News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Yates Impersonates SCOTUS, Clapper Spooksplains, Racial Bean Counters...and Much, Much More

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 8, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing: "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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.

Testify!

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:

https://youtu.be/YWLtaOLOTgk

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

Not out of the realm of possibility.

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:

(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

You’re welcome.

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.

Final Morsels

Owners of the bunny victimized by United Airlines wants damages

Did Jimmy Carter vote for Bernie?

Married folk split up over Trump

Christie signs “Snooki Law”

Oreo releases new cookie flavor, will pay $500K for next new cookie flavor

What ever happened to Keith Olbermann?

Police nab Phoenix serial shooter

Have a great day and go beat back the angry mobs!