Tuesday's HOT MIC
Happy Tuesday Morning!
Here's what's on the President's agenda today:
- In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster.
- The President will then receive his daily intelligence briefing.
Yesterday, former Obama appointee Sally Yates and former DNI James "not the leak" Clapper testified before the Senate for a hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“We felt like it was critical that we get this information to the White House, in part because the vice president was making false statements to the public and because we believed that Gen. Flynn was possibly compromised,” Yates said.
“We knew that was not a good situation, which is why we wanted to let the White House know about it.”
Flynn was forced to resign after it was alleged that he discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. There has been no proof of this, by the way. However, what we do have proof of and what we do know is illegal—the leaked the phone conversation about Flynn and who authorized Flynn's name be "unmasked" and then leaked—is of little interest to the media.
Earlier Monday, former officials said Obama had raised general concerns about Flynn with Trump and told the incoming president there were better people for the national security post. Trump’s White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in response Monday that if Obama “was seriously concerned” about Flynn’s connections to Russia or other foreign countries, he should have withheld Flynn’s security clearance. Flynn served under Obama as defense intelligence chief before Obama dismissed him from that post.
Why would Trump listen to any "advice" the Obama administration had to offer? Yates should have been out of the DOJ the minute Trump took his hand off the Bible when he was sworn in along with all the other Obama swampers.
Yates also stood by her judgment that Trump's travel ban was unconstitutional and her decision for the DOJ not to defend it in court. Yates was fired for that decision.
"In looking at what the intent was of the executive order — which was derived in part of an analysis of facts outside of the face of the order — that is part of what led to our conclusion that it was not lawful," she told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee when questioned by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
“Let me make one thing clear: It was not purely as a policy matter," Yates replied.
“You specifically asked me if the president asked me to do something that was unlawful and unconstitutional, would I say no?” she said.
“I looked at this, I made a determination that I believed that it was unlawful. I also thought it was inconsistent with the principles of the Department of Justice. And I said no.”
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) also questioned constitutional arbiter Yates about 8 U.S.C. 1182. Yates said she was not familiar with the statute.
“Well, it is the binding statutory authority for the executive order that you refused to implement and that led to your termination,” Cruz said. “So it certainly is a relevant and not a terribly obscure statute.”
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any alien or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interest of the United States, he may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.
“Would you agree that that is broad statutory authorization?” Cruz asked. Yates responded:
“I would, and I am familiar with that, and I’m also familiar with an additional provision of the INA that says ‘no person shall receive preference or be discriminated against in issuance of a visa because of race, nationality or place of birth.’ That, I believe, was promulgated after the statute that you just quoted. And that’s been part of the discussion with the courts with respect to the INA is whether this more specific statute trumps the first one that you just described. But my concern was not an INA concern here. It rather was a Constitutional concern, whether or not the executive order here violated the Constitution specifically with the establishment clause and equal protection and due process.”
Keep in mind, folks, Yates' job is not determining what is or is not constitutional. We have an entirely separate branch of government for that, something that got swept under the rug during the Obama administration.
Here's the exchange:
Trump's Twitter account drives the left batty
Prior to the hearing yesterday, President Trump tweeted out a possible question the Senate might ask former Obama appointee Yates.
The CNN brain trust went off the rails. Dana Bash and John King claimed the tweet was "witness intimidation."
“Before I covered politics all the time, I used to cover the courts a lot. A lawyer would call that witness intimidation,” King, the host of "Inside Politics," said.
Bash agreed with that charge. “Completely. Look, I think that we have all been kind of desensitized, in some way, to his tweets and to his statements that are so out of the norm," Bash, the network's chief political correspondent, said. "This is beyond out of the norm. This is inappropriate.
"For the president of the United States to be this aggressive with somebody who used to work for him, who is coming before the United States Congress in sworn testimony hours later, is beyond the pale. It just is.”
But the derangement really kicked into high gear when the president changed his Twitter account heading.
In apparent reaction to ex-CIA director James Clapper’s testimony during Monday’s Russia hearing, President Donald Trump changed his Twitter profile header to reflect one of Clapper’s comments.
The tweet, superimposed over GOP figureheads flashing the thumbs-up sign, reads, “Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows – there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/Russia and Trump.”
The new profile header elicited strong reactions from social media varying in degrees from laughter to scorn.
I'm not going to bother posting the tweets here. Head over to The Blaze article linked if you want to have a look.
I always feel like somebody's watching me
Barack Obama's former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, testified Monday before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism that the intelligence community "unmasked" 1,934 U.S. persons in 2016.
Clapper spooksplained to the committee what "unmasking" means.
"There are cases when, to fully understand the context of the communication that has been obtained or the threat that is posed, the consumer of that collected intelligence may ask the identity of the U.S. person be revealed," Clapper said.
"Such requests explain why the unmasking is necessary, and that explanation is conveyed back to the agency that collected the information," he continued. "It is then up to that agency whether to approve the request and to provide the identity."
He further spooksplained:
"This process is subject to oversight and reporting, and in the interest of transparency, my former office publishes a report on the statistics of how many U.S. persons' identities are unmasked based on collection that occurred under Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act," Clapper said. "In 2016, that number was 1,934."
That seems kind of high to me. Washington Free Beacon points to an AP report that revealed a much higher number than Clapper offered.
The identities of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents were found in 3,914 intelligence reports the NSA distributed last year, said the report released Tuesday. The annual report comes just weeks after President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama's national security adviser of possibly committing a crime when she asked government analysts to disclose the names of Trump associates documented in intelligence reports.
The Trump administration really needs to get to the bottom of this: who requested and who authorized the unmasking of American identities and who was unmasked? Senator Rand Paul is asking these questions because it seems like he was one of the targets.
Don't shoot until you see the whites...of their eyes
Democrat Don Calloway was the latest lefty to think he was going to get the best of Tucker Carlson, only to fail as others before him have and will continue to do. Carlson had a segment on his show that addressed the left's compulsive racial bean counting.
Last week some people took notice of the white male Republicans in the Rose Garden with President Trump and in the group of all-male senators working on health care.
Democrat Don Calloway said that the Republican party “has a diversity problem,” but Carlson shot back that liberals doing this want to “judge people on things they can’t control,” including race.
He told Calloway that “the race part is grotesque” and that a lot of white men worked on Obamacare too. He asked, “Why is it bad that these people are a specific color?”
Calloway said there’s a “lack of diversity” of perspective there and also argued that it can’t just be white men making decisions about women’s health care.
Why? Why should we care what the skin color is of policy experts who are working on health care legislation? I want experts making tough decisions and their skin color, whatever it is, should play no part.
I can't let this go either: a "lack of diversity" of perspective? WOAH. Let's send this guy to some college campuses to spread his good word and see what happens.
Antonio Sabato Jr. to run for Congress
CNN identifies him as a "Melrose Place" actor because they are assholes. CNN would never identify any of the idiot lefty actors they prop up and idolize by citing their garbage body of work. Sabato Jr. is a Republican, that's why.
Sabato, who filed documents with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, was inspired to run for office during President Donald Trump's 2016 run, Charles Moran, his top fundraiser, told CNN on Monday, and will likely use his connections with the Trump administration -- and the President himself -- to differentiate himself with other Republicans in the district and the seat's current Democratic occupant, Rep. Julia Brownley.
I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about Sabato:
Bob Owens -- Rest in Peace, my comrade
Last night I learned Bob Owens, editor of Bearing Arms and former PJ Media contributor, had taken his own life. I always hung out with Bob at the gun industry shows and admired his tenacity on Twitter as he smacked down the hateful anti-gun trolls like Mom's Demand and Bloomberg operatives. Bob was a fearless and knowledgeable fighter for the Second Amendment. He will be missed terribly and I'm sure I speak for many when I say hearts are broken. Rest in peace, warrior, and G-d bless your friends and family.
Have a great day and go beat back the angry mobs!
Okay, I no longer expect the usual suspects to say anything that makes any logical sense, but just think about the Comey thing for a second.
- How many of the people now saying that "it's a coup" were also demanding Comey resign or be fired at the end of October?
- How many of those people think that Comey is the one actually doing the investigation, deerstalker cap, magnifying glass and all?
Leftist crazies -- including, naturally, the New York Times -- already reaching for "Saturday Night Massacre" comparisons.
Now watch the Left go ape with dark mutterings about Putin and the Saturday Night Massacre. Oh, wait...
— Mícheál Breathnach (@dkahanerules) May 9, 2017
Exactly. Putin made a small investment that, tonight, has paid off beyond his wildest dreams. His own "worm" in the heart of our democracy. https://t.co/lCXoulMHA6
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 9, 2017
Of course it isn't over. I think Nixon tried the same thing. https://t.co/6ehkNpb4co
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) May 9, 2017
And away we go!
UPDATE -- it wouldn't be a trip to Krazytown without you know who...
It’s a coup.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 9, 2017
Agree with you as usual on this. Considering the people whose noses and more will be out of joint (including Charles K. this moment on Fox) I know this is a good thing.
Secret sauce: Rod Rosenstein, the new deputy AG who just replaced Yates. A lot of this was his doing. Indeed, he may have been put in place to do it.
I'd like to agree with Ace that Rudy Giuliani would come in to replace Comey but, alas, not happening.
Democrats are crying Watergate already and demanding a special prosecutor. Also not happening.
Yes, things like the Comey firing usually happen late on Friday. But this morning the whole country started seeing headlines like this one: "Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate."
The subhead was less generous, and more accurate.
The FBI hasn’t decided how to correct the director’s false claim that she forwarded thousands of Clinton emails to the laptop computer of her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
Comey lied to Congress about an investigation into the illegal distribution of classified information among high-level Democrats during a presidential race.
Under those circumstances, "You're fired!" couldn't wait until Friday. It had to be done now.
I'd go further and wager there's a good chance that a few years from now, we'll look back at this the same way we do at Reagan's firing of the PATCO strikers: The moment where everyone, especially in foreign capitals, sat up straight and thought, "Crap, this guy means it."
So maybe Trump does. His indicators haven't been quite as clear as Reagan's were in 1981, but this is a good one.
After months of political turmoil due to the impeachment proceedings against former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the nation went to the polls and elected Moon Jae-in to a five year term.
The former human rights lawyer is considered a liberal and is expected to take a more conciliatory approach to relations with North Korea.
Um...good luck with that.
Although domestic issues dominated the campaign, foreign affairs were much higher up the agenda than usual, in large part because of Trump’s election in the United States and the stance he has taken on North and South Korea.
Trump has called for “maximum pressure” on North Korea to make Kim Jong Un’s regime give up its nuclear and missile programs, and he has threatened to use military force, an approach that could push North Korea to unleash artillery fire on Seoul.
Meanwhile, Moon has said that he is open to going to Pyongyang to meet Kim if it would help resolve the nuclear problem and that he wants to return to the “sunshine policy” of previous liberal presidents. This began in 1997 — well before North Korea had proved any nuclear capability — and involved economic engagement with the North to reduce the gaps between the two Koreas.
Moon served as chief of staff to Roh Moon-hyun, a liberal president who governed between 2003 and 2008 and who inherited the sunshine policy of liberal predecessor Kim Dae-jung. During this period, South Korea began tours to the North Korean mountain resort of Kumgangsan and opened the industrial park at Kaesong, where North Koreans worked in factories owned by South Korean companies.
In an interview with The Washington Post before his election, Moon played down his differences with Trump, saying he believed the American was “more reasonable than he is generally perceived.”
Moon has promised to review the decision to install the THAAD missile system, which will please China and the North. But overall, relations with the US will not change much.
Well, the you-know-what is really going to hit the old fan-sky now that James Comey has been fired. But allow me to be the first to say, at least on PJM, that it should have happened months, if not years, ago. Still, did anyone see it coming? Apparently not. And on a Tuesday. Events of this nature usually happen on Fridays around five p.m. But I suspect amazing things will be revealed shortly. Also, if I don't miss my guess, Iowa Sen. Grassley has had his hand in this even though the attorney general and the deputy attorney general recommended. Bravo!
Bye, bye, James Comey.
Former President Obama says we eat too much steak.
Thanks for the reminder, sir -- I'll take another one of these out of the freezer.
Because if there's one thing we love here in America, it's too much steak
Buyer's remorse on the Iran deal.
Iran announced an upcoming "satellite" launch, but experts suggest that this "space" initiative is likely a cover for ICBM tests. From Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon:
"Now, we have two ready-to-launch satellites; one of them is Amir Kabir sensing satellite and another one is Nahid telecommunication satellite and over 97 percent of preparation works have been carried out on them," Iranian Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying Monday in the country's state-controlled press.
Iran has a history of using space launches as cover to test and refine its ICBM technology, which remains part of its larger nuclear weapons program.
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, told the Free Beacon that launches of this nature have only increased since the landmark nuclear agreement relaxed international restrictions on Iran's military behavior.
"That Iran uses its satellite program as cover for ballistic missile development is no secret although, quite realistically, since John Kerry loosened restrictions on Iran's ballistic missile program, they don't need to hide quite so much," Rubin said. "The key thing to recognize is that we're no longer talking about just Iran's capability."
Iran goes hand in hand with North Korea.
"When it comes to nuclear technology, Iran and North Korea are like sorority sisters swapping clothes or an old married couple sharing a toothbrush," Rubin said. "What happens in Tehran doesn't stay in Tehran."
What will Trump do about the remaining two pillars of the "axis of evil"?