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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, February 24, 2017

CPAC: Commend Putin, And Capitulate

James Hohmann at Washington Post:
Ed Schultz speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference would have been inconceivable a year ago. But Donald Trump is president now, and his brand of protectionism is having its moment.
On his MSNBC show in 2009, Schultz said that “there are parallels” between “some of the things Hitler was saying and some of the things that were at the CPAC convention.” He added, “They are not Americans.” In 2011, per CNN, Schultz called Trump a racist and said “nobody” wanted him to become president.
Schultz now hosts a nightly show on RT, which is a propaganda arm of Russia and funded by the Kremlin. At what for decades has been the signature cattle call on the right, he praised Trump as someone who “is not bought and paid for by anyone.” Then he expounded on what he sees as the horrors of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA.
Alluding to the intelligence community’s determination that his patrons in Moscow interfered with the presidential election in an effort to boost Trump, Schultz said during an afternoon panel: “Full disclosure: The Russians did not tell Hillary Clinton not to go to Wisconsin. They didn’t tell her not to go to Michigan, either.”
No one booed. Instead, heads nodded. The times, they are a changin'.


Spencer Ackerman reports at The Guardian:
The White House has confirmed that its chief of staff spoke with top FBI officials about the bureau’s inquiry into links between Donald Trump’s associates and Russia – a conversation which appears to violate justice department rules to ensure the integrity of investigations.

The administration had sought to push back against reports from CNN and the Associated Press that chief of staff Reince Priebus had asked the FBI’s top two officials to refute news reports about Trump allies’ ties to Russia.
But in doing so, the White House on Friday acknowledged that Priebus, FBI director James Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe had discussed what the FBI knew about Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign.
“The White House appears to have violated accepted protocols and procedures”, said former FBI special agent Ali Soufan.

“As an FBI agent, we always know there shouldn’t be any appearance of political interference over a pending investigation. Any kind of appearance of political influence will be considered against existing protocols and procedures.”

Another retired FBI special agent, Michael German, said the FBI leadership had potentially jeopardized an investigation.