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Grenell: Public Misled ‘Too Long’, Vows to Declassify More Flynn Documents

Acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell has announced he’s working to declassify transcripts of phone calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Russian ambassador to the UN Sergey Kislyak.

Grenell revealed his plans in an exchange on Twitter with Democratic lawmaker Eric Swalwell, related to a request from House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff for transcripts of the calls between Flynn and Kislyak.

Schiff, also a Democrat, requested the transcripts as well as records related to 39 “unmasking” requests Obama administration officials made for intelligence reports mentioning Flynn, after the list was declassified and released 13th May.

“Those are coming. It’s very important for the public to see ALL of them. For too long the public has been misled. Just compare your committee’s transcripts to your public statements!” Grenell said.

​Grenell was referring to revelations in transcripts of Obama administration officials’ testimony to the House Intelligence Committee made 2017 – 2018, which were released 7th May – they showed officials made clear they’d not seen any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Nonetheless, at the same time Schiff, Swalwell and other Democrats repeatedly claimed the Trump campaign had indeed conspired with Russia, despite being aware there was no basis whatsoever for their allegations.

The calls between Flynn and Kislyak were made 29th December 2016 – the conversations were first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius 12th January 2017, via a classified leak. The story led to the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewing Flynn at the White House 12 days later – Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI during that interview, but later retracted his admission of guilt – the Justice Department filed a motion to drop the case 8th May this year.

​It’s long-been speculated the leak was the result of a so-called unmasking request made by Obama administration officials, but the list of individuals who submitted requests for intelligence reports regarding Flynn didn’t fit the timeline of his call with Kislyak. Moreover, it’s been revealed Flynn’s name was never masked in intelligence reports related to his calls with Kislyak, as the FBI was then conducting surveillance on Kislyak, and possessed a transcript of his call with Flynn.

Grenell didn’t make clear when the declassification process will be complete.

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News RT

Crumbling dams in Michigan unleash ‘500-year flood’, despite Trump’s & governor’s vows to ‘rebuild infrastructure’ — RT USA News

Devastating floods in Michigan have forced thousands to evacuate after the failure of two dams – one of them a known safety risk – raising questions about decaying infrastructure the president and governor have both vowed to fix.

With the 2014 Flint water crisis still in recent memory, Gretchen Whitmer was elected governor largely on promises to repair Michigan’s infrastructure, adopting Fix the Damn Roads as an edgy campaign slogan while insisting the state had to “get serious” about rebuilding its streets, highways, bridges – and dams. Following days of heavy rains, however, Tuesday night saw the sudden collapse of two mid-Michigan dams within hours of one another, releasing a torrent of floodwaters into Midland County and prompting Whitmer to declare a state of emergency as some 10,000 residents fled to higher ground.

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The Edenville dam – whose breach triggered a second failure at the Sanford dam downstream – was a known safety hazard, with federal regulators warning it posed a “grave danger to the public” for years. Despite finding in 2018 that the owner of both structures, Boyce Hydro, had “repeatedly failed to comply” with regulators’ requests to upgrade the Edenville dam, the needed repairs were never carried out, leaving its spillways woefully ill-equipped for a major downpour.

After the flooding was underway, Whitmer, who is eyeing a VP nomination as Joe Biden’s potential running mate, deemed the disaster a “500-year event,” telling a press conference on Wednesday that it would “have a major impact on this community and on our state for the time to come.” Though state officials were long aware of the poor condition of the Edenville dam, Whitmer has vowed to “hold people responsible” – apparently seeing no role for her administration in the mishap.

“Regarding the dams, the state of Michigan is reviewing every potential legal recourse that we have, because this incredible damage requires that we hold people responsible, and we are pursuing and are going to pursue every line of legal recourse that we can,” she said.

President Donald Trump said he was “closely monitoring” the situation, noting that the military and federal agencies had been mobilized to help, but added that Whitmer had to “set [them] free” before they could get to work.

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Much like Whitmer, Trump also took office on lofty promises to repair US infrastructure, scoring a narrow win in Michigan in 2016 after telling residents his administration would replace the state’s “crumbling roads, bridges and airports” with “the infrastructure our country needs and deserves.” But after repeatedly floating the idea of a $2 trillion national infrastructure bill, the concept has yet to materialize, largely confined to the president’s tweets.

The two politicians have tangled over the issue before, with Whitmer warning Trump that “Bullying people on Twitter doesn’t fix bridges; it burns them,” while arguing that the president and his party have stymied Democratic efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure. More recently, Trump came under fire after suggesting the White House could withhold federal funding from Michigan – potentially depriving it of money needed for infrastructure repair. Though the threat was made over Michigan’s stance on mail-in voting, which Trump deemed “subject to massive fraud,” he said on Wednesday that the funding freeze probably wouldn’t be necessary.

Even 6 years removed from the Flint debacle – in which thousands of residents were poisoned by contaminated municipal water – the problem still has yet to be fully resolved, with many locals still afraid to drink the city’s H2O amid ongoing complaints that it causes rashes and other alarming symptoms. With the catastrophic failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams, Michigan’s infrastructure troubles keep piling up, and neither Whitmer or Trump appear poised to make good on their promises to solve them anytime soon.

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News Popular Resistance

Iran Vows ‘Decisive Response’ To US Threats

Iran Vows ‘Decisive Response’ To US Threats

Iran Vows ‘Decisive Response’ To US Threats2020-05-19PopularResistance.Org

Above photo: Iranian oil tankers seen off the port of Bandar Abbas. AFP.

Iran Sends Fuel Tankers to Venezuela.

Crippling US sanctions have caused severe fuel shortages in the Caribbean nation.

Tehran has issued a formal warning to Washington over threats to five of its tankers currently en route to Venezuela.

On Sunday, Iran’s foreign minister summoned the Swiss ambassador representing US interests in Tehran, vowing that any hostile action would be met with a “quick and decisive response.”

The vessels, which set sail from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, are reportedly carrying at least US $45.5 million in gasoline and other products. One of the tankers, Clavel, is presently sailing through the western Mediterranean, according to data from tracking websites.

Last week, Reuters reported that US authorities are mulling actions against Iran over the latter’s fuel shipments to Venezuela.

The Trump administration has targeted Venezuela with crushing economic sanctions, including an oil embargo blocking fuel exports to the Caribbean country as well as a blanket ban on dealings with Venezuelan state entities.

In recent months, the US Treasury Department has imposed secondary sanctions on two affiliates of Russian energy giant Rosneft, which had been carrying up to 60 percent of Venezuela’s crude output in addition to supplying diesel and gasoline.

Following the departure of Rosneft, Tehran has stepped in to provide fuel as well as technical assistance in repairing Venezuela’s largest refinery, which has been offline since last year’s nationwide blackouts. The Trump administration has likewise threatened Iran over its technical air corridor to Venezuela, calling on other countries to suspend Iranian overflight rights.

Venezuela is currently suffering widespread gasoline shortages, with domestic production hamstrung by US sanctions prohibiting the import of vital diluents and spare parts needed to reactivate the country’s refining capacity.

The Iranian tankers prepare to cross the Atlantic as Washington escalates its naval presence in the Caribbean.

Last month, Trump mobilized US Navy destroyers and other assets to the Caribbean as part of an “anti-drug” operation targeting Venezuela, considered one of the largest US military deployments in the region since the 1989 invasion of Panama.

In response to US threats, Tehran also sent a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres denouncing “America’s movements in deploying its navy to the Caribbean in order to intervene and create disruption in [the] transfer of Iran’s fuel to Venezuela.”

Following its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA nuclear agreement, the Trump administration has reimposed devastating economic sanctions on Iran, which it has tightened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A growing chorus of multilateral bodies has called for lifting US coercive measures crippling the pandemic response in Venezuela, Iran, and other nations.

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News RT

Walt Harris vows to bounce back from defeat after emotional UFC Florida main event (VIDEO) — RT Sport News

Alistair Overeem became the second fighter on the UFC roster to claim victories in FOUR different decades when he stopped Walt Harris in the second round of an emotional UFC Florida headliner on Saturday night.

Veteran Dutch striker Overeem claimed the 46th win of a career which has now included victories in the 1990’s, 2000’s, 2010’s and 2020’s as he defeated Harris, who was fighting for the first time since the abduction and murder of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard last year.

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As such, the fight was tinged with a weighty emotion which was emphasized by the UFC using the narrative of Blanchard’s murder to paint the picture of the headline fight – and soon after the first bell sounded it seemed as though Harris was going to steamroll his way to an emotional win. 

Early in the fight, Harris – who was unbeaten in four fights going into the event – connected with a swarming series of shots on Overeem that sent the Dutchman flying.

Harris followed with a series of shots on the ground but Overeem, ducking and dodging on the ground, kept his composure and fought back to his feet – only to be hurt by more heavy shots from the American.

However, the tide turned in the second round. Overeem took advantage of an unbalanced Harris to end up in top position on the ground and pounded the defenseless Harris with a sequence of shots that prompted the referee to step in and stop the fight.

I’m sorry I didn’t get the W for you tonight,” an emotional Harris told his team during his post-fight interview.

You’ve been like my family through everything, and I’m so grateful. … Y’all at home watching, I’m sorry. I’ll be back better, I promise you. You haven’t seen the last of ‘The Big Ticket.’ I’m going to go home, recover. I’m going to heal emotionally and physically, and I promise you I’ll be better.”

UFC president Dana White echoed Harris’s sentiments, saying that it took a huge amount of courage to compete so soon after an horrific family tragedy.

Win, lose or draw, being here is a win for him,” White said.

He got through tonight and who knows what was going through that guy’s body, head, the whole deal.

“He’ll get better from this, in every way you can be better — from fighting to the other things that are going on with him.”

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Gateway Pundit News

Chicago Church Holds Sunday Service In Defiance Of Orders; Mayor Lightfoot Vows To Educate Into Compliance

Pastor Cristian Ionescu, of Elim Romanian Pentecostal.

A church the Albany Park area of Chicago is blatantly disobeying the lock down orders imposed by Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot, and opened its doors for not just one, but two services this past Sunday. Elim Romanian Pentecostal’s head Pastor Christian Ionescu vows to continue with services, as posted to the church’s facebook page:

Block Club Chicago reports:

A Romanian church on the North Side hosted two Sunday services, prompting Ald. Rossana Rodriguez (33rd) to plead with other religious leaders in the community not to defy the state’s stay at home order.

Elim Romanian Pentecostal at 4850 N. Bernard St. hosted a morning and evening service Sunday. Both were live streamed on Facebook. Cristian Ionescu, Elim Romanian’s pastor, said about 110 people attended each service.

The Albany Park church is among those suing Gov. JB Pritzker to challenge his stay at home order. Ionescu said he has no plans to back down and plans to keep holding services.

“I’m going to keep hosting mass unless I’m incarcerated, or the church doesn’t stand with me or God takes me,” Ionescu said after Sunday’s evening service.

Ionescu complained the state is at least a year away from things getting back to normal. Expecting only 10 or 50 people to be able to enter a church at a time is “ridiculous” for a congregation like his that has about 900 members.

“For us it is insulting, more than ridiculous,” Ionescu said in the video. “We’re conducting recordings for our own online services with more than 10 people being involved. Whether the government officials have no idea what a church public service really means, or they’re trying to tell us in a non-confrontational way that we’re still banned, I don’t know.”

Ionescu also said he is frustrated Pritzker didn’t include church leaders in the conversation regarding his plan to reopen the state.

“Unfortunately this administration dismissed us as non-essential from the beginning. Then under intense public pressure and impending lawsuits they gave us the recognition, but only symbolically,” Ionescu said. “It doesn’t help us in the least.” 

Ionescu’s church joined Logos Baptist Ministries in suburban Niles to file a temporary restraining order against the governor Friday, according to WGN.

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Chicago Sun Times adds that Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans on re-educating the churches into submission:

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she had a “very pleasant” conversation with the pastor of an Albany Park church that defied the statewide stay-at-home order and hopes to educate him into compliance, avoiding mass arrests.

“We’re not gonna send in the police to arrest parishioners. People are exercising their faith, and I understand that,” the mayor said.

“But it’s a mistake to gather in large congregate settings — particularly if you have an underlying medical condition [or] you are otherwise in a vulnerable population. That’s hopefully the dialogue that we’ll be able to have with the pastor.”

“Our plan has always been to educate people into compliance. If we can do that, we will do that. We don’t want to take more aggressive measures unless we’re forced to do that because people are defying it,” the mayor said.

“But we’re not gonna have a circumstance where people are blatantly ignoring the rules that have been put in place to help save peoples’ lives.”

The mayor said she had a “very pleasant conversation” with Cristian Ionescu, Elim Romanian’s senior pastor, on Monday and hopes to have a follow-up conversation soon.

Last week, Elim Romanian and Logos Baptist ministries in Niles asked for a temporary restraining order preventing them from facing criminal repercussions for hosting services while vowing to impose strict social distancing measures.

Speaking in his native Romanian, Cristian Ionescu, Elim Romanian’s senior pastor, told his flock the move to hold services is “not a rebellion for the sake of rebellion” and claimed the Constitution grants them the right to worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The vast majority of congregants didn’t wear masks during the service. But almost everyone put one on before leaving. And when the service was winding down, Ionescu sternly directed his followers to stay 6 feet apart and warned against congregating outside.

“Why is this important? We are being watched,” he said. “We are being recorded.”

“Educating people into compliance”…. Where have we heard that before?

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News Sputnik

German Economy Minister Vows to Prevent Lufthansa From Being Sold


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Earlier this month, Der Spiegel reported that Lufthansa is seeking a €10 billion bailout from the government in exchange for a hefty stake in the airline, amid the company’s complaints about losing as much as €1 million an hour due to the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdown.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has pledged that the government will add to keeping the country’s flagship air carrier Lufthansa afloat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Lufthansa, like other companies, is part of our economy’s family silverю That’s why we’ll prevent this […] from being sold out”, he told the German newspaper Bild on Thursday.

The Economy Minister also vowed that the government will “defend” itself “against foreign investors who think they can get bargain prices for famous and renowned German companies”.


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