Trump UNLOADS on DEM Sen. Warner for ‘EXTENSIVE CONTACT’ with ‘Russian oligarch’ — tied to ‘Crooked Hillary’

(National SentinelEt tu, Brutus? President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to lambast U.S. Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for clandestinely working through a Russian oligarch to set up a meeting with “Russian dossier” author Christopher Steele.

As reported by Fox News:

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.

“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.

Steele famously put together the anti-Trump dossier of unverified information that was used by FBI and Justice Department officials in October 2016 to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. Despite the efforts, Steele has not agreed to an interview with the committee.

As the conservation heated up on March 29, secrecy appeared to be very important to Warner after the lobbyist revealed that Steele was seeking to publish a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that invited him to address the intel panel, Fox News‘ Ed Henry reported.

“Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop — at least initially,” Henry wrote. “In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would ‘rather not have a paper trail’ of his messages.”

The messages were given to Fox News by a Republican source. They were marked “Confidential” but were not classified.

Henry further noted:

Waldman, who did not return calls seeking comments, runs the Endeavor Group in Washington.

Waldman is best known for signing a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of controversial Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska. Deripraska had his visa revoked by the State Department in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, that he has organized crime ties.

The revelations stirred President Trump to address Warner’s back-channel dealing on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/961802557646569475

“Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a ‘paper trail’ on a ‘private’ meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary,” said the president.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., defended Warner, claiming he disclosed this information to the committee months ago.

Henry noted during an interview with Fox News‘ Martha McCallum that Republican operatives tied to the committee released the texts to make the point that some Demorats who have been hammering Trump for a year about his campaign team’s alleged ties to Russian officials have themselves had back-channel dealings with Russians.

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Learned: Minnesota public school forcing KINDERGARTEN students to study ‘WHITE privilege’

(National SentinelInstitutional Racism: Children in the Edina School District in Edina, Minnesota are introduced to the concept of “white privilege” in their classes, the Weekly Standard reported.

In particular, Kindergartners must take part in something called the Melanin Project in order to be taught about social justice and white privilege.

During the course of instruction, students are asked to draw an outline of their hand and then color them to reflect their skin tone.

Cut-outs of the traced hands are then put on a poster with these words: “Stop thinking your skin color is better than everyone elses!-(sic) Everyone is special!”

As further reported by the Western Journal:

The elementary school’s principal runs a blog for the school community and has reportedly posted pictures of Black Lives Matter propaganda and rainbow gay-pride flags.

Edina was formerly known for its “gold standard” public schools among the other state’s school districts, but a shift occurred in 2013 resulting in sliding high school test scores and fear of persecution among students.

School officials have adopted an “All for All” strategy for their academics, “a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to ‘racial equity,’” according to the Weekly Standard.

“‘Equity’ in this context does not mean ‘equality’ or ‘fairness,’” the website note further. “It means racial identity politics — an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting ‘white privilege.’”

The web magazine noted further that a year-long English course required for 10th-graders centers on “the politicized themes of ‘Colonization,’ ‘Immigration’ and ‘Social Constructions of Race, Class and Gender.’”

After being forced to take the course, one student said the “Class should be renamed…with course description as, ‘Why white males are bad, and how oppressive they are,’” on Rate My Teachers.

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World CHUMPS: Entire Philadelphia Eagles team may BOYCOTT White House visit after winning Super Bowl

(National SentinelNo Class: The TV ratings for this year’s Super Bowl LXI were similar to ratings for the entire NFL the past year — down — yet the newly crowned world-champion Philadelphia Eagles may be set to ensure that the league’s rating woes continue into next season.

The Eagles took home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their franchise’s history, but may politicize the win by refusing to be honored at the White House by President Donald J. Trump.

Three players on the team had already announced they would not go: Defensive end Chris Long, safety Malcolm Jenkins, and running back LeGarrette Blount.

Blount and Long were with the New England Patriots when they won the Super Bowl last year; neither went to the White House then, either, because of President Donald J. Trump.

Now members of the team that beat the Patriots this year, both have once again said they would boycott the visit.

Now it looks like the entire team may do so.

“Rumors are circulating on social media that the Eagles are planning to boycott as a team. The Eagles, who arrived back in Philadelphia Monday afternoon, did not immediately respond to a request confirming those rumors,” the New York Daily News reported.

Trump was extremely critical of NFL players who took a knee or sat on the bench during the playing of the National Anthem this year, as well as team owners who permitted players to do so.

The protests were started the previous season by former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has been unable to sign on with another team since he left the San Francisco 49ers.

The protests are a major reason why viewership and ratings fell this past season, according to studies.

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McCarthy: Lisa Page’s text PROVES that Mueller CANNOT plausibly charge Trump with ‘OBSTRUCTION’

(National SentinelIn the Clear: Former national security federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy cleared up some misunderstandings about yesterday’s alleged “bombshell” revelation in which FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted her lover, FBI agent Peter Strzok, that President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing” in terms of the counterintelligence investigation into Team Trump.

In addressing reports about the revelation in conservative media, McCarthy wrote in his column for National Review that “Your play here is not that Obama is a liar. It is that the president is supposed to ‘interfere’ in intelligence investigations. That makes the Trump-Russia obstruction narrative patently absurd.”

McCarthy goes on to note that he has, for more than a year and well before special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment, been touting the difference between a counterintelligence investigation and a criminal probe.

“Criminal investigations are about prosecuting people who violate the penal law. Political officials are generally supposed to stay out of them because we are a rule-of-law society — we want individual cases to be decided strictly by the law, not by political considerations,” he wrote.

He notes further:

There is not, nor should there be, complete independence between politics and this law-enforcement mission: Law enforcement is an executive political responsibility; the president is accountable for it; he sets the government’s law-enforcement priorities; prosecutors and investigators exercise the president’s power, not their own; and the president has undeniable constitutional authority to wade into investigations — even to the point of pardoning law-breakers. Still, by and large, the president should not interfere in criminal cases. If the president does interfere, he should do so transparently: Issue a pardon or order the investigation closed, and take the political heat for it; don’t stage-manage a farce to make it look like your crony is being exonerated by a real investigation when everyone knows you will not permit charges to be filed (see, e.g., the Clinton emails case).

Counterintelligence investigations are quite different, McCarthy — who specialized in them as a U.S. attorney — said. Since they are not about violations of penal law, there is no worry that political officials get involved in them, especially presidents because counterintelligence is performed on behalf of presidents.

“Counterintelligence is an information-gathering exercise undertaken for one purpose and one purpose alone: to inform the president, through his subordinate intelligence officials, of information about threats to, and opportunities to advance, American interests,” McCarthy clarified.

“The president is never supposed to resist ‘interference’ in counterintelligence. To the contrary, informing the president is the reason the FBI has a counterintelligence mission,” McCarthy explained. “Indeed, the information derived from counterintelligence operations is often included in the president’s daily intelligence briefing.”

McCarthy referenced the Sept. 16, 2016, text sent from Page to Strzok, in which the pair were discussing “talking points” being provided for then-FBI Director James Comey so he could brief President Obama, because “potus wants to know everything we are doing.”

“It appears obvious that the two are referring to ‘everything we are doing in what was then their most important counterintelligence initiative: the probe of possible connections between Donald Trump, then the Republican nominee for president, and the Kremlin,” McCarthy wrote.

The former national security prosecutor noted that Strzok and Page were working off information provided to the bureau and the Justice Department received via the infamous “Trump dossier” gathered by Christopher Steele, a former British spy who had provided the FBI with reliable information in the past.

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Though it appears as though the FBI failed to verify the contents of the dossier, the bureau was nevertheless obligated to brief Obama because, again, it was counterintelligence. Obama’s and the campaign of Hillary Clinton’s motives for creating the dossier aside, it cannot be argued that the document was not considered as evidence in a counterintelligence investigation.

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Put aside what you think about all this politically as we sit here in February 2018. The question is what people were thinking in September 2016. I have no doubt that the Obama administration, including the upper echelons of the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI, believed Donald Trump was unfit to be president and that he was at least vulnerable to blackmail by the Putin regime, if not in cahoots with the Putin regime. I also have no doubt that they were politically aligned with Hillary Clinton, whom Obama was ardently supporting and a criminal investigation against whom the FBI and Justice Department had dropped, despite substantial evidence of guilt, after Obama had signaled that he did not want Mrs. Clinton charged.

The point here is not to sort out the motivations and intentions of officials, which ran the spectrum from a proper desire to protect the country to a politicized loss of objectivity that induced them blindly to accept Steele’s sensational claims as fact. The point is to understand formally what was going on.

Formally, the FBI was doing a counterintelligence investigation of Russian threats to the United States that happened to involve the Kremlin’s potential coopting of the Republican presidential candidate. That was something the FBI was supposed to keep the president of the United States informed about. Informing the president about foreign threats is the FBI’s counterintelligence mission. If the FBI credited the information involved and Director Comey had nevertheless failed to brief President Obama on it, he would have been guilty of an indefensible dereliction of duty.

McCarthy notes that indeed, Obama’s April 2016 statement to Fox News‘ Chris Matthews that he never interfered in Justice Department investigations was comically false as he ran the most politicized DOJ in modern history. He even signaled during the interview that he did not believe she did anything wrong — at least intentionally so — which was a sign to prosecutors and the FBI the president wanted her cleared.

And she was.

“Yet it is frivolous to claim that Obama’s “no interference” assertion in April was a lie because he got briefed by Comey in September about the Trump-Russia caper,” McCarthy writes, because in that April interview, Obama was talking about criminal investigations.

The following September, as indicated by the Page-Strzok text, Obama was being briefed on counterintelligence operations, by comparison.

“A president cannot ‘interfere’ with a counterintelligence investigation because keeping the president informed is the reason we have counterintelligence investigations.

“Consequently, what this episode ought to focus the commentariat on is the obstruction angle of the Mueller investigation. It is cockamamie,” writes McCarthy.

He notes:

The theory behind this aspect of the special counsel’s work is that President Trump obstructed the Russia probe by, principally, (a) leaning on Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, (b) firing Comey, and (c) “threatening” to fire Mueller. Here is the problem: The Russia investigation is principally a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 investigation. The president cannot interfere in a counterintelligence investigation. Trump can no more obstruct the Russia investigation by taking actions that could conceivably affect it than Obama could obstruct the Russia investigation by being briefed on it and giving the FBI directions on it. Counterintelligence investigations are conducted for the president.

The point of them is to provide the president with all relevant information he needs to make decisions about protecting the country and advancing American interests. That’s also the point of the ‘Russia’ investigation.

Democrats and others obsessed with ‘getting Trump’ fail to make the distinction that counterintelligence operations are conducted to inform the president, McCarthy notes; if Mueller is conducting a criminal probe, then the Justice Department was required to make that point clear when it appointed him.

The DOJ did no such thing. In fact, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller without alleging that Trump or members of his campaign team even committed any violations of law.

“But let’s set that aside,” McCarthy continued:

According to Director Comey, Trump was not a criminal suspect. Asking Comey to go easy on Flynn — who was under criminal investigation for lying to the FBI — cannot legitimately have turned Trump into a suspect. As we’ve covered at length, the president is authorized to exercise prosecutorial discretion (an executive power) by weighing in on the merits of prosecuting a person; Trump did not direct Comey to drop the investigation, though he could have; Trump could have pardoned Flynn, which would have ended the investigation; and the investigation proceeded apace — ultimately leading to Flynn’s guilty plea.

As for firing Comey and purportedly threatening to fire Mueller (in fact, Trump has not taken any serious step in the direction of removing the special counsel), these are imagined by Trump detractors into obstruction episodes because they show Trump interfering in the Russia investigation. But the Russia investigation is a counterintelligence investigation. Trump gets to “interfere” in it if he chooses to. Though he grouses about it, he does not seem to have much inclination to interfere in it.

If there is no criminal investigation of Trump — and there is no indication there is — then it is not constitutionally possible for him to “obstruct” a counterintelligence probe since they are conducted for the president McCarthy concluded.

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Clinton hatchet man Schearer peddled TRUMP DIRT sooner than thought; info found its way to DOSSIER author Steele

(National SentinelInside Job: A longtime operative for Hillary Clinton was peddling bogus information against then-GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump in August 2016, sooner than previously thought.

As reported by The Daily Caller, a government source said that Cody Shearer was attempting to peddle dirt on Trump two months earlier than other reporting suggested.

But government officials did not take much of what Shearer — a former journalist — was saying seriously because he was “not a guy with a whole lot of credibility,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of investigations into the various Trump-Russia investigations.

Nevertheless, the info Schearer was peddling made it up the chain and into the hands of “Trump dossier” author and former British spy Christopher Steele.

The DC’s Chuck Ross noted further:

The House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committees are investigating the so-called “Shearer memo” and how it made its way from the Clinton operative, through the State Department, and into the hands of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the infamous dossier.

Steele subsequently passed along some of the information to the FBI in October 2016, The Guardian first reported Jan. 30.

That was about the time the FBI was attempting for a second time to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant against Trump campaign official Carter Page. The bureau had initially sought a warrant over the summer of 2016 but that application was rejected.

Subsequent reporting noted that FBI agents held up the dossier as legitimate intelligence in October 2016 — not as political opposition research — when they were successful in obtaining a warrant to spy on Page. Those reports were confirmed in the “FISA memo” — a four-page summary of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into alleged “Trump-Russia collusion” that was released last week.

“Shearer’s involvement in digging up Trump dirt is one of the stranger twists in the saga of the Russia investigation, one that involves a recently retired State Department official named Jonathan Winer,” Ross reported, adding:

During the presidential campaign, Winer, who served at the time as special envoy to Libya, obtained information from Steele in summer 2016. He passed it along to then-Sec. of State John Kerry in the form of a two-page memo.

The Atlantic and The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Shearer’s information made its way to Steele through at least two intermediaries.

Shearer obtained information from an unidentified foreign source who then provided the information to his longtime friend and fellow Clinton crony, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal then provided the information to Winer, his friend.

Steele provided the FBI with a handwritten memo based upon information from Shearer, according to The Atlantic. The note also reportedly referenced Shearer’s association with Blumenthal and disclosed that the information was unverified.

The Shearer memo and the Steele dossier contain some of the same unverified allegations.

The basic information contained in Schearer’s memo was that Russia’s spy agency, the FSB, had video footage of Trump engaging in sex acts with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

Steele and Schearer run in similar circles of friends but Steele, a former spy with connections to the FBI and CIA, has a better reputation. That’s likely why the FBI did not vet his dossier before using it to obtain a FISC warrant against Page — a violation of rules.

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DiGenova doubles down: ‘Heading for very SAD ENDING for several FBI, DOJ officials’ over FISA, Team Trump abuses (Video)

(National SentinelCriminals: Former U.S. attorney for the D.C. District Joe diGenova told Fox News‘ Sean Hannity Wednesday evening that he believes several current and former FBI and Justice Department officials involved in abusing the system in order to spy on President Donald J. Trump’s campaign are going to jail.

In what he called the “largest” federal law enforcement scandal in the history of the country, diGenova said it will be a “sad day” soon for those involved.

“We are heading toward a very sad ending for the FBI and senior DOJ officials. [Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe is gone because [FBI Director Christopher] Wray knows what’s in the other emails and other texts,” he said, referring to communications between anti-Trump elements of the DOJ and FBI that have recently been revealed.

“The investigation that is underway is going to lead to criminal charges against a number of people,” diGenova predicted. “What you are seeing coming out now in the text messages is just the minimum of what is available now to DOJ officials… I believe that several high FBI officials will be charged criminally.”

He added: “This is the largest law enforcement scandal in history for this reason. The activity for McCabe and others, and [Justice Department official] Bruce Ohr and others, were designed to subvert the Constitution and a national election – the most serious offense under our Constitution.”

Last week the House Intelligence Committee released a four-page “FISA memo” detailing serial abuses by elements of the Obama FBI and DOJ of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to obtain surveillance warrants against a one-time member of Trump’s campaign, Carter Page.

The memo noted that the FBI relied on “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele containing salacious allegations against Trump and members of his campaign.

The FBI reportedly failed to vet the dossier before using it as Exhibit A in order to obtain the surveillance warrant from the FISC.

Watch, per Fox News:

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Informant: Obama briefed TWICE on dirty Uranium One deal, did NOTHING (Video)

(National SentinelNational Security: Critics of a deal to allow a Russian state-owned uranium company, Rosatom, to purchase a Western firm, Uranium One, that held 20 percent of all U.S. strategic uranium, have long said it negatively impacted American national security.

And yet a series of U.S. officials including former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton allowed the deal to go through.

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Many of those same critics have often wondered where was the president of the United States — Barack Obama — during the deal-making process which, reports have since noted, was fraught with corruption?

According to an FBI informant in the case, Obama was briefed at least twice but failed to stop the deal.

In October the informant, identified as Bill Campbell, came forward with details of a story of backroom dealing and quid-pro-quo arrangements involving several Obama administration figures along with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

As The National Sentinel reported:

An undercover informant for the FBI who worked in the Russian nuclear industry and was made to sign an “illegal” non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch is claiming to have video evidence showing Russian agents with briefcases full of bribe money in relation to the Uranium One scandal.

Having been deeply embedded in the Russian nuclear industry, Campbell was able to gather incriminating evidence of bribery and kickbacks to and by U.S. and Russian actors involved in getting the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.

Meanwhile, Campbell’s attorney, former Reagan Justice Department official Victoria Toensing, previously told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, “He can tell what all the Russians were talking about during the time that all these bribery payments were made.”

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Reports noted earlier that as the Uranium One deal progressed beyond 2009 and into 2013 when it was concluded, tens of millions of dollars flowed into the Clinton Family Foundation.

In addition, Bill Clinton received hefty, outsized payments of $500,000 each for a series of speeches he gave in Moscow.

Fast-forward to this week. On Wednesday Campbell broke his silence again after receiving marathon cancer treatments to inform three congressional committees, according to investigative reporter and Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter, who obtained his testimony:

“For several years my relationship with the CIA consisted of being debriefed after foreign travel,” Campbell noted in his testimony, which was obtained by this reporter. “Gradually, the relationship evolved into the CIA tasking me to travel to specific countries to obtain specific information. In the 1990’s I developed a working relationship with Kazakhstan and Russia in their nuclear energy industries. When I told the CIA of this development, I was turned over to FBI counterintelligence agents.”

The informant’s attorney, Victoria Toensing partner at the firm DiGenova & Toensing, said the following:

“Mr. Campbell testified for over four hours until he answered every question from three Congressional committees; the Senate Judiciary, House Oversight and House Intelligence committees.

He recounted numerous times that the Russians bragged that the Clintons’ influence in the Obama administration would ensure CIFIUS approval for Uranium One. And he was right.”

In an interview Wednesday night with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Toensing — a former Reagan administration official — noted that Campbell testified that he was told Obama was briefed at least twice on the deal as it progressed.

“Mr. Campbell was told by the FBI that what he was being told and they were taking it upstairs and he was also told that President Obama also had it in his daily briefing twice,” she said.

Watch:

In December, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a new probe into the Uranium One deal.

Zero Hedge reported in January that ranking members of the Obama FBI and Justice Department were also involved:

Robert Mueller’s FBI had been investigating the scheme since at least 2008 – with retiring Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe assigned to the ongoing investigation which was hidden from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). Had they known, the committee never would have approved the Uranium One deal with TENEX’s parent company, Rosatom. 

Four individuals were eventually prosecuted and given plea agreements after the Uranium One deal was approved. The prosecuting DOJ attorneys? Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and top Mueller investigator in the Trump-Russia probe, Andrew Weissman – who praised former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for defying Trump.

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POP: Trump’s approval rating better than OBAMA’s at same period in presidency

(National SentinelSurvey Says: Democrats and Left-leaning pundits are quick to note during any discussion about President Donald J. Trump’s agenda that he’s a “deeply unpopular” chief executive who has to work with the opposition party if he wants to govern.

But a new survey has, again, defied that narrative: The Rasmussen Daily Tracking survey, which was one of the few accurate polls during the 2016 campaign (it consistently had Trump ahead of his rival, Hillary Clinton), has Trump polling at 48 percent — four points higher than his predecessor at the same time in his term.

“The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove,” the polling firm said.

Granted, presidential approval ratings could always improve, but Trump’s ratings are high despite the fact that 90 percent of the media coverage during a recent three-month period of time was negative, and he’s endured personal attacks on a scale that is unprecedented.

Meanwhile, on February 7, 2010, President Obama had an approval rating of 44 percent according to the same polling firm, while 56 strongly disapproved.

And Obama’s media coverage was far less hostile.

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Flashback: Obama plays ‘LIAR in chief’ with FOX News’ Chris Wallace over claim he doesn’t talk with FBI directors regarding investigations (unless it’s Hillary) (Video)

(National SentinelMisdirect: In an April 2016 interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, then-President Barack Obama claimed that he never spoke to Attorney General Loretta Lynch or any FBI directors regarding ongoing investigations.

“I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General [Loretta] Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated,” the former president claimed.

“I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. I guarantee it.”

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Period. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law,” he added.

Obama’s claim resurfaced on Wednesday after text messages exchanged between anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, indicating otherwise were released by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

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“Potus wants to know everything we’re doing,” Page told Strzok in a text message dated Sept 2, 2016. Page then described preparing former FBI director  James Comey to brief Obama on the details of the then-ongoing investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails.

Watch:

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Survey: Most Americans REJECT ‘mainstream’ media propaganda on economy; give TRUMP proper credit for our boom

(National SentinelWinning: A new survey has found that a majority of Americans are rejecting legacy media narratives that President Donald J. Trump’s policies are not responsible for its history-making growth.

According to a just-released poll by Quinnipiac University, Americans, regardless of their political persuasion, are now giving more credit to President Trump for fixing the economy than his predecessor.

The survey shows that 48 percent of respondents give Trump credit for the growing economy, compared to 41 percent who say growth is just an extension of policies put in place by former President Barack Obama.

Also, 51 percent say they are pleased with Trump’s handling of the economy, while 43 percent say they aren’t.

The survey comes amid conflicting reports in so-called “mainstream” and alternative media as to whose policies — Trump’s or Obama’s — should get the credit.

The anecdotal evidence suggests the former. Obama never experienced a 3-percent quarterly growth in gross domestic product (GDP) his entire eight-year presidency, while Trump has seen 3-plus percent in the past three quarters and is on pace to grow at a rate not seen since 2005.

“It could even grow at 3 percent for the year. The numbers are very strong,” Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist Americas at Natixis, told CNBC.

And though Wall Street has had a roller-coaster weeks, stocks are up on Wednesday and the markets have gained trillions in value overall since Trump was elected. That’s not simply good for corporations, it is also good for tens of millions of ordinary Americans’ market-based retirement plans.

Oddly, as The Hill noted, most Americans still believe that the tax cut plan passed by the GOP and signed by Trump is a bad thing. But the tax cuts for individuals will kick in this month, the IRS said, meaning that Americans will begin to see more money in their paychecks.

Not a single congressional Democrat voted for the tax cuts, which also slashed the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

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Report: Obamacare, Medicaid expansion CONTRIBUTED to country’s OPIOID epidemic

(National SentinelBig Government: A new Senate report blames, in part, the nationwide opioid epidemic on the expansion of Medicaid under the Obamacare law.

The report, by the Senate Homeland Security called “Drugs for Dollars: How Medicaid Helps Fuel the Opioid Epidemic,” provides evidence of Medicaid fraud and how the Medicaid program has contributed to the opioid crisis.

“The opioid epidemic is the nation’s most pressing public health crisis. Although there are many factors contributing to the epidemic, and while Medicaid undoubtedly assists in treating opioid abuse, this examination presents evidence that the Medicaid program itself is also playing a role in driving the opioid epidemic,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the panel.

“This facet of the opioid epidemic cannot be ignored. It is my hope that HHS and CMS will do a thorough review of Medicaid and work to stem the opioid epidemic,” he added.

Key Findings of the report are:

  • Medicaid has contributed to the nation’s opioid epidemic by establishing a series of incentives that make it enormously profitable to abuse and sell dangerous drugs.
  • At least 1,072 people have been convicted or charged nationwide since 2010 for improperly using Medicaid to obtain prescription opioids, some of which were then resold on the nation’s streets. The number of criminal defendants increased 18 percent in the four years after Medicaid expanded, 2014-2017, compared to the four years prior to Medicaid expansion.
  • The criminal activities range from beneficiaries simply selling opioids they obtained through the Medicaid program to more attenuated health care fraud involving Medicaid reimbursement.
  • The cases reflect massive frauds and bizarre twists, from a $1 billion scheme to defraud Medicaid and Medicare involving numerous health care providers, to a New York doctor and oxycodone distributor who blamed her actions on an alternative personality named “Nala.” 

  • Prosecutors are increasingly targeting suboxone—a drug that treats opioid addiction but itself can be addictive—meaning that the epidemic has reached the point where people are defrauding Medicaid using the very drugs designed to help the victims.
  • The case numbers are a conservative estimate, because evidence shows crime is under-reported; health care fraud in particular is rarely detected, including by government agencies; most health care fraud investigations never lead to prosecutions; and Medicaid anti-fraud efforts have fallen short. 
  • More than 80 percent of the 298 separate Medicaid-opioids cases identified were filed in Medicaid expansion states, led by New York, Michigan, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Ohio. The number of criminal cases increased 55 percent in the first four years after Medicaid expansion, from 2014 to 2017, compared to the four-year period before expansion.
  • Other preliminary data suggests a connection between Medicaid expansion and opioid abuse. Drug overdose deaths per one million people are rising nearly twice as fast in expansion states as non-expansion states, while opioid-related hospital stays paid for by Medicaid massively spiked after expansion.
  • Medicaid spending to treat victims is escalating, especially in expansion states. Spending on a single opioid overdose medication, for example, increased an astonishing 90,205 percent between 2011 and 2016, with costs rising “most notably after 2014.”
  • Other federal programs are also being exploited to obtain or sell opioids.  In preliminary research, majority staff found 243 instances in recent years of opioid-related Medicare fraud.  In November 2017 alone, the Department of Veterans Affairs had 60 ongoing criminal investigations concerning diversion of opioids.   Majority staff also found instances of opioid-related fraud in the food stamp program involving dangerous drugs such as oxycodone, vicodin, hydrocodone, and morphine.

As for Obamacare itself, critics of a key requirement of the law — reimbursements depending on “Patient Satisfaction Scores” — have also been blamed for an increase in opioid prescriptions and abuse.

As Time magazine reported in April 2016:

As part of an Obama­care initiative meant to reward quality care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is allocating some $1.5 billion in Medicare payments to hospitals based on criteria that include patient-­satisfaction surveys. Among the questions: “During this hospital stay, how often did the hospital staff do everything they could to help you with your pain?” And: “How often was your pain well controlled?”

Essentially, Obamacare’s Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates are at least partially tied to how well a patient scores his or her pain management.

In order to receive better scores — and higher reimbursement — doctors and primary care providers had a tendency to prescribe more painkillers.

“The government is telling us we need to make sure a patient’s pain is under control,”  Dr. Nick Sawyer, a health-­policy fellow at the UC Davis Department of emergency medicine, told Time. “It’s hard to make them happy without a narcotic. This policy is leading to ongoing opioid abuse.”

The National Sentinel‘s editor-in-chief J. D. Heyes said the Senate report’s findings don’t surprise him.

“Once again we find that big government manipulation of the private sector creates more problems than it ever solves,” he said. “It’d be nice if Congress would — especially Democrats — would learn this lesson.”

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Calif. court rules cake maker does NOT have to make wedding cake for gay couple

(National SentinelFirst Amendment: A California judge has ruled in favor of a cake maker who refused to bake a personalized wedding cake for a gay couple, citing a conflict with her Christian religious beliefs.

Superior Court Judge David Lampe denied the State of California’s request for a preliminary injunction that sought to force bakeshop owner Cathy Miller, The Daily Caller reported.

“For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” Lampe ruled.

The initial injunction also threatened that if Miller refused to bake the cake, the state would close her Tastries Bakery shop altogether.

“We are pleased that the judge recognized that the First Amendment protects Cathy’s freedom of speech,” chief counsel and Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) president, Charles LiMandri, said after the ruling, according to a press release.

LiMandri had argued in Friday’s case that Miller does not discriminate against same-sex couples, but that she can’t use her artistic skills to help them celebrate marriage, which violates her closely-held Christian religious values.

“This is a significant victory for faith and freedom because the judge indicated in his ruling that the State cannot succeed in this case as a matter of law,” LiMandri said. “No doubt the California officials will continue their persecution of Cathy, but it is clear that she has the Constitution on her side.”

The case arose from a discrimination complaint filed with state authorities against Miller after she declined their wedding cake request.

The cake baking incident comes after the Supreme Court announced in June that it would hear a similar case that occurred in 2012. There, a Christian baker refused to make a personalized wedding cake for a gay couple.

Lower courts ruled that the baker, Jack Phillips, had violated the state’s accommodation laws by refusing a customer based on sexual orientation.

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Here’s PROOF that OBAMA is PERSONALLY implicated in Trump campaign SPYING SCANDAL

(National SentinelBusted: A series of new texts between anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, revealed that President Barack Obama may have been directly involved in the probe of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of classified emails.

As reported by Fox News, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., along with the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is releasing the texts, along with a report entitled, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI’s Investigation of It.”

In a Sept. 2, 2016, text to Strzok about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, Page said it was important to do so because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

“Potus” is the acronym for “president of the United States.”

That text exchange is the first evidence that Obama was likely kept in the loop as the Trump spying scandal unfolded.

Fox News reported further:

Among the newly disclosed texts, Strzok also calls Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife for a state Senate seat “ignorant hillbillys.” (sic)

That text came from Strzok to Page on Nov. 4, 2015, the day after Jill McCabe lost a hotly contested Virginia state Senate election. Strzok said of the result, “Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it’s still largely ignorant hillbillys. Good for her for running, but curious if she’s energized or never again.”

The revelation that Obama was keeping tabs on the probe involving Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails make it more likely that he was also staying abreast of the ongoing counterintelligence operation against Trump campaign staffers.

Earlier, The National Sentinel reported that Obama had other ways to find out what was happening with his FBI and Justice Department in terms of securing surveillance warrants from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Not only does the attorney general — Loretta Lynch at the time — have to sign off on all FISA surveillance requests, but such requests are generally included in the President’s Daily Brief.

As the Brookings Institute noted in a policy paper arguing for the Trump administration to renew legislation reauthorizing Section 702 of the FISA Act, which clarifies warrant requirements of the Act, information gathered via FISA warrants “sometimes known as PRISM, comprises a large part of the President’s Daily Brief.” 

Also, last week Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, warned Americans to “watch for Obama’s fingerprints” all over the FISA court abuses.

“Watch closely for Barack Obama’s fingerprints,” King told Breitbart News Radio. “[Democrats and their allies] will defend Barack Obama at all costs, and they’ll defend Hillary Clinton almost at all costs unless they have to sacrifice her to protect Barack Obama.”

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DiGenova: Memo 2.0 proves SOMEONE in Obama’s State Dept. helped feed false info to FBI; ‘Somebody’s going to have to go to PRISON’ (Video)

(National SentinelIndictments: Former U.S. attorney Joe diGenova argued on Fox News‘ Laura Ingraham program Tuesday night that the newly released “memo 2.0” — a redacted version of an eight-page memo written by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham — proves someone in President Obama’s State Department fed the FBI false information through Trump dossier author Christopher Steele.

Part of that information was then used by the FBI to obtain surveillance warrants against a member of President Donald J. Trump’s campaign.

In his inteview, diGenova said such actions are likely illegal and that someone needs to be held legally responsible.

“The Grassley-Graham memo establishes beyond any doubt that the FBI knowingly deceived the FISA court about the information it was presenting to them, lied to them about the fact that it was verified information, which it was not — which the law requires,” he said.

“And now we know that additional Clinton allies, including Sidney Blumenthal, were involved in the transmission of false information, unverified information to the FBI through State Department officials. Somebody’s going to have to go to prison,” he declared.

Watch:

Also on Tuesday, Grassley released a “much-less redacted” version of this week’s criminal referral — also known as memo 2.0 — of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

On Monday, Grassley and Graham said that Steele compiled his anti-Trump dossier based on information provided him by a Hillary Clinton contact and Obama State Department official.

Investigative reporter Sara A. Carter noted further:

A new and highly redacted document released Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveals that former British spy Christopher Steele, the man behind the unverified and controversial dossier, wrote an additional memo regarding alleged Russian collusion with President Donald Trump but that the information was largely based on information provided by allies of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

…[G]rassley sent a criminal referral regarding Steele’s involvement in the dossier to the Department of Justice referral January 4. The criminal referral confirms that allies of Clinton and the Obama administration were providing Steele with what they deemed damaging information on then candidate-elect Trump.

“One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges (redacted), as well as (redacted),” Memo 2.0 states. ”

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Mr. Steele’s memorandum states that his company ‘received this report from (redacted) U.S. State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted) US State Department,’ that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a sub-source who ‘is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted) of (redacted) a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).”

“I don’t take lightly making a referral for criminal investigation. But, as I would with any credible evidence of a crime unearthed in the course of our investigations, I feel obliged to pass that information along to the Justice Department for appropriate review,” Grassley said in a statement.

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Report suggests FBI PAID Trump dossier author Steele’s travel expenses so he’d look like an ‘INFORMANT’ rather than a HACK for the DNC

(National SentinelPoliticized: Congressional investigators are poring over evidence in an effort to find out if the FBI paid Trump dossier author and former British spy Christopher Steele’s travel expenses to Washingon, D.C., and Rome so he would look more like an “informant” than an opposition researcher paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Steele, who was due in a London court earlier this week for a long-awaited deposition, was a no-show after his lawyers argued he should not have to sit for videotape sessions.

Steele is under fire again following the release of a redacted eight-page memo by Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that was part of a criminal referral involving Steele to the Justice Department.

Steele and the dossier are key to the so-called “Russian collusion” investigation. Congress wants to the Obama FBI’s full role in its relationship with Steele. The four-page FISA memo last week said that the FBI cut its ties to Steele after agents discovered he was leaking info about his relationship with the bureau to the press.

The Grassley-Graham referral also said that Steele was paid $160,000 by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier, which was ultimately financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

It also confirms that the FBI authorized payment to Steele as well.

Steele traveled to Washington D.C. in September of 2016 and met with reporters. One of the meetings was held in the office of the DNC’s general counsel. He also traveled to Rome in September of 2016 to meet with FBI officials.

Now, congressional investigators would like to know why the bureau agreed to pay Steele at all.

On Tuesday, Paul Sperry, an investigative reporter for the New York Post, tweeted that investigators were pursuing this “new line of inquiry.”

“BREAKING: Hill committees pursuing new line of inquiry into whether FBI offered to pay Steele in order to ‘clean him up’ before FISC as ‘paid informant’ vs hired Hillary hand. Looking at FBI reimbursement of Steele travel expenses to DC & Rome legat [sic] office. (Never went to Russia),” he tweeted.

In addition, according to Breitbart News, the Grassley-Graham memo indicates that Steele allegedly lied to the bureau about his contact with Yahoo News, while the FBI was not fully forthcoming with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to obtain a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign figure Carter Page.

“Then-FBI Director James Comey briefed Feinstein and Grassley in March 2017 and told them that the FBI had relied on the dossier “absent meaningful corroboration — and in light of the highly political motives surrounding its creation” because Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the FBI,” the site reported.

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