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Yesterday, we learned –- soon after Sen. Lindsay Graham did, in a letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe –- that Hillary green-lighted the plan to smear Trump as “colluding” with Vladimir Putin to win in 2016, in an effort to draw attention away from her own email scandal, and that this was known by THE highest-level government officials, including then-CIA Director John Brennan (who briefed the others), President Obama, some of Obama’s national security advisers, and the FBI. They were more than happy to take the Steele “dossier,” which they knew was paid for by Hillary as part of her plan, and use it not to look into what she was doing but to investigate Trump.

Democrats have reacted predictably to this news, claiming that one reference in the Ratcliffe letter to lack of verification nullifies the whole story. No, it doesn’t, as the allegations against Hillary are consistent with what investigative reporters have turned up on their own. This is just more confirmation. We know she’s behind it, her campaign paid millions to set it up, and now we have the evidence that Brennan briefed officials at the highest level.

Yesterday, we quoted former acting DNI Ric Grenell about running out of patience with the intel community for withholding documents. If Grenell was aware of who is doing this, he wasn’t naming names. But Sean Davis at THE FEDERALIST reports that CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification of documents relating to the 2016 election.

Former FBI Director James Comey testified on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he didn’t even remember the referral made to the FBI about Hillary’s plan. This is laughable –- Brennan himself gave the briefing, and such a stunning piece of information had to have been etched in the minds of everyone –- but what did you expect from such a slippery eel?

Davis appeared with Tucker Carlson Wednesday night and put it just the way we have, saying that it wasn’t Trump who “colluded” with Russia, but Hillary Clinton. It really was a “coup” plotted against Donald Trump at the highest levels.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was on with Tucker Tuesday night (before Comey’s testimony) to talk about how extraordinary this news was. He is stunned by the failure of characters such as Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein to take any responsibility and wondered if Comey would be any different. Of course he wasn't!

"Heads need to roll,” he said, “and there needs to be top-to-bottom reform at the FBI.”

While Comey was testifying Wednesday, Brennan tweeted: “Unsurprisingly, Lindsay Graham is willfully, brazenly & cravenly misrepresenting the facts in today’s Senate Judiciary hearing with Jim Comey. I am so looking forward to the day when Graham, Trump & the rest of their ilk are no longer associated with the U.S. government.” Personally, just from what we already know, I look forward to the day when Brennan and his ilk ARE associated with the U.S. prison system.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was one of those who questioned Comey, and he pointed out to Shannon Bream on FOX News Wednesday night that “John Brennan is one of the most partisan leftists to ever serve in the intelligence services, and John Brennan and James Comey were part of, really, some of the worst legacy of the Obama-Biden presidency, which was the politicization of the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA.” He accused Comey of giving the “Sgt. Schultz defense,” as in, “I see nothing, I know nothing” about the persecution of Trump and also Michael Flynn. And, of course, all roads lead back to Hillary, doing her bidding with “a political persecution not based on facts.” Comey is “in CYA mode,” Sen. Cruz said, and that’s the reason for the wild accusations he throws around, even when no evidence has ever been found for them.

Cruz questioned Comey about Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI official who has pleaded guilty to altering an official document used to deceive the FISA court about Carter Page. Comey feigned ignorance even of this. Yes, it’s disgusting, snakey behavior, but it’s exactly what we know to expect from Comey.

They’re hiding what they know at the CIA, too, according to Sean Davis, and he’s been told the order comes from the top. When you look at Gina Haspel’s ties within the CIA, this doesn’t seem surprising. Between 2014 and early 2017 –- which would include the 2016 presidential campaign –- she was the London CIA station chief under then-CIA Director John Brennan, hand-picked by him for that post. She was the main link between Washington and London. Maybe it’s just coincidence that Christopher Steele was doing his work on the “dossier” at that time in London. Maybe not. I just hope we find out.

Davis speculates that the people blocking the release of these documents are likely implicated in them. “You have these career bureaucrats whose careers may be destroyed by the facts within them,” he said.

What he’d like to see is President Trump just declassifying everything, period. Trump certainly has the power to do that. “I think at this point,” he said, “we need the President, Donald Trump, to step in and say, ‘No more obstruction. No more blocking.’ We need transparency and the American people need to know the truth.”

Agreed, with one caveat. If U.S. Attorney John Durham is pursuing criminal charges and there's some particular piece of evidence that he needs to keep close to the vest, Trump might need to keep a lid on a certain very few documents for now. Otherwise, it’s time to open Pandora’s Box.

We’re sad to report the deaths of two major music stars of the 1970s on Tuesday, both at age 78. No cause of death was announced for pop singer Helen Reddy, but she suffered from Addison’s disease and was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.

During her heyday, Reddy had her own variety show, appeared on countless other TV shows, acted in movies such as Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” and on Broadway and London’s West End, and 15 top 40 Billboard singles, including six top 10’s and three #1 hits. They include “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Delta Dawn,” “You and Me Against the World,” “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady” and “Angie Baby.”

Her biggest hit, though, and the one that cemented her forever as a feminist icon, was 1972’s “I Am Woman,” for which she wrote the lyrics and Ray Burton wrote the music. It went to #1 and won her the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal. She said it was inspired by the strong women in her family who survived the Depression, world wars and abusive, alcoholic husbands, and by the sexism she’d had to battle in show business. (Ironically, some feminists were upset over the line, “But I’m still an embryo,” since they didn’t want to associate the women’s lib movement with a pregnancy – or maybe they didn’t want to associate an embryo with a human being.)

Ironically, the massive success of “I Am Woman” helped end Reddy’s career. When she learned it was mentioned in a friend’s daughter’s history book, she decided she’d made her mark and could never outdo it, so she retired in 2002 to her native Australia. Aside from a few occasional live performances, she mostly devoted herself to her family and a new career as a clinical hypnotherapist. Ironically, just this month, a new movie about her life debuted. It’s called “I Am Woman.”

Also on Tuesday, pop/country singer/songwriter/actor Mac Davis passed away in Nashville after heart surgery. Davis recorded a number of hits, including “Stop and Smell the Roses,” “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” and “It’s Hard to Be Humble.” He also wrote many hits for other artists, including Kenny Rogers’ “Something’s Burning,” Gallery’s “I Believe In Music,” the Elvis classics “In The Ghetto,” “Memories” and “A Little Less Conversation,” and even co-wrote the recent Bruno Mars hit, “Young Girls.”

Like Reddy, Davis also hosted his own NBC variety series and acted in movies (“North Dallas Forty,” “The Sting II”) and on stage (“The Will Rogers Follies.”) He was so versatile, he is both a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

* * * *

A personal post-debate note…

Last night, to cure my post-debate headache, I put on Amazon Prime to watch “The Andy Griffith Show.” By sheer dumb luck (the same force that kept my wife Laura from dying when she caught swine flu under Obama/Biden), the next episode up in my rotation was “Politics Begins at Home” (Season 7, Ep. 8.)

In it, Aunt Bea decides to run for city council, not knowing that Andy has already endorsed county clerk Howard Sprague for the seat. She accuses Andy of being a sexist and doesn’t believe his pleas that he just thinks Howard is better qualified for the position. After making his life miserable for a while, she goes to a debate with Howard. When people ask about issues of local importance, like whether to build a new bridge or sewer system, she has the same answer:

If the people want a bridge (or sewer system or whatever), then they shall have a bridge! The people’s will shall always be supreme and lead us through the dark night of politics (or something like that.) Naturally, it gets a lot of applause.

Then Howard keeps explaining, with facts and figures, why those projects would be wastes of taxpayer money and how the same thing could be accomplished much cheaper.

Eventually, Aunt Bea stands up and urges everyone to vote for Howard because he’s obviously the most qualified and she doesn’t know why anyone would vote for her.

If only last night’s debate had gone like that, with Uncle Joe in the role of Aunt Bea.

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.

Note to Chris Wallace

September 30, 2020

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.

Hotheads In Cleveland

September 30, 2020

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”

And for more entertaining background and commentary, the live blogs by PJ Media and Townhall.com

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.

Morning Edition - September 30

September 30, 2020

MORNING EDITION

September 30, 2020 

By Mike Huckabee

VIEW IN BROWSER

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”

And for more entertaining background and commentary, the live blogs by PJ Media and Townhall.com

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.

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REMEMBER SWINE FLU

Here’s why Biden wants to talk about COVID-19 but not swine flu, which happened under his and Obama’s watch, and which his own campaign health advisor said could’ve killed millions of Americans thanks to their lax response, if it had happened to be more contagious. Well, a lot of people did catch it (including my writer Laura Ainsworth, who’s still suffering from scarred lungs years later) and some people did die of it…including 13 times more children than have died of COVID-19.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

With liberal politicians such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom using their magic pens to declare that all cars will be electric by 2035, it’s time for someone to remind them that they claim to believe in “Science!” and not the power of wishes. This article points out that with the rapid advances in fuel efficiency and emissions reduction – and the seldom-discussed massive costs, pollution and environmental damage from building a whole new power generating infrastructure to charge hundreds of millions of battery-powered cars – it’s likely that by 2035, gas-powered cars could be more efficient and less polluting than EVs. And they would cost far less, meaning people wouldn’t need government subsidies to buy one.

The problem: all those scientific advances hinge on manufacturers knowing that there will be a market for their cars so they will continue research and development. But why would they put all that R&D money into improving a product that politicians have already declared will be banned by 2035? In that regard, liberals enacting their fantasy about magically-charged electric cars into law may actually kill the development of a superior and less expensive technology.

This is why it’s better to let markets make decisions than politicians who know as much about automotive technology as they do about ethics.

MODERN DAY MIRACLE

Check out this amazing story about a Columbian woman who escaped from a viciously abusive partner, was missing for two years, and was recently found alive, floating in the ocean over a mile off the coast. She had been adrift for eight hours and was suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia, but she was alive. She told her rescuers, “I was born again. God did not want me to die.”

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CORRECTION: REVEALED: SPECIAL COUNSEL PLAYED GAME OF "COLLUSION 'CLUE'"

(Correction: our editor wishes to apologize for pulling a "Joe Biden" with Agent BARNETT's name in this piece when it ran originally, adding that 3AM might have been the time for performance-enhancing drugs. Also, Amy Coney Barrett had been in the news all day. We promise never to refer to her as Amy Comey Barrett. Please enjoy the corrected version in its entirety.)

I don’t know if Maria Bartiromo had something in her eye during this weekend's edition of SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, but it sure looked like a small tear running down her cheek as she reported that, according to her sources, John Durham’s report on the “Trump/Russia” investigation would not be out until after the election.

Durham’s office reportedly had concerns that delivering his conclusions this close to the election would be considered too politicizing, but I strongly disagree. I’m with Sen. Ron Johnson, who appeared on her show later in the hour. We’ve long been saying that it’s the withholding of information until after the election that should be seen as politicizing, not the releasing, as voters deserve all the information they can get before casting their ballots. Sen. Johnson said essentially the same thing on Sunday.

One of Bartiromo’s guests, Sen. Lindsay Graham, did have encouraging news: the Senate Judiciary Committee intends to call William Barnett, the FBI agent who opened the Michael Flynn case –- after being personally selected by Joe Pientka, who supervised “Crossfire Hurricane” –- and learned over time that it was all about “getting Trump.” Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway have a new report on the interview with Barnett conducted just under two weeks ago by U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, who was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to review the special counsel’s handling of the Michael Flynn case.

One thing that stood out to me in reading this was that Barnett said special counsel agents would actually joke about it being a game of “Collusion ‘CLUE.’” In this game, he said, investigators choose any character, in any location, conducting any activity, and pair this person with another character and interpret it as evidence of collusion. Hilarious.

Barnett is essentially a whistleblower now –- not the kind Democrats like –- and the transcript of his interview with Jensen, or at least the summary, was obtained by Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell and filed with Judge Emmet Sullivan. (If Durham isn’t going to release any report before the election, we’re dependent on this sort of process to get the facts out.)

Barnett said in his interview that there was never any basis for the Trump/Russia “collusion” theory. He told DOJ investigators that “the handling of the probes [Flynn and Paul Manafort] troubled him so much that he threatened to quit working on it in one case, and threatened to go to the Inspector General in another."

In 2016, when Barnett was first assigned to the case, he thought that reading through the evidence would give him a better understanding of why the investigation into Trump’s “collusion” with Russia was launched. But after about six weeks, he still couldn’t figure it out. He characterized their theory as “groping.”

Barnett is the agent who moved to close the Flynn case due to lack of evidence. He’s the one who was told by Peter Strzok that the “7th Floor” wanted to keep it open and that Flynn should be investigated for a Logan Act violation. (Recall that then-Vice President Joe Biden was present at the January 5 Oval Office meeting during which this was discussed and, according to Sally Yates, was the one to bring up the Logan Act.) Barnett was not familiar with the Logan Act –- who was? –- but after researching it, knew that it didn’t apply to Flynn, who was not a private citizen but the incoming national security adviser.

Read the Davis/Hemingway piece for details of how Barnett was cut out of Strzok and Pientka’s “ambush” interview with Flynn. Apparently, Barnett was left out of other meetings as well, as the Flynn probe was directed “from the top down,” meaning all the direction was coming from senior officials. (My speculation is that by then, they would've liked to have him off the case but were worried about what he might say publicly.)

By February, 2017, Barnett had had his fill and asked to be removed from the case. In his interview, he said that the Flynn investigation “was problematic and could result in an IG investigation.” (He didn’t need a crystal ball for that one!)

Ironically, it was the supervision by top officials that had made him think it must be legal, as uncomfortable as it made him. Barnett added that one analyst who was “very skeptical of the Flynn collusion investigation” ---name not provided, but it wasn’t Barnett --- was indeed removed from the Flynn investigation. (Surely Jensen has interviewed that person.)

When the Flynn investigation was made part of Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe in May, 2017, Barnett told team member Jeannie Rhee that there was “no evidence of a crime” committed by Flynn. She dismissed his concerns. He said he didn’t want to be involved in the special counsel, but Peter Strzok urged him to move over there. Davis and Hemingway report that Barnett “decided to work at the special counsel office in the hope his perspective would keep them from ‘group think.’”

Once Barnett was working with the special counsel, he could see the “group think” in action --- what he characterized as “GET TRUMP.” The investigation was run in the opposite way of how an FBI investigation would be. He said, “There was always someone at SCO (special counsel’s office) who claimed to have a lead on information that would prove the collusion, only to have the information be a dead end.” It happened over and over.

Incidentally, Barnett never wiped his phone, though he testified that other members of the special counsel would joke about wiping theirs.

The notes from Barnett’s interview ended with this: “Barnett believed the prosecution of Flynn by SCO was used as a means to “get TRUMP.”

It seems there might be much more behind Durham’s delay than we even imagined. RedState.com has some interesting observations on that.

This report came in after Maria Bartiromo’s show, and I hope she’s had a chance to read it. This writer doesn’t think that Jensen and Barr were prepared for what has been revealed by Barnett about the political calculations involved in the Russia Hoax investigation. There is speculation that Barr is extremely upset that Mueller, now aging and perhaps fading a bit mentally, was being used as cover by Andrew Weissmann and others to overstep wildly in their desire to “get Trump.”

Something had to trigger Barr’s decision to have Barnett interviewed by Jensen. It’s possible that this has to do with Judge Emmet Sullivan’s (mis)handling of the Michael Flynn case, as it shows the case to be even more obviously politically motivated than we knew. The message to Sullivan: “Sure, you idiot, go ahead and keep this case open. The longer you keep it open, the more we’ll reveal.”

And apparently there is more. What we’ve seen has to do with “Crossfire Razor,” the investigation into Flynn. The rest is known only to investigators. It seems that the information that Jensen got from Agent Barnett may indeed be a game-changer. Even so, it’s wrong to keep it under wraps, for whatever reason, until after the election. Two words: interim report.

BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY (KJV)

 



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