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Former CIA Director Woolsey: Nothing Wrong With Backchannels; “Real Scandal” Is Leaks


Former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN's Don Lemon there is nothing wrong with back channel communications with foreign contacts as long as, "you're doing it accurately and within the confines essentially of what your superiors have asked of you." From Tuesday's edition of CNN Tonight: DON LEMON, CNN: What was interesting because Sean Spicer today was asked about that back channel and he didn't really — he didn't really answer it during the briefing. So do you think that the president, the incoming president or the president-elect knew about this? Again, I have to ask you, ambassador. JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: I don't know whether it was him or whether it would have been somebody else in the incoming administration. But I don't see anything untoward about having a back channel communications as long as you're doing it accurately and within the confines essentially of what your superiors have asked of you. People have back channel communications all the time. It's often done via intelligence services because they can often — the head of DCI, for example, to travel without people knowing that he's traveling. LEMON: So, Ambassador, why not disclose that then? WOOLSEY: Well, there are a lot of things I think have been disclosed too much. And I think that is the real scandal here. That so much has been disclosed, it makes it hard for the secrecy that's essential to the operation of the U.S. government in these areas to continue. And I think the people who have broken these tacit and formal agreements and taken classified information and turned it loose are basically traitors to the country. LEMON: So Phil, Kushner and others should not have disclosed communications with the Russians because they should fear that it may be leaked to the press? WOOLSEY: Disclosed to the president, of course. LEMON: Disclosed, yes. WOOLSEY: Disclosed to the national security advisor? Of course. What's wrong with that? There was anything wrong with that.

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Sen. Franken: I Will Still Appear With Kathy Griffin, She Has “Begged For Forgiveness”


Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said he still plans to appear at an even with Kathy Griffin this summer after the comedienne's controversial stunt where she held a bloodied head of President Trump Franken said he condemned her action, but she has begged for forgiveness. From Wednesday's edition of CNN's New Day: ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN: I want to ask you about Kathy Griffin. She found the third rail of comedy or at least a political stunt I guess as it wasn't funny. And she was roundly denounced for doing that. SEN. AL FRANKEN: And properly so. CAMEROTA: Yes, properly so. So, everybody thinks that she went too far. FRANKEN: I did, too. I really think saying — you know, I — Kathy is a friend and she's a terrific comedian, but this had no business being in our public discourse. And I talked to her. She had apologized, a real fulsome apology. She's actually begged for forgiveness and I believe in forgiveness. CAMEROTA: You are supposed to be appearing with her in July. Can she recover from this? FRANKEN: Well, I think she did the right thing. I think asking for forgiveness and acknowledging that this was — this was a horrible mistake. And, so, I think she can. CAMEROTA: And you're still going to appear with her? FRANKEN: Yes.

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Mike Lee: Federalism Is Not From Europe; “More Than Anything A Native American Concept”


Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, discusses his new book 'Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founding Fathers Who Fought Big Government,' why he believes the U.S. should exit the Paris accord, the U.S. relationship with Germany and a fight with Turkish security. SEN. MIKE LEE: This is about other Founders, whose stories were written out of history because they were inconvenient. They don't necessarily match the modern narrative… One of my favorites is Canassatego, the Iroquois indian chief. In many respects Canassatego is himself responsible for federalism, for this concept that we followed for a long time –and we've neglected in recent decades– that most power suppose to be at the state and local level and not in Washington, D.C. This is not a European concept, this is more than anything a Native American concept, that Benjamin Franklin got from Canassatego and Franklin then transferred to the other Founding Fathers.

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Tucker Carlson: Left’s “Diversity Agenda,” “Destructive Obsession With Race” Is “Totalitarian”


FOX NEWS: While our leaders fret about Putin's bloggers, an unstable maniac is portrayed as white supremacist Trump supporter when he really wasn't and the left's concern for equal rights has been replaced by the diversity agenda dangerously obsessed with race. Tucker Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, deliver commentary. Rough transcript, via FOX News: TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: As you may have heard, over the weekend, a deranged man in a state of Oregon called Jeremy Christian began berating Muslims on a train and when three men approached the intervene, he stabbed two of them to death. It was an atrocity, it's only the first of many in the story. Almost immediately after it happened, the press scrambled to define what exactly had happened. Right wing, white supremacist commits murder, provoked by Trump's climate of hate, climate of fear, maybe both. Fake civil rights group like the center for Islamic in relations, and the Southern Poverty Law Center jumped on board immediately, blaming President Trump's rhetoric. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has been very silent. The silence has been deafening in terms of the amount of hate crimes and actual, what I say, white terrorist attacks that have taken place in the United States of America. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Trumps xenophobic, vitriolic campaign coupled with his attacks on political correctness, have told many people that the gloves are off and that they are allowed, basically, to act on their worst instincts. (END VIDEO CLIP) CARLSON: Many alleged journalists weren't any more restrained than that. The blog Vox called the crime, quote, "The latest in a wave of racist attacks across America." That followed President Trump's election. "The Associated Press" chimed in with a piece entitled this, "Unease about white supremacy grows after Portland stabbing." President Trump was shamed for taken too long to tweet about the attack. The message was clear. This is what Trump's America looks like. Not one to let a crisis go to waste, the mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, use the killings to ban free speech itself, calling for the cancellation of two upcoming political rallies. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR TED WHEELER, PORTLAND: I'm appealing to the organizers of the alt- right offense to cancel the events that they have scheduled. My main concern is that they are coming to pedal a message of hatred and of bigotry. (END VIDEO CLIP) CARLSON: Over the very message that cause the murders, except, none of this was actually true. The accused killer was not a Trump voter. He actually backed Jules Stein and Bernie Sanders in the 2016 race and indeed called for violent attacks on Trump supporters during the election. A video from the day before the stabbing shows him denouncing not just Muslims, but also, Jewish people and Christians. And if Facebook posting from last June, he attacked Hillary Clinton for allegedly keeping Honduran refugees out of this country, hardly behavior of a coherent white supremacists. At the alt-right rally, supposedly attended in April, he was apparently there to pick fights with everyone, whether they loved Trump or hated him. Once you dig a little, you find that this guy wasn't a right-winger, but an unstable maniac who hated almost everybody and maybe inevitably was going to lash out at some point, but don't tell that to the media, though. Like progressives everywhere, they see racists under every bed. Even, believe it or not, at Evergreen State College in the state of Washington. Evergreen is one of the most left-wing schools in the Western hemisphere, but students have become convinced the place has been infiltrated by bigots to root them out. Progressives there have occupied administration buildings, ordered white people off the campus with the threat of force. Watch this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (STUDENTS CHANTING) Hey, hey, ho, ho, these racist teachers have got to go! Hey, hey, ho, ho, these racist teachers have got to go! Hey, hey, ho, ho! UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is this the most violent (bleep) to ever brief? (STUDENTS CHANTING) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of our administration is white. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not an activist. (Bleep) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am tired of white people talking about what black and brown people need. You don't know! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Bleep) you and (bleep) the police! (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) CARLSON: While our leaders in Washington fret about Vladimir Putin and its bloggers, this is what is going on with the rest of America. Where are the people in charge exactly? Well, they are basing themselves before the tormentors, of course. George Bridges, the cringing president of Evergreen, actually thinks the rioters as they screamed at him. He expressed his, quote, "gratitude" for their, quote, "passion and courage" in trampling the rights of everyone else. How did we get here, exactly? Well, a lot of answers to that question but a main one is this, the left's concerns for equal rights for all has been replaced by the diversity agenda, which is a destructive obsession with race. The Trump's free speech, which is routinely suppressed and its name, it obviates the rule of law, which aggrieve parties can freely ignore, as you just saw. In the name of tolerance, the demands conformity, it calls for justices are often an excuse for violence, it is totalitarian and suddenly, it is everywhere. What does this mean for the rest of us?

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Sean Spicer to Reporter: “Since You’re Misquoting Merkel, Let Me Tell You What She Actually Said”


White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responds to comments about alleged comments from German chancellor Angela Merkel that Europe 'can not depend' on the United States. "So since you're misquoting the chancellor, let me read what she actually said," to the reporter. "She said, 'the time when Europe could rely solely on others is somewhat in the past, and as I have witnessed over the past few days, Europe must take its fate into its own hands. This means working in friendship with the U.S., the U.K. and neighborly relations with Russia and other partners.' That's great. That's what the president called for." Transcript: QUESTION: How did [President Trump] view [German Chancellor Angela Merkel's] comments that she felt Europe could no longer depend on the United States? SPICER: Well, respectfully, that's not what she said. So since you're misquoting the chancellor, let me read what she actually said. She said, "the time when Europe could rely solely on others is somewhat in the past, and as I have witnessed over the past few days, Europe must take its fate into its own hands. This means working in friendship with the U.S., the U.K. and neighborly relations with Russia and other partners." That's great. That's what the president called for. He called for additional burden sharing. The secretary-general of NATO said that the president's calls are what's moving them in the right direction. The president is getting results. More countries are stepping up their — their burden sharing. That is a good thing for them. It's a good thing for NATO, and it's a good thing for America.

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Scarborough: President Trump’s ‘Covfefe’ Tweet Symbolic Of A Bigger Problem


Joe Scarborough delivers commentary on a Tuesday night tweet from President Trump that caused massive media confusion. The Morning Joe host said the tweet speaks to a larger problem in the Trump White House and the president himself. Morning Joe Panel: President Donald Trump's Impact On Long-Term Interests With European Allies MSNBC: President Trump caused a chill with Germany on Tuesday after a tweet on a trade deficit with the country. Sean Spicer then sought to clarify Trump's relationship with Germany.

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Warren, Booker and the Fight to Find the Antidote to Trumpism


Ezra Klein, VoxDavid Axelrod, the political strategist who guided Barack Obama to the White House, has a theory. Presidents, he says, are followed by their opposites. “Voters rarely seek the replica of what they have,” he’s written. “They almost always seek the remedy, the candidate who has the personal qualities the public finds lacking in the departing executive.” And so the cautious, patrician George H.W. Bush was succeeded by the…

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