Wednesday's HOT MIC
Good Wednesday morning.
Here is what's on the president's agenda today:
- In the morning, the president receives his daily intelligence briefing.
- Later the president meets with bipartisan members of Congress on infrastructure.
- In the afternoon, the president participates in a working session regarding the Opportunity Zones provided by tax reform.
- The president will sign H.R. 4708, the DHS Blue Campaign Authorization Act and S. 534, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Assault and Safe Sport Authorization Act
Spooks testify before Congress
Yesterday, all the head spooks appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was a real alphabet soup -- participants included the CIA (Pompeo), FBI (Wray), NSA (Rogers), DNI (Coats), and others. As expected, one of the main themes of the spook testimony was RUSSIAN interference in our electoral process. Another theme of the testimony (from the Democrats) was that President Trump does not take RUSSIAN election interference seriously. The WaPo tells us, "Their [spooks] assessment stands in contrast to President Trump, who has repeatedly voiced skepticism of Russian meddling in the 2016 election." That's not from any witnesses, that's just the WaPo editorializing.
In order to talk about the 2016 election, it's important to remember two things: First, that no one thought President Trump would win the 2016 election, even the RUSSIANS. Second, RUSSIA'S purpose with the 2016 election was to cause chaos and undermine the presumed victrix, Hillary. Now it turns out that Hillary lost and Trump won, but they still want to destabilize the U.S. Who are the people furthering the RUSSIAN goals of chaos, division and undermining the president? The media, the left, and the crazy never-Trump people.
I watched most of this hearing and I did not see any of these agency heads testify that President Trump is not taking the RUSSIAN threat seriously or ordering them to ignore threats to our election processes. In fact, the WaPo reports, "Pompeo added that Trump 'has made very clear we have an obligation' to make sure policymakers have a deep understanding of the Russia threat." So all the claptrap about President Trump trying to stop the intel agencies from doing their job regarding the RUSSIA threat is just the left's propaganda to undermine the president.
Said DNI Coats:
Coats said that Russia will continue using propaganda, false personas and social media to undermine the upcoming election.
“There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts” to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign “as successful and views the 2018 midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations,” said Coats, the leader of the U.S. government’s 17 intelligence agencies.
Pompeo (CIA) also denied the reports last week that the NSA lost $100k attempting to retrieve stolen cyberweapons and obtain naked pictures of President Trump. "Pompeo categorically denied that the intelligence agency had paid any such money, directly or indirectly. He claimed that the newspaper had been duped by the same person trying to sell the U.S. government information that turned out to be bogus."
The committee also met with the spooks in a closed, classified hearing after the public event.
Leaker Adam Schiff: I won't make changes to my memo
Last Friday, the president returned the Democrats' FISA abuse memo response with a list of objections and edits from the DOJ and FBI before the memo can be made public. The Democrats specifically included objectionable material in their response memo so they could claim that the president was censoring their idiot document. This was all predicted. It's Wednesday, and these lazy, overpaid congressmen have still not gotten their act together to make the changes so their memo can be released. And yet, they shriek how important it is they get their memo out.
"We're not going to make any revisions to it," Schiff said Tuesday. "The only question is what redaction will be made. And obviously we'd like to keep those to a minimum."
Related: BuzzFeed sues DNC
WH story on alleged wife beater Rob Porter getting more convoluted
Yesterday, in the spook Hill testimony, FBI director Wray was asked about the Rob Porter background check. Porter resigned or was fired from his senior position as staff secretary after credible allegations of violence made by his ex-wives were revealed. Inquiring minds want to know if the White House knew Porter had been accused of beating up his ex-wives and if they knew he would not be able to get a security clearance. Porter's job included handling classified materials.
Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI completed its background investigation of Porter "in late July." The FBI then responded to requests for follow up information in November, and finally "administratively closed the file in January ... earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that along as well," Wray said.
The WH had previously said Porter's background check hadn't been completed and upon learning of the allegations, they took action against Porter. The stories don't match up and the WH looks really bad here. Really bad.
What a mess.
Olympic picture of the day:
And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!
Broward County Sherrif Scott Israel just addressed the media:
According to Israel, 17 people lost their lives in the attack -- 12 in the school building, two just outside the building, one was on the street, and two at the hospital. He declined to share theories about the shooter's motive and said he didn't know if any teachers were shot.
The attack began outside the school and then moved inside, according to Israel.
He identified Nikolas Cruz as the shooter and said he is in custody and authorities are investigating his background and social media activities, which Israel called "very, very disturbing." The 19-year-old was a former student at Douglas High School and had been expelled for disciplinary reasons. He was carrying an AR-15 with "multiple magazines."
"Continue, please, to pray for these victims and these families," Israel urged.
Fox News is reporting that 16 are dead in the Florida school shooting. Many others are injured and there may yet be more fatalities. NOW is the time to pray for the victims and their families.
That would make this the ninth most deadly school massacre in history. Wikipedia:
Here is video of Nicolas Cruz, the alleged gunman, being taken into custody.
Heavy has "five fast facts" about Cruz, here.
The shooter has reportedly been transported from the hospital to the police station. Officials are still searching the school to ensure there are no explosives on the campus, apparently because of the shooter's references to bombings on social media.
A total of 14 individuals have been taken to several hospitals, but there are not yet any official reports of fatalities, although there are unofficial reports that "many" have died in the shooting.