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ACORN ‘pimp’ charged with trying to wiretap Louisiana senator

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Son of acting US Attorney also said involved

The conservative activist who created a nightmare for the community organizing group ACORN and the son of an acting US Attorney were arrested Monday and charged with trying to wiretap Louisiana’s Democratic senator, Mary Landrieu.

Activist James O’Keefe, 25, was already in Landrieu’s New Orleans office Monday when Robert Flanagan and Joseph Basel, both 24, showed up claiming to be telephone repairmen, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office. Letten says O’Keefe recorded the two with his cell phone. O’Keefe was the notorious faux pimp who tried to get ACORN employees to confess to untoward activities.

The affidavit of the arrest is now available here in PDF.

Once inside the reception area, Flanagan, the son of acting U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan in Shreveport, and Basel asked for access to the main phone at the reception desk. (Flanagan is serving as an interim US Attorney for western Louisiana; Obama tapped a Shreveport attorney as replacement last week, who has yet to be confirmed.)

After handling the phone, “Flanagan and Basel next requested access to the telephone closet because they needed to perform work on the main telephone system,” Letten’s office said.

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The men were directed to another office in the building; they’re accused of again misrepresenting themselves as telephone repairmen.

Andrew Breitbart, who made the ACORN ‘pimp’ famous, came up blank when called about the story by Talking Points Memo.

“I need to find information on this,” Breitbart reportedly said. “I’m out of the loop on this. I will make my determination then on when to comment.”

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Robert Flanagan’s attorney, J. Garrison Jordan, said he believes his client works for the Pelican Institute. Asked the motivation for the alleged wiretap plot, he said: ‘I think it was poor judgment. I don’t think there was any intent or motive to commit a crime.'”

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They were arrested later by the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Details of the arrest were not available. A fourth man, Stan Dai, 24, was also arrested, but Letten’s office said only that he assisted the others in planning, coordinating and preparing the operation.

Adds The New Orleans Times-Picayune:

According to the FBI affidavit, Flanagan and Basel entered the federal building at 500 Poydras Street about 11 a.m. Monday, dressed as telephone company employees, wearing jeans, fluorescent green vests, tool belts, and hard hats. When they arrived at Landrieu’s 10th floor office, O’Keefe was already in the office and had told a staffer he was waiting for someone to arrive…

After being asked, the staffer gave Basel access to the main phone at the reception desk. The staffer told investigators that Basel manipulated the handset. He also tried to call the main office phone using his cell phone, and said the main line wasn’t working. Flanagan did the same.

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They then told the staffer they needed to perform repair work on the main phone system and asked where the telephone closet was located. The staffer showed the men to the main General Services Administration office on the 10th floor, and Flanagan and Basel went in. There, a GSA employee asked for the men’s credentials, after which they stated they left them in their vehicle.

With AP.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied ‘proudly and with impunity’ because she was raised to be ‘impervious to reason’: WH reporter

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Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was blasted by a White House correspondent for her brazen lying from the White House podium.

"Sarah Sanders is a true believer. Conditioned by an upbringing rooted in Christian rhetoric that's impervious to reason, she views the world through a lens in which everything exists in absolutes," Playboy magazine White House correspondent Brian Karem wrote.

Her father, Mike Huckabee, is an Evangelical pastor who served as the Republican governor of Arkansas prior to unsuccessful presidential bids.

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Scaramucci: Trump will ‘flip out on you’ if you lick your finger and touch something on his desk

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," anchor Erin Burnett talked to former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci about President Donald Trump's hysteria over chief of staff Mick Mulvaney coughing in his presence.

"Does behavior like that from him, from the top, send a message about how he treats people or how others should treat people, or do you not have any concern?" asked Burnett.

"I — well, listen, I sort of think it's unfair. Every one of us have been temperamental from time to time," said Scaramucci, who was fired after just 10 days in the White House for extremely obscene comments about Steve Bannon. "I think it's very unfair to pick and choose these — clearly caught on camera. We're in the world of social media now. Many of us have said things that they've regretted saying, myself included especially, Erin. But what happens in the social media and our fishbowl — and the White House isn't even a fishbowl, it's a full-blown aquarium."

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White House either lied or there was ‘gross mismanagement’ for not knowing Shanahan’s past: David Gergen

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On Tuesday, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan withdrew his nomination as new details came to life about a violent series of domestic disputes within his family, including an incident in which he defended his son for assaulting his wife with a baseball bat.

Former White House official David Gergen scorned the idea that the White House and Senate Republicans were not aware of this information, noting that Shanahan was already confirmed to a high-ranking office in the Pentagon and would have already undergone a rigorous FBI background check.

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