Tag: Donald Trump

FBI Withheld Evidence that ‘Directly Refutes’ Premise of Trump Surveillance

A senior GOP lawmaker made national headlines Sunday night, publicly confirming the FBI withheld evidence that “directly refuted” the agency’s premise behind the ongoing Russia-Trump collusion probe.

[The FBI] only presented to the court the evidence that made the government’s case to get a warrant to spy on a Trump

Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe was speaking with Fox News when he was asked to comment on the controversial FISA application that allowed the Department of Justice to surveil the Trump campaign heading into the 2016 election and beyond.

“Hypothetically, if the Department of Justice and the FBI have another piece of evidence that directly refutes that, that directly contradicts that, what you would expect is for the Department of Justice to present both sides of the coin to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to evaluate the weight and sufficiency of that evidence,” Ratcliffe said.

“Instead, what happened here was Department of Justice and FBI officials in the Obama administration in October of 2016 only presented to the court the evidence that made the government’s case to get a warrant to spy on a Trump campaign associate,” he added.

Read the full report at the Daily Caller.

Yes, Trump is Tougher on Russia than Obama

Actions speak louder than media rhetoric, and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to President Donald Trump’s supposed romance with the Kremlin. It is amusing to note how randomly the Left seems to create new villains, given that as recently as the 2012 presidential election, showing any concern over Russia’s global influence was laughable to Democrats.

Now, all of a sudden, not only are the Russians public enemy no. 1, they’d supposedly been in cahoots with a Republican presidential candidate and now-President. Vladimir Putin did admit that he preferred President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election at the Helsinki Summit (leading some liberals to cite this as “proof” of collusion), but those same liberals didn’t notice (or care) that Putin also preferred Obama over Romney in 2012.

It’s not hard to see why. As the left-leaning Brookings Institute reminds us:

  • Obama turned a blind eye to Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008.
  • In 2009 Obama axed missile defense plans for Poland and the Czech Republic, which Russia interpreted as America retreating from the European continent. Russia then became more interventionist in Europe.
  • Obama didn’t utter a peep as Russia annexed Crimea and invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014.
  • Obama ignored calls from Congress, foreign policy experts, and members of his own cabinet to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

Obama has also been criticized by his fellow Democrats for not doing enough in response to the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC (which they now claim didn’t occur), or the alleged Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s private email server (which we now know was done by the Chinese).

Biggest of all however is the failure of Obama’s attempted “Russia reset” in 2009, which began with Hillary Clinton literally traveling to Russia with a “reset” button” that vaguely resembled one of those “That Was Easy” buttons you’ll see in a Staples commercial. The word “reset” was misspelled on the button, and things only went downhill from there. U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was the architect of the reset plan – and encouraged future administrations to not pursue the same policies that the Obama administration did. Bill Clinton also deemed the attempted “reset” a failure.

Unlike Obama, Trump hasn’t been weak on Russia. Trump has said he’s the “toughest on Russia,” and while he’s no stranger to hyperbole, there’s no question that he was tougher than his predecessor.

While Trump isn’t shy to heap praise on Putin, you wouldn’t think the two had a cozy relationship if we were to judge Trump only by the actions he’s taken towards Russia as President.

  • Trump did approve the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine in December 2017.
  • On the annexation of Crimea, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated “We do not recognize Russia’s attempt to annex Crimea. We agree to disagree with Russia on that front. And our Crimea sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to the Ukraine.”
  • Trump has ordered missiles to be fired at Syrian military sites (after President Assad was accused of using chemical weapons on his own people), which have a strategic alliance with Russia. In response, Putin accused the U.S. of “making the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and bring[ing] suffering to civilians with its strikes.”
  • In August 2017, Trump signed into law CAATSA, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” which imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. In the words of the geopolitical intelligence platform Stratfor, “CAATSA demonstrates that the United States is more strident than ever in pushing other countries to reduce their defense and energy ties with Russia.”
  • In March, following the poisoning (presumably by the Russian government) of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Trump expelled 60 Russian diplomats.
  • In April, Trump imposed more sanctions on Russia following the indictments of 13 Russians for “malicious cyber activities” earlier in March. Russia’s stock market dropped 11% on the news. Shares of the Russian aluminum giant Rusal (which is the world’s second largest aluminium company) tanked 40% on the news.

And what’s the evidence that Trump has been kind to Russia? Because Trump says nice things about Putin, and vice versa?

In reality, the two are respectful to one another despite politics – not because of them.

 

What the Media Never Told You About the Russia Investigation Hoax

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

We heard a lot about Russian collusion with the Trump campaign over the past couple of years, but as is often the case, it’s what the media left out that’s more damning than what they reported. Dan Bongino’s new book “Spygate: The Framing of Donald J. Trump” exposes the truth of what happened during the 2016 presidential election.

Fusion GPS Has Russian Connections of Their Own

Remember the controversial meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya? What most in the media conveniently left out of their coverage was that Veselnitskaya was also working with the firm behind the anti-Trump dossier at the time of the meeting. Veselnitskaya met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson the day of and the day after her meeting with Trump Jr.

Veselnitskaya was working with Fusion GPS on an unrelated case to advance Russian interests, while Fusion was funded by the Clinton campaign to allege a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. We know that at least one person worked on both cases, a man named Ed Baumgartner.

The DNC Didn’t Want the FBI To Investigate Their “Hacked” Servers

If you heard that the DNC was hacked by the Russians, that’s only because it’s exactly what the DNC wants you to believe.

Rather than have the FBI examine the DNC’s servers, they instead hired the private company CrowdStrike to conduct the investigation. CrowdStrike is connected to the Obama administration and the DNC. After examining the servers for a mere day, CrowdStrike concluded two Russian groups were responsible for the cyberattack. Meanwhile, neither FBI nor any other law enforcement agency has looked at their servers—and still hasn’t to this day.

British Intelligence Hated Trump and the Ukrainians Feared Him

American and British intelligence were determined to preserve their “Special Relationship” of intelligence sharing, which they thought would be threatened by a Trump presidency, so they passed information to the CIA to help with the Trump collusion investigation.

Robert Hannigan, the head of British intelligence agency GCHQ, gave documents to CIA director John Brennan during in the summer of 2016. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at “director level.” Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.

Hannigan, who took over the agency in 2014, stepped down just four days after Trump was inaugurated. He told staffers only hours before making his decision public.

As for the Ukrainians, a Politico headline puts it best: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” Ukrainians chose a side in the 2016 election, and it was Hillary Clinton. Their target was Paul Manafort.

Some Supposed Pro-Trump Conspirators Have Clinton Connections

Two characters involved in one of the main events that supposedly set off the Trump collusion investigation had connections to the Clinton Foundation. Joseph Mifsud, the professor who promised campaign adviser George Papadopoulos compromising information on Hillary Clinton, has personally donated to the Clinton Foundation.

Papadopoulos told Australia’s ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer, about Mifsud’s promised information. The contents of Papadopoulos and Downer’s conversation eventually ended up on the desk of the FBI. Downer had a history with the Clinton Foundation, having brokered a $25 million donation during uranium transfers.

Why Yes, There Was a Spy After All

For all the mockery Trump has received for tweeting that Obama spied on his campaign, there was indeed spying going on. A man with Deep State connections covertly gathered information on both George Papadopoulos and Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The Russia collusion narrative was a setup from the beginning. If you’d like to learn more, preorder a copy of Bongino’s new book, co-authored with D.C. McAllister and myself, Matt Palumbo, “Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.”

Debunked: “Obama Deported More People Than Trump”

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

Have that number of deportations fallen off a cliff since President Donald Trump take office? ? You couldn’t be faulted if you come to such a conclusion, as the entire mainstream media seems to have bought the claim at face value, hook line and sinker, reporting on the narrative that “Obama deported more people than Trump.” Bloomberg, Politico, The EconomistNPR, and countless others have all reported on some variant of the claim.

To quote from Bloomberg, “President Donald Trump sent 26 percent fewer Mexicans back home this year through November than Barack Obama did in the same period in 2016.” Put numerically, 152,000 Mexican nationals were deported from the U.S. between January-November of 2017 (the statistics were released late December, hence ending the measurement in January). By contrast, there were 205,000 deportations of Mexican nations during the first 11 months of 2016. Note that the claim is only including Mexican illegal immigrants (which are “only” half of all illegals).

To be honest, I don’t understand why liberals in particular think this claim is a “slam dunk.” Aren’t they the ones against mass deportation? You’d think a drop-off in deportations would make liberal observers happy, but instead it’s become an attack on Trump’s supposed incompetence in enforcing a key tenant of his presidential platform.

The Bloomberg article does include this minor disclaimer however, that “the decrease in removal numbers overall compared to fiscal year 2016 was primarily due to about 17 percent fewer migrants apprehended at the border.” Apprehensions at the border fell to the lowest level since 1971 during Trump’s first year in office, according to data from U.S. Border Patrol.

In other words, because of Trump’s rhetoric, fewer prospective illegals even bothered to approach the border in the first place (mainly due to Trump’s strict rhetoric on immigration, and beefing up the Border Patrol’s budget). And here’s the thing: Obama massively inflated “deportation” figures by counting “catch and releases” at the border as “deportations.” As the Los Angeles Times noted in 2014:

A closer examination shows that immigrants living illegally in most of the continental U.S. are less likely to be deported today than before Obama came to office, according to immigration data. Expulsions of people who are settled and working in the United States have fallen steadily since his first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009 (through 2013). 

And yet if you look at the Department of Homeland Security’s deportation numbers during the same period (2009-13) and took them at face value, you’d believe that deportations increased by roughly 11 percent. Why? Because “On the other side of the ledger, the number of people deported at or near the border has gone up — primarily as a result of changing who gets counted in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s deportation statistics.” Measured deportations excluding those at the border, there was an increase in deportations in 2017.

Not only that, arrests of illegal immigrants (particularly criminal illegal immigrants) has surged, even though they had not been deported at the time the statistics were recorded.

Absent redefining that a “deportation” is, deportations are indeed up in the administration that made combating illegal immigration a central party of their campaign platform.

No surprise there.

 

Is Obama to Thank for the Trump Economy?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

The stock market is on a historic tear, unemployment is at records low, inflation remains under control, and the labor participation rate may finally began to tick upwards once again.

But should we be thanking Trump? Not according to the partisans.

  • “Here are two words we won’t hear President Trump say tonight about the economy — ‘Thanks Obama‘”   says Chuck Schumer.
  • “I don’t understand why, well, maybe I do why the folks in the Trump administration won’t admit that the economy was doing well under President Obama,” CNN’s Don Lemon. (Humorously, a conservative guest quipped in response that Trump should thank Obama for not being President anymore).
  • In December 2017, Obama himself decided to pat himself on the back for the economic landscape under Trump. “As we took these actions, we saw the U.S. economy grow consistently,” former President Obama “We saw the longest streak of job creation in American history by far, a streak that still continues by the way.”

While I’d agree that the typical person credits the President (regardless of who it may be) far too much for the positive or negative state of the economy, that doesn’t mean we can’t prove that things are better off than had Obama remained in office.

How do we know? We can look at the Congressional Budget Office’s predictions for economic growth in past reports, and compare them to realized growth under Trump.

For instance, in 2016, the CBO projected real economic growth of 2.2 percent in 2017, and 2.1 percent growth in 2018.

Growth came in relatively close in 2017, at 2.3 percent, but 2018 is where things begin to diverge. Remember, it wasn’t until the end of 2017 that Trump signed his tax package – the main catalyst we’d expect for growth under his presidency.

As one writer for Investors Business Daily noted:

Last June (2017), the CBO said GDP growth for 2018 would be just 2%. Now it figures growth will be 3.3% — a significant upward revision. It also boosted its forecast for 2019 from a meager 1.5% to a respectable 2.4%.

“Underlying economic conditions have improved in some unexpected ways since June,” the CBO says. Unexpected to the CBO, perhaps, but not to those of us who understood that Trump’s tax cuts and deregulatory efforts would boosts growth.

Economists agree too.

The Wall Street Journal polled a number of business, financial and academic economists on if Trump in January 2018 on who was more responsible for the current economy, most of which “suggested Mr. Trump’s election deserves at least some credit” for the upturn. Additionally, a majority said the president had been “somewhat” or “strongly” positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market.

Are we supposed to believe that it’s a coincidence that business confidence and the stock market didn’t begin their recent liftoff until after Trump was elected? The Dow Jones Index’s 1-year gain following Trump’s victory was the largest post-election bull run since 1945.

If the market loved the Obama presidency, it sure has a weird way of showing it.

 

Does the USPS Lose $1.50 on Every Amazon.com Package?

Authored by: Matt Palumbo

President Donald Trump has made it clear that he’s no fan of Amazon.com, attacking them numerous times on his twitter account in recent weeks. In large part, Trump’s disdain for Amazon.com is a disdain for the firm’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also personally owns The Washington Post.

“The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s ‘chief lobbyist,’ has another (of many) phony headlines,” Trump complained through Twitter on April 4th. The week prior, Trump attacked Amazon directly, writing that it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon.” In another tweet, Trump added that Amazon would have to pay $2.6 billion extra in shipping costs if the USPS raised their rates to market levels.

So, is it true? After reviewing the source for the claim, my verdict is “half-true.” There’s truth to the sentiment of Trump’s statement, but could be perhaps better described as a classic example “truthful hyperbole” (a term Trump himself coined).

So, What is Trump Referring to?

Amazon has negotiated a “last mile” delivery plan with the USPS, which delivers 2/3rds of their packages. Under this system, Amazon presorts packages and delivers them to a local USPS, which completes delivery.
The statistic Trump is quoting comes from an analysis by Citigroup, which found that the USPS should be charging Amazon $1.46 more per package than the $2 or so they currently do for packages categorized as “competitive products.”

It’s this claim that’s been misinterpreted as a “1.46 loss,” when in reality’s it’s a “$1.46 undercharge.” The USPS is selling above cost – but below the market price.

Under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, the Postal Office’s “competitive products” must “cover attributable costs and contribute to institutional costs.” In other words, there’s already a law on the books to prevent the USPS from selling below cost. How pathetic is it that it’s necessary for such a law to exist in the first place?

What the Citigroup study is specifically arguing is that the USPS will need to charge $1.46 more on their Amazon packages to cover their operating costs, and to prefund the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, which hasn’t been done since 2012. Not like it makes much of a difference, but the $1.46 estimate is for fiscal year 2017. To break-even, the Office would need to charge $1.41 for 2018, and $1.36 in 2019.

Additionally, this is the case for all”competitive products.” The USPS is undercharging across the board, not just Amazon.

In the end, it is taxpayers subsidizing the USPS for undercharging. While the post office doesn’t receive federal funding, we the taxpayer are on the hook for their pensions. They’ve also borrowed $15 billion from the Treasury Department’s Federal Financing Bank – the maximum allowed by law. Who else but the taxpayer does anyone think will inevitably be bailing the USPS out?

While Trump’s claim is “half-true,” it does underscore a larger point about the inefficiency of government. If a private firm learned they should be charging nearly double for a good or service than they already do, they’d do so in an instant. To quote from Citigroup: “We contend that the USPS does not act as a rational price-setter.”

No kidding.

October 19, 2017: Ep. 572 An Absolutely Inexcusable Attack on Trump

In this episode –
Beware of this dangerous liberal scam designed to destroy our Constitutional Republic.

Ted Cruz destroys Bernie Sanders on taxes!

Busted! The disingenuous congresswoman attacking Trump for calling the widow of a heroic serviceman has a spotty record on veteran’s issues.

Federal spending per person has exploded. Check out these disturbing numbers.

The real dangers of the DC “swamp.”

Here’s how to listen to my podcast on your Amazon Echo.