Congressman tells angry constituents the idea that they pay his salary is ‘bullcrap’ (McClatchy DC link): An Oklahoman congressman is under fire after he seemingly dismissed the notion that his constituents pay for him to go to Congress, calling the idea “bullcrap” in a viral video making the rounds on social media.
Markwayne Mullin, speaking at a town hall Tuesday in Jay, Oklahoma, was responding to a question from the audience when he responded to a claim that constituents pay for him to work in Congress.
“You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go,” said the 39-year-old Republican who represents Oklahoma’s second district, which covers much of the eastern part of the state.
When several audience members pushed back against this claim, Mullin went on, “I’m just saying this is a service for me, not a career, and I thank God this is not how I make my living.”
Court Approved Wiretap on Trump Campaign Aide Over Russia Ties (New York Times link): The Justice Department obtained a secret court-approved wiretap last summer on Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent, a government official said Wednesday.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued the warrant, the official said, after investigators determined that Mr. Page was no longer part of the Trump campaign, which began distancing itself from him in early August. Mr. Page is one of several Trump associates under scrutiny in a federal investigation.
The Justice Department considered direct surveillance of anyone tied to a political campaign as a line it did not want to cross, the official added. But its decision to seek a wiretap once it was clear that Mr. Page had left the campaign was the latest indication that, as Mr. Trump built his insurgent run for the White House, the F.B.I. was deeply concerned about whether any of his associates were colluding with Russia.
To obtain the warrant, the government needed to show probable cause that Mr. Page was acting as an agent of Russia. Investigators must first get approval from one of three senior officials at the Justice Department. Then, prosecutors take it to a surveillance court judge.