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Tag: President Obama

Trump’s Claims That He’s Been Tougher on Russia Than Obama Is Baseless

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling

President Trump’s accusations that Democrats and former President Obama are to blame for Russia’s meddling relies on a faulty comparison and fails to take into account his own inaction amid bi-partisan calls from Congress to impose sanctions against the Kremlin, according to several fact checks by media outlets

Trump also claimed on Twitter that “I have been much tougher on Russia the Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News!” He suggested in another tweet that then Justice Department should investigate “crimes” committed by Democrats and Obama for failing to stop Russian interference.

What Trump fails to mention is his persistent claims that Russia’s involvement in the election was “a hoax” perpetuated by the “fake news.”

While it’s true that Obama didn’t act aggressively enough against the Russians, his administration announced a plan to deter Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on the Kremlin after the incursion.

Trump has failed to act on a sanctions bill passed almost unanimously by Congress after Republicans and Democrats accused the president of being soft on Russia.

Even as allegations mounted that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Trump often complimented Putin during the campaign, calling him a “genius.” 

Obama’s Administration Spent $114M on Vacations, Campaigning

By Steve Neavling

The total costs to taxpayers to protect former President Obama’s family travels reached a total of $114 million during his eight years in the White House, according to documents obtained by the conservative legal group, Judicial Watch.

So far, President Trump has spent $10 million in taxes for protection.

The figures come from documents obtained from the Air Force and Secret Service.

One of the biggest-ticket trips came during the weekend of February 14, 2014, when First Lady Michell Obama and her daughters traveled to Aspen, causing the shutdown of an airport.

Trump, who has been under fire for he and his family’s travel expenses, is spending less money so far than his predecessor, according to Judicial Watch.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-FBI Informant to Testify about Obama-Era Nuclear Bribery Scheme

congress copyBy Steve Neavling

The Justice Department has given the green light to a former FBI informant to testify before Congress about what he discovered in an undercover investigation about the Russian nuclear industry’s efforts to buy uranium in the U.S. during the Obama administration.

The news comes as House Republicans announce an inquiry into the President Obama-approved sale of a Canadian uranium mining company, Uranium One, to Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom, the Hill reports

The Justice Department released the unidentified informant from a confidentiality agreement, nearly eight years after he began investigating the issue.

“As of tonight, the Department of Justice has authorized the informant to disclose to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as one member of each of their staffs, any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market, including but not limited to anything related to Vadim Mikerin, Rosatom, Tenex, Uranium One, or the Clinton Foundation,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said.

The informant spent nearly five years digging up information on Russia’s efforts to grow its atomic energy business, helping secure a conviction against Russia’s top commercial nuclear executive in the U.S., a Russian financier in New Jersey and the leader of a U.S. uranium trucking company. Prosecutors said the scheme involved bribery, extortion, kickbacks and money laundering.

Austin Man Who Threatened to Kill Obama Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Gavin Friedman

Gavin Friedman

By Steve Neavling

A 21-year-old Austin man who threatened to kill President Obama and a U.S. attorney and blow up federal buildings was sentenced Tuesday to more than five years in prison.

Gavin Friedman pleaded guilty to making a threat against the president and mailing threatening communications, the Dallas Morning News reports

In a January 2016 letter threatening to kill Obama, Friedman said he would become a martyr in the name of Allah.

Either month later, Friedman threatened in a letter to blow up the FBI field office in Houston and the White House.

“Threats such as these have no place in a civilized society and will be vigorously prosecuted,” U.S. Attorney John Parker said in a written statement.

Barnes & Thornburg First Major Firm to Have 3-Ex-U.S. Attorneys As Partners Who are African Americans

(L-R) Mike Battle, Roscoe Howard, Patrick Miles

(L-R) Mike Battle, Roscoe Howard, Patrick Miles

By Allan Lengel

Barnes & Thornburg, based in Indianapolis, is the first major law firm to have three former U. S. Attorneys  as partners who are African American.  The firm has 13 offices and is among the 100 largest in the U.S.

The former U.S. Attorneys include Mike Battle, who served in the Western District of New York (Buffalo) under President George W. Bush; Roscoe Howard who served in D.C. under Bush and Patrick Miles, who served in the the Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids) under President Barack Obama.

Howard and Battle work in the D.C. office and Miles is based in Grand Rapids.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Probe Political Influence of FBI Investigations

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to investigate attempts to influence FBI investigations under the Trump and Obama administrations.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called for the congressional probe to explore why President Trump really fired former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and whether anyone in Obama’s administration tried to influence the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Grassley’s call for a wide-ranging investigation comes in response to Democrats requesting to investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, Politico reports. 

“The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations,” Grassley wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. “It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis.”

Grassley believes an investigation into the handling of Clinton’s use of a private email service is called for after Comey testified last week that he was concerned the Justice Department “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”

Man Who Told FBI of Plans to Kill President Obama Sentenced to Time Served

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling

A Massachusetts man who told the FBI of plans to kill then-President Obama was sentenced to time served and five years of supervised release. reports that Andrew O’Keefe was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday to six months of time already served. 

In May 2o15, O’Keefe boldly contacted the FBI using an online anonymous tip page to say, “I’m planning to kill President Barack Obama, and I’ve got a really good plan.”

O’Keefe used his Social Security number to sign in to the tip line.

“Have the Secret Service give me a visit. I could use some company,” O’Keefe wrote in the post.

MassLive wrote:

O’Keefe apparently displayed signs of questionable mental health, telling authorities that he first needed to eat something so that he would have “enough energy” to survive being shot by police. He also apparently told them that words have no meaning and are “myths.”

Eventually, he peacefully surrendered to authorities and was taken into custody. 

During court proceedings, O’Keefe’s lawyer characterized him as “a bright … college graduate who seems to be experiencing some emotional problems.”

Previously, Secret Service Special Agent Fred F. Mitchell III had also stated that O’Keefe had “mental health issues” and noted that he had been previously charged with weapons offenses in state court. 

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Doubles Down on Wiretapping Claims Even As Republicans Express Doubt

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling

Although President Trump has provided no evidence that the Obama administration wiretapped his offices during the 2016 presidential campaign, he insisted again Wednesday that the claims are true.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before a congressional panel to discuss what evidence, if any, has been found to back up Trump’s claims.

“Wiretap covers a lot of different things,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson last night.

But even Republicans are getting frustrated with the unfounded claims, and leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that they have found no evidence to confirm President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the election.

“We don’t have any evidence that that took place,” said U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week … people we’ve talked to — I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the Boston Herald reports