In his Tuesday hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General William Barr made plenty of statements that justifiably raised eyebrows—among them his refusal to acknowledge a direct threat against a federal judge, his lack of concern for Donald Trump’s pardoning people directly involved in his campaign, and his smug willingness to overlook any evidence, no matter how obvious, against Trump or anyone close to Trump. Barr’s entire appearance was simply dripping with disdain for the entire legal process, Congress, and plain old decency.
So it’s not surprising that among the statements made by Barr, one threat got little attention. Not only did Barr make it clear that he intends to lob an “October surprise” into the election works, he added in a signal that he’s going full QAnon by adding not-at-all-disguised reference to Pizzagate in the mix. Sometime in the final weeks of the campaign, Barr fully intends to fulfill every Republican fantasy with a “report” on how Democrats tried to … do something.
From literally the week he arrived back in Washington, D.C., Barr has been following through on Donald Trump’s wishes to pursue conspiracy theories related to the Russia investigation. Not only did Barr begin his second session as attorney general (AG) by purposely distorting the results of the Mueller investigation and hiding evidence collected by the Department of Justice, he drafted U.S. Attorney John "Bull" Durham to begin an international quest to find anything that could back up Pizzagate-level claims of persecution.
The Where in the World is Hillary’s “Missing Server” world tour has seen Barr and Durham in Australia, trying to get that government to admit that Australian official Andrew Downer was actually an instrument of U.S. intelligence planting false justification to open an investigation. They’ve visited Rome and London in an attempt to get officials there to agree that Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud was another CIA plant put in place to lure George Papadopoulos into spilling the beans on Trump. And they’ve met with an array of Rudy Giuliani approved pro-Russian Ukrainians, looking for that elusive proof that Joe Biden something something Hunter. Also, they’ve seriously spent time pursuing a Democratic National Convention (DNC) email server and Ukrainian hackers, neither of which ever existed. The list of actions that Barr has taken to support Trump’s ludicrous conspiracy theories is lengthy, and still growing.
From all of this, Barr is preparing a report that will undoubtedly confirm that Trump was “right.” Barr is almost certain to paint already identified infractions by FBI agents and decisions made by Justice Department officials as parts of a deep state conspiracy meant to set up Trump before he was elected—an attempted “coup” only thwarted by Trump’s vigilant eye and firm hand on the rudder.
This isn’t the first time the Barr-Durham report has been expected. During the impeachment hearings there was a widespread belief that Barr was going to bomb the proceedings with a report that included claims against James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even President Barack Obama. The report didn’t come when expected … but then, thanks to the Republicans in the Senate who refused to hear a single witness, it wasn’t really needed.
How far down into QAnon white rabbit land is Barr willing to go? As The Washington Post reports, when Republican Rep. Tom McClintock took the opportunity during the hearing to join Barr in moaning about the failings of the Russia investigation, he asked Barr if Durham’s report was going to beat the election deadline. “Are you going to be able to right this wrong before it becomes a precedent for future election interference by corrupt officials in our justice and intelligence agencies?” asked McClintock.
After complaining that the investigation had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Barr went on to say: “Justice is not something you order up on a schedule like you’re ordering a pizza.” That was far from an accidental statement. QAnon conspirators frequently sift through public statements to find some obscure reference that can be construed as having something to do with their impossibly arcane beliefs. Barr didn’t make it that hard. Considering that the entire QAnon conspiracy theory began with claims about Democratic officials hiding an “international pedophile ring” behind pizza orders, Barr was blowing a QAnon bullhorn, underlining his intention of delivering the goods.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell took the oppositite approach, asking Barr if he would “commit to not releasing any report by Mr. Durham before the November election.” Barr’s answer in this case was much more succinct: “No.”
Barr is making it clear that sometime in the remaining 98 days before the election, he intends to drop a sheaf of documents that builds every molehill of wild speculation into a mountain of even wilder accusations. At this point, more pretense around Ukraine or servers or commas in the warrant for Carter Page may seem picayune, especially as the tide of coronavirus deaths rolls on toward 200,000. On the other hand, Barr could even include manufactured indictments against Clinton, or Obama, or even Biden. That would get attention. After all, Barr has made it absolutely clear that there are no lines.
And both Barr and Trump are counting on the media to be every bit as cooperative in trumpeting whatever is in this report as they were in making Clinton’s emails the number one story in 2016.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, this week declined to answer a colleague's question about whether he had received derogatory information about Vice President Joe Biden from Andrii Derkach, a Kremlin-linked Ukrainian lawmaker who has worked to foment allegations of corruption by Biden and his son Hunter.
During a closed-door business meeting of the panel on Wednesday — a transcript of which was made publicly available Thursday — Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) pressed Nunes about news reports indicating that he was one of several GOP lawmakers to whom packets of information were delivered from Derkach in December 2019 that contained allegations about Joe Biden. Derkach has confirmed he sent the packages to Nunes, as well as GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
"[M]y question ... is of the ranking member, whether he is prepared to disclose to the committee whether he has received materials that have been called into question in the public reports from Andrii Derkach and, if so, whether he is prepared to share them with the rest of the committee," Maloney asked.
"Does the ranking member wish to respond?" asked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
"No," Nunes replied.
Maloney responded by suggesting that Nunes's refusal to answer "speaks volumes" and indicated that committee staffers are "in possession of evidence that a package was received."
That evidence, according to committee officials, is in the form of a DHL shipping receipt that was sent to the Intelligence Committee’s majority office shortly after the package was sent to Nunes. The officials say they sought to access the materials from Nunes at the time but that he never agreed to share them.
Nunes' office has declined requests to respond to inquiries about whether he ever received the package or learned of its contents — and whether he or his aides delivered it to the FBI for vetting, which committee Democrats and Republicans say is the typical practice when receiving parcels from foreign sources.
In late January — in the midst of the Senate’s impeachment trial — the committee’s Democratic staff reported the existence of the package to the FBI and has since received no response from the bureau, according to committee officials.
Derkach has provoked growing alarm among Democrats, who have noted his increasingly public efforts to promote anti-Biden allegations, from releasing tapes — whose provenance is unknown — of Biden’s conversations with Ukrainian leaders to holding news conferences to publicly declaring his efforts to unite with GOP officials to take down the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Derkach has launched a public website, NabuLeaks, that includes links to materials he has purported to send to top GOP lawmakers. It’s unclear whether the items posted on his site are the same as those sent to Nunes and the other lawmakers.
In a statement to POLITICO last week, Derkach said he sent the materials to the lawmakers and former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney with the goal of “creating an interparliamentary association called ‘Friends of Ukraine STOP Corruption.’” He added that he recently notified Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Grassley, Graham, and Democratic Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon “about the content and materials published and voiced” at his news conferences. Graham, Grassley, Peters and Wyden indicated they never received materials from Derkach.
Details about the packages, however, were contained in a classified addendum to a letter top House and Senate Democrats released earlier this month demanding that the FBI brief Congress on "specific" evidence of a foreign effort to interfere in the 2020 election. In particular, they described intelligence that a foreign power was seeking to influence congressional actions in a way that was meant to weigh on the election between Biden and President Donald Trump.
POLITICO reported last week that the evidence pertained to pro-Russian Ukrainians and involved the dissemination of the packets from Derkach, who delivered them amid the House push to impeach Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden. It's unclear whether the addendum included additional details that might shed light on why Derkach's information — which has been available on his own website for weeks — speaks to a broader foreign interference plot.
Maloney emphasized that the details about the packages he described in Wednesday’s meeting are unclassified, which suggests there is additional information in the addendum that is more sensitive.
The discussion of Nunes' receipt of a packet came after the committee voted along partisan lines to share the classified addendum with the full House. Committee officials say two dozen Democrats requested access to the addendum, requiring a committee response. Republicans voted against sharing the material, calling it an effort to distort and weaponize classified information for political gain. Nunes described the contents of the addendum as "extremely sensitive" and said he was sure the information would leak publicly if the full House were granted access.
"This document contains extremely sensitive information that Democrats will leak if the document is made available to the full House. That is a fact, and that is the intent," Nunes said. "In fact, some of this information may have already been leaked, a matter I hope the FBI is investigating."
Questions about Derkach’s activities have begun to bubble up on both sides of the Capitol.
Derkach’s website lists Secretary of State Mike Pompeo among the Republicans to whom he has sought to provide information. On Thursday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) asked Pompeo whether Derkach is credible, during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“I don’t want to comment on any particular individual like Mr. Derkach,” Pompeo said. “I will say this. We’re taking seriously the threats that Russia will try to engage in disinformation campaigns.”
When pressed on Derkach, Pompeo added, “There’s still work ongoing and there’s still unsettled intelligence around these things.”
Democrats have also accused Nunes and other GOP lawmakers of conflating allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election — a premise largely rejected by national security and intelligence experts — with Russia’s sweeping Kremlin-backed campaign of disinformation, hacking and leaking emails to damage Hillary Clinton.
During an October impeachment deposition, two months before Derkach’s package arrived, Nunes indicated that Republicans on the panel were “very concerned by Ukraine's actions during the 2016 election, and they have long been a target of our investigation and have continued today to try to get to the bottom of what they were up to in the 2016 election.”
Before the transcript of Wednesday’s House Intelligence Committee meeting was posted publicly, Republican members of the panel spoke to friendly media outlets to allege that Maloney may have violated House ethics rules by raising questions about Nunes.
"He was very rude,” Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas told Breitbart News. “Members don’t question other members in hearings. This wasn’t on the agenda for the meeting. It was really inappropriate in my opinion, and pretty childish.”
Breitbart reported that "House GOP leadership lawyers" would consider bringing ethics claims against Maloney, though what violation would be alleged, based on the exchange, is unclear.
In his interview with Breitbart, Crawford appeared to confirm that Nunes receivd a package from a foreign source, and suggested that Nunes turned it over to authorities.
“[I]t’s standard practice that if you get a package from unknown source in a foreign country, it’s probably a good idea to call the FBI and let them handle it and not handle those packages and don’t open them and go, ‘Hey I wonder what this is? I guess it’s Christmas came early this year’," Crawford said. "No, you follow the protocol, which is you turn that over to the FBI. That’s what happened.”
In an interview, Maloney called claims that he violated House ethics absurd and said his goal is to root out foreign interference attempts in the 2020 election, regardless of their source or which candidate they might benefit.
“Russians are still trying to interfere in the election using bogus claims about events in Ukraine. So I don’t know what the secret is,” he said. “What’s in the box, is my question. Just show us and explain why it’s some big secret. We’ve literally got the receipts. The committee received this material. Why wouldn’t he share it?”
As much of the political world went into an uproar over Donald Trump floating the idea of delaying the November election, inside the president’s orbit, his Thursday morning tweet suggesting just that was seen as something far narrower and more strategically focused.The president isn’t really trying to delay the vote. He is trying to preemptively delegitimize the likely results.Two administration officials and another individual close to the president say that what they saw Thursday morning was the most recent tantrum—“frustration,” as one of the officials put it—of a president in search of a scapegoat in case he’s denied a second term. None of these sources said they were aware of any serious effort to trample the clear constitutional guidelines and delay a presidential election.“He is terrified of losing this one,” said the person close to Trump. “I have heard him say more times than I can count how insane it would be to live in a country where the people could possibly prefer this guy, Joe Biden, over [the president] and think that this buffoon could be a better leader than Trump.”Asked at his press conference Thursday about the tweet, Trump said “it doesn’t need much explanation” before launching into a lengthy assertion of claims that there would be widespread fraud in the election due to the use of mail-in ballots, relying heavily on reports of delays and irregularities in New York City’s primaries. “I just feel, I don’t want to delay, I want to have the election. But I also don’t wanna have to wait for three months and then find out the ballots are all missing and the election doesn't mean anything,” said the president. “That’s whats gonna happen… smart people know it. Stupid people may not know it.” “Do I want to see a change? No,” said Trump, when pressed on whether he actually meant to change the election’s date or if he meant to sow doubt in the outcome. “I don’t want to see a crooked election.”Will Trump’s Voter-Fraud Rage Backfire?Even if Trump’s tweet about delaying an election—an act for which an army of legal scholars noted Trump lacks the authority—was just a bluff, it underscored a reality that isn’t much more reassuring: The president and his allies have been busy for months sowing doubt about the credibility of an outcome in which Trump isn’t the victor. And they’ve done so through increasingly baseless, self-serving means, including by directing tens of millions of dollars in advertising, multipronged legal action, and nonstop messaging, towards attacking the practice of voting by mail.On Thursday, following the president’s morning tweets, Trump’s lieutenants made clear that that was Team Trump’s primary concern: turning voting-by-mail, a well-established and fairly common practice in American elections, into a convenient bogeyman. “The president is just raising a question about the chaos Democrats have created with their insistence on all mail-in voting,” alleged Hogan Gidley, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary. “They are using coronavirus as their means to try to institute universal mail-in voting, which means sending every registered voter a ballot whether they asked for one or not.”Across town on Capitol Hill, the president hitting the send button on the Thursday tweet sparked a time-honored reaction: Republicans ducking and claiming they didn’t see it. For those who copped to looking, nearly all pointed out that Trump lacked the authority to follow through on his presumed threat. Others suggested he was merely joking. “I don’t know how else to interpret it,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told The Daily Beast. “All you guys in the press, your heads will explode and you’ll write about it.”But on the question of whether Trump’s words served to sow discord over the trustworthiness of the election, a familiar split developed, with lawmakers close to the president validating his stated concerns about mail-in ballots, and his critics expressing fear that Trump’s tweet was posted in earnest. Asked if she was concerned that Trump’s tweet would undermine public trust in the election, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) quickly said yes. “I think that we should all be working to shore up the faith in our electoral system,” Murkowski said.And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has formally warned against undermining trust in U.S. elections, told The Daily Beast he wished Trump hadn’t said what he did. “He can suggest whatever he wants,” Rubio added. “We're going to have an election, it's going to be legitimate, it's going to be credible.”Even a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society expressed horror at Trump’s tweet. “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate,” Steven Calabresi wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. Fox News Analyst: Trump’s Election Tweet a ‘Flagrant Expression of His Current Weakness’Many Republicans were content to sidestep questions about the impact of Trump’s words on the public’s trust in elections. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responded by saying that Trump was raising legitimate concerns about mail-in voting. But he also expressed confidence in the electoral process. “I feel like we’ll be ready to go in November, and we’ll have a free and fair election,” said Graham.While Trump’s main objective may have been to seed doubts about the outcome of the election, the fact that he expressed it shows the erosion of bulwarks against authoritarianism, according to lawyers and scholars. They warned that those safeguards depend in large part on Republican condemnation. The fact that they weren’t, said Jason Stanley, a Yale philosophy professor, poses an urgent threat to U.S. political stability, particularly as Trump “surges” federal agents into what he describes as Democratic-controlled cities against protesters he conflates with terrorists. “Republican leaders have to denounce this. Trump is testing the waters, like he always does,” said Stanley. “The worry is that after multiple presidential elections in which the minority party won and governed in a way untethered from its electoral support, American democracy is seriously challenged.” Legal scholars agree that the law provides no authority to the president to delay an election, but instead leaves that power in the hands of Congress. In 2014, a Congressional Research Service report assessed the prospect of delaying an election due to a “sufficiently calamitous” terrorist attack. It concluded that while the Executive Branch held “significant delegated authority regarding some aspects of election law, this authority does not currently extend to setting or changing the times of elections.”But the Trump years have provided routine lessons about the fragility of American institutions as bulwarks against authoritarianism. Jameel Jaffer, executive director of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, said that beyond the illegality of delaying the election, it was significant that Trump believed he possessed the power to delay it. “There’s a difference between saying, ‘He’s not allowed to do this’ and saying, ‘He won’t do it,’” Jaffer said. “That’s what’s most disturbing here, not the possibility they come up with a colorable argument, but that the president will act in spite of the absence of any colorable legal argument.” A Justice Department spokesperson did not reply to a query about any recent guidance its Office of Legal Counsel has offered on the issue. During Tuesday testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General William Barr said he had “never looked into” whether the president could override statutes establishing the date of the presidential election. Barr also demurred when asked if he committed the department to noninterference in a contested election outcome, saying merely, “I will follow the law.” Several prominent Trump allies—including some of his chummiest advisers and most hardened legal defenders—dismissed the notion that he could or would push the election back. In a brief phone conversation, celebrity attorney and Harvard Law figure Alan Dershowitz, a member of the defense team during Trump’s impeachment trial, said, “The answer is clear: only Congress can change the date of the election. A president doesn't have the authority… Of course, any citizen has the right to ask Congress to make a change, but I can’t imagine that they would do that.”But others close to the president kept the door propped conspicuously open. Testifying on Thursday morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an attorney, said about presidential authority to delay an election, “In the end, the Department of Justice, others will make that determination.” Stanley, who authored the book How Fascism Works, said the presence of federal law enforcement in American cities rendered it “a dangerous time” for Trump to “raise doubts about the election in case he loses.” He noted that in Portland, agents from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security “went and did what Trump wanted them to do” while using the language of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency to justify suppressing protesters. Vigilante violence tied to the election is also possible in the event that Trump disputes the outcome. Armed accelerationist elements like the Boogaloo Bois, a meme-turned-militant movement, seek a civil war or a race war. In Louisville over the weekend, opposing armed militias assembled at a rally for Breonna Taylor but avoided violence. Historically, “it’s very familiar when you have a militarized force used to going after foreign enemies and then allowed to operate domestically to separate citizens from noncitizens, and now the worry is they’ll be sent against protesters and demonstrators, and all of this is worrisome ahead of the election,” Stanley said. “Unfortunately, this is on the Republican Party, and unfortunately, the Republican Party has not been acting like a party in a democracy for quite some time.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Susan Rice, in an interview with the ladies of “The View,” blamed President Donald Trump for the lives lost during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming the previous administration had set him up for success.
That’s right – Rice, whose only notable accomplishment as Barack Obama’s former National Security Adviser was shirking responsibility for a terrorist attack – believes the President must shoulder the blame.
Co-host Sunny Hostin set Rice up with a perfect slow-pitch softball toss, making her line of questioning seem almost assuredly scripted and coordinated.
“Ambassador, I do want to talk to you then about the coronavirus because President Trump has said nobody could have predicted this pandemic,” she said before walking her through the answer.
“But the Obama administration did predict a pandemic and you personally tried to prepare the incoming administration for something just like this, leaving essentially a pandemic playbook that warned of this type of virus happening,” Hostin alleged.
“So who is really to blame for the abysmal response here and the death of 150,000 Americans?”
Rice Points the Finger
Rice smirked prior to answering as if to say “thanks for the setup.” And then she unloaded on President Trump.
“So the fault here, the tragic loss of 150,000 Americans and counting is on Donald Trump and his gross mishandling of this pandemic,” she claimed. “He said it would go away. He likened it to the flu.”
Nowhere did she mention Andrew Cuomo shoving elderly patients into nursing homes. Nowhere did she mention the Democrat impeachment hoax being conducted while the pandemic was hitting our shores.
She did not blame Nancy Pelosi who encouraged her constituents to tour Chinatown in late February because coronavirus fears were “unwarranted.”
She did not blame Bill de Blasio who told New York City residents to “get out on the town despite coronavirus.”
No, every misstep along the path of a historical pandemic was the President’s and the President’s alone.
Maybe he should have just blamed the whole thing on an obscure YouTube video.
Former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice defends handling of 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack: “Eight congressional committees over the next four years investigated every aspect of Benghazi, and not one of them found that I had done anything wrong.” https://t.co/2ZuwuRK54s pic.twitter.com/EVKJ2c6URf
— The View (@TheView) July 29, 2020
Pandemic For Dummies
Rice, who is desperately angling for the Vice President role for Joe Biden’s campaign, claimed everybody knew the coronavirus pandemic was “inevitable.”
“We prepared the incoming administration with a ‘Pandemic for Dummies’ playbook and a tabletop exercise and so many other briefings,” she said.
The media have been anxiously pushing a narrative that the Trump administration ditched that playbook. The reality, according to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, is that the Obama pandemic response plan was inadequate.
“Some have erroneously suggested that the Trump administration threw out the pandemic response playbook left by the Obama-Biden administration,” McEnany told reporters. “What the critics failed to note, however, is that this thin packet of paper was replaced by two detailed, robust pandemic response reports commissioned by the Trump administration.”
Additionally, the Obama administration’s response to the swine flu epidemic in 2009 left the nation with a significant shortage of medical masks, something they never bothered to replenish.
Masks, of course, have been the key to fighting off the spread of this virus.
That year also saw Obama scrap the White House Health and Security Office, which worked on international health issues.
Aside from thinking Trump is the only man responsible for the pandemic, Susan Rice has made other wild claims, including the notion that citing the virus’ origin from China is “shameful” and “designed to stigmatize people of Asian descent.”
As House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz has said: “If lies were music, Susan Rice would be Mozart.”
The post Susan Rice: Loss of Over 150,000 American Lives To COVID Is On Donald Trump appeared first on The Political Insider.
Michelle and Barack Obama took a few childish swipes at President Trump during the former First Lady’s debut podcast on Spotify.
The premiere episode was reportedly designed to be America’s “nationwide reckoning with race” and aims to “show us what’s possible when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to open up, and to focus on what matters most.”
Apparently what ‘matters most’ is taking shots at your successor while never actually having the courage to name them outright.
The Huffington Post reports that Barack at one point discussed how young people’s interest in government is generally limited to when something goes wrong.
“We’re getting a good lesson in that right now,” he derided.
Perhaps he was referring to the Do Nothing Democrats and their impeachment scams, but we suspect this was directed at Trump.
The First Lady.
The first guest.
The first episode.
THE #MichelleObamaPodcast is out now. @MichelleObama and @BarackObama talk about life after the White House and the dreams they have for the next generation. Listen free, only on @Spotify https://t.co/4UGLkiS3xY pic.twitter.com/mXLP5Y7WQy
— Spotify Podcasts (@spotifypodcasts) July 29, 2020
Suggests Trump Is Ignorant
In another not-so-subtle jab at the President, the pair discussed turning out voters in the next election.
Barack considers himself an optimist, trumpeting “I’m the ‘Yes, We Can!’ man. I am the ‘audacity of hope’ guy.”
“I think where we disagree is usually you [Michelle] just think things just have to get super, super bad before folks figure stuff out,” the former President lamented.
Mrs. Obama replied, “Well, I hope we’re at that point.”
She continued, “Well, as you pointed out as a former president who reads and knows history – Let’s just take moment to pause and think about that – But as that person, you understand the arc of progress.”
A pretty clear shot at President Trump, inferring he is ignorant. Bitterness, party of two.
So excited for you to hear the first episode of The #MichelleObamaPodcast with @BarackObama! I wanted to start this season off by discussing our relationship with our community and our country. I hope you’ll tune in on @Spotify: https://t.co/iEjVDPIxEs. pic.twitter.com/9svSKNHRZ0
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) July 29, 2020
What else would you expect from a pair of classless narcissists who have constantly taken shots at the President since they left the White House?
Two years ago, Mr. Obama strongly suggested that the world has ongoing problems because Trump is an angry racist with “mommy issues.”
The former President even took a shot at his successor by comparing this administration to 1930s Germany.
44 + 46
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 22, 2020
And speaking of audacity, Obama had the gall to suggest he and Democrat Joe Biden always took responsibility for their mistakes when they were in the White House.
“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying ‘it’s not my responsibility. I take no responsibility.’ Literally. Literally,” Biden asked his former boss.
“Those words didn’t come out of our mouths when we were in office,” replied Obama.
The post Michelle and Barack Obama Lob Insults At President Trump In First Podcast appeared first on The Political Insider.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has successfully twisted a public health concern into a conservative conspiracy theory -- but not the one of the dozens of COVID-19 conspiracies one might expect.During a Wednesday hearing with the country's four biggest technology companies, Jordan used his questioning time to claim Google tried to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.) was up next, and started her questioning by saying she would pivot from "fringe conspiracy theories" to anti-trust questions. Chaos predictably ensued."We have the email, there is no fringe--" Jordan interrupted before committee chair Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) cut him off. "Put your mask on," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) chimed in. Jordan then used Raskin's request to pivot to a favorite conspiracy: "You want to talk about masks? Why would the deputy secretary of the treasury unmask Michael Flynn's name?"> "Put your mask on!"> > Shouting breaks out among members of the House subcommittee during tech hearing, after Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon suggests Rep. Jim Jordan is pushing "fringe conspiracy theories" https://t.co/83sKht0bRx pic.twitter.com/E6fEZKT6tO> > -- CBS News (@CBSNews) July 29, 2020Jordan's outburst came just hours after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tested positive for COVID-19 and then walked around the House office building knowing he had it. Jordan was also reminded, albeit more gently, to put on his mask during a Tuesday hearing with Attorney General William Barr. Gohmert was also at that hearing, and one of his aides -- and other Republican staffers -- have since anonymously complained about the lack of mask compliance among their congressmembers. > Ever since PM came out, Ive gotten a flood of emails from republican staffers who say they too are being forced to come to the hill without a mask now. > > If you're one of those people, email me or dm me.> > -- Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) July 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com New Lincoln Project video imagines what it's like to wake up from a coma in 2020 Conservative propaganda has crippled the U.S. coronavirus response Federalist Society co-founder says Trump's tweet about delaying election is grounds for impeachment
Will he or won't he?President Trump on Monday told Raleigh, North Carolina, NBC affiliate WRAL that he was committed to accepting the Republican presidential nomination in the Tar Heel state in August, but added he wasn't sure where exactly it would be. Then, on Wednesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared to nix the idea it would take place in Charlotte, the site of the Republican National Convention. Conway said it was "highly doubtful" the president would appear in the city because North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) made it "unattainable" with his insistence on maintaining coronavirus restrictions for the event, which led Trump to move recently called-off celebratory events to Jacksonville, Florida.The situation grew even more confusing on Wednesday afternoon, when Vice President Mike Pence reportedly said his boss would be making the speech in Charlotte after all. Pence's word on the subject may indeed be final, but the situation has changed so frequently over the last few months, it's probably safer to wait and see. > At least three Trump officials gave local interviews and touched on this topic today:> > \- Kellyanne Conway told @BoThompsonWBT it is unlikely > \- Lara Trump wouldn't say in an interview with @AllisonWSOC9 > \- VP Mike Pence told multiple reporters the speech will happen in Charlotte> > -- Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) July 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Federalist Society co-founder says Trump's tweet about delaying election is grounds for impeachment Conservative propaganda has crippled the U.S. coronavirus response Ellen DeGeneres apologizes to talk show staff amid workplace investigation
Pentagon insists move is about long-term strategy but Trump says: ‘We’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills’The US is planning to pull nearly 12,000 troops out of Germany in a move the Pentagon insisted was about long-term strategy but which Donald Trump said was to punish Berlin for low defence spending.Of a total of 11,900 personnel that will be leaving Germany under the proposal, 6,400 will be returning to the US, from where they could be used for rotational deployments in eastern Europe and around the world, while 5,600 will be repositioned within other Nato countries, particularly Belgium and Italy.The defence secretary, Mark Esper, said the move would begin within weeks, but also stressed that planning for the redeployment was in its early stages and it would cost several billion dollars.He repeatedly denied that the decision was motivated by Trump’s frequently expressed desire to move troops out of Germany to teach Berlin a lesson for not spending enough on defence. The Pentagon put out a statement saying the withdrawal would “strengthen Nato, enhance the deterrence of Russia” and boost the flexibility of the US military.Minutes later, the president told journalists at the White House he had ordered the troop withdrawal because Berlin was being “delinquent” by not spending enough on defence.“[US troops] are there to protect Germany, right? And Germany is supposed to pay for it,” Trump said. “Germany’s not paying for it. We don’t want to be the suckers any more. The United States has been taken advantage of for 25 years, both on trade and on the military. So we’re reducing the force because they’re not paying their bills.”Trump wrongly claimed, as he has many times in the past, that Germany was not paying its “Nato fees”. In fact, the friction between the US and Germany, as well as other European allies, is about national defence spending. The allies agreed in 2014 to spend 2% of their GDP on defence by 2024. Germany is currently on 1.5%, but Belgium, where the US will move some of its European Command (Eucom) headquarters, spends less than 1%, and Italy, to where the US will move an F-16 fighter squadron and two army battalions from Germany, spends 1.2%.Diplomats and former US officials have described Trump as fixated on Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel.“He’s obsessed with the idea that Germany is taking advantage of the US, over defence, but on trade, selling too many cars to the US for example. He has always been particularly rude to Merkel,” a former White House official said.Emily Haber, the German ambassador to Washington, said US troops “have become neighbors, partners and friends while protecting transatlantic security and projecting American power and interests globally”.“We have been and are proud to host US troops,” Haber wrote on Twitter. “A strong, and united Nato is crucial for deterrence and power projection. Germany is a steadfast Nato ally and third largest contributor to its budget.”Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior fellow at the center on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institution, said: “I have sympathy for the criticism of Germany’s low defense spending, which does set a bad example for other member states who spend even less – it’s against Europe’s and our own interest.“Moving Eucom to Belgium actually makes sense, but I find the strategic rationale for the other movements much less persuasive.”Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said: “Champagne must be flowing freely this evening at the Kremlin. The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw forces from Germany is not only an affront to one of our closest allies, but will ultimately weaken US efforts to counter Kremlin aggression in Europe.”Trump’s relationship with Moscow, the issue that triggered his impeachment, came under renewed scrutiny earlier on Wednesday morning, when he admitted he had not confronted Vladimir Putin with intelligence suggesting Russia was paying Taliban fighters bounties for killing US soldiers in Afghanistan.“I have never discussed it with him,” the president told Axios on HBO. “That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”Esper argued the redeployments would make troops available to rotate in and out of the Baltic states, Poland and the Black Sea region. The defence secretary said: “it enhances deterrence, strengthens the allies, reassures.” He claimed he had received “very positive feedback” from the Nato countries affected.He said US Africa Command, currently in Stuttgart, would be moved out, to a new headquarters yet to be decided.Critics of the move have said it would be very expensive, time-consuming and would damage Nato cohesion and deterrence against Russia. Rotating troops eastwards would be more expensive and build less trust in the host countries, they argue, while at the same time undermining morale by making soldiers spend more time away from their families.But retired Lt Col Daniel Davis, senior fellow at the Defense Priorities thinktank, argued that whatever the short-term justifications, pulling troops out of Germany made strategic sense.“We don’t have a need for that many troops,” Lt Col Davis said. “Because there’s no security threat that those troops actually help with, in my view. Russia is already deterred. If you took all the American troops out of Europe … that’s not going to change the deterrent factor for Russia because the Nato combined militaries are far more powerful than Russia, plus they have nuclear weapons.”
Ainsley Earhardt, co-host of Fox & Friends, called Nancy Pelosi out after the House Speaker described Attorney General William Barr as a “blob” and “henchman” for President Trump.
Following Barr’s testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday, a spectacle meant only to make Democrat lawmakers feel good about themselves by “reclaiming their time,” Pelosi attacked the Attorney General for allegedly doing the President’s bidding.
She was particularly distraught over his use of federal law enforcement to quell violence in cities like Portland and Chicago.
“He was like a blob,” she said, sputtering along in an MSNBC interview. “He was like a, just a henchman for the president of the United States, instead of the attorney general of the United States of America.”
Name-calling. The woman who is second in line to the presidency and her best retort is to call Barr a blob.
“You don’t send in people acting like storm troopers into the scene,” Speaker Pelosi says of AG Barr defending the use of federal force in his House testimony. “He should be answering for what he did at Lafayette Square … He was like a blob — just a henchman for the president.” pic.twitter.com/RGqBhEDJNC
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 29, 2020
Earhardt was quick to call out the fact that there is quite the double standard in Pelosi’s disrespectful comments about Barr.
“Nancy Pelosi is saying that he is a henchman and a blob, and there’s a double standard there,” she accused. “What if someone called a woman a blob?”
The Fox & Friends host then turned it over to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for his thoughts on the House Speaker’s attack.
“It’s terrible,” he replied. “But this is the same individual who said that the President of the United States is an imposter back during impeachment.”
Jordan added, “I don’t take what she says about people in the administration very seriously.”
To that point, America doesn’t really take what she says seriously. Earhardt is right – imagine the uproar had a Republican called a female Democrat a ‘blob’ or any other schoolyard insult.
They’d be forced to apologize from the House floor.
Ainsley Earhardt claims there’s “a double standard” in Nancy Pelosi calling Attorney General Barr a blob: “What if someone called a woman a blob?” pic.twitter.com/PHszUJRMQ0
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) July 29, 2020
What Barr Really Said
In Barr’s opening statement he spoke of “one standard of justice” and how he has “handled criminal matters that have come to me for a decision in this way.”
He was clear and concise about his independence from the administration.
“The President has not attempted to interfere in these decisions,” he stated. “On the contrary, he has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call I think is right.”
In other words, not a henchman by any means.
Bill Barr: “The law says…”
Democrats: “RECLAIMING MY TIME!!” pic.twitter.com/pajVJqFBTz
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 28, 2020
Pelosi went on to reiterate her disgusting claims that federal law enforcement officers are the equivalent of “stormtroopers.”
“Peaceful protest is who we are and what we do. And do some other people come along and try to disrupt? Yes,” she said. “But you don’t send in people acting like stormtroopers into the scene and evoking even more, even more unease and unrest.”
Imagine that line of thinking in dealing with other crimes. You don’t send police into a bank robbery and put the bank at risk. You don’t send police to a domestic violence situation and cause the assailant to become ‘uneasy.’
It’s clear Pelosi’s mind is ‘like a blob’ – a dark, shapeless and aimless mass of darkness.
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