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    The military has officially been in Washington, D.C. for 50 days following the Capitol riot earlier this year, but it’s still unclear how long troops will stay there. The initial plan in early January was to provide approximately 340 National Guard troops to support the city government during protests expected to take place on Jan. 6, the day that the Senate was expected to certify the election.   However, the protest turned into a deadly riot, and a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol building, requiring additional support from the National Guard. Authorities also had to consider the security of Biden’s upcoming inauguration, prompting an additional deployment. Law enforcement officials and members of the National Guard set up security perimeters ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Kaylee Greenlee – Daily Caller News Foundation) Fifty days later, officials have offered mixed...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional testimony about the Capitol insurrection (all times local): 11:55 a.m. The key officials in charge of security at the U.S. Capitol disagree on why they didn’t seek National Guard help before the Jan. 6 insurrection. Steven Sund resigned as chief of the Capitol Police the day after the riot. Sund testified Tuesday that he requested the National Guard be called at 1:09 p.m. on Jan. 6. Paul Irving is the former House sergeant-at-arms and was one of Sund’s superiors. Irving says he didn’t receive a request until after 2 p.m. Irving says he did not remember Sund making a request at 1:09. Rioters breached the Capitol’s west side just after 2 p.m. Irving says he and other Capitol security leaders agreed before Jan. 6 that “the intelligence did not support the troops and collectively decided to let it go.” The result was Capitol...
    Federal agents seized more than 10 million N95 masks purporting to be 3M-branded in recent weeks, the result of an investigation into counterfeit items sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies. Miami World / apnews The most recent seizures took place on Wednesday when Homeland Security agents intercepted hundreds of thousands of counterfeit masks mimicking 3M’s at an East Coast warehouse, which were ready to be distributed, officials said. Investigators also alerted about 6,000 potential victims in at least 12 states, including hospitals, medical facilities and others, that they may have inadvertently acquired copycat items, and urged them to stop wearing the apparent medical-grade masks. Authorities encouraged medical workers and companies to consult the 3M website for recommendations for identifying fake items. “They don’t just give a false sense of security. How much risk is the exposed individual without any protective equipment? They are...
    President Biden’s Secretary of State Tony Blinken and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan believe that China poses the "greatest long-term national security threat to the United States," Republican Rep. Michael McCaul told Fox News after speaking with the officials, but McCaul said they will have a "different approach" to China than the Trump administration. McCaul, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during an exclusive interview with Fox News, described his conversations with Blinken and Sullivan. BIDEN 'PRIORITY IS DEALING WITH CHINA'S TRADE ABUSES' THAT HARM AMERICAN WORKERS, SULLIVAN SAYS "When I spoke to Secretary of State Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, they both told me that they believe China poses the greatest long-term national security threat to the United States," McCaul said. "So it was good to get their assurances on that." VideoNational Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne told Fox News that Sullivan "has made...
    Solar winds did not come out of the negative headlines. Just last week, the new Solar Winds boss had to admit that the attackers on the company’s Office365 mail system had not been identified for nine months. The Chinese are now suspected of attacking a U.S. tax authority and stealing personal data from thousands of employees. Russian hack is a start In December 2020, attacks on various U.S. officials became public. The Russian sponsorship team is said to be responsible for the successful breakdown of IT security firm FireE, which used vulnerable updates to Orion network management software from Solarwinds as an attack tool. They sent it to the company’s update server, which was issued with a valid Digital Solar Winds signature, and from there to the target settings. Last week, a TrustWave employee discovered three vulnerabilities in Solar Winds products. Two of them, including the...
    The National Guard will maintain a presence in Washington, D.C. with a minimum of 5,000 troops remaining in the nation's capital through at least mid-March, a spokesman revealed over the weekend. 'As we continue to work to meet the final post-inauguration requirements, the National Guard has been requested to continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members and will draw down to 5,000 through mid-March,' Major Matt Murphy of the National Guard Bureau told The Epoch Times on Saturday. He continued: 'We are providing assistance such as security, communications, medical evacuation, logistics, and safety support to state, district, and federal agencies.' Thousands of National Guardsmen and women were deployed to Washington, D.C. over the last few weeks after the storming of the Capitol on January 6. There were concerns another major demonstration or attack could be coordinated for Joe Biden's inauguration.   At least 5,000 National Guard troops...
    Striking images, dozens of soldiers spent the night inside the Congress building, still sleeping on the floor in the rooms and corridors even as elected officials arrived. BConcrete locs, police flashing lights, national guards in fatigues and armed, security is maximum Wednesday morning in central Washington, where Congress votes on a second historic “impeachment” of Donald Trump. Ghost town for several months following the health and economic crises and then anti-racist demonstrations, the federal capital is now the reflection of a country on edge, under tension, still shaken by the events of January 6 at the Capitol. The National Guard, an internal military force, now protects the premises with armed men, bulletproof vests and combat uniform. The elected representatives of the House of Representatives are locked there to decide on an indictment of the Republican president, the second of his term. Striking images, dozens of soldiers spent the...
    Capitol Police failed to bring in reinforcements the day the US Capitol was overrun by MAGA mob rioters despite the FBI warning of potential violence, federal agents visiting right-wing extremists and a slew of social media posts planning the anarchy.  Missed warnings and details of botched security efforts continue to emerge in the aftermath of last week's chaos at the Capitol that left five dead in what law enforcement officials have already slammed as a catastrophic failure to prepare.  Local and federal law enforcement officials have spent the last few days shifting the blame after the riots were described as one of the gravest security lapses in recent US history.  Evidence has also emerged of glaring warnings from some hardline Trump supporters who vowed on social media to inflict violence and storm the Capitol.   Capitol Police have faced the brunt of the scrutiny for misjudging the security threat given they are in...
    (CNN)This is one of the most vulnerable moments in our nation's history. The world watched as a mob stormed the US Capitol this week and wreaked havoc in our democracy. Reverberations from the last few days — indeed the last few years -— will be felt for decades. Sam VinogradThe domestic threats to homeland security in the near term are manifold. President Donald Trump is both the symptom and the cause of so much of the violence wracking our country. Law enforcement officials must deal with their regular day-to-day work while also trying to secure some of our most important assets from attacks like Wednesday's. Twitter, which announced the suspension of Trump's personal account on Friday, issued a statement that said, "Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17,...
    Three senior security officers in Congress To us Capitol loses job on Thursday over “shameful and deadly” security breach by presidential supporters Donald Trump. Politics Capitol Police Chief Steven Chund will resign until Jan. 16 before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, a police spokesman said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began Thursday in Senate demanding the resignation of Senate Sergeant Michael Stenker. And Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy PelosiHouse Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving will resign after the Capitol invasion by pro-Trump mob on Wednesday, which has so far killed five people. Read more: Pelosi has called for the implementation of the 25th Amendment to accuse Trump Pelosi called for Sund’s resignation early Thursday morning and said he could not be reached; A Sunt spokesman said he had no previous plans to resign. McConnell said Deputy Sergeant Jennifer Hemingway will take over as head of defense in the...
    (CNN)On Wednesday, I will testify before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Though I am no longer a public servant, it remains an honor to serve the public, and I am proud to heed the call of our Senate leaders to tell the public about the methodology of the agency I led, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to secure the 2020 presidential election.I joined the Department of Homeland Security in March of 2017. I believe, then and now, that the Russian Federation attempted to interfere in our 2016 election to disparage Hillary Clinton to the advantage of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, as laid out in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Russia attempted to advance its candidate of choice and to corrode public faith in American democracy through cyberattacks and a coordinated disinformation campaign. Our democratic institutions are facing targeted, calculated threats from without, and from...
    Officials at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine said they forgive the disturbed gunman who opened fire at a Christmas carol performance on the church steps, saying they feel only sympathy. “I certainly feel I can forgive him,” the Rev. Clifton Daniel, dean of the historic Morningside Heights church, said Tuesday. “Things like this should not happen but I have no anger for him. “I only have sympathy for his family and I feel for the pain and confusion,” he said. Luis Vasquez, 52, was shot dead by police after he began firing off two handguns atop the steps of the historic cathedral around 3:45 p.m. Sunday. A native of the Dominican Republic, Vasquez had been living in the Bronx with his mother before he went off on the caught-on-video rampage. He fired off several rounds before two police officers and an off-duty cop working security in the area...
    More On: shootings Delivery worker struck by stray bullets during UWS shooting: cops Juvenile who allegedly slaughtered family left behind grisly crime scene, cops say Popeyes security guard injured after suspect fires into restaurant Texas teen brothers killed in suspected drive-by shooting Officials at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine said they forgive the disturbed gunman who opened fire at a Christmas carol performance on the church steps, saying they feel only sympathy. “I certainly feel I can forgive him,” the Rev. Clifton Daniel, dean of the historic Morningside Heights church, said Tuesday. “Things like this should not happen but I have no anger for him. “I only have sympathy for his family and I feel for the pain and confusion,” he said. Luis Vasquez, 52, was shot dead by police after he began firing off two handguns atop the steps of the historic cathedral around 3:45 p.m....
    China has used Western struggles with the coronavirus pandemic to help avoid domestic political backlash against Beijing, according to the security official tasked with maintaining regime stability. “During the pandemic, we seized important achievements in a short time and have posed a great contrast between ‘China’s orderliness’ and ‘the West’s chaos,’” Politburo member Guo Shengkun wrote in a new book of articles published by the Chinese Communist Party. That statement calls attention to how Beijing regards the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to gain credibility at home at the expense of the democratic nations, an effort that stands to benefit from the resurgence of the coronavirus in Europe and the United States. Guo’s reflection illuminates one aspect of a broader messaging strategy that seeks to argue that Chinese Communist rule is more efficient than Western systems of government. “With its magical power, the ‘Five-Year Plan’ has ushered...
    WHITE House officials reportedly fear that Donald Trump could expose America's close-kept secrets even after President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20. Current and former officials believe that Trump's history of loose lips and his anger at the "deep state" conspiracy he believes cost him the 2020 presidential election make him a huge counterintelligence risk. 7Current and former White House officials worry that Donald Trump could be a national security risk when he leaves officeCredit: Splash News 7Experts believe that Trump's loose lips and short temper could push him to reveal the nation's secretsCredit: Getty Images - Getty The sitting president refuses to accept defeat and has repeatedly pushed unsubstantiated claims of the election being "rigged" against him. "Anyone who is disgruntled, dissatisfied or aggrieved is a risk of disclosing classified information, whether as a current or former officeholder. Trump certainly fits that profile," former CIA officer David Priess...
    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has slammed Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a letter accusing him of censorship of government officials that 'endangers the national security.' Wolf's letter on Friday came after Twitter suspended the official account of Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan for a post the company deemed 'hateful content.' Morgan had tweeted on Wednesday praising progress on the southern border wall: 'Every mile helps us stop gang members, murderers, sexual predators, and drugs from entering our country. It's a fact, walls work.' Twitter suspended his account for a day, and then claimed the decision had been reversed on appeal. Wolf blasted the company, saying Twitter had lied about the appeals process, and only reinstated Morgan's account after the controversy went public. Scroll down for Wolf's full letter Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf (above) slammed Twitter's CEO in a letter accusing him of...
    With record numbers of Americans actively casting their ballots to decide who will assume the presidency of the United States and serve as their elected representatives in both of houses of Congress – and with domestic concerns from COVID-19 to the economy and social unrest dominating headlines – it is easy to lose sight of looming foreign policy challenges that await U.S. leaders in 2021. While Donald Trump or Joe Biden will face a range of global issues over the next four years, no security challenge is more urgent than the continued threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The five recommendations outlined below constitute a nonpartisan vision for sound policymaking on Iran in 2021 and beyond: 1. Prioritize the Iranian People, Not Their Leaders U.S. policy on Iran must prioritize the people of Iran and their relentless pursuit of freedom. For too long, U.S. officials treated the authoritarian...
    The Associated Press WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION'S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year...
    WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION'S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year later that...
    WHAT STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO PROTECT THE NATION’S ELECTION SYSTEMS FROM POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE BY FOREIGN POWERS LIKE RUSSIA? HAVE VOTING SYSTEMS BEEN “HARDENED” IN ANY WAY? Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a year later that...
    Two-and-a-half weeks before the election, top Trump administration officials in charge of immigration enforcement blasted Denver and other cities for their unwillingness to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Sanctuary city policies shield violent criminals, criminal aliens, at the expense of American lives," Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said at an October 16 press conference announcing results of a recent ICE enforcement operation that targeted jurisdictions covered by field offices in Denver (which oversees Colorado and Wyoming), Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The operation had been telegraphed by the Washington Post, which reported on September 29 that the Trump administration was preparing an "immigration enforcement blitz" that would start in California and then expand to other places, including Denver. Related Stories GEO Group Coerced Aurora ICE Detainees Into Cleaning Common Areas Aurora Immigration Court Shuts Down Hearings After Major COVID Outbreak Colorado...
    (Bloomberg Opinion) — The past couple years have been tough for both believers and non-believers in Russiagate. First the investigation into Russian influence over President Donald Trump’s campaign fizzled out. Now one aspect of the investigation of the investigation seems to be, too. What was hyped in 2017 as the greatest scandal in U.S. history ended in mid-2019 after Special Counsel Robert Mueller said he could not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. That investigation itself is still being investigated by the Justice Department, with the president and his supporters promising the greatest scandal in U.S. history. On Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, the Washington Post reported that one part of this investigation did not turn up “substantive wrongdoing.” This investigation, conducted by departing U.S. Attorney John Bash, examined requests made by outgoing officials in President Barack Obama’s administration to reveal the names of U.S. persons...
    New York (CNN Business)It was a conspiracy that Fox News portrayed as one of the greatest — if not the greatest — political scandals in American history.Tucker Carlson called it a "domestic spying operation" that was "hidden under the pretext of national security." Laura Ingraham characterized top Obama administration officials as having been "exposed." And Sean Hannity flatly declared it to be the "biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal" the country had ever seen.Trump and right-wing media distract from bad virus news with alternate realityThat was back in May. This week, however, the conspiracy theory collapsed when The Washington Post reported that a Justice Department investigation into the supposed scandal quietly ended with no charges.The narrative pushed by Fox News was centered on the routine intelligence practice of "unmasking." A document declassified in May by then-acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who has been criticized by Democrats and career...
    (CNN)As I write this, the President of the United States is hospitalized with Covid-19, an illness that has killed more than 209,000 people in our country during a once-in-a-century pandemic. All Americans should pray for his swift recovery. Miles TaylorThis never should have happened.The fact is that by downplaying a public health crisis for many months, President Donald Trump and his aides have created a national security crisis.Why? By putting himself in harm's way, the President has destabilized the executive branch — and the country — just weeks ahead of the most important election in modern times.If the President and his team had followed the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we likely wouldn't be talking about the White House as the potential epicenter of a "superspreader" event.Read MoreNow we are learning that more people, including the first lady, senior officials, members of Congress, and other influential...
    'Thanks to his disdainful attitude and his failures, our allies no longer trust or respect us, and our enemies no longer fear us.' Almost 500 national security experts — including 22 four-star military officers — slammed Donald Trump in a public letter released Thursday, calling him unfit for his role as commander in chief and endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The letter, simply addressed "To Our Fellow Citizens," is a bipartisan effort signed by prominent Republicans and Democrats alike who say they "fear" for their country under Trump. Signatories include former Navy Secretary and NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe, who served in both Bush administrations, and former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, and Ash Carter. Former State Department Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, a Republican who served under George W. Bush, as well as Democrats former Secretary of State Madeleine...
    Joe Biden “is the leader our nation needs,” according to 489 retired generals, admirals, senior noncommissioned officers, ambassadors, and senior civilian national security officials. “We love our country,” the group, which included Republicans and independents as well as Democrats, wrote in an open letter. “Unfortunately, we also fear for it.” Nowhere does the letter mention Donald Trump by name, though throughout it cites Biden’s good qualities in ways obviously distinguishing him from Trump: empathy, honesty, “experience and wisdom,” personal responsibility, “sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.” Biden’s good qualities overwhelm policy differences, the 489 former officials write. “While some of us may have different opinions on particular policy matters, we trust Joe Biden’s positions are rooted in sound judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values.” In the final paragraphs, the letter turns to the “current President,” who, it says, “has demonstrated he is not equal to the enormous responsibilities of his office;...
    Election Question: What steps have been taken to protect the nation’s election systems from potential interference by foreign powers like Russia? Have voting systems been “hardened” in any way? Answer: Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a...
    By The Associated Press Election Question: What steps have been taken to protect the nation’s election systems from potential interference by foreign powers like Russia? Have voting systems been “hardened” in any way? Answer: Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted...
    Election Question: What steps have been taken to protect the nation’s election systems from potential interference by foreign powers like Russia? Have voting systems been “hardened” in any way? Answer: Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a...
    Election Question: What steps have been taken to protect the nation’s election systems from potential interference by foreign powers like Russia? Have voting systems been “hardened” in any way? Answer: Federal, state and local officials prioritized securing voting systems after Russia interfered in the 2016 election, breaking down bureaucracy to improve communication of potential threats, conducting security reviews and installing network sentinels to detect known cyberthreats and suspicious activity. A key step was the January 2017 decision by the outgoing Obama administration to designate the election systems as “critical infrastructure” on par with nuclear reactors, banks and the electrical grid. The Department of Homeland Security and its cybersecurity agency have since worked to build relationships with election officials, giving top state election officials security clearances so they can quickly receive sensitive threat intelligence. After the 2016 interference, state election officials complained that they were not alerted until nearly a...
    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before departing the White House in Washington, bound for a campaign event in Wisconsin, Sept. 17, 2020. (Oliver Contreras/The New York Times) WASHINGTON — Four years ago, when Russian intelligence agencies engaged in a systematic attempt to influence the American presidential election, the disinformation they fed U.S. voters required some real imagination at the troll farms producing the ads. There was the exaggerated Texas secession movement, a famous ad in which Satan arm-wrestles Jesus while declaring, “If I win, Clinton wins,” and an effort to recruit protesters and counterprotesters to the same, invented rally over the rapid spread of Islamic influence in the United States. This year, their task is much easier. They are largely amplifying misleading statements from President Donald Trump, mostly about the dangers of mail-in ballots. In interviews, a range of officials and private analysts said that Trump was feeding...
    For weeks, Donald Trump ordered a rag-tag mix of border patrol, U. S. marshals, and other elements of federal enforcement—none of them trained to deal with the public—into the streets of Portland, Oregon, where they upped the level of violence, grabbed people off the street without charges, and savagely beat a group of local moms trying to get them to halt their violence. After some weeks, Trump finally decided he’d done enough to generate footage for his doom-themed campaign commercials (with a few supplements) and took his beat-down squad off the streets. Understandably, Congress would like to talk to the people who thought that dragging people into unmarked vans, shooting journalists in the face, defying local officials, and filling the streets with banned chemical weapons was a great idea. They’ve asked officials form the Department of Homeland Security to provide witnesses about the incident in Portland, and about ongoing efforts to create a make-believe threat of “antifa terrorists” to...
    (CNN)His sister described him as a liar and fake. A former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security deemed him a woeful danger to the country. A prominent friend with a prime-time slot on Fox News has called him "crazy," according to new book about the network. His onetime national security adviser wrote in his own book he cares little about human rights. A former Pentagon chief called him "the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people." Those sentiments were endorsed by a former chief of staff. A former secretary of state declared him "undisciplined."Another onetime national security adviser called his attempts to solicit foreign assistance in the election unacceptable. A Homeland Security adviser has called some of his actions "deeply disturbing." A short-lived communications chief has questioned his mental state. A former aide and reality show contestant called him racist.The litany...
    Some of President Donald Trump’s allies in the West Wing are angered that Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger insists on wearing a mask during a global, deadly pandemic, according to the Daily Beast. Journalists Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng, in article published on August 17, report that “a select group of officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Pottinger for putting on a mask shortly after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic,” Banco and Suebsaeng explain. “Months later, these senior officials still trash Pottinger behind closed doors for his decision to wear a mask at a time when their boss, President Donald Trump, and other senior administration officials chose to avoid wearing face coverings, according to three senior officials and one former official.” One of those officials, presumably interviewed on condition of anonymity, told the Beast that Pottinger’s insistence on wearing face masks in...
    Chad Wolf, the guy currently pretending to be head of Homeland Security even though his appointment was illegal.Pool/Abaca via ZUMA For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.Donald Trump loves to fill vacant positions by simply appointing acting officials, thus bypassing the Senate confirmation process that he finds so annoying. Unfortunately for him, that’s not always legal: The top two officials at the Department of Homeland Security are serving unlawfully in their roles, the Government Accountability Office said Friday, dealing a rebuke to President Trump’s affinity for filling senior executive roles in his administration with “acting” leaders who lack Senate confirmation. Good for the GAO, but how many divisions do they have? This is a president who’s deliberately wrecking the post office to gain a partisan advantage over Democrats. He sent domestic troops to Portland to create chaos that would help sell his law-and-order...
    Russian hackers are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from the US through cyber attacks against medical organizations and universities, according to security officials.  The 16-page advisory prepared by the US National Security Agency and made public by Britain, the US and Canada accused APT29, also known as Cozy Bear and Dukes, of using custom malicious software to target a number of organizations globally.   Cozy Bear has been identified by Washington as one of two Russian government-linked hacking groups that broke into the Democratic National Committee computer network and stole emails ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The other group is usually called Fancy Bear. The groups are said to specialize in exploiting known vulnerabilities in software and then rapidly 'weaponizing' them.   Russian hackers (file image) are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from the US through cyber attacks against medical organizations and universities, according to security officials ...
    U.S. intel officials have been alleging that according to their sources, the Russian government offered a bounty to Taliban extremists if they would kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Just Security discussed these allegations with some former Trump Administration officials, trying to get some insights on what President Donald Trump and his officials knew about Russian government activity in Afghanistan. “Why would the Russian government think it could get away with paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers?,” Just Security’s Ryan Goodman writes. “One answer to that question may be the extraordinary response that Moscow received when the Trump Administration learned of a precursor to the bounty operation. From mid-2017 and into 2018, Pentagon officials became increasingly confident in intelligence reports that the Kremlin was arming the Taliban, which posed a significant threat to American and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan.” President Donald Trump and his administration...
    Carl Bernstein joined Jake Tapper Tuesday to talk about his new report that former White House officials like John Kelly and John Bolton concluded that President Donald Trump was not only “delusional” but a “danger” to U.S. national security. He told Tapper that his report and the report about Russian bounties fit together because “in both cases, the sources of both stories have to do with a president of the United States who refuses to be briefed in an intelligent way — in fact refuses to be briefed very often altogether.” But something that struck him about his report is why none of the officials who were alarmed about the president’s calls said anything: “All of the people listed in my story, one of whom you named at the beginning, Chief of Staff Kelly, came to the conclusion that the President of the United States — Bolton and others — is unfit to...
    Former national security adviser Susan Rice warned that conflicting reports about whether President Trump received intelligence briefings relaying reports that Russia paid members of the Taliban to kill American troops in the Middle East is further evidence of an executive branch in chaos. "Everybody in the senior national security team gets this briefing six out of seven days a week. So, even if the president doesn’t read his PDB [President's Daily Briefing], as it’s known, which apparently he doesn’t often do, then surely somebody around him would come in with this information and make sure that he was aware," Rice said Monday evening. "You know, the job of the national security adviser, not to mention the director of national intelligence, secretary of defense, any number of other officials, is to tell the president the hard truths that he may not want to hear. And produce a plan to...
    PRESIDENT Donald Trump's erratic behavior and worrying phone conversations with world leaders have made US officials believe he's a national security threat, a new report claims. One source told journalist Carl Bernstein Trump behaved in a "near-sadistic" manner toward German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former British Prime Minister Theresa May. 2 President Donald Trump's phone calls with world leaders have reportedly made multiple officials believe he's a national security threatCredit: EPA 2 A report published on Monday claimed that he spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a 'near-sadistic' mannerCredit: AFP Bernstein, who is best known for his reporting on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, spoke to multiple people anonymously over four months for his damaging CNN report published on Monday. The White House didn't respond to CNN's request for comment before publication. The president's July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he asked Zelensky to investigate...
    Yet another constitutional crisis appears to be on our hands: CNN is now reporting that based on “hundreds” of calls between Donald Trump and foreign leaders, multiple of Trump’s own senior officials came to the conclusion that “that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States.” CNN cites White House and intelligence officials “intimately familiar” with the conversations, and reports former top Trump officials “including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly” conclude “the President was often ‘delusional'” in his conversations with foreign leaders. That Trump regularly attacked former U.S. presidents on the calls is unsurprising, as is the news that Turkish strongman Recep Erdogan was one of Trump’s most frequent contacts. But Trump “seemed to continually conflate his own personal interests,” especially his reelection, “with the national...
    President Donald Trump is seen through a window speaking on the phone with King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud, in the Oval Office of the White House, January 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images A CNN report on Monday painted a scathing portrait of President Donald Trump’s conduct on the world stage, particularly as it relates to his conversations with foreign leaders. Multiple sources described the US president as someone who bullies and belittles allies while fawning over autocratic leaders. Sources told CNN Trump behaves in a “near-sadistic” fashion with female leaders; that he talks to Russian President Vladimir Putin as if they’re “two guys in a steam bath”; and that Turkey’s president “took him to the cleaners.” Trump’s behavior was so unusual and erratic that it convinced several senior administration officials that the president...
    Many former White House officials saw President Trump as "delusional" and a danger to national security, according to a new report. CNN's Carl Bernstein reported on Monday that many former officials within the administration saw the president as being woefully ill-prepared for calls with foreign leaders and said that he pandered in conversation with them. Two sources told Bernstein that Trump was often "delusional" during such calls, which caused concern to former national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, former Defense Secretary James Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and former White House chief of staff John Kelly. Trump would brag about his own wealth, mock previous presidents, and routinely disparage the leaders of U.S. allies in the conversations. Trump was "so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep...
    Former Trump Secretary of Defense James Mattis Yet another constitutional crisis appears to be on our hands: CNN is now reporting that based on "hundreds" of calls between Donald Trump and foreign leaders, multiple of Trump's own senior officials came to the conclusion that "that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States." CNN cites White House and intelligence officials "intimately familiar" with the conversations, and says former top Trump officials "including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly" to conclude "the President was often 'delusional'" in his conversations with foreign leaders. That Trump regularly attacked former U.S. presidents on the calls is unsurprising, as is the news that Turkish strongman Recep Erdogan was one of Trump's most frequent contacts. But Trump "seemed to continually conflate...
    The US State Department has imposed its first wave of visa restrictions against Chinese officials in retaliation for Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday. “President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that,” Pompeo said. “I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, as guaranteed in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, or undermining human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong,” he said. “Family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.” When asked if Chinese officials targeted for sanctions had been identified, a State Department spokesman would not comment beyond Pompeo’s statement. Friday’s announcement follows the State Department’s determination last...
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Friday the U.S. was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials believed to be responsible for restricting freedoms in Hong Kong. Pompeo’s statement condemned China for “eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms” and stated that the visa restrictions applied to “current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.” The statement, however, did not state which specific officials would be affected by the move. President @realDonaldTrump promised to punish the CCP officials responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that– we’ve announced visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights. — Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 26, 2020 The secretary also added in his statement that the security law violates the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration,...
    Dozens of former U.S. national security officials from Republican administrations are reportedly forming a group to back former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump seeks to rally base with immigration full-court press Trump says Obama may have committed treason Poll: Biden leads Trump by more than 20 points on race and policing MORE, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in his race against President TrumpDonald John TrumpSouth Korea slams Bolton book as 'distorting the reality' of nuclear talks Democrats face tough questions with Bolton Protesters try to bring down statue of Andrew Jackson near White House MORE. The group told Reuters that they plan to formally endorse Biden in the coming weeks, arguing that four more years of Trump is too much of a risk for national security.  “Trump pals around with dictators. He’s a real danger,” an anonymous source reportedly said.   Sources told the wire service that the effort is being spearheaded...
    Hundreds of educrats in the city Department of Education’s central office have signed a letter to Chancellor Richard Carranza urging schools to cut ties with the NYPD. The letter urges the removal of unarmed school safety agents who guard students and staff from NYPD control, and retraining them as “School Peace Officers” to focus on “de-escalation, mediation, and restorative practices.” The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a white cop in Minneapolis has sparked debate about the role of police in schools. Minneapolis school officials have voted to sever a contract with the local police. Portland’s schools chief announced he will stop having police officers patrol the halls. “We are proud of all we have accomplished, but the time has come for our actions to align with our words,” says the letter signed by city DOE administrators and supervisors. “This is the moment to dissociate ourselves from...
    (CNN)More than 280 former national security officials on Friday criticized President Donald Trump's aggressive approach to peaceful protesters, and expressed concern about the presence of US military assets at demonstrations across the country.The former officials described their concerns over the "misuse of the military for political purposes" on protesters in Washington in a letter titled "The Strength of America's Apolitical Military.""There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some," the letter stated.Trump has called protesters -- who have taken to the streets after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis -- "thugs" and shared a letter calling them "terrorists." The former officials wrote that "falsely seeking to divide Americans into those who support 'law and order' and those who do not will not end the demonstrations." They...
    The Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday voted to authorize subpoenas to the FBI and other agencies for records and testimony from Obama-era officials related to the bureau’s original Russia investigation and the Justice Department inspector general’s review of that probe. The committee voted 8-6 to give Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the authority to send subpoenas as part of the panel’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe and the process of “unmasking.” LIST OF OFFICIALS WHO SOUGHT TO UNMASK FLYNN RELEASED: BIDEN, COMEY, OBAMA CHIEF OF STAFF AMONG THEM The committee authorized subpoenas to the FBI for the production of all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation—the bureau’s internal code name for the Russia probe, which began in July 2016. The subpoenas would cover all records made available to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz for his review of the Russia probe and alleged misconduct surrounding the Foreign Intelligence...
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