Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:03 pm

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:17 am

Conservative Republican negotiators – Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Rep. Kay Granger of Texas – a deal with Democrats last night even as Trump roared about the wall in El Paso
Back-to-back blows of mid-term election defeat and the shutdown have heightened the willingness of GOP lawmakers to distinguish between their own political interests and those of the president.
Stuck between hard-core supporters and the majority Americans opposed to the wall and another shutdown, Trump today pronounced himself "not happy" — but didn't threaten a veto. He lacks good choices.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:16 pm

President Donald Trump will likely approve a congressional spending deal struck Tuesday, but first he is engaging in what allies called foot-dragging theatrics aimed at his disgruntled conservative supporters.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:44 pm

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While speaking at a rally in El Paso, Texas on Monday night, President Donald Trump took aim at U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono.

He called her "crazy" for supporting an effort to switch the country from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

"You know, this crazy senator from Hawaii, they said, 'Do you like it?' and she said, 'Yes, I like it very much,'" Trump said, referring to the so-called Green New Deal. "How are we getting to Hawaii on a train? She didn't think about that one, but she's thinking about it, she'll figure it out."

Freshman Democrat U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the measure that calls for aggressive action to combat climate change, including repairing and upgrading U.S. infrastructure to make them more energy efficient and building resilience against climate change-related disasters.-

Another great move based on subliminal ethnic bias.
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Re: Trump wow!

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:50 pm

Trump to declare national emergency!
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby promethean75 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:07 pm

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:48 am

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:58 am

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:46 am

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:52 pm

The New York Times


Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry

Vice President Mike Pence and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany
Feb. 17, 2019
MUNICH — European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.

But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.

A senior German official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on such matters, shrugged his shoulders and said: “No one any longer believes that Trump cares about the views or interests of the allies. It’s broken.”

The most immediate danger, diplomats and intelligence officials warned, is that the trans-Atlantic fissures now risk being exploited by Russia and China.

Even the normally gloomy Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, happily noted the strains, remarking that the Euro-Atlantic relationship had become increasingly “tense.”

“We see new cracks forming, and old cracks deepening,” Mr. Lavrov said.

The Europeans no longer believe that Washington will change, not when Mr. Trump sees traditional allies as economic rivals and leadership as diktat. His distaste for multilateralism and international cooperation is a challenge to the very heart of what Europe is and needs to be in order to have an impact in the world.

But beyond the Trump administration, an increasing number of Europeans say they believe that relations with the United States will never be the same again.

Karl Kaiser, a longtime analyst of German-American relations, said, “Two years of Mr. Trump, and a majority of French and Germans now trust Russia and China more than the United States.”

American troops near Manbij, Syria, last year. President Trump’s plan to withdraw United States forces from the country will help Russia and Iran, some European leaders say.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times
Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, a former adviser to the German president and director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund, said, “If an alliance becomes unilateral and transactional, then it’s no longer an alliance.”

There were signs that not all American and European leaders were willing to surrender the alliance so easily.

To show solidarity with Europe, more than 50 American lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats — a record number — attended the Munich Security Conference. They came, said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, “to show Europeans that there is another branch of government which strongly supports NATO and the trans-Atlantic alliance.”

The most visible pushback against Washington came from Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — who delivered an unusually passionate speech — and from her defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen. They spoke about the dangers of unilateral actions by major partners without discussing the consequences with allies.

They cited Mr. Trump’s recent announcements that American troops would leave northern Syria and Afghanistan, as well as the administration’s decision to suspend one of the last remaining arms-control agreements: the ban on land-based intermediate range missiles.

That decision affects European security, and there has been no alternative strategy, Ms. Merkel said. Abandoning the treaty, despite Russia’s violations, helps decouple Germany from the American nuclear umbrella.

“We sit there in the middle with the result,” Ms. Merkel said.

The Syria pullout, she continued, could only help Russia and Iran. That view was echoed by the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who called American policy in Syria “a mystery to me.”

When he was told by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, that the United States would preserve “some capacity” in Syria, the normally diplomatic Mr. Le Drian said, sarcastically: “Oh, that’s good news. I didn’t know.” And then he added acerbically, “That fills me with joy.”

Europeans are angry that renewed American sanctions on Iran hurt European companies far more than American ones.CreditArash Khamooshi for The New York Times
Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke after Ms. Merkel in Munich, met stony silence when he tried to pressure allies to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a sign of the continuing anger at Washington’s decision to scrap the deal unilaterally. European allies regard the pact as vital to European security and to the preservation of nuclear nonproliferation.

Even more, the Europeans are angry that renewed American sanctions hurt European companies far more than any American ones.

Ms. Merkel said the split over Iran “depresses me very much,” but she stressed that Europe and the United States were ultimately pursuing the same goal. She said the deal was one way to have influence over Iran — influence she clearly felt that Washington was throwing away.

Mr. Pence, in his speech, praised Mr. Trump and what he called the restoration of American leadership of the West. But Europeans were not convinced.

“It’s very odd to talk of American leadership of the alliance when it’s Trump who has caused the crisis,” said Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament. “The Trump administration is seen by many Europeans as chiefly responsible for the tensions and the weakening of the West.”

Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to the European foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that for Europeans, the divide went “to the heart of how we view international relations and our national interest.”

“We’re small and understandably need partnership both inside Europe and outside, with NATO,” Ms. Tocci said.

But that is also a sign of European weakness and division. “We want to believe it will be fine again later because we have no alternative,” she said.

President Trump with NATO leaders in Brussels last year. The Europeans no longer believe that Washington will change, not when Mr. Trump sees traditional allies as economic rivals and leadership as diktat.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
It means the dependency on the United States will continue, even as the Europeans look for ways not to depend on Washington as much, analysts say.

The Europeans “are beginning to do what we should,” Ms. Tocci said — spend more on the military, discuss some sort of European army in coordination with NATO, think more strategically as Europe in the face of Russia and China. “But no one believes it’s doable in the short run,” she added, and many believe it’s not easily doable at all.

Europeans are waiting for change in the White House, Ms. Tocci and others said.

“The Europeans are holding their breath and thinking that it’s maybe only two more years,” said Victoria Nuland, a former senior American official. “At the same time, they don’t want to do anything to wreck things further or to insult Trump personally and risk an angry response.”

A growing number of European voices warn that the current trans-Atlantic discord has more fundamental roots, and that there will be no returning to the past.

Mr. Trump is not the cause, said Norbert Röttgen, the chairman of the German Parliament’s foreign relations committee, but a symptom of the tectonic shifts in geopolitics that have led to the return of great power rivalry and centrifugal forces away from multilateralism.

“In the post-Trump era, there is no return to the pre-Trump era,” he said. “The status quo was Europe’s security is guaranteed by the United States. That won’t happen again.”

Jan Techau, director of the Europe Program at the German Marshall Fund in Berlin, worries that the intervening gap will mean strategic vulnerability to Russia and China. The United States faces “a superpower’s dilemma,” Mr. Techau said.

It has to “pressure allies to do more,” he said. “At the same time, the message has to be ‘We will always be there.’”

“Trump does not understand the price he pays in strategic terms when he bashes his allies so publicly and openly,” Mr. Techau added.

If there is any ambiguity, he said, Russia and China know that the security guarantee is no longer real. “When that protection goes,” he said, “then this strategic space is up for grabs.”


Trump is powerless to stop New York’s federal prosecutors — and they could damage him in ways Mueller can’t: report
Trump eating McDonald's fast food/Instagram
written by
Brad Reed / Raw Story
February 18, 2019
President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors, but yet another major threat to his presidency hasn’t been getting nearly the same attention.…
President Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors, but yet another major threat to his presidency hasn’t been getting nearly the same attention.

As Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn reports, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has been running aggressive investigations into Trump’s inauguration committee and into his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, and the president appears to have no way to shut down their probe.

“Manhattan-based federal prosecutors can challenge Trump in ways Mueller can’t,” Samuelsohn writes. “They have jurisdiction over the president’s political operation and businesses — subjects that aren’t protected by executive privilege, a tool Trump is considering invoking to block portions of Mueller’s report.”

Samuelsohn also claims that “legal circles are… buzzing over whether SDNY might buck DOJ guidance and seek to indict a sitting president,” which is something that most legal experts do not expect Mueller to do even if he reports hard evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

What has to be even more worrying for the president, Samuelsohn argues, is that the SDNY’s investigations will likely last well past Mueller’s probe, which could badly damage Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.

A terrified Trump trashes McCabe, Sessions, Mueller, FBI, and DOJ in late night-early AM tweetstorm
States prepare legal challenge to Trump’s emergency declaration — slamming president for jeopardizing disaster funds

Paul Manafort is keeping one big secret — and that’s a ticket out of jail for both him and Donald Trump

Noam Chomsky: Those who failed to recognize Trump as the greater evil made ‘a bad mistake’.

Pence in Europe gets cold shoulder:

The Trump Impeachment
WATCH: Pence Met with Icy Silence in Munich, Praising Trump and Attempting to Bully Leaders on Foreign Policy
By Julia Conley / Common Dreams (02/16/2019) - February 16, 2019634

CBS News / YouTube WATCH NOW VP Mike Pence and...
CBS News / YouTube
Vice President Mike Pence received an icy response from world leaders at the Munich Security Conference Saturday, as he made clear his aim for the weekend was to promote his President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.

The vice president began his remarks by telling world leaders, “I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump”—and was met with a long silence before describing Trump’s accomplishments as “extraordinary” and “remarkable.”

Embedded video


Addressing U.S. allies at the Munich Security Conference, Mike Pence is met with silence as he tells the audience: "I bring greetings from the 45th president of the United States of America, President Donald Trump."

6:48 AM - Feb 16, 2019
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Susan Glasser

Pence appears to have mistaken Munich audience for Trump tribute dinner

2:39 AM - Feb 16, 2019
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In addition to heaping praise on the president, Pence chastised European and Asian leaders for remaining in compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and called on them to join the U.S. in recognizing Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela, weeks after the right-wing opposition leader declared himself the head of the country despite President Nicolas Maduro winning re-election last May.

Pence urged the E.U. to “step forward for freedom” by recognizing Guaido as president.

Embedded video

TRT World Now

US Vice President Mike Pence calls on the European Union to recognise Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s president

5:45 AM - Feb 16, 2019
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Millions of Venezuelans in recent days have signed an open letter rejecting the United States’ attempt to intervene and pressure the country and international community to recognize Guaido.

Slamming European countries for “undermining U.S. sanctions” by staying in the painstakingly-reached Iran nuclear deal, Pence called on world leaders to turn away from Iran while accusing the country of antisemitism.

“The Iranian regime openly advocates another Holocaust and it seeks the means to achieve it,” said Pence.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Pence’s accusation “laughable.”

“Iran has always supported the Jews,” he told Der Spiegel. “We are just against Zionists.”

“Iran’s historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi added in a statement.

“The principle that underlies our foreign policy is the aggressive and occupying nature of the Zionist regime [Israel] … which is a killing machine against the Palestinian people,” he said.

Regarding Iran, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also addressed the conference, defending the decision of Germany and other European nations to stay in the nuclear agreement and observing the Trump administration’s isolation in the debate over the deal.

Merkel has observed “the Europeans on one side and the Americans on the other side,” she said—a dynamic which was illustrated by the conference’s reception of the vice president.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:59 pm

By Jane C. Timm
President Donald Trump on Monday seconded the allegation that there had been a coup attempt against him before heading out to play golf at his Florida club on Presidents Day.

The president tweeted a quote from Fox News guest Dan Bongino alleging “an illegal coup attempt” against him, adding “true!”

The message capped off a series of angry tweets Trump wrote on Monday about former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who gave an explosive interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday alleging that FBI Deputy Director Andrew Rosenstein repeatedly discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. The 25th Amendment is the part of the Constitution that details succession if a president dies or becomes otherwise incapacitated.

The conversations came in the chaotic days after James Comey was fired as FBI director, McCabe told CBS, as the FBI became increasingly convinced that the president was obstructing into the agency's investigation in Russian meddling in the U.S. election. Rosenstein went as far to offer to wear a wire to the White House to gather information, McCabe said. (Officials have previously told NBC News Rosenstein made the remark sarcastically.)

McCabe was later fired for lying to FBI investigators who were investigating a media leak, something McCabe said was well within the rights of his role to give. His latest media swing comes shortly before the release of a book about his time at the FBI.

The Department of Justice said in a statement that they saw McCabe’s telling of "events as inaccurate and factually incorrect" saying that the department's "Inspector General found that Mr. McCabe did not tell the truth to federal authorities on multiple occasions, leading to his termination from the FBI.”

In a string of five tweets Monday, Trump wrote that there were “so many lies” in McCabe’s interview, calling it “deranged.”

“This was the illegal and treasonous 'insurance policy' in full action!” Trump wrote in another tweet.

In his Sunday interview, McCabe said that the president repeatedly worried the FBI by showing an affinity for Russia. In one meeting, McCabe said the president told an FBI agent that he did not believe U.S. intelligence on North Korea because President Vladimir Putin had disputed it.

“Essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because President Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don't actually have those missiles,” McCabe said in the interview on Sunday night.

“Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses to which the president replied, 'I don't care. I believe Putin,'" McCabe added, calling Trump's reaction “astounding” and “shocking.”

McCabe was fired just hours before he became eligible to collect his pension, after a career within the FBI. He said on CBS he is considering suing to try and collect that pension.

Jane C. Timm is a political reporter and fact checker for NBC News.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:05 pm

Opinion, Analysis, Essays

Noah Rothman Trump's shutdown gamble now hinges on a wall many Republicans were never truly sold on
For two years, the GOP had many opportunities to fund Trump’s wall both in part or in whole and it declined on every occasion.

President Donald Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaks to reporters in Washington on Jan. 9, 2019.Jim Lo Sclazo / EPA
Jan. 14, 2019, 2:09 PM ET
By Noah Rothman, associate editor of COMMENTARY magazine
On Friday, January 11, a dubious milestone was reached. We are now living through what has become the longest government shutdown in American history. This seemingly intractable stalemate has created the illusion of partisan consensus. Democrats seem united in opposition to President Donald Trump’s demand for a small amount of funding that would be used to construct portions of the president’s long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Republicans, meanwhile, are posturing as though they have always supported Trump’s quest for the boundary. Neither is true.

In truth, though, it is the GOP that is showing more serious signs of cracking — and that’s to be expected.

While Democrats have more incentive to hold firm and wait for the growing pain of the shutdown to pressure Republicans into folding, there are signs that some more vulnerable liberal lawmakers are getting antsy. “If I am getting comments and contact from my constituents expressing concern that the Democrats are not prioritizing security, then I think we can do better,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat representing a district Trump won in 2016. Democratic sources who spoke with Politico conveyed growing anxiety among the party’s newest elected officials over their leaders’ refusal to grant any funding for a border barrier even as they profess support for provisions like new service roads, port personnel, and technological security enhancements — spending that would well exceed the $5.7 billion sought by the White House.

In truth, though, it is the GOP that is showing more serious signs of cracking — and that’s to be expected. The Republican Party was never united in support of Donald Trump’s wall in the first place.

Less than a month after Trump took the oath of office, Republicans were already backing away from the prospect of a border wall — because of the price tag and lack of spending offsets, to which many Republican lawmakers objected, but also because there was disagreement over the essential utility of a physical partition. “I don't think we're just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it, and through it,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn told reporters in February 2017. “If you only build a wall, only a ‘wall’ without using technology, individuals, drones, observations, etc., you're not going to secure the border,” the late Sen. John McCain agreed.


Some Republicans had not warmed to the venture a month later, as a standoff over wall appropriations in a bill to fund the government loomed. “The border wall is probably not a smart investment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said in early 2017. Though he supported funding a wall as part of a legislative package that would also provide young undocumented immigrants with a pathway to legal status, Graham and other Republicans were prioritizing increased military spending over border security.

The White House’s March 2017 request for $7.5 billion in spending for border security initiatives, including $4 billion to be allocated to wall-related planning, construction, and legal costs related to the reclamation of private land, generated little support among Republicans. In late April 2017, the Wall Street Journal surveyed border state lawmakers from both parties and found that “not a single member of the House or Senate representing the region expressed support for the funding request.” They noted, however, that Sen. Ted Cruz “backs the overall idea of a wall,” but would not commit to support Trump’s specific request. A few months later, USA Today Network polled all 534 lawmakers in both the House and the Senate and found that just 69 of 292 Republicans — one-quarter of the GOP conference — supported Trump’s request for $1.6 billion to begin wall construction.

Republicans spent the summer of Trump’s first year in office avoiding a vote on funding for the wall. By Labor Day, the GOP’s strategy to keep the government open and pass tax reform legislation meant pushing the border security debate into the next year. “We have to deal with Harvey, we have the debt ceiling, we have a continuing resolution, which will be just about a three-month continuing resolution,” then-Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in September 2017. “So you will deal with the wall a little later in the year.”

They didn’t.

In January 2018, amid a Democrat-inaugurated government shutdown over the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, it was the GOP who put funding for the wall on the back burner. A border wall was, after all, just "one of the three legs of this three-legged stool," said Rep. Mark Meadows, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a supporter of Trump’s approach to border security. “I'm glad to hear that there is some movement there, but there's a couple of other legs of that stool that have to be put forth.”

Democrats eventually relented and the government reopened on Republican terms, but the GOP still could not bring itself to accommodate Trump’s request for a border wall. In February 2018, a compromise plan to provide $25 billion for border enforcement, including a wall, while providing a pathway to citizenship for all 1.8 million DREAMers also failed. Trump opposed that plan, but it nevertheless received 54 votes in the Senate (it needed 60).

By contrast, a Trump-backed bill that included restrictions on family-based “chain migration” and ended the visa lottery system received just 39 “yes” votes. Several months later, a similar measure came before the House, though without Trump’s explicit support. The so-called Goodlatte bill included funding for the wall as well as a variety of other border security provisions. After 41 House Republicans voted against it, it failed to garner majority support.

By the fall of last year, with elections looming, it was clear that the GOP would not fund Trump’s wall, but Trump seemed to be the last to know.

By the fall of last year, with elections looming, it was clear that the GOP would not fund Trump’s wall, but Trump seemed to be the last to know. “Republican leaders are more focused on urging Trump to delay a fight for the wall than on fighting for it themselves,” the Washington Post reported in September 2018. “Congress is working to pass a short-term spending bill that would avert a government shutdown Oct. 1 and punt a showdown over wall funding into December, after the November midterms.” This effort by Republicans to avoid a controversial vote on a contentious campaign promise was an attempt to avoid making a bad political environment worse, but Trump insisted on framing the election as a referendum on his policies and, specifically, the border wall. Democrats went on to have their best midterm election showing since the year Richard Nixon resigned.

For two years, Republicans had many opportunities to fund Trump’s wall both in part or in whole and they declined on every occasion. In failing to approve the wall, Congressional Republicans rendered a negative verdict on Trump’s signature policy proposal. The GOP was right to be skeptical of what a wall could accomplish. But they should not be allowed to pretend that they have always been steadfast supporters of this project now that a Democratic majority in the House provides them with political cover.

Noah Rothman
Noah Rothman is the associate editor of COMMENTARY Magazine.
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Re: Trump enters the stage-show down in emergency corrall

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:01 pm

Trump's allies get set for fierce fight over emergency declaration
Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN
Updated 12:20 PM EST, Mon February 18, 2019

(CNN) President Donald Trump's allies are mounting a stiff defense of his declaration of a national emergency amid increasing signs that the biggest threat to his border wall now comes not from Congress, but the courts.

One of the President's top policy advisers, Stephen Miller, on Sunday indicated that Trump would cast the first veto of his presidency to defend the highly contentious declaration if lawmakers seek to terminate it.

Democrats argued that Trump had launched an unconstitutional power grab because Congress refused to grant his request for billions of dollars in wall funding, and he decided to fund it anyway with money appropriated for other purposes including military construction projects.

And California's Attorney General Xavier Becerra promised to "definitely and imminently" launch a legal challenge to the emergency declaration, one of an expected flurry of suits against Trump's aggressive executive power move.

Trump's announcement, made during a rambling news conference Friday, came after he admitted defeat in his bid to get Congress to pay $5.7 billion in wall funding, but avoided triggering a second government shutdown.

During that event, the President appeared to undermine his own arguments in several ways by saying he "didn't need" to declare the emergency but wanted to go faster than Congress on border security.

Miller tried to clean up that remark in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

"What the President was saying is, is that unlike past presidents, he could choose to ignore this crisis, choose to ignore this emergency as others have, but that's not what he's going to do," Miller said.

The senior adviser, one of the most hardline voices on immigration in the White House, also made clear that if Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiates an effort to wipe out the declaration, using a clause in the National Emergencies Act of 1976, Trump would respond.

"He's going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed," Miller said.

Congress should 'take back power'
Once the House acts, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is unlikely to be able to prevent a termination effort from coming to the floor, and given skepticism among some Republicans, it's possible a majority could be assembled against Trump's gambit even in the Senate.

Republican Rep. Will Hurd, who represents a vast district along the southern border in Texas, said he would back a measure in the House that prevents Trump taking money away from military construction projects for the wall.

"I'm always open to making sure that Congress takes back some of this power as a co-equal branch of government. And I'm sure there's going to be a lot of conversations," Hurd said Sunday on "Face the Nation" on CBS.

But one of the President's closest congressional allies, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, predicted that Trump's critics would not be able to put together a two-thirds majority in each chamber of Congress to override any presidential veto.

"I think there are plenty of votes in the House to make sure that there is no override of the President's veto. So it's going to be settled in court," Jordan said Sunday on ABC News "This Week."

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson expressed concern about Trump's claim of authority to act on the wall — which some of his colleagues have warned could establish a precedent for a future Democratic president to take aggressive executive action on an issue like climate change or gun control.

"I wish he wouldn't use it in this case," Johnson told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday and warned that a "diminished" Congress had ceded power to the presidency and the courts.

But the Wisconsin senator also appeared to offer himself an out from voting against Trump's assertion of power, suggesting there is a good chance that the GOP will, as is often the case, decline to constrain its president.

"We're going to take a very careful look at what he's doing here in this instance," Johnson said. "But, again, I have to stress this president's been thwarted in his attempt to keep this nation safe and secure. To secure our borders.

"Let's face it, if this president can claim a mandate on anything he ran on, it's exactly this issue: better barriers and securing our border."

While polls show a majority of Americans oppose the wall and don't support a declaration of national emergency to fund it, a CNN/SSRS survey released this month showed that 64% of Republicans do support a national emergency to get a wall and 72% of conservative GOPers back it.

Hard to image a 'poorer case'
Democrats sought to portray Trump's action as a gross abuse of power, arguing that it differs from emergency declarations by previous presidents and could reshape the relationship between the executive and Congress.

"This is the first time a President has tried to declare an emergency when Congress explicitly rejected funding for the particular project that the president is advocating," House Democratic Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

"If we surrender the power of the purse, which is our most important power, there will be little check and no balance left. It will not be a separation of powers anymore, just a separation of parties. So this is going to be a moment of truth for my GOP colleagues."

Another Democrat, Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz, resorted to humor to mock Trump's use of executive power.

"Day 3 of Emergency. Checking in from Oahu. Light rain, 66 degrees. Be careful out there," Schatz wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

On a more serious note, Becerra said that the California court challenge would use Trump's own remarks to undermine his declaration and would argue that he has created an artificial emergency that does not meet historic standards of such declarations.

"We are prepared, we knew something like this might happen. And with our sister state partners, we are ready to go," said Becerra on ABC's "This Week."

"There is enough evidence to show that this is not the 9/11 crisis that we faced back in 2001, it's not the Iran hostage crisis we faced in 1979," Becerra said.

"It's not even the type of national emergency where we are trying to take action against a foreign enemy or to avoid some type of harm befalling Americans abroad."

Trump is unrepentant. An emergency declaration in many ways is a neat political device that allows him to move on from his defeats in Congress over the wall. Even if his declaration is blocked by the courts, it will give him a crusade with which he can rally his base in his 2020 re-election fight.

In a sing-song refrain, Trump said Friday that he believed his effort would be quickly rejected in court but seemed to pin his hopes on an eventual favorable ruling in the Supreme Court with its new conservative majority.

Until then, Trump is insisting, without evidence, that he is getting on with fulfilling the campaign promise that lit a fire under his 2016 campaign — and which he seems to be betting could deliver him a second term.

"BUILDING THE WALL!" the President tweeted out of the blue on Saturday during his long weekend at his private Florida resort.

CNN's Catherine Bernard contributed to this story

© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

And now something other from stage show coral:

The Trump Impeachment
Unfit To Lead
Somebody’s been forging Nobel Peace Prize nominations for Donald Trump. No, really
By Hunter / Daily Kos (02/20/2019) -
February 20, 2019904 / YouTube Top 10 Crazy Donald Trump Moments... / YouTube
Over the weekend we learned that somebody in the American government, and we’re looking at you, Jared, asked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to nominate Donald Trump for the Actual Genuine Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to alternatively belittle, threaten war with, and then threaten peace with the North Korean dictatorship. And that Abe apparently did it, almost certainly as a near-free effort to flatter Donald and simplify future conversations with the man.

We can only speculate as to why this unnamed U.S. government Nobel-beggar was forced into action, but perhaps it was because the only two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize Trump had gotten up until that point had both turned out to be “forgeries” peddled by someone who wanted Trump to be nominated but didn’t have the credentials to do it themselves. Nobel Committee Secretary Olav Njolstad disclosed on Tuesday that two separate nominations, one from this year and one from last, were referred to the Oslo police. The Oslo police then confirmed that they had contacted the FBI about the forgeries, an indication that they believe the documents originated in the United States, and that they believe the same forger to be behind both attempts.

It’s really quite amazingly pathetic and deeply funny, so let’s all bask in it for a moment.

Mr. Njolstad declined to provide details or copies of the forged nominations, but he said it was fair to assume that the documents purported to have been from a nominator who — when contacted — said the nominations were not valid.

Now, it is not terribly difficult to get nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Winning it is another matter, but nominations can come not just from world leaders and lawmakers, but also from university professors in a host of disciplines, meaning the pool of legitimate nominators worldwide is extremely wide. For some American bozo to forge a nomination of Trump by some as-yet unnamed supposed admirer is pathos on a worldwide scale. It’s the international version of a child signing a school permission slip “JeFFerys mOM.”

Did they think nobody checked up on these things? Who did they try to pass themselves off as? Did some weary member of Trump’s family or inner circle put them up to it in a last-ditch effort to shut the man up?

Trump has repeatedly pouted about deserving a Nobel Prize, and has been publicly bitter about President Barack Obama having one while he himself does not. It is yet another manifestation of his insatiable narcissism and need for recognition .

Whwew ! Where dost such mire come from? But , alas , true to the word?

Wondering if all this is really a turn on for the man, or he wiser, he never interrupted his eternal pleasure rising.
Miat be a place betwixt pleasure and pain, a place sadomasichists adore.
And yet , looking at the futile pastward desert of iconoclastic vanity, the justice history doles out, to even the highest Cesars, oft badly if at all remembered, commuting with no soul but creased in patterns in a school girl's fancy.

Me thinks have notion what character style this forming to, and if wrong, ill eat moliere's hat.
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The Wall, the Wall, the Wall, the Fix

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:35 pm

The Fix | Analysis

Last week, Trump admitted his wall wasn’t being built. Now, he’s back to misleading.
By Aaron Blake

February 21, 2019 at 12:47 PM

No, construction hasn't begun on President Trump's wall and there is not funding to begin construction. (Meg Kelly/The Washington Post)
Misleading about progress on his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall is nothing new for President Trump. But now we have evidence that he knows he’s stretching the truth.

On Wednesday, he tweeted a video supposedly showing “the wall” being built in New Mexico; he retweeted the clip Thursday.


The U.S. government, of course, is not currently constructing a massive new wall along the southern border. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler wrote last year that the work going on along the Mexican border is actually renovation of previously existing barriers — and it’s technically not a “wall,” but rather fencing. The video Trump tweeted this week is of a project in New Mexico where existing vehicle barriers were replaced with higher bollard fencing along a 20-mile span, using money appropriated in 2017 (when Trump was in office).

It’s a far stretch from what Trump’s grand vision was about, which was covering 1,000 miles more of the border with new wall. Trump is yet again playing a game and trying to save face, given his lack of progress in getting funding for new miles of barriers.

But here’s what makes this all different now: In an exchange last week, Trump actually admitted that he could only renovate existing barriers and not build new wall.

Here’s what he said at his news conference:

We’re right now in construction with wall in some of the most important areas. And we have renovated a tremendous amount of wall, making it just as new.

That’s where a lot of the money has been spent -- on renovation. In fact, we were restricted to renovating. Which is okay, but we’re going to run out of areas that we can renovate pretty soon, so -- and we need new wall.

“We were restricted to renovating.” “We need new wall.” In other words, Trump seemed to acknowledge that he knew what had been built wasn’t really a “new” wall.

With Trump and his 8,000-plus falsehoods as president, the question is often whether he knows the things he’s saying aren’t true — whether he is a habitual liar or just doesn’t know any better. (I’m not sure the latter is a better option, for what it’s worth.) Here, he seemed to indicate that he knew exactly how much progress had been made beyond renovating existing barriers, and that it was nil. Now he’s back to tweeting in a way that suggests his wall is being built.

In fact, this little semantic game — of casting renovated barriers as new and fulfilling Trump’s promise — is something the Trump administration has tacitly admitted to before. Here’s an exchange featuring Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2018, in which she said she considers renovated wall to be “new wall":

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, how much wall can you build with the money that you currently have?

NIELSEN: So the currently appropriated will build about 150 miles.

QUESTION: The $1.6 billion from the omnibus?

NIELSEN: So that’s for ’17 and ’18 together. Yes. And we have started building, as you know. So we’re building real time in Calexico.

QUESTION: So the new wall — how much new wall have we built at this point?

NIELSEN: New wall. So this is an important question. To us, it’s all new wall. If there was a wall before that needs to be replaced, it’s being replaced by a new wall. So this is the Trump border wall. In many cases, it will —

QUESTION: So replacing current wall would count as new wall, in your words?

NIELSEN: Yes, it would.

“This is the Trump border wall,” Nielsen said of fencing that was replacing existing barriers.

Saying this is “new wall” is perhaps defensible. It’s technically new material being put in the place of older material and is in some cases higher and more difficult to scale.

But the impression left is that this “new wall” is part of the 1,000 miles of wall Trump promised. And wall renovation is something that predated his administration. Indeed, former president Barack Obama could claim that he, too, built “the wall,” given that funding was appropriated for renovation on his watch.

“It’s a replacement project,” Mike Peterson, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division, told Task and Purpose about the New Mexico project. "I’ve been in this division for 12 years, and we were doing border wall replacement work back then.”

In other words, Trump knows he’s just renovating the barriers and that it’s nothing unusual. He admitted as much last week. But what seemed like a moment of clarity has apparently passed. And it’s more evident than ever that he’s deliberately misleading his supporters.

Aaron Blake is senior political reporter, writing for The Fix. A Minnesota native, he has also written about politics for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Hill newspaper.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:20 pm

There's an old saying:

Any country that built a wall ends up being ruled by the people it built a wall against.

Great Wall of China: China ruled by the mongols
Hadrian wall: Rome ruled by the north
Berlin Wall: still waiting to see.
ILP Legend
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:05 am

Ecmandu wrote:There's an old saying:

Any country that built a wall ends up being ruled by the people it built a wall against.

Great Wall of China: China ruled by the mongols
Hadrian wall: Rome ruled by the north
Berlin Wall: still waiting to see.

Unfortunately, this wall idea may turn into a metaphore , a symbol progressed from a fantasy that people will buy such nonsense. The truth may be a lot more sinister!

I feel that simply its a progressive set of planned reversed engineered ideas, as like: getting the NWO through, reversely, in common words: reverse psychology.

That the wall symbol is beginning to be thought of in -real- , albeit falsified
terms, such as described above , leads to a probable conclusion as such.

A desperate , but a reasonable approach, philosophically making sense as well, reducing popular logic toward contradictory logic. That , coincides with what You are suggesting: a physical wall excludes or contradicts by negation. The inside from the outside.(literally) the symbol morphed toward reality. Just came across that idea with reference to some ideas exchanged in another forum.

At any rate,

That brings me to another newsworthy item:

February 21, 2019 - 04:45 PM EST
Democratic senator floats subpoena for Mueller report


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) vowed Thursday that Congress would subpoena special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the investigation into Russia's election interference if lawmakers don't receive a comprehensive summary from the Justice Department.

"There'll be subpoenas from Congress, including, I hope, from the Senate Judiciary Committee," Blumenthal, a member of the committee, said on CNN's "New Day."

"But there will also be a public perception of cover-up. Because if [Attorney General] William Barr believes - I think he does - that a sitting president can't be indicted ... and he brings no charges that Mueller says can't be brought, and if there also are no public disclosures, the public will rightly feel that there is a cover up."

Asked if Congress had the authority to subpoena Mueller's report, Blumenthal said that a House or Senate committee could take that step against anyone. But he acknowledged that the Department of Justice may "resist" a subpoena from the Judiciary panel.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee would need support from their Republican colleagues in order to issue a subpoena for the report. A court battle could also ensue if the Justice Department refused to publicize the report or resisted a subpoena.

Blumenthal's comments come as Democrats express concern about how much information Barr is expected to release to the public after Mueller submits his confidential report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his probe.

The Justice Department typically does not release information about individuals who are not formally charged following an investigation, but lawmakers have pushed for as much information as possible that has been uncovered in the probe to be released.

Blumenthal said Thursday that Barr would have to decide if he was going to be the "people's lawyer" or the "president's lawyer."

Speculation has grown that Mueller's investigation into Russia's election interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin is nearing its end.

CNN and The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Mueller may deliver his report next week to Barr, who is in his first week official week as the top official at the Justice Department.

Barr said in his confirmation hearing that he would make as much of the report public as he can based on the law.
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Re: Trump enters the stage counter contra indications

Postby Meno_ » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:54 pm


Meet the Man Curbing Trump’s Power Without Anyone Noticing
He’s a pioneering attorney and Haitian immigrant who’s leading the emoluments lawsuit. He engineered some of Dems’ biggest wins in 2018. So why haven’t you heard of Karl Racine?


02/23/2019 06:38 AM EST

Harry Jaffe is an editor at large at Washingtonian magazine and co-author of Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sits in a darkened room overlooking the U.S. Capitol Building.
M. Scott Mahaskey for Politico Magazine

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A few hours before President Donald Trump went into the Rose Garden last Friday to announce his intent to declare a national emergency so he could build his long-promised border wall, Karl Racine sent a shot across the bow: If Trump was serious about this, he was in for a fight.

“We will not hesitate to use our legal authority to defend the rule of law,” the 56-year-old attorney general of Washington, D.C., said in a terse statement.

Story Continued Below

It’s a posture that has become almost routine for Racine, who as co-chair of the national Democratic Attorneys General Association is playing a little-noticed but hugely influential role in fighting the Trump administration at the polls, in the courts and in the news media.

The past few years have been uncommonly high profile for the American legal system. The president finds himself in both personal and professional legal jeopardy. Several of his former aides and advisers have been criminally indicted. The administration’s every move is subject to major lawsuits.

But while the public has been mesmerized by Trump’s legal troubles, Racine has been quietly building out Democrats’ ability to check his administration at the state level. Without much notice, he’s quietly emerged as perhaps the single most important player in restoring Democratic clout in America’s legal system.

As D.C. attorney general, Racine is leading the ongoing emoluments suit against the president over foreign governments’ allegedly corrupt patronage of the Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington, along with Maryland AG Brian Frosh. As co-chair of DAGA, he has helped coordinate the legal and political strategies behind the lawsuits suing the Trump administration over issues including the separation of children and parents at the Mexican border, upholding the Affordable Care Act and protecting DACA recipients. And more substantial yet, Racine was the architect of one of the least-discussed but most far-reaching results of November’s elections: Democrats winning a majority of the nation’s attorney general positions—an electoral success with far-reaching implications for workers’ rights, immigration, civil rights, consumer protections and the ability to erect a judicial wall against the Trump administration.

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All of that has put Racine on a trajectory for … well, what exactly? Washington, D.C., doesn’t have senators or a voting member of Congress. He could return to private practice, but his passion for public service and ambition to effect lasting change makes the public arena more enticing, which has led some friends and colleagues to speculate that he could be putting himself in line to take a senior post at the Department of Justice if a Democrat retakes the White House in 2020—perhaps solicitor general or deputy AG, or even, as he suggested to POLITICO, attorney general.

To a large extent, though, such speculation is beside the point: Without having any of those positions, Racine has already helped reshape the American legal system. Three days after he threatened legal action against Trump’s declaration of a national emergency, 16 states sued the president in federal court. Three of those states—Colorado, Michigan and Nevada—flipped from Republican to Democratic AGs under Racine’s watch.

But you won’t hear any bragging from Racine: “I was raised, educated and coached to not highlight my role in team efforts.”


The most salient fact to know about Karl Racine is that he’s competitive as hell. A former college athlete, he has an imposing build—his shoulders and biceps fill out his pinstripe suit jackets—without being threatening. He’s kind. Warm. Likable. Charming.

Story Continued Below

But he likes—no, needs—to win.

“I’ve been juiced by the competitive spirit I’ve had all my life,” he said in an interview with POLITICO. “Nothing’s come easily to me. I’ve always had to prove myself.”

Racine emigrated from Haiti at age 3, grew up in Northwest D.C., and attended St. Johns College High, then an all-male military prep school. After graduating, he went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he captained the basketball team, led it to a pair of Ivy League championships and made the second team all-Ivy squad twice. (He also played a key role in one chapter of the storied Penn-Princeton rivalry, when, in the closing seconds of a tight game, he was fouled by Craig Robinson, the brother of future first lady Michelle Obama, and sank two free throws to clinch the win for Penn.) He’s still known to play hoops, sometimes against his friend and constituent, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

After college, Racine earned his law degree at the University of Virginia and returned to the District to work for a short time as a public defender before turning to private practice. He eventually landed at Venable, one of D.C.’s top white-shoe firms. There, in 2006, his colleagues elected him managing partner—which made him the first African-American at any top 100 American law firm to hold the title of managing partner.

It was from that perch that he first ran for D.C. attorney general in 2014. He won ugly.


Here’s What Beto Could Unleash on Trump
“Karl Racine is not a natural politician,” said Tom Lindenfeld, a political operative and former adviser to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Racine rival. “He doesn’t … devote time to building his brand. He’s not as good at working the press as he is at working the substance.”

Racine admits that he personally found running for office “awkward” the first time—he was unaccustomed to talking to individual voters face to face, dealing with reporters, etc.—but that didn’t stop Mayor Bowser from seeing him as a threat after they were both elected in 2014. She immediately attempted to control his budget, curtail his jurisdiction and bring the district’s newly independent AG under mayoral control. That touched off what Racine calls “a battle royale” on the District Council.

“It was very uncomfortable,” he said, “but we learned how important it is to forge alliances with constituents and other interests.” Racine beat back Bowser, maintained and expanded his jurisdiction, then built a solid record reforming D.C.’s juvenile justice system, winning suits against slumlords and bringing successful consumer protection cases.

Story Continued Below

Months into his first term in 2015, he asked Connecticut’s then-attorney general, George Jepsen, at the time the co-chair of DAGA, to meet him for dinner at Marcel’s, a French restaurant in D.C.’s West End. He had something on his mind: “We were getting our butts kicked,” remembered Racine.

At the time, DAGA was a sleepy organization headquartered in Denver with a part-time staff and a paltry annual operating budget. It did little more than organize annual meetings. Meanwhile, its GOP counterpart, RAGA, had already muscled its way into statewide campaigns. During the Obama years, RAGA ramped up its political and fundraising capacity, built a full-time staff, coordinated with other GOP committees and created its own super PAC.

“Why do we still have an organization with part-time staff and a $3 million budget, when the Republicans have a full-time staff that’s raised nearly $20 million?” Racine asked Jepsen. “How can we compete?”

He recited the list of states where Democrats had lost AG seats in recent elections. “Unless we are willing to change,” he told Jepsen, “we will continue to lose seats.” He suggested they move the organization to Washington, D.C., hire a full-time staff and get serious about raising money.


The Most Important New Woman in Congress Is Not Who You Think
Racine, a rookie both locally and nationally, realized he was taking a risk. But Jepsen agreed with his assessment. “It was time for DAGA 2.0,” recalled Jepsen. “We couldn’t reinvent the organization overnight, but we wanted to compete in 2016.”

The rookie became DAGA co-chair with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

The first order of business was hiring the group’s first full-time executive director. After a nationwide search, Sean Rankin, who had been Racine’s political consultant in 2014, won the bake-off. In spring 2015, while Rankin rented office space in Washington and began to hire staff, Racine and Rosenblum went on the road to court benefactors and raise money.

“It was hard,” Racine said. “We met with potential donors—unions, advocacy groups, law firms—to make the case for funding DAGA and making it relevant. It was not easy.” Some donors suggested that the organization had proved useless, and that instead of increasing their contributions, they were considering not donating at all. “We [were] met with honest dissent about whether our mission was worthwhile,” said Racine.

Story Continued Below

The most common refrain: Prove it.

With the 2016 election on the horizon, Racine and Rankin aimed to do just that. They decided to target Democratic-held open seats in two major states: North Carolina, a political battleground that had trended red in recent elections, and Pennsylvania, where incumbent AG Kathleen Kane—the first Democrat to hold the seat in more than 35 years—was forced to resign after being convicted of felony perjury.

“We weren’t given much hope of being successful,” said Racine. Both races would be difficult, especially with Trump at the top of the presidential ticket.


Trump's War on California
In Pennsylvania, while most national Democrats all but ignored the warning signs that the state was not the reliably blue redoubt in the presidential election, DAGA went all-in and spent $500,000 to elect Josh Shapiro, an avowedly progressive county commissioner from the Philadelphia suburbs.

In North Carolina, RAGA formed Carolinians for Freedom, a PAC that portrayed state Senator Josh Stein, the Democratic nominee for AG, as a Harvard-educated liberal who’d worked for disgraced former Sen. John Edwards and would bring extreme progressive politics to the state. While RAGA poured $3.8 million into the race, DAGA made direct contributions and partnered with donors to drop in $3.1 million.

Come November, North Carolina and Pennsylvania both went for Trump while also electing Democratic attorney generals. It “surprised a lot of people,” said Rankin.

But just as Racine and DAGA were beginning to prove their mettle, the politics of running for attorney general were about shift drastically.


By 2017, after years of Republican attorneys general suing the Obama administration over everything from the Affordable Care Act to environmental regulations, it was well established that state AGs would use their posts to fight the White House on matters of political or partisan difference. But among themselves, AGs had a long history of working together in bipartisan fashion across state lines on matters ranging from water protection to consumer advocacy to the Big Tobacco lawsuits of the 1990s.

Story Continued Below

Underscoring that collegiality, AGs had a handshake agreement that RAGA and DAGA would not challenge seats held by incumbents from the other party.

That changed in March 2017, when RAGA’s members voted to start openly attempting to knock off Democratic incumbents. The move was obvious—“RAGA has a clear mission to win races,” spokesman Zack Roday told Governing Magazine—and when DAGA responded in kind, it uncorked a flow of money and resources that have resulted in more competitive and expensive AG races than ever before.

The first test of the gloves-off approach came in Virginia’s 2017 race, where Republicans poured in nearly $9.6 million—with RAGA directly injecting $6.7 million—to John Adams’ attempt to unseat Mark Herring, the Democratic incumbent. DAGA responded with $3 million, plus $500,000 in in-kind donations, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project—part of more than $10 million Democrats spent to hold the seat.

Herring won.


If Dems Don’t Buck This Historical Trend, Trump Could Win in 2020
“No question DAGA provided a counter-balance to the flood of Republican money,” Herring recalled. “Plus, I have a special relationship with Racine.” The two were cross-border comrades in neighboring jurisdictions, which made it easier for DAGA to work closely with Herring’s team from the start.

But there was another reason DAGA was eager to get involved in Virginia. With its election coming a year in advance of the marquee matchups of 2018, it offered the group a chance to test its new texting and social media tools, both of which aimed to increase the number and quality of interactions with potential voters.

Herring said DAGA “stepped up in a lot of different ways, especially on the direct contact with texting and social media connections.” According to information provided by DAGA, its social media efforts increased Herring’s Facebook “likes” from 8,000 to more than 50,000 over six months, and its efforts to organize volunteers allowed the campaign to reach 330,000 Virginia voters via peer-to-peer text messages.

“Consider it door-knocking on an iPhone,” said Elizabeth Haynes of Open Progress, a progressive group that focuses on testing digital tools and that partnered with DAGA in the Herring race. “It replaces face-to-face interaction with screen-to-screen. We found that more and more people would engage with you.”

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DAGA went all-in on the digital and social media side. “Karl was spectacular in working with us,” Haynes said. “When we needed Karl’s point of view … we got it. That mattered.”

With Herring’s big win, DAGA’s would-be funders sent the organization a message: OK, now do it again in 2018.


Dana Nessel was an unlikely candidate for Michigan attorney general. “I had never run for library board, let alone statewide office,” she said. She’s stridently progressive. She’s an out lesbian in a state that had never elected an openly LGBT politician to high office. She’s a vocal feminist who released a #MeToo-themed video in late 2017 in which she memorably campaigned by asking, “Who can you trust most not to show you their penis in a professional setting? Is it the candidate who doesn’t have a penis? I’d say so.”

For all these reasons, Nessel was spurned by much of the state’s Democratic establishment as someone whose liberal politics and outspoken style could prove a liability for candidates up and down the ticket.


The One Trait That Predicts Trump Fever
And yet, on April 15, 2018, she won the party’s nomination for attorney general—a move that riled many Democratic stalwarts in Detroit’s black political establishment who favored her primary opponent, an African-American.

None of that mattered to Racine’s team: There was an election to win.

Nessel said the first phone call she received after securing the nomination was from Sean Rankin. Three days later, she was on a plane to Washington to meet Racine and the DAGA executive team. “I knew I needed help, and hoped they would be the organization to provide it,” she said. “Karl extended his hand.”

Nessel and Racine bonded over war stories from their days as public defenders. Rankin began to school her on setting up a campaign apparatus. She returned to Detroit with a sense of direction and confidence. The organization followed through time and again with money and voter outreach efforts, and in November, Nessel defeated the well-financed Republican nominee and became the first Democrat in 20 years to win a race for Michigan AG.

Story Continued Below

“I never would be sitting here as the attorney general for Michigan without DAGA and Karl,” Nessel said. The election “was a team effort, but Karl was at the heart of it.”

It’s a similar story in Nevada.

Early on, Racine had helped recruit Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford to run for Nevada attorney general. His candidacy, like Nessel’s, was historic: Nevada had never elected an African-American attorney general.

In midsummer 2018, RAGA built an attack ad around Ford’s record of minor arrests when he was a college student in Texas in the early 1990s. “Aaron Ford Runnin’ from the Law,” the ads and a website blared. Critics in local media suggested that the ad smacked of “dog-whistle politics.”

Whatever subtlety there was to that line of questioning was absent in what came next.


Trump’s National Emergency Is Great News for Future President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In November 2017, Aaron Ford’s preteen son was among a group of children who had the police called on them for a minor incident on private property in a Las Vegas neighborhood. When law enforcement arrived, they decided the issue was best handled by the parents, and called them to come and retrieve their kids. Ford was among those parents.

RAGA sued to get the police to release body-camera footage taken by officers. “This is very simple,” then-RAGA spokesman Zack Roday said at the time. “The public deserves to know what Aaron Ford said that day.”

“They went after Aaron Ford and his family on raw racial terms,” Racine said. The mild-mannered attorney allows he was “outraged.” He immediately called Ford and offered support. He listened. He commiserated. Then he attacked back.

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DAGA publicly called the tactics “not only racist, but out of bounds and unacceptable,” poured more money into Ford’s campaign and countered RAGA with a batch of fresh ads. “Karl and DAGA were the cavalry that came in to provide crucial support,” said Ford. “It came across the board: moral, financial and tactical. It proved essential.”

In November, Ford won by less than 5,000 votes, flipping the seat and becoming the first black AG in the state’s history.

Under Racine, DAGA has become a nimble and well-funded political strike force in Washington—one that in 2018, raised and spent record-breaking sums of money, embarked on a “digital doorknock” outreach campaign that contacted 12 million voters in more than a dozen targeted states via peer-to-peer text messages and played a major role in flipping AG seats in Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado.

There are practical implications to those elections: On Monday, three of those states’ AGs were among the 16 who sued to block Trump’s border wall emergency declaration—just one of what will inevitably be many legal battles between new Democratic AGs and the Trump administration.

Now, with the lawsuits filed, elections won and Racine returning as co-chair of DAGA—his would-be successor, Mark Herring, stepped down from the post after revealing he’d once worn blackface at a college party—both Democrats and Republicans are wondering what comes next.

“Karl is a super-talented attorney—well-liked across the board,” said RAGA executive director Adam Piper. “He’s a competitor, but easy to get along with.”

For his part, Piper is “very bullish about the map in 2019,” and sees shining opportunities for Republicans in North Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi. “We’re gonna win back the majority in 2019.”


How Does a Straight White Male Democrat Run for President?
On the Democratic side, predictably, others think that the blue wave has not yet crested.

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“We defended our incumbents, like [Virginia Attorney General Mark] Herring, and they lost [Brad] Schimel in Wisconsin,” said George Jepsen, the former Connecticut AG and ex-chair of DAGA. “It’s a very different world if Republicans have to spend money to defend seats in high-cost states like Kentucky, Florida and Texas.”

Jepsen allows himself to ponder the possibilities: “Imagine if Texas flips to a Democratic AG.”

Of course, something else has captured the imagination of most Democrats, Racine among them: an end to the Trump administration. But who should be the nominee?

“I love Kamala Harris,” Racine said. Her husband, Douglas Emhoff, a Los Angeles-based attorney, was a former law partner of Racine’s at Venable, and the two men are close friends. “The opportunity to help someone like Kamala is intriguing,” Racine added.

In 2015, when Racine showed up at his first DAGA conference, Harris, then California’s attorney general, spotted him across the room and corralled him. “Hey, Karl,” she said, “now we have two African-American AGs. Let’s start an association!” (Racine notes that there are now five.)

But before a President Kamala Harris can take office, Racine will have to continue dealing with President Donald Trump.

Racine at a 2017 press conference about his suit against President Trump over alleged violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. | Getty Images

With Frosh, Maryland’s AG, Racine has sued Trump for violating the Emoluments Clause—the Constitution’s prohibition against federal officials receiving benefits from business ventures while in office. Racine and Frosh allege that through his ownership of the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, the president has illegally profited and opened himself up to corrupt influence.

The case is winding its way through federal courts in Maryland, with most of the rulings going Racine’s way. There’s a hearing scheduled for March 19, and pending its outcome, the discovery process could begin soon after.

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In the meantime, he’s managing 300 attorneys as the D.C. AG, focusing on work that is less publicized and more tangible in the lives of Washingtonians. His lawyers have forced landlords to repair substandard buildings, moved 1,723 children out of foster care, and gotten more than $10 million in relief to D.C. consumers. He’s also joined the leadership of the bipartisan National Association of Attorneys General, in line to be president in two years.

Racine says his heart is in reforming juvenile justice and creating pathways to keep kids out of the criminal justice system.

But is his heart interested in moving up to serve in federal office? After all, Racine did a stint in the White House counsel’s office during the Clinton impeachment hearings. Would he consider serving as Kamala Harris’ attorney general?

“Of course I would,” he said.

It seems Karl Racine is becoming less quiet about his ambitions.


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Donald Trump delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.

Trump is wrong about the wall but he might have picked the right fight
Lloyd Green
The president’s own lawyer shows his power grab to be unconstitutional, but this is a purely political gambit

Sat 23 Feb 2019 04.00 EST Last modified on Sat 23 Feb 2019 08.11 EST
The battle over Donald Trump’s emergency declaration has escalated. Last Monday, 16 states sued the president over what they see as an unconstitutional and unlawful “diversion of federal funds toward construction of a border wall”. Their opposition to the president’s latest diktat is well-founded.

Trump's emergency declaration is unconstitutional – ask his lawyers | Lloyd Green

Taking a page from the playbook of Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, who once called Obama’s use of executive power “tyrannical”, the plaintiffs compared Trump’s power grab to Harry S Truman’s unconstitutional steel mill seizure during the Korean war. Now, it appears a third of the money Trump wanted to redirect for the wall has already been spent. It is a comedy of errors – almost.

It is likely Trump’s move will not prove politically fatal. To be sure, more than six in 10 Americans disapprove of the president’s declaration, 57% viewing it as an abuse of executive authority. But even if the president’s opponents were ultimately to prevail in court, their victory would not be a knockout.

Rather, in the face of changing demographics and uncertain economy, Trump’s stance on wall funding and immigration is a defiant gambit. It failed in the midterms, but it still resonates with many of his supporters.

Trump has picked himself off the floor after the shutdown. He has brought the conversation back to social flashpoints

The immigrant population is nearing a record high, almost 14% – more than 44 million people living in the US were born elsewhere – the fertility rate is at a 40-year fertility low, the economy appears to be creaking ahead at an anemic pace. The anxieties and resentments that powered Trump’s electoral college victory are still potent and present.

To put things in perspective, the US first adopted national-origin based immigration quotas in 1924, a time when the foreign-born figure exceeded 12%, lower than today. There is no reason to assume sentiments voiced nearly a century ago will not drive the conversation again, as they did in 2016.

Trump’s hard line is winning converts. In Iowa, support for the president and the wall has crept up: 46% of Iowans give Trump a thumbs-up, his highest approval rating there since his inauguration. Thirty-seven percent of Iowans unconditionally back the wall, a seven-point jump since 2018.

Nationally, the president’s approval deficit is only in the single digits. Trump has picked himself off the floor after the shutdown drama. He has brought the conversation back to social flashpoints, as opposed to merely demonstrating callous ineptitude daily for five straight weeks.

More than 44 million people now living in the US were born elsewhere. Photograph: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
When the president hammers the Democrats for being socialists it is not just about voicing a preference among competing economic systems. Rather, he is reminding all that capitalism is part of America’s reality and heritage. The US is the richest and most powerful country on the planet and capitalism helped it get there.

Trump and the Republican party are also framing that national inheritance as another front in our never-ending culture wars, an inheritance they argue Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and many fellow Democrats would abandon. From the looks of things, the strategy has already paid dividends.

In remarks reminiscent of the 1950s and the red scare, Kamala Harris, a declared Democratic candidate, and Beto O’Rourke, a potential candidate, have denied being socialists. Apparently, not everyone wants to be Bernie Sanders.

Welfare for those who refuse to work does not rate high on the American values scale

When the neo-liberal Tom Friedman of the New York Times openly criticizes an iteration of Ocasio-Cortez’s New Green Deal that called for “economic security to all who are … unwilling to work”, it becomes tougher for Democrats to accuse Republicans of launching unfair partisan attacks. Plans for government-funded “economic security” divorced from work are fair game politically, and at odds with the ethic underlying FDR’s New Deal.

As Roosevelt framed things in his 1935 State of the Union message: “Dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration … To dole out relief in this way … is in violation of the traditions of America.” Almost 60 years later it was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who signed welfare reform into law, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. For most Americans “money for nothing” lies in the realm of rock music. Welfare for those who refuse to work does not rate high on the American values scale.

Back at the border wall fight, Sekulow has announced that he will support the incumbent president, again proving consistency to be inconvenient. It is only tyranny when the other guy is in the Oval Office.

Trump’s emergency: the arbitrary action of an instinctive autocrat | Simon Tisdall

Sekulow has provided ample fodder for those looking to torpedo the wall in court. And there’s more. Testifying in 2014 before the House judiciary committee, Sekulow argued that Congress’s refusal to embrace Obama’s view of immigration did not empower him to stiff-arm Congress and alter immigration law by fiat.

In Sekulow’s words: “Congress’s refusal to enact the policy President Obama prefers is not ‘silence’ or a ‘failure’; it represents our constitutional system working as intended.”

This month, Congress actually passed an appropriation bill. It did not punt. Here, accusations of inaction are no fig leaf for presidential over-reach.

Expect the scrum to continue. Thankfully, there are fewer than 620 days until election day 2020.

Lloyd Green is an attorney. He was opposition research counsel to George HW Bush’s 1988 campaign and served in the Department of Justice
© 2019 Guardian News & Media Ltd

Note: a very new picture is emerging, as reification and solidification of trump is becoming increasingly hedged along party lines, reducing policy positively as in Kamala Harris correcting herself as to her interpretation of 'socialism'.

It appears more and more that policy and meaning carefully insulate the Dr facto power structure , not in terms of an idea involving a transcendent relative to a glimmer of intentional goal setting for the common good, but a reversal of derivative , seeking any method to avoid an absolute equivalency with the notion for common wealth. (Common sense the central idea)

It is obvious all process seek to clarify how 'common: fits in to this picture, and whether this effort could anytime, or better, anytime soon become a a political cry, within and without the awareness becoming an obvious negotiable tool.

Thomas Paine, may have seen an interesting fact finding ad entire here, were he at all of a talent as a seer.

'These are the times that try men's souls.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.'
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:43 pm

Ahead of North Korea summit, concern about Trump's gamble
Senior U.S. officials and North Korea experts are expressing mounting concerns that Trump will give away more than he gets in return.

Feb. 25, 2019, 4:40 AM ET / Updated
By Carol E. Lee and Courtney Kube
HANOI — In the eight months since President Trump declared North Korea “no longer a nuclear threat,” the reclusive state has advanced both its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and failed to provide an accounting of its deadly arsenal, according to multiple U.S. intelligence assessments.

And intelligence officials tell NBC News they have grown increasingly doubtful that Kim intends to dismantle the nuclear program at the center of Trump’s diplomatic gamble with Pyongyang.

Trump has said an end to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is his goal. So far, there is no public evidence that it is shared by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. With just two days before the leaders are set to meet, the White House is setting low expectations for the second summit this week in Vietnam while senior U.S. officials and North Korea experts are expressing mounting concerns that Trump will give away more than he gets in return.

“One of the worst possible outcomes is he makes some crazy deal pledging to withdraw U.S. troops for a vague promise of denuclearization,” said one former senior U.S. official.

Among the possible incentives the U.S. could offer North Korea during the summit is to establish diplomatic interests sections, one in Pyongyang and one in Washington, D.C., according to current and former U.S. officials. The establishment of interests sections, which are bare-bones diplomatic outposts, would offer an unprecedented initial opening toward diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Kim doesn't want to give Trump a list of nuke sites. So can their summit succeed?
The U.S. could also offer to formally end the war on the Korean Peninsula, more than six decades after North Korea and the United Nations Command signed the 1953 Armistice Agreement. This option would involve a series of further meetings and negotiations to determine the fate of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the future of U.S. troops on the Peninsula.

Asked whether withdrawing U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula could be a topic of discussion during the Hanoi meeting, Trump said last week, "that is not one of the things on the table." Pressed on the issue, he later said, "everything is on the table."

Some senior Trump administration officials and others involved in the negotiations are worried that establishing interests sections and agreeing to an end of war declaration, in addition to a second presidential meeting for Kim, would amount to de facto U.S. recognition of North Korea as a nuclear state. That’s particularly concerning, officials said, if Trump does not get significant concessions from North Korea.

It’s unclear whether Trump will offer Kim any immediate economic sanctions relief, or hold that as a future concession if North Korea makes some concessions of its own.

Some U.S. officials and others in the region have pushed for Trump to approve waivers on U.S. sanctions against North Korea as an incentive that stops short of rolling back sanctions entirely. The U.S. could also ask the U.N. to do the same for international sanctions, officials said.

The two leaders could also discuss a possible escrow account for North Korea to use for infrastructure projects in the country that would be funded by the World Bank, South Korea, Japan and others.

In recent weeks alone, researchers have discovered a secret ballistic missile base in North Korea — one of as many as 20 undisclosed missile sites in the country. U.S. officials also acknowledge that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites, all since Trump and Kim first met last summer.

Top North Korean official says country faces major food shortages
Just last month, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told congress that "North Korea will seek to retain its WMD capabilities, and is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities." Coats said the "assessment is bolstered by our observations of some activity that is inconsistent with full denuclearization.” Kim and his advisers, Coats said, "view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival."

Trump — a vocal skeptic of his own intelligence agencies — has reportedly cast doubt on classified assessments regarding North Korea’s capabilities. He reportedly told U.S. intelligence officials that he does not believe their assessment that North Korea has sophisticated missile capabilities because Russian President Vladimir Putin told him Pyongyang doesn’t have them, according to a new book by former deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe, a sharp Trump critic.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted lavish praise for Kim, who succeeded his father as head of a brutal, repressive regime that is among the world’s foremost violators of human rights.

But the president also projected uncertainty on the eve of his departure. Noting that he and Kim both "expect a continuation of progress made at our first summit in Singapore," Trump ended one tweet with a question: "Denuclerization?" he seemed to publicly ask his North Korean counterpart.

Just days after the two men met in a historic first summit last June, Trump proclaimed that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat. Missile testing has halted, a red line that Trump has used to measure success.

But even his own secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, charged after the Singapore summit with leading negotiations, seemed to differ with the president’s early assessment.

Asked Sunday on CNN whether North Korea remains a nuclear threat, Pompeo answered simply: Yes. And he said that in the first meeting last year, Kim had promised to dismantle his nuclear weapons program.

Pompeo refused to articulate any specific goals for this week's summit. "I don’t want to get into the details of what’s being proposed, what the offers and counter offers may be. But a real demonstrable, verifiable step is something that I know President Trump is very focused on achieving."

Pompeo insisted that the toughest sanctions would remain in place until the nuclear weapons program was dismantled. But he held out carrots. "There are other things we can do," he said, "exchanges of people, lots of other ways that North Korea is sanctioned today that if we get a substantial step and move forward we could certainly provide an outlet which would demonstrate our commitment to the process as well."

U.S. officials believe Kim’s primary goal in Vietnam, where he will be feted with the trappings of a state visit, is to be photographed once more alongside Trump on the world stage.

"Kim already got one big photo op with President Trump, another one just reaffirms his standing on the world stage to every day North Koreans," said one U.S. official.

Democrats say Trump is keeping Congress in the dark on North Korea
U.S. officials expect Trump and Kim to discuss the fate of the upcoming joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, held every spring. After the summit in Singapore, Trump announced he agreed to suspend the joint military exercises, declaring them "very provocative."

Despite intelligence reports that North Korea has continued to refine and expand its nuclear and missile development program while negotiating with the U.S., Trump has stressed that Pyongyang has not launched any missile tests during that time. But a lack of testing does not mean North Korea’s capabilities haven’t advanced on Trump’s watch.

"The North Koreans have the same nuclear arsenal that they had last year," former CIA Director John Brennan said Friday on MSNBC.

"They had probably increased their capabilities," Brennan said. "They don’t have to test in order to maintain and also to further refine that program."

The question looming over the Hanoi summit is whether North Korea will agree to disclose elements of its program it has concealed and agree to freeze work on them in the future.

Another concern voiced by some U.S. officials and North Korea experts is that Trump may announce that Kim agreed to dismantle defunct missile test sites and destroy other elements of his nuclear program that Pyongyang already no longer uses or has opened to inspections in the past.

One measure of success coming out of Hanoi could be agreement from both sides to hold a regular schedule of meetings.

Ultimately, U.S. officials said they hope North Korea agrees to four-party talks that would include the U.S., South Korea and China. If those talks advance, officials said, the Trump administration could then bring in Japan and Russia.

After the fiery rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea in 2017 that included Trump referring to Kim as "little rocket man," the president now talks about the close relationship between the two. "He wrote me beautiful letters. And they're great letters. We fell in love," Trump said at a rally in September.

This past weekend, Trump tweeted "Great relationship with Chairman Kim!"

While the Singapore Summit did not lead to North Korea halting its nuclear program, it opened negotiations between the two nations at the highest level and further decreased tensions at home and along the Korean peninsula where 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed.

But after the June meeting, progress stalled and some follow on meetings, like one with Pompeo in November, were abruptly canceled. In August, President Trump appointed Stephen Biegun Special Envoy to North Korea, but he was not able to meet with the North Koreans until January.

Pompeo has layered himself with Biegun, according to U.S. officials, with the hope the special envoy will absorb any shortcomings or negative outcome of negotiations with North Korean officials in coming weeks and months.

In a surprise move late Friday night, the White House announced National Security Adviser John Bolton canceled his trip to South Korea ahead of the summit. "Ambassador Bolton has canceled his travel to the Republic of Korea to focus on events in Venezuela," an administration official said.

Courtney Kube reported from Washington.

Carol E. Lee is a national political reporter for NBC News.

Courtney Kube is a national security and military reporter for NBC News

The overall ppl ion is that Trump is raisining the North Vietnam prez prestige, by meeting him on his terms and crediting him with an assumed freelance, in addition to working on a history of denied and violated past , as if turning a blind eye.

Things indeed must be desperate.
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Re: Mueller Report Coming out?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:07 am

What if complicity is found between Trump and his election committee?

MON FEB 25, 2019 / 8:44 PM EST
What happens if Mueller finds Trump fingerprints in Russia conspiracy?
Nathan Layne

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with U.S. governors at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 25, 2019.
(Reuters) - Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing to submit to U.S. Attorney General William Barr a report detailing his findings in the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and any links to the Trump campaign.

Mueller has been looking since May 2017 into whether U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Russia and whether Trump unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Mueller already has indicted or secured guilty pleas from 34 people, including six associates of Trump, as well as three Russian entities.

Here is a look at possible scenarios following the completion of Mueller's report.


Among those who already have pleaded guilty or have been convicted are: former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen; former national security advisor Michael Flynn; and former Trump campaign aides Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos. Others indicted include Trump adviser Roger Stone and Russian intelligence officers.

But the central question is whether Mueller will find that Trump himself played a role in a conspiracy with Moscow to boost his chances of winning the election or committed obstruction of justice to try to impede the Russia probe. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction.

If Mueller's report reveals a willingness by Trump to collude with Russia or contains evidence of direct coordination involving the Republican president, such findings could be the starting gun for the Democratic-led House of Representatives to launch the impeachment process set out in the U.S. Constitution to remove a president from office.

Current Justice Department policy opposes bringing criminal charges against a sitting president.

Stone's indictment points to instances in which people connected to the campaign communicated with him about Wikileaks, the website that released emails that U.S. officials have said Russians stole from Democrats to harm Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. For example, after a July 2016 release of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee a "senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases" by Wikileaks, the indictment stated. The sentence's wording left open the possibility that Trump himself directed the campaign official.

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide and Republican political consultant, said any evidence that Trump was willing to work with Moscow, even without proof that he actually did that, might be enough for Democrats to draw up articles of impeachment.

"That's impeachable for the Democrats," Nunberg said.

The U.S. Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment: treason, bribery or "other high crimes and misdemeanors." If the House approves any articles of impeachment, the Senate then would hold a trial to determine whether to remove the president from office. The Senate is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans. Only two presidents have been impeached in American history, and neither was removed.

There is also the issue of obstruction. Legal experts have pointed to Trump's firing of former FBI director James Comey while he was leading the Russia probe, Comey's allegation that Trump asked him to end the investigation of Flynn, and the president's dangling a possible pardon to Manafort among other acts that may amount to obstruction of justice.

Barr, months before Trump named him as attorney general, last year wrote an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department arguing Mueller should not be permitted to investigate obstruction by the president.


Mueller's cases against Manafort and Stone have come the closest to showing coordination between Trump's campaign and Russia. Manafort shared election polling data with his Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who prosecutors have said is tied to Russian intelligence. Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York with other campaign officials with a Russian lawyer who promised "dirt" on Clinton. Mueller also found that Stone communicated with Wikileaks and the Russian hacker dubbed Guccifer 2.0.

But Mueller's evidence made public to date falls short of demonstrating Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia. Collusion is a non-legal term often used to describe acts that in a criminal context in this investigation likely would translate to a charge of conspiracy against the United States.

If Mueller's report goes no further, it could set back any Democratic effort to impeach Trump. But House Democrats could proceed with their own investigations that could cause Trump ongoing political damage heading into his 2020 re-election bid.

"If nothing more comes out than what is public then I think Trump could claim victory," said Nelson Cunningham, a former federal prosecutor in New York and White House lawyer under Democratic President Bill Clinton.


Transcripts of closed court hearings this month indicated Mueller considers Manafort's alleged lies about his interactions with Kilimnik to be "at the heart" of the probe into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia.

But that disclosure suggested Mueller was still trying to determine whether collusion occurred. In addition to sharing polling data, court filings show, Manafort and Kilimnik discussed a "Ukrainian peace plan," a reference to Kremlin-friendly proposals to resolve the Ukraine conflict and end U.S. sanctions on Russia.

It is possible Mueller's report will show that Manafort or others in Trump's orbit conspired with Russians but there was no credible evidence Trump himself was involved or aware. While politically damaging to Trump, such a finding may not be enough to trigger an impeachment effort, though it could fuel House committee investigations.

"It's not enough to show the Russians used their people," said Robert Ray, who served as the second independent counsel in the 1990s Whitewater probe involving the Clintons' business dealings, adding there would need to be proof that Trump's people actively colluded to the point that it violated the law.

"I don't think it occurred," Ray said.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Additional reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham)

© 2018Reuters. All Rights Reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage will Cohen sing ?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:21 pm

Michael Cohen is expected to tell Congress that Trump broke the law while in office: NBC News
Terri Cullen
Mike Calia
Published 4 Hours Ago Updated 40 Mins Ago
Former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Tuesday starts a three-day gauntlet of congressional appearances by giving a closed-door interview to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Trump's former "fixer" is expected to detail what he claims to know about Trump's contacts with Russia, hush payments made prior to the 2016 election and other sensitive matters.
Cohen is also expected to provide evidence of alleged criminal conduct by Trump since he became president, according to NBC. In addition to his testimony, Cohen will reveal information about Trump's financial statements.
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, DC, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, center, arrives to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, DC, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019.
President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to tell lawmakers this week about alleged criminal conduct Trump committed while in office, NBC News reported, citing a knowledgeable source.

Cohen starts a three-day gauntlet of congressional appearances on Tuesday by giving a closed-door interview to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is expected to detail what he claims to know about Trump's contacts with Russia, hush payments made before the 2016 election and other sensitive matters.

Cohen arrived on Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning just as Air Force One delivered Trump to Vietnam, where the president was set to hold high-stakes talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, adding more of a symbolic charge to an already historic moment.

Cohen is expected to provide evidence of alleged criminal conduct by Trump since he became president, NBC News said. In addition to his testimony, Cohen will reveal information about Trump's financial statements, according to NBC, citing a source who declined to be named.

The former Trump lawyer and fixer, who is slated to report to federal prison May 6, will also testify in a closed-door hearing with the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. The main event of the week will happen Wednesday, however, as Cohen is scheduled to testify in public before the House Oversight Committee.

The White House pre-emptively trashed Cohen's testimony, calling him a "disgraced felon."

"Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same," Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. "It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

In his testimony , Cohen is prepared to describe behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Trump that include lies, racism and cheating as a private businessman when Cohen worked for him for 10 years, NBC News said, citing the source.

Likewise, Cohen plans to tell lawmakers that Trump asked him several times about a proposed skyscraper project in Moscow long after he secured the Republican presidential nomination, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Cohen's assertion that Trump was inquiring about the project as late as June 2016, if true, would show Trump remained personally interested in a business venture in Russia well into his candidacy. Cohen, scheduled to report to prison in May after pleading guilty to charges including lying to Congress, has already said he briefed Trump on the project in June 2016.

WATCH: Trump underreported payments to Cohen in official disclosures

Cohen will also discuss his own motives for lying for the president and why he decided to tell the truth publicly for fear of his family and country, NBC said.

Senators are suspicious of Cohen, who is set to serve time in prison for lying to the committee in 2017. But they are also eager to hear what Trump's former loyal fixer has to say.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., told The Associated Press that senators will have staff ask questions in Tuesday's session but will be there to observe. He says no topics will be off limits and that Cohen "should expect to get any question from anywhere about anything."

Cohen pleaded guilty to several charges last year – in cases brought by the Southern District of New York and special counsel Robert Mueller's office – including financial crimes, lying to Congress and campaign-finance violations linked to hush-money payments given to two women who claimed they had sexual encounters with Trump.

Cohen implicated Trump in his campaign-finance confession. Trump has denied the affairs and all wrongdoing.

—CNBC's Christina Wilkie , the Associated Press and Reuters contributed to the report.

© 2019 CNBC LLC. All Rights Reserved. A Division of NBCUniversal

Note: There is talk around Washington DC, that very little of what comes out will be seen by the public, from Mueller's report, so the Cohen interview promises to be of particular interest both to his adversaries as well as to his supporters.

It remains to be seen, however, what effect negative revelations on the part of Cohen will have on the latter group.

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

Should Trump get the Nobel Peace Prize ?

The Ignoble Peace Prize
The Don is off to North Korea the very week that Michael Cohen is publically testifying. What a way to distract the public.

It reminds me of the Wiki-leak dump of emails right after the Access Hollywood tape came out. Rather brilliant, don’t you think?

Regardless of what actually happens in North Korea with Kim Jong-un, The Don will claim great victory and let the world know that he has solved everything and should be a shoe-in for the Nobel Peace prize.

According to The Don, he already has a five -page love letter form Prime Minister Abe of Japan, in which Abe, endorses him for the Nobel prize. When asked, Abe’s response was: umm?

He will then say that he probably won’t get it because they don’t appreciate his greatness and his unfairly maligned by the Fake News. Poor Donald. “Baby, baby, stick your head in gravy…”

And The Don doesn’t want any old Nobel Prize; he wants the one Obama has. Can’t you see him up there on the podium demanding the committee cross out Obama’s name on his prize and replace it with his name: that will complete his goal of undoing everything Obama did.

Delusional Don’s belief that he should win the Nobel Prize is so absurd it is comical.

The only prize he should win hands down is the Ignoble Peace Prize. Wouldn’t it be a stroke of genius to offer him the award and then change scripts and humiliate him on the world stage?

Here’s the committee’s introduction:

Ladies and gentleman, this year’s Nobel goes to Donald J. Trump.

The U.S. president has distinguished himself like no other individual to receive this prize.

The Don is a lifetime criminal who has engaged in scamming people his entire life. He has stiffed workers, bullied and threatened detractors, laundered money, committed tax and insurance fraud and colluded with a foreign government to steal an election.

He also created a bogus university and preyed on unsuspecting students and bilked them for millions of dollars with nothing to show for it.

His greatest influence, his father, was a supporter of the KKK, and taught him the civic service and dark arts of denying blacks the right to live in their apartment buildings, for which he was sued twice by the United States Justice Department.

He is especially renowned for spreading the racist trope that President Obama was not an American citizen and a Muslim.

His support of human rights are quite remarkable: advocating White Supremacy, abandoning Puerto Rico after a hurricane devastated the island (Let them clean up the mess with paper towels!), banning Muslims from coming to the U.S., denying transgender individuals the right to serve in the U.S. military and because of his own hateful rhetoric, he has increased anti Semitism, his vitriol inspiring an increase of hate crimes against marginalized populations.

He has created a completely false narrative about an existential emergency at the U.S. border to deny people seeking asylum- a violation of international law- and his administration has immorally separated thousands of children from their families.

He has offered full-throated endorsement of dictators around the world.

He refused to acknowledge The Saudi Crown Prince’s involvement in the killing of a Washington Post journalist because of the money he and his immoral son-in-law, Jared Kushner, plan to make from numerous ventures, including illegally selling nuclear materials to the Saudis.

Copyright © 2019 omfg trump, All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage Michael Cohen

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:38 pm

Michael Cohen plans to testify that Trump is 'a racist' and a 'con man'
However, a description of a conversation between Trump and adviser Roger Stone days before WikiLeaks released a trove of DNC emails is the big allegation.

Feb. 27, 2019, 4:51 AM ET / Updated Feb. 27, 2019, 8:00 AM ET
By Rebecca Shabad, Heidi Przybyla, Jonathan Allen and Allan Smith
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to release hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign, his former personal lawyer plans to say at an open congressional hearing Wednesday.

Michael Cohen will also call Trump a "con man" and "a cheat" and allege that the president not only lied about his ongoing efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the election but urged Cohen to lie about them without directly saying so, according to a draft of his opening statement obtained by NBC News.

But it is Cohen's description of a conversation between Trump and longtime adviser Roger Stone days before WikiLeaks released a trove of DNC emails on the eve of the 2016 Democratic National Convention that represents the biggest new allegation.

"I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone," Cohen plans to say. "Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of 'wouldn’t that be great.'"

Last year, special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the Trump operation's ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice, indicted a dozen Russians in connection with the DNC hacks. Stone has been indicted by Mueller on charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.

"He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project."}

Trump, who is in Vietnam for a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attacked Cohen after his planned testimony was first reported.

"Michael Cohen was one of many lawyers who represented me (unfortunately)," Trump wrote. "He had other clients also. He was just disbarred by the State Supreme Court for lying & fraud. He did bad things unrelated to Trump. He is lying in order to reduce his prison time. Using Crooked's lawyer!"

Cohen is being advised by Lanny Davis, a former lawyer for President Bill Clinton; Trump refers to his defeated 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, as "Crooked Hillary."

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in December for a series of charges he pleaded guilty to last year, including eight felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, as well as the one count of making a false statement to Congress. On the eve of his congressional testimony, a New York state court filing revealed that he had been disbarred.

Cohen is also expected to testify that Trump not only lied about his business dealings in Russia during the election — a subject of interest for investigators — but urged Cohen to do so without making a direct ask.

"To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it," Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to making a false statement to Congress about when the project was terminated, plans to say. "He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project."

In Cohen's telling, he followed Trump's lead — and got sign-off from Trump's lawyers.

"And so I lied about it, too — because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie," Cohen's statement says. "And he made it clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress."

The president's former attorney will provide the committee with a series of documents, including letters he authored threatening Trump's high school, college and the College Board from releasing his grades and SAT scores, according to Cohen's prepared opening statement. Cohen will also present a pair of reimbursement checks he received for the $130,000 hush payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels weeks before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump — an affair Trump says did not happen.

An August 2017 check for $35,000 was signed by Trump, while a March 2017 check for the same amount was signed by both Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization Chief Operating Officer Allen Weisselberg, according to Cohen's planned testimony.

A check signed by Donald Trump, Jr., and Trump Organization COO Allen Weisselberg for $35,000 on March 1, 2017.
A check signed by President Donald Trump for $35,000 on Aug. 1, 2017.
Cohen, 52, will be offering congressional testimony in public for the first time just weeks before he’s slated to report to federal prison in early May.

In a series of anecdotes, Cohen will recount exchanges with Trump that portray the president in a poor light, including those which led him to conclude that the president is "a racist."

But he will stop short of saying that he has proof Trump conspired with Russia in order to win the 2016 election.

"Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia," the statement says. "I do not."

Rather, Cohen is expected to say, he has "suspicions."

IRS agent admits leaking Michael Cohen's records to Stormy Daniels' lawyer
The House Oversight Committee hearing, which will begin at 10 a.m. ET and could last four to five hours, comes a day after Cohen appeared in a closed-door hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. On Thursday, Cohen will meet in closed session with the House Intelligence Committee.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Kim for dinner three hours before Cohen testifies.

Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has looked to set specific parameters for the hearing, in which Cohen has agreed to cover Trump’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election, as well as Trump's compliance with tax laws, potential conflicts of interest, business practices and compliance with campaign finance laws, and potentially fraudulent practices by the Trump Foundation.

The hearing, however, was not expected to touch directly on matters related to the Russia investigation, which instead will be covered in the closed sessions before the Intelligence panels. But the draft statement suggests Cohen is willing to wander into the neighborhood of the Russia probe.

“I think this is a golden opportunity for the American public. The American public would like to see Michael Cohen. He is the only person that I know of that has accused this president of a crime,” Cummings told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday night.

“It may very well may be a turning point in our country’s history, I don’t know, I don’t know," added Cummings. "But what we want to do is conduct a fair hearing, we want a civil hearing and we want to be effective and efficient in letting the American people know what is going on.”

Ten questions we hope Robert Mueller will answer
The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, indicated in a statement before the hearing that Republicans may not necessarily adhere to the scope outlined by Cummings and Cohen.

“The chairman indicated that he will be limiting the topics of the hearing to only a few areas of inquiry — all serving his interest in finding grounds for impeachment,” Jordan said last week. “I will not stand by quietly while an admitted liar comes before the committee. Our members intend to question Mr. Cohen about the crimes he pleaded guilty to, other criminal activity he participated in but refused to disclose, his international financial dealings, and a long list of other probative activities."

And despite the limits set by Cummings for the hearing in order to avoid interfering in ongoing criminal probes, at least a few Democratic members are planning to disobey those conditions, according to two aides preparing for the hearing.

“The oversight staff are trying to play traffic conductors," said one Democratic aide who has reviewed planned questions from some members, but “people are going to want to go there” on Russian ties. Cummings' office has not responded to inquiries about how he will handle any divergence from the approved lines of questioning. However, another aide said Cohen’s lawyers are likely to control how much information he gives on Russia.

Democrats on the committee are also planning to zero in on the nature of Trump's business relationships with foreign Russian oligarchs, other foreign business influences and potential money laundering.

Some Democratic members will try to obtain information from Cohen about how the Trump organization interacts with foreign entities, mainly shell companies they believe the company may have opened in places like Panama — as well as Toronto, where there is a strong Russian mob presence — which they suspect were used to launder money.

Some congressional Republicans have been trying to discredit Cohen’s testimony in advance, calling him an untrustworthy witness given that he’s lied to Congress already. Some Democrats have echoed the point, with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland saying it’s fair to have questions about Cohen’s credibility and that he “better not lie again.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who doesn't serve on the Oversight Committee, also posted a cryptic tweet Tuesday ahead of Cohen's testimony. "Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot..." tweeted Gaetz, who later denied the tweet represented an attempt to intimidate a congressional witness.

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz apologizes for tweet targeting Michael Cohen
Gaetz ultimately apologized and deleted his tweet after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued an admonishment to lawmakers not to make statements that could interfere with House committees' ability to obtain testimony from witnesses. In her statement, Pelosi noted that the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause, which protects lawmakers from being prosecuted for what they say in the course of their duties, may not apply to comments that interfere with House investigations.

The hearing, originally scheduled for Feb. 7, was delayed after Cohen’s attorney claimed that the president and his personal attorney, Rudi Giuliani, had made threats against Cohen's family.

A federal judge agreed last week to postpone the date for Cohen to report to prison after Cohen’s attorneys said he had recently undergone a “serious surgical procedure” and needed to undergo intensive therapy as part of his recovery.

Rebecca Shabad is a congressional reporter for NBC News, based in Washington.

Heidi Przybyla

Jonathan Allen is a Washington-based national political reporter for NBC News who focuses on the presidency.

Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.

Adam Reiss, Alex Moe and Marianna Sotomayor contributed.

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Re: Trump enters the stage Michael Cohen

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:07 pm

Very generally, so far, I don't think that there is too much doubt in most reasonable people's mind about the credibility issues of both men, Trump's and Cohen's, as the saying goes-post corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, as their respective orbs of influence come to terms.

That this is a preview to coming attractions, is highlighted to the vast international arena, where nuanced arguments are given more latitude, in terms of more expectation arising out of the Kim-Trump meeting, , given the actually demonstrated broth of presumably Chinese, or maybe even Russian-Sinai aspirations for world hegemony. That this projected Republican defense, at the eve of serious partisan and intra-party fracture, may work, in achieving some semblance of U.S. political unity, is a gamble, pitting the belief on the subordinate and inferior intelligence politic within the apparent dynamics demonstrated by Cohen's appearance, or whether further adjustments in preventive work is needed, yet remains a matter for conjecture.

However, the politicization of the reason behind sense is coming home to roost, and all odds are up for grabs.

Incidentially, the debate between those whose ficus is on Democracy per se, and those whose forte is a rationalized version of Capital, became the hotly contested presumption hiding beneath the primary content of their very constitutional basis, and here is the point at which, positivism has glaringly showed its defensive posture.

In particular, a number of talking points noticible:

Republicans trying to disassemble Cohen's credibility issue, which was like a well beaten horse by the end of the session before lunch, had it thrown back into their face by a Democratic Congressman saying, that the reason for the attack is not Your(Cohn) 's lying, but the cessation of it on behalf of Trump.

Its astounding , but analysis leads to the conclusion that even if 2/3 majority of the Senate passes a resolution to impeach, even then there is a place for executive veto, and /or procedural legal maneuvers , resulting as merely chastisement, rather then anything more drastic.

Of course that leaves the Southern New York Court open to other solution s, and does not yet show the substantial effect of the Mueller Investigation .

Next to these going on, the Nixon debacle was a walk in the park.

Again, in particular, it appears, that so far , the Stormy Danials pay off rather them the Russian collusion could play a part in an effort indict Trump, (of it ever become a feasibility) , the pay off by Trump, from otjer then legitimate sources. The concealment following that does.have teeth, regardless of.Cohen's issues with truth, which for the most part he acquired through obliging Trump.

Again , his international efforts in Asia, may eclipse trouble at home, and an indirect and measured responsive lessening of attributable fault may further diminish his gangster looking character.
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Re: Trump enters the stage. Cohen

Postby Meno_ » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:13 pm

Cohen's supporting Congressman said that it is not your lies which ticked off the Republicans, it is your stopping to lie for Trump that did.

How quaint.
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Re: Cohen's closing statement

Postby Meno_ » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:28 am

Michael Cohen: 'I fear' Trump won't peacefully give up the White House if he loses the 2020 election
Kevin Breuninger
Dan Mangan
Published 1 Hour Ago Updated 8 Mins Ago
President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday says he fears that Trump will not concede the White House if he loses the 2020 presidential election.
Cohen's closing remarks come after more than seven hours in public testimony before the House Oversight Committee.
Cohen also castigates Trump at the finale of his congressional hearing for his ''childish'' actions that he says denigrate the office of the president.

President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday said he fears that Trump will not peacefully relinquish the White House if he loses his reelection bid next year.

Cohen, 52, also castigated Trump at the finale of his congressional hearing for his ''childish'' actions that he says denigrate the office of the president.

"I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power. And this is why I agreed to appear before you today," Cohen said of Trump.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on Cohen's remarks.

Cohen's closing speech came after more than seven hours in public testimony before the House Oversight Committee, where he launched a fusillade of accusations against his former boss' character and actions.

Read Cohen's full closing statement below:

Thank you. So first I want to thank you, chairman, because I appreciate the opportunity to share some final thoughts.

I have acknowledged I have made my own mistakes and I have owned up to them publicly and under oath, but silence and complicity in the face of the daily destruction of our basic norms and civility to one another will not be one of them.

I did things and I acted improperly, at times at Mr. Trump's behest. I blindly followed his demands. My loyalty Mr. Trump has cost me everything, my family's happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation and soon my freedom. And I will not sit back, say nothing, and allow him to do the same to the country.

Indeed given my experience working for Mr. Trump I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power, and this is why I agreed to appear before you today. In closing, I'd like to say directly to the president, we honor our veterans even in the rain, you tell the truth even when it doesn't aggrandize you, you respect the law and incredible law enforcement agents, you don't villainize them, you don't disparage generals, gold star families, prisoners of war and other heroes who had the courage to fight for this country.

You don't attack the media and those who question what you don't like or what you don't want them to say and you take responsibility for your own dirty deeds. You don't use your power of your bully pulpit to destroy the credibility of those who speak out against you. You don't separate families from one another or demonize those looking to America for a better life. You don't vilify people based on the god they pray to and you don't cuddle up to our adversaries at the expense of our allies.

Finally, you don't shut down the government before Christmas and new year's just to simply appease your base. This behavior is childish, it denigrates the office of the president and it's simply un-American. And it's not you.

So to those who support the president and his rhetoric as I once did, I pray the country doesn't make the same mistakes that I have made or pay the heavy price that my family and I are paying, and I thank you very much for this additional time, chairman.

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Now this:

Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un fail to strike deal, call off nuclear weapons talks early
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:33 am

Lamar Alexander
The president's national emergency declaration for border wall funding is “unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution,” Sen. Lamar Alexander said. | Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images


Republicans pressure Trump to back down on border emergency
Sen. Lamar Alexander urged the president to withdraw his national emergency declaration or face a Republican revolt.

Senate Republicans are offering a choice to President Donald Trump: Withdraw your national emergency declaration at the border or face a potential rebellion from the GOP.

The message was delivered clearly on Thursday by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), part of an effort by senior Republicans to avoid a direct confrontation with Trump on the Senate floor.

In a much-anticipated floor speech, the retiring senator declined to state whether he will become the deciding vote to block the president’s maneuver. But he signaled broad opposition to the emergency declaration and sought to convince Trump that he has other ways to collect $5.7 billion for the border wall — the precise amount of money he demanded during the government shutdown fight.

“He’s got sufficient funding without a national emergency, he can build a wall and avoid a dangerous precedent,” Alexander told reporters afterward, referring to billions from a drug forfeiture fund and anti-drug smuggling money at the Defense Department. “That would change the voting situation if he we were to agree to do that.”

Three Republicans have already said they would join Democrats in voting for a resolution to block Trump, and only one more is needed for the Senate to successfully reject Trump’s declaration. Alexander is just one of about 10 senators who are committed to blocking the president’s move or are considering doing so, suggesting the White House has a ways to go to avoid a public split in the party and a Trump veto.

Asked how the GOP can avoid a battle with Trump, one Senate Republican considering voting for the disapproval resolution said: “He can change his mind.”

“The president can get way more money than he’s even asking for without setting the Constitution on its head,” said this undecided senator, who requested anonymity to speak frankly. “I am very, very skeptical about the precedent this makes.”

In 2005, President George W. Bush withdrew an emergency plan for paying disaster workers after Congress threatened to block him.

If Trump doesn’t back down, there is still deep reluctance in the GOP to becoming the 51st vote for the disapproval resolution that the Senate is expected to vote on in March. So far, Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine are the only Republicans who have said they would support blocking Trump on his plans to seize billions from military projects.

The president told Sean Hannity that Republicans who oppose him “put themselves at great jeopardy” and said it’s “very dangerous” to vote against border security. Some GOP senators shrugged off that sentiment.

“I always do what I think is the right thing to do,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who is undecided. “As long as I’m satisfied with myself, that’s the person I’m going to satisfy.”

Republicans spent all week debating how to deal with the political headache of seeing a president from their party use some of the same unilateral tactics they panned under President Barack Obama.

After introducing her own resolution of disapproval directly on the Senate floor Thursday, Collins said her “Republican colleagues are very uneasy about the precedent.”

“I don’t think emergencies are a good way to run the government. And the president needs permission from Congress to get money,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday. Despite those words, he hasn’t made a “final decision” on his vote.

Nancy Pelosi

House votes to block Trump's national emergency declaration
“I have long believed and advocated that every president, Republican and Democrat, should act consistent with the Constitution and federal law. And I’m assessing those legal authorities right now,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

GOP senators are discussing amending the House-passed disapproval resolution to make it more palatable to both them and Trump, but say they are not sure it will be allowed by the Senate parliamentarian. The resolution has been referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee, but Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said his committee will hold no hearings on it.

“There’s some discussion about: Is there a way to give the president what he asks for in terms of funding but to minimize the use of this mechanism in the future?” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who will oppose the resolution as written.

Despite his clear opposition to Trump’s national emergency declaration, Alexander deemed the looming vote on disapproval a hypothetical, since Trump could withdraw it or the House-passed resolution could be amended. Under current law, the House measure will come up by mid-March, and Alexander left little doubt that he’s just one of a large bloc of Republicans who could defy the president.

Trump’s national emergency declaration for border wall funding is “unnecessary, unwise and inconsistent with the Constitution,” Alexander told reporters. “And many Republican senators who can speak for themselves share that view.”

“We’ve never had a case where the president has asked for money, been refused the money by Congress, then used the national emergency powers to spend it anyway,” he added. “To me that’s a dangerous precedent.”
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