Tag Archives: emails

Oh, the irony is rich

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am trying to understand the irony of Donald Trump’s assertion that a Joe Biden victory will come only if the election in November is “rigged.” The ironic richness is beyond belief.

The Russian government interfered in our 2016 presidential election. Its aim was to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Russians intended to sow confusion and suspicion in our sacred electoral system.

Think of it! The guy the Russians wanted to win four years ago is now doing the Russians’ work for them! The president of the United States is asserting that Joe Biden can win only if the election is rigged.

Trump doesn’t provide a scintilla of proof of what he suggests would occur. Yet he is now mounting a prejudicial campaign against an electoral system he took an oath to protect and defend. Yes, think also of that … if you dare.

The presidential oath contains a clause that compels the nation’s head of state to protect the very system that puts him in office. The U.S. Constitution undergirds the entire process. Yet the president is now threatening some unspecified action to challenge the results of a free and fair election if it doesn’t produce the result he prefers.

I keep circling back to what happened in 2016. You heard him encourage the Russians to search for Hillary Clinton’s missing e-mails, right? The Russian government led by Vladimir Putin commenced its attack on our system that very day. At Trump’s invitation! Was the 2016 election rigged? Did it produce an electoral result that was, shall we say, illegitimate? 

So now we have arrived in the here and now. Donald Trump, having benefited in some fashion from foreign interference in the previous election, is threatening to undermine the results of the next presidential election. He bases his threat on allegations he cannot prove. He is sowing the same seeds of doubt that his Russian benefactors did four years ago.

The irony is rich. It’s also dangerous.

Hypocrisy is flourishing in the White House!

Let’s just call him the Hypocrite in Chief.

Donald J. Trump has been caught in yet another example of bald-faced, categorical and unqualified hypocrisy.

His daughter Ivanka has been caught using her personal e-mail account to transmit messages pertaining to government business. Was any of it classified? Was she able to send messages that compromised our national security? Oh, probably not.

But the point is this: Daddy Trump spent two whole years telling the world that in his view Hillary Clinton committed “several felonies” while using her personal e-mail while she was secretary of state. He led chants of “Lock her up!” at campaign rallies.

Now his older daughter is caught doing essentially the same thing. His response? Pfftt! Not parallel, he says.

Moreover, he called Clinton “stupid” for not knowing the rules. Was all of that lost on Ivanka, who now says she didn’t know the rules about e-mail use when she took her post as a senior adviser to her father?

Remember, too, how he criticized President Obama for playing too much golf? How he — Trump — wouldn’t have time to play golf, that he’ll be too busy “making America great again”?

He’s turned Obama into a weekend duffer. This president, the guy who ridiculed his predecessor unjustly, has lapped the field — and then some! — with his golf outings.

I do not begrudge the golf per se. I’ve said all along that presidents are never off the clock; they remain in constant contact with their key aides, advisers and national security team.

I do begrudge the golf only because of Trump’s hypocrisy on that matter — and on so many others.

Simply astonishing.

Earth to POTUS: You won!

Dear Mr. President …

There you go again, trying to re-litigate the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been blasted yet again by her fellow Democrats for supposedly “rigging” her party’s nomination fight. She’s been exposed by so-called “ally” Donna Brazile, a longtime Democratic Party operative and former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman.

It’s a party matter, Mr. President. You’re a Republican (supposedly). So, why are you tweeting your brains about calling on the Justice Department to investigate the woman you keep disparaging with that nasty nickname?

The most ridiculous assertion you make is this:  “Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems. New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary,”

Everybody is asking, Mr. President? I hate to break the news to you, but “everybody” isn’t asking. I’m not. My wife isn’t, either. I’m pretty sure that most of the 65 million Americans who voted for Hillary aren’t asking, either. It might be, too, that many of the 62 million who voted for you aren’t all that concerned, either.

But, hey, you won the election. You’ve got a pretty full plate of things to consider. Why don’t you just get past the 2016 election and get on with the business of governing the nation?

As long as we’re talking politics, Mr. President, this isn’t your fight. It should be settled by Democrats.

So, with all due respect, sir … butt out!

Trump makes zero sense in explaining Comey firing

I am confused, confounded, baffled and outraged … all at once.

That is what Donald John Trump has done to me with the latest live grenade he has just tossed into the political pile.

He fired FBI Director James Comey because he lacked the trust of his agents. The agency needs new leadership, said the president. Then he tossed out a morsel relating to the manner in which Comey handled the 2016 Hillary Clinton e-mail mess.

But, but … wait!

As a candidate for president, Trump spoke effusively about what a wonderful job the FBI boss did in sending that letter to Congress 11 days before the election, informing lawmakers that he had found some more e-mails that needed a closer look.

So, Comey’s a hero in one breath and a zero in the next.

And now the vice president says the Comey firing had nothing at all to do with the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump-Pence campaign colluded with Russian government officials who were seeking — allegedly — to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Are you confused? Or are you just angry?

Truth be told, my confusion and is abating a good bit and it’s being replaced with outrage over what the president has done.

I’m smelling something very foul in the air as it regards the president.

FBI managed to muck up a murky election

I continue to have great respect for FBI Director James Comey — even after reading a lengthy New York Times article providing excruciating detail about how might have changed the course of political history with a single letter to Congress.

Comey was holding on to information that I reckon he felt he had to make public while keeping secret other information related in some fashion to what he was about to disclose.

Did the nation’s top cop swing the 2016 presidential election all by himself by giving up the goods on Hillary Rodham Clinton while keeping quiet what he was looking at regarding Donald John Trump? I don’t believe that’s the case. But, damn! He made a tough call at the just the wrong time!

The article is long, but worth your time. It details the agony that Comey endured during the final months of a bitter presidential campaign.

Eleven days from Election Day, Comey decided he had to send a letter to Congress telling lawmakers that he had more information that might be pertinent to an investigation he had concluded regarding Clinton’s e-mail use during her time as secretary of state.

Do you remember how he held that press conference in July 2016 in which he criticized Hillary’s “careless” use of the personal server? And how he then said he had no grounds to prosecute her? That presser was, in itself, highly unusual.

When some more e-mails became available, he then seemed to believe he owed the public some sort of explanation of what he found.

But, man, the timing was terrible!

While all this is engulfing the campaign, we didn’t know that Comey’s agency was probing allegations that Trump’s campaign might be colluding with Russian computer hackers seeking to influence the election, trying to help the Republican nominee defeat Hillary.

He didn’t reveal any of that. Indeed, he only went public with that tidbit just a few weeks ago during a congressional hearing.

FBI policy had been to stay out of partisan political activity. It cannot be seen as a factor in deciding elections. I get it. So does everyone else.

As for whether Comey’s disclosure of the e-mail issue late in the campaign and whether it proved decisive … I’ll simply make this point: Hillary Clinton’s campaign never should have had to worry about an election outcome in the first place.

She and her team made enough mistakes without that disclosure to keep Trump’s campaign close enough to catch them.

Hillary Clinton is far more qualified to be president than the man who defeated  her. Her abject failure to communicate with voters as a living, breathing human being — to talk directly to them and to spell out a clear vision for how she intended to lead the country — doomed her effort to make history.

Imagine the surprise: Hillary’s foes will keep looking


Let me see a show of hands.

Who is surprised that congressional Republicans are going to keep looking for something — anything! — to hang around Hillary Rodham Clinton’s neck?

I didn’t think so. No one, yes?

U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said he’s going to pursue an investigation into whether Clinton committed perjury to Congress while testifying about her use of a personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state.


Let’s see how this goes. The FBI investigated Clinton thoroughly and determined she didn’t commit any crimes. Did the feds determine she lied under oath to Congress? Umm, no. Did they find any other criminality? Again, no.

That won’t prevent Chaffetz and other GOP lawmakers from continuing to search for someone with which to charge the defeated Democratic presidential nominee.

As The Hill reports: “‘A political election does not extinguish the need for transparency, truth and justice,’ he told Fox News this week.” The Hill adds that Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, also plans to stay on the hunt. Hmm. Imagine that.

I get that Chairman Chaffetz doesn’t want an election by itself to spell the end of a congressional probe. What I don’t get is why Chaffetz wants to keep scouring after the FBI has made its determination that “no reasonable prosecutor” would seek an indictment alleging criminality against Clinton.

If he had the goods on Clinton, surely he could have produced it long ago.

What’s more, Donald J. Trump, who’s about to become president, has said he no longer wants to pursue a probe of Clinton.

None of that, however, is likely to stop Chaffetz and other GOP zealots from continuing their incessant march into more dead ends.

Enough, already!

Petraeus gets a pass for mishandling classified info?


Wait just a minute!

Donald J. Trump said Hillary Clinton should be in jail over the way she used a personal e-mail server. Now he’s considering a retired Army general for secretary of state who actually pleaded guilty to mishandling information and lying about it to federal investigators?

David Petraeus is being considered for the State job.

He’s a dedicated and highly decorated retired military officer. He served his country with great distinction. However, he got caught doing something he shouldn’t have done and then admitted to doing it.

Does the president-elect look the other way as it regards the general while insisting that his former campaign opponent should have been locked up?


As Politico reports: “The very consideration of Petraeus for a senior position reveals that the Trump campaign’s rhetoric regarding Hillary Clinton was totally bogus,” said Steven Aftergood, a specialist on government classification at the Federation of American Scientists. “Candidate Trump was generating hysteria over Clinton’s handling or mishandling of classified information that he likely never believed or took seriously.”

What am I missing?

Trump gets ahead of himself over Clinton inquiry


Donald J. Trump perhaps thought he was being magnanimous in declaring he wouldn’t seek a special prosecutor to examine whether Hillary Rodham Clinton broke any laws while she served as secretary of state.

Except for one thing … or so I understand.

The president-elect has no actual authority to make such a ruling.

That process starts and stops with the Justice Department and the FBI. Moreover, I am pretty sure the feds have determined already that Clinton didn’t commit any crimes while she used a personal e-mail server.

The FBI actually has made that declaration twice.

FBI Director James Comey said in July that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Clinton. Eleven days before the election, Comey then said he was examining some newly discovered e-mails to see if they contained any new information. Nine days after that, Comey said his initial conclusion stood.

Of course, that didn’t stop the future president-elect from convicting Clinton of crimes she didn’t commit. He vowed to pick a special prosecutor.

Now he says he won’t.

That’s not his call to make.

‘You’d be in jail’ … except that Hillary won’t go there


Donald J. Trump spoke a lot of trash during his winning campaign for the presidency.

He turned to Hillary Rodham Clinton during a presidential debate and said “You’d be in jail” in response to a statement she made about his lack of understanding of the rule of law.

Then he talked about appointing a special prosecutor to look for proof that she was as “crooked” as he said she was.

Except that now he’s not going to anything of the sort.

That is a very good call from the president-elect.


Trump says now he wants to focus on the fixing the country. He doesn’t want any distractions, such as a futile special prosecutor’s probe into matters that already have been determined to be out of reach for any prosecutor.

The e-mail controversy? The alleged “pay for play”? Benghazi?

It’s all been settled. The FBI determined there was no criminality involved with the e-mail server Clinton used while she was secretary of state. Pay for play has been nothing more than a political talking point. A congressional select committee has been unable to prosecute Clinton for anything involving the Sept. 11, 2012 fire fight at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

I wonder now if Trump is going to offer any expressions of “regret” or — dare I say — an actual apology for defaming Clinton with the “crooked Hillary” label.

Actually, there’s no need to wonder. The president-elect has told us already he never regrets anything … ever.

Comey deserves some blame, however …


Hillary Rodham Clinton’s shocking loss to Donald J. Trump in the 2016 presidential election can be laid at the feet of many culprits.

Clinton has chosen to single out, though, the director of the FBI. James Comey’s letter to Congress just 11 days before Election Day informing lawmakers that he had more information to examine regarding those “damn e-mails” stole the Clinton campaign’s “momentum,” she said. By the time Comey said nine days later that the information wouldn’t result in any further action, the damage had been done, Clinton told campaign donors.

Let’s hold on a second.

I don’t doubt that Comey’s 11th-hour intervention had some effect on the campaign outcome. However, I believe a bit more introspection is required of the defeated candidate before we start writing the final history of what no doubt will be logged in as the strangest presidential campaign in U.S. history.

Hillary Clinton should have iced this campaign long before the Comey letter became known.

Think about a few factors here … and bear with me.

Clinton is eminently qualified to become president of the United States: former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state. Boom! Right there, she has a dossier that commends her for the top job. Trump is not qualified: reality TV celebrity, commercial real estate developer, thrice-married rich guy with zero public service commitment on his lengthy record in private business. The endless litany of insults and hideous proclamations that poured out of Trump’s mouth throughout the campaign are too numerous to mention. You know what he said. It didn’t matter to the Trumpkins who backed him to the hilt.

It is true that Clinton’s enemies made a huge story out of something that had been declared dead and buried — the e-mail controversy — which gave life to the corpse near the end of an insult-driven campaign.

Clinton’s qualifications, her knowledge of world affairs and her contacts around the globe made her an excellent — if not perfect — choice to lead the greatest nation on Earth. Many observers — me included — considered it possible that Clinton would roll up a historic election victory that could have eclipsed, say, the Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan landslides of 1964, 1972 and 1984, respectively.

If only, though, she could have demonstrated some innate quality of authenticity that could have fired up her base. She didn’t. Clinton was unable to light the fire that burned brightly when Barack Obama ran twice successfully for the presidency.

She was a flawed candidate who brought much more to the table than she was able — or perhaps willing — to reveal.

Comey did his part, for sure, to run the Clinton campaign over the cliff. The FBI boss wasn’t the sole reason. The candidate herself deserves much –indeed most — of the blame for what transpired on Election Day.