Parkland students slam Trump for tying shooting to Russia probe: 'He has already made it about himself'

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., expressed astonishment that President Trump would use the tragedy they experienced last week to push back on the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Late Saturday night from his nearby Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump accused the FBI of spending too much time on potential collusion between Moscow and his own presidential campaign. Trump suggested that if the bureau hadn’t been so focused on his campaign that it may have been able to stop the gunman from killing 17 people last week.

Aly Sheehy, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was immediately outraged when she saw the president shift the conversation toward U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“When it popped up on my timeline, it was something I read and was immediately mad about. It’s not the first time that he has tweeted something out so close to an incident that rocked the nation really that was about him,” she told Yahoo News on Sunday.

“Reading the tweet saying that it was because the FBI was too focused on his problem, that they should’ve been focused on other things. I don’t know why he called attention to that,” she continued.

A day after the shooting, rather than focusing on guns, Trump urged people to remain vigilant and report troubling behavior to the authorities. But classmates and neighbors had reported Nikolas Cruz to the FBI and local authorities. The FBI admitted on Friday that it had failed to properly investigate the matter.

The Russia probe is being led by Mueller, who was not involved in responding to tips about Cruz.

Giuliana Matamoros, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was livid when she saw this tweet from the commander in chief, especially so soon after the shooting.

“When I first saw Trump’s tweet I was furious. I can’t believe that it’s only been four days since the shooting and he has already made it about himself. I thought, ‘He obviously doesn’t care about us’ because he doesn’t,” Matamoros told Yahoo News. “He decided to make the cause of the death of 17 of my peers into something about him. I just really wonder if he ever thought for one second we don’t care about what he has to say. We only care about his actions on making this never happen again.”

Other members of the Stoneman Douglas community were similarly upset with Trump’s response.

Many Stoneman Douglas students are demanding that Congress and the president take action to confront gun violence.

Matamoros said she is grateful for the support and love that her community has received but urges any citizens who don’t believe in gun control to think twice about what they experienced last week.

Slideshow: Florida school shooting prompts gun-control rallies >>>

“I would like the American people to know that I’m thankful for your support. Those who believe gun control should not be put in place should rethink it,” Matamoros said. “Put yourself in our shoes, it’ll show you the traumatic event we went through and it will show you that we are Marjory Stoneman Douglas strong and we will not stop until there is change.”

Both girls are proud of how their community has responded to the tragedy — by making their voices heard and demanding change.

“I think it’s important that it’s broadcast to as many people as possible,” Sheehy said.

“Our voices need to be heard by everyone,” Matamoros said.

Sheehy was particularly moved by the speech her childhood friend Emma Gonzalez delivered at the Not One More rally outside the federal courthouse in nearby Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday.

“My classmates have already done so much. I’m so proud of them. There’s no word to describe how proud I am of them,” she said. “The speech that Emma Gonzalez gave. I’ve known her since kindergarten. Just listening to what she said, I don’t have words to describe how that made me feel.”

Matamoros could not make the event because she was at a wake for one of the victims. But she heard Gonzalez’s passionate speech after the fact: “It was amazing. I’m glad she’s part of our family.”

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Russia opens probe into Saratov Airlines plane crash

Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened an investigation into the crash of a Saratov Airlines plane near Moscow. The Antonov An-148 jet was carrying 65 passengers and six crew members.

READ MORE: Crash site of Saratov Airlines jet spotted outside Moscow — reports

Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov flew to the site of the alleged crash near Argunovo village in the Moscow region, officials confirmed.

The crashed plane was spotted from the air in the countryside near Moscow, a rescue service source told Russia’s RIA news agency.

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Trump Attorneys Approve Second Special Counsel To Probe FBI & DOJ


The war between the White House and the FBI/DOJ complex may be turning nuclear.

While speaking to reported aboard Air Force 1, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said that President Trump’s attorneys have already approved the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate the FBI and Justice Department’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to White House pool reports.

The excerpt from the pool in question:

FISA warrant should it be released? and what about a second special counsel?

Presidents attorneys have addressed this and said yes to a second special counsel.

FISA: That document along with any other that the House Intelligence Committee chooses to vote out of its committee through its process and all the House procedures, we would entertain like anything else.

As Axios adds, Shah also said that the White House will approach further memos, including the one created by Democrats, in the same way they handled the memo authored by Devin Nunes:

“Which is to allow for a legal review, national security review led by the White House Counsel’s Office, and then within five days the president will make a decision about declassifying it,” said Shah.

And another highlight from the gaggle summarized by Axios:

Trump’s tweet calling Rep. Adam Schiff a leaker: “We don’t really see any reason why anybody else would leak his information other than partisan political stunts by Adam Schiff and other members of the minority.”



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Apple faces US govt probe over performance-destroying iPhone update

Home » Justice, Manipulation, North America, Technology » Apple faces US govt probe over performance-destroying iPhone update


The US government has reportedly opened up an investigation into tech giant Apple amid a torrent of lawsuits alleging the company used an iPhone update to intentionally slow down older models.

According to Bloomberg News, citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have requested information from Apple as part of a probe into whether or not the company’s not-so-helpful update violated securities laws. The inquiry is still in its early stages, according to the sources.

While consumers and even foreign governments – French authorities launched an investigation of their own in early January – have cried foul over the company’s “planned obsolescence,” the US government probe will focus on whether Apple misled investors about the performance of older phones.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Apple confirmed that it had received questions from US government agencies and was in the process of responding to them.

Apple apologized for the year-old update in December, insisting that the company would “never do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

However, the company’s admission that its so-called “update” had damaged the performance and battery life of older iPhone models triggered an avalanche of lawsuits from outraged consumers.

Aside from more than nine lawsuits underway in the United States, the company also faces legal battles in France, Russia and Israel.



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Employee who sent false alert in Hawaii not cooperating with FCC probe

The employee responsible for sending a false mobile alert across Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile is not cooperating with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigations looking into the matter, an FCC official said Thursday.

Lisa Fowlkes, who heads the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, told lawmakers at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that, while leaders at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency were cooperating with investigators, the employee who sent the notification was not.

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House GOPers Say A Secret Memo Could End The Trump-Russia Probe. Their Staff Wrote It.

Is there actually a new bombshell in the report? It’s possible. But the motives and track records of the Republican lawmakers behind the media blitz surrounding the memo suggest there may be less to it than they claim.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who chairs the committee that cooked up the document, has been the public face of the GOP push to undermine the Mueller probe. Last year, Nunes was involved in an embarrassing episode in which he briefed President Trump on information he received from a source he wouldn’t name. It later turned out he’d met that person on White House grounds.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) ― who previously called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign (which would allow Trump to replace him with an official who could shut down the Mueller probe) ― said the memo was “absolutely shocking.” But Meadows thinks the entire Russia probe is manufactured hysteria.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who said the memo “is so alarming the American people have to see” it, has previously called for a new special counsel to investigate Mueller’s special counsel team.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who said he was shaking his head when he read the memo and that the “American people deserve the truth,” benefited politicallyfrom documents the Russians hacked, and pushed a measure that would kill the Mueller probe.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) ― who has called for reining in the Mueller probe by gutting its financing, and recently went pheasant hunting with Donald Trump Jr. ― said he was sickened by the memo and that it was “worse than Watergate.” He thinks the FBI was part of the #NeverTrump movement and wanted Clinton elected.

If the memo does eventually go public, it won’t end well for Republicans, Susan Hennessey, the executive editor of the legal commentary site Lawfare, argued Friday. “After causing completely unnecessary chaos today, this memo will be released in some redacted [form] in a few weeks and prove to be an utter embarrassment to Nunes personally, the [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] majority, and frankly to US House of Representatives,” Hennessey predicted.

Some conservatives have urged caution, worrying that Republicans are overhyping a secret document. Republicans “should not oversell” the report, conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt wrote. Over at the conservative blog Hot Air, Ed Morrissey said it felt like a “set-up for a let-down.” He argued the memo should be released, but warned conservatives to “not go all-in on it until we have a chance to see it for ourselves. In the meantime, remember that most things that seem too good to be true usually are.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a 35-year-old Republican freshman from Florida who recently flew on Air Force One with Trump and is friends with Roger Stone, is one of the believers. Gaetz has called for Mueller to be fired and said on “Hannity” on Thursday that officials might wind up in jail over what he saw in the memo.

HuffPost ran into Gaetz on Capitol Hill on Thursday evening, just a few hours after the congressman appeared on the Fox Business channel above the chyron “I JUST READ A 4-PAGE MEMO THAT THREATENS DEMOCRACY TO ITS CORE.”

“I believe that the contents of that memo need to be made available to the public immediately, and that that is a critical concern in kind of all of the Mueller, Russia, Trump discourse,” Gaetz told HuffPost of the memo, which he said “kind of aggregates” intelligence data.

In the interview with HuffPost, Gaetz ran into a common problem for Republicans who suggest the FBI was too rough on Trump but went too easy on Clinton during the 2016 campaign: the indisputable fact that the FBI’s actions then harmed Clinton. Comey’s conduct during the Clinton investigation was even the underlying justification the Trump administration provided last spring to explain Trump firing Comey. If people in the FBI and the so-called “deep state” were trying to get Clinton elected president, then frankly, they did a terrible job of it.

Surely Gaetz could concede the FBI’s actions ahead of the 2016 election were much more damaging to the Clinton campaign than they were to Trump? “I wouldn’t agree with that characterization,” he replied.

Under Gaetz’s theory, the FBI was hellbent on leaking information to the press to stop Trump from being elected. Gaetz told HuffPost that texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page showed they were “talking about a plan to strategically leak information to embarrass Trump.” As HuffPost recently explained, a deeply flawed story by John Solomon of The Hill has left a lot of people with the inaccurate impression that the text messages show the FBI officials were leaking information to hurt Trump. That’s what Gaetz believes.

“That was explicit in their communications to each other,“ Gaetz claimed.

“How so?” HuffPost asked. Here’s how the conversation went from there:

Gaetz: Well, when they talked about the, um, I think it was the Wall Street Journal article, and they were talking about, oh, was it behind a paywall and did it contain the information that ―

HuffPost: What Wall Street Journal story was that, that was negative against Trump?

Gaetz: Uh, again it’s referenced in their communications back and forth, this was I think in October.

HuffPost: Mhmm. But do you know what story it was?

Gaetz: Yeah, it was all about the contents of the dossier.

HuffPost: The Wall Street Journal story on the 24th was about the contents of the dossier? The dossier wasn’t released until ―

Gaetz: No, it might not have been the one of the 24th. It was the communication that was referenced in the Page-Strzok text messages.

HuffPost: No, I know the one you’re talking about, you said the Wall Street Journal story. I just think the Wall Street Journal story that they were talking about, if you look at it in context, they were talking about a story that was actually negative about the FBI and to Hillary Clinton. It was the story about the then-Deputy Attorney General McCabe who was basically being accused of ― I think you’ll probably recall this [from] the time …

Gaetz: Mhmm.

HuffPost: … was basically being accused, because his wife had received money, so that was what the story was about.

Gaetz: No, yeah, but I think there was other stuff that was included within that ―

HuffPost: Like what?

Gaetz: Well I don’t have it in front of me.

Gaetz’s theory ― that the FBI provided information for an Oct. 24, 2016, Wall Street Journal story on the Trump dossier ― doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, chiefly because no such story exists. The first story to reference the “dossier” was published by Mother Jones on Oct. 31, 2016, a full week after Strzok-Page exchanged texts about a Wall Street Journal article. The Mother Jones story only came out after Comey sent a letter about the Clinton investigation on Oct. 28 that set off a media frenzy Clinton has partially blamed for her loss. 

But the secret GOP memo gave Gaetz a convenient pivot point: the suggestion that there’s something, a bombshell, that he can’t reveal publicly. And it totally supports the theory he’s been pushing this whole time.

“I can say that if this memo become available to the public, many of the concerns that have been raised by members of the Judiciary Committee will be highlighted,” Gaetz said. 

Later on Friday, all nine Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee issued a statement calling the memo a “misleading set of talking points attacking the FBI.” Since the documents that the GOP-prepared memo cites are highly classified, the Democrats said, they will not be made public and it will become “impossible for the few Members who have seen the documents to explain the flaws and misstatements contained within the talking points” without disclosing sources and methods. 

“This is by design,” they said. “Not surprisingly, the GOP campaign to attack the FBI now has been joined by the same forces that made common cause during the Trump campaign — Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a multitude of online Russian bots are now involved in promoting this effort. It should be seen for what it so plainly is: yet another desperate and flailing attempt to undermine Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI, regardless of the profound damage it does to our democratic institutions and national security agencies.”

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter, covering criminal justice, federal law enforcement and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at or on Signal at 202-527-9261.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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FBI agents approached Steve Bannon to discuss Russia probe subpoena

FBI agents showed up at Steve Bannon’s Washington home last week intent on serving him with a subpoena to appear before a grand jury investigating possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

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Re: UN calls for probe into Israel’s use of lethal forces in West Bank

United Nations called on Friday for conducting immediate investigations into all incidents that lead to the death of Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces in the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of UN Secretary-General, said: “The UN officials feel worried about the clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli security forces.”

He said that the UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Nicolay Mladenov had expressed his “concerns” about the continuous unrest in the occupied territories, including the killing of two Palestinian teens.

On Thursday, Israeli occupation shot dead two Palestinian boys; one in West Bank and the other in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Read: Israel killed 8 unarmed Palestinians in Gaza

Dujarric called for conducting an “immediate investigation” into the Israeli use of lethal force that causes death and injuries among Palestinians.

Since Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6 December, Israeli occupation forces have killed 17 Palestinians and wounded thousands in protests in occupied territories.

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NBC Claims New FBI Probe into Clinton Foundation Is ‘Fake News,’ a ‘Political Sideshow’

Towards the end of their political coverage during Sunday Today, NBC fill-in host Morgan Radford questioned Meet The Press moderator Chuck Todd about the veracity of a new investigation into the Clinton Foundation, which came to light last week. But in doing so, she conflated it with GOP senators asking the FBI for a criminal investigation in Christopher Steele, the British agent who worked with Russian agents to get dirt of President Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, and claimed it was all “fake news.”

With the false on-screen headline: “Republicans take aim at Clinton,” Radford questioned Todd about the seriousness of the investigation. “So, break something else down for us, this real versus fake news. We’ve learned this week about developing investigations into the Clinton Foundation and the author of that controversial dossier, but is this a real investigation or is that just a political sideshow?

Todd agreed that everything was a “political sideshow,” as he conflated Clinton Foundation investigation with the Steele investigation. It was shocking that Todd would accuse an FBI investigation of being conducted for political means because the liberal media have spent a lot of time denouncing Trump for what they claim was the erosion America’s confidence in its legal institutions.

I mean, here you have Republican senators, including one, Lindsey Graham, who’s been a big critic of this president when it comes to Russia, calling for perhaps a criminal investigation into the author of the dossier,” Todd continued. “Just adding that fuzziness to the investigation in Russia is something that the White House PR-wise is very happy about.



But in reality, the latest investigation into the Clinton Foundation was anything but fake news. According to reports, the investigation had been going on for months and was investigating whether the foundation was a part of a pay-to-play scheme in conjunction with Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

“The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes,” a report from The Hill noted.

The Hill also reported that the FBI was looking into the foundation’s tax-exempt assets to make sure any weren’t converted into “personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws…”

The long history of the Clinton Foundation’s shady dealing was also noted by The Hill. “For years, news media from The New York Times to The Daily Caller have reported countless stories on donations to the Clinton Foundation or speech fees that closely fell around the time of favorable decisions by Clinton’s State Department,” they recalled.

So, clearly, the investigation into the Clinton Foundation was anything but “fake news” as NBC would have their viewers believe. As for the senators requesting for the FBI to investigate Steele, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa) told the press that he wouldn’t have backed the referral unless there was “credible evidence.”

Transcript below:

Sunday Today
January 7, 2018
8:09:20 AM Eastern


MORGAN RADFORD: So, break something else down for us, this real versus fake news. We’ve learned this week about developing investigations into the Clinton Foundation and the author of that controversial dossier, but is this a real investigation or is that just a political sideshow?

CHUCK TODD: Well, it looks like it perhaps could be a political sideshow. But look, if you’re the White House, you’re very happy about this development. I mean, here you have Republican senators, including one, Lindsey Graham, who’s been a big critic of this president when it comes to Russia, calling for perhaps a criminal investigation into the author of the dossier. Just adding that fuzziness to the investigation in Russia is something that the White House PR-wise is very happy about.

RADFORD: All right, Chuck Todd joining us live this morning. Chuck, thank you so much.

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Witness says Russia probe's grand jury looks like ‘a Black Lives Matter rally'

A witness who reportedly testified before Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s federal grand jury claimed in an interview with Page Six that the jurors looked like they came from a “Black Lives Matter rally.”

“The grand jury room looks like a Bernie Sanders rally,” the witness told the outlet. “Maybe they found these jurors in central casting, or at a Black Lives Matter rally in Berkeley [Calif.]”

RELATED: Putting the Trump-Russia timeline into perspective

The witness further contended that of the 20 jurors in the room, 11 of them were African-Americans and claimed two of them were wearing “peace T-shirts.” According to Page Six, Mueller was not present.

Although the outlet did not name the witness or reveal the individual’s political leaning, the witness appeared to be sympathetic towards the president, adding that the “room isn’t a room where POTUS gets a fair shake.”

Mueller’s team first announced charges against three advisers to President Trump’s campaign in October: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos.

SEE ALSO: Trump insider: ‘It’s painfully obvious Mueller will bring charges,’ in explosive new report

The grand jury is reportedly expecting to bring more charges against Manafort in relation to work on behalf of the Ukrainian government prior to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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