EVIDENCE EMERGING THAT "RUSSIA" WAS HILLARY'S PLAN ALL ALONG
An extremely important discovery might be lost in the after-debate autopsy: some partially-declassified notes cited by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in a letter to Sen. Lindsay Graham concerning a briefing in September, 2016, about Russian intel finding Hillary Clinton was trying to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia to distract from her own email scandal. Democrats are dismissing this action by Ratcliffe as pure politics, but a very dependable source, Catherine Herridge, says CBS News (she works there now) was told that investigator John Durham turned up the notes and that they “opened a new track in his probe.”
This may be what Sen. Graham was referring to a few days ago on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES when asked about upcoming revelations.
Of course, this lends even more credence to what we’ve long said, that when it comes to corruption, ALL ROADS LEAD TO HILLARY CLINTON. This thing just keeps getting deeper, and that’s why the investigation never seems to end. But it will end eventually, and Americans deserve to know as much as possible NOW.
Again, two words: INTERIM REPORT.
Ratcliffe declassified three pieces of information for Graham. The first was that in the summer of 2016, the CIA asked the FBI to investigate Hillary's plan to “stir up” a scandal against Trump when he was running against her for President. In late July --- recall that the opening of Crossfire Hurricane was on July 31 --- U.S. intel “obtained insight” into this plan, which was to tie Trump to Putin and the so-called hacking of the DNC emails. One key statement here: “The IC [intelligence community] does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” Hard to tell, but I think this is referring to the accuracy of the Russian-hacking story, which has, after all, never been proved.
The second piece of information was that then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama and “other senior national security officials” on this intelligence, including “the alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016, of a proposal by one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”
The third piece was an investigative referral, dated September 7, 2016, sent to then-FBI Director Jim Comey and then-FBI deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding “U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” Note the wording: it doesn’t actually say the plan was a made-up scandal; one could read this and think Trump really was involved with Russian hackers, even though there was no evidence of this.
Ratcliffe writes Graham, “Additional declassification and public disclosure of related intelligence remains under consideration; however the IC welcomes the opportunity to provide a classified briefing with further detail at your convenience."
LegalInsurrection.com has a good write-up on this story, and some of the comments are quite astute as well.
We'll have an update soon. I assume Graham has received or will soon receive that briefing. One big question I hope he’ll be able to answer: whatever happened to that referral?? At the time, Peter Strzok was just wrapping up the “Mid-Year Exam,” a cursory look at Hillary’s CRIMINAL use of a personal email server for all her State Department work, and he must have laughed at the idea of opening another investigation on her. They were going to be much too busy investigating Trump.
For now, I guess the answer to that question is still classified.
But we know Hillary did precisely what these documents are talking about. She and the DNC were the ones who, through intermediary law firm Perkins Coie, hired Christopher Steele to come up with the Trump/Russia “dossier.” Apparently, the CIA, Obama, "other senior national security officials" and the FBI were aware of Hillary’s scheme in late July of 2016. They should have been investigating THAT. Instead, they used her phony "dossier" as evidence...against Trump.
It also occurs to me that this is just one more piece of information the FBI had concerning the “dossier” that they hid from the FISA court. They knew all about the political motivations --- not only on the part of Steele but also Hillary --- and STILL went after Trump. They should have been looking at Hillary, and they knew it.
The one part of this that really raises my eyebrows is the briefing Brennan gave Obama. Knowing what we know about Brennan, I can’t help but think they were meeting to see how they could keep the intel about “Hillary’s plan” under wraps while actually helping to further it, particularly as it concerned the DNC “hacking.” Again, we still have no actual evidence that the Russians hacked the DNC, try as the Democrats might to blame them. Julian Assange still has not revealed his source, but he has been adamant that it was not the Russian state. There's also reason to suspect it was an inside job --- not a hacking, but a leaking. Being open to that possibility when we don’t know what happened does not make me a conspiracy theorist.
On the slowness of the declassification, Ric Grenell, who was the acting DNI before Ratcliffe was confirmed, has a message for whoever it is within the intel community refusing to release documents.
He says there’s still a LOT to see about the origins of “Trump/Russia” –- “the very early days of how this investigation was developed.” And he’s “getting really impatient with those individual agencies that know exactly what I’m talking about...that know exactly what they need to release...they’re playing games.”
"The many warning signs [about the “dossier”] were ignored,” he told Liz MacDonald on FOX Business News, “...If we had been able to see the full package of the information instead of having it, really, edited down and pushed into a direction that the head of the FBI clearly wanted it to go in, I think most people would have come to the same conclusion, that Russia propaganda, from the beginning, had infiltrated into the Steele ‘dossier.’
"We’ve gotta make sure that government isn’t weaponized,” he added, going on to cite the release of President Trump’s tax information just the previous day as an example of the bureaucracy being weaponized “against people they don’t like.” If one of your enemies goes to work inside the government, they can use those tools against you, “and there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.
That's exactly what happened to Trump, and even today there must be millions of low-information Americans who still believe he conspired in some way with Russians to become President. No one knows how to use and abuse the tools inside the government like Hillary. She lost the election, but her twisted, fictional "narrative" endures.
HOTHEADS IN CLEVELAND
Hotheads In Cleveland: I always dread having to talk about who “won” a presidential debate because that concept is meaningless. These things aren’t even debates in any classical sense, and both sides will always argue that their “candidate” won. Last night was particularly frustrating to call a winner on because, frankly, it was difficult even to listen to. With both candidates and the moderator constantly yelling over one another, the only real winner was the maker of Excedrin. I know you don't want to bring a knife to a gunfight, but both of these guys brought bazookas.
If you’re a masochist, here’s the entire debate on YouTube.
Here are five “highlights”…
As for which candidate helped himself the most (and this is totally divorced from issues like honesty, accuracy for vision for America, which barely came up), I hate to say it, but it’s probably Biden, by a hair. Both candidates have already nailed down their bases. Trump voters will vote for Trump, and Democrats would vote for a lampshade as long it wasn’t Trump. This debate needed to sway whoever those unicorns are who remain undecided.
For that, Biden had the lowest bar to clear (proving he could be awake and lucid for 90 minutes in the P.M. hours), and he cleared it, although he got wobbly at times. Trump needed to strike a more controlled “presidential” tone and prove he wasn’t the Twitter bully he’s depicted as, but his combativeness only played into that image.
I know him personally, I’ve campaigned with him, and I’ve interviewed him multiple times. I know that he's very intelligent and he can be charming, thoughtful, gracious and diplomatic. That was the Trump I wish had been at the debate last night. Unfortunately, he brought his WWE persona (perhaps that’s why Chris Wallace was as effective as a WWE referee.) Maybe he intended to throw Biden off-kilter (which did happen at several points), but overall, I think it hurt more than helped.
All the constant loud crosstalk also caused him to miss several big opportunities and distracted from the moments where he did score on Biden. It would’ve been more effective just to let Joe talk and then correct his multiple whoppers clearly. One commentator said Biden came across as old and weak, and Trump seemed to be heckling him. It wasn’t a good image for either of them.
In fact, the worst damage Biden suffered came not from attacks by Trump but things he said (or questions he dodged) himself, and all the hubbub made it easy to miss those. But I’m sure they’ll be excerpted for commercials. I also hope nobody was playing a drinking game every time Biden said the word “plan,” or you’re probably in the morgue now.
Trump inexplicably missed his chance to correct some of Biden’s repetition of blatant lies about him (like the “very fine people” among the white nationalists fake news) and should have focused more on how his economy really is better for all Americans than the Obama/Biden era. It was good that he mentioned they had the slowest recovery since the Depression, but it would’ve been nice to mention that he presided over the first rising wages in many years. He also missed an opening by not laying into Biden’s claim that he would repeal the Trump tax cut (which Dems always claim was “for the rich,” as they do for every tax cut, but repealing it would actually put a big tax hike on the middle class) and raise the capital gains tax by 7 points, both of which would slam the economy. And his vow to create thousands of good-paying “green jobs” by spending trillions of tax dollars should’ve given everyone a chilling sense of déjà vu.
Trump also should’ve been stronger in denouncing rightwing extremists. His comment about the Proud Boys is already giving the media their anti-Trump talking point. It’s ridiculous that he should constantly be asked to do this, but he could’ve pointed out that he’s already done it repeatedly, including when he “totally condemned” the ones in Charlottesville in the fake quote Biden keeps repeating. He could have asked how many times he has to condemn rightwing radicals before Biden finally condemns violent leftist radicals like Antifa who actually are destroying our cities.
Speaking of that, one of Biden’s worst moments came when he claimed that Antifa is not an organization, it’s “an idea.” So good news, Americans: your cities aren’t being burned, your businesses looted and your cops killed by an organized group of far-left radicals. That’s just being done by an amorphous concept!
Biden also might have hurt himself with the far left in his base by distancing himself from the Green New Deal (which he denied his “plan” was, then immediately called it that) and the pact with Bernie. When he was asked why, if he is the Democratic Party as he claimed, he didn’t call blue state mayors and governors and tell them to call up the National Guard and stop the rioting, his excuse that he’s just an out-of-office private citizen was astonishingly weak.
And his silence spoke volumes, both when pressed on whether he would pack the SCOTUS and to name one police organization that has endorsed him. Biden also didn’t come across as having a particularly presidential temperament. He allowed himself to get angry and lash out, calling Trump a “liar,” “racist” and “clown,” and telling him to “shut up,” which doesn’t show much respect for the office. And his claim that the allegations of shady financial deals by his son Hunter have been “debunked” was laughable. “Debunked” is another term I don’t think Democrats understand. They keep applying it to topics they don’t want to talk about without first going through the pesky step of actually debunking them.
Of course, nobody came out of this one unscathed. Chris Wallace is also taking heat from both sides for allowing it to become an uncontrolled shoutfest, although it’s not clear how he could’ve stopped it.
One Trump-supporting pundit who has more fortitude than I do watched it again and claims to have counted over 35 interruptions of Trump by Wallace but none of Biden.
In a way, it’s a sad reflection of where America is in 2020. Not even the two Presidential candidates can talk for 90 minutes without yelling and calling each other names. I think Ari Fleisher got it right when he said, “We’re not electing gladiators and this shouldn’t be a food fight. I think this was a train wreck tonight. Both candidates – too much interruption, too much back-and-forth. And that’s just not good for the country...I just think when you come to a debate you should air the differences, occasionally interrupt, get the extra point in, poke your opponent, but this was way over the top tonight, by both candidates.”
If there is another debate (and Dems are already pushing for Biden to refuse to do any more), let’s hope it’s a Zoom conference. With a mute button.
NOTE TO CHRIS WALLACE
Chris Wallace is taking a lot of flak over his “moderation” (odd to use that word in this context) of Tuesday’s Presidential debate, but one moment in particular rankled many conservatives. It was when he couched President Trump’s ban of “critical race theory” seminars in government offices as banning “racial sensitivity training.”
“Critical race theory” is almost the opposite of racial sensitivity. It’s born out of a Marxist movement to use race to sow division and resentment. It’s fundamentally racist itself, as it singles out white people for public shaming, making them admit to being evil racists even if they’re not. It not only destroys Dr. King’s vision of a colorblind society, it actually promotes racism by insisting that people be judged not by their individual character but by the color of their skin. If it hadn’t been promoted and protected by the left, I would imagine it would have resulted in a lot of lawsuits by now for blatantly violating federal anti-racist workplace laws.
If you want to know more about what “critical race theory” is, where it slithered out of, and the damage it’s doing, Timothy Daughtry has an excellent review of it at Townhall.com. I also recommend that Chris Wallace read it.
FUNNIEST UNINTENTIONAL JOKE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Joe Biden telling Trump to “come out of his bunker.”
BIDEN REPEATS THE LIES
While the debate “fact-checkers” are aiming all their fire at Trump, as expected, I kept thinking while listening to Biden, “Does he get everything he thinks he knows from Rachel Maddow’s Twitter feed?” Lucky for us, Drew Holdren created a more reliable Twitter thread that lists all of the shaky-to-outright-debunked media conspiracy theories that Biden repeated as if they were proven fact. See if any of your old favorites are there.
Remember, there is no evidence of any problems with mail-in voting.
Also, as a reminder, Joe Biden’s talk last night about trusting the integrity of the vote might’ve come across in a different light if more of his rooting section in the media had bothered to report this story.