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Hillary Clinton Says She’s Unsure If She Would Have Kept Comey If She Won

Hillary ClintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said Thursday she’s unsure whether she would have kept former FBI Director James Comey if she won the 2016 presidential election. 

“If you were president today, would he still be FBI director?”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked.

“That’s a really good question,” Clinton said. “I don’t know the answer to that, because once I wasn’t president I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze it at all, so, I don’t really know.”

Clinton, who has been doing interviews to promote her book, What Happened, partly blamed Comey for her loss.

Comey announced close to the election that the FBI was reopening its email server case against Clinton.

Rep. McCaul Among Top Contenders for Homeland Security Director Job

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, who was considered by the Trump administration as a contender for Homeland Security director, is now “high on the list” to replace John Kelly, MyStatesman.com reports

McCaul, 55, who is a seven-term Republican from Texas and a former prosecutor, declined to comment when asked about the position.

But U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, told the Statesman, “I think he’s talking to the White House. … He’s a good man. We go way back. I have a lot of confidence in him.”

But McCaul has some critics. Some conservatives, including Breitbart, don’t believe McCaul is tough enough on immigration.

Trump Considers Reducing Refugees Admitted into U.S. to 50,000

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has not fulfilled his campaign pledge to ban all refugees that could be perceived as threatening from entering the country, but he’s considering a drastic step to reduce the numbers.

The New York Times reports the administration may reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States to under 50,000, the lowest number since at least 1980. 

By comparison, President Barack Obama said 110,000 refugees should be admitted into the country in 2016.

The Times reports that some in the administration, including Stephen Miller, want the number to be even lower than 50,000.

The Times wrote:

The issue has created an intense debate within the administration, with Mr. Miller and some officials at the Department of Homeland Security citing security concerns and limited resources as grounds for deeply cutting the number of admissions, and officials at the National Security Council, the State Department and the Department of Defense opposing a precipitous drop.

No final decision has been made, according to the officials, but as the issue is being debated, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the administration to bar almost any refugees from entering the country while it considers challenges to the travel ban order. The court will hear arguments in the case next month.

Justice Department Prevents FBI Officials from Appearing Before Senate Committee

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is preventing two FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee during its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

In a letter obtained by the Associated Press, the DOJ said it won’t allow Jim Rybicki and Carl Ghattasto to appear in order to “protect the integrity” of the investigation, which includes the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey.

The FBI officials are among government employees who Comey said he shared his concerns about Trump’s behavior toward him. 

Michael Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Investigation into Russia, Trump’s Campaign

Michael G. Flynn

Michael G. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The son of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has become the subject of a federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The inquiry involves, at least in part, Michael G. Flynn’s close work with his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, three current and former government officials told NBC News

The elder Flynn’s work and connections to Russia and Turkey have been the subject of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The younger Flynn served as his father’s chief of staff at Flynn Intel Group and even accompanied his father on a trip to Moscow in December 2015.

Yuma Border Patrol Agents Involved in Crazy Chase, Hijacking, Fatal Shooting

yuma-shooting-border-patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents were involved in a fatal shooting after two high-speed chases, several exchanges of gunfire and the hijacking of a commercial truck in Arizona.

The shooting suspect was killed after firing his weapon numerous times at law enforcement officials.

The violence began at 12:56 a.m., when a state trooper pulled over a Ford Mustang for a traffic violation, KSWT reports. The front-seat passenger shot at a trooper and then fled with the Mustang along I-10.

After a 6-mile chase, the Mustang stopped before the suspect fired at Border Patrol agents, fled on foot and hijacked a commercial truck.

The suspect drove the truck along I-10 before exiting, exchanging fire with law enforcement and heading toward Main Street, where the vehicle stopped.

The suspect and law enforcement exchanged fire. The suspect was struck by a bulett and later died.

Other Stories of Interest

Democrats to Special Counsel Mueller: We Have Evidence Michael Flynn Broke Law

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats say they have evidence that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn broke the law by failing to disclose a trip that involved a potential business deal between the Saudi government and a Russian nuclear power agency.

House Democrats provided details in a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating wether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia to win the White House.

Rep. Elijah Commungs, D-Md., and Eliot Engel, D-New York, sent the letter, which was not signed by any Republicans.

CNN reported:

Democrats sought information from three American companies in June after Newsweek reported that Flynn traveled to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 to broker a $100 billion deal between the companies, Saudi Arabia and Russia’s nuclear power agency. In response, officials from the US companies provided statements to the Democrats, confirming Flynn’s trip in 2015.

When Flynn returned to the US several months later and reapplied for his security clearance, he never disclosed the trip or the contacts he had with foreign nationals as part of the trip, the Democrats say.

FBI’s Probe of Sputnik Unlikely to Affect American Media Outlets, Despite Concerns

typewriter-muckBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some American journalists are worried about the potential slippery slope of the FBI investigating a state-run news agencies Sputnik and RT.

Free press advocates believe the bureau’s probe could open the door to government intrusion in U.S. media outlets. They also worry the federal government could label some legitimate news companies as “propaganda.”

But according Columbia Journalism Review, “requiring Russian state-owned media to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, is not as ‘Big Brother’ as it sounds.

FARA, for one, isn’t planning on prohibiting any of Sputnik and RT’s activities.

“There is no concern about slippery slopes,” James Kirchick, a journalist and writer who has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union, tells CJR in an email. “Never mind their content (which is not news gathering in the traditional sense but disinformation aimed at influencing American politics), their opaque management structures starkly differentiate them from reputable outlets like the BBC, France 24, and Deutsche Welle, which operate independent of government control.”