BIBI IN AMERICA: NETANYAHU WOWS AT AIPAC, VOWS TO STOP IRAN FROM PRODUCING NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Pointing to a map where Iran’s inroads in the region were painted in black, Netanyahu said that the Islamic Republic was trying to establish a land bridge from Tehran to Tartus on the Mediterranean, and not only establish permanent military bases in Syria, but also manufacture precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon.v
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PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WAS WELCOMED WITH A RESOUNDING OVATION TUESDAY MORNING AT AIPAC, WHERE HE GAVE A 30 MINUTE SPEECH ON THE “GOOD, BAD AND BEAUTIFUL” IN ISRAEL AND THE REGION. NETANYAHU STEERED COMPLETELY CLEAR OF HIS LEGAL WOES PILING UP AT HOME.

“Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.” Esther 8:11,12 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Like Donald Trump in America, Israeli PM Netanyahu is beset by endless attacks from the media all seeking to end his run as leader. And like President Trump, Bibi has survived all such attacks so far, and not just surviving but thriving as well. In America this week, Netanyahu was the keynote speaker at AIPAC, and reminded his audience of the very real and ongoing nuclear threat from Iran. He invoked the book of Esther, and the threat from the Persian people back in 425 BC, as well as from the Persian government of Iran in 2018 AD.

The prime minister, showing no outward signs of the impact of his domestic situation, strolled away from the podium and used slides broadcast on large screens to talk about Israel’s contributions in the spheres of agriculture, water preservation and security, as well as its growing diplomatic standing in the world.

Pointing to the slide which was painted in blue representing all the countries with whom Israel has diplomatic ties, Netanyahu said to a resounding ovation, “There are those who talk about boycotting Israel, we will boycott them.”

While the good news coming out of Israel – regarding its technology and security expertise – is very good and getting better, the bad news, he said, “is that bad things are getting worse and are very bad.”

THE OVERWHELMINGLY BAD THING, HE SAID, IS IRAN.

“We have to deal with this challenge,” he said. “If I have a message today it is simple: We must stop Iran.” Netanyahu, who last spoke at AIPAC in 2015 during the visit to Washington where he spoke out against the Iranian deal in Congress, said that what he warned then is transpiring.

He recalled that he said at the time that as a result of the nuclear deal Iran would not become more moderate and peaceful, but rather more extreme and “much more dangerous, and that is exactly what is happening.”

Pointing to a map where Iran’s inroads in the region were painted in black, he said that the Islamic Republic was trying to establish a land bridge from Tehran to Tartus on the Mediterranean, and not only establish permanent military bases in Syria, but also manufacture precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon.

“I WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN, WE WILL NOT LET THAT HAPPEN,” HE SAID. “LAST WEEK WE READ IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER ABOUT AN EARLIER PERSIAN ATTEMPT TO DESTROY OUR PEOPLE,” HE SAID REFERRING TO PURIM. “THEY FAILED THEN, THEY WILL FAIL NOW.”

Netanyahu also spent a few minutes talking about the Palestinian Authority’s payment of $350 million a year to terrorists and their families, asking what message this sends to Palestinian children.

“I believe President Abbas should find better use for his money, “ he said. “Build roads, schools, hospitals and factories. Invest in life, invest in peace.”

The “beautiful,” in his “good, bad and beautiful” equation, was the Israeli-US relationship. source

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POCAHONTAS: ELIZABETH WARREN’S NEW STEALTH CAMPAIGN TO MAKE VOTERS FORGET SHE PRETENDED TO BE NATIVE AMERICAN FOR CUSHY JOB

It comes as Warren considers a run for the White House in 2020. Her Feb. 14 address to the National Congress of American Indians was widely praised by conference attendees, and her allies viewed it as an important step forward for a potential candidate who had faced unexpectedly harsh criticism from both Republicans and some liberal activists over her claims of Cherokee and Delaware heritage despite a lack of documentation — a reality she acknowledged in the speech and her private conversations with Native American leaders.
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ELIZABETH WARREN’S SURPRISE ADDRESS THIS MONTH ON HER DISPUTED NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE WAS JUST ONE PIECE OF A CONCERTED CAMPAIGN BY THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR AND POTENTIAL 2020 HOPEFUL TO PUT THE CONTROVERSY BEHIND HER.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Elizabeth Warren pretended to have “Cherokee blood” in order to get a cushy diversity job at Harvard which paid her $400,000 per year. Then when Donald Trump called her out on it, because she is not Native American in at even the smallest DNA level, there was a Liberal firestorm calling ‘foul’.  So now Warren, to get people to forget about all that truthiness, has launched a massive campaign to make nice with the real Native Americans, and she is using the Democrat’s favorite tool to do it with. Free stuff, free stuff…and more free stuff. 

Derisively nicknamed “Pocahontas” by President Donald Trump over allegations that she used claims of Native American heritage to get a head start in her job search — a claim she and former colleagues strongly deny — Warren has met with close to a dozen tribal leaders and prominent activists recently.

She has also signed onto at least six bills directly related to Native American policy. It’s clearly an organized effort: Four of those co-sponsorships came within two days of her speech, and Warren endorsed two bills around that time even though they’d been introduced months earlier.

It comes as Warren considers a run for the White House in 2020. Her Feb. 14 address to the National Congress of American Indians was widely praised by conference attendees, and her allies viewed it as an important step forward for a potential candidate who had faced unexpectedly harsh criticism from both Republicans and some liberal activists over her claims of Cherokee and Delaware heritage despite a lack of documentation — a reality she acknowledged in the speech and her private conversations with Native American leaders.

Now, Warren and her backers are hoping to move beyond the argument entirely and spin it into a positive. The aim is to neutralize what’s seen as an Achilles’ heel for a potential national bid, turning wary activists into allies.

“Her speech was, in many ways, long overdue. It was a great opportunity for her to tell her story,” said Rion Ramirez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee’s Native American Council, who sat down with Warren the day before she addressed the NCAI. “Unfortunately, her president tries to define what her story is. And it’s not his story to tell.”

“It’s ridiculous that a non-Indian man, that’s our president, tries to sit there and define who is and who isn’t Native,” he added.

Still, the sudden flurry of activity on Native American issues opens Warren to accusations that her maneuvers simply reflect a political scramble to mitigate an issue that’s made her vulnerable in the past.

When the first-term lawmaker surprised the NCAI by appearing onstage this month, she acknowledged her own controversy before framing herself as an ally of Native Americans in their fight for fair treatment.

“I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here: You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I’m not enrolled in a tribe. And I want to make something clear: I respect that distinction, I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes, and only by tribes. I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead; I never used it to advance my career,” she said, diving into a personal history that few outside Massachusetts had heard her tell before, and addressing the Pocahontas nickname she has long decried as racist.

“I’m here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities.”

GOP leaders have continued using her claims of Native heritage to make the case that Warren is not who she says she is. They allege she misrepresented herself to get a job at a time that Harvard — where she landed — was struggling with diversity. The Republican National Committee even knocked Warren for not attending NCAI just before she made her surprise appearance.

“Fauxcahontas MIA From Major Native American Summit,” read one email sent by the RNC to reporters, detailing her history of claiming Native ancestry.

It’s not just a Republican attack: Liberal Native American activists have also criticized Warren. They argue she hasn’t gone far enough in explaining her claimed ties to the culture and needs to do more work for their communities. One, Rebecca Nagle, wrote in a November ThinkProgress post, “She is not from us. She does not represent us. She is not Cherokee.” source

Donald Trump Rocks CPAC: ‘We’ve Got Seven Years to Go, Folks!

President Donald Trump energized conservative activists at CPAC on Friday, celebrating his accomplishments during his first year in office.

“Hey, we have got seven years to go, folks!” Trump told the audience who cheered wildly. The president arrived with a prepared speech but quickly abandoned the teleprompters in favor of a free-wheeling address.

Trump’s arrival thrilled the crowd who waited hours to get in for Trump’s speech. CPAC president Matt Schlapp said it was the biggest audience in history.

“I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative,” Trump said.

The speech quickly turned into a dynamic rally-style speech as Trump drew energy from the audience.

Catching sight of the video screen in the room, Trump joked about his hair.

“I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks, I work hard at it,” he said. “It doesn’t look bad, hey we’re hanging in!”

Many of the supporters wearing red Trump campaign hats roared with delight when the president pulled out a copy of The Snake and read the poem.

But he got serious when he discussed the Florida school shooting, detailing his plan to allow trained teachers to use concealed guns in schools.

“A teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened,” he said, referring to the school.

The appearance lasted over an hour, as Trump spoke about his accomplishments in office —  tax cuts, jobs, nominating conservative judges, and improving the economy.

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Without mentioning Sen. John McCain by name, Trump pointed out that the Arizona senator was the single biggest reason that the Republican party failed to repeal Obamacare.

“One person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in, and he went this way, and everyone said, ‘What happened? What was that all about?’” Trump said.

He urged activists to re-energize for the midterms, warning that they were facing tough elections — and the historic nature of the party in power losing the congressional majority.

“Right now, we have a big race coming up in ’18. You have to get out. You have to just get that enthusiasm,” he said. “Keep it going.”

He promised to keep fighting for his supporters in the White House.

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“I will let you know in the absolute strongest of terms, we’re going to make America great again, and I will never, ever, ever let you down,” he said.

 

FAKE NEWS MEDIA BLAMES TRUMP FOR FLORIDA SHOOTING IN MASSIVE DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN BLITZ

The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”
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FRESH OFF THEIR DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN IN THE IMMEDIATE AFTERMATH OF THE PARKLAND, FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING IN WHICH THEY FALSELY CLAIMED THERE HAD BEEN 18 SCHOOL SHOOTINGS THIS YEAR, THE THREE MAJOR NETWORK NEWS OUTLETS (ABC, CBS, AND NBC) MOVED ON TO ANOTHER FAKE NEWS TOPIC THEY WANTED TO PUSH ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE GOP MADE IT EASIER FOR MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE TO BUY GUNS.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When they decided to make alcohol illegal during Prohibition, two major things occurred. First, anyone who wanted to drink was still able to get a drink. Second, Prohibition created the booze black market, made thousands of people like the Kennedy family crazy wealthy, and provided all the revenue that allowed the Mafia to become such a powerful force during the middle and end of the 20th century. You want to bans guns? Sure, go ahead. Chicago has the strictest anti-gun laws in the country, and the highest number of people shot and killed by guns. The Parkland shooter had already been flagged by the FBI and local law enforcement, and was allowed to slip through the cracks instead of being taken off the street. Meth is illegal, does that stop all the thousands of meth labs from being set up across the country? Heroin and cocaine are illegal as well…

The accusation that a bill designed to remove restrictions and allow the mentally ill to purchase guns was passed by the GOP and signed by President Trump had long been debunked. As the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wrote over a year ago, what got removed was “in layman’s terms: The rule would have allowed bureaucrats within one of our federal agencies to bar American citizens from exercising a constitutional right — and on the highly questionable grounds that to be incapable of managing one’s finances is, by definition, to be a ‘mental defective.’”

And the bill wasn’t even supported by the NRA. But it was supported by the liberal ACLU and the American Association of People with Disabilities. Yet that didn’t stop the networks from pushing lies and being appalled that the President wasn’t exploiting the situation to push gun control as their previous president did.

The President’s efforts to comfort the nation tonight striking for what he didn’t say,” chided White House Correspondent Peter Alexander during NBC Nightly News. “President Trump in a nearly seven-minute statement not once mentioning the word ‘Guns.’ Instead, again signaling his focus is on the mental health of shooters, not the weapons they use.” He then spewed a torrent of fake news:

DESPITE EMPHASIZING MENTAL HEALTH, THE WHITE HOUSE’S NEWLY UNVEILED BUDGET WOULD SLASH FUNDING FOR MEDICAID THAT COVERS A QUARTER OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S. AND PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST YEAR REVOKED A HOTLY CONTESTED OBAMA-ERA REGULATION THAT WOULD HAVE MADE IT HARDER FOR SOME PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO BUY GUNS.

That lamenting for the lack of a gun control push was echoed on CBS Evening News when anchor Jeff Glor bemoaned that “President Trump did not mention gun laws when he addressed the nation today about the shooting.”

Well, Jeff, the President didn’t have a lot to say today about what he actually plans to do about school shootings,” CBS’s Chip Reid whined to Glor. “But just last year, the President signed legislation reversing an Obama-era regulation that would have made it more difficult for some people with mental illness to buy guns,” Reid continued.

The report by ABC’s Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega during World News Tonight was particularly vindictive. “Calling the shooter mentally disturbed, his message was clear … But shortly after taking office, President Trump blocked an Obama-era rule that made it tougher for the mentally ill to obtain guns,” she claimed.

But Vega’s lie appeared to be inadvertently exposed when Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas was describing how the shooter obtained his rifle. “Federal law bans anyone deemed by authorities as mentally ill from buying guns, but it’s unclear whether any court or commission designated Cruz as mentally unfit. So, it appears he fell through the cracks,” he explained. So, is it easy for the mentally ill to buy guns or are they banned? ABC doesn’t seem to know, judging by their own reporting.

It should be noted that all three of the networks backed off and didn’t repeat the bogus claim about there being 18 school shootings since the start of the year. BUT, all of them left it out there and didn’t correct their reporting from the previous night. source

DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL HOROWITZ SET TO REOPEN INVESTIGATION INTO FBI HANDLING OF CLINTON ILLEGAL EMAIL SERVER

IG Horowitz’s reputation will be put to the test when he releases the findings of the Clinton investigation. No matter what he concludes, it’s likely to create a political firestorm, coming at a time when both Republicans and the White House are charging that political bias is rampant at the Justice Department and at the FBI.
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FEW PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF MICHAEL HOROWITZ, BUT THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE. HOROWITZ, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) INSPECTOR GENERAL, IS AN INCREASINGLY CRITICAL PLAYER IN THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE FBI, PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidate Donald Trump famously said to Hillary Clinton in a debate that if “he were president” that she would be “locked up”. Now it looks like that promise just might be kept after all. At the very least, the collusion between Crooked Hillary and the FBI must be exposed and dealt with. 

With little fanfare, he has been conducting a sprawling probe of the FBI’s handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. His full report, which could set off shockwaves, is expected by the early spring.

A political appointee in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Horowitz’s yearlong investigation already reportedly contributed to the early resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And his work has been felt in other ways.

Horowitz also uncovered a series of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that led special counsel Robert Mueller to remove Strzok from his team. Those texts have fueled accusations among GOP lawmakers that Mueller’s probe is tainted by partisanship.

Those who know Horowitz portray him as an independent voice.

“He is really one of the smartest and fairest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” said Bill Hamel, who served as assistant inspector general for investigations at the Department of Education. “He’s a straight shooter and a fair guy. He’s an honest broker.”

But Horowitz’s reputation will be put to the test when he releases the findings of the Clinton investigation. No matter what he concludes, it’s likely to create a political firestorm, coming at a time when both Republicans and the White House are charging that political bias is rampant at the Justice Department and at the FBI.

Horowitz attracted public attention early in his career as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York for prosecuting corrupt police officers in the infamous “Dirty 30” case in the mid-1990s.

He later moved to the Justice Department’s criminal division in Washington, where he served as chief of staff for a period spanning the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Bush later appointed Horowitz to a six-year term as a commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an agency within the judicial branch that writes sentencing guidelines for federal courts. He was then selected by President Obama to serve as the Justice Department’s top watchdog in 2011.

HIS JOB IS DEMANDING. HOROWITZ OVERSEES A DEPARTMENT OF NEARLY 500 EMPLOYEES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE AND MISCONDUCT WITHIN THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.

“You’re there to help the agency succeed in doing its job,” said Hamel, who has known Horowitz since his days working in New York. “They have to be independent to do that job. They can’t be swayed by political issues.”

He is best remembered in his current role for coming down hard on regional officials at Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the infamous “Fast and Furious” operation in which officials allowed the illegal sale of firearms in a botched effort to track Mexican drug cartels.

Just six months into the job, Horowitz issued a report eviscerating law enforcement officials in Arizona for a “significant lack of oversight” and disregard for “the safety of individuals in the United States and Mexico.”

While the investigation absolved Attorney General Eric Holder of blame, Horowitz recommended that the Justice Department consider potential disciplinary action for 14 officials involved.

“It was just a remarkably intense first six months on the job. I know I wouldn’t have chosen to walk into the job that way. Looking back on it, it was sort of trial by fire,” Horowitz told The Washington Post in 2014. “You sink or you swim pretty quickly, and fortunately I didn’t sink. People can use their own judgment about how well I swam.”

Horowitz also clashed with the Obama administration over Justice and the FBI bucking requests for documents from the inspector general’s office.

Horowitz’s work has earned him respect among his peers. He has been twice elected to lead the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the independent panel of inspectors general across the federal government.

“He is a man of the utmost integrity who is willing to call the shots as he sees them,” said Stanley Twardy, a Stamford, Conn.-based lawyer who has known Horowitz professionally since his days as a U.S. attorney.

Horowitz formally announced last January that he would investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Justice Department and FBI officials leading up the 2016 election, in response to demands from both Democrats and Republicans.

IT’S POSSIBLE THAT BOTH PARTIES WILL GET POLITICAL AMMUNITION FROM HOROWITZ’S REPORT.

The inspector general is examining whether then-FBI Director James Comey broke FBI procedure with his public disclosures about the Clinton case, including the letter that he sent to Congress a few weeks before the election. Before Trump fired Comey, Democrats were outspoken in their criticism of those decisions, saying they violated procedure and cost Clinton the election.

But Horowitz is also looking into allegations that McCabe should have been recused from the investigation. Republicans, including Trump, have seized on reports that McCabe’s wife accepted campaign contributions from Clinton ally and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe when she ran for state office in Virginia, calling it a clear conflict of interest.

Finally, Horowitz is also looking into unauthorized disclosures of information.

Lawmakers have pressed Horowitz to expand the scope of the probe to include Comey’s firing or Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from the separate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Horowitz has not committed to looking into Comey’s firing, signaling that doing so could present a conflict with Mueller’s investigation.

Horowitz’s probe has become all the more relevant in light of McCabe’s decision to step down last week. According to The New York Times, Christopher Wray, whom Trump installed as FBI director last year after Comey’s ouster, had raised concerns about details of the forthcoming inspector general report that led him to propose that McCabe be demoted.

The Washington Post subsequently reported that Horowitz is examining why McCabe seemingly did not move forward for several weeks on a request to examine new emails in the Clinton investigation that were found on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) computer.

“There are a lot of legitimate questions that I hope would be answered by this inspector and that probably aren’t going to paint the DOJ or the FBI in a particularly good light,” said Ron Hosko, a former official in the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

THE FINDINGS COULD FURTHER PLAY INTO GOP CHARGES OF POLITICAL BIAS AT THE FBI, WHICH CRITICS VIEW AS PART OF A BROADER EFFORT TO INHIBIT MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION.

The text exchanges between Strzok and Page came to public light when the Justice Department delivered them to GOP-led panels in Congress in December and also reportedly allowed journalists to view them.

“These text messages prove what we all suspected: high-ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment,” House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a hearing in December.

The Justice Department came under fire from Republicans in January when lawmakers discovered a five-month gap in the text messages; Horowitz has subsequently said he recovered the missing exchanges and would provide copies to the department, which could decide to release them to Capitol Hill.

Horowitz told lawmakers last November that his investigators had reviewed roughly 1.25 million records and conducted dozens of interviews in connection with the ongoing investigation.

At the time, he said he expected the report to be issued by March or April. Otherwise, the inspector general has remained tight-lipped on the status of the investigation, including the potential widening of its scope.

His statement last January contained an important caveat. “If circumstances warrant,” it said, “the [inspector general] will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review.”  source

Clinton Associates Fed Information to Dossier Author Steele, Grassley-Graham Memo Says

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Monday released a memo referring Trump dossier author Christopher Steele for a criminal investigation that revealed that a friend of Hillary and Bill Clinton fed information for the Steele dossier.

According to Grassley and Graham’s memo, which is heavily redacted at the request of the FBI, a foreign source gave information to friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who then gave it to an Obama State Department official, who then gave it to Steele.

Grassley and Graham’s memo stated:

One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges [redacted], as well as [redacted]. Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company ‘received his report from [redacted] US State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with [redacted], a contact of [redacted], a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to [redacted].

“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” Grassley and Graham wrote.

The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York noted in his report that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research and that Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign.

The Justice Department and the FBI requested heavy redactions from Grassley and Graham’s memo, making it hard to discern its full meaning.

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The senators said in a statement accompanying their memo that it had quotes from the FISA warrant application used to surveil Carter Page — specifically what Steele had told the FBI about his contacts with the media.

The House Intelligence Committee memo revealed that Steele had not been honest with the FBI about his contacts with the media, and was thus terminated as a source.

Grassley and Graham on January 4 referred Steele for a criminal investigation for lying to federal authorities, but they were not able to release their memo explaining why they were doing so until the Justice Department and FBI reviewed it.

The memo explained that their referral was based on Steele’s statements in British court about the distribution of his research conflicting with things he told the Justice Department.

Their memo includes what those statements are, but the FBI requested they be redacted. Grassley is now calling on the FBI to withdraw its redactions, now that the House Intelligence Committee memo has been declassified.

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They said in the statement that their memo is “largely based on the same underlying documents” as the House Intelligence Committee memo that was recently declassified, and that Grassley is now calling on the FBI to withdraw its redactions.

“Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging. The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn’t secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding,” Grassley said.

“There are still many questions that can only be answered with complete transparency. That means declassifying as much of the underlying documents as possible,” he said.

Intel Memo Mystery: John McCain Pushed ‘Pee’ Dossier to FBI Months After Feds Already Used It to Gain FISA Warrant

TEL AVIV — Last week’s release of a four-page House Intelligence Committee memo alleging abuse of surveillance authority provides details that raise new questions about Sen. John McCain’s role in delivering the infamous, largely discredited 35-page dossier on President Donald Trump and Russia to the U.S. intelligence community under Barack Obama’s administration.

The memo, crafted by House Republicans, reveals, among other things, that former FBI Director James Comey personally signed FISA court applications utilizing the dossier to obtain FISA court warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Comey allegedly utilized the dossier, produced by the controversial Fusion GPS opposition research firm, to seek and receive the first warrant against Page on October 21, 2016. Federal agencies sought the renewal of the order every 90 days in accordance with court requirements. According to the memo, Comey “signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one.”

Comey allegedly utilized the dossier to seek the initial warrant even though he would label the same dossier “salacious and unverified” eight months later during sworn testimony.

Comey also utilized the dossier, according to the memo, even though senior FBI officials were aware at the time that the document, authored by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm and was funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.

The questions about McCain’s involvement follow an admission last month by the founders of Fusion GPS that they helped Steele share the document with the Arizona senator utilizing a surrogate after the November 2016 presidential election. McCain in turn reportedly provided the dossier to the FBI in December 2016.

The timeline revealed in the memo shows that by the time McCain delivered the dossier to the FBI leadership in December 2016, the agency had not only already launched an investigation into Trump’s campaign partially utilizing the dossier but Comey himself had two months earlier signed an application using the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant on Page.

It is therefore not clear why Fusion GPS would seek out McCain to deliver to the FBI a document already being utilized by the agency to launch a probe into Trump’s campaign and obtain a FISA warrant after Steele himself provided the dossier to the FBI in July 2016.

It is also not clear whether, at the time he delivered the dossier to the FBI, McCain was aware of the origins of the information, primarily that Fusion GPS compiled the charges and that they were paid to do so by Clinton’s campaign and the DNC.

McCain has not responded to multiple Breitbart News requests for comment.

Necessity of McCain delivering dossier

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In August 22 testimony released last month, Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn R. Simpson stated that Steele’s outreach to the FBI was “something that Chris took on on his own.” Simpson stated that as far as he knew Fusion GPS did not fund Steele’s July 2016 trip to Rome to meet with the FBI. He said he believes that the trip expenses may have been reimbursed by the FBI.

In a New York Times oped last month, Simpson and fellow GPS Co-Founder Peter Fritch relate that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence community via an “emissary.”

“After the election, Mr. Steele decided to share his intelligence with Senator John McCain via an emissary,” the Fusion GPS founders related. “We helped him do that. The goal was to alert the United States national security community to an attack on our country by a hostile foreign power.”

It was not clear from their statement whether McCain knew Fusion GPS was behind the dossier.

While the Fusion GPS oped sheds some light on the manner in which McCain obtained the dossier, the Fusion founders did not name the “emissary” who delivered the document to McCain.

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A January 11, 2017 statement from McCain attempted to explain why he provided the documents to the FBI but did not mention how he came to possess the dossier or whether he knew who funded it.

“Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the director of the FBI,” McCain said at the time. “That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue.”

Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow, said McCain first consulted him about the claims inside the dossier at a security conference in Canada shortly after last November’s presidential election.

Wood stated that McCain had obtained the documents from the senator’s own sources. “I told him I was aware of what was in the report but I had not read it myself, that it might be true, it might be untrue. I had no means of judging really,” Wood further told BBC Radio 4 in January.

Last December, Wood related that he served as a “go-between” to inform McCain about the dossier contents. “My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the senator and assistants that such a dossier existed,” Wood told Fox News.

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In March, Vanity Fair raised questions about the alleged involvement of longtime McCain associate David J. Kramer, a former State Department official, in helping to obtain the dossier directly from Steele. The issue was also raised in a lawsuit filed against Steele by one of the individuals named in the dossier.

Kramer was reportedly questioned by the House Intelligence Committee about his involvement in the dossier affair.

Newsweek reported on an alleged McCain-directed meeting between Kramer and Steele involving the dossier:

Kramer was reportedly directed to meet with Steele in London by McCain, who then received copies of the Trump-Russia dossier and delivered them to the Arizona senator upon returning home. McCain then gave the dossier to the FBI in December 2016.

Briefing to Trump leaked to media, contents of dossier publically disclosed

One issue that could be relevant in Fusion GPS’s admitted decision to turn to McCain is a revelation in the House memo that dossier author Steele was terminated as an FBI source “for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations – an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016 Mother Jones article by David Corn.”

Another issue here is the timing. McCain reportedly delivered the dossier to FBI leadership in December 2016. The memo relates that in early January 2017, prior to Trump’s inauguration, Comey briefed then President-Elect Trump and President Obama on the dossier.

As Breitbart News documented, Comey’s dossier briefing to Trump was subsequently leaked to the news media, setting in motion a flurry of news media attention on the dossier, including the release of the document to the public. The briefing also may have provided the veneer of respectability to a document circulated within the news media but widely considered too unverified to publicize.

On January 10, 2017, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings on classified documents presented one week earlier to Obama and Trump.

The news network cited “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” – in other words, officials leaking information about classified briefings – revealing the dossier contents were included in a two-page synopsis that served as an addendum to a larger report on Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Prior to CNN’s report leaking the Comey briefing to Trump, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, Comey’s briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by “multiple US officials with direct knowledge,” seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier’s existence as well as allude to some of the document’s unproven claims.

Just after CNN’s January 10 report on Comey’s classified briefings about the dossier, BuzzFeed famously published the dossier’s full unverified contents. When it published the dossier text, BuzzFeed reported that the contents had circulated “for months” and were known to journalists.

The New York Times used CNN’s story on Comey’s briefing to report some contents of the dossier the same day as CNN’s January 10 report on the briefings.

After citing the CNN story, the Times reported:

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over Mr. Trump.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.

It seems the news media utilized the leak about Comey’s dossier briefings to finally publicize the dossier’s existence and some of its contents even though many news media outlets reportedly possessed some of the dossier information for months.

Yet in his testimony, the FBI’s Comey claimed the opposite was the case. He stated that he and other U.S. officials briefed Obama and Trump about the dossier contents because they wanted to alert the president and president-elect that the news media were about to release the material. It is not the usual job of the U.S. intelligence community to brief top officials about pending news media coverage.

In his prepared remarks before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017, Comey detailed why he claimed the Intelligence Community briefed Obama and Trump on the “salacious material” – a clear reference to the dossier.

Comey wrote:

The IC leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.