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Judicial Watch: Emails Suggest Obama FBI Knew McCain Leaked Trump Dossier


April 22, 2020

URL of the originating web site: https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-releases/judicial-watch-emails-suggest-obama-fbi-knew-mccain-leaked-trump-dossier/

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received 138 pages of emails between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page. The records include an email dated January 10, 2017, in which Strzok said that the version of the dossier published by BuzzFeed was “identical” to the version given to the FBI by McCain and had “differences” from the dossier provided to the FBI by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Mother Jones reporter David Corn. January 10, 2017, is the same day BuzzFeed published the anti-Trump dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele, The emails also show Strzok and other FBI agents mocking President Trump a few weeks before he was inaugurated. In addition, the emails reveal that Strzok communicated with then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe about the “leak investigation” tied to the Clinton Foundation (the very leak in which McCabe was later implicated).

The records were produced to Judicial Watch in a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 2017 request for all communications between Strzok and Page (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)).

The FBI has only processed the records at a rate of 500 pages per month and has refused to process text messages. At this rate, the production of these communications would not be completed until at least late 2021. The FBI is now using the coronavirus as an excuse to shut down the production of any further records.

On January 10, 2017, Strzok, under the subject “RE: Buzzfeed published some of the reports,” writes: “Our internet system is blocking the site. I have the pdf via iPhone, but it’s 25.6MB. Comparing now. The set is only identical to what [Sen. John] McCain had (it has differences from what was given to us by Corn and Simpson).”

Strzok sent the email to Page and several top-ranking FBI officials, including Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap, Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Jon Moffa, Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan, General Counsel James Baker, and Director James Comey’s Chief of Staff James Rybicki.

Earlier, on January 10, 2017, BuzzFeed published a version of the dossier that Strzok said was “identical” to what McCain’s office had turned over to the FBI. Strzok sent the BuzzFeed-related email at 7:48 PM. At 8:23 PM on the same day, Strzok forwards to Page and several FBI officials an article by the UK outlet The Guardian titled “FBI chief given dossier by John McCain alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts.”

David Corn was one of Steele’s media contacts. Fusion GPS paid Steele, via funds from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to write the dossier. In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017, Simpson said he was not aware of any version of the Steele dossier being given to the FBI.

While acknowledging he had given the dossier to the FBI, McCain had denied being the source of the BuzzFeed dossier report. But court filings which were unsealed in March 2019 show the Arizona Republican senator and an associate had shared the dossier with several media outlets.

Former State Department official and McCain associate David Kramer said in a December 13, 2017, deposition that the dossier was given to him by Steele and he then provided it to journalists at outlets including CNN, BuzzFeed and The Washington Post. The details were first reported by The Daily Caller.

The new production of records also includes a December 22, 2016, email in which Strzok asks then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe if the FBI had opened a “leak investigation” into Clinton Foundation media reports. Strzok writes: “I received word via Jen that tomorrow morning Mike S [presumably Executive Assistant Director Michael Steinbach] wants to talk about whether we have opened a leak investigation into the publicity surrounding the C Foundation. He said he’d like to discuss, as the D [Director James Comey] ‘would like to do something.’ I need guidance as to how/if you’d like me to detail the media pull we conducted. As you may recall, we have not detailed that activity other than to you and Bill.” McCabe’s reply to Strzok is redacted.

McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 for leaking to the media and lacking “candor.” A February 2018 DOJ inspector general report concluded “that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation … violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct.” McCabe was referred for prosecution but the Justice Department declined.

The documents also include several emails in which Strzok forwards Russiagate-related news articles to Page and other FBI officials. On January 1, 2017, Strzok forwarded to Moffa and another unidentified official a New York Times article titled “Trump Promises Revelation on Hacking”. The article discusses President-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism about U.S. intelligence assessments of Russian hacking relating to the 2016 election. Strzok cut-and-pasted a quote from the article in which Trump said, “I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe. I have a boy who’s 10 years old; he can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.” The article mentions that Trump said new information would be coming out the following Tuesday. Strzok then says in his cover note, “I think the Tuesday surprise is all the stuff [redacted] told him during the CI [counterintelligence] briefing. He DID mention the stuff about his son and the computer password …” A redacted FBI agent replies to Strzok, but the reply is also redacted. Another FBI agent then responds, “To be accurate he called it a code word not a password. Ha!” Strzok replies, “Funnies.”

On December 15, 2016, Strzok forwards to Page an article from the Daily Mail which states that a former British diplomat, Craig Murray, claimed to have received emails that were stolen from the DNC and John Podesta. Murray said he received the emails near the grounds of American University in Washington, DC. The article says the emails were from an inside DNC source, not Russians. Strzok writes in his cover note to Page, “Shaddy sh*t at AU…;)”.

On December 21, 2016, Strzok forwards to Page a link to a Defense One article about Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. presidential election. Strzok cut-and-pasted a quote from former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell in which Morell says, “To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11.”

On December 26, 2016, Strzok forwards to Moffa and an unidentified Washington Field Office agent a Bloomberg article titled “Trump Aide Partnered with Firm Run by Man with Alleged KGB Ties.” The article reports that Trump adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, having partnered in 2016 with Subu Kota, a man who pleaded guilty in 1996 to selling stolen biotech material to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy. Strzok forwarded the article to Page, saying, “See, look, I’m sharing… ;)”

On January 4, 2017, Strzok forwards to Page a 14-page white paper by the Capital Research Center entitled “Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act.” He had previously sent the same file to Office of General Counsel attorney Trisha Anderson and to Priestap.

In a January 4, 2017, email thread a redacted official in the FBI’s Operational Technology Division emails Strzok and Page: “The AD [Assistant Director] of Cyber is apparently bringing up the idea of [redacted]. [Redacted] just messaged me after being pinged by SF [likely the FBI’s San Francisco office]. He asked why this was coming up again, and he wants to talk to me about it next week. Any recommendation on how to deal with this?” Pages replies, “Why don’t you let Pete or Bill or I reach out to the AD of Cyber to let him know how we got here [redacted]. It might then be worth [redacted].” The official responds, “Perfect. That works for me and you can mention that OTD brought it to you. My initial recommendation was for the AD to reach out to you two, but I can only assume that message did not reach him.”

On January 9, 2017, in an email with the subject line “USIC report,” [U.S. Intelligence Community] Strzok tells Page and a redacted official “Per D’s request on Friday, NYO received a single copy of the influence report from ODNI’s [redacted]; it is being maintained in the CD SAC’s safe for PEOTUS [president-elect of the United States]/senior staff.”

On January 10, 2017, Strzok emails Page, Moffa, Priestap and Jennifer Boone to say, “Per Rich [presumably Richard Quinn, formerly with the public affairs office], CNN to publish C material today between 4 and 5. Page replies: “We have lots of details from kortan [Asst Dir Michael Kortan of public affairs]. He will brief at the 3:45.” Strzok responds: “Can I maybe get a read out vis a vis relationship with Brits etc?”

“These new emails show that Strzok and his Obama FBI colleagues knew almost immediately that McCain likely leaked the infamous dossier,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The emails also show that senior FBI officials had contempt for President Trump and gossiped about its counterintelligence briefing to him. The FBI under Comey and McCabe was a train wreck and, given the ongoing cover-up of these docs, the agency hasn’t improved much.”

In February 2020, Judicial Watch uncovered an August 2016 email in which Strzok says that Clinton, in her interview with the FBI about her email controversy, apologized for “the work and effort” it caused the bureau and she said she chose to use it “out of convenience” and that “it proved to be anything but.” Strzok said Clinton’s apology and the “convenience” discussion were “not in” the FBI 302 report that summarized the interview.

Also in February, Judicial Watch made public Strzok-Page emails showing their direct involvement in the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the bureau’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The records also show additional “confirmed classified emails” were found on Clinton’s unsecure non-state.gov email server “beyond the number presented” in then-FBI Director James Comey’s statements; Strzok and Page questioning the access the DOJ was granting Clinton’s lawyers; and Page revealing that the DOJ was making edits to FBI 302 reports related to the Clinton Midyear Exam investigation. The emails detail a discussion about “squashing” an issue related to the Seth Rich controversy.

In January 2020, Judicial Watch uncovered Strzok-Page emails that detail special accommodations given to the lawyers of Clinton and her aides during the FBI investigation of the Clinton email controversy.

In November 2019, Judicial Watch revealed Strzok-Page emails that show the attorney representing three of Clinton’s aides were given meetings with senior FBI officials.

Also in November, Judicial Watch uncovered emails revealing that after Clinton’s statement denying the transmission of classified information over her unsecure email system, Strzok sent an email to FBI officials citing “three [Clinton email] chains” containing (C) [classified] portion marks in front of paragraphs.”

IG Report Reveals Steele Funneled Claims Through John McCain After FBI Dropped Him


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/26/ig-report-reveals-steele-funneled-claims-through-john-mccain-after-fbi-dropped-him/

In this Aug. 25, 2009 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds a healthcare town hall meeting in Sun City, Ariz. McCain’s family says the Arizona senator has chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer. (AP Photo/Matt York) AP Photo/Matt York

Late Senator John McCain provided disgraced former FBI chief James Comey with five separate reports from Christopher Steele that the FBI didn’t previously possess related to unsubstantiated allegations of collusion between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign, the Justice Department’s recent Inspector General report revealed.

There have long been questions about why it was necessary for McCain to pass Steele’s anti-Trump dossier to Comey on December 9, 2016, several weeks after the November 2016 presidential election. By then, Steele had already met numerous times with FBI agents to provide them with his controversial reports. Steele, however, was terminated as an FBI source in the fall of 2016 because he spoke to the news media.

The IG report discloses that McCain gave five new Steele reports to Comey that the FBI did not previously possess, showing that McCain served as a conduit for Steele’s information to reach the FBI even after the British ex-spy was formally cut off as an FBI source.

It is not clear whether McCain knew at the time that Steele had previously been terminated as an FBI source.

The IG report also verifies that a McCain aid obtained the Steele reports directly from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, meaning that when McCain transferred the anti-Trump charges to Comey he had to have known that the material originated with a firm that specializes in controversial opposition tactics. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.

States the IG report:

Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI. McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.

The unnamed McCain staff member is known to be David J. Kramer, who also infamously provided BuzzFeed with the Steele dossier.

BuzzFeed published Steele’s full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.

Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to Comey but he refused repeated requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office by this reporter.

In his book published last year, McCain maintained he had an “obligation” to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he would even do it again. “Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,” McCain exclaimed.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Written with research by Joshua Klein.

Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Worked Closely with Anti-Trump Dossier Hoaxer


Reported by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/06/alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-worked-closely-with-anti-trump-dossier-hoaxers/

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 20: Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 20, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Policy Response to Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. … Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, was part of an Obama administration email chain celebrating the eventual signing of a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine.

That and other emails show Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. One of those individuals, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland (pictured), received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to Nuland’s direct role in the dossier controversy.

Also part of the email chains was Christopher J. Anderson, who was a special adviser to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Anderson testified to the Democrat-led House committees running the impeachment inquiry.

Ciaramella’s name comes up in six Obama-era government emails that were released by the State Department as part of two previous Freedom of Information Act requests.  At the time of the exchanges, Ciaramella served as the Director for Baltic and Eastern European Affairs for the Obama-era National Security Council, where he worked on Ukraine policy.  He is now an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.

One email, titled, “Loan Guarantee,” involved Nuland, who was reportedly a key champion of the Ukraine loan guarantee policy.

“Hurray,” a celebratory Nuland wrote in response to a translated Ukrainian government announcement about the signing of the $1 billion loan guarantee.  The announcement singles out Joe Biden as being present for the conclusion of an agreement leading to the loan guarantee.

Ciaramella was one of several people CC’d in the email, which was sent from the U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey Pyatt, who was another key champion of the loan guarantee to Ukraine along with Nuland.

The email is one of several that shows Ciaramella in the loop with top officials such as Nuland working on Ukraine policy under the Obama administration.

The loan guarantee was pushed through after Ukraine agreed to several reforms, especially the firing of the nation’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. This at a time that Shokin was reportedly investigating Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company paying Hunter Biden.  Joe Biden infamously boasted on video about personally threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless Shokin was removed.

Another released email shows Ciaramella himself sending a message to Nuland and others. Most of the contents are blocked out, including the email’s subject line. One non-classified section of that email shows a reply stating, “Embassy Kyiv — coordinated with our USAID mission folks — will have detailed input tomorrow.”

One email involving Nuland was sent two days before the loan guarantee was signed on June 3, 2016. “Can you confirm who will be doing the actual signing for each side?” the exchange asked.

Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

FBI notes also cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Meanwhile, looped into email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland.

At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower. Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

On Sunday, Trump responded to press reports naming Ciaramella, calling him a “radical” known for his close ties to Brennan and Rice.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. There have been stories written about a certain individual, a male, and they say he’s the whistleblower,” Trump told reporters. “If he’s the whistleblower, he has no credibility because he’s a Brennan guy, he’s a Susan Rice guy, he’s an Obama guy.”

Trump added, “And he hates Trump. And he’s a radical. Now, maybe it’s not him. But if it’s him, you guys ought to release the information.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Sarah Palin Silent NO MORE — Drops the Hammer On McCain & Family In New Interview


Published ApBy

Late Senator John McCain (AZ) apparently regretted choosing Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in 2008. Why he made that known publicly makes little sense, considering McCain was going to lose the ‘08 race unless his VP was Barack Obama himself.

Even wilder is that Palin was not invited to McCain’s funeral.

Now, the former governor of Alaska is breaking her silence.

From Daily Wire:

In an appearance on “Good Morning Britain” on Monday, the former Alaska governor said the funeral snub felt like a “gut punch.”

Palin said, “I was kind of surprised to be publicly disinvited to the funeral. I think that was an unnecessary step. [The McCain family] didn’t have to embarrass me and embarrass others. And it wasn’t just me, it was other good people from our campaign back in 2008 who were very, very loyal to Sen. McCain, and worked with him and for him for many years, and they weren’t invited to the funeral.”

WATCH:

Who does Palin think disinvited her?

Palin noted,My guess is, it came from Cindy. She is very protective of John’s memory and legacy. She’s also a grieving widow. I think she wants to get through this as best she can. Donald Trump and Sarah Palin were not served official notice outright. I want to make that clear. It wasn’t a no-trespass order. They won’t be turned away by guards if they show up at the funeral.

Hollywood’s Spike Lee is one of President Trump’s biggest celebrity critics. After winning an award for his film “BlackKklansman” at the Oscars on Sunday night, Lee decided to use part of his acceptance speech to call out POTUS.

The View’s” Meghan McCain defended Lee for ripping into Trump after he sent a tweet blasting the activist director. She referred to 45 as a “reality show president,” an obvious dig at his past life as host of “The Apprentice.”

Lee: “When we regain our humanity it will be a powerful moment.”

Lee: “The 2020 election is around the corner — let’s all mobilize and be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate.”

Trump’s message for Spike:

Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!

Breaking: Arizona Governor Announces Replacement for John McCain



Reported By Randy DeSoto | September 4, 2018 at

11:19am

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey named former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl as the late Sen. John McCain’s replacement on Tuesday. Kyl served with McCain in the Senate from 1995 to Jan. 2013 before his retirement. Sen. Jeff Flake succeeded him. Kyl, 76, was the GOP minority whip before leaving office, which is the second-highest position in the Republican conference, the Arizona Republic reported.

Ducey made the announcement at a press conference from the Arizona capitol in Phoenix.

“There is no one in Arizona with the stature of Sen. Jon Kyl,” the governor said.

“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” Ducey added. “He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans.”

Ducey also tweeted, “I am deeply grateful to Sen. Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and colleague of so many years. Every single day that Jon Kyl represents #Arizona in the U.S. Senate is a day our state is well-served.”

Kyl has agreed to serve out the remainder of the current session of Congress, which will conclude in December.

Ducey expressed the hope that Kyl will stay on through the special election to fill McCain’s seat, which will take place in 2020. That election will be to fulfill the last two years of McCain’s term, which ends in 2022.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, offered support for Ducey’s choice tweeting, “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona.”

Kyl spoke at a ceremony at the Arizona capitol honoring McCain last week.

Most recently, Kyl has been serving in the role of “sherpa,” guiding Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh through the confirmation process in the Senate.

Kyl will fly back to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and could take up his seat in the Senate as early as Tuesday night.

Among the first high-profile votes he will be called upon to make is for the confirmation of Kavanaugh, which is expected later this month and likely to be close, given the current 51-49 Republican majority.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Randy DeSoto is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


Graveside Love

It’s obvious the Democrats and the Media like John McCain better dead than they did when he was alive.

Media and John McCainPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.
More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

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COMMENTARY: President Trump Fires Back with His Own Incredible Response After McCain Funeral Turns Political


Commentary By Benjamin Arie | September 3, 2018 at

6:10am

John McCain’s actual election rivals may have been George W. Bush back in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008, but you’d be forgiven for wondering if they were all on the same team after the late senator’s funeral on Saturday.

“The same team” is even how former President Obama described himself and McCain as he addressed the gathered crowd at the senator’s funeral.

The Arizona lawmaker may have been gone, but the figures he approved to speak at the service definitely seemed to be on the same page when it came to using the memorial service as a platform to join forces against the sitting president of the United States.

Nobody mentioned Donald Trump by name, but as Joseph Curl pointed out at The Daily Wire, it was clear that three of the main speakers — Meghan McCain, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush — were of one mind when it came to backhanding the current president.

“We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness — the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served,” McCain’s adult daughter Meghan chastised from the podium.

It was a cheap shot directed, without a doubt, at the billionaire Trump.

“The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great,” Meghan McCain continued, obviously hammering at Trump’s famous slogan of “Make America Great Again.”

Remember, this was supposed to be a funeral.

Obama joined in when his time came.

“So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty, trafficking in bombast and insult and phony controversies and manufactured outrage,” he declared pompously.

“It’s a politics that pretends to be brave and tough but in fact is born in fear. John called on us to be bigger than that. He called on us to be better than that,” stated the former president who beat the deceased in 2008 aided in large part by a media that slandered McCain constantly.

Then George W. Bush, a man who reportedly refused to vote for Trump against Hillary Clinton, took the stage.

“John was above all a man with a code,” Bush stated.

“He led by a set of public virtues that brought strength and purpose to his life and to his country. He was courageous, with a courage that frightened his captors and inspired his countrymen,” Bush said.

“He was honorable, always recognizing that his opponents were still patriots and human beings,” Bush continued, without clarifying what the definition of a patriot was or if every opponent met the criteria.

“He loved freedom with the passion of a man who knew its absence. He respected the dignity inherent in every life, a dignity that does not stop at borders,” Bush continued, likely taking a swipe at Trump’s push for border security.

One Republican president jabbing at another for daring to enforce the nation’s borders, at a funeral. Welcome to 2018.

In response, Trump could have gone on a rant. He could have pushed back against the almost certain efforts to chide him by establishment politicians who have had power for decades — basically, the very people he was elected to counter.

Instead, Trump posted just four words on Twitter on the evening of McCain’s funeral.

It wasn’t a lot. It didn’t have to be.

For Trump opponents, nothing the president said would have mattered.

For Trump supporters, those four words said it all.

ABOUT THE COMMENTATOR:

Benjamin Arie has been a political junkie since the hotly contested 2000 election. Ben settled on journalism after realizing he could get paid to rant. He cut his teeth on car accidents and house fires as a small-town reporter in Michigan before becoming a full-time political writer.

Lindsey Graham Reveals Powerful Message Trump Gave Him After McCain Eulogy


Reported By Randy DeSoto | August 29, 2018 at

12:39pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., revealed on Wednesday that President Donald Trump called him after the senator’s tearful tribute speech to the late Sen. John McCain, telling him, “you did right by your friend.”

During an appearance on CNN, anchor Dana Bash asked Graham how he can square his friendship with McCain to being willing to “carry the water” for Trump.

“It’s pretty simple, if you knew anything about me. I want to be relevant,” Graham responded. “I want to make sure this president, Donald Trump, who I didn’t vote for and ran against, is successful.”

He added, “I regret the relationship between the two. John is my dearest friend in the world, and I am going to try to help President Trump, and I will. I think ‘Country First’ means that.”

The South Carolinian went on to say that when Trump speaks poorly of McCain, “it pisses me off.”

“He called yesterday after my speech, and he couldn’t have been nicer,” Graham recounted. “He said, ‘That was very sad. I just want to let you know you did right by your friend.’”

“To those who say the only way you can honor John McCain is to fight Donald Trump and try to kick him out of office, I don’t agree,” the senator said.

Graham and Bash talked about Graham’s emotional tribute from the Senate floor during which he said, “It is going to be a lonely journey for me for a while. I am going to need your help, and the void to be filled by John’s passing is more than I can fill.”

“What hit me was the desk,” he recalled to Bash. “Funerals are for a reason. They’re for the living.”

“They give us a chance to remember what we’ve lost and how we can cope with it. It hit me really hard when I saw the cloth on the desk, because I’ve sat next to that desk by him for years talking about everything under the sun, and that will be an empty desk. My life has changed like everybody who knew John.”

Graham told NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday that Trump had gotten to the right place in terms of honoring McCain’s service to the country while acknowledging the two men often didn’t see eye-to-eye.

“John Kelly, (the White House) chief of staff has been terrific,” the lawmaker said. “The president told Gen. Kelly whatever they need, they get,” referring to the McCain family.

CNN reported that besides his Senate tribute speech, Graham will read a scripture at McCain’s memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and speak at his burial service on Sunday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Randy DeSoto is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book “We Hold These Truths” and screenwriter of the political documentary “I Want Your Money.”

Trump Unleashes Video of McCain Promise That Has Him Scrambling


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/trump-unleashes-video-mccain/?

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Any 30-year career in the Senate is bound to have some highs and some lows. However, for Sen. John McCain, those lows seem to be agglomerating themselves in what are sure to be his final years in office.

While nobody ever thought that McCain was particularly a movement conservative — in fact, RINOs his size were usually only espied at the zoo or on safari — his unreliability became a major issue after he effectively sank Obamacare repeal in the Senate.

If McCain thought that his vote would be forgotten, or perhaps remembered as a profile in courage — well, it certainly doesn’t look that way from here. And, as President Donald Trump reminded everyone, McCain’s vote was a stab in the back to voters who relied on McCain’s repeated promises to repeal Obamacare.

In a video posted by the president to Twitter on Monday, McCain is seen saying he would repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature legislation over and over again:

This is what McCain supporters are scrambling to hide — it’s not just once or twice. That video is over six minutes long. That’s approximately the average length of one of the deep cuts on The Cure’s “Disintegration.” And, you know what? Listening to it is roughly about as depressing.

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Yes, I know, John McCain is a war hero. Yes, I know he’s going through a tough time right now with his cancer diagnosis. Yes, I know, he has done some good things for the GOP. He has served his country in both the military and the Senate.

However, now that the GOP-led Congress has given up its final effort to pass Obamacare repeal — a weaksauce, establishment-friendly last-ditch effort at that — it’s instructive to remember who shares the most responsibility for that failure.

All McCain had to do was cast the deciding vote and the Senate’s plan would have gone into conference, where problems could have been hammered out. That’s all he was being asked to do. That’s what he torpedoed at age 81, in what is almost certainly his final term in the Senate.

President Trump isn’t going to forget that McCain singlehandedly killed the last chance to accomplish what the Arizona senator has been promising for years. Neither should you.

Report: Cindy McCain To Join The Trump Administration


Reported

URL of the original posting site: http://www.westernjournalism.com/report-cindy-mccain-will-join-trump-administration/

President Donald Trump has “aggressively courted” the wife of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to join his administration for several months to no avail. After months of rejecting offers to join the administration under several potential posts, Cindy McCain has finally reached a deal with the president, according to a report by the Daily Beast.

“[Trump personally], aggressively courted her for this,” a White House official told website. “It’s a done deal now. The president had floated several positions before. This is the one that stuck.”

Cindy McCain, a well-known voice on refugees and other humanitarian efforts, will join the Trump administration to be a Washington D.C.-based “U.S. ambassador-at-large for human rights.”

Her official title is subject to change.

The president’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, helped seal the deal.

A White House official said Trump strongly recommended her father make a “hard sell” to McCain, who impressed the president’s daughter at an anti-human trafficking roundtable at the White House last month.

McCain is well known for her involvement in humanitarian causes. She is the co-chair of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council, and has also worked with Arizona State University’s McCain Institute on human trafficking issues. She’s also worked for years to raise awareness on refugees from war-torn countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Trump has been eyeing  McCain to join his team for months, and privately discussed the prospect with her during a White House dinner with her and her husband in April.

“When [President Trump] sat down and ate with [John] McCain, it was always really to meet with the other McCain,” a source within the Trump administration told the Daily Beast.

Cindy McCain will be placed under the umbrella of the State Department, which is expected to relieve tensions between one of his fiercest Republican opponents on foreign policy, Sen. John McCain.

John and Cindy McCain are by no means fans of the president. Both decided against voting for Trump during the election, and the senator was among the voices in the Never Trump movement by suggesting he wasn’t qualified to be president.

“Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton,” John McCain said in October. “We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”

Senate goes ‘nuclear’ to advance Trump Supreme Court pick


The Senate voted Thursday to move forward with Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination after Republicans took a historic step that lowers the vote threshold for high court nominees to a simple majority.  Senators voted 55-45 to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination, setting up a final confirmation vote for Friday. Thanks to a procedural move that changed Senate rules earlier Thursday, a simple majority was needed to move forward.

Democrats had successfully blocked Gorsuch’s nomination from getting 60 votes earlier, prompting Republicans to employ the “nuclear option,” which effectively ends filibusters for all Supreme Court nominees. Democrats tried to delay the rule change vote by offering motions to postpone a vote and to adjourn the chamber, but both fell short as Republicans stayed unified.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) voted with Republicans to allow President Trump’s pick to move forward.

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Republicans defended the party-line vote on the nuclear option, saying Democrats were to blame for blocking Gorsuch, who they believe is eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) argued that Democrats should “come to their senses.” 

“The truth of the matter is that throughout this process, the minority led by their leader has been desperately searching for a justification for their preplanned filibuster,” he said ahead of Thursday’s votes.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) added that the current stalemate was part of a decades-long Democratic effort to “politicize the courts and the confirmation process.” 

“The opposition to this particular nominee is more about the man that nominated him and the party he represents than the nominee himself,” he said. 

Republicans hinted for weeks that Trump’s nominee would be confirmed one way or another. McConnell confirmed during a leadership press conference that he had the votes to go nuclear if needed. Republicans appeared resigned to the tactics, arguing if Democrats won’t support Gorsuch — who received the American Bar Association’s highest rating — they won’t allow any GOP nominee to join the Supreme Court.

But Democrats made a last-minute pledge for Republicans to back down and change the nominee, an argument that never gained traction with GOP senators.

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “When a nominee doesn’t get enough votes for confirmation the answer is not to change the rules, it’s to change the nominee.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) during an eleventh-hour press conference blasted the GOP tactics, saying it “is just wrong to pack the court through this stolen seat.” 

“That’s why it’s so important that we still in the few hours that we have left hopefully stop this really crime against the Constitution,” he said. 

Progressives groups also stepped up their attacks heading into Thursday’s vote, warning that Republicans will be to blame for going “nuclear.”  The People’s Defense — a coalition of roughly a dozen progressive groups led by NARAL Pro-Choice America — released a digital ad campaign targeting Republicans in Arizona, Alaska, Maine, Nevada and South Carolina, warning them that “history is watching.”

Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Dean Heller (Nev.), among those being targeted by outside groups, are Republicans’ two most vulnerable incumbents. Schumer echoed that from the Senate floor on Thursday, saying that Republicans “had other choices. They’ve chosen this one.” 

“The responsibility for changing the rules will fall on Republicans and Leader McConnell’s shoulders,” he said. 

Democrats remain deeply bitter of Republicans treatment of Merrick Garland, whom former President Barack Obama’s nominated to fill the vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016. GOP leaders refused to give Garland a hearing or a vote. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued that the current stalemate over the Supreme Court dates back Scalia’s death and “what we’re facing today is the fallout.” 

But the hardball tactics drew skepticism from both Republican and Democratic senators, who held around-the-clock negotiations to try to prevent the rule change but ultimately failed.

Told that by a reporter that some people think the Senate will function better without the filibuster, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fired back: “Whoever said that is a stupid idiot.” 

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) also warned that without the need for 60 votes to break a filibuster, Trump might easily appoint Attorney General Jeff Sessions or EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to the Supreme Court in the future.

“Partisanship should give way to patriotism,” said Bennet, who backed ending debate on Gorsuch’s nomination earlier Thursday but voted against it in the second vote. “If we go down this road we will undermine the minorities ability to check this administration and all those who follow.”

Mattis’s views on women in combat takes center stage


Gen. Mattis’s views on women in combat takes center stage / © Getty Images

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis’s stance on women in combat and LGBT troops will be thrust into the spotlight Thursday when he faces senators for his confirmation hearing to be the next secretary of Defense. The man whom Mattis is in line to replace, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, opened all combat jobs to women with no exceptions in late 2015 over the objection of the Marine Corps. This summer, Carter also lifted the ban on transgender troops serving openly.

Supporters of the changes have been worried since Election Day that President-elect Donald Trump‘s administration will roll them back.  Mattis has expressed skepticism in the past about whether women are suited for what he called “intimate killing” and has blasted civilian leaders with a “progressive agenda” pushing “social change” on the military.

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Though Mattis is highly respected for his military service and is expected to be confirmed, wary senators will likely push Mattis to answer for his past comments when he faces the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“I would have a concern if he wasn’t committed to supporting the policy going forward,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the committee. Death of a nation

In a 2014 speech at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco, Mattis questioned whether women can handle the “atavistic primitive world” of the infantry. “The idea of putting women in there is not setting them up for success,” he said. “It would only be someone who never crossed the line of departure into close quarters fighting that would ever even promote such an idea.”

He stressed that his concerns were not about individual women’s ability to meet physical requirements. The point, he said, was mixing “Eros,” the Greek god of love, with the trenches.

“Some of us aren’t so old that we’ve forgotten that at times it was like heaven on earth just to hold a certain girl’s hand,” he said, to laughter and applause from the audience.

In a 2016 book Mattis co-edited with Hoover Institution colleague Kori Schake, the pair warned about the dangers of imposing social issues on the military, such as female combat troops and openly LGBT service members.

“We fear that an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military,” they wrote.

It’s a sentiment Mattis reiterated in a September interview with the Military Times.

“We have to be very careful that we do not undercut the military battlefield effectiveness with shortsighted social programs,” he said.AMEN

Concerns about Mattis’s statements are compounded by Trump’s own comments on the campaign trail. Trump blasted “political correctness” when asked during an October town hall about “social engineering” in the military. In September, he said he wanted to crack down on the “massive problem” of military sexual assault, but defended a 2013 tweet that blamed mixing men and women for the issue.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he expects Mattis to echo what many Republicans have said about the issue of women in combat roles.

“I haven’t asked him about it, but I’m sure he will say that he supports the role of women in combat as long as we don’t lower standards,” McCain said. “That’s my view, and that I think is the majority of the committee’s view.”

But Democrats aren’t so sure. Asked if she has concerns about Mattis’s views on women in combat and transgender troops, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a committee member, firmly said, “Yes,” without elaborating.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a vocal advocate of women in the military, said she plans to ask Mattis for clarity on his views at the hearing. Gillibrand has already said she opposes Mattis for an unrelated issue: He needs a waiver from Congress to bypass a law that says Defense secretaries must be out of uniform for at least seven years.

“I do have concerns about women in the military and how sexual assault in the military is being addressed,” she said after meeting Mattis last week. “I’ll ask those questions specifically in the hearing so he can answer them for the record.”

Kate Germano, chief operating officer of the Women’s Service Action Network, said even if Mattis doesn’t outright reverse the decision to open all combat jobs to women, he could allow the Marines to slow-roll implementation, which she has accused them of doing already.

“I think this could absolutely exacerbate that,” said Germano, a recently retired Marine Corps officer. “The fact is that for women who want to pursue those jobs, that’s a letdown for them.” 

Having a leader who doesn’t support women in combat could also hinder other efforts to fight gender bias, Germano added, such as integrating male and female Marines’ basic training and improving the military’s family policies.Leftist Propagandist

As of Monday, her group had met with all but one member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to talk about Mattis, she said. Germano said she’s worried that Gillibrand’s concerns about Mattis are being overshadowed by her opposition to his waiver. She also added that staffers for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who joined the Armed Services Committee this year, have told the group she has concerns about Mattis’s positions as well.

Warren’s office did not return requests for comment.

Germano additionally highlighted Mattis’s close working relationship with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, who as commandant of the Marines recommended Carter keep some jobs closed. Asked this week whether he expects the women in combat policy to stay the same in the next administration, Dunford said he “can’t comment on anything that might happen in the future.”

The Palm Center, an independent think tank that researches issues of gender and sexuality and has been active on the military’s LGBT policies, has also been reaching out to senators ahead of Thursday’s hearing. The group has been circulating a sheet of questions for senators to ask Mattis, including whether he supports the existing Pentagon policies, directives and implementation guidelines regarding open service by LGBT troops, what a reversal of the policy would consist of and what effect a reversal would have readiness, unit cohesion and morale.

“I expect Gen. Mattis, if he is confirmed, to take aim at LGBT troops and women and to politicize military personnel policy on the basis of outdated moral beliefs,” said Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center.engineering

Republicans mostly did not support the transgender policy, saying the Pentagon did not provide adequate evidence that readiness would not be affected by allowing troops to transition in-service.

A RAND Corp. study commissioned by the Pentagon estimated about 65 troops per year would seek to transition and anticipated “minimal impact” on readiness.Leftist Propagandist

Republicans were more divided on allowing women in combat, with some outright opposing any change, some upset Carter overruled the Marines’ request to keep some jobs closed and others supportive of the idea so long as standards aren’t lowered to ensure women make it into the newly opened jobs. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the committee and a combat veteran of the Iraq War, supported the change with the caveat about standards. When asked whether she’s looking for something specific from Mattis on the issue, she demurred.

I just look forward to having a great conversation with him about it on Thursday during the hearing,” she said.

Republican voters coming home to Trump


waving flagAuthored By Niall Stanage and Jonathan Swan November 3, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/governor-races/304090-republican-voters-coming-home-to-trump

Getty

Republican voters are finally coming home to Donald Trump after months of flagging support threatened to put the White House out of reach.

Trump’s candidacy has been deeply divisive within Republican ranks, drawing fire from senior officeholders such as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), past presidential nominees including Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and numerous conservative pundits.

Now, as Republicans face up to the specter of a Hillary Clinton presidency, Trump’s numbers are on the rise. But polling experts caution that he is still a few points shy of where he needs to be.David Winston, a GOP pollster, noted that Romney in 2012 received 93 percent support from voters who identified as Republican, according to exit polls. In most current polls, Trump is a notch lower.

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Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

“He was pretty consistently — up to a couple of weeks ago — clearly underperforming,” Winston said of Trump. “One of the things you’ve seen is that he has slowly got back to somewhere between 85 and 90 percent [of Republican voters]. But he’s still a bit short.” 

Winston said there had been several factors working in Trump’s favor of late. He said some party loyalists had finally completed the process of “working through the fact that they were unhappy he was the nominee.” Trump has also been relatively disciplined on the campaign trail recently, while Clinton has been pushed onto the defensive by a surprise FBI statement about newly discovered emails.

Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, acknowledged that the GOP nominee had not persuaded all Republican voters but said he has made progress.

“Reverting to type would assume some normal behavior, and we are not seeing that,” Murray said. “But you have seen Trump picking up some support from certain segments of the electorate that tend to vote for Republicans — such as white, working-class women, where Hillary Clinton remains stronger than average [for a Democrat] but Trump has been able to gain.”get-out-the-vote

Polling data underlines the point.

Two of the main tracking polls, from ABC News/Washington Post and IBD/TIPP, saw Trump moving up within the past couple of weeks.  The first IBD tracking poll appeared on Oct. 19 and showed Trump receiving the support of 82 percent of Republicans. That figure had climbed to 88 percent by Wednesday. The ABC News/Washington Post tracker first appeared on Oct. 23, giving Trump 83 percent GOP support. He is now up to 88 percent in the same poll. vote

Similar dynamics are also seen at the state level. Marist College polls of Florida, conducted for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, show Trump’s Republican support rising from 76 percent in August to 86 percent one month ago to 88 percent in the most recent survey, conducted just before Clinton was hit with the FBI announcement. In Marist’s polling of North Carolina, he rose through those same dates from 80 percent to 86 percent to 89 percent.

There are other factors to Trump’s rise among Republicans, insiders say. Key among them is the contribution made by his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

Pence, with his unimpeachable conservative credentials, has one job above all others: To bring wayward Republicans into the fold.

Marc Short, a senior adviser to the VP nominee, told The Hill that a speech Pence delivered about ObamaCare in Philadelphia Tuesday was as much about ObamaCare as it was about “using ObamaCare as a vehicle to make the appeal for Republicans to come home.”

“Donald Trump has obviously struck a chord with a lot of Americans and has won an enormous amount of independent support — particularly among blue-collar workers and people who are fed up with Washington,” Short said.

“But we’re still working to consolidate the Republican Party,” he added. “Mike is uniquely positioned. … He has a lot of friendships and associations and is able to uniquely make the appeal as to why this election cycle is so important and why it’s important for Republicans to come home.” freedom-is-not-free-vote

Some of Pence’s private efforts appear to be bearing fruit. Republican members of Congress expressed greater comfort for the ticket after Pence visited them on Capitol Hill in early September. Even when Pence didn’t immediately succeed in securing Republican endorsements, he surely did no harm. Pence privately asked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to endorse Trump, according to a source familiar with their Capitol Hill meeting in September. And while Cruz declined to endorse Trump following the meeting, Pence took some comfort when the Texan eventually came out for Trump. Cruz will appear on the campaign trail with Pence on Thursday in Michigan and Iowa, making his first appearances on behalf of the Republican ticket.american-voters

Liam Donovan, a former aide to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that recent polls notwithstanding, Trump’s “greatest challenge” has been his inability to consolidate self-identified Republicans.

“At some level the base naturally wants to come home, but Trump’s mouth keeps getting in the way,” Donovan said. “When the polling looks good it’s because he is performing like previous nominees — no more, no less.” 

Donovan said Trump gains with hesitant Republicans only when he campaigns with discipline.

Offering Trump some unsolicited advice, Donovan said, “Put away the Android Twitter app. Let the news cycle consume your opponent instead of trying to seize back the spotlight.”keep-voting-the-same-way

Fears grow as military pulled into presidential politics


waving flagBy Kristina Wong08/03/16

URL of the original posting site: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/290192-fears-grow-as-military-pulled-into-presidential-politics

Greg Nash

The military is getting pulled into the presidential election fight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, which some fear is harming its reputation and ability to serve the future president. 

Retired, high-ranking military officers have been given high-profile roles in the Trump and Clinton campaigns, which critics argue risks harming the military’s status as an apolitical institution that serves the commander in chief regardless of party.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an ardent Trump supporter and adviser, and retired Marine Gen. John Allen, a Clinton supporter, were both given primetime speaking slots at the political parties’ recent conventions. 

Flynn was rumored to be a vice presidential contender for Trump, the Republican nominee.
Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, former NATO supreme allied commander, was also vetted as a possible Clinton vice presidential pick and has criticized Trump. 
Some former and current officers in the military are worried over what they are seeing in both parties.
“The military is not a political prize. Politicians should take the advice of senior military leaders but keep them off the stage,” retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a sharply worded letter to the editor in The Washington Post over the weekend. 
Dempsey warned the participation by former military leaders will make it more difficult for the current military to stay out of politics.
“As generals, they have an obligation to uphold our apolitical traditions. They have just made the task of their successors — who continue to serve in uniform and are accountable for our security — more complicated,” he wrote. “It was a mistake for them to participate as they did. It was a mistake for our presidential candidates to ask them to do so.”
Dempsey isn’t alone.
The current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, also recently reminded current senior officers to remain apolitical so that the next commander in chief has trust and confidence that the military “is completely loyal and completely prepared to do what must be done.”
“Importantly, as an institution, the American people cannot be looking at us as a special-interest group or a partisan organization,” Dunford said. “I will exercise my right to vote, but no one knows the lever I pull.”
Dempsey and others, including Duke University military historian Peter Feaver, acknowledge that political participation by retired generals and admirals is not new.
Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, was the most recent general to be elected president, while Army Gen. Wesley Clark ran for the White House as a Democrat in 2004. Army Gen. Colin Powell, who served as secretary of State during the George W. Bush administration, has been seen as a prospective presidential candidate in the past.
The difference, critics argue, is that when generals run for office, they become politicians and are held accountable by the public.
In these current cases, retired officers are simply using their military status to endorse a candidate without being held accountable by the public. 
Endorsements by former military leaders aren’t new either.
In 1992, retired Navy Adm. William Crowe, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorsed Bill Clinton.
“That doesn’t make it good,” Feaver said.
Dempsey and his predecessor, retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, have in the last few political cycles made a concerted effort to get retired generals to stop becoming politically active.
It has worked to some degree, Feaver said.
What seems to be new now, he argued, is the hyper-partisanship of the civilian world, which is raising the stakes for military involvement. Feaver said this was evident in the partisan attacks by Flynn and Allen.
Flynn led a chant during the Republican National Convention of “Lock her up!” in reference to Clinton.
Allen, who endorsed Hillary over anti-war chants at the Democratic National Convention, argued in an ABC News interview after the convention that Trump was unqualified to judge his military service because he had never served.
“This time, they’ve both spent as much time attacking the other candidate as supporting their own … they’re engaged in the most bitter of partisan exercises,” Feaver said.
Keeping the military out of politics would be an uphill battle — particularly this year. Trump has repeatedly dragged the military into several controversies, first by attacking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was held prisoner during the Vietnam War, as “not a war hero” and later by saying he would order troops to waterboard terrorists and kill their families.
More recently, the businessman criticized the parents of U.S. Army soldier Humayun Khan, who was killed in the Iraq War, after they gave a speech at the Democratic convention questioning Trump’s knowledge of the Constitution.
Trump’s criticism of Khizr and Gazala Khan has created its own controversy and led a half dozen veteran organizations to denounce him.
On Monday, a bipartisan group of prominent veterans and family members of those killed sent a letter to Trump, calling on the Republican nominee to apologize. “This week, when you chose to disparage the family of an American soldier who gave his life in combat, you chose to disparage all of us,” said the letter. 
“I’ve never seen a more unified and aggressive response from the military and the veterans communities,” said Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who is a signatory. “This is unprecedented.”  Rieckhoff, however, said he disagrees with Dempsey and believes it’s important for veterans to be part of the political process since there are fewer politicians today with a military background or expertise. 
“I respectfully disagree and I think it also has the risk of sending a chilling effect across the veterans community,” he said. “Everybody’s got a right to be involved in the political process, especially veterans.”  
This story was updated at 10:01 a.m.

Trump releases healthcare plan


waving flagBy Peter Sullivan03/02/16

URL of the original posting site: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/271576-trump-releases-healthcare-plan

Greg Nash

First, the plan emphasizes that ObamaCare will be fully repealed, including the mandate for everyone to have coverage, an issue that has sparked criticism against Trump.

Trump’s main ideas for a replacement are to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines and permit people to make tax-free contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). HSAs are paired with a high deductible health insurance plan and are intended to make people more conscious of how they spend health dollars and reduce costs.

Both are standard Republican healthcare ideas. Experts say that both ideas are more in the realm of dealing with healthcare costs and would not do much to expand coverage for the people who would be losing it with the repeal of ObamaCare.

“These proposals, including repeal of the [Affordable Care Act], would lead to a significant increase in the number of people uninsured,” Larry Levitt, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which does nonpartisan healthcare analysis, wrote in an email. “In that sense, this plan really isn’t a replacement for the ACA. But that makes sense, since the aims are very different — less spending, less regulation, and lower taxes.”Complete Message

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed a refundable tax credit to help people afford coverage that could help expand the number of insured, though there is disagreement as to how much. Trump’s plan does not include such a tax credit, though he does propose a tax deduction, which tends to provide more limited help by reducing the taxes people owe rather than allowing for the possibility of actually getting money back in a refund.

Like many Republicans, including Rubio, Trump also proposes to turn the Medicaid program into block grants to the states. Democrats tend to argue such a system would end up limiting the funds and reducing benefits, though Trump’s plan does not detail how big the block grants would be.

The area of prescription drugs is where Trump breaks from most Republicans. His plan calls for allowing drugs to be imported from overseas to increase competition and drive down prices, an idea strongly opposed by pharmaceutical companies and favored by Hillary Clinton. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is also a rare Republican who supports the idea.

Trump has also previously called for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, another common Democratic idea opposed by the industry.

Finally, Trump pointed to the need for mental health reform, without providing details.

“There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support,” his plan states.

It is unclear what exactly he is referring to, though both the House and Senate are working on mental health reform bills.

Trump has been criticized by his rivals for his past support of single-payer healthcare, which is strongly opposed by Republicans. His plan on Wednesday instead emphasizes “free market principles.”  

Trump’s plan says his principles are to “broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”

Ann Coulter Letter: Voters to G.O.P.: We’re Just Not That Into Immigrants


waving flagAnn Coulter  | 

Voters to G.O.P.: We're Just Not That Into Immigrants

For years, Republican candidates have been assured by their political consultants that amnesty is a runaway hit with the public. Then they always come in for a zinger of a surprise when the American people are finally able to express themselves on the subject. (Sometimes it seems as if political consultants are in the game only to make money.)

Washington has tried to sneak through three amnesties in the last decade — in 2006, 2007 and 2013. Each time, amnesty had the full support of the media, the White House, leaders of both political parties, big campaign donors and lobbyists.

And every time, as soon as the public got wind of what was happening, the politicians scattered like roaches and the loudest amnesty proponent in the room would suddenly be demanding “border security first!”

Couldn’t Republicans spare themselves the embarrassment of having to say they “learned their lesson” by learning the same lesson of the last 17 guys to push amnesty?

The McCain-Kennedy amnesty passed the Senate in 2006, instantly inspiring an outpouring of voter anger so virulent that it shut down the congressional switchboards. Despite enormous opposition from voters, lame-duck President Bush cockily told reporters, “I’ll see you at the bill signing” — the first step to ushering in a Democratic Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.

By contrast, House Majority Leader John Boehner told a group of Republicans that he had “promised the president today that I wouldn’t say anything bad about this piece of s— bill.” Weeks later, the chief sponsor of the POS bill, Sen. John McCain, voted for a fence with no hint of amnesty.

A year later, when he was running for president, immigration was the issue dominating the primaries. McCain told voters, “My friends, I learned a lesson.” What he had allegedly learned was: “We must secure the border first. We need to do these other things, but the American people want something done about the border.” McCain even cut macho campaign commercials of him walking by the southern border, saying, “Build the dang fence!” Too little, too late. McCain lost the dang election. Bush’s loss was equally monumental: He lost Congress by pushing amnesty.

Contrary to liberals’ claim that they had finally won the hearts and minds of the people in opposing the Iraq War, leading to the Democrats’ 2006 sweep of Congress, a Washington Post/ABC News poll taken about a month into Bush’s incessant yammering about amnesty showed that more Americans approved of Bush’s handling of the Iraq War than approved of his handling of immigration.

In nearly every poll on Bush’s handling of immigration that year, about 60 percent of the public disapproved and only 25 percent approved.

After Bush’s party was wiped out in the midterm elections, the Democratic-controlled Congress seemed certain to pass amnesty. Bush still wanted it. So did the Democrats. So did the media. So did the donors.

But there was one teensy problem: The public still hated the idea.

You know how people always say “you can’t beat something with nothing.” When it comes to amnesty, “nothing” outpolls “something” every time.

In early June of 2007, a Rasmussen poll found that support for “no bill” beat support for the Senate immigration bill by 5-to-3. By the end of the week, “no bill” was winning 2-to-1, with 53 percent against amnesty and only 26 percent for it.

Public opposition was so vociferous, the Senate didn’t even vote on the 2007 amnesty.

Then, a few years later, erstwhile tea party darling Sen. Marco Rubio burst on the scene deciding he was going to be the one to enact amnesty! Teaming up with everybody’s favorite senator, Chuck Schumer, Rubio spent a full year zealously pushing amnesty, which entailed his telling huge, whopping lies about it.

He blanketed the airwaves, convinced Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin to support the bill, toured all the Sunday morning talk shows. It worked! The Senate passed Rubio’s amnesty bill. It was Rubio’s only accomplishment in Washington. But then, unfortunately for him, the public found out about it and, once again, an amnesty bill died. (When will these so-called “voters” stop with their infernal meddling?)

The next thing we knew, Rubio was swearing to attendees at the March 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference that what “I’ve learned is you can’t even have a conversation” about “immigration reform” until “future illegal immigration will be controlled,” calling it “the single biggest lesson of the last two years.” A few months later, he told The Wall Street Journal that he wouldn’t vote for his own bill if it came up again.

One-time GOP star, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, was suckered into supporting the Schumer-Rubio amnesty by a mere 20-minute conversation with Schumer. Not content to support the intensely hated amnesty bill, Christie also signed a bill granting illegal aliens in-state tuition. But just before announcing his run for the presidency this year, Christie claimed that he, too, had “learned” more about the issue. He now claims he considers a path to citizenship “extreme” and accused Hillary Clinton of “pandering” by supporting a path to citizenship. I’d say Christie had to eat his own words on immigration, but that would be a cheap shot.

As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee denounced a bill to require verification of citizenship before registering to vote or applying for public benefits, saying it “inflames those who are racist and bigots.” (Voters LOVE being called bigots!)

He made the weird claim that companies like Toyota or Nestle might refuse to invest in Arkansas if the bill became law, by sending the message that, “If you don’t look like us, talk like us and speak like us, we don’t want you.” It might also send the message that we don’t want foreigners voting in our elections or collecting public services meant for Americans.

But whenever he runs for president, Huckabee becomes a born-again Minuteman! His current presidential website denounces “the Washington establishment” for trying to “reward illegal immigrants with amnesty and citizenship,” adding, “Without a secure border, nothing matters.”

Instead of having to keep apologizing for their positions on immigration, maybe Republicans should stop listening to political consultants who are paid by business lobbyists to dump millions of poverty-stricken, low-wage workers on the country.

Out of nowhere, non-politician Donald Trump has shot to the top of the polls by denouncing America’s widely unpopular immigration policies. All those high-priced campaign consultants are standing around scratching their heads. Americans can see they’re being forced to subsidize people who are being brought in only to outvote them, provide cheap labor and change our culture. All the donor money in the world isn’t going to help you, Republicans, if the voters hate you.

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One Month Ago John McCain Defeated a Move to Arm Our Solders Here at Home


waving flag24Jul, 2015 by  

In June, Sen. Dean Heller tried to get the Pentagon to change its practice of banning arms from our soldiers on bases and recruiting centers here in America. But it appears that John McCain was the principle foe of the move and helped to defeat the arming of our soldiers which ended up having deadly consequences in Tennessee.

The-Worlds-Oldest-Living-RinoLast week Nebraska Senator Dean Heller appeared on the Kevin Wall show on KKFT Carson City, NV, to talk about his bill and noted that John McCain himself defeated the move to arm our soldiers.

Dean Heller: “So I submitted an amendment in the Department of Defense Authorization bill to allow this to happen. Now this was of course six weeks ago before Chattanooga. And the chairman of the committee wouldn’t support it–by the way, chairman was John McCain–did not want the amendment as part of the bill and wouldn’t accept it.”

Here is what Heller said on his website about the bill:

Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, requesting that National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conferees include his amendment to give military base commanders the authority to allow service members to carry personal firearms on base for their personal protection and force protection. In June, Senator Heller offered this amendment during the Senate’s consideration of the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA. In addition, Senator Heller introduced stand-alone legislation to address this issue critical to the safety of our nation’s service members.

John McCain made sure that the Marines who died in Chattanooga would not be able to fire back and save lives when a terrorist attacked. How’s THAT from a “war hero”?

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Todd Starnes: McCain Started All Of This Mess


waving flagPublished July 20, 2015, By Todd Starnes, Fox Nation

URL of the original posting site: http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/07/20/todd-starnes-mccain-started-all-mess

Donald Trump is doubling down, refusing to apologize to Sen. John McCain and saying he’s got nothing to apologize for. In case you were at the beach over the weekend, here’s what the dustup is all about:

todd

The New York Daily News called him an embarrassment to the nation. His fellow Republicans say he’s unfit to hold office.

But what’s missing from the mainstream media coverage is context.

The-Worlds-Oldest-Living-RinoSenator McCain started all of this mess when he called Donald Trump’s supporters a bunch of “crazies.” I don’t seem to recall the Republican National Committee telling Senator McCain to apologize.

What about the time McCain called Senator Ted Cruz a “whacko bird.” Or the time he called Tea Party members “hobbits.” Anybody remember when Senator McCain called Evangelical Christians “agents of intolerance”?

The Republican Party’s righteous indignation seems to be a bit selective. It’s just a shame the GOP Establishment doesn’t impugn Democrats with as much gusto as they do conservatives.

Watch Todd Starnes’ American Dispatch above and sound off!

=====================================================================

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is “God Less America.”

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Obama Appoints Hamas Adviser Robert Malley to Senior Director on National Security Council


http://freedomoutpost.com

http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/02/obama-appoints-hamas-adviser-robert-malley-senior-director-national-security-council/#4EP4STXREeqST2jP.99

9 hours ago

BrotherhoodPresident Obama has named Hamas adviser Robert O. Malley the senior director at the National Security Council (NSC). You may recall that Malley was foreign policy adviser to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2007, and was fired from his campaign team in 2008 because of his notorious ties to Hamas, the PLO and other jihadist, anti-Israel groups.

Atlas readers are long familiar with this subversive jihad operative. As early as 2007 and  2008 (and repeatedly throughout the campaign and in my book), I warned Atlas readers of the troubling relationship between Robert O. Malley and Barack Hussein Obama.

Robert Malley told the NY Times that he had regularly been in contact with Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.

2007 and further:

[Malley] was part of the American negotiating team that dealt with Yasser Arafat at Camp David. He has presented a revisionist history of those negotiations since then: presenting a view that blames Israel for the failures of the negotiations. His version has been radically at odds with the views of Americans and Israelis (including the views of American Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross-also an adviser to Obama- and President Clinton). He has spent years representing the Palestinian point of view, co-writing a series of anti-Israel articles with Hussein Agha-a former Arafat adviser. Palestinian advocate. These have appeared in the New York Review of Books a publication that has served as a platform for a slew of anti-Israel advocates from Tony Judt to the aforementioned George Soros to the authors of the Israeli Lobby book Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. Malley has also called settlements “colonies” — implicitly condemning Israel as a “colonial” state. His writings have been so critical of Israel that the media-monitoring group CAMERA has a “dossier” on him.

Discover the Networks:

In a July 2001 op-ed (titled “Fictions About the Failure at Camp David“) which was published in the New York Times, Robert Malley (whose family, as noted above, had close ties to Yasser Arafat) alleged that Israeli — not Palestinian — inflexibility had caused the previous year’s Camp David peace talks (brokered by Bill Clinton) to fail. This was one of several controversial articles Malley has written — some he co-wrote with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat – blaming Israel and exonerating Arafat for that failure.

hamas

One security official at the time said, “We are noting with concern some of Obama’s picks as advisers, particularly Robert Malley who has expressed sympathy to Hamas and Hezbollah and offered accounts of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that don’t jibe with the facts” (here).

Because of the exposure of Malley by the blogs, he was removed from Obama’s campaign team. But the mask is off, and Obama has no need to pretend to be something he is not. Malley is back and in charge  —

“Adviser Fired by Obama for Hamas Meeting Gets Top WH Security Job,”  Judicial Watch, February 19, 2014

A radical foreign policy adviser fired by President Obama years ago for meeting with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has been hired by the White House to be the senior director at the National Security Council (NSC).

How generous of the commander-in-chief to let bygones be bygones when it comes to this extremist, a Middle East “expert” named Robert Malley whose family had close ties to Yasser Arafat, founder of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Fatah movement. Malley was an adviser in Bill Clinton’s White House and he consistently exonerates Palestinians and condemns Israel.

Over the years he has published a number of newspaper opinion pieces urging the United States to reach out and negotiate with terrorist enemies like Hamas, Hezbollah and Muqtada al-Sadr. A website that documents the networks and agendas of the political left offers details about Malley’s scary past and provides links to the outrageous articles he’s published, including several co-written with Hussein Agha, a former adviser to Arafat.

Malley grew up in France and his Egyptian-born father was a key figure in Egypt’s communist party and a close friend of Arafat’s. His parents were fervently anti-Israel and huge supporters of several leftist revolutionary liberation movements, especially the Palestinian cause. Malley published a piece in a mainstream newspaper declaring that Israel was responsible for the failure of Bill Clinton’s peace talks with the Palestinians. Malley attended the 2000 event, which was held at Camp David because it was the site of the landmark 1978 Israeli-Egyptian peace accords.

When Obama launched his 2008 presidential campaign, he brought Malley on as a foreign policy adviser Who is better offfocusing on the Middle East. The then-Illinois senator reportedly dumped Malley around May for meeting with and having regular contact with Hamas, which has long been classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. A London newspaper broke the story about Malley getting the boot for schmoozing it up with terrorists and U.S. media repeated the line, but Middle Eastern press published a vastly different version.

Shortly after Obama got elected president in early November, Israel’s largest news site revealed that the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported that Hamas engaged in talks with Obama for months through his “fired” adviser. The article quotes Ahmad Yousuf, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s political advisor, saying this: “We were in contact with a number of Obama’s aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza, but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as they may have a negative effect on his election campaign and be used by Republican candidate John McCain (to attack Obama).”

Every countryNow Malley is officially a top dog in the crucial, tremendously influential agency that advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters. The Obama-loving mainstream newspaper that reported Malley’s new position this week says his return to the White House reflects a changing U.S. role in the Middle East. “This time he will manage the fraying ties between the United States and its allies in the Persian Gulf, a job that says a lot about how America’s role in the Middle East has changed

About Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller is the founder, editor and publisher of Atlas Shrugs.com and President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). She is the author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, (foreword by Ambassador John Bolton), (Simon & Schuster).  Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. She is also a regular columnist for World Net Daily, the American Thinker, and other publications.
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Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/02/obama-appoints-hamas-adviser-robert-malley-senior-director-national-security-council/#4EP4STXREeqST2jP.99

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