FBI Director may provide preview of Mueller testimony

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s appearance before a Senate committee could be something of a preview of the intense questioning special counsel Robert Mueller is likely to face in Congress the next day.

Wray is set to testify Tuesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies, Sen. Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina Republican has vowed to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation.

Republicans are likely to spend time questioning both Wray and Mueller about Peter Strzok, an FBI agent who helped lead the Trump investigation and exchanged anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 election with an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page.

Once Mueller learned of the existence of the texts, which were sent before his appointment as special counsel, he removed Strzok from his team investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Strzok was ultimately fired and Page left the bureau.

Wray made headlines during a Senate hearing in May when he broke from Attorney General William Barr and said he didn’t consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be “spying” and that there was no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election. Barr has said he believes “spying did occur” on the campaign and suggested the origins of the probe may have been mishandled.

Barr didn’t specify what he meant when he said he believed there had been spying on the Trump campaign, but he was likely alluding to the FBI obtaining a secret surveillance warrant in the fall of 2016 to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, whose interactions with Russians several years earlier had raised law enforcement suspicions even before he joined the campaign

Barr has not said such surveillance was necessarily improper, but Trump nonetheless seized on those comments to suggest his campaign was spied on in an illegal and unprecedented act. The attorney general appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham, the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut, to investigate the surveillance methods used during the investigation and to probe the origins of the Russia investigation. Part of Durham’s mandate is to investigate whether there was a proper basis for the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Wray has previously declined to discuss in detail the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign because of Durham’s investigation and a separate, ongoing Justice Department inspector general probe into the origins of the Russia inquiry.

As FBI director, he has sought to avoid public spats with Trump, but his appearance on Capitol Hill comes amid signs of possible tension between the two men.

President Donald Trump told ABC News last month that Wray was “wrong” to suggest that Donald Trump Jr. should have called the FBI as the organizer of a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering negative information on his political opponent, Hillary Clinton. Wray made the comment during the May congressional hearing and said the FBI would want to know about any outreach from a foreign government to an American political campaign.

Trump told ABC that if a foreign power were offering dirt on his 2020 opponent, he’d be open to accepting it and would have no obligation to call the FBI.

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Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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In May 2017 FBI was troubled by president’s actions, behavior

Update Feb. 18, 2019: The 60 Minutes interview video and transcript

In this clip of outtakes, McCabe reveals a self-aggrandizing Donald Trump 

McCabe said Rosenstein raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump out of concern about the president’s “capacity and about his intent at that point in time.”

The key words, above, from a mental health perspective, are “capacity” and from the concern over President Trump’s loyalty, “intent.”

For once I agree with Lindsay Graham (on CBS “Face the Nation”):

Graham called the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment “beyond stunning.”

Indeed, the very idea that Trump’s psychological impairment might justify removal from office is beyond stunning. That there was evidence being taken seriously by experienced intelligence experts to ponder taking such a step is staggering and mind-boggling.

Then, there’s this:

Trump insisted intelligence reports that North Korea had launched an ICBM were incorrect because Putin had told him that North Korea did not have that capability, the book says, per The Washington Post.

The most innocent explanation of this is that Trump does not have the judgment to think rationally about an issue vital to national security, that he took the word of the leader of a nation which is an adversary over his own intelligence experts. Is it any wonder that those aware of this were considering invoking the 25th Amendment because of mental incapacity?

Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff for the Defense Department and the CIA under Barack Obama told Michelle Wallace on MSNBC today: “Think about this, Putin says to an American president, ’I don’t want you to take seriously the threat of an ICBM from North Korea.’” He said that Putin’s motives would be to “undermine U.S. intelligence. More  fundamentally, the Russian Federation has had a long-standing agenda to stop the United States from building national missile defenses because those defenses could defend our territory from Russian ICBMs.” He said that Trump heeding Putin’s advice represents a “very dangerous situation.”

Update: Feb. 19, 2019


Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said he briefed a bipartisan group of congressional leaders about the FBI’s counterintelligence operation into President Donald Trump in May 2017, and that none of them objected. “No one objected — not on legal grounds, not on constitutional grounds, and not based on the facts,” he said Tuesday in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” ahead of the release of his book about his time at the FBI under Trump. (Emphasis added)



Feb. 16, 2019


A few months after mental health professionals said Trump was dangerously mentally unfit in the Spring of 2017, FBI Director Comey was fired, and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe engaged in discussions about whether there was justification in invoking the 25th Amendment. To reiterate what you’ve no doubt already heard:

“There’s some dispute about whether invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed seriously. But there’s no question that at the FBI — which, let’s not forget, may be the most politically conservative agency in the entire federal government — what happened during the campaign, as well as Trump’s own actions after becoming president, was so alarming that extraordinary measures to safeguard the U.S. government seemed like something that had to be considered.” (Washington Post)

It is important to understand that the notion that the president appeared to be mentally unbalanced and therefore not able to think rationally and that when criticized he often reacted with rage did not come just from the observations which James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and others in the intelligence community had made.

Pundits were reluctant to use psychiatric jargon to describe Trump’s troubling behavior. Instead, they readily used words like “unhinged” and “mercurial” or even “off the rails,” as if there was some normalcy to a president being described using these words. It was as if nobody bothered to look the definitions up: for the words: “mentally unbalanced; deranged” for the former and for the later “a person subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind.”  Trump has been repeatedly described as someone whose narcissism and insecurity led him to make irrational and self-defeating decisions. This, again, is part and parcel of one definition of mental illness.

We may never know whether these top intelligence officials knew about the thousands of mental health professionals who were making their case that Trump suffered from psychopathology so severe that he was, to paraphrase a best-selling book’s title (review), a dangerous case. Even though the book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” was published several months later, a few months before the Comey firing mental health professionals began to publish articles or write letters to newspapers stating why they believe the president was mentally unfit. A month prior to the Comey firing a well-publicized conference was held at a Yale University venue (not sponsored by Yale).

We also may never know whether these intelligence officials consulted with clinicians working as profilers within the FBI and/or outside mental health expert consultants to help them understand the behavior of the president which gave them concern. My hunch is that any responsible intelligence officer would make every effort to essentially profile someone whose behavior didn’t seem, to use a layman’s term, “normal.”

Andrew McCabe is beginning his book tour and may be called to testify before Congress. In addition to grave worry within the FBI about Trump being mentally unfit to be president, once the book is published I am certain we will learn more about how deeply troubled members of the intelligence community were by the many indications that he had been compromised by Vladimir Putin. If this was wittingly it would make him a traitor. If it was unwittingly it would strongly suggest mental illness severe enough for him to be judged unfit to be president. These two are not mutually exclusive. He could be both, in other words:

All of the behaviors that have had pundits scratching their heads as they attempt to make sense of them can be explained by one or both of two things: He is a malignant narcissist or he is working to advance the interests of Russian president Putin.

On a lesser note, Jeff Sessions doesn’t come across well in McCabe’s account of interactions he had with the then attorney general. Here’s an excerpt from an article, well worth reading in its entirety, from The Hill: Sessions once said FBI was better off when it ‘only hired Irishmen’

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe alleged that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions once said the bureau was better off when it “only hired Irishmen,” according to a copy of his new book seen by The Washington Post.

“They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?” McCabe reportedly quoted Sessions as saying in his new book while recounting what it was like to work under him.

McCabe also reportedly claimed that Sessions would forgo reading intelligence reports during his time as a senior official in the Trump administration and confused classified information with stories he had read in the newspaper.


Related column from Feb. 15, 2019: “25th Amendment: No Perry Mason moment from Pence”

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Trump reverses course on intel chiefs

President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A day after he lashed out at U.S. intelligence agency chiefs over their assessments of global threats, President Donald Trump abruptly reversed course and said that he and the intelligence community “are all on the same page.”

Trump met with his director of national intelligence and other top security officials in the Oval Office Thursday and said afterward that they told him their testimony at a Senate hearing had been “mischaracterized” by the news media.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats had slammed the president for his comments disparaging Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Gina Haspel and other top security officials.

The officials told Congress on Tuesday that North Korea is unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal and that the Iran nuclear deal is working, contrary to what Trump has claimed.

The intelligence agency chiefs “said that they were totally misquoted and … it was taken out of context,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “They said it was fake news.”

Coats and other officials presented an update to the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday on their annual assessment of global threats. In a public report and testimony broadcast on C-SPAN, they warned of an increasingly diverse range of security dangers around the globe, from North Korean nuclear weapons to Chinese cyberespionage to Russian campaigns to undermine Western democracies.

Trump tweeted Thursday that he and the intelligence leaders “are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc.” and that he values their service.

“Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!” he wrote.

Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters that the intelligence officials were “courageous” in speaking “truth to power” by publicly contradicting Trump.

“One dismaying factor of it all is that the president just doesn’t seem to have the attention span or the desire to hear what the intelligence community has been telling him,” Pelosi said Thursday, calling Trump’s comments attacking the intelligence leaders “cause for concern.”

Trump said earlier that intelligence officials were wrong about North Korea, Iran and the Islamic State, which they said remains a terrorist and insurgent threat.

“Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.

Pelosi said Trump’s comments were “stunning.”

“It’s important for the Republicans in Congress to recognize they have to weigh in with the president to say, ‘You can’t act without knowledge,’” Pelosi said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said it was “past time” for U.S. intelligence officials to stage an intervention with Trump.

In a letter to Coats, Schumer called Trump’s criticism of intelligence agencies “extraordinarily inappropriate” and said it could undermine public confidence in the government’s ability to protect Americans.

Schumer urged Coats and other officials to “educate” Trump about the facts and raw intelligence underlying threat assessments so the administration can speak “with a unified and accurate voice about national security threats.”

Asked about his tweets earlier Thursday, Trump did not back away from questioning the assessment by Coats and Haspel.

“I disagree with certain things that they said. I think I’m right, but time will prove that, time will prove me right probably,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “I think Iran is a threat. I think I did a great thing when I terminated the ridiculous Iran nuclear deal. It was a horrible one-sided deal.”

Speaking about intelligence agencies generally, Trump added: “I have great respect for a lot people but I don’t always agree with everybody.”

At a hearing Tuesday, Coats said intelligence information does not support the idea that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will eliminate his nuclear weapons.

Trump later insisted on Twitter that the U.S. relationship with North Korea “is the best it has ever been.” He pointed to the North’s halt in nuclear and missile tests, the return of some U.S. service members’ remains and the release of detained Americans as signs of progress.

U.S. intelligence agencies also said Iran continues to work with other parties to the nuclear deal it reached with the U.S. and other world powers. In doing so, they said, Iran has at least temporarily lessened the nuclear threat. In May 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from that accord, which he said would not deter Iran.

“The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran,” Trump tweeted. “They are wrong!”

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Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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Trump’s traitor denial and immigration idiocy (updated)

Update from last night: This is an unusual Tweet because it is in the evening (5:37 PM). It is another childish insult aimed at a U.S. Senator. Worse, it is an advertisement for a TV network, something no other president would ever do or ought to be allowed to do.


Trump’s Sunday morning Tweets are about immigration, and are on the bottom of this page.

Here’s what Trump said when Jeanine Pirro, chucking like an idiot, asked him “are you now, or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Of course, a simple “no” would have sufficed.

I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing. But the, the headline of that article, it’s called “The failing New York Times” for a reason, they’ve gotten me wrong for three years. They’ve actually gotten me wrong for many years before that. But you look at what’s going on, you know, I fired James Comey. I call him lying James Comey, because he was a terrible liar, and he did a terrible job as the FBI director. Look at what happened with the Hillary Clinton and the e-mails and the Hillary Clinton investigation, one of the biggest screw-ups that anybody’s ever seen as an investigation. And what happened after I fired him? Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, his lover, Lisa Page, they did it. And, you know, they’re all gone. Most of those people, many, many people from the top ranks of the FBI, they’ve all been fired or they had to leave. And they’re all gone. This is what they were talking about. And, obviously, nothing was found. And I can tell you this, if you ask the folks in Russia, I’ve been tougher on Russia than anybody else, any other — probably any other president period, but certainly the last three or four presidents, modern day presidents. Nobody’s been as tough as I have from any standpoint including the fact that we’re doing oil like we’ve never done it, we’re setting records in our country with oil and exporting oil and many other things, so, which is obviously not great for them, because that’s what they, that’s where they get their money for the most part. But many other things. So I, I think it was a great insult. And the New York Times is a disaster as a paper. It’s a, it’s a very horrible thing they said, and they’ve gone so far that people that weren’t necessarily believers are now big believers, because they said that was a step too far. They really are a disaster of a newspaper.


Trump’s “I am not a traitor” tweets so far this morning (Saturday) from earliest to most recent:

1) Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!

2) …Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),…(3)….the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop……(4) …..who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats – leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

5) I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

6) Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!

This is how James Comey responded to being referenced five times in Trump’s Tweets:

From a follow-up article in the New York Times published Saturday night: Trump Tweets Lengthy Attack on F.B.I. Over Inquiry Into Possible Aid to Russia.

Hours later, Mr. Trump continued his broadside on a friendly television venue, Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News. Asked “are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Mr. Trump did not directly answer the question.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he said by telephone. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”


…an investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general and internal surveys of F.B.I. agents have undercut Mr. Trump’s portrayal of Mr. Comey as corrupt and unpopular within the bureau.


Parts of the statements by Mr. Trump and Ms. Sanders are at odds with the public record and with the findings of the inspector general’s report.

He also Tweeted about the wall this morning. I am only including commentary on his “I am not a Traitor Tweets:”

On Tweet #5 when he says he fully expects that someday we will have good relations with Russia again I wish someone would ask him when the last time we had good relations with them was. I think we would have to go back to World War II when we were both fighting the Nazis.

This reminds my of the MAGA question: when does Trump think America was great? Was it before the Civil War? Was it when the robber barons had more power than the government?

Trump conveniently ignores that the FBI already was seriously concerned about evidence suggesting that he and Russia were working together and were already considering opening an investigation before his firing of Comey. This was the final straw.

Trump demonstrates convoluted defensive reasoning (really lack thereof) and ignorance of what it takes to open a counterintelligence investigation of a high government official (and multiply that tenfold when it is a president.) My understanding is that this would have required approval at the highest level of the FBI and the DOJ.

I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last to say Trump is behaving the way an unhinged guilty person would.


Responding to Trump’s wall and immigrant bashing lie-filled Tweets today would raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels:

Democrats should come back to Washington and work to end the Shutdown, while at the same time ending the horrible humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border. I am in the White House waiting for you!

23% of Federal inmates are illegal immigrants. Border arrests are up 240%. In the Great State of Texas, between 2011 & 2018, there were a total of 292,000 crimes by illegal aliens, 539 murders, 32,000 assaults, 3,426 sexual assaults and 3000 weapons charges. Democrats come back!

Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes! Call your Dem Senator or Congresswoman/man. Tell them to get it done! Humanitarian Crisis.

I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is “chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan.” The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE. In fact, there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me, and…

Trump contends that the White House isn’t chaotic, which may be true since he says he is almost the only one there. In fact, there is no doubt that whether chaos reigns around him, it dominates his mind. Phil Rucker, who believes he is “the “Fake reporter from the Amazon Washongton Post” Trump tweeted about responded to the Tweet above with this:

….I do have a plan on the Shutdown. But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!

We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!

Trump, the all time king of presidential vacations, chastizes Democrats for taking a break. Give me a break!


I wasn’t going to include Trump’s video Tweet of him at the border, the final Tweet of the morning. Then I read this on The Daily Beast and changed my mind since I couldn’t help but put a comment on his Twitter feed, not that he will ever read it.


Posted at noon, EST, Sunday Morning Tweets. Most of them are outright lies. Number 5 is patently absurd. Then again, we know that when Trump uses the word “many,” in this case “many Hispanics,” it is the same “many” as when he talks about the “many scientists” that don’t believe in climate change.

  1. Thousands of illegal aliens who have committed sexual crimes against children are right now in Texas prisons. Most came through our Southern Border. We can end this easily – We need a Steel Barrier or Wall. Walls Work! John Jones, Texas Department of Public Safety.

  2. The damage done to our Country from a badly broken Border – Drugs, Crime and so much that is bad – is far greater than a Shutdown, which the Dems can easily fix as soon as they come back to Washington!

  3. I’m in the White House, waiting. The Democrats are everywhere but Washington as people await their pay. They are having fun and not even talking!

  4. The building of the Wall on the Southern Border will bring down the crime rate throughout the entire Country!

  5. Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks. Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!

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FBI suspected Trump ‘secretly’ worked for Russia (updated)

Scroll to bottom of page for updates

If you were watching MSNBC in discussing the article (below) everyone in the media, except on Fox News, is alarmed about you’d have heard  phases like “absolutely extraordinary.” That was one of the milder utterances.

You heard a commentator comparing Trump to Benedict Arnold when the hosts and guests expressed their grave opinions about what was reported. Former US attorney Harry Littman (quoted in The Daily Beast) said “it’s mind-blowing and even though it’s separate from criminal inquiry, any determination that the president of the U.S. had been or was a Russian agent would be out of The Manchurian Candidate.

If you were watching Fox News you would have heard Tucker Carlson introduce Trace Gallagher with a hissing comment about the NY Times article about the FBI opening an investigation into whether Trump was “seeee-cretly a Russian agent.” He repeated Giuliani’s disclaimer which made no sense, but then what does anything Rudy ever says make sense?

HuffPost, which summarized the NY Times article, reported what Giuliani said:

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he didn’t know of that probe while also downplaying it.

“The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani’s contention that this goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it means that the FBI found nothing wrong is meaningless. All it means that the FBI started the investigation a year and a half ago and that nothing has come out publicly about what they found, or whether the investigation is still ongoing or even if it already has resulted in a sealed grand jury indictment.

Then this is how Tucker Carlson spun the breaking news about the FBI opening a counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s wittingly or unwittingly being working for Russia and their interests. Brian Williams replayed the following saying this was probably a preview of how the White House would deal with the revelations.

So if you’re keeping track at home, and get a pen and paper, because this is worth remembering, this is why you should never criticize the FBI.

You think it’s your birthright as an American, you can do it, wouldn’t try it though,they might open an investigation into you without your knowledge into  something appalling, maybe it’s beating your wife maybe it’s dealing fentanyl to kids maybe it’s betraying your country in some alliance to Vladimir Putin, you don’t need to have done it but two years later they can always leak two years later that they were investigating you for a crime they didn’t commit or they found no evidence you committed and they never charged you for it.

It doesn’t matter because you were discredited. Don’t criticize the FBI, very unwise. (My transcription)

Chuck Rosenberg is the former acting head of the DEA. On “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” he said this was a deeply and profoundly troubling statement.

Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, expressed concern that the mercurial president might act out to try to shut down the Mueller investigation.

Here I thought this would be a quiet weekend with the only breaking news possibly that Trump would declare a national emergency.

Now I expect that the trending search word on Google and Wikipedia will be treason.


Update Jan. 12, 2019 10 PM

The NY Times published a follow-up article to their original expose on Saturday night at 10:45 PM EST saying that in his morning Tweets  he “compiled all the threads of the conspiracy theory he has pushed for many months in an effort to discredit the investigation..”

Trump Tweets Lengthy Attack on F.B.I. Over Inquiry Into Possible Aid to Russia

Hours later, Mr. Trump continued his broadside on a friendly television venue, Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News. Asked “are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Mr. Trump did not directly answer the question.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he said by telephone. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”


But an investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general and internal surveys of F.B.I. agents have undercut Mr. Trump’s portrayal of Mr. Comey as corrupt and unpopular within the bureau.


Parts of the statements by Mr. Trump and Ms. Sanders are at odds with the public record and with the findings of the inspector general’s report.


Jon Meacham Compares Trump’s White House To Titanic Steaming Toward An Iceberg – HUFFPOST

“We’ve really never had ― and if we have, it’s classified and lost to history at least so far ― a president of the United States who is considered to be possibly an asset of a foreign government,” Meacham said. “This is what the founders were worried about in the 1790s.”

Meacham recalled similar concerns about the Founders themselves in the early days of the republic, when George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson came under suspicion. However, “that was in a kind of fevered political atmosphere,” he added, noting that the FBI didn’t yet exist to get to the bottom of the matter.

“I think the report in the Times tonight has ― if anything could possibly elevate the stakes of our current moment, that did it,” Meacham said.

Update Jan. 13, 2019, 10 AM EST:

Mike Pompeo Rips As ‘Absolutely Ludicrous’ NYT Story On Alleged FBI Inquiry Into Trump – HUFFPOST (Includes video)

In an interview for CBS News’ “Face the Nation” set to air Sunday, Pompeo declined to engage in a serious discussion on the report when host Margaret Brennan asked for his reaction.

“I’m not going to comment on New York Times stories, but I’ll certainly say this, that the notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous,” Pompeo said.

Pushed by Brennan to explain whether he was aware that an FBI investigation had been underway, Pompeo again dismissed her question.

“Margaret, Margaret, Margaret. I’ve answered this question repeatedly indeed on your show,” he said. “The idea that’s contained in the New York Times story that President Trump was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response.”

This is all being discussed on “morning Joy” on MSNBC this morning. “If you are the commander in chief and not the traitor in chief the first thing you say is “no” commented Maya Wiley (above, bottom center).

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The new FBI probe of Kavanaugh: His death knell?

Brett Kavanaugh: Angry with payback on his agenda.

In a not-so-surprising twist of the rollercoaster ride for Brett Kavanaugh’s questionable appointment to the United States Supreme Court are new revelations from classmates of his that his accounts of his drinking were both understated and untrue.

Same for his claim of virginity during his high school days at Georgetown Prep.

The delay in a final Senate vote on whether or not to confirm Kavanaugh to the highest court in the land comes with an additional background investigation that may turn up more inconsistencies in his testimony and comments.

While Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have tried to limit the list of witnesses the FBI will interview this week, the agents may pursue leads that could include Elizabeth Rasor, ex-girlfriend of Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Prep.  She has told other that Judge revealed a lot about himself in boasts about sexual antics that involved both himself and Kavanaugh during their high school days.

“Everyone is assuming that Kavanaugh is beloved by every classmate and every woman he ever mentored. Sometimes overachievers weren’t all that popular,” former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes tells Politico. “He’s very vulnerable in this as well, even to someone lying. Could his nomination withstand any additional accusations, true or untrue? Maybe not.”

Former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez says a drunken Kavanaugh exposed himself at a party during their freshman year at the college.  FBI agents plan to interview her this week.

Another Yale classmate, Charles “Chad” Lukington, now an instructor at North Carolina State University. says he was a friend of Kavanaugh during their college days says he is “deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by Brett himself of his drinking at Yale.”

“On many occasions I heard Brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. When Brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive,” Ludington says.

Other former classmates at Georgetown Prep say the same about the Supreme Court nominee who unleashed an angry attack against Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.

One female acquaintance of Kavanaugh during his days at Georgetown Prep, Renate Schroeder, a student at an all-girls’ Catholic School, is upset over Kavanaugh’s listing of himself at a “Renate Alumnius” in his yearbook.  That phrase was considered a boast by Georgetown Prep guys who claimed a sexual conquest of the young woman.

Ironically, Schroeder, who is now married, signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh with 64 other former female students who said they knew or dated Kavanaugh during his high school days.

Now she says:

I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago. I don’t know what “Renate Alumnus” actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I think Brett must have me confused with someone else, because I never kissed him. I will have no further comment.

Some former classmates of Kavanaugh at Georgetown Prep say he is a “Jekyll and Hyde” monster who puts on a sober face to some and becomes a drunken, abusive “bastard” to others.

Two of those students refuse to all use of their names, admitting fear of him and his powerful connections inside the White House.

“As his nasty tirade before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week proves, he can be a vengeful bastard who usually hides his hate and anger,” said one.  “But payback is always on his mind with anyone he feels has wronged him.  If he makes it to the Supreme Court, payback will be a bitch.”

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