New State Department documents belatedly provided to the watchdog group Judicial Watch show that Hillary Clinton told different stories as secretary of state to different foreign leaders about a YouTube video that the Obama administration falsely blamed for the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks.
The documents, which Judicial Watch obtained last month, include notes of calls that Clinton had with world leaders after the terrorist attacks.
One set of notes comes from a Sept. 15 telephone call Clinton had with then-Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr. During the chat, Clinton referred to the “stupid, very offensive film” as the root cause of the Benghazi violence, which left four Americans dead.
“I have repeatedly, as has the President and other officials in our government, deplored not only the content of this stupid, very offensive film, but also intentional efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” Clinton told Amr.
“This runs counter to American history and the Constitution. But we’ve made clear that violent attacks are never justified in any religion,” she continued, adding that “we have to exercise more self-discipline.”
That call took place a day before then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows to blame the “heinous and offensive video” as the impetus for the attacks.
Clinton also appeared to blame the film – “Innocence of Muslims” – in a Sept. 12 call with Afghan President Hamid Kharzi.
“We appreciate your statement in response to the video. Especially, the point that the people that make these kind of videos are a fringe group,” Clinton said during the call.
“We need to talk about religious feelings and insults and defamation,” she added.
Judicial Watch says that the State Department provided those call notes only last month in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. It is unclear why it took so long for the agency to hand over the documents.
Also unclear is why in other private conversations Clinton claimed that the video was not the spark for the Benghazi attacks.
During a Sept. 12 phone call with then-Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil Clinton said that the Benghazi attacks “had nothing to do with the film.”
“You’re not kidding. Based on the information we saw today we believe that group that claimed responsibility for this is affiliated with al-Qaeda,” Kandil responded to Clinton during their chat.
Clinton’s call with Kandil was referred to during Clinton’s Oct. 22 testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. As was an email that Clinton exchanged with her daughter, Chelsea, on the night of the attack. In that email she acknowledged that an “Al Qaeda-like group” had carried out the attack.
But Clinton’s comments in those communiques were at odds with the public position that she and others in the Obama administration took in the days after the attack.
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” Clinton said in a White House-approved statement on the night of the onslaught. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”
Further complicating matters is Clinton’s statement during the Oct. 22 Select Committee hearing and during a Democratic debate that she believes that the video did play a role in the Bengahzi attacks.
“Congressman, I believe to this day the video played a role,” she told Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan
during the Benghazi hearing.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said that the new documents show that Clinton offered inconsistent stories about the root cause of the attacks.
“There are two scandals here,” Fitton said in a statement.
“The first is Hillary Clinton was telling different stories to different foreign leaders about the Benghazi attack – including an admission that it was a terrorist attack.”
The second, he said “is the State Department’s cover-up of these documents.”
He accused the agency of playing “whack-a-mole” with the Benghazi documents.
“It is no wonder that two frustrated federal court judges granted Judicial Watch discovery into the Clinton FOIA issues.”
Recent news reports indicate that the FBI is investigating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for granting favors to her family’s foundation donors and for its systematic accounting fraud. In January, the Sunday Times of London cited former Judge Andrew Napolitano, a conservative libertarian and frequent Fox News guest, as saying that the FBI was taking evidence “seriously” and that Hillary “could hear about that soon from the Department of Justice.”
It’s hard to believe that the Obama administration and its hideously politicized Justice Department would ever indict Ms. Clinton, given that President Barack Obama picked her for secretary of state and its clear favoritism toward her in the presidential race. But there is massive evidence that shows financial abuses – including money laundering – at the Clinton Foundation and overwhelming evidence that donors were helped by Ms. Clinton.
To take one of so many examples, there’s the case of Clinton Foundation donor Claudio Osorio – who is now housed at a federal prison serving 12 years for fraud – who in 2010, with Ms. Clinton’s (and Bill Clinton’s) help, won a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
The loan was granted to an Osorio firm called InnoVida, which was supposed to build houses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Instead, Osorio pocketed the money and used it to underwrite his lavish lifestyle and to pay off politicians. For political muscle, Osorio – who also had close ties to Jeb Bush, who sat on the board of a bank he owned – paid a lobbyist and major Hillary fundraiser named Jonathan Mantz.
And that leads me to another Clinton Foundation donor Ms. Clinton helped out who happened to use Mr. Mantz (who now runs Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign Super PAC) and apparently with the same great effect: Gonzalo Tirado, a crooked Venezuelan financier.
Mr. Tirado was president of and ran Venezuelan operations for the famously corrupt Stanford Bank, which was headquartered in Antigua and was named for its American founder, Allen Stanford. He and Mr. Stanford came to be extremely close and “were like father and son,” one well-placed source told me.
Mr. Stanford’s name may ring a bell as he was sentenced to prison for 110 years for committing an $8 billion Ponzi scheme. In 2006, the Hugo Chavez government was asked to investigate Mr. Tirado by scandal-plagued, pro-Wall Street New York Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and a major recipient of cash and perks from jailbird Allen Stanford. Mr. Tirado was charged with tax evasion and theft, The Hill newspaper reported.
As I’ll detail below – and I uncovered this story with help from the National Legal and Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group – Tirado soon fled for Miami to avoid prosecution and petitioned the State Department, through Mr. Mantz, for political asylum. It’s not clear if he won asylum – and he doesn’t seem to merit it as he had no record of political opposition to the Chavez government – but it is clear that he was allowed to remain in the U.S. and live a life of luxury.
(Mr. Tirado, who did not reply to a request for comment, has kept a low profile as of late. His last reported sighting came in 2014, when he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide, or at least claimed he intended to kill himself.)
Incredibly, the Obama administration not only failed to help the Chavez government investigate Mr. Tirado, but it also indicted a legendary former DEA agent named Tom Raffanello, a one-time head of the DEA’s Miami office and the agency’s chief of congressional affairs during Bill Clinton’s first term as president.
Mr. Raffanello’s subsequent prosecution, which ended in abysmal failure, almost surely was prompted and abetted by Mr. Tirado, a secret FBI informant. Unsurprisingly, the vindicated Mr. Raffanello had few kind words for Mr. Tirado or Ms. Clinton during a recent interview.
“Tirado believed in buying influence,” Mr. Raffanello said of the crooked financier. “He wouldn’t give away 10 cents that he didn’t think he’d get back a dollar on. That was his entire philosophy.”
As for Ms. Clinton, he said that during her years in the Obama administration the “prevailing wisdom in Miami at the time, among people in high profile civil and criminal defense circles, was that giving money to the Clinton Foundation was very helpful. She was secretary of state and a potential future president. I’m sure that’s the same thinking now.”
(Ms. Clinton’s presidential campaign did not reply to a request for comment.)
Up until 2006, life was cushy for pampered, wealthy, jet-setting Gonzalo Tirado, who was running the Stanford Bank’s Venezuela operations. Events took a turn for the worse when an internal Stanford Bank audit discovered that he had fleeced about $5 million from the company.
Mr. Tirado’s actions did not sit well with Stanford, and the Venezuelan beat a hasty exit from his job. He soon opened a bank of his own and lured in a few local investors. His new enterprise went down the tubes, and the defrauded locals, who were very close to the Chavez government, looked to it for help, leading to an investigation of Mr. Tirado.
At the same time, the Chavez government was investigating Mr. Tirado at the behest of Stanford, through his hand-picked emissary, Congressman Meeks. (See this Wikileaked cable for more on the topic and on Mr. Tirado’s feud with the Venezuelan government.) That led to the filing of criminal charges against Mr. Tirado, as noted above. (The Venezuelan embassy in Washington did not reply to a request for comment.)
Mr. Tirado, apparently a conscienceless paranoid who felt no remorse for his actions, became convinced that Stanford Bank was monitoring his activities and tapping his phone and was the source of all of his troubles. Perhaps sensing he was in deep trouble, he fled Venezuela for Miami.
Mr. Tirado began spending money like a drunken sailor. He purchased at least two luxury estates in the Miami area. He also became a major investor in several companies, including a security firm called Command Consulting Group for which he recruited as a front man W. Ralph Basham, a former senior official with the Department of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Command Consulting Group, “an international security and intelligence consulting firm that provides advisory services to governments, corporations, and high net worth individuals,” according to its website, and whose top officials include a number of other former senior government terror and security veterans, is currently run out of an office in Washington. (Mr. Basham did not reply to a request for comment.)
As 2009 dawned, life could hardly have been better for the pampered Mr. Tirado. There was just one small problem: He needed to stay in the U.S. to avoid being sent back back to Venezuela, where he was sure to face trial and imprisonment. To stay in the U.S., Mr. Tirado needed the continued indulgence of the U.S. State Department.
Fortunately for Mr. Tirado, the U.S. government had been hostile to Venezuela ever since the South American nation of 31 million moved to the left in 2002, when Chavez was elected to the first of his three terms.
(Note and disclosure: Chavez died in 2013, and the country is now led by his former vice president, Nicolás Maduro. Despite its flaws, the country’s socialist government has made remarkable strides in bettering the lives of Venezuela’s poor majority. In 2004, I met Chavez as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and I consider him to be the greatest force for democratic change in modern Latin American history with the possible exception of Che Guevera.)
The George W. Bush administration had regularly conspired with the rancid political opposition, which Chavez displaced from power, and had sought to destabilize and overthrow the Chavez government with the help of local Venezuelan surrogates. Incoming President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, were rabid opponents of Chavez’s as well, but Mr. Tirado didn’t want to count on that alone.
Knowing how the corrupt U.S. political system works, he hired an American lobbyist, Jonathan Mantz, to game the asylum process for him while he took it easy and spent his loot in America.
Mantz then worked at BGR, the firm of Republican Haley Barbour, the famously overweight former Mississippi governor and one of the most prominent of all GOP lobby shops. He had previously worked as finance director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and for the laughably corrupt New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.
Mr. Mantz, who had no real qualifications to be a lobbyist other than his ability to raise money – and who did not reply to a request for comment – had drummed up cash for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Currently Mr. Mantz chairs Hillary’s 2016 Super PAC, Priorities USA Action. Mr. Tirado paid BGR $350,000.
Now sufficiently motivated, Mantz went to work lobbying Hillary’s State Department to let Tirado stay in Miami. Meanwhile, the crooked Mr. Tirado donated between $5,000 and $10,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to its website. As is its custom, the foundation does not state when the donation was made and declined to answer questions about the money it took from Mr. Tirado.
Coincidentally or not, Mr. Tirado was one four of Mr. Mantz’ clients who donated to the Clinton Foundation during his brief 16-month career as a lobbyist.
Now let’s discuss the story of former DEA agent Thomas Raffanello, at which point this story becomes even more outrageous.
Mr. Raffanello worked for the DEA for more than three decades. He left in 2004 and went to work as the head of security for the Stanford Bank. “We set up cameras to prevent bank robberies and generally provided security at bank offices and functions,” Mr. Raffanello told me last weekend during the course of several lengthy phone interviews. “I was based in Miami but had offices in Caracas, Quito, Antigua and a few other places.”
Mr. Raffanello said Allen Stanford “couldn’t balance a checkbook” and described him as “a spoiled billionaire.” When I asked him why he went to work for Stanford in the first place he said, “I did due diligence. I called several associates, including the former head of DEA in Miami before me and several former assistant U.S. attorneys who worked for him. No one ever gave me a bad word; they said he was eccentric but a straight shooter. Madeleine Albright worked for him, and the former president of Switzerland was one of his board members.”
Stanford Bank collapsed and was put into receivership in 2010, at which point Mr. Raffanello left the company. But well before then Mr. Tirado – who, a source told me, had become an FBI informant – had become convinced that Mr. Raffanello was the source for all of his problems with the Chavez government and its investigation into him. Hence, he began a smear campaign against Mr. Raffanello in Venezuela and the United States.
As I mentioned above, it was Congressman Meeks – who currently supports Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and who took in more money from Stanford than any single member of Congress other than Charles Rangel and Pete Sessions of Texas – who prompted the Chavez government to look into Mr. Tirado.
But the paranoid Mr. Tirado, certain Mr. Raffanello was to blame, paid Venezuelan writers to place stories saying Mr. Raffanello worked for the CIA, Mr. Raffanello told me. That led to the Chavez government questioning Mr. Raffanello for alleged corruption involving the Stanford bank, though it determined the allegations were groundless and never charged him.
“Venezuela is like Casablanca,” Mr. Raffanello said. “If you tell a story twice it becomes the truth. It became impossible for me to go to Venezuela because I feared I’d get picked up by law enforcement.”
“I thought I was going to get Shanghaied, but you can’t make something out of nothing.” – Thomas Raffanello.
Meanwhile, Mr. Raffanello said, Mr. Tirado told the FBI and the Justice Department that he was trying to arrange Mr. Tirado’s kidnapping and was spying on him. “The guy knows how to play the game, and he played it at a high level because he had plenty of money,” Mr. Raffanello said.
About a year after Mr. Raffanello left Stanford Bank, he was indicted by the Obama Justice Department for allegedly shredding Stanford Bank documents. The case went to trial in Miami in 2010. On February 10 of that year, as the jury was deliberating, Judge Richard Goldberg interrupted its deliberations and unilaterally acquitted Raffanello (and another defendant), saying the evidence against him was “substantially lacking.”
It is highly unusual for a person to escape conviction after being indicted by a federal grand jury, let alone for the government to be humiliated in court as it was in the Raffanello case. Stunned federal prosecutors begged the judge to at least allow the jury to render a verdict because the acquittal would prevent them from appealing a verdict.
The judge dismissed their plea, and Mr. Raffanello’s ordeal was over. “I thought I was going to get Shanghaied, but you can’t make something out of nothing,” he said.
To sum up here, a corrupt Venezuelan banker hired a lobbyist close to Hillary Clinton, made a donation to her family’s foundation and has been allowed to live in the United States without fear of prosecution in his homeland. At a time that Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, the Obama Administration staged what can only be described as a political prosecution of an honest man and long-time government employee.
Mr. Raffanello has concluded this about Hillary Clinton’s campaign: “I learned a lot about her and her family when I was in the government, and how they are put together,” he said. “She is a person who will say and do anything in order to get elected president. I don’t think she’s going to win, but there’s nothing she won’t do while trying.”
Via Fox News:
Former Hillary Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano, a key witness in the email probe who struck an immunity deal with the Justice Department, has told the FBI a range of details about how her personal email system was set up, according to an intelligence source close to the case who called him a “devastating witness.”
The source said Pagliano told the FBI who had access to the former secretary of state’s system – as well as when – and what devices were used, amounting to a roadmap for investigators.
“Bryan Pagliano is a devastating witness and, as the webmaster, knows exactly who had access to [Clinton’s] computer and devices at specific times. His importance to this case cannot be over-emphasized,” the intelligence source said.
Hansjorg Wyss, a billionaire Swiss citizen and multi-million dollar Clinton Foundation donor, gave 30 contributions to American political campaigns over a nine-year period, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Federal law has imposed a strict, across-the-board ban since 1966 on foreign nationals giving to U.S. political campaigns. The ban was later included in the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act. The only exception is for foreign nationals who possess a green card. The ban applies to all levels of political campaigns.
Wyss donated $41,000 to seven congressional candidates and to four national political action committees from 1998 to 2003, according to Federal Election Commission records under the name of Hansjorg Wyss.
Colorado campaign finance records also report that Wyss gave $50,000 to Coloradans for Responsible Growth in March 2000, a statewide environmental political action committee that closed its doors only two years later, in part because it reportedly never filed the required financial statements.
In April 2006, Wyss gave $10,000 to Jim Baca, a Democrat running for New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands, according to the State of New Mexico Ethics Administration.
Wyss has a long-term relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as with John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s present national campaign director and former White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton. Wyss committed $5 million to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” program to empower women and girls in December 2013.
Wyss paid Podesta $87,000 for “consultant” services when the latter served as a top aide to President Barack Obama. Wyss is a major contributor to the Center for American Progress and a member of its board of directors. The center was founded by Podesta and has received $5.1 million from Wyss since 2011, according to Internal Revenue Service filings.
Lawrence M. Noble, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, told TheDCNF contributions by a foreign citizen are a “serious violation.” Noble was general counsel at the Federal Election Commission for 13 years.
“If he doesn’t have a green card and he’s not a U.S. citizen, then he can’t give to U.S. elections,” Noble said.
Former FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith told TheDCNF that if Wyss gave the donations knowingly and willingly, “the FEC is pretty aggressive in referring this kind of violation to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.”
Although Wyss has maintained multiple residences in the United States since the 1960’s, he’s never sought U.S. citizenship. He said in a 2014 speech in Bern, Switzerland reported by the Swiss news organization Blick, “I only have a Swiss passport as a proof of identity. No Green Card. No American passport. So here I stand, as a true Swiss, in my homeland,” according to the Swiss media outlet Bite.
Documents obtained by TheDCNF show that Wyss is an E-2 visa holder, and does not have a green card. A Feb. 8, 2010, letter prepared by Wyss lawyer Joseph M. Sedlack said “HJW is lawfully in the U.S. pursuant to a ‘E-2VISA’” and “is not a permanent resident of the US under a ‘green card.’” Sedlack is with the Reed Smith LLP law firm.
TheDCNF also asked Carolyn Short, another Reed Smith attorney who represents Wyss, if Wyss was a U.S. citizen. She did not reply.
Noble said some foreign nationals might plead ignorance but “given his sophistication, he should he have known” that he was not permitted to give to political campaigns. Smith, the former FEC Commissioner, agreed, saying “the guy’s got access to some of the top lawyers in the country.”
In a related development, the Justice Department earlier this month refused to turn over documents sought by Citizens United under the Freedom of Information Act in seeking to understand why Wyss’ top four executives went to jail but he didn’t in a medical scandal in which five patients died as a result of an illegal drug testing program run by his former company.
Wyss was named in 2009 by a federal grand jury as the “Person No. 7” who directed the four jailed executives to ignore federal safety rules requiring the FDA’s prior approval of drug tests on humans. Wyss was CEO of the company, Syntheses, which paid a $22 million fine under the 2011 settlement that sent the four executives to prison.
Justice Department officials claimed release of documents, “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” They also declined to “acknowledge the existence of such records pertaining to this individual.”
Citizens United president David Bossie denounced the rejection, telling TheDCNF “the American people deserve to know what’s going on inside their government, particularly the activities of political appointees at the Justice Department.”
Wyss also now faces racketeering charges in a Washington State civil suit that claims he profiteered in the drug testing scheme that caused the death of 67-year old Reba Golden and four other people.
Additionally, he was at the center of a nasty sexual scandal that allegedly resulted in a private $1.5 million settlement with a former employee. The settlement came to light after Wyss made a $5 million commitment to the Clinton Foundation’s “No Ceilings” project designed to protect women and girls.
Dave Skinner, a researcher with the Hydra Project, noted that Wyss preferred giving funds through his private foundation rather than highly visible political donations. “He’s always been low profile. He’s always operated under the radar,” Skinner said.
Wyss has a penchant for secrecy, claiming in a May, 2011 Swiss newspaper interview that “nobody knows me, and I hope that it stays like this.”
Hillary Clinton has won the South Carolina Democratic primary, notching a decisive win in a state where she suffered a devastating loss just eight years ago.
The Associated Press called the race for the former secretary of state over rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just seconds after the polls closed at 7 p.m. ET. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was leading Sanders by a nearly 50 point margin, 74 percent to 26 percent.
“Today you sent a message in America that when we stand together, there is no barrier too big to break,” Clinton declared in her victory speech in Columbia, S.C. “Tomorrow this campaign goes national. We are going to compete for every vote in every state. We are not taking anything for granted.”
Clinton struck a populist tone as she spoke too, backed by younger voters behind her on stage – a demographic she’s struggled to capture over Sanders.
“Together we can break down all the barriers holding our families and our country back. We can build ladders of opportunity and empowerment so every single American can have that chance to live up to his or her God-given potential,” Clinton thundered. “Then and only then can America live up to its full potential, too.”
“We’re going to work together to give people – particularly young people – the tools you need,” she added.
A Clinton victory in the first Southern primary had long been expected, and even the Vermont senator’s campaign seemed resigned to a loss as voting began. Instead of remaining in the Palmetto State to wait for results, Sanders opted instead to turn his eye toward Super Tuesday states voting March 1. He was campaigning in Minnesota on Saturday night.
Sanders congratulated Clinton in a statement but cast attention toward the other contests in just three days.
“Let me be clear on one thing tonight. This campaign is just beginning. We won a decisive victory in New Hampshire. She won a decisive victory in South Carolina. Now it’s on to Super Tuesday,” Sanders said.
“In just three days, Democrats in 11 states will pick 10 times more pledged delegates on one day than were selected in the four early states so far in this campaign,” he continued. “Our grassroots political revolution is growing state by state, and we won’t stop now.”
Still, the South Carolina victory is an important one for Clinton and gives her a boost of momentum heading into Super Tuesday, when voters in more than a dozen states will go to the polls and 865 delegates are up for grabs.
South Carolina was the first contest in which a majority of the electorate had been made up of minority voters, and Clinton won black voters handily.
According to early exit polls, a record 62 percent share of Democratic voters were African-American, an increase from even the previous 55 percent benchmark eight years ago. Clinton was on track to capture 84 percent of those votes.
Clinton won all women voters by 58 points and carried black women (37 percent of the electorate) by 78 points. Clinton carried white women 18 points, while Sanders won white men by 14 points.
Younger voters – a key part of the Sanders base – were a much smaller share of the electorate than in previous contests this year. In Iowa and New Hampshire, voters under 30 made up just under 20 percent of the primary vote.
The South Carolina electorate was heavily supportive of President Obama, who beat Clinton in the state in the 2008 contest. Seventy-four percent of the Democratic electorate said the next president should generally continue Obama’s policies, and Clinton won those voters 81 to 19 percent, per exit polls. Sanders carried the 17 percent of voters who wanted the next president to implement more liberal policies.
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!
THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!
The State Department has decided to withhold seven more e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and nonsecure homebrew system as too sensitive to release even in redacted form. That brings the total number of such messages to 29, and one member of Congress who has seen them is aghast at what may have been exposed:
“There are more than 22, and it’s not just one or two more,” Rep. Chris Stewart told the Washington Examiner, referring to the 22 emails deemed top secret by the State Department last week. “It’s a more meaningful number than that.”
Stewart said the State Department has classified seven additional emails as “top secret.” The agency will now withhold 29 emails from the public due to their sensitive content.
“These were classified at the top secret level, and in some cases, above that,” he said.
Yesterday, Stewart told Fox News what kind of information went through the server – and it’s every bit as bad as one would imagine:
“They do reveal classified methods, they do reveal classified sources, and they do reveal human assets,” he said during an appearance on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” earlier in the day.
Be sure to watch it, as Stewart uses a hypothetical that should have eyebrows raised. “My heavens,” he tells Martha McCallum, “if I received an e-mail saying, ‘here are the names and addresses and phone numbers of ten of our undercover agents in Pakistan,’ I would know … that was classified. I wouldn’t look for a heading.” Stewart then says that his hypothetical isn’t what was found in the e-mails, but clearly Stewart believes it to be as obvious as the hypothetical suggests. And if these messages disclosed human assets, as Stewart explicitly accuses in this interview after having seen the e-mails, then it would be obvious that they could not be transmitted through or retained within an unauthorized and non-secure system.
It’s no surprise, then, that the House Oversight Committee will start an investigation into exactly what went wrong and how much damage has been done to American intelligence by the State Department – and perhaps to put some pressure on the Department of Justice:
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz says he’s forging ahead with an investigation into the federal government’s record keeping – a probe he acknowledges could put Hillary Clinton in the cross hairs.
But Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have been clear: They believe the FBI and Justice Department should handle the investigation into Clinton’s use of personal email for government business, and that congressional involvement could disrupt the criminal probe and appear overly partisan. Taking that cue, the House Science Committee, which had planned its own investigation into Clinton’s email server, on Wednesday opted to delay its inquiry and defer to the FBI, an aide on the panel told POLITICO.
As for Chaffetz, Ryan (R-Wis.) is giving him the green light to proceed – with caution. The speaker authorized Chaffetz to investigate systematic problems within his committee’s broad jurisdiction, while making clear his preference that Chaffetz steer clear of Clinton personally.
A House probe will put the FBI’s efforts under a microscope, whether Chaffetz chooses to avoid taking on Hillary directly or not. It will also send a signal to the DoJ that simply running out the clock will not suffice. Chaffetz could choose to work on this as a probe to determine the amount of damage done by the mishandling of classified information at State – methods that had to be changed, opportunities lost, agents who had to be recalled, or even sources who might have dried up or vanished altogether. Making the damage clear will undercut any claims from Clinton and the White House of “no harm, no foul,” but more importantly will actually emphasize the need to properly protect national-security data pour encourager les autres.
Hillary Clinton struggled through three minutes of a foreign policy speech Monday in Iowa as a lengthy coughing fit took hold of her.
An audience of about 150 at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines had gathered to hear the Democratic presidential candidate’s views on Israel.
But ten minutes into her address, phlegm interrupted – leading to a lengthy hacking cough that left the former secretary of state hoarse and raspy.
Her next campaign event in Knoxville, Iowa was a placid affair as a soft-voiced Clinton seemed unwilling to test the boundaries of her limited vocal power.
‘We’ve got to get back to making people’s voices and votes count,’ she warbled during that speech to a crowd of 250, sounding older than her 68 years.
A few more coughs punctuated Clinton’s Knoxville speech as she discussed the need for mental health reform.
Clinton has one more afternoon event on her schedule, and then a televised town hall event at night.
Her coughing spell sent her hunting through her podium for water, and in her pockets for a cough drop.
The first hint of trouble turned up when Clinton was addressing the need to ‘distrust and verify’ Iran’s actions in response to last year’s nuclear deal with the Obama administration and ‘counter Iran across the region.’
‘And how we handle enforcement in these early months will set the tone for years to come, so we have to get it right,’ she said, clearing her throat and looking distressed.
‘There must be consequences – let me see if I get some water here – (COUGH) You do talk a lot in this campaign!’ she said, sipping water before descending into a full-blown cough attack.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Um, excuse me, just one second here. (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘A lozenge! (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) I have one. (COUGH)’
Three more coughs rang out as she unwrapped the cough drop – and finally asked Jewish Federation president David Adelman to take over from offstage.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) Here David, You talk,’ she said.
‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’
‘Well, we’re starting the all-in-one campaign,’ her audience heard from Adelman as she let out a ‘(COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH) (COUGH)’ and popped the lozenge in her mouth.
‘Pledge cards will be by the door,’ he continued as Clinton regained her composure but became progressively more and more hoarse.
‘There must be consequences to, (CLEARS THROAT) excuse me, snap sanctions back into place. (CLEARS THROAT) And we have to make sure that Iran knows that if they try (COUGH) to develop or acquire nuclear weapons, the United States will stop them. (COUGH) We will act decisively.’
‘Now (COUGH) (COUGH) Iran has not had some change of personality,’ Clinton continued. ‘They will test our resolve with actions. Like their ballistic missile test. And I supported and am glad we are opposing (COUGH) (COUGH) new sanctions in response, to hold the Iranian government and its Revolutionary Guard Corps accountable for their support of terrorism (CLEARS THROAT), their missile program, human rights violations (COUGH) (COUGH), detention of Americans, and other illicit behavior like cyber crime.’
‘We also need to push for a political solution in Syria, as hard as that may be, because (COUGH) (COUGH) that is Iran’s real objective: to control Syria, to have a swath of territory up to Israel’s doorstep (CLEARS THROAT) and to connect with Hizbollah.’
‘The second thing is,’ she added, sounding her hoarsest and most aged, ‘we have to go after the tide of extremism (COUGH). This is a threat also on Israel’s doorstep. An ISIS affiliate in the Sinai is becoming more aggressive and sophisticated (COUGH), likely responsible for the destruction of the Russian airliner. And Israeli media reported that an ISIS commander for the Sinai recently visited Gaza, raising the stakes even higher.’
As she spoke, Clinton’s campaign was distributing a fundraising email focused on the Feb. 1 statewide caucuses in Iowa.
‘One week from today, Iowans will head to schools and firehouses (and in at least one precinct, their neighbors’ living room) to make their voices heard,’ the email said, before asking for contributions.
‘We don’t yet know what they’ll say – but we saw in 2008 just how profound an impact those voices can have.’
Planned Parenthood is throwing its support behind Hillary Clinton, delivering what will be the organization’s first-ever endorsement in a presidential primary.
“Everything Planned Parenthood has believed in and fought for over the past 100 years is on the ballot,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, according to The New York Times.
Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination and a staunch supporter of abortion rights, thanked Planned Parenthood for its support.
“I’ll take on Republicans or anyone who tries to interfere with women’s health,” Clinton tweeted. “I am proud to have @PPact’s support in this important election.
“Yesterday was a preview of what would happen under a Republican president,” Clinton wrote, citing House legislation passed Wednesday that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.
“Every single GOP presidential candidate would defund Planned Parenthood,” the former secretary of State added.
Clinton will officially accept Planned Parenthood’s support during a campaign rally next Sunday in Manchester, N.H., The New York Times said. Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the nonprofit’s advocacy arm, is making the endorsement.
The action fund plans to spend $20 million on presidential and Senate races this cycle in critical battleground states such as New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the Times added.
The House passed an ObamaCare repeal package 240-181 Wednesday that includes language stripping federal funding from Planned Parenthood for one year. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill.
Conservatives rallied around defunding Planned Parenthood last summer after a series of undercover videos documented its involvement with fetal tissue research.
Hillary Clinton has just pledged to investigate the Area-51 military site for the existence of extraterrestrial life forms.
In a recent interview with New Hampshire newspaper, The Conway Daily Sun, Clinton was asked if she would investigate UFOs. She responded:
“Yes, I’m going to get to the bottom of it.” Adding that “we don’t know for sure” if intelligent life forms have visited Earth. “I think we may have been [visited already.] We don’t know for sure,” she said.
Apparently, Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, has also expressed great interest in the matter.
“He has made me personally pledge we are going to get the information out. One way or another. Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51.”
With the current precarious state of the Nation, it seems that instead of worrying about UFOs, maybe we need “to get to the bottom” of the immigration situation to see if we’ve been infiltrated by any possible terrorists.
Hillary Clinton’s attempts to gain black voters have always been hilarious, but this one takes the cake.
The Democratic presidential candidates desperation became evident this week when she changed her Twitter avi to a Kwanzaa themed version of her campaign Hillary “H” logo.
The Democratic front-runner received waves of backlash across social media almost immediately, especially from the black community, who openly mocked her for her desperation in snatching their votes.
Hilarity ensued when the hashtag #NewHillaryLogo was born. Though her campaign sensed the backlash and changed her photo back to her original photo, the damage was already done.
When will Hillary learn that she isn’t black? Or cool?
Federal staff under Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez reportedly knew but ignored that Hillary Clinton was using a private and unsecured email to transfer sensitive government information, according to documents released Friday.
The America Rising PAC acquired the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. They show agency officials knew that Hillary shouldn’t be using a private email long before the whole thing became a national scandal. She used the email to send sensitive government information. PAC Communications Director Jeff Bechdel argued Perez should be asked if he supported his staff ignoring the matter.
“Anyone who deals in governmental records knew immediately that Secretary Clinton’s private email was inappropriate and a brazen effort to duck Freedom of Information laws,” Bechdel said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “That includes Secretary Perez’s staff.”
American Rising conducts opposition research against Democrats. Critics have alleged Hillary may have used the private email in order to hide something. Hillary stored the emails on private server housed in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home. During an investigation into the matter, it was revealed she had deleted data from her private email server. Perez has already shown that he supports Hillary and her run for president. He endorsed her campaign Thursday.
“Perez should be asked if he agrees with Secretary Clinton or his own employees who identified Clinton’s unethical behavior immediately,” Bechdel added.
The information request asked for correspondence from Agency Records Officer Rachel Vera. The information revealed Vera knew immediately what Hillary did was inappropriate. She emailed with Office of Asset and Resource Management Director Tanisha Bynum Frazier on the topic.
“What in the heck was State thinking,” they reportedly said during the email conversation. “You may want to share with the group as to how NOT to handle things and how you can end up in nationwide news.”
The Labor Department did not respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.
The number of classified emails contained on Hillary Clinton’s private server, which she assured Americans never contained sensitive information sent or received, now totals nearly 1,000 according to Ed Henry on Tuesday.
“One of the most significant headlines, of course, is that out of this new batch of emails released by the State Department – the largest one yet, nearly 8,000 pages, there are 328 more emails that have now been deemed classified. That brings the total to 999,” Henry said. “Obviously, with more document dumps to come very likely that you’ll have more than 1,000 emails with classified emails in there even though Clinton, you’ll remember, said that there was no classified information on her private server.”
Henry reported on Monday the latest batch of emails only continues the “drip-drip” reminder for Clinton that the private email scandal has not gone away.
“The bigger picture, the broader point here is Hillary Clinton back in March said no classified information on this server and as we continue to see the drip-drip there are indications, of course, that there are dozens of those emails already come out that did have classified information,” Henry said.
Clinton assured the American people that there was no classified information sent or received on her private email server when she first addressed the issue with a press conference from the UN in March. She guaranteed that no sensitive information would be found on her server, and forcefully pushed back against accusations that her email set-up was a national security risk.
Since the finding of classified information on her server, the campaign has taken a new position: Clinton did not send or receive anything marked classified at the time. The revelation of more classified material highlights how much sensitive information passed through the network previously unknown by the State Department.
The ordeal has plagued Clinton’s candidacy and left her with her worst favorability rating ever because a majority of Americans do not believe she is honest or trustworthy.
Following the release of the largest batch of Clinton emails to date, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement saying,”With the number of emails containing classified information now numbering nearly one thousand, this latest court-ordered release underscores the degree to which Hillary Clinton jeopardized our national security and has tried to mislead the American people.”
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.
Gee, I wonder why she left that out?
Via Free Beacon:
The Clinton Foundation failed to report $20 million in donations from governments to the Internal Revenue Service, newly refiled tax returns show.
Reuters reported that the foundation disclosed the $20 million it received from governments, most of them foreign, between 2010 and 2013 when it and a spin-off organization refiled tax returns from six years to fix errors.
The Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation did not previously separate out its donations from governments on old tax returns as is mandated by the IRS.
The foundation refiled tax returns from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and a charity spun off from the foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, refiled its own returns from 2012 and 2013 after both were found to have made errors reporting funds from foreign governments. The revelations about inaccuracies came just as Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, endured scrutiny for the millions of dollars that her family foundation has received from foreign governments.