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Tag: media

Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Flip-Flops on Question about Collusion with Russia

Rudy Giuliani previously on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is now claiming he “never said” the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Russia.

In an extraordinary interview on CNN on Wednesday night, Giuliani acknowledged there may have been “collusion” between the campaign and Russia, but Trump was not involved.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign. Or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN host Chris Cuomo on live television. “I have no idea.”

Truth is, Giuliani and Trump have both denied collusion.

“I have not,” Giuliani insisted. “I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

In previous interviews, Giuliani denied anyone in the campaign colluded with Russia. He told Fox News in July that there was “no collusion” and then maintained that “collusion is not a crime.”

Trump has repeatedly insisted no one in his campaign colluded with Russia.

“There was nobody to collude with,” Trump said at a press conference with Vladimir Putin at his side last summer. “There was no collusion with the campaign.”

In previous tweets, including one as recent as December, Trump exclaimed, “No collusion!”

Giuliani’s latest rhetoric comes as Robert Mueller begins collecting more evidence of links between Trump, his campaign and Russia.

Last week, a court filing error by Paul Manafort’s attorneys showed that Manafort, Trump’s former champaign boss, met with Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilmnik and shared polling data with him. At one point, Manafort urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, according to the court filing.

Right-Wing Media Gets Whackier, Calling for Abolishment of FBI

Fox News’ Sean Hannity interviews President Trump, via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s most stubborn defenders in the right-wing media have taken their attacks on the FBI to another whacky level.

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett called for scrapping the FBI because, he insisted, it’s part of a deep state conspiracy to bring down the president.

“This is an all-powerful, out of control agency,” Jarrett said on Sean Hannity’s show Monday. “Rogue agency. And frankly, it’s time that it be halted in its tracks and reorganized and replaced with a new organization that has legal restraints imposed upon it and accountable to somebody. When the boss of the FBI Rod Rosenstein is in bed with his subordinates, inventing a counter-intelligence case against the President with no probable cause, no reasonable suspicion, no credible evidence. It is time that the FBI be halted.”

Fox legal analyst Gregg Jarrett just called for the FBI to be disbanded over reports that they are investigating Trump

“Frankly, it’s time that it be halted in its tracks, reorganized and replaced” pic.twitter.com/szhaOSLOve

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) January 15, 2019

A day earlier, Joel Pollak from the far right-wing site Breitbart, wrote that it’s “time to scrap the FBI and start over fresh with a reorganized agency under a new name and with an improved commitment to neutrality and accountability.”

Never mind that most of the top FBI officials who have been accused of a running a rogue bureau are lifelong Republicans. Or that fired FBI Director James Comey may have cost Hillary Clinton the presidency by suggesting he was reopening the investigation into her email server just days before the election.

The accusations and suggestions have gotten so bizarre and devoid of evidence that some Republicans are speaking out against the feverish right-wing media.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, of Tennessee, recently said Trump has ushered in the “tyranny of the right-wing media” and must be stopped before propaganda replaces facts.

DOJ Creates Department to Investigate FBI Officials Leaking Classified Information

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

So much classified information is being leaked from the FBI that the Justice Department created a new counterintelligence division to address the issue.

Records obtained by The Young Turks show the anti-leak department was created during the first year of President Trump’s administration.

“By law, the FBI is the lead federal agency responsible for the investigation of violations of the espionage laws of the United States,” reads the “Functions and Mission Statement” section of a document dated Nov. 10, 2017.

“The complicated nature of — and rapid growth in — unauthorized disclosure and media leak threats and investigations has necessitated the establishment of a new Unit,” the document reads.

Ex-Senate Aide Who Leaked Information to Reporters Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison

James Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide was sentenced to two months in prison Thursday for lying to the FBI about leaking information to reporters covering the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

James A. Wolfe, 58, pleaded guilty in October to one count of making a false statement to FBI agents in a December interview. He falsely told investigators that he did not provide unclassified but protected information about a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

Prosecutors urged the judge to sentence Wolfe to two years in prison, saying he routinely shared sensitive information with “multiple young, female reporters.”

Wolfe, who admitted to providing the information to four reporters, said he lied to the FBI because he didn’t want his wife to find out about an affair.

When Wolfe is released from jail, he will have four months of supervised release and must complete 20 hours of community service for each of those months.

Robert Mueller Makes Short List for Times’s Person of the Year 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign, made the short list for Time’s Person of the Year 2018.

The magazine ran a lengthy, insightful piece about how the often silent prosecutor has continued his investigation in spite of constant attacks by President Trump and his backers, who claim Mueller is on a “witch hunt.”

Just this year, Mueller charged 34 people and entities with crimes, often convincing them to cooperate as the investigation balloons and begins to focus on the president.

Time wrote:

Mueller’s silence has invited noisy speculation from partisans. To critics on the right, he is an overzealous prosecutor drunk on power and roaming beyond his mandate in a bid to drum Trump out of office. To liberals, he is a crusading hero who won’t quit until he brings the President to justice. The public narrative of Mueller’s investigation this year has often described its central character more as myth than man.

So it is instructive to hear friends and former colleagues talk about Robert Swan Mueller III. Not because they portray a perfect person, but because they describe a complicated one: relentless but circumspect, impatient but thorough, difficult but respected. Mueller, they say, is the kind of man who flicks the lights off and on at his home to inform guests that it’s time to leave a social gathering, and who is so keenly aware of any appearance of impropriety that he won’t even enter the same room as friends who are working on the other side of the Russia case. As FBI director, he twice threatened to resign over matters of legal principle, winning the standoff both times, and was infamous for eviscerating ill-prepared underlings. “If indicting his own mother was the right thing to do,” says former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes, “he would do it.”

These qualities, manifest in Mueller’s work this year, are why many believe he was ideally suited to oversee the biggest test to the American system of justice since Watergate. As the nation awaits Mueller’s report and the political pressure intensifies, he has led the investigation with the same rigor and sense of duty that has marked his life. “He likes to follow procedures,” says David Kris, former Assistant Attorney General in the national-security division of the Department of Justice. “And those procedures he sees as a safe harbor against the stormy seas of politicization.”

Time placed Mueller on the “short list,” as the No. 3 person of the year for 2018.

Time named a group of journalists it referred to as “The Guardians” as the 2018 Person of the Year, referring to the reporters “who have taken great risks in pursuit of greater truths.”

Mueller Asks FBI to Investigate Allegations That Women Were Offered Money to Accuse Him of Sexual Assault

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is asking the FBI to investigate a scheme in which women were allegedly offered money to accuse him of sexual assault.

If true, it’s an ugly exploitation of the #MeToo movement and threatens to undermine legitimate claims of sexual harassment and assault.

Journalists uncovered the alleged hoax when they began receiving telephone call from someone making the offer, The USA Today reports

“When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the special counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr said.

Mueller has been the subject of constant criticism from President Trump, who claims the special counsel is conducting a “witch hunt” by investigating Trump’s campaign and whether it colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

A correspondent from HillReporter.com wrote about the offer, saying a man proposed to pay off her credit card debt and issuing a $20,000 check. The caller asked the reporter to use an encrypted communications application to receive more information about the proposal.

“Reluctantly, I downloaded the app and he called me on that app a few minutes later,” the person said in the email to the reporter. “He said (and I will never forget exactly what it was) ‘I want you to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller, and I want you to sign a sworn affidavit to that effect.’”

Ex-Senate Aide James Wolfe Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI about Contacts with Reporters

Jim Wolfe (Linkedin photo)

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A former Senate Intelligence Committee aide pleaded guilty on Monday to lying to the FBI about contacts with reporters covering the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

James A. Wolfe, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to FBI agents in a December interview in which he denied providing unclassified but protected information about a witness who had been subpoenaed to testify before the committee.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop two similar charges and recommend what amounts to zero to six months in jail, The New York Times reports

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Dec. 20.

Wolfe had been in charge of handling classified information provided to the committee for 28 years.

During the investigation, information was brought to light that investigators had violated Justice Department guidelines by secretly seizing years of records from a reporter’s phone and email without giving the required advance notices to the news organizations where she had worked.

Wolfe’s lawyers emphasized in a statement that their client had not been charged with leaking classified information.

“We have seen numerous distortions on social and other media of the facts of this matter,” they said. “So we emphasize again today that Jim was never charged with having compromised classified information, nor is such a charge part of today’s plea. Jim has accepted responsibility for his actions and has chosen to resolve this matter now so that he and his family can move forward with their lives.”

FBI Arrests California Man for Threatening to Kill Boston Globe Reporters

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a California man who repeatedly threatened violence against Boston Globe journalists, calling them “the enemy of the people,” echoing a phrase often used by President Trump.

An FBI SWAT team armed with military-style weapons arrested Robert Darrell Chain, 68, during a dawn raid in his home in Encino, Calif., the Boston Globe reported

Agents found 20 firearms in the home, including a rifle purchased in May.

Authorities said Chain was angry with the newspaper’s editorial campaign denouncing the president’s attacks against the media.

Chain was charged Thursday with threatening to shoot and kill journalists from the Boston Globe. He was released from jail on a $50,000 bond and told reporters outside federal court that “there’s no free press in America.”

Chain faces up to five years in prison and could be charged with additional crimes related to the weapons found at his home.