Ted Yoho Full CNN Interview With Wolf Blitzer (6/21/2017)

Congressman Ted Yoho more than holds his own in the belly of the beast on CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a full transcript of the interview.

Blitzer: Joining us now Republican congressman Ted Yoho. He’s a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Congressman, thanks for joining us.

Rep. Yoho: Thanks for having me on Wolf.

Blitzer: Based on what you’ve learned about this airport stabbing in Flint Michigan do you believe this was an act of terrorism?

Rep Yoho: I think it’s pretty, pretty evident that it was. You know the guy yelling Allah Akbar and our thoughts and prayers go out to officer Neville. We hope that everything turns out well there, but I think this is something that you’re seeing a ramp up of this. We’re seeing this around the world and you know it’s, it’s a point in time where we all have to come together to bring this under control.

Blitzer: Well we were waiting to hear how the United States Supreme Court is you know will rule on the president’s proposed travel ban but that travel ban would not have prevented today’s attack. This individual was a Canadian who crossed into the United States from through Lake Champlain and then apparently drove over to Flint Michigan.

Rep. Yoho: Alright, but where did he come from? Was he born in Canada? Is he a Canadian citizen that was born there? Or did he immigrate from a country that would be on that list? You know that information needs to come out yet, so I don’t want to speculate too much and I think you’ll see this travel ban, I think you’ll see a decision come out on this real soon.

Blitzer: But irrespective of where he was born, if he was a Canadian citizen the president’s travel ban would not have affected him. The president’s travel ban deals with six Muslim-majority countries.

Rep. Yoho: Right. Good point there, but if that person had immigrated from one of those areas that would be on that ban and they’re in the United States, you know they hopefully we’d prevent those kind of attacks.

Blitzer: What policies do you believe that Trump administration is now putting forth to try to address attacks like this one, an individual gets a knife, doesn’t have a gun let’s say, but gets a knife and stabs a police officer at an airport?

Rep. Yoho: You know I don’t know how you’re going to stop those. Those things are always going to happen unfortunately. I hope they’re far and few in between and that relies on us too, the American people. If you see something say something and the DHS the Department Homeland Security has got a good program informing people. We’re at a point in time in this country. These are not Republican or Democratic issues. These are national security issues that we as Americans all need to have a part in this. So people if you’re out there and if you see something suspicious, report it to the authorities.

Blitzer: It hasn’t gone unnoticed, and I’m sure you’re, you’re aware of this congressman, especially within the Muslim-American community that the president has not been outspoken in condemning attacks where Muslims have been the victims. Do you believe that hurts his counterterrorism effort?

Rep. Yoho: No I don’t think so. I think we all speak out against that. You know I have to go back over and see what he said, but I think there was enough people speaking out against this. We had a Earl Blumenaur from Oregon led a session on the floor speaking it out against terror and hate crimes against anybody and again we as the leaders up here of our communities, we need to speak out about that, but we also need to have the community raise up and say we’re not going to tolerate this.

Blitzer: Let’s turn to the developments of the Russia investigation that we’re watching. Congressman, it’s now been reported that Michael Flynn was fired as the president National Security Adviser. He actually sat in with the CIA director Pompeo’s intelligence briefings for more than two weeks even after the White House was repeatedly warned about Flynn’s Russian contacts and potentially was subject to, to Russian blackmail. Do you believe with hindsight now looking back that was appropriate?

Rep. Yoho: I think looking back, I think anybody that gets relieved of their duty they should lose their security clearance and you know whether that was an oversight or they had a reason to leave them with that, I think that’s something that in the future if you lose your job for certain reasons, especially one like that, you need to lose your security clearance for sure.

Blitzer: But the White House was warned by the Justice Department among others and in the law enforcement and intelligence community that Michael Flynn potentially represented a threat that he could have been blackmailed that he wasn’t telling the vice president, wasn’t telling other officials the truth about his contacts with Russian officials, yet he was allowed to participate in those top-secret briefings for what, 18 days. How did that happen?

Rep. Yoho: You know I don’t know. I don’t know why they allowed that, but there might have been some information that they wanted him to share with them on the Intelligence Committee, and that’s why they had him in there. And so I would let that investigation go forward, so that they can decipher and go through all that information and figure out why he was there, but more importantly the information that he might have lent to this investigation.

Blitzer: Do you believe the CIA director Mike Pompeo he’s a former Republican congressman I assume you know him, he served together with you do you think he should have prevented that from happening in the first place because there are now these reports that that officials at the CIA were deeply concerned?

Rep. Yoho: Wolf, I have to go back to see why Mike decided to do that. Mike the very upfront guy, his credibility, his ethics are, you know, unchallenged. And if he allowed that, there had to be a reason for him to do that. And again I don’t know if he was looking for specific information on this investigation that they can use, you know with Secretary Mueller.

Blitzer: Special counsel Mueller?

Rep. Yoho: Special counsel Mueller.

Blitzer: Let’s talk a little bit about the other development today, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings. He writes this in a letter and I’ll read it: “In any case, it is unclear why Mr. Kushner (Jared Kushner the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law) continues to have access to classified information while these allegations are being investigated.” Here’s the question: Should Jared Kushner’s security clearance as Elijah Cummings as it is suggesting be suspended until a complete investigation can, can be, could be done into his calls and meetings with Russian officials?

Rep. Yoho: No I don’t think so there are allegations. We are country of laws and let’s go through the due process, and if that comes that’s where they need to be suspended, then absolutely. And the president’s the one that has the ultimate authority on, on taking his security clearance away. But I would do the investigation and follow through what they’re doing right now.

Blitzer: The former Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, he testified today before the House Intelligence Committee and he called Russia’s interference in the 2016 president a fact. I’m quoting him now, a fact plain and simple. Do you believe that?

Rep. Yoho: I think it’s pretty evident that they were involved in that, you know and if we go back to when you and I talked right after the election and the beginning of the year, I wanted this to play out, and so as the information comes out we’re seeing more of that, and again there’s going to be more information that comes out and I think he spoke real loud and clear that he went to the DNC, and wanted to know why he wanted to help them prevent any leaks and give them more cyber security and they refused to do that. And I’m a little bit concerned about that and I want to plug a bill that we’re putting in, it’s a cyber security bill to prevent these things, but more importantly to define when they do attack and then what we can do to counter that.

Blitzer: Have you ever asked the president of his opinion whether or not the Russians interfered in the presidential election because as you know Sean Spicer, the press secretary, yesterday said he’s, he’s never asked the president this question.

Rep. Yoho: You know I’ve never had the opportunity to ask him that, we’ve talked about that in different committees, but never directly to the president or vice president Pence.

Blitzer: Alright, stand by congressman. We have a lot more to discuss, about to take a quick break. We’ll resume this conversation right after that. We’re back with House Republican Ted Yoho, we’re talking about the Russia investigation other stories breaking right now. Congressman, I need you to stand by. Later tonight the president is going to be getting away from the nation’s capital and the drip, drip, drip of the Russia investigation. He’s heading to Iowa to surround himself with some very very friendly faces, and to celebrate an important political victory for his party. Our senior White House correspondent, Jeff Zeleny is joining us from Cedar Rapids Iowa right now. Jeff, what are you learning about preparations for the unveiling of the Senate Republican health care bill first of all?

Zeleny: So wolf, even as the president flies here to Iowa tonight, we’re told that his top aides are going to be briefed by Senate Republicans at the White House about the details of this health care plan. It is going to be announced tomorrow morning on Capitol Hill. They are trying to win the

president’s support. The president not involved in those briefings at this point Wolf. He’s coming back here Iowa, his first visit since taking office, to bask in the glow of his adoring supporters.

Video is shown:

President Trump has a new reason to smile tonight with Republicans seizing victory in a hotly contested special congressional election. Tonight, he’s headlining at campaign rally in Iowa for his 2020 re-election, his first visit west of the Mississippi River since taking office five months ago. Republicans won the most expensive house race in US history on Tuesday denying Democrats their first triumph of the Trump era.

Rep. Elect Karen Handel (in video): Special thanks to the President of the United States of America.

Karen Handel didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name after keeping him at an arm’s length in a reliably Republican Georgia district. Yet Democrats failed in their multi-million dollar effort of tying Handle to Trump. The president said the win held a lesson for his critics. Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on health care, tax cuts, security. Obstruction doesn’t work. Since winning the White House, Republicans are now 4 and 0 over Democrats in contested special congressional elections. Yet that record does not guarantee that GOP victories will continue in next year’s critical midterm elections where control of Congress is at stake. In President Obama’s early months in office Democrats ran up a seven to nothing streak over Republicans in special elections, but lost their house majority in 2010. In the wake of the Georgia contest, Democratic leaders conceded today, voters are more concerned with pocketbook issues like health care and the economy.

Rep. Joe Crowley (in video): And as much as I think people in Washington tend to focus on the issues of Russia and the president and the Republicans inability to get much of anything accomplished we need to focus on the local issues. That’s what gets Democrats elected.

The White House is also eager to change the subject back to one of the president’s top priorities, rewriting the health care law. But Republican leaders are making clear that they’d prefer Mr. Trump keep his distance for now. The White House has been super hands-off which feels just about right. One top Republican aide told CNN. Senators are still waiting to see the fine print of the health-care legislation. Republican leaders plan to unveil details of the bill on Thursday, still hoping to take a vote before the July 4th legislative recess.

Sen. John Cornyn: A working draft will be released tomorrow. I think all the concerns people have had about the process will evaporate, because I think they’ll be unlimited opportunity for people to read it, understand what’s in it and then debate it.

End Video

Zeleney: Now President Trump is arriving here with a bounce in his step. He’ll be talking to a rally here in downtown Cedar Rapids to thousands of supporters, but he’s also arriving to a piece of advice from the local newspaper the Cedar Rapids Gazette. Wolfe, it says this: Dear Mr. President in a front-page editorial. It says now is not the time to rally, now is not the time to campaign. It says now is the time to govern. That is one of the challenges facing president Trump. It will start tomorrow morning on that health care bill. It’s one of the key issues of concern here in Iowa, a

state that he won last fall, but will so many voters here have so many questions about what’s in the bill and, if it will ultimately be reconciled with the House version and if he will actually sign it?

Blitzer: I’ll release that draft tomorrow. We’ll watch it closely. Jeff Zeleney in Iowa for us thanks very much. We’re back with congressman Ted Yoho of Florida. Congressman, uh, you celebrated the bill’s  passage in the house with President Trump in the White House rose garden, were you  surprised the other day to hear the president call the House version mean?

Rep. Yoho: Yeah we were a little surprised about that you know and again, you know we’ll see what this new bill comes out, and we’ll go from there, and you know like we talked about before, the president has a certain style and we’ll see how it works out.

Blitzer: Because he undermines what you were doing, he really sort of pulled out the rug from the House version uh, slighting it as mean.

Rep. Yoho: Yeah, well again we’ll see. It passed and we’re at phase two now we’ll see how it works out, and I’m going to hold any more comments that we see the bill and we read it before we vote on it.

 

Blitzer: Yeah, he also says he wants more heart, heart in the Senate bill and what you guys in the House gave him. What do you think he means by that?

Rep. Yoho: I don’t know, I think it’s you know heart you know you if you want more heart, you’re going to have to pay more and we’ll have to, again see what recommendations that the Senate gives us and what they want us to do, and then we’ll it’ll go to conference and we’ll decide which way to go with that, but I think your reporter before this brought out a very good point. You know those elections in Georgia and South Carolina or North Carolina. The American people want stuff done and they don’t want to get bogged down in all these other peripheral things, not that they’re not important but, we need to govern and we need to focus on that, and the president out you know, rallying the troops, I’m okay with that because I know we’ve got tax reform coming up and we’re going to finish up this health care bill.

Blitzer: Congressman Yoho, thanks as usual for joining us.

Rep. Yoho: Thanks Wolf, appreciate it, have a great day.

Blitzer: You too, thanks very much. Just ahead we’re going to tell you what we’re learning about the possibility of US military action…

Lessons From Jon Ossoff Loss: Move Left, Forget Civility

Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty

by Joel B. Pollak 21 Jun 2017419

Democrats are concluding that Jon Ossoff’s disappointing loss to Karen Handel in the special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district on Tuesday means they must move even further left, and reject calls for more civility.

That might seem odd, especially in the wake of last week’s shooting attack against Republican members of Congress, and given that Handel won partly by tying Ossoff to the left and to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

But Democrats are convinced that Ossoff fell short by moving towards the center after running as the darling of the “#Resistance” in the primary election in April, and by trying to convince moderate Republicans to cross over.

The Washington Post reports:

Indeed, more than 200 miles to the north, a dramatically underfunded Democrat, Archie Parnell, nearly pulled off an upset victory in a House seat that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee largely ignored. In Ossoff, Democrats hoped they had found a potential new path to defeating Republicans with a message of peace and civility. They calculated that the fiery rage, often associated with supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), would not win over moderate Republicans and centrists, whose support Ossoff needed to have any chance to win a district that Tom Price, the six-term congressman who is Trump’s health secretary, won by more than 20 percentage points in November.

So Ossoff chose the high priest route instead of the fierce warrior. It was civil disobedience rather than civil unrest. And he still lost, by an even wider margin than the almost forgotten Parnell.

The Post quotes Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: “The best way for Democrats to maximize gains in 2018 – especially in purple and red districts – is to harness the power of the resistance and field candidates who proudly challenge power.” Continue reading at breitbart.com.

ObamaCare’s ‘Secret’ History

Jonathan Gruber is back and betting again on public ‘stupidity.’

Obamacare consultant Jonathan Gruber testifies before a hearing in Washington on December 9, 2014. Photo: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Senate Republicans continue to negotiate the details of their health-care reform, and one measure of progress is that their opponents are more manic and disingenuous. Progressives who used to deride the GOP for incompetence are now panicked that they may really succeed, and thus the faux tantrums.

The distortion du jour is that the GOP is operating “in secret.” This week Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of working “behind closed doors, writing a bill they won’t let the public read. . . . Today, no Member of Congress can read the bill because we don’t know what it is.”

Despite Mr. Schumer’s bewilderment, he still knew enough to assert that the Senate bill will “greatly hurt the American people.” Well, which is it? And if Republicans are trying to suppress a public debate about repealing and replacing Obama Care, then they haven’t prevailed, either now or across the presidential campaign. Health care has been central to U.S. political debate for nearly a decade as Democrats created a new entitlement with little public support.

Compared to that effort, the Senate this time has been a model of deliberative democracy. On Dec. 19, 2009, a Saturday, then Majority Leader Harry Reid tossed the 2,100-page bill the Senate had spent that fall debating and offered a new bill drafted in an invitation-only back room. Democrats didn’t even pretend to care what was in it while passing it in the dead of night on Dec. 24, amid a snowstorm, in the first Christmas Eve vote since 1895.

Liberals excused this legislative sausage-making as the price of making history, which was an insult to sausages. MIT economist and ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber told an academic audience in 2014 that “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.” [Bold type: Mine]

                                                                                                     Below: Jonathan Gruber being questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy

 

 

Mr. Gruber has since re-emerged to complain of the current debate that “I’m just worried about the speed they’re moving at for what that implies, because it implies no effort to actually get this right.” The professor had apologized for what he called his “inexcusable” remarks in 2014 but he’s betting he can con Americans again.

The irony is that the GOP negotiations are so time-consuming because Senators are trying to improve the product as they build a consensus that can get 50 votes. They’re trying to answer the House bill’s critics on the left and right, not that they’ll get any credit.

One objection is that the House’s tax credits aren’t generous enough to help the working poor; the Senate is likely to increase their value. Another is that the House’s Medicaid expansion wind-down is too disruptive for Governors to manage; the Senate will probably create a longer off-ramp. When they reach an agreement, they’ll release the specifics. Read the rest of this article HERE.

GAINESVILLE IS FAMOUS: The “Brazilian Butt Lift Lady” went national on Breitbart News

Alachua County Jail

Wow, allowing this debacle to happen on their watch must have given Gainesville city officials tons of credibility with local voters. NOT. Can anybody say  “biomass contract negotiations?”  How about  “proposal to narrow Main Street for three-quarters of a mile from Depot Avenue south to 16th Avenue?

From Katherine Rodriguez at Breitbart.com:

A woman who worked for the city of Gainesville, Florida, allegedly stole more than $93,000 in city funds and used the money to pay for a Brazilian butt lift as well as other purchases, according to a report.

An auditor’s report released Wednesday showed that Natwaina Clark, 33, stole $93,000 in public funds and used $8,500 of the stolen funds toward a Brazilian butt lift, the Gainesville Sun reported.

The report also found that Clark, a former city staff specialist, used her credit card issued by the city 136 times for $61,000 in unauthorized charges, charged her supervisors’ credit cards 36 times for $31,000, and charged $500 to a coworker’s card that she used five times. Continue reading at   breitbart.com.

Until Trump, Feds Were Still Doing Paperwork on Y2K Bug

Only in America!

To say the federal government is inefficient with time, money, and resources is an understatement. I hope you’re sitting down for this one.

For the last 17 years, thousands upon thousands of man hours have been spent — no, wasted on continuing preparations for the year 2000 when all the computers in the world were supposed to stop function and spiral us straight into the apocalypse. That, of course, didn’t happen. But why stop spending taxpayer dollars needlessly?

For almost two decades, federal employees have been filing reports on the Y2K bug. Some officials claim the amount of filings have decreased through the years, but the fact that they were still happening at all is reprehensible.

But thanks to the Trump administration’s attitude of “cleaning out our closets,” as Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney described it, the White House is “looking for stuff everyone agrees is a complete waste of time” and tossing it out for good. Continue reading at truthrevolt.org.

The Left Embraces Political Violence

Counter-protestors pepper spray a Trump supporter during a rally in Berkeley, Calif., April 15, 2017. (Reuters photo: Stephen Lam)

by Kevin D. Williamson June 15, 2017 4:00 AM

The Alexandria shooting is the continuation of the riots in Berkeley and Middlebury.
 jjj
This is why the standard liberal motto — that violence is never legitimate, even though it may sometimes be necessary to resort to it — is insufficient. From a radical emancipatory perspective, this formula should be reversed: for the oppressed, violence is always legitimate (since their very status is the result of the violence they are exposed to), but never necessary (it will always be a matter of strategy whether or not use violence against the enemy).
fff
Slavoj Žižek, On Violence and Democracy
jjj

It did not take very long to get from “Punch a Nazi!” to “assassinate a congressman.”

A great deal of spittle has been deployed in the debate over whether or to what extent the Left’s recent indulgence of its penchant for violent rhetoric can be linked to the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise and other members of a Republican congressional baseball team by an angry Democratic activist and Bernie Sanders partisan. But the relevant question here is not violent rhetoric but violence itself. The violence at Berkeley and Middlebury did not lead to the shooting in Alexandria — they are part of the same phenomenon: The American Left has embraced political violence.

More precisely, the Left has embraced “anarcho-tyranny.” (Yes, I know what kind of man Sam Francis became; his phrase remains useful.) The anarcho part: Progressives including mainstream Democrats have embraced the sort of violence that has been directed against the likes of Charles Murray as an instrument of liberationist politics. Representative Val Demings, a Democratic congressman from Florida, shared her view that the riots greeting Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley were “a beautiful sight.” After a physical attack on white nationalist Richard Spencer, Jeremy Binckes of Salon wrote: “Maybe the question shouldn’t be, ‘Is it okay to punch a Nazi?’ but, ‘If you don’t want to be punched in the face, maybe you shouldn’t preach Nazi values to the public?’” A lively debate about the ethics of using violence to suppress certain political views ensued. Short version: Free speech did not experience a runaway victory. Read more at: nationalreview.com.

Flag Day – 2017

Poster commemorating the 140th Flag Day – Photo credit: Wikipedia

Wednesday is Flag Day, an official observance of the Second Continental Congress’ official adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777 that represents the country.

The First Flag Act declared that the new flag would have “13 stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Former President Woodrow Wilson wanted Americans to mark Flag Day to leave behind “every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right” and instead “stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself.” Crontinue reading at ibtimes.com.

Deep State Gone Wild: “J. Edgar” Comey Asserts Unprecedented FBI Supremacy

James Comey asserted in his extraordinary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to override Justice Department oversight procedures, a questionable claim which if true would raise serious questions about long-standing rules aimed at preventing abuses by federal law enforcement officials.

The former head of the FBI told the Senate panel that he believed he had received a direction from the president in February that the FBI end its investigation of Michael Flynn’s alleged involvement with Russia–a direction with which he and his kitchen-cabinet of “FBI senior leadership” unilaterally decided not to comply. The Comey cabinet then decided that it would not report the receipt of this direction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior.

The group decided that it could override standard FBI protocol and possibly legal obligations to report the incident because of its expectations that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia matter, although that recusal would not come until weeks later. The Comey cabinet also decided that it wasn’t obligated to approach the acting Deputy Attorney General because he would likely be replaced soon.

“We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.) The Deputy Attorney General’s role was then filled in an acting capacity by a United States Attorney, who would also not be long in the role,” Comey said. “After discussing the matter, we decided to keep it very closely held, resolving to figure out what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed.”

According to three different former federal law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, there is no precedent for the director of the FBI to refuse to inform a Deputy Attorney General of a matter because of his or her “acting” status nor to use the expectation of a recusal as a basis for withholding information.

“This is an extraordinary usurpation of power. Not something you’d expect from the supposedly by-the-books guys at the top of the FBI,” one of those officials told Breitbart News. Continue reading at breitbart.com.

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