The Front Page Cover
 2016             The truth is the gold of today 
Featuring:
Don’t Take New Hampshire for Granite
 Peggy Noonan
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 The South Carolina Cage Fight 
Saturday night's Republican debate in South Carolina featured some of the most vitriolic fratricidal infighting yet. Or as political analyst Charles Krauthammer wryly observed, "We went here from WWE to the UFC. This was a cage fight of the sort that I don't think we have seen at the presidential level before." Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio got rather ugly at times. Silver-spooners Jeb Bush and Donald slump-Trump went after each other even more harshly. Of course, slump-Trump went after everybody, from George W. Bush to the audience, and he was generally more angry and agitated than we've seen him. The end result was that John Kasich looked like the most reasonable man on stage, usually aiming his fire at Democrats. (If we hear Ben Carson offer the "thanks for including me in the debate" line one more time...)
          At times, we weren't sure it was a Republican debate. Despite his civil demeanor, Kasich argued for the virtues of nObamaCare /Medicaid expansion, while slump-Trump commended the wonderful efforts of Planned Parenthood and sounded like a Democrat on Social Security. Worse, slump-Trump practically made an in-kind contribution to MoveOn and other leftist groups with his 9/11-truther and Bush-lied-on-Iraq nonsense. slump-Trump decidedly did not get Iraq right, and he slandered most Republican voters with his false line of attack. Fortunately, Rubio did get it right when he defended Bush for using the intelligence we had at the time, and when he faulted Bill Clinton for his failure to follow intelligence and take out Osama bin Laden. Too few Republicans are willing to make that case.
          National Review's Jim Geraghty sums it up: "If the Republican Party wants to nominate a man who thinks Bush could have prevented 9/11 but chose not to, who knew Iraq had no WMDs and lied the country into war anyway, who sneers and shouts and bellows and interrupts and accuses everyone else of lying... if a majority of South Carolina Republicans look at all that and give it the thumbs up ... then yeah, maybe it isn't my party anymore."
          This coming Saturday's South Carolina primary could thin the field further. We certainly hope that's the case, anyway, because it's time to begin consolidating the not-slump-Trump vote. 
 -The Patriot Post
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 slump-Trump's Political Attack on Cruz's  Citizenship   Donald slump-Trump is bluffing. On Friday, ahead of the GOP debate, slump-Trump  tweeted, "If @TedCruz doesn't clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen." Apparently, Cruz has been bringing the heat to slump-Trump's campaign, with his attack ads in South Carolina criticizing the real estate mogul for abusing eminent domain — using the government to take private property to give to another private party for personal use. In response to slump-Trump's previous rhetoric on Cruz's status, a Houston-based attorney filed a complaint in the federal court system, petitioning the Supreme Court to take up the question of what defines a natural-born citizen. Attorney Newton Schwartz wrote in his complaint, "This 229-year question has never been pled, presented to or finally decided by or resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Only the U.S. Supreme Court can finally decide, determine judicially and settle this issue now." We do have an answer to Cruz's citizenship, though. The ballot commission in New Hampshire and the Illinois Board of Elections ruled that yes, Cruz is eligible to hold the office of president.
          The key word in slump-Trump's threat is "If." slump-Trump's move to sue is only dependent on Cruz's campaigning style and his standing in the polls. If slump-Trump actually thought he had a legal case, he would have already sued.   -The Patriot Post
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 Shock Study: Earth Acts Like a Sponge! 
This should help coastal residents sleep a little better, at least for a while longer. According to nasa.gov, "A new study by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the University of California, Irvine, shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth's continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent."
          First, a quick primer. The hydrologic cycle occurs when precipitation that is deposited over land through the process of ocean evaporation gets recycled back into the ocean via tributaries. Minor disruptions in that process such as through "persistent regional changes in soil moisture or lake levels," says NASA, can altar "the rate of sea level rise from what we would expect based on ice sheet and glacier melt rates." But what scientists haven't been able to determine until now was how much water runoff gets sucked up by the earth. Satellite measurements now provide a clue. According to lead author J.T. Reager, "We always assumed that people's increased reliance on groundwater for irrigation and consumption was resulting in a net transfer of water from the land to the ocean. What we didn't realize until now is that over the past decade, changes in the global water cycle more than offset the losses that occurred from groundwater pumping, causing the land to act like a sponge — at least temporarily."
          Alarmists will inevitably say this discovery doesn't change the overall threat posed by rising sea levels, which "97% of scientists" claim is linked to man-made global warming. We have another theory: Could it possibly be that something — say, our Creator — knew something we didn't and developed a system to handle naturally rising sea levels? Imagine that.    -The Patriot Post
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Iran Will Soon Pump Oil at $1 Per Barrel
 Tim Maverick
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{wallstreetdaily.com} ~ It’s a true tell of the state of the markets, when a tired old story sends oil rocketing about 10% higher in price... In this case, that “tired old story” is Venezuela calling for an emergency meeting of OPEC and Russia. Venezuela has a habit of calling for such meetings because its leftist government thinks oil should never sell below $100 per barrel. The market reaction tells me that the oil price has further to decline. Too many people are still too anxious to jump aboard the oil train before it leaves the station for the land of higher prices.        http://www.wallstreetdaily.com/2016/02/16/iran-oil-export-prices/
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Sorry slump-Trump, But They Found Evidence
of WMDs During Iraq War
Jeff Dunetz
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{lidblog.com} ~ Arguably Donald slump-Trump’s most controversial statement during Saturday night’s debate, was when he accused Bush #43 of lying to get us into Iraq... “They lied,” he said. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none.” While America is debating the real existential threat of terrorism metastasizing its way to our shores, and the President is still trying to figure out what to call the terrorist enemy, Donald slump-Trump has joined with the Democrats who are still running with blinding speed away from their original support for the Iraq War, by denying the the truth that WMDs and their components were during the Iraq war. According to a report in The NY Times last February, between 2005 and 2006 The CIA purchased approximately 400 nerve agent rockets from a seller in Iraq to make sure the chemical weapons would not fall into the hands of terrorists.        http://lidblog.com/sorry-mr-trump-but-they-found-evidence-of-wmds-d...
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Saudi Arabia, 
Yemen and the Politicized UN
Richard Kemp and Jasper Reid
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{gatestoneinstitute.org} ~ The United Nations, Amnesty International and other groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in Yemen... A leaked UN report claims the bombing campaign against Iranian-supported Houthi insurgents seeking violently to topple the legitimate government of Yemen has conducted deliberate, widespread and systematic attacks on civilian targets. If the UN's assertion is true, and the coalition is deliberately and disproportionately killing thousands of innocent civilians, it is a war crime. But it is unlikely to be true. The UN has produced no actual evidence of war crimes. None of their allegations is based on investigation on the ground. Their experts have not been to Yemen, depending instead on hearsay evidence and analysis of photographs. The UN has a pattern of unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes against the armed forces of sovereign states. Only last year, without any military expertise, and never having visited Gaza, a UN commission convicted the Israel Defense Force of deliberately targeting innocent Palestinian civilians in the 2014 conflict. It was an assessment roundly rejected by America's most senior military officer, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Hizballah Has Russian Technology Capable
of Downing Israeli Jets
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{investigativeproject.org} ~ Hizballah is using advanced radar technology to "lock on" to Israeli aircraft flying reconnaissance missions over Lebanon, according to Israel's Walla news service and reported by i24 News...  The new technology enables Hizballah to identify Israeli jets and fire missiles at them, Israeli security sources said. "The connection between Hizballah, Russia and Syria have greatly changed the rules of the game in the region...Hizballah is indicating to Israel that it is ready for the next stage," said an Israeli security official, quoted in Walla.  http://www.investigativeproject.org/5158/report-hizballah-has-russi...
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Reports Showing War Against ISIS 
Wasn't Working Were Deleted
Daniel Greenfield
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{frontpagemag.com} ~ This is dipping well into cover-up mode. This is beyond simple tampering with intelligence. Once records are being deleted, that's a coverup... This second set of accusations, which have not been previously reported, were made to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). They show that the officials charged with overseeing all U.S. intelligence activities were aware, through their own channels, of potential problems with the integrity of information on ISIS, some of which made its way to President nObama. The analysts have said that they believe their reports were altered for political reasons, namely to adhere to nObama administration officials’ public statements that the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS is making progress and has put a dent in the group’s financing and operations. And if the intel doesn't fit the White House spin, it has to be made to fit.  http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/261848/reports-showing-war-agains...
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The Progressives' Phony Democracy
Bruce Thornton
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{frontpagemag.com} ~ The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia has sharpened the divide between the progressives’ idea of technocratic federal power, and the Constitution’s limited government that Scalia eloquently championed for almost 30 years... This division has a long history that transcends the failed presidency of Barack nObama. The Democratic Party grew out of opposition to the elitist Federalists, whose president John Adams was known as “His Rotundity” for his girth and alleged aristocratic tendencies. James Madison in 1792 established the contrast between the two parties that persists to this day: the Federalists were “more partial to the opulent,” and believed that “government can be carried on only by the pageantry of rank, and the influence of money and emoluments.” Those who would become Democrats, Madison wrote, believed “in the doctrine that mankind are capable of governing themselves,” and he charged that power lodged “into the hands of the few” is “an insult to the reason and an outrage to the rights of man.” In short, the Democrats were about power to the people rather than to privileged elites. Two centuries later, the Democratic Party still uses the rhetoric of democracy, and castigates the Republicans as the tools of greedy corporations and crypto-fascist plutocrats––“Wall Street” and the “Koch brothers” being the shorthand for this nefarious cabal. Yet in their policies and practices, the Democrats are now the true elitists who have narrowed government “into the hands of the few,” even within their own party.  http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/261833/progressives-phony-democracy...
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ISIS Leader Moves to Libya
Pete Hoekstra
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Shishani as a Georgian special forces soldier and as an ISIS leader
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{investigativeproject.org} ~ The barbaric and elusive Chechen commander who recruited British executioner "Jihadi John" has moved to Sirte, Libya to assume control of ISIS operations in the terrorist organization's metastasizing Mediterranean caliphate... The Investigative Project on Terrorism first learned about the movement of Abu Omar al-Shishani – among the world's most-wanted terrorists – through its exclusive Middle East sources. Other news organizations later confirmed the account. Al-Shishani is a former American-trained officer in the Georgian special forces. He developed a reputation for his ferocity and effectiveness while fighting against the Russians during the 2008 invasion of Georgia and later for ISIS against dictator Bashar al-Assad in Syria.  http://www.investigativeproject.org/5160/isis-leader-moves-to-libya
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Weasel Of The House Ryan Dodges On
Lame Duck Hustle Of TPP
 Rick Wells
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{constitutionrising.com} ~ Maria Bartiromo apparently has the same level of trust with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan as most conservative Americans, none... She does an excellent job of attempting to pin down a slippery and evasive Ryan who obviously has plans to slide the TPP past us during the upcoming lame duck session of the House. He can’t admit it; the theatrical presentation requires that it look spontaneous and genuine to be effective. Noting that during the summer it was Ryan who was the chief salesman for the TPP in the House, she asks him where it stands now. Ryan can’t resist the opportunity to look important, saying, “Well, I wrote the law, the Trade Promotion Authority Law, which gives us the ability to go negotiate trade agreements and then gives Congress the final say so in whether or not we enter into a trade agreement.” Mr. “So proud of himself” doesn’t mention the fact that Congress has less of a voice, a one third threshold for approval, no ability to offer amendments, to ability to filibuster, and it is a simple yes or no vote. The role of Congress is greatly diminished.        http://constitutionrising.com/archives/26172
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Rule Change Dashes Hope for Afghan Military Allies Seeking Refuge in U.S.
Alana Goodman
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A U.S. soldier speaks to Afghans, aided by an interpreter 
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{freebeacon.com} ~ Afghan translators who worked for the United States military could find themselves ineligible for U.S. visas due to a recent State Department decision that retroactively changed the requirements for applicants... The rule change, which increased the minimum employment requirement for interpreters from one year of U.S. government service to two years of service, was passed by Congress in September 2015. Advocates say the State Department has been applying this change retroactively to interpreters who submitted applications months or years before the rule was passed—a decision that could impact as many as 3,300 Afghan translators who are under threat from the Taliban.        http://freebeacon.com/issues/rule-change-dashes-hope-for-afghan-mil...
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Don’t Take New Hampshire for Granite
 Peggy Noonan
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{peggynoonan.com} ~ You’ve heard all the Iowa analysis you need. It was a triumph for Cruz, a humbling for slump-Trump, a boost for Rubio. We’re all tired of talking about lanes, outsiders and establishment candidates. My read: Marco Rubio may emerge as the choice of those who prefer their candidate not be abnormal, by which I mean out sized or unsettling. This is arguably an underserved market on the GOP side. Mr. Rubio is young. What’s in that noggin beyond hunger? It will be interesting to find out.
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Rick Santorum suspended his campaign. He didn’t catch on but was generally held in high regard. When voters think you’re a good guy but not the winner, they see to it that you leave as a good guy who’s not the winner. He seemed to me one of the Republicans most attuned to the shifting political moment—one who knows that certain old assumptions about the base no longer apply and maybe haven’t for some time. He did not emphasize traditional GOP themes of competition, opportunity, individualism. His concerns were more implicitly communal. Raise the minimum wage? Sure, help where you can. Of the candidates he seemed to have most absorbed Pope Francis’s Great Insight: that the modern world is a field hospital after battle. So in many ways is America 2016. John Kasich knows it also. He didn’t discover drug addiction and mental health issues by reading a long takeout in a magazine. He knows it because he lives with the people of Ohio.
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Donald slump-Trump was dinged by Iowa, but not by losing—loss happens. He dinged himself, perhaps significantly, with his subsequent reaction. He was robbed, we need a recount, he may sue. Mr. slump-Trump’s supporters are derided as working-class knuckle-draggers and if it amuses you to see them that way you can, but his people respect style. There he let them down.
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In politics—in life—you have to know how to lose. The presidency itself involves losing—the bill fails, the talks stall, your numbers plummet. You have to be supple, have some give. “All political careers end in failure”—you never get all you want and in the end you slink away or get thrown out. How to respond? You don’t whine, you don’t complain, you don’t act like a little rhymes-with-witch. You take it full in the face and keep walking. Anyone can win with style. A real champ knows how to lose.
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The press is dying to write their “End of slump-Trump” pieces and will if he under performs in New Hampshire, where he’s long held a double-digit lead.
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On the Democratic side, Hilly Clinton did not “win” Iowa; she had a near-death experience and emerged intact. In October she was winning by 41 points. Monday she effectively tied Bernie Sanders. She is now trying to limit the size of his expected New Hampshire victory.
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She has been game and alert, especially Wednesday night in a town-hall interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. But the effect was marred by her answers on Goldman Sachs and the six-figure speech fees they paid her. Why so much? “I don’t know, um, that’s what they offered.” She added that at the time she didn’t know she would be running for president. It was reminiscent of Dan Quayle telling reporters in 1988 that yes he got into the National Guard and didn’t go to Vietnam, but when he made the decision, “I did not know . . . that I would be in this room today, I confess.” If he’d known of the future political necessity, this suggested, he would have gone to the stupid damn war. All the smart people who say Mr. Sanders cannot possibly beat Mrs. Clinton as the battle moves south are no doubt correct—and yet he is more in tune with the motivating spirit of his party right now than she is, so who knows?
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A final small thing, though it’s really my headline regarding New Hampshire. On a recent trip I watched candidates in town halls and forums in middle-school gyms, community clubhouses, hotel ballrooms.
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I keep thinking of the young woman, black, about 20, I saw departing a Sanders event with a friendly young Asian man the same age. Are you for Bernie? I asked. “Have you seen my T-shirt?” she replied, and opened her jacket: “Carson 2016.” I laughed and asked if she was trolling. She was startled. “No, we just go see all the candidates.”
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This of course is a great New Hampshire cliché—they won’t vote for you unless they’ve met you three times. Yet when you see it, something stops you. Every adult in New Hampshire seems to go hear every candidate at least once. They listen and take their measure; they give it the most precious thing they have, time. They take their duty seriously not because they’re jerky and self-important but because they have self-respect. They believe they are the winnowers. Their function is to get the Reasonable Possibles, put down a marker on their favorite, and then throw it to the South.
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At the meetings they don’t ask meek, deferential questions. I saw them lecture candidates, mildly upbraid them, inform them. At a Kasich town hall he was put through his paces on the integrity of state water reservoirs. At a Hilly rally she was pressed on protocols governing the U.S. nuclear arsenal. At a Jeb town hall a woman spoke of Iraq and said if the people who launched that war had known history they wouldn’t have gone in. What, she asked him, is the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni? Mr. Bush gave a brief, broadly accurate answer. “You’re partially right,” she said, and then delivered a precise lecture on the history of Islam, ending with the observation that if American policy makers really knew history they wouldn’t be throwing around phrases like “carpet bomb.”
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They have complete democratic confidence. They’re not shy. They’re doing due diligence.
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I would look at them in the audience: the frail old lady with thin white hair; the big, rough biker-looking guy; the pleasant middle-aged teacher; the silver-haired accountant with two young kids; the beat-up middle-aged woman with rheumy alcoholic eyes who is sweetly gracious, modest, as she moves to give you a seat; the obese, wild-haired man bursting out of his torn, cracked leather jacket; the giggly, chatty middle-aged redhead in the NoLabels.org sweatshirt; the Patti Smith-looking woman, tall, pale and austere; the hunky football player; the skinny hipster girl in architect eyeglasses and torn jeans. Everybody listening so closely to the candidates. Beret guy, too, with a white bandage on his eye and a beard that went down to the third button of his shirt. What a crew we are.
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“They’re professional voters,” said a campaign operative at dinner. No, it is more than that. It is more like, “We may be a field hospital, we may be high, we may be damaged by the collapse of the American culture, we may be the prime victims of deindustrialization, but we are: citizens. And we do our job.”
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“We will pick a president.”
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Choked me up as I witnessed it. No joke. Choked me up.
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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Michael RamirezPolitical Cartoons by Gary Varvel

ALERT ALERT

Judicial Watch->  Emails Show Dossier-Connected Obama State Dept Officials Set ‘Face-To-Face’ Meeting On ‘Russian Matter’ Shortly Before 2016 Election

Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday released 84 pages of documents showing Obama’s State Department was central to pushing the ‘Trump-Russia’ hoax shortly before the 2016 election.

The email exchange between then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, a very close associate to Christopher Steele, show them discussing a ‘face-to-face’ meeting in New York on a ‘Russian matter’ in September of 2016.

Via Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation today released 84 pages of documents, including a September 2016 email exchange between then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, a close associate of dossier author Christopher Steele, discussing a “face-to-face” meeting on a “Russian matter.”

(In June 2016 Nuland permitted a meeting between Steele and the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome. Nuland told CBS News that the State Department knew about the Steele dossier by July 2016.)

According to an op-ed Winer wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, also in September 2016, “Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the “dossier… I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.”

A September 17, 2016, email exchange between Nuland and Winer – that was classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy – discusses the political situation in Libya, but also brings up a “Russian matter:”

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: September 17, 2016 at 12:40:00 PM EDT
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Libya Update

Would like to discuss this and a Russian matter.

From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:31 PM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re. Libya Update

In ny face to face?

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: September 17, 2016 at 1:56:05 PM EDT
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Libya Update

Yes that was [sic] be good.

From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:58 PM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re. Libya Update

Good. I’ll reach out when im there Sunday. [Redacted]

If Victoria Nuland’s name sounds familiar it’s because she has been on Judicial Watch’s radar for a long time and in many of TGP’s previous reports.

In December 2018, Judicial Watch released documents revealing that Victoria Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department’s urgent gathering of classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.

In a related lawsuit, Judicial Watch is suing the State Department communications between Ambassador Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.

“The Obama State Department was central to the effort to target President Trump with the Russia smear,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These new emails further show that senior Obama State Department advanced the Russiagate hoax just before the 2016 presidential election.”

Tom Fitton   @TomFitton
 

BREAKING: Obama State Department was central to the effort to target President @RealDonaldTrump with the Russia smear. New emails show how senior Obama State Department advanced the Russiagate hoax just before the 2016 presidential election.

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