Daily Recap — October 4

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PENCE TAKES IT TO CHINA

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VP Pence accused China of meddling in U.S. elections with the aim of hurting PDT and the Republican Party as a whole.
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In a fiery speech to the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington, Pence said that China is extending its power “in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies and politics of the United States.”
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“China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections,” Pence said.
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“To put it bluntly, President Trump’s leadership is working; China wants a different American president,” Pence said.
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Pence’s remarks come as U.S. officials, including PDT himself, have ramped up their rhetoric against what they say are Chinese efforts to undermine American businesses, provoke the U.S. military and develop a sophisticated election-meddling campaign similar to what Hackin’ Vlad carried out in the 2016 election.
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If any of this sounds familiar to you, it should. PDT said the exact same thing last week at the United Nations Security Council; that China is already interfering in the 2018 midterm elections. China’s foreign minister of course denies the claim. 
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“Beijing has mobilized covert actors, front groups, and propaganda outlets to shift Americans’ perception of Chinese policies,” Pence said. “As a senior career member of our intelligence community recently told me, what the Russians are doing pales in comparison to what China is doing across this country.”
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He’s correct. China’s cyber operation dwarfs that of Russia and has for a very long time. As I’ve noted numerous times in this blog, China has an entire brigade of soldiers who do nothing but hack our country all day, every day. Good luck getting anyone in our media to care. They’ve also hacked the Office of Personnel Management, which included the personal information of myself, my colleagues and every other TS/SCI clearance holder within our government.
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I’m not a fan.
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VP Pence accurately noted that China’s election meddling is a response to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on Chinese goods, claiming it has “specifically targeted industries and states that would play an important role in the 2018 election.”
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“By one estimate, more than 80 percent of U.S. counties targeted by China voted for President Trump in 2016; now China wants to turn these voters against our administration,” he said. 
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Pence also accused China of “directly appealing to the American voter,” citing an insert paid for by a Chinese-backed media outlet in the Des Moines Register that criticized the Trump administration’s trade practices.
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Other Trump administration officials have also recently warned of the hybrid threat posed by China.
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In an address last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats called out Beijing for targeting state and local government and “trying to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy and us[ing] investments and other incentives to expand its influence” during a speech at military college The Citadel last week.
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Still, officials have offered no evidence of China engaging in cyber attacks akin to what Russia did to influence the 2016 election. In addition to hacking and releasing emails of high-level Democrats, Russian hackers also targeted digital systems involved in the election, including breaching a voter database in Illinois.
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Today, Pence accused China of “employing a whole-of-government approach, using political, economic, and military tools,  as well as propaganda, to advance its influence and benefit its interests in the United States.”
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He also said Beijing had pressured U.S. business leaders and companies, censored media and individuals in academia and spent “billions” on propaganda outlets to influence American public opinion and policy.
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Big Picture:

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It’s pretty simple. China is playing a game of chicken with PDT, hoping he’ll back down before our tariffs and other countermeasures take full effect and sink their fragile economy.

They’ve never dealt with this kind of pushbacl before and they’re hoping and praying that this plan to meddle in our elections succeeds in making him toothless in the future. The good news is PDT has a great deal of unilateral clout regarding trade, though a concerted effort to turn farmers against him in the midwest could result in a serious loss of political capital.

As usual, though, PDT isn’t taking this lying down and is working to get ahead of this latest effort. Having the VP address this officially today shows the seriousness in which they’re taking this threat, which is a breath of fresh air after decades of politicians who allowed China to have their way with us.

Thank God this president is nothing like a politician. That’s what makes the tweets worth it.

 

 

 

 

 


 

TODAY IN KAVANAUGH

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The Swamp will take a pivotal vote tomorrow on Judge Kavanaugh, as the Left becomes more unhinged down the home stretch.

Turtle and co. plan to hold a key procedural vote Friday morning, setting up a confirmation vote for Saturday afternoon. Friday’s cloture vote is scheduled to happen at 10:30 a.m.

Four senators –– three Republicans and a Dim –– remained undecided as of this writing, though two of them signaled a sense of satisfaction with the FBI’s investigation of Kavanaugh’s time as an ice bandit in college.


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Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, one of the most vulnerable Dims up for reelection this year, said today she would be voting “no,”, making her the first swing Dim to announce her position. The reason is simple. Heitkamp has completely fallen off the map in North Dakota, trailing by double digits with little hope of a comeback. She had the choice between (maybe) losing by a slightly smaller or margin or staying in the good graces of the party she may need for a political position down the road. She chose the latter.

Sen. Susan Collins, one of the three undecided GOP senators, is expected to announce her position tomorrow morning, though her early remarks are hopeful. She described the FBI investigation as ‘thorough’ and hasn’t made any negative remarks since its release, save for the ones against PDT.

Jeff Snowflake made similar remarks about the FBI probe, calling it thorough and saying no corroborative evidence has been presented, implying that there is nothing keeping him from a ‘yes’ vote.

Joe Manchin said he’s not done examining the report yet, which is code for “I’m waiting until the very last minute to make sure the weather is nice.” That’s Joe “I need permission from Chuck Schumer to applaud at the State of the Union” Manchin for you.

The biggest question mark is probably Lisa Murkowski, who refuses to let on where she is in the process, saying only, “I have made no decision.”

Yeah, we noticed.


If senators vote tomorrow to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination, as expected, they will have to allow another 30 hours for procedural debate, putting the final vote in mid-afternoon the following day.

Nearly 300 people were arrested this afternoon after staging loud protests in the Hart Senate Office Building, while protesters have also been confronting multiple swing senators in the hallways in recent days.

Anti-Kavanaugh protests have grown so intense on Capitol Hill that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been assigned police escorts for protection.

Despite the insanity of our counterparts, though, GOP leaders like where we are.

“I’m sensing we’re in a good place,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (SD), who predicted that Collins, Flake and Murkowski would all vote “yes.”

Thune said the FBI’s “supplemental investigation checked all the boxes and I think satisfied the concerns they had about talking to more people, particularly people who were allegedly there.”


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Scheduling Issues:

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It wouldn’t be a Senate vote if there weren’t at least one wrench thrown into the machinery, and a Montana Senator is providing the requisite headache.

Sen. Steve Daines has an appointment Saturday afternoon to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding, and he’s made it known that no Senate vote will change those plans.

It’s unclear if Daines’ trip will impact the timing of the vote. 

“If there is any change to timing or any announcements on votes, we’ll be sure to get the info out as we always do,” a statement from Turtle McConnell‘s office said.

It’s unclear how this will be handled. It’s hard to imagine Daines flying in that night to hold the vote. It could be postponed until Sunday or the day after.

We’ll just have to see.


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Big Picture:

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We have very little wiggle room to get this done. Manchin looks to be the only Dim in the entire Senate we have a shot at landing. Gotta give it to Cryin’ Chuck, he keeps his flock in line.

GOP has a 51-49 majority in the Senate and three undecided Republicans, meaning if we don’t get a single Dim vote, we can only afford to lose one (Pence being the tiebreaker). If Murkowski stops the silly nonsense and comes on home, Daines can go ahead and enjoy his daughter’s wedding stress-free.

If not, there could be a red-eye flight in his near future.

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COLLUSION FOUND!

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Finally!

According to the Hill’s John Solomon, congressional investigators have confirmed that a ‘top FBI official’ met with Dim Party lawyers to discuss allegations of OMG RUSSIAN COLLUSION by the Trump campaign weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured warrants to spy on Trump world.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee’s private law firm.

That law firm probably sounds familiar. Perkins Coie hired smear firm Fusion GPS, who in turn hired rabidly anti-Trump former British spy Christopher Steele to compile a dossier of campaign propaganda for the 2016 election. And who was the boss of all of them? You guessed it — the Clintons! 

You’ll recall that the dossier, wholly composed of unverified garbage, was then used as the primary intelligence product in the FISA application for spying on the Trump campaign.

According to Solomon, the revelation regarding Baker was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees.

In plain language, what this means is we have confirmation of what we’ve known all along; that the FBI knew good and damn well that this dossier had Hillary’s fingerprints all over it. There is no longer plausible deniability that the bureau was unaware of the exact origin and nature of the document, which means they knowingly lied by omission in their FISA application for Carter Page. Not only does it prove their knowledge of the whole scheme, but it demonstrates a working relationship with the people behind it. There is no difference between the DNC and FBI anymore, and that’s a scandal.


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As noted last night, Baker was interviewed by the House committee in private yesterday. While the exact contents of his testimony are still under lock and key, reports are that he gave members some very valuable info.

Taken directly from Solomon’s report:

The sources said Baker identified lawyer Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer, as the Perkins Coie attorney who reached out to him and said the firm gave him documents and a thumb drive related to Russian interference in the election, hacking and possible Trump connections.

Information gathered separately by another congressional committee indicate the contact occurred in September, the month before the FISA warrant was approved.

A spokeswoman for the FBI declined comment. Spokespersons for Perkins Coie and the Justice Department did not return a message seeking comment.

The sources also said Baker’s interview broke new ground both about the FBI’s use of news media in 2016 and 2017 to further the Trump case and about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s conversations in spring 2017 regarding possible use of a body wire to record Trump.

“The interview was one of the most productive we had and it opened up many new investigative leads,” one source said.

Another said Baker could not answer some questions about FBI media contacts, citing an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department inspector general into alleged illegal leaks, during and after the election, about the Trump collusion probe and other matters.

These revelations illustrate anew how much the FBI and Justice Department have withheld from the public about their collaboration and collusion with clearly partisan elements of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, Fusion and Steele, that were trying to defeat Trump.

Whew lads, that’s a lot of info at once.

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Big Picture:

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We’ve known for a while that the FBI used campaign propaganda funded by the Clintons to get spy warrants against the Trump campaign. That would be the biggest story of the year had we an actual free press, but oh well, we’ll just have to be the ones spreading the info, as always.

And now we know that not only were the FBI happy to use fake campaign dirt to unleash the powers of the surveillance state, but that top bureau officials were meeting with the firm behind it just before it was used. There’s a word for that: collusion. One might even call it a ‘conspiracy.” 

We still have much more to uncover, naturally. It’s rather obvious that we’ve merely scratched the surface of Deep State corruption. Rep. Meadows has hinted that the bureau had ‘human informants’ (what non-corrupt folk call ‘spies’) to record members of the Trump campaign during the election.\

There is also talk of exculpatory evidence being omitted from FISA applications, which should land people in jail. Even Paul Rino went on the record recently saying that he believes more FBI corruption will soon be revealed.

Now, Mr. President, it’s time to really start cookin’ with grease by declassifying those FISA docs. We all know that the national security/sources and methods excuse being employed by the DOJ is a bunch of nonsense. Whatever national security implications that existed should have been weeded out in the first day following the declassification order.

The house of cards is teetering harder than ever and it’s time to kick it into overdrive. If you thought the Kavanaugh saga boosted GOP enthusiasm, just imagine what would happen if corrupt government officials were held accountable!

Hang in there, Trumpers. Draining the Swamp is a huge job, but we’re finally getting the information necessary to make Leakin’ James Comey toss and turn at night.

Let’s give him the nightmare he expects.

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