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Monday, September 30, 2019

Barr Said to Request Trump REACH OUT To Other COUNTRIES Amid NYT Reporting Pushback

Barr asked Trump to reach out to other countries for Durham probe, official says; source pushes back on NYT reporting

Barr said to request Trump reach out to other countries amid NYT reporting pushback

Jake Gibson, Gregg Re

A Justice Department official told Fox News on Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr asked President Trump to make introductions to foreign countries that might have had information pertinent to U.S. Attorney John Durham's ongoing probe into possible misconduct by the intelligence community at the outset of the Russia investigation.
But a person familiar with the situation told Fox News it would be wrong to say Trump "pressed" the Australian prime minister for information that could have discredited former Special Counsel Mueller's now-completed probe, as The New York Times reported earlier Monday.
"The countries have been helpful," the source said. "There was no pressing required."
The president was letting the heads of other countries know that the attorney general would be contacting the appropriate law enforcement entities in each country, according to the DOJ official. When Barr was in Italy last week, he did talk to law enforcement officials there about Durham's review, Fox News was told.
The DOJ official also stressed that this has been a routine procedure in diplomacy and that Barr would not usually reach out to his direct counterpart in another country unilaterally. Instead, usually there would be an introduction of sorts made at the head-of-state level.
U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to look into possible intelligence community misconduct at the outset of the Russia investigation back in May.
U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to look into possible intelligence community misconduct at the outset of the Russia investigation back in May. (File)
Barr assigned Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, back in May to conduct the inquiry into alleged misconduct and improper surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016, as well as whether Democrats were the ones who'd improperly colluded with foreign actors.
“Mr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries. At Attorney General Barr’s request, the president has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the attorney general and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.
Durham, known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, according to a source, has been focusing on the period before Nov. 7, 2016 — including the use and assignments of FBI informants, as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. Durham was asked to help Barr to “ensure that intelligence collection activities by the U.S. government related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign were lawful and appropriate.”
Democrats increasingly have targeted Barr. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that Barr has “gone rogue,” alleging an attempted “cover-up” of the whistleblower complaint that has led to an impeachment inquiry of the president.
Pelosi made the comments on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” after host Joe Scarborough asked if she was concerned that the country's institutions could fail due to Barr's behavior.
“I think where they are going is the cover-up of the cover-up, and that's very really sad for them. To have a Justice Department go so rogue, they have been for a while, and now it just makes matters worse,” said Pelosi, faulting Barr for instructing the director of national intelligence to bring the whistleblower complaint to the White House.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

'Black Ledger' and NAKED PHOTOS: Democrats Pressured FOREIGN COUNTRIES for Dirt on Trump

Image result for Democrats pressured foreign countries for dirt on Trump

Rowan Scarborough

Democrats and their operatives sought foreign help for anti-Trump dirt on a number of occasions during the 2016 election and afterward, including the infamous Kremlin-sourced dossier and Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s attempt to obtain from Russians supposed photos of a naked Donald Trump.
Democrats also reached out to Ukraine to collect political smut on President Trump and his aides.
Republicans believe the Ukrainian intervention, which is now under Justice Department investigation, included creation of a bogus “black ledger” whose disclosure felled former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Three Democratic senators pressured the Ukrainian government last year to help special counsel Robert Mueller investigate Mr. Trump.
Today, Democrats are moving to impeach Mr. Trump. They say he violated the law by urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call to contact Attorney General William Barr. The subject was former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s role in his son’s lucrative connection to a Ukrainian natural gas firm.
Mr. Biden is the front-runner of the Democratic presidential candidates. Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of seeking foreign intervention in the 2020 election.
Though the circumstances are not exactly the same — Democratic activists compared with a president’s conversation with a world leader — Democrats have been more than willing to seek and accept foreign information when it harmed Mr. Trump.
“It’s a reliable rule of thumb in these information operations that whatever the Democrats accuse you of doing, they’re doing themselves,” said Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
No lawmaker has embraced the Democratic Party/Hillary Clinton campaign-financed dossier more than Mr. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The dossier was written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. He was handled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and he gained his anti-Trump material from Kremlin intelligence agents.
Clinton operatives paid for and spread the unverified material to the Justice Department, the FBI, the State Department, the Obama White House and a dozen news media outlets — all in an effort to destroy candidate Trump, then President Trump.
The FBI relied on the opposition research dossier to obtain at least one wiretap on a Trump associate — a move that former FBI officials say was unprecedented.
Mr. Schiff has rejected any criticism of the dossier, telling The Washington Examiner there was not “any equivalence” in Democrats paying for Kremlin dirt to influence the election.
“I think this is an illustration of a tactic that the administration and its allies often use — which is the argument of false equivalence,” the California Democrat said. “I think this is yet another effort to deflect and blur the distinctions and say, ‘Well, everybody does it.’”
In the end, none of Mr. Steele’s conspiracy charges proved true. Former special counsel Robert Mueller found no such election conspiracy and shot down most, if not all, of Mr. Steele’s allegations.
For example, Mr. Steele, citing the Kremlin, said candidate Trump funded Moscow’s computer hacking and social media info-war and was a Russian spy. Mr. Mueller found no such evidence.
“The evidence we obtained did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” Mr. Mueller said.
Here are examples of Democrats seeking or using foreign sources to interfere in the 2016 election and U.S. political process:
The dossier: Mr. Schiff championed the Russian-sourced document in 2017, reading aloud from it at a nationally televised March hearing. He vouched for Mr. Steele, as did other committee Democrats, who gave the ex-spy credit for first reporting events that previously had appeared on the internet.
In reading the dossier, Mr. Schiff was reciting election-year information from the Kremlin in his probe into Russian interference in the election.
Naked photos: Two Russian comedians, one of whom posing as Andriy Parubiy, chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, recorded Mr. Schiff in a prank phone call. During the eight-minute call, the imposter said he could obtain from naked photographs of Mr. Trump in Moscow from Russian sources.
Mr. Schiff was fully onboard, telling the caller his staff would be in contact, which they were.
“Obviously we would welcome the chance to get copies,” he told the supposed Ukrainian.
The prankster/comedians provided emails to The Daily Mail to show that Mr. Schiff took the call seriously and wanted the photos.
The emails showed that Rheanne Wirkkala, now the House Intelligence Committee’s deputy director of investigations and then a professional staff member, contacted the real Mr. Parubiy, after the prank call. She asked when he planned to deliver “some materials” to the embassy in Washington.
“I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy, and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some materials available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy,” Ms. Wirkkala wrote in April 2017. “Please let me know how best to arrange pick-up of those materials from your embassy here in Washington D.C.”
The Steele dossier said Mr. Trump engaged the services of sex workers while in Moscow in 2013 — a lurid allegation also read by Intelligence Committee Democrats at the hearing. The sex worker story remains unconfirmed and Mr. Trump has denied it a number of times.
Ukraine: Fusion GPS, Mrs. Clinton’s opposition research firm, didn’t just collect dirt from the Kremlin, via Mr. Steele, during the election. It also obtained anti-Trump information from Ukraine via Nellie Ohr, an employee.
Mrs. Ohr is married to Bruce Ohr, who was the Justice Department’s fourth-highest official in 2016. He also was the main messenger for taking Fusion’s dirt and spreading it around Justice and the FBI.
Part of Mrs. Ohr’s research took her to a Fusion source — Serhiy Leshchenko, an anti-corruption figure in Ukraine, according to her October 2018 testimony to a joint House task force.
She didn’t say what Mr. Leshchenko provided. But her research was delivered by her husband to the FBI in a thumb drive, marking another example of Democratic operatives using foreign-sourced material in the election.
Ukraine 2.0: There have been numerous media reports about Democratic operatives contacting Ukrainian government officials seeking dirt on Mr. Trump and Manafort.
Manafort was a political consultant for Ukraine’s pro-Russian Party of Regions, collecting millions of dollars in fees. Post-election, he was convicted of tax evasion and is now serving his prison sentence. Mr. Mueller didn’t accuse him of election conspiracy with Moscow.
The Hill reported in May that the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. said that a Democratic contractor in 2016 pressed the embassy for smut on Mr. Trump.
Politico reported in January 2017, as Mr. Trump prepared to take office: “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election.”
Black ledger: Three months before Election Day, the disclosure of a “black ledger” appeared in U.S. media. The storyline was that it showed secret illegal cash payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort. He denied receiving such payments but was booted by the Trump campaign nonetheless.
Republicans believe the document is a hoax obtained by Democratic operatives and leaked to media. Kevin Downing, Manafort’s attorney, told The Washington Times that a signature in the black ledger purported to be Manafort’s is a forgery.
Mr. Mueller brought no charges related to the black ledger and only briefly mentioned it in his report.
Senators: In May 2018, three Democratic senators sent a letter to Ukraine’s chief prosecutor demanding that he cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation of Mr. Trump and his aides.
“As a strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine, we believe that our cooperation should extend to such legal matters, regardless of politics,” said the letter from Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont.
Republicans say that seeking legal cooperation with Ukraine is what Mr. Trump was doing when he spoke by phone with Mr. Zelensky. He asked Mr. Zelensky to cooperate with the Justice Department probe into Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.
John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has been assigned the task by Attorney General William Barr. He is investigating how the Obama Justice Department opened the probe into Mr. Trump, to include the Democratic Party dossier and Ukraine’s involvement in helping Mrs. Clinton.

Former NSC Chief Of Staff Suggests Whistleblower AIDED By DEMOCRATS, Lawyers

'I refuse to believe that the leaking, timing and presentation of this complaint is coincidence'

Chris Enloe

Fred Fleitz, who served as the National Security Council chief of staff last year, believes the whistleblower who filed a complaint against President Donald Trump was aided by congressional Democrats and lawyers.

Writing in the New York Post, Fleitz said the complaint suggests the whistleblower was "pursuing a political agenda" and pointed to the writing style of the complaint to back his claim.

"It appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified," Fleitz said.

"From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of," he explained. "This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff."

In fact, Fleitz — who also boasts a nearly two decade career at the CIA — believes the well-polished complaint closely resembles a tweet from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

"Moreover, it looks like more than a coincidence that this complaint surfaced and was directed to the House Intelligence Committee just after Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an outspoken opponent of President Trump, expressed numerous complaints in August 2019 accusing President Trump of abusing aid to Ukraine to hurt Joe Biden. This includes an August 28 tweet that closely resembled the whistleblowing complaint," Fleitz wrote.

In that tweet, from August 28, Schiff claimed Trump was withholding military aid from Ukraine while his personal lawyer — Rudy Giuliani — sought help from the "Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent."

Adam Schiff

Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent. It doesn’t take a stable genius to see the magnitude of this conflict. Or how destructive it is to our national security.

Natasha Bertrand

· Aug 28
BREAKING: Trump has asked his national security team to review funding for Ukraine, to ensure the money is being used “in the best interests” of the US. The funding has been put on hold. News comes days after Trump advocated for reinstating Russia to G7.…
8:17 PM · Aug 28, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

Also of great concern is the fact the whistleblower admitted he did not have first-hand knowledge of Trump's phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which Fleitz said proves "intelligence officers have grossly violated the rules as well as the trust placed on them" by disclosing Trump's classified conversations.

"I refuse to believe that the leaking, timing and presentation of this complaint is coincidence," Fleitz said. "I don't think the American people will buy this either."


Biden Campaign Asks NEWS NETWORKS To STOP Booking Giuliani: Report

How's That For Chutzpah!

Joe Biden
AFP/Getty Images

Nikki Schwab

​WASHINGTON – Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is asking top network execs to please stop booking ​President Trump’s personal lawyer ​Rudy Giuliani.
Biden campaign officials Anita Dunn and Kate Bedingfield wrote a letter to network news presidents, chief anchors and the executive producers of the Sunday shows for ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News Channel, Deadline reported.
“We are writing today with grave concern that you continue to book Rudy Giuilani on your air to spread false, debunked conspiracy theories on behalf of Donald Trump,” the letter said.
“While you often fact check his statements in real time during your discussions, that is no longer enough. By giving him your air time, you are allowing him to introduce increasingly unhinged, unfounded and desperate lies into the national conversation.”
Biden’s campaign asked the TV heavyweights if a Biden campaign surrogate could get equal time if Giuliani continued to be booked.
“Vice President Biden and his campaign are the targets of these attacks. Saying simply that you will put a Democrat on, at a time when there are many declared candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, is neither fair treatment nor equal treatment,” the campaign operatives argued.
The former mayor made the rounds​ Sunday morning, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’ “Face the Nation” and Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”
During those appearances he continued to suggest that Joe and Hunter Biden were up to no good in their dealings with Ukraine.
He also spouted that Hunter Biden’s business with China was also corrupt.
None of these accusations are founded in fact.
But the Ukra​i​nian narrative is central to the controversy that sparked the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry — that President Trump asked the new Ukrainian president to link up with Giuliani to look into the Bidens.

Goodwin: Donald Trump Now Has To Battle CIA SPIES In Dems’ WAR Against Him

Goodwin: Donald Trump now has to battle CIA spies in Dems' war against him

                                                                                                                                                                   Getty Images; Shutterstock; NY Post composite

Michael Goodwin

It would be understandable if President Trump wakes up troubled these days by four words bouncing around his head: “Loose lips sink ships.”
Understandable — and advisable. The World War II warning against careless talk carries a personal meaning for the beleaguered president. ­Beset by a hostile media and a ruthless opposition party, Trump now must be careful about every word he says, privately and publicly.
The walls, including in the White House, have ears.
That was demonstrated in spades last week, most dramatically by the allegations from a CIA officer that Trump used a phone call with the president of Ukraine to solicit foreign help in the 2020 campaign. That allegation and others led to a fiery congressional hearing and spurred Democrats to quicken their pace toward impeachment.
A second instance of snooping made the “loose lips” point less sensationally but was still disturbing. Before he left the United Nations Thursday, Trump attended a private event to thank the new American ambassador, Kelly Craft, and her staff for their work during the General ­Assembly session.
Some privacy. The president said, “I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy.”
We know he said that and more ­because someone at the event, maybe more than one person, secretly ­recorded his remarks, both audio and video, and promptly leaked them to the media.
When it comes to brickbats, Trump is perhaps the most battle-tested occupant the Oval Office has ever known, yet the two incidents demonstrate that the war against him has entered a vicious new phase. Efforts to end his presidency, one way or another, have reached a fever pitch, and Trump would be foolish to assume they will fail. His margin for error is approximately zero.
Leaks to the biased media are a staple of his tenure, and he sporadically tried to plug the holes. Some heads have rolled, most recently that of his personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, after she apparently told a reporter she had a better relationship with the president than his daughters.
But such indiscrete gossip pales in comparison to what’s happening now. Indeed, Trump could be accused of understatement in describing anyone who participated with the so-called whistleblower as “almost a spy.”
There is nothing “almost” about it. The trained CIA officer used his trusted position in the White House to gather secret information from what he claims were “multiple US government officials.”
He retained Democratically connected lawyers and injected his allegations into the political bloodstream with one intent: to get Trump ­removed from office.
Among the hints the officer and his lawyers worked with Dems to shape his complaint are the early leaks to the hysterical anti-Trump media. The goal was to whet appetites and do the most damage despite the agent having no firsthand knowledge of events he described. Mission accomplished.
CIA agents are supposed to spy on foreign adversaries. This one spied on the president, then cloaked himself in whistleblower camouflage. His sources are presumably still at work and perhaps planning another run at the president.
The episode comes with a mountain of irony. The headline-grabbing charge — that Trump sought help from a foreign government — resonates because it is universally ­accepted that interference in our elections is wrong.
That’s why the left tried for two years to pin the false charge of Russia collusion on Trump and, having failed, is now making the same allegation about Ukraine. They believe it’s a kill shot among voters.
Yet they don’t have the same standard for their own party. Not a single Dem cared that Hillary Clinton hired a former British intelligence agent to get dirt from Kremlin-linked Russians on Trump. If that isn’t foreign interference, what is it?
And what would we know about former presidents if CIA officers had leaked the contents of their calls to foreign leaders? Imagine what Barack Obama said to Iranians before he ­secretly shipped $1.4 billion in cash to them.
Where were the whistleblowers then?
Still, for my money, CIA interference in politics is reprehensible.
Yet that is exactly what we are witnessing — for the second time in the Trump era.
Recall that CIA leaders worked with the FBI to spy on and derail Trump’s 2016 campaign. The then-head of the agency, the odious John Brennan, spread the discredited Russian dossier Clinton funded, and continues his anti-Trump jihad from the bunkers of MSNBC. This is the same Brennan who had agents spy on the US Senate, then lied about it before confessing.
While James Comey and other FBI trash were fired, Brennan has escaped even minimal accountability. One result is that some in the agency he headed are still abusing their position to play dirty politics.
Is it mere coincidence that the attack on Trump comes as the administration investigates what Brennan, Comey and others did in 2016?
Democrats, though they will never say so directly, believe that anything is kosher that damages Trump. Their hate for him has blinded them to any destructive consequences, and they already are hailing the CIA agent as a hero.
They echo the defense Comey used when he was caught breaking FBI procedures, that his rogue actions were justified by his opinion of Trump.
This strain of Trump Derangement Syndrome is contagious, with the editor of The New York Times, Dean Baquet, even blaming Trump for his decision to publicly identify the whistleblower as a CIA agent.
His lawyers argued the move could put the officer’s life in danger. That carried no weight with the Times, which hoped the CIA credential bolstered the charges’ credibility while hurting Trump’s. Anything for the cause.
Finally, credit of a sort is due Sen. Chuck Schumer. Way back in January of 2017, he warned Trump: “You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
And so they have.
Never ending $queeze on NYers
With one hand, New York officials complain that the cost of living here is too high. With the other, they raise the cost of living here.
The latest wallet grab comes from the Port Authority, which is hiking tolls on the George Washington Bridge and other crossings from $15 to $16 for those paying cash. AirTrain fares will jump from $5 to $7.75 and black-car passengers will pay an extra $2.50 coming from and going to airports.
What do you get for the extra money?
Only the certainty that it will never be enough.
Driving lefties’ agenda
It’s truly amazing how quickly the city bureaucracy can move when it wants to.
Officials will close five blocks on Manhattan’s 14th Street to cars just five days after Friday’s court approval. And a bike lane on Central Park West was installed in what seemed like days after surprised residents learned of it.
The key in both cases was advocacy by small groups of well-funded, loud progressives. They run New York now.