US Politics in Trump era Public date: 14.11.2019 12:15:01

23 Oct 2019

Giuliani’s U.S. Attorney Legacy Is Coming Back to Haunt Him

Giuliani sought help for a Turkish-backed client accused of violating Iranian sanctions from a president who has a one-word policy for dealing with Tehran: sanctions. In the end, Zarrab pleaded guilty.
Giuliani sought help for a Turkish-backed client accused of violating Iranian sanctions from a president who has a...
3 Oct 2019

Impeach Away, But Let’s Not Pretend Trump’s Plot Against Biden is his Worst Crime

Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S. military to inflict a massive bloodletting on others, including noncombatants. Unlike other campaign promises, Trump has delivered on this one. Since taking office, he has presided over skyrocketing rates of civilian casualties in America’s many foreign conflicts.
Since his emergence as a political figure, Trump has promised that if he ever attained power, he would use the U.S....
1 Oct 2019

I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago

It’s strange to see my journalism twisted, perverted, and turned into lies and poisonous propaganda by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their enablers. But that’s what has happened to a news story I wrote four years ago.
It’s strange to see my journalism twisted, perverted, and turned into lies and poisonous propaganda by Donald Trump,...
24 Sep 2019

GOP Racial Gerrymandering Mastermind Participated in Redistricting in More States Than Previously Known, Files Reveal

The reach of late Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller may be longer than previously known, according to a review of thousands of documents and emails culled from his hard drives, obtained by The Intercept. While Hofeller was known for drawing maps to give Republicans an advantage and to limit the impact of voters of color in North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, the new documents reveal he also participated in the 2010 redistricting cycle in Alabama, Florida, and West Virginia.
The reach of late Republican gerrymandering mastermind Thomas Hofeller may be longer than previously known, according to...

Publisher: The Intercept

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10 Sep 2019

Koch Data Mining Sent Anti-Immigrant Ads to Targeted Voters

Last year, when many GOP candidates across the country turned to vicious anti-immigrant advertisements to turn out voters in the midterm elections, some turned to i360, Koch’s state-of-the-art data analytics company. The company is one of the several appendages of the Koch political machine — one that includes a suite of voter outreach organization, lobbying, and campaign messaging tools.
Last year, when many GOP candidates across the country turned to vicious anti-immigrant advertisements to turn out...
30 Aug 2019

DSCC Pressuring Consultants Not to Work With Colorado Progressive

Before the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate race, it pressured consultants from at least five firms not to work with a leading progressive in the race, the candidate told The Intercept.
Before the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate...

Publisher: The Intercept

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29 Aug 2019

Blackstone CEO Is Driving Force Behind Amazon Deforestation

Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.
Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are...
26 Aug 2019

Border Patrol, Israel’s Elbit Put Reservation Under Surveillance

Fueled by the growing demonization of migrants, as well as ongoing fears of foreign terrorism, the U.S. borderlands have become laboratories for new systems of enforcement and control. Firsthand reporting, interviews, and a review of documents for this story provide a window into the high-tech surveillance apparatus CBP is building in the name of deterring illicit migration — and highlight how these same systems often end up targeting other marginalized populations as well as political dissidents.
Fueled by the growing demonization of migrants, as well as ongoing fears of foreign terrorism, the U.S. borderlands have...
5 Aug 2019

We Can No Longer Ignore Trump’s Role in Inspiring Mass Shootings

On Saturday morning, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, shot and killed at least 20 people before surrendering to the police. By all accounts, Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old alleged shooter, is a fan of President Donald Trump and his policies. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “a Twitter account bearing the suspect’s name contains liked tweets that include a ‘BuildTheWall’ hashtag” and “a photo using guns to spell out ‘Trump.’”
On Saturday morning, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, shot and killed at least 20 people before surrendering to...
26 Jul 2019

Congress Needs to Pick Up Where Robert Mueller Left Off

Last week, CNN published an explosive story related to the Trump-Russia case that raised important new questions about ties between Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Russia. The report said that CNN had obtained hundreds of pages of surveillance reports compiled for the Ecuadorian government by a Spanish security company, which showed that Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, received “in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 U.S. election, during a series of suspicious meetings” while he lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Last week, CNN published an explosive story related to the Trump-Russia case that raised important new questions about...

Publisher: The Intercept

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10 Jul 2019

A Move to Strip Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner’s Authority

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new legislation giving authority to the state’s attorney general to prosecute certain firearms violations in Philadelphia — and nowhere else in the state. The provision will expire in two years, or just after Krasner’s first term ends.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new...
4 Jul 2019

ICE Uses Arrest Quotas for Its Mass Immigration Raids, Documents Show

As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at the behest of President Donald Trump, plans mass raids following the July Fourth holiday, newly released documents shed light on the tactics the agency employs during such operations. The documents, released Wednesday by the immigrant rights groups Mijente, Just Futures Law, and Detention Watch Network, show that ICE officials are building arrest target lists for mass raids to meet specific numbers, even as the agency continues to internally and publicly stress a “public safety” rationale for immigration arrests.
As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at the behest of President Donald Trump, plans mass raids following the...

Publisher: The Intercept

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3 Jul 2019

Will Pennsylvania Be Next State to Ban Straight-Ticket Voting?

Gov. Tom Wolf is weighing whether to sign SB 48, a GOP bill that would ban straight-ticket voting and give Donald Trump an edge in 2020. The ban is a longtime goal of Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel. In late 2015, Republicans succeeded in banning straight-ticket voting in Michigan, spurring litigation that lasted for a couple of years.
Gov. Tom Wolf is weighing whether to sign SB 48, a GOP bill that would ban straight-ticket voting and give Donald Trump...
29 Jun 2019

Mitch McConnell’s Political Ploy Blocks Attempt to Stop War

Senate Republicans narrowly defeated an amendment Friday that would have limited President Donald Trump’s ability to attack Iran without congressional approval. The 50-40 vote gave the measure a majority of votes cast, but due to parliamentary maneuvering by Senate leadership, it needed 60 votes to pass.
Senate Republicans narrowly defeated an amendment Friday that would have limited President Donald Trump’s ability to...
26 Jun 2019

Conservatives Ask: Is Inclusionary Zoning Unconstitutional?

When it comes to conservatives and the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion and labor rights are often considered among their prime targets. Brett Kavanaugh’s ascension to the court last fall, though, opened the road for a host of other challenges for which conservatives have quietly been laying the groundwork for years. This month, the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative law firm based in California, made moves on one of those fronts, asking the Supreme Court to take up a case challenging the constitutionality of inclusionary zoning — a popular tool cities and states employ to increase affordable housing and promote residential integration.
When it comes to conservatives and the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion and labor rights are often considered among their...

Publisher: The Intercept

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21 Jun 2019

Steny Hoyer Makes Sure AIPAC’s Israel Junket Is Well Attended

AIPAC, which for years had strong support from both political parties, has seen its influence dip in the Democratic Party as its increasingly hard-line approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict pushes it in an ever more aggressive direction.
AIPAC, which for years had strong support from both political parties, has seen its influence dip in the Democratic...
10 Jun 2019

Is Heshmat Alavi, Writer on Iran, a Fake Run By MEK Opposition?

In 2018, President Donald Trump was seeking to jettison the landmark nuclear deal that his predecessor had signed with Iran in 2015, and he was looking for ways to win over a skeptical press. In response, the White House passed along an article published in Forbes by a writer named Heshmat Alavi. There’s a problem, though: Heshmat Alavi appears not to exist. Alavi’s persona is a propaganda operation run by the Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e-Khalq, which is known by the initials MEK, two sources told The Intercept.
In 2018, President Donald Trump was seeking to jettison the landmark nuclear deal that his predecessor had signed with...

Publisher: The Intercept

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5 Jun 2019

Ginni Thomas, Wife of Clarence Thomas, Launches New Right-Wing Culture War

Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of America’s most heated cultural and political debates. This time, however, her plan will include a project to “protect President Trump” using at least two new campaign-related political entities, according to a presentation obtained by The Intercept and Documented.
Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of...

Publisher: The Intercept

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3 Jun 2019

God, Gas, and Cash: How Texas Fell in Love With Israel

As the Trump administration maintains the friendliest U.S. relationship with the Israeli right in history, Texas has become one of the most pro-Israel states in the country. It has forged ties with Israeli settlements and aggressively enforced a law targeting advocates of boycotting Israel. Its exports to Israel last year topped $900 million, and its imports from Israel are valued at $1.5 billion, according to the Texas Economic Development Corporation.
As the Trump administration maintains the friendliest U.S. relationship with the Israeli right in history, Texas has...
30 May 2019

How the NSA’s Targeting System for Iraq and Afghanistan Ended Up on the Mexican Border

“The news that the NSA transported a mass spying program designed for war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S.-Mexico border is both alarming and totally unsurprising,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
“The news that the NSA transported a mass spying program designed for war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to the...
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25 May 2019

Trump Administration Declares Fake Emergency to Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia

The Trump administration chose the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend to invoke an obscure state-of-emergency provision that would allow it to sell billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without giving Congress a chance to block the sale.
The Trump administration chose the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend to invoke an obscure state-of-emergency...

Publisher: The Intercept

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14 May 2019

Congressional Staff Hosted at Anti-Medicare For All Retreat

At a luxury resort just outside of the nation’s capital last month, around four dozen senior congressional staffers decamped for a weekend of relaxation and discussion at Salamander Resort & Spa. It was an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together and listen to live music from the Trailer Grass Orchestra, sip surprisingly impressive glasses of Virginia wine — and hear from health care lobbyists focused on defeating Medicare for All.
At a luxury resort just outside of the nation’s capital last month, around four dozen senior...
8 May 2019

Did Donald Trump’s Grip on the Justice Department Sabotage Robert Mueller’s Investigation?

Through his unrelenting efforts to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation since its inception, President Donald Trump has inflicted a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre on the American people, a constitutional nightmare that has lasted two years instead of one night.
Through his unrelenting efforts to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation since its inception, President Donald Trump...
4 May 2019

The Improbable Comeback of Erik Prince

When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings with a Russian banker and UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, he was in the middle of an unexpected comeback. The election of Donald Trump had given the disgraced Blackwater founder a new opportunity to prove himself. After years of trying and failing to peddle a sweeping vision of mercenary warfare around the world, Erik Prince was back in the game.
When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings...
30 Apr 2019

Oil and Gas Start Recall Campaign Against Colorado Democrat

For decades, the oil and gas industry has had a stranglehold on Colorado politics, but the newly empowered Democrats unveiled a sweeping bill to rein in fracking. The industry spent millions to stop it, but Democrats muscled it through, and it was signed by Gov. Jared Polis, an independently wealthy Democrat who ran in opposition to the industry.
For decades, the oil and gas industry has had a stranglehold on Colorado politics, but the newly empowered Democrats...
24 Apr 2019

Netanyahu Plans to Name Illegal Settlement After Trump

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights in honor of Donald Trump, to thank the American president for agreeing to overlook the unlawful nature of Israel’s annexation of the territory seized from Syria in 1967.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in...
18 Apr 2019

Elizabeth Warren Makes Big Move on Climate Policy

One of America’s major political parties may not yet be willing to acknowledge that climate change is real, but it is already having significant effects on the U.S. military. Flooding in Nebraska and a hurricane in Florida that damaged military installations led to a recent Pentagon request of $5 billion in relief money. Now Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Jack Reed, D-R.I., are calling on the Government Accountability Office to assess military contractors’ vulnerability to climate risks.
One of America’s major political parties may not yet be willing to acknowledge that climate change is real, but...
17 Apr 2019

Secret Report Reveals Saudi Incompetence and Widespread Use of U.S. Weapons in Yemen

Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia could turn to Russia or China for arms, but the French intelligence report emphasizes its dependence on the West. But a highly classified document produced by the French Directorate of Military Intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are overwhelmingly dependent on Western-produced weapon systems to wage their devastating war in Yemen. Many of the systems listed are only compatible with munitions, spare parts, and communications systems produced in NATO countries, meaning that the Saudis and UAE would have to replace large portions of their arsenals to continue with Russian or Chinese weapons.
Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia could turn to Russia or China for arms, but the French intelligence report emphasizes its...
13 Apr 2019

Elizabeth Warren Wants to Tax Corporations on the Profits They Claim Publicly

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is unveiling a new way to tax corporations: Take them at their word. Due to the vagaries of American corporate accounting, companies routinely tell investors on conference calls that they made billions in profit over the previous quarter, then turn around and tell the IRS that, actually, they made no money at all, so they don’t owe any taxes. Warren’s plan would tax those companies on the profits they claim publicly.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is unveiling a new way to tax corporations: Take them at their word. Due to the vagaries of...
10 Apr 2019

AIPAC Targets Bernie Sanders in Facebook Ads Focused on Key Democratic Primary States

Sen. Bernie Sanders, who could be the first Jewish president of the United States two years from now, is currently the target of a pressure campaign on Facebook paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC. The sponsored post urges Facebook users to add their names to an online petition telling Sanders that “America stands with Israel.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who could be the first Jewish president of the United States two years from now, is currently the...

Publisher: The Intercept

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26 Mar 2019

Adam Milstein Has Spent Millions to Stifle BDS and Attack Critics of Israel

Adam Milstein, a real estate millionaire and prolific donor to right-wing, pro-Israel causes, had a busy few days on Twitter this month. In one tweet, he accused Rep. Ilhan Omar of being a “terrorist.” In another, he questioned Omar’s and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s loyalty to the United States. He also accused Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, indulging a tired trope popular among anti-Muslim bigots.
Adam Milstein, a real estate millionaire and prolific donor to right-wing, pro-Israel causes, had a busy few days on...
26 Mar 2019

The DCCC Is Trying to Put Me Out of Business — and I’m a Democrat.

Six hours after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it was blacklisting firms that work with primary challengers, I met with a potential client who was considering a Democratic primary. The client told me that two consultants dropped out that morning — and now the candidate may not run at all.*
Six hours after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it was blacklisting firms that...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

13 Mar 2019

Intercept Investigation Leads to Record FEC Fines

It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money in connection with U.S. elections. However, APIC and Right to Rise USA attempted to use an odd loophole created by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision to funnel overseas cash into American politics.
It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money in connection with U.S. elections. However, APIC and Right to...
12 Mar 2019

Georgia GOP Introduced Bill to Criminalize Abortion Post-Roe

When Brett Kavanaugh was named a Supreme Court justice last fall, a world in which access to abortions would be significantly limited, if not downright illegal, became more likely. Late last month, Georgia joined a handful of Republican-led states positioning themselves to lead the charge if Roe v. Wade, the seminal Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, were to be overturned.
When Brett Kavanaugh was named a Supreme Court justice last fall, a world in which access to abortions would be...

Publisher: The Intercept

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10 Mar 2019

Defense Tech Startup Founded by Trump’s Most Prominent Silicon Valley Supporters Wins Secretive Military AI Contract

A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to quietly win a contract with the Pentagon as part of Project Maven, the secretive initiative to rapidly leverage artificial intelligence technology from the private sector for military purposes.
A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to...
5 Mar 2019

MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’ Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them

MSNBC is a dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a defining attribute of a news outlet: a willingness to acknowledge factual errors, correct them, and apologize. That they not only allow their lies to stand uncorrected but reward their employees who do it most frequently – especially when those lies are directed at adversaries of the Democratic Party – proves that they are, first and foremost, a political arm of the Democratic establishment.
MSNBC is a dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a...
5 Mar 2019

Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Other Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars”

Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill. The pledge was written and organized by a group called Common Defense, made up of veterans and military families, which advocates for scaling back U.S. military commitments overseas.
Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a...
18 Feb 2019

Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent

Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at least at first glance, is the level of intellectual dishonesty baked into a four-page dissent penned by the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh voted along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch to deny the stay, but was the only justice to try to explain his thinking in writing. If he wanted to maintain the fidelity-to-precedent fiction he peddled at his confirmation hearings, it probably would have been better if he had stayed silent. The document is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations dressed up to appear anodyne.
Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at...

Publisher: The Intercept

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12 Feb 2019

Pro-Israel Lobby Caught on Tape Boasting That Its Money Influences Washington

A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded sharply to reports that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was targeting both Omar and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan. Omar quoted rap lyrics — “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” — to suggest McCarthy’s move was driven by the lobby’s prolific spending. Asked specifically who she was referring to, Omar responded, “AIPAC!”
A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded...
9 Feb 2019

New Bank Law Is Already Making Banks Bigger

The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest banking tie-up since the financial crisis, creating what would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank. And it’s a direct result of actions taken by the Trump administration and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018.
The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest...

Publisher: The Intercept

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9 Feb 2019

Trump Quietly Planted a Top Koch Official Inside the E.P.A. | Vanity Fair

Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial mandate to do the exact opposite of its stated mission quite like the Environmental Protection Agency.
Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial...
9 Feb 2019

Why Won’t Democrats Call Israel’s Occupation an Occupation?

Here’s a riddle any Democrat hoping to be elected president at the crest of a progressive wave in 2020 should be able to solve: what do you call Israel’s military rule over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in the territories it seized by force in 1967?
Here’s a riddle any Democrat hoping to be elected president at the crest of a progressive wave in 2020 should be able...
8 Feb 2019

Green New Deal Takes Its First Congressional Baby Step

The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday unveiled a five-page, nonbinding resolution that frames a 10-year “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” to confront the climate crisis. The plan envisions the creation of millions of “good, high-wage jobs” and will serve to “counteract systemic injustices.”
The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey,...
1 Feb 2019

Elliott Abrams Isn’t Going to Bring “Democracy” to Venezuela

On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began slaughtering everyone they could find in a remote village called El Mozote. Before murdering the women and girls, the soldiers raped them repeatedly, including some as young as 10 years old, and joked that their favorites were the 12-year-olds. One witness described a soldier tossing a 3-year-old child into the air and impaling him with his bayonet. The final death toll was over 800 people.
On December 11, 1981 in El Salvador, a Salvadoran military unit created and trained by the U.S. Army began...
31 Jan 2019

Donald Trump and the Plot to Overthrow the Venezuelan Government

The White House is openly plotting to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is being openly promoted as a campaign to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations, and some powerful Democrats are cheering Trump on and joining the conspiracy.
The White House is openly plotting to bring down the government of Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. It is being openly...
29 Jan 2019

ICE Courthouse Arrests in New York Increased 1,700 Percent Under Trump

More than two years after Donald Trump’s inauguration ushered in sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration enforcement system, accounts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arresting undocumented immigrants in and around New York courts have increased by 1,700 percent, according to a new report.
More than two years after Donald Trump’s inauguration ushered in sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration...
6 Jan 2019

U.S. Senate’s First Bill, in Midst of Shutdown, is a Bipartisan Defense of the Israeli Government from Boycotts

In the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American workers, bolster U.S. companies, or address the various debates over border security and immigration. It’s not a bill to open the government. Instead, according to multiple sources involved in the legislative process, S.1 will be a compendium containing a handful of foreign-policy related measures, a main one of which is a provision, with Florida’s GOP Sen. Marco Rubio as a lead sponsor, to defend the Israeli government. The bill is a top legislative priority for AIPAC.
In the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate, the first bill to be considered – S.1 – is not designed to protect American...
3 Jan 2019

Pay-Go Pelosi Rams Austerity Provision Into House Rules Package

“There’s enormous appetite in the Democratic Party and among all Americans for major public investment to tackle our nation’s major crises: deepening inequality and structural racism and climate disaster,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats, in a statement to The Intercept. “Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership’s support of Paygo makes actually solving these crises all but impossible.
“There’s enormous appetite in the Democratic Party and among all Americans for major public investment to tackle our...

Publisher: The Intercept

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29 Dec 2018

In Syria, Kurdish Fighters Face Trump Pullout, Own Mistakes

Khalil was shopping in the Hasakah marketplace in Syria when Kurdish military police arrested him last March. He was 19 and had papers that showed he was in high school, but that didn’t matter. The Kurdish militia, which feeds troops to the U.S.-led war in Syria, was way short of volunteers. They ordered him into a minibus and drove through the northeast Syrian city, abducting others along the way.
Khalil was shopping in the Hasakah marketplace in Syria when Kurdish military police arrested him last March. He was 19...
18 Dec 2018

School Contractor in Texas Denied Work Over Pro-Israel Loyalty Oath

A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas, alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.
A children’s speech pathologist who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic,...

Publisher: The Intercept

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17 Dec 2018

Messianic Jews Want U.S. to Pay Palestinians to Leave Israel

A pro-Israel activist group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to embrace a plan that would entail paying Palestinian residents in the West Bank to move abroad. The plan is a bid to reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories controlled by Israel, according to the head of the group, called the Alliance for Israel Advocacy.
A pro-Israel activist group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to...
11 Dec 2018

The Corporate Lobbyist Sworn In as a Temporary U.S. Senator

In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs demanded a response. “Russia is intent on exploiting what it perceives as a U.S. nuclear capability gap,” they write. “We must change that calculation” by adding submarine and sea-launched missiles with nuclear warheads. This would increase deterrence and prevent nuclear war, they claim; otherwise Russia will strike first.
In a piece titled “Why America needs low-yield nuclear warheads now,” Michael Morell and Jon Kyl argued that Russian...
10 Dec 2018

John Kelly Was a Bully, Bigot and Liar for Donald Trump

This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps even more reckless and lawless today than he was when Kelly arrived for work at the West Wing on the morning of July 31, 2017. That was a period in which political pundits and correspondents also believed the retired four-star general to be a “great guy.” Remember how his appointment, as replacement for the hapless Republican operative Reince Preibus, was greeted by the liberal press? Kelly, we were told, would be the “adult in the room”; he would rein in a brash and belligerent commander-in-chief.
This “great guy” will leave behind an administration mired in scandal, chaos and corruption; a president perhaps...

Publisher: The Intercept

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5 Dec 2018

Senators Working to Slip Israel Anti-Boycott Law Through in Lame Duck

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin is making a behind-the-scenes push to slip an anti-boycott law into a last-minute spending bill being finalized during the lame-duck session, according to four sources familiar with the negotiations. The measure, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, was shelved earlier amid concerns about the infringement of free speech, after civil liberties groups argued that the original version would have allowed criminal penalties for Americans who participate in a political boycott of Israel.
Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin is making a behind-the-scenes push to slip an anti-boycott law into a last-minute spending...
1 Dec 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Climate Vision Had a Fatal Flaw

Under Jerry Brown, California has become a leader on climate politics. But the state has done little to phase out fossil fuel emissions at their source. Among other things, they called on Brown to “listen to science, not carbon polluters” by moving to keep fossil fuels in the ground. California — the world’s sixth-largest economy — has the country’s most ambitious climate policies by a mile, but it is also among the most prolific oil and gas producers in the U.S. — hence the papier-mâché likeness of Brown’s head atop an oil rig.
Under Jerry Brown, California has become a leader on climate politics. But the state has done little to phase out fossil...
22 Nov 2018

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for Donald Trump’s Honesty

There’s no question that Donald Trump is the most flagrantly, compulsively, and voluminously dishonest president in American history — which is saying something, given the competition. He’s probably told 27 more lies during the time it took you to read this one sentence. But as preposterous as it sounds, there’s a case to be made that he’s simultaneously America’s most honest president.
There’s no question that Donald Trump is the most flagrantly, compulsively, and voluminously dishonest president in...
17 Nov 2018

Chuck Schumer Caved to Facebook and Donald Trump

Schumer has sided with the GOP on Wall Street, Israel, Iraq, Iran, and Facebook. Almost any other Democrat should be Senate minority leader instead.  As I argued earlier this week, the next two years in U.S. politics will be a 24/7 battle for the future of American democracy; a relentless fight against fascism, racism, and white nationalism. Are we really expected to believe that Schumer will be the leader of the #Resistance in the Senate ? Don’t make me laugh.
Schumer has sided with the GOP on Wall Street, Israel, Iraq, Iran, and Facebook. Almost any other Democrat should be...
15 Nov 2018

House Republicans Use Bill About Wolves to Kill Yemen Vote

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives undercut a bipartisan effort to end U.S. involvement in Yemen by sneaking a measure that would kill an anti-war resolution into a vote about wolves.
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives undercut a bipartisan effort to end U.S. involvement in Yemen by...
24 Oct 2018

MSNBC and Daily Beast Feature UAE Lobbyist David Rothkopf With No Disclosure: a Scandalous Media-Wide Practice

On Thursday, the Daily Beast published an article about the Saudi/US relationship by David Rothkopf, a long-time member in good standing of the U.S. Foreign Policy elite. But, unbeknownst to Daily Beast readers consuming his commentary about Saudi Arabia, Rothkopf is something else: a paid lobbyist for the Saudi regime’s close ally, the equally despotic regime of the United Arab Emirates. Last month, Rothkopf formally registered as a foreign agent for the Emiratis.
On Thursday, the Daily Beast published an article about the Saudi/US relationship by David Rothkopf, a long-time...
17 Oct 2018

Does Saudi Arabia Own Donald Trump?

In this video essay, I examine Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and look back at how the former reality TV star even bragged about his financial ties to the kingdom during the election campaign.
In this video essay, I examine Trump’s long history of doing deals with Saudi royals and look back at how the former...
12 Oct 2018

At Largest ICE Detention Center in the Country, Guards Called Attempted Suicides “Failures”

When Carlos Hidalgo was detained at the ICE processing center, in Adelanto, California, guards would mock the detainees lined up to get their meals by imitating the call of cows. “Moo! Here are the cows, walking through!”
When Carlos Hidalgo was detained at the ICE processing center, in Adelanto, California, guards would mock the...
10 Oct 2018

Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court

With full Democratic control of the federal government, calls came for an investigation into the scandals of the Bush administration, including torture, mass surveillance, and war profiteering. While some called for criminal prosecutions, others wanted hearings or an independent investigation that would — at minimum — put into the public record the details of who did what and when.
With full Democratic control of the federal government, calls came for an investigation into the scandals of the Bush...
2 Oct 2018

A Short History of U.S. Meddling in Foreign Elections

Meddling in foreign elections is bad. I think we can all agree on that. And almost everyone — bar Donald Trump — seems to believe that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election. So that should be condemned. Here’s the problem, though: U.S. politicians and pundits cannot credibly object to Russian interference in U.S. elections without also acknowledging that the United States doesn’t exactly have clean hands.
Meddling in foreign elections is bad. I think we can all agree on that. And almost everyone — bar Donald Trump —...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

22 Sep 2018

State Department Team Led by Former Raytheon Lobbyist Pushed Mike Pompeo to Support Yemen War Because of Arms Sales

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to U.S. support for the war in Yemen from State Department staff, according to a recent report. The staffers had become concerned by the rising civilian death toll in the war being carried out by Persian Gulf monarchies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — not only owing to bombings of densely populated areas, but also a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by the fighting, with up to 8.4 million people at risk of starvation.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced internal opposition to U.S. support for the war in Yemen from State...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

20 Sep 2018

Paul Ryan’s Super PAC Is Flooding Congressional Races with Misinformation About Democrats

With voters sour on President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress, Republican lawmakers are facing daunting odds in the upcoming midterm elections — and they’re fighting back with misinformation. In a recent glaring example, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC tied to House Speaker Paul Ryan, is hoping to turn the tide in an Illinois congressional race with a patently dishonest ad attacking a Democratic challenger.
With voters sour on President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress, Republican lawmakers are facing...
19 Sep 2018

Trump Administration Plans U.N. Meeting to Ramp Up the International Drug War

The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New York with a drug policy event featuring President Donald Trump. Invites to the event are being doled out only to those countries that have signed on to a controversial, nonnegotiable action plan, according to documents obtained by The Intercept — among them the countries with the world’s most draconian drug laws.
The Trump administration will open a week of high-level meetings at the United Nations General Assembly in New...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

18 Sep 2018

Attorney Sent Letter to Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein Claiming Federal Court Employees Willing to Speak About Brett Kavanaugh

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

31 Jul 2018

Koch-Backed Think Tank Finds That “Medicare for All” Would Cut Health Care Spending and Raise Wages. Whoops.

A new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is making headlines for projecting that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” bill is estimated to cost $32.6 trillion — a number that’s entirely in line with 2016 projections, and is literally old news. But what the Associated Press headline fails to announce is a much more sanguine update: The report, by Senior Research Strategist Charles Blahous, found that under Sanders’s plan, overall health costs would go down, and wages would go up.
A new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is making headlines for projecting that...
24 Jul 2018

ICE Has Conducted Hundreds of Raids in New York Since Trump Came to Power. Here’s What Those Operations Look Like.

It was approximately 6:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in early April when the pounding on the front door began. The sun was still coming up over New York City as a man The Intercept will call Michael jumped out of bed to investigate the commotion. Michael opened the door and found three men and one woman wearing tactical vests standing outside. They were accompanied by a man with a camera, already recording.
It was approximately 6:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in early April when the pounding on the front door began. The sun...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

14 Jul 2018

A Swing-State Election Vendor Repeatedly Denied Being Hacked by Russians. The New Mueller Indictment Says Otherwise.

Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Russian military hackers tried to trick employees of VR Systems, a Florida-based e-voting vendor, into downloading computer-hijacking malware, according to a top-secret NSA report published by The Intercept last year. As recently as last month, the company denied any breach occurred. But, in fact, the hacking attempt worked, judging from an  indictment of 12 Russian military officers prepared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and handed down by a grand jury today.
Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Russian military hackers tried to trick employees of VR Systems, a...
13 Jul 2018

Andrew Cuomo’s Biggest Donors Rake in Millions From ICE

ndrew Cuomo has a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to the politics of abolishing ICE. Luxury landlords across the state collect millions in rent from the agency — money they have turned around and funneled to Cuomo’s political campaigns, according to a new report by the New York-based watchdog group Public Accountability Initiative. 
ndrew Cuomo has a glaring conflict of interest when it comes to the politics of abolishing ICE....

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

22 Jun 2018

Scott Pruitt Has Spent a Total of $4.6 Million on Security, New Disclosures Show — Including $1,500 on “Tactical Pants”

Pruitt’s high spending on security has become the subject of mounting criticism and a host of official investigations: Several EPA  inspector general investigations have been opened, as well as an ongoing investigation by the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee. Records released under the Freedom of Information Act list expenditures totaling $288,610 on a range of security-related items. The EPA, according to three expense line items for April, spent a total of $2,749.62 on “tactical pants” and “tactical polos.”
Pruitt’s high spending on security has become the subject of mounting criticism and a host of official...
20 Jun 2018

Leaked State Department Memo Advised Trump Administration to Push for “Islamic Reformation”

The Trump administration, as part of a dual effort to counter both Iran and the Islamic State, should push for an “Islamic Reformation,” a State Department memo advised the White House last year. The suggestion was ultimately not adopted as part of the National Security Strategy announced in December, but that a so-called reformation of Islam was up for discussion at the highest levels of the State Department and National Security Council underscores the extraordinary rise of a once-fringe, far-right approach to foreign policy.
The Trump administration, as part of a dual effort to counter both Iran and the Islamic State, should...
13 Jun 2018

More Than Just Russia — There’s a Strong Case for the Trump Team Colluding With Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE

It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has colluded with Israel. We know they colluded with Saudi Arabia. We know they colluded with the United Arab Emirates.
It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has...
5 Jun 2018

Democrats Set to Re-Nominate Sen. Bob Menendez After Preventing Challengers, Showing How Calcified the Party Is

Fresh off escaping a federal bribery conviction thanks to a hung jury, two-term Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez is almost sure to win his  party’s nomination on Tuesday for re-election in New Jersey against  only token opposition. That Menendez — who has been in Congress for 26  years, and is seeking his third Senate term — is about to become the  Democrats’ nominee without any real primary challenge says a great deal  about the party and the U.S. political system.
Fresh off escaping a federal bribery conviction thanks to a hung jury, two-term Democratic Sen. Robert...
4 May 2018

How Scott Pruitt Helped Arkansas Poultry Giants Pollute One of Oklahoma’s Prettiest Rivers

Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and other businesses in Arkansas in a dispute over the pollution of an ecologically sensitive and economically vital watershed, environmental groups say. While he was representing Oklahoma as its attorney general, Pruitt helped to slow the implementation of a plan, forged years ago by both states, to clean a  river in his home state.
Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and...
26 Apr 2018

The Democratic Party Is Paying Millions for Hillary Clinton’s Email List, FEC Documents Show

Heading into the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives and even make a run at the Senate, the party has spent more than $2 million worth of campaign resources on payments to Hillary Clinton’s new group, Onward Together, according to Federal Election Commission filings and interviews with people familiar with the payments.
Heading into the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives and even make a run at...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

22 Apr 2018

Trump Fundraiser Offered Russian Gas Company Plan to Get Sanctions Lifted for $26 Million

Shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated last year, top Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy offered Russian gas giant Novatek a $26 million lobbying plan aimed at removing the company from a U.S. sanctions list, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated last year, top Republican...
12 Apr 2018

1,224 Complaints Reveal a Staggering Pattern of Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention. Half of Those Accused Worked for ICE.

lsewhere in Florida, a man said a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent threatened him with deportation after he refused to engage in oral sex — and that the officer told him he would be deported to Haiti, even though the man is from the Bahamas. In Texas, a Border Patrol agent driving detainees between detention centers pulled over and  let a woman get out after she performed oral sex on him, according to another complaint.
lsewhere in Florida, a man said a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent threatened him with...
11 Apr 2018

The Day After Trump’s ICE Raid in a Small Tennessee Town, 550 Kids Stayed Home From School

The rural community of Morristown, Tennessee, is reeling  following the largest raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a business in a decade. On Thursday, agents with ICE’s Homeland  Security Investigations wing, also known as HSI, stormed the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant and detained scores of people.
The rural community of Morristown, Tennessee, is reeling  following the largest raid by U.S. Immigration and...
6 Apr 2018

Trump’s Attacks on Migrant Caravan Underscore How the U.S. Outsources Immigration Enforcement to Mexico

The migrant and refugee caravan traveling through Mexico continued its northbound trek on Wednesday, heading towards Mexico City after temporarily stopping in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where they regrouped amid a flood of attention lavished on their journey. Organized  by a migrant activist collective called Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an  estimated 1,200 to 1,500 people are participating in the caravan.
The migrant and refugee caravan traveling through Mexico continued its northbound trek on Wednesday, heading towards...
23 Mar 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Boasted That Jared Kushner Was “In His Pocket”

Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown. Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.
Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had...
21 Jan 2018

Cory Booker Joins Senate Republicans to Kill Measure to Import Cheaper Medicine From Canada

In a statement to the media after the vote, Booker’s office said he supports the importation of prescription drugs but that “any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn’t meet this test.” This argument is the same one offered by the pharmaceutical industry.The measure introduced by Bernie Sanders would have passed without Democratic defections.
In a statement to the media after the vote, Booker’s office said he supports the importation of prescription...
20 Jan 2018

Trump Administration Tells Puerto Rico It’s Too Rich for Aid Money

Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico. When Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to bolster rebuilding efforts in several wildfire and hurricane-damaged areas in October, it shortchanged Puerto Rico,  giving it a $4.9 billion loan instead  of the grant that other areas received. Now, it appears the debt- and hurricane-ravaged island won’t even get that money.
Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico. When Congress passed a...
20 Jan 2018

Republicans are accusing the Obama Administraion of Abuse of Power. They have a duty to show evidence.

Social media last night and today have been flooded with inflammatory and quite dramatic claims now being made by congressional Republicans about a four-page memo alleging  abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spying processes during the 2016 election. This memo, which remains secret, was reportedly written under the direction of the chair of the House Permanent Select  Committee on Intelligence, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes.
Social media last night and today have been flooded with inflammatory and quite dramatic claims now...
8 Jan 2018

Enough About Steve Bannon. Rupert Murdoch’s Influence on Donald Trump Is More Dangerous.

The attention Bannon demands of us should not obscure the rival media impresario with truly Manchurian levels of influence over the president:  Rupert Murdoch. One of the less-noted passages in Wolff’s book explains that the president reveres Murdoch, regularly seeking advice from the  founder of the Fox empire, a condition that made Bannon jealous of  Murdoch’s power over Trump. The book quotes Roger Ailes, who ran Fox News for Murdoch until being dismissed for sexual harassment, as noting that “Trump would jump through hoops for Rupert.”
The attention Bannon demands of us should not obscure the rival media impresario with truly Manchurian levels of...
7 Jan 2018

Trump Administration Bricked On at Least Half of Its Executive Orders in 2017

In his first year in office, Trump  ordered 95 separate reports, performance reviews, instructions, or other  activities to be carried out by executive branch agencies. The Intercept has been reviewing these orders for the last year. We found that 48 of the 95 actions were completed, in many cases after the due date stipulated in the order. Federal agencies have yet to complete another 20. In 27 cases, the agency was unresponsive to our requests for information.
In his first year in office, Trump  ordered 95 separate reports, performance reviews, instructions,...
19 Dec 2017

CEOs Aren’t Waiting for the Tax Bill to Pass – They’ve Already Started Pocketing the Windfall

U.S. corporations are already beginning the process of pocketing the winnings from the tax bill jackpot they expect to hit any day now, undercutting, in a remarkably public fashion, the pretense that the corporate tax cut will lead to greater investment in job creation. Since the Senate passed its version of  the tax bill on December 2, 29 companies have announced $70.2 billion  in stock buybacks, a maneuver that uses company cash to buy its own shares, which then drives up the price of those shares, rewarding major investors and executives whose compensation is directly tied to the company’s stock price.
U.S. corporations are already beginning the process of pocketing the winnings from the tax bill jackpot they expect to...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

14 Dec 2017

Trump-Connected Firm Helped Sow Chaos in Kenyan Election, Report Says

Like jeans and pickup trucks before, social media misinformation has become the latest and greatest American export. A new report by Privacy International says  that Harris Media, a Texas-based political communications firm that helped boost the Trump campaign, Benghazi paranoia, and German far-right politicians, found its most recent client in Kenya, where an October presidential election flared into deadly violence.
Like jeans and pickup trucks before, social media misinformation has become the latest and greatest American...
8 Dec 2017

New DHS Numbers Show Trump is Deporting Longtime U.S. Residents, Ripping Families Apart

Human Rights Watch found that the number of people detained inside the U.S. rather than at the border — meaning that they were not new arrivals — increased by 42 percent over last year, while immigration arrests of people with no criminal convictions nearly tripled.
Human Rights Watch found that the number of people detained inside the U.S. rather than at the border — meaning...
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