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Watch Live: White House Briefing With Karine Jean-Pierre

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 19:35
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC spokesman John Kirby will brief reporters around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tom Bevan: Of Big Six Battleground States, Biden Is Behind In Five

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 05:38
RCP co-founder and president Tom Bevan talks about a new poll in Wisconsin from The Hill/Emerson College showing Trump with a 3 point lead over Biden in a head-to-head matchup and up even more when third party candidates are included. He discusses how Trump is leading in five out of six major swing states -- plus Georgia -- in the RCP average, on the Tuesday episode of the new RealClearPolitics show on SiriusXM (Monday through Friday at 6:00 p.m. EST on P.O.T.U.S. Channel 124) "We have four polls taken this year in Wisconsin, most were in mid to late January, so this is the first poll in February, but every single one of those has been a tie or Trump ahead, and Trump is ahead by 1.2% in our average. So it is more of the same in terms of Biden showing weakness in the Rust Belt/Upper Midwest. And you add Kenedy, Jill Stein, and Cornel West to the mix and it gets worse for Biden," he said about the new Emerson poll. "If you take Wisconsin out of the mix, Biden is going to have to make that up somewhere else, and there are no obvious places where he is going to win. If he's showing weakness there, he's probably showing weakness in other states as well." "Biden is behind in almost all the swing states, except for Pennsylvania, where he is ahead by less than one percent," he continued. "Everywhere else, he is behind, including down eight points in Nevada, a Democratic state. 7 points in Georgia, 5 points in Arizona, [5 points in Michigan, 6 points in North Carolina, 3 points in Wisconsin]."

Carville: If We Go To The Convention With Unhappy "Uncommitted" Voters, I Don't Want To Think What's Going To Happen

Wed, 02/28/2024 - 05:30
Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville on Tuesday talked to CNN host Jim Acostas about the "uncommitted" vote in the Michigan primary and what it means for President Biden. JIM ACOSTA: Joining me now is Democratic Strategist James Carville, who served as the lead strategist on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. James, I won't get into Dianne Gallagher's (INAUDIBLE). There weren't a lot of people in that gymnasium. I think there were more posters of the kids on the wall there than there were voters actually in that voting location. Maybe it'll pick up as the day goes on. But, you know, Dianne was talking about this uncommitted vote in Michigan because of the, you know, the war in Gaza. There are some Democratic activists who are saying they want to see Democrats vote uncommitted instead of for President Biden. What do you think about the concerns about that? Are they well-founded? Is this being blown out of proportion? What do you think? JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, first of all, congratulations on your new show. I'm honored to be a part of it. ACOSTA: Thanks, James. CARVILLE: I think this issue is deep. And I think it's a lot deeper than just progressive advocates or young people or college campuses. I hope the president can get some kind of ceasefire and take this off the front burner, because frankly, it's damaged politically. It's pretty substantial. And if we get to Chicago at the convention and this thing is still going on, I don't want to think about what's going to happen there.

MSNBC Legal Analyst: This Is A Horrible Look For Fani Willis, She Will Be Disqualified For Lying To The Court

Fri, 02/16/2024 - 00:05
Federal and white collar defense attorney Caroline Polisi on MSNBC following Fulton County DA Fani Willis's testimony about her personal relationship with a special prosecutor attached to the Trump trial: "Don't let the legalese fool you. This is epic. This is monumental. If things are going in the direction we think, Fani Willis lied to the court. It's game over for her. She will be disqualified, if they had a relationship prior to [the Trump case]. It's a huge deal. I can't overstate it." "The issue is that her credibility is shot," Polisi said. "If she lied to the court, she submitted something to the court that she knew was false and inaccurate, what else was she lying about? It's a horrible, horrible look for her. I think the case is dead in the water."

Even MSNBC knows Fani Willis's reputation is shot. Is it fani or fanni?

- Redneck Azn (@LMFireSystems1) February 15, 2024

Puzder: Biden's Net-Zero Energy Policy Will Economically Kill This Country

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:43
Former "CKE Restaurants" CEO Andy Puzder warns Democrats' net-zero carbon goal is a dangerous objective during an interview on FBN's "Cavuto" "If you look at just the cost of natural gas, in the U.K. you're talking about a $51 cap-and-trade tax on top of what it costs to just pay for the gas itself, which i about $160 per megawatt hour. So you're talking about $211 per megawatt hour. Much of it from government cap-an-trade policies. In the U.S., to use natural gas, it costs $61 per megawatt hour. A tremendous difference, and if we pursue policies like those the British pursued, it will kill us economically," Puzder warned. "Rupert Darwall had an article published by RealClear Foundation titled "The Folly of Climate Leadership" and it is just killing the U.K., people who just want to heat their homes and drive to work are getting smashed."

Karine Jean-Pierre: "Nothing To Share" On Biden Saying He'd Do A Press Conference Today

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:31
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had no answer when asked at Thursday's briefing whether President Biden would take questions as he said he would yesterday. A reporter asked: "The president said yesterday that he would be taking questions today or tomorrow. What was he referring to?" "I don't have anything to share at this time," Jean-Pierre said. "As you know the president takes questions from you all often. I don't have anything on the public schedule to speak to."

kite & Key Media: The High Cost Of Low Prices

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:23
Via Kite & Key Media -- Prices too high? Wages too low? What if politicians just … changed them? To fight inflation in the 1970s, President Nixon froze all wages and prices in the country. The results? Shortages on essential items … and increased inflation. While almost no one pushes for national price controls anymore, we keep trying them on a smaller scale … and keep seeing similar results. For instance, some local governments limit how much landlords can charge for rent. When economists studied this in San Francisco, they found that the city's program reduced the number of apartments … which increased prices. Similarly, New York City discovered that the stricter an apartment's rent control, the more likely the unit was to have potentially dangerous maintenance issues. We see similar problems when the government dictates how much people are paid. After Seattle raised its minimum wage, low-skill workers saw their hours cut so much … that they earned less than before. But here's the good news: The problem isn't what we're doing; it's how we're doing it. From bringing down rents to increasing take-home pay, economists tell us that there are alternative approaches with fewer unintended consequences.

Larry Kudlow To Lara Trump: Democrats Will Try To Steal The Election, Can You Get The RNC Ready To Stop Them?

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:18
FBN's Larry Kudlow told the former president's daughter-in-law Lara Trump, whose name was floated this week to become co-chair of the RNC, that the Democrats "are going to try to steal" the election and Republicans "have to be ready." LARRY KUDLOW: They are going to try to steal it. I don't even want to be any more ambiguous or any more diplomatic, they are going to try to steal it, and we have to be ready. Because look, early balloting is going to happen. The president doesn't like it, I know that whole story. I've spent time with him as you have, they're going to do it. There will be harvesting and we've got to do it better than they do it, because they will try to sabotage it, they will try to undermine it, you know that. It is coming. There is a wave out there coming. We have to be ready for it. I just hope the RNC -- tell me the RNC is fog to go get back to the top of its game and be able to fight this thing. LARA TRUMP: Well, obviously I have to win an election of sorts by the committee in order to become co-chair, which you heard my father-in-law of course endorse me to do. Look, I think that, you're exactly right, we better have the best ground game this country has ever seen. We better be doing legal ballot harvesting everywhere we can in this country, because the Democrats have been doing it, whether or not where they have done it is legal, that is up for discussion. We'll do it the legal way. We better do it every place we possibly can. Voter registration, election day operations. I told you I already know the RNC has trained poll watchers, these people will go into precincts, not just stand there, but be able to count the ballots, so we know how many are coming in, and how many are going out. We need to be ahead of the curve on this, you are right, we know the funny business that happens all over this country. There are millions and millions of Americans who look back to 2020, "Hmmm, something wasn't quite right there." We can leave nothing to chance. People need to vote early and getting their friends to go vote with them. This is the plan. This is how we do it. We have 10 months to go. It is full force ahead. I can assure we're all going to be working hard in my family. ... LARRY KUDLOW: I'd love having you there at the RNC. A friend of mine who is involved in the RNC says well we have 400 lawsuits. I don't care how many lawsuits you have, it is on the ground game, that's what -- the actual people in place, okay, for the early balloting and the harvesting and the efforts to -- Democrats will try to sabotage. You're tough. We need tough. We need Trump tough at the RNC to stop the Democratic -- I mean, you see what they do? I mean this Fani Willis thing, this is just the tip of the iceberg. She is at the bottom of the greasy poll. It is at the top. The White House is running this. You know they are. The White House is orchestrating every single one of these lawfare-weaponized lawsuits to throw POTUS in jail for 700 years... LARA TRUMP: Larry, you're exactly right and that is all the more reason that this election, I think we hear every four years, it's the most important election, the most important, people feel the difference right now, not only is our country in shambles, not only is the world much weaker, and destabilized right now with a weak leader in the white house, we see that Donald Trump had basically 180 degrees in the other direction on all of these other fronts. But if we allow Democrats to get away with the weaponizing the Department of Justice as they are trying to do with Donald Trump right now, then we are no better off than a communist country, than the former USSR, then Cuba, then Venezuela. We might as well pack it up and get out of here because the United States will fail to exist in the same way if we let them win.

Ramaswamy: Don't Assume The Democratic Party Is As Stupid As Biden Appears On Any Given Day, They Will Replace Him On 2024 Ballot

Thu, 02/15/2024 - 22:01
Former Trump rival Vivek Ramaswamy gave this full-force endorsement of the former president and predicted that President Biden will not last until November, during an appearance Wednesday night on FNC's "Hannity." VIVEK RAMASWAMY: You have a president who they say is too senile to stand trial. Well, on the other hand, they say he's perfectly fine to run run the United States of America. Those two things can't make sense at same time. But I want to point out something, which is that we have known about Biden's senility and mental frailties for a long time. The fact that the mainstream media and even the democratic establishment is now picking up on this signals to me that they are getting ready to move him out of the way. And precisely because Donald Trump is on the path to mop the floor with Joe Biden this fall, I think he is. That's why I think there's is a very good chance it's not going to be Joe Biden. So we have to be skating to where the puck is going, not just where it is. We can fall into the temptation of thinking the Democratic Party is as silly and stupid as Joe Biden appears to be on a given day. That's actually not the case. They're actually one step ahead, and I believe they are planning to replace Joe Biden quietly. And I think this is just one more step in leading us there for us to be prepared to really have a much more competitive race this fall than it appears that the margin. ... I think they have a major Kamala Harris problem because this is a party that has tied its very identity to identity politics. She only got the job, let's be very honest, because of her race and gender. I know you're not supposed to say that, but it's the truth. So if they're going to move Joe Biden out of the way, but they don't want Kamala Harris in that seat... They know that and they know that Kamala Harris cannot be the nominee, so they have to have somebody who checks off one of those identitarian boxes. So that's why I think it's not going to be Gavin Newsom, whether it's Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton or somebody else, it has to be somebody who checks off of their temple of identity politics box. But I do think that that is where we're headed. And it's important for Republicans not to be complacent. Right now, President Trump would run laps around Joe Biden. This could be a Reagan-style style landslide. You look at that survey of independent voters and that focus group that tells you the same story I am seeing across this country, which is precisely because why I believe they're going to actually change it to someone other than Biden by the time we get to this summer. ... The reality is even Hillary Clinton is now lightly criticizing Joe Biden, God knows she wants the job. I don't necessarily take David Axelrod his word. I do think that it may not even be Michelle Obama's choice. The idea that just because she doesn't want to run doesn't mean they're going to make her the nominee, I think are two separate and different questions. But whatever it is, this is our moment to get ahead, not to play a guessing game. I think the Republicans right now have an opportunity to own the message of national unity. Seal that border. Democrat or Republican, most Americans agree on its importance. Black or white, man or woman, it doesn't matter. We agree. Nations have borders. Merritt beats DEI. We've got to drill more, frack more. Own the actual issues that allow us to unite this country. And the more we get ahead of that curve, the more we say that we own the message of national unity, not Joe Biden, who claimed to unite the country, but we, the Republican party, dude, to make America great again we have to make America one nation again. That America First includes all Americans. The more we embrace that message in advance, the less it matters if it's Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton or anybody else. I'm not a believer of waiting for the other side to make their decisions and then responding. Let's set our own agenda, national unity as our own message. I think Donald Trump has the ability to do little to deliver on that. And that way, either way, he will be victorious this fall, as I'm keen to make sure we accomplish.

Biden Snaps At Reporter: "I'm The Most Qualified Person In The Country To Be President And Finish The Job I Started"

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 22:16
During his wild press conference Thursday disputing special counsel Robert Hur's report on his mishandling of classified documents, CNN's MJ Lee asked President Biden why it has to be him as the Democratic nominee. REPORTER: For months when you were asked about your age, you would respond with the words, "Watch me." Many American people have been watching, and they have expressed concerns about your age. JOE BIDEN: That is your judgment! That is not the judgment about the press. REPORTER: They express concerns about your mental acuity, they say you are too old. In December you told me there are many other democrats who could defeat Donald Trump, so why does it have to be you now? What is your answer? JOE BIDEN: Because I'm the most qualified person in this country to be President of the United States and finish the job I started.

Axelrod: Biden's Age And Memory "Has Become A Real Thing," It's A Stubborn Obstacle For The Campaign

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 20:26
CNN chief political commentator and former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said President Biden was "red hot" in his press conference Thursday night addressing the special counsel's report on missing classified documents. COOPER: David Axelrod, you said that you thought that was a moment that was effective, and clearly, obviously very real and emotional. AXELROD: Oh, absolutely. Look, when I saw the report, honestly, that was the hardest part to comprehend, because anyone who knows Joe Biden, and anyone who has watched Joe Biden knows just how impactful the loss of his son was to him. And so -- and I thought that was very genuine and very powerful. You know, it's the rest of the stuff that was a little worrisome, and you know, just responding to Kate, it is true, all of us make mistakes at times and misstate things and that is, we're human beings. The problem is this has become a real thing. Now, every time the president does that, it becomes a story. It becomes the thing, and it goes viral on social media where he is getting pounded on this age issue, particularly among younger people. So that is a stubborn problem that is an obstacle to get -- you know, in his campaign moving forward.

Karine Jean-Pierre: The Part Of Special Counsel's Report About Biden's Memory Problems "Doesn't Live In Reality"

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 20:15
FOX News White House correspondent Peter Doocy at Friday's briefing challenged White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on a special counsel's opinion of President Biden's mental acuity in his report on the classified documents affair. PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS: If the special counsel says President Biden has significant limitations on memory, then who is helping him run the country? KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE: The president of the United States runs the country. The commander-in-chief runs the country. DOOCY: How can he be trusted with nuclear codes? I get that you are saying nobody in the building would say they have an issue with his memory but just the little part of what we get to see, he has made mistake after mistake after mistake on camera this week. JEAN-PIERRE: So I want to be very clear here. The reality is, that report, that part of the report does not live in reality. It just doesn't -- DOOCY: So the special counsel was lying about the president's memory? JEAN-PIERRE: -- it was gratuitous. You heard from Ian Sams, my colleague. It is unacceptable. And it does not live in reality. That is just the facts. And, and, look, it is a closed case. That's what the special counsel said.

RCP's Phil Wegmann Presses WH: Does Biden Now Know His Statement That Mishandled Classified Documents Were All Locked Up Was False?

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 19:38
RCP's Phil Wegmann pressed White House Counsel spokesman Ian Sams about President Biden falsely claiming that all of his mishandled classified documents were locked up, contradicting special counsel Robert Hur's report. Read Phil's new piece on the Hur report here: Special Counsel Hur: Biden 'Elderly Man With Poor Memory' PHILIP WEGMANN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: You said a moment ago the president was responding to inaccurate information last night when he said, "All the stuff in my home was behind locked filing cabinets." Is he entirely clear now at this point where all the documents were discovered, and does he now know his statement about locked filing cabinets is false? IAM SAMS, BIDEN WH COUNSEL SPOKESMAN: The report lays out in 400 pages of detail all of the evidence and reviews that they conducted looking into this matter. The president made sure that all of the classified documents that were found were returned promptly to the government, which is what you're supposed to do, which is why this is the inevitable conclusion that there is no case here. WEGMANN: That's not what I asked though, doe she know his statement yesterday that all the documents were behind locked cabinets was inaccurate? Is he clear in his mind? I know that last night was perhaps a confusing and stressful environment. SAMS: I understand what you're trying to ask Phil, and I think I have answered the question. WEGMANN: My follow-up question after that lack of a response is: There was an eye-popping moment in that report about the president's ghostwriter, and that is that after he learned that the special counsel has begun an investigation, he deleted some of his recordings. Those recordings were able to be recovered. What I'm asking is can you say definitively whether or not the president or anyone else at the White Houe was in contact with his ghostwriter? IAN SAMS: This is in the report. Read the report. It says they sought this, and they didn't. That's in the report.

Greenwald: Russiagate Fraud One Of The Most Extreme DC Embarrassments Since WMDs and Wall Street Bailouts

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 19:32
'System Update' host Glenn Greenwald delivered a monologue on his investigation into Russiagate and the fraud, its consequences, the ongoing damage, and those who caused it. GLENN GREENWALD, SYSTEM UPDATE: Tonight, we revisit the multi-pronged fraud called Russiagate. We do so in part to prevent the memory-holing of what has become one of the most extreme embarrassments to the DC political and media class: up there with the fraud of Iraqi WMDs and the decision after the 2008 financial crisis to save those who caused the crisis, the Wall Street barons with bailouts and handouts, while letting America's middle and working classes drown in foreclosures and debt. We do so in part because there has never been any accountability for the media and political elites who perpetrated these multiple hoaxes. We do so in part because so much of what was done during Russiagate, and by whom, sheds ample light on the key dynamics shaping our politics now, especially heading into the 2024 election, and because the full extent of how deranged, unhinged and unmoored from reality or any rationality and how pathologically conspiratorial our elite class became, is something that I don't think has ever been fully appreciated. Most of all, understanding and remembering the full scope of Russiagate is vital because the damage it has done, both to our geopolitics and our central institutions of authority, continues to endure to this very day. It's not some old relic of the past, but something still ongoing now. One of the benefits of how our show is structured is that we don't have hard time limits to how much we can broadcast, that we have the luxury of not being wedded like cable news shows, to the fleeting daily news cycle, and that we're not interrupted every seven minutes by commercial breaks, is that it gives us the unique ability to delve deeply into topics that deserve that level of deep examination. We especially like doing such episodes on Friday since viewers, we have found, have more time on Friday, and especially on the weekends, to devote the time necessary to slightly longer episodes that take a step back and are the kind necessary to deconstruct false establishment narratives to help us highlight just what an absolute fraud Russiagate was, and how much elite malice and deceit was necessary to create and perpetrate it. We will be joined by one of the very few journalists who, from the start, were willing to pay the non-trivial career cost of objecting to the prevailing narrative, he is Aaron Mate, and despite a good career that he was building in progressive media, he did not hesitate, in 2016, to loudly and quickly express severe skepticism and, ultimately, outright disbelief at the core claims that form this fake scandal. Along the way, Aaron became one of the two or three journalists in America who, I would argue, possessed an encyclopedic level of knowledge of this ongoing scam. He had really mastered the details, and that wasn't easy, given that what we now call Russiagate was composed of so many different lies and debunked stories. It's a carousel of unhinged claims that the difficulty was keeping up with this media tsunami of falsehoods but Aaron managed better than almost anyone, and so we are delighted that he will join us to examine some of the core events that are still, in our view, the ones that compose this vital scandal. Before we begin the broadcast, we have breaking news about Iran and the United States, namely, that the Biden administration has just a few hours ago bombed multiple sites in Syria and Iraq that it claims are places where Iran has both troops and militias that it funds, not just bombing in Syria or Iraq, but both places, multiple sites. This obviously represents what the New York Times well acknowledges was a very serious escalation of the kind the Biden administration has said since the start of the war in Israel it was eager and desperate to avoid. There was no congressional consultation, let alone congressional approval of any kind, for what is basically a new war. We haven't yet bombed targets inside Iran, but we have absolutely bombed barracks and places where Iranian troops are likely to be found. This is a real escalation, and so we are absolutely going to cover this as the new war progresses. But this was a predictable outcome. And so, on Monday night, we devoted our show to the dangers, of bombing targets in Iran, not only from the perspective that doing so without congressional approval is unconstitutional and why that is so important, but also just geopolitically, why it is insane to try and pursue a new war with China. The U.S. is already enmeshed in wars in Ukraine, wars in Gaza and Israel, wars with Yemen in the broader Middle East, and now potentially a war with Iran. But that is the decision of the Biden administration. It seems like this is just the start of what they're calling the retaliation, not the end. And so, if you want, you can consult last Monday's show where we really delved in a comprehensive way into the issues governing all of these decisions. The central difficulty of trying to do a retrospective on the fraud of Russiagate-and it's very similar to the difficulty that I know I encountered at the time when trying to report on it-is that there are so many different individual falsehoods that composed the scandal that we now call Russiagate, the umbrella under which we put all of these different stories, that it's almost impossible to devote a single show to chronicling or documenting all of the lies that the media spread in partnership with the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democratic Party and the U.S. Security State because there are just too many of them. It would probably take a six-hour show to do that. So, what we want to do instead is delve into what this scandal was and its genesis as a way of reminding you exactly what happened at the kind of top level, to demonstrate why it is that it is beyond any reasonable dispute, that the only truthful label to call this scandal is a hoax and a fraud-there simply is no space for reasonable debate about whether it was that. And most of all, to demonstrate how unhinged the media became, how completely detached from reality, in a way that I would argue is at least as responsible for the collapse in trust and faith in institutions of news and media in the United States, as was the debacle with Iraqi WMDs that led the United States to invade Iraq on various false pretenses, and the 2008 financial crisis that was a failure of every institution of authority. The lies that were told during Russiagate, the obvious mission that the media was on being fed lies by the CIA and the FBI, to the point that media outlets actually showered themselves with Pulitzers, particularly the New York Times and The Washington Post, really accelerated the collapse of whatever remaining trust Americans had in media institutions, that wasn't much to begin with, but it's now at record levels, and Russiagate is a major reason why. And then beyond that, and probably the most important reason that we decided we wanted to focus this show on Russiagate- even though I know a lot of people hear Russiagate and think I'm already familiar with that, I already have my views on it, I already know most of what went on-is that the damage that it caused not only to our institutions of authority, but also to our geostrategic relationship with Russia, that the way it contaminated and poisoned the relationship between the two countries-that had the largest nuclear stockpiles of any on the planet, with thousands of intercontinental ballistic nuclear-tip missiles still aimed at one of their cities on hair-trigger alert that comes from the Cold War-, the way it deliberately fed Americans this anti-Russian hatred to justify not just cold wars, but, as we're seeing in Ukraine, actual hot wars that the United States is basically fighting with Russia, using a proxy in Ukraine, is a damage and a harm that is very much still ongoing, as is what became the Democratic Party pathology. The habit of simply labeling any of their opponents or adversaries, any dissidents or critics of their foreign policy as Russian agents. It's something that is done so often that it's normalized to the point that just this week, Nancy Pelosi went on CNN and when asked about pro-Palestine protesters, anti-war protesters, who have been protesting at her events, disrupting her events, and protesting outside of her house, instead of saying why she hates them or why she disagrees with them, or why she thinks they're misguided, she accused them instead-talking here about American citizens who are marching against the U.S. support for these wars in Israel-of being funded in some way by Putin. I mean, this is hysteria. This is delusional behavior. It became so normalized during Russiagate, however, that it is now just commonplace. Nancy Pelosi even called for the FBI to investigate American protesters based on this suspicion, obviously accompanied by no evidence. It never is that these are agents of the Kremlin. So, what I want to start with is a recollection of exactly what this scandal was about, because this is something that has been deliberately distorted by the people who were most involved in it, who are now embarrassed about it, who know that the central claim that gave rise to the scandal was completely debunked by the person they deputized to be the arbiter of truth, Robert Mueller. As a result, they have an interest in pretending that it was about a lot of other things that were ancillary at best to the core claim of the scandal. So, here's The New York Times, in May 2017, on the day that Robert Mueller was appointed a special counsel for the Russiagate investigation by Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, you may recall that the attorney general for Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, recused himself for some reason that I still don't think is very clear. As a result, his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, was in charge of the investigation. He decided the Justice Department had to recuse itself from the investigation and appointed Robert Mueller in order to determine whether crimes were committed. You only have the Justice Department involved and a special counsel appointed if there are reasonable grounds to believe that actual crimes were committed by American citizens. The New York Times thought and assumed, like most liberals, like most people in media, that it was absolutely clear that Mueller was going to find evidence of this conspiracy and the guilt of not only people in the Trump circle but Trump himself -yeah, Saturday Night Live singing songs to Robert Mueller about how all they wanted for Christmas were indictments of Donald Trump and his family. It was the religion, the obsession of large parts of America and our political discourse for at least three years, starting from the middle of the campaign until Robert Mueller finally closed the investigation. And at the time, in May 2017, none of these outlets doubted that this conspiracy was real. So, they described with very clear language what exactly it was that was alleged that gave rise to the scandal in the Mueller investigation in the first place. The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump's four-month-old presidency. And here is what the investigation always was intended to determine-and only this-"to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump's four-month presidency. This was four months into his presidency. They were trying to suffocate his presidency with this fake scandal. In a statement, Mr. Trump said, As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country. (The New York Times, May 17, 2017) That quote, of course, was included in the New York Times, because they had to but at the time, people thought it was a joke that Trump said he was very confident that the investigation would finally reveal the truth, clearing him of any wrongdoing. In the core claim, the allegation was that Russia had hacked into the email servers of the DNC and John Podesta and that the Trump campaign collaborated with them, colluded with them, conspired with them in order to do that hacking. The reason that never made any sense to me from the first second I heard it was not only that it was all done through anonymous leaks from the CIA and the FBI. And if I know anything as a journalist it's that you do not trust evidence for leaks from the U.S. Security State. The New York Times claim that was the lesson they learned after selling George Bush's and Dick Cheney's Iraq war, their front-paging every evidence-free claim that came from Dick Cheney about Iraqi WMDs only to repeat that behavior to stop Donald Trump. It wasn't just that it was evidence-free and came from all of these intelligence agencies that have always lied to the public, but also it never made any sense, even if it were the Russians that had hacked into the email server or the email inbox of John Podesta and the DNC, why would they need the help of the Trump campaign to do it? But it was never about things like meetings at the Trump Tower or efforts to try and boost Donald Trump's presidency. The issue, the thing that made it a criminal investigation, the only claim was that Donald Trump and Trump officials criminally collaborated with, or conspired with, or colluded with, the Russian government to do that hacking and to interfere in the 2016 election. That was the claim. The reason why Robert Mueller was so celebrated is because he had a dream team, we were told, of the best, most aggressive prosecutors, and he had been given an unlimited budget and full subpoena power. He was told to go look everywhere and anywhere. And they went all around the world subpoenaing everybody they could find and getting every document and every witness. They set up perjury traps, and they were able to convict people based on crimes allegedly committed during the investigation-lies to the prosecutors or covering things up. They were able to get their hands on every single thing they wanted for 18 months that dragged on. When Robert Mueller finally closed his investigation and issued his report, there was one paragraph that was the decisive paragraph about the core conspiracy theory, namely, that Trump and Trump's officials had criminally conspired with the Russian government on this hacking and to interfere in the election. Here is what the Mueller investigation-and, again, this was set up by Democrats, by the media and by the opponents of Russiagate-as the supreme arbiter, Robert Mueller was this old-school FBI agent who only operated with integrity and gusto and nobility. He gets to the truth no matter what. And here is the truth that he discovered. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. Emphasis added. Anyone honest, at that point, reading that paragraph would have admitted immediately that everything we've been doing and saying for the last three years has been a lie. Robert Mueller was unleashed on the world, unleashed on the Trump campaign, unleashed on the Trump family and the Trump presidency and he came back 18 months later and said that they could not find evidence to establish that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. As demonstrated by the New York Times article announcing his appointment, that was what he was supposed to investigate. That was the crux of the Russiagate scandal from the start-that allegation-and Mueller said there was no evidence to establish it was true. It was a gigantic humiliation for every media outlet that pushed this, every media outlet that gave itself Pulitzers for doing so and all of the TV news networks that pumped this nonstop for Democratic Party officials, led by Adam Schiff, who claimed that he had seen smoking-gun evidence that proved this collusion that apparently Robert Mueller never discovered (because if he had, he wouldn't have said we did not discover any evidence to establish this core conspiracy theory)-it was as much of a gutting, of a knifing into the gut of American centers of power and institutional authority, as you could possibly imagine. Easily the worst since having to admit that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq 20 years earlier. It was most definitely on that scale. Except with one difference: there was a lot more dissent permitted in the run-up to the Iraq War than there was in this. I can tell you personally that any journalist who tried to question any of this, or who tried to say from the start that there's no evidence being offered to substantiate it, was the target of an attempt to destroy the person's career, to exclude them from every media venue. It was a requirement, the price of entrance to get into anywhere to affirm that you believed in Russiagate and there were not many people willing to say it. I was getting emails while I did, and I was getting messages while I did, all the time, from people and media outlets saying, I'm so glad you're doing what you're doing, but they didn't have the courage to do so because, in their defense, they knew that their careers would be destroyed if they did. And I always kept one foot in independent media and never relied on those large media corporations in order to have a career, so, I was much freer than they were to do it. The clampdown on dissent was so extreme that they would never even put anyone on television or in the op-ed columns of major newspapers who questioned this narrative at all. Some people opposed the war in Iraq, even though there was a lot of repression back then, too, right after 9/11. This was so much worse. And the person they picked to tell us the truth ended up saying this. That's not all he said. There are probably about 15 different passages from the Mueller investigation, I could show you the report, where on every claim that was made and hyped by the media and by the Democratic Party over the course of two years, they had very similar paragraphs saying our investigation could not find any evidence to establish its truth. One of the main narratives, the most unhinged narrative came from BuzzFeed's decision to publish the Steele dossier, even though there was never any substantiation for it, and the media completely got behind the Steele dossier, was that Trump was being blackmailed. It was one of the most deranged conspiracy theories of all time. It was basically a claim that Russia had taken over the United States had seized control of the levers of power in the United States and was forcing Donald Trump to undertake decisions that undermined American interests and served the interests of the Kremlin because of sexual, financial and personal blackmail.

Mike Benz: U.S. Government Turned AI "Censorship Superweapons" Designed To Fight Terror Against Trump, Brexit, Climate Skeptics

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 19:18
"Foundation For Freedom Online" Director Mike Benz discusses the history of digital diplomacy and the U.S. government's creation of a set of global AI "domestic censorship superweapons for control over political discourse." "Google Ideas renamed itself Google Jigsaw to develop what was previously a DARPA-funded program to use something called natural language processing, an AI technique to examine words to assess the political topography of different kinds of narratives," Benz explained. "The dialect of an idea, almost the way academic jargon gave rise to a sophisticated dialectic Marxism, there is a similar thing with respect to MAGA or ISIS. If you can train your model on that ideology, you can use that for content moderation purposes in highly sophisticated and targeted ways." "Jared Cohen at Jigsaw, immediately after the 2016 election turned this DARPA-funded project, originally funded by the DOD to look at the ways ISIS was recruiting, they turned it on three sets of political training data -- the 2016 election and Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and the Brexit party, and climate change." "They ended up rolling that out to the social media companies, it ended up becoming standard, and then there became a gold rush to develop more and more AI domestic censorship superweapons for control over political discourse." "I watched it happen over multiple years and now it is funded by the government, you have a $40 million program at the National Science Foundation to stop people from talking about Covid origins."

CNN Fact-Checks Biden: "Declaring A Special Counsel Did Not Say What He Said Is Not A Factual Defense"

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 19:06
CNN senior reporter Daniel Dale fact-checked President Biden's self-defense in response to special counsel Robert Hur's report on his mishandling of classified documents. CNN: One thing that President Biden said is basically that he stored the documents in filing cabinets that could be locked. Let's listen. PRESIDENT BIDEN: All the stuff that was in my home was in filing cabinets that were either locked or able to be locked. DANIEL DALE, CNN: Just not true. This report from the special counsel includes photos. Those photos include shots of boxes just sitting in President Biden's Delaware garage. The special counsel described it as "a badly damaged box sitting amid household detritus." So there was some material in cabinets locked or lockable as the president said, but all of it certainly not. And that opened unsealed damaged box included, according to the special counsel, highly sensitive, top-secret material about the war in Afghanistan. CNN: Another claim that President Biden made. None of the documents were highly classified. Let's listen. PRESIDENT BIDEN: None of them was high classified. Didn't have any of that red stuff on it. Do you know what I mean? Around the corners? None of that. DANIEL DALE, CNN: That claim that he didn't have any material that was, quote, unquote, high classified, is also not true. The special counsel's report says that the president possessed multiple highly classified documents that were, indeed, marked as being highly classified documents, including some marked as top secret/SCI, sensitive, compartmentalized information. That is a very high level of classification. The special counsel discussed two top-secret documents about Afghanistan found in that open, unsealed, damaged box in the garage, one which Hur said contained highly sensitive info about military programs and another with sensitive intelligence sources and methods. Now, it's not clear if any of those Biden documents had those colored borders we saw on classified docs that former President Trump had, which I think is what President Biden was referring to when he talked about "red around the corners." But still, whatever coloring these documents had, the special counsel says they were clearly marked as highly classified. I should add Hur also said that investigators' analysis of Biden's own handwritten notes from his time as vice president showed that these notebooks also contained highly classified info, though those were not marked. He said a sampling of 37 excerpts found "8 were top secret with sensitive compartmentalized information, 7 including human intelligence sources and 6 others that were top secret." CNN: And then the third claim that he made, daniel, there, was that he did not share classified information with a ghostwriter on a book he was working on. Listen to that. PRESIDENT BIDEN: I did not share classified information. I did not share it. REPORTER: With your ghostwriter. BIDEN: With my ghostwriter. Guaranteed did not. REPORTER: But the special counsel said -- BIDEN: He did not say that. DANIEL DALE, CNN: So, he's entitled to say he didn't do it. He can defend himself. But he also said the special counsel didn't say that he did share that classified info with the ghostwriter. Except the special counsel did say that explicitly, "Mr. Biden shared information, including some classified information from those notebooks, with his ghostwriter." Hur did say Biden shared that info by reading nearly verbatim from the notebook on at least three occasions, including notes from meetings in the situation room. He found that Biden, quote, at times, tried to avoid sharing classified info by skipping over certain material as he was reading them to the ghostwriter, and he wrote that the evidence did not show that Biden knew the info was classified. Nonetheless, even though the special counsel did give him some material to defend himself with, this is not a factual defense. You could say the factual stuff, Hur said he didn't know it was intentional, et cetera, but declaring a special counsel did not say what he said is not a factual defense.

VP Kamala Harris: Special Counsel Hur Showed "Politically Motivated, Gratuitous" Lack Of "Integrity" In Report Exonerating Biden

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 18:38
Vice President Kamala Harris attacked special counsel Robert Hur's report exonerating President Biden for mishandling classified documents, saying he should have shown a higher level of integrity, and calling his reporting on Biden's cognitive decline "gratuitous" and "politically motivated." "As a former prosecutor, the comments that were made by that prosecutor -- gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate," she said in response to a question after an event Friday for "Community Violence Awareness Week." "The way that the president's demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated, gratuitous. And so I will say when it comes to the role and responsibility of a prosecutor in a situation like that, we should expect that there would be a higher level of integrity than what we saw," Harris said. REPORTER: As a former prosecutor, do you think the special counsel's report is fair? VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: I'm glad you asked. Listen, I have been provided and proud to serve as vice president of the United States with Joe Biden as president. And what I saw in that report lat night, I believe is, as a former prosecutor, the comments that were made by that prosecutor…. gratuitous, inaccurate, and inappropriate. October 7, Israel experienced a horrific attack, and I will tell you we got the calls in the hour after that occurred. It was an intense moment for the commander-in-chief and I was in almost every meeting with the president... and the president was in front of and on top of it all... coordinating and directing leaders who are in charge of American national security for day, and up until now, months. So the way that the president's demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts, and clearly politically motivated, gratuitous. And so I will say when it comes to the role and responsibility of a prosecutor in a situation like that, we should expect that there would be a higher level of integrity than what we saw.

Toobin: How Does Biden Explain Calling Egyptian President el-Sisi The President Of Mexico? Where Did That Come From?

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 18:16
Jeffrey Toobin said the major issue with Biden after his press conference will be his age and using the example of Biden saying Egyptian leader el-Sisi as the president of Mexico: "Mexico? Mexico? Where did that come from? I mean, that's the only thing anyone will remember from this. He was exonerated. and I think it is easy call that he was exonerated. And I think legally, he's never had a problem with this. The issue of criminal intent was quite clearly absent in the Biden case and certainly according to the accusations, in the Jack Smith indictment, very much present in the Trump case. I think they're very different and the report even spelled this out, but Mexico? I mean politically how do you explain that? ... I don't buy that at all. Classified information is -- over people overclassify so much. Retired people take classified information all the time. I think legally this is a nonissue. The issue was Biden's age, and that didn't seem very helpful to me."

Watch Live: John Kirby And Karine Jean-Pierre Host WH Friday Briefing

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 18:00
NSC spokesman John Kirby and WH press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre are scheduled to brief reporters around 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

CNN's Audie Cornish: People Will Walk Away With Biden's "Emotional" Anger At Presser And Believe It Was Justifiable

Fri, 02/09/2024 - 17:39
CNN's Audie Cornish defend President Biden in his press conference stating that people may see his speech from a different perspective: "I'm just going to put it out there. I know everyone has that, this was bad for a number of reasons. I would challenge our thinking in that people don't take it in the way we do; nitpicking at it because that's our job. They'll get these emotional clips and they'll walk away with his emotion which was very intense, almost enraged, he used to word seething. people hear particular clips and think maybe just justifiably so."