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Tag: Republicans

FBI Paints Troubling Portrait of Man Who Opened Fire at Republicans on Baseball Field

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Before firing 60 rounds from a rifle and handgun at an unwitting group of Republican lawmakers and staffers who were practice baseball in Alexandria, Va., James T. Hodgkinson had been living in his van in the parking lot of the YMCA on the outskirts of Washington D.C.

Struggling with his marriage, anger management problems and a beef against Republicans, the unemployed home inspector from Illinois approached the baseball players and asked, “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?”

Soon after the encounter, the 66-year-old retrieved a 7.62-caliber SKS rifle and 9mm handgun from his van before returning and calmly and deliberately opening fire at the lawmakers and their staff.

U.S. Capitol Police special agents and officers from Alexandria returned fire, killing the gunman.

Five people were wounded, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who is in fair condition at the hospital after multiple emergency surgeries.

On Wednesday, the FBI revealed details of a troubled Hodgkinson who had long-simmering hatred for Republicans.

“While the shooter was known to have a history of diagnosed mental illness, he is known, or it was known, to have an anger management problem,” Timothy R. Slater, FBI special agent in charge, said at a press conference Wednesday. “He was struggling in all kinds of different ways.” 

The FBI still doesn’t know why Hodgkinson was in the area, and agents believe he acted alone and that the shooting was spontaneous. 

FBI to Reveal Details Today of Congressional Baseball Shooting in Virginia

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to release details today of the shooting that critically injured House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four other people last week on a northern Virginia baseball field.

The bureau’s Washington Field Office will reveal the investigative findings by agents and other law enforcement officials.

Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was critically wounded when he was shot near the hip, but after several surgeries, his condition has upgraded to serious.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

James T. Hodgkinson was killed by police after he shot four people at a congressional baseball game. Photo via Facebook.

The shooting happened while Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing in advance of ann annual charity baseball game against Democrats.

James T. Hodgkinson, a harsh critic of President Trump and an employed home inspector, opened fire at the field and became involved in shootout with police before he was mortally wounded. 

Sen. McConnell Would Support Garland As New FBI Director

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

Sen. Mitch McConnell/official photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After Senate Leader Mitchell McConnell played a key role in denying President Obama’s choice for Supreme Court, the Kentucky Republican would support Judge Merrick Garland as the next director of the FBI, McConnell’s former advisor said.

“I think the Senate majority leader thinks that’s a fantastic idea,” Josh Holmes told “Fox News Sunday.”

“He certainly thinks [Garland] will be qualified. And [McConnell] certainly thinks he would be somebody that he could support.”

McConnell he prevented Garland from receiving a hearing on the nomination.

Garland name’s was floated last week by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

“Instead of a special prosecutor, @realDonaldTrump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey,” Lee wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Republican Leadership Calls for FBI Assessment of Trump Media Leaks

whitehouseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are calling for the FBI to investigate recent media leaks involving sensitive discussions in the Trump administration.

“We are going to be outlining all of our concerns over the last 60 days that appear to all be related, maybe even coordinated in some ways,” committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News. “I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government.”

Among the leaks are conversations between the now-former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Russia; phone calls between President Trump and the leaders of Australia and Mexico; and the investigation into Russia’s role in the U.S. election.

“If [the conversation] was picked up inadvertently, then that would have had to been approved by someone in the last administration to actually unmask his name so that the FBI or intelligence officials knew who it was on the other end of the phone talking to the Russian ambassador,” Nunes explained. “If in fact the press reports are right, someone made the decision to deliberately listen to General Flynn’s phone calls and that is, I think, unprecedented, unwarranted, and flat-out wrong.”

FBI Agent: Informant Says He Was Discouraged from Investigating Republicans in PA Probe

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said an informant in a statehouse sting in Pennsylvania notified him that he was pressured to only target Democrats.

The case has snagged five Democrats and no Republicans.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag made the comments in a defense filing for Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

State investigators denied any partisan motive.

“Never, ever was he told to steer towards one party or another,” former state prosecutor Frank Fina told the newspaper, speaking of informant Tyron Ali.

The informant’s cooperation began in 2010 to gain leniency in a state fraud case. In a 2013 email, Haag wrote that Ali asserted that he had been “reprimanded” for questioning Republicans and was told “not to make any initiative in contacting Republicans in the future.”

ATF Investigates Firebombing of Local GOP Headquarters in North Carolina

GOP elephantBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating the fire-bombing of a local Republican Party office in North Carolina after someone spray-painted anti-GOP rhetoric on a nearby wall early Sunday morning.

Investigators said a molotov cocktail was tossed through a window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters overnight, causing a fire that damaged the interior of the building before burning out, the Associated Press reports. 

Campaign signs, a sofa and the walls were burned.

On an adjacent building was graffiti that read, “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”

“They are working around the clock. It is a miracle that nobody was killed,” state GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said in an interview, calling the fire “political terrorism.”

Hillary Clinton responded on Twitter that the firebombing “is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe.”

Donald Trump tweeted, “Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just firebombed our office in Orange County because we are winning.”

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked Emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI suspects what Democrats have been saying for weeks: Russian intelligence agencies hacked the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and a contractor handling Florida voter data, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

And now top Russian officials are no longer denying the country was involved in a separate attack of the Democratic National Convention. President Vladimir Putin, for example, said it’s irrelevant who hacked the computer records.

“Everyone is saying, ‘Who did it?’” Mr. Putin said at an investor forum in Moscow. “But does it matter that much? It’s what’s inside the information that matters.”

Just weeks before the election, the FBI has uncovered numerous political targets for hackers.

Clinton’ campaign chairman, John Pedesta, also suggested Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacks of his emails.

“This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party,’’ accusing Trump of “continuing to side with the Russians.”

Ex-Homeland Security Head: Trump’s Plan to Build Wall Will Hurt GOP

Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is warning Republicans that it’s a mistake to embrace Donald Trump plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ridge, the first head of the department formed after the Sept. 11 attack, said the wall will hurt the GOP

“It’s a bad idea,” he said Wednesday on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” “It’s a bad idea short-term, and it’s a bad idea long-term. I just can’t believe my party has basically drawn a wall between us and our ability to attract Hispanic voters.”

He added: “This whole proposition of a wall: I say shame on us, we’ve lost our way. I prefer presidents who tear down walls, not build them.”

Most impacted will be Hispanic voters, he aid.

“There was a time when our party was very attractive to Hispanic family members, and then because of some loud and incriminating accusations towards Mexicans and Hispanics generally, we’ve kind of lost it,” he said.

“If then, on top of that, you start building a wall, you’re not going to win, nor are you going to sustain a nationwide support for the Republican Party, pure and simple. In presidential elections, you have to build by addition, not subtraction. I can’t believe it’s happening to the GOP.”