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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 25,555

Journal Archives

Sean Spicer on Nunes' White House sources: 'Anything is possible'


Spicer 'Not Concerned' About Leaks After News Of Nunes Meeting On WH Grounds

Source: Talking Points Memo

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published MARCH 27, 2017, 2:44 PM EDT

The covert meeting that the House Intelligence Committee chairman held with a source on the White House grounds last week has not raised suspicions of an inappropriate leak within the executive branch, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday. “We’re not concerned about that,” Spicer told reporters at his daily press briefing.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) confirmed Monday that he spoke with and viewed confidential information with a source the day before he went public with allegations that communications involving Donald Trump and his transition team were incidentally captured by the U.S. intelligence community.

Though Nunes said his source was an intelligence official and that he did not actually enter the White House, the location and timing of the meeting raised suspicions of coordination between Nunes, who was a member of the Trump transition team’s executive committee, and the White House.

Spicer repeatedly said that the White House had no prior knowledge of Nunes’ visit, and that the only information it had about the meeting came from “public reports.” He declined to rule out that the information Nunes obtained originated with the White House, however.

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/spicer-not-concerned-about-leaks-after-news-of-nunes-meeting-on-wh-grounds

‘Anything is possible’: Spicer admits White House may have given info Nunes to defend Trump’s wiretap claim

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted on Monday that it was “possible” that someone at the White House leaked surveillance information to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) that was later used to defend President Donald Trump’s wiretap allegations.

Nunes confirmed this week that he received intelligence about the alleged surveillance while visiting White House grounds. He has insisted, however, that White House staffers were not the source of the information.

At Monday’s White House press briefing, Spicer was asked if he could say affirmatively that Nunes was not given the information by White House staff. A week earlier, Spicer had claimed that the idea did not “pass the smell test.”

“I can’t say 100 percent that I know anything he briefed him on,” Spicer explained. “I can tell you through his public comments is he has said he had multiple sources that he came to a conclusion on. The degree to which any of those sources weighed on the ultimate outcome of what he came to a decision on, I don’t know.”

“So it’s possible,” one White House correspondent pressed. “Anything is possible,” Spicer admitted.



Spicer: 'I Don't Think We've Seen The End' Of GOP Push On Health Care Policy

By ESME CRIBB Published MARCH 27, 2017, 2:08 PM EDT

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that Republicans are not done trying to push changes to health care policy, despite the failure on Friday of their first bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

"We're at the beginning of a process. I don't think we've seen the end of health care," Spicer said at his daily briefing.

He cited the months it took President Barack Obama's administration to pass its signature health care legislation, though he also repeated the standard Republican line that Democrats "jammed" the bill through Congress.

"It ultimately took about 17 months, went through a series of fits and starts," Spicer said. "There were several failures when Obamacare went through during the process." He said that Trump's administration is "looking to look for a way forward."


DICK CHENEY: 'No question' Russia meddled in the US election, and it could be 'an act of war'

Source: Business Insider

Alex Lockie


In a wide-ranging speech at the " target="_blank">Economic Times' Global Business Summit on Monday, former US Vice President Dick Cheney spoke unequivocally about Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Cheney said there were a "rising number of threats" in the world that, beyond national security, "even pose a threat to the globalization movements you're here to talk about today." Segueing into talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cheney warned of Russia's aggressive actions.

"I think he has designs on the Baltics. ... We know he wanted Crimea — he took it," said Cheney, who pointed to previous Russian cyber campaigns against Baltic states and Russia's recent moves to nuclearize its European enclave of Kaliningrad.

On the subject of the 2016 election, Cheney said Russia attacked the US in a possible act of war. "There's no question that there was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic processes," Cheney said. "In some quarters, that could be considered an act of war.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dick-cheney-russia-hack-no-question-act-of-war-2017-3

Sessions says grants to be withheld from sanctuary cities

Source: The Hill

BY JORDAN FABIAN - 03/27/17 02:02 PM EDT

State and local governments seeking Justice Department grants must certify they are not so-called sanctuary cities in order to receive the money, Attorney General Jeff Seesions announced Monday.

“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets,” Sessions said during a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room. “Today, I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.”

The announcement is the latest step by the Trump administration to crack down on sanctuary cities, which do not assist federal authorities in enforcing immigration laws.

It comes as the White House is seeking to get its agenda back on track after suffering an embarrassing defeat last Friday when Republicans were forced to scrap their long-awaited healthcare plan due to lack of support.


Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/325943-sessions-says-grants-to-be-withheld-from-sanctuary-cities

Intelligence panel chair reviewed sensitive file on White House grounds

Source: Reuters

Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:02pm EDT

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON

A mystery rooted in President Donald Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by then President Barack Obama during the 2016 election campaign deepened on Monday with the disclosure that a top congressional Republican reviewed classified information about the charge on the White House grounds.


U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, visited the White House the night before announcing on Wednesday that he had information that indicated some Trump associates may have been subjected to some level of intelligence activity before Trump took office on Jan. 20.

Nunes spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement that Nunes "met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source."

It was the latest twist in a saga that began on March 4 when Trump said on Twitter without providing evidence that he "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-idUSKBN16Y1H6

Nunes Met Source On WH Grounds Before Making Trump Surveillance Claims

By ALLEGRA KIRKLAND Published MARCH 27, 2017, 10:48 AM EDT

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee met a secret source on the White House grounds the day before he went public with hazy, charged allegations that members of Donald Trump's transition team had been picked up by incidental collection of foreign nationals.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Monday that he clocked time there to view classified information in a secure area in order to confirm what I already knew. Nunes said he was not at the White House itself, and it's unclear exactly what building he visited.

He later explicitly told that his source was an intelligence official, not a White House staffer, and that their meeting location was chosen out of convenience.

We don't have networked access to these kinds of reports in Congress," Nunes said. By his account, the intelligence reports he viewed are only distributed on a system within the executive branch, so the White House grounds were the most convenient secure location that had a computer connected to that system.


Republicans No Longer Fear Trump

Republicans No Longer Fear Trump

March 27, 2017By Taegan Goddard

Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe: “President Trump is coming off of a week where he lost both credibility and control. He also lost something that is harder to define and may be harder to restore: the mystique of power. Since November, even Trump’s harshest critics had to recognize his political talents, which show in two ways: The seemingly unbreakable connection and communications link he has with a loyal block of voters, and the deal-making skills that grew his brand all the way to the presidency. But the Republicans who opposed the health care bill showed they neither fear nor love the president.”

“That turns the question to the consequences: In the Trump playbook, look for a power move – something that goes beyond tweets and executive orders. If we’re ever going to be tired of all the winning, the Trump White House needs some victories as attention turns to tax reform and other big agenda items.”



Voters Never Gave Ryan a Mandate for His Bill

Voters Never Gave Ryan a Mandate for His Bill

March 27, 2017 By Taegan Goddard

Nate Silver: “Republicans have been running on repealing and replacing Obamacare for seven years, and they’ve won a lot of elections in that period. You can argue that they have a mandate on the issue, even if they don’t have one overall. But Ryan and Trump pretty much ignored where public opinion stands on health care. Medicaid, which the AHCA would have rolled back, is extremely popular, for instance. About two-thirds of voters support government funding for Planned Parenthood; the AHCA would have cut it. But the bill didn’t do much to address the problems voters were actually concerned about, such as rising premiums.”

“Furthermore, Ryan and Trump advanced this bill despite receiving a warning shot from the public: Obamacare had almost immediately become more popular after Trump won the election. I don’t recall a lot of other times when public opinion shifted so quickly on a bill in response to an election result. It was as though voters were throwing up a big yield sign to congressional Republicans — we didn’t expect Trump to win the election; instead, we elected you to serve as a check on Hillary Clinton, so proceed with caution. Ryan barreled right on through it.”



G.O.P., Once Unified Against Obama, Struggles for Consensus Under Trump


WASHINGTON — Whenever a major conservative plan in Washington has collapsed, blame has usually been fairly easy to pin on the Republican hard-liners who insist on purity over practicality.

But as Republicans sifted through the detritus of their failed effort to replace the Affordable Care Act, they were finding fault almost everywhere they looked.

President Trump, posting on Twitter on Sunday, saw multiple culprits, including the renegade group of small-government conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and outside groups like the Club for Growth. Those groups, which do not always work placidly together, had aligned against the president and Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the ultimate symbol of their dismay with the entrenched ways of the capital. At the same time, some saw the president as pointing a finger at Mr. Ryan when Mr. Trump urged his Twitter followers on Saturday to tune in to a Fox News host, Jeanine Pirro, who went on to call for Mr. Ryan’s resignation.

For eight years, those divisions were often masked by Republicans’ shared antipathy toward President Barack Obama. Now, as the party struggles to adjust to the post-Obama political order, it is facing a nagging question: How do you hold together when the man who unified you in opposition is no longer around?

Mr. Obama provided conservatives with not just a health law to loathe and a veto pen to blame, but also a visage that allowed their opposition to be more palpable.


London attacker interested in jihad but no evidence of IS link: police

Source: Reuters

Mon Mar 27, 2017 | 12:17pm EDT

British police said on Monday they had found no evidence that Khalid Masood, who killed four people in an attack on Britain's parliament last week, had any association with Islamic State or Al Qaeda, but he was clearly interested in jihad.

Masood drove a car through a crowd of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three and injuring about 50, then ran through the gates of parliament and fatally stabbed a police officer, before he was shot dead by police.

Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for UK counter-terrorism policing, said there was no evidence that Masood had been radicalized in prison in 2003 and it was pure speculation to suggest that had happened. Masood, 52, was British-born and had several previous convictions for offences such as grievous bodily harm, possession of a knife and public order offences. He had not been convicted of any terrorism offense.

“His attack method appears to be based on low sophistication, low tech, low cost techniques copied from other attacks, and echo the rhetoric of IS leaders in terms of methodology and attacking police and civilians, but at this stage I have no evidence he discussed this with others," Basu said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-security-masood-idUSKBN16Y1ZQ?il=0

Jeb Bush: Donald Trump Is 'A Distraction In And Of Himself'

Source: Talking Points Memo

By MATT SHUHAM Published MARCH 27, 2017, 11:52 AM EDT

Former Florida governor and Republican presidential primary candidate Jeb Bush criticized President Donald Trump for “saying things that aren’t true, that are distractions from the task at hand.”

Bush made the criticism during an interview that aired Sunday with WFOR’s Jim DeFede. “He hasn’t shifted to being President in the way that people are used to, and I think that’s the problem,” Bush said, adding later: “He’s a distraction in and of himself.”

Bush said he admired many of Trump’s picks for top posts in his administration, like Defense Secretary James Mattis, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

All of those picks have connections to the Bush family. DeVos, for example, once served on the board of Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and is a similarly fervent evangelist of charter schools. But, Bush said, Trump’s habit of making unsubstantiated claims – including that former President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower – had distracted from achieving policy priorities, like replacing Obamacare with Republicans’ own health bill or overhauling the tax code.

Read more: ByMATT SHUHAMPublishedMARCH 27, 2017, 11:52 AM EDT
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