New Clearance Report Shows Why Trump May Be FORCED To Fire Jared Kushner

New Clearance Report Shows Why Trump May Be FORCED To Fire Jared Kushner

As it turns out, Jared Kushner may be on his way out the door at the White House, and all because of something he has no control of. According to a Thursday report from CNN, Kushner's security clearance - something that's legally required in order to work in the West Wing - isn't just being held…

Trump Gets Caught in another web of Lies

Beginning in 2014, the Kremlin began laying the groundwork for information warfare against the American electorate, collecting intelligence and establishing masked computer networks to employ social media in a weaponized manneragainst our democracy. The hub of this secret effort was the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg, which functioned as a front for Russian intelligence; at its 2016 peak, it was spending $1.25 million per month on operations to influence our election with online disinformation and propaganda. This effort aimed to sow distrust among Americans, further poisoning our already polarized election, while boosting Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders at the expense of Hillary Clinton and Trump’s rivals in the Republican primaries

These indictments fundamentally shift the debate about what happened in 2016. Despite nonstop claims for more than a year by President Trump that Russian interference in his election is a “Democratic hoax,” an assertion that has been parroted virulently by his backers, it’s now glaringly obvious that Kremlin officials indeed did clandestinely interfere to help put Donald Trump in the White House. Here, the president’s repeated assurances that Moscow did not meddle in his election—because Vladimir Putin told him so!—appear worse than merely unbelievable.
Predictably, the White House has latched on to the fact that Mueller’s indictments state that no members of Team Trump wittingly parlayed with Russian spies in 2016, who masked their identities. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s statement, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” has been judged especially significant by the president and his defenders. However, Rosenstein’s careful parsing of his statement about this indictment implies that more may be coming.
In truth, this is just the first wave of Mueller’s indictments against Team Trump. More, and worse, is headed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The special counsel’s efforts to rope White House staffers into obstruction charges now take on different coloration as what they were trying to hide is coming into focus. At a minimum, events like the Team Trump June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with the Russian attorney Natalya Veselnitskaya—in reality, a Russian intelligence officer—ostensibly to discuss adoptions, look more sinister when viewed against the backdrop of the broader Kremlin conspiracy against our election. As do pro-Kremlin changes to the Republican platform on Ukraine that were pushed by Team Trump at the party’s mid-July 2016 convention in Cleveland.
Even the most senior White House officials are no longer willing to publicly endorse the president’s repeated lies about what happened in 2016. The head of Trump’s own National Security Council, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, in response to the Mueller indictments, stated in Munich that the facts of Russian meddling in our election are “beyond dispute.” For the increasingly besieged White House, there is no going back now—and there are no exits.
Perhaps sensing this, the president went to Twitter for a series of rants against the Russia investigation, the FBI, and his political opponents that has been unusually hostile and overblown even by Trump’s impressive standards. Of particular interest is how President Trump has latched on to the fact that, per Mueller’s indictment, the Kremlin began laying the groundwork for information warfare against our election way back in 2014.
As the president tweeted on Saturday: “Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know!”

This claim is absurd on its face. That Donald Trump floated the idea of running for the White House several times before he officially threw his hat in the ring on June 16, 2015, is a matter of public record. Moreover, he applied for a trademark on his slogan “Make America Great Again” back in November 2012, just six days after Barack Obama was reelected. Donald Trump’s Twitter feed between then and the official announcement of his candidacy included several references to his impending presidential run. The future candidate was re-tweeting others’ use of the #Trump2016 hashtag as far back as 2013, another indication that the White House was on Trump’s mind long before June 2015.
Then there’s highly classified intelligence demonstrating that Donald Trump was planning on running for the presidency—with Kremlin backing—years before the 2016 election. Back in the spring of 2014, a European intelligence service, a NATO ally of the United States, received a top-secret report that the Russians would back Donald Trump for the White House in the next election. The source was a mid-level Russian intelligence official who had plausible access to secret Kremlin plans.
Moreover, this source had a track record of providing accurate information, so his Trump bombshell merited examination. However, our partners determined that the notion was so absurd—after all, Trump was a reality TV star, a mere carnival barker, not a serious person—that the report had to be Russian disinformation. The source was put “on ice” for several months and his information was not shared with the Americans, since our friends didn’t want to appear so foolish as to suggest Donald Trump would run for president with secret Russian help.
However, American intelligence was hearing similar whispers back in early 2014. The National Security Agency’s global signals intelligence apparatus picked up conversations about a coming Trump presidential run with Kremlin backing. These were what the SIGINT world calls “reflections”—that is, Russians talking to other Russians, without Americans (much less Team Trump members) involved. These intercepted conversations included discussions of Trump’s coming White House run and how Moscow planned to boost him; the SIGINT involved, while not detailed, left the indelible impression that this secret effort had approval from “the top” in the Kremlin. Some of NSA’s foreign spy partners intercepted similar conversations in 2014.
Of greatest interest, NSA and its partners noted a spike in Kremlin conversations about Trump and the presidency in mid-November 2013, which was when Donald Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant. While that visit has been the source of considerable salacious gossip—both in the notorious Steele dossierand in subsequent Kremlin efforts to fool American intelligence—for its alleged sexual shenanigans, its real purpose may have been more serious and sinister, according to several U.S. and Allied intelligence officials I’ve discussed the matter with.
Based on SIGINT reflections back in November 2013, it appeared likely that Trump had discussions with Kremlin officials when he was visiting Moscow, in preparation for his coming run for the White House. “It’s one hell of a coincidence,” an NSA official told me, “that high-ranking Russians suddenly start talking about getting Trump in the White House right after he’s in Moscow.” It’s unclear what intelligence, if any, was shared with the Obama White House about these SIGINT reflections, since its conclusions were tentative; there was no top-secret “smoking gun.” We can hope that Bob Mueller and his prosecutors will now get to the bottom of this murky intelligence puzzle.

In the meantime, President Trump keeps rage-tweeting. In the last 24 hours, he has issued bizarre rants against prominent Democrats involved in the Russia probe, patently false claims that he never denied Russian attacks on our election, put-downs of his own National Security Council boss, and, most insidiously, the claim that the FBI failed to prevent the recent terrible school shooting in Florida because the Bureau was spending too much time on the Russia investigation. That vile assertion has no basis in any fact or reality and betrays a highly stressed president under siege, without off-ramps, who knows that more indictments are coming his way.

Source The Observer
John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst..


'It's Bullsh*t!': Trump Supporter Refuses To Believe She Unwittingly Worked With Russians

'It's Bullsh*t!': Trump Supporter Refuses To Believe She Unwittingly Worked With Russians

According to Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians unsealed last Friday, Being Patriotic was a group formed by the Russians to conduct influence campaigns by organizing rallies for Trump. Part of the strategy was to co-opt unwitting and sincere American Trump supporters for these rallies. A CNN reporter interviewed Florine Gruen Goldfarb as part of a…

Is Donald Trump Derelict in his duty

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1. Russia attacked the United States in 2016 by disrupting the presidential election.
2. The origin of the attack is a matter of consensus among American intelligence agencies.
3. The current president of the United States refuses to acknowledge the attack, refuses to respond to it and refuses to help protect the country against a likely follow-up attack.
4. In the wake of the mass murder of 17 Americans in Florida, the president falsely claimed that the F.B.I. failed to prevent the massacre because it was too occupied with the Russia investigation. In doing so, he repeated his frequent lie that the Russian operation did not exist.
There is no longer any doubt that President Trump is failing to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, as he solemnly swore to do.
“At every turn, Trump has failed to do what a patriotic president would do — failed to put the national interest first,” writes David Frum in The Atlantic.
My colleague Tom Friedman writes: “This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.”
Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey writes: “Much of my education has been about grasping nuance, shades of gray. Resisting the urge to oversimplify the complexity of human motivation. This year has taught me that, actually, a lot of what really matters comes down to good people and bad people. And these are bad people.”

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

Op-Ed Columnist


Will the new District Map In Pennsylvania help the Dems take Back The House

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the state’s new congressional map, which replaces the GOP’s now-invalid gerrymander and will be used for the rest of the decade. Political scientist Brian Amos has calculated preliminary 2016 presidential results for the new districts, though comparing them to the old districts isn’t necessarily straightforward.
That’s because the court’s new lines not only juggled the state’s congressional districts, it renumbered them as well. In the coming days, we’ll learn more about where incumbents who were planning to seek re-election will in fact run this fall, but for now, we’ve linked each new district with the old district that makes up a plurality of each new district. You can find that data, along with presidential numbers for both the old and new seats, right here.
Let’s start with the big number: Donald Trump won 10 seats under the new lines, compared to eight for Hillary Clinton. Given that Trump only carried the Keystone State by a 48.2 to 47.5 margin in 2016, that’s a much more equitable distribution than the 12 Trump and six Clinton seats under the old map.
And based on our best guesses as to which incumbents will run where, Democratic chances would likely improve against Republicans in PA-01 (Mike Fitzpatrick, old PA-08), PA-05 (OPEN/Pat Meehan, old PA-07), PA-06 (Ryan Costello, old PA-06), PA-07 (OPEN/Charlie Dent, old PA-15), PA-10(Scott Perry, old PA-04), PA-17 (Keith Rothfus, old PA-12). However, PA-11 (Lloyd Smucker, old PA-16) has gone from light red to implacably Republican.
There’s a lot to keep straight, though! For starters, you’ll want to keep our brand-new interactive map handy. We've also put together a table showing what portions of Pennsylvania's 2012-2016 congressional districts make up each new seat. (Click here for an explainer on how to interpret this spreadsheet.) This data forms the basis for which old district forms a plurality of each new district in the table above.
Note, though, that two old districts are not represented in that chart. One of them, PA-11, belongs to Republican Rep. Lou Barletta’s and was pretty much dismantled. A plurality (31 percent) of the old PA-11 is in the new PA-10, but because 59 percent of the new PA-10 is made up of Republican Rep. Scott Perry’s old PA-04, we list that seat next to the new PA-10. Barletta is running for the Senate, though, and won’t care, but other incumbents will face serious disruption.
That’s because no matter what district they now choose to call home, they’ll face electorates that are largely new to them. For instance, only half of Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle’s old PA-13 is in the new PA-02, while about 40 percent of retiring Democratic Rep. Bob Brady’s old PA-01 wound up there. (Incidentally, Brady’s old PA-01 is the other old district that doesn’t appear in the table above.)
The devil, though, is often in the county-level details, and to get a sense for how that will play, we’ve put together an updated list of how much of each county makes up each new seat, and how much of each county is contained in each new seat. For instance, Boyle’s Philadelphia made up just about half of the old PA-13, while it makes up all of the new 2nd District, so it makes sense for him to run there.

So, what happens now? The most immediate item on the calendar is the state’s March 20 filing deadline for House candidates (candidates for every other office in Pennsylvania must file by March 6), though they’ll need to start collecting ballot petitions well before then. Consequently, anyone who wants to run for the House this year needs to decide pretty quickly where they’ll run. The primary will be held on May 15 for all offices.
We should note that that Republicans in the legislature are once again going to federal court to try to block the new map, even though the U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene on their behalf earlier this month. As election law expert Rick Hasen notes, their odds of prevailing are very long, so this map in all likelihood is here to stay.
And on a note that is both highly symbolic and deeply important, this new map means that there are now 25 Republican-held House seats nationally that Hillary Clinton carried, up from 23. That’s one more than the number of Republican seats Democrats would need to flip in order to regain control over the House in November.



Donald Trump Will Resign ‘Within Two Weeks’ If Mueller Flips Manafort, Democratic Strategist Predicts

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Donald Trump will resign and leave the White House in fear if the Russia investigation is able to flip former campaign manager Paul Manafort against him, a top Democratic strategist is predicting.
Last week, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation took a major step forward with the indictment of 13 Russian nationals for interfering in the election by spreading propaganda on social media, and they also announced a plea deal for Manafort’s former business partner, Rick Gates.
Gates accepted a plea deal that will have him testify against Manafort, the Boston Herald noted, bolstering what has already been seen as a solid case against Trump’s former top campaign official. There has been speculation among legal experts that Mueller may now be working on Manafort, using him to build a case against the biggest target of all, Donald Trump.
If that is the case, Mueller will likely have Trump dead to rights, Scott Dworkin predicted. The Democratic strategist and fundraiser has predicted that Trump will resign almost immediately if Manafort were to flip against him. Trump and Manafort have a business relationship that stretches back decades and have been “scamming” together for years, Dworkin claimed.
Dworkin is not the only person predicting that Donald Trump will resign when the heat from the Russia investigation gets to be too much for him. A writer who has a long and tumultuous relationship with Trump has also predicted that Trump’s pride will not allow him to suffer what he would view as the biggest possible loss.
source The Inquisitor 

*Editors Note
Mueller does not need Gates to Convict Manafot, his case is a paper case, which means his finances are enough to convict him no witness needed