News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Nielsen Down and Much, Much More

Kirstjen Nielsen during her confirmation hearing to be United States Secretary of Homeland Security before the US Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on November 8th, 2017. (Photo by: Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Good Monday morning.

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

  • The president participates in a credentialing ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors to Washington, D.C.
  • President Trump has lunch with the vice president
  • The president receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump meets with the secretary of State

Must read for the day: All the Progressive Plotters

When that did not work, celebrities and politicians hit social media and the airwaves to so demonize Trump that culturally it would become taboo even to voice prior support for the elected president. Their chief tool was a strange new sort of presidential assassination chic, as Madonna, David Crosby, Robert de Niro, Johnny Depp, Snoop Dogg, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, and a host of others linguistically vied with one another in finding the most appropriately violent end of Trump—blowing him up, burning him up, beating him up, shooting him up, caging him up, or decapitating him. Apparently, the aim—aside from careerist chest-thumping among the entertainment elite—was to lower the bar of Trump disparagement and insidiously delegitimize his presidency.

VDH is always worth the read.

Nielsen DOWN

The big news over the weekend was the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is out. “Its been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards,” Nielsen posted on Twitter.

Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will serve as acting DHS secretary.

Nielsen was set to meet with Trump at the WH yesterday to talk about the border crisis at 5 p.m. but the conversation turned into a chat about her future. A “source” said that Trump held Nielsen responsible for many of the troubles at the border, which “led to intense clashes, angry phone calls, and frustration between her and the president.”

A CNN “source” says:

Nielsen did not resign willingly, a person close to her told CNN, but was under pressure to do so. Nielsen did not fight nor grovel to keep her job, the source said. Nielsen should be staying for a week of transition, another White House official said.

Another “senior administration official” said Nielsen “believed the situation was becoming untenable with the president becoming increasingly unhinged about the border crisis and making unreasonable and even impossible requests.”

It’s Stephen Miller’s fault

Politico wants you to know that this is Trump aide Stephen Miller’s doing.

Frustrated by the lack of headway on a signature Trump campaign issue, the senior White House adviser has been arguing for personnel changes to bring in more like-minded hardliners, according to three people familiar with the situation — including the ouster of a key immigration official at the Department of Homeland Security, whose secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced on Sunday that she is resigning.

“It’s intimidation,” one of the people who was briefed on the calls told Politico. “Anytime you get a call like this from the White House it’s intimidation … Under normal circumstances, if you were a deputy in one of these agencies, it would be very unusual.”

It’s intimidation? Aren’t these folks part of the executive branch? When Obama people called up executive branch agencies with policy directives, was that also problematic?

“There’s definitely a larger shakeup abreast being led by Stephen Miller and the staunch right wing within the administration,” said a person close to Nielsen. “They failed with the courts and with Congress and now they’re eating their own.”


Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation letter from DHS secretary post

Nielsen ouster lays bare Trump’s own immigration crisis

Trump Demanded Kirstjen Nielsen Do Illegal Things to Stop Migrants, Report Says

Nunes making some criminal referrals to the DOJ

Let’s hope something happens with this.

On Sunday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he will send eight criminal referrals to the DOJ “related to the Obama administration’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.” Nunes did not identify who is on his list. Anyone want to take a guess?

“We believe there is a conspiracy to lie to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court, mislead the FISA court, by numerous individuals that all need to be investigated and looked at,” said Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

“The second conspiracy is one involving manipulation of intelligence,” said Nunes, adding that “we’ve had a lot of concerns with the way intelligence was used.”

I’ll say.

“There are about a dozen highly sensitive, classified information leaks that were given to only a few reporters over the last two and a half plus years,” he said.

“We do believe that we’ve got pretty good information and a pretty good idea of who could be behind these leaks,” Nunes continued.

Hopefully, AG Barr will follow through with these referrals.

Historical picture of the day:

Atlanta Braves’ Hank Aaron (44) breaks Babe Ruth’s record for career home runs as he hits his 715th off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing in the fourth inning of the game opener at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Ga., Monday night, April 8, 1974. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

Columbia Prof Compares Israel to ISIS

New York man charged with threatening to kill Muslim U.S. lawmaker Ilhan Omar

Herman Cain says he faces ‘cumbersome’ vetting for Fed board seat

Buttigieg Calls Evangelicals Who Support Trump Hypocrites

Upcoming Book Reveals Trump’s Surprising Response When Paul Ryan Abandoned Him After Access Hollywood Tape

Female donors organize to back the women running for president

Pro-Trump Republicans plan big-money play for the Jewish vote in 2020

Beto O’Rourke calls Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘racist’

In Iowa, Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from behind bars

Golden Knights’ offense powering Vegas as playoffs arrive

Vaccine wars: Social media battle outbreak of bogus claims

Pelosi confident Democrats will retain control of House in 2020 elections

Booker raises $5 million, lagging behind multiple Democrats running for White House

Australia animal activists shut down streets and storm slaughterhouses

Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx says calls for her resignation are personal

American Kim Sue Endicott, guide abducted in Uganda returned safely after ransom paid

Motel 6 will pay $12 million to settle lawsuit after sharing guest info with ICE

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