to Ekim Alptekin, the head of the Turkish-U.S. Business Council (TAIK), a business group that has come under increased control of the increasingly authoritarian Turkish government.

Flynn’s filing has already caused a headache for the White House, both because of the national security implications — Flynn attended classified briefings during the time he was under contract with Inovo — and for what it says about the Trump administration’s vetting processes.

Flynn, a retired lieutenant general, was fired just 24 days into his tenure last month because, according to the White House, he misled Vice President Mike Pence about phone calls he had with Russia’s ambassador.

The new revelations about Flynn’s work for Inovo are also likely to raise questions over the propriety of an elite unit of former intelligence officials tasked with conducting surveillance and research on Gulen for the Turkish government.

But a secondary issue for Flynn arises from Woolsey’s statement that he did not approve the work attributed to him by Flynn Intel.

Flynn Intel Group roster (Archived FlynnIntelGroup.com website)

“Ambassador Woolsey had only perfunctory involvement with Flynn Intel Group. He had no ownership interest, he had no agreement with Flynn Intel Group and Ambassador Woolsey received no compensation whatsoever from it,” Jonathan Franks, a spokesman for Woolsey, told TheDC on Saturday.

“To the extent his involvement was touted in any proposals generated by Flynn Intel Group or any agreements offered by the same, it was without Ambassador Woolsey’s approval.”

Woolsey, a CIA director under Bill Clinton, served on the Trump transition team until early January.

Other former intelligence officials listed in the contract, which went into effect on Aug. 15, are former FBI deputy assistant director Brian McCauley, former director of intelligence for the joint chiefs of staff Paul Becker, and Bijan Kian, a former director of the Export-Import Bank. (RELATED: Flynn Paid Ex-FBI Agent, Behavior Analysts In Work For Turkish Government)

In its contract with Inovo, Flynn Intel said it would “activate its investigative laboratory” — a group made up of the above-named officials and others — to carry out an expansive research program.

The contract states that Inovo expected Flynn Intel to discover new information for the project, analyze it, package it, and present it “in a credible, usable and easy to disseminate format.”

Flynn Intel Group’s Aug. 9, 2016 contract with Inovo BV lists members of Flynn Intel’s “investigative laboratory.”

Flynn Intel was also to deliver its research findings to Inovo as well as to aim for specific outcomes, including “making criminal referrals if warranted and supported by the findings.”

How those criminal referrals were to be made — and who at Flynn Intel was to make them — is not addressed in the contract.

Flynn, through a representative, has declined interview requests. Alptekin did not respond on Saturday to emailed questions.

Flynn Intel’s contract refers to work resulting in “criminal referrals.”

The contract also states that Flynn himself would oversee the project and provide Inovo with updates about its progress.

The level of the intelligence community stalwarts’ involvement in Flynn Intel’s day-to-day operations is unknown. The same goes as to what work they did on the Gulen research project.

While Flynn Intel did not pay Woolsey, the company did pay tens of thousands of dollars to the other intelligence community veterans whose involvement was cited in the contract with Inovo.

McCauley, who retired from the FBI’s international operations sector in 2015, received $28,000 in consulting fees. Becker, who retired as a rear admiral from the Navy last year, was paid $7,500.

A Virginia-based behavioral analysis firm called Operational Behavioral Services was also paid $20,000. Its founders are listed as Thomas Neer and Gina Orton, a former agent with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit and a former FBI psychiatrist, respectively.

None of the officials listed above responded to requests for comment.

Flynn Intel also paid $15,000 to a firm called White Canvas Group. Located in the same office complex as Flynn Intel, White Canvas Group conducts open source research and has contracts with the Defense Department.

Another unknown is how much research Flynn Intel actually did on Gulen, whose extradition is reportedly being weighed under evidence by the Justice Department and State Department. Any eventual extradition would likely involve years of legal wrangling though the federal court system.

But Flynn Intel officials did present some of the anti-Gulen research to the House Homeland Security Committee in October, while Flynn was heavily involved in the Trump campaign.

The FARA filings state that Kian, the Flynn Intel partner and an owner of a 33 percent equity stake in the firm, facilitated the meetings. Flynn did not attend, TheDC has been informed.

The meetings were a bait-and-switch, a House source said. The true goal was to present evidence on Gulen’s complicity in the July 15 coup attempt, as well as on a network of charters schools operated in the U.S. by Gulen’s supporters.

The Turkish government has hired several PR and law firms to research and investigate both angles regarding Gulen, who has been in the U.S. since 1999.

The source said that Kian, the Flynn Intel partner and a business associate of Alptekin’s, initially offered a presentation of a gadget developed by his company, GreenZone Systems. But in a second meeting at Flynn Intel shortly before Halloween, Kian switched gears and introduced a team of researchers to pitch the House staffers on the Gulen issue.

TheDC’s source, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the committee’s operations, said that the encounter was awkward and off-putting. The House staffers were puzzled about what was actually afoot until they saw the reporting about Flynn Intel’s lobbying for Inovo back in November.

“It all made sense,” was the response within the committee when Flynn Intel’s work for Inovo was exposed by TheDC last year, the source said.

Inovo’s Alptekin has denied that he was a conduit for the Turkish government. He’s also denied that he hired Flynn Intel to research Gulen. But the 40-year-old businessman has made a series of demonstrably false statements about the contract with Flynn Intel. (RELATED: Trump’s Top National Security Adviser Is Lobbying For Obscure Dutch Company Linked To Turkish Government)

After the story of the lobbying arrangement broke on Nov. 11, Alptekin claimed that he paid Flynn Intel a retainer “in the tens of thousands,” and not a six figure sum.

Alptekin ended up paying Flynn Intel $530,000 for its work. Unexplained in the new disclosures are payments from Flynn Intel back to Inovo for $80,000. Alptekin told TheDC that the return payments denote where he negotiated lower fees with Flynn Intel. It’s notable that the return payments occurred in between Inovo’s contractual payments to Flynn’s group.

Alptekin also claimed in November that he hired Flynn to help with a deal he had with a Middle Eastern oil company whose business would fare well with improved U.S.-Turkey relation.

Alptekin has not explained how the oil company was to benefit from Flynn Intel’s work on the Gulen issue. Alptekin shared the name of the company with TheDC on condition that it and its nationality not be revealed, but emails to the company have not been returned.

Ekim Alptekin (Youtube screen grab)

Alptekin has also given a murky explanation for how and why he facilitated a meeting between Flynn and two top Turkish government officials in New York City during the campaign.

Flynn Intel this week reported the meeting, which occurred on Sept. 19. The documents don’t name the participants, but Alptekin said that Flynn was in the meeting with Turkey’s energy minister and foreign minister, Berat Albayrak and Mevlut Covusoglu, respectively.

It is unclear whether Flynn told President Trump or the campaign about that meeting, though he would have had an open opportunity to do so. The retired lieutenant general joined Trump and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions that same day in a meeting with Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Alptekin said he put the meeting together at “the last minute” and that he tapped Flynn in his capacity as the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, not as a member of the Trump campaign.

Nowhere in the Flynn Intel-Inovo contract is there a reference to the work for the oil company. Instead, the work seems to center on Gulen, the Muslim cleric.

In addition to compiling research to aid a possible criminal investigation, seemingly of Gulen, Flynn Intel agreed with Inovo to form an “experienced filming and production crew” to create a documentary for dissemination by Sphere Consulting. The filings indicate that the documentary was never finished. A former CNN anchor and a veteran filmmaker were paid several thousand dollars for the work. Neither returned requests for comment.

Sphere oversaw other public outreach angles for the project, work which brought the firm $40,000 in payments from Flynn Intel.

Sphere helped Flynn place a Nov. 8 op-ed in The Hill. In that piece, Flynn struck an aggressive tone towards Gulen, calling him “shady” and endorsing his extradition from the U.S.

Fethullah Gulen at his residence in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania September 26, 2013. REUTERS

Flynn had not staked out a public position on Gulen prior to that op-ed.

Flynn’s retroactive registration as a foreign agent raises a slew of questions for the White House.

For one, the disclosure means that Flynn sat in on classified briefings while he was working for the Turkish government. It also means that several Flynn Intel advisers may have helped shape the Trump administration’s foreign policy as members of the transition team. As a NATO member and ally against ISIS, Turkey figures prominently in the U.S.’s foreign policy strategy.

A White House official said they did not believe that any of the Flynn Intel associates remain “anywhere” in the administration.

Sources familiar with Flynn’s decision to register under FARA told TheDC on Friday that Trump’s general counsel was informed before and after the inauguration that Flynn would likely be registering as a foreign agent.

What the White House would have done with Flynn had he not been fired over the Russian ambassador issue is relegated to the realm of hypotheticals.

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Trump Administration Fires Prominent Obama-Era Attorney Who Refused To Resign


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The Trump administration fired prominent U.S. attorney Preet Bharara Saturday, after he refused to step down as requested Friday in a Department of Justice sweep of all remaining Obama-era attorneys.

Bharara was blindsided by the letter asking for his resignation Friday, because of explicit assurances from both President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he would be asked to stay on through the transition, reports CNN. He did not send in his letter Friday, and told associates he had no plans to do so over the weekend, sources told The New York Times.

The refusal prompted the administration to fire him outright.

“I did not resign,” Bharara tweeted Saturday afternoon. “Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”

Bharara has a reputation for aggressively and successfully going after banks and Wall Street insiders, and is finishing up an investigation into New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as reportedly continuing an investigation into the way Fox News handled settlements of sexual harassment claims by some of its employees. He was also about to start trials of two former aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Justice Department’s move to clear out attorneys from the former presidency has become custom in recent transitions, so it’s not particularly surprising. Former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton each dismissed about 90 attorneys in the early months of their presidency. Many of the Obama-era attorneys have already resigned, but Sessions asked the remaining 46 appointed prosecutors to leave their post in the letter Friday, including Bharara.

“Been in the works for awhile,” a senior administration official told Politico, referring to the letter sent Friday. “Decided to pull the trigger today. We were always planning for it on about Day 50.”

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This Photo Ivanka Trump Shared Online Is Generating Quite A Buzz [PHOTOS]



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