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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "2016"

Trump Lawyers Release Bombshell Video that Vindicates Him In Unwanted Kiss Lawsuit

Westlake Legal Group trump-smirk2-620x414 Trump Lawyers Release Bombshell Video that Vindicates Him In Unwanted Kiss Lawsuit Unwanted Kiss Trump campaign Staffer Politics Made up lawsuit kiss Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story False Accusation donald trump battery Alva Johnson 2016

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

President Trump is currently embroiled in a civil suit brought by a former campaign staffer named Alva Johnson. One aspect of it is accusations of pay discrimination but the real blockbuster charge has been that Donald Trump supposedly forced himself on her and kissed her without her consent.

Sounds serious, right? The media have certainly treated it as such, with Johnson being given the red carpet treatment on CNN and MSNBC.

Things just took a dramatic turn though. Trump’s lawyers managed to dig up actual video of the encounter and it essentially vindicates the President. In fact, it makes Johnson look like a malicious liar given that the video appears to show her leaning in and actually kissing him on the cheek.

Here’s the video and it’s readily apparent there was absolutely nothing improper about what happened.

By comparison, here’s how Johnson originally described the encounter in her lawsuit per CNN.

“As Defendant Trump spoke, he tightened his grip on Ms. Johnson’s hand and leaned towards her. He moved close enough that she could feel his breath on her skin,” the lawsuit states. “Ms. Johnson suddenly realized that Defendant Trump was trying to kiss her on the mouth, and attempted to avoid this by turning her head to the right. Defendant Trump kissed her anyway, and the kiss landed on the corner of her mouth.”

In reality, he didn’t come close to mouth to mouth contact as she alleged and it appears he didn’t even actually make mouth to cheek contact. This was simply Trump doing the typical European style greeting you see all over the world. He also did not ever touch her hand at all, much less forcibly tighten his grip on it.

For their part, Johnson’s lawyers are laughably claiming this vindicates them somehow by proving they did meet. Yes, Trump has said in the past he doesn’t know who she is. That’s completely consistent with the fact that this is 1) the only time they interacted and 2) she was one of thousands of staffers across the country. Of course he wouldn’t recall who she was.

I’ll also note that Johnson herself never described the encounter as problematic until much later, saying that she hadn’t realized he’d committed battery against her until she saw others come forward during the #metoo movement. Yes, she is alleging what’s in that video is battery.

Look, I’m all for giving victims room to prove their case without being attacked but this lawsuit is complete garbage. It’s a reminder of how false accusations can be wielded against people in powerful positions and why skepticism is warranted in all cases.

————————————————-

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The post Trump Lawyers Release Bombshell Video that Vindicates Him In Unwanted Kiss Lawsuit appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-07-11-at-12.36.14-PM-300x217 Trump Lawyers Release Bombshell Video that Vindicates Him In Unwanted Kiss Lawsuit Unwanted Kiss Trump campaign Staffer Politics Made up lawsuit kiss Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story False Accusation donald trump battery Alva Johnson 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New Book Details the Trump Campaign’s Behind-the-Scenes Handling of the Damning ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape

Westlake Legal Group AP_842553708543-620x309 New Book Details the Trump Campaign’s Behind-the-Scenes Handling of the Damning ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape white house washington D.C. Uncategorized Tim Alberta The Sexes Politics Politico political debate Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories elections donald trump Campaigns AOC american carnage Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Akron, Ohio, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Behind is former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

 

 

A new book by a Politico contributor reveals the Trump campaign’s reaction to the notorious Access Hollywood tape which spawned a million pink hats and a million mischaracterizations.

In American Carnage, Tim Alberta captures the moment top campaign officials learned of the tape and its contents:

Trump looked at [Reince Priebus], put the packet on the table, and slid it across. The party chairman began to read, the room now filling around him with the rest of the team. They had all seen it: an email exchange with Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold, who claimed to have an old audio recording of Trump making exceedingly lewd remarks about women and boasting of his ability to get away with sexual assault.

I’d like to stop right there — that would be one of those million mischaracterizations.

To be clear, Donald Trump did not “[boast] of his ability to get away with sexual assault.”

Trump did, rather, say that women would “let” him grab them. That’s a very important distinction.

Back to the book:

Fahrenthold had sent over the alleged quotes and was requesting comment from the campaign for a story that would run later that day.

“Wow, this isn’t good,” Priebus said, his eyes fixed on a single line. “This is really, really bad.”

The group was paralyzed with silence. Finally, Kushner piped up. “You know, I don’t think it’s all that bad.”

“Jared, what are you talking about?” Priebus said, burying his head in his hands. “This is as bad as it gets.”

Tim asserts Trumps advisers held to hopes the claims were false. Those were, however, dasedh against the rocks of recorded reality when a copy of the tape was sent over.

Kellyanne Conway recounted The Donald’s surprise:

“It was a moment of humility and vulnerability. He legitimately did not remember saying that.”

As per Carnage, the exposure scooted away some members of the GOP establishment, and fear abounded that Mike Pence would disassociate as well.

But Donald was determined.

Not for a moment would Trump consider quitting the race. He was unmoved by the rebukes of the Republican lawmakers who were piling on with excoriating statements; most of them, he scoffed, were the same people who had opposed his candidacy from its inception.

For a hot second, the chronicle notes, New York’s most famed eccentric agreed to go beyond his apology video and give an interview to ABC in the name of damage control. He abruptly about-faced.

The book claims Trump’s clinching of the presidency came during the 2nd debate, at which he showcased Bill Clinton’s accusers and relentlessly obliterated Hillary over her email scandal.

It was, without question, the ugliest and most vitriolic presidential debate in the mass-communication era. And it was exactly what Trump needed. Facing pressure unlike any White House hopeful in memory, the Republican nominee didn’t just get off the mat; he came up swinging. It made all the difference. Within 48 hours the bleeding had stopped: Republicans ceased their calls for his withdrawal, Pence dutifully returned to the stump and his campaign went on as though nothing had happened.

“Went on as though nothing had happened” seems a fair assessment of Trump’s inimitable style and history. The man knows how to rebound.

Where the election’s concerned, Democrats haven’t seemed to possess the same.

That’s why, as I sit in Los Angeles writing this, I may well be within 1000 yards of a still-worn kitty cap.

For more on American Carnage, please see AOC’s response to a Trump move chronicled in the exposé here.

What are your thoughts on the whole Access Hollywood dustup? What was your reaction then? Has your attitude changed? Please let us all know in the Comments section.

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Michelle Trumpets Obama’s Scandal-Free Presidency, Laments The Whiteness Of Trump’s Inauguration

Woman Fearful For Her Life Turns Over Her Estranged Husband’s Guns To The Cops. She Gets Arrested For Grand Theft

Partiers At DC’s Pride Parade Are Asked About Government, Islam & Gay Rights. Do Their Responses Represent A Generation?

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The post New Book Details the Trump Campaign’s Behind-the-Scenes Handling of the Damning ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_842553708543-300x149 New Book Details the Trump Campaign’s Behind-the-Scenes Handling of the Damning ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape white house washington D.C. Uncategorized Tim Alberta The Sexes Politics Politico political debate Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories elections donald trump Campaigns AOC american carnage Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Biden: Russia wouldn’t have meddled in any elections on my watch or Obama’s

Westlake Legal Group jb-1 Biden: Russia wouldn’t have meddled in any elections on my watch or Obama’s watch Trump The Blog Russia putin NATO meddling interference Election campaign biden abroad 2016

Um, what?

Joe, my man, I have bad news.

This is the Democratic version of the Bush administration boasting in 2004 that they’d kept us safe from terror. True, critics replied — except for that one time.

Via Contemptor, what was Sleepy Joe *trying* to say here? Because if he was trying to say what he ended up saying then he really is too old to run.

“Let me put it this way, if he wins re-election, I promise you there’ll be no NATO in four years or five years.”

“No more NATO,” Biden said. “Why did we set up NATO, Chris? So no one nation could abuse the power in the region in Europe, that would suck us in the bay they did in World War I and World War 2. It’s being crushed.”

“Look at Putin. While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look what’s happening in Hungary, look what’s happening in Poland, look what’s happening in Moldova. Look what’s happening. You think that would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”

Maybe he’s making a point about Putin expanding his influence campaigns abroad. Fine, okay, Biden might say, Russia successfully interfered in our election, but at least Barack and I would have cracked down afterward and tried to stop them from interfering in others.” Laying aside how pitifully lame that answers would be, though, is it remotely plausible? Russia famously walked all over the Obama administration.

Miller could have also included the time Obama wimped out after threatening to bomb Assad and then let Putin broker a chemical-weapons “disarmament” deal for Syria instead. We’re talking about a guy here whose most memorable foreign policy pronouncement during the 2012 campaign was mocking Mitt Romney to his face in front of 50 million people for believing that Russia was still America’s foremost enemy abroad. O and Joe weren’t just weak on Putin, they were denialists.

And so, to his point that Trump might try to withdraw the U.S. from NATO during his second term (a legit worry), one might reply that NATO will be toothless regardless of who wins next November. Whether there’s still a formal treaty in place or not.

To its credit, the media hasn’t been shy about noting how weak Obama’s response was in 2016 upon learning of Russian campaign interference. (Although that’s likely just because they’re miffed at him for having damaged Hillary’s chances by his inaction.) This WaPo piece from late 2017 is probably the most well-known story on the subject…

“It is the hardest thing about my entire time in government to defend,” said a former senior Obama administration official involved in White House deliberations on Russia. “I feel like we sort of choked.”

“The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. “Russia violated our sovereignty, meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy — electing our president. The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack. And U.S. policymakers now — both in the White House and Congress — should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions.”

…but BuzzFeed was on the same beat months earlier with a feature entitled “How Russia Hacked Obama’s Legacy.” You would think Biden would be sensitive enough to perceptions *on his own side* that he and O whiffed on Russia that he’d take care not to go into tough-guy mode when discussing Trump’s flaws, but no. I wonder if Harris or someone else will ding him for this at the next debate, knowing how sore a subject Russian interference remains for Democratic voters. If they’re looking for a president who’ll stand up to Moscow, clearly Biden’s not the guy.

Nice job here by ace reporter Chris Cuomo, by the way, allowing Biden’s bizarro “wouldn’t happen on our watch” comment to go completely unchallenged.

The post Biden: Russia wouldn’t have meddled in any elections on my watch or Obama’s appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group jb-1-300x159 Biden: Russia wouldn’t have meddled in any elections on my watch or Obama’s watch Trump The Blog Russia putin NATO meddling interference Election campaign biden abroad 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now

Westlake Legal Group Trump-620x362 Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now Volatile Polls sanders Quinnipiac Polling Politics meaningless Joe Biden Irrelevant Hillary Clinton harris Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat primary 2020 Race 2016

Yesterday, a poll from Quinnipiac came out which showed Donald Trump getting trounced by essentially everyone in the 2020 Democratic field. Unsurprisingly, Joe Biden had the largest lead at 13 points.

There was also a story circulating that Trump got some bad internal polling news. It was then spun as some kind of scandal that he wouldn’t want his surugotes talking about it public, because politicians normally share internal polling or something. The rules are always changing, obviously.

Is all this really the devastating news the media is making it out to be? Donald Trump made his opinion be known.

No doubt, his response isn’t meant to be a scientific rebuttal for why current polling is wrong. He doesn’t need to do that though. As a snapshot in time to help strategic decisions, states polls may hold value. It’s acceptable to say “we’ve got some work to do there.” Trump’s campaign isn’t out there polling right now just for fun. But as a predictive measure, they are completely irrelevant and will remain so for a very long time.

To help with this point, the President got an unlikely assist from a normally staunch critic.

Speaking of Quinnipiac specifically, here’s a reminder of why it’s probably best to not even pay attention to what they are putting out right now.

And here’s Quinnipiac’s final polling of the last Presidential election, taken on the 11/3/16.

A number of Quinnipiac University polls released on Tuesday also put Clinton ahead in four key swing states. In Florida, Clinton has 46 percent to Trump’s 45 percent; in Ohio she leads by 46 percent to Trump’s 41 percent; and in Pennsylvania she leads Trump 48 percent to 43 percent. In North Carolina, Clinton has 47 percent support to Trump’s 44 percent.

If you were keeping score, Trump ended up winning every single one of those states.

If polling was this volatile less than a week out, what value is polling 17 months out? Again, as a predictive measure, it’s completely meaningless and even Nate Silver is admitting that. There is so much that’s going to happen between now and the end of the general election. Joe Biden is not going to remain in witness protection forever. No candidate can maintain a campaign by giving low-energy speeches every two weeks. Hillary tried that after her health issues escalated in 2016 and she fell flat down the stretch.

If it’s not Biden, then Trump will most likely be facing an admitted socialist with zero charisma, whether that be Warren or Sanders. The attack ads start to write themselves at that point, especially regarding the economy, where Trump maintains an approval rating over 50%. The race, regardless of who Trump is facing, will compress greatly. In the summer of 2015, Trump was trailing Clinton by 17 points and 24 points in two separate polls.

In short, the landscape today is nothing like what it will be in late 2020. That doesn’t mean you sit on your hands and just ignore polling and the Trump campaign isn’t doing that. We are seeing them make moves behind the scenes already. But the breathless coverage yesterday about the “bad news” for Trump was mostly wishful thinking.

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The post Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group donald-trump-no-finger-SCREENSHOT-300x156 Trump Gets an Unlikely Assist On Why National Polls Are Useless Right Now Volatile Polls sanders Quinnipiac Polling Politics meaningless Joe Biden Irrelevant Hillary Clinton harris Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Democrat primary 2020 Race 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Florida Governor Says a Second County Was Hacked During 2016 Elections

Westlake Legal Group florida-flag-620x413 Florida Governor Says a Second County Was Hacked During 2016 Elections Russia Ron DeSantis mueller governor Front Page Stories Florida Featured Story FBI elections election hack 2016

Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed in his recent report that there was significant evidence that a Florida county’s voting system had been hacked during the 2016 election.

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the FBI has uncovered evidence of a second county being hacked during that same time.

DeSantis, who was briefed by the FBI on Friday, said two counties “experienced intrusion into the supervisor of elections network,” but added that there was no manipulation of the data, and that the intrusion “had no effect” on Florida vote totals. He did not say which counties were involved.

DeSantis declined to name the counties in question, saying he was required by the FBI to sign a non-disclosure statement that prevented him from talking about the details.

The Tampa Bay Times questioned the gag order.

DeSantis seemed unsure Tuesday of the rationale behind the nondisclosure agreement in this case.

“I think they think if we name the counties, that may reveal information to the perpetrator that we know what they did, but you’d have to ask them,” he said when asked why the FBI had him sign it. “I think it should be named.”

But years of case law suggests that confidentiality agreements signed by Florida government officials aren’t enforceable because of the state’s broad public records law, said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, an open-government group that counts the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald as members.

Legally speaking, “the promise of confidentiality is an empty promise in Florida,” she said. If DeSantis was shown any records related to this investigation, they would be considered public unless there is a specific state or federal exemption, Petersen added.

DeSantis said the meeting with the federal authorities happened recently in Tallahassee. Also attending were Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials and DeSantis’ chief of staff, Shane Strum.

In a statement, an FBI spokesperson confirmed Friday’s meeting with DeSantis, saying the federal agency “provided assurance that investigators did not detect any adversary activity that impacted vote counts or disrupted electoral processes during the 2016 or 2018 elections.”

The post Florida Governor Says a Second County Was Hacked During 2016 Elections appeared first on RedState.

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WATCH THE HEARTBURN: Vying for ‘Sorest Loser of All Time,’ Hillary Embarrassingly Decries Her 2016 Loss Due to the Russian Military

Westlake Legal Group hillary-disturbed-face-women-for-women-luncheon-cropped-SCREENSHOT WATCH THE HEARTBURN: Vying for ‘Sorest Loser of All Time,’ Hillary Embarrassingly Decries Her 2016 Loss Due to the Russian Military white house Uncategorized Russia Politics New Hampshire Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Dartmouth College Chelsea Clinton Campaigns Bill Clinton Allow Media Exception 2016

[SCREENSHOT FROM URL]

 

Whining about losing is like bragging about winning: It makes you look like an idiot.

But not to Hillary Clinton.

In February, I compared the former First Lady to Jason, Freddie, and Michael Myers — she just keeps coming back (here). But not in a cool kind of way like skinny ties.

The supportive spouse of Bill Clinton recently lamented to an audience that her rightful seat in the Oval Office had been stolen:

“You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you.”

Uhhh…

At least one person had this reply:

NICE METER.

Well, on Wednesday, she was in a one-uppin’, red-peggin’ mood.

Speaking to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, the mother of author Chelsea Clinton threw out (or up) this:

“If you are an American, the idea that our election is being trifled with, being impacted, and maybe being determined by Putin and the Kremlin and his Intelligence service in the military — the GRU, all of their assorted allies and agents. That should give us heartburn.”



Hmmm…

One might also conceive of other bodily functions.

How does Hillary know that Russia pulled the lever for America? Why does she assert that Vladimir Putin said, “Hillary? No! I won’t allow it. Rig the election for that other guy!”

Where’s her proof? Or evidence? Why does the media allow her to make such audacious claims with no substantiation?

And, honestly, if Russia did cast a major ballot, why couldn’t she win over Putin? She’d been in the political spotlight for decades. She announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015. She had a year and seven months; she couldn’t snag his vote in all that time?

You call that a “best campaign”?

#BushLeague

And she didn’t just fail with the former Soviet Union.

As pointed out by The Daily Wire:

She lost Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Florida and Pennsylvania — which former president Barack Obama won twice — and got shellacked in the Electoral College, 304-227. She did win the popular vote, but Trump won 2,626 counties nationwide to Clinton’s 487 counties — another landslide.

Right If the Kremlin determines the winner, Barack apparently wooed Vladimir; what was her problem?

More from TDW:

Apparently, her claim is that millions and millions of voters saw “fake news” stories posted by Russian bots and decided to vote for Donald Trump.

Hillary gave some examples to the Dartmouth crowd, related to “I’m With Her” enthusiasts goin’ door-to-door:

“They’d say they were there to ask the person to vote for me, and the person might say, ‘I couldn’t do that; she’s a murderer.’ I mean, friends from grade school saying, ‘No, she’s not.’ ‘Oh, yeah; I saw it on the internet.’ Well, wouldn’t you think I’d be, as they used to say, locked up by now if that were the case?”

She’s locked up — it would seem — in her mind. She’s stuck in the prison of a staggering loss. Not because some guy across the ocean didn’t like her; but because millions of people here thought she smelled like feet.

She did almost win; it was a good try. But Hillary Clinton would do well, in my view, to take the advice of Barbara Bush. Which you — and the former Arkansas governor’s wife — can see here.

Other Hillary goofiness? Ready…GO: here, here, here, here, here, and here.

-Alex

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: hereherehere, here, here, here, here, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

#TBT: When The Democratic National Committee Chair Claimed Republicans Want To RID AMERICA OF WOMEN

HUH? Don Lemon On Jussie Smollett: It Was ‘Not His Fault’

Oscar Nominee James Woods Compares AOC To Dr. Phil’s ‘Catch Me Outside’ Girl

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The post WATCH THE HEARTBURN: Vying for ‘Sorest Loser of All Time,’ Hillary Embarrassingly Decries Her 2016 Loss Due to the Russian Military appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group hillary-disturbed-face-women-for-women-luncheon-cropped-SCREENSHOT-300x141 WATCH THE HEARTBURN: Vying for ‘Sorest Loser of All Time,’ Hillary Embarrassingly Decries Her 2016 Loss Due to the Russian Military white house Uncategorized Russia Politics New Hampshire Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Dartmouth College Chelsea Clinton Campaigns Bill Clinton Allow Media Exception 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

If Donald Trump Is A Con Man, The Media Are The Biggest Marks In History

Westlake Legal Group if-donald-trump-is-a-con-man-the-media-are-the-biggest-marks-in-history If Donald Trump Is A Con Man, The Media Are The Biggest Marks In History media bias Media Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Con Man Allow Media Exception 2016

Westlake Legal Group trump-thumbs-up-620x358-copy If Donald Trump Is A Con Man, The Media Are The Biggest Marks In History media bias Media Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Con Man Allow Media Exception 2016

The New York Times is running a story that shows President Donald Trump lost nearly a billion dollars in failed businesses over the course of a decade. As expected, many in the media are out in force, noting that it is more proof that Trump is a con man and a liar.

The stories of Trump’s failed businesses are stories that were run at many right-leaning outlets back in 2016 – including here at RedState – and would not be new to the media if they had covered Trump honestly back then.

It is funny, truly funny, to see many of the same people who gave Trump enormous coverage in the primaries and paved the way for his nomination call him a con man acting like a wealthy mogul in order to increase his own popularity and social value. Essentially, they are outing themselves as the people who fell for his con in the primaries.

Anyone who paid attention in 2016 knew the stories of Trump’s failures in the business world. They already knew about the string of failed experiments Trump attached his name to. The media had access to these stories, but instead gave countless hours of TV coverage, inches of print coverage, and thousands upon thousands of tweets about his crowd sizes, his audiences, his message, and everything else about his campaign. They gave him millions in unpaid advertising in their new programs, papers, magazines, and websites, and they now have the audacity to point out that Trump is a “con man” who has failed at every business venture he’s attempted.

You know what he hasn’t failed at? He hasn’t failed at conning the media into giving him free airtime. He hasn’t failed at making them oppose him so vigorously that his conflicting messaging, questionable statements, and outright lies don’t penetrate to the American public. He gets them to constantly lose their minds over every little thing even remotely related to his presidency that all people see are crazed media figures lashing out.

Despite all their negative coverage, Trump’s favorability isn’t tanking. It’s low, but it’s steady, and even showing signs of increasing. The economy is doing much better because of his regulatory rollback, and jobs are being created at a much faster rate than the Obama Administration could have ever dreamed of inspiring. Americans saw smaller tax bills (or bigger tax returns) in April and instantly knew what happened.

That isn’t a con. That isn’t a lie. That is what the public sees. For all Trump’s faults, his administration is actually doing a lot of things right. The insane coverage and the speculation over what Trump might or might not do/cause to happen don’t make a difference compared to the results.

So, while the media is busy outing themselves as “victims” of a “con man” and opposing him every step of the way despite being a large reason as to why he’s in office right now, Trump is going to continue doing what he’s been doing, and they are going to fail to understand why they don’t have any affect on that.

The post If Donald Trump Is A Con Man, The Media Are The Biggest Marks In History appeared first on RedState.

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Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns

Westlake Legal Group chris-wray-i-dont-personally-have-evidence-of-illegal-surveillance-into-any-political-campaigns Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns wray turk Trump The Blog surveillance spying russiagate Russia halper Federal Bureau of Investigation christopher chris 2016

Westlake Legal Group w Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns wray turk Trump The Blog surveillance spying russiagate Russia halper Federal Bureau of Investigation christopher chris 2016

What odds can I get in Vegas that the eventual IG report about this will find that (a) nothing illegal happened in 2016 but (b) having one party’s presidential nominee investigated by a DOJ run by the other party is “problematic,” to put it mildly, and creates an appearance of impropriety that undermines public confidence in the justice system?

Double or nothing that it comes with a recommendation for Congress to establish new guidelines for how the Department should handle counterintelligence probes that involve political campaigns in the future.

Anyway, an interesting answer here by Chris Wray at this morning’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to a question about “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016. The bottom line in his response — no, he hasn’t seen evidence of illegal surveillance — doesn’t quite capture the tenor of his full reply.

“Thank you,” said [Jeanne] Shaheen. “Do you believe, Director Wray, that the FBI and its agents spied into the 2016 presidential campaign operation?”

“Well again, I want to be careful how I answer that question here, because there is an ongoing Inspector General investigation,” said Wray. “I have my own thoughts based on the limited information I’ve seen so far, but I don’t think it would be right or appropriate for me to share those at this stage, because I really do think it’s important for everybody to respect the independent Inspector General’s investigation, which I think this question start — this line of questioning starts to implicate, and I think it’s very important for everybody to have full confidence in his review.”

When Shaheen followed up by asking him if he had evidence of illegal surveillance, he responded with “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.” The fact that he was willing to say he “personally” didn’t have info but was unwilling to state his opinion on whether there was any FBI spying seems notable to me, as if Wray has reason to believe that something untoward happened but doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of it. Did word trickle down to him somehow about the IG’s preliminary findings? Remember that Barr famously seemed credulous about “spying” too when he testified last month.

Wray’s predecessor was asked recently about last week’s bombshell NYT report claiming that an undercover female operative met George Papadopoulos in 2016 to feel him out about campaign connections to Russia. Was that spying, Comey was asked? He was less placid than Wray in answering:

“Really? What would you have the FBI do? We discover in the middle of June of 2016 that the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to mess with this democracy to interfere in the election. We’re focused on that and at the end of July we learn that a Trump campaign adviser — two months earlier, before any of this was public — had talked to a Russian representative about the fact that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton and wanted to arrange to share it with the Trump campaign,” Comey said…

“What should the FBI do when it gets that information? It should investigate to figure out whether any Americans are hooked up with this massive interference effort. And that’s what we did.” Comey said.

How many more undercover agents were used to sting members of Trump’s campaign, wondered Byron York in a column today. That’s a key question for the IG report: Did the FBI adjust its counterintelligence protocols in any way in light of the political sensitivity of surveilling a presidential campaign or did it treat Team Trump as any other outfit whom it suspected might be mixed up with Russia? Should it have adjusted those protocols and given the campaign special treatment that any other organization wouldn’t have received? Was there any political pressure from higher-ups in the Obama administration to launch the investigation or use tactics that the FBI was reluctant to use?

If there was and this was all essentially a political sting on Trump, why didn’t Obama make a bigger deal of Russian interference before Election Day, hoping that Hillary might benefit?

You’ll find Wray here more uncomfortable with the term “spying” than Barr was during his own testimony, which I understand. “Spying” typically refers to surveillance that’s unlawful and/or conducted by the enemy. Never in my lifetime of watching true-crime shows have I heard police surveillance of the bad guy described as “spying,” even when it involves wiretaps. “Spying” is what you say when you want to emphasize that surveillance is improper. Barr obviously knows that yet made a point of using that word before quickly retreating when he was called on it, insisting that he has no knowledge of impropriety at this point. Again, was that because he got some sort of preview from the IG’s office that the FBI broke the law in surveilling Team Trump or was he just spinning for POTUS by recycling his narrative that all surveillance of his campaign was bad and therefore “spying”?

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Hillary: You can run the best campaign and still have the election stolen from you

Westlake Legal Group hillary-you-can-run-the-best-campaign-and-still-have-the-election-stolen-from-you Hillary: You can run the best campaign and still have the election stolen from you The Blog stolen russiagate Russia Hillary Clinton Election comey campaign 2016

Westlake Legal Group hc Hillary: You can run the best campaign and still have the election stolen from you The Blog stolen russiagate Russia Hillary Clinton Election comey campaign 2016

Conversely, you can run a terrible campaign in which you call your opponent’s supporters “deplorable” and so neglect white working-class voters that you don’t bother stumping in Wisconsin and end up losing because you deserved to. True story.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

Is Hillary giving us her take on her own election there or is she giving us the Democratic Party’s new take on all elections in which they lose? Don’t be so sure it’s the former.

Anyway, we needn’t rehash this again. By now it should suffice to say that if anyone “stole” the election from Clinton it wasn’t Putin and the Russian troll farm but James Comey, running down leads to the bitter end generated by her own malfeasance as Secretary of State. He’s claimed in interviews that he had no rooting interest in the election, feeling that partisanship would have been a bad look for the director of the FBI, but he acknowledges that he expected Clinton to win and admits that his certainty about that probably did influence his decisions on some level. That is, he may have released the last-minute letter about reopening the Emailgate probe only because he believed it couldn’t possibly impede her inevitable victory. If Comey was a “thief,” he was an unwitting one.

It’s ironic that she’s nudging her party to question the legitimacy of Republican victories today, though, since the NYT reported less than 24 hours ago that Nancy Pelosi’s worried about Trump pulling the same move next November:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not believe President Trump can be removed through impeachment — the only way to do it, she said this week, is to defeat him in 2020 by a margin so “big” he cannot challenge the legitimacy of a Democratic victory…

“We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” Ms. Pelosi said during an interview at the Capitol on Wednesday as she discussed her concern that Mr. Trump would not give up power voluntarily if he lost re-election by a slim margin next year

In recent weeks Ms. Pelosi has told associates that she does not automatically trust the president to respect the results of any election short of an overwhelming defeat. That view, fed by Mr. Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims of Democratic voter fraud, is one of the reasons she says it is imperative not to play into the president’s hands, especially on impeachment.

Trump will question the outcome of next year’s election if he loses no matter what the margin is. He’d be more likely to delegitimize a close race, certainly, but a lopsided loss will also be delegitimized on grounds of sheer improbability. (“It’s impossible for an incumbent to lose by that much. Something was rigged!”) The guy finds losing so intolerable that he cheats at golf; imagine how intolerable he’d find losing a national popularity contest. The best-case scenario is him allowing that the Democratic nominee got more votes but insisting that that’s still illegitimate and basically rigged on account of the Fake News Media’s extreme favoritism towards the left.

He’s not going to try to cling to power after a defeat, though. There aren’t enough people around him who’d support him in that. Stepping down while shouting “rigged!” all the way might actually be an enjoyable way for him to leave, as then he wouldn’t need to worry about this thankless job anymore and could go back to the high life insisting that he’d never been fairly defeated. But never mind him. What about Democrats? What’s their excuse going to be if Trump knocks them out again next year, a scenario that’s at least as likely as not given the state of the economy? Will it be voter suppression, a la Stacey Abrams? Or will it be the claim that Russia or some other foreign power must have intervened below the radar again and Trump and his corrupt DOJ minions are suppressing that fact? Amy Klobuchar’s already dropping hints about that and was called out for doing so this morning by Jake Tapper on CNN. The bases of the two major parties despise each other so intensely in 2019 that it would grieve them on an almost spiritual level to believe that a majority of Americans might sincerely prefer the other side to their own. There’s not going to be a consensus “fair and square” outcome in 2020, period.

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Buttigieg hits Bernie: He doesn’t have the same novelty as in 2016 and it’s hard to see him winning a general election

Westlake Legal Group buttigieg-hits-bernie-he-doesnt-have-the-same-novelty-as-in-2016-and-its-hard-to-see-him-winning-a-general-election Buttigieg hits Bernie: He doesn’t have the same novelty as in 2016 and it’s hard to see him winning a general election The Blog socialists progressives Indiana democrats buttigieg Bernie Sanders 2020 2016

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This is a light jab, not a roundhouse, but I’m surprised to find Buttigieg antagonizing Sanders and his cultish fans. And not for the first time. Remember, he got into trouble with the left a few days ago by comparing Bernie to Trump inasmuch as each thrived in 2016 on voters who wanted to blow up “the system.” Buttigieg didn’t mean that as an insult, as I understood him. He wasn’t claiming that what drives Sanders voters are the same things that drive Trumpists. His point was that frustration with the status quo in America, economically and politically, is sufficiently intense on both sides to have supported not one but two credible challenges from supposedly unelectable populist insurgents three years ago.

But now here’s the Times with new quotes suggesting that, no, Buttigieg really did mean to characterize Bernie as a fringy figure who, contra to all progressive dogma, probably can’t win a national election. He’s going to make enemies here, and for what? Strategically, it makes no sense to me.

In an interview, Mr. Buttigieg said Mr. Sanders’s left-wing proposals were no longer as provocative as in 2016 — “people were refreshed by the novelty of that boldness” — and expressed skepticism that a self-described democratic socialist in his late 70s could win a general election.

“I have a hard time seeing the coalition ultimately coming together there,” he said.

(Responding to the critique, Faiz Shakir, Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager, trumpeted the senator’s populist record and said his “unifying progressive agenda” made him “the best-positioned candidate to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.”)

I’ve understood Buttigieg’s candidacy from the beginning as a sort of branding exercise. He has a heavy lift getting elected to statewide office in a state as red as Indiana, but if he runs for president and makes a good impression, that might earn him the sort of base loyalty and fundraising dollars he’d need to mount a plausible campaign for governor or senator in a few years. If he makes a really good impression, he might end up with a prestige job in the federal government courtesy of the next Democratic president, and he could use that experience as a credential to run for president again, this time more formidably, in 2028.

But if that’s the strategy, his top goal should be to not make enemies on his own side. Run hard, make a splash in polling, but don’t alienate anyone in the field who might otherwise be willing to give you that prestige job in 2021. And certainly don’t alienate supporters of that person whose dollars you’re counting on to help fund your eventual Indiana statewide run.

And for cripes sake, if you simply must pick a fight with some top contender, don’t do it with the de facto pope of the DSA contingent. Bernie fans aren’t going to shrug off slights to their man on grounds that “politics ain’t beanbag” or whatever. They’re cultists. They’ll respond to the cult leader being impugned the way cult members always do. They will have long memories about this, especially if Buttigieg meaningfully damages Sanders’s chances.

I can only assume that Buttigieg has begun to believe his own BS and thinks he has a real chance at becoming president. He doesn’t. For one thing, despite his movement in the polls, he’s no stronger than Bernie is among black voters and may even end up weaker as oppo on him begins to circulate. For another, although it’s understandable that a politician might believe that anyone can be elected president in a country that just elected Donald Trump, the fact remains that Buttigieg is 37 years old and has never governed anything except a modestly sized city. Trump was a household-name celebrity, widely perceived by voters as one of the most successful businessmen in the world, and — importantly — offered a genuine ideological contrast with the rest of the GOP field. Buttigieg doesn’t. Really the opposite — it’s hard to place him ideologically except “pretty left-wing but not as much as Bernie,” which applies equally to everyone running except possibly Biden.

Buttigieg-mentum is more about personal style than ideology, as this quietly brutal essay in the Times today explains. There’s a certain type of well-educated liberal, common to the media class, that recognizes Buttigieg as a more intelligent, better-read version of themselves. Who could be more fit to govern the free world, right?

In his weeks on the national scene, Buttigieg has built a brand squarely aimed at a certain kind of liberal intellectual — the type whose prose-driven, subjective, humanist view of the world has lately fallen out of style, replaced by data analysis and ideology. His unassuming face now seems to be everywhere. The blitz has felt less like a presidential campaign than a liberal-arts variety show — a best-case scenario for what happened to Max Fischer from “Rushmore.” A few weeks after the musician Ben Folds told a story about playing a duet with the candidate, a Buttigieg adviser tweeted a video of Mayor Pete “tickling the ivories” before a talk at Scripps College. Even his choice of song — Spoon’s “The Way We Get By” — fit the brand, nailing a demographic of upper-middle-class dads who wax nostalgic about their college radio shows and the professors who taught them to love James Joyce. As Notre-Dame burned, Buttigieg offered his sympathies in French…

Imagining yourself in a book club with Pete Buttigieg becomes this election’s having a beer with George W. Bush. If the news media has an “identitarianism” problem, it’s not so much that people bunker down into racial, gender or sexual groups, but that a whole class of journalists and thinkers never seems to be able to wander out past its own pool of references — all so admiring of the same things that some are blinded to the similar backgrounds of almost every other Democratic candidate for president.

That’s a little too brutal, as it’s not just reporters who are driving Buttigieg’s rise in the polls. As it happens, it’s recent college grads and left-wingers — Bernie Sanders’s base — who have gravitated towards him, another reason for the Sanders cult to resent him. Now, per the Times, we have Mayor Pete trying to attract more of them by politely implying that Bernie is old news and unelectable. It’s hard to see how that ends well for him. His hope, I guess, is that he continues to siphon off Bernie votes, Biden falters, and he shocks the world by ending up as the nominee, with angry Berniebros forced to swallow hard and grudgingly turn out for him next fall in the name of defeating Trump. But they may be less forgiving than he expects, especially if he comes to be seen as chief culprit in the derailing of Bernie’s and the revolution’s journey to political glory in 2020. And if he succeeds in blocking Bernie but doesn’t win the nomination himself, instead serving as a stalking horse for some centrist candidate like Biden to swoop in and win it, he’ll be pilloried by the left a bit like Ralph Nader post-2000. His chances of a progressive-fueled statewide candidacy in Indiana might be DOA.

Again, I don’t get it. But here he is a few nights ago trying to clean up his original Trump/Sanders comments.

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