The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

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

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

  3. The Wrong Guy Member

  4. The Wrong Guy Member

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  5. The Internet Member

    I was re-reading a summary of Trump's tax plan because apparently I hate myself. Then I noticed something.
    Hopefully someone will correct me if I am wrong, but here is what I think I just read: The tax rate on corporate profits is about 35%. Big companies that make a lot of money set up shell companies outside the US to earn their profits to avoid this tax. Trump now proposes a one-time sweetheart deal: companies can bring their money back to the US with only a 10% tax. And this tax doesn't have to be paid immediately. You get 10 years to square things with the IRS. Nice, eh? But only nice for one year.

    Trump wants to drop corporate taxes to 15%. But economists say this drives our national debt to ludicrous speed so I doubt this will happen.

    Does this one year tax code change seem odd? How often do we make one year tax law changes like this? Makes me think that Trump has a personal angle here. Perhaps he's expecting a money dump from foreigners in the near future.
  6. Disambiguation Global Moderator

    Look out Steve Bannon

    "President Trump’s chief strategist is accused of making physical threats to a couple of female White House staff members, according to a former staffer with inside information. President Trump’s chief strategist is also said to be under investigation for obstruction in the Russia scandal. These claims were tweeted by Claude Taylor, a White House staffer who worked with the Clinton administration and served on three presidential campaigns. He’s known to be resourceful and impart information he receives with his Twitter followers."

    "In Taylor’s words, Steve Bannon is being investigated for obstruction, details he obtained from the Eastern District of Virginia"
    • Like Like x 1
  7. White Tara Global Moderator

    Not a single word from Donald 'obsessive compulsive tweeter' Trump on the FInsbury Mosque anti muslim terror attack? For shame Donald, I felt certain you might have some wisdom to add. :rolleyes:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. He'll be showing enormous restraint by refraining from saying they brought it on themselves because they are Muslims.

    He's thinking it and we all know he is.
  9. Some of us are waiting patiently for Trump to lay blame for the Grenfell Tower fire on the mayor of London in person..
    It's a waiting game when something like this happens and you don't have long before bozo the clown says something totally inappropriate.
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Russia warns US-led coalition over downing of Syrian jet | The Guardian

    Defence ministry says planes flying west of Euphrates will be treated as targets and that it has suspended safety agreement with US

    Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with US as of June 19 – Moscow | RT

    The Russian Defense Ministry announced it is halting cooperation with its US counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria following the coalition’s downing of a Syrian warplane.

    Trump Starting New War in Syria Without Congressional Approval - Senator Murphy | Sputnik

    Recent military incidents in Syria indicate that President Donald Trump is starting a new war in that country without the authorization of Congress, US Senator Chris Murphy said in a Twitter post on Monday.

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Coal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) | LastWeekTonight

    We’ve heard a lot of talk about coal miners in the last year, but what are the real issues surrounding coal? John Oliver and a giant squirrel look into it.
  12. The Wrong Guy Member

  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Little Marco shrinks down to Trump’s size | The Washington Post


    Little Marco has made up with Big Donald. The pliable Republican senator from Florida and the deranged president of the United States now get along. It was only a bit more than a year ago that they were hurling verbal spitballs at one another. Donald Trump called Marco Rubio “Little Marco,” and Rubio called Trump a “con artist.” Rubio suggested Trump had small hands and Trump responded by displaying his regulation-sized ones. Trump said Rubio sweated too much and had a severe water addiction, which was a sign of something, and then the two of them traded jabs about who used too much makeup until, finally, Rubio alleged that Trump during one of their debates had wet his pants. Trump declared that he had not — and was elected president.

    Continued at
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Twitter Is Having Tons Of Fun With Trump’s Odd Statement About Panama Canal | HuffPost

    “The Panama Canal is doing quite well,” Trump said to Panama’s president. “I think we did a good job building it, right?”


    What in the covfefe?

    On Monday, President Donald Trump met with the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, at the White House. During their meeting, the two world leaders discussed important international topics such as, uh, the Panama Canal.

    “The Panama Canal is doing quite well,” Trump said during a photo opportunity with Varela. “I think we did a good job building it, right?”

    To which Varela immediately responded, “Yeah. One hundred years ago.”

    Yet, Varela’s shade didn’t even register with Trump, who then said, “We did a very good job.”

    Continued at
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's approval drops days after posting on Twitter about 50 percent rating | AOL News


    Just days after President Trump posted on Twitter about his support rising in a new poll, his numbers have once again dropped below the 50 percent mark.

    The latest Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll released on Monday shows that 48 percent of Americans now say they approve of the job Trump is doing, which is down two points since the president shared an image celebrating his support reaching 50 percent.

    Rasmussen has become an outlier poll as other major survey have the president's approval rating hovering around 38-40 percent pretty consistently.
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Trump team’s spin about the Russia probe sinks deeper into absurdity

    By Greg Sargent, The Washington Post


    Everybody is making a big deal about the extraordinary exchange between Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow and questioner Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” and for good reason. Sekulow repeatedly insisted that Trump is not under investigation, but then admitted he does not know this to be the case and struggled to explain why President Trump had confirmed on Twitter that he is indeed a target. Sekulow made this assertion — that Trump is not under investigation — on multiple other shows, with little success.

    But for purposes of gaming out where this story is headed in coming days, there are two other major pieces of spin from Sekulow that need to be addressed. Both will be extensively employed by Team Trump in the future, and both highlight areas of critical unknowns that will be subjected to intense scrutiny soon enough.

    To be sure, the claim that Trump is not under investigation is itself worth some attention. Sekulow repeatedly said Trump has not been notified that he is a target. This was in response to a Post report that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has widened the Russia probe to include an examination of whether Trump attempted to obstruct the inquiry. But as lawyers told the New York Times, it would not be unusual for Trump to be notified much later in the process that his conduct is being examined. Indeed, Sekulow acknowledged as much when he allowed he could not know for certain whether Trump is a focus. But this aside, here are two other important pieces of spin Sekulow offered:

    Sekulow renewed the suggestion that Trump fired the FBI director at the recommendation of the deputy attorney general. NBC’s Chuck Todd pressed Sekulow on whether Trump had made the decision to fire former FBI director James B. Comey himself or at the recommendation of deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein. Sekulow mostly sidestepped the question, but he did suggest that Trump reached his decision through a “collaborative process” in which Trump considered Rosenstein’s recommendation (made in a memo criticizing Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails).

    This is absurd, because as we already know, Trump has confirmed on national television that he was going to fire Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s recommendation and that his motive was rooted in unhappiness with Comey’s handling of the Russia probe. But, more to the point, the fact that Sekulow is going here — again — means scrutiny will intensify on the meeting that Trump held with Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions just before firing Comey. The Post has reported that in that meeting, Trump — having already decided to fire Comey — demanded that Rosenstein memo as a rationale.

    And so, investigators will likely try to determine whether Trump indicated in that meeting that he’d already made his decision, and indicated to them his reason for it, in effect enlisting them in an effort to create a cover story for the firing. Thus, Sekulow’s spin itself serves as a reminder that Trump’s conduct leading up to the firing of Comey will likely be examined. It’s hard to imagine this meeting not coming under scrutiny.

    Sekulow deliberately narrowed the scope of the Trump conduct that’s at issue. On “Fox News Sunday,” Sekulow put additional spin on the idea that Trump fired Comey at Rosenstein’s recommendation, by complaining that Trump is “being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination.” This notion, which reprises a complaint Trump himself voiced on Twitter, buffoonishly contradicts the suggestion that Trump isn’t under investigation, but put that aside for now. Sekulow is basically narrowing the question to one over whether Trump is being (or whether he should be) investigated for obstruction over the isolated act of firing Comey.

    But this clever rhetorical trick deliberately excludes all of the other Trump conduct that is at issue. As noted above, questions remain about the process leading up to the firing. But beyond this, there are Comey’s claims to Congress that Trump demanded his loyalty as a condition for continuing to serve as FBI director at his pleasure, and that Trump pressed Comey to drop his probe into the Russia ties of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump also reportedly tried to get other top intelligence officials to intervene in the Flynn probe. Indeed, The Post’s report claiming that Trump is being examined for possible obstruction also noted that Mueller is reportedly set to interview those very officials.

    As Lawfare Blog founder Benjamin Wittes has noted, in obstruction cases, prosecutors examine a pattern of conduct. Trump is accused of demanding that Comey shed his institutional independence as a condition for continued employment; of directly leaning on Comey to drop aspects of the probe into Trump’s campaign; and of trying to enlist other intel officials in that project. Trump did subsequently fire Comey when he refused Trump’s directives; and Trump’s own admitted reason for doing so strongly suggests he may have tried to enlist Sessions and Rosenstein in the creation of a fake cover story for that disturbing abuse of power. The known fact pattern is already deeply troubling, whether or not it ends up amounting to obstruction, and Sekulow’s rhetorical chicanery cannot make it disappear. Does anyone really believe that Mueller will not look at this pattern of conduct?

    * THOSE COMEY TAPES ARE COMING … ANY DAY NOW: On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sekulow was asked when Trump would release those tapes of his conversations with James Comey. His answer:

    “I think the president is going to address that in the week ahead. There was a lot of issues this past week … So the issue of the tapes, I think right now was not priority issue … I think it shows that the president is concentrating on governing. This issue will be addressed in due course and I suspect next week.”

    Yes, Trump was too busy governing to get around to releasing evidence that will exonerate him in the probe that he tweets and obsesses about constantly. That’s the ticket!

    Continued at

    Jon Lovitz Appears as the Pathological Liar on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show | Johnny Carson

    Jon Lovitz Appears as Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1985.
  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    White House reporters fume over off-camera briefings | TheHill


    The White House press corps vented frustration Monday with press secretary Sean Spicer for conducting off-camera briefings in place of the usual publicly broadcast briefings.

    Spicer conducted an off-camera briefing with reporters on Monday in which the press was told it could not film or broadcast audio of the proceedings. Spicer conducted the last on-camera briefing last Monday.

    “The White House press secretary is getting to a point where he’s just kind of useless,” CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta said after the briefing. “If they’re getting to this point where he’s not going to answer questions or go on camera or have audio, why are we even having these briefings or gaggles in the first place?”

    The White House has increasingly forged its own path with the press — holding off-camera briefings and gaggles, imposing restrictions on reporters’ use of audio and video feeds, inviting Cabinet officials to speak only about specific policy issues and rotating between Spicer and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

    Some of those moves have angered the White House press corps but delighted Trump’s supporters, who view the media as what White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has dubbed the "opposition party."

    Time reporter Zeke Miller asked Spicer Monday to explain “why our friends in radio and television can’t use this live.”

    Spicer responded that the president had made comments at a photo opportunity with the Panamanian president and later would make public comments at a technology council meeting.

    “There are days where we decide that the president’s voice should be the one who speaks for the administration,” Spicer said.

    However, there is no opportunity on those occasions for reporters to question President Trump or his administration officials.

    A second reporter at Monday’s briefing followed up.

    “On the days when you come out here and there is not a camera, could you please ask the president to be ever so kind and step up here and answer some questions for us on that day?”

    “I’ll be sure to share your sentiments with the president,” Spicer responded.

    Spicer declined to call on CNN’s Acosta on Monday as the veteran reporter shouted questions at him that were ignored. Trump slammed CNN and Acosta at a February press conference as "fake news."

    As Spicer walked away, Acosta shouted: “It’s off-camera and you can’t answer questions?”

    Acosta then went on TV to call the off-camera briefing “bizarre.”

    Continued at

    CNN reporter miffed by White House briefing | CNN

    CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta describes his displeasure with no video or audio recording being allowed during the White House press briefing.
  18. "As the cameras flashed, President Trump said that he and the Panamanian president seated beside him had lots of things to discuss — but he seemed to home in on just one specific thing.

    “The Panama Canal is doing quite well. I think we did a good job building it, right — a very good job.” Trump said.

    President Juan Carlos Varela interjected: “Yeah, about 100 years ago.”

    Trump just took credit for building the Panama Canal.
    Now he's pissed off the ghost of Teddy Roosevelt.

    Getting tricky: How do I mix in Bowling Green, Frederick Douglass, Andrew Jackson, Panama Canal & Lincoln's GOP status into a tweet?

    In response to the Bowling Green Massacre, President Andrew Jackson hired Donald Trump to build the Panama Canal to keep out the Australians

    We did a great job building the Panama Canal. And I'd also like to congratulate Thomas Edison for the incredible work he's doing!

    "The president’s unquenchable thirst for the attention of “the crooked media” and his ravenous hunger to punish them is the pushmi-pullyu of the Trump era—the political equivalent of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. But as Trump’s faith in his press shop reportedly wears thinner with every briefing gone awry, the White House communications team appears ready to make the president’s choice for him.
    On Monday, reporters were barred from broadcasting live video or audio during the afternoon White House press briefing, the second briefing at which journalists were explicitly banned from making audio broadcasts since the previous Thursday. Press secretary Sean Spicer, flanked by counselor Kellyanne Conway and former Apprentice agitator-turned-communications liaison Omarosa Manigault, explained that the president’s appearance earlier with the president of Panama was enough for the whole class to share."
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump: A Man of Characters | The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    Jordan Klepper revisits Donald Trump's first tweet and lauds the president's innovative way around Twitter's restrictive character limit.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Judge narrows injunction on Trump travel ban | POLITICO

    A federal judge in Hawaii has reined in in an injunction he issued three months ago blocking key parts of President Donald Trump's revised travel ban executive order.

    U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson scaled back the injunction Monday, nullifying its impact on studies and policy reviews ordered under the directive Trump issued in March and billed as an anti-terrorism initiative.
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

  24. [IMG]
    The Internet has a new 404 page.

    When Siri is offline and you need help.. #apple #timcook

    Hello darkness my old friend

    That picture of Tim Cook is in the dictionary, under the definition of "Regret."
  25. The Internet Member

    Spring 2016 Paul Manafort arranged for an April meeting including the Trump team and other strategists at a Washington think-tank, the Center for the National Interest (CNI), which has a rep for being pro-Putin. The venue was later moved to the Mayflower Hotel. When I read about this meeting months ago I got the impression it was a convention style meet-and-greet between Trump's people, foreign representatives, and congressional republicans. So I didn't think much of it.

    Turns out the Mayflower meeting was significant. Jeff Sessions hosted a dinner there for 24 people including Richard Burt, a CNI board member and also a US lobbyist representing Gazprom and other Russian interests. Burt drafted the foreign policy speech in which Trump announced his intent to soften relations with Russia.

    John McCain recently asked Jeff Sessions specifically if he'd had contact with any US lobbyists representing Russian interests. Comey had shared info about the Mayflower meeting with the Senate in closed session after his public testimony. Jeff Sessions gave the weasel-worded answer, "I don't recall."

    I can understand a Senator not remembering a brief handshake with a Russian representative at a meet-and-greet where lots of people are milling about. But I can't understand someone forgetting an important and rather intimate dinner in which a major change in US foreign policy toward Russia is discussed.

    Jeff Sessions did grudgingly admit to meeting the Russian ambassador briefly in July 2016 at the Republican Convention and in his Senate office in September 2016. But he hasn't said anything about that dinner at the Mayflower. Will people believe that Sessions did not remember Richard Burt or his role as a rep for Russia's interests?

    Info about the Mayflower meeting has been in the news since March

    ...but I didn't pick up on it until
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  26. The Internet Member

    Tweets with info about the Mayflower 24 attendees.

    Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1.21.54 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1.22.54 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1.23.23 AM.png
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Is Trump Under Investigation? His Lawyer Says Yes, No, And More! | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Trump's attorney Jay Sekulow made numerous TV appearances this weekend, giving numerous answers on if the President is under investigation.
    • Like Like x 1
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Senate Dems Demand Republicans Show Ingredients Of Trumpcare Shit Sandwich | Wonkette

    Your Senate Democrats took the floor last night to start off their Week Of HELL NO on the Top Secret Republican ACA Repeal, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to cram through the Senate and straight down a sixth of America’s economy without a single hearing. They were mad as hell, and here are some videos of them being mad as hell about the Republican plan to pass a gigantic tax break for the very rich, at the low, low cost of merely leaving 23 million Americans without health insurance.

    Republicans say they will release draft of health bill amid pressure over secrecy | The Guardian

    Senate Republican leaders said they would release draft language of their healthcare bill on Thursday amid mounting frustration among lawmakers in both parties over the way the party is assembling their bill – behind closed doors and without a single public hearing scheduled. A vote is expected next week.
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Despite Concerns About Blackmail, Flynn Heard C.I.A. Secrets | The New York Times


    Senior officials across the government became convinced in January that the incoming national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had become vulnerable to Russian blackmail.

    At the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence — agencies responsible for keeping American secrets safe from foreign spies — career officials agreed that Mr. Flynn represented an urgent problem.

    Yet nearly every day for three weeks, the new C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, sat in the Oval Office and briefed President Trump on the nation’s most sensitive intelligence — with Mr. Flynn listening. Mr. Pompeo has not said whether C.I.A. officials left him in the dark about their views of Mr. Flynn, but one administration official said Mr. Pompeo did not share any concerns about Mr. Flynn with the president.

    The episode highlights a remarkable aspect of Mr. Flynn’s tumultuous, 25-day tenure in the White House: He sat atop a national security apparatus that churned ahead despite its own conclusion that he was at risk of being compromised by a hostile foreign power.

    The concerns about Mr. Flynn’s vulnerabilities, born from misleading statements he made to White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, are at the heart of a legal and political storm that has engulfed the Trump administration. Many of Mr. Trump’s political problems, including the appointment of a special counsel and the controversy over the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, can ultimately be traced to Mr. Flynn’s stormy tenure.

    Time and again, the Trump administration looked the other way in the face of warning signs about Mr. Flynn. Mr. Trump entrusted him with the nation’s secrets despite knowing that he faced a Justice Department investigation over his undisclosed foreign lobbying. Even a personal warning from President Barack Obama did not dissuade him.

    Mr. Pompeo sidestepped questions from senators last month about his handling of the information about Mr. Flynn, declining to say whether he knew about his own agency’s concerns. “I can’t answer yes or no,” he said. “I regret that I’m unable to do so.” His words frustrated Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    “Either Director Pompeo had no idea what people in the C.I.A. reportedly knew about Michael Flynn, or he knew about the Justice Department’s concerns and continued to discuss America’s secrets with a man vulnerable to blackmail,” Mr. Wyden said in a statement. “I believe Director Pompeo owes the public an explanation.”

    After Mr. Pompeo’s Senate testimony, The New York Times asked officials at several agencies whether Mr. Pompeo had raised concerns about Mr. Flynn to the president and, if so, whether the president had ignored him. One administration official responded on the condition of anonymity that Mr. Pompeo, whether he knew of the concerns or not, had not told the president about them.

    Continued at
  31. Rubio' Tweets
    "Just left Intel comm & informed meeting 2day with @IvankaTrump blowing up twitter over alleged failed hug! Investigating. Will respond soon"
    "We believe we have our own unclassified photographic evidence that will shed greater details on this incident."

    "We are also attempting to acquire multi-angle video which we believe will provide greater insight into this important matter."

    "If you were filming at the Senate carriage entrance today between 11:20-11:25 am we are seeking your assistance with an active investigation"

    "BREAKING NEWS: Additional photo from moments right after today's alleged failed hug provide new details to this developing story."

    "Based on review of evidence & my own recollection, have concluded no hug was even attempted & press covfefe of alleged failed hug is false"
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    Judge won’t make Trump University settlement objector post large bond | POLITICO

    A woman objecting to the $25 million settlement of fraud claims over the Trump University real estate program will not be required to post a nearly $150,000 bond in order to pursue an appeal that could allow her to bail out of the deal.

    Older Plaintiffs Have Died Waiting for Trump University Payments | Law News

    President Donald Trump promised to pay $25 million to close out the Trump University class-action lawsuits, but some plaintiffs won’t be getting that money. A number of the older litigants have been passing away, USA Today reports. They looked at a court filing from this week, which said some plaintiffs died since the case started.

    President Trump Might Be Forced to Testify Under Oath About Trump University After All | Law News


    President Donald Trump probably thought he had dodged a major threat – being forced to testify under oath and to produce confidential documents in pre-trial discovery in a civil law suit – when a trial judge approved a $25 million settlement of fraud claims against his Trump University.

    But that settlement could shortly be overturned by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals – the same court which ruled against Trump’s travel bans – by a challenger who has already won a preliminary scrimmage, and now has the backing of about a dozen law professors who agree with her legal arguments.

    Plaintiff Sheri Simpson claimed that she was unlawfully prevented from opposing the proposed settlement when it was before the trial judge for his approval.

    Such settlement objections are routinely considered by trial judges, and a denial of the objector’s claim can often provide the basis for an appeal.

    Here U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel refused to consider Simpson’s objections that the settlement was unfair to the members of the class being represented, and who would then be bound by the agreement if it was eventually upheld through appeal.

    Simpson said she does want to be bound by the settlement so she can take Trump to court over the alleged fraud.

    This would ordinarily permit her to force Trump to testify under oath as part of her pre-trial discovery, and also demand that he produce relevant but still secret documents. It was widely believed that Trump – who is known for generally refusing to ever settle – agreed to pay some $25 million to avoid just such an embarrassment.

    Simpson has already won a preliminary victory when the trial judge held that she would not have to post the $146,888 requested by Trump’s attorneys to permit her appeal to go forward. Instead, she will be required to post only $500.

    Continued at
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump just sold us all out on drug pricing | Business Insider


    The New York Times reports that the Trump White House is about to put out an executive order on drug pricing, and it looks like the whole thing was basically written by big pharma.

    In other words, America, we've just been sold out on the price of drugs.

    According to the report and similar reporting from Kaiser Health News and Politico, the order includes nothing to curb prices. Instead, drug companies are going to get more power to charge monopoly prices overseas, and be allowed to give even fewer discounts to hospitals with poor patients. Meanwhile, the administration is promising to roll back regulations that pharma has complained about.

    Nothing for the American people, everything for the American corporations.

    This can all be traced back to a meeting Trump had with pharmaceutical CEOs back in January. There, he basically outlined that he would be doing everything that's in the executive order, but he also told executives "you have to keep your prices down."

    That was it. Then they all got in their private jets and flew back to their corner offices. That day, the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index had its best day in weeks, gaining nearly 3%, as the market indicated that no one was afraid of the big bad Trump.

    You see, this meeting with CEOs was just supposed to be the start of how the White House tackled this problem. Ideally, after they left, Trump's team would get together and take their proposals in consideration with the volumes and volumes of research out there about this topic, and put together something that could actually help lower prices. Instead, it looks like only the industry's suggestions made it into the order.

    Trump is the kid in the high school group project who offers to turn in the final product so no one notices he didn't contribute anything at all.

    Continued at
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Russians targeted 21 election systems, U.S. official says | Reuters


    Russian hackers targeted 21 U.S. state election systems in the 2016 presidential race and a small number were breached but there was no evidence any votes were manipulated, a Homeland Security Department official told Congress on Wednesday.

    Jeanette Manfra, the department's acting deputy undersecretary of cyber security, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Kremlin orchestrated a wide-ranging influence operation that included email hacking and online propaganda to discredit Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump, a Republican, win the White House in November.

    The Russia issue has cast a shadow over Trump's first five months in office. The extent of interference by Russian hackers, and whether they or others could interfere in future elections, has been the source of speculation and media reports for months.

    Russia has repeatedly denied responsibility for any cyber attacks during the election. Trump has variously said Russia may or may not have been responsible for hacking but has dismissed allegations his associates colluded with Moscow as "fake news."

    Manfra and other officials testifying on Wednesday said U.S. elections are resilient to hacking in part because they are decentralized and largely operated on the state and local level.

    Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with the Democrats, voiced skepticism, saying only a small number of votes in key battleground states would need to be altered to tip the scales in an election.

    "A sophisticated actor could hack an election simply by focusing on certain counties," King said. "I don't think it works just to say it’s a big system and diversity will protect us."

    Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate panel, expressed frustration at Manfra's refusal to identify which states had been targeted. Arizona and Illinois last year confirmed that hackers had targeted their voter registration systems.

    Samuel Liles, another senior DHS cyber official, likened states targeted or scanned to a thief walking by homes to scout for weaknesses, and breaches to breaking through a front door.

    Continued at
  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    Congressional Black Caucus Declines Meeting With Trump: Our Concerns 'Fell on Deaf Ears' | NBC News


    The Congressional Black Caucus rejected an invitation for a second meeting with President Trump on Wednesday.

    Citing frustration with the administration’s lack of action on the objectives presented at their March meeting, CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-LA, wrote a letter to the president stating that another meeting “would not be entirely productive.”

    “Through an objective assessment, we have seen no evidence that your Administration acted on our calls for action, and we have in fact witnessed steps that will affirmatively hurt Black communities,” Rep. Richmond wrote. While we agreed to explore possible future discussions when we first met, it has become abundantly clear that a conversation with the entire CBC would not be entirely productive, given the actions taken by your Administration since our first meeting.”

    Earlier this month, the 49-member caucus was invited by Omarosa Manigault, an assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison, for a follow-up meeting.

    Continued at
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    McCabe: FBI has 'great number of folks' working for Trump-Russia special prosecutor | POLITICO


    The acting head of the FBI said Wednesday that his agency is providing a substantial number of personnel to support the special prosecutor appointed last month to look into alleged Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, including possible connections to the Trump campaign.

    Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after President Donald Trump fired FBI chief James Comey on May 9, told a House appropriations subcommittee that the FBI is giving special counsel Robert Mueller all the help he needs.

    "We have a great number of folks that have already been detailed to that team and I have assured Director Mueller that we will do everything necessary to deliver the resources and meet the needs that he has to do that work," McCabe said.

    Spokespeople for the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for further details on the staffing. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment beyond saying that a budget is in the works. However, Mueller's office said last week that he'd added 13 lawyers to his staff with more expected to join soon. There has been no similar estimate for support personnel.


    Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) asked McCabe whether he'd been asked for a loyalty oath by Trump, as Comey has said he was, and how he would reply.

    "I have taken an oath already to the United States of America to protect and defend the Constitution. That is the only oath I will take, so that's really not an issue for me," McCabe said. He added that it wouldn't be appropriate "in this forum" to discuss his conversations with the president.

    As in past testimony, McCabe did dispute claims by Trump and other officials that morale at the FBI suffered under Comey.

    "Director Comey enjoyed a great relationship with the men and women of the FBI. So, his removal took many many people by surprise. It was a shock. It's something that we’ve all had to come to terms with," McCabe said.

    "We understand it is the president's privilege to remove the FBI director or any appointee, whenever he chooses to do so. ... It's been my challenge to keep people focused on the mission during this time of transition."

    More at

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