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FBI Warned Illinois Republican Party That Its Email System May Have Been Hacked

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI warned the Illinois Republican Party in June that hackers may have targeted GOP political email accounts.

But party officials said the FBI never mentioned potential links to the investigation of Russia trying to hack America’s political system, the Chicago Triune reports, citing the state GOP’s executive director. 

Nick Klitzing said the party found of its 18 emails on DCLeaks.com, which appears to be connected to a unit controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency, GRU.

But the emails in question largely belong to inactive or rarely used accounts andante back to 2015.

Republicans are trying to distance themselves from the hacking controversy after the CIA said there’s substantial evidence that Russia was involved in targeting the emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA, FBI Disagree on Veracity of Claims That Russia Hacked Emails to Help Trump Win

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA and FBI have contrasting opinions about the veracity of claims that Russia was involved in the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA officials told reporters that the intelligence agency is fairly certain that Russia’s motives were to help Donald Trump win the election. But the FBI is less certain and said there hasn’t been conclusive evidence about the motive, CNN reports.

“At this point, there appears to have been a combination of motivations,” one US law enforcement official said. “They wanted to sow discord and undermine our systems. It’s clear not even the Russians thought he would win.”

Democrats and Republicans are using the evidence – or lack of evidence – to make partisan points.

“The certainty with which it is being portrayed that the intelligence community fingered Russia and revealed multiple attacks — those are being overblown and put forward with a certainty that doesn’t exist,” said one Republican congressional aide familiar with discussion among top leadership and committee members. “Absolute work of fiction by whoever is leaking this information to the press.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the lack of consensus between the two agencies is reason enough to investigate.

“The fact the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation to get to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough, strong, bipartisan and have access to all materials, classified and not,” Schumer said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch: Why Jeff Sessions Is the Right Choice for Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

By Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
Washington Times

Americans spoke resoundingly last month that they want our country to chart a new course. A newly-elected president’s first decisions are typically his Cabinet choices, and President-elect Trump is already charting that new course. Nominees such as Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general show that Mr. Trump is serious about getting that job done.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the country has been on the wrong track. That certainly describes the Department of Justice. Just last year, I spoke out about how the department had been politicized, compromised, weakened, and even corrupted. Jeff Sessions is the right person to put the Justice Department back on track.

No attorney general in American history has had Mr. Sessions’ combination of hands-on experience in both criminal justice policy and its implementation. He was a front-line prosecutor for 18 years, 12 of them as United States Attorney. At his confirmation hearing in January, he will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on which he has served for 20 years.

The Senate is receiving letters endorsing Mr. Sessions’ nomination from those who know best what the job of attorney general requires. One letter from 10 former attorneys general and deputy attorneys general over the past three decades says that he is “a person of honesty and integrity” who is “superbly qualified by temperament, intellect, and experience to serve as this nation’s chief law enforcement officer.” Another letter from a bipartisan group of former DEA administrators praises Mr. Sessions’ commitment to “the just and fair enforcement of the laws that Congress has written” and concludes that “he is a protector of civil rights and defender of crime victims.”

To read more click here. 

Trump Officially Taps Retired General Kelly to Run Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump formally announced Monday the appointment of retired General John Kelly to serve as head of Homeland Security.

“The American people voted in this election to stop terrorism, take back sovereignty at our borders, and put a stop to political correctness that for too long has dictated our approach to national security. I will tackle those issues with a seriousness of purpose and a deep respect for our laws and Constitution,” Kelly said in a statement, the Washington Times reports. 

“I am honored for the opportunity to be back in the service to our country, and our people,” Kelly added.

Trump praised Kelly in a statement.

“Gen. John Kelly’s decades of military service and deep commitment to fighting the threat of terrorism inside our borders makes him the ideal choice to serve as our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Trump said in a statement.

“He is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders, streamlining TSA and improving coordination between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies. With Gen. Kelly at the helm of DHS, the American people will have a leader committed to our safety as well as one who will work hand-in-hand with America’s rank-and-file TSA, ICE and Border Patrol officers,” he added.

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Bloomberg: Homeland Security Entails More Than Protecting Border

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Editorial Board
Bloomberg

John Kelly, the retired Marine four-star general who is Donald Trump’s reported pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, is admirably suited to defending U.S. borders. More surprisingly, he may also moderate some of Trump’s more extreme positions on illegal immigration — which would help both the U.S. and its neighbors.

During his three-year-plus stint as head of the U.S. Southern Command, Kelly focused on the threat posed by Latin American drug traffickers who supply almost all of the cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine entering the U.S. He also warned repeatedly that the same smuggling networks that facilitate the trade in drugs, illegal workers, sex slaves and endangered wildlife could also enable the infiltration of terrorists.

Yet Kelly’s approach wisely went beyond interdiction and military training and support. As he told Congress, “95 percent of my efforts are not military. It’s economic development.”

Kelly was a champion of the Alliance for Prosperity, the nearly $1 billion program of assistance for Central America passed last December by Congress with bipartisan support. It concentrates not just on law and order, but also on strengthening institutions, building infrastructure and promoting regional integration.

In dealing with the U.S.’s southern neighbors, Kelly has stressed the idea of partnership. He knows how important it is to share intelligence, for instance, and how that in turn requires cooperation rather than coercion. And he’s acknowledged that the flow of people from Central America to the U.S. is driven partly by gang violence associated with the U.S. demand for illegal narcotics.

He knows, as he himself put it, that “a wall by itself will not work.”

Persuading his boss and Cabinet colleagues to adopt a more enlightened — that is, comprehensive — approach to border control and illegal immigration will be one of his biggest challenges.

To read more click here. 

Restaurant Goers Patted Down, Scanned Because Trump Was Eating Inside

 21 Club in New York City.

21 Club in New York City.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customers waiting to get into a restaurant in New York City were searched because Donald Trump and his family were eating inside.

While the president-elect dined at 21 Club on Monday night with Melania, Ivanka, Eric, Donald Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, police and the Secret Service patted down customers and checked them with a metal-detecting wand, TMZ reports, showing videos from outraged customers. 

The videos show hungry customers facing intense security just to eat.

Trump has drawn the ire of New Yorkers because of traffic snarls outside of Trump Tower.

ATF Brings Special Teams to Site of Deadly Fire at Converted Oakland Warehouse

atf badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Still struggling to determine the cause of the deadly fire at a converted Oakland warehouse last week, the ATF has brought a special team of electrical engineers to the scene.

Today, the ATF also plans to send a team of mapping experts to the burned Ghost Ship, where 36 people were killed in the Dec. 2 fire, the East Bay Times reports. 

Prosecutors also have opened a criminal investigation and are considering charges ranging from murder to involuntary manslaughter.

Investigators believed the fire was caused by an electrical problem, but so far that is only a working theory.