Good Monday morning.
Here is what’s on the president’s agenda today:
- The president hosts a meeting with state and local officials about his infrastructure initiative
- President Trump receives his intelligence briefing
- Afterwards, the president meets with Vice President Mike Pence
- President Trump has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
RUSSIA collusion update
On Friday, the White House released a memo from FBI Director Wray and DOJ Assistant Attorney General Rosenstein containing objections to certain content in the 10-page memo written by HPSCI Democrats rebutting the GOP HPSCI memo summarizing abuse of the FISA court process by the Obama administration. We all knew that leaker and camera whore Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) was setting up the president so that the memo, intentionally littered with sources and methods, would need to be edited before release, and he could claim the president was trying to suppress the Dems’ “incriminating” memo. Schiff stepped up right on cue to do exactly that on Sunday.
“The president doesn’t want you to see these facts from the FISA application because it completely undermines his claim of vindication,” Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court application used to obtain a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign aide.
Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he plans to work with the FBI to redact necessary information from the Democratic memo, which rebuts a document drafted by staff of the panel’s Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.).
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes responded to Schiff’s theatrics.
Nunes, during an appearance on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” blamed Democrats for packing their memo full of “sources and methods” – critical information about how the committee recruits sources and uncovers information.
Trump told the Democrats they would need to work with the Department of Justice to redact “classified and especially sensitive passages” before the memo can be made public.
“If they really wanted to get it out they’d be down there all day yesterday redacting it and getting it back over to the White House so the public can know what’s in it,” Nunes said. “So this is nothing but politics.”
Obviously, Schiff isn’t going to work on Sunday. How would he appear on all the Sunday shows?
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) responded to some of Schiff’s Sunday spin:
In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Schiff, D-Calif., accused Grassley, R-Iowa, of being “part of the same effort along with [House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes to try to put the FBI and Bob Mueller’s investigation on trial.”
“If Schiff (or anyone else) is going to claim that it is Grassley’s intent to undermine the Mueller probe, they should back it up with actual evidence or retract it and apologize for questioning the motives of their colleagues without any basis whatsoever,” Foy said. “Otherwise, they’re only exposing their own biases.”
Rob Porter fallout
The story about Rob Porter, former senior WH official and accused woman beater, is still making headlines. We don’t have many specifics or a definitive timeline about what the White House knew and when they knew it, so there’s an opportunity to just spin the story to one’s liking and agenda. What we do know so far is that Gen. John Kelly and WH counsel Don McGahn knew something was amiss with Porter’s FBI security clearance. Porter mentioned his “problem” to Kelly, although how he explained the situation remains vague. Did the FBI provide details of Porters’ ex-wives’ allegations when informing the WH about Porter’s clearance troubles? We don’t know. The left would like you to believe that WH officials did know the extent of Porter’s ex-wives’ credible allegations and didn’t care. I don’t buy this at all. There’s no doubt the situation has been a disaster and poorly handled, but that’s not the same thing as saying Kelly and McGahn knew about physical abuse, restraining orders, and photographic evidence of a beatdown and just didn’t care.
On the Sunday spin shows, WH spokesperson Kellyanne Conway said that the president has confidence in COS Kelly. “I spoke with the president last night about this very issue, and he wanted me to reemphasize to everyone…that he has full confidence in his current chief of staff John Kelly, and that he is not actively searching for replacements,” Conway said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
However, some “experts” say Kelly is on his way out.
Kelly’s mishandling of the situation has experts doubting he’ll last much longer in a White House renowned for its high turnover rate. Trump has already begun floating possible names for a replacement among advisers, according to multiple reports.
“If he makes it to 2019, either Trump has changed or John Kelly is Superman in a general’s outfit,” Scott Talan, a communications professor at American University, told the Daily News.
Former CIA director Leon Panetta expressed concern about Kelly. “I worry about John,” said Panetta, who served as White House chief of staff during the Clinton administration. “Because look, he is first and foremost a Marine. He is not a politician.”
I’ve also heard that the nasty hit stories and leaks about Kelly are just maneuvers to get rid of him and power plays to get more influence over Trump.
FUN FLASHBACK: Ben Rhodes, national security advisor, denied security clearance by the FBI.
“For the FBI to evidently find something in Mr. Rhodes’ background that led it to potentially deny him a security clearance only to have Mr. Rhodes work at the highest levels of the Obama administration shakes the entire clearance process to the core,” the lawmakers wrote. “Mr. Rhodes was working in the White House for the past seven years and is the architect of the Iran deal ‘echo chamber,’ as he recently described himself.”
“We agree that it would not be worth pushing for Benjamin Rhodes to receive interim status,” Obama transition team members wrote to Podesta in October 2008.
“For your information, out of the approximately 187 people who we have moved through the process Benjamin was the only person declined interim status,” the email said.
I don’t remember hearing so much about improperly credentialed WH staff at the time this all went down. Maybe I missed it.
Garbage media normalizes tyrannical regime that tortures, kills its hostage citizens
The big news this weekend was that the MSM was helping the North Korean PR machine to normalize its maniac government.
In today’s Trump-deranged America, journalists and like-minded Hollywood celebs painted the sister of North Korea’s brutal dictator as an iconic figure and the vice-president and his wife as ugly Americans. When Friday’s opening ceremony of the Olympics was broadcast that night, rave reviews poured in from the left – for Kim Jong-un’s sister’s alleged side eye glance to Pence.
CNN tells us that sister Kim is like Ivanka Trump.
Calling Kim North Korea’s “answer to American first daughter Ivanka Trump,” CNN wrote that Kim “is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics,” going so far as to say she “would be favored to win gold” if “diplomatic dance” were an Olympic event. The piece never once mentioned ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons, or the fact that Kim is blacklisted by the Department of the Treasury for serious human rights violations.
CNN did, however, comment on her smile and warmth.
The media is the worst.
Historical picture of the day:
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!