Adam Bennett Schiff, born June 22, 1960, is a Member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 28th district, who first assumed office on January 3, 2013. A Democrat, Schiff previously represented California’s 29th district from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2013, and California’s 27th district from January 3, 2001, to January 3, 2003, both in the United States House of Representatives. Prior to that he was a Member of the California State Senate from the 21st district. Schiff is the Ranking Democrat on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Schiff earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard University and began his career in the Los Angeles branch of the United States Attorney’s Office. In 2003, as a member of Congress, he voted in favor of invading Iraq, but later claimed to regret his vote, based on a claim of faulty intelligence. In 2014, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed him to serve on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the bipartisan commission set up to investigate the September 11, 2012 attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. He was quoted as calling the committee a "colossal waste of time," and a “tremendous...waste of taxpayer resources.”
As the Ranking Democrat on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Schiff is charged with investigating any possible collusion between Russia and the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign, of which there has yet to be found any evidence.
Alex Emerick Jones, born February 11, 1974, is host of The Alex Jones Show, which broadcasts from Austin, Texas, and airs on the Genesis Communications Network. A Paleoconservative who supports stronger immigration control and economic nationalism, Jones runs the popular web sites Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com. He is frequently chastised by the liberal media as a “conspiracy theorist,” to which he has replied that he is "proud to be listed as a thought criminal against Big Brother." In 2016, Jones was a supporter of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Jones is a graduate of Anderson High School in Austin, Texas, and briefly spent some time at Austin Community College. He began his career in public-access cable television, where he hosted a live call-in show, and shortly thereafter made the jump to broadcast radio. In 2000 he attempted to run for state representative in Texas as a Republican, but quickly withdrew from the race. Shortly after being fired from his radio job he began broadcasting over the internet, and by 2001 his show was syndicated on 100 stations. Jones’ show is dedicated to exposing government conspiracies, including his belief that the Sandy Hook Massacre was a false flag and that the government was behind the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
In 2017, NBC News reporter Megyn Kelly interviewed Jones for her show Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, heavily editing the piece in an attempt to discredit Jones. Jones secretly recorded the full interview, and made it public shortly thereafter to clear his name.
Anderson Hays Cooper, born June 3, 1967, is an American news anchor and television journalist, most well known for hosting Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN. He is a frequent correspondent for CBS News 60 Minutes, and prior to that hosted his own daytime talk show on CNN, Anderson Live. Previously, Cooper has been a correspondent and on-air anchor for ABC News, as well as the digital content provider Channel One News, which is broadcast throughout elementary, middle, and high schools across America. He is the son of fashion designer and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt.
After graduating from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, Cooper began his career in journalism using a forged press pass, eventually selling his news segments to Channel One News. At ABC News Cooper split time between the overnight desk for the World News Now program and the newsmagazine 20/20. In 1999 he briefly switched career paths, becoming host of the ABC reality television program The Mole. After a two year hiatus from journalism, Cooper returned to the news at CNN, first as co-anchor on American Morning, and then as the weekend prime-time anchor.
In 2016, Cooper, along with ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz, moderated the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Brian Stelter, born September 3, 1985, works for CNN as a senior media correspondent, and is the host of the Sunday morning talk show Reliable Sources. Previously, Stelter was a media reporter for the Business Day and Arts sections of The New York Times. In 2004 he developed the industry blog TVNewser, which he sold to Mediabistro.com that same year. He is the author of the 2013 New York Times bestseller “Top of the Morning”, which focuses on the cutthroat world of morning television.
Stelter is a graduate of Towson University, located in Towson, Maryland, where he graduated with a degree in mass communication. He immediately began working at The New York Times after graduation, where he was a lead contributor to their “Media Decoder” blog. In 2011, Stelter was featured in the Emmy nominated documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times. The film, which focused on the daily lives of three writers at The New York Times, examines the internet's effect on print journalism.
Stelter is married to traffic anchor Jamie Shupak of NY1, the all news cable station in New York City. In 2017, Stelter stirred up controversy on his show Reliable Sources when he claimed that journalists were having off-air discussions about the mental health of President Donald Trump.
Charles Ellis Schumer, born November 23, 1950, is the Senior United States Senator from the state of New York, first elected on November 3rd, 1998. A Democrat, he is also the Senate minority leader, a position he was elected to by the Senate Democratic Caucus following the retirement of Senator Harry Reid in November 2016. Previously, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives, serving New York’s 16th, 10th, and 9th districts, from January 3, 1981 to January 3, 1999. He has also held office as a member of the New York State Assembly from the 45th district.
Schumer is considered one of the more liberal members of the Senate, with his positions on Planned Parenthood and against strict constructionist judicial nominees earning him a two percent Liberty Score in Conservative Review’s scorecard. He has parlayed his progressive stances into a number of leadership roles within the Democratic Party, including, Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus, Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, and Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
In 2017, Schumer publicly pronounced on the floor of the Senate that President Donald Trump was under investigation, despite statements to the contrary made on three separate occasions by former F.B.I. Director James Comey, leading some to accuse Schumer of being part of the “Deep State.” Comments by Schumer alluding to the ability of the intelligence community to, “[get] back at you,” only proved to further speculation about Schumer’s “Deep State” involvement.
Daniel Ray Coats, born May 16, 1943, is the 5th Director of National Intelligence, appointed by President Donald Trump, who assumed office on March 16, 2017. A Republican, Coats was a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Indiana's 4th district from January 3, 1981, to January 3, 1989. He was first appointed as a United States Senator from the State of Indiana when Dan Quayle resigned to become Vice President of the United States, before winning election outright in 1992. He held office until retiring in 1999, but won the seat again in 2010, upon the retirement of Democratic Senator Evan Bayh. Coats also served as the United States Ambassador to Germany from August 15, 2001, to February 28, 2005.
A Pro-life Conservative, Coats served as Chair of the Joint Economic Committee during his time in the Senate, as well as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He has made headlines in the past, most notably in 1998 when he suggested that President Bill Clinton’s attacks on Afghanistan and the Sudan were designed to distract the public from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Coats was vocal in his desire for President Barack Obama to punish Russia for the 2014 annexation of Crimea, resulting in the Russian government banning him from traveling to Russia.
In 2017 media outlets reported that Coats, along with National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, was pressured by President Donald Trump to make public the fact that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. Coats, under oath, was adamant that he was never ordered to interfere with any investigation by the President.
Dana Marie Perino, born May 9, 1972, is a conservative political commentator who currently works for the Fox News Channel, and is a co-host of the popular panel show, The Five. Previously, she served as the 26th White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, from September 14, 2007, to January 20, 2009. Following her role in the White House, she was a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent government agency with the mission to, “inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy." A Republican, Perino has sometimes been chastised as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for some of her more liberal-leaning views.
Perino graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo with a degree in mass communications, and then moved on to the University of Illinois Springfield, where she earned a graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She began her broadcasting career working for a local CBS affiliate in Illinois, before moving on to politics, first as a staff assistant for Congressman Scott McInnis, and then as press secretary for Representative Dan Schaefer. In November of 2001, Perino began a two-year stint as a spokesperson for the United States Department of Justice, and in 2005 she was hired by then-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan as Deputy Press Secretary.
Perino has been an adjunct instructor for the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. Beginning in October of 2017, she will host her own show on the Fox News Channel, The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino.
Deborah Wasserman Schultz
Deborah Wasserman Schultz, born September 27, 1966, is a member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida’s 23rd district (previously the 20th), a seat she was first elected to in 2004. A liberal Democrat, Wasserman Schultz was previously a member of the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives. On May 4, 2011, Wasserman Schultz was chosen as the 52nd Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a position she held until her resignation on July 28, 2016.
Controversy beset her tenure atop the DNC, most notably throughout the 2016 primary season. Her efforts to limit candidate debates, in both number and visibility, as well as to curb the (Bernie) Sanders campaign’s access to DNC servers, became a point of contention among different party factions throughout the Democratic nominating process. On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks published over 19,000 emails from DNC staffers, including Wasserman Schultz, confirming the party’s bias towards Hillary Clinton as the presidential nominee. Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as Chair of the DNC six days later.
In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson recalled how the DNC, under Wasserman Schultz, refused governmental assistance regarding the hack that produced the WikiLeaks emails. Refuting Johnson’s statement, Wasserman Schultz insisted that neither the F.B.I., nor Homeland Security contacted the DNC about the hack. Conflict continued to follow the congresswoman from Florida in 2017, after it was revealed a Muslim aide under her employ, Imran Awan, who was under federal investigation, had been arrested attempting to flee the country.
Donald Trump Jr.
Donald John Trump Jr., born December 31, 1977, is the first born child of the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump, and his former wife, Ivana Trump. He is a trustee and executive director of the Trump Organization, along with his brother Eric Trump. From 2006 until 2015 he was a frequent guest and advisor on the reality television program The Apprentice, which also starred his father.
Trump attended boarding school as a child, first the Buckley School, and then the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School with a degree in economics. After a gap year which he spent bartending and living out of a truck, Trump returned to New York City to join his family’s business, The Trump Organization. His building projects include 40 Wall Street, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Trump Park Avenue.
On June 9, 2016, Trump, along with Trump campaign associates Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, attended a meeting at Trump Tower in New York City with alleged emissaries of the Russian government. Accusations of collusion arose following public disclosure of the meeting in 2017, forcing Trump, in a move considered to be open and transparent by many, to release all email documentation about the meeting. The emails showed no evidence of collusion nor of any back-channels between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, though they did create some hysteria among the liberal media.
Reports show that Robert Mueller is investigating the meeting in his charge as Special Counsel in Russia-related matters in the 2016 election.
Eric Frederick Trump, born January 6, 1984, is the third child of the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump, and his former wife, Ivana Trump. He is the executive vice president of development and acquisitions of the Trump Organization, to which he also serves as a trustee with his older brother, Donald Trump Jr. In 2007 he founded the Eric Trump Foundation, which raises money for terminally ill children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.
Trump attended the Trinity School in Manhattan and the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, before graduating with honors from Georgetown University. As an executive in the Trump Organization he worked on the redesign of Trump National Doral and its Blue Monster course in Miami, Florida. He has appeared as a boardroom judge on the reality television program, The Apprentice, which also starred his father. In 2016, Trump was an advisor and campaign surrogate for his father’s presidential campaign, and frequently made appearances on television and at campaign rallies.
In 2017 the Eric Trump Foundation was accused by Forbes magazine of diverting money away from the charity into the family’s private bank accounts. Trump vehemently denied these reports, stating, "at no time did the Trump Organization profit in any way from the foundation or any of its activities.” To date, the foundation has raised over $16 million to help those in need.
George Soros, born August 12, 1930, is an American investor and hedge-fund manager whose net worth of over $25 billion places him among the richest men in the world. Though a successful capitalist, Soros is a critic of what he terms “market fundamentalism” and has regularly called for more government regulation in the marketplace. An avowed leftist and supporter of liberal political causes, Soros has funneled billions of dollars into the progressive movement through his Open Society Foundations. He was an early backer of Barack Obama, beginning with his first campaign for the Senate in 2004.
Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, where he survived Nazi occupation, before moving to England and then the United States. A hedge-fund manager by trade, he is most well known for shorting the British Pound, a move which earned him $1 billion, and collapsing the Malaysian financial market. It has been surmised that during the 2008 financial crisis Soros made billions betting against currency valuations, while, both directly and indirectly, benefiting from the Obama stimulus package passed by Congress. Still, through his writings and interviews, Soros has been an outspoken critic of capitalism, going so far as to hypocritically claim it as the cause of many global problems.
The Open Society Foundations, which supports leftist organizations such as MoveOn.org and Black Lives Matters, is a direct result of Soros’ socialist worldview. His wealth has financed presidents and protesters on the left, gaining him significant influence on progressive politics for decades.
George Washington, born February 22, 1732, and died December 14, 1799, was the 1st President of the United States, in office from April 30, 1789, to March 4, 1797. Previously, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army from June 15, 1775, to December 23, 1783, and he served as a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress from Virginia from May 10, 1775, to June 15, 1775, and the First Continental Congress from Virginia from September 5, 1774, to October 26, 1774. Washington’s final role was as Senior Officer of the United States Army from July 13, 1798, to December 14, 1799. He is considered to be the “Father of the country” for his role in establishing the United States of America.
A native son of Colonial Virginia, Washington began his career as a professional land surveyor and fought in the French and Indian War. After he was commissioned by the Second Continental Congress to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, he quickly drew the British out of Boston, but almost suffered total defeat in New York City. Washington turned the war effort around after his winter crossing of the Delaware River, which led to success in the battles of Princeton and Trenton. Historians consider him a master tactician and an expert at picking battlefield generals, which helped lead America to eventual independence from the British.
In 1789 he was unanimously elected as the 1st President of the United States, and is widely admired for the fact that he stepped down after two terms, establishing a tradition that was codified in the 22nd amendment to the Constitution. He established many precedents still in use today, such as the presidential cabinet, the inaugural address, and the title “Mr. President.” Representative Henry Lee III of Virginia famously eulogized Washington by saying he was, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Herman Cain, born December 13, 1945, is a Tea Party activist from the State of Georgia, and a former Republican candidate for the Presidential Nomination in 2012, who lost to eventual nominee Mitt Romney. Previously, he was the Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City from January 1, 1995, to August 19, 1996. A business executive, Cain made his fortune working for the Pillsbury Company, where he first restructured the Burger King franchise, and later became CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. The Herman Cain Show is a radio program that he hosts out of Atlanta, and he has been a regular contributor on the Fox News Channel.
Cain is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, and Purdue University, where he earned a graduate degree in computer science. He spent time as a civilian ballistics analysts for the United States Department of the Navy before moving on to the Coca-Cola Company as a computer analyst. As an executive, Cain found success in turning around struggling franchises, which led to his serving as CEO of the National Restaurant Association, a trade group and lobbying organization for the restaurant industry.
In 1993, Cain was instrumental in defeating the Clinton Healthcare Plan, a role which caught the attention of conservative politician Jack Kemp. Following their meeting, Cain became a senior advisor to the Bob Dole/Jack Kemp Republican ticket for President in 1996. In the 2012 campaign, Cain popularized the 9-9-9 tax plan, which sought to replace all taxes with a 9% personal income tax, 9% federal sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax.
Jacob Paul Tapper, born March 12, 1969, is the Chief Washington Correspondent for cable television network CNN. He hosts a daily news show on the network, The Lead with Jake Tapper, as well as the Sunday morning news program State of the Union. Prior to his work at CNN, Tapper was a Senior White House Correspondent, covering the Obama administration for ABC News. Tapper is also a political cartoonist, whose comic strip, Capitol Hell, was published in Roll Call from 1994 to 2003.
An alumni of Dartmouth University, Tapper graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a degree in history. He began his career in print journalism as a freelance writer, and has written for The Washington City Paper, Salon.com, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. As a Senior White House Correspondent for ABC News he was three times awarded the Merriam Smith Memorial Award for Broadcast Journalism. He also contributed to Good Morning America, Nightline, and World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. After twice being passed over as a candidate to replace George Stephanopoulos on This Week, Tapper made the move to CNN.
In 2017, Tapper found himself engulfed in controversy when, in an interview with short-lived White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, Tapper falsely inflated his working class credentials. As reported by Breitbart.com, Tapper attended elite private institutions with high tuition rates.
James Robert Clapper Jr., born March 14, 1941, was the 4th Director of National Intelligence, appointed by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by unanimous vote in the Senate on August 5, 2010. He served through the end of the Obama administration, resigning on January 20, 2017. A Democrat, Clapper had previously held positions under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. As of May 2017, he holds the position of Senior Fellow for Intelligence and National Security for the Center for a New American Security, a think-tank located in Washington D.C.
Clapper holds the rank of Lieutenant-General in the United States Air Force, from which he retired in 1995. A Vietnam War veteran, Clapper is a highly decorated serviceman who holds three National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Bronze Stars, and a slew of other decorations, both military and civilian. Outside of government Clapper has held a number of positions in private industry, all under the umbrella of intelligence services.
In September of 2017 Clapper’s earlier denials of the existence of a wiretap on Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election were proven false when it was made public that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was under surveillance following a secret, court-ordered FISA warrant.
James Brien Comey Jr., born December 14, 1960, a former Republican turned Independent, was the 7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.). Nominated by President Barack Obama on June 21, 2013, to replace then-outgoing Director Robert Mueller, Comey was confirmed by the Senate on July 29, 2013. Previously, he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and later as the 31st United States Deputy Attorney General, both under President George W. Bush. On May 9, 2017, James Comey was relieved of his duties as Director of the F.B.I. by President Donald Trump, making him only the second F.B.I. Director, after William S. Sessions, to be fired before completing his full ten year term.
Comey’s career as a prosecutor included cases against Martha Stewart and the Gambino crime family. In 1996 he signed on as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee. He came to national prominence in 2007 when, in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee he chronicled in dramatic fashion the events surrounding the reauthorization of the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program at the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Comey relied heavily on the guidance of F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller during the incident, which occurred in 2004, with the two men going so far as to prepare letters of resignation. This relationship would later call into question Mueller’s impartiality as Special Counsel to the Russia investigation.
In July of 2016 Comey made public the F.B.I.’s decision not to recommend charges be filed in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, a move considered by many to be a break in Bureau protocol. Two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Comey informed Congress that he had reopened the investigation, after F.B.I. officials discovered more emails on former Congressman Anthony Weiner's computer, however, by November 6 he announced that the Bureau had not come to a different conclusion in the matter. It was later revealed that Comey had begun drafting a letter exonerating Clinton months before resolving the investigation.
It was the handling of the Clinton email investigation that would ultimately prompt President Donald Trump to dismiss Comey as the Director of the F.B.I. In Senate testimony following his dismissal, Comey admitted to leaking F.B.I. memos to the press in regards to private meetings with President Trump, while also noting that the President was not under investigation in the Russia scandal.
James Madison Jr., born March 16, 1751, and died June 28, 1836, was the 4th President of the United States, in office from March 4, 1809, to March 4, 1817. Prior to his role in the Executive Office, he served as the 5th United States Secretary of State from May 2, 1801, to March 3, 1809. Previously, he was a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 15th district from March 4, 1793, to March 4, 1797, and a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Virginia's 5th district from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1793. Madison also served as a Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation from Virginia from March 1, 1781, to November 1, 1783.
Born on a Virginia plantation, history considers Madison to be the “Father of the Constitution” for his development of the Virginia Plan which outlined a new constitution to supersede the Articles of Confederation. After joining the newly established Congress, Madison drafted what became known as the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, giving him a second title as the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” As Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, Madison helped oversee the Louisiana Purchase, the sale of the Louisiana territory from France to the United States, which helped double the size of the country.
As President, Madison led the Country through the War of 1812 against the British, which resulted in his support of a stronger military and national defense. Madison is buried at his family cemetery on Montpelier plantation in Virginia.
Jeanine Ferris Pirro, born June 2, 1951, is a conservative commentator, and host of Justice with Judge Jeanine which airs on the Fox News Channel. She is a frequent contributor to other segments on Fox News as well as the NBC morning television program, Today. Previously, she was elected as the first female District Attorney of Westchester County, New York, serving from January 1, 1994, to January 1, 2006, as well as the Chair of the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatalities from January 1, 1997, to January 1, 2006.
Pirro graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Buffalo, and continued on to Albany Law School of Union University, where she earned her Juris Doctor. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) in Westchester County, New York, where she established one of the first Domestic Violence Units in America, before being elected as the first female Westchester County Court Judge in 1990. After retiring from the District Attorney’s office, Pirro became a regular contributor and guest on numerous television shows, including Larry King Live, The Joy Behar Show, and Geraldo at Large. In 2008, Pirro began hosting the Emmy Award winning daytime show Judge Jeanine Pirro on the CW network.
A Republican, Pirro supported Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, born December 24, 1946, is the 84th United States Attorney General, nominated by President Donald Trump, and confirmed by the Senate on February 8, 2017, by a vote of 52 to 47. A Republican, Sessions served as a United States Senator from Alabama from January 3, 1997, to February 8, 2017. He was the 44th Attorney General of Alabama, from January 16, 1995, to January 3, 1997. Prior to running for elected office, Sessions was appointed as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama under President Ronald Reagan.
Session received his undergraduate degree from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, and went on to the University of Alabama, where he earned his Juris Doctor. A Captain in the Army reserves, he briefly went into private practice before serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1975 to 1977. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sessions for a federal judgeship on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, however, liberal groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU opposed the nomination, which ultimately failed to make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee for a full vote on the Senate floor.
As a Senator, Sessions sat on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Budget, the Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the Committee on the Judiciary, while serving as chair to the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, and the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Refugees. At the behest of Steve Bannon, Sessions was the first Senator to endorse Donald Trump for President of the United States, and he acted as a policy advisor to the campaign while frequently stumping for the candidate.
On March 2, 2017, Sessions recused himself from all matters pertaining to the 2016 presidential election, after accusations arose that he had met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign. Sessions has denied the accusations, which have yet to be proven.
Jesse Watters, born July 9, 1978, is a journalist, media critic, and political pundit who replaced former co-host Eric Bolling on The Five, Fox News Channel’s roundtable discussion show centering on current political events of the day. He currently hosts his own show, Watter’s World, on weekends on the Fox News Channel. Previously, Watters was known for his “Watter’s World” man-on-the-street interview segments that he produced for former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s show, The O’Reilly Factor.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Watters later moved with his family to Long Island, New York. He is an alumni of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and he began his career at Fox News Channel shortly after graduating. First working as a production assistant, Watters moved in front of the camera on the Fox show Outnumbered. His “Watter’s World” segments adopted the use of “ambush journalism,” often parodying people on the street for their lack of knowledge about current events, politics, and history. In 2017, Watters was a guest on The Spin Stops Here Tour, with O’Reilly and comedian Dennis Miller.
An outspoken media figure, Watters is no stranger to controversy, as when in 2017 he was accused of making lewd comments on-air about Ivanka Trump, daughter of the President of The United States, Donald Trump.
Abilio James Acosta, born April 17, 1971, is the Senior White House Correspondent for cable television network CNN. Previously, he held the role of National Political Correspondent for CNN. From 2001 to 2007 Acosta was a correspondent for CBS news, based out of Dallas, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta. At the age of 11, and just three weeks shy of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Acosta’s father emigrated from Cuba to the United States.
Acosta is a graduate of James Madison University, where he earned a degree in mass communication. He began his career in radio before making the move to television in 1995. From 1995 until 2001 Acosta worked in local television in Knoxville, Dallas, and Chicago. At CBS News Acosta covered big stories such as the 2004 presidential election and the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In November of 2015, as a correspondent for CNN, Acosta famously asked President Barack Obama, about the terrorist group ISIS, “Why can't we take out these bastards?”
As a Senior White House Correspondent covering the Trump administration, Acosta has been a confrontational figure. Publicly, he referred to former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer as “kind of useless,” while suggesting that the White House was attempting to “stonewall” the media. In August of 2017, Acosta publicly sparred with White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, at one point implying that only immigrants from Britain or Australia could speak English.
Charles Joseph Scarborough, born April 9, 1963, is a cable news and talk radio political pundit, best known for hosting Morning Joe on MSNBC. Previously, Scarborough hosted an hourlong opinion show called Scarborough Country, also on MSNBC, from April of 2003 to June of 2007. A Republican until his highly publicized turn to an Independent in 2017, Scarborough was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida's 1st district from January 3, 1995, to September 5, 2001.
A member of the Florida Bar since 1991, Scarborough was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of a national wave that saw Republicans take over the House majority for the first time in 40 years. He was a signatory to the “Contract with America” and was also a member of the “New Federalists”, a group of 40 incoming Republican Congressmen. In 2000 he resigned from Congress, only five months into his fourth term, citing the need to spend more time with family, and soon went back to practicing law.
As a pundit he has been vocally opposed to the candidacy, and then presidency of Donald Trump, stating in an op-ed for The Washington Post, “At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens.” In 2017 he announced his engagement to his Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski. He is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
John Owen Brennan, born September 22, 1955, was the 5th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), appointed by President Barack Obama, who served from March 8, 2013, to January 20, 2017. An Independent, he previously served in the Obama administration as the 5th United States Homeland Security Advisor, and as the Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center under President George W,. Bush. Brennan’s confirmation as C.I.A. Director was most notable for the 13 hour-long talking filibuster performed by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who was attempting to create more awareness of President Obama’s combat drone program against American citizens.
Brennan spent most of his career with the C.I.A. as an analyst, with a few years interspersed in industry. At one point he was Chief of Staff to C.I.A. Director George Tenet. He was twice-nominated to the position of C.I.A. Director by President Barack Obama, however, his involvement with the Bush-era torture program led to the withdrawal of his first nomination in 2008. A controversial figure throughout his career, Brennan was notorious for his handling of the Disposition Matrix, Barack Obama’s “kill list” under the combat drone program. Reports in The New York Times stated that Brennan was the principal coordinator of these lists.
Early in 2017, the BBC began to report that Brennan was the chief architect behind the wiretapping of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016.
John Kerry, born December 11, 1943, was the 68th United States Secretary of State, appointed by President Barack Obama, who served from February 1, 2013, to January 20, 2017. A Democrat, Kerry served as United States Senator from Massachusetts from January 2, 1985, to February 1, 2013, and as the 66th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Governor Michael Dukakis. In 2004, Kerry was the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, losing the election by 35 electoral votes to incumbent President George W. Bush.
Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran, having earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Despite this, his military record has come into question, most publicly during the 2004 presidential election by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group, comprised of members of Kerry’s former military unit, called into question his service record and military awards. Upon his return home from Vietnam, Kerry joined the leftist anti-war movement, where he testified before a United States Senate committee on ending the war, and was arrested at a march for American prisoners-of-war (POW)
Kerry is most remembered as a flip-flopper, when, during the 2004 presidential election, about the Iraq war he was quoted as saying, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Prior to leaving office as Secretary of State, he gave a 72 minute speech denouncing Israel that was criticized by leaders around the world.
John Sidney McCain III, born August 29, 1936, is the Senior United States Senator from Arizona, first elected on November 4, 1986 following the retirement of longtime incumbent Barry Goldwater. Previously, he served two terms as a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona's 1st district. McCain is a Vietnam War veteran, and most famously, a former prisoner-of-war (POW) who spent over five years in captivity with the North Vietnamese. In 2008, he was the Republican nominee for President of the United States, where he eventually lost to President Barack Obama with an electoral college deficit of 365 to 173.
McCain’s politics are largely influenced by his time as a prisoner-of-war, where he was beaten and tortured to the point of sustaining lifelong injuries. When the North Vietnamese realised that McCain was the son of a high-ranking admiral they offered him early release, mostly as a propaganda tool against the other prisoners, which he refused. A defense hawk who supported the USA PATRIOT Act, McCain has been dubbed a maverick by the liberal media for his splits with Republicans on issues such as the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
The Financial Crisis of 2008, coupled with age concerns about the candidate and a deficit in campaign spending all combined to sink the presidential ambitions of John McCain. The addition of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to the ticket, a rising star who at times overshadowed McCain, did little to change his fortunes in the end. The loss did help McCain to finally shed his maverick image in the Senate, and in 2009 he began to embrace a more strict conservative orthodoxy.
John McCain delivered the infamous Trump-Russia dossier compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele to F.B.I. Director James Comey in December of 2016.
John David Podesta, born January 8, 1949, was the chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. A veteran Democratic operative, Podesta served as White House Staff Secretary, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and White House Chief of Staff under President Bill Clinton. Subsequently, he took on the role of Counselor to the President in the Obama administration. At present, Podesta chairs the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think-tank based in Washington D.C.
A Washington insider for most of his career, Podesta began working on Capitol Hill before opening a lobbying firm known as The Podesta Group, with his brother Tony. The firm is notorious for its connections to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration. During his time in the Clinton White House, he was in charge of managing the Monica Lewinsky scandal for the President.
In October of 2016 WikiLeaks began to make public over 20,000 emails from Podesta’s personal Gmail account, many of which discussed strategy for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Among the many revelations published in the Podesta emails were transcripts from Hillary Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches, detailed conflicts regarding the Clinton Foundation, and the fact that Clinton was fed debate questions by party operative Donna Brazile during the primary contest. The emails were also used by some as evidence of a child-sex ring operation being run by members of the Democratic party, known as the Pizzagate conspiracy.
Along with his other positions, Podesta is currently a columnist for The Washington Post.
Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway, born January 20 1967, is the incumbent Counselor to President Donald Trump, serving alongside Dina Powell. Prior to her turn in the White House, she was a senior advisor and then campaign manager for the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign. A Republican, Conway has served as a strategist and pollster, and at one time was the president and CEO of The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend. She is the first woman to win a presidential campaign as campaign manager.
Conway is an alumna of Trinity College in Washington D.C., where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political science, before earning her Juris Doctorate from George Washington University. She began her career as a judicial clerk for Judge Richard A. Levie of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and shortly thereafter moved on to Luntz Research Companies, the polling firm owned by Republican strategist Frank Luntz. In the 1990’s Conway was one of a group of famous female political pundits that made the rounds of political talk shows; the others being Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olsen, and Ann Coulter. As a strategist, she has worked with Congressman Jack Kemp, Senator Fred Thompson, Vice President Dan Quayle, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, among others.
Prior to joining the Trump campaign in 2016, Conway was a supporter of Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign for President of the United States. She is the author of the 2005 book, What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live.
Laura Anne Ingraham, born June 19, 1963, is a conservative political pundit who hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show. In 2015 she founded LifeZette, a news and opinion web site, along with conservative businessperson Peter Anthony, for which she serves as editor-in-chief. She is the author of five books, including three New York Times best sellers, Power to the People, The Obama Diaries, and Of Thee I Zing.
Ingraham is an alumna of Dartmouth College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor in 1991. She began her political career as a speechwriter in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, before serving as a law clerk for Judge Ralph K. Winter, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, and later Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court. In the late 1990’s she briefly appeared on television for CBS News and MSNBC.
Talkers Magazine had rated Ingraham as the number five talk radio host in the nation at one point, and she was the regular fill-in host for Bill O’Reilly on his now defunct show The O’Reilly Factor. Beginning in October of 2017, she is scheduled to host a new show for the Fox News Channel, The Ingraham Angle.
Lindsey Olin Graham, born July 9, 1955, is the three-term Senior Senator from the state of South Carolina, first elected on November 5, 2002. A Republican, Graham was a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina’s 3rd district from January 3, 1995 to January 3, 2003. Prior to that he served one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives. On June 1, 2015, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States, however, lack of support forced him to suspend his campaign almost one month prior to the start of the Iowa caucuses.
As Senator, Graham is appointed to the committees on Appropriations; the Judiciary; Armed Services; and the Budget; and chairs subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Crime and Terrorism. A defense hawk and military interventionist, Graham serves in the United States Air Force Reserves and is the Senate’s only Iraq war veteran. In 2007, Graham, along with fellow Senator and close-friend John McCain, was a steadfast supporter of the Iraq War troop surge strategy under President George W. Bush. His alliance with Senator McCain saw him act as the national co-chairman of the 2008 McCain-Palin presidential campaign.
Graham’s positions on immigration amnesty and his lack of support for President Donald Trump, as when he called the then-candidate a “jackass” on live television, have led some on the right to label him a RINO (Republican In Name Only).
Loretta Elizabeth Lynch, born May 21, 1959, lead the Department of Justice from April 27, 2015, to January 20, 2017, as the United States 83rd Attorney General. Previously, she served two non-consecutive spans as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, first under President Bill Clinton, and later under President Barack Obama. A Democrat, Lynch was appointed to the post as the nation’s top law enforcement officer by then President Barack Obama following the resignation of her predecessor Eric Holder. She held office through the remainder of President Obama’s second term.
Lynch became embroiled in controversy during the 2016 presidential election when media reports surfaced that she had met privately with former President Bill Clinton on the tarmac of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Clinton’s wife Hillary was the Democratic nominee for President at the time, and was under investigation by the F.B.I. for using a private email server for official State Department communications during her tenure as Secretary of State. Further controversy erupted when former F.B.I. head James Comey testified under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, that Lynch, as Attorney General, ordered Comey to refer to the Clinton email probe as a “matter” rather than an “investigation,” an action that Comey said gave him a “queasy feeling.” Later revelations in the controversy showed that Lynch was in contact with Clinton campaign operative Amanda Renteria, assuring her that the Justice department “would not push too deeply” into the Clinton email investigation.
A bipartisan investigation was launched in the summer of 2017 by the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine Lynch’s role in the Clinton email scandal.
Maxine Moore Waters, born August 15, 1938, is a Member of the United States House of Representatives from California's 43rd district, having assumed office on January 3, 2013. A Democrat, she was a Member of the United States House of Representatives from California’s 35th district, serving from January 3, 1993, to January 3, 2013, and California’s 29th district, serving from January 3, 1991, to January 3, 1993. She was also a Member of the California State Assembly from the 48th district from 1977 to 1991. After the retirement of Representative Barney Frank in 2012, Waters became the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Waters, a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, is an outspoken liberal and supporter of left-wing causes. In 1992, in reference to the Los Angeles Riots in the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict, Waters was quoted as saying, “I maintain it was somewhat understandable, if not acceptable.” She has praised Communist leader Fidel Castro, going as far as to write him a letter thanking him for helping those needing to flee political persecution. Waters voted against the resolution to invade Iraq, and remained a steadfast critic of the war effort. In 2007, she co-sponsored the House resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney over his role in the Iraq War.
A public advocate for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Waters has called the President, “a disgusting, poor excuse of a man.” In 2009 she was investigated for ethics violations by the House Ethics Committee.
Michael Dean Cohen, born 1966/1967, is an attorney and spokesperson for the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. Prior to his role in the White House he was Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump. He has served as co-president of Trump Entertainment, and as a member of the board of the Eric Trump Foundation. Cohen is alleged to have met with Russian officials in Prague in the unverified Trump-Russia dossier put together by former MI6 Operative Christopher Steele, an allegation that he denies, and that has yet to be proven.
An alumni of American University, Cohen earned his Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley School of Law. He has been known to switch political affiliations often, wherein he was a registered Democrat before 2002, and again from 2004 to 2017, becoming a Republican in the interim periods. In 2003 he mounted a run for the New York City Council, and he attempted a short run for the New York State Senate in 2010. Cohen was instrumental in drafting Donald Trump to run for President.
In 2017, The New York Times reported that Cohen held a meeting with Ukrainian politician Andrey Artemenko about plans to lift sanctions against Russia. Congressional panels have asked him to provide any information into his alleged connection to the Russia matter.
Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski, born May 2, 1960, is the co-host of the weekday show Morning Joe on MSNBC, along with her fiance, Joe Scarborough. Prior to her work on Morning Joe, she was a CBS News correspondent, most well known for her reporting on the attacks of September 11, 2001. Brzezinski has authored three books, two of which are autobiographical tomes about her journalism career. Her father is the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as National Security advisor under President Jimmy Carter from January 20, 1977, to January 20, 1981.
Brzezinski first worked for local news affiliates in Hartford, Connecticut, before joining CBS News, where she was a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and “60 Minutes”. At MSNBC she did “Up to the Minute” news updates, along with brief appearances on NBC Nightly News, and Weekend Today, before joining Scarborough on Morning Joe. The 2016 Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leak exposed the fact that the DNC attempted to silence Brzezinski for her frequent on air criticisms of the rigging of the Democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders. In 2017 Brzezinski announced that she would no longer allow President Donald Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway on the air for what was deemed Conway’s spreading of “fake news.” Conway denied the accusations.
Along with her fiance, Joe Scarborough, Brzezinski is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics.
Michael Thomas Flynn, born December 1948, was the 25th National Security Advisor appointed by the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, who served from January 20, 2017, to February 13, 2017. Previously, he served as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama, from July 24, 2012, to August 7, 2014. After 33 years of distinguished service in the United States Army, Flynn retired as a three-star Lieutenant General, having participated in four major military operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Flynn resigned from his post as National Security Advisor after serving just 24 days, due to allegations from liberal media outlets that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
An alumni of the University of Rhode Island, Flynn went on to earn several graduate degrees, including a Master of Business Administration in Telecommunications from Golden Gate University, a Master of Military Art and Science from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. In 1981, he joined the United States Army and began to work in military intelligence in various stops around the country, including a deployment during the invasion of Grenada. Flynn held numerous intelligence positions in both Afghanistan and Iraq under President George W. Bush.
As Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn described himself as feeling like a “lone wolf,” believing that the United States was worse off in dealing with Islamic terrorism than it had been before 9/11. His views led to his dismissal from the agency, as they did not comport with the narrative on Islamic terrorism of the Obama Administration. In 2016, Flynn, a lifelong Democrat, signed on as an advisor and surrogate for the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
Michael Richard Pence, born June 7, 1959, is the 48th Vice President of the United States, elected under President Donald Trump on November 8, 2016. A Republican, Pence was the 50th Governor of Indiana from January 14, 2013, to January 9, 2017. He served as a Member of the United States House of Representatives, first from Indiana’s 2nd district from January 3, 2001, to January 3, 2003, and then from Indiana’s 6th district from January 3, 2003, to January 3, 2013. As a Congressman, he was Chairman of the House Republican Conference and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pence was born to an Irish Catholic family of Democrats, but during college, he became a born-again evangelical Christian, and a conservative. In 1988, and again in 1990 he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in Congress, before turning his ambitions towards conservative talk radio. From 1994 until 1999, The Mike Pence Show was syndicated on radio throughout Indiana, as was a weekend television program of the same name. In Congress, Pence established a strong conservative voting record, even voting against the Medicare expansion of 2002. In 2006, Pence ran for minority leader of the Republican Party, losing to John Boehner of Ohio, 168-27.
As Governor of Indiana, Pence continued the successful conservative policies of his predecessor, Mitch Daniels. He cut taxes by $1.1 billion, and increased employment by 3.4 percent, expanding Indiana’s economy overall. On July 15, 2016, Pence ended his bid for a second term as Indiana’s governor, as Donald Trump had chosen Pence as his running mate in the 2016 presidential election. Since winning the election, Pence has been an active Vice President in the administration, most notably by casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate for the confirmation of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Pence’s political philosophy, which he established in his talk radio days, states that he is, "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
Rachel Anne Maddow, born April 1, 1973, is a liberal political pundit and host of the nightly talk show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. Alongside Brian Williams she hosts major events such as election night returns for MSNBC. Prior to her work on MSNBC she hosted a talk radio show of the same name on the now defunct liberal network Air America Radio. Maddow is known for pushing left-wing conspiracy theories, most notably about David and Charles Koch, of Koch Industries, and their support for conservative causes.
Maddow, an alumna of Stanford University, was awarded the John Gardner Fellowship upon graduation. She is a Rhodes Scholar, who earned her Doctor of Philosophy in politics from the University of Oxford in 2001. While completing her degree, Maddow worked in Massachusetts local broadcast radio as an on-air morning drive-time personality. In 2004 she joined the new Air America Radio, where she hosted the show Unfiltered, before hosting her own two-hour eponymous radio program. The following year she began to appear as a guest on the MSNBC show Tucker, and by 2008 she was a frequent guest host on the network’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The Rachel Maddow Show debuted on MSNBC on September 8, 2008.
Maddow is one of the first openly gay cable news network television hosts in the United States. In 2017 White House officials accused her of illegally disclosing information from President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns on her show.
Reinhold Richard Priebus, known as Reince, born March 18, 1972, was the 27th White House Chief of Staff under President Donald Trump, who served from January 20, 2017, to July 31, 2017. A Republican, Priebus was previously the Chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) from January 14, 2011, to January 19, 2017, as well as the Chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from January 19, 2007, to January 14, 2011. He is the shortest serving White House Chief of Staff in the history of the position
Priebus earned a double-degree in English and political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in Coral Gables, Florida. After working as a law clerk for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Priebus moved back to Wisconsin where he went into private practice. In 2004 he narrowly lost a bid for the Wisconsin State Senate, and three years later he became the youngest person to chair the Wisconsin Republican Party, where he helped to turn the state legislature and Governor’s Office from Democrat to Republican.
Priebus began working for the Republican National Committee as General Counsel, and in 2010 he announced his intention to run for Chair, eventually defeating his predecessor, Michael Steele. Just as he had done in Wisconsin, Priebus turned around the fortunes of the RNC, increasing their fundraising efforts, cutting their debt, and making historic gains in the 2014 midterm elections.
Priebus considers the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to be his best accomplishment during his short tenure as Chief of Staff.
Richard Mauze Burr, born November 30, 1955, is the Senior United States Senator from North Carolina, who was first elected on November 2, 2004. He won office following the resignation of Democratic Senator John Edwards from the seat due to Edward’s unsuccessful run for the Vice Presidency under John Kerry that same year. A Republican, Burr previously was a Member of the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina's 5th district, a seat he held from January 3, 1995, to January 3, 2005. He chairs the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and in doing so is tasked with overseeing the Senate investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Burr holds strong conservative positions, and is known to vote with his Republican colleagues in the Senate over 90 percent of the time. Along with his Chairmanship of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Burr sits on the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and the Special Committee on Aging. He mounted an unsuccessful run for Republican Conference chairman, losing to Senator Lamar Alexander in 2007. That same year he was named deputy whip. In 2011, he attempted to run for minority whip of the Senate, but withdrew himself from consideration shortly thereafter.
As head of the Senate investigation into Russian interference, Burr has stated that he feels a Special Prosecutor is unnecessary. His handling of the investigation, most notably his efforts to stay away from the White House while the investigation is ongoing, has been considered professional by politicians and pundits on both sides of the aisle.
Robert Swan Mueller III, born August 7, 1944, serves as Special Counsel under the Department of Justice, and is tasked with investigating "any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." He was appointed on May 17, 2017, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in Rosenstein’s duties as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Under President George W. Bush, Mueller was nominated to become the 6th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), and assumed office on September 4, 2001, just one week prior to the attacks of September 11. Mueller is the longest serving F.B.I. Director next to J. Edgar Hoover, having served an additional two years beyond the traditional ten year term set aside for most F.B.I. Directors. Prior to his role in the F.B.I., Mueller was the Acting United States Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California under President Bill Clinton, and the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division under President George H.W. Bush. Mueller was also the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts under President Ronald Reagan.
In 2004, Mueller, along with his successor at the F.B.I., James Comey, threatened to resign from the Bureau following a confrontation with Senior White House officials of the Bush administration over a domestic wiretapping program ruled on by the Department of Justice. Further controversy followed when, in 2009, under the direction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mueller delivered a supposedly stolen sample of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Russia. These incidents have raised concerns of impartiality among Mueller’s critics in his role as Special Counsel.
Rod Jay Rosenstein, born January 13, 1965, is the 37th United States Deputy Attorney General, appointed by President Donald Trump, and confirmed by a Senate vote of 94 - 6 on April 25, 2017. A Republican, Rosenstein previously served as the United States Attorney for the District of Maryland under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. On May 17, 2017, as Acting Attorney General due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A native of the Philadelphia area, Rosenstein graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in economics, and earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. After beginning his career as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, he worked for the Clinton administration, serving as Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Philip B. Heymann and Special Assistant to Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Jo Ann Harris. In 2001 he was appointed as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a position he held until becoming U.S. Attorney in 2005. President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2007, however, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin blocked the nomination, claiming that Rosenstein was a carpetbagger.
Rosenstein was instrumental in drafting the memorandum used as justification for the dismissal of F.B.I. Director James Comey, wherein he wrote that the F.B.I. needs, "a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes [made] and pledges never to repeat them.”
Roger Jason Stone Jr., born August 27, 1952, is a lobbyist and political consultant for the Republican party, most well known for working on the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. He is the co-founder of the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, founded in the 1980’s with fellow lobbyists Paul Manafort, Charles R. Black Jr., and Peter G. Kelly. In the past he has worked on the campaigns of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
Stone began his career in politics on Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972, moving into the Office of Economic Opportunity after the election. He was recruited to work for the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan in 1979, and two years later helped elect Thomas Kean Governor of New Jersey. In 1985, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly brought on famed political consultant Lee Atwater, and began to lobby for Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Controversy over some lewd advertisements forced Stone to resign from Senator Bob Dole’s campaign for President of the United States in 1996.
Throughout the turn of the century, Stone continued to work in politics, including major roles in electing George W. Bush, and bringing the downfall of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. In 2008, Stone founded an anti-Hillary Clinton 527 group, Citizens United Not Timid. On August 8, 2015, Stone left the Trump campaign, though he remained an informal advisor and surrogate until the election.
Stone was accused by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, as well as by John Podesta, of having knowledge of the publishing of Podesta’s emails by WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign. Stone has denied the accusations.
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, born January 12, 1951, is a conservative political commentator and host of The Rush Limbaugh Show, which is currently the most listened to talk-radio program in the United States. Previously, Limbaugh hosted a syndicated half-hour long television show produced by the late Roger Ailes, from 1992 to 1996. He is the author of several books, including his first book The Way Things Ought to Be, his second See, I Told You So, and a series of children’s books centered around a character known as Rush Revere.
Limbaugh is a graduate of Cape Girardeau, Missouri Central High School, and following that he spent two semesters at Southeast Missouri State University, but dropped out to pursue a career in broadcasting. In the 1970’s he started out as a Top 40 music disc jockey, before leaving radio for a brief period to work with the Kansas City Royals baseball team. After the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, the FCC statute declaring that any controversial opinions broadcast must be presented with opposing views, Limbaugh returned to radio, finding success on a national level. By the 1990’s his trademark brand of conservative commentary had gained him an audience on over 650 radio stations nationwide.
A staunch conservative, Limbaugh has been recognized many times over by the Republican party and outside media for his contributions. In 1992 President Ronald Reagan sent him a letter calling him the, “number one voice for conservatism in our country,” and in 1994 he was made an honorary member of the freshman Republican Congressional Caucus after Republicans swept the midterm elections that year, taking control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
In 2015 he was ranked as the 11th highest earning celebrity in the world by Forbes magazine.
Samantha Jane Power, born September 21, 1970, was the 28th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, who served from August 5, 2013, to January 20, 2017. A Democrat, Power was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on June 5, 2013, and confirmed by the Senate with an 87-10 vote. In 2009, Power was appointed to the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. She was a foreign policy advisor for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and a member of his State Department transition team following his electoral victory.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Power is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. In 2003 she wrote her first book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, which won the Pulitzer Prize. Two years later she became a foreign policy fellow, working for then-Senator Barack Obama. She was an early supporter of the Obama presidential campaign, but was forced to resign after a controversial interview where she called candidate Hillary Clinton “a monster.” After the election she made peace with newly sworn-in Secretary of State Clinton and worked alongside her in the State Department.
According to reports on Fox News, in the final year of the Obama administration, Power was found to have unmasked over 250 Americans who appeared in foreign surveillance wiretaps, including many members of the incoming Trump administration.
Sean Patrick Hannity, born December 30, 1961, is a conservative political pundit, who hosts The Sean Hannity Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, as well as Hannity, a nightly commentary program on the Fox News Channel. He is a New York Times bestselling author of the books Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism; Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism; and Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda. A supporter of President Donald Trump, he sometimes worked as an informal advisor on the 2016 presidential campaign offering strategic advice on communications and messaging.
A native son of New York City, Hannity attended St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary high school in Uniondale, New York, but dropped out of college before earning a degree. Beginning in 1989, Hannity found work doing talk radio at local stations across the country, from Santa Barbara, to Alabama, to Atlanta. He was relatively unknown when, in 1996, Roger Ailes hired him for the fledgling Fox News Channel for what would eventually become Hannity & Colmes, a point-counterpoint type show co-hosted with liberal pundit Alan Colmes. By 2017, Hannity was hosting the top-rated show on the Fox News Channel, and was second in radio listeners only to Rush Limbaugh.
Hannity has begun to investigate and expose the deep state government entities working against President Donald Trump. In 2017 he was awarded the William F. Buckley Award For Media Excellence.
Sebastian Lukács Gorka, born October 22, 1970, was appointed deputy assistant to the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, from January 20, 2017, until August 25, 2017, and was a member of the White House Strategic Initiatives Group under Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. He is a foreign policy and terrorism expert, and has served as an American military and intelligence analyst. Previously, Gorka was the national security editor at Breitbart News Network, and acted as an advisor to conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Born in London of Hungarian descent, he received a degree in philosophy and theology from Heythrop College of the University of London, and went on to earn his PhD from Corvinus University in Hungary. In 1998 he was a Kokkalis Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Gorka appeared on Hungarian television as a counterterrorism expert, and served on the parliamentary investigatory committee looking into the communist background of Hungarian Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy. In 2008, Gorka moved to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen, and began a career in academia, first as an administrative dean at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.; and later as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.
Gorka has long been a target of left-wing smear campaigns, falsely claiming that he is a racist and attacking his academic credentials.
Stephen Kevin Bannon, born November 27, 1953, is the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, a conservative news, opinion, and commentary web site founded in 2007, by the late Andrew Breitbart. He served in the newly established position of White House Chief Strategist, and as Senior Counselor to the President under the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump, from January 20, 2017, to August 18, 2017. Previously, Bannon worked as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs in the Mergers and Acquisitions department, and as an executive producer of Hollywood films.
Bannon is an alumni of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he earned a degree in urban planning, before moving on to Georgetown University, where he earned a graduate degree in national security studies, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served on the destroyer USS Paul F. Foster, and as a special assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. As an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, Bannon moved from New York to Los Angeles to help set up Goldman’s presence in the entertainment industry, eventually leaving to start his own media investment firm, Bannon & Co. Between 1991 and 2016, Bannon produced, directed, or wrote 18 films.
Bannon helped found the Government Accountability Institute in 2012, a conservative nonprofit investigative research organization located in Tallahassee, Florida, and has served as vice president for the board of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining company for political candidates. He left both roles after being appointed chief executive of Donald Trump's presidential campaign on August 17, 2016.
Bannon’s political philosophy centers around nationalism, populism, and non-interventionism, and has been highly influential in transforming conservative politics in the post 9/11 era.
Susan Elizabeth Rice, born November 17, 1964, was the 24th National Security Advisor, appointed by President Barack Obama, who served from July 1, 2013, to January 20, 2017. A Democrat, Rice previously served as the 27th United States Ambassador to the United Nations under Obama, and the 12th Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Bill Clinton. She has come under scrutiny in her career for referring to the Benghazi attack as a “spontaneous protest”, and for her role in the illegal unmasking of officials of the Trump campaign.
Rice held numerous positions in the Clinton administration, including at the National Security Council (NSC), as director for international organizations and peacekeeping, and as director for international organizations and peacekeeping. She spent time at the Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C. think tank, and was a foreign policy advisor to the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama. After the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked on September 11, 2012, killing four Americans, Rice appeared on national news programs reciting intelligence talking-points that the attack was “spontaneous”. This was in direct contradiction to other sources stating the attack was pre-planned. Rice, who was in consideration for Secretary of State following the departure of Hillary Clinton, was forced to withdraw her name from consideration.
Post-Obama administration, Rice’s motivations for unmasking the identities of Americans intercepted in foreign surveillance as related to the Donald Trump presidential campaign have come into question. She has refused to testify before the Senate subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in regards to the matter.
Thomas Jefferson, born April, 13, 1743, and died July 4, 1826, was the 3rd President of the United States, in office from March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1809. Prior to serving in the Presidency, Jefferson held office as the 2nd Vice President of the United States from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1801, and as the 1st United States Secretary of State from March 22, 1790, to December 31, 1793. Previously, Jefferson was the United States Minister to France, the Virginia delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, the 2nd Governor of Virginia, and the Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress. Using inspiration from great thinkers of the Enlightenment, Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence.
Born and raised in Virginia under British rule, Jefferson constructed his home Monticello on a hilltop overlooking his 5,000 acre plantation. He studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy at the College of William and Mary, and began his career practicing law in the Virginia Bar. In 1791 he founded the Democratic-Republican party along with James Madison, which stood in opposition to the Federalist Party, and almost a decade later he authored the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, arguing for state’s rights over control from the national government. He is the author of one book, Notes on the State of Virginia, a tome which espouses his ideas on liberty, checks and balances, and constitutional government.
As President of the United States, in 1803, he orchestrated the Louisiana Purchase, which was the purchase of 828,000 square miles of land in the Louisiana territory, from France, for a price of $15 million in cash and cancelled debt. The acquisition of land doubled the size of the United States. That same year, Jefferson assigned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to a team known as the Corps of Discovery, tasking them with exploring the uncharted westward territory.
Jefferson passed away on the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the same day as fellow Founding Father John Adams.
Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, born May 16, 1969, is a conservative political pundit and host of Tucker Carlson Tonight, which airs on the Fox News Channel in the time slot previously occupied by the long-running show The O'Reilly Factor. Prior to his work on Fox News, Carlson hosted the show Tucker on MSNBC, and was a co-host on CNN’s popular Crossfire. He is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, a web site that produces news and commentary from a politically conservative viewpoint.
Carlson is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he earned a degree in history. He began his career in journalism working for conservative magazines such as the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Review, and The Weekly Standard, as well as the newspaper of record in Arkansas, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. In 2004 he made headlines after he and his Crossfire co-host Paul Begala had a tense on-air exchange with liberal comedian Jon Stewart, which ultimately led to the cancellation of the show. Carlson is the author of one book, the 2003 autobiography Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News, about his career as a cable news host.
On foreign policy, Carlson believes the United States should work with Russia in the Syrian Civil War. He considers the Russian investigation to be left-wing “hysteria.”
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born October 7, 1952, is the President of Russia, having first assumed the role under the title of Acting President on December 31, 1999, following the resignation of the 1st President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin. He served two full terms until May 7, 2008, at which time he was prevented from running for reelection due to the Russian Constitution which limits the president to two consecutive terms in office. On March 4, 2012, he was elected to his third term as President of Russia. Previously, Putin has held office as the Prime Minister of Russia, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union State, the Leader of United Russia, the Secretary of the Security Council, and the Director of the Federal Security Service.
Putin began his career as an intelligence officer in the KGB, where he was stationed as a spy in Dresden, East Germany. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Putin worked in local government in St. Petersburg, before being called to Moscow where, after a time, he was appointed deputy chief of Presidential Staff by President Boris Yeltsin. By 1998 Putin was named Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian successor to the KGB. The following year Yeltsin appointed Putin as Prime Minister of Russia, and in doing so stated his desire to see Putin become his successor to the presidency.
Together with United States President George W. Bush in 2002, Putin signed the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions, calling on each nation to reduce nuclear stockpiles over ten years. Relations between the two nations began to sour over the next decade, due to Russia’s military conflict with Georgia, the annexation of Crimea, and Putin’s offer of asylum to American traitor Edward Snowden. In 2016, United States intelligence agencies accused Putin’s government of orchestrating a cyberattack on the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, an accusation he has since denied.