Trump Aide Under Warrant, US Accuses Russia
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Vol. 6, No.94
The Russia House: The FBI got a secret warrant last summer to monitor Donald Trump’s campaign aide Carter Page, according to a report in The Washington Post. In an investigation into Russian influence on the election, the feds convinced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Page might have been acting on behalf of Russia, the paper says.
The revelation is one of the clearest signs that the FBI was investigating the Russia connection early last summer.
Page used to work as an investment banker in Moscow. He told The Post, “This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance. I have nothing to hide.”
Russia With Love: The White House has accused Russia of covering up last week’s nerve gas attack in Syria with disinformation and lies. Russia at first claimed that the evidence of a nerve attack was faked, then said Syrian regime bombs had hit a depot of rebel-held nerve agent.
It’s a big turnaround for President Trump, who had campaigned on hopes of getting along better with Russia.
The US suspects that with Russian forces stationed at the same airbase from which the attack was launched, the Russians had to know of the planned attack. An unclassified four-page report says, “Moscow’s response to the April 4 attack follows a familiar pattern of its responses to other egregious actions,” the report said. “It spins out multiple, conflicting accounts in order to create confusion and sow doubt within the international community.”
History Lesson: White House spokesman Sean Spicer stepped on his own tongue yesterday comparing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons to Adolph Hitler. “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said.
When reminded that Hitler and the Nazis used gas to exterminate Jews, Spicer said, “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing,” Spicer said.
Well, yeah, a lot of people sent to the gas chambers were German. Spicer later apologized for his stupidity.
Saber Rattling: President Trump issued a tweet-threat to North Korea yesterday, saying, “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem! —
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
Certainly after reading that, North Korea and China will get right on it.
Friendly Skies: United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized for the incident in which passenger Dr. David Dao was dragged down the aisle of a passenger jet to make room for flight crew deadheading to Louisville.
Munoz said in a statement that the airline takes “full responsibility” and that, “No one should ever be mistreated this way.”
Video of Dao’s removal went viral, waking up customers all over the world who didn’t know that an airline might remove passengers who made their reservation, paid, and were already in their seat. A NY Times editorial says, “As long as the big airlines face neither rigorous competition nor a diligent government watchdog, they will be able to treat customers like chattel and get away with it.”
The Obit Page: J. Geils, who named his hit-making 1980s band after himself, was found dead in his Groton, Mass. home on Monday. He was 71.
The local police found Geils after they were asked to check on his welfare. He appeared to have died of natural causes.
The J. Geils band produced the memorable songs “Love Stinks,” “Freeze Frame” and, “Centerfold.” The group disbanded in 1985.
A friend of Geils told The Rooney Report, he “died a penniless wreck – heavy smoker, alcoholic, no family – I liked him.”
Spring Break: Embattled Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly announced that he’s going on a two-week vacation in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal and advertiser bailout. Gabriel Sherman writes for New York magazine that it’s possible O’Reilly might not be back, but his fate is up to the Murdoch family, which controls Fox . Sherman says the patriarch, Rupert, wants to keep O’Reilly and his son James wants the perv out of there.