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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 56,625

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'To Donald Trump,' by Leland Melvin, former NASA Astronaut and NFL Player

To Donald Trump

I believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of this country even though at the time they were drafted, their tenets of life, liberty justice for all and eventual freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press and petition amendment ratified in Dec 1791, only applied to a select group of people and not ones that looked like me.

Donald Trump, I listened to your Alabama rally rant and could not believe how easily you say what you say.

We have become numb to your outlandish acts, tweets and recent retweet of you knocking down Hillary Clinton with a golf ball that you hit.

Donald Trump, your boorish and disgusting actions are not funny. They actually promote violence against women especially when your followers act out what you say.

I used to walk the grounds of UVA in Charlottesville, VA as a graduate student only to watch in horror as those same grounds became a battlefield being trod by Nazi and anti-Semitic worshippers armed with assault style weapons ready to fight to make America White again. (their words). You actually said there were nice people on both sides. People armed and ready to kill other Americans for the purpose of eradicating Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Mexicans, Asians, Latinas and even the first real Americans, Native Americans to make America Great Again were “nice people”?

Comparing this to what you say in condemnation of an unarmed black man peacefully protesting by exercising his constitutional First Amendment rights by silently taking a knee is appalling, unnerving and reprehensible.

Today, you called Colin Kaepernick “a son-of-a-bitch.”

You said he should be fired.

You are calling his white mother a bitch.

The strong contrast in language for a black man and a Nazi is very telling. Do you have any sense of decency or shame in what you say to the American people that are part of your duty to serve respectfully with dignity, presidentially?

Our National Anthem has been edited to try not to offend, because when Francis Scott Key penned the song he watched freed slaves fighting for the British and wrote this stanza:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

I guess if I were a slave back then I probably would have done anything to obtain freedom from my American oppressors who were whipping, killing, raping, dismembering, hanging or releasing the dogs on people like me all under our Constitution.

In 1814 former slaves fought with the British for their freedom from their American enslavers.

Key witnessed a battle from a ship off the Maryland shore at Fort McHenry, which inspired him to write what became our National Anthem.

I served my country not in the military, but as 1 of 362 American Astronauts that have explored the universe to help advance our civilization. Not just Americans, but all humans. I also was briefly in the NFL and stood for the National Anthem with my hand over my heart. What makes us great is our differences and respecting that we are all created equally even if not always treated that way.

Looking back at our planet from space really helps one get a bigger perspective on how petty and divisive we can be. Donald Trump, maybe you should ask your good friend Mr. Putin to give you a ride on a Soyuz rocket to our International Space Station and see what it’s like to work together with people we used to fight against, where your life depends on it. See the world and get a greater sense of what it means to be part of the human race, we call it the Orbital Perspective.

Donald Trump, please know that you are supposed to be a unifier and a compassionate and empathetic leader. If you can’t do the job then please step down and let someone else try. I pray that you do the right thing.

May God bless you.


Leland Melvin
Former Astronaut and NFL Player


"Son of a bitch" vs. "very fine people"


The president called an American a "son of a bitch" for a quiet act of political dissent.

Trump used bone spurs to hide from the enemy.
Kaepernick took a knee, to face the injustice of a nation.


Little Rocket Men

Trump is complaining there's been too much attention on degenerative brain diseases in the NFL.

Trump is complaining there's been too much attention on degenerative brain diseases in the NFL. "They're ruining the game"

Quick transcripts of Trump on:
• NFL protests
• Penalizing hard hits “ruining the game”
• Walking out of stadiums to protest protests



"Our intelligence community assessment did cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election"



GOP Senator Susan Collins confirms Graham-Cassidy would gut protections for pre-existing conditions


WTF? Grassley Asks FBI If It Warned Trump Campaign About Aides Russia Ties

Judiciary Chairman Seeks Information on FBI Warnings to Trump Campaign about Russian Counterintelligence Concerns

Sep 21, 2017
WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has asked the FBI whether it ever briefed or warned Trump campaign officials about alleged attempts by the Russian government to infiltrate the campaign.

The FBI has reportedly given “defensive briefings” during previous presidential campaigns to warn candidates and campaign staff of potential foreign influence and counterintelligence concerns. Such warnings allow unwitting organizations and individuals to take defensive actions to protect themselves.

“If the FBI did provide a defensive briefing or similar warning to the [Trump] campaign, then that would raise important questions about how the Trump campaign responded,” Grassley wrote. “On the other hand, if the FBI did not alert the campaign, then that would raise serious questions about what factors contributed to its decision and why it appears to have been handled differently in a very similar circumstance involving a previous campaign.”

The FBI reportedly began investigating Paul Manafort and his foreign business dealings in 2014. Recent press reports also allege that Manafort was the target of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act monitoring by the Obama administration in 2016 while he was working as chairman of the Trump campaign. Further, former FBI Director James Comey publicly testified that the FBI began investigating ties between Trump campaign associates and Russians by July of 2016 and that President Trump was not under investigation. If the FBI had sufficient information regarding counterintelligence concerns to authorize these investigative activities, then it is important to understand whether it took steps to provide a defensive briefing or otherwise warn the candidate before the election.

In his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Grassley requests details about any defensive briefings or warnings provided to now-President Trump or any Trump campaign officials and the FBI’s policies and practices relating to defensive briefings to political campaigns. Grassley also asks the FBI to explain its reasoning if it did not warn the Trump campaign.

Full text of Grassley’s letter follows.

September 20, 2017
The Honorable Christopher Wray
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Wray:

I write to inquire about whether the FBI ever provided the Trump campaign with a defensive briefing or other warning regarding attempts to infiltrate the campaign by people connected with, or compromised by, Russian intelligence. In public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in March of 2017, then-Director Comey acknowledged that the FBI began its investigation in late July of 2016 into “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.”

After he was fired, Mr. Comey acknowledged in public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that President Trump had never been one of the individuals under investigation. Recent news articles have claimed that Paul Manafort was one of the campaign associates under FBI investigation.[1] This raises the question of whether the FBI ever alerted Mr. Trump to the FBI’s counter-intelligence concerns regarding his campaign manager and others associated with the campaign—so that he could take defensive action to prevent the campaign from being infiltrated.[2] Such briefings are one of the tools that the FBI often uses to thwart attempts by foreign intelligence services to infiltrate organizations or compromise U.S. citizens. Such a briefing allows innocent, unwitting organizations and individuals to take defensive action to protect themselves.

According to press reports, it appears that during at least one previous presidential election, U.S. intelligence has raised these types of concerns to campaign staff, including concerns about Mr. Manafort’s ties.[3] The concerns allegedly involved work performed by Mr. Manafort and his business partner at the time, Rick Davis, on behalf of Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Putin.[4] Mr. Davis became Senator McCain’s campaign manager. Moreover, Mr. Manafort and Mr. Davis reportedly had previously arranged for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to meet Senator McCain twice.[5] According to John Weaver, a former top campaign advisor to Senator McCain: “My sense is that Davis and Manafort, who were already doing pro-Putin work against American national interests, were using potential meetings with McCain --- who didn't know this and neither did we until after the fact -- as bait to secure more rubles from the oligarchs.”[6]

Mr. Weaver further stated that “U.S. intelligence raised concerns to McCain’s staff about the Davis Manafort work.”[7] A recent report quoted an anonymous U.S. counterintelligence official who had been involved as saying: “Before there was Trump, there were concerns about some of the same people being around McCain about 10 years ago, and we alerted his team to those concerns and they appeared to take some defensive action.”[8] Indeed, earlier, Senator McCain’s inner circle was reportedly cautioned by U.S. intelligence to distance itself from a Russian advisor who U.S. intelligence believed might have ties to the Russian military, and the McCain team subsequently asked the advisor to leave.[9]

In short, if these accounts are accurate it appears that in at least one prior presidential campaign, U.S. intelligence alerted a candidate’s team about counterintelligence concerns it had regarding campaign associates’ connections with Russia. This makes sense, given that sophisticated foreign intelligence services likely seek to exploit presidential campaigns through various means. The circumstances leading to those prior alerts to a campaign by U.S. intelligence seem substantially similar to the circumstances surrounding President Trump’s campaign.

If the FBI did provide a defensive briefing or similar warning to the campaign, then that would raise important questions about how the Trump campaign responded. On the other hand, if the FBI did not alert the campaign, then that would raise serious questions about what factors contributed to its decision and why it appears to have been handled differently in a very similar circumstance involving a previous campaign.

Please provide the following information to the Committee no later than October 4, 2017:
Prior to the election, did the FBI provide any defensive briefings or otherwise alert Donald J. Trump, or any Trump campaign official, to warn them of potential connections between campaign officials and the Russian government?

If yes, please describe each instance, including:

The date, time, and place of the communication;

The names of the campaign officials who received the information;

A detailed summary of the communication; and

Any action taken by the campaign as a result.

If not, please explain why the FBI did not provide a briefing or other warning, including by answering the following questions:

Did the FBI contemplate providing a briefing or other warning? If so, please list all FBI personnel involved in those discussions and provide all related documents.

If a defensive briefing or other warning was contemplated, what factors informed the FBI’s decision not to provide a briefing? Did the allegations against Mr. Trump contained in the unverified political opposition research dossier compiled by Christopher Steele factor into the decision?

Did the FBI share concerns with anyone else, inside or outside of the government, relating to potential connections between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government?

Please explain the FBI’s policies and practices relating to defensive briefings to political campaigns.

Please contact Samantha Brennan of my Committee staff at (202) 224-5225 with any questions. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.


Charles E. Grassley
Committee on the Judiciary

cc: The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary

[1] Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown, US Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman, CNN (Sept. 18, 2017), http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/18/politics/paul-manafort-government-wiretapped-fisa-russians/index.html

[2] Mr. Comey did seem to indicate that after the election, the transition team was given some sort of defensive briefings, stating: “there were a variety of defensive briefings given to the incoming administration about the counterintelligence risk.” However the nature of those briefings and whether they related to counterintelligence concerns the FBI had regarding any campaign associates is unclear. Mr. Comey also stated that after a briefing on January 6, 2017, with the then-President Elect, Mr. Comey remained alone with him to inform him about the dossier, which Mr. Comey stated was intended to be a defensive briefing, though apparently to alert Mr. Trump about the dossier’s existence, not about counterintelligence concerns the FBI had with any campaign associates.

[3] Sara A. Carter, Here’s the Russia Influence Controversy That John McCain Doesn’t Want You To Know About, Circa (June 21, 2017), https://www.circa.com/story/2017/06/21/heres-the-russia-influence-controversy-that-john-mccain-doesnt-want-you-to-know-about; Jeffrey H. Birnbaum & John Solomon, Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain, The Washington Post (Jan. 25, 2008), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/24/AR2008012403383.html?sid=ST2008012500226; see also Barry Meier, In McCain Campaign, A Lobbying Labyrinth, The New York Times, May 25, 2008.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] Carter.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.


The FBI says as many as 39 states had their voting systems scanned or targeted by Russia.



Trump should have let him see the Pope.

Spicer "documented everything" during campaign and after in "notebook after notebook." Mueller's best witness?



Now we can tell you about another potential honey pot for Mueller. Former colleagues of Sean Spicer tell Axios that he filled "notebook after notebook" during meetings at the Republican National Committee, later at the Trump campaign, and then at the White House.

When Spicer worked at the RNC, he was said to have filled black books emblazoned with the party's seal. Spicer was so well-known for his copious notes that underlings joked about him writing a tell-all.

One source familiar with the matter said that the records were just to help him do his job.

"Sean documented everything," the source said.

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