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Assistant Secretary of State: It would be “very inappropriate” if John Kerry is conducting shadow diplomacy with Iran

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To repeat a point I made yesterday: This is his entire career. He spent four of the past 50 years or so conducting official diplomacy on behalf of the United States and chunks of the rest of it conducting diplomacy on behalf of himself and his political allies. Negotiating with enemies with zero White House authority isn’t an aberration for him. It’s just sort of what John Kerry does. Imagine him waking up today, nearly 50 years into it, and finding out it’s “very inappropriate.”

Which of course it is.

An administration official on Thursday told Fox News Kerry’s meetings are “shameful,” pointing out what Iranian-backed militias are doing to kill and injure people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen…

“John Kerry is out giving advice to Iran about how to maneuver around what Donald Trump is doing; it’s insidious,” Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary for George W. Bush, said Wednesday on Fox News’ “Special Report.” “I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal, I don’t care about that side of it. It’s wrong.”…

It has been suggested before that Kerry’s meetings with high-profile foreign leaders could violate the Logan Act — which prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government without authorization. No one has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law, however.

“Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States” is guilty of a federal offense. Is that not the dictionary definition of what Kerry’s been up to? He didn’t meet with his buddy Javad Zarif to chitchat randomly about world affairs. He met with him to talk about the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement to which the United States was a party before Trump pulled the plug. Obviously he’s counseling Zarif that the deal will be reinstated if a Democrat defeats Trump in 2020, which creates an incentive for Iran not to make any concessions to Trump in the meantime. Why bow to U.S. pressure, after all, if you have reason to believe that pressure will be lifted? He’s undermining the president’s leverage against an enemy with respect to a “dispute” involving the highest stakes.

And he’s not really hiding it. Not only did he admit yesterday that he’d met with Zarif three or four times since leaving office, the media has reported on their meetings previously. The Boston Globe took note on May 7:

With the Iran deal facing its gravest threat since it was signed in 2015, Kerry has been on an aggressive yet stealthy mission to preserve it, using his deep lists of contacts gleaned during his time as the top US diplomat to try to apply pressure on the Trump administration from the outside. President Trump, who has consistently criticized the pact and campaigned in 2016 on scuttling it, faces a May 12 deadline to decide whether to continue abiding by its terms…

“It is unusual for a former secretary of state to engage in foreign policy like this, as an actual diplomat and quasi-negotiator,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution. “Of course, former secretaries of state often remain quite engaged with foreign leaders, as they should, but it’s rarely so issue-specific, especially when they have just left office.”

Per the Globe, the “stealthy mission” involved many of Kerry’s top cronies from the Obama State Department meeting with diplomats, including Iranian officials, and lobbying people from allied countries like Israel to publicly call on Trump to leave the deal in place. In other words, he was trying to secretly amass foreign influence in order to make it more politically painful for the president to follow his preferred course of action on foreign policy. The prime beneficiary would be Iran, in the name of protecting his and Obama’s legacy. “Very inappropriate” said current Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh at a congressional hearing today, as you’ll see below. Sounds like a pretty good Logan Act test case to me.

The wrinkle is that the Logan Act is never, ever, ever actually enforced. (If it was, John Kerry would have a criminal record by now.) But the FARA law for foreign lobbying was never enforced either until Bob Mueller started charging people this year for having violated it. It’s a legit mystery right now why Trump hasn’t made a bigger deal of Kerry’s “shadow diplomacy,” especially since he’s forever looking for ways to attack Obama administration alums for their backbiting. (See, e.g., John Brennan.) If anyone was going to be stripped of his security clearance, you’d think it’d be Kerry, not Brennan, under the circumstances. As it is, with Fox News paying attention to this story, we’re probably destined to see a tweet soon demanding that Jeff Sessions indict Kerry under the Logan Act. For once, he’ll be on firm-ish ground. What will Sessions do?

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Mexican Protesters Scream at Illegal Immigrants: “Donald Trump Was Right! This Is an Invasion” (VIDEO)

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They don’t like being invaded either.

MEXICAN PROTESTERS WAVING MEXICAN FLAGS CONFRONTED ILLEGAL ALIENS IN TIJUANA AGAIN ON SUNDAY–

During the protest today one protester screamed at the illegal migrant caravan, “Donald Trump was right! This is an invasion.”

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Trump: I don’t know if Salman lied to me, skips question on weapons sales

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President Donald Trump isn’t really sure if Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had anything to do with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace there had been several conversations with Salman over Khashoggi and the story hadn’t changed.

I don’t know, who can really know, but I can say this…he has many people now who say that he had no knowledge.

He told me that he had nothing to do with it. He told me that, I would say, maybe five times at different points…as recently as a few days ago.

Trump also noted it might be one of those situations where the truth will never come out on whether Salman was directly involved in ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

Will anyone really know? Will anyone really know? But he did have, certainly, people that were reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved. You saw we put on very heavy sanctions – massive sanctions on a large group of people from Saudi Arabia. But at the same time, we do have an ally and I want to stick with an ally that’s been very good.

The comment goes against the CIA notion Salman had some involvement in at least getting Khashoggi to the Saudi embassy in Turkey where he died. The President is probably right in his assessment – as even the CIA didn’t completely implicate Salman – but it won’t go over well with a lot of people who prefer presidents speak in definitive answers regarding international incidents.

One thing which isn’t questionable is the ridiculousness of suggesting there were “massive sanctions” on the Saudis. Yes, 17 people were sanctioned – but they’d already had their visas revoked. ABC News suggested the sanctions show the U.S. is taking what happened seriously but I’m not convinced it’ll mean anything because there are plenty of questions on whether sanctions actually hinder those they’re meant to hinder.

The more damning statement by Trump is his decision to avoid a question from Wallace on Saudi arms sales.

Wallace: So if Congress were to move to either cut off any U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen or to block any arms sales, you wouldn’t go along with it?

Trump: Well, I want to see Yemen end, but it takes two to tango. Iran has to end it also. And Iran is a very different country than when I took over. It’s far weakened because of what I did with the so-called Iran deal – Iran nuclear deal – which was one of the great ripoffs of all times. But I want Saudi to stop, but I want Iran to stop also.

This is a beyond ridiculous answer and shows the failure of the President to change any sort of foreign policy. Trump is just going along with the previous administration’s policy of being “arms seller in chief.” There is no reason for the U.S. government to be involved in arms sales – and I know it’s because there’s a federal law on the issue.

The logic of those who believe the U.S. government should control who gets American weapons is so they can pick what country gets what. But where is the accountability? How does the public hold the government accountable when it’s full of bureaucrats and so-called ‘policy experts’ who are the ones who actually make the decisions.

The Government Accountability Agency noted in 2016 the U.S. had consistently failed in following procedures (and U.S. law) when it came to arms sales to Egypt (emphasis mine).

The U.S. government completed human rights vetting for 5,581 Egyptian security forces before providing U.S.-funded training in fiscal year 2011 through March 31, 2015; however, our analysis of a sample of names from training rosters of Egyptian security forces who received U.S.-funded training shows that that the U.S. government did not complete all required vetting prior to providing training, in violation of State’s and DOD’s policies. In contrast to State’s vetting requirements for training, State’s policies and procedures encourage, but do not specifically require, vetting for foreign security forces that receive U.S.-funded equipment, including those in Egypt. The primary method State uses in Egypt to comply with Leahy law requirements when providing equipment is to attest in memos that State is in compliance with Leahy law requirements. Various factors have posed challenges to the U.S. government’s efforts to vet recipients of U.S. assistance. Gaps and uncertainties in information have made it challenging for U.S. officials to vet some cases before providing training. Additionally, State has not established procedures for clearing smaller units or individuals within a larger unit that has been deemed ineligible to receive assistance. Finally, Embassy Cairo has recorded little information on human rights abuses by Egyptian officials in INVEST since the beginning of fiscal year 2011, despite State requirements to do so.

This is why it shouldn’t be the U.S. government doing these arms sales, and why Trump’s refusal to answer Wallace’s question regarding Saudi arms sales is disappointing – and more of a story than his “who can really say” answer regarding Khashoggi. Congress needs to stop the arms sales and completely change U.S. policy.

It’s so much easier to hold private companies accountable for sales, especially when there’s no government protection barrier surrounding them. One would think a businessman elected to the presidency would realize this. Apparently not.

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ALL OF ORANGE COUNTY Turns Blue After Democrats Find Thousands of Votes Post Election Day

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Orange County, a traditionally conservative enclave in Southern California turned all blue after Democrats found tens of thousands of votes post election day.

Just two years ago in 2016, only 2 Congressional districts in Orange County voted blue–now just two years later every single district voted blue.

Democrat blue wave? More like Democrat election fraud.

The 39th district was officially called for Democrat Gil Cisneros over Republican Young Kim who was up by 3 points on election night and was set to be the first Korean-American Congresswoman. The Democrats stole this race with ‘late votes.’

Young Kim was up by 3,900 votes on election night with 100% of the precincts reporting according to AP and she ended up losing by 3,000 votes 11 days after the election.

Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walters in California’s 45th district was also ahead on election night then was magically defeated by Democrat Katie Porter several days after the election.

Democrat Katie Porter was trailing Mimi Walters on election night then jumped ahead by hundreds of votes after the Democrats produced thousands of ballots after the election.

There may be something more sinister happening in Orange County, California.


The Gateway Pundit spoke to two concerned voters in California’s 45th district who said when they went to vote, they were told they weren’t on the roster so they were given provisional ballots.

Two registered Republicans in California’s 45th district told this reporter that they have been voting for over 20 years in Orange County and what happened this midterm has never happened to them–EVER.

“I’ve been a registered Republican and an active voter for over 20 years and when I went to vote on election day, I was told that I wasn’t on the roster so I was given a provisional ballot,” a Republican voter told The Gateway Pundit.

Was this an isolated incident or is this more widespread?

One America News reporter Jack Posobiec spoke to a pollworker in California on election day.

The pollworker told Jack Posobiec, “I have received a very large amount of voters whose registration was changed to vote by mail without their consent and then not mailed their ballots. I’m allowing provisional voting. My registrar is giving me the runaround about this and just saying don’t worry. This is not my first election. I have not seen this problem before.”

The Drudge Report featured the story about the stunning losses in Orange County and the responses by concerned voters in Southern California raised eyebrows as well.

One woman who lives in Newport Beach in California’s 48th district said she hasn’t missed a vote in 43 years and was forced to fill out a provisional ballot on election day; her vote still hasn’t been counted.

“I was made to fill out provisional ballot after voting in the same precinct in OC consistently 20 years said I was mail in never have been My vote still has not been counted I check daily. Same with red friends. I’m ind. never missed a vote n 43 yrs,” tweeted a Newport Beach resident named Vanessa Butler.

Where the hell is the GOP??

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