Posted tagged ‘Clinton campaign’

Inside Judicial Watch: The Politicized DOJ — Mueller, Comey, Strzok, Yates, & More!

December 7, 2017

Inside Judicial Watch: The Politicized DOJ — Mueller, Comey, Strzok, Yates, & More! Judicial Watch via YouTube, December 5, 2017

 

Trump: The President at War

November 23, 2017

Trump: The President at War, FrontPage Magazine, November 23, 2017

Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript to remarks given by Steve Bannon and Pat Caddell at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2017 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 16th-19th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

 

Steve Bannon: The last time I was in this room was a couple years ago.  I made a film, “Occupy Unmasked,” about that war starring David Horowitz and Andrew Breitbart, which was actually the film we were making when Andrew passed away and David was kind enough to take a bigger role in that.  But that film, I think, showed the precursor of a lot of what laid the groundwork for the Trump victory.

When I stepped into the campaign in mid-August of 2016, I think it was August 14th — these numbers are rough — but roughly, the candidate was down anywhere from 12 to 16 points, basically double digits down in every battleground state, every state that had to be won.  Not a lot of money, and as you’ve seen from revelations in this investigation with Manafort, not a lot of organization.  The campaign from the time that Corey Lewandowski had left until the time I stepped in in August had really deteriorated into a pretty disorganized mess that left the best candidate I think we’ve had since Reagan in real extremis.

And that’s what I knew we had.  I knew we had a great candidate.  I knew we had an individual who I believed was the finest orator in American politics since William Jennings Bryan and, more importantly — and I told the President, or the candidate this when I took the job on the 13th and 14th: “Don’t pay attention to any of these numbers.  Don’t worry about how many points down we are.  Don’t worry if we’re in the battleground states.  It’s not relevant because what is relevant is the themes that you’re going to run on and how we’re going to bring this home.  We only get 85 days, but we’re going to compare and contrast Hillary Clinton as tribune of a corrupt and incompetent elite.  And we’re going to focus on a handful of themes that show you as an agent of change, and all we have to do is give people permission to vote for you as that agent of change, and we’re going to win this.”  And I told him that day on the evening of the 13th and then the day of the 14th, because he’s a percentage player and he was asking what percentages. I said, “You have a 100 percent chance.  Metaphysical certitude of winning.  Not a question.  100 percent.”  And we’ll get into it later about Billy Bush week, etc. “But you have 100 percent chance.”

The reason is what David said.  This is a war.  This is a war for our country.  This country, we’ve been in this war for a while.  It’s going to take another 15, 20, 25 years and we’re going to be one thing or the other on the other side of this.  We’re either going to be the country that was bequeathed to us by the 14 or 15 generations that came before us, or it’s going to be something radically different.  And David Horowitz has been the leader of telling you what that radical difference is going to be and what this country is going to be if we don’t fight and fight every day to take it back.

The reason that I could step in with a team of Dave Bossie and Reince Priebus and Katie Walsh and others and help the President — because he’s really the one that won it; basically gave him the platform so that he could drive his message home — is for years I had been spending time listening to a guy that I came to greatly respect.  That guy’s Pat Caddell and Pat had been doing research.  There’s another of the unsung heroes, a gentleman who came to Restoration Weekend every year.  It’s a Palm Beach resident named Lee Hanley.  Lee Hanley’s like when you read the history of the American Revolution or the Civil War, all these great events, you find out about these individuals in back that never won any credit, but if it was not for them, the victory would not be achieved.  Lee Hanley for years was a big believer. Although a guy of tremendous wealth and lived in Palm Beach and throughout the rest of the world, he had an incredible appreciation for the grassroots.  He had a real love of the hobbits, of the deplorables, and he put his money where his mouth was.  He’s a big supporter of the Tea Party movement and Tea Party causes.  But I think what he’ll be known for is that he was the guy that really became the sponsor for the analytical work and the intellectual work that Pat Caddell did over a number of years.

And this work, two things epitomized the Trump revolution or the Trump revolt.  It’s J. D. Vance’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy.”  If you haven’t read it, it’s quite powerful, the sociological content of the Trump revolt. But as important was Pat Caddell’s analytical work on where the country was, and that’s what I told the candidate that night.  I said, “Hey, two-thirds” – is it two-thirds or one-third?  “Two thirds think the country’s going in the wrong direction. Seventy-five percent think America’s in decline. Virtually none of the electorate believe that Obama brought the fundamental change they wanted, and people are looking for an agent of change.”

Now the mainstream media doesn’t cover that.  You wouldn’t know that by the campaign in mid-August 2016.  That was never talked about.  But that tone below the surface is the foundational element, the keystone that really drove the Trump campaign. And so, Pat, I’d like, if you could, just tell us what it is — and this is very important.  We’re going to talk about how we won, and what the underlying analytics of that was, and then, to get to David’s point: It makes total sense when you see that on the left, there was no honeymoon, right?  Because they will never concede, ever, that the basic working-class Americans think America’s in decline.  Because it’s been their watch.  And the elites in this country will never admit to that, and that’s why from Day One, the second part of this talk will be about the nullification project. Because since 2:30 a.m. on November 9, when AP called the election, the progressive left, the opposition party media, and the Republican establishment have been on a nullification project.  Pat, you want to talk about the math?

Pat Caddell: First of all, let me echo what Steve said about Lee Hanley.  Back in 2011, 2012 actually — 2012 or 2013 — after the Romney disaster election or as I call it, the confluence of the Republican consultant lobbyist core of gangsters, the “RICO campaign.” Anyway, I said, “I think something’s happening in the country.”  Lee said, “You know, I think something may be too.  I want you to go out and just find out.”  He wasn’t for anybody or any cause.  It was basically to discover what was there, and it was the most startling research that’s ever been done.  It has been public for some time.  The press has never paid attention.  The political class won’t pay attention.  But what we found from the beginning was the level of discontent in this country was beyond anything measurable, and I believe worse than any time that we have ever seen in our country.

Steve mentioned a couple of the attitudes: about things going in the wrong direction, the 70-75 percent of people who absolutely believe the country was in decline, a narrative so different from what Washington was telling us or the mainstream media if you looked at the way they covered the conventions even.  Oh, my God!  It’s so dark.  It’s like the inaugural speech. That’s so dark! It’s terrible! No. It happened to be the truth, but they’re not allowed to speak that.

And then another attitude, which is really important, was the fact that in a country where we believe that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can get ahead (as Bill Clinton used to tell us), about 15 percent of the people believe that’s what works and 85 percent believe that the rich and powerful have rigged the rules and have the advantage, which is also a truth.

When I was at Harvard — I was at my class reunion, which I’d never been to before for a reason — I had to do a survey of my class, the Class of ’72, which was, I would describe, the epicenter of the white Ivy League privileged class, they actually were higher. The only thing they were higher than the American people on was 95 percent of them knew that’s the way it worked because that’s how they worked it.  But in any event, those things all led to also the fact that a couple of attitudes have maintained themselves, which I realized the real question about them is, would anybody weaponize them? Let me just give you a couple examples because they’re important.

“Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege than doing what is right for the American people.”  Eighty-one percent of the Americans agree. By the way, we have a divided country except when it comes to how Americans from left to right really think of how this country works.  It isn’t partisan.  At this point, it’s overwhelming.  “The power of ordinary people to control our country is getting weaker every day.  Political leaders on both sides fight to protect for their own power and privilege at the expense of the nation’s wellbeing.”  Seventy-nine percent agree. These are from just a few months ago. “Powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions, political interest groups, have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for themselves.  They’re looting the national treasury of billions of dollars at the expense of every man, woman and child.”  That’s 72 to 75 percent who agree.

“I believe the government is working for the people’s best interest.”  Twenty-eight percent say that’s true.  Sixty-seven percent don’t think it’s true.  “Politicians really care about me” — when I first started polling and then Bennet wrote this question, the result was it was about a 40/50 split.  It’s now 19 percent say yes, agree, and 76 disagree.  And perhaps most interesting of all is the question we asked on whether the Declaration of Independence says that the government receives their authority from the consent of the people.  “Does the federal government today have the consent of the people?”  And it’s 68 to 75 percent we’ve ranged saying no, and I call that, when I first saw that result in 2013, a pre-revolutionary moment.  And the question was whether anybody would speak to any of this.

And from the beginning, Donald Trump, a lot of his own instincts were – it’s not exactly the way I would’ve designed it – but he managed to make a campaign and he stood up against 16 other people who were, in their own ways, essentially epitomizing the political class or the ideological class of their party, when the issue was neither ideology or the right of kings of our political class to rule.

I said the day before the election, I wrote a piece because I needed to get it out, because I’d been doing some work for Breitbart and had been doing some polling, and we were asking some more in-depth questions and I could see what I had found in a big study we had done in September, which was that you had a quarter of the country who were not favorable to either Clinton or Trump.  Most of those people were concerned about Trump’s qualifications, whether he had the temperament to be President, things that would’ve normally disqualified.  Hillary Clinton was viewed as a, let’s put it this way: 75 percent of the people, including almost a majority of her own people, believe that there are two sets of rules of law, one for everyone else and the one for the Clintons.

And corruption is a problem and we’ll talk about that today, but at the heart of much of this was a sense of the corruption and loss of our country.  Those people started breaking for Donald Trump.  Well, I was waiting for that to happen.  I’d seen some evidence in a different situation in 1980 with Reagan and Carter, but what was important was when I saw the exit polls. Everyone saw the exit polls when we got them at 5:00, 5:30, the networks and everyone were going, “Oh, Hillary’s got it!  Hillary’s got it!”  Well first of all, nobody remembers that those polls are always wrong because of the bias in them, but more importantly, nobody bothered to look inside. The people who had said that they were unfavorable to both were now breaking to Trump by 18 points.  And I called Steve and said, these exit polls are all wrong.  This is a key break.  And it is breaking for Trump.

I do believe, and I don’t want to get into it, but this mistake of early voting: we were supposed to have an election, not a rolling election.  It is a problem with all the unintended consequences, people vote who will change their mind.  So, there you have it.  Trump won and everyone else in the media was stunned because they would not look at the country that they actually deplore.

Steve Bannon: What do you think was the specific messaging that drove those low propensity voters to actually, at the end of the day, pull the trigger for Trump?

Pat Caddell: Yeah, as I said, my question all along had been whether those voters would respond.  Alienation can often make people depressed and not participate.  What did it, I think, is if you look at the last 8 to 10 days of Trump’s message, where he said, “This isn’t about me and Hillary.  This is about you and them.”  Essentially a campaign that said your country is going to hell.  You have to do something.  And whether it was on immigration, which was a big issue, trade, where the country had taken a huge leap, or basically the idea, which I think was the most powerful of all, of “drain the swamp” and the corruption. Enough people felt that they, with good reason, would want a change, and they took the biggest gamble in history.

By every other measure we have had, this never should have happened.  But the reason it did is because the country has never been where we are except twice before. I believe in the 1820s and the Civil War – well three times – and the Great Depression.  And what we have is a new paradigm in politics.  This isn’t the traditional Democrat/Republican, Liberal and Conservative.  This is inside, outside, us, them and the question of who’s country it is, and I have said to Steve the other day, and I’ll end on this note: At the heart of it is a perception. The subtext is that they know that their leaders are trying to manage the decline of America.

Steve Bannon: This is the key point.

Pat Caddell: They think that their job is to make –

Steve Bannon: The reason, okay, we’re going to frick and frack this a little bit.  This is the key point.  The American people have a great common sense.  Right?

Pat Caddell: Yes. That’s the ideology of America.

Steve Bannon: When Pat Caddell starts to stand, we’re in trouble.

Pat Caddell: Yes, you are.  Yes, you are.

Steve Bannon: Now he’s really about to go Old Testament prophet. If you remember CPAC a couple of years ago, he was in a ballroom this size, and people were Tweeting, “you gotta get up there.”  Caddell was so over the top. He was Caddell unchained.  I thought they were going to throw a net over him and, you know, escort him out.

Pat Caddell: And they never had me back after that.

Steve Bannon: No, the issue of the polling and the analytical work, which was so thorough — this is not some slapdash poll like is done all the time. This was really deep analytical work.  The question that the American people answered — 75 percent of your countrymen think America’s in decline. And what they understand is the country is in decline, right?  Particularly vis-à-vis the rest of the world.  And that’s what the elites, that was the whole contrast in the campaign.  Hillary Clinton and the Republican elites are very comfortable managing that decline.

Pat Caddell: Yes, they believe their destiny, I think, is to make sure it’s soft, we’ll be like the British.  I have news for them: this election in 2016 and the ones that are coming are really about the fact that this country will not go gently into that good night of decline.  They will rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Steve Bannon: Now here’s the great news is that who understands this is the American working man and woman. I mean, that’s why Trump’s brilliance of “make American great again” resonates so strongly.

Pat Caddell: The single greatest slogan in my lifetime in American politics, in terms of what summed it all up.

Steve Bannon: That was compared and contrasted to — what was Hillary’s? “Happy together”?  What was that? “Forward together” or whatever it was. “Happy forward together.”  Always forward, never back.

Pat Caddell: The millions of dollars they spent to come up with the dumbest slogan I’ve ever heard of is amazing.

Steve Bannon: Before we get to the victory and talk about what happened the next day, you’ve got to remember — and this is very pertinent, I think, to the folks in the audience.  I think 85 percent of the votes in the Republican primary, if you totally take away all the bistate stuff and you look at the total vote count, I think 85 percent went to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Dr. Ben Carson. But you couldn’t get three more anti-establishment guys, right? It shows you the party — this is what McConnell and the donors don’t get.  The votes are with the working men and women of this country, the Republican Party.

Pat Caddell: Well, let me make a point on that.  All during the primaries, I was on a show we had on Fox which a lot of people watch called Political Insiders with Doug Schoen and John LeBoutillier, and all along we kept noticing — they’d look at the vote of the anti-establishment candidates everywhere you go, and you’re right.  Yes?

Audience Member: Give Steve some time on the microphone, please.

Steve Bannon: Hang on, we’re fricking and fracking, we got it. My agent right there.  I’d like to introduce my agent. Thank you.  As you were saying?

Pat Caddell: Nah, I’m done. I know when I’m not wanted. No, this is the fact that in both parties — look what you have with Bernie Sanders. And we’ll hopefully get to a point to talk about that rigging of that system.  But Bernie Sanders, who nobody ever cared about and whatever, he rolls up, he and Trump were, as I like to say, were supping out of the same trough.  Like on trade and corruption and whatever, Wall Street.  The same thing on both from opposite ends.  And that’s what the unity of these numbers were about.

Steve Bannon: And the numbers show you — and the strategy we had, we had kind of two plans.  But the first plan we had to take — remember this is 85 days to go.  You’re basically going to get blown out, and if you read their books, they thought they were going to win by 25 or 30 points.  Take the House, the Senate, the courts.  It was basically over.  Break the back of the Republican Party.  But the key, we had to win Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Iowa just to get to the table.  And by the way, I don’t think in living memory any Republican has done that. You had to get there just to get to the final, that was the bridge that got you to the final. We had a Plan A and a Plan B, but Plan B, which was shattering the blue wall in the upper Midwest, we did some very specific demographic analysis around how the messaging that Pat had overall talked about was playing. And we see could see it in places like Youngstown, Ohio, and Dubuque, Iowa, and other places, that the message was resonating with not just Republicans, but with blue-collar Democrats or Independents that had not voted for a Republican in living memory.  And that’s why we could see western Pennsylvania, we could see Wisconsin, we could see Michigan. We could see that something was changing, and that was the message, this underlying discontent in the country and wanting fundamental change. And Trump’s ability to be the instrument or the messenger that was starting to galvanize people.

It was interesting, the only question I had internally is that the math looked so dramatic. And we kind of knew. We were working on this and it was coming together, because we could see the crowds were getting bigger at the rallies and were getting more vocal. The Facebook and all the social media stuff was working. Her campaign specifically didn’t come to these places.  They didn’t come to Wisconsin until — they never came to Wisconsin.  I don’t think they came to Michigan until the very 11th hour, and so we really knew that there was something underlying the Trump message, and that’s this discontent in the country that’s still there today.  In fact, I would actually respectfully submit it’s probably greater today than it was even a year ago, and that’s about the progress or maybe the lack of progress that’s been made.

I want to talk about the morning after.  And Pat, you’ve got a thing with the Clinton campaign of one of her books. David talked about a honeymoon.  There was no intention of a honeymoon, and here’s why.  They do not think that this was a legitimate election and that we won legitimately.  They will never be able to admit that the working men and women of this country basically revolted, essentially from both political parties, and elected a total and complete outsider.  Someone who’s not a professional politician.  Someone who can connect and does not use the vernacular of the political class, but somebody that can connect viscerally with the working men and women of this country and had an agenda of being a complete disrupter among the institutions that really govern the imperial city.  If you think about it, and I’ll talk a little bit more about it tonight, the geopolitical situation we’re in that’s driving the economics of this country.  But the ascended economy of Silicon Valley and Wall Street and Hollywood and the imperial city of Washington, D.C. is completely detached from the reality of everyday life in the rest of America.  And they will never ratify the election of 2016, because to ratify it is actually calling into question their own tenuous grip on power.  We saw that immediately, and Pat’s got a very interesting quote he’s pulled out from one of the Clinton books.

Pat Caddell: The book “Shattered,” which was written by the two embedded reporters in the Clinton campaign, who were to chronicle the great victory and ascendancy of Hillary Clinton, and this is what it says. This is how it started.  “The strategy had been set well within 24 hours of the concession speech.  Mook and Podesta, the campaign manager and chairman, assembled their communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up and up.  For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public.  Already Russian hacking was at the centerpiece of their arguments.”  And that’s how it began.

Steve Bannon: Yeah, this nullification project, which was both from the left and also from, I think, the Republican establishment, started immediately on the morning of the 9th and the 10th. They had to come up with an excuse for why they lost.  It wasn’t the fact they had $2.2 billion.  It wasn’t the fact that they spent $750,000,000.00, I think is the number I’ve heard, on negative ads against Donald Trump.  It’s not the fact that they had, I believe, the worst candidate for President of the United States in memory.

They kept saying how brilliant she is, how genius she is, how smart she is.  I think she’s dumb as a stick. She’s doing her book tour.  It’s another 900-page book that she’s written.  In fact, I would just like to have the corrupt media and publishing industry just write her a $10,000,000.00 check and don’t force another 900-page book on us. But no, I do think, in her current tour, or at least until the Donna Brazil situation came up, that Pat will talk about in a minute, that she’s got every intention of testing the water to run again in 2020. And my response is, “Bring it baby.  Bring it.”  Would you not love to see a rematch of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?  C’mon.

Pat Caddell: As Saturday Night Live predicted last week, with her in the final episode for the Democrats, “One more time for me.  Maybe one more time.”

Steve Bannon: Let’s talk about this nullification.  The Russian whatever this thing is, the collusion project, is, look, as the campaign CEO in the last 85 days as we drove to victory, I can tell you categorically that we had a very difficult time colluding between the Trump ground game in Pennsylvania and the RNC. So collude that. It’s a complete phony, hide-the-football misdirection play, but it shows you their desperation.

Pat Caddell: Let me make just two quick points on this.  First of all, the one I wanted to make, if Barack Obama knew about this in August, so did the “intelligence team,” those hacks, that as Trump described them, which they are. And if it were such a threat to America, why was the President of the United States keeping his mouth shut until the day after the election, and how come nobody bothered to tell America it was under attack?  Because it didn’t matter.  On the Facebook stuff, Mark Penn, who had run Hillary’s great campaign in 2008, did say the $100,000 on Facebook ads, $56,000 of it after the election, half of it in states that were California, New York and Texas? Let me tell you something, the Stanford University Economics Department did a major study on this, and they found nobody believes what they see on Facebook.  It’s the least credible source.  And, yet, you know why they have to glom on to that?  Because underlying is the subtext that you people, the American people, are too damn stupid that you could — all of the billions spent, the debates, people know what they’re getting.  They’re weighing this heavily.  No, no, no.  You’re so stupid, you can be misled because you didn’t listen to us, and that is their message.

Steve Bannon: That is why it’s so important I think for the defense of the President is we’re seeing something unprecedented here in American history. And I think it’s very important we fight it and we drive it into the ground as much for the Democrats as for Republicans. And the fact that if we allow this nullification project to continue to go forward, if we allow this nullification project to really get traction and to try to bring charges or whatever against the President, every election here on in, trust me, is going to be contested.  We’ll be like a banana republic.  You won’t have elections that matter.

Now, let’s talk about the nullification project where they’re trying to drive the President into the ground.  There are currently, I think, five or six major investigations going on with the President right now.  You’ve got — and this is what upset me so much when I left the White House.  My specific project was against Republican leadership because you have three, count them, three committees on Capitol Hill with full subpoena power and the unlimited budgets.  You had Devin Nunes today, one of the great young men on Capitol Hill. He’s a hero, and he should be running the investigation on the House Intelligence.  Why is he not?  Because Paul Ryan doesn’t have a spine.  The media screwed Paul Ryan.  By the way, Paul Ryan’s a nice guy.  He’s a good guy, but he doesn’t have backbone in this regard.  The Republicans, the media can spook these guys and they’ll run.  Nunes has turned it over essentially to Schiff, so you have a Democrat running the House Intel Committee.  You have Mark Warner, who’s going to run for the presidency in 2020 against President Trump, you have him running the Senate Intelligence because Burr’s just taking a pass on this. So you have two Democrats running this and leaking everything to the media.  The thing’s gone way outside Russian collusion.  They’ve got Michael Cohen and his lawyer and other guys up there talking about real estate deals, taxes, whatever.  The Judiciary Committee is hauling in Don, Jr. and these other guys.  Can you imagine, can you imagine if Hillary Clinton had won?  Would Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have three committees on the Hill investigating Hillary Clinton and her campaign and her finances and let two Republicans run it?  No.  Because they are professionals.  They run the Democratic Party like it’s supposed to be run, and they never give up, and they understand this is a war, and they understand the way they’re going to win is be unified.

In addition to that, you’ve got Bob Mueller. And I was one of the biggest advocates in the White House saying, “You can’t fire Comey.” For a whole host of reasons, because, at the end of the day, you’re going to end up with something like a special council like a Bob Mueller, and I’ve been adamant.  Bob Mueller, in regards to his mandate of looking at anything with Russian collusion, he should be able to do that.  He should have a budget for that, but I support Ron DeSantis.  When he’s outside the range there –and on Manafort, all 12 indictments are about back taxes and “money laundering” and stuff he took from other people.  Rick Gates didn’t even have — he walked in with a public defendant.  He didn’t even know that he was under investigation.  So this thing, I think, has gone way off the rails in the fact that it’s much too broad and not within a mandate.  And look, Jeff Sessions, I consider him a dear friend, but I think Sessions and people on the Hill got to support the DeSantis Amendment, which says hey, there’s going to be a time period and a budget to look at collusion with Russia.  Anything else is off limits.

Pat Caddell: Yeah.  Well, I want to add just a quick comment to this, which is I want to hear from my good friend Mr. Abrams.  When he speaks about the Justice Department, it seems to me that department is still embedded deeply with the people who have been in the business of supporting whatever the political class and particularly Democrats want done.  And let me say something.  When you get someone appointed like Bob Mueller, who is “highly respected by everyone in Washington,” grab your wallet.  The last person that they told me that about was James Comey.  I mean really.  Anybody who everyone says is this great, respectable guy, you got to watch out because he is there doing business that is not going to be very productive for the country.

Steve Bannon: The nullification project, also, is a joint venture.  It’s both the Democratic Party and the Republicans.  Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, in fact, it has taken tremendous pressure on them even to say these things have got to be brought to an end.  They’ve got to end around Christmas, and they got to have joint reports.  You can’t let them have two reports. And that’s not officially done yet, but these guys are just as culpable in this as the Democrats that are baying from the left.

Pat Caddell: Look, Donald Trump’s greatest opposition is not from the Democrats.  It is from the Never Trump Republicans who fill now several networks, cable news networks, with people whose virulence to Donald Trump makes the Democrats in those places look tame.  And the Jennifer Rubins, the Washington Post and its 15 pieces a day attacking Trump, the New York Times, all of which, by the way — and it’s another point that we’re getting a little progress on the rest of the corruption.  It seems to me that the notion that we should move on, and, by the way, all this other stuff never happened, which I don’t know if we’ll get to, but it’s just bullshit, but pardon my language, but it is.  The corruption here is so deep.

And the difference with the Democrats and the Republicans as, David pointed out and Steve just said, let me tell you something, the Clintons, as I once wrote in 1998, have forced the Democrats to squeeze themselves into that tiny little space that’s known as Clinton morality.  My party’s had to give up all of its principles in order to sustain corruption, which is why the left is in motion.  And, by the way, one point, when you have a large majority saying both the Democrats and the Republicans are out of touch with the country, that coalition is in jeopardy except as long as you fight them.  And the Republicans not only don’t fight, they stab themselves in the back and their President.

Steve Bannon: See, that’s the point.  Remember, the point of the nullification project is, their ultimate goal is to remove President Trump from office or to force him to resign.  That’s their goal, but they’ve got a second goal, which they’re just as comfortable with, and that is to so damage him in the eyes of the American people that he’s very restricted on what he can do and what he can accomplish, and so that’s why every day you see this drumbeat.  And I will tell you, outside of Breitbart and Gateway Pundit and a handful of others, the sore losers in the media, in the conservative media, starting with my beloved Wall Street Journal owned by Rupert Murdoch, they’re just Never Trump organs every day.  The Never Trump guys have a complete ability to just launch on the President, and so I think if you’re a supporter of President Trump, we’ve only really started this fight because this is going to get really gnarly over the next couple of months.  I think it’s going to get, by the end of the first quarter of 2018, I think it’s going to get quite volatile, and so the President is going to need all of his supporters to fall in and have his back on this thing.

Pat Caddell: Let me say, I’ve been thinking about 2018 election, and now I know what this is going to be about. And I believe the Democrats can’t control their left.  It’s going to be from beginning to end, if the President is smart — and sometimes I don’t understand, frankly, the politics around the President, because in some ways I think he is being misled and taken down the primrose path by the very people he clobbered and wiped out. And I’m sorry, I’m independent.  I can say this.  It makes me very sad because the swamp — I won’t even get into the tax bill, which I think is an example of this, but let me tell you what, the campaign starts on the issue of if the Democrats win, they are going to impeach the President in the House for sure.

The question we’re going to have is the one we kind of had in Wisconsin.  Do we have what Steve said: our democracy collapses now because now we can throw out who’s in there that we don’t like, and that question is bigger than Trump, and it is about the democracy.  And the real question is who is sovereign in this country, and the American people intend to be the sovereign masters of their country.  And you got to appeal to them on that basis in this kind of fight.

Steve Bannon: One thing to keep in mind on the 14th, the first phone call I made was to Reince Priebus at the RNC to work out a partnership in which we could work together.  I’m a fire-breathing populist and a nationalist, and I am damn proud of it.  But in order to win, we win as a coalition. And this is one thing I could never forgive Bush 41 for when he said the other day in this book, “The Last Republicans” — I think it would be better titled, I hope, “The Last Bush Republicans.”  When old man Bush, between grabbing women in the oval –yeah, I went there — when he says that he voted for Hillary Clinton and when Bush 43, the most destructive president and the most destructive presidency in the history of our country, including James Buchanan, when he says he didn’t vote; he voted some write-in or he didn’t vote for President Trump, that’s all you’ve got to know about those guys.  If they can’t see the basic fundamental difference between what the regime of the Clintons would be versus what President Trump offered, then I’ve got no time for them.  Right?

But to Pat’s research, it shows in high relief exactly what we’re fighting.  Everything you see on cable TV, everything you see in the foreground is just pro wrestling.  It’s really to divert the attention of what’s really going on.  At the end of the day, the Bushes, this is the Bush that goes around with Bill Clinton and he says it’s like the son I never had.  Old man Bush is going around saying Bill Clinton, because the permanent political class is inextricably linked with themselves, and you see it on this current tax bill.  The donor corporatist lobbyist consultant apparatus that runs Washington, D.C. — and I’m very proud of Peter Schweizer, that hero. A true patriot hero.  Peter Schweizer’s effort in the three books, “Throw Them All Out,” “Extortion,” and then “Clinton Cash,” which exposed how the apparatus works and why the seven of the nine richest counties in the country surround Washington, D.C.; why the per capita income in those counties is higher than the per capita income in Silicon Valley for the first time in our history.  And Silicon Valley is the greatest generator of wealth in human history.  So you see, it’s a business model, and they’re not prepared to give it up, and they’re not prepared to go. They’re not prepared to go quietly.

But on that campaign, the establishment, at least some of them, came together and worked with us, and that’s how we got a win.  We have to be unified.  We’re not going to get everything.  I’m much more of a protectionist when it comes to trade.  I happen to think that free trade is a radical idea.  I think it’s a radical idea, particularly against a mercantilist authoritative dictatorship like China.  You cannot allow your markets to be totally open.  Not everybody agrees with that.  A lot of guys at Heritage don’t.  A lot of guys at Cato don’t.  A lot of guys at AEI don’t.  But we’ve got to work together to pull this off because if we lose we’re never going to get this country back.

Now, you’re seeing that, I think David brought up this point on our show this morning.  He just brought it up here in his introduction.  The question before us is very simple as conservatives.  Does the establishment that still controls the apparatus of the Republican Party, is it better for them to control that apparatus in a minority or is it better for us to take that apparatus and keep a majority?  Because, quite frankly, they would rather be in a minority as long as they control that apparatus because it’s central to their business model.

Pat Caddell: Right.  Exactly.  They never cared about losing.  I learned that in 2012.  The most important thing was to maintain their piece of the action.  And let me just say something because this is a time for real, thoughtful, intellectual, political debates about where to go.  My problem with the Republican Party is the voters want nothing to do with their leadership.  They have proven that over and over.  Look at the latest poll in Alabama where McConnell has a rating of 21 percent favorable and almost 60 negative among Republicans.  The people know this.  They voted them out.  They beat them every chance they could, and the question is whether that group — and I’m concerned about the Independents who supported Trump.  And many Democrats on the other side, particularly labor, blue-collar people, that is a governing and ruling majority if one can achieve it.  And how this all works itself out is the real challenge.  But I think you have to go to high ground.

The issue is the country.  It’s not which party.  It’s going to be who owns the country, them or you.  And the question is is America going to go into general night of decline or are we going to turn things around for our children and grandchildren.  These are great moral questions.  And that is the new battleground that needs to be fought.  And let me just say something.  The media. The press, which was you could argue is adversarial, but what we have is not adversarial.  We have a partisan opposition press which works hand in glove with the Democrats, which is the most corrupt media, and which, by the way, as a believer in the First Amendment, totally threatens the First Amendment, because as I have tried to say to people, when they figure out, which they have, that they can not only tell you who you must vote for, but they can tell you what truth you’re allowed to know or not to know, as we have seen in all of this other stuff with Russia, all of the stuff with the Clinton Foundation, all these things. The real question becomes why do we need a First Amendment if they’re not going to do their job, which is to be the tribune of the people and instead become the outriders of one political movement or another.

Steve Bannon: See, I look at it differently than Pat.  I like having the media as the opposition party because they’re so dumb and lazy.  I detest them.  I detest them.  Dumb, lazy, worthless.  A great opponent.  One last thing, we’ve got to wrap up here, is that it’s about the President.  It’s about Donald J. Trump.  Look, I got the great opportunity.  I’ve known him for years, but I didn’t know him that well until I got into the campaign.  I saw it every day.  Here’s a guy, everything you see in the mainstream media is basically nonsense.  Here’s a guy that was worth, I don’t know, five, six, seven, eight billion dollars.  I don’t know the exact number, but a lot of money.  He was 70 years old.  He has a lovely wife, a great family, great kids, grandchildren.  The friends he’s got from the sports and entertainment world and the business world are so close to him and such great people.  He just had a perfect lifestyle.  I mean here’s a guy at 70 years old that’s going around not just buying great hotels and refurbishing them and making them part of his Trump organization, but buying great golf courses and making them better and getting them in the U.S. Open or the Open Championship.  It’s the kind of thing you would do, all of us would do when we’re 70 years old.  He ran for President of the United States.  He’s not a narcissist and not in it for his ego or anything like that.  You couldn’t do it for that.  I saw this guy every day on the politics of personal destruction where they came after him hammer and tong.  And you guys only saw a tenth of it.  If you saw the other 90 percent, you’d just be stunned.  These people know no bounds.  I don’t really disagree with it because I see what they’re trying to do.  They’re trying to take control of the most powerful nation on earth, and they’re prepared to do anything to do that.

Donald Trump is an American hero because he had the courage to step up and run.  In that primary, if you think about it, with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Christie, go through all of them, 16.  That was the Republican Party’s an entire generation of their best politicians that have been kind of bred for 10, 20, 30 years.  And as good as those gentlemen are and Carly Fiorina, there’s not one, or even combined could they have taken on the Clinton apparatus.  The Clinton apparatus is a killing machine, and it took somebody like Donald Trump, a blunt-force instrument, to defeat it.

Pat Caddell: Let me make a point, then you can finish.  I just want to say one quick thing. The authenticity question, which is important, even during the election better than two-thirds of people believed that Trump was authentic and that Hillary wasn’t, including almost half of Hillary’s own voters, so that will tell you something.  And the last comment I have to make is what you’re seeing with Mr. Franken, when you see what’s coming, when they announce, when they have to release the $15 million of your money that was paid out in 260 settlements secretly for sexual harassment, it’s going to make the bank scandal of 1990 look like nothing.

Steve Bannon: One last thing, David.  Look, I would love to wave a magic wand and tell you it’s all going to be better, right.  Take your nappy off, powder your bottom, pat you on the head and tell you that November 8th, we’re going to celebrate it every year, November 8th and 9th as MAGA Day.  It’s a high holy day for the populist-nationalist conservative movement, but this is why things like Restoration Weekend are so important.  Every day’s a fight.  And the guys on the other side of the football, and they showed this in Virginia, they’re going to outwork you.  They’re going to out-hustle you.  If we’re not prepared to line up and fight every day, we’re going to lose this country. We’re going to lose it.  If you’re prepared — and I’ll take the guys on our side of the football.  I’ll take the hobbits.  I’ll take the deplorables.  I’ll take the working men and women of this country, but as long as you’re prepared to lead them and prepared to say we’re prepared to fight this every day.  We’re prepared to have Donald Trump’s back every day, and we’re not going to take defeat, and when something happens like Judge Moore down there, on the first allegations you run for the tall grass, to hell with you.  Thank you.

Nunes’ investigating digs up trove of Democrat connections to Russia dossier

October 30, 2017

Nunes’ investigating digs up trove of Democrat connections to Russia dossier, Washington Times,  Rowan Scarborough, October 29, 2017

Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, exposed the practice of “unmasking” by Obama aides and flushed out the source of payments for the scandalous anti-Trump dossier that drove the Russia collusion

Mr. Panetta told CNN that Congress needs to find out who funded the dossier.

“Well, it’s obviously something that the intelligence committee is going to have to look at,” Mr. Panetta said. “You know, knowing presidential campaigns, they’re big operations and somehow the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing. And that could be the case here, but I really do think that the committee is going to have to get into this, determine just exactly what happened. Who knew what and when.”

On Saturday, the House intelligence committee said it had reached a deal to inspect Fusion’s banking records.

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On two fronts, Rep. Devin Nunes has shifted the Russia debate in Washington further away from President Trump and closer to Democrats.

He exposed the practice of “unmasking” by Obama aides and flushed out the source of payments for the scandalous anti-Trump dossier that drove the Russia collusion narrative.

The California Republican’s first tactic: He traveled to the Executive Office Building and viewed evidence that the Obama administration had “unmasked” the concealed names of Trump associates in highly classified intelligence reports during the election campaign.

The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence talked publicly about his discovery to much derision from Democrats and Washington’s press corps. The unmasking suggested that the Obama White House was spying on a political foe through its legal right to unmask the identities of people unintentionally swept up in surveillance operations.

An advocacy group filed a complaint about his disclosure with the Office of Congressional Ethics. Mr. Nunes responded by removing himself as the overseer of the committee’s Russia probe.

But his legacy lives on. Both the Senate and House intelligence committees have summoned former Obama aides as witnesses. It turns out that Samantha Power, as ambassador to the United Nations, made hundreds of unmasking requests, Fox News reported.

Adding intrigue to her research, she told the committee that other people did some of the unmaskings in her name.

The committee subpoenaed documents concerning Ms. Power, former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice and former CIA Director John O. Brennan. All deny that they were spying on Mr. Trump.

Mr. Nunes‘ second tactic brought the most immediately result: He flushed out the identities — long kept secret — of some of the financial backers for the notorious Trump dossier that has fed the Democrats’ Russia collusion charges for months.

He did it by signing a subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the liberal opposition research firm that hired the dossier writer, former British spy Christopher Steele.

The Nunes subpoena touched off a chain of events.

Fusion GPS went to U.S. District Court on Oct. 20 and asked a judge to block the subpoena. That move triggered the first unmasking of the dossier’s financier.

On Tuesday, the law firm Perkins Coie decided it was time to fess up. It filed a letter, written to Fusion’s attorneys, acknowledging that Perkins had hired Fusion with money from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Perkins, whose attorney Marc E. Elias is the Clinton campaign’s general counsel, urged Fusion to lift the confidentiality of other clients who funded the dossier.

The letter said the flow of money to Fusion started in April 2016 and ended before the Nov. 8 presidential election. Mr. Steele began writing his memos in June. He continued to write and submit dossier memos up until December, meaning there are other moneymen for whom Mr. Nunes would like names.

Because Fusion also has Russian clients, some Republicans have wondered whether anyone in Moscow also paid Mr. Steele’s bills. There has been no proof, to date.

Washington learned of another funder. For months, news reports said the first entity to hire Fusion to conduct Trumpopposition research was a Republican.

The Washington Free Beacon on Friday acknowledged that it had hired Fusion to collect information from publicly available sources. It said the arrangement stopped well before Fusion went to Democrats and received money to pay Mr. Steele.

The Free Beacon, a snappy conservative news website filled with investigative and humorous postings, is funded by Paul Singer, a Republican and big campaign donor. He is also anti-Trump. He backed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in the Republican presidential primary race.

Mr. Nunes‘ moves have clearly irked Democrats, who want the investigation confined to suspected Republican coordination with Russian election interference. The Senate and House intelligence committees so far have found no confirmed evidence of Trump collusion.

Fusion’s attorneys, the Washington firm Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, filed court arguments attacking the congressman’s “fishing expedition.”

They said he had no power to act because he recused himself from the Russia investigation. They called his subpoena signature “not part of legitimate legislative activity” and an exercise of “coercive power.”

“The Trump dossier appears to have deeply upset President Trump and some of his allies, including Mr. Nunes, who served on President Trump’s campaign,” the Fusion attorneys said.

Posted in full by BuzzFeed, the dossier accuses Mr. Trump of salacious conduct with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, a long quid pro quo relationship with Russian intelligence and bribe-paying in Asia. None of those charges has been confirmed publicly.

Mr. Nunes‘ chief congressional critic is Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the House intelligence committee’s top Democrat. Mr. Schiff is a big fan of Mr. Steele’s and has repeated his charges in Congress and on TV.

Interviewed last week by CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Mr. Schiff said Mr. Nunes is just trying to change the subject.

“I think, Chris, at the end of the day, what this is about is a technique you see often in criminal cases where the facts are really bad for the defendant, there’s an effort to put the government on trial,” Mr. Schiff said. “So I think Mr. Nunesand the president want to put the government on trial because they don’t want to look at the facts implicating the White House.”

Mr. Cuomo: “That’s problematic when the man that you’re defining that way is in charge of the investigation, is the head of your committee. And it raises the question of when are we going to see what you guys have.”

Mr. Schiff: “It is problematic, Chris, because he had committed to stepping aside and recusing himself from the investigation but has not done that. And so that is a real problem that we have to grapple with every day.”

Mr. Nunes picked up an unlikely supporter in Leon E. Panetta, a Democrat who has served as a congressional representative from California, director of the CIA and secretary of defense.

Mr. Panetta told CNN that Congress needs to find out who funded the dossier.

“Well, it’s obviously something that the intelligence committee is going to have to look at,” Mr. Panetta said. “You know, knowing presidential campaigns, they’re big operations and somehow the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing. And that could be the case here, but I really do think that the committee is going to have to get into this, determine just exactly what happened. Who knew what and when.”

On Saturday, the House intelligence committee said it had reached a deal to inspect Fusion’s banking records.

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion

October 29, 2017

The nuclear blast of Russian collusion, Israel National News, Barry Shaw, October 27, 2017

Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.  

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it. 

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When President Donald Trump tweeted “Firm involved with discredited and Fake Dossier takes the 5th. Who paid for it, Russia, FBI, the Dems, or all?” people assumed it was one of Trump’s midnight rants. But, he exposed what looks likely to become the greatest political scandal in America’s history.

For a year, the Democrats, aided and abetted by a Hillary Clinton supporting media and a Deep State Establishment which includes Obama hangovers in the new Trump Administration as well as ‘Never Trump’ Republicans, have been searching under every rock and stone for evidence of a Trump collusion with the Russians.

Before leaving office, FBI head, James Comey contrived to appoint his friend, Robert Mueller, to be the Special Counsel to investigate links between the incoming president and the Russians, portrayed as the greatest evil on the face of the planet.

Now, it seems, the nuclear storm they unleashed of Russian collusion has suddenly changed direction and is blasting the Democrats and the Establishment fully in their own faces. In a two-pronged attack their demons have turned against them in what Trump calls “the Washington swamp.”

Christopher Steele, a British intelligence agent, offered the anti-Trump opposition information that could sink the Trump Campaign. The information came out of the Kremlin. This fake Russian intel was offered through a Russian-infected NGO named Fusion GPS. It was designed to help the Clinton Campaign defeat Donald Trump.

There was a price to be paid for this dossier. James Comey, the head of the FBI considered paying for it but, despite recent denials, it was revealed that the price was paid to Fusion GPS by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Millions of dollars were paid in several payments to Fusion GPS through law firms as cut-outs to cloak where the money was ending up. The dossier was shared with the FBI who sat on it rather than bringing it, as they should, to the attention of Congress.

An FBI informer wanted to bring the details of the dossier and name those involved in the scandal to Congress, but he was threatened by the FBI and by Loretta Lynch’s Depart of Justice with criminal, not civil, charges including serving jail time. The whistle-blower’s lawyer has been campaigning that it was the FBI and the Attorney-General’s duty to bring this matter to Congress, and that they had no jurisdiction to threaten this employee with criminal charges and incarceration.

Congress Oversight and Government Reform Committee member, Ron DeSantis, pressed the current Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, to release this FBI agent and allow him to testify before Congress. The Attorney-General has now authorized this agent to speak with Congress. DeSantis said on the Lou Dobbs Show on Fox News TV that he is confident that the agent will not only give them details and names, but also offer supporting documents.

The affair is likely to include the breaking news of a huge multi-million-dollar scandal involving the Obama Administration, the FBI, the Department of Justice under the Obama presidency, Hillary and Bill Clinton and their Clinton Foundation.

Democrat Adam Schiff once said of a fake Trump collusion, without one iota of evidence, that it was “one of the most shocking betrayals in history.” Now he is going to witness what will truly be the most shocking betrayals in American history but, to his dismay, it will be Democrat-induced betrayals.

Under Obama and the Clintons, the United States sold 20% of its vital uranium reserves to America’s most evil enemy, Putin in the Kremlin.  Uranium is the prime ingredient for a nuclear bomb. Today, the United States has to import uranium to power its nuclear power plants – from Russia.  Part of the agreement stated that none of this uranium could leave the United States but there is evidence that much of it has left America for Europe and, almost certainly to Russia. Russia also supplies Iran with much of their uranium for their nuclear projects. That is why this issue has important security connotations for Israel.

And, in a pay to play quid pro quo, $145 million made its way from the Russian actors in this deal (acting for the Kremlin) into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was acting Secretary of State. Her husband, Bill, travelled to Moscow to give a $500,000 speech before having a private chat with Putin himself in his Moscow mansion. This, after Obama was recorded on an open mic in 2012 telling Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, “tell Vladimir that after my election I have more flexibility.”  This was matched by Hillary Clinton pantomiming with Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, that they could press a plastic ‘Reset’ button.

This was the jovial atmosphere that accompanied the Obama Administration’s collusion with Russia which is now being revealed to have sold off one of America’s most vital strategic and security assets to “the greatest threat to any nation” according to FBI’s James Comey, or “Russia is at the top of America’s threat list,” according to Obama’s Defense secretary, Ash Carter, in 2016, or to a country that “engages in hostile acts,” according to Hillary Clinton.

Either way, the Democrats unleashed a nuclear storm when they went after Trump on trumped up charges of Russian collusion.  Now they are about to reap the storm they created. It is likely to burn and destroy several Establishment figures.

Watch out for the names Comey, Rosenstein, Wiseman, Mueller, Lynch, maybe Holder, two Clintons, and Obama.

If this is part of draining the swamp, so be it.

Barry Shaw is a Senior Associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. 

Implausible Deniability

October 29, 2017

Implausible Deniability, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, October 29, 2017

The aftermath of the 2016 election has revealed the criminality of the Democrats, the perfidy of the Deep State, the corruption of the press, and the bought and paid for motives of the scribblers in the conservative pundit class. And Trump won despite all that. In many ways it reminds me of a Soviet operation called The Trust. If you missed Reilly — Ace of Spies, Edward Jay Epstein describes how the Soviets created a fake anti-Soviet group called The Trust and used it to nab dissidents plotting to overthrow the regime.

Fusion GPS’ dossier was a replay of a classic Soviet disinformation campaign.

“The Trust was not an anti-Soviet organization, it only imitated one.” In reality, he continued, the Trust was a creature of the Soviet secret police. Its purpose was not to overthrow Communism, but to manipulate real anti-communist organizations into misleading the West.

In much the same way, I believe, Russian agents working for the Clintons and the DNC through Fusion GPS and its hireling Christopher Steele provided fake information in a dossier which the FBI (headed by James Comey) and the Department of Justice (headed by Loretta Lynch ) used to craft an affidavit to obtain a FISA warrant authorizing electronic surveillance on people connected, however tangentially, to the Trump campaign. This, after previous such warrants had — and this is unusual — been turned down by the FISA court. Then-president Obama allowed the surveilled communications to be widely circulated throughout the government, so that the names of the targets caught up in the surveillance and their communications were thus widely available for leaking, and were leaked.

As Byron York noted in a series of tweets, here were some of the dossier’s sources:

1/6 — Looking at dossier itself, sure seems Kremlin-linked Russians were participating in anti-Trump effort…

2/6 — For example, dossier Source A is described as ‘senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.’

3/6 — Dossier Source B is described as ‘former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin.’

4/6 — Dossier Source C is ‘senior Russian financial official.’

The Trust was funded by émigrés who believed it was legit. And the Russian anti-Trump phony dossier was, we now know, funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, which would have us believe that their lawyer Marc Elias, who received over $9 million for unspecified work, did this without their consent or knowledge.

(Fusion GPS was also funded during the nomination period — and before Fusion GPS and Steele were poking around Russia, by Washington Free Beacon, something that it — like Elias — admitted shortly before a likely court ruling that Fusion’s bank account information had to be provided to congressional investigators.) In any event, their work with Fusion GPS ended with the nomination of Trump. They had nothing to do with the hiring of Fusion GPS and the creation and distribution of the dossier.

The Washington Free Beacon is a right-of-center publication, and certainly has done some fine work in the past, but its links to the anti-Trump crowd of the right is unmistakable. The publication is largely funded by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who strongly supports gay rights and open borders. Among its original board members were Bill Kristol, and both the present editors, Michael Goldfarb (formerly deputy communications director for John McCain) and Matthew Continetti (Kristol’s son-in-law) both worked for the Weekly Standard while Kristol was its editor. Kristol, as you may recall, worked hard to promote others to run against Trump for the nomination. Singer financially supported Marco Rubio for the nomination. His aide, Dan Senor, was a senior advisor to vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan and reportedly retains strong ties to him.

I seriously doubt that any candidate Paul Singer would prefer could ever have won the general election. Singer strongly opposed both Ted Cruz and Trump.

The dossier was a means for the Russians at no cost the them to provide the Democrats with disinformation to be used against Trump.

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist does the most thorough job of clearing the air on the dossier

Space and copyright limitations keep me from quoting more of it, but here are theten things about the dossier Hemingway thinks you should know:

 “1) Russian officials were sources of key claims in dossier”

“2) No, the Russian dossier was not initially funded by Republicans”

“3) The dossier is chock full of discredited information”

“4) The dossier was used as a basis for wiretaps on American citizens”

5) The FBI also paid for the dossier

…When Trump asked about the FBI payment, many political journalists feigned shock and outrage that he would make such a claim.

They should not have. Their outlets had already reported that the FBI had tried to pay for the dossier and had, in fact, reimbursed expenses for the dossier. We do not know if those expenses include the payments to the Russian officials for salacious stories on Republican nominee for president Trump.

6) Dossier publisher Fusion GPS works with shady outfits”

7) Fusion GPS’ ties to media are problematic

The principals at Fusion GPS are well-connected to mainstream media reporters. They are former journalists themselves, and know how to package stories and provide information to push narratives. They are, in fact, close friends with some of the top reporters who have covered the Russia-Trump collusion story.

Fusion GPS has placed stories with friendly reporters while fighting congressional investigators’ attempts to find out the group’s sources of funding. Fusion GPS leaders have taken the Fifth and fought subpoenas for information about the group’s involvement with Russia.

8) Jim Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier, shortly before CNN reported it

What really got the ball rolling on last year’s Russia-Trump conspiracy theory, then, was not the dossier itself but the briefing of it by Obama intelligence chiefs to President-elect Trump in January. Former FBI head Jim Comey admitted under oath that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked him to personally brief President Trump about this dossier. The fact of that meeting was quickly leaked to CNN.

Given the dossier’s many problems, was the entire purpose of the meeting to produce the leak that the meeting happened?

9) Mueller investigation spurred by dossier and illegal leaks from intelligence operatives about Trump.

We know from previous reporting that the dossier of Russia-supplied information or disinformation was used by the FBI to secure a warrant to spy on an American citizen advising an opposing political party’s presidential campaign. We know that this dossier was funded at least in part by the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the FBI. The firm that produced the report was itself funded by Russians.

10) The Steele dossier was a Clinton/DNC-funded operation supported by the FBI and influenced heavily by Russian operatives in the Kremlin The Clinton campaign, the DNC, and the FBI all worked wittingly or unwittingly with Russians to affect the results of the 2016 election. Far from just meeting with a Russian and not getting dirt on a political opponent, these groups wittingly or unwittingly paid Russian operatives for disinformation to harm Trump during the 2016 election and beyond.

Worse, these efforts perverted our justice system by forcing the attorney general to recuse himself for the crime of having served as a surrogate on the Trump campaign, spawning a massive, sprawling, limitless probe over Russia.[/quote]

Fusion GPS was also doing work directly for the Russians, which makes its claims doubly suspect:

You see, the Russian lawyer — often carelessly presented as a “Russian government lawyer” with “close ties to Putin” — Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump, [sic — actually it was Donald Trump, Jr.] also worked recently with a Washington, D.C. “commercial research and strategic intelligence firm” that is also believed to have lobbied against the Magnitsky Act. That firm, which also doubles as an opposition research shop, is called Fusion GPS—famous for producing the Russia dossier distributed under the byline of Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent for hire.[snip]

Yet at the same time that Fusion GPS was fueling a campaign warning against a vast Russia-Trump conspiracy to destroy the integrity of American elections, the company was also working with Russia to influence American policy — by removing the same sanctions that Trump was supposedly going to remove as his quid pro quo for Putin’s help in defeating Hillary.Yet it is rare to read stories about comms shops like Fusion GPS because traditional news organizations are reluctant to bite the hands that feed them. But they are the news behind the news—well known to every D.C. beat reporter as the sources who set the table and provide the sources for their big “scoops.” The ongoing transformation of foundering, profitless news organizations into dueling proxies for partisan comms operatives is bad news for American readers, and for our democracy. But it is having a particularly outsized effect on reporting in the area of foreign policy, where expert opinion is prized—and easily bought—and most reporters and readers are only shallowly informed.

The record clearly belies the Clinton-DNC (Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta) claim that they didn’t know about the dossier.

In the first place, it is impossible to believe that they handed over $9 million to their lawyer without restriction or oversight. (Yes, I know the Department of State under then-secretary Clinton cannot account for $6 billion dollars, but this was their money, not ours, and I expect they paid more serious attention to it.) Once the bills are turned over to investigators, we’ll see who signed off on them. And we’ll find out soon whether Fusion was listed as a vendor in campaign-finance filings as the law requires.

Interestingly enough, one of Elias’ partners engaged Crowd Strike, ostensibly to review the claim that the DNC server had been hacked by Russia, and Comey’s FBI accepted their review without ever demanding to examine it themselves.

Daniel Greenfield once again does a fine job of analyzing the use made of the dossier and why Fusion GPS was engaged to dish the dirt.

The DNC, Hillary campaign and Obama Administration used former British intelligence agent Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele as an interface to create deniability, allowing them, in effect, to launder the dossier and create a pretext for snooping on Trump and publicizing whatever dirt they might dig up on his campaign no matter how incredible the sources and product.

Hiring Fusion GPS and then Steele created two degrees of separation between the dossier and Hillary. A London ex-intel man is a strange choice for opposition research in an American election, but a great choice to create a plausible ‘source’ that appears completely disconnected from American politics. [snip]

The official story is that Steele was a dedicated whistleblower who decided to message an FBI pal for reasons “above party politics” while the Fusion GPS boss was so dedicated that he spent his own money on it after the election. Some figures in the FBI decided to take Steele’s material, offering to pay him for his work and reimbursing some of his expenses. Portions of the dossier were used to justify the FISA eavesdropping on Trump officials and were then rolled into the Mueller investigation. [snip]

But there isn’t supposed to be a link between the Democrats and the eavesdropping.

That’s why Marc Elias, the Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer who hired Fusion GPS, had denied it in the past. It’s why Fusion GPS fought the investigation so desperately. Opposition research isn’t a crime. A conspiracy to eavesdrop on your political opponents however is very much a criminal matter.

A forensic examination of the dirty dossier’s journey shows us that this modern Watergate was a collaborative effort between an outgoing Democrat administration and its expected Dem successor.

Greenfield details how the dossier was used to astroturf and create a demand for an investigation, which ultimately resulted in Sessions’ recusal and the appointment of a special counsel. He reminds us that the Obama administration had done such stuff before, spying on congressional opponents on the Iran Deal. (Recall how that spying was used to tar Congresswoman Jane Harmon); giving money to non-profit organizations to spur the media coverage, whispering tidbits to complaisant media shills, and smuggling billions to Iran. And, as he notes, there was the IRS shutdown of conservative groups (for which they finally apologized this week) and the lies about Libya.

Notably, when they thought the Russia “collusion” fairytale was not gathering enough steam, Steele personally briefed David Corn, the same propagandist who confected the story that Valerie Plame was a covert agent deliberately targeted by the Bush Administration as payback against her husband Joe Wilson.

But even more damning is the fact that Hillary herself started tweeting about the dossier shortly after GPS was hired — even though she claims she knew nothing about it.

The first FISA request was made in June and was turned down. In July Fusion GPS was hired. According to James Comey, the FBI began investigating “collusion” reports in July of 2016, Beginning on August 15, Hillary started tweeting about Trump and Russia. She tweeted again on September 7, September 26, October 7, October 25, October 31. The second request was made in October. It was on October 31 when Corn, now atMother Jones “broke the story of a ‘veteran spy’ who gave the FBI information on Trump’s alleged connections to Russia.” It wasn’t until Buzz Feed published the dossier that we could see how preposterous the story was. Mother Jones was just a small part of the media collaboration in spreading the manure — Slate worked it also, and larger outlets got involved.

Former CIA case officer Lee Smith reveals how shoddy was the dossier:

The dossier was designed to dig up “dirt” on Trump and his associates, but, more to the point, it was clearly intended from the start to do so by manufacturing and nurturing a Russian angle. It sought to discredit Donald Trump and to deceive the public, which suggests that Trump has been right all along regarding something like a conspiracy against him which included the active participation of the FBI and possibly other national security agencies.

The president also comes across as credible vis-à-vis his critics because of what has become evident since the dossier was surfaced. The clearly politically motivated multiple investigations carried out so far in which no rock has been unturned have come up with absolutely nothing, either in the form of criminal charges or in terms of actual collusion with a foreign government. And, one might add, there has been little in the way of evidence to sustain the charge that Russia sought to influence the election and might even have succeeded in doing so. But there is one thing new that we do know now: Russiagate began within the Clinton Campaign headquarters.

Trey Gowdy tweeted: “Did FBI rely on a document that looks like the National Enquirer prepared it?” Looks that way. Andrew McCarthy at National Review tweets “Trump DOJ should declassify & disclose FISA app to show what representations were made to court about source of dossier claims.”

That seems uncontestable.

 

Hillary’s very own Russian collusion connection

October 28, 2017

Hillary’s very own Russian collusion connection, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, October 26, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Clinton can is as full of worms as her harshest critics ever imagined it was, and now the worms are turning. Washington is agog, liberal and conservative alike, as the details of the spreading story of confusion, chicanery and crime in Hillary’s campaign for president emerge from the dark and fetid places so abundant in the capital.

Hillary thought she had the presidency in the can, as her friends in Hollywood might have put it, but it turns out that there was no room in the can for a mere presidency. There were too many interesting worms.

It’s turning out that there was in fact Russian meddling in the election last year, and it was not meddling in behalf of Donald Trump, as Hillary and the Democrats have been so loudly decrying for months, but meddling in behalf of the little lady late of Little Rock.

Two tales of chicanery are hotly pursuing Hillary and prominent figures in her campaign. The first is the uranium scam, the purchase of certain assets, arranged and managed by Canadian “facilitators” who greased the path of these assets to the Russians with enormous donations (the grease) to the Clinton Foundation, and even a speech for Bubba in Moscow. He pocketed a cool half-million dollars for reworking an oldie and not even necessarily a goodie. This was a transaction that had to be approved by the State Department, and who better to approve it than a secretary of State.

The FBI discovered this grease moving back and forth in a vast bribery scheme — bigger even than the vast right-wing media that could make up sleazy stuff about a president and a White House intern. The existence of this vast bribery scheme was not disclosed to the agencies of the government examining the details of a transfer in 2010 of American commercial nuclear assets to Russia.

There was no attempt by the FBI to break up the bribery scheme, and five years later, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and President Obama’s Justice Department disclosed a plea bargain to settle the case with the Russian managing the bribes on a convenient Friday afternoon when the story could be put quietly to sleep, where it slumbered until the Hill, a daily newspaper on Capitol Hill, shook it awake last week.

Conveniences, if not conspiracies, had to be served. Mr. Obama and his secretary of State were hard at work “resetting” U.S.-Russian relations, and the FBI, then under direction of Robert Mueller, was going easy on the investigation. Hillary and her campaign were saved from exposure lest national interests be compromised. What was good for Hillary was good for America. It’s a continuing source of amazement how coincidences like this work in a swamp.

Not that Mr. Mueller, a rampart of rectitude in the nation’s capital, famous as the lawyer who never emasculates an ethic, would suffer anything questionable, but as Holman Jenkins Jr. observes in The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Mueller has the means, motive and opportunity to obfuscate and distract from matters embarrassing to the FBI, while pleasing a large part of the political spectrum. He need only confine his focus to the flimsy, disingenuous but popular (with the media) accusation that the shambolic Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.” And so it came to pass.

The uranium scam, which requires concentration to follow all the twists and turns, leads inexorably to “the dirty dossier,” which, being about sex, does not require such concentration, because sex is never about technicalities.

This is the dossier retailing lurid tales about naked ladies cavorting with the Donald without interruption even when nature called. Just as Bubba educated inquiring minds about the mechanics of oral sex, so Hillary now educates a later generation about golden showers that require no plumbing.

Hillary’s campaign had a high old time with the tales, spinning them along to eager media just before the inauguration of President Trump. Hillary and the Democrats were outraged, of course, aghast at details of the Russian romp, with endless tut-tuts at Donald Trump for so defiling traditional values with such untraditional behavior. Distraught Democrats hardly knew what to say, but said it anyway.

But such stories rarely survive the light of day, and it turns out that Hillary’s campaign lawyer, one Marc Elias, brokered a deal between the Hillary campaign and the Democratic National Committee and Fusion GPS, a Washington dealer in campaign dirt, to make up the smarmy stuff. Now a lot of reporters, some at The Washington Post and some at The New York Times, are complaining that Hillary’s lawyer lied to them. Heaven forfend!

Did somebody say collusion with Russians?

• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.

Investigate This (3)

October 28, 2017

Investigate This (3), Power LineScott Johnson, October 28, 2017

This is why I believe that the dossier took on added importance after the initial denial of a FISA order. We know, or think we do, that the FBI wanted Steele to do additional research. The focus of that research, however, would have to be to establish “reason to believe” that Trump or persons close to his campaign were “agents of a foreign power.” Only that would get them the FISA coverage they wanted. Lacking those, FISA was the quick route, but it required “reason to believe” that Trump or persons close to his campaign were “agents of a foreign power.” Voila the “dossier” as it apparently featured in the successful FISA application in October, the height of the campaign. And then it came to be used in the attempt to nullify the election (the attempted “coup”?).

****************************

Now we know that the Trump Dossier was not just a product funded by Democrats, but was commissioned by the general counsel of the Clinton presidential campaign. After the Trump campaign collusion hysteria fomented by Democrats and their media friends roughly since the election, we learn that Russian disinformation (as it seems to me) disseminated by the friends of Vladimir Putin (i.e., the Russian officials identified by alphabetic descriptors in the dossier) has come to us courtesy of Hillary Clinton herself. Yet John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and campaign general counsel Marc Elias have all denied knowledge, either now or in the past. Whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on. As for Hillary herself, well, “she may or may not have been aware.”

But there is more. Rowan Scarborough has reported that the first of the dossier memos was circulated last year in late June. The first dossier memo is dated June 20, 2016, and cites Sources A (“a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure”) and B (“a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin”). Sources A and B tout the collusion scenario. Sources A and B were not out to help Donald Trump, were they? They were out to throw sand in our gears or to help Hillary Clinton.

Former CIA Director John Brennan was a key player in the collusion scenario, but he has left much to implication in his congressional testimony. Brennan has acknowledged, however, that “that there were efforts made by the [FBI] to try to understand whether or not any of the information in that [dossier] was valid.”

Following up on his comments yesterday, our friend with two decades of experience in counterintelligence as an FBI Special Agent writes to add “some additional context that may be be useful.” He writes:

Why was the “dossier” ultimately so important for the anti-Trump conspiracy (if you think of a better way of putting it, let me know)? The reason, I think, is that the use of standard political smears against Trump had proven ineffective. Therefore it became necessary to take it all a step further and to attempt to make some superficially credible allegations of action against the national interest (again, the vague allegations of Mafia ties had fallen flat).

We know that that effort began some time in the late Spring or early Summer of 2016 because an application was made to the FISC in June/July. That application mentioned Trump by name–and was rejected. Why FISA? Because a Title III “wiretap” would have required an actual investigation based on a violation of a real US criminal law and a quite high and specific standard in the application for a court order.

Why, you might ask, was that application even made? Why not rely on the flow of info coming from NSA, which notoriously scoops up virtually all electronic communications? The answer is that Trump and all those close to him were US Persons (USPERs). The NSA targets foreign powers and individuals. If those foreign powers and individuals of concern are in contact with USPERs and, in the judgment of NSA, US counterintelligence (basically, FBI) should know about those USPERs, then NSA informs the FBI.

In my own career, outside FBI headquarters, I only saw a handful of NSA referrals of that sort. They were mostly general in nature. They could perhaps be used to initiate a Preliminary Inquiry (PI) to gain a bit more insight into the nature of the relationship between the USPER and the foreign power or individual — if we judged that advisable based on our own knowledge and experience — meaning that typically the NSA info would not rise to the level needed in order to say that there was “reason to believe” (i.e., for practical purposes, probable cause) that the USPER was an actual agent of a foreign power. That means: no Full Investigation (FI), therefore no FISA.

But in the anti-Trump conspiracy that’s exactly what was needed: FISA coverage, “wiretaps.” There was no time to do the painstaking research on Trump and his associates–they needed FISA and they needed it NOW. They’d already been turned down at least once. The NSA info was essentially useless, because what they really wanted was to get conversations between Trump and his associates here in the US–all USPERs–not international conversations (those were either lacking or harmless). Yes, NSA probably scoops up internal US communications of USPERs, too, but to use it without a FI and without a FISA order would be illegal. Therefore, the “dossier.”

For the conspirators the significance of the “dossier” was that it provided supposed “reason to believe” that Trump or those close to him were “agents of a foreign power,” subject to blackmail or pressure by a foreign power, already cooperating with a foreign power. The ability to claim that most of this “information” was coming via friendly foreign intel services with contacts in Russia added a bit of verisimilitude.

A “dossier” that could provide that sort of “reason to believe” would justify a FI and then FISA coverage. And therefore access to Trump campaign related communications (the extent would be dependent on the nature of the FISA order, who were the USPERs listed as targets–Page for sure, Flynn maybe, etc.). NB: Although they were claiming Trump collusion with Russia, what they were really targeting was campaign communications. By claiming that key people were foreign agents they could collect ALL their domestic communications with anybody.

This is why I believe that the dossier took on added importance after the initial denial of a FISA order. We know, or think we do, that the FBI wanted Steele to do additional research. The focus of that research, however, would have to be to establish “reason to believe” that Trump or persons close to his campaign were “agents of a foreign power.” Only that would get them the FISA coverage they wanted. Lacking those, FISA was the quick route, but it required “reason to believe” that Trump or persons close to his campaign were “agents of a foreign power.” Voila the “dossier” as it apparently featured in the successful FISA application in October, the height of the campaign. And then it came to be used in the attempt to nullify the election (the attempted “coup”?).