Bill O’Reilly: The swamp fights back

'The O'Reilly Factor': Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points 2/16
NOW PLAYINGThe swamp fights back

Donald Trump, [was] largely elected president because he promised to reform Washington. Millions of Americans are fed up with intellectually dishonest politicians were not looking up for them.

Mr. Trump portrayed the nation’s capital as a swamp. Here’s what he said on November 7 in Sarasota, Florida:

“I want the entire corrupt Washington establishment to hear the words we all are about to say. When we win tomorrow, we are going to drain the swamp!”

But for every action, there is a reaction. And the law of unintended consequences is now hitting President Trump. And that’s because the swamp is inhabited by many different creatures — some of whom want to destroy the president.

Right now, the national media despises Mr. Trump, as we have pointed out, and backed up with facts.

Also, some folks working for the federal government want to damage the president. – That’s why you are seeing the leaks from intelligence agencies and other federal bureaucracies.

Now, all presidents have to deal with leaks. But in this political climate, the press gleefully, gleefully accepts information from anonymous sources and spins it negative against Trump.

As we pointed out on Wednesday night, the public and press don’t know what General Michael Flynn said to the Russian ambassador. We will know. But we don’t now.

Also, whether there is any truth to allegations that people working on the Trump campaign had meaningful contact with the Russia government. We don’t know.

Here’s what civil rights activist Al Sharpton said on February 15 on the Tom Joyner radio show:

“If there was dialogue and negotiations with the Russians, with the Russians, which is clearly against the law, and clearly an act that cannot be pardoned. If the president knew while it was going on, and it did not stop it, or in some way authorized it, that can be impeachable.”

That’s just bull.

It’s not against the law for anyone to talk with any Russian. General Flynn had no power other than being a private citizen, when the call with the Russian ambassador to took place. In order for him to have committed a crime, he would have had to attempt to formally attempt to undermine the Obama administration’s Russian policy. So Sharpton is full of it, as always.

Now, there is a report Thursday that says General Flynn may have lied to the FBI. And we’ve mentioned that. If it’s true, that is a crime. So, we’ll see.

As “Talking Points” reported last night, there are two goals here. First, to leak the Trump campaign to the Russian hackers, who disrupted the Clinton campaign. And the second, to try to prove that President-elect Trump was undermining President Obama on Russian policy back in December. That is what the media goal is, that’s what they want.

Also, as we said Wednesday night, if there’s truth to those allegations, they should be taken very seriously, when the facts are presented.

When President Trump first mentioned draining the swamp in Washington, I don’t believe he understood how extensive the problem really is. After eight years of President Obama, there are many people working in the federal government who like the former president and who despise Mr. Trump.
Eliminating all of them, and stopping the leaks, would pretty much be impossible. Also, trying to get fairness out of the anti-Trump press is impossible, as well.

So, the Trump administration has its hands full.

Adapted from Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” on February 16, 2017.

US sanctions Iran after missile test

 

File photo, released by semi-official Iranian Students News Agency, of a long-range S-200 missile fired in a military drill in the port city of BushehrImage copyrightAP
Image captionFile photo from December 2016, provided by an Iranian news agency, of a missile being fired

The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on Iran following its recent ballistic missile test.

The US Treasury Department announced the measures against 13 people and a dozen companies on Friday.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier: “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”

But Iran has said it will not yield to “useless” American threats from “an inexperienced person”.

John Smith, the Treasury Department’s acting sanctions chief, said in a statement: “Iran’s continued support for terrorism and development of its ballistic missile programme poses a threat to the region, to our partners worldwide and to the United States.”

Grey line

US approach changes – Kim Ghattas, BBC News

President Obama may have sanctioned Iran for its missile test a year ago as well, but President Trump’s sanctions come in a very different context and from a very different team.

This administration is filled with officials whose are fixated on Iran, such as National Security Advisor Michael Flynn or Defence Secretary James Mattis.

Mr Obama focused on fostering a tone that wouldn’t jeopardise the Islamic Republic’s commitment to the nuclear deal. He rarely referred to Iran’s paramilitary activities in the region.

But the Treasury Department’s mention on Friday of “Iran’s malign activity abroad” was a reference to Iranian support for Shia militias and involvement in countries such as Syria and Iraq.

There may be still be echoes of Obama’s policies here, but the whole framework of the approach has changed and Mr Trump and his team are signalling clearly they want to cut Iran to size.

Grey line

Some of the newly sanctioned groups are based in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and China, and include members of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Media captionIran ‘put on notice’, says White House

They are the first Iran sanctions of Mr Trump’s new presidency, and come a day after he said “nothing is off the table” in dealing with the country.

Oil prices rose on Friday morning, as markets factored in the announcement.

This week, the US national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said the administration was putting Iran “on notice” for its medium-range missile test.

The White House said the launch had violated a UN Security Council resolution proscribing missiles that could carry a nuclear device.

But Tehran said it was the US sanctions that violated the UN resolution, which endorsed the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the Islamic Republic was unmoved by US threats.

“Will never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defence,” Mr Zarif wrote.

The Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, applauded Mr Trump on his administration’s “swift and decisive response”, in a statement on Twitter.

More than a dozen US senators from both main parties wrote on Thursday to the president, urging “full enforcement of existing sanctions and the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran”.

The USS Cole, a Navy destroyer, has reportedly moved closer to Yemen to monitor an Iran-aligned militiaImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe USS Cole, a Navy destroyer, has reportedly moved closer to Yemen to monitor an Iran-aligned militia

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s senior military advisor, Brigadier General Ahmed al Assiri, told the BBC it was time to change Iran’s behaviour in the region.

Speaking in the Saudi capital Riyadh, he said Tehran’s involvement in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen must be stopped.

Gen Assiri, who advises the Saudi defence minister, said Iran must be “brought back to its borders”.

Iran – long an arch-foe of Saudi Arabia – says its presence across the region is always at the request of the governments.

The sanctions came as the US moved a Navy destroyer closer to the coast of Yemen to guard waterways from the Iran-aligned Houthi militia, Reuters news agency reports.

Also on Friday, Iran announced a ban against US wrestlers from competing at a championship in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah later this month.

The ban was in response to Mr Trump’s executive order temporarily barring travel to the US for Iranian citizens, as well as citizens of six other majority-Muslim countries.

Donald Trump: US must greatly expand nuclear weapons

President-elect Donald Trump in Mobile, AlabamaImage copyrightAP

Donald Trump has called for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear arsenal.

The president-elect, who takes office next month, said the US must take such action “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.

He spoke hours after President Vladimir Putin said Russia needs to bolster its military nuclear potential.

The US has 7,100 nuclear weapons and Russia has 7,300, according to the US nonpartisan Arms Control Association.

Trump tweetImage copyrightTWITTER

Mr Trump’s announcement, which came via Twitter, was published in a string of several tweets on Thursday morning.

Mr Trump also wrote to criticise a resolution being considered at the UN and to reiterate his vow to “drain the swamp” – a reference to corruption in Washington DC.

His tweet came only hours after President Putin met with his military advisers to recap Russian military activities in 2016.

Putin meeting with military guysImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionRussia is stronger than any potential foe, Mr Putin told his advisers

“We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence systems,” Mr Putin said.

Russia, he added “must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders”, possibly referring to US missile defences in eastern Europe which the Pentagon says are to counter Iran.

During Mr Trump’s campaign he referred to nuclear proliferation as the “single biggest problem” facing the world, but also said he could not rule out using nuclear weapons against Europe.

Mr Trump’s defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton repeatedly cast her opponent during the campaign as too erratic and lacking in the diplomatic skills required to avoid a nuclear war.

She mocked him by saying “a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes”.


A new era dawns: By Laura Bicker, BBC News, Washington DC

This is a radical departure from President Obama’s current policy.

Mr Trump has offered no further details on his plans but he has hinted in the past that he favoured an expansion of the nuclear programme.

He was asked in interviews whether he would use weapons of mass destruction against an enemy and he said that it would be an absolute last stance, but he added that he would want to be unpredictable.

In contrast, President Obama has talked of the US commitment to seek peace and security without nuclear weapons.

He has sought to reduce the nation’s arsenal of nearly 5,000 warheads in favour of more special operations forces and precise tactical strikes.

But in 29 days the nuclear codes and the nation’s defence policy will no longer be in his hands.


In interviews before his surprise victory Mr Trump said that other countries should spend more on their own defence budgets, and forgo US protection, because “we can’t afford to do it anymore”.

He has said he is in favour of countries such as Japan and South Korea developing nuclear weapons “because it’s going to happen anyway”.

Media captionWhich countries have nuclear weapons?

“It’s only a question of time,” he told the New York Timed editorial board, adding that “they’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.”

Mr Trump is spending the festive season at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has been meeting with campaign advisers.

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US election: Obama calls Trump’s election rhetoric ‘dangerous’

Media captionTrump says will accept result ‘if I win’

President Barack Obama has said Republican Donald Trump’s insistence that he might not accept the election result is “dangerous”.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Miami for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the president said Mr Trump’s comments undermined American democracy.

Mr Trump refused in a televised debate to say he would accept the outcome of the election on 8 November.

He later said he would accept a “clear” result but left a challenge open.

Speaking in Ohio on Thursday, Mr Trump said, with a grin: “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election – if I win.”

In the same speech, he said he would accept a clear election result but reserved the right to file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable one.

Hours later, the president said that sowing the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of US elections provided a boost to the country’s enemies.

“You’re doing the work of our adversaries for them, because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters,” said Mr Obama.

Mr Trump has been heavily criticised by many in his own party by suggesting he might not accept the election result.

For days, he has claimed the election is rigged against him, due to media bias and voter fraud.

Media captionPresidential debate: The moment Trump v Clinton turned nasty

During Wednesday night’s debate with Mrs Clinton, when moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr Trump if he would accept losing to her, the Republican nominee said he would “keep you in suspense”.

Mr Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, later insisted that the candidate had meant he would not concede until the “results are actually known”.

Republican Senator John McCain, who lost to Mr Obama eight years ago, said: “A concession isn’t just an exercise in graciousness. It is an act of respect for the will of the American people, a respect that is every American leader’s first responsibility.”

First Lady Michelle Obama also joined the attack on Thursday, saying “you do not keep American democracy in suspense”.


With the Clinton camp – Kim Ghattas, BBC News

Hillary Clinton walked on to her campaign plane to the cheering and clapping of her aides.

She told reporters she was relieved and grateful and joked there would be “no more naps”- a reference to Trump’s repeated description of her prep days off the campaign trail as naps.

Mrs Clinton’s stand-in for Mr Trump during the mock debates was one of her close aides, Philippe Reines, who took the role so seriously that he wore Trump cufflinks, shoe lifts and the same red tie as Mr Trump. After the debate, Mrs Clinton and Mr Reines embraced and he called her a “badass hombre”.

Clinton aides said she would continue to highlight Mr Trump’s refusal to pledge he would accept the results of the election. But would it be a real crisis on election day? Not if the result was a decisive win, they seemed to quietly indicate.

If Mrs Clinton and her team felt that she had closed the deal on stage, they kept their confidence in check. But the mood on the plane was certainly relaxed.


President Barack ObamaImage copyrightEUROPEAN PHOTOPRESS AGENCY
Image captionMr Obama also criticised

At the Ohio rally, Mr Trump also reiterated a claim he made during the debate, that Mrs Clinton and President Obama were responsible for inciting violence at a Chicago rally earlier this year.

The crowd erupted into cheers of: “Lock her up!”

During the debate, he called Mrs Clinton a “nasty woman”.

Mr Trump has trailed Mrs Clinton in the polls after facing damaging fallout over a video that emerged of him making obscene remarks about groping women.

When asked to address the allegations made against him by several women in the wake of the video, Mr Trump said the claims had been “largely debunked”.

Mr Trump’s comments come after a 10th woman came forward to accuse him of sexual assault on Thursday at a news conference.

Karena Virginia said Mr Trump allegedly touched her breast at the US Open in 1998 and made offensive comments about her to a group of men.

The two candidates are scheduled to appear at a charity dinner on Thursday night in New York.

Polls suggest Mrs Clinton is ahead nationally and in key battleground states.


What happens next?

  • The two candidates will spend the remaining 18 days before the election criss-crossing the US in their bid to persuade undecided voters. Expect to see lots of appearances in battleground states such as Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania.
  • Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday 8 November to decide who becomes the 45th President of the United States
  • The new president will be inaugurated on 20 January 2017

More on the US election

Clinton Holds 11-Point National Lead Over Trump: NBC/WSJ Poll

by MARK MURRAY

PlayTrump Doubles Down That Election is ‘Rigged’ as Latest NBC News/WSJ Poll Shows Support Falling
Trump Doubles Down That Election is ‘Rigged’ as Latest NBC News/WSJ Poll Shows Support Falling 3:52
Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump by double digits with just over three weeks until Election Day, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted entirely after the second presidential debate.

In a four-way race, Democrat Clinton holds an 11-point lead over Republican Trump among likely voters, 48 percent to 37 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 7 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent.


OCT 16 2016, 9:51 AM ETFACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL
In a two-way contest without Johnson and Stein, Clinton is ahead by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.


OCT 16 2016, 9:53 AM ETFACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL
An earlier NBC/WSJ poll — conducted two days after 2005 video surfaced of Trump making vulgar comments to describe kissing and groping women — found Clinton leading by double digits among likely voters. But after another day of polling taken immediately after the Oct. 9 debate, the entire Oct. 8-10 poll showed Clinton’s lead at nine points in the four-way contest (46 percent to 37 percent) and 10 points in a head-to-head race (50 percent to 40 percent).

To put Clinton’s current 11-point lead into perspective, Barack Obama beat John McCain by seven points nationally in 2008. And Obama’s margin of victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 was four points.

Claims ‘Election is Rigged,’ Challenges Hillary to Drug Test Facebook Twitter Google Plus Embed
Trump Claims ‘Election is Rigged,’ Challenges Hillary to Drug Test 3:31
“Donald Trump’s chances of winning this election have faded,” says Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research Associates, which conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff and his firm Public Opinion Strategies.

“This poll is showing the writing on the wall,” Yang adds.

And the Republican McInturff observes that Trump “is in a weaker position than in September,” and that his numbers in the poll don’t align with anyone who has gone on to win a presidential election.

Clinton Up By 20 Pts Among Women

Looking inside the numbers of the two-way horse race, Clinton holds a 20-point lead among female voters (55 percent to 35 percent), while Trump is ahead among men by just three points (48 percent to 45 percent).

Clinton also has the advantage among African Americans (86 percent to 9 percent), non-white voters (76 percent to 16 percent) and those ages 18-34 (54 percent to 36 percent).

Trump, meanwhile, holds the edge among independents (41 percent to 36 percent) and white voters (51 percent to 40 percent). But there is a difference among whites: Those without college degrees prefer Trump by a 56 percent-to-36 percent margin, while those with college degrees break evenly between Trump and Clinton, 45 percent to 45 percent.

Access Hollywood video of Trump is the 4th-most recognized story in history of NBC/WSJ poll

As for the 2005 video of Trump talking about women in vulgar and crude terms, 95 percent of voters say they saw, read or heard about that news story – which is the fourth-most recognized story in the history of the NBC/WSJ poll (behind the Orlando terrorist attack, the spread of Ebola in West Africa and the Ebola patient in Dallas).

But just 32 percent say that the video disqualifies Trump from being president and believe that he should with withdraw from the race, versus 53 percent who disagree.

Did the debates make a difference?

Additionally in the NBC/WSJ poll, 31 percent of voters said the presidential debates made them more likely to back Hillary Clinton, versus 14 percent who said they made them more likely to support Trump.

Fifty-two percent said the debates made no difference.

The final presidential debate takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Trump leads (narrowly) on trade, economy; Clinton ahead on being a commander-in-chief and women’s issues

On the issues, more voters say Trump would do a better job protecting America’s interests on trade issues (by 46 percent to 43 percent). And he holds a one-point advantage on dealing with the economy (44 percent say Trump would do a better job, compared with 43 percent who say Clinton would).

But Clinton has the advantage on the other issues – making appointments to the Supreme Court (48 percent to 38 percent), changing the country for the better (44 percent to 36 percent), being a good commander-in-chief (52 percent to 32 percent) and dealing with issues of concern to women (67 percent to 17 percent).

When it comes to personal characteristics, Clinton leads on having the right temperament to be president (59 percent to 23 percent), while Trump narrowly leads on being honest and straightforward (38 percent to 34 percent).

Democrats don’t look as strong down the ballot

Despite Clinton’s double-digit lead over Trump in the presidential race, the NBC/WSJ poll finds a closer contest down the ballot. Forty-six percent of registered voters prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, while 44 percent want a Republican-controlled Congress.

That two-point advantage for Democrats is down from six points in the earlier NBC/WSJ poll (48 percent to 42 percent).

Among likely voters in new poll, 47 percent want a Democratic-controlled Congress and 44 percent want a GOP-controlled one.

By a 53 percent-to-40 percent margin, the poll also finds registered voters saying they’d be more likely to support a Republican candidate who will be a check and balance to Hillary Clinton and congressional Democrats, versus a Democratic candidate who will help Clinton and Democrats pass their agenda.

53 percent approve of Obama’s job as president

Finally, the NBC/WSJ poll finds President Obama’s job-approval rating at 53 percent among registered voters, which is up one point from last month.

It’s the six-straight month where the president’s rating has been above 50 percent in the poll, and it’s his highest rating since Dec. 2012, after he won re-election four years ago.

The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Oct. 10-13 of 1,000 registered voters – via both cell phones and landline phones – and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points. Among the poll’s 905 likely voters, the margin of error is plus-minus 3.3 percentage points.

Mark Murray
MARK MURRAY
TWITTER
TOPICS FIRST READ, 2016 ELECTION
FIRST PUBLISHED OCT 16 2016, 8:59 AM ET
NEXT STORY The 2016 Race Has Been Amazingly Stable

 

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