Sunday, May 20, 2018

The FBI Informant Who Monitored the Trump Campaign, Stefan Halper, Oversaw a CIA Spying Operation in the 1980 Presidential Election

Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign - using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush - got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration.

To begin with, it's obviously notable that the person the FBI used to monitor the Trump campaign is the same person who worked as a CIA operative running that 1980 Presidential election spying campaign.

The NYT in 1983 said the Reagan campaign spying operation "Involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive." The article, by then-NYT reporter Leslie Gelb, added that its "Sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge." Halper, now 73, had also worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig as part of the Nixon administration.

When the scandal first broke in 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper's handler for this operation was Reagan's Vice Presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA Director and worked there with Halper's father-in-law, former CIA Deputy Director Ray Cline, who worked on Bush's 1980 presidential campaign before Bush ultimately became Reagan's Vice President.

Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell not only endorsed Clinton in the New York Times but claimed that "Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." George W. Bush's CIA and NSA director, Gen. Michael Hayden, pronounced Trump a "Clear and present danger" to U.S. national security and then, less than a week before the election, went to the Washington Post to warn that "Donald Trump really does sound a lot like Vladimir Putin" and said Trump is "The useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited."

Quite the contrary: his decades of work for the CIA - including his role in an obviously unethical if not criminal spying operation during the 1980 presidential campaign - is quite publicly known.

Whatever else is true, the CIA operative and FBI informant used to gather information on the Trump campaign in the 2016 campaign has, for weeks, been falsely depicted as a sensitive intelligence asset rather than what he actually is: a long-time CIA operative with extensive links to the Bush family who was responsible for a dirty and likely illegal spying operation in the 1980 presidential election.

How Democrats And the Media Twist EVERYTHING Trump Does

President Trump on Friday tore into media outlets for twisting a comment he made this week about MS-13 "Animals," while the Homeland Security secretary said Democratic lawmakers who did the same should apologize.

"Fake News Media had me calling Immigrants, or Illegal Immigrants, 'Animals.' Wrong! They were begrudgingly forced to withdraw their stories," Trump tweeted.

Some outlets have walked back that characterization, given Trump made the remark after Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims lamented how California policies could restrict the fight against MS-13.

A number of outlets glossed over the MS-13 context, stating that Trump was talking about all illegal immigrants.

The New York Times tweeted that Trump "Lashed out at undocumented immigrants.calling those trying to breach the country's borders 'animals.'" The Associated Press deleted a tweet that made a similar representation of his remarks.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen also defended Trump on "Fox & Friends" Friday, blasting Democratic politicians she said also missed the point.

Figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement document a surge in arrests related to MS-13 since Trump came into office. 

Why Regulations Are Another Elite War Against Common Folk

One of the major issues with these regulatory schemes is that high-IQ people who love details are too caught up with their own Rube Goldberg machines to see the obvious.

These CPAs and lawyers, high-IQ nitpicky people, take a hefty fee from the client and add no value whatsoever aside from avoiding legal ramifications.

Thus, the cabal of high-IQ detail-oriented people essentially wage war against people of lower intelligence or lower levels of detail orientation.

The people who do not hire overpriced lawyers and accountants are at the mercy of the intensely complex and unforgiving tax and legal systems.

They wonder why people in the "Ignorant" Midwest can't just accept that Obamacare is a great solution.

CPAs wonder why people can't see why Dodd-Frank regulations are stifling lending and the formation of new banks and capital funds.

People can't see why forcing restaurants to display calorie information on their menus leaves a bad taste in the mouths of small-time one-store Domino's Pizza owners, and why people like that aren't just building new stores.

Clinton-Email v. Trump-Russia: Tale of Two Investigations & Double Standard

FBI director Comey and the Obama Justice Department applied a double standard in their handling of the Clinton-email and Trump-Russia investigations.

In a feat of dizzying ratiocination, Director Comey explained that to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would be to hold her to a nitpicking, selective standard of justice not imposed on other Americans.

Yes, the entire "Russia hacked the election" narrative the nation has endured for nearly two years hinges on the say-so of CrowdStrike, a private DNC contractor with significant financial ties to the Clinton campaign.

Her underlings weren't prosecuted either - Clinton confidants Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin both told the FBI they were unaware that Clinton was using a private server while they worked for four years as her top State Department staffers; as the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross points out, Mills explicitly asked Abedin about the server in a 2010 email.

Attorneys Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson worked for Clinton at the State Department and were deeply involved in determining which emails Clinton surrendered to the State Department and which she destroyed.

Despite all of that, the Justice Department and FBI not only failed to object to Mills's and Samuelson's representation of Clinton; they permitted these lawyers to sit in as counsel representing Clinton in her FBI interview - during which she was questioned about activities undertaken with Mills and Samuelson.

In what I'm sure was a total coincidence, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who stood a very good chance of keeping her coveted job in a Hillary Clinton administration, gave FBI Director Comey an order: In his public statements and testimony, he was instructed to refer to the Clinton emails probe as a "Matter," not an investigation - otherwise, what might people think the Federal Bureau of Investigation was up to? This may have been an improper, politically motivated attempt to influence an FBI criminal probe, but on this occasion, there were no leaks to the New York Times about it; Comey complied, calculating that Lynch's politicization of the, er, "Matter" was not "a hill worth dying on." 

The Birth of the New American Aristocracy

To be sure, there is a lot to admire about my new group, which I'll call-for reasons you'll soon see-the 9.9 percent.

According to the UC Berkeley economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the 160,000 or so households in that group held 22 percent of America's wealth in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1963.

As of 2016, it took $1.2 million in net worth to make it into the 9.9 percent; $2.4 million to reach the group's median; and $10 million to get into the top 0.9 percent.

It's selective, naturally: Only 20 to 30 percent of New York applicants get in.

According to a 2017 study, 38 elite colleges-among them five of the Ivies-had more students from the top 1 percent than from the bottom 60 percent.

Only 2.2 percent of the nation's students graduate from nonsectarian private high schools, and yet these graduates account for 26 percent of students at Harvard and 28 percent of students at Princeton.

Not to worry, junior 9.9 percenters! We've created a new range of elite colleges just for you.

In 1954, 28 percent of all workers were members of trade unions, but by 2017 that figure was down to 11 percent.

San Francisco returned 162 percent in real terms over the same period; New York, 115 percent; and Los Angeles, 114 percent.

Across the United States, the journalist and economist Ryan Avent writes in The Gated City, "The best opportunities are found in one place, and for some reason most Americans are opting to live in another." According to estimates from the economists Enrico Moretti and Chang-Tai Hsieh, the migration away from the productive centers of New York, San Francisco, and San Jose alone lopped 9.7 percent off total U.S. growth from 1964 to 2009.

The new tax law; the executive actions on the environment and telecommunications, and on financial-services regulation; the judicial appointments of conservative ideologues-all will have the effect of keeping the 90 percent toiling in the foothills of merit for many years to come. 

President Trump demands DOJ give informant documents to Congress

President Donald Trump late Saturday demanded Justice Department give members of Congress the documents related to an FBI informant who had contacted campaign officials during the 2016 election.

"If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal," Mr. Trump Tweeted.

It is also the latest Tweet from Trump calling upon Justice Department to give Congress documents related to the Russian probe.

On Friday, multiple media outlets reported an FBI informant met with Trump campaign officials George Papadopoulos and Carter Page regarding their alleged Russia Times.

The Washington Post reported the informant also met with Trump co-chairman Sam Clovis.

The New York Times said the informant was "An American academic who teaches in Britain," but said it would not name the person to "Preserve their safety." In addition, CNN reported the informant has been an FBI and CIA source "For years."

Rudy Giuliani, who is serving as the president's attorney, told CNN Friday morning that he didn't know for sure if the FBI had embedded an informant in the Trump campaign.

China to buy 'significantly' more US goods and services after trade talks

China has agreed to purchase more U.S. goods and services following a second day of trade talks between Washington and Beijing on Friday.

In a joint statement issued Saturday, the U.S. and China said "There was a consensus on taking effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China."

"To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services," the statement reads.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese negotiators resisted demands from Washington to cut the trade deficit between the two countries in half.

China was also cautious about committing to specific purchases of U.S. goods and services.

Senior U.S. officials - including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin , U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross - have been participating in talks with Chinese officials about a potential trade deal as the countries seek to stave off a trade war.

President Trump raised doubts this week about a potential trade deal with China, saying that Beijing had "Become very spoiled" in its past dealings with the U.S. "You've never seen people come over from China to work on a trade deal. Now, will that be successful? I tend to doubt it," Trump told reporters during a meeting with the NATO secretary-general.