The nine-term Republican congressman from Iowa has been spouting racist views and canoodling with white supremacists for years. After questioning how the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” had “become offensive” in a recent interview with The New York Times, Republican congressman Steve King of Iowa was harshly rebuked by GOP leaders and stripped of all his committee assignments in the current Congress. “We will not tolerate this in the Republican Party,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared Monday, referring to King’s racist views. McCarthy failed to mention, however, the many years of tolerance that the GOP — including President Donald Trump — has shown to King’s lengthy history of bigotry. King, who was elected to a ninth term in November and held seats on the House committees on agriculture, the judiciary and small business, has been repeatedly called out over the years for his ties to white supremacists and his incendiary remarks about race and immigration, including a 2017 tweet described as “the most racist comment by a member of the U.S. Congress in decades.” Yet, save for the occasional verbal reproach, Republicans have largely turned a blind eye to the congressman’s racism.
SEN. MARK WARNER: I think history will show that Donald Trump, the supposed great dealmaker, and I’m working on a piece on this, that business schools and management consultants will look back for years and say this was the most inept negotiation. He boxed himself in a corner. He didn’t empower his negotiators like the vice president or Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell. He’s not allowed any win-win circumstance and the disregard he has paid to the federal workers where he has been cavalier; never sat down and visited with them. And to add insult to injury — this doesn’t get a lot of news —we, bipartisan, promised the federal workforce a very meager 1.9 percent pay increase. He wiped that pay increase out.
CNN's John Avlon examines Trump's claim that he's tougher on Russia than any other presidentAvlon on Trump's Russia claim: Not true
(CNN) In the chaotic aftermath at the FBI following Director James Comey's firing, a half-dozen senior FBI officials huddled to set in motion the momentous move to open an investigation into President Donald Trump that included trying to understand why he was acting in ways that seemed to benefit Russia. They debated a range of possibilities, according to portions of transcripts of two FBI officials' closed-door congressional interviews obtained by CNN. On one end was the idea that Trump fired Comey at the behest of Russia. On the other was the possibility that Trump didn't have an improper relationship with the Kremlin and was acting within the bounds of his executive authority, the transcripts show. James Baker, then-FBI general counsel, said the FBI officials were contemplating with regard to Russia whether Trump was "acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will." "That was one extreme. The other extreme is that the President is completely innocent, and we discussed that too," Baker told House investigators last year. "There's a range of things this could possibly be. We need to investigate, because we don't know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the President is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with — and so he can move forward with his agenda."
Republican lawmakers on Sunday sought to temper the impact of the latest bombshell reports involving President Trump and Russia, while their Democratic colleagues renewed calls to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The responses came after both The New York Times and The Washington Post reported new details over the weekend involving allegations of Trump's close ties with Moscow, sparking renewed concerns about the fate of Mueller's probe. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on NBC criticized Washington, D.C.'s, focus on the Mueller investigation as out of touch with the rest of the country. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of the president, raised doubts about some of the reporting's accuracy. The New York Times reported Friday that the FBI was so concerned about Trump’s firing of former bureau chief James Comey that it opened an inquiry into whether the president was working on behalf of Russian interests. interests. And The Washington Post reported on Saturday that Trump has kept details of his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin from top officials in his administration, including withholding notes from an interpreter.
"Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin?" asked Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, adding, "I don't get it." Democrats said two bombshell reports from The New York Times and Washington Post regarding President Donald Trump and Russia have raised serious questions. Meanwhile, their Republican counterparts downplayed the new reporting and asked Americans to consider instead the president's actions on Russia. "You know, there's so many questions raised," Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on ABC's "This Week." "Why is he so chummy with Vladimir Putin, this man who is a former KGB agent, never been a friend to the United States, invaded our allies, threatens us around the world, and tries his damnedest to undermine our elections? Why is this President Trump's best buddy? I don't get it." On Friday, The Times reported that Trump's firing of James Comey as FBI director triggered a counterintelligence investigation into whether the president was working to advance Russia's interests. The administration's initial rationale for firing Comey was his handling of the investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, but Trump almost immediately connected Comey's firing to the Russia investigation during a 2017 interview with NBC News' Lester Holt. Then on Saturday, The Post reported that Trump personally intervened to hide readouts of meetings with the Russian president, such as the one-on-one meeting the two leaders held in Helsinki, Finland, over the summer. The Post reported that Trump went to "extraordinary lengths" to keep conversations with Putin under wraps, with current and former U.S. officials telling the publication that Trump went as far as confiscating notes from his interpreter and barring them from discussing details of the meetings with other administration officials.
In May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into whether President Trump was working on Russia’s behalf. The FBI officially opened a counterintelligence investigation into whether President Donald Trump was compromised by Russia in May 2017, according to a new report from the New York Times. Per the Times, this investigation was meant to determine whether the president himself was either “working on behalf of Russia against American interests” or “had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence” in a way that placed national security at risk. We’ve known for some time that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia links in July 2016, and that they began investigating the president himself for obstruction of justice in May 2017. But this is the first outright confirmation that at a certain moment, the FBI explicitly began investigating Donald Trump’s Russia ties — including whether, as president, he was acting on Russia’s behalf.
President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said. Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson. The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries. - What is Trump hiding from the American people? What classified information did Trump give Putin? Will the American people ever know what Trump and his handler talked about?
Following a report that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi said it is likely that Robert Mueller indeed has "classified" evidence. “I think this is particularly sobering, even for career counterintelligence professionals who always in the back of their minds think there is an outside possibility someone could rise to high office who might be playing for another team,” Figliuzzi said during an appearance on MSNBC's AM Joy. "To see this in writing, to hear this report — if it’s accurate to say the bureau actually opened a case on Donald J. Trump — is really like hitting the American people in the gut." Figluizzi and AM Joy host Joy Reid referenced a report from the New York Times, published on Friday, which revealed that the FBI began the counterintelligence investigation just days after former FBI director James Comey was fired. The goal of the investigation, the Times said, was to determine if Trump "was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence." While Mueller took over the counterintelligence case and combined it with his own investigation, the Times was unable to determine if he is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter.
The New York Times has reported that, in the wake of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation into the president. At one level, of course, this is not surprising—John Bellinger identified Donald Trump as a potential danger to U.S. national security in 2015, and Benjamin Wittes followed up in 2016 and 2017. There is a lot of information in the public record, much of it recounted in the Times article, about the president’s unusual behavior with respect to Russia. But, of course, on another level it is terribly shocking—and just plain terrible—that the president has behaved as he has, and that the FBI is investigating him.
State and Pentagon officials were rattled by the request. On a warm night in early September, militants fired three mortars into Baghdad’s sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy. The shells—launched by a group aligned with Iran—landed in an open lot, harming no one. But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where President Trump’s national security team conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response. As part of the talks, Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, led by John Bolton, asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran. The request, which hasn’t been previously reported, generated concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials say. “It definitely rattled people,” said one former senior U.S. administration official. “People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
Rep. Steve King is facing a new political storm over his latest inflammatory comments about immigration and race — remarks in which he questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive. Talk of censuring the Iowa Republican is picking up as he takes heavy criticism from his own party. There are also questions about whether he could lose the distinction of being a subcommittee ranking member in the current Congress. A Friday floor speech in which he expressed regret for “heartburn” felt in Congress and in his district and the country over his remarks did not appear to quell the growing storm. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the Senate's only black Republican, penned a Washington Post op-ed on Friday warning that King reflects poorly on the rest of the GOP. - The KKK and white supremacist have killed more Americans in America than any external terror organization, but are not listed as the domestic terror organizations they are. If Black lives mattered in America, the KKK and other white supremacist groups would be branded as the domestic terrorist groups they are.
Friday night, the New York Times published a bombshell report that the FBI has been investigating whether President Trump “had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.” The story reframes the focus and purpose of the investigation now headed by Robert Mueller. The probe is not just about Russian election interference, or about Trump’s obstruction of the probe — it is about the secret relationship between Trump and Russia that appears to be causing both these things to happen. The first question to ask yourself when absorbing this story is, what does it mean for a president to be working for Russia, and against the United States? Trump frequently says the United States would be better off if it got along better with Russia — and that position, right or wrong, is certainly not criminally suspect. Presidents obviously have the right to change American foreign policy, and to forge friendships with countries that had been previously hostile. Nixon’s overtures to China, or Obama’s opening of relations with Cuba, did not set off criminal investigations. The FBI would not investigate a president simply for harboring friendly views of a rival state. The potential that Trump is working on behalf of Russia, therefore, by definition posits some kind of corrupt secret relationship. That is to say, it’s an investigation into whether Trump is a Russian asset.
An episode of the 1950s western TV series 'Trackdown' featured a snake oil salesman named 'Trump' who promised to build a wall in order to prevent the end of the world.
In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation. The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence. The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice. Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.
As his border wall fight with Democrats continues, President Donald Trump finds himself in the awkward position of having to explain what happened to the idea that Mexico would pay all the costs. Trump tried to dance out of the apparent contradiction on the White House lawn Jan. 10, the 20th day of a partial government shutdown. "When during the campaign I would say ‘Mexico is going to pay for it,’ obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they're going to write out a check," Trump told reporters. "I said they're going to pay for it. They are." Later on the same day while visiting the border in Texas, Trump offered the same logic: "When I say Mexico is going to pay for the wall, that's what I said. Mexico is going to pay. I didn't say they're going to write me a check for $20 billion or $10 billion." - Donald J. Trump (aka Don the Con) has pulled off the greatest bait and switch ever pulled. Don the Con has done it so well his supports do not realize they been had and the American taxpayer is going to pay for the wall not Mexico.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators met last year with a pollster who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, CNN reports. GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio is a former associate of Trump’s one-time campaign chief Paul Manafort. The report adds more intrigue to the recent revelation that Manafort himself was accused by Mueller of sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom Mueller has alleged holds “ties to a Russian intelligence service.” Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators met last year with a pollster who worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and is a former associate of Trump’s ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort, according to a new report. The report from CNN adds more intrigue to the recent revelation that Manafort himself was accused by Mueller of sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, whom Mueller has alleged holds “ties to a Russian intelligence service,” during the 2016 election. Mueller has been investigating Russia’s meddling in that election, as well as possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump campaign-related figures. Some Democrats and pundits see Manafort’s distribution of the polling data as new evidence of possible collusion.
FOX News host Shep Smith talks to network legal correspondent Judge Andrew Napolitano about Paul Manafort sharing polling data with a person who is believed to "source for Russian intelligence." Napolitano said, "if this is collusion, "though collusion isn't a crime, this would be collusion." JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians. The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it? SHEP SMITH: And would that be a conspiracy? NAPOLITANO: Yes. Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime. The crime would be to receive something of value from the foreign person or government during a campaign. Whether or not the thing of value arrives, the agreement is what is the crime. There was apparently an agreement between the campaign manager and this Russian oligarch. What the oligarch did with the material we gave him, who the campaign manager, Manafort, spoke to in the campaign, Bob Mueller has yet to reveal... SHEP SMITH: If this is collusion, though collusion isn't a crime, this would be collusion. NAPOLITANO: The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term. SMITH: Oh, I know, but if there's collusion, giving stuff to the Russians about polling data. NAPOLITANO: That would probably fit into that kind of a category.