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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The media's wiretap dancing

The news that the FBI may have used Paul Manafort to spy on a political opponent should have decent Americans up in arms.

President Trump must appointa special prosecutor to investigate the FBI and Barack Obama for what looks to be a Soviet-style abuse of the national government.

The media itself needs to apologize to Trump. He called this in March. They called him crazy. They are fools.



If true.

I'm sure the Obama administration spied on The Donald. I am just not sure if this version of the story is correct.

Remember, this story about Manafort comes from CNN -- a network that shilled for Saddam Hussein for 12 years. Eason Jordan admitted this in 2003.

Why is this being divulged now? What is special prosecutor Robert Mueller up to? He also leaked to the New York Times details of the FBI raid on Manafort in July.

Is this to pressure Manafort to flip on Trump?

Who knows what darkness lies in the bowels of our government. Mueller the Swamp Monster needs to be investigated.

Let us review what we do know.

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, President Trump began his day by tweeting a series of tweets: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

“Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wiretapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”

“I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”

“How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

Reporters demanded proof.

“Trump cites no evidence, accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower,” the Washington Post reported within hours of the tweets.

The Associated Press reported, “President Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of having Trump Tower telephones ‘wire tapped’ during last year’s election, a startling claim that Obama’s spokesman said was false.”

The New York Times reported, “President Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones at Trump Tower the month before the election, leveling the explosive allegation without offering any evidence.”

The press accepted at face value the Democratic Party’s assertion that Trump colluded with Russia, despite the admission by Obama officials that after months of investigation they lacked any evidence of this.

But the press refused to accept Trump’s point that the Obama administration spied on him, despite ample proof it did. Reporters for the Times already reported the Obama administration wiretapped members of the campaign staff of Obama’s political rival and nemesis in a front-page story on January 20, headlined, “Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”

The story was a blockbuster, which not only showed Obama’s minions spied on the Trump campaign but also it shared that information gathered clandestinely with Times. The newspaper ignored that as its reporters tried to cast the victim of that election espionage – Trump – as the villain in the piece.

“American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said,” the Times reported.

But that report also said, “It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself.”

The real story was the wiretapping. Who authorized it? Who wiretapped? Who did they wiretap? What was the reason given for the wiretapping? Why did the Obama administration have access to the internal communications of the opposition party?

While the mainstream press would not ask those questions, the alternative press did, and it found some answers.

The day before Trump’s March 4 tweets, Joel Pollak of Breitbart reported that radio talker Mark Levin – no fan of Trump – had outlined how the Obama administration tried in June 2016 to get a federal judge’s permission to spy on Trump’s staff using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to spy on Americans in America.

“The request, uncharacteristically, is denied,” Pollak reported.

But a second request in October worked.

“The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.” Pollak wrote.

A Democratic president spied on a Republican presidential candidate’s campaign using a law a Democratic Congress passed and a Democratic president signed 38 years earlier in the name of preventing Watergate-style abuses.

Watergate was President Nixon’s bungled attempt to wiretap Larry O’Brien’s apartment in Washington in June 1972 when he was chairman of the Democratic Party. That was illegal.

Democrats wiretapped Trump Tower, legally.

“From the three reports, from The Guardian, Heat Street, and the New York Times, it appears the FBI had concerns about a private server in Trump Tower that was connected to one or two Russian banks. Heat Street describes these concerns as centering on ‘possible financial and banking offenses.’ I italicize the word ‘offenses’ because it denotes crimes. Ordinarily, when crimes are suspected, there is a criminal investigation, not a national-security investigation,” McCarthy wrote on March 3.

The whole Russian meddling was a ruse to justify spying on Trump. The mainstream media went along with the gag because they wanted to protect Obama, and they wanted to overturn the election.

The billionaire financiers of these news organizations – particularly Sir Rupert Murdoch at Fox News, Carlos Slim at the Times, and Jeff Bezos at the Post – all backed Clinton as did Bob Iger, chief executive officer of Disney, which owned ABC and ESPN. While certainly much of the Fake News reflected liberal editors, who hired social justice warriors as reporters, corporate interests benefited from the protection from competition big government regulations provided. Bezos in particularly wanted to government’s aid in expanding his online retail empire, which is why he bought the Post.

The media became biased long before John Kennedy became president.

Hinderacker at Power Line’s reaction to Trump’s tweets spoke for many, “This is astonishing to me, as I have never heard a word about this story. If the Obama administration abused the FISA process to wiretap a political opponent, it is a scandal of the first order – the worst political scandal of my lifetime, easily. And the press has known about it and covered it up? Unbelievable.”

Confident the president had no proof of subterfuge, the press mocked him.

“A Conspiracy Theory’s Journey from Talk Radio to Trump’s Twitter,” read a New York Times headline on March 5.

“Stephen King trolls Trumps wiretapping tweets as only a horror writer could,” read a Washington Post headline on the same day.

“White House aides struggle to defend Trump wiretap claims,” read a Post headline on March 6.
“House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Monday that he has seen no evidence that would support President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama had ordered an illegal wiretap of Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign,” Politico reported on March 6.

But in a Fox News interview on March 13, former Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich gave credence to Trump’s claim.

“Kucinich told Bill O'Reilly Monday night that a phone call to his congressional office from a foreign leader was tapped in 2011. Kucinich said he listened to the recording after leaving office in 2015,” The Hill reported.

While Kucinich had no evidence of Trump’s claim, he told O’Reilly, “I heard a lot of people laughing about it, but I had something happen to me. If a member of Congress can have his phone tapped, this can happen to anybody.”

But Trump had evidence of the Obama administration wiretapping his transition team, evidence the White House shared with Republican House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes two weeks later. The press spun it into Fake News that Nunes – not the wiretapping Obama administration – had done something wrong.

“Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election,” Politico reported on March 22.

Very quickly, Politico added the Democratic spin.

“Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the intelligence panel, cast doubt on Nunes’ claims in a fiery statement and blasted the chairman for not first sharing the information with him or other committee members,” Politico said.

So, Schiff said both that the information was untrue and second that Nunes should have first shared the untrue information with the committee.

“The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,” Schiff said.

“And unfortunately, I think the actions of today throw great doubt into the ability of both the chairman and the committee to conduct the investigation the way it ought to be conducted.”

Schiff got his wish as Nunes later recused himself from chairing this investigation. But what Nunes said was true, even though news organizations accepted and promoted the Democratic circling of the wagons to protect the Obama administration from a true investigation of its election espionage.

For example, after giving Schiff’s side first, Politico’s first direct quote from Nunes came in Paragraph 11: “I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored. It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Spying on Trump was done in the name of a non-existent Russian hijacking of the election should have been the story. Instead of a peaceful transition of power, Democrats were trying to sabotage the new government.

CNN refused to admit Trump was wrong, reporting on March 23, “Still no sign of wiretapping,” but CNN said in the same story, “House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes set off a stunning new political controversy Wednesday by revealing that communications of President Donald Trump and associates may have been picked up after the election by intelligence agencies conducting surveillance of foreign targets.”

This was wiretapping. The Merriam-Webster Law Dictionary defined wiretapping as “interception of the contents of communication through a secret connection to the telephone line of one whose conversations are to be monitored usually for purposes of criminal investigation by law enforcement officers.”

The Obama administration monitored the political opposition’s private conversations, and then passed along transcripts of those conversations to administration-friendly journalists. This not only was an abuse of presidential power, but also an abuse of the power of the press. Take for example a January 12 column by David Ignatius of the Washington Post concerning General Michael Flynn, a member of Trump’s transition team.

“According to a senior U.S. government official. Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” Ignatius wrote.

In an April 5 column in The Tablet, Lee Smith, a senior editor at the Weekly Standard, answered that question: “Nothing, the New York Times and the Post later reported. But exposing Flynn’s name in the intercept for political purposes was an abuse of the national-security apparatus, and leaking it to the press is a crime.”

Call it wiretapping or intercepting, the press knew perfectly well the Obama administration spied on political opponents, because the Obama administration shared these goodies with the press. Witness the Inauguration Day story in the Times, which used the word “wiretapped” in its front-page headline.

However, Trump had an out on his March 4 tweets, which he revealed in a March 23 interview with Michael Scherer, Washington bureau chief of Time magazine:

“Now remember this. When I said wiretapping, it was in quotes. Because a wiretapping is, you know today it is different than wiretapping. It is just a good description. But wiretapping was in quotes. What I’m talking about is surveillance. And today, [March 22] Devin Nunes just had a news conference. Now probably got obliterated by what’s happened in London. But just had a news conference, and here it is one of those things. The other one, election, I said we are going to win, we won. And many other things. And I think this is going to be very interesting.”

On that day, a Muslim killed six people and wounded 49 others in a terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge near Britain’s Parliament. Keith Palmer, an armed police officer, shot and killed the terrorist.

The war on terrorism – not political spying – was the reason Congress increased the power of the National Security Agency to monitor domestic communications.

The press did not wish to report. Reporters preferred to report on what oficuials said were in the wiretapped transcripts rather than on the wiretapping itself. The crazy-like-a-fox president used Twitter to force them to cover the issue. His inexact tweets were a trap. Fools rush in.

“But my idea is that whatever the reality of what you are describing, the fact that they are disputed makes them a more effective message, that you are able to spread the message further, that more people get excited about it, that it gets on TV,” Scherer said.

The news media might have gotten somewhere had the press been patient, had reporters not jumped on every little move he made, and had they not wasted their ammo on the proper spelling of “tap.” And by ammo, I mean credibility. The power of the press was solely based on trust. The 2016 election showed the press to be untrustworthy.

However, the real problem with the press was that it never held the Obama administration accountable while he was president. And in the post-presidency, reporters continued to cover up for Democratic scandals. Eli Lake of Bloomberg broke ranks.

“White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter,” Lake reported on April 3.

In Washington jargon, disclosing to political operatives like Rice the identities of American citizens in these reports was “unmasking,” as if the victim of this invasion of privacy deserved such treatment.

In a March 22 interview on PBS, Rice had denied knowing anything about the wiretapping. After Lake’s report appeared, Rice went on Andrea Mitchell’s show on MSNBC to do damage control.

“This is important. The notion that which some people are trying to suggest that by asking for the identity of an American person, that is the same as leaking it is completely false,” Rice said.

“There’s no equivalence between unmasking and leaking. The effort to ask for the identify of an American citizen is necessary to understand an intelligence report in some circumstances. There is an established process to ask for senior national security officials to ask for the identity of U.S. persons in these reports.”

Rice was correct. Leaking was manipulating the press. Unmasking was politicizing domestic wiretapping was a violation of the Fourth Amendment right of privacy. The Obama administration had steamrolled over the Constitution, and the media – self-appointed guardians of our democratic republic – was silent of this abuse because Democrats did this.

The New York Times made the heads of readers spin as it reported on Obama’s minions spying on Trump’s team. In January, it reported there were wiretaps. In March, it reported there were not. In April, it reported the Obama administration unmasked – identified to political appointees – the names of private citizens whose conversations and communications were recorded by the National Security Agency.

“President Trump sought to turn attention away from the Russia investigation on Monday, saying that the real story was what he called a ‘crooked scheme against us’ by President Barack Obama’s team to mine American intelligence reports for information about him during last year’s presidential campaign,” the Times reported on April 3.

“The president’s broadside against his predecessor coincided with a string of reports in conservative news media outlets that Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, requested the identities of Americans who were cited in intelligence reports about surveillance of foreign officials, and who were connected with Mr. Trump’s campaign or transition.

“Former national security officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the requests as normal and said they were justified by the need for the president’s top security adviser to understand the context of reports sent to her by the nation’s intelligence agencies.”

But the information did not stay within national security agencies. We know this because intelligence agencies leaked the information to the Times for its Inauguration Day front-page story on the wiretapping itself. Far from being a member of a free press, the Times acted as a propaganda tool for a past regime waging a campaign to discredit its successor. Other news organizations followed the lead of the Times.

Kelly Riddell, a columnist for the Washington Times, was one of the few journalists willing to call out the other Times.

“The Times wanted to assure its readers that its unnamed sources said these unmasking requests were normal and justified,” Riddell wrote on April 4.

“So, nothing to see here folks. The Obama administration may have been actively spying on the Trump administration using third-world police-state tactics, but it’s no big deal. You’re being distracted from the larger Russia collusion story, which even ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff had to admit this weekend there was no evidence of.

“So, while the media goes out and chases that mythical story, the truth will slowly be revealed. And that truth will unmask the press corps as the bias, conspiracy theorists they have become. Completely unhinged.”

Meanwhile, James Rosen of Fox News delved into the Obama administration’s spying on Americans. He had a personal interest in this, as the Obama White House had spied on Rosen and tracked his visits to the State Department, through phone traces, timing of calls and his personal emails. Instead of going after Obama’s crew, the Washington Post had spun the story on May 20, 2013, as “A rare peek into a Justice Department leak probe.”

Four years later, Rosen struck back.

“More than one in 20 Internet searches conducted by the National Security Agency, involving Americans, during the Obama administration violated constitutional privacy protections. And that practice went on for years,” Fox News anchor Bret Baier opened his show on May 20, 2017.

“Not only that. But the Obama administration was harshly rebuked by the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court for doing it.”

Rosen then gave details of that spying on Americans.

“The documents show it was back in 2011 that the FISA court first determined NSA’s procedures to be, quote, ‘statutorily and constitutionally deficient with respect to their protection of U.S. person information.’ Five years later, two weeks before Election Day, the judges learned that NSA had never adequately enacted the changes it had promised to make. The NSA inspector general and its office of compliance for operations ‘have been conducting other reviews covering different time periods,’ the judges noted, ‘with preliminary results suggesting that the problem is widespread during all periods of review’,” Rosen reported.

The press had no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, but promoted a steady stream of Fake News about Russia. The Fake News media was determined to bring down a duly elected president.

Meanwhile, evidence of electoral eavesdropping by Democrats abounded. Yet the press ignored this actual political scandal, because even after Obama left the White House a Fake News media was reluctant to cast him in a bad light.

The next few weeks should be interesting.

***

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20 comments:

  1. Obama had better get as many speaking gigs as he can and fatten up a Swiss bank account because as the truth is determined all roads of inquiry will lead to him, and it's a good bet that behind him is Nazi collaborator George Soros.

    By the way, White House Petition Update:

    "Declare George Soros a terrorist and seize all of his related organizations' assets under RICO and NDAA law."

    100,000 signatures required for action.

    147,631 signed so far.

    - Elric

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  2. It bears repeating that the swamp denizens are so crooked in their everyday lives that they were certain enough that they would find campaign-ending (and then presidency-ending) dirt on President Trump to pull out all the stops on their illegal surveillance.

    They found nothing.

    So far as I am concerned this justifies rounding up all government officials known to be involved and holding them without bail as criminal cases against them proceed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Republican Ford Admin indicted 69 Nixon Admin members on the Watergate cover up. A criminal act, not a violation of national security and peoples 4th Amendment rights. But nothing but crickets from the media.

      Delete
  3. Old "No Drama Obama" was an enemedia farce.

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  4. I wonder if, even among Republicans, there will be any interest in getting to the real truth of all this? Given the real corruption in our government, from elected to appointed to civil service "officials", I sincerely doubt it.

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    Replies
    1. I wonder too! It is so frustrating that the Sessions DOJ is doing nothing but letting the Obama holdovers have free passes to carry on with Obama's work and, by the way, appoint prosecutors to investigate Trump. I think too many in the FBI are crooked Democrat partisans and too many in the DOJ are Obama fanatics ... but the one thing that would be the most reassuring and seems the farthest away is for the Justice Department to investigate the power mad and seemingly criminal activities of the Obama administration.

      But what do the DC Republicans think? Some in Congress are trying to get answers, so it is possible they wouldn't turn on Trump if the DOJ actually looked into the Obama regime (and Comey and, eventually, Mueller).

      Delete
  5. This is nothing but to get ahead of a story coming out.

    The spin NOW NOW (or is it 4 times removed?) is that there was wiretapping the WH transition but it was due to "Russia".

    My guess is that someone is working on a story that clearly shows spying of the Trump campaign and transition by the Obama administration.

    AND that story and evidence trail is not coming from Mueller. (could it be from Debbie's missing laptop?)

    If you were to survey the current emerging story lines you can see the work of an information campaign. Trump put out a naked accusation in March knowing that any such accusation would not be believed. So he didn't offer any proof at the time. Then you can see the slow trickle of disclosures first it was "not real wiretapping, it was just a computer", then the story was "It was never Trump, just other people", now the story is "It's all about the Russia investigation, Trump being wiretapped is incidental"

    I think it will be truly interesting if it comes out that Trump personally as President Elect was wiretapped by Obama officials.

    Which brings up the REAL REAL reason why all of this is going on. Everyone thinks this whole Russian thing is all about overturning the election. I don't believe it was. What is WAS about is probably keeping Russian sanctions in place so that some Billionaires can continue to make lucre over the market distortions.

    It's entirely possible that the "Russian interference" was always a put up job by the Dems. There had to be an excuse to keep Russian sanctions so why not have "Russians" interfere with the Trump campaign.

    That way Queen Hillary could be the righteous punisher of Russian meddling into a US election and mollify the rubes who voted for Trump at the same time.

    But Queen lost so all they have is the naked Russian innuendo hanging around. And my money is on this all tracing back to a bunch of rich guys trying to manufacture a Russian connection to Trump. And without much evidence (it's intelligence don't ya know) Queen would run off and probably sanction Russia more.

    So now it's a game of chicken. Who will blink first when the shoes drop? IF an Obama-ette is implicated perhaps we will see an immediate interest in "putting this all behind us". But my bet is that Trump won't let them off the hook so easily.

    Not now.

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  6. My hope is that as President Trump continues to win over more and more people, and the Meuller inquisition ends with a whimper, the hammer will then come down on the corrupt and putrid swampers.

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  7. Trump should suspend Mueller and his "investigation," appoint a special prosecutor to look into the entire mess. If Mueller has aided the obstruction of justice by Obama and his minions, then bring him up on charges, along with anyone in the Obama maladministration that is found to be tied to the mess.

    Trump must be proactive on the matter and go over to the offensive. You can't just sit back and let your enemies takes shots at you.

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    Replies
    1. With Rudy Giuliani as the Prosecutor.
      TG McCoy

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  8. You have 3 "Reaction" check boxes between the article and the comments:

    o Funny o Interesting o Cool

    You need to add either a: o Wow or o Excellent

    This is the most thorough and best article I've read anywhere in years. People here need to send this link to others.

    - Ken

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  9. "“Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wiretapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!”"

    One HELL of a good question. Probably illegal as hell, but Obama will never be indicted.

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  10. Point is to make the case that you should never, ever work for somebody the Deep State doesn't like.

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  11. As I have said many times, Clinton's dealings made Nixon look like an innocent babe. Turns out Obungler is doing the same. - GOC

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  12. Superb analysis, Don. Just superb.

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  13. From blog speculation favoring Trump to allegations of illegal activity possibly linking heavy crimes like money laundering, mafia connections and Russian corruption constitutes a grand leap - but the fact is Don doesn't know for sure and neither does anyone else - but the Mueller team may now have tapes from NSA that can put Paul Manafort in prison. So hang on to your seats folks and pop some more of the Orville Redenbacher corn.

    The Watergate scandal, featuring Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, helped along by the hateful columns written by Jack Anderson, put Nixon out of bounds to both parties. But conspiracy to commit burglary was all they had on Tricky Dick. And that is all that it took, because Nixon put his country first and resigned. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, took the fight all the way to the Senate and found politicians have no guts or principles.

    With Trump it is too soon to tell and if Obama was involved in obtaining Trump tapes, nothing really matters unless the tapes proved criminal Trump activity.

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  14. To summarize: A fake news organization (CNN) publishes events prompted by a fake document (Hillary; Jeb; Fusion GPS) that was used and potentially paid for by a fake government agency (FBI) to get a fake warrant (FISA) that was originally denied by the judge on the basis of it's fakeness.

    I'm glad the world is catching up to what unpaid internet researchers came up with months and months ago.

    The question now is actually the timing. Why the stale revelations now? Mueller might be selling Amway products at your location soon.

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  15. "Eli Lake of Bloomberg broke ranks."

    Actually, Mike Cernovich broke the story about Susan Rice--forcing Lake's hand. Cernovich got the scoop, Lake got the credit.
    http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/03/trump-supporter-called-fake-news-by-60-minutes-beats-everyone-to-susan-rice-scoop/

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  16. The United States Of Bannana Republics.
    And with the bastard traitorous RINOs
    and Obama holdovers, even more so.

    ReplyDelete