WHEN WAS THIS MESSAGE DELIVERED

‘God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un,’ evangelical adviser says

 August 9 at 11:28 AM

President Trump left, greets pastor Robert Jeffress on July 1 during the Celebrate Freedom Rally at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. (Oliver Douliery/Pool/European Pressphoto Agency)

Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers who preached the morning of his inauguration, has released a statement saying the president has the moral authority to “take out” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“When it comes to how we should deal with evildoers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil,” Jeffress said. “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Jeffress said in a phone interview that he was prompted to make the statement after Trump said that if North Korea’s threats to the United States continue, Pyongyang will be “met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Trump on North Korea: ‘They will be met with fire and fury’
During his stay at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club on Aug. 8, President Trump said North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they continue making nuclear “threats.” (Reuters)

 

The biblical passage Romans 13 gives the government authority to deal with evildoers, Jeffress said. “That gives the government … the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un,” he said.

He said that many pacifist Christians will cite Romans 12, which says, “Do not repay evil for evil,” but Jeffress says that the passage is referring to Christians, not to the government.

“A Christian writer asked me, ‘Don’t you want the president to embody the Sermon on the Mount?’ ” he said, referring to Jesus’s sermon. “I said absolutely not.”

In his sermon on the morning of Trump’s inauguration in January, Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, compared Trump to the story of the biblical leader Nehemiah, who helped rebuild the city of Jerusalem.

The first step of rebuilding the nation, Jeffress said, was the building of a wall around Jerusalem to protect its citizens. “You see, God is not against building walls,” Jeffress said in his sermon at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington.

Jeffress is no stranger to controversy. He has said in the past that former President Barack Obama paved the way for the Antichrist and drew wide attention for calling Mormonism a cult during the 2012 Republican primaries. Jeffress knows his comments on North Korea could be considered controversial, even among fellow evangelicals. His megachurch in Dallas is a prominent Southern Baptist church, one where evangelist Billy Graham had a membership for many years. In 2016, the church reported an average weekly attendance of about 3,700.

“Some Christians, perhaps younger Christians, have to think this through,” Jeffress said. “It’s antithetical to some of the mushy rhetoric you hear from some circles today. Frankly, it’s because they are not well taught in the scriptures.”

Over the past two years, Jeffress said, Trump, has been “very measured, very thoughtful in every response.”

“People instinctively know that this president is not going to draw an imaginary red line and walk around it like President Obama did,” he said.

Attitudes about North Korea among evangelicals are unclear, he said.

How Trump appealed to white, evangelical voters

An overwhelming number of white, evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, 81-16 percent, according to exit poll results. Facebook Live host Libby Casey talks to religion reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey about how Trump appealed to this group and what they expect from him once in office. (The Washington Post)

“I think many evangelicals, like most Americans, really don’t pay attention to global affairs,” Jeffress said. “I believe we’re all going to be forced to soon if North Korea isn’t dealt with decisively.”

Jeffress is unusual for an evangelical pastor because most pastors do not speak about specific foreign policy issues from the pulpit, except sometimes about Israel, said Amy Black, a political-science professor at Wheaton College, an evangelical institution in Illinois.

Theologians and church leaders have debated the interpretation of Romans 13 for millennia, Black said. Most mainstream interpretations of the passage, she said, would suggest that God works through governmental leaders, but ultimate authority comes from God. A debate broke out among Christians in Germany during World War II over how to interpret this passage; some Christians believed they should follow the government while others set up a resistance movement.

“If anything, Romans 13 creates a conundrum, because it could be interpreted that Kim Jong Un has the authority to govern,” she said.

Jeffress last met with Trump in July when a group of pastors laid hands on the president in the Oval Office. He said now that health care is off the table, evangelicals are hoping for tax reform, though he didn’t have any specifics in mind.

The access Jeffress has to the White House, Black said, may explain why many evangelicals have been so attracted to Trump.

“Some of the approval of Trump is less about the specific person and even specific policy, but it’s about someone who is listening to us,” she said. “Jeffress is a piece of that story of having access.”

Black says that Jeffress represents an “old guard” of evangelicals, closely aligned to leaders like popular radio personality and psychologist James Dobson and Pat Robertson, who founded the Christian Broadcasting Network. Many evangelicals now look to leadership from pastors like Rick Warren in California or Tim Keller in New York City, though Warren and Keller do not speak about politics very often.

“We’re in a weird vacuum; we’re past the Jim Dobson and Pat Robertson era, but it’s not 100 percent clear who will fill their place,” Black said.

Jeffress, who was an early supporter of Trump, has said that after sharing Wendy’s cheeseburgers in Iowa, he believed Trump would be the next president and that it would be because God placed him there. In July, his church choir and orchestra performed a song called “Make America Great Again” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C., where Trump was in attendance.

This story has been updated to provide further comments from Amy Black, a political-science professor at Wheaton College.

TRUMP TIES TO RUSSIA

GETTY IMAGE

Details surrounding the spy who collected the information on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and the infamous “golden shower” documents are starting to take shape. Mother Jones conducted an interview with the man who collected the information — reportedly identified as former British spy Christopher Steele — and detailed a timeline of how these events came to pass.

The reveal of the intel set the world on fire Tuesday, giving the public an insight into Russia’s intentions and providing the masses with the infamous golden showers allegations, which created a media frenzy and led Trump to call CNN a fake news outlet. The spy in question told Mother Jones that he was contacted in June to take a look into Trump’s activity in Europe and Russia. The assignment didn’t seem to bother him as he said that “it started off as a fairly general inquiry.” But once he started his digging he claims he became a bit shocked, especially for Trump reportedly being “sexually compromised” by Russian intelligence.

By his own admittance, the spy said he “stays in the shadows” but was a bit disturbed by the findings and went to his FBI contacts with the information without the approval of the American firm who hired him. He said these findings were important and had to come forward about them:

“This was something of huge significance, way above party politics,” the former spy told me. “I think [Trump’s] own party should be aware of this stuff as well.” He noted that he believed Russian intelligence efforts aimed at Trump were part of Vladimir Putin’s campaign to “disrupt and divide and discredit the system in Western democracies.”

The layers to these stories continue to provide more fodder for the masses.

THE TRUTH ABOUT HEALTHCARE

The New York Times Just DESTROYED Donald Trump For His STUPIDITY When It Comes To Healthcare

The New York Times has put out an exceptionally straightforward explanation of healthcare to discredit the Republican myths being perpetuated in an effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. Among the statistics that the Republicans don’t want people to understand is that 90% of people receive healthcare through the government or their employer, only 10% of people buy through an exchange or through their employer. The majority of people have in fact seen lower premium increases since Obamacare was implemented, while those in the private sector have seen higher marginal increases in price.

85% of the group that buy through the private exchanges receive federal subsidies, shielding them from market volatility and the greed of insurance companies. The NYT investigation found that only 3% of Americans have seen price increases. This stands in stark contrast to the more than 14 million Americans who began receiving health insurance since Obamacare went into law.

“Trumpcare”, dubbed by some Conservatives as “Obamacare-light”, threatens to remove federal subsidies and assistance for the most vulnerable sectors of the public – such as old people. If the Republicans have their way we may see the elderly lose their federal subsidies and subsequently be priced out of the healthcare market, losing their health coverage at a time in their lives when they need it most.

WIKILEAKS DUMPS CLASSIFIED INFO

IT’S DIFFICULT to buy a new TV that doesn’t come with a suite of (generally mediocre) “smart” software, giving your home theater some of the functions typically found in phones and tablets. But bringing these extra features into your living room means bringing a microphone, too — a fact the CIA is exploiting, according to a new trove of documents released today by WikiLeaks.

According to documents inside the cache, a CIA program named “Weeping Angel” provided the agency’s hackers with access to Samsung Smart TVs, allowing a television’s built-in voice control microphone to be remotely enabled while keeping the appearance that the TV itself was switched off, called “Fake-Off mode.” Although the display would be switched off, and LED indicator lights would be suppressed, the hardware inside the television would continue to operate, unbeknownst to the owner. The method, co-developed with British intelligence, required implanting a given TV with malware—it’s unclear if this attack could be executed remotely, but the documentation includes reference to in-person infection via a tainted USB drive. Once the malware was inside the TV, it could relay recorded audio data to a third party (presumably a server controlled by the CIA) through the included network connection.

WikiLeaks said its cache included more than 8,000 documents originating from within the CIA and came via a source, who the group did not identify, who was concerned that the agency’s “hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers,” and who wanted to “initiate a public debate” about the proliferation of cyberweapons. WikiLeaks said the documents also showed extensive hacking of smartphones, including Apple’s iPhones; a large library of allegedly serious computer attacks that were not reported to tech companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft; malware from hacker groups and other nation-states, including, WikiLeaks said, Russia, that could be used to hide the agency’s involvement in cyberattacks; and the growth of a substantial hacking division within the CIA, known as the Center for Cyber Intelligence, bringing the agency further into the sort of cyberwarfare traditionally practiced by its rival the National Security Agency.

The smart TV breach is just the latest example of a security problem emerging from the so-called “Internet of Things,” the increasingly large catalog of consumer products that include (or require) an internet connection for contrived “smart” functionality. Last year, the Guardian reported that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate that breaching smart devices was a priority for American spies: “In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.”

Security and cryptography researcher Kenneth White told The Intercept that smart TVs are “historically a pretty easy target” and “a pretty great attack platform,” given that TVs are typically located in a living room or bedroom.” White added that “there is zero chance the [CIA has] only targeted Samsung. It’s just too easy to mod other embedded OSes” found in the smart TVs sold by every other manufacturer.

This new WikiLeaks dump contains no apparent information about who exactly was targeted by Weeping Angel, or when. It’s also unclear how many models of Samsung TVs were vulnerable to Weeping Angel — the CIA documents published by WikiLeaks only mention one model, the F8000 (albeit a very popular and well-reviewed model: Engadget described it as “the best smart TV system you’ll find anywhere.”) After privacy concerns about Samsung’s TV voice recognition feature spread in 2015, the company released an FAQ meant to soothe worried consumers. Addressing the question of “How do I know it’s listening or not?,” Samsung assured users that “If the TV’s voice recognition feature is turned on for a command, an icon of a microphone will appear on the screen,” but “if no icon appears on the screen, the voice recognition feature is off.”

This assurance about displayed icons is of course worth nothing if the CIA has hijacked the TV. What Samsung seems to have taken for granted was that the company, and its customers, could fully control the operation of its televisions. As the CIA’s Fake-Off exploit shows, the company’s assurances to consumers that a TV’s voice recognition controls would operate in a transparent manner do not hold true once spies and (potentially other hackers) get involved.

Samsung did not immediately return a request for comment. A CIA spokesperson replied “We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents.”

LANDLORD IN HOT WATER

Owner Of Ivanka’s D.C. Home In Serious Hot Water With The U.S. Govt. (DETAILS)

The Trump White House is an absolute cesspool of unethical business, discriminatory policy, extortion, corruption and scandal.

This new information adds one more conflict of interest to the long list of President Trump’s conflicts, which have far surpassed all moral and ethical standards and border very closely on being illegal. When Donald Trump moved into the White House to assume his new position, instead of bringing first lady Melania Trump and his youngest son, he brought his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. While he couldn’t appoint Ivanka to an official advisory role, she has been in many meetings like a dirty sock.

Kushner on the other hand, was appointed to an official White House role as a top advisor. Titles aside, it has been acknowledged by numerous Republicans that Trump’s children, particularly Ivanka, have more power than any advisor. That is what makes this new information so concerning.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner secured a Washington, D.C. rental home for the duration of Donald Trump’s presidency due to Kushner’s advisory role. The home that they rent is a six bedroom historic home which was purchased in December for 5.5 million dollars by the company of Chilean billionaire, Andronico Luksic.

Luksic has his hands in a variety of industries, but presently is in a legal dispute with the United States government and environmental groups over not providing him adequate permissions for a mine he would like to operate in Minnesota. The Washington Postconfirmed this information with a relative and bookkeeper of Luksic, Rodrigo Terre.

He, along with a White House spokesperson, claimed that the couple are paying “absolute/fair market value,” but would not disclose what the amount was. That said, it is impossible to know at this time whether some kind of agreement was made between Luksic and the Trumps pertaining to this Minnesota mine legal dispute.

It has been claimed by both parties that they have never met in person, and the White House asserts that Luksic’s American business operations and his ongoing lawsuit was not known to Kushner nor Ivanka when they signed their lease.

Luksic is from an exceedingly wealthy family, not unlike Ivanka Trump. According to Forbes, they are among the wealthiest in Chile and are involved in banking, mining and the industrial sector to the tune of a worth of approximately $13.1 billion.

It is one of these mining units, Antofagasta PLC (Twin Metals Minnesota LLC) that has an ongoing lawsuit with the U.S. government. The intention of Luksic’s company was to create a mine within the U.S. Forest Service land near Boundary Waters Canoe Area. This area of forest land however, has been under the stewardship of the federal government since 1926.

In September, Twin Metals Minnesota LLC took the government to federal court over the right to open the mine. The leases to two minerals they sought was denied in December by the Obama administration, but there is no telling what the Trump administration has in store in terms of overturning that decision.

The Obama administration articulated that the mine was not approved as it had the potential to cause:

‘Serious and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic and irreplaceable wilderness area.’

Twin Metals argued back as recently as February that this area contains “one of the largest untapped copper and nickel resources in the world.”

Between Kushner and his daughter’s involvement with Luksic, and Trump’s anti-climate change, anti-science, pro-mining rhetoric, we suspect this mine will be permitted and this land will be lost, especially given the prospective mineral value:

‘[It is] conservatively estimated at more than $40 billion of in-ground mineral value.’

Everyone knew that Donald Trump offered a presidency wrought with conflicts solely due to his many business dealings. But, since his voters didn’t care and the electoral college failed Americans, this is what we are left with.

LAWYER’S PANTS ABLAZE

Trial by fire: Lawyer’s pants set ablaze during arson case

 

MIAMI (AP) — A Miami defense attorney is feeling the heat after his pants caught fire Wednesday after he told jurors during arguments in an arson case that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and wasn’t intentionally set.

As he started speaking to the jury, Stephen Gutierrez, 28, said he noticed his pocket began to feel hot.

“When I checked my pocket, I noticed that the heat was coming from a small e-cigarette battery I had in my pocket,” Gutierrez told The Associated Press via email on Thursday afternoon. He said he had two to three of the batteries in his right pocket.

The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/2m4lhIE ) reported Gutierrez was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and wasn’t intentionally set on fire.

Gutierrez said he quickly left the courtroom and went to a courthouse bathroom.

“I was able to toss the battery in water after it singed my pocket open,” he said.

Gutierrez said the incident was not staged. “No one thinks that a battery left in their pocket is somehow going to ‘explode,'” he wrote.

The lawyer ran out of the courtroom and the judge also had the jurors taken to the jury room.

When Gutierrez returned to the courtroom unharmed, he insisted it wasn’t a staged defense gone wrong. Later in the day his client, Claudy Charles, 48, was convicted of second-degree arson.

Prosecutors and the Miami-Dade police are investigating the incident. Investigators seized frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman also could decide to hold Gutierrez in contempt of court.

Gutierrez told the AP that he researched e-cigarette batteries and learned that they can be “extremely dangerous.”

“The dangers of these devices, and accessories, have led me to quit using e-cigarette products,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, all of these stories and incidents involve real people in real situations. I hope we do not forget that.”