IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Surprise! It was Hillary Clinton who colluded with the Russians on the dossier.
- Meanwhile, Mueller’s investigation has shifted to Democrat hacks at the Podesta Group.
- Flake’s appeal to conscience was less about Trump than the fact he’ll lose re-election.
- The American people, not Trump, are the true danger to free speech.
- The Corker-Trump rematch goes about how you’d expect.
- Some academics are learning the cost of free speech.
- Death threats from ecofascists prompt more security for the EPA.
- Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.
“A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.” —Alexander Hamilton (1775)
By Mark Alexander
Several months ago, I asked the question, “Who funded the fake Trump/Putin dossier?,” knowing full well the answer was most assuredly going to be Hillary Clinton and her Democrat National Committee hacks — the same black-bag bunch who sandbagged Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.
Well, The Washington Post published a blockbuster story last night indicating that, yes, it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee who put up the dirty dossier dollars. Now we know why Fusion was in court trying to conceal who funded the fake dossier they created, as well as invoking the Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.
Predictably, The Post was more interested in promoting the latest “Republican Party fissure” — more criticism of Donald Trump by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ). More on that later.
It’s no surprise that Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, through Democrat law firm Perkins Coie, retained Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research that resulted in the now-infamous dossier. After Clinton’s retention, Fusion hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to conduct that research. The resulting fake dossier became the centerpiece not only of the entire Trump/Russia collusion delusion but of James Comey’s — and now Robert Mueller’s — investigation. In fact, Comey took the dossier to Barack Obama after the election, and reportedly agreed to pay Steele for further research — an offer rescinded when Steele was publicly identified. Was/is Comey that stupid?
One other question congressional Republican investigators have is whether the FBI used the dossier as justification for any surveillance intercepts. The Bureau has so far refused to answer that question.
As Byron York notes, “And why did the story break when it did? Credit the much-maligned Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The California Republican has been pursuing the dossier more aggressively than anyone else, and it was his Oct. 4 subpoena for the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that handled the dossier, that finally shook loose the information.”
So, rather than Trump’s campaign colluding with Moscow, it turns out the real collusion was between Clinton and Russia, as parts of the dossier were scripted by Russian security services. That kind of makes Trump Jr.‘s meeting with a Russian lawyer pale in comparison. And as for Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, it could be that he’s ensnared in Mueller’s investigation not because of his ties to Trump but because of his ties to John Podesta. More on that later.
According to former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, “We now know [Hillary Clinton] paid for international dirt [on an opponent] that ended up going through America’s intelligence agencies, as well as Comey’s FBI and to Obama, where they all treated it with credibility … only to learn now that the source for this, the funding for it, the impetus behind it, was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. This is very troubling if the FBI didn’t know that the funding for this came from Clinton’s campaign.”
But hey, that private Clinton email communications server? Nothing to see here; move along.
Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for the Clinton campaign, basically claimed as Obama always did that he heard about the dossier in the news. “But if I had gotten handed it last fall, I would have had no problem passing it along and urging reporters to look into it,” Fallon added. “Opposition research happens on every campaign, and here you had probably the most shadowy guy ever running for president, and the FBI certainly has seen fit to look into it. I probably would have volunteered to go to Europe myself to try and verify if it would have helped get more of this out there before the election.”
The DNC responded by also pointing the finger back at Trump: “Let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.” But let us be clear: As we have also argued all along, Democrats needed to be cautious what they wished for. Their sole aim was to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s election. Now that Clinton’s hand was in the cookie jar, we’re willing to bet Democrats no longer think Russian interference heralds the end of the republic.
The news almost makes it humorous that a protester got close enough to Trump Tuesday to throw Russian flags at him and yell, “Trump is treason!” Out on a limb, but I’m guessing he voted for Hillary.
By Thomas Gallatin
Forget the dubious Donald Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy that Hillary Clinton funded — it now appears that the real story is a much deeper and more insidious Russian collusion scenario, which goes back to Clinton’s time as head of the State Department. Tuesday evening, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson detailed information received from a source familiar with the ongoing Mueller investigation into Russian election interference. This new information essentially flips the script on the whole collusion narrative.
Carlson explained that Paul Manafort, the man who has been at the center of the Mueller investigation and who for several months worked as Trump’s campaign manager, used to work with the Podesta Group — an operation of Democrat hacks John and Tony Podesta — on behalf of Russian government interests. Manafort and the Podesta Group’s working relationship goes back to at least 2011. Carlson states, “He [the source] saw Paul Manafort in the Podesta Group offices, ‘All the time, at least once a month.’ Manafort was not there to socialize. He was representing Russian business and political interests, who sought to influence Capitol Hill, Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Obama administration.”
The central effort to extend Russian influence was focused on the executive branch, the Obama administration. The vehicle through which Manafort worked for the Russians was a shell group called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The group was supposedly based in Belgium but had no offices there. It had only two employees, both based in Ukraine.
Their telephone number in Brussels rang in Kiev. It was a sham, yet it had a presence in Washington. The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine was a major client of the Podesta Group. Why did the Russians choose the Podesta Group? Because both Podestas were close to the Clintons, and Hillary was then secretary of state. She could get things done for the Podestas’ Russian clients. It was influence peddling — the most obvious kind.
Sometimes, our source told us, ties between the Podesta Group and the Clintons were explicit. Tony Podesta spoke regularly to Hillary Clinton while she ran the State Department. Our source remembers Podesta’s assistant announcing that Secretary Clinton is on the line.
According to our source, Manafort was clear that Russia wanted to cultivate ties to Hillary Clinton, in the belief she was likely to become president. These links to Hillary were apparently valuable; our source believes that the Russian money Manafort funneled to the Podesta Group greatly exceeds the roughly $1 million they were officially paid. Some of these payments, he said, could be hidden kickbacks that would be hard to trace. He described the Podesta Group’s books as a “treasure trove” and highly secret. He told us the Podesta Group had no board, and all financial decisions were personally made by Tony Podesta. The Group’s employees, he said, included a person whose only official job was managing Tony Podesta’s art collection. It would be easy for such an organization to conceal financial transactions.
Our source says investigators are very interested in Manafort’s behavior while he ran the Trump campaign, but otherwise that description is mostly bogus. The investigation has broadened to determine which people and organizations in Washington have spent years working secretly as de facto operatives on behalf of the Russian government. The Podesta Group is chief among these de facto foreign operatives. “They are more focused on facilitators of Russian influence in this country, not election collusion,” our source said. The Podesta Group is “in their crosshairs.”
It appears that Mueller may have hooked a much bigger fish than the Washington swamp thought possible, and, as with the phony dossier, Democrats should have been more careful what they wished for.
By Nate Jackson
Donald Trump definitely puts conservatives in perplexing positions. On the one hand, it can be maddening as he pops off with juvenile insults (even attacking his own party), makes definitive statements that are true in general but faulty on specifics, and just plain lacks the decorum and inspirational quality of communication that was Ronald Reagan’s trademark. On the other hand, many conservatives cheer his combativeness as he dresses down some of these forked-tongued, duplicitous Republicans who say all the right things in the campaign commercials and then stab us in the back in the critical moment.
That’s the background for Sen. Jeff Flake’s ostentatious Senate floor announcement that he will not seek re-election, and his accompanying Washington Post op-ed claiming the moral high ground. The Arizona Republican denounced “the present coarseness of our national dialogue with the tone set up at the top.” He explained, “We must never regard as normal the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country. The personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institution, the flagrant disregard for truth and decency.”
Running again, Flake said, “would require me to believe in positions I don’t hold on such issues as trade and immigration and it would require me to condone behavior that I cannot condone.”
It’s the proverbial problem of having drunk from the Potomac. It’s not that Flake’s concerns are wrong or entirely disingenuous. We’re also plenty tired of Trump’s sophomoric behavior. But Americans sent Trump to Washington to upend a system that was dreadfully broken, not join in the chorus of some idealistic Kumbaya sing-along as Flake seems to imagine things used to be.
There are two key points to realize: First, Flake obviously wanted the Leftmedia accolades that will come from being the “adult in the room” on the pages of The Washington Post — an increasingly shrill leftist rag that will happily feature anything and everything anti-Trump just to get click-throughs. That’s why Flake didn’t choose a conservative outlet like National Review to express his views.
And oh, by the way, he’s also got a book to promote, if you hadn’t heard…
Indeed, all you really need to know about Flake’s declaration comes from the Post’s own “202” daily publication: “Both these guys [Flake and Bob Corker] will have as big a megaphone as they want for as long as they want it. They will be the most sought-after guests on the Sunday shows and in primetime cable for the next year.”
Second, Flake isn’t running in 2018 because he’d lose, not because of some prick of conscience, whether real or convenient. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, himself at the center of a couple of sessions boxing with Trump, is in the same boat. Some commentators are even framing this as a victory for Trump — getting Senate moderates out and making room for conservatives.
Erick Erickson hints at this, writing, “Jeff Flake had a 100% lifetime Club for Growth record in the United States House of Representatives. He was a conservative’s conservative and stood up to the House GOP leadership. He used that reputation to catapult himself into the Senate with the backing of most every major conservative group. He towed a tough line on the budget, Obamacare, immigration, etc. Then he got to the Senate and promptly caved on it all.”
In the end, Flake has only himself and his own party to blame for Trump’s rise.
House GOP chairmen announce probe of Obama’s Justice Department (Associated Press)
“Smoking gun” email reveals Obama DOJ blocked conservative groups from settlement funds, GOP lawmaker says (Fox News)
Anguished leftists plan to “scream helplessly at the sky” on anniversary of Trump’s election (PJ Media)
Trump’s refugee ban ends as executive order toughens vetting for 11 countries (Fox News)
Pentagon advocates requiring women to sign up for military draft (The Washington Times)
Colin Kaepernick scores million-dollar book deal (NBC News)
It’s not just a joke anymore: They’re actually claiming math is racist (Washington Examiner)
China’s Communist Party unveils new leadership, with no clear successor to Xi Jinping (The Washington Post)
Planned Parenthood whistleblowers release first of new video series inside baby body part business partner (The Federalist)
George H.W. Bush apologizes for crude joke an actress claims was “sexual assault” (Fox News)
Policy: After ISIS: Hope in Iraq and new storm clouds in Syria (New York Post)
Policy: EPA’s sue and settle directive: A step toward transparency (American Action Forum)
For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST
- The American People, Not Trump, Are the True Danger to Free Speech — While leftists cry about Trump’s “threat,” they themselves are guilty of actually suppressing speech.
- The Corker-Trump Rematch — Trump and Corker both need to knock it off and get back to the business of advancing a conservative agenda.
- The Cost of Free Speech — Antifa and other social justice warriors are the real fascists as the seek to silence the free speech rights of others.
- Death Threats Prompt Heavier Security for EPA’s Pruitt — Pipeline arsonists are threatening to kill Scott Pruitt. So much for peace and harmony-loving environmentalists.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
- Byron York: Is Tone of Trump-Russia Probe Changing?
- Bill Wagner: Clinton and Menendez — Perfect Together
- Rebecca Hagelin: Gen. Kelly: Working With President Trump to Restore the Sacred
- Star Parker: A Local School Board Election Can Change the Nation
- Walter Williams: Undermining America
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
Ben Shapiro: “Trump supporters are wrong that Trump is untouchable. Trump didn’t win in 2016 purely because he’s some sort of Teflon candidate; he won because he ran against the weakest candidate in American history. … What will happen if Democrats choose not to run a corrupt, venal and thoroughly charisma-free candidate? What will happen if they run former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders? Between 2000, when George W. Bush lost the popular vote by about 544,000, and 2004, when he won it, he picked up some 10 million votes. Where is Trump going to pick up similar numbers? Democrats are wrong that Trump will be a definite loser. Since 1968, just one elected incumbent president has lost re-election without a major third-party candidate in contention (President Jimmy Carter in 1980). Incumbency is a heavy advantage, and Democrats seem to be under the misimpression that they can continue to bank on the Obama coalition without President Obama on the ballot. They tried that with Clinton. It failed. In order to compete in the Rust Belt, Democrats need to leave behind intersectional identity politics. But that means alienating some of their base. In the end, the calculus is simple: Trump can’t afford to be cavalier, thinking he’s guaranteed victory; Democrats can’t afford to sit on their laurels and hope that Trump collapses. In any case, some cautious pessimism might be in order all the way around.”
Insight: “Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?” —Justice William O. Douglas (1898-1980)
Upright: “What goes unappreciated is just why America’s leftists’ movement attacks the Founders. If they can delegitimize the Founders themselves, it goes a long way toward their agenda of delegitimizing the founding principles of our nation. If the leftists can convince the nation that men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were good-for-nothing slave-owning racists, then their ideas can be more easily trashed. We find the greatest assaults on our founding documents on the nation’s college campuses.” —Walter Williams
Case in point… “On many levels, mathematics itself operates as whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as white.” —University of Illinois professor Rochelle Gutierrez
Rhetorical question: “If we found out that Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee had paid a firm working for the Russians to create a file of fabricated attacks on Hillary Clinton during the election, would the media treat it as an impeachable offense?” —David Harsanyi
Braying Jackass: “I regret I didn’t know about Christopher Steele’s hiring pre-election. If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him. … I have no idea what Fusion [GPS] or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping [Robert] Mueller, it will prove money well spent.” —former Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon
And last… “Maybe [Sen. Jeff] Flake is different, but we’ve been conditioned to see Republicans who turn against the rest of the party to media hosannas as being the opposite of principled.” —Jim Geraghty
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher