Rude Reporter

I believe the above headline is repetitive, something you are not supposed to do in journalism.

Except that they do it all the time.

Ah, the rudeness. Weijia Jiang is the insistent female reporter who has twice asked President Trump obnoxious and argumentative questions. That, also, is considered journalism today, in fact it is a prerequisite.

Several times this 36 year old CBS White House correspondent (used to be a post given to older, seasoned reporters) asked President Trump gotcha questions in the Rose Garden. Monday she asked this:

Q [Jiang]: Thank you, Mr. President. You said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q [Jiang]: Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if, every day, Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me; ask China that question, okay? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”

She kept interrrupting and attacking which prompted the president to end the news conference.

Last month she “scored” with this exchange:

JIANG: Thank you. Yesterday Jared Kushner said the notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. What did he mean by our?

THE PRESIDENT: What are you asking?

JIANG: Even the fact that taxpayers from every state pays [sic] for it.

THE PRESIDENT: What’s that? A got you? I got you. You used the word our.

JIANG: No, it’s not a got you.

THE PRESIDENT: Our, you know what our means? United States of America. That’s what it means.”

Jiang is also the one who alleged that someone from the White House called the #coronovirus Kung-Flu to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
I believe it was Kellyanne Conway who denied this and asked the reporter to come forward and name the person. Jiang never did.

And in March, she accosted President Trump in this manner:

WEIJIA JIANG, CBS NEWS: Since you shared with us something else that you saw on TV today. I have a question about something you said Thursday. You said you were angry because information about the virus should have been told to us earlier and a lot sooner. “People knew it was coming and people did not want to talk about it.”

Many Americans are saying the exact same thing about you, that you should have warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them and why did you not have social distancing until March 16th?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Who are you with?

JIANG: I’m Weijia Jiang with CBS News.

TRUMP: So if you look at what I did in terms of cutting off or banning China from coming in —

JIANG: Chinese nationals. But by the way, not Americans who were also coming from China.

TRUMP: Just relax. We cut it off. People were amazed. Everybody was amazed that I did it. With 21 people in the room, everyone was against it but me. Dr. Fauci said, had I not done that, perhaps tens of thousands, may much more than that, people would have died. I was very early. Very, very early.

You saw Bret Baier making a statement. They had a debate well into February and not even mentioned, it wasn’t mentioned, the Democrats. We were very early. Oh, I’m the president, and you know what I just did?

JIANG: When you issued the ban, the virus was already here.

TRUMP: You know how many people when I issued the ban — how many cases of virus were in the United States when I issued the ban? Do you know the number?

JIANG: There was —

TRUMP: No, how many cases were there? Remember I said one person. How many cases were here when I issued the ban?

JIANG: But did you know —

TRUMP: No, no, no. You have to do your research.

JIANG: I did the research. On the 23rd of March, you said you knew this was going to be a pandemic.

TRUMP: I did know it, I did. All you have to do is look.

JIANG: So you knew it?

TRUMP: Anybody knew it. Are you ready? How many cases were in the United States when I did my ban? How many people had died in the United States when I did this?

JIANG: Do you acknowledge you didn’t think this wouldn’t spread?

TRUMP: Keep your voice down, please. Keep your voice down.

JIANG: Did you not think it would spread?

TRUMP: How many cases were in the United States? I did a ban where I was closing up the entire country. How many people died?

JIANG: And that’s a fair point.
TRUMP: How many people died in the United States and yet I closed up the country and I believe there were no deaths. Zero deaths at the time I closed up the country. Nobody was there. And you should say thank you very much for good judgment.

So who is she?

Yes, she was born in Xiamen, China. When she was two she moved with her parents to West Virginia. She attended William and Mary College then Syracuse University. Marathi.tv adds “She is interested in causes that concern children, education, economic empowerment, civil rights and social action.
She also loves to participate in anything, which involves the arts and culture. Her close association with the political arena has led to a keen interest in politics.” In other words, a perfect SJW.

Her husband, Travis Luther Lowe, is from Arkansas. They married in 2018 and he “works as the global vice president for public policy at Yelp, the website and mobile application for consumer reviews. He oversees public policy initiatives, including competition policy, consumer free speech and open data.”

So a marriage of Media plus Big Tech. They met at William and Mary when the two of them hosted an online TV show with news and political commentary. William and Mary, by the way, has a Confuscious Institute on campus, as do many universities including U of Memphis. These are funded by the CCP and widely suspected of espionage, stealing intellectual property and attempts at subverting young Americans, according to Senate inquiries and the FBI.

Rush called Jiang a provacateur. She is a race baiter and virtue signaler who has a platform. A dangerous one.

A Power-full Issue

I’m not sure what the benefits of leaving TVA would be, but the people involved are ringing alarm bells.

First, the idea the proponents argue that the city of Memphis would save $400 million if we left TVA, is not really quantifiable. It all sounds good. They say that consumers will save, which is always the promise on the front end. Environmentalists are on board because they think it will be help there, too, but how?

What they leave out gives me pause. TVA says that the city would have to issue billions in debt to build the infrastructure to do it at a price tag of $8.3 billion. That’s an enormous sum.

Who are the people pushing for us to leave TVA?

Franklin Haney is a Chattanooga businessman who owns Nuclear Development LLC, and the main actor behind this. He wants to buy nuclear power from an unfinished plant in Hollywood, Alabama, called Bellefonte. He doesn’t own the plant, TVA does. He’s tried to purchase it, but TVA has refused. Years of lawsuits have bandied the issue back in forth in the courts.
Do we want an individual to have control over our energy source?

Locally, others involved include Van Turner, Susan Thorpe and Steven Reid. Turner is a current Shelby County Commissioner and former head of the Shelby Democrat Party. Thorpe is a journalist who is also a Democrat (big surprise, eh?). Reid is a political consultant who helped Strickland win his two mayoral elections.

Aside from their leftist leanings, it’s disturbing that they are apparently hiding their lobbyist interests from the public. They’ve been working on Haney’s behalf since 2018. Last week, a judge halted proceedings that would have made them answer subpoenas about their role in influencing Memphis leaders on the issue.
Whenever people refuse to let you know what they’re doing, it’s not a good sign.

Also involved is Karl Schledwitz, who started up $450 Million for Memphis, to influence citizens to dump TVA. According to the CA, he says he is not connected to the Haney people, he just thinks citizens could save money. Schledwitz was convicted in 1992 for mail fraud connected to the failed Butcher brother banks. Why is he interested in this?

Former MLGW CEO Jerry Collins, he of the smart meter purchases and environmental proponent, smoothed the way for Haney by signing a non binding agreement indicating MLGW was a potential customer. After he left, J.T. Young took his spot and he had worked at the Bellefonte plant.

All of this is causing City Council member Chase Carlisle to wonder what’s going on.

According to the Daily Memphian, “Carlisle, during a May 5 council session, teed off on those competing for the coveted MLGW contract by saying he plans a resolution requiring many involved in the process to register with the city as lobbyists.

“At the May 5 council meeting, Carlisle told fellow members not everyone involved in the process is a ‘friend.’

“’There are people that are constantly working in the background giving bits and pieces of information because they have an ulterior motive,’ said Carlisle, who is one of those being courted and pursued. ‘They are not your friends. They are not here to see what’s in the best interest of Memphis. They are paid to work an agenda. And to be honest, it’s starting to be very problematic.’

“The lobbying effort outside MLGW has become so intense that Carlisle says he plans to introduce a measure that would require lobbyists to register with the city.

“’To all of those out there that are working as paid lobbyists, you’re on notice,’ Carlisle said. ‘I will be researching and coming with a resolution that you will have to register in the city of Memphis as a lobbying firm. I’m tired of people coming around like they are your best friend and then giving you information when they are paid to do so. Those days are numbered if I can legally do it.’”

That’s important, because this is one issue that every single one of us will be impacted by for years.
We need to know more.

Are Council members possibly open to bribes to get Haney’s project done? Will citizens have a say? Who will pay for this? Is the current system not working? How is it that environmentalists, usually opposed to nuclear power, find this OK?

The pandemic has shifted attention from this fight, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and not rushed through.

Some Don’t Want to Return

What have you learned since being quarantined by the pandemic?

That all of us need to be more prepared? That we need to have cash on hand, along with necessities like food, prescriptions, drugs and toilet paper?

Many will want to rethink the time spent with loved ones. Perhaps not everyone feels they have spent enough time with the family. Or, that something as simple as a walk, watching a favorite TV show or cooking your own dinner is as or more enjoyable than an elaborate night on the town. And that learning how to amuse yourself is an invaluable tool.

Some will feel that keeping an updated resume is also important.

Evidently, though, many don’t want to use the pandemic for self enrichment. They want to upend our society.
The Democrats want that. The blue state governors are enjoying their power surge. Dems have seen that by keeping you at home and the economy down, they can achieve their goal of more reliance on them and going socialist.

It was interesting to see this surface in a Nextdoor posting. The question was asked: “Do we really want to go back to normal?” and this graphic put up:

Responses were eye popping.

Here are some samples:

“I hate to say it because I am not a young man but we need to get all these old corporate capitalists out of the way and redefine the terms of capitalism and realize not everything is here to make money from. Our health and education to name a few. Old politicians like you being dumb. That’s how old society was in the 20th century . If you haven’t notice (sic) some people don’t want it any different.”

“I definitely think we should take this opportunity to rethink normal.” (Many chimed in their agreement.)
“Ants aren’t building hills and subterranean complexes with an option to buy. Fleas aren’t selling dog shares on the stock exchange. ‘Normal’, ‘money’, and ‘Capitalism’ do not exist in nature, they are human constructs that can be redefined.”

(I have never seen a squirrel willingly give up a nut or acorn it has worked to get, nor have I seen a dog give up a bone or scrap of meat it has found, have you?)

“Normal is just a setting on a dryer. I love the sentiment and you’re totally right.” (If you are sick, you appreciate what normal is and recognize it. If you go to the doctor for a test and it comes back normal, you are happy about it.)
“When there’s a cloud I think it is very useful to expand the heck out of any silver lining. And one silver lining may be the opportunity to reassess the degree of frantic racing around that was the old normal. There are many other areas of societal improvement this time and opportunity could lead us to beneficially consider as well…”
(A lot of people enjoy the frantic running around. They will keep doing it.)
“Agreed! And we’re gonna do it brother. I believe we’re gonna make it better. Our kids are learning so many different things right now. My son’s in Africa on the equator. I’ve never done that, but we can’t do this alone. We should remain stoic and persevere but the next gen has got this. I’m proud to be where we are right now as a people and I truly believe what doesn’t break you makes you stronger and better. Plz keep smiling!🙂”
(Couldn’t resist getting in some virtue signalling could he? The next gen is what scares me the most. They don’t seem prepared to do anything except maximize the use of a phone.)

These people don’t realize – or refuse to acknowledge – that capitalism is what has raised up a middle class free to enjoy things our ancestors could only dream about. A system that rewards hard work and innovation is what made us a wonderful country.

Scary that years of liberal indoctrination have blinded so many.
Often what follows a period like this is a renaissance. People find new ways of doing things and new opportunities. Hopefully we will never be as dependent on other nations as we are now for vital goods. Virologists will learn a lot from this disease and come up with a better understanding of epidemics, as well as better vaccines.

But to change our successful society into a socialist/Communist government is not the way forward.

Empty Claims

Perhaps you saw Jimmy Kimmel making fun of VP Mike Pence delivering masks and things to an elderly people.
While Kimmel might have bathed in the fun of conservative mockery, he later had to apologize about it. Note the apology’s impact never matches the initial charge.

Washington Examiner sets the whole boxing match straight:

A deceptively edited video of Vice President Mike Pence is making the rounds, so it’s time for a fact check: No, the vice president did not deliver empty boxes of personal protective equipment to a Virginia healthcare center on Thursday.

Any claim to the contrary is fake news spread by people unwilling to do a little research. That includes Jimmy Kimmel, who, during his show on Thursday, played a 40-second video clip purportedly showing Pence, who had a hot mic on, grabbing a couple of boxes only to be told that they were empty. “Well, can I carry the empty ones? Just for the camera?” Pence replies.

And then the clip, which has garnered millions of views, ends there.

Mike Pence caught on hot mic delivering empty boxes of PPE for a PR stunt. pic.twitter.com/IduvGhiPwj
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) May 8, 2020

“Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPEs into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he’s doing,” Kimmel said while narrating the clip. “A big box of nothing, delivering another box of nothing.”

What Kimmel didn’t show is Pence putting the boxes down, shutting the door of the vehicle, and joking with one of his aides about how the empty boxes would have been “a lot easier” to carry.

Jimmy Kimmel is lying.

Watch the unedited clip.pic.twitter.com/HyV8iBiljS https://t.co/hU8RiddYcZ
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) May 8, 2020

Kimmel was ultimately forced to acknowledge his mistake. His apology naturally included a not-so-subtle jab at the Trump administration. Alas, what more can we expect from people whose instinctual anti-Trump mindset leads them to actively create and spread fake news?

it would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth. https://t.co/hI9cO4lxcX
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 8, 2020

There are others, however, who have not retracted the edited clip. One of them being Matt McDermott, a Virginia-based pollster and Democratic strategist, who tried to frame his correction as “additional context.”

Additional context to @jimmykimmel segment. With 75,000 Americans dead, Pence is joking about about empty boxes of PPE during a publicity stunt, after the White House press secretary said they had no time for “publicity stunts” in the middle of a crisis. https://t.co/hFeSp83lJs
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) May 8, 2020

Of course, the “additional context” in this case completely undermines the legitimacy of the edited clip and subsequent interpretations of it.

McDermott should have followed Kimmel’s example and deleted the clip. But he won’t, because oftentimes the people who rail against fake news are the very same people who have no trouble spreading it if it serves their agenda.

So much for honesty.

What Barr Really Said

Don’t be shocked, but the CBS interview of AG Bill Barr was edited – a lot. What was shown on TV did not fully deliver what he said. The best way to do so is to read the transcript. Take the time – about ten minutes – and read it here.

Catherine Herridge: Attorney General Barr, thank you for speaking first to CBS News.

Attorney General William Barr: Hi, Catherine.

♦ Q: What action has the Justice Department taken today in the Michael Flynn case?

BARR: We dismissed or are moving to dismiss the charges against General Flynn. At any stage during a proceeding, even after indictment or a conviction or a guilty plea, the Department can move to dismiss the charges if we determine that our standards of prosecution have not been met.

As you recall, in January, General Flynn moved to withdraw his plea, and also alleged misconduct by the government. And at that time, I asked a very seasoned U.S. attorney, who had spent ten years as an FBI agent and ten years as a career prosecutor, Jeff Jensen, from St. Louis, to come in and take a fresh look at this whole case. And he found some additional material. And last week, he came in and briefed me and made a recommendation that we dismiss the case, which I fully agreed with, as did the U.S. attorney in D.C. So we’ve moved to dismiss the case.

♦ Q: So this decision to dismiss by the Justice Department, this all came together really within the last week, based on new evidence?

BARR: Right. Well U.S. Attorney Jensen since January has been investigating this. And he reported to me last week.

♦ Q: Does Judge Sullivan have a say?

BARR: Yes. Under the rules, the case can be dismissed with leave of court. Generally, the courts have said that that provision is in there to protect defendants, to make sure the government doesn’t play games by bringing a charge and then dismissing it; bringing another charge, dismissing it. But he does have a say.

♦ Q: But is the Flynn case effectively over today from the Justice Department’s point of view?

BARR: We think the case against Flynn for false statements should be dismissed, as far as the Department of Justice is concerned.

♦ Q: And depending on the judge’s decision, could charges be brought against General Flynn in the future for other actions he took during the presidential campaign or during the transition?

BARR: Well, no charges like that have been brought. And I’m not gonna speculate about what charges there may be.

♦ Q: All of that said, General Flynn pled guilty to lying to federal investigators during his interview in January of 2017. And Flynn admitted in court, quote, his “false statements and omissions impeded and otherwise had a material impact on the FBI’s ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals with the campaign and Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.” Does the fact remain that General Flynn lied to federal investigators?

BARR: Well to constitute a false statement, you need two things. One, you need a false statement, lie. And then it has to be material to a legitimate investigation. And I think on the question of lying, it’s as Comey, Director Comey said just a few months after this episode, he said it was a closed question. And that, while you might make that argument, it was a very closed question.

But it’s on the question of materiality that we feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on. They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage, based on a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition. So.

Let me just also say that when he pled, the issue of materiality is related to whether the government has a bona fide investigation going on. And that’s information that’s really within the control of the government. The individual party would really not have that information. So as new information just became available that has a bearing on whether there was a legitimate investigation, that requires us, our duty, we think is to dismiss the case.

♦ Q: Does the new evidence show that the counterintelligence case against General Flynn was simply left open to lay a trap for lying?

BARR: Yes. Essentially.

They had started a counterintelligence investigation during the summer, as you know, related to the campaign. But in December, the team, the Crossfire Hurricane team, was closing that and determined they had found nothing to justify continuing with that investigation against Flynn.

On the very day they prepared the final papers, the seventh floor, that is the director’s office and the deputy director’s office up there, sent down word they should keep that open. So that they could try to go and question Flynn about this call he had with the Russian ambassador.

Let me say that, at that point, he was the designated national security adviser for President-Elect Trump, and was part of the transition, which is recognized by the government and funded by the government as an important function to bring in a new administration. And it is very typical, very common for the national security team of the incoming president to communicate with foreign leaders.

And that call, there was nothing wrong with it whatever. In fact, it was laudable. He– and it was nothing inconsistent with the Obama administration’s policies. And it was in U.S. interests. He was saying to the Russians, you know, “Don’t escalate.” And they asked him if he remembered saying that, and he said he didn’t remember that.

♦ Q: What should Americans take away from your actions in the Flynn case today?

BARR: Well, as I said in my confirmation hearing, one of the reasons I came back is because I was concerned that people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country. And that the political and that the justice, or the law enforcement process was being used to play political games. And I wanted to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice. And I believe that this case, that justice in this case requires dismissing the charges against General Flynn.

♦ Q: Are the actions you’re taking today bigger than the Flynn case?

Well, I think they are bigger because I hope that it sends the message that there is one standard of justice in this country. And that’s the way it will be. It doesn’t matter what political party you’re in, or, you know, whether you’re rich or poor. We will follow the same standard for everybody. Was there a crime committed, do we believe a crime was committed? And do we have the evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt? And we don’t think either of those standards were applicable here.

♦ Q: Has this been one of the most consequential decisions that you have made as attorney general?

I don’t know. I let other people judge that. It’s certainly – I feel good about the decision because that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to do what’s right.

♦ Q: Not what’s easy.

Right.

♦ Q: Was it an easy decision?

BARR: It was an easy decision, yes. I think easy because once I saw all the facts and some of the tactics used by the FBI in this instance and also the legal problems with the case, it was an easy decision. You know, one thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates.

Deputy Attorney General Yates, I’ve disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings. They and, you know, Director Comey ran around that.

♦ Q: When the special counsel report was released last year, you were accused by critics of putting your thumb on the scale in the president’s favor. Are you doing the president’s bidding in General Flynn’s case?

No, I’m doing the law’s bidding. I’m doing my duty under the law, as I see it.

♦ Q: President Trump recently tweeted about the Flynn case. He said, “What happened to General Flynn should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again.” Were you influenced in any way by the president or his tweets?

BARR: No, not at all. And, you know, I made clear during my confirmation hearing that I was gonna look into what happened in 2016 and ’17. I made that crystal clear. I was very concerned about what happened. I was gonna get to the bottom of it. And that included the treatment of General Flynn.

And that is part of John Durham, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s portfolio. The reason we had to take this action now and why U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen came in was because it was prompted by the motions that were filed in that case. And so we had to sorta move more quickly on it. But John Durham is still looking at all of this.

This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts. And we’re looking at the whole pattern of conduct.

♦ Q: The whole pattern of conduct before?

BARR: And after.

♦ Q: And after?

BARR: Yeah, the election.

♦ Q: After the election? Okay. You talk about the importance of timing in this decision. What was the evidence that helped you decide this issue?

BARR: I think a very important evidence here was that this was not a bona fide counterintelligence investigation – was that they were closing the investigation in December. They started that process. And on January 4th, they were closing it.

And that when they heard about the phone call, which is – the FBI had the transcripts too – there’s no question as to what was discussed. The FBI knew exactly what was discussed. And General Flynn, being the former director of the DIA, said to them, you know, “You listen, you listen to everything. You know, you know what was said.”

So there was no mystery about the call. But they initially tried some theories of how they could open another investigation, which didn’t fly. And then they found out that they had not technically closed the earlier investigation. And they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.

They didn’t warn him, the way we usually would be required by the Department. They bypassed the Justice Department. They bypassed the protocols at the White House and so forth. These were things that persuaded me that there was not a legitimate counterintelligence investigation going on.

♦ Q: You know you’re gonna take a lot of incoming, as they say in the military, for this decision. Are you prepared for that?

BARR: Yeah, I’m prepared for that. I also think it’s sad that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice. And the groups that usually worry about civil liberties and making sure that there’s proper procedures followed and standards set seem to be ignoring it and willing to destroy people’s lives and see great injustices done.

♦ Q: Just to be clear, you said this was your decision.

BARR: Uh-huh.

♦ Q: Did you consult or discuss the decision in any way with President Trump?

BARR: No.

♦ Q: Did you advise the White House that you had made this decision?

BARR: No. They were aware, because of the schedule, that the Department would be saying something in court. And I said that we’d make up our mind what to do and file, you know, sometime before Monday. File our responses to what was going on in court. But other than that, no.

♦ Q: So the White House became aware of the decision when it filed today?

BARR: Yes.

♦ Q: Not earlier?

BARR: No.

♦ Q: No. Okay. A lot of records have come to light. You talk about the records for closing the Flynn case. Were those new records to you? Because–

BARR: Yes.

♦ Q: –of Jensen? Okay. All right. In addition to those records, there are handwritten notes from January 24th, 2017. This was the day of Michael Flynn’s interview. And the writer states, “What is our goal? Truth, admission, or to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Is that a routine, by-the-book conversation between senior FBI officials?

BARR: Well, as many people point out, you know, it’s not unusual. In the course of a bona fide investigation, when you’re doing a criminal investigation or a counterintelligence investigation, that has a basis it’s not unusual to have an interview with someone and expecting that they might lie. But here’s what’s different here is that there was no underlying investigation that was legitimate. And the whole exercise was just about creating the lie.

♦ Q: But that language, does it bother you at all?

BARR: Well, my understanding is, just looking at the documents, the way I interpret them, is there was a disagreement. And that one of the agents, one of the senior agents felt that “Let’s not be game playing here. We have the transcript. Show him the transcripts and find out what you wanna find out.”

Instead of instead of, you know, essentially reading excerpts and saying, “Do you remember saying that?” which seemed to be all for the purpose of trying to catch him in something that could be called a lie. But, again, because the FBI knew about the call, there was nothing wrong with the call, the FBI has the transcript of the call, whether or not he remembered saying something is not material to anything.

♦ Q: Who at the FBI was driving this?

BARR: Well, this particular episode, it looks like the impetus came from the seventh floor.

♦ Q: The seventh floor is Director Comey.

BARR: I believe it’s Director Comey and the deputy’s office.

♦ Q: Based on the evidence that you have seen, did senior FBI officials conspire to throw out the national security adviser?

BARR: Well, as I said, this is a particular episode. And it has some troubling features to it, as we’ve discussed. But I think, you know, that’s a question that really has to wait an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump’s administration.

♦ Q: What are the consequences for these individuals?

BARR: Well, you know, I don’t wanna, you know, we’re in the middle of looking at all of this. John Durham’s investigation, and U.S. Attorney Jensen, I’m gonna ask him to do some more work on different items as well. And I’m gonna wait till all the evidence is, and I get their recommendations as to what they found and how serious it is.

But if, you know, if we were to find wrongdoing, in the sense of any criminal act, you know, obviously we would, we would follow through on that. But, again, you know, just because something may even stink to high heaven and be, you know, appear everyone to be bad we still have to apply the right standard and be convinced that there’s a violation of a criminal statute. And that we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. The same standard applies to everybody.

♦ Q: It sounds to me like one of your objectives is to never allow the Justice Department to be used as a political weapon. That’s what you’re saying you think happened here?

BARR: I think, yes. I think there was an aspect of that. And I think, for the last several decades, the Department has been used more and more, or the efforts have been made to draw the Department into that. And I think it’s very important that that not happen.

People, you know, we should choose our leaders through the election process. And efforts to use the law enforcement process to change leaders or to disable administrations are incendiary in this country and destroy our republic.

♦ Q: Before we move on to some separate questions, many of these records should have been provided to Flynn’s defense team long ago. Do you still have confidence in FBI Director Christopher Wray?

BARR: Well, you know, Chris Wray has always supported and been very helpful in various investigations we’ve been running. He cooperated fully with Durham, cooperated fully with Jensen. But, you know, there are a lot of cases in the Department of Justice and I don’t consider it the director’s responsibility to make sure that all the documents are produced in each case. So I don’t– I wouldn’t say that this has affected my confidence in Director Wray.

♦ Q: Does Director Wray have what it takes to make the changes at the FBI?

BARR: Yeah, as I’ve said, you know, he’s been a great partner to me in our effort to restore the American people’s confidence in both the Department of Justice and the FBI. And we work very well together. And I think both of us know that we have to step up. That it’s very important to restore the American people’s confidence.

♦ Q: Does he have his arms around the gravity of what happened in 2016 and 2017?

BARR: I think he does.

♦ Q: Newly declassified footnotes in the Horowitz report suggest that the Steele dossier was likely the product of Russian disinformation. And there were multiple warnings to the FBI at that time, yet they continued to use that. How do you explain that?

BARR: I think that’s one of the most troubling aspects of this whole thing. And, in fact, I said it in testimony on the Hill, I can’t remember if it was my confirmation, that I said I was very concerned about the possibility that that dossier and Steele’s activities were used as a vector for the Russians to inject disinformation into the political campaign.

I think that is something that Robert Mueller was responsible for looking at under his charter, which is the potential of Russian influence. But I think it was ignored and there was mounting indications that this could very well have been happening and no one really stopped to look at it.

♦ Q: These are very smart people who were working in the special counsel’s office, and in senior levels of the FBI. So what drove them here?

BARR: Well, I think one of the things you have to guard against, both as a prosecutor and I think as an investigator, is that if you get too wedded to a particular outcome and you’re pursuing a particular agenda, you close your eyes to anything that sort of doesn’t fit with your preconception. And I think that’s probably the phenomenon we’re looking at here.

♦ Q: You know more about the investigation since Horowitz, since December. Do you see more evidence of personal or political bias today?

BARR: You know, I’m not gonna, again, get into reaching a conclusion at this point till I see everything. There’s certainly more information that has come out that, you know, points in that direction. But I haven’t reached a final conclusion.

♦ Q: Before we just move onto to a couple of off-topic questions, the last thing most Americans remember about General Flynn is that he resigned, was fired. And that he admitted lying to the FBI. Does the fact remain that he lied?

BARR: Well, you know, people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes. And as I said, the question of lying, you know, it’s something he would know about. On its face, as Director Comey said, it’s not so clear. But the question of materiality is not something he would know about. That’s something that the government knows about. And we have now gotten into it, drilled down, obtained new information. And the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime.

♦ Q: Before we leave this topic, is there anything that you would like to add?

BARR: No.

♦ Q: Okay. Just on COVID-19. Some of the news of today. The valet at the White House has tested positive. Have you had any exposure or interaction with this valet?

BARR: I don’t think I have, no.

♦ Q: Do you have a view on whether the president, the vice president should self-quarantine or be separated?

BARR: No, you know, I don’t have a view on that. I don’t know about how close they were physically or what the medical advice is the president gets. But we’re tested pretty regularly when we’re over at the White House to visit.

♦ Q: Every day, every other day?

BARR: It depends how frequently, though at least once a week, but sometimes, you know, if you’ve been around and could have been infected, you can get further testing.

♦ Q: The president said that he’s urging the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act when it’s taken up in the Supreme Court later this year. What’s your position? Is that something the Justice Department will continue to back?

BARR: Yes. You know, we had an opportunity, all the stakeholders in the administration, to discuss this, and the Department is going to be taking the position as the president states.

♦ Q: Even if that means stripping millions of Americans of their health care in the middle of a pandemic?

BARR: Well, the case isn’t gonna be argued until October. And the president’s made clear that he strongly supports coverage of preexisting conditions. And there will be coverage of preexisting conditions. And, you know, he expects to fix and replace Obamacare with a better health care system.

♦ Q: If governors continue to limit the size of gatherings, including religious services, what further action is the Justice Department prepared to take?

BARR: Well, I think initially, you know, at the very beginning of the crisis, before we knew very much — and while, in some places, the infection rates were skyrocketing and threatening to overwhelm our health care system, you know, the initial limitations may have been defensible. But as time goes by, it’s harder to justify those kinds of blanket restrictions on religious practice.

I think, if people can follow social distancing by leaving space, wearing masks and so forth, there has to be accommodation to religious practice. The Department has already entered a few cases around the country where there have been these sweeping prohibitions against religion where there were comparable secular activities are not controlled the same way.

♦ Q: On the Bureau of Prisons– currently 2,100 inmates and over 360 Bureau prison staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Will you make universal testing available to the inmates and the staff?

BARR: I think over time, we’ll be testing and perhaps get to that point. You know, we got, right at the beginning, I dealt with FEMA and I was able to get some of the Abbott machines. And we’ve been building up our testing capacity. And we’re doing more and more tests.

And, you know, we’ve been trying to keep our inmates as safe as we can. We let a lot of inmates who are older and don’t pose a threat to the community, we’ve put them on home confinement to get ’em outta the institutions. So we’re taking every measure we can to protect those inmates.

Generally speaking, historically, the infection rates roughly, from what I’ve seen, are comparable inside the institution (SIC) as they are in society at large. And we’ve been able to prevent our prisons from becoming Petri dishes where they sweep through with the same lethality that they have in, you know, nursing homes and so forth. It takes a lotta work, and the Bureau of Prisons has been working hard on that.

♦ Q: In closing, this was a big decision in the Flynn case, to– to say the least. When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written? What will it say about your decision making?

BARR: Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.

♦ Q: Uh-huh.

BARR: I mean, it’s not gonna be the end of it.

♦ Q: What do you mean, it’s not the end of it?

BARR: Well, I said we’re gonna get to the bottom of what happened.

♦ Q: And later this year, do you expect a report from U.S. Attorney John Durham? Or do you expect indictments?

BARR: Well, as you know, I’m not gonna predict the outcome. But I said that we’re certainly — there probably will be a report as a byproduct of his work. But we also are seeing if there are people who violated the law and should be brought to justice. And that’s what we have our eye on.

♦ Q: And that would include individuals involved in the Flynn case?

BARR: I don’t wanna get into particular individuals.

♦ Q: Attorney General William Barr, thank you very much for joining us here at CBS News.

Barr: Thank you.

What Would Obama Do?

Occasionally, Fox’s The Five will have a good segment. This is usually due to Greg Gutfeld and Jesse Waters.
After Trump’s Lincoln Monument Townhall, they discussed one of the questions submitted to him. It was a backhand compliment – maybe – about how he handles the press. This caused Gutfeld and Waters to discuss how the media would have treated Obama in the pandemic. They make great points:

How Trump Handles Biden

With Biden fighting the surge of Tara Reade allegations of sexual impropriety, he doesn’t appear to know how to handle it. His interview with Mika Brezhinski didn’t bury it; probably it made it worse.

Thinking they could counter by putting Trump on the spot, reporters sought to exploit the subject of the president’s accusations by a string of unbelievable strumpets.

How did Trump handle it? Brilliantly, according to Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

To Adams, Trump’s response was “a kill-shot so perfect no strategist could ever have thought it up – it has the Trump master-touch.
Tyler O’Neill at pjmedia explains:

“I would just say to Joe Biden, ‘Just go out and fight it,’” Trump said in a podcast interview with Dan Bongino. “He’s going to have to make his own decision, I’m not going to be telling him what to do. Biden is going to have to go out and fight his own battles.”

Then Trump identified himself with Biden. “I’ve been falsely accused by people that I’ve never even seen, I’ve never even seen many of these people. And some of these people, I met them – zero interest, Okay? Like zero,” the president said.

“And all of a sudden you become a wealthy guy, you’re a famous guy, then you become president, and people just – people that you’ve never seen, that you’ve never heard of make charges. So I guess in a way you could say I’m, I’m sticking up for him,” Trump said of Biden.

“If that’s not the funniest thing you’ve heard in your whole life,” Scott Adams said, laughing.

The Dilbert creator explained that the president threaded the needle exactly right. Sexual assault claims are a touchy subject because the president has been accused so many times — but he found the perfect way out of this dillema, Adams insisted.

“If President Trump had said yeah, ‘Joe Biden is guilty,’ that would totally open up Trump for the same accusations and you know that would be just automatic,” Adams said. “So President Trump didn’t really have a play to talk about it at all.”

“There’s nobody else in the world who would have found that path, it’s so, it’s so perfect,” the Dilbert creator added, in awe. “The president is embracing Biden…”

“The president is using as a kill-shot that his opponent is just like him. Do you understand how sublime that is?” Adams asked. “Because there’s only one person in the race who can survive being just like Trump, and it’s not Joe Biden.”

“The more Trump says, ‘Yeah, we’re like brothers. We’re practically the same guy. I lie, he lies, I’ve got some allegations, he’s got some allegations. You know, … we’re practically bros,’” the better it is for the president’s campaign.

By identifying himself with Biden and daring Biden to defend himself, Trump not only taints his opposition but also draws attention to Tara Reade’s claims. The president took a situation where the sexual assault claims against him might very well become the bigger story, but he pivoted around it perfectly.

“This is like somebody getting out of the escape room when there’s no escape,” Scott Adams said. “How the hell did he find this path? You know, in a million years, if you hired the best consultants in the world… The way you know that this came from him and did not come from an advisor or a paid consultant is that no paid consultant could come up with this plan.”

“It’s just too good, and only Trump could pull it off,” Adams said.

That’s why I am not worried about his reelection, except for the cheating the Dems will surely try.

How to Respond to “Trump’s a Racist”

If you’re a Trump supporter you’ve probably been told by a friend, friends or family that “Trump’s a raaacissst.” In today’s society, that is the easiest and most damning thing the Left can say. And they say it frequently, hoping the mere repetition of it will persuade people.

In this they are probably right.

They successfully tagged him with racism after the Charlottesville incident, although Trump said nothing about supporting White Supremacists. He, in fact, condemned their stance. Prager U powerfully debunks that here: https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/08/08/prageru-breaks-down-the-charlottesville-lie/.

Actually, when Trump first became a candidate, it was hard put to see how they could label him a racist, as he had been active in media and New York life for a long time and no such charge ever surfaced. In the late 1990s, Jesse Jackson called Trump a friend and “builder of men.” Trump gave him office space in New York and saw to it that black businesses got loans.

Truth is no impediment to the Left, however.

Here are some more bullet points to remember when accosted by a racist spewing Trump hater (hat tip John Eidson, American Thinker).

For 14 years, NBC made Trump the host of its prime-time television series, The Apprentice, something the network would never have done had there been even a hint of racism in his past.
Trump was a high-profile real estate developer in New York City, one of the most liberal jurisdictions in America. Had he been infected with racism, he would have faced insurmountable hurdles getting his projects approved.
Before running for president, Trump donated $1.5 million to high-profile Democrat candidates, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Andrew Cuomo, none of whom would have accepted a dime from him if there was a shred of doubt about his racial bona fides.

In 1985, after Trump bought Mar-a-Lago, he insisted that club membership there would have no race or religion restrictions. The Palm Beach town council objected and tried to stop him turning it into a club. He filed a $100 million lawsuit against them. They backed down and other clubs began halting discriminatory practices.

Recent accomplishments deny his racism as well.

He freed Alice Marie Johnson, something a racist would never do, nor did he have to do.
Then he pardoned black boxer Jack Johnson, correcting the record on the long dead athlete – something Bush 43 and Barack Obama declined to do.

He signed a bill making the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. a national park. The bill was sponsored by Democrat civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.

Trump signed an executive order making historically black colleges and universities a priority. That was just a month after taking office.

Leaders of black colleges and universities in the Oval Office, February 2017 for the signing of an executive order.

In May 2018, black NYPD detective Miosotis Familia, mother of two, was gunned down by a cop-hater. At a memorial service in the nation’s capital, President Trump hugged, kissed, and held hands with Familia’s 90-year-old mother. Would a racist ever do such a thing?

The Trump administration also started Opportunity Zones, a new community development program to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide.

If this is racism, it’s a peculiar type. Had he ever used slurs at any time in his life, you can bet they would have surfaced in 2016. They didn’t because he doesn’t think that way.

It’s the Dems/Left/Progressives who want to slur. They do it well.

The Real Threat

It’s not COVID 19 that will deal a death blow to the United States.

It’s the corruption in our FBI and DOJ that is more deadly than any virus.

What has recently come out in the Flynn case about these institutions shows that we are, and have been, infected with something much more fatal. Parts of our government will suborn the truth and use all its assets to go after someone or some people who would threaten their control.

In one of the more shocking statements to come out – so far – is the one attributed to the FBI’s Bill Priestap: “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired? If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”

In other words, truth and justice are not the goal. What could be more damning to our nation?

Many wonder why Flynn was the target. Having served in the Obama administration, Flynn knew all about the dirty things they did.

McCabe, the one who reassured Flynn at the White House that he didn’t need a lawyer for their little tete a tete, particularly had it in for Flynn. Flynn had supported FBI agent Robin Gritz who filed a sexual harassment claim against McCabe. McCabe was able to bury it, but not his antipathy towards Flynn.

Michael Ledeen at the Washington Examiner has more:

Life does not run in a straight line, and top officials in the intelligence community long had it in for Flynn, ever since he changed the way we did intelligence against al Qaeda in Iraq, and then against the Taliban and Iranian-supported terrorists in Afghanistan. The changes put both intelligence-gathering and anti-terrorist operations primarily under battlefield control, significantly diminishing the power of Washington-based intel officers. These high-ranking officials remained hostile thereafter, as Flynn moved to the headquarters of national intelligence, and then to the Defense Intelligence Agency.

He was essentially fired from the Defense Intelligence Agency by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who told him he should retire. This came on the heels of Flynn’s sworn congressional testimony criticizing the Obama administration’s failed Afghanistan policy. This showed, once again, that Flynn understood how badly we were doing, and would not collude with the intelligence community. Indeed, he intended to carry out an audit of covert funding since the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (none has been done in all those years).

It was therefore not surprising that Flynn was targeted by top intel officials when he became an adviser to several Republican primary candidates in 2016. If Barr looks at the circumstances of Flynn’s removal from the Defense Intelligence Agency, he will find many of the same people who went after both Flynn and Trump after the election. Indeed, the anti-Trump operation began with accusations from the intelligence community that Flynn was in cahoots with the Russians, and, as national security adviser Susan Rice warned the president-elect, might be in violation of the Logan Act.

Consider, for example, Stefan Halper, a longtime informant in the intelligence community. Halper claimed that Flynn was compromised by the Russians, and six months later Flynn was forced into retirement. Halper was later an informant for the FBI seeking information on the Trump campaign.

I think the operation against Flynn provided the template for much of the anti-Trump campaign, from the “unmasking” of people surveiled by FISA-approved intercepts to the close collaboration with British and Italian intelligence services. When the operation against Flynn succeeded, the operators must have realized that similar methods might bring down the president himself. All the pieces were in place. Their team was formed, their international working relations with foreign counterparts were intact, and when they saw that Trump would not fight for his chosen national security adviser, they reckoned he’d fall victim to the same methods.

It’s just a matter of time before the coronavirus goes away and is controlled by drugs and vaccines. We aren’t so lucky with our diseased system. We’re finding out the extent of the illness everyday. The cure will be radical, but without it, the patient, the U.S., will die.