This fuckin' guy.
Raise your hand if you want to get seething mad at Attorney General Bill Barr today! If your hand is raised, you are in luck, because he said two really fucked up things yesterday afternoon during a press statement in Edgefield, South Carolina. One was about how the rule of law can go get fucked in the ear, because he's going to help Donald Trump add bigotry and racism to the Census no matter what the dumb stinky (Republican) Supreme Court says. The other was this thing, where he practically BEGGED Robert Mueller not to testify as scheduled for Congress next week:
I was disappointed to see him subpoenaed because I don't think that serves any important purpose dragging Bob Mueller up, if he in fact is going to stick to the report. It seems to me the only reason for doing that is to create a public spectacle, and if Bob decides that he doesn't want to be subject to that, then the Department of Justice would certainly back him.
OH FUCK YOU.
You know Louie Gohmert is serious when he starts talking about reinforcing the anal opening.
We continue to be very excited about Robert Mueller's upcoming open testimony before Congress. We, unlike most of the Republican members of Congress and most of the Americans in America, have read the entire Mueller Report, and we know what it's going to be like for a highly respected Republican former FBI director like Mueller to speak his findings aloud -- to discuss the hundreds of improper contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, to talk about Paul Manafort passing Rust Belt polling data and strategy to a Russian spy, to describe the president's many criminal acts of obstruction. It's something Congress needs, and America needs. This is not a country that's read a book in a while.
Politico has a piece today on how inbred dumbfuck paint-huffing Republicans on the House Intel and Judiciary committees are also excited, because they are inbred paint-huffing dumbfucks who are very stupid and think they're going to get one over on Mueller.
Louie Gohmert, in particular, is blowing ropes:
Bad? We bet it was 'bad.'
It seems almost poetic that while Donald Trump is in Osaka having after-sex cigarettes with Vladimir Putin, we are reading former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's voluntary testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. News has been trickling out about that hearing ever since it happened in May, and now that we have a transcript, we can report that, OH BOY, it's an interesting read. SPOILER: the Trump administration was an absolute shitshow of incompetence during Tillerson's tenure, and it still is, so at least some things haven't changed in Trump's 'Murica.
Tillerson comes across as somebody who gives at least some fucks about the State Department and has the utmost respect for the career people he worked with, but unfortunately, as the former Exxon CEO, he also looked at his job like a CEO, instead of like a public servant, which is one of the problems with the GOP obsession with "WE NEED A BID-NESS-MAN TO COME IN AND FIX THIS SHIT UP RIGHT!" Governments are very different from businesses, and therefore should be run differently. Tillerson seemed very focused from the get-go on restructuring and right-sizing things at State, plans that didn't really go all that well. But, you know, "CEO." He said when he got there, he was frustrated that many personnel didn't even know what their authorities were, saying, "I thought: This is nuts. I mean, this is crazy. You couldn't run a corner gas station that way."
But Seriously, About President Shithole ...
We bet Trump totally meant it when he told Putin not to meddle in 2020 and Putin grinned back at him.
It's unique and fun that on the very day Donald Trump is yet again embarrassing us by publicly coiling in a water moccasin's embrace with his one true love Vladimir Putin, former president Jimmy Carter said this publicly at an event:
CARTER: There's no doubt that Russia did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated, would show that Trump didn't actually win the election in 2016. He lost the election and he was put in office because the Russians interfered on his behalf."
Trump lost the popular vote by an embarrassing margin, yet squeaked out wins by handfuls of thousands in three Rust Belt states, which according to the Mueller Report just so happen to be three states about which imprisoned Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort discussed strategy with a Russian spy, right before giving that spy internal polling data on those very same states! You know, for some reason. And Carter isn't wrong that it hasn't been "fully investigated." Robert Mueller acknowledged in his report the limitations of his investigation, specifically regarding Manafort deleting and concealing his communications.
The moderator, presidential historian Jon Meacham, asked, "Do you believe President Trump is an illegitimate president?"
CARTER: Based on what I just said, which I can't retract.
And everybody laughed and laughed, because treason. (Yeah yeah, we know not technically since we haven't technically declared war on Russia. Though they sure have declared war on us. So there's that.)
So on that note, here is Donald Trump at the G20, just giggling with Putin as he mugged for the camera and, in response to a reporter's question, telling Putin, "DON'T MEDDLE IN THE ELECTION." He was very serious, mister! Wink wink nudge nudge, HEY WHY IS PUTIN GRINNING?
Suing Alex Jones, indicting Robert Mueller. All in a day's work!
Well, that was bloody depressing. John Roberts dancing on the grave of democracy was entirely enough real law for one week, so let's check in with Jerome Corsi for Fake Lawyerin' Friday. It's like the Renaissance Faire, if the turkey legs were allowed to file legal motions!
First let's start with the nonsense cases filed in IRL courts. Careful, though, this stuff is strong. Don't take too much at once, or you'll wind up like Maureen Dowd watching the room spin and blaming Kids These Days.
Jerome Corsi v. Robert Mueller and the DOJ and the FBI and the NSA and the CIA and, oh, hell throw in Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post and Post Reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia too, WHY NOT?
Why, yes, the lawyer is Larry Klayman. How ever did you guess? Corsi filed this suit back in December, but then Klayman thought up some more cray shit to add to it, and now they're arguing over the the admissibility of this Second Amended Complaint, which is a beaut.
Based on these misrepresentations by Defendant Mueller and his leftist and Democrat partisan prosecutorial and ethically and legally conflicted staff, Defendant Mueller has threatened to indict Plaintiff Corsi and effectively put him in federal prison for the rest of his life unless Plaintiff Corsi would provide the false sworn testimony under oath that they demanded, even after being informed that the testimony desired would be false.
This ain't your granny's ditchweed, kids. It is hydroponic and laced with the urine of a pregnant civet. But wait, there's more!
Clear your calendars, we got a date with THE TRUTH!
FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!
Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.
Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")
Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.
And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.
Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:
Kevin Downing, you got some 'splainin' to do! Superfans will remember Kevin Downing as Paul Manafort's lawyer who hilariously botched the redactions because PDFs are haaaard, revealing to the world that his client had handed over internal Trump polling data to his Russian buddy six weeks before the election. Less hilariously, he also botched the legal ethics by continuing to spill deets on the Mueller investigation to Trump after his own client Manafort had theoretically "flipped." But it turns out that Downing almost got himself pounded by Judge Amy Berman Jackson's contempt gavel for violating the court's gag order and talking to ...
Per our conversation this morning, my attorney -- Kevin Downing -- will call you at 11:30am tomorrow. He will update you on what we are doing and how it connects to your reporting. What number should I give him to call you?
Client Number Three himself, the most respected journalist of them all, Sean Hannity! Someone should give that guy a Pulitzer.
Here at Wonkette, we are often MAD AT THE NEW YORK TIMES. It's kind of a thing -- we yell at them because we think they're doing journalism wrong. The Washington Examiner, however, is yelling at the Times for doing journalism right. Because when you've been shotgunning Tom Fitton's rancid Judicial Watch exhalations all day, big boy journalist stuff like confirming the story with the subject starts to look like demonic sorcery.
Here's the email from March 23, 2017 where the Times's Michael Schmidt asked Michael Kortan, the FBI's Assistant Director for Public Affairs, to comment on an upcoming story about Jared Kushner's secret meeting with a Russian banker.
Mike: Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They're told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians. My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike
Astute observers will note that Michael Kortan's actual job was to respond to press inquiries just like this one, and that Schmidt was doing bog-standard due diligence by asking Kortan to confirm or deny details of a then-pending FBI investigation. But in the fevered wingnut imagination, this is proof that nefarious Times reporter "fed information about Jared Kushner meeting with Russians to the FBI."
Let's read Hope Hicks's testimony together!
The transcript from Hope Hicks's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee is out, and golly, it seems like a fun time was had by all. In a statement accompanying the release, Chairman Jerry Nadler notes that Hicks refused to answer 155 questions in total, because the White House is claiming that Hicks has "absolute immunity" from testifying as to anything that occurred while she worked at the White House. ANYTHING. You will see how ridiculous that is in a moment.
However, despite her refusal to answer all those questions, she definitely answered some stuff! Like, for instance, she said she thinks Trump was pretty serious recently when he announced his intention to commit election crimes in 2020 by taking dirt from foreign adversaries. She also dropped some VERY CURIOUS knowledge about the pee tape! Aren't you excited that the pee tape simply will not go away? Because it's probably real?
Nadler notes that Hicks brought SIX lawyers with her: two private lawyers, three White House lawyers, and a ... Department of Justice lawyer? We guess Bill Barr had to have his guy in the room, in order that he may be the best cover-up artist he can possibly be for Donald Trump. Nadler called the stable of lawyers a "traveling law firm."
Hicks's SIX LAWYERS repeatedly asserted that she had "absolute immunity," and Nadler is here to assert early and often that he is confident their claims will be absolutely destroyed in court. From his statement:
The Trump Administration's claim of "absolute immunity" has no basis in law. The courts have already decided that "absolute immunity" is "entirely unsupported by existing case law" and "virtually foreclosed" by the Supreme Court.
He notes that they haven't invoked executive privilege, because even those idiots know all this stuff is in the publicly released, redacted Mueller Report. Can't invoke executive privilege over stuff that's already out there!
Shall we read this dang thing together, and laugh at it, and learn stuff about the pee tape, which is apparently not covered under "absolute immunity"? Yes!
Surprise, Hicks's testimony for the House Judiciary Committee is going SUPER.
Today is Hope Hicks's big day before the House Judiciary Committee, and SURPRISE OF ALL SURPRISES, it is not going well.
As we noted when the House issued subpoenas to Hicks and Annie Donaldson, who was former White House counsel Don McGahn's deputy, these women do not work for the White House, and they testified all over the Mueller Report about the crimes they witnessed inside the Trump administration. In doing so, they effectively waived any kind of "executive privilege" Donald Trump might have tried to claim over their testimony.
And he hasn't exerted it! But, of course, there is somebody from the White House sitting right next to Hicks, telling her she's not allowed to say anything.
"Did you lie to Robert Mueller?"
I CANNOT TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT WHETHER I TOLD A LIE!
"Where was your desk?"
NO DESK! NO DESK! YOU ARE A DESK!
Jesus Christ. It's gonna be a real treat when we get the full transcript of this hearing later this week.
This is a Pull The Fire Alarm moment. Nancy Pelosi, please pull the fire alarm.
We wanted to underline something we talked about yesterday, in our now world-famous article Oh Dear, Glenn Greenwald Pulled A Glenn Greenwald Again. The subject matter Greenwald was willfully misinterpreting and fucking up, like he does, was news that the New York Times broke on Sunday about the United States firming up its ability to get inside the Russian power grid and do funny business. It's serious, and probably quite necessary, because on top of its incursions into our election systems, Russia has also been escalating efforts to hack in to American power grids. This has been going on for a while.
But one of the striking things about that story, as Rachel Maddow noted last night, is Donald Trump's reaction to it, both this weekend and last night. Here were his first tweets when he heard the story:
The New York Times shed some light on why Dipshit up there might have been screaming FAKE NEWS, and it's because nobody told him this was happening:
Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place "implants" — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid.
Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.
And that is what we need to underline right here. They're not holding back information from Trump because he's an idiot who ignores intel briefings anyway -- though he is definitely that, and we have heard rumors going all the way back to the beginning of Trump's presidency that the intel community sometimes hides the really good shit from him, for fear of what he'll do with it. But that quote, citing "two administration officials," says right out loud that "Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction," partially because they are worried he will leak it to the Russians just like he leaked code word level Israeli intelligence to the Russians the day after he fired James Comey in order to criminally obstruct the Russia investigation.
Got that? PENTAGON AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS are making this assessment. Not Wonkette. Not Elizabeth Warren. Not Rachel Maddow. THE PENTAGON. (By the way, yes we have heard that Patrick Shanahan has been pulled from consideration for the full big boy Senate-confirmed Defense Secretary job, likely linked to the bombshell domestic violence story that just dropped in the Washington Post. Could it also have something to do with this? We surely wouldn't be surprised if it did!)
Boy, didn't see that coming.
It was bound to happen. We're now watching Republican congressmen react to Donald Trump sitting in the Oval Office and saying "RUSSIA IF YOU'RE LISTENING" during an interview with George Stephanopoulos, literally inviting hostile foreign powers to attack the 2020 election for him like Russia did in 2016. And if you thought there wouldn't be at least one of them to say the quiet part loud and state for the record that crime is good if it helps Republicans win, then you haven't been paying attention to the Republican party in quite a while.
Enter GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, AKA the committee whose members really should know better, even the Republicans, but unfortunately they don't because A) they're idiots and B) they've been sucking at Devin Nunes's dairy cows' teats (ALLEGEDLY) for too long:
On Saturday, Glenn Greenwald saw a story in the New York Times about how the US is mucking around in Russia's power grid in a show of power:
In interviews over the past three months, [current and former US] officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia's grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow's disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.
So Glenn Greenwald, being a total Glenn Greenwald, used that moment to defend his president, Donald J. Trump, because OMG it is just crazy that the liberals and the Deep State and the Rachel Maddow think Trump is some kind of puppet of Vladimir Putin, just because he constantly acts like a puppet of Vladimir Putin.
HAW HAW, LIBS OWNED! Isn't Donald Trump always saying nobody's tougher on Russia than he is? Glenn Greenwald agrees that nobody is tougher on Russia than Donald Trump, because Donald Trump says so.
It's the Sunday Show Rundown!
Arkansas Republican Senator and evil Pinocchio turned into a real live boy Tom Cotton appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" to discuss the attacks on oil tankers on the Gulf of Oman. And while the world is still trying to confirm IF Iran perpetrated the attacks due to conflicting accounts (the US says it was Iran with mines; the Japanese shipping operator says it was a “flying object"), that hasn't stopped GOP politicians like Cotton from trying to turn this into the justification they've been looking for, for great good glorious WAR.
MARGARET BRENNAN: You have long been defined as a hawk on Iran. You see these recent attacks, these are commercial vessels not military installations. What kind of response is warranted?
COTTON: Well Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attacks going back to the 1980s. In fact Ronald Reagan had to reflag a lot of vessels going through the Persian Gulf and ultimately take military action against Iran in 1988. These unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike.
BRENNAN: Are you- you're comparing the tanker war in the '80s to now and saying that that's the kind of military response you want to see?
COTTON: We can make a military wreck- response in a time and in a manner of our choosing. But yes, unprovoked attacks on commercial shipping warrant a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The goddamn “Tanker Wars"?! Oh ... you mean when, during the Iraq-Iran War, we waited until Kuwait formally asked for our assistance to escort Saddam Hussein's oil? When Reagan, without approval from Congress, reflagged Kuwaiti vessels? When Reagan got us involved in the Iraq-Iran War leading to a daylong naval battle between Iran and the US, known as Operation Praying Mantis? The conflict we jumped into that led to our mistaking an Iran Air commercial jetliner for an Iranian F-14, shooting it down and killing all 290 people onboard, including 66 children? That's what you want to repeat, Tom Cotton?! Also, whatever happened to our ally, Saddam Hussein?
They say that those who don't learn from history repeat it. Tom Cotton is here to prove Republicans never learn. Watch the video below for yourself:
Cotton says "unprovoked attacks
to oil profits" from Iran "warrant a retaliatory military strike"
While Tom Cotton was justifying a war with Iran on CBS, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was having a surprisingly harder time on “Fox News Sunday" than he did on CBS when he transparently insinuated what the Trump administration really cares about with Iran ( "Texas Tea").
Pompeo: Trump doesn't war with Iran but will "defend American
Seems Pompeo was upset that his “beating the drums of war" shtick was being interrupted to have to answer about Trump admitting (more like bragging) it was okay to take foreign assistance (and then walking it back when all the killjoys said it was illegal). After playing the ABC News clip, Chris Wallace asked a very pointed yet direct question. Pompeo's answer, however, was far from both:
WALLACE: Is accepting oppo research from a foreign government right or wrong?
POMPEO: Chris, you know you asked me not to call any of your questions today ridiculous ... You came really close right there. (awkward giggle) President Trump has been very clear. He ... he clarified his remarks later. He ... he made it very clear. Even in his first comment. He said "I'd do both." He said he'd call the FBI ...
WALLACE: He said "Maybe I'd do both."
POMPEO: President Trump has been very clear. That he will always make sure that he gets it right for the American people and I'm confident he'll do that here as well.
It was at this moment Pompeo thought he was golden because he's on Fox News and they never follow up! But clearly he forgot Chris Wallace doesn't play like that.
WALLACE: At the risk of getting your ire, the President told "Fox and Friends" on Friday, and I agree, he kind of walked it back...
POMPEO: He didn't walk it back.
WALLACE: Yes, he did. Because he said "maybe" on Thursday. And then on Friday, on "Fox and Friends," he said "he'd listen first AND then if the information was bad that he would take it to the FBI or the Attorney General." But he also made it clear to George Stephanopolous that he did not see this as "foreign interference." And I want to play a clip of the President's own words ...
Then Wallace played ANOTHER clip of Trump's idiotic words back to Pompeo. Then he asks Pompeo one more time:
WALLACE: He says "it's not interference, it's information." The country, sir, and I don't need to tell you, has a long history dating back to George Washington in saying that foreign interference in our elections is unacceptable. POMPEO: Chris, President Trump believes that too. I have nothing further to add. I came on to talk about foreign policy and I think that's the third time you've asked me about a Washington ... piece of ... silliness. That's just, that's just a story that's inconsistent with what I've seen from President Trump do every single day.
After an awkward pause and visible anger in Pompeo's face (really, do watch), Chris Wallace calls it a day ... but remembers to remind Pompeo he's a thin-skinned baby:
WALLACE: I will leave it there. I think I only asked you twice but that's alright Mr. Secretary. Thank you. Thanks for your time and Happy Father's Day, sir.
Watch the video below for yourself.
And that's all for this week in Trump's collusion and "wag the dog"/Saudi oil interest war chants. So let's end with a couple of pictures of my new puppy, Harley Quinn!
Might as well have one last nice thing before our next war or stolen election. Have a week!
OH LOOK AT THE PUPPY. Also give us money to pay the freelancers, if you are able, thank you we love you.
Shep Smith, Fox Judge Napolitano Explain Trump Is CRIMING, To Eyes Too Blind To See, Brains Too Dumb To Exist
Marsha Blackburn with the idiot riposte.
This morning, the Colluder in Chief called in to The Best Little Whorehouse in AM for one of those therapeutic "massages" he likes so much. For a little extra, they even let him do a Reverse Stephanopoulos, where he gets to dress up as a guy who didn't go on national television and solicit election help from any foreign government willing to offer it. Hannity's gonna be so jelly!
Meanwhile the "adults" in the room at Fox "News" (Shepard Smith and Judge Andrew Napolitano; there are no others) were busy pointing out that taking information on your political opponent from a hostile foreign power is IRL a crime, and it's probably a bad idea for the president to go on television and say Russia, or China, or Ukraine, if you're listening ... Because, in case we hadn't all worked that one out, he's talking about Giuliani's Ukrainium One nonsense about Joe Biden. They're still flogging that bullshit, although it's been roundly debunked, so he's making noise about moving on to China now, and Trump doesn't want to get nailed for taking whatever lies Rudy can drum up about Joe Biden and running with them.
But back to Shep 'n' Nap!
These dumb stupid fucking idiots cannot stop saying the quiet part loud.
Kayleigh McEnany, the Harvard Law grad who now takes a paycheck for pretending to be extremely stupid for the Trump campaign, has thoughts on that little thing Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office. You remember! (Because it was two days ago.) That's when he confessed that he'd like to commit some crimes in the 2020 election and let America's enemies undermine us yet again by helping him get re-elected. As you might imagine, McEnany's thoughts were very stupid thoughts, because that is her job.
Trump 2020 press secretary: Campaign will handle foreign dirt on "case by case basis" www.youtube.com
MCENANY: The president's directive as he said -- a case by case basis -- he said he would likely do both, listen to what they have to say but also report it to the FBI -- that's what he ended on, on that soundbite -- and his directive right now is look what the Democrats have done. They are the ones who have done this. And it's notable there is media outrage and no discussion of the Steele Dossier, written by a British spy, paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton, and that information being from Russian sources given to a British spy perpetuated through the FBI.
Oh for God's sake. When the Trump campaign was looking for somebody willing to freely lobotomize herself in servitude to Emperor Shitmouth, they sure did find the right job applicant!
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