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Archive for January 11th, 2017

McCain Shows Documents to FBI That Indicate Trump’s Team Had Contact with Russia

John McCain

John McCain

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s campaign had secret contacts with Moscow, and Russian intelligence has information that is personally compromising to the president-elect, according to documents obtained by Sen. John McCain.

McCain, a Republican, passed the documents to FBI Director James Comey, the Guardian reports. 

The documents were published by BuzzFeed, which made clear that the information was “unverified and potentially unverifiable.”

In response to the documents, Trump tweeted: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

The Guardian spoke to an official in the U.S. administration who said the documents appear to be reliable.

AG Candidate Jeff Sessions Won’t Commit to Protecting Journalists’ Sources

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

Jeff Sessions at the confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is Donald Trump’s choice for the next attorney general, said Tuesday at his confirmation hearing that he would not commit to keeping journalists from going to jail for refusing to leak information from anonymous sources.

By contrast, Attorney General Eric Holder said in 2015 that he would not jail reporters for doing their jobs, Huffington Post reports

“If confirmed, will you commit to following the standards already in place at the Justice Department and will you make that commitment not to put reporters in jail for doing their jobs?” asked Sen. Amy Klobuchar, R-Minn.

“I’m not sure,” Sessions responded. “I have not studied those regulations.”

Sessions said that information from journalists could serve as a “mechanism through which unlawful intelligence is obtained.”

Homeland Security Candidate Distances Self from Trump on Border Wall, Russia

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for secretary of Homeland Security don’t see eye to eye on two critical issues.

During his confirmation hearing Tuesday, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of a border wall and said that he agrees “with high confidence” that Russia tried to influence the presidential race, Bloomberg reports.  

“A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job” at the border, Kelly said. Instead, he favors a “layered defense,” including the use of border patrol agents and technology such as drones that would work in “places that perhaps the wall can’t be built or will be built any time soon.”

Kelly said he’s talked about the wall with Trump “only briefly.”

If confirmed, Kelly would be the first former general to lead Homeland Security since it was created in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 terror attack.

“I have never had a problem speaking truth to power, and I firmly believe that those in power deserve full candor and my honest assessment and recommendations,” Kelly said in his opening statement.

Lawsuit: Border Patrol Destroyed Surveillance of Conditions at Detention Facilities

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials are accused in a lawsuit of destroying surveillance footage of poor conditions inside detention facilities in Arizona.

The National Immigration Law Center filed a motion Monday that alleged Border Patrol knowingly recorded over videos and handed over unwatchable footage, BuzzFeed reports. 

“This is yet another example of an agency going out of its way to keep the horrible conditions in these facilities out of the public eye,” Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for NILC, told BuzzFeed News.

Border Patrol officials declined to comment.

The facilities are used for detainees who are caught illegally crossing the border.

Photos released in August showed poor conditions at the facilities.

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