The Smoking Gun: Trump, The Least Charitable Billionaire

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

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  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Conservative site funded project that led to Trump dossier | TheHill


    A conservative publication set in motion the research that led to a dossier that includes unverified claims regarding ties between President Trump and Russia, the publication revealed on Friday.

    The Washington Free Beacon originally funded the project through the firm Fusion GPS, a connection the publication’s lawyers revealed for the first time to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday.

    The Washington Examiner first reported the connection and the Free Beacon then confirmed it.

    The publication stopped funding the project in the spring of 2016. At that point, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee picked up funding of the project.

    The project until that point had focused on researching multiple Republican presidential candidates and was not looking at collusion with Russia, according to the Free Beacon. The former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele also became involved after the publication stopped funding the project, and went on to compile the dossier which is sometimes known as the "Steele dossier."

    "Representatives of the Free Beacon approached the House Intelligence Committee today and offered to answer what questions we can in their ongoing probe of Fusion GPS and the Steele dossier," the publication’s Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti and Chairman Michael Goldfarb said in a statement. "The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele."


    Fusion GPS and the Washington Free Beacon | Washington Free Beacon
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exclusive: First charges filed in Mueller investigation

    By Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, CNN


    A federal grand jury in Washington, DC, on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.

    The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump's 'Pussy' Tape Immortalized With Plaque at Spot Where He Bragged to Billy Bush

    By Greg Price, Newsweek


    The site where President Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy" has now been memorialized with a plaque.

    “On this spot in September 2005 Donald J. Trump bragged about committing sexual assault. In November 2016, he was elected President of the United States,” reads the sign, which commemorates the comments Trump made as he and Access Hollywood host Billy Bush arrived at Burbank Studios for a taping.

    A visual-effects artist for the CW network show Legends of Tomorrow revealed the existence of the plaque by posting a picture of it, Mediaite reported on Friday.

    “In dishonor of our President, the producers of my show have created a plaque commemorating his comments to Billy Bush, which happened on our lot,” wrote Sean Gottlieb.

    When the infamous tape leaked in October 2016, many believed it marked the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and short political career. Instead, he went on to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton a month later.

    The plaque ruefully marks how Trump sidestepped the fiasco on his way to the White House. Then best known for his real estate empire and NBC reality show The Apprentice, Trump told Bush that his celebrity status afforded him the opportunity to “grab women by the pussy.” He also reveled in how he forced himself on anyone he wanted — "I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them" — and bragged about a married woman he "moved on like a bitch."

    "I did try and fuck her," Trump said. "She was married."

    The derogatory statements were an admission of sexual assault. But Trump's campaign said it was merely “locker room” talk with the fawning Bush.

    The plaque is only the latest effort to remind the public about the video. On the anniversary of the video’s release, women’s rights group UltraViolet played the video on a loop for 12 straight hours near the White House last month.

    Trump still won the election, but the tape’s release did spark a number of women to tell their stories of Trump’s alleged assault and conduct. Earlier this month, one of the accusers, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos, subpoenaed the Trump campaign for any documents pertaining to alleged assaults and harassment.

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  4. spineless Republicans in Congress
  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    The biggest myth about Donald Trump is that he’s a tough guy

    If you still believe this myth about Donald Trump, you haven’t been paying attention to the first 10 months of his presidency.

    By Sam Clench,


    What a small, pitiful man Donald Trump is. The US President thinks he’s a real tough guy, presumably because he spent so many years pretending to fire people on reality TV. But that is, and always has been, a lie. Trump’s supporters mistake his petty, spiteful aggression for strength, when it is in fact the exact opposite. His endless spats and Twitter tantrums reveal a man who is thin-skinned, self-obsessed and pathetically insecure.

    Trump, who has more power and responsibility than anyone else on the planet, wastes his days in the White House obsessing over pointless feuds and satisfying his compulsive need to whine about every perceived grievance.

    Why? Because the only thing Trump truly cares about is making himself look good. No policy is more important than boosting his ego. No lie is too outrageous if it’s in service to his self-esteem.

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    ‘Real Time’: Woody Harrelson Recalls “Brutal” Dinner With Trump

    By Greg Evans, Deadline


    Harrelson, plugging his upcoming star turn in Rob Reiner’s LBJ, was on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher when the topic turned – as it naturally does – to dinner with Trump.

    The year was 2002. Ventura had already made the move from wrestling to politics, having become the Governor of Minnesota in 1998. By 2002, he’d announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. At that point, Trump hadn’t yet become a reality TV star. Or a Republican.

    “I got invited by Jesse Ventura. I was in New York, and he said, ‘Will you come with me? Trump is going to try to get me to be his running mate on the 2004 ticket, the Democratic ticket.’

    “So I went and it was brutal, it was brutal. I never met a more narcissistic man,” the former Cheers star continued. “He talked about himself the whole time. You could see the standard he was going to bear.

    “I had to walk out and smoke a joint just to steel myself for the rest of it.”

    Continued at

  6. Poor Melania has to live with him and god only knows what she does to wipe that pain.
  7. The Wrong Guy Member

    Maybe she thinks of her bank accounts, her million-dollar wardrobe, and the knowledge that she will outlive him.
  8. The Wrong Guy Member


    Not even trick-or-treaters are immune to Trump's petty-ass war on the press

    By William Hughes, The A.V. Club


    Say what you like about Donald Trump, but the man’s a real innovator when it comes to the fields of petty grudges and small-hearted bullshit. Yesterday, Trump proved his passive aggressive bona fides yet again during a Halloween event for White House journalists, who were invited to bring their kids to the Oval Office for a little trick-or-treating.

    It was a simple, puff-piece bit of human interest fun, the sort of thing his predecessor excelled at treating like it was the glorious highlight of his year. And still, on what was clearly his closest approximation of “good behavior,” Trump couldn’t resist slipping in a few barbs at the press.

    “I cannot believe the media produced such beautiful children,” Trump said to a room full of reporters and their kids, as he continually prodded at the journalists in the room. From a president with a less combative relationship with the press, lines like asking a kid, “So, how does the press treat you? I’ll bet you get treated better by the press than anybody in the world, right?” might have come off as a fun bit of teasing, but in Trump’s mouth it’s hard not to hear the contempt and “fake news” obsession lurking behind his words. And we have honestly no idea what to make of him telling a kid “You have no weight problems, that’s the good news, right?” as he handed them some Hershey’s Kisses.

    (Also, it is just us, or does Trump not seem to know who the kid in the Darth Vader mask is supposed to be? Even if he somehow managed to miss the entirety of Star Wars—which we could almost buy, given that it falls outside his “media that is exclusively about Donald Trump” worldview—you’d think Steve Bannon would have clued him in.)

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Robert Mueller's Office Will Issue First Indictment Monday, Sources Confirm | NBC News


    A federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first criminal charges in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference, two sources told NBC News, marking a significant milestone in an inquiry that has roiled Donald Trump’s presidency.

    Mueller's Office of the Special Counsel will make public an indictment on Monday, a U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of the process confirmed to NBC News, without disclosing the name of the target or the nature of the charges. The timing was confirmed by a second source familiar with the matter.


    Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn have been said to be key figures in Mueller's probe, law enforcement sources familiar with the matter have told NBC News in the past.

    NBC News has reported that White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner has come under scrutiny in the probe, as has Michael G. Flynn, the son of the former national security adviser. Mueller has also been investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation and then fired him in May.

    More at
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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 11 seconds ago
    While not at all presidential I must point out that the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close. Sad!

    Michael Moore Will Tour the Country With His Broadway Show | Playbill


    Following the conclusion of his limited Broadway engagement, Michael Moore intends to bring his show The Terms of My Surrender on tour in summer 2018.

    The Oscar-winning filmmaker also revealed plans to return to the New York stage, saying, “Broadway remains a powerful hub of American popular culture and I plan on being back — with both a new play and a new one-man show — soon.”

    Moore’s piece ran July 28 through October 22 (just shy of 100 performances) at the Belasco Theatre. In the Michael Mayer-helmed show, Moore took aim at the Trump administration and its policies, shared personal anecdotes, and engaged the audience in quizzes and pleas for various forms of activism.

    Further information, including a tour itinerary, will be revealed at a later date.

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Gravitas, decorum, a Twitter account - three things Roger Stone doesn't possess.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 24 minutes ago
    Michael Moore Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    1) You must have my smash hit of a Broadway show confused with your presidency-- which IS a total bomb and WILL indeed close early. NOT SAD

    Michael Moore @MMFlint 22 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    2) Today, 1 U.S. service member was killed &amp;amp; 6 injured in our never-ending war in Afghanistan. You,our President, are not even aware of this

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 16 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    3) You ARE aware I'm a &amp;quot;B'way star&amp;quot; &amp;amp; I guess this bothers you more. SAD.

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 13 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    4) Prosecutor Mueller's GrandJury has just approved the 1st criminal indictments of your administration. R u trying 2 distract us from this?

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 11 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    5) 38 days after Maria, 3/4 of PR (our fellow Americans) have NO electricity. Yet u are more upset that so many ppl saw my B'way show. SAD.

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 7 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    6) They say Twitter &amp;quot;distracts&amp;quot; you from your presidency. But Twitter IS YOUR PRESIDENCY! It's all you know how to do. #LOSER!

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 4 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    7) And now, for this weekend, I’m your latest distraction from your crimes. Ha! Raucous &amp;amp; joyous crowds every nite on B’way- &amp;amp; u missed out!

    Michael Moore @MMFlint 3 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    8) It was the highest grossing play (non-musical) of the summer, despite my offering $29 cheap seats + free student tix so ALL could afford.

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 25 seconds ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    9) As announced on May 1st, it was always a &amp;quot;12-WEEK-ONLY&amp;quot; run, due to my commitments to my upcoming primetime TV series &amp;amp; my new movie.

    Michael Moore @MMFlint 2 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    10) On Broadway, Donald, they call it a &amp;quot;LIMITED ENGAGEMENT&amp;quot; -- just like we’re planning on making your presidency.

    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 19 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    11) For now, at least, I know I still have one fan in the White House (thx for your unwavering support, Jared!)


    Michael Moore‏ @MMFlint 38 minutes ago
    Replying to @MMFlint
    And thanks to all who filled this beautiful theater for each show!


    • Like Like x 2
  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 24 minutes ago
    Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?),....

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 15 minutes ago
    ...the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia,....

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 7 minutes ago
    ..."collusion," which doesn't exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics, but the R's...

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 5 seconds ago
    ...are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 28 minutes ago
    All of this "Russia" talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Roger Stone Says He Will Sue Twitter Over Account Suspension (Exclusive)

    “I have retained one of the best telecommunications lawyers in the country and will be bringing a legal action against Twitter over the suspension of my account,” Stone tells TheWrap


    Stone would not publicly name the attorney until he signed a retainer agreement, which he said he expected to do Monday.


    The Twitter suspension leaves Stone down — but not totally out — on the platform. Another account connected to him, @StoneColdTruth seemed to take the matter in stride. [ ]

    More at
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  17. Donald is utterly desperate by the looks of those tweets.

    Imagine the lulz if he was arrested....celebrations and drinks all round.

    And Melania's face at the thought of not having sex with that great orange heaving lump would be a joy to behold.
    Then again she does have that secret smirk that tells me she's doing business elsewhere.

    Wrong Guy you always come up with the goods.
  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    These 13 Wire Transfers Are A Focus Of The FBI Probe Into Paul Manafort

    BuzzFeed News has learned of a series of wire transfers, made by companies linked to Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, that federal officials deemed suspicious. Many of the wires went from offshore companies controlled by Manafort to American businesses.


    The FBI's investigation of Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013. Much of the money came into the United States.

    These transactions — which have not been previously reported — drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.

    The new revelations come as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is tightening, with reports that an indictment may already have been issued. It is not known if Manafort has been charged, or if he ever will be. Manafort has been the subject of multiple law enforcement and congressional inquiries. A spokesperson for Manafort would not comment for this story about the investigation or any of the specific transactions, but Manafort has previously denied wrongdoing.

    Manafort took charge of Trump’s campaign in May 2016 and was forced to resign just three months later, amid intense media scrutiny of his ties to the notoriously corrupt former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was supported by the Kremlin. A political operative for decades, the 68-year-old Manafort has worked for Republicans such as presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as for foreign leaders such as former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos.

    He has emerged as a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, in part because of Manafort’s many ties to prominent Russians and his work with Yanukovych. Manafort is reportedly also being investigated for money laundering by federal prosecutors in New York City, but there have been no formal charges from that probe. The FBI searched his home during a predawn raid this summer, reportedly as part of Mueller’s probe. Manafort has consistently maintained his innocence.

    Now, BuzzFeed News has learned that investigators have been scrutinizing at least 13 wire transfers between 2012 and 2013. The transfers were first flagged by US financial institutions, which are required by law to tell an office within the Treasury Department about any transactions they deem suspicious. Such “suspicious activity reports” do not prove wrongdoing. Federal law requires financial institutions to file reports on cash transactions that exceed $10,000 in a single day, even if those transactions seem otherwise legitimate. Banks are also required to file the reports whenever they suspect money laundering or other financial crimes.

    Bank officers flagged unusual behavior among five offshore companies that authorities say are associated with Manafort: Global Endeavour Inc., Lucicle Consultants Ltd., and three others that appear to have no current contact information.

    Law enforcement sources say the companies sent funds in round-dollar amounts without explanation of what the money was to be used for. The countries where these transactions originated — notably Cyprus and the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines — are notorious for money laundering. Federal law enforcement officials said they saw evidence of “layering,” the process by which the origin of money is obscured behind many layers of companies. Much of the money ended up in the US, sent to home improvement contractors, a hedge fund, and even a car dealership.

    Manafort’s suspicious financial transactions were first flagged by Treasury officials as far back as 2012 and forwarded to the FBI’s International Corruption Unit and the Department of Justice for further investigation in 2013 and 2014, a former Treasury official who worked on the matter told BuzzFeed News. The extent of Manafort’s suspicious transactions was so vast, said this former official, that law enforcement agents drafted a series of “intelligence reports” about Manafort’s financial dealings. Two law enforcement officials who worked on the case say that they found red flags in his banking records going back as far as 2004, and that the transactions in question totaled many millions of dollars.

    It’s unknown what became of the FBI’s Manafort investigation; no charges were filed. An FBI spokesperson did not return emails and phone calls this week. One FBI agent who was actively involved in the investigation told BuzzFeed News it “lay dormant” for a while but was never closed.

    Then, last January, the Senate Intelligence Committee launched its probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. In April, the committee sent the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, a letter requesting a wide range of financial records “related to Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election or individuals associated with it.” Specifically, the committee asked FinCEN officials for “any actions” they took to support law enforcement or intelligence inquiries; any documents they sent to the FBI; and any requests for information they sent to banks. Details of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request have not been previously disclosed.

    While searching for records to turn over to lawmakers, the former Treasury official said, FinCEN found its previous reports on Manafort and sent them again to the FBI International Corruption Unit, whose agents were working with Mueller on his investigation. According to a congressional source, this May FinCEN sent the Senate committee financial records covering a six-year time frame on Manafort — January 2011 through May 2017. In June, FinCEN also sent financial records on Manafort to the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, which is conducting a separate probe on Russian interference. That committee also sought a wide range of suspicious activity records on Manafort and his wife, Kathleen, among other individuals and businesses. Manafort’s spokesperson declined to comment on what FinCEN sent the congressional committees about the Manaforts.

    BuzzFeed News has learned specific details about 13 of the wire transfers, all of which took place between 2012 and 2013. At least four of the transfers originated with Manafort’s company Global Endeavour, a political consulting firm based in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Global Endeavour was hired by Yanukovych to consult and lobby on his behalf. Ousted after the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, Yanukovych lives in exile in Russia and is accused of treason by Ukrainian authorities; the country’s general prosecutor said Yanukovych’s embezzlement of state funds was so egregious it resembled a “mafia structure.”

    Wire transfers flagged as suspicious show that during the waning months of Yanukovych’s presidency, Global Endeavour sent more than $750,000 out of Ukraine. None of these transactions have been previously reported.

    Continued at
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    North Korea to Conduct Missile Test While President Trump Visits Asia?

    By Cristina Silva, Newsweek


    North Korea could conduct its latest nuclear test as President Donald Trump visits neighboring China and South Korea later this week. McClatchy News reporter Anita Kumar said during a MSNBC panel on Sunday that Trump should avoid his usual bombastic rhetoric while visiting Asia after months of the president and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un exchanging threats of war.

    The president, Kumar said, “needs to watch what language he uses” during his first Asia trip as the leader of the U.S. “What experts are telling me, though, is that there might be a missile test by North Korea while President Trump is traveling,” she warned. “That’s going to put him on the spot while he’s in China or South Korea.”

    “So that would be huge,” Kumar adding. “He’d have to decide then and there how to react.”

    Continued at
  20. White Tara Global Moderator

    That does not bode well.
  21. IMHO the indictment will be Manifort and Flynn. Pressuring the weak links to defect from the level higher up, then indicting those next up, is standard practice. The FBI terrifies their real target by torturing the lower levels. Compatriots see economic ruin and decide to cooperate. In this case they have seen a midnight raid into the Manifort's bedroom and his wife being searched for guns.
    Go team.
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trump-Russia inquiry: Paul Manafort surrenders to FBI – live updates

    Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and his ex-business associate Rick Gates have been indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation


    Manafort and associate charged in Russia Investigation

    A federal grand jury indicted Manafort and Gates, his former business associate, on 12 counts, including charges of money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying, according to the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

    The 31-page indictment was unsealed on Monday morning after Manafort and Gates surrendered to federal authorities.

    “Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income”, the document says.

    The indictment may be found here.


    The indictment is largely concerned with Manafort’s work in Ukraine, where the consultant became a notorious figure linked with the disgraced regime of Viktor Yanukovych.

    Manafort was first engaged in the country in 2005 by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, a steel magnate from Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. Akhmetov was a close ally of Yanukovych, a Donetsk politician friendly to Russia and head of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, which also retained Manafort as a consultant. Yanukovych had won a fraud-marred presidential election in 2004, but was stopped from taking office by the Orange Revolution. Manafort was tasked with giving Yanukovych’s image an overhaul, to make him more appealing to the electorate. In 2010, he won a new election more or less fairly, after receiving image and strategic advice from Manafort. During his time working in Ukraine, Manafort became one of Yanukovych’s most powerful advisers, and also built links with other oligarchs and businessmen from Russia and Ukraine.

    Yanukovych, whose rule was marked by rampant corruption in his inner circle, fled to Russia during the Maidan revolution in February 2014. In August last year, an alleged “black ledger” surfaced in Kiev that appeared to show millions of dollars of under-the-table payments to numerous Yanukovych allies, including Manafort.

    Ukraine’s National Anticorruption Bureau posted 22 payments to Manafort over a five-year period between 2007 and 2012 with various vague descriptions such as “sociology” or “services”. The payments totalled $12.7m. Manafort said he never received any illegal payments, but the scandal prompted him to resign from Trump’s campaign a few days later.

    More at

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 8 minutes ago
    Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 4 minutes ago
    ....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!

    Court papers: Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to FBI agents in Mueller probe

    Paul Manafort and Rick Gates: A timeline of links between Trump's campaign and Russia


    The timeline of events related to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates, and the activities spelled out in Monday's indictment of the two men, may complicate President Trump's efforts to distance himself and the White House from the first criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the campaign’s ties to Russia.

    Manafort ran Trump’s presidential campaign from late May until August 2016, when he was fired amid news about his past lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian businessmen. Most of the charges he faces in the indictment unsealed Monday relate to activities that pre-date his joining the Trump campaign.

    On Thursday, White House lawyer Ty Cobb told The New York TimesTrump has “no concerns in terms of any impact, as to what happens to them, on his campaign or on the White House.” Cobb said: “I think he would be sad for them, as a friend and a former colleague, if the process results in punishment or indictments. But to the extent that that happens, that’s beyond his control.”

    Yet Manafort was at the nexus of the Trump campaign's contacts with Russia:

    • Shortly after Manafort became campaign chairman in late May 2016, George Papadopoulos of the campaign’s foreign policy team sent him a message that “Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time.”

    • In June, Manafort was among top Trump advisers to meet in Trump Tower with Natalia Veselnitskaya and an intermediary who promised Donald Trump Jr. information that would incriminate Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and "her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father," in the word of the intermediary, Rob Goldstone.

    • Hours later, Trump publicly promised to reveal "things that have taken place with the Clintons," saying it will be "very informative and "very, very interesting."

    • It is during this summer time frame that American spies are collecting information showing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials are discussing how to influence Trump through Manafort and Michael Flynn, who went on to be Trump’s first national security adviser.

    • On July 7, in an email, Manafort offered private briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska, closely tied with the Kremlin and one of Manafort's clients before the campaign.

    • During the GOP convention in mid-July, the Republican National Committee eliminated specific calls to provide arms to Ukraine in its fight with Russia, “after Trump surrogates reportedly intervened,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The platform also weakened language criticizing Russia for intervening in Ukraine. Manafort denied the campaign played a role in the decision.

    • In late July, Manafort denied in an interview with ABC connections between the campaign and Russia.

    Manafort has deep ties to Russia.

    He is a former adviser to Viktor Yanukovych, former Russia-aligned president of Ukraine who received financial support from Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch and onetime business partner of Manafort. Among other ties, Manafort also represented Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Manafort is also the former business partner of Roger Stone, who was in touch via an intermediary with Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, which published hacked emails of Clinton campaign officials. According to The New York Times, Manafort incurred debts totaling as much as $17 million to pro-Russia interests, including Deripaska.

  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Fox & Friends Managed to Make the Manafort Indictment About Hillary Clinton in Record Time

    By Justin Peters, Slate


    When Monday morning’s episode of Fox & Friends began at 6:00 a.m., hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade were focused on one thing. “There is speculation mounting as we await the first indictment of the special counsel on Robert Mueller's Russia probe. We expect it today,” said Kilmeade. “Today, not tonight,” emphasized Earhardt. It is an announcement that could be made today.”

    Around 8:00 a.m., the announcement finally broke. “All right. We’ve got a Fox News alert,” said Steve Doocy. “We finally have a name.”

    Two names, actually. “Moments ago, there were reports coming out of multiple news organizations that it is going to be former campaign manager Paul Manafort and a business associate of his, Rick Gates,” Doocy continued. “That is not confirmed by us yet, but it is certainly out there. And this is going to be a significant development if it is true, because it tells us where this investigation and this special counsel is headed.” After briefly establishing the facts, the Fox & Friends crew reverted to their standard roles as enthusiastic lickspittles for President Trump.

    The three hosts moved quickly to begin neutralizing any and all criticisms that might be lobbed Trump’s way as a result of the Manafort indictment. “Evidently the report goes on to say the FBI probe is looking into 13 suspicious wire transfers. As we mentioned even before the show started, and the big question we seemed to be zeroing in on, did this even happen, did any of this activity happen during his months with President Trump?” asked Kilmeade.

    “[Manafort] was under investigation for violations of federal tax law and money laundering. and then not disclosing his foreign transactions as a lobbyist,” said Earhardt.

    “The two of them set up a firm… Manafort's firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments,” said Doocy, fumbling for the right words to use to properly exonerate the president. (Don’t worry, he eventually found them!) “I mean, we’ve heard about Ukraine, and we’ve heard about other business dealings in Eastern Europe, but we had not heard about Cyprus. So given the fact that Paul Manafort has dealt internationally for decades, probably a pretty good opportunity this was a while back.”

    “We interviewed Jonathan Turley, who’s a constitutional law professor, and he was talking about the leaking. The leaker could also be in trouble here,” said Earhardt. Doocy then went on to revisit the Clinton campaign and the DNC’s role in helping to fund the Fusion GPS research, and to amplify President Trump’s choleric “DO SOMETHING” tweets from over the weekend.

    “Keep in mind, and I just keep saying this,” said Kilmeade. “Just because you’re indicted, doesn’t mean you’re guilty of anything. Then you have a chance to find out what they have and to mount a defense. You stop being—now you can start defending yourself.”

    Good old Fox & Friends. Not even fifteen minutes had passed since the Manafort news had been confirmed, and the three hosts had already found ways to bring the story back to Hillary Clinton; repeatedly imply that Manafort’s indictment had nothing whatsoever to do with his work on the Trump campaign; recite several Trump tweets verbatim without comment or analysis; play a video clip in which Kellyanne Conway cast aspersions on the press and Washington Democrats; reiterate there was “no evidence of collusion so far” between the Trump campaign and Russia; gratuitously insult Rep. Adam Schiff; suggest that the people who prematurely leaked the Manafort news to the media were the real crooks; and make it seem like Paul Manafort’s indictment was a welcome and necessary first step on the road to his eventual exoneration.

    After going to a commercial break, the three hosts welcomed guest Sara Carter, a reporter for Circa. Carter has been a ubiquitous face on Fox News recently, ever since she and John Solomon of The Hill revived the long-dormant Uranium One story. “In addition to Mr. Manafort, apparently, Sara, Rick Gates, a former business associate, told to surrender today,” said Doocy. “Does this suggest to you that they’re looking into things Manafort did when he was campaign manager? Or things he and Mr. Gates did years ago?”

    “Oh, I think this certainly suggests that they were looking into things they did years ago,” said Carter.

    Great! With that settled, Fox & Friends changed the topic to something more suitable for a light-hearted morning show: candy.

    “Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is the most popular Halloween candy, according to a survey,” said Kilmeade during a “News by the Numbers” segment. “Reese’s miniatures and Twix rounding out the top three.”

    Source, with video clips:
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    DC court bars Trump from reversing transgender troops policy | The Associated Press


    A federal court in Washington is barring President Donald Trump from changing the government’s policy on military service by transgender people.

    Trump announced in an August memo that he intended to reverse course on a 2016 policy that allowed troops to serve openly as transgender individuals. He said he would order a return to the policy prior to June 2016, under which service members could be discharged for being transgender.

    U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote Monday that transgender members of the military who had sued over the change were likely to win their lawsuit and barred the Trump administration from reversing course.

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Paul Manafort and Rick Gates surrender to FBI: Live updates | CNN


    Paul Manafort: Former Trump campaign chairman surrendered today to special counsel Robert Mueller. He pleaded not guilty.

    Rick Gates: The former Trump campaign official also turned himself in this morning. He also pleaded not guilty.

    George Papadopoulos: Former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign pleaded guilty for making false statements to the FBI. This is the campaign's clearest connection to Russian's efforts to meddle in the election.

    Continued at

    Manafort and Gates plead not guilty | Axios


    Paul Manafort and Rick Gates pleaded not guilty to all charges against them during a hearing at a federal courthouse in Washington on Monday. Manafort appeared in person, with his lawyer saying he "definitely disagrees with the strength of the indictment" against him. Gates’ court-appointed lawyer said he was invoking the 5th Amendment, and planned to hire private counsel. They are both now under house arrest.

    What's next: The next hearing will be on Nov. 2 at 2pm. Manafort faces up to about 15 years in prison, while Gates faces up to about 10 years.

    Government lawyers sought bail bond of $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates, with an official from pre-trial services specifically requesting "high-intensity supervision" for Manafort as he is considered a flight risk. Both defense lawyers said their clients had turned over their passports. Both agreed to the bail recommendations, including home confinement, and will have to report to pre-trial services every day by phone.

    Continued at

    A Trump aide pleaded guilty, and it’s worse than Paul Manafort’s indictment | Salon

    Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos says a Russian-connected professor told him about Hillary’s emails


    While the multiple-count indictment against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner has dominated Monday's headlines, special counsel Robert Mueller also announced a guilty plea that will likely prove to be more significant because it discusses actions that took place during the presidential campaign.

    The document presents clear evidence that Trump's former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was interested in collaborating with people affiliated with the Russian government and that he was informed about "thousands" of emails from the Clinton campaign before they were released on the web.

    As is common for government attorneys looking to pursue a case against high-profile targets, Mueller appears to have successfully "flipped" Papadopoulos in an effort to get him to inform about the alleged activities of his superiors.

    The key fact in the Papadopoulos guilty plea (PDF link) involves his admission that he had communications with an unnamed Russian professor who told him in April of 2016 that the Russian government possessed "dirt" on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails." The document does not disclose as to whether the professor told him these messages were stolen from email accounts owned by the Democratic National Committee or Clinton's presidential campaign.

    In January, a report from the U.S. intelligence community indicated that Russian actors were behind a series of hacking attacks on organizations affiliated with the Clinton operation. A number of independent analysts have uncovered significant evidence of these assertions.

    Papadopoulos also attempted to leverage his connection on multiple occasions to set up meetings between Trump and his staff with Russian government officials. One of the people the professor introduced him to was an unnamed Russian woman whom he said was the niece of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

    Continued at
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  26. Disambiguation Global Moderator
    Upstairs at home, with the TV on, Trump fumes over Russia indictments
    Separated from most of his West Wing staff — who fretted over why he was late getting to the Oval Office — Trump clicked on the television and spent the morning playing fuming media critic, legal analyst and crisis communications strategist, according to several people close to him."
    "documents were unsealed showing that George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI about his efforts to broker a relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The case provides the clearest evidence yet of links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials."

    I especially like the WaPo's sources:

    This is because Trump sulked over "stories with no sources"

    I'm waiting for more TVs to fly out of White House windows.
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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    How bad will Mueller probe get for Trump? The Papadopoulos plea may be a big tell.

    By Paul Waldman, The Washington Post


    While the biggest news of the day is the indictments Robert S. Mueller III has handed down against former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, today he also released a plea bargain with a heretofore minor figure in the Russia scandal by the name of George Papadopoulos. And that could actually be the day’s biggest news.

    That’s because while Manafort and Gates sure look like they’re going to jail, as of yet they aren’t cooperating with Mueller’s investigation. Papadopoulos is, which means that he likely has information that will lead Mueller closer to the heart of the case.

    Papadopoulos was a junior foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. In August we learned that he had tried to set up meetings between Trump officials — and even Trump himself — with representatives of the Russian government. At the time, his suggestion was characterized as having been rejected by other Trump officials as inappropriate while Trump was still a candidate and not yet president.

    But now that we’ve seen the details of Papadopoulos’ plea, it sure looks like that wasn’t the whole story.

    Papadopoulos has agreed to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians. Specifically, he falsely claimed that they had occurred before he joined the campaign in March 2016. He had communication with a professor who had contacts in the Russian government; this professor told him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” The professor introduced him to a Russian national who was supposedly Vladimir Putin’s niece (it turned out she wasn’t), and to someone who supposedly had connections in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Based on those conversations, Papadopoulos pressed the campaign to set up meetings with the Russians, a suggestion that never came to fruition.

    So what does this have to do with the larger case? I spoke this morning with Barbara McQuade, a professor at the University of Michigan law school who is a former U.S. Attorney and who has worked extensively in criminal and national security cases. I asked: If Papadopoulos was just some low-level nobody tossing around ideas that were rejected by the campaign’s higher-ups, why would Mueller offer him a plea deal that is contingent on his cooperation? Doesn’t that suggest that he has information that can be used to build a case against someone more important than him?

    “I think it’s a fair conclusion to think that he has information that is valuable in the prosecution of others,” McQuade says. “You would only offer that cooperation if you’ve sat down with him and learned that he has information that is of value.”

    And that appears to be what is happening: in return for what will likely be a reduced sentence, Papadopoulos has agreed to sing. As the letter laying out the terms of the plea agreement says,

    “The Government agrees to bring to the Court’s attention at sentencing the defendant’s efforts to cooperate with the Government, on the condition that your client continues to respond and provide information regarding any and all matters as to which the Government deems relevant.”

    Who does Papadopoulos have information on? We don’t know. The plea document mentions his discussions (his efforts to set up a meeting with the Russians) with people who are referred to as “Senior Policy Adviser,” “Campaign Supervisor,” and “High-Ranking Campaign Official,” but we don’t know who those are. Then there’s this:

    On or about May 4, 2016, the Russian MFA Connection sent an email (the “May 4 MFA Email”) to defendant PAPADOPOULOS and the Professor that stated: ” I have just talked to my colleagues from the MFA. The[y] are open for cooperation. One of the options is to make a meeting for you at the North America Desk, if you are in Moscow.” Defendant PAPADOPOULOS responded that he was “[g]lad the MFA is interested.” Defendant PAPADOPOULOS forwarded the May 4 MFA Email to the High-Ranking Campaign Official, adding: “What do you think? Is this something we want to move forward with?” The next day, on or about May 5, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS had a phone call with the Campaign Supervisor, and then forwarded the May 4 MFA Email to him, adding to the top of the email: “Russia updates.”

    This exchange happened not long before Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Kushner had their infamous meeting with representatives of the Russian government who purportedly had damaging information on Clinton to offer. Given that context, it seems rather unlikely that Papadopoulos would not have mentioned the possibility that the Russians had of “dirt” on Clinton contained in “thousands of emails.” But we don’t yet know for sure.

    What we do know is that the prosecutors believe that Papadopoulos’ information will be valuable to them in building a case against others. Manafort, on the other hand, is not cooperating — at least not yet. “The fact that he was indicted suggests to me that pre-indictment he said ‘No, I don’t want to cooperate.’ I’m sure they presented him with the opportunity,” says McQuade. It’s a common tactic to hand down one set of indictments and then offer a defendant the chance to start cooperating, since if he doesn’t they’ll keep investigating, and who knows what else they’ll find. “I think that’s quite possible, that there are additional potential charges against Manafort, and he could still cooperate,” McQuade said.

    If Manfort is going to flip, there are only so many people he could flip on who are closer to the center of whatever happened than he was. That could include Jared Kushner, perhaps Donald Trump Jr., and of course President Trump himself.

    But right now, Papadopoulos is the one who is providing Mueller an entry into the heart of the Trump campaign and its relationship to Russia. Which is why McQuade says, “That one, because of its relevance to that larger question, strikes me as maybe the more important development today.” And this is just getting started.

    Source, with over a thousand comments:
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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    Mueller Indicts Three Former Trump Officials In Russia Investigation: A Closer Look

    Seth Meyers takes a closer look at special counsel Robert Mueller's first charges in his investigation of the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia.
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald Trump: A Man of Characters: The Daily Show

    Desi Lydic revisits Donald Trump's first tweet and lauds the president's innovative way around Twitter's restrictive character limit.
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here are two of the articles that POLITICO published about the day's events that are worth reading.

    Kremlin likely cultivated Trump adviser, experts say

    Was George Papadopoulos 'really stupid' — or the key to a sinister Kremlin connection?

    The not-so-hidden message in Mueller's court filings

    The special prosecutor's indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates — and the plea deal struck with low-level adviser George Papadopoulos — suggest a road map for additional charges still to come.
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 1
  32. The Wrong Guy Member

    It's Mueller Time: The First Indictments in the Trump-Russia Probe: The Daily Show

    Special counsel Robert Mueller indicts former Trump campaign staffers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and ex-adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to the FBI.
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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Millions Disappointed It Wasn’t Jared

    By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker


    Amid the general jubilation over the arrest of Paul Manafort on Monday, millions of Americans reported extreme disappointment that the first person arrested from Robert Mueller’s Russia probe was not Jared Kushner. Across the country, downcast Americans commiserated over the news that their choice for Mueller’s first indictment had been overlooked.

    “I know it makes me sound petty, since today is a day of national celebration,” Harland Dorrinson, who had been holding a Kushner-arrest-watch party in suburban Toledo, said. “But for a lot of us who had had our hopes set on Jared, today is bittersweet.”

    Tracy Klugian, who watched news of Manafort’s arrest from her home in San Jose, agreed. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that Manafort’s being brought in,” she said. “But he’s no Jared.”

    Davis Logsdon, a clinical psychologist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, said that he is counselling patients who are dealing with the “severe emotional letdown” of the first person arrested not being Jared.

    “I’m urging them to see this disappointment as an opportunity for growth,” Logsdon said. “It’s true that none of the first three arrests was Jared, but we have to live with that reality. And, perhaps, if we are patient, the fourth, fifth, or even fiftieth arrest will be Jared.”

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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    'Tis The Season For Treason: A Very Mueller Christmas

    The three kings came bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh; but only jolly ol' Robert Mueller could bring charges to Manafort, King, and Papadopoulos.
  36. The Wrong Guy Member

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was "no collusion" and events mentioned took place long before he...

    Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    ....came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 1 hour ago
    I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!

    Trump Belittles ‘Low Level’ Adviser Who Tried to Connect With Russia | The New York Times
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