Saturday, March 30, 2019

Russia told the truth about Trump

After printing thousands of articles blaming President Trump for mysterious Russian allegations, it now publishes an op-ed by a Russian journalist on what nonsense it all was:
MOSCOW — Russians weren’t waiting for Robert Mueller’s report with quite the same excitement as Americans.

Russian state media’s coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency has vacillated between breathless adoration, mockery and outrage, but one thing has been consistent: The idea of Russia electing and controlling an American president has always been deemed absurd. Most references to the Mueller inquiry and the Trump-Russia story in state media are preceded by a qualifier: “the so-called Russia investigation,” as the prominent TV host Dmitry Kiselyov puts it.

It’s not just the state media that has rejected the idea that Mr. Trump colluded with Russia. Even liberals and opponents of President Vladimir Putin have been deeply skeptical, pointing out that Russia’s ruling circles are barely competent enough to prop themselves up, let alone manipulate a superpower.

When the news broke last week that Mr. Mueller had finished his report, Moscow’s political and media circles reacted with a mixture of contempt and derision.
Remember that the famous Jan. 2017 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was the basis for alleging that Russia interfered with the 2016 American election. It consisted mostly of complaints about Russian news media stories, and said:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 ... 
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. ...

Starting in March 2016, Russian Government- linked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump's candidacy in media aimed at English-speaking audiences. RT and Sputnik-another government-funded outlet producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content in a variety of languages for international audiences - consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.

Russian media hailed President-elect Trump's victory as a vindication of Putin's advocacy of global populist movements ...

Putin's chief propagandist Dmitriy Kiselev used his flagship weekly newsmagazine program this fall to cast President-elect Trump as an outsider victimized by a corrupt political establishment and faulty democratic election process that aimed to prevent his election because of his desire to work with Moscow. ...

Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Secretary Clinton. This effort amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign. ...

RT's coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative and focused on her leaked e-mails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism. Some Russian officials echoed Russian lines for the influence campaign that Secretary Clinton's election could lead to a war between the United States and Russia.
The NSA was not sure that the negative Clinton coverage was intended to help Trump. Maybe Russia was expecting Clinton to win the election and was simply putting out anti-American propaganda.

Or maybe the Russians were just reporting the facts. The American news media were overwhelmingly opposed to Trump, and were preoccupied with denigrating him with weirdo conspiracy theories. There were a few exceptions like Hannity and Limbaugh, but the American news media appeared to be more under partisan political control than the Russian's.

I am not endorsing Russian news. Russia just passed a law against "blatant disrespect" of the state, and against "fake news". Repeat offenders face up to 15 days in jail. But sometimes Russia reports stories that are hard to find elsewhere. See for example this video today of Trump, where YouTube attaches a disclaimer that RT is funded by the Russians.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The High Costs of the Left’s Conspiracy Theory

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

Liberal Wikipedia defines “conspiracy theory” as the fear of a nonexistent conspiracy. By that definition, the theory that Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election has to be ranked as the biggest conspiracy theory of all time.

As Robert Mueller closes the books on his 2-year reign of terror against Trump supporters, we should pause to consider the collateral damage Mueller caused. Mueller’s conspiracy theory about collusion with Russia caused unfathomable harm to many people, most of whom are totally innocent.

Mueller’s team burned through at least $25 million in its own costs, at taxpayer expense. But far greater costs were imposed on Mueller’s innocent victims and the American people.

In his four-page letter to Congress, Attorney General Bill Barr reported that the Special Counsel and his team “issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, and obtained more than 230 orders for communication records.” They executed “almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.”

500 witnesses? Witnesses to what? There was never any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as Mueller finally admitted in his report, so there was no crime for anyone to witness.

But the targets of Mueller’s subpoenas, the victims of his search warrants, and other innocent individuals were compelled to waste enormous time and money in responding to the frightful demands by the out-of-control investigation.

Each of Mueller’s subpoenas probably cost an average of $25,000 to comply with. The D.C. rates for attorneys’ fees are among the highest in the country, and this field of law is particularly specialized.

So the wasteful expense caused by Mueller’s subpoenas alone racked up $70 million in costs, but even that is just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the “witnesses” pursued by Mueller necessarily hired attorneys for themselves, which easily incurred more than $100,000 in fees apiece.

Jerome Corsi was one of those witnesses, and he spent many days being interviewed by Mueller’s team. At the end of all that cooperation, Mueller’s prosecutors demanded that Corsi plead guilty to lying to the government, even though he had been candid.

Corsi then went public and exposed the Mueller investigation for what it was: a political hatchet job stacked with enemies of Trump. Corsi expected to be unfairly indicted and put on trial, but he courageously stood his ground and refused to cave into wrongdoing by Mueller’s team.

Corsi was right to call Mueller’s bluff. Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s highly partisan lead prosecutor, subsequently announced his return to teaching in New York City, which is preferable to his being given so much power to impose such high costs on many innocent people.

Mueller has some explaining to do about the unfounded threats by his team to indict Corsi if he did not agree to a plea. Mueller apparently allowed the anti-Trump prosecutors whom Mueller hired to run roughshod with impunity over Trump supporters.

“I consider this entire investigation to be fraudulent,” Corsi observed. “I’m glad it’s over.”
But it’s not over for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, even though his persecutors have left the Mueller investigation for other high-paying jobs. Gen. Flynn still faces sentencing from the deal he agreed to in order to save his family.

For spending a mere 24 days as President Trump’s National Security Advisor, Gen. Flynn has been forced to incur $5 million in legal fees. Adding insult to injury, the federal judge presiding over his case accused Flynn of being a traitor to the United States, before walking back those comments.

"Waiting for all of those apologies from journalists and left wing politicians who slandered Gen. Flynn, calling him a traitor after serving his country heroically for 33 years," his brother Joe Flynn tweeted after the Mueller report found no collusion. The Department of Justice, post-Mueller, should move to dismiss the case against Lt. Gen. Flynn now.

On top of these massive costs is the time lost by the American public and President Trump. Overzealous prosecutions are a distraction, to say the least, and it is to Trump’s credit that he has not been completely distracted by this.

Trump could have accomplished even more in his first two years in office without the constant disruption caused by this Grand Inquisition by the Left. At one point Trump spent several days answering questions for Mueller despite no evidence for asking them.

The liberal media and Democrats who egged on the fiction of Russian collusion should be labeled as conspiracy theorists for falsely insisting that there was coordination by Trump with Russia in order to be elected. This liberal conspiracy theory harmed many innocent victims and the American people, to whom the Left should apologize.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gun Control Goes Stealth

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The horrific massacre at the New Zealand mosque has incited demands for gun control there, but surprisingly not here in the United States. The contestants for the Democratic presidential nomination have been remarkably silent on the issue of the Second Amendment.

Cat got their tongue? They have been leapfrogging each other to go far left on other issues, ranging from climate change to immigration.

Their liberal base must be stultified at the candidates’ deafening silence on this central issue of the Democratic Party Platform, which calls for bans on “assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.” Three weeks ago the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most sweeping gun control legislation in 20 years.

But leading Democrats fear a repeat of 2000, when they loudly demanded gun control in the wake of the Columbine high school shooting. Then came Charlton Heston’s famous performance at the NRA convention at which he publicly warned that nominee Al Gore would grab Heston’s guns only “from my cold, dead hands!”

Heston, who had won an Academy Award for his role in Ben-Hur and also starred in The Ten Commandments, campaigned against Gore on the issue of guns. Gore then backpedaled on the issue, pretending that he would not grab people’s guns while many voters knew that he and his party would do just that.

On Election Day in 2000 Gore then lost his home state of Tennessee, where the right to bear arms is paramount. That cost him the presidency against George W. Bush.

This time the Democratic presidential candidates are lying low on the issue of gun control until after the presidential election. Democrats are looking for more stealth ways to erode the Second Amendment, to fly undetected on the radar of most American voters.

The first way is to pack the Supreme Court with Democrat nominees. Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder has endorsed this approach, and there is even a new group called “Pack the Court.”

Multiple Democratic presidential contenders, from Elizabeth Warren to Beto O’Rourke, are open to the idea. If one of them were to defeat President Trump while their party takes Congress, they might add new justices to the Supreme Court to erode the Second Amendment.

Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt floated a similar idea in 1937 for a different reason, and his own party resoundingly rejected it then. But in those days the Democratic Party actually represented working Americans.

The Supreme Court could soon be presented with an appeal from the Connecticut Supreme Court, which ruled that the gun manufacturer Remington can be held liable for the Sandy Hook massacre. The Second Amendment will not mean much if gun manufacturers are driven out of business for crimes they never intended.

The second approach is to call a constitutional convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, at which delegates could support an amendment to repeal the Second Amendment entirely. Hawaii legislators attempted this approach with a resolution.

In both Australia and Great Britain, massacres enabled gun control forces to push through tight new restrictions on guns. Their entire political culture then shifted to the left as voters became less self-reliant and more dependent on government.

"The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic,” wrote longtime Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in 1833. He explained that the Second Amendment “offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

Chelsea Clinton was met with criticism by students at New York University who blamed the carnage at the New Zealand mosque on her gentle criticism of the Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN). So apparently President Trump is no longer the culprit for everything in the minds of Leftists anymore.

New Zealand itself is turning its sights on Facebook, Google and Twitter for how they provided an unregulated channel for the mass-murderer to live-stream his killings. Internet users then copied and reposted the hideous videos before those companies could take them down.

As three of the most liberal corporations in America, these Silicon Valley behemoths were slow to react to the New Zealand live-streaming. One reason may be that they devote much of their resources to censoring legitimate political speech.

Facebook admitted that a high-resolution video of the attack was uploaded 1.5 million times within the first 24 hours, and that 300,000 of these were unblocked. The mass murderer used its platform to promote his heinous crime live.

Multiple prior killings have been done by others who touted their evil deeds on Facebook. Yet there are no calls to ban Facebook, the way that liberals demand gun control.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Violence Against Constitutional Rights Act

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

While Congress considers new infringements on constitutional rights for a new Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), they overlook where the most violence is occurring. The New York Times recently featured an exposé about how nearly every woman is raped during their migration from Central America to our open southern border.

Shutting the border is the only way that the United States can protect those women. That would take away the incentive for the long, dangerous journey.

Yet House Democrats want nothing of that remedy to stop violence against women. Instead, Democrats push for more infringements on the rights of Americans as part of a proposed new VAWA.

In their subcommittee hearing on March 7, House Democrats were uninterested in the terrible violence against women resulting from their insistence on an open southern border. The minority Republicans were allowed to invite only one witness, and she did not address the violence among migrants either.

An organization called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) has proposed numerous sensible reforms to the now-expired VAWA law, which was causing more harm than good. For starters, the prior law lacked a clear, appropriate definition of what it even meant when it referred to violence against women.

The Obama Administration defined domestic violence very broadly to include conduct that was not violent at all, such as alleged economic, emotional, or psychological abuse. Fortunately, the Department of Justice in the Trump Administration has sensibly clarified the meaning of domestic violence to include only conduct that would be a felony or misdemeanor if charged as a crime.

Inclusion of non-violent behavior then becomes a means for grabbing guns from men, and imposing automatic sentences in prison if they are found to have any guns. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham announced last week that his committee will hold a hearing on March 26 on “red flag” laws, which give government special power to seize and confiscate guns from individuals whom someone thinks might be dangerous.

The First Amendment is at risk, too, in this planned reauthorization of VAWA. Proposed expansions to the law include authorizing federal monitoring of internet communications, under the guise of punishing cyber stalking and so-called bullying.

That could result in censorship of the internet as prosecutions are brought against communications which the federal agents might consider to be inappropriate. The freewheeling online environment that makes it so popular could be chilled by a new VAWA.

Even President Trump’s colorful tweets against the women who are vying for the Democratic nomination to run against him might be considered cyberbullying, depending on how VAWA is rewritten. Robert Mueller might need to be recalled into service to do a new investigation into tweeting by Trump and his supporters.

Liberal women attempt to make VAWA a women’s issue, but in fact intimate partner violence against men is comparable in frequency to violence against women, according to a National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS). More importantly, domestic violence has been decreasing for decades, prior to the billions of dollars of handouts by VAWA to feminist groups.

One’s home with a spouse has always been the safest place for both men and women, and spousal murder is very rare. Yet VAWA trained workers to separate domestic couples, and file a complaint against men which often causes them to lose their jobs and their employability.

Women, once their partner is going to lose his job that supported both of them, then try to stop the harmful VAWA process and withdraw the accusations. But laws make that impossible, such that the women are greatly harmed by the loss in the men’s jobs that VAWA causes.

The abusive “ex parte” court orders under VAWA, which are issued without the man being in court to defend himself against false accusations, would probably expand under a new VAWA. Recall how late-night comedian David Letterman discovered in 2005 that a woman in Sante Fe had obtained a restraining order against him.
The woman insisted that Letterman had used code words on his television show to communicate that he wanted to marry her, and have her become his co-host. She said Letterman had been mentally cruel to her and caused her to endure sleep deprivation for more than a decade.

A New Mexico state judge granted the woman’s demand for an ex parte restraining order, and it became a humorous topic for Letterman’s show. His attorneys were able to reverse the court order, but most men do not have the luxury of time, money, and influence that a television celebrity has.

Perhaps VAWA should be considered under a new name that more accurately describes how it infringes on First and Second Amendment rights, in addition to turning women against men. How about calling it the “Violence Against Constitutional Rights Act”?

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

ISIS Bride Is Not an American Citizen

The Phyllis Schlafly Report
By John and Andy Schlafly

The case of the ISIS bride, Hoda Muthana, could result in a landmark ruling on what it means to be an American citizen and who has rights to that precious status. After spending five years in Syria with ISIS, the terrorist group also known as the Islamic State, Ms. Muthana wants to come back to the United States.

She was born in New Jersey to parents who had come here from Yemen under diplomatic immunity. Her father had worked for Yemen’s mission to the United States.

Children born in the United States to diplomats from foreign countries are not American citizens, under a longstanding rule of law. Not even advocates of open borders dispute that.

Yet many people mistakenly assume that being born on U.S. soil is enough to become a citizen, which is simply not true. The case of the ISIS bride, who moved to Alabama and from there joined ISIS, confronts this legal issue in a high-profile case.

Raised in the United States, Hoda was 19 when she told her parents she was going on a field trip as part of a college course she was taking. Instead she withdrew from college and used her tuition refund to buy a one-way ticket to Turkey, then somehow made her way to ISIS-held territory in Syria.

While in war-torn Syria she apparently met and married an ISIS fighter, and after he was killed, she married another ISIS fighter. During this period she posted a series of blood-curdling tweets, which have since been deleted by Twitter.

“Americans wake up!” Muthana tweeted in 2015 from ISIS-held territory in Syria. “Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Kill them.”

She witnessed dead bodies lying about in Syrian streets where ISIS had murdered them. She observed heads severed by ISIS and planted on poles in order terrify opponents of ISIS.

When her second husband was killed, leaving her pregnant, Hoda married yet a third ISIS fighter. She left that husband and was captured by Kurdish forces, who placed her and her 18-month-old son in a massive refugee camp in northeast Syria with thousands of other widows and children.

Life is hard in the refugee camp, where women are punished if they step outside their tent without wearing a hijab or burqa. Not long after calling for death to Americans, Hoda has since decided that “I prefer America to anywhere else.”

To President Trump, Hoda’s recent remorse seems a little too convenient. “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Trump tweeted two weeks ago.

The same day Secretary Pompeo declared that “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States. She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.”

The following day, a 32-page, 128-paragraph lawsuit against President Trump and Secretary Pompeo was filed by the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America. Yesterday, lawyers pressed their claim before U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.

Her lawyers pointed out that Hoda had been issued a U.S. passport in 2014, without which she could not have traveled to Syria. But Judge Walton said that “just because she received a U.S. passport does not mean she is a U.S. citizen,” and he denied her request to expedite her case.

“The government informed Muthana more than three years ago that she is not a citizen and canceled her erroneously issued passport,” Pompeo’s lawyers told the court. “Muthana -- who was at the time a member of ISIS -- failed to act timely in response to that notification, [and] remained in a war zone through hostilities for a period of years.”

“She was born to parents who enjoyed diplomatic-agent-level immunity at that time of her birth, so she did not and could not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth,” Pompeo explained to the court.

“The Man Without a Country” tells the story of a young American who, after renouncing his citizenship, is ordered to spend the rest of his life aboard ships at sea with no hope of ever setting foot on U.S. soil again. One of the most popular literary works of the nineteenth century, it was later adapted for a number of movies, radio and television dramas, and even an opera.

The ISIS bride is a modern version of the same story, except that she is not doomed to roam the seas with no place to go. Perhaps she could settle in her parents’ country of Yemen or remain in Syria, but she has no rights to citizenship in the United States.

John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) and lead the continuing Phyllis Schlafly Eagles organizations with writing and policy work. These columns are also posted on