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The Morning Briefing: Possible Deep State Coup, Nat. Sec. Strategy Preview and Much, Much More

Donald Trump hands out in a suit

Good Friday morning.

Here is what's on the President's agenda today:

  • In the afternoon, President Donald J. Trump will depart the White House for Quantico, VA, en route to the FBI National Academy, where he will participate in the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony.
  • The President will then depart the FBI National Academy for the Quantico Landing Zone en route to the Marine Corps Air Facility, where he will visit Marine Helicopter Squadron One.
  • In the afternoon, the President will depart Quantico, VA, en route to Camp David.

Must-read of the day: Sara Carter writes about "Who’s spying on who? FBI’s use of NSA foreign surveillance program needs to be investigated, say whistleblowers"

Comey's limp speech on Clinton email scandal; eyes on "Andy" McCabe

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has released the drafts of Comey's famous exoneration of Hillary Clinton.

In an early draft, Comey said it was “ reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account. That was changed later to say the scenario was merely “possible.”

Another edit showed language was changed to describe the actions of Clinton and her colleagues as “extremely careless” as opposed to “grossly negligent.” This is a key legal distinction.

Johnson wrote to FBI Director Wray asking if an earlier iteration of the speech “could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”

“While the precise dates of the edits and identities of the editors are not apparent from the documents, the edits appear to change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects,” including “repeated edits to reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information, Johnson wrote.

Meanwhile, Republican eyes are focused on Neil McCabe, the once acting director of the FBI, about this purported "insurance policy" referenced in the text messages between DOJ official Peter Strzok and his DOJ official side piece.

“Andy is presumably Andrew McCabe ... and this text is very troubling because it suggests that they’re doing something, they have a plan to take action to make sure that Donald Trump does not get elected president of the United States at the highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Judiciary chairman, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), is also not pleased.

“Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency,” Grassley wrote Thursday. “Presumably, ‘Andy’ refers to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. So whatever was being discussed extended beyond just Page and Strzok at least to Mr. McCabe, who was involved in supervising both investigations.”