Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

August 2017
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for August, 2017

FBI Monitored ‘Fake News’ Aimed at Undermining Presidential Election

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

Cyber crime expert, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has repeatedly called American news sites “fake news” in an attempt to undermine stories that are hurting his credibility.

What the president doesn’t mention is that Russia is suspected of blanketing social media with “fake news” as part of a disinformation campaign to help Trump get elected.

Now CNN reports that the FBI was monitoring social media on Election Day for viral “news” of conspiracies and hoaxes, primarily focused on Hillary Clinton. 

FBI cyber and counterintelligence analysts have identified user accounts behind what appeared to be a propaganda campaign based overseas to flood social media with “fake news.”

“We were right on the edge of Constitutional legality,” a person briefed on the investigation said. “We were monitoring news.”

Conway: Trump Hasn’t ‘Even Discussed’ Firing Robert Mueller

Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that President Trump “has not even discussed” firing special counsel Robert Mueller for investigating the Republican’s campaign alleged collusion with Russia.

Conway’s comments follow a bipartisan bill designed to prevent the firing of Mueller.

“We are complying and cooperating,” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Well, hold on, I am not the president’s lawyer here, but I will tell you as his counselor, he is not discussing that.”

Still, Conway blasted Mueller’s 16-person team, saying “many of them are Democratic donors.”

Conway added: “The entire Russia investigation is a hypothetical. The president has called it a fiction, a total fabrication to excuse the colossal and unexpected, unwanted defeat of Hillary Clinton in last year’s election. People just can’t get over that election. It’s corrosive to our body politic.”

The bill to prevent the firing of Mueller without “good cause” was introduced last week by Sens. Them Tills, R-N.C., and Christopher A. Coons, D-Delaware.

Rosenstein: Leak Investigations Won’t Target Journalists

typewriter-reporterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department’s escalation of probes into government leaks will not target journalists, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Sunday.

“We don’t prosecute journalists for doing their jobs,” Rosenstein said on “Fox News Sunday.” “That’s not our goal here.”

The Justice Department announced last week that it was stepping up investigation into government leaks. Under the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said leak investigations have tripled.

“We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,” Sessions said at a news conference Friday.

Rosenstein clarified Sessions’ position on Sunday.

“The attorney general has been very clear that we’re after the leakers, not the journalist,”  Rosenstein said. “We’re after the people who are committing crimes.”

Other Stories of Interest

Secret Service Vacates Trump Tower, Moves to the Sidewalk

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has abandoned its command post inside Trump Tower  and relocated to a trailer on a sidewalk outside the New York skyscraper because of a dispute over the terms of the lease.

The relocation, first reported by The Washington Post, follows failed negotiations between the GSA and the Trump organization over the price and other conditions of the lease. 

The sidewalk command post likely won’t change anytime soon.

“After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere,” Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller wrote in an email to The Washington Post.

Still, the Secret Service hopes to regain space in Trump Tower.

The agency is working “to obtain permanent work space in an appropriate location,” said Catherine Milhoan, a Secret Service spokeswoman.

Milhoan added, “Throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service.”

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Resigns

Group of Republicans Criticize Trump’s Border Wall, Offers Multi-Faceted Alternative

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s most famous campaign pledge – to build a border wall and get Mexico to pay for it – has been attacked by his own party as clumsy, cost-prohibitive and singularly focused.

On Thursday, a group of Republican senators unveiled legislation that would increase border security without having a severe impact on trade, the Washington Post reports

The legislation, which is backed the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, calls for $15 billion over four years to increase Border Patrol agents, ICE officers, immigration judges and prosecutors and to improve border security infrastructure such as fences, surveillance and levees.

“Border security is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; we need an approach that will work at each unique place along the U.S.-Mexico border,” Cornyn told reporters Thursday.

The idea, the senators said, was to “regain the public’s confidence” after what the Post called “several rocky legislative months.”

What a Grand Jury Means for Special Counsel’s Investigation of Russia, Trump Team

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as he and his team of 16 prosecutors dig deeper into allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

The grand jurors, who are responsible for examining subpoenaed documents and listening to witness testimony, will ultimately decide whether charges are warranted.

That’s significant because it means Mueller is exploring the possibility of pursuing criminal charges. 

The grand jury gives Mueller the power to issue subpoenas and compel witnesses to testify.

The scope could easily grow as subpoenas and testimony comes in. 

DOJ Threatens to Withhold Crime-Fighting Help to 4 Cities over Immigration Policies

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is stepping up pressure on four cities to cooperate with immigration enforcement, threatening to stop providing federal help to crack down on crime.

To continue receiving crime-fighting assistance, San Bernardino, Stockton, Baltimore and Albuquerque must help federal agents with inmates who are undocumented immigrants.

But the Los Angeles Times says the threat “appeared poorly thought out” because neither of the four cities operate a jail, and two have no sanctuary policies. 

The Justice Department didn’t respond to the Times’ questions about the selection of the four cities.