Thursday, August 16, 2018

Repugnant Russiagate

Quite a lot today, so sit down with cup a'Joe and read on: Killing two links with one stone:Ace:  Julie Kelly: Why Was the Weekly Standard Pushing Bullet-Points from the Steele Dossier Two Days Before Operation Crossfire Hurricane Began?
I've been waiting all day for this article.
I've been waiting all day for this article.In his online appeal for money after being fired this week, disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok credited an unlikely source to vouch for his victim status: The Weekly Standard.
At one time a leading conservative magazine, the Standard declared last month that Strzok's plight was merely an "overwrought tale of bias" and the case against him is "just sound and fury." The article brushed off Strzok's actions as “several bad judgment calls” and blasted Congressional Republicans for continuing a criminal investigation into the now-unemployed G-man.
Strzok is following only 32 people on his newly-verified Twitter account. Bill Kristol, the editor-at-large of the Standard, is one of them.
So, what’s with the fanboying between the Standard--an allegedly serious publication dedicated to advancing conservative principles--and a corrupt government bureaucrat who embodies everything the conservative movement fought against for decades?
I found an article in the Standard archives this week that might explain why. On July 24, 2016, just days before Strzok helped launch a counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign, Kristol gave Strzok and the Obama Justice Department a big assist from the anti-Trump Right by posting a flawed and questionably-sourced article. "Putin's Party" is compelling evidence that Kristol and the Standard were far from mere sideline observers as the Trump-Russia collusion scam took shape in the summer of 2016.
At the very least, the timing of the article suggests there was careful coordination between the central players--including the Hillary Clinton campaign--and Bill Kristol to derail Trump's candidacy just weeks before the [election. But the article’s content also serves to raise alarming questions about the claims by many Republicans that “conservatives” had no knowledge of or involvement with the Christopher Steele dossier.
She notes that Kristol's article hits all the major bullet points of the Hillary-Clinton-financed oppo hit, from Russian Water Sports to Trump being involved in the DNC hacking and all the rest of it.

I figure, maybe Kristol, a fake conservative corporatist chiefly a Republican to make the world safe for the Import-Export Bank, got the dossier from McCain, who of course is the same kind of Republican.

Or maybe, as Kelly suggests, he just got it from Glenn Simpson, who his son in law had hired originally to gather dirt on Cruz and Trump for the Free Beacon. Though the Free Beacon says it had terminated its relationship long before the Steele dossier was, um, supposedly written by Steele, maybe Simpson just knew that Cap'n Bill had a strong interest in seeing this master spy's alleged work.

There's nothing necessarily sinister in that -- except that people who allegedly serve us by providing us with the truth have been lying about it for, what, more than two years now?
Chuck Ross: Fusion GPS Fed False Story About GOP Lawyer to DOJ’s Bruce Ohr That Magically Appeared in Media Reports
Veteran GOP lawyer Cleta Mitchell suddenly found her name mixed up in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The first public mention of Mitchell came in a March 13 report released by Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The report listed Mitchell, a partner at the firm Foley & Lardner, as one of the “individuals or groups who were involved in or may have knowledge of third-party political outreach from the Kremlin to the Trump campaign.”

Two days later, McClatchy newspapers cited two anonymous sources who claimed that Mitchell expressed concerns just after the election that Russians had funneled secret cash to the National Rifle Association.
Tom Fitton: How Were Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Christopher Steele, and Fusion GPS Plotting?
As this sordid scandal continues to unfold, it is increasingly clear that top DOJ official Bruce Ohr – working in conjunction with his wife and other Clinton-connected Fusion GPS actors – played a key role in laundering false information from Russia about Donald J. Trump. The DOJ must stop the stonewalling and release these documents, as the law requires.
No time limits, no 'public circus': Bruce Ohr to testify behind closed doors, Trey Gowdy says
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said he used to do the work Ohr does now. "It is unbelievable that a prosecutor would insert himself into an ongoing investigation for which he had nothing to do," he added.
Guess how many senior FBI officials involved in Hillary email probe have been fired or resigned since 2017. Why guess, let's see:

Of course, in the most controversial news of the day, John Brennan was stripped of his security clearance. Politico: Trump pulls security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan
“Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilities, the very aim of our adversaries which is to sow division and chaos,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, reading a statement from Trump while briefing reporters on Wednesday.

“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this Administration,“ the president‘s statement continued.
 Dana at Patterico: President Trump Revokes Former CIA Director’s Security Clearance.
Allahpundit enlightens:
Just because someone retains their clearance to receive classified info doesn’t mean they retain their access to it. You can’t demand to see state secrets just because you’re cleared to see them. The administration has to make them available to you. And it hopefully goes without saying that having a clearance doesn’t shield you from prosecution if you’re caught sharing classified info with unauthorized recipients. In other words, if you were worried about Brennan leaking, today’s move doesn’t do much to reduce that risk. In all likelihood he had no access to any recent intel in the first place. And if people inside the administration were sharing it with him because they hate Trump, odds are they’re going to go on sharing it even after today’s action (although they can be jailed for doing so now).
Brennan, unsurprisingly, pushed back on the decision:
This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.
Said the man who used his position as CIA Director to try suppress speech and punish his political foes.

Ace:  Let the Blue Checkmark Meltdown Begin: Leaky Brennan's Security Clearance Revoked. "Why should a man who is very reasonably suspected of having engineered a leak of classified information to CNN retain a security clearance requiring high ethics in handling such information?"

Unprecedented? No: Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst stripped of security clearance after Stefan Halper complaints Pretty much proving that any thoughts that Halper was trying to penetrate the Trump campaign for the CIA are absolutely on target, too.
A Trump-supporting Pentagon analyst was stripped of his security clearance by Obama-appointed officials after he complained of questionable government contracts to Stefan Halper, the FBI informant who spied on the Trump presidential campaign.

Adam Lovinger, a 12-year strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, complained to his bosses about Halper contracts in the fall of 2016, his attorney, Sean M. Bigley, told The Washington Times.

On May 1, 2017, his superiors yanked his security clearance and relegated him to clerical chores.
Mollie Hemingway, Da Fed: Media Conspiracy Theories About Devin Nunes Are Getting Out Of Control. Why not shorten the title to "Media Are Getting Out Of Control?"
First off, maybe Nunes is crazy to think that Democrats plan to impeach the president within 30 seconds of taking the House. Or, you know, maybe he got the idea that Democrats are thinking pretty intently on impeaching the president the moment they take the House from statements they’ve made here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here, or here. One or the other.

And I think at this point we can all agree that The Washington Post is not going to hold the FBI or DOJ accountable for any misdeeds in recent years. This is the paper, after all, that has yet to have one of its own reporters even mention the latest news with Bruce Ohr, much less write the dozens of hard-hitting investigative pieces people have every right to expect at this stage.
The WaFB: Supporters Raise Over $300,000 for Peter Strzok’s Legal Expenses

Simone Mangiante and George Papadopoulos
A long one, but read it all. Jeff Carlson, themarketswork: George Papadopoulos, Alexander Downer & the Opening of the FBI Investigation. Da Caller: Papadopoulos’s Wife Says He Should Scrap His Plea Deal With Mueller
Mangiante Papadopoulos says she does not believe Papadopoulos committed a crime and is guilty instead of misremembering nuanced details of his interactions with Mifsud.

Prosecutors claim that during a Jan. 26, 2017, interview, Papadopoulos, who did not have a lawyer present, falsely claimed he met Mifsud prior to joining the campaign in March 2016. But Papadopulos first met Mifsud about a week after learning he would join the Trump team. The pair remained in contact through the campaign.

As evidence that Papadopoulos did not intend to deceive the FBI, Mangiante Papadopoulos claims Papadopoulos volunteered Mifsud’s name to the agents who interviewed him.

Mangiante Papadopoulos has also denied that Papadopoulos took part in collusion between the campaign and Russian government. She also believes that government officials attempted to set up her husband with a series of approaches by government informants, including former Cambridge professor Stefan Halper. (RELATED: Simona Mangiante Says Her Husband Was ‘Absolutely Not’ Involved In Collusion)
Manafort trial Day 12: Prosecution hammers Manafort's 'lies,' defense chides 'selective' evidence
Prosecutors urged jurors in the trial of Paul Manafort to focus on financial records and Manafort’s “lies” — and to set aside personal feelings about a tainted star witness — as the government offered its closing argument on Wednesday.

Pushing back, lawyers for the former Trump campaign chairman argued that the case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller is a mishmash of "selective" evidence that doesn’t amount to any crime at all.
Althouse, who reads the NYT so I don't have to: "The dueling summations ended in a heated confrontation over whether Mr. Manafort’s lawyers had crossed a line in seeking to sow doubt about the prosecutors’ motivations."
"While the fraud charges against Mr. Manafort are not related to Mr. Mueller’s inquiry into Russian interference in 2016, as Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman he might know about Moscow’s efforts to influence the campaign. Without saying so directly, the defense lawyers made clear that Mr. Manafort was a Republican, telling jurors that he had worked on the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, Gerald R. Ford and George Bush. Though they did not mention Mr. Trump by name, they said that Mr. Manafort had no income in 2016 because he had volunteered for 'a presidential campaign.' After prosecutors protested, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court in Alexandria instructed the jury to 'ignore any argument about the Justice Department’s motive or lack of motive in bringing this prosecution.'"
Allahpundit: Rudy To Mueller: Finish Your Report In The Next Two To Three Weeks Or We’ll Unload On You Like A Ton Of Bricks. Not gonna happen. Pretty soon Mueller will ask to have a new building built and named after himself. WaPo: Trump’s lawyers prepare to fight subpoena all the way to the Supreme Court. Why not?
“It’s been a week, and we haven’t heard anything,” Giuliani said. “Plan A is we somehow work out the questioning. Plan B is we don’t and they subpoena. Plan C is they file the report and don’t issue a subpoena.”
The WaT: Sen. Bill Nelson goes silent amid charges of fabricating Russian hacking claim. Let Ace pick up the story: Bill Nelson: When I Made Huge News in the Liberal Media That Russians Had Already Hacked Florida's Election System In Advance of the 2018 Elections, I Meant That They Might Hack Them
Nope. He's lying.

First of all, let's get the backstory, from August 8th. The Tampa Bay Times -- which I know I can trust, because they're responsible for PolitiFact or one of those completely-reliable fact-check operations -- reported that Nelson said, verbally, unambiguously, that Russia had penetrated Florida's voting systems in advance of the 2018 elections. Not that they might or could penetrate them.

Not that they had in 2016.

But that Russians already have penetrated them in advance of the 2018 elections:
Oh, Oh, Oh, Omorossa! Matthew Walther: Omarosa's Unhinged is an unconvincing mess of a book
The central conceit of this memoir is the purported existence of one or more tapes said to feature President Trump using the N-word, perhaps in reference to Omarosa herself. The possibility is dangled in front of the reader virtually on page one and not revisited for hundreds of pages. After a short prelude in which she recounts her last day at the White House eight months ago, she rewinds and tells us her entire life story, complete with the names of every teacher she ever had and the details of her winning the Miss Buckeye Elk Pageant in high school (not to be confused with her victory in the Miss Youngstown Pageant the same year). We are treated to affectless summaries of her time doing various jobs in Bill Clinton's White House and her attempt to work for Hillary's 2016 campaign.
Speaking of her work for the Clinton campaign, by way of Wombat-socho's In The Mailbox: 08.14.18, the Weasel Zippers:  Omarosa Was A Horrible Employee For The Clinton Administration Too, which in turn refers to Da Caller: Former VP Al Gore’s Office Couldn’t Wait To Get Rid Of Omarosa, Too
The Trump White House is not the first to be unsatisfied with the work performance of Omarosa Manigault, the former senior Trump staffer who already released secretly recorded conversations she had with the president and Chief of Staff John Kelly

Despite Manigault’s complaints that she was treated poorly in the Trump White House during her tenure as one of the highest paid staffers there, former “numerous” staffers for Vice President Al Gore’s office told The New York Times last year that she was a terrible employee for the then-vice president..

At 24 years of age, she scored an entry-level, $25,000-per-year post replying to invitations for the vice president. According to The Times, she left a mound of 13 months-worth of unanswered correspondence addressed to Gore below her desk.

People Magazine reported a former staffer said, “she didn’t do her job, and it got everybody in trouble.”

“She was the worst hire we ever made,” Mary Margaret Overbey, Gore’s former office administrator told The Times.

Manigault was then moved to the Clinton White House to the position of deputy associate director of presidential personnel. She only lasted eight months in that job until she was transferred out of the White House all together to the Commerce Department.

There, Cheryl Shavers, who served as the Department’s undersecretary for technology, described Manigault to The Times as “unqualified and disruptive,” so she “had her removed.” Savers also told People Magazine in 2004 that “One woman wanted to slug her.”

Additionally, Omarosa reportedly embellished her job titles, tasks, and work performance on her resume in different posts and sources repeatedly disputed to The Times her claims, including a Howard University spokesman who said she was, in fact, a “facilitator and presenter” and never a professor at the school.
pre-boob job
It sounds like she rose above her level of competence quite  early in life, likely based on smooth, unaccented English, great looks, and a boost from Affirmative Action. But Black Americans aren't buying it en mass. AP: Black Americans aren’t buying Omarosa’s turn against Trump
“Her tell-all mea culpa won’t win her any brownie points with most blacks,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author of the book “Why Black Lives Do Matter.” ″Their loathing of Omarosa is virtually frozen in stone. She’s still roundly lambasted as a two-bit opportunist, a racial sellout and an ego driven hustler.”

Few in the black community immediately rushed to defend Manigault Newman after she wrote a book titled “Unhinged” about her time in the White House. It paints a damning picture of Trump, claiming without evidence that tapes exist of him using the N-word as he filmed “The Apprentice” reality series, on which she co-starred.
Even Jimmy!  Jimmy Kimmel on the Time Omarosa ‘Stormed Out’ on Him: ‘There’s Clearly Something Wrong With Her’

Wombat-socho brings us "Rule Five Sunday: Barbi Benton" and "FMJRA 2.0: Talk Dirty To Me" on time and within budget.

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