The Political System Can’t Get Any Worse

Those folks who receives a commission to commit acts of political journalism are keen on overstatement. The change has a tendency to attract excitable types, without problems bored and always on the prowl for brand spanking new stimuli. I’m now not going to say that the net was invented for political journalists – that would be a bit of an overstatement, wouldn’t it? – however sometimes it appears to had been reverse-engineered to our wireless necessities and conduct. In fact, you could say the identical approximately each facet of yank politics, from journalism to gerrymandering, from polling to poll looking. Ask the query, What has the internet modiwiwireless in American politics? And the answer is inevitable: everything. That’s now not an overstatement.

lengthy before the net embedded itself into the patterns of our each day lives, within the past due Nineteen Nineties, computing power had already transformed political practice in ways that now appear apparent to us, though their signiwiwireless dawned on practitioners best in slow movement. Opinion polling became easier to do and (allegedly) greater accurate. The act of counting votes changed into streamlined and accelerated. reporters ought to write faster, if not higher. The organizing of campaigns was routinized. The mother’s milk of politics – other human beings’s cash – may be accounted for greater accurately and quick. And maximum consequential of all, the historical artwork of gerrymandering will be practiced with laser-like precision, giving whichever party changed into drawing district barriers an extended-time period advantage. thanks to the laptop revolution, in some states, there are big apartment homes that have wings in different congressional districts.

Then came the extensive use of the internet, making all that computing energy portable and universally handy. the primary actual presidential campaign of the net age followed in 2000. once more the possibilities have become obvious incrementally. the first “aha!” moment passed off inside the campaign operation of John McCain, who was challengingwireless George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, and an implausible gaggle of lesser pols (Gary Bauer? Elizabeth Dole?) for the Republican presidential nomination. Having lived in Washington maximum of his lifestyles (now not counting wi-fi years in a Vietnamese jail camp), and having been in Congress and then the Senate for almost two decades, McCain changed into strolling a maverick marketing campaign in opposition to the “established order” as a Washington outsider.

unlucky for Dean, the net additionally alerted hundreds of thousands of electorate to the reality that he become sanctimonious, short-tempered, and a ways too excessive for top time – in quick, a pretty frightening candidate.

And for some purpose human beings were shopping for it. McCain’s surprising reputation came the a82ee8a4ee179e54beacaecce0423cb2, pre-net way – through relentless travel, dreary fundraising lunches, regular public talking, and inwiwireless flesh-pressing. however his young group of workers toyed with the devices the web made feasible. They wi-fi the click bus with an early model of c084d04ddacadd4b971ae3d98fecfb2a and created a internet site for messaging and donations. The internet trappings made the crotchety grandpa (McCain was 64, ten years older than Bush) seem hip. almost.

absolutely everyone in the political international – inclusive of the McCainiacs – were astounded whilst dark horse McCain trounced frontrunner Bush in the all-essential New Hampshire primary. and they had been even more astounded tomorrow. The McCain team of workers watched in disbelief because the meter on its donations web page went up and up and up till it hit tilt! without lifting a wirelessnger, McCain raised half of one million bucks in twelve hours, a record that most effective the web ought to have made feasible. His employer also had captured the e-mail addresses of hundreds of potential volunteers. Aha.

ordinary because it seems these days, it became those mossback Republicans, led by means of Bush that fall, who registered these wirelessrst stirrings of internet disruption, now not merely in fundraising but in marketing too. Bush’s marketing campaign put up ads on dozens of (exceedingly) well-trafwi-ficked sites, achieving thousands and thousands of citizens at near-zero fee. The Democrats timidly confined themselves to a single advert on Yahoo. This tardy recognition of the electricity of the net is all of the more remarkable when you remember the fact that their candidate, Al Gore, invented the rattling aspect.

by using the following election, in 2004, Democrats had were given it found out. another “anti-status quo” candidate, a politically anonymous former Vermont governor named Howard Dean, employed as his campaign supervisor a youngish consultant, Joe Trippi, who changed into nicely-versed in the net. They combined the perception from McCain’s campaign – that the internet enables you to raise plenty of money real rapid – with a popularity of its power to attract well matched supporters right away from anywhere .

They took as their version, a massive internet site founded to organize wiwireless of invoice Clinton’s impeachment in 1998 and 1999. Trippi used a unfastened internet site called to attach capability Deaniacs to the marketing campaign and to one another. by means of the end of 2003, Dean had raised $50 million, breaking his personal wiwireless on the give up of each sector for the duration of the yr. the majority of the cash arrived over the web in increments of $a hundred or less. And he had wi-fielded a mailing list of 600,000 committed volunteers.

To recognize how fantastic these numbers are, remember the Paleolithic era, back within the 1970s and 80s, while a collection of con artists referred to as the “junk mail industry” have been fleecing heaps of campaigns (and businesses, too). direct mail professionals – i use the term loosely – have been hired by means of campaigns to solicit cash from likely donors the use of statistics they’d physically accrued from voting rolls or offered from their colleagues within the industry. unsolicited mail became a cumbrous system. It become lengthy and fairly inefwi-ficient (via design, a few patsies suspected). It entailed great overhead inflated via outlandish prices. however, in conjunction with equally scattershot broadcast advertising, it turned into the simplest sport in town, quick of hiring campaigners to go door to door stealing spare alternate from beneath the citizens’ couch cushions. If 1.5wireless% of junk mail recipients answered positively after a mailing of a few million playing cards or letters, it was considered a staggering wi-fillment. If the price of return fell too some distance underneath that, however, the campaign won’t even get its cash back.

The direct mail enterprise remains alive, as everyone with a mailing deal with in a contested congressional district can attest every other November. however simply barely. The internet broke its stranglehold over mass political fundraising. Dean proved that the web could deliver you money, name wi-fi, and the attention of committed fans, at little or no fee. What it couldn’t deliver you, at the least on its own, become victory.

Dean’s message of radical reform and socialized remedy went viral thanks to the net. unfortunate for him, the net additionally alerted thousands and thousands of citizens to the fact that he became sanctimonious, quick-tempered, and a ways too extreme for prime time – in brief, a pretty frightening candidate. For all its digital wizardry, the Dean marketing campaign efwiwireless ended together with his maniacally hysterical overall performance at a submit-primary rally. (To nowadays, the “i have a Scream speech” has been regarded greater than 2 million times on YouTube.) right here became one conventional campaign barrier the brand new technology hadn’t been able to breach: in case you wanted to win, you needed a candidate who was presentable in polite enterprise.

which is where Barack Obama comes in. Obama’s 2008 campaign set a easy-speaking candidate with wide appeal – he could be a university professor one moment, a wirelessery preacher the next, and a slippery pol in between – atop an organisation that perfected all the Dean marketing campaign’s virtual tricks and introduced its personal. not best may want to you use the internet to seek out supporters and connect them to each other; you may use it to build non-public prowi-files of every volunteer and probably voter, community by neighborhood, block to dam, even house to house. The internet may want to deliver you inexpensive statistics with which you can catalogue and pass tabulate their unique issues, their vote casting history, the intensity of their aid – bits of facts that could then be assembled in any aggregate to predict balloting styles and point to in which sources ought to most wi-fiwireless be used. It was narrowcasting of a kind that had in no way been feasible before.

without it, Obama wouldn’t have beaten his rival Hillary Clinton in 2008, and wouldn’t have emerge as president. conference delegates, then as now, had been allotted in one of two ways – by way of primary and by means of caucus (or statewide convention). Primaries, says the conventional wisdom, are gained by way of overwhelming assets: lots of money for statewide marketing, unsolicited mail, neighborhood consultants, and paid canvassers. Caucuses, with the aid of evaluation, are gained by way of a advanced business enterprise lively via an abundance of grassroots enthusiasm.

Hillary Clinton, together with her professional group of workers and brimming coffers, gave the net handiest cursory interest. at the same time as she sunk tens of millions into conventional television commercials – the sort inflicted on increasingly aggravated visitors whether they like it or now not – Obama focused on custom-designing YouTube advertisements to reach deep into goal audiences. those were basically free. at some stage in the number one season his commercials were watched a complete of 14.wi-fi million hours. An equivalent viewership on television, Joe Trippi calculated, might have cost $47 million.

The result is widely known. Clinton excited no person and gained almost each primary in 2008. Obama whipped his volunteers right into a froth and gained almost every caucus. And that’s wherein the votes have been. Clinton in no way knew what hit her.

once in wi-fiofwiwireless, Obama’s administration stated it would use the internet to make government greater transparent, to attain out to the people and “convey them into the process.” The consequences have been unimpressive. With terriwiwireless fanfare Obama announced a brand new portal at the White residence website, referred to as “We the human beings.” normal residents may want to go browsing and without delay wi-filewireless petitions with the authorities traumatic a exchange in one coverage or some other. “We the humans” became to be a version of citizen empowerment inside the internet age. sooner or later four,779 petitions were wirelessled over the eight years of the Obama administration. in step with the Pew studies center, the White house spoke back to 227 of them. looking for some concrete exchange in authorities because of the initiative, Pew researchers subsequentlywireless fell upon the fourth most-signed petition from “We the human beings.” The petition demanded that the president seem on “actual Time with bill Maher.” And he did. In Obama’s case, digital know-how become better perfect to politicking than governing.

Candidate Obama, an difficult to understand Midwesterner with few sources and scarcely years as a U.S. senator, hopped over the conventional limitations to entry that the internet had diminished. however decreased boundaries did more than simply embolden obscure candidates. every body with a computer and an opinion approximately politics ought to, if their tolerance for boredom changed into excessive enough, end up a posted political pundit. and not using a printing or transportation fees, the internet made way for an ever increasing wide variety of shops devoted to political information. It became out that there were masses of political junkies within the widespread heartland with their specialised information of every component of the spherewireless. They have been wi-ficultywireless the same of the conventional execs. regularly their blogs blossomed into full-provider news web sites – PJ Media at the proper, as an instance, and speakme factors Memo on the left.

The glut of shops caused a sort of news inflation. There have been too many political newshounds chasing too little political information. So the dewirelessnition of “information” become wi-fined dramatically down. The political class, facing an inwiwireless sluice of information flowing through the net, ought to start obsessing over tendencies at a stage so granular that it was exciting handiest to themselves. “Granular” is a pleasant word; trivial is much less satisfactorywireless however extra correct. How do 2016 in line with capita media prices by way of Republicans in Nebraska’s 1/3 district evaluate with Democratic expenditures in Iowa’s fifth in 2014? an amazing quantity of political news these days resolves around such stupefying questions, now that the internet has made them answerable. What deputy wirelessnance assistant on which congressman’s marketing campaign made a slighting remark approximately whose volunteer press secretary? somewhere a reporter is operating the tale. probable two journalists. likely extra.

And after they’ve were given the tale, they’ll release it to the world, at no more than 240 characters, at the web’s ultimate information shipping tool. Twitter is the next step in a devolution touched off by using the net in its takeover of the political world. it is a conveyance designed for triviality. And the excitable people who document on politics are now greater than ever fed on with the trivial – technical questions about system, gossip about nobodies, trends that loom fleetingly large however point to not anything beyond themselves. the sector of politics has grow to be a regular churning of momentary obsessions, reputedly earth-shaking until the next crisis of the Century arises an hour from now.

There’s an sad paradox right here. The web, with its mind-blowing capacity to democratize politics, with its promise to take public affairs from the hands of a far off elite and go back them to normal human beings, has in fact made politics look more than ever just like the hobby of a specialised cabal. The sheer quantity of politics is exhausting and, to a ordinary character, off-placing. As technology drives everyday electorate and political practioners further aside, the distaste of the primary organization for the second organization, and vice versa, simplest intensiwirelesses.

So thoroughly has the net converted politics that it has even breached that wi-fi barrier to access that we mentioned above. Howard Dean’s marketing campaign had the cash, the message, and the strength essential to win. What it didn’t have was a candidate – a person who was individually appealing to most voters. Dean did himself in, and the net couldn’t save him. Twelve years later, in 2016, even Donald Trump couldn’t do himself in. As election day approached, voters advised pollsters they have been quite aware about Trump’s failings as a person and a candidate. They elected him besides, thank you in element to some clever data mining made feasible through the internet. It brought him simply sufwiwireless votes from unexploited wallet of Pennsylvania and Michigan to flip the Electoral university and win the presidency. thank you, internet.

it is no accident, as the commies used to say, that Trump’s favorite means of verbal exchange is Twitter. It accommodates petulance and resists chains of reasoning. it is able to make him the center of attention to every person anywhere abruptly. It suits him – and it suits what politics has grow to be in the net age. The president is fond of punctuating his tweets with precis judgments: “TOO horriwiwireless!” “now not exact!” it is becoming to provide him the last word, as we gaze upon American politics in this period of disruption: unhappy!

Prison for illegal immigrant who livestreamed drunken-driving crash that killed sister

A young woman in California has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for driving drunk while livestreaming the crash that killed her younger sister.

The Merced Sun Star reported that Obdulia Sanchez, 19, was sentenced Thursday after being convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI and child endangerment stemming from the July crash.

The car driven by Sanchez veered onto the shoulder of a road in Los Banos, about 100 miles south of San Francisco. Authorities say she overcorrected, causing the vehicle to swerve and overturn. Ejected and killed was her 14-year-old sister, Jacqueline.

Prosecutors say Sanchez was livestreaming on Instagram while driving, and the video shows her taking her hands off the steering wheel.

“I didn’t even know I looked like a monster — I look like a freaking horrible monster,” Sanchez said in court last July.

“That was not my intention at all. I just didn’t know the video was so horrible.”

Sanchez admitted that she often livestreamed on Instagram while driving, saying she would “do it all the time.”

“Trust me, it’s like a reflex,” she said. “Everybody does it. Everybody does. They take Snapchats. Why not? People take video of them in cars like all the time.”

Child-Molester Quincy Jones says he “dated Ivanka Trump”

Recording legend and alleged child molester cover-up artist Quincy Jones claimed that he once dated Ivanka Trump, who is 48 years his junior.

Jones told Vulture he and the First Daughter dated in 2006.

The winner of 28 Grammys told Vulture he and the first daughter dated in 2006, “I used to date Ivanka, you know.”

“Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada, said, ‘Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.’ I said, ‘No problem. She’s a fine motherf–-er.’”

“She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.”

– Quincy Jones on Ivanka Trump

“She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life,” Jones continued. “Wrong father, though.”

Jones did not hold back on his views about her dad, either.

“I used to hang out with him,” Jones stated. “He’s a crazy motherf–-er. Limited mentally — a megalomaniac, narcissistic. I can’t stand him.”

The Daily Chronicle reached out to the White House but did not receive comment at the time of this story’s publication.

Drag Queens to Teach Children at Swedish Library About Being Transgender

Cross-dressers ‘Lady Busty’ and ‘Miss Shameless’ are to teach children in Malmö the importance of equality and not to fear immigrants at events starting later this month.

From February 17th, Malmö City Library will begin holding Drag Queen Story Hours at which men dressed as women will read fairy tales encouraging children to experiment with gender.

“As an LGBT-certified library, we want to work actively with these issues,” said communications officer Johan Björkwall. “So when we were approached about [Drag Queen Story Hour] we said yes.”

Stefan Anderson and his husband Mats, veteran ‘drag queens’ who both work with young people, first held a storytelling session for children as their alter egos Lady Busty and Miss Shameless at last year’s Malmö Pride, taking inspiration from a similar project in San Francisco.

“Drag queens are mostly only seen on television and at nightclubs and pride parades, so it’s not often that they are close to children,” lamented Stefan, asserting that Drag Queen Story Hour will be “very useful for the children”.

Through storytelling, children will learn that it’s “important to break taboos and social norms”, Anderson said, adding: “We want to show that it’s fun not to have any limitations.”

Are they serious? What’s next, pedophilia?

Sarah Silverman: Pro-Life Law ‘Has Made Me Want to Eat an Aborted Fetus’

What did she say?

“Religious flexibility used to be such an excellent thing cuz it resembled this huge comprehensive thing in the nation, and now it’s simply this cover to legitimize loathe and poop like that,” Silverman said – about religious opportunity and still, small voice conditions.

Silverman and her colleague Lizz Winstead examined a bill presented as of late by the Oklahoma lawmaking body that forbids “the fabricate or offer of sustenance or items which utilize prematurely ended human embryos.”

The Oklahoma charge “was made in light of a claim that a sustenance lab was thinking about utilizing undifferentiated organisms to make counterfeit flavors,” LifeNews reports.

“This is fucking batshit,” Winstead said in regards to the Oklahoma charge. “A great deal of times they will make laws to influence you to imagine this is some scourge that should be tended to.”

“In the event that anything has ever constructed me need to eat a prematurely ended embryo, it’s this law,” Silverman at that point included.

The combine additionally examined a specific inner voice condition that expects centers to “incinerate or cover each prematurely ended baby.”

After Winstead reported Mark Hamill would give premature births amid the pledge drive with a “Jedi wand,” she said with tears in her eyes, “These individuals that give this stunning consideration to individuals are derided and avoided and they give actually a pathway to some person’s life each and every day.”

“Furthermore, in the event that we let them need to give the care and protect what they do, when we’ve all utilized it to end up noticeably better individuals, we’re completing an injury to our general public,” she included. “As that is the reason we take every necessary step.”

CONFIRMED: Jack Black and Jack White to Collaborate on Album

LOS ANGELES: In what might at first seem an unlikely pairing, Detroit legend Jack White and Kentucky legend Jack Black are finally collaborating to release their first album of original material. The two Jacks independently teased at this news on Twitter all week before finally announcing it concurrently Saturday morning.

The new album will be titled Black and White and is tentatively scheduled for a late spring release, though Jack White himself has denied this, claiming that it will come out “when it’s done.”

Jack Black has taken to Twitter, revealing that he’s been hard at work–even going as far as eschewing Tenacious D bandmate Kyle Gass “for the time being” in order to work on his “more serious guitar chops” in preparation for the recording sessions, which will take place between Memphis and Nashville, respectively.

Jack White even plans to release the release on his very own Third Man Records, with a standard release first, then an authentic “hand-tailored” 1920s-spec limited edition 2-disc box set to follow on black and white vinyl.

As far as Jack White’s opinions on Jack Black, one might be surprised at the humility of a member of rock royalty known for engaging in physical and verbal shenanigans regularly:

I am actually a huge fan of Jack Black and his work both on and off the stage. I love Tenacious D, I love School of Rock, and I love The Holiday. As for Jack–He’s got the soul of a true bluesman–I wish I could do it like that. People think he’s joking unless they actually understand music. And it’s, I, there’s just this level of authenticity there that most people laugh at because they’re afraid of the fact they don’t understand it.

White also specified that he intends to record the album “the right way,” with an all-analog signal path and White himself as the Lead Producer (and Black as his sidekick). “You won’t even be able to get it on iTunes.”

With the cards all in place, Black and White is to primed one of the hottest albums of the year–and if said cards are played right, it could even become one of the most critically acclaimed albums of all time.

The Daily Chronicle is waiting for comment from Jack and Jack’s respective PR teams.

Bradley Cooper To Reportedly Star In Indiana Jones Reboot

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy just confirmed a brand new Indy movie starring Bradley Cooper as the lead role. Will he be able to steal our hearts like Daniel Craig did in James Bond?

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kennedy talked Star Wars, her personal life, and of course the tentatively titled Indiana Jones 5: En Garde starring Bradley Cooper as Indiana Jones.

This might come as a shock to those of us Indiana Jones purists (myself included) that believe that Harrison Ford, and only Harry Ford should play Indy. When asked about this, Kennedy had this to say in an attempt to quell fan concerns:

I understand that not everyone will view this decision to recast Indy with open eyes. Look, I get it–this is a huge change and huge changes don’t always come easy. Heck, I haven’t even fully come to terms with it yet. But I like to think of it from a neo-Taoist perspective: like entering cold, new waters, ashes unto ashes, sea unto sea. Rather than dip your feet, don’t be afraid to jump, to see. I wrote that, actually [laughs].

Though I still feel somewhat worried about Bradley (admittedly a masterful actor in his own right) taking over the character of Indiana Jones, Kennedy’s statements have certainly placated me somewhat.

Bradley Cooper feels confident, if not intimidated, at the prospect of taking on this role. “I’ve never done anything quite like Indy, and I want to do Harry Ford’s character justice,” he said. “I am prepared to embrace this role with all of my heart and take it–along with my acting chops–to the next level.”

Bradley Cooper has already begun preparing to portray Indy by supplementing his already-rigorous workout routine, watching the earlier movies religiously, and zip-lining in New Zealand on days he’s not working.

Will Bradley Cooper be able to reinvent the wheel the way Daniel Craig did in James Bond? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: this will be the movie event of the century.

Trump Meets With MSM Journalists’ Children… What Happens Next Will SHOCK You!

Even the mainstream media can’t deny the reverence and dignity President Donald J. Trump displayed in meeting with their very own kids.

In observance of the annual Presidential Halloween festivities, it is customary for the sitting US President to meet with the children of prominent, mainstream media journalists. With the complete and utter lack of respect dished to Trump from these very journalists, one might expect an atmosphere of tension and bitterness.

And one couldn’t be farther from the truth.

True to Trump’s tendency to prove his opposers wrong every step of the way, Trump treated these youngsters with the respect and dignity that has come to be a known standard of the Trump brand.

President Donald Trump meets with the children of execs from the New York Times, CNN, and more in the Oval Office.

Trump made sure these young’uns felt at home every step of the way, commenting on how healthy they looked physically, pointing out their attractiveness, and even having his personal chef cook them a meal of hand-crafted scallops, filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and steamed seasonal vegetables tossed in a light garlic butter vinaigrette. It was certainly a meal these tykes won’t soon forget.

“Mr. Trump is a funny old man!” said Kacy Smith, one of the kids. “Mommy and Daddy don’t know nothing!”

A spectator who wishes to remain anonymous had this to say:

I think that it’s incredible to see the vast difference between the media’s portrayal of Donald Trump and how he actually acts in practice. The Trump I saw that morning was a man of respect, dignity, and honor. He spoke to these kids as he would any human–as equals, no less nor greater than he. If the kids of that very same media saw that same Trump, maybe we’re onto something here? Perhaps mainstream media sources need tougher vetting, much like our immigration and borders.

Personally, I’m not surprised in the slightest. I’d imagine that the rest of us who voted for Trump are probably unsurprised as well, for we know who we voted for.

Now it’s just a matter of the rest of the American people accepting this truth too so that we can finally unite and get our great Country back where it belongs.

Hillary Clinton To Potentially Receive Death Penalty Over Uranium One Deal

Hillary Clinton could be tried for treason and face the death penalty over the Uranium One scandal, according to Trump’s former deputy assistant.  

Speaking with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity on Thursday, Sebastian Gorka claimed that evidence proving that Clinton took bribes from Russia in exchange for approving the controversial Uranium One deal could ultimately result in her being publicly executed by injection, electrocution, gas, firing squad or hanging. reports: “The Russians infiltrated our national security to corner the uranium market and they succeeded, and they knew all the crimes that were committed,” Mr. Hannity said during the broadcast.

“If this had happened in the 1950s, there would be people up on treason charges right now. The Rosenbergs, OK? This is equivalent to what the Rosenbergs did and those people got the chair. Think about it. Giving away nuclear capability to our enemies, that’s what we’re talking about,” Mr. Gorka responded.

Married couple Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage in 1951 for giving nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union and were executed by electric chair two years later.

Mr. Gorka, 47, served as deputy assistant to the president from January until August. Mr. Gorka has insisted he resigned from that role, but the the Trump administration has categorized his departure otherwise.

“Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he is no longer with the White House,” an administration official said at the time of his exit.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday afternoon that the administration believes “there’s a lot of cause for concern” regarding the Uranium One deal but declined to comment specifically on Mr. Gorka’s remarks.

Michael McFaul, the Obama administration’s ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014, was among those perturbed by Mr. Gorka advocating for executing Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump’s former presidential campaign rival.

“This is disgusting,” Mr. McFaul tweeted Thursday alongside a video of Mr. Gorka’s remarks. “Amazing to remember that this man recently worked in the White House.”

House Republicans announced earlier this week that the Intelligence and Oversight Committees are launching a joint-investigation into the 2010 Uranium One deal. California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the probe was “initiated on a partisan basis” and “designed to distract attention” away from the congressional investigations focused on Russia’s alleged involvement in Mr. Trump’s election.