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Archive for February 14th, 2018

House Committee Launches Investigation into White House’s Handling of Rob Porter Allegations

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Republican-led House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of domestic violence allegations against former high-ranking official Rob Porter.

The committee made the decision Tuesday evening, just hours after FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee, contradicted the White House’s version of events, The Hill reports

The committee wants to know how Porter maintained his job and continued to work without security clearance after the allegations surfaced. 

White House officials originally suggested they didn’t know about the allegations until shortly before Porter resigned, claiming the FBI had not finished its background report on him.

But Wray testified that the bureau finished the background report in July and closed the file in January, which means the White House would have known about the allegations weeks before he resigned. 

Porter did not resign until photos surfaced last week showing an ex-wife with a black eye.

President Trump, who defended Porter, declined to answer questions from reporters today about the Porter case. 

Russia Expected to Ramp Up Campaign to Meddle in America’s Mid-Term Elections

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

U.S. intelligence agencies warned Congress that Russia is expected to ramp up its campaign to meddle in America’s midterm elections in July.

The agencies issued a worldwide threat assessment that predicts Russia will use hackers and social media to target the elections. 

“We assess that the Russian intelligence services will continue their efforts to disseminate false information via Russian state-controlled media and covert online personas about U.S. activities to encourage anti-U.S. political views,” the assessment reads.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was emboldened by its ability to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“There should be no doubt that Russia perceived that its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 U.S. midterm elections as a potential target for Russian midterm operations,” Coats said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin “is likely to increase his use of repression and intimidation to contend with domestic discontent over corruption, poor social services, and a sluggish economy with structural deficiencies,” according to the assessment.

Breaking: At Least 3 People Shot Near NSA Headquarters in Maryland

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

At least three people, including a police officer, were shot this morning near NSA headquarters in Maryland, and one suspect is in custody, according to local media reports.

The shooting broke out around 7:15 a.m. near the visitor’s gate at Fort Meade, Fox 5 reports. 

None of the injuries appears to be life-threatening, WBAL reports

Route 32, which is adjacent to the headquarters, was closed both ways.

The FBI is on the scene.

Details were still murky at 8:45 a.m.

FBI’s Wray Contradicts White House Account of Alleged Abuser Rob Porter

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaking at a previous congressional committee hearing.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The head of the FBI contradicted the White House version of events surrounding the handling of physical abuse allegations against former top aide Rob Porter, who resigned a week ago after denying the claims made publicly by two ex-wives.

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau finished a background report on Porter in July and closed the file in January, which means the White House would have known about the allegations weeks before he resigned. 

White House aides have claimed the FBI and other intelligence agencies had not completed the background checks, which included the domestic violence allegations.

Wray said the FBI did everything right.

“I’m quite confident that in this particular instance, the FBI followed established protocols,” Wray told the committee.

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