Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage -State of the Union

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:35 am

https://youtu.be/fpf1IYU0poY


What impeachment, right?



The New York Times

State of the Union

Full Analysis

Fact Check

Key Highlights

Trump and Pelosi Exchange Snubs

Rush Limbaugh Honored

Updated 53 minutes ago

State of the Union Updates: Trump Adds Reality Show Flourishes to Address

On the eve of the final Senate votes in the impeachment trial, President Trump traded snubs with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and promoted a ‘Great American Comeback,’ pausing to award Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

By Peter Bake

President Trump declined to shake the hand of Speaker Nancy Pelosi before his State of the Union Address. The speaker then omitted the customary laudatory words from her introduction of him. After his address, she ripped up her copy of his speech.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mr. Trump dispensed with ‘carnage’ in favor of ‘comeback’ as he argued that he has revitalized America.



Returning to his roots, Trump peppered the address with reality show flourishes

Awaiting acquittal, Mr. Trump planned a low-key address, saving his views on impeachment for another speech.

Mr. Trump sought to show support for Venezuela’s opposition by inviting Juan Guaidó to the speech.

Rush Limbaugh was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Trump reveled in the Democratic dysfunction in Iowa, calling it ‘a fiasco that just plays right into us.’



Mr. Trump dispensed with ‘carnage’ in favor of ‘comeback’ as he argued that he has revitalized America.

With the November election just nine months away, President Trump used his speech to frame the choice as he sees it, claiming credit for what he called a “Great American Comeback” and revival of American spirit while defining the coming campaign against the Democrats as a battle to stop the rise of socialism in the United States.

Mr. Trump, who decried what he called “American carnage” when he was inaugurated in January 2017, described a different country on Tuesday night, saying the nation is one again making progress at home.

“In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny. We have totally rejected the downsizing,” he said. “We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago and we are never going back.”

The cited his tax cuts, deregulation, renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a partial trade agreement with China, while arguing against Democratic plans to expand access to health care.



“To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American health care,” he said.

As Mr. Trump was calling for measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs, Democrats jumped to their feet, held up three fingers and chanted, “H.R. 3! H.R. 3!” They were referring to a bill the House passed last year to lower the cost of prescription drugs, which has languished in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Picking up another favorite theme, Mr. Trump reaffirmed his campaign to restrict the flow of new people into the country, assailing California, New York and other jurisdictions he calls “sanctuary cities” that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. He called for the enactment of legislation that would allow them to be sued by victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

“The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens,” he said, introducing a senior Border Patrol official and the brother of a man killed at a gas station.





Snubs: Trump declined to shake Pelosi’s hand. She omitted a ceremonial introduction and ripped up his speech.





It was a night of awkward encounters and pointed snubs. As he arrived at the rostrum, Mr. Trump turned to hand copies of his speech to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence but when Ms. Pelosi offered her hand to shake, he turned away without taking it. She shrugged.

Moments later, Ms. Pelosi announced Mr. Trump to the assembled lawmakers with the simple words, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States” — eschewing the more florid language that speakers, including her, have used in the past: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”

The snubbing continued right until Mr. Trump finished speaking, when Ms. Pelosi stood, an expression of vague disgust on her face, and tore up her copy of the speech — in full view of the television cameras, while Mr. Trump had his back turned.



Mr. Trump also came across another central figure in his impeachment drama on his way to the rostrum as he saw Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the Senate impeachment trial. The president paused to speak to the chief justice, to which the chief justice appeared to say “thank you” even as he kept a studiously neutral face.

And among the official escorts assigned to bring Mr. Trump into the chamber was Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, one of the seven House Democrats prosecuting the president in the Senate trial.

Republicans, by contrast, greeted Mr. Trump enthusiastically, chanting, “Four more years! Four more years!” as he took the rostrum, as if it were a campaign rally.

Mr. Trump returned their warmth, at one point acknowledging Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader who has ensured his acquittal in the impeachment trial. “Thank you, Mitch,” the president said.



Returning to his roots, Trump peppered the address with reality show flourishes

Ever the showman, Mr. Trump returned to his roots as a reality television star, peppering in flourishes and surprises meant to delight the viewing audience. Some of the moves seemed cribbed straight from daytime television: bringing home a soldier from Afghanistan and reuniting him with his family, awarding a nine-year-old girl with a scholarship, and awarding the conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom — complete with a ceremony in the First Lady’s box.

Mr. Trump appeared to relish his role as the ringmaster in House Democrats’ own turf, and the antics seemingly thrilled Republicans in the chamber, who cheered Mr. Limbaugh — who was recently diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer — with cries of “Rush! Rush! Rush!”

But some Democrats walked away in disgust.

“It’s like watching professional wrestling,” Representative Tim Ryan of Massachusetts wrote on Twitter. “It’s all fake.
— Catie Edmondson

Awaiting acquittal, Mr. Trump planned a low-key address, saving his views on impeachment for another speech.

Mr. Trump’s appearance in the same House chamber where he was impeached nearly seven weeks ago marked a surreal moment in Washington as he addresses many of the same lawmakers still trying to remove him from office. Despite the fireworks, Mr. Trump all but ignored the battle over the future of his presidency, at least out loud. He told network anchors earlier in the day that he plans to save his thoughts on the matter for a separate speech he wants to give after the final vote on Wednesday, when the Senate is poised to acquit him.



The unusual confluence of the president’s annual speech with an impeachment trial was not a first. President Bill Clinton likewise delivered his State of the Union address in 1999 in the midst of a Senate impeachment trial that later acquitted him. Mr. Clinton made no mention of the trial either.

Mr. Trump sought to show support for Venezuela’s opposition by inviting Juan Guaidó to the speech.





For weeks, the Trump administration has fought speculation that it was no longer backing Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuelan’s opposition movement, frustrated that he has yet to push President Nicolas Maduro from power. On Tuesday, the White House gave Mr. Guaidó its most visible show of support yet: a seat in Mr. Trump’s guest box for the State of the Union address.

“Please take this message back that all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” Mr. Trump said, turning to face Mr. Guaidó as Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats joined Republicans in a standing ovation. “Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.”

Mr. Guaidó left Venezuela last month, defying a travel ban imposed by Mr. Maduro’s disputed government, to round up international support. More than a year ago, as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Mr. Guaidó declared that because Mr. Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was under dispute, he could not claim power. Instead, under the Venezuelan constitution, Mr. Guaidó, declared himself the country’s interim leader.

More than 50 countries, including the United States, recognize Mr. Guaidó as the rightful president of Venezuela. The Trump administration has imposed dozens of economic sanctions against Mr. Maduro and his government to help Mr. Guaidó push him from office.







Another surprise guest in the first lady’s box, seated next to Melania Trump, was Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host who announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.



Mr. Limbaugh has been a strong supporter of Mr. Trump, even appearing with him at a campaign rally during last year’s midterm election, and the president offered a tribute to him in his speech.

“Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Mr. Trump said. “And Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Mr. Limbaugh looked surprised and emotional, his mouth hanging open as he passed his hands across his face. In an unusual break from tradition, Melania Trump then stood and fastened the medal around his neck. Mr. Limbaugh mouthed “thank you” while he flashed a thumbs up toward the floor. Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats, who have been some of Mr. Limbaugh’s regular targets and fiercest critics, did not stand.





Also in the box were Carl and Marsha Mueller, who held up a picture of their daughter, Kayla, a humanitarian aid worker kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Islamic State. Sitting nearby were Kelli and Gage Hake, the wife and 13-year-old son of Staff Sgt. Chris Hake, a soldier killed in 2008 by a roadside bomb in Iraq blamed on Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian general killed by a drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump.


Present as well were Charles McGee, one of the last surviving of the Tuskegee airmen, along with his great-grandson, Iain Lanphier, who wants to join the Space Force that Mr. Trump has just created.



Even before heading in his motorcade to the Capitol for the big speech, Mr. Trump was enjoying the day, reveling in the dysfunction of the Iowa Democratic caucuses and relishing new polling that showed his public approval at the highest point of his presidency.

The long-delayed counting of the opening round of the Democratic presidential nomination race gave Mr. Trump ammunition for his efforts to sow dissension among Democrats by claiming, without proof, that the party establishment was trying to rig the race against Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist he would like to face in the fall.

“It’s a fiasco that just plays right into us,” Mr. Trump told the network anchors, according to people in the room.

Mr. Trump said he did not know who would win the Democratic nomination but said that Mr. Sanders is “nastier and smarter” than the other candidates and expressed amazement that former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., was doing so well. Mr. Pence, a former governor of Indiana, then interjected that South Bend was a troubled city.

The president noted that he was looking forward to another Democrat-on-Democrat showdown, predicting that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first-term liberal firebrand from New York, would take on Senator Chuck Schumer, the party leader in the Senate, in a primary in 2022. “She will kick his ass,” Mr. Trump predicted.

After Trump finished, two Democrats responded, criticizing his policies and rhetoric about immigrants.



Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan delivered the Democratic response after President Trump’s State of the Union address.Credit...Image by Al Goldis/Associated Press


When Mr. Trump finished speaking, Democrats offered their rebuttal, featuring a midwestern governor from a state where the fall presidential contest will likely be waged most intensely and a Latina congresswoman who has taken him to task on immigration.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who won her office in 2018 with a convincing 10-point victory over Mr. Trump’s favored candidate in a state that he had won in 2016, represents what party leaders consider the archetype for a successful candidate in the Trump era, a “fix the damn roads” pragmatist, to use her own words, who can work with Republicans on bread-and-butter issues.

She took on Mr. Trump’s rosy view of the economy, saying: “It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market. What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans or prescription drugs.”

To deliver the party’s Spanish-language response, Democratic leaders tapped Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who declined to join Mr. Trump when he visited El Paso last August after a mass shooting by a gunman warning of a “Hispanic invasion.”

In her own remarks, Ms. Escobar said the shooter parroted some of the rhetoric used by the president. “Just before he began his killing spree, he posted his views online and used hateful language like the very words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos,” she said.

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent and has covered the last four presidents for The Times and The Washington Post. He also is the author of five books, most recently “Impeachment: An American Histo




Trump Claims End of ‘American Decline’ While Avoiding Mention of Impeachment



Assured of Acquittal, Trump Makes Case for a Second Term

Feb. 5, 2020

Iowa Democrats Release Partial Caucus Results, but No Winner Yet

Feb. 4, 2020











© 2020 The New York Times Company



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Claims-true and false



DONALD TRUMP

State of the Union fact check: What's true and what's false in Trump's address

Here's what the president got right, wrong and in between in his third such address to Congress.



President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News; AFP via Getty Images

Feb. 4, 2020, 9:32 PM EST



President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday, mixing fact with falsehood in his address to the nation.

The president said the state of the union was "stronger than ever before," offering a deeply partisan speech that celebrated the economy and his recent trade deals while warning against Democrats' election promises to rework the health care system.



NBC News fact-checked his address in real time.

Claim 1

"Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the Number 1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far," Trump said, according to an excerpt of the speech released in advance.

The facts: Trump is taking undue credit here. The U.S. has been the largest natural gas and oil producer since 2011 and 2014, respectively, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the agency that tracks this information. Trump took office in 2017.

Claim 2

"After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my administration," Trump said, according to the remarks prepared for delivery.

The facts: Trump is mostly right, although his numbers are slightly off. The U.S. lost 53,659 factories during the two previous administrations, not 60,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. But he's correct in saying the trend has reversed under his administration. From 2017 to the second quarter of last year, the U.S. added 12,074 factories, according to the most recently available data from the BLS.

Claim 3

"Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs, 5 million more than government experts projected during the previous administration," Trump said.

The facts: This number is misleading. Trump is taking credit for months of job gains that occurred during the administration of President Barack Obama. The economy, however, doesn't move that quickly. Since Trump took office, the country has added 6.7 million job in 36 months. He also suggests that this is unprecedented success that no one could have predicted, but it's not: In the 36 months before Trump took office, 8.2 million jobs were created during the Obama administration.

Claim 4

"If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success," Trump said.

The facts: Economists believe the current period of economic growth began during the Obama administration. Some say Trump's tax cuts might have boosted it, but the economy was not on the decline when Trump took office.

Claim 5

"Unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans has reached the lowest levels in history," Trump said.

The facts: This is true. Unemployment rates for each group reached the lowest levels on record, although all three have since ticked up slightly.

Claim 6:

"I've also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions," Trump said.

The facts: This is false. We've fact-checked this claim before, because Trump has been saying it for years. But the evidence doesn't back him up: The Trump administration backed a lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act's protections for pre-existing conditions are illegal, and the White House has not proposed alternative legislation that would offer those with pre-existing conditions the same protections that Obamacare offers.

Claim 7:

"And I was pleased to announce last year that for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down," Trump said.

The facts: This is false. Prescription drugs costs are on the rise, particularly for name-brand drugs, according to an Associated Press analysis.

Claim 8:

"Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just five years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive and better," Trump said.

The facts: This is half-true. Health insurance premiums did, indeed, double in five years, according to a government report, and the plans Trump is talking about can be much, much cheaper. But they are cheap for a reason: They cover significantly less care and come with a slew of risks.

Claim 9:

"In sanctuary cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed," Trump said.

This is false. "Sanctuary cities" typically refers to cities that do not cooperate with detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which are requests for sheriffs and police officers to detain undocumented immigrants so ICE can arrest them later. But sanctuary cities still enforce their own — and other jurisdictions' — criminal laws, and some police officers say these sanctuary policies actually help them fight crime.

Jane C. Timm

Jane C. Timm is a political reporter for NBC News, fact checking elections and covering voting rights.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Pelosi strikes back

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:11 pm

POLITICO

CONGRESS

Pelosi unloads on Trump in private meeting after SOTU standoff
“He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi told House Democrats in a closed-door meeting.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi heads to meet with fellow Democrats on the morning after a divisive State of the Union address.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped into President Donald Trump in a private meeting with Democrats Wednesday, just hours after the two jousted in a silent sparring match during his State of the Union address.

Pelosi, addressing her caucus Wednesday morning, said she felt “liberated” after defiantly ripping up Trump’s speech for the world to see, tearing up each page as she stood behind the president after he concluded his annual address.



“He shredded the truth, so I shredded his speech,” Pelosi told House Democrats, according to multiple sources in the room. “What we heard last night was a disgrace.”

Democrats gave Pelosi a standing ovation after she concluded her remarks, coming just hours before the Senate will vote to acquit Trump in his impeachment trial. The California Democrat then went on to salute all seven House impeachment managers by name, according to attendees.

"She said that he disgraced the House of Representatives by using it as a backdrop for a reality show," Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said leaving the meeting.


Pelosi’s remarks follow the latest turn in the long-running feud between the two party leaders, which played out during Trump’s annual address in front of the Congress and millions of viewers.



Before Trump even started the hyper-partisan speech — which frequently resembled one of his campaign rallies — the two got off on a sour note when the president seemingly snubbed Pelosi by refusing to shake her hand.

For the next 80 minutes, Trump delivered a speech that included a highlight reel of his presidency with a few reality show twists thrown in. The move enthralled Republicans, who lavished Trump with praise and disgusted Democrats, who hissed and booed, later calling Trump’s speech a disgrace.

Pelosi's dramatic gesture — tearing up the speech on national television — was in some ways uncharacteristic for the speaker, who is known for being publicly restrained and has urged her members to respect the office of the presidency.

But it’s also an indication that Pelosi has lost patience with Trump post-impeachment, with the president unwilling to acknowledge any wrongdoing even as some Republicans condemn his behavior.


Speaking to the caucus, some Democrats said Pelosi appeared distraught and frustrated by Trump's speech.

Pelosi specifically called out Trump’s decision to award the divisive conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the middle of the speech.

“He dishonored the State of the Union as an institutional practice,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). “It was kind of outright pandering to his base. It was just a disgraceful display.”

House Republican leaders were quick to condemn Pelosi — while offering no criticism of Trump's handshake snub — calling her late-night response a petty tantrum. Trump himself weighed in in his own way, rapidly retweeting more than a dozen people criticizing Pelosi's actions, many with the hashtag "PelosiTantrum" on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the speaker's top lieutenants were quick to come to her defense.

"As far as I'm concerned, a shredder wasn't available, so she did what she needed to do," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters after the caucus meeting.

"When someone won't even shake the hand of the speaker of the House, it tells you where their priorities lie," added Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-Mass.)


Impeachment delivers blockbuster fundraising for key lawmakers
Senate lurches toward acquittal
'Things get spicy' as New Hampshire locks onto 2020 candidates
'An attitude of disrespect': Pence flays Pelosi for ripping up Trump's speech
Pelosi unloads on Trump in private meeting after SOTU standoff

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Re: Trump enters the stage-Trump Aquitted

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:03 pm

The New York Times

The Trump Impeachmen

Updated 3 minutes ago

Impeachment Live Updates: Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial

President Trump was cleared of both impeachment charges. Only Mitt Romney crossed party lines, the lone Republican who voted to convict and remove the president from office.



RIGHT NOW

The impeachment trial is over. 



In a pair of historic votes, 52 to 48 and 53 to 47, senators acquitted President Trump of two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.Credit...Image by Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The Senate acquitted President Trump on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans turned back an election-year attempt by House Democrats to remove him from office for pressuring a foreign power to incriminate his political rivals.

The tally for conviction fell far below the 67-vote threshold necessary for removal and neither article of impeachment garnered even a simple majority. The first article, abuse of power, was rejected 48 to 52, and the second, obstruction of Congress, was defeated 47 to 53. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, was the only member to break with his party, voting to remove Mr. Trump from office.

The votes, ending the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, were a resounding victory for Mr. Trump after five months of blaring scandal over Ukraine that embroiled Washington and threatened his presidency. But both sides agreed that the final judgment on Mr. Trump will be rendered by voters when they cast ballots in just nine months.

Mr. Trump’s campaign quickly declared that he had been “totally vindicated” and would win in November. “Since the president’s campaign only got bigger and stronger as a result of this nonsense,” said Brad Parscale, his campaign manager, “this impeachment hoax will go down as the worst miscalculation in American political history.”



Romney votes to convict Trump of abuse of power, the only Republican to support removing the president.



During a statement to his colleagues, Senator Mitt Romney said he would vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, becoming the first Republican to break party ranks.Credit...Image by Senate Television, via Associated Press

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict President Trump on one of the two impeachment charges, making him the only Republican to support removing Mr. Trump from office.

Mr. Romney said in an interview that he would vote against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence.

But he said that Democrats had proven their first charge, that the president had misused his office in a bid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. for political reasons.


Speaking slowly and at times haltingly from the Senate floor before the vote, Mr. Romney, who appeared to choke up at the beginning of his speech, said that his decision was made out of an “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it.” He said Mr. Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Romney’s position, the Senate acquit Mr. Trump of both impeachment charges. But the defection of Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is a dramatic capstone on the evolution of a party that has thoroughly succumbed to the vise-grip of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Romney, who has been critical of Mr. Trump at various points since 2016, said he was acutely aware that he would suffer serious political ramifications for his decision, particularly in light of the strict loyalty the president has come to expect from elected officials of his own party. No House Republican voted to impeach Mr. Trump in December. (Representative Justin Amash, a former Republican of Michigan who fled the party over his differences with Mr. Trump, voted in favor of both articles.)

“I recognize there is going to be enormous consequences for having reached this conclusion,” Mr. Romney said. “Unimaginable” is how he described what might be in store for him.



The pushback from Mr. Trump’s camp started quickly. “Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now. He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP,” Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, wrote on Twitter.
— Mark Leibovich




Senator Doug Jones, Democrat of Alabama, is facing a tough re-election challenge.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Endangered Senate Democrats stick with their party and vote for conviction.

Three Senate Democrats from conservative-leaning states who had been targeted by the White House as possible defectors voted to convict Mr. Trump, depriving the president of the chance to claim a bipartisan exoneration despite the political risk.

Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama all announced their decisions in the final hours before the vote ending the Senate impeachment trial, ensuring that all 47 Democrats would stick together in supporting the removal of Mr. Trump from office.

“After many sleepless nights, I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the president for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” Mr. Jones, who is facing re-election in a state that Mr. Trump won in 2016 by nearly 28 percentage points, said in a statement.

Mr. Manchin, whose state went for Mr. Trump with 70 percent three years ago, had urged a non-binding, bipartisan censure, only to be ignored, and told reporters that he struggled deeply over his decision. “It’s a tough one guys,” he said before announcing his decision. “It’s a tough one.”

Ms. Sinema, a freshman who was one of the few Democrats to enthusiastically jump to her feet to applaud Mr. Trump at points during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, said that in the end she could not condone Mr. Trump’s use of his office to leverage domestic political assistance from a foreign power.

“While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious,” she said in a statement, “it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”





House Democrats are ‘likely’ to subpoena John Bolton.



“When you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore, you have to spotlight that,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler.Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Just because it is over does not mean it is actually be over. Hours before the Senate ended President Trump’s trial, a senior House Democrat indicated that he would continue the investigation on his side of the Capitol, starting with a subpoena for John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters that he would “likely” subpoena Mr. Bolton, who has confirmed in an unpublished book that Mr. Trump conditioned security aid on Ukraine’s willingness to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals, the central allegation in the trial.

“I think it’s likely, yes,” said Mr. Nadler, one of the seven House managers prosecuting the charges against Mr. Trump. “When you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore, you have to spotlight that, you have to protect the Constitution despite the political consequences.”



The House asked Mr. Bolton to testify before the December impeachment vote, but he did not agree and Democrats opted not to subpoena him because it could result in a lengthy court fight. When the articles of impeachment reached the Senate, however, Mr. Bolton publicly said he would comply with a Senate subpoena and testify if called. But Senate Republicans rushed to block any new evidence from being considered, and succeeded last week in holding together enough votes to beat back a bid by Democrats to seek new testimony and documents.

It was not clear whether Mr. Bolton would be willing to comply with a subpoena without a court fight if issued by the House outside the context of an impeachment trial. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bolton had no comment on Wednesday. Even if he did, Mr. Trump could assert executive privilege to try to block his testimony, provoking the legal battle Democrats hoped to avoid.

Trump avoided impeachment in his State of the Union address, but he may have his say after the votes.



President Trump delivered the State of the Union address in the Capitol on Tuesday.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Delivering an address from the rostrum of the House of Representatives that frequently sounded like a campaign stump speech, Mr. Trump nonetheless steered clear during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night of mentioning his impeachment trial.



That was a departure from last year, when Mr. Trump upbraided the House for what he called “ridiculous partisan investigations” and declared: “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.”

It is not clear if the restraint will hold on Wednesday, after the Senate’s votes to acquit him. Mr. Trump told television anchors at a lunch on Tuesday at the White House that he hoped to give a second set of remarks after the impeachment saga had ended.

Mr. Trump would like to hold a news conference or give a short statement. But most of his advisers have been urging him against it, wanting to ease pressure on senators for whom the vote was politically difficult.



‘It’s my hope we’ve finally found bottom.’ Senators lament a broken institution

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said in a speech on the Senate floor that the chamber “should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display here.”Credit...Jason Andrew for The New York Times

Normally a staid body, the Senate for the past two weeks has been roiled day after day by the impeachment trial, leaving several senators dejected and dug into their partisan corners.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said in a speech on the Senate floor that the chamber “should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display here,” adding later: “It’s my hope that we’ve finally found bottom here.” She said she planned to acquit Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump’s likely acquittal has also left Democrats embittered about the future of the institution in which they serve. Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said that while he wasn’t surprised by Mr. Trump’s abuse of power, he was surprised by the Senate’s “capitulation” to the president.

“Unchallenged evil spreads like a virus,” Mr. Kaine said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “We have allowed a toxic President to infect the Senate and warp its behavior.”

So where does that leave the Senate? Other senators sounded a more optimistic note.

“I think we heal in part by surprising the people and coming out from our partisan corners and getting stuff done,” Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said, citing addressing the opioid crisis and crumbling infrastructure as examples. “Stuff that they care about that affects the families we were sent here to represent.”

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent and has covered the last four presidents



Trump Claims End of ‘American Decline’ While Avoiding Mention of Impeachment

Feb. 5, 2020

Assured of Acquittal, Trump Makes Case for a Second Term



© 2020 The New York Times Company



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Fear!!!!!##




The New York Times

Opinion

In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear

One journalist remarked to me, “How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?”

By Sherrod Brown

Mr. Brown is a Democratic senator from Ohio.

Feb. 5, 2020


Fear of President Trump guides many Republicans in Congress. Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times



Not guilty. Not guilty.

In the United States Senate, like in many spheres of life, fear does the business.

Think back to the fall of 2002, just a few weeks before that year’s crucial midterm elections, when the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq was up for a vote. A year after the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of members of the House and the Senate were about to face the voters of a country still traumatized by terrorism.

Senator Patty Murray, a thoughtful Democrat from Washington State, still remembers “the fear that dominated the Senate leading up to the Iraq war.”

“You could feel it then,” she told me, “and you can feel that fear now” — chiefly among Senate Republicans.


For those of us who, from the start, questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war, our sense of isolation surely wasn’t much different from the loneliness felt in the 1950s by Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, who confronted Joe McCarthy’s demagogy only to be abandoned by so many of his colleagues. Nor was it so different from what Senator George McGovern must have felt when he announced his early opposition to the Vietnam War and was then labeled a traitor by many inside and outside of Congress.

Read another view by Ohio’s other senator, Rob Portman

Opinion | Rob Portman

Why I’m Voting to Acquit President Trump

Feb. 5, 2020

History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival. As the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how “moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle.”

Playing on that fear, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, sought a quick impeachment trial for President Trump with as little attention to it as possible. Reporters, who usually roam the Capitol freely, have been cordoned off like cattle in select areas. Mr. McConnell ordered limited camera views in the Senate chamber so only presenters — not absent senators — could be spotted.



And barely a peep from Republican lawmakers.

One journalist remarked to me, “How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?”

Fear has a way of bending us.

Late in the evening on day four of the trial I saw it, just 10 feet across the aisle from my seat at Desk 88, when Mr. Schiff told the Senate: “CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that Republican senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’” The response from Republicans was immediate and furious. Several groaned and protested and muttered, “Not true.” But pike or no pike, Mr. Schiff had clearly struck a nerve. (In the words of Lizzo: truth hurts.)

Of course, the Republican senators who have covered for Mr. Trump love what he delivers for them. But Vice President Mike Pence would give them the same judges, the same tax cuts, the same attacks on workers’ rights and the environment. So that’s not really the reason for their united chorus of “not guilty.”

For the stay-in-office-at-all-cost representatives and senators, fear is the motivator. They are afraid that Mr. Trump might give them a nickname like “Low Energy Jeb” and “Lyin’ Ted,” or that he might tweet about their disloyalty. Or — worst of all — that he might come to their state to campaign against them in the Republican primary. They worry:

“Will the hosts on Fox attack me?”

“Will the mouthpieces on talk radio go after me?”

“Will the Twitter trolls turn their followers against me?”



My colleagues know they all just might. There’s an old Russian proverb: The tallest blade of grass is the first cut by the scythe. In private, many of my colleagues agree that the president is reckless and unfit. They admit his lies. And they acknowledge what he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard Nixon never did. And they know that more damning evidence is likely to come out.

So watching the mental contortions they perform to justify their votes is painful to behold: They claim that calling witnesses would have meant a never-ending trial. They tell us they’ve made up their minds, so why would we need new evidence? They say to convict this president now would lead to the impeachment of every future president — as if every president will try to sell our national security to the highest bidder.

I have asked some of them, “If the Senate votes to acquit, what will you do to keep this president from getting worse?” Their responses have been shrugs and sheepish looks.

They stop short of explicitly saying that they are afraid. We all want to think that we always stand up for right and fight against wrong. But history does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election. They might claim fealty to their cause — those tax cuts — but often it’s a simple attachment to power that keeps them captured.

As Senator Murray said on the Senate floor in 2002, “We can act out of fear” or “we can stick to our principles.” Unfortunately, in this Senate, fear has had its way. In November, the American people will have theirs.

Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown), a Democrat, is the senior United States senator from Ohio and is the author of “Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America.”






What Will Finally Defeat Donald Trump?



© 2020 The New York Times Company
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Re: Trump enters the stage- what acts will follow?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:37 pm

The New York Times

Opinion

What Will Finally Defeat Donald Trump?

He can do whatever it takes to win re-election, and the Republican Party will have his back.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.

Feb. 5, 2020

President Trump delivered the State of the Union address on Tuesday.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times





Mail

On Tuesday night, President Trump delivered the most harshly partisan State of the Union speech in memory.

He was not wrong about everything, as when he boasted about the overall strength of the economy or praised the selflessness of American troops. But when he was wrong, as he often was, he was poisonously wrong. He grotesquely caricatured the criminality of undocumented immigrants, rewrote the history of his assaults on Americans’ health care and drastically inflated the number of jobs expected to be created by the new trade bill.

Worse than the distortions and deceptions, which Americans have come to expect from this president, Mr. Trump hijacked the House chamber, turning what should be a unifying moment, or at least an attempt at a unifying moment, into a campaign rally, corrupting the role presidents have played there as representing the whole nation.

Republicans put the Senate chamber to similarly political use on Wednesday. With the lonely exception of Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Mr. Trump of abuse of power, all Republican senators voted to acquit Mr. Trump of extorting a foreign government in an effort to rig the 2020 election, and then obstructing Congress’s efforts to investigate him — the charges contained in the two articles of impeachment approved by the House of Representatives in December.



By the end, many Republicans had conceded that Mr. Trump did the things he was accused of. Some agreed that they were “improper,” “inappropriate” or even “wrong.” Yet rather than try to get to the bottom of his behavior, they joined the White House in covering up as much about it as they could.

Reasonable Americans may have concluded — after a full airing of the documents the White House has bottled up, of the witnesses it has smothered — that removal from office was too extreme a punishment. But the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, turned out to have too little regard for Mr. Trump’s ethics, or for the American people’s sense of justice, or perhaps both, to take that chance.

Under Mr. McConnell’s guidance, the impeachment trial in the Senate was a joke at the Constitution’s expense. Anyone hoping for a demonstration of responsible governance or the vindication of the separation of powers could only be dismayed.

It did illustrate, however, how beholden Republicans are to Mr. Trump and his destructive approach to leadership. In that sense, the trial provided an important service to Americans, clarifying the stakes in the coming election.



Against all evidence to the contrary, some Republicans claim Mr. Trump has been chastened by his impeachment. He will be “much more cautious,” said Senator Susan Collins, adding that she hopes the president has “learned from this.”

Indeed he has, but not the lessons that Ms. Collins seemed to think. Listen to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and Ukraine whisperer. “Absolutely; 100 percent,” Mr. Giuliani told NPR when asked whether Mr. Trump would continue to push for more foreign “investigations” into Joe Biden, a Democratic front-runner. “I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I’d have a problem with him not doing it.”

Even before the acquittal, the State of the Union address made clear that Mr. Trump — enabled, as in his business life, by his exceptional shamelessness — intends to deploy every power available to a president in pursuit of his re-election. If there remained any doubts on that score, they were dispelled when Melania Trump hung the Presidential Medal of Freedom around Rush Limbaugh’s neck.

The speech also demonstrated that Mr. Trump, unlike the Democratic Party, has a simple, powerful message: In three short years, he has brought America back from the disaster he claimed it was in and set it on a path to a glorious new future. From the “American carnage” he spoke of in his Inaugural Address, now, “America’s future is blazing bright.”



Given the dishonesty, if not downright absurdity, of some passages in the speech, it was perhaps a human reaction on the part of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to tear it to shreds. It was still disappointing to see her stoop to the kind of stunt the president himself would pull, and, as she certainly knows as well as anyone, a gesture like that won’t defeat the president’s argument. So what will?

Not the incoherent, if not to say chaotic, display the Democratic Party has mustered to date. A series of overcrowded debates has failed to clarify the choices confronting voters. The decision to stage the first vote in monochromatic Iowa was a bad idea even before the Iowa Democratic Party had a meltdown on live television. A recent poll found that 45 percent of the supporters of the leading progressive candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, said they weren’t sure they’d vote for any other Democratic nominee. Meanwhile, over in the party’s centrist camp, Michael Bloomberg appears to be trying to buy the nomination.

Given the stakes, anxiety is rightly running high. Yes, the Democratic voters can and should narrow the field over the next several weeks. But the fact that they’ll eventually pick a nominee isn’t enough. It matters how they get there. The 2016 election is a cautionary tale — too many Democrats felt so little allegiance to the nominee that they chose to vote for a third-party candidate, or not to vote at all. The task ahead for party leaders is ensuring that voters appreciate that the best chance to beat Mr. Trump is a unity of effort from political tribes that share far more in common than what divides them.

That’s important, because the November election is a critical opportunity to defend the Republic through the straightforward expedient of voting Mr. Trump from office and thereby issuing an essential rebuke to the leaders of today’s Republican Party. Republican officials in Washington and across the country have for years refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of political opponents, and have thus justified taking any and all measures to keep them out of power, or to nullify their power when they hold it.


The G.O.P.’s internal corrosion also made it ripe for takeover by an authoritarian like Mr. Trump, under whom it is morphing into a cult of personality. Don’t take it from us; take it from conscientious conservatives and former Republicans, including top advisers to the last two Republican presidential nominees before Mr. Trump. Take it from Joe Walsh, the former representative from Illinois and conservative radio talk-show host who is running in the Republican primary. On Twitter, Mr. Walsh described telling a crowd of thousands of Iowa Republicans that Americans deserve a president who is decent, who tells the truth and who doesn’t care only about himself. The crowd booed.

But the clearest measure of how far the Republican Party has strayed from good governance may be Mr. Romney’s explanation for his vote — the first time in history that a senator has voted to convict a president of his own party. Mr. Trump’s behavior in relation to Ukraine “was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security, and our fundamental values,” Mr. Romney said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.”

Given these facts, sticking with the other Republicans and voting to acquit “would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.” Just eight years ago, Mr. Romney was the Republican nominee for president; today, his vote will cast him as a pariah.

This election is about more, of course, than restoring sanity to the Republican Party, essential as that is. Mr. Trump’s speech was a fantasy. America is not thriving under his leadership. Far from “stronger than ever before,” the union is faltering under his divisive, corrupting politics. The chants of “four more years” that resounded from only one side of the House chamber on Tuesday night should ring as an alarm for all Americans who want their children to live in an even greater nation.









Sept. 27, 2019




In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear



They Acquitted Trump. Make Them Pay!

Feb. 5, 2020


Think Trump’s Learned a Lesson? Hahahaha



© 2020 The New York Times Company
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Re: Trump enters the stage Romney

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:08 pm

U.S. senator recall bill picks up steam in Utah after Mitt Romney votes to convict Trum

  





SALT LAKE CITY — As news of Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict President Donald Trump spread, interest in a Utah lawmaker’s bill to allow Utahns to recall an elected U.S. senator began to catch fire at the state Capitol.

Rep. Tim Quinn, R-Heber City, said Wednesday he received more than 100 phone calls and 250 emails in just over an hour that were “100% positive to the bill.”

Though Quinn said the proposal was in the works before impeachment and is not about Romney, he picked up a half dozen House co-sponsors after Romney announced on the U.S. Senate floor that he would vote to find Trump guilty of abuse of power.

“Regardless of how you feel about the bill, regardless about how you feel about either one of our senators, I recognize this is a tough bill to be asked to vote on,” Quinn said.

Quinn wouldn’t say whether he believes Romney should be recalled, but said there ought to be a way for residents to remove a senator who they believe isn’t doing what he was elected to do.
R

Romney’s vote to convict and what a Christian conscience demands

Romney said it’s hard to know if his vote will hurt his chances for reelection, which he won’t be up for until 2024. He said he’s only talked to his immediate staff about possible consequences and doesn’t have a plan to deal with the fallout at this point.

“I don’t know what might happen in the Utah Legislature,” he said, acknowledging he is aware of Quinn’s recall bill. “I will accept whatever consequence is sent my way and recognize that is part of the job. People don’t expect me to be a shrinking violet.”

Romney isn’t naive to the fact that his vote will have serious political and personal consequences in Washington and in Utah.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of blowback from leaders in my party here. I presume I’ll receive the same reaction from leaders in my party in Utah,” Romney, R-Utah, told reporters in a conference call after his floor speech. “Of course, the animosity that might be leveled from people in the street is going to be real as well.”

Utahns reacted strongly on social media, including an Instagram post of a photo of a smiling Romney with “undocumented” across the bottom, and declarations on Facebook claiming embarrassment and anger over the vote.

But there was also support for the senator in the Beehive State. With cheers of “Thank you, Mitt,” about 50 demonstrators braved snowy weather to gather in downtown Salt Lake City at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in praise of Romney’s vote.



Sue Corth and others cheer Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict President Donald Trump on one of the articles of impeachment during a rally outside of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Romney’s Utah office is located in the building.Scott G Winterton, Deseret News



People cheer Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote to convict President Donald Trump on one of the articles of impeachment during a rally outside of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Romney’s Utah office is located in the building.Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

“Mitt used to have a representation as kind of a guy without much spine. I think today he proved his spine, and it is made of steel,” said Joanne Slotnik, with Salt Lake Indivisible. “He is a true American, and it doesn’t matter whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat or anything else. We support him.”

“All eyes are on Utah tonight,” Slotnik added.

Laura Dupuy, of Salt Lake City, cheered as she held a white sign that said “We love Mitt.” She fought tears as she reflected on Romney’s vote, which she said made her proud to live in Utah.

“I never in a million years thought I’d be making a sign like this, but I just have to show my love,” said Dupuy, a 67-year-old Democrat and the retired executive director of the nonprofit Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy. “To have one Republican stand up for the integrity of our Constitution and our country, it’s a combination of joy, but also deep despair and sadness, that we’ve become so partisan.”

Romney said Wednesday he expects “abuse” from Trump and his supporters, including talking about him at political rallies.

By Wednesday evening, Trump had tweeted a minutelong video showing clips of ads depicting Romney as a “Democrat secret asset,” his loss to Barack Obama in 2012 and Trump’s own victory.

The Utah Republican Party Chairman Derek Brown rebuked Romney, saying, “We as a party strongly disagree with the vote cast today by Senator Romney, and firmly stand behind our President.”

Utah House Majority Leader Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, described GOP lawmakers’ reaction to Romney’s vote as a “mixed bag.”

Gibson wouldn’t say whether he personally believes Romney should be recalled were Quinn’s bill to pass.

“Listen, he’s my senator. He was elected by the state of Utah. He has a six-year term,” he said. “Should he be recalled? I’m not going to answer should he be recalled. Am I frustrated with him? Yes.”

Romney’s vote will likely anger conservative Republicans, while moderate Utah Republicans could stand by Romney’s decision. To Gibson, however, he doesn’t see Romney’s vote as possibly carving a deep divide between Utah’s GOP.

“I don’t know if this will create any more of a divide that what’s already there,” Gibson said, noting that while Utah Republicans are generally united on fiscal issues, conservatives and moderates generally clash more over social issues.

Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert, R-Orem, said “it’s so hard to know” whether Romney will pay a political price for his vote long term.

“Immediately, yeah, he’s going to rile up a bunch of people, but he’s not up for reelection for four more years, so the world will be very different in four years,” he said.

Asked if Romney’s decision would affect other Utah Republicans, Hemmert, who ran briefly for the 4th District seat held by Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams, said he wasn’t sure.

“I don’t know. If you look at Utah, we have, I think, a unique relationship with Trump relative to other states, even within the Republican Party, and so I think it’s hard to tell. This next election cycle will be very telling — how does Utah turn out for Trump this year.”

Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said, “While I appreciate the senator’s right to do what he thinks is appropriate, I am very disappointed personally and I don’t think he is representing the majority of the citizens of our state.”

Samantha Zager, regional communications director for Trump’s reelection campaign, said Romney’s actions Wednesday were “wildly out of step” with his own constituents. Trump, she said, is more popular in Utah than Romney, according to recent polls.

Democrats in the state Legislature applauded Romney.

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said he was “happy, happy, happy,” with Romney’s decision. “I think he’s a profile in courage.”

Romney “is going to catch flak like it’s nobody’s business from Trump supporters and from Republicans generally, but this reveals character. This reveals courage. And I am really gratified. This is important,” he said.

Senate Minority Caucus Manager Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, said he’s glad Romney “was able to acknowledge the reality of what happened with President Trump. A lot of the Republicans in Congress and in the Senate are more nervous about their reelection than they are about the reality of corruption in our government.”

Kitchen said he believes most Utahns will support Romney’s decision.

“The thing about Utahns is that they’re not a partisan bunch of people. Of course we have our persuasions, left or right. But at the end of the day, Mitt Romney did the right thing,” he said.

The fledgling United Utah Party, made up of disaffected Republicans and Democrats as well as independents, offered Romney a home if the GOP ostracizes him for his “willingness to put his country before narrow partisan interests.”

United Utah co-founder and former Republican Jim Bennett said the nation witnessed a “rare act of unparalleled political courage.”

“Sen. Mitt Romney’s decision to vote to convict the president on the charge of abuse of power was a powerful reminder that moral courage is sorely lacking in today’s political environment, but that there are individuals who still hold to a sense of the importance of their duty to the country,” according to Bennett.

Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to convict Trump on either article, saying the president is “guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.” He did not find Trump guilty of obstruction.

Don Peay, who led Trump’s 2016 campaign in Utah and is a Trump family friend, called Romney’s vote “irrelevant.” He said he received many calls from people asking what they can do for the president.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who last week said Utah is lucky to have Romney and that he has his respect for the “thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts” he has shown during the Senate trial, wasn’t so quick with that sentiment Wednesday.

When Lee Lonsberry on KSL Newsradio’s “Live Mic” asked the Utah senior senator if he still felt that way, Lee replied that Romney’s vote surprised him and that he was “very disappointed.”

“I strongly disagree with his decision on this,” he said.

Pressed on whether Romney still has his respect, Lee said he likes Romney and considers him a friend.

“In the heat of this particular decision, it’s hard for me to see anything but that disagreement,” Lee said. “But tomorrow is a different day. Every day is a new day. I look forward to finding other issues where he and I agree.”

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, a member of the House Intelligence Committee that heard impeachment witnesses, said he has “great respect” for Romney but that he was wrong to vote to convict the president.

“I sat through hundreds of hours of hearings, listened to dozens of witnesses, and have reviewed thousands of pages of documents. There’s no way this president deserves a vote of conviction. I think Sen. Romney has reached the wrong conclusion,” he said.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said Lee and Romney neither lobbied him nor offered their opinion when he voted on impeachment and he extended them the same courtesy.

“However, had my opinion been asked I would have disagreed with Mr. Romney’s analysis and decision,” he said.

McAdams, Utah’s only Democrat in Congress, said Romney reaffirmed his belief that the senator is a person of integrity and principle.

“I came to Congress to do the right thing for Utah and our country. Like Sen. Romney, I believe what the president did was wrong. His actions warranted accountability,” McAdams said.

In announcing his vote to impeach Trump, McAdams said he knew his vote would not remove the president and that the Senate would likely acquit him.





© 2020 Deseret News Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Clinton won't run as Berney's V

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:11 am

And now, we've got one of the most emotionally acting out people ever in the history of our country in the White House and I don't hear anybody saying: 'He's just too emotional.'"

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

This past November, Clinton told the BBC she was under "enormous pressure" to consider challenging President Trump in 2020.

"I will certainly tell you, I'm under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it. But as of this moment ... that is absolutely not my plans," she said."
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Re: Trump enters the stage - political sandwich

Postby MagsJ » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:26 pm

Meno_ wrote:MagsJ: some of the material You mentioned I sandwich between prior , and post Congressional Procedure here. and it might interest You to know, that as a pre-requisite reading, Both should be read to gain proper perspective. I am using both more 'real' and fictional accounts, mixed between hypothesis and hyperthesis, to exemplify the degree to which political acumen has disintegrated.

That is , Your time permitting
Thanks.

I guess there’s nothing to say, on the above matter now, coz it doesn’t matter anymore.

What I will say though, is that I saw the winning outcome coming a very long mile away.. this does bring into question the Left’s objectives and National loyalty.. of all Western Nations.

This Left v Right fight for power, needs to be replaced with a less divisive/more Nation-nurturing system.. and I don’t mean an autonomous all-empowered one-world-Government.

I don’t waste my time arguing over Left v Right.. who’s right, but over ideas that meet ideals. I am not implying that you do, but merely stating it’s hindering unhelpful out in the political domain.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


The Lions Anger is Noble

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Re: Trump enters the stage - political sandwich

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:41 pm

MagsJ wrote:
Meno_ wrote:MagsJ: some of the material You mentioned I sandwich between prior , and post Congressional Procedure here. and it might interest You to know, that as a pre-requisite reading, Both should be read to gain proper perspective. I am using both more 'real' and fictional accounts, mixed between hypothesis and hyperthesis, to exemplify the degree to which political acumen has disintegrated.

That is , Your time permitting
Thanks.

I guess there’s nothing to say, on the above matter now, coz it doesn’t matter anymore.

What I will say though, is that I saw the winning outcome coming a very long mile away.. this does bring into question the Left’s objectives and National loyalty.. of all Western Nations.

This Left v Right fight for power, needs to be replaced with a less divisive/more Nation-nurturing system.. and I don’t mean an autonomous all-empowered one-world-Government.

I don’t waste my time arguing over Left v Right.. who’s right, but over ideas that meet ideals. I am not implying that you do, but merely stating it’s hindering unhelpful out in the political domain.




MagJ,

From the get go, I've argued from exactly the same line, and mentioned a NSO priority over a very shaky Teumpian approach, which in U.K. has a parallel evolution, with nationalism now the rage.

However, this is mainly based on a presumptive argument, objective on premises dictated on sudden re visions , based mainly on near sighted politi cal narratives, akin mainly on propaganda.

The fact is I believe this incursion to be based not on solid ground at all, optically. by public opinion, philoso-strategically on national interest and security, and finally. by any requisite constitutional prerequisite.

Very shaky sailing in extremely turbulent sees, and navigating in in hatred waters, without a viable compass.

Here is a revengful attack, or soon to be as an example of dialectical confusion , by You know whom:


WHITE HOUSE

Trump warns on impeachment payback: 'You'll see'

Trump showed little sign of wanting to mend fences with the Democrats, saying there is "a lot of evil on that side.”


President Donald Trump speaks to reporters outside the White House on Feb. 7, 2020.Alex Wong /

By Shannon Pettypiece

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that his impeachment should be invalidated, and he gave an ominous warning when asked how he'll pay back those responsible, saying, "You'll see."

“Should they expunge the impeachment in the House? They should because it was a hoax,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing on Marine One.

When asked about his press secretary's comments that the president was suggesting in his remarks Thursday on impeachment that his Democratic political opponents "should be held accountable," Trump said, "Well, you'll see. I mean, we'll see what happens."

Trump showed little sign of wanting to mend fences with the Democrats, saying they suffer from “Trump derangement syndrome" and that there is "a lot of evil on that side.” When asked how he was going to unify the country following his divisive impeachment, Trump said he would do it by “great success.”

"Our country today is more successful than it has ever been, and that's unifying the country," he s

He left open the possibility that the White House will dismiss Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, after he testified in Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Bloomberg News has reported that Vindman's removal was under consideration.

"Well, I'm not happy with him. Do you think I'm supposed to be happy with him? I'm not," Trump said, adding, "They'll make that decision. You'll be hearing — they'll make a decision."

When asked if he considers the front-runners in the Democratic presidential primary a threat, Trump said, “Everybody's a threat. I view everybody as a threat.” But the president passed up the opportunity to attack any specific candidate, instead mocking Democrats for their delay in tabulating the results from the Iowa caucuses.

He also accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., of breaking the law by tearing up his State of the Union speech, an allegation that has been circulating in conservative media. Legal experts, however, dispute the notion that tearing up a copy of the president's speech amounts to destruction of an official government record.

When asked about Trump's suggestion that Republicans could expunge his impeachment if they regain control of the House, Pelosi said, "They can’t do that."

"First of all, they're not getting the chamber back," Pelosi said. "But apart from that, there’s no expunging. If they don’t want to honor their oath of office, then they’re going to expunge from their own souls the violation of the Constitution that they made.”

Pelosi also said when asked about the reports on Vindman that she was "stunned" by the possibility he could be ousted, adding that it "goes too far." Pelosi said she would talk to her colleagues about the issue, adding that they have some concern about Trump's interventions in military affairs.

{Now this may remind You, of Hitler's rages at Martin Bohrmann, or anyone in his way}



© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL


Here is another victim:



POLITICS

Trump's 'revenge' — Impeachment witness Alexander Vindman escorted from White House, lawyer says

PUBLISHED FRI, FEB 7 2020 3:56 PM EST





Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer whose testimony about President Donald Trump at House impeachment hearings angered the president, was escorted out of the White House, his lawyer said.

Trump, "the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge," said Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman.

Vindman's ejection from the White House came two days after the Senate acquitted Trump of two impeachment articles.



Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, (C), director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives at the U.S. Capitol on October 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council staffer whose testimony about President Donald Trump at House impeachment hearings angered the president, was escorted out of the White House on Friday afternoon, his lawyer said.

Trump, "the most powerful man in the world — buoyed by the silent, the pliable and the complicit — has decided to exact revenge," said Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman.

Hours earlier, Trump had said of the Purple Heart recipient Vindman, "I'm not happy with him."

"Do you think I'm supposed to be happy with him?" Trump asked reporters. "I'm not.

Following Vindman's ejection from the White House, Pressman said, "There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House," said

"Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth," the attorney said. "His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful."

"The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy," Pressman said.

"He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril."

Asked about Vindman, National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot told CNBC in an email, "We do not comment on personnel matters."

Vindman's departure came two days after the Senate acquitted Trump of two impeachment articles, and after reports that the removal of Vindman, the NSC's top Ukraine expert, was under consideration.

Trump was impeached by the House last fall in connection with his request to Ukraine's new president Volodomyr Zelenskiy to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a Democratic presidential contender, and his son Hunter Biden.

Trump's request, made during a July 25 phone call, came as he was withholding militay aid to Ukraine that had been appropriated by Congress.

Vindman, as part of his job, listened in on that phone call between the two presidents.

In his testimony during impeachment hearings, Vindman said he was "concerned" about the nature of the call.

Vindman also said he felt it was "improper for the president of the United States to demand a foreign government a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent."

Vindman had emigrated as a child from Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union.

Earlier Friday, Defense Department Secretary Mark Esper was asked by a reporter about Vindman's status, whether he would be welcomed back to the department if he left the NSC, and what the Pentagon would do to ensure that he is "not retributed against by the president or others?"

Esper said, "We welcome back all of our service members, wherever they serve, to the assignment they're given."

"I would refer you to the Army for any more detail on that. And as I said,we protect all of our persons, service members from retribution or anything, anything like that, so," Esper said. "We've already addressed that in policy and other means.

Full statement from Alexander Vindman's lawyer David Pressman:

Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President. He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress.

There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.

During his decades of service to this country, LTC Alexander Vindman has served quietly but dutifully, and he has served with honor. He came into the public eye only when subpoenaed to testify before Congress, and he did what the law demanded.

In recent months, many entrusted with power in our political system have cowered out of fear. And, yet, a handful of men and women, not endowed with prestige or power, but equipped only with a sense of right borne out of years of quiet service to their country made different choices. They courageously chose to honor their duty with integrity, to trust the truth, and to put their faith in country ahead of fear. And they have paid a price.

The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy. He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day: he followed orders, he obeyed his oath, and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril. And for that, the most powerful man in the world - buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit - has decided to exact revenge.

LTC Alexander Vindman leaves the White House today. But we must not accept the departure of truth, duty, and loyalty that he represents.

In this country right matters, and so does truth. Truth is not partisan. If we allow truthful voices to be silenced, if we ignore their warnings, eventually there will be no one left to warn us.


© 2019 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal
Last edited by Meno_ on Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage-Sonland

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 08, 2020 1:59 am

Now Sonland, ambassador to the EU was purged.

Hold on fellows, pseudo Sztalinism is on the rebound.


Followed by Minchin:



POLITICO

CONGRESS

Trump attacks Manchin for impeachment vote, accusing him of being a Democratic 'puppet'

The president is taking aim at his impeachment foes in the wake of his acquittal earlier this week.



Sen. Joe Manchin.



02/07/2020 06:02 PM EST




President Donald Trump lashed out at yet another impeachment foe on Friday, turning his ire to Sen. Joe Manchin and calling the West Virginia Democrat a “puppet” of his party after he voted in favor of removing Trump from office earlier this week.

"I was very surprised & disappointed that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against me on the Democrat’s totally partisan Impeachment Hoax,” Trump said in a pair of tweets, asserting that nevertheless, “no President has done more for the great people of West Virginia than me (Pensions), and that will always continue.”



Trump’s attack came shortly after Manchin appeared on Fox News to defend his vote to convict the president on both articles of impeachment. The red-state Democrat, easily among the most conservative in his caucus, had kept mum on which way he planned to vote until the last minute on Wednesday.

But he told Fox News’s Bill Hemmer that while he “labored over” the vote, calling it “most difficult decision” he’d had to make in nearly four decades of public life, the evidence against Trump was “overwhelming.”

“I said if I can come home and explain it, I can vote for it. I can explain this vote. It might not be popular in my state but we will see. History will tell. The bottom line is the evidence was very clear,” Manchin said, adding that he was hoping the chamber would vote to hear from new witnesses or admit new evidence that could have tilted the case more clearly in one way or the other.

"I was hoping, I truly was hoping that we would see evidence, that we would see new witnesses. Maybe he could get some doubt or clarity. What we saw was overwhelming," he said.



Ultimately, Manchin concluded, the allegation that Trump asked Ukraine's inexperienced president for investigations for his own political benefit proved to be "just an affront that I couldn't get over."

He said he was also put off by a controversial argument made by one of Trump's lawyers about the expansive powers of the presidency.

Trump on Friday also kept up his battering of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the lone Republican in either chamber of Congress to split from his party and vote to convict Trump.

Romney, in an emotional floor speech announcing his decision, said he leaned heavily on his faith to guide him. For the last 24 hours, Trump has mocked that explanation, claiming Friday that “every Republican Senator except Romney, many highly religious people, all very smart, voted against the Impeachment Hoax.”



But Romney, like Manchin on Friday, insisted that he’d struggled greatly with his decision to vote for Trump’s removal, and both senators also said that they’d voted to hear from new witnesses with the hope that maybe one of those witnesses could clear Trump.











Since Wednesday’s acquittal, Trump has set out on a vindictive victory lap.

He railed against Democrats, Romney and administration officials who testified against him in a freewheeling White House address on Thursday, and on Friday, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, one of the key impeachment witnesses, was pushed out of his post at the National Security Council.

In his tweets Friday, Trump praised Manchin’s fellow senator from West Virginia, Republican Shelley Moore Capito. Capito, Trump wrote, “was all in (a great person). I was told by many that Manchin was just a puppet for Schumer & Pelosi. That’s all he is!”

Capito had appeared on Fox News the day before, where she implied Manchin only voted against Trump because he had a “noose” around his neck controlled by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Manchin took offense to Capito’s assertion, pointing out that he breaks with his party quite frequently, including on several high-profile votes.

“My goodness,” Manchin exclaimed. “I've taken some tough votes that are very unpopular with the caucus and I'm sure that Schumer and everybody else might not have been happy with it but it's a vote that I can live with.”


 



 


 


 

 



Impeachment witnesses ousted amid fears of Trump revenge campaign

Appeals court rejects Democrats' emoluments suit against Trump


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Re: Trump enters the stage - power corrupts , absolute power

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:28 pm

Opinion, Analysis, Essays

HOT TAKE

Robert Schlesinger Trump's purging everyone he thinks is disloyal. He was never going to learn from impeachment.

Though many Republicans said that the president might now behave more cautiously, the reality is that he just feels empowered to abuse his office again.



President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with the headline that reads "Trump acquitted" as he speaks in the East Room on Feb. 6, 2020.Patrick Semansky / A

Feb. 8, 2020, 4:45 AM EST

By Robert Schlesinger

It didn’t take long to find out what an unleashed Donald Trump looks like — and I’m not referring to his petulant, un-Christian comments at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning or even his toxic, stream-of-subconsciousness victory lap in the East Room of the White House early that afternoon, during which the leader of the free world introduced “top scum” and “bullshit” to the public presidential lexicon.

Sure, both performances offered disturbing glimpses into Trump’s very scary emotional state, as if his Twitter feed weren’t enough. But even as he debuted the latest iteration of his angry-victim performance art, he and his allies also started settling scores in a startlingly open way.

Related



OPINIONTrump's Senate acquittal is a reminder that impeachment was always about 2020

In a certain sense, the rhetoric was no surprise: Trump has always described himself as a counterpuncher, unwilling to let any perceived slight pass. But now, free from impeachment’s shadow and safe in the knowledge that congressional Republicans will forgive literally any trespass, he’s counterpunching with reckless abandon, going beyond even what his detractors had imagined.

We knew that he was compiling an impeachment “enemy’s list" and now, the official White House statement on his acquittal asked of one of his prosecutors: “Will there be no retribution?” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham appeared on Fox News on Thursday morning to drive home that message, promising that Trump would be talking about how victimized he feels and that, “maybe people should pay for that.”

Related



OPINIONVindman's impeachment testimony made me proud to be a military spouse

Pay indeed. Trump Friday fired Lieutenant Colonel Alex Vindman and had him escorted from the White House complex. Vindman was the National Security Council staffer who raised questions about Trump’s infamous Ukraine phone call and then testified in the House impeachment inquiry under subpoena. And Trump purged Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, as well, in a triumph of petty vindictiveness. (He was, of all things, an ethics lawyer, which makes it amazing this White House employed him in the first place.)

On Friday night, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who had allegedly spearheaded Trump's effort to get the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens and then testified in the impeachment hearings, was also sacked in apparent retaliation for his impeachment testimony, which was also given under subpoena.



Trump aides reportedly spent Thursday circulating talking points savaging Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who chose fidelity to conscience and Constitution over loyalty to dear leader and party. We’re still waiting for Romney’s Republican colleagues to voice the same outrage they contrived when Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had the temerity to suggest during the impeachment trial that the White House might engage in reprisals against Republicans who didn’t vote to acquit him.

Trump’s Hill henchmen are getting in the act as well, promising to deliver what he couldn’t get from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy: A Biden investigation Trump can tout if the former vice president survives the primaries. On the same day the Senate trial ended, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., who chair the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, respectively, sent a letter to the Secret Service requesting information about times the younger Biden traveled abroad with government protection because they are “reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden.”

Related



OPINIONTrump's 2020 plan: Keep doing everything the Democrats want to impeach him for

And while the administration has stonewalled Congressional Democrats seeking records of any kind, it is being more cooperative when it comes to punishing his enemies. The Treasury Department has reportedly already sent sensitive financial records pertaining to the younger Biden to Grassley and Johnson. This is the same agency which has for years — and recently in violation of federal law — refused to divulge Trump’s tax returns and participated in Trump’s evidentiary obstruction and coverup during the impeachment proceedings.

“Senators like Grassley and Johnson are supposed to be holding the president accountable,” Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted Thursday night. “Instead, they are corruptly weaponizing the criminal investigative apparatus against citizens to interfere in an election."

The president’s attempts to trump up an investigation of the Bidens — and use U.S. military aid to Ukraine as leverage — spurred impeachment in the first place. But with the trial out of the way, Trump’s attack-lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is “ramping up,” his investigations of the Bidens. “It’s a matter of the fair administration of justice for real,” Giuliani told The Daily Beast, in an O.J.-like pledge to hunt down the real criminals.

So maybe it’s another coincidence that the day after Trump’s acquittal, word emerged from the embattled eastern European nation that the administration is holding up $30 millions of arms sales to the country. Or maybe it’s a reminder that Trump’s wrath extends beyond his proximate political adversaries. Recall that he believes the Russian propaganda that the real 2016 election interference was driven by Kyiv and aimed at him, rather than from Moscow and in his favor.

Also within hours of the Senate trial ending, the administration announced a punitive new measure aimed at the very-blue New York state (whose senator, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, led the Democrats in voting to impeach him): Empire State residents are being cut out of “trusted traveler” programs like Global Entry. The administration was ostensibly reacting to a new law there permitting immigrants to get driver’s licenses while forbidding the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing any data with immigration enforcement officials without a court order, despite the fact that, for example, licenses are not required for Global Entry.

Related



OPINIONNancy Pelosi tearing up Trump's speech is the tipping point Democrats need

And Friday morning, the famously thin-skinned commander-in-chief opined that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “broke the law” when she tore up her copy of his State of the Union speech. This particular bit of grandiose nonsense is incorrect: Tearing up a copy of a speech is not the same thing as destroying an official document. (Trump, by the way, makes a habit of ripping up actual official documents.) At minimum, Pelosi will become the new target of Trump rally “lock her up” chants — but would it surprise anyone if the newly-emboldened president pressed Attorney General William Barr to open an investigation as well?

And these are just the examples which have come to light in the days since Trump emerged from impeachment, angrier and less repentant than ever (despite the openly stated hopes of moderate Republicans, like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said Tuesday that she thought “he will be much more cautious in the future”). Who knows what else he’s quietly up to or what is yet to come? Remember that he only stepped up his pressure on Ukraine after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress.

When President Bill Clinton was acquitted, the joke was that he felt free to start dating again; with Trump the reality is that he feels empowered to abuse his office again.



And it may be a long while before we know the true depths of his political depravities because on the same day that Trump was acquitted, Attorney General Barr issued new guidance that he must personally approve any politically-sensitive investigations. Barr, who has dispensed with his office’s traditional independence from the president, has been a vocal critic of Mueller’s investigation, even though it produced dozens of indictments, seven guilty pleas (many from top Trump aides) and five prison sentences. And now he has insulated Trump from any fears of being held accountable in the run-up to the November elections.

Though a number of Senate Republicans have suggested that Trump had learned a lesson from his impeachment, early indications are that he intends to teach a number of people some very hard lessons — including about believing people when they show you who they are — instead.

Robert Schlesinger
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Feb 08, 2020 11:09 pm

The question that have for people:

Has trump done one presidential thing in almost a full term?!?!

The answer is “no”.

You would think that it’s by definition, impossible that a president couldn’t do anything non-presidential, but trump proved everyone wrong.

You know, I hate postmodernists....

“Words are just words talking about words and don’t mean anything, however, and especially, if you have a lot of power, you can do and say anything the fuck you want”

Unfortunately for trump, words actually do refer. Not yet, but it will catch up with him.

Trump is the first post modern president (and all post modernists are trolls)
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Re: Trump enters the stage a great scene for Trump

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:02 pm

OPINION

It’s pearl-clutching Democrats who got massacred by Trump impeachment trial: Goodwin

By Michael Goodwin

February 8, 2020 | 9:38pm



Rep. Jerry Nadler, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff in JanuaryMEGA

Pearls clutched, hair on fire, heads exploding — pick your favorite image to describe the left’s latest reaction to President Trump. Once again, the end is near, he’s gone too far, this time we got him.

His outrage against all that is good and pure was to pink-slip star impeachment witnesses Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

“Friday Night Massacre” screamed the usual suspects, a not-very-subtle reference to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.” The difference, unmentioned, is that Trump was already acquitted, whereas the Nixon impeachment hadn’t formally started.

Still, assuming this is not the end of the world, something more important demands attention. Namely, that conventional wisdom got it right when it declared that Trump had one of the best weeks of his presidency while Democrats had one of their worst.

He beat impeachment, they screwed up the Iowa caucuses, he gave a roaring State of the Union address and Nancy Pelosi was reduced to being a paper shredder. Friday’s boffo jobs report was the icing on Trump’s cake, then he got the cherry when a federal appeals court unanimously rejected a suit by 200 Dem lawmakers over foreign payments to his businesses.

But arrogance springs eternal in the land of nattering nabobs and expect media bigs to assure their fellow never-Trumpers that soon enough, the world will be set right. Trump, they will say with certainty, can’t sustain the momentum and Pelosi, she of the alleged brilliant political skills, will lead Dems back to their entitled supremacy.

Anything is possible and there is no denying that Trump has a bad habit of stepping on his own good stories. But the larger notion that last week was an aberration strikes me as fanciful if not delusional.

I believe the lopsided outcomes reveal something close to the actual state of play and relative strengths of the combatants. If true, that means Trump and congressional Republicans have an enormous opportunity this year.

The heart of the case is that Dems dug themselves into a hole and won’t drop the shovel. They have nothing to show for their 2018 House victory except a partisan impeachment that was rejected by the public before the Senate killed it.

The celebration over getting Sen. Mitt Romney’s vote on one article is like cheering because your team avoided a shutout. You still got crushed.

Wonder of wonders, party leaders reacted by vowing to stay the course. Pelosi, not a whit embarrassed by her shameful stunt of tearing up the president’s State of the Union address, launched into another hateful rant.

Saying Trump looked “sedated,” she called his speech a “manifesto of mistruths” and claimed he “shredded the truth in the speech, shredded the Constitution in his conduct, and so I shredded his state-of-mind address.”

Equally telling, Rep. Jerry Nadler said the Judiciary Committee likely will subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton; other Dems said the many investigations into Trump and his businesses will continue.

In other words, they learned nothing from last week, or the last three years for that matter. Blinded by their personal contempt for the president and his supporters and captive to the wacko wing of the party, Pelosi’s team still acts as if there is a magic button that will persuade even the deplorables to turn on the president.

Meanwhile, Dems obviously intend to fritter away their two years of power without producing a coherent agenda that would give swing voters a reason to reelect them. A November platform of resistance, rage and failed impeachment is a narrow base appeal, not an effort to win the middle.

The party’s presidential candidates are also lost in space and aren’t even generating the expected enthusiasm among primary voters. The counting debacle in Iowa obscured a larger problem: the caucus turnout was about 25 percent below estimates.+

SEE ALSO



Democrats mired in chaos as 2020's first presidential primary looms

The Friday-night debate was another pointless race to far left field, with no clear winner. The only guarantees are that Joe Biden is near the end and there will be a freakout among big donors if Sen. Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire and becomes the clear front-runner.

With Michael Bloomberg’s billions hovering off-stage, the blood-letting is just beginning.

This is all great for Trump, but the fact that he is in his strongest position yet is not owing solely to Dems’ errors. His policy successes are undeniable, starting with the economy. Its continued expansion is simply remarkable and when the president says it is the envy of the world, he’s not exaggerating.

His poll numbers rose 10 points during impeachment and Gallup’s finding that he gets a whopping 63% approval on the economy confirms that more and more people are seeing and believing the jobs boom.

Gallup also found that 90% of Americans, the highest ever, report they are satisfied with their personal lives, and that a record 65% say they are “very satisfied.”

Those kind of numbers rip the heart out of the claim by Sanders and others that the economy is working only for the rich. In fact, wages are rising faster at the bottom of the income ladder than at the top.

While Dems are busy feuding and feeding their base, the president is broadening his outreach by stealing some of their policies. Paid family leave, curbing prescription-drug prices and prison reform all run counter to GOP orthodoxy, but Trump is embracing them while keeping near-unanimous Republican support.

And to judge from his gallery guests at the State of the Union, Trump is eager to make direct appeals to black and Latino Americans on pocketbook and family issues. He talks about an “inclusive” agenda and notably included Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King Jr. in a list of American heroes. He continued that theme in a visit to a North Carolina community college.

His approval ratings among those groups already are far above the vote totals he got in 2016. Even modest increases in November could be decisive in key states.

To be sure, the election is a long way off and events, like Trump, are unpredictable. But for now he is on a roll while the other team is stuck in a hole.

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Re: Trump enters the stage postmodern logic

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:16 pm

Ecmandu said:


"Words are just words talking about words and don’t mean anything, however, and especially, if you have a lot of power, you can do and say anything the fuck you want”



{You can, because postmodernism is formally democratic, but essentially Republican

The inversion of the material dialectic is no return to amnacceptancr of mere contradiction, it is like a snowball, it has gathered substantial material on the way, so it ispre a synthesis of pre and post synthesis.
It is above and beyond contradiction , in more then an ethical/moral sense, god does exist in the highest energy, who is self consuming, since IT knows he is as. guilty as IT's creation.
It is really more then aesthetically beyond good and evil, it needs to repeat that mantra obsessively for the highest powers degrade, as it's absolute form corrupts those who utilize it for the lowest purposes.
The synthesis of pre and post modernity finally balances out these seeming opposites , and permits a humble ackquiessence.)


Ecmandu said:

"Unfortunately for trump, words actually do refer. Not yet, but it will catch up with him."

{Words have pretty much lost their meaning}
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Re: Trump enters the stage - entitlement cuts

Postby Meno_ » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:55 pm

Trump vowed to not cut Social Security and Medicare — hours before proposing just that

The president is either brazenly lying about his 2021 budget or doesn’t know what’s in it.

By Aaron Rupar 

on February 10, 2020 12:10 pm

 



President Donald Trump delivers remarks at a White House session with the state governors on February 10, 2020.

 Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump posted a tweet on Saturday vowing, “We will not be touching your Social Security and Medicare in Fiscal 2021 Budget.” One day later, the Wall Street Journal published a report indicating that Trump is doing exactly that with his budget proposal.

The Journal’s report, which came a day ahead of the administration officially releasing its budget on Monday, indicates that Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget includes “steep reductions in social-safety-net programs,” including cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security:

The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade. Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to disability benefits.

That Trump is proposing cuts to these programs isn’t surprising — his 2020 budget cut all three as well. It’s a long-running contradiction for the president. He often says he won’t touch these entitlement programs, but he’s continued to employ Republican party officials who make cutting these programs center to their work.

Trump keeps proposing entitlement cuts and then denying that he did so

In 2015 and ’16, Trump differentiated himself from the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls by campaigning on a vow to not cut entitlements.

“I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Trump told the Daily Signal, a conservative publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, in 2015.

As his budget proposals indicate, this promise was an empty one. Trump, however, seems to realize that cutting entitlements is a political loser for him, and as a result has continued to make assertions about preserving them that are at odds with reality.

Last month, however, Trump seemed to have a moment of radical honesty when he told CNBC during an interview conducted in Davos that “at some point” entitlement cuts will be on the table.

Those comments created a negative stir, so the very next day Trump tried to walk them back.

Fast-forward less than a month, and Trump is again pushing entitlement cuts. It’s whiplash-inducing.

Democrats have already signaled Trump’s budget is going nowhere

While Trump tries to have it both ways by proposing entitlement cuts while claiming he’s not really doing that, Treasury Department spokesperson Monica Crowley was somewhat more straightforward during a Monday morning appearance on Fox Business.

Asked by host Stuart Varney if she agrees that the new budget “hits the safety net,” Crowley said the president “understands that Washington’s habit of out of control spending without consequence has to be stopped.”

But for Trump, not all spending is bad. While his budget cuts non-defense spending by 5 percent, he actually slates defense spending for an increase to $740.5 billion for fiscal year 2021.

Budget proposals are just that — proposals. And while Trump insists that Republicans are the ones trying to save entitlements from destruction, the irony is that the truth is exactly the opposite: Entitlement cuts are dead on arrival as long as Democrats control a chamber of Congress.

RELATED

The viral video of Mike Pence being grilled by an ER doctor about Medicaid cuts, explained

House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) alluded to this reality in a statement he released on Sunday blasting Trump for “proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families.”

The “budget reportedly includes destructive changes to Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security, and other assistance programs that help Americans make ends meet — all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations,” Yarmuth wrote. “Congress will stand firm against this President’s broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies.”



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Re: Trump enters the stage credible opinion from L.A. Times

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:16 am

Opinion

January 25, 2020

Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, and it is Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.

After coming frighteningly close to war with Iran, it feels oddly relieving to watch members of Congress explain for a week why the president poses such a grave threat to our national security and constitutional order that he must be removed from office.

Of course, it bolsters no one’s faith in government to see senators demur over considering new evidence of the commander in chief’s thuggish behavior — behavior from which only the Senate, by virtue of its power to remove him, can protect us — but I’ll take continued indifference to President Trump’s authoritarianism over another war in the Mideast. (And really, I cannot recommend enthusiastically enough Andrew J. Bacevich’s commentary on that topic, no matter how old it might be.)

So let’s ignore for a moment the frightening instability in the rest of the world so we can get a true sense of the magnitude of this moment: The president is on trial for high crimes and misdemeanors, no one can seriously dispute that Trump did everything for which he was impeached, and yet senators will almost certainly decline to exercise their oversight authority.



Most puzzling, as columnist Virginia Heffernan points out, is that Republicans were agitating for impeachment before Trump took office: “The dynamism the party once showed, when it dared to condemn Trump in 2016, is gone. In more courageous days, Republicans started this impeachment. Too bad they won’t see it through.”

Trump’s presidency won’t end with impeachment, but it won’t end well either, writes Jonah Goldberg. The reason: Character is destiny, and Trump’s character won’t allow him to govern as a servant of the people. As for those who love the way he governs, they don’t have to worry about the ugly facts of his crookedness, because their favorite news channel doesn’t mind ignoring the president’s trial, notes Brian A. Boyle. And if Democrats want the Senate to hear all the evidence of Trump’s Ukraine extortion, they should jump at the chance to accept a Bolton-for-a-Biden testimony deal, says Jon Healey.

Even under impeachment, Trump provides fresh evidence of his corruption. The president flew to south Florida this week to address the Republican National Committee at Trump National Doral Miami. Yes, that’s the president’s golf resort, where he notoriously tried to steer next summer’s G-7 summit of international leaders. “Trump’s self-dealing is of a piece with the behavior he’s been accused of in the impeachment inquiry,” says the L.A. Times Editorial Board. “It’s all about using the power of the presidency for his personal benefit.” L.A. Times

It’s 1856 all over again, and that isn’t a good thing. The first Republican Party presidential candidate, John C. Frémont, came from California, and in 1856 he was one of the most admired Americans. But Democrats’ fear of losing forever gave rise to scare-mongering and outright lies over the nascent party that would go on to put Abraham Lincoln up for election. James Buchanan beat Frémont and quickly set about entrenching his party’s pro-slavery agenda in Washington. The results were disastrous and carry ominous lessons for Americans today.

New York Times


Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times
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Re: Trump enters the stage New Hampshire Primary

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:49 am

Fox News





2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Published February 10, 2020

Last Update 22 minutes ago

Trump, looking to 'shake up the Dems a little bit,' hits 'mumbling' Pelosi in rally ahead of key NH primary



 By Gregg Re | Fox News



Continue Reading Below

President Trump said he was looking to get under Democrats' skin Monday with a rally in New Hampshire on the eve of the state's first-in-the-nation primaries, and he wasted little time -- quickly reliving his dramatic State of the Union speech with a thinly veiled shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"I had somebody behind me who was mumbling terribly," Trump mused, as chants of "Lock her up!" broke out.

"Very distracting. Very distracting," Trump continued. "I'm speaking, and a woman is mumbling terribly behind me. There was a little anger back there. We're the ones who should be angry, not them."

Trump sped through his remarks unusually quickly, so that he could head to Dover Air Force base in Delaware to participate in the dignified transfer of the remains of two soldiers killed recently in Afghanistan.

The president thanked Pelosi for giving Republicans the highest poll numbers they've "ever" had -- or at least since 2005, according to a recent Gallup survey. Pelosi, who ripped up Trump's State of the Union address as soon as it concluded, was widely criticized especially after videos emerged showing she had visibly torn some of the pages in advance.

Continue Reading Below

Video

Trump employs lyrics for Al Wilson's 'The Snake' as allegory for illegal immigration

"Nine months from now, we are going to retake the House of Representatives, we are going to hold the Senate, and we are going to keep the White House," Trump said to thunderous applause. "We have so much more enthusiasm, it's not even close. They're all fighting each other. ... They don't know what they're doing; they can't even count their votes."

Perhaps worst of all, Trump said, liberals and the "fake news" media simply "can't take a joke."

Later, he again jabbed the Democrats over the Iowa caucus debacle and the party's treatment of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: "The Democratic Party wants to run your health care, but they can't even run a caucus in Iowa. ... Actually, I think they're trying to take it away from Bernie again. They're doing it to you again, Bernie! They're doing it to you again."



President Trump speaking at his campaign rally Monday in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Huge crowds gathered in the overflow viewing area outside the packed Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) arena in Manchester, which can hold approximately 11,000.

Earlier in the day, Trump retweeted a post from ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl: "Cold rain, snow and lots of Trump supporters. Despite the miserable weather, there are already more people lining up outside the venue of @realDonaldTrump‘s rally tonight than you see at most of the events for the Democratic candidates. Some have been out here all night."

At the rally, Trump remarked to applause, "We have more in this arena and outside this arena than all of the other candidates, meaning the Democrats, put together and multiplied by five. ... We have never had an empty seat from the day your future First Lady and I came down the escalator."

JOE NO! BIDEN CALLS N.H. WOMAN A 'LYING, DOG-FACED PONY SOLDIER' -- WHAT WESTERNS WAS HE REFERRING TO, EXACTLY?

Turning to illegal immigration and "insane" sanctuary cities -- just minutes after Attorney General Bill Barr announced sweeping new sanctions against sanctuary cities -- the president boasted that his administration had built over 100 miles of wall on the southern border.

"You have to see -- you wouldn't believe it, when that wall goes up, the numbers change like magic," Trump said. "Two things never change: a wheel and a wall."

The president then delivered a dramatic reading of a 1968 Al Wilson song that he used as an allegory to illegal immigration, in which a "tender woman" let a snake inside her home, only to suffer a "vicious bite."

"'Now I'm going to die,'" the woman complained. "'Shut up, silly woman,' said the reptile with a grin; 'You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.'" Attendees both inside and outside the SNHU arena erupted in cheers.



President Donald Trump arrives at SNHU Arena to speak at a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Mexican government has played a key role in keeping illegal border crossings down, the president added, noting that he had pressured the country to do so under the threat of tariffs last year. Washington Democrats, by contrast, "want to let anyone into our country" and "give them free health care" and "free education," Trump said.

That was a reference to a recent presidential debate, when all candidates on stage seemingly endorsed the idea of paying for illegal immigrants' health expenses.

BARR ANNOUNCES SANCTUARY CITY CRACKDOWN

Additionally, Trump again honored House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., saying he looked "better now than when he got shot" in 2017 by a radical Sanders supporter while playing softball. Capitol Police officers took down the attacker as Scalise tried to crawl away, in a dramatic moment that Trump recounted last week at the White House.

The president, as he did during the State of the Union, further touted the historically low unemployment numbers for the country and minority groups specifically, as the crowd screamed, "USA!" Democrats' sweeping and expensive policies and regulations, Trump argued, would crush the stock market and reverse the ongoing economic boom.

"The Democratic Party wants to run your health care, but they can't even run a caucus in Iowa."

— President Trump

"To support working families, we have reduced the cost of child care, expanded paid leave, and given 40 million American families an average of $2,200 more in their pockets thanks to the Republican child tax credit," Trump asserted. "We are the party of equal opportunity for all Americans."

He added, "While the extreme left has been wasting America's time with this vile hoax, we've been killing terrorists, creating jobs, raising wages, enacting fair trade deals, securing our borders, and lifting up citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed!"



Supporters waiting for the start of President Trump's rally Monday in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

In an apparent flub as he attempted to appeal to the hometown crowd, Trump then seemingly confused the pivotal Revoluntary War site of Concord, Mass., with the less notable Concord, N.H.

"I love Concord. ... That's the same Concord we read about all the time, right?" Trump asked. In fact, the Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred in Massachusetts.

The rally was part of a tried-and-tested tactic for Trump: scheduling counter-programming to divert attention from the Democrats' debates and other major moments, keeping him in the spotlight and building supporters' enthusiasm in the months before Election Day.

Though it may not be the same show of force as last week, when dozens of Trump's surrogates, including officials from across all levels of government, flooded the state of Iowa, the Trump campaign made its presence known in New Hampshire before the state's primaries.

TRUMP BUDGET TOUCHES OFF NEW FIGHT OVER SPENDING; BUDGET CONTAINS MAJOR CUTS

Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser, got to the state ahead of the president to do some campaigning.

Also being deployed by the president's re-election campaign: Scalise, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Trump's former campaign manager, New Hampshire resident Corey Lewandowski.

Still, the marquee event has been Trump's rally, and supporters started lining up for it Sunday. Images of bundled-up supporters camped outside the SNHU Arena in Manchester broke through the news coverage of the Democrats' primary.

l

The audience cheers as President Donald Trump arrives on stage during a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

New Hampshire has always loomed large in Trump's political lore as the first nominating contest he won during 2016's heated Republican primaries.

He was about to take the stage at a rally in Manchester that October


!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!


Unfavorable polls!






Here Comes the Twitter Tantrum: Latest 2020 Poll Shows Top 6 Democrats Shivving Trump

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 6:12 PM


If you’ve been studying Donald Trump for any period of time, you know that despite claiming to have one of the “best temperaments” of “anybody that’s ever run for the office of president,” it takes very little to set him off. Examples of things that have inspired volcanic rage in the former real estate developer include but are certainly not limited to Academy Award acceptance speeches, Snoop Dogg, Nordstrom, the Kentucky Derby, wind turbines, ads about his weight, toilets, showers, sinks, lightbulbs, and dishwashers. So the news that a new poll has the top six Democrats all beating him in a general election will almost certainly inspire the sort of outburst typically reserved for Nancy Pelosi, if not dogs and maps (his true foes).


According to the latest Quinnipiac national poll, among registered voters, Trump would lose the 2020 election to Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg if it were held today. For a guy who seemingly only quakes in fear at the idea of going head-to-head with Bloomberg or Biden, and who is all but begging voters to nominate the senator from Vermont, that’s not great news!


The poll also puts Trump’s favorability underwater, with just 42% of registered voters reporting a favorable opinion of him and 55% thinking he sucks (or reporting an “unfavorable” view of him). Notably, this is his best favorability rating since March 7, 2017. Anyway, stay tuned for the 12-alarm meltdown!



Trump praises China’s execution of drug dealers

The president, who is currently campaigning on his alleged support of criminal justice reform, said at the White House Monday that he’d love to tackle drug issues in the U.S. by taking a page from China’s playbook, where drug dealers are executed following a “fair but quick trial.”

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1226922067523768320
“States with a very powerful death penalty on drug dealers don’t have a drug problem,” Trump said during an event with governors. “I don’t know that our country is ready for that, but if you look throughout the world, the countries with a powerful death penalty—death penalty—with a fair but quick trial, they have very little if any drug problem. That includes China.” This isn’t the first time Trump has praised an authoritarian nation for sentencing drug dealers to death. In 2017, he congratulated Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, whose “shoot to kill” policy against drug dealers had resulted in at least 7,000 people being killed for doing an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.”

Nothing to see here, just the DOJ setting up a special hotline for Rudy Giuliani’s conspiracy theories

This definitely sounds legitimate and in no way another abuse of the president’s power:

Attorney General William P. Barr acknowledged Monday that the Justice Department would evaluate material that Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, had gathered from Ukrainian sources claiming to have damaging information about former vice president Joe Biden and his family—though Barr and other officials suggested Giuliani was being treated no differently than any tipster. At a news conference on an unrelated case, Barr confirmed an assertion made Sunday by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) that the Justice Department had “created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified.” Barr said he had established an “intake process in the field” so that the Justice Department and intelligence agencies could scrutinize information they were given.

A Justice Department official said Giuliani had “recently” shared information with federal law enforcement officials through the process described by Barr. Two people familiar with the matter said the information is being routed to the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh. That Giuliani would have a direct pipeline to the Justice Department for providing information on a political rival of Trump raised fears among some legal analysts that federal law enforcement was being conscripted into doing campaign work for the president. The matter is complicated, too, because Giuliani is under investigation by the Justice Department. That case already has produced campaign finance charges against two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped in Giuliani’s Ukraine-related pursuits.

Parnas and Fruman have both pleaded not guilty. Giuliani did not return a message from the Post seeking a request for comment, probably being too busy getting his important papers and cocktail-napkin scribbles re: Biden out of a storage unit in Queens.

Kellyanne Conway casually admits more people will probably be fired for retaliating against Trump

What, you thought he was just going to let people testify against him and get away with it, jobs and kneecaps intact?

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Monday hinted that additional officials could be forced out of their roles following the ousters last week of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Ambassador Gordon Sondland—both high-profile witnesses in the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. Asked during an interview on Fox & Friends whether there will be more dismissals in the days to come, Conway said, “maybe,” and sought to defend Vindman’s removal from a detail at the National Security Council. Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny, who had served as a senior lawyer on the NSC, was also forced out of the White House on Friday. “In the case of the Vindman brothers, you remember, they were detailed here,” and remain “employed today,” Conway said, agreeing with host Steve Doocy’s assessment that the two former NSC staffers “didn't get fired” but “just got relocated.”

You know, like how people who cooperate with the government against the mob don’t get their legs cut off, they just have them relocated from their bodies to a dumpster off of the New Jersey Turnpike.

“They are working at the Army, where they were. They were detailed to the NSC. This is typical,” Conway said. “I’ve had detailees on my small staff. This is very typical in a White House to have a detailee for a temporary period of time who then returns to what their full-time job is.” Conway did not explain why Vindman’s detail to the NSC ended on Friday when it was previously slated to finish in July.

As for Sondland, Conway suggested that the former U.S. envoy to the European Union should be grateful he was given his position in the first place after not just showing disloyalty to Trump vis-à-vis the whole Ukraine affair but failing to pledge his firstborn to the president the day he announced his candidacy for office. “He wrote a big check to the inauguration but wasn’t really there before the president improbably, unsurprisingly, won, for people like that,” Conway said of Sondland, who was named to his post after donating $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee. In other words, cutting a huge check for Team Trump, which is made up of cheap whores, will certainly get you a foot in the door but blind loyalty must be adhered to at all costs. Just something for would-be donors to remember about should there be a second term.






© Condé Nast 2020
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Re: Trump enters the stage -Trump the Boss

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:09 am

Il
This Is What an Unleashed Trump Looks Like

The president is bestowing favor on his loyal defenders, and visiting revenge on those he feels have betrayed him.


FEBRUARY 11, 2020

The Justice Department announced today that it would withdraw Roger Stone's sentencing recommendation in favor of a lighter sentence.

Updated on February 11 at 5:51 p.m.

The Senate’s acquittal of Donald Trump elicited predictions that the president would now be “unleashed,” freed to do as he pleased. His actions over the past few days offer a first glimpse of what that might look like. With the threat of accountability gone, or at least diminished, Trump is bestowing favor on his loyal defenders, and visiting revenge on those he feels have betrayed him.


Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified in the impeachment hearings, was sacked from his post on the National Security Council, in what presidential aides made very clear was revenge. For good measure, so was his twin brother, a lawyer at the NSC and a fellow Army officer. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, was asked to resign, and when he refused, he was fired Friday night. Elaine McCusker, who had been tapped to be Pentagon comptroller but clashed with the White House over freezing military aid to Ukraine, will have her nomination withdrawn, according to the New York Post.

And today, a day after prosecutors requested seven to nine years in prison for Roger Stone, the Justice Department suddenly intervened and announced that it would withdraw the recommendation in favor of a lighter sentence, a highly irregular move. Stone was convicted in November on seven counts, including witness tampering and making false statements, in a case that grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election. Trump also tweeted angrily about the proposed sentence. “This is a horrible and very unfair situation,” he wrote. “The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Later, at the White House, Trump asserted an “absolute right” to intervene with the Department of Justice and called the prosecution of Stone “an insult to our country,” before saying he “had not been involved with it at all.”


David A. Graham: We still don’t know what happened between Trump and Russia

The intervention by the Justice Department led to a mass resignation from the case in protest by prosecutors. First Aaron Zelinsky, a former Mueller aide, resigned from the case. (Zelinsky remains an assistant U.S. attorney, a career position, in Maryland.) Two others, Adam Jed and Mike Marando, also dropped off the case. A fourth, Jonathan Kravis, resigned from DOJ altogether in protest.



The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

DAVID A. GRAHAM
A Secret Service agent at Mar-a-Lago
Why Would a Billionaire Charge the Secret Service $650 a Night?
DAVID A. GRAHAM


Charity Toward None, Malice Toward All


This Is Donald Trump’s Best Week

The president has always been obsessed with loyalty, and in particular loyalty to himself, not to rule of law. He infamously asked then–FBI Director James Comey for loyalty in January 2017, and after concluding that he was not receiving it, fired Comey in May of that year. But for the most part, Trump has been somewhat restrained about flexing his muscles to enforce loyalty. He fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, though Sessions had gotten that job only through political fealty. He tried to fire Mueller, but then–White House Counsel Don McGahn refused, and Trump relented.

Trump has been surprisingly spare with his pardon power. He hasn’t hesitated to hand out dubious pardons—to Dinesh D’Souza, for example, and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio—but he has so far not pardoned people like Paul Manafort, the former campaign chair who refused to testify against Trump and was sent to prison. Despite widespread predictions, Manafort remains in the clink.

David A. Graham: Trump won’t just violate the rules again—he’s already doing it

The president had reason to hesitate. Though the pardon power is not reviewable, abusing it raised the risk of backlash, as did intervening in prosecutions. Voters might have gotten angry; Congress might have decided to investigate or even impeach him. But Trump has now survived impeachment, and has a good sense of how consistently Senate Republicans have his back. Some have even argued that Trump has learned his lesson from the impeachment.

The administration’s rush to aid Stone, especially set against the retributive firings, shows Trump newly willing to flex his muscles, and demonstrates how Pollyannaish the predictions of a chastened Trump were. The apology for firing Vindman goes this way: Vindman remains an officer, and Trump has a right to aides on the National Security Council whom he trusts. But Trump also said Tuesday that the military should consider disciplining Vindman, whose only offense seems to have been complying with a lawful subpoena from Congress.

The intervention on behalf of Stone is particularly disturbing because he was convicted of lying to protect Trump. Thanks to Stone’s stonewalling, we still don’t really know what happened between Trump and Russia in 2016. Stone had Trump’s back, and now Trump has his. So much for the law-and-order president.

During the Senate impeachment trial, House managers and the president’s lawyers tangled over whether a president could be impeached for actions that didn’t break specific laws. Trump’s support of Stone, even if it ends here, shows the stakes of that debate. The president isn’t breaking any laws by intervening in this case, but he is making clear that he places personal loyalty ahead of enforcing the rule of law.

DAVID A. GRAHAM is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
Connect


1 The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President




Copyright © 2020 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All Rights Reserved




POLITICO

CONGRESS
----------- ----------

Reining Trump in?

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East," says Tim Kaine.



Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a War Powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch military actions. | Jose Lui

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.

The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.


In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas. The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East. And no matter who our president is, no president is smart enough to, on their own, make that kind of a decision without deliberation,” Kaine said in an interview. “The logic of the idea just gets more and more persuasive the more time that elapses after 9/11.”

Indeed, Congress has abdicated war-making powers to the executive branch in the years after both chambers adopted authorizations for the use of military force against al Qaeda in 2001 and against Iraq in 2002. The war powers issue rose to prominence yet again last month in the days following Trump’s Jan. 2 order of an airstrike that killed Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force and a longtime target of American military operations.

If the War Powers measure is approved by both chambers as expected, it will be the second time such an effort has reached Trump’s desk. Last year, the House and Senate passed a War Powers resolution intended to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war — the first time both chambers of Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to constrain presidential authority. Trump vetoed that resolution.



Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine’s bill would require Trump to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress. He has modified the original language of the resolution to attract Republican support, including nixing references to Trump. The measure — privileged under the War Powers Act — was on hold during the Senate’s three week impeachment trial, which concluded last week.

Like the Yemen vote, Kaine’s effort will expose long-standing foreign policy divisions within the Republican Party. While the vast majority of Senate Republicans share the party’s historically hawkish positions and supported Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani, several GOP senators have teamed up with Democrats in recent years to force votes to rein in presidential war-making powers.

“I think we’ve abdicated our duty to decide whether we should still be at war or not,” said Paul, who has long opposed U.S. interventions in foreign conflicts and has worked with Democrats over the years on war powers issues. “So the War Powers Act vote for me is just an opportunity to discuss whether or not we should still be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq or any of these places.”

“I’m just ensuring that Congress fulfills our article one responsibilities, that’s all this is about,” added Young.



The views of Paul and Young run counter to those expressed by Senate GOP leaders, who have long supported giving the commander-in-chief wide latitude to order military operations abroad.

“Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “With China and Russia watching, is it really a good idea to suggest that we’re willing to let a middling power like Iran push us around?”

While Republicans acknowledge the disagreements within their own party, they have sought to portray the GOP senators supporting Kaine’s bill as outliers.

“I know there are some divisions in our conference, but I think the overwhelming majority [of Republicans] will vote against it for unnecessarily tying the hands of the president,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I mean, we all agree that Congress plays an important role, and we’re not as nimble in actually responding to exigent circumstances.”

Congressional Republicans generally praised Trump for the strike against Soleimani, but Democrats and even some Trump allies questioned the justification for the strike as well as Trump’s authority to carry it out without congressional approval.




Emerging from an all-senators classified briefing on the Soleimani killing last month, Lee said Trump administration officials advised lawmakers to not debate presidential war powers. Lee called the suggestion “insulting and demeaning.”

“The worst briefing I’ve seen — at least on a military issue — in the nine years I've served” in the Senate, Lee said.

White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly asserted that Trump had the authority to take out Soleimani, pointing to the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

Trump himself has expressed disparate views on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. While he has campaigned on “ending endless wars,” he has steadfastly resisted congressional efforts to curb U.S. military incursions abroad. Paul, who informally advises Trump on foreign policy and national security matters, has tried to veer the president toward a more non-interventionist posture. But, he added, “We’ve just got to get him some better advisers.”

In the face of a likely veto from the president, Democrats are casting the vote as a symbolic rebuke but also a re-affirmation of Congress’ authority.

“The president will veto it, but it sends a shot across his bow that the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House do not want the president waging war without congressional approval,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “And once again, the American people are overwhelmingly on our side.”

Kaine said that even if Trump vetoes the resolution, the measure could nevertheless influence his behavior and decision-making when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he expects the House to vote on the Senate bill later this month.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC
Last edited by Meno_ on Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage -reigning in Trump

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 pm

POLITICO

CONGRESS

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East," says Tim Kaine.



Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a War Powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch military actions. | Jose Lui

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.

The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.


In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas. The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East. And no matter who our president is, no president is smart enough to, on their own, make that kind of a decision without deliberation,” Kaine said in an interview. “The logic of the idea just gets more and more persuasive the more time that elapses after 9/11.”

Indeed, Congress has abdicated war-making powers to the executive branch in the years after both chambers adopted authorizations for the use of military force against al Qaeda in 2001 and against Iraq in 2002. The war powers issue rose to prominence yet again last month in the days following Trump’s Jan. 2 order of an airstrike that killed Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force and a longtime target of American military operations.

If the War Powers measure is approved by both chambers as expected, it will be the second time such an effort has reached Trump’s desk. Last year, the House and Senate passed a War Powers resolution intended to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war — the first time both chambers of Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to constrain presidential authority. Trump vetoed that resolution.



Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine’s bill would require Trump to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress. He has modified the original language of the resolution to attract Republican support, including nixing references to Trump. The measure — privileged under the War Powers Act — was on hold during the Senate’s three week impeachment trial, which concluded last week.

Like the Yemen vote, Kaine’s effort will expose long-standing foreign policy divisions within the Republican Party. While the vast majority of Senate Republicans share the party’s historically hawkish positions and supported Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani, several GOP senators have teamed up with Democrats in recent years to force votes to rein in presidential war-making powers.

“I think we’ve abdicated our duty to decide whether we should still be at war or not,” said Paul, who has long opposed U.S. interventions in foreign conflicts and has worked with Democrats over the years on war powers issues. “So the War Powers Act vote for me is just an opportunity to discuss whether or not we should still be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq or any of these places.”

“I’m just ensuring that Congress fulfills our article one responsibilities, that’s all this is about,” added Young.



The views of Paul and Young run counter to those expressed by Senate GOP leaders, who have long supported giving the commander-in-chief wide latitude to order military operations abroad.

“Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “With China and Russia watching, is it really a good idea to suggest that we’re willing to let a middling power like Iran push us around?”

While Republicans acknowledge the disagreements within their own party, they have sought to portray the GOP senators supporting Kaine’s bill as outliers.

“I know there are some divisions in our conference, but I think the overwhelming majority [of Republicans] will vote against it for unnecessarily tying the hands of the president,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I mean, we all agree that Congress plays an important role, and we’re not as nimble in actually responding to exigent circumstances.”

Congressional Republicans generally praised Trump for the strike against Soleimani, but Democrats and even some Trump allies questioned the justification for the strike as well as Trump’s authority to carry it out without congressional approval.




Emerging from an all-senators classified briefing on the Soleimani killing last month, Lee said Trump administration officials advised lawmakers to not debate presidential war powers. Lee called the suggestion “insulting and demeaning.”

“The worst briefing I’ve seen — at least on a military issue — in the nine years I've served” in the Senate, Lee said.

White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly asserted that Trump had the authority to take out Soleimani, pointing to the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

Trump himself has expressed disparate views on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. While he has campaigned on “ending endless wars,” he has steadfastly resisted congressional efforts to curb U.S. military incursions abroad. Paul, who informally advises Trump on foreign policy and national security matters, has tried to veer the president toward a more non-interventionist posture. But, he added, “We’ve just got to get him some better advisers.”

In the face of a likely veto from the president, Democrats are casting the vote as a symbolic rebuke but also a re-affirmation of Congress’ authority.

“The president will veto it, but it sends a shot across his bow that the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House do not want the president waging war without congressional approval,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “And once again, the American people are overwhelmingly on our side.”

Kaine said that even if Trump vetoes the resolution, the measure could nevertheless influence his behavior and decision-making when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he expects the House to vote on the Senate bill later this month.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage -reigning in Trump

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 pm

POLITICO

CONGRESS

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East," says Tim Kaine.



Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a War Powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch military actions. | Jose Lui

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.

The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.


In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas. The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East. And no matter who our president is, no president is smart enough to, on their own, make that kind of a decision without deliberation,” Kaine said in an interview. “The logic of the idea just gets more and more persuasive the more time that elapses after 9/11.”

Indeed, Congress has abdicated war-making powers to the executive branch in the years after both chambers adopted authorizations for the use of military force against al Qaeda in 2001 and against Iraq in 2002. The war powers issue rose to prominence yet again last month in the days following Trump’s Jan. 2 order of an airstrike that killed Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force and a longtime target of American military operations.

If the War Powers measure is approved by both chambers as expected, it will be the second time such an effort has reached Trump’s desk. Last year, the House and Senate passed a War Powers resolution intended to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war — the first time both chambers of Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to constrain presidential authority. Trump vetoed that resolution.



Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine’s bill would require Trump to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress. He has modified the original language of the resolution to attract Republican support, including nixing references to Trump. The measure — privileged under the War Powers Act — was on hold during the Senate’s three week impeachment trial, which concluded last week.

Like the Yemen vote, Kaine’s effort will expose long-standing foreign policy divisions within the Republican Party. While the vast majority of Senate Republicans share the party’s historically hawkish positions and supported Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani, several GOP senators have teamed up with Democrats in recent years to force votes to rein in presidential war-making powers.

“I think we’ve abdicated our duty to decide whether we should still be at war or not,” said Paul, who has long opposed U.S. interventions in foreign conflicts and has worked with Democrats over the years on war powers issues. “So the War Powers Act vote for me is just an opportunity to discuss whether or not we should still be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq or any of these places.”

“I’m just ensuring that Congress fulfills our article one responsibilities, that’s all this is about,” added Young.



The views of Paul and Young run counter to those expressed by Senate GOP leaders, who have long supported giving the commander-in-chief wide latitude to order military operations abroad.

“Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “With China and Russia watching, is it really a good idea to suggest that we’re willing to let a middling power like Iran push us around?”

While Republicans acknowledge the disagreements within their own party, they have sought to portray the GOP senators supporting Kaine’s bill as outliers.

“I know there are some divisions in our conference, but I think the overwhelming majority [of Republicans] will vote against it for unnecessarily tying the hands of the president,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I mean, we all agree that Congress plays an important role, and we’re not as nimble in actually responding to exigent circumstances.”

Congressional Republicans generally praised Trump for the strike against Soleimani, but Democrats and even some Trump allies questioned the justification for the strike as well as Trump’s authority to carry it out without congressional approval.




Emerging from an all-senators classified briefing on the Soleimani killing last month, Lee said Trump administration officials advised lawmakers to not debate presidential war powers. Lee called the suggestion “insulting and demeaning.”

“The worst briefing I’ve seen — at least on a military issue — in the nine years I've served” in the Senate, Lee said.

White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly asserted that Trump had the authority to take out Soleimani, pointing to the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

Trump himself has expressed disparate views on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. While he has campaigned on “ending endless wars,” he has steadfastly resisted congressional efforts to curb U.S. military incursions abroad. Paul, who informally advises Trump on foreign policy and national security matters, has tried to veer the president toward a more non-interventionist posture. But, he added, “We’ve just got to get him some better advisers.”

In the face of a likely veto from the president, Democrats are casting the vote as a symbolic rebuke but also a re-affirmation of Congress’ authority.

“The president will veto it, but it sends a shot across his bow that the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House do not want the president waging war without congressional approval,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “And once again, the American people are overwhelmingly on our side.”

Kaine said that even if Trump vetoes the resolution, the measure could nevertheless influence his behavior and decision-making when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he expects the House to vote on the Senate bill later this month.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage -reigning in Trump

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 pm

POLITICO

CONGRESS

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East," says Tim Kaine.



Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a War Powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch military actions. | Jose Lui

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.

The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.


In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas. The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East. And no matter who our president is, no president is smart enough to, on their own, make that kind of a decision without deliberation,” Kaine said in an interview. “The logic of the idea just gets more and more persuasive the more time that elapses after 9/11.”

Indeed, Congress has abdicated war-making powers to the executive branch in the years after both chambers adopted authorizations for the use of military force against al Qaeda in 2001 and against Iraq in 2002. The war powers issue rose to prominence yet again last month in the days following Trump’s Jan. 2 order of an airstrike that killed Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force and a longtime target of American military operations.

If the War Powers measure is approved by both chambers as expected, it will be the second time such an effort has reached Trump’s desk. Last year, the House and Senate passed a War Powers resolution intended to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war — the first time both chambers of Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to constrain presidential authority. Trump vetoed that resolution.



Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine’s bill would require Trump to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress. He has modified the original language of the resolution to attract Republican support, including nixing references to Trump. The measure — privileged under the War Powers Act — was on hold during the Senate’s three week impeachment trial, which concluded last week.

Like the Yemen vote, Kaine’s effort will expose long-standing foreign policy divisions within the Republican Party. While the vast majority of Senate Republicans share the party’s historically hawkish positions and supported Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani, several GOP senators have teamed up with Democrats in recent years to force votes to rein in presidential war-making powers.

“I think we’ve abdicated our duty to decide whether we should still be at war or not,” said Paul, who has long opposed U.S. interventions in foreign conflicts and has worked with Democrats over the years on war powers issues. “So the War Powers Act vote for me is just an opportunity to discuss whether or not we should still be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq or any of these places.”

“I’m just ensuring that Congress fulfills our article one responsibilities, that’s all this is about,” added Young.



The views of Paul and Young run counter to those expressed by Senate GOP leaders, who have long supported giving the commander-in-chief wide latitude to order military operations abroad.

“Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “With China and Russia watching, is it really a good idea to suggest that we’re willing to let a middling power like Iran push us around?”

While Republicans acknowledge the disagreements within their own party, they have sought to portray the GOP senators supporting Kaine’s bill as outliers.

“I know there are some divisions in our conference, but I think the overwhelming majority [of Republicans] will vote against it for unnecessarily tying the hands of the president,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I mean, we all agree that Congress plays an important role, and we’re not as nimble in actually responding to exigent circumstances.”

Congressional Republicans generally praised Trump for the strike against Soleimani, but Democrats and even some Trump allies questioned the justification for the strike as well as Trump’s authority to carry it out without congressional approval.




Emerging from an all-senators classified briefing on the Soleimani killing last month, Lee said Trump administration officials advised lawmakers to not debate presidential war powers. Lee called the suggestion “insulting and demeaning.”

“The worst briefing I’ve seen — at least on a military issue — in the nine years I've served” in the Senate, Lee said.

White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly asserted that Trump had the authority to take out Soleimani, pointing to the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

Trump himself has expressed disparate views on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. While he has campaigned on “ending endless wars,” he has steadfastly resisted congressional efforts to curb U.S. military incursions abroad. Paul, who informally advises Trump on foreign policy and national security matters, has tried to veer the president toward a more non-interventionist posture. But, he added, “We’ve just got to get him some better advisers.”

In the face of a likely veto from the president, Democrats are casting the vote as a symbolic rebuke but also a re-affirmation of Congress’ authority.

“The president will veto it, but it sends a shot across his bow that the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House do not want the president waging war without congressional approval,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “And once again, the American people are overwhelmingly on our side.”

Kaine said that even if Trump vetoes the resolution, the measure could nevertheless influence his behavior and decision-making when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he expects the House to vote on the Senate bill later this month.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage -reigning in Trump

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:16 pm

POLITICO

CONGRESS

Senate to rein in Trump's war powers after Iran strike

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East," says Tim Kaine.



Sen. Tim Kaine introduced a War Powers resolution that would curb President Donald Trump's ability to launch military actions. | Jose Lui

The Senate is set to pass a bipartisan resolution this week to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to launch military operations against Iran weeks after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general.

The War Powers resolution, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), will come to the floor Wednesday with a final expected vote Thursday. While the measure is not likely to garner enough support to overturn a likely Trump veto, its expected passage in the Senate nevertheless illustrates a rare congressional effort to rein in the president’s executive authority.


In addition to all 47 Democrats, the measure so far has support from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Todd Young of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jerry Moran of Kansas. The Democratic senators running for president are expected to be in Washington for the vote on Thursday, ensuring that the 51-vote threshold for the War Powers resolution will be met.

“The last thing this country should do is rush into or blunder into another war in the Middle East. And no matter who our president is, no president is smart enough to, on their own, make that kind of a decision without deliberation,” Kaine said in an interview. “The logic of the idea just gets more and more persuasive the more time that elapses after 9/11.”

Indeed, Congress has abdicated war-making powers to the executive branch in the years after both chambers adopted authorizations for the use of military force against al Qaeda in 2001 and against Iraq in 2002. The war powers issue rose to prominence yet again last month in the days following Trump’s Jan. 2 order of an airstrike that killed Qassim Soleimani, the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds force and a longtime target of American military operations.

If the War Powers measure is approved by both chambers as expected, it will be the second time such an effort has reached Trump’s desk. Last year, the House and Senate passed a War Powers resolution intended to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war — the first time both chambers of Congress used the 1973 War Powers Act to constrain presidential authority. Trump vetoed that resolution.



Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

Kaine’s bill would require Trump to cease all hostilities targeting Iran within 30 days unless explicitly approved by Congress. He has modified the original language of the resolution to attract Republican support, including nixing references to Trump. The measure — privileged under the War Powers Act — was on hold during the Senate’s three week impeachment trial, which concluded last week.

Like the Yemen vote, Kaine’s effort will expose long-standing foreign policy divisions within the Republican Party. While the vast majority of Senate Republicans share the party’s historically hawkish positions and supported Trump’s decision to take out Soleimani, several GOP senators have teamed up with Democrats in recent years to force votes to rein in presidential war-making powers.

“I think we’ve abdicated our duty to decide whether we should still be at war or not,” said Paul, who has long opposed U.S. interventions in foreign conflicts and has worked with Democrats over the years on war powers issues. “So the War Powers Act vote for me is just an opportunity to discuss whether or not we should still be at war in Afghanistan or Iraq or any of these places.”

“I’m just ensuring that Congress fulfills our article one responsibilities, that’s all this is about,” added Young.



The views of Paul and Young run counter to those expressed by Senate GOP leaders, who have long supported giving the commander-in-chief wide latitude to order military operations abroad.

“Just as we have successfully sent Iran this strong signal of our strength and resolve, a blunt and clumsy War Powers resolution would tie our own hands,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “With China and Russia watching, is it really a good idea to suggest that we’re willing to let a middling power like Iran push us around?”

While Republicans acknowledge the disagreements within their own party, they have sought to portray the GOP senators supporting Kaine’s bill as outliers.

“I know there are some divisions in our conference, but I think the overwhelming majority [of Republicans] will vote against it for unnecessarily tying the hands of the president,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I mean, we all agree that Congress plays an important role, and we’re not as nimble in actually responding to exigent circumstances.”

Congressional Republicans generally praised Trump for the strike against Soleimani, but Democrats and even some Trump allies questioned the justification for the strike as well as Trump’s authority to carry it out without congressional approval.




Emerging from an all-senators classified briefing on the Soleimani killing last month, Lee said Trump administration officials advised lawmakers to not debate presidential war powers. Lee called the suggestion “insulting and demeaning.”

“The worst briefing I’ve seen — at least on a military issue — in the nine years I've served” in the Senate, Lee said.

White House and Pentagon officials have repeatedly asserted that Trump had the authority to take out Soleimani, pointing to the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

Trump himself has expressed disparate views on U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts. While he has campaigned on “ending endless wars,” he has steadfastly resisted congressional efforts to curb U.S. military incursions abroad. Paul, who informally advises Trump on foreign policy and national security matters, has tried to veer the president toward a more non-interventionist posture. But, he added, “We’ve just got to get him some better advisers.”

In the face of a likely veto from the president, Democrats are casting the vote as a symbolic rebuke but also a re-affirmation of Congress’ authority.

“The president will veto it, but it sends a shot across his bow that the majority of the Senate and the majority of the House do not want the president waging war without congressional approval,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “And once again, the American people are overwhelmingly on our side.”

Kaine said that even if Trump vetoes the resolution, the measure could nevertheless influence his behavior and decision-making when it comes to U.S. policy in the Middle East.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he expects the House to vote on the Senate bill later this month.



© 2020 POLITICO LLC




////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Roger Stone


POLITICO

WHITE HOUSE

'Really shocking': Trump's meddling in Stone case stuns Washington

Alarmed veterans of the Justice Department said the legal system was entering uncharted territory.





President Donald Trump’s post-impeachment acquittal behavior is casting a chill in Washington, with Attorney General William Barr emerging as a key ally in the president’s quest for vengeance against the law enforcement and national security establishment that initiated the Russia and Ukraine investigations.

In perhaps the most tumultuous day yet for the Justice Department under Trump, four top prosecutors withdrew on Tuesday from a case involving the president’s longtime friend Roger Stone after senior department officials overrode their sentencing recommendation—a backpedaling that DOJ veterans and legal experts suspect was influenced by Trump’s own displeasure with the prosecutors’ judgment.



“With Bill Barr, on an amazing number of occasions … you can be almost 100 percent certain that there’s something improper going on,” said Donald Ayer, the former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration.

The president has only inflamed such suspicions, congratulating Barr on Wednesday for intervening in Stone’s case and teeing off hours later on the prosecutors, calling them “Mueller people” who treated Stone “very badly.”

The president said he had not spoken with Barr about the matter, but Ayer called the attorney general’s apparent intervention “really shocking,” because Barr “has now entered into the area of criminal sanction, which is the one area probably more than any other where it’s most important that the Justice Department’s conduct be above reproach and beyond suspicion.”

To many of Trump’s critics, the episode was the most alarming in a series of Trump’s post-acquittal reprisals: Last week, he dismissed two officials who were key witnesses in his impeachment— Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland—and a third, NSC ethics lawyer Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, whose main indiscretion seemed to be his last name. The Vindmans, who are twin brothers, have returned to the Army.



Barr’s evident intervention in matters of personal interest to the president, particularly as they relate to former campaign advisers once at the center of Mueller’s Russia probe, has now put the reputation of an entire institution at risk, DOJ veterans said. It sent an alarming signal to hundreds of line attorneys inside the department, who may now fear that any work touching on the president’s allies will be subject to political interference, they said. And it could undo decades of post-Watergate work to separate the president from the justice system, in ways that could damage DOJ’s credibility with federal judges and with the public as a whole.

“I do have concerns regarding the independence of that office on certain matters, and to some extent, the office’s credibility, particularly with judges,” said Channing Phillips, who served as the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from October 2015 to September 2017.

LEGAL

Roger Stone trial witness defends prosecutors from Trump’s ‘vile smear job’

BY QUINT FORGEY

The president’s campaign of retribution apparently doesn’t stop there: He also pulled former U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu’s nomination to serve in a senior Treasury Department post, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed during a hearing on Wednesday.

As the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Liu oversaw the prosecutions of Stone, Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, while the office’s case against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe—who Trump has repeatedly lambasted—has languished without an indictment.

Mnuchin would not tell the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday why Liu’s nomination was withdrawn. Liu, who at one point was considered for the No. 3 job at the Justice Department, would likely have faced tough questions from lawmakers about the president’s conduct during her public confirmation hearing that was scheduled for Thursday.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the record on Wednesday. But DOJ veterans and other legal experts who spoke to POLITICO unanimously agreed that Tuesday’s act of protest by the career prosecutors on the Stone case was unprecedented.

“I've never seen anything this dramatic,” said Mary McCord, the former acting assistant attorney general for national security, who accused Barr and his deputy Jeffrey Rosen of being “willing to do the president’s bidding for political purposes in individual cases.”

The four attorneys who withdrew from the Stone case “should be seen as heroes in some respects,” said Phillips. “It was obviously a courageous action on their part.”

“It’s a pretty dramatic thing to do,” said Edward MacMahon, Jr., a veteran D.C. defense attorney who has dealt with the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office for decades. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”

Trump criticized the prosecutors in harsh terms in his off-the-cuff remarks on Wednesday, contrasting the high end of their recommended sentence for Stone to those doled out to “murderers and drug addicts.”

“They put him in for nine years,” Trump said. “It’s a disgrace.”

That argument angered even some Republicans, who said it amounted to a demand for favorable treatment for the president's allies.


“There are literally tens of thousands of people in prison under such very harsh sentences,” said Charles Fried, the former solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan. “The question is: Do you get to be treated differently from this vast army of harshly punished persons because you are in fact a crony of the president? Well, I think the question answers itself.”

Nor is Stone the first Trump ally to benefit from his attempts to influence the justice system, others noted.

Eddie Gallagher, a retired Navy SEAL who had been demoted and charged with war crimes, was freed from pretrial detention and had his rank restored by Trump after being convicted of posing for a picture with a dead ISIS fighter. Richard Spencer, the Navy secretary at the time, asked Trump not to intervene further and was fired; Special Warfare Rear Adm. Collin Green, a Navy admiral who clashed with Trump over the Gallagher case, will reportedly resign his post early.



Eddie Gallagher.

Trump declared on Tuesday that he had an “absolute right” to intervene in the Stone case, though he denied doing so. And his allies cautioned that the post-Watergate model of clear boundaries between the president and the Justice Department is just an accepted norm, not a legal imperative.

John Dowd, a former DOJ attorney who was Trump’s personal lawyer for a portion of the Mueller probe, said that “this idea that DOJ is independent of the president is nonsense.”

Dowd said it appeared to him that the prosecutors, “the same crowd wedded to the Mueller agenda,” had been “grossly insubordinate” in recommending a steep sentence for Stone despite senior DOJ officials’ reported objections, and that Barr was doing the right thing by “cleaning up” the D.C. U.S. attorney’s office.

“Trump wasn’t out of line,” Dowd added. “He is the chief law enforcement officer. He has the right to react, and [the sentencing recommendation] was horrible.”

Mark Corallo, a former Bush DOJ official who also served briefly as the spokesman for Trump’s legal team, said he thought Barr had “finally done the right thing.”


“The idea that career prosecutors would ask for a 9-year sentence against Roger Stone on a process crime is the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment,” he said.

MacMahon, the defense attorney, noted that while he believes the sentencing guidelines are “out of whack,” and that the 7-9 year sentence prosecutors recommended for Stone was “heavy and unrealistic,” Trump’s comments were still inappropriate. “Should the president be intervening publicly in a criminal case?” he said. “I don’t think so.”

“Barr works for the president. That’s a matter of fact,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean DOJ’s decisions have to be political—they’re supposed to be in furtherance of the rule of law.”

Not even members of the conservative Federalist Society, whose co-chairman Leonard Leo has helped Trump stock the nation’s courts with conservative judges, seemed completely comfortable with the president’s conduct.

“I’m not super bothered in that it isn’t uncommon for senior members of DOJ to ‘interfere’ with individual prosecutions done by U.S. attorneys,” said one member of the Federalist Society who clerked for a conservative Supreme Court justice. But “from an optics perspective, sure, it is concerning,” this person acknowledged, adding that “it looks like Trump is getting involved in his friends’” cases.

The fact that Stone’s crime was related to election interference, which is what Trump was impeached over, only makes it look worse, this person said.

Another Federalist Society member and former Trump administration official acknowledged that the prosecutors’ withdrawal had damaged the image of the Justice Department, but characterized the furor over the Stone case as the result of “a horrible lack of communication” between DOJ leadership and the prosecutors on the case.

But DOJ veterans disputed that.



President Donald Trump.

“Under department policy, the sentencing recommendation would have been reached after consultation all the way up” through the attorney general, McCord said.



Former FBI general counsel Jim Baker echoed that assessment, noting that the “ethos of DOJ is to operate by consensus.”

The prosecutors’ withdrawing from the case is a sign that that didn’t happen, Baker said, and is “a very strong statement that something seriously wrong was afoot.”

Ultimately, Stone’s fate will be left to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who Trump has attacked with unfounded accusations of political bias.

Jackson denied Stone’s motion for a new trial last week and Stone is set to be sentenced on February 20. Baker said he expects Jackson to put the lawyers on the record about the sentencing confusion, “to find out why DOJ so dramatically changed its legal position and all of the lawyers resigned from the case,” he said. The revised memo the DOJ put out on Tuesday was signed by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea and his Criminal Division supervisor, John Crabb, Jr.

Stone’s allies, meanwhile, are still hoping for a presidential pardon. “This entire investigation was a political hit job, and we believe the MAGA movement agrees: The president should pardon Roger Stone,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign adviser who founded a committee on Wednesday aimed at encouraging a pardon for Stone.

Trump has not ruled it out. But a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed hope that the president opts against it.

“It’s not necessary. Because the guy committed serious crimes,” the official said, referring to Stone. “Donald Trump is impressed when people do a good job for him and don’t make themselves the story. Oh, and don’t break the law.”


© 2020 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage- Barr critical of Trump

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:01 am

ABCNews

Barr blasts Trump's tweets on Stone case: 'Impossible for me to do my job': ABC News Exclusive







In an exclusive interview, Attorney General Bill Barr told ABC News on Thursday that President Donald Trump "has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case” but should stop tweeting about the Justice Department because his tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr’s comments are a rare break with a president who the attorney general has aligned himself with and fiercely defended. But it also puts Barr in line with many of Trump’s supporters on Capitol Hill who say they support the president but wish he’d cut back on his tweets.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

When asked if he was prepared for the consequences of criticizing the president – his boss – Barr said “of course” because his job is to run the Justice Department and make decisions on “what I think is the right thing to do.”



Attorney General William Barr speaks to ABC News' Pierre Thomas during an interview on Feb. 13, 2020.

“I’m not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody ... whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board, or the president,” Barr said. “I’m gonna do what I think is right. And you know … I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”



Attorney General William Barr speaks to ABC News'' Pierre Thomas during an interview on Feb. 13, 2020.

Barr ignited a firestorm this week after top Justice Department officials intervened in the sentencing of Roger Stone, a longtime friend and former campaign adviser to the president who was convicted of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

In a stunning reversal, the Justice Department overruled a recommendation by its own prosecution team that Stone spend seven to nine years in jail and told a judge that such a punishment – which was in line with sentencing guidelines – “would not be appropriate.”



File photo: Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Nov. 26, 2019, in Washington.

The about-face raised serious questions about whether Barr had intervened on behalf of the president’s friend. It also raised questions about whether Trump personally pressured the Justice Department, either directly or indirectly.

In the interview with ABC News, Barr fiercely defended his actions and said it had nothing to do with the president. He said he was supportive of Stone’s convictions but thought the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years was excessive. When news outlets reported the seven to nine year sentencing recommendation last Monday, Barr said he thought it was spin.

Barr said he told his staff that night that the Justice Department has to amend its recommendation. Hours later, the president tweeted that it was “horrible and very unfair” and that “the real crimes were on the other side.”

“Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump tweeted.

The blowback from such an unprecedented move by the Justice Department leadership was immediate, both internally among the rank-and-file and in Congress. The entire four-man DOJ prosecution team withdrew from the case, and one prosecutor resigned from the Justice Department entirely. Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Judiciary Committee that oversees the Justice Department and one of Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, said the president should not have tweeted about an ongoing case.

The Justice Department, while led by a president appointee and Cabinet member, is tasked with enforcing the law and defending the interests of the U.S. without political influence.

Barr said Trump’s middle-of-the-night tweet put him in a bad position. He insists he had already discussed with staff that the sentencing recommendation was too long.

“Do you go forward with what you think is the right decision or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be,” he said.



President Donald Trump listens to questions while meeting with Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Feb. 12, 2020.

When asked directly if he had a problem with the president’s tweets, Barr responded, “Yes. Well, I have a problem with some of, some of the tweets. As I said at my confirmation hearing, I think the essential role of the attorney general is to keep law enforcement, the criminal process sacrosanct to make sure there is no political interference in it. And I have done that and I will continue to do that,” adding, “And I’m happy to say that, in fact the president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case.”

Barr also told ABC News he was “a little surprised” that the prosecution team withdrew from the case and said he hadn’t spoken to the team.

He said it was “preposterous” to suggest that he “intervened” in the case as much as he acted to resolve a dispute within the department on a sentencing recommendation.



File photo: Roger Stone, former campaign adviser President Donald Trump, arrives for his criminal trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering at U.S. District Court in Washington, Nov. 13, 2019.

Trump has been pleased with Barr’s actions on Stone, praising him on Twitter. Trump on Wednesday said he was “not concerned about anything” about the resignations at the Justice Department and suggested the prosecutors “should go back to school and learn.”

“Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted this week, after all prosecutors assigned to the case quit.

Trump has repeatedly come under fire for trying to influence the Justice Department, including forcing out his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, in 2018 after Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Early in his presidency, Trump also encouraged then-FBI Director James Comey to drop a probe into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to a memo Comey wrote at the time.

When asked earlier this week if he would pardon Stone, Trump said: “I don’t want to talk about that now.”

Attorney General William Barr speaks to ABC News' Pierre Thomas during an interview on Feb. 13, 2020.

Barr told ABC that he would object if ever asked to use his power at the Justice Department to achieve political means.

“If (Trump) were to say, ‘Go investigate somebody because'—and you sense it’s because they’re a political opponent, then the attorney general shouldn’t carry that out, wouldn’t carry that out,” Barr said.

When asked if he expects the president to react to his criticism of the tweets, Barr said: “I hope he will react.”

“And respect it?” ABC’s Thomas asked.

“Yes,” Barr said.

Senior level White House sources insisted to ABC News that the president and top aides were unaware of Barr’s intentions in the interview and were informed of the content only just before it aired.

About two hours after the interview aired, the White House issued a statement.

“The President wasn’t bothered by the comments at all and he has the right, just like any American citizen, to publicly offer his opinions. President Trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the American people against injustices in our country, including the fake news. The President has full faith and confidence in Attorney General Barr to do his job and uphold the law,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.

In an indication of how unusual the circumstances are, Chief Judge of the D.C. District Court Beryl A. Howell issued a rare statement about how the court makes sentencing decisions.

“The Judges of this Court base their sentencing decisions on careful consideration of the actual record in the case before them; the applicable sentencing guidelines and statutory factors; the submissions of the parties, the Probation Office and victims; and their own judgment and experience. Public criticism or pressure is not a factor,” Howell said.


© 2020 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Barr- Gauntlet or cover?

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:25 pm

February 14, 2020



By David Leonhardt

Opinion Columnist

There are two plausible explanations for William Barr’s surprising criticism of President Trump yesterday.

The first is the literal one. Barr, the attorney general, lashed out at Trump — for “a constant background commentary that undercuts” the Justice Department — because Barr is legitimately upset. He’s upset not only about the perception that Trump is inappropriately interfering in investigations but also the reality of it.

The second explanation is the performative one. Barr criticized Trump, perhaps even with Trump’s approval, to shore up the Justice Department’s credibility as an independent agency that makes decisions based on the law, not the president’s whims. In this scenario, Barr is happy to use the Justice Department to help Trump but would prefer the help to be less obvious.

Which is the right interpretation? It’s impossible to know right now. (I’ve excerpted some speculation below.) But the answer will almost certainly become clear in the coming months, if not days.

If Barr meant what he said, he will begin acting more like attorneys general have been acting for decades. He will make decisions based on the law, even when they conflict with the president’s political interests. He will uphold the Justice Department’s post-Watergate tradition of being the most independent, least partisan part of the executive branch.

If Barr’s remarks were just cover, he will make more decisions like this week’s, in which he overruled career prosecutors to protect Roger Stone, a Trump ally. Barr will also likely use the department as a weapon against Trump’s political opponents, like James Comey and whomever the Democratic nominee is.

Many of Trump’s critics reacted to Barr’s statement last night with deep cynicism. Others argued that Barr deserved the benefit of the doubt. We’ll find out who was right soon enough.




Josh Barro, New York magazine: “Authorizing your subordinate to go out and push back on you to demonstrate independence that will help him operate can be a smart tactic, but it’s not really Trump’s style. His whole message the last few days has been that this is his show and he can do what he wants.”

David French, The Dispatch: “Barr is exactly right. It was time to throw down the gauntlet.”

Adam Serwer, The Atlantic: “[Absent] any substantive act of resisting political influence over the Justice Department, this is just theater meant to fabricate the appearance of independence. Since Barr is still doing whatever Trump tells him to do, it means nothing.”

Susan Hennessey, Lawfare: “Bill Barr is reportedly facing an internal revolt at the Justice Department … This is Bill Barr attempting to quell that revolt by making a big, splashy statement.”



Noah Bookbinder, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: “If Attorney General Barr doesn’t want to be accused of being influenced by the President, then he should stop intervening in cases involving the President and his associates and start behaving like an independent Attorney General.”

Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary: “The president wasn’t bothered by the comments at all.”



February 15, 2020

Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, and it is Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. Let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.

A long, long time ago, just after Democrats had been swept into power in the House and none of us realized just how much we’d miss the recently fired Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, the L.A. Times Editorial Board urged the Senate to “confirm William Barr, even though it requires a leap of faith.” That leap of faith was on the question of whether Barr would protect Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and make the contents of his report public.

If only anyone knew how long of a jump we’d need.

Since then, the attorney general has misled the public about the conclusions of the Mueller report before releasing most of its contents, alleged that the Trump campaign was the target of “spying,” appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia investigation and most recently undermined his own prosecutors who recommended a seven- to nine-year prison sentence for former Trump advisor Roger Stone. Here’s what the editorial board says now about the attorney general it reluctantly supported for confirmation two years ago:



“The Justice Department said officials made the decision to change the sentencing recommendation before Trump’s tweet, and Trump himself said Tuesday that ‘I have not been involved in it at all.’ But skepticism is understandable, given Trump’s demonstrated disrespect for the impartial administration of justice and his past actions, including his documented efforts to impede the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“That is why the Justice Department’s inspector general must investigate this episode and why Atty. Gen. William Barr needs to be open about the chain of events when he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee next month.

“On Wednesday, Trump congratulated Barr ‘for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought.’ The burden is on Barr to prove that the Justice Department wasn’t doing the president’s bidding.”



The Justice Department’s independence has been massacred. Columnist Virginia Heffernan was much more unsparing in her criticism than the editorial board, saying that this episode “confirmed Barr as nothing but a butler to the squalling Trump, adding to his cover-up of the true contents of the Mueller report, which, guess what, did not exonerate the president.” Readers have been similarly strident in response to the latest Trump administration scandal.

That feeling when a week-old editorial seems like it was written a year ago: Days after Trump was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial, the editorial board lamented the hyper-partisanship that took root long before this president took office. Since then, it’s safe to say that concerns over worsening tribalism in politics have given way to fears of outright corruption of the Justice Department after impeachment. L.A. Times

It’s easy to forget there’s a presidential campaign going on — several of them, to be more accurate. Sen. Bernie Sanders may be heading into South Carolina and Nevada atop the crowded Democratic field with two victories (or near-victories, depending on how you tally the results in Iowa), but editorial writer Scott Martelle points out an important caveat: The “moderates” in the Democratic primary together received a much larger share of votes in New Hampshire than the self-identified democratic socialist. L.A. Times





Liberals, stop mocking Trump — it emboldens him, makes his supporters feel attacked and reduces your effectiveness at fighting his policies, writes Barry Glassner. He proposes a different line of attack: “Instead of an unflattering photo of the president, use a clip of his son Eric proclaiming in an interview last fall that ‘the government saves a fortune’ when his father stays at one of his own properties. ‘We charge them, like 50 bucks,’ he said. Juxtapose that with a headline from the Washington Post last week: ‘Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties.’” L.A. Times


Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Conservative Agenda

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:00 am

Conservatives see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Trump

Opinion by Merrill Brown

Updated 5:47 PM EST, Sat February 15, 2020

 





(CNN)While it may be easy to dismiss a significant number of President Donald Trump's supporters as members of a worshipful cult of celebrity, underneath that storyline is a stark policy reality -- one that's inadequately understood and reported on. In Trump, politically conservative America has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally alter the direction of the nation.



It is an opportunity to abandon the US' commitment to engaging politically and militarily around the world after World War II and alter the relationship between Americans and their government -- one built in the New Deal and solidified since. Meanwhile, the press is too unprepared, under-resourced and distracted by the noise surrounding the White House to grasp the momentousness of this shift.

This opportunity also involves reshaping the judiciary, and abortion rights in particular. This issue is discussed widely among Democratic candidates and somewhat more quietly by mainstream Republicans. When Trump delivered a speech at last month's March for Life, becoming the first US president to do so since the annual event began more than four decades ago, many supporters agreed with his own claims of being the "most pro-life president in American history."

If Trump wins a second term, he will likely have the opportunity to add at least one justice to the Supreme Court. Trump will also continue to appoint conservative judges in the federal court system -- all but guaranteeing the most concerted legal and legislative attack on abortion rights since Roe V. Wade.

In a piece written a month before Trump's inauguration, I suggested that the media was unprepared for both the policies the Trump administration was about to unleash, and the communications strategy that would be implemented. There was an inadequate sense at the time about the level of drama and change that would characterize these years. The Trump administration has ushered in daily fact-checking challenges for journalists and policy initiatives with grave consequences that have not been sufficiently explored or analyzed.


Russia learned this lesson from the 2008 election. Have our presidential candidates?

While national media has received generally deserved plaudits for covering the scandals surrounding Trump's presidency, it has largely fallen down on covering the administration's impact on social policy, federal regulations and foreign affairs.

To be fair, some of the changes under President Trump have been previously unimaginable. In the run-up to the 2016 election, how seriously did the media assess the possibility of truly disruptive change in US foreign policy and the strain Trump would place on our country's relationship with our allies?

Was the rapidly shrinking role of the State Department contemplated before Inauguration Day? And how much reporting has really been devoted to understanding the implications of that kneecapped department? How much attention in late 2016 and early 2017 was given to the possibility of a $1 trillion deficit by the end of Trump's first term and the implications of such a quick reversal after decades of Republican orthodoxy about balanced budgets?

Then there's Trump's embrace of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and other strongmen, and the revolving door of the Trump cabinet (recall former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, among others, left the administration under clouds of scandal). Their policy legacies and the condition in which they've left their respective agencies or departments are, frankly, a bit of a great unknown. What did those three actually get done? And what did former Energy Secretary Rick Perry actually do, other than get caught up in the Ukraine debacle?

There's little evidence that our news diets and the priorities of major news organizations reflect these critical but often uncovered events. Smaller publications and local newspapers face dwindling resources. Many of the Washington and national bureaus of once large metropolitan newspapers, news magazines and TV group bureaus are hollowed out or gone entirely.



Are Dems so worried by Trump they're willing to let Bloomberg buy the election?

Beyond the news industry's resource limitations, there's also what was famously called in the government report after the September 11 attacks the "failure in imagination" and the inability of policymakers to see what might lie ahead. More than ever, the media has a responsibility to address the stories and coverage requirements ahead with renewed imagination.

Today Trump's approval ratings are rising and despite impeachment, the prospects for a second Trump term are improving. What will a second term bring once President Trump no longer has to face the prospect of winning another election? Certainly, there's the possibility of a further US withdrawal from global agreements. A US withdrawal from NATO has received some attention, but what about a US pullback from the United Nations? What would come of the UN, based in New York City, if the US threatens to limit funding or withdraw entirely?

What would a more dramatic restructuring of the federal environmental apparatus mean? Is there any doubt that some influential members of the Trump universe would like to see the Environmental Protection Agency shut down or folded into another federal entity with bare-bones staffing?

Then there's regulation around public lands that have already being systematically dismantled in places like Utah. Just this week the administration gave the go-ahead to development in previously protected sites there. Pick just one piece of the national regulatory infrastructure and imagine it a target of significant disruption: What would the possible effects be in 10 years?

Do you think the GOP's loyalty to Trump is simply about celebrity adoration? It's not -- here is a President who is willing to break the norm to fulfill the conservative agenda.

Contemplating the possibilities of a GOP control over the legislative and judicial branches, along with a second term under President Trump -- and the indifference to oversight, congressional investigations and transparency, requires a media with properly deployed resources and the continued growth of new entrepreneurial news organizations that can cover both local news and underreported issues. It is no time for a "failure in imagination."



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Re: Trump enters the stage - King Trump ?

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:09 am

Donald Trump

Trump quotes Emerson: ‘When you strike at the king, you must kill him’

President retweets quote from pre-impeachment Times article


Sat 15 Feb 2020 15.51 EST



Retweeting a New York Times piece which quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson – shortly after retweeting footage of a small-town mayor inadvertently live-broadcasting a visit to the toilet, thereby mixing low culture with high – Donald Trump seemed to confirm on Saturday that his campaign for re-election will be fuelled by “grievance, persecution and resentment”.

William Barr: how the attorney general became Trump's enabler-in-chief

Quoting Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, Trump wrote: “Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump. ‘When you strike at the King, Emerson famously said, ‘you must kill him.’

“Mr Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down. A triumphant Mr Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration, and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.”

Trump chose to pass his own comment only with a familiar claim about his impeachment and the Russia investigation before it, writing: “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!”

Baker’s piece was published on 1 February, four days before Trump’s acquittal in the third impeachment trial in US history. It was headlined: While stained in history, Trump will emerge from trial triumphant and unshackled.

Two weeks later, that prediction seems to have been born out.

Trump faced two articles of impeachment, concerning abuse of power in his attempts to have Ukraine investigate political rivals and obstruction of Congress in its own investigation of the matter.

The Republican-held Senate rejected attempts to hear testimony from witnesses and acquitted the president with only one GOP vote against, that of Mitt Romney of Utah, a longtime Trump opponent.

Since then, the president has called his impeachment “bullshit”; criticised Romney; fired a White House aide and an ambassador who gave testimony in the impeachment inquiry; and admitted sending Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe and Hunter Biden, the matter at the heart of his impeachment which he previously denied.

Trump has also seemed to interfere in the sentencing of Roger Stone, his adviser who was convicted under special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference, links between Trump aides and Moscow and possible obstruction of justice by the president.

Stoking fears of a constitutional crisis, Trump has claimed the “absolute right” to interfere in justice department affairs.

Critics have said that indicates he thinks presidents are essentially kings, above the law, a view arguably reinforced by his attorney general although William Barr was moved this week to put at least tactical distance between himself and his raging president.

Emerson, a great American essayist of the 19th century, wrote his line about striking at kings when a pupil, the future supreme court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, attempted to refute Plato.

Trump’s other early retweet on Saturday was of a message which said: “THIS IS HILARIOUS Mayor of Georgetown in the US excused himself to go & use the washroom in the middle of a meeting & forgot to switch off his mic on his tie & this is what happened.”

The event in question, replete with farting noises and giggling council members, happened in Georgetown, Texas in 2016. The mayor, Dale Ross, pronounced himself “not particularly embarrassed”.

Trump was in Florida, due to attend the Daytona 500 motor race on Sunday and act as grand marshal and starter in a play to his political base. It was reported that the president was planning a lap of the circuit in the Beast, his heavily armoured limousine.

Charlotte Pence Bond: 'Abortion and a pro-choice culture is not pro-woman'

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer indicated one motivation for attending the famous Daytona race, as his boss George W Bush did in 2004, another election year.

“There’s a real sense of positive, overwhelming affirmation to hear the roar of the crowd,” Fleischer told the Associated Press. “What politician doesn’t want that?

“Secondly, there’s what I call the reverberation effect. People watching at home, who hear the roar of the crowd for a president, that can drive them toward some sense of approval or fondness or liking for the president.”



© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.




The beat goes on, the beaten not yet admitting defeat, but the future? Grim , New Deal undone?

=============== ==============

Or is this the alternate hypocracy for the other NWO contradictory version.



Trump Just Comes Out and Admits to Entire Ukraine Scam



FEBRUARY 14, 2020 12:03 P

Years after O.J. Simpson was found not guilty for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, he wrote a book called If I Did It, in which he basically explained exactly how the two were killed with a level of detail that only someone who participated in the murders could possibly have been privy to. Now that Donald Trump has been acquitted by Republicans for extorting Ukraine for personal gain, he’s kind of doing the same thing, except (1) he freely admitted to many of the details of the alleged crime even before his Senate trial, and (2) he’s not even doing the people who let him get away with it the courtesy of throwing an “if” in there for plausible deniability’s sake.

In a podcast interview with Geraldo Rivera that aired on Thursday, Trump was asked, “Was it strange to send Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine, your personal lawyer? Are you sorry you did that?” Rather than stick with his previous denials of ever having dispatched Giuliani to Ukraine to investigate the Bidens in the first place, Trump happily copped to it all, responding: “No, not at all...I deal with the Comeys of the world or I deal with Rudy,” the former of whom, per the president, left “a very bad taste” in his mouth due to the whole Russia investigation. “So when you tell me, why did I use Rudy, and one of the things about Rudy, number one, he was the best prosecutor, you know, one of the best prosecutors, and the best mayor,” Trump said. “But also, other presidents had them. FDR had a lawyer who was practically, you know, was totally involved with government. Eisenhower had a lawyer. They all had lawyers.” FDR and Eisenhower didn’t use their personal lawyers to uncover nonexistent dirt on their political rivals, but, sure, great history lesson.

In the new interview, Trump defended the decision to “use” Giuliani, even though U.S. diplomats previously testified that Giuliani had undermined long-standing U.S. policy toward Ukraine.... Multiple witnesses described how Giuliani met with former Ukrainian officials in search of dirt against Joe and Hunter Biden. Other key players described how Giuliani and his allies pressured Ukraine to announce investigations into the Bidens. Trump’s past denials came in November, when the House of Representatives was investigating the president’s conduct with Ukraine.

Trump, of course, has insisted up to this point that he never sent Giuliani to Ukraine, claiming last year that didn’t direct the former NYC mayor to take a fact-finding trip to the Eastern European country, and that the “great corruption fighter” had taken the initiative himself.

Obviously, the president didn’t exactly try to hide his corrupt ways prior to the formal impeachment proceedings, having stood in front of the White House last October and called—on camera!—for Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens. But now that he’s free of the fear of impeachment, he’s apparently just going for broke with the admissions, in addition to getting revenge on the individuals who had the audacity to cooperate with the House’s inquiry, like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was escorted out of the White House last week and whom Trump has asked the military to further punish for disrespecting the king. (In other “just coming out and saying it” news, Trump tweeted this morning that he’s never asked Attorney General William Barr to do something underhanded in a criminal case but totally could if he wanted to, which means he probably has already.)

Anyway, the many lawmakers who chose to acquit the president while insisting that he’d totally learned his lesson have not yet commented on the fresh confessions, but presumably they’re feeling pretty stupid right now (and will continue to let Trump get away with whatever his heart desires moving forward).

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

—After acquittal, Trump plots revenge on Bolton and other impeachment enemies


© Condé Nast 2020

!!!!!! !!!!! !!!!!


He wastes no time!





AS IT HAPPENED

Trump news: President faces fresh corruption allegations, as senior Republican condemns ‘carefully staged’ Barr criticism.

Donald Trump has been accused of attempting to orchestrate a fresh quid pro quo just a week after being acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial.

This time, the accusations come after the president offered to lift travel restrictions against New Yorkers in exchange for Governor Andrew Cuomo dropping investigations into his tax records.


Mr Trump has also been hit by an unexpected rebuke from his attorney general over the Roger Stone case, with William Barr saying he will not be “bullied” and that the president’s tweeting about an active case makes it difficult for him to do his job.




However, the public rebuttal was a move that ex-Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele warned was “carefully staged” to appease disgruntled Justice Department prosecutors.


​Meanwhile, a new book on Mr Trump,​ Sinking in the Swamp, offers the bizarre detail that the president nurtures an obsession with badgers, regularly plaguing his first chief of staff Reince Preibus with questions about the animals and their characteristics.

Donald Trump celebrity president: A decade in two halves




An excerpt of the new book said Mr Trump “was never able to shed his affinity for mob‑don lingo”.

The book also said he has mob-like tendencies, including instances in which he would “repeatedly blast his former fixer and attorney, Michael Cohen, for being a snitch and a rat for cooperating with the feds and making him look bad”.

Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load


President accused of 'new quid pro quo' over NY governor meeting
William Barr labelled 'deep state' after criticising Trump's tweets
'Are they mean to people?': President's obsessions with badgers revealed
Trump threatens to stop security officials listening in to calls

Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.

Trump threatens to stop security officials listening in to calls, compares impeachment to 'dark days' of Nixon

Donald Trump has compared his suffering during the impeachment process to the “dark days” of Richard Nixon’​s tenure in the White House in the 1970s and threatened to end the practice of having security officials listen in on his calls with foreign leaders.

"When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely, I may end it entirely," the president said during a podcast interview with Fox pundit Geraldo Rivera, evidentally still in venegeful mood after an anonymous CIA whistleblower reported his attempt to extort a political favour out of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky during his "perfect" call with Kiev last summer.


US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and White House staffers listened in on the offending call with Zelensky - in which he said the release of $391m (£392m) in military aid to Ukraine was conditional and depeneded on his counterpart opening a spurious anti-corruption investigation into 2020 rival Joe Biden.

As is standard practice in any administration, the staffers, working in the secure, soundproof Situation Room in the West Wing basement, chronicled the conversation. US National Security Council personnel then prepared a memorandum about the call, which serves as an official record.

Larry Pfeiffer, a 30-year US intelligence veteran who managed the Situation Room during the Obama years, told the AP that by stopping this practice, "the president only shoots himself in the foot... And one can only surmise that the president therefore has something to hide from his own staff and bureaucracy."

Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, said that the president has the power to limit access to his conversations - but added this is a "bad idea".

"The president requires the expertise and advice of his senior officials, and they require access to these calls in order to do their job," he said. "Secrecy here becomes self-defeating."

On the Watergate comparison, Trump told Rivera: "Well, it's a terrible thing and, you know, I think of Nixon more than anybody else and what that dark period was in our country and the whole thing with the tapes and the horror show... It was dark and went on for a long time, and I watched it."

He said he often passes portraits of past presidents which hang in the White House: "The portrait of Richard Nixon - I don't know. It's a little bit of a different feeling than I get from looking at the other portraits of presidents."

"I got impeached for no reason whatsoever - totally partisan."

So Republican senators Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins and Joni Ernst - do you still think he's learned his lesson?

Here's Andy Gregory on another revelation from the president - that he did send his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to Eastern Europe in search of dirt back home.


Trump admits he sent Giuliani to Ukraine to dig dirt on political opponents
Joe Sommerlad
14 February 2020 10:04
2 days ago
'Are they mean to people?': President's obsessions with badgers revealed

​A new book on Trump -​ Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump's Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington by Daily Beast reporters Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng - offers the bizarre detail that the president nurtures an obsession with badgers, regularly plaguing his first chief of staff Reince Preibus with questions about the animals and their characteristics.

Oliver O'Connell gets to the bottom of this one.


Trump is really interested in badgers, new book claims
Joe Sommerlad
14 February 2020 10:13
Advertisement

2 days ago
William Barr labelled 'deep state' after criticising Trump's tweets in 'carefully staged' move

Trump has meanwhile been hit by an unexpected rebuke from his attorney general over the Roger Stone case, with William Barr telling ABC News yesterday that he will not be “bullied” and that the president’s tweeting about an active case (in a bid to see the Republican trickster's sentence drastically reduced) makes it difficult for him to do his job.


Trump's aides have been trying to get him to cut out the impulsive, reactionary tweeting ever since he took office, without success, but Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell gave his (rather limp) endorsement to Barr's comments last night, saying the president "should listen to his advice".


Trump's close friend Lou Dobbs meanwhile wasted little time in lashing out at the attorney general, absurdly accusing him of being a "deep state" agitator (overlooking the fact that Trump himself brought the veteran in himself a year ago to serve as his "sword and shield" in fending off the Mueller report).


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AS IT HAPPENED

Trump news: President faces fresh corruption allegations, as senior Republican condemns ‘carefully staged’ Barr criticism



Donald Trump has been accused of attempting to orchestrate a fresh quid pro quo just a week after being acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial.

This time, the accusations come after the president offered to lift travel restrictions against New Yorkers in exchange for Governor Andrew Cuomo dropping investigations into his tax records.


Independent media
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