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Tag: White House

White House Rejected DHS Strategy to Combat White Supremacy-Fueled Terrorism

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House repeatedly dismissed efforts by Homeland Security to focus more attention on combating the rise in domestic terrorism, which includes white supremacy cases, multiple sources told CNN.

“Homeland Security officials battled the White House for more than a year to get them to focus more on domestic terrorism,” one senior source close to the Trump administration told CNN. “The White House wanted to focus only on the jihadist threat which, while serious, ignored the reality that racial supremacist violence was rising fast here at home. They had major ideological blinders on.”

Homeland Security officials have been pushing for more than a year to make domestic terrorism a higher priority as part of the National Counterterrorism Strategy, but the White House has resisted every step of the way.

“Ultimately the White House just added one paragraph about domestic terrorism as a throw-away line” in the National Counterterrorism Strategy, according to a senior source involved in the discussion.

So as the FBI continues to warn about the rise of white supremacy-fueled domestic terrorism, the final version of the strategy is overwhelmingly focused on Islamic terrorism. A single paragraph of the strategy mentions “other forms of violent extremism.”

One former officials said he’s not surprised the White House would prioritize domestic terrorism “because the preponderance of it involves white supremacy and that’s not something this administration is comfortable speaking out against, until the other day by the president and even that was pretty hedged.”

Also this week, a former FBI counterterrorism agent said his former colleagues are reluctant to aggressively investigate white nationalist extremists because they are part of Trump’s base.

“I believe Christopher A. Wray is an honorable man, but I think in many ways the FBI is hamstrung in trying to investigate the white supremacist movement like the old FBI would,” the former agent, David Gomez, told The Washington Post. “There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. It’s a no-win situation for the FBI agent or supervisor.”

Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric is fueling hatred and making the country more dangerous, Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro told MSNBC.

“This was the deadliest attack on the Latino community in United States history,” Castro said. “The president blamed the media, the internet, video games. He did not look in the mirror and blame himself.”

Man Charged with Assaulting 3 Secret Service Agents in Tussle at White House

File photo via Secret Service.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A man has been charged with assaulting and injuring three Secret Services officers after he allegedly illegally entered White House grounds.

The officers were injured when they tried to stop Dane Nairns, who is accused of grabbing one of the officer’s gun belts, NBC News reports. Two other officers were injured when they tried to detain the suspect. One of the officers was kicked in the eye by Nairns, according to an affidavit.

“The individual disobeyed verbal commands of the officer to not enter the restricted area, and the suspect began to run,” a Secret Service spokeswoman said. “The suspect was placed under arrest after the arresting officer fought with him as he was actively resisting arrest and had grabbed the officer’s duty belt.”

The officers escaped serious injury and suffered scrapes and bruises. Nairns has been charged with assaulting police officers.

When Nairns ignored commands to stay off White House grounds, he allegedly responded, “You know who I am. I’m the guy who called in the President.”

Secret Service Officer Injured After Protester Jumped in Front of Motorcade near White House

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A uniformed Secret Service officer was injured after a protester jumped in front of a motorcade carrying Chinese officials near the White House on Wednesday.

An unidentified pedestrian was arrested for crossing a police line and then assaulting the officer just blocks from the White House at 12:55 p.m., NBC reports. 

The officer was taken to the hospital with a leg injury that officials described as serious but not life-threatening.

Details of the incident remained murky Thursday morning.

Woodward Book: Trump’s Meltdown Over Mueller And Failed Mock Interview

Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Bob Woodward’s new tell-all book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” offers revealing, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the president’s reaction to the ongoing special counsel investigation of possible Russian collision and obstruction of Justice.

According to the new book, Trump believed Mueller had too many conflicts to be special counsel, including his past membership to Trump National Golf Club and his firm’s former relationship with his son-in-law. 

The appointment of Mueller in May 2017 incensed the president, according to the book.

“The president erupted into uncontrollable anger, visibly agitated to a degree that no one in his inner circle had witnessed before. It was a harrowing experience,” Woodward wrote.

The book also suggests Trump failed a mock interview to prepare for a possible sit-down with Mueller.

The president initially told the public he wanted to sit for an interview with Mueller. But during a practice interview with his former personal attorney, John Dowd, Trump performed miserably, at times contradicting himself and lying, sources told Woodward.

“Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit,” Dowd told the president.

According to the book, which is scheduled for a Sept. 11 release, Dowd told Mueller’s team that the president did not perform well.

“I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot,” Dowd told Mueller. “And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a [expletive] dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?'”

Down decided to step down shortly after, telling Trump, “You’re not a good witness.”

He continued, “Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.”

White House Lawyer Who May have Incriminated Trump May Soon Resign

White House counsel Don McGahn

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A White House lawyer who cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia and President Trump may leave the administration this fall, according to the news site Axios.

Trump supporters fear White House counsel Don McGahn may have incriminated the president during 3o hours of interviews with Mueller’s team. 

McGahn is said to have expressed interest in leaving the White House after the Senate confirms the president’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Several news outlets reported that McGahn clashed with the president over plans to potentially pardon Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman who was convicted last week on numerous counts of tax and bank fraud.

When the New York Times broke the story about McGahn meeting extensively with Mueller team, Trump lashed out in several tweets, suggesting the special counsel is “asking for trouble.”

Watchdog Group Confirms Trump’s Involvement in FBI Headquarters Project

Current FBI headquarters

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The GSA administrator who is overseeing the construction of a new FBI headquarters may have misled Congress about President Trump’s involvement in the debate over where to build a new campus, according to a government watchdog report released Monday.

The GSA inspector general report also claims officials understated the costs of building a new headquarters in downtown Washington D.C. by suggesting it would cost less than the original plan of erecting a new campus in the suburbs. 

The current headquarters sits near Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel.

The GSA last year scrapped a plan to build a new FBI headquarters in the suburbs in favor of building a smaller headquarters in downtown D.C., which would require some staff to relocate to Alabama, Idaho and West Virginia.

The inspector general’s report concluded that testimony by GSA Administrator Emily Murphy “was incomplete and may have left the misleading impression that she had no discussions with the President or senior White House officials about the project.”

During the hearing, Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., asked Murphy, “To your knowledge, was the president or anyone else at the White House involved in those discussions, either with your predecessors, people you’re working with now, or yourself?”

Murphy responded, “The direction that we got came from the FBI. It was the FBI that directed to GSA as to what its requirements would be. We obviously did coordinate, given that it is a substantial budget request, we coordinated that request with OMB to provide for funding but the requirements were generated by the FBI.”

The Post reports that Murphy had discussed the project with Trump, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and other White House officials

Some Congressional members accused Trump of intervening because his hotel is a stone’s throw from the FBI headquarters, and the president doesn’t want a competing hotel to replace the brutalist building.

White House Rebuffs Concerns About Access to Info About FBI Informants

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Is transparency best in this case or simply dangerous?

Mark Mazzetti of the New York Times reports:

The White House has rebuffed concerns among American intelligence and law enforcement officials and ordered that more lawmakers be given access to classified information about an informant the F.B.I. used in 2016 to investigate possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to two American officials with knowledge of the decision.

Both the director of national intelligence and the director of the F.B.I. tried to keep the classified documents tightly restricted, fearing that a broader dissemination of operational reports and other sensitive material could lead to more leaks of detailed information about the role of the confidential F.B.I. informant.

Some American officials believe, in fact, the reason the White House made the decision was to provide political ammunition to President Trump’s Republican allies who have argued — without any evidence — that the F.B.I. investigation was opened in July 2016 as an effort to keep Mr. Trump from becoming president.

Sally Yates: Trump ‘Tearing Down the Legitimacy’ of the Justice Department

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General fired by President Donald Trump last year, says the president’s caustic tweets aimed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller are collectively “tearing down the legitimacy” of the Justice Department, Yahoo! News reports.

Yates, speaking at the 2018 Ideas Conference hosted by the Center for American Progress on Tuesday, urged the country not to ignore Trump’s attacks on the rule of law, Yahoo! News reports.

“What I worry about is the normalization of so much that is not normal,” said Yates.

“There is a time-honored tradition at the Department of Justice, at least since Watergate, that is nonpartisan,” Yates said. “There is a wall between the Department of Justice and the White House when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions.”

Trump has been hammering away at that wall so often and with such ferocity, she said, “nobody’s rolling their eyes anymore,” Yahoo! reports.