Please listen to our latest show at:
We will never give up the fight against liberals.
Washington (CNN)Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, apparently registered to vote as a female, according to his publicly accessible 2009 New York state voter information.
More than a few of my Washington allies noticed a seemingly unremarkable bit of news in a Monday Washington Post article that they thought I ought to see. The article concerned Jared Kushner’s appointment as adviser to his father-in-law Donald Trump.
The appointment did not trouble my friends. What troubled them was the Post’s casual mention that Kushner’s attorney was none other than Jamie Gorelick, deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton. Observed the Post, Gorelick “is confident that the anti-nepotism statute does not cover Trump’s appointment of Kushner.”
Nepotism was the thrust of the article. The Post made no allusion to the concerns my friends and I have about this relationship. I assured them that Kushner probably does not know Gorelick’s history. I write this to make him aware of why bloggers have taken to calling Gorelick, “The Mistress of Disaster.”
Some recent highlights. In 2014, it was revealed that the George Soros-funded Urban Institute had an officially sanctioned role in the vetting of non-profits that seek tax-exempt status through the IRS. Gorelick was the vice-chairman of the Urban Institute board.
In 2011, she represented Duke University in its attempt to squash a suit by lacrosse team members whose lives had been turned upside down by false rape accusations that the university aided and abetted. In 2010, Gorelick represented BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil mess. It gets worse, much worse.
In 1993, as deputy attorney general under President Clinton, Gorelick served as “field commander” for the horrific government assault on a religious community in Waco, Texas, that left more than eighty dead, twenty of them children.
In 1995, she went on to pen the infamous “wall” memo that prevented the FBI and CIA from sharing information in the run-up to September 11. At the time, a dismayed FBI investigator wrote a memo to headquarters which included the sentence, “Someday someone will die — and wall or not — the public will not understand why we were not more effective.”
In 1996, Gorelick stepped up her game, taking a lead role in the investigation of the TWA Flight 800 disaster. This was the 747 that inexplicably blew up off the coast of Long Island in July 1996 killing 230 people.
As deputy attorney general serving under a feckless Janet Reno, Gorelick’s assignment was to rein in the FBI. Five weeks into the investigation, she summoned FBI honcho Jim Kallstrom to Washington and served up a dose of political reality. To be sure, no account of the Aug. 22 meeting provides any more than routine detail, but behaviors began to change immediately afterwards.
The FBI had already leaked to the New York Times information that would result in a headline on Aug. 23, top right: “Prime Evidence Found That Device Exploded in Cabin of Flight 800.” This article stole the thunder from Clinton’s election-driven approval of welfare reform in that same day’s paper and threatened to undermine the peace and prosperity message of the next week’s Democratic National Convention.
What followed in the next several weeks was the most ambitious and successful cover-up in American peacetime history. At its center was Gorelick. With the help of a complicit media and the active involvement of the CIA, she and her cronies transformed a transparent missile strike into a mechanical failure of unknown origin.
Given her role, the months after the crash had to have been emotionally harrowing. In May 1997, the Clintons appear to have rewarded Gorelick for her steely performance with a job that would pay her $877,573 in that first half-year alone.
According to a Lexis search, not one reporter even questioned why a middling bureaucrat with no financial or housing experience would be handed the vice chairmanship of Fannie Mae, a sinecure that the Washington Monthly called “the equivalent of winning the lottery.”
Six years and an incredible $25.6 million later, having done her share to wreck the American economy, Gorelick responded to the call of duty once more and took just one of five Democratic seats on the 9/11 Commission.
During the 2004 Commission hearings, CIA Director George Tenet first addressed the “wall that was in place between the criminal side and the intelligence side.” Tenet made that barrier sound impenetrable.
“What’s in a criminal case doesn’t cross over that line. Ironclad regulations,” he insisted. “So that even people in the Criminal Division and the Intelligence Divisions of the FBI couldn’t talk to each other, let alone talk to us or us talk to them.”
In her response to Tenet, Gorelick acknowledged the wall and claimed to have used “brute force” in her attempt to penetrate it, but she took no responsibility for its creation. The task of assigning credit was left to Attorney General John Ashcroft.
“The single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11 was the wall,” said Ashcroft. “Full disclosure compels me to inform you that its author is a member of the commission.” That author, of course, was Gorelick, the same official who oversaw the cooperation of the FBI and the CIA in the corruption of the TWA 800 investigation.
As the nation learned in the aftermath of 9/11, the “wall” that was breached all too easily to protect the secrets of TWA 800 held much too firmly when it came to the secrets of our enemies.
Jared, don’t trust her! If need be, I would be happy to sit in a room with Ms. Gorelick and hash this out.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov cancelled an upcoming meeting with the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr., according to AP, in retaliation to the Trump administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and firms over Russian activities in Ukraine.
Ryabkov said that “the situation is not conducive to holding a round of this dialogue” that was scheduled for Friday and criticized the U.S. for “not having offered and not offering anything specific” to discuss.
“We have said from the very beginning of Washington’s exceptionally destructive policy in regard to applying anti-Russia sanctions, that [such measures] will not and cannot have an effect desired by the US on our individuals or entities,” Ryabkov told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
The decision to widen the list came as President Trump met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it regrets the new U.S. sanctions against Russia and warned of possible retaliation. Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the U.S. move wasn’t constructive, adding that “various options are being considered on expert level.”
Russia also said the new U.S. sanctions continue the “destructive trend” set by Obama administration.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it has imposed additional sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and firms over Russian activities in Ukraine. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the penalties are designed to “maintain pressure on Russia to work toward a diplomatic solution.” However, overnight Democrats were furious after House Republicans stalled the recently passed broader Senate bill expanding sanctions on Russia further – and which led to loud protests by European allies over potential fines over use of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – stating the bill violated the origination clause of the Constitution.
Advocates who want America’s immigration laws enforced have found a home in President Donald Trump’s administration, the New York Times’ Nicholas Kulish reports.
For years, a network of immigration hard-liners in Washington was known chiefly for fending off proposals to legalize the status of more people. But with the election of a like-minded president, these groups have moved unexpectedly to offense from defense, with some of their leaders now in positions to carry out their agenda on a national scale.
Mr. Trump’s senior White House adviser, Stephen Miller, worked tirelessly to defeat immigration reform as a staff member for Senator Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general. Gene P. Hamilton, who worked on illegal immigration as Mr. Sessions’s counsel on the Judiciary Committee, is now a senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of the Border Patrol and ICE, where Mr. Feere is working. Julia Hahn, who wrote about immigration for Breitbart — with headlines like “Republican-Led Congress Oversees Large-Scale Importation of Somali Migrants” — has followed her former boss, Stephen K. Bannon, to the White House as a deputy policy strategist.
Their influence is already being felt. Mr. Trump is known for his sound-bite-ready pledges to deport millions of people here illegally and to build a border wall, but some of the administration’s more technical yet critical changes to immigration procedures came directly from officials with long ties to the hard-line groups.
Even those who have labored for decades to scale back immigration did not expect such a dramatic change. “This is inconceivable a year ago,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “Frankly, it’s almost inconceivable six months ago.”
In a White House marked by infighting, top economic aide Gary Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs banker, is muscling aside some of President Donald Trump’s hard-right advisers to push more moderate, business-friendly economic policies.
Cohn, 56, did not work on Republican Trump’s campaign and only got to know him after the November election, but he has emerged as one of the administration’s most powerful players in an ascent that rankles conservatives.
Trump refers to his director of the National Economic Council (NEC), as “one of my geniuses,” according to one source close to Cohn.
More than half a dozen sources on Wall Street and in the White House said Cohn has gained the upper hand over Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, the former head of the right-wing website Breitbart News and a champion of protectionist trade opposed by moderate Republicans and many big companies.
Cohn is a key administration link to business executives and White House sources say he will lead the charge for Trump on top domestic priorities such as tax reform, infrastructure and deregulation.
“Gary’s singular focus is tax reform and he’s working to try and get that done in 2017,” said Orin Snyder, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn and a long-time friend of Cohn.
“He is working to implement the president’s twin goals of economic growth and job creation. The tax plan will also include a reduction in the corporate rate, but also tax relief for middle- and low-income Americans.”
Some conservatives fear Cohn may push through a tax plan that is unnecessarily complicated and argue that including tax relief for middle- and low-income Americans would not spur economic growth as much as cuts focused entirely or mostly on businesses and entrepreneurs.
Adam Brandon, president of the conservative group FreedomWorks, is disappointed Trump is not charging ahead with a plan unveiled last year during his campaign that would slash taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals.
That plan was shaped heavily by Stephen Moore, an economic policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, who advised Trump’s campaign. But it has since been shelved.
“I don’t like the idea of scrapping it and starting over again,” Brandon said.
A senior administration official said the White House has started from scratch on the tax plan and, while setting business tax cuts as the highest priority, is consulting with lawmakers, economists and business leaders before taking it to the Republican-led Congress.
Two administration officials said reports that the White House was considering a carbon tax and a value-added tax were incorrect, but that other ideas were on the table. “We are considering a multitude of options for tax reform,” a White House official said on Sunday.
Associates of both Trump and Cohn say the two have developed a bond. People who have worked with Cohn say he is loyal, direct and assertive, traits that Trump likes.
Crucially, Cohn also has the trust of Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, and his wife Ivanka, Trump’s daughter.
Cohn hired his staff more quickly than other top officials, building a reputation for competence in an administration hurt by early missteps over healthcare reform and a travel ban, the sources said.
“Gary is a huge asset to the Trump administration. He’ll be of great help in eliminating unnecessary regulation, stimulating growth and reforming the tax code,” said billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, an early backer of Trump who knows Cohn through Wall Street circles.
The son of middle-class parents in Cleveland, Ohio, Cohn overcame dyslexia and worked in sales before elbowing his way into a position as a Wall Street trader and rising to become president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N).
Kushner was a Goldman Sachs intern when he first crossed paths with Cohn. After Trump’s election victory, Kushner paved the way for Cohn to meet the president-elect, who had spent much of the campaign blasting investment banks as modern-day robber barons. Trump soon named Cohn his NEC director.
Apparently paying more heed to Cohn and other moderates on his team, Trump last week said he was open to reappointing Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chairman when her term is up and he also held back from naming China a currency manipulator.
Both stances marked a reversal from his campaign when Trump criticized Yellen and vowed to label China a currency manipulator on “day one” of his administration, a move that could lead to punitive duties on Chinese goods.
Sources close to Cohn and inside the White House said there are sharp policy differences between Cohn and both Bannon and Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff.
A White House spokesperson denied there was a power struggle inside the West Wing.
Cohn has already put his stamp on regulatory policy by working with Kushner to successfully push Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission after billionaire investor Carl Icahn, an early Trump supporter, had vetted other candidates. Clayton’s nomination has been advanced to the Senate for a vote.
The vacant Federal Reserve vice chairman’s seat is a key regulatory role Cohn and his colleagues on the economic team want to fill soon. Cohn has interviewed nearly two dozen candidates and has whittled the list down. Randal Quarles, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration is one of several candidates left, a source familiar with the process said.
Cohn will also take a leading role in developing Trump’s infrastructure plan to rebuild airports, roads and bridges. The biggest challenge may be figuring out how to pay for the initiative, which Trump has estimated at $1 trillion.
While conservatives are concerned by Cohn, they note that Bannon is still part of Trump’s mercurial administration and that Cohn could fall out of favor as quickly as he has risen.
“Whoever is up today,” Brandon said, “could be gone tomorrow.”