FBI Planted Source Inside Trump Campaign.

Robert Massimi.

It now appears that the FBI planted a person in the Trump campaign to dig up dirt on then a running candidate. This seems like Ab Scam all over again, where FBI employees tried to entrap congressman, then arrest them for taking bribes. The sleazy tactics of our government is coming to light in a big way. Trump, an outsider had an up hill battle to win this election and many swamp rats did all they could to stop him. It wasn’t bad enough he had to fight the Democrats, but people in his own party like Lyndsey Graham and “Singing” John Mc Cain. Top that off with tenured swamp rats like the FBI/DOJ, IRS and it was a big up hill fight for Trump. Fortunately for Trump, he was able to get the American public to see things his way, a person who wants to rid these idiots in Washington once and for all.

For Chuck Schummer and Nancy Pelosi to be on Capital Hill talking about them liking the swamp and that Trump should come forward about Russia is a joke. These two are career criminals in Washington, do nothing, get rich in office typical swamp rats. These two are the type of people Trump is trying to get rid of. Term limits must be installed to get rid of these useless people. We must also start looking at the people hired at the FBI/DOJ and the other criminal enterprises in our government. This has gone on long enough. The FBI just got caught with a plant inside the Trump campaign, what is law enforcement going to do about it? It is becoming so obvious how deep the deep state is, how societies like the Council on Foreign Relations is willing to go to keep control of the world, how desperate they are becoming to get a person, an outsider like Trump out of office. These people are one world order globalist. Comey, a member of OPUS DEI, a secret religious society had his marching orders, as did many Senators and Congress people and so did these government agencies mentioned above.

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PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/ba261754-f0d4-11e7-95e3-eff284e71c8dBy Seung Min Kim, Matt Zapotosky, Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig | Washington Post

WASHINGTON – White House Chief of Staff John Kelly plans to convene a meeting between top law enforcement and intelligence officials and GOP congressional leaders to “review highly classified and other information” the lawmakers have requested about the FBI’s use of a confidential source to aid an investigation of the Trump campaign, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.

President Donald Trump met for about an hour Monday with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats. The meeting came a day after the Justice Department asked its inspector general to investigate Trump’s claim that his campaign may have been infiltrated by the FBI source for political purposes, and amid continued demands from GOP lawmakers that the department produce materials on the person.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that, at the meeting, it was “agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with congressional leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”

The significance of that was not immediately clear. Justice Department leaders have fought vigorously against revealing to Congress materials on the source. It was not clear whether they had backed down from their position and would now allow GOP leaders to look at the documents, or whether there would simply be a follow-up meeting for more discussion.

A Justice Department spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Trump personally called for the Monday meeting, two people familiar with the request said, and Sanders said it was put on the books last week. The president was expected to question the officials on their refusal to turn over documents to Congress about the early stages of the investigation into whether his campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election, the people familiar with the request said.

He was also expected to inquire about the Justice Department’s announcement Sunday that it had asked its inspector general to investigate his claim of campaign infiltration, one person familiar with the matter said. Sanders noted that the department had “asked the inspector general to expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump campaign.”

A day earlier, Trump said on Twitter that he would order the Justice Department to “look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

The stakes are high. While the Justice Department has already tasked its inspector general with reviewing Trump’s concern over the source, it was unclear whether that would satisfy him. Some in federal law enforcement also feared that the president might intervene in the dispute between the Justice Department and GOP lawmakers over documents about the source in a way that could cause significant backlash.

Justice Department officials were previously unwilling to hand over materials about the source, citing the safety of the source and others, as well as damage to relations with partner intelligence services.

Trump could order the department to comply with congressional demands, but it is possible that department officials might resign in protest or refuse the order and force Trump to fire them.

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, said in an interview Sunday that Trump wanted the materials handed over to Congress, though he conceded that the Justice Department “may want to put some strictures on it, like it has to be confidential or they don’t give the name but they give the information.”

“I have a hard time believing they won’t go along,” Giuliani said. “They have to eventually reveal something about this. This is a serious issue.”

Many details about the source remain murky, and it is not precisely clear what GOP lawmakers are requesting or why their requests are of such concern to the Justice Department. The source, a longtime U.S. intelligence asset, is a retired American professor who made contact with three of Trump’s advisers during the campaign.

In the summer of 2016, he met with Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis for coffee in northern Virginia, offering to provide foreign policy expertise to the Trump team. In September of that year, he reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper. He also had multiple contacts with foreign policy adviser Carter Page for talks about foreign policy.

The Washington Post is not naming the professor because it generally does not do so in cases of confidential intelligence assets.

In response to Trump’s tweet, the Justice Department announced the inspector general investigation. Rosenstein said Sunday that “if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action.”

The inspector general’s investigation is significant in its own right: The president effectively requested, and apparently received, an investigation of the investigation into his campaign.

“In my opinion, it is a terrible outcome for the department,” said former Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller, who served in the Obama administration. “The president has basically requested an investigation of the investigators with no evidence of wrongdoing, and they’ve agreed to do it.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor: “The president’s behavior is the kind of grossly autocratic behavior we’d expect in a banana republic, not a mature democracy. By now, we should all recognize that President Trump’s latest demand is just another example of a relentless campaign to distract from the serious wrongdoing being uncovered by the Russia probe.”

Still, the request for an investigation did not immediately mollify GOP lawmakers.

On Monday, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a Trump ally who has been a vocal critic of Rosenstein and the Justice Department, said on Twitter before the meeting: “Rod Rosenstein knows exactly what happened and what is in the documents requested by Congress. Either the matter warranted investigation long ago and he did nothing, or he’s seen the facts and believes nothing is wrong. His belated referral to the IG is not news . . . it is a ruse.”

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The Lefties at Graduation Ceremonies.

Robert Massimi.

 Hilary Clinton and Al Gore gave addresses yesterday at different colleges, Clinton at Yale, Gore at Maryland. There messages were different but in essence the same. Clinton says she scared for democracy, Gore, that we need to change the way things are. Gore should have said he wants the same old malaise that has bogged down Washington for years, the same lousy trade deals, foolish regulations and by partisan hacks that get nothing accomplished. Clinton went on about Russia again and Trump. She had the gaul  to say she is scared for democracy. This lady is used to having it her way, pay to play and she is the one who is scared? It would have been scary if she won, government shake downs, more regulations, the sniffling of the first amendment, except when you agree with her. The left will not give Trump any credit, not a single accolade, and don’t expect much from the Washington establishment either. The scare tactics have not changed much since I graduated in the early 80’s, the same left wing things that were said at my graduation occur today.
    For Clinton and Gore to be standing at a graduation ceremony is a joke, these two are sandbaggers. Gore with his Nobel prize where he faked the data and Clinton for being a failure completely in Washington. These two go on about what is wrong in America today but they were more of a problem then a solution. He horrible health care bill, his holding up the Nation because he did not want to admit he lost to Bush. These are two cry babies that do not know, or want to admit, when the lose. Gore and Clinton are two has beens, or maybe never were’s.  They go around the country spewing lies, her about Russia, him about global warming, both trying to scare the public. Clinton will not let the election go, her book “What Happened”, has tanked across the country and the world. Clinton is no longer relevant and neither is her foundation. Al Gore was never relevant to begin with.
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54° New Haven

Hillary Clinton tells Yale seniors they need resiliency to meet democratic ‘crisis’

Published 8:26 pm, Sunday, May 20, 2018

NEW HAVEN — The Yale University class of 2018 has prepared itself to meet the challenges facing American democracy, and it will need that resilience to take on those who would divide the country, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told graduating seniors Sunday.

Clinton, a member of the Yale Law School class of 1973, never mentioned the man who defeated her in the 2016 presidential race. But she made it clear that there are those who use tactics that are “a core feature of authoritarianism.”

“Right now we’re living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy,” she said during her Class Day speech. “No, there are not tanks in the streets, but what’s happening right now goes to the heart of who we are as a nation, and I say this not as a Democrat who lost an election but as an American afraid of losing a country.

“There are certain things that are so essential they should transcend politics. Waging a war on the rule of law and a free press, de-legitimizing elections, perpetrating shameless corruption and rejecting the idea that our leaders should be public servants undermines our national unity. And attacking truth and reason, evidence and facts should alarm us all.”

Hillary Clinton on the need for resiliency and a look at her election loss
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Hillary Clinton talks to Yale seniors about the need for resiliency in facing challenges and reflects on her election loss in 2016. Video by Ed Stannard—Hearst Connecticut Media

Media: CTGlobal

Clinton, who also gave the Class Day address in 2001 when she was U.S. senator from New York, spoke in Woolsey Hall. The festivities were moved from Old Campus because of a forecast of rain, but sunshine streamed through the windows.

She has made numerous visits to Yale since her days at the Law School, where she met her husband, President Bill Clinton. She also noted her friendships with Yale Law School faculty Jake Sullivan and Harold Koh and said, “I have a very dedicated campaign intern here graduating, David Shimer, the class of 2018.”

The first woman to be nominated for president by a major party, Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump in the Electoral College, 304-227, although she won almost 2.87 million more popular votes than the president, according to the Federal Election Commission, with a total of 65.85 million.

Clinton at first made light of her electoral loss. “I am thrilled for all of you, even the three of you who live in Michigan and didn’t request your absentee ballots in time,” she said. She also poked fun at the investigation of Russian meddling in the election. It is Class Day tradition for the seniors to wear silly, imaginative headgear and Clinton held up a Russian fur cap, saying, “I brought a hat too — a Russian hat. Look, I mean, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”

But she turned serious when she said that the 1,360 seniors were “graduating at one of the most tumultuous times in the history of our country — and I say that as a graduate of the ’60s.”

Reciting the contrasts in the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” Clinton said he “could have been describing the ricocheting highs and lows of this moment in America. We’re living through a time when fundamental rights, civic virtue, freedom of the press, even facts and reason are under assault like never before. But we are also witnessing an era of new moral conviction, civic engagement and a sense of devotion to our democracy and country.”

And the members of the class of 2018 “have already demonstrated the character and courage that will help you navigate this tumultuous moment and, most of all, you’ve demonstrated resilience,” which she referred to in three ways: personal, community and democratic resilience.

Hillary Clinton talks about the influence of women at Yale
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Hillary Clinton talks to Yale University seniors about being inspired by Marion Wright Edelman and the influence of women at Yale. Video by Ed Stannard—Hearst Connecticut Media

Media: CTGlobal

As for her own resilience after losing the election, Clinton said, “Let me get this out of the way. No, I’m not over it. I still think about the 2016 election, I still regret the mistakes I made. I still think though that understanding what happened in such a weird and wild election in American history will help us defend our democracy in the future. Whether you’re right, left, center, Republican, Democrat, independent, vegetarian, whatever. We all have a stake in that. So today as a person I’m OK but as an American I’m concerned.”

She called “community resilience” “something that this class has embodied during your time on campus, literally at times, like in the March of Resilience your sophomore year. It was the biggest demonstration in the history of the school — that’s 300-plus years. Led by women of color, supported by students and faculty determined to make Yale a more just, equitable and safe place for everyone. Many of you have said that march was a defining moment in your college experience, and that says something about this class and your values.”

That march and rally on Cross Campus ignited by emails deemed to be racially insensitive by the head and associate head of Silliman College, numbered 1,000, with students demanding a more inclusive campus.

One of the planners of the march was Ivetty Estepan, who was awarded the Nakanishi Prize Sunday, given to two seniors “who, while maintaining high academic achievement, have provided exemplary leadership to enhancing race or ethnic relations at Yale College. The other winner was Haylee Makana Kushi, a native Hawaiian who was president of the Association of Native Americans at Yale and revived a tradition, the Yale Powwow, after a 10-year lapse.

Clinton said bringing people together will be important “because the truth is, our country is more polarized than ever. We have sorted ourselves into opposing camps, and that divides how we see the world.” In addition to politics, “the divides on race and religion are starker than ever before,” she said.

“Now I’m not going to get political here, but this isn’t simply a both-sides problem,” Clinton continued. “The radicalization of American politics hasn’t been symmetrical. There are leaders in our country who blatantly incite people with hateful rhetoric, who fear change, who see the world in zero-sum terms, so that if others are gaining, well, they must be losing. That’s a recipe for polarization and conflict.”

She said that it will take “radical empathy” to “reach across divides of race, class and politics. To try to see the world through the eyes of people very different from ourselves. … To try to recapture a sense of community and common humanity.”

She said the graduates had experienced a classmate’s father being deported, black students feeling discriminated against and hearing about continued school shootings.

She said the country needs “democratic resilience” that “starts with standing up for truth, facts and reason, not just in the classroom and on campus but every day in our lives. It means speaking out about the vital role of higher education in our society to create opportunity and equality. It means calling out actual fake news when we see it, and supporting great journalists and their reporting, maybe even by subscribing to a newspaper.”

And most of all, she said, it means voting in every election.

Hillary Clinton talks about choosing Yale Law School over Harvard
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Hillary Clinton talks about a visit to Harvard University that sealed her decision to attend Yale Law School in 1969. Video by Ed Stannard—Hearst Connecticut M

Media: CTGlobal

Clinton said that when Barack Obama was elected the first black president in 2008, “It was such a hopeful moment. And yet in some ways this moment feels even more hopeful because this is a battle-hardened hope, tempered by loss and clear-eyed about mistakes. We are standing up to policies that hurt people. We are standing up for all people being treated with dignity. We are doing the work to translate those feelings into action.”

She mentioned the response of Parkland, Florida, high school students after 17 were shot down, more women running for office and winning and the increased rejection of sexual harassment and misconduct.

“At this moment in our history, our country depends on every citizen believing in the power of their actions, even when that power is invisible and their efforts feel like an uphill battle,” she said.

Turning again to Yale, she mentioned how two residential colleges are now named after women, including one “celebrating one of Yale’s own hidden figures, at Grace Hopper College,” honoring a naval officer and early computer programmer.

“Those changes didn’t happen on their own,” Clinton said. “You made them possible. You kept fighting. You kept the faith. And because of that, in the end, you changed Yale as much as Yale changed you. And now it’s time for you to make your mark on the world.”

Outside of Woolsey Hall afterward, Clinton posed with seniors for selfies and signed autographs. Students were pleased by her message.

“I thought it was fascinating,” said Beckett Lee of Sacramento, California, who pointed out that Clinton quoted Republicans, U.S. Sen. John McCain and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “It’s not an indicator that she’s maintaining one party line” but she attempted “to try and bring everybody together … as an American who was concerned for the country.”

Christopher Williams-Lopez of Atlanta said, “It was very inspiring. I think a lot of what she said she related to students here today. … She passed the torch to the class of 2018 to go out and change the world.”

Katherine Oh of New York City said that, rather than appearing as “an untouchable figure,” “in the end she was able to speak to us as a fellow human being. Being able to relate to such a prominent figure made you less scared about the future and she was just really inspiring.”

On Monday, the seniors will join Yale’s graduate and professional schools’ students on Old Campus for commencement, when honorary degrees also will be awarded. Traditionally there is no commencement speaker, although an exception was made in 2001, the last time Clinton spoke at Class Day, when then-President George W. Bush spoke because he was given an honorary degree. Bush graduated from Yale in 1968.

The Yale Daily News reported Sunday the university inadvertently released a list of 10 honorees, including  actress Angela Bassett.

edward.stannard@hearstmediact.com; 203-680-9382.

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With No Real Evidence, Mueller May Start Creating His Own.

Robert Massimi.

If his past is anything like his present, Robert Mueller may very well make up evidence to try to jump start his failed investigation. Mueller in the past, as FBI director went to all lengths to get indictments against people regardless if they were guilty or not. Known as a unethical person, Mueller will surely stop at nothing to get Trump somehow. Let’s face it, Mueller is establishment; Trump is an outsider. People like Rod Rosenstein, many Democrats as well as Republicans cannot stand the idea of an outsider in the oval office. Look how far “singing ” John Mc Cain went to get anybody but Trump elected. Not always playing with a full deck, Mc Cain leaked information on Trump while he was running for president. As an outsider, Trump is smart enough not to be on any side. Like Charles Krautheimer said recently, ” Trump is not a Republican nor a Democrat, he is a pragmatic”. As long as the economy stays strong, Trump will have a lot of public support. A North Korea negotiation will bode very well for the president, but in the end, it is always the economy.

Mueller has the support in Washington to go after Trump, but what can really squash this the public’s anger over this witch hunt that has lasted over a year. The public can turn on Washington and will if they continue to see the dirty tricks that they use to get evidence, coherse witnesses and use there typical extortion tactics. The FBI looks bad, real bad. With the outing of Comey, Mc Cabe and many others, the public is  starting to see them for who they are, a bunch of thugs who are used to getting there own way. Roger Stone thinks he may get indicted, but for what? Circumstance is not a crime, his association to Trump makes it a crime? Guilt by association? It is absurd what Mueller is doing, that he gets paid for this. He was very weak as FBI director, he looks even weaker now. It is high time this old relic packs up and goes home.

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Roger Stone ‘prepared’ for Mueller indictment

Roger Stone ‘prepared’ for Mueller indictment

The longtime Trump ally said Mueller may try to ‘conjure up’ charges against him.

by Kailani Koenig /  / Updated 

Image: Political consultant Roger Stone

Political consultant Roger Stone speaks onstage during The New Yorker Festival 2016, ‘President Trump: Life As We May Know It,’ on Oct. 8 in New York City.Anna Webber / Getty Images

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WASHINGTON — Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and ally of President Donald Trump, said Sunday he is “prepared” to be indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation if that’s where the probe leads.

“I am prepared should that be the case,” Stone said on “Meet The Press” after being asked if he was ready for a possible indictment. “But I think it just demonstrates, again, this was supposed to be about Russian collusion, and it appears to be an effort to silence or punish the president’s supporters and his advocates.”

Stone reiterated that he felt Mueller’s team has found “no evidence whatsoever of Russian collusion,” so he speculated that they may work to connect him to other crimes instead.

“It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election,” Stone said. “I would chalk this up to an effort to silence me.”

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Mueller’s team has not yet drawn any public conclusions or filed any charges related to whether there was coordination between associates of the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to try to interfere with the 2016 election.

Stone also added that neither he nor his lawyer have been contacted yet by the special counsel’s office, and he’s unsure whether they consider him “an interesting person or a person of interest.”

Associates of Stone’s have been subpoenaed by Mueller’s team, however. Stone said Sunday that eight of his either current or former associates have been “terrorized” by the investigation.

Stone on Sunday continued to deny any involvement with Russia or Wikileaks, the site that released Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails throughout the 2016 campaign — topics that the president also hammered on in a series of tweets Sunday morning.

Stone said he “had no advance notice of the content, source, or the exact disclosure time of the Wikileaks disclosures,” similar to language that he has used before, and he said that his tweets like the one predicting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will deliver “a devastating expose of Hillary” were based on public statements from Assange that were accessible to anyone.

Following Stone’s interview, Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, alleged that Stone has not been forthcoming.

“Roger Stone is known for a lot of things, candor isn’t really one of them,” Schiff said during an interview on “Meet The Press.” “Either his testimony before our committee was untrue, our his public statements are untrue. Both cannot be fact because they’re inconsistent with each other. We were never allowed to find out which was the case in our committee.”

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee closed its investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 election in April, but the Senate Intelligence Committee and Special Counsel Robert Mueller still continue to move forward with their investigations.

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Has Nancy Pelosi Lost Her Mind? Now She’s Defending MS 13?

Robert Massimi.

Today Nancy Pelosi came out on TV and defended MS 13 saying that we all have our inner demons.  Is she for real? How can you defend what this gang does? They do beyond horrific things to people, most of the crime is within there own community. Chris Cuomo, another genius was on his morning show criticizing the president for his remarks as well. How can these people defend a gang? Furthermore, how can most of the Democrats in Congress defend MS 13 as well? Do they just automatically go the other direction of the president for sheer partisan politics? How can anyone defend a gang, particularly the most violent gang in the world. The Governor of California also came out today  to denounce the presidents remarks saying that MS 13 should not be called animals.

I do not understand how any people can defend a violent gang, yet the media was all over it today. The same media that was taking a victory lap yesterday when the news broke that North Korea may be pulling out of the talks between the U.S. and North Korea. The media does not realize that Trumps success is our success, yet they bash the president every chance they get. Today was another example of how low the Democrats and the media will stoop, how biased they are and how much they want Trump to fail. It is one thing to report the news it is another to distort it to your own beliefs. We are seeing that in Washington as well inside the FBI/DOJ and the CIA. Personal political beliefs and prejudices now have surfaced to the public’s viewing and it’s ugly.

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Did Pelosi Get the Memo About Trump’s ‘Animals’ Remarks?

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: May 17, 2018 1:30 PM
Did Pelosi Get the Memo About Trump's 'Animals' Remarks?

Several media outlets placed President Trump’s MS-13 comments out of context Wednesday. During a meeting on sanctuary cities with federal immigration officials and local lawmakers, Trump said that the gang members were “animals.” In their initial reporting, media like C-Span, the New York Times and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell neglected to mention he was responding to a comment about the violent gang and thus readers assumed Trump was calling all illegal immigrants “animals.” Some outlets, realizing their mistake, issued corrections.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi apparently didn’t get the memo. At a Capitol Hill press briefing Thursday, Pelosi scolded Trump for his rhetoric.

“Every day you think you’ve seen it all,” she said, shaking her head.

“Does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” Pelosi asked. “Calling people animals is not a good thing.”

Killing and slicing people open is not a good thing either, a point made by our own Katie Pavlich.


Trump Judicial Nominees Again Criticized for Answers About Brown v. Board of Education

Latest: Gina Haspel Makes History, Officially Confirmed as the Next CIA Director

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Charlie Le Duff, Former Pulitzer Winner Now Hot Dog Vendor in Detroit.

A Little Bit of Real People

  • 14 Min Read
LeDuff Cleans Grease

Photo credit: Matt Labash / THE WEEKLY STANDARD
Charlie LeDuff cleans the grease at the American Coney Island Diner in Detroit, Michigan.
Charlie LeDuff anticipated all the problems that Trump’s election made plain to the rest of us—then he fell into the Hole himself.

The last time I sat in the American Coney Island diner with my old compadre Charlie LeDuff, it’s hard to remember precisely what we were doing. Maybe drinking beer—drinking always being on the itinerary during visits, as Charlie believes in upholding the sacred rites of our news-gathering forebears. Or perhaps we were eating Coney dogs, since that’s what people do at Detroit’s premier hot-dog emporium (celebrating over “100 years of awesome,” as the T-shirts say), where proprietary franks are served on homemade steamer buns with chili-mustard-onions—always in that order, a sacrosanct chilidog liturgy.

What I do remember is that it was 2008, and things were different. Back then, Charlie used to hold court at the Coney, filming an online show for the Detroit News called “Hold the Onions.” Now, at age 52, he is more likely to be asked to hold the onions himself, as he’s working here. Not as a journalist, but as an employee: vacuuming the chessboard floor, shining the faux brass, doing the books, swabbing grease fryers. But I’m getting ahead . . .

A decade ago, I was here to write an elegy for dying Detroit. (Spoiler alert: It’s still alive.) I hung with demoralized firemen who’d just lost a buddy under a collapsed roof in the arson capital of the country. They complained of ladders being stolen off their trucks, food being stolen off the firehouse table while they were out on calls—one even lamented that his car was stolen at their fallen comrade’s wake. I went to Motown’s old studio with soul legend and city councilwoman Martha Reeves, who told me of the time a mugger swiped her purse and dragged her 500 yards when she couldn’t free her hand from the strap. I met a homeless gravedigger peddling used clothes in the street. He deliberately slept under a bridge with lots of traffic, so he wouldn’t get thrown off an overpass, as he’d been a few months prior.

It was the usual Detroit joyride.

I saw the city through the prism of its bard, Charlie LeDuff, who after a decade-long run as a feature writer for the New York Times (he won a Pulitzer for a month-long stint working the swine-chopping line at a North Carolina slaughterhouse) had willingly punched out of the majors and headed back to the minors, returning to his hometown to work as a metro reporter for the ever-thinner Detroit News.

At the Times, Charlie’s beat had been covering what he called “the Hole,” overlooked people in forgotten places. He’d manned the lobster shift at a Burger King and got himself smuggled over the border with Mexican migrants. While readers scarfed down his copy, editors blanched. One told him it was problematic that all he seemed to cover were “losers.” Charlie figured he was in good company. Having long ago anticipated the problems that the 2008 crash, the dissipating middle class, and the Trumpian middle-finger-to-the-establishment would eventually make clear to the rest of us, Charlie knew he wasn’t some deranged Cassandra, but more attuned to the news than his editors. He told his boss: “The country’s 80 percent losers, and growing every day.” With that, he turned in his walking papers and went home. In Detroit, nobody begrudged his documenting the wreckage, since wreckage seemed to be mostly what was left. As firefighter Mike Nevin, one of Charlie’s recurring subjects, told me of the place that was once the incubator of working-class stability: “Hear the sirens? That’s all day long. This is a city where the sirens never stop. It’s like a forgotten secret. It’s like a lost city.”

Charlie sat in a broken chair in a half-empty newsroom depopulated by layoffs. But as the Lost City correspondent, he wrote like he was avenging a death. In a way, he was. It seemed like everyone he knew was falling into the Hole. The auto jobs had left town for the suburbs or Mexico. Foreclosed, burnt, and abandoned houses were everywhere—hurting a guy’s eyes who grew up in a working-class neighborhood, the son of a flower-shop-owning mom who sported a raccoon coat. One of Charlie’s brothers worked for a crack dealer named Death Cat. His sister had become a part-time hooker and died throwing herself from some crazy’s car. His niece died of a heroin overdose shortly thereafter.

He took it all out on corrupt public “servants,” of which Detroit’s always had a parodic surfeit. (One city councilwoman demanded 17 pounds of sausage as part of her bribe.) He wrote of “dead flight,” the living exhuming their dead to take them to the suburbs, where the cemeteries were safer. He found a body at the bottom of an elevator shaft in an abandoned building, frozen in ice, as ruin-crashers played pickup hockey nearby. The man had been there for weeks, his legs jutting out like popsicle sticks. Charlie wrote an acclaimed, bestselling book, Detroit, An American Autopsy (2013). GQ named him “Madman of the Year.” He remade himself as a TV star, first for the local Fox affiliate, then roaming the country. He pumped out one-of-a-kind pieces of frenetic performance art under the title The Americans, which were syndicated to Fox stations across the nation, many of them becoming viral-video sensations. He might eat cat food on air to show how disgraceful Detroit’s meals-on-wheels program had become—the city was procuring grub from a prison contractor. He’d squat in a squatter’s house or take a bath in someone else’s while waiting for the cops to take their sweet old time after the resident called the police. He’d hit a golf ball all the way across the Detroit badlands, one drive after another, to illustrate the sprawling emptiness, and talk to all those living between its cracks.

He also blanketed the country, riding with the Klan in South Carolina and Bundy militiamen in Nevada, paddling around the Rio Grande in a blow-up kayak wearing a stars ’n’ stripes banana-hammock to catch the attention of the coyotes transporting migrants to the promised land on jet skis, virtually unmolested. He was still minding the Hole. People used to dismiss or ignore it, but now even the pointy-heads and professional gasbags were declaring that more of us were falling into it, as the middle-class was no longer a majority for the first time in over four decades. Even as big cities grew shiny, happy, and gentrified, urban poverty was ripping into the suburbs like a rock thrown into a pond.

Charlie’s method has always been controlled madness, a method that pays dividends. But the gonzo whirlwind he creates, sucking everyone into his vortex, has always been undergirded by moral seriousness. His writing, executed in the hardboiled style, equal parts noir and working-man snapshots-in-words (think Jim Thompson meets James Agee), connects with people because it bleeds humanity. “I got love for people,” he says without guile, not a pronouncement you hear generally misanthropic reporters make every day. Charlie saw the Hole getting deeper—more and more falling prey to the effects of corporate greed, government neglect, or personal dissolution.

Right after Trump’s election, he swept the family photos off his desk into a box and quit his well-paying TV gig. He cut a pilot for A&E, but the proposed docuseries didn’t get picked up. He drops occasional columns for a local website, Deadline Detroit. Though he left me wondering if he’d fallen into the Hole himself. Several weeks ago we were on the phone, having a vinegar-session on journalists’ favorite subject (how journalism is dying), when he broke the news: “You could always come work with me.”

“Where are you working?” I asked, unclear on his current arrangements.

“At the Coney,” he said, “for about a year now.”

“You’re kidding,” I said. “Is it a stunt?”

“Nope, though that’s what my wife asked,” Charlie said.

“You never told me,” I replied, somewhat hurt.

“You never asked,” he said. “Besides, a man’s got pride.”

And indeed, he does. He’s too proud to wear the paper hat while working at the Coney. Nor will he work the register. “I’m not a greeter,” he says. But otherwise, he’s all-in as handyman and troubleshooter for Grace Keros, the third-generation owner, who regards Charlie not just as an employee but a friend. Even more so since, when he was still a TV reporter, he chased after and took down a thug twice his size who’d boosted Keros’s cellphone.

Charlie puts in several days a week at the Coney. He putters up early one morning in his matte-black ’77 Cadillac Fleetwood (he likes a car he can work on) wearing motorcycle boots and ancient Carhartt coveralls, splotched and stained and air-conditioned with the ass half-ripped out. He tells me he inherited them from a firefighter when he was covering the Manhattan firehouses after 9/11. I ask the last time he’s washed them. “Gonna be honest with you,” he says, “I never wash them.” Charlie ricochets like a pinball around the Coney, playing off line cooks, many of whom he’s nicknamed. There’s Yoda, so christened for his prodigious ears. They talk everything from local politics to economics. Ali comes by and slaps Charlie five. “He supports a whole village back in Yemen,” Charlie says. Charlie asked Ali one day what his dreams were. Ali told him, “Make a million dollars, nice car, nice house, and maybe get my wife.” “As in, ‘bring her over, maybe,’ ” Charlie clarifies, laughing. “The American Dream is not dead,” I say.

It’s spring cleaning at the Coney, and Charlie needs to clean out the grease behind the fryers before the roaches, now thawed, decide to take up residence. Though the Coney stays open 24/7, early construction crews and last night’s drunks are pretty much the only ones wanting chili dogs this early. It’s a good time to shut the chow line down and let Charlie do his work.

He gets after it, on his knees, with pumice, degreaser, and soap. He takes out mummified hot dogs and fat globules with a Shop-Vac. He scoops large handfuls of sludge out of corners with his bare hands. His arm hair is covered with steel-wool shavings and is slightly singed, from someone leaving a burner on. Maybe it’s just the Tom Sawyer effect, wanting to make others want to paint the fence, but he looks like he’s actually enjoying himself, attacking his task with gusto. Keros tells me he’s a model employee, even if he takes frequent smoke breaks and today knocks off now and then to drink locally brewed Dirty Blondes with me—we professional journalists start early. Keros is kind enough to pour them into Pepsi cups for us.

The salary is paltry, and Charlie mainly took the gig for the health care the Coney offers. His hardship is gentleman’s hardship. His Craftsman house out in Pleasant Ridge by the zoo is paid off. His wife is studying for a Ph.D. in counseling. His daughter goes to parochial school. But when he walked away from his well-compensated TV gig, he lost the family’s insurance and was in for some serious sticker-shock. I ask him why he left TV and get a lot of answers over the course of a couple days. For starters, his Fox superiors pressuring him to lay off Trump and certain local politicians now that everyone’s celebrating the “New Detroit.” Which, as Charlie repeatedly says, “is bullshit.” Sure, downtown looks spiffier than ever with the billions in investment (often attached to sweetheart deals, land swaps, and other breaks financed on the taxpayers’ backs) that poured in. But if you dig, the New Detroit looks a lot like the old one.

A deputy police chief just went upriver for accepting bribes from towing contractors. She called them “loans.” The feds are quibbling with Detroit’s reporting of its crime statistics, saying it is still the most violent city in America. Murders are at a half-century low, yes, but the population is also at a hundred-year low, meaning there are fewer people left to kill. Despite all the new craft brewers and artisan pickle-makers celebrated by travel writers who parachute in for a couple of days and stay downtown, entire quadrants of the city still look like apocalyptic wastelands. The new mayor, Mike Duggan, is knocking down more abandoned houses than ever, but a federal grand jury has looked into irregularities and kickbacks with the demolition contracts. The corruption drives Charlie so crazy that he often feeds leads to former TV rivals. Half of the candidates in last year’s mayoral primary had felony records. As a cabbie named Junior said to me of the New Detroit, “It’s a cover-up, like making a shitcake and covering it in frosting.” His car was choked with weed smoke, and he winked cartoonishly as he explained that the “medicine” was for his “bad eye.”

Charlie also cites as reasons for checking out of his TV gig things like getting screwed on expenses—having to front the travel costs with his camera crew and then getting nickel-and-dimed by superiors for, say, ordering nine beers while interviewing a Times Square pimp. (“He didn’t want baked ziti, he’s a pimp!” Charlie says.) Finally, he says, sighing, he got tired of the monkey show, the fake news, and how the split screen has multiplied into an octagon-screen of talking heads—“housecats” who never leave the studio. A culture of nothingness pervades TV even when the country is genuinely ailing. But he also admits he just got tired, he tells me one day in his kitchen, drinking black coffee in front of a cabinet upon which are posted the Beatitudes. “Too many bodies,” he says, “too many broken hearts. Old ladies living in their vans because they got put out. People washing their babies in the sinks in Flint. I mean, you know, at some point, it’s just . . .”

He wanted to reassess, put it all in some kind of order. Which he’s done in a new book, appropriately titled Sh*tShow! The Country’s Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great. He sweeps the country, making connections, from black rage in the streets of Ferguson to white rage everywhere else. He hangs with Flint trailer-park denizens, who’ve been left high and dry by the government and the auto plants that turned the city into a ghost town. But he also hangs with Mexicans on the other side of the border, where the auto plants went—where they work for pennies on the dollar and yearn to ride coyote jet skis across the Rio Grande to try to get a piece of the American Dream, which so many Americans assume has fled south. The book is riveting and an important document of our time.

Charlie admits he misses the life: “I miss it all. I miss shitty airports. I miss country roads. I miss Baton Rouge at midnight, the only thing open is that fish-fry-liquor store. I miss the action. I miss saying something. I miss the bullhorn. It’s the best job ever invented.” But he’s okay sitting back, reassessing. Figuring out what’s next. Meanwhile he has work to do at the Coney, making Keros happy, as it means his daughter has health care.

He flirts with a large black woman with a crooked weave, who comes in and recognizes him from TV, as so many customers do. She squeals “Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!” even as she wonders what the hell he’s doing here. “Working!” he says without shame. She says she’s just come into a $4.2 million civil judgment, since Shower to Shower talcum powder killed her mother. A sprinkle a day apparently helped keep the odor away, but also “gave her ovarian cancer.” Charlie throws his arm around her: “I’ll be your sugar daddy.”

He has to throw the Pigeon Lady out of the bathroom. MISS QUEEN—as she calls herself, insisting on all capital letters—is a regular who likes to bring in her pigeons and bathe in the restroom sink. “I’m the only QUEEN on planet earth,” she explains to me while getting bounced. “I’m an angel, an alien from heaven. In this world, not of it. Don’t give a f— if He blew this whole planet up.”

WELL.v23-36.2018-05-28.Labash4.TWS_MattLabash.jpg

Photo credit: Matt Labash / THE WEEKLY STANDARD
A fan recognizes Charlie LeDuff working at American Coney Island.

Charlie has to greet George the Greek, an elderly gent he once wrote about while at the Detroit News. After George’s wife passed away, he became “the patron saint of lower Woodward,” living in a grand old abandoned bank to guard it from looters.

And then there’s the African-American couple in head-to-toe purple who forgot their teeth while eating their Coney dogs. Charlie chases down the street after them with their partial bridges in a to-go container. “You forgot your teeth!” he yells. The couple collectively says “Ohh!!” then start feeling their gums, wondering who forgot their teeth. “Both of them!” they concur, though without their teeth, it sounds like “Bof of vem.” Charlie hands over the styrofoam hot-dog case with their choppers in it. “Served fresh and hot,” he says with a smile. They are extremely grateful. The woman tries to hand Charlie a $10 tip. He refuses. All in a day’s work. The good people of Detroit should not be walking around toothless.

If this seems beneath a Pulitzer-winner, Charlie doesn’t think so. “It’s okay,” he tells me. He’ll be back. In fact, he never really left. He has a book about to do its work. A lot of reporters go whole lifetimes without writing a book, since they have nothing to say. He’ll figure out his next move. Until then, the Coney suits him. “It’s honest. It’s fun. It’s cool.”

When you’re done, you’re done. You punch out, and can see your handiwork—something is clean. Also, he says, it’s good for him personally. In TV, you can start to think you matter more than you do. But we’re all in it together. We all live with the same struggles and fears and uncertainties. “Humble yourself,” Charlie says. “I got a little bit tired of it. I’m redoing my life. A little bit of real people doesn’t hurt. A little bit of real life doesn’t hurt. Be on your knees, scrape some dirt. Love the other. Try to dig people. Whether you have God or not, God told you to focus on life on earth, and if you do, there’s a place for you in heaven. This is longstanding wisdom from our elders. Take this as wisdom. Take it.”

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Five Years Later and No Convictions on IRS Targeting Conservative Organizations.

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Judicial Watch: Smoking-Gun Documents Prove Obama IRS Targeting Worse Than We Thought

Reports that the Obama administration “weaponized” federal agencies against political opponents keep coming. In new “smoking-gun” documents obtained via a FOIA lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Judicial Watch has uncovered evidence that the targeting of conservative groups by the Obama IRS was even more expansive than we knew.

On Tuesday, Judicial Watch released 695 pages of new documents showing IRS officials admitted the agency used “inappropriate political labels” to screen conservative organizations, as well as evidence that the IRS offered “expedited consideration” to 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations if they agreed “to restrict their alleged political activities” — a tactic Katie Pavlich aptly describes as “bribery” that served to silence the administration’s opponents.

Judicial Watch filed the FOIA lawsuit after the IRS revealed it had located thousands of documents that potentially related to audits of Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) organizations. Hundreds of these documents, Judicial Watch says, were previously “withheld” by the Obama administration from congressional review:

Of the 695 pages of documents released by the IRS, 422 (61%) were withheld in their entirety. These newly identified records are not records that were contained in the “Congressional Database,” which the IRS created in 2013 to house records responsive to congressional inquiries into the IRS scandal.

After examining the 695 documents, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said it seems clear why the Obama IRS was reluctant to reveal them. “No wonder the Obama IRS has been hiding these records,” said Fitton. “The new smoking-gun documents contain admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups. But the records also show that the abuse continued – as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”

Several key documents were created shortly after a May 14, 2013 Inspector General report exposed the agency’s singling out of nonprofit groups with certain conservative keywords in their names and descriptions, including “Tea Party” and “Patriot,” among others.

“Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status (e.g., lists of past and future donors),” the IG report explained. The Obama IRS also “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” ahead of the 2012 election, the report concluded.

Judicial Watch provides some key highlights from the newly-released documents, including a June 20, 2013 memo from Karen Schiller, then-Acting Director, EO Rulings and Agreement, who ordered that the “Be on the Lookout” (BOLO) and “Touch and Go” (TAG) labels applied to some organizations should be discontinued until “a more formal process for identification, approval and distribution of this type of data is established.” A little over a month later, Schiller admitted that the agency had been applying “inappropriate political labels” to groups. Here’s an excerpt from Schiller’s August 9, 2013 memo:

As Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel has said, the IRS has taken decisive action to eliminate the use of inappropriate political labels in the screening of 501(c)(4) applications. IRS policy is now clear that screening is based on activity, not words in a name. The new steps and current policies were outlined in the June 24 report, which noted: “In the absence of BOLO lists, the Determinations Unit will continue to screen for information affecting the determination of applications for tax exempt status, including activity tied to political campaign intervention, but it [will] be done without regard to specific labels of any kind.” The 30-day report also reflects the June 20, 2013 memorandum, which was issued to officially suspend the use of the BOLO list in the screening process.

Schiller’s memos were echoed by a September 30, 2013 memo from EO Acting Director Kenneth C. Corbin underscoring that “words and labels” should not be used to determine an organization’s status.

Judicial Watch also provided a document citing the “optional process” that a 501(c)(4) could undergo in order to enjoy an “expedited” review process. That “optional process” required the nonprofit to limit political activity. Below is an excerpt from the “Dear [Applicant]” letter:

This optional expedited process is currently available only to applicants for 501(c)(4) status with applications pending for more than 120 days as of May 28, 2013, that indicate the organization may be involved in political campaign intervention.

In this optional process, an organization will represent that it satisfies, and will continue to satisfy, set percentages with respect to the level of its social welfare activities and political campaign intervention activities (as defined in the specific instructions on pages 5-7). These percentage representations are not an interpretation of law but are a safe harbor for those organizations that choose to participate in the optional process.

Read Judicial Watch’s full report here.

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Spike Lee Boiling The Pot at Cannes Should Get His Facts Straight.

Robert Massimi.

Spike Lee went off on Donald Trump for not speaking out against the South Carolina shootings, He called Trump a racist but misses the point. Trump is not a racist first and foremost. What I meant about missing the point is that David Duke, one of his main characters in his new movie” Blackkksman “, was a Democrat liberal, LBJ, who was also a Klansman, a big time liberal Democrat. Lee misses the point as I said, he slings racism at the Republicans and never stopped to realize that the Republicans stopped slavery, were always on the side of the inequality the blacks have had in this country. Democrats have always given it lip service, hence more black people supporting Trump. Under Trump, black unemployment is at the lowest ever, blacks are waking up to that. For Lee to come out and curse the president is a disgrace in Cannes, he showed how ignorant he is. He rants on Trump for not speaking out about the clash in South Carolina, however, not to many Democrats did either.

For Spike Lee to rant about Trump is senseless, he should rant about the Democrats who have done zilch for the blacks since the 60’s. Lee is your typical Hollywood liberal, he just blames Republicans without his facts, the liberal from West Virginia, Jay Rockefeller was a Klansman as were many Democrats in the past and there still is bigotry among them towards blacks.  His new movie will fuel the fire of racial divide. I have to say that relations between blacks and whites in New York City are the best they have been, I felt very comfortable going into Harlem to watch”Raisin In The Sun”, Harlem was a place I would not have survived in the 80′ or 90’s, even the early 2000’s. Lee’s movie will bring back hostilities toward race relations and that seems senseless

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Spike Lee and Jordan Peele Collaborate on Black Klansman, the True Story of a Black Man Who Infiltrated the KKK

Spike Lee; Jordan Peele (@THR via Twitter screenshot)

Legendary black Hollywood stalwart Spike Lee is collaborating with upstart Jordan Peele on Black Klansman, a true-life account of a black police detective who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

Lee will direct and produce, while Peele will also produce.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ron Stallworth answered a 1978 newspaper ad in Colorado Springs, Colo., seeking new Klan members. Stallworth, again, who is African American, actually rose through the KKK ranks to become a local chapter leader, mostly doing his work with the terrorist group via phone or mail. When he was needed in person, he sent a white officer in his place.

John David Washington, the son of Denzel and Pauletta Washington, is reportedly in talks to star in the thriller. The film is based on the 2014 book of the same name, not on the 1966 blaxploitation film, also of the same name.

Production is expected to begin this fall.

About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is Contributing Editor at The Root. Rise Up. Wise Up. Eyes Up. Stay Up.

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