News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Blumenthal?, Schiff Punked by RUSSIANS, Clock Ticking on DACA and Much, Much, More

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Good Wednesday morning.

Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, the president will receive his daily intelligence briefing
  • Afterwards, the president will meet with the secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Later, the president will meet with the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • The president will meet with Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee
  • The president will host the National Prayer Breakfast dinner

BREAKING: More texts between Strzok and Page uncovered, lead to more questions

Strzok: “Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it’s still largely ignorant hillbillys [sic]. Good for her for running, but curious if she’s energized or never again.”

Nice.

Gowdy: I’m not saying it was Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal feeding info to Chris Steele, but it was Clinton associate Sidney Blumenthal feeding information to Chris Steele

Last night, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) was interviewed on Martha MacCallum’s show “The Story” and spoke about the FISA abuse memo written by the House Intelligence Committee, HPSCI. He confirmed the suspicions of many people following this FISA abuse saga closely:

Gowdy told Fox News’ “The Story” that “when you hear who … one of the sources of that information is, you’re going to think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve heard that name somewhere before.'”

When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, “That’d be really warm. You’re warm, yeah.”

Gowdy is referring to this line, included in a criminal referral from Senate Judiciary chaiman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to the FBI regarding the sourcing of a second Trump dossier: “a foreign sub-source who is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted), a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).'” Gowdy has solved part one of the RUSSIAN-collusion Mad Lib!

Last time we heard about Sidney Blumenthal, he was in the headlines because his email was hacked and we learned he was sending then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intelligence reports about Libya and the Middle East. And I’m positive those reports had nothing to do with Blumenthal’s business interests.

Rep. Adam Schiff, clown, colludes with RUSSIANS to acquire Trump dirt

Yesterday we learned a sitting congressman on the Intelligence Committee was working with RUSSIANS for political gain.

The top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence fell for a prank phone call in which two Russian comedians claimed to have compromising information on President Donald Trump, including recordings of discussions about naked photos.

The lawmaker, California Rep. Adam Schiff, also had members of his staff follow up to obtain the dirt on Trump, The Daily Mail reports.

Schiff claims he knew it was a prank but it doesn’t sound like it. “I’ll be in touch with the FBI about this. And we’ll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI,” he said in the call. He also had a staffer follow up to set up a meeting to get the dirt. Time for an investigation into Adam Schiff!

Related: Dems blasting Nunes memo once urged FISA court transparency

Trump meets with Rosenstein about Democrat “memo”

The WH has received the Democrat response to the FISA abuse memo put out by the HPSCI. Word is the Dems have loaded their memo with all kinds of classified information so that it will have to be redacted and they can turn around and accuse the WH of censoring the memo. Take note: the Democrats are willing to risk releasing classified information for perceived partisan gain.

“The American people can expect this memo to go through the exact same process that the Republican memo went through, which involved bringing all of the stakeholders from a legal and national security perspective to weigh in before making a determination,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “We didn’t release the memo prior to the review process being complete, and we’re not going to do that this time.”

Immigration/government shutdown update

The clock is ticking for Congress to come to a budget agreement. The House has approved a spending bill that funds the government until March 23. However…

Senate leaders are expected to strip out the military portion and attempt to pass a broader budget deal that Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating for months. But any changes to the measure mean the House will need to approve legislation before midnight on Thursday to avoid any government shutdown.

 

And there’s another deadline on the horizon:

Another deadline comes four weeks later. On March 5, DACA recipients who have not applied for a temporary extension to their status could face deportation.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday that he doubts Trump would extend that deadline. And he noted that only 690,000 of the 1.8 million eligible DREAMers have applied for that status.

“The difference between (690,000) and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up,” Kelly said.

Kelly said he was “not so sure this president has the authority to extend it” because the administration believes the Obama-era program was illegal.

Trump is fine with a shutdown.

“I would shut it down over this issue. I can’t speak for everybody at the table, but I will tell you, I would shut it down over this issue,” he said. “If we don’t straighten out our border, we don’t have a country. Without borders we don’t have a country. So would I would shut it down over this issue? Yes.”

Developing…

Trump wants a military parade: time to FREAK OUT

President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to make arrangements for a military parade like the one he saw in France on his Bastille Day visit. This information comes from The Washington Post via…WAIT FOR IT…WAIT…WAIT…anonymous sources. “The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France,” the anonymous military official said. “This is being worked at the highest levels of the military,” the official added.

The WH responded to the WaPo gossip and said the WH “has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.”

CNN, a gossip-centered channel on cable like E!, thinks this is just like North Korea.

“Look, you have of course the North Korea parallels, the big military parades and the standing and applauding.”

“Is it fair to make that analogy?”

“I think it’s very fair. This is not something that we do,” CNN contributor Joan Walsh responded. “We also know that the president actually wanted there to be tanks and other military equipment during his Inaugural parade but was told the streets of Washington wouldn’t stand for it.”

Of course.

Keep an eye on this:

Holder redistricting group targets GOP control in states

Your daily WTF:

Woman found holding her eyeball outside S Carolina church

Historical picture of the day:

Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan brought his campaign to Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 7, 1976, and made a point as he answered a question by a newsman before he spoke at the Florida Jaycees Winter Conference on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket

Joe Manchin Is Running Scared

Certain Muslim immigrants should be under long-term surveillance, a DHS draft report urges

Forcing bakers to make gay wedding cakes violates free speech, California judge rules

Senators call for probe into US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics after abuse scandal

The Rule Of Law Suddenly Becomes A Big Concern For Liberals

Russian Hackers Hunt Hi-Tech Defense Secrets

Steve Wynn steps down as CEO of Wynn Resorts after misconduct allegations

Dow rallies back, ends trading day sharply higher

Transgender people sue Alabama over driver’s license policy

Biden on Trump’s ‘treason’ comments: ‘He’s a joke’

‘Black Lives Matter Week of Action’ underway at Md. school district; all-black clothing encouraged

Sarah Sanders: Do Democrats ‘Hate This President More Than They Love This Country?’

House bans sexual relationships between lawmakers and their subordinates in response to misconduct scandal

Four dead, hundreds injured and missing in Taiwan after 6.4-magnitude earthquake strikes

Google and Facebook have similar rules on asking out coworkers: You only get one chance

State lawmakers implore Tide to make less tasty-looking detergent pods

Macy’s aims new women’s clothing at Muslims

High school cancels musical after white student lands lead role

Two Amtrak train cars detached while the train was reportedly going 125 mph

Facebook had a pollster measuring Mark Zuckerberg’s approval ratings, but he quit after six months

“Lady Doritos”? It’s not happening, PepsiCo says

Federal appeals court rules $25M Trump University settlement can go forward

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