Breakthrough Headline: “Did China interfere with the North Korean summit?”


Credit to Fox Business for finally admitting the role Xi Jinping played in leveraging North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to become more adversarial to the U.S.- North Korean denuclearization talks and summit in Singapore.  Perhaps this is the first reality shift for Western media to discuss, with greater accuracy and honesty, the extent of influence held by China over the activity of North Korea.  The DPRK is a proxy province of China.

The first U.S. trade delegation visit to China happened May 2-5.  Then there was an unexpected second trip by Chairman Kim to Beijing (May 8-9). Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping instructing Chairman Kim to change his approach publicly in order to provide China with leverage in the next U.S./China trade summit which took place shortly thereafter on May 15-18.  China is leveraging North Korea for a better trade outcome.

As noted by President Donald Trump during his Oval Office remarks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the specifically scheming and cunning influence by Chairman Xi, what we customarily call ‘Red-Dragon-China‘, was -and is- accepted by President Trump as evidence of Beijing’s manipulative intent.

“Collusion against Trump” Timeline


Re Posted From Sharyl Attkisson’s Blog May 20, 2018

“Collusion against Trump” Timeline

New items added in blue on May 20, 2018

It’s easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend:

Politifact Russia-Trump timeline

Washington Post Russia-Trump timeline

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.)

2011

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.

2012

July 1, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton improperly uses unsecured, personal email domain to email President Obama from Russia.

2013

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.

2014

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.

2015

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.

2016

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.

FBI interviews Carter Page again.

Carter Page is named as one of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy advisers.

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.

Ukrainian member of parliament Olga Bielkova reportedly seeks meetings with five dozen members of U.S. Congress and reporters including former New York Time reporter Judy Miller, David Sanger of New York Times, David Ignatius of Washington Post, and Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

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 12, 2016: Ukrainian parliament member Olga Bielkova and a colleague meet with Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer with the McCain Institute. Bielkova also meets with Liz Zentos of Obama’s National Security Council, and State Department official Michael Kimmage.

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’ Glenn Simpson 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.

The Guardian and Heat Street report that the FBI applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016 to “monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials” but that the “initial request was denied.” 

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 restarted a 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 20, 2016: Christopher Steele proposes taking some of Fusion GPS’ research about Trump to FBI.

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.”

Carter Page travels to Russia to give a university commencement address. (Fusion GPS political opposition research would later quote Russian sources as saying Page met with Russian officials, which Page denies under oath and is not proven.)

One-time CIA operative Stefan Halper reportedly begins meetings with Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, secretly gathering information for the FBI. These contacts begin prior to the date FBI Director Comey later claimed the Russian investigation began. 

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, an ex-British 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

July 31, 2016: FBI begins counterintelligence investigation regarding Russia.

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.

Late August 2016:

Reportedly working for the FBI, one-time CIA operative Professor Halper meets with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, according to The Washington Post. Halper would later offer to hire Carter Page.

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: 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.

Mid-to-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. Steele flies to Rome, Italy to meet with FBI and provide a “full briefing.”

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.

End of Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele meet with reporters, including New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN or ABC. One meeting is at office of Democratic National Committee general counsel.

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.

According to The Guardian, the FBI submits a more narrowly focused FISA wiretap request to replace one turned down in June to monitor four Trump associates. 

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.”

Mid-Oct. 2016: Fusion GPS’ Steele again briefs reporters about Trump political opposition research. The reporters are from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News.

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.

Late Oct. 2016: Fusion GPS’ Steele again briefs reporter from Mother Jones by Skype about Trump political opposition research.

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.

Oct. 31, 2016: New York Times reports FBI is investigating Trump and found no illicit connections to Russia.

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.

Nov. 18-20, 2016: Sen. John McCain and his longtime adviser, David Kramer–an ex-U.S. State Dept. official–attend a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia where former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood tells them about the Fusion GPS anti-Trump dossier. (Kramer is affiliated with the anti-Russia “Ukraine Today” media organization). They discuss confirming the info has reached top levels of  FBI for action.

Nov. 28, 2016: Sen. McCain associate David Kramer flies to London to meet Christopher Steele for a briefing on the anti-Trump research. Afterward, Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson gives Sen. McCain a copy of the “dossier.” Steele also passes anti-Trump info to top UK government official in charge of national security. Sen. McCain soon arranges a meeting with FBI Director Comey.

Late Nov. 2016: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr officially tells FBI about his contacts with Fusion GPS’ Christopher Steele and about Ohr’s wife’s contract work for Fusion GPS.

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.

Dec. 8 or 9, 2016: Sen. John McCain meets with FBI Director Comey at FBI headquarters and hands over Fusion GPS anti-Trump research, elevating the FBI’s investigation into the matter. The FBI compiles a classified two-page summary and attaches it to intel briefing note on Russian cyber-interference in election for President Obama.

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.

2017

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.

Early Jan. 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page.

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 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…” Comey 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.

Jan. 21, 2017: 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.

Early April, 2017: A third FBI wiretap on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is approved.

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.

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.

Late June, 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page for the fourth and final time that we know of. It lasts through late Sept.  2017. (Page 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.

2018

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. 29, 2018: Andrew McCabe steps down as Deputy FBI Director ahead of his March retirement.

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) Republican 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.

Fri. Feb. 23, 2018: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, pleads guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators (though he issues a statement saying he’s innocent of the indictment charges). The allegations and plea have no apparent link to Trump-Russia campaign collusion.

Sat. Feb. 24, 2018: Democrats on House Intel Committee release their rebuttal memo to the Republican version that summarized alleged FBI misconduct re: using the GPS Fusion opposition research to get wiretap against Carter Page.

March 12, 2018: House Intelligence Committee closes Russia-Trump investigation with no evidence of collusion.

Fri. March 16, 2018: Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, based on recommendation from FBI ethics investigators.

Thurs. March 22, 2018: President Trump announces plans to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.

House Judiciary Committee issues subpoenas to Department of Justice after Department failed to produce documents.

How Real Is Fake News? | Sharyl Attkisson | TEDxUniversityofNevada


Published on Feb 13, 2018

Was the effort to focus America’s attention on the idea of “fake news”—itself a propaganda effort? Connect the dots and learn who’s behind it and why. It’s not what you think. Sharyl Attkisson is a five-time Emmy Award winner and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting and author of two New York Times bestsellers: “The Smear” and “Stonewalled.” Attkisson hosts the Sunday national TV news program “Full Measure,” which focuses on investigative and accountability reporting. For thirty years, Attkisson was a correspondent and anchor at PBS, CNN and CBS News, where the Washington Post described her as “a persistent voice of news-media skepticism about the government’s story.” She’s a fourth degree blackbelt in TaeKwonDo. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/ted

President Trump Tweets Cautious Optimism Regarding DPRK Summit Talks – June 12th…


Current Steel and Aluminum tariff exemptions expire June 1st.  Secretary Ross scheduled to be in Beijing, China June 2nd, 3rd, 4th.  The G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec is on June 8th and 9th.  The tenuous Singapore summit was previously scheduled for June 12th.

Tweet Link

President Trump Participates in Naval Academy Graduation Ceremony…


Earlier today President Donald Trump delivered remarks to the graduating class of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland.  In addition to the speech, President Trump remained on stage for 90 minutes to shake the hands of every graduate.

Secretary Wilbur Ross Heading To China June 2nd through 4th – Likely Authorized To Strip Bamboo Forest…


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday on multiple issues.  Much of the debriefing to the Senate revolved around Secretary Pompeo’s contacts and coordination with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un.

The testimony is interesting for those who are following the DPRK issues.  During many of the exchanges Secretary Pompeo clarifies his certainty that Kim Jong-un fully understood the U.S. position surrounding denuclearization; and for several weeks was progressing toward the June 12 summit with clarity of outcome between the U.S. and North Korea.

Then something happened…

[Watch the Briefing HERE] Secretary Pompeo’s briefing when overlaid with the timing of the first U.S. trade delegation to China (May 2-5); and then the second trip by Chairman Kim to Beijing (May 8); highlights the connectivity of Chairman Xi Jinping instructing Chairman Kim to change his approach publicly in order to provide China with leverage in the U.S./China trade summit which took place shortly thereafter (May 15-18).

As noted by President Donald Trump during his Oval Office remarks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the specifically scheming and cunning influence by Chairman Xi, what we customarily call ‘Red-Dragon-China‘, was -and is- accepted by President Trump as evidence of Beijing’s manipulative intent.

All forward trade and economic discussion with China will now be engaged while the U.S. accepts the Chinese Panda mask has dropped and we are in full battle-mode with communist Red Dragon China.

This is an important tonal shift to note because U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross just announced he is heading to China. Secretary Ross will visit China from June 2 to June 4, the official Xinhua news agency reported, and you can be certain that President Trump has just unleashed the “killer” side of Wilbur Ross.

Ross will visit China from June 2 to June 4, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, adding that Vice Premier Liu He, China’s chief negotiator in the trade dispute, had spoken with Ross over the phone. It gave no further details.

The trade dispute took on added complexity this week when U.S. President Donald Trump announced a national security investigation into imports of cars and trucks, a probe that could lead to tariffs against China as well as key U.S. allies such as Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.  (link)

President Trump is not sending a “trade delegation” to Beijing, he is sending ONLY Secretary Ross. This is where ‘stuff‘ is fixin’ to get very serious. Wolverine Ross will likely be prepared to rip the bamboo forest to shreds. Don’t expect any firm or final decision on a change of heart for the June 12th U.S./DPRK summit in Singapore until after Secretary Ross reports back to President Trump.

How Important? Remember, the 2018 G7 summit is taking place in Charlevoix, Quebec on June 8th and 9th.

In the days leading up to the heads of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States meeting, there are ministerial sessions with the Secretaries of each nation taking place.   The finance and commerce ministerial sessions are scheduled May 31st through June 2nd in Whistler, British Columbia.

Normally Secretary Ross would join Treasury Secretary Mnuchin at these ministerial meetings.  Every economic and finance minister is going to want to talk to the U.S. economic team about the status of the steel and aluminum tariff exemptions. [Currently extended 30 days – expiring June 1st].   However, as noted Ross is going to China instead.

This helps to understand how significant the economic aspects of the Trump Doctrine are to the geopolitical engagements with North Korea.

Chairman Xi has made a strategic decision in his adversarial approach toward President Trump.  Again, listen to the briefing by Secretary Pompeo – Panda China is telling him they too want to see peace, Korean stability and denuclearization.  However, Dragon China is using the panda mask, and simultaneously leveraging Chairman Kim to aid their trade objectives.

Beijing has made a fatal mistake; they have exposed too much dragon face and did not expect President Trump to call them out on it publicly.

Secretary Ross now heads to China with •Steel and Aluminum tariffs; •auto-sector 232 evaluations; •intellectual property penalties; •over $150 billion in additional trade sanctions/tariffs pending; •and financial sanctions against Chinese banks as economic arrows in his dragon slaying quiver.

Don’t doubt for a minute that based on Chairman Xi’s maneuver with Chairman Kim, Wolverine Ross is not about to fire one -or several- of those arrows directly into the heart of Beijing.

Chairman Xi made a strategic mistake.  Xi genuinely has no idea the level of hurt President Trump is looking for an excuse to deliver.  Things are fixing to get ‘Old-School’.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.”…

~ Mike Tyson

Chairman Xi Jinping Responds: North Korea says it is still willing to talk with US “at any time” and in “any format”


The MSM is insufferable in their intentional disconnect of the dynamic behind the North Korean denuclearization talks.  It was Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping who brought the DPRK to the table; and it was Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping who pushed North Korea away from the table in their manipulative efforts to extract trade concessions. Every other review of the geopolitical gamesmanship is chaff and countermeasures.

U.S. President Trump is holding massive steel and aluminum tariffs as an economic sword of Damocles over the head of Beijing during ongoing trade negotiations.  Chairman Xi sought to increase his own leverage by pulling North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un away from bilateral peace and denuclearization talks.  However, POTUS Trump responded to the Beijing power-play by announcing a Section 232 trade review over the entire auto-industry; and then bolstered his counter-move by cancelling talks with Kim Jong-un.

Red Dragon didn’t expect President Trump to respond so effectively to the customary schemes notoriously famous in any Chinese negotiation encounter. I really believe Chairman Xi underestimates how adept POTUS Trump is at cutting through the obfuscation and obtuse moves.

President Trump simply doesn’t operate in the land of traditional diplomatic discomfort… he doesn’t have any inclination to play these insufferable games.

Within minutes of President Trump withdrawing from the June 12th summit, Beijing realized all of their trade leverage was just wiped out.  Playing deceptive panda isn’t going to work this time.

(Via AP) – North Korea says it is still willing to sit down for talks with the United States “at any time, at any format” after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled his planned summit with Kim Jong Un.

Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement Friday saying North Korea is “willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities” to reconsider talks.

Kim says North Korea’s “objective and resolve to do our best for the sake of peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and all humankind remain unchanged.”

Kim is calling Trump’s decision “unexpected” and “very regrettable,” and says the cancellation of the talks shows “how grave the status of historically deep-rooted hostile North Korea-U.S. relations is and how urgently a summit should be realized to improve ties.”  (link)

South Korean Prime Minister Moon Jae-in is the Asian version of Barack Obama, and much like North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un essentially irrelevant in this geopolitical confrontation.  Take a seat, or make a sandwich…. it matters not.

This is a battle, a massive economic battle, between U.S. President Trump and Chinese Chairman Xi.  Period.

Whenever this geopolitical economic trade confrontation is resolved; that’s when Chairman Xi will instruct Chairman Kim to take the knee.  Not a moment before.

Until the U.S. -vs- China economic confrontation is solved, Xi will continue to use the DPRK threat as his principle leverage in the negotiations.

Beijing thinks the wounded panda performance will play well amid the mindset behind the United Nations and the European union.

China counts on the traditional appeasement mindset of those who dislike confrontation.

However, they underestimate the willingness of President Trump to be the guy willing to punch you in the face.  Trump simply doesn’t care about the external opinions of the audience – POTUS knows he’s fighting the Dragon behind the Panda mask; even if the witnessing audience is unwilling to accept it.

That’s the paradigm shift Beijing is attempting to navigate; while it simultaneously plays to an internal and external audience.

President Trump has waited three decades for the opportunity to step into the arena and take this righteous battle to America’s primary economic adversary and geopolitical threat.  President Trump ain’t going to suddenly develop a propensity toward Marquess of Queensbury rules.  He’s a Queens scrapper at heart.  An uncouth predator willing to put a roll of quarters inside his Corinthian leather glove if that’s what it takes to smash the mouth of his opposition.

There is one objective in this dynamic, to win.

Though thankfully the the times are few, even in the short history of our Republic there have been times when survival of the U.S. required brutal men to stand the wall.  President Trump is such a man; right now is such a time.

Vulgarian Trump will not back down from his position; the U.S. holds all of the leverage and the issue must be addressed.  President Trump has waited three decades for this moment.  This President and his team are entirely prepared for this.

We are finally confronting the geopolitical Red Dragon, China!

The Olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace and war. The symbol in any figure’s right hand has more significance than one in its left hand. Also important is the direction faced by the symbols central figure. The emphasis on the eagles stare signifies the preferred disposition. An eagle holding an arrow also symbolizes the war for freedom, and its use is commonly referred to the liberation fight of righteous people from abusive influence. The eagle on the original seal created for the Office of the President showed the gaze upon the arrows.

The Eagle and the Arrow – An Aesop’s Fable

An Eagle was soaring through the air. Suddenly it heard the whizz of an Arrow, and felt the dart pierce its breast. Slowly it fluttered down to earth. Its lifeblood pouring out. Looking at the Arrow with which it had been shot, the Eagle realized that the deadly shaft had been feathered with one of its own plumes.

Moral: We often give our enemies the means for our own destruction.

.

President Trump Posthumously Pardons Boxer Jack Johnson…


Joined by Sylvester Stallone, current and past boxing champions, earlier today President Donald Trump posthumously pardoned boxer Jack Johnson.

.

[Transcript] Oval Office – 12:55 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. This was set up quite a long time ago. And while this is a very interesting day we have going, this was very important to Sylvester Stallone — my friend for a long time, Sly — and the whole group.

We have incredible people here. We have the current heavyweight champion of the world, Deontay Wilder. He’s 40 and 0. This gentleman right here. He’s 40 and 0, with 39 knockouts.

And we have Lennox Lewis, who, as you know, is one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. Unbelievable heart, and, in all fairness, unbelievable talent. He was a talented, talented fighter. A great and talented fighter.

LEWIS: Thank you. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And, Deontay, thank you.

WILDER: Yes, sir. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: So, Lennox, if I really went and started working out, could I take Deontay in a fight? (Laughter.) Please tell me. This is 40 and 0, 39 knockouts. Could I take him in a fight if I really went to work?

LEWIS: You’d have to get past those long arms.

THE PRESIDENT: I get it. They’re long arms.

LEWIS: Yeah, they’re long arms.

THE PRESIDENT: And we also have Linda Bell Haywood, the maternal great-great niece of Jack Johnson. Now, we all sort of have heard of Jack Johnson — had a very tough life, and an interesting life. One of the greatest fighters — Lennox was just telling me — one of the greatest fighters ever of the early 1900s.

Today, as President, I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously, to John Arthur “Jack” Johnson — he was known as “Jack Johnson” — the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. A truly great fighter. Had a tough life.

They say he violated the Mann Act, and he had a conviction that occurred during a period of tremendous racial tension in the United States, more than a century ago. Johnson served 10 months in federal prison for what many view as a racially motivated injustice. He was treated very rough, very tough.

Born in 1878, in Galveston, Texas, to former slaves, Johnson overcame difficult circumstances to reach the heights of boxing. One of the greatest that ever lived. And both Deontay and Lennox were telling me they studied those tapes. I don’t know, I think you would have been okay. I don’t know. I think Lennox would have been okay, too.

But truly one of the greatest that ever lived. And he overcame these difficult circumstances to reach the heights of boxing in the boxing world, and inspired generations with his tenacity and a very independent spirit.

Congress has supported numerous resolutions calling for Johnson’s pardon. Went through Congress numerous times. No President ever signed it, surprisingly. They thought it was going to be signed in the last administration and that didn’t happen. So that was very disappointing for a lot of people.

These resolutions enjoyed widespread bipartisan support, including from the Congressional Black Caucus. The Black Caucus supported it very, very powerfully, very strongly, but they couldn’t get the President to sign it. One of these resolutions passed Congress as recently as 2015.

Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion. And he was the heavyweight champion for many years. He was pretty much unbeatable.

In light of these facts, and in recognition of his historical athletic achievements and the contributions to society — he really represented something that was both very beautiful and very terrible at the same time — I believe that Jack Johnson is a very worthy person to receive a full pardon and, in this case, a posthumous pardon.

So I am taking this very righteous step, I believe, to correct a wrong that occurred in our history, and to honor a truly legendary boxing champion, legendary athlete, and a person that, when people got to know him, they really liked him and they really thought he was treated unfairly as a human being and unfairly as a champion.

So I’m going to be signing that. Don, if you bring that up. And then if you’d like to ask a couple of questions to the folks, I think that Mauricio Sulaiman — we have José Sulaiman, a name I’ve heard probably more than I’ve heard any boxer’s name. He’s a big power in the world of boxing, and somehow your name is mentioned at every major match, and Mauricio Sulaiman. And I think, in this case, Mauricio is going to say a few words. But let me sign this first so we get it done.

And congratulations, because I know you all fought very hard to have this taken care of. I know Lennox, and Sly, and my friend, Keith — where’s Keith? And my friend, Keith, who is a very successful guy. And the champ. You all fought very, very hard to get this done. So it’s my honor to do it. It’s about time.

(The presidential pardon is signed.)

How’s that for an autograph? Okay

HAYWOOD: That is fabulous, sir. Thank you. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That is my great honor. And I think what we’ll do is we’ll do that to you —

MS HAYWOOD: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: — and we have pens for everybody, we’re going to give you. Okay?

Mauricio, do you want to say something about the champ?

SALDIVAR: Mr. President, on behalf of the world of boxing, I would like to praise, congratulate, and thank you for taking this gigantic step for human equality and inclusion. Jack Johnson was the inspiration of many, including Muhammad Ali. This is a great day for the sport, a great day for humanity. And I’m just very proud to be here with the best ambassador boxing has ever had, Sylvester Stallone.

THE PRESIDENT: I agree with that.

SALDIVAR: “Rocky” has motivated so many generations. Lennox Lewis, one of the greatest champions in the history of boxing. And our current king, Deontay Wilder. It is just an unbelievable day for us. And all I can say, just the way you promoted our sport in the ’90s, you’re doing so many things now for the sport of boxing, which is unbelievable, and we cannot thank you enough.

THE PRESIDENT: And our country is doing great. It’s nice to see, but we are really doing great.

Lennox Lewis, one of the great champions of all time, in my opinion. I know them all, or at least I certainly know of them all, but I know a lot of them. But Lennox is one of the great champions. Tremendous physical talent, but he also had a thing called heart. And Lennox, I guess you saw a lot of talented guys —

LEWIS: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: — and you were looking down at them at the end of a couple of rounds. Right? (Laughter.)

But Lennox had tremendous heart and has tremendous heart. Would you like to say something about Jack Johnson?

LEWIS: Yeah, you know, Jack Johnson is a great inspiration to me, especially throughout my whole career. And I was always wondering how come he didn’t get a lot of press and what the situation was with him. But I’m very happy that I was here this historic day for Mr. Johnson and his family. And I think it’s going to weigh a heavy weight around the world that this actually happened, and everybody will thank you, and I’ll thank you as well.

THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s great when a great champion, who, in theory, doesn’t have to worry about somebody from the early part of the century — I think it’s great when a great champion comes to honor and even press that another great champion be honored. I think that’s a great thing.

LEWIS: Yes, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I think that’s a great thing.

Now, you know, everybody knows Sly and what a job he’s done. One of — I tell you what, I love his movies. And I don’t care if it’s “Rambo” or “Rocky,” I still don’t know which I like better. Right? (Laughter.) But Sly is a special guy, and he’s more shy than you would think. So I won’t even tell him, but if you want to say a word, you can, Sly.

STALLONE: Well, no pressure here, right? (Laughter.)

I want to thank you, Mr. President. It’s incredible that you’ve done this because — it’s one thing, I’ve been so blessed with the “Rocky” situation and playing that character. And actually, when I was writing it, I’m thinking about inspirations for this Apollo Creed, and that was Jack Johnson — this bigger than life, incredible character, and who is, you know, treated so unfairly — his prime was taken away — but somehow he still managed to persevere and kept a smile on his face, and he’s truly an inspirational character.

So this has been a long time coming. Of course, Linda, thank you very much. You’re so amazing. Probably the — I don’t know how many blood relatives are left, but you’re, like, the one that really, really fought for him, and I appreciate that.

HAYWOOD: Yes. Yes, I have.

STALLONE: So it’s an honor to take a fictional character like Rocky, and do something in the world of reality. And thank you for making that happen. And keep punching, Jack. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: And, you know, the beautiful thing about Sly — and I’ve known him for so long, such a great guy — he didn’t want to have any press. He didn’t want anything. He just wanted Jack Johnson to be recognized. He really said he didn’t want any press. I said, “Do you want to get the press?” He said, “No, no, no.” And he said it even before he came down. He did not want any press. And we just said, “Hey, let’s do it.” And I will tell you —

STALLONE: I have stage fright. Can you believe it? (Laughter.) After all these years, I just discovered it.

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think — hey, I don’t think you have any fright, I’ll tell you what.

STALLONE: I do. I do. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: But you are a really great guy, in so many ways. Long beyond sport and boxing, you are a great guy, and you’ve been a great friend.

STALLONE: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Linda, would you like to say something on behalf of Jack?

HAYWOOD: Yes. This has been a long time coming. And I am really overwhelmed because, for so long, my family was deeply ashamed that my uncle went to prison because of how he was treated, and they never really spoke of him. And I’ve said many times, I did not realize and know he was my uncle until I was 12 years old because of the shame that the family carried, and most of them took it to their graves.

By this pardon being issued, that would help to rewrite history, and erase the shame and the humiliation that my family felt for my uncle, a great hero, being in prison unjustly. And so many people have come along with me on this journey. So many people, I cannot really thank them all.

The most important person that decided to do this is sitting here to my left: President Trump. And I thank him. I thank Mauricio Sulaiman. I thank Miguel Torrucogarza, who took a lot of effort to find me. And Mr. Sylvester Stallone, who boldly put it in his ear. And when he tweeted, my entire life changed. (Laughter.) People wouldn’t leave me alone. Now, it’s going to be even more insane, but I’m fine with that. But I appreciate you rewriting history.

And also, let me just thank Senator John McCain for all of his efforts, and Congressman Peter King. And I’ve spoken with Samuel Collins of Hitchcock, Texas, and Reverend Jesse Jackson. So many people have helped me. And my family, now, can go forward knowing that the shame and the pain has been erased, and history will be rewritten. And I sincerely thank you, sir. And you and everybody that brought me here. I am the spokesperson for my family. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful. Thank you, Linda. Beautiful.

Champ, would you like to say — the current heavyweight champion of the world — would you like to say a few words about Jack Johnson.

WILDER: Yes, I would. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. The Jack Johnson pardon is something that should have never happened. You know, I’m here to support the pardon and his family. You know, this is an event that’s been long overdue, and it’s amazing to see a wrong corrected. And thanks — all thanks to Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, champ.

WILDER: Yes, sir. Thank you so much.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. And keep knocking (inaudible). (Applause.) Thank you.

And they were just nice enough to present me with this. That’s a beautiful thing, but I think now the White House staff take it, and they put it away. I’m not allowed to receive. Can you believe it? So they put it away —

STALLONE: Oh no, they expect you to start training immediately. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: But we’ll put it — yeah, we’ll start training.

STALLONE: Getting ready for a rematch.

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll start training. (Laughter.)

Well, on behalf of the White House, on behalf of the presidency, on behalf of this country — our country is a great country, and we have done something today that was very important because we righted a wrong. It was a wrong, and a lot of people knew it. I knew it. Without being an expert on the subject, I knew it for a long time. Jack Johnson was not treated fairly. And we have corrected that, and I’m very honored to have done it, Linda.

HAYWOOD: Thank you. Thank you so much.

STALLONE: Yeah, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: And thank you all very much. Thank you, Sly. (Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thank you all very much. Thank you.

END

President Trump Presents Medal of Honor To Master Chief Britt Slabinski, U.S. Navy…


Earlier today President Trump presented the Medal of Honor to Master Chief Britt Slabinski, U.S. Navy.

.

[Transcript] 2:38 P.M. EDT – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Chaplain. That’s beautiful. And thank you to Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Thank you, Patrick. Undersecretary of the Navy Thomas Modly — thank you. Thank you, Thomas. VA Secretary nominee — will do a fantastic job for us — Robert Wilkie. And Congressmen Scott Taylor and Brian Mast. Thank you, fellas, very much. Thank you.

Members of the Armed Forces and distinguished guests, please sit down. That actually worked out very nicely. (Laughter.) And join me in officially welcoming Master Chief Britt Slabinski to the White House. A special man. A truly brave person.

Today, we pay tribute to Britt’s heroic service, and we proudly present him with our nation’s highest military honor — and I would go so far to say our nation’s highest honor.

Joining Britt today is his son Bryce — Bryce, thank you very much — a rising senior at a wonderful school known to the world as Ohio State. Great place. That’s a great school. Along with Britt’s sisters, Brenda and Teka, and Brenda’s husband, Tom. Thank you very much for being here. Here as well are Britt’s significant other, Christina, and her two children John and Meghan, who we just met in the Oval Office. That’s a special place, too. Thank you all for joining us for this really special day and special ceremony. Thank you very much.

Finally, we’re honored to be joined by several previous Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Would you please stand. Would you please stand. Thank you, fellas. (Applause.) Very, very special people. Your names and your immortal acts of valor are forever engraved in the memory of our nation. Our nation will always be grateful to you, and you know that.

Today, we induct a new name into the world’s most exclusive gathering of heroes. And that’s exactly what it is. Britt was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts. He became an Eagle Scout by the age of 14. His father was a veteran, who served as a frogman in the underwater demolitions group of the U.S. Navy. Those are tough people. While Britt was in junior high, his dad brought him to their reunion. Britt was inspired by their bond of friendship, their stories of service, and their boundless love of country.

As soon as he graduated from high school in 1988, Britt enlisted in the Navy to become a SEAL. That means he is a physically very strong person, and that also means he is a mentally very strong person. That’s tough.

Throughout the grueling months of training, Britt proved himself every single step of the way. In 1990, he graduated the legendary BUDS training course and he earned that special badge worn only by the bravest few: the SEAL Trident.

In 2002, Britt was called to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In the late evening hours of March 3rd that year, he led an elite team on a combat mission to establish a secure position on the peak of a 10,000-foot mountain known as Takur Gahr.

Britt and his teammates were preparing to exit the helicopter onto the mountain when their aircraft was struck by a machine gun and machine gun fire like they’ve never seen before, and a rocket-propelled grenade from al Qaeda terrorists down below. Not a good feeling. As the helicopter lurched away from the assault, Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts was flung out of the aircraft — tremendous, tremendous, horrible thing to witness — and onto the side of the mountain before the helicopter crashed into the valley below.

After surviving, barely, the violent crash, Britt and his team were retrieved by a second helicopter; also, by the way, piloted by very brave people. At this point, Britt received information suggesting their comrade, Neil Roberts, the man thrown out of the helicopter, was probably still alive. The team faced a choice: to wait for reinforcements and pretty much safety, or to return immediately to the enemy stronghold in the hope of saving Neil’s life.

They would be outmanned, outgunned, and fighting uphill on a steep, icy mountain. And every solider knows you don’t want to fight uphill. They learned that at Gettysburg — you don’t fight uphill. But they would face freezing temperatures, and bitter winds, at the highest altitude of battle in the history of the American military. This was the highest point where we ever fought. The odds were not good. They were not in their favor.

But Britt and his team didn’t even hesitate for a moment. They made their decision. For them it was an easy one. They went back to that mountain.

When their helicopter reached the mountain peak, they jumped out into a furious onslaught of machine gunfire like none of them had ever seen before.

Britt and his teammate Sergeant John Chapman charged uphill toward the enemy, where John was shot after clearing a bunker.

Britt continued to engage the enemy, repeatedly exposing himself to horrendous fire. Two of his other teammates, Stephen “Turbo” Toboz and Brett Morganti, both suffered very, very serious leg injuries.

Britt helped them to safety and called in airstrikes as continuous fire drove them ever-further down the face of the mountain — got worse and worse, more and more dangerous. He kept going.

In a treacherous descent, Britt and his men carried Turbo through the snow. At one point, they fashioned a makeshift harness out of their gun straps to hoist Turbo down a 13-foot cliff, in itself treacherous, because if you miss that little area, they go down the mountain. No stopping them.

When they could go no further, Britt tended to the wounded and coordinated their escape until his team was finally evacuated from enemy territory.

Seven of the brave men who fought with Britt are here with us today, and maybe they’ll stand up as I call their name. Petty Officer Second Class Brett Morganti. Pretty dangerous place, huh? Way to go, Brett. Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Soderberg. Thank you, Kyle. Petty Officer Second Class Stephen Toboz. Thanks, Stephen. Chief Warrant Officer Al Mack. Thank you. Sergeant Christopher Cunningham. Master Sergeant Eric Stebner — a Master Chief Petty Officer still on active duty is quietly not with us today.

I just want to thank you all. Unbelievable acts of bravery. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, folks. Thank you very much. Incredible.

Today, we also remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives on that mountain: Technical Sergeant John Chapman, Corporal Matthew Commons, Specialist Marc Anderson, Sergeant Bradley Crose, Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, Technical Sergeant Philip Svitak, and of course, Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts — who met a horrible death — for whom these events are now known — it’s called the Battle of Robert’s Ridge. Incredible event.

To the Gold Star family members of those heroes who are here today, please stand up. Please, stand up. (Applause.) Please. It’s an honor to have you accept our nation’s profound sorrow and a deep love and everlasting gratitude. These were incredible, incredible men, and you can be proud that they were in your family. And they are looking down right now, and they are very, very proud of you. Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Thank you.

To Britt, and to all of the men of Robert’s Ridge: You waged a fierce fight against the enemies. And these really have become the enemies of America and the enemies of all civilization. Through your actions, you demonstrated that there is no love more pure, and no courage more great, than the love and courage that burns in the hearts of American patriots.

We are free because warriors like you are willing to give their sweat, their blood, and, if have to, their lives for our great nation.

Britt, you went on to serve many more years in the U.S. Navy before finally retiring in 2014. Today, he continues his life of serving by volunteering with the Navy SEAL Foundation, and on behalf of Gold Star families. Special, special, incredible families. And as one of his fellow service members testifies, he is an amazing father to Bryce, who, like his dad, is now an Eagle Scout.

Britt wants the country to know that for him, the recognition he is about to receive is an honor that falls on the whole team — he wants you folks to know that — on the whole team, on every American warrior who fought the forces of terror on that snowy Afghan ridge. Each of them has entered the eternal chronicle of American valor and American bravery.

Britt, we salute you, we thank you. We thank God for making you a United States SEAL. We love our Navy SEALs. They’ve very special, very incredible people. It’s now my tremendous privilege to present to you the Congressional Medal of Honor.

And I’d like the military aide to come forward and please read the citation. Thank you.

MILITARY AIDE: The President of the United States, in the name of the Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Sea, Air, and Land, Britt K. Slabinski, United States Navy, for service as set forth in the following: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while assigned to a joint task force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In the early morning of March 4, 2002, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Slabinski led a reconnaissance team to its assigned area atop a 10,000-foot, snow-covered mountain. Their insertion helicopter was suddenly riddled with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire from previously undetected enemy positions. The crippled helicopter lurched violently and ejected one teammate onto the mountain before the pilots were forced to crash land in the valley far below.

Senior Chief Slabinski boldly rallied his five remaining team members, and marshaled supporting assets for an assault to rescue their stranded teammate. During reinsertion, the team came under fire from three directions, and one teammate started moving uphill toward an enemy strongpoint. Without regard for his own safety, Senior Chief Slabinski charged directly toward enemy fire to join his teammate. Together, they fearlessly assaulted and cleared the first bunker they encountered.

The enemy then unleashed a hail of machinegun fire from a second hardened position only 20 meters away. Senior Chief Slabinski repeatedly exposed himself to deadly fire to personally engage the second enemy bunker and orient his team’s fires in the furious, close-quarters firefight. Proximity made air support impossible. And after several teammates became casualties, the situation became untenable. Senior Chief Slabinski maneuvered his team to a more defensible position, directed airstrikes in very close proximity to his team’s position, and requested reinforcements.

As daylight approached, accurate enemy mortar fire forced the team further down the sheer mountainside. Senior Chief Slabinski carried a seriously wounded teammate through deep snow, and led a difficult trek across precipitous terrain while calling in fire on the enemy, which was engaging the team from the surrounding ridges.

Throughout the next 14 hours, Senior Chief Slabinski stabilized casualties and continued the fight against the enemy until the hill was secured and his team was extracted. By his undaunted courage, bold initiative, leadership, and devotion to duty, Senior Chief Slabinski reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

(The Medal of Honor is presented.) (Applause.)

(A prayer is given.)

END

President Trump Cancels June 12th Summit With North Korea – Awaits China’s Next Move…


President Trump has made the decision to withdraw from the scheduled June 12th summit with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un.  [Copy of letter below]

.

Ultimately the decision to withdraw is an outcome of changes in posture initiated strategically by China and Chairman Xi Jinping.  China hoping to leverage a U.S. trade outcome by playing the strings on DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-un.

The timing of the meetings between China and DPRK, mirrors the changes in posture by the DPRK and reflects a transparency.  Communist Beijing is engaging with the Trump administration in traditional dragon-mode their zero-sum outlook.  In response, President Trump drops the Panda approach and confronts the manipulation directly.

Likely President Trump will immediately increase sanction enforcement and reposition again for a pending naval blockade.