Daily Recap — October 16

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“The trouble with our liberal friends isn’t that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

— Ronald Reagan

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GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT

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PDT told the world as a whole to wait just a damn minute before declaring the Saudi regime to be guilty of the murder of WaPo journalist Jamal Khashoggi, warning of a rush to judgment and echoing the Saudis’ request for patience.

In an interview with The Associated Press, PDT compared the Khashoggi case to the rush to judgment regarding rape accusations against now Justice Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

“I think we have to find out what happened first,” Trump said. “Here we go again with, you know, you’re guilty until proven innocent. I don’t like that. We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I’m concerned.”

If I may offer advice, Mr. President, please don’t analogize this to the Kavanaugh situation. Yes, we should get all the facts before making declarations in either case, but Justice Kavanaugh lived an exemplary life up until those accusations. The House of Saud has been killing opponents for the entirety of its existence. You cheapen your own support of Justice Kavanaugh by making this comparison. Not to mention, it causes reasonable people to second-guess your judgement of the Kavanaugh situation if you view the Saudi case in the same light.

Thanks for listening.


The Oval Office interview came not long after PDT spoke today with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He spoke by phone a day earlier with King Salman, and he said both deny any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi.

After speaking with the MBS, PDT floated the idea that “rogue killers” may have been responsible for the disappearance. He told the AP today that that description was informed by his “feeling” from his conversation with Salman, and that the King did not use the term.

Meanwhile, today in Turkey, a high-level Turkish official told reporters that police investigators searching the Saudi Consulate had found evidence that Khashoggi was killed there. As stated for the last week, however, statements from the Turkish government must be taken critically, as the Turks want very much to damage the Saudis on the world stage.

Also today, Secretary of State Pompeo met with the king and crown prince in Riyadh and said the Saudis had already started a “serious and credible investigation” and seemed to suggest it could lead to people within the kingdom. The secretary of state noted that the Saudi leaders, while denying knowledge of anything that occurred inside the consulate, had committed to accountability “including for Saudi Arabia’s senior leaders or senior officials.”

Ohhhhh snap! If the Saudis arrest some high-ranking members if their own circle, it could lend some credibility to their claims.

Pompeo was heads to Turkey next, where Turkish officials are chomping at the bit to accuse the Saudis of using a 15-member team to kill Khashoggi inside their consulate.

The Turks have already identified five suspects as being involved in the disappearance/murder and all are linked to MBS. Again, not surprising.

One of the suspects was Salman’s travel companion, and was seen on trips with him in Paris, Madrid, Houston, Boston, and the United Nations. Three others have ties to Salman’s security detail and a fifth person is a forensic doctor who holds senior positions in the Saudi Interior Ministry. 

Whether there is any truth to that is anyone’s guess at this point. What I do know is PDT wants the whole probe to be done within a week, though his jurisdiction in such matters is lacking.

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In the meantime, many in the GOP are getting antsy about the whole situation and starting to make it known.

On Fox News, Lindsey Graham called on Saudi Arabia to reject crown prince MBS. Up to now, Graham had vigorously supported MBS due to his aggressive attempts to soften the kingdom’s image abroad, attract foreign investment and promote human rights (women driving and such). Now, not so much.

“This guy has got to go,” Graham said dramatically into the camera. “Saudi Arabia, if you’re listening, there are a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself.”

Some international leaders and business executives are following suit by severing or rethinking ties to the Saudi government. PDT is reluctant to take any sort of economic action, pointing to huge U.S. weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could end up hurting the American economy.

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BIG PICTURE:

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We need the facts. There are reports that the entire thing was captured on audio and video. If so, identify those in the footage and determine whose orders they were operating under. 

Republicans like Graham have put PDT in a bad spot, because it lets Dims know they will have bipartisan support for whatever legislation they draw up to force the presidential hand. 

As things stand, and bear in mind this but a snapshot from an outside perspective, PDT and MBS seem to be headed toward the “rogue killers” narrative. As noted previously, this story isn’t likely to be believed by anyone except the most ardent Trump supporters. Things like this simply don’t happen without approval from the top, at least not in the official capacity in which this occurred. 

However, as also noted, if MBS and the King nail one or more of their top guys to the wall, it could provide cover for both administrations to move on with normal relations. It won’t be enough cover to settle the most fervent critics, obviously, but it at least gives some record of accountability. 

Then again, there’s always the chance that Trump will come out to the Rose Garden, grab the mic and tell everyone, “The Saudi royals have been killing the Muslim Brotherhood for a very long time and this is no different. I’m focused on America.”

Mr. President, if you’re willing to become a news cycle pinata for name-calling pornstars on Twitter, why not take slings and arrows for telling hard truths about foreign policy?

The American people need to know the hard truth about how the world works. You have the courage to do it. Don’t miss this opportunity. 

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THE CARAVAN COMETH

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Once again, the Trump administration is being tested by a large group of migrants headed straight for our border and daring anyone to do something about it.

Welp, PDT thought of something he could do about it.

“The United States has strongly informed the President of Honduras that if the large Caravan of people heading to the U.S. is not stopped and brought back to Honduras, no more money or aid will be given to Honduras, effective immediately!” he tweeted.

That’s certainly a step in the right direction.


He was of course responding to reports that a group of 1,600 or more Hondurans hoping to reach the U.S. crossed the border into Guatemala yesterday and our continuing their trek northward. Members of the caravan have said they are fleeing poverty and violence in their home country in search of a better life, standard fare for events such as these.

The Failing Washington Post recently reported the Trump administration is considering a policy that could OMG SEPARATE CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS AGAIN as a way to stem the high numbers of families crossing illegally into our country. It’s also a great way of separating children from human traffickers, but who’s counting.

“We’re going to do whatever we can do to get it slowed down,” PDT said this past Saturday. “If they feel there will be separation, they don’t come.”

You may recall a similar caravan of Central Americans that traveled toward the U.S. this past spring. The vast majority of migrants did not cross the border, but a handful of ‘asylum-seekers’ did enter the country.

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BIG PICTURE:

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According to the United States Agency for International Development, we gave $175 million in aid to Honduras in fiscal 2017, $52 million in FY18 and an expected $67 million in FY19. A tiny GDP country such as Honduras will certainly feel that loss.

But that caravan isn’t coming straight from Honduras to America. There are pass-thru countries along the way, most notably Mexico. If we want these caravans to stop forming in the first place, we need countries like Guatemala and Mexico to step up and prevent the free movement of these groups who clearly state their intention to sneak into our country illegally.

We just struck up a brand spankin’ new trade deal with Mexico (USMCA) and that should provide plenty of leverage to get Mexico to deal with this problem before it gets to us. The new socialist Mexican president has indicated that he wants to nurture our newfound relations; this is his chance to prove it. 

It’s also time to start taxing remittances to these countries (all South and Central American countries). Cutting off aid is a good step, but putting a dent in the money that’s sent back to these countries, which runs into the billions, would change some attitudes very fast.

It’s time to play hardball, Mr. President. And this time, when Ivanka and the other globalists come crying about “kids in cages,” TELL THEM IT’S YOUR JOB TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND YOU DON’T CARE WHOSE FEELINGS GET HURT IN THE PROCESS. NO MORE EXECUTIVE ORDERS TO APPEASE THE MOB.

Thanks for listening.

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NASTY WOMAN

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Remember Carmen Yulín Cruz, the moonbat Puerto Rican mayor who seized on the hurricane to make political hay against PDT, all while crates of water and other items sat unmoved under her watch? You know, the one with glasses in the “Nasty Woman” t-shirt?

Turns out she’s pretty nasty after all.

FBI agents raided San Juan’s municipal building today amid an investigation into purchasing practices used by city officials, including Mayor Cruz.

Video posted on Twitter shows several uniformed FBI agents proceeding into the building this morning. Local journalist Luis Guardiola noted in a tweet that dozens of FBI agents were involved in the raid.


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A spokesman for the bureau said the raid was related to an ongoing investigation into whether the mayor’s office and other city officials had shown favoritism when the city agreed to a contract with the company BR Solutions for $4.7 million over two years.

BR Solutions is owned by Leonel Pereira O’Neill, a Puerto Rican businessman who has donated to the campaigns of several local politicians, including Cruz’s. Color me shocked.

“The raid helps us to confirm whether the allegations of irregularities are substantiated or not,” FBI spokesman Carlos Osario told the website.

“We are filling out a search warrant, looking for documents and evidence that can support the allegation [of favoritism],” he added.


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Cruz reacted to the raid in a series of tweets this morning, pledging her office’s full cooperation with authorities.

“At the moment, members of the FBI are intervening in the Municipal Tower of San Juan. My instructions as always are of total collaboration,” Cruz wrote in Spanish on Twitter.

“At this time, I do not have more information. We all have the duty to collaborate to clarify this situation. If someone has done something wrong, must be subjected to a due process and face the consequences of their actions, ” she added.

Gotta love the sudden respect for due process.


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Now, it’s a matter of seeing the evidence. Maybe the FBI will play this one straight.

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A DIFFERENT SET OF RULES

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Since we’re discussing the FBI, I figured I’d point out yet another example of G-men getting to do things that we regular folk just can’t pull off.

In the latest instance, a senior FBI official accepted tickets to sporting events from reporters and initially lied about it to government investigators, according to a report released today

The conduct of the FBI official, who has not been identified, violated federal regulations that prohibit federal employees from accepting gifts from journalists and other “prohibited sources.” Accepting gifts from reporters is frowned upon because anyone with a couple brain cells to rub together knows that it’s merely a polite gesture. It’s a quid pro quo arrangement in which agents get perks in exchange for investigative info or other leaks. 

If low-to-mid ranking officials get tickets to games, just imagine what Leakin’ James Comey got. 

The improper gifts were discovered in text messages reviewed by the DOJ Inspector General as part of its investigation into the FBI’s handling of Hillzdawg’s emails and the PutinGate probe. 

This is the same investigation led to the firings of Deep State McCabe as FBI deputy director and Cooter Strzok as deputy chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. McCabe was found to have lied about authorizing leaks to the media in October 2016 about the Clinton probe. Strzok, who was at the heart of both the Hillary and PutinGate probes, respectively, was found to have no issue with leaks himself, although he outsourced the job to his mistress, (former) FBI lawyer Lisa Page.


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The text messages showed that the FBI official “accepted two tickets to a professional sports game as a gift from a television news correspondent who regularly covered the FBI and DOJ, in violation of federal regulations,” according to the OIG report.

The official initially told the OIG under oath that he/she paid for the tickets him/herself. The official reversed course five days later, admitting to inspectors that the reporter had purchased the tickets.

“The OIG found that the senior FBI official lacked candor with the OIG in several respects about the tickets,” according to the report.

We normal, law-bound folks call that “lying.” And if we’d done it with investigators over the course of an investigation, we’d be arrested for obstruction of justice at the very least.

The official also previously accepted a ticket from the same reporter to another sporting event. A second reporter gave the official a ticket to another sports event, according to the OIG.

The official claimed to have paid the TV correspondent and reporter for the tickets, but the OIG found no evidence to substantiate the claim.


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The FBI did not respond to a request for comment and to identify the FBI official, of course. But we do know that the OIG has not referred the agent for prosecution. 

There still may be administrative action taken, e.g. loss of pay, suspension, demotion, etc. But seeing as how J. Edgar Wray’s approach to corruption within the bureau is to implement “training,” I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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2 thoughts on “Daily Recap — October 16

  1. Valerie Vance-Gray October 17, 2018 — 11:36 pm

    Trey I am attempting to send you some financial gratitude but I am unable to get any link to work. I have gone to the bottom where I can change the dollar figure but after that nothing is working???

    1. Really? That’s odd. I’ll go in and check it out. Thanks for letting me know.

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