News broke Thursday that Trump administration National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is about to be pushed out the door. Multiple sources have named a likely replacement, Stephen E. Biegun, currently the Vice President of International Governmental Affairs for Ford Motor Company. In Biegun’s official biography, “Russia” appears seven times.
For an administration daily accused by its citizens of collusion with Russia, for an administration under investigation by a special counsel for possible collusion with Russia, for an administration that daily is bombarded with news stories about the Russia probe – including several indictments in the case – it is astonishing it would ever consider anyone with any ties to Russia for anything, much less for a position that is the commander-in-chief’s top advisor on national security and intelligence.
Not only is the Russia aspect problematic, but Biegun’s ties to Senator Mitch McConnell are also disturbing. McConnell is single-handedly the person most responsible for blocking news that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election from being released to the American voters prior to the November election. Upon learning of the extent of Russia’s interference in the election, President Barack Obama asked the Senate Majority Leader to support a joint statement to the American people notifying them of Russia’s malevolent acts of war. Senator McConnell not only refused to sign on, but told the president that any release of the information to the American public would be framed as a partisan attack against the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.
Yahoo News’ Garance Franke-Ruta was among the first to point out Biegun’s Russia connection:
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) March 1, 2018
She also notes Biegun’s ties to a far right wing group, the American Conservative Union. The ACU is the organization that holds the annual right wing extremist annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which was in the news over the last week.
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Conor Lamb Apparent Winner of Pennsylvania US House Special Election
Democrat Conor Lamb has been declared the apparent winner in the special election for Pennsylvania’s conservative 18th congressional district to replace Republican Rep. Tim Murphy. Lamb beat Trump-endorsed Republican Rick Saccone, a far right wing Christian extremist, who is a state representative.
The vote was so close it had to be decided by absentee ballots. The final tallies have yet to be declared, but networks including MSNBC and CNBC have called it for Lamb.
Trump won the district barely more than a year ago by nearly 20 points. Lamb was recently projected to win, and was up about six points in the final polls.
The president, the Vice President, and the president’s eldest son all endorsed and campaigned in Pennsylvania for Saccone.
“Outside GOP groups have spent $10.7 million supporting Rick Saccone,” Axios on Tuesday reported.
Lamb is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and a former Marine.
Saccone, already down in the polls, made news late Monday night when he told supporters at a rally that Democrats hate God, America, and Donald Trump.
Lamb supports ObamaCare and a woman’s right to choose (although he personally is against abortion, but says a right is a right.) He has called for stronger background checks but no new gun control laws.
Former Rep. Tim Murphy resigned after it was revealed he had urged his mistress to get an abortion. Murphy is a “pro-life” “family values” Republican.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2018
Last month The Washington Post reported “Republican-allied groups have dramatically outspent their Democratic rivals 17-to-1 in the first congressional race of 2018, a special election in Pennsylvania that both parties have cast as a potential bellwether for the November midterms.”
This is the second major special election in a row in which the Democrat won a seat previously held by a Republican. Many political analysts believe these results reflect how even GOP voters feel about President Trump.
Image via Facebook
Putin: I Have a New ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Missile
President Vladimir Putin says Russia has developed a new “invincible” nuclear missile that can “reach anywhere in the world,” according to the BBC.
Claiming the U.S. missile shield that covers Europe and Asia can not stop the new warhead, Putin described it as “a low-flying, difficult-to-spot cruise missile with a nuclear payload with a practically unlimited range and an unpredictable flight path, which can bypass lines of interception and is invincible in the face of all existing and future systems of both missile defence and air defence.”
The Russian Federation leader made his remarks in a campaign speech 17 days before an election which he will win. He faces seven challengers, and his main opponent, Alexei Navalny, was declared ineligible to run.
Putin told the Russian Parliament the West has nothing comparable to this new nuclear missile, and he had it developed “in response to the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold war-era treaty banning missile defenses and U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system,” CBS News adds.
“No one has listened to us,” Putin, complaining about the U.S., told Russian lawmakers. “You listen to us now.”
After Calling Kelly ‘General Jackass’ Scaramucci Fears Retaliation From Trump’s Chief of Staff
Anthony Scaramucci, the man who holds the title for shortest stint as White House Communications Director, is inserting himself into the latest drama at the Trump White House by blasting General John Kelly – the man who fired him. Now he is worrying his reckless behavior will have financial implications.
After discussing the resignation of Hope Hicks and telling CNN Thursday morning there is a “culture of fear” inside the Trump White House, warning morale under John Kelly is “terrible,” Scaramucci spoke with Bloomberg News to continue his war against the Chief of Staff.
“Does the president want to lose everyone because of General Jackass?” Scaramucci asked Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs.
“Scarmucci denied he was backstabbing Kelly — and he told Jacobs that he was proudly ‘front-stabbing’ him,” as Raw Story reports.
But Scaramucci apparently is having second thoughts about just how wise it was to tangle with the retired general.
“Scaramucci says he now fears Kelly will thwart his bid to sell his stake in SkyBridge Capital to China’s HNA Group Co,” Jacobs reports at Bloomberg. “The sale has been stuck at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews foreign acquisitions of domestic businesses for security risks.”
“Let’s see what he says about that,” Scaramucci told her. “That’ll be the next food fight.
Scaramucci served 11 days (at most) in Trump’s White House. Kelly fired him after Scaramucci launched into an on-the-record vulgar tirade with a reporter, calling then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.” Scaramucci also falsely accused Priebus of a “felony” – the leaking of his financial disclosure form (which is publicly available).
He also infamously told the reporter, Ryan Lizza, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own c*ck.”
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