Trump Rejects House Oversight Demand For Private Email Records

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump made as big an issue of Hillary Clinton’s emails as he did pledging to make America white and evangelical, going so far as calling on his Russian facilitators to find and release illegally hacked documents. However, in what is a blatant display of hypocrisy Trump is renowned for, on Monday the White House officially designated Trump administration players’ email records off limits to the House Oversight Committee; the reason given was that Trump’s people “endeavor” to comply with all relevant laws. Apparently Trump regards the House Oversight Committee’s demands “irrelevant” to his administration.

The bipartisan request came from Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Elijah Cummins (D-MD), and for their trouble they received a “terse” letter from Trump’s congressional liaison Marc Short. The request was for information “regarding the use of personal email and encrypted messaging apps for government work by White House staff.” Mr. Short also refused to hand over records Messers Gowdy and Cummings demanded regarding the use of expensive private air travel by administration officials.

In a two-page response to the Oversight Committee, Short said “The White House and covered employees endeavor to comply with all relevant laws.” It is noteworthy that Short said the Trump cabal only “endeavored” to comply with “relevant” laws, and if that were the case there was nothing to hide if they were really “trying” to comply with the laws.

The Trump response did not sit well with members of the Oversight Committee prompting member Gerry Connolly (D-VA) to remark:

These were bipartisan requests to the White House related to the Administration’s private travel and email usage, and the White House has completely blown off the Committee. The Committee needs to assert its jurisdiction and authority immediately to get this information. If the White House won’t provide documents to permit basic oversight, the Chairman should send subpoenas.”

An aid to the Committee’s chairman said the Committee’s members “are currently in the process of evaluating whether there has been compliance, partial compliance or non-compliance” by Trump’s White House and other administration officials. The aide added “We expect full compliance.

The requests from Gowdy and Cummings for details about the extent of the administration’s use of private email came after a report in POLITICO that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in particular was relying on his private email account to conduct official White House business.  It was also revealed that Steve Bannon, Gary Cohn, Ivanka Trump and Reince Priebus used private email accounts for “public business;” it leads any thinking human being to believe the practice was widespread in the West Wing. Apparently Trump’s cohorts using private email accounts is different than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton using a private email account.

The Committee’s September 25th letter to White House counsel Don McGahn specifically asked for the names of any Trump senior official who “had ever used a personal email account to conduct official business.” They also asked for “the individual, cellular number and account used” by any White House officials who communicated using “text-messages, phone-based message applications, or encryption software to conduct official business.” Trump said no; his administration “endeavors” to comply with the law and as usual he is not going to release anything showing his people violated the law. It is the only reason to blow off a House Oversight Committee request.

The White House gave a similar reply to the demand for details on administration officials use of charter jets, but didn’t even bother to lie that they were “trying” to abide by the law. Instead, Short claimed the committee’s inquiry was addressed to the White House chief of staff and since “not all components” of the White House “are under the supervision of the President’s Trump’s Chief of Staff,” the Committee is getting nothing.

The Committee asked fora detailed breakdown of every flight on a government-owned aircraft” or a “private, non-commercial aircraft” used by “senior White House officials.” Of course the inquiry came on the heels of an investigation into costly flights taken by Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary who was forced out after reports he was fleecing the taxpayers. Since Price left his post, there have been several other Trump cabinet officials facing questions over chartering jets for expensive trips; like Trump’s weekly golf outings.

Trump’s congressional liaison wrote:

The White House seeks to ensure employee travel is conducted through the most economic and expeditious means of transportation available.”

According to Washington Post writer Eugene Robinson, Trump’s liaison is lying.  There is a fairly complete list of senior staffers and cabinet officials who are more concerned about “living large,” than they are “economic and expeditious means of travel.”

It is not out of line to assert that the only reason the Trump White House is refusing to “comply with the law” that gives the Oversight Committee authority to examine anything it deems necessary is because they have plenty to hide. If their communications and travel were in compliance with the law, they would have handed over everything the Committee demanded.

This is just another signal that although Trump is a dunce of epic proportions, he is also a dirty hypocrite and corrupt. He railed on the debunked Hillary Clinton email “controversy” non-stop to great effect, including calling on his Rusky comrades to do his bidding. Now he’s flouting the authority of the sole check on his dirty corrupt administration. And instead of drafting articles of impeachment, the Republican Chair of the Oversight Committee hopes they will issue a subpoena.

Alt-Right Extremists Praise Trump for Giving Them “Space to Destroy”

 

It is no secret that one of the factors leading to Trump being allowed to live in the White House was a substantial number of supporters who want to make America great by tearing the government down and making America whiter; alt-right hero Steve Bannon called it “dismantling the administrative state.” Part and parcel of that dismantling of the government is eliminating civil and equal rights protections the “administrative state” guarantees according to the U.S. Constitution; another part of the “government” the alt-right wants torn asunder.  Integral to what Trump’s supporters and the alt-right believed would “make America great againaccording to research reported last May was getting rid of Mexicans and Muslims for the alt-right’s white supremacist dream of a pure white evangelical America.

Shortly after taking office, Trump instructed the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and all federal counter-terrorism programs to give the violent white nationalist movement and any other white extremist groups “space” because they are not comprised of Muslims. This is despite the fact that Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by right-wing extremists than a Muslim attacker.  This “space” from Trump was incredibly inspiring, and welcomed, news for the alt-right (Nazi) movement and last weekend spokesmen for the white nationalist extremists praised Trump and alt-right champion Steve Bannon for giving them something they’ve lusted for a decade, the “space to destroy.”

Unencumbered by any federal law enforcement scrutiny, the neo-fascist alt-right is thrilled that under Trump and Bannon, they now have free reign to engage in building their hideous white supremacist movement without worrying about prying government or law enforcement eyes. The creator of the alt-right podcast network, “The Right Stuff” is Michael Peinovich and during a guest appearance on “Fash the Nation” Peinovich said:

He’s giving us space to destroy. He’s giving us space to operate, and frankly, it is space to destroy.”

One of the hate-podcast’s co-hosts, “an anonymous former Republican political staffer using the moniker “Jazzhands McFeels” chimed in and said:

Now is the time that we have to make hay while the sun shines . . . while these investigations of ‘domestic terrorist groups’ are not being funded by the government, they’re not being pushed by the Department of Homeland Security.”

Notice that the white supremacist remarked that “while the DHS isn’t investigating domestic terrorist groups,” the alt-right white supremacist movement believes they can operate with impunity. Any sane person would naturally conclude that according to the white supremacist’s remark, the alt-right movement considers itself a “domestic terrorist group;” and that is in addition to celebrating their newfound “space to destroy.” And it just gets more damning for the white supremacist group.

Peinovich all but admitted the group is guilty of criminal activities when he said:

We’d probably be facing fucking [racketeering] charges or some shit like that,” if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency. Now, however,  Peinovich said, “We have to use these four years to grow into something that can’t be defeated by that kind of thing” in referring to possible future federal investigations into the “domestic terrorists” in the alt-right, neo-fascist movement.

According to the former Republican staffer, the Trump administration “actively wants to encourage” the growth of the alt-right, neo-fascist movement and claimed the movement has no better authority in the White House than Steve Bannon. The alt-right fascists claim that Trump’s top strategist Bannon is “secretly” helping enable the white supremacist movement. The former GOP staffer said:

They expect us to be doing this. They want us to be able to operate in that space. So we should and we are.”

One of the racist leaders of the white supremacist movement, Richard Spencer was a guest on the podcast and he completely agreed with the other white supremacists. The alt-right leaders all concur that not only do Trump and Bannon want the  alt-right “domestic terrorists movement” to succeed and expand in numbers and power, they “gave them space to destroy” by redirecting the focus of the “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE) program away from white nationalist extremists that make up the alt-right Nazi movement.

The CVE’s aim was “to deter groups or potential lone attackers through community partnerships and educational programs or counter-messaging campaigns in cooperation with companies.” But since the great majority of terror attacks and shootings are committed by white supremacists and white religious fanatics that make up Trump’s base of support, the CVE’s focus just had to change to give them what they needed most, “space to destroy.” The primary change was that the CVE could “no longer target groups such as white supremacists that have carried out the majority of bombings and shootings in the United States.

The simple fact that these “alt-right” extremist groups are boasting over the airwaves that they “were given space to destroy” by Trump and Bannon informs the sad state of America under a fascist regime as well as the danger to the nation and its people. But that is the change Trump voters wanted and what they think will make America great; a nation terrorized by white supremacists and religious fanatics with free reign to destroy at will while enjoying impunity courtesy of  Donald Trump and his fascist cheerleader Steve Bannon.

Taxpayers To Fund Trump’s Global Alt-Right Propaganda Network

 

Of all the things Donald Trump hates about America and particularly the U.S. Constitution, besides a robust system of checks and balances to prevent him becoming emperor he despises freedom of the press. The aspiring tyrant has made little secret that he would imprison any journalist who failed to report on the greatness of Donald Trump or that the entire world didn’t support him; if not for that pesky First Amendment. Trump has stated often that the only news Americans will ever need are whatever lies come out of his mouth or through his Twitter feed. Absolutely anything else, according to Trump, is “fake news.

In an attempt to expand his reach in excess of social media, and to seize control of a large sector of the media, Trump made two moves this week that would impress Adolf Hitler’s Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels (sod off Godwin). The despicable actions are in preparation for a taxpayer-funded Trump propaganda network that will have worldwide coverage as the official alt-right news outlet of the United States of America as presented by the Trump.

First, when Trump provided waivers for his senior staff giving them permission to disregard ethical conflict of interest laws, he made sure Brietbart chief Steve Bannon has free rein to run the alt-right conspiracy site from his White House position funded by taxpayers. As noted In the Washington Post, The waiver gives Bannon “permission to communicate with Breitbart News, the conservative website he used to run.” What the authority to violate ethics and conflict of interest rules really does is give Bannon unchallenged authority to “run a pro-Trump propaganda outlet with a sordid history of white supremacist content, while working in his taxpayer-financed White House position.

It is no surprise that Breitbart championed Trump; there were rumors from Breitbart employees that Trump was paying the alt-right news site to do his campaigning. Breibart is a perfect fit for Trump because Bannon boasted regularly that the conspiracy site was “the platform for the alt-right;” the misogynist, white supremacist, anti-immigration movement that is now a dominant force within the conservative movement and running Trump’s administration.

To accompany Bannon’s new authority to use Brietbart as the official White House domestic media outlet, or use his White House position to set the editorial direction of his and Trump’s alt-right perspective via Brietbart, Trump is preparing to install a Bannon devotee as the CEO of the “taxpayer-funded Broadcasting Board of Governors.” Although that position may seem like just a title and a thank-you gift appointment to Bannon, it is a position with worldwide reach and the implications that it will be Trump’s personal alt-right (Nazi) propaganda network are as certain as the knowledge that the Sun will rise in the East.

The position of CEO of Broadcasting Board of Governors has purview over “the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Middle East Broadcast Network. Those taxpayer-funded networks combined reach over 278 million people around the world and broadcast to 100 different countries in 61 languages.” Now those millions in 100 different countries will experience the world as told by “the voice of Trump;” and it will be regarded as officially the voice of the America.

As one might expect from a government operation, previous CEOs of the Broadcasting Board of Governors had well-founded experience as journalists and with the media; they certainly were not partisan political activists or alt-right fascists.  For example, John Lansing, the current BBG CEO was the president of Scripps Networks and prior to him Andy Lack, the current president of NBC News held the CEO position. Now a Steve Bannon zealot will lead the BBG and if any American thought there was a built in protection against partisanship in taxpayer-funded media, they are going to be disappointed.

As Oliver Willis noted, “In the past the [CEO] position was walled off from directly controlling the output of the network by a bipartisan board. But Republicans in Congress disbanded the board in a provision tucked into the Defense Authorization Act that passed in December.”

One anonymous senior government official fretted to Politico that, “The White House could theoretically use the BBG for any kind of messaging” and there is no doubt in most people’s minds that Trump and Bannon will use the BBG for the same “mendacious messaging” as that seen daily in Trump’s tweets. Another Republican official told Politico a few months ago that “There’s some fear among the folks here that the firewall will get diminished and attacked and fall victim to propaganda.” Apparently that “Republican official” failed to see that his congressional Republicans decimated that firewall in December, possibly to make it easier for Trump’s worldwide propaganda network to operate unimpeded.

To get an idea of the type of person Trump wants spreading his lies and propaganda around the world, besides being a Bannon-Breitbart disciple, Michael Pack has no journalism experience; save being a worshipper of Steve Bannon and Breitbart. Pack is currently the president and CEO of the Claremont Institute, an organization the Chronicle of Higher Education described as the “academic home of Trumpism.” As an aside, use of the words academic and any variant of Trump in the same sentence is the definition of an oxymoron.

Under Pack’s leadership, Claremont Institute has been a staunch supporter of Rush Limbaugh’s misogynistic and racist radio show and has been instrumental in keeping it on air via expensive ads sponsoring his program, his racism and his misogyny. In fact, Claremont under Pack’s leadership gave Limbaugh its Winston Churchill Statesmanship Award, and now its CEO will be running the BBG as CEO to spread Trump’s alt-right racism and bigotry around the world; paid for with taxpayer dollars.

During the campaign Trump threatened to start his own media empire, but that was prior to being installed in the White House by the Russians and emoprogs. Now that he has taxpayer money at his disposal, he is starting his own media and news network to spread alt-right propaganda around the world as the official voice of America.