The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hushpuppy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    “Alternative facts”
  2. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Democrats will block all legislrption from voting as long as the government is shut down.
    Trump’s base isn’t as big as he thought it was.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's full address to the nation on border security | The Washington Post

    Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Live Updates and Fact Checks | The New York Times

    Live fact-checking and analysis of President Trump’s immigration speech | The Washington Post

    [ Read from the bottom up ]

    Schumer and Pelosi's full response to Trump's border address | The Washington Post

    • Like Like x 1
  4. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    History of the Federal Gov seizing land in Texas for the border.
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    CNN discusses Democratic response to Trump address | CNN

    "CNN's John King, Dana Bash, Gloria Borger, Nia-Malika Anderson and Daniel Dale fact-check President Trump's address on border security and the response from Democrats."

    Jim Acosta: Trump's speech hazardous to the truth, should carry Surgeon General's warning | CNN

    "CNN's Jim Acosta says President Donald Trump's address to the nation about immigration and border security was recycled rhetoric from the President's rallies and should come with a Surgeon General's warning that it's hazardous to the truth."
    • Like Like x 1
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    The late night talk shows were recorded a couple of hours before tonight's address aired.

    Here’s What Will Happen if Trump Declares a State of Emergency | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    "Trump threatens to declare a national emergency in order to get his border wall built, which would give him the power to shut down communications facilities, freeze bank accounts and deploy the military domestically."

    Trump Just Wants To Be On Primetime TV | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "Regularly scheduled programming gets interrupted by irregularly spoken exaggerating."
  7. Disambiguation Global Moderator Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    “Pelosi says Trump doesn't get shutdown's effect on workers: 'He thinks maybe they could just ask their father for more money'”
    “. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) denied that Trump slammed the table and said the president brought pieces of candy to those who attended the meeting in the Situation Room.”
  8. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    “Having Failed To Convince Americans There’s a National Emergency, Trump Now Poised to Declare One”

    The theory is that Trump makes the Democrats look intransigent then breaks the “deadlock” by ordering the military to build the Wall under a emergency declaration then reopens the government. He thinks he has Republican legislators with him but they are looking shaky
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Manafort intended for polling data to go to 2 Ukrainian oligarchs who owed him millions

    By Katelyn Polantz and Evan Perez, CNN, January 9, 2019


    Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, two Ukrainian oligarchs who had paid Paul Manafort for years for his political work in their country, were the intended recipients of the American polling data that Manafort shared with Konstantin Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

    Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been circling Lyovochkin and Akhmetov's dealings with Manafort for a while, as they were both key, generous backers of Manafort's Ukrainian lobbying work, prosecutors said at Manafort's financial fraud trial last summer.

    The Justice Department initially asked Mueller to look into the pro-Russian Ukrainians' ties to Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, because of how they may relate to other allegations of Russian coordination with the Trump campaign.

    The sharing of the polling data with Kilimnik was revealed this week, despite being redacted in a court filing, due to a formatting error.

    Manafort earned millions from his Ukrainian political work over several years. That included wire transfers from Akhmetov and Lyovochkin through offshore bank accounts, prosecutors said at trial.
    The revenue appeared to dry up by 2015. However, Manafort wrote in one August 2016 email to his accountant that he expected a payment of $2.4 million in November 2016 for work he did in Ukraine, according to trial documents.

    A spokesman for Manafort confirmed Wednesday that Manafort expected to receive the $2.4 million in income from his Ukrainian political backers, including Lyovochkin and Akhmetov. But the money was meant to reimburse old debts that predated the Trump campaign, spokesman Jason Maloni added, and it was not a quid pro quo for the polling data.

    Still, the developments of Manafort's court filing Tuesday and the assertions Wednesday about the oligarchs confirm that Manafort had an interest in pocketing cash from a foreign country while he led Donald Trump's campaign. Previously, investigators noted the debts between Manafort and foreign businessmen in their effort to obtain search warrants for the Russia investigation.

    Continued at
  10. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Fox News' Shep Smith and Andrew Napolitano agree: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia

    By Dominique Jackson, Raw Story, January 9, 2019


    While critics say President Donald Trump “manufactured” a crisis at the border, two personalities on Fox News say there is a crisis unfolding in Washington D.C.

    On Wednesday, Fox News host Shep Smith and judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano agreed that Trump’s campaign appears to have colluded with Russia.

    It was revealed Tuesday that Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with a Russian operative, according to a poorly redacted legal filing by his attorneys.

    “This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court without the testimony of Paul Manafort that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians,” Napolitano said. “The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it?”

    “Collusion isn’t a crime, but this would be considered collusion?” Smith asked.

    “The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term,” Napolitano said.

    “I know, but if there’s collusion, giving stuff to the Russians about polling data [would count],” Smith said.

    “Yeah, that would probably fit into the category,” Napolitano responded. “This event, which has been outlined in these court papers, occurred during the campaign.”

    Watch below via Fox News.

    Continued at

    Andrew Napolitano: Mueller can show Trump campaign 'had a connection to Russian intelligence'

    By Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, January 9, 2019


    Special counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that could prove a link between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, according to a Fox News senior legal commentator.

    Judge Andrew Napolitano's remarks come after the defense team for Paul Manafort, President Trump's former 2016 campaign chairman, acknowledged in a new court filing that their client shared polling data before the election with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant to Russian intelligence, who at one point worked for Manafort’s lobbying firm. Kilimnik was indicted by Mueller last June on charges of obstruction of justice and tampering with a witness on behalf of Manafort.

    “This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence, and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians,” Napolitano said during a Fox News segment on Wednesday. “The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it.”

    That could amount to a "conspiracy" if there was an arrangement to exchange "something of value from a foreign person or government during the campaign," he said.

    "Whether or not the thing of value arrives, the agreement is what is the crime," Napolitano said.

    The interactions between Manafort and Kilimnik were uncovered Tuesday when Manafort's defense team submitted documents that were not properly redacted. The filing was made as Manafort's lawyers continue to defend their client against allegations by Mueller that Manafort broke the terms of his plea deal.

    “The part they forgot to seal was that the FBI accused Paul Manafort of lying about whether or not he gave confidential campaign polling data, at the height of the campaign," Napolitano said Wednesday.

    Manafort in September pleaded guilty to two conspiracy counts, and agreed to “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” answer questions about “any and all matters” of interest to Mueller.

    • Like Like x 1
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Howard Stern rips Trump's border wall: Something the 'morons can get behind' | TheHill


    Howard Stern said Wednesday that President Trump’s proposed border wall won’t solve the nation’s immigration problems and was simply cooked up as a campaign tool that “morons can get behind.”

    Trump’s demand for funding for the project, which he made a key campaign promise, is at the center of the 19-day partial government shutdown, with congressional Democrats emerging from a White House meeting on Wednesday saying no progress on resolving the conflict has been made.

    Stern ripped the controversial wall on his SiriusXM radio program a day after Trump delivered a prime-time address from the Oval Office touting what he called the need for a barrier separating the United States and Mexico.

    “The wall’s a problem because it’s a waste of money, even Donald knows that,” said Stern — who goes back decades with Trump, hosting the then-real estate mogul on his show numerous times before his White House bid.

    “You gotta know Donald a bit to understand what’s going on here. The wall’s a simplistic answer to our problems with immigration. It’s something that, you know, morons can get behind because they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, if you build a wall no one can get over it.’ But it’s not that simple,” Stern told listeners of his eponymous show.

    Stern blasted Trump’s demand of $5.7 billion in funding for the border wall — which Democrats have repeatedly rejected — saying the price tag wouldn’t cover the costs of such an expansive undertaking.

    “You’re talking about building a massive wall across this country on the southern border. It’s a tremendous amount of property and a tremendous amount of area to cover,” said Stern. “You’re not going to get a whole wall for $5 billion. If you really want a wall, it’s probably going to cost you some trillions of dollars.”

    The commander in chief, Stern exclaimed, should “be straight up with people.”

    “I would love to see Donald come on last night and go, ‘Fuck this, I’m not going to bullshit you guys. I want $20 billion.”

    On Tuesday, Trump called the southern border a "pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs," but Stern argued the president's plan won’t keep drugs or terrorists from entering the country.

    “They’re coming into our ports. We need way more security,” Stern told a listener who called in asking why he considered the wall “a problem.”

    “I’m all about keeping illegal aliens out because it’s not fair — it’s not fair to people who apply legally,” said Stern. “But at the same point, you can’t be hypocritical and be hiring illegal aliens over at Mar-a-Lago.”

    Last month, The New York Times interviewed a woman who said she worked for years as a maid at Bedminster, Trump’s New Jersey golf club, as an undocumented immigrant.

    Stern said the ongoing shutdown itself poses a significant risk to national security with so many federal worker furloughed or working without pay.

    “Right now we don’t even have air traffic controllers being paid,” said Stern. “Talk about a lack of security. If I’m a terrorist, I’m coming in now. I bet you they’re flooding in while this government shutdown is going on.”

    When his caller brought up reports of political figures building security barriers outside their homes, Stern replied, “There’s a wall over the White House … and how many people fucking climb over it and get close to the White House? A ton. The wall ain’t stopping anybody.”

    “Even Donald’s not into this wall. It’s just he’s embarrassed because he can’t get it, and Rush Limbaugh shamed him,” Stern added.

    “The whole concept of the wall got him elected, a lot of people could wrap their brain around it. But the wall ain’t going to solve shit. And it’s going to cost a fortune. Come on, it’s nonsense.”

    • Like Like x 1
  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    House Democrats to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. first in Russia investigation

    By Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, January 9, 2019


    House Democrats probing allegations that the Trump presidential campaign worked with Russian operatives to win the 2016 election plan to issue their first subpoena to Donald Trump Jr., according to a top lawmaker.

    Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked Tuesday night about whom would be served first by the panel as it reopens the investigation, said, “Donald Trump Jr.”

    Democrats on the panel, headed by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., have long questioned a report written by the previous GOP majority on the affair and believe that those who testified in private, including the president’s son, were not forthcoming.

    “There are a number of persons that testified before the committee that I feel were not telling the truth,” said Speier, addressing the Women’s National Democratic Club in Washington.

    Trump critics and special counsel Robert Mueller have focused on a 2016 meeting in New York’s Trump Tower, the president’s campaign and business headquarters, between Donald Trump Jr. and others including a Russian linked lawyer.

    In a Senate meeting, Trump said that the gathering was innocent and rejected charges of colluding with Russians to undermine Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign.

    A House report on the affair also cleared Donald Trump Jr., who has steadfastly denied any charges of collusion with Russians.

    But House Democrats want to go over that territory again. House Judiciary Committee Democrats also plan to play a role.

    The lawmaker called the GOP report a whitewash and said the panel will subpoena key documents. "Those documents were never subpoenaed by the Republicans and so they were able to just produce a whitewashed report that probably was written by someone on the presidential staff. I think it was truly a disturbing series of events over the last two years," she said.

    Speier, who was promoting her life story in Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back , said when she left one closed-door hearing on the affair a staffer told her, “They’re all lying.”

    The San Francisco Democrat also said that she believes the Mueller team will soon show their hand.

    “I think in short order we’re going to see all of the dots connected in a way that shows that there were people that were treasonous, there were people that were clearly conspiring to affect the election with the Russians, and it will go down in history as one of the real black eyes in our country,” she said.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    A beefed-up White House legal team prepares aggressive defense of Trump’s executive privilege as investigations loom large

    By Carol D. Leonnig, The Washington Post, January 9, 2019


    A beefed-up White House legal team is gearing up to prevent President Trump’s confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and revealed in the special counsel’s long-awaited report, setting the stage for a potential clash between the branches of government.

    The strategy to strongly assert the president’s executive privilege on both fronts is being developed under newly arrived White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who has hired 17 lawyers in recent weeks to help in the effort.

    He is coordinating with White House lawyer Emmet Flood, who is leading the response to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report on his now-20-month-long investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Flood is based in White House Counsel’s Office but reports directly to Trump.

    Trump aides say White House lawyers are focused on preserving a legal protection routinely invoked by presidents of both parties.

    But any effort to fight investigators is likely to further inflame Trump’s relationship with Democratic leaders and could lock the administration and Congress in protracted legal standoffs that may ultimately go to the Supreme Court.

    Of particular concern to Democrats: whether the White House will seek to use executive privilege to keep private any portions of Mueller’s report that addresses alleged obstruction of justice by the president.

    There is a growing sense that the special counsel’s closely held investigation could come to culmination soon. Some Trump advisers think Mueller could deliver the confidential report explaining his findings to senior Justice Department officials next month. Under the rules authorizing the special counsel, the attorney general can then decide whether to share the report or parts of it with Congress and the public.

    Some House leaders have vowed to immediately seek to obtain a copy of Mueller’s findings. But the White House would resist the release of details describing confidential and sensitive communications between the president and his senior aides, Trump advisers say.

    It is unclear whether the special counsel’s report will refer to material that the White House views as privileged communications obtained from interviews with senior White House officials. Some Trump advisers anticipate that Mueller may simply write a concise memo laying out his conclusions about the president’s actions.

    Continued at
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Cue Cards From Trump's Oval Office Address | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "Behind every terrible man is an even more terrible cue card guy."

    Trump: It's My Right 'To Do National Emergency' | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "The day after he calmly read a carefully-worded speech from a prompter, Donald Trump was right back to rant about medieval tactics and supercars."

    Trump's Wall Has Changed a Lot: A Closer Look | Late Night with Seth Meyers

    "Seth takes a closer look at President Trump's primetime address on the government shutdown that he started over his border wall."

    Trump’s Oval Office Address: Sniffing & Scaring the Shit Out of People | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    "After threatening to declare a national emergency over border wall funding, Trump gives a fear-mongering address from the Oval Office, followed by an awkward rebuttal from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi."
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Test of steel prototype for border wall showed it could be sawed through

    By Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, NBC News


    President Donald Trump has repeatedly advocated for a steel slat design for his border wall, which he described as "absolutely critical to border security" in his Oval Office address to the nation Tuesday. But Department of Homeland Security testing of a steel slat prototype proved it could be cut through with a saw, according to a report by DHS.

    A photo exclusively obtained by NBC News shows the results of the test after military and Border Patrol personnel were instructed to attempt to destroy the barriers with common tools.

    The Trump administration directed the construction of eight steel and concrete prototype walls that were built in Otay Mesa, California, just across the border from Tijuana, Mexico. Trump inspected the prototypes in March 2018. He has now settled on a steel slat, or steel bollard, design for the proposed border barrier additions. Steel bollard fencing has been used under previous administrations.

    However, testing by DHS in late 2017 showed all eight prototypes, including the steel slats, were vulnerable to breaching, according to an internal February 2018 U.S. Customs and Border Protection report.

    Photos of the breaches were not included in a redacted version of the CBP report, which was first obtained in a Freedom of Information Act Request by San Diego public broadcaster KPBS.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Shutdown showdown: Democrats press to reopen government as Trump heads to border | The Washington Post


    Democrats sought unsuccessfully Thursday to pass bills to reopen shuttered government agencies as President Trump headed to the U.S.-Mexico border in a bid to gain leverage in a stalemate over funding his long-promised border wall.

    With a partial government shutdown now nearly three weeks old, Trump has an afternoon event planned at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, and will then head to the Rio Grande for a briefing, according to guidance provided by the White House.

    Before leaving the White House, Trump said if he can’t cut a deal with Congress, he “probably” will declare a national emergency and direct the military to build a wall without congressional consent.

    Continued at

    Trump: I Will ‘Maybe Definitely’ Declare National Emergency if Border Wall Negotiations Fail | Daily Beast


    President Trump denied Thursday that he had any knowledge of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort sharing polling data with Russian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik. “I didn’t know anything about that,” Trump said. The possibility that Manafort shared the polling data with Kilimnik, who allegedly had ties to a Russian intelligence service, was revealed on Tuesday when Manafort’s lawyers failed to properly redact a court filing on their client’s behalf.

    While speaking to reporters Thursday morning, Trump also attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), saying that China was “more honorable” than the top-ranking Democrats in negotiations. He also backtracked on his infamous “Mexico will pay for the wall” claim, arguing that “Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they’re going to write out a check. I said they’re going to pay for it. They are,” he said.

    Finally, he addressed growing rumors that he would declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border if he doesn’t reach an agreement with Democrats: “If this doesn’t work out, I’ll probably will do it, maybe definitely,” he said.

    • Like Like x 1
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Is 2019 the year of impeachment?: Attorney Seth Abramson analyzes Trump and Russia from every angle | Salon


    “We should expect that impeachment proceedings will begin against Donald Trump at some point during 2019,” attorney, criminal investigator, and author Seth Abramson said on “Salon Talks.” With special counsel Robert Mueller expected to release his report soon, Salon talked to Abramson to make sense of what could be inside and how he makes sense of Trump’s relationship with Russia.

    Abramson digs deep into hundreds of investigative stories about the president in his New York Times bestselling book "Proof of Collusion: How Donald Trump Betrayed America," which includes 1,600-plus citations and synthesizes hundreds of major media investigative reports on Trump and Russia.
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michael Cohen To Testify Publicly In Front Of House Oversight Committee Next Month

    By Tierney Sneed, Talking Points Memo, January 10, 2019


    President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen will testify publicly in front of the House Oversight Committee on February 7, the committee announced Thursday.

    Cohen agreed to testify voluntarily, Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a statement.

    “I want to make clear that we have no interest in inappropriately interfering with any ongoing criminal investigations, and to that end, we are in the process of consulting with Special Counsel Mueller’s office,” Cummings said.

    Cohen had been a key figure in Trump’s inner orbit for years — and played the role of attack dog in the press during the 2016 campaign — but has severed his relationship with his former boss and is cooperating in several investigations involving Trump. He has pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges related to hush money payments he facilitated for women claiming to have slept with Trump, and to other financial crimes not related to the 2016 campaign.

    Trump was directly implicated by Cohen’s campaign finance guilty plea, as Cohen and prosecutors have told the court that the payments were made in coordination with the then-candidate.


    "Buckle up" – Michael Cohen hints that his House testimony against Donald Trump will be explosive

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, January 10, 2019


    Just as Donald Trump was trying and failing to use his border stunt to drum up enthusiasm for his wall fantasy, the House Oversight Committee announced something that was inevitable yet nonetheless crucial: Michael Cohen has been officially scheduled to testify before the committee about the crimes he committed with Trump. Then Cohen made a point of dropping a hint about just how explosive his testimony will be.

    Michael Cohen released a generic statement about how eager he is to testify before the committee, and thanking Chairman Elijah Cummings for giving him the opportunity. After all, this will be Cohen’s last big chance to try to make things right in the eyes of the public, and thus perhaps rehabilitate his reputation, before he heads to prison this spring. But then Cohen began retweeting things that hinted at the nature of his testimony.

    David Corn of Mother Jones posted this tweet: “Rep. Cummings announces@Michael Cohen will publicly testify on 2/7. Much to ask him beyond hush-money payments/campaign finance crime. Cohen can discuss Trump dealings in Russia & reaching out to Putin’s office. And so much more. Buckle up.” Cohen then retweeted this, ostensibly signaling that he agrees with every word of it. So why is this important?

    Michael Cohen just made clear that he intends to publicly speak about far more than just the two campaign finance felonies that have been formally levied against Donald Trump. Instead, Cohen is going to expose numerous additional Trump crimes. Palmer Report pointed out earlier that the delayed timing of Cohen’s testimony – four weeks from now – suggests that the committee expects Mueller and/or SDNY to have further exposed more about Trump’s crimes by then, meaning Cohen can publicly discuss it all accordingly. Cohen’s retweet would seem to confirm as much.

  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    This was posted back on October 31, 2016:
    This is the week the game changed in the Russia investigation

    By Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, January 10, 2019


    Over the last 96 hours, we've learned that not only was campaign chairman Paul Manafort sharing polling with a Russian official linked to the country's intelligence service during the course of the 2016 campaign, but also that special counsel Robert Mueller's office spoke with Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio.

    Here's the latest from CNN's Sara Murray and Katelyn Polantz:

    "Mueller's team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort's attorneys revealed Tuesday that Mueller's team is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague.

    "CNN journalists observed Fabrizio leaving the special counsel's office on the first of February last year and have since confirmed he was meeting with Mueller's team. At the time, the special counsel had been digging into Manafort's finances and political work ahead of his trial."

    Big, big deal.

    But wait, you say, we already knew Mueller was looking into the 2016 campaign and possible ties between it and Russia! And he already had people like George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn admitting that they weren't totally honest in their testimony about the nature and breadth of their interactions with Russians! And we already knew that Manafort -- along with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner -- met with Russians including Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016, a meeting that had been set up under the auspices that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton!

    And I will say that you are absolutely right! We did already know all of that!

    But here's what President Donald Trump could say, roughly, before this week: There was never a whiff of collusion between the Russians and any serious person in my campaign. Most of these people who have pleaded guilty I have never heard of before. Manafort was the campaign chairman, yes, but everything he did wrong came long before he was affiliated with my campaign.

    He just can't say that anymore. Not only do we know that Mueller knows Manafort was talking with -- and sharing polling data with -- Konstantin Kilimnik -- while he was the head of Trump's campaign, we also now know that Mueller has talked to the pollster from whom Manafort may well have taken those numbers that he shared with Kilimnik. (A source familiar with the situation told CNN that Fabrizio was unaware of what Manafort did with any and all polling data.)

    Now, Trump said Thursday before he left for Texas that he "didn't know anything about" Manafort's dealing with Kilimnik -- or the fact that his campaign chairman shared polling data with the Russian. And there is no evidence yet public that Manafort ever told Trump that he was talking with Kilimnik, much less sharing poll numbers and discussing Ukraine and Russia.

    And sharing poll numbers with a Russian isn't direct collusion -- although the timing of Manafort's conversations, which came shortly before Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee servers and extracted emails that were eventually posted on the WikiLeaks website, is suspicious, to say the least.

    The broader point here is that the news earlier this week about Manafort's conversations with Kilimnik changed the game. No longer is this about what Manafort did prior to ever even entering Trump's orbit. Now the conversation is about what Manafort did WHILE he was serving as the top official of Trump's campaign.

    What the Fabrizio news does is make clear, again, a) how much more Mueller knows about all of this than we do, b) how long he has known (the special counsel team interviewed Fabrizio LAST February) and c) how deep and intertwined all of this is with Trump's top staff and aides.

    Trump can continue to say that the Mueller probe is a hoax and a witch hunt. But the more we find out about what Mueller knows -- and has known -- the less credible that taunt from the President seems.

    • Like Like x 1
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Jeff Bezos was being followed by the National Enquirer for an investigation | CNN


    A few hours after Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced their divorce, the National Enquirer had an announcement of its own.

    The Enquirer said it had been investigating Bezos for four months, tracking the Amazon CEO "across five states and 40,000 miles." The tabloid said it had evidence that Bezos has been "whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet."

    The Enquirer and other outlets identified the woman as Lauren Sanchez, a former anchor for Fox's local station in Los Angeles.


    The tabloid is best known for sensational stories about Hollywood stars, not tech billionaires. Why did the Enquirer decide to pursue Bezos?

    Media insiders immediately wondered about a Donald Trump connection, given that the president has repeatedly criticized Amazon as a company and Bezos as an individual.Trump has repeatedly attacked Bezos on Twitter for how his administration is covered by The Washington Post, which Bezos has owned since 2013.

    Consider: Trump had a friendly relationship with American Media Inc. boss David Pecker for decades. Pecker worked with Trump and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to squash embarrassing stories during the 2016 campaign. At the same time, the tabloid played up positive stories about Trump and negative stories about his opponents on its cover.

    After the election, the Trump-Enquirer collaboration continued. There were allegations -- leveled by MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski -- that the Enquirer was used as a weapon against Trump critics.

    But the partnership visibly ended in April when the FBI raided Cohen's office and subpoenaed records from the Enquirer.

    Last August, when Cohen pled guilty to campaign finance violations, he admitted to working with an unnamed media company CEO "at the request of the candidate" to squelch stories. That unnamed CEO is known to be Pecker.

    In December, prosecutors announced a non-prosecution agreement with National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., effectively ruling out charges for the publisher, Pecker, and his top deputy Dylan Howard.

    This confirmed that the Enquirer had "flipped" on Trump, so to speak.

    According to the agreement, the company is obligated to cooperate with authorities and "disclose all information with respect to the activities of itself and its officers, agents, and employees concerning all matters" investigators inquire about for a period of three years or until prosecutions are completed.

    CNN's recent review of the Enquirer's cover stories showed that the tabloid suddenly stopped promoting Trump -- or mentioning him at all -- in April.

    This timeline would seem to challenge the theory that the Enquirer is out to get Bezos because Bezos is on Trump's enemies list.

    Still, it was notable to see Howard -- the chief content officer for American Media -- sharing one of the bylines on the Enquirer's Bezos story.

    Business Insider published a story on Wednesday with a headline that read "The National Enquirer, a longtime ally of President Trump, says it's about to release scandalous photos of Jeff Bezos' alleged affair."

    MSNBC's Chris Hayes shared a link to the Enquirer's exclusive on Twitter and said, "Given everything we know about how Pecker's National Enquirer has functioned as essentially an arm of Trumpworld, this prompts some questions."

    A source with ties to the Enquirer offered a different rationale for the reporting effort: "It's fanciful to suggest that the Enquirer pursued this because Bezos is a perceived enemy. It was pursued because he's the world's richest man and a newsworthy subject."

    The source said the Enquirer decided to look into Bezos about five months ago. Conversations with sources led to a "specific tip" four months ago, the person said.

    A handful of photographers worked with a group of reporters on the investigation, the person added. The tabloid, likely in a bid to sell more copies, is touting this as "the largest investigation in Enquirer history."

    Another source, a person familiar with the National Enquirer's operation, also rejected the theory that the Enquirer was trying to help Trump.

    "Anyone who knows Dylan Howard knows he is looking to regain credibility. This is his redemption piece after all the recent scandals," the source said.

    Trump, who has been divorced twice, was asked about the Bezos news during a Q&A with reporters on Thursday.

    "I wish him luck, Trump said. "It's going to be a beauty."

    More at

    Trump-Friendly National Enquirer Secretly Tracked Trump-Foe Amazon CEO Bezos for Months | Mediaite


    Whether the Enquirer was after Bezos out of partisan spite or were simply chasing a salacious tale about the famous wealthiest man, it doesn’t change the other twist here. They quashed stories about one purported billionaire having a juicy affair, and pursued a story about that billionaire’s billionaire foe for four months.

    More at

    What a Coincidence: Trump’s National Enquirer Allies Are Going After His Nemesis Jeff Bezos | Intelligencer - New York Magazine

    Married Amazon Boss Jeff Bezos Getting Divorce Over Fling With Movie Mogul’s Wife | National Enquirer

    The ENQUIRER's blockbuster exclusive of world's richest couple's break-up!
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump Will 'Definitely' Declare A National Emergency, 'Probably' | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    "The President confirmed on Thursday that he will likely potentially certainly improbably possibly doubtfully absolutely declare a national emergency. For sure, maybe."
    • Like Like x 1
  23. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Trump is losing support and he never had enough votes to win even with a Republican majority. He’s screaming and pounding the table right now.
    • Like Like x 1
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    GoFundMe Is Refunding All $20 Million In Donations To Build Trump's Wall After The Plans Changed | BuzzFeed News


    GoFundMe will refund more than $20 million in donations made by hundreds of thousands of people to an online effort to build President Trump's border wall with Mexico, after the Iraq War veteran behind the crowdsourcing effort suddenly changed his plans Friday on what to do with the funds.

    In an update to the "We the People Will Build the Wall" campaign, Brian Kolfage wrote that rather than donating the money raised to the federal government, it would instead be handed over to a private nonprofit he said he had established in order to construct a wall himself.

    "The federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon," he wrote. "We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border."

    When he first created the campaign in mid-December, Kolfage had set an ambitious $1 billion goal for the crowdsourcing effort and pledged to refund all the money himself if the target was not met, according to an internet archive. "100% of your donations will go to the Trump Wall," Kolfage wrote. "If for ANY reason we don't reach our goal we will refund your donation.” The language was later removed from the fundraiser page.

    "However, that did not happen," GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told BuzzFeed News in an email after Kolfage changed the campaign's original promise. "This means all donors will receive a refund."

    "If a donor does not want a refund," Whithorne continued, "and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund."

    Kolfage didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, but Jennifer Lawrence, a spokesperson for the new campaign, disputed the characterization that donors were being refunded.


    However, Whithorne told BuzzFeed News that donors will be automatically refunded unless they choose otherwise.

    Kolfage said the nonprofit's advisory board included, among others, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Blackwater founder Erik Prince, controversial former Wisconsin sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., and Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter. Kobach confirmed his involvement in the project in a tweet.

    Kolfage is a recipient of the Purple Heart medal (his legs and right arm were amputated as a result of a rocket attack during his second Iraq tour), but has a history of creating and profiting from fake, inflammatory news and right-wing conspiracy theories, and has been permanently suspended from Facebook.

    Some of the stories on his now-defunct web pages falsely accused Democratic megadonor George Soros of funding domestic terrorists and former president Barack Obama of being a pedophile.

    The veteran has also spearheaded other crowdfunding ventures over the years, raising thousands of dollars on GoFundMe with the promise of helping mentor fellow vets at military hospitals, but spokespersons for the medical centers told BuzzFeed News they have no record of Kolfage working at their facilities or donating any money.

    Kolfage has repeatedly said he would not take any money from the wall donations. He has started another GoFundMe campaign with a $100,000 goal that he says will be used to help him "Fight 4 Free Speech" and take action against Facebook, which deleted several of his pages in October during a major purge of inauthentic accounts.

    Shortly after he established the wall fundraiser last month, Kolfage updated the webpage to include a separate website that included a Colorado P.O. box, where he said donors could mail personal checks to support the cause.

    The amount raised with personal checks was not known, but Kolfage said Friday on Twitter it was enough to put the campaign "over the record.” A GoFundMe spokesperson said those funds could not be guaranteed.

    The federal government isn't presently able to accept financial donations with strings attached, but last month Republicans introduced legislation that would allow Treasury officials to do so for the border wall.

    More at
    • Like Like x 1
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Air traffic controllers working without pay sue over shutdown | TheHill


    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) sued the federal government Friday because its members are working without pay during the government shutdown.

    The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on day 21 of the shutdown.

    The suit claims the government is in violation of the Fifth Amendment because it “unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process,” according to a press release. The association is requesting a hearing on its motion for a temporary restraining order against the government.

    The group also says the government is in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act because it is not paying air traffic controllers at least minimum wage and because the Federal Aviation Administration did not pay them overtime during the shutdown.

    “On behalf of its members, NATCA seeks an order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed as well as liquidated damages,” the release said.

    The union pointed out that its members would have received direct deposits for their pay in their accounts on Friday morning. Some air traffic controllers shared their pay stubs showing zero dollars with The Washington Post on Thursday.

    The lawsuit comes as the shutdown drags on with both sides no closer to an agreement. President Trump and Democrats are deadlocked over his request for $5 billion in funding for a border wall. Trump in recent days has moved closer to declaring a national emergency to allow him to redirect funds for construction of the wall.

    Continued at

    Federal employee unions sue over shutdown | TheHill


    Federal employee unions filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that the government is violating federal labor laws by requiring employees deemed “essential” to continue working through the partial shutdown without pay.

    The lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., was brought by the National Federation of Federal Employees, the National Association of Government Employees SEIU, the National Weather Service Employees Organization and the law firm Snider & Associates on behalf of federal workers.

    The 19-page complaint accuses the federal government of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by not paying workers overtime and minimum wage.

    The National Federation of Federal Employees said the law requires all employees covered by the statute to be paid on time for any overtime work performed and to be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours worked during the workweek.

    “In this country, when a worker performs a day’s work, he or she is entitled to a day’s worth of compensation,” NFFE National President Randy Erwin said in a statement.

    “That is how working people provide for their families. Because of the chaos this wasteful government shutdown is causing, the government is trying to pay people in I.O.U.s. With this lawsuit we’re saying, ‘No, you can’t pay workers with I.O.U.s. That will not work for us.’”

    The partial shutdown is poised to become the longest ever in U.S. history on Saturday. The shutdown, which is affecting about 25 percent of the federal government, entered its 21st day on Friday and there is no deal in sight between congressional Democrats and President Trump to reopen the agencies.

    Continued at

    Democrats eye lawsuit if Trump declares border emergency | TheHill


    Democrats are eyeing a lawsuit challenging President Trump if he attempts to circumvent Congress and declare a national emergency to build a border wall.

    The legal strategy remains in the theoretical stages, since Trump has so far declined to take such a step — and it’s unclear if he ever will.

    But on day 21 of the partial government shutdown — a closure prompted by an impasse over border wall funding — Democrats are prepping for the possibility that Trump will try to sidestep Congress and divert other funds to new wall construction by proclaiming the situation a formal emergency.

    Increasingly, Democratic critics of that maneuver view a lawsuit as their best recourse.

    “Let’s fight it out in court,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former law professor who represents a suburban district around Washington.

    “Let’s get the president’s obsession out of the legislative context, let’s put it into the courts, let’s reopen the government, and we’ll see if he has those powers or not,” Raskin added.

    “Most of the Democrats I know would be happy to be a part to that lawsuit,” echoed Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who also represents a Washington suburb that’s been disproportionately affected by the shutdown, said it’s “a safe bet” that any emergency proclamation from the White House on the wall would go to the courts.

    “I think it is a face-saving — a rather desperate face-saving — measure by the president that has very little intellectual underpinning to justify it,” Connolly said.

    “And that will be exposed in litigation.”

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exclusive: Trump team should be allowed to ‘correct’ final Mueller report, says Giuliani | TheHill


    Rudy Giuliani says President Trump’s legal team should be allowed to “correct” special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report before Congress or the American people get the chance to read it.

    The claim, made in a telephone interview with The Hill on Thursday evening, goes further than the president’s legal advisers have ever gone before in arguing they have a right to review the conclusions of Mueller’s probe, which is now in its 20th month.

    “As a matter of fairness, they should show it to you — so we can correct it if they’re wrong,” said the former New York City mayor, who is a member of Trump's personal legal team. “They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”

    Continued at

    :eek: :D
    • Like Like x 2
  27. meep meep Member

    Because you can’t make this shit up
    1950s Western Predicted a Border Wall From a Fictional Con Man Named Trump

    “The fictional Trump warned the Texans that apocalyptic meteors would strike the town at midnight, but he could protect everyone. “I bring you a message,” he said. “A message few of you will be able to believe…but be not afraid my friends: I also bring you the means with which to save yourself.”
    “His solution was to build a wall made of magical metal that would repel the meteors and keep everyone safe. As the citizens started to believe Trump, he offered to give them walls for $50 each. ”
    • Like Like x 2
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

    By Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos, The New York Times, January 11, 2019


    In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

    The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.

    The investigation the F.B.I. opened into Mr. Trump also had a criminal aspect, which has long been publicly known: whether his firing of Mr. Comey constituted obstruction of justice.

    Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

    The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, took over the inquiry into Mr. Trump when he was appointed, days after F.B.I. officials opened it. That inquiry is part of Mr. Mueller’s broader examination of how Russian operatives interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Trump associates conspired with them. It is unclear whether Mr. Mueller is still pursuing the counterintelligence matter, and some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it.

    The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

    If the president had fired Mr. Comey to stop the Russia investigation, the action would have been a national security issue because it naturally would have hurt the bureau’s effort to learn how Moscow interfered in the 2016 election and whether any Americans were involved, according to James A. Baker, who served as F.B.I. general counsel until late 2017. He privately testified in October before House investigators who were examining the F.B.I.’s handling of the full Russia inquiry.

    “Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Mr. Baker said in his testimony, portions of which were read to The New York Times. Mr. Baker did not explicitly acknowledge the existence of the investigation of Mr. Trump to congressional investigators.

    No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1

  29. ...And when they've given you their all
    Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
    Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall

    Isn't this where we...

  30. Probably, for sure, maybe definitely. Today: No but I could if I wanna.Shutdown record for his ego.

  31. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Where did you find this guy?
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 5 hours ago
    Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a total sleaze!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 5 hours ago
    ...Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie),....

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 hours ago
    ....the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey’s poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department). My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop......

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 hours ago
    .....who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 hours ago
    I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 3 hours ago
    Lyin’ James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the “insurance policy?” This is it!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago
    Democrats should come back to Washington and work to end the Shutdown, while at the same time ending the horrible humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border. I am in the White House waiting for you!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
    23% of Federal inmates are illegal immigrants. Border arrests are up 240%. In the Great State of Texas, between 2011 & 2018, there were a total of 292,000 crimes by illegal aliens, 539 murders, 32,000 assaults, 3,426 sexual assaults and 3000 weapons charges. Democrats come back!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 2 hours ago
    Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes! Call your Dem Senator or Congresswoman/man. Tell them to get it done! Humanitarian Crisis.

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is “chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan.” The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE. In fact, there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me, and...

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 51 minutes ago
    ....I do have a plan on the Shutdown. But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 43 minutes ago
    We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border. We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their “vacations” and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    President Donald Trump: Chaos? What Chaos? I’m Home Alone! | Deadline

    Trump tweets his fury after bombshell report adds drama to Russia inquiry | The Guardian

    'Judge me by the enemies I have made': Comey and Trump share FDR quote | The Guardian

    Donald Trump Tweets That He’s Been “Tougher” On Russia Than Obama, Bush And Clinton | Inquisitr

    Trump responds to report that FBI investigated if he worked on behalf of Russia | NBC News

    Trump Laces Into F.B.I. Over Inquiry Into Whether He Aided Russia | The New York Times

    International Relations Expert Compares Trump's Rants to Those of an Ailing Dictator Under Siege | Newsweek

    Donald Trump opens his mouth and makes it all even worse for him | Palmer Report
    • Like Like x 1
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration

    By Greg Miller, The Washington Post, January 12, 2019


    President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

    Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

    The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

    As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is thought to be in the final stages of an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The new details about Trump’s continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president.

    Former U.S. officials said that Trump’s behavior is at odds with the known practices of previous presidents, who have relied on senior aides to witness meetings and take comprehensive notes then shared with other officials and departments.

    Trump’s secrecy surrounding Putin “is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state now at the Brookings Institution, who participated in more than a dozen meetings between President Bill Clinton and then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. “It handicaps the U.S. government — the experts and advisers and Cabinet officers who are there to serve [the president] — and it certainly gives Putin much more scope to manipulate Trump.”

    A White House spokesman disputed that characterization and said that the Trump administration has sought to “improve the relationship with Russia” after the Obama administration “pursued a flawed ‘reset’ policy that sought engagement for the sake of engagement.”

    The Trump administration “has imposed significant new sanctions in response to Russian malign activities,” said the spokesman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and noted that Tillerson in 2017 “gave a fulsome readout of the meeting immediately afterward to other U.S. officials in a private setting, as well as a readout to the press.”

    Trump allies said the president thinks the presence of subordinates impairs his ability to establish a rapport with Putin, and that his desire for secrecy may also be driven by embarrassing leaks that occurred early in his presidency.

    The meeting in Hamburg happened several months after The Washington Post and other news organizations revealed details about what Trump had told senior Russian officials during a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office. Trump disclosed classified information about a terror plot, called former FBI director James B. Comey a “nut job,” and said that firing Comey had removed “great pressure” on his relationship with Russia.

    The White House launched internal leak hunts after that and other episodes, and sharply curtailed the distribution within the National Security Council of memos on the president’s interactions with foreign leaders.

    “Over time it got harder and harder, I think, because of a sense from Trump himself that the leaks of the call transcripts were harmful to him,” said a former administration official.

    Senior Democratic lawmakers describe the cloak of secrecy surrounding Trump’s meetings with Putin as unprecedented and disturbing.

    Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview that his panel will form an investigative subcommittee whose targets will include seeking State Department records of Trump’s encounters with Putin, including a closed-door meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki last summer.

    “It’s been several months since Helsinki and we still don’t know what went on in that meeting,” Engel said.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  35. On my interwebs, A former Marine and he is comming up to 66
  36. Disambiguation Global Moderator

  37. The Wrong Guy Member

    House Chairmen Issue Warning After President’s Statements on Cohen Testimony | Committee on the Judiciary - Democrats


    Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Chairmen of the House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and the Judiciary, issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump’s comments last night on Fox News regarding Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress:

    “The integrity of our process to serve as an independent check on the Executive Branch must be respected by everyone, including the President. Our nation’s laws prohibit efforts to discourage, intimidate, or otherwise pressure a witness not to provide testimony to Congress. The President should make no statement or take any action to obstruct Congress’ independent oversight and investigative efforts, including by seeking to discourage any witness from testifying in response to a duly authorized request from Congress.”

    • Like Like x 1
  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Traffickers at El Chapo trial say drugs aren't coming into the US through open parts of the border | CNN

    Most drugs are smuggled into the United States onboard fishing boats, trains, tractor-trailers and ordinary cars that come into the country at legal ports of entry, according to former cartel members who've testified in the trial of notorious cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.Some cartel members have testified about using underground tunnels. But none have said they've transported drugs into the United States at unwalled sections of the border.

    The El Chapo Trial Shows Trump Is All Wrong About Drugs | The Daily Beast

    The big takeaway from his trial is that no matter what the president says, the southern border is not how drugs come to America.

    Trump's wall would not have stopped El Chapo's submarines, railroad tankers, tunnels and other drug smuggling tricks revealed in Brooklyn trial | New York Daily News

    The cartel leader now on trial in Brooklyn Federal Court got his illicit goods across the border all kinds of ways — with planes, trains, cars, tractor trailers and oil tankers, fishing boats and even submarines, to name but a few modes of transportation mentioned by nearly a dozen cartel members in trial testimony.
    • Like Like x 1
  39. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Steve King, Republican of the House
    : “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?" King said.
    • Like Like x 1
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration

    By Greg Miller, The Washington Post, January 13, 2019


    President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

    Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

    The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

    As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.

    Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is thought to be in the final stages of an investigation that has focused largely on whether Trump or his associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. The new details about Trump’s continued secrecy underscore the extent to which little is known about his communications with Putin since becoming president.

    After this story was published online, Trump said in an interview late Saturday with Fox News host Jeanine Pirro that he did not take particular steps to conceal his private meetings with Putin and attacked The Washington Post and its owner Jeffrey P. Bezos.

    Continued at

    House lawyers meeting Monday to evaluate subpoenaing Trump's interpreters: Democratic aide

    By Tara Palmeri and Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, January 13, 2019


    Lawyers for the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees will meet Monday to evaluate their legal options for subpoenaing the interpreters who were present when President Donald Trump spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin without aides, ABC News has learned.

    A senior Democratic aide on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the Washington Post's new reporting that Trump seized notes from the interpreter at his meeting with Putin in Hamburg, "has changed the calculus."

    "This raises a new host of questions," the aide told ABC News. "We're looking into the legal implications of that, and we'll discuss our options. Our lawyers are sitting down with intel committee lawyers to hash it out."

    The Hill source cautioned that they are not drafting subpoenas, but instead reviewing the best way forward and which committee would submit the request, should they decide to make it. The source told ABC News that a committee vote is still weeks away.

    Continued at

    Adam Schiff reveals he's going for Donald Trump's jugular

    By Bill Palmer, Palmer Report, January 13, 2019


    When Donald Trump met privately with Vladimir Putin last year, he didn’t even allow any of his own advisers in the room. Last night we learned, thanks to the Washington Post, that Trump went so far as to seize the translator’s notes, and to instruct him not to discuss the matter with anyone. Now Adam Schiff is taking things precisely where we’d been hoping.

    The obvious solution all along has been for Congress to subpoena the translator, thus leaving the translator with a choice of either testifying or getting arrested for contempt of Congress. In such case the translator would likely show up to testify in a heartbeat.

    Sure enough, Adam Schiff says that’s precisely what he plans to do: “Last year, we sought to obtain the interpreter’s notes or testimony, from the private meeting between Trump and Putin. The Republicans on our committee voted us down. Will they join us now? Shouldn’t we find out whether our president is really putting ‘America first?'”

    Although Schiff is asking the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee to join him in doing the right thing, he doesn’t need them. He and the Democrats on the committee have unilateral subpoena power, and now we know that they intend to use it to get to the bottom of Trump’s treason meeting with Putin.


Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins