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Obama spokesman: Trump wiretap accusation 'simply false'

Obama: Trump allegation of wiretap simply falseNo Obama administration official interfered in Justice Department investigations or ordered surveillance on any American, much less President Trump, a spokesman for former President Obama said Saturday.

"A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice," Kevin Lewis said in a statement.

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Trump claims Obama had his phones wiretapped; no proof cited

TrumpPresident Donald Trump on Saturday accused former President Barack Obama of having Trump Tower telephone lines "wire tapped" during last year's election, but Trump didn't offer any evidence or say what prompted the allegation.

Trump, whose administration has been under siege over campaign contacts with Russian officials, said in a series of early morning tweets that he "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!'

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DHS Intel Analysis Refutes Trump’s Case for Travel Ban

DHS analysys refutes travel banThe Rachel Maddow Show has obtained, exclusively, a Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment document. The document, from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, makes the case that most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists are likely not radicalized when they come to the U.S., but rather become radicalized after living in the U.S. for a number of years.

The document follows another piece of research (pdf) from Homeland Security that undercut President Trump’s rationale for a travel ban as a means of keeping violent extremists out. On Friday, the Associated Press published an analysis from Homeland Security that said citizenship in any given country – including the seven countries listed in the executive order – is likely an unreliable indicator of whether someone poses a terrorist threat.

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Sessions used campaign funds for travel that included Russian meeting: reports

Sessions used campaign funds for trip to RussiaAttorney General Jeff Sessions used funds from his Senate reelection campaign account to cover travel expenses at last year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to multiple reports, where he met with the Russian ambassador.

Sessions, who was then a Republican senator from Alabama and frequent surrogate for President Trump on the campaign trail, has defended his meeting with Sergey Kislyak as perfectly normal for a member of the Armed Services Committee. But The Wall Street Journal said Thursday he used campaign funds for the travel, rather than official Senate Armed Services Committee funds.

The Journal said Sessions’s campaign account made two payments of $1,395 to the Sheraton Cleveland Airport on July 16, two days before the Republican convention.

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White House pushing back against Sec. of Defense Mattis appointment

Secretary of Defense MattisSecretary of Defense Jim Mattis wants to tap the former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, as his undersecretary of defense for policy, but the Pentagon chief is running into resistance from White House officials, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.

If nominated and confirmed, Patterson would hold the fourth most powerful position at the Pentagon – and would effectively be the top civilian in the Defense Department, since both Mattis and his deputy, Robert Work, were military officers.

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Pence used private AOL email as governor that was hacked

Pence used private emailVice President Mike Pence used a private AOL email account that was hacked in 2016 to conduct government business, sometimes discussing national security issues, newly released documents indicate.

As part of a Freedom of Information request by the IndyStar, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's office released 29 pages of emails from Pence's AOL account. The office declined to release an unspecified number of emails because the state government considers them confidential and too sensitive for public release.

TVNL Comment: Lock him up!  Lock him up! Uh.... that was Hillary.  Never mind.

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Sessions recuses himself from Russia probe

Sessions recuses himself with limitsAttorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday he will recuse himself from federal investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign,” he said at a press conference.

Sessions had come under mounting bipartisan pressure to recuse himself after it was revealed late Wednesday that he spoke twice with the Russian envoy last year and failed to tell senators during his confirmation hearing.

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