John Bolton Just Put The FEAR Into Deep State, Anti-Trump Operatives

John Bolton, who’s a former ambassador and a popular Fox News contributor is now President Trump’s National Security Adviser. This move was more than welcomed by conservatives as they know Bolton is a smart, no-nonsense “get ‘er done” type who won’t hesitate to make bold moves.

His first mission is to clean house at the National Security Council. There’s gonna be a lot of job openings there very shortly…

Daily Caller reports:

President Donald Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly plans to “clean house” at the National Security Council.

Sources told Foreign Policy that Bolton’s planned purge will start with Obama administration holdovers and eventually broaden to include leakers and those disloyal to the president.

“Bolton can and will clean house,” a former White House official told Foreign Policy.

Another official issued a warning to former Obama officials — “Everyone who was there during Obama years should start packing their shit.”

But the purge reportedly won’t stop with former Obama appointees. A source told Foreign Policy that Bolton intends to “remove almost all the political [appointees] McMaster brought in.”

One Bolton source put a damper on the report, saying it was “premature” to talk about staff changes. Another cautioned that any staff changes, were they to be signed off on by Bolton, would be slow in coming because of the time it takes to process security clearances, which will likely leave Bolton with most current staff for President Trump’s upcoming May meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

However, Matthew Freedman, a Republican consultant and Bolton adviser who is helping to manage the transition, is reportedly “overly ambitious about cleaning house,” according to a Republican source, although Freedman himself told Foreign Policy there was currently “no list” of people to fire.

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Source: patrioticexpress.com

Developing: McCabe Cracks, Throws Comey Under Bus, Accuses of Perjury

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Disgraced former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired Friday night, two days prior to his official retirement with full benefits, by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on recommendations from both the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.

And it looks like he might not want to go down alone.

McCabe was fired for allegedly lying to federal investigators and for making alleged unauthorized disclosures to the media about sensitive investigations. Basically, he is alleged to have “lacked candor” with investigators about making anonymous leaks to a Wall Street Journal reporter about the status of the Clinton Foundation investigation in 2016.

In what could only be described as an already prepared statement, McCabe released a letter shortly after his termination that attempted to give his side of the story and asserted that he had been “singled out” by a vindictive President Donald Trump for removal, a laughable claim given the recommendations of the Obama-era-initiated inspector general’s investigation led by the Obama-appointed IG and career bureaucrats at the FBI’s OPR.

But there was something else in McCabe’s statement that caught the eye of law professor Jonathan Turley, who described in The Hill how McCabe appeared to have contradicted his former boss, former FBI Director James Comey, and essentially accused him of committing perjury.

In dispute of the allegations of unauthorized leaks to the media, McCabe wrote, “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

Turley pointed out that since Comey was the director at that time, McCabe’s claim that his leaks were authorized — or at least done with the knowledge of — his boss would run completely counter to testimony delivered under oath by Comey in May 2017 during a congressional hearing.

In that hearing, Comey was asked directly by Sen. Chuck Grassley if he himself had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or if he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” to which Comey had replied without hesitation “Never” and “No.”

Thus, we now know that either Comey or McCabe has lied about the leaks to The Wall Street Journal reporter. If Comey told Congress the truth that he never authorized any leaks to the media, then McCabe just lied and threw Comey under the bus to save his own skin.

Likewise, if McCabe is telling the truth that he had permission to leak information to the reporter, then that means Comey lied under oath to Congress when he denied ever authorizing such leaks.

If it turns out that McCabe just lied, it represents little more than cornered rats biting each other as they attempt to flee a sinking ship, as he was already fired for lying and faces potential prosecution for such. What is one more charge in that case?

But if Comey is the one who lied, he stands to suffer more than McCabe from the exposure, as he is about to launch a lucrative book tour to promote his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

Oh, the irony.

Furthermore, Comey is already facing scrutiny over how he handled the Clinton investigation as well as memos he allegedly wrote about his interactions with Trump and kept after he was fired, some of which were leaked to a friend in the media and which may contain classified information.

On top of that, Turley noted that if it were McCabe who lied and he somehow avoids prosecution for the crime, then he just inadvertently opened the door for President Donald Trump to issue a full pardon for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was forced by special counsel Robert Mueller to plead guilty to lying to investigators, a crime it appears McCabe just committed.

One of these two individuals — Comey or McCabe — was lying about leaks to the media, as they both can’t be telling contradictory truth about the same incident in question.

We will know for sure which is the case when the OIG report is released to the public and the full extent of alleged partisan misconduct of FBI leadership is revealed.

What do you think of these contradictory statements from Comey and McCabe about leaks to the media? Scroll down to comment below!

Source:conservativetribune.com

Nine Major Problems with James Comey’s Involvement with the Trump Hoax Dossier

NEW YORK — James Comey took to Twitter on Saturday to respond to an earlier tweet by President Donald Trump about the Russia probe, with the former FBI director exclaiming that the “American people will hear my story very soon.”

“And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not,” Comey added.

Comey was responding to Trump’s charge that the ex-FBI chief was aware of illicit activity at the FBI regarding the probe into unsubstantiated claims of Russian collusion.

Below, in no particular order, are nine major problems with Comey’s actions in the Russia probe.  This while he tweets about determining who is “honorable.”

1 – Comey signed FISA applications that cited the largely discredited anti-Trump dossier as purported evidence to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer campaign foreign policy adviser.

The previously released four-page House Intelligence Committee memo alleging abuse of surveillance authority documents that on October 21, 2016, the FBI and Justice Department sought and received the FISA order against Page, and that the agencies sought the renewal of the order every 90 days in accordance with court requirements. Renewals require separate finding of probable cause each time, the memo relates.

According to the memo, Comey “signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one.” The memo relates that the FBI utilized the anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele as evidence against Page in order to obtain the FISA warrant.

The controversial Fusion GPS hired Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence, to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the infamous dossier.  Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee last month released a purported rebuttal to the House GOP memo, but the Democrats’ document actually confirmed that Comey’s FISA applications did indeed cite the Steele dossier.

2 – Comey reportedly did not tell the FISA court that Steele’s dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

After reviewing all FISA warrant applications on the matter, the Republican memo confirms the FISA court was never informed that Steele was working on behalf of Perkin Coie, the DNC or Hillary’s campaign.  Still, Comey cited Steele’s work to sign FISA applications to monitor an American citizen.

In an attempt to rebut the Republican argument that the FISA court was not informed about the dossier’s specific origins, the Democratic memo quotes from an explanation to the court that Steele:

was approached by an identified U.S. person who indicated to Source #1 [Steele] that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. person and Source #1 have a long-standing business relationship.) The identified U.S. person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into candidate #1’s ties to Russia.  The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

Contrary to the rebuttal’s characterization, this paragraph is a far cry from informing the court that the dossier utilized in the FISA warrant was paid for by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Clinton and the DNC.  Also, the general mention of  “a U.S.-based law firm” does not identify to the FISA court the actual firm, Perkins Coie, which is known for its representation of Clinton and the DNC. Further, informing the FISA court about “an identified U.S. person” who hired Steele fails to actually identify that U.S. person as Glenn Simpson, founder of the controversial Fusion GPS.

The Democrats claim that the above-referenced paragraph proves the Obama-era agencies informed the FISA court about the “political” origins of the dossier. However, the Republican memo specifically and apparently correctly charged that “neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”  The Democratic memo fails to dispute that charge.

3 – Comey’s FISA application reportedly did not inform the court that Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS.

The GOP memo relates that the initial FISA application notes Steele worked for a “named U.S. person,” but does not name Fusion GPS or its founder Simpson. The Democrats’ rebuttal contains no evidence that Comey informed the FISA court about the involvement of Fusion GPS. Breitbart News has released a series of articles documenting credibility issues faced by Fusion GPS and its leadership.

4 – Comey’s FISA application is accused of incorrectly assessing that Steele did not provide information to Yahoo News.

A Yahoo News article about an alleged trip by Page to Moscow was cited as purported evidence against Page in the FISA warrant, according to the House GOP memo. However, the memo relates that the Page FISA application “incorrectly assesses that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News.”

The memo continued:

Steele has admitted in British court filings that he met with Yahoo News and several other outlets in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele’s initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington DC in 2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.

5 – Comey cited the dossier in the FISA applications to monitor Page even though he personally called the information contained in Steele’s dossier “salacious and unverified” months later.

Comey first filed the FISA application citing the dossier on October 21, 2016, according to the GOP memo. Yet during his June 8, 2017 prepared remarks before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey referred to the anti-Trump dossier as containing “salacious and unverified” material.

6 – Comey cited the Steele dossier in the applications to monitor Page even though his own FBI determined the document was “only minimally corroborated.”

The GOP memo relates that after dossier author Christopher Steele was terminated months earlier as an FBI source a “source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated.” Still, Comey saw fit, according to the Republican and Democrat memos, to utilize the dossier in the FISA documents. He also briefed Trump and then-President Barack Obama on the dossier contents.

7 – Comey admitted to pushing back against a request from Trump to possibly investigate the origins of claims made inside the dossier. 

According to the GOP memo, senior officials at the FBI were aware that Clinton and the DNC partially financed Steele’s work when they applied for the FISA warrant on October 21, 2016. That disclosure raises questions about Comey’s June 2017 prepared remarks for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in which he related that he pushed back against a suggestion from Trump to investigate the origins of the dossier claims.

The former FBI chief stated that following a January 6 Oval Office meeting with Intelligence Community leaders, Comey “remained alone with the President Elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information assembled during the assessment.”

It is clear Comey was referring to the dossier since he writes that the “salacious and unverified” material was about to be publically reported by the news media. Four days after that briefing, the dossier was published by BuzzFeed.

In his statement summarizing his conversation with Trump, Comey refers to Russian prostitutes, a key component of the dossier:

He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia.

In a private White House dinner with Trump on January 27, Comey says the topic of the “salacious material” again came up and he reveals that Trump was considering asking the FBI to investigate the origins of the claims. Comey pushed back against that idea.

Comey writes:

During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.

However, according to the GOP memo, senior FBI officials already knew the political origins of the dossier months before Comey met with Trump.

8 – Comey briefed Trump and Obama on the contents of the dossier in an official, formal classified briefing even though he knew the document’s political origins, his own FBI determined the document to be “only minimally corroborated”, and Comey himself later referred to the dossier as “unverified.” The briefing was subsequently leaked to the news media and started a flurry of publicity about the wild accusations inside the dossier.

As Breitbart News documented, the leak about Comey’s dossier briefing to Trump set in motion a barrage of news media attention on the dossier, including the release of the document to the public. The briefing also may have provided the veneer of respectability to a document circulated within the news media but widely considered too unverified to publicize.

The GOP memo relates that in early January 2017, prior to Trump’s inauguration, Comey briefed Trump and Obama on the dossier even though months later Comey would label the dossier as containing “salacious and unverified” material.

On January 10, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to Obama and Trump.

The news network cited “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” – in other words, officials leaking information about classified briefings – revealing the dossier contents were included in a two-page synopsis that served as an addendum to a larger report on Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Prior to CNN’s report leaking the Comey briefing to Trump, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, Comey’s briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by “multiple US officials with direct knowledge,” seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier’s existence as well as allude to the document’s unproven claims.

CNN, for example, reported the documents state that “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump” and contain “allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”

9 – Comey’s FBI may have utilized a second dossier authored by Cody Shearer, a shadowy former tabloid journalist who has long been closely associated with various Clinton scandals.

The Democrats’ rebuttal states that the DOJ provided the FISA court with “additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborate Steele’s reporting.” The rebuttal does not mention the names of the other “independent sources.”

Shearer reemerged in the news cycle in recent weeks when the Guardian newspaper reported that the FBI has been utilizing a second dossier authored by Shearer as part of its probe into Trump and alleged Russian collusion.

The Guardian reported the so-called Shearer memo was given to the FBI by Steele in October 2016 to back up some of his claims.

According to the Guardian report, the FBI was still assessing portions of the Shearer memo at the time the Guardian article was released. The newspaper reported that, like Steele’s dossier, Shearer’s memo cites an “unnamed source within Russia’s FSB” alleging that Trump was compromised by Russian intelligence during a 2013 trip to Moscow in which the future president purportedly engaged in “lewd acts in a five-star hotel.”

Shearer’s name was reportedly associated with a criminal referral of Steele by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). That referral contains partially redacted sentences that Steele received information from someone in the State Department, who in turn had been in contact with a “foreign sub-source” who was in touch with a redacted name described as a “friend of the Clintons.”

Numerous media reports have since stated that the second dossier author mentioned in the Grassley-Graham memo was Shearer, an associate of longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal.

According to sources who spoke to CNN, Shearer’s information was passed from Blumenthal to Jonathan Winer, who at the time was a special State Department envoy for Libya working under then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Citing the same source, CNN reported that Shearer’s dossier is “actually a set of notes based on conversations with reporters and other sources.” CNN reported that Shearer had “circulated those notes to assorted journalists, as well as to Blumenthal.”

Winer subsequently penned a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department, he exchanged documents and information with Steele and that some of the information passed to Steele originated with Shearer. Winer acknowledged that he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by Sidney Blumenthal.

National Review previously dubbed Shearer a “Creepy Clinton Confidante” and “The Strangest Character in Hillary’s Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy.”

Source: www.breitbart.com

Police Uncover Antifa-Linked High-Explosives, Chemicals, and Mobile Bomb Factory

antifa

The authorities have uncovered an Antifa-linked hoard of chemicals, high-explosives, and a mobile bomb factory in Thuringia, Germany, according to local media.

There is some suggestion that the haul, which is suspected to be linked to alt-left extremism, has been played down for political reasons, Welt Am Sonntag reports.

Bodo Ramelow, Thuringia’s Minister-President and a member of Die Linke (The Left Party), gave one of the two individuals accused of being linked to the materials a democracy award for their commitment to taking on ‘Neo-Nazis’, according to WAS.

“The findings available so far suggest that the spokesman of an alliance honoured by the Ramelow government prepared explosives attacks,” said Mike Mohring, who is chairman of Angela Merkel’s nominally conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Thuringia, as well as CDU leader in the region’s parliament.

“The days-long, almost booming silence of the entire state government is more than strange.”

“We have a lot to do with extreme right-wing violence in Thuringia, but the escalation of left-wing violence at the G20 summit in Hamburg has shown that there is also a dangerous potential on this side of the spectrum,” admitted Thuringian Minister of the Interior Georg Maier.

Left Party parliamentarian Katharina König-Preuss, whose “anti-fascist” credentials are displayed prominently on her Twitter account, has been particularly damaged by the case, as she knows one of the accused personally.

One of the two accused, a 31-year-old wheelchair user, told WAS that the “plot allegations are total humbug, but that’s all I’m going to say.”

Police found quantities of butyric acid in the accused’s home, which WAS describes as “a malodorous chemical often used in attacks on political opponents” in Germany.

But he claims the acid was for his mother, to be used as “pesticides against voles and moles”.

Source: www.breitbart.com

South Korean Security Chief: Trump to Meet Kim Jong-un Dictator ‘by May’

Donald Trump. Kim Jong Un

In an announcement at the White House Thursday night, South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong confirmed that North Korean dictator has extended an invitation to President Donald Trump to meet “as soon as possible,” and that Trump has accepted.

Chung met with Kim Jong-un at an unprecedented meeting of officials from the two Korean states on Monday. Upon returning to South Korea, he confirmed to news outlets there that Kim had agreed to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a meeting on the south side of the border.

In his short statement in Washington on Monday, Chung reiterated his claim that Kim “said he is committed to denuclearization. He said that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear tests.”

Kim also “expressed his willingness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Chung added.

“President Trump … said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve total denuclearization,” he continued. He did not provide any specifics on time or potential location for such a meeting.

Chung described both himself and Trump as “optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution.”

“The Republic of Korea, along with the United States, Japan, and our many partners around the world, remain fully and resolutely committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” he added, while asserting that “the pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.”

The Trump administration has spearheaded a global effort to place unprecedented sanctions on the North Korean regime, which has consistently threatened to use nuclear weapons against American targets like New York and San Francisco. Trump has emphasized China’s role in enforcing these sanctions in particular, as the communist regime’s largest trading partner, and praised China’s communist regime for cooperating in part on pressuring Pyongyang.

The tactic appears to have worked. According to a report in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, the sanctions are hurting Kim’s regime in an “unprecedented” way, particularly stalling North Korea’s ability to export goods for cash.

Kim’s meeting with Moon would make him the first North Korean dictator to visit South Korea in history. His meeting with Trump, if it occurs, will also be unprecedented.

Kim is the grandson of founding North Korean tyrant Kim Il-sung and father of preceding dictator Kim Jong-il. In talks with Chung and the South Korean delegation, Kim reportedly claimed denuclearization was his father’s “dying wish,” despite Kim Jong-il’s near-total commitment of the North Korean economy to developing nuclear weapons, rather than much-needed humanitarian aid for the millions of citizens starving in his country.

North Korea forces thousands of citizens into gulags for “political re-education,” both for any behavior constructed as critical of the regime or for being related to anyone considered a threat. Under the tyrannical “songbun” caste system, families of lower “songbun” are banned from Pyongyang, kept out of the nation’s few well-earning jobs, and otherwise ostracized. Low “songbun” can be earned if parents, grandparents, or distant relatives were once opposed to Kim Il-sung’s rise during the Korean War.

North Koreans are subject to public execution if caught with Bibles or foreign media such as Hollywood films. Disabled people, useless to the regime, are hidden from public view in labor camps.

One North Korean defector said of her time in the country, “it’s the same thing as the Holocaust.”

Chung did not mention if or how the meeting of the two leaders would benefit the citizens of North Korea.

Source: www.breitbart.com

Ukraine President ‘Thankful to President Trump’ for Approving Anti-Tank Missile Sale

Petro Poroshenko during Signing an agreement between Ukrzaliznytsya and General Electric Transport Company on joint production of rolling stock . Kyiv, Ukraine 23-02-2018 (Photo by Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Trump administration on Thursday approved the sale of 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 37 launchers to Ukraine, a deal valued at $47 million.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko quickly expressed gratitude to President Donald Trump for making the sale, while the Russians were considerably less pleased.

“I’m thankful to President Donald J. Trump and his entire team for supporting Ukraine in this important and historic decision,” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook.

“Only unity and solidarity will stop the Russian aggressor and preserve the Free World from his maniac ambitions!” he added, in case anyone had any doubts where those Javelins would be aimed.

“Ukraine is a critical ally to the United States, and I am so pleased to see our country provide this long-overdue assistance in Ukraine’s fight to push back against growing Russian aggression. Providing lethal aid to Ukraine shows that the United States is serious about protecting the interests of our nation and our allies,” said Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats.

“The deal will support President Trump’s claims that he has been tougher on Russia over Ukraine than the Obama administration,” the Financial Times anticipated. “Mr. Trump’s predecessor in the White House imposed economic sanctions on Russia but refused to provide Ukraine with lethal arms, fearing it could provoke Moscow into ratcheting up a conflict that has already claimed more than 10,000 lives.”

The Pentagon, however, said the proposed sale would “help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity” without changing the military balance of power in the region.

Ambassador Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for negotiations with Ukraine, argued that an anti-tank missile is an entirely defensive weapon because it “sits in a box and doesn’t get used unless you have a tank coming at you.”

Implicit in this seemingly tautological argument is that Russia has nothing to worry about if its denials of supporting separatist militia forces in Ukraine are true as there is no way the separatists could acquire tanks without Russian support.

The process of approving the missile deal has been underway since December when President Trump initially approved the sale and notified Congress. Congress could block the sale within the next 30 days, although this is seen as an unlikely outcome.

Russia’s response to Thursday’s news has been restrained so far, but back in December, the Russian Foreign Ministry thundered that the U.S. “in a certain sense crossed the line” by announcing its “intention to transfer weapons of direct damaging action to Ukraine.”

“American weapons can lead to new victims in our neighboring country, to which we cannot remain indifferent,” the Foreign Ministry said, which is why Volker needled the Russians about anti-tank missiles being entirely harmless if there are no tanks available to use them on.

The anti-tank missile deal features prominently in analyses that find U.S.-Russian relations at a post-Cold War low point, or perhaps even worse than they were during much of the Cold War. Diehard true believers in Trump-Russia conspiracy theories will not easily digest the undeniable truth that the Trump administration is much harder on Russia than its predecessor ever was, especially in Ukraine and Syria.

The major anomaly in this tougher Trump administration stance is that President Trump has a tendency to speak well of Russian President Vladimir Putin — which is either a clever diplomatic ploy, a sign of chaos within the Trump administration, President Trump speaking in his characteristic off-the-cuff manner about Putin qualities he admires, or President Trump saying nice things about Putin because he knows it drives the U.S. media crazy, depending on who you ask.

The stress points Russia is using to expand its geopolitical influence are all relics of the Obama administration: the Islamist chaos unleashed by the Arab Spring, which Obama badly misread as a flowering of enlightened democracy; the growing power of Russia’s partner in the Middle East, Iran; the disastrous Obama intervention in Libya; Obama allowing Russia to take control of the Syrian civil war; and Putin’s skulduggery in Ukraine. Criticism of how Donald Trump plays the cards he has been dealt is fair enough, but no one should deny Barack Obama dealt the cards.

It remains to be seen just how many chips Putin is willing to put on Ukraine, which was intended to be the first of several steps to restore Russia as an imperial power, or at least convince Russian voters to see one when they look in the mirror.

Others see Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for Ukraine separatists as part of a subtle “hybrid warfare” effort waged by China and Russia to weaken the West without the kind of overt provocation that might provoke a strong response from the U.S. and its allies. The Javelin missile sale may help pressure the Russian leader into deciding if he wants to play any more cards in a Ukraine gambit that continually threatens to spiral out of his control.

Source: www.breitbart.com

Report: Iran Has 10 Military Bases in Syria, Two Near Israeli Border, Training 20,000 Fighters

IAEA

TEL AVIV – There are 10 Iranian military bases in Syria, two of which are close to the border with Israel, that are training militias from the Bashar al-Assad regime for a future war with the Jewish state, an analyst for an American think tank contended in an article published Monday.

As many as 20,000 fighters in Syria have been trained by Iranian military personnel, giving Iran its “true muscle” in Syria, according to the Monday report in the New York Times. About 6,000 of them are Hezbollah members, with the rest coming from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. Most of them view the conflict in religious terms, the report said.

For years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Iran is seeking regional hegemony by entrenching itself in Syria, from where it can arm its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah and train other Shiite militias to fight against Israel.

In November, Israel released satellite photos of an Iranian military base only 30 miles from the border with Syria.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied the presence of any military bases in the war-torn country.

At least two Iraqi militia leaders have visited the Lebanon-Israel border with Hezbollah recently, the Times said, with militia members saying the visits were intended to formulate plans for how they might collaborate in a future conflict.

The combatants have switched their focus from the Sunni Islamic State terror group to Israel, Ali Alfoneh, a researcher at the U.S.-based Atlantic Council told the Times.

“Iran has realized that it is actually possible to maintain a front against Israel where there is no war, but also no peace,” Alfoneh said.

Last week, in response to an incursion by an Iranian drone into Israeli airspace, Israel launched airstrikes on 12 Syrian and Iranian targets, including three air-defense batteries and four Iranian targets, one of them the control center that launched the drone.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel will not allow Iran’s regime to put a noose of terror around our neck” and added that his country would do everything to defend itself.

“We will act if necessary, not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,” the prime minister said at the Munich Security Conference, which was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He also brandished a fragment of the downed Iranian drone and asked, “Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran — do not test Israel’s resolve!”

Zarif later responded on the same stage, calling Netanyahu’s fiery speech a “cartoonish circus.”

Source: www.breitbart.com

U.S. Army Awards ‘Heroism Medals’ to 3 JROTC Students Killed in Florida High School Shooting

Alaina Petty, Peter Wang, Martin Duque

The U.S. Army is honoring three Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets killed in the Florida high school shooting Wednesday with medals for heroism.

The U.S. Army announced Tuesday that Alaina Petty, Martin Duque, and Peter Wang—who were all students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and also served as cadets in the school’s JROTC program—would receive JROTC Heroism Medals for their acts of bravery during Wednesday’s shooting.

Army spokesman Michael Maddox said that Petty’s family had been presented with the award at her funeral Monday, and Wang’s family received the award during his funeral service Tuesday. Duque’s family will accept the medal at his funeral service Saturday.

More than 1,500 people attended Petty’s funeral service Monday.

Wang’s family requested that he be laid to rest in his JROTC uniform at his funeral service Tuesday, according to an Army spokesperson. The 15-year-old was in his uniform when he was shot trying to help his classmates.

“The JROTC Heroism medal will be on his uniform, but a second ‘keepsake’ medal,” will be given to the Wang family, Maddox said.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point gave the late cadet a posthumous offer of admission, although many people have called for the U.S. military to give Wang a military funeral. A petition posted to WhiteHouse.gov urged the U.S. military to give Wang a full military funeral with honors.

Maddox added that awards for other cadets are going through the review process, but that the Army’s focus is “supporting the funerals and dignity and honor so deserved by these cadets and their families.”

The Medal of Heroism is a U.S. military decoration awarded to JROTC cadets whose actions “involved the acceptance of danger and extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage,” according to the Army.

Nikolas Cruz, an ex-JROTC member, is accused of killing the three cadets when he opened fire at the school Wednesday. Seventeen people died in the shooting.

Source: www.breitbart.com

China Launches Hotline to Report Rural Stripper Funerals to Police

China, Handan : A Chinese performer sings during a funeral in a village in Cheng'an county, Handan city, north China's Hebei province, 15 February 2015.

Chinese authorities have vowed to crack down on the rural tradition of hiring strippers for funeral ceremonies, the country’s Ministry of Culture has announced.

According to state media outlet Global Times, the Chinese Ministry of Culture plans to “launch a new campaign targeting Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces for their obscene and vulgar performances at weddings, funerals and temple fairs.”

Chinese state media announced in 2015 a similar campaign; announcing a fight to eradicate the practice in 2018 suggests that Beijing’s Communist Party failed to impose itself on those in the countryside displeasing it.

This time, citizens will receive access to a “special hotline” where they can report “funeral misdeeds” and will receive a monetary reward.

The outlet claims that it has long been a rural tradition to hire opera singers to “allure mourners and show respect to the deceased,” as it helps “ensure a higher turnout at the deceased’s funeral as a way of honoring the dead and showing ‘filial piety.’”

However, residents in recent years have decided to “show off their disposable incomes” by paying large amounts of money for other forms of entertainment such as actors, singers, comedians, and strippers in an attempt to “comfort the bereaved and entertain the mourners.”

Such a ceremony is described in detail:

Scantily clad women in sexy lingerie and revealing clothes showing off their bodies in front an electronic screen displaying a black-and-white headshot of the deceased with text reading “We offer profound condolences for the death of this man” are now a modern part of funerals in some rural areas of China.

The crowd is pushed to climax, roaring with laughter, whistling, applauding and cursing. As the performers saunter into the audience to giggle [sic] their breasts and rub men’s crotches, a reminder of “no photographs allowed” can occasionally be heard.

Chinese authorities first announced their intention to crack down on the “bizarre and increasingly popular” ceremonies in 2015 because they were “uncivilized” and “corrupting the social atmosphere.”

Yet such entertainment, in fact, dates back to the 1600s and the Qing dynasty, where it was common to provide entertainment at funerals, although the Times contends that stripteases were only “added to the funeral menu” in the 1990s.

One solution apparently proposed by a “vocal minority” is providing the rural population with greater spiritual enrichment.

“Entertainment facilities provided by the public sector are not fairly adaptive for rural residents,” the outlet quoted Professor Wei of the Central University of Finance and Economics Culture and Media department as saying. “Such deficiency leave farmers’ spiritual life hollow and give rise to porn and striptease.”

Despite being widely available, prostitution and sexual services are disapproved of by the ruling Communist Party, who view it as against their Marxist values and fear its links with organized crime.

The communist regime typically has difficulty in controlling their rural populations who fail to adhere to their vision of modern China. Last November, authorities said they would begin cutting off poverty relief packages unless rural communities took down images of their Jesus and replace them with images of President Xi Jinping.

As part of the government’s environmental reforms, officials also reduced coal supplies to many areas, although later reversed this decision as many peasants were unable to afford or get access to natural gas and were freezing to death.

Source: www.breitbart.com

Russian Husband and Wife ‘Troll Team’ Indicted by FBI for Fake Political Posts

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, pictured in this August 8, 2013 file photo, charged 13 Russians for an alleged conspiracy to defraud the United States

A Russian husband and wife “troll team” was indicted by U.S. authorities on Friday for their involvement in an online effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Husband and wife team Robert and Maria Bovda were indicted on Friday as a part of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to subvert the 2016 election. According to the indictment, Maria served as head of the project, which utilized social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

Both Robert and Maria are accused of “creating false US personas” and utilizing fake accounts that had large U.S. audiences. The Bovdas were two of the 13 Russians that were indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

According to the indictment, Robert and Maria worked specifically on spreading propaganda to “the U.S. population.” Additionally, they “conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.”

As a part of the investigation’s findings, Mueller cited an account a Russian-controlled Instagram account called “Woke Blacks.”

“[A] particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary,” a post on the page read. “We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”

Another post from a Russian account targeted Muslim voters on the day before the election.
“American Muslims [are] boycotting elections today, most of the American Muslim voters refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton because she wants to continue the war on Muslims in the middle east and voted yes for invading Iraq,” the post read.

Despite the indictments, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov brushed off allegations of Russian mingling in the 2016 elections.

‘I have no response. You can publish anything, and we see those indictments multiplying, the statements multiplying,’ Lavrov said. ‘Until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber.’

Source: www.breitbart.com