Scott Ott proposes a radical solution to mass shootings: stop focusing on changing federal laws, and start making your own community safer.
The Russians are using bots to stir up arguments on Twitter, Google is the Tech Age oil baron, and a giant ball of fire? It must be the Right Angle social media episode!
Nothing about this has any relationship to President Trump; however, the DOJ cronies under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Greg Andres and Andrew Weissmann, made a slick move today by unsealing indictments in Virginia against Paul Manafort opening up two legal fronts in an effort to wear down Manafort’s financial ability to defend his interests.
The maneuver comes after Team Mueller lost DC District Judge Contreras, who was replaced by a far more critical Emmet Sullivan, and who is forcing Mueller’s team to show all exculpatory evidence (Flynn case). The new indictments against Manafort were not in DC where they filed the first set but in Northern Virginia District Court.
If the new indictments were filed in DC it is likely they would have been consolidated under the current judge. Filing in Virginia makes Manafort fight in 2 separate courts. We’ll have to wait and see if Mueller moves to have the entire case transferred to Northern Virginia or if Mueller drops the initial DC case. Of course Manafort can, likely will, petition the court to move both cases against him into the DC circuit.
Greg Andres and Andrew Weissmann squeezed Paul Manafort’s prior business partner, Rick Gates to gain a guilty plea in Virginia. Mr. Gates admitted to taking part in a conspiracy to hide tens of millions of dollars that he and Paul Manafort obtained for their lobbying and consulting work related to Ukraine.
[…] U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson released two new indictments against Manafort, one returned last week and the other returned earlier Friday, removing some foreign-account-reporting charges that prosecutors have effectively transferred to Virginia as part of another indictment, unveiled on Thursday, that is focused on tax and bank fraud.
Gates’ plea agreement requires him to cooperate with Mueller’s various lines of investigation, including his prosecution of Manafort, Gates’ former business partner and mentor, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman in the summer of 2016.
Jackson accepted Gates’ guilty plea Friday afternoon but set no immediate date for sentencing. The plea agreement says that if prosecutors deem Gates to have provided “substantial assistance” to the government, they’ll file a motion that could increase Gates’ chances of getting a more lenient sentence than the roughly four and a half to six years likely to be called for by federal sentencing guidelines.
The rest of the charges Gates faces in Washington and Virginia would be dismissed at or after sentencing if he abides by the deal. (read more)
Yesterday it was revealed that Broward County School Police Officer Scot Peterson refused to enter building for over four minutes during the active shooter rampage. Today we discover that an additional three more Broward County Deputies arrived yet did nothing.
Officers from neighboring Coral Springs police department arrived on scene, noted the four Broward Deputies refusing to engage, and the CSPD immediately went into the building. According to a CNN report, the following day, February 15th, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over the dereliction of duty and cowardice exhibited by the Broward deputies.
I wish I could tell you I’m surprised; but I’m not. As we previously researched and outlined, the conduct by the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) is not unexpected. Their behavior is shameful, but not unexpected. From the top down, officials within the BSO are focused on political objectives within Broward County and maintaining/defending a political status amid all county officials:
(Via CNN) When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school.
With direction from the Broward deputies who were outside, Coral Springs police soon entered the building where the shooter was. New Broward County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, and two of those deputies and an officer from Sunrise, Florida, joined the Coral Springs police as they went into the building.
Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. It’s unclear whether the shooter was still in the building when they arrived. (read more)
The day after Coral Springs City Manager Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Israel, Coral Springs Police Chief Anthony Pustizzi sent out this email to his staff Feb 16:
Everyone in the surrounding communities know exactly how corrupt Broward and Miami-Dade officials are. No-one outside the area with any common sense is blind. The only difference amid outside observers is how much they know. Only a few, like the CSPD, know how bad it really is because they encounter the participants during overlaps.
The Broward system of civic society has one filter, that filter is politics. Everything else comes after that filter is applied. Do some research and you’ll see it surface EVERYWHERE; not just in school administration and law enforcement, everywhere.
If reporters keep digging and asking questions people will discover they are only seeing the very tippy-top of the heavily politicized agenda within Broward County law enforcement, school administration and all around civic leadership. Citizens are co-dependents to their own abuse.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is just one cog in an institutional system that is fraught with corruption and negligence at multiple levels. You don’t pull off this level of gross malfeasance, openly -in front of the entire population- for years, without strong internal support mechanisms.
Factually I’m shocked this much has surfaced. Normally Broward and Miami-Dade keep a tight cover on all these issues through their ideological friends and allies at the top of the media enterprises. Obviously the local news media editorial boards and corporate owners are struggling to keep control over inquires from outside news agencies.
However, given prior experience don’t expect this sunlight to last much longer.
We can be relatively certain executives at news groups within the Miami-Dade and Broward affiliates are quickly calling their outside peers with instructions to remain focused on the larger political objectives. Inquiries will stop soon…. all will be swept under the proverbial rug… the blood will be washed away….. and the citizenry will be lulled back to sheep…
That’s not cynicism, that is reality.
All your children are belong to them.
There is no Donald Trump type political strength of character in the area to confront the corruption. The system will self-protect.
A relaxed, confident and jovial president enjoys his first visit to CPAC following a year of MAGAnomic policy implementation. Lots of good stuff to talk about…. and even time for a recitation of “The Snake” poem.
Transcript] Oxon Hill, Maryland – 10:16 A.M. EST – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you everybody. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Matt, for that great introduction. And thank you for this big crowd. This is incredible. Really incredible. (Applause.)[
We’ve all come a long way together. We’ve come a long way together. I’m thrilled to be back at CPAC, with so many of my wonderful friends and amazing supporters, and proud conservatives. (Applause.) Remember when I first started running? Because I wasn’t a politician, fortunately. But do you remember I started running and people would say, “Are you sure he’s a conservative?” I think now we’ve proved that I’m a conservative, right? (Applause.)
For more than four decades, this event has served as a forum for our nation’s top leaders, activists, writers, thinkers. Year after year, leaders have stood on this stage to discuss what we can do together to protect our heritage, to promote our culture, and to defend our freedom.
CPAC has always been about big ideas and it’s also been about putting those ideas into action. And CPAC really has put a lot of ideas into action. We’ll talk about some of them this morning.
For the last year, with your help, we have put more great conservative ideas into use than perhaps ever before in American history. (Applause.) Right?
By the way, what a nice picture that is. Look at that. I’d love to watch that guy speak. (Laughter.) Oh, boy. That’s a — I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it. (Applause.) It doesn’t look bad. Hey, we’re hanging in. We’re hanging in. We’re hanging in there, right? Together, we’re hanging in.
We’ve confirmed a record number — so important — of circuit court judges, and we are going to be putting in a lot more. (Applause.) And they will interpret the law as written. And we’ve confirmed an incredible new Supreme Court justice, a great man, Neil Gorsuch. (Applause.) Right?
We’ve passed massive — biggest in history — tax cuts and reforms. (Applause.) You know, I don’t use the word “reform.” There was a lot of reform, too. Very positive reform. I don’t use it. And when we were first doing it, I told everybody — everybody gathered — I said, “Just talk about tax cuts. People don’t know what reform means. They think reform might mean it’s going up.” And I said, “Do tax cuts.”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
AUDIENCE: Booo —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. How did he get in here, Matt? Boy. Okay. Just for the media, the fake news back there, they took very good care of him. They were very gentle. (Laughter.) He was very obnoxious. It was only one person.
So we have thousands of people here. (Applause.) So listen — tomorrow, the headline will be, “Protestors disturbed the Trump…” — one person, folks. Doesn’t deserve a mention. Doesn’t deserve a headline. The headline tomorrow: “Disrupters of CPAC.” One person. And he was very nice — we looked at him, and he immediately left. Okay. (Laughter and applause.)
No, I’ve had it too often. You’ll have one person, and you can hardly even hear him. In fact, the biggest, really, disturbance are you people. You know why? He’ll say something; nobody hears him. Because it’s all — and then the crowd will start screaming at him. And then all of a sudden we stop for — and that’s okay. You have to show your spirit, right? You have to show your spirit. It’s true. (Applause.)
So we passed the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country. And it was called “tax cut and reform.” And I said to our people, don’t use the word “reform.” Because we were going to call it the “Tax Reform Act.” I said, “No wonder for 45 years nothing has been passed.” Because people want tax cuts, and they don’t know what reform means. Reform can mean you’re going to pay more tax. So I convinced politicians who have done this all their lives — and they do a great job, in many cases — but this was one — they were going, the “Tax Reform Act” of whatever year we want to put. Okay?
So they have the Tax Reform Act, and that was it. And now it was called the Tax Act — Tax Cut Act and Jobs. We had to add “jobs” into it because we’re picking up a tremendous number of jobs — 2.7 million jobs since the election. 2.7. (Applause.)
So now people hear tax cuts, and it has been popular. Remember, it started off a little slow. Then it got passed, and we had some great help. I will say, we had some great help in the Senate, in the House. We have guys here today — we have a lot of congressmen, we have a lot of senators. We had a lot of help. And we got it passed.
Just — it was not easy. We didn’t have one Democrat vote, and I think that’s going to cost them in the midterms. I know that whoever wins the presidency has a disadvantage, for whatever reason, in the midterms. You know what happens? I’m trying to figure it out. Because historically, if you win the presidency, you don’t do well two years later. And you know what? We can’t let that happen. (Applause.) And I know what happens. I finally figured it out. Nobody has been able to explain it. It just happens, statistically, almost all of the time for many years.
What happens is, you fight so hard to win the presidency. You fight, fight, fight. And now only two years — that’s a very short period. And by the time you start campaigning, it’s a year. And now you got to go and fight again. But you just won. So nobody has that same drive that they had. So you end up not doing that well because the other side is going — they’re crazed. And, by the way, they’re crazed anyway, these people. They are really crazed. (Laughter and applause.) Right?
So — because I kept trying to say, “Why is this?” But it’s just there. So the great enthusiasm — you know, you’re sitting back, you’re watching television. “Maybe I don’t have to vote today; we just won the presidency.” And then we get clobbered, and we can’t let that happen. We get clobbered in ’18, and we can’t let that happen — only because we are so happy, we passed so many things. Honestly, and I’ll say — I’ll use the word “my administration” as opposed to me — my administration, I think, has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency. I really believe that. I really believe it. I really believe it. (Applause.) So, I mean, judges, regulations, everything.
And the beautiful thing about the tax cuts is nobody thought we could do it. Because again, we had to get 100 percent of our vote. And nobody thought we could do it. And, frankly — I mean, to me we got it and it’s turned out to be one of the most popular things. And, by the way, for the Republicans in this room, of which I assume — would you say, is it 99 percent, Matt, or 100 percent? Huh? I would hope it’s close to — you know what, hey, we probably have some Democrats that want to come over. We have a great governor from West Virginia that left the Democratic Party — Big Jim — and he came over to the Republican Party. (Applause.)
So people are sitting there, and they’re saying, “Oh, we just had that great victory. Eh, let’s not vote. Let’s go to a movie. We’re the Republican Party, we’re going to do great.” And then they end up losing.
So you got to keep up the enthusiasm. Now what happens, by the way, they lose. And then you have the presidential election coming up again, and you clobber them because everybody gets off their ass and they get out and they work. Right? And they work. And they work and work and work. And you end up winning the Presidency again. And we should do that — hopefully we’re going to do that very easily.
But never — we have to worry — right now, we have a big race coming up in ’18. You have to get out. You have to just get that enthusiasm. Keep it going. (Applause.)
See, the word, really, is “complacent.” People get complacent. It’s a natural instinct. You just won, and now you’re happy and you’re complacent. Don’t be complacent. Okay? Don’t be complacent. Because if they get in, they will repeal your tax cuts, they will put judges in that you wouldn’t believe, they’ll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen. (Applause.) They’ll take away your Second Amendment. (Applause).
AUDIENCE: Donald Trump! Donald Trump!
THE PRESIDENT: Remember that. They will take away — thank you. They will take away those massive tax cuts and they will take away your Second Amendment. By the way, if you only had a choice of one, what would you rather have? The Second Amendment or the tax cuts? Go ahead, Second Amendment, tax cuts. Second Amendment. (Applause.) I’m going to leave it at the Second Amendment. I don’t want to get into that battle, all right?
We’re going to say you want — Matt, we’re going to say you want the Second Amendment the most. But we’re going to get them all. And remember this — (applause) — remember this: We’ve gotten — you know, somebody got on television recently and they said, actually, this is the first time I can remember — Trump made campaign promises. He may be the only person that actually fulfilled more promises than he made. I think that’s true. (Applause.) I fulfilled more promises.
But we have a very crooked media. We had a crooked candidate, too, by the way. But we have a very, very crooked media.
AUDIENCE: Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!
THE PRESIDENT: I will say this, folks: Everything that’s turning out, now it’s amazing that’s come full circle. Boy, have they committed a lot of atrocities when you look. (Applause.) Right? When you look. Have they done things that are wrong.
But remember this: Not only did we get the tax cuts, which everybody said we wouldn’t get — and, by the way, repealed, in that tax cut, the individual mandate, which is a tremendous thing. (Applause.)
This is where you’re forced to pay in order not to have healthcare. Okay? Is that great? You pay for the privilege of not having healthcare. So you’re subsidizing lots of other people. That’s gone. I know people came up to me with tears in their eyes; they’re saying, I’m forced to pay not to have healthcare. Very unfair.
And, by the way, we’re having tremendous plans coming out now — healthcare plans — at a fraction of the cost that are much better than Obamacare. (Applause.) And except for one Senator, who came into a room at 3 o’clock in the morning and went like that — we would have had healthcare, too.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: We would have had healthcare, too. Think of that. But I think we may be better off the way we’re doing it. It’s piece by piece by piece. Obamacare is just being wiped out. The individual mandate, essentially, wipes it out. (Applause.) So I think we may be better off. And people are getting great healthcare plans and we’re not finished yet.
But, remember, one person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in, and he went this way, and everyone said, “What happened? What was that all about?” Boy, oh, boy. Who was that? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to be controversial, so I won’t use his name. Okay? (Laughter.) What a mess. But it’s all happening anyway. It’s all happening anyway.
And we’ve, at the same time, eliminated a record number of job-killing regulations, and people are going back to work. (Applause.) Right? People are going back to work. So — and you know, the fake news always — if I say something that’s like, a little off, next day headline, “He misrepresents…” — I have to be careful.
But in the history of Presidents, no President — and I’m saying no President. Now, maybe they’ll find I was off by two but we’re here one year. (Laughter.) No President — well, I read it in lots of good papers, actually. (Laughter.) But they’ll change the story when I say it. No President has ever cut so many regulations in their entire term, okay — (applause) — as we’ve cut in less than a year. (Applause.)
And it’s my opinion that the regulations had as big an impact as these massive tax cuts that we’ve given. So I really believe it. (Applause.)
We’ve ended the war on American energy. We were in war. And we’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal. (Applause.) One of our great natural resources. And very important for our defense — coal — very important for our defense. Because we have it. We don’t have to send it through pipes. We don’t have to get it from foreign countries. We have more than anybody. And they wanted to end it. And our miners have been mistreated and they’re not being mistreated anymore. We’re doing tremendous business. (Applause.)
I was in Vietnam, and the Prime Minister and the President of Vietnam were there. And we have a massive deficit with them, like we do with everybody else because these Presidents have just let it go to hell. We have the worst trade deals you’ve ever seen. So we’re changing it.
So I said, we have too big of a deficit with Vietnam; I’m not happy. He said, “Well, but we’re going to…” — I said, “Buy coal. Buy coal.” They use a lot of coal. Buy coal. And he said, “You know, we have bought coal from West Virginia and other places, and it’s the finest coal we have ever used.” It’s interesting. And West Virginia now is doing great. You look at what’s happening in West Virginia. You look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania. You look at what’s happening in Ohio. (Applause.) And you look at what’s happening in Wyoming. You look at what’s happening all over. It’s like a — it’s like a different world.
And remember this: Virtually, as soon as I got into office, we approved the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline, which would never have been approved. (Applause.) And we announced our withdrawal from the totally disastrous, job-killing, wealth-knocking-out — you know, it knocked out our wealth, or it would have. They basically wanted to take our wealth away. They didn’t want us to use our wealth power. We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. Would have been a disaster. (Applause.) Would have been a disaster for our country.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: You know, basically, it said, you have a lot of oil and gas that we found — you know, technology has been amazing — and we found things that we never knew. But we have massive — just about the top in the world — we have massive energy reserves. We have coal. We have so much. And basically, they were saying, don’t use it, you can’t use it.
So what it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. It’s not going to happen. I told them, it’s not going to happen. And, you know, China, their agreement didn’t kick in until 2030. Right? Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia, they’re allowed to go back into the 1990s, which was not a clean environmental time.
Other countries, big countries — India and others — we had to pay, because they considered them a growing country. They were a growing country. I said, “What are we?” Are we allowed to grow too? Okay? (Laughter.) Now, are we allowed to grow? (Applause.) They called India a “developing nation.” They called China a “developing nation.” But the United States, we’re developed — we can pay.
So, folks, if you don’t mind — I’ll tell you what — it’s amazing how many people understood the Paris Accord, because it sounds so good. It’s like some of the environmental regulations that I cut — they have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes I’d say, “Look, I’m just going to close my eyes and sign this because, you know what, I’m going to get killed on this one.” And I get so much thanks. The country knows what I’m doing. We couldn’t build. We couldn’t farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmentals. (Applause.) I mean, it’s crazy. It’s crazy.
And I’d sign certain bills and I’d have farmers behind me and I’d have house builders, home builders behind me. And these are tough people, strong people. They fought hard. They’ve worked all their lives, hard. And they’d be — half of them would be crying because we gave them their property back. We gave them the right to earn a living. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t do what they had to do. We gave them their property back. We gave them their dignity back. (Applause.)
By the way, you don’t mind if I go off script a little bit because, you know, it’s sort of boring. It’s a little boring. (Applause.) Got this beautiful speech, everything is wonderful but a little boring. We have to, you know —
But we gave them their dignity back. And that’s why our country is doing record business. We’re doing record business. We’re doing business — and you have to look at the fundamentals. Companies are pouring back into this country. They’re pouring back. Not like — I mean, when did you hear about car companies coming back into Michigan and coming to Ohio and expanding? (Applause.) When did you hear — you never heard that. You hear they’re leaving. I’ve been talking about it for 20 years.
I was a private sector guy. But for whatever reason, I always had — these guys always covered me much more than anybody else. I always got a lot of these characters. They used to treat me so good too, until I ran for office. I used to get the greatest publicity. A friend of mine said, “You know, you used to be the king of getting great publicity. What happened?” I said, “Well, I have some views that they’re opposed to for a lot of bad reasons.” (Laughter.) A lot of really bad reasons.
But when you look at what’s happening to our country, it’s incredible. And the fundamentals are so strong. The stock market — I just see with all of the ups and downs — since Election Day, is up 37 percent from Election — 37 percent. (Applause.) Now, it did a little bit of a correction. In fact, I started to say — you know, I was in it for like 13, 14 months from election. I say, “Is this sucker ever going down a little bit? This is a little embarrassing.” It was up 100, up 200, up 1,000, up 150, up 90, up 63. I said, “Good, that’s better.” (Laughter.) You know, hey, we’ve got seven years to go, folks. You know, we got a long time to go. (Applause.) So thank you, everybody. You’ve been amazing. You’ve been amazing.
You know what Matt didn’t say — when I was here in 2011, I made a speech, and I was received with such warmth. And they give — they used to give — I don’t know if Matt does that because he might not want to be controversial, but they used to give “the best speech of CPAC.” Do they do that still, Matt? Because you better pick me or I’m not coming back again. (Laughter.)
But — and I got these — everybody, they loved that speech. And that was, I think, Matt — I would say, that might have been the first real political speech that I made. It was a love fest — 2011, I believe the time was — and a lot of people remembered, and they said, “We want Trump. We want Trump.” And after a few years, they go by, and I say, “Here we are. Let’s see what we can do.”
And then everybody said, “He cannot get elected. He cannot do it.” You need 270 votes. You need Electoral College — which, by the way, is much tougher than the popular vote. The popular vote, actually, would be so much easier. You go three or four states, and you just go and you just do great job. Hillary forgets that. You know, she went to these states. I said, “What’s she doing? Why does she keep going back to California?” (Laughter.) Crazy.
Next time, they’re going to remember Iowa. They’re going to remember Ohio. (Applause.) Remember? They spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania to no avail. (Applause.) They spent a lot of money. They spent a lot of money in North Carolina, the great state of North Carolina. (Applause.) We did very well there. We have a great person in the room, Mark Meadows, from North Carolina. (Applause.) He’s around here. Where’s Mark? Where’s Mark? And Deb. And we have Jim Jordan. Warriors. Warriors all. (Applause.) We have a lot of great — we have a lot of great people here. But, you know, we just — we hit a chord.
And if you remember, 2011, probably that was the beginning of what we’ve done. And hopefully, at the end of a period of time, people are going to say thank you, because it is not easy. We’re fighting a lot of forces. They’re forces that are doing the wrong thing. They’re just doing the wrong thing. I don’t want to talk about what they have in mind. But they do the wrong thing. But we’re doing what’s good for our country for the long-term viability and survival. Like, for instance, $700 billion got approved for our military. Our military was going to hell. (Applause.)
We declined to certify the terrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal. That was a horrible deal. (Applause.) Whoever heard you give $150 billion to a nation that has no respect for you whatsoever? They’re saying “Death to America” while they’re signing the agreement. If somebody said “Death to America” while I’m signing an agreement, and I’m President, I immediately say, “What’s going on here, folks? I’m not signing.” (Laughter.) What’s going on?
They just kept going. Kerry — Kerry may be the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen. (Laughter.) How about this guy — how about — and Obama, of course — he’s the one. But how about $1.8 billion in cash? Did you ever see what, like, a million dollars in hundred-dollar bills? A lot of people do it as a promotion. It’s a lot. It’s big. It’s like big. (Laughter.) Now, take that, go to $1.8 billion in cash. $1.8 billion. For what? For what? Why did we do this? Why did we do it?
Anyway, we didn’t certify, and lots of interesting things are happening with that whole mess. But we have to treat — people that treat us well, we treat them well. People that treat us badly, we treat them much worse than they can ever imagine. That’s the way it has to be. (Applause.) That’s the way it has to be.
We officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Applause.) You know, every President campaigned on, “We’re going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” Everybody — for many Presidents — you’ve been reading it. And then they never pulled it off. And I now know why.
Because I put the word out that I may do it. Right? I said, I’d do it in my campaign, so that usually means — unless I find something — I’m going to do it. I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.” I said, “We have to do it. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. We have to do it.” (Applause.) And I did it.
But every other President really lied, because they campaigned on it. That was always a big part of the campaign. And then they got into office; they never did it. So I understand why they didn’t do it. Because there was tremendous — the campaign against it was so incredible. But you know what? The campaign for it was also incredible, and we did the right thing. (Applause.)
So we’ve kept our promise, as I said, to rebuild our military, eliminating the defense sequester, which is a disaster. And I don’t know if you saw the number, $700 billion. You know, ultimately, that comes before everything else. We can talk about lots of things. But if we don’t have a strong military, you might not be allowed into this room someday. Okay? You may not have your houses, your homes, your beautiful communities. We better take care of our military. These are the greatest people, and we’re going to take care of our veterans. (Applause.) We’re going to take care of the vets. We’ve been doing a good job on the vets.
And after years of rebuilding other nations — we rebuild other nations — we rebuild other nations that have a lot of money, and we don’t ever say, “Hey, you got to help.” We’re finally rebuilding our nation. We’re rebuilding our nation. (Applause.) And we’re restoring our confidence and our pride.
All of us here today are united by the same timeless values. We defend our Constitution, and we believe in the wisdom of our Founders. Our Constitution is great. (Applause.) We support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. (Applause.) True. We know that a strong nation must have strong borders. We celebrate our history and our heroes, and we believe young Americans should be taught to love their country and to respect its traditions.
Don’t worry, you’re getting the wall. Don’t worry, okay? I heard some — (applause) — we’re getting the wall.
AUDIENCE: Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!
THE PRESIDENT: I had a couple of these characters in the back say, “Oh, he really doesn’t want the wall. He just used that for campaigning.” I said, are you — can you believe it? (Laughter.) You know, I say, every time I hear that, the wall gets 10 feet higher. You know that, right? (Applause.) Every time. Every single time. Okay?
No, we’re going to have the wall or they’re not going to have what they want. You know, we have a problem: We need more Republicans. We have a group of people that vote against us in a bloc. They’re good at two things: resisting, obstruction. Resisting, obstruction. And they stick together. They do. They always vote in a bloc. You know, it’s very rare that you get a couple of them to come your way. Even on the tax cuts. I mean, we’re going to be fighting these people in the ’18 election. We’re going to be fighting people that voted against the tax cuts, because the tax cuts are phenomenal and popular, and helping people and helping our country.
You saw Apple just brought $350 billion in; Exxon brought $50 billion in. (Applause.) So we’re going to be fighting.
The fact is, we need more Republicans to vote. (Applause.) We want to get our agenda. Because, now, what we have to do is in order to get a vote to fix our military, we have to give them $100 billion in stuff that nobody in this room, including me, wants, in many cases. It’s terrible. We need more Republicans. That’s why you have to get out and you have to fight for ’18. You have to do it. (Applause.)
We salute our great American flag, we put our hands on our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance. (Applause.) And we all proudly stand for the national anthem. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: Above all else, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are at the center of American life. We know that. (Applause.) Because in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God. (Applause.)
Our nation’s motto is, “In God We Trust.” (Applause.) And this week, our nation lost an incredible leader who devoted his life to helping us understand what those words really mean. Leader. He was a leader. He was a great man.
We will never forget the historic crowds, that voice, the energy, and the profound faith of a preacher named Billy Graham. (Applause.) Great man and great family. Franklin Graham. Great family. And they were for us — I’ll tell you, they were for us. Right from the beginning they were for us.
As a young man, Billy decided to devote his life to God. That choice not only changed his life, it changed our country. And indeed, it even changed the world.
Reverend Graham’s belief in the power of God’s word gave hope to millions and millions who listened to him with his very beautiful, but very simple message: God loves you. (Applause.) And a very special tribute — because it’s almost never done — on Wednesday, we will celebrate Billy Graham’s life as he lies in honor in the Rotunda of our Capitol. (Applause.) Very rarely.
One day — Wednesday until Thursday, about 11 o’clock on Wednesday. I bet those lines are going to be long and beautiful, because he deserves it. Not everybody deserves it. But very few people — you look back, Ronald Reagan was so honored. Very few people are so honored. That’s a big thing. And he really, almost more than anybody you can think of, he deserves to be in the Rotunda. So that’s going to be very special. Wednesday at 11 o’clock. (Applause.) And Paul, and Mitch, and the whole group, they worked very hard to make it all happen. So we want to thank them too.
Everywhere you go, all over the country, in cities small and large, Americans of all faiths reach out to our Creator for strength, for inspiration, and for healing. Great time for healing. In times of grief and hardship, we turn to prayer for solace and for comfort.
In recent days, our entire nation has been filled with terrible pain and sorrow over the evil massacre in a great community — Parkland, Florida. This senseless act of mass murder has shocked our nation and broken our hearts.
This week, I had the honor of meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with families who have lost their children in prior shootings — great families, great people — and with members of the local community right here in Washington, D.C. Our whole nation was moved by their strength and by their courage.
We listened to their heart-wrenching stories, asked them for ideas, and pledged to them — and I can speak for all of the senators and congressmen and congresswomen, all of the people in this room that are involved in this decision — that we will act. We will do something. We will act.
With us on Wednesday was one of the families whose daughter didn’t come home last week — a beautiful young woman named Meadow Pollack. Incredible family. I had them in the Oval Office. Incredible people. You’ve probably seen her picture. She had a beautiful, beautiful smile, and a beautiful life. So full of promise.
We wish there was something — anything — we could do to bring Meadow and all of the others back. There are not enough tears in the world to express our sadness and anguish for her family, and for every family that has lost a precious loved one. No family should ever save — and ever have to go in and suffer the way these families have suffered. They’ve suffered beyond anything that I’ve ever witnessed.
A father drops his daughter off at school, kisses her goodbye, waves to her — she’s walking up the path — and never sees her alive again. Gets a call. Can’t believe it. Thinks it’s a nightmare. Wants to wake up from the nightmare.
So we want to hear ideas from Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs about how we can improve security at our schools, tackle the issue of mental health. Because this was a sick person — very sick — and we had a lot of warning about him being sick. This wasn’t a surprise. To the people that knew him, this wasn’t even a little bit; in fact, some said, were surprised it took so long. So what are we doing? What are we doing? We want to ensure that when there are warning signs, we can act and act very quickly.
Why do we protect our airports, and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools? (Applause.) It’s time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers. We don’t want them in our schools. (Applause.) We don’t want them.
When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger. (Applause.) Far more danger. Well-trained, gun-adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings; people that were in the Marines for 20 years and retired; people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard; people that are adept — adept with weaponry and with guns — they teach. I mean, I don’t want to have 100 guards standing with rifles all over the school. You do a concealed carry permit. (Applause.)
And this would be a major deterrent because these people are inherently cowards. If they thought — like, if this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn’t have gone to that school. He wouldn’t have gone there. It’s a gun-free zone. It says, this is a gun-free zone; please check your guns way far away. And what happens is they feel safe. There’s nobody going to come at them.
This way, you may have — and remember, if you use this school as an example — this is a very big school with tremendous floor area and a lot of acreage. It’s a big, big school. Good school. A big, big school. You’d have to have 150 real guards. Look, you had one guard. He didn’t turn out to be too good, I will tell you that. He turned out to be not good. He was not a credit to law enforcement, that I can tell you. That I can tell you. (Applause.)
But as I’ve been talking about this idea — and I feel it’s a great idea, but some people that are good people are opposed to it; they don’t like the idea of teachers doing it. But I’m not talking about teachers. You know, CNN went on, they said, “Donald Trump wants all teachers.” Okay? Fake news, folks. Fake news. Fake news.
I don’t want a person that’s never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed. But out of your teaching population — out of your teaching population, you have 10 percent, 20 percent of very gun-adept people. Military people, law enforcement people, they teach. They teach. (Applause.)
And something I thought of this morning. You know what else? And I thought of it since I found and watched Peterson, the deputy who didn’t go into the school because he didn’t want to go into the school. Okay? He was tested under fire, and that wasn’t a good result.
But you know what I thought of as soon as I saw that? These teachers — and I’ve seen them at a lot of schools where they had problems — these teachers love their students. And the students love their teachers, in many cases. These teachers love their students. And these teachers are talented with weaponry and with guns. And they feel safe. And I’d rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t know the students, and, frankly, for whatever reason, decided not to go in even though he heard lots of shots being fired inside.
The teachers and the coaches and other people in the building — the dean, the assistant dean, the principal — they can — they love their people. They want to protect these kids. And I think we’re better with that. And this may be 10 percent or 20 percent of the population of teachers, et cetera. It’s not all of them. But you would have a lot, and you would tell people that they’re inside. And the beauty is, it’s concealed. Nobody would ever see it unless they needed it. It’s concealed.
So this crazy man who walked in wouldn’t even know who it is that has it. That’s good. That’s not bad; that’s good. And a teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. (Applause.) They love their students. They love those students, folks. Remember that. They love their students.
And I’m telling you that would work. Because we need offensive capability. We can’t just say, oh, it’s a gun-free school. We’re going to do it a little bit better. Because then you say, “What happens outside?” The students now leave school, and you got a thousand students — you got 3,500 at the school we’re talking about — but you have a thousand students standing outside. The teachers are out there also. If a madman comes along, we have the same problem, but it’s outside of the school. Or they drive cars. There are a lot of things that can happen.
I want to stop it. And I know it’s a little controversial to say — but I have to say, since I started this two days ago, a lot of people that were totally opposed to it are now agreeing. They love their students. They don’t want their students to be killed or to be hurt. (Applause.)
So we have to do something that works. And one of the big measures that we will do, and everybody in this room I think has to agree — and there’s nobody that loves the Second Amendment more than I do. And there’s nobody that respects the NRA — they’re friends of mine. They backed us all. They’re great people. They’re patriots. (Applause.) But they’re great people. But we really do have to strengthen up, really strengthen up background checks. We have to do that. (Applause.)
And we have to do — for the mentally ill, we have to do very, very — we don’t want to people that are mentally ill to be having any form of weaponry. We have to be very strong on that. (Applause.)
So we’re going to do that. And I really believe that Congress is going to get it through this time. And they have a different leader. They have somebody that wants to get it through; not somebody that’s just all talk, no action, like so many of these folks. This is somebody that wants to get it through.
But I also want to protect — we need a hardened site. It has to be hardened. It can’t be soft. Because they’ll sneak in through a window, they’ll sneak in some way. And, again, you’re standing there totally unprotected.
You know the five great soldiers from four years ago, three of them were world-class marksmen. They were on a military base in a gun-free zone. They were asked to check their guns quite far away. And a maniac walked in, guns blazing, killed all of five of them. He wouldn’t of had a chance if these world-class marksmen had — on a military base — access to their guns. And I’m going to look at that whole policy on military bases. If we can’t have — (applause) — all five were killed. All five. The guy wouldn’t have had a chance.
But we’re going to look at that whole military base, gun-free zone. If we can’t have our military holding guns, it’s pretty bad. We had a number of instances on military bases. You know that. So we want to protect our military. We want to make our military stronger and better than it’s ever been before. (Applause.)
We also need to create a culture in our country that cherishes life and human dignity. That’s part of what we’re talking about. (Applause.) A culture that condemns violence and never glorifies violence. We need to foster real human connections and turn classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors that want to fight for us.
We’re not just having a conversation about school safety. You’ve had conversations — in all fairness, I’m pretty new on this job. We’re here a little more than a year. I’ve been watching this stuff go on for 20 years. The President gets up, everybody is enthusiastic for the first couple of days, then it fades, fades, fades. Nothing ever gets done. We want to see if we can get it done. Let’s get it done right. (Applause.) We really owe it to our country. And I’ve been watching for a long time. Seen a lot of words, and I’ve seen very little action.
And, you know, if you think about, most of its just common sense. It’s not “do you love guns, do hate guns.” It’s common sense. It’s all common sense. And some of the strongest advocates about what I’m saying are the strongest advocates — I know them very well — political people — the strongest advocates for the Second Amendment. But this is common sense.
In addition to securing our schools, we’re also implementing a strategy to secure our streets. We want our kids to be safe everywhere they go, whether they’re in a classroom walking home from school or just outside playing with their friends. (Applause.) Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Just not fair.
Reducing violent crime in America is a top priority for my administration, and we will do whatever it takes to get it done. No talk. We’re going to do what it takes to get it done. (Applause.)
As you’ve seen, pretty well reported, that we’re significantly increasing gun prosecutions by tremendous percentages, and we’re working to get violent offenders off our streets and behind bars, and get them behind bars quickly, for a long time, or get them the hell out of our country. (Applause.)
In 2017, we brought cases against more violent offenders than any administration in a quarter of a century — more than any administration. And we’re just gearing up. We have tough people. I’ll tell you what — when you deal with MS-13, the only thing they understand is toughness. They don’t want anything. All they understand is toughness. If that ICE agent or Border Patrol agent is tougher than them, they respect him. We got the toughest guys you’ve ever seen. We got tough. (Applause.) They don’t respect anything else. And they shouldn’t be in our country. They were let in for years. They shouldn’t be, and we’re getting them out.
Our administration prosecuted more people for federal firearm charges than has been done in more than a decade. And again, we’re just gearing up. We’ve convicted 1,200 gang members and nearly 500 human traffickers. (Applause.) You know what human trafficking — who would think that we have this in this age? And with our foreign partners, we’ve helped charge or arrest more than 4,000 members of the savage gang that we talked about — MS-13.
Now, they don’t like guns. You know why? They’re not painful enough. These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces and they want them to suffer. And we take them into our country because our immigration laws are so bad. And when we catch them — it’s called catch-and-release — we have to, by law, catch them and then release them. Catch-and-release. And I can’t get the Democrats — and nobody has been able to for years — to approve common-sense measures that, when we catch these animal-killers, we can lock them up and throw away the keys. (Applause.)
In 2017, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 100,000 criminal aliens who have committed tens of thousands of crimes. And believe me, these are great people. They cannot — the laws are just against us. They’re against — they’re against safety. They don’t make sense. And you meet with Democrats and they’re always fighting for the criminal. They’re not fighting for law-abiding citizens. They’re always fighting for the criminal. (Applause.) Doesn’t make sense.
Here are just some of the criminal charges and convictions for the aliens arrested by ICE: 11,000 charges or convictions for sex crimes; 48,000 for assault; 13,000 for burglary; and 1,800 for killing people.
We’re cracking down on sanctuary cities. Can you believe this? (Applause.) Where they protect — that’s another one. Because we want our cities to be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans, not for criminals. (Applause.)
And, by the way, the Senate Democrats and the House Democrats have totally abandoned DACA. They’ve total — they don’t even talk to me about it. They have totally abandoned. You know, we get the reputation — like DACA, it’s not Republican. We’ll let me tell you, it is Republican, because we want to do something about DACA, get it solved after all these years.
The Democrats are being totally unresponsive. They don’t want to do anything about DACA, I’m telling you. And it’s very possible that DACA won’t happen, and it’s not because of the Republicans, it’s going to be because of the Democrats. And frankly, you better elect more Republicans, folks, or it will never happen. (Applause.)
The Democrats voted in favor of sanctuary cities. In other words, they voted to protect criminal aliens instead of voting to protect the American citizens.
To secure our country, we are calling on Congress to build a great border wall to stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country. (Applause.) And now they’re willing to give us the wall, but they don’t want to give us any of the laws to keep these people out.
So we’re going to get the wall, but they don’t want to give us all of the other — chain migration, lottery. Think of a lottery. You have a country. They put names in. You think they’re giving us their good people? Not too many of you people are going to be in a lottery. So we pick out people. Then they turn out to be horrendous, and we don’t understand why.
They’re not giving us their best people, folks. They’re not giving us — I mean, use your heads. They’re giving us — it’s a lottery. I don’t want people coming into this country with a lottery. I want people coming into this country based on merit. Based on merit. (Applause.)
I want people, and we all want to be admitting people, who have skills, who can support themselves financially, who can contribute to our economy, who will love our people, and who will share our values, who will love our country. (Applause.)
I don’t want people who drive a car at 100 miles an hour down the West Side Highway and kill 8 innocent victims, and destroy the lives of 14 more. Nobody talks about that. Nobody ever talks about the people that have been so horribly injured, who lose legs and arms, in Manhattan, where I used to spend my time.
I know it very well, the stretch along the West Side Highway. People run in order to stay in shape. They want to be healthy, they want to look good. They’re running all the time; I see it. They run. We work in different ways. (Laughter.) But they run. No, but think of this — they run. And they’re so — they want to be fit. They’re proud people. They want to be fit, and they’re running up and down West Side Highway. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing.
And this maniac takes a car going down the highway, and just turns to a right, and he kills eight. But he really badly wounded 12 to 14 other people.
So somebody think of it: Runs to stay in shape, leaves the house, is jogging along, working hard, ends up going home two months later with no leg or with no arm, or with two legs missing. Nobody ever talks about that. They talk about the people, rightfully, that were killed. But they don’t talk about the people whose lives have been just changed — just changed. They don’t talk about that.
This guy came in through chain migration and a part of the lottery system.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: They say 22 people came in with him. In other words, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a mother, a father, whoever came in. But a lot of people came in. That’s chain migration. Let’s see how those people are doing, by the way.
We’ve got to change our way. Merit system. I want merit system. Because you know what’s happening? All of these companies are coming into our country. They’re all coming into our country. And when they come in, we need people that are going to work. I’m telling you, we need workers now. We need workers. (Applause.)
But when I walked in today, did anyone ever hear me do the snake during the campaign? Because I had five people outside say, “Could you do ‘The Snake’?” And I said, well, people have heard it. Who hasn’t heard “The Snake”? You should read it anyways. (Laughs.) Let’s do it anyway. I’ll do it. All right? Should we do it? (Applause.)
Now, this was a rock-and-roll song — little amendments — a rock-and-roll song. But every time I do it, people — and you have to think of this in terms of immigration. We have to have great people come into our — I want people to come into our country. And I want people that are going to help us. And I don’t want people that are going to come in and be accepting all of the gifts of our country for the next 50 years and contribute nothing. I don’t want that, and you don’t want that.
I want people that are going to help and people that are going to work for Chrysler, who is now moving from Mexico into Michigan, and so many other — and Apple, by the way. (Applause.) And Foxconn up in Wisconsin. They’re going to need 25,000 workers. I want people that can come in, and get to work and work hard. Even if it means a learning period — that’s fine.
But I want people that are going to come in and work. And I want people that love us and look at security. And they want you to be safe, and they want to be safe. I want great people coming into this country. I don’t want people coming in the way they do now, because I want people that contribute.
So this is called “The Snake.” And think of it in terms of immigration. And you may love it, or you may say, isn’t that terrible. Okay? And if you say, isn’t that terrible, who cares? Because the way they treat me — that’s peanuts compared to the way they treat me. Okay? (Laughter.) Immigration.
“On her way to work one morning, down the path along the lake, a tenderhearted woman saw a poor, half-hearted, frozen snake. His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew. ‘Poor thing,’ she cried, ‘I’ll take you in, and I’ll take care of you.’
‘Take me in, oh, tender woman. Take me in, for Heaven’s sake. Take me in, oh, tender woman,’ sighed the vicious snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk, and laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk. She hurried home from work that night, and soon as she arrived, she found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived.
‘Take me in, oh, tender woman. Take me in for Heaven’s sake. Take me in, oh, tender woman,’ sighed the vicious snake.
She clutched him to her bosom, ‘You’re so beautiful,’ she cried. But if I hadn’t brought you in by now, surely you would have died.’
She stroked his pretty skin again, and kissed and held him tight. But instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite.
‘Take me in, oh, tender woman. Take me in for Heaven’s sake. Take me in, oh, tender woman,’ sighed the vicious snake.
‘I saved you,’ cried the woman. ‘And you’ve bitten me. Heaven’s why? You know your bite is poisonous, and now I’m going to die.’
‘Oh, shut up, silly woman,’ said the reptile with a grin. ‘You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.’” (Applause.)
And that’s what we’re doing with our country, folks. We’re letting people in, and it’s going to be a lot of trouble. It’s only getting worse. But we’re giving you protection like never before. Our law enforcement is doing a better job than we’ve ever done before. And we love our country. And we’re going to take care of our country. Okay? We’re going to take care of our country. (Applause.)
So just in finishing, our country is starting to do very well. Our economy is blazing. Jobs are at a record level. Jobs are so good. 2.7 million jobs created since the election. (Applause.) Unemployment claims have reached a 45-year low. (Applause.)
African American unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. (Applause.) Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. (Applause.) Women — women unemployment is at the lowest level in 18 years. (Applause.) Wages are rising for the first time in many, many years. (Applause.)
Small business confidence is at a record high. And thanks to our massive tax cuts, millions of Americans are getting to keep a great percentage of their money instead of paying it to a government that throws it out the window. (Applause.)
So I just leave you with this: We have to fight Nancy Pelosi. They want to give your money away. They want to give your money away. They want to end your tax cuts. They want to do things that you wouldn’t even believe, including taking your Second Amendment rights away. They will do that.
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: So we have to get out there and we have to fight in ’18 like never before — just the way you fought with us. Just the way you fought with us. You fought so hard, and you were so tough, and you were so smart. You were so smart. And you know what? I know for a fact you did the right thing, because we’re looking at the numbers. And the numbers — even they have to give credit for the kind of numbers that we’re producing. Nobody has ever seen anything like it. (Applause.)
Under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over. We’re renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it’s NAFTA or whether it’s World Trade Organization, which created China — that created — if you look at China, it was going along like this, then we opened, stupidly, this deal. And China has been like a rocket ship ever since.
And now, last year, we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China. We can’t have that. We can’t have that. I have great respect for President Xi, but we can’t have that. We have to go, and we have to do what we have to do. We just can’t let countries — as an example, Mexico. We have a $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico. What does that tell you? You know what it tells you? NAFTA is no good. It never was any good. But for some reason, nobody ever changed it. They emptied our factories — you got to see the car plants and the auto plants in Mexico. Like — you’ve never seen anything like it before.
I want those companies — and they’re starting — I want them back here. I want them back here. They’re going to come back here, too. (Applause.) And we want to make our neighbors happy. But we can’t continuously have other nations taking advantage of the United States like never before. And this has gone on for a long time. This has gone on for longer — the last administration was a disaster, but this has gone on for much longer than the last administration. And we got to change it. We’re going to change it.
So we’re renegotiating deals. And you know what? Hate to say it, but if we can’t make a fair deal for the United States, we will terminate the deal and we’ll start all over again. (Applause.) We have to do it. (Applause.)
So, under my administration, and with your help — don’t forget — you, many of you, were the forgotten people. You were the people that, when the polls came out, they didn’t know that you existed. The Democrats are trying to figure out who you are, because they want to get you back. But you are people — we’ve had people that never voted, but they’re great patriots — but they never saw anybody they wanted to vote for. Then they go to the election, they’ve got Trump-Pence, Trump-Pence. They got hats, they got all sorts of things. Trump over here — “Make America Great Again” hats. Right? (Applause.)
So our country is starting to do well. We are going to make it great, better, safer than it ever was before. The reason is you. This has been a great movement. They try like hell, they cannot stand what we’ve done. But we’re doing the right thing. We’re even doing the right thing for them. They just don’t know it yet. (Applause.) They just don’t know it yet.
Even the media — the media will absolutely support me sometime prior to the election. All those horrible people back there, they’re going to support me. You know why? Because if somebody else won, their ratings would go down, they’d all be out of business. (Applause.) Nobody would watch. They’d all be out of business.
So I just want to tell you that we are going to win. I’d love you to get out there, work really hard for ’18. We need more Republicans to keep the tax cuts and keep all of this going.
And I love you. I respect you. I appreciate everything you’ve done for the country. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA!
THE PRESIDENT: I appreciate everything you’ve done.
I do want to say, because people have asked — North Korea — we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before. (Applause.)
And frankly, hopefully something positive can happen. We will see. But hopefully something positive can happen. But that just was announced, and I wanted to let you know. We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed.
So, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for everything. You have been incredible partners. (Applause.) Incredible partners. And I will let you know in the absolute strongest of terms, we’re going to make America great again, and I will never, ever, ever let you down. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
Posted: 22 Feb 2018 09:42 PM PST
It’s easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend:
On the other side, evidence has emerged in the past year that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump–and then President Trump. For example:
- Anti-Russian Ukrainians allegedly helped coordinate and execute a campaign against Trump in partnership with the Democratic National Committee and news reporters.
- A Yemen-born ex-British spy reportedly delivered political opposition research against Trump to reporters, Sen. John McCain, and the FBI; the latter of which used the material–in part–to obtain wiretaps against one or more Trump-related associates.
- There were orchestrated leaks of anti-Trump information and allegations to the press, including by ex-FBI Director James Comey.
- The U.S. intel community allegedly engaged in questionable surveillance practices and politially-motivated “unmaskings” of U.S. citizens, including Trump officials.
- Alleged conflicts of interests have surfaced regarding FBI officials who cleared Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information and who investigated Trump’s alleged Russia ties.
But it’s not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.
Here’s a work in progress.
(Please note that nobody cited has been charged with wrongdoing or crimes, unless the charge is specifically referenced. Temporal relationships are not necessarily evidence of a correlation.)
“Collusion against Trump” Timeline
U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than “mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication.” Intel officials also begin storing and entering into a searchable database sensitive intelligence on U.S. citizens whose communications are accidentally or “incidentally” captured during surveillance of foreign targets. Prior to this point, such intelligence was supposed to be destroyed to protect the constitutional privacy rights the U.S. citizens. However, it’s required that names U.S. citizens be hidden or “masked” –even inside U.S. intel agencies –to prevent abuse.
July 1, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton improperly uses unsecured, personal email domain to email President Obama from Russia.
June 2013: FBI interviews U.S. businessman Carter Page, who’s lived and worked in Russia, regarding his ongoing contacts with Russians. Page reportedly tells FBI agents their time would be better spent investigating Boston Marathon bombing (which the FBI’s Andrew McCabe helped lead). Page later claims his remark prompts FBI retaliatory campaign against him. The FBI, under McCabe, will later wiretap Page after Page becomes a Donald Trump campaign adviser.
FBI secretly records suspected Russian industrial spy Evgeny Buryakov. It’s later reported that Page helped FBI build the case.
Sept. 4, 2013: James Comey becomes FBI Director, succeeding Robert Mueller.
Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine steps up hiring of U.S. lobbyists to make its case against Russia and obtain U.S. aid. Russia also continues its practice of using U.S. lobbyists.
Ukraine forms National Anti-Corruption Bureau as a condition to receive U.S. aid. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau later signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI related to Trump-Russia probe.
Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), begins researching lobbyist Paul Manafort’s Russia ties.
FBI investigates, and then wiretaps, Paul Manafort for allegedly not properly disclosing Russia-related work. FBI fails to make a case, according to CNN, and discontinues wiretap.
August 2014: State Dept. turns over 15,000 pages of documents to Congressional Benghazi committee, revealing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton used private server for government email. Her mishandling of classified info on this private system becomes subject of FBI probe.
FBI opens investigation into Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, including for donations from a Chinese businessman and Clinton Foundation donor.
FBI official Andrew McCabe meets with Gov. McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. Afterwards, “McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated about $700,000 to Mr. McCabe’s wife…for her campaign to become a Democrat state Senator in Virginia.” The fact of the McAuliffe-related donations to wife of FBI’s McCabe—while FBI was investigating McAuliffe and Clinton—later becomes the subject of conflict of interest inquiry by Inspector General.
Feb. 9, 2015: U.S. Senate forms Ukrainian caucus to further Ukrainian interests. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a member.
March 4, 2015: New York Times breaks news about Clinton’s improper handling of classified email as secretary of state.
In internal emails, Clinton campaign chairman (and former Obama adviser) John Podesta suggests Obama withhold Clinton’s emails from Congressional Benghazi committee under executive privilege.
March 2015: Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately directs FBI Director James Comey to call FBI Clinton probe a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” Comey follows the instruction, though he later testifies that it made him “queasy.”
March 7, 2015: President Obama says he first learned of Clinton’s improper email practices “through news reports.” Clinton campaign staffers privately contradict that claim emailing: “…it looks like [President Obama] just said he found out [Hillary Clinton] was using her personal email when he saw it on the news.” Clinton aide Cheryl Mills responds, “We need to clean this up—[President Obama] has emails from” Clinton’s personal account.
May 19, 2015: Justice Dept. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik emails Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from a private Gmail account to give him a “heads ups” involving Congressional questions about Clinton email.
Summer 2015: Democratic National Committee computers are hacked.
Sept. 2015: Glenn Simpson, co-founder of political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, is hired by conservative website Washington Free Beacon to compile negative research on presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans.
Oct. 2015: President Obama uses a “confidentiality tradition” to keep his Benghazi emails with Hillary Clinton secret.
Oct. 12, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at New York Field Office with Louis Bladel.
Oct. 22, 2015: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) publicly states that Clinton is “not under criminal investigation.”
Clinton testifies to House Benghazi committee.
Oct. 23, 2015: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta meets for dinner with small group of friends including a top Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik.
Late 2015: Democratic operative Chalupa expands her political opposition research about Paul Manafort to include Trump’s ties to Russia. She “occasionally shares her findings with officials from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.”
Dec. 4, 2015: Donald Trump is beating his nearest Republican presidential competitor by 20 points in latest CNN poll.
Dec. 9, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at Washington Field Office with Charles Kable.
Dec. 23, 2015: FBI Director Comey names Bill Priestap as assistant director of Counterintelligence Division.
Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.
Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born ex-British spy leading anti-Trump political opposition research project.
January 2016: Democratic operative Ukrainian-American Chalupa tells a senior Democratic National Committee official that she feels there’s a Russia connection with Trump.
Jan. 29, 2016: FBI Director Comey promotes Andrew McCabe to FBI Deputy Director.
McCabe takes lead on Clinton probe even though his wife received nearly $700,000 in campaign donations through Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who’s also under FBI investigation.
March 2016: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email gets hacked.
March 2, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Intelligence Division of Washington Field Office with Gerald Roberts, Jr.
March 11, 2016: Russian Evgeny Buryakovwhich pleads guilty to spying in FBI case that Carter Page reportedly assisted with.
March 25, 2016: Ukrainian-American operative for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to “expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia,” according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration.
Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work “directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions,” according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny engaging in election-related activities.)
March 29, 2016: Trump campaign hires Paul Manafort as manager of July Republican convention.
March 30, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa briefs Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff on Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump.
With “DNC’s encouragement,” Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort’s lobbying for Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes “helpful” in trading info and leads.
Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa “coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team” into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.
April 2016: There’s a second breach of Democratic National Committee computers.
Washington Free Beacon breaks off deal with Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS for political opposition research against Trump.
Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee lawyer Mark Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, hire Fusion GPS for anti-Trump political research project.
April 5, 2016: Convicted spy Buryakov is turned over to Russia.
Week of April 6, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa and office of Rep. Mary Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia “by September.”
Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to her later account.
April 10, 2016: In national TV interview, President Obama states that Clinton did not intend to harm national security when she mishandled classified emails. FBI Director James Comey later concludes that Clinton should not face charges because she did not intend to harm national security.
Around this time, the FBI begins drafting Comey’s remarks closing Clinton email investigation, though Clinton had not yet been interviewed.
April 26, 2016: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff publishes story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort’s business dealings with a Russian oligarch.
April 28, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to“connect(s) him to the Ukrainians.”
After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.
May 3, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa emails Democratic National Committee (DNC) that she’ll share sensitive info about Paul Manafort “offline” including “a big Trump component…that will hit in next few weeks.”
May 4, 2016: Trump locks up Republican nomination.
May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort is named Trump campaign chair.
May 23, 2016: FBI probe into Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe becomes public. (McAuliffe is ultimately not charged with a crime.)
Justice Department Inspector General confirms it’s looking into FBI’s Andrew McCabe for alleged conflicts of interest in handling of Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe probes in light of McAuliffe directing campaign donations to McCabe’s wife.
FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are reportedly having an illicit affair, text each other that Trump’s ascension in the campaign will bring “pressure…to finish” Clinton probe.
Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and former CIA worker, goes on the payroll of Fusion GPS and assists with anti-Trump political opposition research. Her husband, Bruce, reportedly fails to disclose her specific employer and work in his Justice Dept. conflict of interest disclosures.
Nellie Ohr applies for a ham radio license.
June 2016: Fusion GPS hires Yemen-born ex-British spy Christopher Steele for anti-Trump political opposition research project. Steele uses info from Russian sources “close to Putin” to compile unverified “dossier” later provided to reporters and FBI, which the FBI uses to obtain secret wiretap.
June 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton locks up the Democrat nomination.
June 9, 2016: Meeting in Trump Tower includes Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with Russian lawyer who said he has political opposition research on Clinton. (No research was ultimately provided.) According to CNN, the FBI has not yet started up a second wiretap against Manafort but will soon do so.
June 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) tells employees that its computer system has been hacked. DNC blames Russia but refuses to let FBI examine its systems.
June 15, 2016: “Guccifer 2.0” publishes first hacked document from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
June 17, 2016: Washington Post publishes front page story linking Trump to Russia: “Inside Trump’s Financial Ties to Russia and His Unusual Flattery of Vladimir Putin.”
June 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing embarrassing, hacked emails from Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
June 27, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch meets privately with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.
Late June 2016: DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release a “ledger” implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.
June 30, 2016: FBI circulates internal draft of public remarks for FBI Director Comey to announce closing of Clinton investigation. It refers to Mrs. Clinton’s “extensive” use of her personal email, including “from the territory of sophisticated adversaries,” and a July 1, 2012 email to President Obama from Russia. The draft concludes it’s possible that hostile actors gained access to Clinton’s email account.
Comey’s remarks are revised to replace reference to “the President” with the phrase: “another senior government official.” (That reference, too, is removed from the final draft.)
Attorney General Lynch tells FBI she plans to publicly announce that she’ll accept whatever recommendation FBI Director Comey makes regarding charges against Clinton.
July 2016: Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump “an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism.”
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has “challenged the very values of the free world.”
July 1, 2016: Under fire for meeting with former President Clinton amid the probe into his wife, Attorney General Lynch publicly states she’ll accept whatever FBI Director Comey recommends—without interfering.
FBI official Lisa Page texts her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok, sarcastically commenting that Lynch’s proclamation is “a real profile in courage, since she knows no charges will be brought.”
July 2, 2016: FBI official Peter Strzok and other agents interview Clinton. They don’t record the interview. Two potential subjects of the investigation, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, are allowed to attend as Clinton’s lawyers.
July 5, 2016: FBI Director Comey recommends no charges against Clinton, though he concludes she’s been extremely careless in mishandling of classified information. Comey claims he hasn’t coordinated or reviewed his statement in any way with Attorney General Lynch’s Justice Department or other government branches. “They do not know what I am about to say,” says Comey.
Fusion GPS’ Steele, a British citizen and ex-spy, approaches FBI with allegations against Trump, according to Congressional investigators.
Days after closing Clinton case, FBI official Peter Strzok signs document opening FBI probe into Trump-Russia collusion.
July 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) aide Seth Rich, reportedly a Bernie Sanders supporter, is shot twice in the back and killed. Police suspect a bungled robbery attempt, though nothing was apparently stolen. Conspiracy theorists speculate that Rich—not the Russians— had stolen DNC emails after he learned the DNC was unfairly favoring Clinton. The murder remains unsolved.
July 2016: Trump adviser Carter Page makes a business trip to Russia.
FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) rejects FBI request to wiretap Page.
Obama national security adviser Susan Rice begins to show increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material including “unmasked” Americans’ identities, according to news reports referring to White House logs.
July 18-21, 2016: Republican National Convention
Late July 2016: FBI agent Peter Strzok opens counterintelligence investigation based on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
Democratic operative and Ukrainian-American Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to “a lot of journalists.”
July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing hacked Democratic National Committee emails. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange denies the email source is Russian.
July 25-28, 2016: Democratic National Convention
Summer 2016: Nellis Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr is still on the payroll of Fusion GPS.
Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele, a British citizen, briefs FBI leadership on his anti-Trump political opposition research. Weeks later, the info makes it to FBI agent Peter “Strzok and his team,” according to New York Times.
Aug. 4, 2016: Ukrainian ambassador to U.S. writes op-ed against Trump.
Aug. 14, 2016: New York Times breaks story about cash payments made a decade ago to Paul Manafort by pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. The ledger was released and publicized by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
Aug. 15, 2016: CNN reports the FBI is conducting an inquiry into Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s payments from pro-Russia interests in Ukraine in 2007 and 2009.
After a meeting discussing the election in FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s office, the FBI’s Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text of needing an “insurance policy” in case Trump is elected.
Aug. 19, 2016: Paul Manafort resigns as Trump campaign chairman.
Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump’s “pro-Russia” ties.
Approx. Aug. 2016: FBI initiates a new wiretap against ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to CNN, which extends at least through early 2017.
Sept. 2016: British citizen Christopher Steele, who compiled Trump opposition research for Fusion GPS, meets with Washington reporters, including Yahoo News. One meeting is at office of Democratic National Committee general counsel.
Fusion GPS’ Steele becomes FBI source and uses associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr as point of contact. Steele tells Ohr that he’s “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”
President Obama warns Russia not to interfere in the U.S. election
Sept. 2, 2016: FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text that “[President Obama] wants to know everything we’re doing.”
Sept. 13, 2016: The nonprofit First Draft, funded by Google, whose parent company is run by major Hillary Clinton supporter and donor Eric Schmidt, announces initiative to tackle “fake news.” It appears to be the first use of the phrase in its modern context.
Sept. 15, 2016: Clinton computer manager Paul Combetta appears before House Oversight Committee but refuses to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.
Sept. 19, 2016: At UN General Assembly meeting, Ukrainian President Poroshenko meets with Hillary Clinton.
Late Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele’s FBI contact tells him the agency wants to see his opposition research “right away” and offers to pay him $50,000, according to the New York Times, for solid corroboration of his salacious, unverified claims.
Sept. 22, 2016: Clinton computer aide Brian Pagliano is held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoena.
Sept. 23, 2016: It’s revealed that Justice Department has granted five Clinton officials immunity from prosecution: former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, State Department staffers John Bentel and Heather Samuelson, and Clinton computer workers Paul Combetta and Brian Pagliano.
Yahoo News publishes article by Michael Isikoff about Carter Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. (The article is apparently based on leaked info from Fusion GPS Steele anti-Trump “dossier” political opposition research.)
Sept. 26, 2016: Obama administration asks secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court to allow National Counter Terrorism Center to access sensitive, “unmasked” intel on Americans acquired by FBI and NSA. (The Court later approves the request.)
Sept. 27, 2016: Justice Department Assistant Attorney General of National Security Division John Carlin announces he’s stepping down. He was former chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI director Robert Mueller.
Early October 2016: Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born author of anti-Trump “dossier,” meets in New York with David Corn, Washington-bureau chief of Mother Jones.
Oct. 3, 2016: FBI seizes computers belonging to Anthony Weiner, who is accused of sexually texting an underage girl. Weiner is married to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. FBI learns there are Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop but waits several weeks before notifying Congress and reopening investigation.
Oct. 4, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Counterintelligence Division, New York Field Office with Charles McGonigal.
Oct. 7, 2016: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Department of Homeland Security issue statement saying Russian government is responsible for hacking Democrat emails to disrupt 2016 election.
Oct. 13, 2016: President Obama gives a speech in support of the crackdown on “fake news” by stating that somebody needs to step in an “curate” information in the “wild, wild West media environment.”
Oct. 16, 2016: Mary McCord is named Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department National Security Division.
Oct. 18, 2016: President Obama advises Trump to “stop whining” after Trump tweeted the election could be rigged. “There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even — you could even rig America’s elections,” said Obama. He also calls Trump’s “flattery” of Russian president Putin “unprecedented.”
Oct. 19, 2016: Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes his last memo for anti-Trump “dossier” political opposition research provided to FBI. The FBI reportedly authorizes payment to Steele. Fusion GPS has reportedly paid him $160,000.
Approx. Oct. 21, 2016: For the second time in several months, Justice Department and FBI apply to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. This time, the request is approved based on new FBI “evidence,” including parts of Fusion GPS’ “Steele dossier” and Michael Isikoff Yahoo article. The FBI doesn’t tell the court that Trump’s political opponent— the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee— funded the “evidence.”
Oct. 24, 2016: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of FBI Director James Comey and editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare, writes of the need for an “insurance policy” in case Trump wins. It’s the same phrase FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok had used when discussing the possibility of a Trump win.
Obama intel officials orally inform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of an earlier Inspector General review uncovering their “significant noncompliance” in following proper “702” procedures safeguarding the National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence database with sensitive info on US citizens.
Oct. 26, 2016: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court holds hearing with Obama intel officials over their “702” surveillance violations. The judge criticizes NSA for “institutional lack of candor” and states “this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
Oct. 28, 2016: FBI Director Comey notifies Congress that he’s reopening Clinton probe due to Clinton emails found on Anthony Wiener laptop several weeks earlier.
Oct. 30, 2016: Mother Jones writer David Corn is first to report on the anti-Trump “dossier,” quoting unidentified former spy, presumed to be Christopher Steele. FBI general counsel James Baker had reportedly been in touch with Corn but Corn later denies Baker was the leaker.
FBI terminates its relationship with Steele because Steele had leaked his FBI involvement in Mother Jones article.
Steele reportedly maintains backchannel contact with Justice Dept. through Deputy Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr.
Nov. 6, 2016: FBI Director Comey tells Congress that Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner computer do not change earlier conclusion: she should not be charged.
Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s interest in NSA materials accelerates, according to later news reports.
Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson shortly after election.
The FBI interviews Ohr about his ongoing contacts with Fusion GPS.
Nov. 2016: National Security Agency Mike Rogers meets with president-elect Trump and is criticized for “not telling the Obama administration.”
Nov. 17, 2016: Trump moves his Friday presidential team meetings out of Trump Tower.
Dec. 2016: Text messages between FBI officials Strzok and Page are later said to be “lost” due to a technical glitch beginning at this point.
David Kramer, senior director at nonprofit McCain Institute and ex-State Dept. official, meets with Yemen-born anti-Trump researcher Christopher Steele in London at request of Sen. John McCain to view “the pre-election memoranda on a confidential basis,” according to court filings. Kramer brings copy to McCain who gives them to FBI.
Dec. 8, 2016: Hillary Clinton makes a pubic appearance denouncing “fake news.”
Hillary Clinton and Democratic operative David Brock of Media Matters announces he’s leaving board of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), one of his many propaganda and liberal advocacy groups, to focus on “fake news” effort.
Brock later claims credit— privately to of donors— for convincing Facebook to crack down on conservative fake news.
Dec. 15, 2016: Obama intel officials “incidentally” spy on Trump officials meeting with the United Arab Emirates crown prince in Trump Tower. This is taken to mean the government was wiretapping the prince and “happened to capture” Trump officials communicating with him at Trump Tower. Identities of Americans accidentally captured in such surveillance are strictly protected or “masked” inside intel agencies for constitutional privacy reasons.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice secretly “unmasks” names of the Trump officials, officially revealing their identities. They reportedly include: Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Director of National Intelligence Clapper expands rules to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate classified surveillance material within the government.
Dec. 29, 2016: President Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for its alleged election interference.
President-elect Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks with Russian Ambassador to U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The call is wiretapped by U.S. intelligence and later leaked to the press.
State Department releases 2,800 work-related emails from Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, found by FBI on laptop computer of Abedin’s husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Jan. 2017: According to CNN: a wiretap reportedly continues against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, including times he speaks to Trump, meaning U.S. intel officials could have “accidentally” captured Trump’s communications.
Justice Dept. Inspector General confirms it’s investigating several aspects of FBI and Justice Department actions during Clinton probe.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies to Congress that Russia interfered in U.S. elections by spreading fake news on social media.
Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik, who “tipped off” Clinton campaign regarding Congressional questions about her email, leaves government work for private practice.
Jan. 3, 2017: Obama Attorney General Lynch signs rules Director of National Intelligence Clapper expanded Dec. 15 allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate surveillance within the government.
Jan. 5, 2017: Intelligence Community leadership provides classified briefing on alleged Russia hacking during 2016 campaign, according to notes later written by national security adviser Susan Rice.
After briefing, according notes made later by Rice, President Obama convenes Oval Office meeting with her, FBI Director Comey, Vice President Biden and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. The “Steele dossier” is discussed reportedly discussed.
Jan. 6, 2017: FBI Director Comey and other Intel leaders meet with President-Elect Trump and his national security team at Trump Tower in New York to brief them on alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the election.
Later, Obama national security adviser Susan Rice would write herself an email stating that President Obama suggested they hold back on providing Trump officials with certain info for national security reasons.
After Trump team briefing, FBI Director Comey meets alone with Trump to “brief him” on Fusion GPS Steele allegations “to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified…” Comes later says Director of National Intelligence Clapper asked him (Comey) to do the briefing personally.
Jan. 10, 2017: The 35-page Fusion GPS anti-Trump “dossier” is leaked to the media and published. It reveals that sources of the unverified info are Russians close to President Putin.
Jan. 12, 2017: Obama administration finalizes new rules allowing NSA to spread certain intel to other U.S. intel agencies without normal privacy protections.
Justice Dept. inspector general announces review of alleged misconduct by FBI Director Comey and other matters related to FBI’s Clinton probe as well as FBI leaks.
Jan. 13, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee opens investigation into Russia and U.S. political campaign officials.
Jan. 20, 2017: Trump becomes president.
Fifteen minutes after Trump becomes president, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice emails memo to herself purporting to summarize the Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other top officials. She states that Obama instructed the group to investigate “by the book” and asked them to be mindful whether there were certain things that “could not be fully shared with the incoming administration.”
Jan. 22, 2017: Intel info leaks to Wall Street Journal which reports “US counterintelligence agents have investigated communications” between Trump aide Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak to determine if any laws were violated.
Jan. 24, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates sends two FBI agents, including Peter Strzok, to the White House to question Gen. Flynn.
Approx. Jan. 21, 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page.
Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a high-ranking colleague go to White House to tell counsel Don McGahn that “the underlying conduct that Gen. Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself.”
Jan. 27, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates again visits the White House.
Jan. 31, 2017: President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refuses to enforce his temporary travel ban on Muslims coming into U.S. from certain countries.
Dana Boente becomes Acting Attorney General. (It’s later revealed that Boente signed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.)
Feb. 2, 2017: It’s reported that five men employed by House of Representatives Democrats, including leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), are under criminal investigation for allegedly “accessing House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge.” Suspects include three Awan brothers “who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers.”
Feb. 3, 2017: A Russian tech mogul named in the Steele “dossier” files defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed in the U.S. and Christopher Steele in the U.K. over the dossier’s claims he interfered in U.S. elections.
Feb. 8, 2017: Jeff Sessions becomes Attorney General and Dana Boente moves to Deputy Attorney General.
Feb. 9, 2017: News of FBI wiretaps capturingTrump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaking with Russia’s ambassador is leaked to the press. New York Times and Washington Post report Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions, despite his earlier denials. The Post also reports the FBI “found nothing illicit” in the talks.
Feb. 13, 2017: Washington Post reports Justice Dept. has opened a “Logan Act” violation investigation against Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Feb. 14, 2017: New York Times reports that FBI had told Obama officials there was no “quid pro quo” (promise of a deal in exchange for some action) discussed between Gen. Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak.
Gen. Flynn resigns, allegedly acknowledging he misled vice president Mike Pence about the content of his discussions with Russia.
Feb. 17, 2017: Washington Post reports that “Flynn told FBI he did not discuss sanctions” with Russia ambassador and that “Lying to the FBI is a felony offense.”
March 1, 2017: Washington Post reports Attorney General Jeff Sessions has met with Russian ambassador twice in the recent past (as did many Democrat and Republican officials). His critics say that contradicts his earlier testimony to Congress.
March 2017: FBI Director James Comey gives private briefings to members of Congress and reportedly says he does not believe Gen. Flynn lied to FBI.
House Intelligence Committee requests list of unmasking requests Obama officials made. The intel agencies do not provide the information, prompting a June 1 subpoena.
March 2, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from Russia-linked investigations.
Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, becomes Acting Attorney General for Russia Probe. It’s later revealed that Rosenstein singed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.
March 4, 2017: President Trump tweets: “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” and “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
March 10, 2017: Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, steps forward to support Trump’s wiretapping claim, revealing that the Obama administration intel officials recorded his own communications with a Libyan official in Spring 2011.
March 20, 2017: FBI Director Comey tells House Intelligence Committee he has “no information that supports” the President’s tweets about “alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration. “We have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey says. “(T)he answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components.”
FBI Director Comey tells Congress there is “salacious and unverified” material in the Fusion GPS dossier used by FBI, in part, to obtain Carter Page wiretap. (Under FBI “Woods Procedures,” only facts carefully verified by the FBI are allowed to be presented to court to obtain wiretaps.)
March 22, 2017: Chairman of House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) publicly announces he’s seen evidence of Trump associates being “incidentally” surveilled by Obama intel officials; and their names being “unmasked” and illegally leaked. Nunes briefs President Trump and holds a news conference. He’s criticized for doing so. An ethics investigation is opened into his actions but later clears him of wrongdoing.
In an interview on PBS, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice responds to Nunes allegations by stating: “I know nothing about this…I really don’t know to what Chairman Nunes was referring.” (She later acknowledges unmasking names of Trump associates.)
March 2017: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) writes Justice Dept. accusing Fusion GPS of acting as an agent for Russia—without properly registering—due to its pro-Russia effort to kill a law allowing sanctions against foreign human rights violators. Fusion GPS denies the allegations.
March 24, 2017: Fusion GPS declines to answer Sen. Grassley’s questions or document requests.
March 27, 2017: Former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admits she encouraged Obama and Congressional officials to “get as much information as they can” about Russia and Trump officials before inauguration. “…that’s why you have the leaking,” she told MSNBC.
April 3, 2017: Multiple news reports state that Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice had requested and reviewed “unmasked” intelligence on Trump associates whose information was “incidentally” collected by intel agencies.
April 4, 2017: Obama former National Security Adviser Rice admits, in an interview, that she asked to reveal names of U.S. citizens previously masked in intel reports. She says her motivations were not political. When asked if she leaked names, Rice states, “I leaked nothing to nobody.”
April 6, 2017: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia part of his committee’s investigation.
April 11, 2017: FBI Director Comey appoints Stephen Laycock as special agent in charge of Counterintelligence Division for Washington Field Office.
Washington Post reports FBI secretly obtained wiretap against Trump campaign associate Carter Page last summer. (Later, it’s revealed the summer wiretap had been turned down, but a subsequent application was approved in October.)
April 20, 2017: Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord resigns as acting head of Justice Dept. National Security Division. She’d led probes of Russia interference in election and Trump-Russia ties.
Approx. April 21, 2017: A third FBI wiretap on Carter Page is security approved.
April 28, 2017: Dana Boente is appointed acting assistant attorney general for national security division to replace Mary McCord. (Boente has signed one of the questioned wiretap applications for Carter Page.)
National Security Agency (NSA) submits remedies for its egregious surveillance violations (revealed last October) to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court promising to “no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target.” The NSA also begins deleting collected data on U.S. citizens it had been storing.
May 3, 2017: FBI Director Comey testifies he’s “mildly nauseous” at the idea he might have affected election with the 11th hour Clinton email notifications to Congress.
Comey also testifies he’s “never” been an anonymous news source on “matters relating to” investigating the Trump campaign.
Obama’s former national security adviser Susan Rice declines Republican Congressional request to testify at a hearing about unmaskings and surveillance.
May 8, 2017: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify to Congress. They admit having reviewed “classified documents in which Mr. Trump, his associates or members of Congress had been unmasked,” and possibly discussing it with others under the Obama administration.
May 9, 2017: President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe becomes acting FBI Director.
May 12, 2017: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of ex-FBI Director James Comey and editor in chief of Lawfare, contacts New York Times reporter Mike Schmidt to leak conversations he’d had with Comey as FBI Director that are critical of President Trump.
May 16, 2017: New York Times publishes leaked account of FBI memoranda recorded by former FBI Director James Comey. Comey later acknowledges engineering the leak of the FBI material through his friend, Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman, to spur appointment of special counsel to investigate President Trump.
Trump reportedly interviews, but passes over, former FBI Director Robert Mueller for position of FBI Director.
May 17, 2017: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Russia-Trump probe. Mueller and former FBI Director Comey are friends and worked closely together in previous Justice Dept. and FBI positions.
The gap of missing text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ends. The couple is soon assigned to the Mueller team investigating Trump.
May 19, 2017: Anthony Wiener, former Congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton confidant Huma Abedin, turns himself in to FBI in case of underage sexting; his third major kerfuffle over sexting in six years.
June 1, 2017: House Intelligence Committee issues 7 subpoenas, including for information related to unmaskings requested by ex-Obama officials national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
June 8, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey admits having engineered leak of his own memo to New York Times to spur appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump.
June 20, 2017: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe names Philip Celestini as Special Agent in Charge of the Intelligence Division, Washington Field Office.
Approx. July 21, 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page for the fourth and final time that we know of. (He is never ultimately charged with a crime.)
Late July, 2017: FBI reportedly searches Paul Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia home.
Summer 2017: FBI lawyer Lisa Page is reassigned from Mueller investigation. Her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok is removed from Mueller investigation after the Inspector General discovers compromising texts between Strzok and Page. Congress is not notified of the developments.
Aug. 2, 2017: Christopher Wray is named FBI Director.
August 2017: Ex-FBI Director Comey signs a book deal for a reported $2 million.
Sept. 13, 2017: Under questioning from Congress, Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice reportedly admits having requested to see the protected identities of Trump transition officials “incidentally” captured by government surveillance.
Approx. Oct. 10, 2017: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to FBI about his unsuccessful efforts during the campaign to facilitate meetings between Trump officials and Russian officials.
Oct. 17, 2017: Obama’s former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power reportedly tells Congressional investigators that many of the hundreds of “unmasking” requests in her name during the election year —were not made by her.
Oct. 24, 2017: Congressional Republicans announce new investigations into a 2010 acquisition that gave Russia control of 20% of U.S. uranium supply while Clinton was secretary of state; and FBI decision not to charge Clinton in classified info probe.
Oct. 30, 2017: Special Counsel Mueller charges ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates with tax and money laundering crimes related to their foreign work. The charges do not appear related to Trump.
Nov. 2, 2017: Carter Page testifies to House Intelligence committee under oath without an attorney and asks to have the testimony published. He denies ever meeting the Russian official that Fusion GPS claimed he’d met with in July 2016.
Nov. 5, 2017: Special Counsel Robert Mueller files charges against ex-Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for allegedly lying to FBI official Peter Strzok about contacts with Russian ambassador during presidential transition.
Dec. 1, 2017: Former national security adviser Gen. Flynn pleads guilty of lying to the FBI.
James Rybicki steps down as chief of staff to FBI Director.
Dec. 6, 2017: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is reportedly stripped of one of his positions at Justice Dept. amid controversy over his and his wife’s role in anti-Trump political opposition research.
Dec. 7, 2017: FBI Director Wray incorrectly testifies that there have been no “702” surveillance abuses by the government.
Dec. 19, 2017: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly testifies that the wiretap against Trump campaign official Carter Page would not have been approved without the Fusion GPS info. FBI general counsel James Baker, who is himself subject of an Inspector General probe over his alleged leaks to the press, attends as McCabe’s attorney. McCabe acknowledges that if Baker had met with Mother Jones reporter David Corn, it would have been inappropriate.
FBI general counsel James Baker is reassigned amid investigation into his alleged anti-Trump related contacts with media.
Jan. 4, 2018: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) refer criminal charges against Christopher Steele to the FBI for investigation. There’s an apparent conflict of interest with the FBI being asked to investigate Steele since the FBI has used Steele’s controversial political opposition research to obtain wiretaps.
Jan. 8, 2018: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr loses his second title at the agency.
Jan. 10, 2018: Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen files defamation suits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News for publishing the “Steele dossier” which he says falsely claimed he met Russian government officials in Prague, Czech Republic, in August of 2016.
Jan. 11, 2018: House of Representatives approves government’s controversial “702” wireless surveillance authority. The Senate follows suit.
Jan. 19, 2018: Justice Dept. produces to Congress some text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok but states that FBI lost texts between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 due to a technical glitch.
President Trump signs six-year extension of “702” wireless surveillance authority.
Jan. 23, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey friend who leaked on behalf of Comey to New York Times to spur appointment of special counsel is now Comey’s attorney.
Jan. 25, 2018: Justice Dept. Inspector General notifies Congress it has recovered missing text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
Jan. 27, 2018: Edward O’Callaghan is named Acting Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.
Jan. 30, 2018: News reports allege that Justice Department Inspector General is looking into why FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appeared to wait three weeks before acting on new Clinton emails found right before the election.
Feb. 2, 2018: House Intelligence Committee (Nunes) memo is released. It summarizes classified documents revealing for the first time that Fusion GPS political opposition research was used, in part, to justify Carter Page wiretap; along with Michael Isikoff Yahoo News article based on the same opposition research.
Memo also states that Fusion GPS set up back channel to FBI through Nellie Ohr, who conducted opposition research on Trump and passed it to her husband, associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr.
Feb. 7, 2018: Justice Department official David Laufman, who helped oversee the Clinton and Russia probes, steps down as chief of National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
Feb. 9, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey assistant Josh Campbell leaves FBI for job at CNN.
Justice Department Associate Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, Rachel Brand, resigns.
Feb. 16, 2018: Special counsel Mueller obtains guilty plea from a Dutch attorney for lying to federal investigators about the last time he spoke to Rick Gates regarding a 2012 project related to Ukraine. The plea does not appear to relate to 2016 campaign or Trump. The Dutch attorney is married to the daughter of a Russian oligarch who’s suing Buzzfeed and Christopher Steele for alleged defamation in the “dossier.”
Feb. 22, 2018: Former State Dept. official and Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer invokes his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before House Intelligence Committee. Kramer reportedly picked up the anti-Trump political opposition research in London and delivered it to Sen. McCain who delivered it to the FBI.
Special counsel Mueller files new charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Rick Gates, accusing them of additional tax and bank fraud crimes. The allegations appear to be unrelated to Trump.
Watch Sharyl Attkisson’s TEDx Talk on the surprising origins of “Fake News.”
A few points need to be emphasized for those unfamiliar with the Broward County system. First, with revelations of frequent LEO contact and calls from people warning about school shooter Nikolas Cruz, there’s a common narrative mistakenly being pushed by mainstream media.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) didn’t “miss warning signs” or make “mistakes” in not writing up reports. The Sheriff’s office did exactly what their internal policies, procedures and official training required them to do, they intentionally ignored the signs, and intentionally didn’t generate documents. Example:
Miami Herald […] In November, a tipster called BSO to say Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making” but deputies did not write up a report on that warning. It came just weeks after a relative called urging BSO to seize his weapons. Two years ago, according to a newly released timeline of interactions with Cruz’s family, a deputy investigated a report that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school” — intelligence that was forwarded to the school’s resource officer, with no apparent result. (read more)
It is important to understand the policy here. Broward County law enforcement (Sheriff Israel), in conjunction with Broward County School Officials (Superintendent Runcie and School Board), have a standing policy to ignore any criminal engagement with High School students.
When the police are hiding current, actual and ongoing unlawful conduct as a matter of standard procedure on a regular basis, what do we expect the police would do with reports of potential unlawful conduct? Of course they would ignore them.
You can read a twitter thread on the multi-year-long enterprise HERE
This is not a “mistake” on their part, the ‘doing nothing’ is part of the standard practice.
♦ Secondly, the 27 minute tape-delay in the CCTV system is not an “accident”, “flaw” or “mistake”. It is entirely by design.
As a standard Broward and Miami-Dade practice, when school law enforcement need to cover-up or hide behavior, they need time (when that behavior happens) to delete the evidence trail. As such the school policy -as carried out in practice- is more efficient with a 30 minute tape delay affording the school officer enough time to deal with the situation, then erase the possibility of a recording of the unlawful activity surfacing.
Building in a 30 minute delay on the CCTV system was one of those pesky add-on items that happened a few years ago when the School and Law Enforcement officials established the policy of intentionally not arresting students.
With modern technology it’s tough to hide criminal behavior, especially the violent stuff, when it is being recorded. Duh. Ergo the tape-delay was the best-practice workaround.
Lastly, when the county education policy is intentionally constructed to ignore criminal behavior in schools, the Sheriff and School superintendent cannot rely on “law-and-order-minded” school police officers to carry out the heavily nuanced policy. The county officials need the people closest to the work, the officers, to be able to think quickly on their feet to safeguard their prized district-wide statistics.
2013 – Broward announced broad changes designed to mitigate the use of harsh punishments for minor misbehavior at the beginning of this school year. While other districts have amended their discipline codes, prohibited arrests in some circumstances, and developed alternatives to suspension, Broward was able to do all these things at once with the cooperation of a group that included a member of the local NAACP, a school board member, a public defender, a local sheriff, a state prosecutor, and several others. In early November, The Miami Herald reported that suspensions were already down 40 percent and arrests were down 66 percent. (2013 article link)
A Broward County SRO must carry a political hat and be able to intercept behavior, modify his/her action based on a specific policy need, falsify documents, hide evidence, manipulate records and engage inside the system with an understanding of the unwritten goals.
Broward County school law enforcement are given political instructions, and carrying out political objectives. They are not given law-enforcement instructions.
The school officers are the primary foot soldiers carrying out county political policy. Physical security of school students is not their role, they don’t have time for that. The Broward County SRO is in place to protect the school system “policy” and ensure students are not arrested for criminal conduct.
If you begin reviewing the downstream consequences with a correct understanding of the originating policy objectives then everything begins to make sense. Again, from the Miami Herald:
[…] on Nov. 30, an unidentified caller from Massachusetts called to say Cruz was collecting guns and knives. The caller said “Cruz will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making.”
BSO, however, never even wrote a report on the tip. Internal affairs detectives are now trying to figure out what happened. Deputies Edward Eason and Guntis Treijs are on restricted duty while detectives examine their handling of the two potential school shooter tips. After the shooting, the tipster was re-interviewed and said BSO told him to report Cruz to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s, as the teen was then living in the neighboring county. (read more)
Of course the Broward County Sheriff’s Office didn’t write a report. Writing a report would not be in line with the goals of hiding student criminal behavior.
Additionally, it seems odd to see the Miami Herald reporting on Nikolas Cruz in 2018; when the same editorial staff conspicuously avoided any aspects of Trayvon Martin’s student criminal behavior in 2012 and 2013. I wonder why there’s such a difference now?
[School Police Officer Scot] Peterson is mentioned as part of a 2016 social services agency investigation into Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old identified by police as the gunman. According to a Florida Department of Children and Families report detailing that investigation, Peterson was approached by investigators and “refused to share any information … regarding [an] incident that took place with” the teenager.
That same year, the sheriff’s office revealed Thursday, it was told about “third hand information” from a “neighbor’s son” suggesting that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school,” although the specific school was not listed. The sheriff’s office said a deputy contacted the caller, determined that Cruz had knives and a BB gun and sent the information to the school resource officer — presumably Peterson. It is unclear whether he investigated. (Washington Post Link)
▪ Feb. 5, 2016: A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy is told by an anonymous caller that Nikolas Cruz, then 17, had threatened on Instagram to shoot up his school and posted a photo of himself with guns. The information is forwarded to BSO Deputy Scot Peterson, a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
▪ Sept. 23, 2016: A “peer counselor” reports to Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advises against involuntarily committing Cruz. The high school says it will conduct a threat assessment.
▪ Sept. 28, 2016: An investigator for the Florida Department of Children and Families rules Cruz is stable, despite “fresh cuts” on his arms. His mother, Lynda Cruz, says in the past he wrote a racial slur against African Americans on his book bag and had recently talked of buying firearms.
▪ Sept. 24, 2017: A YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” posts a comment stating he wants to become a “professional school shooter.” The comment is reported to the FBI in Mississippi, which fails to make the connection to Cruz in South Florida.
▪ Nov. 1, 2017: Katherine Blaine, Lynda Cruz’s cousin, calls BSO to report that Nikolas Cruz had weapons and asks that police recover them. A “close family friend” agrees to take the firearms, according to BSO.
▪ Nov. 29, 2017: The Palm Beach County family that took in Cruz after the death of his mother calls the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between him and their son, 22. A member of the family says that Cruz had threatened to “get his gun and come back” and that he has “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The family does not want him arrested once he calms down.
▪ Nov. 30, 2017: A caller from Massachusetts calls BSO to report that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and could be a “school shooter in the making.” A BSO deputy advises the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.
▪ Jan. 5, 2018: A caller to the FBI’s tip line reports that Cruz has “a desire to kill people” and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information is never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.
▪ Feb. 14, 2018: Nikolas Cruz attacks Stoneman Douglas High. Peterson, the school’s resource officer, Scot Peterson, draws his gun outside the building where Cruz is shooting students and staff. He does not enter.