The Morning Briefing: Strzok, Ellison, the NDAA, and Much, Much More
Good Tuesday Morning!
Here's what you need to know.
The anti-Trump texter is out.
Yesterday, the FBI finally fired Peter Strzok over his anti-Trump texts. The move sent shock waves, with President Donald Trump responding in two ways.
First, Trump expressed relief that Strzok was "finally" fired.
Perhaps more importantly, he also called for a return to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, which he called a "sham" and a "total fraud."
Here's Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on the subject.
But don't you fret. Former FBI agents whose anti-Trump bias may have played a large role in the 2016 presidential election can still make money. As PJ Media's Deb Heine reported, Strzok started a GoFundMe page, and has already raised $143,000.
As Rick Moran reported in these pages on Sunday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) faced allegations of sexual abuse mere days before the Democratic primary for Minnesota attorney general. He denied the allegations. Ellison is the co-chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The real story may be the way the press handled the scandal. "If Ellison were a Republican, the press would have knocked over the doors of the RNC demanding a statement," former White House press secretary for George W. Bush Ari Fleischer noted. "But the DNC's co-chairman? No comment from the DNC. No feeding frenzy from the press."
One liberal woman's group did speak up, however.
Ellison is also the same Democrat leader who called for Amazon.com to ban all products sold by organizations the leftist smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) brands "hate groups."
Late yesterday, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to approve a defense budget of $717 billion for fiscal year 2019. The NDAA included a 2.6 percent pay increase for military personnel, as The Washington Examiner's Gabby Morrongiello reported.
Naturally, the press focused on the fact that Trump did not name Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), even though the bill was named after him.
To be fair, Trump attacked McCain hours later, for refusing to vote for the repeal of Obamacare. CNN's Jake Tapper went out of his way to praise McCain, "since President Trump would not do it." Talk about virtue signaling.
One part the media seemed to ignore involves ... RUSSIA. Yes, the same country that liberals think secretly controls Trump.
Among other things, the NDAA sends a strong message to Russia and China, according to Fox News' Jennifer Griffin.
The bill "requires the president to designate a National Security Council employee to coordinate the interagency fight against malign foreign influence operations, including election interference. That is a direct response to Russian interference in the last election."
Huh. Imagine that. Mr. "Russian spy" president just signed a military bill that responds to Russian election interference. And that's not all the new NDAA does. "It includes $6.3 billion to reassure U.S. partners and allies and increase the U.S. military presence in Europe. It bars military-to-military cooperation with Russia ... And, most importantly, it ties the hands of the president in recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea, something that many in Congress feared that the president would do."
Nail in the coffin: "There are literally dozens of provisions that target Russian aggression specifically. It is spelled out in a way that I have not seen before."
Let's think for just a second. If Trump were truly a Putin crony and seeking to advance the Kremlin's interests, he would never sign this bill. But that doesn't help the anti-Trump narrative, does it?
Supporting America's military is important, but I have to say I'm a bit annoyed at the constant increase in spending. Trump has been slashing regulations, but those can be replaced by a future Democratic president. Trump and Congress lowered taxes and they funded the military — both good things, but things that do not directly address the deficit.
The U.S. needs to cut spending, and ballooning entitlements need serious reform. Sadly, it seems that when Democrats are in power, America spends a lot more on entitlements. When Republicans are in power, America spends a little more on military. This is not exactly sustainable.
Desperate ProPublica wants Kavanaugh dirt.
ProPublica, desperate to find any scandal to stop the approval of Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, solicited photos of Kavanaugh at a Nationals baseball game.
The most damning photo so far?
Yes, that's photoshopped evidence of Kavanaugh running ... with presidents! Yes, the guy likes old dead white guys who led America. Oh the horrors!