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Beacon Extra 12/10/19

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SURPRISING LIBS ONLY … FBI Committed ‘Significant Errors’ Wiretapping Trump Campaign Aide, IG Says,” by WFB’s David Rutz: Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report found that British ex-intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s dossier of salacious, unverified information about Trump and Russia played a “central and essential role” in the FBI’s decision to monitor [Carter] Page as a potential foreign agent. The IG faulted the FBI for failing to corroborate information provided by Steele, who worked for an opposition research firm tapped by the Hillary Clinton campaign …

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FBI personnel fell short of the bureau’s requirement that FISA application statements be “scrupulously accurate,” Horowitz wrote.

OL’ JOE NEEDS A NAP … Biden Attributes Verbal Stumbles to ‘Being Tired’,” by WFB’s David Rutz: Former vice president Joe Biden said his verbal mixups on the campaign trail are a result of “being tired,” not his childhood stutter.

“I’ll find myself searching for a second” to find the right words, Biden told Axios, but, he added, “I’ve always attributed that to being tired and not to the stutter.”

THE BUCK STOPS WITH THEM …Biden Blames Staffers for Not Warning Him About Hunter’s Board Position,” by WFB’s Graham Piro: Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden on Friday blamed his staff for not warning him about the potential conflict of interest stemming from his son Hunter’s position on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.

“Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest,” Biden said in an interview with NPR released Monday.

PETE FOLDS, OF COURSE … Buttigieg announces future fundraisers will be open to the public,” via AXIOS: Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign said Monday that it will make future fundraisers open to the public, including reporters, and that the names of people raising money for the campaign will be released to the public …

Buttigieg has been hit especially hard on the issue from rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who attacked him last week for failing to disclose the names of his campaign’s top fundraisers since April. A press release from Buttigieg campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said the move is meant to show a “commitment to transparency.”

WHAT ABOUT STRUCTURAL CHANGE? …Elizabeth Warren Built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It Became a Revolving Door.,” via DAILY BEAST: As the CFPB carried out its mission during the Obama years, undertaking reforms to practices from aggressive debt collection to payday lending to mortgage finance rules, some of its senior staffers would leave the agency to work in the financial sector, many of them helping major banking and securities firms understand and navigate the rules they’d just helped write …

It’s the sort of “revolving door” between government industry that Warren has decried as a progressive stalwart in the Senate and a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

ART OF THE DEAL … Democrats, Administration, Mexico Near Deal on Trade Pact,” via WSJ: House Democrats and [U.S. trade representative Robert] Lighthizer have been meeting for months to hammer out a deal to amend the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, and have narrowed differences over key sticking points in recent days, the people said. The biggest divide is over revising the agreement on the enforcement of labor rules, a priority for Democrats.

MILLENNIAL JIHADISTS ARE SUCH SNOWFLAKES … “Pensacola shooter was ‘infuriated’ over ‘Porn Stash’ nickname,” via NY POST: Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who killed three young U.S. Navy students in a shooting spree in Florida on Friday, had filed a formal complaint against instructor James Day in April, the New York Times revealed Sunday …

“I was infuriated as to why he would say that in front of the class,” the 21-year-old Saudi air force second lieutenant wrote in his complaint, the Times said, citing an internal communication at the naval base. “Laughing, he continued to ask, ‘What? Have you not seen a porn star before?’ After I did not respond, he just let go of the subject.”

PARTY OF ONE … MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace Argues Headline About IG Report Will Be ‘The FBI Is Exonerated Today’,” via MEDIAITE: MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace proclaimed it is “good news” that it appears likely that an upcoming report will see the FBI “exonerated” from attacks from President Donald Trump.

“The headline will be, whether you are a Trump supporter or a Trump skeptic, that the FBI is exonerated today from the oft-repeated smear that there was some sort of conspiracy to harm Donald Trump’s campaign. It’s good news no matter when you stand on the political spectrum in 2019,” Wallace told her panel during special coverage of the House Judiciary impeachment hearing.

POLITICAL AMBIEN … CBS Unimpressed By Hearing: ‘Not Exactly Pay-Per-View Material’,” via NEWSBUSTERS: As CBS wrapped up special coverage of Monday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee, panelists were unimpressed. The event was panned as “not exactly pay-per-view material,” “getting really into the weeds,” and needing a “better storyteller.”

WHEN’S THE SWIMSUIT ISSUE OUT? … 2019 Sportsperson of the Year: Megan Rapinoe,” via SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Gloria Steinem, the original feminist icon, thanked Rapinoe for carrying her torch. A high school girls’ soccer team in Burlington, Vt., staged its own campaign in support of equal pay, and an 11-year-old boy in Geneva, Ill., went viral for his pink-haired Halloween costume, each inspired by Rapinoe. She has been invited to Washington by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; talked politics on Meet the Press, Pod Save America, and CNN; and turned into a coveted endorsement for the 2020 election. No, she’s not running for office anytime soon. “I don’t have plans for policies and how to implement them,” she says. “I’ll just be the jabber.”

IT’S HAPPENING …POLL: Hillary Clinton Will Be the Democratic Frontrunner When She Runs,” by WFB’s Andrew Stiles: The Harvard/Harris poll asked a national sample of Democratic voters whom they would support for president in the event that Clinton—who has refused to rule out entering the race—and former secretary of state John Kerry entered the 2020 Democratic primary …

Hillary Clinton is currently in the midst of a media tour, ostensibly to promote The Book of Gutsy Women, the new book she coauthored with her daughter Chelsea. As some observers have noted, the publicity campaign is also a convenient excuse to keep her name in the headlines as she ponders whether to run for president again.


You know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.” —Former President Barack Obama

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David Rutz is senior writer at the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a sports reporter for two years in Atlanta and has done freelance sports reporting for the Washington Post. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2010 and lives in Marietta, Ga. His Twitter handle is @DavidRutz.