“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Proverbs’ primary principle on the governance of money is found in 11:28: “He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.”
There is nothing wrong with obtaining riches, but there is a great deal wrong with trusting in them instead of trusting in the One who gives them—and who can take them away. We are warned against greed and against putting our trust in transitory things like wealth so that nothing comes between us and God.
Money is not given to us as a permanent possession and therefore should never be the object of trust. God, on the other hand, is permanent and eternal, the perfect object for our trust. Therefore, we are to trust the Giver, not the gift, when it comes to material prosperity.
If we manage what God has given, we will have enough money to give away.
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.—John 16:1, 2.
A MAN said to me some time ago: “Mr. Moody, now that I am converted, have I to give up the world?”
“No,” said I, “you haven’t to give up the world. If you give a good ringing testimony for the Son of God, the world will give you up pretty quick; they won’t want you.”
Ver. 23.—Enter thou, etc. Both these servants had doubled their capital, and the lord commends and rewards them both in the same terms. The point is that each had done his best according to his ability. Their different talents, greater or less, had been profitably employed, and so far the two were equal. Fidelity in a smaller sphere of labour may be of greater importance than in a larger area; and seemingly insignificant duties well performed may be of incalculable spiritual advantage to one’s self and to others. Differences in talents make no distinctions in rewards, if the utmost is made of them. “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12).
25:23Well done, my good and faithful servant. The master congratulates the first two slaves and heartily rewards them with additional responsibilities (cf. 24:47; 25:28–29; Luke 16:10; 19:17; m. Avot 4:2).
Let’s celebrate together! Lit., “Enter into the joy of your Lord,” which probably portrays entrance into the Kingdom and the joy of the eschatological banquet (cf. 8:11; 26:29). The greatest joy of a follower of Jesus is to share in Jesus’ joy.
25:23 the joy of your master. Both the man with 5 talents and the man with two received exactly the same reward, indicating that the reward is based on faithfulness, not results.
 Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 2, p. 478). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost?—Luke 14:28.
Ponder, my soul, over this very striking similitude of thy Lord’s, respecting the divine life. The figure of a builder is most aptly chosen; for the Christian builder is building for eternity. And the figure of a warrior, which our Lord also joins to it, is no less so, for the battle is for life, and that life is eternal. Hast thou counted the cost? Hast thou entered upon the work? Is the foundation stone, which God laid in Zion, the rock on which thou art building? Pause and examine. Be the cost what it may; the loss of earthly friends; the parting with every worldly pursuit; the scorn, contempt, and derision of all mankind; yea, the loss of life itself; if these come in the way of competition, art thou ready to give them all up? When thou hast answered these inquiries, go on, and see that thy foundation be really fixed on Christ. If so, it must have been previously sought for, by digging deep into the natural state in which thou wast born. Jesus must have been first discovered, as most essentially necessary, and most essentially precious, before the spiritual building of the soul was made to rest upon him. And, when found, unless the whole of the building rest entirely upon him, it will, as a column out of its centre, still totter. Oh! it is blessed to make Christ the all in all of the spiritual temple; blessed to make him the first in point of order; blessed to make him the first in point of strength, to support and bear the weight of the whole building; blessed to make him the grand cement, to unite and keep together, in one harmonious proportion and regularity, every part of the building; and blessed to bring forth the top stone of the building, by his strength and glory, crying “Grace, grace unto it.” Precious Jesus! may it be found that I have so sat down, counted the cost, and formed my whole plan, in thy strength, and to thy praise; that whatever oppositions, like the Tobiahs and Sanballats of old, I may meet with in the work, I may feel the sweetness and encouragement of that blessed scripture, and exult with the prophet: “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain!” (Zech. 4:7.)
Fact-checking Joe Biden leads to the undeniable conclusions that truth has no hold on him nor on many people today. And he’s supported for highest responsibility in our nation by a populace of truth averse or veracity neutral sycophants. Truth has had its tongue cut out. It’s only allowed to make indistinguishable grunts. This is the ultimate destruction of civilization, and the real and permanent pandemic. Truth matters more than anything. And it has to start with ultimate truth.
But ask anyone today “What is truth?” and you’re sure to start a contentious conversation. Try it on a university campus and you’re likely to receive laughter, scorn, and derision. The concept of truth has clearly fallen on hard times, and the consequences of rejecting it are ravaging human society. We are in a cultural battle not just for the application of truth to a political or cultural issue, but even more fundamentally to acknowledge truth itself exists.
Some might ask, why does truth matter? No one wants to be lied to, and no one wants a false response to a question that has real-world consequences. Yet many false answers instead of truth have invaded our cultural perception to the extent that the phrase “my truth” and “your truth” is commonly accepted as a correct answer. But what happens when “my truth” clashes with “your truth?”
So let’s go back to the starting point and answer the question: What is truth?
One of the most profound and eternally significant questions in the Bible was posed by an unbeliever. Pilate — the man who handed Jesus over to be crucified — turned to Jesus in His final hour, and asked, “What is truth?” It was a rhetorical question, a cynical response to what Jesus had just revealed: “I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.”
Two thousand years later, the whole world breathes Pilate’s cynicism. Some say truth is a power play, a metanarrative constructed by the elite for the purpose of controlling the ignorant masses. To some, truth is subjective, the individual world of preference and opinion. Others believe truth is a collective judgment, the product of cultural consensus, and still others flatly deny the concept of truth altogether.
So, what is truth? Here’s a simple definition drawn from what the Bible teaches: Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: Truth is the self-expression of God. That is the biblical meaning of truth. Because the definition of truth flows from God, truth is theological.
Truth is also ontological — which is a fancy way of saying it is the way things really are. Reality is what it is because God declared it so and made it so. Therefore God is the author, source, determiner, governor, arbiter, ultimate standard, and final judge of all truth.
The Old Testament refers to the Almighty as the “God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 31:5; Isaiah 65:16). When Jesus said of Himself, “I am…the truth” (John 14:6, emphasis added), He was thereby making a profound claim about His own deity. He was also making it clear that all truth must ultimately be defined in terms of God and His eternal glory. Jesus also said that the written Word of God is truth. It does not merely contain nuggets of truth; it is pure, unchangeable, and inviolable truth that (according to Jesus) “cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Of course, there cannot be any discord or difference of opinion between the written Word of God (Scripture) and the incarnate Word of God (Jesus). In the first place, truth by definition cannot contradict itself. Second, Scripture is called “the word of Christ” (Colossians 3:16). It is His message, His self-expression. In other words, the truth of Christ and the truth of the Bible are of the very same character.
Scripture also says God reveals basic truth about Himself in nature. The heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1). His other invisible attributes (such as His wisdom, power, and beauty) are on constant display in what He has created (Romans 1:20). Knowledge of Him is inborn in the human heart (Romans 1:19), and a sense of the moral character and loftiness of His law is implicit in every human conscience (Romans 2:15).
Those things are universally self-evident truths. According to Romans 1:20, denial of the spiritual truths we know innately always involves a deliberate and culpable unbelief. Note here that the phrase “self-evident truth” is how the American Founders recognized our individual rights. We cannot even decisively determine the universality of basic human rights apart from objective, self-evident truth. And for those who wonder whether basic truths about God and His moral standards really are stamped on the human heart, ample proof can be found in the long history of human law and religion.
Still, the only infallible interpreter of what we see in nature or know innately in our own consciences is the explicit revelation of Scripture. The Bible which gives us the way of salvation and an infallible account of Christ, is the touchstone to which all truth claims should be brought and by which all other truth must finally be measured.
An obvious corollary of what I am saying is that truth means nothing apart from God. Truth cannot be adequately explained, recognized, understood, or defined without God as the source. Since He alone is eternal and self-existent and He alone is the Creator of all else, He is the fountain of all truth.
If you don’t believe that, try defining truth without reference to God, and see how quickly all such definitions fail. The moment you begin to ponder the essence of truth, you are brought face to face with the requirement of a universal absolute — the eternal reality of God. Conversely, the whole concept of truth instantly becomes nonsense (and every imagination of the human heart therefore turns to sheer foolishness) as soon as people attempt to remove the thought of God from their minds.
That, of course, is precisely how the apostle Paul traced the relentless decline of human ideas in Romans 1:21-22: “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.” There are serious moral implications too, whenever someone tries to dissociate truth from the knowledge of God. Paul went on to write, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (Romans 1:28).
If you reflect on the subject with any degree of sobriety, you will soon see that even the most fundamental moral distinctions — good and evil, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, or honor and dishonor — cannot possibly have any true or constant meaning apart from God. That is because truth and knowledge themselves simply have no coherent significance apart from a fixed source, namely, God.
Elaborate epistemologies have been proposed and methodically debunked one after another — like a long chain in which every previous link is broken. After thousands of years, the very best of human philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, James, and others) have all utterly failed to account for truth and the origin of human knowledge apart from God.
In fact, the one most valuable lesson humanity ought to have learned from philosophy is that it is impossible to make sense of truth without acknowledging God as the necessary starting point.
Truth is not subjective, it is not a consensual cultural construct, and it is not an invalid, outdated, irrelevant concept. Truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is thus theological; it is the reality God has created and defined, and over which He rules. Truth is therefore a moral issue for every human being.
How each person responds to the truth God has revealed is an issue of eternal significance. How each person understands truth will naturally shape his or her views on political and cultural issues. It is not “my truth” or “your truth,” but objective, self-evident, God-given truth. To reject and rebel against the truth of God results in darkness, folly, sin, judgment, and the never-ending wrath of God. To accept and submit to the truth of God is to see clearly, to know with certainty, and to find life everlasting.
Earlier this week the US Senate Intelligence Committee released its highly anticipated report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The bipartisan report totaling just under 1,000 pages is the final volume from the Senate Intel Committee and comes just over a year after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, concluded his nearly two-year Russia investigation.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Lord, I, too, am bound to give You praise, always, for my brethren beloved by You, because from the beginning You chose us for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which You called me by the gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ. You, Lord God, have saved me and called me with a holy calling, not according to my works, but according to Your own purpose and grace which was given to me in Christ Jesus before time began. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
God, You so loved the world that You gave Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In this is love, not that I loved You, Lord God, but that You loved me and sent Your Son to be the propitiation for my sins.
What amazing and immeasurable love! May I love others as graciously as You have loved and continue to love me!
Jeremiah 31:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14; 2 Timothy 1:9; Psalm 139:16; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10
If you’re under the age of 40 and you’re reading this, chances are very good that your interest in the liberty movement was sparked by three-time presidential candidate and veteran Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Paul inspired an entire generation of Libertarians, Constitutionalists and limited-government Conservatives with his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
It might surprise you to learn that Paul is not originally from Texas, but Pittsburgh, where he was born to a dairy farmer and his wife. He graduated from Gettysburg State College in 1957, with a degree in biology. He earned his medical degree from Duke’s School of Medicine in 1961. From 1963 to 1965, he was a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force, before moving over to the Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Upon discharge, he relocated to Texas to start a private practice in obstetrics and gynecology.
While he had been reading Austrian economics and Libertarian political philosophy for years beforehand, he finally decided to run for Congress when President Richard Nixon took the nation off of the gold standard in 1971. He lost his first attempt at public office in 1974, but won a special election in 1976, losing the regular election later that year by a mere 300 votes. He defeated his opponent in 1978, serving until 1985, then again from 1997 to 2013.
He retired from Congress in 1984 to run for Senate, losing the Republican primary to Phil Gramm.
After his time in Congress, he focused on the private promotion of liberty, publishing the Ron Paul Survival Newsletter and the Ron Paul Freedom Report with Lew Rockwell, who had previously been his congressional chief of staff. He also sold precious metals under the auspices of Ron Paul Coins.
In 1988, he made his first run for the presidency as a Libertarian, defeating Native American activist Russell Means (who had previously seconded Larry Flynt in his bid for the Libertarian Party line) and coming in third nationwide. He considered running again in 1992, but instead decided to back Pat Buchanan’s campaign against President George H.W. Bush.
Coming Back to Congress
Paul returned to Congress after a 1996 election with a huge assist from friends Nolan Ryan, Steve Forbes, and Pat Buchanan.
However, it was his 2008 presidential campaign that began to change the world of liberty. There is arguably no one more responsible for the spread of the liberty movement than Ron Paul, whose 2008 campaign electrified young people who would likely have largely been Democrats previously. The average Ron Paul supporter in 2008 was not the country club Republican or movement Libertarian one might have pegged, but more likely to be a tech-savvy college kid than anything else.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee sat down with President Trump Saturday night to discuss the upcoming election, COVID-19, and an array of other topics.
Trump pointed out that the Republican National Convention, which begins on Monday will be considerably different than the Democratic National Convention that took place last week.
“It’s been very dark and they’re not talking about law and order, they’re not talking about police. They don’t want to get into it when they look at Portland, New York, or Chicago – these Democratic-run states.”
While discussing the pandemic, the president noted that he took action to stop travel from China to prevent its spread throughout the US.
He gave governors across the nation the authority to run their statesas they saw fit.
“We have 50 states and I let the 50 governors run their states. Most of them weren’t equipped. They had empty cupboards because nobody thought a thing like this could happen. Putting the ban on people heavily affected people coming in from China, long before it would have been fashionable. That was a big move. We made a lot of good moves and if you look at what’s happening…the numbers are way down.”
Prior to the pandemic, the American economy was the “greatest in the history of our country.” President Trump explained that the “ country was coming together” and that the American people will persevere.
“We created the hottest economy, best stock market, best employment numbers. We just about had 160 million people working…that never happened before. African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American – everybody was working…women, people without a high school degree, great scholars. How do you get the country together? Success,” Trump added.
Earlier this month, the president signed executive orders with the goal of improving healthcare for all Americans including those in rural areas and for senior citizens.
Improvements started by eliminating Obamacare and updating healthcare regulations.
“We got rid of the worst part of Obamacare, but we’ve run the carcass of Obamacare very well and the people are doing better than they would of done,” Trump said.
He discussed the recent breakthroughs in the Middle East, like the historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“They didn’t see that coming and when I moved the embassy to Jerusalem, Golan Heights, and then terminating the Iran deal,” he said.
Trump and Huckabee examined the ongoing riots and looting across the country, which was a subject that was absent from last week’s Democratic National Convention.
“They don’t even mention it. They don’t mention police. The fact that they’re going to take away your guns because right now people want the Second Amendment more than they’ve ever wanted it. The Second Amendment is so big. Life is so big. The Supreme Court is so big.”
And the president reiterated his support for pro-life legislation and explained on a personal level the value of life.
“I’ve seen it with a friend of mine where they were going to go the abortion route and they didn’t do it and they have one of the finest young people I’ve ever met,” he said. “I’ve seen that a number of times. It’s a beautiful thing.
“That issue can change radically, drastically if you put in just one more judge that’s on the radical left. This is going to be the most important election in the history of our country,” the president concluded.
Fox News host Maria Bartiromo has a conversation with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham about new documents he plans to share with the John Durham team asking questions about why Hillary Clinton was provided defensive briefings while Donald Trump was not.
Interestingly, and not caught by Graham or media yet…. The documents Graham released [See Here] showed the FBI approver for the Clinton defensive briefings was David Archey. [Use CTH search function] As it turns out David Archey was hand selected by the Weissmann/Mueller special counsel to head the FBI responsibilities of the special counsel probe after they could no longer use Peter Strzok.
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today released newly declassified FBI documents and communications demonstrating the Bureau’s double standard when it came to the Clinton and Trump campaigns.
According to these declassified documents and communications, in 2015 FBI leadership sought to give the Clinton campaign a defensive briefing before an FBI field office could pursue a FISA warrant related to a threat posed to the Clinton campaign by a foreign government. But in 2016 when there was a similar counterintelligence threat to the Trump campaign, FBI leadership failed to give a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign, opting instead to open the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and relentlessly pursue FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign. (more from Senate Judiciary)
And if you really want to scale it all…. remember, the FBI court battle over not releasing the “Comey Memos” and “Archey Declarations” took place in Judge Boasberg’s courtroom. Boasberg blocked the public release.
Following the release of recently declassified documents, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., says he believes the FBI showed a double standard in its investigations into reports of foreign interference at the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and now-President Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
It should be clear to you at this point that the American left is insane.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows joined anti-Trumper Chris Wallace today on FOX News Sunday.
During the interview Wallace asked Mark Meadows what is on all of our minds — Will the Trump White House disavow the “dangerous” Q-movement?
Mark Meadows handed little Chrissy a much needed spanking.
Mark Meadows: “I can tell you you’ve spent more time talking on it, Chris, than we have in the White House. I find it appalling that the media, when we have all of the important things that are going on, a list of top 20s, that the first question at a press briefing would be about QAnon that I actually had to GOogle to figure out what it is. It’s not a central part of what the president is talking about. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t even know if it’s credible… Don’t spend time on something 80% of Republicans don’t even know what you’re talking about!”
John Brennan claims he’s not the subject of a criminal investigation and John Durham told him so. However, it’s more likely Brennan committed perjury numerous times in their eight hour get-together on Friday.
As we reported yesterday, John Brennan is the king of corrupt spin. It looks like all things related to the Trump – Russia collusion fairy tale go back to Brennan. The interactions between the US and foreign entities most likely involved the CIA and lead back to Brennan. It’s all Brennan. This is why it’s puzzling when you hear the word on the street that Brennan is not the subject of the Durham investigation.
We know that the fact that the Durham team is now interviewing Brennan indicates they are near the end of their investigation.
Brennan is at the top. An investigation like this starts at the bottom and works its way up. By the time Durham interviews Brennan, the underlings have been thoroughly reviewed and hopefully all facts have been laid out.
Some participants are likely talking. We reported in an interview on the Howie Carr show in April with former US Attorney Joe DiGenova that Obama FBI General Counsel James Baker was singing like a bird.
DiGenova discussed the Durham investigation and said that Durham was building a conspiracy case and anyone who lied to the court will be indicted for obstruction of justice charges:
The bottom line is this, it’s unfolding and what’s happening is, what Durham is actually doing is he’s painting a picture and not everyone of these acts is going to be a specific separate crime. But they are going to be, what’s called overt acts in a conspiracy. One to defraud the United States government. One to deny the civil rights of Trump and Flynn and Page and a bunch of other people.
At the 8:55 mark diGenova droped another bomb when discussing the notes that were released that show the government was actively working to frame General Flynn:
DiGenova: You know Baker is now working with Durham. James Baker the former General Counsel.
Carr: He’s flipped?
DiGenova: Who was a target, is now understandably cooperating because he was looking at a boat load of criminal charges. Once these notes were discovered, and by the way, these were the notes that [FBI Director] Chris Wray and Dana Boente did not want turned over.
John Brennan does not likely know all who talked to Durham or what was said. If he does he may be engaged in more crimes.
There are several reasons to read this message with a “jaundiced eye” and to recognize the ulterior motives for it.
First, it’s not Brennan’s statement. Shapiro issued the statement to Obama Administration scribe Natasha Bertrand at Politico — guaranteed to dutifully publish anything requested of her by a former Obama era intelligence official now living in fear. Shapiro then posted a string of eight Tweets on Twitter with the same text.
Both are devoid of any words actually spoken by Brennan — there are no quotations — nor is there any support offered for Shapiro’s claims by anyone actually in the room, such as Brennan’s attorneys.
If John Brennan offered any false answers to the investigators during the interview, the venue for that “false statement” crime is in the EDVA, not in DC federal court.Zerohedge also notes the likelihood that Brennan was the subject of the investigation and concludes:
John Durham and his team did not come to the decision to interview Brennan over the course of eight hours for the purpose of “filling in the blanks” on “events that are under review.”
The purpose of the interview was to get Brennan to confirm or deny information that others have provided up to this point about Brennan, and what he instructed others to do.
John Brennan was placed into a perjury trap yesterday because he’s shown himself willing to perjure himself in the past in order to evade scrutiny.
Former CIA Director John Brennan was interviewed for eight hours on Friday as part of the investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Durham is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and the CIA and FBI’s intelligence-gathering activities.
According to an adviser for Brennan, Durham asked the ex-CIA chief about intelligence-related activities before the 2016 election, as well as about an Intelligence Community Assessment about Russian meddling in the election.
John Durham, the U.S. attorney investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, told former CIA director John Brennan on Friday that he is not a target of the investigation, according to an adviser for the former spy chief.
Nick Shapiro, the Brennan adviser, said that Durham asked Brennan questions on a “wide range of intelligence-related activities,” including CIA actions before the 2016 election and the agency’s role in crafting an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that said that the Russian government interfered in the election in order to help Donald Trump win the presidency.
The interview took place at CIA headquarters and lasted eight hours, according to Shapiro.
“Brennan was informed by Mr. Durham that he is not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation and that he is only a witness to events that are under review,” Shapiro said in a statement on Twitter.
According to Shapiro, Brennan asked Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, why the ICA was being scrutinized even after the special counsel’s office and the Senate Intelligence Committee affirmed its findings.
“Brennan also told Durham that the repeated efforts of Donald Trump & William Barr to politicize Mr. Durham’s work have been appalling & have tarnished the independence & integrity of the Department of Justice, making it difficult for DoJ professionals to carry out their job,” Shapiro said.
Durham is conducting a sprawling investigation into several aspects of the intelligence activities carried out against Trump associates before the 2016 election and during the presidential transition period.
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty in the Durham probe on Wednesday to making false statements by altering an email from a CIA analyst in June 2017 to say that Carter Page, a former Trump aide, was “not a source” for the spy agency. Page was what’s called an operational contact for the CIA through 2013.
While it is unclear what aspects of the ICA Durham is investigating, questions have been raised about how information from the Steele dossier ended up in the document, which the Obama White House released on Jan. 6, 2017.
FBI officials, including James Comey and Andrew McCabe, lobbied aggressively to include information from the dossier in the ICA. Officials and analysts at the CIA did not want to use the information because they found it unreliable. One CIA analyst said that the agency considered the dossier to be “Internet rumor,” according to a Justice Department inspector general’s report.
One CIA analyst told the Senate Intelligence Committee that a “bitter dispute” ensued between the agency and FBI over the dossier information. The FBI eventually got its way, and a two-page summary of the dossier was included as an appendix in the ICA.
FBI officials knew at the time of the debate that were concerns about the credibility of the dossier and its author, Christopher Steele.
According to the Justice Department IG report, Bill Priestap, the FBI’s chief of counterintelligence through 2018, had been told by his British counterparts that Steele sometimes showed questionable judgement.
But Priestap withheld that assessment from some of his FBI colleagues and CIA analysts working on the ICA, according to the IG report. Priestap instead told the CIA that Steele was “reliable.”
Attorney General William Barr has said Durham is also investigating whether Russian intelligence operatives somehow fed disinformation to Steele.
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White House chief of staff Mark Meadows blasted Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for giving a “dark speech” at last week’s Democratic convention, but was even more critical of his political record.
Here are 45 questions the media should ask Joe Biden and Kamala Harris if they ever agree to hold a press conference.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will appear in their first joint media interview on Sunday after accepting their party’s nominations this week.
However, unlike President Trump, Biden and Harris have thus far declined to take questions from the media in an open joint press conference where no questions or topics are off-limits.
In the event that such a press availability arises, here are 45 questions the media should ask them. This list is by no means exhaustive.
QUESTIONS FOR JOE BIDEN:
1. Why did members of your family keep getting lucrative business opportunities overseas while you were vice president?
2. How did your brother, Frank, secure $45,000,000 in taxpayer loans from the Obama administration for his Caribbean projects?
3. How did a newly-minted firm employing your other brother, James, receive a $1.5 billion contract to build homes in Iraq despite having no experience in construction or international development?
4. Why did your son Hunter accompany you on your official trip to Beijing in December 2013? What did he do on that trip? Who did he meet with? What should the American public make of the fact that just 10 days after this trip, your son’s boutique private equity firm secured a $1 billion investment deal from the state-owned bank of China (later expanded to $1.5 billion) despite having no prior experience in China, and with this deal, the Chinese government granted your son’s firm a first-of-its-kind arrangement to operate in the the recently formed Shanghai Free-Trade Zone—a perk not granted to any of the large established financial institutions?
5. Should the American public be concerned that your son’s private equity firm partnered with a Chinese government-owned aerospace and defense conglomerate to facilitate the purchase of an American company that produced strategically sensitive dual-use military technology that the Chinese government wanted?
6. Does your “Build Back Better” proposal contain any provisions to ensure that American taxpayer-funded technology is not bought off by Chinese state-backed enterprises working with private equity firms like your son’s?
7. Back in 2000, you voted in favor of giving permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) to China. At the time, you said that this would not lead to “the collapse of the American manufacturing economy” because China is “about the size of the Netherlands” and could not possibly become “our major economic competitor.” Furthermore, you predicted that free trade with China would establish “a path toward ever greater political and economic freedom” for the people of China. Do you still stand by these statements today after 3.4 million American jobs have been lost to China and millions of China’s citizens have been imprisoned, surveilled, disappeared, and used as slave labor by an increasingly authoritarian regime enriched by 20 years of record trade imbalances from flagrant trade violations?
8. The People’s Republic of China has a bold plan called “Made in China 2025” to dominate the key technologies of the future in order to overtake the United States militarily and economically. Do you still contend that China is “not competition for us”?
9. Why did youpromote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to financial special interest groups when research was clear that the deal would make it easier for corporations to move U.S. jobs overseas?
10. Do you believe Xi Jinping kept his promise to Barack Obama to end cyber-espionage against the United States? If not, what are you prepared to do about it?
11. Do you accept that the coronavirus originated in China? Do you think China was honest with the world in its handling of the coronavirus? Are you satisfied with China’s explanations for how it spread? Do you believe their claims about the number of cases and fatalities in China?
12. Do you think China should be held responsible in any way for its handling of the coronavirus? If not, why not? What, if any, repercussions should there be for China in its handling of the coronavirus?
13. Did you suggest investigating Michael Flynn under the Logan Act, as Peter Strzok’s notes suggest?
14. You said in your DNC acceptance speech that America is ready to “do the hard work of rooting out our systemic racism.” What did you do in your 36 years as a U.S. senator and 8 years as vice president to root out systemic racism? Why didn’t it work?
15. You have called for “revolutionary institutional changes.” What does that mean in practice?
16. You have vowed to rescind the Trump tax cuts. Can you think of a single example of a country that recovered from a recession by raising taxes?
QUESTIONS FOR KAMALA HARRIS:
17. Why did you refuse to prosecute even one sexual abuse case involving the Catholic Church in San Francisco when you were attorney general, despite the pleas of victims’ groups?
18. Also, why did your attorney general’s office refuse to release the documents obtained from the San Francisco archdiocese with all the information about priests accused of sexual abuse? Victims’ rights groups have criticized your office for deliberately burying these documents and thereby covering up the crimes and leaving the public unprotected. Why did you do this? The San Francisco district attorney’s office claimed in 2019 that they no longer have these documents in their possession. What happened to them? How can you claim to be a defender of children when you declined to prosecute the abusers of children?
19. Why did your office decline to investigate the health supplement fraud cases involving companies your husband’s law firm represented? Did you, as California’s attorney general, ever purposefully decline investigating or prosecuting clients of your husband’s law firm?
20. You said you believed the women accusing Joe Biden of inappropriate touching. Do you believe Tara Reade? If not, why not? If so, how do you justify supporting him now?
21. You once attacked a judicial nominee on the basis of his membership in the Catholic fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus, which is the largest fraternal organization in the world and includes among its past and present members many prominent Americans like President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA), and Vince Lombardi. Do you believe that being a member of the Knights of Columbus disqualifies a person from holding public office? Would you refuse to hire someone on the basis of their membership in the Knights of Columbus or any other Catholic organization? In your questioning of this Catholic judicial nominee, you singled out the issue of the Catholic teaching on the sanctity of life. Would you disqualify a job applicant on the basis of their Catholic beliefs, including their beliefs about abortion? Do you believe that being pro-life disqualifies someone from employment?
22. Why did you single out journalist David Daleiden for prosecution for undercover journalism that others do without penalty?
23. Your chief-of-staff, Karine Jean-Pierre, wrote an op-ed last year attacking the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and Americans who associate with it, stating “You cannot call yourself a progressive while continuing to associate yourself with an organization like AIPAC that has often been the antithesis of what it means to be progressive.” Do you believe that pro-Israel activism is incompatible with progressive values?
24. The Biden campaign has adopted a version of the Green New Deal that calls for 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035. California has adopted similar “green” goals, but now it can’t keep the lights on due to the state’s reliance on wind and solar energy. California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson admitted this week that the Golden State needs a “backup” plan for energy because the current blackouts caused by lack of wind and overcast skies have shown the danger of relying solely on “green” energy. Why would the nation fare any better than sunny breezy California in keeping the lights on if we adopt 100 percent renewable energy?
25. You said in the past that we “need to hold China accountable” for trade violations, but you are against the use of tariffs. How do you intend to hold China accountable? You also said that “we need to export American products, not American jobs.” How do you intend to make sure we don’t export more American jobs to China? How would your policy differ significantly from the same policies that led to the loss of 3.4 million jobs to China?
QUESTIONS FOR BIDEN OR HARRIS:
26. You both supported the George Floyd protests, which you claimed were peaceful. Have you spoken to any victims of the riots — people who lost loved ones or businesses?
27. Do you believe that the looting of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago was a “form of reparations,” as one Chicago Black Lives Matter organizer claimed? Is looting an appropriate form of protest as a means of reparations?
28. Seattle Black Lives Matter protesters stormed a neighborhood last week, demanding that residents “get the f*** out” and “give black people back their homes” as reparations. Do you support that style of protest?
29. If elected, would you object if protesters decided to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square across from the White House? What about statues to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington? Would you be willing to sign a written pledge to protect our national monuments and statues?
30. What is the maximum number of illegal immigrants you would allow into the country before securing the border to stop more from entering?
31. The Obama administration deported an estimated 3 million illegal aliens. Was that a bad thing?
32. With 30 million Americans unemployed due to the coronavirus, would you support a halt on work visas for foreign workers competing with Americans for jobs?
33. Do you still support a ban on fracking? If so, what do you say to the estimated 7.5 million American jobs that will be lost due to such a ban, which includes an estimated 550,000 jobs lost in Pennsylvania, 500,000 jobs lost in Ohio, 363,000 jobs lost in North Carolina, 353,000 jobs lost in Colorado, and 233,000 jobs lost in Michigan?
34. Wall Street has praised the choice of Kamala Harris as VP. Why do you think financial special interests support her so much?
35. Will you be following the advice of your Wall Street and Silicon Valley donors in negotiating with China? If not, whose advice would you seek out in negotiating with China?
37. Do you support China’s actions in Xinjiang province where an estimated 3 million predominantly Uyghur Muslims are imprisoned in what the Pentagon has described as “concentration camps”? Are you concerned about the fact that Hunter Biden’s China-backed private equity firm invested heavily in the surveillance technology used to spy on the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province?
38. Do you disagree with how the Trump administration is handling Huawei? Do you think Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou should be extradited to the United States for trial?
39. Do you believe China’s Belt and Road Initiative is a form of colonialism or is it a good program that Third World nations should sign up for?
40. What are you prepared to do if China invades Taiwan or uses military force to assert its claims in the South China Sea?
41. Do you believe the U.S. should return to the Iran nuclear deal? Would you make further concessions to Iran to secure that? Do you believe the Iranian regime should be allowed to buy weapons again?
42. Are you pleased with the results of the Obama administration’s intervention in Libya?
43. Why did the Islamic State fold up so much more quickly under Trump than the Obama administration predicted?
44. Would you advise Arab nations to follow the UAE’s lead and make peace with Israel, or should they hold out for big concessions to the Palestinians?
45. Should the United States apologize for demanding NATO partners meet their financial commitments? If not, why didn’t the Obama administration ever do that?
Rebecca Mansour is a Senior Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News. Follow her on Twitter at @RAMansour.