1. Durham Report Raises Security Questions
The Topline: The special counsel’s allegations of spying on Trump in the White House have former and current lawmakers asking questions.
Quote Of The Day: “We knew they were running spies into the campaign, but what we never knew is that they would be able to compromise servers and take internet data from President Trump, specifically as a candidate, but then…actually taking and scraping information from the White House, which is supposed to be the most protected communications architecture in the world.”
– Former Congressman Devin Nunes
On Friday, Special Counsel John Durham revealed more details connected to charges against Michael Sussman, a lawyer who represented the Clinton campaign, who is being charged with lying about that affiliation when he presented evidence to the FBI.
On at least two occasions, Sussman met with intelligence agencies to bring information about supposed “Russian collusion.” Information which later was proved false. Durham also found that some of the information provided to the CIA in 2017 appeared to include protected White House communications.
The tech executive cited by Durham as helping to provide the data on Trump responded late Monday. The executive, Rodney Joffe, who worked for Neustar at the time, admitted through a spokesperson that a report on Trump was provided to the CIA. Joffe’s spokesperson said cyber-security researchers “prepared a report of their findings, which was subsequently shared with the CIA.”
Joffe has not been charged with anything. So far, only Sussman has been charged and he is pleading not guilty.
The New York Times says what Durham has alleged is not technically “spying,” but others outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, say, “Trump really was spied on.” They called the Russia collusion story “one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history.”
The White House and Hillary Clinton have refused to comment so far, but several Republicans have responded, including Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the top-ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and former Congressman Devin Nunes, who led the House Intelligence Committee when this saga began in 2016.
Nunes is now the CEO of the Trump Media and Technology Group. He said he was surprised by some of Durham’s findings, and the use of Sussman to push the false claims was part of a larger strategy of concealing the political motives behind it.
2. Most Democrats Oppose Biden Running Again
The Topline: As new polling shows President Joe Biden sinking to record lows in popularity, Democrat leaders appear to be distancing themselves from key 2020 campaign promises.
A new poll from CNN revealed that 51% of Democrat voters prefer another candidate run in 2024 other than President Joe Biden.
In the rolling average of national polls, Biden’s approval rating is at 41% with his disapproval rate at 54%. So far this month, Biden hasn’t risen above 43% approval in any national polls. At this point last year, he was at 54% approval and only 37% disapproval.
Even when his performance on the economy and foreign policy dropped during the winter, the majority of Americans still supported his handling of COVID. However, now only 44% of Americans approve on that front.
CNN published another poll last week asking Americans what they thought Biden was doing well, and 56% of respondents couldn’t name a single thing they approve of.
Democrats held a clear advantage all year in polling regarding which party voters prefer in the midterms. Now, Republicans have a commanding lead in generic congressional polling.
Democrat leaders appear to be aware of this shift in voter sentiment and have started to reverse course on a number of issues they campaigned on in 2020. For example, they’ve reversed on mask mandates and lockdowns, after calling for them all year. They’ve gone largely silent on Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter, and they’ve even pulled back on issues like Defunding the Police, which Speaker Pelosi called “dead,” on Sunday.