March 11th, 2014
06:40 PM ET
9 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for March 11, 2014

CNN's GUT CHECK | for March 10, 2014 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

CIA ACCUSED OF SPYING ON CONGRESS
FEINSTEIN SAYS AGENCY ACCESSED SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE COMPUTERS

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee suggested Tuesday the CIA violated federal law by secretly pulling classified documents from her panel's computers during a staff probe of the spy agency's controversial detention and interrogation program. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said CIA Director John Brennan told her in January that agency personnel searched the computers because they believed the panel's investigators might have had gained access to materials on an internal review they were not authorized to see. – Halimah Abdullah
suggested Tuesday

…CIA Director John Brennan responds: "Nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that."
“As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers – nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. I mean that’s, that’s, that’s just beyond the scope of reason…When the facts come out on this I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous spying, monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”

White House standing by Brennan: Spokesman Jay Carney said Obama "…has great confidence in John Brennan and confidence in our intelligence community and our professionals at the CIA."

TESTING THE 2014 WATERS: 5 things to watch in Florida special election: …The contest for Florida 13 has landed smack in the middle of the national political spotlight. It's seen by some pundits as a bellwether for November's midterm elections, and there's been a massive infusion of outside ad money into the race to try to influence the outcome. A special election this far out from Election Day rarely gives us a preview of what will actually happen in November, but the party that does come out on top gets bragging rights - until the next election. - Paul Steinhauser, Ashley Killough and Deirdre Walsh
5 things to watch in Florida special election:

Republican nominee David Jolly told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash that it’s “…going to be a 50-50 race'

THE BUZZ: No joke: Obama interviewed by Zach Galifianakis
Galifianakis: What's it like to be the last black president?
Obama: Seriously, what's it like for this to be the last time you ever talk to a president?

MARKET WATCH: U.S. stocks fall on global economy fears. Dow slips 66 points. Nasdaq drops 0.6%. S&P loses 0.5%.

TRAIL TRIVIA
(Answer below)

President Franklin Roosevelt signed which historic bill on this day in 1941?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics:First on CNN: Republicans hit Landrieu over climate change talk-a-thon
Nearly 30 senators staged an overnight debate on the Senate floor Monday night through Tuesday morning, trying to bring attention to what they say is a dire need to combat climate change with legislative action. But Sen. Mary Landrieu, the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was noticeably absent from the demonstration. The vulnerable Democrat faces re-election this fall in Louisiana, a state with large swaths of conservative voters. And Republicans aren't letting her absence go unnoticed. –Ashley Killough

Leading Tampa Bay Times: Polls open as Pinellas voters select C.W. Bill Young's replacement in Congress
…The race between Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink has garnered national attention and prompted contributions of an unprecedented $12 million in campaign funds. A third candidate, Libertarian Lucas Overby, is also on the ballot. Several early-morning voters arrived just after the polls opened at Saint Bede's Episcopal Church, and said they had a clear choice. – Claire Wiseman

Leading Drudge: Don’t spy on me!
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday sharply accused the CIA of violating federal law and undermining the constitutional principle of congressional oversight as she detailed publicly for the first time how the agency secretly removed documents from computers used by her panel to investigate a controversial interrogation program. – Greg Miller, Ed O’Keefe and Adam Goldman for the Washington Post

Leading HuffPo: Issa pulls panned bill from agenda
Looks like House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has returned to his census. The California Republican apparently thought better of proceeding with a census billon Wednesday that had been panned as a bad idea by experts called by his own committee. - Michael McAuliff

HOT SOTS
The political bites of the day

SENATORS REACT TO FEINSTEIN’S CIA ALLEGATIONS
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) – “It’s dangerous to a democracy; heads should roll, people should go to jail, if it’s true…..I’m going to get briefed on it. If it is the legislative branch should declare war on the CIA, if it’s true.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) – “These are serious allegations and she’s a very serious senator….she doesn’t make unfounded allegations in my eyes…but I don’t know enough about it to really comment.”
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) – “What I’m hopeful is that we’ll have a kind of study done on what happened so that people can find out what the facts are. Right now we don’t what the facts are.”

TESLA VS. CHRISTIE
Electric car maker Tesla is slamming New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration for backing a proposal that would force them to sell their cars through dealers in the state, instead of directly to the consumer. Tesla wrote in a blog post: "This is an affront to the very concept of a free market. This new rule, if adopted, would curtail Tesla's sales operations and jeopardize our existing retail licenses in the state… Having previously issued two dealer licenses to Tesla, this regulation would be a complete reversal to the long standing position of NJMVC on Tesla's stores."
Tesla wrote in a blog post

Christie admin. pushes back: "Since Tesla first began operating in New Jersey one year ago, it was made clear that the company would need to engage the Legislature on a bill to establish their new direct-sales operations under New Jersey law,” said Spokesman Kevin Roberts.

TOP TWEETS
What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Jennifer JacobsDMReg (@JenniferJJacobs)
57% of Iowans say they disapprove of NJ Gov. @ChrisChristie's handling of bridge situation, per @DMRegister poll. http://dmreg.co/1cu9KvM

Jake Tapper (@JakeTapper)
Brennan's explanations on Feinstein's charges have loopholes you could fly a drone though

Mike O’Brien (@mpoindc)
Snowden: "It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation" by Congress http://nbcnews.to/1lv0RCi

Aaron Blake (@AaronBlakeWP)
Rand Paul on Cruz: “I’m not real excited about him mischaracterizing my views and won’t let that pass.” http://wapo.st/1gn9QRy

Vaughan Sterling (@vplus)
CNN JUST IN: Deborah Hersman, the high-profile head of the NTSB, is leaving to lead the National Safety Council

National Security Council (@NSCPress)
Thirsty friends at @connect2canada: can you confirm you received our beer today? We don’t want @pmharper thinking we didn’t come through…

Connect2Canada (@connect2canada)
@NSCPress YES! Thank you! The @WhiteHouse beer is safe & sound in #AmbDoer’s office... for now :) #viewfrom501 pic.twitter.com/AjHp0DNFPU

David Chalian (@DavidChalian)
RT @khennessey: @PressSec says Funny or Die currently top referral to http://healthcare.gov , will release details later

TRIVIA ANSWER from @danadavidsen

On March 11, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act supplying materials to any nation deemed “vital to the defense of the United States.”

Though FDR promised during his 1940 campaign to keep America out of the war, he also wanted to aid Great Britain, which was in desperate need of military supplies in its war effort against Germany.

FDR called on Congress to pass the act during his State of the Union address where he famously declared the "Four Freedoms" - the freedom from want, the freedom from fear, the freedom of speech and the freedom of worship.

After two months of debate, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act - a year and a half after the outbreak of WWII and nine months before Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the war.

GUT CHECK WINNER’S CIRCLE
(why aren’t you in it)

Congrats to Sean Evins (@Evins) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia question.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. tom l

    ""The differences that matter are who they work for."

    =====

    So with Feinstein's response to being spied on, do you still feel that dems are working for the average American? You ever read "Animal Farm"? Are some people more equal than others? It certainly appears that way when Feinstein is outraged that she gets spied on but it's perfectly fine for the govt to spy on us little peons. Perhaps this will be the first in your 12 step program... ;)

    March 11, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. jenn,philadelphia

    So now that it appears that the CIA spied on Congress, Senator Feinstein is upset? She didn't seem as concerned when the government was just spying on the rest of us.

    March 11, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    I rather have the NSA and CIA spy on what I do than have private marketing companies, like acxiom or epsilon or datalogic know everything you do on the internet, who your friends are, and brag that they have 1500 pieces of information on more than 100,000,000 Americans.
    They don't give interviews but they share all the information (Internet, phone) that we use on a daily basis.

    March 11, 2014 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Neutral Observer

    Feinstein?, She couldn't hear a truck driving through a nitroglycerin factory

    March 11, 2014 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Chris-E...al

    IF i was the C.I.A. ! I would watch the dims to ! They have broke as many laws as they have changed wid that pen an ph ! We would be jailed 4 way less ! And maybe they will get it in time .And prob will .

    March 11, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Thomas

    What was in the cargo hold of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ?

    What was on the manifest ?

    ?

    March 12, 2014 12:10 am at 12:10 am |