Dems Salivating Over New Witchhunt Narrative; Trump Says Person Who Gave Whistleblower Info is ‘Spy’

  • The whistleblower at the heart of the latest controversy involving President Trump has accused the White House of taking “extraordinary steps to lock down information” about the July 25 call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
  • The whistleblower alleged in a complaint that White House officials moved “the transcript to a secret computer system,” and “accuses the administration of a wide-ranging cover-up.”
  • The whistleblower’s 9-page complaint was released Thursday and “provides many new details about the phone call in which Trump repeatedly spoke of how much the U.S. had aided Ukraine and encouraged new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to help investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son.”
  • The impeachment inquiry is centered on “accusations of efforts to pressure the leader of a foreign nation to dig for dirt on a potential 2020 Trump rival.”
  • The whistleblower’s complaint also “alleges a concerted White House effort to suppress the transcript of the call and describes a shadow campaign of diplomacy by the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani that worried some senior administration officials.”
  • The complaint reads: “In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all the records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced as is customary by the White House situation room.”
  • According to some experts, “the previously secret document, with its detail and clear narrative, is likely to accelerate the impeachment process and put more pressure on Trump to rebut its core contentions and on his fellow Republicans to defend him or not.”
  • The transcript also “provides a road map for Democrats to seek corroborating witnesses and evidence, which will complicate the president’s efforts to characterize the findings as those of a lone partisan out to undermine him.”
  • Trump said: “I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
  • Trump tweeted: “The Democrats are trying to destroy the Republican Party and all that it stands for. Stick together, play their game and fight hard Republicans. Our country is at stake.”

Reference Links

  • AP: Whistleblower accuses White House of Ukraine call cover-up READ
  • WTVR: Whistleblower says White House tried to cover up Trump’s abuse of power READ
  • CNBC: An alleged cover-up, a secret server and more bombshells in Trump whistleblower complaint READ
  • Channel 4 News: Whistleblower alleges White House coverup | Trump impeachment inquiry WATCH

Robert Sparks Executed in Texas for Stabbing to Death Wife, 2 Stepsons, Raping 2 Stepdaughters in 2007; 7th Inmate Put to Death in State This Year

  • Robert Sparks who was convicted of stabbing to death his wife and two stepsons and raping his two stepdaughters was put to death in Texas on Wednesday.
  • Sparks tried to claim an intellectual disability to prevent the execution, but the Supreme Court declined to stop the execution.
  • Sparks was convicted of killing his wife, Chare Agnew, in Dallas in September 2007 by stabbing her 18 times while she was in bed.
  • Sparks then turned on his stepsons, “9-year-old Harold Sublet and 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew.”
  • Sparks “went into the boys’ bedroom and separately took them into the kitchen, where he stabbed them. Raekwon was stabbed at least 45 times.”
  • Authorities say after he stabbed the boys, “Sparks then raped his 12- and 14-year-old stepdaughters.”
  • At his execution, Sparks said: “I am sorry for the hard times. And what hurts me is that I hurt y’all … even y’all, too,” he was speaking to “his relatives and friends who watched through a death chamber window.”
  • At one point, Sparks turned “to address family members of his victims who stood behind a separate window.”
  • Sparks said, “I love you all” and then said, “I feel it,” “as the lethal dose of pentobarbital began.”
  • Sparks “took two deep breaths almost immediately, snored three times and then all movement ceased. He was pronounced dead 23 minutes later, at 6:39 p.m. CDT.”
  • After the execution, one of Sparks’ surviving victims said: “The day when the situation was going on, he said that we wouldn’t make it. Twelve years later, we’re both standing here. … I want him to know we’re not suffering. We’re hurt emotionally but physically we’re fine.”
  • Sparks was the 7th inmate put to death in Texas this year and seven more are planned this year in “the nation’s busiest capital punishment state.”

Reference Links

  • AP: Texas inmate executed for stabbing deaths of 2 stepsons READ
  • The Texas Tribune: Texas executes Robert Sparks after brutal deaths of his stepsons, wife READ
  • CBS: Texas executes man for stabbing attack that killed two stepsons and wife READ
  • ScotusBlog: Justices refuse to block Texas’ execution of Robert Sparks READ

Pence Declares Trump ‘Completely Vindicated’ After Release of Ukraine Call Transcript; Said Dems Still Trying to ‘Overturn the Results of the 2016 Election’

  • After the release of the transcript of the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump is “completely vindicated.”
  • During an interview with Lou Dobbs, Pence said: “The president did nothing wrong. He had a conversation with a world leader [and] spoke about issues that were appropriate issues related to our strong relationship with Ukraine, and it was nothing more than that.”
  • Pence added: “From the day after the election, Democrats have been trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election, and it’s just not going to work.”
  • Pence also said: “Two-and-a-half years of reckless accusations — obstruction, collusion with the Russians, all of that panned out to be nothing. I think the American people have had enough.”
  • Pence’s remarks “come hours after the Trump administration released five pages of the highly-anticipated transcript of the president’s July 25 phone call.”
  • That call “has become subject to increased scrutiny in recent days over reports that Trump urged Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.”
  • The transcript of the call “shows Trump urging Zelensky to speak with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and urging the Ukrainian president to look into his unsubstantiated allegations against Biden.”
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Trump said “reporters should ask Pence to release details of his conversations with Ukraine, seemingly drawing his vice president into the scandal that has engulfed the administration.”
  • Trump said: “I think you should ask for Vice President Pence’s conversation, because he had a couple of conversations also. I could save you a lot of time. They were all perfect. Nothing was mentioned of any import other than congratulations.”

Reference Links

  • The Hill: Pence: Trump has been ‘completely vindicated’ with Ukraine call readout READ
  • YAHOO! Finance: Pence: The president’s been completely vindicated WATCH
  • Politico: Trump encourages questions to Pence about his own Ukraine calls READ
  • Daily Mail: Mike Pence takes aim at the mainstream media over its coverage of Ukraine whistleblower controversy saying Americans ‘should know the full account of the Bidens’ relationship with Kiev’ READ

Army Commanders Issue Warning to Service Members About Potential of Mass Shootings at Screenings of Violent ‘Joker’ Film

  • According to media reports, the Army is warning its service members about the potential threat of mass shootings at “screenings of the upcoming film ‘Joker.’”
  • According to a memo from Sept. 18, “the Army told soldiers to identify two escape routes and run, hide, fight in the event of a shooting.”
  • The memo also warned: “Run if you can. If you’re stuck, hide, and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.”
  • Reports say “the Army issued the memo in response to social media posts from so-called incels that were uncovered by the FBI.”
  • Incels are described as “part of a subculture who identify as involuntarily celibate, meaning they are unable to find romantic partners even though they desire one.”
  • The “Gizmodo” website said “Elliot Rodger, who killed six people near the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus in 2014 identified as an incel.”
  • The website also reported that “James Holmes, who opened fire in a crowded Aurora, Colo., movie theater during a screening of ‘The Dark Knight’ in 2012 has become a hero within the incel community.”
  • The Army memo stated that “incels idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the ‘Batman’ series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against bullies.”
  • The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division issued a separate email on Monday where “officials warned of credible intelligence from Texas law enforcement warning of disturbing and very specific chatter on the dark web targeting an unknown movie theater.”
  • A military website said: “Commanders need to be aware of this threat for soldier and family safety and to increase situational awareness should they choose to attend the release of this movie at a local theater.”

Reference Links

  • Army Times: ‘Disturbing’ online chatter alerts Fort Sill officials of potential shooting threat at ‘Joker’ movie READ
  • Fox: Army warns soldiers to be ready for potential violence by incels at ‘Joker’ screenings: reports READ
  • Gizmodo: U.S. Military Issues Warning to Troops About Incel Violence at Joker Screenings [Updated] READ
  • Stars and Stripes: Shooting threat at ‘Joker’ movie premiere spurs warning from Army Criminal Investigation Command READ

Fool of the Day: Joe Scarborough Fooled by ‘Daily Show’ Parody of Trump-Zelensky Conversation; Later Deleted Tweet

  • MSNBC host Joe Scarborough apparently was fooled by a transcript from “The Daily Show” that parodied the conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which triggered a whistleblower complaint and an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
  • The parodied transcript “claims that Trump improperly withheld military funds from Ukraine until it investigated then-Vice President Joe Biden’s dealings in the country.”
  • On Wednesday, “the White House released an unclassified transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Zelensky, during which the president made no explicit reference to withholding military aid.”
  • The tweet from “The Daily Show” clearly shows a “doctored version of that transcript, portraying Trump as having no idea what foreign leader he is talking to or what country he represents.”
  • Part of the tweet read: “And it’s very impressive, what you’ve done, with that country, and the people of that country. Where it is. The people and the buildings, in that country.”
  • However, “Scarborough, apparently missing the joke, retweeted “The Daily Show’s” parody tweet with a mind blown emoji.”
  • Twitter users were quick to mock Scarborough for his mistake. Matt Whitlock, a Senior Adviser to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tweeted: “Major media figures falling for parody transcripts that even have the Daily Show watermark aren’t helping things.”
  • Scarborough deleted the tweet later, but the screenshot had already been shared by “The Washington Free Beacon.”

Reference Links

  • Fox: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough falls for ‘Daily Show’ parody of Trump-Ukraine call transcript READ
  • Washington Free Beacon: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough Falls for Parody of Trump Call Transcript READ
  • Twitchy: EMBARRASSING: Joe Scarborough shares ‘Daily Show’ parody of the Zelensky transcript (We have a screenshot) READ

Trump Bars Venezuelan Officials from Visiting U.S.; Increases Aid to Country; Reinforces Support for Guaido

  • On Wednesday, President Trump “reinforced his support for Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaido” while “praising Latin American leaders who back him, boosting aid funding and barring members of President Nicolas Maduro’s government from entering the United States.”
  • Meeting with world leaders on the “sidelines of the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders, Trump told Latin American presidents who recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful president that they were part of a historic coalition.”
  • For almost a year “they have been trying to oust Maduro, who has overseen a dramatic economic collapse and is accused of corruption, human rights violations and rigging the 2018 presidential election.”
  • An anonymous U.S. State Department official said the “meeting was part of the administration’s efforts to keep Venezuela high on the international agenda.” The official pushed “back on perceptions that the U.S. commitment to Venezuela was waning.”
  • However, “it was not clear what further options Washington had left. The opposition delegation came to the U.N. General Assembly in search of a breakthrough in its eight-month power struggle with Maduro.”
  • But, the delegation “is more focused on getting the European Union to sanction Maduro officials with assets stashed in European countries.”
  • The State Department announced “it would provide $36 million in humanitarian aid in Venezuela to go toward an underfunded U.N. program aiming at raising $223 million to serve 2.6 million people”
  • The United States’ “previous aid efforts within Venezuela have been marked by concerns Maduro would interfere with distribution.”
  • Trump said: “We’re giving millions and millions of dollars in aid, not that we want to, from the Maduro standpoint, but we have to. People are dying, they have no food, they (have) no water, they have no nothing.”
  • The Trump administration “is also providing Guaido with $52 million to fund his parallel government’s operations – much of which was diverted from money previously destined for Central American countries, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Trump bans Venezuelan officials from U.S., boosts aid in support of opposition READ
  • Bloomberg: Trump Bans Entry of Senior Venezuelan Officials, Their Families READ

U.S., Japan Strike Limited Deal to Cut Tariffs on U.S. Farm Goods, Japanese Machine Tools; Autos Not Included for Now

  • President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “signed a limited trade deal on Wednesday that cuts tariffs on U.S. farm goods, Japanese machine tools and other products while further staving off the threat of higher U.S. car duties.”
  • Further, “Trump said the first-phase deal would open up Japanese markets to some $7 billion worth of U.S. products annually, cutting Japanese tariffs on American beef, pork wheat and cheese.”
  • The deal doesn’t include autos, but “Abe said he had received reassurance from Trump that the United States would not impose previously threatened Section 232 national security tariffs on Japanese car imports.”
  • Abe said: “Between President Trump and I, myself, this has been firmly confirmed that no further, additional tariffs will imposed. And with the entry into force of our trade agreements, I believe both of our economies will be able to further grow and develop.”
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said after the two leaders signed the deal “on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly that the two countries would tackle cars in a later round of negotiations expected to start next April.”
  • Automobiles “are the biggest source of the $67 billion U.S. trade deal, and Trump has frequently complained that U.S. automakers do not enjoy equal access to Japan’s market.”
  • Lighthizer said it was not the intention of the U.S. “to impose additional car tariffs, which would be based on the results of a Commerce Department study that has found auto imports to threaten national security.”
  • Additionally, “Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who had negotiated the pact with Lighthizer, said that as long as the agreement was faithfully implemented, the tariffs would not be applied.”
  • A statement from the Japanese government “also said further talks would seek to eliminate the existing 2.5% U.S. tariff on Japanese cars and would not result in the imposition of U.S. import quotas on Japanese autos.”
  • The deal could prove to “provide some limited relief for U.S. farmers, who have been battered by China’s retaliatory tariffs against U.S. soybeans, pork and other products in the 15-month-long trade war between Washington and Beijing.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: U.S., Japan sign limited trade deal, leaving autos for future talks READ
  • NPR: U.S. Farmers Get A Much-Needed Break Under Partial Trade Pact With Japan READ
  • The Hill: Trump, Japan strike deal to slash tariffs on US farm goods, boost digital trade READ
  • Politico: U.S., Japan reach a limited deal on agriculture, digital trade READ

Netanyahu Given Formal Opportunity by President to Form Government Within 4 Weeks; Netanyahu Reaches Out to Gantz

  • Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has formally given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “four weeks to form the government, after a meeting at the President’s Residence with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz failed to bring about a breakthrough. The deadline will be October 24.”
  • This will be Netanyahu’s sixth time to form a government “after succeeding in his five terms in office but not having the opportunity to do so following the April election.”
  • Rivlin said: “Netanyahu had the best chance to form a government” and added that “he gave the mandate to Netanyahu, because he received 55 recommendations from MKs, compared to Gantz’s 54.”
  • Rivlin “called upon parties to stop disqualifying each other and lamented that a unity government was not formed.”
  • In Rivlin’s speech, the president “revealed that he had offered the possibility of passing a law enabling a prime minister to suspend himself while under indictment and have a vice prime minister take over until the prime minister is cleared.”
  • Rivlin said that “such a bill could have enabled Gantz to run the country following a potential Netanyahu indictment. But Gantz rejected the idea.”
  • According to the latest tallies, “Netanyahu already has a bloc of 55 MKs from his Likud Party and his allies in Yamina, Shas and United Torah Judaism. He would need Yisrael Beytenu, Labor-Gesher or Blue and White to join in order to form a government. All have repeatedly refused to do so.”
  • Netanyahu accepted the mandate and said: “My inability to form a government is slightly less than that of Gantz.”
  • Netanyahu asked “Gantz to form a government led by him, citing security, diplomatic and economic reasons and raising the prospects of both war with Iran and a peace process with the Palestinians led by US President Donald Trump.”
  • According to a “Channel 12 poll broadcast Wednesday night,” it “found that the public prefers Netanyahu go first in a rotation with Gantz.”
  • However, “to avoid another election, a majority of respondents would like to see Likud replace Netanyahu with another candidate.”

Reference Links

  • NPR: Netanyahu Tasked With Forming Next Government As Possible Corruption Charges Loom READ
  • NBC: Israel’s president taps Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form next government READ
  • Haaretz: Israel Election Results: President Rivlin Tasks Netanyahu With Forming Government as Unity Talks With Gantz Fail READ

Face-Off: Defiant, Unapologetic Boris Johnson Refuses to Apologize, Resign Before Angry Parliament a Day after UK Court Said Parliament Suspension Unlawful

  • Defiant and unapologetic as ever, Prime Minister Boris Johnson dismissed shouts of “Resign!” as he faced a yelling, angry Parliament on Wednesday, “a day after Britain’s highest court ruled he acted illegally in suspending the body ahead of the Brexit deadline.”
  • Johnson continued to defend “his intention to withdraw Britain from the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without a separation agreement with the EU, amid shouts, angry gestures and repeated cries of “Order!” in the House of Commons.”
  • Johnson declared: “I say it is time to get Brexit done.” At the same time, he accused “his opponents of trying to frustrate the will of the people, who in 2016 voted 52% to 48% to leave the 28-nation bloc.”
  • After returning home from the U.N. General Assembly, “Johnson was greeted with applause from his own Conservative lawmakers and jeers from the opposition side as he arrived in the Commons.”
  • Johnson returned to the U.K. early “after Britain’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday that his attempt to suspend Parliament for five weeks had the effect of stymieing its scrutiny of the government over Brexit. The court declared the suspension void.”
  • Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, “said the prime minister is not fit to govern and should have done the honorable thing and resigned after the ruling.”
  • Corbyn added that “Johnson thinks he is above the law and has shown no shred of remorse or humility.”
  • One lawmaker said: “Have you no shame, prime minister?” Another “urged Johnson to act with some humility and contrition.”
  • Lawmakers have “accused him of showing disrespect for the rule of law and deceiving Queen Elizabeth II when he asked for her permission to prorogue, or suspend, Parliament.”
  • Lawmakers repeatedly asked Johnson to apologize, but he “ignored calls to step down or apologize, showing no sign of contrition during the more than three-hour question-and-answer session.”
  • Johnson “said he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s 11-0 ruling, and he repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility of suspending Parliament again.”
  • Johnson also “said a new election is the only way to unblock Britain’s paralyzed Parliament.”
  • “I think the people of this country have had enough of it. This Parliament must either stand aside and let this government get Brexit done or bring a vote of confidence and finally face the day of reckoning with the voters,” Johnson said.
  • However, “a no-confidence vote could bring down his government just two months after he took office and lead to a new election.”

Reference Links

  • AP: An unrepentant Boris Johnson faces raucous Parliament READ
  • The Guardian: Fury as Boris Johnson says best way to honour Jo Cox is to deliver Brexit – as it happened READ
  • The Independent: Flippant, weary and woeful, Boris Johnson and his government blustered before a justly angry parliament READ
  • Daily Express: Boris dares Remainer MPs to topple him in ‘day of reckoning’ – ‘It’s put up or shut up’ READ

International Panel of Scientists Issue Fear-Mongering, Apocalyptic Climate Change Report to Scare the Masses

  • The United Nation’s climate panel published a dire report on the state of the planet that said that “sea levels are rising at an ever-faster rate as ice and snow shrink, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen.”
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the report to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.
  • The report warned that “if steps aren’t taken to reduce emissions and slow global warming, seas will rise 3 feet by the end of the century, with many fewer fish, less snow and ice, stronger and wetter hurricanes and other, nastier weather systems.”
  • Michael Oppenheimer, one of the report’s lead authors, said: “The oceans and the icy parts of the world are in big trouble, and that means we’re all in big trouble, too. The changes are accelerating.”
  • The report noted the “dire effects will be felt on both land and sea, harming people, plants, animals, food, societies, infrastructure and the global economy.”
  • The scientists went so far as to project “for the first time that some island nations will probably become uninhabitable.”
  • The report also said that “the oceans absorb more than 90% of the excess heat from carbon pollution in the air, as well as much of the carbon dioxide itself. Earth’s snow and ice, called the cryosphere, are also being eroded.”
  • Four takeaways from the report include:
  • “Arctic June snow cover has shrunk more than half since 1967, down nearly 1 million square miles (2.5 million square kilometers).”
  • “The world’s oceans have already lost 1% to 3% of the oxygen in their upper levels since 1970 and will lose more as warming continues.”
  • “Seas are now rising at one-seventh of an inch (3.66 millimeters) a year, which is 2.5 times faster than the rate from 1900 to 1990.”
  • “From 2006 to 2015, the ice melting from Greenland, Antarctica and the world’s mountain glaciers has accelerated. They are now losing 720 billion tons (653 billion metric tons) of ice a year.”
  • Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a report lead author, said: “Climate change is already irreversible. Due to the heat uptake in the ocean, we can’t go back.”

Reference Links

  • AP: ‘We’re all in big trouble’: Climate panel sees a dire future READ
  • USA TODAY: World’s oceans and mountains are in big trouble from climate change, UN report says READ
  • The Weather Channel: UN Panel Warns of ‘Sweeping and Severe’ Consequences of Climate Change READ
  • The Hill: UN climate report warns of warming oceans, sea level rise READ