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The best people. Only the best people. The F.B.I. first gave the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, a file containing spousal abuse allegations against Rob Porter in March 2017, according to a detailed new timeline the bureau has given to Congress that casts further doubt on the West Wing’s account of how accusations against one of President Trump’s closest advisers were handled. Mr. Porter, Mr. Trump's staff secretary, resigned under pressure in February after allegations that he had been physically violent toward two former wives were aired in the press. The White House—which initially sprang to his defense—has issued several competing accounts of how Mr. Trump's team handled the allegations, which they insisted no senior officials knew about until just before Mr. Porter left his job. But in a letter this month to the leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is investigating how Mr. Porter could have received a security clearance given the allegations, a top official at the F.B.I. said that on March 3, 2017, the bureau sent a «partial report» on Mr. Porter «addressed to the Counsel to the President, Donald F. McGahn, which contained derogatory information.» A former federal law enforcement official said the violent abuse allegations were included in that file. McGahn did not comment on the story to the Times but a White House official is pushing back, saying «Don never saw it.» The anonymous official says «The right people never saw it.» Supposedly McGahn was too busy dealing with the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, like that was a thing to be managed what with the Republican Senate totally rolling over for him. When it comes to McGahn receiving the file that the FBI says they gave to him, either the White House or the FBI is lying about the contents of it. Because the White House says all that was in there was his basic employment information. That certainly wouldn't have been enough to trigger Porter's security clearance failure. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (which released the letter Thursday), made an important point. In a statement with the letter, Cummings says «White House officials ignored this information and continued granting Porter access to our nation's most highly classified secrets—just as they did with Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner.» He also points out that the White House is «refusing to provide documents to the Oversight Committee, yet Chairman Gowdy refuses to issue a subpoena or demand interviews of White House staff that he promised.»
In a pair of hearings, EPA chief Scott Pruitt has gotten the kid glove treatment from Republicans and some solid kicks from Democrats. Throughout the course of the day, Pruitt has contradicted his earlier statements. This includes admitting that he did know about requests for raises for his two Oklahoma friends (though he now claims he didn’t know the amount of those raises) and saying that what he previously characterized as a $43,000 SCIF (Secure Compartmentalized Information Facility) for receiving classified calls was not actually a SCIF, and blaming its purchase on “career individuals” at the EPA. But as Pruitt skated around questions on his lobbyist-provided townhouse in DC and his lobbyist-provided real estate flip back in Oklahoma, one topic that he kept pushing back on was his inordinate spending on security. Again and again through the first hearing, Pruitt defended his first class travel and $2 million a year personal security detail as required by an “extraordinary level” of threats. Threats far higher than those faced by previous cabinet officials. Though FOIA requests had failed to turn up this massive stack of threats, Pruitt claimed that this personal risk had been verified by a report from the Inspector General. In two separate hearings Thursday, Pruitt presented to lawmakers a “threat assessment” that he said came from Inspector General Arthur Elkins detailing various death threats against him. But at the start of the second hearing, Democratic Representative Betty McCollum asked Pruitt again about his first class flights, and when she got the same response as those who asked earlier, she was ready. McCollum: We reached out to the Inspector General’s office. We asked Inspector General Elgins if he made such comments. And he disputed your claim. Please explain yourself, administrator. Do you need to correct the record? In response, Pruitt held up a report he said “came from the Inspector General.” McCollum pressed and asked to see the paper, insisting that it be entered into the record. But it wasn’t a report, and it wasn’t from the Inspector General.
The 2018 midterm election is shaping up to be not just a referendum on popular vote loser Donald Trump, but on Republican efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Health care has been among the most dominant policy issues for voters in elections since last November and in public polling. That includes, according to new polling from PPP, Medicaid. In a national poll they completed this week they found «voters nationally strongly support Medicaid and are opposed to cutting it, especially to fund tax breaks.» How strongly? This: «66% of voters oppose cutting Medicaid, as opposed to just 19% who support cuts.» 74% of Democrats and Independents oppose cutting Medicaid, while a plurality of Republicans, 49%, also oppose cuts. Only 34% of Republicans support cutting Medicaid. Rather than cut Medicaid, a majority of voters (52%) want to see it expanded, compared to just 35% who don't. […] Learning that Medicaid covers 6 in 10 nursing home residents, and 40 percent of costs for long-term care that seniors depend on, made voters 63% less likely to support cuts. Voters were 53% less likely to support cuts after learning that if Medicaid funding is cut, 1 in 5 Americans—seniors, children, and individuals with disabilities—will be at risk of losing access to healthcare. A whopping 71 percent say that Medicaid should not be cut to pay for the Republican tax scam, including 60 percent of Republicans. Because even Republicans get (or are) old and might have to have help from Medicaid at the end of their lives. Medicaid protection should be an easy sell for Democrats this election—that includes fighting against harsh work requirements for recipients at the state level and in federal legislation. As for Obamacare, repeal fever is over and done with. Only 29 percent says they want it repealed, while «66% say they want to keep what works about the law and fix what doesn't.» That includes 44 percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats, and 68 percent of independents. Repeal might feature in Republican primary races, but that will just provide more fodder for Democrats in the general. Please give $1 to our Senate and House funds so that Republicans pay the price for sabotaging our care.
Donald Trump's White House does most things poorly—that's a given. But Trump's failed nomination of Dr. Ronny Jackson (aka the «candyman») to head the vast Veterans Affairs bureaucracy really just boggles the mind, even in an era of Trumpian lows. Jackson pulled his name from consideration early Thursday morning. But it wasn’t until Tuesday night—just 24 hours before Jackson began saying he might pull the plug—that the White House really began defending Trump’s pick. At the White House briefing Wednesday afternoon, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed the vetting process had been “thorough.” On Wednesday night, spokesperson Raj Shah added, “We need evidence to be presented to corroborate” the flood of eye-popping allegations dotting the headlines. Yet asked if they were prepared for Jackson to withdraw his name, Shah told reporters: “We're prepared for everything.” By that time, Shah clearly had an inkling where things were headed. Still, it was quite a statement for a White House that did zero prep work on Jackson’s nomination to begin with. First off, no one really thought Jackson had the management chops to oversee a 375,000-person agency in the first place, and that was before we learned how badly he mismanaged the White House medical team of 70. Then, after putting forward a completely shaky nomination at the outset, came the silent treatment from the White House (courtesy of the Washington Post). When allegations of professional misconduct by White House physician Ronny L. Jackson started trickling during the past week to the Senate committee considering his nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, its chairman, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), called the White House twice seeking information. The answers did not appear to satisfy him. Following that stellar performance, the White House left it to the C-team to prep Jackson and grease the skids on Capitol Hill.
More than 50,000 people—teachers, students, parents, and community members—turned out in Phoenix, Arizona, Thursday to press the state government for increased education funding. If you’re an Arizona lawmaker, this should be a sight to make you think hard about future funding votes. xThe view downtown Phoenix as teachers march in Arizona for better pay and more public funding. #RedForEd pic.twitter.com/vYE2zuUcPg— Casey Kuhn (@CaseyAtTheDesk) April 26, 2018
The first of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s two House appearances on Thursday, this one before the the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, was introduced by Republican John Shimkus as being about “policy and stewardship.” But throughout the day, Republicans ignored the stewardship part of that charter, and attacked Democrats for any question they asked Pruitt about his outlandish actions or expenditures at the EPA. But Democrats persisted in asking. And Scott Pruitt continued his pattern of denying responsibility for anything and everything in his department. It’s a good thing the EPA doesn’t regulate the emissions of metaphorical busses, because Pruitt lined them up to mow down his staff with an un-surprising regularity. When California Democratic Tony Cárdenas asked about Pruitt’s expensive phone booth, Pruitt reached new levels of being unaware of events in his own agency. Pruitt: I did have a phone call come in, of a sensitive nature, and I did not have access to secure communications. I gave direction to my staff to address that. And out of that came a $43,000 expenditure that I did not approve. That is something that ... Cárdenas: So you’re not taking responsibility for the $43,000 that was spent in your office? You’re saying that staff did it without your knowledge? Pruitt: Correct. Career individuals at the agency took that process through and signed off on it all the way through. Cárdenas: So you were not involved in that? Pruitt: I was not involved in the approval of the $43,000 and if I had known about it, Congressman, I would have refused it. Somehow, either all EPA administrators previous to Pruitt never had a sensitive communication, or they found the two secure communications facilities that already existed in the EPA office adequate to their needs. But according to Pruitt, he made an innocent request, and those “career individuals” were to blame. Because Pruitt did not accept the blame for anything. Nothing at all. Meanwhile, Republicans spent their time between arguing over whether the EPA should be supporting small oil refineries, large oil refineries, or just all oil refineries. And Republicans unveiled their new line of attack against every scientific study done in support of public health over the last five decades, as one congressman after another sneered at “secret science.”
The full-size, three-row SUV is big, attractive, luxurious and economical, and we're bummed it's not coming stateside.
The ticket-a-day package went away earlier this month, and the CEO says he doesn't know if it will return.
Authorities say consumer DNA databases provided their big break, but popular sites deny involvement.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc recorded an estimated writedown of 47.3 billion yen ($432.56 million) for the year ended March, its parent Monex Group Inc said on Thursday.
Opinion on the issue is divided, with some saying the move would protect privacy, and others saying the technology is very expensive
Sanctioned Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska won’t sell his stake in Russia’s largest aluminum producer RUSAL, Bloomberg reports. The US Treasury hinted it would scrap sanctions if he quits the firm. Read Full Article at RT.com
It’s an end of an era in Cupertino today. Apple just announced the end of production on its AirPort line of base stations, a list that includes the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule. In a statement provided to TechCrunch, the company noted that it will continue to sell its remaining stock, but […]
On today’s wildly successful earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky dropped a bit of a bombshell for Amazon Prime subscribers. The retailer’s everything-and-the-kitchen-sink annual subscription plan is about to get pricier. On May 11, Prime annual memberships will jump $20, from $99 a year to $119. The news follows a similar announcement back in January, […]
Following up on a recurring thread from Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional appearance earlier this month, the House held a hearing today on perceived bias against conservatives on Facebook and other social platforms. The hearing, ostensibly about “how social media companies filter content on their platforms,” focused on the anecdotal accounts of social media stars Diamond and […]
Snap showed off a new update to it’s fabled Snap Spectacles today. They’re new, but only sort of, and it’s not clear that they’ve learned much since the glasses first debuted in fall of 2016. The changes they did make with V2 (water-proofing, higher-def video, slightly updated design) have fundamentally been tweaks towards perfecting a […]
Bluetooth and smart speakers are a dime a dozen these days, and many of them aren't bad — so what it often comes down to is style. Native Union has my number with its latest device, which accentuates the classic bookcase speaker look with a tech-heavy back end and brass volume knob.
Losing an arm doesn't have to mean losing all sense of touch, thanks to prosthetic arms that stimulate nerves with mild electrical feedback. Researchers have developed a control algorithm that regulates the current so a prosthetics user feels steady sensation, even when the electrodes begin to peel off or when sweat builds up.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The original Pizza Hut building has opened as a museum at Wichita State University. WSU Foundation CEO Elizabeth King told The Wichita Eagle that staff from the school came together «to collaborate and create this fabulous museum that will be curated by the students.» The museum ...
It’s bad enough some people dismiss scientific opinion on climate change. But to go on believing that the Earth is flat is just ludicrous. Yet, this weekend, folks from around Britain will flock […] The post This Philosophical Theory Is Your Best Defense Against Flat Earthers appeared first on Geek.com.
Dragon Ball fans have seen their fair share of new content over the last year or so, even as the anime series Dragon Ball Super has come to an end. But it’s not […] The post Check Out Dragon Ball Legends’ New Swordsman Character appeared first on Geek.com.
Advocates for a former Girl Scout camp rife with waterfalls and wetlands no longer have to fear outside development on the land now that it has been transferred to the National Park Service. The mostly wooded area spanning more than 1,000 acres along Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains plays host to raptors, ...
Need a new tablet or PC? Now’s a great time to buy! Amazon is selling the 10.1-inch Fire HD 10 tablet today for just $99.99, and you can grab a high-end refurb desktop […] The post Geek Deals: Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet One-Day Sale for $100, Dell XPS 8930 Refurb for $1250, and more appeared first on Geek.com.
I love The Legend of Zelda. Link to the Past and Link Between Worlds are two of my favorite games, and Breath of the Wild was a masterpiece for a launch game. Part of the reason is […] The post GEEK PICK OF THE DAY: Legend of Zelda Master Sword Letter Opener appeared first on Geek.com.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants passed on an heir apparent to two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and took a running back that many think is the best to come out of college in decade.
AVONDALE, La. (AP) Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 on Thursday for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.
SAN DIEGO (AP) San Diego State says its proposed new 35,000-seat football stadium could be expanded to 55,000 seats if the NFL ever returns to the city.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The cool, calm and confident kid from Southern California is going from Hollywood to the Big Apple.
The Indiana Pacers were winless in the seven games that leading scorer Victor Oladipo didn't play in the regular season.
The Browns have a new franchise quarterback, as Cleveland has selected Oklahoma signal-caller Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. At various points in the pre-draft process, the Browns had reportedly been eyeing other quarterbacks, such as USC’s Sam Darnold and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. Instead, they’ve gone with a former Heisman Trophy winner in Mayfield in an effort to solidify their quarterback position for years to come.Cleveland, of course, has been trying and failing to land a long-term passer for some time, and notably passed on prospects such as Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson in recent drafts. With a new general manager in place, and the first and fourth overall picks at their disposal, the Browns always seemed likely to use a top selection on a quarterback.Mayfield, a former walk-on at both Texas Tech and Oklahoma, is a favorite of many in the analytic community, and posted at 3,700 yards and 35 touchdowns in each of his three campaigns for the Sooners. An excellent passer