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Trump on Russia: "With The Media, No Matter What I Do, It's Never Tough Enough Because That's Their Narrative"

13 hours 22 min ago
President Trump at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said nobody is tougher on Russia than him. He said no matter what he does, it's "never tough enough" for the media because that is their "narrative." PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We'll do sanctions as soon as they very much deserve it. We will have a -- that is a question. There's been nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump. Between building up the military, between creating tremendous vast amounts of oil. We raised billions and billions of dollars extra in NATO. We had a very very severe, we were talking about it a little, fight in Syria recently. A month ago. Between our troops and Russian troops and that's very sad. But many people died in that fight. There has been nobody tougher than me. With the media, no matter what I did, it's never tough enough because that's their narrative. But Russia will tell you there has been nobody tougher than Donald Trump. And then the other night we had a strike in Syria which was absolute precision. I leave it with this, with all of that said, if we can get along with China and if we can get along with Russia and if we can get along with Japan and other nations that's a good thing not a bad thing. Just remember that. If we got along with other nations, that's good not bad. Full press conference:

S.E. Cupp: Nikki Haley Should Run For President So We Have "Someone With Balls" In WH

14 hours 52 min ago
CNN: HLN's SE Cupp defends US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, saying the Trump administration threw the wrong person under the bus. "I for one, hope she is looking to run for president in the near future. It would be nice to have someone with balls in the White House," Cupp said on Wednesday's show.

Meghan McCain Grills Comey in 'The View' Interview: "J. Edgar Hoover Is Rolling Over In His Grave"

15 hours 44 min ago
James Comey appeared on Wednesday's edition of ABC's The View to talk about his new book. Below is the transcript of Meghan McCain grilling him on attacks in his book, money and attention, and more. MEGHAN MCCAIN, THE VIEW: Director Comey, you are not naive to the criticism that you've gotten from Republicans and Democrats and I think it's worth noting that David Axelrod, a big Democrat, a former chief strategist to President Obama, said ‘I have no doubt about its brilliance when it comes to book sales. Maybe he should have called it Higher Royalties.' What do you say to people like him and people like me that think you're doing this for money and attention? COMEY: Yeah, the first thing I'd do is ask him to read the book, and I'm not saying he should agree with me, but if he reads the book, he will see I'm trying to make choices between bad options and doing it in a way that I think you would want someone as director of the FBI to do it. So even if you leave the book still thinking I'm an idiot, you realize I'm actually kind of an honest idiot and I'm not on anybody's side. MCCAIN: I don't think anybody who got to your level is an idiot. I would never accuse anyone of that. I think that maybe J. Edgar Hoover is rolling over in his grave at saying the types of things that you're saying and revealing the types of things that you're revealing. It doesn't seem like something the director of the FBI. [JOY BEHAR, WHOOPI GOLDBERG LAUGHING] MCCAIN: Why are you laughing? GOLDBERG: Because J. Edgar Hoover, he's really the wrong guy to bring up. BEHAR: I wonder what dress he's wearing! MCCAIN: But he did write a tell-all when he left. BEHAR: Did he say he was a transvestite? MCCAIN: Can I finish my question to the FBI director? BEHAR: Yes. MCCAIN: So what would you say to that? COMEY: That I don't think of it as a tell-all. It's a whole lot more than the stories that are in the last few chapters of the book. It's about mistakes I have made, things I'm very much ashamed of I did when I was younger. It's a story about portions of my life to try to tell a story. It has no classified information in it. It has no sensitive investigative information in it. And I know that because I wrote it and because the FBI reviewed it. So I think J. Edgar Hoover would say, 'You followed the rules and you were transparent.' J. Edgar Hoover had a number of flaws and one of them was he wasn't a transparent person. It was all about secret files. I am trying to tell a story that in a lot of places that doesn't reflect well on me and I think it's open and honest. ... McCAIN: Even if your second in command was fired for lying four times. So this is where I think the confusion comes from. Your second in command McCabe was fired for lying multiple times within the FBI. You defended his character on Twitter. That's okay? Lying is okay internally? COMEY: No, it's definitely not. In fact, the McCabe case illustrates what an organization that's committed to the truth looks like. We investigate -- I ordered that investigation. We investigate and hold people accountable. Good people lie. I lay out, I think I'm a good person, where I have lied. I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person, but the inspector general found that he lied, and there are severe consequences as there should be throughout the government. Entire interview:

ACLU Warns: Post-9/11 AUMF Gives President Trump "Blank Check" For Unlimited Worldwide War

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:27
Via Democracy Now!: - The New York Times is reporting President Trump launched airstrikes against Syria on Friday despite opposition from his own defense secretary, James Mattis, who wanted Trump to first get congressional approval. Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers have described the strikes on Syria as illegal since Trump did not seek congressional input or authorization.This comes as Congress is considering rewriting the war powers granted to the president after the September 11 attacks—what's known as the AUMF, or Authorization for Use of Military Force. On September 14, 2001, the current AUMF passed the Senate 98-0 and 420-1 in the House, with California Democrat Barbara Lee casting the sole dissenting vote. Since then, it's been used by Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump to justify at least 37 military operations in 14 countries—many of which were entirely unrelated to 9/11. On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, and Democratic committee member Tim Kaine of Virginia introduced legislation to replace the AUMFs with a new one. Corker and Kaine claim their legislation would strengthen congressional oversight. But critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, warn the proposed legislation would actually expand the authority of President Trump and all future presidents to engage in worldwide war without limitations. For more, we're joined by Faiz Shakir, national policy director for the ACLU. AMY GOODMAN: For more, we're joined by Faiz Shakir. He is national policy director for the ACLU. Welcome to Democracy Now! FAIZ SHAKIR: Thank you for having me. AMY GOODMAN: Explain your concern. Most people may be very surprised right now, saying, "No, Congress wanted to take the control back from the president.” You see this AUMF otherwise. FAIZ SHAKIR: Absolutely. If you look at the language that Senators Kaine and Corker have proposed, they are offering unlimited war to the president of the United States. And under this president, we should all be concerned. The specific language of the authorization says that the president may just designate various groups to engage in war against, and those wars can proceed in any country around the world, without limit and with congressional authorization. So the president would not need to then go to Congress to seek authorization for any of his expansions of the war effort. Unlike the 9/11 AUMF, it constrains the president's ability to, let's say, send ground troops into Libya, under President Obama, who tried to expand the 9/11 AUMF to carry out that war. Under this authorization, the president could just send ground troops and expand the war in perpetuity without congressional authorization. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And so—and there would be no time limit on this legislation, as well, right? So it could potentially be limitless for years to come? Doesn't that, in effect, abdicate the responsibility of Congress to be the part of government that actually declares war? FAIZ SHAKIR: That is exactly what is happening, that this legislation, in effect, is abdicating congressional responsibility. And to give Senators Kaine and Corker a little bit of credit here, they're coming at it with good intention. They have recognized that the 9/11 AUMF has been abused. And it is an embarrassment to Congress that it has done nothing while the president and the executive branch expand worldwide operations under that now-17-year-old authorization. So they're saying, "OK, well, Congress should wade into this and actually create a new AUMF.” In doing so, what they're saying is "We're just going to justify all the current ongoing operations and just give de facto authorization from Congress to go carry it out for as long as you'd like.” AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a tweet by Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a co-sponsor of the legislation. He said, quote, "For too long, Congress has given Presidents a blank check to wage war. … It's time for that to stop. We've introduced a new plan—Democrats and Republicans—to reassert Congress' authority to authorize where, when, and with who we are at war.” After the U.S. strike on Syria last week, Kaine tweeted, "Trump's decision to launch airstrikes against Syria without Congress's approval is illegal. We need to stop giving presidents a blank check to wage war. Today it's Syria, but what's going to stop him from bombing Iran or North Korea next?” Why does Tim Kaine seem to think that the Corker AUMF will check the president's authority to start a war? FAIZ SHAKIR: So, the Syria authorization—the Syria war would have been authorized under the Kaine legislation. He is not doing anything to constrain the president's power. He's just putting into place that it is permanent law, and giving congressional stamp of approval for anything the president wants to do. There's no check on him whatsoever. It's just that Congress will now modify the 9/11 AUMF to include some of the groups—al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda, ISIS—and it will name them specifically but then grant the president whatever authorities and powers he wants to carry out war against those groups, wherever they may go. I think Senator Kaine is trying to say that Congress should act and Congress should deliberate and Congress should have debate and argument over the president's scope and power and authority—which is right. But what they should do is retract and repeal the AUMF of 9/11 and then have specific, targeted authorizations if and when they want to carry it out. I mean, in Syria, for instance, if you feel very comfortable with carrying out operations against a brutal regime who's carried out illegal activities, then have the confidence of your convictions, make the argument to the American public and get specific authorization for that conflict. AMY GOODMAN: That's what Mattis recommended. FAIZ SHAKIR: Yes, of course. That is the way it should go. And the American public should have a role in this conversation. They should be told by the president of the United States, "Here's the argument, here's the intelligence that we have, and this is what we would like you to do.” It should be a full deliberation. But now, of course, under the 9/11 AUMF, we've just been allowing the president to carry these strikes and authorizations out without any kind of deliberation whatsoever. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this move to rewrite the AUMF, Corker actually started it last year, after the debacle that occurred in Niger and where Sergeant La David Johnson died, and most members of Congress didn't even know that there were all of these American troops in Niger. How does it get to the point now where Congress doesn't even know what the military is doing around the world? FAIZ SHAKIR: They have decided that they're not going to have any role in foreign affairs. And that is literally Tim Kaine's argument, is that we should have a role. We should—and that they have a role, under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. The Congress is supposed to be the body that declares war. Reassume that responsibility and start having a deliberation. I mean, unfortunately, we had an abuse of the AUMF under President Obama. He carried out a war in Libya, an air war, and they said, "You know, it's just an air war, so we can just do it under the 9/11 AUMF.” Nonsense! It was the wrong choice then, and, unfortunately, that precedent is setting a dangerous precedent for the future under Trump.

Former President George W. Bush Fears People Are "Forgetting The Lessons Of 9/11"

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 22:10
Wednesday on Fox Business Network's 'Mornings with Maria' Bartiromo, former President George W. Bush warned that "some people are forgetting the lessons" of the September 11 terror attacks. Bartiromo asked: "As we see what's happening in the world today from North Korea and Syria we still have these radicals trying to undo who we are, your thoughts on what to do and how to respond to what's happening." GEORGE W. BUSH: People are forgetting the lessons of 9/11. And one of the major lessons of 9/11 is the human condition elsewhere matters to our national security. It's in our nation's interest for women to be successful in the Middle East for example, or for civil society to take hold. Because it's with civil society and people having a say in the future of their governments that the foundation for peace is laid. So my thoughts are, remember the lessons of 9/11.

Former UK Ambassador To Syria: Possible We're "Deluded," "Suckered" By Chemical Weapons Allegations

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:54
Self-described "independent Lebanese geopolitical commentator" Sarah Abdallah highlighted former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford's interview Tuesday on FNC's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight.' "There is a distinct possibility that we have been deluded. We've been suckered. I think the president's advisors have served him extremely badly," Ford told Carlson Tuesday night.

Sen. Chris Murphy Grills State Dept. Official: After Five Years, Why Is U.S. Still Backing Saudi Arabian War In Yemen?

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:45
At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy grills Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield about the war in Yemen, where the U.S. is supplying a Saudi Arabian proxy war against Iran. VICE News witnessed hundreds of migrants starting their long walk from the shores of Bi'r Ali in south-east Yemen to the Saudi border. Satterfield explained: "It is the Saudi position that military force needs to be continued to apply. Our response to the Saudis at the highest levels has been that application of force has not been and is not predictably likely to be successful in achieving that political goal." "And we have been unsuccessful in changing their mind for five years and we expect things to change?" Murphy said. "The Saudis have made it pretty clear to everyone that's asked them that they are not going to come to the table until the military battle lines on the ground inside Yemen change and that until they get the Houthis back on their heels militarily they aren't going to come to the negotiating table," Murphy also said. "And yet you're telling us that you think that they are going to -- the Saudis are going to engage even if after five years of trying to get the battle lines to be different they have no success." "So, why are the Saudis going to come to the table today if for five years they've been trying to move the battle lines without success?" SEN. CHRIS MURPHY: America's biggest foreign policy mistakes come when we make a decision for military engagement and then we don't allow for facts on the ground to educate us about a mistake that we have made. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different set of results. And I feel like that's where we are five years into a conflict in which nothing has changed except for the worse. The Houthis control effectively the same amount of the country that they did. At the outset, the humanitarian nightmare has gotten even worse and yet we are still sitting here today talking about a peace process blossoming out of a reality on the ground that looks very different -- that does not look very different than it did a year or two years ago. And so, Mr. Satterfield, let me pose this theory of the case to you. I have great respect for you but I really do think that this impression that you're giving the Committee that the Iranians don't want to come to the table and the Saudis and the Emiratis do, is spin. Because the reason that we are asking you questions about reports of an assault on Hodeidah is that the Saudis have made it pretty clear to everyone that's asked them that they are not going to come to the table until the military battle lines on the ground inside Yemen change and that until they get the Houthis back on their heels militarily they aren't going to come to the negotiating table. And yet you're telling us that you think that they are going to -- the Saudis are going to engage even if after five years of trying to get the battle lines to be different they have no success. So, why are the Saudis going to come to the table today if for five years they've been trying to move the battle lines without success? The reason we're asking you these questions about Hodeidah is that they've communicated to us that they are planning an assault on Hodeidah as a means of trying to change the dynamics in anticipation of a negotiation. SATTERFIELD: Senator, the last three years that this conflict has endured have not just shown a status quo. It's been a worsening of the situation with respect to the military picture. The posture of the Houthis is strengthened today in comparison to what it was three years ago. The presence of opposing non-Houthi forces Ali Abdullah Saleh, the General People's Congress is significantly more diminished or fragmented. The presence of other elements, Islah, other actors, Ali Mohsen in this conflict, have less influence to bring to bear. Now, that may appear to be more of a chaotic mix and thus more difficult to bring to a resolution. Perhaps, out of some sense of optimism, I choose to see it differently. It is a situation in which the hope that somehow military force alone could compel the Houthis as a unique party to come to the table on reduced terms is illusory. And we use exactly those terms with the Saudi and Emirati ... MURPHY: But that has been the Saudi -- but that has been the Saudi position for the last five years that military pressure, continued military pressure, an average of 15 airstrikes a day for three years consecutive is going to bring the Houthis to the table. That has been the theory of the case from the Saudis coalition's perspective, correct? SATTERFIELD: And we have been -- it is the Saudi position that military force needs to be continued to apply. Our response to the Saudis at the highest levels has been that application of force has not been and is not predictably likely to be successful in achieving that political goal (inaudible). (CROSSTALK) MURPHY: And we have been unsuccessful in changing their mind for five years and we expect things to change. Mr. Jenkins, we are comparing the current state of humanitarian relief to a moment in time last fall when virtually no relief was getting through. That is not the proper comparison or at least a useful comparison. So, let me just quote from a recent U.N. report that suggests that today, half as many vessels are getting into Hodeidah and Salif as before the blockade. And that on average, the Saudi inspection process is adding 100 days to relief supplies getting into these ports despite the fact that we have a U.N. verification process is taking a look at these ships as well. Why do the Saudis need to continue to look at every single ship that comes in chilling the interest in humanitarian supplies adding additional time when we have a U.N.? process that so far has shown no evidence of not actually being able to conduct these inspections? JENKINS: So Senator, it's true that throughput at the Port of Hodeidah has not yet gotten back to the level we saw before the October-November enclosure. And there has been a very chilling effect on shippers particularly shippers that using containerized vessels who don't want to take the risk of going to Hodeidah and also because they don't know how long it will go through clearance. However, we've been working very carefully, State Department, USAID, other donors with the coalition to reduce the times that the EHOC process that's the coalition's Evacuation Humanitarian Assistance Operation Cell. In the month of April 3rd we got that down to about three to four days, so it's not a 100 days. There's been a lot of work done getting the communication between that process and the U.N. verification and inspection mechanism process together. The U.N. system on them gets back within 48 hours on the determination of whether or not a vessel actually needs to be searched or not and then it goes through the EHOC process. We are -- we have seen, particularly in the last six weeks significant progress on that and we're looking forward to reducing those times even more. What we do need is we need shippers in the region to know how long it will take and how long or and that will hopefully get more shipping back into Hodeidah port particularly compartmentalized cargo. MURPHY: Thank you.

Replay: President Trump Mar-a-Lago Press Conference With Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:13
President Trump and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe are expected to deliver statements about their two-day working summit and take questions, at a press conference in the "Winter White House," Trump's Mar-a-Lago club. Topics could include trade deals, China, the president's upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, weapons deals with Japan, and historic reports that North and South Korea are negotiating a statement to formally end the war that began in 1950. Prime Minister Abe and President Trump met at the White House yesterday and traveled to Trump's home in West Palm Beach in time to play golf Wednesday morning. The two leaders are scheduled to take questions from the press at 6:00 PM. Watch live in the video above.

Russian Media Cites OAN Report Questioning Syrian Chemical Weapons

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 21:04
Russian English language programming praises American journalists who went to Syria to look for evidence of a chemical attack. 'One America News' reporter Pearson Sharp visited Douma, the site of the latest alleged chemical weapons attack, outside the Syrian capital of Damascus looking for evidence. He claims to have found no evidence that any chemical attack took place and discovered that many pro-Assad Syrians believe rebel groups staged the whole incident. Meanwhile, chemical weapons inspectors from the UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have entered the town for their official investigation of claims of a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian town. RT's Yulia Shapovalova highlights OAN reporter Pearson Sharp's inquiries at the hospital where victims were brought after the alleged attack. "When I asked [the doctors at the hospital] what they thought the chemical attack was, they told me --all of them told me-- that it was staged by the rebels who are occupying the town at the time. They said it was a fabrication and a hoax an when I asked them why, they told me it was because the rebels were desperate, and they needed a ploy to get the Syrian army off their backs so they could escape," Sharp reported.

Comey on Trump: "Not Normal" To Say Private Citizens Should Be In Jail; He's "Making Us Numb"

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 04:59
Comey responded to Trump saying he should be in jail and cable news hosts also saying he should be indicted in an interview with WABC-TV New York. "The president of the United States is saying that private citizens should be in jail," Comey said Tuesday. "That's not okay. That's not normal. But there is a danger that he is making us numb to that, to an erosion of the rule of law and to independent law enforcement and that's a bad place to be. Comey said he doesn't regret describing Trump by writing about his hand size and how his eyes looked. He said he is "trying to be an author" by giving as much detail as possible. Comey likened it to how he described Obama; he wrote the former president was "skinner" than he expected. Comey said "seizing" on what he wrote about Trump's appearance is "not fair." "I tell stories about leaders I dealt with," Comey defended. "I try to put rich detail in there. I'm trying to be an author, I'm not trying to make fun of Donald Trump. As silly as it sounds, I found his hands not to be unusually small." "I think what I'm trying to do as an author is sharing that with people. I think the seizing on that is really not fair and consistent with the whole book," he said. Comey said if he had a magic wand Hillary Clinton would have never used a personal email server and Anthony Weiner would never have a laptop. "That would have made my life a whole lot easier because we would have never been involved at all," he said. Asked about screw-ups as FBI director he said he only made "small ones."

Dem Rep. Ted Lieu: I Believe James Comey Is A Man Of Integrity

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 04:03
Rep. Ted Lieu comments on Sean Hannity's involvement with Michael Cohen and James Comey's book, in an interview with CNN's John Berman. REP. TED LIEU, D-CALIFORNIA: In terms of Sean Hannity, what struck me was that he failed to disclose that he had a special relationship with Michael Cohen, he always says friend. He got free legal advice from Michael Cohen and viewers have a right to know was Sean Hannity upset at these raids of Michael Cohen's office because he thought there was some legal issue or was he upset because Michael Cohen was his friend. And when Sean Hannity hides that fact from his viewers and doesn't let Fox News know about it, then that's a breach of journalistic ethics no matter how you call it. BERMAN: OK, that's a journalistic issue. And I appreciate you being a fan of your journalism there, but there isn't anything legal there, correct? LIEU: That is correct. The reason that I'm interested in Michael Cohen issue, last month, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice and I, both former prosecutors, we wrote a letter to the FBI asking them to investigate Michael Cohen as well as the National Enquirer because both of them made large monetary payments to silence two women who had negative stories about affairs about Donald Trump during a presidential campaign. That was a violation of campaign finance laws and I think that's one of the things that the FBI is looking at right now. BERMAN: It seems as if maybe your letters were after the fact. It does seem as if the FBI and this other district may have been investigating Michael Cohen for at least other issues long before that. Just final, one more final question on Michael Cohen, what do you make of Judge Kimba Wood's decision to slow things down a little bit and create this review process for the evidence that was seized? Would you like to see it be reviewed by investigators right away or are you OK with the more careful approach? LIEU: I support Judge Wood's decision. And ultimately what she did yesterday, she upheld the rule of law. She rejected Donald Trump's and his attorneys' requests to have these documents not reviewed by the prosecution, the judge rejected that. What she did say is she might appoint a special master to assist both the prosecution and the defense, but make no mistake, the prosecution is going to review all the documents and it shows again that no one is above the law, not the President, and not his attorney. BERMAN: The defense will get to see them, though. And I imagine that is actually something they were keenly interested as well, just to get a sense of exactly what the FBI has here. Because I'm not sure that they were able to really fully ascertain what evidence was seized. But to shift here is to James Comey, Frank Rooney, a friend of mine and columnist for The New York Times, he assesses the James Comey situation as such. He goes, "With the way that Comey has written his book, which charts every last tremor of his conscience and the staging of his appearance and promotion of it, he has embedded his own transformation from a crucial witness to a character in a serial drama of nonstop spectacle of Trump's life." That drama only serves Trump. The question is, you know, and I'm sure you would be critical of Comey and also supportive of Comey over time as well, do you think that the way that James Comey has written his book and gone about these interviews has helped or hurt his overall argument about the President's fitness? LIEU: That's a great question. Comey is a complicated figure. And while I disagree with his policy judgments regarding Hillary Clinton's e-mails and disclosing that investigation to the American public, I was able to interview him as part of the House Oversight Committee in 2016 when he came to Capitol Hill. I believe that he is a man of integrity. Well I don't agree with what he has chosen to do, I don't have anything to doubt what he is saying about the President. And I believe his recollections are true and I think that ultimately he's helpful to the American people. BERMAN: He is in recollection about the hand size and the hair color and maybe some of the salacious details, that too, that included? LIEU: I would not have written a book that way, but I'm talking more about his recollections and conversations about Michael Flynn, and obstruction of justice. I have no reason to doubt that that is not true. BERMAN: Congressman Ted Lieu, thank you so much for being with us and thank you for your comments about the Boston marathon. You said I looked great. That is, in fact, not true. Fact check false, but thank you nonetheless. I do appreciate it.

Gowdy: Comey Preaches "Morality, Ethics & Truth" But Uses "Relativism" To Rip Trump

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 04:01
Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee joins 'The Story' for reaction to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's request for more time to review the Comey memos for possible classified information. MARTHA MACCALLUM: What do you think about that given the fact that James Comey said there was -- there was nothing classified in those memos? REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: I wish he had shared that advice with Jim Comey before he went on national television and recalled every conversation he's ever had with President Trump. So, I don't want the drama. I want the documents. I've actually read them, Martha. I read them months ago. MACCALLUM: Yes. GOWDY: Which is why I think it's really important that you get to see them and your viewers get to see them. Look, Comey is talking about them. He included it in his Senate testimony. He's talking a lot about them. MACCALLUM: Yes. GOWDY: Well, everyone should know what exactly he memorialized after his conversations with the president. MACCALLUM: And as you say, you are one of the few people who has actually read these memos. Is there anything classified in there? Is there anything top-secret in there? GOWDY: I can think of two sentences in all the memos I read that would be appropriately redacted. But having said that, DOJ can redact whatever they want. If they think it's part of an ongoing probe or somehow is classified, what I'm most interested in, which is what Comey is talking about, there's no need for that to be classified. So, Comey gets to talk about it, but no one else does and that's just not fair to your viewers and it's not fair to the president, frankly. MACCALLUM: All right. So, when you take a look at some of what he has been saying from all of this, let's play the sound bite from the interview where he gives his reasoning for why he did not convene a grand jury in the Hillary Clinton case. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: To those who say you should have brought Hillary Clinton before a grand jury? JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: We would prefer with the subject of an investigation to do an informal interview, a lot more flexibility there. They're still required to tell the truth. (END VIDEO CLIP) MACCALLUM: Your thoughts? GOWDY: He's right, you can't lie, but that would come as really interesting legal counsel to all of the people who have been hauled in front of grand jury's that the FBI prefers to do it another way. MACCALLUM: Yes. I'm sure they all prepare a more flexible venue than Hillary Clinton got. GOWDY: Well, I'll tell you what they'd like. They'd love to have Cheryl Mills and all the other potential fact witnesses sitting in there while you're being interviewed. I have never heard of that before. So, he's -- what he means by flexibility, I think the right word is "unprecedented". It's never been done before. MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, I would love for him to be pressed on that question of what exactly he means by flexibility and why it would get the FBI to their ends of determining whether or not there was any wrongdoing in that case. I want to draw your attention to something else that came out on Friday and the inspector general's report with regard to Andrew McCabe. And it goes to the question of whether or not James Comey is in any sort of trouble for leaking to his reporter friend, which he mentioned in the introduction here. And here is what it says in the I.G. report with regards to Andrew McCabe. It says: McCabe argues that Comey, quote, would have every incentive to distance himself from this disclosure. It goes on to say: due to McCabe's belief that the OGI, the inspector general, is reviewing Comey's disclosure of other information to the media. So, Andrew McCabe apparently is under the impression that Comey is part of the inspector general's investigation. GOWDY: I wouldn't be surprised if he were. I mean, Michael Horowitz is looking at all of what happened in 2016 and there were lots of leaks. I mean, Comey gave one of his memos to a law professor. I think Horowitz is looking at everything in 2016, and anyone at the bureau who made an unauthorized leak should take note of what happened to Andy McCabe. MACCALLUM: So, is that potentially perilous for James Comey who as you pointed out is telling his story, I think he's got 11 interviews coming up in the next 10 or 12 days? GOWDY: I think what's most perilous for Jim Comey, quite frankly, Martha, is he's written a book about morality and ethics and truth, and he's engaged in more relativism I think than any book author I have seen in a long time. Now, keep in mind, he says President Trump lied. He's therefore unfit for office. But he's really proud of the fact that his wife and daughter supported the other candidate who also has trouble with the truth and then when it comes to Andy McCabe, he is a victim. MACCALLUM: Yes. GOWYD: So, all three engaged in the same conduct. Ones unfit to be president, one he hopes is the president and the other his friend and a victim. That's relativism. So, that is antithetical to ethics. MACCALLUM: And he makes it very clear from the get-go that all of his decisions were made with the assumption that Hillary would win, that he framed his decision in that pattern, which I can't understand why that was relevant to any of the work that he would have been doing and it begs the question how would he have done things differently if he thought the other outcome of President Trump was going to be the case, none of which should have any bearing on what he's doing. I want to ask you about a memo that Mark Meadows has sent to you, asking to clarify whether or not some of the newer revelations in these Strzok-Page text messages point to greater coordination that has been admitted between the FBI and the DOJ on what they were going to find with regard to Hillary Clinton. GOWDY: Yes, Mark has done great work and so is Johnny Radcliffe and others. I've read Mark's letter. He shared it with me before it went public, which I appreciate him doing. I'm going to send it to the inspector general and I'm going to the department and the FBI, to the extent that there is an allegation that false testimony was given, Congress is not the entity to investigate that. I think it fits most neatly within what Horowitz is doing now which is looking at how -- just how unprecedented this investigation was in 2016.

Rand Paul Questions Syria Chemical Weapons Narrative On CNN

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:56
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Joining us now from Capitol Hill is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. He's a Republican member on the Foreign Relations Committee, also the Homeland Security Committee. Senator, thanks so much for joining us. Let's get to substantive issues you're dealing with right now. Your committee chairman, Bob Corker, described the walk-back by the White House as confusion. Larry Kudlow, the president's new chief economic adviser, says there was no confusion. He simply says Ambassador Haley just got ahead of herself. What was your reaction? Did the White House undercut Ambassador Haley? SEN. RAND PAUL, (R), KENTUCKY: I think before you talk about sanctions we ought to talk about what evidence was there that Russia was complicit in this attack. In fact, for that matter, I still look at the attack and say Assad must be the dumbest dictator on the planet or maybe he didn't do it. I have yet to see evidence he did do it. The agency claims they have that evidence, but think about it, he's been winning the war for the last couple years. The only thing that would galvanize the war to Assad directly is a chemical attack. It killed relatively few people compared to what could be killed with traditional bombs, traditional machine guns, traditional tanks, so you wonder what made them use chemical weapons. So before we get to Russia, we have to determine that Syria was implicated and then we have to determine the connection between Russia and Syria. BLITZER: As you know, it's not just the U.S., but France and the U.K. participated in the bombing of these chemical sites in Syria. Are you saying, Senator, the president had bad intelligence? PAUL: I don't know. I haven't seen the intelligence. We have a briefing this afternoon where I may see some of this, but the difficulty is, these things are not a slam-dunk. This was back in 2013 President Obama looked at that chemical attack, and at that point in time, his general was saying, hey, it's not a slam-dunk, because you can detect there were Syrian claims, you can detect Syrians dropped bombs, but it's sometimes hard to know if they dropped an existing vehicle of weapons, and Syria has been known to use chemical weapons, or if the Syrians did it. If the Syrians did it, it comes back to the question that Assad must be the dumbest dictator on the planet to use chemical weapons when he knows from previous evidence it's the only thing that gets the world galvanized to attack him. BLITZER: Or he may have thought he could get away with it. Who knows?

Anderson Cooper vs. GOP Rep. Jim Jordan: You're Very Bold On Calling Out Andrew McCabe, Not So Much With Trump

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:55
CNN's Anderson Cooper grilled Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) about President Trump and lying. Cooper asked Jordan many times if he believed Trump lies. Cooper told the Congressman "you got to admit" Trump has said things that are "demonstrably not true" time and time again, adding the list is a "very long one." "So you are very bold on calling on Andrew McCabe not so bold on the President of the United States," Cooper stated to Jordan in an interview on Monday night. "It was not me calling on McCabe, it was his colleagues," the Representative shot back. This set off a chain of "have you heard the president lie?" questions. Transcript, via CNN: ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Well, the interview got the attention of many on Capitol Hill. Earlier tonight I spoke with Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. So Congressman Jordan, yesterday Speaker Ryan said that Jim Comey is a man of integrity as far as he knows. Is he wrong? REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: I don't think James Comey has much credibility, Anderson. I thought he was wrong on July 5th when he did his press conference before the election, I thought he was wrong when he reopened the case in October, 10 days before the election. I thought he was wrong throughout that entire investigation. And I said so both times. When I said so in October, I took a lot of heat from some my Republican colleagues but I thought he screw this thing up from the get-go and I don't think he has a whole a lot of creditability. [21:30:09] COOPER: Just in terms of the rhetoric surrounding all this, President has refer to his former FBI Director as a "slimeball." Referred to the upper echelon of the FBI a den of thieves and lowlifes, are you at all concern that this can damage the public confidence in the institution of the FBI? JORDAN: The FBI's confidence is damaged because of the access of Jim Comey and Andrew McCabe for goodness sake. I mean, think about it, Anderson, James Comey was fired. Deputy Director McCabe was fired for lying four times, twice under oath. Chief Counsel Jim Baker was demoted and reassign. Deputy Counter Intelligence Peter Strzok was demoted and reassigned and Lisa Page, FBI counsel was demoted and reassigned. COOPER: Right. JORDAN: These are some of the top people at the FBI -- COOPER: They were demoted and reassigned by Mueller himself? JORDAN: After first being selected to be on the team and we have seen the text messages, just don't show bias they shows animus towards the President that the American people elected. So these are the top people at the FBI. If anyone destroy the credibility at the top is those people. The ranking file agent, Americans have the highest confidence in those folks. COOPER: You don't think the President calling these people as low lives referring to den of thieves. That shows animus? JORDAN: How about the report that came out just last Friday on Andrew McCabe. Here is what he did. COOPER: Right. JORDAN: Do you want to talk about -- COOPER: I'm just asking, do you the President is showing animus by calling, you know, upper echelon of the FBI den of thieves and lowlifes, I mean these are -- JORDAN: I think he's pointing out the fact that these five people wrap the things, they've all been demoted or reassigned or fired. And I think that's pretty telling. COOPER: I want to play something that Comey said in his interview last night about the President. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COMEY: I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president. A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat who lies constantly about that, big and small and insisting for the American people to believe it. That person is not fit to be president of United States on moral grounds. (END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Did you disagree with him there? JORDAN: I do think the American people spoke loudly and clearly on election day and they made Donald Trump, the president of the United States. I think in 2017, we did some good things for this country, specifically tax cuts -- COOPER: Do you think the President -- JORDAN: -- like Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, like reducing regulations, like the embassy should in fact, go to Jerusalem, I think a lot of good things happened in 2017. COOPER: Do you think the President lies a lot? JORDAN: Excuse me, Anderson? COOPER: Do you think the President lies a lot? Like Jim Comey says? JORDAN: I do not. think James Comey has leaked information through a friend to the New York Times for the state of purpose getting a special counsel. I think James Comey took over the investigation and never happened before. It has always been the attorney general who announced the findings, whether they're going to prosecute or not. So I think James Comey -- as I said earlier -- COOPER: Do you honestly -- JORDAN: -- is gone, because how he handled the Clinton investigation and how he started the Trump administration. COOPER: I mean, came on, I mean, you got to admit this President has said things, which are just demonstrably not true time and time again. I mean, the list is a very long one, almost on a daily basis? JORDAN: I think Andrew McCabe said things that are not true and the inspector general -- COOPER: Does it make it right? JORDAN: -- and was fired because of that. COOPER: Right. So you are very bold on calling on Andrew McCabe not so bold on the President of the United States. JORDAN: It was not me calling on McCabe, it was his colleagues. COOPER: OK. So you have heard the President lie? You haven't heard the President lie? JORDAN: I not heard the President -- he's always been square with me. That's for darn sure. COOPER: What about the American people? JORDAN: The American people elected him President of the United States. COOPER: OK. But I mean, have you ever the President lie? That's why I'm asking you? JORDAN: I have not. And the American people feel like what the treatment he's receiving from the top people of the FBI -- COOPER: A, I don't think you can talk about all the American people. But I'm asking you -- just yourself, have you ever heard the President lie? JORDAN: I have not. COOPER: Really? So when the Washington Post counts hundreds and hundreds of times, none of those are believable to you. JORDAN: I have not seen what the Washington Post reported. You are asking me if the President communicated something it wasn't accurate to me, I'm not -- COOPER: No. No, not to you. Has the President publicly said anything that is a lie? JORDAN: I mean, look, I don't know of it. Nothing comes to mind but look, people who talk as much as you and I do, my guess is probably, Anderson, you may have said something at some point that wasn't a 100 percent accurate. COOPER: If I have, I apologize for it and I try to correct it as possible. JORDAN: Fine. That's how -- COOPER: Have you heard the President apologize and correct something? JORDAN: I don't know that he said something wrong that he needs to apologize for. I just that nothing comes to mind right now. I'm saying that if I would do something like that -- I would, I would say look, something is not accurate, I would deal with it.

Buzzfeed: Welcome To The Era Of Fake Videos

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:45
Via BuzzFeed and comedian Jordan Peele: "We're entering an era in which our enemies can make anyone say anything at any point in time."

Killer Mike and Joy Reid on Black Gun Ownership

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:42
Killer Mike joins Joy Reid after Joy's response to the rapper and activist's comments on her Instagram account went viral. They discuss black gun ownership, the two black men who were arrested while waiting in Starbucks, and whether the NRA supports black gun owners.

OAN Reporter In Syria Finds No Evidence Of Chemical Weapon Attack In Douma

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:38
One America News reporter Pearson Sharp visited the war-torn town of Douma outside the capital of Damascus, looking for evidence of a chemical attack. However, residents there deny the claims of an attack, and say it was staged to help the rebels escape. "When I asked [the doctors at the hospital] what they thought the chemical attack was, they told me --all of them told me-- that it was staged by the rebels who are occupying the town at the time. They said it was a fabrication and a hoax an when I asked them why, they told me it was because the rebels were desperate, and they needed a ploy to get the Syrian army off their backs so they could escape," Sharp reported.

Hannity: The Fake News Media Has A New Wall-to-Wall Hysterical Obession, Me

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:35
SEAN HANNITY: I'm not surprised the media decided to go after me: it's predictable and pathetic... They are frauds, they are partisan hacks, pretty much all they do is parrot political talking points.

Author David Faris: Have Democrats Blown The Ability To Fight The GOP?

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:32
In this clip from The Majority Report with Sam Seder, author David Faris joins the show to discuss how the left is abdicating their ability to fight the far-right Republican Party. Faris is the author of It's Time To Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build A Lasting Majority In American Politics.

Tucker Carlson: The Left Would Rather Risk War With Russia Than Admit They Lost

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 03:26
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Elites have decided we need to actually provoke Russia, even though they have thousands of nuclear weapons, rather than face the real reason they lost in 2016 and that admit the collusion theory is absurd.

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