Posts Tagged With: News Media

Trump Made No ‘Classified’ Leak, Someone Else Did…..


The Washington Post reported Monday that President Trump revealed “highly classified” intelligence to Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during their recent meeting at the White House.

But the Post forgot to mention that the President’s conversation with Lavrov is itself among the most secret and classified matters our government holds – and the leak of key parts of that conversation is likely a crime.

This is now the third time in a short period that the president’s most secret and private discussions with a world leader have been leaked to The Washington Post.

During his first week in office, the full transcripts of President Trump’s phone conversations with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto were quickly leaked to the Post.

Such leaks are a serious and illegal attack on the presidency. They undermine the country, trust in the president and his ability to maintain global leadership.

There is a lot more of the onion to peel with this Washington Post story.

If you are watching CNN and MSNBC you may think the president committed a crime or even a horrific act of treason by sharing with the Russians secret intel and even super-secret sources.

But when we continue to peel this noxious onion we discover the facts just don’t measure up to the allegations.

The Post headlines that the president revealed “highly classified” information, suggesting this was perhaps either illegal, improper, or both.

Forgive me, but the last I checked the president is commander-in-chief.

He can decide what is a classified secret. He decides what can be shared with allies, adversaries, or even the public. That’s his decision – not some bureaucrat’s!

So, what was that intel the president shared that was so secret?

If the Post story is believed, Trump told Lavrov the U.S. had intelligence of an ISIS terror plot.

Although the Russians are not allies, we do share a similar goal to wipe out ISIS. Trump has publicly expressed the hope we can work together on this goal.

Even if Trump shared this about ISIS, the likelihood of the Russians tipping off their enemies in ISIS seems quite small.

But thanks to an illegal leak made to The Washington Post, this information is now public and certainly known to ISIS.

Is anyone concerned about this?

Having been a student of American history, I have little doubt that U.S. presidents have shared “highly classified” intelligence with friends and foes in their private discussions.

But The Washington Post makes another unfair and unsubstantiated allegation: that President Trump himself revealed the actual source of U.S. intelligence.

This is a grave allegation.

Here’s the key line from the Post: “Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat.”

Citing unnamed sources, the Post claimed Trump has “jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.”

But Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Monday, “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

Still, the Post continued its attack: “The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved.”

It’s a very big stretch to suggest that just by revealing the city of an ISIS threat to the Russians, they or anyone else could identify the source of this intelligence.

It’s not a stretch to me – or anyone with a thinking cap on – to realize when U.S. officials leak the president’s most secret conversations they are putting our national security at serious risk.

Lavrov-Trump-600-AP

Categories: Congress, Constitution, Democrats, Government Secrets, Middle East, Muslims, Politics, Trump, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FACT CHECK: A tired old gun stat still in service……


Even in its heyday, the statistic wasn’t the kind you could count on.
A finding that 30 percent to 40 percent of guns changed hands outside the background-check system was, at best, a rough guide post in the murky gun-ownership universe.
At least it was fresh.
Now it’s old and surely very tired. But President Barack Obama, some Democratic lawmakers, a coalition of mayors and others arguing for expanded background checks won’t let that statistic rest in peace.
To hear them talk, you’d think it was born yesterday, rather than 20 years ago.
OBAMA, on Jan. 16: “It’s time for Congress to require a universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. The law already requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks…. But it’s hard to enforce that law when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.”
MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS, a coalition favoring tighter gun controls, on Tuesday: “Around 40 percent of U.S. gun transfers are conducted by unlicensed ‘private sellers’ who are not required to conduct a federal check, and who often do business at gun shows and on the Internet.”
NEW YORK MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Dec. 17: “Congress should pass the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would close the ‘private sale loophole’ that allows more than 40 percent of gun sales to go through without a background check.”
REP. DAVID CICILLINE, D-R.I., Jan. 26: “More than 40 percent of sales nationally are made without background checks.”
VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, Jan. 17: “Because of the lack of the ability of federal agencies to be able to even keep records, we can’t say with absolute certainty what I’m about to say is correct. But the consensus is about 40 percent of the people who buy guns today do so outside the … background check system.”
THE FACTS:
Biden stands alone here in acknowledging he may be saying something that isn’t right.
A 1996 law pushed by the gun-rights lobby closed the spigot on federal gun research, leaving scholars, private groups and states to pick up some pieces. Only now, under a recent order by Obama, can federally financed research resume.
So it’s no wonder policymakers are grasping at shreds of moldy data. But they’re not owning up to the true vintage of their information or the shortcomings that made it questionable at the time.
The claims that gun sales made without background checks comprise “more than,” ”as many as,” ”nearly” or “about” 40 percent of all gun sales are rooted in a poll looking broadly at gun ownership in America. Sponsored by the Justice Department through a grant to the Police Foundation, the poll’s principal relevance today is as a snapshot of the way things were when it was taken, namely 1994.
The research reported on the nature of gun acquisitions made in 1993 and 1994, asking people who had obtained guns then where the guns had come from and whether they thought the source was a federally licensed dealer. Transactions through licensed dealers were considered covered by the background check system, which was just then coming into effect.
Although the survey interviewed more than 2,500 Americans, just 251 had acquired guns during that time frame, a small sampling from which to make a general conclusion.
In all, 64 percent of those respondents reported acquiring a gun from a source they thought to be a licensed dealer, suggesting that 36 percent of gun acquisitions were in the secondary and unregulated market.
But the study’s researchers found considerable ambiguity and some apparent contradictions in the responses. The poll relied, in part, on people’s best guess about whether a seller was licensed.
With a clear picture eluding them, the researchers estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of the acquisitions were off the books and would not have been subjected to a background check.
Only 4 percent of gun sales were thought to have come through gun shows or flea markets. That’s just a corner of the market, but a main concern today for those who want to expand background checks to close the “gun-show loophole,” as Obama’s proposals would do.
More than 17 percent of guns acquired in 1993 and 1994 came from a family member, according to the poll. This source of weapons would remain largely unregulated in pending Senate legislation calling for expanded checks.
Discounting family acquisitions, the percentage of gun transactions eluding background checks would be considerably less.
In contending that 40 percent of gun transfers are conducted by private sellers, often “at gun shows and on the Internet,” the mayors stretched a thin claim even thinner in their statement Tuesday.
They cited the same old study as everyone else, one done well before the spread of online commerce. The study considered purchases by mail order, 3 percent of reported gun acquisitions, but makes no mention of online transactions.

Categories: 2nd Amendment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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