The Front Page Cover
~ Featuring ~
The Other Half of the Comey Story
by Ed Klein
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 Trump's Messaging and Communication Debacle 
By Thomas Gallatin: Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to Donald Trump, recently described her boss as "an unconventional president who is an excellent communicator." While few would disagree with Conway's assessment of Trump being "unconventional," he's a far cry from the Great Communicator.
          While Trump's talking over the media while working toward reforming government is certainly Reaganesque, his temperament and inability to clearly communicate and stay on message set him apart. Where President Ronald Reagan went out of his way to find common ground and unite the country, Trump is more apt to go out of his way to pick fights with his opponents — many of them needless or without any clear objective. Where Reagan overlooked an insult, Trump insults back twice as hard.
          Trump is clearly and justifiably frustrated with the hostile mainstream media and loves to respond in kind. This "fighter" attitude brought supporters flocking to his banner. But it's become a war for control of the narrative — a war that he cannot win with his undisciplined and often confusing approach toward message communication.
          Trump's proclivity for tweeting has too often landed him into messaging troubles. He justifies the practice as an effective means of circumnavigating Leftmedia spin, allowing him to get his message directly to the people. He's right in a way, and, again, that campaign persona did propel him to popularity with the millions of Americans who tire of the seemingly spineless Republican. But a regular lack of clarity and some dubious claims or factually inaccurate tweets have provided more fodder for MSM criticism, rather than offer a clearly articulated statement on solid policy. He's campaigning, not governing, as we repeatedly said of Barack liar-nObama.
          As the negative media fallout over Trump's explanation for firing FBI Director James Comey came due to the inconsistency of his account with that of his staff, he responded via his favorite media platform, tweeting, "As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!" He then added what has proven to be yet another MSM talking point: "Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future 'press briefings' and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???"
          Or maybe he and his staff could get on the same page before setting the narrative and then changing it.
          Predictably, the MSM had a field day claiming Trump is seeking to stifle the free press. Sending them on a wild goose chase may have been the intended aim of his tweet, but it's a long way from clear communication.
          Friday morning, after his previous evening interview with NBC in which he dealt with questions over Comey's firing, Trump seemed to feel the need to warn/threaten Comey. Trump tweeted, "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" Why did Trump feel the need to ring that Pavlovian bell? The Leftmedia was already referring to his firing of Comey as "Nixonian" before he fed the beast.
          The problem is that more often than not Trump's tweeting habit relays mere emotional outbursts rather than cogent arguments. His tweets often amount to little more than heckling and trolling than they do any form of substantive communications. This is his strategy — so as to connect him to his voting base — but that doesn't mean it's a good one. Trump is loath to recognize that his tweeting is hampering his agenda.
          The bigger question is this: Where is the leadership? Where is Trump leading on health care or tax reform? Besides a few brief mentions, there is little coming from Trump. He put out intriguing corporate and individual tax reform proposals ... and then promptly stopped talking about them. As he watched health care reform crash and burn in the House, he just tweeted a few accusations against conservatives before turning his attention elsewhere. He celebrated its later passage with a Rose Garden ceremony, but what's he doing to move it through the Senate?
          He has the bully pulpit but has been slow to use it because his focus has been, well, unfocused.
          Another point: In a strange way, Trump and the MSM are in a sort of symbiotic relationship, both feeding off each other. The MSM loves his chaos for the constant "scandal" news alerts with which it can sell advertising. And Trump seems to enjoy it for its reality-TV-like excitement, and for the pure joy of tormenting his opponents.
          Long gone are the excited feelings and hopeful statements after Trump's impressive speech given to the joint Congress at the outset of his term. Now, many conservatives and Republicans alike (particularly the staff he contradicts) are cringing at the thought of Trump's next tweet or press interview. While many of his decisions have been welcome changes, his confounding tweeting and the general failure of White House communication are simply agonizing. Again, tweeting and campaigning are different than governing, and it's time Trump put as much energy into the latter as he does the former.  ~The Patriot Post
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Trump Team Must Wake Up –
Left Declared War, It’s About Survival
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ Lou Dobbs has a few thoughts on the communications room in the White House, “the concerted attacks now from all sides, the left-wing media, the Dems, weak-kneed Republicans... the latest feeding frenzy sparked by leaks in the Washington Post concerning whether Trump released classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador, a story curiously released at the same time Mr. Trump is about to begin his first foreign trip as President on Friday. Dobbs explains, “The fact is, the President has the right as the chief executive to declassify information if that’s what he chooses to do. The President was talking about intel that Israel developed regarding threats from the Islamic State.” He quotes a statement from the Israeli government dismissing the overblown treatment of the situation by the anti-American press. The Israelis downplayed the situation, saying, “Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump.”... http://rickwells.us/dobbs-trump-team-must-wake-left-declared-war-su...
VIDEO:  at the site
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Bill O’Reilly To Do Weekly Gig On
Glenn Beck’s Radio Show
by Onan Coca
{lidblog.com} ~ Bill O’Reilly may be down, but he’s not out and he still has a lot of friends in the TV and radio game... One of them is a former colleague at Fox News who happens to run a very successful news and entertainment network called TheBlaze. His name is, of course, Glenn Beck, and he and O’Reilly will soon be teaming up to deliver content every Friday afternoon. Beck seemingly confirmed the story with a simple tweet of an article at The Hill article that confirmed O’Reilly’s claim... http://lidblog.com/bill-oreilly-glenn-beck/
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What Iran Fears Most
by Shahriar Kia
{clarionproject.org} ~ Iranians will be taking advantage of the May 19 presidential election to voice their apathy and respond to calls being made to boycott the so-called polls. They may also use the sham elections to spark an uprising against the regime... The Iranian people have lost all hope in any form of real elections in Iran, knowing the theocratic regime vets all candidates based on their loyalty to the ruling establishment. This leaves no room for free and fair elections, and thus any expectation of changes inside Iran or in the regime’s foreign policy through elected officials is utterly naïve. Even the past four years under the so-called “moderate” or “reformist” President Hassan Rouhani, Iran has executed over 3,000 people, enhanced its ballistic missiles program, openly backed the ruthless regime of Bashar Assad in Syria and further funded proxy wars in Iraq and Yemen. These regional crusades have deprived the Iranian people of dozens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars... https://clarionproject.org/what-iran-fears-most/
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McMaster Tries Explaining Russian
Intel Sharing To Thick-Headed Libs
by Rick Wells
{rickwells.us} ~ The press briefing conducted by National Security Adviser HR McMaster on Tuesday illustrates the reality of the futility of trying to reason with or even have a conversation with a leftist... Nothing penetrates their thick skulls, everything is dismissed for one reason or another as invalid, and they leave just as dissatisfied, critical and belligerent as they were when they arrived. Perhaps they’re even more hostile if their empty arguments and unfounded positions were completely vaporized by truth and reality. McMaster does what the administration still insists on doing, accommodating the sharks by swimming with them rather than closing the beach and opting for the calmer waters of a pool, where only the civilized, objective, true journalists are welcome. At some point they need to stop enabling their antagonists and attackers... http://rickwells.us/mcmaster-tries-explaining-russian-intel-sharing...
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Susan Rice Seeking Immunity Deal
by MIchael DePinto
 
{freedomoutpost.com} ~ Trump said that he would drain the swamp and much to the surprise of his detractors, he appears committed to his campaign pledges. Comey’s unceremonious but well-deserved firing was a warning shot across the bow... and it appears that former National Security Advisor to liar-nObama, Susan Rice, has heard the shot loud and clear. For the record, let's be very clear here. Regardless what nonsense the Democrats or the mainstream media will be spouting in the coming days ahead and there will be plenty of it, make no mistake, it will all be pure B.S., and it will all be in an attempt to distract Americans from what is easily going to be the largest scandal in our nation's history…In the following video, Right Wing News looks at reports which claim that Rice is now seeking immunity in exchange for spilling the beans on higher ups... http://freedomoutpost.com/bombshell-susan-rice-seeking-immunity-deal/
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The Other Half of the Comey Story
by Ed Klein
{
townhall.com} ~ Much of the media’s coverage of James Comey’s firing has focused on Donald Trump’s frequent self-defeating decision-making process.

Without warning and while Comey was out of town, Trump fired him in a manner that many people—even those who thought Comey deserved to be fired—considered demeaning.

But how did Comey, who’s often described as the last Boy Scout in Washington, handle his public humiliation?

Here’s the other half of the story.

Shortly after he was fired, a furious Comey boarded a Department of Justice Gulfstream G550 at Los Angeles Airport and began barking orders at his assistants.

He tried several times to reach Trump by telephone to get an explanation why he was fired in such a disrespectful manner. No one at the White House would take his call.

He was far from pleased that Trump appointed his deputy, Andrew McCabe, as acting director of the bureau. When McCabe’s wife ran for the Virginia state senate, she received thousands of dollars from a super PAC controlled by liar-Hillary Clinton’s close friend, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Comey questioned whether McCabe was too close to the liar-Clintons during the FBI’s investigation of liar-Hillary’s e-mails.

After Comey landed in Washington, he called his wife, Patrice, who was in tears. She told him that the way he was treated by the president made it look as though he had committed some horrible crime.

Comey vowed to his wife that he would fight back and not allow his firing to be a stain on his character.

He also told friends that he wouldn’t be cowed by President Trump’s threatening tweet— “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

In fact, Comey does not believe there are any incriminating tapes in Trump’s possession, and he intends to give interviews, pen Op-Ed pieces, and write a book about his experience.

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LIGHTER SIDE

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

ALERT ALERT

Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.

TEA PARTY TARGET

Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors.

NJ.com adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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