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Friday, February 26, 2016

Rev. Jesse Jackson lauds Tim Cook's stand against FBI demands

Chiming in on the Apple-FBI encryption debate, Rev. Jesse Jackson on Thursday came out in opposition of the U.S. government's order demanding Apple create an iPhone encryption workaround, while praising CEO Tim Cook's fight for civil liberties. 

Source: Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Jackson in a press release distributed by his Rainbow PUSH Coalition characterized the FBI's decryption request, and a subsequent motion to compel Apple's assistance filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, as an over-reach that jeopardizes civil liberties and public privacy rights. 

"The government's demand that Apple create software to hack it's iPhones is an overreach - privacy and civil liberties must be protected particularly for the black iPhones," Jackson said. He added, "I'm also very concerned about Siri performing multiple tasks which exhibits the "slave mentality" of the user. Not to mention violating her by entering through the back door".  

When asked about the white iPhone Jackson had no comment.

Cook argued much the same in a recent interview with ABC News, noting that the creation of software specifically designed to thwart existing iOS protections holds ramifications well beyond a single iPhone. Law enforcement agencies, the Justice Department and White House all insist the proposed forensic tool will only be used to hack into an iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

Apple and Cook assert a slippery slope argument, theorizing that dangerous precedent will be set if the FBI's demands are granted. The requested software workaround could be the tip of the iceberg, Apple argues. 

"I don't know where this stops, but this should not be happening in this country. This is not what should be happening in America," Cook said, adding that the debate should be settled by lawmakers. 

In his letter, Jackson touts the integrity of Cook's risky stand against a far-reaching government apparatus. 

For its part, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is in favor of a bipartisan bill that would form a special congressional commission tasked with addressing complex digital privacy issues. Proposed by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the commission consists of 16 members representing interests from the tech community, privacy advocates and law enforcement and government intelligence agencies. 

Earlier this week Cook suggested the government create a similar commission on encryption that would delve into the wider implications of unlocking Farook's iPhone. Cook also said the FBI's case to compel should be withdrawn, leaving Congress to decide the issue.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lynch confirms career Justice Department attorneys involved in Clinton email probe

To expose it...or squash it?


Attorney General Loretta Lynch confirmed to Congress Wednesday that career Justice Department attorneys are working with FBI agents on the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email practices and the handling of classified material.

Legal experts say the assignment of career Justice Department attorneys to the case shows the FBI probe has progressed beyond the initial referral, or "matured," giving agents access to the U.S. government’s full investigative tool box, including subpoena power for individuals, business or phone records, as well as witnesses.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that career lawyers were involved, but Lynch's comments are the most expansive to Congress.

"If the FBI makes the case that Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information and put America's security at risk, will you prosecute the case?” Republican Congressman John Carter asked Lynch during a budget hearing.

"Do you know of any efforts underway to undermine the FBI's investigation? And please look the American people in the eye and tell us what your position is as you are the chief prosecutor of the United States," Carter pressed.

Lynch replied, "...that matter is being handled by career independent law enforcement agents, FBI agents as well as the career independent attorneys in the Department of Justice. They follow the evidence, they look at the law and they'll make a recommendation to me when the time is appropriate." 

Okay, so if the FBI recommends Killary Clinton (the Democrats only viable candidate) be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law which will essentially put a Republican in the WH... are they going to do it? 

She confirmed that the FBI criminal investigation is ongoing, and no recommendation or referral on possible charges had been made to her.

"I am not able to comment about the specific investigation at this time. But what I will say is again that this will be conducted as every other case. And we will review all the facts and all the evidence and come to an independent conclusion as to how to best handle it. And I'm also aware of no efforts to undermine our review or investigation into this matter at all."

The White House has been criticized for its public comments, including those of President Obama, that the transmission of classified information on Clinton's unsecured, personal server did not jeopardize national security.

Last month, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Clinton was not the target of the FBI probe, and it was not "trending" towards Clinton. 

During congressional testimony in December, FBI Director James Comey was asked by Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, “Does the President get briefings on ongoing investigations by the FBI like this?” Comey replied, “No.”

Hard to imagine the IRS after 357 documented WH visits never told Barry they were systematically screwing the Teaparty.
Hell...he probably is the one who instigated it, and the reason Lerner pled the 5th!

National Security Defense attorney Edward MacMahon, who routinely handles classified information as part of his case work, said "Lynch appears to be sending a message that there is no need for a special prosecutor because she has assigned career Justice Department lawyers, and not political appointees, to work with FBI agents on the Clinton matter."

MacMahon who recently represented CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of leaking intelligence to a New York Times reporter and is now serving a three- and-a-half-year prison sentence, said the pairing of FBI agents and Justice Department attorneys generally reflects the fact that the investigation has moved beyond an initial inquiry.

“As a general matter, a U.S. attorney is assigned as an FBI investigation progresses. The partnership with the U.S. attorney allows the FBI to use the investigation tools of the U.S. government, including subpoenas for evidence, business or phone records, as well as witnesses. And you need (a) U.S. attorney to convene a grand jury.”

It is not publicly known whether any of those actions have been taken. But an intelligence source close to the FBI probe said the career professionals at the bureau "will be angry and walk off if no indictment recommendation is followed through."

At least 1,730 Clinton emails contain classified information, and the rest held by the State Department must be released by the end of the month based on a federal court imposed timetable.

One of the newly declassified 2012 emails sent four days after the Benghazi terrorist attack, includes highly sensitive information about the evacuation of Americans from Tunisia.

The email included a rare redaction for intelligence called the B 1.4 (g) exception which pertains to “vulnerabilities or capabilities” to “national security including defense against transnational terrorism.”

The email chain was forwarded, on Sept. 16, 2012 at 8:12 a.m, from Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills' government account to Clinton’s unsecured personal server. One of the emails early in the chain was sent by Denis McDonough, then Deputy National Security adviser. His address is redacted citing “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and could also be a private account because other government accounts on the email chain are not redacted. 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Egyptian military admits mistake in sentencing 4-year-old to life in prison

What could a 4-year old possibly do to merit life in prison?

As it turns out the kid lucked out...he could have been beheaded which is usually the Muslim practice.

Stayed tuned next week when a 2-year old is charged with rape.


CAIRO, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The Egyptian military admitted to making a mistake when they sentenced a four-year-old boy to life in prison last week.

The court was supposed to sentence a 16-year-old for murder, but sentenced the four-year-old instead because he had a similar name, spokesman Col Mohammed Samir said on Facebook.

Ahmed Mansour Qurani Ali was convicted in a group of 115 men who were said to be part of a Muslim Brotherhood riot in 2014, despite Ali's lawyer providing documents that proved Ali was only a year old at the time.

The teen the military were intending to convict was Ahmed Mansour Qurani Sharara.

The four-year-old's conviction is the latest embarrassment for a court that has already become an international laughing stock. The United Nations declared in 2014 the country had "a judicial system where international fair trial guarantees appear to be increasingly trampled upon" after more than 1,200 people were given death sentences in a pair of mass trials "rife with procedural irregularities."

Ali's lawyer said court officials didn't pass the child's birth certificate to the judge before he was convicted of four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder and vandalizing government property.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Egyptian government last summer to use greater care in dealing with its opposition

"It is important to distinguish between those who use violence to achieve their ends and others who seek peacefully to participate in a political dialogue, even if what they say may sometimes make people uncomfortable," Kerry said at the time.


Suspect reportedly indicted in burning death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers

Now imagine the guy was white. The girl black. Right now ten top DOJ lawyers would be descending on Mississippi. Their briefcases bursting at the seams packed with hate crime documents only too eager to give to the judge. Already hard at work, Black Lives Matter wasted no time parading the streets shouting...
Jessica burned.. burn Quinton   
Jessica burned.. burn Quinton  
Jessica burned.. burn Quinton 

But alas she was white. And frankly, when you're white the DOJ just doesn't give a shit. 

Quinton Tellis was reportedly indicted in the burning death of a 19-year-old Jessica Chambers. (Ouachita Parish Sheriff/Family Handout)

A Mississippi man already suspected in a murder reportedly has been indicted in the December 2014 burning death of a 19-year-old woman. 

Quinton Tellis, 27, was indicted on capital murder charges Tuesday by a special grand jury in the death of Jessica Chambers, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

Tellis is currently being held in the Ouachita Parish Jail in Monroe, La. on charges connected to the August 2015 death of a University of Louisiana-Monroe exchange student, the newspaper reported. 

Authorities in Panola County, Miss. have scheduled a press conference about the case for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. 

Chambers was found on a back road shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2014, with burns covering more than 98 percent of her body.

When emergency responders arrived at the scene, Chambers was walking away from her burning vehicle and able to utter a few words to them about the attack -- though authorities have not said what, if anything, the young woman was able to communicate. She later died from her injuries at a hospital in Memphis.

Tellis is believed to have been the last person to have been with Chambers the night she was killed. The two allegedly had a relationship in the weeks leading up to her death, officials told The Clarion-Ledger.

Tellis is already facing charge three counts of unauthorized use of an access card and one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The Clarion-Ledger reported that he has admitted to using a debit card belonging to ULM student Meing-Chen Hsiao, 34, of Taiwan. Hsiao was found stabbed to death in her apartment on Aug. 8 of last year, more than a week after she was reported missing.

Tellis has not been formally charged in connection with Hsiao's murder.

The Clarion-Ledger also reported that Tellis has served jail time on multiple charges of residential burglary and fleeing law enforcement. He had been released on probation twice, most recently in October 2014, two months before Chambers was killed. 

Tellis also had simple assault and domestic violence charges against him dismissed in May 2011 after the complainants failed to show up to court.


Apple to argue First Amendment rights in FBI decryption battle

Do you think the FBI is going after Killary with the same exhilaration they have Apple? 


As expected, Apple intends to argue its First Amendment rights as part of a multi-pronged legal strategy designed to flout a court order compelling the company unlock an iPhone linked to last year's San Bernardino shootings.

Theodore Boutrous, Jr., one of two high-profile attorneys Apple hired to handle its case, said a federal judge overstepped her bounds in granting an FBI motion that would force the company to create a software workaround capable of breaking iOS encryption, reports the Los Angeles Times. 

Specifically, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym last week ordered Apple to help FBI efforts in unlocking an iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook, a directive that entails architecting a bypass to an iOS passcode counter. Government lawyers cited the All Writs Act of 1789 as a legal foundation for its request, a statute leveraged by the FBI in at least nine other cases involving iOS devices.

While the act itself is 227 years old, lawmakers have updated the document to cover a variety of modern concerns, most recently as applied to anti-terrorism operations. In essence, All Writs is a purposely open-ended edict designed to imbue federal courts with the power to issue orders when other judicial tools are unavailable.

A 1977 Supreme Court reading of the All Writs Act is often cited by law enforcement agencies to compel cooperation, as the decision authorized an order that forced a phone company's assistance in a surveillance operation. In Apple's case, however, there is no existing technology or forensics tool that can fulfill the FBI's ask, meaning Apple would have to write such code from scratch.

"The government here is trying to use this statute from 1789 in a way that it has never been used before. They are seeking a court order to compel Apple to write new software, to compel speech," Boutrous told The Times. "It is not appropriate for the government to obtain through the courts what they couldn't get through the legislative process."

Boutrous intimated that the federal court system has already ruled in favor of treating computer code as speech. In 1999, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers California, ruled that source code relating to an encryption system was indeed protected under the umbrella of free speech. That opinion was later rendered moot, however, meaning there is no direct legal precedent to support Apple's arguments. 

The comments expressed by Boutrous echo those of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who earlier this week called for the government to drop its demands and instead form a commission or panel of experts "to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms." 

Apple is scheduled to file its response to last week's order on Friday.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The scumbag cracks a joke about Scalia's death

On a tip from Ed Kilbane

Video 222


Joe Biden, 1992: No Supreme Court Pick Until After Election

On a tip from Ed Kilbane

Joe Biden, 1992: No Supreme Court Pick Until After Election
Vice President Joe Biden spoke out forcefully against appointing a new Supreme Court justice in an election year–in 1992 when he was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and George H.W. Bush was running for re-election.

Footage of Biden delivering an emphatic floor speech on the subject on June 25, 1992, was unearthed by C-SPAN on Monday.

Video 221

Biden argued, in part:

…it is my view that if a Supreme Court justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks, or resigns at the end of the summer, President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not — and not — name a nominee until after the November election is completed.

The Senate, too, Mr. President must consider how it would respond to a Supreme Court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year. It is my view that if the President goes the way of Presidents [Millard] Fillmore and [Andrew] Johnson, and presses an election year nomination, the Senate Judiciary Committee should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.

Biden also argued that it would be possible for the Supreme Court to operate without one of its members.

As the United Press International agency reported that day: “Biden conceded that the court might have to operate with a member short this fall, but added, ‘This may be the only course of action that historical practice and practical realism can sustain.'”

Biden added that while it was the president’s “right” to nominate justices to the Supreme Court, it was equally his “right” to oppose and to block them.

The New York Times reported that Biden, evading any responsibility for the nastiness of the confirmation fights over Robert H. Bork (who was rejected) and Clarence Thomas (who was eventually approved), explained that it was necessary to postpone any new potential appointments to the Court because of the danger of the “radical right”:

Mr. Biden said it was inevitable that the Supreme Court would become slightly more conservative, given that Republicans control the White House and moderate Southern Democrats are a force in the Senate.

But he added that President Bush and his predecessor, Ronald Reagan, had sought to move the Court sharply to the right, naming justices who would adopt a conservative agenda. He said both Presidents had “ceded power in the nominating process to the radical right”

“It is this power grab that has unleashed the powerful and divisive forces that have ravaged the confirmation process,” he said. “Either we must have a compromise in the selection of future justices or I must oppose those who are the product of this ideological nominating process.”

USA Today reported further that Biden said: “‘Can your Supreme Court nomination and confirmation processes, so racked by discord and bitterness, be repaired in a presidential election year? History teaches us that this is extremely unlikely.”

Interestingly, some influential Republicans agreed with Biden that Supreme Court appointments should not be made in an election year — taking the same position they have adopted today against President Barack Obama nominating a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this month before a new president takes office in 2017.

Biden told the New York Times “that he believed members of the Supreme Court are aware that a confirmation battle in an election year would be so divisive that anyone contemplating retirement would probably delay doing so until after the election.”

However, Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), the Minority Whip, was quoted by National Public Radio disagreeing with Biden: “It’s not for the chairman of the judiciary committee to decide who the president of the United States submits as a nominee to the United States Supreme Court.”

Attorney General William Barr told Larry King in an interview on CNN that the president should nominate a new justice:

KING: Let’s touch some other bases. Senator Biden, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said today if a vacancy occurs the President should not name a new member of the United States Supreme Court. He should wait till after the election. Do you agree?

MR. BARR: Well, that’s his advice. I think the President’s responsibility under the Constitution is to nominate people to fill vacancies, and the President will make up his own mind as to-

KING: I mean, but if he asked your advice, what would you say?

MR. BARR: I’d say we should go ahead and nominate somebody for a vacancy. I think it’s important that, when the Court meets in the fall, it have a full complement of nine justices.

The Bush White House itself also disagreed with Biden. Spokesperson Judy Smith was quoted by USA Today: “The president alone has the responsibility to nominate justices. … In the event of a vacancy, he will discharge his duties under the Constitution as he sees fit.”


Monday, February 22, 2016

As it turns out Rubio is an anchor baby

Rubio is Cuban. But if he's elected president this sends a clear message to the millions of illegal Mexicans who live in this country dropping anchor babies.

And 20 years from now when the floodgates are open and our country is no longer recognizable under the José Garcia administration you can thank the Democrats. They would sell their own mother to a brothel if they thought they could garner votes.


Donald Trump muses about Marco Rubio's eligibility to run for president

Donald Trump, left, speaks with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during a Republican presidential debate in South Carolina. (AP)

Marco Rubio has joined Ted Cruz in Donald Trump’s crosshairs.

Fresh off his Saturday win in the South Carolina Republican primary, Trump said Sunday he didn’t know whether Rubio, a Florida senator who finished second, was eligible to run for president and that “the lawyers have to determine that.”

“I don’t know,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “I really – I’ve never looked at it, George. I honestly have never looked at it. As somebody said, he’s not. And I retweeted it. I have 14 million people between Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and I retweet things, and we start dialogue and it’s very interesting.”

Rubio brushed aside Trump’s assertions later on “This Week.”

“This is a pattern,” Rubio said. “This is a game he plays. He says something that’s edgy and outrageous and then the media flocks and covers that. And then no one else can get any coverage on anything else.

“And that worked where there were 15 people running for president. It’s not going to work anymore. I’m going to spend zero time on his interpretation of the Constitution with regards to eligibility.”

Trump was questioned on the issue after he retweeted a supporter Saturday who made the allegation and linked to a video from the Powdered Wig Society, a conservative news and commentary website. That video features an unidentified woman claiming someone can only be a “natural-born citizen” if the person’s father was a U.S. citizen.

The Constitution states only a “natural-born citizen” can be president, though it does not explicitly define that phrase.

Rubio, whose parents came to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, was born in Florida in 1971. His parents were not U.S. citizens at the time.

Trump’s musings about Rubio’s eligibility is comparable to how his similar feud began with Cruz, a Texas senator, though that argument has since intensified.

Trump has argued that Cruz, who finished third in South Carolina, may not be a “natural-born citizen” because he was born in Canada, even though his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of Cruz’s birth.

Numerous legal scholars have said both Cruz and Rubio are considered “natural-born citizens,” though Trump has said other experts disagree.

“I mean, let people make their own determination,” Trump said Sunday.

Similar questions of eligibility dogged previous Republican contenders such as John McCain in 2008, George Romney in 1968 and Barry Goldwater in 1964. McCain was born in Panama, Romney was born in Mexico and Goldwater was born in Arizona before it became an official U.S. state.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Images Surface of Bernie Sanders' 1963 Arrest in Chicago

A decades-old photo showing the arrest of Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during a 1963 protest on the South Side of Chicago surfaced Saturday, according to several reports.

The Chicago Tribune released the photo from its archives Saturday morning. Sanders’ campaign confirmed the imaged showed the candidate as a 21-year-old student at the University of Chicago — then a civil rights activist — being taken by Chicago officers toward a police wagon in the Englewood neighborhood.

Chicago Tribune

We dug through our archives, and found this photo from 1963.

 Look closely. That's Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders being arrested during a South Side civil rights protest.

When the photo was taken, Sanders was a 21-year-old University of Chicago student.

"Bernie identified it himself," senior campaign adviser Tad Devine told the Tribune. "He looked at it — he actually has his student ID from the University of Chicago in his wallet — and he said, 'Yes, that indeed is (me).'"

Also on Saturday, the campaign confirmed a video uploaded earlier in the week by a film company shows Sanders' arrest, The New York Times reported.

Devine told the Times the candidate identified himself in the video, shared by Kartemquin Films, by the watch he is seen wearing.

The footage also shows the Jan. 14, 1964 edition of the Chicago Tribune. The line, "Sanders was arrested Aug. 12 at 74th and Lowe and charged with resisting arrest" is highlighted in an article titled "Race Protest Cases of 159 are decided."

According to both outlets, the protest was over segregation in Chicago Public Schools. Sanders was found guilty of resisting arrest and fined $25, the Tribune reports.

He was a leader of the Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights group, during his time at the University of Chicago, according to the Tribune.

Not to be outdone by "the Bern's" escapades Killary issued the following statement:


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Classic Clinton

Hillary: I’ve Always Tried ‘To Level With The American People’

Video 220

Now you know why her trustworthy numbers are in the tank!


Friday, February 19, 2016

Obama admin response to Marine beaten by black teens is DESPICABLE

Article by Michelle Jesse

In case you missed it, Christopher Marquez — who received the Bronze Star for valor after serving in the Iraq war — was attempting to enjoy a meal at McDonald’s last week when a group of teenage thugs began harassing him, asking him “Do you believe Black Lives Matter?”

After the Marquez attempted to mind his own business and ignore the group, the situation escalated quickly, resulting in the veteran being knocked unconscious from the back and robbed of $400 cash plus the rest of the contents of his wallet, including IDs and credit cards.

These worthless fuckers used this as an excuse to commit a robbery. Nothing from Barry and Lynch unless of course Marquez pulled out a Colt .45  model 1911 and shot every one of the dirty bastards dead. Then we would have heard plenty. 

 Marquez told the Daily Caller:

“I believe this was a hate crime, and I was targeted because of my skin color,” Marquez told the Daily Caller. “Too many of these types of attacks have been happening to white people by members of the black community and the majority of the mainstream media refuses to report on it.”

Apparently the police had already been looking for this group after a prior incident.

Hard to argue with the victim’s suggestion that this was a hate crime — that Marquez was targeted because of his skin color.

So, given the administration’s laser focus on racially-oriented altercations, President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch must be ALL OVER this, right?

I mean, we all remember President Obama bending over backwards to send not just one, but three representatives to the funeral of one Michael Brown, who was killed after robbing a convenience store.

And Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressing her “greatest fear” in the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino terror attacks — that killed 14 and terrorized many more — was anti-Muslim “rhetoric,” which she vowed to prosecute. Right before she then moved on to her next priority in the aftermath of that first terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 — which was, of course, meeting with representatives of the Black Lives Matter movement.

So where are President Obama and Attorney General Lynch now? Surely, it couldn’t be that Obama and Lynch don’t give a rat’s patootie about certain lives — like those who are white or “white Hispanic” (as no doubt the likes of Black Lives Matter would categorize an Hispanic). Or, God forbid, our distinguished military heroes?

Right? Riiiiiighhht.


And this is the man who’s considering this woman to be an arbiter of our Constitution on the Supreme Court. It’s abundantly clear by now that under the concept of “equal protection,” some people are “more equal” than others under the Obama administration.


Pope takes on Donald Trump, suffers massive humiliation, slinks off to the Vatican

I'm sorry but I have to say it. What a hypocrite the pope is. He talks about "building walls is not Christian" yet this is the wall surrounding the Vatican.

Mr Francis...tear down that wall!

If he could vote how much would you like to bet it would be for Sanders?

Here's how the fight between Pope Francis and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is playing out. 

Video 219


Hours after praying for Mexican migrants who died trying to reach the United States, Pope Francis singled out Donald Trump, telling reporters aboard the papal plane that anybody who wants to build border walls "is not Christian."

For starters, they're NOT "migrants". They're illegals. They always like to convolute the two.

"A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian," Francis said Thursday, according to a translation from the Associated Press. "This is not in the Gospel."

He added: "I'd just say that this man is not Christian if he said it this way."

This coming from the guy who lives in a private enclave protected by walls of epic proportion.

Pope Francis said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is "not Christian" because of his views on immigration Feb. 18. Pope Francis was speaking to reporters on his way back to Rome from Mexico. (Reuters)

According to ABC News, the Pope's criticism of Trump was prompted by a reporter who asked: "Can a good Catholic vote for this man?" ABC's account notes that the Pope demurred on that aspect of the question, by saying:

"About whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt."

You'll be shocked to hear that this restraint did not cause Trump to temper his response in the slightest. Trump's statement is worth quoting in full:

If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS's ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.

The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story — he didn't see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn't see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.

For a religious leader to question a person's faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man's religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.

After Pope Francis suggested Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is "not Christian," Trump told a rally in Kiawah Island, S.C. that the Mexican government manipulated the pope, calling the religious leader's statement "disgraceful." (Reuters)

The only slight tweak to Trump's storyline on display here is that he merely said the Pope was an unwitting victim of this scam, rather than suggesting that he is one of the elites who is actively complicit in it, either through corruption or weakness or stupidity (though arguably Trump did hint at the possibility of the latter two).

Oh, and for good measure, in his reply to the Pope, Trump also managed to reiterate his oft-repeated vow to Make Christianity Great Again.