GOP rattled by Pennsylvania congressional race in the heart of Trump country

The dismayed laborers from shuttered coal yards and steel mills didn’t have to shift political allegiances to vote for President Trump in this part of the Rust Belt. They had been electing Republicans long before he showed up on the ballot.That explains why party leaders in a congressional district stretching from the Pittsburgh suburbs to the West Virginia border are so panicked that their candidate is flailing, with a special election only weeks away.

Source: GOP rattled by Pennsylvania congressional race in the heart of Trump country

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Improvised Explosive Device Found at Border Bridge to Texas

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office issued a statement in regards to the recent discovery of the IED. The information released by Mexican authorities does not reveal the date that the bomb was left at the bridge, but confirmed that the explosive was active. The IED was left at the Las Americas International Bridge, also known as Bridge One. Neither the City of Laredo nor U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released any information in relation to the IED at the port of entry.Mexican authorities de-activated the explosive device and removed it from the pedestrian lane of the bridge. While bomb threats are not unheard of at the various international bridges in Tamaulipas where cartels often flex their muscle; the discovery of an actual explosive device at the bridge is a first of its kind.

Source: Improvised Explosive Device Found at Border Bridge to Texas

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Director of the FBI Christopher A. Wray Should resign or be fired

FBI director Christopher Wray should resign or be fired for his complicity in the deaths of 17 young Americans. He runs it organization that is completely incompetent in most every endeavor they take on. The few successes they have are held up in the media is incredible works. The truth is out of the tens of thousands of FBI agents only 10% are actually producers of the intelligence works that keep this country safe. We are told time and time again what dangerous work they do, can you tell me the last time you heard of an FBI agent in a gun battle?  it would be much easier to answer that if you were talking about local police.

 
Early January of this year the FBI was given specific information about Nikolas Cruz . The information concerning Mr. Cruz detailed his stockpile of arms his desire to kill humans, specifically students in a school. They knew his address and they failed to do any follow-up, they did not notify the local office where Mr. Cruz lived. The FBI director has apologized and admitted that the FBI failed its mission.
 
Americans must feel safe in their schools and they must fill that the government is doing everything they can to make that happen. One thing they can do is show that they are serious by removing the FBI director and having him replaced with somebody that has a trust of the American people.

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U.S. Coalition Kills Russians in Airstrikes Against Assad Supporters in Syria, Reports Say

Recent U.S-led coalition airstrikes targeting forces supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed a number of Russians fighting on behalf of the Syrian leader, according to associates of the slain fighters and independent researchers. Maxim Buga, a Cossack community leader in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, told Reuters Monday that local Vladimir Loginov was among “dozens” of Russian fighters killed by U.S.-led coalition forces, which clashed with pro-Syrian government forces on February 7 near the eastern Syrian town of Khusham, Deir Ezzor province.

Source: U.S. Coalition Kills Russians in Airstrikes Against Assad Supporters in Syria, Reports Say

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Feds Collect Record Taxes in First Month Under Tax Cut; Run Surplus in January

The federal government this January ran a surplus while collecting record total tax revenues for that month of the year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

January was the first month under the new tax law that President Donald Trump signed in December.

Source: Feds Collect Record Taxes in First Month Under Tax Cut; Run Surplus in January

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Memo in audio file (MP3)

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THE MEMO (Declassified)

 UNCLASSIFIED

PROPERTY OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 18, 2018

Declassified by order of the President February 2, 2018

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ______

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

Investigation Update

On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a FISA probable cause order (not under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a U.S. citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent with requirements under FISA, the application had to be first certified by the Director or Deputy- Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General (DAG), or the Senate-confirmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. § 1805(d)(1)), a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the FISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Then-DAG Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of DOJ.

Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the FISC are classified. As such, the public’s confidence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standard— particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 9U-day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government’s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the relevant facts. However, our findings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant information was omitted.

1) The “dossier” compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory’ information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials.

b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named U.S. person, but does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a U.S. law firm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOJ at the time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of—and paid by—the DNC and Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the same information.

The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked bv Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News—and several other outlets—in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington D.C. in

2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations—an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September—before the Page application wras submitted to  the FISC in October—but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.

b) Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

3) Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the election, the FBI began interviewing Ohr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feelings against then- candidate Trump when Steele said he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

a) During this same time period, Ohr’s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs’ relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

4) According to the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier w’as in its “infancy” at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was—according to his June 2017 testimony—“salacious and unverified.” While the FISA application relied on Steele’s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow frump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel’s Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an “insurance” policy against President Trump’s election.

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Private jobs up 234K in January vs. 185K est.: ADP Moody’s Analytics

The new year got off to a strong start for job creation, with businesses adding 234,000 in January, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics.Economists surveyed by Reuters had been looking for private payrolls to grow by 185,000.Job creation was concentrated largely in service-related industries, which contributed 212,000 to the total.Within that sector some of the better-paying industries showed solid gains: Trade, transportation and utilities led with 51,000, education and health services added 47,000 and professional and businesses services contributed 46,000. Leisure and hospitality services also grew by 46,000.

Source: Private jobs up 234K in January vs. 185K est.: ADP Moody’s Analytics

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President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day

Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our Nation’s history — and, indeed, our planet’s history — has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics. We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us. This is why we observe National Sanctity of Human Life Day: to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as “non-human.”Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness. It gives us the courage to stand up for the weak and the powerless. And it dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.

Source: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day

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Black Death fears as girl, 9, dies of unknown disease in Africa | Daily Star

The girl dropped dead with the symptoms of an extremely contagious viral disease than can kill up to 40% of all infected.She had contracted the bizarre new disease with similarities to the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.This disease — usually spread by tick bites or contact with infected livestock — can cause muscle pains, headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding.

Source: Black Death fears as girl, 9, dies of unknown disease in Africa | Daily Star

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