News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Oconus Lures, McCabe's Immunity and Much, Much More

President Trump Signs The Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment Act Of 2018

Good Wednesday morning.

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

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump participates in the signing ceremony for S. 2372 – VA Mission Act of 2018
  • The president and the first lady visit Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters and participate in a 2018 hurricane briefing
  • President Trump meets with Republican members of the Senate
  • The president hosts the White House IFTAR

Oconus lures

Recently released text messages between former FBI “it” couple Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggest there were some overseas spies involved in an FBI operation back in December of 2015. We don’t know exactly what the “oconus lures” were doing, but we were told the Trump counterintelligence investigation didn’t begin until July 2016. I wonder what might be going on here?

The Senate on Monday released 500 pages of documents, including text messages between demoted counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and his paramour former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. One of the formerly redacted texts suggests that the FBI may have been snooping into the Trump campaign way earlier than previously believed. Without mentioning any campaign specifically, the December 2015 text message refers to “oconus lures,” which is FBI lingo for spies outside the continental United States. Strzok was leading the Clinton investigation at the time and would go on to play a central role in the Trump/Russia probe. It is being assumed that the pair was referring to the FBI’s efforts to bait & hook unsuspecting Trump campaign officials overseas.

Fox News is reporting that Strzok was more involved in the RUSSIA and Clinton investigations than previously thought. Imagine that.

Peter Strzok, who was pulled off Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team last year, played a more central role than previously known in both the Russia and Hillary Clinton email probes, a lawmaker familiar with the matter told Fox News Tuesday.

The lawmaker’s assessment of Strzok’s role in both investigations was based on the most recent records and testimony, including a closed-door interview with FBI espionage chief Bill Priestap.

We also learned yesterday that Andrew McCabe wants immunity in order to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in July. McCabe was fired from the FBI, after it was determined that he lied to the inspector general, who was investigating various and sundry FBI shenanigans. Don’t feel bad for McCabe. He has raised more than a half a million dollars in donations for his legal defense fund.

“Mr. McCabe is willing to testify, but because of the criminal referral, he must be afforded suitable legal protection,” McCabe attorney Michael Bromwich said. “Accordingly, we hereby request that the Judiciary Committee authorize a grant of use immunity to Mr. McCabe.”

Do you think McCabe should get immunity? (Bear with me a sec, I’m trying to stop laughing.) Tell me in the comments.

Kelly Sadler is out at the WH

White House communications aide Kelly Sadler, who made an impolitic remark about Senator John McCain, has been pushed out of her job, according to the New York Times.

Still, Ms. Sadler did not leave in light of her comments, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Instead, they suggested that Ms. Sadler was pushed out over reports that she had told Mr. Trump that Mercedes Schlapp, the White House strategic communications director, had been the one leaking to the news media. Tensions between the two had reached a point where Ms. Sadler, who worked in the White House communications office focusing on immigration, and Ms. Schlapp were unable to be in the same room together, White House aides said.

The Mooch has some thoughts on the comms shop drama.

“Someone had it out for Kelly Sadler,” Scaramucci, who served as the White House communications director for less than two weeks last summer, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “Because that was a sorry joke. It’s an unforgivable statement — I’m not here suggesting the statement was OK — but what I am suggesting as someone that’s run a pretty decent corporation, that when you’re sitting inside the inner sanctum and somebody says something like that, to run outside the sanctum and rat on that person — I think that’s a terrible thing to do to the person.”

Let’s hope they clean up this hot mess of White House leakers.

Election roundup:

Feinstein advances to general election

On ‘sanctuary cities’ issue, California’s resistance to Trump facing local resistance

Voters in eight states choose candidates in battle for Congress

Newsom, Cox to face off for California governor

California Democratic Candidate Says Party Officials Told Him He Was ‘Too Brown’ To Win

New Jersey Democratic primary voters send Menendez a message

GOP Rep Who Criticized Trump Forced Into Runoff In Alabama

Your daily WTF:

Teacher Who Said ‘Lick Me Where I Fart’ Pleads Guilty to Misconduct Again, Can Still Get Job Back

Historical picture of the day:

A first wave beach battalion Ducks lays low under the fire of Nazi guns on the beach of southern France on D-Day, June 6, 1944 during World War II. One invader operates a walkie-talkie radio directing other landing craft to the safest spots for unloading their parties of fighting men. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Sarah Sanders says Eagles pulled ‘political stunt,’ Trump refuses questions at event

McConnell cancels Senate’s month-long August recess

GOP rep calls on House to cancel August recess

Gotta go back to the districts to campaign! McCarthy says he has no plans to cancel August recess

Report: Facebook gave data access to Huawei, Chinese company U.S. deemed a security risk

Kate Spade suffered from depression for years, sister says

The question that hovers over Kate Spade’s bright life

Putin says he talks to Trump regularly

President Trump’s school safety commission will not be looking at role of guns, chair says

Emails: Pruitt used EPA aide to inquire about Chick-fil-A business opportunity

Report found evidence of discrimination at Evergreen College…against a white male professor

Goodbye, Swimsuit Competition. Hello, ‘Miss America 2.0.’

Teacher says school’s transgender name policy clashes with religious beliefs

Google employee activism on diversity, Pentagon contract is shaking up Internet giant

Rep. Keith Ellison will remain in DNC position despite run for Minnesota attorney general

More than 100 members of Congress call on Jim Mattis to overturn transgender troop ban

US Army commander approves Bergdahl sentence, no prison time

Single 150 sq foot Hong Kong parking space sells for $760,000

Ex-USA Gymnastics official invokes 5th Amendment at Senate hearing

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman will reportedly be in Singapore during the Trump-Kim summit and may play a role in the negotiations

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