Many were anticipating that #ComeyDay would be the most monumental congressional hearing in decades, but the truth is that it turned out to be quite a dud. During two and a half hours of testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know. Of course liberal news outlets such as CNN are breathlessly proclaiming that we are now “in Nixon territory”, but that isn’t accurate at all. There is absolutely no evidence that President Trump committed any crime, and there is absolutely nothing that warrants impeachment.
And I am far from alone in that assessment. For example, an analysis published by CNBC says that nothing in Comey’s testimony was “powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively”…
“Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday will indeed have a big political impact in Washington. It will foster more partisan bitterness and more bad feelings about our political process and news media. But none of his testimony rises to the level of anything legally powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively.
The bottom line is that Comey spent a few hours Thursday telling the Senate committee that he felt uncomfortable and even stunned by President Trump’s behavior. And he peppered that narrative with numerous damaging statements about the president’s behavior and character, including basically calling him a liar”
When Comey accused Trump of being a liar, that certainly made a lot of headlines, but unless you are under oath it is not a crime to lie.
Perhaps we should make it a crime for our politicians to lie, because if we did we would clean out the toilet that Washington D.C. has become rather quickly. But as it stands, even if Trump is a low-down dirty liar as Comey is claiming, that would simply put Trump on the same level as most of the current members of Congress.
The much more important question is whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice. Fortunately for Trump, there is a very clear answer to that question.
First of all, we must remember that Trump was Comey’s boss. As chief executive, Trump has constitutional power to direct the activities of his subordinates, and he is free to fire them whenever he chooses. So, as Alan Dershowitz just pointed out on CNN, Trump cannot be impeached for simply exercising his constitutional authority…
Renowned Harvard professor and legal mind Alan Dershowitz sparked quite a reaction during a CNN segment on Wednesday night after he proclaimed that former FBI director James Comey’s prepared testimony indicates that President Donald Trump didn’t commit any crimes.
Dershowitz argued that Trump “could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, directed to drop the investigation against [Gen. Michael] Flynn,’” but noted that he didn’t do so, according to Comey’s prepared testimony that was published on Wednesday.
The famed attorney also said Trump could have pardoned Flynn as well, but also chose not to do so. In the end, he concluded that there appears to be no criminal activity on the part of the president, particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice claims.
Traditionally, the FBI has operated in a highly independent manner, but there is nothing in the law that gives the FBI independent status.
If Congress wants to pass a law to remove the FBI from being under the president’s authority they can certainly do that, but as it stands what Trump did was fully within the law.
But even if Trump didn’t have the authority, there would still be no obstruction of justice. The two most important federal statutes that cover obstruction of justice are 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and 18 U.S.C. § 1505. In both cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to prove that Trump acted “corruptly” in this case. Not only that, there was no “proceeding” that Trump was trying to influence. For a more extended analysis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime”.
If Comey is being straight with us, and at this point his credibility is pretty much shot, but if he is being straight with us there is still nothing that is going to end Trump’s presidency.
What Trump did may have been “inappropriate”, but you don’t impeach a president for being “inappropriate”.
President Donald Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday said his client felt “completely and totally vindicated” by James Comey’s prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey’s remarks, released Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s Senate hearing, confirmed previous statements by Trump that Comey had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated amid the FBI’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
Personally, I hope that this whole “scandal” will go away now. There never was anything to it in the first place, and the American people want a government that is going to focus on solving problems instead of focusing on investigations that were doomed to go absolutely nowhere from the start.
But even if this Comey angle doesn’t work out, the Democrats will just keep on trying. In fact, the Huffington Post is already starting to promote the theory that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is an impeachable offense.
In the end, the Democrats are never going to give up until they find something that they can use against Trump. What I am hearing is that they are going to make an all-out push to take back the House and the Senate in 2018, and if they can do that they plan to use their congressional majorities to get rid of Trump one way or another.
This is just another reason why the 2018 mid-term elections are going to be the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, because if the Democrats have their way Trump will never even make it to 2020.
The wolves are circling, and members of Congress from both political parties are now openly talking about impeaching President Trump. On Wednesday, speculation of a looming Trump impeachment sent stocks plunging. The Dow was down 372 points, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both experienced their largest declines in eight months. This downturn was sparked by a New York Times report that said that a memo that FBI Director James Comey wrote in February stated that Trump requested that Comey “end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn”. Democrats and Republicans are both jumping on this memo as potential evidence of “obstruction of justice”, but as I will explain below, even if everything that Comey is saying is true there is no evidence of obstruction of justice in this case. However, perception is often more important than reality, and at this moment Wall Street and many of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Washington believe that the Trump administration is coming apart at the seams. After the events of this week, it is clearer than ever that it is imperative that we get Trump some friends in Congress in 2018.
Following Trump’s surprise election victory in November, stocks surged as investors anticipated the implementation of a robust pro-business agenda.
But now that the Trump administration is deeply embroiled in controversy, many fear that Trump’s pro-business agenda will never become a reality…
“A week ago, we were talking about the agenda grinding to a halt,” the Republican said. “Now, the train is going down the hill backwards.”
And even before Wednesday’s revelation about Comey’s memo, some top Republican leaders were already disavowing Trump’s agenda. For example, just check out what Bloomberg is reporting about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell…
Earlier Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s prepared to block Trump on many of his proposed budget cuts and won’t support major tax cuts that add to the deficit. Nor would he commit to building Trump’s border wall.
The financial markets had already “priced in” big tax cuts, reduced regulations and a massive increase in infrastructure spending.
If the markets believe that none of those things are going to happen now, that is likely to result in a significant downturn for stocks.
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House intelligence committee, said the Republican legislative agenda “is lying in ruins on the floor of this building.”
“It was tenuous when they got through their so-called health care bill in the House. You can still see blood on the floor here for what it cost them to get that through the House,” Himes told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in an interview from the U.S. Capitol.
“Now, you know, things like tax reform , which is, you know, very, very difficult in the best of times — with that cloud, with this cloud, hanging over this building, that legislative agenda is all but gone.”
Previously, I have warned about the “gangster culture” in Washington D.C., and the truth is that the “Deep State” has been out to get Trump since the moment he was elected.
There are thousands upon thousands of laws that apply to the presidency, and the jackals among the establishment have been waiting for Trump to trip up just a little bit so that they can try to take him down for good.
And things are starting to move very quickly now.
Within hours of the revelation about the Comey memo, Democratic Representative Al Green called for Trump to be impeached from the House floor: “This is about what I believe. And this is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”
It isn’t much of a surprise to see this sort of rush to judgment from the Democrats, but the speed at which Republicans are turning on Trump is more than just a little bit alarming…
-Senator John McCain raised the specter of impeachment when he told the press that the crisis surrounding Trump has reached “Watergate size and scale”.
-McCain’s partner in crime, Senator Lindsey Graham, released a statement that said he “will follow the facts — wherever they may lead”. Graham has always been one of Trump’s biggest critics, and he clearly is ready to move forward with impeachment.
-According to the Hill, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash is saying that if Comey’s memo is true “it would merit impeachment”.
-Commenting on Trump’s troubles, U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) told reporters that obstruction of justice “has been considered an impeachable offense”.
But what none of them understand is that Trump has not committed any crime.
As a former lawyer with two law degrees (a JD and an LLM), it is my opinion that even if everything in Comey’s memo is true (and that is a big if), it still would not mean that President Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice.
A good place to start would be with the federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 1503. The criminal code demands more than what Comey reportedly describes in his memo. There are dozens of different variations of obstruction charges ranging from threatening witnesses to influencing jurors. None would fit this case. That leaves the omnibus provision on attempts to interfere with the “due administration of justice.”
However, that still leaves the need to show that the effort was to influence “corruptly” when Trump could say that he did little but express concern for a longtime associate. The term “corruptly” is actually defined differently under the various obstruction provisions, but it often involves a showing that someone acted “with the intent to secure an unlawful benefit for oneself or another.” Encouraging leniency or advocating for an associate is improper but not necessarily seeking an unlawful benefit for him.
Then there is the question of corruptly influencing what? There is no indication of a grand jury proceeding at the time of the Valentine’s Day meeting between Trump and Comey. Obstruction cases generally are built around judicial proceedings — not Oval Office meetings.
You can’t charge someone with a crime just because you don’t like that person.
We are not supposed to be a nation that conducts witch hunts. The law is supposed to be applied equally to all of our citizens, and that includes the president of the United States.
I know that the left and the establishment Republicans that hate Trump would love to use the law as a weapon to remove Trump from office, but the truth is that there is no evidence that Trump has done anything wrong.
And if the law was actually applied objectively in our land, it is quite likely that Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton would all be in very hot water about now. The following comes from Mike Adams of Natural News…
It is literally going to take a miracle for Trump to survive the next couple of years. If he can do that, we can definitely greatly strengthen his hand by sending hordes of Trump supporters to D.C. during the mid-term elections in 2018.
If the impeachment process moves forward, there are a whole lot of Republicans that would gleefully plunge knives into Trump’s back. So Trump needs to be very careful, because he doesn’t have a lot of true friends in Congress at this point.
This is why we can no longer vote for someone just because they carry the label of “Republican”. What we really need is a conservative revolution in this country, and my hope is that we can start a movement that will turn Washington D.C. completely upside down.
It is really easy to sit back and complain about the direction of this country, but what America really needs at this hour are men and women that are willing to step into the fight to save our constitutional republic. As I have said before, getting Donald Trump elected was the greatest miracle in U.S. political history, but he should not have to wage this battle alone. Trump has very few friends in Congress at this point, and so it is absolutely critical that we get him some during the 2018 mid-term elections. So I am calling for an army of pro-Trump activists to run for national, state and local offices all over America in 2018. Donald Trump started this revolution, and now it is our job to continue it.
My father was in the U.S. Navy, and so sometimes I like to put things in military terms. When an amphibious invasion is being conducted, it is the troops that hit the beach first that take the most fire. To me, that is a perfect picture of what is happening to Donald Trump right now. He has established a beachhead, and now the rest of us need to rush to shore to back him up.
If we are not willing to try, what is going to happen? Our political system on the national, state and local levels will continue to be dominated by Democrats and “progressive Republicans”, and our once great nation will continue to fall apart all around us.
We need patriotic men and women to challenge every available seat in America in 2018. Some of us will win and others will lose, but at least we will have given the American people a choice.
We are never going to have a true political revolution if we don’t at least try, and this election cycle represents a tremendous opportunity. I really like how Rush Limbaugh made this point during one of his programs…
Do you realize what a nothing burger the Democrat Party is? Do you realize the Democrat Party literally has nothing virtuous, positive, uplifting to run on? In all of this, the Democrat Party dares not ask people, “Hey, take a look at us. We got better ideas. Hey, take a look at us. We can fix this.” None of that. The only thing they’ve got is this insane, invisible, nonexistent, so-called connection between the Russians and our election. They have no ideas. They have no optimism. They have no leaders. They have no vision. They are ripe for being smoked for generations! This is the time to move in politically and wipe them out. …
Don’t misunderstand here, folks. I’m not saying the Democrats don’t pose a threat. I’m not… Look, two things here. The Democrats are in deep trouble, electorally. The Democrats are not running the left; the media is. And the media is clearly not inconsequential. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that what’s happening here is obviously to everyone. I’m saying the Republican Party has a golden opportunity here to continue to hammer the nail into the coffin of the Democrat Party.
Our founders intended for us to have a constitutional republic with a limited central government, but the globalists have turned the federal government into an absolute monster. We need to tame that monster and restore the constitutional republic that our founders originally designed.
The easy route would be to sit back and wait for someone else to do something.
But I have decided not to do that.
Earlier today, I announced on the Alex Jones Show that I am “strongly considering” running for Congress in 2018…
Labrador represents the district in which my wife and I live, and when I heard this news I realized that this represents a truly unique opportunity.
Congressman Labrador has been doing a wonderful job, and if he had run again he would have won by a landslide. But now that he is not running, there is no incumbent and the race is entirely wide open.
If I decide to run, and I am very strongly leaning in that direction, the key to the race will be to win the Republican primary. Hillary Clinton got only 27.5 percent of the vote in Idaho last November, and Labrador won his last election by more than 120,000 votes. So whoever wins the Republican primary will almost certainly win the general election.
Donald Trump has shown us that nothing is impossible in politics. When he first declared his candidacy, liberal pundits literally laughed at him on the air because they thought his candidacy was such a joke. But his bold message struck a chord with conservative voters all over the country, and now he is the president of the United States.
If he can do it, why can’t we?
If I run, I plan to continue the absolutely outstanding work that Congressman Labrador has been doing, and I plan to be a key ally for President Trump in Congress. Right now Trump has very few friends in Congress, and that desperately needs to change.
In recent years, the House has lost some tremendous conservative voices. I plan to continue the legacy of Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann and so many others that stood strong for conservative causes at a time when it was not always popular to do so.
But if I am going to do this, I am going to need lots of assistance. If you have experience with campaigns on a state or local level, or if you just want to help out any way that you can, please feel free to drop me an email or contact me on Facebook. I have never run for office before, and so I have a lot to learn, and I greatly value the advice and counsel of others.
Also, if there are other pro-Trump activists out there that plan on running in 2018, we should definitely connect. If we all work to promote one another, we can create a giant groundswell of momentum which could sweep a whole bunch of pro-Trump activists into political positions all around the country.
For a long time I have been writing about the great problems that this nation is facing, and now I am trying to be part of the solution.
It has been said that life is like a coin. You can spend it any way that you want, but you can only spend it once.
As for me and my house, we are going to spend our lives doing things that really matter.
Did World War III begin on April 6th, 2017? After Donald Trump fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria on Thursday night, millions of Americans were cheering, but the cheering isn’t going to last for long if a new world war erupts. What is amazing to me is that this happened on the 100th anniversary of the United States entry into World War I. The U.S. officially entered that war on April 6th, 1917, and now 100 years later to the day Donald Trump has essentially declared war on Syria.
If you think using the term “World War III” is alarmist, you might want to tell that to the vast numbers of people that are buzzing about a new world war all over social media. If you don’t yet understand why a strike on Syria could be so dangerous, go back and read my article from yesterday. If we continue striking Syria, we could very easily find ourselves in a direct military conflict with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.
Hopefully last night will be the full extent of U.S. military action. If Donald Trump and his national security advisers pat themselves on the back for “looking tough” and decide that was enough, we probably won’t see a major regional war break out.
But if the U.S. decides that regime change is necessary and continues to conduct more strikes, we will have war. And unfortunately, there are already signs that this may happen. On Friday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that the Trump administration “is prepared to do more”…
“The United States took a very measured step last night,” Haley said. “We are prepared to do more. But we hope that will not be necessary. It is time for all civilized nations to stop the horrors that are taking place in Syria and demand a political solution.”
I don’t understand why so many Americans seem to have a thirst for war.
I have been studying war virtually all my life. When I was just a small boy, I would check huge volumes on World War I, World War II and the Korean War out of the library and read them cover to cover. And let me tell you, war is hell. Nobody should actually want to see war, and now we are closer to the next world war than we have been in decades.
Needless to say, the Russians are extremely angry about what Trump has done. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced it as an “illegal act of aggression”, and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the U.S. came “within an inch” of a direct conflict with Russian forces…
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said the US air strike on a Syrian air base came “within an inch” of militarily clashing with their forces.
He said the action taken by the Americans was in breach of international law and their own internal procedures, and accused Washington of “barely avoiding combat clashes with Russia”.
In a post on Facebook, Mr Medvedev said the air strike had “completely ruined relations” between the two superpowers.
What in the world is Trump thinking?
The Russians very much wanted Trump to win the election because they felt that there was a very high probability of war between our two nations if Hillary Clinton would have won.
And the Russians were quite right to think that.
So the Russian people rejoiced greatly when Trump won, because they thought that it would be a new day for relations between our two great countries.
But after last night that hope is dead.
In fact, historians will probably mark April 6, 2017 as the day when the relationship between the United States and Russia officially died.
And it didn’t take long for the Russians to start to respond. The following comes from Business Insider…
The Russia Foreign Ministry announced that it suspended an agreement to avoid clashes between Russian and US-led coalition jets over Syrian airspace, while Reuters reporter Idrees Ali reports that Russia withdrew from a deconfliction channel, which the US used Thursday night to warn Russian forces of the incoming cruise-missile strikes (which took place Friday morning local time).
In addition, it has been announced that Russia will be significantly bolstering air defenses in Syria, and according to Fox News a Russian warship has been dispatched to confront the two U.S. naval vessels that fired the cruise missiles at Syria…
A Russian warship entered the eastern Mediterranean Friday and was heading toward the area where two U.S. Navy destroyers launched missile strikes into Syria, Fox News has learned.
The Russian frigate, Admiral Grigorovich RFS-494, crossed through the Bosphorus Strait “a few hours ago” from the Black Sea, according to a U.S. defense official.
Here in the United States, we need to start making our voices heard very loudly so that President Trump will understand that most Americans do not want to go to war in Syria.
And of course the same thing can be said about a potential war with North Korea. After last night’s cruise missile display, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is warning that his nation is on the “brink of war” with the United States.
One of the angles that is not getting a lot of discussion in the mainstream media is how the events of last night were viewed by the Chinese.
Donald Trump grew up in New York City at a time when the mafia still had a dominant presence, and to put a “hit” on another rival across town when you are sitting down for a meeting with a top boss from another family sends a very, very powerful message.
The fact that Trump ordered those 59 cruise missiles to rain down on Syria at the exact moment when he was having dinner with the president of China is going to be remembered by the Chinese for a very, very long time. In Asian cultures respect is a very big thing, and the Chinese had to be deeply embarrassed by what just happened last night.
On top of everything else, the truth is that Donald Trump blatantly violated the U.S. Constitution by conducting a military strike against Syria without the approval of Congress. This is something that U.S. Senator Rand Paul pointed out very clearly in an editorial that was released on Friday…
The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. Even the War Powers Resolution, shoved forward by hawks as justification, clearly states criteria under which the president may act – a declaration of war, a specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by an attack on the United States.
That’s it. Absent those criteria, the president has no authority to act without congressional authorization. Congress must stand up and assert its authority here and now.
Conservatives always protested whenever Barack Obama violated the U.S. Constitution in this manner, and so they should protest when Donald Trump acts in the same fashion.
A lot of people will read this article and they aren’t going to grasp the importance of what is going on because they do not understand where all of this is ultimately heading.
But there are some of you that have major alarm bells going off in your head because you have been listening to the warnings and you know what comes next.
We have entered a season of time that myself and other watchmen have been warning about for many years. I just can’t believe that it is starting to happen so quickly. Many had been hoping for a time of peace and prosperity during a time of “reprieve” under Donald Trump, but you can forget that now.
The events of April 6th, 2017 have changed everything, and most Americans are completely unprepared for what will soon follow.
It makes me physically ill when I think that the U.S. could be on the verge of starting a disastrous war in the Middle East that will not benefit us in any way, shape or form. I can’t believe this is happening, and a lot of other people apparently can’t either. In fact, there were some that heavily criticized me when I suggested that Donald Trump had just committed to taking military action in Syria in part 1 and part 2 of this series of articles. But less than 24 hours later, the front page of USA Today was running this jarring headline: “Trump team developing military response in Syria”. It is interesting to note that this came on the 77th day of Trump’s presidency, and on Thursday it was also revealed that the Trump administration is working to put together an international coalition to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. The following comes from Fox News…
America’s top diplomat addressed the Syria crisis a day after Trump declared in the Rose Garden that the chemical strike would not be tolerated. Tillerson pointedly said Russia should “consider carefully” its support for the Assad regime, while calling for an international effort to defeat ISIS in Syria, stabilize the country and ultimately work with partners through a political process that leads to Assad leaving power.
Asked if the U.S. would organize a coalition to remove Assad, Tillerson said: “Those steps are underway.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also told the press that Assad has “no role” in governing Syria in the future, and he pledged there there will be a “serious response” to the recent chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province.
Of course it is extremely doubtful that Assad had anything to do with that chemical attack, and I am going to share some more of that evidence with you in part 4 of this series.
Defense Secretary James Mattis will brief President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago on military options against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime later on Thursday in the wake of a deadly attack which activists said killed at least 100 people — including 25 children — and injured at least 400 others earlier this week.
The White House and Pentagon have had detailed back-and-forth conversations over the past two days over options including a National Security Council meeting Wednesday. Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have had repeated contact about the best way forward, a U.S. official told NBC News.
It is being reported that airstrikes and the use of cruise missiles against Syrian targets are among the initial options under consideration.
If Trump drops a few bombs or fires of a few cruise missiles that likely wouldn’t spark a broader conflict, but there is one option that is reportedly being considered that could bring us into direct military conflict with Russia. According to The Intercept, the Trump team is actually considering a “saturation strike” which would result “in Russian military deaths”…
The proposed strike would involve launching Tomahawk cruise missiles to overwhelm Russian air defense systems used by the Syrian military. The Russian government currently helps maintain the air defense sites and advises the Syrian military.
According to both U.S. military officials, the current proposal would likely result in Russian military deaths and mark a drastic escalation of U.S. force in Syria.
One U.S. military official said the decision to allow the strikes, which would kill Russians, signals a significant change in policy by the Trump administration. A decision by Trump to go forward with the plan would be a reversal from the Obama administration, which denied multiple air strike proposals that would likely cause Russian personnel casualties in Syria.
If that happens, any hope for improved relations with Russia will be permanently extinguished and it could easily result in the Russians shooting back at us.
The Russians have S-300 and S-400 air defense systems already in place in Syria. Both of those systems are some of the most advanced in the world and are a significant threat to U.S. warplanes.
As I discussed yesterday, it is not difficult to imagine what would happen if footage of U.S. aircraft being blown out of the sky by Russian missiles started rolling on our cable news channels 24 hours a day.
“In addition to other measures, the United States should lead an international coalition to ground Assad’s air force. This capability provides Assad a strategic advantage in his brutal slaughter of innocent civilians, both through the use of chemical weapons as well as barrel bombs, which kill far more men, women and children on a daily basis … Ultimately, the grounding of Assad’s air force can and should be part of a new comprehensive strategy to end the conflict in Syria.”
Of course if Trump goes to war with another sovereign nation without the approval of Congress that would be a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution, and that is something else that I would be talking about in part 4 of this series.
Even though I am writing about all of this, I still have a hard time believing that this is all happening less than three months into Trump’s presidency. The stage is being set for the kind of scenario that I outlined in The Beginning Of The End, and right now I am far more alarmed by the state of world events than I was at any point in 2016.
I am particularly disturbed by all of this talk about removing Assad.
How in the world does the Trump administration plan to do that?
Even if they conduct a massive bombing campaign that would turn Damascus into a “ruinous heap”, that would still not guarantee regime change.
The only thing that would guarantee regime change is a full-scale ground invasion and the conquest of the entire city of Damascus.
Of course the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah would not willingly step aside and let “coalition forces” march to Damascus, and so such a move could very easily spark World War 3 in the Middle East.
I can’t believe that Trump is actually thinking of going to war with Syria. There is nothing to be gained and so much that could be lost. Let us hope that someone can talk some sense to him while there is still time to do so.
After reading this article you might not ever view your electronic devices the same way again. Last year, Hollywood released a biographical political thriller based on the life of Edward Snowden that had one particularly creepy scene. In that scene, a government spook used a program to remotely activate the microphone and camera on a laptop, and by doing so he was able to watch a woman as she got undressed. Sadly, as you will see below, this kind of thing is happening constantly. Any digital device can potentially be accessed and used to spy on you even if it appears to be turned off. And this is why Donald Trump needs to be so careful right now, because the intelligence community wants to take him down and they can literally use any digital device in his possession to try to gather dirt on him. We have a “deep state” that is absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking and monitoring the American people, and something desperately needs to be done about this unconstitutional surveillance. Now that Trump has become greatly upset about how the government was tapping into his phone calls, maybe something will finally get accomplished.
In an article that I just published on The Most Important News, I talked about the NSA’s brand new two billion dollar data storage facility in Utah that can store up to five zettabytes of data. Secret “electronic monitoring rooms” embedded within the facilities of major communications companies across the United States send an endless flow of digital information to this facility, and most Americans have no idea that this is even happening. The following comes from Wired…
Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits.
Whistleblowers have come forward again and again to warn us about what was happening, but they have largely been ignored. One of the most prominent whistleblowers was former NSA employee William Binney…
Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there.
Can you imagine recording 320 million phone calls a day?
And that was at the beginning of the program – I can’t even imagine what the number must be these days.
Government spies can set up their own miniature cell network tower. Your phone automatically connects to it. Now, that tower’s radio waves send a command to your phone’s antennae: the baseband chip. That tells your phone to fake any shutdown and stay on.
A smart hack won’t keep your phone running at 100%, though. Spies could keep your phone on standby and just use the microphone — or send pings announcing your location.
John Pirc, who did cybersecurity research at the CIA, said these methods — and others, like physically bugging devices — let the U.S. hijack and reawaken terrorists’ phones.
Unfortunately, these tactics are not just used against “terrorists”.
The truth is that these tactics are employed against anyone that the NSA is interested in, and in fact they could be listening to you right now.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we have learned quite a bit about how the NSA takes over digital devices…
The latest story from the Edward Snowden leaks yesterday drives home that the NSA and its spy partners possess specialized tools for doing exactly that. According to The Intercept, the NSA uses a plug-in called GUMFISH to take over cameras on infected machines and snap photos.
Another NSA plug-in called CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE hijacks the microphone on targeted computers to record conversations.
Intelligence agencies have been turning computers into listening devices for at least a decade, as evidenced by the Flame spy tool uncovered by Kaspersky Lab in 2012, which had the ability to surreptitiously turn on webcams and microphones and perform a host of other espionage operations.
So what can you do to prevent this from happening?
If you have external webcams and microphones, you can unplug them when they are not in use.
If you have a built-in camera, some have suggested covering the camera with a sticker.
And of course pulling out the battery entirely will prevent someone from taking over your phone when you are not using it.
But at the end of the day, it is going to be really hard to keep government spooks out of your electronic devices completely. They have become extremely sophisticated at using these devices to get what they want, and they will literally go after just about anyone.
For example, just consider what they did to former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson. In her recent book, she details a campaign of digital harassment that sounds like something out of a spy novel. The following comes from the Washington Post…
The breaches on Attkisson’s computer, says this source, are coming from a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency (NSA).” Attkisson learns from “Number One” that one intrusion was launched from the WiFi at a Ritz Carlton Hotel and the “intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.”
To round out the revelations of “Number One,” he informs Attkisson that he’d found three classified documents deep inside her operating system, such that she’d never know they were even there. “Why? To frame me?” Attkisson asks in the book.
If they can do all of that to Sharyl Attkisson, they can do it to Donald Trump too.
Trump needs to understand that the deep state is trying to destroy him, and that everything that he says and does is being monitored.
So until Trump can completely clean house at all of our intelligence agencies, he is going to have to be extremely careful 24 hours a day.
And let us hope that Trump is ultimately victorious in his struggle against the deep state, because the future of this nation is literally hanging in the balance.
When Donald Trump originally announced that he was going to run for president, he said that his ideal choice for a running mate was Oprah Winfrey, but now he may be actually running against her in the 2020 election. A recent episode of The David Rubenstein Show that featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey is creating a tremendous amount of buzz that Oprah Winfrey may throw her hat into the ring during the next election cycle. This particular episode was taped back on December 12th, but it didn’t actually get aired on Bloomberg TV until last Tuesday. You can see the portion of the interview in which Oprah is asked about her presidential aspirations on YouTube right here, and as you can see, she definitely sounds like someone that is very seriously thinking about running…
Prior to this last election, Oprah says that she never even considered the possibility of running, but Donald Trump’s victory in November made her realize that maybe she could do it too. The following summary of the most important moments from the interview comes from Charisma News…
“I actually never thought—never considered the question, even the possibility,” she said while smiling coyly. “I just thought, ‘Oh. Oh.'”
“Because it’s clear you don’t need government experience to be elected president of the United States,” Rubenstein interjected.
“That’s what I thought,” she replied. “I thought, Oh gee, I don’t have the experience, I don’t know enough. Now I’m thinking, Oh. Oh.”
When Oprah made these statements, she had to know that they would create a firestorm.
In a tweet sent Wednesday morning, the reclusive journalist who broke the Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal said such a race would be one for the ages.
“Trump vs Oprah would be the most epic race in American history. MAKE THIS HAPPEN…” Drudge tweeted to his nearly half a million followers.
And this is certainly not the first time that it has been suggested that Oprah should run for president. Just one week after the election, political activist Michael Moore mentioned her as a potential candidate…
“Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks … why don’t we run beloved people?” Moore told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
“We have so many of them,” he said. “The Republicans do this — they run Reagan and the Terminator and other people.” It was a reference to former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as former President Ronald Reagan.
“Why don’t we run somebody that the American people love and are really drawn to, and that are smart and have good politics and all that?” Moore said.
Needless to say, Oprah would make a horrible president. Her political views are ultra-liberal, and she has no practical political experience whatsoever.
However, if she did run she would definitely be the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. At the moment, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are considered to be the most likely opponents for Trump, and Oprah would almost certainly trounce either of them.
“I was in the audience that day and it was clearly a joke when she was playing with David because they have such a great rapport,” said Winfrey’s close pal and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King early Thursday of a recent interview Oprah gave suggesting she was finally thinking of running for President. “But I also heard on the Oprah Winfrey show over the years you always have the right to change your mind but I would bet my first, second born and any unborn children to come, that ain’t never happening,” King emphatically added.
And hopefully it will not happen.
But the ironic thing is that the very first person that Donald Trump suggested as a potential running mate when he announced his candidacy in 2015 was Oprah Winfrey. The following comes from the New York Post…
Real estate mogul-turned-celebrity TV star Donald Trump already had an “Aha!” moment about his 2016 running mate.
After declaring his run for the White House Tuesday, Trump appeared on ABC and said Oprah Winfrey would complete his presidential dream ticket.
“I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah,” Trump said. “I think we’d win easily, actually.”
I’ll bet you don’t remember that, do you?
And in his new book entitled “The Making of the President 2016“, Roger Stone reminds everyone that Trump actually floated the idea of Oprah as his running mate all the way back in 1999 during an interview with Larry King. The following is an excerpt from Roger Stone’s new book that was posted on Infowars…
Early in the interview, Trump dropped Bombshell Number One: “So I am going to form a presidential exploratory committee, I might as well announce that on your show, everyone else does, but I’ll be forming that and effective, I believe, tomorrow,” Trump told the crusty interviewer. “And we’ll see. I mean, we’re going to take a very good, strong look at it.”
And just minutes later, Larry went for it and asked him if he had a vice presidential candidate in mind. Trump hesitated briefly as if to ponder his answer and then stunned everyone including King – and no doubt Oprah herself. “Oprah. I love Oprah,” Trump said. “Oprah would always be my first choice. She’s a terrific woman. She is somebody that is very special. If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman.” The following day the newspapers and TV news were filled with talk of Trump and Oprah.
I honestly don’t know what Trump was thinking, because Oprah Winfrey definitely does not belong in politics.
Even if Oprah does not run for president, Trump’s victory has a lot of other celebrities thinking that they could do the same thing that he did. Other big names that have been floated as potential candidates in 2020 include Mark Zuckerberg, Kanye West, Mark Cuban and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
As you can see, we have entered a strange new era in American politics, and there is no telling what craziness we may see during the next election cycle.
After Tuesday night, nobody should have any more doubt that the U.S. economy has been in the process of collapsing. Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress is being hailed as his best speech ever. Even CNN’s Van Jones praised Trump, which shocked many observers. Jones said that when Trump honored the widow of slain Navy Seal Ryan Owens that it “was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics”, and Jones believes that Trump “became President of the United States in that moment”. But Trump’s speech is not just being praised for that one moment. He detailed many of the most important problems that our nation is facing, and he explained his prescription for addressing those problems.
Hopefully Trump’s words helped people to understand that our problems did not get fixed just because he got elected. It is going to take extraordinary action to fix those problems, because our problems run very deep. In particular, Trump made an exceedingly strong case that the U.S. economy has been badly deteriorating for a very long period of time. The following are 11 quotes from Trump’s speech to Congress that show that the U.S. economy is in a state of collapse…
#1 “Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force”
#2 “Over 43 million people are now living in poverty”
#3 “Over 43 million Americans are on food stamps”
#4 “More than one in five people in their prime working years are not working”
#5 “We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years”
#6 “In the last eight years, the past administration has put on more new debt than nearly all of the other Presidents combined”
#7 “We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved”
#8 “We’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001”
#9 “Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly 800 billion dollars”
#10 “Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone.”
#11 “We’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled”
So many of the economic themes that Trump touched on are things that I have been writing about recently. For example, I recently published an article entitled “11 Deeply Alarming Facts About America’s Crumbling Infrastructure” in which I discussed the horrific state of our roads, bridges, ports, dams, water systems and airports. I greatly applaud Trump for wanting to do something about this growing national crisis, but I just don’t know where the money is going to come from.
Just over a week ago I also wrote a major article about Obamacare. We have zero hope of turning our economy in a positive direction until we do something to fix our dramatically failing healthcare system, but at the moment Republicans in Congress seem extremely hesitant to take action. Instead, many Republican leaders are now talking about trying to “fix Obamacare“, and that simply is not going to work.
You can’t “fix” a steaming pile of garbage.
All of the other facts that Trump listed about the economy were right on point too. I have been screaming for seven years about our nightmarish trade deficit and the fact that tens of thousands of businesses and millions of good paying jobs were leaving the country. It is refreshing to finally have a president that understands how badly America has been hurt by imbalanced trade agreements, and my hope is that he will start to take constructive action in this regard.
So much damage to the economy has already been done, and there are all kinds of indications that we are about to officially slide into yet another recession. Yesterday we learned that the number of “distressed retailers” in this country is the highest that it has been since the last recession, and in recent weeks major retailers across the nation have announced the closing of hundreds of stores. Lending standards are tightening, bankruptcies are rising, and employment growth at companies listed on the S&P 500 has gone negative for the first time since the last recession.
It is being projected that GDP growth for the first quarter of 2017 will be barely above zero, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we actually had a negative reading.
If we indeed are heading into a new recession, Trump and his supporters need it to happen as soon as possible so that they can blame it on Obama. If a recession begins a year from now, everyone will blame it on Trump even if it is not his fault. But if a recession begins now, Trump and his supporters can pin responsibility for it on Obama and then take credit if and when a recovery occurs.
Trump’s speech on Tuesday night was very optimistic, and he seemed quite confident that every issue that we are facing as a nation can be fixed…
Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing and hope.
You can’t squeeze blood out of an apple, and you can’t get out of a debt bubble by going into a lot more debt.
I understand that there are so many people out there right now that are deeply optimistic about the future, but the truth is that we have no hope of a positive future unless we fundamentally change our ways as a nation. I wish that someone could show me evidence that this is happening, because I would be very glad to see it. As it stands, we continue to steamroll toward the kind of apocalyptic future for this country that I have been warning about for a very long time.
It will take a lot more than words to fix America, and I think that Donald Trump understands this.
Hopefully many of his followers will start to get the message as well.
In recent months Donald Trump has been severely criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not being sufficiently “anti-Russia”, but the truth is that the Trump administration has not been working hard enough to repair a relationship that is now souring very rapidly. When Donald Trump won the election in November, the Russians celebrated tremendously, because they greatly preferred Trump over Hillary Clinton. But just because Trump was victorious does not mean that our relationship with Russia will automatically improve. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin both have huge egos, and it is quite easy to imagine a scenario in which things between them go very, very badly.
In fact, we may already be starting to see such a scenario play out. As you will see below, under President Trump U.S. troops are being deployed to a very sensitive area of Poland, and they are also being sent to key areas of Bulgaria and Romania. That is not sitting well with the Russian government, but they were much more upset when Trump insisted that Russia must give the Crimea back to Ukraine. This is something that the Russians would never do, and they were quite stunned that Trump would even suggest such a thing.
The new U.S. president has been in his role for just under a month, taking office in a transition that has been marked by chaos and missteps. And already, from the right of the political spectrum to the marginalized Russian left, a mixture of disappointment with the new U.S. president — who came into office promising to remake relations between the two countries — and a sense of vindication that Trump couldn’t be trusted after all has crept into Russian political chatter.
“Is Trump already out of fashion?” the independent Russian journal Russkaya Fabulaasked on Wednesday — the same day that the Trump administration was dealing with the fallout stemming from revelations about National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. The site pointed to a small demonstration by hard-line nationalists this week, which picketed a major state-run news outlet and demanded the end of the “cult of Trump” in Russian media.
The Kremlin ordered state media to cut back on their fawning coverage of President Donald Trump, reflecting a growing concern among senior Russian officials that the new US administration will be less friendly than first thought, three people familiar with the matter said.
Just before Trump took office, Barack Obama aggressively moved U.S. troops toward the Russian border, and I highly criticized him for that.
So now that Trump is doing the exact same thing, I have to be critical of him as well. Somebody needs to tell Trump that stationing 1,000 U.S. troops in northeastern Poland is not going to help our relationship with Putin…
The US Army’s Europe headquarters located in Wiesbaden, Germany announced late Saturday that 1,000 US troops and their vehicles would be sent to northeastern Poland at the end of March.
The unit – part of 4,000 US troops being deployed in rotation along NATO’s eastern flank under its “Atlantic Resolve” mission – will be located at Orzysz.
That particular Polish city is less than 90 miles from the extremely sensitive Russian city of Kaliningrad.
If I was Trump, this is something that I would not have done.
At this point, the Russians are not quite sure what to make of Trump. In fact, they have even gone so far as to prepare a “psychological dossier” on him to help Putin prepare for his first meeting with Trump…
A dossier on Donald Trump’s psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser.
Unfortunately, Trump tends to listen to those in his immediate vicinity, and in Washington he is surrounded by war hawks that absolutely hate Russia. The following comes from Pat Buchanan…
The anti-Putin paranoia here is astonishing.
That he is a killer, a KGB thug, a murderer, is part of the daily rant of John McCain. At the Munich Security Conference this last weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham promised, “2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the a– in Congress.”
Members of Congress such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham are playing a very dangerous game.
It is okay to be critical of Russia, but if you are constantly making inflammatory statements all the time that is just going to push us toward war.
So the Russians have been working very hard to upgrade their strategic nuclear arsenal, and at this point their arsenal is far superior to ours. The following comes from an article that I came across earlier today…
Russia is constantly improving its nuclear deterrence and is very close to deploying new technologically-advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles which can defeat any US missile defense systems, a Russian deputy prime minister said in an interview.
“These weapons will soon appear in our armed forces,” Dmitry Rogozin told Rossiya-1 TV on Sunday. While not naming the new ICBM, the deputy PM in charge of the defense industry said the missile will have the capacity to penetrate any American air defenses.
“These weapons are able to clear the United States’ missile defense both of today and of tomorrow – and even of the day after tomorrow,” Rogozin said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to rely on weapons systems that were developed in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Russians are a very dangerous foe, and it is in our national interest to try to have a positive relationship with them.
There are going to be times when we strongly disagree with what the Russians are doing, but our interactions with them should always be focused on trying to avoid a nuclear conflict.
So yes, we should let the Russians know when we are upset about something, but constantly making provocative and incendiary statements is a recipe for disaster.
Hopefully our leaders will start to realize this very soon, because right now our relationship with Russia is deteriorating very rapidly.