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    (UPDATE 1:12pm EST): White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issues a statement largely echoing Trump’s tweet:

    Andrew McCabe was fired in total disgrace from the FBI because he lied to investigators on multiple occasions, including under oath. His selfish and destructive agenda drove him to open a completely baseless investigation into the President. His actions were so shameful that he was referred to federal prosecutors. Andrew McCabe has no credibility and is an embarrassment to the men and women of the FBI and our great country.”

    End Update

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at Andrew McCabe, tweeting that the former acting director of the FBI is “a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country.”

    The heated tweet comes the week before McCabe releases a book detailing his tenure within Trump’s orbit.

    Excerpts of a “60 Minutes” interview airing Sunday on CBS were broadcast Thursday morning, including a segment in which McCabe explains why he opened an obstruction probe into Trump after the president abruptly fired former FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017.

    “I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground,” McCabe said. “If somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision.”

    According to CBS’ Scott Pelley, who conducted the interview, McCabe also confirmed reports that Justice Department officials weighed working with the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment in an effort to remove Trump from office.

    Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16, 2018 — just over 24 hours before he was set to retire with full benefits after a 22-year law enforcement career with the agency, and two days before his 50th birthday. Sessions said the decision was rooted in an Inspector General report concluding that McCabe lied to investigators about conversations he had with the media, but McCabe and his legal team have argued that the firing was politically motivated.

    The earliest McCabe likely can receive his full pension is when he turns 57 in 2025.

    McCabe’s book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” is scheduled to be released on Tuesday.

    WASHINGTON — Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will release a book this December defending his former agency against attacks from President Donald Trump.

    “I wrote this book because the president’s attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole,” McCabe said in a press release Tuesday. “He is undermining America’s safety and security, and eroding public confidence in its institutions. His attacks on the most crucial institutions of government, and on the professionals who serve within them, should make every American stand up and take notice.”

    McCabe, who stepped down as deputy director in January, was abruptly fired in March just days before the 22-year FBI veteran was set to receive full retirement benefits.

    His ouster came after the Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that McCabe had misled investigators over how the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

    McCabe has rejected the findings and has claimed that his expulsion was politically motivated.

    His attorney filed a lawsuit in June against the Justice Department and the FBI arguing that the bodies failed to provide documents to support their findings.

    The book, titled The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, will be released by St. Martin’s Press. Publisher and Executive Vice President Jennifer Enderlin promised that the book would be “candid, dramatic, and urgently newsworthy.”

    The upcoming release follows A Higher Loyalty, former FBI Director James Comey’s own account of his time serving under Trump. Comey’s book was published in April.

    WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey predicted that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe could be prosecuted for having lied to investigators about media leaks related to the Bureau’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

    “I think you left out a word; yet,” Mukasey told TMN in an interview Tuesday when asked about why McCabe was not charged.

    He added: “If that’s been referred for criminal prosecution my guess is that we will at one point see one.”

    In April 2018, Justice Department Inspector Michael Horowitz sent a criminal referral of McCabe to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

    Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey (Public Domain) Author: USDOJ

    The department watchdog’s findings initially came in a February report detailing, among other things, accusations that McCabe lied about contacts with a reporter for The Wall Street Journal working on an Oct. 30, 2016, story that suggested McCabe had slowed an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The report said McCabe had authorized an FBI spokesperson and a lawyer with the agency to speak with the reporter as “background” sources not identified by name.

    In June 2018, the IG released a report that said McCabe did not fully comply with his recusal from the investigation.

    McCabe has vigorously denied the allegations. Last year he filed a federal lawsuit that alleged he was targeted for political reasons. The suit referenced that McCabe had overseen investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

    President Donald Trump fired McCabe in March 2018 after a previous IG report recommended his dismissal.

    Trump had long questioned McCabe’s ability to be impartial in the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. McCabe’s wife, Jill, is a former Virginia State Senate candidate and a political ally of Hillary Clinton.

    McCabe wrote a book about his work at the FBI that was released in February. The book is highly critical of Trump and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Prior to its publication, McCabe spoke about the book in an interview with CBS 60 Minutes.

    Trump slammed McCabe in tweetstorm after the interview aired.

    Mukasey is an attorney at the New York City-based firm Debevoise and Plimpton. He served as attorney general during President George W. Bush’s final 14 months in office (Nov. 2007-Jan. 2009). Prior to that, Mukasey served 19 years as a federal judge.

    WASHINGTON – Embattled former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe will not testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week unless he is granted immunity from prosecution, according to a letter CNN obtained that McCabe’s attorney’s sent to Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

    Next Monday the committee is scheduled to examine the Inspector General’s First Report on Justice Department and FBI Actions in Advance of the 2016 Presidential Election. McCabe is one of several witnesses who has been asked to testify at the hearing.

    President Donald Trump fired McCabe in March after an IG report recommended McCabe’s dismissal. The second IG report is expected to be released before the hearing.

    McCabe is accused of lying to FBI agents about media leaks regarding the agency’s 2016 investigation into the Clinton email probe. In April, the IG sent federal prosecutors a criminal referral.

    McCabe has said he did not lie to investigators.

    Trump has questioned McCabe’s ability to be impartial in the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe. McCabe’s wife, Jill, is a former Virginia State Senate candidate and a political ally of Clinton.

    Republicans claim the FBI and DoJ have demonstrated bias against the Trump administration. They argue that the agencies have displayed a double-standard when investigating allegations related to Clinton and Trump supporters.

    Clinton aide Cheryl Mills was granted partial immunity for her cooperation with investigators in the Clinton email probe.

    An IG draft report described former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email probe as “insubordinate,” ABC News reported Wednesday. The report also blasted Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s stewardship of the investigation, according to ABC.

    Comey also spoke of McCabe, saying sometimes good people “lie” during his book tour.

    The several-hundred-page report is expected to be released soon.


    WASHINGTON — Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster that killed all seven astronauts aboard.

    Hundreds of people gathered at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Feb. 1, 2003 for the shuttle’s anticipated landing after 16 days in space. But the spacecraft broke apart as it re-entered earth’s atmosphere. The remnants of the shuttle were scattered across a large part of East Texas.

    The tragedy occurred just days after the 17th anniversary of the Challenger explosion disaster in 1986, which also killed seven astronauts.

    NASA’s second shuttle disaster set in motion the program’s retirement in 2011, and the space agency remains a year or more from restoring an ability to launch astronauts.

    From the tragedy emerges a more hopeful and inspiring story, according to USA Today, one that is the focus of a new book co-written by Mike Leinbach, the mission’s launch director: Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle and Her Crew.

    Trump joins Republican retreat in West Virginia, one day after train collision

    President Trump is meeting with Republican lawmakers today, one day after their Amtrak train collided with a garbage truck on their way to a West Virginia retreat.

    The crash in rural Virginia killed a 28-year-old sanitation worker who  rode on the back of the truck — and injured six.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says no members of Congress or their staff were seriously injured.

    The retreat begins this weekend, according to the Congressional Institute. The program will include a prayer for those affected by the crash, as well as a security briefing.

    Another sanitation worker remains in critical condition at UVA Medical Center, the truck driver is in fair condition and four people have been discharged.

    Former FLOTUS is spilling White House secrets

    Former first lady Michelle Obama gives her first TV interview since leaving the White House to Ellen DeGeneres today — and she’s spilling her secrets, according to USA Today.

    Remember the gift from incoming first lady Melania Trump on Inauguration Day that stirred Obama’s side-eye meme?

    Today we find out what was inside the box. The interview is part of DeGeneres’ weeklong 60th birthday celebration; she reached the milestone on Friday.

    Former President Barack Obama has already returned to TV: He helped David Letterman kick off his new Netflix show on Jan. 12.

    McCabe knew of Clinton emails for at least a month

    Text messages between two FBI officials reveal that former FBI Director Andrew McCabe waited at least a month before informing Congress or then-FBI Director James Comey about newly found emails in the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the fall of 2016, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    The newspaper has text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that showed McCabe knew of thousands of new emails pertaining to Clinton’s private email server used at the State Department on or before Sept. 28, 2016 — exactly a month before Comey informed Congress about the emails on Oct. 28.

    McCabe’s apparent inaction on the emails — found on the laptop of disgraced New York Rep. Anthony Weiner during his sex crimes investigation — is the subject of an FBI inspector general investigation into whether McCabe withheld the information from the public for political reasons.

    House GOP warming to Obamacare fix

    Key House Republicans are warming to a proposal aimed at bringing down Obamacare premiums, raising the chances of legislative action this year to stabilize the health-care law, according to The Hill.

    House GOP aides and lobbyists say that top House Republicans are interested in funding what is known as reinsurance. The money could be included in a coming bipartisan government funding deal or in another legislative vehicle.

    Any action from Republicans to stabilize Obamacare would be a major departure from the party’s long crusade against the law, but after having failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act last year, the discussion is shifting.

    GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania is one of the leaders of the push in the House and is sponsoring a bill to provide Obamacare stability funding in 2019 and 2020.

    Democracy under siege around the world — including in the US

    The Economist’s annual Democracy Index, which tracks the health of the world’s governments, says democracy is under siege around the world — including in the U.S.

    In 89 countries, democratic norms look worse than they did last year, the report’s authors write. Just 4.5 percent of the world’s residents live in fully functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015.

    That precipitous drop is thanks to the United States, according to the report.

    The Economist last year demoted the U.S. from a “full” to “flawed” democracy, citing a “serious decline” in public trust in U.S. institutions.

    President Trump was able to tap into the disempowerment felt by voters, who are frustrated with U.S. political and economic stagnation, but his presidency has only further polarized the country, the report says.

    Dems vow to repeal parts of GOP tax law

    Democrats are vowing to undo parts of the GOP’s tax cut if they win control of the House in November, hoping President Trump’s first major domestic achievement will be a liability for the Republicans in the midterm elections, according to The Hill.

    The effort is similar to Republicans’ long-drawn campaign against the Affordable Care Act that turned President Obama’s signature health-care expansion into a down-ballot albatross for Democrats — an effort that helped the Republicans retake the House with sweeping election victories in 2010.

    No Democrats voted for the tax cut law, saying it’s a “scam” that helps the wealthy at the expense of working families.

    But Republicans say they’ll hammer Democrats for vowing to repeal much of the tax law, arguing their opponents would be foolish to run on a message of raising taxes.

    Xerox is past tense — Fujifilm takes over

    The once American corporate powerhouse Xerox — whose name became a verb — is combining its operations with Fujifilm Holdings of Japan, ending 115 years as an independent business, according to The New York Times.

    Fujifilm will own just over 50 percent of the company.

    Xerox has been surpassed by iPhone, Google docs and the cloud, which today make its Xerox copying machines as obsolete as the carbon paper they replaced.

    There’s a lesson in its demise for all the current tech titans, say management experts: Beware “the competency trap” when an organization becomes so good at one thing, it can’t learn a new one.

    Trump dig at Democrats on DACA

    President Trump tweeted today that congressional Democrats “are doing nothing” to come up with a fix for young immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, calling out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, according to The Hill.

    Trump tweeted: “March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Democrats are doing nothing about DACA. They Resist, Blame, Complain and Obstruct – and do nothing.”

    He added, “Start pushing Nancy Pelosi and the Dems to work out a DACA fix, NOW!”

    Trump announced in September that he would move to end the Obama-era program, white protects certain immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally when they were children from being deported, unless Congress could come up with a fix by March.

    Trump says SOTU was ‘delivered from the heart’

    President Trump thanked viewers today for complimenting him on his first State of the Union, saying the speech was “delivered from the heart.”

    The president also praised Fox News.

    He tweeted, “Thank you for all of the nice compliments and reviews on the State of the Union speech. 45.6 million people watched, the highest number in history. Fox News beat every other Network, for the first time ever, with 11.7 million people tuning in. Delivered from the heart!”

    Water restrictions hit South Africa’s Cape Town

    New water restrictions take effect in Cape Town, South Africa, today aimed at avoiding “Day Zero” in mid-April when the parched metropolis might have to turn off the taps, according to an article in USA Today.

    Residents and visitors can use only 50 liters of water per day — about 13 gallons — or they face fines and/or water-restriction devices.

    The average American uses 88 gallons of water per day, according to the EPA.

    Years of drought have left the region with less than 90 days’ worth of water in its reservoirs.

    US government will be unable to pay bills sooner than expected, due to new tax law

    The U.S. government’s cash reserves are expected to run out faster than expected, the Congressional Budget Office says, a result of lost revenue from last year’s tax cut law, according to an article in The Washington Post.

    If the debt ceiling isn’t raised by the first half of March, CBO says, “the government would be unable to pay its obligations fully, and it would delay making payments for its activities, default on its debt obligations, or both.”

    The White House and GOP leaders in Congress have repeatedly punted decisions on how to deal with the debt ceiling.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin earlier this week urged Congress to raise debt ceiling.

    Nashville mayor apologizes for extramarital affair with her security chief

    Nashville Mayor Megan Barry admitted Wednesday that she had an extramarital affair with the police officer who headed her security detail.

    Barry, in an interview with The Tennessean on Wednesday afternoon, apologized “for the harm I’ve done to the people I love and the people who counted on me” but said she is not resigning.

    She confirmed the affair with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr., which began in the spring or summer of 2016, just months after she entered office the previous September.. Both Barry and Forrest are married. Barry, 54, lost her only child, Max, to a drug overdose last July. He was 22.

    Forrest, 58, submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17 and his last day was Wednesday. Forrest released a statement apologizing to his family for the affair.

    According to public records obtained by The Tennessean, thousands of taxpayer dollars covered Forrest’s travel with the mayor on city business. Several trips included other mayoral staff, but nine trips were with only Barry and Forrest — including a trip to Greece in September.

    Make that a double espresso without acrylamide

    California coffee shops may soon be forced to warn customers about a possible cancer risk linked to their morning jolt of java, according to a CNN report.

    The state keeps a list of chemicals it considers possible causes of cancer, and one of them, acrylamide, is created when coffee beans are roasted.

    A lawsuit first filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court in 2010 by the nonprofit Council for Education and Research on Toxics targets several companies that make or sell coffee, including Starbucks, 7-Eleven and BP. The suit alleges that the defendants “failed to provide clear and reasonable warning” that drinking coffee could expose people to acrylamide.

    At least 13 of the defendants have settled and agreed to give a warning, most recently 7-Eleven.

    No Trump Super Bowl interview

    President Trump will reportedly not sit down for a Super Bowl interview this weekend.

    A White House official told CNN, “He is not doing a Super Bowl interview.”

    Sources at NBC, which will televise the game, also told CNN that Trump had not accepted their requests for an interview. Those sources added that the network still would welcome an interview with Trump if he decides differently.

    It has become tradition for presidents to be interviewed ahead of the Super Bowl.

    Bill O’Reilly interviewed Trump at the White House ahead of the game last year, when Fox televised the event.

    Super Bowl ads getting buzz

    Only three days away from the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles kicking off Super Bowl LII, there is already buzz about the Super Bowl ads, according to USA Today.

    The action may be on the field but it’s also between the ads.

    Which will be this year’s favorites and best?

    Early entries: Danny DeVito is an M&M come to life. Cardi B is one of the new voices of Amazon’s Alexa. Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage duke it out in a Doritos/Mountain Dew rap battle.

    The newspaper has an ad meter on its sports page where readers can preview and rate the commercials.

    Mussolini’s hometown mayor wants an anti-fascism museum

    Thousands of admirers of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini visit his tiny home town of Predappio each year, and now the town’s mayor wants a museum of fascism — not as homage but as a way to contain it, according to an article in The Washington Post.

    The effort comes prior to Italy’s March 4 general election, in which insurgent outsiders claim that Mussolini is misunderstood, an unsettling notion to some of Italy’s mainstream leaders.

    Giorgio Frassineti, Predappio’s mayor, says, “I want to use culture as a weapon of mass destruction for ignorance.”

    Many analysts say that Mussolini nostalgia has helped drive the success of Italy’s modern-day far right. The two biggest far-right parties, the Northern League and Brothers of Italy, together capture about 18 percent in opinion polling and could win power in March in coalition with the larger Forward Italy party of Silvio Berlusconi, who has praised aspects of Mussolini’s rule.

    Official resigns after calling East St. Louis ‘s—hole of the universe’

    A Republican official in Illinois resigns after calling East St. Louis the “s—hole of the universe.”

    Blair Garber (LinkedIn)

    Blair Garber — who served as the chairman of the Illinois Lottery Control Board and was a member of the state’s Republican Central Committee — stepped down from both roles following the comments, the State-Journal Register reported.

    Garber’s comment came after country singer Charlie Daniels took to Twitter to chide Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and to defend President Trump following his reported reference to Haiti and African nations as “s—hole countries” during a White House meeting with lawmakers.

    Garber reportedly tweeted,” “Charlie, Durbin’s home town is (get this) east St. Louis illinois! The s**** of the universe! Just do a google search.”

    Trump, who faced widespread backlash and accusations of racism, pushed back against Durbin’s reports of the comments and denies he is racist.

    University of Iowa to remove Steve Wynn’s name from institute after allegations

    The University of Iowa says it is planning to remove Steve Wynn’s name from its Institute for Vision Research following allegations of sexual misconduct against the casino mogul and GOP mega-donor, according to The Hill.

    The school decided to rename the institute, which focuses on genetic blindness, the “Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision” after Wynn made a $25 million gift commitment.

    Wynn said when he made the gift that he knew firsthand what it was like to lose vision from a “rare inherited eye disease.”

    Dropping Wynn’s name from the university’s vision institute is subject to approval by the Board of Regents, the school added.

    Gay-rights groups urge Amazon to avoid 9 cities for its 2nd headquarters

    Gay-rights advocates plan a “No Gay? No Way!” campaign today to pressure Amazon to avoid building its second headquarters in a state that does not protect its residents from discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Of the 20 cities on Amazon’s list of finalists, nine are in states with no anti-gay-discrimination laws, according to the campaign. The citie are Austin and Dallas in Texas; Nashville; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Miami, Raleigh, N.C., and the D.C. suburbs of northern Virginia.

    Conor Gaughan, the ad-hoc campaign’s manager and communications consultant, tells USA TODAY, “We were frankly just stunned that a company with such a great track record of equality and diversity had put all these states into the mix.”

    Amazon launched a public search for a second headquarters site last year. It asked cities to send in proposals, saying it preferred candidates with a business-friendly environment, a highly educated labor pool, strong transportation options and a good quality of life. The company said it would spend $5 billion building the new headquarters and expected to hire 50,000 well-paid workers.

    People are spending 50 million fewer hours on Facebook a day

    Changes in Facebook is returning it to its roots connecting friends and family and lessening the time people spend there by 5 percent, according to USA Today.

    CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday in announcing the giant social media company’s fourth-quarter results, which topped Wall Street expectations: “In total, we made changes that reduced time spent on Facebook by roughly 50 million hours every day.”

    One of those changes: showing fewer viral videos.

    Pressure has been building on Facebook and its CEO as the toxic content flowing through the social media network — violent live videos, fabricated news articles and divisive messages from Russian operatives that rocked the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign — has been blamed for many social ills.

    Hasbro to release ‘Cheaters Edition’ of Monopoly

    Remember when your parents told you not to cheat when playing games with your siblings?

    Forget that.

    Hasbro plans to release a version of its iconic game Monopoly that will give cheaters a chance to profit from it.

    A recent study conducted by Hasbro reveals that almost half of all Monopoly players try to cheat at some point. So the company has created a version of the game that will cater to those temptations.

    The Cheaters Edition of Monopoly will come with a handcuff and is expected to be in stores this fall, according to online publication Insider.

    There will be 15 cheat cards that ask players to carry out certain tasks throughout the game, from sneaking cash from the bank to moving someone else’s game piece.

    If they are successful, the player would get rewards to further themselves in the game. But if caught, the player would have to hand over the money and go to jail in handcuffs.

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump denied Tuesday that he had asked then-Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker to intervene in the Southern District of New York’s (SDNY) investigation of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

    “I don’t know who gave you that,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “That’s more fake news.”

    The remarks came shortly after the New York Times reported that the president approached Whitaker last year and asked if he could have Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for SDNY, oversee the investigation.

    Then-Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks to law enforcement officers in Austin, Texas, about border security, on Dec. 11, 2018. (Justice Department/Twitter)

    Berman, who is viewed as friendly toward Trump, had previously recused himself from the case.

    The Times also reports that after Whitaker told Trump an intervention would not be possible, the president “soured” on the acting official.

    Trump said Tuesday that he continues to have a “very good” relationship with Whitaker.

    Cohen, who served as Trump’s fixer for years, pleaded guilty in November to charges related to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. The latter, prosecutors and Cohen have said, was carried out at Trump’s direction.

    The Times’ report raises fresh questions over whether the president has tried to use his position to obstruct justice.

    It also comes amid the backdrop of former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe’s book tour, in which he has repeatedly defended his decision to open a probe into the president for firing former FBI Director James Comey.

    During testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month, Whitaker said that he has never been pushed by the White House to involve himself in any investigation.

    William Barr was sworn in as attorney general on Thursday. Whitaker is now a counselor in the Office of the Associate Attorney General.

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time Friday that he has just finished drafting written answers to questions provided to the White House by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

    The president, however, said that he has not yet submitted them.

    “I’ve answered them very easily,” Trump said in the Oval Office, emphasizing that he and not his lawyers provided responses. “I’m working on them.”

    Mueller, who is probing potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has gone relatively quiet in the lead-up to last week’s midterm elections, leading to fervent speculation that additional indictments could be unsealed this month.

    Trump himself has returned his focus to the special counsel, trashing the probe in a series of tweets Thursday.

    When asked Friday if the tweet storm was prompted by anything, Trump replied “not at all” and claimed that he is currently very happy.

    “I’m not agitated,” Trump said. “It’s a hoax.”

    WASHINGTON – Former FBI Director James Comey said House Republicans’ allegations that he committed crimes related to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election are false.

    “The accusations are not true,” Comey told The View on Wednesday.

    Eleven House Republicans wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday requesting a criminal investigation into Comey, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

    The Justice Department’s Inspector General sent a criminal referral to federal prosecutors in regards to McCabe on Thursday but it has to do more with the IG report that found McCabe to be less than truthful.

    The report had recommended McCabe to be fired. McCabe is accused of lying to the FBI and leaking information to the press.

    Comey told The View he is the one who kick-started the IG probe and attempted to downplay McCabe’s difficulty of telling the truth.

    “Good people lie. I think I’m a good person, where I have lied,” Comey said on The View. “I still believe Andrew McCabe is a good person but the inspector general found he lied.”

    The GOP letter comes less than a month after Sessions appointed Utah U.S. Attorney John W. Huber to review the Justice Department’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe and alleged connections between the Clinton Foundation and an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia.

    Many Republicans claim the FBI and DoJ have demonstrated bias against the Trump administration and that Hillary Clinton was given special treatment during the investigation into her use of private email server while Secretary of State. They also allege there is a double standard for those who supported Clinton and those who supported Trump.

    Republicans claim Clinton supporters who lied to federal authorities have not been charged with lying while those targeted in the Russian collusion investigation face criminal charges for similar alleged acts. For example, Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI.

    A major point of contention centers around potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    The letter suggests Comey may have violated the law in drafting a statement exonerating Clinton before the FBI had completed its investigation. Strzok is believed to be responsible for edits in the statement that were used to justify exoneration. He and fellow agent Lisa Page were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team after it revealed that they had exchanged anti-Trump text messages.

    Lynch oversaw the Clinton email investigation and based on Comey’s recommendation made the decision not to prosecute Clinton. Comey told Congress last year that Lynch had instructed him to refer to the Clinton email case as a “matter” rather an “investigation.”

    During the campaign, Lynch came under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that she had had a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of the Phoenix Airport several days before Comey announced that Hillary Clinton would not be charged.


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump accused James Comey Monday morning of “committing many crimes” in his first tweet after the former FBI director’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos aired Sunday night.

    In his first interview since being dismissed from his position last May, Comey defended his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email sever and portrayed Trump in a damning light.

    It closed with Comey arguing that Trump is “morally unfit” to be president of the United States.

    “A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small, and insists the American people believe it, that person is not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Comey said.

    The interview is part of Comey’s media tour in the lead-up to the release of his book A Higher Loyalty, which comes out on Tuesday.

    Trump’s Monday morning tweet comes on the heels of the president firing off similar rebukes the previous morning.

    Trump is not the only person in the West Wing lambasting the former director.

    On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders offered lengthy attacks on Comey’s credibility.

    “The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self-admitted leaker. This is nothing more than a poorly executed PR stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs on the bargain bin of the fiction section,” Sanders said. “Instead of being remembered as a dedicated servant in the pursuit of justice like so many of his other colleagues at the FBI, Comey will be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack that broke his sacred trust with the president of the United States, the dedicated agents of the FBI, and the American people he vowed to faithfully serve. One of the president’s greatest achievements will go down as firing Director James Comey.”

    Sanders went on to criticize the press for covering Comey’s claims.

    “We shouldn’t be praising him; we should be putting him down, we should be taking him off of air, instead of giving him minute after minute,” Sanders said.

    Trump declined to respond to shouted questions on Comey while departing the White House for Florida Monday morning.

    WASHINGTON – President Trump sought to mend relations today with a key African leader in the aftermath of his controversial comments about African nations, according to the Associated Press

    Trump’s meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland comes shortly after Trump drew widespread condemnation for allegedly referring to African nations as “s—hole countries” in dismissing a bipartisan immigration proposal, according to those at the Oval Office meeting.

    Trump has denied using that language. Others present insist he did.

    He described having “tremendous discussions” with Kagame, who is beginning a one-year term as head of the African Union, a 55-member continental body that criticized the U.S. president’s remarks. Neither Trump nor Kagame made any mention of the row during brief comments to reporters.

    GOP lawmakers want to double high-skilled worker visas

    GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona introduced a bill on Thursday that would more than double the maximum number of temporary visas offered to high-skilled workers from overseas, according to Bloomberg News.

    The measure would allow as many as 195,000 H-1B visas based on demand  an increase of 110,000.  The legislation also would  allow their spouses and children to work in the U.S.

    Hatch said the legislation could be folded into an immigration measure now under discussion by lawmakers that would protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children  the DACA issue that precipitated a three-day government shutdown.

    The legislation may face opposition from the Trump administration. During his campaign for president, Trump called the high-skilled H-1B system a “cheap labor program” that takes away jobs from Americans.

    Nikki Haley rips ‘offensive’ rumor of affair with Trump

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is ripping online rumors suggesting she’s having an affair with President Trump as “disgusting” and “offensive” — and typical of the treatment of women in powerful positions.

    In an interview with Politico, Haley said the rumors instigated by author Michael Wolff are “absolutely not true.”

    She also said that she has never talked once to the president about her future and that she is never alone with him.

    Social media giants respond to Russian election meddling

    Facebook, Twitter and Google outlined their efforts to keep state-sponsored groups from manipulating their platforms and interfering in the U.S. political process.

    The companies detailed their efforts in 100 pages of responses to questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee following a November hearing about Russian interference on their platforms.

    Facebook said that it found 129 events created by 13 public pages linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian “troll farm” responsible for disseminating information intended to elicit divisions among Americans and sway the election. It said it has also removed Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs from its list of antivirus providers for users who visit its website.

    U.S. government and intelligence officials have raised red flags about the latter over suspicions that its software could enable Russian espionage on computers that have the software installed.

    President Trump in December signed into law a bill which bans the government from using Kaspersky Labs software.

    Trump at odds with Kelly as familiar pattern unfolds

    President Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with his chief of staff John Kelly, according to several sources, CNN reports.

    Sources who are close to the president say he feels Kelly doesn’t respect him, and only pays him lip service.

    Trump has been privately annoyed with Kelly since his interview on Fox News last week when he said Trump had “evolved in the way he’s looked at things.”

    The interview set Trump off — he “hated” his comments, one person familiar with his mood told CNN, and he spent the evening calling friends and allies to complain about it.

    Trump later insisted that his relationship with his chief of staff is fine.

    Some liken Michigan State to Penn State amid abuse scandal

    Sports doctor Larry Nassar is on his way to prison for the rest of his life for molesting scores of young female athletes, but the scandal is far from over at Michigan State University as victims, lawmakers and a judge demand to know why he wasn’t stopped years ago, according to The Associated Press.

    Some are likening Michigan State to Penn State University, where three senior officials, including the school’s president, were sentenced to jail last year for failing to tell authorities about a sexual abuse allegation involving coach Jerry Sandusky.

    Nassar, a 54-year-old former member of Michigan State’s sports medicine staff, admitted penetrating elite gymnasts and other athletes with his fingers while he was supposedly treating them for injuries.

    Apple finally rolls out its smart speaker

    After an initial delay, pre-order starts today for the HomePod, Apple’s long-awaited answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

    The $349 speaker comes in two colors, white and space gray.

    Apple faces some stiff competition from Amazon: Nearly 70 percent of smart-speaker users are expected to go with the Echo this year. But Apple hopes to distinguish itself from its competitors with superior sound quality.

    The speaker, unveiled last June, will be available in stores Feb. 9.

    GOP super PAC launches $1.5M ad buy in Pennsylvania 

    A top House GOP super PAC is rolling out its first TV ad ahead of Pennsylvania’s upcoming special election, seeking to link Democrat Conor Lamb to House  Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

    The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) ad, which is backed by $1.5 million, targets Lamb as one of Pelosi’s “sheep” and argues that he’ll support her “extreme” agenda, according to The Hill.

    Lamb squares off against GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone in the March 13 special election.

    President Trump traveled to the state earlier this month in an effort to boost the GOP candidate.

    #ReleaseTheMemo – a GOP, not Russia, creation

    The online groundswell urging the release of House Republicans’ attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation appears to be organically American – not Russian propaganda, a source familiar with Twitter’s internal analysis told The Daily Beast.

    #ReleaseTheMemo has been trending widely since late last week.

    It urges the House intelligence committee to release what its  finding of FBI misconduct aimed at surveilling and discrediting President Trump.

    Democrats in Congress counter that  Republicans are cobbling together a deceptive memo aimed at discrediting the FBI and Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump team over Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

    DOJ finds missing texts

    The Department of Justice has recovered missing text messages between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the DOJ’s inspector general reports.

    Fox News has learned from U.S. government officials that the inspector general recovered the texts by taking possession of “at least four” phones belonging to Strzok and Page.

    In a letter sent to congressional committees, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office “succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page that were sent or received between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.”

    Horowitz said, “Our effort to recover any additional text messages is ongoing. We will provide copies of the text messages that we recover from these devices to the Department so that the Department’s leadership can take any management action it deems appropriate.”

    Trump: ‘I’d be willing to apologize for sharing far-right Britain First tweets’

    President Trump said today that he is willing to apologize for retweeting videos from the leader of the U.K.’s far-right political group Britain First in November, but stopped short of actually apologizing.

    In his first international interview, Trump told ITV’s Piers Morgan on “Good Morning Britain,” “Here’s what’s fair. If you’re telling me these are horrible people, horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize, if you’d like me to do that. I know nothing about them,”

    Trump appeared to defend sharing the video, saying he knows nothing about the group.

    Members of the U.K. government expressed outrage in November after Trump retweeted the videos, which claimed to show Muslims engaging in violent acts but have not been independently authenticated.

    Prime Minister Theresa May slammed Trump for the posts, saying he was wrong to retweet them.

    Tesla ‘super fan’ who has cancer gets to meet Elon Musk

    Self-described Tesla super fan Matthew Chan always wanted to meet some of the key people behind the electric car maker.

    The cancer patient’s wish came true this week with a visit to the company’s factory in California, and he got even more than he bargained for.

    Not only did he go on a tour and meet Tesla’s top car designer, he also got to meet CEO and co-founder Elon Musk.

    Chan said he was star struck at meeting Musk:  “I was a stuttering fool, but I just thanked him for his vision and what he’s done for the community.”

    Chan’s close friend Alan Miller shared a post on some Tesla (TSLA) forums earlier this month, writing, “My best friend from medical school, Matthew Chan, is a 39- year old radiologist in Sacramento with 3 kids who was just diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.”

    An outpouring of support by Tesla fanatics conspired to make the meeting happen for Chan, who owns two Teslas.

    Democrats are not happy with Trump’s immigration proposal

    Democrats are responding to President Trump’s proposal to give 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship in exchange for $25 billion for his long-promised wall — and they’re not happy, according to CNN.

    A big problem for Democrats is the cuts to “chain migration” – a GOP rephrasing of family-based migration.

    One key immigration advocate told CNN the White House proposal would be “the biggest cut to legal immigration in nearly 100 years.”

    In what the White House official called a “dramatic concession,” Trump would accept a path to citizenship for not just those originally eligible for DACA but also for a broader population, adding up to 1.8 million people.

    In return, the White House would like to see a $25 billion investment in a trust for border infrastructure, technology, and personnel, and an end to family migration beyond spouses and minor children.

    Scientists protest over Trump ally’s position at Natural History Museum

    Members of the science community are protesting prominent Trump ally Rebecca Mercer’s role on the board of trustees at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, according to The Hill.

    Over 200 scientists and academics drafted a letter Thursday urging the museum to take Mercer, who has been on the board since 2013, off of the board, in addition to serving ties “ties to anti-science propagandists and funders of climate science misinformation.”

    The letter cites the Mercer family’s involvement behind alt-right Breitbart News, as well as Rebecca Mercer’s role on the Trump Transition Team, in which she “nominated climate denier Arthur Robinson” to be considered for a role as a National Science Advisor.

    GDP grows below-forecast 2.6% on trade; inventory drags

    The U.S. economy expanded at a slower-than-projected pace in the fourth quarter on drags from trade and inventory depletion, offsetting strength in consumer spending and business investment that signals solid momentum entering 2018, according to a report in Bloomberg News.

    Gross domestic product rose at a 2.6 percent annualized rate after 3.2 percent in the prior period, Commerce Department data shows today.

    The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 3 percent. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, rose 3.8 percent, the best in more than a year. Business equipment investment grew at the fastest pace in three years.

    Today’s Commerce report dashed expectations for the longest streak of 3 percent-or-better growth since 2005, but still delivered the strongest performance since 2014.

    Trump administration cancels Obama-era environmental review

    The Trump administration has decided to cancel an Obama-era environmental review on how blocking hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Minnesota from mining would impact the surrounding wilderness, The Washington Post reported Friday.

    The review has been downgraded to an assessment, a less demanding level of review.

    The study was ordered during the final days of the Obama administration, as the Interior Department started a two-year ban on mineral extraction in the 230,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in Minnesota.

    The decision to cancel the more thorough review comes a month after President Trump’s Interior Department announced it would renew mining licenses for a major Chilean mining company in the area next to the forest land.

    FBI officials considered naming special prosecutor for Clinton emails

    FBI officials considered appointing a special prosecutor to oversee a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, Politico reports.

    Texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page show that former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was considered being named to the probe.

    Former FBI Director James Comey tapped Fitzgerald to lead the probe into the identification of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

    GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa asked FBI Director Christopher Wray in a letter Thursday whether the bureau had ever requested the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor, and “If not, why not?”

    The revelation comes after Republicans raised questions over whether an anti-Trump “secret society” existed at the Department of Justice and FBI, based on a fragment from Strozk and Page’s texts. However, the entire text referring to the “secret society” was revealed earlier this week, and GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who had promoted the anti-Trump theory, conceded there was a “real possibility” that the text was a joke.

    Crowd boos after Trump attacks media at Davos

    The crowd at a Q&A session with President Trump at the World Economic Forum booed after he attacked the media.

    Trump said at the session today: “It wasn’t till I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be, as the cameras start going off in the back.”

    The crowd at the event then booed.

    Trump has repeatedly attacked the press throughout his presidential campaign and into his administration, blasting reports about him and his administration as “fake news,” and naming CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post among the winners of his “Fake News Awards” earlier this month.

    GOP candidate says feminists have ‘snake-filled heads,’ hopes daughters don’t become ‘she devils’

    A Republican candidate who hopes to unseat a female Democratic senator in Missouri is drawing criticism for a statement he posted about women’s rights in which he called feminists “she-devils” and said that he expected his fiancée to have dinner ready for him every night at 6 p.m.

    The candidate, Courtland Sykes, wrote that “radical feminism” has a “crazed definition of modern womanhood…They made it up to suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads.”

    In an interview with The Washington Post, Sykes said that he fully supported women and that he didn’t believe his statement was demeaning to them. He said that he did not intend a statement about “feminist she devils” to be an indictment of women with careers, noting that he counted some women he used to work with as mentors.

    Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes wrote: “Just to be clear:  No relation. At all. Thank God.”

    Olympic Committee asks USA Gymnastics board to resign 

    USA Gymnastics’ status as the sport’s national governing body will be terminated unless it meets six conditions set out by the U.S. Olympic Committee, including the resignation of the entire board by Wednesday.

    USOC CEO Scott Blackmun outlined the conditions – and the repercussions – in an email sent Thurday to the USA Gymnastics board.

    The letter comes a day after former national team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing seven female athletes. More than 150 girls and young women, including Olympic champions Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber, also said he sexually abused them.

    Former GOP rep: If there’s nothing to hide, why does Trump try to fire everyone?

    Former GOP Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois suggested today that President Trump’s reported order to fire Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III last year might point to the likelihood that the president was hiding something.

    In a tweet Friday morning, Walsh, now a radio host, told followers that Trump’s attempts to fire Mueller and deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, along with his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, was an interesting choice for “a guy who says he didn’t do anything wrong.”

    Walsh tweeted, “He fired FBI Dir Comey. He tried to fire Asst FBI Dir McCabe. He wanted to fire Att Gen Sessions. He ordered the firing of Special Counsel Mueller.  I could go on…For a guy who says he didn’t do anything wrong, why does he try to fire everyone who’s investigating him?”