Hillary Clinton was all smiles at the release of her new book, but the failed presidential candidate should be anything but happy, because the book, titled “What Happened,” is full of excuses, lies and fake news.
Crooked Hillary, as President Trump calls her, is in complete denial about why she actually lost the election. My colleague and friend, Gregg Jarrett, has put together a list of 32 reasons Clinton has given for why she lost. And the list grows and grows and grows as Clinton blames everyone and everything but herself and her terrible campaign for her defeat.
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White supremacists, voter ID laws, James Comey, Bernie Sanders, Facebook, Russia, WikiLeaks.
“And then let’s not forget sexism and misogyny, which are endemic to our society,” Clinton told CBS on its “Sunday Morning” show.
There is an alternative list of reasons for Clinton’s humiliating loss to President Trump. Topping it is the secret email server, on which she illegally sent and received sensitive government information makes the real list of reasons why she lost.
Clinton’s team deleted 33,000 emails using BleachBit — in other words, acid wash — after being served with a congressional subpoena. An aide also smashed those old mobile devices with a hammer. Can’t get the emails from there. Just as bad, members of the Clintons’ legal team did give the FBI Blackberries, but those Blackberries didn’t have SIM cards in them, rendering them meaningless.
Comey didn’t hurt her on this issue, he covered for her.
Also on the list is the crooked work of the Clinton Foundation, which took millions and millions of dollars from countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and others – countries that treat women, gays, lesbians, Christians and Jews horribly.
Then there was the Uranium One deal, in which Hillary Clinton was one of nine people to approve the transfer of up to 20 percent of America’s uranium — the foundational material for nuclear weapons – to the Russians. The folks who profited from that deal ended up kicking back as much as $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.
And what about Hillary’s vow to put coal miners out of work and her refusal to campaign in states hard hit by the Obama economy?
Clinton’s own list of excuses is as pathetic as she is delusional. She can’t come to grips with the reality that she was a terrible candidate with no message, no vision for the American people.
The real reason she lost? Americans chose wisely on Nov. 8.
Adapted from Sean Hannity’s monologue on “Hannity,” Sept. 12, 2017
FILE — Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) talks to the media on the president’s FY2018 budget proposal on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2017. (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)
First they came for the wedding planners and the bakers. Then they came for the Catholic farmers and the Baptist high school valedictorians. And now, the secularists are coming after the evangelical public servants.
On Wednesday, Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee to be deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, was viciously attacked by Sen. Bernie Sanders over his Christian faith.
Sen. Sanders deemed Vought unsuitable for office because he believes that salvation is found alone through Jesus Christ. He said someone with that kind of a religious belief system is “really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”
Sen. James Lankford warned that Sander’s comments “dangerously close to crossing a clear constitutional line for how we evaluate qualifications for public service.”
“The First Amendment is crystal clear that the federal government must protect every American’s right to the peaceful and free exercise of religion,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “We cannot say we have the free exercise of religion and also require people to practice their faith only in a way that government officials prefer.”
The Vermont senator’s comments brought strong condemnation from Christians across the nation – including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
“Senator Sanders is taking the Obama era’s religious hostility and putting it on steroids,” Perkins said.
Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas (and a Fox News contributor), said that there are only two choices for the senator: “Apologize to the country for his foolhardy attempt to introduce an unconstitutional litmus test that would exclude 41 percent of the country, or resign.”
The controversy stems from an article Vought wrote in 2016 defending his alma mater, Wheaton College. In that article, he described Islam as a “deficient theology.”
“This is a fundamental problem,” he wrote in The Resurgent. “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”
Sanders confronted Vought during the congressional hearing. The following is a transcript provided by FRC:
Sen. Sanders: “‘Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ, His Son, and they stand condemned.’ Do you believe that that statement is Islamophobic?”
Mr. Vought: “Absolutely not, Senator. I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith…
Sanders: “…Forgive me, we just don’t have a lot of time. Do you believe people in the Muslim religion stand condemned? Is that your view?”
Vought: “Again, Senator, I’m a Christian, and I wrote that piece in accordance with the statement of faith at Wheaton College…”
Sanders: “I understand that. I don’t know how many Muslims there are in America. Maybe a couple million. Are you suggesting that these people stand condemned? What about Jews? Do they stand condemned too?”
Vought: “Senator, I’m a Christian…”
Sanders [shouting]: “I understand you are a Christian, but this country [is] made of people who are not just — I understand that Christianity is the majority religion, but there are other people of different religions in this country and around the world. In your judgment, do you think that people who are not Christians are going to be condemned?”
Vought: “Thank you for probing on that question. As a Christian, I believe that all individuals are made in the image of God and are worthy of dignity and respect regardless of their religious beliefs. I believe that as a Christian that’s how I should treat all individuals…”
Sanders: “…Do you think that’s respectful of other religions?… I would simply say, Mr. Chairman that this nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about.”
As Perkins pointed out, salvation through Jesus Christ is a core biblical tenet held by Christians for millennia.
“Yet Senator Sanders is making it clear that he believes the U.S. Senate should disqualify nominees who express this most basic biblical belief,” Perkins said.
“Americans should never be forced to choose between their faith and public service. Nor should the U.S. Senate try to impose a stealth litmus test that says ‘you can be religious as long as you don’t actually believe or talk about what the Bible teaches.'”
It’s a fair question and one that I posed to Sen. Sanders’ office. Does he believe Christians are unfit to hold public office?
The senator’s press office did not answer that question directly.
“The question at hand is not about Mr. Vought’s freedom to hold certain religious beliefs,” the senator’s spokesman told me. “The question that concerns Sen. Sanders is whether Mr. Vought will carry out the duties of his office in a way that treats all Americans equally, even those whose beliefs he has criticized.”
It was an ugly moment in American politics, but it was also an instructional moment for American Christians.
The Republican plan to overhaul the US healthcare system is “far worse” than Obamacare, according to Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, and represents a disgraceful effort to “give massive tax breaks” to the wealthy.
Last week, the Republican Party released new healthcare legislation aimed at dismantling the “skyrocketing costs” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by Barack Obama in 2010.
“It is an absolute disaster, it is a disgrace and this really has nothing to do with healthcare. What this has everything to do with is a massive shift of wealth from working middle income people to the very richest people in this country,” Sanders said.
The act has already provoked the ire of the American Medical Association, which says it “cannot support” the move in its current guise.
Under the amendments, a much-maligned Obamacare individual mandate which saw people taxed for not having health insurance will be stricken from the system. Meanwhile, Medicaid, a social welfare program providing low income earners with greater access to medical services, would be frozen in 2020.
The AHCA also repeals the high income Medicare tax, which required people earning more than $200,000 to pay a 0.9 percent tax on their wages. A second 3.8 percent tax on “unearned income” like investment revenue will also be abolished.
“They’re going to decimate Medicaid, which is why the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association oppose it. This is a disgrace,” Sanders said.
Asked by CBS host John Dickerson how the ACA could continue in its “rickety” financial state, Sanders admitted the legislation is not perfect but said that, under Republican plans, up to 10 million people may soon be without health insurance.
Sanders added: “It is very hard for [Paul Ryan] or anybody not to deny that what Republicans are bringing forth is far, far worse than Obamacare and that its primary purpose is massive tax breaks to the very wealthiest people in this country.”
Appearing on the same Sunday show, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Obamacare was collapsing and that he expected the new legislation to pass in the Senate.
In what could be considered a message to reluctant conservatives still on the fence about backing the act, Ryan said he agreed with President Donald Trump that next year could be an electoral “bloodbath” for Republicans if the new legislation fails.
In a time of virtually complete political polarization, there is one point upon which both parties appear to agree: moral outrage at the notion of Russian attempts to influence our election.
There are bipartisan demands for a special prosecutor and a full criminal investigation. However, while the outrage is most evident, the alleged crime is more difficult to discern. Before we order a massive independent investigation, it might be useful to examine both the basis for the self-evident outrage and the less-than-evident crime.
Moral outrage as political necessity
As our politicians went on the air to vent their disgust over Russians trying to influence our election, there was an interesting study published this month on moral outrage in an academic journal, Motivation and Emotion. The researchers found that moral outrage is rooted, not in altruism, but self-interest — often to affirm one’s own status and avoiding responsibilities or guilt.
“Individuals,” the study notes, “respond to reminders of their group’s moral culpability with feelings of outrage at third-party harm-doing.” The most astonishing aspect of this study is that it was not done entirely on Capitol Hill.
Many other countries can be forgiven if they are a bit confused by the expressions of outrage at the notion that Russia hacked emails or tried to influence our election. The United States objecting to hacking or influencing elections is akin to Bernie Sanders expressing disgust over accounting irregularities.
The United States has not only extensively engaged in surveillance in other countries but hacked the accounts of our closest allies, including the personal communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Moreover, our country has a long history of direct interference in foreign elections from overthrowing governments to funding opposition movements.
One study found 81 different instances of the United States interfering with the elections of other countries between 1946 and 2000. We learned from the best; foreign interference in our country goes back to 1700s when France and Britain actively sought to influence our early governments.
Democratic leadership have a particular interest in expressing moral outrage over the election. The extent to which the election becomes an example of “third-party harm-doing,” the less attention will be drawn toward the party establishment which virtually anointed Hillary Clinton as their candidate despite polls showing that voters wanted someone outside of the establishment.
Not only did they select the single greatest establishment figure, but someone with record negative polling. “The Russians did it” is a much better narrative.
Of course, the Russians did not “hack the election.” No votes were fabricated. Indeed, there is no proof of emails being fabricated (despite the claims of some Democratic leaders like Donna Brazile at the time). The reason the public has not risen up in anger is that it is hard to get the public outraged over being shown the duplicitous and dishonest character of their leaders — even if the release was clearly one-sided against Democrats.
The public has every right to be outraged, but the outrage of our government officials would make Claude Reins blush.
Moral outrage in search of a crime
In the end, Russian attempts to influence our election should be a matter of national concern and investigation, though we would be in a far superior position if we acknowledged our own checkered past in such efforts. However, the call for a “Special Counsel” or “independent prosecutor” seems a bit premature since we do not have a clear crime other than the hacking itself (which has already been confirmed).
Clearly the Russians hacked DNC emails but we do not need a special counsel to confirm extensive hacking operations by a host of different countries. It is like complaining about the weather.
Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (and the acting deputy attorney general), could determine that an investigation by the Justice Department would still present a conflict of interest even after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The process for the appointment of special counsels through the courts lapsed in 1999. Thus, the current standard would involve Boente determining that the “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted” and must be done outside of the Department. But what is the crime under investigation?
The suggestions that Sessions committed perjury are far-fetched and unsupported.
Some have suggested violations of the Logan Act. However, that 1799 law concerns calls for the fine or imprisonment of private citizens who attempt to intervene in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments. It has never been used to convict a United States citizen and does not appear material to these allegations. If there were monetary payments to influence the election, that would constitute a crime but there has yet to be evidence such crimes.
Finally, there do appear to have been criminal leaks during and after the election. However, those are insular, conventional matters for investigation by the Justice Department.
We generally do not start special counsel investigations absent a clear articulated and supportable criminal allegation. There are a host of obvious political or policy concerns that could be the subject of an independent investigation by a commission or joint legislative/executive effort. There are real concerns over conflicts in the current administration given the focus on the presidential election.
Yet, we are simply likely to confirm much of what we know: we were hacked. We are also likely to confront what many do not want to discuss: we have hacked others for years.
Until there is more evidence of a crime by United States citizens, there is little reason for a special counsel as opposed to the current investigations. We should investigate the hacking and efforts to influence our elections, certainly. But our politicians may want to leave the moral outrage and hypocrisy behind.
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and teaches a course on the Constitution and the Supreme Court.
The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.
US President Donald Trump still believes millions of people voted illegally in the November election, the White House has confirmed. The president also hinted at a major announcement on national security on Wednesday.
In a tweet on Wednesday, newly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump, said he would be asking for a “major investigation into voter fraud.”
According to Trump, the investigation would include anyone “registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and … even, those registered to vote who are dead [and many for a long time].”
“Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” Trump said.
The tweets on Wednesday came just hours after a press conference in which White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump’s belief that millions of people had voted illegally in the November election was based on “studies and evidence.” He did not, however, provide examples.
“I think he’s stated his concerns of voter fraud, and people voting illegally during the campaign, and he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.”
During the transition period after the November vote, Trump claimed he would have won the popular vote as well as the Electoral College vote that secured his victory had it not been for people voting illegally.
Trump-style populism in France
Trump repeated the claim at a reception with members of Congress on Monday evening where he told attendees that between 3 million and 5 million people cast ballots illegally, the “New York Times” reported.
State officials in charge of the election have said they found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and there has been no history of it in US elections. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the most senior Republican in Congress, said he had seen no evidence to back up Trump’s claims.
Fact-checking website Politifact debunked the claims in November, and other independent studies found that incidents of voting fraud were likely isolated and were unlikely to occur on such a large scale.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic Party nomination to Hillary Clinton, said Trump was sending a message to Republican state governors to go forward with voter suppression.
“The great political and democratic crisis we face now in this country is not voter fraud, it is voter suppression. And it is my belief we have to do everything we can to make sure that everybody in this country who is legally able to vote is able to vote,” Sanders told ABC News.
Series of policy decisions
Trump’s comments came as he made significant policy decisions in the opening days of his administration.
Since taking office on Friday, Trump has sent directives to curb the flow of information from several government agencies involved in environmental issues, issuing a media blackout for federal agencies.
On Saturday, he signed an executive order directing that the permitting process and regulatory burden for domestic manufacturers be streamlined to fix an “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible” system.
Trump is also poised to restore the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, saying he would announce his choice next week to fill the seat left vacant since the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scaliamore than 11 months ago. Three federal appeals court judges are among those under close consideration.
aw/cmk (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)
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President Jimmy Carter endorses Hillary Clinton 19 Hours Ago|02:22
PHILADELPHIA — Don’t stay at home this November, former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday night.
This “will be a very important election, one that will define for a generation who we are as a nation and as a people,” the 39th president said in a video address at the Democratic National Convention. “At a moment when it’s become more important than ever to lift people up, … we see a Republican candidate who seems to violate some of the most important moral and ethical principles on which our nation was founded.”
“We can, and must, do better,” he said.
Before Carter’s address was delivered, Hillary Clinton officially became the Democratic nominee, making her the first woman in a major U.S. political party to win the nomination.
On the road to her historic nomination, she overcame the fierce challenge by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the primaries.
Pres. Carter’s grandson: Strength will elect Hilary Clinton as president 21 Hours Ago|00:46
“We Americans have a clear choice before us. I feel proud that the two Democratic candidates, who competed through a long primary season, … comported themselves with dignity, talked about issues that matter, and presented a vision for our nation,” Carter said. “I thank Senator Sanders for energizing and bringing so many young people into the electoral process. To all of you young Americans, I say: Stay engaged, stay involved and be sure to vote this November.”
The 91-year-old Carter revealed last August that he had cancer and that it had spread to his brain. However, the drug pembrolizumab helped keep it from spreading further. In fact, the drug was so effective that researchers stopped a study on the drug, saying it worked so well they wanted to offer it to everyone in their trial.
Last November, he said he was doing well on his treatments, with no signs of more spreading.
In introducing Carter, his grandson Jason said Tuesday that “the cancer is gone.”