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Latest from Jamie Dupree

    With political pressure for action in the wake of last week’s mass school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump on Thursday said he supports the idea of allowing some teachers to carry concealed weapons in schools, proposing that those teachers get bonuses for helping with security improvements to deter school shootings in the future. “What I would recommend doing, is that the people who do carry (a weapon), we give them a bonus,” the President said in a round table meeting at the White House with state and local officials, arguing that is a much less expensive option than hiring thousands of armed guards. “So, practically for free – you have now made the school into a hardened target,” the President added. President Trump on arming teachers: 'I would like to see true people with great talent at guns and being adept at guns of which there's only a percentage of people…because you can't hire enough security guards…but you could have concealed on the teachers.' pic.twitter.com/I1MDJVAKLA — CSPAN (@cspan) February 22, 2018 At the meeting, and earlier in the day on Twitter, the President set out a series of different ideas that he said would help with school security. + Stronger school security, by hardening entrance points to schools. + Allowing teachers and administrators to carry a firearm in a school. + Stronger background checks on guns sales, emphasizing mental health information. + Raising the minimum age – from 18 to 21 – to purchase a powerful weapon like an AR-15. + Doing more to provide mental health treatment to people – like the Florida shooter – who have been identified to authorities. + Ending the sale of ‘bump stocks,’ which can make semi-automatic weapons fire at a faster rate. ….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 Trump says his administration is 'into doing background checks,' banning bump stocks and focusing on mental health resources https://t.co/nT53wEGe5U — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 22, 2018 Mr. Trump said he was confident that the National Rifle Association would get behind his plans, including the change in the minimum age to purchase long guns. “I spoke to them, and they’re ready to do things – they want to do things,” the President said, referring to NRA members as ‘patriots and good people.’ But in the Congress, there were already signs that changing the minimum age for buying an AR-15 would face GOP opposition. “Why should a 20yr old single mom be denied the right to defend herself and her kids?” asked Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) on Twitter. “We should lower the age to buy a handgun to 18, instead of raising the age to buy an AR15.”
  • A day after an emotional meeting with parents and family members to discuss the threat of school shootings in the United States, President Donald Trump on Thursday signaled his strong support for the idea of allowing some teachers and administrators to carry a firearm at schools, in order to form a first line of defense. “Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive,” the President tweeted. “Far more assets at much less cost than guards,” the President tweeted, as he said undefended schools are a “magnet for bad people.” “ATTACKS WOULD END!” the President added. “GREAT DETERRENT!” In a series of morning tweets, Mr. Trump first objected to news reports which he said he would support arming teachers, and then went on to detail how this would be a special plan for only certain people at a school. I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 ….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 ….History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 The President’s comments came hours before a second day of meetings on school security, as he prepared to meet with state and local officials; the White House had not made public who would be in that meeting in the Roosevelt Room. In his Wednesday meeting, which featured wrenching stories from parents who lost children, and students who lost friends last week in Parkland, Florida, the President emphasized a series of themes: + Stronger school security, by hardening entrance points to schools. + Allowing teachers and administrators to carry a firearm in a school. + Stronger background checks on guns sales, though Mr. Trump has yet to define exactly what that would entail. + Raising the age to purchase a powerful weapon like an AR-15. + Doing more to provide mental health treatment to people – like the Florida shooter – who have been identified to authorities. In Congress, Democrats were calling on the President to take extra steps toward gun control – but it was not clear if Mr. Trump would do that, even as the White House said earlier in the week that items like a ban on assault weapons was on the table for discussion. Democrats pointed the finger at the National Rifle Association for the lack of action on the issue in House and Senate. It shouldn’t take another 17 deaths for Congress to finally take action to prevent gun violence. We must be allowed to vote on common-sense legislation like the Gun Violence Research Act TODAY. #StudentsDemandAction #NeverAgain — Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) February 22, 2018 After #Newtown, we fought for truly universal background checks; the @SenateGOP voted it down. After #PulseOrlando, we sat in on the House Floor to demand action; the @HouseGOP shut off cameras & refused to allow votes. 58 dead in LasVegas…17 dead in Florida… #ParklandTownHall — Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) February 22, 2018 “The NRA has been an implacable enemy of legal mechanisms to enforce gun laws,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). But with a solid majority in the Congress right now favoring the side of gun rights, any quick move to press forward with gun controls seemed to be remote – unless it drew support from the President himself.
  • Hearing from parents and students who lost friends and family members in last week’s school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump said it was time for the nation to work together to better safeguard schools, as he advocated stronger security including the possibility of allowing teachers and administrators to carry concealed weapons during the school day. “It’s very difficult, it’s very complex, but we’ll find a solution,” the President said as he wrapped the over hour long listening session, which featured tears from parents and students. “I’m never going to see my kid again, I want you all to know that,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among those killed last week in Florida. “My beautiful daughter, I’m never going to see again,” Pollack added, flanked by his two sons. Andrew Pollack, father of Meadow Pollack: 'My daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week. She was taken from us. Shot nine times on the third floor.' Watch full video here: https://t.co/PTvTbB8sUn #ParklandStudentsSpeak pic.twitter.com/Qkp9WYVZcm — CSPAN (@cspan) February 21, 2018 The over hour long session was respectful on all sides, as parents and students pleaded with the President to do something to end school shootings. “I was actually in the second classroom that was shot at,” said Jonathan Blank, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. “In my mind, as a kid, nothing that horrible should ever have to happen to you,” Blank added. Echoing some of the calls for action by other Douglas students, Sam Zeif used his time before the President to make a tearful plea for change on powerful weapons like the AR-15. 'I lost a best friend. … I don't understand why I can can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war.' Sam Zeif was on the second floor of the Parkland, Florida, school where 17 people died after a mass shooting. https://t.co/ozoMFp0dU5 https://t.co/xsKZjl5Zna — CNN International (@cnni) February 21, 2018 “I don’t understand why I could still go into a store and buy a weapon of war,” Zeif said, fighting back tears. “I don’t know how I’m ever going to step foot in that place again,” Zeif said of his school. As for the President, he listened quietly as students and parents told their stories and made their requests – Mr. Trump said he’s still developing his plan to deal with school shootings, but seemed to outline a series of ideas that he backs: + Stronger school security, by hardening entrance points to schools. + Allowing teachers and administrators to carry a firearm in a school. + Stronger background checks on guns sales, though Mr. Trump has yet to define exactly what that would entail. + Raising the age to purchase a powerful weapon like an AR-15. + Doing more to provide mental health treatment to people – like the Florida shooter – who have been identified to authorities. “If you have a teacher – who was adept at firearms – you could very well end the attack very quickly,” the President said of the idea of concealed carry in schools, as he compared it to airline pilots being allowed to carry a gun in the aftermath of the Nine Eleven attacks. President Trump responds to the emotional stories of students and parents: “We don’t want others to go through the kind of pain that you've gone through” https://t.co/GtcRURoZo4 pic.twitter.com/JliJbQkJgr — CNN International (@cnni) February 21, 2018 “If these cowards knew that the school was well guarded,” the President said, “I don’t think they would go into the school in the first place.” “Thank you for pouring out your hearts, because the world is watching,” the President said as he wrapped up the White House event. “We’re going to come up with a solution.”
  • As several hundred high school students rallied at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to press for gun controls, there were more calls in the halls of Congress for action on gun violence, with both parties waiting to see what the President might do on guns, as the White House did not immediately reject some of the ideas, like age limits for people buying high-powered weapons like an AR-15. “I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up in the next couple of weeks,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday, when asked about the age limit idea. That plan is already drawing bipartisan support, as Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced that he is working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on a measure to raise the minimum purchase age to 21, from 18. A kid too young buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15. Working with @SenFeinstein on a bipartisan bill that will raise the minimum purchase age for non-military buyers from 18 to 21 – the same age you currently have to be to purchase a handgun. — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) February 21, 2018 Feinstein has also advocated a return of something that was put into law on a temporary basis in 1994, a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons. “When the assault weapons ban was in place, the number of gun massacres fell by 37% and the number of people dying from gun massacres fell by 43%,” Feinstein argues. But while that might sell with a number of Democrats in Congress today, you don’t have to go back too far – only to the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in December 2012 – to see that a number of Democrats voted against such a plan back then. Some Democrats argue that 2018 – and the Parkland, Florida school shooting – will be different, as a growing number of students have demanded action on gun control. While students from Florida were rallying at their state capitol in Tallahassee, several hundred students from the Washington, D.C. area marched to the Capitol to voice their demands. “Keep guns out of schools,” read one sign. “Ban Assault Weapons,” was another, as the students urged action in the Congress. “I came out of my office to say, I am with you 100 percent,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), one of many more liberal Democrats who would like to see action on gun control. But despite the enthusiasm, the path forward for almost any gun measure is cloudy at best in the Congress, as GOP leaders have given no hint that they will suddenly bring gun bills backed by Democrats to a vote in the House and Senate. The one wild card may be President Trump, who has held more liberal views on guns in the past, including support for an assault weapons ban. On Tuesday night, the President tweeted his support for stricter background checks on gun buyers – but that type of statement can mean many different things. Was the President saying he would back plans from Democrats to require private gun sales to have a background check – what’s been referred to for many years as the ‘gun show loophole?’ Or is this tweet from the President something less sweeping – simply about insuring that more information gets into the instant check database system? Like lawmakers, reporters weren’t getting much in the way of detailed answers on some of the more controversial items of gun control legislation – like does Mr. Trump still favor an assault weapons ban? “I don’t have any specific announcements, but we haven’t closed the door on any front,” Mr. Trump’s Press Secretary said. It was a reminder that the President could roil the gun debate in Congress, depending on how he deals with some of these post-Parkland issues.
  • In the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Florida last week, the White House told reporters on Tuesday that President Donald Trump is ready to discuss a range of gun restrictions that have been championed by Democrats in Congress, while also stressing that there is no quick legislative answer to such mass shootings. Asked about the President’s past support for a ban on assault weapons, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not rule that out. “I don’t have any specific announcements, but we haven’t closed the door on any front,” Sanders told reporters. Along with supporting a bill to funnel more information into the instant gun buyers background check system, Sanders said the President favors tighter background checks, and did not oppose the idea of supporting new age limits for when someone can buy a weapon like an AR-15. “I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss and that we expect to come up in the next couple of weeks,” Sanders told reporters, though she sounded a clear note of caution. “Everybody wants a quick and simple answer,” Sanders added.  “But there isn’t one.” THIS. In WH briefing now, @PressSec said: – The idea of blocking AR-15, other gun sales to teens is 'on the table'. – The idea of an assault weapons ban is not off the table. — Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) February 20, 2018 Asked about banning ‘bump stocks’ – a device which makes semi-automatic weapons fire at a faster rate – Sanders hinted that action would soon happen administratively. “I can tell you the President supports not having the use of bump stocks, and that we expect further action on that in coming days,” Sanders said. “School safety is a top priority for my administration,” the President said moments later at a Medal of Valor ceremony at the White House. President Trump addresses the Parkland school shooting at the Medal of Valor ceremony: 'We must do more to protect our children … school safety is a top priority for my administration' https://t.co/O01e2cVXzx — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 20, 2018 “We must do more to protect our children,” Mr. Trump added, without going into any detail on what he might consider. Back in the daily briefing, Press Secretary Sanders was asked about a tweet sent out by the President in recent days, where he said the FBI had failed to pick up a tip about the Florida shooter because of an excessive focus on the Russia investigation. “I think he’s making the point that we would like our FBI agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax, in terms of investigating the Trump Campaign,” Sanders said.
  • The probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections produced another indictment on Monday, as the feds charged a man with making false statements to investigators working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, also accusing the lawyer of deleting emails, and not cooperating with the probe. The initial document released by a Washington, D.C. federal court showed Alex Van Der Zwaan lied about his interactions with Rick Gates, who has already been indicted by Mueller’s office. Gates, who once worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign, already faces charges of a money laundering conspiracy, and failure to file as a foreign agent. Even though there were only two pages of information released on Tuesday morning, the details of the indictment raised a series of interesting items. + Van Der Zwaan was accused of secretly recording phone calls before the 2016 elections: A lawyer charged with lying to FBI agents in the special counsel investigation secretly recorded telephone calls with ex-Trump aide Rick Gates and another person in September 2016. pic.twitter.com/29oiGF68I0 — Brad Heath (@bradheath) February 20, 2018 + The mention of Rick Gates comes as Gates has reportedly been in discussions with the Special Counsel’s office about a plea bargain agreement. + This new indictment includes references to a “Person A” and a “Law Firm A.” The latest indictment came as the President again took to Twitter to talk about the Russia investigation. Back at the White House after a long weekend in Florida, Mr. Trump on Tuesday once more suggested that the Russia investigation was mainly sour grapes about his defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016: I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts. Total Fake News! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018 “There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, there’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time, and so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes.” ….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018 ….The President Obama quote just before election. That’s because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win and he didn’t want to “rock the boat.” When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018 The New York Times had reported last September that the Skadden law firm in New York had been asked to produce information to the Mueller investigation. Reportedly at the urging of former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, the firm had helped put together a report on the political situation in Ukraine, which was used to help the country’s Moscow-backed leader.
  • The White House on Monday signaled that President Donald Trump is willing to back at least one bipartisan measure to strengthen the national instant check system for those who buy firearms, as Democrats in the House and Senate continued to argue that action by the Congress on gun violence is long overdue. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In a written statement sent to reporters, Sanders said the President spoke to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Friday; the Texas Republican has a bipartisan bill with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), which would force states and federal agencies to submit more information into the instant gun check system. Our churches and schools should be refuges where children and parents feel secure. Many of these shootings can be prevented. There's no reason not to advance #FixNICS to help https://t.co/0JpZDiLPOr — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) February 15, 2018 Interesting morning. Two quick thoughts: 1/ Trump's support for the FixNICS Act, my bill with @JohnCornyn, is another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting rapidly. 2/ No one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic. — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 19, 2018 After a mass shooting last November in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 25 people died, the Air Force acknowledged that the killer – who received a ‘bad conduct’ discharge from the military – should not have been able to buy guns, but those records were never placed in the instant check system. “For years agencies and states haven’t complied with the law, failing to upload these critical records without consequence,” Cornyn said in November when he introduced this bipartisan gun measure.” Democrats had hoped there would be action on that measure – just like they had hoped there would have been action to ban “bump stocks” after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, action on the “No Fly, No Buy” measure after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting, and then the “FixNics” bill after the Texas shooting. I know assault rifles. I carried one in Iraq. They have no place on America's streets. #Orlando pic.twitter.com/ibKQE2PpqF — Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) June 14, 2016 Last week’s shooting in Florida simply put all of those requests for legislation to deal with guns on repeat for Democrats. “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises,” said Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). “And so, I’m asking – no, demanding – we take action now.” Democrats would certainly like to do much more than the ‘FixNics’ bill, or banning bump stocks, as other ideas have popped up in recent days, like not allowing anyone under age 21 to buy weapons like an AR-15. But as the President returned to Washington on Monday evening from a long weekend at his Florida retreat, it wasn’t clear if his support for one bipartisan plan would actually mean action – as GOP leaders have not put such measures on the fast track to a vote in the House and Senate. On Sunday, when the President met with House Speaker Paul Ryan in Florida, the two men discussed a series of issues, including “the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida.” The White House statement on their meeting did not characterize whether legislative action was discussed. No action will happen on anything gun-related this week – as the Congress won’t be back on Capitol Hill for votes until February 26.
  • In the wake of a fresh round of indictments in the wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election campaign, President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday and Sunday to repeatedly express his frustration with the probe, again proclaiming his innocence, attacking his critics, and demanding attention instead on actions of the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton. “I never said Russia did not meddle in the election,” the President tweeted on Sunday morning – though Mr. Trump has been very slow to embrace the concept that Russia was at fault, as he derided the investigations into Russian interference in 2016. “They are laughing their asses off in Moscow,” the President said on Twitter. “Get smart America!” Those were just a sampling of a number of tweets from this weekend, as the President let off steam on a number of fronts. I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 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 asses off in Moscow. Get smart America! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Finally, Liddle’ Adam Schiff, the leakin’ monster of no control, is now blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 The President even rebuked his own National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, over a point that Mr. Trump and his supporters have zeroed in on repeatedly – a lack of evidence that ties any Russian operation to the Trump Campaign. “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians,” as the President again tried to switch the attention of the moment to questions that the GOP has raised about Hillary Clinton, the Steele Dossier, and the Democratic National Committee. General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018 Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President. Maybe they knew I was going to run even though I didn’t know! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018 “The Fake News Media never fails,” the President wrote on Saturday, repeatedly making the argument that any Russian interference in 2016 did not tip the scales of the election in his favor. “Funny how the Fake News Media doesn’t want to say that the Russian group was formed in 2014, long before my run for President,” the President added. “The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!” he tweeted. Critics of the President noted what was missing in his Saturday and Sunday tweets about the Russia investigation was any pledge by Mr. Trump to implement tougher sanctions against Russia which were approved by the Congress, or to order tougher measures to stop any Russian meddling. Last week, the nation’s top intelligence officials all agreed that Russia was going to try to repeat their 2016 effort in the 2018 election – asked by Democrats if there was any specific order from the President to focus on that threat, the intelligence chiefs only indicated that they were focused on the matter. “Look, this is pretty simple,” said retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former head of the National Security Agency. “The Russians objective was to mess with our heads.” “Based on his late PM – this AM joint Twitter meltdown, it’s safe to say “Trump” is having a nervous breakdown as Mueller’s walls close in,” said John Schindler, a former U.S. intelligence official who has been highly critical of the President’s statements on the Russia probe. Late on Saturday night, the President also drew in the Russia investigation to criticize the FBI over the mass shooting at a high school in Florida last week. ” They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign,” the President said. Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018 Here is the latest Russia indictment from last Friday.
  • The investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for President on Friday presented some of the first official government evidence of actions taken in the campaign, as a federal grand jury returned an indictment against 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities, alleging that they used social media to support President Donald Trump, and oppose Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The highly detailed 37 page indictment covered everything from social media ads taken out by the Russian ‘Internet Freedom Agency,’ to efforts to help with Trump rallies in Florida and other states – and even a post-election foray into anti-Trump events. Here is some of what we learned on Friday: 1. Russian interference no longer a “hoax.” For months, President Trump has complained that the Russia investigation is a hoax. But now, the feds have laid out a highly detailed indictment, alleging that 13 Russians and 3 different Russian entities used social media to buy political ads against Hillary Clinton (“Ohio Wants Hillary 4 Prison”), and for Donald Trump (“Trump is our only hope for a better future!”), organized actual rallies to support Mr. Trump (“Florida Goes Trump”), and much more. “If you had any doubt that Russia meddled in our 2016 elections, this is your wake-up call,” said Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE). Back in September, the President derided the idea that Russian groups had bought social media ads in the 2016 campaign. “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook ,” he tweeted. But Friday, the President seemed to finally accept that there had been Russian interference. Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018 2. Rosenstein takes the lead on new indictments. While Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is officially the boss of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Rosenstein has not participated in any of the earlier indictment or guilty plea announcements. But today, the ‘DAG’ was front and center at the Justice Department. He laid out the basics of the indictments of 13 Russians and described the outlines of the effort to meddle in the 2016 election. Rosenstein took only a few questions. 3. Trump – and his supporters – proclaim “NO COLLUSION.” On Twitter, and then in a statement issued by the White House on Friday afternoon, the President made clear that the latest indictments showed nothing in the way of collusion between Russians and his campaign. (The all-caps “NO COLLUSION” was in the White House statement.) But what was really said by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein? “Now, there is no allegation – in this indictment – that any American was a knowing particpant in this illegal activity,” Rosenstein said, as he used “in this indictment” several times. 4. No names revealed of who Russians contacted. As the indictment detailed efforts by the Russians to set up events for Trump supporters in Florida, there were contacts made with people on the Trump Campaign. The indictment doesn’t list the names of those who were contacted by the ‘joshmilton024@gmail.com’ account – instead, they are referred to as “Campaign Official 1,” “Campaign Official 2” and so on. But let me play devil’s advocate for a minute. Why not reveal who those people were? Is it really that big of a deal? 5. Mueller reveals some of his evidence. At one point in the indictment, the feds quote an email from one of the Russians, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, in which she said: “We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity (not a joke).” While that jumps off the page of the indictment, it is also seems to send a message – that the FBI has a lot more information, from the social media accounts that were used by the Russians, to emails and more. Could some of this also be from intelligence efforts? We’ll see. This Mueller indictment is good stuff. I gather they got into the Russians' online accounts (likely w/warrants for US-based accounts) and reconstructed the whole arrangement. Well done. — Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) February 16, 2018 6. Hillary Clinton in a cage – Russian supported? In the indictment, it talks about how the Russians moved “to build a cage large enough to hold an actress depicting (Hillary) Clinton in a prison uniform. That jangled the memory of several reporters, who found stories about such a scene in Florida, during the 2016 campaign. And others remembered the Hillary-in-a-cage routine from other states. I remember a flatbed truck with a depiction of Hillary Clinton in a cage repeatedly drove by a Hillary Clinton rally site in Orlando in Sept. 2016 https://t.co/V5o3vruJXm — Steven Lemongello (@SteveLemongello) February 16, 2018 7. After the election, the Russians play both sides. The indictment also revealed that after the election was over – and President Trump had been declared the victor – the Russians even went into the business of anti-Trump rallies in New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. “Trump is NOT my President,” was the rally in New York – while at the same time, the group was organizing an event to “support President-Elect Donald Trump.” 8. Another guilty plea as well for the Mueller probe. Minutes after the indictments against the 13 Russians was released, the Special Counsel also revealed a recent guilty plea, from February 2, of Richard Pinedo, from California. Pinedo was charged with “Identity Fraud,” which may be related to efforts by the Russians indicted on Friday to use American identities while engaging in their work on the 2016 Presidential election. It wasn’t exactly clear how Pinedo fits in, though it seems that he is the first American to be charged with directly helping the Russian operation to influence the 2016 campaign – but there is no evidence presented that he knew that was happening. Documents show Pinedo could face up to 15 years in prison.
  • The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced Friday that thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian groups had been charged with violating U.S. criminal laws for interfering with the 2016 election, detailing a string of efforts to help President Donald Trump’s campaign, and sew doubt about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences,” the indictment alleged, detailing efforts to buy political ads on social media. The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. earlier today, charged that the group first went after multiple candidates for President, and then fine tuned their message. “Defendants’ operation included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.” In a highly detailed 37 page indictment, the Special Counsel’s office described a series of efforts to organize rallies to help the Trump Campaign, both before – and after – the November 2016 election. At one point, the indictment alleges that Russians posing as Americans, communicated directly with Trump Campaign staff officials about organizing efforts in Florida. There was no evidence presented in the indictment that campaign officials knew they were getting help from a Russian group. “The conspiracy had as its object impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of the United States by dishonest means in order to enable the Defendants to interfere with U.S. political and electoral processes, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the indictment states.
  • Jamie Dupree

    Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.

    A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989. Politics and the Congress are in Jamie’s family, as both of his parents were staffers for members of Congress. He was also a page and intern in the House of Representatives. Jamie has covered 11 national political conventions, with his first being the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta. His political travels have had him on the presidential campaign trail every four years since 1992, chasing candidates throughout the primary calendar.

    He is heard on Cox Radio stations around the country: WSB-AM Atlanta, WDBO-AM Orlando; WOKV-AM/FM Jacksonville; WHIO-AM/FM Dayton, Ohio; and KRMG-AM Tulsa, Oklahoma.

    Jamie and his wife Emily live just outside the Beltway with their three children. Some may know Jamie from his other on-air hobby, as he is a licensed amateur radio operator. When not at work or playing with his kids, you can often find him with a golf club in his hands.

    Follow Jamie on Google+

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • New York University has issued a public apology and fired their director of food service after students complained that  watermelon water and cornbread the school was serving during Black History Month was racially insensitive. Student Nia Harris told CNN she noticed a sign for a Black History Month special menu in the university dining room and was stunned when saw what was actually on the menu. Ribs, collard greens, cornbread, mac and cheese, yams, and two beverages, watermelon-flavored water and red Kool-Aid.  Harris said 'I talked to the cook who told me 'black people put this menu together' and assured me that it was not racially insensitive,'  She emailed the dean of the school and NYU’s President Andrew Hamilton of the insensitive and “stereotypical” meal. She also posted the letter on her facebook page.  President Hamilton issued a statement saying in part, “We were shocked to learn of the drink and food choices that our food service provider - Aramark - offered at the Weinstein dining hall as part of Black History Month. It was inexcusably insensitive.”
  • Florida executed a man for the 1993 rape and murder of a Florida college student Thursday. Authorities say Eric Scott Branch, 47, screamed Murders, murders repeatedly as he was being put to death Thursday.  Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday evening after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke. He was convicted in the 1993 rape and fatal beating of 21-year-old college student Susan Morris, whose body was found buried in a shallow grave. Morris was a University of  West Florida student at the time of her death.  Branch also was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Indiana,  and another sexual assault in Panama City.
  • The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. [View the story 'Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation' on Storify] >> Read more trending news  Follow along with our live updates as we learn more
  • Officials with the National Rifle Association on Wednesday voiced opposition to any legislation aimed at raising the minimum age needed to buy certain rifles amid a renewed gun debate following last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida. >> Read more trending news In a statement obtained by The Hill, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of “violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.” “Passing a law that makes it illegal for a 20-year-old to purchase a shotgun for hunting or adult single mother from purchasing the most effective self-defense rifle on the market punishes law-abiding citizens for the evil acts of criminals,” she said. The group argued that raising the minimum age would deprive people between the ages of 18 and 20 of “their constitutional right to self-protection.” Authorities said Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old identified by police as the gunman in last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used to gun down 14 students and three teachers. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. >> Related: Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida? The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles, including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15. Officials with the NRA did not address the possibility of raising the minimum age Thursday while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference. However, President Donald Trump endorsed the idea during a school safety discussion Thursday with state and local leaders from across the nation, The Associated Press reported. >> Related: Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting? 'We're going to work on getting the age up to 21 instead of 18,' Trump said. 'The NRA will back it and so will Congress.” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, said in a tweet Wednesday that he was working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, on a bipartisan bill to raise the minimum gun purchase age for most Americans to 21 years old. “A kid too young (to) buy a handgun should be too young to buy an #AR15,” he wrote. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • America’s net neutrality rules are set to end in April after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal them late last year, according to an order filed Thursday with the Federal Register. >> Read more trending news The repeal is set to take effect April 23, according to the order. The Republican-led FCC voted in December to repeal net neutrality rules, which aimed to stop broadband companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet. >> Related: Net neutrality vote: FCC OKs repeal of Obama-era rules The broadband industry promised that the internet experience wouldn’t change, but critics argued that the Obama-era rules were needed to prevent broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from having the power to censor content on the internet.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who put forth the planned repeal and voted in its favor, dismissed the concerns last year. “The sky is not falling,” he said. “Consumers will remain protected and the internet will continue to thrive. … Quite simply, we are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence.” >> Related: 5 things to know about the FCC’s net neutrality repeal Still, Thursday’s filing was expected to open the door to challengers of the decision, The Hill reported. “Now that the new rules have officially been published, net neutrality supporters are able to mount a legal challenge against them,” according to the news site. “Democratic attorneys general, public interest groups and internet companies have all promised to file lawsuits to preserve the 2015 protections.” The attorneys general of 20 states and tech companies filed suits last month to halt the repeal, according to CNN. >> Related: State attorneys general ask FCC to delay net neutrality vote Denelle Dixon, chief business and legal officer at Mozilla, wrote in a post on the tech company's blog that Mozilla refiled a challenge to the repeal 'immediately after the order was published.' 'We won't waste a minute in our fight to protect net neutrality because it's our mission to ensure the internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all,' she wrote. 'An internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.' Votes fell along party lines in December, with the FCC board’s Republicans favoring the repeal and the two Democrats on the board voting against it. >> Related: New York AG investigating fraudulent net neutrality comments to FCC FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who voted against the repeal, said in a statement released Thursday that the FCC has “failed the American public.” “It turned a blind eye to all kinds of corruption in our public record – from Russian intervention to fake comments to stolen identities in our files,” she said. Before December’s vote, the attorneys general of nearly 20 states asked the FCC to delay its decision based on evidence that impersonators posted hundreds of thousands of fake comments on the commissions’ notice of the proposed rule change. Despite the appeal, the vote went on as scheduled. “As a result of the mess the agency created, broadband providers will now have the power to block websites, throttle services and censor online content,” Rosenworcel said. “This is not right. The FCC is on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the law and it deserves to have its handiwork revisited, reexamined and ultimately reversed.”