Trump slams ‘dirty cops’ at FBI over Steele dossier

President Trump on Wednesday took aim at top officials at the FBI as well as Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC), accusing them of conspiring to undermine his 2016 campaign and eventual presidency.

Trump tweeted that the dossier authored by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, a political intelligence firm, and provided to the FBI by Steele had been a “total fraud on your President and the American people!”

“Wow! FBI made 11 payments to Fake Dossier’s discredited author, Trump hater Christopher Steele. @OANN @JudicialWatch The Witch Hunt has been a total fraud on your President and the American people!” he wrote.

“It was brought to you by Dirty Cops, Crooked Hillary and the DNC,” Trump continued.

Trump and his allies have argued for years that the dossier authored by Steele on the president’s ties to Russia, which has not been fully verified, was the impetus for the FBI’s initial investigation of the Trump campaign begun under the Obama administration, which Trump has claimed led to illegal spying on his campaign.

The president’s reelection campaign echoed those claims over the weekend, falsely telling supporters in a fundraising email that Attorney General William Barr had revealed “unlawful” surveillance on the Trump campaign.

“Attorney General William Barr said what the president has thought all along: He believes “unlawful spying did occur” against Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign,” read the fundraising email.

Barr told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing last week that he believes “spying” did occur on the Trump campaign, but made no determination as to whether or not it was conducted legally.

“I think spying did occur,” the attorney general said. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”

“I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred. I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it. That’s all,” he added.

[MSN]

Trump Mocks and Jeers Media, Calls For Revenge as Crowd Chants ‘Lock Them Up!’

At President Donald Trump‘s rally in Michigan on Tuesday he went after the media hard several times over the Russia investigation and the Mueller report. At one point, he mocked cable news for slumping ratings and called Rep. Adam Schiff, “Little pencil neck.”

Referring to the media and Democrats and “deep state” together, Trump said “this group of major losers did not just ruthlessly attack me, my family, and everyone who questioned their lies. They tried to divide our country, to poison the national debate, and to tear up the fabric of our great democracy, the greatest anywhere in the world.”

“They did it all because they refused to accept the results of one of the greatest presidential elections, probably number one in our history.”

“Many people were badly hurt by this scam, but more importantly our country was hurt. Our country was hurt. And they’re on artificial respirators right now. They’re getting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Little pencil-neck Adam Schiff,” he said, pausing for a crowd reaction. “He has the smallest, thinnest neck I’ve ever seen. He is not a long ball hitter.”

He mocked Schiff’s voice, saying “there still could have been some Russia collision,” and then, describing Schiff, said, “Sick. Sick.

He brought up Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and the committee investigations and added, “These people are sick.”

“Sick. Every single deal, every single paper. All of the Democrat politicians. The media bosses. Bad people. The crooked journalists, the totally dishonest TV pundits — and by the way, they know it’s not true. They just got great ratings,” he said. “By the way, their ratings dropped through the floor last night, did you see that?”

There was another big crowd reaction, but it was even bigger as he praised Fox News hosts and their ratings.

“Our friends — Tucker, Sean, Laura — through the roof last night,” he said.

He then said that everyone who “perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics, they have to be — I’m sorry — they have to be accountable.”

The crowd then began chanting “lock them up” and “lock her up” mixed together.

“Just think of it. A fake dirty dossier, millions and millions of dollars paid for it. By who? Crooked Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and the Democrat party,” he said. The crowd booed and there were some renewed “lock her up” chants.

“They failed in one way. Can you believe it? Maybe I got lucky. They published and printed all of these horrible law lies, they couldn’t get any of the media to print it. Thank you very much, I appreciate it. You never know.”

He then gave the media “a lot of credit” for not publishing news about the dossier prior to the election, though there were no cheers for them from the crowd for that.

[Mediaite]

Trump Says Media Is Ignoring the “REAL Story on Russia”

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York continue racking up convictions and guilty pleas in the ever-widening scandals connected to Donald Trump, the president is lashing out—at Hillary Clinton, at the Democratic National Committee, and, of course, at the media. Just hours after announcing the departure of his scandal-plagued Interior secretary Saturday, Trump tweeted that “never in history” had the US press been “more dishonest than it is today.”

“Stories that should be good, are bad,” Trump complained. “Stories that should be bad, are horrible.”

[Mother Jones]

Trump Shares Image Calling For Mueller and Attorney General Rosenstein to Be Tried For ‘Treason’

President Donald Trump went on an extensive tweetstorm on Wednesday, which included retweeting a meme calling for his political opponents — and current attorney general — to be thrown in jail.

 

As you can see, the image shows former president Barack Obama, former FBI Director James Comey, the Clinton family, and several other Trump enemies behind bars after supposedly being tried for “treason.” Interestingly enough, the image also shows special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in prison as well.

Trump has ripped into Mueller several times this week, and today, he compared the Russia special counsel investigation to the Joe McCarthy-era Red Scare.

[Mediaite]

Trump Quotes Fox & Friends Guest to Accuse Clinton of ‘Illegally’ Playing ‘Power Game’ With Foundation

President Donald Trump accused his former opponent Hillary Clinton of using her position as Secretary of State to boost donations to her foundation after watching a Fox & Friends interview on Sunday.

Trump — who is spending his Thanksgiving break at his Mar-a-Lago resort watching cable news and tweeting — sent out the following tweet after watching National Review commentator Andrew McCarthy on Fox:

“Clinton Foundation donations drop 42% – which shows that they illegally played the power game. They monetized their political influence through the Foundation. ‘During her tenure the State Department was put in the service of the Clinton Foundation.’ Andrew McCarthy,” Trump wrote.

The foundation, which works around the world on charitable initiatives like combating AIDS in Africa, was used as a political cudgel against Clinton in the 2016 election by Trump and his supporters, who accused her of influence peddling to fund the non-profit.

Amidst the criticism, Clinton announced in August 2016 that the Clinton Global Initiative, part of the foundation, would be shutting down. In 2017, the year after Clinton’s defeat, donations plunged 58%.

Fox & Friends, which covered the foundation’s woes repeatedly on Sunday morning, interviewed McCarthy — who blamed the drop-off on Clinton’s 2016 loss. Clinton Foundation executives, meanwhile, said the decline was the result of the shuttering of the Global Initiative.

“We anticipated a decline in both revenue and expenses for 2017, largely attributable to the absence of sponsorship and membership contributions for CGI,” a Foundation spokesman told the New York Post.

“Moving forward to 2018, our work has expanded into new fields — for example, establishing a new CGI Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery; beginning new work with faith leaders to help address the opioid epidemic, particularly focusing on issues of stigma; and forging new partnerships to promote early childhood literacy and development,” said the spokesman.

[Mediaite]

Trump tried to order the Justice Department to prosecute Clinton and Comey

President Donald Trump tried to order prosecutors at the Department of Justice to indict two of his political enemies — 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey — this spring, according to the New York Times.

According to the Times report, then-White House counsel Don McGahn warned Trump not to issue the order, and had lawyers prepare a memo for Trump explaining what would happen if he tried to prosecute Clinton and Comey. One of those possibilities was, reportedly, the risk of impeachment.

Presidentially directed indictments against specific individuals would be a massive breach of the independence of the Justice Department; the general expectation that prosecutors are supposed to issue indictments based on an examination of the evidence at hand; and the democratic norm against prosecuting political opponents for political acts.

The president’s lawyers reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate Comey last year, according to the Times’s Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman. That request was not successful. And McGahn’s memo appears to have discouraged the president from going further — for now.

But the Times reports Trump has “continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey” — suggesting he hasn’t given up.

Special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed shortly after Comey’s firing to both continue the investigation into Russia ties, and to investigate whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice by interfering into the investigation — including by firing Comey. (McGahn is known to be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, and so has likely told Mueller about Trump’s musings on prosecution orders.)

The Times report suggests that new information could help him argue that the president did, in fact, obstruct justice by attempting to bend it to his will.

Clinton’s sins are reportedly her emails and Uranium One; Comey’s are “leaking” and his treatment of Clinton

Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton based on her use of a private email server as secretary of state — a campaign promise in line with the common Trump rally chant to “Lock her up!” However, when he fired Comey in May 2017, the stated reason (in a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein) was that Comey treated Clinton too harshly during the investigation.

Trump didn’t stick to that pretext for long: a few days after Comey’s firing, he said in an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt that his frustration with Comey was rooted in this “Trump-Russia thing” — the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia before Trump’s inauguration. And according to the Times, one of the reasons Trump’s lawyers cited in asking the DOJ to investigate Comey after his firing was his handling of the Clinton email investigation, presumably because Trump felt Comey was too soft on Clinton, not too hard.

In addition to the email issue, Trump now believes the Justice Department should prosecute Clinton for her approval of a uranium-mining deal as secretary of state, a long-time conservative bugaboo that has no evidence of criminal activity or intent, and that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate.

Trump’s lawyers’ request to the DOJ to prosecute Comey, meanwhile, were based both in his treatment of Clinton and in his supposed leaking of classified information.

Trump has spread the “leaking” claim around; as far as anyone can tell, it is a lie. It appears to be based on Comey’s recounting of conversations he had with Trump and others before the US Senate in June 2018, and his recording of events as FBI director in contemporaneous memos, some of which were subsequently leaked to the press. But there’s no evidence that Comey engaged in any illegal leaking, and it’s not clear what Trump wants him prosecuted for.

Attempting to prosecute Clinton would be an obvious presidential override of the official finding of an FBI investigation. Attempting to prosecute both Clinton and Comey — the man Trump fired because, ostensibly, he seemed too willing to prosecute her — would be a clear-cut sign that Trump was using the Justice Department for his own ends.

[Vox]

Trump Dismisses Report on Ivanka: She ‘Did Some Emails,’ They Weren’t Classified Like Hillary’s

President Donald Trump dismissed the Washington Post report on his daughterIvanka Trump, accessing and sending government-related emails on her private email account.

“Early on, and for a little period of time, Ivanka did some emails,” the president said. “They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton, who deleted 33 [thousand] … She wasn’t doing anything to hide her e-mails.”

Trump claimed that his daughter’s emails were in the presidential record. The Washington Post piece was unclear on that point.

“Using personal emails for government business could violate the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all official White House communications and records be preserved as a permanent archive of each administration,” the piece read.

“What Ivanka Trump did, all in the presidential records, everything is there,” Trump said. “There was no deletion, no nothing. What it is is a false story. Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 e-mails, she had a server in the basement, that is the real story.”

[Mediaite]

Sanders says Trump won by ‘overwhelming majority of 63 million’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a Monday press briefing said President Trump won by an “overwhelming majority” of 63 million votes — despite the fact that his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, won 65.8 million votes and he lost the popular vote.

Trump did win the electoral college, which determines the presidency, and he did so handily, winning 304 electoral votes compared to 227 for Clinton.

That’s more electoral college votes than any GOP president since George H.W. Bush in 1988, though fewer than what former President Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

“He got elected by an overwhelming majority of 63 million Americans who came out and supported him and wanted to see his policies enacted. He’s delivered on that,” Sanders said during her first White House press briefing in weeks.

She make the remark while going over the accomplishments of the president, which she said were ignored by much of the news media.

Sanders’s comment on Monday was only the most recent attempt by the White House to claim that Trump won a majority of votes in 2016.

The president has repeatedly touted the falsehood that he won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” a claim that has been disproven multiple times. Studies have shown that voter fraud was not a widespread issue during the 2016 election.

Multiple journalists and commentators immediately took to social media to fact-check Sanders’s Monday assertion.

Sanders spent the bulk of the press briefing casting blame on the news media for dividing the country, saying the media typically reports negatively about the president.

She declined to name any media outlets in particular.

[The Hill]

Trump Insists Russian Hackers ‘Probably Liked Hillary Clinton Better than Me’

During a press opportunity in Scottsdale, AZ on Friday, President Donald Trump was asked about the indictment of a Russian national accused of influencing the election.

Trump promptly suggested that it had nothing do with his campaign, and if anything, the hackers probably liked Hillary Clinton more.

“Nothing to do with my campaign,” Trump said.  “All the hackers, and all of the everybody that you see, nothing to do with my campaign. If they are hackers, a lot of them probably liked Hillary Clinton better than me. Now they do. Now they do. But you know, they go after some hacker in Russia, oh, had nothing to do with my campaign.”

Trump’s comments come on the same day as the Justice Department indicted a woman for interference in the midterm elections.

Elena Khusyaynova was charged with sowing discord in the United States by pushing misinformation on divisive political issues. It is the first case of a foreign national being indicted for interfering in the upcoming midterms.

[Mediaite]

Trump begins 9/11 anniversary with angry early morning tweet about Russia and Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump began the 17th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US with an early morning tweet about Russia, law enforcement agencies and Hillary Clinton.

The post, which appeared to be a quote taken from Fox News, sought to perpetuate an argument – often used by supporters of the president – which seeks to shift focus from the investigation into his presidential campaign’s links to Russia on to unfounded speculation around the FBI, Department of Justice (DoJ) and his rival Ms Clinton.

“‘We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia, absolutely zero, but every day we get more documentation showing collusion between the FBI & DOJ, the Hillary campaign, foreign spies & Russians, incredible’ @SaraCarterDC @LouDobbs,” Mr Trump wrote.

He followed up four minutes later with another post that retweeted his assistant Dan Scavino, with a picture of him signing an executive order designating “‘Patriot Day 2018’ to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on September 11, 2001”.

The US president included the hashtags #NeverForget and #September11.

Mr Trump next launched a renewed attack on the FBI and the DoJ, which he said were doing “nothing” to look into an alleged “media leak strategy” by two FBI agents investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Eric Holder could be running the Justice Department right now and it would be behaving no differently than it is,” Mr Trump continued, quoting one of his favourite Fox News presenters, Lou Dobbs.

Eric Holder is a former Democratic attorney general appointed by former president Barack Obama in 2009.

Mr Trump later tweeted in praise of his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of New York City at the time of the terrorist attacks.

“Rudy Giuliani did a GREAT job as Mayor of NYC during the period of September 11th. His leadership, bravery and skill must never be forgotten,” Mr Trump wrote. “Rudy is a TRUE WARRIOR!”

In 2013, three years before he became president, Mr Trump sparked anger after using the 9/11 anniversary to reference “haters and losers”.

“I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th,” he posted on Twitter.

It is just one of a litany of questionable comments the US president has made about 9/11.

On the day of the attacks, Mr Trump noted his skyscraper, at 40 Wall Street, went from being the second-tallest in downtown Manhattan to the tallest, following the collapse of the Twin Towers.

In 2015, Mr Trump claimed when talking about Muslims that “thousands of people were cheering” in Jersey City, situated across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, as the towers fell. There is no evidence of mass celebrations there by Muslims.

Three months later, he said he lost “hundreds of friends” in the attack, but failed to provided any names, other than mentioning knowing a Roman Catholic priest who died while serving as a chaplain to the city fire department.

Despite Mr Trump’s apparent preoccupation into the Russia investigation, on Tuesday he visited a Pennsylvania field that became a 9/11 memorial.

Mr Trump and his wife, Melania, were due participate in a remembrance in Shanksville, where a California-bound commercial airliner crashed after the 40 passengers and crew members learned what was happening and attempted to regain control of the plane. Everyone on board was killed.

Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11 when other planes were flown into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in an attack planned by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Nearly a decade later, bin Laden was killed in May 2011 during a US military operation ordered by Mr Obama.

Shortly before he was due to deliver a speech at Shanksville, Mr Trump tweeted: “17 years since September 11th!”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of Mr Trump’s visit to Shanksville: “Certainly the focus will be on remembering that horrific day and remembering the lives that were lost, and certainly honouring the individuals who were not only lost that day, but also put their lives of the line to help in that process.”

Mr Trump was in his Trump Tower penthouse — 4 miles from the World Trade Center — during the 2001 attacks.

[The Independent]

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