Category Archives: FBI

FBI: ‘spy’ toys record kids’ conversation and reveal their location

The FBI has issued an urgent notice concerning “smart” toys that are packed full of sensors, cameras and microphones to record children’s words, as well as GPS locators to track their whereabouts which pedophiles can exploit.

Smart toys are toys that are connected to the Internet either:

  • Directly, through Wi-Fi to an Internet-connected wireless access point; or
  • Indirectly, via Bluetooth to an Android or iOS device that is connected to the Internet.

On July 17, 2017, the FBI issued this alert to consumers:

“The FBI encourages consumers to consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes or trusted environments. Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviors based on user interactions. These toys typically contain sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities – including speech recognition and GPS options. These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.

The features and functions of different toys vary widely. In some cases, toys with microphones could record and collect conversations within earshot of the device. Information such as the child’s name, school, likes and dislikes, and activities may be disclosed through normal conversation with the toy or in the surrounding environment. The collection of a child’s personal information combined with a toy’s ability to connect to the Internet or other devices raises concerns for privacy and physical safety. Personal information (e.g., name, date of birth, pictures, address) is typically provided when creating user accounts. In addition, companies collect large amounts of additional data, such as voice messages, conversation recordings, past and real-time physical locations, Internet use history, and Internet addresses/IPs. The exposure of such information could create opportunities for child identity fraud. Additionally, the potential misuse of sensitive data such as GPS location information, visual identifiers from pictures or videos, and known interests to garner trust from a child could present exploitation risks. “

The FBI has the following advice for parents:

  • Only connect and use toys in environments with trusted and secured Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Research the toy’s Internet and device connection security measures
    • Use authentication when pairing the device with Bluetooth (via PIN code or password)
    • Use encryption when transmitting data from the toy to the Wi-Fi access point and to the server or cloud
  • Research if your toys can receive firmware and/or software updates and security patches
    • If they can, ensure your toys are running on the most updated versions and any available patches are implemented
  • Research where user data is stored – with the company, third party services, or both – and whether any publicly available reporting exists on their reputation and posture for cyber security
  • Carefully read disclosures and privacy policies (from company and any third parties) and consider the following:
    • If the company is victimized by a cyber-attack and your data may have been exposed, will the company notify you?
    • If vulnerabilities to the toy are discovered, will the company notify you?
    • Where is your data being stored?
    • Who has access to your data?
    • If changes are made to the disclosure and privacy policies, will the company notify you?
    • Is the company contact information openly available in case you have questions or concerns?
  • Closely monitor children’s activity with the toys (such as conversations and voice recordings) through the toy’s partner parent application, if such features are available
  • Ensure the toy is turned off, particularly those with microphones and cameras, when not in use
  • Use strong and unique login passwords when creating user accounts (e.g., lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters)
  • Provide only what is minimally required when inputting information for user accounts (e.g., some services offer additional features if birthdays or information on a child’s preferences are provided)

If you suspect your child’s toy may have been compromised, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center, at www.IC3.gov.

It’s not just children’s toys that spy on you.

Jasper Hamill reports for The Sun that last year, a sex toy firm released a “spy-brator” that has a built-in camera for women to film themselves using the vibrator. Tech security experts later claimed it’s possible to hack into the sex toy and peer through the camera fitted inside its tip.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Report claims Bernie’s wife attempted to evict disabled group home residents

Jane and Bernie Sanders

Jane and Bernie Sanders, faux socialists

Well, this is an interesting development in the “political witch hunt” against him and his wife. Apparently there was no room in one of the Sanders’ three homes to help out the disabled residents…

From Fox News: Sen. Bernie Sanders’s wife has been accused of heartlessly trying to boot disabled group home residents when she was president of a Vermont college and closed on a real estate deal now under FBI scrutiny.

The home with 16 residents was on property Jane O’Meara Sanders purchased for Burlington College in 2010 as part of an expansion project, the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch claimed Thursday.

Reports this week say Sanders is under FBI investigation in connection with her role in securing financing for the project which didn’t pan out and led to the college’s closure.

Sanders and Sen. Sanders have reportedly hired defense attorneys in connection with the probe. Sen. Sanders called the accusations against his wife “pretty pathetic” and politically motivated.

Judicial Watch says Mrs. Sanders sent a letter to an attorney representing the HowardCenter group home in January 2011, saying she was having trouble evicting the 16 residents.

“It is simply not fair to expect the College to continue to carry the burden of the expenses associated with housing both you population and ours until February 2012,” she said in the letter Judicial Watch obtained under a public records request.

“The home for the disabled was being leased from the diocese and Jane was supposed to help relocate the residents, not evict them,” Judicial Watch reported. The group contended the comments showed Mrs. Sanders’ heartlessness.

The office of Sen. Sanders, I-Vt., did not return a request for comment.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Vermont initiated eviction proceedings against HowardCenter after selling the 32-acre property to Burlington College, Vermont’s alternative weekly Seven Days reported in March, 2011. The eviction notice gave HowardCenter until November 2010 to leave.

But the diocese extended the notice after HowardCenter said it needed more time to find another home, the paper reported.

Mrs. Sanders was chagrined to be caught up in what amounted to an eviction of mentally disabled tenants, according to the paper.

“We are not trying to be the bad guys here,” she was quoted as saying.  “We have always said that we’d be helpful and we’d try to help them as they found a new home — and we have. At first, we agreed to delay for one semester, and even that was pushing it for us. Six months beyond that is not realistic.”

Sanders  told the weekly that Burlington and the diocese had made financial sacrifices to allow HowardCenter to stay past the eviction date.

“We thought a year’s time was appropriate, and it’s worrisome that they haven’t found a place yet, but there is really no choice any longer,” she was quoted as saying.

DCG

Pizzagate: The Podesta ‘pizza’ emails

Did you know that four days ago on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, John Podesta testified before Congress in a closed-door hearing?

Here’s a tweet from Alt-Media journalist Jack Posobiec of Rebel Media:

John Podesta is a longtime Democratic Party operative who was White House chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s administration, White House counselor in the Obama administration and, most recently, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

He is also the namesake of a collection of very curious emails published by WikiLeaks just days before the 2016 presidential election. The emails contain cryptic references to “pizza” and other food items (“hotdogs”; “pasta”; “tempting” “cheeses”; “yummy” “sauces”), believed by many in the Alternative Media to be code words that pedophiles use to communicate with each other about their criminal activities. One of the parties in those emails is James Alefantis, a former boyfriend of powerful Democratic Party operative and Clinton loyalist David Brock. Though only a pizzeria owner (of Comet Ping Pong  near Capitol Hill), Alefantis was named by GQ magazine as the 49th most powerful person in Washington, DC.

It is the Podesta “pizza” emails that gave rise to the term “Pizzagate”.

Certainly, the late Andrew Breitbart had thought Podesta to be a pedophile. A year before his sudden death from a heart attack, though he was only 43 years old, Breitbart in a tweet called Podesta a “cover-upperer” for a “world class” child sex slave operation.

That there are pedophiles in Washington, D.C. is not farfetched given the Franklin child sex ring scandal of 1988-1991 which involved GOP élites in Washington, D.C., and prominent citizens and Boys Town of Nebraska. The scandal was documented in two books:

MSM and even Alt-Media journalists like Wayne Madsen and Alex Jones dismiss Pizzagate as a “conspiracy theory” by tinfoil hat-wearing loonies (see “Failure of American Journalism: Pizzagate and the muzzling of Ben Swann” and “Alex Jones apologizes for Pizzagate ‘fake news’ on eve of March on D.C.”). They would have us instead believe that powerful and very busy D. C. élites like Podesta and 49th-most-powerful Alefantis spend their time incessantly chatting about pizzas in emails.

I have NEVER talked about pizza (or any food) in my emails. Have you?

It is to those Podesta pizza emails that we now turn.

Podesta “Pizza” Emails

Out of WikiLeaks‘ 2,060 Podesta emails, there are 149 references to “pizza”, 73 “hot dog”, 85 “cheese”, 78 “pasta”, 41 “sauce”, 84 “ice cream” and 47 “walnut” — all in very bizarre contexts that have nothing to do with food.

Below is a sample of the Podesta “pizza” emails. See if you can make any sense of them without resorting to code-words.

Here are the senders and recipients of the above “pizza” emails in alphabetical order, and, where relevant, what they wrote in the “pizza” emails:

(1) James Alefantis <jamesacorp@gmail.com>, the 49th post powerful person in Washington DC. On Oct. 4, 2008, he wrote to John Podesta presumably about a fundraiser at Comet:

“Great show! Great speech. Raised over 40 grand. My only regret is I did not make you a nice pizza. When can I?”

On March 19, 2016, at 5:30 PM, Alefantis sent a joke logo for a “Hillary party” (fundraiser?) to John Podesta’s brother, Tony (#13 below) and Nora Cox-Peled (#3 below) with this email message:

“My graphics guy sent this. No not forward 🙂 “

Note what the arrow in Hillary’s logo is doing to the pizza:

(2) Catherine Chieco <crchieco@gmail.com>, a D.C. writer/consultant who donated $1,000 in 2004 to the John Kerry presidential campaign. On Oct. 20, 2015, at 6:22 pm, she wrote to James Alefantis and others re. “Friday night at posto for Tony [Podesta]’s birthday”:

“Will you join us? Small gathering a few days before the pizza extravaganza. Time PDA but probably 7:30 ish. RSVP please!”

(3) Nora Cox-Peled <npeled@podestagroup.com>, Special Assistant to the Chairman (John Podesta), Podesta Group, August 2015 to August 2016.

(4) Tom Cunningham <Tom.Cunningham@uatp.com>, Vice President of Business Development at Universal Air Travel Plan Inc. (UATP), Washington, D.C.; former legislative assistant to a U.S. Representative.

(5) Leslie Dach <leslie.dach@outlook.com>, businessman; as Senior Counselor at DHS of Obama administration, he worked on promoting Obamacare; aide in Clinton administration; former Executive VP at Wal-Mart (Wikipedia).

(6) Paula Dailey <paulapix@starpower.net>, artist/writer/editor at Artz Road Studios, Washington DC (LinkedIn).

(7) Brian Dailey <brian.d.dailey@artzrs.com>, 65-year-old husband of Paula Daily; a D.C. “artist noted for his careers in both art and international relations,” whose life experiences “include national level involvement in arms control, space policy, intelligence systems, and international security” in the Pentagon, Senate Armed Service Committee, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and White House National Space Council. (Wikipedia)

(8) Mary Dickie <maryadickie@gmail.com>, nutritionist/dietician in Washington, DC. (Source)

(9) Peter Kadzik <peterkadzik@gmail.com>, Assistant Attorney General of the Obama administration; close friend of John Podesta who dined together the day after Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony before the House. (Gateway Pundit)

(10) Alan Kriegel <ajkriegel@gmail.com>:

  • I found a Twitter account of an Ari Kriegel @ajkriegel, but it’s set to private.
  • I found an Elan Kriegel, who was Director of Analytics for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. (Politico)
  • FOTM reader Maryaha found an Alan J. Kriegel, who was or is an attorney at Skadden Law in DC. He attended Georgetown University Law Center, and is listed as a First Year Student 1974/75. His wife is Hinda S. Kriegel. The addresses linked to him are all in the same area as Comet Ping Pong. Here is another email between Alan and John Podesta from Wikileaks: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/4232

(11) John Podesta <john.podesta@gmail.com>, chairman of 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. On Sept. 4, 2014, at 2:28 am, he responded to an email from Susan Sandler (see #14 below) re. “Did you leave a handkerchief“:

“It’s mine, but not worth worrying about.”

On March 3, 2016, at 6:40 pm, he wrote in response to an email from his brother, Tony, one of the most powerful Democrat lobbyists in Washington, D.C.:

“I’m going to pass. I have too much to do before heading to Michigan tomorrow. No need for pizza.”

(12) Mary Podesta <podesta.mary@gmail.com>, wife of John Podesta.

(13) Tony Podesta <podesta@podesta.com>, John’s brother. On March 3, 2016, he wrote to John Podesta:

“29 at between park and Madison right around corner. Let me know. Or I could bring a pizza home.”

On Jan. 6, 2014, at 10:12 pm, he wrote:

Mary not free. Would love to get a pizza for an hour? Or come over”

(14) Herbert Sandler <hms@sandlerfoundation.org>, billionaire father of Susan Sandler (#15 below); Herbert and wife Marion, as CEOs of Golden West Financial Corporation and World Savings Bank, were notorious players in the 2008 financial crisis. On Dec. 24, 2015, Herbert Sandler wrote to John & Mary Podesta:

“Mary and John, I think you should give notice when changing strategies which have long been in place. I immediately realize something was different by the shape of the box and I contemplated who would be sending me something in the square shaped box. Lo and behold, instead of pasta and wonderful sauces, it was a lovely, tempting assortment of cheeses, Yummy. I am awaiting the return of my children and grandchildren from their holiday travels so that we can demolish them. Thank you so much. I hope you and your gang are well. I miss you both. Best wishes fro a merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Herb. Ps. Do you think I’ll do better playing dominos on cheese than on pasta?”

(15) Susan Sandler <ses@sandlerfoundation.org>, daughter of Herbert Sandler; member of Democracy Alliance, a powerful money group that funds Black Lives Matter (see “The white elites who fund Black Lives Matter“). On Sept. 2, 2014, at 2:54 pm, she wrote to John Podesta:

“Hi John, The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related.) Is it yorus [sic]? They can send it if you want. I know you’re busy, so feel free not to respond if it’s not yours or you don’t want it.”

(16) Eryn Sepp <eryn.sepp@gmail.com>, assistant to John Podesta at the Center for American Progress (CAP).

(17) Todd Stern <SternTD@state.gov>, appointed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change (2009-April 1, 2016). On Sept. 3, 2015, at 5:17 PM, he wrote to John Podesta:

“The next three months are going to be rougher internally than in Beijing. Between 7th and 1600, no fun. Hope you’re doing ok. I’m dreaming about your hotdog stand in Hawaii…”

(18) Kathryn Tate <kathy@ktate.com>, . On Sept. 2, 2014, at 10:04 AM, she wrote this email to Susan Sandler, cc Herbert Sandler, re. “You left something at the Field house”:

“Susan & Herb, I just came from checking the Field house and I have a square cloth handkerchief (white w/ black) that was left on the kitchen island. Happy to send it via the mail if you let me know where I should send it. I also meant to inquire yesterday about the pillows you purchased. I can send them as well, if you let me know where they are in the house.”

(19) Amy Weiss <Amy@weisspublicaffairs.com>, longtime Democratic Party operative; White House Deputy Assistant to the President/Deputy Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton; Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee. (Source)

(20) Rhett Workman <rhett.workman@aa.com>, Managing Director of Government & Airport Affairs for American Airlines.

Law enforcement authorities and online Urban Dictionary-like resources have identified the words in the Podesta emails, such as “pizza”, “hotdogs”, “cheese”, “sauce”, “pasta”, “handkerchief” and “map”, as code words for child sex trafficking. Writing in code words provide pedophiles a cover story in the event their communications, such as the Podesta emails, are discovered.

Below are the code words, according to The Daily Sheeple and others on Alt-Media, and examples from the Podesta emails. The words between brackets are the translations of the pedophile code words:

  • “cheese” = little girl
    • Herbert Sandler to John Podesta: “Lo and behold, instead of pasta [little boys] and wonderful sauces, it was a lovely, tempting assortment of cheeses [little girls]”
  • “hotdog” = boy
    • Todd Stern to John Podesta: “I’m dreaming about your hotdog [boy] stand in Hawaii…”
  • “ice cream” = male prostitute
  • “map” = semen
    • Susan Sandler to John Podesta: “The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map [semen] that seems pizza [girl]-related). Is it yours?”
  • “pasta” = little boy
    • Herbert Sandler: “Do you think I’ll do better playing dominos on cheese [little girls] than on pasta [little boys]?”
  • “pizza” = girl
    • Tony to John Podesta: “Or I could bring a pizza [girl] home” “Would love to get a pizza [girl] for an hour?”
    • John to Tony Podesta: “I’m going to pass. I have too much to do before heading to Michigan tomorrow. No need for pizza [girl].”
    • James Alefantis to John Podesta: “My only regret is I did not make you a nice pizza [girl]. When can I?”
  • “sauce” = orgy
  • “walnut” or nuts = person of color

Urban Dictionary confirms the meanings of some of the terms:

  • cheese pizza: child pornography
  • pizza: code word for pussy
  • pizza: a girl’s vagina or pussy
  • pizza: code name for rough sex, bondage
  • pizza: code name for sex
  • hotdog: hotdogging is when “one man puts his penis in between the buttcheeks of the other and wiggles it it around, not penetrating, thus creating a hot dog”.
  • hotdog: a semi-hard penis
  • hotdog: butt sex
  • map: Australian slang for the female pubic region

Once you plug in the codes, the cryptic Podesta emails that otherwise make no sense, become comprehensible.

As Kim Holleman, an MIT Media Lab  visiting scholar and research affiliate (2013–2017), wrote in an article for Medium, June 5, 2017:

“What is interesting to me, is that we are all adults here. We all know code language when we use it. We all know code language when we see it. If I want to convey something covert to a colleague or friend, I use code…. This is the nature of code. It hides something. Once the code is ‘revealed’, you can never again occupy the same awareness you did before the information was ‘uncoded’….

All someone has to do is ask him [John Podesta] directly about the email codes, or the instagram photos, or the obsession with dark art, art about child abuse and art about cannibalism, art about beheading and autopsies-or ask him why he speaks fondly of his friend, Dennis Hastert, a convicted child rapist.”

Was Podesta asked about the “pizza” emails in his closed-door hearing before Congress on Tuesday?

I doubt it.

See also:

~Eowyn

On cue: Susan Rice suggests race, gender bias linked to ‘unmasking’ backlash

Of course.

From Fox News: Susan Rice, the Obama national security adviser under fire over her alleged involvement in the “unmasking” of Trump associates during the 2016 presidential election, suggested in a fresh interview that race and gender might be playing a role in the scrutiny she’s faced.

In an interview with journalist Michael Tomasky for New York Magazine, Rice reportedly questioned the criticism she’s faced dating back to the Benghazi controversy. “Why me? Why not Jay Carney, for example, who was then our press secretary, who stood up more?” she asked.

Tomasky noted in the piece that Carney “isn’t an African-American woman, of course” and apparently asked Rice whether that is the key factor. Rice, in response, left the door open:

“I don’t know… I do not leap to the simple explanation that it’s only about race and gender. I’m trying to keep my theories to myself until I’m ready to come out with them. It’s not because I don’t have any.” 

But Rice mentioned other prominent female figures – like Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice – who faced “ad hominem” attacks, suggesting a correlation.

Asked about the comments, a Republican Capitol Hill source pushed back. “This is screaming out for attention… She’s saying I don’t know why they all started picking on me to begin with.”

As to the suggestion of race and gender being a factor, the source countered, then “why would there be a subpoena for a white male?”

That was a reference to the fact that Rice is not the only focus of the congressional probe into unmasking. Investigators have issued subpoenas to three different agencies: NSA, CIA and FBI.

Those subpoenas have asked for unmasking information related to three individuals: former CIA Director John Brennan, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and Rice.

She’s not the only focus of congressional frustration, either. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had a tense exchange with a top intelligence community lawyer at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday where he complained he still doesn’t have an answer on whether his communications have been monitored.

“Am I ever gonna get [the response] in my lifetime?” he asked.

Rice told Judy Woodruff on PBS on March 22 that she “knew nothing” about the unmasking of Trump associates. But weeks later on MSNBC, she admitted she sometimes sought out the identities of Trump associates who communicated with foreigners, a request known as “unmasking” in the intelligence community. But “I leaked nothing to nobody,” Rice told MSNBC.

Rice initially became a target of Republican criticism back in 2012 for giving misleading information about the origin of the Benghazi terror attack. On Sept. 16, 2012, just days after the attack, Rice appeared on all five Sunday political talk shows to claim the Benghazi attack spun out of a protest over an anti-Muslim video produced in California.

Former CIA Director David Petraeus reportedly told lawmakers later that the intelligence community considered the attack an act of terrorism at the time. Four Americans were killed in Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

DCG

CNN producer admits Trump-Russia story is ‘bullshit’ fake news

Despite the fact that the FBI is not and has never investigated Donald Trump, last night in a unanimous resolution, the Oakland City Council joined other California cities in calling on Congress to investigate and impeach President Trump.

Grandstanding for the TV camera, Councilmember Dan Kalb, a co-sponsor of the resolution, specifically highlighted among the impeachable offenses Trump’s “releasing confidential information to Russia”.

Earth to low-info Dan Kalb:

“The Trump-Russia story is fake news, which a CNN producer admitted on camera is ‘bullshit’.”

On June 26, 2017, a day before Dan Kalb’s grandstanding, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released an undercover video of CNN Supervising Producer John Bonifield admitting on hidden camera that there is no proof to CNN’s Russia narrative.

Calling the Russia narrative “mostly bullshit” and that “we don’t have any giant proof,” Bonifield admits “I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.” He continues:

“I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

Bonifield also states that the instructions to “bullshit” the Russia-Trump fake news came straight from the top — CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker:

“Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia.

Bonifeld also admits the driving factor at CNN is ratings and business is booming because “Trump is good for business right now,” and that talk of journalistic ethics is just “adorable” propaganda fluff:

“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss… All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

In fact, at last week’s Cannes Lions festival in France, lying Jeff Zucker crowed that viewers trust CNN “more than ever”.

Project Veritas’ founder James O’Keefe, 32, points out what should be obvious, but evidently is not to liberal so-called journalists:

“To report not on facts, but instead on narratives that yield high ratings, is exactly the definition of fake news. We said we are going after the media, and there is a lot more to come.”

If you have even just a dollar to spare, please consider donating to Project Veritas, a very worthwhile cause. Go here.

See also:

H/t FOTM‘s MCA and Will Shanley

~Eowyn

Why not? Stephen Colbert Says He’s Considering 2020 Run for President

stephen colbert

Run on that Trump Derangement Syndrome platform Colbert!

Stephen’s got a potty mouth just like other demorat supporters/leaders. And we know how well that’s worked for them

From Hollywood Reporter: Stephen Colbert may have just announced a desire to run for president while appearing on a Russian late-night show Friday during his highly publicized trip to Russia.

The Late Show host, who is in Russia on assignment for his show, appeared on Evening Urgant, a popular Russian late-night program hosted by Ivan Urgant, on Friday.

In a clip posted on the show’s website, Colbert, after taking a few shots of vodka, asks Urgant if he can make an announcement. “OK. I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020, and I thought it would be better to cut out the middle man and just tell the Russians myself,” Colbert said as the crowd applauded. The American host added: “If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know.”

Taking one last shot of vodka, Colbert toasted, “A strong America, a strong Russia!”

Urgant also made a toast, saying, “I’d like to make a toast to the beautiful country of the USA, which invented the Internet. Thanks to it, we can meddle with US elections.” He went on to support Colbert’s potential presidential run: “To you, Stephen! Good luck! We’ll do everything possible to make sure you get elected.”

Colbert took a brief hiatus from The Late Show on Thursday and Friday to travel to Russia, but will return with a new episode on Monday night.

He tweeted a photo of himself in Russia Thursday in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet stating he did not in fact have any tapes on former FBI director James Comey, despite previously suggesting otherwise.

This is not the first time the late-night host has announced a run for president. In October 2007, Colbert announced his candidacy following public pressure. While many at the time thought his comments were made in jest, he insisted his candidacy was serious — though that was in line with his “Stephen Colbert” alter ego on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report.

He paid the $2,500 fee necessary to be included on the Democratic ballot in South Carolina, but his request was denied. Colbert ultimately dropped his bid on Nov. 5, 2007.

DCG

Senate opens probe into Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch’s interference in FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton

In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017, former FBI Director James B. Comey said Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch had tried to shape the way Comey described the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, to “align with” and “mirror” the way Hillary’s campaign was describing the investigation.

Stephen Dinan reports for The Washington Times, June 23, 2017, that Comey told the committee:

“At one point, [Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”

Despite his discomfort, Comey said he agreed to the language prescribed by Lynch. Comey also hinted at Lynch’s other behaviors “which I cannot talk about yet” which led to his concerns about Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions. That was one reason why Comey, last year, bucked Justice Department tradition in making public the FBI’s findings on Hillary.

Now, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into exactly Loretta Lynch’s interference in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) announced yesterday.

The probe is a bi-partisan undertaking.

Sen. Grassley said in his press release:

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.

In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”  Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t ‘go too far.’

(Note: The Open Society Foundations, formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by George Soros.)

Comey was reportedly concerned that the communication would raise doubts about the investigation’s independence and began discussing plans to announce the end of the Clinton email investigation rather than simply referring it to the Department for a prosecutorial decision. Comey’s extraordinary action to announce the end of the investigation was a break from Justice Department protocol, and was later cited as justification for his removal from the FBI.

In their letters to Benardo, Open Society Foundations’ General Counsel Gail Scovell, Renteria and former Attorney General Lynch, the Senators seek details about the reported communication, copies of any related documents and whether the FBI contacted them to investigate the alleged communication.

The reports come amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the FBI and Justice Department and is obliged to oversee any potential misconduct or inappropriate political influence at these agencies.

Full text of the letters can be found at the following links:

~Eowyn