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FBI Director Comey Compares Twitter to ‘Every Dive Bar in America’

FBI Director James Comey.

FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey compared Twitter to a “dive bar” where everyone is yelling their opinions.

During a speech to the Anti-Defamation League on Monday, Comey said he doesn’t tweet but he does scan Twitter to see what people are saying about the FBI, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports

“It feels like I’m all of a sudden immediately in every dive bar in America, where I can hear everybody screaming at the television set,” Comey said. “But it is free speech; you don’t have to like it; you don’t have to agree with it, but we will protect it.”

FBI: Seattle Cop Smuggled Massive Amounts of Marijuana to Baltimore

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI busted a Seattle police officer who authorities say helped smuggling hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Baltimore.

Alex Chapackdee, a 17-year veteran of the force, was arrested and was among four men charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, the Associated Press reports. The 44-year-old office is the brother-in-;aw of the group’s alleged ringleader.

“While (it is) always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a written statement. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”

According to the FBI, Chapackdee drove marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore in his recreational vehicle several times last fall. The FBI said he deposited nearly $20,000 in cash into his bank account.

Chapackdee, who is on unpaid leave, also is accused of accepting $10,000 a month from his brother-in-law to alert him to any law enforcement investigations and to keep an eye on marijuana grow operations,

Chapackdee’s attorney, David Gehrke, declined to comment on the allegations but said the charges have been difficult for him and his family, which includes a wife and four children.

“This is a huge fall from grace, an embarrassment,” Gehrke said.

The investigation was prompted by a confidential source.

Top ICE Official to Leave for Job at Private Prison That Got Lucrative Government Contracts

ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale is stepping down for a job with a private prison.

ICE Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale is stepping down for a job with a private prison.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second-in-command at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is leaving his job of overseeing detention and deportations to take a position with a private prison.

Daniel Ragsdale temporarily served as the head of ICE until President Trump replaced him in January. He then became the deputy director.

Ragsdale will be working for GEO Group, a Boca-Raton-based private prison company, the Daily Beast reports. His position is unclear.

“While you may be losing me as a colleague, please know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for you and your mission,” Ragsdale wrote in an email to his ICE colleagues on April 28.

Ragsdale plans to step down on May 27.

“Dan is a person of great honor and a strong ethical code,” said a source close to Ragsdale. “I have no doubt he will bring great deal of integrity to the process to make sure organizations like GEO are complying with the rules and regulations regarding folks who are in detention because of their immigration status.”

Neither Ragdale nor the GEO Group responded to requests for interviews.

ICE is no stranger to GEO, which has lucrative contracts with the federal agency. The timing coincides with President Trump pledging to increase the use of private prisons, which the company said will be good for business. 

Secret Service Forced to Hold Back Kelly Conway After Heated Exchange with Heckler

Kellyanne Conway

Kellyanne Conway

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Secret Service agents were forced to hold back Kellyanne Conway, a key aide to President Trump, when someone began heckling her.

Conway had flown into Washington Reagan Airport at 6 p.m. Monday, when she was confronted with a heckler, The Daily Caller reports

Conway, who has a habit of embellishing or exaggerating claims against Trump’s foes, was talking out of an airport terminal when the white male began mouthing off.

“Keep trashing America,” the man yelled at Conway, who responded angrily.

Conway fired back: “I like the way you talk shit while I’m walking away.”

Sensing that the argument could escalate, two Secret Service agents “put their arms up and blocked her.”

Other Stories of Interest

USA Today Urges FBI to Investigate Millions of Fake Facebook Accounts

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The USA Today has been swamped with so many fake users on Facebook that the newspaper is asking the FBI to investigate.

The newspaper, owned by Gannett Co., estimated that half of its Facebook follower are automated. Even after the social media giant removed more than a third of USA Today’s 15.2 million followers, millions more are fake as an average of 1,000 fake users “like” the page, the newspaper revealed

What remains unclear is why spam operators are targeting the USA Today.

“The continued presence of phony accounts hasn’t checked the social network’s user growth, but they can cause confusion and havoc for individual users and companies,” the USA Today wrote. “Fake profiles that masquerade as real people have also caused tragedy, such as the torture and killing of a university student in Pakistan after someone set up a fake Facebook account in his name that allegedly contained blasphemous content.”

“We don’t know why the scope of impact on USA Today’s Facebook Page appears greater than any other publisher,” said Shabnam Shaik, technical program manager on Facebook’s protect and care team.

In flings with the Securities and Exchange commission, Facebook estimated about 1% of its active users are “misclassified” accounts, which includes both fake accounts and those that violated its terms of service, such as pet accounts.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Wife Under FBI Investigation over Loan Documents

Burlington College

Burlington College

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane Sanders, on accusations that she falsified loan documents while serving as president of the now-shuttered Burlington College.

During Sanders’ tenure from 2004 to 2011, the college was $10 million in the red when school officials decided to purchase a new campus in 2010.

To buy the property, Sanders is accused of falsifying information on the loan documents.

For reasons she never disclosed, Sanders stepped down as president in 2011.

Federal authorities said Sanders claimed the college had $2.6 million in donations for the new campus, when she ultimately only had a fourth of that.

The lack of money to pay back the loan contributed to the university’s bankruptcy in May 2016.

Sally Yates Reveals She Warned President Trump about Michael Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sally Q. Yates thought she had urgent information.

Less than a week after Trump took office, the acting attorney general rushed to the White House with news that National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had lied to the vice president and was vulnerable to blackmail by Russian officials, the New York Times reports.

“We wanted to tell the White House as quickly as possible,” Yates told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Monday. “To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians.”

But Trump didn’t fire Flynn, who remained in office for 18 more days. Flynn finally lost his job when the media exposed his false statements.

Yates said she has no idea why Trump waited so long.

“I don’t have any way of knowing what, if anything, they did,” Yates said. “If nothing was done, then certainly that would be concerning.”

The FBI also is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election.

FBI Director Lied or Was Mistaken about Details of Hillary Clinton Emails

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey either lied or was mistaken when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, bureau officials told Business Insider

Comey told the committee that Huma Abedin – a key Clinton aide and Anthony Weiner’s wife – had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds of thousands” of Clinton messages, “some of which contained classified information,” to her husband.

Trouble is, Comey was largely inaccurate, FBI officials said. The bureau is considering whether to send a letter of correction to Congress later this week.

ProPublica also broke news last week about possible inaccuracies of Comey’s testimony.

Abedin’s lawyer wrote in a statement that Abedin had no idea how the emails ended up on Weiner’s laptop.