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Tag: donald trump

Trump’s & His Family’s Vacation Habits Are Draining Secret Service Budget

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s large family and their habit of traveling to several residences on the East Coast have left the Secret Service without enough money to pay hundreds of agents. 

The agency has already exceeded its annual caps for salary and overtime for more than 1,000 agents, with more than three months left before the budget is replenished, Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles told the USA Today. 

In the first seven months, the Secret Service has depleted its budget because of weekend trips to Trump’s properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia and his adult children’s frequent business trips and vacation across the country and world.

“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles said. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”

Under the Obama administration, Secret Service agents protected 31 people. That number has increased to 42 people under Trump. 

White House Counsel Predicts ‘Narrow’ Probe of Russia Will Be Quick

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House special counsel Ty Cobb has a positive forecast for the investigation into Russians interfering with the presidential election.

Cobb told Reuters that he believes the probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller will wrap up quickly and exonerate Trump. 

Cobb, who said he’s in contact with Mueller’s investigative team, contends the probe appears to be “narrow” and should be over by the end of the year.

“I’d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it’s still haunting him by year end,” Cobb told Reuters, adding: “I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow.”

Cobb provided no evidence to back up his claims.

Secret Service Investigates State Senator Who Wrote, ‘I Hope Trump Is Assassinated’

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a Missouri state senator after posting on Facebook that she’s hopes someone assassinates President Trump.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal commented on her personal Facebook page, “I hope Trump is assassinate.” 

The Democratic senator deleted the post, which prompted an investigation by the Secret Service.

Chappelle-Nadal told the Kansas City Star that she made the comment because she was frustrated with the “trauma and despair” the president is causing by minimizing the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. 

“The way I responded this morning was wrong,” she told The Star. “I’m frustrated. Did I mean the statement? No. Am I frustrated? Absolutely. The president is causing damage. He’s causing hate.”

Chappelle-Nadal eventually deleted the post.

“It was wrong for me to post that,” Chappelle-Nadal said. “But I am not going to shy away from the damage this president is causing.”

Trump has caught criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for blaming “both sides” and “many sides” for the violent rally that ended in the death of an anti-racist protester who was among a group of people struck by a car driven by an alleged Nazi sympathizer from Ohio.

NYT: Internet Users Should Be Alarmed by DOJ’s Pursuit of DreamHost Information

computer-photoBy Editorial Board
New York Times

Do you use the internet? Are you interested in politics? Do you value your privacy? If you answered yes, you should be alarmed by the shockingly broad search warrant sought by the Justice Department, and approved by a judge in Washington, D.C., last month, targeting DreamHost, an internet hosting company based in Los Angeles.

As DreamHost explained in a blog post on Monday, it hosts disruptj20.org, a website that helped organize anti-Trump protests on Inauguration Day, and posted pictures of those protests in the days after. There were large-scale protests across Washington on Jan. 20, most of which involved peaceful marches or sit-ins. But some people turned to violence, breaking store windows, setting fires, throwing rocks at police officers and, in one case, assaulting Richard Spencer, the white nationalist, during a television interview. More than 200 people have been charged with felony rioting.

As part of its continuing investigation, the Justice Department demanded that DreamHost turn over “all records or other information” relating to the site, which received more than 1.3 million requests to view its pages in six days after the inauguration. Those records include personal information like I.P. addresses, which identify a specific computer; data about which of the site’s pages a user viewed, and when; and the type of operating software on that person’s computer. Federal prosecutors are also seeking all emails, photos and other content sent to and from the site.

“That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment,” DreamHost wrote in its blog post.

It doesn’t matter whether the visitor is suspected of participating in a crime, or is even known to have attended the protests. If someone clicked anywhere on the site from anywhere in the world, the government wants to know.

To read more click here. 

Ukrainian Hacker Cooperating with FBI in Investigation of Russia, Trump Campaign

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker in Ukraine known as “Profexer” is cooperating with the FBI as it investigates Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, the New York Times revealed Wednesday evening. 

Profexer, who wrote and sold malware on the dark web, is accused of writing a program used to break into the Democratic National Committee  servers and obtain thousands of emails that were leaked ahead of the election.

The hacker, whose real identity has not been released, turned himself into the FBI earlier this year and became a witness in the case. He has not been arrested, and there is no proof that he worked for Russian intelligence, according to Ukranian police.

But U.S. intelligence officials, based on a sample of the malware, believe Russians used the program to hack into the DNC.

The FBI, federal lawmakers and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.

Survey Contradicts Trump’s Assertions That FBI’s Comey Was Disliked

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump and his administration have repeatedly asserted that fired FBI Director James Comey was unpopular among the rank-and-file and was to blame for low morale.

But an internal survey released Wednesday suggests Comey, whom Trump fired in May, was trusted and highly respected, the Associated Press reported

A majority of survey respondents gave Comey high marks when asked if the then-director had “a positive impact on my morale.” The results mirror similar surveys dating to the start of Comey’s tenure in 2013.

The AP wrote:

Using a 1-to-5 scale, where scores between 3.81 and 5 are considered a “success in those areas,” Comey received average scores of 4.67, 4.39 and 4.38, respectively, on the morale question. Those results were tallied from 36 respondents in 2015, from 47 in 2016 and from 48 in 2017.

Respondents’ “trust and confidence” in Comey as a leader did drop slightly between 2015 and 2017 — from an average score of 4.78 to 4.46 — though it still fell within the higher end of the top benchmark for the surveys.

Trump initially cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal email server as justification for firing him. The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, wrote a three-page memo criticizing those decisions, saying that as a result the FBI was “unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes.”

But Trump later said he had intended to fire Comey all along, dubbing him a “showboat.” A White House spokeswoman said then she had personally heard from “countless” agents who had complained about Comey’s leadership.

Trump’s Pledge to Hire More Border Patrol Agents Is Met with Resistance, Logistical Snags

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to quickly hire 15,000 new border security agents and immigration officers has hit logistical snags.

Just days after entering office, Trump signed an executive order to add 5,000 more Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more immigration officers for ICE.

Since then, Homeland Security’s watchdog has expressed skepticism about the ability to hire that many new employees. Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also issued a report in late July that questions  need for 15,000 new agents and officers, CBS News reports. 

“Neither CBP nor ICE could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the additional 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire,” the report found.

Neither agency knows exactly how many employees it needs.

Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute at Rice University, suggested the Trump administration provided an “arbitrary number” of employees to hire.

“So what is the optimum number for the border patrol?” Payan said. “We don’t really have a baseline right now. I think saying that we need 25 percent more, or we need to double ICE, at this point in time it sounds to me more like … sort of an arbitrary number.”

Times of Trenton: Trump’s Justice Department Erodes Constitutional Rights

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Editorial Board
Times of Trenton

“It tears at the fabric of our great nation and does not move us forward; it takes us backwards.”

With these terse words, more than 60 members of Congress – including half a dozen from New Jersey – summed up their dismay over a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice that does an enormous injustice to members of the LGBTQ community.

In a no-holds-barred letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the lawmakers expressed deep disappointment concerning a friend-of-the-court brief the department filed late last month in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express.

In the brief, the nation’s top law-enforcement body claims that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect lesbians, gays or bisexual people from discrimination.

Not so fast, the letter writers argue. Not only is the Justice Department’s action contrary to existing law, they say forcefully, but it also violates the country’s basic ideals of liberty and justice for all.

The original lawsuit under review stems from 2010, when a skydiving instructor named Donald Zarda charged that a former employer, Altitude Express, Inc., violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against him because of his sexual orientation.