90 Miles From Tyranny : 2018-08-12

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

American Media, Soviet Tactics

Girls With Guns

Fake Blues: The Media’s Worst Enemy Isn’t the President, It’s Themselves

On Thursday, over 300 media outlets joined in a coordinated effort to push back against President Donald Trump. That will hardly come as a shock to many Americans, as it seems mainstream news organizations have done little else throughout his tenure in the White House. Indeed, the stunt was perhaps the most vivid and explicit demonstration to date of the mass groupthink, negative Trump obsession, and narrative of victimhood that characterize the modern media landscape.

The Boston Globe led the campaign, characterizing it as a response to the White House’s “dirty war against the free press.” A senior editor proclaimed: “We are not the enemy of the people.”

On the latter statement, we can at least agree in principle. The Bill of Rights is explicit that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people … to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These rights have been broadly interpreted to prohibit government officials and entities of all types from engaging in censorship or suppression of free expression.

Americans should be grateful for those freedoms and protections.

However, the mainstream media has become its own worst enemy by abusing its considerable freedom and squandering whatever goodwill and trust it had with America at large.

In a recent poll of nearly 4,000 Americans, 72% expressed the belief that "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading,” with nearly two-thirds attributing the reporting of fake news to the promotion of an agenda. Democrats polled tended to be significantly more trusting of media, while Republicans or Republican-leaning Independents were significantly less so.

That’s not President Trump’s fault. Americans’ trust in media had been falling long before he took office.

And despite the media’s mass pity party for themselves on Thursday, it’s hard to imagine any administration in history that has been subjected to greater press scrutiny – to say nothing of disrespect and vitriol – than the Trump administration. Any suggestion that Trump’s efforts have somehow cowed or suppressed critical coverage of him would be the ultimate example of “fake news.”

What the media is reacting to is not a “dirty war” against them, but a new landscape in which a few well-established, for-profit corporations who claim the high ground of the First Amendment can no longer co-opt or set the terms of the national debate without expecting their own pushback or scrutiny. Americans have awakened to the fact that the self-proclaimed “guardians of truth” must be viewed with a critical eye, and media watchdogs have more tools than ever before to hold irresponsible journalists accountable and to correct the record.

And, yes, we also have an American president who will use tools of modern communication to bring his messages directly to the people and to aggressively counter the tsunami of negative coverage he faces virtually every minute of every day. For many Americans used to watching their chosen representatives be treated like mute punching bags by a sneering, condescending press loyal to the opposition party, it can be bracing to see one finally standing up for himself.

Gun owners in particular have reason to reject the media’s victimhood narrative. We have seen far too many examples of false and misleading media reporting on firearm and Second Amendment related issues to attribute the phenomenon to mere ignorance or laziness. What follows are just a few of the more egregious examples.

Ironically, the most obvious indictment of the media was their inability to report accurately or insightfully on the biggest political story of the 21st Century to date: the success of Donald J. Trump’s insurgent candidacy for the presidency of the United States. It would be an understatement to say they misjudged the depth of discontent arising from the Obama years, the horror with which many regarded Hillary Clinton, or the desire millions of Americans had for a leader who would unabashedly affirm America’s greatness.

Had gun owners taken reporting on the 2016 election at face value, they might have accepted defeat without even showing up at the polls. Then instead of a pro-gun president, they would have had one who believed the same Supreme Court that declared the right to keep and bear arms a fundamental individual liberty was “wrong on the Second Amendment.” Pro-gun Americans’ ability to trust their own instincts and persevere in the face of what the media suggested were hopeless odds literally changed the course of the nation’s history.

Another monumental falsehood perpetrated by the media is that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the individual right to possess a firearm for self-defense. They did this before the U.S. Supreme Court squarely and conclusively ruled otherwise in 2008 (thereby confirming the prevailing view of the American public), and they’ve continued to do so since then. And to whatever extent they are willing to admit the high court’s precedent makes their own views largely academic, they respond by calling for the outright repeal of the Second Amendment or, more dishonestly, by suggesting that all the gun control they want is completely compatible with it.

But however the media attempt to couch their arguments, they remain nearly unanimous: Congress can and should ban guns, whether that means merely the most popular ones or all of them. Simply put, American gun owners who believe in a robust and meaningful Second Amendment know the mainstream media is and long has been working in the opposite direction. This is a remarkably hypocritical posture for an industry that likes to claim the First Amendment as its mandate and shield.

The third way the media has shown its bias against gun owners is by characterizing them as bad or uncaring people and attacking the NRA in the public square. They have suggested that Americans love their guns more than their own children. They have cast support for gun control (the efficacy of which remains mostly unproven) as a moral imperative. They have called the NRA – and by extension, its millions of law-abiding members – “a terrorist organization” and have accused them of having “blood on their hands” and being responsible for the deaths of innocents. They have advocated for shunning gun owners and the lawful industries that support the Second Amendment, not just in polite society, but through the means of modern commerce. At least one article in the Washington Post even suggested that merely owning a gun makes a person “responsible” for firearm-related violence committed by others.

On top of this are nearly daily examples of reporters’ laughable ignorance, fear-mongering, shady factual claims, and transparently biased “fact-checking” regarding firearms and firearm-related violence in the U.S.

The overall picture is of a media apparatus lacking in judgement, professionalism, trustworthiness, and familiarity with the lives and values of millions of ordinary Americans.

To be sure, there are exceptions, and some reporters work diligently and ethically to report accurate information, even when it goes against the conventional wisdom of their colleagues.

But journalists fretting over their public image have more to fear in the practices of their peers than in any characterizations of their profession coming from the White House. If they want to counter the narrative that they are blindly and single-mindedly focused on hounding a president from office at any cost, openly colluding to...

Judicial Watch Uncovers Five More Clinton Emails Containing Classified Material on Her Unsecure, Non-'State.gov' Email System

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released two batches,184 pages and 45 pages,

of newly uncovered emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the U.S. Department of State sent and received over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system. Five emails contain classified information.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a FOIA lawsuit

filed on May 6, 2015, after the State Department failed to respond to a March 4, 2015 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:

All emails sent or received by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

The documents are part of the accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which requires the State Department to complete processing by September 28, 2018, the remaining documents of the 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. These new classified and other emails appear to be among those that Clinton had attempted to delete or had otherwise failed to disclose.

The new documents include material classified “confidential” on negotiations between Northern Ireland and UK, as well as negotiations with Israel, Palestine, and France. They also include a reference to a Clinton meeting with controversial leftwing billionaire George Soros, and advice to Clinton from Sid Blumenthal, who was barred from a State Department position by the Obama administration and regardless continued to advise her on matters of state.

  • On June 7, 2011, Clinton received classified information on her non-secure email account from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which Blair also forwarded to Jake Sullivan, about Blair’s Middle East negotiations with Israel, the Palestinians and the French
  • On January 26, 2010, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan sent classified information via his unsecure Blackberry to Huma Abedin’s State Department email account that he’d earlier sent to Clinton’s and Abedin’s non-secure @clintonemail.com email accounts about U.K. negotiations with Northern Ireland.
  • On October 28, 2010, Clinton exchanges information with her friend Marty Torrey – a congressional aide – who asks Clinton in an email if she would advise that Torrey meet with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Clinton responds through her non-secure email account approving the meeting and notes that she is emailing him from Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • An email chain dated April 8, 2010, which contains a memo from Sid Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton related to the change of government in Kyrgyzstan, contains information classified “confidential” and is redacted as “foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Blumenthal urges Clinton to “develop relations” with the new government in Kyrgyzstan.
  • All of this suggests to me the necessity for the State Department to assert itself and take the lead in developing relations with the new government.
  • A January 26, 2010, email to Hillary Clinton from her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, is classified “confidential” and contains a “call sheet” that Clinton received prior to placing a call to Northern Ireland political leaders. It appears that the redacted portions contain the names of particular members of Sinn Fein who were invited to a particular meeting and the expectations of either themselves or other foreign ministers for the outcomes of that meeting.
  • A June 13, 2009, email to Clinton from Sullivan with the subject line “Northern Ireland” is classified “confidential” and nearly completely redacted. The particular subject details are unclear.
  • Abedin emails Clinton about “Invites for the week” in an undated email (but apparently written before November 1, 2011, the day Clinton’s mother died, because her mother is one of the invitees – probably written in early 2009, based on the period most of these emails seem to have been written), and notes that she (Clinton) has a “George Soros lunch from 1-3 in Southampton.”
  • On October 20, 2010, lawyer Lanny Davis writes Clinton an email saying, “Thank you H for who you are and what you do,” followed in the exchange by another with “PS. I swear you look younger and better every time I see you, Good night dear Hillary. Lanny.” Mr. Davis is currently a lawyer for Michael Cohen.
  • In an undated email, Blumenthal emails Clinton about State Department management issues suggests that Joseph C. Wilson “should be spoken with for his view of dept, personnel … is shrewd.” Wilson is a former ambassador to Gabon who went on to become an Africa consultant and deal-maker.
“These classified Hillary Clinton emails that she tried to hide or destroy show why it is urgent that the DOJ finally undertake a honest criminal investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These emails show how the prior sham investigation by the Comey-Strzok-McCabe-Lynch crowd was a joke. It is past time for Attorney General....

French immigrant Muslim males in vicious cross-border attack on Swiss women

A case of attempted murder has been opened in France after half a dozen North Africans assaulted Swiss women outside a discotheque in Geneva.

A vicious attack by young North-African males on Swiss women took place on 8 August in Geneva. About half a dozen of them from over the French border attacked a lone Swiss girl outside “Le Petit Palace” discotheque, hitting her with crutches. It seems the crutches were brought simply to serve as weapons. One of the women, a young mother, was left in a coma for a week. However, the incident has been carefully sanitised by the mainstream media, referring only to the attackers as “youths”.

Four other Swiss women tried to help the girl but were also assaulted by the North Africans. Another woman who wished to remain anonymous, spoke to a French newspaper under the pseudonym “Kenza”, and confirmed that the attackers were North African. During the course of the evening, she had spoken to the one armed with crutches, saying: “He was between 20 and 22 years of age. He was North African, of mixed race, quite well-built with muscles and blonde, discoloured hair. He wore a false Philipp Plein printed T-shirt. He looked like the cliché of a guy from the Arab housing estates. At any rate, he wasn’t from Geneva.”

According to her, the young North African was accompanied by at least three friends “with a similar profile”. He was pestering a lot of girls with advances in the discotheque. Although she did not witness the attack itself, she saw the results. “People came running to the bouncers to tell them that girls were being hit,” she recalled. “When we got there, there were two women on the ground, with one lying in a pool of blood.” She recognised her as the elder of the two women, born in 1986.

After bystanders tried to stop the violence, the North Africans fled in a car with French number plates. No arrests have been made yet.

Because the attackers came from across the border, it would be difficult for the Swiss judicial system to have them extradited. According to a Geneva advocate, Bernard Nuzzo, “If they do not have the French nationality, Switzerland could ask for their extradition. The process could take several months, provided there is no opposition to it.”

However, if the suspects have the French nationality, it could be more complicated as France does not extradite its own citizens. In that case Switzerland could ask for the suspects to be tried in France.

The Swiss Confedaration has already informed France of the incident on its soil. According to the newspaper La tribune de Genève, “about twenty people were present on the scene. An eyewitness saw the attackers fleeing on board a vehicle registered in France, shortly before the arrival of the police. Hence the...

Judge Sides with NRA, 2nd Amendment Foundation, Disqualifies Washington Gun Control Initiative

A Thurston County Superior Court judge sided with the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation against a gun-control ballot initiative in the state of Washington.

On July 3, Breitbart News reported that the initiative, I-1639, was being presented as a simple attempt to raise the legal age for long gun purchases from 18 to 21. Although an attempt to disqualify 18- to 20-year-olds from exercising their Second Amendments is troubling enough, the reality of the matter is that I-1639 would have put in place a new system of background checks and myriad other guns controls as well.

  • The NRA-ILA listed a few of the controls I-1639 would have put in place:
  • [Created] a gun registry for any transfers of commonly owned semi-automatic rifles;
  • [Introduced] a 10-business day waiting period on the purchase of semi-automatic rifles;
  • [Imposed] criminal liability on otherwise law-abiding gun owners who fail to store their firearms to state standards;
  • [Increased] the age limit to possess or purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21;
  • [Mandated] training prior to purchase;
  • And [authorized]a $25 fee to be assessed to semiautomatic rifle purchasers.

The fee alone would be a new tax that could be raised after a period of time in order to make the purchase of commonly owned semiautomatic firearms cost prohibitive.

The NRA and Second Amendment Foundation filed two separate suits against the initiative, the suits were consolidated and the ruling in favor of both groups was handed down Friday.

The NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox responded to the ruling, saying:
The National Rifle Association is glad to see the court today recognized how negligent, if not worse, gun control advocates were in their signature-gathering for this ill-advised ballot initiative. We got involved because I-1639 tramples on the rights of Washington state voters, and because the way these anti-gun activists went about pushing their agenda was egregious. We applaud this decision, and will remain vigilant in protecting the constitutional freedoms of all Americans.

Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb said, “A few billionaires donated millions of dollars to buy the signatures to get this fraudulent initiative on the ballot. But they couldn’t buy...

CNN Accused of Intimidating Paul Manafort Jury

CNN is being accused of attempting to intimidate the Paul Manafort jury after the far-left cable channel (and six other anti-Trump outlets) requested the jurors’ names and home addresses.

Manafort, who worked for a short time as President Trump’s campaign chairman during the 2016 presidential election, has been charged by special counsel Robert Mueller with various financial crimes, none of which have anything to do with Trump or the campaign.

Manafort’s fate now sits with the jury, and after two days of deliberations, anti-Trump media outlets like CNN are becoming concerned Manafort could be acquitted, which would be a major blow to Mueller’s credibility and his ability to remove Trump from office — an outcome the establishment media are desperate to orchestrate.

And so, on Thursday, CNN, along with six other far-left media outlets (the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, the New York Times, NBC, and the AP) sued for the release of the names and home addresses of all of the Manafort jurors, a move that is both disturbing and almost unprecedented.

As Bre Payton at the Federalist points out, “Publicly outing the names and home addresses of jurors is considered ethically questionable, as outlined in this guidance sheet on the topic from the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press.”

To begin with, it is seen as unseemly to thrust jurors into the spotlight against their will when they are not volunteering for publicity; they are chosen.

What many see here, and not without precedent, is yet another attempt by the media, most especially CNN, to bully and intimidate private, everyday citizens into convicting Manafort.

CNN’s intimidation tactics have been well-established over the years.

After President Trump tweeted out a short video (or GIF) mocking CNN last July, the last-place cable channel launched a jihad against the GIF’s creator with the public threat to dox (expose this person’s personal information to online mobs) if he is ever again caught criticizing the network.

In February, CNN sent one of its reporters and a TV crew to dox and humiliate an elderly Trump supporter who might have unwittingly promoted a post-election event “coordinated by the Russians.” It worked. Afterwards, she was abused and threatened online.

In 2013, CNN led the mob in a campaign to destroy the career of a local rodeo clown who performed while wearing an Obama mask. During the previous administration, this same rodeo clown had performed in a George W. Bush mask.

Also in 2013, CNN broadcast the social security number of George Zimmerman, the Hispanic man who shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

CNN’s overall behavior during the Zimmerman case (he was acquitted) revealed the network’s desperation for a conviction in that case. Among other things, CNN fabricated evidence against Zimmerman, falsely described the Hispanic man as...

Trump says Cuomo's 'political career is over' after governor claimed America 'was never that great'

New York Democrat Governor Pardons 18 Illegal Immigrants

Florida Senator Bill Nelson Is A Liar. Has Russia hacked into Florida’s election system? There is no evidence.

When the ultra-leftist Washington Post is unable to find a way to make a Democrat less a liar, then oh boy was that a whopper.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.): “At the urging, I might say, of the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, we wrote and signed a joint letter to all 67 county supervisors of election to tell them that the Russians are in Florida’s records. And they need help.

And they can get that help free of charge from the Department of Homeland Security that will come in and help secure their database, their election records. But it’s got to be at their initiative to do that.”

Steve Bousquet, Tampa Bay Times: “Do you know what records the Russians are meddling around with in Florida?”

Nelson: “Say again?”

Bousquet: “Do you know which records the Russians are accessing?”

Nelson: “That’s classified.”

Exchange with reporters before a campaign event in Tallahassee, Aug. 7

Kirby Wilson, Tampa Bay Times: “Do you mean right now, or were you referring to 2016?”

Nelson: “Right now. Senator Rubio and I have written a letter together to all 67 of the county supervisors of election. He is a member of the Intelligence Committee; I am the ranking member of the Cyber subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee. We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records. … Two senators — bipartisan — reached out to the election apparatus in Florida to let them know that the Russians are in the records, and all they have to do, if those election records are not protected, is to go in and start eliminating registered voters.”

Interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Aug. 8

“In June, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, a Republican, and the vice chair of the committee, a Democrat, Senator Burr and Senator Warner, came to Marco Rubio and me and said: ‘We have a problem in Florida, that the Russians are in the records. We think the two of you should warn the election apparatus of Florida.’ ”

Nelson remarks at an event in Lake City, Fla., Aug. 14

“It would be foolish to think that the Russians are not continuing to do what they did in Florida in 2016.”

Nelson statement quoted by the Associated Press, Aug. 15

This warning from Nelson — that Russia has breached election systems in Florida and may purge voters from the rolls — seems to confirm some of the worst fears about vulnerabilities in the U.S. election infrastructure.

Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Florida election officials July 2, reminding them that “Russian government actors targeted our election infrastructure during the 2016 elections” and urging them to seek resources from the Department of Homeland Security to boost security for the state’s upcoming primary and general elections.

But then Nelson, who is up for reelection in November, took things further in public comments. He has said repeatedly and unequivocally since Aug. 7 that Russia has access to election systems in Florida and could eliminate individual voters’ records. This is far more alarming and detailed than the warning in Nelson and Rubio’s joint letter.

“This is no fooling time. This is why two senators — bipartisan — reached out to the election apparatus in Florida to let them know that the Russians are in the records, and all they have to do, if those election records are not protected, is to go in and start eliminating registered voters,” Nelson told the Tampa Bay Times on Aug. 8.

“And you can imagine the chaos that would occur on Election Day when the voters get to the polls and they say, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Smith. I’m sorry, Mr. Jones. You’re not registered.’ ‘Well, here’s my registration card.’ ‘Well, I’m sorry, you’re not in the registration records.’ Well, you can imagine. That’s exactly what the Russians want to do. They want to sow chaos in our democratic institutions. Every intelligence agency in the United States government has said that they are going to try to disrupt the 2018 elections, just like they did in 2016.”

We want to be clear here: This fact check is not about the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment and the bipartisan consensus that Russia plans to interfere in the 2018 elections, as it did in 2016. It is about Nelson’s specific claim that Russia has access to voter rolls in Florida.

The Department of Homeland Security, the top election official in Florida, and election officials in several of the most populous counties in the state have said they have no evidence that Russia has access to Florida election systems. Nelson said his information came from Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Neither senator has confirmed Nelson’s specific claim that Russia has access to Florida’s election system, though they have echoed his broader warning about the threat Russia poses to this year’s elections.

Nelson also has cited “classified” information. Although it’s possible that this information exists and proves his claim, it’s a tough proposition for The Fact Checker to accept, since the Department of Homeland Security has denied Nelson’s assertions, the FBI said as recently as Aug. 2 that there’s no sign of “efforts to specifically target election infrastructure,” and U.S. officials probably would have shared this classified information in some form with the state of Florida, where election officials have contradicted Nelson’s claims.
The Facts

The CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and other intelligence services unanimously found that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election by hacking and releasing emails from Democrats, pushing propaganda online and attempting to breach election systems in many states, including Florida. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has filed an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers, including two who allegedly attempted to hack into state election systems. Officials in Florida have said the Russian attempt to access state voter records was not successful in 2016.

At a news briefing Aug. 2, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said intelligence agencies had not detected this year the “same kinds of efforts to specifically target election infrastructure” that were seen in 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Russia’s efforts so far have focused on ‘malign influence operations,’ which he called ‘information warfare,’ ” the Journal reported.

Nelson’s claim is problematic in several ways.

For starters, he keeps repeating it without evidence. He cites Burr and Warner as his sources, but neither senator has confirmed that Russia has access to Florida’s election infrastructure. Nelson said Aug. 7 that “classified” information supports his claim, but that’s hard to accept, considering the contradictory statements from DHS and the FBI.

Nelson has said that Burr, Rubio and Warner reaffirmed his claim about Florida after he first made it Aug. 7, but none of them has. Nelson on Tuesday said that he didn’t know which Florida counties’ election systems Russia had infiltrated because U.S. intelligence agencies “don’t want to tip off the Russians that we know; otherwise, they’ll figure out how we got that information.” But the FBI took steps before the November 2016 election to warn local election officials — including in Florida — about cyber-intrusion attempts it had detected. Such attempts have not been detected this year, according to Wray.

Finally, Nelson and Rubio wrote in their July 2 letter that DHS “depends on states and localities self-reporting suspicious activity,” but election officials in Florida have not reported any.

Representatives for Nelson did not respond to our questions. That’s also fishy.

Florida’s top election official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R), wrote in a letter to Burr on Aug. 9 that state voters are casting mail-in ballots for the Aug. 28 primary and that Nelson’s comments “only serve to erode public trust in our elections at a critical time.” Gov. Rick Scott, who is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Nelson in November, appointed Detzner.

“Immediately upon hearing Senator Nelson’s comments, DOS [the Florida Department of State] contacted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to request an immediate briefing on any information that pertained to Senator Nelson’s comments,” Detzner wrote. “DOS was advised by all partners that they have no information that corroborates Senator Nelson’s statement. Additionally, DOS has no evidence to support these claims.”

The Tampa Bay Times reported Aug. 9, “A number of large counties, including Pinellas, Pasco, Seminole, Broward and Miami-Dade, have issued statements saying they are not aware of any breaches.”

View image on Twitter

Steve Bousquet

Pinellas County, Fla. elections chief Deborah Clark issues response following Sen. Bill Nelson's claim of Russian penetration of Florida voting systems

Representatives for Burr did not respond to a request for comment. But Burr wrote in a letter to Detzner on Aug. 10: “While I understand your questions regarding Senator Nelson’s recent public comments, I respectfully advise you to continue engaging directly with those Federal agencies responsible for notifying you of and mitigating any potential intrusions — specifically, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Any briefings or notifications about ongoing threats would, rightfully, come from those agencies.”

A statement from Warner neither confirms nor denies Nelson’s claim that Russia has access to Florida’s election systems. “Sens. Nelson and Rubio are right to warn their state’s election officials about this very serious and ongoing threat to our democracy,” Warner said. “This is not about politics. I urge officials at all levels of government to heed the warning and work with DHS and the FBI to address the threat.” Notice how he refers to the July 2 letter, not Nelson’s further-reaching comments in August.

Likewise, a statement from Rubio, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, neither confirms nor denies Nelson’s claim. “Given the importance of Florida in our national politics, our state’s election systems have been and will remain a potentially attractive target for attacks by foreign actors,” Rubio said. “While I firmly believe states should remain in the lead on conducting elections, the federal government should stand ready to assist as needed in confronting actual or potential attacks from determined foreign adversaries.”

Rubio weighs in on questions sparked by Bill Nelson on Florida election interference: “Given the importance of Florida in our national politics, our state’s election systems have been and will remain a potentially attractive target for attacks by foreign actors.”

The FBI did not respond to our questions. The Department of Homeland Security said it has not seen “any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure.”

“We know that in 2016 Russian government cyber actors sought access to U.S. election infrastructure as part of a multifaceted operation directed at the U.S. elections,” said DHS spokeswoman Sara Sendek. “We continue to assess Russian actors were not able to access vote tallying systems, though we consider all 50 states to have been potential targets.

“While we are aware of Senator Nelson’s recent statements, we have not seen any new compromises by Russian actors of election infrastructure. That said, we don’t need to wait for a specific threat to be ready. DHS and Florida state and county officials have partnered on a number of initiatives to secure their election systems, including sharing threat information between the federal, state and local governments, conducting training for county election supervisors, and providing technical assistance to counties — as we are with other jurisdictions across the country.”

We don’t want to minimize the threat that Russia could attempt to hack into state election systems this year, whether in Florida or other states.

According to Mueller’s indictment, two of the 12 Russian intelligence officers, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev and Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk, gained access to state or local election systems in the United States in 2016. Mueller alleged they “conspired with each other and with persons, known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to hack into the computers of U.S. persons and entities responsible for the administration of 2016 U.S. elections, such as state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U.S. elections.” Their goal was to “steal voter data and other information stored on those computers,” the indictment says.

In one instance, the Russian officers “hacked the website of a state board of elections” in the United States “and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers,” the indictment alleges. The Illinois Board of Elections believes it was the target of this cyberattack, which was discovered in July 2016.

The indictment also says Russian officials “hacked into the computers of a U.S. vendor … that supplied software used to verify voter registration information for the 2016 U.S. elections.” They sent more than 100 phishing emails to “organizations and personnel involved in administering elections in numerous Florida counties,” using Word documents that displayed the hacked vendor’s logo. The Intercept reported that the business described in the indictment is a match with an e-voting vendor based in Florida that denies it was hacked.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has said more evidence of “Russian attempts to infiltrate state election infrastructure” emerged since the U.S. intelligence community released its January 2017 assessment of Russia’s election interference, but it’s not clear when or where this happened, and there’s no indication it was in Florida.

The Pinocchio Test

Nelson and Rubio warned Florida election officials to be on high alert for Russian cyber-intrusions. We take no issue with their July 2 letter.

Nelson, however, went on to make a specific and alarming claim several times: that Russia currently has access to Florida’s election systems and could purge voters from the rolls. Not a single speck of evidence backs him up, and we have serious doubts whether the classified information he cited even exists.

In his letter to Burr, Florida’s top election official said the state asked DHS and the FBI whether Russia had access to Florida’s election systems and was told “they have no information that corroborates Senator Nelson’s statement.” Burr replied that “any briefings or notifications about ongoing threats would, rightfully, come from those agencies,” meaning DHS and the FBI. Reading between the lines, Burr seems to be contradicting Nelson’s claim.

He wouldn’t be the only one. DHS contradicted Nelson’s claim. Wray’s comments from Aug. 2 contradict Nelson’s claim. Local election officials in Florida contradict Nelson’s claim. Neither Rubio nor Warner confirmed what he said.

Making matters worse, Nelson misquoted his own letter from July 2 several times (it made no mention of an ongoing breach) and inaccurately said Burr, Rubio and Warner reaffirmed his assertion that Russia has access to Florida voters' records.

Without minimizing the threat of Russian interference in this year’s elections, we give Nelson’s claim Four Pinocchios.
Four Pinocchios

CNN Office Photo:

Can't Get Enough Fake News?

EWWW!!! I Stepped In Shit!

16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won

Whiney John Brennan Revoked the Security Clearances of Benghazi Heroes

Dozens of former CIA officials signed a letter in defense of John Brennan. It seems all of the elite at the top of the pecking order keep their security clearance so they can get lucrative jobs as private contractors. It’s a perk they awarded themselves. The grunts don’t keep it. How is this good for national security?

That being said, some are standing up for the President.

Kris “Tanto” Paronto, a former Army Ranger and private security contractor who was part of the CIA team that fought back during the 2012 Benghazi terror attack, leveled Brennan for putting politics before men in the field.

“He is lucky the security clearance is all he is getting away with,” Paronto told Fox News in an interview on Friday in response to Brennan’s incessant whining about his being taken away.

Responding a day earlier to Brennan’s tweet that his “principles are worth far more than clearances,” Paronto also tweeted:

“My principles are greater than clearances too John, especially when you and the @CIA kool-aid drinkers punishes us for not going along with the Benghazi cover-up story in order to protect you, @HillaryClinton’s & @BarackObama’s failures. You put your politics before us.”

Paronto said he never shared intel but his security clearance was removed by Brennan. Brennan never told him why.

He blasted Brennan for the way the heroes of Benghazi were treated upon return.

“We come back from being on the ground to be treated as a second-class citizen. You come back and you’re called a liar,” Paronto told Fox News. “Brennan came in and there was no talk of ‘hey, good job guys,’ not that you look for it, but instead, it was ‘don’t say anything guys, we don’t want the truth to get out.’”

He didn’t let up on Twitter.

..Or caught lying to congress OR caught spying on Pres. candidates OR caught using their positions to influence US elections OR caught fabricating stories about attacks on US personnel in Libya OR providing weapons to ISIS backed militias in Syria ..should I go on @JohnBrennan ?
There were many who stuck up for Brennan, even though he’s a liar and a leaker, but some didn’t.

Retired Army Brigadier General Anthony Tata says revoking Communist John Brennan’s security clearance was the right move by President Trump.


Senator Rand Paul applauded the President for his decision.

Paul advocated for the removal of Brennan’s clearance in July, accusing the former CIA director of “monetizing” his access to the top-secret material.

He sang the President’s praises this week. “I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance, he wrote in a statement, adding that he urged the President to do this.” Paul added that Brennan “participated in a shredding of constitutional rights, lied to Congress, and has been monetizing and making partisan political use of...