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Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Friday morning.

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • The President participates in a roundtable with supporters in Southampton, NY
  • President Trump gives remarks at a luncheon

Brennan security clearance fall out

Twelve senior intelligence officials issued a statement late yesterday butt-hurting (I just made that verb up) about Trump's decision to yank the security clearance from MSNBC star and Twitter celebrity John Brennan.

“The president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech,” the statement reads.

“As individuals who have cherished and helped preserve the right of Americans to free speech — even when that right has been used to criticize us — that signal is inappropriate and deeply regrettable.”

I don't have much confidence in a group of people who think that having a security clearance is in anyway related to free speech. Are these idiots arguing that John Brennan has a First Amendment right to have access to and share classified information? I don't have a clearance, are my rights being violated? Brennan is on TV all the time, his toxic twitter feed is active, so where is his speech being stifled?

So who signed on to this letter?

Among the signers are six former CIA directors -- including retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was a potential candidate for secretary of state in the early days of the Trump administration.

Also in the group: five former deputy directors of the CIA, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose name reportedly appeared on a White House list of ex-officials who may soon join Brennan in losing their security clearances.

Tucker Carlson wonders why Brennan needs a security clearance in his new career as an MSNBC pundit? Exactly.

The Manafort jury completes first day of deliberation

The Paul Manfort jury has finished it's first day of deliberation on the 18 counts of tax and bank related fraud yesterday and sent a question to the judge about "reasonable doubt."

Judge T.S. Ellis – the federal judge overseeing Manafort’s case in Alexandria, Virginia, clarified to jurors that the government is not required to find "guilt beyond all possible doubt," but defined reasonable doubt as a "doubt based on reason."

Jurors also asked the court to define "shelf company," and for more information on foreign bank account records. Jurors also asked for the special counsel’s indictment of Manafort to be included in their exhibit list.

Judge Ellis told jurors to rely on their collective recollection based on testimony to answer those questions.

Any guesses on how long the jury will deliberate? Tell me in the comments below.

Mini RUSSIA roundup

Important: Pentagon Whistleblower Questioned FBI Informant Stefan Halper’s ‘Outrageous’ Contracts

‘Major Crack in Government’s Defenses’: We May Finally Learn How the FBI Handled the Steele Dossier

What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

Historical picture of the day:

Eugene V. Debs, member of the Socialist Party of the USA and presidential candidate, speaks to members of the worker's union on Aug. 17, 1912, at an unknown location in the USA. (AP Photo) --- Eugene V. Debs

Other morsels:

Seems important China’s military ‘likely training for strikes’ on US targets: Pentagon

U.S. states demand better access to secrets about election cyber threats

Anti-Semitism is so bad in Britain that some Jews are planning to leave

Where's the #metoo crowd? Ellison ex-girlfriend details abuse allegations

‘Don’t vote for the ching-chong!’: Things get very racist in Michigan state Senate election

Source: House panel considers subpoena for Twitter CEO

Twitter Allegedly Working Overtime To Ban Conservatives

Important: Attorney: Former IT Aide Imran Awan Deserves No Jail Time Because Trump, Republicans Were Mean

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution rebuking Trump's statement that the news media is 'the enemy of the people'

Remains found at New Mexico compound are missing boy, authorities say

Pentagon postpones Trump's military parade

World’s top empathy researcher accused of bullying colleagues

North Carolina county school board ends spanking policy

Dems threaten to sue for Kavanaugh records

Bomb threat made at Boston Globe after editorial condemning Trump

Satanic Temple Members Rally In Arkansas And Demand The State Erect Satanic Statue On Capitol Lawn

How long is this going to go on? Omarosa releases recording of $15K-per-month job offer from Lara Trump

Pompeo announces new team for Iran strategy

Education Department investigates sex abuse scandal amid Jordan allegations

Elderly woman fights off attacker by grabbing his ‘weak spot’

Vatican condemns sex abuse described in Pennsylvania grand jury report

Trump declares opioids from Mexico, China 'almost a form of warfare,' tells Sessions to sue drug makers

Trader Joe's has sold nearly a billion bottles of '2-buck Chuck' wine, but the actual Charles Shaw has never earned a dime from its success

FiveThirtyEight forecasts Democrats as favorites to win the House of Representatives

FDA approves first generic EpiPen

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

Good Friday morning.

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • The President participates in a roundtable with supporters in Southampton, NY
  • President Trump gives remarks at a luncheon

Brennan security clearance fall out

Twelve senior intelligence officials issued a statement late yesterday butt-hurting (I just made that verb up) about Trump's decision to yank the security clearance from MSNBC star and Twitter celebrity John Brennan.

“The president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech,” the statement reads.

“As individuals who have cherished and helped preserve the right of Americans to free speech — even when that right has been used to criticize us — that signal is inappropriate and deeply regrettable.”

I don't have much confidence in a group of people who think that having a security clearance is in anyway related to free speech. Are these idiots arguing that John Brennan has a First Amendment right to have access to and share classified information? I don't have a clearance, are my rights being violated? Brennan is on TV all the time, his toxic twitter feed is active, so where is his speech being stifled?

So who signed on to this letter?

Among the signers are six former CIA directors -- including retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was a potential candidate for secretary of state in the early days of the Trump administration.

Also in the group: five former deputy directors of the CIA, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose name reportedly appeared on a White House list of ex-officials who may soon join Brennan in losing their security clearances.

Tucker Carlson wonders why Brennan needs a security clearance in his new career as an MSNBC pundit? Exactly.

The Manafort jury completes first day of deliberation

The Paul Manfort jury has finished it's first day of deliberation on the 18 counts of tax and bank related fraud yesterday and sent a question to the judge about "reasonable doubt."

Judge T.S. Ellis – the federal judge overseeing Manafort’s case in Alexandria, Virginia, clarified to jurors that the government is not required to find "guilt beyond all possible doubt," but defined reasonable doubt as a "doubt based on reason."

Jurors also asked the court to define "shelf company," and for more information on foreign bank account records. Jurors also asked for the special counsel’s indictment of Manafort to be included in their exhibit list.

Judge Ellis told jurors to rely on their collective recollection based on testimony to answer those questions.

Any guesses on how long the jury will deliberate? Tell me in the comments below.

Mini RUSSIA roundup

Important: Pentagon Whistleblower Questioned FBI Informant Stefan Halper’s ‘Outrageous’ Contracts

‘Major Crack in Government’s Defenses’: We May Finally Learn How the FBI Handled the Steele Dossier

What Was Bruce Ohr Doing?

Historical picture of the day:

Eugene V. Debs, member of the Socialist Party of the USA and presidential candidate, speaks to members of the worker's union on Aug. 17, 1912, at an unknown location in the USA. (AP Photo) --- Eugene V. Debs

Other morsels:

Seems important China’s military ‘likely training for strikes’ on US targets: Pentagon

U.S. states demand better access to secrets about election cyber threats

Anti-Semitism is so bad in Britain that some Jews are planning to leave

Where's the #metoo crowd? Ellison ex-girlfriend details abuse allegations

‘Don’t vote for the ching-chong!’: Things get very racist in Michigan state Senate election

Source: House panel considers subpoena for Twitter CEO

Twitter Allegedly Working Overtime To Ban Conservatives

Important: Attorney: Former IT Aide Imran Awan Deserves No Jail Time Because Trump, Republicans Were Mean

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution rebuking Trump's statement that the news media is 'the enemy of the people'

Remains found at New Mexico compound are missing boy, authorities say

Pentagon postpones Trump's military parade

World’s top empathy researcher accused of bullying colleagues

North Carolina county school board ends spanking policy

Dems threaten to sue for Kavanaugh records

Bomb threat made at Boston Globe after editorial condemning Trump

Satanic Temple Members Rally In Arkansas And Demand The State Erect Satanic Statue On Capitol Lawn

How long is this going to go on? Omarosa releases recording of $15K-per-month job offer from Lara Trump

Pompeo announces new team for Iran strategy

Education Department investigates sex abuse scandal amid Jordan allegations

Elderly woman fights off attacker by grabbing his ‘weak spot’

Vatican condemns sex abuse described in Pennsylvania grand jury report

Trump declares opioids from Mexico, China 'almost a form of warfare,' tells Sessions to sue drug makers

Trader Joe's has sold nearly a billion bottles of '2-buck Chuck' wine, but the actual Charles Shaw has never earned a dime from its success

FiveThirtyEight forecasts Democrats as favorites to win the House of Representatives

FDA approves first generic EpiPen

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

It's about time:

Italy is seeking to have seven boats carrying roughly 1,000 migrants needing rescue off Libya taken back to North Africa, according to a Spanish aid group. Proactiva Open Arms, which has rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean, said the Italians want the Libyan coast guard to conduct the rescues and return the migrants.

Proactiva said in a tweet that Italian coast guard authorities who coordinate rescues sent out advisories to all ships in the area but told the aid group: 'We don't need your help.' In a tweet on Sunday, hard-line interior minister Matteo Salvini said: 'It's right that the Libyan authorities intervene, as they've been doing for days, without having the NGOs interrupt them and disturb them.'

It comes days after Salvini refused to let a rescue boat with 224 migrants on board dock in Italy, saying those on board 'will only see Italy on a postcard'. Salvini said the ship, operated by German aid group Mission Lifeline, had loaded the migrants in Libyan waters against the instructions of Italy's coast guard.

Mission Lifeline denied Salvini's claims, saying it conducted the rescue in international waters and asked for a safe port, which had not been assigned.

The Italians are doing the right thing. The NGOs, in the guise of "humanitarianism" are facilitating an illegal invasion of Europe. If the "migrants" need to be "rescued" they can far more easily and safely be returned home than ferried across the Mediterranean.

Sheesh:

A furious judge scolded the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Wednesday for publishing confidential but legally obtained information about Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said the newspaper flouted her order that portions of a school district report about Cruz should remain shielded from the public. In the future, she declared, she will consider listing exactly what the newspaper can and cannot print.

Scherer did not rule on a school district request that the newspaper and two reporters be held in contempt for publishing the information. At issue is a report released Aug. 3 based on Cruz’s educational record, revealing what officials knew about him in the years leading up to his Feb. 14 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he killed 17 people and wounded 17 more.

Scherer... threatened to restrict what the media can report, a practice known as prior restraint. “From now on if I have to specifically write word for word exactly what you are and are not permitted to print – and I have to take the papers myself and redact them with a Sharpie … then I’ll do that,” she said.

Oh, no you won't. Don't these judges ever study the First Amendment or the Pentagon Papers Supreme Court decision? Heck, at this point I'd settle for their simply watching Spielberg's movie, The Post.

Judge attempts to resurrect Deep State.

I love a good zombie movie. A federal judge is trying to bring the Waters of the U.S. rule back from the dead. The Washington Times's Josh Siegel has the story:

A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction Thursday against the Trump administration for delaying the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule, dealing a setback to a key piece of President Trump's deregulatory agenda.

The decision by the U.S. District Court in South Carolina means that the so-called Clean Water Rule is again operative in 26 states where district courts have not halted the regulation.

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a finalized regulation in February delaying the Waters of the U.S. rule until 2020 to allow the agency to go through a process of rewriting a more modest version of it.

Here's the rub: the administrative state has a long list of procedures, and Pruitt allegedly avoided the 30-day waiting period between the rule's finalization and its effective date.

In an odd twist of fate, Democrat state attorneys general sued to force the federal government to crack down on them, telling them what they can and cannot do. Ironically, the states were asking the federal government to take away their power...

The Southern Environmental Law Center represented nine groups, including Charleston Waterkeeper and the Coastal Conservation League, in filing a lawsuit over the delay.

At the same time, 11 Democratic state attorneys general filed a similar lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Obama administration rule, published in June 2015, intended to clarify which waters and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act and are subject to federal regulation by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Farmers, ranchers, and developers said the rule violated their property rights, forcing them to protect the streams and tributaries that flow through their land.

Read the whole story here.