Comey Testifies About Trump Meetings

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Fired FBI Director James Comey has delivered a prepared statement to Congress this week.

The statement described the six meetings Comey had with the president, some of which are considered quite unusual by analysts.

During one meeting with Trump, Comey testified, he shared with the president sensitive information of a salacious nature that had been gathered as part of the FBI’s Russia investigation. At another meeting Trump asked everyone to leave except Comey and then spoke about “letting Flynn go.”

Trump several times referred to “a cloud” being over the White House because of the Russia investigation, according to Comey, who also related that Trump told him “had not been involved with hookers in Russia,” among other references.

Trump’s attorney issued a statement that he felt vindicated because Comey had said Trump himself was not under investigation.

The Story of Michael Flynn

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The former Obama administration director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and former Trump administration National Security Advisor is back in the news this week after Sally Yates, former acting-Attorney General, testified to the Senate about his history.

She said that the Obama administration had warned Trump not to hire Flynn because Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail from Moscow because Flynn wanted to hide his dealings with Russia.

The reasons behind Flynn’s decisions are known only to him and perhaps the FBI, which is investigating Flynn and others in the Trump administration for possible collusion with Russia during the election.

Flynn was first fired by Obama in 2014.

Between that time and Trump’s candidacy, Flynn was a paid guest on RT, where he criticized the U.S. government, and even shared a table with Putin, reportedly.

During Trump’s run in 2016, Flynn was a big supporter, although he also was being paid $500,000 by Turkey to work on their behalf, reportedly. Flynn did not disclose the relationship with Turkey to the relevant authorities in the U.S. or to the Trump administration.

When Trump was elected he appointed Flynn as National Security Advisor, despite reported warnings from the Obama administration and, according to some, Obama himself, that Flynn could not be trusted because he had lied to the Trump administration about meetings Flynn had with a Russian ambassador (Sergey Kislyak, talking about lifting the sanctions currently on Russia over Crimea and Ukraine issues) during the election.

Additionally, when he was appointed by Trump to become National Security Advisor he did not disclose his dealings with Russia on his security clearance form (a federal crime).

When the Trump administration was warned by the Obama administration about Flynn, he was not fired until 2 weeks later, just after the Washington Post reported on the conversation Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador.

Washington Post, NYTimes, NYTimes, NYTimes, NBC News, Foreign Policy, CBS News

Trump Team – Three Top Positions Announced

Trump Team
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President-elect Donald Trump announced three of his picks for his top staff today: Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, and Mike Pompeo as CIA director,

The choices have generated applause and criticism, but regardless of opinions Trump’s team will be part of a significant change in government policy from the previous 8 years of President Barack Obama’s administration.

Jeff Sessions: 20 years in the Senate and well liked (on both sides of the isle), experienced conservative lawmaker, tough on immigration, law-and-order oriented. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump.

ACLU, NAAC, the largest LGBT organization, and other groups have criticized the choice of Sessions as potentially inflammatory at a time when they would prefer more racial sensitivity.

Those for and against Sessions as a pick expect Sessions will focus on disability cases, religious freedoms, and less on racial discrimination and police discrimination.

Michael Flynn: Retired Lieutenant General in the Army, top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan, became Defense Intelligence Agency head but fired in 2014, made strong statements against Obama’s stance on Islamic radical violence after being fired and about Clinton during the election.

Criticisms include Flynn’s controversial comments about Islam, his temperament, and what some claim is a somewhat friendly relationship with Russia.

Mike Pompeo: Kansas congressman, West Point and Harvard Law graduate, opponent of Iran nuclear deal, bold statements against Islamic radicalization.

Criticisms include that Pompeo could be too partizan for the non-partizan role.

Image: PBS NewsHour