News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Kushner's Security Clearance, No Wall Deal, and Much, Much More

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters a day after officially postponing President Donald Trump's State of the Union address until the government is fully reopened, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Good Friday Morning.

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

  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump has lunch with the secretary of State
  • The president participates in a discussion on economic growth with our nation’s mayors
  • President Trump hosts a roundtable with Hispanic pastors

Jared Kushner’s security clearance

A big story about Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner hit the headlines last night via NBC News. One of the article’s co-authors is “Fusion Ken” Dilanian, a favorite emissary for the anti-Trump muckraking firm “Fusion GPS.”

Jared Kushner’s application for a top secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

And it wasn’t just Kushner.

Kushner’s was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline’s arrival.

Is there anything to this story? I don’t know. I’ve heard people in the administration complain that the security clearance system has been weaponized by anti-Trump deep-staters who slow-walk and obstruct pro-Trump people from getting jobs that need clearances. So here I see a story written by the lead cheerleader for the firm that peddled the salacious and unverified pee-pee dossier used as a pretense to spy on the Trump campaign and I don’t immediately trust the story.

One other thing: where did this story come from? Did some “sources” just contact NBC News out of the blue or was there a special interest pushing this story into the news cycle when it really is barely relevant to current events? Cui bono?

Related:

Kushner’s top secret security clearance was rejected twice: report

Cummings: Security clearances probe ‘explicitly covers’ Kushner

Another brick in the…

So yesterday, two proposals to open the government failed in the Senate, one with wall funding and one without. The Senate continues to negotiate on something or other. “Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer huddled with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on a deal that would reopen the government for three weeks while they continued to negotiate border security.”

Trump’s made several concessions since the shutdown, but to no avail. Now CNN is reporting: White House preparing draft national emergency order, has identified $7 billion for wall.

The White House is preparing a draft proclamation for President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency along the southern border and has identified more than $7 billion in potential funds for his signature border wall should he go that route, according to internal documents reviewed by CNN.

“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft of a presidential proclamation reads.

“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” the draft adds.

Do you think President Trump should declare an emergency to get his wall funding? If he does, what will the Democrats do?

Related:

(See above story) Kushner floats deal of permanent protections for 1.8 million dreamers, LULAC chief says

Trump says Pelosi was ‘reasonable’ in State of the Union decision

10,000 Plus Migrants Hit Mexico And Request Asylum As Caravans Rage On

This story is not getting enough attention.

Majority of Americans were not exposed to ‘fake news’ in 2016 U.S. election, Twitter study suggests

Your Daily WTF:

Man pleads guilty to murdering ex-girlfriend on Facebook Live

Oregon Man Sentenced to 20 Months for Sexually Assaulting a Horse

Historical picture of the day:

Wearing their brand new uniforms, Marines among the 52 former hostages march in a long row to board the buses in front of the Wiesbaden Air Force hospital Sunday morning, Jan. 25, 1981, en route to Frankfurt airport from where they will fly home to the United States. (AP Photo/Helmuth Lohmann)

Other morsels:

Nicholas Sandmann’s family hires ‘attorney for the damned’ specializing in libel, slander

Pelosi rejects Trump’s wall ‘down payment’ proposal

Acosta Writing a Book About Covering the Trump Administration

Ocasio-Cortez Attacks WaPo Fact Checker After Receiving ‘Three Pinocchios’

Koch network will not back Trump for reelection: report

Parkland students, gun control advocates to hold nationwide gun safety town halls

Good times. Flashback: That Time A Mitt Romney T-Shirt Was Compared To A KKK Robe

She is awful. Rep Ilhan Omar Accuses Trump Of Waging ‘Coup’ Against Venezuela

Pompeo pledges $20m aid to Venezuela

U.S. orders some diplomats to leave Venezuela amid political turmoil

Graham zings Ocasio-Cortez, says she’s ‘hell-bent’ on making Americans live as ‘Venezuelan socialists’

Chris Brown accuser alleges multiple rapes and forced cocaine, lawyer says

GLAAD awards drops ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ after sex abuse accusations against Bryan Singer

Gregg Jarrett: Testimony in Russia probe shows FBI and Justice Department misconduct in effort to hurt Trump

‘El Chapo’ personally tortured and buried enemies alive, witness says

Berkeley follows plastic straw ban by charging diners an extra quarter for disposable cups

Illegal immigrant voted using fake ID, report says

Trans people must still be sterilized before changing gender in Japan after top court upholds ruling

South Korean men lead the world’s male beauty market. Will the West ever follow suit?

DHS plans to begin turning asylum-seekers back to Mexico to await court dates

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