There are Muslim terrorists all over the world committing atrocities towards those they hate, whether it be Jews, Christians, other religious minorities, or even other Muslims with whom they disagree. And they are doing it in the name of the Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, using the Qu’ran to justify their evil acts.
We’re not just talking about ISIS. Nor Al-Qaeda. Just look in Israel where Muslims are coming out of the woodwork to stab Jews to death.
But somehow these terrorists who call themselves Muslims, who profess belief in Allah and the Prophet Muhammad and who say they are adherents to Islam, are actually NOT Muslims according to Hillary Clinton.
Since when is Hillary Clinton a foremost expert on Islam? Because her good friend is Huma Abedin and believes all Muslims are like her?
The ISIS caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, has a DOCTORATE in Islamic studies. Yet Hillary claims he’s not a Muslim? He’s not Islamic?
Just another reason this lying criminal and Muslim propagandist should never win the presidency.
In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.
A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”
Practically all of the country’s most acclaimed comedians have performed at the Laugh Factory and undoubtedly they have offended politicians and other well-known personalities with their standup routines. Tim Allen, Jay Leno, Roseanne Bar, Drew Carey, George Carlin, Jim Carrey, Martin Lawrence, Jerry Seinfeld and George Lopez are among the big names that have headlined at the Laugh Factory. The First Amendment right to free speech is a crucial component of the operation, though Masada drew the line a few years ago banning performers – including African Americans – from using the “n-word” in their acts.
The five short performances that Clinton wants eliminated include some profanity and portions could be considered crass, but some of the lines are funny and that’s what the Laugh Factory is all about. The video features the individual acts of five comedians, four men and a woman. The skits make fun of Clinton’s wardrobe, her age, sexual orientation, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the former First Lady’s relationship with her famous husband. The Laugh Factory has appropriately titled it “Hillary vs. The First Amendment.”
Masada told Judicial Watch that, as soon as the video got posted on the Laugh Factory website, he received a phone call from a “prominent” person inside Clinton’s campaign. “He said the video was disgusting and asked who put me up to this,” Masada said. The Clinton staffer, who Masada did not want to identify, also demanded to know the names and phone numbers of the comedians that appear in the video. Masada refused and hung up. He insists that the comedy stage is a sanctuary for freedom of speech no matter who is offended. “Just last night we had (Emmy-award winner) Dana Carvey doing Donald Trump and it was hilarious,” Masada said.
Just when she thought she had skated by on Benghazi and her email infractions, it now appears that Hillary Clinton’s woes on these issues may be far from over.
There is a largely unknown security scandal emerging, which centers not on the doomed U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, but on the American Embassy in Tripoli about 400 miles away.
This scandal, combined with classified information on Clinton’s private server and sensitive material looted from the dangerously unprotected Benghazi compound, may spell trouble in Hillary Clinton-land, especially in regard to the presidential candidate’s national security credentials.
The larger stack of evidence, presented here by Breitbart Jerusalem, shows the astonishing scope of the Clinton State Department’s apparent failure to protect highly sensitive – at times classified – national security secrets.
In at least one case, sensitive information was likely obtained by our terrorist enemies in Libya, as a federal indictment charges.
In another case, classified communications equipment and hard drives housed at a dangerously insecure U.S. embassy reopened by Clinton were protected, embarrassingly, by a female office manager and other staffers – not by U.S. marines.
Forget Benghazi… take a look at Tripoli embassy security
The U.S. diplomatic facility in Tripoli was first upgraded to embassy status in 2006. Due to security concerns, Clinton temporarily shut it down during the 2011 revolution that toppled Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. In September 2011, after Gadhafi fell, the embassy was reopened.
The story begins in 2012, immediately after the embassy received notice of the first assault on the Benghazi mission.
Largely ignored in the firestorm surrounding the Benghazi attacks is the fact that – like the Benghazi mission – the U.S. embassy in Tripoli did not meet the State Department’s minimum security standards for a diplomatic outpost established without a security waiver from the Secretary of State.
These security standards were established by the Secure Embassy Construction and Counterterrorism Act of 1999, or SECCA, which was passed in the aftermath of two embassy bombings in Africa in 1998.
Rep. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), a Benghazi investigator who was the fifth highest ranking member of the House GOP leadership, declared on the House floor on January 15, 2014:
It was known in the State Department and at the highest levels that neither facility in Libya – the one in Tripoli or the one in Benghazi – met the minimum physical security standards set after our embassy was attacked in Kenya in 1998. Who made the decision to put so many American diplomats in those facilities that did not meet that standard?
Eric Allan Nordstrom, a former regional secretary officer in Tripoli who is now the supervisory special agent with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, confirmed that the Tripoli embassy did not meet the minimum standards.
At an October 10, 2012 congressional hearing on Benghazi, Nordstrom said:
Neither the buildings in Benghazi nor the buildings in Tripoli met those standards, nor was there a plan for the next phase of construction, what was called the interim embassy, would they meet the standards either. That interim embassy was scheduled to be on the ground for approximately 10 years. That was a major cause of concern, and that was the main physical security issue that we continued to raise.
Contrary to a misleading claim propagated by Clinton herself, there was no Marine Security Guard (MSG) contingent protecting the Tripoli embassy during the 2012 attacks. They were only deployed in the aftermath of the fatal Benghazi assault.
In her 2014 memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton claims there were marines guarding the Tripoli embassy:
So while there were Marines stationed at our embassy in Tripoli, where nearly all of our diplomats worked and which had the capability to process classified material, because there was no classified processing at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, there were no Marines posted there.
But the former head of Africa Command, General Carter Ham, testified before Congress on June 26, 2013 that “There was no Marine security detachment in Tripoli.”
Breitbart Jerusalem has confirmed with the press office of the U.S. Marines that no marine contingent was deployed in Tripoli on September 11, 2012.
These details are relevant because the primary duty of the MSG is to protect classified information and equipment vital to U.S. national security.
So who was safeguarding the classified information processed by U.S. officials in Tripoli under Clinton’s watch? In one case, it seems, one guard was a female office manager.
‘She was smashing hard drives with an ax’
In May 2013, Gregory N. Hicks – the No. 2 at the Tripoli embassy the night of the attacks – testified before Congress that about three hours after the first attack on the Benghazi mission, his staff in Tripoli was alerted to Twitter feeds asserting the terror group Ansar al-Sharia was behind the attack. Other tweets warned of a pending attack on the embassy in Tripoli.
Hicks described a scene in which the office staff began to destroy classified materials for fear of an attack.
“We had always thought that we were… under threat, that we now have to take care of ourselves, and we began planning to evacuate our facility,” he testified.
“When I say our facility, I mean the State Department residential compound in Tripoli, and to consolidate all of our personnel… at the annex in Tripoli.”
Hicks said he “immediately telephoned Washington that news afterward and began accelerating our effort to withdraw from the Villas compound and move to the annex.”
He recalled how his team “responded with amazing discipline and courage in Tripoli in organizing withdrawal.”
Continued Hicks: “I have vivid memories of that. I think the most telling, though, was of our communications staff dismantling our communications equipment to take with us to the annex and destroying the classified communications capability.”
“Our office manager, Amber Pickens, was everywhere that night just throwing herself into some task that had to be done. First she was taking a log of what we were doing,” he said.
“Then she was loading magazines, carrying ammunition to the – carrying our ammunition supply to… our vehicles, and then she was smashing hard drives with an ax.”
The vivid scene, however, was not mentioned once during Clinton’s Benghazi testimony last month or during her testimony on the subject in 2013. This despite Clinton being directly asked about the response by the Tripoli embassy during last month’s testimony.
The dramatic incident in Tripoli was also not referenced in the State Department’s own Accountability Review Board probe of the Benghazi attack.
Terror kingpin obtains sensitive documents… why not classified?
Major questions linger about why Hillary Clinton’s State Department did not classify the reportedly sensitive documents and material that ran through the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. The material was clearly not adequately protected, as the assault on the mission summarily exposed.
During Clinton’s Benghazi testimony to lawmakers last month, Clinton claimed that unlike the Tripoli compound, Benghazi did not house classified material. She conceded that some unclassified material was left behind after the attacks.
It is instructive to focus on what materials were housed in Benghazi, especially in light of a November 2012 report by Fox News quoting sources in Washington and on the ground in Libya, including a witness, confirming computers were stolen during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack.
Also, two days after the compound was looted, the London Independent reported documents inside the U.S. mission were said to “list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups.”
And the Washington Post three weeks later reported documents inside the U.S. mission contained “delicate information about American operations in Libya.”
The Post revealed that one of its own journalists visited the vacated facility weeks after the attack and personally found scattered across the floors “documents detailing weapons collection efforts, emergency evacuation protocols, the full internal itinerary of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s trip and the personnel records of Libyans who were contracted to secure the mission.”
Stevens’ itinerary at times also reportedly passed through Clinton’s private email server, including his exact whereabouts and movements while he was stationed in the Libya danger zone.
The 2012 Fox News report also divulged that after the U.S. mission was looted, some of the Libyans employed there received death threats via text message. It is unclear whether the threats were prompted by the stolen documents and computers.
Some of the sensitive information was obtained by the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist group, which was implicated in the Benghazi attacks.
Breitbart Jerusalem reviewed the 21-page, 18-count federal indictment against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the Benghazi-based leader of Ansar al-Sharia.
The extensive indictment charges that Khatallah stole “documents, maps and computers containing sensitive information” from the Benghazi mission. The charge sheet further accuses Khatallah of conspiring to “plunder property from the Mission and Annex, including documents, maps and computers containing sensitive information.”
In other words, according to the federal indictment, Khatallah was partially motivated to storm the Bengahzi compound in order to obtain sensitive documents – materials that were ripe for the plundering in the unsecured Benghazi mission.
Echoing her e-mail controversy, during her Benghazi testimony last month Clinton was confronted about her seemingly ambiguous definition of sensitive and classified materials stored at the Benghazi mission.
One particular exchange on the matter may be telling:
CLINTON: We know it through our own investigation about what documents were at Benghazi, and there were no classified materials, to the best of our information.
POMPEO: Yes, ma’am. Do you know if there was sensitive information?
CLINTON: I suppose it depends on what one thinks of as sensitive information. There was information there and some of it was burnt, either wholly or partially. Some of it was looted. And some of it was recovered eventually.
POMPEO: Madam Secretary, do you know where that material that was looted went? Do you know into whose hands it fell? And do you know the nature and contents of that material? You seem very confident it wasn’t classified. I don’t share your confidence. But nonetheless, do you know where that material went?
CLINTON: I think that it – it is very difficult to know where it ended up. But I want to just reiterate the point that I made. This was not a facility that had the capacity to handle classified material. And there was, to the best of our information, Congressman, no classified material at the Benghazi facility.
POMPEO: Ma’am, the fact that it wasn’t capable of handling classified material doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any classified material there. Is that correct?
CLINTON: Well, the procedure is not to have classified material at such a facility. And again, to the best of our knowledge, there was not any there.
POMPEO: Yes, ma’am. You’re not supposed to have classified e- mail on your private server either.
CLINTON: And I did not, Congressman.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Tuesday announced he is suspending his campaign for the White House.
“I’ve come to the realization that it is not my time,” Jindal said during an early evening Fox News interview with Bret Baier. “I am suspending my campaign for president of the United States.
“I cannot tell you what an honor it has been to run for president of the United States,” he added.
Jindal’s campaign failed to resonate with voters since his entrance into the 2016 race last summer.
He never appeared in a main stage GOP presidential debate based on his low polling numbers, which often have registered at or below 1 percent.
During the Fox interview, Jindal declined to immediately name a GOP rival that he would support. Fourteen candidates remain in the Republican race.
“Going forward, I believe we have to be the party of growth and we can never stop being the party that believes in opportunity,” Jindal said in a statement on his decision.
“We cannot settle for The Left’s view of envy and division. We have to be the party that says everyone in this country – no matter the circumstances of their birth or who their parents are – can succeed in America,” he added.
Jindal is the third Republican presidential candidate to drop out of the race, after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Perry dropped out of the race in September after the first GOP debate, while Walker dropped out later that month after the second debate.
Jindal, who leaves office in January, said that he would return to the America Next think tank that he established.
Jindal, a Christian and fierce advocate for religious liberty, had hung his long-shot bid on winning Iowa, but he never gained traction with conservatives in the Hawkeye State.
On Tuesday, Jindal sat at just over 3 percent in the polls there, according to the RealClearPolitics average, despite spending as much time in the state as anyone. He raised just more than a half-million dollars last quarter, making it very difficult for him to last until the first votes are cast in early February.
Jindal was largely relegated to the margins in the GOP race as Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others vacuumed up support from the social conservatives and Evangelicals that Jindal needed in his camp.
His rivals will not miss his presence on the campaign trail, as he frequently slammed the other GOP contenders for being all talk and no action. Jindal also often took aim at Republican leadership in Washington as being spineless and “Democrat-lite.”
Jindal regularly pointed to his record as governor in Louisiana to back up his criticism of the other contenders.
He sued the federal government to rid his state of Common Core, signed a controversial executive order meant to protect religious liberty in the state after similar legislation in other states provoked huge backlash, and has said Louisiana will not accept Syrian refugees in accordance with an Obama administration plan.
Jindal also has perhaps the most hawkish fiscal records of any governor running for president, refusing to raise taxes even as his state scrambled to fill holes in the budget.
But ultimately Jindal could not cut through the huge and fractured GOP field, leaving a very small imprint on the race. Many believe he was running to angle for a Cabinet slot in a future Republican administration.
Perry praised Jindal’s decision Tuesday evening in an Instagram post.
“Bobby Jindal [is a] great governor, standup friend, loyal American,” he wrote. “We’ve not seen the last of this serious public servant.”
Retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson echoed Perry’s compliments.
“Thank you to @BobbyJindal for being a conservative governor and running a campaign he should be proud of,” Carson wrote. “Wishing the Jindal family well.”
The French Interior Minister said that more Mosques will have to be shut down in the wake of the awful terror strike.
From Huffington Post:
The interior minister of France has called for the dissolution of “mosques where hate is preached” following a string of attacks that left at least 129 people dead across Paris. Bernard Cazeneuve made the comments during an interview on French television, according to a report by MSNBC.
The minister has long been an advocate for addressing the concerns of the country’s five million Muslim residents, particularly after January’s attacks at the Charlie Hebdo office. But Cazeneuve has also made significant efforts to curb homegrown extremism. France increased surveillance at religious and cultural centers earlier this year and has been cracking down on supposed radicalization in prisons.
Around 7.5 percent of the country’s inhabitants are Muslim, but some 60 percent of prisoners are, according to a 2014 report.
France has also deported 40 imams – Islamic spiritual leaders – since 2012 for “preaching hatred.” Nearly a quarter of those deportations happened in the first six months of this year.
“Foreign preachers of hate will be deported [and their mosques] will be shut down,” Cazeneuve told Agence France-Presse earlier this year.
Now of course the liberals will howl and screech at the cessation of civil liberties, but after such a horrific attack that was obviously motivated by Islamic extremism, it’s hard to deny a civilization’s right to self-defense.
This morning, Donald Trump was interviewed by phone on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and said something that, of course, has started a cascade of hand-wringing and whining on Twitter: that he would shut down mosques. But is that what he said?
The Joe hosts were discussing the French stating that they would consider shutting down mosques that have “radical leadership” and that they can determine have “very specific ties’ to terror. Then Joe asks Trump’s opinion.
Joe: Donald Trump, the French are talking about that. Is that something that you would consider doing as President.
Trump: Well I would hate to do it but it’s something you’d have to strongly consider, because some of the ideas and some of the hatred, the absolute hatred is coming from these areas.
It’s something that many people, not me, it’s something that many people are considering and many people are going to do.
Leading up to that point, Trump talked about how previously New York City was monitoring mosque activity but have stopped under De Blasio.
Contrary to the panic on Twitter, Trump did not say, “hey let’s go close all mosques everywhere and also burn down the Koran” or anything like that.
Any reasonable nation would consider monitoring and then shutting down any institution that was a recruitment center or intelligence center for domestic terror or a foreign enemy. It is called self-preservation. Trump’s words this morning on Morning Joe are just a reiteration of something that would be obvious to any idiot. But apparently, not to any lefty looking for their Nobel Prize for Sanctimony.
Participants: Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina
NOTE: Kiddie table debate begins at 7pm and includes the following candidates: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal
The publication Politico still won’t admit it, but evidence shows that it fabricated a story about Ben Carson and the West Point scholarship he was offered. Politico says it “stands by its reporting” when it changed the headline and content of the story. This is one of the most dishonest cases of media bias we have ever seen.
The Politico headline went from “Ben Carson Admits Fabricating West Point Scholarship,” which was false, to “Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied,” which is true but not news. Carson never claimed he applied. For Politico, the incident will go down in media history as a classic case of a false report being redone in such a way as to attempt to conceal the falsity of the original piece.
A post at Free Republic called the reporter, Kyle Cheney of Politico, a “graduate cum laude of the Dan Rather school of journalism.” But perhaps some of Politico’s editors were in on the deception. Only an apology followed by a full investigation will determine this.
At the same time, it’s important to go back and see how conservatives at such outlets as RedState were duped. “Certainly we all got burned by Politico on Friday,” said RedState writer Leon H. Wolf, a reference to the false Politico story about Carson “fabricating” the offer of a scholarship.
But only those people who accept Politico as Gospel got burned. One of them was RedState’s “Dear Leader” Erick Erickson, who thinks he is a mover and shaker in the Republican Party and is planning to create a multimedia empire with himself at its core.
RedState is the conservative media group which hosts the RedState Gathering, a forum that is supposed to determine who is and who is not a legitimate conservative candidate. Next year’s event is in Denver, Colorado.
Erickson, a Fox News contributor, disinvited Donald Trump to this year’s affair because he had said some nasty things about his colleague, Megyn Kelly, of Fox News. He didn’t invite Ben Carson at all.
For Erickson, the Politico story about the scholarship must have seemed like a perfect opportunity to destroy Carson. Lifting directly from the erroneous Politico headline and story, Erickson wrote that the Carson campaign was “admitting” a fabrication. Erickson predicted it was the beginning of the end of the Carson for president campaign.
Linking to the Politico story, he claimed “the media just drew serious blood.”
In the end, Erickson’s blood was all over the floor of RedState. It was a self-inflicted wound.
In much the same way that Politico rewrote the story and changed its headline, Erickson subsequently rewrote his story, putting lines through inaccurate statements he had made in his previous comments.
RedState managing editor Leon H. Wolf admitted as much in a story under the RedState headline, “Politico Outright Lies about Ben Carson.” But RedState had accepted and publicized the lies.
In his clarification, Erickson conceded, “The Politico’s representation of that [the scholarship] is demonstrably false and is not something Carson claimed.” It’s too bad Erickson didn’t read the Politico story before accepting its headline as true. As we noted, the allegation that Carson “fabricated” the offer of a scholarship was not backed up by facts in the story itself.
So why did Erickson swallow the phony story in the first place? Either he didn’t read the story and didn’t understand the facts were not what Politico claimed, or he jumped to conclusions based on what he thought he had read or wanted to be true. The latter means that he was looking for a way to force Carson from the Republican field for president. Either way, Erickson comes out of this looking like a total buffoon. So does his sidekick, Leon H. Wolf.
In fairness, Erickson took the bait like many others. But Erickson is supposed to be more sophisticated than that.
Politico on October 5 had referred to Erickson as the “influential conservative radio host and RedState editor” who was announcing that he was leaving the RedState website by the end of the year to focus on his radio career.
Erickson apparently thinks he’s so great that he’s going to become another Rush Limbaugh. Indeed, he sometimes substitutes for Rush Limbaugh. He has announced that he has a “vision” of “blending radio, the internet, and conservative activism.”
The flattering press clippings must have gotten to him, such as the magazine cover story about “The uncompromising conservatism of Erick Erickson.” It would be nice for his brand of conservatism to include a commitment to reporting the facts.
Erickson seems to think of himself as a major power broker in the Republican Party. But his ambitions are in the gutter as he attempts to recover from his smears of Ben Carson, garnered from a fraudulent story in Politico.
Politico owes Carson an apology, and so does Erickson.
It was supposed to be a “neck-and-neck” race between Tea Party-backed candidate and political newcomer Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway in the Kentucky gubernatorial race on November 3.
But Bevin crushed Conway by a whopping 9%, 52.5% to 43.8%. It was a bloodbath, with Bevin winning all but just a few counties.
If that wasn’t enough to twerk leftist Democrats and their establishment Republican brethren, the state elected another Tea Party champion, Jenean Hampton, the first black woman ever elected to statewide office in Kentucky.
But it’s not just Democrats and RINO Republicans who are threatened by these new anti-establishment, pro-liberty, pro-Constitution Kentucky leaders.
The unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats from Washington, D.C., who unconstitutionally pass rules, laws and regulations without any vote from Congress, were given a powerful two-word message from Governor-elect Matt Bevin.
The Tea Party favorite Bevin, fresh off his huge victory, appeared on The Glenn Beck Radio Program on Friday and said that in regards to the Obama EPA’s tyrannical and un-American efforts to shut down a great American industry – the coal industry – he will tell the controlist agency to “pound sand.”
“Why it is that we in Kentucky – that sit on two extraordinary basins, the Illinois basin and the Central basin, an abundance of this – how are we not participating in something that the world wants more of than they ever have?
And so, from my way of thinking, we will tell the EPA and other unelected officials who have no legal authority over us as a state, to pound sand.”
Bevin told Beck that the Constitution grants the EPA “no authority” over the state, because of the Tenth Amendment, and that the only thing the EPA can do is take the state to court because they have “no enforcement arm.”
Matt Bevin told Glenn Beck that he is fed up with the federal government “bribing us with our own money” and plans on putting a stop to it.
Never underestimate the capacity of the media to propagandize against Republicans.
That’s the theme of this morning’s overwrought news coverage on Dr. Ben Carson’s supposed “lie” regarding a “scholarship” to West Point. The story began with Politico, which ran with the audacious headline, “Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship.” Even I was taken in by the headline – after all, that’s a pretty bold claim!
Politico began thusly:
Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
The key word here is “fabricated.” Did the Carson campaign admit any such thing? Absolutely not. The facts reported by Politico don’t even support this interpretation of the Carson campaign’s response. According to Politico, Carson said in his 1992 memoir Gifted Hands that he was offered a “full scholarship” to West Point after dining with General William Westmoreland in 1969. Here’s the relevant passage from Carson’s autobiography:
At the end of my twelfth grade I marched at the head of the Memorial Day parade. I felt so proud, my chest bursting with ribbons and braids of every kind. To make it more wonderful, We had important visitors that day. Two soldiers who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor in Viet Nam were present. More exciting to me, General William Westmoreland (very prominent in the Viet Nam war) attended with an impressive entourage. Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going.
That’s the entire relevant portion of Carson’s account. He reiterated that account last month in an interview with Charlie Rose, when he said, “I was offered a full scholarship at West Point, got to meet General Westmoreland and go to Congressional Medal of Honor dinners. But decided really my pathway would be medicine.”
Politico followed up on this story. They reported one additional pieces of information that seem to conflict with Carson’s story: Carson never applied to West Point, and was never extended admission.
But Carson never said he applied. He said he was extended a full scholarship offer. What’s more, West Point doesn’t offer scholarships: all admission is free contingent on serving in the military afterwards. It thus seems probable that Westmoreland or another military figure tried to recruit Carson, telling him that he wouldn’t have to pay for his education – and that Carson read that as a “full scholarship,” and never applied.
In fact, that’s exactly what Carson’s campaign manager said to Politico in an email:
Dr. Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer. He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission.
But here’s how Politico editorialized: “When presented with this evidence, Carson’s campaign conceded the story was false.”
That’s nonsense. They did no such thing. They provided details that corroborated Carson’s story and explained his loose use of the language. If someone told you that you could go to college for free, you might reasonably conclude that you had been offered a full scholarship to attend that university. But Politico would call you a liar if you used such language to describe the exchange.
Now, some on the right are saying that Carson should be held to a higher standard here than other candidates because he’s running as an “outsider.” But this is a basic case of misinterpreting facts, not an outright lie. Carson served in ROTC. Prominent people wanted him to go to West Point. He wouldn’t have had to pay. He didn’t apply because he didn’t want to go. Those facts are not in dispute. It’s the specific wording over which media have decided to crucify him.
This is a textbook example of a left-wing media hit. Politico would never editorialize about any Democrat who issued such a response to a factual inquiry in this manner. Politico won’t even conclude that Hillary Clinton lied about her attribution of the Benghazi attacks to a YouTube video despite email evidence that she knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack entirely unrelated to a YouTube video.
But for Ben Carson, they’ll make an exception.
UPDATE: Dave Weigel of The Washington Post rightly points out this from Carson’s Facebook page circa August:
I was the highest student ROTC member in Detroit and was thrilled to get an offer from West Point. But I knew medicine is what I wanted to do. So I applied to only one school. (it was all the money I had). I applied to Yale and thank God they accepted me. I often wonder what might have happened had they said no.
Weigel also points out that Carson said as much in his book – the same book Politico quoted to pretend that Carson lied.
So Politico lied again – Carson never even claimed to have applied to West Point.
The Carson campaign has denied the Politico headline, of course, because the headline is factually untrue. They told The Daily Caller, “The Politico story is an outright Lie… The campaign never ‘admitted to anything.’ This is what we have come to expect from Politico.”
“The campaign never ‘admitted to anything,’” a spokesman for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in response to a hit by Politico claiming his campaign admitted to “fabricating” a key point about his West Point story.
“The Politico story is an outright Lie,” Doug Watts told TheDCNF.
Politico published a piece Friday claiming Carson’s campaign “admits fabricating” the fact that he applied and was admitted to West Point.
“Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point,” Kyle Cheney writes in the lede.
The Carson campaign disputes Politico’s unsubstantiated claim he ever claimed to have applied to West Point or been admitted: “He never said he was admitted or even applied.”
“This is what we have come to expect from Politico.”
Here is the full statement Watts provided to TheDCNF:
“Dr Carson was the top ROTC student in the City of Detroit. In that role he was invited to meet General Westmoreland. He believes it was at a banquet. He can’t remember with specificity their brief conversation but it centered around Dr. Carson’s performance as ROTC City Executive Officer.
He was introduced to folks from West Point by his ROTC Supervisors. They told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in ROTC. He considered it but in the end did not seek admission. There are “Service Connected” nominations for stellar High School ROTC appointments. Again he was the top ROTC student in Detroit. I would argue strongly that an Appointment is indeed an amazing full scholarship. Having ran several Congressional Offices I am very familiar with the Nomination process.
Again though his Senior Commander was in touch with West Point and told Dr. Carson he could get in, Dr Carson did not seek admission.
The Politico story is an outright Lie. Dr. Carson as the leading ROTC student in Detroit was told by his Commanders that he could get an Appointment to the Academy. He never said he was admitted or even applied.
The campaign never “admitted to anything”
This is what we have come to expect from Politico.”
Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, who has the byline on the Carson story, did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.
As the nation’s chief diplomat, Hillary Clinton was responsible for ascertaining whether information in her possession was classified and acknowledged that “negligent handling” of that information could jeopardize national security, according to a copy of an agreement she signed upon taking the job.
A day after assuming office as secretary of state, Clinton signed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Nondisclosure Agreement that laid out criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure” of classified information.
Experts have guessed that Clinton signed such an agreement, but a copy of her specific contract, obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute through an open records request and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, reveals for the first time the exact language of the NDA.
“I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of SCI by me could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation,” the agreement states.
Clinton received at least two emails while secretary of state on her personal email server since marked “TS/SCI” – top secret/sensitive compartmented information – according to the U.S. intelligence community’s inspector general.
The State Department said in September that Clinton’s private email system, set up at her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, was not authorized to handle SCI.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner defended her unauthorized possession of SCI and her sending of emails containing classified information by claiming that the information was not marked as classified when it was sent or received.
The language of her NDA suggests it was Clinton’s responsibility to ascertain whether information shared through her private email server was, in fact, classified.
“I understand that it is my responsibility to consult with appropriate management authorities in the Department… in order to ensure that I know whether information or material within my knowledge or control that I have reason to believe might be SCI,” the agreement says.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NDA.
According to government security experts, the type of information that receives a TS/SCI designation is sensitive enough that most senior government officials would immediately recognize it as such.
“TS/SCI is very serious and specific information that jumps out at you and screams ‘classified,’” Larry Mrozinski, a former U.S. counterterrorism official, told the New York Post in August. “It’s hard to imagine that in her position she would fail to recognize the obvious.”
Additional emails on Clinton’s server contained information that was “born classified,” according to J. William Leonard, who directed the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 2008.
“If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it’s in U.S. channels and U.S. possession,” Leonard told Reuters in August.
Clinton’s NDA spells out stiff criminal penalties for “any unauthorized disclosure of SCI.” The FBI is currently investigating whether Clinton’s private email server violated any federal laws.
In addition to her SCI agreement, Clinton signed a separate NDA for all other classified information. It contains similar language, including prohibiting “negligent handling of classified information,” requiring her to ascertain whether information is classified and laying out criminal penalties.
It adds, “I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization” from the proper authorizes.
Mills sent classified information to officials at the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2012, an email released by the State Department in September shows.
Mills’ NDA required her to inquire about the classification of information in her possession if she was unsure about its status. However, her attorney said that she “presumed” that the information she sent to the foundation was unclassified because it had been sent to her at her unclassified State Department email address.
Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee failed to make the cut for the main stage at next week’s Fox Business Network/Wall Street Journal debate, a particularly harsh blow for the New Jersey governor who has struggled to gain traction in the presidential race after being seen as a rising GOP star in 2012.
The two Republican candidates failed to meet the 2.5 percent average polling threshold, meaning they’ll both be bumped to a 6 p.m. undercard debate on Tuesday, appearing alongside former Sen. Rick Santorum and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Christie and Huckabee weren’t the only ones to get bad news in the Fox Business lineup. Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore failed to register enough in four recent national polls to participate in the Nov. 10 event at all. They needed to get just 1 percent support in one of those polls. It will be Graham and Pataki’s first time not getting to participate.
Graham’s campaign fired off a statement, blasting the polling used to determine the lineup and saying they are “sincerely disappointed” in Fox Business and Wall Street Journal. “In the end, the biggest loser tonight is the American people and the Republican Presidential primary process that has been hijacked by news outlets,” Graham’s campaign manager Christian Ferry said in a statement.
Huckabee’s downgrade was a surprise, and was driven by his poor standing in the Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP poll included in the average of four recent national polls used to determine the lineup. That poll is little known and considered less transparent than other surveys. Huckabee tweeted his frustration, saying “I’m happy to debate anyone, anywhere, anytime.” (Huckabee also scored a damaging 1 percent in the better known Quinnipiac University poll conducted more recently.)
He continued in a second tweet, “We are months away from actual votes being cast and neither the pundits nor the press will decide this election, the people will.”
But it’s perhaps the most dramatic reversal of political fortunes for Christie, who was aggressively drafted for the 2012 presidential race, when he was seen as a refreshing, straight-talking alternative to the relatively stiff Mitt Romney.
This time around Christie has been overshadowed by the bombastic overtures of Donald Trump and has struggled to connect with voters yearning for a political outsider. At the beginning of the year, Christie boasted a polling average above 11 percent, second only to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but has seen his numbers consistently slip since then.
Christie brushed off the development on Thursday evening, tweeting, “It doesn’t matter the stage, give me a podium and I’ll be there to talk about real issues like this: http://christiene.ws/1Nvu40o #BringItOn.” The tweet echoed the sentiment he expressed earlier on Thursday, when he said he wasn’t overly concerned about the prospect of being downgraded to the undercard stage.
“The bottom line is you need to be on a stage and debating. And so I will be on a stage and debating one way or the other, wherever they put me. You put one in the middle of the square in Manchester, I’ll do it there,” Christie said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday morning. “I’m looking forward to being in the debate in Milwaukee on Tuesday.”
The governor’s supporters are also attempting to shrug off the blow. They maintain that his relatively strong performance in the most recent debate, combined with rising favorabilities in Iowa and New Hampshire as well as a powerful viral video of him talking about drug addiction, insulated him from any kind of fallout.
“It doesn’t change one thing for me,” Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and a megadonor for Christie, told POLITICO on Thursday afternoon, before the lineup became official.
“What are the consequences? Well, you look at last week. Clearly he emerged in terms of the people that watched it as one of the strong guys of the debate. And I think he’ll continue to be that way and do that,” Langone said.
Langone stressed that Christie just needs to “hang in there” as more candidates drop out.
Trump and Ben Carson will be standing at center stage at the 9 p.m. main stage event. To Trump’s right will be Sen. Marco Rubio, then Bush, and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich. To Carson’s left will be Sen. Ted Cruz, then Carly Fiorina, and then Sen. Rand Paul.
The undercard debate will air at 6 p.m., and will be moderated by Fox Business’ Sandra Smith, Trish Regan and Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau Chief Gerald Seib. The main-stage debate will be moderated by Fox Business’ Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo, along with Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker.
The GOP debates have created much controversy – and heartburn – for the large and unruly Republican field. Some of the candidates have accused the Republican National Committee of trying to use the debates to winnow the number of candidates, and contenders on the undercard stage have complained about the poor optics of the event.
Frustrations boiled over at last week’s CNBC debate, when the campaigns laid into the network over “gotcha” questions not focused on economics and designed to make the candidates look bad. An effort by the campaigns to show a united front and wrest control from the RNC and networks collapsed earlier this week.
Fox Business has sought to capitalize on the backlash, running a TV ad mocking the CNBC moderators.
“CNBC never asked the real questions, never covered real issues,” Fox’s commercial says. “That’s why, on Nov. 10, the real debate about our economy and our future is only on Fox Business Network.”
Bill Shine, senior executive vice president of programming for Fox, said in a statement Thursday evening, “FOX Business Network is proud to announce the lineup for the fourth Republican Presidential Debates and we look forward to discussing the important business and economic issues facing the country. We would like to thank the candidates, the city of Milwaukee and the Republican National Committee, and our partner the Wall Street Journal, for helping to organize and host these very important debates.”
Pataki, like Graham, had harsh words about being left out. “Running for the most important leadership position in the world shouldn’t be reduced to the level of ‘American Idol’ or ‘Survivor.’ The voters should decide our next president – not networks driven by ratings or national polls that are statistically irrelevant,” he said in a statement.
And Bush tweeted his support for Graham: “Disagree with debate rules that prevent @Grahamblog’s voice from being heard – his foreign policy message is an important one in particular.”
Christie next week could breathe more life into the undercard debate, which has been largely dominated by Graham in the past two debates. While Graham has landed some zingers in the events, he hasn’t delivered such a commanding performance to get a bump in the polls, leaving him frozen out on Tuesday.
Some of Christie’s supporters say the less-crowded stage could give the governor a standout moment. And one Republican fundraiser supporting Christie, who declined to speak on the record, said the absence of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from the GOP field and Bush’s drop in national polling are creating an opening for Christie.
“I don’t think it’s as big a deal as it would have been earlier in the cycle. He remains well positioned,” the fundraiser said. “I’m not sure that anyone on that stage will do anything that alters the terrain of the race in the first two states. And that ultimately is what this comes down to.”
Mikel Derby, a top Iowa lobbyist backing Christie, said he didn’t think it would be a net negative for him to be relegated to the undercard debate. “Even if he goes to the first debate, he’s going to get a lot more time, which is a lot more time for him to tell his story,” Derby said on Thursday afternoon before the news became official.
He also grumbled that a Christie fall to the earlier debate would be the fault of the national polling criteria rather than the candidate himself.
“So basically he’s being punished for not being as well known in places that aren’t going to have a huge impact on this election at this point,” Derby said.
The latest Quinnipiac poll, arriving one year before Election Day, shows all of the top Republican candidates except Donald Trump running ahead of Hillary Clinton.
Dr. Ben Carson, who is effectively tied with Trump as the GOP front-runner in the poll, wallops Clinton by 10 points, 50 percent to 40 percent. Sen. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) beats Clinton 46 percent to 41 percent, as does GOv. Chris Christie. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) beats her 46 percent to 43 percent.
But Clinton has a 3-point edge over Donald Trump in the poll, 46 percent to 43 percent.
Interestingly, the second tier among primary voters is also a virtual tie between Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. No other Republican candidate was able to score over 3 percent, and quite a few of them fell below 1 percent to become asterisks.
Qunnipiac finds the Republican contenders lined up as follows:
Trump at 24 percent and Carson at 23 percent.
Rubio at 14 percent and Cruz at 13 percent
Jeb Bush 4 percent, Chris Christie 3 percent, Carly Fiorina 3 percent, John Kasich 3 percent, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 2 percent, Mike Huckabee 1 percent and Rick Santorum 1 percent.
No other candidate scored high enough to be counted at 1 percent in the poll.
Tim Mallow, Qunnipiac’s assistant director described Carson’s lead over Clinton as a contest of character. “Clinton gets crushed on character issues, pounded by Carson and closely challenged by Sen. Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio,” he said.
Also noteworthy is that Carson is effectively tied with Clinton among women. Women were split 45 percent to 44 percent for Carson versus Clinton.
As with other recent polls, Quinnipiac found Clinton’s approval rating underwater with registered voters, 42 percent favorable to 52 percent unfavorable. She scores especially badly on the “honesty” metric, 36 percent to 60 percent.
Conversely, Carson has a tremendous favorable rating, 49 percent to 25 percent, with a sizable 25 percent saying they haven’t heard enough about him to form an opinion. His plus-24 approval spread is the best in the field, followed by plus-14 for Rubio and plus-10 for Fiorina.
Carson’s biggest weakness, unsurprisingly, comes from voters who worry that he “does not have the right kind of experience to be President.”
That seems like a much easier problem for his campaign to address than Clinton’s baked-in honesty deficit, especially since honesty and trustworthiness were rated as the most important attributes overall. Carson also scores best among all candidates in the “cares about my needs and problems” category, which is scored as the second most important attribute this time around, and was seen as perhaps the most important in the 2012 election. Clinton is underwater on this metric as well, at 44 percent to 53 percent.
The lowest approval rating among candidates in the Q-poll was held by Jeb Bush, whose 25 percent to 58 percent score gave him a Titanic-like minus-33 rating.