U.S. Politics

Obama Just Gave The PERFECT Response To Donald Trump’s BS Wiretap Claim

Obama Just Gave The PERFECT Response To Donald Trump’s BS Wiretap Claim

Zach Gibson/Getty Images.

ADDICTING INFO

When former President George W. Bush left office, he remained quiet in regards to any criticism of Barack Obama. Sure, Dick Cheney didn’t, but Obama’s predecessor remained graceful in order to keep the peace. President Obama didn’t attack Bush, either. Trump’s unprecedented attack by a sitting president on the former occupant of the White House has caused a firestorm off attention after calling Obama “sick” and suggested he should be criminally prosecuted for “wiretapping” him during the election campaign. Trump did not offer any proof and the White House is scrambling to defend his jaw-dropping claims which originated from the right-wing fake news site Breitbart, then was promptly circulated by fake news site Gateway Pundit.

So what does Barack Obama think of the new conspiracy theory about him? Unlike Trump, Obama can take the heat with a simple eye roll and shrug it off. Obama didn’t take to his Twitter account to unleash mean-girl tweets about Donald Trump.

A source who spoke to NBC News said that former President Barack Obama “rolled his eyes” at Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that he wiretapped Trump Tower toward the end of the 2016 election.

This his how a real President reacts to a 70-year-old’s Twitter tantrum:

The source, who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity and is familiar with the president’s thinking, said Obama believes the claims “undermine the integrity of the office of the president,” but don’t undermine his own integrity, because “he didn’t do it.”

The source added that Obama “is much more concerned by President Trump kicking people off their health insurance, not staffing the government, not being prepared for a crisis, rolling back regulations so that corporations can pollute the air and water and letting mentally unstable people buy guns with no problems whatsoever.”

“He cares about all those things much more than what President Trump tweets at the TV each morning,” the source continued.

The White House has stated that alleged president Donald Trump supports a congressional investigation into “whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016” as part of a larger investigation into the Russian hacking scandal.

So, Obama is more concerned about our country’s well-being than over some crotchety old man’s rantings on Twitter even though Trump has again created another conspiracy about his predecessor.

Seriously, Trump supporters, you never knew what you had until it was gone. Sort of like Obamacare which is being replaced by Trumpcare Karmacare.

Conover Kennard

U.S. Politics

Report: Obama was furious after Trump accused him of wiretapping

Report: Obama was furious after Trump accused him of wiretapping

© Getty Images

THE HILL

Former President Obama was reportedly furious after President Trump fired off tweets accusing him of wiretapping Trump Tower before the presidential election, according to a new report.

An aide to Obama told the Wall Street Journal the former president had decided he would not respond to every one of the his successor’s tweets. But people familiar with Obama’s thinking told the WSJ he was livid after Trump posted several tweets early Saturday morning making serious accusations.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Trump first tweeted on Saturday, without evidence.

An Obama spokesman later responded:

“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” said Kevin Lewis. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

Trump’s allegations have widened a rift between Trump and his predecessor, according to the report, who made an effort to be cordial during the transition.

Trump also reportedly believes that officials loyal to Obama have been behind the leaks coming out of the administration.

Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax Media and a friend of the president, told the Wall Street Journal that “Trump’s people think Obama is at war with them.”

He reiterated the idea that allies of president Obama were behind “a lot of the problems.”

“This president has been under siege since Day One from both the press and Obama loyalists and he’s reacting to it,” Ruddy said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that Obama loyalists inside the administration and outside are giving Donald Trump a lot of grief and a lot of problems.”

BY PAULINA FIROZI

U.S. Politics

Trump Immigration Policies Are A Boon For Private Prisons

Trump Immigration Policies Are A Boon For Private Prisons

IMAGE: ndlon / Flickr

THE NATIONAL MEMO

While President Trump has repackaged his Muslim travel ban to appease the military and the courts, his administration is expanding the use of private prison facilities to handle a massive increase in deportation and is considering a policy of separating women and children who illegally cross the border, according to news reports.

The revised travel ban has received most of the attention, but the new policies on detention will probably affect many more people.

The expansion of detention facilities, first reported by MSNBC, would increase the government’s reliance on the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America (recently rebranded as CoreCivic). Conditions in the facilities have been criticized by immigration lawyers as inhumane.

In a town hall with Department of Homeland Security staffers last month, John Lafferty, chief of the DHS asylum division, said the agency had already located 20,000 beds for the indefinite detention of those seeking asylum, according to MSNBC.

“This would represent a nearly 500 percent increase from current capacity,” reported MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Brian Montopoli.

The proposal to separate women from children is designed to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children, officials told Reuters.

“The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the ‘least restrictive setting’ until they can be taken into the care of a U.S. relative or state-sponsored guardian,” said the Reuters report.

A July 2016 federal court decision requires that immigrant children should be released from detention as quickly as possible, but permits continued detention of their parents. To comply with that order, the Obama administration implemented a policy of holding women and children at family detention centers for no more than 21 days before releasing them.

The Trump administration is considering changing that policy. The expanded detention facilities would accomodate the increase in mothers separated from their children.

“Bottom line: separating mothers and children is wrong,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat whose district borders Mexico. “That type of thing is where we depart from border security and get into violating human rights.”

About 54,000 children and their guardians were apprehended between Oct. 1, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, according to Reuters, more than double the number caught over the same time period a year earlier.

Jefferson Morley is AlterNet’s Washington correspondent.

U.S. Politics

Asked About Millions Losing Care, Ryan Says ‘Lowering Costs’ Is What Matters

J. Scott Applewhite

TPM LIVEWIRE

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday called estimates that millions of people could lose health care coverage under an Obamacare replacement a “bogus” metric, and said lowering costs for everyone was more important.

Ryan also said he could “guarantee” that a finalized proposal would have enough votes to pass the House of Representatives.

“By some estimates, 10 million people could lose coverage. Is that acceptable?” one reporter asked Ryan at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. Though the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has not released its analysis of the House GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan, Standard & Poors released such an analysis Tuesday.

S&P found that 2 to 4 million people enrolled in Obamacare’s individual marketplaces could lose coverage under the American Health Care Act, in addition to 4 to 6 million people currently covered by Medicaid.

“What matters is that we’re the lowering costs of health care and giving people access to affordable health care plans,” Ryan responded. “The government will always win the war on government-run plans, saying, if we mandate everybody buys what we say they have to buy, then the government will always estimate that they’ll buy it.”

“I just think that’s bogus, that entire premise of that comparison doesn’t work,” he continued. “The fact is, we’re not going to have the government tell you what you must do, tell you what you must buy.”

Ryan also said he was certain that the proposal, which was introduced in separate parts in the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee Monday night, would pass the House of Representatives.

“We will have 218 votes,” he said. “This is the beginning of the legislative process. We’ve got a few weeks. We’ll have 218 when this thing comes to the floor, I can guarantee you that.”

MATT SHUHAM

U.S. Politics

Trump personally met with Russian ambassador during campaign

CREDIT: AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

THINK PROGRESS

Donald Trump has claimed repeatedly that he has had no contact with Russian officials as a presidential candidate.

He was lying.

Trump personally met with the Russian ambassador on April 27, 2016, prior to a major foreign policy speech. The Wall Street Journal, in a report that was little-noticed at the time but was recently picked up by AMERICABlog News, reported the meeting last year.

A few minutes before he made those remarks, Mr. Trump met at a VIP reception with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak. Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Kislyak and three other foreign ambassadors who came to the reception.

Kislyak, according to multiple contemporaneous news reports, was seated in the front row. It was an invitation-only event.

A photo from AFP captures Kislyak taking his seat.

RUSSIA_TRUMP

Trump used the speech to call for warmer relations with Russia. “I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia — from a position of strength only — is possible, absolutely possible,” Trump said. “Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out.”

Russia was pleased with his speech:

Trump has repeatedly insisted that neither he nor anyone on his campaign was in contact with Russia during the election.

“Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia,” Trump said during a February 16 press conference. He said he contacts with Russia were limited to talking twice to Vladimir Putin after election day.

On February 20, Trump spokesperson Sarah Sanders flatly declared that the Trump campaign had “no contacts” with Russia.

We’ve since learned that at least four members of the Trump campaign — Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, and J.D. Gordon — talked with Russian officials during the campaign.

Sessions, now the Attorney General, recused himself from any investigation of the Trump campaigns contacts with Russia after he falsely told the Judiciary Committee he had not met with any Russian officials.

Trump’s own meeting with Kislyak raises further questions about the nature of the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia and why the Trump administration won’t come clean about the extent of their contacts.

Judd Legum

U.S. Politics

Watch As MSNBC Reporter Completely Humiliates Sean Spicer Over Trump’s Wiretapping B.S.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08:  White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions from reporters during the daily press briefing at the White House February 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Spicer fielded questions about President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban, his effort to replace Obamacare and other topics  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images

ADDICTING INFO

April Hamlin

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was completely humiliated by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson during Tuesday’s White House briefing. Jackson wanted to know why Donald Trump would call on Congress to investigate the supposed wiretapping at Trump Tower when he claims to already have this very information. This was a question Spicer couldn’t answer. All he could do was squirm.

“You said the president stands by his tweets Saturday morning that President Obama ordered this wiretap,” Jackson stated. “You’ve also said that the president wants Congress to investigate. Some members of Congress, by the way, have asked the White House and asked the president to come forward with the information.”

“So bottom line, why would the president want Congress to investigate for information he already has?” she asked.

Spicer started blubbering about the importance of “separation of powers” but came nowhere near actually addressing the issue at hand.

Jackson wasn’t about to let him off the hook that easy, though. She continued to press Spicer, wondering “if the president has the info, Sean — and I guess that’s what I’m trying to get to — if he’s sitting on this information that he found out, he’s now directing or asking or recommending that the intelligence committees look into this. And you talked about they have resources and staff, which they do, but why expend those resources and staff if the President found out this information and has it?”

Spicer then explained that Trump thinks Congress asking the Justice Department to conduct an investigation might “add credibility to the look” of Trump’s bogus accusation that former President Obama tapped his phones during the election.

“I think we’ve made it very clear how he wants this done,” Spicer finally concluded when he could think of nothing better to say.

Watch Sean Spicer be completely humiliated by MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson:

U.S. Politics

A Senate Panel Has Approved Trump Security Adviser’s Shift to the White House

US-POLITICS-TRUMP-NSC

U.S. Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Feb. 20, 2017.  Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty Images

TIME

(WASHINGTON) — The Senate Armed Services Committee eased the path Tuesday for an active-duty general to become President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser weeks after controversy abruptly ended his predecessor’s brief tenure.

Since being named for the post two weeks ago, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster swiftly began streamlining operations at the country’s top national security apparatus. Some administration officials say McMaster’s predecessor, Michael Flynn, created a staff structure and had a management style that complicated policy implementation and obstructed advisers from getting their recommendations to the president.

The committee’s 23-2 vote came after McMaster met privately with members for nearly two hours to discuss his move from a military assignment to one of the most influential jobs in the U.S. government. Two members of the committee abstained from voting.

McMaster’s appearance before the committee was unusual because national security advisers aren’t subject to Senate confirmation and typically don’t testify on Capitol Hill. But McMaster’s situation is different. He elected to remain in uniform rather than retire from military service, and generals need the chamber’s approval when they’re promoted or change assignments.

“The vote was very overwhelming in favor of approving his status as a three-star general to remain on active-duty,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the panel’s chairman, told reporters following the session.

McCain said he’s confident the full Senate will re-appoint McMaster as a lieutenant general while serving as Trump’s national security adviser.

McMaster swooped in to lead the National Security Council as controversy swirled over communications that members of Trump’s campaign team had with Russian officials. Flynn, another former general, was asked to resign after misleading senior administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the nature of his contacts with Russia’s Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period.

McMaster has expressed a desire to run a less hierarchical organization and to be more accessible to his staff, something that created widespread frustration when Flynn was in charge, according to three current and former administration officials familiar with the changes. The officials spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

He has eliminated two senior deputy positions Flynn had created. The deputies stood between NSC directorates and members of Trump’s inner circle — Flynn himself, chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior adviser Stephen Miller and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — as they formed key policy decisions: The NSC directorates were cut out of those discussions. And when they were consulted, their input was rarely considered.

Two administration officials said McMaster has made an effort to open communication between the West Wing and the directorates. He sent an email to staff on his first day on the job, expressing enthusiasm to work with the team — something Flynn never did.

Most significantly, McMaster has already managed to get select NSC officials facetime with the president, to prepare him for calls and meetings with foreign leaders, according to the officials.

At an all-hands meeting last week, McMaster also pushed back on some of Trump’s policies, asserting that Russia and China were both cause for serious concern.

He also warned that terms categorizing radicalism as purely “Islamic” are dangerous and unproductive. One day later, Trump vowed in an address to Congress to take “strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.”

Vivian Salama / AP