A senior Treasury employee has been caught red-handed. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior adviser in the U.S. Treasury’s financial crimes division, was caught with a flash drive that appeared to contain so-called suspicious activity reports that Mayflower Sours Edwards is suspected of having disclosed unlawfully. Prosecutors say she leaked “numerous” reports detailing financial transactions by Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and alleged Russian agent Maria Butina. Those aren’t public records and are regarded as highly sensitive documents.
—QUOTABLE: “Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior level FinCEN employee, betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information contained in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to an individual not authorized to receive them.” -U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s genealogy stunt has officially backfired. She became the butt of many-a “Pocahontas” joke on Tuesday after she paraded around with a DNA test showing she has between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Native American blood, or 0.09 to 1.5 percent. Problem is, that’s about the same as the average U.S. white person. Warren has claimed throughout her career as a law professor and Massachusetts senator that she has Cherokee ancestry—and she used it to get ahead in politically correct academia. She took heat from both sides, but perhaps most critical was the Cherokee Nation, which accused Warren of “undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”
—QUOTABLE: “Now that her claims of being of Indian heritage have turned out to be a scam and a lie, Elizabeth Warren should apologize for perpetrating this fraud against the American Public.” -President Trump in a tweet
Hillary Clinton’s publicly maneuvers are drumming up speculation she’s planning yet another doomed presidential run. The twice-failed candidate has recently showed up on the bombed reboot of “Murphy Brown,” popped up on CBS’s “Madam Secretary,” and dropped into an episode of “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert. She and Bill are also embarking on a nation-wide comedy tour—speaking tour—being billed as a sort of fireside chat with the couple.
—“This kind of cameo stuff comes off as a novelty and won’t help resuscitate her career as a political leader…Rhetorically, doing these television cameos almost signals that her real influence on the national stage is pretty much over.” -Jeffrey McCall, professor of media studies at DePaul University
Two Minnesota Republicans say they were assaulted on the campaign trail. State Rep. Sarah Anderson says she was attacked Sunday while leaving her house to knock on doors after she approached a man who who was vandalizing yard signs. In another incident, fellow Republican Shane Mekeland says that he was physically assaulted during a recent campaign event. “On Friday evening, I was assaulted in Benton County. I suffered a concussion and the incident is now in the hands of law enforcement,” he wrote on Facebook. Mekeland says he believes the incident was politically motivated. At last check, Fox News was reporting that the assailants have been identified but not detained.
—QUOTABLE: “When I chose to run for office, I expected to be politically attacked, but never physically. I weighed whether or not to share this today, but ultimately I think we all need a reminder to be civil to each other regardless of our perspectives. -Mekeland on Facebook
President Trump continued his Twitter feud with porn star Stormy Daniels and her sleazy lawyer, Michael Avenatti, on Tuesday. The salacious pair just lost a defamation lawsuit against Trump and were ordered to pay his legal fees, too. But in what would probably sink any other president, Trump nicknamed her “Horseface” in a tweet, adding she’s a “total con” and Avenatti is a “3rd rate lawyer.” Avenatti slung his own poo back, calling Trump “a disgusting misogynist.” Daniels poked Trump too, nicknaming him “Tiny.”
—QUOTABLE: “You are a disgusting misogynist and an embarrassment to the United States. Bring everything you have, because we are going to demonstrate to the world what a complete shyster and liar you are. How many other women did you cheat on your wife with while you had a baby at home?” -Avenatti
—QUOTABLE: “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president. In addition to his…umm…shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny.” -Porn star
President Trump is eviscerating Glenn Simpson on the Twitters. Simpson, who co-founded the firm that complied the discredited Steele Dossier using campaign cash from the Democrats and Hillary Clinton, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before congress on Tuesday. The president ripped the decision, saying his testimony in front of another House committee conflicted with that of Bruce Ohr, another anti-Trump Swamp creature. “Ohr was used by Simpson and Steele as a Back Channel to get (FAKE) Dossier to FBI,” Trump tweeted. He followed that with incredulity that Ohr—whose wife worked for Simpson’s firm—is still working for the Department of Justice.
A senior FBI official took bribes, lied about it, and won’t face prosecution. The official’s first misstep was accepting free tickets for sports events from a journalist who covers the FBI, a violation of federal ethics regulations. Then, the unnamed senior official—since retired—told an inspector general that he or she paid for the tickets, a lie. But according to a report released by the office of inspector general Michael Horowitz, there will be no prosecution. That was met with scorn by conservatives who are still furious about FBI corruption in the “witch hunt” investigations of President Trump.
-QUOTABLE: “Total hypocrisy…DOJ prosecutes Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos for lying to the FBI. But a senior FBI official accepted free gifts from a media member, lied to the FBI about it, and faces no prosecution. With the DOJ: ‘Lying to the FBI is a crime for thee—but not for me.’” -Tweet from Rep. Mark Meadows, N.C. Republican
The voter records of some 35 million Americans were found for sale on the Dark Web, according to an investigation by two online security firms. The data, found for sale on a popular online forum for hackers, contains critical voter data like full names, phone numbers, street addresses, voting history, and other election related information. While some states consider info like this to be public and offer it for free, others do not. The full list will cost you $42,000—Wisconsin’s list will set you back $12,500.
—”The databases include valuable personally identifiable information and voting history. The disclosure reportedly affects 19 states and includes 23 million records for just three of the 19 states.” -Study by online security firms Anomali and Intel 471, published on Anomali’s website
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is apologizing for running an ad featuring the names of sexual assault survivors without asking their permission. The ad, styled as an open letter to her Republican opponent Rep. Kevin Cramer, named off a list of women who are “survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape.” But in a Facebook outpouring a number of those women said they never gave their consent to be called out in a statewide political ad. Heitkamp apologized, while Cramer and allies said it proves Heitkamp is willing to exploit anyone for political advantage.
—QUOTABLE: “I deeply regret this mistake and we are in the process of issuing a retraction, personally apologizing to each of the people impacted by this and taking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.” -Heitkamp statement
—QUOTABLE: “This is what happens when desperate people do things for their own personal political gain…She proved a point that her personal politics matter more than someone’s personal pain.” -Cramer in AP interview
More bad news for the Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Kyrsten Sinema was caught on tape in a 2003 interview agreeing with the host that it’s “a personal decision” for an American to decide to go and fight for the Taliban. Republican Senate candidate and former Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally pressed her on the comment at a debate on Monday, demanding Sinema apologize for saying it’s OK to commit treason. The Democrat tried changing the subject to a critique of the “ridiculous attacks” by McSally.
—QUOTABLE: “Fine…I don’t care if you want to do that, go ahead.” -Sinema in 2003 interview
—QUOTABLE: “I want to ask right now whether you’re going to apologize to the veterans and me for saying it’s okay to commit treason…We need a response because she owes us an apology.” -Martha McSally at debate
Domestic abuse allegations are finally catching up with Keith Ellison’s electoral chances. The Minnesota Democrat is running for the state attorney general post, but he’s also been credibly and recently accused of being physically and emotionally abusive toward a recent ex-girlfriend. New polls show a tightening race with Republican Doug Wardlow, a lawyer with a low profile in politics. One poll shows Ellison slightly ahead, another says they’re tied, and 40 percent of respondents said they were aware of the abuse charges and that it’ll be a factor in their vote. Ellison is also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
—QUOTABLE: “The #MeToo movement is a justice movement, and I don’t ever want to be counted among those who in some way tried to dissuade victims from coming forward…But I think the #MeToo movement has room for due process. Every social justice movement must.” -Ellison in the New York Times
Trevor Noah slammed Hillary Clinton on Monday. The late night comedian said the twice-failed presidential candidate, in attacking President Trump, is “trying to deflect” from Bill’s own sexual misconduct. Clinton on “CBS Sunday Morning” said her husband should not have resigned over his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Monica was an adult at the time, Hillary said, and tired to change the subject to Trump. It’s “not cool” that she’s “trying to deflect and make this about Trump,” and times have changed since the 90s, Noah said.
—QUOTABLE: “Maybe it was different in the ‘90s, but today, I think we’re all understanding that there’s a massive power imbalance between an intern and the president of the United States…I mean, forget intern, a president with anyone is a power imbalance.” -Trevor Noah
Hillary Clinton has hit another wall — this time literally. Video captured Tuesday showed the van carrying her clunk right into a parking structure support beam. She appeared to be fine exiting the van. No word on what caused the bone-headed mishap; it’s likely the driver misjudged the turn. She was in New Jersey raising money for Sen. Bob Menendez.
A judge has thrown out Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Trump. The federal judge on Monday dismissed the suit in which the porn star said the president defamed her when he said she lied about being threatened to keep quiet about their supposed affair. Judge S. James Otero in Los Angeles said there aren’t First Amendment grounds for the claim, and he also ordered Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) to pay Trump’s legal fees. That’s a big defeat for Daniels’ sleazy lawyer, potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Avenatti.
-QUOTABLE: “No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, Mr. Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today’s ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels.” -Trump lawyer Charles Harder
The FBI investigated Andrew McCabe last spring for allegedly leaking info about Michael Flynn to the media. McCabe, the disgraced former FBI deputy director, allegedly leaked sensitive internal documents regarding former Trump National Security Adviser Flynn to the media, and shortly after that Flynn was fired. McCabe was known to have had a direct role in the FBI’s investigation of Flynn and reportedly ordered a team led by another disgraced former FBI flack, Peter Strzok, to interrogate Flynn. McCabe was fired when it was determined he basically lied about other leaks to the Wall Street Journal.
More good news for Senate Republicans—a GOP senator long thought vulnerable is pulling ahead in the polls. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller turned the tables sharply from past polls in a new Emerson College poll that shows Heller with a seven point lead over Democrat challenger Jacky Rosen. Just a week ago, an NBC poll found Heller ahead by just two percentage points, well within the margin of error. The reversal is just more evidence of the “Kavanugh effect” that’s giving a boost to Republican hopes for keeping or expanding their majority in the U.S. Senate—and badly harming Dem efforts to seize control of both houses of Congress.
The federal budget deficit shows no sign of shrinking. In fact’s it’s the highest it’s been in six years. In President Trump’s first full fiscal year in office the gap between federal revenue and spending grew $113 billion, up 17 percent, according to final numbers from the Treasury department. That puts the final fiscal year 2018 deficit at $779 billion, the worst since 2012 and more than the country spends on Medicare or defense. But the growth in the deficit was fueled by spending, not any revenue shortfall. DC took in $14 billion more than the last fiscal year, but spending jumped by $127 billion.
Sears has filed for bankruptcy. The 132 year old company has been drowning in debt and struggling for years, but the final straw was a $134 million debt payment that was due Monday that the company just couldn’t afford. While the company said in a statement it plans to stay in business by keeping profitable stores open, it will have to shut down 142 stores in addition to 46 closings planned for next month.
The Boston Globe was forced to correct its big story about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test right out of the gate. The genealogy test found that there’s “strong evidence” Warren had a Native American ancestor between six and ten generations ago, and the Globe had an exclusive. But the paper miscalculated the amount of Indian in her, originally saying it’s between 1/32nd and 1/512th. But they botched the math—it should be 1/1024th, making Warren somewhere between .09 and 3 percent Native American.
“Who cares?” That was President Trump’s reaction to the news that Sen. Elizabeth Warren got her genealogy results back. Trump has mocked Warren as “Pocahontas” for claiming Native American ancestry to help advance her career at politically correct Harvard. The test shows that Warren has between 1/32nd and 1/1024th Indian DNA, which she claimed vindicates her. That would put Trump on the hook for giving a million dollars to the charity of Warren’s choice after he dared her to take the test, but the president brushed that off, saying he never said that, adding he hopes “Pocahontas” runs for president.
—QUOTABLE: “She will destroy the country. She will make our country into Venezuela…With that being said I don’t want to say bad things about her because I hope she would be one of the people that would get through the process. Going to be a long process for the Democrats.”
The top 3 percent of taxpayers paid the majority of income taxes in 2016. A new Bloomberg report found that in that year, $1.44 trillion in income taxes were paid by about 141 million people. Just over half of that came from taxes paid by the richest 3 percent. And the highest earning one-one thousandth of a percent—about 1,400 taxpayers—paid 3.25 percent of all income taxes paid. The top 50 percent of income earners paid a stunning 97 percent of all income taxes.
President Trump said he won’t shut down the Mueller investigation. In a “60 Minutes” interview the president was asked point blank if he would end the probe into alleged collusion between Russian and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. “I don’t pledge anything,” Trump said. The president has called the investigation a “rigged witch hunt” many times.
—QUOTABLE: ”Well, I– I don’t pledge anything. But I will tell you, I have no intention of doing that. I think it’s a very unfair investigation because there was no collusion of any kind.” -Trump
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow is pushing back against tax fraud allegations against President Trump’s family. On Sunday, Kudlow said allegations of criminal behavior against Jared Kushner, Trump’s son in law and a White House adviser, made in a New York Times article aren’t even criminal. “He didn’t break any laws,” Kudlow told ABC’s George Stephanopolous.
—QUOTABLE: ”Americans respect success. I don’t think these stories — don’t have anything to them. I thought the President Trump story was full of holes and hot air and whatnot. Playing by the rules is a good thing, not a bad thing. Both gentlemen have done so. In the Jared Kushner story, the Times said he’s done nothing.” -Kudlow
NBC news is backing off a fake news assertion. The network made a giant blunder that it attempted to correct on Sunday—initially, the network claimed in a tweet that President Trump had praised confederate general Robert E. Lee as “incredible.” In fact, Trump had praised union general Ulysses S. Grant—an error that’s not exactly splitting hairs. The tweet came out hours after Trump attacked the network for misleading its audience at a campaign rally. The fake news NBC tweet became the basis for a Washington Post headline. Trump thanked NBC for the too little, too late correction.
—QUOTABLE: ”CORRECTION: An earlier tweet misidentified the general President Trump described as ‘incredible’ at a rally in Ohio. It was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, not Gen. Robert E. Lee. An attached video clip lacked the full context for Trump’s remark.” -NBC News tweet
Portland is once again a mob scene. Tensions boiled over between members of a right-wing throng pushing for law and order and counter protesters bent on chaos and incivility that clashed in the Oregon city on Saturday. The confrontation reportedly involved the use of bear spray and billy clubs. No arrests were made but the city’s police were continuing their investigation. It’s just the most recent in the city’s saga of unrest.