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Tag: donald trump

KellyAnne Conway, Donald Trump Jr. No Longer Receiving Secret Service Protection

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s eldest son and another top White House official will no longer be protected by the Secret Service, the New York Times reports.

Saying he wants more privacy, Donald Trump Jr. elected to forgo Secret Service protection.

It’s unclear whether the rest of his family has elected to forgo protection.

Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, also will no longer be protected by the Secret Service, which has been run over budget because of the president and his family’s penchant for traveling and going on vacations.

The Times reports:

Like other members of his family, Mr. Trump’s personal and business travel — often to far-flung Trump properties and projects around the world — has triggered frequent criticism and careful documentation by Democrats and other watchdog groups. Those groups argue that taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the agency’s highly trained agents to accompany the younger Mr. Trump. The size of the first family had forced the Secret Service to shift agents who would otherwise be working on criminal cases or investigations into protective duty.

The Secret Service does not decide who falls under its protection. In the case of the president’s immediate family, the agency is required by law to provide round-the-clock security unless it is told not to and typically errs on the side of caution.

Ms. Conway’s protection is not covered by statute. The president approved her protection after Ms. Conway received several threats in the administration’s early days. That threat assessment has since changed, the official briefed on the decision said.

FBI Wiretapped Trump Campaign Chair Manafort Beginning in 2014

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government may be closer to proving Donald Trump’s campaign was encouraging Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been under FBI surveillance beginning in 2014, CNN reports.

The surveillance included wiretapping and other types of searches that began in 2014, when Manafort was under investigation for work he did involving a group of Washington consulting firms for the former ruling party of Ukraine.

The wiretapping was permitted under a secret order authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court.

The information collected prompted concerns by the FBI that Manafort was encouraging Russia to meddle in the election. In 2016, the FBI obtained a second warrant because of suspicions that Manafort was acting as an agent of a foreign power. That warrant involved the bureau’s investigation into suspected collision between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.

Special Counsel’s Search Warrant Could Mark Turning Point in Russia Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller Mueller.

Special counsel Robert Mueller Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s search warrant for information related to Facebook accounts of suspected Russian operatives trying to meddle in the 2016 presidential election could be a turning point in the investigation.

Before news broke of the warrant, “it appeared that Mueller was focused on several discrete areas of inquiry, such as potentially false disclosures by former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, potential tax charges and alleged obstruction of justice related to President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey,” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti wrote for Newsweek

Mariotti said his main changed after reading news about the warrant.

“The importance of that development cannot be overstated,” Mariotti wrote. “It means that Mueller presented evidence to a federal magistrate judge who concluded there was good reason to believe that foreign individuals committed a crime by making a ‘contribution’ in connection with the election and that evidence of such a crime existed on Facebook.”

Hillary Clinton Says She’s Unsure If She Would Have Kept Comey If She Won

Hillary ClintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said Thursday she’s unsure whether she would have kept former FBI Director James Comey if she won the 2016 presidential election. 

“If you were president today, would he still be FBI director?”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked.

“That’s a really good question,” Clinton said. “I don’t know the answer to that, because once I wasn’t president I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze it at all, so, I don’t really know.”

Clinton, who has been doing interviews to promote her book, What Happened, partly blamed Comey for her loss.

Comey announced close to the election that the FBI was reopening its email server case against Clinton.

Trump Considers Reducing Refugees Admitted into U.S. to 50,000

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has not fulfilled his campaign pledge to ban all refugees that could be perceived as threatening from entering the country, but he’s considering a drastic step to reduce the numbers.

The New York Times reports the administration may reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States to under 50,000, the lowest number since at least 1980. 

By comparison, President Barack Obama said 110,000 refugees should be admitted into the country in 2016.

The Times reports that some in the administration, including Stephen Miller, want the number to be even lower than 50,000.

The Times wrote:

The issue has created an intense debate within the administration, with Mr. Miller and some officials at the Department of Homeland Security citing security concerns and limited resources as grounds for deeply cutting the number of admissions, and officials at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Department of Defense opposing a precipitous drop.

No final decision has been made, according to the officials, but as the issue is being debated, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the administration to bar almost any refugees from entering the country while it considers challenges to the travel ban order. The court will hear arguments in the case next month.

White House: DOJ Should ‘Absolutely Look at” Charging ousted FBI Director

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House is striking back at former FBI Director James Comey, saying the Justice Department should “absolutely look at” charging the ousted bureau leader for leaking classified information.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating allegations that President Trump committed obstruction of justice by firing Comey after he refused to back off an investigation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Tuesday that Trump had every right to fire Comey. When she was asked whether Comey should be prosecuted, she said, “That’s not the president’s role,” The New York Times reports. 

She added, “That’s the job of the Department of Justice, and something they should certainly look at.” 

She continued, ““If there’s ever a moment where we feel someone’s broken the law, particularly if they’re the head of the F.B.I., I think that’s something that certainly should be looked at.”

House Intelligence Committee Threatens FBI, AG with Contempt over Russia Dossier

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The House Intelligence Committee is trying to force the FBI and attorney general to provide information on how the bureau has used a salacious dossier while investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The FBI and attorney general have been threatened with contempt if they don’t testify before the committee later this week, The Hill reports

Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., issued a subpoena for information on the dossier that was compiled by former spy, Christopher Steele. Neither the FBI nor the Attorney General’s Office has responded by the Sept. 1 deadline.

Democrats are accusing Nunes of a partisan effort to undercut the basis of the FBI investigation.

Secret Service Locked Down White House After Objects Thrown over Fence

whitehouseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service imposed a lockdown at the White House on Monday morning after a man threw a sign and notebook over the Pennsylvania Avenue fence.

The lockdown was ordered around 10:40 a.m. and lifted less than an hour earlier after two people were taken into custody.

None of the objects were deemed dangerous.

The lockdown prevented people from leaving or entering the White House.

President Trump, who was attending a 9/11 ceremony, returned to the White House during the lockdown, according to the Secret Service.