Trey Gowdy Demands Answers On Use of Private Email By Trump Administration

Rep. Trey Gowdy’s (R-S.C.) House committee is calling for a review of White House email practices in the wake of a New York Times report that at least six members of the Trump Administration used personal email accounts to conduct official government business. Members of the House Oversight Committee asked for more information and instructed White House officials to “preserve all official records and copies of records in your custody or control.”

On Monday, the New York Times reported that Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, had sent about 100 work emails using a private email account. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus and advisors Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller also occasionally used private email accounts per the report. Ivanka Trump, the wife of Mr. Kushner, was reported to have used a private email account for government business while she was an unpaid White House advisor in the first months of the Trump Administration. The use of the private emails began in the transition period and continued as late as August.

The Times points out that government officials are supposed to use government email accounts for their official duties to preserve a record for oversight and later access for the public, but that it is not necessarily illegal to use a private account. If a private account is used, the work-related emails must be forwarded their work accounts for preservation.

A major issue in the 2016 campaign was Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her position as Secretary of State under President Obama. Clinton sent classified information using her unsecure private email system, which is illegal. 33,000 Clinton emails were never accounted for.

Gowdy and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent letters to Kushner and the other White House officials named in the report. The Associated Press reports that Kushner was specifically asked for a list all of the private email addresses used, a list of all official emails sent using the private accounts and for security information about the “home-brew” private email system used by Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government-related work. They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.” Sanders said that use of private email accounts was “to my knowledge, very limited.”

Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, told the AP that Kushner’s use of personal emails primarily involved the forwarding of news articles and political commentary in the first months of the Administration. Lowell said that all work-related emails had been forwarded to the official account and “all have been preserved in any event.”

There was no indication from the White House or Mr. Lowell as to whether Kushner’s emails would be released to the public.

Intern Records Kushner Off-the-Record, Shameful Hacks at WIRED Publish It

It seems everyone’s a Trump leaker now. It’s a Washington sport, where words like “breach of trust” and “off the record” mean nothing. And news media outlets are willing to publish anything anyone gives them, no matter how it was obtained.

On Monday, Jared Kushner spoke to a group of interns on Capitol Hill. His topic was the Middle East. The talks were an off-the-record series of summer lectures for congressional interns. One of them recorded it and shared it with WIRED, which gladly published the remarks.

WIRED included this paragraph in its article.

Prior to Kushner’s talk, Katie Patru, the deputy staff director for member services, outreach, and communications, told the assembled interns, “To record today’s session would be such a breach of trust, from my opinion. This town is full of leakers, and everyone knows who they are, and no one trusts them. In this business your reputation is everything. I’ve been on the Hill for 15 years. I’ve sat in countless meetings with members of congress where important decisions were being made. During all those years in all those meetings, I never once leaked to a reporter … If someone in your office has asked you to break our protocol and give you a recording so they can leak it, as a manager, that bothers me at my core.”

After which they proceeded to publish the talk in its entirety.

Reporters in Washington, D.C. would never even think of leaking an Obama administration top official speaking to interns. For one thing, it would ruin their job prospects with the administration. But it would also get a whole bunch of tut-tuts from other reporter who believed it was their job to make Obama succeed.

Those same reporters consider it their job to make Trump fail. In neither of these cases is journalistic ethics applicable. It’s only a cover for the former, and an excuse (“we have to inform the public”) for the latter.

What did WIRED learn about Kushner’s take on the Middle East? Nothing they didn’t already know if they’d have read about his views–or if they interviewed him instead of stealing his talk from a pimple-faced youngster plying his future trade as a D.C. leaker.

And this gem, which is now perversely public because of the efforts of a leaker to the press and a compliant press to publish it.

So if you’ve noticed about this conflict, and [unintelligible] nothing’s leaked out. So nothing has leaked out which I think gives the parties more trust, and more ability to really express and share their viewpoints. And ultimately, if you do a deal that when somebody had to compromise somewhere—all right so there’s a stated set of positions on one side. There’s a stated set of positions on the other side. And there’s a lot of viewpoints all around that people have, which may or may not be conducive to a solution. So I think you need to be able to probe people in private for them to have the confidence that it’s not going to be used against them, and that it’s not going to leak out in the press, which would be very, very hurtful. That’s been a big advantage, which has allowed us to really have a lot of very interesting conversations.

The folks at WIRED are shameful hacks. But then again so aren’t most of the press these days.

BREAKING: Kushner releases Congressional statement, ‘I did not collude’

Jared Kushner has released an 11-page statement to Congressional committees investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.

Kushner wrote that he is ‘grateful for the opportunity to set the record straight.” He also stated it’s not his practice to appear in the media or leak information. He concluded:

I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government. I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest.

As for his meetings with then-Russian Ambassador Kislyak, Kushner claims that the meeting substance is proof of his ignorance of any relationship that existed before Election Day.

The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election Day should of course be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of one that existed before Election Day.

(Bold in original.)

Kushner also addressed shortcomings and inconsistencies on his security clearance form (his SF-86). He attributed the problems to “the scramble of finalizing the unwinding of my involvement from my company, moving my family to Washington, completing the paper work to divest assets…and complete my security and financial disclosure forms.” That’s a reasonable explanation, in my opinion. He had a lot going on.

In his oral testimony scheduled for Tuesday, I’m sure there will be lots of followup questions to this statement based on other accusations and media reports, and lots of political grandstanding as the president’s son-in-law is put on display for all to see and hear. This could help Trump very much, or it could be a train wreck, depending on Kushner’s answers.

He may prove himself as smart and savvy as his supporters contend, or as dumb and overwhelmed as his detractors claim.

If You Ever Said Anything Critical of Trump During Campaign 2016, You’ll Want to Read This

Let me tie together two stories, one old and one new, that explains where things may be headed.

First is a 2015 New York Times story titled “The Agency.”

If Arthur had checked Twitter, he might have become much more worried. Hundreds of Twitter accounts were documenting a disaster right down the road. “A powerful explosion heard from miles away happened at a chemical plant in Centerville, Louisiana #ColumbianChemicals,” a man named Jon Merritt tweeted. The #ColumbianChemicals hashtag was full of eyewitness accounts of the horror in Centerville. @AnnRussela shared an image of flames engulfing the plant. @Ksarah12 posted a video of surveillance footage from a local gas station, capturing the flash of the explosion. Others shared a video in which thick black smoke rose in the distance.…

The Columbian Chemicals hoax was not some simple prank by a bored sadist. It was a highly coordinated disinformation campaign, involving dozens of fake accounts that posted hundreds of tweets for hours, targeting a list of figures precisely chosen to generate maximum attention. The perpetrators didn’t just doctor screenshots from CNN; they also created fully functional clones of the websites of Louisiana TV stations and newspapers. The YouTube video of the man watching TV had been tailor-made for the project. A Wikipedia page was even created for the Columbian Chemicals disaster, which cited the fake YouTube video. As the virtual assault unfolded, it was complemented by text messages to actual residents in St. Mary Parish. It must have taken a team of programmers and content producers to pull off.

Anyone who criticized Donald Trump during 2016 understands this story. As I documented at the time, critics of the President were inundated with long dormant Twitter accounts from Russia suddenly harassing them, filling their timelines, and trying to drive them from the conversation. Look at the harassment suffered by the Colorado GOP via online trolls after they declined to side with Trump during the primaries.

Well, now here’s the second story to tie to the New York Times one and this one is from last week.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are now probing whether the digital campaign operation run by Trump son-in-law and top adviser Jared Kushner helped Russia target U.S. voters with fake news stories about Hillary Clinton, according to a new report.

McClatchy News first reported that investigators are looking into whether the Trump campaign helped Russian cyber operatives target areas in key states, “where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.”

CBS leaves out the harassment and trolling of others component, but I would suspect that is being looked at too. Someone had to be behind the Twitter troll army. There is speculation in Washington that Mueller’s team is investigating whether Kushner might have had something to do with it and with the micro-targeting of voters via social media, etc. And, here is the big bit, if so was it properly disclosed on a campaign contribution disclosure report.

Comparing Timeline to Emails Creates Big Problems for Trump

The text of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails detailing the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya is troubling enough, but the way the emails fit into the overall timeline of the presidential campaign and the unfolding Russia scandal are even more problematic for the Trump Administration. The emails, released by Donald Trump, Jr., provide confirmation that members of the Trump campaign were open to accepting “Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” and actions taken by the Trump campaign may indicate that Donald Trump himself was aware of the offer and intended to use the Russian government’s intelligence information.

The email chain began on June 3, 2016, about a week after Donald Trump had officially secured a majority of Republican delegates to become the presumptive nominee. At this point, the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the theft of the emails was not public knowledge.

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, Donald Trump announced, “I am going to give a major speech on… probably Monday of next week [June13] and we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons and I think you’re going to find it very informative and very, very interesting.”

The next day, June 8, the @DCLeaks_ Twitter account posted the first links to stolen emails on the DC Leaks website. The DC Leaks website and Facebook accounts apparently debuted the same day.

On Thursday, June 9, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, “The [sic] Russian government attorney” referred to in the emails, in New York’s Trump Tower.

On Sunday, June 12, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on British television that more leaked emails relating to the Clinton campaign would be coming out soon.

Donald Trump did not make his promised “very interesting” speech on June 13, but on June 14, the Washington Post broke the news that hackers had penetrated the DNC network and “gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.” The report, which identified the culprits as “Russian government hackers” even at that early date, also said that “the intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic.” The Post also reported the hackers had targeted Republicans as well. Trump’s speeches from that week did not contain any new and notable information about Hillary.

The next day, June 15, a hacker calling himself “Guccifer 2.0” contacted The Smoking Gun to claim credit for the hack of the Democratic National Committee. Guccifer 2.0  claimed to be a Romanian, but is widely suspected to be a creation of Russian intelligence.

On June 18, the Washington Post reported that the Trump campaign had removed a pledge to provide weapons to the Ukrainian forces fighting the Putin-backed invasion of their country. The report says that the changes were made “last week,” which would mean the platform changes immediately followed the meeting of Trump’s campaign advisors with Veselnitskaya.

On June 27, the first stolen DNC emails were published on the DC Leaks website.

A month later, on July 22, WikiLeaks released a second batch of DNC emails. The FBI announced that it was opening an investigation into the hack shortly after.

It was at this point that Donald Trump publicly asked Russia for help in finding the emails that were deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server. “I will tell you this,” Trump said on July 27 at a press conference, “Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

A few months later, just before the final release of stolen emails by WikiLeaks, Roger Stone, a Trump advisor, seemed to hint that something big was coming. “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone tweeted on August 21. In the week before the final email dump on Oct. 7, Stone posted three tweets hinting that something was coming according to Business Insider, including one on Oct. 3 that read “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon.”

While Donald Trump, Jr. claims that nothing of substance emerged from the meeting with the Russian lawyer, his response to the emails and the subsequent actions of the Trump campaign clearly show an intent to use information obtained from a foreign government to discredit a political rival. Such coordination is possibly illegal and certainly unethical.

While there is currently no paper trail that leads directly to Donald Trump, Sr., Trump’s speech on June 7 suggests that he was aware that something was in the wind. Additionally, his July 27 appeal to Russia looks starkly different in view of the revelation that the Russian government had offered its assistance to his campaign a month before.

In addition to the fact that none of the Trump advisors disclosed the meeting and that Donald Trump, Jr. initially lied about what was discussed, the emails create another problem for the Trump Administration.  The timing of the meeting and the platform change raise the possibility of a quid pro quo with the Russians. The fact that the Trump campaign changed the Republican Party platform in a way that benefitted the Russian government immediately after the Russians offered dirt on Hillary is something that will be difficult to explain away. It is also a decision that can likely be traced to Donald Trump himself.

Although the Donald Trump, Jr. emails are not a smoking gun to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, but they are close to it.

Memo To Jared Kushner: Way To Score on Your Own Team’s Goal!

Buried eleven paragraphs down in the New York Times‘ latest blast against the Trump White House is this little knife in the back of Jared Kushner.

The emails were discovered in recent weeks by Mr. Kushner’s legal team as it reviewed documents, and the team amended his clearance forms to disclose it, according to people briefed on the developments, who like others declined to be identified because of the sensitive political and legal issues involved.

How cute. They use unnamed sources for everything, except when they want to burn a source inside the Trump inner circle. No “on condition of anonymity” for Kushner and his legal team, huh.

The NYT is now playing poke-the-tiger with Trump and his family, hoping possibly to provoke some kind of MacBeth tragedy in the First Family.

Allahpundit popped up his own tub of popcorn for this one. “When Trump inevitably fires Jared, he should have NBC air it live as a very special episode of ‘The Apprentice.'”

The Times goes on to note that Manafort also disclosed the meeting with the Russian lawyer to federal investigators but says nothing about him mentioning emails. Kushner and Manafort are the only members of the inner circle with a conceivable motive to go public with this stuff: Each of them was a much bigger player in the campaign than Don Jr was, so if the fact that the meeting took place had somehow ended up in the papers, the coverage likely would have focused on one or both of them instead of Junior — probably Kushner most of all since, unlike Manafort, he works in the White House as a top advisor. The solution, presumably, was for Team Jared (or Team Paul) to leak the details of the meeting preemptively, emphasizing that Donald Jr, not Kushner or Manafort, had been the one excited at the prospect of Russian-provided oppo on Hillary Clinton. How Kushner’s going to manage his relationship with the president after this, I can’t imagine.

He also dispenses with the theory that Trump Jr. was handling the disclosure and statement on his own. Shocking, that, because every lawyer I know buried head in hands and sobbed when the emails were tweeted. But most lawyers don’t deal with the Game of Thrones that is the Trump White House.

According to the NYT, it was the president’s own advisors who drafted Junior’s original “adoption” statement and it was the president himself who approved it. Three sources told the Times that Don Jr wanted to come clean and do a full explanation from the beginning, and, er, three other sources claim that Don Jr was adamantly opposed to full disclosure, which demonstrates starkly just how circular this firing squad is right now. Whatever the truth may be as to what Don Jr wanted, why did Team Trump lie in the initial statement about what happened at the meeting knowing that Kushner and Manafort had told the feds about it recently and thus the truth was likely to come out? And why is Team Trump drafting statements for Don Jr anyway? He’s supposed to be a private citizen who’s independent of the administration, right? That’s the whole reason that letting him run the family business is supposedly acceptable: In theory, he’s not interacting with the White House. In reality, the White House is putting out statements in his name. Why would Kasowitz and other Trump family lawyers allow that to happen knowing how it exposes them to conflict-of-interest problems?

Why indeed. Last, Allahpundit points out this little coincidence in timing. Just a coincidence, right?


I think the whole Trump family needs to get on Air Force One and fly out to a remote island to work out their differences. Maybe a few cage matches. Whoever emerges gets to stay, and the others get to live in exile somewhere cold (like Siberia) until the Master’s term ends or he leaves office.

In the meantime, Jared Kushner has got to be the goat, not as in “greatest of all time” but as in a real goat who scores on his team’s net to lose the game. Apparently they all see the same bus coming and the urge to push the others under it is simply too great.

Chris Matthews Suggests Trump Should Kill Son-In-Law

Another day, another liberal joking about violence against the Trump family.

In comes MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Speaking Thursday on his show Hardball, Matthews was lamenting at Jared Kushner’s influence within the White House. He brought up issues with nepotism and more conspiracies between the Trump administration and Russia. Arguing that Kushner was the source of many of the president’s problems, the liberal host seemingly suggested Trump channel Benito Mussolini and kill his son-in-law – something the Italian dictator did during WWII.

“So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law. I mean, I’m talking about Ciano,” Matthews said to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.

However, we are getting way ahead of ourselves with the Trump-Mussolini comments. Even before suggesting that Trump whack his son-in-law, Matthews equated Trump’s White House to Mengistu’s tyrannical government in Ethiopia; compared Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay; and repeatedly said Trump family members were like “the Romanovs.”

All in one episode.

This is a sign of a man going crazy with Trump Derangement Syndrome. He dredges up comparisons to Romanovs, Mussolini and the Hussein family in just a few short sentences. If you took him at his word, the United States is currently a third-world, banana republic living under gestapo rule. He’s convinced himself Donald Trump will be impeached by the end of the week.

Hey Chris, I think you’re a little paranoid.

Seriously, Read the Comments on this Kushner Holocaust Heroic Tale

Jared Kushner’s family has some serious street cred at battling Nazis, but liberal politics won’t let some people accept it.

The Times of Israel published a fascinating and heroic story of the Kushner family during WWII, Jared’s grandmother Rae, as a teenager, not only survived the Holocaust, but helped dig the longest tunnel ever used to escape a Nazi ghetto, led hundreds to freedom, and then joined Jewish partisans to fight her enemies.

In what became one of Belarus’ best-known Holocaust stories, Rae helped lead prisoners through the weeks-in-the-making escape tunnel, which was the longest of its kind in Nazi-occupied Europe and facilitated the biggest escape through a tunnel by Jews.

Rae Kushner was a legitimate badass.

Now we scroll down to the bottom of the Times of Israel post, into the slithering snake pit known as the comments section. Erick told me never to read the comments, and with good reason. It’s why we don’t have a comment section here at The Resurgent.

But sometimes comment sections can be more revealing of the reader and culture than just a collection of trolls on a website.

Here’s one from Susannah Greenberg, who swung and missed the point entirely.

This is how Nazism got its foothold. Complicity, silence. RESIST. Trump is the new Hitler. Face the reality. Kushner is too busy scooping up the money to see the writing is on the wall, the swastikas in fact.

Wut? There’s more.

Jared is a tragic falling off from his heritage and defiles the memory of this woman. She was a self sacrificing hero. He is a spineless, greedy, self serving criminal. So was his father. Jared has done nothing to decry the new wave of anti semitic acts and neo nazism that Trump has wrought. Kushner is silent. Shame! Tragic.

Kushner is an observant, Orthodox Jew. He is friendly with Israel and hard on the Palestinian leaders. Susannah Greenberg wrote that Jared and his dad Charles “are not worthy to be descendents of Rae who I’m sure would be rolling in her grave at the thought…”

Let’s see. Charles Kushner was convicted of various campaign-related crimes in 2005, and his mother died in 2004. Setting aside the fact that speaking of someone’s mother and grandmother in that way is extremely offensive, I’m pretty sure Rae would take up for her son, knowing how Jewish mothers are (I had one).

Here’s one from someone calling themselves “DC Sardine, Senior Professor at Sardinia University” (right!).

Because all this is merely a paean to Jared. The worthy grandmother only has value in today’s press when illuminated by the magnificent halo of Jared, a halo such as only countless millions of US dollars shining concurrently can project. A halo that can vie with God’s own laws, and secure exemptions.

Myrna Solganick of UW Madison (I do believe that), wrote:

Its preposterous for the Times of Israel to be celebrating Jared Kushner. For one thing, he cannot rest on the laurels of his forebearers. For another, he has done NOTHING to stand up to the dictatorial, ignorant and fascist policies of his father in law. His family may have been brave but Kushner is just a spoiled rich boy. It is reprehensible to me, as an American Jew, to hear the TImes laud a young man who is complicit with the policies of his father- policies, for that matter, fly in the face of everthing Israel and Judaism stand for.

To which Cameron O’Sullivan of Grand Rapids, Michigan, as Irish as Patty’s Pig as my stepfather would say, offered the perfect response.

Left wing Jews are one of the most delusional groups on the planet earth.

After that great start, O’Sullivan veered off into historical inaccuracy and la-la land, claiming “Israel was founded by ethnic nationalist far right wingers.” LOL, no. Israel was founded by socialists mixed with a few Orthodox Jews and a generous helping of intellectual elites. But the first sentence was great.

Read the threads for yourself. They have nothing to do with the bravery and desperation of the Kushner family, which for Jared, was within living memory. He was born in 1981 and certainly heard these stories from the source.

It seems we are in greater danger of trashing the lessons of the Holocaust when we let politics get in the way of its memory. Some liberal Jews are no better than Holocaust-deniers when they say things like certain Jews, based on their politics or marriage choices, are unworthy of that heritage.