Good Friday morning.
Here’s what is on the president’s agenda today:
- The president participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with the president of the French Republic in Quebec
- President Trump participates in the official welcome of the G7 Summit
- The president participates in a working lunch and Session I of the G7 Summit
- President Trump participates in Session II of the G7 Summit
- The president participates in an expanded bilateral meeting with the prime minister of Canada
- President Trump participates in a working dinner and Session III of the G7 Summit
- The president participates in a cultural event at the G7 Summit
Former Senate Intel staffer busted in leak probe
A former staffer on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSCI, actually pronounced “sissy”) was busted for lying to the FBI about leaking classified information to the press. He wasn’t busted for leaking, just lying, which is interesting. Here’s the indictment if you want to read it. Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller writes:
The Trump Justice Department has seized a New York Times reporter’s email and phone records as part of an investigation into unauthorized leaks from a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer to multiple reporters.
According to The Times, the DOJ sent a letter in February to national security reporter Ali Watkins informing her that her phone and email records, including for an account that she used in college, had secretly been seized.
The seizure of Watkins’ communications is the first known instance of the Trump administration directly targeting reporters in leak investigations.
One of the reporters, Ali Watkins, who is in her 20s, had a 3-year relationship with the former director of security for the SSCI, James A. Wolfe, who is in his late 50s. (Did I see this storyline on House of Cards? I think I did.)
Wolfe, who worked in the Senate for 29 years and had access to Top Secret information, allegedly lied to FBI agents in December 2017 about his contacts with the three journalists, including Watkins.
A Justice Department spokesman said in the indictment that Wolfe used encrypted messaging apps to communicate with the journalists. He lied to FBI agents about providing non-public information to two reporters about Senate Intelligence matters.
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) June 8, 2018
Here’s what the stinking security director of the SSCI, who handles the most sensitive data in the country, leaked to reporters including his lady friend.
According to the indictment, Wolfe provided classified information to Watkins for a March 17, 2017 article at BuzzFeed about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The article revealed that Page was interviewed by the FBI as a witness in a 2013 investigation of a Russian spy ring operating in New York. Page’s identity was masked — he was identified as “Male-1” — in the court papers for the case. The government claimed that Russian agents met with Page, possibly as an attempt to cultivate him as a source.
Page was not accused of wrongdoing in that investigation and gave a voluntary interview with the FBI for the case. But Watkins’ report has widely been cited as evidence of Page’s close ties to Russia. Page is accused in the infamous Steele dossier of being the Trump campaign’s conduit to the Kremlin for purposes of collusion. He has vehemently denied the allegations.
Poor Carter Page. Here’s this guy, going about his business, volunteering for the Trump campaign after he cooperated with the FBI to bust REAL RUSSIAN spies, and now his life has been turned upside down as collateral damage by deep state malefactors seeking political revenge after the Trump election. Terrible.
I’m glad to see this crackdown and I hope this is only the beginning. Fry ’em up.
SAVE THE DATE: Inspector General report expected next week
According to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, his report “is now complete, and we anticipate releasing the report on June 14, 2018.” The report examines the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, or “matter” if you’re Loretta Lynch.
Horowitz also said he will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 18 and the Judiciary and Oversight Committees the following day, so stock up on your popcorn.
Ryan stops Republicans’ efforts to force an immigration vote
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan managed to put the breaks on a rogue band of GOPers who want to force a vote on some garbage immigration legislation. Instead, he promised to come up with a bill and bring it to a vote.
During a two-hour, closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol, Ryan and other GOP leaders urged their troops not to endorse a procedural move to force votes on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — known as a discharge petition — and instead give leaders more time to forge a compromise that can win 218 Republican votes.
“The next step is to start putting pen to paper and get legislation to the floor,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters afterwards.
The promise seems to have bought them some time in their search for an elusive DACA deal that can win the support of centrist immigration reformers and conservative hardliners. Indeed, several moderates who have remained open to signing the petition said after the meeting that they’ll refrain from doing so while GOP leaders seek a compromise.
Supporters of the petition only need two more signatures to force a vote on a variety of immigration bills for the June 12 deadline, so Ryan doesn’t have much time to come up with legislation.
Here’s some insight from The Hill: “Still, most Republicans walked out of the meeting without a clear idea of what lies ahead.”
Stormy Daniels has launched a new perfume
I wasn’t sure if this was from The Onion when I saw the headline, but is not.
The porn star has developed a new fragrance with a name that plays off her allegations of an affair with President Trump. It will be called Truth by Stormy Daniels.
“It’s finally here,” the 39-year-old adult-film actress and director, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, announced on Instagram.
The name of the perfume is “Truth.” I’m not kidding.
The perfume, priced at $64.99, is intended for both men and women.
“It smells different on every person — men like it as much as women,” Hughes said. With Stormy having a following among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans, “gender neutral was important to her.”
Put this on your radar:
My friend and PJ Media contributor Ben Weingarten has a new podcast.
Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten features compelling long-form conversations with exceptional thinkers and doers — primarily though not exclusively of a conservative/libertarian bent — on the most critical ideas and issues of our time, and all time.
My podcast aims to inject a counter-narrative to the prevailing progressive orthodoxy, and elicit deep insights on fundamental questions ranging from national security to economics, and philosophy to culture – fostering timeless discussions on what really matters, rather than chasing the news cycle.
Give it a listen, Ben’s a sharp knife.
Your daily WTF:
Historical picture of the day:
And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!