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Archive for February 13th, 2018

Secret Service Joins Probe of White Powder Scare Involving Trump Jr.’s Wife

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has launched an investigation into an unidentified white powder that Venessa Tump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., came into contact with while opening a piece of mail.

Venessa Trump  and two other people who may have been exposed were taken to a New York hospital, where they later learned the substance was non-hazardous, Reuters reports.

“The substance had arrived by mail and it was addressed to Donald Trump Jr.,” said New York Police Department spokesman Carlos Nieves.

The Secret Service and other agencies have taken white powder seriously since 2001, when anthrax-laced envelopes were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people. 

Most cases since then have been hoaxes.

Authorities said the packages had a Boston postmark, but law enforcement officials have declined to discuss it.

“Thankful that Vanessa & my children are safe and unharmed after the incredibly scary situation that occurred this morning,” Trump Jr. said on Twitter. “Truly disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behavior.”

Trump Scraps Plans to Build FBI Headquarters in Suburbs, Offers $2B for Rebuilding in D.C.

The FBI’s current headquarters in Washington D.C., named after J. Edgar Hoover.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump scrapped a long-delayed plan to build a new FBI headquarters outside of Washington D.C. in favor of rebuilding at the current site.

Trump’s proposal calls for more than $2 billion for the building project, which must be approved by Congress.

The FBI submitted a report to the Senate on a “nationally focused consolidation strategy for FBI headquarters,” which recommends a new building on the site of the current one, which has become cramped and outdated

“The FBI believes this proposed consolidation strategy enhances mission resiliency, continuity of operations, and will provide the Bureau with the agility necessary to meet future needs,” the agency said.

The funding request is tucked inside the president’s 218 infrastructure plan.

BuzzFeed Hires Former Top FBI Official to Track Down Authenticity of So-Called Steele Dossier

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

BuzzFeed has hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity expert to lead a team trying to verify parts of the controversial, disputed Steele dossier that suggested Russia had compromising information on President Trump.

Anthony Ferrante, who now works at FTI Consulting, a Washington-based advisory firm, has worked on the investigation for about six months, traveling around the globe to obtain more information on the veracity of the dossier, Foreign Policy reports.

BuzzFeed was the first news organization to publish the dossier, which alleged there were ties between Trump and Russia.

The story prompted a lawsuit against BuzzFeed, which is scurrying to defend the report, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Trump dismissed the dossier as fiction, suggesting it’s another example of federal law enforcement’s campaign to bring down the president.

Sessions Lashes Out at GOP Senator Over Marijuana Policy Dispute

AG Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared marijuana to heroin, blamed pot for spikes in violence and declared that “good people don’t smoke it,” lashed out at a senator from Colorado over a controversial pot policy.

“Too often, we’ve seen bad judgements, even politics enter into the work that we do,” Sessions said in a speech at a National Sheriffs’ Association meeting, according to Forbes. “We’re trying to confirm a number of important component heads at the Department of Justice.  It’s just getting to be frustrating, I’ve gotta tell you. Our nominee to the National Security Division — the anti-terrorism division — was approved unanimously in the committee. But because right now one senator’s concerns over unrelated issues — like reversing federal law against marijuana — we can’t even get a vote.”

Sessions was referring to Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican who has prevented the attorney general’s Justice Department nominees from being confirmed as part of a protest over Sessions’ decision to revoke an Obama-era policy that encouraged federal prosecutors to respect state laws on marijuana. Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level because the government stopped funding research to determine whether cannabis has medicinal benefits. 

Gardner said he voted to confirm Sessions’ nomination as attorney general because the former senator pledged not to make marijuana a major issue for the Justice Department.

“I have not changed my decision to hold these nominations until we have a commitment that lives up to what I believe was given to me prior to the confirmation,” Gardner said.

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