Trump enters the stage

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:35 am

And this:



President Trump went to 'extraordinary lengths' to hide details of Putin meetings, report says
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland.
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland.
CHRIS MCGRATH, GETTY IMAGES
WILLIAM CUMMINGS | USA TODAY | 4 hours ago

President Donald Trump went to "extraordinary lengths" to keep details from his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin secret – even from officials within his own administration, The Washington Post reported this weekend, citing unnamed sources.

After meeting with Putin at the 2017 Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, Trump took his interpreter's notes and told him not to discuss the meeting with anyone, including other U.S. officials, the Post reported.

The paper said Trump's handling of the Hamburg meeting was "part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries."

No detailed record exists from five of Trump's interactions with the Russian leader since taking office, the Post reported. It was unclear if that was the only time Trump took his interpreters' notes, but the paper said several administration officials have been unable to obtain a readout from his meeting last year with Putin in Helsinki.

New York Times: FBI investigated President Trump for possible secret Russian favors

Trump: NYT report on FBI fear that he worked for Russia is 'most insulting article' ever

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was present at the meeting in Hamburg. The Post said Tillerson did not answer questions about Trump asking the interpreter to keep details of the meeting quiet, or if Trump took the interpreter's notes.

Fiona Hill, a senior Russia adviser on the National Security Council, and former State Department official John Heffern asked Trump's interpreter for more information about the Hamburg meeting, which is how they learned of the president's request to keep the details under wraps, the Post reported.

In a news conference after the meeting, Tillerson said Putin denied interfering in the 2016 election, but refused to say how Trump responded to the denial, per the Post. Officials told the Post that the only detail from the meeting that the interpreter did share was that Trump told Putin, "I believe you."

Trump denied the report during an interview with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday. He called the Post "basically the lobbyist for Amazon," because it is owned by the tech giant's CEO Jeff Bezos, a Trump critic.

"I’m not keeping anything under wraps," Trump said. "I couldn't care less."

"I have a one-on-one meeting with Putin like I do with every other leader. I have many one-on-one, nobody ever says anything about it," Trump told Pirro. "But with Putin, they say, 'Oh, what did they talk about?'"

"I meet with Putin, and they make a big deal. Anybody could have listened to that meeting. that meeting is up for grabs," Trump said, adding that he and Putin spoke about Israel and "lots of other things."

Trump dismissed the "whole Russia thing" as a "terrible hoax" and said he won in 2016 because he "was a better candidate than Hillary Clinton," not because of collusion with Russian efforts to undermine her campaign.

"The fact is, I was obviously a good candidate. I won every debate. I won everything I did, and I won, and I won easily – 306-223, I believe," Trump said, referring to his performance in the Electoral College.

Democrats were alarmed by The Washington Post report.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has sought details from Trump's meetings with Putin and, after the 2018 Helsinki meeting, called for the president's interpreter to testify before Congress.

Trump's interpreter: Should she be compelled to tell what she heard during private meeting with Putin?

In August, she and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a letter requesting records from that meeting, including the interpreter's notes. They cited the "extraordinary and, to our knowledge, unprecedented circumstances of President Trump’s two hour, one-on-one meeting with a leader identified as a threat to the United States by President Trump’s own National Security Strategy."

"When he takes the interpreter's notes and wants to destroy them so no one can see what was said in written transcript, you know it raises serious questions about the relationship between this president and Putin," Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said if the Post's report is accurate, Trump "broke all protocol."

"The American government does not know what was discussed between Trump and Vladimir Putin in that, frankly, pathetic, embarrassing encounter where Trump was kowtowing on the world stage to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki," Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Analysis: Friends or foes? Trump's embrace of Putin prompts backlash

Helsinki transcript: White House says it was not 'malicious'

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., plans to seek more information about Trump's meetings with Putin.

"It’s been several months since Helsinki and we still don’t know what went on in that meeting," Engel told the Post. "It’s appalling. It just makes you want to scratch your head."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Sunday that he accepted Trump's denial and said those one-on-one meetings are part of the president's personal style.

"He likes to create a personal relationship, build that relationship, even rebuild that relationship like he does with other world leaders around," McCarthy said on "Face the Nation."

When asked if thought Trump's interpreter should be asked to testify, McCarthy said, "I want this president to be able to build the relationship, even on a personal level, with all the world leaders."


Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin
Originally Published 9 hours ago
Updated 4 hours ago


© Copyright Gannett 2019




Vow:how long do we need to be kept in stiches until Mueller is finished. I'm beginning to feel that they are really using him. How long until something real be done besides merely throwing in possibilities? Everybody likes a happy end, of course.



And now:



MarketWatch
Trump taunts Jeff Bezos, lashes out at Elizabeth Warren amid new Russia revelations
By Mike Murphy
Published: Jan 13, 2019 10:16 pm ET
President praises National Enquirer
President Donald Trump attends a Cabinet meeting on Jan. 2.
President Donald Trump attends a Cabinet meeting on Jan. 2.
As questions about his relationship with Russia continue to swirl, President Donald Trump spent his Sunday night lashing out at perceived enemies, taunting Washington Post owner — and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN chief executive — Jeff Bezos over his divorce and mocking Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage.

“So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose reporting, I understand, is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post,” Trump tweeted.


A little background: On Saturday, the Post reported that Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal notes and transcripts of his one-on-one meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Post noted that withholding details of those potentially important meetings was prevented “even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.” (Separately, the New York Times reported Friday that the FBI opened an investigation into whether Trump was working for Russia after he fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017. In an telephone interview with Fox News on Saturday, Trump was asked if he has ever worked for Russia, but dodged answering the question.)

Meanwhile, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, who have been separated for months, announced their divorce last week ahead of a series of National Enquirer exposés, which included text messages and photos documenting his relationship with another woman.

The Enquirer has long been friendly to Trump, offering “catch-and-kill” deals to kill potentially embarrassing stories about Trump, and the Enquirer and David Pecker, chairman of Enquirer publisher American Media Inc., were implicated in the Michael Cohen case. In December, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office said it would not prosecute American Media for suppressing a story from a former Playboy model who claimed to have a years-long affair with Trump, in exchange for cooperation with the investigation.

Last week, some had speculated that the Enquirer targeted Bezos because of Trump’s animosity toward him. Sources with ties to the Enquirer said Bezos was targeted “because he’s the world’s richest man and a newsworthy subject,” according to CNN.

About 20 minutes after his attack on Bezos, Trump lashed out at Warren, D-Mass., a vocal critic of the president, mocking an Instagram video she did and again calling her by a derisive nickname.

“If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, it would have been a smash!”

Trump deleted his original post, but posted an identical one soon after.

While apparently stewing at the White House, Trump was also facing no easy way to resolve the 23-day-old government shutdown, which a majority of Americans blame him and the GOP for, according to new polls released Sunday.




Trump taunts Jeff Bezos, lashes out at
Copyright ©2019 MarketWatch, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage Iran back on stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:55 pm

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Re: Trump enters the stage ww3?!? War fears fanned

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:15 am

China is still the world’s No. 2 economy and is still the monster of emerging markets, but regardless of those bonafides, Xi Jinping’s country is losing the trade war in nearly every way imaginable.


Reported Forbes. The particulars may not be too much of interest, but its noteworthy that, this one could be perceived as a Trump win, and bringing overall performance on a personal, as well as on a partisan level of involvement. If enough Republican wins come through, it will enhance Trump's personal favor, and give him added political capital to boost his effort to at least compromise on the wall.


WW3 THREAT: China develops ‘impenetrable’ system too strong for hypersonic missiles
WW3 news: Xi Jinping

WW3 news: Xi Jinping (Image: GETTY)
A TOP Chinese defence strategist claims to have created an “Underground Steel Great Wall” defence to nullify the threat of future hypersonic weapons destroying their arsenal.
By BILL MCLOUGHLIN
PUBLISHED: 02:27, Tue, Jan 15, 2019
UPDATED: 02:38, Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+Share with EmailShare via Whatsapp
Qian Qihu, 82, won the prestigious 2018 State Preeminent Science and Technology Award due to his contributions to national defence for the system which he described as the country's “last national defence line”. The system is a series of elaborate defensive facilities located deep under the mountains and reduces the vulnerability of entrances and exists to those facilities. Qian told the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper The Global Times: “The development of the shield must closely follow the development of spears.



WW3: Top Russian diplomat warns US missile bases in Japan fall-out

World War 3: Iran blasts meddling France over missiles programme


“Our defence engineering has evolved in a timely manner as attack weapons pose new challenges.”

If the country’s missile interception system, anti-missile system or air defences fail, this steel wall will be able to thwart attacks.


The defence system is a huge addition for Beijing as it can withstand hypersonic missiles - weapons which America and Russia are heavily developing.

Qian also added that hypersonic weapons can penetrate any other current anti-missile installation in the world, putting China once step ahead of its competitors.

READ MORE: WW3: US Navy head travels to China for talks to avoid 'miscalculation'



WW3 News: DF-21D missile



According to a report from CNBC last March, Vladimir Putin debuted new nuclear and hypersonic weapons which he described as “invincible”.

Mr Putin apparently unveiled the Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile, touted as hitting Mach 10 - 10 times the speed of sound - speeds, while the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, is said to be capable of travelling up to Mach 20.

In August, China ’s Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics announced that it had tested a missile which they described was capable of riding its own shock waves and reached a speed of Mach 6 - six times the speed of sound.

The US is still trying to keep up in the race for the new missile and US Deputy Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said: “We are going to fly sooner and more often than people have ever expected.”





World War 3 FEARS: Turkey REFUSES to reject deal with Russia






Washington is also planning to loosen US nuclear weapon constraints and is developing low-yield nuclear warheads.

As America looks to try and keep up with it’s two major rivals, relations between America and the other two powers have eroded.

Washington has accused Moscow of intervening in sovereign affairs while the FBI is also investigating claims that Trump worked on behalf of Putin.

In terms of US-China relations, the two countries remain locked in a trade war while China has continued to flex its muscle in the South China Sea.




Copyright ©2019 Express Newspapers.





Russian media threatens Europe with 200-megaton nuclear 'doomsday' device
Alex Lockie Jan 14, 2019, 5:00 PM


RIA Novosti/Reuters
Russian media appeared to threaten Europe and the world by saying that a new nuclear torpedo could create towering tsunami waves and destroy vast swaths of Earth's population.
A Russian professor told a Russian paper that the new torpedo could create waves 1,300 to 1,600 feet high and wipe out all life nearly 1,000 miles inland with an alleged 200-megaton nuclear warhead.
The US has no defenses against such a weapon.
Russia and its media often overstate the capability and meaning of their nuclear weapons, but Russia really did build this new nuclear weapon, which suggests they take the hype seriously.
Russian media appeared to threaten Europe and the world with an article in MK.ru, saying that a new nuclear torpedo could create towering tsunami waves and destroy vast swaths of Earth's population.

Russia's "Poseidon" nuclear torpedo, which leaked in 2015 before being confirmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018, represents a different kind of nuclear weapon.

The US and Russia have, since the end of World War II, fought to match and exceed each other in a nuclear arms race that resulted in both countries commanding fleets of nuclear bombers, submarines, and silos of intercontinental missiles all scattered across each country.

But Russia's Poseidon takes a different course.



"Russia will soon deploy an underwater nuclear-powered drone which will make the whole multi-billion dollar system of US missile defense useless," MK.ru said, according to a BBC translation, making reference to the missile shield the US is building over Europe.

"An explosion of the drone's nuclear warhead will create a wave of between 400-500 (1,300-16,00 feet) meters high, capable of washing away all living things 1,500 (932) kilometers inland," the newspaper added.

Previously, scientists told Business Insider that Russia's Poseidon nuke could create tsunami-sized waves, but pegged the estimate at only 100-meter-high (330 feet) waves.

While all nuclear weapons pose a tremendous threat to human life on Earth because of their outright destructive power and ability to spread harmful radiation, the Poseidon has unique world-ending qualities.

What makes Poseidon more horrific than regular nukes
An LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile being serviced in a silo.Department of Defense via Federation of American Scientists
The US designed its nuclear weapons to detonate in the air above a target, providing downward pressure. The US' nuclear weapons today have mainly been designed to fire on and destroy Russian nuclear weapons that sit in their silos, rather than to target cities and end human life.

But detonating the bomb in an ocean not only could cause tsunami waves that would indiscriminately wreak havoc on an entire continent, but it would also increase the radioactive fallout.



Russia's Poseidon missile is rumored to have a coating of cobalt metal, which Stephen Schwartz, an expert on nuclear history, said would "vaporize, condense, and then fall back to earth tens, hundreds, or thousands of miles from the site of the explosion."

Potentially, the weapon would render thousands of square miles of Earth's surface unlivable for decades.

"It's an insane weapon in the sense that it's probably as indiscriminate and lethal as you can make a nuclear weapon," Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told Business Insider.

Can Russia take over the world with this weapon? No.
A briefing slide of the alleged Status-6 nuclear torpedo captured from Russian television.BBC
MK.ru quoted a professor as saying the Poseidon will make Russia a "world dictator" and that it could be used to threaten Europe.

"If Europe will behave badly, just send a mini-nuclear powered submarine there with a 200-megaton bomb on board, put it in the southern part of the North Sea, and 'let rip' when we need to. What will be left of Europe?" the professor asked.

While the Russian professor may have overstated the importance of the Poseidon, as Russia already has the nuclear firepower to destroy much of the world and still struggles to achieve its foreign-policy goals, the paper correctly said that the US has no countermeasures in place against the new weapon.

US missile defenses against ballistic missiles have only enough interceptors on hand to defend against a small salvo of weapons from a small nuclear power like North Korea or Iran. Also, they must be fired in ballistic trajectories.

Read more: US ballistic missile defense just doesn't work - but we keep spending billions and billions on it

But the US has nuclear weapons of its own that would survive Russia's attack. Even if Russia somehow managed to make the whole continent of Europe or North America go dark, submarines on deterrence patrols would return fire and pound Russia from secret locations at the bottom of the ocean.

Russia's media, especially MK.ru, often use hyperbole that overstates the country's nuclear capabilities and willingness to fight.

But with the Poseidon missile, which appears custom-built to end life on Earth, Russia has shown it actually does favor spectacularly dangerous nuclear weapons as a means of trying to bully other countries.



* Copyright © 2018 Insider Inc.


WASHINGTON — There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.


Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia
Image


Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.


Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep his meetings with Mr. Putin secret from even his own aides, and an F.B.I. investigation into the administration’s Russia ties.

A move to withdraw from the alliance, in place since 1949, “would be one of the most damaging things that any president could do to U.S. interests,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, an under secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.

“It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” Ms. Flournoy said in an interview. “And it would be the wildest success that Vladimir Putin could dream of.”
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Re: Trump enters the stage -undertow

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:14 am

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle implied on Tuesday without citing evidence that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is being blackmailed by President Trump.

Ruhle hosted a panel discussion about why Graham has pivoted from being a past critic of Trump to one of the president’s biggest allies in the Senate.

“It could be that Donald Trump or somebody knows something pretty extreme about Lindsey Graham,” Ruhle said before quickly ending the segment. "We're gonna leave it there."

And Pelosi's take now on Tump's State of The Union address:




Live TV
Nancy Pelosi just pulled a major power move on Donald Trump's State of the Union
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 2:22 PM EST, Wed January 16, 2019


(CNN) Sometimes the best power moves in politics are conveyed in the most mundane language.

"Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29," wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi to President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Make no mistake: Pelosi's decision to disinvite Trump from delivering his "State of the Union" address to Congress is a total power play designed to remind Trump that a) Congress is a co-equal branch of government and b) his willingness to keep the government shuttered until he gets money for a border wall is going to have impacts on him, too.


Just in case you missed that message, Pelosi delivered it again in an interview with CNN's Ashley Killough. "This is a housekeeping matter in the Congress of the United States, so we can honor the responsibility of the invitation we extended to the President," said Pelosi. "He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants."

"He can make it from the Oval Office if he wants(!)"

What Pelosi is saying there is, essentially, this: Look, Trump can give a speech if he wants. But we are not giving him the platform of a bipartisan session of Congress to do it unless and until he reopens the government. (House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland went a step further in an interview with CNN's Kate Bolduan Wednesday afternoon, declaring that "the State of the Union is off.")

This is the longest shutdown in US history
This is the longest shutdown in US history
And from a logistical standpoint, Pelosi is well within her rights to rescind the invitation. As CNN's Phil Mattingly and Ted Barrett explain:

"It's the House speaker's prerogative to invite the President to give the State of the Union. While there's no precedent for it (that we're aware of), if Pelosi decides the President shouldn't go to the Capitol to speak on January 29, the President will not go on January 29.

"Keep in mind, in order to green light the State of the Union, both the House and the Senate have to pass resolutions. Neither have done so yet — and Pelosi controls whether the House passes one at all."

It's in keeping with her repeated and pointed emphasis -- in public and private -- that the new Democratic majority in the House stands on equal footing with Trump, and will remind him of that fact whenever she/they deem it necessary.

In her initial letter inviting Trump to deliver the "State of the Union" on January 29, Pelosi made sure to note: "The Constitution established the legislative, executive and judicial branches as co-equal branches of government, to be a check and balance on each other." And, when asked by The New York Times earlier this month whether she considered herself to be Trump's equal, Pelosi responded: "The Constitution does."

View this interactive content on CNN.com
Pelosi's latest effort to assert the power of the House -- and her party -- over Trump will play extremely well with her base who wants maximum confrontation with and embarrassment of Trump.

There's an argument to be made, however, that it could backfire on Pelosi -- and in the process hand Trump a much-needed foothold in a debate he is very much losing at the moment.

Donald Trump Jr., in an interview with the conservative Daily Caller website, gave a preview of what the argument coming out of the White House might sound like when he said this Wednesday:

"Speaker Pelosi is clearly attempting to block my father from giving his State of the Union speech, not because 20% of the government is shut down, but because she is terrified of him having another opportunity to speak directly to the American people about her party's obstruction, unfiltered and without her friends in the media running interference for her."

Pelosi -- and Democrats -- will, of course, scoff at that logic. They will note that Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, was the one who designated the SOTU speech as a special security event. And that it is Trump who continues to demand $5 billion for his border wall -- keeping the government closed until he gets it. And that Pelosi is doing what she feels is the best course to keep everyone safe under the current circumstances.

But the question is whether voters who may not like Trump but who just want the government to reopen and politicians to get back to working for the people who voted them into office will see Pelosi's move to effectively cancel the State of the Union as an unnecessary provocation. And whether Trump, who is desperately in search of a life preserver in this whole mess, can seize on Pelosi's decision as evidence that the left is trying to silence him.

My guess is he's going to try like hell to make that case.

View on CNN
© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.






Juliani's fine tooth comb:







Rudy Giuliani says Trump didn't collude with Russia but can't say if campaign aides did
By Caroline Kelly, CNN
Updated 10:55 PM EST, Wed January 16, 2019

article video
(CNN) Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that he never denied President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign, only that the President himself was not involved in collusion.

In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "Cuomo Prime Time," Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump's attorney, said he doesn't know if other people in the campaign, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were working with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race.

"I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign," Giuliani said.

He added, "I said the President of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the President of the United States committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the Russians to hack the DNC."

It's another remarkable statement from Giuliani, given that the President and his supporters have repeatedly denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. A person familiar with the matter told CNN last week that Manafort, while serving as Trump's campaign chairman, tried to send internal polling data from the Trump campaign with two Kremlin-supporting Ukrainian oligarchs through his associate Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national who is linked to Russian intelligence.

When Cuomo asked if Manafort sharing such data with foreign agents constituted collusion, Giuliani said Trump never shared the polling data himself and only found out about it recently in the news.

"Donald Trump wasn't giving polling data to anyone," Giuliani said, adding, "he did not know about it until it was revealed a few weeks ago in an article."

Trump himself has tweeted at least 13 times directly saying there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The latest such denial came on December 10.

"Democrats can't find a Smocking (sic) Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey's testimony. No Smocking (sic) Gun...No Collusion.' @FoxNews. That's because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution," Trump tweeted, referencing a quote that was said on Fox News.

The President reacting to a filing in the court case of his former attorney, Michael Cohen, and the money paid to two women during the 2016 campaign who allege they've had extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied both allegations.

Trump later added, "Which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama's - but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer's liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!"

In the interview with Cuomo, Giuliani challenged special counsel Robert Mueller to provide evidence of wrongdoing by the President.

"Let's see if he's got anything -- I challenge him to show us some evidence that the President was involved in anything approaching criminal conduct," Giuliani said.

He added, "If you want to do an ethics investigation fine, do an ethics investigation. But you don't need a special prosecutor for that."

Later in the interview, Giuliani shot down reports that he had said Trump's legal team should get to edit Mueller's report before it goes public.

Giuliani told Cuomo that he only meant Trump's legal team should get to see Mueller's final report before it goes public in order to write a response, but stressed that he does not want to alter the report and supports as much of it being published as national security allows.

"Of course I should (be able to view it first), I should be allowed to respond," Giuliani said, adding that "it's fair that we get an opportunity to do that."

"I don't want to change the report, I want to respond to the report," he added.

Giuliani said that he would ideally like the report to be published unredacted so that he and fellow Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow could provide a complete counterargument, and that he would not be able to edit the report regardless.

"As his lawyer, I'd honestly like you to see the whole report because I think Jay and I could knock the hell out of it," he said.

"First of all, they wouldn't let me change the report. Secondly; I've been a lawyer too long to think I'd ever do that. Third, I want them to write the garbage they're going to write because I want to answer it," Giuliani added.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

View on CNN
© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage ww3?!? War fears fanned

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:34 am

Meno_ wrote:China is still the world’s No. 2 economy and is still the monster of emerging markets, but regardless of those bonafides, Xi Jinping’s country is losing the trade war in nearly every way imaginable.


Reported Forbes. The particulars may not be too much of interest, but its noteworthy that, this one could be perceived as a Trump win, and bringing overall performance on a personal, as well as on a partisan level of involvement. If enough Republican wins come through, it will enhance Trump's personal favor, and give him added political capital to boost his effort to at least compromise on the wall.


WW3 THREAT: China develops ‘impenetrable’ system too strong for hypersonic missiles
WW3 news: Xi Jinping

WW3 news: Xi Jinping (Image: GETTY)
A TOP Chinese defence strategist claims to have created an “Underground Steel Great Wall” defence to nullify the threat of future hypersonic weapons destroying their arsenal.
By BILL MCLOUGHLIN
PUBLISHED: 02:27, Tue, Jan 15, 2019
UPDATED: 02:38, Tue, Jan 15, 2019
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+Share with EmailShare via Whatsapp
Qian Qihu, 82, won the prestigious 2018 State Preeminent Science and Technology Award due to his contributions to national defence for the system which he described as the country's “last national defence line”. The system is a series of elaborate defensive facilities located deep under the mountains and reduces the vulnerability of entrances and exists to those facilities. Qian told the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper The Global Times: “The development of the shield must closely follow the development of spears.



WW3: Top Russian diplomat warns US missile bases in Japan fall-out

World War 3: Iran blasts meddling France over missiles programme


“Our defence engineering has evolved in a timely manner as attack weapons pose new challenges.”

If the country’s missile interception system, anti-missile system or air defences fail, this steel wall will be able to thwart attacks.


The defence system is a huge addition for Beijing as it can withstand hypersonic missiles - weapons which America and Russia are heavily developing.

Qian also added that hypersonic weapons can penetrate any other current anti-missile installation in the world, putting China once step ahead of its competitors.

READ MORE: WW3: US Navy head travels to China for talks to avoid 'miscalculation'



WW3 News: DF-21D missile



According to a report from CNBC last March, Vladimir Putin debuted new nuclear and hypersonic weapons which he described as “invincible”.

Mr Putin apparently unveiled the Kinzhal hypersonic cruise missile, touted as hitting Mach 10 - 10 times the speed of sound - speeds, while the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, is said to be capable of travelling up to Mach 20.

In August, China ’s Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics announced that it had tested a missile which they described was capable of riding its own shock waves and reached a speed of Mach 6 - six times the speed of sound.

The US is still trying to keep up in the race for the new missile and US Deputy Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan said: “We are going to fly sooner and more often than people have ever expected.”





World War 3 FEARS: Turkey REFUSES to reject deal with Russia






Washington is also planning to loosen US nuclear weapon constraints and is developing low-yield nuclear warheads.

As America looks to try and keep up with it’s two major rivals, relations between America and the other two powers have eroded.

Washington has accused Moscow of intervening in sovereign affairs while the FBI is also investigating claims that Trump worked on behalf of Putin.

In terms of US-China relations, the two countries remain locked in a trade war while China has continued to flex its muscle in the South China Sea.




Copyright ©2019 Express Newspapers.





Russian media threatens Europe with 200-megaton nuclear 'doomsday' device
Alex Lockie Jan 14, 2019, 5:00 PM


RIA Novosti/Reuters
Russian media appeared to threaten Europe and the world by saying that a new nuclear torpedo could create towering tsunami waves and destroy vast swaths of Earth's population.
A Russian professor told a Russian paper that the new torpedo could create waves 1,300 to 1,600 feet high and wipe out all life nearly 1,000 miles inland with an alleged 200-megaton nuclear warhead.
The US has no defenses against such a weapon.
Russia and its media often overstate the capability and meaning of their nuclear weapons, but Russia really did build this new nuclear weapon, which suggests they take the hype seriously.
Russian media appeared to threaten Europe and the world with an article in MK.ru, saying that a new nuclear torpedo could create towering tsunami waves and destroy vast swaths of Earth's population.

Russia's "Poseidon" nuclear torpedo, which leaked in 2015 before being confirmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2018, represents a different kind of nuclear weapon.

The US and Russia have, since the end of World War II, fought to match and exceed each other in a nuclear arms race that resulted in both countries commanding fleets of nuclear bombers, submarines, and silos of intercontinental missiles all scattered across each country.

But Russia's Poseidon takes a different course.



"Russia will soon deploy an underwater nuclear-powered drone which will make the whole multi-billion dollar system of US missile defense useless," MK.ru said, according to a BBC translation, making reference to the missile shield the US is building over Europe.

"An explosion of the drone's nuclear warhead will create a wave of between 400-500 (1,300-16,00 feet) meters high, capable of washing away all living things 1,500 (932) kilometers inland," the newspaper added.

Previously, scientists told Business Insider that Russia's Poseidon nuke could create tsunami-sized waves, but pegged the estimate at only 100-meter-high (330 feet) waves.

While all nuclear weapons pose a tremendous threat to human life on Earth because of their outright destructive power and ability to spread harmful radiation, the Poseidon has unique world-ending qualities.

What makes Poseidon more horrific than regular nukes
An LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile being serviced in a silo.Department of Defense via Federation of American Scientists
The US designed its nuclear weapons to detonate in the air above a target, providing downward pressure. The US' nuclear weapons today have mainly been designed to fire on and destroy Russian nuclear weapons that sit in their silos, rather than to target cities and end human life.

But detonating the bomb in an ocean not only could cause tsunami waves that would indiscriminately wreak havoc on an entire continent, but it would also increase the radioactive fallout.



Russia's Poseidon missile is rumored to have a coating of cobalt metal, which Stephen Schwartz, an expert on nuclear history, said would "vaporize, condense, and then fall back to earth tens, hundreds, or thousands of miles from the site of the explosion."

Potentially, the weapon would render thousands of square miles of Earth's surface unlivable for decades.

"It's an insane weapon in the sense that it's probably as indiscriminate and lethal as you can make a nuclear weapon," Hans Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told Business Insider.

Can Russia take over the world with this weapon? No.
A briefing slide of the alleged Status-6 nuclear torpedo captured from Russian television.BBC
MK.ru quoted a professor as saying the Poseidon will make Russia a "world dictator" and that it could be used to threaten Europe.

"If Europe will behave badly, just send a mini-nuclear powered submarine there with a 200-megaton bomb on board, put it in the southern part of the North Sea, and 'let rip' when we need to. What will be left of Europe?" the professor asked.

While the Russian professor may have overstated the importance of the Poseidon, as Russia already has the nuclear firepower to destroy much of the world and still struggles to achieve its foreign-policy goals, the paper correctly said that the US has no countermeasures in place against the new weapon.

US missile defenses against ballistic missiles have only enough interceptors on hand to defend against a small salvo of weapons from a small nuclear power like North Korea or Iran. Also, they must be fired in ballistic trajectories.

Read more: US ballistic missile defense just doesn't work - but we keep spending billions and billions on it

But the US has nuclear weapons of its own that would survive Russia's attack. Even if Russia somehow managed to make the whole continent of Europe or North America go dark, submarines on deterrence patrols would return fire and pound Russia from secret locations at the bottom of the ocean.

Russia's media, especially MK.ru, often use hyperbole that overstates the country's nuclear capabilities and willingness to fight.

But with the Poseidon missile, which appears custom-built to end life on Earth, Russia has shown it actually does favor spectacularly dangerous nuclear weapons as a means of trying to bully other countries.



* Copyright © 2018 Insider Inc.


WASHINGTON — There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.


Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia
Image


Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.


Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep his meetings with Mr. Putin secret from even his own aides, and an F.B.I. investigation into the administration’s Russia ties.

A move to withdraw from the alliance, in place since 1949, “would be one of the most damaging things that any president could do to U.S. interests,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, an under secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.

“It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” Ms. Flournoy said in an interview. “And it would be the wildest success that Vladimir Putin could dream of.”



Defensive weapons :star wars redux

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/ ... e-defenses



Impeach? Do they understand the ramifications?

Note: the harrowing similarity with the Weimar Republic is obvious from an economic point of view::: both eras represented a critical stage in international economic crises, The Great Depression had global ramifications, namely a test of confidence of Capital, and it shook the world to its heals. That WW 1 was a preparation to test the limits ofomg vested interests, against the growing interests of new economically determined ones, which disqualified them, actually started with the wars of of the 19 th hundreds, fermenting waves of social anxiety.

That these catapulted after the near win of Communism from the 30' s on, noted by Marx, and revolutionized nearly half of the world population. The razor edged conflict between right wing seated capital, communism sought the center of national socialism, in an optional synthesis against pure social Heglelian dialectic.

Where are we now? A resentment where the last resort to bridge the failing gap between communism and the failing capital, in a desperate and no win situation, is to bring back the last alternative. sans a .minimal European bite, -by solving it in the last bastion of progressive thought: the U.S..

Without this ideogical transmutation, the regressive retreat into social-political & eco comic madness may really ensue.

The may sacrifice Trump in a vast political act, but the process has gone on too long, to successfully revert to a. nominal status quo.



Flash:






MEDIA
'Resign Or Be Impeached': Dems Erupt Over Bombshell Trump Obstruction Report
Calls for Trump to leave office grow after report claimed he told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.
By Ed Mazza
01/18/2019 05:25 AM ET
|
Updated 10 hours ago

The bombshell report BuzzFeed published on Thursday that said President Donald Trump directed his personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress lit up social media.

Some of the first to react included Democratic lawmakers:


Others on Capitol Hill vowed to investigate:

Outside of Congress, the BuzzFeed report created a buzz throughout Twitter into the pre-dawn hours on Friday:
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:44 pm

The Washington Post
Democracy Dies in Darkness



National Security
In a rare move, Mueller’s office denies BuzzFeed report that Trump told Cohen to lie about Moscow project

The office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Friday denied a report from BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, a former lawyer to President Trump, lied to Congress per Trump’s order. (Richard Drew/AP)
By Devlin Barrett ,
Matt Zapotosky and
Karoun Demirjian January 18 at 9:00 PM
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s office on Friday denied an explosive report by BuzzFeed News that his investigators had gathered evidence showing President Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a prospective business deal in Moscow.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller.

The statement was remarkable on several levels — first, the special counsel’s office speaks exceedingly rarely, and second, the statement seemed to drive a stake through a sensational allegation that Democratic lawmakers suggested earlier in the day could spell the end of the Trump presidency. As earthshaking as the claims in the story were, no other media organizations were able to match them.


The story published by BuzzFeed on Thursday night attributed to two federal law enforcement officials an incendiary assertion: that Mueller had collected emails, texts and testimony indicating Trump had directed Cohen to lie to Congress about the extent of discussions surrounding a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. That project never came to pass, but Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress about the matter.

The BuzzFeed report strongly implied the president might have committed a crime, dramatically raising speculation of possible impeachment. Within hours, Democrats in Congress were publicly demanding answers.

The potential consequences of the report were so severe — immediate congressional investigations and a possible legal showdown with the White House — that Mueller decided to take the surprising step of publicly denying his investigation had gathered any such evidence.

Trump calls Cohen 'weak,' dismisses scrutiny of Moscow project
President Trump on Nov. 29 said his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is lying to federal prosecutors about a Trump real estate project in Moscow. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

[Read the criminal information document filed against Michael Cohen]


The special counsel’s office has only rarely issued public statements since it was created in May 2017; it had never previously issued a public statement regarding evidence in its investigation into Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Inside the Justice Department, the statement was viewed as a huge step, and one that would have been taken only if the special counsel’s office viewed the story as almost entirely incorrect. The special counsel’s office seemed to be disputing every aspect of the story that addressed comments or evidence given to its investigators.

The explicit denial by the special counsel’s office is likely to provide further ammunition to complaints by Trump and his supporters that press coverage of him is unfair and inaccurate.


Trump weighed in Friday night on Twitter, criticizing BuzzFeed. “A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our country!” he tweeted.

Following the special counsel’s denial, BuzzFeed insisted its story was correct. In a statement, the website’s top editor, Ben Smith, said, “We stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it, and we urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”

The story had claimed Cohen had acknowledged to Mueller’s prosecutors that the president directed him to deceive Congress about key facts linking the president to the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. BuzzFeed also said Mueller learned about the directive to lie from “interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

Mueller’s denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate.

Cohen is due to testify before a House committee in early February. He pleaded guilty in November to lying under oath to Congress about the Moscow project negotiations, and court documents filed in connection with that plea indicated he did so to align his statements with the political messaging of Trump and his aides on the question of Russian contacts.

As part of that plea, Cohen admitted he had falsely told Congress that Trump’s effort to build an apartment tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, when in fact it had continued until June of that year.

In court documents, Cohen admitted that he briefed Trump on his ongoing negotiations with Russian officials about the proposed deal and said that he had consulted with Trump’s team before his false testimony before Congress. But those documents did not indicate that Trump played a direct role in his false testimony.

In December, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for those lies and unrelated financial crimes.

Cohen and his representatives did not immediately respond to messages Friday night. Earlier in the day, Lanny J. Davis, a legal and communications adviser to Cohen, said of the BuzzFeed story: “Out of respect for Mr. Mueller’s and the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation, Mr. Cohen declined to respond to the questions asked by the reporters and so do I.”

The BuzzFeed report was incendiary in large part because it cast Cohen’s lies to Congress in a far more nefarious light — that he had done so at the specific instruction of the president.

The president’s attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, challenged the Justice Department to “reveal the leakers” behind BuzzFeed’s reporting and chided Democrats who, he suggested, should refrain from investigating the president until Mueller concludes his investigation. “There may be nothing to legitimately investigate,” he said on Twitter.

“I commend Bob Mueller’s office for correcting the BuzzFeed false story that Pres. Trump encouraged Cohen to lie,” Giuliani wrote in a separate tweet. “I ask the press to take heed that their hysterical desire to destroy this President has gone too far. They pursued this without critical analysis all day. #FAKENEWS”

The claims in the news report had prompted Democrats, who control the House, to ratchet up their investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including allegations that the Trump campaign cooperated with Russian operatives and that Trump has since sought to obstruct an ongoing probe by Mueller.

“If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted after the story was published.

“We know that the President has engaged in a long pattern of obstruction,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a tweet Friday promising to “get to the bottom” of the allegations in BuzzFeed’s report.



Like predicted, political back peddling for setting of a balanced public policy
is in the works.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:32 am

The Trump Impeachment
Unfit To Lead
Trump makes a ‘major announcement’
By Mark Sumner / Daily Kos (01/19/2019) - January 19, 2019348


Guardian News / YouTube Five times Donald Trump refused to...
Guardian News / YouTube
It appears that Trump will be looking for $5.7 billion for a very permanent wall, in exchange for his support of a very temporary extension of rights for some immigrants. We’ll be back after the speech for a recap, but if you must watch …. here you go.

5a349c60b42c75.086796361513397344738.png
Nancy Pelosi has issued a tweet responding to what Trump is expected to say. Check below the line.

Much of Trump’s speech seemed like a tired retread of his Oval Office moment from last week. Much of what was added to it were either inaccurate numbers — such as using the health care cost for all drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, and attributing that cost to drugs illegally brought across the border.



The biggest news out of this that Mitch McConnell, in his starring role as Trump’s footstool, will present this Trump-prepared bill to the Senate after refusing to allow the Senate to vote on numerous bills that passed the House. Which is not how legislation is supposed to work.


Ted Lieu


Dear @realDonaldTrump: Thank you for your concessions. Democrats look forward to working with you on a comprehensive immigration bill that includes DACA. But we can't do that in a shutdown. We will never allow a shutdown as a negotiating tactic. Need to reopen government first.

Scott Wong

@scottwongDC
DEMS are panning Trump's wall-for-DACA & TPS deal. They say:
-- Ds were not consulted on this proposal
-- BRIDGE Act does not fully protect Dreamers and is not a permanent solution.
-- Includes the "same wasteful, ineffective" wall
-- This plan CANNOT pass the House or Senate


The biggest impression of Trump’s offer to give a few crumbs in exchange for everything on his wish list.




Yale Historian Thinks Trump Will Try to Stage a Coup
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:15 pm

Read more news from CNN
VIEW IN APP

Live TV
Mystery company in Mueller-related case is wholly-owned by foreign government
By Katelyn Polantz and Ariane de Vogue, CNN
Updated 12:34 PM EST, Tue January 22, 2019


Washington (CNN) An attempt before the Supreme Court for a company to dodge a grand jury subpoena related to the Mueller investigation revealed a new twist Tuesday: that the company is wholly owned by a foreign government.

In essence, the foreign nation is fighting off the US Justice Department's attempt to collect information as it builds a criminal case.

The development comes in a redacted petition the country filed with the Supreme Court that was made public Tuesday.


RELATED: Supreme Court again takes no action on DACA

The case concerns an unnamed corporation that is fighting a subpoena request from a DC-based grand jury. Lower courts have ruled that the company must turn over the information and imposed a $50,000 fine for every day it failed to do so following the appeal.

CNN previously reported that prosecutors from the special counsel's office were involved in the case at its early stages, suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller sought the information from the company for grand jury proceedings related to his criminal investigations. The case then continued through the court system with an unusual amount of secrecy around it, so that even the lawyers involved could not be seen at a later hearing.

In ruling against the company, the appeals court said the request fell within an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that limits foreign governments from being sued in US courts. The court also held that the company had not shown that its own country's law bar compliance.

Overall, the country argues to the Supreme Court that a ruling forcing it to turn over information to the US in a criminal investigation will upset international diplomacy.

"The D.C. circuit's parade of horribles finds no support in U.S. history. Since America's founding, foreign states have been immune from American criminal jurisdiction, and yet the United States is not overrun with criminal syndicates backed by foreign states," the attorneys for the foreign country wrote.

Regarding hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines it will have to pay for noncompliance, "The conflict is real and, like the other questions presented, has ramifications for America's relationships with other countries," the filing adds.

One of the firms involved in the challenge is Alston & Bird, CNN has reported, a firm that has previously represented Russian interests, including working for a Russian oligarch and a contractor of the Russian government.

After receiving the grand jury subpoena around summer 2018 and refusing to turn over the information, a trial-level federal judge held the company -- meaning the country, too -- in contempt of court. The company then lost several attempts it made to appeal the decision, until it finally reached the Supreme Court.

At one point during the earlier court proceedings, as the company tried to fight the subpoena, the country that owned it argued it should "not have to suffer the indignity of a contempt order," according to its Supreme Court brief.

Still, it lost before the appellate court for the DC Circuit and was fined $50,000 for each day it didn't comply with the subpoena. Last week, the Supreme Court denied an emergency request from the company to freeze the financial penalty, pending appeal.

RELATED: Supreme Court allows transgender military ban to go into effect

Steve Vladeck, a CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law, said the ruling could mean the court will eventually rule against the company.

"All the court is doing is allowing the corporation to file their full appeal under seal, with a redacted version for the public, without any suggestion of how the Justices are likely to rule on that appeal," Vladeck said. "Indeed, the fact that the justices already refused to put the lower-court rulings on hold strongly implies that the court will turn the corporation's case away once it is fully briefed."

View on CNN
© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:18 pm

Read more news from CNN
VIEW IN APP

Live TV
The Washington Post: Former White House aide describes 'absolutely out of control' White House staff in new book
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 10:02 AM EST, Tue January 22, 2019

article video
Washington (CNN) Former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes scenes of an "absolutely out of control" White House staff, President Donald Trump berating the then-speaker of the House from his own party over loyalty and the President walking out of policy meetings in his upcoming book, according to excerpts published by The Washington Post.

The stories are recounted in Sims' book "Team of Vipers," out next week and obtained in advance by the Post.

Trump took Paul Ryan to task over Ryan's loyalty to him after the former House speaker criticized Trump's handling of the deadly 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, rally, according to the excerpts.

"Paul, do you know why Democrats have been kicking your a-- for decades? Because they know a little word called 'loyalty,'" Trump told Ryan over the phone. "Why do you think Nancy [Pelosi] has held on this long? Have you seen her? She's a disaster. Every time she opens her mouth another Republican gets elected. But they stick with her...Why can't you be loyal to your president, Paul?"

Trump also brought up how Ryan distanced himself from Trump in 2016 after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape, in which Trump could be heard bragging about being able to grope women.

"I remember being in Wisconsin and your own people were booing you," Trump told the Wisconsin Republican, according to the excerpt. "You were out there dying like a dog, Paul. Like a dog! And what'd I do? I saved your a--."

Cillizza: This Paul Ryan-Donald Trump anecdote is so, so painful
The White House did not immediately offer comment to CNN on the released excerpts. CNN has reached out to Sims for comment.

Throughout the book, Sims recounts "scenes of chaos, dysfunction and duplicity among the president, his family members and administration officials," the Post reported.

"It's impossible to deny how absolutely out of control the White House staff — again, myself included — was at times," he wrote.

Sims also writes in his book that Trump was so disinterested during an Oval Office meeting with Ryan about the Republican health care bill that he walked out and turned on his TV in another room, according to the Post. Vice President Mike Pence had to convince the President to return to the Oval Office and continue the meeting, Sims wrote, according to the Post.

In his book, Sims recounted how White House staff failed to check the facts on former press secretary Sean Spicer's statement to the media about Trump's presidential inauguration crowd size since it was hurried in an effort to appease Trump, the Post reported.

According to Sim's account in "Team of Vipers," Trump also created an "enemies list" made up of members of his own administration, which Axios first reported.

CNN's Allie Malloy contributed to this report.

© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Now what's wrong with Giuliani?



WHITE HOUSE
“Trump Is Screaming. He’s So Mad at Rudy”: Giuliani’s Fate Is Uncertain After Botched Interviews
As Giuliani’s unforced errors pile up, former West Wing officials and 2016 campaign veterans are privately debating what’s gone wrong with Rudy.
GABRIEL SHERMANJANUARY 22, 2019 7:05 PM
Rudy Giuliani sitting at a table.
Giuliani attends the Conference In Support Of Freedom and Democracy In Iran on June 30, 2018.
By Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.
Every time Rudy Giuliani opens his mouth in front of a reporter, something bad seems to happen. Donald Trump’s beleaguered lawyer has, over the past few weeks, given one disastrous interview after another. The latest fiasco came Monday, when Giuliani participated in a rambling Q&A with The New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner. After telling Chotiner he only had a moment before he took a shower, Giuliani unspooled a series of bizarre responses, at one point in the conversation even admitting he worried that his legacy would be that “he lied for Trump.”

Trump is “furious” with Giuliani’s recent botched press appearances, two Republicans briefed on the president’s thinking told me. What makes the most recent interviews so frustrating to Trumpworld is that, on Friday, the president secured his biggest victory yet when Robert Mueller’s spokesman issued a rare public denial of BuzzFeed’s explosive report alleging Trump had directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow. “Before Rudy stepped in it, Mueller had basically called BuzzFeed ‘fake news,’” a Republican close to the White House said. According to sources, a debate is playing out inside the West Wing over Giuliani’s future. Trump is being encouraged by several people, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, to dump Giuliani before it’s too late, while outside advisers Corey Lewandowski and Dave Bossie are lobbying Trump to keep Giuliani. “Trump is screaming. He’s so mad at Rudy,” one of the sources said. (“No, he’s not pissed. He just wants it clarified,” Giuliani told CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday, when asked about the president’s response to the interviews.) The White House had not responded to a request for comment by press time.

As Giuliani’s unforced errors pile up, former West Wing officials and 2016 campaign veterans are privately debating what’s gone wrong with Rudy. Why, they ask, is he making statements that so obviously damage his client? A former White House official speculated that maybe Giuliani “has lost his mind.” But there are other, more charitable ways of interpreting Giuliani’s interviews. As I’ve previously reported, the Trump-Giuliani relationship hasn’t been good for weeks. Giuliani has said privately that he “hates the job” and that Mueller’s final report will be “horrific” for Trump. Facing these challenges and pressures, it’s understandable he would make mistakes, the thinking goes. “Everyone who works for Trump screws up because there’s no way to please the guy,” an outside Trump adviser said.


But, frustrating as the job may be, Giuliani also may be addicted to it. Friends said the former New York mayor was embittered after being out of the limelight for years following his failed 2008 presidential campaign. He’s been exhilarated by the press attention that comes with being Trump’s lawyer. Sources said Giuliani often books his own interviews and frequently texts with television news anchors. “There’s a school of thought that it’s better to be famous and ridiculed than ignored,” a Giuliani friend told me. But the media environment has become vastly more complicated than it was a decade ago, the last time Giuliani was on the national stage, and he has struggled to adapt. “This has been a trial by fire for him,” the friend said. “He can’t just say whatever he wants, because he’s being fact-checked on Twitter. Every time he does anything he gets caught








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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:04 am

Michael Cohen postpones congressional testimony because of threats to family from Trump and Giuliani
Dan Mangan
Kevin Breuninger
Published 8 Hours Ago Updated 5 Hours Ago
CNBC.com
President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is postponing his plan to testify before Congress in February because of concerns about his family's safety, according to Lanny Davis, Cohen's advisor.
Davis cited "ongoing threats" to Cohen's family from Trump and the president's current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in the decision to postpone his Feb. 7 appearance before the House Oversight Committee.
Trump as recently as last week had urged people to "watch" Cohen's father-in-law, Fima Shusterman.

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, on Wednesday postponed his plan to testify before Congress in February because of concerns about his family's safety, Cohen's adviser Lanny Davis said.

Davis cited "ongoing threats" to Cohen's family from Trump and the president's current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in the decision to delay his appearance before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, where he was expected to talk at length about the president.

That voluntary Feb. 7 appearance is a month before Cohen is due to begin serving a three-year prison sentence for multiple crimes, some of which relate to Trump.


It is now not clear when — or even if — Cohen would be willing or able to testify anytime soon, given that looming sentence.

Davis, in his statement Wednesday, said, "Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen's continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen's appearance will be postponed to a later date.

"Mr. Cohen wishes to thank Chairman Cummings for allowing him to appear before the House Oversight Committee and looks forward to testifying at the appropriate time. This is a time where Mr. Cohen had to put his family and their safety first."

Trump later told reporters, when asked about Cohen: "I would say he's been threatened by the truth."

"He's only been threatened by the truth, and he doesn't want to do that probably for me or other of his clients," Trump said. "He has other clients also, I assume, and he doesn't want to tell the truth for me or other of his clients."

Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, arrives with his family at federal court for his sentencing hearing on December 12, 2018 in New York City.
Giuliani had no immediate comment.

Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Cohen's concern for safety was "legitimate" given the "attacks" by Trump and Giuliani.

But they also said they expected Cohen to appear before their committee at some point.

Trump last week urged people to "watch" Cohen's father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, who was placed on probation in the mid-1990s after pleading guilty in a case in which he was charged with conspiring to defraud the IRS.


And Trump's other comments about Cohen days before that spurred Cummings, Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to warn the president against trying to "discourage intimidate or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress."

Giuliani, in an appearance on CNN last Sunday, had said Cohen is lying about Trump, and also said that Shusterman may have ties to organized crime.

A former New York City mayor and federal prosecutor, Giuliani, further said that Shusterman was involved in criminal activity with Cohen, and that Cohen is withholding information about that activity because testifying about it would be dangerous for his father-in-law.

A source close to Cohen told NBC News that Cohen's wife and father-in-law were particularly afraid about Cohen's upcoming scheduled appearance in Congress, and that they feel directly targeted by Trump.

Cohen's wife, Laura, was afraid of going to the hearing in person because she believed she was at risk of being attacked.

"The threats are real," the source says, "Trump knows what he's doing."

Cohen had served for years as Trump's personal lawyer, and once bragged of being willing to take "a bullet" for the president.

But he fell out with Trump in early 2018, after FBI agents raided his office and several residences in New York as part of a criminal investigation.

Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty later in the year to financial crimes, campaign finance violations and to lying to Congress.

Cohen admitted facilitating hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep them quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump. The president has denied having the affairs.

Cohen also confessed to misleading Congress in 2017 about when an aborted plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow actually ended, and about the extent of Trump's involvement in that project.

For months before he was sentenced in December, Cohen had cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller, prosecutors in New York and other authorities who are investigating Trump.

His continued cooperation with Mueller after his sentencing was expected to lead to limitations on the information he could share during his testimony before Congress.

On Jan. 12, Trump, during an interview with Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, blasted Cohen, as he has done on prior occasions.

"Look, I was a client of his," Trump said. "You're supposed to have lawyer-client privilege, but it doesn't matter because if I'm a very honest person, frankly."

"But he's on trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs and stuff that I know nothing about. And in order to get his sentence reduced, he says, 'I have an idea, I'll give you some information on the president.'"

Trump then told Pirro that Cohen "should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that's the one that people want to look at. Because where does that money — that's the money in the family."

"And I guess he didn't want to talk about his father-in-law – he's trying to get his sentence reduced. So it's pretty sad. It's weak and it's very sad to watch a thing like that," the president said.

On Wednesday, Cummings and Schiff, the chairmen of the House committees, reiterated a warning to Trump that they made on this heels of his comments to Pirro.

"As we stated previously with our colleague, Chairman Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, efforts to intimidate witnesses, scare their family members, or prevent them from testifying before Congress are textbook mob tactics that we condemn in the strongest terms," Cummings and Schiff said.

"Our nation's laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress. The President should make no statement or take any action to obstruct Congress' independent oversight and investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from Congress."

"We understand that Mr. Cohen's wife and other family members fear for their safety after these attacks, and we have repeatedly offered our assistance to work with law enforcement to enhance security measures for Mr. Cohen and his family," Cummings and Schiff said in a joint statement.

However, the chairmen, in their joint statement, also said that when their committees began talking to Cohen about appearing before them, "not appearing before Congress was never an option."

"We will not let the President's tactics prevent Congress from fulfilling our constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities. This will not stop us from getting to the truth," Cummings and Schiff said.

"We expect Mr. Cohen to appear before both Committees, and we remain engaged with his counsel about his upcoming appearances."

Vl
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Re: Trump enters the stage - other limits or twilight zone

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:15 pm

Tonight, in a segment called Worst Case Scenario…, Maddow starts off the show talking about how Democrats are beginning to investigate the ties between John Bolton, Maria Butina, the NRA and Russia. She then discusses how Cohen has pulled out of testifying to Congress due to threats against his family by Trump. She mentions that Manafort has been ordered to appear in court on Friday to adjudicate whether he violated his plea agreement. Then she updates the situation with Deripaska’s Belarusian escort who has been returned to Russia, and it appears she may be in the early stages of poisoning. She moves on to discussing day 33 of the government shutdown. Pelosi gives a final NO to the State of The Union. IRS agents, meat inspectors, TSA agents, and prison guards are starting to walk off the job. The White House Office of Management and Budget is investigating what else in the Federal Government to close entirely if the shutdown lasts another month or more.

Then Maddow drops a bombshell. She actually goes there! Essentially, she says what many of us have started thinking. If Trump is actually an agent of Vladimir Putin, then he may be doing Russia’s bidding in shutting down the US Government. The Trump Shutdown may actually be the Putin Shutdown. Our President may be doing all of this on behalf of Russia. Our country may have been shuttered by our adversary.



MADDOW (23:17): And these things tie together right. Of course, this isn’t our first shutdown. It is the only one that has gone on this long. Because we’ve all been through other shutdowns, shorter shutdowns. Things that happened under normal circumstances we know what coverage of these crises is like. It starts from the premise that more or less responsible actors have decided to harm the US Government, harm the American people to a point, while they try to get the other side to blink. And, the whole shutdown exercise is so they can get something they want out of the other side that they couldn’t otherwise get out of normal means without causing a little bit of pain.


I mean normal shutdowns are bad enough, but in this case the shutdown is not only longer, it is also qualitatively different. If you are sensing that there is no urgency whatsoever on the part of the president to end this one, you are correct. There is nothing from the president to suggest at all that he has any interest in this wrapping up anytime soon, or that he has any real concern at all about the harm that it is causing as it goes on.

In this case, unlike any other shutdown we have had over any other issue for any amount of time in this case the president seems to have no interest in ending it, and in this case the president who is insisting on the shutdown is the same president who is at the center of the most serious criminal and counter intelligence investigations to ever get anywhere near a sitting US president.

The FBI since Donald Trump has been president, they literally opened a formal investigation to see if they could substantiate if the evidence and behaviors suggested that the president could be acting on behalf of a foreign government, as essentially a foreign government’s agent here in the United States and inside the US Government. And, not just any foreign power, but a hostile foreign power that wants to do us as much harm as possible. And, none of us know what the ultimate dispensation of that counter intelligence case concerning the president has been, or what it will be if it continues under Robert Mueller. But we are watching all these various threads of it still dangling, right? Cohen, Manafort, Butina, and Deripaska, and all the rest of it.


Suspend your disbelief though for a second. If the premise of that counter intelligence investigation was true. If Russia did get a US president to act on their behalf against the United States. If you were Russia, what else would you want that president to do at this point? I mean, what would you conceivably want him to do that he has not already done, or at least tried? I mean, how psyched are you for your investment in that guy so far, right? It’s day 33 now. The government is not just a vehicle that has sputtered to a halt, each passing day pours more sugar into the gas tank, making it harder and harder for this thing to ever get running again.

Could it be true? Imagine that an evil despotic foreign leader has installed an agent as the President of their most hated adversary country. What would that leader have his agent do?

Have that agent relax sanctions on the leader’s country. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent antagonize the country’s allies. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent sow discord in the country with hateful divisive rhetoric. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent attack the countries institutions, particularly the Justice Department, and install cronies in the leadership of these institutions. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent pull the country out of multinational trade and security alliances. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent implement crazy economic trade sanctions to weaken its economy. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent heap praise on the foreign leader. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent go to extraordinary lengths to conceal communications with the foreign leader. ✔ CHECK
Have that agent regurgitate obscure dishonest talking points to serve the foreign leader’s propaganda purposes.✔ CHECK
HAVE THAT AGENT SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY’S ENTIRE GOVERNMENT ON THE BASIS OF SOME STUPID CONTRIVED RATIONAL, AND NOT REOPEN IT DESPITE ENORMOUS POLITICAL, SECURITY, SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL DAMAGE, THEREBY CRIPPLING THE COUNTRY. ✔ CHECK
If Maddow is right, Putin’s agent Donald J. Trump is intentionally doing more damage every day than an invading horde, and it will only get worse until he is stopped.

If Maddow is right, what happens next?


Now this:



The failure to find a resolution comes as 800,000 federal workers already stretched for cash start to miss a second paycheck on Friday and some government services suffer. Neither the president nor Democratic leaders have shown any willingness to back down even in the 34th day of the partial shutdown. Some bipartisan senators mounted calls for a bill to fund the government for three weeks while they find a larger immigration agreement.

Feed off the presses:




The Trump Impeachment
Trump-Russia
Mueller’s grand jury conducts rare Thursday session, could be sign of Friday indictments
By Mark Sumner / Daily Kos (01/24/2019) - January 24, 2019707



The meeting dates of the grand jury impaneled to support the special counsel’s office are as inscrutable as what goes on inside the chamber. But Washington Post legal specialist Spencer Hsu reports that the jury has entered an unusual Thursday session—the first such session since July 12. That July session was followed the next day by a series of indictments. In that case, those indictments were against a dozen Russian intelligence operatives who were involved in hacking the email servers at the Democratic National Committee.

The Thursday session has apparently featured an appearance from Andrew Stettner. Stettner is the stepson of professional conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Corsi was one of the first to push the idea that Barack Obama had been born outside the United States, and was a frequent guest and author in right-wing media pushing the “birther” myth. Corsi is also an associate of Trump adviser Roger Stone, and met with and worked with Stone during the Trump campaign.



Corsi has previously been subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation to detail his conversations with Stone during the 2016 campaign and his knowledge of contacts with WikiLeaks. While Stone famously made public predictions about upcoming documents from WikiLeaks, it appears that at least some of the information spread by Stone came through emails that originated with Corsi. Corsi has also been subpoenaed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of that body’s investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.



An NPR story from Jan. 3, provides insight into a lawsuit that Corsi filed, and lost, against the special counsel’s office—a suit that is very likely directly related to the Thursday grand jury session. In that suit, Corsi claimed that Mueller had exceeded his authority by overreaching with the information he gathered. Of particular concern in the suit was a conversation between Corsi and stepson Stettner in which they discussed “scrubbing” the drive on a computer. Corsi has insisted that the computer in question had nothing to do with Russia, or WikiLeaks, or the hacking of the DNC. But the fact that the special counsel has Stettner in, not for questioning in their offices, but for testimony in front of the grand jury, would seem to indicate that there was more significance to this event than Corsi has allowed.

Hsu reports that Stettner’s testimony has been completed and was brief. However, it’s not yet clear if additional witnesses are going to be called in this session.

















Daily Sound and Fury

Daily dose of outrage at what is going on in Washington.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:13 pm

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone is appearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Friday after the FBI arrested him at his home. Special counsel Robert Mueller's office announced the arrest and indictment early Friday morning.

Stone has been indicted on seven charges: one count of obstruction of an official proceeding; five counts of false statements; and one count of witness tampering. The indictment doesn't allege that Stone conspired with Russia. It does claim that Stone was in communication with top Trump officials about WikiLeaks and obstructed the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian election meddling and whether there were any ties to Trump associates.

Stone's indictment and arrest marks a significant point in Mueller's investigation. Mueller has already charged a number of Russians with the hacking of Democrats' emails during the 2016 election. WikiLeaks released a slew of emails from the Democratic National Committee in the summer of 2016 and from former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in October 2016.


The indictment doesn't name WikiLeaks but paints a picture of how Stone was allegedly in touch with top Trump campaign officials about leaked Democratic emails from "Organization 1" during the campaign.

The indictment claims Stone spoke to senior Trump campaign officials about information that could damage Hillary Clinton's campaign. The indictment also alleges Stone was contacted by senior Trump campaign officials to inquire about future releases "Organization 1" might have.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:20 am

Juliani says he never said there was no collusion between the Trump Org
and the Russians , but denies any involvement by Trump himself.

This is possible , but unlikely. Mow that Stone has been indicted, will Trump go clear of anything which anybody with commons sense thinks ?

He may have notnhabe any left paper trail, but the fact that most of his close associates are going down, do a lot more then raise red flags all o Dr the place. Why is the public endure a long waiting game for the promised release of the Mueller Report? Is it possible that there is some kind of faux report being manufactured , somewhat reminkscemt of the Report on the Kennedy assassination? That has raised all kinds of speculation back in the day, and the same kind of uncertainty hangs in the balance here.

Clarity should have been forthcoming by now, somwrhing more definitive, unless a lot of it is grounded in national security. It took decades for some very dangerous linkages to come to partial light, perhaps it is speculated at this time, that it is more dangerous to release premature information then not.

The other day last week, a conspiratorial character was called in by the Investigation, which is odd, would the investigators did not think that there may, indeed be a conspiracy under this whole affair.

Will the truth finally come out, the Dems are even cautioning the too early release of Trump's income tax.

Will any of this come to light anytime soon? Further developments may trigger some answers.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:56 pm

Meno_ wrote:Juliani says he never said there was no collusion between the Trump Org
and the Russians , but denies any involvement by Trump himself.

This is possible , but unlikely. Mow that Stone has been indicted, will Trump go clear of anything which anybody with commons sense thinks ?

He may have notnhabe any left paper trail, but the fact that most of his close associates are going down, do a lot more then raise red flags all o Dr the place. Why is the public endure a long waiting game for the promised release of the Mueller Report? Is it possible that there is some kind of faux report being manufactured , somewhat reminkscemt of the Report on the Kennedy assassination? That has raised all kinds of speculation back in the day, and the same kind of uncertainty hangs in the balance here.

Clarity should have been forthcoming by now, somwrhing more definitive, unless a lot of it is grounded in national security. It took decades for some very dangerous linkages to come to partial light, perhaps it is speculated at this time, that it is more dangerous to release premature information then not.

The other day last week, a conspiratorial character was called in by the Investigation, which is odd, would the investigators did not think that there may, indeed be a conspiracy under this whole affair.

Will the truth finally come out, the Dems are even cautioning the too early release of Trump's income tax.

Will any of this come to light anytime soon? Further developments may trigger some answers.




Here is one that made news today internationally:


US President Donald Trump has relented to political pressure and ended the longest government shutdown in history.

He had vowed to reject any deal unless it included $5.7bn (£4.3bn) to fund his signature campaign pledge, a US-Mexico wall.

That did not happen, causing vast political damage to Mr. Trump's presidency.



According to even some of his most ardent supporters, Ms. Pelosi won big while Mr. Trump's loss was inestimable.

This loss, to a self professed winner must have come as a bitter pill. He gained nothing from holding the government hostage to his whims.



And the beat goes on: power corrupts




President Trump says a wall or fence along the Mexican border is vital for US security
US President Donald Trump insists the US will still build a wall along its border with Mexico, despite ending the longest-ever US government shutdown without securing funds for the project.

On Twitter, Mr Trump said the deal to temporarily reopen government was "in no way a concession" on the wall.

The bipartisan agreement announced on Friday covers just three weeks.

Mr Trump indicated he might trigger another shutdown or declare a national emergency if his demands are not met.

The Republican president has vowed to reject any budget unless Congress includes $5.7bn (£4.3bn) to fund his signature campaign pledge.



The Democratic Party, which controls the House of Representatives, has flatly refused.

US shutdown: Reasons why Trump blinked
Trump official mocked over shutdown remark
US flight delays amid federal shutdown
In a tweet on Saturday, Mr Trump said negotiations between Democrats and Republicans would start immediately but would not be easy because both sides were "very dug in".

In recent weeks Mr Trump has taken a hard line against thousands of migrants arriving at the US southern border.

"The case for national security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at the border and through dialogue. We will build the Wall!" he tweeted.


How did the shutdown end?
On Friday, the Senate and House unanimously passed a bill to temporarily end the shutdown, after which President Trump signed the bill into law.

Following the votes in Congress Mr Trump tweeted that his decision was not a concession but was "taking care of the millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the shutdown".


Image caption
Unpaid federal workers used food banks and emergency kitchens to survive the shutdown
Most US media saw President Trump's move as yielding to political pressure after the unprecedented 35-day shutdown.

'A stinging defeat': US media on shutdown
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump said federal workers affected by the political standoff, whom he called "incredible patriots", would receive full back-pay.

Mr Trump also said he would not yet resort to "a very powerful alternative" - an apparent reference to declaring a national emergency.


Media captionWe have reached a deal - Trump
Analysts say this could divert military funding towards building the border wall but would provoke constitutional uproar and legal challenges.

How bad was the shutdown?
On Friday, about 800,000 civil servants missed another payday amid the five-week closure of about a quarter of the federal government.

Earlier, hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at US airports because of unpaid air traffic controllers calling in sick.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) halted arrivals for about an hour at New York's LaGuardia Airport.


Media captionOther presidents got money for a border barrier - why not Trump?
Flights were also delayed at Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport because of staff shortages, the FAA said.

Meanwhile, thousands of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees failed to show up after they were ordered to return to work unpaid, the Washington Post reported.

The Trump administration recalled 26,000 IRS workers this week to handle the looming tax filing season.

Trump's border wall - in seven charts
How the US shutdown is biting
But about 14,000 of them did not come back as of Tuesday, IRS officials told members of Congress.

In a video message to agents on Friday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said: "I'm about as angry as I've been in a long, long time."

Of the shutdown's effects on his agency, he said: "It's mind-boggling, it's short-sighted, and it's unfair."

His remarks came after an FBI report this week revealed its resources were at "breaking point".
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Re: Trump enters the stage more mobster stuff

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:58 pm

Apart the Madoro issue, where the administration can transfer punitive capital gain to Trump if it chooses the right leader for Venezuela his problems are multiplying. Here is a major gathering point:




Trump-Russia
Existential Fear: the definitive reason Trump is so subservient to Putin and Russian Oligarchs




Trump needs political favors as currency to pay off debt to Russian Mobsters!
That’s why he has such a strong affinity for Russia and why he is so subservient to Putin.

Trump’s over-the-top claims about his net worth and business successes have been widely reported as gross exaggerations. The Celebrity Apprentice and Fred Trump’s estate both temporarily lifted Trump out of his financial failures of the 1990s, but now Trump is once again saddled with massive debt with no way of digging himself out.



This time, Trump is indebted to Russian Oligarch mobsters instead of banks and junk-bond holders. Trump has tapped large amounts of Russian funding in attempts to expand his financial empire. The problem? Those investments are tanking and the Russians want their money back. Trump is starting to realize that he can’t walk away from Russian Oligarch mobsters the way he used to repeatedly walk away from institutional lenders and bondholders before they cut him off.

Trump’s Relationships With Russian Mobsters Go Back three decades
Just like Trump’s racism, Trump’s relationships with Russian Oligarch mobsters go back decades. Long before we heard about Pee Pee Tapes, Wikileaks or a Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump cultivated scofflaw business relationships with Russians, helping them to get their ill-gotten fortunes out of Russia.

In his book Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America, May 2000, Robert I. Friedman tells us how Trump Tower in NYC and Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City became the venues of choice to launder Russian money through real estate transactions and cash. Trump’s properties became comfortable places for Russians to mingle. Incidentally, The Taj Mahal was cited 103 times by Federal Authorities for violating federal money laundering regulations.

This book wasn’t a Trump hit piece. It was a book about the Russian mob that also included research detailing how Trump and Russian mobsters crossed paths as part of the overall narrative. Thisexcerpt demonstrates how Russian Mob boss Vyacheslav Ivankov hid from the FBI at mob-friendly Trump properties.


vyacheslav-ivankov%5B1%5D.jpg
Russian Mob Boss:
Vyacheslav Ivankov

Excerpt:
… Despite Ivankov’s flagrant, multinational criminal activities, during his first years in America, the FBI had a hard time even locating him “At first all we had was a name,” says the FBI’s James Moody. “We were looking around, looking around, looking around, and had to go out and really beat the bushes. And then we found out that he was in a luxury condo in Trump Towers” in Manhattan. – But almost as soon as they found him, he disappeared again leaving nothing but vapor trails for the FBI to follow. “Ivankov,” explained an FBI agent, “didn’t come from a walk-and-talk culture,” like Italian gangsters who take walks to discuss family business so they can’t be bugged or overheard by the bureau. “As soon as he’d sniff out the feds, he’d go into hiding for days at a time,” a trait that made him harder to keep tabs on than Italian mobsters.

“He was like a ghost to the FBI,” says Gregory Stasiuk, the New York State Organized Crime Task Force special investigator. Stasiuk picked up Ivankov’s trail at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, the Trump-owned casino that the real estate magnate boasted was the “eighth wonder of the world.” The Taj Mahal had become the Russian mob’s favorite East Coast destination. As with other high rollers, scores of Russian hoodlums received “comps” for up to $100,000 a visit for free food, rooms, champagne, cartons of cigarettes, entertainment, and transportation in stretch limos and helicopters…

From the Author’s Footnotes: A copy of Ivankov’s personal phone book, which was obtained by the author, included a working number for the Trump Organization’s Trump Tower Residence, and a Trump Organization office fax machine.

In another excerpt, the author exemplifies how money was laundered through Trump properties and a Mafia-controlled bank.

… David Bogatin’s European businesses were taken over by Sergei Mikhailov, who later sold them. (Before he fled the United States, he turned over his mortgages for five pricey Trump Tower apartments to a Genovese associate. The mortgages were liquidated and the funds were moved through a Mafia-controlled bank in Manhattan’s Chelsea.)

After institutional lenders kicked trump to the curb, Trump turned to Russian sources
In the 1990s, American banks worked with Trump on a number of his projects, and he burned them badly. When bank lending dried up. trump tried the public funding route with junk-bonds to help his ailing Taj Majal. He burned bondholders, investors, vendors and employees badly. He burned the banks, bondholders and investors so badly, they wouldn’t touch anything having to do with Trump after that. Trump’s interests in and connections to Russian Oligarchs grew significantly after all other sources of funding dried up. Trump discovered that Putin’s Oligarch buddies were golf aficionados and had cash that Trump could tap, so he borrowed a substantial amount of money from them — possibly a hundred million dollars or more, despite his claims otherwise.



Trump denies having any financial connections with Russians, “NO NOTHING”


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS,
Trump Jr. contradicts his father, claiming Russians funded a “disproportionate” amount

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”
— DJ Trump Jr. speaking at a Russian real estate conference.

Eric Trump also contradicts his father, going to the Russians “all the time” for money

Greensboro author Jim Dodson stands by Eric Trump story – the whole story
— Greensboro News and Record, May 2017

5910e012a5470.image%5B1%5D.jpg
James Dobson, Golf Writer
James Dodson: “So when I got in the cart with Eric, as we were setting off, I said Eric,

who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one is funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.”

Eric Trump: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

James Dodson: ”Really?”

Eric Trump: “Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys [Russians] that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time [for cash].”



Dodson afterthought: “He just sort of tossed off that he had access to $100 million.”

Trump’s Russian-funded businesses are failing
Trump’s businesses around the world have been failing, and Trump’s Russian funded golf properties are no different. An article from Reuters in 2016 tells us that Trump’s entire golf portfolio has lost half its value.

Donald Trump’s golf courses in Scotland are taking a beating
— Business Insider, October, 2016

“A Reuters examination of Trump’s golf empire earlier this year, based on his own comments and official filings, calculated that he had spent over $1.1 billion building a portfolio that was now worth about half that sum.”

Other Trump businesses are failing around the world
When Russian mobsters lose half of their investment, they aren’t happy about it. If you extrapolate from Eric Trump’s conversation, the Russians lost $50 million or more, possibly into the hundreds of millions.

What makes matters even worse, it isn’t just the golf properties. Trump’s businesses are failing across the board, leaving Trump with no way to pay back the Russians.



The PGA and R&A have pulled multiple tournaments from Trump’s courses. This is costing Trump millions in shared event revenue and millions more in marketing goodwill — every year.
Occupancy rates and room rates at Trump Hotels have declined precipitously. Owners of four major hotels globally have disassociated themselves from the Trump brand.
Even in Trump’s Manhattan back yard, condo owners are removing the Trump branding from their buildings because it’s hurting their property values.
Trump tumbles down the Forbes 400 as his net worth has taken a major hit since he launched his presidential run, — CNBC, October 2nd, 2018

President Donald Trump’s net worth has declined by more than $1 billion since the year he launched his presidential campaign at the foot of Trump Tower’s escalator, Forbes reported Tuesday [October 2018]…

… The president’s net worth stands at $3.1 billion, down from $4.5 billion in 2015, Forbes said. As a result, Trump has tumbled down the Forbes 400 list, the latest edition of which will be published in full Wednesday [October 2018].

Trump fears Russian bill collectors
Trump owes Russian Oligarch Mobsters hundreds of millions of dollars and he has no way to pay them back. Trump isn’t afraid of Pee Pee Tapes. Trump is afraid of Russian bill collectors with Novichok and Polonium 210 in their carry-on luggage. Not only is he afraid for himself, he is afraid for his adult children who are also tightly intertwined with the Trump Organization and may also be vulnerable.



Even if you consider existential fear to be hyperbole, there is no question that Trump fears the Russian Oligarchs to whom he owes millions of dollars. That is the reason he displays such a strong affinity for Russia over the United States, and such subservience to Putin and his Oligarch mobster cronies — at the expense of America’s interests. Putin is pressuring Trump to make good on his Russian debt and Trump is complying.




Another hotspot issue:






The disturbing signal Trump's silence sends to Russia
By Samantha Vinograd

Updated at 12:00 PM ET, Mon January 28, 2019

Play Video
How Stone's indictment links him to Julian Assange 02:53
Editor's Note:Samantha Vinograd is a CNN national security analyst. She served on President Obama's National Security Council from 2009-2013 and at the Treasury Department under President George W. Bush. Follow her @sam_vinograd. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion articles on CNN.
(CNN) — Every week, I offer a glimpse of the kind of intelligence assessments that are likely to come across the desk of the president of the United States, modeled on the President's Daily Briefing, or PDB, which the director of national intelligence prepares for the president almost daily.
Here's this week's briefing:
Now that Trump's longtime friend and informal adviser Roger Stone has been indicted, both our enemies and allies around the world can see that special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence to believe that senior Trump campaign officials spoke with Stone about Wikileaks and that a senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases from Wikileaks, an organization that published information that Russia stole from Americans.
Sam Vinograd

The President's "witch hunt" response to the special counsel's indictment -- especially when considered along with his response to previous ones -- will likely be interpreted by many around the world as a sign that when it comes to Russia, he's conflicted. By crying witch hunt louder than he decries Russia's attack, he's setting us up for another very dangerous election season. His failure to condemn illegal Russian behavior, especially when it involves his own associates and family, will probably be interpreted as condoning it. That opens the US to a lot of risk going forward.

------------------------------------------------------

Possible scenario based on a thin layer of social-psychological performance, drawn on very broad brushstrokes.


The issue of identity politics may be the fulcrum, around which a lot of tangential weights are expected to be be balanced.

The lowest common denominator appears to be the issue if social/psychological political weigh in in the broadest sense: that is the conflict between nationalism, versus internationalism as driving the agenda by the economic spectrum as it appears to be a factor in assessing the constitutional basis of social idioms.

Particularly, how do immigration/border-protection measure into referential national and psychological formulations of reactive and/or progressive processes emerging in the near far term global and regional=national contexts?

How do these factor in on acquired , predicated and assumed data, versus the simulated effects of perceived continua as amalgamated with the quantified data?

May be that such simulations of coercive and collusioned predictions are nothing else but an effort to integrate the otherwise linear and conflicted picture of a publicly unassumable and unacceptable scenario?

Such simulations have probably reached such advanced levels, as to generate the need to hypergenerate data, which may reach their normative levels of prior expected assumptions.?

Assumptions.

The reforming of dialectical logistics, given free reign in defining a newer ideological shift, as for instance the conflict over material or ideological dialectic, as actuating such future inclusive formulations, in a world where constitutional definition do not, or can not substantiate those pattern assumptions that validated them at their inception.

Those , static, at the time of their statistical certainty became probable and dynamic universal indexes, with procedures overcoming their presumed incentive values.

Short and long term acceptable curves have become less differentiable, where the outcomes have created objective planning to become much more prone to social dissatisfaction and anger, on the same patently reified level, not in tune with the expected mark of the simulation, whereby that Mark has to be placed far higher then even the most liberal expected goals, to hit that Mark.

The communist 5 year's plans indicate an equal failure on part of social expectations to achieve goals , therefore, long term, the residual negative values could have indicated the economic failures within a much shorter time.

The increasing shortened time scale is evident to to co-measure an almost similar fashion on the face of free enterprise based social system, appearing as a probable vindication of Marxist, albeit belated prophesies.

The digestion of dynamic versus patent conflation of the effects of ideological social vacuums in so called 'rouge' nations, hedging their predictions on archaic, 50-100 years of backward ideology, can in no way become public universal policy, and advanced techno-cyber vested nations , of Europe, Russia and the U.S., are dynamically and collusive-apparently are deliberately undermining the patent expectant-projective political schemes, in order to guard against the dynamic-material diametrically conflicted ideology to disintegrate world wide, and subsequently, create a global unmanageable state of affairs, that could actually reverse the status quo into a world war continuation.

This is the function of the war on terror trilaterally by Russia, Europe, and the U.S..

This simulation is probably the most probable and effective way to predict the progressive utilization of a social psychological, political and economic realities facing the present global environment.




On release of Taxes.:




Here's why House Democrats are going to go after Trump's taxes -- and soon
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 5:00 PM EST, Mon January 28, 2019


(CNN) House Democrats have been very careful in the opening days of Congress to pick their fights carefully.

Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (California), the party stood up to President Donald Trump over his demands for a border wall -- and won. But even with that victory in hand, top Democratic strategists are wary not to overstep their mandate from the 2018 election -- concerned that looking as though they are attacking Trump on all fronts at all times will a) lessen the impact of any one fight and b) create a toxic partisan environment that could hurt them and their eventual 2020 nominee.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:11 pm

02:38
Venezuela turmoil could test Trump, Putin relationship

01:38
Michael Cohen agrees to testify before House committee

Acosta asks Sanders if Trump's presidency is in danger


Kamala Harris: Trump's wall a 'medieval vanity project'








Washington (CNN) — Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is "close to being completed," acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said Monday.
Whitaker told reporters he has been "fully briefed" on the investigation.
"I look forward to Director Mueller delivering the final report," Whitaker said.
Whitaker's announcement follows new bipartisan legislation filed Monday that would require Mueller to summarize his findings in a report to Congress and the public.





Those angling for political distinction: Chris Christie:




Read more news from CNN
VIEW IN APP


Chris Christie: Trump 'blew it' with shutdown
By Devan Cole, CNN
Updated 9:28 AM EST, Wed January 30, 2019


Washington (CNN) Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that President Donald Trump "blew it" when he shut down the government with "no plan on how to reopen it."

Christie made the comments Tuesday night during an interview with CBS's Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show."

"Where do you think the wheels came off during the shutdown?" Colbert asked of the partial government shutdown that ended last week after lasting for 35 days.


"The President blew it," Christie replied.

"When?" Colbert asked.

"When he shut the government down with no plan on how to reopen it," Christie said. "Listen, he -- and I said this to him -- listen, 'If you're going to do this, you better have an exit plan. Because sometimes in politics, things don't go the way you expect. And so, if it doesn't go well in the first couple of days, you've got to have a way to get it back open.'"

In new book, Christie recalls watching 'Access Hollywood' tape with Trump
In new book, Christie recalls watching 'Access Hollywood' tape with Trump
Christie, a longtime ally of the President, said he met with the President in the White House last month before the shutdown began and told him he should make sure something is gained from a potential shutdown.

"I just said to him, 'It's OK. It's the power you have -- and if you want to do it. But you just have to have a plan so that you accomplish something by it and then reopen it,'" he said. "And I don't think -- given that it went 35 days -- we had a plan."

The shutdown, which began on December 22, was the result of a disagreement between Congress and the White House over how much money should be allocated to Trump's proposed border wall along the southern border of the United States. Last week, Trump conceded and agreed to a temporary funding measure that opened the government for several weeks but that does not include the billions of dollars he requested to construct a border wall.

View on CNN
© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.




Trump the manageable genius:



Trump chastises intel chiefs after they contradict him on Iran and claims of foreign policy success

Foreign policy,
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Re: Trump enters the stage - pre state of union address

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:15 pm

With the most concise precision , albeit the largest possible brushstrokes its possible to evaluate what is beginning to look like a very scripted executive agenda.

The collusion is not based prejoritively
on matters of gaining personal fortune, except on a transformative attempt to disentangle disentangle very big material indebtedness on part of Trump, that is as best and irksome , as it is borderline criminal.

That debt fits in nicely with the social/personal conflation of the capital -political debt of the U.S., being the number 1 debtor to the world , particularly to China.

That being said, this U.S. degradation has not been overlooked world-wide, and the script called for urgent and heavy handed measures.

As such a transfer of causes to an internationally precluding collusive social abberance had to negate any critical buildup of national adhesion on basis of various fragmented institutionalized vested interests along the lines of racial, ethnic, political and financial differences.

The scripting of outsourcing outsourcing not merely labor, but of production and home basis , by corporations of various types did nothing but make a return such as proposed by Trump virtually impossible.

He had known that all along, and the Make America Great Again was but a battle cry to bring in the message like honey to the bee

Trump was set up and scripted because of his obvious symbolic voice, developed in Apprentice, as a harangue of a late tolling bell which even at this late hour, was able to connect freedom with laissez faire.

That really, Trump a would be centrist , doesn't at all care for parry affiliation or concern had some guessing as.to why he did not represent party policy .

He is as crazy as a fox, as he is a self described manageable genius.

The borderline condition of the index of a national prototype can at this point connect the real with the most symbolic, therefore engendering the much discussed wall.

That a society is pushed into a false sense of security in terms of such blatency, and become policy, is proof positive .

Of course only a one per cent Is able to come even near to such approximations, and the script called for a delayed , day by day analysis, of how actions and reactions play out on the national and international stage.

The worst possible scenario would envolve some sort of sebere economic decline, and the economy can be expected to be the focal point of the State of the Union address.

The crux of the above derived from the most collusive of.political/economic ideas, vis., that of the ages' old debate on the spiritual/material synthesis of substantially perceived social processes.



Sarah Sanders at news conference:


CNN) White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she believes God wanted President Donald Trump to win the 2016 election, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported on Wednesday.

"I think God calls all of us to fill different roles at different times and I think that he wanted Donald Trump to become president, and that's why he's there," Sanders told CBN's David Brody and Jennifer Wishon, according to a transcript of the interview provided by CBN.

This is possible, but how likely? For Theists it is not inconceivable, however politicians use God for their own political purposes, in Trump's case it is his hard core constituents.



Thursday, Jan 31, 2019

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
Mueller says Russians are using his discovery materials in disinformation effort
The information appears to have come from the materials shared with attorneys for Concord Management, one of several Russian entities accused of election meddling.

Robert Mueller's office says the Russians are trying to use the investigation's findings in a disinformation campaign. Alex Wong /



Russians are using materials obtained from special counsel Robert Mueller's office in a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the investigation into Moscow's election interference, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

One or more people associated with the special counsel's case against Russian hackers made statements last October claiming to have stolen discovery materials that were originally provided by Mueller to Concord Management, Mueller's team said in court documents filed on Wednesday in the Russian troll farm case.


That discovery — evidence and documents traded between both sides of a lawsuit — appears to have been altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the ongoing investigations in Russian interference in the U.S. political system, according to the documents.

Concord Management, a company owned by a Russian oligarch known as President Vladimir Putin's "chef," is one of three Russian entities that were accused by the special counsel last February of helping to mastermind the social media meddling into the 2016 election. Thirteen Russian citizens were also indicted and accused of taking part in the widespread effort.

According to the documents filed Wednesday, a Twitter account called @HackingRedstone tweeted: "We’ve got access to the Special Counsel Mueller’s probe database as we hacked Russian server with info from the Russian troll case Concord LLC v. Mueller. You can view all the files Mueller had about the IRA and Russian collusion. Enjoy the reading!"

The account has since been suspended.


Prosecutors said that a link attached to the tweet "contained file folders with names and folder structures that are unique to the names and structures of materials (including tracking numbers assigned by the Special Counsel’s Office) produced by the government in discovery."

Prosecutors added, "The fact that the webpage contained numerous irrelevant files suggest that the person who created the webpage used their knowledge of the nonsensitive discovery to make it appear as though the irrelevant files contained on the webpage were the sum total evidence of 'IRA and Russian collusion' gathered by law enforcement in this matter in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation."

The Internet Research Agency, or IRA, is a St. Petersburg-based firm whose key executives have also been indicted by Mueller on charges of defrauding the United States.

The special counsel's office said the account used to publish the discovery materials was registered by a user with an IP address in Russia.


The filing states that the FBI has found no evidence that U.S. government servers, including servers used by the special counsel's office, had been breached. Rather, the information appears to have come from the materials shared with attorneys for Concord Management.

According to prosecutors, attorneys for Concord Management said that they received calls from reporters about the information, but they had not been hacked. Instead, Mueller's team notes, the defense told them it appears to have come from a 2014 hack that was disseminated online — a hypothesis that was not consistent with the facts, federal prosecutors said.

Tom Winter
Tom Winter is a producer and reporter for the NBC News Investigative Unit based in New York, covering crime, courts, terrorism, and financial fraud on the East Coast.
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Re: Trump enters the stage pros and cons

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:37 pm

Trump won on baby immigration, today in California, feds arrested numerous Chinese scams, where high profile travel agencies were busted on charges of bringing in pregnant Chinese women, usually well heeled, who delivered their babies with the intention of giving prestige to their offspring, by securing them US citizenship. In one case a Chinese milionaress, bought properties and luxury cars, but when it was time to pay her 50M hospital bill, she stuck the hospital declaring she was indigent.

This is a win win for Trump , for he promised to eliminate this kind of behavior.

On the negative side, trump got burned for warning another government shutdown if Pelosis's denial of any funding for his wall is sustained.


Trump on Gen. McCrystal:



President Donald Trump is at war with the generals.

The latest salvo in that war came on New Year's morning -- not traditionally a time for recrimination -- in a presidential tweet that denigrated retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Trump tweeted, "'General' McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!"

Huh? How does he get away with stuff like this ?
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:25 pm

CONGRESS
Trump's foreign policy faces growing dissent in Congress
On Syria, North Korea and NATO, Trump's policies are being rebuked by both parties.

Mitch McConnell listens to President Donald Trump during a meeting with Republican House and Senate leadership in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington on Sept. 5, 2018.Leah Millis / Reuters file

Feb. 1, 2019, 5:00 AM ET
By Leigh Ann Caldwell and Josh Lederman
WASHINGTON — Congress is sending President Donald Trump a strong message of discontent with his foreign policy in a number of critical areas, a growing rebuke that increasingly includes members of Trump’s own Republican Party.

On Afghanistan and Syria, the GOP-run Senate has issued a stern warning against the president’s plans to withdraw troops. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are questioning Trump’s diplomacy with North Korea, his easing of sanctions on a Russian oligarch and even his intent to stay involved in Yemen’s civil war. And his threats to pull out of NATO are causing consternation on Capitol Hill.


The bipartisan rebuke has left the president increasingly standing alone on consequential issues of international affairs. He is seeing pushback from every corner of the ideological spectrum and across both parties.

In the latest reproach, the Senate Thursday overwhelmingly passed an amendment that disapproves of the sudden withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Syria. Forty-three Republicans backed the measure.

Perhaps an even more critical component of the resolution is that it was authored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has been careful not to publicly split with the president. It was also backed by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and James Risch, R-Idaho, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the amendment because he said he doesn’t know if Trump is “right or wrong” on Syria.


But Kennedy minced no words when he said there is no coherent policy in the Middle East. “Our Middle East policy right now looks like something my dog’s been keeping under our back porch. Nobody knows what it is, but it’s ugly,” he told NBC News.

The newfound willingness to challenge the president on foreign policy by Republicans reflects tensions over his unconventional or seemingly impulsive decisions that simmered quietly during his first two years but were rarely voiced in public. Two years in, and following midterm elections in which dozens of Republicans lost their House seats, Trump’s party appears more willing to directly confront him on his more controversial decisions.

McConnell’s amendment, for example, is part of a larger Middle East bill that slaps new sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and shores up U.S. support for Israel and Jordan. Two Senate Republican aides say it was deliberately introduced as the first piece of legislation in the new Senate and given the designation Senate Bill 1 in a conspicuous bid to push back at Trump’s Syria withdrawal and remind the president that Congress has a role in foreign policy.

While the measure is mostly symbolic, it reflects concern among Republicans about the message that Trump’s Syria move sent to Israel and Jordan — U.S. allies and Syrian neighbors intimately affected by the decision to withdraw U.S. troops. The move essentially allowed lawmakers to go around the president to show the two countries that at least Congress has their back.


In recent years, most mainstream Republicans have advocated an active U.S. role overseas to ensure national security at home, a world view that has at times been an awkward fit with Trump’s “America First” doctrine. Still, polls show that, by and large, most rank-and-file Republicans continue to support Trump’s foreign policy.

Thursday's action was only the latest example of a newfound willingness by Congress to insert itself in trying to issue a course correction. Lawmakers are also expressing condemnation on issues of trade, Russia, North Korea, Yemen and NATO.

In some places the president is indulging his inclination to extricate the U.S. from overseas entanglements by withdrawing troops in Afghanistan and Syria, threatening a retreat from NATO and contemplating reducing troops on the Korean Peninsula.

But in other areas he’s showing more willingness to take an active role in overseas affairs, intervening diplomatically in Venezuela and maintaining a presence in Yemen’s civil war, giving critics of all stripes space to interject.


James Carafano, foreign policy scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation who advised the Trump presidential transition, said there are legitimate concerns about some of the president’s foreign policy pronouncements. He cited issues raised in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ resignation letter in December — which suggested Trump was insufficiently supportive of U.S. allies — as a critique that had resonated with many conservatives.

“The president is an unconventional statesman, we get that,” Carafano said. “Nothing in the Constitution says that he can’t be. But he does have a responsibility to make sure his administration’s policies are clear and consistently understood by our friends and enemies. And sometimes, it’s not.”

Last week the House of Representatives spoke with a near-unanimous voice, voting 357-22 to prohibit the use of funds to withdraw from NATO, something the president threatened to do during his campaign and at times throughout his presidency.

On Venezuela, there’s wide agreement on Capitol Hill among Republicans and Democrats that the president is following the lead of Sen. Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican was instrumental in the White House’s decision to back Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó over President Nicolás Maduro, according to Senate aides. And now that White House has adopted that position, Congress is attempting to ensure that there is a strategy in place to address the fallout.

At a bipartisan briefing for staff on Wednesday by the White House, State Department, Defense Department and USAID officials, Senate staff strongly pushed for answers about the humanitarian plan, security at the embassy and what a political transition in the South American country would look like, according to a Senate source.

“They are building the plane while flying it,” one Democratic Senate aide familiar with the briefing said.

Senators are also pushing for insight ahead of Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korea President Kim Jong Un.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., confirmed that he spoke Wednesday by phone with the U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, about the upcoming summit. Gardner, who has not been pleased with the lack of information coming from the administration on North Korea, said he didn’t want to get into too many details about the call but said: “The hope is that those concrete actions will be taken in the lead-up to any summit. If there’s no concrete action, I don’t think they should meet.”

Gardner also confirmed that he and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., will reintroduce the North Korea Policy Oversight Act, which is essentially a bill to monitor the administration on North Korea talks. The 2018 version requires oral and written briefings from the White House on the negotiations, continued sanctions and “underscores the importance" that the number of U.S. forces on the peninsula are not part of the negotiations with North Korea.

As the special counsel investigation continues into potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia, Republicans have also shown increasing willingness to call out the president on policies they see as insufficiently tough on Moscow. In January, after Trump’s Treasury Department said it would ease sanctions on companies that had been controlled by Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally Oleg Deripaska, 11 Republicans joined Democrats in an attempt to keep the sanctions in place. The bill failed narrowly in the Senate.

In the House, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have introduced a number of pieces of legislation to oversee the president’s foreign policy. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., has introduced biting bills that would financially prevent the administration from removing troops from Syria and South Korea and withdrawing from NATO.

His goal, he said, is "to remain engaged internationally so we can shape events and to maintain and build strong allies.”

“Congress needs to claw back its authority, particularly on foreign policy,” Gallagher told NBC News.

The flurry of movement comes as a coalition of senators on the left and the right has reintroduced a measure cutting off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen despite the president’s intention to continue that support. The measure passed the Senate last year, an unexpected move that reflected growing frustration with Saudi Arabia after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi government.

“It strikes me as the Senate reasserting its traditional role in foreign policy,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who advises numerous GOP senators. “President Trump is a nontraditional president. Some of his nontraditional positions on foreign policy diverge rather markedly from many of the senators, particularly on the Republican side.”

Leigh Ann Caldwell
Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for NBC News who covers Capitol Hill and elections.

Josh Lederman
Josh Lederman is a national political reporter for NBC News.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:03 am

U.S.
DONALD TRUMP JR. WILL BE INDICTED BY MUELLER, FORMER PROSECUTOR SAYS, AND WILL HELP TO ENSNARE HIS FATHER
By Christina Zhao On Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 16:03

Donald Trump Jr. speaks to West Virginia voters at a campaign event for Republican U.S Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey October 22, 2018 in Inwood, West Virginia. On Saturday, a federal prosecutor on MSNBC predicted that Donald Trump Jr. will get indicted and special counsel Robert Mueller will use that as leverage against his father President Donald Trump.


U.S. DONALD TRUMP RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Donald Trump Jr. will be indicted and used by special counsel Robert Mueller to ensnare his father President Donald Trump, a former prosecutor predicted.

During a segment on MSNBC’s AM Joy on Saturday, Paul Butler, a former Department of Justice public corruption prosecutor, and host Joy Reid discussed the latest developments in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow officials.

“Does Mueller have to indict Trump in order to put the proper coda at the end of the long symphony?” Reid asked the ex-prosecutor.


“Mueller is not going to indict Trump, because he’s going to follow the DOJ employee handbook, but he has leverage over the president in terms of Donald Trump, Jr.,” Butler explained. “We’ve seen Mueller use people’s kids to get to folks in the past. He could do this with Donald Trump, Jr.”


He continued: “Trump, Jr. went into the Senate Intelligence Committee, took an oath to tell the truth, and lied his butt off.”

“You think he will get indicted?” Reid asked.


“If Roger Stone and Michael Cohen get indicted for lying to the Intelligence Committee and Donald, Jr. lied, then he gets indicted too,” Butler responded.

Earlier this week, Rep. Jackie Speier (CA), a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who grilled the president’s eldest son on his Russian contacts in December 2017, restated her concerns that Trump Jr. lied to the committee after suggesting in December that he lied on “at least two occasions.”

When asked by MSNBC Live host Katy Tur on Tuesday whether she suspected that anyone in Trump’s circle, in addition to the president’s former adviser Roger Stone, lied to the committee, she suggested Trump Jr. without directly naming him.

“I am concerned that other people lied to the committee and I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out through the Mueller investigation and report that he has identified others,” the Democratic representative said.

“Who potentially do you think could have lied?” Tur pressed.

“Well, I’m not going to go there with you right at the moment, but I think you could probably figure out. People within the Trump Organization who have testified before the committee,” Speier said, a description that pointed to Trump Jr.

After attending a Trump tower meeting in June 2016 where he was offered information about former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump Jr. told the committee he didn’t disclose the meeting to his father. However, Trump’s former attorney and personal “fixer” Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress last year, disagreed with Trump Jr.’s claims.


How now bipartisan members are not listening to a closed door compromise on the wall, and the public threats over another gov.shot down, which Triump claims disadvantaged Dems and not Republicans is another fluke. I'm addition Fox News is getting disillusioned with Trump
There also has been withdrawal from the nuclear treaty with the Russians bilaterally.

This really so far, has been am incredible two years in Trump's presidency, and with increasing earnestness all eyes and ears are on his State of the Union Message next Wednesday.
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Re: Trump enters the stage -non transcendentism of Trumpism

Postby Meno_ » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:56 am

While the part of the U.S. is awaiting the much heralded State of the Union speech, there is a thread running like a silent spring in the undertow of common co isciousness, that may have been overlooked.

Transcendence has to do with small gradients in a temporal continuum, where signs can be used to set up a forecast of things to come as associated with what has passed.

The rate of change of both before and after, barring occasions of radical change, may be inscribed in various data basis.

I'm am not inscribing the following in social sciences, for the reason that it is a hidden area of interchange of economic national prevelance, which effects the current political arena .

Many times, populations get caught up in political movements per se, without looking under the patent legal justifications which so much account for the focus of justice has masked over the latency below.

In particular, lest be forgotten the following facts, which have pushed not only the U.S., but the whole world into a disaster, albeit caused singularly by very bleak U.S. troubles.

The picture mist 3rd world countries have of America is a land of non comparable standards of living, and relative stability.

Here is one disturbing thought, that is, about ten years or Maybe even twenty years ago, when faced with the question of why such powers as China and Saudi Arabia should finance the U.S. economy, to sustain one of the highest per-capita earning nations in the world, some people were aghast with wonder how and why this could occur. Wherein in in their respective countries, gross poverty and high unemployment caused their currencies high levels of inflationary spirals to occur.

In China, the biggest U.S. holder of debt ever, in the world, this seemed an anathema.

There is the obvious here as to China's motivation, at a time of Chinese advent of Goulash Capitalism, of how that term may be applied by the transformative ideologies instituted by Hungary's Kadar and Yogislavia's Titi, which later did offer ramifications toward Polish Solidarity and the Perestroika of the USSR.

China was torn, and She was very sensitive to trade, because of thesis level production into as of yet, anything but sub marginal goods.

But lets transcend these to a period only 20-25 year hence.

After the great WW2, the U.S. was fkufh from all sources as the primary agency possessing war loot, a stable and productive economy, the inheritance of most of what was left of the British Empire, and the source of the leading currency , while possessing the greatest market capitalization and consumer market.

Back even in the 1960' the breakdown of some indicators went down as following:

1 pack of cigarettes : 25 cents
1 month rental. :50-60 $ month
1 gallon regular leadsd gas :19c/gall.
a bankable fortune: 100,000.00 $
Cost of an average hone: 20,000-30M$
Cost of new Cadillac Eldorado 2,500$

Today, these sums can easily be multiplied X10, and that's on the low side.

Now wages back then were in the minimum rate $2.00 an hour (mid 1960's) and if you were bringing home $100.00 a week, you were doing well.
Nowadays the minimum pay is only X5 the rate, unless all states raise it, as did New Jersey did recently.

The differential between X5 and X10 is 2, meaning the standard of living in that time has halved This is significant, and even if some economist would look to the early twentieth century , it would be useless to point to the penny candy, the penny stamp, since values was still on precious metal standard, and it held steady from the late nineteen century.


Social -psychological reality is unhappy on downward mobility, so as to be expected, such notions as implied by the happy melting pot, don't sound so encouraging. This Marx predicted.

Now the Irony of the fall of Communis, coming at a time of a critical economical Capitalistic debacle, can not miss an observant eye either.

There is much more to the eye than it usually sees, and this is a paradigm moment for such.

Did the bankruptcy of communism cause an exorbitation of economic well being for the U.S., or did these two events have one but a casual effect?

Hard to say, but probably the vacuums created by severe market and political changes all interfaced. While all this may be thought of circumstantial , the fact remains, is that geopolitical competition bared its fangs in an age where the NWO is an unavoidable concept, which is dominated by the market place of mostly internationalized corporations. They have nothing else up their sleeve other then some sort of equalization, along the lines of the usual:

The power to the inception, capitalization and utilization by control of economic entities. National entities, by consequence, become 2nd tier movers, and this is why, Trump is merely a figurehead, he appears vested in national significance , as the cradle of democratic principles and institutions, but fade as the primary shakers of what comes down politically and economically.

The danger that China will resurface with an old adversary, Russia, is the reason for all the savor rattling, which in all probability, merely an attempt to hold their indigenous populations hostages, while securing their safety; knowing well, the ever increasing expandability of human work is easily replaced by robotics.

This is what is being approached slowly, not so overtly, for all who cared to read futuristic narratives.

So lets see Trump, painted as a political amature, glean through his upcoming speech.




The wall again:


Sen. Tammy Baldwin said Monday that the prospect of a national emergency declaration from President Donald Trump to begin construction on his long-promised border wall has "many Republicans shaking in their boots" because of the precedent it could set for future Democratic presidents.

The Wisconsin Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday that such an emergency declaration, a step Trump has said he could take if lawmakers fail to pass legislation that includes funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, would be quickly tied up in court with legal challenges. The declaration would unlock military resources for wall construction and, Baldwin cautioned, set a standard for executive action that Republicans could come to regret.



Here is a preview:



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NATIONAL
Trump to call for unity, face skepticism in State of Union
February 5, 2019 at 3:00 AM MST - Updated February 5 at 3:00 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Donald Trump will call for optimism and unity in his State of the Union address, using the moment to attempt a reset after two years of bitter partisanship and deeply personal attacks.

But will anyone buy it?

Skepticism will emanate from both sides of the aisle when Trump enters the House chamber for the prime-time Tuesday address to lawmakers and the nation. Democrats, emboldened after the midterm elections and the recent shutdown fight, see little evidence of a president willing to compromise. And even the president's staunchest allies know that bipartisan rhetoric read off a teleprompter is usually undermined by scorching tweets and unpredictable policy maneuvers.

Still, the fact that Trump's advisers feel a need to try a different approach is a tacit acknowledgement that the president's standing is weakened as he begins his third year in office.


The shutdown left some Republicans frustrated over his insistence on a border wall, something they warned him the new Democratic House majority would not bend on. Trump's approval rating during the shutdown dipped to 34 percent, down from 42 percent a month earlier, according to a recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders indicated the president would highlight what he sees as achievements and downplay discord.

"You're going to continue see the president push for policies that help continue the economic boom," Sanders said Monday night while appearing on "Hannity" on Fox News. "You're also going to see the president call on Congress and say, 'Look, we can either work together and get great things done or we can fight each other and get nothing done.' And frankly, the American people deserve better than that."

But Washington's most recent debate offered few signs of cooperation between Trump and Democrats. Under pressure from conservative backers, Trump refused to sign a government funding bill that did not include money for his long-sought border wall. With hundreds of thousands of Americans missing paychecks, Trump ultimately agreed to reopen the government for three weeks to allow negotiations on border security to continue.


With the new Feb. 15 funding deadline looming, Trump is expected to use his address to outline his demands, which still include funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He's teased the possibility of declaring a national emergency to secure wall funding if Congress doesn't act, though it appeared unlikely he would take that step Tuesday night. Advisers have also been reviewing options to secure some funding without making such a declaration.

"You'll hear the State of the Union, and then you'll see what happens right after the State of the Union," Trump told reporters.

The president's address marks the first time he is speaking before a Congress that is not fully under Republican control. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who won plaudits from Democrats for her hard-line negotiating tactics during the shutdown, will be seated behind the president — a visual reminder of Trump's political opposition.

In a letter Monday night to House Democrats, Pelosi wrote that she hopes "we will hear a commitment from the President on issues that have bipartisan support in the Congress and the Country, such as lowering the price of prescription drugs and rebuilding America's infrastructure."


In the audience will be several Democrats running to challenge Trump in 2020, including Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Another Democratic star, Stacey Abrams, will deliver the party's response to Trump. Abrams narrowly lost her bid in November to become Georgia's first black governor, and party leaders are aggressively recruiting her to run for Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer previewed Democrats' message for countering Trump, declaring Monday, "The number one reason the state of the union has such woes is the president."

While White House officials cautioned that Trump's remarks were still being finalized, the president was expected to use some of his televised address to showcase a growing economy. Despite the shutdown, the U.S. economy added a robust 304,000 jobs in January, marking 100 straight months of job growth. That's the longest such period on record.


Trump and his top aides have also hinted that he is likely to use the address to announce a major milestone in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. Despite the objections of some advisers, Trump announced in December that he was withdrawing U.S. forces in Syria.

In a weekend interview with CBS, Trump said efforts to defeat the IS group were "at 99 percent right now. We'll be at 100."

U.S. officials say the Islamic State group now controls less than 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles) of territory in Syria, an area smaller than New York's Central Park. That's down from an estimated 400 to 600 square kilometers (155 to 230 square miles) that the group held at the end of November before Trump announced the withdrawal, according to two officials who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

However, a Defense Department inspector general report released Monday said the Islamic State group "remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that could likely resurge in Syria" absent continued counterterrorism pressure. According to the Pentagon, the group is still able to coordinate offensives and counteroffensives.


Administration officials say the White House has also been weighing several "moonshot" goals for the State of the Union address. One that is expected to be announced is a new initiative aimed at ending transmissions of HIV by 2030.

Trump's guests for the speech include Anna Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman whose life sentence for drug offenses was commuted by the president, and Joshua Trump, a sixth-grade student from Wilmington, Delaware, who was allegedly bullied because of his last name. They will sit with first lady Melania Trump during the address.

___

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller, Darlene Superville, Matthew Lee and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.


___

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Meno_
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Re: Trump enters the stage State of The Union

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:26 pm

≡on the eve of talk of 'Unity' on the President's State of the Union speech in the Congress

Here’s what the timing of the Trump inauguration subpoena means for the Mueller investigation: national security expert

05 FEB 2019 AT 16:14 ET




Independent national security journalist Marcy Wheeler detailed how the timing of the Southern District of New York’s subpoena for a trove of information from Donald Trump’s inaugural committee may signal a change in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

On Monday evening, ABC News reported that the SDNY had subpoenaed the Trump inaugural committee, and subsequent reports revealed that the committee is accused of money laundering and making false statements.



“The subpoena seeks information relating to a bunch of conspiracy-related crimes,” Wheeler noted, “parallel to the crimes Mueller looked at in the Russian investigation, but including other countries.”

The inaugural committee subpoena may also help explain why Guy Petrillo, an alum of the Southern District, recently stopped representing Michael Cohen, the journalist added.

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“Since Cohen refused to cooperate with SDNY on what would have been this investigation,” she wrote, “he’s likely to face further criminal exposure for his efforts to get rich off the big party.”

Wheeler went on to say that she suspects the SDNY “is only now getting around to digging into what is surely a vast swamp of corruption because Mueller asked them to wait” until the inauguration portion of his own investigation was done.

This subpoena, and a potential ending of the special counsel’s investigation into the inauguration, may be in line with reports that Mueller will soon wrap up his probe, the national security expert added.

It also “may mean that after the results in Mueller’s Russian investigation soften Trump up,” Wheeler concluded, “this investigation will just be ripening, possibly even at a time where Trump can be indicted.”




STATE Of THEUNION



President Donald Trump used his State of the Union speech Tuesday to trash 'ridiculous' investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and congressional Democrats – and threatened to hold up legislation if they continue.

As evidence that President Donald Trump’s businesses and other entities are the subjects of a range of serious criminal investigations, beyond even Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, his allies are reportedly worried about his criminal exposure. One of the most damaging pieces of information to come out against the president thus far emerged when Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, told a federal court that he violated campaign finance laws at the direction of his former employer.


And even though, now this development:


Until recently, it was easy to like Steve Schmidt. How could we not, especially given the former George W. Bush and John McCain adviser’s majestically-worded MSNBC takedowns of Donald Trump? That said, a new 2020 election poll indicates that the left’s still new-smelling affair with Schmidt is over, to put it mildly. We’ll circle back to this.

Schmidt’s authoritative panic-button rants about Trump’s toxicity and the dangers of his presidency have been nothing short of legendary — so much so that it helped many of us bury our warranted suspicions over Schmidt’s role in the awfulness of the Bush-Cheney administration followed by his active participation in the frenetic rise of Sarah Palin.


These are just tidbits before coming to the significance of of the State of the Union.



The sobering fact is that Trump did not divide the country, because the country was reactionary for a very long time, and Trump was the ideal candidate. The Republicans needed him and now one hears a sad swan song out of some Republicans criticising him, even Fox News shaming him, but its merely a sham, like always, hedging their bags , obviously back peddling a bit , so as to soften the contours of their agenda, with an eye to two years from nlw5, when it will be the Senate's turn not to appear sour graped.

No , Trump is no different from any other venture capitalist turned actor turned politician, their allegiance belongs home, and their only regret is when they are found out.
Meno_
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State of The Union.

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:29 am

For more than a month, Mr. Trump has threatened to invoke a state of emergency along the southern border with Mexico, in an attempt to circumvent Congress, which has refused to give him $5.7 billion for a border wall.

But it was not until this week that Senate Republicans — many of whom vehemently oppose the idea on the grounds that it tramples legislative prerogative — made it clear that diverting funding from other projects for a wall, in the name of a national emergency, was a nonstarter.

For the moment, Mr. Trump heeded their wishes. The emergency declaration was not among hisdemands for increased border security.

It was, to a significant degree, an act of political self-protection


On unity:




The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda,” Mr. Trump said, opening his speech on a conventionally presidential note on Tuesday. “It is the agenda of the American people.”

A couple of hours earlier, during a private lunch with network anchors that did not stay private long, Mr. Trump called Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, “nasty,” described former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as “dumb,” ripped into Senator John McCain, and derided Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”



On the Mueller Investigation



Mr. Trump suggested that investigations into his conduct posed a threat to national security.:

Then, about 15 minutes into the address, Mr. Trump hit on an issue foremost in his consciousness — the looming threat of congressional investigations into his conduct.

First, he offered what amounted to a plea for the new Democratic majority in the House to avoid “ridiculous partisan investigations” and cautioned his enemies not to seek “revenge” against him.

Then came the bluntest of threats to the woman sitting behind him, Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!” he said.

“We must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad,” he said.

Then to unite his party,


He attempted to unite divided Republicans.
Already facing a divided Congress, Mr. Trump has been rebuked by members of his own party in recent days over his decision to pull troops from Syria and his demands for a border wall.

In response, he invoked two issues that have been used to rally divided conservatives for decades — the fights against abortion and socialism.


Other issues:



There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” he said, referring to efforts by Democrats in New York and Virginia to loosen restrictions on abortion rights.

In recent days, Republicans on Capitol Hill have been circulating talking points urging them to highlight plans by Democrats, including the freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, to increase taxes on the wealthy.

“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Mr. Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control.”





Women's issues:



He defended his record on women’s issues.
Mr. Trump dedicated several minutes to listing his economic accomplishments on behalf of women as he faced row upon row of seats occupied by Democratic women wearing white, in a visual demonstration of their unprecedented power in a House run by one of their own.

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“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” said Mr. Trump, who seemed genuinely surprised by the thunderous applause it evoked from women on both sides of the aisle.

“You weren’t supposed to do that,” said the president, who went on to praise the record-breaking election of 117 women to Congress in 2018.

That, too, garnered a hearty ovation. He has a long way to go, however.

Recent polls show that large majorities of women disapprove of his performance.



On the wall



As President Trump veered into immigration, partisan tension soared.
With 10 days left for Congress to pass a border security package and avert another government shutdown, Mr. Trump devoted a significant portion of his speech to making the case for his signature campaign proposal: a wall at the southern border.

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“This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier — not just a simple concrete wall,” he said, adding, “Simply put, WALLS WORK and WALLS SAVE LIVES.

But as Mr. Trump raised the time frame to keep the government fully funded, the Democrats tensed and Republicans continued to applaud.

Representative Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota, buried her head in her hands. As he detailed a litany of familiar talking points about caravans marching toward the United States, there was a disgruntled round of groans, punctuated by a couple boos as they looked around at each other, shaking their heads.

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[Trump wants a border wall. Here’s what’s in place already.]

Representative Veronica Escobar, Democrat of Texas, whose district includes most of El Paso, was visibly angry after Mr. Trump referenced her district and the decrease in crime. She appeared to mouth that it was safe before the wall and after the wall.


“Oh my God, oh my God,” she mouthed to her colleagues, her arms crossed as other representatives looked over in her direction.


There were also some unhappy murmurs when he described the increase in troops at the southern border and scoffs at his description of the “savage MS-13 gang.”

The women in white took their bows.
The audience for Mr. Trump’s State of the Union address looked like a striking sea of white, with Democratic women — many dressed in white in a nod to the women’s suffragist movement — sitting together. Midway through the president’s speech, they did something completely unexpected: They stood up and cheered.

“No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the newly created jobs last year,” Mr. Trump said, prompting the women to roar their approval. After all, many of them had new jobs, in the House, which they took from men.

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“You weren’t supposed to do that,” the president said, smiling.

When President Trump mentioned the record number of women in Congress during his State of the Union address, many Democratic women who had not previously applauded stood and cheered.
IMAGE BY ERIN SCHAFF FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
“All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the work force than ever before,” Mr. Trump went on, adding, “Don’t sit yet you’re going to like this.”

And then he delivered his biggest applause line: “Exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in Congress than at any time before.”

It was a striking moment for a president who has been routinely accused of misogyny, who paid hush money to a pornographic film actress and a Playboy model and who spoke in vulgar terms as he admitted on videotape that he had sexually assaulted women.

The Democratic response: Race and voting rights.
Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia legislature, narrowly lost her bid to be the first African-American woman governor in the South, but it was the way she lost — amid charges of voter suppression and vote rigging — that really rankled.

ADVERTISEMENT
In choosing Ms. Abrams to give the Democratic response, her party’s kleaders were tapping a crusader for voting rights, and that is what she delivered.

“While I acknowledged the results of the 2018 election here in Georgia, I did not and we cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote,” Ms. Abrams said. “This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a ‘power grab.’ Americans understand that these are the values our brave men and women in uniform and our veterans risk their lives to defend.”

She also tackled race, even as a Democratic governor, Ralph Northam of Virginia, fights for his political survival after photos of a man in black face and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe emerged in his medical school yearbook.

“We fought Jim Crow with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, yet we continue to confront racism from our past and in our present,” she said, “which is why we must hold everyone from the very highest offices to our own families accountable for racist words and deeds — and call racism what it is: Wrong.”

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President Trump announces next meeting with Kim Jong-un
Mr. Trump plans to sit down with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, this month in Vietnam, a country chosen as a neutral location for their second nuclear summit meeting, but one that also has plenty of symbolic significance.

Mr. Trump hopes the meeting will jump-start a diplomatic effort that has stalled since their first encounter, last June in Singapore. While North Korea since then has refrained from overtly provocative actions like testing nuclear warheads or ballistic missiles, it has yet to agree to actually give up any piece of its atomic arsenal.

“Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one,” Mr. Trump said. “Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam.”

Trump to Meet With Kim Jong-un in VietnamFeb. 5, 2019
Trump warns House Democrats: Don’t investigate me or my administration.
After spending the first portion of his speech patting himself on the back for what he views as his administration’s accomplishments, including low unemployment, Mr. Trump issued a stern warning to the Democrats now in charge of the House.

ADVERTISEMENT
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi smirked behind him.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, smiled. He has already begin examining whether money laundering could have motivated Mr. Trump’s coziness with Russian oligarchs.

The speech was longer than last year’s, but short of the record.
This year’s State of the Union address was the second longest in recorded history, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project’s data dates back to 1964. Tonight’s address surpassed Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union by about two minutes, but falls short of former President Bill Clinton’s 2000 address by about six minutes.

Who Are the Trumps’ State of the Union Guests?Feb. 4, 2019
Striking a theme of unity with some notes off key.
President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but any hope of enduring harmony was dispelled long before he arrived at the Capitol.

ADVERTISEMENT
Mr. Trump, who has warred with Democrats for weeks over his plan to build a wall along the nation’s southwestern border, hoped to use the nationally televised speech to present himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he continued to press lawmakers to give him money for the barrier.

Image
President Trump shook hands with Speaker Nancy Pelosi before giving the State of the Union.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” Mr. Trump told lawmakers from the rostrum of the House of Representatives. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”

Mr. Trump signaled that he will not back off his hard-line immigration policies that have polarized the country. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he was to add, according to excerpts released by the White House. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”

Read more from Peter Baker.

Jumping the gun.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spared any discomfort that might have come with the ritual introduction of the president of the United States. The president jumped the gun.

ADVERTISEMENT
Before she could utter the traditional, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the president of the United States,” Mr. Trump had already started speaking.

Image
President Trump delivering the State of the Union address on Tuesday at the Capitol.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
While Mr. Trump forgot to have Ms. Pelosi introduce him, another Republican president — George W. Bush — made a big deal of Ms. Pelosi’s introduction of him in 2007, the year she first became speaker.

“Tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own — as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker,” Mr. Bush said then.

Here’s what Mr. Trump has said so far and how it stacks up against the facts.
President Trump said that more people are working in the United States than at any time in history.

This is misleading.
While the total number of people working in the United States is higher than ever, it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States. The more relevant way to look at this is the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of people working as a portion of the population. That is nowhere near a record.

President Trump said the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

This is false.
The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the most recent available data. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

In excerpts released before his speech, President Trump took credit for America’s superstar status in the world, saying other countries are envious of the economy and that its military is the most powerful.

This is misleading.
America has long been considered the world’s superstar, a status that predates Mr. Trump’s time in office, going back to the end of World War II. And while the American economy has been growing during Mr. Trump’s presidency, it is a continuation of the trend since June 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT
[You can find more fact checks here.]

“Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”
At a private lunch for television anchors on Tuesday, Mr. Trump put the lie to what his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, called a coming pitch for “c-o-m-i-t-y.”

Some bon mots offered up:

On the prospects of facing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 campaign: “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student. His gaffes are unbelievable. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

On Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts: “I hope I haven’t wounded Pocahontas too badly,” he said. “I’d like to run against her.”

On Senator Schumer: “Schumer,” he added, “can be a nasty son of a bitch.”

And on the embattled Virginia governor, Ralph Northam: “Did you see that news conference?” Mr. Trump asked. “Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”

ADVERTISEMENT
For good measure, the president took another shot at the late Senator John McCain: “By the way,” Mr. Trump said, “he wrote a book and the book bombed.”

Rick Perry, your designated survivor, finds his bunker.
Every year, one member of the president’s cabinet is held in a secure location, in case catastrophe strikes. Rick Perry, the former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, hasn’t been much in evidence since he joined the Trump administration as the energy secretary.

He won’t be in evidence at the State of the Union address either. He is the designated survivor, spirited, well, somewhere.


Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration



On race issues:


The Democratic response: Race and voting rights.
Stacey Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia legislature, narrowly lost her bid to be the first African-American woman governor in the South, but it was the way she lost — amid charges of voter suppression and vote rigging — that really rankled.

ADVERTISEMENT

In choosing Ms. Abrams to give the Democratic response, her party’s leaders were tapping a crusader for voting rights, and that is what she delivered.

“While I acknowledged the results of the 2018 election here in Georgia, I did not and we cannot accept efforts to undermine our right to vote,” Ms. Abrams said. “This is the next battle for our democracy, one where all eligible citizens can have their say about the vision we want for our country. We must reject the cynicism that says allowing every eligible vote to be cast and counted is a ‘power grab.’ Americans understand that these are the values our brave men and women in uniform and our veterans risk their lives to defend.”

She also tackled race, even as a Democratic governor, Ralph Northam of Virginia, fights for his political survival after photos of a man in black face and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe emerged in his medical school yearbook.

“We fought Jim Crow with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, yet we continue to confront racism from our past and in our present,” she said, “which is why we must hold everyone from the very highest offices to our own families accountable for racist words and deeds — and call racism what it is: Wrong.”

ADVERTISEMENT

President Trump announces next meeting with Kim Jong-un
Mr. Trump plans to sit down with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, this month in Vietnam, a country chosen as a neutral location for their second nuclear summit meeting, but one that also has plenty of symbolic significance.

Mr. Trump hopes the meeting will jump-start a diplomatic effort that has stalled since their first encounter, last June in Singapore. While North Korea since then has refrained from overtly provocative actions like testing nuclear warheads or ballistic missiles, it has yet to agree to actually give up any piece of its atomic arsenal.

“Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong-un is a good one,” Mr. Trump said. “Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27th and 28th in Vietnam.”

Trump to Meet With Kim Jong-un in VietnamFeb. 5, 2019
Trump warns House Democrats: Don’t investigate me or my administration.
After spending the first portion of his speech patting himself on the back for what he views as his administration’s accomplishments, including low unemployment, Mr. Trump issued a stern warning to the Democrats now in charge of the House.

ADVERTISEMENT
“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi smirked behind him.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, smiled. He has already begin examining whether money laundering could have motivated Mr. Trump’s coziness with Russian oligarchs.

The speech was longer than last year’s, but short of the record.
This year’s State of the Union address was the second longest in recorded history, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project’s data dates back to 1964. Tonight’s address surpassed Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union by about two minutes, but falls short of former President Bill Clinton’s 2000 address by about six minutes.

Who Are the Trumps’ State of the Union Guests?Feb. 4, 2019
Striking a theme of unity with some notes off key.
President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but any hope of enduring harmony was dispelled long before he arrived at the Capitol.

ADVERTISEMENT
Mr. Trump, who has warred with Democrats for weeks over his plan to build a wall along the nation’s southwestern border, hoped to use the nationally televised speech to present himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he continued to press lawmakers to give him money for the barrier.

Image
President Trump shook hands with Speaker Nancy Pelosi before giving the State of the Union.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” Mr. Trump told lawmakers from the rostrum of the House of Representatives. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”

Mr. Trump signaled that he will not back off his hard-line immigration policies that have polarized the country. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he was to add, according to excerpts released by the White House. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”

Read more from Peter Baker.

Jumping the gun.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spared any discomfort that might have come with the ritual introduction of the president of the United States. The president jumped the gun.

ADVERTISEMENT
Before she could utter the traditional, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the president of the United States,” Mr. Trump had already started speaking.

Image
President Trump delivering the State of the Union address on Tuesday at the Capitol.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
While Mr. Trump forgot to have Ms. Pelosi introduce him, another Republican president — George W. Bush — made a big deal of Ms. Pelosi’s introduction of him in 2007, the year she first became speaker.

“Tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own — as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker,” Mr. Bush said then.

Here’s what Mr. Trump has said so far and how it stacks up against the facts.
President Trump said that more people are working in the United States than at any time in history.

This is misleading.
While the total number of people working in the United States is higher than ever, it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States. The more relevant way to look at this is the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of people working as a portion of the population. That is nowhere near a record.

President Trump said the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

This is false.
The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the most recent available data. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

In excerpts released before his speech, President Trump took credit for America’s superstar status in the world, saying other countries are envious of the economy and that its military is the most powerful.

This is misleading.
America has long been considered the world’s superstar, a status that predates Mr. Trump’s time in office, going back to the end of World War II. And while the American economy has been growing during Mr. Trump’s presidency, it is a continuation of the trend since June 2009.

ADVERTISEMENT
[You can find more fact checks here.]

“Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”
At a private lunch for television anchors on Tuesday, Mr. Trump put the lie to what his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, called a coming pitch for “c-o-m-i-t-y.”

Some bon mots offered up:

On the prospects of facing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 campaign: “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student. His gaffes are unbelievable. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

On Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts: “I hope I haven’t wounded Pocahontas too badly,” he said. “I’d like to run against her.”

On Senator Schumer: “Schumer,” he added, “can be a nasty son of a bitch.”

And on the embattled Virginia governor, Ralph Northam: “Did you see that news conference?” Mr. Trump asked. “Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”


For good measure, the president took another shot at the late Senator John McCain: “By the way,” Mr. Trump said, “he wrote a book and the book bombed.”

Rick Perry, your designated survivor, finds his bunker.
Every year, one member of the president’s cabinet is held in a secure location, in case catastrophe strikes. Rick Perry, the former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, hasn’t been much in evidence since he joined the Trump administration as the energy secretary.

He won’t be in evidence at the State of the Union address either. He is the designated survivor, spirited, well, somewhere.



And finally, including an announcement on a new visit with North Korean Leader Kim in Vietnam,


this:


An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations,” he said. “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi smirked behind him.


Representative Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, smiled. He has already begin examining whether money laundering could have motivated Mr. Trump’s coziness with Russian oligarchs.

The speech was longer than last year’s, but short of the record.
This year’s State of the Union address was the second longest in recorded history, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The project’s data dates back to 1964. Tonight’s address surpassed Mr. Trump’s first State of the Union by about two minutes, but falls short of former President Bill Clinton’s 2000 address by about six minutes.

Who Are the Trumps’ State of the Union Guests?Feb. 4, 2019
Striking a theme of unity with some notes off key.
President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but any hope of enduring harmony was dispelled long before he arrived at the Capitol.



Mr. Trump, who has warred with Democrats for weeks over his plan to build a wall along the nation’s southwestern border, hoped to use the nationally televised speech to present himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he continued to press lawmakers to give him money for the barrier.


President Trump shook hands with Speaker Nancy Pelosi before giving the State of the Union.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
“Together, we can break decades of political stalemate,” Mr. Trump told lawmakers from the rostrum of the House of Representatives. “We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.”

Mr. Trump signaled that he will not back off his hard-line immigration policies that have polarized the country. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he was to add, according to excerpts released by the White House. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.”



Jumping the gun.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spared any discomfort that might have come with the ritual introduction of the president of the United States. The president jumped the gun.


Before she could utter the traditional, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the president of the United States,” Mr. Trump had already started speaking.


President Trump delivering the State of the Union address on Tuesday at the Capitol.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
While Mr. Trump forgot to have Ms. Pelosi introduce him, another Republican president — George W. Bush — made a big deal of Ms. Pelosi’s introduction of him in 2007, the year she first became speaker.

“Tonight, I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own — as the first President to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker,” Mr. Bush said then.

Here’s what Mr. Trump has said so far and how it stacks up against the facts.
President Trump said that more people are working in the United States than at any time in history.

This is misleading.
While the total number of people working in the United States is higher than ever, it is not because of the president’s policies. It is because more people than ever live in the United States. The more relevant way to look at this is the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of people working as a portion of the population. That is nowhere near a record.

President Trump said the American economy is considered “far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

This is false.
The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, the most recent available data. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

In excerpts released before his speech, President Trump took credit for America’s superstar status in the world, saying other countries are envious of the economy and that its military is the most powerful.

This is misleading.
America has long been considered the world’s superstar, a status that predates Mr. Trump’s time in office, going back to the end of World War II. And while the American economy has been growing during Mr. Trump’s presidency, it is a continuation of the trend since June 2009.


[You can find more fact checks here.]

“Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”
At a private lunch for television anchors on Tuesday, Mr. Trump put the lie to what his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, called a coming pitch for “c-o-m-i-t-y.”

Some bon mots offered up:

On the prospects of facing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 campaign: “Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student. His gaffes are unbelievable. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb.”

On Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts: “I hope I haven’t wounded Pocahontas too badly,” he said. “I’d like to run against her.”

On Senator Schumer: “Schumer,” he added, “can be a nasty son of a bitch.”

And on the embattled Virginia governor, Ralph Northam: “Did you see that news conference?” Mr. Trump asked. “Could you believe it? He choked like a dog.”


For good measure, the president took another shot at the late Senator John McCain: “By the way,” Mr. Trump said, “he wrote a book and the book bombed.”

Rick Perry, your designated survivor, finds his bunker.
Every year, one member of the president’s cabinet is held in a secure location, in case catastrophe strikes. Rick Perry, the former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, hasn’t been much in evidence since he joined the Trump administration as the energy secretary.

He won’t be in evidence at the State of the Union address either. He is the designated survivor, spirited, well, somewhere.



The speech was predictable, and Trump looked and acted presidential, especially pleased when the women Democrats all dressed in white cheered Trump and clapped at his remarks toward women, as the represented suggested of the past.
The black women did not please him as much as they implied civil rights violations with documented voter suppression efforts.

The feeling one gets is, that Trump is getting stronger and bolder, with half of his first term under his belt, and the only problem he has is the ongoing investigation, that he is trying real hard to put behind. No surprises, but the sustaining boldness and continuing bad taste which he has pretty much normalized idionsynchratically as a stylalystic matter, pretty much balanced by some of his alleged successes, which the Democrats countered with the fact that the economic upturn started under Obama's administration, after all he salvaged the effects o of the Great Recession.The outstanding question remains over the legal difficulties he is in, and whether legal and political policy can sustain the investigation not only until the end of his first term, but enable a second run, in spite of an uphill battle?



Tax return controversy:




BI INTELLIGENCE
EDITION

* Copyright © 2019 Insider Inc. All rights reserved.
.




Republicans are begging a top Democrat to drop the quest for Trump's tax returns
Joe Perticone 51m
President Donald Trump speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee requested that the Democrat in charge change course on obtaining President Trump's tax returns.
The top Republican on the committee, as well as the ranking members on its oversight subcommittee, characterized it as an abuse of authority.
The House Ways and Means Committee is holding its first hearing on presidential tax returns on Thursday.
WASHINGTON — Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee asked the new Democratic chairman to drop the quest to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns from the Treasury Department.

In a letter to Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, who is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, on Thursday, Republican Reps. Kevin Brady and Mike Kelly pleaded with the chairman to not pursue Trump's tax returns, citing privacy concerns and what they characterized as an abuse of authority.

Read more: Democrats will be able to make Trump's tax returns public if they take back Congress. Here's how.

"Some of the proposals our Committee is considering this week leave us deeply concerned. We believe all Americans have a fundamental right to the privacy of the personal information found in their tax returns," the letter read. "This isn't about the tax returns of the presidents and vice-presidents but about making sure Congress does not abuse its authority. This is about protecting the private tax returns of every American."
Brady, the House Ways and Means Committee's ranking Republican, and Kelly, the top Republican on the subcommittee on oversight, added that Democrats "appear willing to sacrifice this critical protection for political gain" and that revealing the president's tax returns would set a "dangerous precedent."

"When we start making exceptions for one taxpayer, it begins the process of eroding and threatening the privacy rights of all taxpayers," they wrote. "This is a risk we cannot and should not take."

The letter goes on to characterize the quest for Trump's tax returns, which is entirely legal, as "weaponizing our nation's tax code by targeting political foes."

The Republicans concluded by suggesting the committee "veer away from this dangerous path and work together to develop common sense improvement to our ethics laws."

The letter comes as the committee is set to hold its first hearing on obtaining tax returns from presidents and vice presidents since the Democrats took back majority control of the House in January.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:12 am

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said Thursday that his committee's Russia investigation has yet to find evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and the Kremlin but will soon release a report on the Obama administration's response to Russian interference in the last presidential election.

But then,









President Donald Trump on Thursday called the oversight investigations into his administration “a continuation” of a “witch hunt.” | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images


President Donald Trump responded Thursday to the first waves of oversight investigations into his administration launched by the new Democratic majority in the House, alleging that he is being unfairly subjected to “unlimited presidential harassment” that no previous president has faced.

“So now Congressman Adam Schiff announces, after having found zero Russian Collusion, that he is going to be looking at every aspect of my life, both financial and personal, even though there is no reason to be doing so,” the president tweeted. “Never happened before! Unlimited Presidential Harassment.




"PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT! It should never be allowed to happen again!"

On Wednesday, House Intelligence Chairman Schiff (D-Calif.) announced the parameters of his committee’s revived Russia investigation, which he said would “go beyond” Russian interference in the 2016 election and include whether Trump or his associates “have sought to influence U.S. government policy in service of foreign interests” and “whether any foreign actor has sought to compromise or holds leverage, financial or otherwise, over Donald Trump, his family, his business, or his associates.”

A spokesman for Schiff's office did not immediately return a request for comment on the president's complaint.

Schiff’s announcement came one day after the president called for unity between Republicans and Democrats in his State of the Union address and said “if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” an apparent dig at Democrats' plans to conduct rigorous oversight in the second half of Trump’s first term.

Trump responded to Schiff on Wednesday, calling him a “partisan hack” and arguing that there was “no basis” for an investigation of his finances, which he has called a red line in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The investigation by Schiff’s committee is one of a slew that the president will face in a newly divided government that is now getting up to full steam after a monthlong government shutdown. House Democrats are gearing up to investigate everything from the president’s tax returns and immigration policies to the conduct of his scandal-ridden Cabinet members and his administration's security clearance practices as they wield subpoena power in the House for the first time in nearly a decade.

In another tweet on Thursday, the president wrote that “the Dems and their committees are going ‘nuts.’” He said “Republicans never did this to President Obama, there would be no time left to run government,” though Republicans did launch investigations into the Obama administration that Democrats similarly denounced as hyperpartisan.

Trump alluded to the prospect of facing more investigations, writing, “I hear other committee heads will do the same thing.”

Story Continued Below

And he appeared to complain that the bevy of investigations into his administration was diverting resources, writing that the probes are “even stealing people who work at White House!” and calling the investigations “a continuation” of a “witch hunt"
© 2019 POLITICO LLC



Executive Unfittness:


Mr. Trump’s strength among Republicans is more precarious than it appears,” Jonathan Rauch and Peter Wehner write in today’s Times. “For reasons both substantial and practical, we believe his disgorgement by Republicans can happen, might happen — and should happen. Contrary to conventional wisdom, removal by his party would be as healthy for America’s democracy as his removal by the voters, perhaps more so.” (I agree.)
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:27 pm

Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else
Robert Reich
Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways

Mon 11 Feb 2019 06.00 EST Last modified on Mon 11 Feb 2019 06.02 EST

‘America will never be a socialist country,’ Trump said in his State of the Union address.

“America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism.



In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.

Banks that are too big to fail – courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout – enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83bn a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4bn. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears.

Under socialism for the rich, you can screw up big time and still reap big rewards
Trump and his appointees at the Federal Reserve are easing bank requirements put in place after the bailout. They’ll make sure the biggest banks remain too big to fail.

Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways. GM has got more than $600m in federal contracts, plus $500m in tax breaks. Some of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22m in total compensation in 2017 alone.

But GM employees are subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019.

When he was in business, Trump perfected the art of using bankruptcy to shield himself from the consequences of bad decisions – socialism for the rich at its worst – while leaving employees twisting in the wind.

Now, all over America, executives who run their companies into the ground are getting gold-plated exit packages while their workers get pink slips.

Sears is doling out $25m to the executives who stripped its remaining assets and drove it into bankruptcy, but has no money for the thousands of workers it laid off.

As Pacific Gas and Electric hurdles toward bankruptcy, the person who was in charge when the deadly infernos roared through Northern California last year (caused in part by PG&E’s faulty equipment) has departed with a cash severance package of $2.5m . The PG&E executive in charge of gas operations when records were allegedly falsified left in 2017 with $6.9m.

Under socialism for the rich, you can screw up big time and still reap big rewards. Equifax’s Richard Smith retired in 2017 with an $18m pension in the wake of a security breach that exposed the personal information of 145 million consumers to hackers.

Wells Fargo’s Carrie Tolstedt departed with a $125m exit package after being in charge of the unit that opened more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts.

Most Americans are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in which they’re working harder but getting nowhere
Around 60% of America’s wealth is now inherited. Many of today’s super-rich have never done a day’s work in their lives.

Trump’s response has been to cut the estate tax to apply only to estates valued at over $22m per couple. Mitch McConnell is now proposing that the estate tax be repealed altogether.

What about the capitalist principles that people earn what they’re worth in the market, and that economic gains should go to those who deserve them?

America is on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history. As rich boomers expire over the next three decades, an estimated $30tn will go to their children.

Those children will be able to live off of the income these assets generate, and then leave the bulk of them to their own heirs, tax-free. (Capital gains taxes don’t apply to the soaring values of stocks, bonds, mansions, and other assets of wealthy people who die before they’re sold.)

After a few generations of this, almost all of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of a few thousand non-working families. To the conservative mind, the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive. Yet that’s exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are promoting for the rich.

Meanwhile, most Americans are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in which they’re working harder but getting nowhere, and have less security than ever.

They need thicker safety nets and deserve a bigger piece of the economic pie. If you want to call this socialism, fine. I call it fair.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good






Ok I accept all of that which is said; now please how do we change it. How do we regain control of the electoral system - our electoral system -and how do we prevent “dark money” from persuading people to vote against their own best interests.
We all know the bit about: People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. – The Wealth of Nations, Book I, Chapter X. but do we read on ….It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies. . . . A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows, and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary. An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole.
As others have written: “the only way businessmen can succeed in a ‘conspiracy against the public’ is if they are given protection by government regulation. If not, the pressures of competition will ensure that conspiring businesses are quickly undermined by their competitors”.

Thus we need government for and by the people to be empowered to regulate in the best interests of the people it serves and if the buggers do not wish to pay taxes or to be regulated then let them go elsewhere but also deny them access to our markets and borders.



Looks like poster-child for socialism AOC's mind-warpingly unreal and dangerous policies for the environment and tax will safely see Trump re-elected in 2020.


© 2019 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.






DONALD TRUMP
Trump might consider other options to build wall even if he signs spending deal, White House official says
On Monday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers reached an agreement on border security to keep the government open past Friday.
Image: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso
President Donald Trump speaks at El Paso County Coliseum in Texas on Feb. 11, 2019.Leah Millis / Reuters

Feb. 12, 2019, 7:37 AM PST
By Allan Smith
Even if President Donald Trump signs off on a newly reached bipartisan agreement to keep the government open that does not provide what he has sought in border wall funding, other options are still on the table to build a more substantial barrier, a White House official tells NBC News.

The White House is considering using executive action to redirect federal funding to build a larger barrier at the U.S. southern border than what Congress agreed upon Monday night. And, separately, Trump has kept the door open to declaring a national emergency to fund the wall, which would likely draw legal challenges.

The government is set to run out of funding again later this week after having been partially shut down for 35 days earlier this year — the longest shutdown in U.S. history. That shutdown occurred because lawmakers did not provide Trump with his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall. But Trump eventually relented and signed a short term funding package, set to expire Friday.


Congress reaches agreement, but where does Trump stand?
On Monday, a bipartisan group of congressional negotiators announced they reached an "agreement in principle" to avert another shutdown and further fund border security, though it would not include money for a concrete wall. The agreement would provide nearly $1.4 billion for new border fencing, which could include steel slats and other "existing technologies," and an additional $1.7 billion for other Homeland Security priorities like new technology and more customs officers, multiple sources told NBC News. The deal funds about 55 miles of new border barrier.

"We reached an agreement in principle," Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters. "Our staffs are going to be working feverishly to be putting all the details together, and that’s all we can tell you now."





Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that it was "certainly good news" that negotiators had reached an agreement.

Recommended
Senate has uncovered no direct evidence of conspiracy between Trump campaign and Russia
"I look forward to reviewing the full text as soon as possible, and hope the Senate can act on this legislation in short order," McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor.

Speaking with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday, Trump said he could not go into the details of the agreement, which was reached just prior to his interview.

But some of Trump's allies were apoplectic about the agreement. Fox News host Sean Hannity said on his Monday program that the deal was trash.

"$1.3 billion? That's not ... even a wall, a barrier," he said, asking how any Republican could support "this garbage compromise."


Allan Smith
Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.


NBC NEWS / POLITICS
Flight attendants union warns of possible airport chaos if there's another shutdown
02:15
NBC NEWS / NIGHTLY-NEWS


Border war: Beto O'Rourke says 'walls don't save lives.' Trump: 'Beto was defeated.
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