Kamala Harris Blisters ‘Racist’ Kirstjen Nielsen in Fiery Senate Interrogation

The Department of Homeland Security chief looked visibly uncomfortable.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) sparred with Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over the president’s racist remarks — and the administration official’s apparent support for those views.

Nielsen said earlier Tuesday during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the president was simply repeating an observation about hard-working Norwegian immigrants, but Harris said Trump was unfavorably comparing them to African and Haitian immigrants.

“You spoke of them, according to the president, as the people of Norway — well, you know, they work very hard — the inference being the people of the 54 states of Africa and Haiti do not,” Harris said. “That is a fair inference.”

She then blasted Nielsen’s claim under oath that she was not aware that Norway was a majority white nation.

“You run the Department of Homeland Security,” Harris continued, “and when you say you don’t know if Norway is predominantly white when asked by a member of the United States Senate, that causes me concern about your ability to understand the scope of your responsibilities and the impact of your words — much less the policies that you promulgate in that very important department.”

Harris asked Nielsen why she ignored domestic terrorist attacks by white supremacists in her opening remarks about security threats faced by the U.S. — and she said the omission was “deeply troubling.”

“You must understand the inference, the reasonable inference, that the American public is drawing from the words you speak much less the words of the president of the United States,” Harris said.

Nielsen later complained that Harris had unfairly drawn conclusions based on her testimony.

“If you don’t mind, it’s not a fair inference to say that my comments about Norway were in contrast to any other country,” Nielsen said. “What I was describing was the president’s views upon meeting with the prime minister, and what I was quoting was what he was told in meeting with the Norwegian delegation. That’s what he repeated, words that he repeated that I repeated. It was not in contrast. With respect to white supremacy, we expanded our prevention efforts in the Department of Homeland Security to ensure we in fact are going after violence of any kind, any kind is not appropriate and I will not allow it to occur if it’s within our authority to stop.”

Harris made one brief response before ceding the floor.

“Mr. Chairman, I would just ask that the record — so we can all review it — will reflect in the opening statements when discussing challenges to our homeland in terms of security, the white supremacist threat was not mentioned,” Harris said.



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More Than a Third of Americans Give Trump’s First Year a Resounding ‘F’: Poll

The country is deeply unhappy with its president.

Americans aren’t happy with Donald Trump as president. While this isn’t news per se, low approval ratings may leave you wondering just why exactly most citizens are disappointed.

A new poll offers something approaching an answer. According to Politico/Morning Consult’s latest findings, the country is most dissatisfied with the president’s performance in several domestic and international categories.

Of the 1,988 people surveyed in early January, Trump earned an “F” grade from the majority of respondents. The issues covered include fixing the national debt, immigration, and fighting terrorism, among others. When asked for an overall grade on Trump’s first year in office, the lion’s share of respondents (35%) gave Trump a failing grade.

Unsurprisingly, the president peformed poorest on climate change. A whopping 40 percent said Trump has utterly failed to combat global warming, a grade he likely earned thanks to his retreat from the Paris Climate Accord and the enormous tax cuts he gifted to the oil and gas industry as part of his tax “reform” bill.

Credit: Politico/Morning Consult

Trump fared almost as badly on foreign relations and health care. In both categories, the largest group of participants (38 percent) gave the president an F.

Politico’s readers tend to be liberal, but that’s not the case with this poll. Participants are spread evenly between race, gender, geographical location, political leaning, party affiliation, and age. Most earn under $50K and have some college experience, but not a bachelor’s degree.

Interestingly, the poll shows that exactly the same percentage of people think Trump will get better (37 percent) as those who think he’ll get worse (also 37 percent).


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Dick Durbin Nails Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for Misremembering Trump’s ‘Sh*thole’ Remark

The entire administration has proven itself incapable of shame.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) grilled the U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday about President Donald Trump’s racist remarks about immigration.“Things wer…

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Steve Bannon Is Testifying Before the House Intelligence Committee

Will Democrats press the former Trump adviser over his money laundering allegations?

Steve Bannon will appear before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning, supposedly to answer questions about his role in Trump’s campaign and any connection to Russian operatives. This comes after Bannon first described the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump’s top campaign staff and a group of Russian representatives as both “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”—and then went on to explain how to do secret meetings with the Russians correctly.

Bannon went on, Wolff writes, to say that if any such meeting had to take place, it should have been set up “in a Holiday Inn in Manchester, New Hampshire, with your lawyers who meet with these people”. Any information, he said, could then be “dump[ed] … down to Breitbart or something like that, or maybe some other more legitimate publication”.

Did Bannon follow up on these oddly specific thoughts? We won’t know right offhand, because today’s interview will be another of those held behind closed doors. Which is a real shame, not only because of the way that Congress has consistently shielded Trump insiders from public scrutiny, but also because this is the first time Bannon has testified before any group. Is Steve Bannon a tight-mouthed witness who has to be led to each point, or a babbler who just can’t help letting everything out in a rush? Evidence suggests the later.

But keeping Bannon’s testimony locked up means that Republicans will be able to do what they’ve done in every interview—spend their time looking for ways to attack the witness and demean the investigation while asking not one question related to the erstwhile topic of the investigation. It also means they’ll be able to selectively leak out of context snippets from the interview to create a Trump-supporting narrative, no matter what actually gets said in chambers. 

On the other hand, Democrats are likely to ask Bannon about this:

“You realize where this is going. … This is all about money laundering. Mueller chose (senior prosecutor Andrew) Weissmann first and he is a money-laundering guy,” Bannon is quoted as saying in Wolff’s book. “Their path to f***ing Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Jr., and Jared Kushner. … It’s as plain as a hair on your face.”

The money-laundering quote from Bannon backs up evidence that not only has Trump depended heavily on a secret flow of cash …

More than one-fifth of Donald Trump’s US condominiums have been purchased since the 1980s in secretive, all-cash transactions that enable buyers to avoid legal scrutiny by shielding their finances and identities, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found.

And that this cash flow is critical to the investigation of Trump–Russia …

The money to build these projects flowed almost entirely from Russian sources. In other words, after his business crashed, Trump was floated and made to appear to operate a successful business enterprise through the infusion of hundreds in millions of cash from dark Russian sources.

Did Bannon have inside information on this topic, or was he only connecting that rather obvious dots that had been tied together by the Financial Times, Business Insider, Bloomberg, and others who have bothered to take more than a cursory look into Trump’s finances? That’s a topic likely to be touched on by Democrats when they get the chance to ask questions actually connected to Trump and Russia.

Of course, when it comes to any public release of this information, Republicans could continue to sit on it for months. In fact, they could—and likely will—camp on the full transcript until the end of their “investigation,” at which time a summary of Bannon’s statements will be added to their final report.

If the public is going to get a real view of what’s been said anytime soon, someone on the House side will have to pull a Feinstein



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Why White Supremacists Will Never, Ever Abandon Trump

David Duke and the Daily Stormer understand the president is one of their own.

Donald Trump is a white supremacist. The evidence in support of this conclusion is overwhelming. His infamous comments last Thursday suggesting that Haiti, El Salvador and the many countries of Africa are “shitholes” — and that immigrants from a predominantly white country such as Norway are preferable — is just the most recent example of Trump’s racism.

Too many voices in the mainstream news media remain in denial, or simply dishonest, about this fact. Instead of stating the obvious about Donald’s racist attitudes, beliefs, and behavior they suggest that “we can’t know what is in his heart,” ask rhetorical questions (“Is Donald Trump a racist?”) and offer evasive qualifiers: “Is Donald Trump making the country’s racial tensions worse?” In a moment better suited for a “Saturday Night Live” skit, reporters ask Donald Trump if he is a racist — as though he or most other racists would admit to that in public.

Predictably, the mainstream media will send more reporters to ask Trump supporters in the so-called heartland whether they still support him after these most recent hateful and bigoted comments. The answer will almost always be yes.

However, there is one group of people who are honest about Donald Trump. White supremacists know that Donald Trump is one of their tribe. The Daily Stormer, the white supremacist website founded by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, described Trump’s comments last week as “encouraging and refreshing,” because they suggest that “Trump is more or less on the same page as us with regards to race and immigration.”

The Stormer post, likely written by Anglin himself, went on to discuss the perceived superiority of immigrants from Asian countries, who do not “create social problems … on the scale of other nonwhites, because they don’t commit the crimes and are not leeches.” But the Stormer remains confident that its social vision is the same as Trump’s: an all-white America.

I think it is clear that Trump’s ideal America is the one he grew up with in the 1950s. And the closer we get to that, the closer we are to our own goals of a white race-state.

[If] people who think like us take power, [Asians] aren’t going to throw a fit about being forced to leave. We can give them a year to make arrangements, and they will just go, for the most part without even complaining. A certain small percentage of them may be allowed to stay, though of course not with citizenship or citizen’s rights. Anyway, it’s a non-issue right now.

The real issue is all of these shitty brown people who come to the country exclusively to parasite off of us.

The Daily Stormer’s renewed embrace of Trump’s policies is part of a larger pattern. The Ku Klux Klan’s official newspaper endorsed Trump’s candidacy. Longtime Klan leader David Duke and other prominent white supremacists have correctly identified Trump as an ally who has helped to mainstream their views. Last week, Duke showered praise on Trump, via Twitter, for his recent comments about “shithole” nations.

Just as the most ardent Trump supporters were about to give up on him in despair — he restores a lot of love in us by saying blunt but truthful things that no other President in our lifetime would dare say! NO DACA! NO COMPROMISE – NO Sh**thole America! Hail Trump!

Throughout his campaign and his presidency, Trump has surrounded himself with white supremacist advisers who pursue their goals under the cloak of “economic nationalism.” He has rewarded these followers by declaring that there were “very fine people” among the domestic terrorists who ran amok and committed lethal violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer. Trump and his administration have withdrawn federal resources from the fight against white supremacists and other right-wing domestic terrorist groups.

The hard-right turn of the Republican Party and its embrace of white supremacy has been decades in the making. Donald Trump’s presidency is simply the next iteration in the mainstreaming of overt white supremacy in the post-Civil Rights era.

Social scientists such as Christopher Parker and others have shown that the rise of the Tea Party movement in response to Barack Obama’s presidency was a critical moment in the devolution of the Republican Party and its transformation into a de facto white identity organization.

Ultimately, Trump’s rise to power is a function of white America’s anxieties about maintaining power in an increasingly cosmopolitan and diverse world. In this way (and others), Donald Trump is the leader of a death cult of whiteness.

There is a deep ugliness in America. The shadow of white supremacy that hovers over the country has existed since before the founding. In the present this dark shadow has taken the human form of Trump and his supporters. He is a 21st-century version of Bull Connor who has — instead of a megaphone — Twitter, Fox News and the right-wing echo chamber, tens of millions of supporters and control of the United States government through the Republican Party. No outside force can save America from this darkness. The American people must find a way to save themselves.



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John Kelly Convinced Trump to Kill Bipartisan DACA Deal: Report

A new report reveals who’s really running the show in the Oval Office.

According to a moment-by-moment report of the contentious White House meeting over immigration reform, the Washington Post is reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had President Donald Trump’s ear and convinced him to scuttle a bipartisan deal on DACA.

While Trump’s comments about Haiti and African nations being “sh*tholes” got all the media attention — with the Post now reporting Kelly didn’t even blink when Trump said it — little has been reported on why Trump killed the deal which has infuriated Republicans and Democrats alike.

The report states that Kelly was briefed on the proposed bipartisan deal before the meeting and spoke with president before he sat down with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

According to the Post, Kelly “talked to Trump to tell him that the proposal would probably not be good for his agenda,” adding that Kelly has provided Trump with major input on immigration following his brief stint as  secretary of Homeland Security. The report also states one official claims Kelly has  “very strong feelings,” when it comes to immigration.

According to the report, “White House officials say Kelly is determined to secure a deal on dreamers and border security and has told Trump that the southwestern border is worse than it was a few years ago — and that he can be the president to change the status quo.”

Anti-immigrant activist Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, is happy the deal was scuttled, saying, “Once we saw what was going on in the meeting a few days earlier, we were freaked out,” before adding Trump “has hawkish instincts on immigration, but they aren’t well-developed, and he hasn’t ever been through these kind of legislative fights.”

You can read the whole insider report on the meeting here.


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