Trump in Iowa: Here's what you need to know about tonight's rally

Jun 21, 2017 8

President Donald Trump returned to Iowa Wednesday for a campaign-style event.

In his first trip to the state since he took office, Trump was expected to tour a local community college and tout his administration’s commitment to improving internet access in rural areas as part of the White House’s technology week.

The Trump administration has hosted tech innovators and leaders as part of its technology-focused effort in the White House Office of American Innovation. 

Here’s what you should know about the event.

What should we expect from Trump’s event?

Trump is expected to highlight his administration’s efforts to increase internet connectivity to rural and agricultural areas nationwide, Ray Starling, a special assistant to the president for agriculture, told reporters.

While in Iowa, Trump will visit Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, a college the White House says is known for its innovation in the agriculture industry, according to the Washington ExaminerOn its website, Kirkwood bills itself as the “largest two-year agriculture program in the nation.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are expected to join Trump on the tour of the college.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is not expected to attend. The senior lawmaker said on Twitter that he did not want to miss any Senate votes.

How can you watch this if you’re not in Iowa?

The rally will air live on Fox News. FoxNews.com will be also live-blogging the event and will feature a live stream. 

Where will the rally take place?

The event will take place at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids at 7 p.m. CDT. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Trump’s rally was initially supposed to take place on June 1 but was postponed due to a change in the president’s schedule.

IOWA CONSERVATIVES WANTING TRUMP TO DELIVER MORE

This will be the first time Trump has visited the state since he took office. He last visited Iowa in December when he held an event in Des Moines as part of his “Thank You” tour following his election victory.

Where can you find tickets to the event?

People can register for tickets through Trump’s website.

Homemade signs, banners, professional cameras with certain equipment, selfie sticks and backpacks are prohibited from the venue, according to the Des Moines Register.

What has been the reaction to the rally?

Many out-of-state supporters got to Iowa early enough to camp out overnight to see the president, according to Buzzfeed.

But The Gazette, the local newspaper, encouraged Trump to stop “campaigning” and meet personally with struggling Iowans in an open letter published on Tuesday.

“Mr. President, the campaign is over. You won. Now is not the time to rally. Now is the time to sell your policies, listen to Americans with a stake in those efforts and govern,” the editorial board wrote.

Many Iowa independents who voted for Trump in the November election are not happy with his presidency thus far, KCCI-TV reported. Those voters reportedly hoped Trump would be more graceful once in office and are frustrated by what they perceive as his distraction with the Russia investigation instead of being focused on health care and tax reform, according to KCCI.

Trump defeated Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton in Iowa in the general election, taking 51.8% of the vote to Clinton’s 42.2%. 

Could Obama team obstruction be special counsel fodder?

Jun 21, 2017 16

By using fired FBI Director James Comey to attack the new Republican administration, Democrats have opened up a legal can of worms for the Obama administration.

Under sworn questioning, Comey has veered off the topic of President Trump and Russia and revealed several damning incidents in which his predecessor’s administration politically interfered in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And now the Senate will investigate Team Obama for obstruction of justice.

Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced last week it will seek hearings to “examine then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s involvement in the Clinton email server investigation.”

The findings of the powerful panel, which has oversight of the Justice Department and FBI, could lead to a separate criminal investigation and the naming of another special counsel — exactly what Trump needs to distract attention from his growing legal woes. 

Click for more from The New York Post

Jeh Johnson testifies DNC rejected DHS help on hack, Russia meddling did not alter ballots

Jun 21, 2017 20

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified Wednesday that the Democratic National Committee last year turned down his agency’s offer to help protect its network despite being warned about a hack. 

He also confirmed that while Russia, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, orchestrated cyberattacks on the United States to influence the 2016 presidential election, Moscow was unable to actually alter ballots.

“To my current knowledge, the Russian government did not through any cyber intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results,” Johnson said during his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee.

Johnson, who served in the Obama administration from December 2013 to January 2017, said his concerns about a cyberattack against the U.S. election systems intensified last summer. He added that he and his counterparts “sounded the alarm but that the press and voters were focused on a lot of other things” during the election season.

In August, he said he “floated the idea” of designating the country’s election infrastructure as critical – which would allow election officials to get cybersecurity help. Johnson testified that multiple secretaries of states turned down his offer and viewed any aid as the federal government trying to Big Brother the election.

Johnson also confirmed he went to the Democratic National Committee about a hack in their system but was told that the DNC “did not feel it needed” DHS assistance. 

“Sometime in 2016, I became aware of a hack into systems of the Democratic National Committee,” Johnson said. “…I pressed my staff to know whether DHS was sufficiently proactive, and on the scene helping the DNC identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities. The answer, to the best of my recollection, was not reassuring: the FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS’s assistance at that time.” 

The FBI reportedly faced a similar rejection. 

During his testimony, Johnson also described steps he took once he learned about the Russian-backed hacking of the Democratic National Committee, his fears about an attack on the election itself as well as his rationale for designating U.S. election systems, including polling places and voter registration databases, as critical infrastructure in early January before President Trump’s inauguration.

Johnson testified that 33 states and 36 cities and counties used his department’s tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities. Johnson said he personally reached out to Gary Pruitt, CEO of The Associated Press, which counts votes.

“Prior to Election Day, I personally reviewed with the CEO of The Associated Press its long-standing election-day reporting process, including the redundancies and safeguards in its systems,” Johnson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Jeh Johnson testifies DNC rejected DHS help on hack, Russia meddling did not alter ballots

Jun 21, 2017 20

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified Wednesday that the Democratic National Committee last year turned down his agency’s offer to help protect its network despite being warned about a hack. 

He also confirmed that while Russia, at the direction of President Vladimir Putin, orchestrated cyberattacks on the United States to influence the 2016 presidential election, Moscow was unable to actually alter ballots.

“To my current knowledge, the Russian government did not through any cyber intrusion alter ballots, ballot counts or reporting of election results,” Johnson said during his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee.

Johnson, who served in the Obama administration from December 2013 to January 2017, said his concerns about a cyberattack against the U.S. election systems intensified last summer. He added that he and his counterparts “sounded the alarm but that the press and voters were focused on a lot of other things” during the election season.

In August, he said he “floated the idea” of designating the country’s election infrastructure as critical – which would allow election officials to get cybersecurity help. Johnson testified that multiple secretaries of states turned down his offer and viewed any aid as the federal government trying to Big Brother the election.

Johnson also confirmed he went to the Democratic National Committee about a hack in their system but was told that the DNC “did not feel it needed” DHS assistance. 

“Sometime in 2016, I became aware of a hack into systems of the Democratic National Committee,” Johnson said. “…I pressed my staff to know whether DHS was sufficiently proactive, and on the scene helping the DNC identify the intruders and patch vulnerabilities. The answer, to the best of my recollection, was not reassuring: the FBI and the DNC had been in contact with each other months before about the intrusion, and the DNC did not feel it needed DHS’s assistance at that time.” 

The FBI reportedly faced a similar rejection. 

During his testimony, Johnson also described steps he took once he learned about the Russian-backed hacking of the Democratic National Committee, his fears about an attack on the election itself as well as his rationale for designating U.S. election systems, including polling places and voter registration databases, as critical infrastructure in early January before President Trump’s inauguration.

Johnson testified that 33 states and 36 cities and counties used his department’s tools to scan for potential vulnerabilities. Johnson said he personally reached out to Gary Pruitt, CEO of The Associated Press, which counts votes.

“Prior to Election Day, I personally reviewed with the CEO of The Associated Press its long-standing election-day reporting process, including the redundancies and safeguards in its systems,” Johnson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Watchdog: Pentagon may have wasted $30 million on buying the wrong pattern of Afghan army uniforms

Jun 21, 2017 17

The U.S. government may have overpaid nearly $30 million for uniforms for the Afghan National Army because it used a private contractor who offered a camouflage pattern that is unsuited to the country’s terrain, the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan has found. 

The report blames the high cost, and the selection of a forest pattern, on the decision to select a “proprietary” pattern that would make it harder for enemy forces to obtain the same camouflage pattern as the Afghan National Army.

“Our analysis found that DOD’s decision to procure ANA uniforms using a proprietary camouflage pattern was not based on an evaluation of its appropriateness for the Afghan environment,” the report said. “We also found that the procurement costs to the U.S. government were 40–43 percent higher.”

The report said former Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak “ran across” the pattern on a website in 2007, and “liked what he saw.”

Click for more from The Washington Examiner

Watchdog: Pentagon may have wasted $30 million on buying the wrong pattern of Afghan army uniforms

Jun 21, 2017 18

The U.S. government may have overpaid nearly $30 million for uniforms for the Afghan National Army because it used a private contractor who offered a camouflage pattern that is unsuited to the country’s terrain, the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan has found. 

The report blames the high cost, and the selection of a forest pattern, on the decision to select a “proprietary” pattern that would make it harder for enemy forces to obtain the same camouflage pattern as the Afghan National Army.

“Our analysis found that DOD’s decision to procure ANA uniforms using a proprietary camouflage pattern was not based on an evaluation of its appropriateness for the Afghan environment,” the report said. “We also found that the procurement costs to the U.S. government were 40–43 percent higher.”

The report said former Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak “ran across” the pattern on a website in 2007, and “liked what he saw.”

Click for more from The Washington Examiner

Watchdog: Pentagon may have wasted $30 million on buying the wrong pattern of Afghan army uniforms

Jun 21, 2017 16

The U.S. government may have overpaid nearly $30 million for uniforms for the Afghan National Army because it used a private contractor who offered a camouflage pattern that is unsuited to the country’s terrain, the Pentagon’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan has found. 

The report blames the high cost, and the selection of a forest pattern, on the decision to select a “proprietary” pattern that would make it harder for enemy forces to obtain the same camouflage pattern as the Afghan National Army.

“Our analysis found that DOD’s decision to procure ANA uniforms using a proprietary camouflage pattern was not based on an evaluation of its appropriateness for the Afghan environment,” the report said. “We also found that the procurement costs to the U.S. government were 40–43 percent higher.”

The report said former Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak “ran across” the pattern on a website in 2007, and “liked what he saw.”

Click for more from The Washington Examiner

Holder 2020? Ex-Obama attorney general reportedly mulls run

Jun 21, 2017 19

Eric Holder, the Obama-era attorney general who delighted in sparring with congressional Republicans and has since joined the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ said in an interview he’s planning to become “more visible” – and reportedly could be considering a 2020 presidential run.

Yahoo News reported that Holder is mulling a bid and stepping up his public appearances.  

“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. … So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”  

HOLDER HIRED TO HELP CALIFORNIA FIGHT TRUMP

According to Yahoo News, he said, “Now is the time to be more visible.”

What exactly he means by that remains to be seen.

For now, it means helping lead the legal charge against President Trump’s agenda.

Earlier this week, Holder helped promote a new California bill that could extend ‘sanctuary’ policies toward illegal immigrants statewide.

He’s already been working with California Democratic lawmakers for months as outside counsel to advise on potential challenges to Trump policies. But his next project reportedly will focus on an Obama-backed group helping prepare Democrats for redistricting in 2020. Yahoo News reports he’ll also start making more political appearances and is planning a “PAC-like organization” to help local governments resist Trump.

Holder suggested a more significant role in the Yahoo interview.

“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” he said. “So when she didn’t win, I thought, ‘We’ll have to see how this plays out.’ But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition.”

The Democrats’ 2020 field remains far from clear, with party elders like former Vice President Joe Biden still giving mixed signals about their plans. In the Yahoo News interview, Holder highlighted his ties to Obama and background as the first black attorney general. 

Holder 2020? Ex-Obama attorney general reportedly mulls run

Jun 21, 2017 13

Eric Holder, the Obama-era attorney general who delighted in sparring with congressional Republicans and has since joined the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ said in an interview he’s planning to become “more visible” – and reportedly could be considering a 2020 presidential run.

Yahoo News reported that Holder is mulling a bid and stepping up his public appearances.  

“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. … So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”  

HOLDER HIRED TO HELP CALIFORNIA FIGHT TRUMP

According to Yahoo News, he said, “Now is the time to be more visible.”

What exactly he means by that remains to be seen.

For now, it means helping lead the legal charge against President Trump’s agenda.

Earlier this week, Holder helped promote a new California bill that could extend ‘sanctuary’ policies toward illegal immigrants statewide.

He’s already been working with California Democratic lawmakers for months as outside counsel to advise on potential challenges to Trump policies. But his next project reportedly will focus on an Obama-backed group helping prepare Democrats for redistricting in 2020. Yahoo News reports he’ll also start making more political appearances and is planning a “PAC-like organization” to help local governments resist Trump.

Holder suggested a more significant role in the Yahoo interview.

“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” he said. “So when she didn’t win, I thought, ‘We’ll have to see how this plays out.’ But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition.”

The Democrats’ 2020 field remains far from clear, with party elders like former Vice President Joe Biden still giving mixed signals about their plans. In the Yahoo News interview, Holder highlighted his ties to Obama and background as the first black attorney general. 

Holder 2020? Ex-Obama attorney general reportedly mulls run

Jun 21, 2017 13

Eric Holder, the Obama-era attorney general who delighted in sparring with congressional Republicans and has since joined the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ said in an interview he’s planning to become “more visible” – and reportedly could be considering a 2020 presidential run.

Yahoo News reported that Holder is mulling a bid and stepping up his public appearances.  

“Up to now, I have been more behind-the-scenes,” Holder told Yahoo News. “But that’s about to change. I have a certain status as the former attorney general. … So I want to use whatever skills I have, whatever notoriety I have, to be effective in opposing things that are, at the end of the day, just bad for the country.”  

HOLDER HIRED TO HELP CALIFORNIA FIGHT TRUMP

According to Yahoo News, he said, “Now is the time to be more visible.”

What exactly he means by that remains to be seen.

For now, it means helping lead the legal charge against President Trump’s agenda.

Earlier this week, Holder helped promote a new California bill that could extend ‘sanctuary’ policies toward illegal immigrants statewide.

He’s already been working with California Democratic lawmakers for months as outside counsel to advise on potential challenges to Trump policies. But his next project reportedly will focus on an Obama-backed group helping prepare Democrats for redistricting in 2020. Yahoo News reports he’ll also start making more political appearances and is planning a “PAC-like organization” to help local governments resist Trump.

Holder suggested a more significant role in the Yahoo interview.

“I thought, frankly, along with everybody else, that after the election, with Hillary Clinton as president, I could walk off the field,” he said. “So when she didn’t win, I thought, ‘We’ll have to see how this plays out.’ But it became clear relatively soon — and certainly sooner than I expected — that I had to get back on the field and be in effective opposition.”

The Democrats’ 2020 field remains far from clear, with party elders like former Vice President Joe Biden still giving mixed signals about their plans. In the Yahoo News interview, Holder highlighted his ties to Obama and background as the first black attorney general.