The Progressive Populist: Dispatches: Trump Sets the Pace on Lies, FBI Probes Russian Ties

The following is an excellent article from the April 15, 2017 issue of The Progressive Populist on page 5 titled “Dispatches: Trump Sets the Pace on Lies, FBI Probes Russian Ties” and I quote:

“DISPATCHES

TRUMP SETS THE PACE ON LIES, FBI PROBES RUSSIAN TIES”

The Republican Party is looking more like a cult as its members accept lies told by Donald Trump, as he seeks to divert attention from the suspicious ties of members of his campaign team to Russia.

There is little question that Trump lied about President Barack Obama ordering a wiretap of Trump during the campaign. As of 3/20 PolitiFact had not rated it, though it noted (3/6), “So far, we can’t find any [reason to believe Trump].”

That was before FBI Director James Comey (3/20) told the House Intelligence Committee the FBI is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 president election, and the investigation includes looking at whether Trump’s associates were in contact with Russian officials, and colluded with them, but Comey also said, “We have no information to support” Trump’s assertion on Twitter that President Obama tapped Trump Tower.

National Security Agency director, Admiral Michael Rogers, said he had no knowledge of anyone asking the British or any other ally to wiretap Trump, refuting another claim made by the White House. Rogers then explicitly denied having any indication that Trump was wiretapped by British intelligence at the request of Obama.

Comey also fact-checked a misleading tweet from Trump’s official presidential account in real time.

At 2:25 p.m., Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) asked Comey about a tweet from the official presidential account, operated by a White House staffer, that posted at 1:42 p.m., which read, “the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process.”

It apparently took an exchange between NSA Director Rogers and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) that occurred earlier during the hearing well out of context. Rogers, whose intelligence agency focuses abroad, said he saw no evidence of actual vote tampering by Russians.

Later in the hearing, Comey confirmed that both the Democratic and Republican parties were hacked in 2016 by Russians, but that the only information released was hacked from Democrats.

Himes said, “thanks to the modern technology that’s in front of me right here I’ve got a tweet from the president an hour ago saying, ‘the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process.’ So that’s not quite accurate, that tweet.”

The FBI director said he hadn’t been following anyone on Twitter at the hearing, and Himes read it again, asking if the tweet, which went out to 16.1 mln people, was accurate.

Comey said, “it’s hard for me to react to that,” and continued, “we’ve offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact, because it’s never something that we looked at.”

“So it’s not too far of a logical leap to conclude that the assertion that you have told the Congress that there is no influence on the electoral process, is not quite right,” Himes said.

“Right,” Comey said. “It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today, because we don’t have any information on that subject, and that’s not something that was looked at.”

Recent statements by Trump rated false include his tweet (3/19) that “Germany owes … vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!” and his statement (3/16) to Tucker Carlson on Fox News that “the New York Times wrote about” Barack Obama wiretapping him during the election. The Times reported about intercepted communications used by the FBI in its investigation into some of Trump’s current and former aides — including Roger Stone, Carter Page and Paul Manafort — and their ties to Russia. It does not say Trump and his campaign were under investigation or surveillance. In fact, the author stipulates: “It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself.”

PolitiFact has rated 381 Trump statements as of 3/20 and found only 4% true, 12% mostly true, 14% half true, 20% mostly false, 33% false and 17% Pants on Fire lies. So, fully half of Trump’s fact-checked statements are lies.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is an up-and-comer in the mendacity race as he stretches the truth to gain approval of a tax cut for the wealthy under the guise of a health care reform bill. PolitiFact Wisconsin has rated Ryan’s statement (3/14) that a report from the nonpartisan CBO “confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums” as “half true,” since the premiums will rise in 2018 and 2019 but are expected to fall by 2026. It rated his statement (2/1) that “Obamacare has failed” as “mostly false” and his statement (1/18) that Obamacare “is in what the actuaries call a death spiral” as “false.”

PolitiFact Wisconsin has rated 73 Ryan statements and found 14% true, 21% mostly true, 18% half true, 27% mostly false, 10% false and 4% Pants on Fire lies.

TRUMP BUDGET HURTS HIS VOTERS. Donald Trump’s new federal budget continues a remarkable pattern of being gratuitously cruel to his own voters, Joe Romm noted at ThinkProgress.org (3/17).

The budget zeroes out the two major programs designed to help low-income and elderly Americans deal with energy costs: the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“Families receiving weatherization services see their annual energy bills reduced by an average of about $437, depending on fuel prices,” according to DOE data. In 2010, the program saved low-income families a whopping $2.1 bln. Cutting it will save $121 mln.

The program is targeted toward low-income Americans, “especially low-income persons who are particularly vulnerable such as the elderly, the disabled, and children.”

There is a huge energy burden on low-income people. “Many at the bottom continue spending 25 to 30 percent of their income or more to pay utilities,” Inside Energy reported last year.

That’s why programs like WAP and LIHEAP are so important — and why they tend to spend the most money per capita in a lot of states that voted for Trump. The L.A. Times noted in its report on the impact of the proposed House health care bill, “Americans who swept President Trump to victory — lower-income, older voters in conservative, rural parts of the country — stand to lose the most in federal health care aid under.”

Those same Americans stand to lose big-league with these cuts.

In some rural counties of Michigan and Wisconsin, elderly people on fixed income pay 40% to 50% of their income towards their home energy bill. WAP funding per capita is the highest in states that went for Trump, including both the Dakotas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio. (Maine split its electoral votes.)”

[THAT’S WHY WE MUST HAVE A GROUP LIKE POLITI-FACT THAT TAKES THE TIME TO CHECK THE COMMENTS THAT THE ELECTED OFFICIALS MAKE TO SEE IF THEY ARE ACCURATE.  THEN, OF COURSE, THE VOTERS HAVE TO USE COMMON SENSE BECAUSE MANY TIMES THAT’S THE WAY YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SEE IF THE LIE BENEFITS THE POLITICIAN AND AGAINST THE 99%.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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