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New York Times PoliticsFeb 17, 2018
Trump's National Security Chief Calls Russian Interference ‘Incontrovertible'
Lt. General H.R. McMaster accused Moscow of engaging in "disinformation, subversion and espionage." The comments highlighted a sharp division in the White House on how to talk about Russia's actions.

Huffington Post PoliticsFeb 17, 2018
Ex-Mexican President: Mass Shootings Are Consequence Of Racism Like Trump's
"When you speak out of the White House this aggressive violent language, when you discriminate, when you're a racist, that's what you get," said Vicente Fox.

The Daily BeastFeb 17, 2018
A President's Day Without a Real President
Mandel Ngan /Getty ImagesMonday is President's Day. It will be the second consecutive such holiday without an American president. Sure, Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office, when he's not golfing. He lives in the White House, at least in theory with his family. But he is not the president of the United States.

When Trump addressed the nation in the wake of the Parkland massacre, my team and I looked at the TV but the words coming from his mouth had no effect. They neither resonated nor moved a single person in the room. It truly didn't matter what he said, particularly after he tweeted out blame for the carnage at the neighbors and classmates of the killer. Trump is as hollow a vessel as there has ever been in the White House. His rule lacks even a shred of moral authority.

Meanwhile, an indictment of 13 Russian nationals by the Robert Mueller grand jury on Friday reinforced what we already know, Vladimir Putin's cronies launched a widespread, aggressive and ultimately successful influence operation aimed at the U.S. presidential election of 2016 with the goal of dragging down Hillary Clinton and electing Trump. The campaign included encouraging Bernie Sanders voters and minorities to stay home or vote for General Michael Flynn's fellow American dinner guest of RT and Putin at that now-infamous paid dinner, Jill Stein, but its intent was clear: support Trump by every available means.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

CNN PoliticsFeb 17, 2018
McMaster: Evidence of Russian meddling is 'now really incontrovertible'
Evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is "now really incontrovertible," White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday.

Washington Post PoliticsFeb 16, 2018
New White House security clearance policy could put ‘bull's eye' on Kushner
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said he plans to discontinue top-secret access for employees with long-standing interim clearances.

White House overhauls security clearance process (MSNBC.com: Politics)
Trump expected to host embattled Israeli prime minister at White House next month (Washington Post Politics)

The Daily BeastFeb 16, 2018
Before the Massacre at the School Named In Her Honor, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Was There When the Brady Bill Was Signed
DOUG MILLSThe Florida school where an expelled student murdered 17 people with an assault rifle on Valentine's Day was named after a champion of environmentalism, women's suffrage and civil rights who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom when she was 103, thereby proving what you can accomplish if your life is not cut short by a bullet.

The same day in 1993 when Marjory Stoneman Douglas received the medal from President Bill Clinton at the White House, she was invited to witness the signing of the Brady Bill, which established a federal background check for those seeking to purchase firearms.

One eventual result was that Nikolas Cruz was handed an ATF Form 473 when he asked to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida on February 11, 2017.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

CNN PoliticsFeb 16, 2018
Kelly issues memo changing security clearance process in wake of Porter scandal
White House chief of staff John Kelly, under fire over the White House's handling of domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide, ordered an overhaul of the security clearance process for current and incoming top administration officials.

CNN PoliticsFeb 16, 2018
Embattled VA secretary's staffer leaves in wake of watchdog report
Embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin met Thursday with White House chief of staff John Kelly amid scrutiny of Shulkin's travel practices during a 2017 European trip, according to The Washington Post.

VA secretary: White House didn't ask me to resign (CNN Politics)

Fox PoliticsFeb 16, 2018
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly tightens security clearance process in wake of Rob Porter fiasco
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly signed off Friday on an overhaul of security clearance procedures in the wake of criticism over his response to the Rob Porter affair.

The Daily BeastFeb 16, 2018
GOP Congresswoman on Rob Porter: ‘They're Not Crimes of Character'
Aaron BernsteinU.S. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney—a Republican representing New York's 22nd congressional district—raised questions this week about the media's continued interest in allegations of domestic abuse by former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

"Obviously the issue of sexual assault or any of those things, anything like that is very serious," Tenney said a radio interview with Talk! on 100.7 FM in Upstate New York. "But we're also getting into the minutiae of what's going on with White House, there are so many things happening with this White House, people coming and going, and new people."

As part of her answer about how the White House has handled the allegations and whether Chief of Staff John Kelly should resign, Tenney suggested that because the Republican Party was largely opposed to President Trump before he was elected, it was difficult to find the best staffers to work for him.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily BeastFeb 16, 2018
The Three Words Trump Won't Say: Guns, White, and Supremacist
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastDonald Trump demanded countless times that we all scream the words "radical Islamic terrorism" in order to counter that threat. As Trump repeatedly stated, "To solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is, or at least say the name."

That makes it even more hypocritical that Trump refuses to utter words "access to guns" or even "guns" when he addresses mass shootings. And in case of the horrific shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, there's another set of words Trump should be saying but he won't: white supremacist violence.

But there was Trump giving a speech Thursday in response to this gun massacre where he gave us words like "violence" and "evil." He even -without a hint of irony—told America to "answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness." And he vowed to "secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

PoliticoFeb 16, 2018
White House: We're open to working with Congress on security clearance process

The Daily BeastFeb 15, 2018
This Florida Teacher Hid 65 People During a Massacre
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastAshley Kurth is a 34-year-old culinary teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida. She was ending a day of teaching Wednesday when former student Nikolas Cruz allegedly walked into the school and opened fire with a rifle, killing at least 17 people. Kurth spoke with The Daily Beast about how she helped 65 kids and other teachers hide from the gunfire.

It was the end of the day and I was closing up because we just finished doing all of our cooking labs. We heard two pops and I thought it was something like a balloon popping.

Then the fire alarm went off, which was really weird because we just had a fire alarm that morning. So I started getting the door closed on the one side to get the kids out for the fire drill. And as I was shutting my door, I had two very large senior boys coming at me like white faced, screaming, "There's a shooter! There's a shooter!"

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily BeastFeb 13, 2018
All Eyes on Trump as Senate Begins Immigration Free-for-All
Chip Somodevilla/GettyAs the Senate kicks off its free-for-all process to craft bipartisan immigration legislation, some leading Republican voices are pinning their hopes on President Donald Trump to prevent any legislation they might pass from dying in the House as it did the last time Congress took a stab at immigration reform.

But Democrats have wraned that relying on the president is a major gamble. Lawmakers on all sides of the immigration issue drew lines in the sand on Monday as they raced toward a March 5 deadline to enshrine legal protections for so-called DREAMers, those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, and approve new funds for border security—two of what Trump has said are four conditions for a bill he would sign into law.

"I don't know what I'm going to find tomorrow morning with the first tweet of the morning and what he's going to say during the course of the day," Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told The Daily Beast. "He's just unpredictable."

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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