News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Gun Control Legislation Push, Mueller Expands Probe and Much, Much More

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., followed by, from left, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., arrives to meet with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Good Wednesday morning.

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

  • The president and first lady attend the arrival ceremony preceding the lying in honor of the Reverend Billy Graham
  • President Trump meets with bipartisan members of Congress to discuss school and community safety

Florida school shooting update

The media is working overtime in its gun control advocacy. Here’s one effort from ABC News titled “Breaking down the NRA-backed theory that a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun.” Don’t tell Dave Thomas of Illinois, who used an AR-15 to stop a knife attack just two days ago.

One of the Florida shooter’s neighbors told CNN, “I had no doubt he was going to do this. My husband and I both knew that we would eventually see him one day on the news, wearing an orange jumpsuit being charged with murder.”

We also learned yesterday that the shooter had swastikas on the magazines for his rifle. Teachers and administrators wanted the shooter to change schools to one where he could get more mental health services.

Democrats plan to move on gun control

The anti-gun industry met yesterday to scheme about ways to shred up the Second Amendment.

A group of Democratic lawmakers huddled Tuesday with representatives from several national gun-control organizations — a first-of-its-kind meeting aimed at finding ways to politicize the issue of gun-related violence ahead of congressional elections this fall.

Who was at the meeting? Exactly who you would expect.

At least four major organizations pushing for stricter gun-control laws also attended: Everytown for Gun Safety, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the group founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who survived a 2011 shooting.

Pro-gun-control politicians were also at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants a vote on “multiple” gun control proposals.

“We in Congress have an obligation to pass meaningful gun safety legislation that will save lives and tackle as many of the loopholes and problems with our gun laws as we can,” Schumer told reporters.

“We Democrats at a minimum believe we should be passing a universal background check legislation that ensures that guns don’t fall in the wrong hands,” he said.

“Universal background checks” wouldn’t have stopped the Florida school shooter, but, hey, the gun control industry isn’t about being effective, they’re about limiting your right to protect yourself.

Another foolish suggestion being tossed about is using the no-fly list to prevent gun sales. The no-fly list is notoriously inaccurate, but don’t take my word, take the ACLU’s. This is unconstitutional, it seems to me, because the people on this list have been put there by nameless, faceless bureaucrats and have not been adjudicated by a court of law before one of their constitutional rights would be taken away. And if the people on this list are so dangerous, why are they walking around free, especially if they aren’t American citizens?

Related:

Sessions urges bump stock ban through regulation

House GOP rejects calls for new gun legislation

Anti-NRA activists are calling for a boycott of Amazon, Apple, and FedEx

Virginia and New York tell Delta: You’re welcome here

If you think that Twitter is more important than reality, I guess this is significant: Parkland shooting survivor Emma González has more Twitter followers than the NRA

Alleged school shooter’s mom paid $50K to adopt him from ‘drug addict’

RUSSIA-collusion update

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into President Trump’s relationship with RUSSIA before the 2016 presidential campaign, according to CNN’s anonymous sources. It sure seems like the Mueller investigation has gotten off track from its original mission, eh?

Questions to some witnesses during wide-ranging interviews included the timing of Trump’s decision to seek the presidency, potentially compromising information the Russians may have had about him, and why efforts to brand a Trump Tower in Moscow fell through, two sources said.

The lines of inquiry indicate Mueller’s team is reaching beyond the campaign to explore how the Russians might have sought to influence Trump at a time when he was discussing deals in Moscow and contemplating a presidential run.

A new report from NBC’s anonymous sources claims that seven states’ voting systems were compromised before the 2016 election.

Top-secret intelligence requested by President Barack Obama in his last weeks in office identified seven states where analysts — synthesizing months of work — had reason to believe Russian operatives had compromised state websites or databases.

Three senior intelligence officials told NBC News that the intelligence community believed the states as of January 2017 were Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin.

The attack happened “in a variety of ways, with some breaches more serious than others, from entry into state websites to penetration of actual voter registration databases.” The Obama administration did not inform the states of these attacks and “none were told the Russian government was behind it, state officials told NBC News.”

All state and federal officials who spoke to NBC News agree that no votes were changed and no voters were taken off the rolls.

FLASHBACK: Shortly after the election, the Obama administration assured the public the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.”

NSA chief Mike Roger’s testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday, and the committee questioned whether Trump had directed him to “counter” the RUSSIANS’ “meddling.”

“How long are we going to step back and look broadly at this ongoing attack,” asked Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal, telling Rogers he was outraged by Russia’s “disrupting, sowing discord, continuing to attack our democracy in ways that most Americans should find absolutely intolerable.”

It’s not his job, actually. The NSA is just one agency.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice will probe the Obama administration’s glaring FISA abuse.

“We believe the Department of Justice must adhere to the high standards in the FISA court,” Sessions said during a news conference Tuesday. “Yes, it will be investigated. And I think that’s just the appropriate thing the inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with.”

Related:

Jared Kushner’s security clearance downgraded: sources

Historical picture of the day:

A Texas National Guard armored personnel carrier heads towards the Mount Carmel compound of the Branch Davidians cult near Waco, Texas on Sunday, Feb. 28, 1993. Federal and local law enforcement officials are at a standoff with the cult after cult members opened fire on Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, killing at least four and wounding 15, as they attempted to execute a search warrant on Sunday morning. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Other morsels:

U.S. judge rejects lawsuit seeking to stop Trump border wall

20 states sue to end ObamaCare — and they might have a point

WH says it is ‘cooperating’ with House Russia probe, despite Hicks stonewalling

Corker decides against reelection bid, sticks with retirement

Woman tells police she had Republican mega-donor Steve Wynn’s child after he raped her

Anti-Semitic incidents spike 57 percent in 2017, report says

Supreme Court rules detained immigrants not entitled to periodic bond hearings

Trump strikes $3.9 billion deal for new Air Force One fleet

Man caught on camera destroying DC speed camera

TSA takes on issue of improving transgender screening

Yes, Barbra Streisand cloned her dog — and made puns about it

Bellagio chef arrested for stealing close to $2G worth of lobster tails, police say

Ryan Seacrest fights sexual misconduct claims as fellow ABC star calls for him to skip the Oscars

Texas is no longer Solid Republican

Suspicious mail triggers illness at Virginia military base

ICE announces more than 150 people arrested in San Francisco area

Reputed MS-13 defendants laugh, smile as slain teen’s family glares

Judge: Tarps covering Charlottesville Confederate monuments must come down

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