Trump's Early Morning Tweet: 'Russians Laughing Their A---s Off'
“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their a---s off in Moscow. Get smart America!” Trump tweeted after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential elections. Fox
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Trump Says FBI Missed 'Signals' Of Florida School Shooting Because Of Russian Probe
President Trump spent the weekend at his his Mar-a-Lago resort tweeting about the Russia investigation after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies in connection with what prosecutors describe as a covert Russian campaign to help Trump win the presidency. Trump repeatedly asserted that his campaign didn't collude with anyone to win the 2016 election.  NPR

Trump Tweets Another Anti-CNN Cartoon
President Trump on Sunday used his Twitter account to share an anti-CNN cartoon by an artist who in 2016 caused heartburn for Trump's presidential campaign by drawing Hillary Clinton in blackface. The latest image by cartoonist Tony Branco imagines CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer in the year 2038, leaning on a cane as he delivers the following report: “Update! We should see evidence of Russia-Trump collusion any day now.” The implication is that the media will never let go of the story. The cartoon was originally posted by Twitter user @RealDJTrump, who was responding to one of the president's messages from a weekend tweetstorm. Trump quoted the tweet and added his own commentary: “The Fake News of big ratings loser CNN.” Washington Post
VOA VIEW: The liberals have lost ratings and more.

Rep. Ted Lieu: Are Russians Writing Trump Tweets?
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on Sunday questioned a series of “desperate tweets” from President Trump following charges filed against Russians for interfering in the 2016 election. “I can’t tell if @POTUS is writing them, or if it’s someone from Russia’s Internet Research Agency. Also, when is Trump going to implement the bipartisan congressional sanctions?” Lieu t weeted.The congressman was responding to a tweet from Trump that said “they are laughing their asses off in Moscow” because the ongoing probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Hill
VOA VIEW: Lieu would have better said nothing.


Couple Who Took In Florida School Shooter Say There Were No Warning Signs
In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel on Saturday, James and Kimberly Snead said they never saw the violent side of Cruz, but recognized that the 19-year-old was depressed about his mother, who died in November. The couple had opened their home to Cruz, who was staying with a family friend, at their son’s request. “We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead, 49, said. Fox

Trump Once Again Wants To Cut Energy Assistance To The Poor
The administration is using the same arguments from a year ago when it tried to abolish the program, saying it's rife with fraud and that no one would be left freezing if the program goes away. Those claims were widely discredited a year ago. The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association called President Donald Trump's arguments "very misleading and wrong." Fox

Trump Administration's Latest Strike On CFPB
The Trump administration is proposing to dramatically cut funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move critics say is an ongoing assault on the 7-year-old agency. The bureau was championed by Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats and created in the wake of the financial crisis to protect Americans from getting ripped off by financial firms. The White House proposal would chop funding for the CFPB by about $150 million — or a quarter of its budget. Such cuts would mean "massive layoffs and disruptions," says Mike Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending. NPR


Trump Is A Rage In India
When the Trump family jet lands in India this week, the family member taking a tour of the world’s largest democracy — with a Secret Service detail in tow — won’t be the president on a diplomatic mission. It will be his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., on a sales trip. But Indians might be forgiven for not making much of the distinction. The visit by the younger Trump, intended to help sell more than $1 billion in luxury residential units being built by the Trumps and their local partners, has been promoted with newspaper advertisements that read: Economic Times

What Trump Still Gets Wrong About How Russia Played Facebook
Special Counsel Robert Mueller released a bombshell indictment Friday, implicating 13 Russian nationals and detailing a multi-year, costly, and widespread effort to influence the 2016 presidential election. At the center of that effort were Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, which the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) used to recruit American followers, plan real-life rallies, and spread propaganda about issues like religion, immigration, and eventually Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Wired

Kasich To Trump: 'Take Some Steps' On Gun Control
Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich said the deadly school shooting on Wednesday should be a rallying moment for the nation on guns, but he predicted Congress would not live up to the task, and suggested the President should take the lead. "Do I think they can do anything on guns? I hope they prove me wrong and they can because I have no confidence in them," Kasich said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "We need leadership out of the executive," he said. CNN

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Donald Trump V Bill Clinton: Sex Scandals
The claim this week by a lawyer for Donald Trump that $130,000 transferred to a pornographic actor on the eve of the 2016 election was not taken from campaign funds set off a rollicking debate over who then, exactly, paid the porn star. What it did not set off was a rollicking debate over what that payment, and the alleged illicit sex behind it, might mean in terms of the fitness for office of the sitting US president. Did not Bill Clinton get impeached not so long ago, over an extramarital affair? And has not Trump’s conduct – which has been tied to a second payment before the election to a former Playboy model – been just as egregious, if not worse? Guardian
VOA VIEW: Liberal hogwash.

Under Trump, America's Religious Right Is Rewriting Its Code Of Ethics
The religious right’s wholesale embrace of the Republican party and of Donald J Trump, both as candidate and as president, has necessitated a rewriting of evangelical ethics. Here’s a summary, with annotations. Lying is all right as long as it serves a higher purpose. Yes, we know all about that business about not bearing false witness in the Ten Commandments, but that was a very long time ago. Can’t we get beyond that? Truth and truthiness are overrated. After all, did it really matter that the “birther” nonsense was hokum?. Guardian

In Shooting's Wake, Trump Urges Children To Seek Help If They Feel 'Lost, Alone, Confused Or Even Scared'
President Donald Trump responded to the latest American school shooting on Thursday by speaking directly to children across the country, urging them to seek help if they feel "lost, alone, confused or even scared." Trump stressed the need to address mental health issues in America in his first public response to the shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school but steered clear of any discussion of gun laws in the US. CNN


US Seeks To Block AT&T From Citing Trump Opposition In Merger Lawsuit
“There was no selective enforcement,” Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said at a pre-trial hearing. “The president is unhappy with CNN. We don’t dispute that. But AT&T wants to turn that into a get-out-jail-free card for their illegal merger.” AT&T and Time Warner’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, however, cited Trump’s repeated criticism of the deal as reason to allow the company to argue that the government opposed the deal for political reasons. It is seeking records of communications between the White House and Justice Department that describe Trump’s views on the merger. Reuters

There’s A Pretty Good Chance President Trump Is Being Blackmailed
We have no idea if the wildest and most memorable allegation Christopher Steele picked up in his investigation of Donald Trump — that the future president is vulnerable to Russian blackmail related to his paying Russian prostitutes in 2013 — is true. There are two common grounds for skepticism. One is that Trump, who is known both for his affairs and for grabbing women, would pay for sex. The second is that a man so happily associated with infidelity and vice could be blackmailed at all. We now know neither of these objections holds water. NY Mag
VOA VIEW: Only liberal fools can report or believe the false allegations.

Trump's Military Parade Could Cost $30 Million
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, estimated on Wednesday that the public display of America’s military might that Mr. Trump has called for could cost between $10 million and $30 million, and said the government would have to come up with a way to cover the cost. NY Times

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Hypocrisy: CNN Lies About Cruz, Trump Avoiding Questions
CNN has a habit of accusing Republicans of avoiding interviews when in reality it covers up and buries them, or simply pretends to ask tough questions for clicks. CNN host Chris Cuomo called out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday, claiming he was “afraid” to face questions about gun violence following the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead. “What are Republicans afraid of?” he asked. InfoWars
VOA VIEW: CNN is as liberal and bias as can be.

Bernie: Trump Not Speaking Out Against Russia A ‘Horror Show’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday blasted President Trump for not taking action to protect the U.S. from Russian meddling in future elections, saying “that we don’t have a president speaking out on this issue is a horror show.” His comments follow an indictment released Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller outlining multiple actors who played a role in extensive Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. “We have got to bring Democrats and Republicans together despite the president to go forward to protect the integrity of American democracy,” Sanders said on “Meet The Press.” InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Sanders is an idiot.

Prosecutor May Seek Death Penalty For Florida Gunman
A Florida prosecutor hinted Saturday that his office would seek the death penalty for the confessed teen killer who massacred 17 people in a high school on Valentine’s Day. “This certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for,” Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz said in a statement. “This was a highly calculated and premeditated murder of 17 people and the attempted murder of everyone in that school. Our office will announce our formal position at the appropriate time.” NY Post

Trump Slams Obama's Nuclear Deal Payment To Iran
Hours after President Trump blamed the FBI for dropping the ball on the Florida shooting because it was too focused on Russia meddling in the 2016 election and chastised his national security adviser for not clearing the administration of collusion, he continued the onslaught in an early morning Twitter storm – attacking a top congressional Democrat, lauding his own campaign and scolding President Obama. NY Post

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Netanyahu Warns Iran: 'Do Not Test Israel's Resolve'
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed an international agreement with Iran on Sunday, saying it has emboldened the regime in Tehran to become increasingly aggressive in the region. He told Iran that it should “not test Israel’s resolve.” Netanyahu told world leaders, defense officials and diplomats at the Munich Security Conference the agreement has “unleashed a dangerous Iranian tiger in our region and beyond.” NY Post

White House Grapples with Un-Presidential Trump After School Shooting
In the days ahead of the long Presidents’ Day weekend, several White House aides had privately conceded to The Daily Beast that they were worried how it would look if their boss decided to go golfing, again. Entering the weekend directly following the Parkland school shooting—at a time when family and friends of the victims, as well as survivors, were still grappling with what had struck their community—President Donald Trump was already scheduled to spend the next few days at his Florida resort getaway, Mar-a-Lago, where he famously takes long stretches of hours to golf and blow off steam.  Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: Liberal don't have a valid argument.

Senator Orrin Hatch Apologizes to Rob Porter’s Ex-Wives
Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has reportedly reached out and apologized to the two ex-wives of a White House aide who recently stepped down over domestic violence allegations. Jennie Willoughby, the second ex-wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, told CNN on Sunday Hatch sent her a letter offering a “sincere apology for pain he may have caused us.” Colbie Holderness, Porter’s first ex-wife, also confirmed receiving a letter from Hatch, who initially defended the White House aide as a “decent man” and called the domestic violence allegations against him a “vile attack” when they were first publicized earlier this month. Hatch, who previously employed Porter as his chief of staff, reportedly sought to explain to the two ex-wives why he initially dismissed their claims.  Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: Hatch should not make any apology until the matter has been adjudicated.

Flummoxed Facebook Helped Mueller
Facebook cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller, quietly supplying Russian-placed material that was cited in Friday's blockbuster indictment. A Facebook source tells me: "[T]he level of detail in the indictment wouldn’t have been possible without the close cooperation of Facebook, particularly the details about the communication between IRA [Russians' Internet Research Agency] pages and unwitting Trump campaign staffers and volunteers about rallies in Florida.” Axios

Rick Gates To Plead Guilty "Within Days", Testify Against Manafort
Former top Trump campaign aide Rick Gates will plead guilty on fraud-related charges in coming days, the Los Angeles Times reports. Sources tell the Times Gates has told prosecutors that he would testify against his former business partner and Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Why it matters: Gates pleaded not guilty last October to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, but there have been reports he's trying to strike a deal. Unnamed sources told the Times that Gates' plea will be presented in federal court in Washington "within the next few days.'' Axios
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

Russia: U.S. Uses 'Imagined Russia Threat' To Ensure Its Dominance in Europe
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the United States uses "an imaginary Russian threat" as an excuse to expand its own influence in Europe. This threat, he argued in an interview with EuroNews, is non-existent, but the United States uses it nonetheless to expand NATO -- even to Moscow's historical allies in the Balkans. "Guided by this fake logic, a very real deployment of heavy artillery and additional large contingents takes place on the NATO-Russian border," Lavrov said while referring to missile defense in Romania, Poland, and the Baltic states. PJ Media

Top Illinois Dem Caught Up In Sexual Harassment Scandal
The most powerful Democratic politician in Illinois, House Speaker Mike Madigan, was forced to fire his long time top aide, Kevin Quinn, over sexual harassment allegations. The charges came from a prominent Democratic political consultant, Alaina Hampton. Hampton supplied the Chicago Tribune with a series of texts from Quinn that prove the speaker's aide was harassing her. The Hill reports that in text messages sent in 2016, Quinn repeatedly asked Hampton to drinks, even after she asked him to stop. Quinn praised Hampton's appearance, asked whether she had a boyfriend and asked why she did not find him attractive. PJ Media

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