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Is Hope Hicks Trump’s mastermind leaker?

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Erick Erickson has pointed out multiple times that you never see Hope Hicks mentioned in press reports about White House intrigue. Even in the latest story about Trump’s fast-spreading legal and Russia conflagration, you don’t see Hicks.

Side note: I continue to notice everyone’s name, from Priebus to Spicer to Bannon to Kushner, crops up in these stories except Hope Hicks.

Univision, no friend of Trump’s, published a spread on Hicks in June. They said she was one of the select few who got to meet Pope Francis with the president in May. (An aside, Sean Spicer, a Catholic, was not part of that group, although he was with the travel party.)

The influence of Hicks, whose title is director of strategic communications, is evident in photos that show her laughing alongside heavyweights in Trump’s sphere, or talking in the ear of her boss.

She has the ear of the boss because she knows how to flatter him. She has the ear of the press because she works them like a baker works dough.

“In a White House where everyone talks about who has power and who does not, she is one of the people with the most influence,” commented Philip Rucker, the Washington Post’s White House bureau chief.

Could it be that the one who “floats above” controversies is the mastermind who plants stories in the media, who steers the conversation where the president wants it to go, who keeps the equilibrium in the war between power structures at the White House?

Or is she just the shy and unassuming one everyone can trust and nobody can cross because of her longstanding relationship with the boss?

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Quality_Canadian_Merchandise

    August 1, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Today it looks more and more like Hope is the leaker (jr. in the washpost story).

    P.S. Your family needs a belief in country for it to succeed? I am from Canada and have volunteered settling Syrian refugees… despite living in the most tumultuous country in the world (having to leave due to war, famine, terrorism, and dictatorship), they put many of us in North America to shame in the strength of their family, their belief in God and their quality of character. Some can literally say they have taken bullets for family member and run into shrapnel to save family and strangers alike.

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Guns and Crime

Yes, the President really is in trouble this time

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Yes the President really is in trouble this time

For over two years now, we’ve heard the leftist mainstream media and their Democratic Party puppet masters claiming every incident involving the President is the big one. We’ve heard that every “bombshell” means the beginning of the end, how the walls are closing in on him, and how we’ve reached a tipping point.

They even made a video about it.

Hilarious video: Bombshell, the beginning of the end, walls closing in, the tipping point

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/19/hilarious-video-bombshell-beginning-end-walls-closing-tipping-point/Most leftists remember it like a previous generation remembers when they heard JFK was killed. It was the moment they realized Donald Trump would become President of the United States. Since then, mainstream media has been incessant in their proclamations that his days are numbered.

Perhaps it’s comforting to them to continuously hear about how the latest bombshell means it’s the beginning of the end because the walls are closing in on a presidency that has reached a tipping point. Or something.

He has not only survived but thrived through these controversies. This time, it’s different. President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, and AMI, the parent company of his beloved National Enquirer, are both claiming they participated in paying hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, respectively. These payments were allegedly made with the sole purpose of keeping their stories of extra-marital sexual affairs off the radar before the 2016 election.

In essence, these were unreported campaign finance contributions. They can therefore be considered violations, leaving only three questions unanswered:

  1. Can special counsel Robert Mueller’s or SDNY U.S. Attorney’s investigations prove then-candidate Trump participated in the crimes?
  2. If they can prove it, what actions can they take now or later?
  3. How will Democrats use this to sink the President before the 2020 election?

What’s not a question is whether or not this will affect the President’s 2020 prospects. It will. If nothing else happens with this, the damage is done. Unfortunately for the President, there are very likely many things that will now happen with this.

Prosecutors have to decide whether they want to open up the can of worms regarding indicting a sitting President. They could announce a delay in the indictment until after his term is completed. They could try to go after others in his campaign or family who are not protected by the presidential seal.

Then, there’s the Democrats. When they take over the House of Representatives next year, the possibilities are endless. They could investigate and subpoena him ceaselessly, revealing all sorts of additional dirt on him. Even if they don’t formally impeach him, the dirt they can glean from the investigative process will almost certainly reveal other corrupt, unethical, or illegal skeletons in his huge closets.

The Cohen and National Enquirer revelations are much more damaging than anything the President has faced to date. Many of his supporters won’t admit it or will refuse to see it, but this is a major blow to his reelection hopes.

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Politics

What classical liberalism is, briefly

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What classical liberalism is briefly

The progressive left and the Democratic Party have undergone many transformations over the last century. They’ve masterfully spun American understanding of language and labels to the point that history has been in a constant state of being rewritten to conform to their machinations. One of the most perverse examples of this is how they now claim the mantle of “liberalism.”

Sadly, those who embrace Natural Rights, limited government, and individualism have been forced to amend our label as liberals to become “classical liberals” for the sake of escaping confusion. Most Americans today would assume if we call ourselves “liberals” that we must be big fans of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

This video by classical liberal Dave Rubin at The Rubin Report breaks it down in less than two minutes.

Liberty-loving proponents of personal responsibility and self-governance have had our label taken from us. Today, a liberal is a progressive. It’s like saying a hamburger is a vegetable, but that’s the state of American understanding today.

This is, of course, part of the political war. Words have meaning, as leftists love to say, so they’ve done everything they can to change the meaning of many words. “Liberal” is one of them. They started with a lie and repeated it over and over again until it became… politics.

Liberalism

Over the next few weeks I’ll be going into much more detail about the ideology of classical liberalism, its history, and how it should play a role in modern politics. We’ll be asking (and answering) important questions surrounding the resurging movement, including:

  • Should classical liberals attempt to retake the “liberal” moniker from leftists?
  • Why true liberals should embrace limited government
  • Is classical liberalism really making a comeback or has it been here all along?
  • Why the progressive “liberal” left is neither liberal nor champions of progress
  • How did liberalism, born to defend individualism, become synonymous with collectivism?

Is it possible to wrest the “liberal” label away from leftists? Is it necessary? Would it simply add more confusion to the polarized political atmosphere in America? Would that be a bad thing?

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Guns and Crime

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen gets 3 years in prison

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Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen gets 3 years in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s once-devoted lawyer and all-around fixer, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after telling a federal judge that his “blind loyalty” to Trump led him to cover up the president’s “dirty deeds.”

Standing alone at the defense table, Cohen, 52, shook his head slightly and closed his eyes as the judge pronounced the sentence for crimes that included lying about his boss’ business dealings in Russia and funneling hush money to two women who said they had sex with Trump — payments that both Cohen and federal prosecutors said were made at Trump’s direction to fend off damage to his White House bid.

Cohen is the first and, so far, only member of Trump’s circle during two years of investigations to go into open court and implicate the president in a crime, though whether a president can be prosecuted under the Constitution is an open question.

Separately, prosecutors announced Wednesday that they filled in another piece of the puzzle in the hush-money case: The parent company of the National Enquirer acknowledged making one of those payments “in concert” with the Trump campaign to protect Trump from a story that could have hurt his candidacy.

At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved modest credit for his decision over the summer to admit guilt and cooperate in the federal investigation of efforts by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election, but his assistance “does not wipe the slate clean.”

“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass,” the judge said. “As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better.”

The judge also ordered Cohen to pay $1.39 million restitution, forfeit $500,000 and pay $100,000 in fines. He was ordered to report to prison March 6 and left court without comment.

The prison sentence was in line with what prosecutors asked for. Sentencing guidelines called for around four to five years, and the government asked in court papers that Cohen be given only a slight break.

“It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light,” Cohen, who once boasted he would “take a bullet” for Trump, told the judge before the sentence came down. “Time and time again, I thought it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than listen to my voice.”

Cohen got choked up near the end of his remarks and paused briefly to compose himself. His daughter, seated behind him, sobbed throughout. As he returned to his seat, he ran his hand across her cheek.

Cohen’s lawyers had argued for leniency, saying he decided to cooperate with investigators rather than hold out for a possible pardon.

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” defense attorney Guy Petrillo told the judge.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to evading $1.4 million in taxes related to his personal businesses. In the part of the case with greater political repercussions, he also admitted breaking campaign finance laws in arranging payments in the waning days of the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Last month, he also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress by concealing that he was negotiating a proposal to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow deep into the presidential campaign season. He said he lied out of devotion to Trump, who had insisted during the campaign that he had no business ties whatsoever to Russia.

The sentence was the culmination of a spectacular rise and fast fall of a lawyer who attached himself to the fortunes of his biggest client, helped him get elected president, then turned on him, cooperating with two interconnected investigations: one run by federal prosecutors in New York, the other by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation.

Beyond the guilty pleas, it is unclear exactly what Cohen has told prosecutors, and it remains to be seen how much damage Cohen’s cooperation will do to Trump. Legal experts said Cohen could get his sentence reduced if he strikes a deal with prosecutors to tell them more.

Cohen said in court that he will continue cooperating. And his legal adviser Lanny Davis, who previously represented President Bill Clinton, said the former political fixer will tell publicly “all he knows” about Trump after Mueller completes his investigation, and that includes testifying before Congress.

“Mr. Trump’s repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts,” Davis said in a statement.

In the hush-money case, prosecutors said, Cohen arranged for the parent company of the National Enquirer to pay $150,000 to McDougal. He also paid $130,000 to Daniels and was reimbursed by Trump’s business empire.

Prosecutors said the McDougal payment violated federal law against corporate campaign contributions, while the money that went to Daniels exceeded the $2,700 limit on campaign donations. Also, campaign contributions must be reported under law, and the two hush-money payments were not disclosed.

Shortly after Cohen’s sentencing, federal authorities announced a deal not to prosecute the National Enquirer’s parent, American Media Inc. As part of the deal, AMI admitted making the $150,000 payment to McDougal to buy her silence about the alleged affair and fend off damage to Trump’s candidacy.

In a court filing last week, the prosecutors left no doubt that they believe Cohen arranged the hush-money payments at Trump’s direction, saying the maneuver was part of an effort to “influence the election from the shadows.”

Trump had denied any sexual relationship with the women and argued on Twitter earlier this week that the payments to the women were “a simple private transaction,” not a campaign contribution. And if it was a prohibited contribution, Trump said, Cohen is the one who should be held responsible.

“Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me,” Trump wrote, adding, “Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!”

An attorney for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the sentencing, a prosecutor in Mueller’s office, Jeannie Rhee, said Cohen has “sought to tell us the truth and that is of the utmost value to us” and has “provided consistent and credible information about core Russia-related issues under investigation.” She did not elaborate.

But the New York-based prosecutors who handled the case against Cohen had urged the judge to sentence him to a “substantial” prison term and said he failed to tell investigators everything he knows.

In addressing the judge, Cohen described the sentencing as “the day I am getting my freedom back.” He said he had suffered from a “personal and mental incarceration” ever since agreeing in 2007 to work for Trump, a man he admired. “I now know there is little to be admired,” Cohen said.

Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, who played a major role in exposing the hush-money discussions, said outside the courthouse: “We will not stop until the truth is known relating to the conduct of Donald Trump.” But he added: “Let me be clear, Michael Cohen is neither a hero nor a patriot” and “he deserves every day of the 36-month sentence he will serve.”

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Associated Press writer Jim Mustian contributed to this report.

___

This story has been corrected to fix “felt” to “thought” in Cohen’s quote about covering up “dirty deeds.”

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