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UPDATE II: GOP House Intel Committee Report – No Obama Benghazi Wrongdoing

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The House Intelligence Committee just concluded an investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and finds no wrongdoing by the Obama Administration — destroying all claims by Tea Party and conservative activists.

In a stunning rebuke to its base, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to declassify on Thursday the results of its nearly two-year, $3.3 million taxpayer-paid investigation on the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, finding no intentional wrongdoing by President Barack Obama, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or by the Obama administration. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson, a Democrat, “said the report ‘confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.'”

Among the Intelligence Committee’s findings, according to Thompson:

— Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died during the attacks.

The Tea Party, Republicans, and conservatives have spent nearly two years claiming the Obama administration committed treason, were at the center of a massive cover-up, and have propagated many other falsehoods and conspiracy theories that have been officially rebuked by this report and several other official government investigations, most led, ironically, by Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans will start yet another series of hearings, led by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, trying once again to prove that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame for the deaths of four Americans.

For a look at Tea Party memes of Benghazi, including Obama hang nooses, see our compilation on Storify.

UPDATE I: Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in a statement said, “I took part in the extensive, exhaustive investigation that led to this report. I believe its conclusions should lay to rest all the baseless charges surrounding this tragedy that resulted in killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans.”

The bipartisan report is definitive – there was no intelligence failure surrounding the attacks, no cover up, no illegal activity, and no evidence that the Intelligence Community’s assessments were politically motivated in any way.”

UPDATE II:

“Just so we’re clear, this is a Republican-led committee, with GOP members outnumbering Democrats, 12 to 9,” Steve Benen at MSNBC writes Monday.

Taken together, the deadly violence in Benghazi two years ago has now been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the independent State Department Accountability Review Board, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
 
How many of them uncovered evidence of a cover-up? None.
 
It’s against this backdrop that House Republicans have decided what’s really needed is …another committee. It will cost taxpayers several million dollars, and according to the committee’s leadership, the goal is to ask questions that have already been answered.
 

 

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SURE JAN SURE

Trump Swears Dems Are Calling Him Begging to Negotiate on the Stimulus — but He ‘Got Everything He Wanted’ Already

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President Donald Trump side-stepped Congress to pass his own stimulus bailout with a series of executive orders. Now, however, he’s claiming Democrats are desperate to negotiate with him on the coronavirus bill.

Speaking to the press while leaving another vacation weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump said Democrats are “calling him.”

“They’re much more inclined to make a deal now than two days ago,” Trump said.

It’s unclear which Democrats he spoke to, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi didn’t indicate she spoke to the president during interviews with the Sunday morning talk shows.

Trump also said that he’s been “personally” involved in negotiating the bill. In reality, it was his chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. So, Trump had to correct himself, saying he was involved “personally, you know, through my representatives.”

Neither Trump nor the White House or the GOP has clarified why negotiation is needed with Democrats if Trump already fixed everything through his slate of executive orders. It seems to fly in the face of Saturday’s press conference and the slew of headlines that followed.

 

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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan Voters Admit They Want ‘This Nightmare to End’ in November

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President Donald Trump’s Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they’d met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn’t lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

“I’m turning into more of an angry person than I’ve ever been in my life,” she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. “I’ve just got a countdown to November now, and I’m hoping we’ll wake up from this nightmare we’re in.”

She later explained that she was attracted to Trump in 2016 because he was a businessman who she thought would make the right decisions. But she’s now watching business leaders make those right decisions and Trump making the wrong ones.

Hal Ostrow once called himself “politically homeless,” but now things have changed for him too.

“I think we’re seeing it on a daily basis — this delegitimizing of pillars of our society, of institutions of government, everything from COVID testing to choices we’ve got to make for our kids. And there is just a void of leadership at the top,” he said.

Ostrow also explained that the “law and order” message from Trump isn’t really effective because the kind of “law and order” Trump wants isn’t resonating with suburban voters.

Morse agreed, saying, “we’re not 1950s housewives anymore. We’re educated, strong women, who are trying to raise families while working full time out of the home. So, to make a statement saying, we’re going to be — to defund the police and we’re going to be overrun in our communities by all these bad people, it’s ludicrous!”

Jerry Stepanovich was a Trump voter who was parroting the language the Trump used about the “witch hunt” against him. Now things have changed.

“Some of his statements, some of the buffoonery,” he said as a reason for his diversion from solid Trump supporters. “Some of his actions and also when he said, ‘we’re going to knock this right down,’ that’s — that ain’t gonna happen.”

When asked what he would have done differently, he said Trump’s “blasé” attitude claiming “yeah, we’ll take care of this,” is what Stepanovich found questionable. “The bravado — that’s kind of irking me right now.”

See the clip below:

 

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CORRUPTION

White House Turmoil as Mnuchin and Navarro Got in ‘Knockdown, Drag-Out’ Yelling Match – as Trump Sat and Watched: Report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.

One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.

The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.

During the discussion, Navarro reportedly accused Mnuchin of being soft on China and the two were described as getting into screaming match with each other in front of the president.

The Post adds the confrontation “was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives. Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration,” before adding, Trump signed an executive order Thursday ordering a shut down of TikTok’s U.S. operations if a divestiture did not occur by September.

You can read more here.

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