Friday, January 13, 2017

Commentary: After the Trump dossier, James Comey is running out of excuses

The Washington Post
The rash of stories on Donald Trump and Russia published Tuesday leave many questions unanswered. The allegations, as sensational as some are and as damning as others are, are just that: allegations. Intelligence agencies (not to mention countless news outlets) have sought to verify them for months now, with little or no success. Though it might be nice to imagine Trump's presidency collapsing before it's even begun, the fact remains that we know little more now than we did last week about Trump's ties to Russia and whether Vladimir Putin's government has compromising information on the president-elect. There is one thing we do know, though: FBI Director James Comey's intervention in the election last October — controversial at the time — looks completely indefensible now.
Full Story Via Chicago Tribune

 Gonna wipe that smirk off your face

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Five Ways Trump’s “News Conference” Wasn’t a News Conference - Robert Reich

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s why Trump’s so-called “news conference” on December 11 – the first he’s held in six months – wasn’t really a news conference at all.
1. Trump refused to answer questions from reporters who have run stories he doesn’t like, or from news outlets that have criticized him. This is a blatant attempt to control the news media by making them reluctant to run negatives stories about Trump for fear they’ll be frozen out.
2. He loaded the audience with paid staffers who cheered his statements and jeered at reporters. Never before has a president-elect or president held a news conference larded with paid staffers, designed to give the impression that the media are divided between those who support him and those who criticize him.
3. He continued calling the media “dishonest.” This is part of Trump’s continuing effort to discredit the press and to reduce public confidence in it.
4. He condemned individual news outlets. Trump criticized CNN for dispensing “fake news,” called Buzzfeed “a pile of garbage,” and sarcastically called the BBC “another beauty.”
5. He repeatedly lied, and the media in attendance weren’t allowed to question him on his lies. A sampling of Trump lies from his “news conference”:
(1) “It’s very familiar territory, news conferences, because we used to give them on an almost daily basis.” Wrong. His last news conference was July 27.
(2) Trump claimed credit for Chrysler and Ford announcing more production in the U.S. Wrong. Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Chrysler chief executive, said Chrysler’s plan had been in the works for more than a year and had nothing to do with Trump. Marchionne credited the decision to talks with the United Auto Workers.
Analysts say Ford’s decision to expand in Michigan rather than in Mexico had mostly to do with the company’s long-term plans to invest in electric vehicles. It’s easier for companies to find highly skilled workers to build new products, such as electric cars, in the United States than in Mexico.
(3) “When we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, [the press] didn’t make a big deal out of that.” Wrong. The Chinese hack of 22 million accounts at the Office of Personnel Management was front-page news.

(4) “The Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. … And they tried to hack the Republican National Committee, and they were unable to break through.” Wrong. FBI Director James B. Comey said there was evidence that Republican National Committee domains were also targeted but none of the information that may have been obtained was leaked. Comey said that the Russians “got far deeper and wider into the [DNC] than the RNC,” adding that “similar techniques were used in both cases.”
(5) I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia.” Wrong. Trump repeatedly sought deals in Russia. In a 2008 speech, Donald Trump Jr. said “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” and “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
In short, Trump’s first news conference as president-elect – his first news conference in six months – wasn’t a “news conference” at all, and shouldn’t be called one.
It’s another example of Trump’s attempt to control the media.  Trump isn’t even president yet, but he’s already eroding our democracy.

This is the managing editor of The Federalist and a fellow at The Heartland Institute

Republicans like Chris Christie are counting on lots of turnover in the Trump administration

Carl Bernstein Calls Kellyanne Conway a Propaganda Minister, Defends CNN's Reporting On Trump

In this Majority Report clip, we watch Carl Bernstein go off about the Trump camp's response to CNN's reporting on the recent story regarding the intelligence community, Russia, and Donald Trump. Also, Bernstein is not a fan of Kellyanne Conway.

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TRUMP ADMITS Putin's RUSSIAN HACKING at News Conference – Lawrence O'Donnell

Published on Jan 12, 2017
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia.” At Donald TRUMP's first news conference since the election he finally admitted Putin's Russian hacking of the DNC, but then tried to cloud the issue again. And TRUMP still won't criticize Putin. WHY?

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GOP governors fight their own party on Obamacare

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Robert Reich speechless after Jeffrey Lord claims Trump free to flout ethics because he won

Trump says the American people "don't care" what he does with his assets while President. Trump's TV surrogates say now that he's been elected, he has a license to do whatever he wants. We're moving into a new dimension, friends.
Robert Reich

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This is probably why Tillerson fessed up
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey won a major legal showdown against Exxon Mobil on Wednesday, when a judge ruled that the company must turn over 40 years of documents on climate change.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Heidi E. Brieger denied the company an emergency motion or a protective order that would have blocked Healey’s demand for the company’s internal research on global warming.

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G.O.P. Lawmaker Hints at Investigating Ethics Chief Critical of Trump

Amoral Thug Chaffetz Paves Way For Trump To Do What Ever The F*ck He Wants
The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Thursday issued a stern letter, including a veiled threat of an investigation, to the federal government’s top ethics monitor, who this week had questioned President-elect Donald J. Trump’s commitment to confront his potential conflicts of interest.
In an unusual action against the independent Office of Government Ethics, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah accused the office’s director, Walter M. Shaub Jr., of “blurring the line between public relations and official ethics guidance.”

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Ben Carson Testifies at Confirmation Hearing for Housing Secretary

Donald Trump has nominated Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no prior government experience, to run the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency with about 8,300 full-time employees and a budget of more than $47 billion. Watch is Senate confirmation hearing right here on the Bloomberg Politics YouTube channel.

James Mattis confirmation hearing