The investigation into the “Crossfire Hurricane” surveillance of the Trump campaign and presidency has continued unabated while the media are focused on COVID-19. Nothing like a pandemic to distract from a hurricane.

Of course, the mainstream media would be doing their best to ignore these findings, anyway, but at least right now they have a convenient excuse. Still, the leading investigative reporters we’ve counted on --- John Solomon, Jeff Carlson, Lee Smith and others --- are on the case, and there’s plenty to report, especially after the document “dump” last Friday that confirmed what they’ve been saying all along. In this instance, it was in the form of newly unredacted footnotes from Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s handling of its FISA applications to spy on Trump associates.

These revelations absolutely undercut any claim that the FBI had legitimate reason to investigate the Trump team. That investigation, handled by the top echelon of the FBI rather than out of a field office as would have been the usual procedure, was a sham from the beginning, and they had to know that.

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p>We’ve learned from these footnotes that the FBI had in their file, dating from as far back as 2015, a caution that Steele might be a victim of Russian disinformation because of his contacts with certain Putin-connected oligarchs, and also in 2017 that the “dossier” contained false information planted by Russian intelligence. (BE WARNED: the media will use this to defend FBI officials as simply being duped by Russia. Don’t be fooled; that’s not what this means, as I’ll explain.)

The report by Solomon and others that Bruce Ohr warned the FBI in August 2016 of Steele’s worrisome political bias is now confirmed.

The report that Steele told the FBI in August of 2016 that his work was connected to the Hillary Clinton campaign is now confirmed.

The report that in October, 2016, Steele told Kathleen Kavalec at the State Department that he’d leaked to the media and had an Election Day deadline to get his information out is now confirmed. We also know he told her that he believed Russia was funding its hacking operations through their consulate in Miami. Russia doesn’t have a consulate in Miami.

Yes, Steele was indeed fired for violating his confidentiality agreement and leaking to the media. That happened just over a week before the election, on November 1, 2016.

Steele was also found, in October of 2016, to have been peddling a false story (also being spread by a DNC lawyer and a reporter) about Trump and Putin communicating through computer “pings” at a server for Russia’s Alfa bank.

The report that the FBI put together a spreadsheet with all the claims in the Steele “dossier” and found most to be either inaccurate, unsubstantiated or based on publicly available information: confirmed.

The report that Steele’s sub-source was interviewed in January, 2017, and said much of the information attributed to him was inaccurate or was just rumor or exaggeration: confirmed. They should have already known that nothing coming from Steele was of any value.

The report that the FBI possessed exculpatory evidence on Carter Page that undercut their allegations in the FISA applications: confirmed.

The report that the CIA had alerted the FBI that Page had worked as a friendly U.S. asset, NOT for the Russians, and that an FBI official (criminally) altered a document to hide this: confirmed.

The report that the FBI withheld exculpatory evidence on George Papadopoulos, in the form of a recorded conversation in which Mr. P said neither he nor the Trump campaign were involved with Russian hacking and that it would be “illegal”: confirmed. Information regarding Mr. P was supposedly the reason for opening “Crossfire Hurricane” in the first place.

The report that the FBI concluded in January of 2017 that former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had not been deceptive in his “ambush” interview and had likely just had a faulty memory: confirmed. (Flynn attorney Sidney Powell must be very happy that this footnote finally saw the light of day.)

This is just a partial list. Solomon and others who have dug so hard and cultivated such great sources over the past few years should be extremely gratified now, seeing that the facts they uncovered are confirmed in Horowitz’ own footnotes. This story can’t be dismissed as “conspiracy theory” any longer.

Here’s John Solomon’s new report, which also contains links throughout to his original reports (vindicated!) and to the pdf of the actual footnotes.

With all of this in Horowitz’ report, it’s hard to fathom how he could have concluded that the opening of “Crossfire Hurricane” met the threshold of evidence (which admittedly is quite low). Other questions are raised as well, such as why, with all the FBI knew about Steele and his “dossier,” then-FBI Director Jim Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan pushed so hard for it to be included in the 2017 report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Daniel Chaitin asks these and other questions in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER.

Finally, back to my “warning,” above: how can we say that the FBI weren’t taken in by the Russians? Because if they were taken in by anyone, it appears to have been John Brennan. Here's a taste of what's coming: in a discussion with Rachel Maddow in August of 2018, Brennan may have inadvertently disclosed how “incidental” collection of information on a U.S. citizen by the CIA was used as a way of targeting individuals --- "reverse targeting," a big no-no --- with the raw surveillance data being fed directly to the FBI. When you have time to explore this in detail, Jeff Carlson has a great piece from the archives of THE EPOCH TIMES. (Thanks to Dan Bongino for digging this up. When it comes to the wrongful investigation of the Trump team, Bongino calls John Brennan “the founder of the feast,” with good reason.)

There are much bigger issues to deal with than the wounded pride of a gaggle of juvenile Democratic operatives with by-lines (to use Instapundit’s popular description of today’s “journalists.”) Chief of among them is how and when to reopen the economy so that we avoid both a spike in infections and a prolonged depression.

President Trump has said that choosing when to reopen the economy is the biggest decision he’s ever faced. He noted that if it were up to the doctors, they’d shut down the whole world indefinitely, but we can’t let the treatment become more destructive than the problem.

Another fake controversy was set off by the media when Trump said he has “total” authority over when to reopen the economy. Reporters who only recently emerged from their worship of Obama and rediscovered limits on Presidential power went ballistic over that, but it seemed obvious to me that he wasn’t saying he has “total authority” over the US economy, but over the decision he has to make – in other words, he is listening to the doctors, but the decision is up to him, not them or anyone other advisers. That would be the rational interpretation, which, again, is why most of the news outlets seemed to miss it.

As if to prove that Trump knows he doesn’t have total authority over the entire economy, the governors of several states announced their plans to start reopening for business, and I notice that Trump didn't have them arrested for insurrection.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he thinks most states can reopen sooner than May 1.

With the projected infection rates and death tolls dropping sharply, it appears that the American people, through responsible actions like self-isolating, social distancing, wearing masks and gloves, and washing and disinfecting their hands frequently have made a big impact on the spread of the virus. With regular reminders to stay vigilant, there’s no reason why most businesses can’t start reopening.

For instance, if it’s safe for people who wear masks and stand six feet apart to go to Walmart or CVS for food and drugs (stores that have remained open), then why wouldn’t it be just as safe to go to any other business under the same safety and hygiene standards? Then again, you’d have to explain that logic to at least one Governor, who seems to think it’s safe to go to Walmart to buy bread, but if you also pick up a package of tomato seeds or a pair of shorts, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!

This is a problem that can only be remedied by putting on your masks and gloves and standing six feet apart in long lines to vote out any authoritarians who would use a health crisis to abuse power and shred the Constitution.

President Trump is fed up

April 14, 2020

There are a lot of words you could use to describe the daily White House briefings on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus and the havoc it’s wrought, but I wouldn’t call them “exhilarating” or “entertaining”…until yesterday. Finally fed up with a rabidly biased news media that seems more interested in attacking and blaming President Trump and accusing him of not taking the pandemic seriously than in relaying accurate, necessary information to the public, Trump introduced a video. It included a timeline, showing the steps Trump has taken to combat the virus going all the way back to January, when he banned travel from China and the people who now accuse him of waiting too long called him “racist” and “xenophobic.” (Fun Fact: Trump mentioned the coronavirus in his State of the Union Address, the one that Nancy Pelosi – who now claims he was “fiddling while Rome burns” – infamously ripped up behind him.)

The video went on to show the media, political opponents and so-called “health experts” on cable TV news channels dismissing the dangers, and Democratic Governors praising the White House response.

Here’s the full briefing, and the video starts around the 15-minute mark:

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Predictably, the media reacted like a pack of dogs who were forced to watch a screening of “Cats.” Not since Dr. Smith on “Lost in Space” have feigned outrage, wounded dignity and cries of “Oh, the pain! The pain!” been so hilarious. They could not believe that Trump had the temerity to show the public what they’d actually said two or three months ago. The reporters in the room accused him of showing a “campaign video,” while both CNN and MSNBC cut away from the briefing to keep their viewers from seeing anything that might actually open their eyes to the truth.

Incredibly, what I assume must be a petulant 14-year-old at CNN actually imposed titles on the press conference feed, reading, "Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session," "Trump uses task force briefing to try and rewrite history on coronavirus response," and "Trump melts down in angry response to reports he ignored virus warnings."

Funny, he seemed pretty calm to me. And I thought that “propaganda” referred to fake news, not showing the public video of direct quotes with accurate dates attached. My term for that would be “journalism.” Of course, it’s understandable that CNN wouldn’t recognize “journalism,” since it’s been so long since they’ve practiced it. MSNBC also explained their cutaway by saying there is no reason for them to broadcast propaganda. I agree, and yet they keep doing it 24/7.

Another laughable response came on Twitter from someone who said reporters would never have just sat there respectfully and let Obama praise himself at length. News flash: that’s pretty much all they did for eight years.

But the funniest response had to come from former Obama Administration mouthpieces like Joe Lockhart (now on CNN) and Ben Rhodes (now on MSNBC), who huffed that they NEVER would have stood at the podium and dispensed such one-sided, campaign style propaganda (“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor!”) Reminder: Ben Rhodes once bragged about how he sold Obama’s Iran nuclear deal by setting up an “echo chamber” to feed talking points to the young political reporters “who literally know nothing” so they would regurgitate them back to their readers and viewers.

You know the difference between what Obama told us about the Iran nuclear deal and the video that Trump showed on Monday? Everything in Trump’s video was true.

A post-script: New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman is heard in her own voice in the video, admitting that Trump was called a racist and a xenophobe for his early cut-off of travel from China to the US, but it did slow the spread of the disease. She tweeted that “their use of the audio is misleading - I went on to say I said he treated that travel limitation as a Mission Accomplished moment.”

Yes, I read the transcript, and she did go on to criticize Trump (what a surprise.) But that’s irrelevant. Her personal interpretation of his attitude in no way altered what she said about his actions in January or the reactions to them. And nobody is under any obligation to quote her entire interview to provide “context.” Real journalists use excerpts and editing all the time, but the excerpt must convey the actual meaning. An example of “misleading” editing would be cutting up and splicing a Trump comment to make it appear that there were fine people among a group of white supremacists when he was actually talking about people who want to preserve Confederate monuments.

Again, this is Journalism 101 stuff, so I’m not surprised that a New York Times reporter isn’t familiar with it.

I have a theory about why so many “experts,” politicians, media people and government bureaucrats are trying to discourage the use of hydroxycloroquine, in combination with azithromycin and zinc, to treat COVID-19. It’s not just that they oppose anything President Trump has expressed approval for, although that’s part of it. Here’s a thought: what if it’s not because this therapy won’t work, but because it WILL?

In other words: if we do have an effective treatment and/or preventative, the pandemic might be over too soon to be used as an excuse to make all the societal changes some want to impose.

This really hit me when I heard Dr. Anthony Fauci say that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to have in-person elections by November of this year. How many Democrats would LOVE to see mail-in voting for the entire country? How conveeeeeeenient. And don’t listen when they say mail-in ballots don’t encourage election fraud. That’s a crock, as you’ll see from the story linked to here.

Those who want power –- during this pandemic and ever after –- are full of ideas for controlling the population. Steve Hilton, host of THE NEXT REVOLUTION on FOX NEWS, calls it “technocratic hubris...a technocrat’s dream and America’s nightmare.” As he reported on Sunday, former head of the Food & Drug Administration Scott Gottlieb is pushing a plan for “contract tracing,” which “can be achieved through strengthened public health case investigation augmented by technology and community-level collaborations.” It’s a very complicated program of mass virus testing (not antibody testing) to (quoting Dr. Fauci) “identify, isolate, contact-trace” everyone who gets the virus. This is preposterous, when an unknown number, into the millions, have already been or will be exposed to the virus, and the test won’t identify those. But Apple and Google are ready to step up and be a part of this monstrous program to track what in the end could be virtually everyone.

Here’s one alternative (in addition to drug therapy): a science-based “Re-open America Safely, But Soon” proposal that gives specifics on how to do just that, starting as soon as May 1. You’ll want to watch the segment on Steve Hilton’s show, linked here, but in short, the steps are as follows:

STEP 1. Get accurate infection data. We still don’t know how widespread and deadly this virus even is. Based on a Stanford University study done in the San Francisco Bay area, the actual number of infections could be much, much higher than official testing results have shown. If that is true, it means the virus is VERY highly contagious but much less deadly than has been assumed. (It might turn out that the actual mortality rate is more like 1 in 1,000.) To get the data, we need representative-sample community antibody sampling –- as opposed to government antibody surveillance –- to tell us what fraction of a given community has been exposed. Importantly, this kind of sampling is much less expensive than just relentlessly testing every last person; they think it can reasonably be done in every community in the country. And it won’t take long.

STEP 2. Get accurate risk data. The suppositions we have on risk factors (age, underlying conditions, etc.) are too vague at present. We don’t need so much focus on people who will get the virus but will be fine, and the vast majority will. Rather, we need to know why some people who are young and seemingly healthy are getting sick and dying anyway, but Hilton reports that, believe it or not, hospitals have not been collecting data on their medical history. The White House should mandate the collection of this information, called “co-morbidity data.”

STEP 3. Use the information from Steps 1 and 2 to quarantine and protect the truly vulnerable. If we can do this, we don’t have to re-open the economy bit by bit or wait until a vaccine comes out (in a year-and-a-half?) The whole country doesn’t need to stay shut down if millions have already been exposed but have never gotten sick or have recovered.

On Sunday, Hilton interviewed three of the people who put this plan together, including Stanford University Professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, biophysicist Dr. Andrew Bogan, and JetBlue founder David Neeleman. Dr. Bhattacharya added an important point: that most casualties are happening in hospitals that have been overwhelmed, so the “opening up” may be delayed in areas in which those hospitals are located. (I would point out that starting drug therapy sooner might help with that, too.)

Neeleman noted that the reason we’re shut down is that we haven’t figured out who the people are who are at risk of grave illness and how to protect not everyone, but THOSE people. The idea is to save the economy AND those at risk. “I think we can do both if we do it right,” Neeleman said.

Hilton is hoping that those who like the “Safely, But Soon” idea will TELL THE PRESIDENT and/or your governor. You can follow Hilton on Twitter @SteveHiltonx or @NextRevFNC.

Their overview of the plan didn’t even touch on hydroxychloroquine as a promising treatment or even a preventative. But the “anecdotes” just keep coming; here’s the first-hand account in TOWNHALL from coronavirus patient Charles Vavruska, who ended up with double pneumonia and a dreaded trip to the ER at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, New York. (Queens is pretty much the epicenter of the pandemic.) The bright spot in this is that after being admitted to the hospital, he could be put on hydroxychloroquine and zinc. “The Trump Treatment?” he asked the nurse. “Yes, the Trump Treatment,” she replied.

Nineteen hours after his first dose, he was already feeling better. After three days, his fever and aches were gone, and his energy and appetite were back. He was still on oxygen, but at a low level. (Note: that is not the same as being on a ventilator; fortunately, he got the drugs before needing one of those.) He’s home now and credits “the Trump Treatment” for his recovery.

But he notes with great consternation that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned this therapy EXCEPT in hospitals. “Why not treat COVID-positive individuals BEFORE they deteriorate sufficiently to require hospitalization?” he asks. This would prevent more serious illness and relieve overburdened hospitals.

He’s right; Cuomo shouldn’t be “playing doctor,” and his arbitrary restriction on this is ridiculous. Drug companies have donated 100 million doses of HCQ to the federal government, and more are coming. Everyone who has come down with respiratory symptoms from COVID-19 should be able to receive this drug. Just think how many more “anecdotes” we would have from which to collect data. But, no, that might be too easy a solution, and we might be able to get back to normal too quickly for some.

Here’s his story in the NEW YORK POST.

HUCKABEE researcher/writer Laura Ainsworth has more to say, personally, on this issue, in a “from the trenches” installment from her home in the Dallas area. You see, it’s not just at the federal level that some people have a desire to control and are resisting a treatment that might possibly end the shut-down. It happens locally, too. But you can bet that if she gets the virus, she will move heaven and earth to get “The Trump Treatment,” BEFORE having to be admitted to a hospital!

RELATED READINGAinsworth: In Dallas, how much "emergency" control is too much?

Even with 24/7 virus coverage, I’ll bet you haven’t heard much about what it’s like here in Dallas, Texas. We’re not making much national news, which surprises me a little, as we’ve definitely got some issues going on that relate to the larger discussion: control of the virus vs. control of Americans. As someone who lives in a suburb inside Dallas County –- only in the most technical sense am I not a Native Texan –- it seemed like a good idea to bring them up.

First, it should be said that I agree with the theory expressed in the Gov's earlier commentary that some of the resistance to the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin treatment is not out of concern that it won’t work, but that it WILL. Absolutely, there are those who want to use this pandemic to introduce all sorts of societal controls; I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s look at the front page of Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS, specifically the unenthusiastic headline: “D-FW hospitals sent unproven drug.” I realize writer Allie Morris of the DSM’s Austin Bureau probably didn’t come up with that headline, but it certainly shows the mindset of whoever did.

RELATED READINGDoesn't everybody want a quick end to the pandemic?

The good news is, North Texas hospitals are getting at least some HCQ; Medical City locations reportedly received a total of 5,000 tablets, but one gets the impression they’re being held onto very tightly. A spokesperson said they’re being used only for “certain” COVID-19 patients “with appropriate informed consent." The approach throughout the article is extremely cautious; you won’t see any accounts of miraculous cures or enthusiastic endorsements like the one linked to in our earlier commentary –- only the message that 1) the drug is not FDA-approved for this use (actually, that’s misleading; it’s approved for “emergency” use, and off-label use is up to the doctor), 2) there are worrisome side effects (many doctors would say these are overblown and that the drug is one of the safest), and 3) that it might make some patients feel better but they don’t know until they have more data.

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Contrast this dismissiveness with the slant of the adjacent article (if you’re looking at the actual printed edition): “Managing crisis with experience,” a softball piece about Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. It's not widely known that a county judge in Texas has sweeping powers during an emergency; he can pretty much take over and run the show, and that’s what Jenkins has done, to the point where the county commissioners stepped in to limit his power. Jenkins has clamped down hard on the local economy, harder than Gov. Greg Abbott.

As the piece says, “He has knowingly sacrificed a booming economy in the state’s second-most populous county to save people’s lives. Each urgent step he has taken –- often ahead of the rest of the state –- has been informed by his faith, science and experience gleaned from a decade of managing complex public health crises such as West Nile and Ebola, say those who know him. Jenkins, a Democrat first elected to the role in 2010, has emerged as a decisive leader whose restrictions –- including a stay-in-place order –- have led the regional response to the pandemic.”

I swear, this piece could have been written by a public relations firm. Jenkins has been “championed” by health care experts and hospital CEOs for “his proactive response to the pandemic.” The praise goes on and on, saying that “speculation has swirled about Jenkins’ political future...his growing fan base on social media regularly encourages him to run for governor.”

Full disclosure: I strongly disagreed with Judge Jenkins a few years ago when the issue of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border affected our own community; Jenkins was determined to wave them on into Dallas County and house them in a vacant middle school building smack in the middle of a residential area near my own neighborhood. (He certainly didn’t seem concerned about contagion then.) He was quoted in THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS as saying there was no neighborhood opposition, which I know was not the case because I was vocally opposed to it myself, along with many others. It looked as though this was just going to happen, but then for some reason I’ll never know, it didn’t. Maybe since we weren’t in an emergency then, he didn’t get to use dictatorial powers.

Anyway, the juxtaposition of these two articles communicates very clearly the mindset of the left: A promising drug therapy that Trump advocates in the hope it will save lives: “unproven.” The economy-destroying lock-down of an entire county that a local official imposes in the hope it will save lives: “proactive.”

Speaking of dictatorial powers, Daniel Horowitz at CONSERVATIVE REVIEW has a great piece on the growing police state surrounding this contagion. “As the Supreme Court has said many times,” he writes, “there are times when life, liberty and property can be infringed upon, but it must be narrowly tailored to the least invasive means needed to achieve the compelling state interest. What is happening now is anything but narrow.”

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He goes on to list numerous examples of ridiculous law-enforcement overreach, some of which we’ve covered here, involving such horrible sins as going for a drive alone, paddleboarding alone in the ocean, sitting alone in a car at the beach, violating a 10 p.m. curfew (the virus spreads much faster after dark, you know), and more. He mentions the research Google is doing to develop the means to track people. And he credits Florida Gov. Ron deSantis as being that rare governor who says “we can’t start ripping up the Constitution.”

We all know there are people who can’t wait to rip up the Constitution, and who have even put some little tears into the edges of the paper so they can rip it more dramatically, the way Nancy Pelosi did with Trump’s State Of The Union speech.

I’m not saying your average “progressive” voter literally wants thousands more people to die so we can have the all-controlling police state leftists dream of (with them in charge). But a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and the longer this virus sticks around, the more “emergency” controls officials can put in place forever. If some cheap, widely-used little pills have the power to interfere with that, they're fine with dismissing them as “unproven.”