"Softening?" Trump Offers Details About the Wall in Highly Anticipated Immigration Speech

GOP nominee Donald Trump did not give a rally speech Wednesday night in Phoenix, Arizona. He offered a detailed policy speech to the crowd about his immigration policy. Pretty early on, it was evident those media reports about a “softening” of his immigration plan were way off base.

A few hours before his address, Trump met Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico, where the two offered a cordial joint press conference to reporters.

We want to “build a fair relationship between the two countries,” Trump said in Phoenix.

Both countries are going to win as a result of his plan, he said.

“It’s our right to choose immigrants who we think will be most likely to thrive and flourish and love us,” Trump began. American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed to enforce our laws. Families have been torn apart by sanctuary city policies — some of whom joined Trump onstage following his remarks.

Instead of funneling so much money to illegal immigration, the United States could invest in school vouchers, Trump argued.

“The wellbeing of the American people matters,” he said. “Our greatest compassion must be for our American citizens.”

Hillary Clinton’s immigration plan consists of “open borders and let everyone come in,” Trump said. In contrast, his plan was drafted in part by federal immigration officers, lawmakers who have led on the issue and people who are directly impacted by policies.

Here were some of his main initiatives:

1.     Build a great wall along the southern border. As the crowd chanted “build the wall!,” Trump informed the crowd Mexico will indeed pay for the wall. “100 percent – they don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.” The structure, he said, will be an impenetrable wall on day one. It will be equipped with above and below ground sensors, towers, aerial surveillance and manpower to supplement the wall. They will also use the best technology to find tunnels and keep out cartels. “Mexico will work with us, Trump said. “I absolutely believe it. I really believe they want to solve this problem along with us.”

2.     An end to catch and release. “Anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are moved out of the country,” he said.

3.     Zero tolerance for criminal aliens. “We will begin moving them out, day one in joint operation with local, state and federal law enforcement,” he explained. “They know who these people are. My first hour in office, those people are gone.”A few other changes Trump will be implementing as president would be to issue detainers for criminal immigrants, pass Kate’s Law to ensure criminal aliens convicted of reentry are taken out, triple the number of ICE deportation officers to target criminals who have evaded justice, just like Hillary Clinton. “Maybe they’ll be able to deport her,” he said.

4.     Block funding for sanctuary cities.

5.     Cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws. Trump said he will immediately terminate two illegal executive amnesties President Obama signed.

Trump added that his immigration plan will include a secure Visa tracking system. He will also ask the State Department, Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to begin a comprehensive review to determine if immigration should be suspended from the likes of Syria and Libya.

"There will be no amnesty," Trump concluded.

Make Mexico Great Again Also?

By now, we're all familiar with the "Make America Great Again" hat sold by Donald Trump's campaign. They've become political relics by this point. They're everywhere.

Now, it appears that the hats have an international spin-off. On Wednesday evening, Trump surrogates Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions appeared in Phoenix, AZ ahead of Trump's immigration speech, and donned hats that read "Make Mexico Great Again Also."

Naturally, Twitter was equal parts aghast and amused at this new development:

It's unknown if Canada or any other North American countries will be getting a version of the hat.

MMGAA, I guess.

Hillary Campaign Says Trump 'Choked' During Meeting with Mexican President

Hillary for America Chair John Podesta was unimpressed with Donald Trump's visit across the southern border on Wednesday. The GOP nominee accepted Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's invitation to meet with him this week and discuss plans to tackle illegal immigration. At a joint press conference, Trump and Nieto acted very cordial toward one another, with the GOP nominee noting illegal immigration is an issue that plagues both of their countries and they are eager to work together to find solutions. Yet, Podesta, in a new Clinton campaign statement, said Trump "choked" at the meeting and was apparently too weak to even defend his plan to build a wall along the border.

Trump is set to speak on his "softened" immigration plan Wednesday night. Yet, considering Hillary Clinton rejected Nieto's invitation to even show up in Mexico, isn't she the one who choked?

Wikileaks' Assange Slams Media For Defending “Demon” Clinton, Who Will ‘Put Nooses Around Everyone’s Necks’

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is quite the character. Vilified by some, especially on the right, when he released a deluge of documents relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars—all of this thanks to former Private First Class Chelsea Manning. He’s been in the news due to the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Seth Rich, who some have speculated was the leak in the recent Democratic National Committee email fiasco that pretty much forced the resignations of everyone at its executive level. We don’t know who murdered Rich, but Assange has been cryptic in his suggestions that he could be the leak, and that he was murdered for it.

Now, Assange is warning American media that Hillary Clinton is a “demon,” who will place nooses around our necks should she win the presidential election (via The Hill):

The American liberal media is falling over themselves to defend Hillary Clinton,” he told The New York Times during a Facebook video interview Wednesday.

“[They are] erecting a demon who is going to put nooses around everyone’s necks as soon as she wins this election, which she is almost certainly going to do.”

Assange, whose organization released internal emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) believed to have been stolen by Russia, said it is particularly troubling that the Democrat's campaign has linked her critics to Russia.

“[It’s] that attempted reframing by Hillary Clinton, to declare media organizations that are publishing material that shows illicit behavior in the [Democratic National Committee] to fix the election for her, as somehow being Russian agents,” he said.

“Her campaign has effectively called, or maybe even directly called Donald Trump, the opposition leader in this case, a Russian agent,” Assange added of the GOP’s presidential nominee.

“Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, the fourth candidate effectively in terms of numbers, has also been called a Russian agent. This is a neo-McCarthyist hysteria.”

In July, The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of the National Security Agency’s activities due to information obtained by Edward Snowden, also acknowledged that the American media is 100 percent against Trump in an interview with Slate. He’s okay with that since he feels that Trump’s positions are dangerous. Yet, he’s also unwilling to go along with every fact-free slander out there against the man, namely that he’s a traitor who called on Russia to hack into Clinton’s email server:

OK, so, I am glad you asked about that because this is the conflict that I am currently having: The U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president. I don’t have an actual problem with that because I share the premises on which it is based about why he poses such extreme dangers. But that doesn’t mean that as a journalist, or even just as a citizen, that I am willing to go along with any claim, no matter how fact-free, no matter how irrational, no matter how dangerous it could be, in order to bring Trump down.

So, literally, the lead story in the New York Times today suggests, and other people have similarly suggested it, that Trump was literally putting in a request to Putin for the Russians to cyberattack the FBI, the United States government, or get Hillary Clinton’s emails. That is such unmitigated bullshit. What that was an offhanded, trolling comment designed to make some kind of snide reference to the need to find Hillary’s emails. He wasn’t directing the Russians, in some genuine, literal way, to go on some cybermission to find Hillary’s emails. If he wanted to request the Russians to do that, why would he do it in some offhanded way in a press conference? It was a stupid, reckless comment that he made elevated into treason.

A liberal who wants to fight fair—I’m not necessarily against that principle. And Greenwald has gone after both parties with equal fervor. Nevertheless, it’s interesting that both men who are vilified by the Right, seem to be trying to be the canary in the coal mine over Clinton’s possible nature, or warning against media outlets going off the rails to attack a person they don’t like by using “unmitigated bulls**t” as ammunition. Also, the fact that Assange called Clinton a demon is somewhat satisfying.

ICYMI: The NY Giants Had the Perfect Response to Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick received his fair amount of criticism for choosing to sit out the playing of the national anthem last week before a game. Kaepernick told the press he was speaking for the voiceless victims who have been oppressed by racism. In particular, the player was protesting the prejudice he says is rampant in America's police departments.

Some football and America-loving fans burned Kaepernick's jersey in anger. The best reaction, however, came from another team in the NFL. Here's how the NY Giants responded to Kaepernick's ignoring the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Pretty moving.

One veteran offered another powerful response to the quarterback's national anthem diss, noting that even though he's disabled, he still manages to stand up with pride when he hears the anthem playing.

Other former servicemen and women, however are defending Kaepernick's decision to sit. Some took part in a Twitter campaign called #VeteransforKaepernick, in which veterans applauded the quarterback's effort to expose "police brutality." Others simply applaud his exercising the First Amendment.

Christian Woman Sues For Right To Cover Hair In ID photo

In Alabama, some women are permitted to wear headscarves in their photo ID pictures. As one woman--who also covers her hair for religious reasons--found out in December, this doesn't include non-Muslims. Yvonne Allen, a Christian who covers her hair in accordance with 1 Corinthians 11:6 is now suing the Lee County probate judge for a religious accommodation to cover her hair in her ID photo.

Allen does not appear in public with her hair uncovered and usually wears a wrap. Her face is entirely visible, but her hair is not.

The Washington Post has more:

But when she sat down for her driver’s license photo, that wasn’t okay with the clerk in Auburn, Ala. The clerk demanded that Allen take off her headscarf and, as Allen recalls it, when she started to refuse, the clerk asked her if she wears the scarf for religious reasons. “Yes, ma’am,” Allen said.

“Are you Muslim?” Allen recalls the woman asking her. When Allen said she was Christian, she says the clerk replied, “Only Muslim women have the right to cover their hair in their driver’s license photos.”

While it may be unusual for a Christian woman to cover her hair in public, it's important to note that Muslims do not hold a monopoly on religious head coverings. Some Orthodox Jewish women, as well as Amish and Mennonite women, wear some sort of head covering in public. Further, if the religious accommodation already exists for certain women and it has not compromised the usefulness of the ID card, it makes sense to extend it to all women. Nobody of any religion should receive any sort of special rights exclusive to that religion.

Additionally, I have issues with allowing a county official to decide about the validity of one's religious belief system, be it Christian, Muslim, Pastafarian, whatever. Some Christians cover their heads. Most don't. It isn't a county official's role to decide whether or not Allen's beliefs are acceptable. I think that Allen has a solid case.

Donald Trump Outlines Five Ways To Increase Prosperity For Both The U.S. And Mexico

Republican nominee Donald Trump met with Mexican President Peña Nieto, accepting his invitation ahead of his major speech on immigration later tonight. It’s Trump’s first visit to a foreign country as the Republican Party’s standard-bearer.

In a press conference, which lasted just 33 minutes, President Nieto said that he and Trump had an open and honest discussion about a whole host of issues. He added that the North American Free Trade Agreement certainly has room for improvement when discussing free trade.

Nieto also said that the next president will find an ally in Mexico, and that they will accept and respect the election results come November. Touching upon illegal immigration, the Mexican president noted that illegal immigration from his country peaked a decade ago and has steadily declined, though he acknowledged that non-Mexicans have been going through his country to reach the United States; the mass surge from unaccompanied minors from Central America is a prime example. President Nieto also noted the border crisis he faces coming from the United States, citing thousands of weapons and millions of dollars flowing into Mexico that helps bolster the many drug cartels that dot the country.

He said that we need an integral approach at the border to stem the flow of illegal immigration, drugs, guns, and money. Nieto said he’s made progress on the border with the current Obama administration.

We have made progress on the border with President Obama, and declared that the new American administration can expect willingness and cooperation to make the border safer.

He closed by saying that as president of Mexico, he has a responsibility to protect his citizens wherever they may be. That’s a responsibility he takes with passion. Nieto mentioned how Mexican-Americans are honest, hardworking people who deserve respect. Let’s work to make sure our cooperation is conducted with mutual respect when addressing the issues both our nations face.

Trump then thanked the Mexican president, saying it was an honor to be in his country. He said they has a serious dialogue about the impact of free trade, the half trillion dollars in annual trade that’s conducted, and the vast number of illegal border crossings that occur every day.

The Republican nominee said that the United States and Mexico share a common interest in keeping our hemisphere safe and prosperous. He said that the Mexican people are amazing, he employs many of them, and that they’re beyond reproach, with their emphasis on the values of faith, family, and community. Trump also acknowledged that it’s a very dangerous trek for those who are traveling thousands of miles to enter the United States—and that taking on drug cartels and human traffickers is a mutual interest.

Trump also said that he shared his views on NAFTA, adding that he told Nieto that he feels the free trade agreement has been better for Mexico than the U.S. He listed five things that can bring more prosperity and happiness to both nations.

  1. Ending illegal immigration, especially from Central and South America that impacts Mexico and the United States. This is a humanitarian disaster, where abuse on innocent people by gangs and cartels are unacceptable. It’s not fair anywhere. It must be solved quickly.
  2. Having a secure border is a sovereign right and mutually beneficial for both countries. We respect the right of either country to build a wall, or physical barrier, to stop the flow of illegal immigration, drugs, and weapons.
  3. Dismantling the drug cartels and ending the movement of illegal drugs, weapons, and funds from hopping across our border. Only can be done with joint operations with our respective law enforcement agencies, along with information and intelligence sharing as well
  4. Improving NAFTA. It’s a 22-year-old agreement that must be updated. We face tremendous competition from around the world, especially from China. We must improve pay standards and working conditions.
  5. Keep manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere. When jobs leave Mexico and the U.S., it increases poverty and burdens the welfare state.

Trump closed by saying that the bonds between our nations are deep and sincere, and that both countries benefit from strong relations. A strong, prosperous, and vibrant Mexico is in the best interests of the United States.

It’s quite the turn for Trump who pretty much framed our southern neighbor as an enemy when he first announced his presidential campaign last year. Mexico is our third largest trade partner, with whom we share a 1,989-mile long border. We also had a $60 billion trade deficit with them last year.

Be sure to read Guy’s take on this trip here, where he says Trump’s Mexican excursion was a smart move.

On MSNBC, Jose Diaz-Balart made a note that Nieto is deeply unpopular in Mexico, which was after Nicole Wallace said that while Trump’s remarks lacked substance—it showed that he could hold his own on the international stage.

There wasn't a discussion about payment for a wall.

Editor's Note (Matt): The original post said that a discussion about a wall payment occurred. It did not...I misheard. Post has been updated to reflect the changes. Sorry folks...

Anthony Weiner Under Investigation By Children's Services

After his latest round of Anthony Weiner's sexting pictures were published, most people were stunned that one of the images included a shot of his toddler-aged son lying next to him in bed. Now, New York's Administration for Children’s Services is launching an investigation into Weiner and his treatment of his son.

From the New York Post:

Child welfare officials are investigating Anthony Weiner in the wake of The Post’s exclusive report that he sent a lewd selfie that showed his young son lying in bed next to him, sources said Wednesday.

The Administration for Children’s Services has launched a probe into the disgraced ex-pol’s care of the boy, a city government source said.

Agency protocol requires a home visit within 48 hours, and ACS showed up at Weiner and estranged wife Huma Abedin’s Union Square apartment building on Tuesday, a worker there confirmed.

Weiner has publicly spoken about his new life post-Congress as a stay-at-home dad. His (now-separated) wife, Huma Abedin, is Hillary Clinton's top aide, and has understandably been quite busy with the election well underway.

In 2011, the world was made aware of Weiner's sexting habits when he accidentally tweeted a risque picture. Another scandal emerged during his failed 2013 NYC mayoral campaign.

Analysis: Trump Accepting Mexican President's Invitation was a Smart Gamble

Sure, President Pena Nieto -- floundering badly with his own constituents -- may try to exploit the opportunity to embarrass Trump and play up some nationalistic machismo, but on balance, this photo op was a risk worth taking for the GOP nominee.  And he knows it, especially against the backdrop of his much-anticipated primetime immigration speech later tonight.  I explained why this is probably a smart play by Trump on the Outnumbered couch this afternoon (see update).  Video courtesy of Right Sightings:

By the way, Hillary's mega ad buys seem to have had little effect; she's treading water in the head-to-heads, and taking on water regarding her own favorability. Yesterday brought us a "barfy" poll out of must-win Pennsylvania, but today's a new day. Remember this gut punch poll out of Wisconsin last month? Hillary's wide lead has mostly disappeared there:

Marquette's last data set had Trump down yuge, and some of this shift shift is surely due to sample noise. But the latest figures show both The Big Cheese and Sen. Ron Johnson nipping at Democrats' heels, and Scott Walker's approval rating pulling a lot closer to hitting parity than it has in some time. Donald Trump hasn't suddenly become popular in the Badger State, mind you.  Quite the opposite. But as we've seen elsewhere, Hillary Clinton's image is sinking. She's at (35/58) on favorability, down 13 net points from early August, and her honesty numbers are in the toilet:

can't imagine why.


UPDATE
- This is an optics win, hands down. And Mexico's president didn't attempt to publicly clarify that his country wouldn't pay for the wall, even though that's his oft-stated position:

Guess who's cranky?

Do Obama's Prison Sentence Commutations Conflict With His Gun Control Agenda?

Editors Note: This piece was authored by Editorial Intern Gabriella Muñoz.

President Obama has broken another record. By shortening 111 sentences on Tuesday, August now has the highest number of commutations – 325 – ever granted in one month period. He will leave office with a legacy of commuting the most sentences in the past decade. As of now he has 400 more than the runner up, Lyndon B. Johnson.

While this must come as good news for those 111 prisoners and their families, is it good news for the rest of us?

Approximately 80 out of the 111 convicts – 72 percent – were sentenced for “intent to distribute” cocaine, 12 for methamphetamine, and 17 for other drugs. Out of those, 16 arrests included charges for firearms, four for “continuing criminal enterprise”, and three for parole violations (including a firearm violation).

The fact that the vast majority of the prisoners’ charges included cocaine should be concerning. In high doses, paranoia and “bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior” are among the mentally debilitating short term side effects. Long term use of the drug can bring about sensitization which means that “less cocaine is needed to produce anxiety, convulsions, or other toxic effects.” The government’s drug abuse site also notes that long term use leads to a higher chance of relapse “even following long periods of abstinence.”

If the chemical addiction wasn’t enough – the money might be. In a detailed report on the international drug business, PBS’ Frontline noted that “processes cocaine is available in Colombia for $1500 dollars per kilo and sold on the streets of America for as much as $66,000.”

The combination of high risk of relapse and a booming business in a still-recovering economy – doesn’t set the best conditions for success in staying clean.

Back in 2001, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a special report on firearm use in crimes that stated eight percent of drug offenses included a firearm. That was 15 years ago – long before we were diagnosed with firearm fever.

Pro and anti-gun activists alike can all agree: mind-altering substances and guns shouldn’t mix.

In a personal letter to each of the 111 prisoners President Obama wrote,

“The power to grant pardons and clemency is one of the most profound authorities granted to the President of the United States. It embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws...remember you have the capacity to make good choices.”

Now, I agree with President Obama that our criminal justice system should not only be a place of punishment, but of reformation. I agree that America is a land that embodies redemption. I agree that all people can find a good path in life.

But for a man who is so staunchly against gun violence is it really wise to commute these sentences – especially those with repeated violations or those which involved a firearm?

Trump Spars With Former Mexican President Vincente Fox on Twitter: Stop Lying!

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is in Mexico today meeting with current President Pena Nieto ahead of his big immigration speech in Arizona tonight. In the past, Nieto has compared trump to Hitler and Mussolini, while Trump has said Mexico is exporting rapists and murders to the United States. 

Prior to the meeting with Nieto, Trump traded words with former Mexican President Vincente Fox on Twitter.

Lets hope the meeting between Trump and Nieto went more smoothly.

Choking: As Hillary's Negatives Spike Again, She Can Thank Her Own Scandals

A survey from NBC News measured her favorability rating at a miserable (38/60) in the aftermath of the FBI's comprehensive dismantling of her email lies in early July, after which she rebounded in most public polling to a comparatively improved footing.  As Cortney reported earlier, new numbers from the Washington Post and ABC News show that she's losing ground again, as her negatives have risen to a new high in the series, pulling awfully close to Trump's still-terrible standing:

Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, putting her on par with Donald Trump among registered voters. The latest findings solidify their positions as the two most unpopular presidential candidates in polling dating back more than 30 years. Among all adults, 56 percent now view Clinton unfavorably, up 6 percentage points in three weeks, compared with 63 percent who say the same about Trump. Among registered voters, the two candidates have nearly identical unfavorable ratings: 59 percent for Clinton versus 60 percent for Trump.

This data comes as Mrs. Clinton faces another barrage of scrutiny over her email scandal, with the Associated Press reporting yesterday that a number of emails she withheld from the State Department dealt with the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya -- another topic about which she has lied repeatedly.  Hillary stated unequivocally, including under oath to a federal judge and in Congressional testimony, that she and her attorneys handed over all work-related emails, as required by a court order (her exclusive use of a private server had previously precluded legally-mandated responsiveness to FOIA requests).  In fact, she said, they'd probably turned over more material than necessary, just to be safe.  Wrong.  FBI Director James Comey revealed last month that investigators had discovered "thousands" of emails discussing official business that she had not delivered and deleted, including some classified messages.  It now appears that at least some of these withheld emails discussed Benghazi, the Congressional probe into which ended up uncovering Clinton's totally improper and recklessly unsecure server in the first place.  Here's how one reporter reacted to yesterday's development:

Easy answer: Because all of her e-mails were on that server, including thousands of classified missives that she originally claimed didn't exist.  Again, nearly every single assertion she's made about her email scheme has been disproven.  Matt noted earlier that yet another revelation from a new crop of emails shows that months after departing the State Department, Hillary was still trafficking in classified (now redacted) information, this time involving a deal with the United Arab Emirates.  It never ends. Meanwhile, the smoke billowing around the Clinton Foundation has grown so chokingly thick that even the ultra-liberal, in-the-tank New York Times editorial board is urging the Clintons so sever ties with their high dollar slush fund/favor bank:

The heartening news for Team Hillary is that Donald Trump is not gaining on her in the polling; his support has remained basically stagnant.  But she's backsliding in his direction, failing to consolidate her post-DNC gains, largely on account of self-inflicted wounds.  It takes some real skill to fall into a virtual unpopularity tie with the least-liked major party nominee in modern American history, but damned if Hillary Clinton isn't pulling it off.  I'll leave you with this:

In fairness, when does one find the time to meet the press when one is busy raising $20 million from mega donors over a single weekend in the Hamptons? How's that [giggles] "commitment" to getting money out of politics coming along?

UPDATE - Via Right Sightings, here's our discussion about various new facets of Clinton's email improprieties from today's Outnumbered:

MSNBC’s Brzezinski On Clinton's Hidden Benghazi Emails: ‘Oh My God,’ People Are Not That Dumb

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski may be voting for Hillary Clinton, but she’s not too particularly happy about it. It’s been on the main points of criticism the Morning Joe has lobbed against the Clinton campaign, which is their utter inability, or apathy, towards being fully transparent regarding the former secretary of state’s email usage. So far, virtually every thing Clinton has said about her email usage has been undercut, or straight-up torpedoed, by the discovery of new work-related emails, like the 30 related to Benghazi that she deleted and didn’t turn over, the inspector general report from the State Department that showed that Clinton didn’t come to officials to seek authority to set up a private email server and if she had—it would’ve been rejected. Then, FBI Director James Comey delivered a blistering statement in July, where he pretty much killed the rest of the Clinton narrative regarding her email usage. He said that 110 emails on 52 separate emails chains were later determined to contain classified information. While he refused to press charges, citing lack of intent, Comey did say that Clinton and her team were “extremely careless” in handling sensitive information:

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

Clinton incredulously said that Comey just reaffirmed that everything she has said about her emails has been truthful. Not true. She later said that she short-circuited in that response. Regardless of what the Clinton campaign tries to spin from the FBI’s findings, the issues surrounding her email usage isn’t going away. In fact, it could reach renewed discussion with the latest discovery of unreleased Benghazi communications.

Brzezinski nailed how the public will see this: Clinton, Benghazi, and hidden emails. Oh, with the added character flaw that she’s untrustworthy. Former CNBC host Donny Deutsch said that this development was “mushy,” which the MSNBC host responded by saying, “ No, it’s not mushy. Oh my god, people are not that dumb.” Deutsch conceded that Clinton is untrustworthy. She’s not going to shake that, but voters view Trump as unstable, which will lose to issues of untrustworthiness at the ballot box. David Rutz at The Washington Free Beacon clipped the exchange:

But you know what, people, when they get out there in the ether, today’s headline is 30 emails. Benghazi. Hidden,” Brzezinski said. “That doesn’t help. Sorry. 30 missing emails about Benghazi? That just doesn’t help.”

Liberal “branding expert” Donny Deutsch tried to spin, saying it was simply making Clinton’s case “mushier and gooshier,” but Brzezinski balked.

“No, it’s not mushy. Oh my God,” she said. “People are not that dumb.”

“Not a matter of dumb,” Deutsch said, “She’s untrustworthy. We get it. What’s baked into [Donald] Trump is he’s dangerous and unstable.”

In May, Brzezinski hit Clinton and her minions for continuing the narrative that they didn’t do anything wrong, prompting her to ask fellow MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell if Clinton is straight-up lying at this point regarding her emails. Mitchell declined to indulge, but did say that there are many inconsistences with her story about her email server. I mean, I guess one redoubt in Clinton’s defense is that the emails that were later determined to be classified weren’t properly labeled. It amounted to about three documents, which Comey clarified when asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) if it was true that Clinton did not send of receive any emails that were marked classified. Comey said that wasn’t true.

So, Clinton didn’t know what information was actually classified, despite being an original classification authority. She was just too unsophisticated to know what the markers meant. That’s not exactly the best defense, framing the former secretary of state as too incompetent to know what information was sensitive so it was permissible for her to be reckless in safeguarding potential state secrets.

It's Official: Clinton Has Dropped In The Polls, But Trump Still Trailing

Well, yesterday, it became official: Hillary Clinton’s support in the polls is on the decline. A sigh of relief, given that some polls had her up double-digits over Republican nominee Donald Trump, who admittedly had a disastrous couple of weeks post-Cleveland. Once The Associated Press reported that more than half of Hillary’s nongovernmental meetings were with Clinton Foundation donors when she was at State, the ethical issues surrounding the nonprofit were injected back into the discussion. Clinton has the email fiasco that hasn’t gone away, and now possible pay-to-play allegations emanating from the Clinton Foundation, which has been accused of being a slush fund for the former first family. If not a slush fund, a place where the well connected can get access to some of the most powerful people on earth through a donation (or down payment) that usually ends in a financially beneficial situation arising that benefits that donor in the future. Is it illegal? Not necessarily from the information known to us, but it certainly questions the ethical nature of Hillary Clinton and erodes faith and trust in those manning the helm institutions of public service.

Over the weekend, Reuters noted that Clinton had dropped seven points in three days, with her still leading Trump 41/36. NBC News had her leading Trump 48/46, a two-point drop. She was leading by eight points. A Morning Consult poll had her six-point lead cut in half in a week, though Clinton still leads 43/40. Guy wrote about how Clinton’s 13-point lead has dropped to seven (46/39) in the latest Monmouth poll. Now, Public Policy Polling has Clinton leading 48/43, a five-point lead, though down nine from a month ago (via The Hill):

A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey found that although Hillary Clinton steadily leads Donald Trump by 5 points nationally in the presidential election, the popularity of both candidates is falling.

The newest poll shows that in a four-way race, the Democratic nominee leads with 42 percent support, her GOP counterpart with 37 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson with 6 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein with 4 percent. Conservative Republican Evan McMullin, who launched an independent run early this month, had 1 percent support. Ten percent of voters surveyed were undecided.

In a head-to-head race, Clinton leads 48 to 43 percent. While other polls this week have shown a tightening in the race, the 5--point difference is the same as the PPP poll last month, but then, she led 50 percent to 45 percent. Undecided voters in a two-way race increased from 5 percent last month to 9 percent.

PPP also said that the candidates appear to be getting more unpopular as this race continues, but there’s another aspect to this poll. One is that PPP is left leaning. The sample size is slightly under the 1,000 needed (they polled 881), but most importantly, the skew is D+11. The liberal, moderate, conservative split among respondents was 28/32/39 respectively.

So, yes, Clinton’s lead has dropped, but she still leads. The silver lining is that Trump is within striking distance, but he needs to get serious about overtaking the former first lady soon—and we’re approaching a period where he cannot get into unnecessary fights with Gold Star families, or question the racial backgrounds of federal judges. The latest PPP is a D+11 skew and he’s only trailing by five. It’s a combination of Trump being more disciplined on the campaign rail and the new developments relating to the Clinton Foundation. Trump’s been hammering Clinton over relations to her Foundation, which multiple editorial boards have suggested that she, Bill, and Chelsea cut ties with immediately. While her dip in the polls is more due to the story rather than Trump’s campaigning style, it once again shows that Clinton’s a weak candidate that has ethical issues which are much bigger than she, and many on her staff, thinks at present. Say what you will about Trump, the FBI wasn’t investigating him. This baggage over her emails, her Foundation, and past ethical issues from the 1990s are still hampering her efforts to break 50 percent and stay there.

UPDATE: A few have commented that I left out the LA Times poll, which does have Trump up three over Clinton. Here's the link. Keep in mind, this is the only poll that has Trump ahead, though it's well within the margin of error. He's still trailing, though he's within striking distance. 

Report: Clinton Continued To Email Classified Information After Leaving State Department

We know about the 15,000 additional emails the FBI found that Clinton didn’t turn over last week. Katie wrote yesterday that an additional 30 related to Benghazi weren’t handed over either. Well, she deleted them.

"I provided all of my emails that could possibly be work related," Clinton said on March 10, 2015. It’s one of the many lies ad half-truths that have shot many holes through the Clinton narrative about her email usage that has plagued her for over a year. Now, Daniel Halper at the New York Post reports that the former first lady continued to email classified information after leaving the State Department:

Hillary Clinton continued sending classified information even after leaving the State Department, The Post has exclusively learned.

On May 28, 2013, months after stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton sent an email to a group of diplomats and top aides about the “123 Deal” with the United Arab Emirates.

[…]

The email from Clinton was sent from the email account — hrod17@clintonemail.com — associated with her private email server.

[…]

The “123 Deal” was a 2009 agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the US on materials and technological sharing for nuclear energy production.

Halper added that the emails were obtained by the Republican National Committee through a FOIA request and were heavily redacted since it contained classified information. He added the markings on the email show that this record shouldn’t be declassified until May 28, 2033.

Guy has written, which Halper also mentioned, that there are thousands of emails containing classified information on Clinton’s email server—2,101 emails to be exact.

So, is this the start of another terrible, horrible, no good very bad week for Hillary Clinton?

Classified information being sent out on an unsecure server about an Arab country's future nuclear energy production project—dear lord, lady.

It’s Over: Brazilian Leftist President Permanently Removed From Office

The Brazilian Senate voted to impeach their embattled president, Dilma Rousseff, by a vote of 61 to 20 - concluding her Senate trial that began this week and permanently removing her from office. She was found guilty of manipulating the country’s budget to disguise financial problems amid her 2014 reelection campaign.

The Rio Olympics gave the world a temporary glimpse into the corruption plaguing South America’s largest nation. Their government is deeply inefficient and an alarming number of Brazilian lawmakers are accused of various scandals and crimes.

For the top politician, President Dilma Rousseff, her own scandals brought an end to her presidency. Her former vice president, Michel Temer, will now take over until the next election in 2018. Temer has already been acting-president since Rousseff's impeachment and his business-friendly economic measures have been boosting Brazil's currency. Temer does not belong to Rousseff's left-wing Workers' Party.

Despite clear evidence that her administration did, in fact, manipulate budget shortfalls, Rousseff refuses to acknowledge she did anything wrong. Her defense that other presidencies have conducted similar accounting practices falls flat when realizing her budget manipulations were about 35 times greater than all other Brazilian administrations combined.

Rousseff had the opportunity to present her case during testimony to the Senate on Monday. And by presenting a case - she divulged into her main talking point that the entire impeachment process is a conspiracy from right-wing political opponents seeking to oust her from power. Rousseff argues that anything short of fulfilling a full four-year term is a coup and an impeachment will create a slippery-slope where anyone could be impeached in the future.

Basically, her rationale since this fiasco began last year is that a majority of the Brazilian people elected her president, so she carries a mandate to serve a full term despite what she is caught guilty of doing. If the people elect you – you can do anything you want. Not exactly the most compelling argument ever constructed.

During her impassioned testimony, Rousseff also went into great detail on her past. She described being tortured during her younger years at the hands of Brazil’s military dictatorship. She conveniently made no mention why the Brazilian government detained her at the time – she was a member of a Marxist guerrilla terror group that was responsible for four bank robberies and two bombings. Not quite the innocent, social justice warrior past she'd like you to remember.

Brazilians took to the streets last year and demanded Rousseff’s removal when it was uncovered Petrobras (the state-run oil company she was a board member of) was involved in a huge graft scandal. Rousseff denied any involvement or knowledge of it.

Brazilians didn’t buy that and neither did the legislature.

No, Rousseff. Your impeachment will not set a precedent of political instability. Your impeachment will set a new, higher standard for the Brazilian government to abide by. Your administration and your Workers' Party is rotten to the core. It's time for your country to turn the page.

Enjoy retirement.

Black Democrat Who Criticized FBI For Investigating Her Slush Fund Loses Primary

Do you guys remember soon-to-be-ex-Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL)? Well, she was the lawmaker who thought the FBI could’ve stopped the horrific Orlando shooting if they hadn’t spent so much time looking into her fraudulent charity that pretty much acted like a slush fund, which led to 24 counts of fraud and corruption charges being brought against her.

First, let’s go back to what the Associated Press and WFTV 9 news reported back in July.

Via the AP:

Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, and Chief of Staff Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, 50, entered pleas in Jacksonville federal court on charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns.

[…]

The 24-count indictment comes after an investigation into the purported charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc., which federal prosecutors say was billed as a way to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.

[…]

Earlier this year, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it was determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation's account over four years. Over that time, federal prosecutors say it gave one scholarship for $1,000 and $200 to an unidentified person in Florida, while Wiley transferred herself tens of thousands of dollars.

[…]

According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament, lavish receptions during an annual Washington conference and the use of luxury boxes for a Beyonce concert and an NFL game between the Washington Redskins and Jacksonville Jaguars.

WFTV 9:

She faces up to 357 years in prison. Her response to the charges was appalling, saying, “These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of the agent [sic] and we ended up with 50 people dead,” a reference to the Pulse nightclub shooting in June. It was the worst mass shooting committed by an individual in U.S. history. Well, her time in Congress is up, as voters decided to boot her in light of her indictments (via Politico):

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown, a 12-term incumbent who faced both redistricting and a federal indictment, lost her primary Tuesday in Florida’s 5th District, becoming the fifth House member to lose renomination this year.

Al Lawson, a former state legislator, had 47 percent of the vote to Brown’s 39 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 96 percent of precincts reporting. The heavily Democratic district is all but certain to elect Lawson in November.

[…]

Former Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah, who has since resigned, lost his primary in Philadelphia earlier this year following an indictment, while Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes and North Carolina Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers lost after being displaced by redistricting. GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas was defeated in a heavily ideological primary earlier this month.

Commentary’s Noah Rothman considered Brown and Fattah’s losses “a healthy sign” concerning voter accountability. We saw this sort of accountability in 2008 when former Congressman Bill Jefferson (D-LA) lost re-election in his heavily Democratic district to Republican Joseph Cao after it was discovered he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. It gained notoriety when $90,000 was found stuffed in his freezer when the FBI searched his home. He’s currently serving a 13-year prison sentence.

Anyway, farewell, Ms. Brown—the gravy train is over, as is your career in public life, and possibly your time as a free citizen. None of this was the FBI’s fault.

Obama's Former Doctor: Yeah, Hillary Needs a Brain Exam, She's On Difficult Drugs

After past brain injuries and strange behavior in recent months, Barack Obama's former primary physician says that Hillary Clinton should have a neurological examination.  

During an interview on CNN, Dr. David Scheiner argued that Clinton’s note from her doctor isn’t enough. The letter shows a full recovery from a concussion and blood clot in the brain Clinton suffered back in a 2012 tumble.

“I think she should have had a neurological examination, a thorough neurological examination in 2016,” Scheiner said Tuesday night. “We know what happens to football players who have had concussions, how they begin to lose some of their cognitive ability. I think both of them (Trump and Clinton) should release their records.”

The doctor also said that Clinton is prescribed to Coumadin, a medication to prevent blood clots.  "I'd like to know how well she's being controlled, that's a difficult drug to use," he explained.

Hillary More Unpopular Than Ever...Especially With Women

Hillary Clinton has made history. No, I don't mean her "breaking the glass ceiling" by becoming the first woman ever to gain a major political party's nomination. In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, the Democratic nominee seemingly earned her worst unfavorable rating since stepping into the political spotlight.

How bad is it? Clinton received a 56 percent unfavorable mark. Perhaps most harmful to her 2016 campaign is her depleted support from women:

Notably, Clinton’s popularity among women has flipped from 54-43 percent favorable-unfavorable last month (+11 points favorable), to 45-52 percent now (+7 unfavorable); it’s the first time in a year that most women have viewed her unfavorably.

In other words, her post-DNC bounce is all but erased as voters indicate that breaking the gender barrier is not as important as fixing the country's problems.

Clinton's opponent, though, has just as steep a hill to climb in the popularity contest. The ABC polls gives Donald Trump a staggering 63 percent unfavorable rating. In the 30 years that ABC has done the survey, Trump and Clinton are by far the most unpopular candidates.

State Department Stonewalling Information About What's Being Done to Stop Christian Genocide

In March, Secretary of State John Kerry officially declared ISIS is carrying out a genocide against Christians and other religious minority groups in the Middle East and north Africa. 

Governments around the world are hesitant to make this type of decision because an official declaration comes with legal requirements to act and stop the genocide taking place. 

Six months later, the State Department is being sued by the American Center for Law and Justice for failing to provide information about what is being done to stop the genocide. 

"In July, the ACLJ sent the State Department a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests all aimed at uncovering government records that would show any action by the State Department to respond to or stop the genocide," the organization released in a statement this week. "The State Department has ignored those requests and today the ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C. to force the State Department to show what it has done to confront the ISIS genocide and protect the Christian victims and other religious minorities, or confirm that it hasn’t really done anything at all."

Disturbing reports from the Associated Press this week revealed the existence of a number of mass graves carrying up to 15,000 bodies in areas of Syria and Iraq. 

“This Administration continues to refuse to acknowledge the enemy and won’t engage and eliminate ISIS – which continues its unabated genocide of Christians,” ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow  said. “We participated in a concerted effort to pressure the Obama Administration to finally recognize this slaughter and publicly recognize this eradication as ‘genocide.’  But what is the Obama Administration doing to stop the genocide? The United States should be a leader in defending and protecting Christians. The world is watching as Christians are put to death simply because of their religious beliefs. That’s why it is so important to hold the Obama Administration accountable and to find out exactly what is being done to bring an end to this horrific practice.  And that is why we have gone to court to unearth the truth.”

Earlier this week the Obama administration hit its 2016 goal of bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States. Just 52 of the 10,126 admitted are Christians. Christianity in the Middle East is predicted to be extinct within the next five years.

New Map Shows Exactly How Many Syrian Refugees Obama Placed in Each State

Earlier this year, Barack Obama made a promise that he would resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees throughout the United States.  This will most certainly come to fruition by the end of the week.  

 A new analysis of the Syrian refugee program shows that while some states received as many as 870 refugees,  states like Alabama and Mississippi received none.  

“More than 7,500 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria have been admitted to the United States since Oct. 1,” explains Roll Call, “more than four times the number in all of fiscal 2015. Syria is now the third most common country of origin for refugees.”

States like California, Arizona, Texas, and Michigan all received in excess of 500 refugees.  Along with Alabama and Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Arkansas, Delaware, and Vermont all received none.

As the map indicates, Obama made a late push this summer and nearly tripled his monthly average closing out his presidency with a bang.  

Nearly Two Thirds of Germans Support a Burqa Ban

A recent YouGov poll suggests that the vast majority of Germans would like some sort of ban on wearing a burqa or niqab in public. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that they thought a law banning the wearing of a full veil and face covering should be introduced, and only 27 percent of respondents were against this sort of law.

Unlike a hijab, which covers the hair and neck of a woman, a burqa or niqab covers the entire face and leaves only the eyes visible.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that while she's opposed to a burqa ban in her country, their presence probably isn't helping Muslims integrate into German society.

French courts recently suspended bans on the "burkini," a garment similar to a wetsuit with a skirt that some women like to wear to the beach. Burqas are already banned in public in France and similar bans are being considered in other European countries.

EXCLUSIVE: Gary Johnson Lays Out Immigration Vision, Objects to Term 'Illegal Immigrant,' Defends Executive Amnesty

Public support for Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson currently sits at roughly eight percent in national polling, a little more than half of the level he needs to be included in the fall debates, according to the rules. The former two-term Republican Governor of New Mexico has come under fire from some conservatives for acting as a potential spoiler for Donald Trump -- in fact, Trump is benefitting from Johnson's presence in the race -- while others argue that the advocate for limited government has spent too much time and energy pandering to disgruntled left-wing voters. What is his sales pitch to disaffected elements of the center-right? I posed that question and many others to Johnson in an extended, exclusive sit-down interview earlier this week.  The first installments of our conversation are featured below

One issue that has consumed much of the 2016 cycle's political oxygen is immigration, on which the Republican nominee has issued a series of controversial statements and proposals -- and the Democratic nominee has vowed to go even further than President Obama in pursuing constitutionally-dubious executive actions if Congress fails to bend to her will. I asked Johnson about his immigration policies from the perspective of a border state governor (:30), and pressed him on his previously-stated support for Obama's unilateral executive amnesty (6:45). Along the way, we also sparred over the term "illegal immigrant," to which Johnson strenuously objected (4:20) as "incendiary" and offensive:

Johnson laid out a pro-immigration platform, making the case that a robust legal immigration regime, featuring permissive work permit standards, is a boon to the US economy.  And he again defended Obama's 'DAPA' executive order as "appropriate," although he hedged on its constitutionality.  In another segment of our chat, Johnson offered an "elevator pitch" to undecided right-leaning Americans, offered indictments against both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and explained his greatest government-constraining achievement over eight years as the Land of Enchantment's chief executive.  Plus, why does he, a libertarian, keep saying that he agrees with Bernie Sanders, a socialist, '73 percent' of the time? And how might this assignment of agreement percentages apply to other major political figures on the scene today? Watch:

Johnson described his ticket's outlook as "fiscally conservative and socially inclusive," adding that unlike the two major party nominees, he and his running mate support free trade.  He assailed Mrs. Clinton as an ethically compromised ("pay for play") and dishonest statist, and sharply criticized Trump's ideas on immigration and trade.  He touted his record of "cutting the rate of growth of government in half" as governor as a proud accomplishment, noting that he earned re-election in a blue state even after establishing a reputation as a "penny pincher."  Later this week, we'll reveal Gov. Johnson's thoughts on issues ranging from the Second Amendment, to Obamacare, to the Iran deal, to the Hobby Lobby decision.   Stay tuned.

Donald Trump To Meet With Mexican President

Donald Trump, along with Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions, will be meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday in Mexico. The surprise announcement came on late Tuesday evening.

Trump will travel to Mexico City before giving his long-awaited speech on immigration in Arizona. Trump and Nieto are expected to have a private meeting. Nieto has repeatedly rejected Trump's claims that Mexico will pay for the border wall with the United States.

John McCain Wins Primary

Sen. John McCain (R) cruised to an easy victory on Tuesday in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, defeating challengers Kelli Ward, Alex Meluskey, and Clair Van Steenwyk. The race was declared when McCain jumped to a 20-point lead over Ward.

McCain will now be against Democrat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.