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Trump Returns to U.S. to Attack Media, Praise Win of Congressman-Elect Cited with Assault of Journalist

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Trump’s Lawyers Have Reportedly Cautioned Him to Limit his Posts

Donald Trump returned to the United States late Saturday, and to Twitter early this morning, to both praise the win of Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican who was cited for assaulting a reporter, and to continue his assault on the free press and media in general.

The President of the United States began his 140 character (or less) message for the American people after his return by discussing domestic news made during his absence. Not the terror attack in Portland, Oregon, but this:

The big win in question refers to Gianforte, who according to Fox News reporters who witnessed it, grabbed a reporter “by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him” after being asked about healthcare.

Although three newspapers rescinded their endorsements of the Congressman-elect prior to the Montana vote the following day, neither Donald Trump nor Mike Pence—who used robo-calls to voice their support of the then-candidate—have done so.

Trump then turned to his first trip overseas, where he evaded news media for nine days, to call it “a great success for America.” Following reports that he was exhausted after the second day, calling his stamina into question, he tweeted that it was “hard work but big results!”

Following that, Trump continued his assault on the media, arguably having had the time to review the countless bombshell reporting that began the moment Air Force One’s wheels left the tarmac for his first trip abroad.

Reports included that Russian officials had discussed how to use Trump’s team to influence him, the block of his Muslim ban being upheld by the courts, that his son-in-law Jared Kushner is under FBI “scrutiny” and even that Kushner told Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that he wanted to establish a secret, backchannel line of communication with the Kremlin. (To name a few.)

The president hasn’t always distrusted sources, it should be noted:

And of further note, Trump is now including “it is my opinion” in his accusatory, dangerous language. Perhaps because of this report by The New York Times: 

“The president, who has more than 30 million followers on Twitter, has been told by his lawyers to limit his posts. Each one, they argue privately, could be used as evidence in a legal case against him, and the president went through his entire overseas trip without posting a single incendiary message.”

As the Society of Professional Journalists points out, no anonymous source “is more famous and perhaps none was more important than Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat,’ the FBI source who helped The Washington Post unravel the White House cover-up of the Watergate break-in.”

Finally, Trump returned to praising the election of the man who’s been cited with assaulting a journalist, criticizing the media’s coverage of such a “victory.”

But as Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee pointed out:

 

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DEEP STATE HYSTERIA

Undercover Operatives Waged Sting Operation to Discredit ‘Deep State’ Officials on Trump’s Enemies List: NYT

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Undercover operatives from right wing Project Veritas worked with a former British spy trained by Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince to wage a smear and sting operation to discredit “deep state” federal government officials on President Donald Trump’s enemies list while he was in office, including the National Security Advisor and FBI agents.

The New York Times broke the bombshell story, reporting that the “campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.”

“The campaign,” the Times reports, “shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump’s allies had about a shadowy ‘deep state’ trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president.”

“Central to the effort, according to interviews, was Richard Seddon, a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets. He ran field operations for Project Veritas until mid-2018.”

Last year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Seddon ran an expansive effort to gain access to the unions and campaigns and led a hiring effort that nearly tripled the number of the group’s operatives, according to interviews and deposition testimony. He trained operatives at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming.

The Times’ extensive reporting, which runs about 2700 words, does not reveal who initiated or who bankrolled the campaign.

The Times reports the operation was run out of a house that rented for $10,000 a month, and that it is not known if President Trump or his closest advisors, including family members, were aware of the operation or had anything to do with it.

“The operation against Mr. McMaster was hatched not long after an article appeared in BuzzFeed News about a private dinner in 2017. Exactly what happened during the dinner is in dispute, but the article said that Mr. McMaster had disparaged Mr. Trump by calling him an ‘idiot’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.'”

Those allegations were never proven, although they echo what some others inside the administration, like first Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had allegedly stated.

In the end, McMaster resigned amid far right-wing attacks, but no recordings of him calling Trump an “idiot.”

Read the entire New York Times investigation here.

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Newsmax Host Off Air After Online Outrage Over Antisemitic Remarks

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Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield will be off the air for the remainder of the week after massive outrage over his antisemitic remarks Wednesday night. Stinchfield claimed that American Jews’ “home country” is actually Israel, not the U.S., in a rant attacking President Joe Biden.

Eric Bolling, the former Fox News host who has seen his own share of controversy, in a tweet announced he will be covering for Stinchfield, which The Wrap reported.

“If you are Jewish and you are a Democrat and you are living in America today, how do you support an administration that turns its back on your home country?” Stinchfield had said, as Media Matters reported.

Outrage, especially from Americans who also identify as Jewish, was massive, as NCRM documented.

In March Stinchfield came under attack after claiming there was a “strong case” that President Joe Biden is “not really a Catholic.”

 

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CRIME

Active Duty US Marine Corps Officer Arrested for Alleged Role in January 6 Insurrection: DOJ

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has announced the arrest of a 40-year old active duty U.S. Marine, a commissioned officer stationed at Quantico, for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.

Citing court documents and security camera footage, DOJ in a statement says Major Christopher Warnagiris “violently entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris positioned himself in the corner of the doorway, using his body to keep the door open and pull others inside. When a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage captured shortly after 2:25 p.m.”

Warnagiris “is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Warnagiris will make his initial court appearance today at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern District of Virginia,” the DOJ said.

HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly adds:

On Wednesday several Republican members of Congress stated: “There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie,” the insurrectionists were merely “peaceful protestors,” and the attack on the U.S. Capitol looked like “a normal tourist visit.”

 

Image: DOJ

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