2016 Presidential Election

Strzok testifies

Featured image Peter Strzok appeared today before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. The event lived up to expectations in its contentiousness. Here are a few highlights, with commentary. Immediately after the opening statements, Trey Gowdy, House Oversight Committee Chairman, asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the first eight days of the FBI’s Russia investigation (between July 31 and Aug. 8, 2016). Strzok responded that he »

A Happy Walk Down Memory Lane

Featured image As we wait for President Trump to announce his Supreme Court nomination, we can while away a couple of minutes with this montage from election night, tweeted by Trump this morning. Good times, good times! They just didn't get it, but they do now! pic.twitter.com/9T50NupkDy — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2018 I disagree with the president in one respect: I think the Democrats still don’t get it. Hence »

Intel committee concludes…

Featured image Today comes word that the Senate Intelligence Committee has affirmed the conclusion of the intelligence community that Russia developed a “clear preference” for then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election and sought to help him win the White House. Here, for example, is the Hill’s report on the committee findings, with the note that the committee’s assessment, announced in an unclassified summary released today, “represents a direct repudiation of the »

What If . . .

Featured image Counterfactual history—i.e., what if John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated?, etc—is a popular though fatuous genre. “What is, is singular,” Churchill wrote; “What might have been is infinite.” Quite true, but over the weekend in my item “Five Ways to Think About the IG Report” I offered a contingent counterfactual that Joe Biden might—I emphasize might—have beaten Trump if Biden had been the nominee instead of Hillary. This speculation »

Hillary Responds to IG Report

Featured image I’ve been on the move all day and haven’t had a chance to dip into the IG report on the FBI’s behavior during the 2016 election campaign that was released today, but I did catch up with Hillary Clinton’s response. It is three words long. Here it is: It’s still a total mystery why she lost the election. »

Team Mueller lawyer: “Viva le resistance”

Featured image Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller found this gem in the Inspector General’s report released today. An FBI attorney who worked on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation until February of this year sent a message to a colleague exclaiming, “Viva le [sic] Resistance.” The lawyer wrote these words in response to another FBI attorney who asked him whether he was rethinking his commitment to the Trump administration (I take this to »

When the arc of history refuses to bend

Featured image Ben Rhodes couldn’t. . .I mean. . .process. . .I mean. . .just couldn’t. . .process Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, Barack Obama was available to process it for him. When you have the arc of history down cold, processing setbacks, even really bad ones, isn’t that hard. Matthew Continetti writes a devastating piece on Barack Obama’s processing, as described in Rhodes’ new book. To assist Rhodes, Obama »

More Mueller madness

Featured image When it comes to primary documents like the 20-page letter dated January 29, 2018 from former Trump lawyer John Dowd and the preceding 11-page memo dated June 23, 2017, both resisting an interview of the president by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, my preference is to give readers the originals via Scribd. Having obtained their own copies, the New York Times is forcing us to consult the originals here along with »

Clapper: Not his job

Featured image Larry O’Connor now writes for the Washington Times. He has been following the comments of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on the FBI counterintelligence investigation that swept up the Trump campaign. Clapper is out promoting his book Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. Larry found “Clapper’s claptrap wearing thin” in response to a question posed by CNN’s unabashed Dana Bash. Bash asked Clapper why »

The Final Year, Thank God (3)

Featured image In my notes on the HBO documentary The Final Year — here (part 1) and here (part 2) — I lacked film clips of either of the films two highlights. The reaction of Obama fabulist Ben Rhodes accounts for one highlight. Video of the clip is in the tweet below. David Burge (Iowahawk) comments that “it takes a heart of stone not to laugh your ass off.” This video of »

Trey Gowdy’s defense of the FBI in “spygate”

Featured image In an interview on CBS, Rep. Trey Gowdy poured cold water on claims that the FBI behaved improperly towards the Trump campaign in 2016. Gowdy, who attended a classified briefing last week about the use of an FBI informant to gather information from individuals in the Trump campaign, said: I think the FBI, if they were at the table this morning, they would tell you that Russia was the target »

Michael Hayden calls BS on James Clapper

Featured image Former CIA Director Michael Hayden can’t stand President Trump. Lots of good people can’t. But Hayden is intellectually honest enough to reject James Clapper’s claim that there’s “no doubt” Russian meddling swung the election in favor of Trump. Hayden says it’s “unknowable” whether the Russians influenced the election to that extent. He also criticized Clapper for making his claim. “We should stop talking about it,” Hayden admonished. “Donald Trump is »

What’s Wrong With Hillary?

Featured image I will venture a prediction: by the end of President Trump’s first term, it will be obvious that Hillary Clinton’s health would not have permitted her to serve effectively as president, had she won the 2016 election. Hillary falls down and faints. She needs help going up and down stairs. There are persistent rumors that she drinks too much. During the campaign, there were many days when Hillary was AWOL. »

James Clapper deceives again

Featured image In his new book, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, says “of course” Russian activity swung the election to Donald Trump. The left is treating this speculation, almost certainly driven by animus towards President Trump, as immensely important. For example, Rachel Maddow said, ahead of her interview with Clapper: “The immediate past director of national intelligence, who was director of national intelligence during the Russian attack on the »

Trump top 10 (or so)

Featured image I am not comfortable with the frequent effusions of “weird and outrageous things” (I’m quoting Victor Davis Hanson) that President Trump says. His words go well outside the box of conventional presidential behavior. It is a quality that probably eased his transition from business to politics. For more on the implicit question of character, I yield to Charles Kesler’s invaluable essay “Thinking about Trump.” For a man who seems habitually »

Hillary’s whiny Yale commencement speech

Featured image I’ve heard my share of commencement speeches both live and via C-SPAN. Typically, speakers offer words of encouragement and advice to graduates. Rags to riches stories aren’t commonly told these days, but commencement speakers often recount tales of achievement against the odds, sometimes by the speaker, sometimes not. I once heard a commencement speech devoted to heaping praise on the college president (Jim Kim of Dartmouth). That was an outlier, »

Perspectives on an “outing”

Featured image Glenn Greenwald, a leftist, offers his perspective on the man the FBI selected to spy on the Trump campaign and on the brouhaha surrounding his “outing.” First, Greenwald says that this man, now a professor, was responsible for spying on the Carter administration on behalf of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980. He did this, by running a scheme whereby CIA operatives passed classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to »