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Trump Uses NY Times to Falsely Claim ‘Effort to Spy on Trump Campaign’ Was ‘Bigger Than Watergate’

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President Donald Trump for more than two years has been falsely claiming President Barack Obama had the “wires tapped” at his Trump Tower campaign headquarters.

Later, he falsely claimed, “the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon.”

It’s been a regular staple of Trump’s attacks, and he’s accused President Obama or the Obama administration of spying on his campaign dozens of times.

But under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Dept. of Justice investigated and found zero evidence Trump’s campaign was wire tapped by the Obama administration.

The lie would not die, and recently Attorney General Bill Barr told Congress he believes the federal government spied on the Trump campaign.

The word “spy” is fraudulent at best.

As many who closely follow the news know, Robert Mueller was hired as Special Counsel after top DOJ officials were terrified that Trump might be a Russian agent or unwittingly a Russian asset.

That’s not “spying,” that’s a counterintelligence investigation, with search warrants approved by judges – all by the book.

(As recently as February former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said “it’s possible” President Donald Trump is a Russian asset. “I think it’s possible. I think that’s why we started our investigation.”)

Trump on Friday reignited his false claims, this time by apparently citing a New York Times story from Thursday: “F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet With Trump Aide in 2016.”

The phrase “Details effort to spy on Trump Campaign” appear nowhere in the Times story.

And in fact, The Times reported in May of last year, “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims.”

Highlighting the Times story is not helpful for President Trump.

“The decision to use [an investigator] in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I. during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election,” the Times reports. It also acknowledges it now “could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.”

The Times adds that “F.B.I. officials have called the bureau’s activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances.”

Bottom line: The Trump campaign was not “spied” on, but a legal counterintelligence investigation was conducted.

 

 

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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Internet Responds to Death of Billionaire Conservative Activist David Koch by Reminding Everyone What He Stood For

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Billionaire conservative political activist David Koch has just died. He was 79. With his brother he founded and ran the massive Koch Industries. He was worth an estimated $48 billion.

Koch will be lauded by some as a philanthropist – his name appears on buildings like New York City’s Lincoln Center, and he donated to hospitals, museums, and universities. But many Americans will remember him as one of the major players behind the Tea Party, and using his vast wealth to help massively reconstruct American politics into, some say, the vitriolic insanity we see today.

Jane Mayer, who literally wrote the book on “Dark Money” in politics, including the impact of the Koch brothers, last year penned another deep dive into their history.

She wrote at The New Yorker that in 1980 “Charles convinced his younger brother David to run for Vice-President on the Libertarian Party ticket. The brothers regarded Ronald Reagan, who was running for President that year, as too liberal. The Libertarian platform called for abolishing all federal income taxes and virtually every federal agency, including the I.R.S., the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the F.E.C., the E.P.A., the F.D.A., and the S.E.C. The party also opposed Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, public education, and minimum-wage and child-labor laws. Charles and David, former members of the John Birch Society, which their father, Fred, helped found, regarded centralized government as a scourge akin to Communism. At the time, however, such views were considered kooky even by most conservatives. The conservative stalwart William F. Buckley, Jr., called the Kochs’ views “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.” The voters’ verdict was equally harsh. David spent two million dollars of his own money on his candidacy in 1980, but he was trounced. The Libertarian Party earned only one per cent of the vote.”

On social media some are sharing their remembrances of David Koch, and what he stood for.

Here’s CNN’s Keith Boykin:

Salon’s Amanda Marcotte:

Others:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump’s Claims About His Performance on Jobs Just Got Destroyed by One of His Own Federal Agencies

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Job Growth Was Much Weaker Than First Reported – and Much Weaker Than Trump Brags About

President Donald Trump’s approval rating is consistently dismal, but the one area that always pulls his low numbers up is how voters think he’s handling the economy and unemployment. Trump talks all the time about how great the economy is – like taking credit when the DOW jumps up or when unemployment drops down, but never taking blame when the reverse occurs.

For example, here’s President Trump talking about the economy and low unemployment numbers – to children and their families – at a White House Easter egg roll:

Trump’s claims about jobs just got slammed, and the wrecking ball comes from one of his own federal agencies: the Dept. of Labor.

Every year the DOL goes back and reviews the numbers it puts out, dives deeper by comparing them to state unemployment insurance reports, and issues a report measuring what unemployment and job growth really was.

And for 2018, the numbers are much different than what the initial reports showed.

“Employers added a half-million fewer jobs in 2018 and early 2019 than previously reported,” according to the Labor Department, The New York Times reports, calling the revision downward “the largest in recent years.”

In other words, the DOL initially reported an additional 500,000 jobs that were never created.

Here’s what that looks like:

A contributing editor at Digital Trends says it’s a 21% drop in job growth numbers from what the Trump administration often claims:

And this senior economist offers up what the revision to the jobs numbers might look like if spread out over just a few months.

“2018, which had ranked among the strongest years of job growth in the decade-long recovery, was weaker than previously believed,” the Times also reports.

 

 

 

 

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